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Indie Kid "ok12comp" (UK)

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Hitch 22: A Memoir
Hitch 22: A Memoir
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and Engaging, 11 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Hitch 22: A Memoir (Hardcover)
This gives a great insight not only to the life of Christopher (and it is is Christopher, as you'll discover) but the context within which he has lived - the hopes of the '68 generation, the over factionalisation of the left, the rise of the right, the dissolution of the Capitalist/Soviet axiom and its overshadowing by the Western v Middle Eastern paradigm which seems to have replaced it. As such it is an important documentation of some of the major debates of the last 40 years.

On a more circumspect level, it is no more deeply moving than when outlining the relationship between himself and his parents, both shocking but awe-inspiring at his ability to simply cope. I enjoyed it immensely and if it is a little "all over the place" in sequence or linearity, I think this reflects the times we've lived through. More than anything, it has reminded me of what an absolutely horrific dictator Saddam was, and offers a different strand to the reasons why some "right thinking" people chose to support the Iraq intervention (although I remain unconvinced but irritated at the debate being centred too readily on legal rather than moral arguments, which were undubitable).

Great account of a life thus far from someone who, while seemingly perceived on the periphery of debate here in Britain at the expense of his diametrically opposed brother, has been at the centre of debates on the big issues and added a brilliant voice which is always coupled with compassion.

Its Colours They Are Fine
Its Colours They Are Fine
by Alan Spence
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, Peerless Book, 3 Aug. 2008
I read this in 1983, whiling away a few empty hours in the sadly demised Stirling Library in Glasgow.

It's a beautiful, touching collection of stories, apparently autobiographical, which conjure up a working-class Glasgow still very much industrially focussed. Kibble Palace and other stories bring the city to life, and the characters move you to laughter and tears in equal measure. Blue in particular is stunning.

When I moved to London a few years later, when I was homesick I read other book reminds you of home, and community, like it. Every Glaswegian should read it.

Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £17.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Fall, But Genius, 25 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Extricate (Audio CD)
After the almost sabbatical form of the nonetheless brilliant Kurious Oranj, Mark E Smith wrote this album in the shadow of what was for the non mainstream music world in 1989 a very public divorce, and in the apogee of Madchester. Consequently, there is a greater balance of internal reflection and wrath than his usual outward cultural observations, although these are still present in various forms such as British People in Hot Weather and Telephone Thing.
The great surprises are to be found on Bill Is Dead, where a tenderness and emotional honesty is conveyed movingly before the full on assault of Black Monk Theme Part I, a screeching and hollering release, most obviously at his ex-wife, and brilliant. Other highlights are Pop Corn Double Feature, a withering and witty attack on an apparently decaying Britain, and I'm Frank, an apparent tribute to Frank Zappa.
Many die-hard Fall fans don't like this as it is far more open to merely curious music fans - which is just snobbery. However, it is a fantastic album, and while it is perhaps not as oblique as others such as Bend Sinister or a true representation of The Fall's overall work,it is an accurate depiction of one of Britain's greatest songwriters at a certain time and place in his and our lives.

Price: £8.50

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone, But In No Need of Sympathy, 13 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Mainstream (Audio CD)
I can only agree with the other reviews of this album, in that it was the zenith of the Commotions all too brief collaboration. Where "Rattlesnakes" in particular was smart and full of attitude, "Mainstream" is markeldy different, with Lloyd seemingly more introspective, and less sure of his footing.
Not that this is a negative - the result is moments of rare beauty ("Jennifer She Said") which lends more to a more unadorned honesty than his previous works, where an overeagerness to impress was always just beneath the surface and coupled the emotion being expressed. "Mainstream's" more delicate moments seem to point as to perhaps why this was the case, "From the Hip" being a case in point, rather than betraying the effect.
"My Bag" and "Sean Penn Blues" were also musical departures for a band who by now had shed off the jingle jangle favoured by Orange Juice etc to produce a more complete accompanient for more sombre moods, but also able to funk up their sound and give it an altogether different feel. My own favourite is "29", a fabulous lyric concerning what Nick Cave detailed as "being Love's lover", the propensity for love in full knowledge of the pain of its loss, which for some is the bravest thing we do - come back for more when we've been so hurt.
In their career together, Lloyd and The Commotions summed up what was so wrong about much of UK music journalism in the 80's - a bunch of frustrated musos unable to deal with the fact that a bunch of guys up there doing it were brighter, wordier and more emotionally fragile than them. The result was that admiration gave way to envy, support became mockery and gifted bands like this packed up before they should have, although they've all lead interesting (and hopefully as rewarding) lives. They should look back with great satisfaction at what they achieved, for it's still great 17 years later, and up there with Love in my view. Buy it now!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2010 6:00 PM BST

Tender Prey
Tender Prey

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of Nick - Part One, 2 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Tender Prey (Audio CD)
This was the last album by the old Nick, released at a time when his well publicised substance abuses had led to court and treatment. As such, it is fitting that it's possibly his darkest (Murder Ballads is tongue in cheek - this is genuinely scary), with tales of abuse and retribution from beginning ( Deanna) to forgiveness and renewal at end (New Dawn).
It was a difficult album to listen to initially, but the greatness of the writing and power of the Bad Seeds was so breathtaking you listen again and again. "Slowly Goes the Night", "City of Refuge" and "Watching Alice" are all real gems and worthy of their place alongside what is (without exaggeration) one of the greatest songs ever written and worth the money alone, The Mercy Seat. The influences lyrically seems confluent - tales shaped by Old Testament style justice, where the devil is as vivid as God and fear motivates to good. Also there is a real sense of the Wild West also (as would also appear in Henry's Dream and Murder Ballads), and fittingly much of the music is heavily blues influenced.
This is the sound of someone who appears to be in great torment. The Nick Cave who next appeared in "The Good Son" was in many ways a greater artist and person (and hopefully happier), but this was the marker of how great he would become. When "popular" music is as great as this it really is an art form, and this is as high an achievement therein that you'll find.

Price: £8.48

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Saving Stuff, 10 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Automatic (Audio CD)
Some bands legacy will always be greater after they break up, and BRMC, White Stripes et al are strong evidence of the fact that the Jesus and Mary Chain, like the VU before them, will be more revered after the fact than they were in their day.
In turn, they were also a band who wore there own influences happily on their sleeve, and here (from T-Rex and Dylan on "Blues from a Gun" to VU on "Here comes Alice") again those influences were reconstructed as something completely new. How many other bands made so many great covers (check out Barbed Wire Kisses to see what I mean), and who else took a bass line or hook and made them so completely their own? At least with the Reids they took to make something greater again, unlike those who now ape them.
Rumoured to be after a mental breakdown, in Automatic it's clear that by '89 the tours of North America and their experiences were deeply shaping the brothers and their music, from the Americana of "Coast to Coast" to the skewed TV evangelism of "Take It". This is rage and fury being vomited out in the screams and feedback more of Psychocandy than Darklands, and even the acoustic moments are uttlery twisted. However, the noise is more controlled and directed, adding to the sonic rather than distracting from it, and giving a far greater intensity.
In 1989 only Doolittle by the Pixies and The Stone Roses, two more bands heavily influenced by the JAMC, could hold a light to it, and it was a top 3 album of the year in almost all of the polls that mattered. If you've just been dumped and need a rage inducement as a soundtrack - this is your baby - it was for me. If you haven't, you should buy it to remember "screaming automatic pain".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 12:40 PM GMT

The Queen Is Dead
The Queen Is Dead
Price: £9.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And It's All Over Now, 7 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Queen Is Dead (Audio CD)
The Smiths of The Queen is Dead have reached the fullest point of their development as a group. From the title track's sweeping majesty to the intricate beauty of "Big Mouth", Johnny Marr's guitar is breathtaking, turning from rage to heartbreak in a moment and seems to have matured to take in the full breadth of Morrissey's ouvre. Moreover, for the last time in a Smiths album, Morrissey's lyrics are free from parody as he trawls his inner psyche (I Know It's Over) to reveal the indubitable truth about his inability to love and the consequences. A truly great album by anyone's standards, it would be the Smiths meisterwerk, and even if only 1 year later we wept over their demise, it's the most enduring testament to their greatness.

Babe Rainbow
Babe Rainbow
Offered by WORLD WIDE MEDIA MARKET (12-24 Days for Delivery from California)
Price: £21.50

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NME knows - Don't Argue!!, 2 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Babe Rainbow (Audio CD)
3 years after the implosion which saw guitarist Terry Bickers ousted, Guy Chadwick put the disappointment and difficulty of Fontana behind him and achieved House of Love's most accomplished album. The rawness of early HOL classics like "Christine" and sheer adrenalin of "Destroy the Heart" were replaced by a more mature, but no less passionate lyrical and musical marriage. "Girl with the Loneliest Eyes" is one of the most beautiful songs ever, a paen to unrequited love, while "Burn Down the World" which immediately follows is pure Chadwick (and journalist-directed?) vitriol wrapped up in a glorious, rambling sonic overload. These extremes illustrate the emotional volatality at the heart of Chadwick and HOL and which made them such a brilliant, but cruelly derided band. The fact the NME favoured the Berkshire Shoegazers over this album in 1992 shows how cruel and transient views and opinions are when set against the timelessness of great music and art like this. Lucky for the then reviewers their embarrassment lies safe in their anonynimity. Buy and enjoy - which is more than you can say about Chapterhouse.

The Complete Picture [DVD] [2001]
The Complete Picture [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ The Smiths
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £4.79

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Killed The Vinyl CD Bonus Track P2P Format Marketing, 12 Aug. 2003
If you're a fan, you'll remember CD bonus tracks, no commercialisation, extremely little radio play, videos (This Charming Man/The Boy...) made because of Rough Trade/US pressure, others (The Jarman trilogy) made despite their pressure. And still they managed so many Top 10's, doing so despite the ridicule of fools like R1 and Smashy and Nicey, despite the poor distribution of Rough Trade and despite the fact that they fought video as advertising resolutely and, with the Jarman film, became one of the first to see it could be a medium with artistic integrity. The TOTP footage is class - they look what they were, the awkward, unwanted kids reluctantly invited to the party because they were too clever and wouldn't sell out - and worthy because it's the only footage there is anywhere. A historical document.

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