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Saturday, September 20, 2003

re. the london vs provinces debate thats currently being discussed in some parts of the blogosphere;
well i HOPE that london is the centre of aural excitement as simon reynolds argues, as i'm moving there tomorrow. and i think it probably will be; pirate radio network/relatively high proportion of carribean immigrants means dancehall culture is firmly entrenched in the 'alternative mainstream'/squatting community has survived thatcherism and blairism better than many places/ etc etc. and i think for dancefloor stuff its easily the best place in the country, as far as innovation goes. But for more awkward meanderings the provinces have got it down; manchester IDM clique [skam, autechre, etc.], glasgow post-rock/proper indie scene [waning, but still there], and the massively active hardcore/punk/riot grrl communities in manchester, liverpool, leeds, bradford and newcastle. i read in some punk fanzine an article complaining that there's never been a decent DIY punk scene in london since the 1970s because the sheer vastness of the city doesn't allow the kind of intensive communication and scene building which that kind of community thrives on, coupled with the density of A+R vultures luring bands into temptation and not allowing scenes [at least in the guitar-rock world] decent breathing space. its maybe interesting that the closest london has to a close knit hardcore/punk scene seems to be located in kingston, a pretty much ignored suburb to the south. but i'm not really an expert on this stuff, so maybe i should just shut up.

i think i might start doing a few longer posts here. i'm not sure...

Friday, September 19, 2003

David Hume on the philosophy of largin' it;

"The follies of the last debauch should be buried in
eternal oblivion, in order to give full scope to the follies of
the next."
(Enquiry Concerning The Principles of Morals)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

ooops, i've been alerted to the fact that the link in the previous post doesn't work. investigating further, it seems like princeton's entire seminar paper downlaod site is down. hopefully it'll be up again soon...
for those of you interested in contemporary political philosophy, a new book-length piece on what is wrong with constructivism [or, more specifically, Rawlsian constructivism] by G A Cohen can be found here. I'm not sure i agree with it, but its so well [and densely] argued that i think its going to take me a great deal of time to fully work out what i think is wrong with it. i suspect i see justice as a more multi-faceted ideal than Cohen, who seems to equate it with a [luck egalitaarian] principle of equality, does. And so i think principles of justice should be 'fact-sensitive' in the way Cohen argues they shouldn't be because i think we need to look at the facts to know how to combine the different facets of justice in the right way.
but anyway, its very worth reading.

incidentally, its interesting to note that somewhere Cohen says that he thinks that justice is a timeless, 'objective' truth, which is very different to the received Marxian notion of what justice is. Cohen, in previous writings, used to make a very big deal of deviating from [what he felt to be] the correct interpretation of Marx. So maybe either Cohen no longer feels himself to be a Marxist in any sense that it would be worth explaining why he's deviating from Marx, OR he has a conception of Marxian justice which runs counter to the received orthodoxy [which could be extremely interesting].

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

oh my god, roll deep's 'salt beef' is beautiful. chamber grime! its all in the thin, reedy, plaintive mechanical whirr that fills in the gaps between the beats and the way the unchanging melody flits through different instruments from strings to the now familiar grime hollow whalesong bass synth. its got a kind of elegant, harmonious perfection.
and hasn't grime got some of the greatest, strangest song titles ever?:
-salt beef
-spanish fly
-taiwan ink

...all so abstract and mysterious and enticing

Monday, September 15, 2003

visiting my nan in hospital last night, in a ward full of dead eyed stares, constant wandering down corridors and desperate muttering, made me think that the losses, mental physical emotional, of being old are something to dread, utterly and competely. i half want to call it cruel, but its not even that. Its senseless, heartbreaking and terrifying. i've not heard any songs about this, and have come across very few writers who have confronted it. is this too frightening and tragic for art?

Saturday, September 13, 2003

sad to hear of the death of johnny cash, obviously: he's one of those people whose music i just know i'd fall in love with if i properly devoted time and money to listening to it, like edith piaf, or woody guthrie. maybe i've waited long enough to fall in love with mr cash and maybe i'll buy one of his albums [but which?] this weekend.

dave eggers' 'you shall know our velocity' is great, if yr a fan of melancholic, bordering on narcissistic, american fiction- the book reminded me of both kerouac and john irving- which, for reasons i'm not entirely clear about, i am.
apologies for the long-ish absence; a holiday to south wales was the reason. a week passed with red wine, watching seal pups and star [and Mars] gazing all made for a very enjoyable time.

was excited and, indeed, touched more than i thought i would be after dizzee's latest triumph. who else among the nominations would have given half the prize money to youth clubs? great stuff. where next on this adventure? [which i feel strangely close to, almost a part of, despite the fact that i'm nothing to do with it. perhaps this is because dizzee rascal is the only artist i can remember that i was into when he was unsigned and is now a true pop star. something important is happening, a story that will be retold and picked over in hornby-esque coffee table music books in years to come is unfolding, and its great to follow it as it happens, waiting for the next turn in the road, the next beat, the next tune]. will the middle aged professional few-albums-a-year masses buy 'boy in da corner' after mercury's approval, as they did with ms dynamite? what on the earth will they think of it?

LOVING j sweet's 'gutter' at the moment- you can hear it on the 1extra website. so nasty- not just a one finger bassline, but a one note bassline, all buzz and jitter. as a kind of musical fuck you to the 'grime isn't music/everythings got too minimal/time to bring back gloss and mj cole-esque production values' tendency its a devastating argument for staying on this path for a while yet.

-last night, on top of the pops, presenter says to Sting, with a straight face, 'there's rumours goin' round hackney at the moment that yr working with mary J blige'. how wonderfully ridiculous it would be if kids in hackney did indeed devote their time to discussing the exciting news of sting's latest project. but, i fear, the presenter was talking shit.

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