There is no doubt that Aldous Harding’s music is polarising. Some (like me), love it, others find her vocal affectations annoying and her intense live performances, either weirdly comedic or darkly disturbing. But Harding’s recent appearance on Later With Jools finds the artist taking things further than ever… big, dramatic gestures, a voice that careens from deep growl to a stratospheric screech and facial expressions that seem like discarded masks from the set of Twin Peaks. Continue reading
Category Archives: Opinion
This just in from the folks at The Kings Arms…
A letter from the Kings Arms:
It’s fair to say that the last week and a half has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. If you’ve been stuck in a bubble the past week and a half, let’s just say that there has been a cacophony of news coverage, social media posts, and “lively debate” around the events that surrounded the shut down of the Windhand and Cough show at the Kings Arms last Saturday week.
The aftermath of the closing down of The Kings Arms this past Saturday night due to a noise complaint has resulted in Australian promoter Life Is Noise taking a few swipes at Kings Arms owner Maureen Gordon (read Life Is Noise statement here) while Maureen and her crew battle bureaucracy at Auckland City Council in an effort to reclaim gear that was confiscated so that they can continue to do business. Continue reading
So I first wrote this on the 2nd of July before the shootings of innocent black men and before the police shootings. It seems odd to be in America during this time, especially having written what is below. I also tripped over a shotgun casing looking at fireflies just before taking that photo of the water tower in Louisville, the home town of Muhammad Ali, no less. Continue reading
So I first wrote this on the 2nd of July before the shootings of innocent black men and before the police shootings. It seems odd to be in America during this time, especially having written what is below. I also tripped over a shotgun casing looking at fireflies just before taking that photo of the water tower in Louisville, the home town of Muhammad Ali, no less.
Ok so it’s 6 am and I can’t sleep because it’s my first day in Chicago & I’m a tad over excited. Not only is this an architectural Mecca but a musical one too. (I am hoping that if, like my partner says, you whisper Jeff Tweedy’s name into Lake Michigan 3 times, he really will appear behind you and give a solo rendition of the song of your choosing.) I mean even the goddamn band that’s playing soul covers in Millennial Park on 4th of July weekend is great.
We even landed on Willie Dixon’s birthday, the man that turned me on to blues. When I was a teenager I looked to see who wrote my favourite Stones songs, it was this dude named Willie Dixon who I then realised was an old blues guy from Chicago -and once I heard him, Muddy, Wolf and Hooker etc it was hard to take Mick & Keef that serious after. (Several days after I wrote this we get a tour around Chess Records by Willie Dixon’s grandson).
So, here I am, a seriously SERIOUSLY white ginger from the other side of the world and I can’t stop staring at black people. My middle class guilt worries it’s fetishising, or worse, otheris-ing. Part of it might be the lack of African Americans in little old NZ and I keep seeing archetypes from music, movies and TV. People that remind me of those I have emotional relationships with, like Bunk, Lester, Bubbles, Tasty, Poussey Washington, Sam Cooke, Eddie Murphy etc.
But then I have an argument/discussion with myself remembering a 2 year old conversation with an American friend who told me African Americans only make up approx 12% of the population (it must be higher in Chicago)… that they have contributed the US’s greatest achievement – rock and roll music. Yes, there is a back and forth but one party certainly benefits financially better. There would be no jazz or electronic music either. No EDM without disco. No Elvis, Beatles or Stones without Rhythm & Blues.
Elvis’s first big hits ‘That’s Alright’ by Arthur Crudup (which I scored a sweet-as record of from Ameboa in LA with arguably the worst, most racist cover in the world) and ‘Hound Dog’ written for the incomparable Big Mama Thornton by two Jewish men, Leiber & Stoller, who were obsessed with black music and would sneak into juke joints as teenagers to watch the bands. One can see why, when you get to hear recordings of that stuff.
One clever musician friend of mine has challenged me by pointing out I think about race a lot when I talk about music. I guess I do. I also pointed out I do the same with gender! I can only put it down to the fact that I can’t separate the political aspects from my appreciation. The injustices, the lack of representation, etc etc. Recently at the BET awards not only did Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar give one hell of a defiant performance; a man who would be too easy to dismiss for being excessively pretty said some powerful words and then another pretty boy who is guilty of those exact words, minimised them. I guess I’ll stop thinking about race and gender when it comes to music when it stops being important. Also one can’t help but reflect the complete lack of respect African Americans get for their outstanding achievements in a culture that is all too quick to dismiss them.
Jesse Williams’ speech: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7416612/jesse-williams-bet-awards-2016-speech-video
Vic Mansa Calls Out Justin Timberlake: http://pitchfork.com/news/66500-vic-mensa-calls-out-justin-timberlake-for-benefiting-from-using-black-culture/
Beyonce & Kendrick Lamar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWF31EWPLj0&app=desktop
This tweet perfectly explains… http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/tweet-dallas-shooting-blm/
All images (c) 2016 Tina Turntables
On the day we took the boat out, the sky was sleepy. You promised it would wake up later and I have always believed everything you say, even when I know you’re lying. I wrapped the sandwiches carefully, tucking the wax paper under their bellies.
Outside, you harnessed the boat to the back of the car. Watching though the cobwebbed kitchen window, I marvelled at our lives, how much we had overcome and forgotten to achieve, this life of majestic simplicity. Continue reading
It’s been 20 years since The Spice Girls released Wannabe. The 13th Floor’s Kate Powell has some thoughts about The Spice Girls and Feminism:
Broadly speaking a feminist is a person that embraces the fact that all women regardless of sexual identity, religion, race, and socio- economic backgrounds have the unequivocal right to equality respect and human decency. It is an entirely rational idea that would be natural in an ideal world. But because we don’t live in an ideal world, it is an idea that is not without its politics and its detractors. Thanks to the internet and social media, everyone has a soap box to stand on to voice their opinions, and for the last year or so feminism has been the hot button topic, a discussion which has been encouraged via celebrities. Continue reading
In response to the Orlando shootings I was going to discuss the media narrative, gun control, why any civilian would really need an easily reloadable 50 round weapon, that might just seem is only designed to mow down as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. I was even going to talk about the relativity of religious extremism and how Christians have also managed to slaughter many people and have too punched above their weight in terms of oppressing the wimmins and the gays…. But I think we need another think piece on this, like we need another testicle. Instead, I will leave these two images here…
Record store day is just around the corner. We welcome Brent Giblin to The 13th Floor as he shares his feelings about the blessed event…
I’m excited. Record Store Day is only hours away. For the last couple of years there has been building unrest about how the International Record Store day is run. Overpriced vinyl, major label interference, late arriving stock, no Sale or Return policy, pressing plant bottlenecks. You have probably heard or read some of these arguments. Most of them have been around in some form or another ever since I bought my first 7’ Mi-Sex “People” from the New Brighton EMI Shop in 1980. Don’t let them stop you from enjoying what should be a great day .