RIP Sylvia Robinson. From Mickey & Sylvia to Sugarhill Records in a couple of decades.
On the days when the greatest album ever made stops being Sparklehorse’s Viviadixie, it tends to be In An Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. An ‘obscure’, cult album. Except I’m not sure it is any more, most people I know love it, and that’s not just down to my ceaseless, tiresome evangelism. It’s probably sold as many copies as Hotel California now. More than the Beady Eye album, anyway.
Anyway, it crops up in the strangest places and in the strangest ways. Here are some:
Increasingly often of late I find myself tending to the kind of hard left stance I’ve always avoided. I’ve always placed myself on the vague anarcho – angry liberal end of things, but maybe it’s time to stop fucking about.
“This is why the delicate liberal communist – frightened, caring, fighting violence – and the blind fundamentalist exploding in rage, are two sides of the same coin. While they fight subjective violence, liberal communists are they very agents of the structural violence which creates the conditions for the explosions of subjective violence. The same philanthropists who give millions for AIDS or education in tolerance have ruined the lives of thousands through financial speculation and thus created the conditions for the rise of the very intolerance that is being fought. In the 1960s and 70s it was possible to buy soft-porn postcards of a girl clad in a bikimi or wearing an evening gown; however, when on moved the postcard or looked at it from a slightly different perspective, her clothes magically disappeared to reveal the girl’s naked body. When we are bombarded by the heartwarming news of a debt cancellation or a big humanitarian campaign to eradicate a dangerous epidemic, just move the postcard a little to catch a glimpse of the obscene figure of the liberal communist at work beneath.”
– Slavoj Zizek, Violence
Step forward: we hear
That you are a good man.
You cannot be bought, but the lightning
Which strikes the house, also
Cannot be bought.
You hold to what you said.
But what did you say?
You are honest, you say your opinion.
You are brave.
You are wise.
You do not consider your personal advantages.
Whose advantages do you consider then?
You are a good friend.
Are you also a good friend of the good people?
Hear us then: we know.
You are our enemy. This is why we shall
Now put you in front of a wall. But in consideration
of your merits and good qualities
We shall put you in front of a good wall and shoot you
With a good bullet from a good gun and bury you
With a good shovel in the good earth.
– Bertholt Brecht, The Interrogation Of The Good
The meek ain’t gonna inherit shit
– Alabama 3, Mansion On The Hill
I’ve often thought of mounting a spirited defence of Half Man Biscuit, against those who wrote them off as a wacky 80s student band full of daytime telly references and not much more.
Now I don’t have to because Taylor Parkes has done it for me on The Quietus , at considerable length, with great insight and admirable passion.
A fantastic piece, and long overdue.
Filed under: Videos
There aren’t a lot of Sparklehorse covers. Even if there were, this would still probably be the best.