Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Height of Summer

A while ago, I was talking to my friend Natalie about how technological and musical advances were intertwined, and how it constituted a secret life of the synthesizer, where electronic music would crop up in unexpected places ("Here Comes the Sun", "Innervisions") and how technological advances would create unexpected turns in music (house music, Rihanna's "Umbrella"). Anyway, she asked me to contribute an article to her always fascinating zine, "The Shrieking Violet" and I'm pleased to say the new issue with my piece in is now out - to buy at Cornerhouse or Piccadilly Records in Manchester - or to download and read online here. Even better, there's a launch party at Castlefield Gallery's late opening on Thursday 14th August. And that's an evening to make a night of it - as a new exhibition of called "The Use and Abuse of Books" is taking place at Anthony Burgess Foundation. Linking New Worlds, Savoy Books and recent art object/magazine Corridor 8, it should be a fascinating show...and timely reminder of another strand of the NW avant garde.
I've often thought that part of Mark E. Smith and the Fall's appeal is their tapping into some deep gothic horric in the city - a Lovecraftian undercroft that echoes with what Will Self reminded us last week, was the city as being built on slave labour, Manchester-Salford as the 19th century Dubai.  As we see another lining up of statement buildings, each one as heavily facaded as the fake sets that the tourists see in the Coronation Street tour (or the SF/Western "Westworld") its worth reminding ourselves of other counter cultures. My synthesizer essay squeezes in under 2000 words, but it could easily have been five times the many connections I left out.
This week as the news is nightly witness to other horrors, including the nightly bombings in Gaza, criticism of which Israel seems deafer than ever to, the ominous anniversaryising of the first world war (in the aftermath of which some of the catatrophic middle eastern borders were first drawn up), takes place; heavily mythologised (often in an exemplary way, to be fair) on the BBC and in the newspapers.  More intrigueing is a picnic as part of the "My Poppy" project - a digital arts project developed by Lets Go Global - which takes place on Sunday afternoon 2pm-4pm.  I'm hoping to combine this with the vinyl and book fair at Stockport market place on Sunday - so I may be heavily laden if the last one is anything to go by. (Note to self: finish listening to what I bought last time!)
The day before - and to bring us a bit full circle - I hope to get to Francis McKee's talk at Castlefield Gallery looking at an "open source" approach to the arts. 

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