So, my next blog project, starting on Monday August 5th, is Boys in their Dresses: A Psychodiscography of Tori Amos. And I wanted to start by talking a little bit about why this project interests me, and also a little bit about my short to medium term blogging plans in general.
I’ve had in mind to do some sort of piece about the largely female-fronted pop music I enjoyed during my 90s adolescence and how my understanding of my own love of it has shifted since transition. I originally imagined it as a series of essays, but eventually I got the idea of instead doing a deep dive on Tori Amos. The song by song blog has become, I think, one of the real classic structures of long-form blogging, and it seemed like an interesting thing to put my own spin on. And Tori Amos seemed a compelling structure for that—an artist who keeps trying new things and by extension keeps allowing for new perspectives on her work, and who has a sense of visionary personal mythology that appealed to me for all the reasons you’d expect it to.
But mostly I want to understand the sense of awe and ...
In a fun episode, Daniel chats with CV Vitolo-Haddad about CV's recent debate with Eric Striker.
The Striker/CV debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAm3qijUWUk&t=5073s
Eric Striker dox from the SPLC: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/05/01/prolific-alt-right-propagandists-identity-confirmed
Eric Striker (@AarickStriger) complains about snitches. Which are really just people Striker is frightened of. https://twitter.com/AarickStriger/status/1153503065649176576
|In 2063 they should do a special in which they cast different actors as William Hartnell, Richard Hurndall, and David Bradley, then have them all appear together in an adventure called The Three First Doctors.|
It’s December 25th, 2017. Ed Sheeran is at number one with “Perfect.” The Pogues, Mariah Carey, Wham, and Eminem also chart, one of them with Ed Sheeran appearing on the track. We’ll call this an exercise for the reader. In news since Series Ten wrapped up, neo-Nazis held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that resulted in the death of a counterprotester, Heather Heyer, when a Nazi deliberately drove his car into a crowd. Following the rally, President Trump praised the “very fine people” on both sides of the “are black people human” issue. There’s a lot of other Trump bullshit, but honestly summarizing six months of it in a paragraph is a challenge, so let’s just leave that at “also more fascism” and call it a day. Martin Shkreli is found guilty of a variety of crimes including disrespecting the Wu-Tang Clan. Vince Cable becomes leader of the Liberal Democrats. Theresa May’s government promises that Parliament will get a vote on any Brexit ...
CW: child sexual abuse.
We must address some important facts in this blog post. For starters, folk musician Roy Harper is a songwriter of note. He’s got solid and interesting work in his discography, bits of which get covers by remarkable artists like the Cocteau Twins or, as this post demonstrates, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. It’s intuitive that Bush and Gabriel would choose to duet on a cover of “Another Day”; an sturdy and compelling break-up song, whose themes of wistfulness and the cognitive dissonance of desire overlap with both artists’ interests. The Harper album “Another Day” hails from, Flat Baroque and Berserk, has songs that are the equal of mid-tier tracks from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, or Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer’s Flowers of Avalon. Harper’s work is firmly second-tier folk music, respectable but not transcendent. Given that he’s a direct influence on Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd (with whom he cut a lead vocal on “Have a Cigar”), and Pete Townshend, he’s clearly a figure with some relevance to both rock and folk music and a force to be reckoned with.
The other thing we ...
The long awaited (by a small number of people with extremely good taste) return of the Shabcast. I chat with Kit Power about his new books, a non-fiction book about the movie Tommy and, more particularly, his new novella The Finite.
Instantly one of my personal favourite ever Shabcasts.
Mild content warnings and spoilers
Kit's column 'My Life in Horror' at Ginger Nuts of Horror, via his recent piece on Where The Wind Blows
Discussion between George Daniel Lea, Laura Mauro, and Kit on Where The Wind Blows
Kit guests on an episode of They Must Be Destroyed on Sight! talking about Tommy (and Parents)
Wrong With Authority Footnote episode on George Romero movies Martin and The Crazies, featuring Kit and Daniel Harper
My my, it’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the comics, hasn’t it? The last time we looked was back at the end of the Smith era, where I did a quick check-in on IDW’s Farewell to the License comic, Paul Cornell’s “The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who.” Since then, the comics line has been in the hands of Titan Comics, the comics publishing arm of one of the two the Forbidden Planet chains of comic shops. This had a number of effeects, the most prosaic of which was that Titan successfully negotiated an actual distribution license for the UK, thus ending the bewildering curiosity of a US-only line of Doctor Who comics.
Titan has done a number of interesting projects in its time. Paul Cornell’s fascinating Third Doctor comic is dealt with in the newest edition of TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 3, for instance, and I’ll deal with the Al Ewing-cowritten Eleventh Doctor series in the Matt Smith book. But both of these were daliances with the past, even if the Eleventh Doctor book had a good number of issues out before Deep Breath had aired. It was with this series, or, technically, triptych of series, as ...
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After the Tour of Life wrapped, Bush stayed out of the studio for a few months, giving herself room to breathe in between albums. By August, she’d gone to Abbey Road with engineer Jon Kelly to mix the EP On Stage, a collection of four live recordings from her tour and the only EP she’s ever produced herself (other Bush Eps have been promotional efforts by EMI). Shortly afterwards, Bush and Kelly moved to London AIR Studios to record Never for Ever. The initial 3-and-a-half-month-long sessions that followed heralded the masters of “Violin,” “Egypt,” “The Wedding List,” and “Blow Away.” Given that “Violin” dates from around 1976 and Bush wrote “Egypt” for her tour, “Blow Away” ...
This week, Daniel is joined by special guest David Neiwert, author of Alt-America and The Eliminationists, to discuss conspiracy theories and online radicalisation, Andy Ngo and concrete milkshakes, and David's recent temporary Twitter suspension.
Content warnings, as always.