11 June 1936: The International Surrealist Exhibition

Thursday, June 11th, 1936. Ominous context; the previous week, Mussolini had authorised his troops to kill prisoners taken in the war that followed Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. Shortly thereafter, Haile Selassie, Emperor in exile, would appeal to the League of Nations against the Fascists, but…

The Dead Cannot Contradict: R.I.P. M.E.S. 1957 – 2018

There have been a lot of obituaries for the great Mark E. Smith in the last week. This will not be one of the better ones, but it is my one. In my experience, the bands you love in your teens are, although they have…

The Vanishing Everything of Everywhere; Goodbye 2017

“Time, time, time, see what’s become of me…” When The Bangles covered Simon & Garfunkel’s A Hazy Shade of Winter in 1987, the song was 21 years and one month old, now The Bangles’ version (from the underrated – according to me – movie of…

Right vs. Good – a rambling digression about the arts

  This is not all about black metal, or all about music even, but it essentially began with the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive album that Mayhem, the pioneers of Norwegian black metal, released towards the end of last year. PART 1: MUSIC Despite somewhat…

Weekly Update: Complicated Comforts

For a variety of reasons, it is being a slightly stressful, sleepless time, so I’ve been looking at things that are, in a variety of perhaps complicated ways, comforting or soothing (to me). I suppose comforting because it can be a relief to have one’s…

Belated weekly update: If You Want To Feel…

So, I’m taking far too long faffing with the more (relatively) substantial things I’ve been working on, so in the meantime I will try to reinstate the weekly updates. Just to stop the whole thing becoming too repetitive, this one is in a very slightly…

A Reading of Orwell (and others) in 2017

  I started writing this thing about George Orwell ages ago, but never got it finished, but suddenly it seems possibly relevant, so here it is, still not in the final form intended, but extremely long-winded, but hopefully fairly coherent. I should also point out…