- Category: Articles
- Hits: 1064
From The Ear Candle Blog, January 18, 2009
I ran out and bought Global-A-Go-Go by the Mescaleros soon after watching this comprehensive, heart-tugging, often exasperating movie, and I'm on the lookout for a good 101'ers collection as well. The Future Is Unwritten fully immerses you in the arc of Joe Strummer's life without ever putting him on a pedestal. The inspirational, conscientious, warm Joe and the capricious, superficial, flaky Joe are saluted and dissected in one complicated, all-too-human portrait.
The central gimmick is both brilliant and exasperating: friends, family, exes, ex-bandmates, and party-crashing celebrities all gather round a campfire and share their memories of the deceased in a sort of post-punk Burning Man-esque wake. It's a nice way to frame the story, and the viewer can feel as though he or she is there with everyone, singing along with old punk and country songs, warming cold hands, smoking, drinking and sharing the camaraderie.
The exasperating part of this is that, in some kind of fit of arty pretentiousness, director Julien Temple decided to leave every speaker anonymous, perhaps thinking that the lack of captions would aid us in feeling we wandered into this place and are listening to a group of strangers talk about their friend. The actual effect is the opposite; we are removed from the action because we're constantly trying to figure out who the hell everybody is. We're meant to be experiencing a ritual, and end up taking notes, running to the computer, or fast-forwarding.
- Category: J Neo Marvin & The Content Providers
- Hits: 1315
The first Content Providers album was conceived as a solo album, until I decided that the many musical contributors deserved a clever band name as a form of acknowledgement. Inspired by a Tom Tomorrow cartoon depicting William Shakespeare as a "content provider", the name was born. Slowly I Turned gradually took form in the aftermath of X-tal's breakup, my girlfriend's sudden death, and an ensuing period of depression, poverty, and eventual return to health. The recording began in my brother Bob Bassham's studio in Salinas and was completed at the Wally Sound. Cover art by the remarkable Céline Keller.
VIEW LYRICS at the links below.
All songs ©2001 J Neo Marvin (BMI) except where noted.
- Category: Interviews
- Hits: 1808
Pop: that one small word and all the huge associations it calls up, is the typical starting point writers use when discussing the Aislers Set. And yes, pop(in the indie-rock sense of the term) is probably the technically correct category for the band, but if you really want to capture the essence of the sound singer/multi-instrumentalist/mastermind Amy Linton and her comrades (whom she affectionately refers to as "those kids") concoct separately and together, the word is far too vague. Indie-pop, "twee" or otherwise, implies catchy melodies, attention to songcraft and arrangements, and a conscious evocation of the ineffable thrills of pop music's past, and all that applies here, but this music is the product of a singular personality and perspective. No one else has a voice like Amy Linton (critics have fallen all over themselves making comparisons to everyone from the Shirelles to the Primitives, none of which even come close
- Category: Interviews
- Hits: 1019
Mark E. Smith interviewed by J Neo Marvin
This interview was originally conducted for a long-forgotten punk fanzine whose name I won't mention, because I don't want anyone running off looking for rare back issues and discovering some of the appalling writing I got away with when I was younger. (Or let's put it this way: you're free to look for it, but I won't help you.) The early 80s were probably my all-time peak as a rabid Fall fan, though I continued to follow their music long after. But when Dragnet, Grotesque, and the 10-inch Slates EP were released, I was mesmerized by the magical combination of crude garagey stomp, raw experimentalism, and verbal complexity that Mark E. Smith and his crew were unleashing on the world, a music that was too rude and fluid for the punk scene at large, though it fed off all that energy.