Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Familiar stirring in The Wosp’s Nest

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(That’s not a typo, by the way 😉 )

http://www.ignatiarecordings.com/terrafamiliar.html

If you’re a music fan like I am, if music means as much (or nearly so) to me at forty-one as it did when you were a spotty sixth-former; then, like me you likely have a small, select mental roster of artists whose work exerts an almost black hole-like gravitational pull on you and your purse-strings. Your heart leaps at every scrap of information pertaining to their latest upcoming project and on release day – or these days, pre-order opening more likely – you’re first in the queue to click on that PayPal or KickStarter button; never mind that you’ve yet to hear a note of the promised new songs or that an electricity bill is imminent…

Along with – for me – Pet Shop Boys, Marillion, Steven Wilson, Neneh Cherry, Johnny Marr, Transatlantic, Scott Walker; Christian ‘Bic’ Hayes has become one such artist. You may know his work via his involvement with Cardiacs, Levitation, Dark Star, Panixsphere, Ring or his own previous solo releases as Mikrokosmos, and if those names ring a bell, you’ll quickly realise he’s a man with a nose for an interesting musical detour. As it happens, and incongruously, he also played live with PSBs when they toured their Release album, which demonstrates a certain chutzpah: one does not step lightly into Johnny Marr‘s shoes.

If previous Mikrokosmos releases are anything to go by, he’s no less interesting as a solo artist than as his contribution to the aforementioned projects might suggest. Both Mikrokosmos: In The Heart Of The Home (2006) and Mikrokosmos ii: The Seven Stars (2007) are exploratory albums, recalling (musically) The Beatles‘ psychedelic phase, the prog/punk collision of his days as a Cardiac and post OKC Radiohead‘s twisted, glitchy electronic rock. His Jonathan Donahue-laconic (albeit relocated to Westminster) tones effortlessly inhabit a sometimes-shifting, occasionally-jarring, precisely-fuzzy landscape of feedback, jangle, FX and washes that bear comparison to latterday Talk Talk, if only for their sheer audacity, single-mindedness and unlikely gravitational appeal. If the hard rock/post-punk elements take something of a backseat by comparison to Levitation/Darkstar period then this serves as an incentive to listen harder. In a sane world, this guy would be a national treasure; at least in my geeky world. This is progressive music, indulgent in its way, albeit in service to a good musical cause. Both ItHotH and TSS were pressed – onto CD – in very limited numbers (500 copies apiece) and the fact that they are still available to buy as such almost seems a crime, though I doubt it concerns Hayes unduly: he is nothing, one suspects, if not a musician’s musician: a lover, a geek.

You can listen to the new album, Terra Familiar in full here (I haven’t – I’m waiting for the CD 😉 )

and the two previous instalments

In The Heart Of The Home

The Seven Stars

via Bandcamp. If you enjoy imaginative, original music that respects the past as much as its own muse, then Hayes is your man. The download button is your friend, geek 😉

p.s. some highlights from Hayes past:

 

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Misplaced male; a seasonal liability

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Misplaced male; a seasonal liability

This reblog from Girls Globe makes many pertinent points. Its original title ‘Take Action against Gender-Based Violence this Season’ along with the language and tone of its content also illustrates perfectly why the ‘inclusive’ language favoured by Western-model Liberalism actually excludes and annuls meaningful debate and any remote possibility of change. So-called ‘Gender-based violence’ describes violence commited mostly by males against, well, everybody and everything. Male Violence, or better yet, male-pattern violence is a more descriptive term, since it acknowleges that said violence is the responsibility of males and mostly perpetrated by same, whilst admitting the possibility and the reality that our system of hierarchy (patriarchy) is so pervasive, that often females can be brainwashed into adopting it, in microcosm at least. Witness that FGM is performed by women in the interests of male culture; that child-abuse by mothers and women in loco parentis is, if not endemic then certainly widespread; that corporations seemingly bend over backwards to promote their courting of female talent and that much of the focus of third-wave feminism rests on a nominal ‘equality’ in place of the previous generation’s vision of ‘liberation’.

If naming their agent(s) of oppression is the first step on the road to liberation, then today’s females, by constrast to their ‘gay’, ‘…of colour’ and ‘transgender’ (would be) compadres in activism seem reluctant. If that’s surprising to some, it shouldn’t be: the fight here is not to aquire the privileges accrued by deception and/or outright force by class male over millennia: rather, it is to disabuse said class of the notion that its privileges are righteous. ‘Gay’ men are men; Men ‘of colour’ are men; and whether ‘Transwomen’ are men is in most respects a moot point, since they anticipate retaining the same male-defined ‘human rights’ upon transition and any loss of same is incomprehensible to one raised with male biology in a male-governed (ruled) society.

If the point of liberation was to free all; then the object of equality is to subject all; from or to the same oppressive, impossible standard. Male nature provides a convenient spirit level: we may not all wish to fight; but we sure as hell all want to fuck (or as near all as makes no odds) which to those who don’t is as good a weapon as can be.

A remarkable thing happened to men during the AIDS years: sex (by which I mean PIV or, on the same pattern, PIA) became, for the first time since the advent of antibiotics, actually dangerous: a matter of life and death for men. We changed our sexual habits (on the whole) not a jot. We could read this as evidence of the inflexibility of male nature; or as proof of our own privilege; or as somewhere in between. Either way, men are the agent of gay oppression as much as they are the agent of female oppression. Transgender is a cunning wheeze to avoid either; one which only works half the time.

Somewhere along the way, the precision of second wave feminist writing  – which, to exemplify Germaine Greer confronted male hatred of the female and correctly identified transgender women as ‘pantomime dames’ – has been lost. There is a rush to accomodate any deviation from the male norm as if it is transgressive when in fact we are anything but. Would ‘Gay’ even be a thing were it not for the centuries-old (and long-in-the-tooth) male idea of heteronormativity: proponents in that bygone age could scarcely be expected to have forseen today’s overpopulation and consequent climate change…

Talking about violence being ‘gender-based’ glosses over these and much else, particularly for today’s reader whose notion of what ‘gender’ is is as wooly as the language itself.

Just remembered I’m only writing a comment, not my own post so I’ll now stop waffling 😉

 

Girls' Globe

Signs read: "Don't Bury Me." Photo Credit: Meliné Bilbulyan Signs read: “Don’t Bury Me.”
Photo Credit: Meliné Bilbulyan

Many of us look forward to the holydays – to lighting candles, traditional food and spending time with friends and family. But the higher economic burden following the mandatory spending on food, gifts and decorations and the pressure of living up to the perfect-holyday-expectations put strains on the household. The risk of domestic violence is higher during the holyday season and for women already experiencing violence at home, the holydays bring with them a promise of increased plague.

Numbers presented by UN women reveal that one out of three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. In some countries the numbers are as high as 70 percent. Violence against women is an urgent global problem.

Whether or not domestic violence occurs in your home or in any other home you know about, gender based violence…

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