Dave Hartnett, head of HMRC, has spent the last few years shaking hands on sweetheart deals with multinational corporations. Vodafone were let off upwards of £6bn in tax, Goldman Sachs were let off over £10m in tax. By pure chance, Dave Hartnett also happens to be Whitehall’s most wined and dined civil servant, accepting expensive dinners and drinks from companies such as KPMG, Ernst and Young, PWC and, of course, Goldman Sachs.
On 9th November Dave Hartnett was delivering the keynote speech at the Corporate Tax Conference, the biggest annual gathering of everyone who’s anyone in corporate tax. Some UK Uncut activists dressed up as Vodafone and Goldman Sachs execs and surprised Dave to say a huge thank you for his kind favours.
Some more vintage electronic French pop to round out the week on Dangerous Minds. Some folk may not know the name Pierre Henry, but they definitely know his music - well they would know his music, were it not for the fact that what they are hearing isn’t actually him. I’m talking of course about the Futurama theme tune, and how it is a blatant rip-off of Henry’s classic ‘Psyche Rock’ from 1967 (more specifically, the Fatboy Slim remix).
Now, don’t get me wrong I love Futurame, but it’s to Matt Groening’s eternal shame that he did not just stump up whatever cash was required to purchase the original track. What we now have in its place every week is a lame facsimile, that some people even confuse with the original track. Oh well. That’s entertainment!
Regardless, The Art of Sound is an excellent French (subtitled) documentary directed by Eric Darmon and Franck Mallet from 2006 that follows Pierre Henry as he collects unique sounds for his compositions, sets up an even more unique live concert in his house, and generally looks back over a career in music that spans over fifty years. It’s intimate and revealing, and its central figure comes across as quite the character.
No, scrub that - Pierre Henry is the shit. He went from being a pioneer of musique concrete with Pierre Schaeffer in the 1950s to creating psychedelic sound-and-light shows in 1960s Paris that could match anything dreamt up by Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. He composed music for abstract ballets that still sounds genuinely psychedelic and like nothing else today. He may come across as crabby and extremely eccentric in this film, but I still hope I end up as cool as this guy if I get to be his age. I mean, you have to be pretty awesome to attract a steady fanbase to abstract electronic recital shows in your own bloody house, right?
More psyche-pop magic, this time with Henry & Colombier’s “Teen Tonic” (1967) set to footage of the 1960s German TV fashion Show Paris Aktuel by YouTube uploader Cosmocorps2000:
A reminder about the Kenneth Anger opening party (which is confusingly being held a week after the exhibit actually opened to the public) tomorrow night at MOCA. Featured will be a live musical interlude via Anger and Brian Butler’sTechnicolor Skull project.
Technicolor Skull performs their first West Coast appearance at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles on November 19, 2011, as part of the opening reception for Kenneth Anger: ICONS. This exhibition will showcase the films, books, and artwork of one of the most original and enigmatic filmmakers of post-war American cinema. This coincides with the release of Technicolor Skull’s self-titled recorded debut, a one-sided, bloodred 180 gram 12” vinyl LP limited to 666 copies.
Technicolor Skull is an experiment in light and sound, exploring the psychic impact of a magick ritual in the context of an improvised performance. With Brian Butler on guitar and electronic instruments, and Kenneth Anger on theremin, their collaboration is a performance contained inside a ritual of unknown origin, tapping into occult stories that extend musical language into initiation. Hidden messages escape through gesture and light, manifesting as a one-time-only event.
Audio of Hunter S. Thompson at UC Auditorium, Boulder, Colorado, from November 1 1977, where the good doctor discussed:
01. Intro, American Dream, Tex Colson
02. Nixon and Football, Vietnam Books
03. Tom Wolfe
04. Trudeau, Running For Office
05. Rockefeller, Tri-Lateral Commission
06. Rush, Eldridge Cleaver
07. VD, Disco & Rolling Stone
08. World Series, MK - Ultra
09. Kesey, Canada
10. Evil As Nixon?, Uganda, Degeneracy
11. Steadman, Gonzo
12. More Kesey, Avoiding Jail
13. Silver Platter, The Slide
14. Carter Argument
15. Drug Question, Drunk And Loud
16. Three Wishes, Fascist
17. Grateful Dead
Burning Man enthusiasts who live in Southern California have a second chance to catch How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera this Sunday night for one performance only at the King King nightclub.
How to Survive the Apocalypse: a Burning Opera was scored by Mark Nichols, with libretto by noted counterculture writer Erik Davis. Inspired by “the Burn,” the show combines rock opera, an electronic dance party, and a pagan revival show. The workshop version premiered in early 2009 at Stage Werx in San Francisco, and the Original Cast version ran in October the same year, with nine sold-out performances at Teatro ZinZanni. The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s theater critic Steve Jones wrote that the show is “both engrossing musical theater in its own right and a piece of art that truly captures the feel of the event and the Zeitgeist of its attendees.” Writing about the Ghostlight Gypsies’ successful production of the show in Los Angeles this summer, co-directed by Nichols, Stephan Hues, and Julie Lewis, the LA Weekly’s Bill Raden raved about the show’s “anarchic spirit,” and described the show’s score as “a Hair-era musical vocabulary of R&B and acid rock by way of Kurt Weill.”
The origins of How to Survive the Apocalypse lie in a Porta-Potty line at Burning Man in 2006. Ron Meiners made the comment to a friend that only opera could capture the multidimensional experience of the festival. Composer Mark Nichols, in line with his singer partner Julie Lewis, overheard the remark. As a stalwart figure in the Seattle music scene who had already written a number of demented pieces of musical theatre, Nichols loved the idea. Meiners brought in lyricist Erik Davis, a cult author and journalist who had been attending and writing about Burning Man since 1994. Davis in turn brought in director Christopher Fulling. With producer and creative advisor Dana Harrison in tow, the main team was assembled and creative obsession began. Today the project continues to evolve through the vision of Ghostlight Gypsies, with future shows in the works.
An abridged version of the score, recorded and produced shortly after the 2009 Original Cast run has recently been released on CD. The music is also available digitally through iTunes and Amazon. For more on the Original Cast recording and performance see www.burningopera.com.
Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films was on MSNBC’s The Ed Show last night to discuss the completely idiotic way Fox has bashed Occupy Wall Street. (My former company released several of his documentaries on DVD including OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, a project I was proud to have put some money behind).
Watch the opening montage: How could anyone save for a totally uninformed pisshead take Fox News and what these people have to say seriously? It’s simply dishonest reporting yet the Geritol set and thick people all over the country take this shite as the gospel truth. Who benefits from keeping the common man ignorant and infuriated? (The 1%?)
It’s just bizarre to watch this, having visited Zuccotti Park several times personally. What they describe bears little to no resemblance to what I saw with my own two eyes on several occasions. They are flat out liars and fabricators.
Why NOT occupy Fox News? It would give them something legitimate to complain about and man, would that be a whole lot of fun.
Occupy London has taken over a derelict, building owned by Swiss bank UBS. The protesters hope to take legal possession of the building through UK’s squatter’s rights, then open the venue as a “Bank of Ideas”, as Sarah Layler told the Guardian:
“The Bank of Ideas will host a full events programme where people will be able to trade in creativity rather than cash. We will also make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to savage government spending cuts.”
Situated on Crown Place, near Liverpool Street Station, in the East of the City, the UBS building is the third Occupy London site, following on from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Finsbury Square, Islington. The protesters plan to hold an inaugural conference, for representatives from the whole of the UK Occupy movement, at the building this weekend. This event will include comedy from Josie Long and a seminar from Alessio Rastani - the independent trader who made headlines with his comments about banking in September.
By now you’ve probably heard that the efforts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got off to a rousing start with just under 10% of the 540,000 signatures needed to force the recall election collected in the just first two days (no thanks to losers like this).
Walker, who can raise unlimited funds to fight the recall, released his first TV commercial recently touting some rather dubious “successes” of his short time in office. The Democrats and the unions in Wisconsin answered the ad with the punch to the throat you can watch below.
It’s about TIME that progressives realized that they are going to have to play HARD—not “dirty” like the WI GOP and the Koch Bros have, but HARD so their punches land and HURT—and I, for one, loved seeing this commercial. I thought it kicked ass. Scott Walker’s ass.
Read this: Retired Pastor Opens Mind, Front Yard to Walker Recall Movement (Wauwatosa Patch)
Sabotage? Caledonia Man Claims He, and Others, Plan to Shred Signed Walker Recall Petitions (Wauwatosa Patch)
Donate to the efforts to pink-slip Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans at ActBlue.
Ali Renault is one of my favourite producers working right now. Formerly one half of the ace Italo revivalists Heartbreak he has been building a reputation over the last few years with his solo techno-disco outings on labels like Moustache and Dissident, and now he has just dropped his excellent debut album for the London label Cyber Dance.
Renault’s heavily Italo-influenced sound is clean and crisp, but with a tangible sense of creeping dread, like that point on a night out when you notice the sun has come up and your high is beginning to wear off. It’s what might happen if you took the synths of Claudio Simonetti, slow them down to a warped ketamine crawl and lock them in a wardrobe with Michael Myers. It’s not nearly as hellish as that makes it sound - in a way it’s kind of comforting, like the knowledge that someday you are going to die. It’s no surprise to learn that Renault’s formative musical influences as a teenager were both metal and techno.
“I like using old cheap hardware and I enjoy trying to evoke a dark mood with machines” he says. Renault’s self-titled debut album is 8 tracks of what he describes as “detective-noir” and will appeal to fans of golden age John Carpenter, classic Detroit techno, Garth Merenghi re-runs and the darker side of Italo disco. This isn’t music designed to impress with tricks and technology, it has a cleanliness of form and a melodic richness that is unique and brilliant. You can download the excellent “Pagan Run” from the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog at this link (highly recommended), and here’s a download of the track “Promises”, courtesy of Mixmag:
And here’s another album track, “Dignitas Machine”:
Ali Renault performs “Zombie Raffle” live at Magic Waves festival 2010:
Ali Renault can be purchased on vinyl from Juno and Beatport.