Saturday, September 30, 2017

glam / anti-glam quote (4 of ??)

"Life's a drag when you don't have an identity of your own"

- Bubble, a "glamourpod" - a shape-shifting, alien entertainer, - as played by Rihanna (and a squadron of CGI technicians) in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Love the witty play on the word "drag" there

The "glamourpod" idea makes me wonder if someone involved in writing this is aware of the original meaning of "glamour"

1. Magic, enchantment, witchcraft; a spell, especially one affecting the sight, as in phrase  to cast the glamour ower someone
"This species of witchcraft is well known in Scotland as the glamour, or deceptio visus, and was supposed to be a special attribute of the race of Gipsies" - Walter Scott

Film is the usual CGI-addled farrago of excessively plot-twisty action, but me and the daughter both like the actress with the eyebrows

Thursday, September 28, 2017

glam / anti-glam quote (3 of ??)

"From there he could see a ten-acre field of cockleburs spotted with clumps of sunflowers and wild gum. In the center of the field was a gigantic pile of sets, flats, and props. While he watched, a ten-ton truck added another load to it. This was the final dumping ground. He thought of Janvier’s "Sargasso Sea." Just as that imaginary body of water was a history of civilization in the form of a marine junkyard, the studio lot was one in the form of a dream dump. A Sargasso of the imagination! And the dump grew continually, for there wasn’t a dream afloat somewhere which wouldn’t sooner or later turn up on it, having first been made photographic by plaster, canvas, lath and paint."

Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust 

“Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, war. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.” 

Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

glam / anti-glam quote (2 of ??)

"I suppose he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people—his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that – and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end...

"... His heart was in a constant, turbulent riot,. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination: they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

(one of B. Ferry's favorite books) 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

glam / anti-glam quote (1 of ??)

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage
Cast in this unlikely role
Ill-equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact
Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme
Living in a fish eye lens
Caught in the camera eye
I have no heart to lie
I can't pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend
All the world's indeed a stage
And we are merely players
Performers and portrayers
Each another's audience
Outside the gilded cage
Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme

- Rush, "Limelight", 1981

Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood
Off on your way
Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude
Invisible airwaves
Crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle
With the energy
Emotional feedback
On a timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price
Almost free
All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah your honesty
One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity, yeah
Invisible airwaves
Crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle
With the energy
Emotional feedback
On a timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price
Almost free
For the words of the profits
Were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds, of salesmen, of salesmen, of salesmen
- Rush, "The Spirit of Radio", 1980

Monday, September 25, 2017

interview about glam, pop today, etc

an interview I did with David Lichfield at The Work Trials. Topics covered include glam rock, radio rap, poptimists turning against pop, "Retro - still a problem?", life in the US versus life in the UK, and  the ineffectiveness of eloquence as a weapon against the Trump bloc(kheads).

On the glam past:

"One of the things about these glam TV memories is that Top of the Pops was a context that was very variable – you had the really middle-of-the-road performers, you had novelty singles, singles by comedians, you had sort of generic pop groups, then you’d have hairy groups like Hawkwind on there. Then suddenly you’d have weird teenage-oriented groups all covered in spangles. One of the things I didn’t actually discuss in the book but was in an early draft, was how Top of the Pops had certain visual special effects – I think one of them was called howlround - things that probably now look really cheap but at the time looked mind-blowing. For instance, the whole screen would go this metallic purple, and Marc Bolan would become this sort of purple haze figure. They would use these effects a lot, specifically on glam groups. They seemed to know it wouldn’t really work on the Brotherhood of Man or Tony Orlando – the MOR groups would be filmed flat, but T-Rex and The Sweet would get all these plastic-fantastic effects on them where suddenly the screen would go all trippy. That had a pretty big impression on me as a child. It seemed like a really suitable effect to use on these bands, with it being very psychedelic but also plastic and artificial-looking, with a cheap sci-fi feel. They would also use it on people like Gary Glitter to fit their sort of trashy, bubblegum sound. That’s really the main thing I remember from that era, seeing these bands swathed with those special effects on Top of the Pops." 

On the pop present:

"We’ve seen a lot of serious artistic statements being made and written about endlessly with think pieces and highly serious, intense analyses of things like Lemonade and the Solange record for instance. You could say pop has become the new rock, with a somewhat didactic, improving, rather worthy form of writing being produced around it, in exactly the same way critics would have written about Bruce Springsteen or U2, using a language and a tone that makes you feel like you’re in school basically. The other thing I noticed was that, amongst the people some of us call “poptimists”, is that they saw 2016 as the worst year for pop music ever."  

Friday, September 15, 2017










Big up and muchas gracias to Caja Negra, the British Council Argentina, La Feria del Libro de Córdoba, el Centro Cultural San Martin, Pablo Schanton, Jose Heinz, and everybody else involved in making the activities in Buenos Aires and Córdoba so enjoyable and stimulating.

Below a couple of sonic highlights from the trip. More on the first of these to follow soon on Blissblog. 



  ... or at least, if not endorsing / encouraging, then at least accepting the existence and inevitability of theatricality as a social mech...