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24 October 2011

Some thoughts about politics, music and Rough Trade

UPDATED NOVEMBER 7, 2011: Soon after posting this I discovered a great full-length BBC documentary about Rough Trade posted on Vimeo. I’ve replaced the Raincoats video that led this post with said documentary. (The Raincoats song is now at the end of this post.) I’d recommend watching the doc even before checking out the book on RT if only because music only really lives & breaths when seen & heard. Contrary to reports, I have not been watching the documentary on repeat since the original posting date of the first BLOG. I’ve just been occupied.

***

Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore separate. There’s protest in the streets again. Everything is born again & everyone dies. And sometimes people blog about it.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from a book I’m reading about Rough Trade which somehow has everything to do with this.

GINA BIRCH: Before moving to London, I’d been at Trent Poly doing a Foundation Course and while I was there I got involved with what you might call a conceptual art tribe, people involved in Art & Language. It was very political because there were always lots of factions, but it was also very exciting. When I moved to London, though, and started studying at Hornsey Art College, although the course I was on was interesting, and it had some interesting fellow students — like Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter, who painted horses, and Anish Kapoor — there was no core to it, no tribe like there had been in Nottingham, so I became lonely. I was living with a bunch of drug dealers in Islington when Neil from the Tesco Bombers said I could move into his squat in West London. This was a squat within a group of squats and this became my new tribe. Richard Dudanski, who played drums in The 101ers, was there with his partner Esperanta, whose sister Palmolive played in The Slits.

There was this great community of punks and hippies and everyone joined in. We all used the Tea Room, which was kind of a local cafĂ© and food co-op in a squat where for 20p you could get brown rice and vegetables, a pudding and a glass of sarsaparilla. The punks the hippies really joined at this point and in some ways the DIY ethic chimed with many of the hippie ideals. I supposed that’s what we were, really — middle-class punk hippies.

It’s good to realize who you are. It’s good to realize how you do. It’s good to show no shame in it. Another excerpt after the jump. Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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17 June 2009

Moving too fast, hanging by a thread, one time in San Francisco.

movingfast

hangingbyathread

“Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair”

    “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival.

    McKenzie’s song became an instant hit… San Francisco” reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was number one in the United Kingdom and most of Europe. The single is purported to have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The song is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, California during the late 1960s.

    In Central Europe, young people adopted “San Francisco” as an anthem for freedom, and it was widely played during Czechoslovakia’s 1968 Prague Spring uprising against Soviet rule.

    The song has been featured in several films, including Frantic, The Rock and Forrest Gump.

    The song is played in Sunshine Plaza at Disney’s California Adventure. The song is also played in the Amity/San Francisco Area in the Universal Studios Park

    This song is also sampled by Rapper San Quinn From his trio album with rappers Boo Banga and Big Rich “41Feva.”

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