Smells Like … Vindication

Just one more reason to hate this fey twat. From The Guardian (“Bigmouth strikes again and again: why Morrissey fans feel so betrayed“)

These days, however, Morrissey prefers a different kind of onstage provocation. During a recent performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (and at a number of live shows in New York), the former Smiths singer sported a For Britain badge. For those unfamiliar with it, For Britain is a far-right political party. Even Nigel Farage believes it is made up of “Nazis and racists”.

To see Morrissey embrace the far right so openly was shocking. But was it surprising? Ever since the early 90s, he has flirted with the far right and fascist imagery – wrapping himself up in the union jack, writing a song called The National Front Disco, making inflammatory comments about immigration.

Yet in the last year there has been little doubt about his views. He has claimed Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, “cannot talk properly”, and declared “Even Tesco wouldn’t employ Diane Abbott,” – the Cambridge-educated shadow home secretary and Britain’s most prominent black MP. He has described the media’s treatment of the racist Tommy Robinson as “shocking”. And he has explicitly promoted For Britain on his Morrissey Central website: “There is only one British political party that can safeguard our security.” The party’s leader, Anne Marie Waters, posted a video online thanking Morrissey for his support.

Full story here.

I Thought I’d Seen It All

Check out “Twink” miming with The Pretty Things for a bewildered French TV audience.  Ever heard of Twink?  I hadn’t, so I poked around on Google.  Nicknamed after a British hair product, Twink was a mime, drummer, close friend of Syd Barrett, and general scenester of the London psychedelic underground.  He played drums with an early version of T. Rex, with Syd Barret occasionally, on one Pretty Things album, and with the Pink Fairies.  In the early 70’s, he was in Hawkwind with Lemmy.  His band The Rings were on the ground floor of the London punk scene in ’77.  Some refer to their lone single, “I Wanna be Free” as England’s first punk record.  It’s not very good compared to what was about to come from the Damned, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Clash, and Jam.

What led me to this video was my fondness for The Pretty Things,  a very good British r&b band who never made any headway in the U.S.  Their guitarist, Dick Taylor, had been in an early version of the Stones.  Like the Stones, their forays into psychedelia were not always memorable, as you can hear above.   You can hear them at their best here and here.  Their raucous version of Roadrunner is my favorite cover of that song.

Those Wacky Yugoslavians

Apparently their talent for album art rivaled that of their auto industry. There are far more online than I have time to pass along, but here are a few of the best (?).

Pure Evil

Dimitri Shostakovich wrote this (2nd movement, Symphony #10) as a musical portrait of Stalin, who had harrassed him directly and indirectly throughout his career.  This is pure malevolence, published after Stalin was safely dead.  While Uncle Joe was alive, DS was mostly confined to putting out government approved, “socalist realist” garbage, while keeping much of his “real” work private.  Occasionally he could put one over on the Soviets and follow the letter of their requirements while mocking them.  One cool thing is that in the finale of this same symphony, he has a theme based on his initials, DSCH, vie for dominance against the Stalin theme from this movement.  DSCH wins.  Artistic revenge at its finest.  “He who laughs last, laughs longest.”

The conductor seems a little too into his hair, and I’m not sure why he appears to be grinning during this grim business.    But you’ve gotta give him credit, his musicians are playing the hell out of this.  He made his reputation whipping these young Venezuelans into a respectable unit.  He’s since gone on to greener pastures in LA.

Another Podcast You Won’t Listen To

Jaw-dropping deception. This podcast is especially recommended to the medically inclined among us.

Money. Romance. Tragedy. Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone terribly wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the woman once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs” find herself facing criminal charges — to which she pleaded not guilty — and up to 20 years in jail? How did her technology, meant to revolutionize healthcare, potentially put millions of patients at risk? And how did so many smart people get it so wrong along the way? ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, take listeners on a journey that includes a three-year-long investigation. You’ll hear exclusive interviews with former employees, investors, and patients, and for the first-time, the never-before-aired deposition testimony of Elizabeth Holmes, and those at the center of this story. New episodes post Wednesdays.

Check it out here. By the way, the title is a double entendre I just got.