Guardian Microplays

Love the two Guardian Microplays (very short 5 minute plays with the Royal Court) so far – the second on the mixtape – Groove Is In The Heart is a subject very close to my heart. It features Ride, New Order and Neneh Cherry but also points out the sort of time travel we all regularly take part in with recorded media. Those memories as I’ve found with going through the old Radio Clash podcasts onto Mixcloud, aren’t always good ones, nor totally welcome. As I said on the 35th episode of Radio Clash, the one I intentionally avoided for nearly a decade due to the raw subject matter of the London Bombing – you should run away screaming from history, making history is usually messy and Not Good. As sometimes are these memories, they can be as much millstones as they can be cushions.

Sadly I can’t embed these, which I think is a bit of a fail for the Guardian – then again they think in terms of advertising so I bet it’s intentional – but the other play so far is a hard-hitting one about food poverty ‘Britain Isn’t Eating’ which includes the very talented Katherine Parkinson, and was created with Jack Monroe, one of my favourite bloggers. Love the dual-stage element to this, and dual role.

Make Bono History & Sex Aid 30

Not original – Culturcide did this with We Are The World back in the 80’s but glad to see someone still pricking their supercilious charidee bubble. Better than ‘charity’ would these people all paying their tax – rather than Myleene Klass style moaning about tax and avoidance schemes like the entitled right-winger non-doms they are?

And as many Africans have said – yes they know it’s Xmas, by the way they have their own better ebola charity single, and despite the condescending lyrics of doom it’s only 3 countries – not even close to covering West Africa – and the rest is very ebola free, thankyouverymuch. And by the way what about the HIV, the malaria, the respiratory disease that kill millions more than ebola ever has? When do they get a nice charity single? Oh sorry, those won’t spread to rich white people or we have combination therapy for HIV but only for rich westerners? Oh, ok.

Personally I was saddened when I went to Ethiopia – a green, hilly, almost cold yet thriving vibrant place – 25 years after the first Band Aid I was still getiing jokes and questions whether I’ll have ‘enough to eat’ – or even genuine concern that the place might be somehow dysfunctional, desert, hot, starving. Going there I realised how wrong those images are, even in my own head although I knew that it wasn’t like that now – and out of date – if they every were in date, since the area with the famine was one small corner and as much to do with tribal politics as extreme famine.

As someone who has been to and loved various parts of Africa many times, this patronising ‘we will save you’ attitude just makes me angry. Sure some things could be better, sure poorer parts need help, and sure the three countries with ebola do need that infrastructure – this is what DECS, Medecin San Frontieres and others have been doing since early this year, without negative fanfare. But the negative vibe as with the first Band Aid in Ethiopia just lingers…and causes more damage. That is truly the ‘kiss of death’ for the region.

And yes I know a rampant U2 critic on a bike nearly wiped out Bono after the plane incident, but it seems sadly Bono is still with us. Maybe his near-death experience might mean he might ‘give us your fucking money’ and pay full tax in Ireland, along with the rest of his terrible group? That would be nice, rather than being a sanctimonious yet hypocritical prick, and along with Geldof again foisting another terrible charity single on us. Give us your money, while we refuse to give ours? Hmm.

And don’t get me started on Tracey Emin’s ‘contribution’ – 5 minutes terrible scrawl while some ‘little man’ does the neon for her, I bet.

DJ Pierre

I’ve been avoiding Boiler Room videos even though it started here, mostly because of the twazzocks dancing behind them, the beautiful, young, weak, witless, ‘look at me’ hipsters in neon and conspicuous labels who seem less interested in the amazing music than posing for the camera.

But they do have ace DJs, and I cracked when I saw DJ Pierre had done a set in Amsterdam for them…and it’s ace. Check it out above, a master lesson in DJing and using FX and EQ, not too much, not too little, doesn’t get in the way. I’ve bought two of the tunes dropped in this set already and really want to find out the one 30 mins in after the Tiga/Audio Let’s Go Dancing (Adam Beyer remix) – you know the dirty acid one that goes ‘drinking…dancing…holding…feeling’?

Then check out him rocking somebody’s kitchen in LA (the earlier venue got shut down by the police!). Funny thing is the initial confused looks in both sets when he drops wonderful curveballs like the Piano version of Acid Over, or the Al Green remix, or the Never Get Old diva vocals in the ADE set or properly drops it all then builds slowly (that rarely happens nowadays – silence is such a no-no)…Acid and house weren’t just a bunch of squelches or four to floor you know, it had soul, it had pianos, it had diva vocals, it was eclectic. Ron Hardy for instance would play anything if it got the floor going, regardless of genre…and DJs back then would cut it all out and build on a high-pitched synth or string section with no beats for ages and the crowd would go crazy anticipating the beat to kick in – something I think has been lost in this ADHD culture.

P.S. who invited one half of Raw Sex, Roland Rivron at 1:03 ;-) At least he is dancing like a loon, unlike the too-self concious others…

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