19, Paul Hardcastle

I first heard this record round my cousin Paul’s house in Ipswich after it was released in 1985. Paul was a townie and a casual, unlike me and my brothers who where from a rural village in Essex. Never as well dressed, we were as unlikely to wear electric blue cords or Fila tracksuit tops… Continue reading 19, Paul Hardcastle

Bully, Larry Clark (2002)

After only managing half of Wolf Creek last week I wasn’t in the mood for being upset by yet more violence. As it happens, along with sex and drugs, violence is one of this films underpinning themes. So I just sighed and got on with cringing at those realistic sounds of people punching each other… Continue reading Bully, Larry Clark (2002)

Categorised as Film, USA

Religion in politics

“Today, millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in favour of life.” – President George W Bush. Fine words coming from a man… Continue reading Religion in politics

Hurricane Katrina

This week Hurricane Katrina exposed the obvious shortfalls in American society, demonstrating in the most dramatic manner how rampant capitalism stumbles so easily into an apocalyptic despair, and how like anywhere else in the world it’s the poor that suffer most. I’m amazed to see those people who even before the hurricane had nothing, pulling… Continue reading Hurricane Katrina

Categorised as Society, USA

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

I’ve been listening to the quality sound of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas recently. Some of these tracks have to be amongst the best recordings ever made and it must have been fantastic to have been around when this stuff was released. The optimism involved in the way these records sound is almost overwhelming, as… Continue reading Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Categorised as Music, USA