Now, that’s what you call iconic. So long Rutger. Not long back we were talking at Hickeysonic manor about The Legend Of The Holy Drinker in which he gives an incredible performance. Here’s a long, slow, virtually wordless scene from the end of the film in which he drinks wine in a bar while it hammers down rain outside. Like a moving painting, it’s a gorgeous thing. The internet is full of lengthy clips like this now isn’t it? Hours of Blade Runner background drone and so on. This wasn’t really the done thing in 80’s cinema though. I don’t think it would hurt to loop this and have it in the background. Especially not on a day when it feels the earth is about to catch fire. Much as it felt when Grumbling Fur made this lovely record, I’m quite surprised nobody’s done it yet.
In which we ponder whether M.E.S. would have been a good neighbour, because everybody needs good neighbours. Even cantankerous post punk poets. Apparently inspired by the plotlines of afternoon Australian soaps and daytime drinking ‘Susan vs Youthclub’ seemed to mark a return to form after a couple of confused and rocky years in Fall-ville. The last Fall single I bought on the 20th century format of 7″ vinyl for one reason and another. I had no idea about the Neighbours link for years. This video accompanies the tune with clips of the show in which, as in the song, Susan slips on some milk and suffers amnesia. She thinks she’s 16 again until a confusing incident in a youthclub where the other kids recognise her as their teacher and she sees her aged face in the bathroom mirror. Perhaps Mark could relate. I sometime feel like that at gigs myself if I’m honest. It also features a story in which he leaves his teeth in the back of Badly Drawn Boy’s car having drunkenly mistaken him for a cab. Being a good neighbour, Badly drove him home and later returned the teeth.
In case it’s escaped your notice this week is/was Mental Health Awareness Week. Here at Hickeysonic House we’re long acquainted with the dark and tangled forest of shaky mental health and, while the idea of getting everyone to be more open and talkative about it is welcome and an overall positive, people are, well, twats. I’ve seen some shockingly crass and unhelpful manifestations of this playing out in people’s workplaces shared this week with the usual result that it’s those who have struggled supporting one another against the the blank incomprehension of the ‘have you tried going outside?’ types.
In the title track from Lower Slaughter’s excellent second record Some Things Take Time Sinead Young plays out this all too familiar exchange and emerges, at least temporarily, triumphant and self possessed. It’s wonderful and affirming and it absolutely kicks ass.
Brilliant tune, brilliant album. Be kind to yourselves.
Lower Slaughter are playing as part of the celebrations of ten years of Box records next month. Damn that’s a strong bill.
Holy Shit. Check this out. ‘Frontier’ is from Herndon’s new album Proto, in which she drags our neanderthal arses to the edge of the forest and patiently guides our puzzled gaze out across the plains towards the shining towers we can just about make out, rising from the heat haze of an unclear future. She has developed her own AI ‘Spawn’, who lives in a DIY modified gaming pc, and here she draws on her upbringing in Tennessee to teach it by feeding the majesty of a large call and response choir into it. She does this to counter the ‘dehumanising’ narrative around technology and the results are some kind of amazing Sacred Harp Singing meets self generating machine music. Space age folk music. On ‘Frontier’, it’s astounding. The video clip by Dario Alva accompanies it beautifully, fullscreen that baby and just sink right into it for 5 minutes.
I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.