Call me Russ L

A couple of interesting blog features from a couple of interesting blogs

Posted in Blogstuff, Modern Living, Music, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 22 November, 2006

P’Ashton has Brum Blog, ‘an experiment to see if a weblog devoted to Birmingham is a viable thing.’ I see no reason not when written by one person like this (he has previously discussed the problems inherent in turning it into a group effort), but whichever way up it’ll feature a lot of interesting upcoming events, listings, news and photography. He seems to be shying away from any sort of extensive comment on any of it, which is a shame (Pete generally has very interesting things to say) although I can see why. Nevertheless, I consider this an essential thing to follow for anyone local.

Throughsilver is now writing his Top 50 albums Of 2005, under the very sensible premise that scrambling to do it at the end of any given year doesn’t give sufficient time to reflect. I can sympathise with that, since about ten minutes after my own best bits of 2005 appeared on the web I was already slapping my head and calling myself foolish. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with, anyway, and it should develop into a very interesting read.

~ Russ L, suggesting you stop reading this and look at those links instead.


23 Responses

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  1. throughsilver said, on 23 November, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Russ. I shall try to get it all online in timely fashion. Also:

    ’19) Hyatari – The Light Carriers (Codebreaker)

    The fact that Codebreaker release interesting records is the closest thing you’ll get to a consistent opinion from The Communion Massive. Hyatari’s “The Light Carriers” makes me imagine some sort of galactic-sized glacier, for the most part mixing old Godflesh-esque ambient drone with an Apocalypse Soon air ala Souls/Enemy era Neurosis, but also packing a propulsive wallop when it chooses to. ‘
    Ooh, ya jammy bugger!

  2. Russ L said, on 23 November, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    In what way jammy? I don’t follow. It’s a great album, though.

    Elsewhere in blogs: There’s trouble a-brew in The Art Of Noise’s “In The Dock: R’n’B” comments thread.

    Hey, Throughsilver – we spoke of clowns further down this page. I wonder what a certain Evilclown would make of the ‘all opinions are equal’ theory espoused by some in that link?

  3. throughsilver said, on 23 November, 2006 at 11:30 pm

    I was just miffed because I thought only I knew about it. Great album, especially when it uber-kicks in on the penultimate track. I don’t know why ‘jammy’ – just felt right at the time, I spose.

    And sorry, can’t read that Art of Noise thing. Hate for Gambo is hate for music fandom itself. Boo.

  4. Russ L said, on 24 November, 2006 at 6:45 am

    You are confusing me with your terminology lately. Gambo?

    And the abovementioned Pete Ashton has linked your Albums Of Last Year, too. The pressure is now on you to produce.

  5. throughsilver said, on 24 November, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Paul Gambaccini.

    And picture me doing that Simpsons thing where they wobble their collar in a worried manner.

  6. Russ L said, on 24 November, 2006 at 9:26 am

    You need to accompany it with a ‘Nnnnn-hay!’

    Is Paul Gambaccini that American fella who used to do pop punditry on breakfast television?

  7. throughsilver said, on 24 November, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Yes. He also does loads of historical pop pieces on Radio 4 and, last I checked, was the curator of the Guinness book of British Hit Singles.

  8. Chris C said, on 26 November, 2006 at 6:20 pm

    Russ, I get the idea that you find yourself in that kind of to-do a lot…

    and if between this and other things I’ve read I’m getting the right idea about you, you’re quietly pissed off that people are going to remember you as ‘the one who was so defensive about r&b’ when that didn’t make up the majority of what you were talking about.

  9. Russ L said, on 27 November, 2006 at 11:42 am

    ThroughthekeyholeSilver – I recall him having a very smug air. I know nothing more of his thoughts or deeds.

    Chris C – I don’t know about a lot, as such. Dunno – all things are relative, I suppose. I used to, once upon a time.

    You’re right (and impressively perceptive) with your second observation, though. ‘Pissed off’ is a bit strong, but I do have a nagging feeling of slight irritation about precisely that.

    What’s annoying me even more is something pretty big that I missed, which made wonderful evidence for what I was saying. When Swisstoni (whose blog seems quite fun, incidentally) somewhat bizarrely invoked Derrida and Foucault (in the name of less cynicism I’ll leave it at ‘bizarrely’), he described them as ‘the kings of this kind of thinking.’ So… all opinions are equal, and some of them are sufficiently more equal than others to be described as ‘kingly.’

    I salute him for doing the sensible thing and deciding to just stop the arguing, though. I probably would have kept going all day, much to the boredom of everyone else reading it.

  10. throughsilver said, on 27 November, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    So I just read that RnB thread, and goddamn. If they think that whatever is passing for ‘rock’ nowadays (in the mainstream, and semi-mainstream) is a patch on what Timbaland was constructing for Missy and Aaliyah as far back as a decade ago, then I might have to go over there in a false moustache.

    But then people might think I’m a terrorist…

    So kudos, and if Gnarls Barkley and Cassie are not riding high in my top singles of the year, then I am a monkey’s uncle. And I am not a monkey’s uncle.

  11. Russ L said, on 27 November, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Well, of course. The type of terrorist you’d be mistaken for is generally very clear about the degree of seperation he would believe monkey and human genetics to have.

  12. SwissToni said, on 27 November, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    hey Russ – I could probably have argued all day too, but decided that there was ultimately no point. Partly because I suspect we actually have a sizeable part of our arguments in common, but mainly because (as you said) my ignorance of the subject in hand is pretty much complete.

    But hey! I had fun.

    For the record, I mentioned Gambuccini because it seems to me that he is always talking about music as though it was something that should be extensively catalogued and not something to be enjoyed – he won’t say that a record is any good or not, he will tell you that it peaked at number 2 in the US chart in 1964 and stayed in the top 40 for 34 weeks. He’s probably big on genre. (He also auctioned his whole record collection, if I remember correctly….)

    Anyway. There’s a whole lot worse things to be called than ‘The R’n’B doctor” if you ask me…. I can almost hear the theme tune to shaft playing now.

    Oh, and when I said that they were “the kings of this kind of thinking” I was not intending to confer monarchy upon them above other philosophers particularly… although it does illustrate the importance of choosing the right words when you are debating the meaning of words, I suppose! I expect we’ll all be back to agreeing violently about belle & sebastian this week.

    Anyway. pleased to make your acquaintance, and I hope you won’t hold my ignorance against me.


  13. throughsilver said, on 27 November, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Whenever I hear a Gambaccini documentary, he comes across as a passionate lover of music. Sure he likes his facts, but that’s hardly a bad thing (besides, what is it, if not passion, that drives him to such fact-finding levels?). He, like Elvis Costello, is someone who – while I may not agree with them on certain issues – is an absolute walking encyclopedia of music.

    And, for that, I praise him. But if he’s ‘probably big on genre’, I suppose I should just disregard.

  14. SwissToni said, on 27 November, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    *rolls eyes*

    Easy now! If you like him, fine… you like him. I was only expressing *my* opinion on him, I wasn’t trying to say what anyone else should think. You’re right though, he is passionate in his own way, so respect to him for that. I would sooner have someone like Gambo talking about music from a standpoint of knowledge and understanding than some of the other bozos you hear on the radio.

    …but don’t get me started on “facts” though. No such thing as a “fact”.

    but I didn’t come here to pick a fight. Honestly. I came here to smoke the pipe of peace and to offer up my respects to Russ for arguing his case so passionately over on The Art of Noise.


  15. throughsilver said, on 27 November, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Russ’ll tell you – I thrill at the prospect of conflict (i.e. I am a big jerk). I’m not that aggro really; I just had to defend Gambo from being called a scoundrel.

  16. SwissToni said, on 27 November, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    oh, I only hinted he might be…in an affectionate way!

    Gambo’s lucky to have such champions defending his honour on the blogsphere.


  17. Russ L said, on 28 November, 2006 at 6:35 am

    So Gambo is Statto? I can dig that.

    Otherwise, I think we’re overdoing the ‘ignorance’ motif and I don’t think anyone’s even in the least bit bothered what anyone else thinks of any generalised concept of R’n’B anymore (no matter which particular generalised concept it may be). Broader questions were long since progressed onto.

    That aside – hurray for everyone.

  18. ST said, on 29 November, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    Russ – I meant to say…. I do a guest slot on a friday called “Earworms of the Week” where a guest poster gets to list the ten songs/tunes/noises that have been bobbing around their head over the last 7 days. Could be anything – a tv theme tune, an annoying radio jingle, or that unfortunate UB40 song you found yourself humming for no particular reason. The only rule is it has to be something you found in there at some point during the week.

    Would you be interested in having a go at some point? I’m always fascinated to know what’s been floating around someone else’s head….

    Just drop me an email if you’re up for it. I shan’t be offended if you’re not.


  19. Chris C said, on 29 November, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    “Broader questions were long since progressed onto.”

    ha ha ha! It’s killing him that nobody gets it.

  20. Russ L said, on 29 November, 2006 at 8:50 pm

    Chris – Behave. You’re right, but behave.

    ST – I’ve seen said feature, it’s fun. I think a complete lack of imagination on my part might hold me back, though, but I’ll have a stab if you want. Very kind of you to offer.

  21. SwissToni said, on 6 December, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    russ – you still okay for earworms this Friday??


    (apologies for such an unimaginative comment, but I wanted to get your attention. I am missing the eBloodshed over at the art of noise this week though!)

  22. Russ L said, on 6 December, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Javoll, mein Kapitan. It will be on it’s merry electronic way to you tomorrow night, hopefully.

    I think further e-bloodspilling would be a bad idea. For a little while, at least.

  23. SwissToni said, on 6 December, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    excellent. I’m looking forward to that….

    and yeah, perhaps it’s for the best. I always thought the beatles were the best thing to come out of Birmingham anyway. Them or INXS.



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