thu 28/05/2020

1980s

Maria Reva: Good Citizens Need Not Fear review - tales of gloomy humour and absurdist charm

Maria Reva’s humorously gloomy debut collection, centring on the inhabitants of a block of stuffy apartments in Soviet (and post-Soviet) Ukraine, starts, predictably enough, with Lenin. Instead of an austere symbol of ideology, he’s a statue who “...

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New Music Lockdown 6: David Gilmour, Taylor Swift, Prince, Bat For Lashes and Blossoms

As the music industry slips into the rhythm of lockdown, so the spigot slowly becomes untapped and events, livestreams and similar start to flow more steadily. This week a host of big names are up to a bunch of different stuff, all worth checking....

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present The Tears of Technology

“Like mellotrons before them, synthesisers could project a strange and deep emotion – something in the wiring had an inherent melancholy. Previous generations had often disparaged synths as dehumanising machines but, at the turn of the 80s, a new...

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The Rise and Fall of The Clash, Now TV review - London falling

Open-mouthed incredulity is a reasonable reaction to this 2012 documentary on one of the UK’s prime punk-spawned bands, available on catch-up via streaming service Now TV’s tie-in with Sky Arts. There’s not much “rise” but there’s an awful lot of “...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Monochrome Set

 “An exercise in bizarre mixtures, combining the bleak acid hangover of half-hearted Velvet Underground impersonators with muted razzmatazz: a long and rather stylish joke.”The April 1980 New Musical Express review of The Monochrome Set’s debut...

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ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Netflix review - riffs, drugs and rodeos

ZZ Top always seemed like a Texan version of Status Quo. It turns out, from watching this entertaining but hardly revelatory documentary, that is kind of what they are. Directed by Canadian Sam Dunn, best known for his 2005 documentary, Metal: A...

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Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play about the miners

The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, this is one of the many eerily apposite remarks to be found in Wonderland, the Beth Steel drama set in the early 1980s that marks the...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl Lockdown Special 1: Napalm Death, Brazilian jazz-pop, 1980s indie and more

For the duration of this C19 Lockdown, rather than the usual sprawling monthly epic, theartsdesk on Vinyl will be presented regularly in bite-sized editions, roving across the pile of releases we have already, since those incoming have been whittled...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters

A raga-rock circularity. Finger cymbals. A distant, etiolated female vocal. A fuggy atmosphere. A kinship with Jefferson Airplane’s “Come Up The Years”, The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey” and The Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s...

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Album: The Weeknd - After Hours

Let’s talk about “Blinding Lights”. What a sleek single, like an escapee from the acclaimed soundtrack to the film Drive, a polished riff on mid-Eighties synth-pop, ripe for 21st century dancefloors, one of the songs of the year so far, all topped...

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Album: The Boomtown Rats - Citizens of Boomtown

The new Boomtown Rats album – their first for 36 years! – is both preposterous and rather wonderful. This is as it should be. The Irish band surfed the so-called “New Wave” after punk rock to brief chart-topping stardom. They had some cracking...

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Pete Paphides: Broken Greek review - top of the pop memoirs

Think of the phrase “music memoir”, and you might conjure images of wild nights and heavy mornings. You’re unlikely to think of suburban West Bromwich and tributes to Mike Batt’s Wombles back catalogue. But then, Pete Paphides’s story is comprised...

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