Month: May 2018

Tim Burgess — As I Was Now

Tim Burgess As I Was Now O Genesis Tim Burgess is better known as the frontman of the Charlatans UK (at least here in the US, in their native UK, they drop the UK from their name because, duh).  The Charlies, as they were known in the UK music press during the Madchester days, aren’t actually a Manchester band, but got grouped into that scene in the late 80s.  They just celebrated their 30th anniversary with a set of gigs in their native Northwich, UK.  Burgess also has a great Twitter, and interacts with his fans a lot.  So, anyway, he dropped this solo album like it was nothing, and doesn’t seem to be doing a hell of a lot of press.  He doesn’t really have to, and dropping the album isn’t much effort for him, since he owns his own record label.  The title derives from the fact it was actually recorded in three days between Christmas and New Year’s in 2008.  And then, well, it seems Burgess thought he released it.  And then, not so long ago, he was talking to Debbie Googe of My Bloody Valentine, who played on the album, and she asked him whatever became of the music.  So, turns out he didn’t release it after all.  And so here we are, his Record Store Day release for 2018, at least on the other...

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Glendette by Brent Raycroft

Our 23rd installment is Brent Raycroft’s “Glendette,” a reflection on the sedimentary nature of used vehicles and previous owners. Raycroft suggests that seemingly inanimate cars impart their histories in material ways, thus keeping traces of the past alive through us.     *** Glendette From what we were told we’re the third or fourth owners of this heavy appendix to car transportation. I’ve got the original road registration: a worn paper slip for a sixteen-foot, one-axle ’65 Glendale Glendette. We might make it road worthy, go for a trip. But it looks pretty good where it is. It will be...

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Iceage — Beyondless

Iceage Beyondless Matador Iceage are a Danish punk band, from the capital, Copenhagen.  They’ve been around for a long time, forming when they were still teenagers in 2008.  I came across them thanks to the Instagram feed of the Norwegian pop/punk band, Sløtface. I don’t know if I’d call this punk, but, then again, I have never really liked the idea of music categories.  Whatever.  Doesn’t matter.  Iceage sound bratty and snotty, both musically and in terms of lyrics and delivery.  And they write catchy as fuck songs. Iceage aren’t exactly unknowns, they’ve been signed to Matador, the premier indie label in the US, since 2012.  And the first single from Beyondless was hyped by the Drunken Hipsters (Pitchfork, for the uninformed) as their single of the week.  So those in the know have always been in the know, it seems. Beyondless is a wonderful album.  This is a big album, compared to the band’s earlier discography.  Frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt has always had a sharp eye for social criticism.  And whereas the earlier albums were lean and taught, here, Iceage brings the noise, so to speak.  The music churns and comes in crescendos.  There are touches such as pianos and horns. But, most importantly, the songs are killer.  They’re moody and hard-hitting.  My personal favourite is the penultimate track, ‘Showtime,’ a moody, pulsing track.  Rønnenfelt’s lyrics travel around the audience...

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Mega-Market

Barcelona’s biggest market, Mercat Sant Antoni, has finally opened its doors after a renovation process lasting nearly a decade. The original market, by architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, was completed in 1882 inside the then-new Eixample district, occupying an entire city block with a diagonal cruciform configuration that intelligently places entrances at every street-intersection. With its multiple access-points (there are also four mid-block entrances) and its seamless integration with the urban infrastructure, Mercat Sant Antoni was effectively a megastructure nearly a century before these became an architectural thing. A “mini-megastructure”, perhaps, but prototypical nevertheless. First of four underground levels, with a fragment of a rampart unearthed on the site. Now, with the addition of four new levels underground –one level contains a supermarket as well as a multi-use space with archaeological ruins uncovered during the big dig, another underground level is an unloading area for dozens of delivery trucks, and two more levels contain underground parking– this is even more of a megastructure. To boot, the block that the market occupies now forms part of a “superilla“, or a superbock within which streets have been converted into greenways, intersections into public squares, and motor-traffic has been reduced and calmed beyond recognition. A superilla-mini-megastructure? This was previously a busy traffic intersection, now it’s a small square within a “Superilla” The renovation of Mercat Sant Antoni by GINA Architects has all the characteristics...

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The Memorial Project: Katyn Massacre Memorial, Exchange Place, Jersey City, NJ

Over a period of several weeks in the spring of 1940, agents of the NKVD and soldiers of the Soviet Red Army systematically murdered almost 22,000 Polish army officers, political and cultural leaders on orders from Josef Stalin and secret police chief Lavrenti Beria. Their bodies were buried in mass graves in a forest near Katyn, about 15 miles from the Russian city of Smolensk. Soviet forces had invaded Poland the previous September, pushing toward the west as the Nazi blitzkrieg drove east. It was all part of a secret plan hatched that summer, when the Soviet foreign minister...

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