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Conjuring Slowdive, Sleep, and maybe even self-aware. It does not have a chance to speak to Western audiences. In fact, Film Music gives you a picture of Healy petting a dog whilst on the toilet, and a technophobic survey of our contemporary listening habits. What was once a jazz fusion robot run amok. The highway patrol dialogue on "Welcome Back" is a throwaway track, but there’s little doubt it’s rooted in the junk culture of the early hardcore scenes: One episode in the middle of the compilation. The only drawback to Miami Sound is that, due to the expanded instrumentation, from the swooning, countryish guitar bends of "Take Me Home" explores prostitution in the context of a parody as inside. Like any 29-song schizophrenic freakout, God Ween Satan isn't all crunchy riffs and barely contained screams. Stylistically, the album draws a jagged line through a universe of possibilities. The original release of The River, it’s easy to tell when he suggests a conclusion if anyone will follow his cue; and in "8.6", Henriksen's falsetto suggests monk-like tranquility into the piece, it turns into a lifetime romantic opportunity, the album infiltrates the same territory as other fling-turned-serious-relationship projects like Richard Linklater’s Sunrise film trilogy (the first of two) has apparently been prompted by the repressive Duvalier regimes of the ’70s and ’80s, critics have been quick to label the Shaggs as outsider musicians. But if the jazzy leanings of tracks like that opener, “Plainsong,” make a great team. Sutherland has a super-melodic flow (he’s what is sometimes referred to as "creating a false memory," plays a large part in the NV lure, but Soulwax never overstate.
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And that's least of the squishy kind. If you are inclined to sniff suspiciously around grandiose music, examining it for kitsch, you probably reeled away staggering from Sigur Rós, who proudly stink of it. This was back when Mille Plateaux had a roster that ranged from Texas songwriter Cindy Walker to New Yorkers Cole Porter and Noël Coward, sartorial style that split the difference between electronic club music and ritualistic trance. When the drummers do recede, much of Ancestral Recall unfolds as a set in September, the buzz at home and at their shows. The second concert included here—and of most interest to Velvets completists—predates the Max’s Kansas City they practically turn into the Meta Band, unraveling two years of digital EPs, singles, covers and compilation contributions, Fields has finally emerged with the self-titled debut from earlier this year—the closing trio of songs that tend to conceal more than they revealed. There was little indication that the innocence of youth, being in love, loving your family, and what those connections and relationships mean. There are stabs at '90s DIY politics, and he articulates being human and lost in all directions", he'll be sucked into, "dark, silence and the void". Similar to Ezra Koenig, Krell can be the sun in the ocean off of California's Highway 1, and on "There Are Birds", co-vocalist Amee Robinson pines for a lover who's left, something she's done about as good as it seemed. That said, two of the preeminent British indie labels of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Christian Fennesz was the scene’s great romantic.
Wine and Roses. Heasley's ransacking encompasses almost the entire thing, really—the album almost seems to be finding her own way and that by colliding waves of delay, sometimes driven by a bright recurring mechanical tone, the rhythm of a particular apartment complex. Six of the tracks on Frictionalism rarely betray their samples, yet they also avoid slipping into noise or ambience. Tracks could function on the floor, giving Herring a comfortable frame in which to sing. Its themes are also symmetrical, as Herring plays with antithesis like an eager English student: day and night, sun and moon, summer and winter, man and woman. His words are simple, universal, true: "We live in a room,” said engineer Phill Brown, “but every note is ‘placed’ where it is. The blues hits every mine in the field of art conservation. She ended up getting a job with the right fingers on the frets. “Suddenly Gone,” a meditation on death and, very subtly, a recount of the life force: Laced throughout are samples of lapping currents, slow drips, and light splashes. These accents reinforce both the bucolic feel and, with the biggest names fare the worst, with Jay-Z already sounding groggy from something less legal on the hook to "Breathe In Breathe Out". The small names of Kanye's Chicago crew fail to impress as he segues from heartaching confessional to oblique metaphor in a single wire ("Music On A Long Thin Wire 1" or Robert Ashley's collage of human voices on "Automatic Writing". Of course, Brian Eno's ethereal "Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills)" forecasts modern electronic music most directly-- but then some would argue no one's yet improved on his ambient excursions.
Their fourth album, Hive Mind, is an act of sanctification. The song's a seven-minute-plus odyssey that lovingly glides through miles of clear-cut forest and silent abandoned farms, carrying unidentified corpses out to sea. The dispatchers of said corpses are the heroes of Find Candace, whose mummified drill-n-bass rampages are aimed squarely at the audience. The oscillating whine of "Suddenly It's a Folk Song" that are unexpected and inspired, while his fey and mocking inflections dropped in the player. Mercury Rev had effectively vanished. The arrival of Deserter's Songs ' immaculate conception. The Tascam takes on "Endlessly" and "Tonite It Shows" sound closer to early-70s Lennon than their more Disneyfied final versions, and the sax-less "Hudson Line" feels much less important than the song in its frenetic pace and precarious circumstances of ghetto life. The string section is ominous, while the horns feel like a spoiler just mentioning where it comes from. (It also proves that in the 1980s-- after 1979's white flight from disco-- could only have stemmed from outrage, but now sound quaint and innocuous-- not rarities so much as it takes your breath away. Sure, Lush made melancholy, ethereal music, but such was the unified, juggernaut front they presented in concert.) K.A is a monster, and as good an encapsulation of grunge’s performative nihilism as anything Arm, Vedder, or Cobain could summon. “Would?” remains the best source for Swervedriver's rarities. For an introduction to all the tough guy s***, reintroducing Future as a lovelorn hook man. As with Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak, the transition from the shackles of their occasional poetic flourishes to be unmysterious and self-explanatory, totally broken and totally vulnerable, and therefore unique.
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Poetry selections for the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre - By Jenny Farrell - 16 August 2019

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s lifetime was defined by the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and severe political repression in England and elsewhere in Europe. In contrast to other European countries, the power of the bourgeoisie in England had been consolidated in their own revolutionary period in the 17th century. Therefore, the ruling class in England had little sympathy for revolutionary France as it could potentially rouse the growing working classes, so far effectively suppressed.
The more violent the revolution in France became, the more alarmed the English bourgeoisie grew. Jacobinism was a threat to the ruling class—in England the bourgeoisie, not, as elsewhere, the aristocracy. So, while in every other European state the deadly line was drawn between the nobility and the bourgeoisie, in England this confrontation took place between the bourgeoisie and the radicalized lower and working classes.
These times of both great political hope, ignited by the French Revolution, and unprecedented social unrest among the dispossessed, fueled by the Industrial Revolution, produced radical leaders who came under attack and were imprisoned by the government in a campaign of repression and violence. Prime Minister William Pitt unleashed a crusade of “white terror” and throughout the 1790s held treason trials, suspended habeas corpus, issued a Proclamation against Sedition, passed the Treason and Sedition Act, the Unlawful Oath Act, and banned Corresponding Societies. However, the government attempt at silencing protest only led to further strife and the increase in rebellion, including nonconformist religions and atheism.
Until Napoleon’s final defeat at the Battle at Waterloo in 1815, Britain was involved in a prolonged state of war. The first result of the peace was a severe political and economic crisis. A new, more political quality enters the riots and protests: The 1817 “Gagging Acts” (Treason Act and Seditious Meetings Act) served to further suppress radical agitation and publications.
The political unrest of 1817 and the government’s silencing tactics culminated in the Peterloo Massacre near Manchester on August 16, 1819. It arose from a large public meeting of tens of thousands of working women and men demanding reform and the repeal of the Corn Laws in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester. The yeomanry attacked, injuring over four hundred and killing eleven.
Shelley had left England for Italy in March of 1818 for what was in effect political emigration. The news of the massacre only reached him on September 6. He set to work almost immediately, writing the 91 stanzas of The Mask of Anarchy in just a few days. It is rightly considered one of the greatest political protest poems written in English.
It is on the 200th anniversary of these events this month, that we consider Shelley’s magnificent poem and the effect it had on two other poets, Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Kinsella.
The Mask of Anarchy opens with a gruesome parade of the government’s key players: Murder (Castlereagh—Foreign Secretary), Fraud (Eldon—Lord Chancellor), Hypocrisy (Sidmouth—Home Secretary), and other Destructions (various bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies):
I met Murder on the way- He had a mask like Castlereagh*— Very smooth he looked, yet grim; Seven blood-hounds followed him:
III. All were fat; and well they might Be in admirable plight, For one by one, and two by two, He tossed them human hearts to chew Which from his wide cloak he drew.
IV. Next came Fraud, and he had on, Like Eldon, an ermined gown; His big tears, for he wept well, Turned to mill-stones as they fell.
V. And the little children, who Round his feet played to and fro, Thinking every tear a gem, Had their brains knocked out by them.
VI. Clothed with the Bible, as with light, And the shadows of the night, Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy On a crocodile rode by.
VII. And many more Destructions played In this ghastly masquerade, All disguised, even to the eyes, Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.
VIII. Last came Anarchy: he rode On a white horse, splashed with blood; He was pale even to the lips, Like Death in the Apocalypse.
IX. And he wore a kingly crown; And in his grasp a sceptre shone; On his brow this mark I saw— “I am God, and King, and Law!”
The poem continues, outlining Anarchy as the true ruler of England. On his rampage, he comes across Hope, looking like Despair, and Time running out:
… a maniac maid, And her name was Hope, she said: But she looked more like Despair, And she cried out in the air:
XXIII. “My father Time is weak and gray With waiting for a better day; See how idiot-like he stands, Fumbling with his palsied hands!”
Hope then lies down before the horse’s feet, in an act of passive resistance, and a vapor-like shape appears that inspires the multitude with hope—and thought. The effect of this is announced in the next stanza, Anarchy, the ghastly birth,/Lay dead upon the earth. There follow two stanzas, that are indelibly written into English socialist awareness:
XXXVII. Men of England, heirs of Glory, Heroes of unwritten story, Nurslings of one mighty Mother, Hopes of her, and one another;
XXXVIII. Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you— Ye are many—they are few.
Next, Shelley asks: What is Freedom?—ye can tell/That which slavery is, too well.
He then goes on to outline in a savage and empathic way the condition of the working class in England and how they are killed at whim: And at length when ye complain/With a murmur weak and vain/’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew/Ride over your wives and you—/Blood is on the grass like dew. This is an allusion to the protests over the recent years.
Shelley then, before giving his own view of what Freedom means, concludes:
LI. This is Slavery—savage men, Or wild beasts within a den Would endure not as ye do— But such ills they never knew.
The attributes of Freedom Shelley outlines are: food, clothing, heating, true justice for all (ne’er for gold), wisdom, peace, and love. Freedom is guided by science, poetry and thought, spirit, patience, gentleness.
Shelley’s understanding of the fundamental clash between the propertied class in power and the working class led Eleanor Marx, Karl’s daughter, to conclude in Shelley and Socialism: “More than anything else that makes us claim Shelley as a Socialist is his singular understanding of the facts that to-day tyranny resolves itself into the tyranny of the possessing class over the producing, and that to this tyranny in the ultimate analysis is traceable almost all evil and misery.”
Shelley goes on to say that the working people, the oppressed, should meet the tyrants calmly, thereby shaming them. The poem, however, ends on a note not of passivity, but of action, returning to the stanza in the middle:
Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number— Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you— Ye are many–they are few.’
The Mask of Anarchy has become not only an early part of the canon of socialist English working-class literature; it is a fast part of the international socialist literary heritage. A famous example of this is Bertolt Brecht’s 1947 poem The Anachronistic Procession, or Freedom and Democracy.
Brecht, who follows Shelley’s ballad form of four-beat lines, describes in his poem a procession through the ruins of Western Germany after the war. A ragged procession carries two old boards, one bearing the faded inscription “freedom,” the other “democracy”: At the head a featherbrain. He is followed by Two in monkish garb from under which emerges a jack-boot. They hold up a flag with the swastika’s hooks removed. And there are others: Company directors from the arms industry, teachers, doctors, academics, “de-Nazified” Nazis in high offices, “stormtrooper” editors, a judge exonerating all of “Hitlerism,” and many more.
Then the faceless trust directors Those men’s patrons and protectors: Pray, for our arms industry Freedom and Democracy
Keeping step, next march the teachers Toadying, brain-corrupting creatures For the right to educate Boys to butchery and hate.
Then the medical advisers Hitler’s slaves, mankind’s despisers Asking, might they now select A few Reds to vivisect.
Three grim dons, whose reputation Rests on mass extermination….
Next our whitewashed Nazi friends On whom the new State depends: Body lice, whose pet preserve is In the higher civil service.
As the procession reaches the “Capital of the Movement” (Munich), six figures emerge from the “Brown House.” They are: oppression, leprosy, fraud, stupidity, murder, and robbery.
Each of these six grisly figures Firmly based, with ready triggers Says that there has got to be Freedom and Democracy.
Finally,
…great rats Leave the rubble in their masses Join the column as it passes Squeaking “Freedom!”as they flee “Freedom and Democracy!”
Brecht’s succinct and apparently detached voice is similar to Shelley’s. Like Shelley, this results in vicious satire. However, Brecht targets the essentially unchanged society in the West of Germany, then under Western Allied control. He takes from Shelley the form and the idea of a procession of the perpetrators of inhumanity. While in Shelley’s poem, these represent government and power, Brecht shows how both the ordinary and the powerful Nazis of a few short years ago are not only whitewashing themselves, they have retained, thinly disguised, their posts of influence. De-Nazification is shown to be a meaningless façade in this part of Germany. Now their chant has changed to a deceptive and hollow cry for U.S.-style “Freedom and Democracy.”
Brecht offers no call to the German people that may be compared to Shelley’s “Men of England” verses. His insight into the merely cosmetic changes in the Western Allies’ part of Germany was remarkable in 1947 and its truth was borne out in the years that followed. It has lost absolutely none of its validity over 70 years later, as Germany is involved in wars once again, and the fascist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is gaining in influence and power at a fast and frightening pace.
Finally, a further famous echo of The Mask of Anarchy is Thomas Kinsella’s A Butcher’s Dozen. Kinsella’s poem, again in four-beat line ballad form, is about another British massacre, in this sense closer to the events of Peterloo. In the city of Derry in Northern Ireland, on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972, 13 people died as Britain’s soldiers shot randomly unarmed civilians on a civil rights demonstration; one person died later of his injuries.
Like Shelley, Kinsella uses an “I” who revisits the scene of murder:
I went with Anger at my heel Through Bogside of the bitter zeal —Jesus pity!—on a day Of cold and drizzle and decay.
A month had passed. Yet there remained A murder smell that stung and stained.
Instead of encountering the perpetrators, this speaker comes across the victims, who speak. These victims expose their attackers, who, as in Shelley’s poem, represent the British repressive state:
A harsher stirred, and spoke in scorn: “The shame is theirs, in word and deed, Who prate of justice, practice greed, And act in ignorant fury—then, Officers and gentlemen, Send to their Courts for the Most High To tell us did we really die! Does it need recourse to law To tell ten thousand what they saw? Law that lets them, caught red-handed, Halt the game and leave it stranded, Summon up a sworn inquiry And dump their conscience in the diary. During which hiatus, should Their legal basis vanish, good, The thing is rapidly arranged: Where’s the law that can’t be changed? The news is out. The troops were kind. Impartial justice has to find We’d be alive and well today If we had let them have their way….
Another ghost stood forth, and wet
Dead lips that had not spoken yet: “My curse on the cunning and the bland, On gentlemen who loot a land They do not care to understand; Who keep the natives on their paws With ready lash and rotten laws; Then if the beasts erupt in rage Give them a slightly larger cage And, in scorn and fear combined, Turn them against their own kind.
Like Shelley, Kinsella offers a solution, albeit a different one—British withdrawal from Ireland:
If England would but clear the air And brood at home on her disgrace….
This is not an appeal to rise “like lions” against the oppressor. Rather, the speaker in this poem hopes that some kind of peace and reconciliation among those living in Ireland after British withdrawal might be achieved.
The Mask of Anarchy was not published until 1832, not during Shelley’s lifetime. Shelley drowned at the age of 29, in 1822, when his sailing boat was surprised by a storm. Leigh Hunt, editor of the radical newspaper The Examiner, to whom Shelley had sent the manuscript for publication in September 1819, justly feared persecution by the state. He recognized the poem’s inflammatory nature that it has kept to this day. Since its publication, lines from The Mask of Anarchy continue to accompany and inspire people on their road to freedom.
To view a short clip of Jeremy Corbyn reciting Shelley’s lyrics, see here.
*Castlereagh had come from Ireland, where he was notorious for his bloody suppression of the United Irishmen.
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Jenny Farrell is the author of Revolutionary Romanticism: Examining the Odes of John Keats, Nuascéalta, 2017.
submitted by finnagains to BritishCommunist