Joie Lee in Coffee and Cigarettes (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Around the world, women are using their bare bodies to express personal power and political dissent
Mark Lewisohn on his extraordinary Beatlemania, Anna Calvi’s orchestral manoeuvring. Plus, music from MIA, Lady Gaga (with R Kelly) and Trampolene in Singles Club
I’m on The Guardian podcast this week, chatting with Anna Calvi about music-as-healing, feminism/sexism and dum dum music crits.
"Slang has become an indiscriminate weapon of resistance over the past 200 years when analyzed from a sociopolitical viewpoint. In its entirety it stands as an acute set of linguistic algorithms , idioms and poetics that define the reality for millions of people while drawing a thick line of exclusivity and non-exclusivity against the noses of those who aren’t from that world, done in such a surreptitious and unorthodox way that it drives those with no access into a bitter frenzy, yet this conundrum won’t be solved by the common dictionary that Waterstones or Amazon supply, so authority meets frustration in the same room for a talk about ‘banning slang’. The second thing to consider is that one of slang’s major functions is to reclaim some of the power pilfered by the learned or elite classes in their war against educating the masses."
Banning Slang In Schools: A Battle of Words or Industry?
Witnesses say they asked Britney why she shaved her head and her response was, “I’m tired of plugging things into it. I’m tired of people touching me.”
i can never not reblog this
T-Pain: “That was the most beautiful thing in the world. Do you know why she was shaving her head? Because it was so important to other people. She is like, “Listen. Don’t touch my hair anymore. Stop touching my hair.” People were like, “We’ve got to make your hair before you go outside. You can’t leave.” She went … “Now I don’t have hair. What you going to do?”
A moment to admire the extremely handsome new NME. I was away during production week (not intentionally!) so seeing the magazine today has been a lovely surprise.
The features section is now at the back of the magazine. For this issue, James Murphy, Faris Badwan, St Vincent, Irvine Welsh, Black Francis and Trent Reznor all talked to/wrote for us about their relationship with David Bowie, and how his reappearance this year affected his legacy, and their relationship with it. All six testimonies are brilliant, exuberant, enthusiastic, indignant, heartfelt pieces. I had the pleasure of doing St Vincent’s, listening to Annie Clark talk for close to an hour about the man that taught her the spirit of reinvention (and convinced her to bleach her hair) from age four, when she first sawLabyrinth. Tony Visconti also wrote us a wonderful essay about his relationship with Bowie - emailing him a word count and deadline will probably remain one of the more surreal moments of this job.
Our art director, Mark Neil, has done a fantastic design job on the section - when you open the issue tomorrow, you’ll notice coloured squares covered in faint diamond shapes on each of the famous fan testimonies - fold along the lines and you’ll make the cranes from the cover photo (which was taken especially for us).
The magazine is printed on smaller paper than before, but the new issue feels fuller than ever. There’s something about the compact pages and density of the text that makes it feel like a club worth getting lost in. I’m excited.
‘Silence Yourself’ has been shortlisted for The Mercury Prize this year and I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words before the actual ceremony takes place at the end of October.
I am feeling a little bit shy to give anybody a lesson when I am given the honours and it is obvious…
JB omitted a link, so here’s that Godspeed You! Black Emperor statement.