Remain

The author Robert Harris tweeted last week ‘How foul this referendum is. The most depressing, divisive, duplicitous political event in my lifetime. may there never be another’. Which just about covers it. Nigel Farage has forced a ‘discussion’ into public, a discussion which has unleashed all kinds of racist and xenophobic forces which have at least partly contributed to the murder of MP Jo Cox last week. Farage is a political charlatan, a fraud, a man who basks in a man-in-the-street image despite a wealthy, privileged background. A demagogue who hates the EU yet is paid by it, who represents constituents at the European parliament but rarely goes. A man who poses in front of Nazi inspired posters and complains that the murder of Jo Cox has ‘taken the momentum out of the Leave campaign’. On every and any level, he is a disgrace.

David Cameron has to take the blame here too- despite being the leader of the Remain campaign, he is the one who called this referendum, a cynical response to the rise of Ukip and the defection of Tory votes, a piece of political opportunism that has blown up in his face, shown the cracks in his party and that he’ll pay for politically at some point, win or lose.

Let’s Kiss And Make Up

This is original The Field Mice version covered by St Etienne with their Eurocentric cover art.

A vote to Leave is a backwards step, a vote for a past that doesn’t exist. I can’t see any positives in leaving. Taking back control, taking back sovereignty is a smokescreen- how is leaving the ‘undemocratic’ E.U. increasing democracy in a country which has an unelected second chamber and is a constitutional monarchy? My vote today is to Remain. Let’s stay together.

Enough preaching.

Stay

Stay is off Bowie’s Station To Station, sometimes my favourite Bowie album. The choppy guitar part, Carlos Alomar I assume, is wonderful.

And finally Portishead have released this cover of ABA’s SOS, a tribute to Jo Cox.

Advertisements

Calling Sister Midnight

Iggy Pop’s The Idiot is a remarkable album. Released in March 1977 (and followed in the same year by Lust For Life) it is the first of the Bowie Berlin albums. All the songs on The Idiot are co-written by David Bowie and his fingerprints- words, tone, chords, structures- are all over it. The Idiot was Iggy’s first solo album and doesn’t really sound too like the rest of his work. No cartoon stagediving here, no songs chasing the sound of two chord Stooges. The Idiot sounds thought out, a piece of work. It is also sounds dislocated- Iggy and Bowie loose and lost in West Berlin. On most of the songs- just listen to Nightcubbing- the beat is always a bit behind where you expect it to be, a fraction deliberately late.

Opening track Sister Midnight is a blast. Played live by Bowie throughout his Station To Station tour, it’s a powerful opener, a punch. Bowie’s guitarist Carlos Alomar plays on it. Many of Bowie’s songs from Chateau d’Herouville and Hansa Studio have a certain funkiness and a lightness. Sister Midnight has Alomar’s wonderful guitar sound and playing but is murkier, with the synths and rhythm keeping it more earthbound. Three note bassline. Iggy in a hole looking out- ‘what can I do about my dreams?’ he sings at one point after a verse re-working Oedipus.

Sister Midnight

His voice is the human touch on an album inspired by the men-machines Kraftwerk, an album with a European heart moving away the blues base of the music of the 1960s and early 70s, written and played by men trying to kick different drugs. Sister Midnight re-appeared with new words as Red Money on Bowie’s Lodger album in 1979, the album generally considered to be the final part of the Berlin series, completing the circle nicely.