Lost and Found

Trans, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Southbank Centre In honour of Karlheinz Stockhausen — the German composer and father of electronic avant-garde, who died in 2007 aged 79 — the Southbank Centre held a week of Stockhausen events at the beginning of November. I went to see Trans, a piece written in 1971 which was performed by a huge,…

Power to the People

June 2006. Some musician friends of mine had scored a gig at JAMM in Brixton; I went along expecting the usual indie shenanigans at a toilet venue in South London. At the door, a white rabbit greeted me. I wandered to the Ladies to check my makeup (hoping not to disappear through the looking-glass as…

This is For Lovers

Four years after they split, the music of the Libertines – especially their debut album Up The Bracket – has been subsumed into the quagmire of myth and infamy surrounding their errant, erstwhile singer. Forget Pete Doherty’s tabloid bête noire celebrity and the platitudes of a misty-eyed rock press, it’s time for a personal reassessment, reckons Ian Hodson. I…

American Beauty

Even as the post-9/11 Bush administration raged belligerent, Louisville chamber ensemble Rachel’s were cutting systems/layers, a sublime ambient chamber hymn to another, more contemplative USA. With Dubya and co finally clearing their desks, the thoughtful Kentuckians ruminate on urban epiphanies, the American realpolitik and music’s healing potency. Locating “the inner sanctum amidst the outer chaos”…

Clare Price

A friend described Clare Price’s paintings to me by saying “they look like they’ve been made by Courtney Love”. I got it straight away – baby-doll dress, smudged liptstick, messed up hair. . . it looks thrown together and incidental but is consciously packaged as a style. When I saw Price’s paintings in the flesh,…

Aint Bin to no Music School

“Art schools have always been places where people watched where the action was in culture and then moved into it. This is why so much popular music has come out of art schools” Brian Eno. Despite being very interested in ‘pop’ music (I use the term to denote non-classical music) to the point of obsession, I had no skill at all…

Too Cool for School?

British art colleges have turned out a stellar roll-call of musical individualists, from John Lennon to Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker to Alison Goldfrapp. Meanwhile, music schools have bequeathed us the likes of Katie Melua and Leona Lewis. Cheers, BRIT School! With the help of a grizzled ’70s pop guru and, er, the Devil, erstwhile tompaulin…

Le Morte d'Arthur

The other evening I went to the ICA to see Wild Combination Matt Wolf’s new film biography of the late American musician Arthur Russell. It’s an absorbing, amusing and ultimately very moving portrait, shot in a collage style that artfully blends archive material, judiciously selected talking heads, compelling stills and VHS reconstruction. The extensive, grainy…

Intimate Strangers

Darren Hayman, singer with erstwhile John Peel favourites Hefner, settles down with another Peel favourite, David Gedge of the Wedding Present, in the snug bar of The Indie Veteran to put the modern world – tricky downloads, YouTube, exorbitant tellies and more – to rights. Dave Gedge: What are your thoughts on the digital stuff?…