North Korea

June 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm (Uncategorized)

For a while there I was sleeping well. After Trump’s trip and meeting with loopy Stalinist Kim Jong-un (who is apparently more popular among Republicans that Nancy Pelosi) , there was the announcement that even though Kim had made the same empty promise North Korea has been making for decades, nuclear war had been averted. Then of course a week later, the US rhetoric began to creep back and it turned out Kim is upgrading his weapons. Huh.

It feels as if the U.S. research and prep was based on screenings of Team America and The Interview.

Now all we need is the Workers Vanguard article defending the “North Korean deformed workers state” and North Korea’s right to have nuclear weapons. What did they used to call that, the workers’ bomb?

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Music Notes: June 2018

June 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm (Uncategorized)

For some or other reason, there was no May Music notes post, so here’s June.

1 Roxy Music – Roxy Music 

There’s a delulxe edition of the classic debut with a disc of extras including Peel sessions and a live set.  Also in the booklet is an extended essay on the origins of the band which is quite interesting. The original album is pretty great, and the extras are cool versions. Something to consider, even if you’re not a big Roxy fan

2 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Live at the Garrison

No, not a live album. Rather the band’s Canadian debut. Unfortunately, the band’s debut hadn’t been released at the time of the show, (it’s out now), so I had to make do with repeated listens to the French Press EP. which I recall buying at  Soundscapes, and being instantly hooked by the sound. “Sort of like all your favourite New Zealand bands” read one review, but RBCF aren’t actually from NZ; they hail from Melbourne, Australia. Great show and they’re coming back in September.

On the bill too were Kiwi jr., who, despite their name, were also NOT from New Zealand. But they do also have that jangly Clean/ Bats/NZ sound. They even cover the Clean’s “Thumbs off” to great effect.

3  Link Wray and his Ray Men  – Law of the Jungle (The Swan Demos 64) des,” “Rumble” etc.) and it’s just great. Saw Link at the Horseshoe Tavern sometime in the nineties. Kinda cool to see living legend. This collection from ’64 features slightly different versions of all your favourites (“Deuces Wild”, ” Ace of Spades” and “Rumble”), and because it’s Link Wray, it’s worth a listen.

4. Christian D

Came across this one recently: Christian d Local Toronto act. Rockabilly, punk and more. Free music if you subscribe to the email list. CD out soon.

5 Lydia Lunch

The Hard Luck Bar is just that. Little in the way of frills, but good sound and a big dance floor, so when Lydia Lunch graced its smallish stage back in May it was a treat. . True it was a short set, and there was no encore or merch to get, but it was still a great show. Ms. Lunch wailed a primal blues at us for the better part of an hour. if you were there, you were a part of something big.

6 Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show

The first Public Enemy album. Let’s leave aside the misogyny of “Sophisticated Bitch,” the debut PE release is a great Rick Rubin rock-rap record. But who knew what was just around the corner.

7 Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Sparkle Hard 

The seventh album may be the best (at least that’s what people say). Yeah, pretty amazing record. Like much of Malkmus’ work, it plays with pop, punk, country and I dunno oft-kilter stuff. Featuring Kim Gordon on one track. Great stuff.

8 Shilpa Ray – Door Girl

Apparently Shilpa Ray was a door girl once. This latest album contains punk, 50’s style pop, spoken word and everything between. Great live act too, but maybe a new video director is needed (OK, the intro is funny and the song is great, but…)

9 The Telescopes – Splashdown

Now, you really should get this one.  Shoegazer pop with loads of extras. THe second album, EPs, and much more. Really great.

10 Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth 

It doesn’t work in the car, but the minimalist pop of YMG still resonates if you’re home alone.


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Marxist Prediction Power (II)

June 6, 2018 at 11:41 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s election day tomorrow in Ontario. and I’m going to revisit my earlier predictions.

  1. I still think the Conservatives are to win, but there are a couple of complicating factors. It seems likely that they will win a majority, but if the Liberal vote collapses and flows to the NDP, they might be denied it in favour of a minority. It remains to be seen whether or not the fact leader Doug Ford’s being sued by his sister-in-law will affect things. My guess is no, but it may cost them a few seats. It’s really amazing that had the party stuck with Patrick Brown or even chosen Christine Elliot to replace him, much of this speculation would have been put to rest. the more you get to know Doug Ford, the less you like him.
  2. Kathleen Wynn took a bold gamble last week, admitting the Liberals would lose the election. On the one hand, it’s nothing people didn’t already know, but to admit it, is usually a NDP strategy. It;s likely a strategy designed to appeal to Liberal die-hards to come out and vote rather than just give up. If the Liberals fail to win eight seats (something which might well happen), the party will lose its official status  – given that the Liberals were pissed when the NDP fell into this category in 2003, the Liberals can’t hope for favourable treatment from them. The day before the election, it doesn’t seem clear that Wynn’s idea has paid off – if anything, more voters continue to bleed towards the PCs and the NDP.
  3. For a brief moment the NDP seemed poised to form the next government, but that has faded. Offering the usual bland neo-Keynesian policies, the NDP does seem ready to be the official opposition.  But given the absences of anything like class struggle to back them up, you can probably expect little from them.

But yeah, I’ll watching tomorrow night to see how wrong I am

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