Singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is celebrating last year’s 20th anniversary of her career-making, genre-spawning album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, yet the years of being misunderstood and deemed unmarketable still rankle. “It took an English punk-rock label to get me,” she muses. Rough Trade took a chance on Williams’s devastatingly direct tales of the American south and finely wrought roots, blues, rock, and folk and her success birthed the alt.country scene. … [Read more...] about Lucinda Williams review – battle-scarred alt.country star burns bright
Bright young things
A little less raunchy is the former Derby, West Ham and Hajduk Split defender Igor Stimac, who cut a record in Croatia as part of the Bohems just prior to the 1998 World Cup. "The country went mad about it," recalled Stimac. "We were the Bohems and the record was called Mary and Katie - it was just picked out of nowhere really. It was only me and a group of friends but the song ended up No1 for four months! I think the sales were really down to Croatia doing well in the tournament rather than my voice! I sang on the record and played guitar." Many thanks to Ed Gilbert for this clip of the Bohems in action. … [Read more...] about Which footballers have released a record?
And this is one of the things I like about men: they're uncomplicated. Sex is fun, they think, so I would like to do it whenever I can. Why not? It was certainly how I felt about it. Yes, sex can be a potentially risky activity for a woman, but I was in a fairly closed social circle, shagging colleagues and friends of friends, and for me, at least, it was less dangerous than riding a bicycle around town: I was still very shaky on the difference between "left" and "right", didn't understand the Highway Code and often got distracted if a pigeon flew past. I was much safer on top of a man than on a bicycle. … [Read more...] about Caitlin Moran: my sex quest years
Nearly 30 years later Denis immortalised another street, this time featuring a row of terraced houses in Salford which were due to be demolished. Dispatched to illustrate the story, he again found a raised vantage point giving him a symmetrical view of the cobbles which provided a shimmering backdrop after shower. Once in place Denis realised there was a vital missing ingredient. “I’d often spend hours waiting for people to walk into many of my pictures.” The woman in Salford was no exception. “I had an idea with the rainy street but I couldn’t let it go like that. Because the homes were empty there’s no cars and no clutter but it had to have someone in it. When the woman and her children are added it just springs out, it takes on a whole new life. In my mind I could see the picture I wanted but then I had to spend all day waiting. Nobody ever insisted I stand there all day but I saw the potential and thought it was worth persevering.” … [Read more...] about Silhouetto: the visual appeal of tiny figures – a photo essay
Xen was Arca’s debut LP, and she named it after the feminine alter ego she had cultivated since childhood. “I have this image in my head when I listen to a song of mine that I really love or that I feel happy with. First of all, I feel like I haven’t made it, and second of all, I don’t bop my head, I move really slowly in a very effeminate way,” said Arca in a 2014 interview. “Lastly, I close my eyes and I see this naked being who exists in front of an audience. Everyone is simultaneously attracted to it and repulsed – it looks like it went through suffering but it’s beautiful … This being is actually aware of its sex as a weapon and as a threat. Xen is an ‘it.’ I lean towards calling Xen ‘her’ in response to the fact that society historically leans towards men having more power. Me calling Xen ‘her’ is an equalisation of that.” … [Read more...] about No shape: how tech helped musicians melt the gender binary