Sunday, 28 January 2007

Some Distractions from the Class Struggle

Sunday is the day when the AVPS tune of the week is changed.

Normally it isn't much of a problem. Being exceedingly choosy only a couple of songs usually make the cut, but this week and the last I've been right royally torn on what to feature. This is because there's three really great efforts out there.

First up is last week's tune, Golden Skans by Klaxons. This track tells you why they're one of, if not the leading New Rave trailblazers. It is to my eternal regret I was too young when rave exploded all them years ago. Instead I had to make do combing Derby indie record shops for old discs and tapes years after clubby stuff had become the corporate dance hegemon. So when I first saw the Klaxons vid for Atlantis to Interzone, it immediately took me back. The baggy shirts, the smileys, the erratic hand movements, the DIY sound; clearly Klaxons have studied their history and are happy to be doomed to repeat it.

Golden Skans is simply sumptuous. It clearly marks the point when their record company have realised they've got a money spinner on their hands. The track is slickly delivered thanks to fancy studio jiggery-pokery and the video just oozes production values. The lyrics are of course pure nonsense ... almost the kind of gibberish you'd expect if writing under the influence of certain substances. But it doesn't matter, this is high energy indie disco at its best, and if it gets "the kids" checking out old skool rave, so much the better.

The next track refuses to leave me alone. It's one of those that enters your consciousness and plays itself over and over when you're trying to make sense of Marx's reproduction schemas. Step forward Giddy Stratospheres courtesy of The Long Blondes. I am slightly biased toward this Sheffield outfit because they like Pulp, cite Stock, Aitken and Waterman(!) among their influences, and drip the kind of urban glamour to which this metro wannabe can only but aspire. Vocalist Kate Jackson's quite nice too, but that has nothing to do with it. Honest. GS is a perfect slice of indie pop, the sleaze-lite lyrics whip themselves around vigorous guitar work and threaten to blast us into low-earth orbit. Giddy stratospheres indeed.

This was dead cert for track of the week ... until The Gossip crudely reminded me of what a monster Standing in the Way of Control is. One thing I loved about (gay) 80s electro pop was the uncompromising fuck you attitude. If you didn't like what they were and who they were having sex with, then tough shit. Openly gay stars today don't make an issue of their sexuality. They might be out the closet, but their private lives stay firmly within it. You could call this progress, but angry and politicised "gay music" is sadly amiss. If it's going to make a comeback, The Gossip will take some of the credit. Standing in the Way of Control is a pop punch against Bush's attack on the rights of LGBT people to adopt, and it's a bloody good track too. Beth Ditto's vocals and the underpolished drums and bass battle for the listener's attention, resulting in a cacophonous bulldozer of a record that refuses to take prisoners. It might be an older track than the other two but given the LGBT adoption controversy here this week, it is more timely for a UK audience now than when it was first released in October. For these reasons this is my tune of the week.

While my attention from the class struggle is diverted, I might as well take this opportunity to let you know the latest Carnival of Socialism came out yesterday. Just stroll on over to Stroppyblog to see what the eponymous Stropps has put together.

I've also added a few more blogs to the list. Badmatthew's blog offers us a regular commentary on the left press and assorted journals. SouthPaw Punch is one of those blogs that is a pillar of the UK left blogging community. He only links to a select few, and AVPS isn't one of them, not that it matters. I've got a lot of love to give and I don't need it reciprocating. Last but by no means least The Revolution Decides is the newest kid on the left blog block. I hope everyone will give Big_D a great welcome, not least cos he's another Stokie fighting the power!


Duncan said...

Well to bring your attention back to the class struggle...

Have you seen the latest posting at SouthpawPunch?

If so, what do you think and would you want to be involved?

Anonymous said...

AVPS - you'll see a link now (I can't work out why it's in blue)

Duncan - I've emailed AVPS, you and others about the portal

Duncan said...


What address you send it to? I haven't got it.

Anonymous said...


should have been thewillofthestateissupreme at - as per blog

but it's the letter linked to in my post on my blog

Frank Partisan said...

Very interesting blog. I discovered it at Edie's blog.

I always read "Southpaw".

Anonymous said...

Duncan, I think it's a great initiative. Unfortunately I have no technical ability beyond operating Word, using google, and being able to handle the basic operations of blogger. I don't have much time either but I will do what I can to publicise. I'll put something about it on here tomorrow directing interested readers to Southpaw and of course I'll make sure the UKLN is kept upto date. Afterall I am one of the mods.

Anonymous said...

Despite my socialist leanings, I too think that at the present time 'Giddy Stratospheres' is more important than the class struggle, and am prepared to die at the barricades in order to defend it's supremacy over anything by the Gossip.