Archive for the 'people who should not be dead' Category


You (not) the living…


very late in the day for a tribute, i know, but i think i’ve been stymied by just how much i don’t like this whole ‘everyone who has ever meant something to you artistically is dying’ thing. unforgivably childish as a reaction but there you are. anyway, seemingly out of the blue, peter ‘sleazy’ christopherson is no more. it’s difficult to quantify just how big a loss this is to the world of electronic music, or just how many incredible releases this man had under his belt (as part of throbbing gristle, psychic tv, coil and more). for me coil were always the gold standard of the industrial / electronic / experimental, whatever you want to call it. they clearly seemed not to give a shit what others expected of them, they did what the fuck they wanted when they wanted. this is a rule to live by as any kind of artist. the following quote from kafka seems to sum up their m.o.: 

“don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”   

excerpt from ‘in my head a crystal sphere of heavy fluid’ – by peter christopherson
(not coil as stated) from the v/a cd  foxtrot)

so first jhon balance, now sleazy, are dead. and yet simon cowell walks the earth; “i swear, it’s not a world of men.”

thanks to jon, and to matt, who he persuaded/cajoled/threatened into trekking out to photograph sleazy’s resting place and tribute in a bangkok temple:

more pics here.


o n e ( n o w ) i n s h a d o w

“i ate the knife,
 and the knife won.
 it’s all over.”

2009 ends badly.

i reckon pretty much everyone since the 80s that has picked up a guitar with an eye to making their audience wince and draw back, everyone who has used the instrument as a vehicle of noise, feedback and thoroughly disturbed bluesy melody, everyone that has sung whether they could actually make a pleasantly acceptable sound or not, everyone with an interest in the musically sharp, angular and oppressive owes this man a significant dept. all you latterday nick cave fans take note: cave wouldn’t have been the man he is today without howard, any more than howard would have gone on to be the musician he was without his former bandmate. wikipedia: howard’s birthday party bandmates reflected upon his death; nick cave told wenn, “this is very sad news. rowland was australia’s most unique, gifted and uncompromising guitarist. he was also a good friend. he will be missed by many.” mick harvey remarked, “sometimes people are ready to go because they have been sick for a long time, but rowland really wanted to live. things were going well for him outside of his health and he wanted to take advantage of that, and he was very disappointed that he wasn’t well enough to do so.” i was fortunate to be at a bad seeds gig some years ago when howard came on and they did three birthday party songs. it was incredible. howard’s solo output, though sparse, was equally impressive. both these immortal souls albums should be bought if you don’t already own them, as should his collaborations with lydia lunch and his later, truly solo album ‘teenage snuff film’. his latest, ‘pop crimes’, which has so far been released only in australia (and on itunes) is reportedly another career highlight and, so it turns out, his swan song. exit everything indeed.



t h e g h o s t o f r o n a l d r e a g a n h a d b e t t e r w a t c h o u t

ballardr.i.p. the man who once looked me in the eye and told me to become a brain surgeon.

there’s something about ballard’s writing that no one else manages to capture, yes it’s often dry and feels somewhat emotionally distant, but somehow it feels all the more real because of this.

in particular ‘the unlimited dream company’, ‘super cannes’ and later (though a little thin) ‘kingdom come’ helped to change the way i saw literature and what a book could be; ‘kingdom come’ in particular saying more about the modern england that i exist in than perhaps anything i’ve ever read.

and then there’s the mind-fuck of ‘the atrocity exhibition’ which will skew your understanding and appreciation of narrative  f o r e v e r .

also, as far as i can tell, there was no artistic drop off either, no lessening of skill or quality of output with age, merely a refocusing of subject, approach and intent. this in itself is a rarity to be celebrated.

if only there were a heaven, imagine the scene.

he will be sadly missed

“the human race sleepwalked to oblivion, thinking only about the corporate logos on its shroud.”

-from ‘kingdom come’by jg ballard


c h i l d b i r t h i s n ‘ t n a t u r a l

billhicksanyone who knows anything about bill hicks knows about the letterman incident.

in 1993 david letterman, showing something of a revolting yellow streak, chickened out of airing a performance by hicks, on which grounds we can only speculate (although rumours of network sponsorship by pro-life groups abound). all these years later letterman has recanted and apologised unconditionally, inviting hicks’ mother on to the show and finally showing the censored 1993 performance in its entirety. quite honestly, hats off to him. who else in letterman’s position would so publicly admit wrong? i’d say the move was unprecedented.

hicks fans will see nothing new in the routine, and indeed will see much omitted by hicks from routines they know, but it is in these omissions that hicks is revealed as such a craftsman, stepping effortlesslyover any profanity and riskier material that he knew full well wouldn’t be allowed on television, and still making the routine work. genuine, card-carrying genius.

he’s still missed.


y o u g o t t a l i v e u n t i l y o u ‘ r e d e a d



z d z i s ł a w b e k s i ń s k i

the image in the post below (‘t h e w i l l t o b e n e x t’) is  an imitation of the artist zdzisław beksiński. it seemed wrong not to post some of his actual paintings. ‘enjoy‘.







b e s e e i n g y o u

unmutual to the end.