twiggy girls (1977)

The 1960s – Two teenagers take fate into their own hands and become the ultimate fashion victims in this existential folie a deux starring Donna Modrowski and Michael Onesko. Story by Michael Onesko, original score by Mark Winner, directed by Dan Winner, voiceover by Linda Snelton, assisted by Germain Modrowski, Karen Winner and Connie Karabatsos. Shown at The Women’s Film Forum of Chicago, 1977.

lamenting the friend zone, or: the “nice guy” approach to perpetrating sexist bullshit

“If you don’t care enough about someone to enjoy their company and respect their decisions when sex is off the table, then that person is right not to sleep with you, because enjoying someone’s company and respecting their decisions is pretty much how sex gets on the table to start with.”

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

Everyone’s heard of friendzoning – even if they don’t know the word, they sure as hell know the concept. It’s what happens time and again to unfortunate Nice Guys who, despite being nothing but sugar and spice to the girls they love, are nonetheless denied the sexual relationships they so obviously deserve and are instead treated like platonic equals – a terrible, unfair fate spawned by the dark side of feminism.

And if you thought even part of that statement was correct, Imma stop you right there.

To borrow the succinct, nail-head-hitting phraseology of one hexjackal*:

Friendzoning is bullshit because girls are not machines that you put Kindness Coins into until sex falls out.

Dear Hypothetical Interlocutor whose hackles just bristled with the unfairness of that statement; who thinks that girls can be in the Friend Zone, too, and that therefore this point is both invalid and reverse-sexist into…

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sons of kemet – beware/inner babylon

Hailing from the shadowy world of the London post-jazz scene, the incandescent Sons of Kemet are saxist/clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings, tuba virtuoso Oren Marshall, and the stunning double-drums team of Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford, powering a mix of dancefloor hooks and New Orleans street music with the percussive intricacy of west African drum music, a dose of Caribbean dub, and free jazz.

on a “deaf safari” with felix laband

Watch Felix Laband’s brilliant set at the 2015 Cape Town Electronic Music Festival on 8 February (click the hyperlink – the darn embed function doesn’t seem to work properly on WordPress).

Felix opens this particular “Deaf Safari” with a dodgy old recording (that I think I actually gave him!), of Marais and Miranda entertaining a frightfully colonial white 1950s audience with their “knowledge” of “Hottentot” and “Zooloo” linguistics. With a subversive stammer, it segues into an hour-long journey of cut-up sounds and visuals.

Laband displays fluent familiarity with and yet alienation from spectacular capitalist consumer tropes. The oversaturated bricolage of radio preachers, politicians, porn, pulp cinema, big game and exoticised cultural representations is absurd and defaced: eyeless, toothless, festering with skulls. Sound and visuals work in counterpoint: horny assemblages dripping blood and infection; a snatch of Cat Power’s languid “Satisfaction”. His work foregrounds our mindless addiction to and manipulation by these fragments bouncing off the walls onto one another, their banality dismembered, dislocated, demented, discordant, decaying.

A voice in Queen’s English: “I was wondering what it is that you don’t want to remember so badly… To put it another way, what are you trying to forget?”

The response, implied in the guitar run sampled from Nico’s “These Days”: “Please don’t confront me with my failures… I had not forgotten them.”

Felix forces us to examine ourselves honestly. This I love most deeply about what he does: he will not allow us to forget, nor feign ignorance. There are naive melodies, but there is no innocence, no deafness nor blindness. We are taken through his cabinet of jabbering apparitions, racist, patriarchal horror haunting every suburban corner, lullabies, toyi-toyi chants… The valley of the shadow of death… We are not tourists. This is our own back yard. We stare the nightmares down, bopping in slo-mo. The voices persist, demand acknowledgement until they dissolve. It’s a kind of exorcism.

And beyond that, always, despite all the schizophrenic folly and sadness, hope and jubilation live on in the unfinished refrains of blues ghosts captured long ago on wax… Vera Hall, Stack O’Lee, prisoners and murderers alike now free… and there is space to breathe, place to be here now, without judgement… we are bathed in grace and exquisite melody.  This is strong muti for South Africans’ sickness.

deaf safari

Collage: Felix Laband

I can’t wait for his new album, and I highly recommend that you see him live if you get the chance: he’s on form like never before and it’s a profound trip.

P.S. Read Sean O’Toole’s great interview piece for Mahala on Felix’s return (his new album, Deaf Safari, is set for release next month, after an almost decade-long gestation).