Music

Steven Wilson - “The Raven that Refused to Sing” (Video)

The first video from Steven Wilson's upcoming third solo LP The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories)


Steven Wilson

The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories)

Label: K-Scope
US Release Date: 2013-02-26
UK Release Date: 2013-02-25
Amazon
iTunes

Steven Wilson remains as prolific as ever. Following in the style of the video for "Drag Ropes", the lead track off of 2012's much-hyped collaboration Storm Corrosion which featured Wilson working in tandem with Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt, the British prog legend has released the first video from his third solo LP, The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories). The album -- out on February 26th in the US -- is undoubtedly the most progressive thing Wilson has released in his illustrious career; while he's never hidden the influence of King Crimson, Yes, and Pink Floyd on his music, on The Raven he lets his inner jam musician go absolutely nuts. Three out of the LP's six tracks run over ten minutes, with enough time signature changes, mellotron, and atypical chord patterns to keep even the most demanding prog fans happy.

"The Raven that Refused to Sing", the stately closer of the record, serves as a delicate conclusion, one that encompasses Wilson's newfound interest in ghost stories. When asked about his interest in the supernatural, Wilson noted, "The great ghost stories [the ones influencing the songwriting of The Raven] that inspired me and this record came mainly from the early 19th century... it was a great period for classical ghost stories." The video for the title track, with influences ranging from the obvious like Poe to the subtle like Méliès, captures the song's delicate beauty rather nicely, and its cinematic quality carries over marvelously from LP to film.


Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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7

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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