Music

Jean Caffeine - "Winter of Hate" (video) (premiere)

Peripatetic musician Jean Caffeine has worked in punk, rock, and alternative country during her fruitful career and now she shares a new video about the last Sex Pistols gig ever.

Austin's Jean Caffeine had led an exciting musical life having played drums in the all-woman punk band the Urge back in the '70s and drumming for Pulsallama in the '80s in New York. Like many of the original punk rock musicians, she has worked in the alternative country arena as well, fronting Jean Caffeine’s All Nite Truckstop.

Interestingly, Caffeine also contributed animation to director Richard Linklater's film Waking Life, which is how she met Austin painter and animator, Paul Beck, who created the stunning animation in this new video from Caffeine.

"Winter of Hate" is about the emotions surrounding the break-up of the Sex Pistols and their last gig, which seemed at the time like the punk dream was dying. But as we know, punk has continued to remain a vital artistic form and highly relevant to this day. The song appears on Caffeine's recent album, Sadie Saturday Nite.

"I remember having a lot of mixed emotions about the show," says Caffeine. "It was exciting that they [the Sex Pistols] came to play my city, but the venue seemed like a sellout. John asked from the stage, 'Do you ever feel like you've been cheated?' Although when I watch the footage from that show now, the show seems great, the answer at the time was yes. The band was on the verge of a breakup, and that show seemed to push them over the edge."

She recalls, "After the Pistol's show was a party that went on for at least a day at Vicki and Lamar's house. I didn't get there until the next afternoon. Sid was at the party careening about and holding court in a closet with various girls, and he propositioned a friend of mine." "The 'Summer of Hate' was also a joke that I remember Alejandro Escovedo kicking around. If 1968 had been the 'Summer of Love' in San Francisco, it seemed fitting that 1978 was the 'Summer of Hate', which just had its 40th anniversary," she says.

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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Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

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Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

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From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

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This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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