When I Invented Silent Gigs / Discos

Have a look at this interview from March 1997:

(Source: New York Times)

If you look up Silent Disco on Wikipedia, you get this:

In May 2002 artist Meg Duguid hosted Dance with me… a silent dance party at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago where she created an outdoor club installation complete with velvet ropes and glow rope in which a DJ spun a transmission to wireless headsets that audience members put on and danced to.[4][5][6] Duguid threw a second dance party at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago the following year, entitled Dueling DJs where two DJS simultaneously spun two separate musical transmissions various wireless headsets that audience members put on and danced to. This performance was repeated the following year (2004) at the Chicago Cultural Center.[7]

The term “silent disco” has been in existence since at least 2005 with Bonnaroo Music Festival advertising such an event that year with DJ’s Motion Potion, Quickie Mart and DJ medi4 and headphones provided by KOSS.[8] In recent years Silent Events has presented Bonaroo’s Silent Disco.[9]

In the Netherlands, the traveling arts and culture festival De Parade already featured a “stille disco” [silent disco] earlier, for example in 2003.[10] Dutch DJs Nico Okkerse and Michael Minton have been described as “the pioneers … in the legend of silent disco” because they started “stille disco” events in 2002.[11] Okkerse claims his company 433fm.com “created Silent Disco in 2002”[12] and its site does have photos from such events going back to at least 2003.[13]

(Source: Wikipedia)

So, yaay, that was five years after when I invented it, depending which one you believe.

But then…

A silent concert (or headphones concert) is a live music performance where the audience, in the same venue as the performing artist, listens to the music through headphones.[20] The idea originated in 1997 when Erik Minkkinen,[21][22] an electronic artist[23][24] from Paris, streamed a live concert from his closet over the internet to three listeners in Japan.[25] The concept led to a decentralized organization known as le placard (“the Cupboard”),[26] which allowed anybody to establish a streaming or listening room.[25]

The first headphone concert taking place in front of a live audience took place March 17, 1999, at Trees in Dallas, Texas. The American psychedelic band The Flaming Lips used an FM signal generator at the venue and handed out mini FM radio receivers and headphones to each member of the audience. A normal speaker system was also used so the sound could also be felt. This continued on their “International Music Against Brain Degeneration Revue” tour with mixed results, with technical problems including dead batteries and intoxicated audience members having trouble tuning to the correct frequency.[27]

(Source: Wikipedia)

So, depending on when in ’97 Minkkinen did his proto-Twitch stream, maybe I’m a co-inventor. But Flaming Lips, March???

Highly suspicious…

Kate (2021)

So, I just watched ‘Kate,’ an action flick on Netflix (not bad, I’d give it a solid 8.5/10) and I thought I’d pop and see the score. Hmmm… seems quite low… I wonder why?

Then I see this review:

Here we go again. Another stupid movie where the female can do anything males twice her size can do. Well in real life if you look at the murder rates of women it's shows this isn't the case and no matter how much sillywood tries to push this nonsense on is it is just a joke. And it's leave poor females with more self esteem problems as they relasi as that they can not and will never be able to do what men can do.

And using Winestead who is a terrible actress and couldn't pull off this role if she was the only female around. Basically a useless skin bag. This female would be killed before she could decide how stupid she looks trying to do something she obviously can not.

Males and females are different and it's what makes them BOTH special. Stop forcing us to watch this garbage which has negative effects on RL females. Today's females have big mouths and weak bodies. Not the ideal combination when dealing with the confrontation that they stir up complaining about what VICTIMS they are.

In the real world women are victims. The movies won't change that. It'll be changed when females are treated the same as males from birth. Meaning, at school they are shouted at and made to do the hard chores that males students have always had to do like moving tables and picking up stuff. It must start from birth.

And secondly, only when women are forced to do national service or be signed up to the draft LIKE men have been forced to do. Men lose their lives in the thousand for females to moan and whine. About time females lost theirs too for pointless wars.

There’s a load of reviews like this, sometimes the woman-hating is better disguised than this, mostly not.

But, wow, this man is a walking lake of toxic masculinity. Hoo boy!


Kate‘ is a finely-crafted, atmospheric action film that mixes up many aesthetics; there’s obviously some John Wick in here with very unrealistic but well-choreographed fight sequences, some weeb-baiting with big dollops of TECH-NOIR-ZAIBATSU-NEON and many, many perfect assassin tropes.

What ‘Kate’ does better than most films is that it actually has great actors at the emotional cruxes of the plot. Harrelson and Winstead have a great chemistry as Handler and Asset respectively which grounds what could otherwise dissolves into a sea of squibs and gory, weightless deaths.

The central premise of Winstead’s race through the night also makes it all the more fun (I won’t spoil it here, obviously) and it’s almost Columbo-ish in that we know the end but we still want to see how she gets there.

There’s not one hammy turn, everyone lends a heft to, let’s face it, comic-book level unrealistic action scenes. And that helps sell it, at least on the emotional level. Props particularly to young actress Miku Patricia Martineau for a nuanced performance that has to cover a huge gamut of emotional situations. Look, it’s an action flick, you have to suspend your disbelief a little. In real life, even hardened soldiers can suffer from PTSD for years. But the characters in action films – BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! No worries.

So, within those genre confines, ‘Kate’ is a fine film with some beautiful moments of stillness in between the raining shards of glass and gouts of Kensington Gore.

Go get a bag of popcorn and a huge slurpee, settle back and be prepared for a tear or two to go along with the thrills and spills.

Class Rank (2017)

“Annihilating an ecosystem for political appearances is not my modus operandi.”

So, how do you know when you’ve just watched a great film? Not a good film but a great film? Film is such an accretion of magical sleight-of-hand, such an array of hidden talents that I think you have to feel it. In your nads. It hits you precisely because you didn’t see that punch coming, you didn’t notice a setup. If you do notice something like editing or acting or the EQ on a microphone, that most usually means that the film has failed, unless it’s deliberately going for some neo-Brechtian questioning of form, of course.

The first time I watched Class Rank, I didn’t notice any of the technical aspects, I was way too immersed in the story. So, firstly, let’s say that Class Rank is magnificent from a technical point of view. Whoever worked on this film, from sound to set to edit to make-up to grips to costume, every single person who lifted the tiniest of their tiny fingers, you get a fucking A+. And a gold star. You’ve helped create a hyper-naturalistic story that feels like I’m watching a documentary about my most awkward moments at secondary school. Artifice invisible, I’m left with raw emotion.

As ever, no spoilers here but the basic premise is of hyper-geeky Bernard (Skyler Gisondo) and over-achiever Veronica (Olivia Holt). She has her eyes set on Yale and higher but this appears stymied when she only achieves a class rank of second, instead of first. Shenanigans then ensue when she realises Bernard may be able to help her if she in turn helps him with his campaign to replace French with Chinese on the school curriculum.

This may all seem very generic and, looking at the bald words, it is. If this were another rites-of-passage movie, many high jinks would line up to be ticked off, all present and correct. But Class Rank doesn’t do that. Instead, it does a deep dive into the characters of Veronica and Bernard, one that drags your heart along with it. Even as you laugh at the undeniably funny lines they trade, you know you’re not laughing at them in a cruel way. When Bernard asks, “Surely the melting of your dairy products is not more important than the future education of your child?” I giggled but he’s actually right. Like most of us geeks, both kids are well aware they’re out of step without it being simplified into your classic ‘jocks versus geeks’ or other high school comedy cliches.

Filling out their world is an ensemble of characters who are equally real even if they get much shorter screen time. No character is under-written or unimportant here. The gentle banter between Bernard’s Grandpa (Bruce Dern) and the editor of the local paper (Kathleen Chalfant) is sweet without ever being that special ageist sickly of ‘oooh, look, old people holding hands, aww!’ Veronica’s Mom (Kristin Chenoweth) is similarly un-caricatured and, again, I forgot she was acting… she was just her Mom in a tender and loving way. Then there’s Nick Krause’s insouciant grace as the shop bagger, Mike, watch out for him. I’m not kidding when I say the final scene with him made my eyes sting. Damn this hayfever.

Let me also take this paragraph to congratulate this film on having A GREAT SOUNDTRACK. In this respect, it’s the antithesis of most Hollywood in that there’s space and beats and it never intrudes or de-stabilises, it supports and helps tell the story. Y’know, like scores are meant to do? Well done, Brian Byrne. In a cinematic world overflowing with the same threadbare martial beats and monotonous pitchbent braaaaams, his score is a cold glass of water in a bloody desert.

It’s the final act of the film that left me stunned enough that I’m writing this review. When the complications happen, Holt and Gisondo are stunning, I was on the edge of my seat. There is such rawness and honesty here that it hurts, built as it is on how we’ve come to know and love both characters during the film. Nothing is overdone, everything makes emotional sense. It’s so rare to see scenes like this in film and even more amazing when you realise the actors were nineteen or twenty when they filmed them. These two motherfuckers played keepy uppy with my heart and I’m a cynical, fat old man. Be forewarned!

Finally, I have to praise writer Benjamin August and director Eric Stoltz for a brilliant story, perfectly delivered. This film could have settled with being farcical, it could have been throwaway, it could have been silly. Instead, there is such heart and candour here, about love, friendship, about the human condition at every age. As soon as the credits finished, I started writing this review and re-started the film from the beginning. I’m enjoying it even more second time around. Thank you for giving me this wonderful film.

It’s now one of my favourite films about love. I know I’ll be watching it again many times in the future.

American Heritage

White North Americans have an identity vacuum that manifests as claiming to be Scottish, Irish, Welsh or whatever without any actual connection to those places, cultures or even recent lineage. It always turns out to be an ancestor fifteen rows back that they home in on and ignore the rest of the DNA mixed in there.

I’ve not observed white Aussies or Kiwis doing it to the extent Americans do; they seem to be more secure in their national identities even though, like Americans, it’s based on colonisation and occupation of other people’s land.

Kind of weirds me out…