One of my favourite bands anywhere, who just happen to live in my hometown, are Plans And Apologies.
I could wax on (and off) about why I like them, love them even. Could be the rocking gigs, might be the fact the singer doesn’t have a ridiculous fake American accent. Maybe it’s the occasional facial hair.
But why should I when you can download their entire first album for FREE by clicking here?
If you’ve ever sung along to Simon & Garfunkel or Cohen or Pavement, I think you’ll like some of these tunes. Give them a listen and thank US Military Research for the wonderful internet…
Tony Blair suffers his first defeat as prime minister as MPs reject plans to hold terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days, but he insists his authority is intact.
In a vote on a key piece of legislation he not only lost his large majority but he was roundly and convincingly defeated – for the first time in eight years.
And, while he continues to claim this was not an issue of his leadership or authority, it has dealt him a serious personal blow and already led to a demand for his resignation from Tory leader Michael Howard.
Not even the support of Chancellor Gordon Brown succeeded in persuading his backbench rebels to fall into line behind the hugely-controversial proposal to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge.
(Source: BBC News)
Imagine the late-night knock on the door. Or, more likely, your door being kicked in by armed police. You’re hauled off into detention. You’re given no reason for your arrest. You’re not charged. You’re not allowed representation and your family isn’t allowed access.
You’re being detained with no charges. For ninety days. For three months, Her Majesty’s Government owns you, you don’t exist. You’ve become an un-person.
This nearly became law tonight.
Some of you may be thinking, “good – they’ll only arrest proper terrorists, all these lefties are going to let them roam round scott-free!”
Yes, the police and our government and Tony Blair are infallible. They never make mistakes. Blair was absolutely right about those huge caches of WMDs in Iraq, wasn’t he, “45 minutes” from attacking Britain?
And the police would never misuse the Prevention of Terrorism act, would they? Remember this bloke:
This is the central lie peddled by Tony Blair and his cohort of mentalists:
“In order to protect our freedom and liberty, we must remove our freedoms and liberties!”
Perfectly logical, if you’re a Labour front bencher, I’m sure.
With his fascistic laws, with his ID cards, with the increasing surveillance and intrusion into every aspect of our lives, it’s clear that Blair wants to be our Big Brother. Just as much as Al Quaeda, he is trying to deprive us of our freedom and liberty, of the way of life that millions of Britons enjoy now and for which many Britons fought and died.
Blair should be in prison for his war crimes. But I’ll settle for his resignation and humiliation. After tonight’s defeat, we only have one question for you Tony:
A heroic US soldier, valiantly defending Iraqi democracy
It was a household survey – of 988 homes in 33 randomly selected districts – and it suggested, on the basis of the mortality those households reported before and after the invasion, that the risk of death in Iraq had risen by a factor of 1.5; somewhere between 8,000 and 194,000 extra people had died, with the most probable figure being 98,000. Around half the deaths, if Falluja was included, or 15% if it was not, were caused by violence, and the majority of those by attacks on the part of US forces.
In the US and the UK, the study was either ignored or torn to bits. The media described it as “inflated”, “overstated”, “politicised” and “out of proportion”.
But the attacks in the press succeeded in sinking the study. Now, whenever a newspaper or broadcaster produces an estimate of civilian deaths, the Lancet report is passed over in favour of lesser figures. For the past three months, the editors and subscribers of the website Medialens have been writing to papers and broadcasters to try to find out why. The standard response, exemplified by a letter from the BBC’s online news service last week, is that the study’s “technique of sampling and extrapolating from samples has been criticised”. That’s true, and by the same reasoning we could dismiss the fact that 6 million people were killed in the Holocaust, on the grounds that this figure has also been criticised, albeit by skinheads. The issue is not whether the study has been criticised, but whether the criticism is valid.
(Source: The Guardian)
Sorry for the long quote. You should really read the whole article. Monbiot does an excellent job of cutting through our media’s lies, distortions and toadying to the American War Machine.
I’ve used the Lancet figure when writing these rants because it’s the only scientific study available, the only reliable set of figures. And after all, I can’t go by the US figures for casualities because, as Monbiot points out, they simply don’t care how many innocent civilians they slaughter, it’s not an issue for them. It seems US soldiers are too busy snapping pics of corpses to swap for online porn access to question the carnage around them.
We must ask ourselves: why is it okay to slaughter Iraqis? If our media grinds to a halt and marks the murder of 52 of our citizens, why doesn’t it care when literally tens of thousands are being murdered by the US military? Is it that violence perpetrated by states is okay? Well, no. Remember the furore over Tianamen Square? Our media hates certain states murdering people. Other states, friends of ours like Indonesia and America…. well, we just turn a blind eye to their little indiscretions, to the pools of blood they wade through.
It’s a simple point I’m making here, yet again: if it’s wrong for Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden to murder innocent people (which I adamantly believe it is), why is it right for Tony Blair and George Bush to murder innocent people?
If you start saying things like “all war has unfortunate casualties” or labelling anyone you shoot dead as a terrorist or insurgent, simply because you’ve killed them, where does that lead to? Surely Osama can then claim the people in the Twin Towers were “unfortunate casualties of war” or “infidels out to destroy our way of life and freedom.”
In all the hate mail I’ve had from loony, Bible-bashing Republicans and their dimwitted Tory relations, no-one has ever answered this basic point. Why is it okay for us to murder people but a crime when someone murders our citizens?
Why are our war crimes hidden? Why isn’t our mass media providing us with a clear picture of the slaughter in Iraq? In the last two days, why haven’t I seen a TV report about the fact that the US has used chemical weapons to attack Fallujah:
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumors have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.
In December the US government formally denied the reports, describing them as “widespread myths”. “Some news accounts have claimed that US forces have used ‘outlawed’ phosphorus shells in Fallujah,” the USinfo website said. “Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. US forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes.
“They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters.”
But now new information has surfaced, including hideous photographs and videos and interviews with American soldiers who took part in the Fallujah attack, which provides graphic proof that phosphorus shells were widely deployed in the city as a weapon.
In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: “I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it’s known as Willy Pete.
“Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone … I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for.”
(Source: The Independent)
Think of the misery the above attacks will have caused. Think of the anger and hatred they will create towards the West. Who’ll be in the line of fire when the inevitable backlash comes? Not Bush or Blair or Rice – they’ll be safe behind layers of governmental security.
It’ll be us, the innocent civilians, who will pay for the war crimes of our leaders with the blood of our families and friends. Bush and Blair, Bin Laden and Al Quaeda are using us as cannon fodder in their power games.
I was listening, thinking, this is a bit dull. Then I realised it couldn’t help but be dull if it’s pastiching Coldplay. Worth bearing with for the last verse about Keane and Thirteen Senses.
Where I would disagree is that not everything sounds like Coldplay. Absolute mainstream chart schmindie (also known as “music for people who don’t really like music but like to pop and buy 2 albums every year from HMV on their lunch breaks”) does, yep.
But then you have the slew of jagged, Gang of Four copyists. Or The Killers / Bravery forever trying to re-create ‘Careless Memories’ and failing miserably. This is balanced by everyone else “alternative” singing in that quavering post-emo, post-Bright Eyes manner. Bound to get worse now The Arcade Fire are supporting U2 and sponsored by Nike or whatever.
I’m sure Coldplay themselves are pissed-off with how much their ponderous indie style has been bitten. They seem like lovely blokes in all the interviews so I don’t wish them any ill, I just don’t like the music they make. In fact, here’s a friendly offer: for you next album, lads, get me in to produce it and I’ll guarantee no-one likes or buys it. We’ll take out all those catchy melodies you write, all the anthemic, poetic lyrics and replace them with SHARDS of challenging post-rock noise, y’know, really cutting-edge experimentalism, fit for a feature in The Wire. You’ll have total underground indie cred and zero sales. We’ll release it just on MiniDisc and DCC.
Agent Simple, rocking Cosy Den just a week and a bit ago… sniff…
Tonight’s top new tune has winged its way from fair Gothenburg to…um… the vast building site known as Derby. It was the insanely catchy ‘Make A Right At Jordsfallmotet’ by Agent Simple. It’s a stomping, strumming indie singalong that reminds me lyrically of Jonathan Richman, vocally of Calvin Johnson and musically of prime Joe Meek. As always with great music, it transcends those influences and becomes something new. But am I shitting you? Make up your own heads by clicking here and listening to the track yourself.
The best old tune was ‘Middle Of The Road’ by Denim. The older it gets, the more eerily prescient it sounds. No doubt about it, Lawrence is one hell of a songwriter.
Vous avez hoird:
Blackalicious – Excellent
Some By Sea – This Spot Is Reserved
Alex Smoke – Chica Wappa (Mejor Edit)
Bed – A New Start
Earth Crisis – New Ethic
Folie – Mnogo
The Perceptionists – Memorial Day
The Decemberists – Sixteen Military Wives
Denim – Middle Of The Road
Dark Vektor – Vektorial
Danger Doom – El Chupa Nibre
Agent Simple – Make A Right At Jordsfallmotet
Jamie Lidell – Multiply
Black Lipstick – Viva Max
Johnny Leyton – Johnny Remember Me
Riddle Of Steel – Baby Bird
2for5 – 100 Centre Street
Cats On Fire – Higher Grounds
Elected – Go On
Blockhead – Stop Motion Traffic
Rufus Wainwright – California
Aesop Rock – Zodiaccupuncture
Travis Stewart – Machine Drum Remix
Innaway – The Strings Of North Egg
Sibiria – Hat Tillbaks
Talib Kweli And Rakim – Getting Up Anthem (Dirty)
Ochre – Rem Sleep Research
Rogue Wave – Bird On A Wire
Wintersleep – Danse Macabre
Four Tet – No More Mosquitoes
A Tribe Called Quest – Excursions
The Lucksmiths – Camera-Shy
Andrew Gold – How Can This Be Love
Why? – Sanddollars
Refree – La Invasión De Los Cuerpos
José González – Lovestain