Posts tagged "London"
Revolutionary Genoa

Revolutionary Genoa

London gets too much credit. Whenever right-wing Israel advocates complain about hotbeds of Palestinian solidarity politics, they look no further. Perhaps its because the British capital is guilty as charged. Or maybe it’s due to a fear of finding out how widespread support for the Palestinian cause actually is, throughout western Europe. More»

Ruts Never Sleeps

Ruts Never Sleeps

Drummer David Ruffy and bassist John “Segs” Jennings peer out of the poster announcing a German tour this past weekend for their legendary punk-reggae band Ruts DC as members of a unique club within the first-wave punk generation. Theirs is one of the few bands that has endured the slings of mortality during both their salad days and in their later revival years. More»

Cold War Minds

Cold War Minds

The Cold War was an asymmetric struggle. While communism did not form the monolithic bloc that its liberal democratic critics claimed, the breadth of overt political contestation was kept to a minimum. In the leading liberal capitalist states, by contrast, partisans of a range of political views, from Stalinism to fascism, engaged in intense, multivalent ideological competition. More»

Karl Marx Ambient

Karl Marx Ambient

It’s a European Austin. A frequent proclamation, found in numerous pieces of promotional literature and newspaper articles touting the reunified German capital’s virtues – sometimes as a musical mecca, other times as a technology hub – the comparison is an annoying one. Not because there aren’t parallel arts and technology communities in the city. Rather, because it’s inaccurate. More»

God in London

God in London

Christians could be a minority by 2018, census analysis reveals. So read The Guardian headline, two weeks before Christmas. By no means the first such prominently-featured title of its kind, I took a second look, wondering if I was seeing things. Fortunately, I wasn’t. Not that I have anything against Christians. But, the idea that there could be a Western country in which Christianity is on the decline, is  a novel one. More»

Edible Multiculturalism

Edible Multiculturalism

“If more people eat here, they’ll be nicer to Jews.” So my father was fond of saying, whenever he’d bring my brother and I to Guys and Dolls, one of London’s first Israeli fast food joints. The hummus was excellent, the shawarma was even better. Thirty years later, London is sprawling with falafel places. More»

It's All About Locale

It’s All About Locale

You didn’t want to listen to it. That is, the song you hear repeatedly in your head, untethered from your iPod, and your CD collection. Overheard in an elevator, or while shopping, such sounds have a colonizing effect. We hear it during our most private moments. We think about it when we try to script our own musical sensibilities. Everything about our sonic imaginary is defined in relation to it. More»

Their Eyes Were Watching Gaza

Their Eyes Were Watching Gaza

Europe can be lonely for Israelis. Particularly during campaigns against the Palestinians. In between the anti-war demonstrations, the flyers and the graffiti, there is a perennial sense of favoritism, which many translate as anti-Semitism. Why else would they (the British, the Italians, etc.) always ignore Israel’s suffering? What about the rockets? More»

Brixton as Genre

Brixton as Genre

“Drum and bass, dub, roots and culture.” To anyone used to shopping in Brixton Market, the loop is as familiar as a Jamaican patty. Recited for hours on end by a street rep equivalent for London’s University of Dub, the promoter has a lock on the genres the locals prefer, not to mention a rotating cast of first class artists to pitch. More»

Looking for Change

Looking for Change

They call it “poverty porn.” Published in The Guardian, an August 14th feature discloses the results of an Advertising Standards Authority survey, warning British charities against using severe imagery in adverts intended to highlight homelessness. Accordingly, using photos of compromised persons constitutes “shock tactics” that risk “exploiting” their subjects, and putting off the public. More»

Ignoring Agent Orange

Ignoring Agent Orange

Soon the Great British Olympic moment will be over. The closing ceremony was held last weekend. This year’s Paralympics will be finished by early September. By the turn of the season, the magic will finally have faded. The nature of the legacy left in its wake, for London in general and the people of Newham in particular, remains to be decided (NB: some locals have already complained about being short-changed.) More»

Dub Step to Roots and Culture

Dub Step to Roots and Culture

Alongside the Olympics, London is currently bursting with activity celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. The all-star mega-big Respect Jamaica 50th Festival enters its second week at the nearby Indigo2, sporting a roster that includes everyone from Jimmy Cliff and U-Roy to Maxi Priest and Shaggy. More»