Summertime Sadness

March 30, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Summertime Sadness (by Lana Del Ray) (written by Lana Del Ray and Rick Nowels; released June 2012)           [As Miranda famously said, “the end of summer is like someone dying.” This elegiac fable of doomed, dying lovers is brilliant and beautiful, a kind of pop “Gloomy Sunday” with an Ennio Morricone-spaghetti-western feel. Sensational.] x

Continue Reading →

Bottling the Acid

March 29, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE |
"Wait till you hear what THIS says.." (artist: G. Cades circle)

"Wait till you hear what THIS says.." (artist: G. Cades circle)

(3 ways to cope with “flaming” online) The ‘interweb thingey’ has turned us all into publishers. Unfortunately, much material published on the world wide web desperately needs decent editing. Furthermore, the relative anonymity of social media platforms can attract the kind of thuggish commentary more suited to the Stanford Prison Experiment. For example, let’s say a website offering goods or services has a list of Google Reviews.  People like ‘social proof’ so these reviews are read as a priority, and if enough positive feedback is on display, it may lead to a decision to click-and-buy. But what if you get a no-star…

Continue Reading →

More Than Naught

March 25, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

25 March 1977: Stiff Records release Elvis‘ first single, the incendiary Less Than Zero, a bitter snipe at British fascist leader Oswald Mosley. This was the song he famously terminated early on ‘Saturday Night Live’, since it would have gone over American heads at that stage (later he uncorked a ‘Dallas’ version of the song, with lyrics more suitable to U.S. audiences). It was described variously as “a trebly hybrid of ska and garage punk“* and “a crunchy anthem to nothingness.“** Elvis thinks it might have been the song he was playing when he was arrested for obstructing a footpath and ‘causing…

Continue Reading →

Béla Bartok

March 25, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera |

Béla Bartok (25 March 1881 – 26 September 1945) only wrote one opera (as did Beethoven) but it was a beaut.  Bluebeard’s Castle (1918) was based on the grim fairy tale by Perrault about the Duke with skeletons in the cupboard (literally). It’s a timeless theme of wiles, deceit and blood-letting that has attracted our interest as a trope previously. In this operetta however, there’s no bloody chamber but a lot of nasty foreboding, atmospherics created almost solely by Bartok’s spiky music.  Instead of being a killer, he’s a collector.  His (apparently complicit) former wives have, according to Bluebeard, “gathered all my riches….

Continue Reading →

The Night Manager

March 23, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Susanne Bier) (2016) Once upon a time, John le Carré wrote an excellent book that was made into an excellent film, The Spy Who came in from the Cold.  Alas for John, the Cold War ended.  Since then, he’s been grumpily looking for an appropriate villain, and railed interminably in vapid fashion against untrammeled capitalism, a crusade revealed in a series of highly lucrative books, films and TV series. In The Night Manager, a 6-part serial adapted from the Carré novel by David Farr, a hotel desk-jockey, Jonathan Pine (the fervently wholesome Tom Hiddleston) decides to take on international armaments dealer Richard…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.