For us lefties in the Antipodes, the last four days have been pretty fucking depressing. In case you didn’t know, we had an election on Saturday and the Lying Rodent (aka John Howard, the leader of the conservative Liberal Party, our equivalent of the Tories or Republicans) got re-elected with an increased majority. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it looks like his party are within a whisker of getting control of both houses of parliament, so they'll be able to push through a whole raft of right wing death beast legislation that will gut workers’ rights, clear the way for regime-friendly tycoons like Murdoch and Packer to own every major media outlet (and thus snuff out voices of dissent), and sell off the last remaining public interest in our national telco, Telstra (Say goodbye to decent phone services if you live in the bush!)
To do this though, they may have to make deals with a shadowy fundamentalist Christian party called Family First. On the bright side, these god-botherers have indicated that they won’t automatically support the sale of Telstra or the watering down of media ownership laws… But the odds are they'll horse trade, and I shudder to think what they’ll want in return for giving those laws a leg up. After all, these people are the sort of creepy nutjobs who call mosques “strongholds of Satan”, and advocate the burning of lesbians at the stake…
In this world gone grim with a capital G, one of my few recent comforts has been the news that one of my favourite ever bands, Slint, is reforming. You probably already know about these guys. In 1991, they brought out an album called “Spiderland” that pretty much spawned post-rock (and IMO was never bettered by any of the sprawling opuses that that genre gave us.) The reformation seems to have come about as a result of the band members agreeing to curate next year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, where they’ll be performing for the first time in a decade… Oh well, at least, if I decide to take a break from the brave new Rightist Paradise in the South Pacific, I’ll be able to go and see a decent gig somewhere… Here’s a page full of Slint live recordings from the Transmission 3000 website.
(FOOTNOTE: You can supposedly buy a CD of this live performance, but don’t do it – no money from it goes into the band’s pockets. Instead, head on over to Amazon and purchase either Spiderland, Tweez, or the unnamed single.)