Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Music Category
Fyre Festival: Burning Down the House

Fyre Festival: Burning Down the House

  • January 26, 2019
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I wasn’t aware of the 2017 Fyre Festival till I watched Netflix’s new documentary last night, and it was fairly jawdropping and astonishing viewing.   It would be disingenuous of me to deny that there’s something morbidly satisfying about watching thousands of rich narcissists arrive on a Caribbean island for a non-existent festival, only to find themselves trapped in a mini JG Ballard-meets-William Goldman dystopia.

It’s the stuff of a certain kind of fiction, but it’s also a very 21st century tale which began in December 2016, when a conman/charlatan named William McFarland began to organise...

Lou Reed: In Memoriam

  • October 28, 2013
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At the age of 71, Lou Reed has died relatively young, but he lasted a lot longer than he or many other people might have expected, given his formidable intake of heroin and alcohol.   His songs and music were a part of my life for a very long time.     As a teenager...

Hats Off to Nic Jones!

  • September 28, 2013
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I’ve been reading a lot of pretty grim stuff about war recently, in connection with a book that I’m working on.     This is in addition to the routine 21st century carnage that has been unfolding back and forth across the world over the last week.       So it was a welcome...

It’s only teenage wasteland: pop culture’s vapid dreamworld

  • February 21, 2012
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When you’re in your mid-50s, you can’t help noticing that time’s winged chariot is hurtling towards you a little faster than you would like.   So every other day I dutifully trudge off to the gym and hit the machines in an attempt to slow down its progress a little.

Unfortunately, some genius had the...

Etta James RIP

  • January 21, 2012
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In terms of its ability to stir the emotions, there is nothing like the singing voice, and  that power has never been dependent on technical proficiency.  There are a lot of singers with great voices who fail to evoke or generate any emotion at all.   Like Alexandra Burke singing Leonard Cohen’s...

David Cameron: music lover

  • January 03, 2012
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As a big Gillian Welch/David Rawlings fan I was surprised to read recently that David and Samantha Cameron attended the concert by the awesome duo in London last November.   On one level it suggests that the Camerons at least have good taste, and that unlike Tony Blair, their tastes are not calculated to...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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