Right then. Another week, another appalling clusterfukc of decade-defining events crashing into each other like horny bulls in the crockery department of a soon-to-be-shuttered Debenhams. So much noise. So much mess.
You know what state the news is in. Let’s kick back, crack open the first of several bottles and slide into a different state of mind. Here is the place, now is the time. This is The Cut.
We start with a couple of movie links. We have to admit Andy Sidaris is a new one on us. Even now, we’re not sure his films would be entirely to our taste, and we love violent 80s cheese. However, you have to admire any film-maker that finds his or her oeuvre and sticks to it, no matter the criticism.
Back in 2010 Excuses And Half Truths ran a set of posts about the three defining elements of science fiction set design—the corridor, the door and most importantly, the chair (you can check that blast from the past out here, apols for the broken pic links). The glorious and, by definition, exceedingly geeky site Film And Furniture recently featured a deep dive into the way cutting-edge homeware design often finds a space (excuse pun please) in la cinema fantastique. Do have a look, there’s some choice future seating solutions to be found in here.
A couple of music links. We were saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Priest, bass player for that most under-appreciated of glam rock bands, The Sweet. Steve was the prototypical ‘hod-carrier in make-up’, the sort of bloke you’d watch your mouth around, even when he was dressed in skin-tight glitter pants and a feather boa. Especially because yadda yadda etc. He embraced the skewed delights of glam in a big meaty bear-hug. If even Bowie tells you to tone the slap down a bit, you know you’re onto something…
We were more heartened to read this piece on the mighty Blixa Bargeld, late of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. His band Einsturzende Neubauten have always been a refreshing blast of noise, heat, light and rubble. Their new album is no middle-aged compromise, although Blixa’s anguished howl has matured into a rich, dark baritone. There’s a great live version of Where The Wild Roses Grow where he takes Kylie’s vocal part. It’s delightfully odd.
Feeling hungry? We’re skewing heavy on the food links this week, so belly up to the table and let’s get to it. First up, the terrible dilemma facing those of us who, rather than embracing the culinary opportunities of lockdown are suffering more than ever—because they simply can’t cook.
This piece by Stephanie Shih on feeding yourself in times of protest is both moving and powerful. You can’t just feed your belly with rage when you’re down on the streets.
One from Bon Appetit, who we really hope work through their own set of difficult times and learn from some pretty egregious mistakes. This, on restaurant owner Tomme Beevas and his survival strategy during chaotic times is a prime example of really good, thoughtful and inclusive food writing.
The Cut is a sucker for Garden And Gun, despite the aspirational style of a magazine that could come across as a Southern take on Tatler. Once you get past the over-eggy descriptions of beautiful plantation homes there is some genuinely great writing. This, on Latria Graham’s losing battle to save her family farm in South Carolina, is elegaic and ultimately heartbreaking.
Let’s lighten the mood a little, although for some this may be one step closer to a cardio-vascular incident. One trend we hope not to see again as restaurants reopen is serving food on things that are not plates. Creativity in presentation is one thing. When you can’t easily eat the dinner you have paid good money for because it’s hanging off an antler or dolloped into a pint pot… well, that’s a different kettle of fish. Which reminds us. WHO EATS FISH FROM A KETTLE?!
Anyway, this Bored Panda listicle starts almost reasonably before going off-piste and soon after off a cliff. Take a few deep, calming breaths and dive in.
Closing out our food section, this Serious Eats post on the fairy tale Strega Nona is rightfully, hilariously furious on unsauced pasta. Some butter, pepper and cheese at the very least, right?
A quick stop at the comic stand. Our Ninth Art correspondent writes…
The 1967 Spider-Man animated series was regularly repeated on Saturday morning TV when I was a youngun (those of you tempted to comment that there was no such thing as telly in the 1860s should hold their goddam counsel). Even back then I was drawn to its outright psychedelic oddness. This Youtube video essay digs into the background and offers up evidence to show it’s more than just meme-fodder. It may in fact be the purest interpretation of Golden Age Marvel yet!
Sticking with Marvel, this strip on The Nib by comics artist Ronald Wimberley digs into how the job of colourist can sometimes be about more than making sure Spidey’s underoos are the right shade of crimson. This is nicely done, with a killer punchline.
Onto the home straight, Readership, as we dig through the miscellanea we couldn’t jam in anywhere else.
If like us you’re a computer user of a certain age (mentions of Babbage’s Difference Engine from the back row are not welcome) these papercraft versions of classic old boxes will get your nostalgia gland twanging hard (or that’s just the angina playing up). Simply print, cut, fold and glue! Special kudos for throwing a truly delightful Conion boombox into the mix. Now here’s a quick project for the end of lockdown.
For those moments when you fancy a boxset binge but you just don’t have the patience, here’s an edit of every episode of Parks And Recreation. Well, one second of every episode. You still get a good hit of the flavour, we think.
And yes, finally. How’s the hair? Did you succumb to the lockdown buzzcut? Are you instead choosing to let your freak flag fly high, unfurling your antennae and letting the cosmic vibrations tingle at you? Here at The Cut there’s nothing we want more than–well, a cut! Until the heady day arrives, this reminder of past glories at the legendary Cuts salon is so evocative you can almost smell the wax. Some great shots in here.
Our Exit Music this week is a bracing blast of folk punk from Boston’s own Dropkick Murphys. The boys did a hometown gig at Fenway Park stadium recently to raise funds for local charities, which would have been full to the rafters if it wasn’t for That Goddam Situation. Playing to an empty room, the Murphys still raised the roof. They’re joined for a rollicking version of American Land by a special guest from Freehold, New Jersey. Turn this one right up.
That’s us for another week. As ever, the world changes with every spin round the axis. It’s a wild time to be alive, which makes our job that much easier and difficult at the same time. So much crazy stuff to pick and share. The Cut is born as our reaction and coping mechanism to strange tides and weather. It’s helping us a lot. We hope it’s helping you too. Stay as sweet as you are, Readership. See you in seven.