The Cut Season 2 Episode 15

Is it sensible to ignore a huge breaking news event, given that any response we give is liable to raise hackles?

Yes, Readership, we believe it is.

In this week’s ep, Britfunk and Prog bump up against a very large synthesiser. We look at the quiet still point of a noir classic and wonder just what the heck is up with Trump and Musk. And is Trump and Musk a fragrance brand we should look to market?

This time is adjacent to the place in which you will find The Cut.

Let’s begin with a confession from the Music Desk, who are to a person hoary old rockers and psych heads. This does not, we freely admit, lead to a nuanced and empathetic coverage of the wider musical spectrum. What can we say? On the wages The Cut offer, you get what you give. Therefore, a mea culpa—in our formative years we were violently dismissive and therefore horribly wrong about 80s Britfunk. Nowadays, with ears and minds suitably broadened, we can hear how refreshing, bold and forward-looking the music of bands like Freeez and Hi-Tension was. We’re slow, but we get there.

Phew. That was cathartic. Let’s give the Music Desk a break and let them focus on a subject closer to their bailiwick. To be precise, a character for whom the word ‘interesting’ has only become more accurate over time…

Our final Music Desk link comes from the fine folk at Look Mum, No Computer, who offer a look at one big old heck of a synthesiser. We’d love to get up close and personal with this wall of sound…

Over to the Book Desk. If you’re hoping for a deep dive into some contemporary lit or histfic or even romance, we’re afraid you’re seriously out of luck. Nope, we’re skiffilicious this go around. In this first link, we invite The New Atlantis to run us all through Iain M. Banks’ Culture books. Star Trek fans may also find points of interest in a post-scarcity society with a bit of a dark side.

The Ambiguous Utopia of Iain M. Banks

John Scalzi is as entertaining on his blog and Twitter feed as in his brilliant novels—irascible, scatalogical and hilarious. An equal chunk of fun comes when he offers up the podium to other voices. On Whatever (yes, really) Oliver K. Langmead grabs an opportunity to large up his new novel and the Big Idea within. We love the notion of hyperobjects, which means we think you will too…

Donald Trump is launching his own social network. We’ll take a second to let that sentence settle in. While we’re sure The Cheeto King thinks all he has to do is snap his tiny fingers for a viable rival to Twitbook and Facebot preloaded with adoring followers to thunder out of the gates, the truth is, we’re delighted to report, a leeetle more complimacated. Especially if the people you need to make the darn thing work just aren’t that keen on taking the orange dollar…

Michael Mann’s first movie, Thief, turns forty this year. This is a depressing metric which we’ll pass over in the chance to celebrate a brilliant piece of cinema. This Film School Rejects bit dials into one key scene, which won’t be the last time Mann chooses to let the focal point of a film land as two people talking in a diner.

An Ode to the Diner Scene in Michael Mann’s ‘Thief’

Comics, as none other than the King Jack Kirby pointed out, will break your heart. The Ninth Art has always been a space where hucksters, gobshites and conmen run free. The biggest companies in the business are notorious for scamming the talent which created their most valuable properties out of a fair share of the profits—or indeed any share at all. Sadly, sharp practice is still a big part of the funny-book world. It’s only become more blatant.

And finally. We could not resist sharing this Current Affairs post on the man who more than any other has embraced the sobriquet ‘mad genius’ and gone HOG DADDY WILD with it. Elon. Dude. Dial it back a couple of notches, mmmkay?

Right then. To prove we have our finger on the pulse of the youngs (after first checking that we have one ourselves) we give the Exit Music slot over to Dry Cleaning. They are both lairy and controlled, poetic and bawdy, flatly delivered and balls out rockin. We find them pleasing, and trust you do too. Chances are we’re behind the curve on this one and Dry Cleaning are already last year’s news but as we pointed out earlier, it took us the best part of forty years to catch up with Britfunk. LOOK WE’RE TRYIN’ HERE, OK?

See you next Saturday, hepcats.

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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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