Print Story They have travelled the world with the ice cream van
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 09:21:22 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter", "The KLF". Links.


What I'm Reading
The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt. Norwegian comic novel about a harassed, eccentric academic and mother struggling to cope with office politics and the demands of parenting.

I liked the over-the-top satire of academic politics, which were reminiscent of David Lodge. In particular her cough-syrup-dazed trip to Russia in a haze a paranoia was brilliant.

The parenting stuff has some nice bits of observational comedy, but her parenting life and housing "problems" seemed so paradisiacal compared to mind I found it hard to sympathize.

Overall, fairly amusing, not that brilliant.

What I'm Reading 2
The KLF by John Higgs. Not a typical music biography. It's about the band known as the KLF, the K Foundation, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the Timelords, or the JAMs, focussing mostly on Bill Drummond. Higgs starts by asking the question of why they burned a million pounds in cash after leaving the music industry: something they themselves claimed not to understand. He painstakingly acknowledges the consensus view "because they're a pair of attention-seeking arseholes" but considers some other options too.

It's a fascinating story. Drummond started off in the punk movement. After playing some music himself Drummond became manager of Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes, and spent some time working in the established music industry.

In the Eighties as part of the KLF-y bands they did experimental early hip-hop and sampling tracks. (Higgs is refreshingly honest about how incredibly shit most of this sounded). They annoyed the music industry by blatantly ripping off not just small samples but huge chunks of Abba and WHitney Houston on their records. As the Timelords they stumbled in to a novelty hit "Doctorin' the Tardis". FOr the benefit of youngsters Higgs explains that Doctor Who was incredibly uncool at this point as the series stumbled towards cancellation with Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford. There's a long, great, digression where he credits the KLF with reviving Doctor Who.

The KLF rode this success to catchy, successful "perfect" dance-pop records like "What Time is Love", while being independent of record labels and contemptuous of the industry. Invited to the Brit Awards they tried to subvert it with a hard metal performance and then maching-gunning the audience with blanks. They then left the music industry, failed to break into the art industry as the K Foundation, then burned the money and went quiet.

Though they're usually portrayed as master manipulators out to get rich, Higgs regards them as sincerely eccentric to the point of being insane. That seems to be the opinion of many people who actually know them.

I thought this was a fascinating book, not just for the KLF but for the complex web of influences from Alan Moore to Doctor Who to the Illuminatus Trilogy. Absolutely worth reading.

Quietus Review.

Links
Socioeconomics. Everything the Market Thinks About Inflation Might Be Wrong.

Pics. Colorised photo of Catalonian anarchists in the 1930s. WW1 Sound Finders, More.

Video. Phobos and Deimos eclipse.

Politics. Whence comes legitimacy? Who are you in 1917 Russia.

Random. Fairy wind rescue spell. Man accused of being paedophile after police typo. Super antics of the Justice League, via.

Articles. Fifth Element revisited.

< UTB | Chinese Braised Beef >
They have travelled the world with the ice cream van | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
The KLF always struck me as genuine. by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 10:30:51 AM EST
Here and there I got a hint of Drummond doing or saying something more for effect than anything else, but in the end it all seemed consistent with a kind of consummate surrealism paired with self-awareness.

Maybe surrealism isn't the right word. The deep impression is artistic awareness and unconventionalism, resulting in a kind of success or at least proficiency you don't usually see in that space.

Chill out, snowflake.

There was a Guardian profile 20 years ago by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 01:43:51 PM EST
Where they struck me as truly haunted over burning the money. I believe in them.

Also, I need to find a link to their book on how to make a number 1. That's pretty clearly sincere. What kind of sincere, I don't know, but it's a book. Full of advice.

[ Parent ]
I read that, it was good. /nt by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 02:08:14 PM EST


Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
Here you go - "The Manual" by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 2) #9 Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 02:28:45 AM EST
http://freshonthenet.co.uk/the-manual-by-the-klf/

Their thoughts on what makes a hit are still relevant today. The rest is a great slice of humdrum life in mid 80s England.



[ Parent ]
Excellent read! by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 01:43:11 PM EST

--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I heard The Queen and I on the local alternative by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 12:31:25 PM EST
radio station, and got obsessed with finding out the artist and song, as I only heard a few minutes of it. I figured no one would believe me that I heard a song that sounded like Donald Duck rapping over Abba unless I could pull of the song on youtube.

And then I found out that they also did Doctorin' the Tardis.


pretty sure the money burning was a stunt by gmd (4.00 / 2) #5 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 07:30:39 PM EST
a troll on the media, but fair play to them if it was real. 

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
It was a stunt by priestess (4.00 / 2) #7 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 07:34:47 PM EST
But it was a stunt that involved burning a million quid.

I think they expected to be able to sell the ashes for more than a million, if they so desired.

Pre...........
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Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
According to the book by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 12:04:48 AM EST
There's solid evidence that they did actually burn it.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
23 years is almost up! by priestess (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Mar 13, 2017 at 07:32:56 PM EST
I thought that book was pretty brilliant when I read it a while back. And I stared with a vague dislike of Bill Drummond coz of how he come off vs Julian Cope in Cope's autobio "Head On".

There was rumour that the KLF are actually going to do something again this year, it being the 23 years since that ending that they promised they'd be silent for.

I look forward to seeing what it may be, but have tired practising the kind of magicks described by them in the books and I'm not rich enough to burn anything more than a US dollar usually.

Pre...........
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Chat to the virtual me...

The inflation article was interesting by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 12:28:45 PM EST
Thanks for posting that. I've definitely been a member of the group saying, "Well, all these deficits, all this money printing, sooner or later inflation will happen and it will be bad", and no one has been able to offer a theory as to why it hasn't happened yet. 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
It has, by gmd (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Mar 14, 2017 at 12:42:12 PM EST
Look at nominal stock prices 

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Well it certainly isn't showing up by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 10:04:34 AM EST
That is because by gmd (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 06:06:32 PM EST
everything is going as planned. 

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Well, yes by Herring (4.00 / 2) #16 Thu Mar 16, 2017 at 01:29:22 PM EST
If you look at the share of GDP that goes on wages, it has been falling for the last few decades.

There is a lot of money about, but the plebs don't have it. That money will seek returns - be it in equities, commodities, property, whatever.

So the general measure of inflation - stuff that the plebs buy - looks low despite the increase in the overall money supply.

This must be a first - agreeing with gmd.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Oh, I agree, too. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 2) #17 Thu Mar 16, 2017 at 05:44:06 PM EST
It's one of the reasons I would get so annoyed with people talking about the stock market and the unemployment numbers and bragging about Obama's great economy.

 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I just want to say that by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Mar 16, 2017 at 01:09:44 AM EST
I unapologetically love everything about the KLF. That is all.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

They have travelled the world with the ice cream van | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback