The Null Device
I've just been informed that Sydney indie band Swirl have officially broken up.
So what's happening then? Well firstly we should start by finally, officially letting you know that after 12 years in this crazy world of rock, Swirl have finally called it a day. Mind you this had pretty much been on the cards for a while. No major dramas or anything, but it was decided the we'd probably taken the band as far as it could go, and combined with the wide and varied commitments of each of us, trying to continue would be like flogging a dead horse really. We'd held off making an announcement until we were able to decide if doing a final show were feasible, but at the end of the day getting this off the ground was proving to be more and more difficult.
They started 12 years ago, and were sort of the Australian answer to the shoegazer movement, being rather fond of effects pedals, walls of shimmering noise and feedback-drenched rock-outs. Their finest album, IMHO, was 1994's The Last Unicorn. Last year's Light Fill My Room had its moments but was a bit overproduced and MOR in places. Though their live shows were always good.
Anyway, the various members of the band are now working on solo projects in home studios and/or in other bands (David's Unseen, Keira's Sex With Strangers and upcoming electronic solo project and Richard's brief tenure with Spurs for Jesus.) May be something to look out for.
Michael Moorcock on the poor state of English fantasy literature, and the similarities between Lord of the Rings and Winnie the Pooh, being steeped in the moribundly conservative values of restraint and conventionality of a nation in decline:
I sometimes think that as Britain declines, dreaming of a sweeter past, entertaining few hopes for a finer future, her middle-classes turn increasingly to the fantasy of rural life and talking animals, the safety of the woods that are the pattern of the paper on the nursery room wall. Old hippies, housewives, civil servants, share in this wistful trance; eating nothing as dangerous or exotic as the lotus, but chewing instead on a form of mildly anaesthetic British cabbage. If the bulk of American sf could be said to be written by robots, about robots, for robots, then the bulk of English fantasy seems to be written by rabbits, about rabbits and for rabbits.
(via bOING bOING)
Oh dear; is Microsoft about to buy Macromedia, turning Flash into part of the vast, amorphous Lovecraftian blob that is Windows? Mind you, Flash is wholly or partially proprietary as it is, and most Flash content tends to be annoying ads which either obscure your page until you've looked at the stupid little animation, or else freeze your browser until you stop your MP3 player so the ads on the page can play their audio, so I turn it off. Shame about the few badly designed sites which require Flash to have a "cool" navigation experience.