The Null Device
An addendum to the Swedish indie-pop post made yesterday: Jim tells me that government-funding of indie music does happen in Britain—in Wales:
Many of the small bands and record labels here are part-funded by the Welsh Language Board. Who knows what'll happen to that funding once the Welsh Language Board is shut down, folded into the rest of the Assembly by Rhodri Morgan's "Bonfire of the Quangos." But here's an example - the Board have just released the new "Dan y Cownter 2" CD, which anyone can have for free, showcasing 10 bands on 10 different labels. If you want a copy, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't even have to do it in Welsh. Review here. Sorry to sound like an advert, but it's an excellent thing.There is indeed a vibrant music scene in Wales (Jim played me some examples, from the early 1980s to the present day, when I was last in Aberystwyth, along with commentary and translations), and a lot happening there creatively, with both the eisteddfod tradition and local government funding helping.
Of course, the key difference between Welsh and Swedish indie pop is that the Swedes usually sing in English. I guess it helps that the English never colonised Sweden and tried to extinguish its language.
Research published yesterday shows that men who went to single-sex schools are significantly more likely to be divorced by their early forties. Which, presumably, is a result of lack of socialisation with the opposite sex in adolescence damaging mens' relationship skills required to sustain long relationships.
Figures show 37 per cent of men from boys-only comprehensives are divorced by the time they reach the age of 42 - compared with just 28 per cent from co-educational schools.Interestingly enough, women who went to single-sex schools do not suffer any similar effect.