music

China’s Metrosexual Crackdown

China’s ruling Communist Party has reportedly finally had enough of impossible male prettiness, and is cracking down on the promotion of metrosexuality. ‘Sissy’ boybands, ‘vulgar’ social media influencers, reality TV and ‘abnormal esthetics’ have been denounced by China’s mighty broadcast regulator, The National Radio and Television Administration. They have, according to this report, correctly identified some of the main vectors of metrosexuality in their moralising campaign to make China uglier: ‘An emphasis was placed on banning “immoral” stars, in particular, “resolutely putting an end to… Read More »China’s Metrosexual Crackdown

Mark Mothersbaugh’s Mutation

Mark Simpson meets Mr Devo turned Mutato (Details magazine, 1998) Before the First World War, a bunch of Italian avant-gardistes called the Futurists, who didn’t get out much and got turned on by steam trains, thought technology offered the possibility of a revolution in human consciousness and believed that artists should produce propaganda which encouraged people to break with the past, abandon traditional forms and syntax and wear silly hats.  Before the Third World War, a bunch of Ohion avant-gardistes called Devo, who didn’t get… Read More »Mark Mothersbaugh’s Mutation

Sex in the Park

Rummaging around in an old hard drive one lockdown, I found this review (for Details ) of the Sex Pistols’ Finsbury Park reunion gig – a quarter of a century ago. Ah! The summer of ’96! When they were so young! And when gigs – and life – still existed…. In those rancid gift shoppes, where American tourists stock up on their London Bus paperweights and Houses of Parliament ashtrays, there are three types of (fading) postcards available: guardsman in their quaint busby hats outside… Read More »Sex in the Park

The Importance of Being Adam Ant

Elise Moore takes a close, loving look at the protean punkster pop star’s masterfully submissive manipulation of sexual imagery – and his wet shorts (special guest post) As a Canadian born in 1975, I knew essentially nothing about Adam Ant until this year. I don’t even have the faintest recollection of “Goody Two Shoes,” his one big U.S. hit, or “Stand and Deliver,” the one everyone in the UK remembers. I do have a vague recollection of “Room at the Top,” which was a U.S.… Read More »The Importance of Being Adam Ant

Prince Charming – Adam Ant’s Pop Apotheosis

Some years back I posted a piece called ‘The Prettiest Punk’, about the most fetching three minute wonders. Scandalously, Adam Ant appeared nowhere in the list. Perhaps this oversight was an unconscious censorship – because otherwise none of the other candidates would have stood a chance. Or more likely down to the fact I was born a bit late for punk and so only remembered Adam Ant in his much more successful, much more made-up new romantic ‘dandy highwayman’ phase, which twas technically new wave… Read More »Prince Charming – Adam Ant’s Pop Apotheosis