Tag Archives: Crass

Little Annie’s diary, part 6: Living on the farm, as opposed to buying it

In which our guest blogger, Little Annie, regales us with tales from her unpublished biography.  In this chapter, the little lady from New York travels far far away across the ocean to take up residence with a gang of British anarchist hippie punks called Crass.  They call her “Annie Anxiety”.

Me. Then.

TEETERING DOWN the single file country ‘road’ that snaked its way to Crass’ Epping Forest home in my faux Frederick’s of Hollywood stilettos and dragging my equally glitzy chi-chi drag behind me, I may not have been the quintessential ugly American, but I was definitely the quintessential inappropriately dressed one. As the country lane turned into a path through a mud-slicked cow yard, I couldn’t help but wonder where this incredibly hip-and-happening second English Explosion Jammy Wonderland that all the knuckleheads back in New York were always yapping about was. Just as I was figuring that I was the butt of a very expensive and complicated episode of Candid Camera, the smoky-eyed, Jean Seberg-cropped Crass vocalist, Eve Libertine, drove up and rescued my quintessential daft ass. As we pulled up to the sixteenth-century former labourer’s cottage in Eve’s old blue Mini, its soft beauty knocked me out. Some members of Crass had found this once uninhabitable wreck many years ago, seen its potential and rented it from the farmer, who thought they were crazy, hence the ridiculously affordable rent. Hard work had turned this crumbling structure into a House and Garden – worthy Zen dream, and one that was more or less obscured by beautiful lush vegetation. Inside was equally impressive, immaculately clean and lovingly handcrafted. It was paradise, except for one little thing – it was in the country.

I had believed from the conversations with Steve (Ignorant) I had back in New York that they all lived in some sort of English version of the projects. In one of his letters, he had spoken of everyone sitting around in the garden. I just assumed he had meant a vacant lot or basketball court. I mean this was rural with a capital W, and I’m just not down with the country groove. It scares the hell outta me. Country life is all about the natural order: the cyclical process of growth and decay, sowing and harvest, waxing and waning. Children raised in rural areas grow with a firm comprehension of birth and death. City children have no such acceptance. We beat death by aspiring toward immortality by becoming drug addicts, boxers and movie stars. Continue reading

Web Shop Roundup For July

Music Lovers! Summer is always a quiet time in Musicland… everyone is too busy getting out of their skull at big festivals to bother with new releases. But the mailorder elves of Southern are slaving away as hard as ever. We bring you some exciting news on new releases this month from Yob, Boris and Dead Raven Choir. But that’s not all! We’ve also been having a good, old (belated) Spring clean and we have dug up a veritable treasure chest of out-of-stock rarities, relics and some little pieces of outsider music history to put a smile on everyone’s face! Read on!

New Releases – Shipping 2nd August

You can pre-order all these goodies now. Continue reading

Vice: the Crassest of them all?

Penny Rimbaud in Vice Do's and Don'ts
from Vice magazine online

If you’re not familiar with Vice magazine… well, get yourself on over to Wikipedia. Like Marmite, Vice is an instant room divider.  A crowd will gravitate to one corner, decrying their approach as shallow, fashion-fixated, culturally regressive and just plain offensive.  A louder, possibly drunk contingent will hold ground in the middle of the room bellowing at everyone to shutthefuckup because itsjustafuckinglaugh.  Still more will sulk about on the settee, mumbling about cutting-edge journalism. And a few will linger by the door, logging on to Twitter to find out what they’re meant to think about it.

Probably the most widely derided, and of course therefore, most popular feature in Vice is their Do’s And Don’ts column.  The concept is of course as old as criticism itself – take random photographs and use them to illustrate the various triumphant victories and fumbling faux pas of … well, anything … but most entertainingly, fashion.  Vice took this concept and made it as acerbic and acrimonious as possible, while striving hard to maintain the judgemental values of a white suburban teenage boy.  The fact that being a classed as Do is seemingly no more redemptive than being branded a Don’t is a clue to the column’s real intentions.  It’s cruel, vulgar, and hysterical.  Unless of course you take yourself too seriously.

This week Vice published the above entry in their Do’s and Don’ts.  When reposted on the Facebook page for Crass fans, it immediately garnered that predictable room-dividing effect.  Unfortunately, not many of the posters got the joke.  The Winnie The Pooh-faced punter is indeed Penny Rimbaud, founder (along with Steve Ignorant) of Crass.  Christ only knows where he got the jacket, it’s certainly not his, but he clearly participated in the prank.  In fact Penny has collaborated several times in the past with Vice, in particular its UK editor Andy Capper, for whom he is known to have great admiration.  The interviews he did with Ian Svenonius for Vice’s VBS online television series are particularly worth watching.

As was said on Facebook… it’s Monday.  Have a giggle.

Eve Libertine premieres new collaboration with Mark Webber

June 25th sees the world premier of Listen, Little Man!, a new work by legendary punk/jazz chanteuse Eve Libertine and maverick electronic artist Mark Webber. Drawing on the writings and research of Wilhelm Reich this is a semi-improvised performance for voice and signal generators with back-projected, scrolling graphic score.

Libertine was one of the two female vocalists in Crass. Her works with the band include the controversial single “Reality Asylum”, as well as performing most of the vocals on the group’s third album, Penis Envy (1981), the lyrics of which have a heavy feminist content.

After the dissolution of Crass in 1984, Libertine has worked with her guitarist son Nemo Jones, performance artist A-Soma, trained as a classical singer, performed as part of Crass Agenda/Last Amendment with Penny Rimbaud, Matt Black (of Coldcut), Christine Tobin, Julian Siegel, Ingrid Laubrock, Nabil Shaban, Kate Shortt and others. In 2004 Crass Agenda released a recording of Penny Rimbaud’s Savage Utopia, a jazz and breakbeats based composition intended as a critique of consumerism and post-9/11 American culture, on which she performs vocals along with A-Soma and Christine Tobin.

Libertine held her first exhibition of artwork, entitled Head On, at the 96 Gillespie gallery in London in September 2005. She has designed album sleeves for releases by Christine Tobin and Partisans.

Mark Webber (b1965) is an electronic artist who has worked in experimental music, performance and film for the past 25 years. His eclectic back catalogue includes works such as the video portrait Sunayani (Sonic Arts Network), the live tape work Concrète Jungle (Henry Moore Institute) and Four White Walls (Opera North) a chamber opera for five singers and electronics.

Listen, Little Man! is a performance for voice, signal generators and video. Drawing directly on the writings and research of Dr. Wilhelm Reich it represents a new creative partnership between Mark and Eve. The pair are already working on an operatic adaptation of Charlotte Gilman Perkins’ The Yellow Wallpaper for voices, electronics and animation, to be staged late 2011.

25th June at Les Atelier Claus, Brussels, Belgium
Based on “Listen Little Man” a book written by Wilhelm Reich in 1945.
Electronics…….. Mark Webber
Voice…………… Eve Libertine