On Sarah Jarosz And The Long Tail

One of the odder manifestations of living in 2017 is the sheer amount of good music that would simply have been unavailable two decades ago.
Daughter had just introduced me to Sarah Janosz, an Athens, Georgia born and very young singer songwriter.
I have tweeted out the relevant links on Spotify – as ever, if you like the music, buy the CD and reward the artist.
Calibrate a line between Alison Krauss/Union Station and Gillian Welch. With a bit of 20-something attitude added.
Two decades ago we would barely know this existed, outside obscure record shops and folk clubs. Now, Daughter and others can share what they find is the best amid the shoaling chaos that is the Web.
Second, as the IT writer Chris Anderson noted some years ago, The Long Tail allows product to be made available in tiny but commercially viable quantities to all via the changed logistics of the Internet.
Progress does not always mean deterioration, despite Amazon’s tax bill. And do listen to Sarah Janosz.


On Russian Revolutionary Art

To Revolution Russian Art 1917 to 1932 at the Royal Academy. Apparently Lenin overthrew the Tsar. I had always thought it was the liberal, western oriented Mensheviks who did that. To be supplanted by the authoritarian Lenin and Trotsky.
(I have a 28mm figure of Trotsky in the attic. And his red leather clad elite troop, and the armoured train. Must dig it out.)
Interesting point. I went to the RA because I was interested in the subject, given my fascination with the Russian Civil War. (see above).
It is a chronicle of totalitarian art, to the service of a totalitarian state. Would we be as comfortable seeing Nazi propaganda of the 1930s? Fascist, anti-Semitic propaganda?
Would such an exhibition even be put on?
Is this another example of the old trope? Die an unrepentant fascist and you are a fascist. Die an unrepentant Communist and you could be a national treasure.

On Trump, And Kleptocracy

I think we may be missing the point here. Badly.
Follow me this far. You are a moderately successful businessman, using family money to invest in property and hotels. You have no obvious interest in politics.
Fate provides you with a publicity platform, and you become one of the biggest celebrity stars on the planet.
The opportunity opens up. People will vote for you if you run for President, in a poll where your opponents are as weak as any in recent elections.
You do not invest much in the presidential race – Trump didn’t, the record shows. You keep your hand in. Events conspire, as they often do. You win.
What do you do now? You are now the President of a country you had no intention of running.
You have made any number of absurd, contradictory promises to get where you are, confident that you will not be around to implement them.
Why are you where you are? Because you are a kleptocrat, whose main reason for getting where you are is to steal as much as you can and get out before any of those election promises need to be fulfilled.
Trump had said he will repeal the Dodd-Frank laws put in place when the financial crisis hit to prevent banks behaving badly. (Full details not needed, just trust me.)
Why should a man who said he would act to protect the interests of the little man against big business and the establishment move so fast to make the banks more profitable? Unless he was aware he would be paid to do so.
Now put the words Trump and Rosneft into Google. Interesting, is it not?
Rosneft is a part Russian state owned holding company which owns a large chunk of the Russian oil and gas assets. Impossible to value but worth multi billions.
When a leak of emails re Trump appeared last year, there was much made of his involvement with Russian prostitutes. “Golden showers.” Less noticed was a mention that he had been offered a 19 per cent stake in Rosneft in return for dropping sanctions against Russia imposed over the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Reports on the Internet – yes, I know not the most reliable source of information, but bear with me – say a 19.5 per cent stake in Rosneft was recently transferred to an unknown party via various vehicles, the trail ending in the Cayman Islands.
That 0.5 discrepancy is fascinating, because it would seem to represent the handling fee associated in such a large and clandestine transaction.
Who was given that 19 per cent of Rosneft, and why? What does it all mean? Why is Trump the apolitical businessman now in charge of the US? What is his end game? These are questions the free world is entitled to ask.

My prediction is that Trump will not make four years. That was never the intention anyway.

On John Wetton, And Pop Culture Death