Oliver Hughes

Music, OldVenue

Grammys Aren’t So Gold

Another year, another Grammys. It’s hard to express any real interest in the ultimate awards ceremony for the pop music industry – the entire thing feels artificial, each artist given barely a few seconds to accept their award before being ferried off stage. The media seems more interested in the ‘drama’ and what the artists…


A truce to the War on Drugs?

Two things are facts about the USA’s relationship with illegal drugs. One, that it contributes more money than any other nation to fighting the war on drugs. In fact, it spends over $50bn a year on it, mostly in aid payments to foreign nations. Two, that it has the highest illegal drug use per capita…


The consequences of hardship

It is well known that economic difficulty breeds support for extremism. The effects of the First World War birthed fascism in Italy and communism in Russia. The effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s saw the rise of a large number of right-wing dictatorships – most infamously, of course, Nazi Germany, but also those…


No silent nights in Iraq

The US-led coalition took on its ‘advisory’ role against the Islamic State (Isis) in July. As we enter December, the total number of airstrikes against militants has passed 1,000, with an estimated 2,000 militants killed and a tenth of that again in civilian losses. Yet despite the “heavy toll” that, according to US Secretary of…

Music, OldVenue

Controversy at Its Finest

Jesse Jackson, in response to a misunderstood vandalising of an art installation featuring a whitewashed version of himself, said that “sometimes art provokes; sometimes it angers. That is a measure of its success”. When art is controversial, everyone is talking about it, and everyone goes to see it. Picasso, Duchamp, Manzoni, Mapplethorpe – all of…

Music, OldVenue

Review: Flying Lotus You’re Dead!

Written as an exploration of Jazz from beyond his imagined grave, You’re Dead! is the latest full length release from L.A. based experimental Hip-Hop producer Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus. Having been at the helm for several excellent releases in the past few years, 2008’s Los Angeles, 2010’s Cosmogramma, and 2012’s Until the Quiet Comes,…

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