Sunday, September 24, 2006

WITCHFINDER PENCIL

The guardians of morality at The Wire magazine have this time 'Savage' Pencil interviewing Chris Corsano for Invisible Jukebox. He plays Shitfun for him, then proceeds to goad him into condemning the supposedly 'dodgy' views inherent. Corsano commendably doesn't take the bait, stating that he appreciates and enjoys the music, even pointing out that his wife (who doesn't much like so-called 'noise music') very much enjoys Whitehouse.

The interview continues, Pencil prodding CC with questions perming the theme of whether Whitehouse are 'dangerous': even going so far as to mention the erect penis on the album's cover, and questioning its dangerousness (ironically declining to mention that the penis in question is the work of Wire favourite Steven Stapleton).

19 comments:

JAEGER_90 said...

I thought it was kind of strange that he happened to use that term 'dangerous' twice as I found myself immediately wondering: dangerous to whom or what exactly?

Michael Begg said...

Having fallen foul of their fuckwit reviews editor, and Keith Moline, I can concur with the sentiment. As I have mentioned elsewhere, we must remember, my friend, that it is, at heart, a Jazz Mag - and, like all Jazz Mags, it is full of cunts :-)

William Bennett said...

:-)

martin said...

It is indeed strange and with the very ' leading ' questions , it's a shame about Sav , who i always thought was a real music enthusiast and someone you could 'trust'. But there you go....
He has previously been sympathetic to all things Whitehouse so what gives ... ?

h3o said...

all the more strange that during David Tibet's "invisible jukebox", he was allowed to be positive about Mr Bennett, even if his cats were made somewhat nervous by the playing of Whitehouse material. and as we know, Edwin Pouncey ('Savage Pencil') is great chums with David...

h3o said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5376574.stm

William Bennett said...

Don't misunderstand me, this isn't anger: whether Powncey or the guy from Plan B or whoever it matters not, let them write anything and it will intrigue, arouse, and delight in equal measure. The difference is that we're looking down into their well; sometimes it's ugly, sometimes it's of beauty, but by thus attaching themselves to the very artwork itself let them be protected from harm.

h3o said...

well of course, there's nothing to get angry *about*. but seeing *clearly* down their well is a, for me, necessary thing. this doesn't mean falling into the cesspool. but seeing waste matter for what it is is useful when the input in "the marketplace" is such that people such as the Dire are presented and then accepted as "the norm" or "arbiters of taste". the entertainment factor is a given. but their coffee tables are somewhere I wouldn't like to be anywhere near...=)

h3o said...

er...or moral arbiters, I wanted to say.

Michael Begg said...

William / Andrew - You somewhat lost me on the well metaphor- somewhere between detachment and 'it' being necessary ;-) (happy to accept this is my fault)
Is the issue not that consideration of any material so far beyond "the generic" still commands that it be viewed within a context, and that the difficultiues arise through choice of context?
The BBC link being a case in point as the director was enraged - not because they didn't like his work - but that the work was judged inside a framework, or cultural context, that was wholly inappropriate?

h3o said...

briefly, because this is not my blog, but (a) why do we need to have people tell is "right" and "wrong" anyway? (b) why do people wish to tell us where things belong, in either of these categories (thanks, Aristotle) (c) the work exists of itself, but when it seeks to enter the commercial domain, obviously other forces are brought to bear on it, and one can choose to engage with this, or not. (d) true "judgement" is a very rare thing indeed, as far as I can see, and I certainly don't expect it to be carried out except in name only by The Dire. thus, I see it is as a comic. but one has only to look at Hollywood to see that comics are there to be "made flesh", because, perhaps, 'reality' is not saleable. and this is perhaps the question that is asked and not answered...

seesselberg said...

Believe me , I used to work with Mr. Pencil . He is a grade 'A' tosser. I also remember him waxing lyrical about Whitehouse whilst ingratiating himself with the people at Vinyl Experience. Ho hum.

Michael Begg said...

ok some thoughts - William can boot us off if he feels so inclined, but I know how much he savours reaction ;-)
a) - Don't know if I have anything reasonable to contribute to a comment-based discussion on why we need to know what is good or bad - could be taste, fashion, morality or ethics - again depending on the context. Without duality we have swamp mud, i suppose might be the short - short version.
b) Why do people wish to tell us where things belong? Well, people don't - commentators, critics, reviewers do. this is their currency; framing, boxing, uniting, comparing, evaluating within recognised architectures, and so forth - nothing to be confused with the emotional response of a genuine listener!
To be evaluated from within your own experience, your own perceived context is not only fair, reasonable and polite, it is a basic tenet of phenomenological research. Judge everything from within its own context of understanding.
c)This is a great point, but one to be discussed over food and drink rather than text forum) To enter the commercial domain impacts upon the work? Is it not the case that one is forced - like it or not - to frame one's own work in a different way in order to find paths into acceptance in these other contexts (that word again)? This presents a definite artistic challenge, but, equally, if its not a challenge you want to take up - then it is a hindrance or, at the very least, a gaping invitation to compromise. This is certainly the case for those of us who lack the persuasive weapon of live performance and who rely on distributors releases featuring paragraphs beginning "sounds like..." or "for fans of..."
d) Not meaning to be flippant but the idea of The Wire recast as Hollywood comic is fantastically funny!
Finally, let the record state - as it has done for others here - that I have nothing against E Pouncey. I have never met him, know little about him - but he said nice things about our first record which suspends my critical facilties and may undermine everything above depending on your politics!

h3o said...

the magazine started out being written by people passonate about a particular form of music, for people who felt likewise. nowadays, it's hard to imagine a hard-on or even an increased temperature or pulse-rate within miles of any of the writers. to increase sales, and therefore generate advertising revenue (people do not read ads to learn about new things, but to be confirmed in the items - or similar - they have already purchased), they must create a rarified atmosphere - hence the "elite club" they promote. and so, Mr. Pouncey, probably unconsciously, is reinforcing that idea - that which is not part of the club is against it. so that is probably the 'danger' he was referring to.

Kristian said...

I have read the jukebox and the so called Whitehouse baiting to CC plus everyones comments in this blog.
It seems to me you are all over reacting a little?
After all every artist, musician or Author works within certain parameters many which are self imposed or imposed upon them by the audience they deem to attract and (or) repulse.
For instance William you have commented in interviews that you found Punk stale and uninspired and you set out to explore the boundaries of how far you could go with sound and aesthetics.
At the time Whitehouse were a lightning bolt to the world of music, they were dangerous to the majority of people because it challenged the Status Quo of what people believed was acceptable as an art form sold as a commodity.
I believe william that many people refuse to see through ignorance that your output and delivery methods have become more sublime and methodical.
Journalists and media will always judge your output to a certain degree on the intial attraction and revulsion that you generated in the early 1980's.
This is one of the facts of life when involved in any degree of work or art that is in the Public domain.
I am sure you are familar with this as you often stated you were sick of violence at your shows again this is because of Whitehouse reputation in the live area, due to the extreme nature of your early performances you were always going to attract the lowest common denominator, voyuers who want to wallow in the so called violent aspect of your art.
It must be frustrating William for yourself to constantly be judged on just a small percentage of your art and aesthetics however it is also good that after the media blackout you encountered during your career that once again your project is considered to be dangerous and edgy by Journalists.
Even Bad Press is better than no press?
Maybe?
Maybe not?
On a personal level I buy the WIRE every month and have discovered many artists I could only dream of stumbling across............so I disagree with Mr Beggs comments it is full of cunts even if I did howl with laughter at the term!

G said...

but Sir, I savour the day Whitehouse make the Wire cover-story... surely it can't be far away? Or are you refusing outright to deal with these people?

Kevin Coed said...

I seem to recall Sav Pencil giving Whitehouse good live and record reviews in Sounds in the early '90s. Of course this would have been when Stefan was involved in the band. Friendship can sway people's opinions somewhat.

GRK. said...

Sav X seemed only to be raising devil's advocate arguments rather than reacting in a peg-on-his-nose way to Whitehouse.

Odile Lee said...

" we're looking down into their well; sometimes it's ugly, sometimes it's of beauty, but by thus attaching themselves to the very artwork itself let them be protected from harm."
Oh well done William!

One wonders how and why some find in the subconscious, only the nasty, and atavistic.

So brilliant to read someone noticing the game people play to keep their reality programs running.