Monday, May 14, 2012

Jeff Mangum ATP Part 5: Syria

More Jeff Mangum curated All Tomorrow's Partiesaction

I have surprisingly little by them on record, but on the strength of their live appearances Low are one of my favourite bands. As you know, they are a clean-living husband (vocals, guitar) and wife (drums, vocals) joined by a succession of hell-raising bassists [libellous supposition, your honour]. And they make music that is basically a bit miserable. I think of them as the Carter Family of our times. It seems like an age since I last saw them so I had almost forgotten how good they are, to the extent that I suggested to my beloved that we would be well advised to rest our little feet by sitting at the back while they were on. That stupid idea lasted about two songs and then we had barged our way up to the front. OK so I then had to put up with some fuckwitted Dutch people near me having a stupid conversation about some foreign language shite while Low were playing 'Sunflower' (current candidate for greatest miserable song ever), but being close to my heroes more than made up for it.

One thing you may have noticed from the news is that in the faraway country of Syria people have been engaging in protests and the government has been killing them. Around the time of All Tomorrow's Parties this had escalated to a new pitch, with government forces using heavy artillery to flatten the disaffected city of Homs. This has attracted relatively little attention from the kind of people who protest about things, I suspect because events in Syria do not fit the narrative of seeing everything bad that happens in the world as being the fault of the US government and its British catamites. Where is this going? Well, Alan Sparhawk of Low mentioned the Syrian crisis a couple of times on stage and seemed genuinely quite cut up about it. He was not saying anything like "We should send in the Marines", more stuff like "That shit is fucked up". And he is right, it is. No other performer mentioned Syria or alluded to any political event occurring outside the festival.

more festival action coming soon

An inuit panda production


Ray said...

If it's the US or Brits or an ally bombing stuff, and the Irish govt supporting it, you can complain at Dept of Foreign Affairs about Irish support, and complain outside the embassies of people who will probably pay some attention.
If it's the Syrians (or Iraqis, or Sudanese, or...) killing people, the Irish govt doesn't support it, and the embassies don't really care what we think. Plus you don't want the Yanks to say, "look, popular protests - a mandate for us to start bombing!"

ian said...

I hear what you're saying and agree with it to an extent, but I do get the idea that for a lot of people on the left mass murder is only really a problem if it is being perpetrated by the USA, its allies or proxies. How do I know this? I just know.

Paul said...

You could protest at the Syrian embassy in Dublin but there isn't one so it might be difficult.