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Radiote Recent Tracks

Mats Paulson - The Tramp
28/02/17 13:03:43
Songs and Letters of Joe Hill

Tom Juravich - VDT
28/02/17 13:01:47
Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

Jon Fromer - We Do the Work
28/02/17 12:56:36
Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways


The 89th Academy Awards offered drama of its own
27/02/17 15:35:52

IT IS a pity that the 89th Academy Awards will be forever remembered for that last-minute bungle. Presenting the Oscar for best picture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope, with Ms Dunaway announcing that “La La Land” was the winner. It was only after the producers of the hit musical had launched into their acceptance speeches that they heard that there had been an unprecedented, scarcely believable mix-up, and that the best-picture recipient was actually “Moonlight”. Oscar history was made. But it is important to remember that history would have been made, anyway, even without that excruciatingly embarrassing blunder.

Most of the major categories had gone the way that the press and bookmakers thought they would. Viola Davis, who starred in “Fences” with Denzel Washington, was named best supporting actress. “Manchester by the Sea” took the prizes for Original Screenplay (by Kenneth Lonergan, also the film’s director) and Lead Actor (Casey Affleck). “Moonlight” won for Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Adapted Screenplay (the film’s director, Barry Jenkins, based his script on...Continue reading

Italy have shown a new way to play rugby
27/02/17 00:21:15

WITH TEN minutes to go, it seemed that Italy might just pull off the greatest upset in the history of Europe’s signature rugby tournament. Pre-match forecasts gave the continent’s perennial minnows barely a 1% chance of toppling mighty England before their meeting in the Six Nations on February 26th, and with good reason. The Azzurri had won just one match in the tournament since 2013, and had given up a massive 96 points in the opening two rounds of this year’s edition. Conversely, England had won their previous 16 fixtures in all competitions, and arrived on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium, their concrete fortress of a home stadium, fully expecting to continue that streak. Victory would leave them one match away from equalling a record of 18 consecutive wins, set last year by the greatest New Zealand team of all time.

In the end, the home side did prevail, scoring 19 unanswered points in the final ten minutes to triumph by 36 to 15. But they had been...Continue reading

Why it is so difficult to hold kleptocrats accountable
23/02/17 16:44:14

The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management: On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption. By J.C. Sharman. Cornell University Press; 261 pages; $29.95 and £20.95.

CORRUPTION is never far from the front page. In recent weeks, thousands of Romanians protested against plans to decriminalise low-level graft, and Rolls-Royce was hit with a £671m ($835m) penalty for alleged bribery. Meanwhile, long-running corruption scandals continue to roil political and corporate leaders in Brazil and Malaysia. The growing attention has spurred governments to pledge action, as dozens did at a global anti-corruption summit in London last year.

Jason Sharman, professor of international relations at Cambridge University, is particularly interested in “grand corruption”: the theft of national wealth by kleptocratic leaders and their cronies, often in poor (albeit resource-rich) countries. It is a subject he knows well, having spent over a decade studying the offshore centres and vehicles—shell companies, for example—that are used to hide ill-gotten gains. 

The list of light-fingered leaders who feature in “The...Continue reading

Making rugged subcultures “respectable” with orchestras
24/02/17 17:58:03

GOLDIE’s “Timeless” (1995) album was a watershed moment for London’s then-maturing jungle scene. Influenced by the formative house and techno music being made in Chicago and Detroit, it balanced rapid-fire rhythms—built from sampling and manipulating 60s funk and soul drum breaks—with a radio-friendly musicality. Technologically and musically innovative, the album brought forward-thinking music to a widespread audience. 

On the 24th and 25th of February, Ronnie Scott’s, a jazz club in London, will host live orchestral renditions of Goldie’s music. A group that describes itself as “[messing] with other people’s music, and [keeping] orchestral tradition in the cellar”, the Heritage Orchestra—a 30-60 piece ensemble arranged and conducted by Jules Buckley—will offer their own take on Goldie’s anthemic jungle staples (not for the first time, either; they combined in 2015 for an anniversary performance of “Timeless”). Holding around 300 attendees for each of the show’s four performances, the venue’s candle-lit, seated comfort is some way removed from the dark, sweat-soaked basements which hosted the original material. Goldie himself says that...Continue reading

Graphic novels and the refugee crisis
23/02/17 19:48:48

ART SPIEGELMAN, the renowned graphic novelist behind “Maus” (1986, 1991), proved that comics can be expansive and nuanced enough to capture the stories of movements, peoples and nations. “Maus” depicted the experiences of his parents at the hands of the Nazis, including their imprisonment at Auschwitz. “In the Shadow of No Towers” (2004) recounted the events of the 9/11 attacks. Both works initially struggled to find a publisher—comics seemed too risky a medium to document such horrific events—yet they are now considered canonical graphic novels, works that cemented the genre’s gravity. 

Faced with documenting another 21st-century horror—the migrant crisis—a new generation of graphic novelists has taken up Mr Spiegelman’s torch, depicting the deadly journey across the Mediterranean. “A Perilous Journey”, a comic series by Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock, follows three men who fled their homes in Syria for Europe (the last frame takes the unexpected form of a photograph, showing one of the characters reunited with his family after being granted asylum in Norway). In 2016, Marvel produced “Madaya Mom”, inspired by the experiences of a young...Continue reading