From the monthly archives:

July 2011

#243: 2002, The Distillers, City of Angels

July 31, 2011

Time to turn the volume up to 11 for LA band The Distillers’ trashing of their home city. I’m a great lover of the States, but Los Angeles is one of my least favourite cities.  To me, its a smoggy 100 mile long sprawl with little to redeem it. On my first visit, I thought of it […]

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Week 30: Hero – Jens Stoltenberg

July 31, 2011

This week, our hero award goes to the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg. Often, we here at All That’s Left find ourselves scratching our heads a little on a Saturday when selecting our hero of the week.  This was certainly not the case this week: Stoltenberg was a clear winner for the dignity and resolution in responding […]

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Week 30: Prat – George Osborne

July 31, 2011

This Week’s villainous Prat of the Week is George Osborne  It has always been said that George Osborne is a precocious political talent. Who are we at Allthatsleft to disagree.  In an extraordinarily impressive performance, one that is unprecedented in the history of these awards, the Chancellor of the Exchequer won both the Villain and […]

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Week 30: Villain – George Osborne

July 31, 2011

This week’s Villain of the Week is George Osborne. On Tuesday it was announced that GDP growth for Q2 2011 was 0.2%, an annual growth rate of 0.8%. There was some bloke from a right wing think tank this morning trying to justify the figure with the petulant comment that ‘at least it is growth’. […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: Potiche

July 31, 2011

  Last week I reviewed Berlin Film Festival winner, A Separation – a superb Iranian film exploring issues of class and gender set in contemporary Teheran.   It is a film which mixes the traditions of social realism and the thriller to produce a chair-grippingly intense study of the economic, social and emotional pressures on two […]

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US Budget Crisis Has No Winners

July 30, 2011

It is difficult to see who comes out of the US budget mess without a tarnished reputation. It has damaged the reputations of Obama, the Republican House majority and the Tea Party, although the last of these will probably not care much about that. President Obama The damage to Obama has been twofold: first, he […]

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#242: 2008, Silver Jews, Aloyisius Bluegrass Drummer

July 30, 2011

  There are some song titles that are so evocative or intriguing in themselves that you can be pretty sure that the song is going to be great before you have even heard it.  The Smiths were the masters of the great track title (This Charming Man, Suffer Little Children, The Headmaster Ritual, There Is […]

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Spain: The Continuing Existential Crisis of the European Left

July 30, 2011

Yesterday Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero called a general election in Spain to be held on 20 November 2011.   The election has been called early – it was not due to held until March 2012.   And it has not been called from a position of strength.   Unemployment is at 20.3% and youth unemployment is running at […]

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#241: 1970, Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

July 29, 2011

In George East’s rundown of our 1970’s songs so far, he pointed out that we had posted only one 1970 tune to date, so here we go. Big Yellow Taxi is Mitchell’s environmental lament inspired by a visit to Honolulu: looking out her hotel window she was stirred seeing  the lush mountains in the distance, […]

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Abolition of the 50p Tax Rate: The Give Away

July 28, 2011

Predictably George Osborne’s economic plans are in trouble.   As we have been saying on Allthatsleft from the get go, if you embark on a contractory economic policy – sucking demand out of an already weakened economy, you will surprise, surprise get contractory outcomes.  This is so whether or not you also have snow or sun […]

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Top of The Pops 1970s Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Chart

July 28, 2011

  With the long overdue posting of The Clash’s London Calling by Jackie South at STLAS #238, the 1970s became the second decade to have 50 Songs To Learn and Sing.  The 1980s pipped it to the post.  Although often maligned and compared unfavourably to the frankly overrated 1960s, for my money the 1970s is […]

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#240: 1998, Air, La Femme D’Argent

July 27, 2011

Ah, Ray North is on holiday. The factor 50 is packed along with my jackal ray-bans and silly hat, my speedos, 3 good books and my I-Pod. From today, officially, for the next ten days, I do not care about the travails of the George Osborne, Hackgate, Liverpool FC or all the other things which […]

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Osborne stop the excuses: these are the real reasons for our GDP malaise

July 27, 2011

Right, I get it: damn those Royals, with their strange haircuts and penchant for military uniform and overly elaborate nuptial celebrations; and damn those Japanese people with their earthquakes and tsunamis; and, whilst we’re at it, damn that unseasonal good weather we had in April, bloody sunny spring days. Damn all those things, because, according […]

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#239: 1958, Vince Taylor & His Playboys, Brand New Cadillac

July 26, 2011

  As Jackie said yesterday, Saturday’s Chuck Prophet and the Spanish Bombs gig at a dripping hot Garage was absolutely superb even if it did take the current trend for playing a whole album from beginning to end to a new level:  playing someone else’s album from beginning to end. And what an album London Calling […]

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Right Dave – this is what would make me ‘happy’

July 26, 2011

I have this dream that one day the entire nation will wake up and think – hold on, ‘big society,’ ‘happiness index’, ‘we’re all in it together’ – how on earth have we been taken in by this bunch of charlatans and how can we get rid of them forever. Yesterday it was the day […]

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Checking Out At Club 27: Cue Fatuous Politicians…

July 26, 2011

Back in 2007, I was enthused by Gordon Brown’s decision to make Jacqui Smith the nation’s first ever female Home Secretary: it was more than about time that we had a woman in the job and it seemed like the one of the three great offices of state where gender could play a defining role in […]

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Norway and the commendable absence of hysteria

July 25, 2011

In the aftermath of the awful murder of dozens of people by a right-wing lunatic, the people of Norway and their leaders have shown the most incredible and profound composure and restraint. Yes, of course, they are grieving and in shock – but there has been none of the hysterical call for action or desperate […]

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#238: 1979, The Clash, London Calling

July 25, 2011

A big song today, one that may well have George and Ray gnashing their teeth in not getting to post it first.  But it has been far too long since we last featured The Clash, and I felt I had an excuse. The occasion that justifies this was Saturday night’s gig at The Garage by […]

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Week 29: Villain – Anders Behring Brevik

July 24, 2011

This Week’s Villain of the Week is Anders Behring Brevik In April 1995 Timothy McVeigh exploded a huge truck bomb in Oklahoma City destroying the FBI building in that city and killing 168 people.    It remains the single biggest terrorist incident in the United States other than 9/11.  It was a wake up call that […]

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Week 29: Hero – Tom Watson MP

July 24, 2011

Our Hero of the Week award goes to Tom Watson MP The undoubted star of the Select Committee interviews this week was the chubby member of Parliament for West Bromwich East. His cut and thrust questioning at the committee hearings, choosing to focus in on Rupert and largely ignoring James for most of his section, […]

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#237: 2007, Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good

July 24, 2011

There are some stories that are destined to end badly – Amy Winehouse’s story was always going to be one of those. Blessed with enormous natural talent, a unique voice and an unerring ability to articulate a certain earthy helpless desperation, sadly, like other who have had similar gifts, she struggled to understand or control […]

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Week 29: Prat – Jonathan May-Bowles aka Johnnie Marbles

July 24, 2011

This weeks overwhelming and deserved winner of Prat of the Week is Johnnie Marbles What a gilt edged, 24 carrot dick! We’ve had some prats on this website – but Johnnie Marbles’ performance at the Media, Culture and Sport Select Committee hearing may be the piece de resitance of pratness. So who is he? Well […]

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#236: 1980, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Geno

July 22, 2011

  Kevin Rowland – arrogant, a little bit nuts (oh yes I remember the diva songs to a backing tape in drag fiasco at Reading Festival in 1999) and a complete genius. As punk shattered into many pieces and the new wave evolved Rowland and Dexy’s Midnight Runners went back to the tight sounds of sixties […]

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Phone Hacking: The Key Questions That Remain Unanswered

July 22, 2011

Since the damp foamy squib that was the Select Committee hearing on Tuesday, phone hacking fatigue has well and truly set in among the media.  The BBC Six O’Clock News last night for the first time since the story broke on 4 July 2011 did not include a single piece related to the story.   The […]

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The Greek Bailout is No Marshall Plan

July 22, 2011

There was a lot of back slapping going round amongst the European elite yesterday in the wake of the deal on Greece and the wider Eurozone debt crisis.   The markets reacted positively and bank shares moved upwards.   For the first time since the first Greek bailout in May 2010 it appeared that the Eurozone had […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies: A Separation

July 22, 2011

  Back in February, Ashgar Farhadi’s A Separation swept all before it at the Berlin Film Festival.   This Iranian film won the Golden Bear – the top prize for best film, as well as the best actor and actress Silver Bears.  The last two awards were won collectively by the male and female casts of […]

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#235: 1990, Happy Mondays, Step On

July 21, 2011

Day 4 of Intros week: we’ve had the noughties, eighties and sixties, so I thought I should pick from either the seventies or nineties.  I’ve cheated a bit and gone for a nineties cover of a seventies song, and in my humble opinion a song that has to be in the top ten covers of […]

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London 2012, Olympic Hopefuls #3: Alison Williamson, Archery

July 21, 2011

Alison Williamson is so cool she probably doesn’t even have a fridge at home. At the 2004 Olympic Games she came from nowhere to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s Target Archery and ended up in a shoot-off for the bronze medal. In the tightest of finishes it came down to the last arrow – […]

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#234: 1964, The Beatles, I Feel Fine

July 20, 2011

Jackie and George have opened intros week with a couple of pearlers in The Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor, and Joy Division’s Twenty Four Hours. Both have fairly lengthy introductions, building wonderfully with guitar and bass and drum. By contrast, the intro to The Beatles’ I Feel Fine is a […]

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Phone Hacking: How clean is the Daily Mail?

July 20, 2011

In his evidence before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Defamation, Editor in Chief at The Daily Mail said that in his nineteen years service at the Newspaper he had never countenanced the use of illegal phone tapping or blagging. Hmm, it’s a very bold statement, indeed so bold that it couldn’t possibly be anything but […]

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