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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 4 September 7:00pm start

Tuesday 4th September: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss two issues in the news that draw out contemporary trends in politics

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

David McAlmont

David McAlmont @ The Lowry

Reviewed by Dave Porter February 2011

David McAlmont has come a long way since his early collaboration with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and their success in the charts.

 

David has a lot to thank social networking for. Within days of setting up a Facebook account, acclaimed composer Michael Nyman sent a friend request suggesting they work together on a musical collaboration.

 

An acclaimed solo album and work with esteemed composer Michael Nyman, as well as a residency at Ronnie Scott’s, proves the versatility of someone many consider to have Britain’s finest soul voice.

 

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Manchester music reviews

Fauré Piano Quartet

Fauré Piano Quartet @ St George's Hall

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

Dirk Mommerrtz Piano
Erika Geldsetzer Violin
Sascha Froembling Viola
Konstanin Heidrich Cello

Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor K478
Mahler - Quartet Movement in A minor
Mozart - Piano Quartet in Eb major K493

 

One way at looking at classical music (that umbrella tag for art/composed music) is to see the music as a discussion, debate or argument. The latter view is particularly noticeable in concertos, where the solo instrument (or group of instruments) is pitted against the orchestra. It is as if what we are experiencing is the individual finding their way in society with the orchestra perceived as the collective.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

The Beatles by Harry Hammond

The Birth of British Rock @ The Lowry

Photographs by Harry Hammond

Reviewed by Sara Porter February 2011

This exhibit of over eighty photographs from Hammond’s career as a music photographer is on loan from the V & A collection of over 9000 photographs, and their source perhaps demonstrates the importance that accompanies this record of the development of British music. It is considered to be the definitive photographic collection of the leading British artists and American visiting artists of the fifties and early sixties.

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Manchester book reviews

Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies

Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies

by Professor Jodi Dean

To be reviewed by Simon Belt April 2011

 

From the back cover:

 

Product Description
"Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies" is an impassioned call for the realization of a progressive left politics in the United States. Through an assessment of the ideologies underlying contemporary political culture, Jodi Dean takes the left to task for its capitulations to conservatives and its failure to take responsibility for the extensive neo-liberalization implemented during the Clinton presidency. She argues that the left's ability to develop and defend a collective vision of equality and solidarity has been undermined by the ascendance of 'communicative capitalism,' a constellation of consumerism, the privileging of the individual self over group interests, and the embrace of the language of victimization. As Dean explains, communicative capitalism is enabled and exacerbated by the Web and other networked communications media, which reduce political energies to the registration of opinion and transmission of feelings.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

An installation by David Jacques

David Jacques: The Irlam House Bequest

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

 

Another year, another Liverpool celebration!

 

If any city in the world thrives on it's past, it is Liverpool. Whether atoning for the slave trade ("Psst! Wanna buy a guilt trip?) or Ringo ("don't call me 'Ringo'") Starr making a prat of himself when "kick-starting" the year of Capital of Culture in 2008, nothing seems too tacky to present to the outside world.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Oedipus at Liverpool Playhouse

Oedipus at the Liverpool Playhouse  

Directed by Steven Berkoff

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

You never quite know what to expect with Berkoff. His interests are so wide and he will ’sometimes’ cram as many variables into his work as he thinks he can get away with. This is not the first time that he has tackled Greek classics and it is not the first time he has used the myth of Oedipus. His play Greek, in 1982, borrowed from Sophocles´ play that was later made into an opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

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Manchester book reviews

 


Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion

Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion

by George McKay

Being reviewed by Simon Belt August 2011

 

Sowing the seeds of discontent or disconnection?

George McKay has written quite widely on alternative culture through music, protest and lifestyle, and as I've always wondered why gardening is taken so seriously in a predominantly urban society, I was intrigued to read his new book entitled 'Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden'. Gardening was something older people did when I was young, though I often copped for a fair bit of it myself, which was ok, especially on a sunny Sunday listening to Radio 2's Sunday love songs whilst I did the weeding. Today though, it seems to have quite a popular resonance with more younger people, along with do-it-yourself and various other craft hobbies, and especially in its urban guerilla form.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ilsa Parry

CING Lecture @ BoConcept

Ilsa Parry: Design trends in a tough climate

Reviewed by Simon Belt February 2011

In late 2009, Liverpool based designer Ilsa Parry made her mark on the nation by competing in BBC 2's Design for Life competition. When she won with her innovative Flo design, Ilsa spent six months at top French designer Philippe Starck’s design studio in Paris.

 

Ilsa has been lecturing as course leader for the BTEC national diploma for 3 dimensional design at Liverpool Community College since late 2007, so it seemed natural for her to be delivering the February Creative Industries Networking Group (CING) lecture.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Nam June Paik - Tate and FACT, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

FACT (Foundation For Art & Creative Technology) is one of Liverpool’s success stories, having started out showing films at the Unity Theatre, and now has its own, impressive cinemas and galleries based in Wood Street. FACT is on Wood Street, and is situated amongst bars and nightclubs in some of the city’s side streets, parallel to the more famous Bold Street and just a five minute walk from Central Station.

 

Once it gets dark visitors to Liverpool will need only look up at sky and see the laser arc, commissioned especially for this event, by Peter Appleton, that joins FACT to Liverpool Tate gallery, both of whom are exhibiting works by Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) until 13th March.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Memento ParkCarey Young: Memento Park

Reviewed by Dave Porter February 2011

Cornerhouse presents a major touring solo show by artist Carey Young. Young, who grew up in Manchester and also studied here, is best known for her witty explorations of corporate and legal culture. Using a variety of media including video, photography, text and telephonic systems, Young examines these worlds, altering their language and tools to create fictional and absurd scenarios, which operate midway between performance and installation.

 

The main piece in this rich offering of Carey Young’s work at the Cornerhouse centres on an elephants’ graveyard of Soviet-era statues now huddled forlornly in a park in Budapest. The serenity of the setting and the suburban backdrop provide a jagged relief for Lenin and his comrades whose heroic poses and animated call to arms for the revolution go unnoticed by their verdant surroundings.  They look less like they’re directing a revolution than directing traffic and in one video clip a kitten resting on the giant foot of a Stakhanovite soldier silkily makes her way round to the back of the statue to seek shade, a poignant usage for a now redundant image.

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