Craig Schuftan


Talking music, art, history, and the time I almost ruined Star Wars for everybody with Alistair Marks for his Coming Up Next podcast.

A chat about books, Berlin and Ducks! with Krista Krull from Green Tea Radio.

Ash Berdebes asked me to program an hour of music for FBi's 'Out of the Box', I played Elvis Presley, Steve Reich, Severed Heads, The Gossip, Le Tigre, Hole and more; we talked about romanticism, rock music and my terrible academic record.

Too early for Disco? Never! ABC News Breakfast invited me on the show to talk about cutting the rug, sociocultural decline, and the secret meaning of 'Saturday Night Fever' in advance of my lecture at Melbourne's School of Life on The Philosophy of Disco

Speaking with Simon Clark of the AU Review, on songs to make you think, songs to make you forget your troubles, and how to tell the difference.

 A great chat about everything from Green Day to Green Jelly, and a rousing game of 90s or Not-ies with Tom and Alex, triple j. (Fast forward to about 30 minutes in to hear it.)

Always nice to meet another Blur fan. A little talk about the history of Britpop and the future of music history in this ABC Canberra interview with Ross Solly

Michael Cathcart and I discuss the 20 year loop and try to figure out why nostalgia is such a dirty word in this interview for ABC Radio National Books and Arts

I didn't mean to tell Pete and Parusha of Goodness Greatness the entire story of my life. They just sat me down on a comfortable sofa, asked me some questions about my childhood, and the next thing you know...

A thought-provoking chat about rock music and idealism with Caitlin Welsh of The Brag 

I enjoyed this interview with Dan Bigna of the Canberra Times a lot. And not just because he compared me to Alain de Botton and Peter Conrad. Honest.

"Every art movement has a good father and a bad father". The music wars, 20 years on, with Indre McGlinn of Fasterlouder

On the 80s revival and the art of making things seem closer together. An interview with Semi-permanent for Pedestrian TV

Death, Despair, Horror and... collage. A great chat with the irrepressable Andrew Tijs in The Enthusiast

Part two of my chat with Andrew

Writing a book about Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Goethe eventually got me invited into The Philosopher's Zone. I just hope I didn't screw it up.

Here, I tell JAC radio's John Austin the amazing true tale of how I began my broadcasting career with a story about how to get a tan like Burt Reynolds.

On being a high school dropout, with FBI's Matt Levinson (scroll down to find it)

A chat with Concrete Playground about my work on the Powerhouse Museum exhibition 'The 80s Are Back'

"After reading this book, I feel like I have a much greater insight into the minds of the teenagers I work with every day". Thank you, Pop Culture Jesus!

Darryn King from The Economist and I talk metaphysics, mountains, lakes, love unextinguishable, thoughts unutterable, and the nightmare of our own delinquencies.

"The book starts out with a confession: Schuftan likes My Chemical Romance. And I have to confess, similarly, that so do I." One music writer at a time, whatever it takes...

Comedy alert! Chaser stars ridicule musicians in new gig

part 1 fear and loathing marina and the diamonds 2

Actually My Name's Marina

"What the audience demands of the artist - really demands, in its unconscious desire - and what the artist thinks it ought to be given... [is] the same thing: the sentiment of being. The sentiment of being is the sentiment of being strong... such energy as contrives that the centre shall hold, that the circumference of the self keep unbroken, that the person be an integer, impenetrable, perdurable, and autonomous in being if inot in action."

marina and the diamonds | the family jewels | identity | personality | realism | authenticity | lionel trilling

WuTang1 e1395794252557

Once upon a time

"Music was now an object that could be owned by the individual and used at his own convenience... Now the Symphony of a Thousand could play to an audience of one. Now a man could hear nocturnes at breakfast, vespers at noon, and the Easter Oratorio on Channukah. He could do his morning crossword to 'One O'Clock Jump', and make love right through the St Matthew Passion. Anything was possible; nothing was sacred; freedom was absolute. It was the freedom, once the cathedral of culture had been wrecked, to take home the bits you liked and arrange them as you please. Once again, a mechanical invention had met capitalism's need to recreate all of life in its image. The cathedral of culture was now a supermarket."

Evan Eisenberg, 1987

wu-tang clan | shaolin | age of mechanical reproduction | aura | ritual | art | artists


Tomorrow's Harvest

"What if I tell you now that I have often longed even for plays I have seen performed - frequently the very ones which bored me most - or for books I have read in the past and did not like at all? If that is not madness, there's no such thing."



Hold to the Difficult

"And you must not let yourself be misled, in your solitude, by the fact that there is something in you that wants to escape from it. This very wish will, if you use it quietly and pre-eminently and like a tool, help to spread your solitude over wide country. People have (with the help of convention) found the solution of everything in ease, and the easiest side of ease; but it is clear that we must hold to the difficult; everything living holds to it, everything in nature grows and defends itself according to its own character and is an individual in its own right, strives to be so at any cost and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to the difficult is a certainty that will not leave us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; the fact that a thing is difficult must be one more reason for our doing it."

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1904

rainer maria rilke | kate bush


Always music in the air

'Acousmatic, the Larousse dictionary tells us, is the 'name given to the disciples of Pythagoras who for five years, listened to his teachings while he was hidden behind a curtain, without seeing him, while observing a strict silence.' Hidden from their eyes, only the voice of their master reached the disciples.... In ancient times, the apparatus was a curtain; today, it is the radio and methods of reproduction, along with the entire set of electro-acoustic transformations, that place us, modern listeners to an invisible voice, under similar conditions.'

Pierre Schaeffer, 'Acousmatics', 1966

pierre schaeffer | musique concrete | sonorous objects | acousmatics | pythagoras | phenomenology | twin peaks | red room


Music Sounds Better

'Imagine a traveller from a hundred years ago arrives at our doorstep and asks us why the music of the 20th century operates so frequently on the basis of cyclic repetition. Not just the rap and dance genres of popular culture, but also minimalism - perhaps the single most viable strand of the Western art music tradition... why does so much of our music work this way? What kind of needs do these patterns satisfy?'

Susan McClary, 1999

stardust | daft punk | susan mcclary | minimalism | loop | chaka kahn | repetition