Craig Schuftan

just like buddy

Culture Club 2

Once upon a time there was a young man who dreamed of becoming a rock star. He learned to play the guitar, pulled on a pair of shiny pants, had a hit record, and suddenly his wish had come true. For a couple of years he had a great time, having sex, doing drugs, throwing TVs into swimming pools. Then one night after a party  he passed out on the floor, choked on his own vomit and died. This is the end of the story, so we all clap and cheer and punch the air. Why?

Live fast and die young by Schuftronics

Some say it started at a Rites of Spring show in the eighties, others trace its roots back to Weezer’s Pinkerton or Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary. But Emo as we know it actually began when a teenage J.W. Von Goethe broke up with his girlfriend in 1774. Young Goethe combed his fringe down over his eyes and went for a walk in the forest in the middle of a thunderstorm. “You’ll catch a cold!” warned his mum. “You’ve NEVER understood me!” he replied.

The sorrows of young werther by Schuftronics

High School. A brutal, unforgiving world where only those capable of swift, spontaneous action have a hope of surviving – let alone getting picked for the football team or getting a date for the formal. What hope does a bespectacled, socially awkward, Dungeons and Dragons loving dweeb have here? Fortunately for our geeky friend – there is another world, a world far away from this high-school-hell; a world… underground.

Everything's heavy underground by Schuftronics

”There’s a thousand you’s, there’s only one of me”, declared Kanye West in 2008. This is what the philosophers call extreme subjectivity, and it can lead to a profound feeling of alienation from other human beings – or to the belief that you are Jesus Christ – depending on how much Kristal you’ve had to drink.

New gospel, homey by Schuftronics

Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’ is an instantly recognisable symbol of France in revolt, and one of the greatest paintings of the 19th century. Or at least, it was – until Chris Martin from Coldplay snuck a can of spray-paint into the Louvre and wrote ‘Viva La Vida’ all over it.

Children of the revolution by Schuftronics

If you really want to come to grips with modern philosophy, there’s two ways to go about it. You could take a year off from your life and read the collected works of Hegel, Kant, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Sartre and Heidegger. Or you could do what I did and spend and afternoon listening to Depeche Mode’s Greatest Hits.

Personal jesus by Schuftronics

Goths. In the last days of the Roman Empire they were Barabrians from the East who sacked the city and stole all your stuff. Today, they’re the spooky kids at the bus stop covered in pancake and mascara and Marilyn Manson merch. What does the one have to do with the other? Follow your neighbourhood goths on one of their frequent architectural pilgramages to the crumbling neo-gothic cemetary down the road, and the answer is within your grasp…

Gothic revival by Schuftronics

Read more about Nick Cave and the Gothic imagination in this excerpt from Hey! Nietzsche!, published by Mess and Noise.

The Chemical Bothers’ The Salmon Dance is a dance craze record presented by MC Fatlip and a fish named Sammy. The fact that the salmon gets a turn on the mic is something fairly new in the world of verse, but the idea of poets talking to animals is not.

Ode to a salmon by Schuftronics

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