John Harris

Journalist & Author

Archive for July, 2017

« Older Entries |

Meet Me in the Bathroom review – were the Strokes the last real rock stars?

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Lizzy Goodman’s oral history beautifully captures the guitar rock scene in New York from 2001 to 2011, a flashbulb moment before everything changed

In the opening two years of the 21st century, guitar-based rock enjoyed a late burst of creativity. The music industry was still thriving, yet to be laid waste by the internet. Meanwhile, New York, a city that had long been a byword for rock and its associated romance, was on the brink of a musical renaissance – and an awful trauma – before property mania transformed even its most disreputable neighbourhoods, after which affluent incomers could happily live out some dream or other, but the conditions for any kind of exciting culture were too often snuffed out.

This is the backdrop of Meet Me in the Bathroom, an oral history by Lizzy Goodman, who arrived in New York from her native New Mexico in 1999 and was evidently immersed in everything that happened. Her interviewees – there are 161 – beautifully capture the era, and illustrate its tensions and contradictions, many of which swirl around the band whose tale forms the book’s core. The Strokes were a quintet of affluent young men who had met at exclusive schools, led by a singer whose father had founded the Elite model agency. On the face of it, they were gentrification incarnate. But in the flesh, and on their first two albums, they convincingly celebrated the aspects of New York that were under threat – bohemian squalor, loose living, the idea of the metropolis as a place where twentysomethings discover who they are – and became a potent signifier for the city.

We just want to tell you, we want to do this for the rest of our lives

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

Brexit has already split the UK. Now it risks tearing Labour apart | John Harris

Friday, July 28th, 2017

In ignoring the party’s remainers and embracing hard Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell risk inviting economic doom for the sake of ideology

• John Harris is a Guardian columnist

In advance of Brexit negotiations really getting down to the nitty-gritty, British politics currently resembles an unruly works outing to a restaurant. Philip Hammond seemingly wants the vegetarian option. Liam Fox fancies coq au chlorine. David Davis keeps asking the waiter for another five minutes, while Boris Johnson insists on cake. Theresa May, meanwhile, is away, enjoying the pleasures of authentic Italian cuisine and presumably readying herself for the dread moment when the 27 remaining countries of the EU decisively begin kicking Britain around, and the inevitable becomes obvious: either it’s the set menu, or we’re out.

Related: Labour softens stance on staying in single market after Brexit

Whither state aid for industry when there may be barely any industry left?

Related: Labour should exploit the Tories’ disarray on Europe, not copy it | Polly Toynbee

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

Revolutions are for zealots and fools – as the Brexit Bolsheviks will find out | John Harris

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Leaving the EU was meant to be Thatcherism’s finale, but could turn out to be its death instead

• John Harris is a Guardian columnist

The centenary year of the Russian revolutions of 2017 highlights an accidentally topical question: what do revolutionaries do when they actually get their revolution? The immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik takeover of October 1917, wrote Leon Trotsky, often boiled down to “legislative improvisation”. In his autobiography, My Life, he explained the general idea as follows: “Everything had to proceed from the beginning. There were no ‘precedents’, since history had none to offer … As a rule, matters were brought up for consideration without previous preparation, and almost always as urgent business.”

Related: Why Jacob Rees-Mogg for Tory leader is no laughing matter | Michael Segalov

There is – or rather, was – another Conservatism, hostile to grand schemes, accepting of looking to the state for help

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

Brexit is clearly a terrible idea. But it has to happen | John Harris

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Those who still hope to stop us leaving the EU need to think harder about the repercussions: the politics of the referendum period could come roaring back

• John Harris is a Guardian columnist

Social media is awash with it. In a certain kind of company, conversation inevitably turns to it. Now, even senior broadcast journalists hint that it might be possible, triggering great surges of online excitement. Barely a year after the EU referendum and only three months since the Daily Mail’s triumphal “Crush the saboteurs” front page, you can almost smell it: a rising expectation that the nightmare of leaving the EU might somehow be averted, allowing the country to return to some kind of normal.

Related: Scottish and Welsh leaders call repeal bill a ‘naked power grab’

Related: Government could end Brexit talks without a deal, says Damian Green

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

How pop music built liberal Britain | John Harris

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

The tents may be down but the spirit of Glastonbury lives on – while the Tories are stuck in the 1950s

British Conservatism – with both a big and small “c” – is once again feeling the pangs of crisis. Tory optimists might be hanging on to the fact that their party has just scored its highest vote share since 1983; as Brexit grinds uncertainly on, Britain remains in the grip of an avowedly rightwing vision. But the last time a Tory government was elected with a convincing majority was 1987. The UK’s big cities seem more impervious to Conservative politics than ever. The fact that the Tories did so badly among people under the age of 45 – 55% of whom backed Labour, while only 29% voted Conservative – underlines the sense of slowly gathering twilight.

Related: Glastonbury is more evidence: Corbyn’s appeal crosses classes | Owen Jones

Related: Pop music was a great leveller. Now it’s a bespoke plaything for the rich | John Harris

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

« Older Entries |

John Harris is powered by WordPress 2.8.4 Entries (RSS) Comments (RSS). Designed by Hywel Harris

ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Galactic Elite W Blanc Cheap Womens AF Sublimation Graphic Tee 2016 Adidas Originals ZX Flux Weave Shoes Sale Mens AF Active Running Shorts Online ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Duramo 6 W Running White Ftw Metallic Silver Vivid Mint F14 Mens AF Washed Out Tee AF 2016 ADIDAS ORIGINALS Court Star Slim W Sale Mens AF Classic Taper Pants Online Adidas Running adizero XT 5 Shoes Cheap Womens AF Textured Open Cardigan 2016 Mens AF Varsity Logo Cardigan AF 2016 ADIDAS ORIGINALS Zx 700 W Sabpou Sabpou Noiess Mens AF Striped Icon Henley AF 2016 ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Duramo 6 W Earth Green S13 Tech Grey Met S14 Solar Pink Mens AF Premium Utility Jacket AF 2016 ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Response Aspire Str W Running White Ftw Pink Buzz S10 Light Grey Sale Mens AF Denim Joggers Online ADIDAS ORIGINALS Extaball W Noiess Ormeta Nuiflu Mens AF Quilted Bomber jacket AF 2016 ADIDAS ORIGINALS Tech Super W NOIR NOIR ROSSOL Mens AF Classic Chambray Shirt AF 2016 ADIDAS ORIGINALS Bankshot 2 0 W Aluminum 2 Aluminum 2 Chalk 2 Mens AF Rib-Trim Crew Sweater AF 2016 Adidas Women adidas Neo Zip Fleece Hoodie New Womens AF High Rise Cropped Flare Sateen Pants 2016 ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Duramo 6 W Running White Ftw Metallic Silver Glow S14 New Womens AF Denim Mini Skirt 2016 Adidas Men Originals Plimcana 2 0 Low Shoes New Womens AF Lace Midi Skirt 2016 ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Duramo 6 W Noiess Noiess Rosflu Men Running adizero Tempo Boost 7 Shoes ADIDAS ORIGINALS Extaball Up W Noiess Noiess Ftwbla ADIDAS PERFORMANCE Galaxy W Neon Pink Metallic Silver Black 1 Men Running Springblade Ignite Shoes