God Is In The TV: Rhondda Rocks this weekend with Future of the Left


Rhondda Rocks third annual festival comes to The Factory in Porth, South Wales this weekendl; August 1st to 3rd.

The Factory in Porth is set to host over 30 bands across 3 stages. Headlining the festival on Sunday night are Cardiff based noise-rockers and Welsh Music Prize winners, Future of the Left. This will be a special homecoming show for one of the band members, Jimmy Watkins, who will play in the Valleys with Future of the Left for the first time.Rhondda Rocks says it aims ‘to give upcoming talent from the local area the opportunity to share the festival bill with international touring acts’

‘Having played an well received set last year’s Rhondda Rocks festival, KEYS are back this year and are headlining the main stage on the Saturday, while former Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley heads the Second Stage on the same day.

Cardiff promoters Jealous Lovers Club curate the Second Stage on the Sunday and feature some of the most exciting bands in South Wales with the likes of Gung Ho, KUTOSIS, Samoans and RADSTEWART, as well as a headline slot for Sheffield emo outfit, Nai Harvest.

The Young Promoters Network curate the opening evening of the festival, showcasing new bands from the local area and with a headline set from Breathe in the Silence, who played at this year’s Download Festival on the Red Bull Stage.

The festival will also have a stripped back, more relaxed stage in The Loft Bar, featuring Scott Howells, The People The Poet, Dominic Griffin, Maddie Jones and more. The Loft Bar will also be the home to the many varieties of craft cider the festival has to offer.’


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God Is In The TV: Track Of The Day#556: Lovechilde- Ergot On Rye


Clambering aboard the haunted train ride to the apocalypse are menacing post punks Lovechilde with ‘Ergot On Rye’ a throbbing, krautrock cracker dashed with sweling synth pulses and scrunching guitar lines, oscilating frighteningly between the gothic tinged caustic electro throb of Bauhaus and the sparse ghostly vocal croons of Suicide.


‘Lovechilde are London based Thomas Eliot Dodd and producer James Dashwood. Their first full-length album Doorway to the Cesspit is released September 1st via Childe Records.

Produced by Lovechilde and Misha Herring (with drums from Virginia Wing’s Sebastian Truskolasky) the album mirrors its abrasion with intuitive instrumentation and a forward-thinking approach to songcraft.’

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The Oldspeak Journal Biological Scientists Warn: Anthropocene Defaunation A Pervasive Component Earth’s Ongoing 6th Mass Extinction


Oldspeak: “We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and populations of the remaining species show 25% average decline in abundance. Invertebrate patterns are equally dire: 67% of monitored populations show 45% mean abundance decline. Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Much remains unknown about this “Anthropocene defaunation”; these knowledge gaps hinder our capacity to predict and limit defaunation impacts. Clearly, however, defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet’s sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change” –Rodolfo Dirzo et Al, “Defaunation In The Anthropocene”

“As our infotainment networks focus on contrived human scale news, this planetary scale,  global ecology affecting, human driven mass extermination of life that will at some point include humans, goes largely unreported. Everything living is dying at an unprecedented and accelerated rate. This irreversible and ever worsening human activity driven reality is destroying essential ecosystems and is impacting human well-being right now. There is no stopping it.  We have no ability to predict or limit impacts. That’s big fucking news in my book. Why are we continually being fed rubbish information and propaganda that has nothing to do with anything real in this new and unknown context? Why aren’t we being told how dire our prospects for survival are? Why aren’t we drastically changing our way of being to incorporate the knowledge the extinction level event we’ve wrought? Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick….”-OSJ

By Bjorn Carey @ Stanford News Service:

The planet’s current biodiversity, the product of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trial and error, is the highest in the history of life. But it may be reaching a tipping point.

In a new review of scientific literature and analysis of data published in Science, an international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet’s sixth mass biological extinction event.

Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct. Populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life.

And while previous extinctions have been driven by natural planetary transformations or catastrophic asteroid strikes, the current die-off can be associated to human activity, a situation that the lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford, designates an era of “Anthropocene defaunation.”

Across vertebrates, 16 to 33 percent of all species are estimated to be globally threatened or endangered. Large animals – described as megafauna and including elephants, rhinoceroses, polar bears and countless other species worldwide – face the highest rate of decline, a trend that matches previous extinction events.

Larger animals tend to have lower population growth rates and produce fewer offspring. They need larger habitat areas to maintain viable populations. Their size and meat mass make them easier and more attractive hunting targets for humans.

Although these species represent a relatively low percentage of the animals at risk, their loss would have trickle-down effects that could shake the stability of other species and, in some cases, even human health.

For instance, previous experiments conducted in Kenya have isolated patches of land from megafauna such as zebras, giraffes and elephants, and observed how an ecosystem reacts to the removal of its largest species. Rather quickly, these areas become overwhelmed with rodents. Grass and shrubs increase and the rate of soil compaction decreases. Seeds and shelter become more easily available, and the risk of predation drops.

Consequently, the number of rodents doubles – and so does the abundance of the disease-carrying ectoparasites that they harbor.

“Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission,” said Dirzo, who is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle.”

The scientists also detailed a troubling trend in invertebrate defaunation. Human population has doubled in the past 35 years; in the same period, the number of invertebrate animals – such as beetles, butterflies, spiders and worms – has decreased by 45 percent.

As with larger animals, the loss is driven primarily by loss of habitat and global climate disruption, and could have trickle-up effects in our everyday lives.

For instance, insects pollinate roughly 75 percent of the world’s food crops, an estimated 10 percent of the economic value of the world’s food supply. Insects also play a critical role in nutrient cycling and decomposing organic materials, which helps ensure ecosystem productivity. In the United States alone, the value of pest control by native predators is estimated at $4.5 billion annually.

Dirzo said that the solutions are complicated. Immediately reducing rates of habitat change and overexploitation would help, but these approaches need to be tailored to individual regions and situations. He said he hopes that raising awareness of the ongoing mass extinction – and not just of large, charismatic species – and its associated consequences will help spur change.

“We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that’s very important, but there’s a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well,” Dirzo said. “Ironically, we have long considered that defaunation is a cryptic phenomenon, but I think we will end up with a situation that is non-cryptic because of the increasingly obvious consequences to the planet and to human wellbeing.”


The coauthors on the report include Hillary S. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara; Mauro Galetti, Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil; Gerardo Ceballos,  Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Nick J.B. Isaac, of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in England; and Ben Collen, of University College London.


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Owen Jones: Frank Dobson: Labour needs to be ‘knocking lumps off’ this government

The former Labour minister talks about the problem with Ed Miliband’s inner circle, Tony Blair’s work in Kazakhstan, and how it feels to be standing down after 35 years as an MP

"I’m a sentimental old sod," Frank Dobson warns me. It’s two days since he told Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party activists that he is standing down at the next election after 35 years as their MP. We meet by the gates of Coram’s Fields in the heart of his London constituency. With his portly frame, jovial expression, and bright white beard (he won Beard of the Year in 2000), the Father Christmas comparison is obvious and often made. He’s chatting casually to a park attendant before we walk to a nearby cafe in the glorious sunshine. "Try and walk with Frank you’ve got to allow double the time to walk around because of the people wanting to speak to him," is the tip I’m given in advance by Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden council a position once held by Dobson himself.

Dobson is not just sentimental; he’s a deeply emotional man. His eyes moisten when he discusses his brother Geoff, who died of liver cancer in 1997, on the eve of Labour sweeping to power after 18 years of Tory triumphalism; it was a bittersweet year. Geoff was a state school teacher who was "very severe, apparently", but when a former student stopped Dobson a few years ago to tell him he owed everything to his brother, it was more than he could bear. "I have to say, I burst into tears," he recalls. "In fact, I feel quite teary about it now."

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God Is In The TV: Alternative Top 40 – Summer 2014

The Alternative Top 40 is a regular music chart shared across multiple music blogs, and a great way of discovering music you might not have heard elsewhere. You can contribute to the #AltTop40 by simply naming your favourite tracks of the moment on their dedicated page. Here’s the new edition:

1. Jack Adaptor – Get It Right First Time


2. Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

3. Hazel Winter – YDFLM

4. Swans – She Loves Us

5. Lana del Rey – West Coast

6. Parquet Courts – Bodies Made Of

7. Rabit – Red Candles

Boxed Vol. 2 by boxedldn

8. Jemima Surrender – My Little Brother

9. St Vincent – Your Lips Are Red

10. Kogumaza – NB / Kолокол / Ursids

L&S025 Kолокол LP by Kogumaza

11. Patrick Duff – Thought Birds / +
12. SJ Esau – Frustrating / +
13. Fingersnap – Blackbirds / +
14. Tune-Yards – Gangsta / +
15. Alicia Catling – Mighty Fine / +
16. Laurel Halo – Supersymmetry / +
17. Sia – Chandelier / +
18. Julie Fowlis – Ged a Sheol Mi Air M’aineol / +
19. Bob Mould – The War / +
20. Marilyn Manson – Disposable Teens / +
21. Happyness – Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste the Same / +
22. Daisy Victoria – Macbeth to my Lady / +
23. Tape Waves – Looking at the Sun / +
24. Roddy Frame – Postcard / +
25. Steve Mason – All Come Down/ +
26. Robert Plant – Little Maggie / +
27. SJ Esau – Soul II Skull / +
28. Carla Bozulich – Lazy Crossbones / +
29. FKA Twigs – Two Weeks / +
30. Jemima Surrender – Anathema / +
31. Michael O’Neill – Cheetham Hill Speed Scene / +
32. Melt Yourself Down – Fix My Life / +
33. Mankind – Blood Sugar / +
34. Shacklock Meth Party – Johnny B Goode/ +
35. Manic Street Preachers – Europa Geht Durch Mich / +
36. Patrick Duff – Maria / +
37. Tune-Yards – Left Behind / +
38. Path – Apocalyptica feat. Sandra Nasic / +
39. Camper van Beethoven – It Was Like That When We Got Here / +
40. Archie Bronson Outfit – In White Relief / +

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Richard Godwin: The young poor need protecting from landlords – Evening Standard

Evening Standard

Richard Godwin: The young poor need protecting from landlords
Evening Standard
Richard Godwin: The young poor need protecting from landlords. Generation Rent are paying mortgages: other people’s. The sort who read Money sections because they have some. Absurd: Chancellor George Osborne’s main intervention has been to inflate …

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God Is In The TV: Track of The Day #556 HUGH – I Can’t Figure You Out

Based in South London, HUGH bring together a blend of warm samples and synths, in their spoken-sung pop songs of understated drama. A delicate synthesis of references, in textured r&b, deep house and the 80ʼs synth-pop.

The beating heart of this electro-pop outfit is the partnership of friends Andy Highmore and Joshua Idehen. A chance meeting in a London bar found the two discussing their mutual appreciation of Beach Houseʼs reverbs, Grizzly Bearʼs barbershop harmonies and the 90ʼs brilliance of Soul || Soul. With Joshua as prime songwriter and vocals and Andy focused on production and keyboard, the two fused their combined musical knowledge and experience to form HUGH. After recording their first demo ‘I Can Be Your Light’, they recruited friend Martin ʻTinoʼ Kolarides for guitar followed by singer Izzy Brooks lending her enchanting vocals to complete the band.

The video for ‘I Can’t Figure You Out’ is a beautiful, luxurious viewing that complements the song perfectly. Izzy is probably one of my favourite vocalists at the moment, the sultry break at the end of the track is definitely a highlight. I expect big things from HUGH [posh name or not] Watch this space.




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From Concorde to the iPhone, state intervention drives technological innovation | Paul Mason

History tells us that state involvement is the best route to prosperity. Our politicians need to think big and accept the risk of failure

If you wanted to radically alter the economy, making a country such as Britain as dynamic as China or Brazil, what would the state have to do? Intervene, obviously, but how?

That has become a hard question to answer since the onset of free-market economics. Much of the old apparatus of state control has been dismantled. Plus, the political culture in which planners, engineers and technical innovators inhabited the same offices has been shattered.

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Hamish McRae: This is not a new Cold War. These new upgraded, “phase three” economic sanctions will not suddenly bring Russia to its k…

Hamish McRae in the Independent.

This is not a new Cold War. These new upgraded, “phase three” economic sanctions will not suddenly bring Russia to its knees. But what they will do, coupled with Russia’s response to them, is make it impossible for Russia to escape the middle income trap – stop it from turning itself into a fully developed economy, with all the wealth and other benefits that western Europe enjoys, and its former satellites in eastern Europe are now acquiring.


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