Electricity & Lust

Reads of the Week

Posted in Reads of the Week by Sam Unsted on June 18, 2011
  • Not an article, but I finished reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis this week and would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in how the financial services industry created and ultimately caused the downturn we are all suffering through. I was on a bit of a financial crash kick this week as I also read an article about the value investor Bob Rodriguez – who says that a failure to address current debt levels will result in another crash in the near future – and watched the very dry must mostly entertaining Too Big to Fail, the HBO adaptation of the Andrew Ross Sorkin book. It recounts the moves and mistakes made by federal regulators in attempting to contain the financial crash by bailing out the banks and mostly just serves, as Lewis’ book does, in teaching that the crash was a long time coming and that the mistakes made at the time were nothing compared to the institutional incompetence and greed in the years leading up to it.
  • The death of Gil Scott-Heron a couple of weeks ago meant this article, by Alec Wilkinson for The New Yorker in 2010, got a lot of play. It’s a pretty interesting portrait of a man who appears uncomfortable with the legacy afforded him and serves as an illustration of the dangers and destructive nature of crack addiction.
  • This 1993 article by Michael Kelly about the political operator David Gergen is incredibly absorbing and more than a little frightening. The meat comes during Gergen’s time working in the Nixon administration and the path that American political life was set upon under which image and the projection of persona became the entire game.
  • Tom Bissell’s lengthy review of LA Noire, the smash-hit new Rockstar game, turns into an existential journey in the mind of a gamer and is a satisfying dissection of the shift seen in games over the past few years into an immersive, controversial art form. The article is also from Grantland, the new site headed up by Bill Simmons, which might well be the best website launched in the past year.
  • The New Yorker has three great essays in the new issue, respectively from Jennifer Egan, Tea Obreht and Jhumpa Lahiri.
And the best…
  • It’s a couple of weeks old now but this article, from the New York Times Magazine, about conjoined twins potentially sharing a mind, is utterly incredible. I don’t want to spend too much time giving reasons to read it, but it’s worth it just for the anecdotes alone of the apparent connection which appears to exist between the two subjects.

Working Music: Tom Waits

Posted in Working Music by Sam Unsted on June 16, 2011

Today’s Song to Write To: ‘I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love With You’ by Tom Waits. Tom Waits’ later stuff can be a bit shonky and arrhythmic for typing away, but his first album, Closing Time, lulls me into a pretty good flow.

Working Music: Red House Painters

Posted in Working Music by Sam Unsted on June 13, 2011

Today’s song to write to: ‘Songs for a Blue Guitar’ by Red House Painters. Been listening to this and Tom Waits all day. Waits not such great writing music, dependent on the album. Bone Machine great. Real Gone, not so much. Red House Painters put me, oddly, in a very calm, serene and moderately happy place.

Links of the Week

Posted in Links of the Week by Sam Unsted on June 12, 2011

In addition to the Reads of the Week feature on Saturdays, we’ll be adding a Links of the Week round-up on Sundays. These will likely vary in length but will probably, mostly, be longer than this debut one. First one cometh now.

  • If you have time, help the Guardian sift through the Palin email leak. Thus far, the most inflammatory finding appears to be Palin communicating with disgraced former-BP chief Tony Hayward about the oil giant resuming drilling operations in Alaska a year after it had been involved in another major spill, in Alaska. Mostly though, it’s just another valiant attempt to make absolutely sure that she won’t run for President in 2012.
  • Everyone and their mother has me excited about the new Fucked Up record, David Comes to Life. Pitchfork loves it, Drowned in Sound loves it, the Guardian loves it and The Quietus loves it.
  • New York has an interview with two detectives about the characters on The Killing. That series has veered into some tricky narrative waters and pulled some cliched tricks, but I’m confident it will end up being a memorable show for AMC. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are both astonishing (and I loved Rubicon) and it would be nice to add another one to its bow. The second season, when it can move out of the shadow of the original Danish series will be the crunch point. More on that series when it finishes in just over a week.
  • WTF with Marc Maron’s show with Brian Posehn was one for the canon. Posehn is a great comic actor with plenty of stories anyway, but he opens up to Maron in a compelling manner, ranging from his early days attempting to brand himself as ‘The Piranha’ to his current decision to quit weed and now attempt to shift away from being known as a so-called ‘weed comic’. Not quite as incredible to listen to as the Louis CK or Judd Apatow shows, but definitely one of Maron’s best.
  • Finally, if you even remotely remember Rainbow, this internal Christmas party video from the BBC in 1976 will both amuse you greatly and disturb you deeply…

Reads of the Week

Posted in Reads of the Week by Sam Unsted on June 11, 2011

First of a new feature. We’ll do this every week just to highlight anything that we really enjoyed from the past week. We’ll try and do the same with links on a Sunday.

  • ‘They Shoot Porn Stars, Don’t They?’ by Susanna Breslin. A self-published look at porn valley amid the recession. Some pretty heartwrenching anecdotes and stories which prevent the sometimes unfocused story from becoming too muddled or collapsing into titillation. It should be said, as with most stories about the porn industry, there is absolutely nothing titillating about this piece.
  • ‘Murder Most Yale’ by Suzanna Andrews. Fascinating examination of the murder of Yale student Suzanne Jovin from Vanity Fair in 1999. Somewhat dry in places and without the kind of engaging cache inherent in its subject to draw you in, as other stories of this genre have, this is still interesting and frustating, from the point of view of unsolvedness, in equal measure.
  • ‘Take it Like a Man’ by Kate Christensen. Perceptive essay on women writing in the male voice, something Christensen has done in all three of her books.
  • ‘Dizzying Highs and Terrifying Lows’ by Bill Simmons. Simmons, on his fantastic new Grantland website, takes the NBA to task on its need to adapt and develop its model in the face of financial difficulties and capitalise on the captivating NBA finals taking place right now.

And the best…

‘Basta Bunga Bunga’ by Ariel Levy. Absorbing, critical investigation of the impact Silvio Berlusconi has had on Italy and, in particular, Italian women. Packed to the gills with telling and surprising anecdotes about the Italian PM and sparked by his ongoing Bunga Bunga scandal, this is honestly amongst the best pieces of writing I have seen all year.

We’re going to return…

Posted in Personal by Sam Unsted on May 21, 2011

Well, we’re coming soon… keep your eyes peeled for the changes happening and some posts will follow in the near future.

Much to consider and sort out first, so don’t hold breaths, but things will get going very soon.

Thanks for the patience.

Another New Site

Posted in film, Movies by Sam Unsted on January 30, 2009

Hello folks

Sorry for the lack of anything on here for sooooo long. I felt a bit bad for this so I thought I should provide some information on what’s going on.

So, we are now running two other blogs. The first, I’ve linked to before. It’s called Politalking and its all about business and politics and current affairs ‘n’ stuff. It’s also suffered a little from less posting in the last few weeks but we’re working to form a plan to be able to contribute to that and…

The Movie Overdose! Our brand new film hosting site which houses our podcast of the same name!! You can check us out on iTunes and through the site but I thoroughly recommend both, in case you misplace one of those MP3s.

So, that’s what’s going on at the moment. Please come and check both out and I’ll try to post some more stuff on here in coming weeks.






Posted in Politics, Sam by Sam Unsted on November 1, 2008

Check out our new blog Politalking, taking all politics and current affairs related news in bitesize chunks from around the internet.




New Blog and Changes

Posted in Sam by Sam Unsted on October 31, 2008

So, after months of consternation and thinking and procrastinating and other useless non-activities, its probably not too much of a surprise that Electricity and Lust is to change. It’s not ending, but it is drastically changing. The basic premise is thus: Electricity and Lust is to change into a housing facility for a new podcast that myself and my good friend and housemate Tommy will start doing in the near future. It’s not all decided as to what will occur with the podcast as yet, what it will focus on etc. At the moment, all that’s known is that Electricity and Lust will be where you will be able to get hold of it and enjoy. When it will start is also up in the air at the moment but that will come soon.

Until then, pop culture news will be put on the downlow. A new blog has been started, Politalking, which will focus on all sorts of political, current affairs, business, international issues and news and just all sorts of other bits, sometimes interspersed with some fascinating columns and comments on the world around us. It will take a slightly different focus than has been seen on here with, for the time being, a distinct lack of our aggregate posts and almost nothing on film, music, tv or any other pop culture bits. That will be rectified by the content of the upcoming podcast project however.

Anyway, please go over to Politalking and enjoy and we will see each other very soon to discuss the goings on of the day.

Ben Stiller to replace Spielberg on Chicago Seven?

Posted in Uncategorized by Sam Unsted on October 23, 2008

A report from The Hollywood Reporter suggests Ben Stiller is in (very) early talks about taking over from Spielberg on The Trial of the Chicago Seven, the biopic of those arrested for inciting rioting at the Democratic Convention in 1968. Stiller on political drama? Could be interesting. With Branagh taking on superheroes, why the flip not?