House of Numbers screening

I would’ve put this post up on my dedicated vitamin D blog but as it’s non-specific, I thought I’d put it here.

Award winning medical TV programme maker Joan Shenton is hosting a FREE screening of the controversial HIV/AIDS documentary House of Numbers at the Shortwave Cinema in London, on Sunday March 13 at 11am (running time 90mins).

This screening, which includes a chance to meet Ms. Shenton, is being held so as to feature in a documentary of her own based on her (unfortunately out-of-print) 1998 book Positively False.

Ms. Shenton is one of the interviewees in my upcoming debut book, whose ‘frontline’ journalistic experiences emphasises why HIV cannot be the exclusive cause of AIDS, or even at all. She has also criticised the cholesterol hypothesis as far back as the 1980s.

Brent W. Leung’s House of Numbers (a US film) is the winner of 13 film festival awards, but I would be surprised if many of you have even heard of it. I had wanted to see this on original release, but virtually no cinemas showed it in England. The Spectator magazine helped to create some early buzz around it before critics like Ben Goldacre (whose views I agree with on many other medical issues) helped shoot it down.

I’m not sure if HoN is a good documentary but I believe the dissident HIV/AIDS argument is strong, and with what success the film has had, it’s certainly opened a few more minds. I came to become an HIV dissident when researching how vitamin D could help AIDS patients and was surprised by how many holes there are in the official story and how vague public information about it is.

One exclusive cut clip that went up on YouTube featured the extraordinary admission from HIV/AIDS co-discoverer Luc Montagnier that HIV is not necessarily a death sentence and can be treated in simplistic ways. You can watch it below.

I will be at this event as an ordinary punter. If you want to attend too there may still be spaces left,  read this flyer for details. I aim to put up a review of this screening next month.


Album review: Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Not sure if this is so much a review as a chance to ramble…

I’ve been a Mogwai fan for thirteen years now. The first album I bought of theirs was 1999’s Come On Die Young; not based on having heard any of their music, rather, my late teenage mind was a bit engrossed by the cover photo of a guy who looked like a very anaemic version of me (I have often bought albums for stranger reasons in the past).

Like many albums and bands I’ve come to love, I didn’t think very much of it at first, in fact I had dismissed it as some guys noodling around (all the bands I listened to up ’til that point always had a singer and traditional song structures), but I was moved to listen to it a second time, then a third… And you get the picture.

Mogwai are one of those bands who don’t really put out disappointing albums. They sort of play it safe by sticking to what they do best and slowly evolving their sound than revolutionising it. If I were to pick my favourite period of the band though, it would probably ape many others: 1996-2000. This was the pure guitar era typified by mostly quiet to extremely loud and aggressive songs. However, that does not mean I haven’t enjoyed their introduction of electronic elements and more subtler dynamic shifts. In fact it was probably necessary for them to not be seen as a one-trick pony, part of the reason why they still seem to command respect and have done as well as can be expected from a band who don’t play the radio pop game.

Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will continues in that vein, but perhaps what makes it another step up is that, even though this is still instrumental music, most of the songs seem to have a sort of pop structure to them. Many tracks are uplifting than melancholy. “Lead” guitarist Stuart Braithwaite described the album somewhere as something like ‘happy New Order pop songs’. Perhaps he was taking the mick a bit, but there are a clutch of songs that sound a bit like post ’89 New Order.

A special edition of the album features an extra CD with a 23min track, which if I’m not mistaken was not written for the album but originally commissioned for some sort of gallery. At this length, this is the longest ‘song’ Mogwai have ever written, and they have written ones only slightly less than that in the past. I wouldn’t recommend putting this track on straight after the main album as you’d end up feeling OD’d on the band, but on it’s own it’s good for going to sleep to – I don’t mean that in a bad way.

I could give you a track-by-track analysis as I occasionally do, but I feel that’s sort of pointless with Mogwai as they write albums where the mood of one track can describe the other, and the mood is uplifting. My subtitle for it would be “don’t ever worry about today because one day you will be dead.”