Music copyright infringement, Jimmy Savile doco, autumn playlist

What we’re reading

Musicians are steeped in music and it’s inevitable that ghostly traces of their great influences will haunt their work. In these days of forensic musicology, though, they have to be vigilante not to inadvertently suggest a borrowing too close to the original that inspired it, however obliquely. This Rolling Stone article analyses 12 landmark music copyright infringement cases from the Beach Boys vs Chuck Berry to the Verve vs the Rolling Stones. Beware: contains serious, even heart-breaking cautionary tales.

What we’re viewing

When I was growing up, Jimmy Savile was ubiquitous. I neither liked nor disliked him, he was just part of the naff 70s landscape. But when the revelations about his true nature began to seep out, I was somehow not surprised. He was always such an unlikely —unlikeable — media personality.

Louis Theroux made a documentary about Savile named When Louis Met Jimmy in 2000 when whispers around wrongdoing were first beginning. Now that the full extent of Savile’s predatory abuse is public knowledge, he has made another one to try to account for how he failed to sense what was right in front of him. In Louis Theroux: Savile he interviews Savile’s colleagues and victims, and the scenes in which middle-aged women relay their abuse as teenagers are searing to watch. This is a quest for expatiation for Theroux, so he doesn’t explore the sexual politics of the time or the culture of tolerating deviant behaviour at the BBC that extends deep into the 1940s and 1950s. Nonetheless, his doco prompts unsettling questions regarding toxic psychology, the power of celebrity and complicity.

Louis Theroux: Savile is available on Netflix.

Check out a longer, more personal piece about the doco and the uber-predator Savile on our sister website, words by Jill Brown.

What we’re listening to

It’s autumn and time for a new Strange Loops mixtape.

There’s been an abundance of brilliant tunes released already this year. Our latest comp features new tracks from locals Middle Kids, Odette, Jack River and Safia; humorous oddities from Superorganism and Confidence Man; something unusual and exotic from Zimbabwean poet Shungudzo; 70s west coast from Rex Orange County; a couple of timeless recordings from 1968 by Gabor Szabo & Val Bennett, and much more.

Listen here.

Strange Loops is a blog that celebrates the mysterious power of words, music, dance and the moving image. Each month or so we present a roundup of the best of what we're reading, what we're viewing and what we're listening to right now.