Thursday, 31 December 2009

A ditty to the passage of a Wounded Warrior


Ripped by duress, unwilling to rejoin
A piece of my beat has disintegrated
Odds played in earnest
Failed fruition
So textbook for all to see, yet me
Desire bereft, conscious on repeat
My body lingers enough

It exists in my gut, insurmountable trust
Born from the existence of certainty
Credence is true
Adventures achieved
Self-belief is stronger than any foe I know


Monday, 21 December 2009

TEED - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

I saw this guy play again on Friday at the LAB, he was despite technical difficulties, outstanding. A very ordinary looking boy surrounded by a serious amount of gadgets including a keytar. He sang, mc'd and played live whilst dressed in a dinosaur outfit. A particularly strong balkan inspired mashup of Deathray Trebuchay can be found on his myspace. Entertaining.

Christmas Panto with a DIY ethos.

As I begin to pack up my belongings ready for my journey east to London I reflect over the past few days events with contentment. Bristol seems to have opened its doors to me, the city has become a village and faces familiar. Friday was Heavy Metal Acid Panto, hosted by Invisible Circus, performed on a stage in the main room at the Old Fire Station right in the centre of town. The delivery was crotchy, thrusts and codpieces prevailed, the band rather alluring in a thrash metal Kiss kinda way, the humor lifted me from my SAD dysfunction. Most attendees had made the effort to glam up in LSD Disney style as recommended on the invite. For an £11 entrance it was well worth the money. Something that Bristol does well is DIY events, perhaps a reflection of the culture here. My small gripe was down to the seating, it was slightly shambolic with floor space at a premium you had to find and appropriate yoga position and ride in out. Costumes were excellent with the main dame outshining everyone save a few repeated put downs for various heckling audience members.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Christmas Carol

On Thursday I was invited to a most Dickensian encounter which made me feel like an extra in A Christmas Carol (easily in my top five Christmas films), I was led through the back streets up and down until we reached the dead yet rather pretty end of Orchard Street (pictured), encased by grand houses in white complete with wrought iron fencing. The night was clear and bitterly cold warmed by the iridescent glow of tea lights shimmering from home made lanterns we sang seasonal carols to our hearts content. Kindly accompanied by cold-fingered pianist, a few passers by and several glasses of warm mulled wine. It was my first taste of Bristolian Christmas and I liked it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Resuscitate the Rainbow...

Birmingham home to Brummies, once upon a time home to me also, like Simon le Bon, I like to think of myself as an honorary Brummie. A place I hold in high regard yet not without its downfalls, for example it has its ginormous overdeveloped Oxford Street inspired centre which save the rag market and Digbeth is a haven for chain stores and discount shops. I sense traffic is now a problem in all major cities, however none more prevalent in Birmingham, however there seems to be no workable solution (aside the talk of congestion charging) in place. The problems that face Birmingham are simple ones, too many people not enough space in the centre, creative, edgier nights are slowly finding spots outside of town. Places set to step forward and take the crown are Moseley, Kings Heath, Digbeth and Hockley, all of which contain excellent pubs and parties hosted by forward thinking music promoters, it would be great if the fashion and music shops that supported these were to follow.

Sunday I attended Below - a minimal tech night - hosted at the Rainbow in Digbeth, an excellent venue, which is under threat due to complaints from a new development of flats (which makes me pose the question which was there first – the pub or the flats?). UB40 recently played a gig to highlight the pubs plight - all money raised from ticket sales went towards sound proofing the roof. The main bar is still retains its original features with a grand bar in the middle, decorated with candor and compassion it incorporates its current usage and past history, with art on the walls and graffiti elements. The bar could have been stocked with a little more forethought, disappointingly the resident drunk turned out to be the landlord. However this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the place, the rear once a garden, now a roof warehouse space with graffiti, plants, fairy lights and installations is a soft intimate stead for bands and dj’s to do their thing. Below is best judged by the non-arrival of two its (I believe) three promoters, an excellent night was had by all those who attended, however I sensed it was nearing the end of its glorious run spanning a good five (if not more) years. I left hoping for projects, more nights and more life into the Rainbow!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Where has the face gone?

Last week I was lucky enough to have a shelf of old magazines dating from the early eighties to the nineties (The Face, Blitz, i-D) at my disposal. The greatest revelation was the vast difference in content spanning current social/political issues. Have we changed a great deal socially in terms of what we care about? The injustices and failings of the world we live in still have a place in a lifestyle publication. Yet the politics/annoyances seem to have taken a backseat and been replaced by the latest ‘product launch/sponsorship deal/collaboration’ aimed a keeping the magazine afloat through ‘special projects’. Has the money and drive for something genuine and honest completely run out? In The Face dated 1989 features a double page spread vehemently rejecting the then current YTS (Youth Training Scheme) as unworkable and divisive. How would today's readers of Dazed or i-D react to an article covering the lack of jobs for this years recent graduates, do people want to be engaged by the issues of life or simply prefer to bury their heads in the sand?

Back Up! Back Up!

My inevitable return to web logging has been played out my head repeatedly since a rather fruitful rekindling excursion to the big smoke last Monday (that’s a week last Monday in fact). Such as the reality of life, my documenting attempts do not appear to be as smooth and organised as I originally envisaged, however, the passion to produce an upfront delivery of my musings remains habitually steadfast. I shall be gradually offloading anecdotal snippets from the events not as I encountered them, rather in a similar vein to a patient suffering from alzheimers.

When dipping in and out of London you are lucky enough to be presented with a fresh set of senses, observantly you clock the changes as you are ushered into new venues by your friends in the know, you absorb and revel in their respective successes, a new record released, a gallery launch, a new fashion label booming, a new rather exotic sounding boyfriend and the evolving career monopoly. Gorging off the energy they happily throw at you and all the generous meals they lavish in your honor. In short it makes you feel like life is good. You don’t have to deal with a bullshit that comes with the day to day, for me, as a struggling creative it’s the constant battle for survival. My dreams aren’t of marrying my prince or winning the lottery instead they contain a career ‘sponsor’, born into rich parentage, a wealthy boyfriend or a rather generous old lady with a penchant for working class fashion students, someone capable of removing the financial burden of existence in an industry entirely supported by people working for free for protracted periods of time, in the hope of achieving creative enlightenment. The question –‘How long can I work for free until the job centre comes knocking and wants to know when I’m going to bite the bullet and get a sensible office job? Recites gleefully in my worried little head.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Micachu and the Shapes, Fiddlers, Bristol, Live Review

David Okumu of The Invisible towers down upon us, his broad frame and statuesque movements hypnotise the crowd, we let him lead us through a series of silkily fused electronica post-rock tracks, which ebb and flow gently into each other. The band are a testament to the Matthew Herbert influence, a solo project turned accidental trio work seamlessly and drive the crowd into a state of musical contentment. The band beat tonight’s headliners, Micachu & The Shapes, to a Mercury nomination earlier in the year for their eponymous debut album.

Slightly later than planned, Mica Levis, nee Micachu of Micachu & The Shapes, saunters on stage with a rather DIY looking medium sized guitar; charming yet not quite effervescent. This coy coquette garners the immediate attention of the crowd as they dash to the stage so as to not miss a beat - attentive and patient they are keen to be played too. The stage dynamic works quite well with Raisa Khan on keyboards and percussion, Marc Pell on drums facing each other and Micachu centre stage; behold the energy triangle.

The opening tracks sound promising if a little sketchy. I sense they are working up to something but a few more tracks through and my hopes are quashed. Repeated sound problems hinder delivery thus creating a break in the atmosphere. They begin a song, hit the chorus and decide to begin again, cue slightly awkward explanation and a rather weak joke. I am party to a missed sound check or rehearsal session, having missed their performance at Bestival, I wasn’t sure whether their haphazard delivery was meant to add to the charm. Hindered by the high volume of new ‘rough round the edges’ material and juxtaposed by the tightness of the ‘bigger’ tracks I sensed this was not the case. Especially when you consider the link which bought The Invisible and Micachu & The Shapes together - Accidental Records – Matthew Herbert avant-garde electronica maestro. Mid-set, Micachu wisely enlisted the help of David from The Invisible to perform an impromptu guest slot.

As a champion of Micachu, I had high expectations which were dented, yet not beyond repair. The later part of the set bore witness to a confused and talkative crowd, the recovery was slow, they picked up a little, but by the final encore Micachu sneaked a smile onto her charismatic face and confidently delivered their most celebrated track to date – save Just In Case (which wasn’t performed) - Golden Phone, the crescendo bought the audience to a rapturous jiggling finale and all was forgotten, well almost.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Don't live too publicly?

'We live in Public' doesn't come across as pleasant or comfortable viewing, it does however pose a few questions about the domination of the internet in our everyday lives. How necessary is the world wide web to us and how influenced are we by what we view? Since moving to Bristol, I have slowly began a natural transition to reduced internet usage. Choosing to read books, walk, hang out locally and pick up the phone to friends, rather than sit for hours at a time interacting via the web. My internet consumption flitted between keeping up with what everyone else was doing, documenting what I was doing, or rather how well I was doing for the purpose of self-promotion and whether I was missing out on anything. Take a step back and can see the bubble for what it is, a self perpetuating machine that distracts you from life. Consider how important being in the bubble actually is, what you gain and what you lose.*

Media feeds us a belief that being happy is measured by commercial successes heavily linked to fame and wealth. The film explores the concept of broadcasting entire lives over the internet from taking a dump to having sex, every aspect of ones character is uncovered to the nth degree with bleak results... the film provides a moral tale for an ever developing modern society... you can see more recent comparisons to the initial project Pseudo by exploring reality TV (more notably Big Brother), celebrity magazines and to an extent social networking sites.

* disclaimer, the internet is a valuable research tool which I use daily, I have however modified how I use the web, choosing to find a more healthy balance in its usage.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

This means WAR.......

Warpaint more addictive than Florence and the Machine, and with equally more edge to boot, hailing from the US, Los Angeles to be precise. The quartet, which is three girls heavy have been kicking it state side for a few years now. I cannot wait until they jump across the water to play here. Fingers crossed they land in Bristol, otherwise a journey to London will definitely be in order. I have only heard good things especially about there live performances. Keep an eye on these guys, they are ones to watch...

Here is a taster of Elephant performed live...

Worst and Best of Bestival...

I think I must have been the only person at Bestival that wasn't completely blown away by the event… arriving on the Saturday meant that I had failed to get completely wasted with the rest of the collective and wasn't suffering at all, in fact I was mostly trying to convince everyone how up for it they were. Everything was slightly spacey and my body clock was out of sync. Don't get me wrong I had an excellent time, yet there were a few major gripes that let it down.

1. It was my first time and although i'd planned to go in 2007 I still hadn't made it, so there was two years of build up and people tales of festival joy already in the sack of unperceived expectation.
2. The sound on the main stage was shocking, with reverb the bass feedback was of a school boy embarrassment standards.
3. As already mentioned the Friday/Saturday out of sync scenario.
4. OK so lots of people like them blah, blah, blah, but I think I completely missed the Doves, Elbow, phenomonem and consequently didn't really feel they were saying anything to me
5. The biggest gripe was the ridiculous non-escape at the end which encompassed a lengthily uphill bottle neck, the straddling of fences and jumping of ditches, only to snake every corner to discover a new, even longer queue. It an additional four hours to make my escape only to be greeted by massive lines of people awaiting the ferry home… shudder.

In the spirit of fairness I would like to point out five things I did enjoy about Bestival

1. Seasick Steve main stage, he followed Lily Allen which was the perfect contrast, pure old school blues of the highest quality, nice crowd too. Here's a clip from Bestival two years ago, playing a pretty similar set!

2. A dash to see Speech Dabelle (yes, mercury prize winner) compare extraordinaire, lyricist and not a bad rapper, backed by a solid band including a ice cool guy on double bass. Proving that mercury are still doing something right if they can pluck someone from the underground... haha to those who have already sold out...!
3. The W.I. (yes women's institute) tent serving tea at 60p, packed, efficient service from nice old ladies in pinnies.
4. Ibiza vibes from Jazzie B at the Rizla stage, sun shining, place was nicely packs and everyone was getting down.
5. Sunday in general the day when everything seems to come together, people get to the right level of smashed and all appear to let there guard down… you can make many a friend with a joint in your hand.

All in all not a bad weekend on weather and entertainment counts, I guess no festival is ever plain sailing, however this one did feel like more hard work than the other two I had attended over the summer. Lots of good feedback for Kraftwerk which I sadly missed, I think if I'm honest I'm more gutted about missing Miccachu and the shapes though… ah well there will be other times.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Adventures of a long distance runner

As I was tucked up in bed, sloth like, watching Homes under the Hammer, I became inspired to go for a run. The destination was St Andrew’s Park of which I had heard good things about, yet was put off by the great big hill I had to climb to get there, Ashley's Hill. Upon scaling Ashley I was breathless pausing to take in the view of the allotments and the city below. I was transfixed by the beauty as the green patterned sea unfurled, accented by hues of yellow and pink. St Andrew's Park is like the park of your childhood, mature trees, winding paths, a instant sense of calm and an area populated by rather excited little children, happy that finally with the return to school the play area is no longer dominated by those bigger than them.

On one of the lawns was Project Bicyclette setting up for a gentile busking session with a sound system ran solely on bicycle power. There 2K sound system was out of sight used mainly for free parties and fundraisers. A rather friendly Springer Spaniel took a project manager stance, majestically overseeing everything.

The journey home (downhill) was a far easier, spurred on by my endorphins I searched for a more challenging route. A detour into the forest (aka man-made woodland trail) along the functioning railway line and past the mound (a popular viewing point, with many a campfire to be found once the stars takeover the sky), I stopped in awe of a overwhelmingly whimsical save eccentric house, with stone animals, junk and woodwork spilling over itself to take your focus. I heard a crack of the bush behind me turned around and a fox looked me in the eye, wow! It look far healthier than those I found wandering round Tufnell Park, yet not quite as well kept as Fantastic Mr Fox*.

Last stop on my adventure was punctuated by a full steam jog to St Werburghs Farm, on Saturday we consumed breakfast at the café followed by a wander around the site, a sow lay there panting almost in labor, I wanted to see if she had survived her ordeal, upon arrival there was no sign as to her fortune, further enquiry lead me over the fence and inside the sty with the farm hand as my guide to the heat lamp where the piglets lay and suckled from exhausted looking Mother, today perfect tiny piglets, three were to remain the rest off to the farmer to fatten up, tomorrow freshly slaughtered bacon in the café…

* I took in the trailer for Fantastic Mr Fox, disappointed to discover a British staple given a brash, mass market Hollywood/American makeover, such a waste.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Coco avant Chanel - A feast for the eyes but not necessarily the senses...

Coco avant Chanel's heavily romantic plot, draws you in and spits you out the other side wondering what you had learned about Chanel's business scruples. I had always been led to believe that she was a much more ferocious business woman than the film portrayed. Her biggest rival Madeleine Vionnet was also in a race to be rid of the corset and the constraints that came with in. A very sentimental and enjoyable film with artistic license in full flurry, suited for those unfamiliar with fashion history. My satisfaction came in the form of gowns, hats, riding attire in rich silks, hardy tweeds and decadent bow ties, all the clothing is rather sublime, a feast for the eyes. Audrey Tatou delivers her best as a rather worn out lifelorn Coco and the film being peformed in French certainly raises it up a few notches.

Only the Director's seat for me?

Last night I was at odds with nothing to do, being a lonely girl in a new city I felt the dark anonymity of a cinema might distract me from myself for a few hours. 9.20pm was late to decide on such a venture, however from last weeks failed efforts at watching Coco avant Chanel - I knew of one venue that would be playing it, albeit with a hefty price tag, £12.25 to be precise. Such indulgences are usually not fulfilled, however, now and then a girl just has to throw caution (and their job seekers allowance) to the wind. So what did I actually get for my £12.25 - I re-confirm the price as I’ve never paid that much to watch a film, actually tell a lie, I have it was for the open air cinema at Somerset House set in the grounds of a majestic courtyard witness to one-off screenings that take months of licensing and preparation. Needless to say this was a constant charge designed to pull in revenue over a prolonged period of time. Anyway I digress - for my £12.25 (third and final mention) I received an extra large and somewhat squeaky slightly recline-able (what I believe to be leather - no vegans allowed) armchair, with a side table and the honor of purchasing a reasonably priced drink (from a dedicated bar) to furnish it with. Luxury holds no bounds. So luxurious in fact that surrounded by 10 others in a screen with a capacity on 200, we were greeted by a permanent choir of fart noises as the leather creaked and squirmed throughout the film. Needless to say I enjoyed the empty cinema and the little tray for my drink, however my thoughts upon entering the film remained unchanged. Had I been granted the option to watch the 'French speaking' film in anywhere other than the director's lounge I would have gladly taken it and saved my meagre recession based budget. Upon reflection the Cinema de Lux Director’s Lounge is a great place to go for a date or a regular outing if money is no object plus their is the additional straight from the car park into the cinema convenience that a larger ‘plex’ has to offer, next stop (at the other end of the cinema spectrum) is the cube.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Banksy's Bristol

The ingratiation of my new home - Bristol - was further progressed on Monday when I found the energy to venture up to Clifton triangle via Park Street (sans bicycle - last time I had to jump of my bike two thirds of the way up and walk the remainder whilst gasping for air; much to the amusement of the seasoned hill walker). At the top was the rather majestic building which houses vast arrays of taxidermy, historical artefacts and for the last month or two Banksy's exhibition and conjoined assault on the museum. Here are some rather poor quality pictures, which still present a glimpse of what I enjoyed. We were lucky enough not to queue as we entered around 40 minutes before the gallery shut, however those arriving in morning should expect to queue for anything from 2-3 hours... (with queuing beginning at 8am).

The Banksy exhibition runs until the 31st August at the Bristol Museum.

Friday, 31 July 2009

However, I'm not, so...

I plan to attend this instead... Eat your heart out Somerset House, it's free and on my doorstep.

If I was in London...

I would definitely be moseying along to this to have a perv at this little (pussy)kat...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A period of adjustment

Slowly merging from the safety shackles of a new house I ventured out into the not so big, but still fairly daunting city of Bristol. My first stop the job centre, it carried all the usual hallmarks of incompetency on my first visit they managed to give my dole card to another (of the male variety), second visit I was informed I needed to start looking for admin roles, a result of the 'shrinking' job market was their official line. Visit number three provided me with a comprehensive list of websites I should be looking at, only one bore any relevance, still the lady had taken on a mothering role, which may come back to haunt me at a later date.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

From London to Bristol.

My room has been transformed over a three day period to resemble a sea of boxes and cheap laundry bags, packed with my life's treasures and items I should have ditched a long time ago, in short, it looks a little sad. This weekend I plan to do all the regular 'unoriginal' London activities that have filled my life since arriving here six years ago... go to the park (London Fields), Broadway Market, local pubs and entertain friends at home. A fitting closure to a wonderful adventure that has been cut short in the pursuit of love. Is this the last time I name London as my postal address? Que sera. All the sirens and sick fail to err the diamond in the rough, the freedom and buzz I encounter when strolling down the street or cruising on my bicycle, cannot be diminished. Yet there are new pleasures that await, a garden, more open space, an open fire, less trampling, more time focused inward. Bristol holds new possibilities, new music, new friends and new memories, yet without London this would be inconcievable, for it has shaped me, guided me and given me love...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Where the Wild Things Are...

I'm sure most are aware of the upcoming release of Where the Wild Things Are, a movie adaptation of the beloved childhood book. Spike Jonze is at the helm as director and the soundtrack features Arcade Fire (and I'm sure many others). On paper it really has the potential, as with all great books, their is always a fear of adaptation, I'll be happy if it lives up to 80% of my anticipation for the film. Here's a little preview to whet your appetite...

Monday, 29 June 2009

A Sunday Lost...

This Sunday I stumbled upon a medium sized gem of a pub, after taking the scenic route post breakfast at Dalston Lane Cafe (seems to have escaped the attention of the masses - i.e. good food, no queuing for a table). Pembury Tavern is has been open since 2006, so not exactly quick off the mark by any counts, what I liked especially was the 8% cider (Millwhites Dabinett's) after four pints I was loving life... so much so I managed to make it home and pass out, waking six hours later to the dark of the night and the slightly depressing Glastonbury highlights courtesy of the BBC. Internally the pub is quite spacious, high ceilings, with an assortment of seating and decorated with a beer mat boarder which proudly ran around the whole pub. The food menu covered the usual far, however with extra consideration given to the vegetarians (and vegans) with dishes including the Haloumi Jalfrezi (interesting, may work) and other such delights. At £2.80 a pint I shall be returning...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Back from the East

It is with a heavy heart and weary head I boarded the plane at Krakow for my journey back to London, within three hours I had touched down on UK soil. Greeted me was the rush hour sea of heads ploughing straight for the platform I had just left at Victoria Station. After running out of GBP (still have pockets full of various European currency Lats, Litas, Zolts...) I had to 'jump' the tube/overground back to Dalston. Felt a naughty freedom as I sneeked through the barrier at Dalston Junction, out onto the hot streets and to my doorstep. My return was softened by the trip to Tayyabs, although dissappointingly the service had subsided somewhat as the phrase 'victim of their own success' was banded round the table. We ate our Karachi curries (fish for me) in haste and left as the waiter was cleaning up and resetting before we'd even finished paying. It wasn't so great to be home, the holiday blues were kicking in fast.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Don't Wait Animate...

The band from London who wouldn't look out of place in a Benetton advert Don't Wait Animate meet up with us at The Haggerston to discuss why exactly they have decided to merge two genres of music together. They talk candidly to Dazed about their love for computer game soundtracks, their unhealthy obsession with Streets of Rage 2 and why to show appreciation for their music you should dance or punch someone in the face... don't worry they aren't violent, just enthusiastic, well meaning folk, whatever you do though, don't save over their computer game positions...

Dazed Digital: You describe your sound as 'Strumstep', what exactly does that mean and where did the phrase come from?

Don’t Wait Animate: One of our fans came up to us quite inebriated one night after our set and screamed at us "strumstep" stupefied, we accepted the term. It is a response to the sound and atmosphere we create using a live band we merge dubstep with indie, borrowing the beats, the breaks and wobble bass from dubstep. However much we are influenced by dubstep we still retain indie sensibilities, an indie heart if you like, most of the recorded tracks retain that kind of vibe.

DD: What problems do you face in terms of not quite belonging to either musical genres, is their love from both sides?
Don’t Wait Animate: The main problem is getting booked! Promoters don't know where to put us because our live set is so different to our recorded songs. We have been placed alongside many different musicians, with a varying degree of success, regardless of response we are able to feed off the crowd - if they hate us we want to play to them more! Our live performances are appreciated by both our indie contingency, and our dubstep connoisseurs, which are particularly into the tracks we haven't laid down - they tend to work better live.

DD: Do you feel there has been an influx in groups who take reference from a hybrid of sounds to create their own musical genre?
Don’t Wait Animate: It's happening more and more, peoples tastes are so diverse now. The question; 'what sort of music are you into'? Is a taboo nowadays and is punishable by public thrashing. It's a postmodernist world, form and genre are dying a slow death.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Liam's Pretty Green

Spring, 1994 as I sat in an empty park playing truant from school, listening to Oasis on repeat on my walkman, little did I know I would one day get the opportunity to own my very own piece of Liam Gallagher clothing. The new range, Pretty Green, designed by Liam features, tees, jumpers and parkas, is inspired by the film Quadrophenia and the 'mod' movement in particular.

The range went on sale to registered members this morning and due to the overload of people trying to access the site it crashed, reportedly in excess of 100,000 customers. Dazed have an exclusive first access to the video for the range, which also debuts Liam's solo track Mystery Man. You can also access a different edit on YouTube here.

Below are some of our favourite Liam quotes from both videos. To coin Mr Gallagher himself... enjoy it you fuckers! Follow this link for rest of the Dazed Digital article.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Acrylics RISE for Dazed Digital

If you cut certain sections of the Acrylics music and looped them together, you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a relaxation type given to you by some well-meaning relative. The band certainly does nothing to discourage their slightly skewed interpretation of ‘cool’. Contemplative slow-burning candy garage and seductive vocals provide a reflective airy 80s filmic feel. Further complimented by graphics delivered with an irony that only New Yorkers seem to perfect. You can read the rest of the interview here.

Monday, 1 June 2009

A new vocation... ?

Before Tracy Emin came along with her unmade bed, their was Cynthia Plaster Caster who found fame in the 60s by casting the dicks of famous rock stars. She would get her friend 'Diane' to suck them off before taking the mould using dental plaster so that their glories were available for eternal appreciation. She casted Jimi Hendrix, Bob Henrit of the Kinks, Ricky Fataar of The Beach Boys and David Yow of the Jesus Lizzard to name but a few. In 2000 she moved over to breasts and has cast Karen O and Peaches... Perhaps my new job should involve casting breasts, I think it would be great fun, rock stars dicks aren't too appealing though... think of all the germs they harbour.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Perfect Timing.

As I was strolled down Kingsland Road Saturday evening post Turkish supper I breezed past the Irish bar opposite The Kingsland Shopping Centre and gaze in, the wall was decorated with balloons and banners in celebration of a birthday, in a glance my eyes capture the image of a fireman bending over in full regalia, my brain catches up it's stripper, oh wait he's taking his clothes off with some old lady sitting down in front of him, a you boy with an earring, badly bleached hair and sports top looks out and catches me falling about in laughter, he looks slightly embarrassed unsure where to look the lady, the stripper or me... I smiled at the comedy timing an felt like I was witness to an snapshot episode of 'shameless'.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Tim in Stereo

Tim Noakes' voice relays in stereo around the office as he plays disc jockey on Diesel Radio this afternoon. The station is located down the road from my house on Shacklewell Lane I kinda wish I had made a plan to carry his CD case or something then I could of slipped out the door. Friday afternoon is tiresome we are all about to die from heat exhaustion... roll on... Saturday morning, when I finally start my weekend.

Here is a picture of Joanna Lacey, Tim and Terrence Teh enjoying themselves, bastards.

Picture stolen from Dazed Digital.

Sticky hands, sticky feet

If anyone believes that working in a pub is glamorous well, they'd be right, for about 30mins when you first enter and your face is pretty fresh and you're not covered in Sambuca, true you're out and you're kinda having fun (whilst being stuck behind a bar as moron's decide to grab your attention by signing at you like some kind of retard). Don't ever wear a decent pair of shoes to work as they will be destroyed after a few shifts from standing in the swampy floor and having beer and all manner of things tipped on you. The only solution is to get drunk, but then you feel quite guilty about the excesses you take things to, it's 7am and you're still at work you really want to do something with your day but by the time you wake up it's too late. I'm just trying to enlighten those who thinking working behind a bar is plain sailing... rant over.

Personality Types, Rollercoaster riders...

Do you ever talk to people and wonder - what happened to make you act that way? Tonight was a prime example of nepotism, I was intrigued as to how these people operate, do they show certain sides of the character to certain people that matter and behave like selfish twats to the rest of us? What do they bring to the table that allows them preferential treatment for just turning up, did they put their time in when we weren't looking, or simply breeze to the front of the queue because their mommy told them it was OK behavior. I sound like i'm ranting however the social structure and game playing within the party/work scene in London is a myriad of complexities, which boil down to how much you want something...

It's their for the taking, if you are prepared to change everything so that you barely recognise yourself.

Take a ticket climb aboard the rollercoaster...

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Daily sightings

With the countdown of Rankin's departure from Dazed to a lovely new studio, I feel it only necessary to mark each sighting of musical folk on route to camera. Today it was the turn of V V Brown see previous blog posts and Lewis accompanied by one of the Kitty and Daisy's! Whichever one it was, looked a little nervous as she scuffled past my desk... I guess a room full of Dazed staff may do that to you...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

From Weston-super-Mare with Love

Weston-super-Mare really doesn't have a lot going for it, yet in the broken down ramshackle town, we managed to stumble upon 50s dinner complete with vinyl coverings and shaded glass mirrors, now if we could only transport the place back to Dalston we'd be sitting on a goldmine!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

From Chew Magna with Love

Decided to head out of Dalston this weekend, thus far I have encountered a high proportion of dreaded folk and fields. My main treat of the morning was watching a week old foal in the buttercup filled field next door and two dragonflies 'going at it' over the pond. It made me ponder whether field bursting with buttercups was a natural occurrence forgotten from childhood or the result of the rather warm weather we'd been having. A hint at the effects of global warming. There seem to be a rather high level of aphids, perhaps due to the time of year or the summer weather, I guess this can only be a good thing for ladybirds, but is this a positive change for everything else? I feel I should keep my eyes open for other changes good or bad, linked to the hot weather. Below is picture of a 1920's Bentley I've been promised a ride in, fingers crossed!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Stag & Dagger - Round up & Mae Shi Interview.

Last night I dragged myself out despite my raging flu/cold/depends on who's asking and joined my friends for the Shoreditch musical love-in, Stag & Dagger. Our plan of attack was to go to the venues we'd not been to before, however once we arrived their we discovered we had been to all, only under different names! Quick dash to the Vibe bar ensured I caught the last song from the Mae Shi, (interview below), I stayed for Abe Vigoda, who were watchable and headed back to Catch to check out Thunderheist, entertaining. Then on my bike to cycle home after consuming no alcohol. Rock and Roll!

Interview for Dazed Digital...
The Mae Shi are a hybrid of musical backgrounds and aspirations thrown together to form a 'franchise' band, evolving through a process of reinvention known in the industry as 'snaking' (the shedding of members to reveal a new layer). It's current line-up, Jonathan Gray, Jeff Byron, Tim Byron, Bred Breeck, Jacob Cooper and William Esperanto Gray have been going strong since late 2007. We grab a hasty moment with Jacob Cooper the newest member of the band on the eve of their Stag and Dagger shows in London, Leeds and Glasgow. You can check out their band blog here.

Dazed Digital: What was the inspiration for your latest album? Jacob Cooper: The end of the world, in both a religious and non-religious perspective at the same time.

DD: Where does your sound come from? Jacob Cooper: We all listen to a lot of music and play in different sounding bands. Brad is a pop song writer, I'm into digital hardcore, Jon and Bill are in a punk band together, and Jeff composes music and used to be a trance DJ.

DD: What are your favorite tracks from the album, why? Jacob Cooper: I personally love The Melody. It's a proper pop song and it's the only song from the record we can't tack down as a live band. Go figure.

DD: What was ATP like, it must have been a good to make it onto the fan curated line-up? Jacob Cooper: We had a blast at ATP. It sort of sucked that none of the rides were working while we were there. They had shut off the whole theme park to throw the festival for ATP. We got to see some amazing bands too like Jesus Lizard and Sleep. I got pretty slammed and ended up having conversation with who I thought was the guitarist for Jesus Lizard for about ten minutes, but 3 days later realised the guy was English and worked for the government. He was still an awesome dude though.

DD: Are you looking forward to Stag and Dagger? Jacob Cooper: Stag and Dagger is going to be loads of fun. It involves everything we have learned to love: shitty food, drunk people, tons of music in one area, and all night parties. Lock and load.

DD: You've been kicking around since 2003, how do you compare to when you began? Jacob Cooper: We have had several line up changes. I'm the newest member of the band, and that was about a year and a half ago now. I'd like to consider the Mae Shi as more of a franchise now.

You can read the rest of the interview by clicking here.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Heist me up baby.

Text by Martina Randles for Dazed Digital

Canadian duo Thunderheist have been bubbling under the surface for quite some time now, they hit the UK tomorrow ready loaded with a two year back catalogue of tracks guaranteed to vibrate the dancefloor. We talk to the comedic duo on the eve of their show at this years Stag and Dagger
festival in Shoreditch and in the midst of their Europeean onslaught. You can also check out their own individual blogs here and here.
Dazed Digital: Your album 'Big Dada' dropped at the end of March over here, how do you think it has been received both in the UK and back home in Canada?
Grahm Zilla: To be honest we have been on the road so much that we don’t really know what is going on with the album reception! I guess we’ll find out when we play in London!
DD: What does the new album have to offer, please sum it up, what is it about?
Grahm Zilla: The funny part is that we had some label problems that delayed us; the album is over two years old. It’s basically a snapshot of when we first started out, its hip-hop heavy because that where Isis was back then.
DD: Are there any tracks you were playing out two years ago that you are bored of now?
Grahm Zilla: I know I’m not supposed to say this but pretty much everything on there!Isis Salam: hahahahahaha!Grahm Zilla: We're currently revamping some of this material and we are stoked by the new music we are working on right now.
DD: Do you guys have any other synonyms? Previous lives we should know about?
Isis Salam: I was formally known as prince…Grahm Zilla: Metrix.
DD: What's the story behind 'Jerk it' popping up in 'The Wrestler'?
Isis Salam: We drew straws for who had to sleep with Rourke - let’s just say G took one for the team...Grahm Zilla: Actually, the real story is that whoever picked the short straw, had to do a no-holds barred steel cage match vs. Rourke. I had him on the two count after a DDT but Aranovsky came up and smashed a guitar over my head and I was down...
DD: (Isis) Whom have you been compared to vocally?
Isis Salam: I'm always flattered when the person they compare me to is brilliant or someone who has influenced me. I’ve been compared to Grace Jones, Donna Summer, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Nicks and Nina Simone. All of those women I look up to and would love to have half of the foot print they left on the music industry.
DD: (Isis) Which singers are you most inspired by?
Isis Salam: All of the above, plus Debbie Harry, Madonna, and the great Peaches. Betty Davis is my hero!
DD: (Grahm) Who are you into on a producer tip?
Grahm Zilla: Duke Dumont, Xxxchange, Eli Escobar, Nacho Lovers, Surkin, Mixhell, Aeroplane, Jesse Rose, Lindstrom, Todd Terje, AVH and Switch.
You can check out the rest of the interview by clicking here.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Poutine - courtesy of Thunderheist.

Yes its chips, gravy and cheese (of the 'curd' variety) commonly referred to as Poutine, if you live in Canada. I was introduced to the delicacy by the band (duo) Thunderheist who herald from Montreal. It's a strong contender for the likes of chips and curry sauce. Having never actually tasted the above I must admit I am quite disgusted at the prospect, I'm from the midlands (t'up north as far a Londoners are concerned) and the idea of having chips and gravy doesn't appeal to me, never has, or for my family for that matter, the addition of gunky cheese makes me feel slightly queezy. Still who am I to knock people's heritage... hmm I'm sure i've eaten a lot of peculiar things in my time, cockles, faggots, haggis, cold black pudding...