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...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The First Virtual Festival?

Well I guess it had to happen and by the looks of things don't seem to have done too bad a job getting artists on board that we would like to watch from the comfort of our own homes. Not entirely sure how it would work, i.e. would it be like watching glasto on television, would it be live, would you invite your mates round? ooh the possibilities! The first (or so the press release says) online music festival happens on 25th May 2009 at a computer near you.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Dalston Brothel

(the photograph is of brothel, however not of the brothel in question, a little mystery is good.)

Today I discovered a brothel two doors down from my friends flat which is close to the Rio Cinema and the newly opened Dalston Superstore on Kingsland Road. By pure fluke the door was opened to four burly men just as I was passing, witness to their mutually encourging greedy grunts, red carpetted stairs and pink patterned wallpaper leading down to the basement. I have stumbled on a seedy underworld right under my nose, not entirely sure how I stand on prostitution, I think the dutch have the right idea.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sunday - Spike Jonze Day

I seem to be having a run of bad luck on the sickness front; I blame my sickly housemate spreading her flu-like germs around the house, wafting them around like a new perfume. Spending my day in a reclining position, trying to nurse myself back to moderate health, I had the pleasure of digesting the work of director Spike Jonze (pronounced Jones). The rather impressive bulk DVD (double sided) contained music videos, short films, documentaries, a showcase of all the clever shit achieved thus far (well up to 2003)! Quite possibly my favourite music video of all time is on there - Sky's the limit, The Notorious B.I.G. inspired by Bugsy Malone the stars are portrayed by rather convincing child actors. Other highlights include Fatlip documentary, torrence rises and the artist audio commentaries, which accompany each music video. I cannot wait for his version of Where the Wild Things Are, which is due out soon, one can only hope he has been sympathetic to it's audience and the illustrators vision.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Yesterday I saw...

A very ginger Florence aka Florence and the Machine, boy she's got quite a set of lungs on her, we could hear her down the other side of the office no problem... and a very blue Norman Cook, aka 'fatboy slim', he's just been painted up to look like a smurf for a shoot with Rankin. I'm going to miss it when they leave us and head to a new studio in Kentish Town. I going to miss Dazed too, which reminds me, need to get cracking on looking for a job...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's all about the Reddies

Have you noticed how the world slowly closes in as you get older, uh did I say older, I mean more adapt to your surroundings.  I was speaking (in common terms speaking now comes under email conversation, real time or otherwise) to my friend across in Asia who's moving back to NY for the summer, he drops 'why don't you come over to NY for a while?' to which I reply Er, because I'm seriously skint and I'm busting my gut for nowt'. I do wonder whether I would have been able to get on the plane and hop over the Atlantic had it been a few years ago? This week I am more aware of people counting their change, friends being unemployed and being witness to the general conversation's that envelope financial uncertainty (they keep spilling out of folks mouths and making a bit of a mess on the floor). I guess for fear of sounding like a little misery I take solace in that people not being able to get on planes, buy the latest car, playstation, iphone... might not be a bad thing.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Now let that be a lesson to you.

Gelert's Grave
'In the 13th Century, Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gellert "the faithful hound" who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn's return, the truant stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant's cot empty, the bedclothes on the floor covered in blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound's side thinking it had killed his heir. The dog's dying yell was answered by a child's cry. Llewewlyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed. But near by lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain, the prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again he buried Gelert here the spot is called Beddgellert.'

(arrived on my doormat this morning) thanks Grandma.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Today I spent...

..the day in bed... and ordered a book from ebay... here's one I ordered earlier

An inspired recommendation I discovered whilst flicking through an old Dazed (the Vivienne Westwood takeover issue). Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I understand the need for less paper, especially with arrival of the kindle, however I will endeavour to collect books, like records for the definite forseable future.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Guy Bourdain - The Wapping Project

Having never been to The Wapping Project or even Wapping I was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to get to than I had been led to believe. One stop on the DLR to Shadwell from bank and a short 8 minute walk, which passes the moderately attractive Shadwell Basin on route to the river. The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station (built 1890) has since become a grade II listed building and a rather good restaurant (or so I'm told) and exhibition space. It's 'intentionally' confusing as you go in, without a formal entrance area, you stumble immediately onto dinners, creating an awkward need to assert yourself (look beckoningly the busy waiting staff to aim you in the right direction for the gallery space) to the far right of the building down some steps!.

Inside you encounter a vast dark room, beneath you, you glide down the stairs until your feet hit the spongy, rather comfy astro turf (most gallery spaces have hard concrete flooring). Julia from the Wapping Project has a history in theatre, cue the dramatic lighting that cleverly draws focus to the prints. The exhibition in itself was a bible to current advertising campaigns and highlighted the influence Guy has on today's fashion images. I encourage you to make the journey and seek out the space, unfortunately we timed our visit badly as they were only serving from the desert menu and ended up eating at The Prospect of Whitby a potentially charming pub dating from the 1520's, the food was below par, perhaps due to it belonging to a souless chain.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Dalston cited as the 'coolest' place in Britain to live?

OK, so I'm probably a little slow off the mark on this one, seeing as the Guardian article went live at the end of April, however, I was trawling the internet for a piece in Italian Vogue, in which The Haggerston Pub is cited as one the top 5 bars in London. Instead, I discovered a G2 (Guardian supplement) write up naming Dalston, in particular, E8, as the 'coolest' place to live in not London but the WHOLE of Britain, really? I mean who decides these things, what a ridiculous statement to make. Needless to say I was slightly chuffed at the shear nonchalance of the piece, but seriously, if cool is measured in prostitutes and crack dealers hanging out just beneath your window, your house shaking every time a bus goes past and being woken up by the East London line construction at 6.30am weekdays, then boy are we 'cool' not to mention the drunkards that commune to discuss the aforementioned construction "ooh I can see 7 cranes, how many can you see John?, er 14?" I guess the point I'm trying to make is that who really gives a fuck how 'cool' a place is. What's important is the sense of community, being able to walk round and bump into people you know and seeing friendly local faces, such as Keith from the workshop or the guys from the bicycle shop (for the record my bike always seems to be playing up). And people who just let you be, more often than not, treating each other with respect. Dalston is a good place to live because of the relaxed melting pot and encouraging atmosphere that suggests, most of us are struggling, but it doesn't matter, everything is cool.... sorry I meant, safe, yeah? haha.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Paris is Burning

Waiting for me at home is the newly released DVD version of Paris is Burning, having only watched a rather poor segmented version on youtube, I'm excited by the luxury of finally watching the video reportage uninterrupted.  

Since it's emergence in the late 1980s Paris is Burning, a social documentary recording the dying embers of the New York City Drag Ball scene, has undisputedly achieved iconic status for its candid representation of that particular place and period in time. Suffice to say that the film provides a valuable insight into the working-class struggles and escape routes of gay men that sought to forget their troubles and transform themselves into larger-than-life characters. To read more of my write up for Dazed click here.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Decorate Your Beard

The bearded man is still regarded as the height of fashion amongst the Dalston set, I for one advocate such hairy jesus like markings. It makes me happy when I brush my hands through a man's face bristle, makes me feel feminine. However, I find myself a tad bemused by the latest editorial trend of beard decoration and fascinated to see whether this stylist's fantasy will catch on. As seen at Dazed & Confused, RAWF, Bernhard Willhelm respectively.

Don't Box Me In

If you have a penchant for pop than you wouldn't go wrong to check out V V Brown, not only for her dazzling credentials on Wikipedia, but for the fact that an acquaintance of mine built the set for the rather clever music video which accompanies the track Leave (the quality isn't that great I'm assuming thats the record companies attempt at controlling downloading phishers?), but you get the idea. What's great about VV is her pedigree, you can appreciate the fact that her whole life has been building up to a musical onslaught, stand back Jamelia she's about to blow. You can check out the music video below...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Diesel Does Furniture

Diesel have launched two exciting ranges for the home offering artistic lighting and modern thinking furniture. The debut collections are packed full of humorous design details in particular bed pillow cushions, which nestle neatly over sofa arms in anticipation of that inopportune overnight guest.

Lighting comes from Wilbert Das of Foscarini and takes on many different design inspirations. Highlights include Cage which plays with the light both internally and externally and draws on wire structured lanterns of days passed. Read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

From Bath With Love

When your friend relocates to the buzzing metropolis that is Bath you have two options to face, either bite the bullet spend your Bank Holiday in Bath or vow never to see each other again. Needless to say I found myself wandering aimlessly around the streets of Bath, scouring the charity shops for a provincial bargain, there were none (too many other savvy shoppers), are the days of charity shop bargains slowly dying? Instead, I discovered (with a little local guidance) a shop called 'Appy Daze', after a good hour of second hand jumble sale rummaging (there was a lot to get through) I left £50 lighter, armed with a black leather biker jacket and a heavy silver crucifix, London prices you say, it is a tourist spot. Tired from the morning’s efforts I collapsed in a heap on the grass and woke up drooling, dazed and decidedly tramp like. Alas I never made it to the Fashion Museum, which I'm told is quite good, still there is always next time.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Economise But Don't Compromise

Instead of treating myself with my Kiehl's goodie bag (abyssine eye cream and moisturiser and yerba mate lotion) and getting hooked on unnecessary, unproven, advertising led products I decided to flog the contents on eBay. Earning me in excess of £50, which was well needed (two weeks food budget - a girl has to eat). For all of those like me who are struggling to follow their career post-degree and are currently existing on air,  I would like to point out the benefits of toiletries which don't cost the earth, items that are available in most good chemists and often recommended and used by make-up artists in the industry.

Silverkrin Maximum Hold Hairspray

The best, strongest hold hairspray which gives you best value for your money and keeps your hair in place even after a good cycle ride or a sweaty night in Video Visions (underground basement club, where the mirrored walls steam up and the floor gets slippy when it gets really packed).

E45 Cream.

Brilliant for dry skin, great as face moisturiser and for removing heavy eye-make-up, just apply gently to the eye area until the make-up separates from your face and wipe with cotton pads to remove. 

St.Ives Apricot Face Scrub

Arguably the best face scrub money can buy, it's thick and feels like coarse clay on your face, it's the only product I’ve used that makes you feel you've completely cleansed your face and removed a healthy amount of daily grime that clogs up your pores.

 Cocoa Butter & Mallow Extract Body Lotion.

At £1.95 Boots own brand comes in much cheaper than most, it feels thick and luxurious unlike the usual watery offerings. Smells delicious, although not too intensely cocoa butter and leaves your skin soft and smooth.