Thursday, 31 December 2009
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Every year Christmas comes and goes but nothing ever changes at my house. Mum bought Dad a DVD box set which was essentially for her, my brother got me a set of penguin shaped comedy key covers whereas he poured the bottle of vodka I bought him in to 4 equal measures and sold it on to his friends (raking in a hefty profit). I did also buy him some socks. Not my greatest gift idea to date. But what we don't often find in gifts, we can sometimes find in family. I realised this Christmas that I have actually been in the presence of a comedy duo year after year; my elderly grandmother and her slightly neurotic sister Beryl, and never before fully appreciated the genius of their never-ending twitterings and mumbles, all uttered without a hint of irony nor a second thought. I thought I would share some of the golden moments from the day. A snapshot of Christmas 2009, from me to you.
Beryl: He's got everything a man should have Carey Grant
Nan: He's alright like. Not my favourite.
Beryl: Well...you're deluded.
Beryl: Mary was, essentially, a you-know-what
Nan: What's that Beryl? A prostitute
Beryl: A prostitute then. To put not too fine a point on it.
Me: Oh I'm tired now that I've eaten
Nan: Hmm (nodding towards the dog basket) you can tell by the dog, he always goes to sleep after he's eaten
Me: Nana he's not in there. That's a teddy bear
Nan: Look, he's just sleeping away over there
Me: Nana, that's a teddy bear
Nan: Oh is it? I haven't got my glasses on.
Beryl: I'll tell you what, i'm not impressed by that Lady Gaga
Nan: Oh that gogo woman. She's horrendous. I thought it was a clown. She wore a big red thing. Fancy wearing that hey. Fancy wearing that.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
Having to write a presentation for a french class has meant I've rediscovered all the french hip-hop I listened to on my numerous trips to France. Groups such as IAM, NTM, MC Solaar and many others fly a high standard over the channel. Enjoy some of these classics.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Friday, 4 September 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
I was introduced to The XX about a year and a half ago by a friend of mine and first fell in love with their devastatingly sad cover of the the Womack & Womack classic, "Teardrops" and then I saw they covered Aaliyah's "Hot Like Fire" and I was all their's. Since then I have been keeping a close eye on them and am happy to report that their debut album is out next week. And from the snippets I've heard it won't disappoint from the initial sucker punch of "Teardrops". Check out the myspace http://www.myspace.com/thexx for more songs and videos and tour dates and all the usual stuff myspace generally supplies. New single "Basic Space" is out now.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Monday, 20 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
Monday, 6 July 2009
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Ghetto Life 101 is one of the most acclaimed broadcasts of recent public radio. It's producer's, David Isay, aim was to document life on the southside of Chicago, a particularly poor area. Thus in 1993 he handed recording equipment and mics to two young residents of the southside, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman, aged 13 and 14 years old respectively at the time. The entire 30 minute broadcast is centered round the daily lives of the boys and features some truly riveting interviews with their friends, family and members of their community.
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Sundays don't get much better when you have this track blasting and you're throwing shapes like a tribal priest in the rain. Epic.
"Will You Be There" - The Very Best (Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit)
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Friday, 22 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Sunday, 17 May 2009
I haven't been this excited for the release of a new album since last year and Erykah's come-back. It seems that for a year or so there has been a bit of resurgence of intelligent hip-hop and soul, what with "New Amerykah" by the afore-mentioned Miss Badu, "The Renaissance" Q-Tip's long-awaited second studio album and Raphael Saadiq showing everyone how to make a modern motown record with "The Way I See It. My excitement and anticipation for those albums however has been far eclipsed by the news that Dante Terrell Smith aka Mos Def's new album is due to be released on the 9th of June of this year. Since his announcement in November of 2007 that a new album would be being released and Mos himself throwing crumbs of information to crowds at gigs, such as playing new songs produced by Madlib and hinting at collaborations with Kanye, hip-hop fans have been eagerly awaiting a release date and a first single. Finally though we have a new song and video and I can happily say that I think it's him back to his best. A sparse opening relys on the rhythmic power of his voice with a killer looping horn line and a smattering of him singing, the instrumentation behind him then builds up in layers throughout the song ending in a lovely piano and strings section that tip to just the right side of up-beat. It is pretty great and the video is pretty cool too.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Sunday, 3 May 2009
This is the only way I can describe music I like; a backdrop scene which might be imaginary or remembered. When it comes to exchanges of musical revelry and analysis of technical mastery, I am totally inarticulate, and unable to wax lyrical. I don’t mind really – keeping it tied up leaves its spell unmeddled, like a secret crush or one of those dreams that is impossible to describe out loud. That moment you first heard it and you left your imagination to it’s own devices is sometimes the best explanation of why it has stayed with you for the long haul.
There is the Bob Dylan whose lyrics journalists pour sweat over, sorting the good from the bad, the bad from the sad, and there is the Bob Dylan of my Dad’s car; like a sort of curmudgeonly distant relative in the back seat, who is sometimes lucid, sometimes incoherent but I’ll always listen.
My favourite Bob Dylan song :
(Just don’t ask me to explain why…)
Thursday, 30 April 2009
"One of my fans has written a suicidal help note!!! That's an urgent matter. I do happen to have some good advice (this advice can be used by all my fans). It will work if you do it, and, you must promise to try. Ready? First stop by your nearest GNC Store, buy a box of vitamins, the kind they sell in packets..."
Monday, 27 April 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Continuing along the Andy Warhol theme – the extrovert outsider. For anybody fortunate enough to have visited Tate Liverpool’s Summer of Love exhibition in the summer of 05, you may well remember the recreation of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. What can only be described as a hedonistic fantasy discotheque world, Warhol screened a collection of his films alongside live music from The Velvet Underground & Nico (see debut album) and conjured up a psychedelic drug fuelled environment/installation through a heavy marriage of sound and light. This is a mere token exert: Venus in Furs.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Last night I got asked what my favourite love song was. Now generally those kind of questions enrage me beyond belief, how is anyone supposed to pick their "favourite song of all time" or "the best break-up song ever written"? Ridiculous.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
You can never have enough soul. Recently due to a chance acquaintance I have found myself raking through my soul collection and I have been rediscovering some gems that I'd forgotten all about. I have thus been inspired to share.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
I stumbled across this absolute gem at a lock-in where I work. Whilst everyone was drinking themselves into a stupor I was taken aback by what seemingly was one of my friends course textbooks but as it turns out, probably one of the most captivating books I ever set my wee blinkers on.
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Monica Canilao. On a completely unrelated venture I stumbled upon this sweetheart and she captured my heart. Her work reminds me of the days when I sat at my sewing machine stitching in to the wee hours, weaving colourful fabrics around wooden structures and throwing globules of paint in to the air – all for the sake of my carefully considered A-level art creations. Visually beautiful, her mixed media pieces are reminiscent of artists’ notebooks with bits and pieces all over the place, ideas and scribbles coming out of every nook and cranny and rainbows and feathers hiding around corners. Not only does she work on paper (her favourite), cardboard, glass, tatty fabrics, all manner of surfaces but she also creates installations which evoke scenes from Alice in Wonderland and old Westerns …only with a lot more wool dotted about the place. Her work reminds me of opening up a dressing-up chest. Playful. Tea-stained.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Despite having barely a centime to my name I have just ordered this.....
"You Are Free" is the 6th album from the American muscian Chan Marshall aka Cat Power. Released in 2003 on Matador records it is arguably one of her best works to date. While some like the smooth soulfullness of "The Greatest" with it's blues band instrumentals and Marshall's voice at it's smokey best or the clever innovativeness of "The Covers Records" reworkings it is "You Are Free" that I always find myself returning too.
From lowly LCF fashion student - to designer - to model – to eco princess; she is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring women of our time. Now staging the fight against unfair trade, she resides in her original homeland working tirelessly to sell the array of colourful woven materials made by her local village people within a fair global fashion market. She works under the slogan ‘Fashion for Development and Positive Bangladesh’.
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Deep in a São Paulo rainforest, Hermeto Pascoal and O Grupa create a dreamy, chirpy melody with nothing but water, a flute and some bottles. This pulpy albino is one of Brasil's most beloved musicians, and once composed a song every day for a year so that everyone would have one for their birthday.
The Eternal Children is a documentary by David Kleijwegt featuring sisters CocoRosie, Antony Hegarty, Devendra Banhart and Vashti Bunyan. It hops about on the thinking clogs of those belonging to the so-called ‘freak-folk’ movement as it explores the inner-workings of these equally weird and wonderful artists.
Highlight - a beautiful rendition of ‘Just another Diamond Day’ by Vashti Bunyan who sits and strums in a breezy field of corn.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
"I love all paint. Old paint, new paint, pretty paint... if I get a pretty colour I like to keep it for the flowers."
Just outside of Slab City, a dried-up and disused army camp in southern California (where a bunch of geriatric gypsies loyally flock every winter), is Salvation Mountain. Rising from the scorched and stark desert like some divine, technicolor mirage is Leonard Knight's eccentric folk-art monument to Jesus Christ. Knight, a sunny old born-again Christian, has dedicated the past twenty years to doddering up and down his Gaudi-esque mountain structure, building it up out of 'real juicy' adobe and decorating it with the paint that people donate to him. He is a classic lone dreamer intent on promoting his vision, yet is self-effacing and reluctant to call himself an artist. Possibly better than his mountain, however, is the truck at the foot of it which someone donated to him and he painted with flowers and birds and verses and converted into his house. Knight has recently had a boat donated to him and is currently working on a Noah's Ark scene.
Leonard and The Mountain - a short documentary (listen out for his little hobo blues song at the end).
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
After many months harbouring an avid but all too distant curiosity for what lies up and down the Catalan coast, I recently went from half-hearted to full-hearted and put my best foot forward. Perhaps that much needed push in the right (or, just any) direction came from the gathering pace of flocks (of people) to the seashores, propelled along by the rising springtime temperatures.
It was either disorganisation, or a stab at small-scale adventure, but last Saturday I didn’t have any one destination in mind, only the names of lots of towns ending in ‘del mar’ swimming provocatively around in my mind. In the end, the train took me to Arenys Del`Mar. It was (as always) the journey that really got me. In spite of the cool indifference of fellow passengers, I was literally dazzled by the rolling strip of sea that filled the windows on the right side of the carriage, a sort of half sun-filled submarine effect. On the left side, sea-front towns paraded on past, brief rows of sun bleached colonial style buildings and fish restaurants.
The beach at Arenys Del Mar was enormous, and hazy from rising dust and falling sunlight, stretching far away from the harbour, which had an industrial 1950s feel to it. We sat on a white wall drinking cans of beer and emptying sand from our shoes, and then went and ate calamares and whitebait.
The following week, the compass pointed south, to a place called Garraf, which I get the impression is often overlooked in pursuit of Sitges. The path from the platform led directly down some steps and onto the beach, cutting straight to the point. It was a small cove of trapped sun, with rocky and englisb-looking cliffs clawing at the edges. From one end to the other was a toy-town avenue of beach huts complete with it’s own street sign. All green and white, but mismatched in width and height, verandas and balconies. In a solitary white square building at the end of the beach, with “HOTEL” painted on it in pink, we sat in red plastic Estrella Damm chairs with coke and crisps, and marvelled at the hearty March swimmers.