Sunday, 20 December 2009

As Tall As Lions Interview - Raw and Unedited

The boys from US As Tall As Lions happily join me in a discussion on: Drugs, boy bands, being 'unoriginal' and the difference between Lady Gaga, Rhianna & Kelly Clarkson.

I don't usually put up the uncut recordings but this is one that hardly needs editing.

Introducing Saen, Julio, Cliff and Dan. Probably my favourite interview to date.

Look out for it on 'SUP Mag.

A mini overview of where the boys were back in early 09; in the process of making their record 'You Can't Take It With You', sans a producer. They're heavy on self-effacement - makes for a good watch.

Photo by Felicity Ieraci

Souls of Mischief Interview

Here's a sneak peek of my interview with Tajai member of the legendary Souls of Mischief. Their album Montezuma's Revenge will be dropping Feb 2010.

Souls of Mischief make rap with west coast sensibilities. Starting off in the early 90s members Tajai, A-Plus, Opium and Phesto, were wrapping up high-school while simultaneously rapping on tour with the legendary likes of De La Soul and Grave Diggaz...After a nine year hiatus the Souls stand stronger than ever before, as they gear up for the release of their fifth album Montezuma’s Revenge’, co-produced by the highly lauded  Prince Paul. Montezuma’s is the first collaborative effort for the Oakland MCs who create ‘lyrical hip hop structured with a beat’. Co-founder Tajai talks to us about sobriety, the ‘wackest part of hip hop’ and inspiring Kayne West.

Oakland, California comes up in the majority of your songs. Why did you choose that area as the base for SOM?
The bay area is the place of so many movements because it is so diverse, because it’s a port and because of its history. California was once part of Mexico; it was ground zero for the black power movement and for the hippie movement. All revolutionary movements have happened in the bay area.
Would SOM consider collaborating with some of the more recent rappers and producers? Heard Kanye gave you props. 
When Kanye was letting people know that we were one of his favourite groups it was at a time when his production and himself were over saturated. At that time, it wouldn’t have been the best time to collaborate with him; it would have been like us eating off his plate. If you look at Hip Hop for the past ten years: 98-01: it was all Neptunes beats, from 01-03: it was all Little John beats and 03-08: it was Kanye beats. So it’s like, how are whole genres of music sounding exactly the same? That’s crazy to me. That’s the wackest part of hip hop; the labels push you to sound like other people who are ‘hot’ at the time.   
So how do you feel about name dropping things like Cristal champagne in songs?
I don’t drink! I think the guys that were originally singing about Cristal, were drinking Cristal. We’ve never been into rapping about what we have and how big we’re doin’ it. It’s just not our subject matter; we’re about painting pictures.
How about Karaoke? You into that?
I’m going to keep it 100 percent; I sing a lot in the shower and in my car but I’m too scared to do karaoke. I do like it but I don’t drink and I reckon it’s really a drunk thing. For me it’d be like a real performance..

Photo from Hot110.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Comanechi Interview - 'SUP MAG

Look out for my Comanechi interview in the next issue of 'SUP Mag.

We'll be at Akiko's house on Monday doin' the shoot!

The noise punk machine live in Dalston and are making quite a racket.

Simon Petrovitch (guitar) is a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

Akiko (drummer/vocals) also drums for the Big Pink & likes to get her kit off on stage.

 Here's photographer Richard Kern takin' a gander.

Drummer Simon & the Gossip's Beth Ditto. Razor, anyone?

In need of a Thai Green Curry recipe? I know I am. Check out Akiko's blog.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Dazed & Confused Xmas Party

T'is the time of year for joy and embrace.
Translation: drinking and debauchery!!

Dazed and Confused Mag brings you Naughty Nativity.
They'll be curating the Christmas extravaganza on:

Tues 15 Dec @ the George Tavern.
Party kicks off @ 8pm

Entertainment will be provided by:
//Friendly Fires
//Josh You R
//Akiko from (currently loved by all noise punk band Comanechi)
//Feeding Time &
//Ellie Morgan

Monday, 7 December 2009

Interview: Jono Boulet

Jonathan Boulet is the newest addition to the Modular Records family. Although the Sydney skate kid believes his real talent lies in the skate-park he has more than proven himself as a budding musical talent. Cheerful tunes coupled with a killer melody and wonderful instrumentation, cue the maracas, followed the 21-year-old and his three band mates on their 2009 tour with Perth shinners Tame Impala. Boulet produced and recorded the debut self-titled album of uplifting indie songs that reminisce back to those summer road trips where it was more about the journey than the destination.  The album Jonathan Boulet was released through Modular Records on 4 December.

//During your 2009 Tame Impala supporting tour there were photos of the band jumping out of the van and enjoying a skate park or two. Does a good skate help clear the head?
It definitely does. Much like a therapy session. Just last week Watty (our drummer) concussed himself and almost lost his memory, so you could definitely say it clears the head.

//Was the whole album recorded in your Castle Hill garage?
One of the songs was recorded in the study upstairs. One day I decided to set up all the gear in a different room because I was spending too much time in the garage.

//You’ve supported Tame Impala and El Perro Del Mar. The vibe on those respective tours must have been quite varied. Was there much difference?
Yeah it was very different. Tame Impala was just fun; mates hanging out having a good time, playing music. El Perro Del Mar was a bit different. We didn’t meet or talk to her at all, and basically the crowd was probably the opposite of a Tame Impala crowd.

//Any favourite bands at the moment?
Yes. I am really loving this guy called Siriusmo. He was picked up by Modeselektor and is one of the few artists making really good electro music.

Check out the rest of the interview here.

'Sup Magazine Interview: Wolf Gang

Wolf Gang aka Max McElligott is a ‘bit of a mongrel’; part German and part Irish he grew up on world music and fairytales. Not too long ago, the son of a historian father and a violinist mother dropped out of college to chase some dreams. Luckily for us it wasn’t too long before these ‘dreams’ became a reality. Through his enchanting music he immerses you in the ‘otherworldly’; big on imagination Wolf Gang provides the backing tracks to your modern day fairytale...We spoke to Wolf Gang about all things musical, from Karaoke to Britney Spears lip synching - just don’t go comparing him to Mika. 

//How would you describe your sound? I’d say you’re the Scissor Sisters meets Mika crossed with the Killers.
God Mika, he’s so annoying but I’ve heard that before. I think because my music is quite diverse; you’ll think that you know it but then you listen to another song and it’s totally different. On the album there’s going to be a mix: ballads, rock and slightly more pop songs.

//Are you a karaoke fan?
What? Singing along to other people’s songs? I don’t know. You drag your friends along to your gigs and that’s kind of justifiable but then you drag them to Karaoke and you’re like ‘watch me sing’ and they’re like ‘for god’s sake we saw your gig last night. How much do you want to impose on us’?

//It’s a bit ironic when singers say they don’t like Karaoke.
I’ve never really done Karaoke. I’d probably get a bit embarrassed and nervous, actually. I feel like I’d be there and there’d be people going ‘that guy thinks he’s in a band. He thinks he’s a singer. Let’s judge him’.  I’d be there singing Marilyn Monroe... (I don’t know why I said that?) I’d choose a really girly song like..

Stay tuned to find out what girly tune Wolf Gang chose. The whole interview will come out via 'SUP Magazine faster than that cheese toastie  !!

Album Review: Nosferatu D2

Check it chumps! On This is Fake DIY.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

LeCool Ldn - Light Speed Champion Interview

Sign up to LeCool London for all the salacious (free) tidbits that this generous city has on offer.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

That's What She Said

Damn relationships are hard. Here’s what I’ve learnt from my friends:

1//If you put a sex ad on you will get replies. In fact one Nordic lass got 1000 replies. In order to maintain an inch of dignity she stated that she would only accept applications from those who submitted a photo. Luckily for her she found an eager beaver. Unfortunately for her it only lasted 30 seconds. I didn’t say it was effective.

2//Go on a date with a stranger who is a little older and therefore (hopefully) wiser than those closer to your age. My housemate did this. She will remain nameless as she didn’t seem as impressed as I was, when she told me her story. Apparently he told her he had ‘complications’ prior to their date. On the date she queried the ‘complications’ to which he replied ‘I’ll tell you later’. After a few complimentary beverages my house-mate had more than likely forgotten 'said' issue and thus was more than happy to commit to a little lip-on-lip action. By the end of the day he decided it was time: Oh, so the complications,’ he said. ‘Yes, do explain,’ she comfortably replied while nestling up against him. He said: ‘I’m married’. She said: ‘What?! How. Do you have children’? He said: ‘Yes’. She said. And it went on like this for a while. He denied having any other ‘extra marital’ relationships and she told him she wouldn’t be his extra bit on the side. She came home steaming. Safe to say it was the highlight of my day. I told her she’d look back on it and laugh. She told me he’d just texted her and asked if they could be friends. Nothing needed to be said. I promised her I wouldn’t write about it. This is a vague recollection that reassembles something someone once told me. Let’s leave it at that.

3//If you meet someone who says he is a photographer be wary. A friend met someone who was a photographer and she took a chance. He said he had a studio and was looking for an intern. She obliged. He told her he’d like to take some photos. The rest is as predictable as night following day. Not long after the flash began she realised that his definition of ‘art’ was a little more than contradictory to her own. She buttoned up her shirt and left.

4//Dating a DJ is difficult. Ladies throw themselves at him while he stands behinds his decks. Friends chastise you for dating the cliché: ‘Of course he’s cheating on you: he’s a DJ’. Eventually the vicious rumours get louder, circling through your cerebral membrane and then bad things start to happen. You get sticky fingers. Eventually your sticky fingers find their way into his travel bag, only to find an assortment of condoms. Your blood boils as you approach the travelling muso; rubbers in hand. Things are said, condoms get thrown about and by this time it’s time for him to catch his plane. Au Revoir.

5//Dating foreigners is always a precarious situation. More often than not if they are a ‘foreigner’ it also means they are ‘temporary’. The second most important thing to ask any possible suitor with an accent is the date of their return. -The first is obviously their name-. Often a plane ticket is the best form of proof; however, this may also lead them to believe you are somewhat insane. Another hot tip is to date those whose grasp of the English language is a little below par. This way it is easier to worm your way out of sticky situations – just blame it on the language barrier.

Relationships: a metaphorical notion of ‘self-harming’. Cuts me deep but feels oh so good.

But sometimes the language barrier makes them all the more endearing. They're like aliens walking around with their eyes closed. He asks:'Do you wanna spoon'? You sit up confused at the prospect of him actually understanding this colloquial term and request repetition. He points to the pillow and says: 'Spoon'... You say: 'Yes'.

Photo: FFFound

Thursday, 26 November 2009

More Hands Make Light Speed.. Champion

We caught up with Dev Hynes aka LightSpeed Champion (remember short-lived dance punk band Test Icicles? Effing love 'Circle Square, Triangle') before the unveiling of his new project Blood Orange. It's a new (side)venture which sees Dev dive solo into a rhythmic mess of funk and soul.

A short conversation while sharing a booth at Shoreditch eatery The Diner:
// So why did Test Icicles stop making music? I know a lot of people were devastated.

Really? Did anyone even listen to it? I just didn’t want to do it anymore. Both me and Sam agreed to end it. I caught up with him recently; he lives in LA.

// I'm really into your new project, ‘Blood Orange’.
Thanks, yea my album is coming out soon. There are 12 songs on the album but I made 30.

// I know you are originally from the UK why did you uproot to the USA? Was it for your career?
No not really. I just didn’t feel settled here. I wasn’t feeling the vibe, whereas in NY I just feel comfortable.

// Have you been going out much since you’ve been in London?
No.. I don’t really go out at night. In the US it’s good cause you don’t have to go clubbing if you want to go out at night. You can go to a bar or a coffee shop and all the restaurants are open really late. Plus the trains go all night and you don’t have to take buses! (Playing on laptop) Do you know how to burn DVDS?

// Ah yea I think you need to download a program that takes the security off the DVD. What DVD do you want to burn?

The Wire season six. I’ve been watching it for the past two weeks; I’m hooked.

Look out for our piece in next weeks London LeCool!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Little Red Interview

Was fortunate enough to catch up with Melbourne band Little Red before their instore at Rough Trade Records. Although they were busy doin' the whole promo thing for new album 'Listen To', they were more than happy to exchange a few words in return for some luke warm tips on 'what-not-to-do' in London. Safe to say Dom's dreams were properly quashed.

Check out the whole interview at This is Fake DIY

Monday, 16 November 2009

Light Speed - Dev's Finger is in Many Pies

British raised Dev Hynes aka frontman of US-based band Lightspeed Champion is the perennial finger sticking out of all those appealing pastries. Starting off back in 06, as one third of short-lived dance-punk band Test Icicles, Hynes went on to create Lightspeed Champion, pen a comic book about his penis and if that's not enough he is now exhibiting his private life, led between London and NY, for the world to see.

Titled 'Hello My Name is Dev', the solo photography/video installation exhibition at East London's The Legion will start on 25 November. The viewing showcases photographs documenting the artist's life and travels, giving the viewer an intimate snapshot of the past two years. There will also be live performances.

We'll be catching up with the Dev as part of London's Le Cool Magazine but until then check out some of his snapshots below! 

Spot the celeb!

More here

Monday, 2 November 2009

Krona - Monitary Unit

In her overtly prepared nature J. ejected 100 euros from the cash dispenser before boarding the plane. Only after arriving in Sweden did she realise the idiocy of her actions.

It seems the Nordics fellas rejected a european conformism.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Gaspard and Xavier Attempt to Justify

There is no doubt that the French electro duo, Justice, have got a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that keeps us fans coming back. Their album 'Cross' made all sorts of headlines, mostly of the 'positive genre'; these Frenchies could do no wrong. And then, they started remixing songs for the likes of U2 and most recently Lenny Kravtiz...

Check out the Justice Podcast!
Justice Rant - Indie Dayze Radio Show

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Marinated in a Rich Sauce of Cynicism

Often I find myself becoming so overwhelmed with a new idea/concept that I have to make complete sense of it. I’m like a kettle on the brink of boiling point... busting for release. 'Said' notion seems to have a life-altering effect on my outlook which in turn leads me to completely visceral actions. I have to share this new discovery that has boggled my mind. I have to share my new found knowledge with whoever is willing to lend an ear. Often Facebook seems to be the easiest and most efficient way to communicate these pearls. Upon updating the world I feel smugly satisfied and somewhat of a vigilante... at least for a short while.
Then the unexpected happens and although I say 'unexpected', prior to each respective declaration I have already sub-consciously acknowledged a pattern of rash behaviour which ALWAYS seems to be followed by complete and utter regret. I always think that maybe this time, things will be different. However, if there’s one person you can never argue with, in hope of a successful outcome, it is yourself. Like clockwork something changes within me. I no longer feel as passionate about 'said' discovery and the importance it once bore is leaking quicker than a runny nose after a spicey wonton soup. I regret my hastiness and retrace my footsteps, mop in hand, the soapy water finds total release on the tiled surface of reckless decision-making. My wrist swivels back and forth as I scrub away the detritus of the impetuous journey.
I chastise myself for my impulsiveness; completely self-conscious of how others may now perceive me. In my mind, the salient act conjures up images of vainglory or perhaps ignorance; a pseudo-sage declaration that I wrongly embraced as my own.
These actions are marinated in a rich sauce of cynicism; all of a sudden what I once believed to be the ‘truth’ is kaleidoscope. What is at the root of this fleeting passion?

The only situation that I can liken this to is when you are so hungry that you truly believe you could eat a horse. I couldn't eat a chicken let alone a horse! Yet when the pit of my stomach beckons; begging me to silence its cries my eyes grow so wide that I really do lose sight of reality. Once the pleas have been answered it takes less than 10 minutes to satisfy the beast. During these 10 minutes I have not unhinged my jaw and swallowed the feast whole. On the contrary. During these 10 minutes I've managed to marry fork-to-mouth a maximum of 5 times and thus am surprisingly satisfied. But 10 minutes prior to the fork-to-mouth action I swore I was on the brink of a famine-induced death.
Flippancy comes in all forms.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Spike Watches as Kanye Drowns in a Pool of his Own Egotism

The recent collaboration between ubiquitous director Spike Jonze and rap-star extraordinaire Kanye West has recently found its way to the suffocating glory that is the World Wide Web. This is the second time Jonze and Spike have joined arms, the first being for Kanye’s video clip ‘Flashing Lights’. The eleven minute-short titled 'We Were Once a Fairytale' shows a tuxedo-clad Kanye on a night out after a couple too many. His eyes are glazed over and his attempt at singing along to his own song ‘See You in My Nightmares’ is a dismal failure. Unimpressed club patrons humour the star as he struggles to hold himself up, while simultaneously fondling any pretty girl that enters his blurred vision. Although his determination prevails, or so he thinks, as he ends up making love to a beautiful woman donning a tight leopard-skin mini. However, moments later he awakes; strewn face-down, across a leopard skin couch with his pants around his ankles. It seems Mr West became a little more than acquainted with the wildly-spotted pillows. Dazed he re-enters the party scene and heads straight to the bathroom, only to violently vomit up what seems to be rose-coloured petals. After spotting a dagger on the ground he proceeds to cut open his insides, cue more rose petals, until finally we hear the sound of a blade to an umbilical cord. What’s on the other end? Clasped within West’s grasp is a tiny troll-like creature, who looks despondently at his incubator as he is handed a mini dagger. With a knowing yet sympathetic demeanour West looks on as the creature offs himself. It’s all about killing the demons within? Ya dig?

This mini-film comes riding on the back-tail of the VMA Taylor Swift storm, yet was made in January; almost a year before the loud-mouth antagonist unexpectedly joined the precocious country curl on stage. In West’s defence this episode only propelled Swift into a sphere of mass publicity which only Kanye holds the key to.

Director Spike Jonze does an amazing job at portraying the singer as a lost and confused soul. The victim of his own doing, he is drowning in a pool of egotism; the very core of his existence. Ever since his inception as Kanye West ‘the entertainer’ he has never been one to shy away from self-deprecation. In 'We Were Once a Fairytale' West’s believable portrayal of himself, a conceded materialistic ponce, ironically makes him endearing to the viewer. Jonze enables the viewer to feel sorry for the ostentatious star who is so self-aware yet so obliviously unaware of reality, that self-effacement seems to be his only salvation.

**Disclaimer: After the Taylor Swift Affair Kanye suffered an identity crisis and in turn cancelled his tour with Lady Gaga and access to the West/Jonze video.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Blood Destined for his Brain is Greedily Diverted South

I never really thought I understood guys and then come the end of university, it was only three years, I started collecting a whole bunch of ‘em. Wow that indicates all sorts of sordid behaviour – I mean I began making a lot of guy friends! Anyway, it became this whole learning experience. But do you know what I learned? I learnt that everything that you think about boys before you really know anything about them – is true. Yes, they do think with their (insert appendage here) and the less clothes you wear the more attention you’ll get. Big boobs? Yep, majority of ‘em love them two. It’s pretty simple. I guess you hope for more depth. You yearn for something of substance and so you choose to believe the contrary. If a guy pays you attention, he doesn’t want to be your friend helping you collect daisies from the prairie. He wants to collect your daisy. So with this sage knowledge in tow I continued on my journey.

Last July I went to Germany’s Melt! Festival with a whole bunch of people. I’d been the previous year and decided that this was the festival I would try and attend every single year of my life. Big call I know, but exaggeration helps create the mood – so stick with me. The second time around there was one extra element which was absent the first time; a boy. Boys always make everything more exciting, don’t get me wrong I love my ladies, but boys just add the extra something something.

So I met this guy Flo, Flo was from Switzerland he was 24 and it was his first time at Melt! Festival. Fortunately for him we met on the train ride there; a perfect opportunity for me to cosy up beside him and give him lowdown on the impending musical foray. Flo was very obliging and it was then I knew that this year would be a little bit different to the first. Unfortunately we lost contact while searching for tent territory but soon enough we were back in each other’s tent-icles..get it... sigh. We hung out quite a bit over the three days; he’d leave his friends to come and chill with mine and when the gates opened we’d accompany one another. Come the second day and after consulting my ‘guide to boys’ (a metaphorical guide, obviously) we were sitting on the outside seats in front of the main-stage and it seemed the perfect moment to make a move. So I did.

I made the first move and I was greeted with an open orifice. However, it wasn’t my lips that were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end, it was my ears. He laughed at my open mouth, before requesting that I not be annoyed; the nerve! He explained that he was in love with some girl back in Zurich and he’d promised himself he wouldn’t be with anyone else. But that was before he met me. [He didn’t say that – the voice inside my head said that while he was blabbing on about Julia or Sophie or whatever her name was].

It wasn’t so much the rejection that bothered me it was the mixed signals. Jesus. He wanted to hang out with me, just me and him – what else would he want? My friendship? I thought he just wanted to get in my pants! What the. And it was at this moment that I realised everything I learned from my stupid guy friends was WRONG! Listening to their conversations and explanations as to why guys do the things that they do was a whole load of crock! But to be fair, I will say that there are a large percentage of guys who meet the criteria listed out by my male chums. The blood destined for his brain is greedily diverted south. Meeting Flo made me realise that there are some ‘good’ guys as well; these well-adjusted boys who share my belief that guys and girls CAN just be amigos. However, I guess it only took him a good ten minutes to realise he had the opportunity ‘to pull’ and all of a sudden what’s her face was merely a figment of his, and my, imagination.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A Lacy White Veil of Ambiguity

A funny thing happened on the way to the bathroom. I had a revelation. Why do you look so disappointed? What did you think I was going to say? That I felt a warm sensation? That I had a sudden urge for Shepherd’s Pie? Grow up.

Moments before my call of nature, I’d logged onto Facebook and engaged in a rather self-slanderous conversation with a friend, via status updates. I’d revealed to all my 460 closest friends, that I thought Shakira was a slag (cryptically conveyed through a rather ingenious garden hoe analogy), that I had an affliction for Beyonce and her hourglass figure, and that sometimes - I was a lesbian. I was a lesbian specifically with ‘said’ friend, and especially because I had failed to buy her a celebratory birthday gift.

So I’m  bi-curious, Beyonce gets me off and if I’m skint I’ll turn lesbo solely to give my ladies a taste of what money can’t buy? Wow I’d like to meet her. What a chameleon.
Oh wait. We were talking about me, weren’t we?

Yes I like Beyonce - but she’s not a boy so I don’t like her that much. And Shakira’s recent foray into the unadulterated world of the Pussy Gentleman’s Club (see She Wolf) probably stems from poor album sales and the limelight-stealing Lady Gaga, K West ‘relationship’ in tow. (By ‘relationship’ I loosely refer to a tour that was cancelled before it even had a chance to inhale our lovely Carbon Monoxide. HA!)

But dear reader, rest assure I do not harbour any disdain for the Latin American lady whose breasts are ‘small and humble’. I honestly believe that Shakira’s record label probably gave her an ultimatum: ‘act like a tart on camera, sticky wet lips et al. or burn in hell’ and her decision mirrors that of any self-respecting artist. Just look at ‘talented’ model/singer Cassie who is a great advocate of burning her soul, and her clothes (see NSFW nude photos) to boost sad sales.

Every fickle announcement that formulates on my Facebook wall is merely a mutation of that clandestine concept known as the ‘truth’. Upon typing in my username and password and eagerly awaiting a successful page load, I am consciously aware of the perils that lie ahead; of the bare-it-all nature of Facebook and the knowledge-enhancing tool it so graciously provides. So in an act of reverse-psychology I take on a persona; a character that is crass and abrasive, while meticulously maintaining correct grammatical structure. I’m not afraid to mislead people but I am afraid to reveal too much and a lacy white veil of ambiguity seems to be the perfect antidote.

A Facebook page is merely a glorified online resume; an account of you, your life and your friends. It allows visitors to gain a perspective of your titular character and from this they are able to deduce A LOT. True photos are an impervious element but just because the words on your page aren’t ‘smoking a bong’ or providing an up-and-close view of the ‘canyon between your breasticles’ doesn’t mean they expose any less. However, you have complete control over what is bequeathed upon the wall of your Face! It’s called selective reality. Facebook is a place where you can create your desired reality. Take on that promiscuous character that lives deep within or feed those narcissistic tendencies by ‘re-touching’ photos prior to the public blood-bath.

Self-effacement allows me to ridicule your sensibility while leading you in the wrong direction. I ain’t providing you with a yellow brick road. If you really wanna know what I’m like come and stand outside my window. It’s a massive motherfucker that lives on the ground floor. The transparent mass is framed with velour curtains that will never know the true meaning of their soulless existence.

The truth is Facebook scares the shit out of me.. I guess Jasmine’s Fool (a pseudo name which further justifies this charade) is my doppelganger. She is better looking, has bigger balls and doesn’t give a fuck what people think.Despite all this nothing can compete with the ‘real’ version because no matter how much we immerse ourselves in social media, 'reality' will be the prevailing factor constantly lingering over you; sticking its wet finger in your ear and gnawing at your subconscious. 'Reality' is handing you a shovel so you can dig your arse out of that crater before exposing that pastry white to the brightest star of all - the sun. So don’t bother flicking through my albums or deciphering my wall - just PICK UP THE PHONE because sarcasm doesn’t transpire so well via text; it falls flat where intonation should take charge.

And let me tell you, I am one sarcastic motherfucker.

Note to Self

People who try hard have less talent but achieve more than those talented few who don’t feel the need to try.

Thus trying hard creates a veil of talent.

Note to self: Must try harder.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Entry 2

Dear Diary,

I was talking about eating cheese with my housemates and the sort of dreams that follow. Apparently they're not only nightmares, just intense dreams. So tonight we're all going to eat a fuckload of cheese and hope for sex dreams. James will probably have better luck than Steph and I. Hopefully our efforts aren't fruitless or I might have to ad-lib.


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Stricken City Interview

Stricken City make ethereal noises that invade your space; romantic but not too sappy with a hint of guitar riff. In 2004 vocalist Rebekah and guitarist Ian met in High School and now five years down the track the duo are now a quartet. They're a true indie band; one that combines hand designed tees and outfits with jingly musical art-pop. On 12 October the London collective, now comprised of Rebekah, Ian, Mike and Kit, is releasing their mini-album Songs About People I know, 'a musical college of the last five years'.

For the interview we met on a sunny Friday afternoon at London's Pure Groove Records. Rebekah was in the midst of cutting out water-colour animals, to use as decoration for the night's show, while Ian quite happily let me evade his personal space with my Sony dictaphone. The banging background tunes competed with our own vocals but with enough persistence, and sly dictaphone poking in Ian's direction, we successfully managed to proceed with our own session.

Check the rest of the interview out at This is Fake DIY

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Is there any Justice? Xavier and Gaspard do Coke.

This is the final design for Club Coke 2009, created in collaboration with Justice and Ed Banger Records (specifically SoMe). The red colourway on the left features the well known line from Justice's widely popular and overplayed tune 'D.A.N.C.E'. But the image to the right is the most exciting. Come night-fall the bottle glows in the dark! What the?

From a marketing point of view it's a very innovative idea and the whole Justice, Ed Banger/SoMe inclusion, is well, a money maker and a half.

My question is why?

Why did the Frenchies Xavier and Gaspard succumb? Why did they discredit their image by associating themselves with Coke? Did they need the money? Highly unlikely. Band Justice is more than financially stable and then there's Ed Banger Records, a company which produces Justice, Uffie, SoMe and is owned by Busy P. Ie. Pedro Winter the mogal who managed Daft punk, at least until 08. And although it was solely the Ed Banger Creative Designer 'SoMe' assisting in the design of the alluminium bottle, the record label is still just as tarnished.

Lucky for Justice, they're not just a gimmick and they really do live up to their reputation. Just check out one of their live gigs and you'll understand why. But I feel their rebel spirit has become dampened. I will admit that, this was somewhat dwindling ever since their commercial success and as much as I resent what 'commercial success' does to many artists, if they intend on bringing in the cash, there ain't much that can be done. But selling their 'souls' to the Coke label was definitely something that could have been avoided.

2009 - The advertisement celebrating 5 years of Club Coke.

In 2008, the French duo also partnered with Parisian creative collective Surface 2 Air and designed three leather jackets (150 pieces) alongside two jeans.

Enough with the cross pollination, just concentrate on what you're good at: your god given talent.

S’il vous plaît.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

At O Children's Crib

Crispy was the night as we hastily head to east London hot-spot On the Rocks. We were packed to the brim with idealistic expectations, while this particular 'hot-spot' had different ideas. It wasn't so much of a hot-spot as it was a luke-warm bath. Honestly, it was emptier than a Scottish pay toilet. Which by the way is defamation at its best. Who in their right mind would pay for a toilet? Dig a hole for Christ's sake.

So we're at On the Rocks and it's bloody shit, but fortunately it wasn't too long before some added incentives saw us taking charge of the d-floor. And I mean really carving it up, we were literally on fire. No joke.

After hosing off we found ourselves on Kingsland road heading northbound to the ever-seedy ever-open Russian Bar. I remember a tall black guy in a hat, thanks for the drink, and a whole lot of sweaty bodies rubbin' up against me. Almost a minute after accepting said man's gracious offer, the bangin' beats had ceased and my retinas were burning like something else. The bulbous artifice shone down like the almighty eclipse and we bleary-eyed contenders headed for the exit. No sooner had we ventured out had Harry from London's O Children! stopped us in our tracks. He offered us his house and some equally bodacious tunes. We accepted. After a pit-stop at the off-license, thirsty like a camal, we eventually made it to the up-and-coming muso's house. The 15 of us sat in a make-shift circle. In the hope of painting an accurate portrait it is necessary to note that I only knew three of the circle grazers. The rest were decoration, to say the least. Anyway, there was a whole lot of messy business going down and not surprisingly, I am experiencing difficulties verbalising these hazy memories into a legible display. So I won't.

I talked to Harry about the work I do with online site Don't Panic. Harry reminisced about being interviewed by a fellow from Don't Panic, a chap whose arrival was ridden with tardiness and the stench of a boozy afternoon. Needless to say Harry's thoughts on the interview were equally as flattering. Firey red-head Sarah requested a preview of the O Children debut album & within minutes (or so it seemed) Harry had burnt a copy and placed it in Sarah's clammy little hands. Prying it from those tenacious digits would be a mission that I was in no state to undertake.

CD-R in tow we bid our farewells and left the premises. Dawn was upon us and the contours of the grimy street paraphernalia were becoming visibly clearer. And then there were the birds... Those damn birds.

Diary of a Freelance Writer

Due to the fickle and unstable nature of freelance writing, it is important to understand a publication’s target audience and adapt your style accordingly. Unlike permanently hired writers freelance writers have to know how to play the game, cause not knowing when you’re going to eat next is a rather daunting concept. This freelance gig is a battlefield. It really is a matter of life or death.

A freelance ‘career’ is less about the ‘skill’ of writing and more about knowing your players. It’s about understanding the game and how and when to roll the dice. Wanna be published in Vice? Well release the demon child within and let go of all those inhibitions. Immerse yourself in everything that’s wrong in the world: fixies, emos, Lady Gaga, boys who wear tighter jeans than you do and finally embrace the jaded monkey within. Then curse and condemn the world and all the fuckwit cretins it insists on breeding. Year after year, after year. It’s called evolution and unfortunately it ain’t going anywhere.

Really let loose. You need to be crass and adopt the reverberation skills of a sailor.  You need to talk openly (with as much detail as possible) about your sex life. Unfortunately in my case, this life is non-existent which therefore has great effect on the grittiness of detail. ‘So I met this boy, he accepted my friend request and now I stalk his wall. A lot’. Talk about juicy!

Be wary of using big words. No one likes a show-off. Big words reek of pretension and your readers can smell it a mile away. No one has the time to read that four-syllable word, let alone look up what it means. Readers don’t want to be patronised by faggots who know how to use a thesaurus. They want a quick and easy explanation with punchy lines that gravitate toward borderline insane. But don’t underestimate your readers. Just cause you're writing like a dumb-fuck doesn’t mean they read like one.

And remember it ain't 'selling your soul' if it pays the bills.

Now go out there and ink that quill!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Entry 1

Dear Diary,

I am having friend issues at the moment and I was telling my mum about it yesterday and you know what she said? 'Wow, you need to get out more'. I was like WTF! She was like 'maybe you're writing too much and maybe you need to make some new friends'. I was like: 'that's completely irrelevant, I'm not saying I don't have any friends'. Anyway she's shit w/ advice + she's got this new boyfriend so she thinks she's bloody Paris Hilton or something.


*Fictitious diary entry

Friday, 2 October 2009

Pretty Baby Causes Uproar

The latch had yet to be lifted but London’s Tate Modern Gallery had already garnered an unduly amount of publicity for its eagerly anticipated exhibition, Pop Life: Art in a Material World. Thanks to a rather questionable piece by American artist Richard Prince the gallery was met with an unexpected visit. Authorities of the Metropolitan Police sparked much controversy after instigating the withdrawal of Prince’s work; which they labelled 'obscene' and a 'magnet' for paedophiles. Spiritual America shows a ten-year-old Brooke Shields glistening, 'bath-damp' and naked. Her tiny body is seductively posed for all to see, while her make-up is the envy of drag-queens the world over. The image in question is in fact an appropriated version of the 1975 original, taken by New York photographer George Gross.

Six years later a regretful Brooke Shields would sue Mr Gross in attempt to prevent further use of the image; which she claimed embarrassed and distressed her. However, a career built on producing a sexually explicit image did little to strengthen Shield’s argument. Her endeavours were met with little success as the court considered the contract signed by her mother, whose intent was to make her daughter a child-star, to be of a lawfully binding nature.

In fact Gross was a friend of Shield’s mother, whom in 1976 had been commissioned to take photos of her unwitting prepubescent daughter, for the Playboy publication Sugar 'n' Spice. To Gross’ dismay and despite his success in court, the effects of the trial not only tarnished his reputation but had ruined him financially. Fortunately for Brook Shields, the aftermath of the heavily made-up androgynous shot saw her career flourish; in 1978 she played the daughter of a prostitute in Louis Malle’s Academy-Acclaimed Pretty Baby. Two years later she and Christopher Atkins were teenagers on the path of sexual discovery in Randel Kleiser’s Blue Lagoon, while in that same year a then 14-year-old Shield appeared in Calvin Klein’s controversial jeans campaign. The TV ad included her trumpeting the infamous tagline, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."

In 1992, photographer Richard Prince approached Gross with an offer. He acquired the rights of the photograph and made it his own, by taking a photo of the photo and encasing it in a gold-frame. His title Spiritual America references a 1923 Alfred Stieglitz photograph of a gelded workhorse; a piece which shares similar themes of sexual ambiguity. The purpose was to comment on American psyche; on the commodification and premature sexualisation of a Pretty Baby who stares at you with adult-intent. With one click of a button Prince portrayed America’s obsession with fame, his photo symbolised not just the photo itself but the baggage it brought with it; all sparked by a mother treating her daughter like an object.

In 1998 the ‘thought-provoking’ photograph had been on display at Manhattan's American Fine Arts Gallery before being sold at a Christies’ auction for a staggering $151,000 (USD). In 2007, Spiritual America was to be a guest at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in a rather turbulent-free exhibition of the same name.

In 2008 however, Australian contemporary artist Bill Henson, saw New South Wales police and child welfare authorities remove 20 of his photographs depicting nude children, from Sydney’s Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery. Mirroring Prince’s current debacle, Henson’s case was an earlier reminder of the tenuous affair between art and individual interpretation. Targets of social malaise, Henson and Prince, along with fellow photographers Annie Leibovitz and Nan Goldin, grudgingly continue to fend off claims of ‘lubricious titillation’.

At the time of the original Gary Gross photo, the seventies photographer was working on a project for a publication entitled The Woman in the Child, where he wanted to reveal the femininity of prepubescent girls by comparing them to adult women. Ten years later, appropriator Prince would interpret the image as 'an extremely complicated photo of a naked girl who looks like a boy made up to look like a woman'; however, it seems authorities from the UK’s obscene publications unit do not share his artistic outlook. Art enthusiasts have linked the withdrawal of the image to notions of censorship, condemning the UK authorities for policing a concept founded on subjectivity, where there is no ‘right’ answer, only individual understanding.

Gary Gross' photos of an underage Brooke Shields. Approach with Caution.

Face Hunter

Almost gagged on the opportunity to meet up with Yvan Rodic aka the notorious Face Hunter, luckily I managed to hold down any form of sustenance consumed earlier that morning. Initially the meeting was set up for Lacoste's new project Evolução Francesa; we were meant to take some 'street' shots with me decked out in Lacoste. Unfortunately being one of the later appointments meant I wasn't left with much to choose from. In fact the table of goodies included: 7 pairs of shoes, about twice the size of my own tootsies, a black sleveless polo top and a pair of maroon tennis shorts. 

No prizes for guessing which I opted for. 

After much umming & ahhing we hit the streets, Yvan with his Canon G10 and me with my bounty of questions, fortunately for me Yvan was rather amicable and quite forthcoming. Hooray, it seemed I was right to leave my probing tool at home!

So the 15 minute foray turned into an hour-long impromptu interview; we talked more than we shot and this I had no qualms about. Our formidable session took us through the internet blogging world, under the stagnate air of supposed fashion capitals Paris and Milan and into the impact of climate on style.

However, these are just the crumbs. Stay tuned for the biscuit.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Tale of a Pharmaceutical Hack

I used to work in a chemist and it was rad. It was the best job I ever had. Seriously I’m not even exaggerating for the sake of making a point; I’m fucking serious. To begin with I worked with my best-friend Buzz, yea her name’s Buzz, and yea occasionally she’d get on it and peeps would be like ‘Buzz are you buzzing’? Ahah hilarious. Not surprisingly it got old very quickly, but that’s beside the point.

Each shift would begin at about five past, solely because I’m a tardy fucker, and I’d stand behind that counter and think about all those shit jobs out there and how good mine really was. How much better can it get than: customers who enter the store with their purchases already in mind? They’d have a list already made and all I had to do was tick ‘em off. Sounds grand doesn’t it?  There was no up-selling, down-selling, over-selling, under-selling or the like. It was as simple as putting on a pair of pants. They’d come in, tell me their drug of choice, I’d pluck it off the shelf and they’d walk out a happy lady or man. I also learned shit. That was very unexpected. I learnt about respective active ingredients and what their roles involved.

I learnt how stupid a lot of people are. As soon as I had that white smock on it was as if people just assumed I was a qualified neurosurgeon and not a failing uni student, who was schlepping as a sales assistant to support her own drug habit. It seemed people just wanted a quick solution and we were the miracle workers who could dish up a whole bag of shit and they’d quite happily unhinge their jaw like a snake feasting on a chicken. People believe medicated supplements will solve all their problems.

This one guy came in and explained to me that the day before he had a really bad cold. ‘Okay and how are you feeling today’? I replied. ‘Yea great’ was his solemn answer. Understandably I was confused so I apologised and asked him to re-iterate the reason for his visit. He told me that ‘yesterday he had a really bad cold’ and ‘today’, I interrupted. ‘Oh today I’m fine’.  Enough said. Safe to say I turned him around and gave him a big kick up the bootskie. He immediately got the message and left empty-handed.

We also had this box in the back-room which held all that was holy. All the shit that was no longer store-worthy became ours for the choosing. They’d be lipsticks, hair pins, a variety of laxatives, band-aids, pills (all the colours of the rainbow) and whole lot of liquidy goodness at our disposal. Sometimes when we were on break we’d assess the contents and then self-diagnose an ailment according to what was available. As if reverting back to childhood we’d treat throat lozenges like coloured candy with an added kick. Once there were these vibrating condoms. They were there for like three weeks and no one dare touch them. I guess everyone knew that if they took them they would eventually be found out. It’s not that we were prudes; it was more that we didn’t really want our manager Bryan thinking about the fact that we occasionally ... copulate. For those who had boyfriends it was automatically assumed and if Bryan bothered to listen to our conversations, in between serving customers, he’d know what those who didn’t have boyfriends were getting up to as well. So the point is he knew we were all sexually active but a missing box of condoms, vibrating ones at that, would only be an unnecessary reminder. No thanks. A friend of a friend of mine told me they’re nothing special... So no loss I guess?

Finally one of the most predictable things about working in a chemist is the questions. As soon as people found out I worked in a chemist their eyes would light up as they began to probe me about Vicodin. Do you sell Vicodin? Do you have access to Vicodin? Could you get me some Vicodin? Like clockwork I’d be faced with the almighty clincher. Vicodin. Every celebrity and his chihuahua have been slapped with a DUI after downing some of these ‘relaxants’. Thugster wigger Eminem sports a Vicodin tattoo on his arm and spent the last four years hooked on the drug. The opiate’s correct name is Hydrocodone and the name Vicodin is merely a brand name used in the United States. Yes that’s right folks, sometimes using American movies as a reliable reference will only make you look like a complete hipster/emo, who likens waking up every morning to being punched in the guts by a baboon.

Aside from providing happy hallucinations of dancing pigs and talking mushrooms, the painkiller contains high doses of Acetaminophen, an ingredient which can cause like, liver failure, or something. Once my eyeballs had done the routine cycle and rolled out of their sockets I’d promptly inform Bambi that his drug of choice was not available in the UK. Fortunately, the closest country that uses Hydrocodone, in its purest form, is Germany. So get your Lederhosen on and remember this name: DICODID by Knoll, 10mg per tablet.

Follow Dov

DC - Advocates no BS.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Play Doh Creates Tiny Sociopaths

Is it weird that I remember the taste of Play Doh more than the joy of actually playing with it?

This new series of Play Doh magazine ads will certainly quash such fears from ever surfacing again. Under the catchy slogan 'safe no matter what you make', the idea seems to be soley directed at the parents. My only qualm is: when was the last time anyone questioned the safety of Play-Doh? It's made out of plasticine gunk and after many childhood hours spent taste-testing the different colours I have confirmed it is also edible!

Play-Doh is probably the only 'toy' that doesn't require parental supervision. But then again if you catch Junior making one of the above, then you've got a whole other can of worms to deal with.

But once you get over being a cyncial yam you will realise that the real aim of the ads is to suggest that Play-Doh is SO safe, that even a claylike weapon of destruction can be tolerated. However, what does scare me is the fact that these images provide inspiration to tiny developing psychopaths all over the world.

Despite their seeming lack of political correctness, these Tim Burtonesque ads are probably the most innovative advertising I've seen in a very long time.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Hipster Porn

In need of some fleshy gratification? Flip through the pages of your local glossie and you're sure to get a 'saucy fix', with fashion editorials and advertising campaigns that would make even Larry Flynt blush. Soft porn has become the new power tool and the big guns are not afraid to embrace it. In the advertising world it’s all about making a lasting impression – regardless of its relevance to the product – and sex sells. This truism is no revelation, yet slackening restrictions are allowing for overtly sexual and controversial print advertising, which is ambiguously wavering between ‘art’ and ‘porn’. Soft-porn, it seems, is the new trend and consumers find it pretty convincing. Infamous photographers Terry Richardson and Steven Meisel are currently at the forefront; creating sleazy, salacious images for the likes of fashion designers Calvin Klein and Sisley. While American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, has successfully tried his hand at the simple point-and-shoot for his controversial clothing campaign. But is the public ready?

Since his 1980 advertisement that showed a sultry 15-year-old Brook Shields in a pair of her ‘favourite’ Calvins, American designer Calvin Klein has been fully aware of the power of the ‘pulse’. An image that shocks and seduces you, piques your interest and locks your gaze - sending shivers down your spine. In 1992, Calvin Klein enlisted the help of buff rapper Marky Mark, better known these days as actor Mark Wahlberg, and a barely legal Kate Moss. The scene: the duo is intimately positioned, while sporting nothing more than their Calvin Klein jeans and underwear; a simple idea, yet an effective message which stays relatively innocent. Fast-forward to 2009, however, and Steven Meisel has helped Klein push the boundaries. In his image, three semi-dressed youths; two males and one female, lay embracing one another on a couch. A fourth topless male reclines on the floor. This is supposed to be selling you Calvin Klein; its jeans, its underwear, and the many other products, to which Mr Klein ‘fastidiously’ lends his name. Instead it sells a message. A message that says: if you wear these jeans something like this could happen to you. Do we believe it? I sincerely hope not. But we believe in something and it is definitely not the quality. If all it took was a sturdy pair of jeans, the last thing Mr CK would need to show you, is sexually-charged youths on the brink of a ménage-a-trois status.

In a rather ironic twist, many clothing companies are favouring the less is more approach, and sometimes, dressing their models in nothing more than a pair of tube socks. American Apparel founder Dov Charney has pioneered a marketing campaign that lends itself to a sort-of amateur porn aesthetic, in which normal-looking girls; we’re told they’re AA sales assistants, wear little more than a coy smile. The end result resembles something your boyfriend could have taken in the back-room, and in Charney’s opinion it has garnered both praise and prejudice. Despite this, the 41-year-old entrepreneur remains adamant that his images are sexy yet harmless, and an individual’s reaction is ultimately ruled by personal taste. Such images are riddled with soft-core porn body postures and motifs; prepubescent girls with spread legs and facial expressions that suggest sexual pleasure are done in a vernacular, un-posed type style. The company says it’s catering for the global youth culture; presenting them with young, fresh and sexy everyday individuals who embrace sex and sexual liberation. However, when he’s not taking the photos or fighting off sexual harassment cases, Charney and his handle-bar moustache take time to jump on the other side of the camera, producing photos which would give low-budget porn movies circa-1973, a run for their money. A brand that sells plain over-sized t-shirts, hoodies, slacks and tube socks has managed to market itself in such a way, as to put the X back into X-large. Their provocative nature gets people talking and leaves a lingering after-taste, and depending on your predilection, you’ll either enjoy it or wish you’d never opened your mouth.

Charney hard at work.

Post-modern snapshot photographer Terry Richardson is synonymous with this adult-friendly-style, in which a standard point-and-shoot camera creates a cheap photographic quality. His iconic soft-core photo narratives, which exploit sexual innuendo, have inevitably led to labels such as 'misogynistic' and 'perverse'; but the son of famed fashion photographer Bob Richardson, couldn’t give a rats. His ability to artfully meld art and porn into an off-putting, yet oddly attractable scent has propelled him from hipster stardom; Vice and Purple magazine, to the likes of Rollingstone, GQ and Sports Illustrated. His graphic sexual depictions and taboo allusions have even won over the high-end fashion magazines, including Vogue and Harpeer’s Bazaar. Everyone wants him to demoralize them; Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan, Pam Anderson and even U.S president Barak Obama, have been touched by Mr Richardson.

For the Sisley Fall Winter 2001 ad campaign "Farming", the photographer shot supermodel Josie Maran as she frolicked around a farm, in various states of dress and undress. He channels school-girl porn as Maran lies on her side in an unbuttoned shirt and plays on the up-the-skirt angle. In the most torrid yet well publicized image of the Sisley-Richardson collaboration, Maran squirts milk from a cow’s udder as she insouciantly stares at you through the camera lens; milk dripping from her mouth. In this campaign all sort of innuendos are at play and although it was widely criticized for its vulgarity, for Terry Richardson it was just another pay check from yet another wealthy fashion house, who can no longer deny the ‘talent’ of the man who took 1970`s porn aesthetic and made it fashion chic.

The introduction of soft-porn into the advertising industry threatens to break down all kinds of barriers and taboos. Pioneers Terry Richardson and Dov Charney are busy repackaging pornography for the mainstream audience; persuading us to see it as risqué instead of vulgar, and racy instead of dirty. Are we offended? Damn straight, but not enough to look away; instead we criticize it for being offensive or commend it for its apathy. These pseudo-porn images seduce and fascinate us; they gain publicity regardless of the nature and unwittingly stick to the roof of our mouth.

Yet, while some see the American Apparel vision as a degeneration of our society, CEO Dov Charney maintains that he is only catering for a need that was already there, but had not yet been satisfied. Along with many others, Charney and Richardson have subjected society to the demand for porn, which is challenging our limits and shaping our perceptions accordingly. ‘X-rated images are hawking everything from beer to video games’ said Charney, so why not fashion? It seems the public have apprehensively accepted the saturation of porn in advertising; whether it was through personal opinion or public pressure is of little concern to these precursors. The truth of it is, the soft-core brigade is out in full-force and will continue to push the envelope, because after sex comes sales.

Here's some moving visuals courtesy of American Apparel.

What are you looking at?

My photo
I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

Ye Faithful