Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Red Hot Radiohead?

As a big fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead I was surprised and excited to hear about the prospect of Flea joining Thom Yorke's latest project.
So far without a name, the Guardian's Tim Jonze dubbed them "one of the scariest-sounding groups in pop history." I think that's possibly unfair - Flea may be famous for his furious thumb-slapping funk bass rhythms but he is also a contributor to composing melodies on some of the Chili's sweetest songs, (think Don't Forget Me) and he can also play a haunting blues trumpet. Therefore giving nothing away as to what sorts of sounds we can expect from the collaboration.
This meeting of great and musical minds appears to be all the rage at the moment. Johnny Marr perhaps kicked the latest phase off with his joining of the Cribs on various occasions and then the Crooked Vultures and their epic line-up comprising of Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Josh Homme started popping up in support of the Artic Monkeys and making guest appearences at Reading and Leeds.
None of these recent collaborations have exactly set the world on fire but the Yorke/Flea project should yield something totally new to both musicians creatively, and that should at least make for interesting listening.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Good news

Gair rhydd 2008-2009 has been nominated for the Guardian's student media awards as best student newspaper. As one of the full time news editors during this time I am totally thrilled! The results are announced at a swanky awards do here in London some time in November...

Cartography matters

Tourists and Londers alike have had their knickers in a twist since the recent changes to the tube map, can't think why...

The decision by the mayor's office to remove the travel zones and the Thames from the new maps is apparently an attempt at 'decluttering' as the London transport network becomes more extensive. I'm presuming this decluttering is to make the map easier to read? Well yes,that blue squiggle slashing through the middle was rather an eyesore wasn't it? And those grey concentric circles did almost used to induce an immediate migraine if you so much as glanced at them. But hmmm...I suppose they were rather handy for working out where you were going. Oh! and how much you might have to pay to get there and if you had the right ticket.

As one of London's newest inhabitants I am hanging on tightly to my old battered pre September 15th map when the authorities didn't insult our intelligence by removing (allbeit rather important) clutter and expect us (newcomers and tourists included) to have an extensive knowledge of London's waterways already commited to memory.

What Fourth Plinth?

I finally made it down to Trafalgar Square to see the fourth plinth on a very sunny September afternoon yesterday. Turns out I didn't time my visit very well.

The main reason for my trip was to see the fourth plinth in action - I had watched the live stream of the Antony Gormley art project which places a member of the public on the plinth every hour and around the clock for 100 days but I hadn't seen it in the flesh. Trafalgar Square was alive with a mass of people as usual but not so usual was the music from singers, performers and catwalk shows - all going on to celebrate London Week of Peace. I sat on the steps outside the National Portrait Gallery for over an hour taking in the scene and oops! I didn't glance up at the fourth plinth - not even once! When I did eventually remember to walk over to the plinth the middle aged man on top of it - who on any other occasion would have been enjoying being centre of attention and perhaps enlightening me in a way that I will now never know - had apparently given up and was instead choosing to use the remainder of his time to sit, sunbathe and enjoy the talent concert with the other couple of thousand of people in the square. Poor plinth man!