Thursday, 22 October 2009

Son Lux

I stumbled across this guy the other day and have been slightly obsessed with their blissed-out sound (does anyone still say that?) ever since.

'This guy' is Ryan Lott who made his name through collaborating with and remixing other artists, such as Beirut. The above songs are from the 2008 album At War with Walls and Mazes which was his debut as Son Lux, it took 4 years for Lott to record and produce in his attic studio. I love it!

Living album art

Sky Arts recreated Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover last night to celebrate tomorrow nights screening of Pulse: Dark Side Of The Moon Live, which features the band's famous 1994 performance at Earls Court.

I wish I'd been fortuitous enough to have been on Primrose Hill last night in time to see it in the flesh! I love how it appears to dwarf the London landmarks in the background.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


As well as stopping to take a few snaps around Carnaby Street and Piccadilly station I also went for a few drinks with friends and impressed them (including a zoology student) with my knowing that the Portugese Man O War is not a jellyfish but in fact made from a colony of four individual creatures (it's true - check it out on wikipedia) and I bought wasabi from a crazy japanese supermarket at about 10.30pm. I heart London!

Monday, 19 October 2009

The sound of clothes

The amazing 'Sound of Clothes: Synaesthesia’ was created by composer Nick Ryan and inspired by Nick Knight's photographs of a Balenciaga jacket - I was certainly put under its spell last month, even if I didn't totally appreciate the rest of the show.

I have been looking for some footage of this amazing piece since visiting the ShowStudio Fashion Revolution exhibition in Sepetember (apologies for the quality but it was the only video I could find!). Ryan was asked by prolific fashion photographer Nick Knight to consider the texture of the different parts of the jacket and recreate these textures and the feelings they evoked through colour and original orchestral scores.

I went along to the Somerset House show with my fashion-enthusiast sister (she studies fashion at the Arts Institute, Bournemouth) who lapped-up some of the more 'out there' exhibits which seemed to my untrained eye to come straight out of the film Zoolander.

It's not that there weren't some amazing and thought-provoking exhibits because there were -such as the 'Synaesthesia’ and the giant Warhol-inspired sculpture of Naomi Campbell which visitors could decorate with their own art or thoughts (below) ...It's just that there was also a range of images created with the help of a CT head scanner which produced pictures of models with parts of their heads missing and the contents of their skulls on show...then again, maybe I'm the one missing something?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Monsters, Ink

These are my designs for a competition to make a cover for the guys over at Little White Lies. The brief was based around the upcoming release of The Wild Things in that we had to design our own 'wild things' and include the words that feature on my covers above.
I am not an illustrator by any means but, as anyone who has sat next to me during a particularly long lecture, bus journey or even a short lecture, will know - I am a doodler! And I have to admit this was a way of being productive with my doodles and I quite enjoyed doing it!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Low Anthem 'Charlie Darwin' review.

For those listeners who are currently enjoying the near tidal wave of folk bands that are spilling over into the mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic (think Fleet Foxes from over there and Mumford and Sons over here) will inevitably like The Low Anthem.

The minimal and acoustic production on ‘Charlie Darwin’ brings the band’s three unique voices to the fore. Really it’s these skilled and beautiful harmonies which steal the show on this particular track which stands out as the most mellow on their 2009 album, ‘Oh My God, Charlie Darwin.’

And ‘Charlie Darwin’ gives the listener a chance to reflect back on the folky sounds of old – there’s more than a hint of Neil Young in the guitar finger work, and the mouth organ and close harmonies certainly evoke a ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ era Bob Dylan.

The sound is unmistakably American and will undoubtedly start cropping up all over any US show when a soundtrack is needed to convey the magic of a harvest moon spraying light over the cornfields of the Deep South...or something!

So then, ‘Charlie Darwin’ is not an example of some of the more forward-thinking progressive folk around but is instead a lovely track which attempts in it’s looking back to nod to some of the best folk-rock songwriters in history. Well worth a listen I give it 7/10.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Write what you're told

The BBC Trust has launched new draft guidelines especially aimed at online content today but many of them seem reactionary rather than totally necessary.

Some ideas appear on the surface to be common sensical, advice such as, 'Audiences should not be able to tell from BBC programmes or other BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists and presenters on such matters.' But there could be another reason this particular guideline has been rushed through - as the Guardian points out this has already been dubbed by some in the industry as the 'Jeremy Bowen clause' due to events earlier this year which saw Bowen, the beeb's middle east editor, disparaged by the Trust after playing fast and loose with his online version of a potted history of post-war Israel.

Far more reactionary though are those new measures which could be construed to target the broadcasting styles of particular names. The cutting-out of swearing, even after the watershed for example, would certainly affect the presenting style of a certain Jonathan Ross who has obviously gotten in trouble lately for his part in the Sachs/Brand furore.

'Sachsgate,' as it was dubbed at the time, was almost certainly the point of origin for another and perhaps the most strange of the new rules. The BBC said, 'Some comedy can be cruel but unduly intimidatory, humiliating, intrusive, aggressive or derogatory remarks must not be celebrated for the purposes of entertainment. Care should be taken that such comments and the tone in which they are delivered are proportionate to their target.'

This appears to be approaching dangerous grounds to me. Censorship of art forms like comedy smacks of a more old school and conservative beeb. I rather thought that by now we had left behind the days of banning these entertaining and even controversial forms of free expression.

All in all I wonder about the true motive behind these new guidelines, and can't help but think they are not there to benefit the real audiences of programmes at all. More likely they were put together to placate those angry-letter-scribbling, and more importantly license fee paying Daily Mail readers who were so outraged at the treatment of the elderly Mr Sachs - not that they actually heard the Russell Brand show going out, not that particular and fateful night - not ever! And who exactly are these people? Who revel in writing into various media, calling Offcom and generally getting riled up about something which in reality is not directly offending them or indeed really soiling their apparently previously utopian lives at all - and afterall, hasn't anyone told them? If they don't like it they could always try turning the filth off?!