Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Daily Mail Makes Good

Reading the Daily Mail is sort of like rolling around on a tapestry of hate, woven with the barbarous fibres of racism and prejudice. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have chastised my father for continuing to buy this abusive rag. Each time I am assured that he only purchases it everyday because my mum likes the crosswords. Needless to say, I rarely look at their website, unless I am particularly in the mood for a neat slice of intolerance. However, upon a rare glance at the website today, I found such an amazing picture.

It’s a photograph of a volcano erupting on the small Kuril Island range off the coast of Japan. The picture was taken by a NASA’s international space station, which orbits the planet 16 times a day. It was just by chance that it happened to be over the island at that point in the day to capture such a dramatic photograph. Other than the fact this picture may disturb those paranoid 1984 readers, it’s some of the best photojournalism I’ve seen in ages.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Photographers I like Vol. 1: White Kross

I've been doing a fair bit of trawling on the internet recently, looking for photographers for the upcoming photo issue of the publication I'm interning for (that will remain nameless). Whilst the tasks I am given are more often than not tedious, looking at pretty things for half of my day isn't really all that much like hard work.

Anyways, I'm going to include some photographs of people that I like in my blog as a way of remembering, as well as showing them to all two people who know that about this blog. This is the first. Operating under the alias of White Kross,this guy/girl/stuff has been posting some amazing photographs on their Flickr. Check it out for yourself:


So rare it is now that any mention of Hip Hop yields a comment greater than an affirmation of it’s death or a gesturing of the nostrils to the sky. The “Hip Hop” that is produced now, or the offensive ramblings that at least masquerade under it’s hallowed banner, is tame in comparison to the music being produced by the same characters in the early-mid 90’s. I realise that I am not saying anything new here. In fact, I am simply falling into line with all those purists before me, who harp on about the fact that the hardships that were drawn upon to create those classic tunes are not a consideration anymore, replaced with the riches and diamond rings (“real niggaz do real things”) that they were striving for. As a result, everything that is made now is, therefore, contrived and devoid of passion bla bla bla.

Anyways, self indulgencies aside (well sort of), this is a blog to illustrate the genius of RZA/Lou Diamonds/Tony Starks in their production of, arguably, the greatest Hip Hop record of all time “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”. I loved it when I first heard it. I remember I had to wait two weeks for my local record shop to order it in (it wasn't a particularly good record shop), but that seemed like a small price to pay once I put it on. Stand out tracks that I couldn’t stop listening to on repeat were “Guillotine Swordz”, “Wu Gambinos” and “Ice Cream”, but over the years, as with all long player’s of this ilk, I have come to appreciate the layers of this album. It’s the closest thing to an opera, I think, that anyone in the game ever came close to producing. From the violent imagery to the skits of gangster speeches, it exists in a world completely created in the heads of its creators. If this music was made by anybody now, it would be considered beyond pretentious, but because it was the Wu it was more than acceptable.

I used to stumble across this album more when I went home, as my mate was a Wu Tang fanatic and would insist on reliving old times, but since I have been living in London it seems to have been played a minimum of once a week in the office. It’s weird because I just seem to understand it more now than when I was a Hip Hop diehard. As with some other records that I adore, I’m sometimes not sure if the people who made them realised just what they had achived, but I think that anyone with any taste could reassure Bobby Digital that he’d done alright with this one.

Here’s one of my newest favourites:

apologies for the backing video

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I'm not one for psychedelics myself, but this video is absolutely chaotic. Realise that I may have missed the boat a little with Vince Collins, but the internet is all about second chances I heard. Anyways check it out:

Monday, 8 June 2009

Snapshots of another life

Usually rummaging through the editor’s hefty box of unopened mail only gifts me paper cuts and the latest Jack Penate promo. This time, though, I found a diamond in the rough. Application forms and Curriculum Vitaes are often about as interesting as flicking through a science teacher’s tax returns, but when they come packaged with photographs of old skate dudes and a handwritten letter from a troubled youth, it’s sort of like summer time in Pan’s Labyrinth. From the carefully selected envelope (you know the kind your mum gets you from the local newsagent when you’re five to mail to your pen friend in Mallorca) to the heart-wrenching story of a father’s ailing skate company in Buenos Aires, this was a truly personal plea for a chance at the ? Corporation.

There just seems to be a romance inherent in the Hispanic that is sadly lacking from the rest of us. They say “Te amo, eres guapa” we say “Vodka and coke sweetheart?” Within this bundle of memories and delicately crafted tales of woe, there wasn’t an ‘Employment History’ section or any over exaggerated ‘Hobbies and Interests’ because that’s just not important. There would probably be a lot less recruitment officers doing themselves in if they got to open one of these little parcels of sunshine on a grim Monday morning.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Bungalow Hate: Interview with Vivian Girls

Hey. So, you lot have been like stupid busy this year with touring. Didn’t you do like 18 shows at SXSW?

Cassie – We did, and umm what else did we do?

Katy – It’s been a really productive year.

Cassie – We did a full US tour, we toured Europe. We ahh have a new 7” out. We’re going to have our new album out in September. So, yeah, really productive year.

That’s intense. You’ve got a side project as well, haven’t you Cassie? Called Ghost Town, yeah?

Cassie – Oh. Oh no, we’re called The Babies. We changed our name. There were a couple of changes, we were called Ghost Town, but now we are The Babies. And we’ve only played one show. It’s like my band with like my boyfriend and our friend Kevin. We’re just like, we’re just like very new. We just started.

How is that sound like a progression from Vivian Girls?

Cassie – Ah, it’s different. It’s two guitars and drums, there’s no bass. And I don’t really write any of the songs, I wrote like one song for it, and umm Kevin, the other guitar player writes most of the songs. So, it’s kinda like being in a band where I’m just like hanging out, and it’s like very…it’s not…like very little pressure, you know? I think it kinda sounds like…It’s kinda like Country Gospel, but like punker? I don’t know, it’s hard to describe. Haha.

You also set up Wild World last year, right? Is it all still going well?

Katy – Yeah, it’s great. We just reissued “Wild Eyes”. This summer we are actually going to put another one of Cassie’s older bands…we’re going to put out the LP of that. And then another band might be in the works, but we won’t discuss it.

Didn’t you do like a package thing, where you gave away postcards or something?

Cassie – In the winter, we put out a 7” ourselves “Surf’s Up”, and we released it in a package with a shirt, some postcards and a button. But those are all sold out. We’re probably not going to do it again because it was a lot of work.

Yeah, sounds like it. Also, deviating from the conversation slightly, I found this comment today like, you know how you did the Pink Sofa session, like the acoustic set. Well I scrolled down the page today and found a comment that someone left in capital letters, and it said “BEWARE – THESE GUYS ARE GAY 4 GOD”


Cassie – That’s our friend Ryan!

Oh really

Cassie – He’s our friend from Brooklyn. We have a lot of inside jokes with him. Cos like you know that God hates gay people, but it’s OK to be gay if you’re gay for God. It’s like “You’re a band who loves god”…it’s alright to be gay for God…It’s a weird inside joke that make’s no sense, but we think it’s funny for some reason…

It wasn’t like a full on attack on Vivian Girls then?

Cassie – Oh, no no no. We know that person.

Katy – Very well. Ryan’s the best.

Yeah sorry, my research got a bit carried away…

Katy – Oh yeah, when’s my birthday?

I didn’t do that much research.

Oh shit sorry, I feel guilty now. I feel as though I should know when your birthday is. When is it?

Katy – Not telling.

Alright then.