Monthly Archives: June 2009

ESCAPE to Glastonbury!

sp3logo

Today we enter the Glastonbury 3..2..1.. countdown.

APPROPRIATLEY, this has led me to  reflect upon and rate festivals gone by.

I eased onto the festival ‘scene,’ with a trip to  The Isle of Wight Festival after my first year of university. To be honest, I was so young and enthusiastic then, that I think a hippy themed 21st would have done the trick.  If I’m going to be slightly cynical it was perhaps a tad middle aged, but we had a great time sipping on cider and watching Ray Davis.  Pete Doherty did also play with a black lace strapped round his arm which was totally awesome.

7/10 – Because we were first timers and therefore complete Rookies.

The next time we took things up a notch and went to Rock Ness. Although practically a new born in festival terms, (2007 was Rock Ness’s second year,) with Norman Cook as it’s creator, Nessy was able to pull in an UUUBER line up.  I had a bit of a moment during the Chemical Brothers –  mist was rolling in from over the Loch as the sun was setting – it was all a bit WOW. The following night, Daft Punk put on one of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing/ expereincing.

9/10 – Good Name. Great Music. Beautiful Setting and quite surprisingly fantastic weather. However points have been deducted due to the racist attack that occurred on our tents by  Scottish chavs with a bottle of mustard.

Last year was Melt, which takes place in a disused mine outside of Berlin. Very German. Very Kraftwerk. Melt was pure, blissful, indulgence for the techno geek within. It was Gui Boratto though (and his intelligent dance music) who stole the show.

8/10 – Because it rained A LOT and I didn’t get to see the Whitest Boy Alive because it was full?!

-SW

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ESCAPE with Kostas Seremetis and a rubber stamp

Brooklyn based artist Kostas Seremetis has just designed a new line of Tee Shirts for us. It’s the exciting launch of a new brand by The Hideout called HOP. Taking inspiration from retro comic books, Seremetis whipped us up “The Thing,” “Wolverine,” and “The Savage.” Tees are limited edition and available in store now. For more info visit the Hideout blog…www.hideoutstore.com

For more of Seremetis’s satirical and street infused retro designs check out his site. I particularly like his “Fuck Off,” Classical sculpture entitled “Since Then,”…and his Wookie montage sculptures.   www.kostasystems.com

Since Then
Since Then

We also have a new and very awesome HOP logo –  a Golden Sunshine Pyramid which I got this made into a rubber stamp last week. I have been fixated with the thing ever since because you may not know it yet but…stamping is REALLY FUN. Having quit stamping when stickers (could have been pogs…or gogos) replaced them as the cool thing to collect around about ’93, it was not until last year during a trip to Japan that I rediscovered the joys of the inked wooden block. With small stamping stalls conveniently dotted all over Kyoto, I was soon able to rebuild my collection with stamps that reflected my own unique and matured taste…purchasing  monkeys, clouds and angry manga stars to name but a few. From here I was able to come up with such pieces as “God Dam It!!, ” a work whose strength, I feel, lies in the  minimal use of varying colour  -my palette consisted only of green, and the distinct repetitive quality of its compositional construction.

God Damn It!!

God Damn It!!

To celebrate the invention of the new HOP logo we decided to get a commemorative stamp made. There’s a great shop called Blade Rubber right opposite the British Museum where you can get made to order stamps. Its a really cute and traditional store with little old ladies working there…no computers and an old school till. Take in, or Email them a JPEG of you design….you can have  whatever you want..and they will get it made for you FAST (to quench the thirst for stamping that I KNOW you are already feeling.) Once your stamp is made pick up some ink – I chose gold – and stamp your little heart out.

There is something about the simplicity of putting stamp to ink and ink to paper that captivates and soothes the soul. Or maybe it is just refreshing to partake in an activity that involves the use of about three brain cells and makes you feel like a six year old.

-SW

HOP
HOP

ESCAPE with some REALLY LOUD music.

Just got back to my flat after a long day at work and played White Lies – Death (Chase & Status Remix) REALLY LOUDLY. It was sensational. You should try it….I’m gonna do it again. -SW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YePGjdxjXdg

ESCAPE with James Jarvis

No words needed really. This is pure animated awesomeness -SW

ESCAPE to the 80s (but beware….your daddy was probably cooler than you are.)

DADDY COOL……….

I have kept this photograph in a silver frame in my bedroom for as long as a I remember. Whilst I have always been certain that I love it, I have recently come to realize that there’s something quite disturbing about it. You see, it dawned on me that not only is the photo great, but the guy in the photo looks really cool. What troubles me about this, is that the guy in the photo is my dad… and I am jealous. Having moved into a flat in Shoreditch last year, I should really be devoting my energies to the enjoying the fact that life is pretty good living in, evolving with and being a part of this cool and culturally vibrant area of London. Instead I find myself feeling threatened by a photograph of my twenty-nine year old father.

It all started when a couple of friends inquired after the “cool guy” in the photograph at a party we held at our flat. It was alarming to find out that my friends were more impressed by a stranger in a black and white photograph taken in 1986, than they were with a whole party of real life, twenty-first century boys and girls standing in the room next door, each in his or her own twenty-first century East London take on the same eighties look. From head to toe, two decades later, my father’s look has transcended time and epitomizes the style that so many of us strive to achieve today. To make matters worse, I also have a photograph of my mum taken at a Bowie gig wearing a magnificent tasseled, red felt, Sonia Rykiel Jacket. She gave it to me last year, I am completely in awe of it and I wear it all of the time.  With a closet full of leggings from the Flash Dance inspired store American Apparel, am I simply dressing in the wake of my parents fashion glory?  More importantly, I find myself asking; were my parents cooler than I am?

Lets go back to 1986 the year when the photograph of my dad was taken. A nostalgic era now, where Margaret Thatcher ran the scene and Duran Duran lived the dream. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not an Eighties retrospective, nor is any kind of comment or attempt to define Thatcher’s role in promoting the shoulder pad.  For this purpose of this article I want you to consider ‘cool,’ in its rawest sense; as being by its very nature, rooted in individuality, originality and forward thinking.  These are the factors that when combined make ‘cool’ unattainable, endow it with reputation and consequently cement its status as wholly desirable. The eighties evidently preside over our own modern ‘cool.’ Our streets are paved with plaid, our sleeves are rolled back and our faces are adorned with Ray Bans. People look good, but it is important that we remember we are not the pioneers of these trends.  On the catwalk Henry Holland reinvented the slogan and Dolce and Gabanna brought back tartan.  As we submerge ourselves in times gone by, we reflect upon a particular ‘look,’ without experiencing the circumstances it was created in response to.  In the photograph my dad’s look is worn in context of the time in which it was created, therefore it becomes relevant, new, exciting and very “cool,” whereas my own is reflective, revamped and thus less so. During the eighties, Thatcher’s political liberalism gave way to a bold new fashion era where bright colour, slogan and exaggerated shape became distinctive weapons of self-expression. Where the original punk movement of the late seventies sought to confront, shock and generally “fuck the system,” the eighties came in its aftermath as the period of calm and colour after intensity and aggression. ‘Cool,’ was no longer confined to an elitist group of rock stars on drugs. With the wider availability of clothing brands such as Calvin Klein and Levis came a fashion ‘scene,’ that was exciting and accessible. Popular fashion crazes for “must-have” items, such as Mickey Mouse or Coca Cola T-Shirts, became a common occurrence.   Fashion followers also began to break off increasingly according to their taste in music. As music multiplied in its genres so emerged a multitude of musically inspired distinct sub-styles. From the emerging New York Hip Hop scene came “Street,” and  an urban landscape built of Nike High Tops, low slung jeans and the flat peak caps of Stussy. Then there was The Cure inspired the pop ‘Goth,’ look, the ‘Indie,’ style that developed with The Smiths, Adam and the Ant’s ‘New Romantic,’ look, the Joy Division ‘Mod,’ look, Blondie the Rock Chick and  Madonna the Sex Siren, to name but a few.

My parent’s generation have left their own distinctive visual mark on British history, we have come to be known as the “I Generation.” This label is suggestive of that fact that we will be remembered not for the cultural but for the technological advances our age. However, even whilst living in the epicentre of what has become a technological whirlwind, much of modern musical ingenuity for example, has been devoted to creating the same synthetic sounds that New Order were able to get from a simple keyboard back in the eighties. Movies such as The Breakfast Club and Labyrinth have been released on DVD and have retained their cult status, and what was arguably the most highly acclaimed British film to have been made in the past few years told the story of eighties legend; Ian Curtis. If It was acceptable in the eighties then it is most definitely acceptable now.

SO WRONG THEY WERE RIGHT, the eighties quirky aesthetic defied the barriers of taste. Culturally and socially the British were provided with a forum in which fashionistas were able to experiment and truly express themselves. Instinctively, or perhaps as a means of preserving modern pride, “cool” has conveniently developed to fit the tendencies of our trends. As popular style has evolved, “cool,” too is no longer about original thought but more about reflection upon the past. As a result, terms such as ‘Retro,’ and ‘Old School,’ have become synonymous with modern ‘cool.’

As I sit here writing this in a Nintendo ‘Snez’ console control t-shirt, It is only right that I banish my pride and confront my fears as I come to my conclusion. My parents were the ones living and experiencing times that I sometimes feel were cooler than my than my own. But at the end of the day, we must live in the present. So, it is also important that we appreciate what we have now. My parents may have been cooler than I am….But at least I have an Ipod

-SW

ESCAPE with a Ribena Light

The "Rolls Royce," of cordialsIts 14:59.

Too close to lunch break for a break you  might  say?

I say BOO that…..time for a refreshing gulp of Ribena Light. Without any of the added sweetness of its ‘fat,’ dark purple counterpart Ribena Light is potentially the best and most refreshing drink on the planet. Unfortunately it is disappearing from supermarket and newsagent shelves fast which is why I feel people need to be informed of its greatness.

Important things to know about Ribena Light

A carton counts as one of your five a day! Whoop

Cartoned Ribena Light is incomparably better (and cheaper) than the bottled version. It is actually also much better than buying the syrupy stuff…unless you have the midas touch and are able to mix it up to perfection every time you pour.

Put your Ribena Light in the freezer for 20 minutes (45 mid-summer) prior to drinking. This will enable small Ribena crystals to form that will melt in your mouth when you are drinking.

Never try own brand stuff or squash brand variations- chances are it will be sticky, sweet and rank, plus even if it works out ok, it’s NEVER as good as the real deal.

Don’t be fooled by the Blackberry flavour…the packaging is dangerously similar, as is the berry, but blackberrys AREN’T the same as blackcurrents and taste bad when Ribena-d (Take note, the pomegranate and raspberry flavor is surprisingly good)

Ribena Really Light is EXACTLY the same as Ribena Light.

Its now 15:09. A more acceptable time for a break and I’m gonna escape from the office to Sommerfield to indulge.

For 786 more words on Ribena Light  check out this website:
http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/drinks/ribena-really-light-blackcurrent/1144601/

-SW

ESCAPE with Stanley Donwood

As the genius behind pretty much all of Radiohead’s artwork Stanley Donwood holds a place true to my heart, which is why I have given his ‘Eraser,’ image pride of place on my Blogging page. The picture  is actually titled “Cnut,” and now graces my laptop screen and both computer screens at each of my work places. Basically i like to look at it all day, every day now.

Ive been trying to pinpoint where my fascination with Donwood stems from. My mild obsession with Radiohead undoubtedly plays a major role, but that’s more a catalyst in my finding him,  than the reasoning behind my fixation. His images are eerie, melancholic & apocalyptic without being depressive.  The cute (but often angry) characters that inhabit Donwood’s worlds are a reminder that his works and consequently passionate human emotion (and perhaps human existence dare I take things one step further?) should not be taken too seriously.  His works are optical illusions that transport me to another beautiful but disastrous universe.If you let them, they will speak to you in weird and wonderful ways.

For Radiohead by Stanley Donwood

For Radiohead by Stanley Donwood

“Cnut’ for example. As someone who  drops the “C-bomb,”  infrequently/ never, i would be lying if I said that I think it as rarely as I speak it.  In this case I think Donwood illustrates the voice of the thinker….and aptly describes whats running through my head when Im not calling someone a c*nt but am definatley thinking it.

As in – would you get the fuck away from me….you are BANISHED henceforth….arghh!!!!!!!!! (RAAGE)

Donwood takes us on a journey  to a visual place inside the mind where no one ever really knows what is going on- the world of the unsaid. Thoughts are as mysterious as his shady black coated protagonist dude and their paths as erratic as waves in a storm. Maybe its just me, but Donwood can draw my thoughts…and thats why I love him.

-SW

For more on Stanley Donwood visit his site: www.slowlydownward.com

By Stanley Donwood for Radiohead

By Stanley Donwood for Radiohead