Monthly Archives: October 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Happy almost Halloween everyone!!!

Halloween is pretty much my favourite “holiday” of the year. Today I carved a shroom into a pumpkin at work and soon we’re going to eat chocolate eyeballs and worms for tea. On saturday I get to dress up as a witch. I am a VERY happy girl.

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ESCAPE with a Radiohead Remix

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Theres nothing that I love more than a good Radiohead song so it follows suit that I’m also partial to a Radiohead remix.  Radiohead provide potential re-mixers with a myriad of extremely seductive music – a side effetct of their experimental electronic style. SO it is unsurprising that the internet is littered with remixes both official and un-official, rubbish and brilliant . There is even a website dedicated to the cause

http://www.radioheadremix.com/

So that you can avoid the “cutting the shit,” process here are my top three…in no particular order – they’re all pretty damm great

1. This one I stumbled upon last night….

It’s an Unofficial remix of Packed Like Sardine in a Crushed Tin by TLP

2. This is an official one by Josh Wink (who I saw DJ in Ibiza and was awesome by the way) Every Thing in Its Right Place would make it onto my Desert Island discs so full credit to Wink for producing a worthy remix.

3.  And thirdly another unofficial one is by Micromatic of In Rainbows’ Reckoner. I can’t find this one on the internet anywhere anymore which is a travesty because it is brilliant and should be shared, so here you go….

Reckoner – Micromatic remix

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PEACE and enjoy.

-sw

ESCAPE to where the wild things are

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The impending release of the Where the Wild Things Are movie has got me worrying. You see I was a lover of literature from a very young age and when I reflect back upon this period of my life there is but one title that really stands out for me. What I am talking about is Maurice Sendak’s masterpiece “Where The Wild Things Are.”

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Now I was reading this book before I could even read, which may be suggestive of the fact that it were the pictures rather than literary content that I was really into at the time, but thats not what is important here.  I can’t remember a single thing about the story line anyway apart from the fact that the main protagonists are a boy called Max and a Gruffalo. The illustrations on the other hand, have always retained a presence, lingering somewhere mysterious in the back of my mind. Pictures to a child can be powerful things.

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Swans Reflecting Elephants by Salvador Dali 1937

Maurice Sendak is to illustration precisley what Dali/ Rousseau would have been to modern art had they have been one artist. A pioneer of surrealist worlds,  his palette of eerie twilight colours and mischievous monsters lure readers to play in their nightmarish jungles . These were the lands that I visited whilst falling asleep and they captivated me. They showed me what I wanted to see and took me to where I wanted to be, which was running wild in a jungle with monsters who were quite scary upon first impressions, but were actually, so it turned out, really cool. Sendak’s were amongst the first drawings to stretch the boundaries of my imagination. They were fundamental to my imaginative development and essentially my whole being.

The Dream, by Henri Rousseau 1910

The Dream, by Henri Rousseau 1910

The thought of other people having imagined them out of the book and onto cinema screens across the world kind of annoys me because  I think it might ruin what I have got going on here in my head. I suppose it’s just another case of Harry Potter syndrome really. Are these things that want to be messed with though, I ask??!

In respect of the fact that I do not like to consider myself as being an unreasonable person I shall not condone the movie to bad criticism before I have even seen it or have met anyone who has seen it. I am in fact intrigued to see it but will approach cautiously.

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As a tribute to Maurice Sendaks talent I have been working on my own “Where the Wild Things Are,” inspired painting. My monsters bare resemblance to myself and my flat mates (if you know us see if you can guess who is who.)  Our hypothetical “Jungle,” where we ran like totally wild – is Shoredtich where we lived at the time I started the painting. Deep Stuff.

I like to call it Shoreditch Bad Guys. It’s not finished…yet

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ESCAPE to the National Portrait Gallery..BEATLES TO BOWIE, the 60s Exposed

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Last night saw the opening of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Entitled Beatles to Bowie, the 60s Exposed, the exhibition’s 150 images explore the musicians and personalities who contributed to London’s “Swinging,” scene in the 1960s. As well as iconic photographs taken by the likes of David Bailey, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Duffy and Norman Parkinson, the exhibition features many rare and previously unseen images of musical legends such as The Kinks, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Bowie…to name but a few.

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Also Included in the exhibition are many album sleeves and original memorabilia from exhibition curator Terence Pepper’s personal collection. When asked what the exhibition meant to him, Terence told me;  ” The central message is a simple one. Its about recognizing the power of music and its ability to change the world.”

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An essential artistic destination for any true music enthusiast, or anyone wishing to brush up on their History of Rock/Pop, Beatles to Bowie, the 60s Exposed will be running at The National Portrait Gallery until 24th January. These psychedelic Beatles prints by Richard Avedon were my favourite.

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www.npg.org.uk/

ESCAPE with Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor is most definitely the man of the moment and his current exhibition affirms that his ‘moment’ is in no danger of being a fleeting one. Here is an artist who is certain to transcend modern hype and make it into the history books. Set in the Royal Academy, Kapoor confidently defies Academy founder Joshua Reynolds’ discourse didactics to provide audiences with his own wordless artistic lessons.

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Let his “yellow,” suck you into a luminous void, a happy place that I could have hung around in for hours. Let his “Shooting in the corner,” captivate and fascinate you: a canon is loaded with giant red wax bullets and dramatically shot through the Academy doorways at 50mph. Kapoor’s unique take on the concept of live art  invites viewers to a performance with Pollock -esque consequences.

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He boldy confronts visitors with new ideas presented in ways that will affect you both visually and physically. Walking into the exhibition we are faced with a gargantuan metal sculpture that upon first impressions bears an uncanny resemblance to a giant ass. This is powerful and alluring art that speaks for itself. Anish Kapoor is on at the Royal Academy until December 11th….Check it out.

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www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/anish-kapoor/

www.anishkapoor.com

-SW

ESCAPE with Isabel Marant (Glam Rock meets London Bad Boy)

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When I was working in Paris this Spring I almost had one of those Romantic movie moments that everyone dreams of. Picture this: me running through the cobbled side streets of the left bank. It’s pouring with rain and I’m drenched. Mascara is running down my cheeks, my socks are wet and I’m like totally melancholy. Through the heavy rain drops and mist something catches my attention. For some reason unbeknownst to myself I am lured by a mysterious force towards it; my savior. A gorgeous Parisian Yves Saint Laurent male model you ask…mais non, not this time. Instead a gorgeous Parisian boutique, with a clothing collectiong that wasn’t far off perfection. Seriously. These were clothes that girls really want to wear. Casual but elegant, the various mini skirts and boyfriend blazers called out to me with their ‘Glam Rock meets London bad boy’ style ( and French accent.)

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Of course I couldn’t actually try anything on, I was soaked. So I settled for a peruse comforted by the fact that I promised myself that I would return the following day – avec mon carte de credite. What I had accidently, and very fortunately stumbled upon was up and coming French designer Isabel Marant’s left bank boutique which, over the past two seasons has become an essential stop off point on the Parisian Fashion map. Unlike other high fashion labels, Marant’s clothes are effortless, wearable, affordable and extremely desirable. Marant is already pretty sorted on the model front with the likes of Lara Stone, Lilly Donaldson and Raquel Zimmerman recruited for her catwalk team and with stores due to open Los Angeles and Soho, New York next year, it won’t be long before Marant’s loose hippified pieces become a staple part of every fashion follower’s wardrobe. Fingers crossed she’ll decide two Soho’s are better than one and set up shop next in London where her clothes can be put to good use seducing the bad boys that inspire them.

Fall 09 Isabel Marant - Leopard

-SW

ESCAPE with Peter Green (& Fleetwood Mac)

With little over three weeks to go until Fleetwood Mac’s big Wembely show, on Monday I decided that it was time for my personal preparation to begin. Having always enjoyed the obvious  stuff – The Chain, Rhiannon, Everywhere, Little Lies, etc. I thought it important to investigate beyond my “Best Of,” CD and so decided to dabble in the listening of some of their full, real albums.

Mr Wonderful

What I have found is that it’s their early Bluesey stuff that really sets them apart: the songs written pre their mainstream success by early bad members, in particular Peter Green. Prior to Fleetwood Mac, Green replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist in one of his first bands The Bluesbreakers. These were tough shoes to fill as Green was immediately going to have to deal with Clapton comparisons. However, to the surprise of many, through only his musical ability he was able to override these pressures and establish himself as a formidable talent in his own right.  For a period of time after that, the musical world was his oyster.

My brother who is a fervent guitar player will back me up when I say that Peter Green provides Fleetwood Mac with something spectacular. Their first self titled album – Fleetwood Mac, released in 1968 was an edgy, no frills blues album as was their second album Mr Wonderful.  Like The Rolling Stones, Green’s Fleetwood Mac set out proclaiming their undying love for the Blues. However, these albums stay more true to their pledge than any Stones album.  In order to put Green’s talent into perspective we need only look at B.B King’s (one of Green’s greatest influences and the ULTIMATE Blues legend,) opinion of him :

” He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”

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Although Green was clearly very much in love with The Blues, for him it was never binding as a genre of play. After accomplishing as much as he could as a pioneer of the English Blues movement, he set out to develop an individual and progressive sound for his band, such as can be heard in their albums “English Rose,”  “Then Play On” and the live “Boston Tea Party album.”

Peter "the Green god"

Peter "the Green god"

Unfortunatley when most people speak of Fleetwood Mac today it are the names of the band’s pop icons such as Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks that enter conversation, whilst Peter Green goes unmentioned. From “Albatros,” to “Black Magic Woman,” to ” I Need Your Love so Bad,” to “Oh Well,” Green provided Mac with his haunting singing voice and some of the dreamiest melodies and  most outrageous guitar riffs in the history of British music.

Like many music legends, his (acid induced) fate was a cruel one and after being diagnosed with Schitzophrenia in the late seventies he has been in and out of mental instututions ever since. In light of this,  I doubt he will be joining the rest of the surviving members for the get together that I will be viewing at the end of October, although I’m sure that many of his songs will be played.  So I put to all of you- continue to listen to Fleetwood Mac, love their music, but remember Peter Green a true guitar hero.