Friday, 27 March 2009
The version of Maps is particularly special. Anyway must produce work.. Or 'reflect' on ideas, and drown myself in radiohead. Yes, it's that time of year again, where I get lost in their whole back catalogue exclusively for any number of days on end. I blame the first video.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm listening to Only By The Night for probably the fourth time since I got it last year and feel compelled to write about Kings of Leon.. I've always been a big fan of theirs, ever since I got hooked to Molly's Chambers and Red Morning Light; ever since I bought my copy of Aha Shake Heartbreak back in 2004 and fell in love with all those awkward, southern ballads. There was something about the stripped down guitars and high pitched yelps of Caleb and his fellow Followills that captured the imagination. With Because of the Times they made a certified 'step up', beefing up the sound and giving every song a heart wrenching chorus. I loved it, On Call was an instant classic and it actually challenged Aha.. as to my favourite KOL album, and their performance at Reading that year was amazing. Move forward a year and Only By The Night is released. Now, I actually hung around a surf shop in Cornwall when it was announced on the radio that they were going to play Sex on Fire, the then as yet unheard new single. I thought it was good, in the same vein as the last album and almost as good. However, when the album came out it really didn't capture my imagination, every time I listened to it I switched off by the time track five came on..
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is I was flicking through itunes and for some reason decided to have a listen to Be Somebody, the penultimate track on the album, which I may have listened to before, I can't really remember.. The point is, I discarded the album without giving it a proper chance, scoffing when I saw it so high in Rough Trade's end of year list. Turns out, apart from perhaps a couple of songs mid album, it is actually pretty good, and I feel bad for turning my back on a band I've always really liked. I can understand how fans of the band got annoyed when Sex on Fire was played everywhere, there's always an element of bitterness when your favourite band suddenly gets huge. At first glance yes, the album may seem like a move into the territory of MOR stadium rock anthems, but there's still that fractured beauty of Caleb's voice singing true, giving them that credibility and honesty that so many other bands lose when they hit the big league. I understand this post is about six months too late, but I suddenly felt an urge to write it, and well, I did.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Sunday, 22 March 2009
I haven't really had much of interest to blog about lately, this is what happens if you only leave the house to taxi your siblings everywhere they need to be. So this will have to do for now. Am picking up a film from the developers tomorrow so perhaps I'll post some of the pics if they're any good..
Thursday, 19 March 2009
I was reading i-D yesterday and came across a review for Deanna Templeton's exhibition of youths in LA who brand themselves with corporate logos and anarchic statements, which has just opened in Dusseldorf. I really want to go and see it.. Am tempted to get the book instead, looks pretty awesome. The exhibition is entitled 'Scratch My Name In Your Arm', taken from my favourite Smiths song Rusholme Ruffians.. Felt like posting a pic up here because I liked it quite a bit, and this blog does seem to be becoming a bit of an ongoing journal of my project..
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Just finished watching Paranoid Park, pretty impressed. It's beautifully shot and is really well sequenced - a loose narrative, lots of flashbacks (not in a cheesy way) and intermittent super-8 skateboard footage. I saw Milk a few weeks back and thought it was one of the best films I've seen in ages, so I really need to see more of Gus Van Sant's stuff. The only things I've seen by him are his short in Paris Je T'aime, which like the rest of the film I felt was over contrived and a bit too cliched/pretentious, and the first twenty minutes or so of Last Days, which I had to turn off as I couldn't realy stand it. Nontheless Paranoid Park and Milk I enjoyed.
Patrick Wolf is playing at shunt this Saturday. Why do all the best things happen when I'm not in London? I think I'm destined not to see him again. Can't wait for his album though, kind of disappointed the promise of a double album has fallen through, but then I guess that should have been expected since he's getting his fans to fund it. Which I totally respect, a major label wouldn't appreciate his music.. Just look at Klaxons being told to re-record theirs. Something potentially interesting/possibly special gone to waste. You'd think after winning the mercury they'd have the licence to continue their ways and do something creative. Clearly not. Radio 1 has taken hold of them and they're not giving up without a fight.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
American Apparel has also become synonymous with the New York 'hipster' movement. Hipsters are the latest development in youth culture. They are young, good-looking graduates who work in a non-specific creative field, and dedicate themselves to the business of being as directional and cutting edge as they can be.
Its aesthetic is flourishing in the UK, too. In 2007, it became the basis for the signature look of the extremely fashionable brigade: St Martins art students and Hoxton-dwelling creatives.
I guess it's funny because it's true..
Monday, 16 March 2009
Friday, 13 March 2009
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Monday, 9 March 2009
Obviously it's only really interesting to fans of skateboarding, which, contrary to what this blog may suggest, I am not obsessed with. I just loved Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and it's all part of my research on youth culture... Anyway, enjoy the clip and see if you can spot the young Hawk.
"We believed, though, that this had to be some version of what the real thing felt like, but we had wanted something more, something we couldn't quite describe but could feel vividly the lack of." - Muntean/Rosenblum 'Untitled (We believe, though...)
I came to a conclusion for the title of my project today, that being the same one as the title of this blog. Whilst sitting in college today was looking through this book I have on the artists Muntean/Rosenblum, and found myself reflecting on the pieces of writing they place at the bottom of their paintings. It made me think of how we tend to take things for granted, or not really appreciate them properly whilst they are happening, or while we have them. I was sitting eating lunch in McDonalds watching people walk past on the street outside, and there was a middle aged man attemoting to hand out flyers to everyone that walked passed, rushing through their daily lives and taking no notice of him. It kind of made me sad to think that's all he has to do, and how lucky I am, and most people are, with the opportunities and lives we live. We're all searching for something, or want something we haven't got. This isn't supposed to be a reflection of how I'm feeling about myself by the way.. I guess I'm just in a reflective mood, as I've spent all day pondering modern youth culture and how we isolate and alienate ourselves these days with television, consumerism and the internet.
I also read about this cultural syndrome that exists in Japan called Hikikomori, a form of voluntary withdrawal from society, where young men retreat into their rooms and remain there for years as a result of pressure and expectance from parents on their first born child. That's true isolation there, and we aren't even aware of these things happening. Will have to read up more about this for my project..
Sunday, 8 March 2009
I'm feeling sad, the weekend is over. Dulcie just left on the national express after a mad rush across London to catch the coach, and now I'm on my own trying to put remember everything and write it in some form of interesting blog post. I'll try..
On Thursday night we went to Shunt, a mysterious art/club night in the catacombs of the railway arches at London bridge. To say it was an experience would be an understatement... after entering through a side door in the wall of the station we came across art pieces and film installations hidden around all the dark corners of the sparsely lit railway arches, and this continued until the whole place opened up into some sort of carnival/art space/club, with short films, cinema seats, performance artists, chanting, gypsy bands and a pool table. Possibly the most surreal mix of entertainment you could imagine. It was a fun evening, notable moments being watching a film of a boy preparing his afro in the morning and sitting in the glow of an array of vintage lamps in a makeshift lounge area, all the while being in the knowledge that you're sat under massive railway arches around the corner from the London Dungeons. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera so you'll just have to use your imagination.
The rest of the weekend has been pretty normal in comparison - shopping in Covent Garden, (Vans Classics, Muji..), turning Dulcie onto the genius of Alan Partridge and ordering my first pizza take away since living here (I'd do it more often if it wasn't so expensive), gorging on custard creams and coffee (with squirty cream!) and finishing up with Sex and the City (of course). I wish I was on the National Express back to the land of cotton and guns too, instead I am here trying to decide which picture will best befit this post. Let's hope I picked well. And I've got to rewrite my damn project proposal, which is starting to become a chore, I wish I could just get started. Who wants to hear about my take on the isolation of modern youth culture and its obession with online social status anyway?
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Just got back from the Altermodern Tate Triennial exhibition. As I said I would I went in with an open mind with the hope of seeing some inspiring work that would be relevant to me and my work in some way. I guess the first thing that hit me when I picked up the guide was the sheer size of the exhibition, I didn't realise there was going to be just so much. The first thing I saw when I went in was Bob and roberta Smith's collection of ongoing pieces. They reminded me of Peter Blake and had a kind of nostalgic quality that appealed to me in some way. From here I began to follow the map around the various rooms, getting lost in the endless pieces of artwork and slowly building up an idea of what 'altermodern' is actually supposed to mean. According to the curator, it is a proposed idea that post modernism is dead, and that these artists all have a common goal of determining our place, or role, in this new culture of globalisation, what with immigration, modern technology/communication and all that. Pretty heavy stuff.
I guess in some ways the exhibition achieves this, I got the sense of wandering through different cultures and time periods, and I think it was this idea that I liked. It was hard to really engage with a lot of the pieces though, especially the videos, since it was so extensive.. After a while I felt like I'd taken too much in. For me, the artists that stood out were Rachel Harrison, Gustav Metzger, Darren Almond, Katie Paterson, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Shezad Dawood.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
I'm listening to It's Blitz, and I'm liking it. At first I was wary and slightly upset that that they'd jumped on the whole 'swap guitars for synths' bandwagon that everyone seems to be doing these days, but alas, I was wrong to doubt them, and they've pulled it off in my opinion. To be fair I think Karen O's voice can pretty much make anything sound amazing. Just need to somehow get my hands on a ticket for one of their shows, I have to go... I've missed too many good gigs this year and I'll be most upset if this one passes unattended too.
Weeks of holding back from spending money also caved in today, I couldn't resist any longer and got myself a rather nice flannel shirt for all my trekking I'm soon to be undergoing... Also bought 15 (!) rolls of film, only to find my camera is not working for some unexplainable reason (batteries?) and won't take up the film or switch on. Very annoying. Was getting excited about starting to use it again.
I think I'm going to go to the Altermodern exhibition tommorow. I read a really bad review of it on the times website or something that said it proved just how much British modern art has had it's day and the Tate is the 19th century Paris Salon of today, and they think they are the be all and end all of art, and so on in this way. James and George, however, said it was very good, so I'm going to go in with an open mind.
Monday, 2 March 2009
I got into Central Saint Martins! (Again..)
Lately it's been starting to feel that winter is over at last, we've had a lot of blue skies and sunshine. It feels good, like summer is on it's way. It's making me want to spend all of my time outside taking photos or generally just basking in the sun, even though it's not actually that warm. Also, I just found Dulcie's blog, which is already better than mine, so I need something good to write about. Perhaps my sudden liking for Death Cab? I'd always dismissed them as a no good emo band.. Shame on me. They do make me want to watch the whole OC back series on end though.