Tuesday, 17 December 2013

RANT | X-CESSMAS

                       
It's been a while since I did anything here but all will resume to normal come 2014 I promise. In the meantime, here's a little rant about what bothers me most at Christmas...

I love Waitrose as much as the next pseudo middle-class Northern born, South dwelling twatish suburbanite but sometimes they can take things too far. Like a really bad joke or that extra half bottle of port in the Christmas punch,  they can push things so far over the line that they force a convulsive head shake or even dry wretch. Waitrose's bonanza style Christmas can often have the same effect as watching a drunk family member failing to remember the Macarena alone on a make-shift dance floor down the local on Christmas eve - a kind of uncomfortable mixture of amuseemnt, pity, shame and yearning for a black out. Waitrose Christmas extras are like excessive sequins; bad for a waistline and not something that should be excused just because 'it's Christmas'.

What I’m getting at is a plea; can somebody please ask Waitrose to stop messing about and ponsifying (yes, I know it’s not a word but it fits best in this case) Christmas. It is fine as it is and has been for an awful long while. It doesn’t need glazing with morello cherry liqueur and a touch of gold leaf or covering in bloody pine nuts, that’s for Pret Wraps not sprouts. A Christmas sandwich is turkey, stuffing and all the (basic) trimmings, no sausage and definitely no gammon. Sweeter sprouts for kids? They can toughen up and gulp down those stinky mini cabbages like the rest of us. Instead of pigs in blanket, or as M&S imaginatively call them ‘devils on horseback’ (yeah, WTF?), this year the big W have gone and introduce dried orange and dates into the mix. Why? It’s the straw that broke the Mary laden Donkey’s back for me to be quite frank.I just keep thinking why? What does it add to the mix? Just because you can do something doesn't make it right,like Haim covering Sheryl Crowe or murder for example...Waitrose are basically murdering Christmas by coating it in a million extra flavours. This may sound OTT but it's true.

They’re trying to create an ‘unforgettable’ Christmas and that’s an honourable gesture (well, if they weren’t going to make a bloody fortune from it, it would be). What Waitrose are forgetting here is that an ‘unforgettable’ Christmas might not be a good one. The family who got burgled on Christmas eve or who stranded in an airport had an ‘unforgettable’ Christmas. Yes, Christmas is about excess and trying to inflict diabetes, gowt and heart-disease on oneself within a confined 48 time span but Waitrose have over egg (nogged) the pudding so much they’ve become the Kanye West of supermarkets - just too much!

Next they'll get Heston to create some sort of buffet all-in-one sweet & savoury hybrid in form of a trifle stuffed with cocktail sausages & vol au vents. Right, I’m off to flog that idea to the Waitrose product Department. It’ll go down a treat with some advocaat and swan fat coated, saffron infused roast potatoes. I'm coming Delia! Might pop to Aldi for some mince pies on the way though…

Friday, 18 October 2013

FILM | BOXING



This gorgeous short film by Alasdair McLellan shows Ray Winston revisiting his old boxing club, The Repton. It made me teary eyed as I've been in and around boxing clubs for the past 10 years and have just recently started boxing again in North London. Over the years I’ve been in swim clubs, yoga groups, cycling teams but Boxing is more than a sport. It’s really good for the soul. One boxing session is more relaxing and moral boosting than a million meditation sessions and a boxing club also works as a kind of extended family where you are supported and pushed to be the best you can be. 

In this video Ray Winston talks about the acceptance and sense of morality you get in a boxing club. When you join a club you become a member and what you are, or are perceived to be, outside of that club is irrelevant. Age, appearance, background are all irrelevant. You’re there to train and to compete. If you work hard you earn respect and that’s a big life lesson right there.



Kerry

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

REVIEW | THE LIGHT PRINCESS


Tori Amos has joined the league of well known musicians flirting with the musical industry, I went down as an uninformed spectator to see “The Light Princess”, Tori Amos' debutante musical for the National Theatre. All I had to go on was the poster, posturing as front cover to Florence and the Machine’s fantastically lofty album “Lungs”. 




Expectations rising... 
Tori Amos be careful handling that camembert, you are just two hops away from the levels of cheesiness Bono often produces from his fromage factory. Even though the show cracked open with a safe number of “Everything is Changing”, with a bunch of Adam Ant’s Prince Charmings stomping furiously, this was not enough to distract me from the fact that I had ended up at a pantomime in early October! I have been duped Sir! Front stage acting, character stereotypes to put Little Britain to shame. During “Once upon a time” there was a carefree floating gravity defying princess who was unable to cry and on the other hand there a solemn prince who was rather into weeping, both are orphans and their kingdoms are at war with each other. Couldn’t be any further apart huh? The script is on par with predictability ofthe love mess that is a standard Jilly Cooper romp com. One tune that escaped the constant repetition of easy vocal ascending and descending was saved by Clive Rowe’s solo “Girls”, that was intoxicatingly amazing. No longer was I listening to a love child of Wicked and Hair who tried out opera, but an individual ballad of rich under tones that would have made Sam Gaillard proud. 

The background heroes that brought the musical out of the ruins were Steven Hoggett, Neil Bettles and Paul Rubin, head choreography/aerial movement. Considering that the lead lady floats throughout the whole show you would need a dream team of gravity wizards to make it continuously believable. The costume and set designers were heavily influenced by Terry Pratchett Disc world book covers, so yes, I was pretty won over by that aswell. Please do check out the original twisted 18th Century Scottish fairy tale of the Light Princess here.

Review by India Harris

Thursday, 10 October 2013

FILM | JOHN HOPKINS

John Hopkins' original score for the film How I Live Now is some of his best to date (in my humble opinion anyway). The film is good and a lot of that is down to Saoirse Ronan who first really impressed in Hanna and is an interesting actress. However, for me the best thing about the film was the soundtrack and I was very pleased to hear that it's set to be released on just music. This is his second soundtrack having previously scored Monsters and it includes a John Hopkins remix of Daughter's track Home and a stunning collaboration with Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes). Here's a taster...


Kerry

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

MUSIC | BEYOND OPERA

I was fortunate enough to experience opera from a young age, from a candle lit courtyard in Limousin to Paris Opera House to the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro in Lucca. This may sound boastful but my point is that people are often surprised when I tell them this. A working class northerner with a Manc drawl so greet people with ya arrriyate and have a penchant for a cheeky Greggs pasty (who doesn’t?) likes opera, yup sod the stereotypes, live music is great and opera is beautiful live music with a story. It's all just music at the end of the day from Gold Panda at St John to Smegma at Otto, live music is good whatever the genre (or lack of). 

I am pretty excited about catching LaTraviata at The Kings Head in Islington and tempted by Wozzek at The Royal Opera House but what really turned me on recently was seeing that Ben Frost is composing an opera based on Iain Bank’s The Wasp Factory. What’s not to love about that?!

                      

It’s no secret that I adore Iain Bank’s and previously talked about the effect The Wasp Factory had on my life. The really interesting this is that Ben Frost is composing this so it's likely to be a pretty experimental affair since Frost is influenced by minimal, punk and industrial sounds. For those of you who don’t track his work *cough* Ben Frost is an Iceland (country not frozen food shop) based Australian composer who’s worked with the likes of Tim Hecker and Bjork, composed Music For Solaris with Daniel Bjarnason (based on Andrei Tarkovsky’s rad 1972 film adapted from Lem’s equally rad 1961 book) and he’s currently working on an album that features Swans. Yes, FML! 

Anyhow, I could go on about him a bit more but probably should stop at risk of embarrassing myself. Here’s a video of Ben Frost talking about his work on The Wasp Factory. 

Kerry Flint


                    

Saturday, 5 October 2013

ALT STYLE ICONS | LISBETH SALANDER



After emerging from an adolescence surrounded by M*y*s*p*a*c*e and Emos without any facial piercings or a life long commitment to the Manic Street Preachers I thought I'd dodge the Covert Goth Club. Wrong!

A late life obsession with The Holy Bible and this guy ...


...kicked in when I was 22 (the only time that's acceptable is if you were 22 when the Manics first appeared) and then I discovered Lisbeth Salander; controversial co-protagonist of the Girl With A Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larrson.

Salander is a fantastically complex character; one of the only rape survivors I've read who doesn't come across as a victim, one of the only women with Aspergers in fiction fullstop. Somewhere someone is probably writing an incredibly earnest and worthwhile dissertation on her place within the rape revenge cannon.

But personally, reading her as a feminist features writer who reads more than her fair share of rape-centric lit, it wasn't the story that caught me. It was the clothes.

When I read Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I was working in the kind of office where half the women wore plum merino cardigans from Jigsaw and the other half were wearing white and blue stripey t-shirts from The Gap. Turning up one day in black skinny jeans, Dr Marten boots, three oversized black jumpers in various states of decay and a tie-dyed turquoise rucksack was very liberating.


6 months later H&M produced their Lisbeth Salander collection which I feasted on and then promptly swapped for a Frida Kahlo obsession. Salander had already proved her worth as a style icon, she'd inspired me to visually express the alienation I felt at work without making some embittered speech at one of the company picnics. Like Salander I embraced black, neon and silence.

Beulah Devaney - tweeting @TheNotoriousBMD 



Thursday, 3 October 2013

POEMS | DAY

Happy National Poetry Day. Here are a few good poems...



Alba
As cool as the pale wet leaves
      Tof lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

MUSIC | TUESDAY



Your song still needs a chorus
I know youll figure it out
The rising of the verses
A change of key will let you out

Saturday, 28 September 2013

STYLE ICONS | MRS PEPPERPOT

K: Check it! So stoked to announce that super talented Features Writer Beulah Devaney will be sharing some of her style icons here on TC and they're the very crème de la crème of unconventional. First up is Mrs Pepperpot...





Mrs Pepperpot; a tiny old lady who shrinks to the size of a pepperpot at inopportune moments, owner of voluminous skirts, a neat bun and a lanky husband. In retrospect this was enough to ensnare me as a loyal worshipper from a young age but it wasn't until this summer that I realised how much my wardrobe owes to Mrs P.

Created by Norwegian author Alf Proysen, the Norwegian translation of Mrs Pepperpot is The Teaspoon Lady. Awesome books that have the word "teaspoon" in the title is a different post (that I am more than capable of going over the word limit for) and the fact that I have accidentally become a cruet collector suggests this obsession should hardly have been a surprise.
My stylistic allegiance to The Teaspoon Lady started with the gingham circle skirts I started frantically buying as soon as the June heat wave kicked in. I was convinced that if I could find the right skirt (buttoned down the front and guaranteed to balloon whenever I sat down) the rest of my summer wardrobe would fall into place. And it did. Basically everything I've worn this summer is oversized and designed to suggest I've shrunk a few inches.

Calf-length skirts, billowing blouses, oversized jumpers, fly away hair ties. The colours I've found myself picking out come straight from the old Puffin versions of Proysen's stories - cherry red, cream, navy blue, maroon and the odd splash of candy pink. The heat has seen my occasionally regret this allegiance to excess material but the overall effect has left me walking and feeling lighter.

After a summer of summers topping 30 degrees, a trip to sizzling Madrid and multiple bike rides my Mrs Pepperpot gear is now covered in red stripe, brown sauce, barbecue ash and sunscreen but she's proved to be an unlikely and highly effective inspiration.

Beulah Devaney - tweeting @TheNotoriousBMD 




Friday, 20 September 2013

FILM BFF | ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

When I recently went through the British Film Festival line-up there were a few that made me do a happy dance. This is the first...

It's far from a secret that I adore Jim Jarmusch but it just stepped up a gear as it looks like he's possibly made my idea of a perfect film. His latest pic 'Only Lovers Left Alive' (even has a rad name) is set between the crazily contrasting but equally fascinating Tangier and Detroit and follows the romance between a musician called Adam and his beloved Eve who are, of course, a pair of century old vampires.
                                                                      


Adam's played by the brilliant Tom Hiddleston and then there's the incredibly amazingly amazing and fabulous women that's Tilda Swinton playing eve. Then there's the intriguing Mia Wasikowska as Eve's sis Ava and the total legend that is John Hurt. The soundtrack's going to be brilliant, there are so many literary and music references to enjoy and then there's Jarmusch's deadpan humour.

Existential vampire movies are totally my bag; I count Romero's 'Martin', Scott's 'The Hunger' and Ferrara's 'The Addiction' as personal faves. Also, who can forget the more mainstream but equally creepy 'Interview With a Vampire'. Don't worry, this is no twilight, this is Jarmusch after all. It's getting dark out there so what could be better than catching Jarmusch's take on vampires - with a stellar cast thrown in to boot! This film's going to be cooler than January.

                  

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

FILM | KELLY + VICTOR

Nice work Kieran Evans...

FASHION | ALEXANDRA GROOVER SS14



Alexandra Groover makes a votive offering to the Fashion Gods - S/S 2014
It was Friday 13th on a dark September evening. The city streets were drowning with torrential downpours but the undeterred the crowds kept arriving to see a fresh Fashion Week show at Hoxton Square Bar - everybody felt something unusual was about to happen.


A crowd of bodies with hungry eyes engulfed the performers in the theatrical presentation of Groover’s work in a show created in collaboration with choreographer Christopher Matthews. Inside the circle the piece that played out was a live interpretation of the theme of Groover’s SS14 collection REBIRTH. A further addition to an already extended trilogy of films it follows BIRTH, LIFE, DEATH, AFTERLIFE, and RESURRECTION accompanied by a live atmospheric soundscape from musicians Christos Fanaras and Mark Wagner.


It may be a Spring/Summer collection but Groover’s style is never going to be the floral prints and pastels that flourish in fashion’s sunnier season. Her concept of Spring is embodied in the ethereal nymph draped in virginal white. She was then bedecked with large ceremonial jewellery in malleable copper; a clean, modern version of ancient cuffs and a large collar in the shape of unfurling petals. The metal’s warm tone in soft brushed finishes and burnished edges kept the pieces feminine yet bold. Further silver jewellery from collaborator Jane Groover of crescent moons and simple shapes married well with the rest of the plain black collection. 

Don’t let the theatrical presentation overshadow how easy this collection is to wear and how well thought out the pieces were. Produced in East London from organic fabrics and English suppliers the garments enshrouding the rest of the other-worldly tribe were simple and easy to layer. The cape was a bold statement piece but in soft sporty fleece and gathered black dresses provided interesting and flattering shapes with room to maneuvre. Even in the case of the puritanical black bonnets taking them out of the moody back of bar setting and onto the streets of a wet and windy English spring of inverted umbrellas doesn't seem too incomprehensible (just don’t expect to see Goody Wintour just yet). 


From her background with Alexandra McQueen & Zandra Rhodes - both renowned for their dramatic, flamboyant styles - Groover has not sacrificed good design over styling but, like these household names, has shown her creativity and personality in a collection of simple yet interesting staples, hopefully resulting in gaining more ground in the wardrobes of the future.

Words, photography and original illustrations by Jade Mellor

Check out Jade's amazing jewellery and vote for her in this Stylist competition.

                                 jade mellor hewn pyrite rings pair.JPG

MUSIC | A/W 13 NEW RELEASES

A new season usually means there's a shit load of new releases to review. Here's some interesting stuff...


Darkside sees Nicolas Jaar and Tim Hecker join forces. Enough said.



Islet will release, 'Released By The Movement' on 7 October via Shape Records. Expect echoing vocals and scuzzy post-punk guitar with a good helping of personality.




Crowd pleasers Haim seem to have been everybody’s every second word this summer. I’m almost sold and reckon this is going to be a fun and likable album that perhaps could have done with an earlier summer release. I personally found 'The Wire' a bit empty (controversial) but 'Falling' is a decent track and prompted some good remixes. Anyhow, it’s going to be big.


Axel Wilner, under The Field makes some really fresh minimal ambience. His latest release 'Cupid's Head' (30 Sep, Kompact) is going to be THE dark winter nights soundtrack if it's anything like 'Then It's White'.

Ok, so this one was actually released back on the 10th but it’s a corker so had to be on the list. Released on Young Turks, FKA Twigs, a young and illusive artist is doing fine stuff for British RnB. Soooo good!

 

Danny Brown’s a bit of a character isn’t he heh. With friends such as Rustie, Schoolboy Q, Kitty, Ab-Soul, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, Mr. MFN Exquire, and Oh No his latest due out on the 30th can’t fail to be interesting. Scuzzy in your face rap from this relentlessly surprising chap.



Experimental Producer Daniel Lopatin, under the guise Oneohtrix Point Never, has been delivering some cracking albums. From ambient synth drones to some A1 sampling, this next offering (due Oct 1 on Warp) is looking like it’s going to be a twitchy analog heavy wonder.



Kanye West and Pharrel Williams have produced tracks on Pusha T’s forthcoming album, released under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint on Oct. 8. Pretty foolproof plan right there. 

Tim Hecker’s latest Virgins (due for release on  October 14 on Kranky /Paper Bag) was created in three cities - Seattle, Montreal and Reykjavik – and I’ve been listening to it none stop for 24 hours now. Basically it’s music crack and I'm more than happy to be your dealer.



'Bring the Noize’ showed some promise that M.I.A was back on the form that caught our attention back when she released ‘Bad Girl’s’ and was sadly lost with her 2010 album. No wallflower this one, this album will be interesting but there's a bit of a wait until Nov 5 to find out if that’s a good thing.



DJ Rashad is pretty prominent on the Chicago scene and judging by this latest track, 'Don't Give a Fuck', it’s for good reasons. October 22 sees his new LP Double Cup released on Hyperdub and, as per, we’re going to hear Rashad play to the techno beats of his own drum and base. (sorry)




Theo Verney's brand of gritty guitar music is pretty good. Having just finished touring with Parquet Courts (who?) Theo is set release an limited edition (300)'Heavy Sun' EP on October via Hate Hate Hate. 


Also, Chvrches and Justin Timberlake's new offerings are obviously going to be decent. Mazzy Star releases first stuff for 15 years and Arcade of Fire is going to get talked about - A LOT!

Right, that'll do for now. Go listen.
BTW - I will probs update this as I go along.

Friday, 13 September 2013

VIDEOS | UPDATE

Just a quick check-in at start few days covering London Fashion Week. Will report back soon but in the meantime here are yesterday's new videos from Blood Orange(Dev Hynes)and Kwes. 



Directed by Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness in Guyana this track also features Caroline Polachek from Chairlift. Check out Dev's moves.




Love this dude.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

MUSIC | DARK NIGHTS

MUSIC | THE ORWELLS

POEM | TRISTRAN TZARA



A poem by one of my favourite poets for another of my favourite poets.


Tristran Tzara was a Romanian/French avante garde poet, essayist, performance artist, journalist and filmmaker and a central figure in the Dadaist movement, working on the infamous Littérature magazine. Tzara was greatly influenced by Guillaume Apollinaire (buried in the stunning Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris)Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism movements. 

Appolliniare 
The Farewell (Alcools: L’Adieu)
I’ve gathered this sprig of heather

Autumn is dead you will remember
On earth we’ll see no more of each other
Fragrance of time sprig of heather
Remember I wait for you forever

Tzara
Vegetable Swallow
two smiles meet towards
the child-wheel of my zeal
the bloody baggage of creatures
made flesh in physical legends-lives

the nimble stags storms cloud over
rain falls under the scissors of
the dark hairdresser-furiously
swimming under the clashing arpeggios

in the machine's sap grass
grows around with sharp eyes
here the share of our caresses
dead and departed with the waves

gives itself up to the judgment of time
parted by the meridian of hairs
non strikes in our hands
the spices of human pleasures 





Sunday, 8 September 2013

KEITH HARING | Musée d’Art Moderne


It's taken me ages to post this. Back in August I caught the Keith Haring retrospective at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. The retrospective was vast, with over 250 paintings, and focussed on the political aspects behind Haring's iconic work. So pleased that I didn't miss this well curated exposition on a fascinating 
American artist and his iconic work. It was a right treat!








Wednesday, 4 September 2013

NICE THINGS

God damn it, there are nice things in the world - and I mean nice things. We’re all such morons to get so sidetracked.
— 
J.D. Salinger

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different - C.S Lewis 


                


The less you know, the sounder you sleep - Russian Proverb 

               


I’m like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget ― Samuel Beckett, “Waiting for Godot” 


                

'You wouldn't worry so much about what others think if you realised how seldom they do' - Eleanor Roosevelt

             

There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand without you even speaking a word - Yasmin Mogahed


               

Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go - Mooji


                

Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created - Yoko Ono

                       


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

READ | WORDS


“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever. ” Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thursday, 15 August 2013

TRAVEL | FRANCE

Been hiding out in a little bungalow (see below) in the Corrèze region of France. Activities included Al fresco family BBQ, Dordoigne swimming and visiting the house I lived in when I was very little. 




Caught up on some reading and totally recommend John McGregor's If nobody Speaks of Remarkable things and Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot. Now a weekend camping trip in The New Forest and then reality will resume(sort of)so this blog will stop resembling a diary. 



Thursday, 1 August 2013

PHOTOGRAPHY | LINA SCHEYNIUS


Brilliant photographer Lina Scheynius' first solo European exhibition is at the innovative Christopher Guy Galery here in London next month.It's a deeply personal and frank exhibition in which she captures her daily life, loved ones and friends. Go, go, go!