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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Earth Listings

2nd-8th February

Written by Lucy Jones

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Monday 26th January

Lucky Dragons
, health store Luminaire, viagra London

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Pretentious blurb going on about birthing fragile networks of digital signals or whatever but don’t be put off as it should be an interesting night of experimental folktronica.

Zombie Zombie, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

French electro with a cool Germanic edge.

Michael Baker, Ida Brown, John Barrow, Slaughtered Lamb, London

Folk rock from Michael Baker with more acoustic sounds in support at this lovely, folk-oriented venue.

Tuesday 27th January

Grace Jones, Roundhouse, London

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Will be nothing less than extraordinary show from this wildly experimental but still accessibly pop singer. Her new album is spectacular as we have raved on previous occasions and she is completely fantastic live.

Let’s Wrestle, Screaming Tea Party, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

Fun party indie boys headline with cute bubblegum punk support from Screaming Tea Party.

Luke Haines, FreeDM studio at Roundhouse, London

He of the Auteurs and Black Box Recorder and self-proclaimed Britpop instigator plays his highly regarded solo material.

Wednesday 28th January

Crystal Antlers, Darker My Lover, Loverman, Ark People, Lexington, London

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I will save my thesis on the fact that every single hip new band seems to be called Crystal something at the moment for another time. Instead catch the Antlers’ Long Beach raw punk on their first European tour. Sweaty, bruising fun.

Six Toes, The Mariner’s Children, Share, Slaughtered Lamb, London

Delicate and pretty, the exact antithesis of the Lexington gig. A Wednesday night of contrasts.

Thursday 29th January

George Pringle, Applicants, 4 or 5 Magicians, Buffalo Bar London

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Spoken word to a stark electro backing track from George Pringle. Dead arty.

Glissando, City Screen, York

Gliding atmospheric sounds, perfectly suited to the cinema venue.

Friday 30th January

Afrikan Boy, The Real Heat, Barden’s Boudoir, London

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Signed to M.I.A.’s label, probably best known for his hilarious masterpiece about shoplifting bargain supermarkets.

Luminous Frenzy, Shunt Vaults, London

Where better than an underground dungeon club to see this haunting cinematic live show? Nowhere better.

Saturday 31st January

Stereo Total, Bar Rumba, London

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Like a Franco-German White Stripes (girl singer/drummer, boy guitarist) only about a million times more appealing and with a sense of humour. And nothing in common musically. Playing electro-punk reworkings of French chanson and ye-ye as well as their own charming and wittily insouciant numbers in French, German, English and any other languages they happen to have picked up.

Mike Bones, Oakford Social, Reading

Session guitarist supreme, turned solo singer-songwriter with interestingly lovelorn songs and none of the whingeing usually associated with that damning tag.

Micachu and the Shapes, Macbeth, London

On nearly everyone’s list of ones to watch 2009 (and of course, featured in Issue 10), catch Micachu’s angular and unpredictable show in a small venue while you still can.

Sky Larkin, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Homecoming gig for this local band whose sweet and clever indie rock is slightly off-kilter lending shades of Sonic Youth to their jangly guitars.

Sunday 1st February

Emmy the Great, Phoenix, Exeter

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Promoting her debut album despite having been touring material for the past four years, with deceptively sweet-sounding tunes and scarily frank lyrics.

Last week, more about the London College of Fashion held it’s MA show in the beautiful Raphael gallery at the V&A. It’s very fitting that it took place during menswear fashion week, as twelve out of the nineteen collections were clothes for the boys.

It seems that menswear is finally standing up to its competitive and often overpowering opposite. Usually, the occasional dose of menswear in graduate collections – lets face it – never usually quite stands up to its womenswear rivals, this time round however, it was a different story. If the MA graduates set out to change the preconceptions of us voyeurs of fashion, who put the words ‘fashion’ and ‘womenswear’ hand in hand, they did a very good job with these collections.

Nowhere near boring – menswear and gave us gold, sequins, fringing and innovative tailoring fitted to a selection of 80′s looking, nu-romantic boys; flopping curls and eyeliner in check. Not to confuse these looks as steals from womenswear, masculinity was still very much in tact.

Here is a selection of the ones that caught our eye:

Dimitri Stavrou (below left) presented a very masculine interpretation of fringing through a skilled process of hand-frayed carbon fiber. The collection was inspired by the incest breeding of a Greek mythological God and mortal woman, a part human, part-animal crossover was explored through historical body armour and shapes created through movement.

Ji Yun Lapthorn’s ( below right)sophisticated and beautiful display of drapery and tailoring was a delicate and mesmerising affair. Soft folds created new shapes from heavy silk crepe, and cashmere showed a mature sensitivity to both form and fabric.
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A futuristic rainbow of colour shone through with Rohan Kale’s (above) collection, where luxury and sustainability met in a beautiful patchwork of Spanish silk tie off-cuts. Entitled ‘The Two Christians’ his admiration for both Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix was explored in this rich, exuberant take on sharp, quality tailoring.

Sticking to a theme of bright colour, Carly Garwin (below) used neon pink as a metaphor for happiness in her Parisian inspired collection. Proportions were played with and innovative cutting gave a sophisticated feel to this collection, where leg baring tailored shorts matched with cropped capes for a refreshing male silhouette.
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Miyhun Park (above) took us on a mystical journey under the sea, where fluidity merged with structure. Sheer dresses fitted to wire frames mimicked jellyfish like shapes, whilst creating a blurred and distorted vision of the underlying garments to leave an impression of being underwater.

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In a fitting and fair finale the battle between men’s and womenswear ended in a beautiful mixed collection from graduate Manjit Deu, (above) who won the Collection of the Year. Using the ever-popular sequin- in its new and more abstract rectangular shape – Manjit hand-embroidered dresses, hoodies and tops for a truly lavish and dazzling end to the show.
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Do you get the sense that all things home-made as an approach to everything is flourishing at the moment? Well something has to, viagra sale and we’re glad it’s the world of the home-crafted written word.

This Sunday head down to the St Aloysius Social Centre near Euston for the Alternative Press Fair, bringing together the worlds of alternative comics, zines, art-books and poetry for one great day. Meet the artists, see their work and buy some if you like it, or feel inspired to go and make something of your own for the world to see. Following the fair there will be live music from Mr Trent Miller & The Skeleton Jive until late. Even better, it’s completely free, open to all, come along! The fair is between 12 and 6.

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Solar panels and roof top gardens on every house in Camden, prescription allotments in place of car parks, stomach “I’ll meet you at the crosspaths, crosspaths” we’d sing, and a range rover in Hampstead would be as archaic and out of place as a dinosaur on Bricklane. If you have a vision of a future where humans have stopped stripping the earth of it’s natural beauty and have ceased to persist in pumping out destruction then get the colouring pencils out and submit your design to EcoLab.

EcoLab is a group of environmentally-minded designers and visual artists who explore ways in which communities can collectively change their lifestyles to become more sustainable. They involve artwork in investigating our ecological crisis and communicating the findings.

This year they are planning their first Climate Roadshow. A cavalcade of climate artwork will travel through festivals and events around the country including Glastonbury and Urban Green Fair. Eventually they hope to reach the Copenhagen Climate Conference. So far there are works by artists Jody Barton, Rod Hunt, Kate Evans Airside, Jamie Simmons, & Ali Hodgson that illustrate the very disturbing changes in ecological systems as the climate warms (as described by Mark Lynas in his book Six Degrees). There is a Climate Game by RCA graduate Ali Hodgson, and other climate related artwork to get conversations started about things that matter.

To accompany this they are calling for submissions for a ‘graphically exciting illustration of a steady state society.’ The winning image will receive a £350 prize and will be used in the road show and published in EcoMag. A steady state economic system as defined by ecological economist Herman Daly is one which is no longer obsessed with growth.

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I caught up with EcoLab’s founder Jody Boehnert and asked her about all things sustainable and about the ‘2012 Imperative Teach-in,’ one of the many projects bubbling at EcoLab HQ.

Is complete sustainability across the UK achievable in our lifetime?

‘Yes. We are fully capable of making sustainability happen, but it will not happen unless we stop the insanity that is happening now. We are at a point where it can no longer be assumed that we will have much of a future – en masse. The punk rockers said it thirty years ago but didn’t do much about it. Now the situation is far more serious. Luckily there are options, we could live good lives without destroying the environment. We need to generate the will to make this shift happen. We need a popular movement working towards change even more decisive than those in the 20th century, i.e. gender equality & civil rights.’

What is a Teach-in?

Teach-ins have a history in movements for social change from the 1960s and have been used recently in America to catalyze environmental action in higher education. Teach-ins are practical, participatory, and action oriented.

How will it work?

The 2012 Imperative Teach-in will an event where scientists & eco-design experts make presentations and take questions from students. The event will be broadcast live over the internet to groups of students at institutions around the world. At the end of the day new commitments will be made to address the environmental crisis within design education. EcoLabs is preparing to make this teach-in happen for October 2009. Anyone can participate by signing up on the website and organizing a group of people to watch it together – or better yet, by coming to the event itself. More information available at www.teach-in.co.uk

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The deadline for the Steady State brief is the 15th March-get scribbling!
3degrees-Rod-Hunt.jpg

Solar panels and roof top gardens on every house in Camden, this allotments in place of car parks, ampoule “I’ll meet you at the crosspaths, crosspaths” we’d sing, and a range rover in Hampstead would be as archaic and out of place as a dinosaur on Bricklane. If you have a vision of a future where humans have stopped stripping the earth of it’s natural beauty and have ceased to persist in pumping out destruction then get the colouring pencils out and submit your design to EcoLab.

EcoLab is a group of environmentally-minded designers and visual artists who explore ways in which communities can collectively change their lifestyles to become more sustainable. They involve artwork in investigating our ecological crisis and communicating the findings.

This year they are planning their first Climate Roadshow. A cavalcade of climate artwork will travel through festivals and events around the country including Glastonbury and Urban Green Fair. Eventually they hope to reach the Copenhagen Climate Conference. So far there are works by artists Jody Barton, Rod Hunt, Kate Evans Airside, Jamie Simmons, & Ali Hodgson that illustrate the very disturbing changes in ecological systems as the climate warms (as described by Mark Lynas in his book Six Degrees). There is a Climate Game by RCA graduate Ali Hodgson, and other climate related artwork to get conversations started about things that matter.

To accompany this they are calling for submissions for a ‘graphically exciting illustration of a steady state society.’ The winning image will receive a £350 prize and will be used in the road show and published in EcoMag. A steady state economic system as defined by ecological economist Herman Daly is one which is no longer is obsessed with growth.

1degrees-Airside.jpg

I caught up with EcoLab’s founder Jody Boehnert and asked her about all things sustainable and about the ‘2012 Imperative Teach-in,’ one of the many projects bubbling at EcoLab HQ.

Is complete sustainability across the UK achievable in our lifetime?

‘Yes. We are fully capable of making sustainability happen, but it will not happen unless we stop the insanity that is happening now. We are at a point where it can no longer be assumed that we will have much of a future – en masse. The punk rockers said it thirty years ago but didn’t do much about it. Now the situation is far more serious. Luckily there are options, we could live good lives without destroying the environment. We need to generate the will to make this shift happen. We need a popular movement working towards change even more decisive than those in the 20th century, i.e. gender equality & civil rights.’

What is a Teach-in?

Teach-ins have a history in movements for social change from the 1960s and have been used recently in America to catalyze environmental action in higher education. Teach-ins are practical, participatory, and action oriented.

How will it work?

The 2012 Imperative Teach-in will an event where scientists & eco-design experts make presentations and take questions from students. The event will be broadcast live over the internet to groups of students at institutions around the world. At the end of the day new commitments will be made to address the environmental crisis within design education. EcoLabs is preparing to make this teach-in happen for October 2009. Anyone can participate by signing up on the website and organizing a group of people to watch it together – or better yet, by coming to the event itself. More information available at www.teach-in.co.uk

flowerbig.jpg

The deadline for the Steady State brief is the 15th March-get scribbling!
Perhaps, this web considering they’ve practically all played together at various
points over the past few years, it’s not all that surprising that the three
bands on Saturday night’s bill had quite a bit in common. However, as well
as a shared sound, the acts we were treated to at Barden’s also clearly
shared a commitment to fun. It was perfect Saturday night fodder, loud,
brash, fast and furious but not too abrasive for a dance.

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Throwing Up took to the stage first for their inaugural gig looking suitably nervous
despite the fact that all of them are old hands on the London gig circuit.
Singer Camille and bassist Claire were formerly one half of Headless, the
raven-haired banshee quartet and you could hear the shadows of their old
band. However, there was less of the 80s goth, righteous women influence
here as, true to their name, Throwing Up adopted a more straightforward pop
punk sound in their blink and you’d miss it set.

They were on and off the stage in as little as ten minutes and whipped
through their five and a half songs with little fuss and fanfare but plenty
of fury. With such a doll-like rhythm section – Claire is so tiny behind her
bass she looks like an Alice in Wonderland drink me experiment and they’ve
got the most exquisitely pretty drummer I’ve ever seen -­ this created a
great juxtaposition.

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Next up Male Bonding matcho-ed up proceedings with their energetic, jerky
punk and pink sweatshirts. Fresh out of 1979 via turn-of-the-nineties
Seattle they danced their way through a sweaty set that had members of the
audience in a headbanging frenzy. Their drummer kept things pacey and the
vocals stayed at a fairly low level, lyrical subtlety is clearly less the
point than raw energy,­ at least in a live setting.

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Screaming Tea Party rounded off the evening with a shot of bubbegum to
temper the rougher edges of the night. Veering between throbbing rock and
sweetly harmonised indie pop and managing to combine a gas mask toting
guitarist with a smiling girl on drums, they strike the perfect balance
between music your ten year old sister and your hipster boyfriend could
credibly like. The live show is heavier than they sound on record,
culminating in the toppling of the drum kit and all band members to the
floor, a fitting end to a brilliant night.

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In many parts of the world, ampoule the summoning of an alternate self, page true self?, stomach is nothing extraordinary, but simply part of the fabric of everyday life. For the Bantu in Western Africa for instance, a routine trip to the doctor might easily involve him/her devining your ailment by entering existential realms of being (brought on by extensive drumming and dancing) and communicating with ancestral spirits; whilst we can all thank Bruce Parry for enlightening us to the medicinal properties of Ayahuasca in the transcendence of spatial and temporal boundaries … But in our own post-cultured world we call it art, and put it in a gallery to peer at through the prism of the exoticised other.

The current exhibition at Riflemaker, Voodoo – ‘Hoochie Coochie and the Creative Spirit‘, draws together artists, writers, and musicians who acknowledge the need to reach heightened or ‘altered’ states in order to create their work. You’d be forgiven for thinking Riflemaker to be a shop from it’s humble exterior and just-off-Carnaby-Street location, but walking through the door you are initiated into a quite different world offering a very worthy respite from the throngs of hapless shoppers in Oxford Street.

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The theme of Initiation is dealt with in a replica of William Burroughs Wishing Machine, pictured above. On entering the exhibition, viewers are asked to ‘check in’ via this small booth, which the famously superstitious Burroughs had installed in the front door of his house in Lawrence, Kansas. Insert a coin, write a wish on a small piece of card and continue on your way, suitably aligned. Extending over three floors, a multi-sensory and multi-media circus is woven together with the themes of sacrifice, symbology, hysteria, possession, and ritual, to name a few. You will see collages put together with semen, listen to Rachmaninov’s chromatic hysteria, and glance on peculiar forlorn dolls, eerily lit, contemplating the window and the street outside.

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Exploring the mystery of the creative act, the idea of Voodoo is used as a metaphor for the spiritual heights considered essential to the creative process – a need to fire up the spirit and go into a trancelike state, to hallucinate. From Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Haitian high priests to the Catholic icons of Andres Serrano; from the alcohol-induced stupors of Francis Bacon and F Scott Fitzgerald to the self-obliteration of Yayoi Kusama; from the exploration of power and sexuality in Richard Niman‘s sculpture of Hitler as an infant girl, to Igor Stravinsky‘s dance rituals, the attempts of the artist to enhance the creative process by removing themselves from reality through meditation or mind-altering substances is examined as a fundamental element in the act of creation.

Throughout the exhibition, there is a film season of Voodoo films at the Curzon Mayfair each Sunday; a series of exploratory concerts at the Royal College of Music every Tuesday, and a soundtrack, which should be available online from January.

With so much emphasis on Voodoo and the existential being, perhaps we will see these practices stepping out of sanitized gallery spaces, out of the confines of the art world, and back into the everyday.
Here are some treats for you:

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Today sees the launch of QueensOfVintage.com – brought to us by the people that run another favourite site of ours, viagra 40mg greenmystyle.com, information pills , sale queens of vintage is packed full of interesting features, such as ‘A history of style: the feather‘ and ‘Top 100 Queens‘, not a list of royalty or friends of Dorothy, it is in fact a lovely collation of people with lovely vintage style.

If it’s buying vintage you’re after, without having to hunt through rails and rails, pay a visit to somelikeitvintage.com, not only does it have a snazzy name but being a Canadian online store, it’s a great chance to get your hands on vintage from the other side of the Atlantic. They also have a commitment to being eco-friendly, they stress the importance of recycling and use little or no energy sources. Below are two garments that I really want to get my hands on:

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For those whose vintage tastes are more extravagant, on Saturday, 31st January, you can indulge yourself at the buymywardrobe.com event, where ladies with expensive wardrobes, sort through the bits of designer couture they no longer wear and kindly bring it to the Adam St members club so us mere mortals can have a chance to own some genuine designer pieces at only a fraction of the designer price. Amazing!

However, if you love vintage but are not fussed by labels, then this is the event for you. This Thursday, 29th January, in the Stepney Green warehouse store, The East End Thrift Store is holding one of their legendary parties! Here at Amelia’s we’ve been several times and always picked up superb bargains and quirky pieces, while quaffing the free wine. Yes that’s right, free wine and a warehouse of vintage clothes! Heaven!
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As I write this blog our MPs are debating the subject of the third runway in the Commons. Although any decision made will not be binding it is possible that there will be a labour revolt over the current decision to go ahead when a vote is held at 7pm this evening. A not insignificant amount of MPs are seriously annoyed with our government’s collusion with BAA, this web with two MPs deciding to resign over the issue this morning.

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Climate Rush were outside the gates of Parliament to show what they think of our farcical democracy at 10.30am this morning, hospital cunningly bearing chains under large coats. It was an easy stroll over to the railings and a leisurely padlocking ensued before any police even took any notice. Eight women and two men dressed in assorted Edwardian-style gear unfurled their lovingly stencilled aprons bearing the immortal DEEDS NOT WORDS, viagra 100mg and proceeded to smile for the attendant press.

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After about an hour the police decided to move everyone else off the area with a bit of force, before then making a u-turn and letting everyone back in. They threatened arrest several times, for protesting in a SOCPA area (you have to apply to protest anywhere near Parliament) without a permit, and then for refusals to unchain. This was much to the amusement of the pro-cannabis lobby over the way in the square, who heckled us through their megaphone. I think they may take tips from us in the future. Tourists stopped to have their photos taken. Suffragettes drank tea from a flask and ate turkish delight.

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Eventually, the boltcutters arrived, and the police chopped through the chains. But still no arrests, in fact they appeared desperate to avoid any arrests, clearly dreading the extra publicity over our demonstration of true democracy in action – orders seemed to change rapidly from whomever was passing them down from on high. After all the Suffragettes had been freed a group huddle ensued to decide on whether to further attempt arrest, but it was decided that this might prove nearly impossible given that it had already proved so difficult, and instead we went off for a cup of tea and a plate of chips in the Methodist Church Hall cafe.

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I’d like to think that something sensible might occur in government today, like our elected politicians realising that building a third runway is not compatible with cutting 80% of our CO2 emissions, as already agreed. Alas I fear not….
Join the fun with Climate Rush if you’d like to voice your opinion on this matter on a future date.
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Over the past year or so, ambulance we’ve had Crystal Castles, cost Crystal Antlers, this Crystal Fighters, now enter Crystal Stilts. Why all these bands seem to have replaced good old ‘the’ with ‘Crystal’ is a bit of a mystery, maybe they all share a penchant for quality glassware.

Crystal Stilts also hail from Brooklyn, making them doubly suspect as an all mouth and no tight trousers prospect. However, although they clearly share the shoegaze influences du jour with fellow Brooklynites Vivian Girls and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, all three bands have worked these influences into their own personal styles to create zeitgeisty but credible sounds. Crystal Stilts are the clear gloom merchants of the bunch, combining their Jesus and Mary Chain fuzz with a healthy dose of hollow Joy Division vocals.

We may have heard if not these particular shakey drums, spectral melodies, indistinct vocals and Velvets-esque rhythm guitar, something pretty similar before but these emerge as great indie pop songs and should be appreciated as such, nothing more, nothing less. You may not be able to distinguish any of the lyrics but you can happily drone along with the pretty pop melody of B-side Prismatic Room while Departure‘s post punk bassline and kicky drums practically begs to be danced to.

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It’s surely no coincidence that like the music press, the catwalks for this Spring were filled with mid-eighties styles, niftily combining to create the perfect backdrop to Recession Depression. Put a massive bow in your hair, sling on your jumpsuit and whack some ethereal pop on your i-Pod and before you know it you’ll be skipping rather than slumping your way down to the Job Centre.

Death From Above 1979 created one of the finest albums of the last ten years. Remember that time you dance so hard to Romantic Rights you accidentally hit a really big guy in the face and had to run away? Wasn’t that fantastic?

Like so many great things though, view DFA 1979 disappeared just as quickly as they arrived, viagra 40mg leaving many people feeling empty as a hollowed out coconut husk. MSTRKRFT were ok but by the time they had put an album together, remedy we had all become rather tired of their rehashed efforts.

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The news that Sebastien Grainger is releasing some new material therefore fills me with hope. Is it a return to form by the drumstick-wielding section of DFA? Well, not really. These four tracks vary quite a bit, both in style and quality. Straight off, my favourite track is Renegade Silence. It has something of his old band’s former brilliance – though it sounds as if it was all channelled through a keyboard on harpsichord setting – and it’s really quite catchy. It borrows a lot from Metronomy, though whether this is intentional or not I can’t quite decide.

Other tracks on the EP will fill you with disappointment if you approach it with the anticipation you would a new DFA release. I wanted that bass that sounds like a Viking with an upset stomach and the kind of drum thrashings that are banned in 49 American states. This, in comparison, is real sissy music. By Cover of Night sounds like an attempt at Kings Of Leon modelled anthemic-ness – but the lyrics are terribly corny and a little forced.

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It’s not a real stinker, it just doesn’t gain a place in my heart like his previous output. There’s a song called I Hate Most Of My Friends, which seems pretty stupid. If I was his friend and he wrote a song called that I’d tell him where to shove his drumsticks.

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The bailiffs have arrived and the doors to the Temporary School of Thought are sadly shut. Over the past few weeks I’ve loitered in it’s burrow-like corridors and dozed amongst bearded anoraks during a workshop on ‘post-capitalist enterprises.’ I’ve also stumbled into a magic room of delightfully hypnotic Indian classical music, page and I had a very pleasant chat with the collective identity, viagra order Luthar Blisset. For those unfamiliar with the handshakes and double winks of squat living, Luther Blisset was a footballer who played for Watford and later AC Milan in the 1980′s. However his name has become more famous as a collective identity used by artists and social activists the world over. No one’s entirely sure why…

So as I chatted with my very own footballer we passed the welding and bike-repair workshop, past walls pinned with life-drawings and up a colossal marble staircase leading to the grander rooms of the house-all vast with tall windows and heavy shutters that made me want to spin around giddily. I was told, excitedly, that the house was built at the turn of the eighteenth century, and that one room is decorated with intricately hand painted silk wallpaper that must be over 200 years old. Originally built as a private home for the very wealthy, parts of the house have been used as offices but it seems to have been left empty for at least 10 years. Like many grand buildings in London, it is owned in assets. Often the buildings are left waiting for planning permission to be turned into flats or offices. This can take years, partly because the buildings are listed under the National Trust, and partly for the convenience of the owners (often large International companies) who would rather see their assets rise in price over time than spend on redevelopment.

The well-spoken group of house-sitters that discovered what the tabloids liked to call ‘The Luxury Squat’ have similarly arty backgrounds but made a decision to break away from the more art-centered Da! Collective and to start a free school. Not just an exhibition space (although drawings and installations did fill the rooms) the building housed an alternative space for creativity, thought and discussion. In opening the doors to the public they formed an atmosphere that was genuinely welcoming and played host to a variety of free workshops as diverse as charleston dancing to hexayurt building.

When they first arrived there was absolutely nothing to make the house habitable. The first few nights were spent huddled around a rice cooker while they fixed the electrics and built all the furniture from discarded wood. Collectively they created a vibrant work/living space complete with a film screening room with tiered seating, an art workshop and a dining table that could seat 40 people. They transformed a building that had been left to rot into a palace for the people, and after all their hard work, it seems unjust for them to be ousted. But something tells me that their next address won’t be too far away. One of the workshops I attended was called ‘Hunting for Empties’ where we cycled around Mayfair examining potentially squatable buildings. We must have seen 12 different empty properties all in a square mile and all with London’s swankiest postcode. The waste of such property in central London is shocking. I fully applaud their ingenuity and I wish them the best of luck with their next adventure.

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It feels like of Montreal (who are actually from Georgia) have been around for even longer than their eleven years. They’ve never really felt the fickle grip of hype, cialis 40mg instead remaining a constant presence; on mixtape compilations, information pills at parties and in music blogs. Shamefully, viagra their part-of-the-furniture demeanour has meant that I’m only familiar with a handful of their hits, having never felt the impulse to dig deeper and geek up on all of their releases (and boy are there releases; in just over a decade they’ve produced nine studio albums and six EPs). So tonight as we head into Digital, just off the pebbly shore of Brighton beach, I can honestly say that I have no idea about what will be store for us over the next three hours, but I can’t wait to get inside.

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Casiokids at Brighton Digital

While coats are swapped for raffle tickets and bar trips hastily made, Norweigen eletropoppers Casiokids take to the stage in a burst of bright, primary coloured lights and Cheshire-cat grins, fiddling about with the wires that extend out of the countless electronics and snake around their lace-up pumps. The self-named ‘electro troupe’ stand huddled in a close group enshrouded in equipment, energetically clapping their hands and throwing out jaggedy, pulsing dance moves. The music is vigourously dynamic but they appear relaxed as they spin out perky electro soundscapes, drenched in positivity and good times, as the stage is soaked in blocks of red, blue and green light.

Before of Montreal make an appearance, the atmosphere ascends; even the soundcheck is watched by the surrounding crowd with all the excitement normally reserved for an unexpected rendition of an old favourite, not the usual “one-two-one-two”. After being thrown into darkness, the lights eventually rise to depict a guy in a tiger mask standing center stage, setting the tone for the theatrical extremities that will follow. All members then appear to ‘She’s A Rejector’, dressed to the nines in glitter, dark shades, and ruffles, looking like a bemused circus group that have somehow got lost on their way to a carnival in outer space. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and I have to remind myself that this is a band who released their latest record, ‘Skeletal Lamping’, in various bizarre formats, including jewellery and bags.

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Of Montreal at Brighton Digital

Frontman Kevin Barnes never stops moving, always pointedly alert as he bops around and dramatically strips off his shirt. He performs one song sat high on someone’s shoulders and even manages a costume change. The band play their way through tracks from albums including Skeletal Lamping, The Sunlandic Twins and Hissing Fauna…, as pigs, ninja’s and buddahs dance across the stage and with band members, which is slightly disturbing and fantastically theatrical. Due to the many incarnations of of Montreal over the years, their music comes in various forms – it sometimes verges on a ramshackle of unpredictable indiepop, then swins into funky afrobeat, and then just when you think you’ve got them pinned down, they throw in some psychadelic grooves to prove you completely wrong.

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Of Montreal at Brighton Digital

For of Montreal a concert isn’t merely a runthrough of numbers but a grand performance; a chance to challenge perceptions and revel in insanity, dressed up and down and bringing their world onto the stage with them. As we leave I overhear a girl telling her friend, “My expectations were so high, but that has totally gone past anything I’d expected. It was incredible”, perfectly summing up the evening.

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Bodypainting as a practice goes right back to the dawn of culture. It is a decisive clue in piecing together the emerging habits of early humans that distinguish them from our primate predecessors, cost and when anthropologists aren’t announcing a new species of human because of a newly discovered molar, they are constantly getting flustered about the red stuff – red ochre. Thousands of years later, we are covering ourselves in paint once again, devoting festivals to the practice, and holding competitions for it … haven’t you heard? It’s only the World Bodypainting Festival, the annual event that brings thousands upon Seeboden in Southern Austria for three days of festive fun, intense competition, and the most elaborate and fine-combed bodypainting you have ever seen.

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I caught up with Jessica Nurse, who has participated in the festival for two of its ten year life-span, and gain a little more insight into this craft that is a realm unto itself.

What’s the festival like?
It’s really incredible. The actual festival takes place by a lake, and for those three days, the town is completely transformed. They have statues all over the place of painted bodies, and there are separate tents for each country. The bodypainting awards are a big part of the festival, and have been a driving force behind the bodypainting movement. It gives artists a chance to get together, exchange ideas, and bring this amazing art form to the public eye.

What will you be participating in, and who’s the big competition?
There are different categories. I’l be competing in the ‘brush and sponge’ competition, so that’s all hand-done as opposed to air-brush effects. You have six hours to paint, and they give you a theme beforehand so its all about trying to come up with something that’s original. The Americans are good, like the Wolfe Brothers who always do really well, but Caroline Cooper won last year and she’s a brit! We’re good at something after all.

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How did you get into bodypainting, and what do you like about it?
I graduated from University in fashion and editorial make-up design, and I work a lot as a freelance make-up artist, but this is just so much more creative. I feel like you can really push the boundaries, express stories, ideas, and moods, all through the body. I began bodypainting as a hobby when I was young, then once I started studying make-up we did some classes to improve skills and ideas. I heard about the Bodypainting competition in Austria when I was at college and it was always something I really wanted to go too.


Have you ever been painted?

Yes, I modeled for a friend once, but I didn’t like it! I think you have to be really comfortable with your body, but then once someone is painted you don’t really look at their body or see it as a naked body, you just look at the art. But no, I think the painting side of it is more for me!

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Jessica is currently applying for funding from the Arts Council to take a team to Austria in July and we wish her the best of luck! She will be hosting an exhibition in March or April at the Maiyango Hotel in Leicester so keep your eyes peeled for roaming painted bodies.
Bridgedales bamboo socks got me thinking about ethical clothing, click and what a total minefield it can be. Synthetics never biodegrade and are often oil-derived so surely a cotton top must be better? However, website the environmental cost of cotton is so high, involving so much water and pesticides – and let’s not even get started on the human cost of cotton farming, sweat shop production, poisonous dyes, super-cheap prices… The list of things to look out for can be endless and even when you’ve found your preferred brand of ethically produced, fairly-traded clothing of choice, the price tag can be somewhat off-putting.

Things get even trickier when you are buying clothes for a specific purpose such as sport or outdoor activities, where you need your clothes to possess certain qualities.
The trouble is, a lot of high-tech wonder fabrics such as Gore-Tex, that are designed to be durable and keep you warm and dry are also made from oil-derived substances and, once they’re finished with, will just sit in landfill for centuries to come.

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Illustration by Jingyao Guo

Which is why Bridgedale’s new bamboo socks, £10.99, fill a definite gap in the environmentally friendly clothing market. Perfectly suited to hiking, the socks are high quality, technical clothing that offer the same level of fit, shock-absorbency and ventilation as any other good hiking sock. They are also anti-bacterial and water absorbent, keeping sweaty feet dry on long rambles.

Bridgedale wax lyrical about the benefits of bamboo. They claim, and a bit of research on the internet, as well as wearing the socks, supports them – that Bamboo is “soft as cashmere” and the socks are really warm, meaning that you could happily wear them as bed socks around the house. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic, 100% biodegradable, and a pretty sustainable resource, which can be grown without pesticides or chemicals.

Bridgedale socks source their bamboo from an American company, Booshoot, which grows and supplies bamboo within America from their own local nurseries, avoiding the replacement of forest land with an economically profitable, environmentally detrimental monoculture. Of course there are some negative considerations to take into account. Although great as a crop, bamboo can be chemical and labour intensive to turn into a fibre.

So, while the jury’s still out on bamboo fibre in general, at least for now, in terms of comfort, practicality and the environment – if not style…these Bridgedale socks get my thumbs up.
Cakes and vaginas and vaginas and cakes. Tomorrow at Spitafields Market the girls at V-Day are setting up stall for day of home-baked delicacies; and all in name of a good cause. 2009 brings the 10th anniversary of V-Day, sildenafil a global movement founded by playwrite and activist Even Ensler that is devoted to the end violence against women. They will be raising awareness and cash for their upcoming performance, The Vagina Monologues, and A Memory, a Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer. They are on the look for avid bakers, enthusiastic vendors and dessert-a-holics to partake in the event. So if you fancy yourself

Spitalfieds Market has been generous enough to donate us a stall for a V-Day Bake Sale.

We are looking for avid bakers, enthusiastic vendors and dessert-a-holics to partake in this event.

So if you fancy yourself one or all of these and have some time to spare we would love to have you on board!

P.S. If you plan on baking or helping out with sales on the 30th please leave us a message! For those of you simply wanting to sample our tasty treats, a change purse and taste buds will suffice!

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Cakes and vaginas and vaginas and cakes. Tomorrow at Spitafields Market the girls at V-Day are setting up stall for day of home-baked delicacies; and all in name of a good cause. 2009 brings the 10th anniversary of V-Day, information pills a global movement founded by playwrite and activist Even Ensler, stuff that is devoted to the end violence against women. They will be raising awareness and cash for their upcoming performance, The Vagina Monologues, and A Memory, a Monologue, A Rant & A Prayer. They are on the look for avid bakers, enthusiastic vendors and dessert-a-holics to partake in the event … so if you fancy yourself a master of the oven, or if you just want to nibble on something sweet, do come along.
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It seemed that we were getting a little oestrogen heavy with our shiny new featured illustrator feature, web so we got in touch with Iggy Arnold, I Lurk in Bushes, because he’s a boy, and well actually because we really like his drawings of strange anthropomorphic creatures from another world ….

Hello Iggy Arnauld. Who are you? Where are you? And what are you doing?

My name is I-LIB, it’s an acronym for I LURK IN BUSHES. I am an illustrator/graffiti artist currently dwelling in the distant seaside land known as Hastings where I am currently working on loads of different projects and my eagerly anticipated solo show.

What are your favourite materials to work with and why?  

I like to use a range of different mediums: inks, spray paint, graphite. I work a lot with old paper that I find. I love the colour and texture of it, and I like the idea that it’s had a previous life before another life is brought to its surface.

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Tell me about your work .. where do these anthropomorphic creatures come from?

They come from places unknown, a time that is long since passed but that never really existed to begin with; victorian dream like states of mind that conjure up captivating visions of love, hate, life and death.

How did you come by such a place, did you find it in the land of nod?

I mysteriously wondered into it in a nightmare and have never found my way back!  


So it’s best you don’t actually live there … or would you if you could?

its a very dark world, I already do live there!

Thank you Iggy, we hope that your dark strange world doesn’t haunt you too much, though just enough to keep you translating it to the page for us to see.

We stumbled across I-LIB’s work on the Creative Archive, an Edinburgh based social networking site. You can find more of his work on here, or purchase it through stella dore.
The neo-craft scene in Scotland has been growing legs for a couple of years now, order and is starting to run away with itself. What started out as a few craft fairs in church halls around Glasgow and Edinburgh has now spread into a much more organised network of knitters, dressmakers, cupcake bakers and textile designers.

The first Scottish branch of the worldwide Craft Mafia™ was set up two years ago after Jo Gurney, a jewellery maker in Glasgow read about it online and liked the idea that a bunch of businesswomen in Austin, Texas had helped each other’s businesses along by teaming up and sharing resources.

The original Mafia members in Austin wanted to get away from the dowdy, old-lady image that craft has, and create something a bit fresher. The Glasgow Craft Mafia are on the same mission.
In their world, grassroots, DIY, hand-made, recycled and vintage = good; mass-produced, high-street, off-the-peg = bad. They also like to carry on the Craft Mafia’s slightly cheeky, sometimes risqué, get-that-hand-out-the-biscuit-tin tone, so you’ll still find hand-stitched doilies and frilly coasters, only when you get up close the dainty cross-stitch spells out things like, ‘I heart gin’, ‘sniff glue worship satan’ or ‘f*** the dishes’.

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There are about thirty members at the moment, including Clare Nicolson, who is the ‘Don’ of the Glasgow Craft Mafia. She helps promote events they put on, pulling different types of craft together such as making knitted finger puppets of David Bowie and Salvador Dali and Bert and Ernie (pictured below), primary coloured tees with screenprints of rayguns and chopsticks or soft furnishings with chintzy fabrics and bird shaped cushions.

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The Glasgow Craft Mafia are starting a brand new monthly event called Country Crafting! where crafty types (old pros or amateurs) can meet in a bar and listen to Kris Kristofferson while they get embroidering, or knit-their-own-beard to the sounds of The Handsome Family. They meet on the 1st Sunday of every month at Macsorleys Music Bar, on Jamaica Street, Glasgow.

Below are examples of some of the jewellery made by the Mafia, from Haberdash House (above) and We Are The Robots (below).

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The crafting continues with Made in the Shade, a boutique/new designer showcase that feels a bit like walking into a timewarp. Inspired by the ‘the American 1950s housewife mother you never had’, it is co-run by Clare Nicolson and Carrie Maclennan. Two of those über-talented people who seem to have found the eighth day in the week, when they are not making their own ‘granny chic’ soaps or lavender scented cushions, they are organising fairs for their fellow stay-at-home crafters.

Those crafty little beggars have always got plenty more events up their sleeve too, so keep checking the Glasgow Craft Mafia and Made in the Shade websites for details.

Tuesday February 3rd

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
is a new exhibition from Andres Serrano. Serrano’s work has continually dealt with the sacred and the profane, clinic the grand and the mundane with an almost spiritual approach made apparent in bright colours and surreal realities. He uses photography as a medium to explore various aspects of ?outsider? life. His highly coloured photographs have an artificial quality that recalls his past training in painting and sculpture. The exhibition begins today at Yvon Lambert on Hoxton Square.

Wednesday February 4th

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Madame Lilies is an artist run Gallery and exhibition space in Stoke Newington. On Wednesdays they have a film club called Cinema Je t’aime, with the program announced on the night. Seating is limited so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Thursday February 5th

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There is a group show of personal and documentary photographers at Yinka Shonibares’ Gallery off Broadway Market with live music and dj’s featuring two of our past contributors, so we’ll be going to support! Failing that, First Thursdays is here once again with its 2009 debut. Grab some wine, head down to Vyner Street for late night hmmms and ahhhhs, followed by Turkish food and pub. Vinespace will be opening a new work from US artist Alex Echo, a series of linked chapters that are in part autobiographical, and in part reference to the classic film “Life is Beautiful”, and Concrete Hermit presents their first group show of 2009 entitled Lump Hammer Love Bites.

Friday February 6th

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Tonight we look to the choreographed world of athletic and sinous drawing and movement. London-based Czech visual and performance artist Katia Lom showcases her latest work, “The Dinner”, showing at The Place. Charcoal and canvas become palette and surface for three dancers to recount the tale of a conversation occurring over a meal. Tickets are between five and fifteen pounds, pre-book here.

Saturday February 7th

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At Aicon Gallery there is an exhibition beginning on the 6th that shows three Indian artists who’s work uses documentary as a point of departure, though suffused with a very subjective aesthetic. Film and photography weave through the themes of heritage, violence, meat rituals, and migrant workers.
Monday 2nd February and every 1st Monday of the month.

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Chose What you Read.

Bbrrrrrrrr! Unprecedented weather conditions (woohoo!) have meant the tubes are all pretty much shut today so unfortunately this may disrupt plans for this fantastic scheme. Never the less this is a brilliant idea and it will be ongoing so keep your eyes peeled every first monday of the month. The idea is to offer second hand books to commuters instead of all those free papers of which only a small portion ever get recycled.
A book however never gets thrown away. Read it and pass it on. The people organizing this will act as the go-between handing out books between 5pm and 7pm today. Once you have finished with your read you must drop it off at the designated points and they will do their best to pass it on to the next tube traveller. And no paper is dumped!

Find out more on their Facebook Page.

5pm-7pm. Liverpool Street, sickness Waterloo, Westminster, Euston, Paddington stations.

Saturday 7th February

‘Securing our Survival.’ Talk by veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent.

Housemans Bookshop on Calendonian Road is a nugget of tranquility in the pacifist sense. Since 1945 it has been London’s leading purveyor of radical literature spanning all campaigning issues and increasingly more environmental activist books, magazines and journals.
This evening Bruce Kent will be presenting a paper discussing the wider politics of nuclear proliferation in conjunction with ICAN. (International Campaign to abolish Nuclear Weapons).

5pm. Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London,N1 9DX

Sunday 8th February

‘One Drop’

A day of holistic therapies, workshops, art exhibitions, yummy organic vegan food and live music from folk hunk Johnny Flynn.

10am-10pm. Plough Studios, 9 Park Hill, Clapham Common SW4 9NS’

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