Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On a Promise!

To demonstrate to Coldplay how to tastefully use fine art, here is the painting used by Echo & the Bunnymen for their 1982 single 'The Back of Love'. The painting is called 'The Promise' by Henry Scott Tuke and was apparently on display in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool around this time. Interestingly, the Bunnymen's previous single 10 months prior was called 'A Promise' - somewhat of a missed opportunity...

Note how the original painting shows the couple holding hands...

'The Promise' by Henry Scott Tuke

'The Back of Love' by Echo and the Bunnymen

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile.
Hunter S. Thompson

I guess the pig escaped!

This pig has flown ... and reward could be yours...

Portishead Third

I finally got around to listening to the new Portishead cd yesterday on the drive home and all I can say is I'm glad it was still daylight! Imagine Radiohead writing a soundtrack to the scariest movie you ever watched and then getting Scott Walker (circa The Drift) to come in and sing it... However, although uncomfortable and unnerving, it is never at the expense of the listeners enjoyment. Like The Drift, it pushes the listener into a dark place but never oversteps the mark into artistic absurdity either musically (no punching of meat!) or lyrically (no punching of donkeys on the streets of Galway!) However, Beth Gibbons singing at times does bring to mind recent Scott Walker in it's high-pitched nervous delivery. The instrumentation is quite sparse throughout and moves between Hammer house of horror organs and krautrock synths with ease. The drumming at times in minimal (like a single drum heralding the start of an occult meeting) but steps up to an industrial version of Blue Monday in one track and moves onto chopped up breaks like Radiohead's Airbag in others. In one track a mandolin plays a bluesy intro but again the singing is otherworldly and sounds like it was recorded at a seance. Overall, a scary but enjoyable musically journey into the heart of darkness!

everybodystalking vs Culture Deluxe

My live from Coachella blogs were republished in Culture Deluxe over the weekend. To check it out click here!

Thanks to Keith Haworth, and Richie Brown at Culture Deluxe for making this happen!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Stone Coldplay

Coldplay continue to drink heavily from the Peter Saville fountain with the artwork for their new CD Viva La Vida. After the color coding used on X&Y (see Blue Monday, Power Corruption & Lies) they now adapt fine art (see Power, Corruption and Lies) using Eugène Delacroix's 'Liberty Leading The People' with a Banksyesque daub of graffiti showing the title...

I also note with interest the opening track on the CD is called 'Life in Technicolor' - the exact title and spelling of a Hunky Dory song from 1997. Anyone drinking from that chalice is sure to be poisoned!!

See you in 2009!

Coachella Sunday Part 3

Despite being David J's third best band (do your own research) Love and Rockets played a great set to close the 2nd stage. If someone had told me L&R would make my top 5 acts this year I would have said 'pigs might fly' - although with Roger Waters just about to close the main stage even that was a possibility...

Earlier, we gave up on Spiritualized (whose strings and semi-acoustic set was being spoiled by the close proximity to the dance tent) and went over to watch Metric, who were pretty good.

Didn't see much of Roger Waters as we wanted to get a headstart on the 120 mile trip to LA. Overall this year wasn't great, but highlights were Portishead, The Verve, Kraftwerk, Stephen Malmus and the Jicks, Black Kids and Love and Rockets - I guess that pig did fly after all!

Love and Rockets:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coachella Sunday Part 2

The most memorable thing so far today was getting attacked by a swarm of bees. The sky went black in a somewhat Hitchcockian episode. Saw a little of Shout out Louds including their Cure ripoff which is probably a single as I've heard it a few times. Wasn't feeling Manchester Orchestra so went to see Stars (possibly the fourth best band in Montreal) and Set yourself on fire is applicable song for Coachella weather. Checked out Does it offend you yeah! but nu-rave is getting a little old this weekend. Back at the main stage watching Gogol bordello who are surprisingly entertaining and going down a storm!

Coachella Sunday Part 1

Just finished watching I'm from Barcelona, who were good fun. Kind of a Swedish Polyphonic Spree but with more singers and less instrumentation. Not sure who else to see today but want to catch Spiritualized or Metric later...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Coachella Saturday Part 3

Portishead and Kraftwerk were both amazing, with the Brits having a slight edge over the Germans on account of not being replaced by robots at any point during the set! Both had superb visuals with Kraftwerk using some of their well known videos and imagery. Portishead, meanwhile, used live black and white footage with two or more cameras blended using the sort of bleed and distortion techniques used in Dr Who or Top of the pops in the 70's - perfect for the haunting music. Beth Gibbons voice was immaculate and it was interesting to compare the Portishead set with the messy set of Goldfrapp yesterday...


Coachella Saturday Part 2

Cold War Kids were good, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks better - their trippy jams perfect festival fodder... Caught a couple of St Vincent songs but wasn't really feeling it so hit the dance tent for Hot Chip who played as the sun was going down. They were ok, as are Rilo Kiley who just played Moneymaker...

Coachella Saturday Part 1

We started Saturday amongst the throng watching MGMT but the increased Saturday crowd and temperature (99f today) make the tented stages almost unbearable. So we're over at the main stage watching Cold War Kids. Stephen Malkmus follows on the other outdoor stage. Looking forward to Kraftwerk and Portishead later.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Coachella Friday Part 3

The Verve played most of Urban Hymns so obviously it was a great set! Richard Ashcroft's voice was soaring, particulary on 'the drugs don't work'. Goldfrapp were a little disappointing - the new folky material hit and miss, with the rushed changeover contributing to some sound problems. I'm sure they would have insisted playing the main stage if it wasn't for their late addition to the lineup. However, Happiness sounded great, as did the songs from the last album. Caught a bit of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip which was cool.

The Verve at Coachella:

Coachella Friday Part 2

Watching (or rather listening) to Vampire Weekend, who sound rather feeble in an outdoor environment but at least they're not wearing sweaters today. The Breeders played a chaotic set but rolled out Cannonball and Divine Hammer to keep the masses happy. Black Kids were very cool, Jens Lekman not so much although his current single Opposite of hallelujah was well received. Coming up Goldfrapp, Aphex Twin and The Verve.

Coachella Friday Part 1

Just arrived at the venue. The temperature isn't too bad - only 95f (last year was 105f). Seeing Black Kids in a few minutes and just caught the end of Redd Kross - pleasantly surprised as I was thinking of Kriss Kross! No evidence of pants being back to front though...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lymybc Systym at The Troubadour

Lymbyc Systym have a simple setup - two brothers (picture twin skeletal teenage Bob Dylans) one who plays drums and vibes and the other plays keys and samples. The setup is basic but the mood they capture is not. Taking a lo-fi approach but using warm and organic sounds they take what could be considered shoegaze and make it stargaze. Who needs vocals and guitars to convey beauty and emotion? Lymyc Systym certainly don't!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coachella 2008

Technology permitting I will try and put up some blogs live from the event Friday, Saturday and Sunday...

The set times were announced today so any of you kids going can start planning!

Coachella Set times

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Saturday we went to my cousin Jason's wedding. He's more a distant cousin but I don't really understand all that geneology stuff... Actually my Dad and Jason's mum Dianne are cousins. Dianne and her husband Mike (picture a Jewish Bob Hoskins) moved to the US when they were in their early 20's and never went back... they now live about 200 miles north of LA. I haven't seen them or Jason for over 10 years (even though Jason lives in LA) and I met Dianne's daughter Penny, who is my age, for the first time. She went to live in the UK and is married to Metin (who has appeared in a few movies with his twin brother) who comes from Bermondsey!! Penny is over here at the moment teaching a semester at UCLA.

It was interesting to hear some of the old stories. Apparently my grandmother and Dianne's Mum Violet were best friends and my grandmother married Violet's brother Bill (my grandfather...) Mike's Dad Al Burke was a jazz musician who played bass with Benny Carter and appears on a number of his LP's...

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the future when all's swell...

SLR at The Avalon (Part 2)

I went down to The Avalon last night to see STANLEYLUCASREVOLUTION. Ideally I would have liked to go next Thursday for the final night of the residency but I will be on route to Coachella...

Met some cool people including Brett Walker, the owner of eVocal. A couple of English guys were DJ-ing and they have taken over Thursday nights so it will be worth keeping in touch...

Sean played two sets - the crowd seemed to be more taken with the second, which included New Stone Forty and Sacred Sons.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A play for today... or two!

A couple of cool vids:

Scott Walker cohort Esther Ofarim singing 'Mad about the boy'

Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity covering David Ackles 'Road to Cairo'...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I read with relish that Nik Kershaw, Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp, T'Pau's Carol Decker and Mel and Kim's Kim Appleby were all among the judging panel for the best contemporary song award which will be announced at the forthcoming Ivor Novello Awards ceremony which will take place in London on May 22nd.

To quote a drunk Scotsman outside a Hunky Dory gig circa 1996 "What's this? A f**cking time warp?"

Cold Turkey!

I used to enjoy the Eurovision song contest, much maligned but some great music over the years from people like Abba, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, France Gall and The Les Humphries Singers. RIP Les!

So I read that the contest has been reduced to farce this year - Ireland are being respresented by Dustin the Turkey! Johnny Logan must be turning in his grave! It's not even a real turkey for god's sake!

Love your abuser...

One of my favourites tracks of the last year or so is 'Truth Skull' by Lymbyc Systym. I discovered them on MySpace and I was delighted to hear they're coming to LA next week to play the Troubadour...

It's good to get a chance to see someone live you became aware of through MySpace as I feel there is a large disconnect between what happens on MySpace and what is happening in the real world...

You can download 'Truth Skull' and some other LS mp3's here...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bastards of the party...

Alicia Keys: 'Gangsta Rap' Created to Convince Black People to Kill Each Other

At first glance this looks like just another pop singer opening mouth without engaging brain. But how far off the truth is she? Anyone who has seen the excellent documentary Bastards of the party will be aware that street gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips were formed in the vacuum caused by the government led breakup of organized groups such as The Black Panthers and the US Organization. However, to say that the government invented gansta rap is stretching it a little...

'Bastards of the party' can be found on YouTube in 11 parts - search 'Black Gangs (1/11)' etc

Barry Adamson & Nick Cave - Next (Live)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Long hot summer

All those lonely films
And all those lonely parties...

Summer arrived yesterday - thanks for the warning California! Yesterday it was 97f over in West Covina when we went to get our taxes done. Today it was 96f at home when we went out in the car. I've been sweating like a rapist stuck in my office mixing Promis III... some great results today though...

The taxes went ok, we are getting some money back from Uncle Sam and a bit back from George W. Bush on his tax rebate scheme... He says we are supposed to go and and spend this money to get the economy back on track... No comment...

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Moody, Weird World of Barry Adamson

Keith Haworth interviews Barry Adamson for Culture Deluxe:

The Moody, Weird World of Barry Adamson

Keith is a regular contributor to Culture Deluxe and his reviews are always great...

SLR at The Avalon

Sean continued his Thursday evening April residency at The Avalon in Costa Mesa last night. A great show and he is definately creating a little buzz down there. We popped into eVocal beforehand to borrow an XLR cable and there was an open mike hi-hop night going on with an interesting crowd, some of whom spilled over to the Avalon...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Poster child...

Laura printed a few copies of the poster I made for Cassi's documentary. I didn't design the freeway logo but as the original design was so small I had to recreate it from scratch. I think the premier is in May sometime... Cassi has bought a red carpet (it's orange and only about 4ft long...)

Outside of Faris, there is no hope for the cultured...

A spoof documentary featuring the work of Faris McReynolds...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fire, pestilance and fire...

There nothing like a quiet evening at home...

1. the house on the hill at the back of us caught fire...

2. I was startled by some sort of beast up our telephone pole when I went outside to smoke...

3. we were awoken by a commotion outside our window when a car overheated and it's occupents were running around like headless chickens...

They say bad things come in three's!

Note to self - buy fire extinguisher, torch and fire extinguisher...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Merz Verily

Ghost stories of the rich and famous...

I found out over the weekend that a friend ghost writes blogs for two LA celebrities... One is the most well-known sister of a brood who recent got their own reality TV show and the other is a popular Asian sex-kitten/singer/MySpace phenom...

It must be great to be famous - you don't even have to write your own blog! One day my time will come...

My Life Story

Seven months after stumbling on the Leicester Square premiere of 'Run Fatboy Run' whilst meeting up with Keith for a beer, we finally got round to seeing the movie.

I enjoyed it, probably more than 'Sean of the dead' and 'Hot Fuzz'... although how many more scenarios Simon Pegg can come up with for playing the lovable loser remains to be seen...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Almost Nude radicals

Radiohead are giving fans the chance to remix the track Nude by downloading separate vocal/guitar/bass/drum and fx tracks from iTunes...

Whilst not 100% an original idea (done by Brian Eno and probably other artists too) it shows their willingness to tread the unbeaten path in coming up with revenue streams..

Saturday, April 5, 2008

RIP Charlton Heston

Groove Armada at City Hall

Tonight we went to see a DJ set by Groove Armada at City Hall in downtown LA... An interesting crowd, definately the older KCRW crowd rather than any rave kids... Says a lot that 'Strings of life' got the biggest cheer of the night, they don't make em like that any more...

Deconstruction 12

Episode 12 of Deconstruction is hosted by Faris McReynolds:


Friday, April 4, 2008


Somehow my iTunes got sorted by song title so I've been enjoying some nautical songs today... a nice little playlist:

The Sea Calls - Richard Hawley
Sea Diver - Mott the Hoople
Sea of tears - Goldie
Seal Jubilee - Bat for Lashes
The Second Part - The Dears
The Seething Rain Weeps for you - Mew
Send me a little love sometimes - stanleylucasrevolution
Sensual - Goldie

It was good to hear the two Goldie tracks as I never get past the 21 minute Timeless trilogy if I listen to the CD. Also, another great SLR song from his best album 'Flowers and the fall'...

Genius steals...

It seems that plaguerism is (ahem) alive and well in the cemetary business... Check out my photo from Notre-Dame in Montreal and a sculpture from Il Staglieno in Verona...



So can anything beautiful truly be original? One of my favourite LP covers is Peter Saville's reworking of Henri Fantin-Latour's A Basket of Roses for New Orders Power, Corruption & Lies - now that was a genius stealing!



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Snow Angels

Montreal was great! A cool city a little like a small New York but with a touch of San Francisco in the layout and hills... Of course, a very strong European flavour too with French being the primary language...

We found a cool cemetary which looked great covered in snow! Laura took this with the iPhone but we have plenty more on the other camera!