Sunday, 13 February 2011

James Blake

The self-titled nature of this album is typical. After the releases of both the Klavierwerke EP and CMYK EP, this LP follows suit, as it has surfaced in a similar low, understated fashion. By this, I don't mean that it is an album that has gone unnoticed, not at all! This much awaited debut has been inbuilt with anticipation. Yet, countering the hype, in bisection, it's the subtlety in each track, the tenderness of delivery, and hollowness of each dubby throb that makes James Blake work.

Evidently, this album is very personal (in name and content), as I Never Learnt To Share and Why Don't You Call Me exude this trait. In listening, it's evident you're meant to be alone. It's an album suited for isolation and reflection. There is nothing obvious or glaring about it, which is to its success - especially when considering the bright lights that have surrounded it's release. It is contemplative brilliance that has continued to embody the frosty, ghostly sound of Blake's initial releases!!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

This film is, pretty much, as old as I am. Yet, even 20-odd years on it is truly hilarious, poignant (when it needs to be), and wholly, an all-round, eccentric, feel-good movie. Ferris, played by Matthew Broderick, from the very start, is over the top, cheeky, and utterly flamboyant. Basically, he plays a chief prankster who has the sharpness of mind to faultlessly (with some fortune) master his 'Day Off'. Pretending he is death's door sick (evidently a regular trick) Ferris, in his final year of High School, has his peers and faculty wrapped around his finger. A true cult classic!!

Enrolling the help of his (introverted, pessimistic and slightly weird) chum Cameron, whom initially you discover is actually off sick, between them, they manage to sneak Ferris' girlfriend, Sloane, out of School to join! The group spend the day in Chicago, at leisure, as one of their last flings before they head off to different colleges. Meanwhile, the rest of the school and many residents learn of Ferris' exaggerated illness and offer donations to help "Save Ferris". But, the school's Dean of Students, Ed Rooney, is having none of it, and heads in pursuit of the carefree Bueller...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Universal Works

Universal Works is an exciting new British label headed by David Keyte, a kindred spirit, with over 20 years experience in the industry. David spent 10 years at Paul Smith, starting off in retail but moving into product development and production. Since then, he spent 5 years as head at Marharishi, and has worked closely with both Margaret Howell & Albam.

At a certain point, David realised he was "less interested in fashion and more in the function, fit and cut of garments". Wanting to explore this further, he decided the best way was to set up a label of his own. Universal Works has been set up with the aim of producing good honest menswear - well made, well considered, and easy to wear.

The Fell Jacket makes no exception. This is a truly stunning, lightweight waxed cotton parka, which is perfect rainy weather-wear. 100% cotton, and with buttons and drawstrings in all the right places, this garments vivid colour and contrast makes it aesthetically timeless. And, for £230 it is high quality, yet attainable.

Philip Jones

Until today, I had no knowledge that Norfolk possessed it's very own landscape abstract expressionist, Philip Jones (1933-2008). Currently, he has a show at the Fermoy Gallery, King's Lynn Arts Centre. A retrospective of sorts. The paintings on display encapsulate the fields and horizons that surrounded him in Nelson's County, as well as depictions of the land from his travels abroad.

Evidently talented, I do however feel an air of borrowing within Jones' work, from the St. Ives school in particular. Peter Lanyon's height and perspective, Alfred Wallis' sense of scale and proportion, coupled with Ben Nicolson's geometric lines and circles resonate, ghosting the pictures somewhat. But, despite the comparison, I left feeling chuffed that the East has such a gem in Jones!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Tennis - Cape Dory

Listening to Tennis is literally like a delightful holiday. It's the music you want to make after floating around on the sea. What's more, this band have lived just that, which is inherently why this has come together so damn well!! Basically, husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley had a simple plan. They bought a boat, and went sailing. After a 7-month excursion along the Atlantic coast they took their experiences on the open sea and put them into song, creating this truly fantastic debut full length, “Cape Dory” (named after their sailboat).

Reminiscent of Vampire Weekend, Best Coast or Dum Dum Girls, the songs are 60’s retro, nautical and nostalgic for a more innocent time. Moore’s breezy & candy sweet vocals float above Riley’s jangly guitar and lo-fi production. The melodies are catchy and the lyrics are wistful: “We’ve been gone for so very long that we’ve forgotten where we are from.” There is a sincerity and charm in the simplicity of their concept. “Cape Dory” is a buoyant and carefree journey; and lucky for us, we’re invited.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Go Get Yourself Loved

So, this film looks like 2011's first effort in continuation of indie/alternative movies that only 'cool people' go see at independent cinemas. Ironically, I instantly get the feeling that this film is still not able to fully break from the shackles of having massive mainstream appeal, yet it seems wanting, as it strives hard to achieve 'cult' filmic martyrdom, much along the lines of '500 Days Of Summer'.

With that said, from the trailer, Josh Radnor (director) has created something really endearing and sweet, whilst exposing the frailties people genuinely (and often) feel and struggle with, yet rarely allow to surface. The tag, 'adulthood is not about waiting for the right answers to get the life you want, but simply stumbling ahead and figuring them out in the process' - a statement that I kinda can relate too.

Ultimately, a film about confused people who in turn present their confusing relationships, troubles, and how they try to overcome them... I want to go see it.
Out this March - Happy Thank You More Please

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Surf's Up!!

For the famed Cali-shooter, Leroy Grannis, this utterly beautiful video is as close to surf-porn as it gets!! Sitting here, Boxing Day, with last nights Morgan's spiced rum marinating my liver, I just took these three-odd minutes and used them well. I have never felt so close to 'doing' the West Coast, USA. What a treat! Although, in reality, it's probably mutated from this zen, trendy, surf/skate Mecca, to more like a gross, obvious, over-commercialized, hell-pit, much like Great Yarmouth. C'est la vie!!