Thursday, 29 October 2009

Don't rail on me for raising the bar...

Today I had to do a technical drawing and design for a front door of a listed building. More specifically, I had to do a technical drawing and design of a rail that is to be attached to said front entrance.

It seems a rather strange thing to have to draw a design for a rail, but apparently the council must have any changes to the front of a building shown in pictorial form, before the changes take place. So they can approve that it doesn't detract from the aesthetic of the village street.

Crazy Right?

I don't really have a background in technical drawing, but obviously I design and draw things all the time, so I didn't find it that difficult. However it did end up looking a bit comic book anyway. I'm hoping that the council will appreciate that, rather than instantly rejecting it as the scribblings of a child. haha.

What can I say, the world of technical drawing needs a revamp. Don't rail on me for raising the bar...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Body of Work...

I have just discovered that my Welsh friend Dane has gotten some lyrics from "Black Feathers" tattooed on to his Bicep. That's the first time anyone has had any of my lyrics tattooed on to them.

Proof Below


It looks great and I'm totally flattered and pleased.

Mos Def, Black Thought and Eminem BET Cipher

Heavyweight stuff.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Will T-Pain release an album without autotune?

Jay-Z played a surprise set at the Hot 97 Summerfest. Dropping D.O.A. (Death of Autotune) to a lucky crowd.

This in itself isn't that noteworthy, but something strange happened during the song, T-Pain (One of the rappers Hova disses in the track) came out on stage and seemed to stand in support of Jay-Z during the track!

Obviously I write in pure speculation at this moment, but could this spell change within one of the key figures in the business of autotune RnB? Could we see something real come out soon with T-Pain's actual voice on it?

Time will tell... Here's the video:



Original footage courtesy of nahright.com

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Acoustic Set...

So, last night I finally broke down the wall and performed an acoustic set, by myself... for the first time... ever.

Quite a few people were shocked when I mentioned that I had never once performed alone on stage, and that I was nervous as all hell about it. I mean, I've been singing with bands for ten years now... but I always had the assurance that if I fucked up, it'd be covered up by everyone else playing well. (That's the theory anyway.) And to add to that, I've really only been playing guitar in front of people for the last year. So suffice to say, I had a few worries about the set.

In any case, the set went really well and the turnout was great (for a Random Sunday in Autumn). Obviously it wasn't a flawless set, I fucked up a chord or two here or there... but for my first shot... I was stoked. People seemed to really enjoy it too. So I'm glad to have finally broken through that mental wall.


video

Here is a video of me practicing 'Moscow' so you can get a flavour of the set. Some live videos are sure to follow.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Probably should put on some Cypress Hill in a minute...

Because I'm wearing my hair like I did in 93"


Rehearsing today for the show on Sunday. Doing a sweet 45 minutes, so I've gotta time it and make sure It's all Kosher. Perhaps I'll post up a rehearsal vid at some point.

Monday, 19 October 2009

My first solo acoustic show...

In lieu of any shows with my band for the foreseeable future, I will be keeping my voice-box oiled over the next few months with a few humble acoustic shows around-and-about.

The first show of that nature is going to be on October 25th, at "The Vaults" in Banbury, Oxfordshire. It will be an acoustic night, with other, as yet unnamed, acts performing as well. I will be playing some Lights Action tracks, old and new, as well as a few of my own songs.

Anyone who finds themselves nearby, please filter in. Entrance... I believe is free.

Oh and... buy me a scotch.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

"Handa's Surprise" Drawings...

My mother, Gillian, works in a preschool in Warwickshire...

She's always been amazing with kids, and ever since I can remember she's looked after other people's children. I can recall, as a young boy in California, getting home from school and there being at least 2-4 kids (who I wasn't related to) running around in my house. I was obviously involved in helping to keep them entertained, and perhaps that's where my overtly social disposition began. In any case, this is all background to the image in my Blog today.

My mum approached me last week to draw some pictures which she could use in one of her 'Story time' sessions (at the aforementioned preschool). She asked particularly for me to draw an image from a picture book I read as a child... A charming book called "Handa's Surprise".

CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW IT LARGER

It's the story of a young girl who goes on a journey to collect fruit, which is subsequently eaten by loads of rather naughty animals on her way home, without her knowledge (as it's all balanced on her head).

Just when the whole journey seems like a bleak waste of time (for the viewer), she walks under a heavily laden tangerine tree which refills her basket, again without her knowledge.

She arrives home, and Handa and her friend eat the tangerines, visually stoked.

Above is the pencil drawing I did today of Handa's arrival home.

P.S. Corn Rows are really hard to draw.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Hookers...


If Prostitution is the world's oldest trade... How did their punters pay for sex?

No one else would've been earning.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Anti-Pop - Anti-Matter

I recently blogged about the release of Anti-Pop Consortium's 4th full Length album "Fluorescent Black". Which is in my estimation, an incredible return for the group (who disbanded in 2002). As lyrically experimental as any of their previous work, with production to match... but spring boarding off the lessons they learned on 2003's "Arrhythmia", with strong beats, great arrangements and squelch-groove bass lines.

It's an electric shock to Hip-Hop's heart.

But I would expect nothing less.

These guys basically revolutionized the genre with the release of their first album way back in 2000. That album, "Tragic Epilogue" came out while I was studying film at college. I would spend around an hour every day in my local indie record store. Just listening to music and looking for new inspiration. I was in the throes of my own personal musical enlightening, searching for things I'd never heard before, and Anti-Pop Consortium definitely provided that.

That first album is so out-there... it pretty much defined the brain-bending ethos behind Alternative rap music. Proving hands down that rap is a valid 'art' form... basically by creating a record that was more 'art' than it was 'music'! From it's bizarre cover (shown to the right) to the song link sketches, it really is different from anything will have ever heard. And It remains a pivotal benchmark in Hip Hop's history.

Anti-Pop Consortium formed in New York in 1997. The four members: Beans, M. Sayyid, High Priest, and producer Earl Blaize met at a poetry slam night. Oviously recognising a shared spark, they set about creating something that married the stream-of-consciousness flows within their poetry, and the heavy rythms of the electronic music they loved. Not stopping there, they drew influences from alt-rock (bands like the Butthole Surfers, and Nirvana) and mashed it all into a new sound.

They took that sound from the tripped-out spaceyness of "Tragic Epilogue", through the strange sketch filled self-release, "Shopping Carts Crashing", to the matured genius sound of "Arrhythmia". An album that, due to it's more conventional 'song' arrangements, finally started to get people interested in the group. Tragically, just as their profile in the media began to raise, and their fanbase increase, they split siting musical differences. A posthumous release came out the year after the split, the Experimental Jazz outing "Anti-Pop vs Matthew Shipp". A collaboration which really saw them return to their poetry roots.

Although all of the members went about doing solo projects, Beans notably released a number of interesting albums, and M. Sayyid and High Priest released a good album under the moniker of Airborn Audio, The loss of such an inventive group was a serious blow to the future of hip hop... but with their reformation I think I can breathe easy knowing that the future is in good hands.


Anti-Pop Consortium's - Fluorescent Black is out now on Big Dada Records. Buy it.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Star Wars Uncut - A Web Phenomenon waiting to happen...

I recently followed a Steven Fry tweet link to a website called Star Wars Uncut.

It's a website which centers around the idea of remaking the original Star Wars (now known as "A New Hope") by internet community interaction. The creators have chopped the film up into thousands of 15 second sections, which can be claimed, downloaded and reshot by site users. Everyone is entitled to redo a bit by themselves, and then all the remade scenes will be stitched together to create one long ever-changing version of the film.

I've already downloaded 15 seconds which I hope to remake as an animation. Watch this space for my results...

Thom Yorke's new band.

It's general knowledge now that Thom Yorke has pieced together a new band to perform his solo material. The band consists of all star players from various bands. Flea (of the Chilli Peppers) Nigel Godrich (Radiohead's Producer), Joey Waronker (R.E.M./Beck) & Mauro Rofosco (of Forro in the Dark) are all joining Yorke for a scattering of shows. Whether or not this union will last indefinitely, or is just a temporary arrangement is another question... and one that will only be answered in the fullness of time.

In the meantime, the first video (with good sound) of the band performing has shown up online. You can watch it below.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Abstract Rap Pack is Back!

One of my favourite Rap Groups reformed earlier this year to tour with Public Enemy and Kool Keith. That group is called Anti-Pop Consortium, and they are one of the most cutting edge rap groups ever to have been signed.

Their new album "Fluorescent Black" is as fresh and vital as any of their previous work, breathing new life into hip hop as we know it. Showcasing their angular, tangental lyrics and flows, which skip and stick on the squeltching, glitchy, & unforgiving production they never fail to deliver.

This is future Hip-Hop. These are the sounds and styles that the mainstream will not discover for years to come... And even then, they probably won't understand it. Why? Because it's Anti-pop.


Anti-Pop Consortium - "Volcano"


Monday, 5 October 2009

Need Cheering up?



This outta do it. Hilarious, cute and a bit freaky.

Them Downstairs

The couple who live just below my flat are really really awful.

Constantly arguing, fighting, screaming and crying like babies. They are just terrible.

If anyone who reads this blog, ends up being a person that lives in a flat... Above, below, or next to another person... Please don't be like them downstairs.