25 Oct 2012

Stuff I Like ...

Bad Little Children's Books by Bob Staake!

Satire, Humor and Visual Parody of Classic Children's Books From the 1940s Through 1960s

Bob Staake

24 Oct 2012

The Baddest Man Alive ...

The Black Keys And RZA's 'Baddest Man Alive' Video

Feast your eyes on the unveiling of the video for 'The Baddest Man Alive', the new song by The Black Keys and RZA of the Wu Tang Clan.

The video sees The Black Keys and RZA fighting over a fortune cookie, which involves some kitchen based kung-fu and an epic fish slap (possibly sea bass).  You can watch the video above.

The song is taken from the soundtrack to the forthcoming movie The Man With The Iron Fists, which was written and directed by RZA, real name Robert Fitzgerald Diggs.

The kung-fu homage is set for a US release next month (November 2), you can watch the red-band trailer below.

This isn't the first time that The Black Keys and RZA have collaborated, they teamed up on 2009's 'Blakroc' album, which also saw the blues rock duo teaming up with Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, Ludacris and Pharoahe Monch.

22 Oct 2012

Music That Matters ...

The flame-bearded Bristolian, Julio Bashmore is ready to once again dictate the sound of the month with his new tune Husk. At 8 minutes it’s a long and soulful deep house train ride, a slow amble through the hillside and then full steam ahead into the city. The distorted flute is a subtle nuance of class. Expect a release of this on Bashmore’s label Broadwalk Records very soon.
There’s nothing like an early morning electronic dance number to get the day moving along at warp speed.  This is a Dusky remix of Justin Martin's 'Don't Go'. It is remixed in a manner that can only be described as wobbly and sweet, being that it adds an added 'oomph' of bass, whilst retaining the sweet melody and vocals of the original.
This one is a pure piece of unadulterated party music by Genghis Clan. Its got the big build up and the fun vocal samples but the drop is pure house music and pure groove.
Going In Hard is all slowed down attitude, building over a bouncy, bubbly sound that is archetypal for a French Fries remix.

20 Oct 2012

Stuff I Like ... 007 in Orlebar Brown

Now, we all know Orlebar Brown is the king of swimwear. But, if there was any doubt in the matter, Mr Bond himself has confirmed it... See the special agent above wearing the sky blue setter shorts in his new movie Skyfall (released October 24).

Stuff I Like ... Artwork by Brandon Schaefer

The Dark Knight

The Wire


The Shining

The Exorcist

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Brandon Schaefer

'The Edge Effect' by Daniel Kukla ...

Why spend hours creating photo-realistic paintings when you can take a leaf out of Daniel Kukla's sketchbook and use a strategically placed mirror instead.  These incredible images were created with a mirror and a painter’s easel, inside Joshua Tree National Park, where the Sonoran desert and the Mojave desert meet. Enjoy.


11 Oct 2012

Stuff I Like ... Tom Ford Noir

When a perfume company like Tom Ford produces two distinct fragrance lines, one upper-tier prestige (the exorbitantly expensive, limited-distribution Private Blends) and one ‘simply’ prestige (the more affordable and widely distributed Signature line), I’d expect the quality of ingredients or the quality of the formulas to differ (for instance, the Private Blendsshould smell “luxurious” and/or innovative compared to the Signature scents). As the Tom Ford lines stand, that is not the case; there are hits and misses in each line (more misses in the Private Blends because the offerings are more numerous).

I liked the first masculine Signature fragrance: Tom Ford for Men (2007); I liked Grey Vetiver (2009) a little less. Tom Ford just launched the third Signature men’s perfume — Tom Ford Noir; the fragrance notes sound promising: bergamot, verbena, caraway, baie rose, violet flower, black pepper, nutmeg, iris, geranium, rose, clary sage, opoponax, amber, patchouli, vetiver, civet and vanilla.
Tom Ford Noir begins with a creamy, slightly vanillic bergamot note tinged with 'green'. The citrus opening fades to reveal powdery opoponax. In mid-development there’s an almost-minty 'tingle' present in the brash verbena-pepper-(rose) geranium accord (accent on geranium). Finally, light amber, a note smelling like coumarin, and 'civet' musk round out the perfume.
Available at Selfridges, House of Fraser, and Fenwick 

Unchained Melody ...

New Django Unchained Trailer Strolls into Town!

Django: The 'D' is Silent!

There’s not too long to wait now until Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained, finds its way into our cinemas. And to make sure our appetites are well and truly whetted, a new trailer has arrived. Check it out above or in HD over at Apple.  Within the new trailer is a plethora of fresh footage and the first glimpse of Jonah Hill, as well as the film's other main stars Jamie Fox, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington.

Django Unchained, for those unaware, finds bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) freeing Foxx’s Django from a chain gang. He offers him a deal – if our hero will help him track down the Brittle brothers, he’ll aid Django in rescuing his wife from the clutches of slave owner/plantation boss Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). Of course, it won’t be that easy...

American audiences will find be able to see this cinematic stocking filler on Christmas Day. We’re going to have to be patient just a little bit longer than that, as Django Unchained will push through the saloon doors on January 18. 

7 Oct 2012

Britain should resist the US pumpkin invasion ...

Pumpkins: Seasonality reduced to an artificial syrupy flavour.

Happy autumn, citizens of the United Kingdom!  We will all soon be able to consume something called a "PSL" (which stands, of course, for the autumnal pumpkin spice latte) at your nearest corporate coffee chain, Starbucks. This auspicious event has provided me with the occasion to let you in on a little secret that most Yanks would never admit, here goes: pumpkin is crap.
Wait. Let me amend that a bit: pumpkin is an idea, a symbol, a seasonal icon. And the idea of pumpkin has very little relation to an actual pumpkin patch, or to the flavour of pumpkin. And yes, I'm sure that the PSL is tasty, in its corporate, mass-produced coffee chain way, laced with its artificial flavours, caramel colour and preservatives. But I'm pretty sure the artificial pumpkin flavour that makes the PSL so addictive isn't actually pumpkin at all. Most likely it's artificial squash flavour, as squash (and spices) is really where the warm, cosy flavour we so associate with autumn truly comes from.
Here in the U.K. we're engaged in this massive fraud where we pretend to eat pumpkin, but what we really eat (or really should be eating) is squash. No one eats carving pumpkins – they are tasteless and watery. A few heirloom pumpkin varieties are indeed tasty, but for the most full-flavoured pumpkin taste, squash is where it's at. I'm partial to deeply orange or green varieties, which are not only generally higher in vitamins but most deeply flavoured, too: kabocha squash, hubbard squash, even the pale and generally underflavoured butternut squash, which can be a dinnertime godsend because it has so few seeds and is so quick to peel. All of them are vastly tastier than most pumpkin varieties.
That's where my real annoyance with products like the PSL comes from: they reduce seasonality to an artificial flavour. As a person with tastebuds, I'm offended by the fact that summertime means artificial lemon flavour in our powdered lemonade mix, winter is fake peppermint sweets dyed with cancer-causing dye, and fall is pumpkin flavour from a bottle.  British people want the idea of pumpkin, and we've decided that the word "squash" doesn't sound quite right. So we synthesize what fall should taste like in a lab, and that's what our taste buds become accustomed to. And when we go into the kitchen to make an autumnal dinner after drinking our PSL on our commute home, we can't quite get the squash risotto or pumpkin soup to taste like it seems it should.
Multinational corporate food giants, with their labs and food scientists pushing the flavour of "pumpkin" to the absolute most extreme levels (so that we crave the intensity of their products, and develop dependences on them) rob us of a little old thing called "the actual flavour of a thing". The actual thingness of squash, its literal squashiness, is getting lost in the modern chemical soup.
This is a shame because they are all lovely – roasted to perfection in a hot oven with warming spices (real ones!) and lots of olive oil until it develops a golden brown crust, mashed like potatoes with some coconut milk and thyme, or rosemary and crushed garlic. Ah, squash. This season's best friend! Don't go down the pumpkin patch route, stick with squash. Trust me on this

6 Oct 2012

Music That Matters ...

Tom Demac - Critical Distance Pt. 2

Dubstep may have a monopoly on wobble, but Tom Demac strikes back on "Critical Distance Pt. 2," a surly brawler of a house track whose shuddering low end recalls Azzido da Bass' 1999 anthem "Doom's Night." It kicks off relatively demurely, but that melancholy restraint gives way to something far more primal. That bass has something to do with it, poised somewhere between foghorn blast and the bellow of a wooly mammoth, and a yowling vocal melody drives home the track's essential animal nature.

Tom Demac - Critical Distance Pt. 2

Duke Dumont - The Giver

You may recognise the name Duke Dumont, but the chances are that’s where the familiarity will end. The twenty-something Londoner has made a name for himself by remixing for the likes of Santigold, Mystery Jets and Metronomy. And most recently, AlunaGeorge’s ‘Your Drums, Your Love’. He’s also one of the names regularly listed on posters advertising mega-club nights and even festivals. He’s been a regular on the DJ circuit for the past five years playing what he describes as “warehouse house music” in all the right venues in Berlin and Ibiza, and has taken his trade as far afield as Sydney, Hong Kong and the States. However, as far as interviews or details of the man behind the mixing desk go, there’s not so much to go on.
All you need to now is that the latest in his 'For Club Play Only' series, The Giver is likely to ensure that the name Duke Dumont will remain at the forefront of your mind for the foreseeable future.

Duke Dumont - The Giver out now through Turbo Recordings

Jessie Ware - Night Light (Joe Goddard Remix)

Jessie Ware's nocturnal crawler of a single 'Night Light' has just received the remix treatment from Hot Chip's Joe Goddard.  He has taken the slow jam and lent it an upbeat touch that, thankfully, doesn't shed any of the original's enigmatic darkness.
Jessie Ware - Night Light (Joe Goddard Remix)

5 Oct 2012

Stuff I Like ... Creed Aventus

Dominant Notes of: Blackcurrant, bergamot, apple, pineapple, patchouli, oak moss, musk, ambergris and vanilla.
5 adjectives: Fruity, smoky, crisp, mossy, elegant
Overall Rating: 9/10

Available at: Selfridges.com

This is Amazing!

Beautiful paper works by Jen Stark ...

Courtesy of jenstark.com
More images available at Cooper Cole Gallery.

Stuff I Like ... Tom Ford/James Bond Dinner Jacket

On Her Majesty's Stylish Service
With only a couple of weeks to go until the release of 007's latest adventure in Skyfall, Bond's Tom Ford dinner suit has already had its world premiere.  It's a deep navy shawl collar jacket with black satin lapels and is available for the princely sum of £2,700.  The perfect attire for your next high-stakes roulette game and as Vesper Lynd says to Bond in Casino Royale: "There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets. This is the latter"

Adele - Skyfall Theme (Out Now)

£2700. Exclusively at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London, W1 Selfridges.com

4 Oct 2012

My view on the US election ...

This is the only Obama vs Romney electoral debate you need to know about ...

I'd hate to see what else was on the shortlist for Question of the Week ...

Music that matters ...

Bombay Bicycle Club - How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep (Scuba Remix)

The first song in the music that matters category is a spaced out Scuba remix of acoustic avengers Bombay Bicycle Club.  In keeping with Scuba’s recent output, it’s Big Dance Music with a capital B, D and M, and it’s not afraid to show it.  It has also been used to capture the raison d'etre of this year's Warehouse Project in Manchester; you can catch the advert below.