Just the Facs
May 23rd 2012

I found a New Order cassette album – Low-life, Fact 100c – in the Notting Hill Music Exchange about three years ago. It was packaged in a lovely clamshell box with a fabric-embossed paper cover and beautifully simple screen-printed typography. At the time, I thought it was just a one-off special edition, and went on with my life.

Then I bought Factory Records – The Complete Graphic Album by Matthew Robertson, and everything changed. There, on page 102, I saw that there was actually a whole series of these cassette releases, for different Factory bands, all colour coded and all with the same beautifully minimal design.

I am now obsessed, as far as my bank balance will allow, with owning the whole set. Some of the rarest cassettes, such as Educes Me by Wim Mertens, go for up to £200 on eBay, so my dream is still some way in the distance. But one day, George, one day …

POSTED BY: Patrick at 8:32 AM
Filed Under: Music, Random

Amy Hunting
May 3rd 2012

We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Amy Hunting not only works in the same building as us in East London, but was also exhibiting at last Friday’s V&A Late (see above). But despite fate trying her darn hardest to make our paths cross, we have sadly never met Amy or seen her fantastic creations in the flesh.  At least, not yet …

POSTED BY: nodaysoff at 16:23 PM
Filed Under: Random, Seen

Chas Says
February 20th 2012

This episode of Morph was written as a dramatisation of the dissolution of The Velvet Underground (citation needed). Morph plays Lou Reed, still trying to lock into that ol’ rock and roll groove. Chas takes on the part of John Cale, determined to experiment and push the boundaries of what music can be.

POSTED BY: nodaysoff at 14:53 PM
Filed Under: Music, Random

Goofy
December 6th 2011

Of all the millions of images I’ve ever seen in my life, I think this is my favourite. It’s been hanging on our studio wall for over three years now, and I never get tired of looking at it. Is Goofy on holiday or trapped on a desert island? It looks warm, but he’s trying to heat the sea up with a kettle. He’s dressed for the beach, but he’s got a scarf on. He doesn’t look like he’s on a happy holiday, but he also doesn’t look particularly worried either – just resigned to his sisyphean task.

Here’s a song to listen to while you ponder the meaning of this timeless image. It’s a cover of Neil Young’s Motion Pictures by Mercury Rev. I think Goofy could relate to it.

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POSTED BY: Patrick at 20:03 PM
Filed Under: Random

That watch cost more than your car
September 9th 2011

When I was doing my old fanzine, Full Moon Empty Sports Bag, me and the editor, Ian Allison, used to watch Glengarry Glen Ross a lot. We had to sell ads in the zine to cover costs, and we basically used this scene as our ‘How To Sell’ guide, although it didn’t do us much good as we consistently lost money every time we published an issue.

We were once asked to do a little interview for Dazed and Confused, and we decided to respond to all the questions with quotes from Glengarry Glen Ross. We didn’t explain to the magazine what we were doing so I think they just assumed they were our real answers and that things like ‘get them to SIGN on the LINE which is DOTTED’ and ‘Coffee’s for closers only’ really were our guiding principles. They probably also assumed that we were idiots, and so they never contacted us again.

POSTED BY: Patrick at 22:09 PM
Filed Under: Random

Enrique Metinides
June 30th 2011

The first time I saw Enrique Metinides’ work at The Photographers Gallery a few years back I was hooked. His pictures of gruesome accidents, crime scenes and a whole lot of dead people may not be to everyone’s taste, but I’m big fan.

I’ve always been a sucker for old Hollywood movies, stuff like On the Waterfront and Towering Inferno, and I reckon that’s one reason I like Metinides’ photography so much – the images look cinematic. They feel big budget and at times glamorous and could easily be mistaken for stills from some epic disaster or gangster flick.

Of course, in order to get these intriguing shots he had to be a bit of an ambulance chaser, sleeping with radio tuned to Mexico City’s emergency stations so that he didn’t miss an opportunity for a shot. During his long career as a tabloid journalist Metinides created images for the grisly pages of Mexico’s newspapers. However, his photographs have transferred to cosmopolitan art galleries due both to his obvious artistic eye and to our morbid curiosity.

The images shown here are from Metinides’ self-titled book, published by Ridinghouse. You can get yourself a copy from Amazon.

POSTED BY: Teo at 9:21 AM
Filed Under: Random, Seen

Top Cuts
June 27th 2011

I love these African barbershop and beauty salon signs…..I think the bold colours, quirky poses, misshapen faces, and hand drawn type make them charming. Commonly painted by the hairdressers and barbers themselves, the signs are used to advertise the popular styles available at their salons. I think it would be great if all hairstyles here had such interesting names. Wouldn’t you like to step into your barber’s and ask for a Tyson or a Ford Zip?

I think I actually had a Boeing cut at secondary school!

POSTED BY: Teo at 8:19 AM
Filed Under: Found, Random, Seen

Hujar to the Hopper
May 30th 2011

I was lucky enough to receive two great photography books as gifts recently. The first was a retrospective of the work of Peter Hujar, published by Scalo. Hujar was a photographer very out of step with the times he lived in. When everyone else in the seventies and eighties was abandoning traditional materials and trying to deal with structure and sequence, he carried on doing what he did best: concentrating on one thing at a time.

Most of his photographs are singular; a cow, a dog, a person, a shoe. Each one appears in the same square format, and they are all amazingly still without seeming posed; serene, austere, undramatic. There are mental patients, guys cruising at the pier and the park, corpses and cocks: but also wild horses, babies and beautiful shots of the water on the Hudson River.

The only well-known image in the book is Candy Darling On Her Deathbed, used by Anthony & The Johnsons on their first album cover. But there are plenty of other NY luminaries – John Waters, Ray Johnson, Susan Sontag, Warhol, of course – to demonstrate just how well connected this guy was. Hujar was a great influence on the work of Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin, among others, and is well worth investigating if you’re into that kind of modern photography stuff.

The other book was much heavier. Dennis Hopper’s Photographs 1961-1967 is published by Taschen, and is another one of their coffee table books that could almost function as a coffee table. Warhol pops up here too, but this time we’re hanging out on the West Coast and it’s all a bit more free and easy (rider), man. There’s another indie album reference here: The Smiths used Hopper’s moody bikers for one of their many Best Ofs.

Unlike Hujar’s silent reflection, this is a book to immerse yourself in, and as well as the sex, beaches, art, rock stars, motorbikes and advertisments, there are some fascinating articles about Hopper’s involvement on the LA art scene and his relationship with James Dean, who apparently told all his friends that they should take up another hobby alonside their day job. Hopper chose photography, and the rest is history, baby.

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POSTED BY: Patrick at 19:31 PM
Filed Under: Print, Random

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