Thursday, 31 July 2008
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Everything hetouches turns to gold, as of late he has been working his magic with the legendary Neil Diamond with amazing results, he also brought Johnny Cash out of the wilderness and made him ubercool again.
Dont forget about the Dixie Chicks, that album is fantastic, he won a stack of awards for that record and you can listen to it a gazillion times and it still sounds good.
1987 Electric - The Cult.
If you listen to 'The Manor Sessions' and you'll quickly see what Rick Reuben does very well, the manor sessions were the cults first attempt with Steve Jones at Electric, all jangly guitars and OTT vocals, he comes in strips out all the shite and the Cult are now a hard rock band and huge.
'Love Removal Machine' still makes me smile, i played Electric to death and rocked it for a year, this album launched the Cult onto the world stage and they have the man to thank for it.
Their following albums never captured the rawness Rick brought to the table and success eluded them.
1988 Danzig - Danzig.
Danzig's first album blew my mind, 'Mother' must be the best ever song and Glen Danzig's vocals always reminded me of Jim Morrison, this is metal at its best baisc form. Nights at the Venue head banging to 'Mother', so that was me introduced to Danzig and have loved them ever since.
1988 South Of Heaven - Slayer
I had never heard anything like it, South of Heaven is a great song and this was Metal Drummers at their best, we listened to this every day, glad they had shifted from the faster pace of previous albums and pushed Lombardos drumming to the fore, loved this album.
1989 Live Fast Die Fast - Wolfsbane.
Wolsbane were one of those bands you find supporting another band and take them as your own, me and my best mate billy went to see 'The Almighty' at rooftops on Sauchiehall St and Wolfsbane openened for them, the energy of Blaze Bailey blew me away and Jays guitar playing was outstanding, so every record and every gig i was at, Wolsbane were the balls, this album was fantastic.
I like it hot was the single that wired me, i listened to this every day and still listen to it on a weekly basis, the video is cool and you need to check it out.
What did Blaze do, he didnt just go and join Iron Maiden, what a pure prick, i was gutted, and Wolsbane were history, what a cock.
1990 Danzig II - Danzig.
This album was like nothing you had ever heard before, the production, the blues twist and Glen voice made this album one that will never age, this was the pinacle of Danzig, they were the bollocks at this point. Seen them at the Barras and creamed myself, Glen was Mr Metal.
This album can still be listened to time and time again and doesnt age at all, the vocals are sublime and the blues feel that pervades the record works well with the vocals.
1991 Nobody Said It Was Easy - The Four Horsemen.
Introduced to this band by my mate DJ Billy Moat, he was and still is the DJ at the Cathouse, he managed to find all the good bands first, he sold this album as the best album AC/DC never made, haggis form the cult was here and the vocals were spot on. Great tunes and rockin guitar riffs, The Four Horsemen were a band to watch out for, BUT never done anything of note again. Stephen harris aka kid chaos, aka harris never really made another record after this, seems a pity.
1991 Blood Sugar Sex Magic - The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Everyone liked the Chilis but it was this album that sent them stratospheric, i first got into them when they released Higher Ground and my friend Cindy sent me the single on 'Cassette' yes they used to release singles on cassettes. Higher Ground got me hooked, i had no idea who stevie wonder was but loved the single and the bass riff from flea was the bomb.
Under the Bridge could be the best song they ever wrote and it does bring on an emotion in me every time i listen to it.
1992 Danzig III How the Gods Kill - Danzig
Although this was the best selling album, this album was the one where Danzig lost its shine for me, some great sonegs like Sistinas, Dirty Black Summer, Left Hand Black didnt make it poor, just a bit to dark and to much like Doom Metal.
1994 American Recordings - Johnny Cash
Didnt really know who Johnny Cash was except an old country singer, the thing that got me interested was GLen Danzig had wrote the song 'Thirteen' specifically for Mr Cash, this album took a while to sit with me, but over the years its become one of the albums i always revert to in times of emotional crisis.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Well here I am three weeks into writing as part of the FB blog team and I've yet to broach the subject of toy customizing, thing is where do I start? There are many aspects to customizing like painting, planning, building etc so I'll tackle them in bite-sized chunks week by week. Today we'll look at a really simple way of creating your own custom, stenciling.
This isn't stencil work like you'll see Klingatron doing this is mainly just large area masking. When I do this I tend to use electrical tape. It's cheap, you can bend it easily to make curves and most importantly it doesn't bleed. The only downside is that if you leave it on the Dunny/Munny/whatever it'll eventually start to contract back to it's original shape. It should easily hold out for a day or two though.
When using tape I just use it to "draw" on the model and then use a scalpel/craft knife to neaten up anything that needs a bit of extra attention. If you design on paper first (unlike me) you can mark out some specific parts of your pattern, eye placement etc. Just make sure you refer to your drawing often as when working in 3D the design can get away from you pretty quickly and before you know it the face is skewed over to the left. When I made this I just used the ears as a point of reference.
Once you get started the design should block in pretty quickly until you've got something like this:
At this point I'll just start applying the paint. For large 18" models like this I use spray paint for a good even finish. I tend to apply in thin coats until I have the desired depth of colour. Once the paint has started to set a bit peel off the tape as carefilly as possible. Electrical tape comes off nice and easy.
Once that's done you can start to block in the details. This is quite a basic design so I'm only using black, white and grey. For the detailing I use a mixture of various brushes and paint pens.
OK, now that the basic paint job has been applied add in the finishing flourishes and generally neaten the whole piece to get it as tight as possible. I don't actually have a 100% completed photo of this but I'm sure that you get the idea.
See you all next week :D
Monday, 28 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
If you do edecide to buy an album then it needs to be this one, fantastic sound and some of the best songs this year
Like much of Diamond's canon, these songs are rich with melodramatic flare-ups.
This is understated folk pop, and as a result, some may be disappointed by the lack of big pop hooks. However, for those of us who always found Diamond overwrought and too extroverted, this restraint is refreshing and welcome.
All Music Guide
Home Before Dark offers aesthetic proof that "12 Songs" was no fluke. This is a much stronger, less "civilized" album.
Fans of dramatic Diamond are well taken care of here. But the real masterpieces are the opening and closing tracks. [June 2008, p.104]
Observer Music Monthly
The songs are deeper and richer than on 2006's "12 Songs," but still naked and raw.
Home Before Dark offers a dignified and, yes, hip addition to the Neil Diamond canon. [July 2008, p.110]
While not quite as revealing and rewarding as its 2005 cousin, the new album will certainly please fans of Rubin and Diamond's stark-yet-comfy acoustic direction.
This year's model is not quite as stark or stirring as its predecessor; the emphatic melodic thrusts and vocal bravado of "Whose Hands Are These" and "No Words" will resonate with fans of Diamond's adult-contemporary glory.
The result is an album of the kind of sophisticated pop that proves that such exemplary songcraft should always be relevant.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Mark here. Leaving a week today for Brooklyn, NYC and cannot wait. Be a shame to be away from everyone for August but...I am going to New York. I suppose that's a consolation.
Go on maps.google.com and check out the street view of Union St for where I'll be living.
I'll leave you with this video presenting a bit more of the area. Put on Jay Z's "Brooklyn's Finest" and when he gets to the Crown Heights shoutout, think of this wee Scottish boy, pale as a pint of milk, struggling in the 100 degree heat and telling taxi drivers to watch out because "I'm walkin' here."
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Last week I did a post about one of my favourite UK design teams (Peskimo) and in the week since then a couple of other UK designers have been releasing information of their upcoming releases so I thought I'd give you all a little heads up to make sure you don't miss out on them. The artists in question are Jon Burgerman and the ever tasty team TADO.
Most UK toy/urban vinyl collectors have been waiting for this for a long time, they had a little treat when the 8" Dunnys were released a couple of months ago but the blind-boxed mini figure series is arguably the most popular format in collectible art toys and BOTH of these releases are indeed blind-boxed!! They will be out out by Kid robot so they should be in the shop for ordering (I think it's the month after the release date that the UK orders come in).
First up we have the Cannibal Funfair minis from TADO released on the 28th of August. Here is the official blurb:
That's right, TADO also have a massive 7" vinyl treat released on the same day!! :D Tulip is the perfect companion for your TADO mini-figs and it certainly is a treat for the eyes. It looks like I'll have to clear some shelf space. Once more here is the official word:"Plucked from TADO’s Cannibal Funfair print series, 7-inch Tulip hacks its prey to pieces with its supple wrists and removable ax. Tulip’s wrenches, screwdrivers and bones come in handy for those peskier jobs. Packed in a TADO-designed box ."
The awesomeness doesn't stop there folks because the enigmatic Mr Jon Burgerman has his own mini figure blind-boxed series coming soon too!! Jon's Heroes of Burgertown minis are due to drop on September 25th and are based on the lively doodles that come flooding from Jon's brain fueled by Tea dreams and the aroma of Posca pens.
Here are some pics of the prototypes and as you can see the doodle style has been totally retained by the sculptor(s). I have seen some colour versions and I can tell you that they are perfect renditions of Jon's work. I would post some colour pics but I don't want to tread on any toes. If he gives it the OK I'll post a pic of my favourite one next week. These images are courtesy of vinylpulse.com.
If you'd like to learn more about either of the artists mentioned here today check out their web sites or just go Google them. If you have any of those weighty design or illustration books on your coffee table (Pictoplasma etc) then you'll be able to check out some more of their designs in there.
Tune in next Tuesday for a feature on customizing. See you next week! :D
Monday, 21 July 2008
Temoets was a close runner in my opinion, this sneaky lil english kid is showing his talents and is one for the watching, his stuff is going to be getting seen and i'd like to see some of his stuff on Fat Buddha T/Shirts.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Staff at one of the UK's best-known restaurants are getting paid £2.06 an hour - less than half the national minimum wage, the BBC has found. The Hard Rock Cafe in London relies on tips from customers to lift earnings to the legal level of £5.52.
One waiter, who wished to remain anonymous, accused the management of being "downright greedy".
A spokeswoman for Hard Rock defended its actions, saying it was doing nothing illegal.
"It's an abuse of customers - they are being misled in that they believe they are giving a tip when they are subsidising the actual wage," the unnamed waiter said.
"They are manipulating their employees and customers and playing one off against the other."
The wage of £2.06 an hour is even lower than the £3.75 an hour paid by the Carluccio's restaurant chain, which was revealed by the BBC in April.
"It's almost insulting, no wonder people leave," said the waiter.
Review of rules
However, a spokeswoman for the firm said it was "free to distribute the service charge as it sees fit".
She added that unlike some competitors, Hard Rock ensured staff kept 100% of cash and credit card tips.
"With the addition of the service charge, staff in London can earn between £8 and £12 an hour, depending on the level of business."
She claimed many staff remained with the company "for years".
The Department for Business is reviewing the rules which allow restaurants to include tips in the calculations for the minimum wage.
It has come under pressure from the union Unite, which has launched a campaign to stop companies retaining staff tips.
Hard Rock describes itself as a "philanthropic" company, and has an official motto of "Love All Serve All".
Last month, it sponsored high-profile concerts in Hyde Park starring Eric Clapton and the Police.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
I have searched youtube for hours watching graffiti videos from all over the world, here are two youtubers who have caught my eye,
The first is a graffiti crew called Stompdown killaz from Surrey in America, they are a group of guys that love writing and get up everywhere;
The second is a single writer, called Above he has loads of videos and a few different styles and characters;
Below is a taster from the Surrey boys enjoy.
Friday, 18 July 2008
What initially started with 1 logo, 4 tee shirt prints and a dream in 1994 of creating a British Streetwear brand that could stand shoulder to shoulder with its US counterparts, has slowly but surely become reality over the last 11 years…Addict ®. With its direct approach, it has built its reputation on solid foundations through the consistent production of clean, minimally branded, functional men’s and women’s clothing with fine attention to detail attracting the support of some of the finest stores across the UK and the continent.
Now approaching the start of its 11th year the one thing that becomes apparent under closer scrutiny is the quality of high profile collaborative projects that the brand already has under its belt. Limited Vans X Addict shoes, Camouflage Addict X G-Shock watches, Sympatex ® performance outerwear, SPY Optic Snowboard Goggles, and an impressive set of Addict camouflage snowboards with Endeavor Snowboard design in Canada.
Next season sees the Addict ® X One True Saxon ® collaboration project. An idea that came about through the mutual respect between two English home-grown brands and the common goal of wanting to produce decent quality product. Dual limited edition tees, one sold by Addict ® and one sold by One True Saxon ® featuring the OTS Dog and Knight logos blended with a bespoke variation of Addict ® Swift Camo™.
Addict ® remains an independently designer owned and led company producing all its clothing and patterns in-house, focusing on product development and letting the brand evolve naturally rather than bending to fit in with fashion. Outside assistance comes from a handful of the UK’s most influential designers, typographers and artists. Swifty, She One, Mr Jago, C-Law are all regular contributors and have supplied the brands past and present bespoke camouflage patterns as well as graphics for tees. Next seasons premiere Addict ® piece is the fully technical She Camo III™ SOFTswitch™ Jacket. A fully taped seamed waterproof shell jacket with a SOFTswitch™ on the left sleeve that can operate an enabled I-POD within an MP3 device inside pocket.
Since the summer of 2004 the artist series of boxed tees regularly features the works of Mode 2, Mitch, Will Barras, Guy Featherstone, Steff and Ben Swift and has spurned spin off collectors sets such as AW06/07 SYD MEAD Series. A set of 4 tees featuring definitive illustrations by the extraordinary talent that is Syd Mead, the ‘visual futurist’ and concept artist responsible for the iconic designs of cult movies like TRON and BLADERUNNER.
Music remains a strong influence within the brand and ‘ABC’ or The Addict Beats Collective arm of the company embraces a cross section of musical genres with high level support from the likes of The Nextmen, Rodney P and Skitz, London Electricity/Hospital records, Stanton warriors, LSK, Big Bud, Genna G, Maxi Jazz/Faithless and Part-Time Heroes as well as sponsoring nights at Rukus in Bristol, New Bohemia in Leeds, Hospitality at Herbal and Spectrum in Nottingham. Last years Addict ® mix CD ‘Playing The Game’ by The Nextmen has gained global legendary status with an eclectic sequel ABC Mix by the Part-Time Heroes following up late last November.
“High end streetwear, manufactured to a very high standard using top quality fabric and trims at highly competitive price points… built from the outside in”
We have carried Addict clothing sine we opened in 06, was our main brand at the time, the product was fresh, good pricing, great graphics and the forward ranges looked really strong.
Now you look at Addict and it seems a bit stuck in a timewarp, seems to be trying to hard to copy Carhartt, and not doing a good job at it, Addict see themselves as big as MHI or Stussy.
They had the potential a few years ago to be there but they have stuck their prices up to quickly and by to much, no regard for who their customer is just now, just to focussed on who they want their customer to be in a few years.
For start Addict used to do a great denim retailing at £50, now the similar jean is £75, and the prices go all the way to £125, for an addict jean, you must be having a laugh.
Base jackets that were £75 are now £100, basic T's were £20 now £25 and the list goes on.
Sheone produes great piees of work and his own t/shirt label was great,addict have grabbed him and bastardising his work, Sheone on thongs for Christ-sake, i have a Sheone print and always been an admirer of his stuff, but Addict have become to reliant on using his allover print on every conceivable garment.
Sheone referred to by Refill Magazine as “a leading cultural Artist”, a world renowned artist who has been painting and making graphics for twenty years, exhibiting in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, Berlin and Milan. Al this means that it was an east choice for Addict Clothing when they approached SheOne to design camo form them. “My initial intention to create a metropolitan defence pattern, a camouflage that positively positioned the wearer in the culture heavy landscape. The fabric should function as a protective layer while simultaneously emitting its silent graphic signal and feeding right back into the current social climate.” SheOne what more can we say camo summed up in two sentences.
They have shown a lack of imagination and vision, without a Jago, Sheone Sterling camouflage the range does not stand up, looks dull, boring & tired.
From a retailer point of view i hate it when brands let retailers build it up and then start doing product only available on their website, direct to customer, customer service does not exist, except for James, hes the dude at Addict, man about town, hes got his own blog and used to regularly phone us and chase re-orders, but this season, 1 Call.
For next season, what do we have, more sheone camo and an overpriced range, the one startling thing in the range is the luggage, absolutely fantastic, some of the best bags i have seen in ages, for sure i am going to grab myself a few.
For next summer, Addict are going back to basics, which is good news, less of the ego driven technial fabrics at £250 a pop and bak to basics, thats a lesson Addict need to take, back to the start, and keep it simple.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik
Christoph Dassler was a worker in Big Dogs shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 kilometres from the city of Nuremberg. Their son Rudolf Dassler after leaving school joined his father at the shoe factory, and was then called up to fight in World War I. On his return from the front, Rudolf took a management position at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather wholesale business in Nuremberg.
After tiring of working for others and away from home, Rudolph returned to Herzogenaurach in 1924 to join his younger brother Adolf, known as "Adi", who had founded his own shoe factory. They called the new business Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The pair started their venture in their mother's laundry, but at the time, electricity supplies in the town were unreliable, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run their equipment. By the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adi Dassler drove from Bavaria on one of the world's first motorways to the Olympic village with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them. The first ever sponsorship for a black person. After Owens won four gold medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the world's most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the brothers' desks, and the trainers of other national teams were all interested in their shoes. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes each year before World War II.
Both brothers joined the Nazi party, but Rudi as a World War I veteran was slightly closer to the party. During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached breaking point, after an Allied bomb attack in 1943 when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in: "The dirty bastards are back again," Adi said, apparently referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family. After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in.
In 1948, the brothers split their business, when Rudi left the high hill for the other side of the Aurach river: Adolf called his firm Adidas after his nick name; Rudolf called his new firm Ruda - from Rudolph Dassler.
The sponsorship of sports stars continued, including:
- 1948 - In the first football match after World War II, several members of the West German national football team wear Puma boots, including the scorer of West Germany’s first post-war goal, Herbert Burdenski
- 1952 Summer Olympics - Josef Barthel of Luxembourg won Puma's first Olympic Gold (1500m) in Helsinki, Finland
- 1960 Summer Olympics - Puma paid German sprinter Armin Hary money to wear Pumas in the 100 metres final. Hary had worn Adidas before and asked Adi for payment, but Adidas rejected this. Hary won gold in Pumas, but then laced up Adidas for the medals ceremony - to the shock of both Adi and Rudolf. Hary hoped to cash in from both with the trick, but Adi was so outraged he banned the Olympic champion.
- 1970 FIFA World Cup - Pelé stopped the referee with a last-second request to tie his shoelaces at the opening whistle of a 1970 World Cup finals match and then knelt down to give millions of television viewers a close-up of his Pumas. Pelé was complying with a request by Puma's representative Hans Henningsen to raise the German sports shoe company's profile after they gave him $120,000 to wear their boots.
However, the brothers earlier split led to a divided town. From 1948, the town was really split in two like a sort of mini Berlin. Brand loyalty became paramount for many residents, and there were stores, bakers and bars which were unofficially known as either loyal to Rudolf's Puma, or to Adolf's Adidas. The town's two football teams were also divided: ASV Herzogenaurach club wore the three stripes, while 1 FC Herzogenaurach had the jumping cat on its footwear. Intermarriage was frowned upon. When handymen came to work at Rudolf's home, they would wear Adidas shoes on purpose so that when Rudolf would see their footwear, he'd tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of Puma shoes, which they could have for free. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they are spaced apart as far as possible.
Puma AG has approximately 7,742 employees and distributes its products in more than 80 countries. For the fiscal year 2003, the company had a revenue of €1.274 billion. Puma were the commercial sponsors for the 2002 anime series, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, with the jerseys and clothing sporting the Puma brand.
Japanese fashion guru Mihara Yasuhiro teamed up with Puma to create a high-end and high-concept line of sneakers
Puma is the main producer of enthusiast driving shoes and race suits. They are the prime producer in both Formula One and NASCAR especially.
They had successfully won the rights of sponsoring the 2006 FIFA World Cup champions, the Italian national football team, with them making and sponsoring the clothing worn by the team. Their partnership with Ferrari and BMW to make Puma-Ferrari and Puma-BMW shoes has also contributed to this effect. On March 15, 2007 Puma launched its first new 2007/2008 line of uniforms for a club, and Grêmio will be the first to use the laser sewn technology;similar to the one worn by Italy at the World Cup in 2006. Grêmio and other Brazilian clubs will be the first to use the technology because their season starts six months earlier than European clubs. Puma also makes baseball cleats, and Johnny Damon, the all-star center fielder for the New York Yankees, is their spokesperson. He wore pumas during the Red Sox 2004 world series win. He has his own cleat called the DFR metals.
In February 2007, Puma reported that its profits had fallen by 26% to 32.8m euros ($43m; £22m) during the final three months of 2006. Most of the profit decline was due to higher costs linked to its expansion, and sales actually rose by more than a third to 480.6m euros.
In early April 2007, Puma's shares rose 29.25 euros or 10.2% higher, at 315.24 euros. On 10 April 2007 French retailer and owner of Gucci brand Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) announced that it had bought a 27% stake in Puma, clearing the way for a full takeover. The deal values Puma at 5.3bn euros. PPR said that it would launch a "friendly" takeover for Puma, worth 330 euros a share, once the acquisition of the smaller stake was completed. The board of Puma welcomed the move, saying it was fair and in the firm's best interests. On 17 July 2007 PPR have 62.1 % of Puma stocks.
While PPR owns the majority of Puma's stocks, Puma remains an individual company and is not a subsidiary of the PPR group.