Sunday, 15 November 2009

It Hurts me too.

Sublime Video of Underated artist Karen Dalton. With Probably the Best Cover of "it Hurts me too" made popular vy Elmore James. NYC 1969.

Dalton, whose heritage was Cherokee, was born Karen J. Cariker in Enid, Oklahoma.[1] Her bluesy, world-weary voice is often compared to that of iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday. She sang blues, folk, country, pop, Motown -- making over each song in her own style. She played the twelve string Gibson guitar and a long neck banjo

Known as "the folk singer's answer to Billie Holiday" and "Sweet Mother K.D.", Dalton is said to be the subject of the song Katie's Been Gone (composed by Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson) on the album The Basement Tapes by The Band and Bob Dylan. She struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years. It has been widely reported that she died in 1993 on the streets of New York City after an eight-year battle with AIDS.

However, an article in Uncut magazine confirmed that Dalton was actually being cared for by the singer-songwriter Peter Walker in upstate New York during her last months.

Best Men Grover and Cookie Monster

So, we were discussing at work the subject of Sesame Street (civil service, hard at work), which seems to not be on childrens teleivision anymore, and the point that what is now shown to pre school children is dumbed down rubbish, with goo goo ga ga language. So I decided I'd relive some old childhood memories by looking back at my two favourite characters, Grover and Cookie Monster. Turns out even as an adult they have me in stitches, making any blues I feel instantly go. And I learned stuff too. Wowza.
So, some classics...

Monday, 28 September 2009

RIP The Madness

Pictures: The Madness tribute gig poster by Drew Millward. The Madness himself Kossacking to Kerry King of slayer.

RIP Andrew "the Madness" Baldwin.
Regular leeds gig goer and legend. Many a trip to Leeds made unforgetable by the madness who sadly passed away last month.
A tribute gig was held on 25 September at the Brudnel Social Club in leeds featuring Humanfly, Year of the man and a special reformation of Red Stars Parade. I was regretbly unable to attend but was told £1230 was raised for eplipsey action.
Facebook page in his memory here.
A true gent.
Kossack on you crazy diamond.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Bisqui Fatale....

As a big fan of biscuits, (the best food for sharing over a cuppa and a natter), I was amazed to read one of the most intruiging Biscuit news of 2009 surely...
THE MOST DANGEROUS BISCUIT HAS BEEN NAMED!! and the result just happens to be one of my personal favourites...that bad ass biscuit.

Taken from MSN...

A research company has calculated the biscuit most likely to cause someone an injury during a tea or coffee break.

The custard cream was found to be the UK's most dangerous snack, on the basis of something called the Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the research was carried out by Mindlab International at the request of the chocolate biscuit bar Rocky. Mike Driver, Marketing Director for Rocky said: "We commissioned this study after learning how many biscuit related injuries are treated by doctors each year."

Accidents have included people poking themselves in the eye with a biscuit, falling off a chair while reaching for the tin, sustaining burns after dunking a biscuit in scalding tea, and being hit by fragments flying through the air.

Other people have reported choking on crumbs and damaging a tooth or filling on a particularly hard biscuit. One unlucky person ended up stuck in wet concrete after wading in to pick up a stray biscuit.

Mindlab International director Dr David Lewis explained the background to the research.

"We tested the physical properties of 15 popular types of biscuits," he said, "along with aspects of their consumption such as 'dunkability' and crumb dispersal."

According to Mindlab's calculations, here is the full list of the UK's riskiest biscuits, together with their 'danger' rating:
Custard Cream 5.64
Cookie 4.34
Chocolate Biscuit Bar 4.12
Wafer 3.74
Rich Tea 3.45
Bourbon 3.44
Oat Biscuit 3.31
Digestive 3.14
Ginger Nut 2.99
Shortbread 2.90
Caramel Shortcake 2.76
Nice Biscuit 2.27
Iced Biscuits/Party Rings 2.16
Chocolate Finger 1.38
Jaffa Cakes 1.16

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I received in the post recently a lovley peice of grooved wax in the form of TOTEM ONE from Master Musicians of Bukkake, which feature members of Asva, Sir Lord Bishop, Sun City Girls, Randall Dunn and more.
And I couldnt be more impressed. One of the best of 2009 in my eyes. A mixture of Pysch, Prog, Krautrock, drones and World music with a real eastern vibe. Very much for fans of Grails, Secret Chiefs 3, Can, Flower Travellin' band etc etc. best of all Totem one is the first in a planned trilogy...

The vinyl has now sold out, however the CD is still available HERE.

Consipracy records say...

Master Musicians Of Bukkake’s newest record and part of a Northwest trilogy, Marks an evolution from their first record 'Visible Sign Of the Invisible order' (Abduction records 2005). MMOB has now solidified into a 7 piece cosmic psyche force. Like a reverse dark side of the New Age sound, on the Totem series Master Musicians of Bukkake perform ritualistic electric excursions into the outer and inner reaches. Relying more on the electric power of psyched guitars, analog synth chants, and exotic heavy percussion. Totem one echos with the delusions of a West Coast Death cult. Outer spaced Gamelan, dusty fuzz rock from celestial deserts, meditations of a deranged Krishna gathering, and the Blurry acoustic guitar majesty of The Cascade mountains all reveal themselves here in epic form On Totem One. Every sound and note played put to tape by a group with a singular purging purpose. Totem one also features Vocals By MMOB honorary member Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls. Totem One will be available early 2009 on Conspiracy records followed by EU and US touring from Master Musicians of Bukkake. Totem Two will be released on Abduction records in mid 2009. Master Musicians of Bukkake began in the fertile music scene of the Pacific Northwest in 2003. Originally founded as a collective of musicians from the overflowing community in Seattle. In 2005 they released 'Visible Sign Of the Invisible Order' a recording of improvised ritualistic musical gatherings by the collective. Recorded mostly outside deep in the Cascade Mountains and in large ensemble sessions at Aleph Studios. The record was released on the Sun City Girls Abduction record label and featured honored guest appearances by Alan Bishop and Charlie Gocher of the SCGirls. Totem One (Conspiracy Records 2009), Master Musicians Of Bukkake’s newest record and part of a Northwest trilogy, Marks an evolution from their first record 'Visible Sign Of the Invisible order' (Abduction records 2005). MMOB has now solidified into a 7 piece cosmic psyche force. Like a reverse dark side of the New Age sound, on the Totem series Master Musicians of Bukkake perform ritualistic electric excursions into the outer and inner reaches. Relying more on the electric power of psyched guitars, analog synth chants, and exotic heavy percussion. Totem one echos with the delusions of a West Coast Death cult. Outer spaced Gamelan, dusty fuzz rock from celestial deserts, meditations of a deranged Krishna gathering, and the Blurry acoustic guitar majesty of The Cascade mountains all reveal themselves here in epic form On Totem One. Every sound and note played put to tape by a group with a singular purging purpose. Totem One will be available on CD/LP/MP3 in May 2009 on Conspiracy records followed by EU and US touring from Master Musicians of Bukkake in Summer 2009 as well. Totem Two will be released on Abduction records in 2009.

Yellow vinyl is limited to 75 copies, red to 125 and black to 300.

Enjoy this video of them live...

The Devil will make work of idle out, massive rant ahoy...

In a slightly reflective mood. I feel a good old fashioned rant coming on….

With a few weeks off work and the majority of my friends working all day, in fact pretty much all of them, I have had the task of filling up lots of spare time alone, previously taken up with my job. I have gained an extra 8 or so hours a day. Which I never had before. I’ve been working since before I was 16 so that’s nearly Ten years of working EVERY DAY (apart from when I was part time at college briefly in my mid/late teens), the only time off being for holiday’s, touring with my band or physical sickness. So what to fill it with? Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?! But it’s all very much taken me aback. Starting again, so to speak. Imagine… that’s an extra 56 hours a week, 224 hours a month, 2688 hours a year. Now just really think how would you fill that time? Really think.
I have played music, teaching myself new instruments,(a pretty poor attempt at the piano…), drawing, finding and listening to music, writing, reading, taking photo’s, swimming, driving, and generally pottering about. Striving to be creative and make my time worthwhile. I used to live out in the sticks as a teen, with no other people my age around, which was shit but at the same time, great, as you had to find things to do. I wouldn’t have learned to play guitar or draw or found amazing music other wise, so I’m very much grateful for it! But this time as alone, not as a teen living with parents, or as an adult living with a significant other, but instead now as an adult, single and on his own and left to his own devices, has really made me reflect on a lot of things, including what to do with my time and what people in general do in their spare time, in particular TV and internet “Social networking” sites.

Granted I’ve had a slight lapse on the old facebook for a couple of days but that gets pretty boring pretty quickly for me. “Look at what I’m doing right now!!” yeah I know what you’re doing right now, you’re on facebook, typing this shit! “Alex is…yada yada…” really? Or are you just typing that you are, infact just sat on your lap top/PC/phone...? And infact why should people know what I’m doing or feeling? Do I need them too? It really seems a bit nosey to me. I’m not having a pop at anyone personally, like I say, I too find myself drawn to the facebook phenomena and at times, have spent too much time on it, but I feel it’s stopping people actually doing real things.

See my post earlier this year regarding facebook…

Again, I’m completely guilty of it at times, despite my loathing of it. So this is all just observation. It’s a great tool for keeping in touch with friends over distances or sharing music or film etc, but the whole status updating every five fucking minutes or what animal am I or blah blah blah or just talking crap to someone who is probably in the next room, really gets my goat. And I know it’s not everyone, but I see more and more people getting sucked into it, god knows I nearly did.
I guess it’s just a sign of the generation I suppose. We all want it NOW. We want it this instant. Anyone remember PEN PALS? When you actually WROTE, on PAPER, with a PEN and sent it in an ENVELOPE via a POST BOX…there’s a part of me that knows there are people out there who’d draw blank faces at that. But yes it really happened. I wonder how many people know their friends addresses. As in physical, real, home addresses. You know, like a fine wine, things get better with time. TIME not only is a healer but adds a great appretiation of simple things.
For example, if I wanted to share music with a friend I used to make them a mix tape.(some thing I recently had the absolute joy of doing again).
If I wanted to buy a record from a band, I had to order it from a shop if it wasn’t in or mail order…Yes MAIL ORDER. If I wanted to tell them about a movie I would tell them, most likely, when I next saw them. What’s happening to us? Are we all just staying in our homes, locked away living a virtual life? Even as I’m writing this on microsoft word, it’s like a virtual pen and paper. What is real any more? I mean, what’s left to say when you do bump into someone that hasn’t been on facebook already… Ok maybe that’s a little extreme! Regardless, I’ve called it quits and fucking that shit right off. I toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook profile, but then again, for the good reasons such as keeping in touch occasionally with friends out of town or abroad, I decided against it. I’ll see. I’m still on the fence with that idea. And of course I do appreciate the irony of me sharing my thoughts on an online blog. Yeah, yeah I know…reading back what I’ve just wrote n’ all… (2009 seems to be the year of cruel irony for me).

And Television.
I don’t really watch television as firstly my room does not have one and secondly, and most importantly, when I have plonked myself down in front of the idiot box in my shared house’s living room, all I seem to find is channel after channel after channel of meaningless mind numbing crap. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slagging off the entire film and television format. There are some GREAT television programs made (Good examples Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The office, Larry David’s Curb, pretty much anything Chris Morris has done, some superb documentaries, and some brilliant one off dramas) and there are plenty of amazing films made, which are worthwhile watching. But unfortunately, these seem to be few and far between on broadcast television, which seems to be a sea of trivial, poorly made, junk food for brains.
Talk shows featuring what can only be described as the armpits of society, which appears in a perverse and voyeuristic way, to serve the purpose of making people at home feel a little better about themselves. Celebrity shows, which feature “celebrities”… well… doing things. Reality shows creating “celebrities” who will then later appear on a celebrity show where they do things, (I’m surprised after the media coverage up to and following Jade Goodie’s death TV execs weren’t racing to the drawing boards to create “Cancer on Ice”. Or “Celebrity’s go terminal”.) Talent shows, which, to me, are just a 3 or 4 month long advertising campaigns for idiots to buy a product and make fuckers like Simon Cowell richer. Soaps where people can watch over people leading similar but overly dramatic lives. In fact not that similar. If it was real they’d all be on facebook or plonked infront of the telly, Would you watch a soap which just had folk at work all day, coming home watching a soap? Chances are a lot of people would. A soap within a soap. (big brother a fine example, sitting on your couch doing nothing but watching someone sitting on a couch doing nothing.)
So now what then? Well call me old fashioned but perhaps it’s time we all took the time, you know what I’m saying? Start a REAL hobby. Read a book, watch a good film. Make something. DO something. Go SEE friends. Actually LIVE life.
I feel as though it’s all coming to a breaking point, for me anyway, where enough is enough. What the hell is the point in working 8 hours a day, to earn money so you can live life when that life consists of mainly working and when not working appears to be instead buying crap you are told you need by the same people who want you to tune in a drop out to their products.
Even as I wrap this online rant up, I feel extremely hypocritical, wondering how much time I have wasted writing this and the irony of it.
Funny to think this time last year I seemed to find there wasn’t enough hours in the day…just goes to show, time really is what you make of it. Perhaps I should go for a walk.

…Right, now to how do I link this on my facebook profile….

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Southern Steel Trailer

Trailer for upcoming film documenting the Southern heavy music scene in the good ol' US of A. Riffs, Beer, Smoke and Trailers ahoy...

Get Ripped to music?

Possibly the best CD review I have ever read on

If your wondering for what of horizons by Secret Cheifs 3...(?)

Inspired me to do 17 push-ups, October 25, 2006
By J. Pieretti "kerk 'the tiger' hemschle"

If the movie "Conan the Barbarian" were 10 times better, which is impossible, this album would be the soundtrack to it. When I listen to this album, whatever the name of it is i forget, but it inspires me to achieve great acts of strength and barbarian-like athletic prowessness. Yesterday I listened to it and I punched my dad right in the belly. He didn't care though, because he was listening to it when i punched him and his abs were real tight as a result. Today at work I played it in the office at a pleasent office-appropriate volume and everybody made exceptional progress on the projects they were working on. This made the boss and our clients very happy. I was enjoying this album on my way to the store not too long ago, and i was speeding because i'm an awesome driver and i had on my super-rad spandex, and a police officer pulled me over. when he approached the car and heard the music, which was blasting out of the speakers, he wrote me about ten tickets and then told me to go to court and he'll drop most of the charges. He even apologized because it was overly apparent how awesome i was (spandex and all) and that he couldn't help writing all those tickets. That all kind of upset me so i stopped listening to this album for a few days. But then I listened to it again and ended up doing all kinds of variations of push-ups. Now i'm pumped up and all the ladies want a piece of this. Buy this album a couple of times, because your liable to smash it once or twice out of feeling that it's too radical for this dimension.

Monday, 24 August 2009

A simple thanks.

For all my friends. especially one. You know who you all are.

Guy Garvey Lyrical genius.

Sunday, 23 August 2009


A Short Manatees feature in this months Terrorizer Magazine, following from an excellent review of Icaurs the Sunclimber in last months...

Full un edited interview below....

Much thanks to Noel Garderner.

The noise influence seems to come to the fore a lot more on this release – it’s pretty harsh at times (the end of ‘The Sunclimber’; percussion/end part on ‘Untitled’), and not riff-based all the time. How has that come about – what have you guys been listening to that’s prompted this, and was there a feeling that you had to expand your remit a bit to avoid going over old ground?

Good question. Well I guess the subject matter that greg based his lyrics (he did 95% of the the vocals on this record as opposed to the other way round as on other releases) was pretty spiteful, so the music kind of reflects that. The first record was a heavy slab of sludge but pretty hypnotic at times, the e.p was mellow and meditative and this time round I guess we just wanted to vent some frustration and anger. I don’t think it was conscious thing though, maybe being in a struggling band has made us angrier as time has gone on!! We've just been listening to the same music we always have, which is pretty varied. everything from Unsane, to Yes, to Sunn O))) to Leonard Cohen to Sabbath to sleep etc. Pysc, punk, metal, prog classic, folk. mixed bag. So long as it's good, it's good!

How are Manatees songs put together in the main – do they chiefly arise out of improvisation or splicing together parts?

usually, we come in with pretty skeletal parts, jam them out see where they go, pretty free. For Sunclimber, Greg came in with pretty much everything in a solid but skeletal frame and me and Pauley threw our stuff in the mix. A few changes here and obviously myself and pauley's input will have made a difference, but Greg came in with a pretty solid idea for the record. Although saying that there was quite a few bits of improv whilst recording. We always seem to have a stupid amount of overdubs, they just keep springing up to our minds whilst recording!

Also, ‘Icarus...’ is a pretty manageable length compared to that first album. With that one, was it just a case of crazy ambition, like ‘we’re gonna make our first release 75 minutes long BECAUSE WE CAN’? Also the number of labels in the UK that would be willing to fund a double LP must be pretty small at this point... have the economics of the ‘music biz’ impacted on Manatees much, or are you basically operating outside of that?

Well, originally the first record (the forever ending jitter quest of slowhand chuckle walker: an introduction to the manatee) was only 5 tracks in around 45 to 50 mins or something. When we re-released it on vinyl we chucked another tune on adding around 20 or so mins. The first record was really done with no forth planning or anything, just a document of the three of us writing music together. But yeah to a point it was really a "because we can" attitude. We didn’t expect to sell any copies or anyone to take any interest so yeah, we just did what we liked. We named it with a ridiculous title but told the label it was unnamed, roman numerals for track listing, ridiculous art work etc wasted the recording budget till we were happy with the music. I mean, potentially you don't know what’s going to happen, or how long you'll be doing this together, so if it had been our only record you really need to do what you like and be satisfied otherwise why are you doing it in the first place? Luckily we've had labels that respect that and are totally understanding of your vision. And even luckier people have taken interest and records have been sold. I think we do work outside of the "music biz", as do the labels we work for. I mean I think nowadays you have to. It's not so much the "music" biz anymore but a business and that sucks but it's the way it is. When all those big labels are fucked and dead in the water, all the proper "music" labels will be laughing. An uprising! a revolution!!....perhaps...

Was the ‘We Are Going To Track Down...’ CD intended as a kind of temporary diversion before the next album? It takes stuff in a different direction which hasn’t necessarily been carried onto ‘Icarus...’ – for example there’s no guest spots. (Related subject – have you kept in touch with Eugene Robinson since he recorded the spoken part? Did you get to see his recent spoken word tour promoting his book? We put it on in Cardiff, it was really cool!)

Yeah definitely. That's just where our heads were at when we wrote and recorded that one. Just went into our friends studio and knocked it out in two days. It was pretty experimental for us in tones, sounds and moods and I'm really happy how it turned out. It's a shame it was just a tour release really as I would have liked it to be a bit more accessible in hindsight. Maybe that’s a possibility in the future. We do still keep in contact with Eugene. We talk over the net sometimes, and We played with Oxbow again last year and I caught up with Eugene on his recent spoken word tour and had a few drinks. He really is a great guy and it's always a pleasure to see him. His work on the recording was a real pleasure.

Are you, as a band, big believers in the validity of DIY / punk values? What, if anything do you define these as, and do you consider yourself very much part of this network and grateful for it? (This might come off as a ‘well duh, of course’ type question – on the other hand I guess there are a lot of bands who aren’t super stringent about ‘DIY values’ but just sort of find themselves in those circles cos they play music that fits maybe.)

Oh yeah, totally. Not only is it a great ethic but we HAVE to right now!! ha. I don’t think of ourselves as a massive part of it but we definitely work along side it. Its partly by choice and partly just because we have no choice! In this day an age it really is essential to be able to things on your own with your music. It creates a real community and a real drive. The subject matter for Icarus , the Sunclimber is very much tied into bands who think to be "doing" music or for it to be of any value or merit it must be on the grounds of "professional" music labels and "professional" musicians, like money or outside perception makes your music real .As if to say it's not real just because you don’t have a manager or a label or publications aren’t writing about you. ridiculous. People in that frame of mind run the risk of letting the experience and the joy of music pass them by. They really do miss the point. Music is from inside and should be made because you just HAVE to make it play it right?

Is there ever any sense that it’s a slight uphill struggle being a UK band playing music like this? Without wanting to get on a ‘well, you guys sound like...’ tip, or chuck around stupid names for subgenres that no-one likes to use, most of the best known bands *of this nature* are American, with the odd Japanese or Swedish group in there. Do you think there’s a certain mentality that ignores a really good UK band playing down the road while waiting for Pelican or who the hell ever to tour again?

ha, I hear you. Yeah for sure. The kind of music circles we are linked with seem to becoming more and more popular each day. It's always been the way though, that the american bands will be more popular in the UK. I think it's the old allure of the big ol' US. It's lucky for them because I know there are some bands who are pretty much in the position we are in, in the US, but are regarding much more highly here. it's a very strange phenomena really, but just seems as though it's always been. With the exception of prog perhaps. The most well known prog artists seem to be from the UK, but again there are so many amazing ones from other countries who were never as popular such as Italy or even Hungry. Back to the point though, yes it is an uphill struggle. But people who are in the know, they know, if you get my meaning. And that can only be a good thing, spread the word!!

Do you as a band have a certain... plan of action for Manatees? Not like a career arc, so much as just different ideas for future albums. I get the impression that influences come from a lot of different directions and it could be taken in many of those different directions. Or do you just sort of take everything as it comes?

We don’t really have a defined master plan no. When we started we never imagined we'd do one record let alone the four releases we've done so far!! The influences comment is a great observation, thanks. We do have a lot of different influences, some which aren’t so immediate others which are. It really leaves the door open for us, which is good because I guess you have to keep things fresh for yourselves and who wants to listen to albums that sound same the same one after another let alone play them (although there are some great bands who make that a plus!) We don’t have a set blue print or anything like that so who knows what we will come up with in future. The only "plan" is to keep writing, recording, playing as long as we can keep it going and stay interested! So I'm sure we will have some variation in there. We have a two new releases in the pipe line which are quite different from each other already so hopefully they will see the light of day this year or next.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

LCA B & W....

...continued. Using Black and White 35mm in the LCA has proved a succsess. More on the way....

Rediscovering LCA

After having broken my Lomo LCA camera 6 years ago, my good freind Jamie has been kind enough to lend me his.
Some stunning results, forgot how much I enjoy taking pictures with a soviet hand built 3mm camera....

1. Catacombs, Paris May 2009.
2. On Route to J Morrisons grave, Paris May 2009
3. Campfire summer. Carlisle June 2009
4. Lucy Lucy Eyespying Holga. Wetharal July 2009
5. Manatees practice space. July 2009


Video for Across The Shields, by Torche from one of the best albums of 2008, Meanderthal. Never cease to bang my head with a shit eating grin on my face.

Best Costumes, Best Dance Routine. Best Riffs. Best men.
Enjoy and smile...

Saturday, 14 March 2009

( )

recently I've been having a tough time of things and I've found myself coming back to this album. It helped me through bad times years before and once again I've been drawn back. Rarely has music been able to bring out so much different emotion at once. Particularly the last four longer "dark" tracks. This is one of the few albums I consider perfect. The themes (of nothing) are amazing. The only concept is what your mind makes of it. Truly stunning stuff which the band will never top in my opinion now they are being raped by BBC documentaries, sentimentality and coffee table intellectuals. That aside this album really does border on perfection.

Sigur Ros. ( )
"The album's title consists of two opposing parentheses (in the conventional order, much like those surrounding this parenthetic statement); it has no other official title, though members of Sigur Rós usually refer to it in Icelandic as "Svigaplatan" ("The Bracket Album").[3] In the credits of the movie "Heima" it is referred to as "The Untitled Album". Fans have referred to it as "Parentheses" or "Brackets". A few call it "Vonlenska" due to the fact that the whole of the album is sung in that semi-language.

The packaging of ( ) is elaborate, consisting of a plastic protective sleeve with two opposing parentheses cut out, which reveal a nature shot printed on the CD case underneath. Apart from the band's name and a sleepwalking child on the plastic sleeve, there is no identification on the CD case itself. Included is a 12-page booklet of thick tracing paper with various black and white nature shots, on which fans were invited to draw or write their own interpretations of the music. Four different covers were made for sale in different areas: America, Australia, Europe, Japan.[1] There is also a limited edition version of the album, released only in Spain, which contains a 94-page digibook of contemporary art.[4] Very few copies remain in circulation today.

The album's vocals are recorded in "Vonlenska" ("Hopelandic"),[1] which consists of meaningless syllables and resembles scat singing. The "language" is named after Von, the first song that featured it.[5] Most of the syllable-strings sung by vocalist Jón Þór Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song, and often throughout the whole album. Sigur Rós went on to release a music video for untitled #1 (a.k.a. "Vaka") directed by Floria Sigismondi. The video later won the "Best Video" award at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh, Scotland. A snippet from track 8 was heard during the trailer for the Nicole Kidman film The Invasion. Untitled #7 is featured in the trailer for the game Dead Space. Untitled #4 (Njósnavélin) was used prominently in the film Vanilla Sky. Untitled #3, listed under its working title of Samskeyti, was used in the credits for the Gregg Araki-directed film Mysterious Skin (based on the book by Scott Heim), and in an episode in the second season of the British drama serial Skins.

( ) was produced by Sigur Rós and engineered by Ken Thomas, who was also the engineer on Ágætis byrjun. On the majority of the album the band is accompanied by the string quartet Amiina, which is composed of four young Icelandic women.[6] To date, the album has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide."

Untitled #1 from the lighter side of ( )

Untitled #6 from the darker side of ( )

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Anything Can Happen, Anything Can Go Wrong. - No good times in here.

The symptoms of a "broken heart" can manifest themselves through psychological pain but for many the effect is physical. Although the experience is regarded commonly as indescribable, the following is a list of common symptoms that occur:

A perceived tightness of the chest, similar to an anxiety attack
Stomach ache and/or loss of appetite
Partial or complete insomnia
-Apathy (loss of interest)
-Feelings of loneliness
-Feelings of hopelessness and despair
-Loss of self-respect and/or self-esteem
-Medical or psychological illness (for example depression)
-Suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
-The thousand-yard stare
-Constant or frequent crying
-A feeling of complete emptiness
-In extreme cases, death[4]

Hi My name is Alex and I am a Facebookaholic.- Online Networking "Harms Health"

Very interesting read. And even more interesting is the fact that I'm sharing this Via an online blog! Slightly hypocritical of me as I find my self more and more addicted by this phenomenon, yet I am aware of the irony. Something I have been pondering on of late and find the thought of a "facebook" rehab more and more of a realistic future.....

"Online networking 'harms health'"
Taken from BBC news Online.

People's health could be harmed by social networking sites because they reduce levels of face-to-face contact, an expert claims.

Dr Aric Sigman says websites such as Facebook set out to enrich social lives, but end up keeping people apart.

Dr Sigman makes his warning in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.

A lack of "real" social networking, involving personal interaction, may have biological effects, he suggests.

He also says that evidence suggests that a lack of face-to-face networking could alter the way genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, the function of arteries, and influence mental performance.

This, he claims, could increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.

'Evolutionary mechanism'

Dr Sigman maintains that social networking sites have played a significant role in making people become more isolated.

"Social networking is the internet's biggest growth area, particular among young children," he said.

"Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace."

Dr Sigman says that there is research that suggests the number of hours people spend interacting face-to-face has fallen dramatically since 1987, as the use of electronic media has increased.

And he claims that interacting "in person" has an effect on the body that is not seen when e-mails are written.

"When we are 'really' with people different things happen," he said.

"It's probably an evolutionary mechanism that recognises the benefits of us being together geographically.

"Much of it isn't understood, but there does seem to be a difference between 'real presence' and the virtual variety."

Dr Sigman also argues using electronic media undermines people's social skills and their ability to read body language.

"One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being," he said.

"In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no-one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled."

Dr Sigman says he is "worried about where this is all leading".

He added: "It's not that I'm old fashioned in terms of new technology, but the purpose of any new technology should be to provide a tool that enhances our lives."

Friday, 13 February 2009


Spotted these over my colleauges shoulder on the Guardians Website and was completley intrigued.
More at

"Thirty-nine-year-old photographic artist Michael Bosanko has made these pictures, which have not been Photoshopped, using coloured torches at night in the same way that an artist uses a paintbrush. His digital camera stays on a long exposure, ranging from 10 seconds to one hour to create the images against the backdrop of Cardiff, Newport and the Brecon Beacons in south Wales"

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Good Prog Sounds of Barcelona....

During a recent trip to Barcelona I was lucky Enough to Stumble into Wah Wah Supersonic Records.
Established in 1992, they stock all varieties of music but seem to specialise in the psych/prog/jazz/folk rock of the 60's and 70's spectrum of things, stocking hundred and hundreds of records, many of which are rare to boot!
They also have their own record label pressing re-issues of hard to find artists.

"WAH WAH was born as a record shop in 1992. Those were hard times for the vinyl collector, and Wah Wah was created to supply the kind of real stuff you wouldn't find in other shops.

For over 10 years WAH WAH has been areference outlet both in Barcelona and abroad, and its highly specialised sections cover a wide range of styles: from jazz & blues to soul and funk, from folk & beat to psych &prog, from surf & exotica to garage & rock & roll, from old disco rarities to the ultimate 12" in the dance market... WAH WAH specialises in all styles bizarre.

You name it - we have it. No matter what kind of music are you into, WAH WAH will have a record, a compact disc or a book that may be of your interest"

C/ Riera Baixa 14
08001 Barcelona

Phone: (+34) 934423703

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Nearly there.....

Black and white paper mockups of Manatees - Icarus the sunclimber, 6 panel Digipak CD packaging and artwork.
Acetate printing proved too costly to make it worth a reality, so I had to re-think entirley.
Final Colours being discused now, proposed Metalic red ink design on a black spot varnish cover.
Final results to follow.....