September 30, 2009

Flannel Mess

As seen at Malmo Festival 2009, rocking out to Gang of Four

September 23, 2009

Asteroids under your belt

9617 Grahamchapman 1683 Castafiore 3163 Randi 7835 Myroncope 25399 Vonnegut 1772 Gagarin 14024 Procul Harum 5048 Moriarty

The ultimate reflection of greatness is surely when an asteriod is named in your honour. Admittedly there are some questionable inclusions into this illustrious list - 110393 Rammstein, 8299 Tealeoni, 8353 Megryan and 7707 Yes - so it is important to remember the people with the power to name asteroids are probably huge fans of Yes' music and Tea Leoni's acting abilities, and there is always some chaff amongst the wheat.
However, here are some personalities worthy of rubbing shoulders in space with, featuring Monty Python, Herge, Holmes, Space, Sports, Mysticism and Procol Harum.

September 22, 2009

King of the Jungle

The Jungle Room, The Overlook Hotel Maze and Elvis.

The 5" shag-pile of the Jungle Room is unnatural. Furnishing the Jungle Room with a lavish and undeniable opulence, it is a covering - between the architecture of the house and the body of the inhabitant - that is utterly useless, obsolete, absurd, and fatally anaesthetised. The luxuriant shag-pile is sublimely artificial - even more so than the faux-Hawaiian furnishings of the room - and is splendidly formless (rather than form-giving). In actuality, the essential element of of the carpet of the Jungle Room - rather than defining space - is that it is de-forming rather than forming. Elvis covered not only the floor of the jungle room with shag, but the ceiling as well.

The Jungle Room, despite its opulence, is emptied out - of not only any tangible content, but of space itself. 'Space itself doesn't enter the interior, it is only a boundary.'

The final moment's of Elvis's recording career took place in the Jungle Room. From its inauspicious beginnings in the bleak hardness of the acoustically tiled walls and stained linoleum floors of Suns Studio's cramped recording room, the recording career of the King - who had sold enough records to stretch around the globe twice - disolved into the formlessness of the den's carpet: a dissolute forlessness apparent in the in the album recorded there. In February, 1976, his final studio album was recorded at Graceland, as a result of his refusal to leave the house. 'The musician's equipment had to be lowered in through the windows of the Jungle Room den. But after everyone had assembled, Elvis refused to come downstairs. He said he was sick.'

-Excerpts from Campbell, Mark, Green Carpet Ceilings: The Textile Art of Elvis Presley, The Pander, March 1999, p8-15.

The Overlook Hotel's hedge maze: a jungle labyrinth of leafy shag-pile. Kubrick originally wanted to grow his own maze, this however, proved quite impractical, due to time it would take the hedges to grow, the cost of the endeavour, and that it would be impossible to maneuvour the cameras through the narrow hedge-rows. Instead a portion of the maze was contructed on a soundstage. The Overlook Maze exists in purely fictitious, fabricated states, residing somewhere between the silver screen and in the minds of the Torrance family, and the small portion of it constructed to to convince us of its reality.
"If Jack did indeed freeze to death in the labyrinth, of course his body was found -- and sooner rather than later, since Dick Hallorann alerted the forest rangers to serious trouble at the hotel. If Jack's body was not found, what happened to it? Was it never there? Was it absorbed into the past, and does that explain Jack's presence in that final photograph of a group of hotel party-goers in 1921? Did Jack's violent pursuit of his wife and child exist entirely in Wendy's imagination, or Danny's, or theirs?... " - Roger Ebert

September 20, 2009

Purple Reign

Purple Reign - slideshow. Prince to Queen via Life Magazine archives. Shown at Magazine, Gambia Castle, April 2009.

September 18, 2009

Ode to the Road

Nostalgia is a great thing. Going over to the flat I just vacated a few days ago, we reminisced about our childhood and songs that perfectly captured that time. It seemed to be solely represented by 'dad music', songs and artists forever cemented in our minds by repeat plays from dads on long car trips - Roxy Music, Van Morrison and The Muttonbirds. Having never strayed far from the house I grew up in, the mythical Dominion Rd has always lived up to its reputation as being the best road in Auckland. Features include an excellent Salvation Army store providing a wardrobe of navy attire Princess Diana would've been proud of and a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories withdrawn from my alma mater, a Wendy's where so far two family members have been employed and memories of many a $5 chicken combos (upsized, coke no ice, thank you) have been drunkenly devoured, Geoff's Emporium - the one stop emporium for Winston Peters Halloween masks, John Lennon sunglasses and $1.95 canvases. The antique/pawnbrokers run by the grumpy old man who then died and we secretly rejoiced at, the 2nd hand store This Is Not A Love Shop, where we were told "Don't come in here again, this isn't a bloody playground", and the mysterious British-Israel Bookshop which i have never seen open in my entire Dominion Rd loitering career.
Good times, great rock n' roll.

September 16, 2009

Be Seeing You

Be Seeing You, 2009, embroidery thread on jute.

Be Seeing You, 2009, detail.

The Space/Time Continuum

Time&Space were a little known duo originating from Auckland, New Zealand in the mid 70’s. One of the multitude of bands never to make it further than playing funerals and weddings, their career peaked playing support for Dragon and Hello Sailor at their house in Ponsonby. Celebrated by the avant-garde Auckland scene for their experimental use of tambourine and pan pipe backing tracks, Time&Space were rumoured to have inspired author Maurice Gee with their only recorded single “The Gift of Oblivion”, a phrase which reappeared in Gee’s much loved children’s classic, Under the Mountain.

Rachel & Theo in the cult classic television series Under the Mountain, 1981.

Wasting away in Key Largo

The Hot Adult Contemporary Chart has gone through a variety of pseudonyms and monikers since its inception in 1961. Originally called Easy Listening Charts, it then transformed to the Middle-Road Singles, a far more appropriate title, before switching to Pop Standard Singles. These names capture the true essence of probably the most bland and boring yet inoffensive branch of music. However the phrase “Adult Contemporary” manages to instill a sense of intrigue and fascination, so here are some diamonds in the rough that is the “Hot A/C Charts” in its many forms, the purgatory for tunes which epitomise mediocrity.

Mac Arthur Park: we’ll never have that recipe again.
Key Largo: Just like Bogey & Bacall

Superstar: I fell in love with you, on the radio.
Sukiyaki: the peak of Japanese crooning.

Wild Family Dynasty