(First Posted over at the good blog, Heavy Blog is Heavy)
Last year I wrote an essay for my course at Uni where I argued that the music video as a medium was dead on its feet. It was over. Done. Nobody paid attention to them anymore, they’d lost their power in attracting audiences, no label was prepared to put money into them, that they were surface-level tedium, and that they were obsolete as a promotional tool. In many cases I still maintain that these aspects are true; old ideas are recycled constantly and cheap performance videos multiply overnight. But I think I’ve changed my mind since then. I now believe that the music video is re-emerging.
After a decade of new internet services siphoning off the music video’s previous purpose, to expose and promote the band visually and to develop a band image they are able to sell, broadly the music video is still filled with the same old content, but the bands and their management are using them differently. Instead of drumming up hype before a release they are now utilising them as a means of remaining in their audiences’ consciousness. In an environment where there are hundreds of bands, nigh thousands domestic and internationally, vying for media attention, the videos have transformed from ‘ooh we have a new release check us out’ to ‘we’re here, we’re here, we exist!’. And so if a band receives any sort of attention it’s integral that they remain in the news in any way they can, and a music video serves that purpose. As Marshall McLuhan said, ‘the medium is the message’.
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Art often baffles me in so many different ways. Most often it's with the profound mechanical skill of an artist with pen or paint, sometimes it's the mind-blowing concept behind a piece abstract work, but this time round it's one of those 'HOW DO YOU DO THAT?' kind of feelings. It's the incredible lifelikeness of his folds. The fact that the medium and material is paper and is essential blank in any context or colour or connotations and then for his pieces to come across with so much personality imbued in to what are just seemingly folds.... I'm just insatiable with this mystery. Witchcraft is what it is.
And it appears Google too was quite in love with him too as they celebrated Mr. Yoshizawa's birthday with a doodle not so long ago, he would have 101! Head over HERE to check it out.
To read up on an interesting article about an exhibition in years-gone-by and to see more of his origami follow this link HERE for a good time.
Oh, and what the heck, here's a biography too HERE!
It is a truly special art from on which I could and should get in to. Check it out yourself!
Sunday, 25 March 2012
William Carlos Williams was an American poet and short story writer who had strong ties with modernism and imagism and had a background of being a working physician. He is probably most famous for his poem 'The Red Wheelbarrow' which implements the 'ideas in things' ideology where the language is stripped down and imbue emotions within concrete images. This style of writing can be influenced as strongly by photography as well as writing.
Here you will find probably my favourite Williams short story, where he makes use of his physician background entailing a rather difficult home visit on a sickly little girl. The frustration and forcefulness is conveyed powerfully and engages the reader with the struggling doctor-patient relationship.
They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, Olson. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.
When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor, we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.
Friday, 23 March 2012
I don't think I can emphasize enough about how much I love the work of Italian screen printers extraordinaire Malleus. I narrowed down their portfolio just to focus on the posters they produced for the Roadburn festival back in 2009 and it is these works which first gained my attention of the art collective.
In my eyes I can see Alphonse Mucha's overt influence in all aspects, the consistent feature of semi-naked women, the explosive colours and the poster medium Mucha too favoured. It's also in the grace and beauty of the women and the subtle combination of the colours, though Mucha preferred earthier tones Malleus go psychedelic and burst with powerful, flourishing colour which is marvellous.
I totally recommend you to go check out more of their work at their cool website HERE
On top of their awesome art, some members of the Malleus collective are also in the drone/doom band Ufomammut, see a cool photo I took of them live here, they are psychedelic and heavy and worth your time.
Check out Ufomammut HERE and below...
Thursday, 22 March 2012
So yeah, experimented with Blogger's 'Dynamic' layout. Didn't like it at all, so impersonal and black and white. At the risk of sounding like a three year old, where were the colours!? Bah.
Anyway, the good news is that the Zines are done and printed and looking great! Above you can see the cover bearing a photograph I took during the short burst of snow we had down here in Bath, looking up at the snow ledged on the bush brings an interesting perspective I felt. And I was stuck for ideas and had gone through several covers in the process. Believe me, that one is the best out of what I came up with. By far.
The Zine itself has short stories, some illustration which I'll post on here soon, the contributions were fantastic, and some photography by myself and Red, and if you would like one, just email me with your address and I'll post one out to you! And it will be free too, I just want everyone who wants one to have one!
My personal email is: dont_talk2urself [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk
(I have to type it out like that because otherwise dirty spammers will try to send me shit. And I don't enjoy shit)
What you can also do, which would be very cool, is join our Facebook group! HERE
Also on that note, I am looking for more contributors for the Zine, so if any writers or illustrators or photographers would like to have their work published then contact me and I'll see what we can do, hit up that email above and lets get going.
We are only a one man operation, and so I use the 'royal'/'made up' 'we' when I refer to ourselves, or I mean me, or.... whatever. Anyway, what I mean to say is, any support is much appreciated!
Saturday, 17 March 2012
First Posted at Heavy Blog Is Heavy
‘Craft’ is one of my favourite words in the dictionary (my most favourite being ’clavicle’, it has such sweet phonetics). It denotes as skilfully producing something by hand, and it is this ‘by hand’ bit which I wholly endorse. ‘By hand’ leads to something unique, something which has been imbued with its creator’s personality and skill. However, ‘Craft’ can also mean deviousness and trickery in an archaic form, and I believe it is this denotation Crippled Black Phoenix had in mind with the name of their latest record, especially when they still consider us all as those primordial apes.
On paper, and by right, Crippled Black Phoenix should be a crushing doom super group, with ex-Electric Wizard, ex-Iron Monkey, ex-Gonga and ex-Teeth of Lions Rule The Divine members; you wouldn’t have expected then that they undertake an expansive Pink Floydian approach to progressive rock. Yet, within the lush psychedelic soundscapes and handsome guitars and thumping rhythms they have that element of deviousness, that feeling of a pretty mask hiding the ugliness beneath, which lends a cliff-edge to this warm flowery meadow.
The comic-esque record artwork is interesting to interpret. The wolf face echoes the same one that appeared on 2010’s I, Vigilante and is now attached to a human body, and though it is snarling and looking fierce it’s running away. In fear, perhaps. Maybe there’s something worse than a wolf-headed man, something scarier?
I keep returning to Crippled Black Phoenix as, beside Colour Haze, I believe they are the classiest band operating today. Their I, Vigilante record was stunning, it was a descent, that weary journey from the zenith, and it reminded me of coming home from a long walk. No fanfare or crescendo, no blaze of fire but embers that smouldered in the dark and cast red across the floor.
I have found The Crafty Ape to have a much fuller and rounder sound than I, Vigilante, which was a more straightforward guitar record, now there are horns, organs, strings, choirs in places, female vocals stand out a bit more and the piano is beautifully played. It is this melding of orchestral sounds into a strong, cohesive stream or soundscape that, with recent forecasts in mind, makes me think of the weather and it’s forgotten splendour. All the elements have to be perfect, the temperature, wind, pressure, humidity, cloud cover, geography and only when they are all perfect does this pure, unique, white snow fall with it’s perennial aching beauty. Yet, of course, some sit in awe of the snow’s majesty whereas others stare in tragedy and it is this bi-polar beauty of snow that encapsulates The Crafty Ape for me. It is beautiful and psychedelic but also mournful and dark.
It isn’t all frosty, as there are sunbursts seen at the powerful end of ‘A Letter Concerning Dogheads’ and the visceral rhythm of ’Laying Traps’, but the British-instilled misanthropy and famous misery reflects most from this record. I care a great deal for Crippled Black Phoenix, their records are always stirring and The Crafty Ape is a continuation of their triumph.
Hey, Full Album Stream... Cool...
This past month has been, to say the least, difficult. However, here we are now, whole and well, and looking at the fantastic photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. And I like his minimalist style. A lot. It's subtle and fascinating and he likes his themes and most importantly I like his themes. Here, I am showcasing my favourite series of photos he's done where he's taken a photo of a film playing in aesthetically pleasing theatres at an extremely low shutter speed in order to capture the entire film in one image. In fact, I'll let him explain...
I'm a habitual self-interlocutor. Around the time I started photographing at the Natural History Museum, one evening I had a near-hallucinatory vision. The question-and-answer session that led up to this vision went something like this: Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto
For me, this is genius. I am currently in post production of producing a short film, indeed I am the editor, and so the idea of an entire film and all of it's thousands of frames captured into a single frame, not only explodes MY eyes, but it makes my head hurt too.
I am loving Hiroshi Sugimoto, and I feel you should too, check his other cool works HERE
More digestible information can be found HERE
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Kozyndan are a husband and wife dynamic duo, where Kouze would sketch the outline then Dan would follow up with their patented colour. It is this colour use that is quintessentially Japanese: big and flat. This kind of colouration that makes me think of a diving pool full of paint of one colour, it has that richness and deep strong hue that looks like you could swim in it and drink it.
Ach and the detail too! I can almost feel the water spraying my face when I look at the bottom image!
I sincerely love everything Kozyndan have done, I even have had their work as my background on my laptop for months on end.
Check out their great and comprehensive website, it has EVERYTHING, AND IT'S GREAT: HERE
Hey, buy prints HERE
Friday, 17 February 2012
So, how bloody annoying is it when your laptop that perfectly works for two years suddenly decides that the internet connection it's been perfectly connecting to for two years isn't there anymore?
Yeah. So, until I sort that out I am very much afraid (((Hyperpower))) may sit still for a few more days.
I've progressed exceedingly well with the Zine, out of 16 pages I have 14, and am thinking about upping the content to 20 pages, but printing costs have to be considered too. I have several contributions from some very cool people and am waiting on some more. I think it's going to turn out pretty cool. When I can, I'll post some photos of the process.
Today, I went to the Lucien Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and believe if you get the chance, go. Freud's portraits are astounding in their intensity of attention to detail and I would think, though not meaning to be photographic, obviously, in many cases better than a photograph. Freud seems to capture the sitter, in his very laborious and time consuming process - apparently David Hockney's portrait took 130 hours! - and the sitter's essence. They're not only time invested in to the painting but emotionally invested too as Freud talks to them.
The exhibition is so good and it'll be on until the 27th May so definitely check it out. Here's the website HERE
Monday, 13 February 2012
So, from igneous giant that is Anish Kapoor to the rocky boulder that is Mike Wohlberg (I really don't mean to sound condescending, honestly). Wohlberg is actually a very new to me by name, I discovered his being through this exciting announcement by metal news website Metal Sucks about their South by South West showcase for this year, and it appears Wohlberg did the poster for them. And boy it looks swell, swell enough for me to check him out and indeed good enough to write this blithering post about him.
I like his dirty graffiti design style and after some digging around it seems he's been designing merch and posters for some hefty hitters in the metal scene for a while, I spy Today Is The Day, Burnt By The Sun and Pelican among others.
I enjoy speculating about the imagery that is ingrained within music scenes, and it's importance in our new digital instantaneous living. Is the art accompanying the music as important as it once was? There are many arguments to say record art is losing its place, especially considering growing digital downloads and the tiny image file attached of the artwork. However, that is to exclude the other avenues within the music industry for artwork, the artwork that actually receives notice like the posters and merchandise, merchandise actually being the biggest emergent as integral for a musicians revenue.
And so the merchandise has to look good with good artwork otherwise it won't sell, and this is where artists like Mike Wohlberg come in. #tangentover
Anyway, every time I've typed Mike Wohlberg I've battled with myself to not type Mark Wahlberg.
Really all over the place today.
But really, Mike Wohlberg is super great and you should check out his website: HERE
Sunday, 12 February 2012
I will confess now and say I still get a little bit giddy when I think of Anish Kapoor... and his art! (He is dreamy, though, right??)
His work, in some cases especially, is astronomical, it explores possibly not outer space but atmospheric space, it enhances the space, it shows that it's not a vacancy of air but a thing of itself. This is most apparent with his Leviathan piece which astounds me in its scope and sheer size.
The Turner Prize-winning artist isn't, actually shouldn't, really new to anyone, he's been one of the most prolific and enchanting artists in our modern era, but sometimes it is nice to take a step back and really appreciate what he's achieved. For me, Cloud Gate is stunning. It's like a piece of heaven molded in to this smooth, conclave, edible shape.
Here in Britain we're in the process of the building of our Olympic Tower, known as Orbit to Kapoor, and I for one am entirely in love with its architecture, it swoons, it dives and it surges high with skeletal refinement. I can not wait to see it finished and gleaming in the backdrop of panoramas the BBC will most certainly utilise during the Olympic coverage this summer.
To remind yourself of more of Kapoor's work hit up HERE
Saturday, 11 February 2012
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is an illustrious writer who's won the Nobel Prize in Literature and has written classics like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, and is well known for popularizing the magical realism style.
I don't know why I haven't thought of this before, but there seems to be a great resource of online versions of classic short stories and I think it'll be cool to repost them here on (((Hyperpower))), so yeah this Marquez short story gets the honour of going first. Also, it's a personal favourite of mine. Check it out after the jump....
|Rain Dogs cover image|
Holy shit, did I just learn how to make images big? And it's taken me how fucking long? Jesus Willy Christ. What a break through. And what a better time to start, at the top is the very famous Tom Waits cover everyone recognises from his classic record Rain Dogs, but before it existed with that honour, it is a part of a series done by Anders Petersen in the now-famous bar in Hamburg's red light district Cafe Lehmitz.
What I like about Petersen is the studied grittiness in his documentary photography, everything is heaped in dirt, that under-the-nail grime that belongs to the under-classes. It's enthralling to be able stare in to a subjects eyes who is burnt out on the inside and have lost all notions of inhibition. But they're not actually miserable, indeed it's joyful imagery, like making the most of a dour situation.... by hanging out with prostitutes and drinking lots. Cool. That's what I would do.
Anyway, hit up Anders Petersen's website, it's got a great archive and it's where I began: HERE
Friday, 10 February 2012
Yep, I've already spoken about Stacey Rozich before and her fascinating line drawings of her mythical creatures with oriental flair, and I love it, obviously. Yet, I'm here again just to post about the new artwork she's done for Earth's second Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light records, and I think it's pretty cool.
As you could before, check out her work HERE
And here's some new Earth, enjoy...
Josh Graham is the visual artist for the band Neurosis which is how I found out about him, but he also does artwork for records and whatnot for bands like A Storm of light and Red Sparrows all of whom are very cool.
The landscapes Graham digitally produces are phenomenal, huge expanses of rich detail and awesome colour, colour that you can dive into on the physical format. His work explores ecological themes and man-made product's interaction with nature when they're disposed of, and animals inhabiting places of the most strange nature.
His work is eery, unrestrained and textured. I haven't seen Neurosis live but I imagine it's a whole encompassing audio and visual experience that drowns you in senses.
Check out more of Josh Graham HERE
And I would recommend to check out Neurosis too if you haven't HERE