I was a prize earlier this month. I've never been a prize before! Suffolk Soundwaves wrapped me up and gave me to 5 bands who had won an 'Ultimate Bands Contest'. Soundwaves are a music project for 13 - 26 year olds in the Suffolk Coastal Area who aim to provide musical entertainment and opportunity in an area that is almost completely devoid of opportunity for young bands, particularly those with out a classical training and rich parents. The five bands that won got to record three tracks in a professional studio which are due to be released on a compilation CD at the beginning of April. As well as the exposure this could bring them, by winning they also got a day with a voice coach, a day with a band manager to find out more about the industry and a day with me discussing the importance of graphic design & music and advice as to how to promote themselves on a budget.
Silk and Steel talking to Henry from Soundwaves after my workshop
Soundwaves do a great job in providing music workshops with professional tutors covering technical aspects of the music business and rock, pop and DJing studio sessions and gigs. The enthusiasm from the young bands I met was infectious and I was proud to have been involved. I am now looking forward to seeing them all play live at the Soundwaves CD launch party next week and finding out at last what they all sound like. More details from Soundwaves' MySpace page here.
Sunday, 15 March 2009
The Old Stile Press is run by Frances & Nicolas McDowall in the Wye Valley. "We design, print by hand and publish books in editions limited to between 100 and 250 copies. These involve texts of importance, whether new or reprinted, together with suites of wood engravings, woodcuts, linocuts and other relief blocks made by the artist-printmakers with whom we collaborate." There's some beautiful work on their website here.
I went to see Alex Pearl and Andrew Vass' exhibition today at the Peppermint Shed in Sproughton. It's well worth a visit with the two artists work creating a surprisingly complementary juxtaposition to each other. Andrew's prints reminded me of field boundaries and chaotic cartography while Alex's star watching inspired films, sculpture and prints showed a sophistication I haven't seen in his work before. His work usually celebrates its own shoddiness and imperfections which, while it lends itself to a very human emotional response, has always, in my mind, only worked in an installation/gallery setting. Here there was work that had I have had the money, I would have been happy to have bought home with me.
The exhibition runs until April 17th. Contact The Shed to arrange a viewing, click on the image above for details.
Exhibition blog here.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Now this is the sort of thing that makes me happy to pay council tax. I went to see Ross Noble last night and on the walk to the theatre I was dismayed to see 'BNP' sprayed in very large letters on the side of a hoarding masking some building works. This was on a major road into Ipswich town centre, very near a mosque, refugee centre and community college. This morning I googled my local borough council to get their phone number, gave them a ring and they said they would send someone to clean it off the same day. Brilliant.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Thanks to Creative Review blog for posting this Shepard Fairey inspired promo for the new film In The Loop, a feature length version of The Thick Of It, the excellent BBC2 spin doctor comedy. In maximum swearing effect, here's a sneak preview on The Guardian website.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Many are preparing already for the death of Margaret Thatcher. Only the other day I shed a tear with a work colleague who announced their intension to by a bottle of champagne to console the loss he will feel. Over our desks I fondly recounted my memory of the day she was ousted as PM; I was working for a print firm at the time and after the news announcement on Radio One, Simon Bates played "There She Goes" by The Las, such a cheep jibe!
You may think I'm being premature with our Iron Lady still thankfully with us but The Death List 2009 has her as the 45th most likely personality to die this year (they've already scored with Wendy Richards and Dai Llewellyn). Scandalously, they've put the title Milk Snatcher as her descriptor when she's so, so much more than that.
There's more: those arch Leeds wannabe-situationists Chumbawamba have recorded an EP to celebrate, ahem, sorry, I mean to mourn the sad loss we will all be feeling. If you order in advance, they'll mail it out the day the news is made public.
Should you choose to mark the day in a way that doesn't involve listening to some ex-anarcho punks turned pop stars turned folk group, then you may wish to meet with others in the street as reported by Neil Graham in The Observer last week in an article about playwright Ed Waugh. Commiserations are also being planned by Class War who have announced they intend to hold a Wake at Trafalgar Square at 6pm on the Saturday after her passing.
Finally, should you want to start getting respectful now, then you could always have a listen to the "Maggie Thatcher's Death Anthem" by The Maggie Thatcher Experience. It's available for 79p from iTunes and consists solely of the lyrics, "She's dead, yah hoo".