Monday, 20 December 2010

monday night dress love

there's nothing like a slightly frivolous party dress to cheer you up on a dreary monday night. this one is emanuel ungaro. i'm not sure if lindsay had anything to do with this (nor can i decide how i'd feel about it if she did), but i love it. i'm going to wear it with a top hat on special occasions, and a frayed denim shirt and straw trilby when i'm dressing down.


it's time for gussy's monday night geology lesson!

we all know those kids at central saint martins are a clever bunch. few other fashion colleges can produce students with such a fantastic capacity for turning household objects into masterpieces of millinery (for example). so what's the latest thing they're turning their hand to?

well, it's palladium. yes, i didn't know what it was either. i know, i thought it was a music venue too. being a bleak monday night, i'm not overly inclined to embark on a long and involved (and probably wildly inaccurate) geology lesson, suffice to say that it's a precious metal. referred to as a platinum. and it was discovered in 1803. it's also a music venue.

so central saint martins and the palladium alliance have been running a competition for its students, which involves coming up with designs involving palladium. the five finalists have been announced, the decision arriving courtesy of a panel including jewellery designer hannah martin, lucy yeomans (editor of harper’s bazaar) and melanie rickey (editor-at-large at grazia). 

the finalists come from a range of difference disciplines, from furniture design to ceramics, which ensures a incredible breadth of interpretations and a very high standard of craftsmanship (my understanding of carpentry is such that, if you can make a chair that won't collapse when i sit on it, i'd be fairly confident that your jewellery would, similarly, be fairly reliable. though not, perhaps, for sitting on).

my favourite is leigh cameron, whose 'weight of space' piece is composed of raw structural lines that intersect to form a ring (anyone who knows me knows that nothing makes me happier than a piece of metal the size of a fiat cinquecento sitting on my finger).

the final judging isn't until march, when giles deacon will be added to the line-up, so watch this space for more on the rest of the finalists.


an impossible picture

on a black, white and grey night, last thursday i took myself into an environment which despite the colour references wasn’t the manchester weather. the north tea power, a quaint cafe in the northern quarter played host to the exhibition opening of the 'good grey'. consisting of the works from local photographers, the emphasis was on the medium of film used. in conjunction with the exhibit is the ‘impossible project’ whom provide the newly created analogue film that produces the results of an instant picture, the same way as the late polaroid did. the collection did much to show the romantic and creative elements analogue film has to offer and as i scanned around the walls of the instant artworks, i was intrigued to discover more about the ‘impossible project’. i caught up with the founder florian kaps, who was kind enough to enlighten me on the impossible journey they’ve had on reviving instant photography after the capitulation of polaroid. i found out what compelled the revival especially in the days of digitalisation, the impossibility in creating a whole new system for analogue film and how close we came to losing the photographic art form as a whole.

  • what first attracted you towards analogue, especially in an age of digital takeover?
the smell of a polaroid camera that i stumbled over on a flea market and the unique, charming image it produced. it made me realized how attractive its tangible and sensitive characteristics are, and how rich in variety and exciting polaroid photos are compared to all those tons of perfect digital images. 
  • how and why did you decide to take action against the death of instant photography?
when polaroid announced in 2008 that they'd stop production of instant film i was devastated at first, but soon i realized that this is not the end but a beginning. but it was hard. tons of e-mails didn't get anything moving. it was not before the closing event of the factory in enschede, where I met andre bosman, a former polaroid production manager, who told me that the plant was still intact. together we decided to take action and to try the impossible. we preserved that plant, chose 10 former polaroid employees and started reinvention of a new instant film. 
  • did it take a while to realise that there was a mutual interest and a genuine market to revive analogue and create a new instant film?
we ran an online shop exclusively dedicated to analogue instant film and cameras (we were the only official polaroid online reseller back then) since 2005. during these years we saw a dramatically increase in customer's demand for instant film, so we knew that here was a market and interest for instant film out there. 
  • what was the most difficult task in the process of creating a new system?
the whole process! we had to find, create, produce and assemble 31 new components in a way that we'd get a working and stable film in the end. it truly was an impossible task, chances that we'd fail/succeed was 50/50. 
  • back in 2008 when you embarked on the project, did you initially declare it 'impossible', or was it looking back with hindsight to see the difficulties you overcame that you coined the name the 'impossible project'?
our name has several reasons: firstly our chance that we would succeed in producing a new film was 50/50. we never knew if this would be possible. so the chance of impossibility was always involved. secondly many people were telling us that this would be impossible. so our name is kind of a challenging reaction to all these dares. thirdly our name is based on a quotation by edwin h. land, the inventor of analogue instant photography and the founder of polaroid. as he was himself working on a quite impossible task in his days, he said: “don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible”. 
  • looking at your website i notice there are numerous step by step guides, is this for people who are not so familiar with analogue or is it an attempt to ensure and maximize creative performance?
it is to explain people that impossible film is not (working like) polaroid film. it's a completely new film, and other than the highly standardized polaroid film it requires particular handling (most important is to immediately shield the image from light as the camera ejects it.) when following these few important points, our films will deliver breathtaking images with an iridescent tone range from black & white to sepia, depending on light conditions and temperature. the films also allow various artistic manipulation techniques.
  • how does analogue film stand alongside the digital nature of photography, in a sense of a finished piece of art and the creative process as a whole?
analogue film teaches us to look at the world differently. we need to think before we press the button, because every single image costs you money. this value also has further significances embedded - every single image is unique, with unforeseeable characteristics and atmospheres. you can apply creative techniques to the image, you can give it to someone as a present, you can hide it in your diary - and you can declare it as a piece of art. 
  • i'm amazed by all the different techniques, for example, in manipulation and peeling. do you think the possibilities are endless for instant creativity?
  • with the rising popularity of film cameras and also super8 motion film, do you think that impossible’s new instant film will benefit from revival?
yes. there is this certain analogue niche market - super 8, vinyl - and impossible film!
  • i read on the site 'future is analogue.' what does the future hold for the impossible project?
further development and improvement of further, different film materials, further artistic projects & collaborations and possibly a new instant camera (we've now started research if and how a new analogue instant camera would be possible).
  • finally, if the last polaroid factory wasn't saved and the project wasn't created, do you think people would have forgotten about instant photography?
well, sooner or later all existing polaroid cameras would have become obsolete, and sooner or later they would have end up in the trash, and sooner or later people would probably have forgotten about polaroid photography. 

 [fred paginton]

Monday, 13 December 2010

charlotte's thought of the week... williamsburg is burning. with capitalism hatred.

Until yesterday, my cynical rant of choice was centred on the utter futility of the student protests. Swinging from a cenotaph, like George of the liberal jungle, Charlie Gilmour promoted no feelings of swelling pride and rebellion in my young (yet hardened) soul. Quite the opposite: feelings of hostility and resentment radiated in Mr Gilmour’s direction. This boy clearly needs to get a grip. His Dad is in Pink Floyd. The difference between £3000 and £9000 to Mr Gilmour, equates to the difference between buying Tesco’s grapes or Sainsbury’s grapes to the average pleb of a student (10p more at Sainsbury’s- take note). ‘Tis but a drop in his vast ocean of wealth. Not to mention the undeniable fact that his well placed laced booties and artsy scarf flying in the wind smelt a bit TOO much of forward planning.
But yesterday, some other infuriatingly self-indulgent movement flew past Gilmour and Co. in the race to get my proverbial goat. That oft-ridiculed, oft-infuriating community affectionately known as ‘hipsters’.  And not just any hipsters. Not even the local Hackney branch, where I frequently deposit my derision. Oh no, this stemmed from the Mothership…. Williamsburg. The Mecca of hipsters worldwide, hipster Nirvana, where hip was conceived, nurtured and monitored with an iron rod of nonchalance.
For once, the hipsters have stirred from their permanent state of indifference. You may wonder what could possibly rouse a hipster from their favourite preoccupation. Well, the only thing feasibly on par with lackadaisical artistry and tactical indifference of course- anti capitalism.
Perhaps more infuriatingly than the students of Britain, the hipsters are not protesting FOR anything concrete, they are just merely OPPOSED. It gives the poor dears something to do besides riding their fixie bikes and drinking over-priced Guatamalan coffee. The focus of their opposition? A Duane Reade drug store. In New York, Duane Reade is the British equivalent of Boots, and heaven forbid beastly mainstream pharmaceuticals might tarnish Williamsburg’s chain-less high street.
Don’t get me wrong, I love independent shops as much as the next person. Give me deepest Shoxton over the generic West End any day. But what is truly futile, and most definitely obnoxious, is exercising active hatred towards any shop that dares to have a twin. Or Lord help them, triplets or more. Yes Starbucks is an over-priced, soulless establishment that eats retail space for breakfast. But it serves its purpose. Make love, not war. Have a Starbucks muffin. No one will die.
But the nail in my coffin of hatred has got to be the hipster’s notion that Duane Reade will somehow be instrumental in the death of their happy little community. Community, dear hipsters, is not geography. Your like-minded collective will exist regardless of how many capitalist-friendly shops open on that one street, in that one district, in that one city. Boho-central used to be Soho, it used to be Greenwich village, it used to be Tribeca. But artistic communities are by their very nature wandering, gypsy like, transient. The last thing you would want Williamsburg to become is some sort of museum to hipster-isms.
I doubt, somehow, that when the hipsters moved in to Willaimsburg, unceremoniously out-bidding the Polish communities and Jewish communities that once called it home, that there was a similar level of petulant fuss. Get real, Williamsburg. Move on. Surely one of your most hallowed mantras centres around being a step ahead of the game? Knowing what’s going to be cool next, rather than now? Well find it, piss off and live in it. Either that, or get a prescription for anti-depressants from Duane Reade. 

[charlotte skeoch]

Monday, 6 December 2010

Claire Denis's 'WHITE MATERIAL'

white material 
directed by claire denis 
starring - isabelle hupert, christopher lambert, nicolas duvauchelle release - december 6th (dvd & bd) 
certificate - 15 

there´s this trend on social network du jour, facebook, where you´re supposed to change your profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood in order to raise awareness against child abuse. it´s kind of a way for us, miserable comfortable procrastinating gits, to remind ourselves that there are things to be done in the world. we just can´t really be bothered do them. in this light hollywood always touched the subject of africa with the same patronizing condescension like the yuppie who buys the big issue every three months and thinks he made a difference to the world. so they fly their jets and throw their biggest stars into that continent and we can praise them with awards and compliments because those movies made us “aware” about the production of diamonds, or the western political influence in the african political instability. Aware of our ‘awareness’ and the implications of such. 

western films prefer this political approach when there´s so much more potential for human analysis. a skeptic would say the west is just too guilt-ridden and needs a ‘live 8’ to fill that shallow necessity. a skeptic just said that. 

gladly there’s claire denis. french director born and raised africa with a knack for palpable observations of human behavior. i say gladly because when she flies back to africa she doesn´t want to point fingers, nor romanticize the exoticism. denis takes the opportunity to do what no one seems to dare, for some reason: use africa as a mere background, a setting with just as much potential as any other. no politics. no guilt. no phone number in the end to support anything. only a woman in a place, the basis of drama. 

maria vial (hupert) is a french-white land owner in an unnamed african country. when political turmoil hits and the government start chasing rebels and the white people, the french military evacuates all of its citizens, but maria stays behind because someone needs to pick this year’s crop of coffee. that is the reason on the surface, deep inside vial knows she eventually will have to run away as well and move to paris, but in paris she won´t be herself and do what she loves the most, so better do it one more time, surely? 
can you see the simplicity of this dramatic problem? all denis does is ask, what would a very strong-willed woman do in a country that hates her? nothing more. there are mere grasps of politics but those are only incidental, instead the action centers in maria and the consequences of her stubbornness. the coffee plantation is not even hers. 

vial and manuel, her son, move in their own lines without to much exposition into their motivations. the only way for this to work is if the cast is up to the par. duvauchelle has the same gut of an early vincent cassel, we will be looking how far can he go. and then there´s hupert, like an avalanche she is the grounding force behind the film, her serene and seemingly emotionless look has more character than anything else i have ever seen this year, which is a very common phrase everytime i watch a film with her. 

denis knows that africa isn´t a continent in constant need of our attention. africa is what africa is so why be patronizing? taking this route was already a bold move but even better is how she seems to be aware of that - the title pretends to have all these political connotations, yet they are not followed by the story; the transformations of the characters are never tainted by our expectations, and the only time maria seems to be close to any influence on the country´s fate is forgotten because someone needs to take care of all that coffee. denis is not saying anything about africa, she´s saying something about us. it´s more important to be aware of that.

[f.l silva]  

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

tucker finn interview.

when tucker finn isn’t making music, she likes to pull names from a hat.  growing up in the suburbs of toronto she answered to the name of catherine doherty. which is the name on the transcripts for her degree in architecture and  the name you’ll see on the art department credits when she worked as a set designer on  feature films such as baz luhrmann’s romeo and juliet.  down at the registry office however, tucker finn comes up as sharon ann meunier. that's the name on her original birth certificate- the name her teenage single mom gave her the same day she gave her up for adoption. it’s hardly surprising then that her music and recently released album ‘the cup & the lip’ (which she made after a car crashed into her home) is awash with a hard won wisdom.
her blend of alternative-folk-pop will leave you musing upon frittering your talents away, the perilous joy of heading nowhere, getting your hank williams returned to you scratched and having a pillar obstruct your view at the theatre! if she wasn't tucker finn? she could be aimee mann. poxymash had the good fortune to exchange words with the thoughtful tucker finn and her enquiring mind…
on getting unstuck…before choosing the songs for the record, i realized I had about a half dozen that involved characters who were either stuck or trapped between things so i went with that theme. it's an emotional landscape where the smallest insight or forward motion becomes epic and there is absolutely nothing to hold onto. it sounds grim but I don't mean it that way.
on preparing a face to meet the faces that we meet… i'm drawn toward anything that feels authentic. typically, if i come across what seems like a eureka sort of goose-bump truth then i figure it will be true for others as well. it's mainly that connection with others that i'm after. i'm drawn to sad songs because i think lots of people are sad but do such a good smoke-and-mirror job on themselves that they zone out into a kind of pretend happiness. you see it everywhere and it's just heartbreaking. i like taking the lid off of sad.
on musicians that make you marvel…there are lots but a handful of them are tom waits, leonard cohen, john prine, john k samson, conor oberst, aimee mann, isaac brock, jeff tweedy and elliot smith.
on lyrics that leave you longing…the first lyric that comes to mind is conor oberst's "i tried to pass for nothing but my dreams gave me away." that just gets me for its seeming simplicity but real wisdom and compassion.
on wishful thinking….that we could trade panic and despair for living happily amidst the uncertainty of it all. i'd also like toronto maple leaf season tickets but i think the first wish has better odds.
on sound advice….invest in real estate.
on the lives of others…i like to have the odd meal with a total stranger. it's a small window into another person's world and i know that when the meal is over we'll wish each other well and go our separate ways. that's what makes it exciting for me. it's short lived so the details in it are very alive.
on awe and innocence…i remember being a kid and ordering that special ten album deal from columbia house records and waiting for them to arrive. it was insanely exciting. i was shy and had no real opinions about music yet. i wasn't even sure what records to order. but one of the records was the eagles' hotel california and i loved that record. i thought don henley was the greatest.
on a peaceful interlude…I was walking through a busy park in the Toronto beaches and a woman in a skirt and blouse was laying on her back under a tree taking a nap. I suddenly noticed that beside her, attached by a leash, was a dog on its side. They both just lay there like two lumps. Perfectly asleep.
tucker finn's ablum the cup and the lip is available to buy now.

[words: aine herlihy]

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Charlotte's thought of the week... The WHATfactor??!

Forgive me for being so naïve, but I was under the impression that the XFatctor was a talent contest. Admittedly, since show number one, when my raison de viewing (a dance school buddy in FYD) was unceremoniously booted off, I have avoided the saccharine warblings of the primped up barbie dolls and snakey dance moves of men better suited to replacing their hips rather than shaking them. That was until last Saturday, when I had the dire misfortune of tuning in to Beatles week. After the first half an hour I felt like doing a dance of joy for the lovely boys of FYD as I came to the realisation that they had escaped a fate worse than death: having to share a house with Wagner. More specifically, having to listen to Wagner practice his ritual murder of not just one, but a whole medley of Beatles songs. If I were John Lennon I’d not just be turning in my grave, I’d be bursting forth from the very ground to haunt his ass all the way back to Brazil, where we may never have to hear him “sing” again.
Not only that, they had escaped the bratty death-stare of Cher Lloyd, queen of chavs, and most certainly in need of some kind of medication for all that nervous twitching and weight shifting she does. Bizarre. Watching Cher go about her business was like watching a woozy bee in Summer: angry, a tad disorientated, garish in colour, and a right nasty sting on her.
They just kept coming. This wasn’t talent. This wasn’t even music. It was ‘entertainment’ in its most base form. XFactor has become Big Brother Live on Stage. Not even content to be confined to the stage, all participants are insisting on bombarding us in day to day life. If I have to see another picture of Katie Waisell’s £90-an-hour escort Gran, posing in her 15den hose and parasol, I will personally book her up for the rest of the year, just to put a halt to this incessant advertisement.
Bah humbug to it! The sooner it’s over the better. I never thought I’d see the day when I said this, but…. Bring back Steve Brookstein. Sure, he had all the personality of a whelk, but at least he could sing (enough), and you didn’t see his Granny in heat offering her ‘Grand Dame’-like services. He was just a happy wee chappy who was pretty chuffed that he got to sing on TV for 12 weeks. Ah, the good old days…

[Charlotte Skeoch]

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

shoe love: georgina goodman

here at poxymash, we are partial to an elastic-sided boot. well, i am, anyway. georgina goodman's oscar is my pick for today - i'm in raptures over the tri-banded sides and dali-esque (or is that just me?) 'pebble' platform. 

to me it looks like you're treading ever so delicately on a black balloon. schiaparelli would love that.

[jessica aureli]

peyote potpourri

well, it's tuesday. you've gotten through the hard slog of monday, with its inevitable dregs of hangover and back at work ennui. so what to do now? rather than sit at home and wallow in the boredom that is incurred from friday's dowdy older sister, eating pringles and watching the weather channel with a growing sense of  listlessness and jean paul satre-style existential gloom, head instead to the queen of hoxton for peyote potpourri, a multi-disciplinary, open-submission exhibition, live music and performance event and party. seriously, do you have anything on tonight that sounds better than that? it's worth going for the sheer value of begin able to tell people that you did something cultural.  

peyote potpourri features the 14th exhibition in the ishihara series which will see the unveiling of new wall murals throughout the queen of hoxton from both ishihara favorites and newcomers. The venues new decor will be accompanied on the opening night with one of ishihara's usual temporal, fleeting exhibitions, which in turn will be complimented by live music & performance.

plus it's 2for1 tigers, which is certainly not to be sniffed at. see you there kids.

[6pm -12am / £3 entry]

artists: Jake Ambridge | Adam Batchelor | Samuel Bell | Biology Project | Roy Brown | David Callow | Greg Eason | Tom Hakney | Jody Hamblin | Una Hamilton Helle | Jess Hill | Jason Kerley | Landfilll editions | Charlie Gates | Adam Lewis-Jacob | Sarah Langford | Fergus McDonald | Tom Mitchell | Joel Muggleton | Panther Club | Paper Cinema | Phyship | Neil Raitt | Chilli Skinner | Marcello Velho | VJ Yourself | Utrophia | Catherine Watson & more 

+ music from: Blackpepper, Littleboat, Yaaaaaaaard, Young Athletes League

[jessica aureli]

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

live and unamplified at the book club.

last sunday saw the second instalment of the live and unamplified night at the book club, showcasing both signed and unsigned acts in an acoustic and intimate setting. perfect for a relaxing sunday evening, all female group this is laura played folky blues. folky traveller felix holt followed with a melancholic take on his european wanderings.
things stepped up a gear with the seven strong a cappella city shanty band, who reinvent sea shanties with an urban twist. they sang original pieces and also fitted their stories of grog and hackney drunken riders to traditional shanties. raymond antrobus followed with a number of humorous and touching spoken word poems.
after this the stand out character of the night, benjin, played his set. he plays beautiful classical guitar, harp, and sings. however being (almost scarily) obsessed with ac milan, a number of his songs are either named after or about legendary footballers from the italian club. his songs are lifted directly from life: also recited were stories of eating ice cream and delivering post in north london. finally painfully shy label mates kerry leatham and peter lyons played a lovely set to close the evening, combining all manner of instruments (banjo, xylophone and synth to name a few) with heart-felt harmonies to create an atmosphere you can easily float off into.
the night returns to warm your winter evening on sunday 12th december.

[callum dickson]

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

papergirl london – why have you not hit our door yet?

if the most we can look forward to receiving on the lean mean streets of london is a free copy of the ‘eve-nin stan-da’, and a thump in the kidneys, then we really need to sate our artistic appetite with a papergirl round.

papergirl, is a street art project created in 2006 by aisha ronniger in berlin. the idea came about as a reaction to media discussions regarding the tightening of graffiti laws to include paste ups.  as like any ordinary exhibition, the artist’s come together and exhibit their work in a gallery, but after this time, in the style of the american paper boy, they roll up their work and take to the streets like two wheeled art chariots and bestow their labours of love unto unassuming passer-by’s.  

while the project has taken off elsewhere, it still hasn’t hit london and as we have astutely observed, for every bewildered artist in shoreditch there is an equally bewildered bike, strewn on the ground. now, we think it’s about time we had ourselves some non-toxic crayola kicks and drew super svelte stick men and sun donning ray bands, like the good ‘ol days.  remember, the kindness of strangers is only a papergirl project away. let’s get on it.


[aine herlihy]

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

wednesday. chilly, but sunny. so:

these. the new tamaris sunglasses by chloe. never mind that autumn is well and truly settled, and that these beauties probably won't see much daylight till next summer, thanks to gloomy weather, and ever-shortening days. it matters not, when the aviators are as good as these.

i am going to wear mine sitting on the couch, pretending i am waiting for bianca jagger to come over with her tiger to get ready for the studio. we will be picking up andy on the way - you have to check in at his place every couple of days to make sure he's taking out his garbage, otherwise he gets lost underneath an avalanche of empty tins. he sure does love soup, that guy.

[jessica aureli]

dance yourself warm: new free night this saturday at question mark bar

chaos or desire? seems the poxymash staff have a touch of dance fever today. george bernard shaw said dancing is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. neitzche believed you need chaos within you to release your 'dancing star'. but whatever it is that truly encourages thrashing around on the dance floor, we think this might and it's free.

you again! launch their new night at question mark bar this saturday and we've already heard good things. the organisers say:
"each month we’ll bring you a party inspired, not just by the classic sound of Chicago and Detroit, but also modern day Rio, Berlin, Soweto, Warsaw, Bulgaria, Amsterdam, San Fransisco and, of course, London, cutting, pasting, ripping and zipping house music’s base elements to deliver off-the-hook parties without constraint."
so bring your chaos, bring your horizontal desire and come and have a dance with us. sets from: oli d.a.b & robin, scott cooper, djmag’s joe roberts, and nick trumble.

saturday 13th november 9:00pm - 5:00am

question mark bar
129 stoke newington high street

[tara wheeler]

tonight: lcd soundsystem and hotchip at alexandra palace...

sometimes you just want to dance. under a mirrorball. while wearing sunglasses. indoors. are you looking for somewhere to do this without looking like a total prat? we have the answer.
electropopsters hot chip and the more dance-orientated lcd soundsystem kick-off a co-headline tour of the uk this wednesday 10th november, playing two london dates (alexandra palace on the 10th, the coronet on the 11th), then cardiff, sheffield and wrapping it up in manchester.
it follows the recent release of lcd’s third (and supposedly final) album, “this is happening”, and hot chip’s fourth album, “one life stand”, earlier this year. this promises to be a night of high energy aural pleasure from two of the best live dance acts around today, and indeed is predicted in their own words to be an “absolutely gob-smackingly brilliant” gig.

[callum dickson]

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

long live the king robot

all hail that rare serendipitous new live music moment when you accidentally catch a gig and don't leave thinking of ways to deafen yourself. when you don't stand in front of the stage willing the amps to blow, desperate to hear those sweet words 'this is our last one', ready to attack any fellow 'reveler' who shouts 'encore', when the band finally fucks off stage.

well it happened, tonight the rare serendipitous new live music moment (or rsnlmm for short? no? ok) happened to poxymash. we were ambling towards the end of a magazine meeting outside cafe 1001 when this nice man suggested we might like to pop inside, get warm and listen to some new bands for musicborn's night. turned out it was free so in we went, fully expecting to enjoy the warmth more than the music but then the rsnlmm happened (still no?) and we weren't bored at all, we were tapping along, we were concentrating, we were enjoying the music. we had discovered a new band that we quite liked.

they are king robot. obvious influences include interpol, sonic youth, cold war kids, talking heads, joy division with a bit of queens of the stone age in there somewhere too, we thought. but go here and decide for yourself, listen to townie and the rest or better still, catch them live. we've got a feeling king robot might do alright next year.

[tara wheeler]

don't threaten me with love, baby. let's just go walking in the rain [billie holiday]

we had two options. we buy a goldfish bowl and feel better that another species is more submerged and pitiful under a sheath of water than we are, or, we ‘re-invent’ rain and look at it from another, more philosophical, elemental perspective.  

langston hughes wrote some really lovely words on rain, so too did pablo neruda, none of which you will find here. instead, we went all out and enquired as to what such illuminating figures as pamela anderson and billy bob thornton had to say on the much maligned subject of rain.

in effect, we can conclude  that rain will bust your nose, it will melt your face and it will make you smell of dog. but mostly we learnt that ‘rain’ means different things to different people, so what does your rain, under your sky, over your head, mean to you dear reader? as we are not thoreau living in idyllic walden pond, we can only imagine it means,  F%$*ING MISERY!
here are what some sage meteorological figures had to say on the subject of bastard rain:  

"i believe in running through the rain and crashing into the person you love and having your lips bleed on each other"  [billy bob thornton]
"i don't consider myself a pessimist. i think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. and i feel soaked to the skin"  [leonard cohen]
"if i were running the world i would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. anyone who was out then ought to get wet"  [william lyon phelps]
"it always rains on tents. rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent"  [dave barry]
"i don't know how you get dressed if you live in wales, because it's pouring rain and then it's hot sunshine, and then it might hail. it's just so confusing"  [piper perabo]
"i am like howard beale. when he came out of the rain and he was like, none of this makes any sense. i am that guy" [glenn beck]
"i like rain, actually"  [bill rodgers]
"my face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain"  [w. h. auden]
"rain is also very difficult to film, particularly in ireland because it's quite fine, so fine that the irish don't even acknowledge that it exists" [alan parker]
"i love the rain. i want the feeling of it on my face" [katherine Mansfield]
"i'd like to be able to use storm's powers for good, like have it rain more in southern california. We could do with it"  [halle berry]
"in london, the weather would affect me negatively. i react strongly to light. if it is cloudy and raining, there are clouds and rain in my soul"  [jerzy kosinski]

[aine herlihy]

Monday, 8 November 2010

hello history, i want my say as a turtle trader.

if the financial world is as much an enigma to you as cheryl cole’s ludicrous ‘soz, I had malaria for a month ’ excuse, then read on….here’s your chance to get up close and professional with the trade.

in 1983, richard dennis, a lucrative commodities trader in the usa, devised a social experiment unlike any other before. dennis and his trading partner william eckhardt found themselves rather puzzled as to what made a good trader. eckhardt staunchly maintained that one is born a trader while dennis supposed that just about anyone could be trained to become a successful trader, if given a set of rules and taught to follow a system of trading. and so, a fascinating social experiment testing the enormous mystery of nature v’s nurture was to ensue.

dennis assembled a cohort of 23 hopeful ‘turtle traders’ from all walks of life; a security guard, an actor, a blackjack player and set about training them. using dennis’s money to trade, the apprentices went on to make immense returns and many of the participants went on to have prosperous careers managing hedge funds . one participant in particular, who was just 19 years old, earned $31 million in profit. how depressing is that!? our previous 19 year selves led luxury lives on 4.99 naggins of vodka from tesco. thus leaving him a lot of spare change presumably…

but, cue exciting drum roll, mike baghdady and training traders are feeling philanthropic enough to repeat history! they are offering 10 people the opportunity to become trading apprentices and learn the trade as professionals.

so, if like us your only understanding of trading is trying to painfully haggle down a topshop knock off to a tenner at the petticoat lane market , then this is perhaps your only chance at ever encountering a hedge fund and being able to afford presents in time for christmas!

why not join the poxymash team in sending your outrageously manipulated and excessively embellished cv to : before november 15th.


[aine herlihy]

Friday, 5 November 2010

white lies, everything everything and i am arrows at shoreditch town hall.

Thursday, 28th October.

after coming in from a chilly evening, poxymash was warmed up nicely by the soulful and folky indie-rock sounds of  i am arrows, the new band formed by razorlight's ex-drummer andy burrows. we arrived just in time for songs such as 'green grass' and the newly released 'hurricane'. a blast of tears for fears' 'mad world' was emitted from andy, who seemed to be in high spirits. playing to a crowd of people who weren't quite relaxed yet, he managed to ease the atmosphere in the old town hall and set the mood for the rest of the evening. we are looking forward to seeing more of this band as they develop.

i am arrows were followed by everything everything, who were out promoting their recently released album 'man alive'. poxymash loves the album, with it's myriad of strange sounds, but their songs didn't manifest as well in the venue. the high pitched vocals seemed lost amongst the other instruments and left an unbalanced feel to the songs. the crowd, picking up on the lacklustre sound, didn't get interested at all. the band salvaged some atmosphere with 'tin (the manhole)' and the superbly pleasing 'my kz, ur bf'.

feeling somewhat deflated, yet optimistic, we all waited for white lies to take the stage. we last encountered the band while they were headlining a small weekend festival in ireland during the summer. however, a few songs were missed on that occasion as a certain someone was kindly escorted out of the backstage area that they “totally accidentally” wandered into while “looking for the toilet”. poxymash was therefore looking forward to giving them a second, less hindered, look.

it was undoubted that people had come with only one band in mind. the crowd swayed and danced to songs from white lies' first album 'to lose my life'. they also played some songs from their upcoming, still untitled, album such as 'is love' and 'holy ghost'. a gentle hysteria descended on the crowd for the finale of 'farewell to the playground'. it was nice to see a crowd leave their hair down on a thursday night!

the event, which was part of a series of gigs titled ‘now playing’, was organised by three and spotify. they have teamed up to provide people with unlimited music on their phones.

the next event will be in manchester's the monastery on the 18th november. visit the 'now playing' website to sign-up and be in with a chance to win free tickets.


[james o' sullivan]

Thursday, 4 November 2010

review of danny boyle's 127 hours.

127 hours
directed by danny boyle
starring - james franco, clémence poésy, amber tamblyn
release - 7 january 2011
certificate - rated r

when you’re a critically acclaimed director, fresh out of the oscars with two statuettes on your cupboard for a feel-good dancing bonanza like slumdog millionaire, the next step isn’t usually a project about an american mountain climber who gets trapped in a canyon in utah for five days and needs to endure one of the most gruesome and admirable displays of strong will that i have ever seen. but then again, boyle is known for being unexpected. he followed a shocking drama about the world of drugs in edinburgh with a romantic comedy set in l.a. and a zombie flick with a heart-warming film about a poor kid who becomes a millionaire for little bit.

in all his eclectic genre bending, boyle manages always to keep an interesting visual bravado. so his films are never mechanic and achieve in introducing new realities to the cinematic world. but this is a difficult story, it mostly consists of one man trapped under a rock for two thirds of its length. it hardly has any dialogue. the confined space doesn’t allow much action and... i repeat, he’s trapped in a rock, one expects the drama to be scarce, if intriguing.

127 hours is the incredible true story of aaron ralston (james franco), a young mountain climber whose life was never that devoted to others. a loner, ralston’s true passion lies in the few weekends he runs away from the busy city, without giving his family and friends even a single warning of his whereabouts, to the emptiness of the canyons in utah. off he goes to adventure with his backpack and his bike but without his good swiss army knife. franco portrays ralston with charm and skill, so by the time he meets a couple of cute girls in the middle of nowhere, we’re already in love with him, before they are.he leaves them be and continues on his way to the tragic fate waiting for him - a rock falls on him, his right arm is stuck, no one knows where he is, the water supply is low and the sun barely reaches him.

boyle, the director, manages the drama with enough slickness and without feeling repetitive. motifs like the water work like a ticking clock, the blunt knife relates to despair (oh, where’s the swiss army one), the sun is a tiny, barely reachable, notion of freedom. but when all these elements expire, boyle, the screenwriter - in his second collaboration with simon beaufoy - grapples, with all his strength, to the expected hallucinations. then what started as a film about escapism from human contact, shifts to something more dire, aaron ralston needs to re-evaluate his relationships with his family and ex-girlfriend, in other words, in his most lonely, he contemplates the human touch. all presented with interesting pacing, the hallucinations tend to reveal the film’s biggest flaw - the excessive sentimentality. ralston’s girlfriend caressing his chest and saying “i think i found the key to your heart” or the scenes with his father, when he was a child, aren’t staggering and tend to clash with the rest. by the time it reaches the ultimate prediction, a vision of ralston’s future, i was already too concentrated on what was about to come to him in the canyon.

and what comes is shocking.

if you’re one of the few who’s unaware of the final result (it’s a true story with a famous outcome, though, what’s wrong with you?), then i’ll refrain from spoilers. but keep in mind that the famous climax almost reaches the unbearable, in a good way. it would’ve been easy to sell the film with just the shock, and nothing more. but credit to the filmmaker for never exploiting that horrible peak, even the way boyle films and edits this scene seems to be more worried in glorifying that almost inhuman strong will instead of the gore. yes it’s horrible to watch, some even tell tales of cinema-goers vomiting and/or fainting (cinema’s favorite marketing ploy) but it’s surprisingly done with taste and decorum and, in the end, the audience is more prone to burst into applause of sheer admiration than anger for utter disgust.and because of that 127 hours achieves with grace and style. it’s not the most riveting work, and the flaws are open for everybody to see, but at least it will be the main topic of conversation for the rest of the night and you’re sure to never forget your swiss army knife. ever.


[francisco l. silva]

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

girl fawkes

sisters ours is truly an equal age: i give you girl fawkes night. that's right. stand aside guy, you have dominated the 5th of november for too long now with your awful misogyny. it is time for girl fawkes. girl fawkes. oh yeah. 

yes alright, we know his name actually was guy, well guido post 1603, when he changed it but we think this event might just be excellent, it's also free and guys you are of course welcome to join in too.  

this friday ladyfest ten will be celebrating ten years of the diy arts and activism movement as part of poetry international week. their girl fawkes evening starts at 17.30, southbank and promises 'an explosive mix of live music, poetry, storytelling and craftivism.' there will be 'passionately ramshackle' music from lulu and the lampshades and 'haunting vocals' from experimental folk artist you are wolf.' there will also be special guest performance poets, vanessa woolf on female folklore and a space to create paper doves for peace with the craftivist collective.

visit the website here.

[tara wheeler]

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

review of darren aronofsky's black swan.

black swan
directed by darren aronofsky
starring – natalie portman, vincent cassel, mila kunis
released – 11 february 2011
certificate – tbc

despite coming off the back of the huge success of ‘the wrestler’, and having natalie portman in the lead role, darren aronofsky struggled to find the funding for black swan.  that would have been a great loss to the art of a director who has proven time and again that he is a worthy investment – his first film ‘p’ was financed by relatives and friends in exchange for shares in the movie. 

it would have been a great loss for 2011 had this fallen down the pan as we would have been denied an absorbingly beautiful film.

the story centres on nina (natalie portman), a sprightly young ballerina who is given the opportunity to play the swan queen in the company’s latest performance of swan lake.  nina works hard in her craft, she is focussed but only on technique, only on ‘perfection’.  When Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) former star of the company retires, the part of the swan queen is made available; it is the role every girl in the company wants.  the company is run by the suave and predatory thomas leroy (vincent cassel), he auditions nina but dismisses her for her frigid sensuality.  he tells her she can play the ‘white swan’ with ease, but for the part she must be able to transform into the ‘black swan’; she must unlock her passion, her lust, her seduction – she is too much a virgin to play the role.  when she tries to persuade him he forces a kiss on her, she bites him – he is intrigued by this violent reaction, and gives her the part.

now as the swan queen she is isolated from all of the girls in the company in order to rehearse alone and unlock her dark side.  she battles with the sexuality thomas is trying to open up in her, the imbalance affecting her personality as well as playing tricks on her mind.  the self-discovery is painful and torturous; her fear of lust and the vulnerability she experiences whilst attaining her independence is at a high and irrevocable price.

credit is due for portman’s commitment to the role, her ballet is performed wonderfully, and convincingly.  aronosky’s confidence as a director, through some stirring dance scenes, is under no question.  the only question is, how could anyone consider this wouldn’t have been a film worth funding?  if there is a critique it is that black swan is not as subtle or art-house as it seems.  it’s a hollywood movie that slips between the lines of horror and thriller.  the fact that it is manned by a talented director who doesn’t follow the guidelines of either genre just goes to show it is sometimes about the delivery than the package.


[dw robinson]

Monday, 1 November 2010

Charlotte's thought of the week: i seem to have picked up a bad case of snobstitis...

pacing the wine aisle of orhan food stores with an air of desperation usually reserved for those with sclerosis of the liver, i am defeated. i turn on my heel, petulantly toss my hair and storm out of the shop in a veritable tornado of discontent. echo falls. echo bloody falls. sounds like spin off of that awful soap with jason donovan: the episode where they all decide, screw the beach, lets all throw ourselves off the cliff instead. and making wine like that, i probably wouldn’t stop them. in fact i might give them a persuasive shove.  sorry, this the only cabernet sauvignon you have? really mr orhan? oops, i believe that was my best supercilious glare that slipped out there.
i trudge onwards and upwards… city food and wine, be prepared. me, myself and my snob of a palette are stalking down the road in your direction. no bottle is safe from my glower of derision.  the saga begins again. up, down, up, down, like an addict in search of the elusive (usually depressingly non-existant) stash. crack addicts of the world, i feel your pain. not getting the nourishing poisons your body and brain need is a fate i would wish on no one. after stalking the equivalent length of a half marathon along rows upon rows of garish labels and embarrassingly misguided branding, my snob within rears its ugly head for the second time on one road. the trade descriptions act should be all over this outlet: city food and wine you say? city food and saccharine grape juice masquerading as a beverage with a modicum more class, methinks.  turn, toss, storm.
what is this I spy on the horizon? tesco? fear not, dear reader, the fact that outlet number three has ‘chain’ status does not automatically excuse it from interrogation of the fiercest order. up, down, up, down, back and forth more times than william hague’s sexuality. gallo and his family can curl up in their californian mansion and die. i don’t want your syrupy nonsense.  save the blossom hill for the inevitable come dine with me ‘the only way is essex’ special edition- cheap chardonnay is for sipping over bacon frazzles while discussing your latest vajazzle. really it should be called chardonazzle. now there’s a marketing ploy if ever i heard one. mr hardy… stick to literature.  jacob, here’s hoping you get stuck up your ruddy creek without a paddle.
turn. toss. storm. 

[charlotte skeoch]

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

the joys of street style: tonight at the bookclub with ted polhemus

whether pouring over the photos on the sartorialist, jak & jill, the street style bit in magazines or just people watching around east london; poxymash loves an excuse to ponder the attire of others. indeed, we will soon be launching our very own street style section too…

so, we’re particularly excited about the bookclub tonight, where author of streetstyle, ted polhemus will be discussing his latest theory, supermarket of style, followed by a q&a and signing of the book.

first published in 1994,
streetstyle is one of the earliest and most up to date accounts of street style through the fashion eras, rolling through the trends that continue to influence our current way of dressing and thinking.

supermarket of style in the 21st century, talk and discussion featuring ted polhemus and guests.
wednesday 27th October, 7:30-10pm £8 + complimentary drink.

[tara wheeler]