Saturday, 28 February 2009


Samandtheplants just released a super-limited (41!) home made cd called 'In the Scare Shed' which is brilliant. It's almost impossible to pin down in words (certainly when your grasp of language is as limited as mine) so instead of attempting to stumble around with overly whimsical nonsense like 'delightfully wonky folk-hop' that I'll instantly cringe about I've just nicked a bit from some other fellas blog who says "his sounds are so rural it's almost as if all his instruments are made from bracken" which works much better.

I saw him playing some especially odd looking instruments (disappointly not made of bracken) in a tiny old cinema at the Llama festival last year which was also brilliant. So there you have it - at my expository peak I conclude that samandtheplants is brilliant. Twice.

Anyway there's four left and they cost seven quid with postage so you'd have to be some kind of fucktard not to get one really. Oh and he also has a new lp proper out on the brilliant Twisted Nerve record label but I haven't got it yet 'cos I'm skinted having just moved into a new flat, been to Budapest and bought far too many drum-heavy feedback drenched Hungarian psyche lps and seemingly just discovered the joys of overly priced fizzy beer all over again. We also have no internet hence limited blogging. There is so much more to come. And some new art from me too which is kind of the whole point of this blog anyway. I shut up now.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Second Hand Marching Band

The fantastic illustrator Stewart Easton turned me onto The Second Hand Marching Band a week or so ago and he weren't shitting me when he said they were absolutely cracking.  They are.  From what I can gather they've only been playing together a short while which given there are twenty or so members playing guitars, ukeleles, madolins, triangles, accordians, trumpets, tenor horns, saxophones, trombones, glockenspiel, castanets, marching drums, melodicas, woodblocks, tamborines, bells, violins, flutes, clarinets and various other instruments (is there any others?) must be something of a logistical ball-ache.  For a lazy unflattering but speedy comparison think Beirut via the Fence Collective but there really is something a bit magical and thoroughly individual going on with their very limited (100!) ep, especially with the title track "a dance half to death" a woozy lament to some bird or something.  Seek out.

Friday, 13 February 2009

'Design Your Own Tray' with Ella Doran

Ella Doran (my boss) is running a ‘Design your Own Tray’ workshop at the Kids Modern show in Dulwich this weekend which I recommend if you have kids or if you can steal one for the afternoon. It's such a fun concept - take a sheet of paper and doodle to your hearts content - the paper is then sent off and sandwiched in a melamine tray and returned to you for all your lap-based eating needs. There are plans afoot to hold one of these at Rough Trade East in the future which would be fantastic - I know Print Club have run some screen-printing workshops there that have been very successful.

Anyway if you're keen it's at Dulwich College, SE21 on Sunday 15th February from 10am – 4pm and there is tons of other fun stuff to do for children - click here for more details.
Here's one I did earlier.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Russ Mills prints

'Street art' mostly gives me the shits so I was quite suprised to find myself purchasing two giclee prints by a UK illustrator called Russ Mills. His artwork is stunning and a million miles away from tired 'subversive' stencils and 'edgy' graf, and what's more there's not a telegraph pole or cliched city-scape fixture in sight. So do yourself a favour and go buy a print. Except you can't 'cos they all sold out in a matter of hours.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dark Was The Night compilation

4Ad the record label that brought you the Pixies, Cocteau Twins, the Breeders, Deerhunter and the Department of Eagles are about to release what looks a thoroughly splendid compilation - all the more shocking given it's all for charidee which generally speaking sets off all kind of alarm bells for me. Lenny Henry? Bonio? Coldplay? Queen? Ooof.

Dark Was The Night looks to be a whole lot different though with exclusive songs by a who's who of indie rock's most forward thinking bands including Yeasayer, Beirut, Arcade Fire, The Books, Iron and Wine, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Grizzly Bear, Yo La Tengo and Sufjan Stevens. There's even room for some funk courtesy of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. So we can overlook the inclusion of girly bedwetters like honk-faced bore Jose Gonzalez and the vastly overrated Bon Iver. It is for charidee after all with proceeds going to Red Hot Organization, a charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV/Aids (both the good and the bad strains one would hope). And it's on vinyl too. GO!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Printed Matter IV

Upon arriving in San Francisco after a especially bad ten hour flight (the screens were busted, a pukey neighbour and I dropped an entire cup of apple juice over my crotch about halfway through) the goal was to stay awake to get over the jet-lag so we headed up to Haight Street and chanced upon the Printed Matter IV exhibition in Giant Robot. Comprised of woodcuts, lithographs and screen-prints and including some of my favourite illustrators such as Jay Ryan, Deth P Sun, Christopher Bettig and Brian Ralph I quickly forgot about my sticky apple-nuts.

Jay Ryan has been illustrating and screen-printing gig-posters for time and it shows - his prints are usually a run of 250 or so, generally comprising of at least five colours and are always outstanding. Alas his print had sold out by the time we got there as had a lot of the other good stuff. However I found out the following day Annie had already bagged me a Jay Ryan print for Christmas - perfick.

Incidentally the Deth P Sun print was based on an original he sent to me back in April '08 - in a bizarre turn of events I ordered a print of his of San Francisco for Annie and asked him to write a little note on it - instead he threw in the original picture which he went on to recreate for the exhbition. So there. Fascinating stuff innit.

Christopher Bettig - 'Paris'

Deth P Sun - 'Crushing SF'