Mel Ramos: Lee Ranaldo Southern Retro American Beauty Interview: On the and Charlotte crest of a New Taylor Wave
Star Wars Kinect. Can you feel the force?
WIN! A Boogie Board Rip and Doxie Go + Wi-Fi / Evernote Giftset Bundles
06 The Hotlist 08 Ron English Renaissance man
12 Unit Portables White is the new black
Lee Ranaldo On the crest of a New Wave
14 Raspberry Pi The $25 super computer
22 Mel Ramos American beauty
16 Lee Ranaldo On the crest of a New Wave 22 Mel Ramos American beauty 28 Wings of Desire Charlotte Taylor 38 Retro-active Matt Keller and Southern Retro
38 Retro-active Vintage best from Southern Retro
45 La Dolce Vita Italian food Philosopher 48 Food Fresh basil and spinach pesto
The rise of the supernerd
100 A Boogie Board Rip eWriter and portfolio case
101 A Doxie GO + Wi-Fi plus
Evernote Premium bundles
28 Cover Mel Ramos
Wings of desire Charlotte Taylor
May the fans be with you Star Wars Uncut
WELCOME Spring is in the air, lambs frolic freely in the ﬁelds, the clocks have gone forward and the latest edition of FLUSH Magazine is on the shelf. We’ve broken the habit of most sequels and made this one bigger and better than the ﬁrst. Plus! From now on FLUSH Magazine will also be available on Issuu, and as a FREE iPad App on the Apple Newsstand. Among the highlights this time, we visit Italy and France for the best in food and ﬁlm, meet legendary ‘Pop’ Artists Ron English and Mel Ramos, and ﬁnd out the link between Paul Young, Toast and Tony Bennet. I could keep going, but to misquote Reservoir Dogs, “..the best thing to do is dive in and start swimming”. Thanks for stopping by,
50 Hotel Splendido Italy with a twist 52 Horse Power Ferrari F12 Berlinetta 56 Blue Mover Volkswagon Golf Cabriolet 60 All eyes on St Lucia Conrad Rengali Isaland 64 In Music One’s to watch 67 Still Life Life in pictures 81 The rise of the supernerd 82 May the fans be with you Star Wars Uncut 84 Ménage a trois Oui! Oui! Oui! French Comedies 86 Word up! Issuu co-founder Martin Ferro-Thomsen
Pete Graham, EDITOR
92 Tech review Mad Catz Force Feedback Steering Wheel
CONTRIBUTORS Amanda Penlington Hannah Duncan Matthew Copper Luke Lavelle Henry McMunn Lizzy Spit Nicholas Williams Ray Stewart Vanessa Valentine
90 Guitar Hero Ciji Thornton AKA Starslay3r
Richard Ounsworth Kim Vernon Edward Jacobs II Eleonora Collini Phil Mottershead Steve Clarke Melissa Heywood Olive Lunn Samuel Law
93 Game reviews Star Wars Kinect and Vessel 96 Musical haunts 12 Bar Club, London 98 Greatest songs ever Toast by Streetband 100 Competitions
THE HOTLIST Softly Softly There is a bit of an Italian flavour to FLUSH Magazine this time, so when I saw these beautiful handmade-to-measure light shoes made by a small Italian company SVZ I couldn’t resist. They are perfect for yoga, pilates, or for sneaking down the stairs in the middle of the night for a glass of R Whites Lemonade. See more at http://bit.ly/svzshoes
THE STUFF OF LIFE
Troy table lamp This gorgeous handmade table lamp from Noble Designs caught my eye. It’s finished in chrome, nickel black or white and is both classic, retro and modern (sorry, that’s 3 things). For more into visit www.nobledesignslimited.com
Urbanears These mustard colour Tanto’s from Urbanears are part of their new 2012 S/S collection. They’re lightweight, strong and if you don’t like this colour they have got 12 more to choose from including Mocca, Sage. Tomato and Teal. Price: £41 (incl delivery) For more info visit: http://bit. ly/urbanmustard
A Boogie Board Rip eWriter and portfolio case
On the Wall Camberwell Beauty is a 70’s inspired wallpaper from Mini Moderns. “The butterfly acts as a visual metaphor for the cultural transformation we associate with the period”. It looks nice too. From £45 a roll. Part of ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’ range www.minimoderns.com
Over-easy like Sunday Morning Tefal have come up with the Toast N Egg, a two-slice toaster with an attachment to poach or boil an egg in under 4 minutes. All I need now is a Wallace and Gromit dressing machine and a flying skateboard from Back to the Future. For more info visit www.homeandcook.co.uk
A Doxie GO + Wi-Fi plus Evernote Premium bundles
Main photograph: Mike Fontana
It’s hard to sum up the work of Ron English into a bite-size, easily digestible concise sentence. Since he emerged onto the art scene in the early eighties, subverting advertising billboards and painting murals in places such as the Berlin Wall, his work has taken on many forms and structures. He excels in all styles of artistic expression – from collages, to comics, to action figures to album covers and sculpture. He has even dipped a toe into music. Best of all, he’s just been on The Simpsons, alongside Shepard Fairey in an episode entitled ‘Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart’, enabling him to win any argument he is ever in, ever. He’s a bit of a renaissance man, and if he wasn’t so cool, I’d really hate him!
How did you get your ﬁrst career break in the art world? I moved to New York and tried to get the galleries to look at my slides to no avail. The best response I got was to come back in ﬁve years. So I walked around Soho carrying a big painting until I was offered a show. What inspired your fascination with Picasso’s Guernica? I thought it was a great folk ballet that need some updated lyrics. Has anyone ever tried to sue you? Not successfully. What piece of work are you most proud of? The one that still lingers in my head not on the canvas. Do you have any advice for up and coming artists? Try to get famous. What other artists do you admire? All of them.
What would you do if you were king for a day? Get my head removed. Do you have any plans to do any more music? Yes! What is your fav Kiss song? Beth. Do you ever go to fast food joints? If so which one is the best? No. Burger King. Are you scared of clowns? I’m scared of paintings of clowns. The actual clowns are okay with me. Do you think you will ever be able to eclipse starring in The Simpsons? I can always appropriate my character on the Simpsons and hang it in the Louvre. What Simpsons character do you most relate to? Bart. I’m the world’s oldest eight year old.
WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK From their base in Stockholm, Sweden, Unit Portables have taken Scandinavian design ethics we already know and love and come up with these stunningly iconic and practical customisable laptop bags.
In addition to the original 5 colours, the bags are now also available in Classic Royal Blue or the gorgeous Retro White.
Unit 01 (£59.99 RRP) for either 13” or 15” laptops with strips of heavy duty material that feature sewn in loops and solid poppers to allow you to add, remove and fully customise your Unit Portables bag with Unit 02 - a tough polyester pouch with zip, designed to carry your computer cables and accessories; and Unit 03 - a 15cm x 15cm version designed to hold your phone or wallet. Simply arrange the units to suit your lifestyle! Available to purchase separately (£24.99 RRP) is Unit 04 - a protective, padded sleeve specifically for an iPad or other tablet, which also features the built in handle design, allowing you even more stylish portability. Attach to Unit 01 or simply use on its own.
For more info visit www.unitportables.com Available to buy at Urban Outfitters
Raspberry Pi A NEW FRUIT IN TOWN As well as having a very cool name, Eben Upton is one of the brains behind a product that could change the face of computing as we know it.
The Raspberry Pi might not look much (and it’s actually no bigger than a credit card) but it’s a proper computer with HD and capable of running Fedora (a Linux operating system from which Mac’s OS is based on). It also supports other programming languages including Python, BBC Basic, C and Per (all run from an SD Card). While more and more people are becoming familiar with using Apps and Software, those people writing the code are harder to ﬁnd. Supported by the University of Cambridge and tech ﬁrm Broadcomm, the two versions (Model A and B) have been developed as a cheap and accessible way for young minds to get into computer programming. According to Eben “The aim is to provide a platform that kids can use to learn to program”. You will need a keyboard and screen, but the magical part is the price, just £22 ($35) and £16 ($25) For More info visit www.raspberrypi.org
256MB RAM CPU & GPU
The Com $25 put er
ON THE CREST
Lee Ranaldo founding member of Sonic Youth and 33rd greatest guitarist of all time, according to Rolling Stone – is set to release his first proper solo album, ‘Between The Times and the Tides’ on the 20th March via Matador Records, forming the Lee Ranaldo band in the process. In our brief chat, Ranaldo offers up his opinion on the industry at its current state, and further explains his impetus and the process behind this solo release – finally answering the question on everyone’s mind – is Sonic Youth really over? Interview by Nicholas Williams
OF A NEW WAVE What was the creative process for the new record, and how did it begin for you? I was invited to do this performance in the South of France in May of 2010, and they requested that it be an acoustic performance. I really went into it thinking that I would sort of rework some of the Sonic Youth songs that I sing, in terms of acoustic instruments, and while I was preparing for that this song called “Lost” kind of just sprung out of nowhere. It just lead to a period of songwriting that extended through the whole Summer and into the Fall, and suddenly I had all of these songs together. Because Sonic Youth was in a period of a couple of years where we weren’t really working a lot (everyone
Sonic Youth toured South America late last year, how were those shows for you? And do you think the timing is right for this record to come out now? Well, given that Sonic Youth’s slow period has suddenly turned into a hiatus due to personal situations — it was definitely good timing for me, just to have stuff to do on that level. I’ve been really busy the last few years doing different kind of performances, mainly film and music performances with my wife and this group called Texts of Light. A lot of stuff that’s been going very well for me, but there’s no doubt I miss the opportunity to be working on, and playing songs in a band. That was part of the impetus for making these songs, and I’m happy that the record was completed before all of this stuff with Thurston (Moore) and Kim (Gordon) came out – I don’t know if I could have completed it under the circumstances of kind of like... my band is stopping for a certain amount of time, and I have to make a solo record kind of thing – it really wasn’t that situation at all. I approached it more as a hobby at first, you know we aren’t really touring this month, so I’ll work more on these songs. Those shows in November went really really well in spite of everything. There was some awkwardness, but overall we had fun given the circumstances.
was working on their own projects to begin with), I really had the time to develop them. I really thought that I would end up with a solo acoustic record, that’s what I intended to do when I finally got serious about them. But one thing just kind of naturally lead to another—it was a pretty organic process. I asked Steve (Shelley, Sonic Youth/Pavement Drummer) to play on a couple of them that were looking for a beat, and then Irwin Menken the bass player came in and suddenly we had a rock band record going, and it was sounding really cool. I got a little bit more serious about it at that point— making it a more ‘proper ’ record rather than just a simple acoustic guitar record.
I really enjoyed the video for your single “Off The Wall”. Did you always plan on incorporating your own video footage in these? And can we expect future videos for the other songs on the album? Well you know, yea I think there will be some more videos. I love the medium — I’ve always been someone who’s dabbled in film to one degree or another. When the record label started talking about videos, it immediately perked by interest. That one, the main footage, was shot by a fan in the audience. He posted it online, and I was collecting footage from my first couple of shows to put on my website and give examples of my new material. Then when Matador started talking about videos, I figured I’d adapt that into the first video — I’m always fooling around with film stuff. There’s actually another video for the song “Angles” that is out there too now.
ON THE CREST OF A NEW WAVE I really like the title of the album “Between The Times and the Tides.” How did that come to you, and was that an idea you had initially in beginning to write this album? And you were able to work with a lot of people from your past in recording the album. How did that enhance the experience for you? Well, you know starting with Steve — he’s someone that’s been a long time collaborator, a really amazing drummer and close friend, so he was really important in the early stages in terms of encouraging me to continue with it. So it was really made in a family atmosphere. Alan Licht is someone I play with a lot in an abstract, experimental context but never before in a song context. Yet I’ve always known him in the early days to be in bands, so that was really gratifying to work with him in another context — it’s worked really well. Beyond that it was an amalgam--the bass player, I know him because his son and my son are friends, we’ve known each other as parents around the school. I’ve always known he’s a great bass player, but he’s not really coming out of the Music community. So that was really fun. Nels (Cline, Wilco) and John Medeski too, who are both amazing players that I’ve worked with in one capacity or another in the past. It was just great to pull all of these people together. You know, Jim O’Rourke and Bob Bert from various past incarnations of Sonic Youth, and my wife is singing on one song, and a couple other people are involved. Medeski and Nels in particular — I produced the soundtrack for the Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan film I’m Not There, and I had both of those guys in to play on that stuff. Something about what they did on that work stuck in my head sound wise, and when this record was getting formulated — for instance I knew I wanted to have a prominent keyboard part, and John just really was the guy I wanted to do it after working on that Dylan stuff with him.
No actually, it came in the latter stages when I was getting the lyrics together for the songs—it’s one of the lyrics from the song “Christina As I Knew Her.” Right away it just seemed like a really fitting image. I like the idea of being caught between the pull of the momentary modern world and the slow moving natural world— modernity and history as a metaphor. I liked something about it as a title, but when I first sprung it on people, no one really liked it. Eventually this record was really about following my instincts, and I was going to go back to the title that struck me first and hardest. It was the same with the album cover, they didn’t like it that much, or it wasn’t dynamic enough, but it just said so much about what I wanted this record to be and I went back to that as well.
Is there any specific song on the record that’s your favorite or that stands out to you? Well, this is a group of 10 songs, the first time I’ve done a record like this, and I wouldn’t presume to have a favorite among them. It’s really hard for me to pick one as I stand firmly behind all of these songs. In terms of my intentions and my aspirations for them, there’s not really a dud among them in my viewpoint, and I’m really happy with the way they all turned out. “Off The Wall” is an easy one to pick— its such a short and poppy song, and its not what I was expecting to be writing at this point, and I mean I love to hear it when it pops up, but I’m really happy with the way they all came out.
I wanted to ask you about the industry in general—obviously it has changed a lot since the beginning of your career, but how do you think the idea of the album is perceived in this day and age, as a collective whole? Do you think people still appreciate that? It’s a good question, and it’s a question I’ve been thinking a lot about because you know, I’m old school in that way. I’m still really about the album, I know these days we’ve come back around to 45, 7” single culture, where people are buying the song again they aren’t buying the album. And in many cases it’s justified, especially with pop music, its always been about the song. You’ve never really demanded that your pop artist make entire albums that were great. Choose your pop artist of choice, you know Madonna or whoever, they ’ve made records that have been good all the way through, but they ’ve also made one good song and a bunch of other songs. In the world of pop it’s kind of understandable, but I come from an older world that still values the album. When I was making this record, I was very conscious of it being an album, right down to looking at the first five songs as side one, the rest as side two—even in the CD release there is going to be a silent break between the two to get that feeling a little bit. There’s something beautiful about a side of a record, the amount of time as a listening experience. It’s a pretty easy amount of time to sit and give it your attention. These days, I find people just plop CD’s on and don’t really listen to them in the same way. I think there will always be people that aspire to make a group of songs that hang together in a really nice way. It’s a different thing from the industry as we have it right now, it’s kind of like the early ‘60s, where the emphasis is on single songs and pop charts and how many you can move with that song – it’s a different world.
I see you have some shows coming up—one in New York in May with M. Ward. How did that collaboration come about? Well basically, I’ve got a brand new band. We’ve done a few shows already and we’re planning to do a bunch of shows on our own. And Matt Ward invited us to do some supporting dates for his tour. I’m kind of approaching the live thing pretty humbly at this point. I’m letting it start off and see how it goes. It is in my mind a new band. At first, the idea of going out on a supporting tour was a little bit weird, but it’s going to be a pretty comfortable tour and we’ll play probably bigger places than we would have played on our own, and Matt’s someone I’ve been friendly with for a long time, and it just seemed like a cool idea to do it. It’s a way to kick us off in terms of getting out on the road. We’re going to follow that up with some shows of our own, and then come to Europe in May and June—it’s kind of a launching pad.
music games cars life art culture food gadgets travel
ON THE CREST OF A NEW WAVE
Are there any bands that you’re excited about or currently listening to?
Do you have a favorite medium or context to take in music? Do you still listen to vinyls, or is it mostly MP3s and cds—you obviously still go to shows? All of the above. I still listen to a lot of vinyl, mp3s, things on my computer, I go to shows. It’s kind of a world where music is in all of those places. I don’t usually walk around on the street with headphones listening to music that way. But lots of times you happen to be at your computer when you discover music or a new band—you go to YouTube or their website to hear the song, a lot of it happens that way. But for music that peaks my interest more than just hearing it once or twice, I either go out and buy the album, or download it—or I try to listen to it on a real, proper stereo when I can.
Lee Ranaldo and band are on tour in the US and Mexico in April and May, with plans to tour the UK around their Primavera festival performance in Barcelona on the weekend of June 1st-3rd. Between the Times and the Tides is out on Matador Records For more info visit www.leeranaldo.com
There’s one group I really like a lot—it’s mainly two girls, they ’re called Talk Normal, they ’ve been around for a couple of years, and they continue to knock me out every time I see them. There’s a lot of younger groups that I keep running across—I really liked some of the last tUnE-yArDs record; I like St. Vincent. One of our first shows was with Wild Flag, and I really like what they ’re doing.
Do you think that fans of Sonic Youth can expect future collaborations or releases? Or are you just keeping the focus on solo projects at the moment? Ya, I mean everyone’s kind of doing that. In the last few years, we’ve been focusing on stuff individually. We haven’t been very busy, which is what lead me to have the time to make this record. This record was pretty much made before all of the stuff with Thurston and Kim came out, and I’m thankful about that. I don’t know if I could have made it so easily, knowing that my band was going through a terrible period or something like that. I mean it was really made during the period when we had time to work on our own projects. We’ve been playing together for 30 years, and there’s a million ways in which our lives are intertwined. There’s right now a whole bunch of archival projects in the works, and we’re just taking it as it comes at this point. We aren’t making any plans with each other at the moment, just not thinking about it, and letting it rest.
MEL AMERICAN BEAUTY RAMOS In the sixties Mel Ramos was a leading light in the world of Pop art, and regularly exhibited work alongside Andy Warhol and Roy Lichenstein... ...Famous for painting pictures of naked women alongside recognisable brands such as Coca Cola and Lucky Strike Cigarettes, I have always liked his slightly tongue-in-cheek style, and while his painting hasnâ€™t changed all that much in 50+ years, attitudes to his work certainly have. Along the way heâ€™s been tagged sexist, a feminist, and accused of degrading, sexualising and empowering women. Personally I think he celebrates the beauty of the female form, and I can think of worse ways to earn a living.
MEL AMERICAN BEAUTY RAMOS Did you have much in the way of formal training? I studied painting at Sacramento Junior College with Wayne Thiebaud and received a Bachelors Degree in art and Masters Degree in Art History at California State University/ Sacramento
When did you first become aware of the beauty of the female form? When I was 14, I thought the comic book drawings of Wonder Woman, Sheena were very sexy.
If you hadn’t been a painter what would you have done? I have never really considered anything else. Since I was in high school where I took an art class and was excused from doing the regular class assignments if I did the posters for the football. I enjoyed the perks.
How long on average does a piece take to finish? Depending on the size, 2-3 weeks for smaller paintings and 4-5 for larger paintings.
Do you have a personal favorite picture? Yes, it is one called ‘Chiquta’, I painted it in 1964
Are you more considered about your work now than when you first began your career? I hope so.
How do you feel when people describe your work as ‘Pop Art’ I would much rather be called a “Pop Artist” than a “Pin up” artist
Do you get recognized very often? Yes, especially in Germany where I have a lot of support and do many TV interviews
Is there a particular women in the world you would like to paint? I have already painted many of the iconic women of my time and there is always another one that comes along regularly.
Of the iconic women you have painted who has been your favorite(s)? Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Connelly
What other living artists do you admire? Wayne Thiebaud Jack Ogden Chuck Close
Who is your favorite musician/ singer/ band? Dave Brubeck, Mozert, Vivaldi, Ella Fitzgerald, Bilie Holiday
Do you have any tips for emerging artists to get themselves noticed? Work hard and go with your instincts.
Where is your favorite place to be? On the terrace at sunset of my home in Spain enjoying a glass of wine after a day of work in my studio.
styles. I’m actually just about to learn how to knit (a rarity for Men) so that I can create some of the fantastic knitwear that I have been collecting patterns for.
How did you get into the vintage/ retro clothing/lifestyle?
What is it about ‘retro living’ that you like so much?
My parents grew up in the 50s on the fringes of the ‘Ted’ scene so it was kind-of in my blood to start with. But a boy-hood obsession with aviation introduced me to the world of air bases and American GI’s, of Lindy Hop and Jazz music. I’ve always admired the look of the 30s and 40s and after years of skirting round the fringes trying out some 50s influenced clothes I finally took the plunge a few years ago to commit to the 40s look full-time.
For me it’s about keeping history and positive tradition alive in some form or another, be that in the way people act, the furniture they use everyday or the clothes they wear. Peoples dress sense today (especially Men) has suffered greatly and part of ‘retro living’ is making that extra effort to look one’s best everyday, to keep a level of sartorial elegance and to wear the correct clothing for ones life… we aren’t all basketball, rugby or football players and none of us actual ‘run’ everywhere so why wear running shoes and rugby tops? What’s wrong with being polite and considerate? These are outmoded concepts to some and I believe that’s what’s
How did you come up with the idea for the website? Back when I was finding my feet in the Retro/Vintage scene I started meeting some wonderful and interesting people and realized that although everyone shares
Matt Keller travels the length and breadth of the UK meeting fellow like minded vintage enthusiasts and photographing them for his brilliant website Southern Retro. I asked Matt more about his passion, while he enlisted some friends to share their love too. a similar interest their individual look and style and the particular eras they love tend to be different. I wanted to try and document this uniqueness and to show that a love of the past isn’t just about fashion or being a part of a sub-culture but something much deeper. I also wanted to tackle the negative view that has been portrayed that we are trying to escape the modern world for an idealised past.
Do you make a lot of your own clothes? Being a tall chap (I’m 6’ 4”) it’s very rare for me to find vintage clothes that fit correctly, so I do end up either buying reproduction clothing, getting clothing made specifically from vintage patterns or by customizing items that are descendants of the original
fundamentally wrong with the world!
Have you made a lot of friends from your passion for things retro?
Owner of Retroclothing website. Matt Keller
One of the best things about doing the project is that I get to meet and hang out with some amazing people and every time I do a shoot I make a new friend. I also draw a lot of inspiration and confidence in myself from the people I shoot which enables me to get out there and meet new people and go to some fantastic events, sometimes on my own, knowing that there will be some great friends waiting for me there. I consider some of the people I’ve met through the project to be my best friends and I try to spend time with them every weekend.
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life? It’s definitely a way of life and not just about the clothes. It’s the good manners, the pride in ones appearance, and the respect for life, love, objects and people, it’s about keeping history alive and remember what >>
>> we once had and have lost along the way. Most importantly it’s about having fun!��Do you go to retro events/ clubs? If so where?�I’ve been to the bigger events like War & Peace Show and the Chap Olympiad, and am hoping to go Twinwood this year. Local Brighton events I regular attend are Stay Sick, Born Bad, Brighton Rumble, Crazy Turtle Club and The Devil’s Music. ��
Where do you buy your clothes from? I either buy my clothes from repro brands (Heyday, Freddies of Pinewood, Seal Military, Eastman Clothing, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Revival Retro or Dressing 4 Impressing), from eBay or from shops such as Rokit or Beyond Retro.��
Does your partner have similar tastes? My wife loves her dresses but mixes her style up a lot. Most of the friends I’ve
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?� It really is a way of life, there are so many gorgeous people on the scene. Inside and out, it’s so nice to be able to share it with like minded people. We dress this way because we love it and it makes us feel good.
Do you go to retro events/clubs? If so where?� I go to a few cool events such as the Hot Rod Hayride, Hemsby, The Shakedown, the Rhythm Riot and the Brighton Rumble. made through the project or on the scene have the same or similar tastes (there is always some overlap even if they love a different era!) ��
What is your favourite retro item? My house is filled with some fantastic pieces of furniture - an original 50s kitchen unit, my grandparents Bakelite radio and my 40s utility wardrobe to name but a few. In terms of clothing - a fantastic tweed waistcoat, an original U.S. 40s tie, a lovely Art-Deco tie-bar, my Heyday Gab jacket and my brown and cream correspondents, which I practically live in. ■
Southern Retro http://southernretro.com
Where do you buy your clothes from? � Vintage shops or charity shops. I also buy a lot of reproduction clothing, it’s the way forward. With reproductions, you often have more of a choice of size and colours. Outerlimitz, Prizon Blues Jeans, Rocket Originals and Morellos all make beautiful reproductions.
Does your partner have similar tastes? � My partner and I have really similar tastes. We are huge fans of the 50’s and 60’s, Hawaii, exotica, lounge, leopard print, lovely clothes, and good music! I think we both agree that we found the right person, we just got engaged!
What is your favourite retro item?� I collect 1950’s kitsch cat figurines. I love them! I name them all so I am very attached, and I can never seem to have enough! I would say they are my most favourite things.
How did you get into the vintage/retro clothing/lifestyle?� My interest in vintage styles grew out of two things. Firstly, my love of music from the 60’s. As I discovered those bands and their styles, I began hunting down the clothes from that era. Secondly, as an actor, I just love dressing up and discovering new characters. Vintage clothing is a great inspiration to me in that way.
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?� For me, vintage clothing is not as much a way of life as it is for others. I don’t have a specific era that I work to recreate, I just enjoy dressing up and it is the character of the clothing that really appeals to me. I do work occasionally as a vintage personal shopper and I am constantly searching for new looks and styles to try, so you could describe it as a way of life.
Does your partner have similar tastes?
How did you get into the vintage/ retro clothing/lifestyle?� I’ve always thought of myself as having a “classic” style. But through my blog, Retro Chick, I’ve got more and more into vintage style over the last 4 years.
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?� I think of it as style rather than fashion as it covers interior decor as well, but it’s mostly about the look for me. I love the history behind the items I buy, but I’ve got no desire to be a living history exhibit or return to the time in which they were made!
Do you go to retro events/clubs? If so where?� I go to lots of events in my hometown of Norwich, and have even organised a few myself! The Bo Nanafana and No Strings club nights are always great.
My girlfriend Lena is more vintage obsessed than I am. She is both the Editor in Chief of The Vintage Guide to London (as well as other guides coming soon) and Publisher and Editor in Chief of QueensofVintage.com
Where do you buy your clothes from? �
What is your favourite retro item?�
What is your favourite retro item?�
My Favourite item at the moment is a 60’s double-breasted Prince of Wales checked suit that Lena bought for me for Christmas.
My art deco cocktail cabinet that I found in a charity shop for £25. They even delivered it for free!
Mostly Charity Shops or eBay. I rarely shop in vintage shops as they ’re always out of my price range!
CLOTHES Outerlimitz www.outerlimitz.net Prizon Blues Jeans http://oce.oregon.gov/products/112 Rocket Originals www.rocketoriginals.co.uk Morellos www.morellos.co.uk Heyday www.heydayonline.co.uk Freddies of Pinewood www.freddiesofpinewood.co.uk What Katie Did www.whatkatiedid.com Puttin’ on the Ritz http://puttin-on-the-ritz.net
How did you get into the vintage/retro clothing/lifestyle? I was brought up listening to swing music and hearing stories about my parents in the war. Loved watching old movies - black and white and film noir as well as the Hollywood musicals, so been into vintage for 30 years!
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?�
WEBSITES The Vintage Guide to London www.thevintageguidetolondon.com Vintage Style Surgery www.vintagestylesurgery.com
Definitely way of life, our house is a mix of Art Deco, and forties and fifties memorabilia, dress in vintage every day not just going to events, a wide range of original clothing. Set up Blue Skies Vintage Events so we can work with our passion every day.
Do you go to retro events/clubs? If so where?�
Crazy Turtle Club www.crazyturtleclub.co.uk
Out most weekends to dances and events - vintage fairs in Norwich, dances at Horham air base and Sheringham 40’s weekend, HepCats weekender.
Bo Nafana www.bonanafana.com
Where do you buy your clothes from?�
Brighton Rumble Rockabilly Club www.myspace.com/brightonrumble Frockabilly www.frockabilly.co.uk The Chap Olympiad www.thechapolympiad.com
Clothes bought from eBay, Etsy, local vintage shops - Prim Vintage in Norwich and Lulu Vintage also in Norwich, fairs and on my travels I seek out vintage shops.
What is your favourite retro item?� Too many to mention - my 40’s suits and hats, 50’s G Plan furniture inherited from my parents. Deco statues and all of it!
How did you get into vintage/retro clothing/ lifestyle� Growing up, I loved history and watching old musicals. As I got older I was drawn to vintage clothes, and started wearing them more and more until I took the plunge and now wear them everyday.
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?� A bit of both. I love the clothes and the style, but through that I have found lindy hop and jive dancing, great events, and, my biggest passion, 20s, 30s and 40s music. I have made some great friends and met some inspirational people. There’s a great community, but it’s just one aspect of my life and it certainly doesn’t mean I want to live in the past. Although if someone invented time travel, I’d definitely visit!
Do you go to retro events/clubs. If so, where?� There are a few good nights in Brighton that I go to - Frockabilly, The Devils Music, Crazy Turtle Club. And there’s some in London I’d like to make it too, like the Black Cotton Club. Rhythm Riot weekender is wonderful too.
Where do you buy your clothes from?� As I dress like this everyday, I wear a lot of vintage reproduction, as it can put up with a bit more wear and tear than vintage. Companies like Heyday, Freddies of Pinewood, What Katie Did, Puttin’ on the Ritz, and lots of great sellers on Etsy.
What is your favourite retro item?� It’s almost impossible to choose one because each item has its own charm and its own story. But it would probably be the 1930s dress I wore on my wedding day.
How did you get into the vintage/retro clothing/lifestyle?� My Dad was an old Teddy Boy in his youth and my Mum was a Mod. I grew up listening to both ‘50s Rock n Roll and ‘60s groups, which therefore influenced the music I like and thus the clothes I wear.
Is it about the fashion, or a way of life?� For me it’s definitely a way of life. In the evenings I play in Bad Bad Whiskey - a Skiffle/Rockabilly Trio and I also DJ ‘50s and ‘60s records at several nights in Brighton. During the week, I do the 9 to 5, but for some even their day job is related to the “scene”, such as retro hairdressers or vintage car restoration.
Do you go to retro events/clubs? If so where?� I DJ at three residencies across Brighton: “Devils Music”, a ‘20s to ‘50s Speakeasy themed night, a ‘50s & ‘60s Surf/Garage night called “Shake n Stomp” and a Rockabilly/R&B/Soul night “Hot Tamales” too. When I’m not DJing or gigging with the band, I’ll go to Stay Sick! Garage/Punk night or Brighton Rumble Rockabilly Club for a jive.
Where do you buy your clothes from?� Ebay, charity shops, Camden Market if I’m up in the Big Smoke. Brighton has lots of good vintage/retro clothing shops too. If I’m at a Rockabilly weekender, then I’ll trawl the stalls there too!
LA DOLCE VITA Silvestro Silvestori
Have you always been passionate about food?
I’ve always worked in some part of the food industry while growing up and studying, from cutting meat to decorating wedding cakes, as a baker, making wine, etc. I picked apples for a living, artichokes. My background is academic, I started with the understanding of food, wine and the roles of culture and history from a very early age - even when most boys my age were playing sports and watching science ﬁction. It’s not just an interest, it’s who I am as a person. I think, if I have anything fresh to say, it’s because of this background, which is atypical: Academics study but rarely ‘do’. Those that work in the food industry rarely ‘study’. This difference is even harder to understand today, as we have the weird phase of the ‘celebrity chef’, who are really more camera-ready personalities than academics or working chefs.
Doubt it? Talk to a real working chef about the ‘spice trade’, or ‘malolactic fermentation’, or the ‘history of the fork’. Or talk to a history professor about how, exactly, the Romans salted their ﬁsh for preservation and how it’s different today. It’s always been at the nexus that interests me most, of practice steeped in history, culture and a pragmatic understanding. Understanding one without the other, and you can get a job. Understand both and you have a career on your hands.
What is so special about Italian Food?
First of all, let’s restructure this question, of ‘what is special about Italian food’. There is nothing national about food inside of Italy and virtually nothing is agreed about universally, up and down the peninsula. About the only thing you can say for certain, is that there is a tendency for food to
LA DOLCE VITA Silvestro Silvestori
be ingredient-driven – ﬁnd good stuff and then don’t screw it up. Figuring out when that ﬁg tree in the backyard is going to give the best fruit and then working those fruits into your diet for the height of the season is the spirit of food in Italy. Know someone whose chickens lay good eggs, with a high turn over and stopping by his place on the way home from the market. Limiting the culinary attention span to fewer dishes, but better rendered, this is the way the mind works here. And it’s why it’s really hard to export.
What do your students learn at the school?
Yes, students learn basic cookery skills, but rather than studying them, say, in a cold didactic method, they learn them in applied manner while cooking the regional dishes of the Southern Part of Puglia, the Salento, which is my region. So rather than lecturing on the anatomy of a shellﬁsh, we discuss it, then head to the market, buy them, then cut into one, turning the little buggers into a great ﬁsh soup for lunch. That all of this happens in my home, reinforces the peer-to-peer learning of it all, easing the students into a real understanding, as applied in a actual home kitchen.
If you could pick the perfect meal, what would you eat?
‘The Perfect Meal’ is the one that hasn’t happened yet, the next one. I’m always thinking about food. And, nowadays, wine too. I think the thing that those outside of the food industry never grasp is how most cooks and sommeliers really most enjoy SIMPLE food, just done well. I roast a whole chicken or two a few times a week. I eat a lot of vegetable soup with a good shot of really good and bitter extra virgin olive oil that I make locally each year. I eat a lot of boiled chicory. I’ve eaten in only one 3-star Michelin restaurant over the years. It was excellent, but to be honest with myself and you the reader, I remember it most because it cost me 1,400 Euro for two. Plus the airfare up to Paris just for the night of my then-girlfriend’s 30th birthday. The horse meat sandwiches served near my place in the summer nights, served with
a couple of cold beers and warm friends satisﬁes me more though, just like you probably wear your old slippers more than your new dress shoes, when it’s just you home alone.
Can you recommend some good Italian Wines?
When it comes to wine recommendation, I won’t lie about it, my tastes run Southern. I love Southern Italian wine. Good wine is made all over the world nowadays and never have consumers had such great, high quality options. It’s dazzling and unequalled in human history. My favourites though, come from here. Try a Salice Salentino. Try a Nero di Troia. An Aglianico del vulture. A primitivo from Gioia del Colle. A salty Sicilian white with a ﬁsh dish. Someone is already importing great Italian wine into some place near you. Ask, ‘What do you have from Southern Italy?’ and then go from there, rather than trying to ﬁnd the wines we serve at our cooking school. Also, pick up a book on the skills of tasting. In my opinion, unless you can pin a concrete noun to a ﬂavour, you’re not really tasting, not
yet. You know you’re really a wine lover when you begin to think of concrete terms. Thinking that you like a wine because ‘it tastes like pears’, isn’t all that interesting. But consider which type of pear, how ripe is it, is it cooked pears or raw pears? That is when wine becomes one of the most interesting passions on earth. Further, I’d argue that I’m a better PERSON now that I’ve really studied wine. I listen more to others now, really listening, rather than just waiting to speak. I can articulate why a ﬁlm was worth seeing or not. I enjoy my food more and can tell you why. I enjoy intimacy more, more aware of smells, tastes, textures and shapes. It’s a training that I can’t recommend enough. I’ve now graduated from university three times but it’s the wine training that really improved the quality of quotidian life. One last thought, when it comes time to plan your next holiday here in Italy, really, really do your research and go someplace new. Millions of people line up each year in front of the same buildings, walking the same streets, meanwhile, two towns over, real people are having real experiences, not dumbed down for the masses. You have limited time and probably too, money, so open a book and rent the DVD and arrive prepared. The better parts of Italy don’t have turnstiles. Many thanks to Silvestro. His courses are excellent, and the perfect way to immerse yourself in the Italian philosophies of Food, Wine and maybe even life itself.
For more info on the courses and Silvestro visit. www.awaitingtable.com, www.winewriting-awaitingtable.com
Pesto is a little bit like bolognese or chilli, everyone has their own version and thinks their pesto is the best. Our resident food expert Vanessa Valentine is no exception, the difference is, hers IS the best. by Vanessa Valentine
Ingredients: 35g pine nuts 35g walnuts 15g fresh basil leaves 15g fresh spinach leaves 1⁄2 cup grated (Emmental) cheese (I’m using Grimbergen, an abbey cheese produced in Belgium) 2 garlic cloves 1⁄2 cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
This is a very basic pesto recipe, so I’ve included a bit of spinach to give it a new twist. Regular pesto is made only with basil leaves, but the spinach adds a fresh touch to the recipe. I’m also using a very special cheese: Grimbergen. This is a Belgian brand producing also abbey and trappist beers. The cheese is a bit softer and saltier than regular emmental grated cheese. It worked very well for this pesto recipe, but in case you can’t find it at your local supermarket, emmental is a good replacement. To prepare this pesto we’ll need a food processor. Just put all the ingredients in the processor and mix until you get a creamy result. You can always spice it up with some salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in a closed container in the fridge and it should stay good for a week. Enjoy!
Italy with a twist Some places are so unique that you wonder whether you should tell anyone about them. The Splendido Hotel in Portofino, on the Ligurian Coast of Italy is one of those places. Nestled in the hillside it has 69 rooms, many of them suites with private terraces, overlooking the stunning bay below.
Itâ€™s much more than just a hotel though, and guests are invited to Pesto cookery classes, or to sample the finest local olive oil. You can hire the hotels 36ft Motorboat to explore the local Cinque Terre (an official UNESCO site) or if you prefer get married underwater in front of the Christ of the Abyss statue at San Fruttuoso just 15 minutes by boat. There is also a world class spa, and as you might expect from a 5 Star Italian Hotel, the the food in the restaurant is quite good too. There are cheaper places to stay in Liguria, but none of them are quite as Splendid as the Splendido. For more information visit www.hotelsplendido.com
HORSE POWER Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
With all our Italian related features this edition, it seems only fitting that we should talk about a new Ferrari, and what a Ferrari it is. Using an F1 dual clutch automatic transmission together with a 6.3litre V12 Engine the new F12 Berlinetta will go from 0 to 100km/h (62 mph) in 2.1 seconds and if you keep your foot on the pedal, it will reach 200km/h in 8.5. Unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow, but not available until 2013, the ÂŁ250,000 car can produce 730 horsepower and 509 pound feet of torque, with a top speed of 211mph. That makes it officially the fastest Ferrari ever built (for now). A new 920-horsepower F70 Enzo is also on the way, and that is supposed to be even faster. Still, if you can afford the price tag you could still get one of these, for when youâ€™re not in quite such a rush.
HISTORY VW have been building Golf Cabriolets since 1979, and have sold close to 700,000 of them to date, and this newstyle version was unveiled after a nine year break at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The all new redesigned structural strengthening removed the need for the top ‘strawberry punnet’ bar that was a characteristic of the previous models. In addition to this other improvements less noticeable on the surface have brought the car bang up to date. LOOKS The sleek strong lines cut a sexy, but sophisticated figure out on the road, and it’s a terrific looking car, especially
in Metallic Dark Purple or Sunset Red. At first driving the VW Golf is a bit like buying a new pair of shoes, or getting a haircut, everywhere you go you think people are casting admiring glances over you. The difference with the Golf is people do actually look at it, especially with the roof down. The windscreen is heavily raked and before lowering the seat I could have quite easily driven it looking over the top. This being a convertible you’ll want to put the roof down every chance you get, something you can do quietly and smoothly in less than 10 seconds. Should there be a sudden downpour (unlikely i know in the UK), you’ll still be able to keep things dry.
e u l B
INTERIOR Put the roof up and the Golf changes personality instantly, reverting back to a good old ‘regular ’ type car. To compensate while the weather is bad (or too hot), there is a twin climate control that even makes allowances for the amount of sunlight penetrating the cabin, and while the wind noise is slightly more that it would be with a hard top, it is not excessive enough to become an issue. The sporty feel you get from the convertible means I would have preferred a slightly smaller steering wheel, meanwhile the interior is the usual high standard seen in all VW’s. If you can afford to pay extra for the sat nav and the bi-xenon headlights
5 I 10 D T 6 y 1. g o l o chn e T tion o M ue E Bl S t riole b a fC Gol
go for it, both are excellent and the ‘white’ light you get from the lights is a marked improvement. PERFORMANCE It might seem slightly strange putting an economical diesel engine in a car that wants to live life on the open road with carefree abandon, but despite being a juggling act between practicality and fun, it actually works well and drives very much like a regular diesel Golf. The compromise means the engine is always a split second behind your foot, but the Golf BlueMotion is a lover not a fighter, and the money you will save on diesel over time can be significant. As is more common recently, the car features a stop/start system that cuts the engine when you are stationary in neutral, also designed to save fuel and engine wear and tear. 0-62mph is a fairly sedate 12.1 seconds later, but it does have a
respectable top speed of 117mph, the 2litre version is a bit nippier (128 mph) but still takes 9.9 seconds to do the same distance. For stats fans, the 1.6 BlueMotion diesel engine has a power output of 105 PS at 4,400 rpm with maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 lbs ft) from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. One of its big selling points is the excellent 64.2mpg (combined), and pretty low emissions figure of 117 g/km CO2 and the cabriolet has a 5 star rating in EURO NCAP tests for adult, child and pedestrian protection. OVERALL There is something about Convertibles that conveys the best and worst things about driving a car. When the sun is shining they are fantastic, transforming an often mundane form of transportation into an affirmation of being alive. They are romantic, rebellious, but as soon as they weather
changes, a reminder of how you spent all that money on a car that has a roof made of fabric. The Gold BlueMotion’s compromises in the to make the car ‘greener ’ mean some of this passion is dampened down a tad, but the real question is, do those occasions when you CAN put the roof down and enjoy the ride make up for the times when it is too cold? Here’s a thought though, if cars produced MORE emissions then the ozone hole would get bigger quicker and the weather would get warmer. Then we could spend more time with the roof down. Not a very responsible long term solution I know, but maybe VW will start building spaceships and we can go and find another planet to plunder for the next million or so years. Of course we could move somewhere hot and exotic, but then we’d have to worry about the snakes, and the food, and the language and the...
The New Golf Cabriolet SE BlueMotion Technology 1.6 TDI 105ps from £23,260 For More info visit www.volkswagen.co.uk/#/new/golf-cabriolet-nf
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A joint venture deal between Neon Gold and Columbia records has seen Jean-Philip Grobler (AKA St. Lucia) propelled forward with increasing popularity recently, and brought his catchy ‘80s synth pop to the masses.
All eyes on
St Lucia Billboard has named them the #9 new band to watch this year – solidifying his inevitable rise to the top of the charts, mainstream America and beyond. I spoke with Jean about his musical beginnings, his journey from South Africa to Liverpool to Brooklyn, and the creative processes and inspiration along the way.
Why were you adamant about debuting your music under a band name versus going the solo route? Why ‘St. Lucia’?
In general, for most of my life, I’ve found the idea of the sound of a band more appealing than the sound of a singer-songwriter. Of course you have some surprising singersongwriters like David Sylvian and David Byrne etc, but I think most people expect to hear very singer-songwritery music that’s very songbased when they hear someone’s name as the name of a project, even though that’s obviously not always true. I just wanted something where the name is a little more evocative of the music. Also, after stumbling upon the name St. Lucia, I realised that it reminded me of a lot of things that the music reminded me of, which is summers from my childhood and being surrounded by that particular hazy, slightly melancholy music of the 80’s.
Would you describe your songwriting process as collaborative, or still individual? Has it changed since forming a solid band and signing with Neon Gold?
It’s still mostly quite individual, at least for this project. I’ve just been doing it this way for such a long time that I’ve sort of ﬁgured out this
bizarre way of, in a sense, collaborating with myself. It’s not that I’m against collaborating with other people, I really enjoy working with other people on their records, it’s just that I’m quite speciﬁc when it comes to writing and recording my own stuff and what I want to hear and do, and that process can be a little annoying, random and long winded for someone else to go through. I’ll often get other people to come in when the process is a little further along to see what they think or if they feel there are any holes or whatever and to add something.
How has your classical training prepared you as a musician and songwriter?
I’d say more than anything it’s given me the ability to appreciate and respect a wide variety of different music. Knowing about musical theory deﬁnitely helps, but, for a long time now I haven’t really consciously thought about theory when making music. I more just trust the things that pop into my head and my instincts. I guess you could be correct in saying that I might not have those instincts if I hadn’t had that training, maybe I did it for so long that it just became engrained in me. But I just think it’s important to not think too much, or at all, about rules when you’re making music. If it’s right, you’ll know it’s right, and if it isn’t, you just have to keep throwing shit at the wall until it stays there.
Did the transition from South Africa to Liverpool inﬂuence your musical taste in a big way?
Oh, deﬁnitely. Growing up in South Africa, and before the Internet really took hold, we were very limited in what we had access to musically. Or, you might have been able to get hold of something, but ﬁnding out about it was the problem. And so, to me, Radiohead was like the most underground you could get as a band. I remember going to a record store after I got OK Computer and became obsessed with it and asking if they had anything similar to this, and noone could suggest anything to me. So, when I got to Liverpool, it took me a few years to really adjust to how broad the musical landscape really is, and just how much amazing music there really is out there. Also, just the average level of bands in Liverpool versus South Africa was staggering. At the time, it still seemed like everyone in South Africa was trying to be Pearl Jam, but in Liverpool, just in this small city, there were a bunch of really forward thinking bands. I then had a very similar experience coming to New York, where the average level of bands is even higher.
After ﬁnishing school, how did you decide to move to New York? Was that always your motive?
It had literally never crossed my mind that New York might be somewhere I wanted to live. After ﬁnishing University and ﬂip ﬂopping around for a year, though, I got the opportunity to do some freelance composition work for a music house in New York called The Lodge, and after a few months of doing that they offered to move me to New York to work for them full time. It was literally something that I couldn’t turn down, and so I did it. I worked there for about 2 and a half years before leaving and working on what became St. Lucia. I’m lucky enough to be able to do that full-time now, at least for the moment.
How did you ﬁrst meet your band mates (speciﬁcally drummer Nick and keyboardist Patricia)? How did they inﬂuence you musically and creatively?
Well, Patricia is my girlfriend, and we’ve been together since literally the ﬁrst week of me arriving in Liverpool. She’s been singing in my music for a long time, but it was only when St. Lucia started getting to the point where I was thinking about a live show that it became apparent that she had to be a part of it. I met Nick about a year and a half ago when I needed a drummer for a project I was producing, and Andy Baldwin (a close friend and the guy who basically mixes all the St. Lucia stuff) suggested Nick. I thought he was awesome, and then I showed him some of my music and he was into it and we started working together. On Nick’s side, I’d say that knowing that I have an extremely competent drummer who’s willing to put the work in to make things sound amazing really frees me up creatively, because I know that whatever crazy idea I might come up with, we’ll be able to pull it off. The same goes for all my other band mates, Ross Clark and Nicky Paul. Patricia’s just been a huge support for me through all these years, and completely believed in my ability no matter how I might have felt about it at the time. She’s also an amazing litmus test for any new music I come up with.
Have you enjoyed recording and playing in Brooklyn? Do you feel that your current surrounding has changed your sound at all? I do enjoy it! There’s an extremely vibrant scene over here, and it’s exciting knowing that I’m making music in a place that’s ‘happening’ on some level. On the other hand, the sheer volume of music and musicians in this area can get a little tiring, and I don’t always identify with that very speciﬁc Williamsburg ‘Indie’ aesthetic, or whatever you want to call it, even though there is some amazing music coming out of it. So, I guess in a way, at least subconsciously, St. Lucia is a reaction to that aesthetic. Taking
things in a somewhat poppier direction whilst still having some surprising elements and a certain depth to the songs.
How would you describe your sound in three words?
I’m not sure if I’d ever really be able to describe St. Lucia in 3 words, just because I’m so close to it. So, I’ll just say what most people have been calling it: Nostalgic Synth Pop.
What is your favorite St. Lucia song, and what is your favorite song to play live?
I’m always the most excited about the most recent song that I’ve coming up with, because it opens up new possibilities of where the sound of the album can go, as confusing as that might be sometimes. I also go through periods of falling in love with different songs that I’ve written at different times, so I couldn’t tell you for sure what my favorite song is, but right now I’d say it’s Closer Than This. Live I’ve really been enjoying playing Before the Dive.
Your EP leads us to believe your full length to be a summer record, but when can we expect your debut LP? Well, it’s all still very much up in the air at the moment. I have about 40 or so songs that I’m developing in parallel, and I’m coming up with new songs all the time as well, so things might look very different in the end to what they look like now. At the moment though it seems a bit like the record is going to feel a little less blatantly summery, though there are parts that will deﬁnitely feel that way.
Who are your favorite up-and-coming acts now?
Since I’ve been so engrossed in St. Lucia of late I haven’t really had that much time to listen as intently as I’d like to to new music. I’ll probably have a lot more time while we’re on tour, so I’m looking forward to doing that then. I did really enjoy the Real Estate album though, as well as the new album by The War on Drugs. Both albums have a somewhat similar hazy and melancholy aesthetic which I really love. I also went to see this band Avan Lava the other night, whose live show totally blew me away.
Who inspires you the most musically?
I’m generally really inspired by anyone who seems to make their own path in music or life. People who go out on a limb and do things that people think can’t be done or think will be stupid but then they do it and it’s amazing. So, it’s more about an attitude that someone has towards making their art than a speciﬁc sound. It’s one of the reasons I really admire Kanye West, even though I’m not the biggest fan of Hip-Hop in general. He just seems to do almost anything that comes into his head, and sometimes it works amazingly, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter because he’s moving too fast. But, in general, I’d say music that surprises me in some way, or that maybe takes me a little while to understand is the most inspiring to me. That, or something that just hits you in the gut instantly, but also has something that keeps you around for multiple listens. Interview by Nick Williams
Listen to the entire St Lucia EP http://soundcloud.com/st-lucia
Django Django Anison
Although it’s too early to put them in the same league, Anison’s debut album ‘Memory Flashes’ exists somewhere between the more wiry elements of Manic Street Preachers and a rockier longhaired Depeche Mode. The band are from Kingston (Upon Thames, not Jamaica) and if you’re a fan of Bloc Party or Foals you might think current single ‘Fluidity’ is quite good. I do. www.anison.co.uk
For all I know Django Django could (and should) be number one in the charts at this very moment. To me they sound like the type of music intrepid jungle explorers hacking away at dense foliage in string vests and ties for bandanas would listen to. If the metaphysical particles of The Stray Cats, Beck and Bentley Rhythm Ace simultaneously reconstructed into a new musical entity, they might sound like Django Django. Their self titled debut record is not so much a breathe of fresh air, more a musical hurricane. In other words, I like them, and if you don’t already you probably will too. www.djangodjango.co.uk
For those of you that look back fondly on the subtle southern drawl of Kings of Leon’s ﬁrst abum Youth & Young Manhood and love the soothing but ballsy vocals of Tina Turner then I can conﬁdently say Alabama Shakes will be your new favourite band. Listening to their songs you feel the overwhelming urge to be sat in a rocking chair, hearing the scratch of¬†the needle on vinyl as you knock back a strong bourbon. Long may they remain the authentic, unpolished, ragtag bunch of musicains that they are, I can’t think of any fate worse than a record company grooming. Their album Boys & Girls is out this month, single Hold On available now. By Hannah Duncan www.alabamashakes.com
One’s to watch
Signed to Double Denim I predict Outﬁt will be their crowning glory in their growing collection of what will ultimately become your playlist for 2012. Think Friendly Fires with out the frenzy or the franctic. Pop with a tinge of melancholy, there’s a lurking of emotions behind the¬†steady african rhythm and trippy chill wave guitars on last years Two Islands. Along with Zulu Winter they bring a refreshing heart on your sleeve approach to their lyrics, heartbreaking songs that you can dance too. That’s a songwriting talent. By Hannah Duncan www. everynightidressupasyou.com
Since we ﬁrst featured The Voyeurist on Flush the Fashion the duo of Sarah (Vocals) and Richard (Guitars/ Electronics) have been working hard in the studio and have gained something of a reputation as remixers, working on tracks for Au Palais, Kool Thing, Visions of Trees, and Worship. Their recently released self-produced debut EP ‘Hexed’ is a brooding, atmospheric throw back to the early days of drum machines, distortion pedals and cheap cans of cider. www.facebook.com/ TheVoyeuristMusic
It’s still hard to mention Seattle without the word Gr**ge, but despite sharing the same geographical location Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox’s beautiful dreamy pop/electro folk lives a million miles away. They are currently in the ﬁnal stages of recording their debut record and it promises to be something special. (Watch this space) lemolomusic.bandcamp.com
Despite being colourblind, Isaac Torres takes great pictures. Maybe better. Read the interview with the Chicago based photographer: www.ďŹ‚ushthefashion.com/culture/isaac-torres-kolorblind
Spending 10 years in Archetectural Visualisation must have been good training for Victor Enrich when it came to making his photo realistic manipulations of real life buildings. The Spanish Artist is currently based in Munich and on what he describes as a â€˜5 year slow world tourâ€™. For more of his brilliant pictures visit http://victorenrich.com
Northern Irish artist Michael Taylorâ€™s art explores the very thing that allows us to see. Light itself. Some of his beautiful images are created by threading electroluminescent wire into clothing and passing an electric current through it, causing the surrounding phosphor coating to emit light. www.michaeltaylorphoto.com
Neil Craver is a fantastic photographer living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Over the past 3 years he has been photographing models in a secret abandoned rock quarry only a few people know the location of. Read a full interview with him: www.ďŹ‚ushthefashion. com/culture/neilcraver-underwater-love
Ever since her beginnings as a grafﬁti artist in the rough streets of Cape Town, Faith 47’s work has continued to ask political and existential questions. Her art has been featured in exhibitions all over the world and this mural was painted for a project in china. There’s a brilliant book featuring more of her work published by From Here To Fame www.fromheretofame. com “Both abstract and deﬁnitive in meaning, plucking at our heartstrings in harmonious and sometimes dark tones as she paints.”
“I was out on my fold up bike in Xiamen, with a new 35mm lens f1.2. It was great for taking night pictures. I turned a corner and saw the old lady wandering along that street, I didn’t really notice the wedding dress shop for a while, I was too intrigued by her. I looked at her, she looked back at me, then she carried on her way and I took the picture before cycling off.”
Award winning photographer Polly Braden spent ten years living and working in China. The resulting images are an intimate and thoughtful insight into a culture attempting to balance a sense of tradition on the wheels of progress. www.pollybraden.com
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Jon Heder Seen in: Blades of Glory, Nerd Rating Napolean Dynamite Style: Un-Compromising, Single minded, great dancer. Comments: The original and still one of the best. Geekness runs through his veins. Trivia: Was originally paid $1,000 to play Napolean Dynamite, the movie has since made over $50million.
Seen in: The IT Crowd, Neighborhood Watch, Bunny and the Bull Style: Left-field Nerd, brooding inner strength, unpredictable. Comments: Is there a new nerd king in town? Trivia: Directed Nerd Rating the brilliant coming of age movie, Submarine.
THE RISE OF THE SUPERNERD
Once upon a time our heroes of the silver screen were square jawed, muscle-bound specimens of human excellence. Somewhere along the line, things changed. What caused it, who can say? Maybe it was Nirvana, maybe Facebook, all we know now is that GEEKS RULE! Here’s our beginners guide to the biggest and best out there.
Seen in: Scott Pilgrim v the World, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno, Superbad. Style: Ultimate nerd face. Comments: Close your eyes and think of a Geek. This is who you will see. Nerd Rating Trivia: erm, oh, his last name means “wax” in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
Seen in: The social network, Adventureland, Zombieland Style: Natural born nerd, strangely he has never been seen in the same room as Micheal Cera. Comments: When Nerd Rating Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg saw the Social Network he asked ‘Am I really that nerdy?’ Trivia: Plays the drums and owns the domain name Yugoslavio.com (??)
Ellen Page Seen in: Kick Ass, Juno, Style: Sort of sexy, has super powers. Comments: Look up Geek Girl on google, her face comes up first. Trivia: About to be seen in Woody Allen’s latest movie To Rome with Love. Nerd Rating
MAY THE FANS In 2009, web developer Casey Pugh had an idea. He built a website, took the original movie of Star Wars and cut it up into 473 fifteen second segments. He then asked members of the the public to choose a segment and film their own unique version. The response was overwhelming and the resulting Star Wars Uncut movie is an amazing collaboration project. How did the idea for the project come about?
The idea and its goal mostly manifested from my personal excitement for crowdsourcing. My biggest inspiration being the White Glove Tracking project (google it). I was also working at Vimeo where I spent a lot of time thinking about ways for filmmakers to work remotely together. Mashing these two interests together eventually made me stumble upon the idea of splitting a film into pieces and asking individuals to remake each piece. Thus Star Wars Uncut was born.
What editing software do you use?
I personally use Final Cut Pro. The entire film was edited together by Aaron Valdez and sound designed/mixed by my brother, Bryan Pugh. That talented team put some blood and sweat into making the film
watchable. I can’t thank them enough for the masterpiece they created.
Do you have plans to release it on DVD?
Not at the moment. I’m not looking to profit from this project. I released the film online for everyone to have for free to either stream or download and burn to their own DVD.
Are you surprised at how popular it has become?
It was unimaginable. When I had the idea, I knew it was something that had to be done. I bounced the idea off my group of friends and they all were just as excited as I was, so I knew it had potential. I failed to realise just how large that potential would be. Almost three years later and an Emmy in our hands, I’m only just starting to absorb it all.
“Back Empire Strikes Uncut is
also in the works, so everyone will have a chance to participate in the next film.
BE WITH YOU Were you a big Star Wars fan?
I’m a sci-fi lover at heart and I can probably thank Star Wars for that. I created Star Wars Uncut partly because I wanted to experiment with online collaboration but mostly because I love Star Wars and wanted to participate in the film myself.
Do you have a fav scene from the movie?
We have almost 1,000 scenes, so it’s always hard for me to pick. The parody scenes are usually my favorite and this one by Maltron always stands out for me https://vimeo. com/6012423. They decided to make the scene as if Michael Bay had made it. Explosions everywhere, everyone is holding a gun and C-3PO is a badass, stick-shift driving robot.
Would you like to do any ‘Fan Remakes’ of other movies?
I’d love to. If I had to choose another film it would probably be Back to the Future. What I hope people have learned from this project is how powerful the internet can be and just show what anyone can do if they try.
What is the next project on the horizon?
I’m an entrepreneur by day with my head focused in the online video world. I cofounded a new site called VHX.TV with one of my partners from Star Wars Uncut, Jamie Wilkinson. It’s a site for video lovers and people who curate all the best videos online into a TV-like experience. It’s a great way to keep up with what all your friends are watching online. We also use VHX to power other artist’s video sites. Just recently we helped Aziz Ansari launch his new comedy special online at azizansari.com. Empire Strikes Back Uncut is also in the works, so everyone will have a chance to participate in the next film. Keep an eye out!
If you could be anyone in Star Wars who would you be?
Boba Fett! I like any character with a mask.
What did you think of Jar Jar Binks? Who’s that?
Lets face it, The Hangover 2 was a pretty terrible film. And while Hollywood might lay the occasional egg of comedy gold, it’s currently a seriously constipated comedy chicken.
Looking further afield, (strangely closer to home), I found 3 great French Comedies to watch instead. All you need to enjoy them is a good bottle of Beaujolais and some ripe brie.
They ’re good because: ■ None feature graphic violence ■ Two of them DO feature a nipple and/or bare bottom ■ There is not a Gerard Depardieu to be seen ■ They are all slightly crazy ■ You can pick all 3 of them up on Ebay for the price of 2 cinema tickets and a box of popcorn
THE VALET (LA DOUBLURE) 2006 Starring: Gad Elmaleh, Alice Taglioni, Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott Thomas Directed by Francis Veber PLOT A rich adulterer attempts to trick the paparazzi while avoiding a costly divorce by paying a ‘Valet’ and his Supermodel mistress to live together as a couple for a month. Gad Elmaleh is effortlessly bemused as the Valet and Daniel Auteuil suitably devious as the bumbling billionaire. Yes, I know it sounds daft, but the brilliant cast allow you to suspend belief long enough to just go along for the ride.
PLOT Victoria Abril plays a housewife who learns of her husbands adultery shortly after a lesbian arrives on her door step, a situation that leads to an unlikely domestic set up. Directed by, and starring Josiane Balasko, the great thing about this movie is you can see all the major plot points just as they are about to happen, but it still doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of the film.
FRENCH TWIST (GAZON MAUDIT) 1995 Starring: Victoria Abril, Josiane Balasko and Alain Chabat Directed by Josiane Balasko
A TROIS THE DINNER GAME (LE DINER DE CONS) 1998 Starring: Thierry Lhermitte, Jacques Villeret and Francis Huster Directed by Francis Veber PLOT Thierry Lhermitte attends a weekly dinner party where the guests compete to find the biggest idiot they can to bring along. When he finds matchsticks model maker Francois Pignon (played exquisitely by Jacques Villeret) he thinks he may have the best guest yet. However Pignon has other ideas. You might recognise this from the horrible Hollywood remake Dinner for Schmucks, a film that managed to leave out everything that was good about this version. Still, don’t let that put you off this one as it is a classic. Once again directed by
Francis Veber, it’s actually taken from a successful stage-play. It still works beautifully on the big screen. If you only see one of these movies, watch this one and enjoy.
WORD UP! In under 5 years Internet Start-up Entrepreneur Martin Ferro-Thomsen took Issuu.com from nowhere to one of the top 50 websites on the planet. Each month over 50million users read 4 billion pages through it. Not one to rest on his laurels he’s just launched Conferize, a new project set to revolutionise networking and knowledge opportunities in the trillion dollar conference industry. Somehow he also finds time to play in the band Epic Typo.
Is it hard to switch from being creative to being business-like? What did you want to do when you left school?
Write and direct film. Eventually I learned about all the annoying practical stuff that film production entails, and started focusing on writing. It’s much more lightweight and intuitive, and for me the fastest way to produce and communicate ideas. The online media and web development own some of the very same qualities.
How hands-on are you in terms of programming with your various projects?
Not at all. But I will preach scalability, beauty and simplicity in code, but not do any real programming aside from the casual HTML/ CSS hack on our blog. For someone like me having a strong tech partner is crucial.
Sometimes. It’s hard to go from, say, designing a great UX to working on your investor deck, as the language and perspective are completely different. On a good day I’m able to oscillate between the two and pull value from one into the other. On bad days business thinking can challenge creativity.
How important is money to you?
You thought money would change everything / It only changes what you drink (Kingmaker quote). On a more serious note, only in the sense that it will enable me to do what I love without having to worry about paying the bills. That ought to be a democratic right. On occasion I buy irrational things that I know I will love such as Jenny Holzer ’s 1999 art car in a scaled down, yet perfect version. I never look at it, but I know I own one (signed!).
Photograph: New Media Days
Not lightly. I’m an ideas person, pretty much distorting reality to see big potential in the smallest of things. I’ve learned the hard way that a selective focus is crucial for things to materialize. I think of a startup as a five year marathon where you need to pace yourself. Don’t stay up too late at night, get stuff done and then get out of the office. Be available for fun stuff, random experiences and generally go with your gut to find the energy. Celebrating the mindless overachiever is historically a corporate thing. People don’t function well under those conditions and the general concept of a work vs. life division needs to die. That’s the promise of entrepreneurship although it too can get pretty intense at times.
Photograph: Jonas Pryner http://jonaspryner.com
With so much to do, how do you prioritize your time when working on several projects?
What advice do you have with someone who has a great idea but needs help with the logistics? ie programming, funding?
Find one or two partners with equal amounts of energy, edge and complementary skills. Make sure you really like them on a personal level because you’re in for a rocky ride together. Make a written basic contract with a cliff (trial period) and four year vesting plan. As for funding: Unless you’re ballsy naive (like me) think product first, then funding. Hardly anyone funds ideas these days, except maybe for friends and family. Personally I work along three simultaneous tangents: product, business and funding - keep pushing the first two and the latter will follow at increasing valuations.
How do you see Issuu developing in the future?
Very well. It has established a very unique brand, position and a massive content/user base. Recently they launched a cool tablet version, a reseller solution and their own ad network that will be nearly impossible to contest. Despite what people have claimed, the publication as an entity didn’t die. It evolved.
When is your band Epic Typo back out on tour?
We don’t really tour, but only play one-off gigs. So far this has brought us into run-down industrial garages, summer festivals, and Casa da Musica opening for our heroes Einstürzende Neubauten.
How would you describe Epic Typo’s music? At what point did you become involved with Conferize?
I’ve had interest in the space since 2004. In 2008 I got the basic idea from personal frustration. In 2010 I created the first mock ups under a different name. Since fall 2011 I’ve been fully committed to it.
Isn’t half the fun of going to a conference getting away from work for a few days?
Sure! It’s like dating sites: They wouldn’t be much fun without the actual date! We want to improve the overall conference experience by tasteful use of technology. We need to get clever about the ongoing virtualization and digitization of everything and so far this hasn’t happened properly in the world of conferences.
Industrial art rock, inspired by equal amounts of old school goth rock, EBM and machinery affection.
What would you rather be, a Rock Star or a CEO ?
I’ve made my choice going with the CEO role for the next five years. No one really makes money in music, with a few obvious exceptions. I prefer to keep my con amore projects free of financial restraint.
Where is your fav place to eat? Moma is a good place to start.
follow @conferize on Twitter or sign up on Conferize.com Martin’s latest project www.conferize.com
FLUSH Magazine is now also available as a FREE APP on the Apple Newsstand
Evernote is similar to Apple’s iCloud system but less to do with ﬁles and more like an online organiser, or journal, or ultimate notebook.
Start working on a project on your computer, and as you update, Evernote will automatically sync and save everything on all your other hardware, everywhere else. Plus unlike iCloud it will also work on Android devices. It’s perfect for me because I’m writing notes all the time, wherever I am, and it’s a lot easier than emailing updates to myself. In fact having started writing this feature on my Laptop, I then did a bit more while on the train, on my phone, and now I’m ﬁnishing it off on my iPad. I could do a bit on my Mac just to prove a point, but you get the idea. You can tag notes, drag in images from websites, save audio, add videos, create lists/notebooks, post straight to Facebook or Twitter, and the free version gives you tons of storage with only small unobtrusive ads . I had fun with my daughter playing a quiz and learning some French phrases. If you need to upgrade, a $45 per year Premium account will give you even more storage and enhanced security. A whole industry is springing up around it eg, 7notes for the iPhone, is a handwriting recognition application, or Callnote, is useful allowing you to record SkypeTM conversations, and automatically sends the recording to your Evernote account, both are free and hardware such as Wacom Bamboo Tablets and Doxie Scanners are supported (see our brilliant competition).
I tried a few similar Apps, but none were anywhere near as good, and within a week most were using heavy handed techniques in order to scare me into upgrading. Evernote seemed quite happy to let me get on with things without the big sell, which was a refreshing change. I’m hoping this low key approach will catch on, especially when it comes to double glazing salesmen and personal injury compensation specialists, I’m not holding my breath though.
www.evernote.com Photograph: Verdict Photography
OF THE MONTH
Ciji “StarSlay3r” Thornton has been playing video games competitively ever since she could hold a joystick. After turning Pro 5 years ago she’s earned a reputation as something of a Ninja among the gaming community. A popular contributor to gaming magazines, websites and TV shows, she has also supports a number of worthwhile charities. I dragged her away from the arcade for 10 minutes to find out some more... How did you go from gaming at home to becoming a ‘Pro Gamer’ It all started because of the Midnight Gaming Championship in Texas in 2006. Before then I played games mostly for fun. After seeing gamers on Guitar Hero at a level I was nowhere near, I decided to practice my butt off and attended more and more tournaments, improved my skills, and kept going until I was ranking in the top 10 at a global level on the leaderboards. How much do you play on average per day? It should be 8-12 hours a day, but I don’t always get that much time. On a day when I can do whatever I want and have nothing else to do I’ll get a solid 12 hours in. Lately with everything I have been doing I will get 12 hours in once or twice a week and the rest of the days 3-5 hours, or not at all depending on what’s going on. I try to head out to the arcade and practice for about 4 to 6 hours of Street Fighter and Tekken a day whenever I can, when a major competition is coming up I try to get a solid 40 hours a week in to prepare. What is your fav all time game ever? It’s hard for me to just pick one. I’m a big fan of Galaga and the original Super Mario Bros. but Final Fantasy VIII is one of my favourite ‘newer ’ games.
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Can you play a real guitar? Can I play it? Yes. Am I really good at it? No. haha, I think that’s why Rock Band and Guitar Hero still appeal to me so much. Yeah I can play some songs on the real guitar but I want to rip and shred on solos to some insane songs, and in all honesty I’m just not at that level yet. It’s going to be a long time before I can bust
5 until 2006, then I made the switch to Christie because of a Gameworks employee who had seen my playstyle and thought she’d be a better fit for me. Ever since then I’ve been totally in love with her high and low mixups. I’m also a fan of Ganryu but he’s a bit slower than I’d like him to be. These two are my go-to’s for Tekken Tag Tournament 2! Does your gaming ever get in the way of your love life? It has in the past. I’ve actually had guys say “ you’re a loser, your life revolves around video games” back when I first started competing in Guitar Hero and started taking it seriously. I also had someone break up with me a couple years later because I was ditching ‘date night’ to practice for the World Cyber Games competitions. Luckily, now I don’t have that issue. Guys understand this is something I’m very passionate about now and are much more accepting of it..
out the solo to Crazy Train, but I can go into Guitar Hero right now and tear it up. For that reason I don’t think I’ll ever completely drop the plastic guitar for my real one, at least not until I can play all those songs on the real thing. I’m more interested in learning how to jam out on a real drum set at this point. What is the hardest song to play? Most people will automatically say something like ‘the Dragonforce songs’ or ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ but my personal opinion is that ‘Jordan’ is one of the hardest songs. it’s because the note charting for this song is insane when taking into consideration the strict note hit timing window that Guitar Hero 2 has. I am never consistent when it comes to playing that song. So while others may disagree, that’s my toughest challenge. You are also a big Tekken fan, what character do you like the best? Christie Monteiro! I used Yoshimitsu for Tekken
What new games are you looking forward to this year? Oh man! This year is going to be pretty awesome for games! Quantum Conundrum for sure. I got to see that game at CES and loved it! I can’t wait to get my hands on Retro/Grade and Dance Battle VS, both of which are exclusive to the PS3. Tekken Tag Tournament is another big game I’m looking forward to. Fable: The Journey is another one. Fable 3 hooked me and I went back and played the previous versions in the series, so I’m very excited for the next game. What would you like to be doing in 10 years time? I’m hoping that I will be either in Marketing or Promotional work for a gaming company, or owning my own company doing that type of work. Ideally I want to be able to sponsor gamers and have a team of my own, or at least players that I manage. Finding a good manager/ sponsor is hard now, I’d like to be one of those caring sponsors/ managers that players can rely on and help some people achieve some awesome things. Check out Chiji’s sponsors: Project GAEMS: www.projectgaems.com Archon Clothing: www.archonclothing.com You can also follow her on Twitter @StarSlay3r
Madcatz Wireless ForceFeedBack Racing Wheel Everybody knows the best video game steering wheel ever made was the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel released by Microsoft in 2006. However there was a problem with a component in the wheel chassis that smoked when it got too hot (not good), and it was discontinued less than a year after release. Microsoft halted manufacture and erased it ‘Bourne-style’ without trace, and now only the occasional Ebay sighting proves it ever existed. There have been many attempts to
replicate it’s brilliance, most failing miserably. The main issue with other models was the lack of cohesion between what is happening on the track, and what you doing with your hands. At times it could feel like there was a backseat driver grabbing the controls from you at the most crucial part of the corner. That is until now. The MadCatz Wireless ForceFeedBack Racing Wheel is a pretty serious piece of gaming kit, and while expensive, is a doorway to another level of gaming.
The build quality, especially that of the wheel itself is extremely good, superb in fact. If feels just like a real steering wheel in your hand and it comes with two different fixing brackets to either attach to a table or to put on your knee. The gear stick can also be mounted on the left or right side depending on your preferences, or country of birth. Despite the brake and accelerator pedals being more plastic-y they still look capable of withstanding some serious mileage. In common with most high
performance ‘real’ cars, there are also paddle shift controls mounted directly behind the wheel for easy gear changes. There are also the regular Xbox controller buttons in the middle, so if you were completely mad you could, in theory play Rockband on it. You won’t need batteries, the wheel plugs straight in to an electricity socket. When you first switch it on the controller gives you a little kickback as a precursor of things to come.
Hands on I have to be honest, my first attempt wasn’t good. I unboxed it (no mean feat in itself), and headed straight to Xbox Live for a downhill duel on a particularly icy section of Need For Speed ‘The Run’. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. Admittedly my opponent made things worse, taunting me through the mic, racing on ahead, waiting for me to catch up and then speeding away again. At first it was like trying to guide a plate of blancmange around a canine obstacle course, however I wasn’t going to give up that easily and tried the wheel with a different game, F1 2011. The results were a million times better, I was still finishing near the back, but at least I was competing, and I was enjoying the ride too. The wheel is definitely more effective on games that are more ‘real-life’ simulator and less ‘arcade-y ’, and after 20 mins or so I was getting a real feel for the force (feedback). Obviously the beauty of games like Forza Racing 4 is choosing from
the huge range of cars, and you soon find out the difference in feel between driving a VW Golf and a Ferrari. Whatever the vehicle, it does a great job of replicating the bumps and corners, and the feedback is authentic enough to drive in much the same way that you would in a car around a regular track. You can fine tune it to suit, and with a decent sound and TV set-up you’ve got an adrenaline fuelled driving experience that is unmatched in the comfort of your own home. Believe it or not, after a few hours I actually won a race! While it’s probably true that you can drive faster using a regular controller, it’s nowhere near as much fun. I would like to see special online filters for steering wheel users only, that would separate the men from the boys (literally). Did I mention the price? It’s not cheap, get it bundled with Forza Motorsport 4 and you’ll be lucky to get much change from £200, which is only slightly less than a Kinect and Xbox Console combined.
Is worth it? That depends on your disposable income. If you are single and can afford to buy 30 Pot Noodles and a ForceFeedBack Racing Wheel with your wages next month, then yes. If you have a partner, you’ll need more money to buy them something as compensation. After all backseat drivers are the worst, even virtual ones.
For more info visit www.madcatz.com/wheel
Admittedly my opponent made things worse, taunting me through the mic, racing on ahead, waiting for me to catch up and then speeding away again. At first it was like trying to guide a plate of blancmange around a canine obstacle course
Star Wars Kinect Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away... When I was small, there were many toys I craved, but the one I especially wanted was a plastic battery operated Jedi Lightsaber. Thirty years passed and although technically my Lightsabre is still invisible, it finally arrived. After development stalls, revised release dates and less than favourable initial reactions on its original Expo debut, Star Wars Kinect is here. Unsurprisingly, it was always going to be hard to live up to the hype, but the good news is that despite its’ imperfections (and there are quite a few), it’s probably still the best Kinect game so far. The main adventure part of the game starts in the Wookie world of Kashyyk. Basic training takes place, under the eye of a very serious Yoda. After learning some of the ways of the force (huge jumps, moving and throwing objects, and wielding your
Lightsabre), you, Chewbacca and your fellow Padawan group come under attack and are plunged straight into the action. Ok, so let’s start off with the negatives... While you can choose a character, the gameplay is very much ‘on rails’. Complete one task and it’s on to the next with no options to explore or do things differently. Compared to something like Knights of the Old Republic where there was lots of freedom, you are herded from one scene to the next without any choice in the matter. The other main problem with Star Wars is the controls. The body tracking works up to a point, but there is a sense of detachment between you and your character on the screen. Instead of the swashbuckling Lightsabre duels I was expecting, there is a ‘turn-based’ system that is quite limited, and after such a
long development period, slightly disappointing. Your character never speaks either, which on an adventure of this scale lessens the emotional involvement. It would have been nice to have felt a little more part of the action. So what is good about it then? Luckily quite a few things. The main adventure has a diverse enough range of tasks and goals to keep you interested, and despite the linear style it moves forward at a good pace. It is also an excellent workout, after 30 mins I was beginning to feel the pace. It’s the first game I’ve played where I have actually been pleased to see the cut scenes, just to have a 2 minute breather! There are some good mini games too, Rancour Rampage, where you are a giant Rancour ‘beast’, trashing towns, throwing people about and generally causing mayhem is great fun, and a good way to let off steam
after a bad day at the office/school/ farm/track. Pod Racing isn’t bad either. Duels of Fate puts you one on one against Dark Side characters including Darth Vader and Count Dooku, although this is slightly spoiled by the wooly attack/defence combat system. Surprisingly the mini-game we played most was Galactic Dance Off, a slightly surreal Sci-Fi version of Dance Central, where you can perform dance routines as various characters (including Han Solo or a scantily clad Princess Lea) in Jabba The Hut’s cave, or Death Star. After all the shooting and explosions it comes as a nice piece of light relief. If you have children under 14, they will love it. They won’t notice all the picky things and they ’ll have the energy to do it justice. If you don’t, there are just about enough good things to enjoy, and the game uses every aspect of the Kinect system, if not with complete success, then with plenty of enthusiasm. Emo Phillips once said “I thought I bumped into my best friend from school the other day, but then I realised he would have been older too‚“ In other words Star Wars is really a kids movie, and the Star Wars Kinect game will be most popular with those people not weighed down with high expectations, fond memories, or more important things to do than saving the Universe. Platform: Xbox 360 / Kinect Developer: Terminal Reality/ LucasArts Publisher: Microsoft For more info visit: www.lucasarts. com/games/kinectstarwars
Vessel With the advancement of OnLive, Steam, XBLA and the PSN (not to mention mobile phone gaming), there has never been a better time to ban indie games developer. Jamie Rodgers takes a look at Vessel by Strange Loop Games. Mechanical robots? Made from metal? HA! Too mainstream. I prefer my mass produced beings to be made of water. And how about a futuristic setting? Oh no... Let’s have everything steampunk. Now where would I find such a game? Oh, look, we have Vessel, a new indie game on Steam. Vessel is a really clever 2D sidescrolling physics game set in what looks like the industrial era: steam engines, coal, and everyone wearing goggles on their head. You are the inventor of a new mass produced worker drone, known as Fluro Workers. They are made purely of water, with basic drone A.I. They are able to perform simple tasks put in front of them, and it’s your job to traverse through the various puzzles using the Fluro’s capabilities, and the physics of water. Clever idea, and makes for a very interesting premise. Just like real life, the water in Vessel has its own mass and density. It can influence many objects in the world
if used correctly. For example, it can be used to move switches, cushion your fall, and even build new Fluro workers. The game has some of the best water effects I have ever seen. It act and feels like actual water, instead of just a swirly pile of pixels. It’s ‘refreshing’ to see the way Vessel doesn’t go out of its way to show you too much. The fun is in finding out yourself how to manipulate the environment, which means when you complete a puzzle, you gain a sense of independence and accomplishment. Well done to Indie developers Strangeloop for releasing an interesting game with some good innovations, an engaging playing experience, and a great challenge throughout. Though for some reason playing a game about water did make me very thirsty. Vessel by Strange Loop Games Platform: Steam (coming soon to Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network) For more info visit www.strangeloop games.com
12 Bar Club, London
Singer / Songwriter Lizzyspit, takes us to 12 Bar Club â€“ Londonâ€™s smallest, most intimate venue in part two of our series, Musical Haunts.
Seasick Steve Photograph: www.andyhallphoto.com Virginia Slint Photograph: Rob Mirage
Dylan At The Bitter End
The 12 Bar Club is one of those places that if you didn’t know existed, you’d be unlikely to stumble across. Tucked inconspicuously away on Denmark St, home to one of the world’s biggest collections of guitar shops, it’s one of the smallest, most historic, live music venues in London. It’s poster-peppered walls and beaten up ol’ stage have played host to a huge number of popular artists such as the late Jeff Buckley, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall, Regina Spektor and Seasick Steve, to name just a few. The dark and dingy club has a rich history and was actually built as a stable way back in 1635, then it became a working forge up until World War I. The forge fireplace can still be seen at the back of the stage and is now a well-used resting place for amps and equipment. It then became a carpenter ’s shop until just after the mid 1940’s before being converted into store rooms. By the time the 80’s hit, the club had become home to The Forge Folk & Blues Club,
championed by Andy Preston of Andy ’s Guitar Workshop. It was a vibrant social club and music venue for the staff who used it by day as an amplifier workshop. In 1994, the club was renamed as the 12 Bar Club – and was soon in full swing, proving to be a ‘must stop’ place for up and coming artists touring the Capital. Fast forward to now and Andy still puts on up to four, uniquely talented artists/acts pretty much every night of the week, that is a lot of music. There’s a balcony for about 20 people and despite it being so small, the venue offers a one of a kind viewing experience giving the audience an intimate, up close and personal look at some of the most exciting new artists to break onto the scene. As a performer, the elevated stage puts you firmly in the spotlight, and teamed with the beautiful acoustics, it makes you want to stay on stage forever. 12 Bar ’s atmosphere is truly one of a kind.
12 Bar Club, Denmark Street, London www.12barclub.com
r: e v E s g n o S t Greates
T S A TO
D N A B T E E R T BY S
ss ridiculousne r e e h s e th ’s ical ng. Maybe it free form lyr d n a ty li I Love this so a in ecial about nding orig p li s b e e it th u r q o g , it in of eth g t there is som ow the youn n k ly b a b ro structure, bu p etband. You ulti-million Toast by Stre er, he went on to be a m but back g t, fresh face sin olo artist in his own righ s 1 o another long t s ju s a w g n selling, US N ou r 1978 Paul Y n roll (Street)band. in Novembe r in a rock haired singe
Who wrote the lyrics?
This was beat poetry at a level never seen in the bars of San Francisco, and some (slightly mad) people have claimed this was THE start of rap music. Now a member of ACE Country / Spanish / Americana band Los Pacaminos we caught up with Paul over breakfast and talked ‘Toast’
Can you remember much about recording the song?
Well, yes... it was my ﬂedgling beginnings at recording, so it was all a bit of a learning curve...
They were made up on the night Chaz Jankel came to see us, he was the producer/arranger behind Ian Dury and The Blockheads, and he was scheduled to produce us. Believe it or not, it all came about (bear with me) because we had a novice road crew and not one of them could change a guitar string. When the rhythm player bust a string, he went off to do it himself (at the John Bull pub in Chiswick) and the rest of the band started busking on (once again, believe this) ‘Lover’, the jazz standard that I’d heard by Tony Bennett. So I wouldn’t be standing there like a plonker, I started scatting over the rhythm and arrived at the word ‘toast’ at the end of the chord sequence. It made sense, so I
repeated that at the end of every chord sequence. Chaz thought it was part of the act! And I suppose the ‘Cockneyness’ of it appealed to him. He suggested it as the b-side of our ﬁrst single, Hold On. So yes, I wrote the lyrics, although I had to make it up again in the studio as it was all off the top of my head.
songwriter B.Kelly) as our publishing was frozen, and never saw a penny either!
Did you ever have to mime it? If so how did it go? Well, it was too difﬁcult to mime, so I always did a live vocal. You remember these things better when you’re young!
What is your favourite kind of bread to toast?
Do you think it helped or hindered your career? Um, hindered, although why should I change a thing? It all panned out it the end..
Are you proud of the song? Not really, what a strange start for a singing career. We credited it to the manager (listed
Was music more fun then than it is now? It was more fun in the Q-Tips, once I’d learned a bit! And the QT’s were more my idea, whereas I joined Streetband and was dictated to by them. Only because I knew nothing!
Are you still in touch with any of Streetband or the Q-Tips? The Q-Tips, yes. And one of Streetband.
I try not to eat much bread now! I’m forever toasting for the kids though... Hovis medium sliced for them.
If I do, Ginger jam is a new discovery. (He is a mean cook too, and his Pasta Pomodoro recipe is to die for!) Pasta Pomodora: www.paul-young.com/Pasta_Pomodoro.html
A Boogie Board Rip eWriter and portfolio case The Boogie Board is the perfect way to take notes during a class or at an office meeting. You can also draw pictures, make sketch design ideas, even analyse your football teams set-play strategies.
Create your image - The Boogie Board RipTM LCD Writing Tablet is just like writing on paper only you can also save and share your ideas digitally. Push the Save Button - You can save up to 200 images on the Boogie Board. Once saved, click the green button, erase the writing surface and start again. When you are ready, upload the saved PDF to your computer via USB and store, edit, manage and share your files.
We have a Boogie Board Rip eWriter and portfolio case to give away.
To enter the competition visit
www.flushthefashion.com/win/boogie-board Alternatively email your name and address to email@example.com Editors decision is final. Closing date is 20th May 2012.
For more info on the Boogie Board Rip eWriter and portfolio case visit www.improvelectronics.com
A Doxie GO + Wi-Fi plus Evernote Premium
The Multi Award wining Doxie Go will scan everything from documents to receipts, photos and bills and sync wirelessly to either your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad or even directly to the cloud. Itâ€™s perfect for keeping a digital copy of every piece of important paper that comes your way. Just feed your document through the Doxie and send. On your iPhone or iPad, scans are synced directly to your photo roll. From there you can organise them into albums, e-mail images. Syncing with cloud services like Dropbox or Evernote, mean even if you have problem with
your computer, your files will still be safe . Weâ€™ve teamed up with Doxie and Evernote to give away these great prizes.
1st prize A Doxie Go + Wifi
PLUS 1-year Evernote premium card, a t-shirt and Evernote stickers
2nd prize A 3-months premium card, a t-shirt and Evernote stickers
3rd prize A 1-month premium card, a t-shirt and Evernote stickers
To enter our competition visit:
www.flushthefashion.com/win/doxie-go-wi-fi/ Alternatively email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org Editors decision is final. Closing date is Monday 20th May 2012 Good luck! For more info on the Doxie GO + Wi-fi www.getdoxie.com/product/doxie-go-wifi/index.html
Misbehaving by David Lyle Exhibition Dates: April 5 - 28, 2012 542 West 24th St, New York, NY 10011
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