Wednesday, 29 September 2010

FISTS tour with Sparrow & The Workshop

Hello,

Been meaning to post this up for a while. The very lovely FISTS are touring next week with a great band Sparrow & The Workshop. Here's a cool video from Sparrow & the Workshop, so you can see if you like them:



This will be a great night, wherever you see them, but if you come to the Notts shhow you can get in for cheap too! Email Fists' record label hellothorrecords@gmail.com and they can sort you out to get in for £3.

Mon Oct 4th King Tut’s Glasgow
Tue Oct 5th Night and Day Café Manchester
Wed Oct 6th Brudenell Social Club Leeds
Thu Oct 7th Stereo York
Fri Oct 8th Bodega Social Nottingham
 
And here's a little vid from the first ever Fists single launch, with Mexican Kids At Home & Harry Merry:
 

 
PLUS! If you are artistically minded then get in touch and submit a Zine entry to @fourbeatwalk (twitter) or the Hello Thor email above. The zine will be released in Oct in time for the Hockley Hustle (Jam Cafe) & Hello Gore II (Nottingham Contemporary).
 
Love Bex
x

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Metropolis

Yesterday me and Anders saw Metropolis at the Broadway. I'll be honest, I really wasn't sure about going. In fact, I was chatting to Nick on the phone just before, declaring "I don't even like songs without words and they're only 3 minutes long!" I had reservations about the length of the film and the length of time it could hold my attention for without any dialogue. In fact I loved it. It was fascinating and beautiful and I barely missed the dialogue/ ambient sounds (footsteps, doors closing etc) after the first 5 minutes. It was definitely a bit long though and I definitely had a little cat nap at the end. In fact as soon as we got home after I had to go to bed. I felt really drained, I think something in the focus and concentration needed for a film without dialogue with a pretty involved storyline just wiped me out.

The film is amazingly well restored which makes it a pleasure to watch - not like some grainy/scratchy/blurry old films. You could see the nuance of expression and it didn't feel too broad and over-acted because of that. Plus you could really see the details of costumes & sets and (even though it sounds silly) I really appreciated much more how people from the olden days (1927 to be exact) actually look pretty similar to people from nowadays. I think they always look so different in photos - stiff & still - that they feel really removed from me and my life. Seeing them crisp and clear moving and talking (silently) made it feel much more relevant for me. In fact, I thought the central male character was reminiscent of Johnny Depp & Ray Liotta.


There were some amazing things in it, and I kept wondering afterwards how much of the stuff we were seeing had been invented by 1927 and how much was sci-fi prediction genius from the director. 

For example, cars... I just checked, and they started being mass-produced in around 1910. Still, there were scenes with four lanes of traffic winding through the Metropolis, which just looked normal to me as a commuter, but in 1927 surely would have seemed a bit crazy?

The Empire State was built by 1931, so I guess the visual of this very tall, imposing, dominant city wouldn't be so unusual at the time. Still, if you were from a small town in England this would have been like Futurama looks to us now I reckon.

There's a scene where the boss of the city talks to one of his workers via telephone & TV screen - like the buzzer systems you get in flats. They were only just inventing television in the 1920s, never mind it being readily available in people's homes.

Finally then, here's the trailer:



And here's a clip I borrowed from Joey's blog, because it shows this incredible dance scene where the evil version of Maria dances and bewitches men into duelling and fighting. Check out how bewitched they are:



Plus you can see some of the effects Lang used, back in 1927 for chrissakes! They did stuff like combining miniature models of sets with real people using mirrors, with everything looking in perfect scale. They also did amazing scenes like the transformation (scene shown in the trailer) manually - exposing each individual piece of film as many as 30 times for shots which ended up lasting only about 10 seconds. Incredible.

I really enjoyed this as an experience at the cinema, and as an experience of seeing the result of lots of people's labours of love looking so beautiful up on screen.

bex
x

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Designing food

I was just reading this article on the Guardian website about designing food:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/sep/15/designer-food-gm

It's a really interesting article and poses some difficult questions which are totally at odds with the way I, and many other people, think about food.

The prevailing wisdom at the moment is that it's much better to eat fresh food from a local source, grown as organically and naturally as possible. I guess the logic behind that is that it's what we used to do before science got involved and it's the way "god" (or the universe) intended it. It seems completely irrefutable to me that it's better to eat food grown outside in the rain and sunshine than inside in a lab, but will this become a luxury we can't afford in the future? And is it true that it's the best way?

I'll be watching and waiting for science to answer those questions I guess.

Bex
x

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Brett Domino & Britain's Got Talent

More magic from youtube.

Check this out:



And then watch this:



Simon is a total doink. Brilliant. Amanda Holden on the other hand... yeesh.

Becky
x

Friday, 3 September 2010

Living in a Super Mario World

I love that strange convergence that happens sometimes where when you are pre-occupied with something you find it everywhere. I guess the clearest example is pregnant ladies who see loads of other pregnant women everywhere. They're not crazy, just noticing more. Anyway, a bad back has meant being restricted to the sofa a lot, which has meant I've gotten to play the new Super Mari Bros Wii game quite a lot. I keep getting the music in my head. I like the music. That's how much I've been playing it.


Anyway, the magic of convergence brought me this:
 

 
Students in Japan created this for a school festival. Amazing.
 
Bex
x

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Blimey

It has been a busy time for us lately. Anders is working hard on finishing off a marketing course and has been locked away in our little office writing a big assignment for weeks now. Soon it will be finished and he will be free! Free at last! He'll be able to emerge from his cocoon and get some sun on his pale skin. OK, it's not quite that bad, but it's pretty close. Plus he starts his new job today! Good luck Anders!

In the meantime I've been standing in for Anders @ Hello Thor, working hard to help get the Anxieteam record made and launched and up online. It's been really fun and the two launch parties were ace.

Nick & I drove down to London for the first gig last Friday and thoroughly enjoyed our first live experience of the band. It was a little bit nervewracking holding 100 copies of a picture disc for a band on your label who you've never seen live, but they did us proud. I love their onstage relationship. It's a lot like their off-stage relationship, but we get to be a little part of it. Favourite moments... pacman & ghost chase during "Lonely in the Digital World", the Anxieteam song, enjoying DJ miniBurgers' set loads (including a remix of an old Prince Paul track), seeing Nick & Anders appear on the projection screen during the "commercial break" to advertise the new single and texting people I love to tell them I missed them during the "Miss You" track, as instructed by Jon & Jim.

It was a late night drive back for me and Nick, fuelled only by Jelly Tots, Haribo and what Nick calls "Frooty Tooties". I remember demanding that Nick gave me the Haribo in a certain order to eat, an order which only I know, asking difficult questions about his life and loves and lots of "I just want to be at home now" comments. I'm a fun road trip buddy.

The Nottingham gig at the Contemporary was also super fun. Jim & Jon did an interview with LeftLion while we drank tea and watched the Contemporary guys set up the stage and projector etc. That was the relaxed part. After that it was busybusybusy. We were so pleased that loads of people came down for the party, old friends, kind supporters of Hello Thor and new faces. It felt like there was a lot of good hearts in that room and we all really appreciated that. I was in charge of the HT shop, so, tucked away in a corner, I didn't get to see so much of the gig, although I did make a break for it to see the pacman chase scene:



Big thanks to everyone who made me busy by buying the cakes / records / hello thor tees and giving out badges, stickers and Kate's cool Hello Thorzine. It really made my night! By the way, if you loved those cakes check out Star Bakery. It's run by a friend of mine and she makes AMAZING cupcakes (and wedding/birthday cakes too). I follow her on twitter (@starbakery) just to see pictures of them and make myself hungry! Cakes here:
mmmmmmmmmmmmm
Favourite bits:
When I managed to find a yellow HT t-shirt for the nice girl who very patiently tried on lots of sizes & colours til I managed to find the right thing, selling lots of records to nice smiley people, seeing Nick drop a classic Wu-Tang tune on the decks and that propelling Ned onto the dancefloor, the "Donut Batter" song by Anxieteam, wobbling dangerously on a chair to try and see the set from the back of the room and taking lots of "Hello!" pics:

My favourite. See the rest on Flickr.

Unfortunately during all the fun I had randomly developed myself a bad back, so I spent the rest of the bank Holiday sitting oddly upright on the sofa with a hot water bottle, cups of tea, Ugly Betty, a good book and Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. Ok, not so unfortunate, lovely in fact.

I also became addicted to The Great British Bake Off. Firstly, why are so many shows now the Great British this or that? What suggestions would you have for other great titles along those lines? Secondly, how did this show come about, and why are those people SO into baking?? Surely there's only so much drama and emotion you can squeeze out of a macaroon.... apparently not.

Thanks for reading, hope you had a lovely Bank Holiday.

Bex
x

p.s. if you didn't get to come/ have any cash on you to buy the "Let's Eat Soya" record you can pre-order it here and we'll send you a lovely picture disc and the digital files too!
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