Chromatic Rhythms

Alfredo Hlito’s Chromatic Rhythms II, 1947

Helio Oiticica’s Metascheme, 1958

Juan Mele’s Irregular Frame No. 2, 1946

I’ve long been a fan of abstract art and the use of shape and colour, and while I’m a big fan of Jackson Pollock I also like the order and space of regular lines and grids. Probably the result of a life time spent looking at record sleeves and the like. These abstract South American artworks from the 1930s and 1940s were in the paper at the weekend and are part of a exhibition opening at the Royal Academy. They’re not a million miles from Mondrian’s grids (also currently showing somewhere, the Tate possibly). So I thought I’d share them so you can look at them too.


You Call Glastonbury Glasto…

…You’d like to go there someday
When they’ve put up the gun towers
To keep the hippies away.

So said Half Man Half Biscuit’s Nigel Blackwell and judging by the bits I’ve seen on the telly this weekend it looks like it’s happened. Most of the footage made Glastonbury look like a gap year training camp.

I saw a couple of highlights along with some shockers (Metallica- how much could you stand? I managed 93 seconds). I think the girls won.

M.I.A. resplendent in gold and with a whole forward line of rappers and singers blowing it up on Friday night. That sample from Straight To Hell and those gunshots and cash registers clanging out over rural Somerset are hard to beat.

Edit: This video, uploaded by the BBC onto their own Youtube channel, has now been removed by themselves. Apparently someone was wearing a t-shirt with a political slogan they don’t like. No to censorship, yeah? Last night there was still 20 minutes worth of her set at their own website– confusing huh? Paper Planes starts around  13 minutes in.

The day after Warpaint brought their dreamy, bass led groove to the fields. Their album is sounding good again after a month or two away from it. You have to stop looking for the songs and let their sound wash over you.

Goldfrapp, strobe-lit and black clad, a sexy electro-glam stomp.

I also watched Blondie doing Atomic at some point while reading the paper on Saturday morning. I am sorry to report it was dreadful.




Back to the clothing related songs. There have been a load of helpful suggestions, far more than I’ll get around to posting- Vicar In A Tutu (The Smiths), My Favourite Dress (The Wedding Present), Peacock Suit (Paul Weller), The Boy In The Paisley Shirt (Television Personalities), Jo Jo’s Jacket (Stephen Malkmus), Underwear (Pulp), Autumn Sweater (Yo La Tengo), Bellbottoms (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion). Thanks to George and Brian especially for their input.

I remembered I had this lost late 1990s single by Genelab on cd single (I’m out of bandwidth again so there’s no mp3). The song’s narrator details a girl (Lou), her anorak (on which they shag), and her leaving and his heartbreak, over a sweet guitar part, some backing vox and a crunchy drum beat.

Bobby Womack

RIP Bobby Womack.

Giant Return

I’m interrupting the run of clothes themed posts today but, don’t worry,  they’ll be back.

The Slits second album, 1981’s Return Of The Giant Slits, is a step on from Cut. Full of African sounds alongside their Jamaican interests it lacks the clearly post-punkiness of their debut but takes in a wider variety of sounds and is fuller, wider, worldlier (and WOMADier). It is also less scratchy, less sought after, less celebrated. Return… was produced, like Cut, by dub reggae man Dennis Bovell. It seems very much less ’79 and more ’81. It is also, as far as I can tell, out of print here and has been for some time. Second hand copies on popular internet selling and auction sites are offered at anywhere between twenty-two pounds and fifty-nine pounds. Uh?!

Luckily, if you can put up with Youtube’s lo-fi uploads, it is available for listening to.

Or What It Is?
Face Place
Walk About
Difficult Fun
Animal Space/Spacier
Improperly Dressed
Life On Earth

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 150

Rockabilly as a genre is particularly clothes obsessed and I’ve posted a number of rockabilly songs celebrating pink pedal pushers, cat clothes, a black leather jacket and motorcycle boots, be-bop glasses and blue suede shoes. Carl Perkins was responsible for blue suede shoes but it’s best associated with Elvis Presley. The ’68 Comeback is pretty special.

Have a good evening, whatever you’re wearing, wherever you are.


My Adidas

A pair of Adidas Kopenhagen (from the much sought after City range)

Today we turn our attention towards footwear. A good outfit starts with the shoes, and works its way up. Mr Charity Shop Chic recommended Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoe by Elvis Costello. I was thinking of this, one of hip hop’s earliest examples of product placement (and earning Run DMC a lifetime supply as well). Run DMC didn’t wear the Kopenhagen pictured above- the shelltoe (or Superstar) were their thing, wide laced. The Kopenhagen and other city trainers were much  more of a UK, terrace culture thing. I don’t often wear trainers anymore outside sporting activity but have owned multiple pairs of Adidas in the past. Trainer fetishism is widespread in the north-west. Trainers mind- I have noted a worrying trend developing, people in Britain calling trainers sneakers. Ugh.

If sir or madam requires something else less sportswear oriented for your feet, here’s Elvis Costello with his Attractions on Top Of The Pops in 1977.