Tuesday, 30 August 2016

I See...

A Tall, Dark and Handsome Man

Week 20 of Delightful Aberrations' Photography & Art challenge has - in celebration of reaching its 20th week - doubled the number of prompts for the week--and also the time given to fill them!

I opted for the themes predict and affair.

Originally I'd hoped to use my camera's image overlay feature to create a final image without even having to open Photoshop.
However, the images didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped, so this is the result of one camera-overlaid image, with two more overlaid in Photoshop (and a little erasing).

This image turned out pretty cheesy and cliche, but it fits the themes.

All my other photography for this challenge, plus a couple extra, can be found on my photography tag!

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Third Paradise

After the sewer tour on Saturday, I wandered around Brighton for a while and ended up at Fabrica, where the latest exhibition was in its final days.
I'd intended to visit this exhibition a while ago, but circumstances were never such that I had time to go there!

The exhibition this time was The Third Paradise: The Labyrinth and the Well by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

What Crawled Up From The Sewer...

Down along Brighton seafront, there are several arches that house shops, storage areas, and a tucked-out-of-the-way tarot reader.

But it wasn't for tarot that I wandered through this gateway yesterday. I had a far stinkier purpose...

The Brighton Sewer Tour!
This has been on my list for ages, ever since I saw it on TV (and discovered it's a Thing that people can Do...)
Southern Water run the tours between May and September, and they sell out pretty fast, so I was lucky to have snagged a last-minute place on Saturday's tour!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Thinking Outside the Music Box

It's music goal time of the week again, and this time around I listened to artists I read about in Viva Brighton, a local magazine full of local art, entertainment, history and other things! (There's also a version of the magazine for Lewes!)

Joseph Tawadros
This Egyptian musician grew up in Australia and plays the oud, among other instruments! On his album 'World Music', he plays 52 different instruments, with his brother James joining in on 11 different percussion instruments. Which is pretty impressive, really!
His music is the kind of thing that gets put in the 'world music' category due to the different influences involved. Just one piece may start off with a real Middle Eastern vibe, but twist and change throughout to become something with more of a Jazz feel.
He has multiple albums under his belt, some featuring solo oud whilst others include multiple instruments played by a number of other musicians.
I found Joseph Tawadros' music really atmospheric and unusual; it really provokes the imagination so would be great to listen to for creative inspiration--or simply for enjoyment and daydreaming!
Joseph Tawadros Official Site

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
I've previously heard of this British band, but never heard them. When I saw an interview with saxophonist Rodney Slater in Viva Brighton, I decided to look the band up! (Okay, so originally I looked Rodney Slater up, but YouTube insisted on giving me lots of search results about the former US Secretary of Transportation, who has the same name, but wasn't quite what I was looking for!)
Formed in 1962, their music is a real mish-mash of genres combined with humour and avant-garde art. So basically, their performances and lyrics can turn out a bit mad, which is by no means a criticism (the world needs this kind of craziness).
Though vocalist Vivian Stanshall passed away in 1995, the band still perform in various shapes and forms and names, so the surrealness continues.
I found their music fun to listen to, and enjoyed watching the videos I found on YouTube! Definitely a fun band.
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, etc Official Website

That's it for this week!
I'm glad to have picked up this month's edition of Viva Brighton, as both of these acts turned out pretty inspiring and interesting. It's great to happen upon acts that think outside the box and do something a little different, whether musically or visually!

As usual, these and all artists previously listened to for this goal can be read about on my music tag, or listened to on my YouTube playlist.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Streaming Movies

It's 2016 and I'm finally, finally starting to appreciate the awesomeness that is online streaming.
I've used services like BBC iPlayer and Channel 4's On Demand simply to catch up on TV shows I watch, but until recently never for things like movies.
You might think,  "Why not just watch it on TV?"
Fair question. The answer being that Dad usually watches TV in the evenings.
Which makes online streaming a useful way of seeing the movies and shows that I'd otherwise miss.
I'm not someone that watches a lot of TV, but lately it's been handy for watching films!

So - as part of my '100 films' goal - here are films 61-70, several of which I've watched via streaming service!

61. Legally Blonde (2001)
Genre: Comedy/Romance
In a Word: Empowering
In a Sentence: When girly, fashion-savvy blonde Elle Woods is dumped by her boyfriend for not being serious enough, she follows him to Harvard law school to try and win him back, only to find law school is a bigger challenge than she thought
Recommended: If you like light-hearted films that carry a message of encouragement. 

62. Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde (2003)
Genre: Comedy
In a Word: Encouraging
In a Sentence: Elle Woods is back, this time joining the staff of a Washington congresswoman in the hope of passing a bill to ban animal testing.
Recommended: If you like your light-hearted and fun films to have a hidden deeper meaning to them! (Or if you loved the first film and want more Elle being awesome)

63. Spy (2015)
Genre: Action/Comedy
In a Word: Hilarious
In a Sentence: After the CIA loses a top agent, a underappreciated, deskbound analyst goes undercover to prevent a worldwide disaster.
Recommended: If you like spy movies but also like to laugh at them.

64. The Cobbler (2014)
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy
In a Word: Shoes
In a Sentence: An apathetic cobbler discovers a magical heirloom that allows him to become other people, and ends up being thrown headlong into a life-changing adventure.
Recommended: If you like surprises. This was not the movie I expected it to be--but it was very good.

65. Thor (2011)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy
In a Word: Hammertime (sorry, I had to)
In a Sentence: Thor, the powerful yet arrogant son of Odin, is thrown out of Asgard and onto Midgard (Earth), where he must defend it from dangerous enemies and earn his right to return.
Recommended: For anyone who is a sucker for comic adaptations and superhero movies.

66. Dredd (2012)
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi
In a Word: Judgement
In a Sentence: Set in a dystopic future where police officers are judge, jury, and executioner, the efficient Judge Dredd takes a trainee out for evaluation, leading to the pair battling against a deadly gang responsible for a mind-altering drug.
Recommended: Another film for comic adaptation fans, this time those who like their adaptations a lot darker, gorier, and more violent.

67. Robocop (2014)
Genre: Action/Crime/Sci-Fi
In a Word: Cybernetic
In a Sentence: When dedicated cop and loving father Alex Murphy is critically injured through his work, his life is saved by the multinational Omnicorp, who turn him into the first half-human half-robot cop--but things are not as pleasant as they seem.
Recommended: If you want to see an update to the original film. Or have never seen the original film and like action-scifi movies with cyborgs in them.

68. Kung Fury (2015)
Genre: Action/Comedy/Short
In a Word: Parody
In a Sentence: In this 80s-style short movie, Kung Fury travels back in time to defeat Hitler in order to save today.
Recommended: If you like 80s movies. All of them. (Seriously, watch this movie).

69. Pumzi (2009)
Genre: Sci-Fi/Short
In a Word: Beautiful
In a Sentence: Set in a future after World War III leaves the world parched and dry and people shut away in man-made communities, a museum curator receives a mysterious box of soil and after discovering that it can germinate seeds, fights to go Outside in search of life.
Recommended: For those that appreciate beautifully shot world cinema... Honestly, everything about this film is awesome. Watch it.

70. The A-Team (2010)
Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy
In a Word: MacGuyvered
In a Sentence: Framed for a crime they didn't commit, a group of Iraq war veterans work to clear their name, using all their intellect, knowledge, and a sneaky trick or two.
Recommended: If you were a fan of the original TV series. This film is set as a prequel, so it's not a remake as such, but is still enjoyable!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed these films! They all have their own merits, be they old guilty-pleasure favourites (Legally Blonde), stuff I never got around to seeing at the cinema (Thor, Dredd) or utterly beautiful pieces of cinematography (Pumzi).

Already started on my next lot of films. I'll get to 100 one day!

For all the films I've watched so far for my 100 films goal, check my Goal 61 tag.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Retro Beats

This week, I'm listening to two new-to-me artists suggested by my lovely friend Rina. (Thanks Rina!)

イモ欽トリオ (Imokin Trio)
A comic song unit from Japan, Imokin Trio formed in 1981, the members all being regulars on a particular TV show.
It wasn't that easy to find much music on YouTube; it seems their song, 'High School Lullaby' is a popular one, with many different videos!
Since I don't speak Japanese, I don't 'get' the comedy in the songs, so can't really appreciate this act to its fullest. Though they can sing, at face value there's nothing particularly remarkable about their sound.
Still, the videos I watched were enjoyably cheesy!
(No web link for this act, boo)

Graham Gouldman
...you know something's up when your foreign friend is suggesting artists from your own country that you've never heard of, right?
Graham Gouldman is an English singer/songwriter/musician who is also a member of the rock band 10cc (I'd heard of them at least, though only in passing). 
Poking at wikipedia it looks like most of his work was released in the 60s-70s, with a couple of albums released since 2000.
The music I heard does, of course, have a real 60s/70s vibe. Though it isn't something I'd actively seek out, it's pleasant to listen to!
Graham Gouldman Official Website

That's it for this week. For previous acts, check out my music goal tag!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Eat Here. No, Seriously. Eat Here.

So, you know how you get those blog posts pop up where the blogger is so excited to tell you about the latest, greatest product they have been paid to write about discovered?

This is not one of those posts.

But seriously. I am so excited to tell you about this place (and spam with pictures).

Okay, rewind to Saturday. It was my friend Sara's birthday meal, and a bunch of us went to MEATliquor in Brighton.

Walking in, we're greeted by a kickass mural behind the desk a spaceman and arm-wrestling dobermen! Glowing and surreal, it made stepping across the threshold like falling down a rabbit hole into another time and place!

This is not a place you'd go for a quiet meal. This bar & restaurant plays music - good music - and they play it loud.
But really, when Beastie Boys' Intergalactic is blasting out when you walk in, you know you're onto a good thing.

Usually when I write about the places I've eaten, I don't bother taking photos of the decor beyond a quick interior shot, but MEATliquor was too full of photo-worthy things...

Monday, 15 August 2016

Shiny Penny

Shiny Penny
This week, I picked the theme penny for the challenge on Delightful Aberrations.
Once again I feel what I've churned out is kind of uninspired, and once again I neglected to use my shiny camera in favour of snapping pictures on my phone.

This shot was a bit of a happy accident really, as I managed to turn on the flash (which is a bad idea 99% of the time) and it caused a reflection of the penny onto the paper I was using as a background!

I did take some other photos like this but they didn't turn out so well, so I'm calling this done.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Spanning the Genres

For this week's music challenge, I'm back to picking artists based on recommendations from friends. This time around the recs are from my friend Sara (thanks fren!) and both artists have been active for a couple of decades! These recs span the genres a bit, too...

This American singer-songwriter makes music that crosses several different genres, and has been doing it since the nineties!
There's certainly a lot of difference in sound across the songs I listened to, but I enjoyed the music and admire that Poe has experimented with different genres.
Poe Official Website

British-born, this singer lives and works from the USA, and has been working as a professional musician since the 1980s.
Her music fits snugly into the new age category, full of soft, ethereal vocals and nice lyrics.
I liked this artist's stuff too. Music like this is great for playing when I'm drawing/writing fantasy-themed stuff, so I'll be adding this stuff to a few playlists!
Aeone Official Website

That's it for this week. It seems as though my comments/thoughts on these new-to-me artists are getting shorter and shorter, argh. Must try harder!

Monday, 8 August 2016

The Silence of the Shadowbug

As usual, I wanted to participate in the theme challenge on Delightful Aberrations this week.
Problem is, I'm having a bit of trouble with inspiration as of late.

Despite that, I ended up working from three of the themes, and ended up with two ideas.
These first two photos were taken using the contrast prompt, with the hook prompt added in for the second image.
These photos are of shadows on a white background. Since my camera wanted to interpret the entire picture as different shades of grey (?!) I edited it in Photoshop Elements to make the colours more accurate...then decided to go the whole hog and whack that contrast right up.

For my second idea (which sprung to mind after I'd edited these photos) I used the quiet theme.
Ever wonder why someone is quiet?
Thoughtlessly-spoken words pile up, evolutionary survival tactics like negative bias storing them for further use--

Children should be seen and not heard.
Haha, loser.
You're boring.
Be Quiet. 
Such words are easily forgotten by the speaker, but not by the recipient.

I chose to combine four photos into a modern photobooth-style image because those thoughtless, unkind words all contribute to what makes the whole person.

...wow, I got pretty serious there didn't I?!
These photos were taken with my phone, because I'd already put my camera away after taking the first set.

I don't think any of the ideas I've used this week are particularly new or inventive, but I was determined not to skip another week of this challenge!

Maybe I'll try to do something more creative (or more uplifting!) next week.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

All Rapped Up

This week, my musical travels around the internet have taken me back to Finland, this time smack bang into the rap genre (with a splash of pop), all thanks to my Finnish friend Jenni, who plugged me some music. Cheers, Jenni!

This artist is apparently pretty popular in Finland, and was previously in a rap group named 5th Element.
Though I don't listen to much rap, and can't speak Finnish, I like the songs that I heard, and really enjoy the sound of his voice.
It might be a bit of a random thing to write here, but I think K-pop fans would like this artist!
Cheek Official Website

This duo formed in 2009 and have several releases that reached number one in the Finnish charts.
Visually they remind me of some 90's Britpop acts!
Some of their music has quite an upbeat sound to it, and the videos I watched were pretty fun and again, though it's not a genre I listen to much, I enjoyed the music.
JVG Official Website

Bonus Artist!

Antti Tuisku 
The first thing that struck me about this artist was how fun his videos are. The next was that he seems so happy!
Another artist with several number one singles and albums under his belt, Antti Tuisku started off as a contestant on the 2003 talent show 'Idols', Finland's answer to 'Pop Idol' (he came third).
Though I can't understand the lyrics without looking for a translation, these songs have a really 'feel-good' sound to them. Just right for the summer, really!
Antti Tuisku Official Website