29 January 2009

just dreamy.

i spent most of my university days (and nites) at our student-run basement radio station, wuag. hours upon hours talkin' shop, making promo materials, disc jockying, going to see bands for free. we were quite spoiled looking back on those years, being part of an organisation on the rise and lucky enough to be so close to chapel hill to be near the shows. we also had gatecitynoise (r.i.p.) just across the street bringin' bands in every week to play for free. there was a time when i was at shows most nites and then i think i just burned myself out, still lovin' the bands don't get me wrong. just feelin' a bit old haha. i began going mostly to local shows while making the drive only for my die-hard faves.
things changed a bit when i came to london, as i have some great friends but still haven't met very many people with the same taste in music as me. there are so many unique venues and can be an overwhelming list of shows in any given week, and i always ask myself, do i want to go to a gig alone or invite someone along who may not enjoy it.....and worry that they're not having a good time. last week i went to see david grubbs at the lovely luminaire, one of my favourite venues. i went on my own and was very happy i did. the lumi reminds me a lot of go! rehearsals back home (also now r.i.p.) in scale and overall vibe but has the added smile-enhancing bonus of being able to stand just off-side the stage so you can be that bit closer. oh! and they've got this great sign telling people to be quiet or leave, which i just love and wish all venues had!
(photo from clubhemisphere.)
he played a pretty good mix of old and new, with a few gastr del sol tracks mixed in. the hi-lite for me tho was his cover of the carter family's 'death is only a dream'. i didn't have much luck with videos but luckily this one came out! so i hope you enjoy.
p.s. would you like to go to a gig sometime?

27 January 2009


with our next show just a few weeks away my brain
is quickly turnin' to m u s h ! if you're missin' posts here, tip your wings this a'way.

24 January 2009

what was not but could be if...

a coupla sundays ago i went to the greenwich markets. greenwich on a sunday was my every sunday for the nearly six months i was living there. it's not the main market that i love (tho they do have some amazing antiques and vintage on thursdays and fridays) but the other two markets, over by cafe rouge and the picture house.
(greenwich memories)
there are a few sellers that are only there on sundays, and they are my absolute favourites. even if your teeth are chattering, it's so much funnnnnn to sift and dig thru the treasures, finding outta-sight watches and brooches for as little as 25p. i usually come away with small collections to give as gifts or add that special oompf to packages.
i was happy to see a lady who always has the best finds in the place. she seems to have a little story about each thing, and they all 'used to be mine'. i got a 1940s bow and a box of hair clips, i've never seen one like this gold clip before.
i was pinchin' myself, so smitten with my finds, but then i wanted to pinch somebody (my face prolly looked a bit like these kitties below haha) else when all the sellers seemed to be talking about the close of the market. whaaaaaa? no way!! no teasin'. but it's true. they are closing the market on 28 of march to re-develop the site and build flats. i don't get it. who am i kidding, i'm still in denial about it. greenwich already lost flying duck last year. and now this. i hope there are talks of setting up somewhere else, or maybe expanding the smaller market by the picture house. i'll definitely be heading back down to greenwich a few more times before 28 of march, making sure i find out the other markets where my favourites will be.

22 January 2009

lost and found.

sometimes i want to take back what i said about being lost.....it's usually in the huff's and puff's of being late for an appointment. i don't mind not knowing where i am, it's not having the time to not know that gets me anced.
but the colours, patterns, smells and back alleys are things i may never otherwise experience. plus i'm sure not to get lost in the same place twice right? so i'll say it again. i love to be lost. and then found.

18 January 2009

heads or tails? penny door revisited.

some time ago i dedicated a post to one of my favourite daily sights: the penny door in city road. tonite when i was waiting for my bus my eyes couldn't help but scan the oliver house for some form of life. a little boy peered out from an orange-lit room and there were a few plants thriving in the windows. when my eyes fell once more upon the pennies there was a man with a dog, looking like he was going to either knock or go in. i never got a reply to the email i sent so i saw this as my chance to see what oliver house was all about.
he seemed a bit startled but he told me that the house is a squatter house, as suspected. and that the owner knows they are living there and is ok with it. he didn't know anything about the building coming down, so let's hope it is there for a long time to come. i was too nervous and too excited to be so close to the inside (!) that i didn't think to ask any other questions. part of me wants to see the inside so much, but the other part knows the reality will never live up to my daydreams. and the magic of just not knowing.
p.s. 22 jan, i got an email from mister penny!! hello! its very nice to recieve your email, and i'm very happy it makes you smile every day! the building was business in the past but over the past 5 years at least has been a residential squat and the pennydoor was a project towards the outside world which is very different to the inside of the building... well my name is myrto, and I put actually made the door as it is with the help of many housemates. The thing is that I have mooved to athens so i cant open the door for you. What you can do is to ring the doorbell and say you got in contact with me and ask if it is possible to have a look around ... thanx for the nice words and blog! myrto

13 January 2009


i've been wanting to share these pages with you from spring 2008's bon magazine for a while now. the pages that stop you in your tracks are actually taken from erik kessel's book in almost every picture #6, sure to hit your wishlist instantly. (click the images to view larger)
one woman. 52 years. 75 photographs. documenting her existence. freezing herself in time. leaving them behind. can you imagine coming across a cigar box full of photos like this? watching her grow up, seeing the changing styles. that cheshire grin. i just adore these.
they remind me a bit of the plastic school bus frames my mom had, one 'window' of the bus for each year of our school photos. when i next go home (fingers-crossed it's soon) i'll have a look for those. my mom also says she's found her wedding albums and all the love letters she and my father wrote to each other. she says she wants to burn them now that they're divorced and i said nooooooooooo don't you dare!! even though they may not mean something to her now they meant something to both of them then. i can't wait to pour over the pages.

11 January 2009

saddle up.

i haven't yet made it to the west coast of the u.s. and am tryin' to get there.....but for the longest time now i have had a thing for western wear and all its functionality, its embellishments and frivolity. perhaps it stems from my one-time horseback ride or riding around in the bed of my dad's pick-up truck 'for fun'. drooling over £250 gabardine western suits at alfie's antiques and seeing dave berman effortlessly swoon in a western suit doesn't weaken the lust-factor!
one lazy sunday this past summer i caught a bit of the western bend of the river (1952). i don't remember much about the plotline, just jimmy stewart, rock hudson and the clothes of course!
do you ever have that moment when you find your dream coat, dress or shoe....the one you never even knew existed but can't live without as soon as you've seen it? i had one of those moments while watching bend of the river. julia adams (who remains my hair inspiration!) wears the perfect woolen blanket coat, and by perfect i mean that it's got just the right colour-burst of stripes, fits her to a t and goes with every outfit hands down. i haven't been able to find any photos of her in the coat but i've been pouring over how the west was worn and was so happy to see a few close contenders included.
(standing with wild west show associate tex cooper in 1926, tom mix wears a coat fashioned from wool blanket fabric. as early as the 1920s, mix endorsed garments made by the pendleton company.)
tom mix is breakin' my heart in this coat!! the fit, the piecing together, the pockets and even a belt for added shape, swoon. now let's have a closer look at those jeans and boots...the pendleton coats below are like the ones i find on ebay, the middle one in 'glacier park' being closest to tom's and julia's. if i am lucky one day i will be united with the blanket coat of my dreams. until then i will dream on! and lust after camp blankets.
(these three examples from the 1950s were made from pendleton blankets by nudie the rodeo tailor. note: i've muted the colours in this photograph)
p.s. i've got so many favourite images from how the west was worn. i will share them a little along the way.

10 January 2009

meshes of freedom.

last nite i went with my friend dom to see cildo at tate modern. after the film we sipped free wine and then popped into the gallery for one last look at the amazing show.
the best time to go to tate is on a saturday nite as it's a bit quieter. when i saw the show for the first time i was on my own, and i really wanted to take a few photos, but as a 'museum professional' myself i'm always a bit nervous to take photos and they generally aren't allowed. plus i said that would give me reason to come back at least one more time before the exhibition finished. and most of all, i usually prefer to savour those precious times over fidgeting with a camera to capture something that is nearly impossible: being in the space and looking, hearing, feeling the works.
with the film being slam-packed and the artist also present (!), last nite was actually very busy, so there were a few queues to see some of the installations. there were also so many cameras poppin' that i thought ay! i'll give it a go this time around. my favourite piece in the exhibition is fontes, a room filled with 6,000 rulers, 1,000 clocks and 500,000 vinyl numbers.
Cildo Meireles Fontes, 1992/2008 Dedicated to Alfredo Fontes
numbers have 'fallen' off of the clocks and rulers onto the floor so they can't actually be used to measure time or distance. and the rulers have been hung in a formation based on the milky way, so once you step inside the piece you are in this spiralling maze with the swishing of the rulers against each other and your body layered atop the varying ticking sounds from the clocks. i could stay in there for a very long time.
it's difficult to describe but very easy to enjoy and become almost hypnotised by! dom did a short video and here you can see and hear a bit of what i'm trying to describe.
aren't you tempted to see the show now? there are only two days left. you can peek at the other works here. and be sure to check out the film just outside the exit with the making of the exhibition and visits to cildo's studio and the ruler factory (!).

07 January 2009

four eyes.

in first grade i sat so close to the blackboard that i was practically cheek-to-cheek with it. i could barely see the words even when squinting. my teacher mrs moore (who i remember most for her smiley faces with 'buns' of hair to match her real-life bun!) told me while tracing my christmas silhouette that i needed to go to the eye doctor. ahhhh doctors. i've always been a bit weary of them.
my parents always say that by my second visit to dr chandler i had memorised the eye chart in hopes of going home without glasses. i maintain they all told me my eyesight wouldn't get any worse if i wore the 'special' blue glasses. how did i fall for that?
who with glasses doesn't have serial fantasies about waking up to see the alarm clock as more than just a few blinking lights...? i've had my fair share of 20/20 daydreams but since starting the search for a new pair of specs, i've realised i also hold onto very vivid memories of not quite being able to see the whole picture. memories that i wouldn't dare trade. on many a friday evening in my youth, the five of us piled into my dad's pick-up truck and drove to my grandmother's house for the weekend. i would usually take my glasses off and fall asleep, my head rested on my dad's shoulder. waking up to look through the windshield at the street lights and passing billboards, so blurry without my second set of eyes, only to fall right back asleep until we pulled in the driveway. i always thought the lights looked like twinkling snowballs, and if i tilted my head they moved like pinwheels, growing larger and smaller as we drove onward. what i wouldn't give for one more of those friday nites.

04 January 2009

the red balloon.

on our last day of freedom before going back to work, my flatmate, her friend dave and i walked into stoke newington today, a walk we take a lot of sundays. we popped into the usual shops, tried out a new coffee shop and then hit clissold park. i really haven't taken enough time to explore the park. the last time i went was this summer for carters steam fair (!) which distracted me from all the lovelies.
this time around i was wishing for summery temperatures as we checked out the aviary and animal enclosures. i am looking even more forward to springtime now for lazy sundays lounging in clissold park and sittin' a spell at the mansion cafe.
the surreal hi-lite of the afternoon of course was dave's balloon. i felt like i was watching an episode of mr wizard! we lost the balloon after a while, who knows where it made its final resting spot.
along our walks we always see kooky crazy gardens like this one. this lot woulda made the perfect studio audience for mr wizard!

03 January 2009

a big hello...

...to 2009! i have been nursing an upset tummy this week....caught the bug that has been bit so many people i know. in between naps and meds i've been makin' it thru with wonder years, pushing daisies, the city (!), curt henderson, the new nylon, the americans and annie hall. here's hoping you're all healthy and smiling. more from me a bit later...
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