My brother is getting married so we went jumping in water and shit.
I grew up watching America on my TV screen. I watched Hollywood movies and Independents. I saw Pacino hold up a restaurant in Dog Day Afternoon. I grimaced as HIV was perpetuated through repeated promiscuities on Kids. I learnt to recite every Butcher line from Gangs of New York and yet as familiar as I was with the city, nothing could have prepared me for the city itself.
If I hadn’t known otherwise, I would have suggested that New York was a city in decline. The maudlin cries of the subway buskers complimented wonderfully the destitute and fantastically foul subway system. Above our heads, pipes rusted and sagged and the trains screamed past in great sighs of distress. The rats were as resident as the New Yorkers themselves. We spent our nights in the surprisingly divided Upper West Side and mixed with the white middle classes and their doormen. Across Central Park and up towards the East Side we strayed into Harlem and were shocked at the literal geographical divide between white and black. The trains ran slower in The Bronx. The sped up in Manhattan. There was a clear division of priorities and interests.
Manhattan itself paraded itself with a crass availability, the sight of a street worker at the rises of dawn. All the lights in the world but no sparkle. Time Square was great if you enjoy a barrage of relentless of advertising; meaningless words with no ultimate purpose but in the exchange of goods. The crowds were present but in steady streams, working everywhere but nowhere. Lost and the crowd.
I loved it though. It took me back to my beloved London. I realised I could live here, perhaps not indefinitely but certainly to pass a period of time. I could run the 10km around Central Park daily, taking in the scenery that raised me. I could plan my trips across the great American plains or I could sit in the coffee shops with a faint sense of self-resentment and pretentiousness. I don’t know. I love America and New York but it is everything I have ever known and nothing I have ever experienced. I’ll head back soon but I’ll probably buy a return ticket.
“I know you’re tired of loving, with no body to love…”
What kind of wanker would I be if I neglected one of the most anticipated releases of 2013. I see Kanye as a wizard of sorts, so absurdly pretentious and self-interested in his own aspirations and abilities but so undoubtedly deserved of his acclaim. There are few people who will be revered in the realms of pop music in the future. What Kanye has done for hip-hop will be talked of for years to come – each album throwing the face of hip-hop as it is known to the general public into new and exciting directions. From the doubled sped motown samples, to the synth and auto-tune to the new industrial rock-rap of Yeezus. I’m not saying at all that he is entirely original. Yeezus reeks of Spank Rock, Death Grips, Cannibal Ox who have championed future rap as it were for some time. The references though will at least lead some of the more un-inspired hip-hop fans of the beaten track. At least it’s not another Ludacris album.
“If I was a dinosaur, I would be a flexosaurus….”
I really have no idea who Hodgy Beats tells to shut up over and over again for the 29 seconds of this song. It must be important for it to roll onto the recording of the song. When have rappers ever sworn on songs otherwise? I lack the vocabulary to adequately articulate my love for OFWGKTA. This song makes me want to smoke till my eyes are swollen, my tongue is dry and my mind is stuck on some ridiculous scene from The Moomins, I mean have you seen that cartoon, what the fuck are they supposed to be??
“Raindrops make me feel romantic….”
If you have no time for jazz you can stick a fucking saxophone right between your fucking butt cheeks until it slides unhelpfully past your dry fucking unprepared sphincter into the dirty realms of your rectums and then you cry and cry and try and sit down to put your head in your hands, but you can’t because of said saxophone.
“I recall, the thrill of being sheltered in your arms…”
Of course I do, because Chet sings like the taste of that hot coffee, freshly poured, tumbling smootly down your throat on cold autumn mornings, into your chest to your very fingertips as the wind howls outside and the rain shows no sign of stopping.
“Give me the eyes…”
When the wind hits your face and the tears come and you run on and on and the pain comes and goes and comes again and ground moves faster and slower, or so it feels and the sun doesn’t come and the breathing is more difficult but you carry on with your heavy legs and disappointed skies and somewhere, someone smiles because you didn’t give up.
If you run all that way to catch the tube and the doors close in your face and some c**t laughs and so you punch them over and over again in the face until the soft warm breeze of the underground heralds another incoming and/or someone pulls you off and calls the police.
“On the frontlines of disaster…”
One of the notable events in the history of urban music in America, undoubtedly urban black music the world throughout was the declaration of Frank Ocean as being homosexual. The uncomfortable male bravado and homophobic sentiment in the community ran rank in the air and had certainly come to a head and the world was overdue a fall guy, willing to take the weight of the revelation that young black men could be gay. As far as I am concerned anything Ocean does from here on in will be worth watching. A spokesperson for a lost society of young black men. Superb song.
“Stranger clutch, sine wave deconstruct….”
This is probably what Batman listens to in the Batmobile when he is careering through Gotham about to fuck up the Joker or some shit. Probably.
“Lit up rock you live under….”
Any album that has an erect penis on the front is worth listening to right?
“Her stank pussy smell like cool ranch Doritos…”
With a vocal that comes as a frantic call to arms, peppered in staccato, referencing the oddest of metaphors – hello Danny Brown. If you want to act real gangsta, but you’re a middle class white kid who doesn’t want to seem like you’re a “cliche” to listening to Odd Future, listen to Danny Brown. Tell all your black friends.
Really, this is very overdue. My first actual blog post in some time and I have to apologise for this. Life happened in a big way. In Ecuador, I got the job – did I tell you that, yeah well I got the job and so I quit my current job, because it’s, well, shit and we came back and I’ve been working out my notice. I can’t tell you how it feels to know I’ll be leaving. That job has been a black shadow on my sun for some time now. I have had visions of performing all manner of unspeakable acts in manner of marking my exit, but I fear for lasting consequences and so I’ll probably buy them all a box of chocolates and hope they choke on them. That’s the kind of person I am people.
Irrespectively, we made it back from Ecuador, unscathed (just about). There was more rain than we expected, it was colder than we expected, it held more in the way of altitude than we had anticipated, we spent more money than envisaged, I spoke little to no Spanish (but we knew that already) but ultimately a fantastic time was had. There will probably be further videos to document some of the most interesting parts of the trip e.g. flying across a zip-wire in a gorge in Banos, but for now, a montage will have to do.
For the most part, the protagonist is my girlfriend Nina. You can find her at mariposanina on wordpress. I don’t actually know that’s her name but it’s something to do with butterflies. That word means butterflies right? If you are very keen to see me, there is a fleeting shot of my feet on a hammock in Mindo. My hand makes a cameo too accompanied by some blood (mine too) following a fall in Banos. I think that’s all you fine people are entitled to. If you want to know more about what I look like, please send me an email at email@example.com. I don’t get many emails there for some reason.
So to conclude, here is our montage of our trip to Ecuador. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed filming and producing it which means both of us not just me because Nina is adamant that I make the distinction that she was not just the talent but also part of the creative process and not the overall front for what is my devastating directing capability. The song included is Compay Segundo – Oui Parle Francais.
Stay gold Ponyboy.
You know when you’ve not done anything in a while and then you do it and it’s incredible and you have the best time and you wonder why you squandered all that time scouring online for the best Aziz Ansari video; (well not wasted at all, because let’s face it friends, the man is a comical messiah). Well that happened yesterday.
I’m not sure how, but I stumbled across a Bloc Party song that I had not heard in literally years and felt so inspired, I had to make a video about it. Again. The way I see it – the quicker you guys realise I’m going to be making stupid videos, the better it is for all of us. This particular one showcases Gunnersbury Park in Ealing (West London) as it teeters on the M4. It is one of my favourite parks – as a child and now, simply to run through.
Go and watch an Aziz Ansari video. Then the one above. Or both at the same time. That would be INSANE.
Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time traversing the streets that raised me, camera in hand, papping everything that moved. It’s funny, people notice when you have a camera in your hand, especially one that is anything bigger than the standard sized credit card that most people content themselves with. I responded to most of the disgruntled looks with a stupid grin, which of course is the appropriate way to behave when one encounters an enemy. London rewarded my intrusion into the privacy of its citizens with a glorious day of sunshine and for the first time this year I sat in a park and read a book whilst two school kids jostled for the attention of a girl, so far out of their league, she would’ve made Brad Pitt look like a leper. I’ve not got anything thing against lepers mind, I just don’t think they have anything over old Brad.
Anyway, this is England.
Yesterday was seemingly the first real day of summer and so being that I had a day off and the camera gods were willing me, I took my little Sony NEX 5n hombre out for a little spin and this was the result.
It worked out quite well overall. I have to admit, at points I really missed not having a view finder, particularly with the sun in the sky, but at the same time live view is great for filming video, particularly for panning body shots.
Regardless, the result is above. It would be great if you could give it a little viewing and give me some feedback. Or not. Either way is good. Well not really, I would very much prefer the first and you would be nothing more than horrible horrible people to act otherwise.
1 x Sony NEX 5n
1 x Sony 35-80 kit (f3.5-5.6) lens
1 x Sony 22mm (f2.8) lens
1 x Manfrotto monopod
Song: The Weeknd – Birthday Suit (Get Loose Remix)
Can I recommend listening to the song through headphones. Or at least accompanied by a big old sub-woofer. You know, for bass and shit.