Thursday, December 08, 2016

Event: Bug 53


The final Bug of 2016 had a cold-ridden Adam take us through another selection of entertaining music videos with a great selection and a few that I'd seen in recent weeks that I predicted would be up for inclusion in the show.

"Vowels" by Capital Cities was a good start with a signing dancer taking to the streets of downtown LA. The choreography is great and at the end was cute! The director of this was Remy Cayuela. Two hours after the show this is the one I'm being drawn back to so is probably my pick of the night on that basis.

The second video from the recently reappeared Avalanches is for, what I think is, one of the stronger tracks on the new album "Because I'm Me". The director Greg Brunkalla has done a great job turning the mashed up track into a video about a young lad who's trying to impress a ticket booth attendant with the power of dance. 

The first time Katie Melua has been at Bug and as terrible as her music is the video here for "Perfect World" was lovely with a small story playing out in a world made of sugar. This was directed by Karni & Saul.

Adam sometimes has a section called Netballs featuring amusing videos from the internet. On tonight's show we got to see two completely different clips.

The first was "24" by Not Waving. Directed by Simon Owens this is just dogs wagging their tails in time to the music. No CGI or computer trickery, just a lot of footage filming and selection to find the clips that matched the track. This was surreal but very well done.

The second was a clip that had gone viral in the last few months and shows why you shouldn't eat an entire Carolina Reaper chilli in one go, why you shouldn't try to cool your mouth with water and why it's perhaps not a good idea to do this if you suffer from asthma. This split the crowd with some a little uncomfortable with what they were watching and the other laughing hysterically. I'll let you guess which camp I was in!

Up next we had Simon Landrein's video for Coco Banana's track Earthquaker. This was bizarre, looking like something Roy Lichtenstein would do if he tried animation whilst on drugs. Bizarre! and the track sounded like it had been slowed down too much.

Bonobo's video for Kerala was one I knew would be shown here having seen it a few weeks back. A trippy piece that benefits from multiple viewings and that works incredibly well with the video although it might be too much for some to watch; it's bound to elicit fits in some people. This was directed by BISON.

Following that we had a bizarre but funny video by Bad Bad Not Good for their track Lavender. The Director was the rather silly named Fantavious Fritz and has a group of lads playing Dungeons & Dragons. This was a quite dark and amusing video but went well with the synthy track. There's great use of the Yoda horn at the end too...oh, and the website mentioned is real :D

The guest rapper Kaytranada on the last track also had a video of his own for his track "Lite Spots". I liked this video, simple and a little bit emotional featuring a robot that just wants to dance. This was directed by Martin C. Pariseau and I loved the motion capture work on this.

The next video is one I'm unable to find online. It was called "The Second" and was directed by James Lees. It's a powerful short on guns and why they're not good things! This was great and it's a shame I can't find it...If it ever appears I'll post it up. Instead here's his video for DJ Snake so you can get an idea of his directing style.

A total change of music style as we moved to folky-sounding The Furrow Collective and their track "Wild Hog in the Woods". This features a video by Chris Cornwell and looks like a Dr Seuss production but with a slighter darker story, actually Seuss would probably get away with it.

Up next Blaze and their track "Virile" with a video by Jonathan and Guillaume Alric, so very French then. The track is pretty decent and the video ok despite it's straightforward story featuring two guys getting stoned to the track that one of them is playing on some decks. It's clearly shot on a cheap budget and is probably better for it.

The band for the next video, Francobollo, were in attendance at our show so were able to give some insight to their video Finally which was directed by band member Sam Bailey. It was intended to be a video compilation of the band on tour but they ran out of cash and the will to finish the video so they dicked about and filmed a soap opera which they then spliced in. The Soap Opera part was ridiculous but had the audience in hysterics. They should release more of that!

The final video is the latest by OK Go, who always feature in the show whenever a new video is released. This one is clever (aren't they all) in that the video is 4 seconds of footage slowed down and timed to the music. A great idea, although it has been done before; Adam showed a Beck video from 2003 that had the same idea but lacked the tech available today. A great video to finish with.

So, another great show and we have the 10th birthday celebrations to look forward to in 2017!

Epilogue

This video was mentioned in the crib sheet but wasn't played due to time. It's pretty good, more so if you're an MJ fan (I'm not that big a fan)! It's cool to be able to say I've been to a lot of the locations and good to see Lil Steph at the end! 






Monday, December 05, 2016

Film: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

This is a film that I'd seen advertised but had heard nothing about, then the Prince Charles Cinema started a heavy run of it and trusting their judgement I thought it would be worth seeing, even more so when they announced £1 a ticket for members. Bonus!

The film tells the tale of a delinquent kid who is put into the foster care of a couple who live on the edge of the bush. Circumstances result in them being lost in the bush being hunted by the authorities for reasons I won't spoil here.

The film is well told, and an entertaining film that would appeal to all ages, and I get why the Prince Charles are showing. If you're looking for something other than a Christmas film then give this one a go; they're showing it quite a lot. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Film: Train to Busan

A great Korean take on the zombie genre set on an Express Train. It would make a great Left 4 Dead level as the zombies chase people through the train and through some train stations. Some great effects and a decent body count makes this a fun film.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Graffiti: Camden

Camden has a new Lost Souls piece so I thought I'd go check it out. By the time I'd got there it was very dark hence the poor colour.




This is the Lost Soul's piece. Very festive!







Also in the area was a wall that used to have a Dan Kitchener on it and now it has a new one by the same artist.



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Film: Your Name

Your Name is a very successful Japanese film that has made its way over to the UK. It has become the first non-Ghibli animated film to break the 10-billion yen mark so it's a pretty big deal. It's had a fairly subdued launch in the UK, and I'd only realised it was being shown here after catching a poster on the underground.

The tale is of a city boy, Taki and a country girl, Mitsuha who become inexplicably linked through their dreams and they decide to find each other. Without giving too much away the story is a little different to the usual love story, and has a good mix of comedy peppered throughout, in particular from Mitsuha's younger sister Yotsuha.

The animation is stunning and rivals that of the Ghibli camp. The story is clever, and you can probably tell I'm not giving too much away; to do so would spoil things.

Highly recommended. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Event: HyperJapan Christmas Market

Some photos from today's HyperJapan event. It was slightly smaller than previous events but the performances were better.

BANG is a robotic dancer which means there was a lot of dubstep. He also plugged the sales of his towel via an amusing promotional video.

Misaki Iwasa used to be in AKB48. Now she sings Enka, which is traditional Japanese singing. Hayabusa are a male trio that sing 70s style J-Pop.

Expensive wooden masks.

Authentic calligraphy.

Stunning art. Not overly expensive and I might get some.

Kiss meet a J-Pop band.

Puppies

Hamsters

Egg yolks. Gudetama is a creation of Sanrio who gave us Hello Kitty and is apparently popular!

The Hoopers are an eight piece girl band who dress up as boys, which means trousers and short haircuts from what I can tell. The advantage in having a large group is that there's inevitably going to be at least one that'll appeal to someone.

Shhh.... I won't tell you which I one caught my eye.

Some more traditional singing on a second smaller stage

Super Smash Bros.

Alpacas

Retro games.

Swords, lots of swords.

Cartography for fictional worlds: Game of Thrones, The Hobbit etc.

The Tomboys were a great sounding rock outfit but I couldn't help but think some of the smiles weren't genuine and they'd been told to do it all the time.

More egg. Apparently the butt crack is intentional.

Neo Ballad take old Japanese folk songs and put them to heavy trance and techno soundtracks.

The competitors in this year's Cos Parade. It appears I'd been spotted so I left soon after.

Another great day, and whilst I'm not into some of the cultural things (I couldn't name any of the cosplay for example) I still enjoy myself. The only downside is that I leave knowing I need to be going back to Japan. I am actually seriously considering this in 2017.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Gig: Autechre "Black Friday" @ Royal Festival Hall

Here's a nice shot I took of Andy Maddox, who was one of the warm up acts for tonight's Autechre show. His music was accessible but unrecognisable to me. The other support act Russell Haswell unfortunately was both inaccessible and unrecognisable, in fact probably unrecognisable to Russell as well. He seemed to make the song titles up as he went along and the music, if you can call it that sounded like he was manipulating feedback in his equipment with a chainsaw. 

Autechre on the other hand looked like this, as the gig was a "lights out" performance. The point was to allow the audience to focus on the music, none of which I recognised, and given the responses of the audience, not recognised by them either. But I understand that may be the Autechre thing as they've cleverly evolved their live sound to be an organic construction rather than a replaying of their albums. What got the crowd to cheer was a recognisable snippet of something that sounded more like music than noise, and as that little 4/4 snippet appeared and allowed us to nod our heads we'd cheer for more but it would soon evolve back into the noise that permeated most of the set. Being in darkness also made any little bit of light that did appear an instant distraction, and as some people left early the ushers, who were carrying muted torches would run to collect them. I seem to find myself paying more attention to that than the stage.

So a weird night, that ended a bit abruptly. I think the set was a little over an hour, and there was no encore. I can say I've done a gig in the dark though. Would I go to another? Probably not if it was Autechre.