Wednesday, 30 May 2012

TV Adverts - My favourites

Let's face it, TV adverts are shit. We tut and sigh every time our favourite show gets interrupted by an advert break and we either switch channel or put the TV on mute. But not all adverts are bad. Once in a while an advert that you look forward to seeing comes along. Here is a collection of my favourite adverts and you'll notice that there isn't a meerkat or a fat idiot with a stupid moustache screeching "go compare" in any of them...enjoy.

Look at the advert, then back to me then to the advert. A genius way to reinvent Old Spice. The whole series of these are so funny and a pleasure to watch...I'm on a horse.

Whenever you're in a pickle...think of this advert.

One of the greatest things that has happened in the last 5 years or so is Adidas releasing their Star Wars range of clothing. Just as Star Wars was diving deep into the pool of geekyness, Adidas pulled it back. Yes, this advert is a bit of a celeb fest but I think that's what makes it work, I mean Snoop Dogg with a lightsabre, legendary.

I never thought Robert Carlyle prattling on about whiskey for six minutes could be so interesting and entertaining.

Let's just chuck a shit load of bouncy balls down the street, film it, stick on a nice song and see what happens.

Such a simple concept, executed perfectly.

My kind of cooking! Such a simple advert that appeals to the everyday man more than Jamie Oliver can ever imagine.

The thing I love most about this advert (other than the fact it's based around Star Wars) is even though the kid is dressed head to toe in a Darth Vader costume, he somehow manages to portray their emotions across to the audience perfectly. The kid deserves an Oscar!

Ain't life wonderful?

Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, probably the funniest piece of footage in the world, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, Squeak, 

I don't know who to cry more for, the dog or the rabbit.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

R.I.P. Ralph McQuarrie

If you're a Star Wars fan in your early 30's, like me, you will of grown up on this guys artwork whether you knew it or not. He was a conceptual artist that worked closely with George Lucas to create the look and feel of Star Wars. I have always been in awe of his paintings and can spend hours looking at them.

"When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph's fabulous illustrations and say, 'do it like this'." - George Lucas.

G. Love & Special Sauce - Rhyme for the Summertime

Summer is finally here! I've probably jinxed things by saying that...sorry. This sort of weather calls for many things, BBQ's, beer gardens, less clothing, sun glasses, Cornettos, happy faces, beaches, the list goes on and on but it all needs accompanying music. Everyone has summer music but the soundtrack to my summer and pretty much every summer since I was 16 is supplied by G. Love & Special Sauce. They do a beautiful blend of Blues and Hip Hop like you've never heard before. The lead man, Garrett Dutton, grew up listening to both genres of music and tributes them both accordingly. He plays a solid blues guitar with blasts from his harmonica interjected into the music for good measure whilst lazily MCing in his own sloppy way. Stir all that up with a solid jazz drummer and double bassist and you've got toe tapping unique music that will have you smiling whilst enjoying a cold beer in the sun.

When I was at college a friend handed me a tape saying it's something I might like. In my hand I held G. Love's first Self Titled album. My friend had amazing taste in music so I couldn't wait to get home and listen to it. I hated it...I really hated it! there was maybe one/two songs on the album I liked but over all I thought it was lousy. A week later, that tape never left my Walkman. G. Love is definitely a grower and something happened in that week between being given the tape and it never leaving my Walkman. I don't know what, but I'm glad it did.

G. Love & Special Sauce has now stuck with me since then and there's no signs of them going away. I would say that they are my favourite musicians just because they've stood the test of time and every time I listen to then it still sounds fresh and new to my ears. I can relate G. Love songs to every aspect of my live and reminds me of endless good times.

I have to add that I met G. Love a few years ago in Bristol at an after show party. Backstage passes fell into my hands in the most luckiest of ways. It was a strange feeling shaking hands with your life long idol and look him in the eye whilst telling him how awesome the show was. He gave me a can of Guinness and on my way I went. I'm not a "I'm your biggest fan" sort of person so a hand shake was all I needed.

If you've never heard of G. Love & Special Sauce go check them out but remember, they're a grower. If you know about them then the time has come to break them out of their winter blues.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Steve Thomas - Star Wars Travel Posters

This series of posters are really something else. Beautifully created whilst in keeping with the original feel of travel posters. A perfectly executed combination of two genres that oozes creativity. I love them and want all eight of them hanging on my wall...if I had the space. It's making me want add more illustration in my own posters.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

8-bit ZOMBIE

If you grew up on a steady diet of Garbage Pail Kids, The Last Starfighter, Bill and Ted, Ghostbusters and 8-bit graphics like I did then you seriously need to check out this website containing some awesome and original tees.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pie & thoughts

Let's start from the very beginning. I've been collecting vinyl on and off since I was around 17. I got started on it because it was the cheapest format at the time, each vinyl album costing around £5-£7 compared to CDs which were no cheaper than £12. I stopped buying records for around 8 years, mainly because I moved around so much and lugging vinyl and a turntable from place to place is a pain so I put it all into storage in my parents attic. Having now settled in the South of England, I retrieved my vinyl from the attic, blew off the dust and re-entered a world I had long missed. I was instantly hooked again, scouring eBay for bargains and stopping at every charity shop and second hand record store I could find. I love it! So imagine my trouser wetting excitement when I heard about Pie & Vinyl. A shop that specialises in, well...Pie and Vinyl. It's a unique little shop on the lovely Castle Road in Southsea. It also sells music prints, CDs and hosts music and comedy nights as well as a menu filled with pies. I finally visited the shop last Saturday. It's been open for around 5-6 weeks but haven't had chance to get there but I finally made it and here are my thoughts on the place.

Before I go any further, let me talk a little bit about the atmosphere of Southsea. Like all cities that have creativity bubbling under the surface it can be a little clicky and you often feel left out if you're not one of the cool kids. Entering some places can feel like entering The Slaughtered Lamb and instantly makes you self conscious. I've noticed this of all creatively aware cities and it's something you never notice when you're on the inside. It doesn't make me like the city less and is still one of my favourite cities that I've lived in because of the community atmosphere and the level of creativity but It does make you feel self concious when entering some places in Southsea and I was hoping Pie and Vinyl didn't fall into that trap and thankfully, it hasn't.

It's been open for 5-6 weeks and has built up a nice following and so it should. I entered feeling a little wary because of the reasons mentioned above but was greeted with an extremely friendly hello. Without being too rude to the everyone in there, I ran to the back of the store, mouth foaming and fingers ready for record flicking, where all the vinyl is kept to check out the selection. Holy shit! It's a rare feeling being able to flick through new vinyl! Yes, I said new vinyl. No warped second hand Rod Stewart albums. They stock brand spanking new, unplayed, cellophaned vinyl. The collection was fantastic. So fantastic that I spent £85 in one hit and would of spent more but my girlfriend was pulling me away kicking and screaming. My girlfriend also kept telling me to be quiet as I kept shouting "Fuck! They've got this" whilst throwing another album on the 'I must have these' pile. It's a shop that was a little too small to handle my excitement. Admittedly the cost of the vinyl there is more expensive to what ever second hand record store you're used to but remind yourself of what you're getting. A brand new, unplayed album that you didn't have to order online (yes, you get to listen to it as soon as you get home) and it's industry standard with modern releases now to get a free download of the album with every purchase, so bonus!

I didn't stay to eat the nice looking food but I looked at the menu and it sounded gorgeous. I ate earlier at The Wine Vaults (best ribs in Portsmouth) so I only stayed for a coffee which was good and gave me a chance to soak in the atmosphere of the place. It has striking framed band prints on the wall which are all for sale and are mixed with so much charity shop stuff I'm surprised that any charity shop in a 2 mile radius has any stock left! Non of the charity stuff is for sale because that's what your tea, coffee, pie mash...well everything comes in or on! It's like sitting in your Grans house if she was much, much cooler. All of this gives such a nice cosy atmosphere and I spent the whole time there grinning, clutching my new vinyl tightly to my chest. I left feeling all warm and fuzzy knowing that it hadn't fallen into the clicky Southsea trap.

I now declare Pie and Vinyl my first home. Sorry love but I'm moving into that place. I'm going to eat pie and mash until my ass takes up two chairs and grab as much vinyl from there as my fat little mash covered fingers will let me! I love the place, right from it's amazing collection of vinyl and charity shop tat to it's imaginative and friendly owners. I can't say much about the food because I didn't eat in there but I definitely will in the future.

Everyone should visit this place. Even if you like vinyl or not, the atmosphere alone is enough to draw in crowds. The uniqueness of Pie & Vinyl has made it my new favourite place to be! Much better than Records & Ribs just down the road, they didn't have Vice magazine.

Check out this cool video Wide Aperture Media did about them: Pie & Vinyl on Vimeo

Friday, 11 May 2012

Music videos I Love.

I've always loved music videos and have wasted away a silly amount of time watching them. They don't have to be well shot, have a huge budget or even have a good idea behind them. I just believe that they need to fit the song perfectly whilst adding an extra element to the tune. Here is a small collection of some of the ones that always stick out in my mind. Enjoy.

Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Just sit there, sing the song and the rest will be done in post editing, mwhahaha. A chilling video that is top of my list because it's my favourite.

The Temper Trap - Love Lost
I wish my P.E. classes went more like this. I think I would of enjoyed school a lot more.

Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! - In Green 
Just stand there and sing whilst I'll film you with my Dad's camcorder. Sound good? Sweet. Also, this way, we'll have enough money for beers afterwards. And you, yeah, you at the back. Don't forget to eat pizza halfway through.

Minus The Bear - Knights
Just keep an eye out for all the cool shit that goes on in this video.

TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun
This song should of been called, 'Staring At A Crazy Disco Video That Gives Me The Chills'.

Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise
Because the Beastie Boys are gods, the world has agreed on this there's been meetings about it, they are able to get anyone to do their bidding. This video is proof of their power to not only write amazing music but to get celebrities to say "how high" when they say jump. R.I.P MCA

Beirut - Elephant Gun
Ukulele's are cool and having a group of people dressed up like they're in a 17th century French brothel, dance in sequence whilst you strum at the uke's strings, is even cooler.

Broken Social Scene - 7/4 Shoreline
Dance! Go on, dance your ass off and be merry whilst feeling extremely cool that you are listening to an amazing band.

Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain
This video is basically a visualised dream of mine and I don't even like golf but if it was played like this I'd be a pro by now.

Dismemberment Plan - Time Bomb
I find this video oddly memorising and I still can't put my finger on why.

Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
Feeling down? Life getting on top of you? Watch this. It has more power of supplying happiness than a beautiful summers day.

Folded Light - Train Tracks At Dawn
Tell you what. You watch it and tell me what you think because this video always leaves me speechless.

Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul
This video is for anyone who has been dumped. The script (yes there's talking in it) is spot on and there's a disgustingly beautiful surprise in it. Pure genius.

DJ Format - We Know Something You Don't Know
So what can we do that'll stir things up a little...hmmm...I know, let's get J5, dress them up in comical animal costumes and get them to MC to a low camera angle Beastie Boys style...done!

Lightyear - Pack Of Dogs
Is this the worst or the best music video ever? I just can't decide.

Motion City Soundtrack - My Favourite Accident
Can't we do something more than just us playing in a room? That's been done by every band on the planet! Ok, how about we mix it with scenes of you breaking up with a dude in a giant pink bunny suit, how's that sound? Sweet, let's do it.

No Age - Fever Dreaming
Dude, the world is getting smaller and breaking all of our shit and I'm pretty sure it's going to be the end of us! Shut it and keep playing! If we're going out, we're going out playing an awesome song.

Timber Timbre - Demon Host
Holy shit! Did this band just walk over my grave?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mitchy Bwoy - Star Wars

So when Addict called me and asked if I wanted to do a follow up to my successful first round of limited Star Wars tees, I jumped at the chance. I decided to base the new range on Empire Strikes Back so I quickly knocked up a variety based on different characters. Not bad eh?

So this is what I wish I was able to say when people ask me where I got my t-shirt from. What I actually say is, this amazing artist called Mitchy Bwoy did them for Addict and I envy every ounce of his being for being so bloody better go check all his stuff out and join the sea of artists shouting 'bastard' at their computer monitors.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

I was a late comer to Maurice Sendak's work but I love it as much as much as the next kid.

Friday, 4 May 2012

NEW POSTER - May the 4th be with you.

The happiness and satisfaction that the "Stay on Target" poster gave me, inspired me to do one more based on the ending scene of Star Wars, so now I have my first set of posters, hence the similar design.

Both are for sale on my website. I've added a poster page displaying all of my posters and the option to buy them for £11 each. So go check that out.


Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, a band that have been around since I was born and have been the soundtrack of my life died today. I will stick on the Beastie Boys, and raise a glass in his honour. R.I.P Adam Yauch aka MCA.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

NEW POSTER - On Target

All of you Star Wars geeks in the world have to get this one. An idea that just jumped into my mind whilst on the train reading Star Wars comics.

It seems that my lyrics and quotes posters aren't going away anytime soon so keep an eye out for upcoming designs and all posters are for sale too so message me if you are interested in one. I'll also design you a bespoke one of a kind poster based on your favourite quotes and lyrics so message me if you want one doing.

They'll be a poster page added to my website soon which'll give you a chance to buy my posters and find out more about them. In the mean time, you can view them on the work page of my website or on the 17th and Oak Facebook page.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Kellogg’s Jubilee Packaging

Kellogg's are turning back time for the Jubilee by taking their packaging back to1950. They look amazing and because retro is all the rage at the moment, they don't look out of date! Even though I'm not a fan of Coco Pops or Frosties, I may buy them just for the packaging. I did the same with the Limited Edition Absolut Vodka bottle designed by Jamie Hewlett...I don't even like Vodka but I love Jamie Hewlett's artwork. I'm sure I'll blog about him at some point.