Are we about to enter the third Summer of Love? All the ingredients seem ripe for the mix; a groundswell of political activism, the legalise weed campaign, plus an overarching peace-n-love vibe from the youth contingent. The last week in London has seen peace protest camps from ExtinctionRebellion plot up in Westminster, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch, increasing eco-activism and awareness globally.
When I went to visit the Marble Arch camp on Saturday, it happened to be the same day as the 420 rally, with blazing sunshine, a carefree Glasto vibe and the distinct whiff of weed wafting across from Hyde Park. As with the recent anti-Brexit march, DJs and musicians lent their support to a rotating sound system so the likes of Massive Attack could show solitary to the cause. It was all rather groovy. (more…)
Just opened at the end of Ladbroke Grove, a fantastic exhibition of 1960s-80s nightlife photography by West African photographer, Sanlé Sory.
Sory used to take portrait photos in his Burkina Faso (formerly Bobo-Dioulasso) studio, later scooting to local parties and dances as requested, to shoot partygoers in action. According to him, “if there’s music, you need to have memories. Photography tells the story.”
He would also photograph local jazz musicians, the results of which would end up on their record covers. A few years ago, French writer and music collector Florent Mazzoleni came across some of the records and intrigued by the photography decided to track down the photographer. Legend has it that when he arrived in his village, his enquiries led him to Sory in the midst of burning his negatives. (more…)
“I think it’s key for songwriters to be faster than media. There’s no reason for the news to be quicker and more hip than a song. Your computer and your smartphone are tools as well as toys. So I encourage artists to always stay awake, and stay aware. And you can get your art and your expression through the clutter of it all by just being very solid, and to the point, and trying not to look at the results, because I think metrics and analytics mess things up. They only measure more, and more is not better.” Chuck D, narrator of Spotify’s podcast on The Clash, talks about creativity versus metrics, and social media for self expression, not self promotion, NBC News(more…)
Happy Birthday Malcolm McLaren! The guy had his faults but he still stands as one of the most influential music and fashion innovators this country has ever seen. He brought punk, hip-hop, vogueing and world music to mass culture, as well as the utter gem that is Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt (*sound ON!*) and the classic Double Dutch video (I’m desperate for an Ebonettes tee)…