27 Mar 2009


(text from original The Independent article, Dec 6th 2008):

One is an entrepreneurial 16-year-old who takes time off from his schoolwork to create urban stencil designs of cultural icons such as Mickey Mouse and Clint Eastwood, which he sells for £65 on the internet. The other is the Turner prize-winning father of Britart whose diamond-encrusted skull and pickled sharks have brought him a £200m fortune.

Ordinarily, the two figures at opposite ends of the art spectrum should never have cause to meet. But Cartain, the moniker for the teenage artist, has earned the ire of Damien Hirst for incorporating photographic images of his platinum cast of a human skull, For the Love of God, into his graffiti prints. The two artists have become locked in an unlikely art clash that has led Hirst to demand recompense from the teenager for selling £200 worth of images of his skull without permission, says Private Eye magazine.

He made a series of collages using photographs of Hirst's skull, some of which imposed the bejewelled sculpture over the faces of figures taken from other photographs. One showed the skull in a shopping basket alongside some carrots. The images were displayed in the online gallery, 100artworks.com, where Cartrain's collages sell for £65, on average.
He was surprised to learn Hirst had not only seen the work but also contacted the Design and Artists Copyright Society (Dacs), who apparently informed the young artist he had infringed Hirst's copyright. The older man has reportedly demanded that Cartrain not only remove the works from sale but "deliver up" originals, along with any profit made on those sold, or face legal action.

Anyway, go on over to: www.redragtoabull.com if you think this was / is just ridiculous.

p.s: I recently walked past Damien Hirst and Jay Jopling on St Martins Lane, and managed not to throw up. Yay me.

Spin the Black Circle

Next Tuesday is the 60th anniversary of the 45rpm single. the Guardian has a good article about this - click the title for more:

The first single, ever, was a country record by Eddy Arnold called Texarkana Baby. Arnold was managed by Colonel Tom Parker, who saw another of his charges, Elvis Presley, sign to RCA Victor in 1956. Texarkana Baby was pressed on a slightly odd green vinyl; RCA figured that, in the format wars, they needed a novelty, and so they pressed country music on green vinyl, children's music on yellow, classical on red, and "race" music - rhythm and blues - on "cerise", or what looked like orange to the average Joe. Straightahead pop was released on straightahead black.

26 Mar 2009

Ten – Redux

Partly because it’s my favourite album and partly due to the fact that, the new remixes make each song sound different in ways that are so subtle – I’m deciding if these or the originals sound ‘better’.

A recent re-release of REM’s Murmur, raised the issue of which version would stand the test of time with their fans. And indeed, if the remastered disc sounded TOO clean and crisp, removing the ethereal quality from what was essentially the 1st ‘college rock’ album to break mainstream.

There’s no point in me reviewing Ten Redux as it wouldn’t be that unbiased an opinion, but suffice to say, the most well known tracks off Ten (Jeremy / Alive) do sound new in interesting ways. Alive has possibly a more rounded feel overall, less like a band jam and more a ‘studio cut’. This isn’t necessarily a minus point however as Eddie’s vocals (and especially the drums – as with most of the other tracks) stand out spectacularly well on these versions.

Jeremy - possibly the most played single off the album back in 1992, feels like a new track here, the mix bringing McCready’s guitar to the front more obviously. While Once, Why Go, and Porch also have a new punch underlying their rhythm sections, all the while keeping the familiarity of the songs intact.

The £100 deluxe set would’ve been nice, but the CD/DVD – with the extra tracks from the early recording sessions and full MTV Unplugged show released for the first time, in 5.1 (albeit in the same order as first broadcast with the Jeremy encore still in the middle for some reason) is a nice little package that includes a hardback booklet. And I also have the vinyl on order, which still only takes the whole lot to half the price of the deluxe set.

Any of these are well worth a purchase. As, regardless of those people who would harp on about Nevermind being the definitive example of the Seattle sound in the early to mid nineties, Ten was a paradigm. A milestone album that caught the energy of a band just starting what would become one of the longest careers of all their cohorts and contemporaries.

20 Mar 2009

Mr Pulman


Just added a link - the right - to Chris Pulman's blog. Met Chris while he worked in Slam and haven't seen him since he left. Thought I'd put the link up as he was always a gent and always sorted me out with my half-cabs. So there you go.

10 Mar 2009

Indiana... Smith

mysterymanonfilm.com, has a link to download the 125-page transcript (in the form of a .pdf document) of the original 1978 story conference between Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan for a little film called Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Spielberg suggested that Kasdan write Raiders because he admired his Continental Divide script. Lucas agreed. Lucas had just released Star Wars, the biggest film in the history of Hollywood and a cult phenomenon. Spielberg had just released Close Encounters of the Third Kind and before that, Jaws. Now Kasdan was called in to have a story conference with the biggest names in Hollywood who wanted to talk about their next blockbuster. They had 5 consecutive 9-hour days to talk about the story
Click the title for the full story and link if you have a couple hours to spare.

9 Mar 2009

Seven things you need to know about time

Bored at work? Of course - but check this out to see if there's anything you can do about it. Click the title for the complete article and links.

What makes the universe tick?

It turns out that if you want to understand time, you might need to grab some measurements from the future, watch a big bang explode at the edge of the universe, or delve into the anomalies presented by the most unruly of the subatomic particles. For some, the only solution is to scrap the notion of time altogether.

Calls to scrap the 'leap second' grow

At midnight on New Year's Eve, time stopped momentarily. Guardians of atomic clocks around the world added an extra "leap second" to 2008 to keep time synched with the Earth's rotation - but do they really need to bother?

Time slows for people who stop smoking

Time really does pass more slowly when you are gasping for a cigarette. Researchers found that when regular smokers gave up their habit, their perception of passing time was stretched by 50%.

Is time an illusion?

One group of physicists has recently found a way to do quantum physics without invoking time. If correct, the approach suggests that time really is an illusion, and that we may need to rethink how the universe at large works.

Outside of time: The quantum gravity computer

A quantum gravity computer would be the ultimate design, and radically different from anything we have ever seen. Not only might it be supremely powerful, defying the logic of cause and effect to give instantaneous answers, it might also tell us exactly how the universe works.

Time in the future seems to go further

The best time to ask someone for a favour is at least several weeks in advance, a new study suggests. The research finds that people consistently over-commit because they expect to have more time in the future than they do right now.

2008: Does time travel start here?

If a pair of Russian mathematicians are right, the launch of the Large Hadron Collider could be overshadowed by a truly extraordinary event. According to Irina Aref'eva and Igor Volovich, the LHC might just turn out to be the world's first time machine.