PATENTS ARE A VIRTUE…

In recent months, Google’s LIFE image archive has been e-manna from e-heaven for lazy bloggers like myself enjoying a spot of search engine research. Given its prolific amount of images from throughout the decades, just picking at the bones of any assignment prior to 1969 in Europe or the States exposes some sharp looks and iconic images. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The same applies to Google’s Google patents service – recently upgraded for easier retrival of imagery and a simpler summary of the filed, and ultimately issued, innovations incorporated.

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APOCALYPSE AESTHETICS

Blog post from May 2009.

Who isn’t a fan of cinematic end-of-the-world scenarios? I love them. Really love them. To the point that I’ll excitedly talk about my favourite mushroom cloud scene in a movie (just for the record, ‘Return Of The Living Dead’) to the point where previously enthusiastic conversation participants sit back fall into deadly silence.
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CHICAGO GANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Blog post from May 2009.

Fuck technology. I had a blog on Integrity (the band that is, nothing to do with my lack of it) prepped on my BlackBerry, but it lost it. Or I could be lying. Anyhow, before I rewrite a paen to Dwid and company, I can fall back on the lapsing blogger’s friend, the LIFE photo archive. I could trawl through that thing for 72 hours straight like a crack binger and still be fiending for more.You might be familiar with the photo journalism of Declan Haun primarily his documentation of the Civil Rights movement – spending 15 years in Chicago he documented his hometown in depth, and given the Windy City’s gang problem, it was inevitable that he’d be there gaining access to capture it in its formative years.
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HEAVY METAL STYLE

Blog post from May 2009.

I am, as the blog post I enthusiastically bashed out after Travis the chimp went buckwild may have indicated, a ghoul. I’ve been a ghoul since I was a child. In fact, this post only came about thanks to a tasteless combination of the recent YouTube leak of UK funnyman legend Tommy Cooper’s onstage death – a playground legend the day after in 1984, and last week’s US face transplant revelations. Those two unpleasantries brought one name back from the recesses of my grey matter – Mr James Vance.
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TRAVEL FOX & THE ART OF ‘CASUALETICS’

Blog post from May 2009.

Every decade seems to get an excessive epilogue. The ’60s had team Manson on the loose. The ’70s saw Spielberg set the hit or miss megabudget tone when ‘1941’ flopped. The ’80s had Travel Fox. Something of a mystery to me at the time, the late ’80s were a breeding ground of new shoe brands. Whether indeed they actually served an athletic purpose was superfluous.

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WARREN OATES

Blog post from May 2009.

Today I’ve been watching movies. Lots of them. I’m preoccupied with the performances of a fair amount of character actors, but few have the undisputable crumpled cool of Warren Oates. Given that he passed away in his 50s in the early ’80s, his potential to become the aged oddball of choice for the next breed of indie directors was never fulfilled. There’s household names that get the cool guy namecheck more often, and there are others (Brad Dourif, Harry Dean Stanton) that trod a similar path of cult status versatility, but while Brad’s ‘Wise Blood’ preacher attire is sharp, Oates edges him in terms of both style and acting skills.

In the ’70s, Warren was the man.

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S CONVERSES

Blog post from April – recently I decided the shoes in question must be adidas Shooting Stars. Then I looked at the Eric Meola book and decided they weren’t.

August update – On visiting the Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, I saw a 1975 image of Bruce in ‘Rolling Stone’ with a 3-Striped shoe on one foot and Purcell on the other.  I also saw Marky Ramone’s Pro Keds as opposed to Converses.

As a fan of both Bruce Springsteen and the mighty Jack Purcell, I used to feel that Converse has always been the one brand that didn’t seem to need any payola or seeded endorsement. Motherfuck an ‘influencer’ whose sole claim to fame is a prolific WordPress habit – Converse was worn by some true legends. The don’t-give-a-fuck shoe for those who secretly do. A lot. I never fully understood the need to labour the point for the brand’s centenary. A few candid or onstage images was all that was needed in lieu of any art directed, megabucks campaigns. Other brands might need to labour-the-point, but it was a little moot for the All Star. Continue reading BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S CONVERSES