Music Monday: Mark Lanegan

mark lanegan notebook

I once had a friend telling me they would probably turn up to hear Mark Lanegan sing the telephone book! But then I agreed because Lanegan just has one of those voices, deep, soulful, soothing to the point it quelled even my horrendous foul and ill-tempered mood on Thursday when we went to see him perform at the KOKO.

mark lanegan gargoyle

 

With nine studio albums and a plethora of collaborations under his belt, there is quite a back catalogue to choose from but I never get tired of hearing my favourites. Sometimes I purposefully don’t listen to a new album if I’m going to see an-artist live shortly, sometimes I just like going to a gig and hearing a song for the first time. I bought the new album whilst I was there, no surprises I chose the red coloured vinyl edition and a notebook. Maybe I’ll write that ercury prize-winning album now!

mark lanegan gargoyle red vinyl

I have I think seen Lanegan perform maybe 10/11 times over the years in various guises, The mark Lanegan bans, The Gutter Twins, with Soulsavers, with QOTSA, by himself. He’s not you average front man, there is no charismatic jumping around on stage, or joking around with the audience. He walks on sings, says thank you every now and then, introduces the band, gives a small wave and walks, not always necessarily in the order but trust me this is enough. Some artists you go to see perform, others you go to listen to, he falls in the latter category.

mark lanegan gargoyle back sleeve

I didn’t stick around for the signing, I’m not good with queuing but I have my album and notebook, and he ended the show with two amazing covers of Joy Division songs which is all good. Love will tear us apart is one of my all time favourite songs. Cover versions are one of the rare things I get snobby about, I hate a terrible cover versions but then again there are some really good ones out there. I doubt that there is a song that Lanegan could cover that wouldn’t be just as good as the original, in fact due to him covering other songs, I discovered some amazing artists to add to my back catalogue.

So until next time I have Gargoyle to listen to along with the many others but some artists are just better heard live, Mark Lanegan is one of those artists!

mark lanegan notebook inside cover

 

Beautiful Brutalism

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A long, long time ago in my late teens/early twenties I worked in a little restaurant/bar next door to Moorgate Station. There was a sister restaurant just behind us above another entrance for the station that led into the Barbican Estate and this was when I was probably first properly introduced to Brutalist Architecture. I would spend many a lunchtime wandering round and admiring the estate. Both restaurants and the escalators and walkway above the entrance onΒ Β  street are all gone to make way for the Crossrail but the estate is still their in all its brutal glory.

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defoe house

tower

al fresco

On the estate is also the Barbican Centre, a cultural arts centre that houses exhibitions, has a cinema and theatre amongst many things. There is a restaurant and a terrace that you can also enjoy as a visitor but pretty much most of the estate is closed off because it’s a private residential area. It is one of my favourite places in London, smack bang in the city and a serene little oasis anyway from the hustle and bustle. I always dreamed of living there but property prices these days have killed that off! A three bedroom flat on the 12th floor will set you back at least Β£1.6 million!!!! You can read more about the history of the estate here.

barbican centre

stairwell in the centre

side balcony

On Saturday we went to an exhibition at Arts Centre, followed by some lunch and walk round the accessible parts of the estate so I could get some pictures. I did have my main camera with me but stupidly forgot to put the SD card back in it, so I ended up using my phone instead, so not the greatest quality but I can still show you what I saw. Mainly for me I love the shapes, the curves, the line, the way the towers loom over the city. How the estate has its own florist and residents adorn the concrete balconies with foliage. On a cloudy day it looks mean and moody and on a sunny day it’s actually quite beautiful.

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frobresher crescent

barbican terrace

stairs

semi circles

curves

hanging

barbican balconies

balconies

private

barbican fountains

curved stair

blue stairs

cross rail

This last picture is where the old walkway into the estate above the entrance on Moorfields which is just behind the entrance on Moorgate, to make way for the new crossfields. I was kind of bittersweet about my old work place being demolished, on the one hand it introduced me to a beautiful part of the city which I would explore on my breaks because I had to get away for my idiot boss, on the other hand I actually hated working at that restaurant because I had an idiot boss who used to pick on me!

Things never really the same or they get stagnant, so it is always interesting to see how the new evolves around the old. By any means the Barbican isn’t an old estate, construction was started in the 60s, so quite young by compared to some but for me it still one of my favourite places in the city. I have to visit the conservatory in there, it’s usually open on Sundays and Bank Holidays, so I will definitely be returning whether it for this or an exhibition.

I plan this summer to take more walks and photos, and next time I’ll remember to put the memory card back in my camera!

Please note that all photos remain my property, please do not use without permission or credit.

Freebies, Food and a Film!

 

This Tuesday me and The Goth celebrated six years since we met and two years since we got married, we both took the day off work, rare considering we’re both self-employed and headed up town for a day out of freebies, food and a film.

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We started off at the V&A for some freebie exhibitions.

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The Prix Pictet in the Porter Gallery showcasing work by artists such Michael Wolf, Benny Lam and Saskia Groneberg on the theme of Space.

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We also swung by Soviet Visuals exhibition which took some walking around the third level until we stumbled upon it. It was only two rooms but interesting to see the development of style.

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Then we headed over to My Old Dutch on Kinds Road for Pancakes.

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Then we had a little walk up and down for me to take some photos which will be coming in another blog post and also to walk off lunch a bit. We then headed to the cinema on Fulham Road to watch Alien Covenant.

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I’ve missed quite a few releases recently just due to laziness. I don’t do well with sitting in the same spot for too long as I get numb bum syndrome, which is hard considering most films these days are over two hours long but some films should be seen in the cinema. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of Prometheus but I did like Covenant.

And that was just my little post of what we got up to on our anniversary.

Lodestars Anthology: Japan

lodestars anthology japan issue

What with all the switches and changes I’ve been making, I had a little think about what I really wanted to write about on here. Now I’ve combined both blogs and have a little look through some old posts, I want to get back to writing about the things I like so that most making clothes and music but I also like reading and writing (hence why I have a blog). After nearly none years of blogging I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t have the discipline to be a professional blogger nor the content, so here it is all it’s nice and shiny writing about my favourite things and the things I do, which will probably be boring to most.

One things I do love is magazines, not your weekly gossip mags, though I won’t lie at one time I did read them a lot but what I guess are called periodicals. They’re released quarterly or biannually and on a specific subject. I’ve talked about this before how I draw on their aesthetic and writing for inspiration and I want to share some of them in a bit more detail with you.

I discovered Lodestars Anthology on their 5th issue about Canada and have been buying ever since, I’m even thinking about stocking up on back issues because not only do I like complete collections and make for great Instagram pics but they are beautifully curated and worth a read. Lodestars Anthology is a travel magazine is a tri-annual publication that covers one country each issue, so far they have covered England, Scotland, Australia, Italy, Sweden and Canada.

Japan is high on my list of places to travel to, I definitely want to visit with the next few years or so and definitely need to start relearning Japanese again. I ordered this copy from Stack magazine which are a small independent distribution company that specialise in independent publications like these. Each week Thursday they pick one to be a special offer and release it at an offer price. My order initially got lost but their customer service was brilliant and I got my order soon after.

Each issue is packed with pictures and articles about culture, food, traditions, nature, you really get a feel of what to expect if you ever thought of visiting these places. I really want to visit these places after reading these anthologies, they are definitely fuelling my wanderlust!

You can grab copies from the Lodestars website or other online retail magazine outlets and also selected museums, galleries and shops.

japan cover lodestars anthology

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all goods were purchased with my own funds, all opinions are my own.

 

Explore Some More!

Exploring my city is always on my agenda, I’ve lived in London my whole life (the part where I moved to Essex temporarily has been wiped cleaned from my memory!) and have barely scratched the surface of exploring it. The urban landscape of London is always changing, shops, restaurants, etc are always opening, closing being replaced, There is always a new exhibition to go and see, a graveyard to go and explore. I try and make more of an effort in the winter as it is so easy to stay indoors and hide under the warmth of your duvet.

On Sunday we headed off to Somerset house, it would have been Saturday but the alarm went off, was switched off and we both promptly fell back asleep, classic for two night owls sort of on holiday (ie we were working at home). I wanted to see one exhibition before it closes on the 25th and that is the Chris Stein photography exhibit celebrating 40 years of Blondie. Whilst we were there, I also wanted to see the Guy Bourdin exhibit.
I like to get to exhibitions earlier, I don’t like packed noisy galleries, I like to move around and view stuff with ease and not precariously tip toe to look over someones shoulder as they hog a piece of art work! It’s a small sacrifice to get up earlier and go and view an exhibit in peace and quiet. I just hope the rest of the world doesn’t catch on!
I hadn’t really heard of Bourdin but realised that I must have some of his work without realising it in the 80s through advertising. The exhibit is a mix of photographs, video installations, home movies and never before seen paintings. Most of the work was from the 70s and revolved around a shoe campaign he was working on. It was interesting to learn about how he designed and developed each of the compositions for each set of photos and the models he worked with during this period. It’s an interesting exhibit and all aspiring photographers would benefit from this. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be learning more about his work.

The Chris Stein exhibit was also very good, comprising of pictures he had taken on tour and in New York, mainly in black and white accompanied by little anecdotes about each of the portraits. It was a more personal exhibit, like being at a friends house whilst they show you a photo album and tell you stories. There are some pretty amazing photos and of course I bought a poster of my eternal girl crush Blondie.