Weapon Of Beauty

Little Boots feat. the Tenori-on
December 29, 2008, 5:16 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’re a regular viewer of Later With Jools Holland you might have seen Little Boots playing there with a Yamaha Tenori-on. The Tenorio-on is a sort of synth (I only use this word because there’s basically no other word to describe it) that’s made of a sixteen by sixteen grid of LED switches that can be activated to create sounds or beats. The possibilities are endless. What makes it so special is that you don’t need to be able to play any ‘traditional’ instrument to make a song when you have this thing. It’s also perfect for solo artists to get some extra sounds or beats while playing live. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of this little instrument in the coming years and it might become as common as a loopstation or sampler. 
Here’s a few YouTube videos that let you see what it’s all about:

Tenori-on demo

Little Boots in her kitchen playing ‘Stuck On Repeat’

Little Boots in Later with Jools Holland playing ‘Meddle’


Best album cover art of 2008…
December 23, 2008, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Art, Design, Music | Tags: , , ,

…goes to the self titled debut album by Eero Johannes. Johannes did not only write the music (the record label calls it synthetic funk, high-on- sugar-electronica), he’s also resposible for the album artwork.
The cover somewhat looks like someone raided the medicine cabinet, swallowed all the pills and puked them out again, leaving an outburst of colour on the bathroom floor.
At first you are just overwhelmed by this eruption of shapes and colours, so it takes some time to notice that they actually represent letters that form the name Eero Johannes. Which makes this cover even better. Hell, it would have been my cover of the year even if the shapes didn’t represent anything at all (well, anything else than pill vomit that is). I could perfectly see this hanging on a wall as a piece of ‘real’ art.


The back cover and most of the other album related art is done in a similar multi-coloured seventies style vein. See examples below.





Best of 2008 in musical terms
December 19, 2008, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , ,

Those are the numbers.
These are the results:

dEUS – Vantage Point
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Glasvegas – Glasvegas
Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Nicole Atkins – Neptune City
Poni Hoax – Images Of Sigrid
Santogold – Santogold
The Whip – X Marks Destination
Tim Vanhamel – Welcome To The Blue House

11 SONGS (from bands that didn’t make the album list)
Exile Parade – Fire Walk With Me
Mauro & the Grooms – Leaving Montreux
Metallica – The Day That Never Comes
Mogwai – Batcat
Roisin Murphy – Moviestar
SIA – Buttons
SISTER – Lovers Of Today
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Baltimore
The Hickey Underworld – Future Words
Those Dancing Days – Run Run
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp (live)

Morrissey @ l’Aeronef, Lille, 19.01.2008  
The Hickey Underworld @ AB, Brussels, 16.03.2008
dEUS @ Mezz, Breda, 6.04.2008
Malcolm Middleton @ VK, Brussels, 12.04.2008
Ladytron @ Vooruit, Ghent, 01.05.2008
The Hong Kong Dong @ Petrol, Antwerp, 07.06.2008
Sophia @ Cactusfestival, Bruges, 13.07.2008
Future Of The Left @ Rock Herk, Herk-de-Stad, 19.07.2008
Poni Hoax @ Recyclart, Brussels, 25.07.2008
Yeasayer @ Democrazy, Ghent, 18.08.2008
Mauro & The Grooms @ Democrazy, Ghent, 23.09.2008
Admiral Freebee @ Homey, Antwerp, 20.10.2008 

You know you want it: Sarah magazine

Possums, quit shagging that reindeer and just for once do something good with your life: buy Sarah magazine.
Sarah was born almost deaf and recently got a Cochlear implant in her right ear. The second implant, in her left ear (hey, it was the only one left, she’s no 5-eared freak or so), has been scheduled for 2009, but since medical insurance will only cover the first operation, she’ll have to pay the full 25.000 euro bill all by herself. To help her out, 100 artists from around the world were asked to make an illustration for a publication called Sarah magazine. All profits of the magazine go to Sarah’s operation.


Sarah Magazine costs 15 euro (worldwide postage included) and is a 96-page black/magenta/white A5 publication on recycled paper with full-colour cover and a  limited edition of 1000 copies. You can order it at: sarah_magazine@hotmail.com 

(Wow! I didn’t realise that there were still people using Hotmail! It’s as if Gmail never happened. New Hotmail addresses are like baby-dinosaurs: very cute but so very 2002.)

Anyways, the Sarah magazine participants are Apetown (BE), Astrid Yskout (BE), Atsuko Ishii (JP), Babs Decruyenaere (BE), Bam Bam Ink (AR), Bert Lezy (BE), Bfree (NL), Bitches In Control (NL), Boris Servais (BE), Brecht Vandenbroucke (BE), Brendan Monroe (US), Bruno Savona (IT), Büro/Atelier (NL), Carakter Atypik (FR), Craig Atkinson (UK), Danielle Lemaire (BE), Daxodiva (DE), De Klup (BE), Dennis Tyfus (BE), Duudle (DK), Elisabeth Noels (BE), Ephameron (BE), Evah Fan (US), Eyeformation (US), Fanny Garcia (FR), Federica Ubaldo (IT), Fichtre (CH), Francesca Iurilli (CH), Gemma Correll (UK), Guillaume Jolly (FR), Havec (FR), herr sommerferien (BE), Inge Cornil (BE), Izja Rutten (BE), Jack Usine (FR), Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen (BE), Jiem (FR), John Bobaxx (FR), Julien Kedryna (FR), K (FR), Kati Heck (BE), Kiki (NL), Korneel Detailleur (BE), Kris Delacourt (BE), Lamelos (NL), Leen Van Hulst (BE), Lennard Schuurmans (NL), Lieven Segers (BE), LLCoolJo (FR), Logan Hicks (US), Louis Reith (NL), Luke Ramsey (CA), M!CH Decruyenaere (BE), Marcus Oakley (UK), Marie Rosen (BE), Marilou (FR), Matthew Feyld (CA), Max-o-matic (AR), Mehdi (FR), Mentary (CH), Michèle Matyn (BE), Mike Swaney (CA), Miruki Tusko (BE), Miss Lotion (DK), Morcky (IT), Nazario Graziano (IT), Neasden Control Centre (UK), N’Roll (FR), Oles (NL), Pacolli (BR), Philip Paquet (BE), Pinda! (BE), Prutpuss (BE), Rachel Agnew (BE), Rim (BR), Robert Rebotti (IT), Sarah Vanbelle (BE), Sebastiaan Van Doninck (BE), Seldon Hunt(AU), Sighn (US), Specio (FR), Sumo (LU), Swoon (US), Tastest (CH), Thomas Mazzarella (BE), Tina Scott (DE), Tom Gauld (UK), Tommi Musturi (FI), Tony Papin (FR), Vaast Colson (BE), Ward Zwart (BE), Wayne Horse (DE), Yoko Nono (FR), ZBK (PL) and Zeroten (UK)…





More info at www.myspace.com/sarah_magazine
Go and order it, you know you want it.

Pepsi Max’s Suicide Calories

Pepsi’s German advertising company made a fantastic ad campaign for Pepsi Max (= The equivalent of Coca Cola Light. They have in common that they both only hold one calorie and both taste like reindeer piss).  To accentuate the fact that the drink only holds one calorie, they made three drawings of that very very very lonely calorie. It tries to kill itself in a multitude of ways, reminiscent of the Suicide Bunnies. Great idea and very well executed (pun not intended, but hey…).
Apparently there’s a bunch of people who are outraged by these ads, as they think suicide is not something you make fun off, completely missing the fact that humor is indeed very often about those things that are considered taboo  (death, religion, sex,…). If you can’t handle that, just ignore these jokes and carry on knitting that reindeer jumper you started last week. Or look up the term ‘black humor‘.
Personally I think that people who have the time and feel the urgency to complain about these drawings, are miserable bastards with a complete lack of humor (those humor sensative braincells were probably killed off that time they put their head in the gas oven for just that little bit too long) should either lighten up or just, err well, kill themselves.
But remember kids, suicide isn’t painless, it hurts like hell.




[PS. What’s up with all these reindeer anyway? Is my mind being corrupted by Xmas imagery?]

Victim Design

Another group show opened on Thursday (with a lot of Glühwein and Cara Pils) at the Martin Van Blerk Gallery, Mechelsesteenweg 26, Antwerp. Almost 50 artists were asked to work around the theme ‘Victim Design’. Participants – here comes the ‘usual suspects’ line again- include Alexandra Crouwers, Kevin Apetown, Vaast Colson, Koen Boyden, Kati Heck, Danny Devos, and many many more.
All works have been crammed into every corner of the tiny gallery causing a complete and utter sensory overload.

One of my favourite works was the red spray can which was completely emptied on the wall by Lieven Segers.

One of the works is even outside: if you’re lucky you can hear Dennis Tyfus yell at you from the basement opening outside the gallery.

The Gallery is only open on Saturday afternoons. 

All photos by Trendbeheer.com and Victim Design.

A Meeting Between The Tragic And Funny
December 5, 2008, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Art | Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’s two interesting group exhibitions going on right now in Antwerp that both deserve a mention here.
First up is A Meeting Between The Tragic And Funny at the Antwerp Hessenhuis museum. Curated by Lieven Segers it hosts work by usual supects like Vaast Colson, Dennis Tyfus, Kati Heck, Fred Bervoets, Erik Van Lieshout,…  
A more unusual name is Daniel Johnston, the American musician, whose drawings you might know from thàt t-shirt that Kurt Cobain wore. He made some fun drawings on one of the walls and collaborated with Canvas Collectie winner Michèle Matyn to add his drawings to her photos. The tragic life story of the manic depressic Jonhston fits right into the subject of the exhibition: art that walks the fine line between tragic and funny. Don’t miss this one if you’re in Antwerp.
All photos courtesy of Lieven Segers.