Thursday, 22 November 2012

Review: Kate Nash - Death Proof

That's right, another Kate Nash post :-p
Needless to say, I've been a fan of hers since the MySpace days. The painstaking wait for her third album has been eased (slightly!) by the release of her EP, Death Proof. For people who have followed Kate's musical progression from the start, you probably won't be as surprised by the new material as some reviewers are. 

As a bass-playing girl myself, I love the fact that Kate has put her own recently-found love of the bass at the centre of most songs, particularly on the title track, which takes it's name from the (in my opinion) underrated Tarantino film. It certainly wouldn't sound out of place on a Tarantino soundtrack, or even played over a Russ Meyer film (another director Kate has said influenced some of her recent songs); the video had me imagining The Kelly Affair fronted by Varla.

I'm obsessed with the third track, I Want a Boyfriend With a Car. It's dark, sexy and catchy, in a similar vein to Spinnerette's Sex Bomb.

There's also a great cover of The Kink's All Day and All of the Night, which Kate puts her own spin on, making it fit in perfectly with the other tracks.

While it may seem like a huge change in direction for the less die-hard fans (*cough*), her trademark personal, story-telling lyrics are still there and, if anything, she's only grown as a song writer. Give it a go, you might just love it!

Rating: 5/5
Favourite Track: I Want A Boyfriend With A Car
You Might Like It If You Like: Sleater-Kinney, The Frumpies, Vivian Girls, The Long Blondes, Fluffy

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Style Inspiration #1: D'arcy Wretzky

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't talk about my style inspirations? I'm joking, of course, but hey, I'm going to talk about them anyway!

Personally, I quite like reading about other people's style inspirations. It's interesting (and pretty cool) that anyone can be an inspiration, not necessarily someone who is involved in fashion.

The first person I've decided to talk about is D'arcy Wretzky, former bassist in Smashing Pumpkins - not only is she a style inspiration, she's a musical inspiration to me too.

Her style changed throughout her time in Smashing Pumpkins, going from cool grungey look to a more cyberrific goth style. I'm not great at truly analysing or dissecting a person's style, so prepare for basically a few pictures and me gushing about how much I like them :-p
She's wearing a Blue Velvet t-shirt, need I say more? I'm always slightly jealous when I see people who are able to look so great in an unfitted t-shirt and jeans... I just don't feel like I can pull it off that well (I still try though, oh well!). Maybe it's a case of being my own worst critic, but I always feel like I just look lazy and like I haven't put any effort in... and not in the good way I might be aiming for.
Again, something don't feel I can pull off, yet still continue to try - the baggy sweatshirt. A staple of any grunge fan's wardrobe! And see how she's wearing sunglasses but the picture doesn't look that bright? That's cos she's cooler than you.
This is D'arcy in the video for Bullet with Butterfly Wings - obviously the space-goth vibe has taken over, and she pulls it off brilliantly. I think, in most cases, if someone has or has had blue hair, then they're probably pretty awesome (why yes, I have had blue hair myself!).
She almost looks like a different person here, but it's take more than that to trick me. Mostly, I'm love with that dotted bass she's playing!
Blue hair and black gothy make-up, perfect combination.

What do you think of D'arcy's style?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Art Star #1: Yayoi Kusama

I've spoken before on here about both my love of polka dots and the art of Yayoi Kusama. So, with that in mind, it seemed fitting that the first artist I really talk about on this blog would be Kusama.... here we go!
If you're unfamiliar with her work, then the first thing you will probably notice is the sheer amount of polka dots used. Her art is very much about portraying what it's like inside her brain - since childhood she has experienced hallucinations and struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She started drawing dots when she was 10, and has carried on with it ever since.
She refers to her vast field of polka dots as "infinity nets", taken directly from her hallucinations.  Her earliest recorded work to have used polka dots (shown above) is a portrait of a Japanese woman in a kimono (believed to be Kusama's mother), covered in dots, produced in 1939 at the age of 10.

Kusama lived in New York between 1957 and 1972, during which time she became quite involved in political activism, organising events to protest the Vietnam War in locations like Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge. At one point, she wrote an open letter to Richard Nixon, offering to have vigorous sex with him if he stopped the war.
While I was first drawn to Kusama's art on a purely superficial level - a mutual love of polka dots - it was finding out more about her as a person and the inspirations behind her art that led to it meaning so much to me. I've touched on it a little on here, but I do have mental health issues of my own (one of which is also OCD) and I love the way Kusama is able to take all that's going on in her head and turn it into something physical, something external as opposed to taking up so much internal space and energy. I'd love to be able to do that for myself one day (maybe if my confidence goes up a little, I'll post some artwork on here), but for now, Kusama's art is a huge help to me.

Despite her difficulties, Kusama has become one of the most respected female artists in history. Her art has encompassed a variety of media, including painting, drawing, film, fashion and immersive installation. I've really only scratched the surface of her work here so, just as when I last wrote about her, I'd really recommend checking out her work for yourself!