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November’s tune of the month

28 Nov

Roots Manuva - Here We Go AgainRoots Manuva – Here We Go Again feat. Spikey Tee

Here’s another class tune by Rodney Smith (aka Mr Manuva) from his latest album 4everevolution. This time the UK rapper has teamed up with ragga-soul singer Spikey Tee (best known for his work with Mr Scruff, Sindecut and Jah Wobble) to produce an intense but soulful track about the childish nature of ‘street life’ and good friendships gone bad. Once again we’re hit with a deep groove and a dose of frank, genuine home truths to nod along to.

You’ll like it if you like:

– British hip-hop
– A filthy bassline
– Honest lyrics

The single is released on 4 December 2011. Buy / preview it on iTunes

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A competition for budding snappers

14 Nov
Jaguar, Brazil

Jaguar (Panthera onca), Pantanal, Mato grosso, Brazil © 2002 Staffan Widstrand, All Rights Reserved

Per-Anders Pettersson

© Per-Anders Pettersson

Amazon is a free exhibition, currently being held at the brand new East Wing galleries at Somerset House. Showcasing photography by Sebastião Salgado and Per Anders Pettersson, the exhibition brings together some stunning and remarkable images that highlight the plight of the Amazonian rainforest – and the people living within it (see above).

If you are, yourself, a budding snapper, you’ll be interested to know that WWF and Sky are running a competition in conjunction with the exhibition, to find out what ‘Your own Amazon’ looks like. Get out your iPhone or your fancy camera, step into your own local environment and get photographing. In doing so, you will not only help raise awareness of the Sky Rainforest Rescue and their vital work in tackling deforestation in North-West Brazil, but you could also be in with a chance of winning an SLR camera worth £800. Plus, the chosen winning entry and four runners-up photographs will be selected for exhibition in Somerset House for the final week of the exhibition.

You can submit pictures by Tweeting @SkyBiggerPic and including the hashtag #SkyRainforest. All the images will be collated on the SRR Facebook page and winners will be selected on the 22nd November 2011. For terms and conditions and further info, please visit Sky Rainforest Rescue.

Exhibition details

When? 2 November 2011- 4 December 2011, open daily from 10am to 6pm
Where?
The new East Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2
Web?
http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/amazon
Wonga?
Free

October’s tune of the month

31 Oct

ella in berlinMack the Knife – Ella Fitzgerald
Ok, so I know it’s not a new track, but I was listening to it the other day and it struck me that anyone who hasn’t heard this, should.

This recording of Ella singing live at a concert in Berlin is the perfect showcase of what an incredible performer she was. The jazz singer forgets the words as she enters the second verse but makes up some clever alternatives, with a bit of a scat thrown in, all while holding up those incredible vocals. Mack The Knife is a great song as it is, but this has to be the best rendition, by arguably the best female vocalist that has ever lived.

You can hear it on YouTube here, but the quality’s not great.

You’ll like it if you like:

– Music
– Music
– Music

Frankly, I believe you’re not human if you don’t like it. Ella, I salute you.

Film review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

27 Oct

we need to talk about kevinTranslating epistolary literature into cinema can be very difficult because the form, by its nature, is highly episodic, a much bigger issue on the big screen than on the page. We Need To Talk About Kevin skilfully navigates this problem by cutting up the narrative and operating in several different timeframes simultaneously. The early marital bliss of Eva (a career best Tilda Swinton) and Franklin (John C Reilly) contrasts with Eva’s attempts in the present to live without her family in the aftermath of an horrific event everyone seems to blame her for. We watch Eva bringing up their detached, manipulative and sociopathic son Kevin. That he hides his deviance from his Father pushes Eva’s ability to cope to breaking point. But the two share a strange chemistry which is in part what makes the film so riveting. We Need To Talk About Kevin is not an easy watch but it is a fascinating examination of a disturbing relationship, superbly acted and confidently directed by Lynne Ramsey.

Director: Lynne Ramsey

Rating: 4/5

Review by Garreth Hynes

Halloween in London: 3 top spooky events

23 Oct

Get your ghoul on this weekend with some of the capital’s creepy offerings.

alice cooper at the BFI1. Alice Cooper: Welcome 2 My Nightmare Movies, £13 (concs £9.75 & members get £1.50 off)

On 28th October, this famously theatrical rocker will walk the ‘black carpet’ to the BFI Southbank and discuss the effect that film has had on his song-writing, performances and life. Alice will present chosen a range of film clips to illustrate his talk before putting questions to the audience. The night includes some special guests and freakish performers, and finally a screening of the classic horror film, Halloween.

When: Fri 28 Oct, 6.30pm
Where: NFT1, BFI, Southbank (nearest tube Waterloo)
Web: bfi.org.uk
Box office: 020 7928 3232

 

belle epoque - halloween2. Belle Epoque Party: Halloween Special, £20

Step into a spell-binding world of absinthe-tinged fantasy, daring dancers and vampish drama with the Belle Epoque’s seasonal party this weekend. The music hall venue will be draped in velvet and the organisers encourage costumes as elaborate as you dare… Men should look ‘devilishly dashing’ and ladies, you are asked to ‘reach into your inner desires’. Ooooh. Expect a lavish night of cocktails, enchantment and trapeze artists throwing shapes above you.

When: Sat 29 Oct, 8pm-2am
Where: The Grand Hall, Euston Road, London, WC1
Web: belleepoqueparty.com

 

you make a cake3. You Make A Cake Halloween Parties, £28 each for groups of age 5+, £35 each age 5+ if attending a workshop

Children (and adults) will love these fun workshops and group baking sessions. You Make A Cake provide all ingredients and utensils, so all you need to do is turn up, follow some simples steps, give your kids a major sugar-overload and come away with 12 delicious cakes. Classes and workshops to help you create creepy cakes are currently being run in the build up to Halloween.

Parties for groups last about 90 mins and workshops attended by individuals last for about two hours. Under-8s must be accompanied by an adult.

When: Until Sun 29 Oct
Where: You Make A Cake, 10 Bellevue Road, London, SW17 7EG
Web: youmakeacake.com

Flick Pick: Troll Hunter

22 Sep

Troll HunterThis mock documentary has been likened many times to The Blair Witch Project. I find this comparison both patronising and, frankly, bullshite. Patronising because these critics clearly think the general public can’t differentiate between two movies made by pretend students with hand-held cameras. And bullshite because one is a quirky, brilliantly humoured Norwegian adventure and the other is (was) a ground-breaking, but ultimately, not-that-great horror.

Troll Hunter follows a crew of students as they attempt to track down a rogue bear poacher. It soon becomes apparent that they are in fact hunting someone else all together and the story sweeps you up on a 4-wheel-drive through the fjords and beyond.

Director André Øvredal has taken a fairytale subject, removed it of any fluffiness and presented it with a glint in his eye. The acting is superb and the cleverly grainy CGI’d trolls are wonderfully believable to the point that this surreal subject seems completely down-to-earth. This film is humerous, different and magical. What a breathe of fresh-air in this age of ‘gritty’ and farcicle shoot-em-ups. As Little White Lies suggests, make sure you see this before the Americans re-make it…

See the trailer here.

September’s tune of the month

20 Sep

Kill It Kid Feet Fall HeavyKill It Kid – Heart Rested With You

If you like a dose of muddy blues-rock you need to get a load of Kill It Kid’s latest single. The second track on the band’s second album, Heart Rested With You, begins with an echoey stadium sound – but don’t let these first seconds fool you. The track quickly builds into the howling, thunderous foot-stomper that it clearly is. Imagine the devil rising up through meaty chords of strum-fire in a sweaty marsh, deep in the south of America. Not the kind of music you’d expect to come out of Bath, but with artfully layered male and female vocals, a larger-than-life sound and no lack of energy, this one deserves to be turned up. Loud.

You’ll like it if you like:

– The Dead Weather
– Filthy blues-rock
– The Black Keys

I feel it’s slightly unfair homing in on one track because the whole album is pretty delicious (make sure you cop a load of Pray on Me), but rules is rules… Find out more on the band’s MySpace page.