Also (because I just posted this list elsewhere), my top 10 Manic Street Preachers b-sides (at the moment):
1. "Donkeys," ("Roses in the Hospital," 1993) 2. "Patrick Bateman," ("La Tristesse Durera," 1993) 3. "Montana/Autumn/78," ("If You Tolerate This, Your Children are Next," 1998) 4. "Prologue to History," ("If You Tolerate This, Your Children are Next," 1998) 5. "Are Mothers Saints?" ("Life Becoming a Landslide," 1994) 6. "Mr. Carbohydrate," ("A Design for Life," 1996) 7. "Fear of Motion," ("Let Robeson Sing," 2001) 8. "Anorexic Rodin," ("Indian Summer," 2007) 9. "No One Knows What it's Like to Be Me," ("Everything Must Go," 1996) 10. "I'm Leaving You for Solitude," ("It's Not War - Just the End of Love," 2010)
A pair of Style Council videos shot for French television in 1984. The picture quality is bad on these, but it's interesting to finally see them after reading about them several years ago in Iain Munn's excellent TSC book, Mr. Cool's Dream...
I'm on Newsarama today, talking about the new Image Comics app launched in tandem with comiXology.
I'm also on comiXology, or at least my graphic novella Long Hot Summer is. Featuring some of Phonogram artist Jamie McKelvie's first comics work, the digital version is now available here. And it looks great on the iPad!
AMC finally made the four-and-a-half minute long Comic-Con trailer for their upcoming television adaptation of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead available online this morning. Until recently, the trailer was only available via cam footage on YouTube, but this is the real deal, and if you haven't seen it yet, it is awesome:
I have a great fondness for neon signs, especially the older, more elaborate signs that were so popular during the first half of the 20th Century. San Francisco has an abundance of these wonderful old signs (as well as some of a more recent vintage), so whilst trying out the camera on my new iPhone, I decided to snap a few of my local favorites:
If you haven't seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, go see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Criminally overlooked during its opening weekend to an uninspired marketing campaign and the fact that Michael Cera has more or less burned through all the goodwill he earned from his roles in Arrested Development and Superbad, the Edgar Wright-directed adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series is not only quite good, but refreshingly inventive.
As many reviewers have noted, there's not much to the plot, but the film is so well-shot, so well-edited, the attention to detail so exact, the neat visual tricks so genuinely cool, that it winds up being both different and fun.
Not unlike Wright's other films, Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
It's definitely one of the best comic book adaptations to date, and for anyone who enjoys the film, I highly recommend all six volumes of the book, too. They're available at comic book shops and book stores, but failing that, you can get 'em by visiting onipress.com.
Britain's Daily Mail ran these photos as part of a "story" about Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher having a cup of tea together outside a West London caff, which I found interesting mainly due to the fact that PW has apparently turned orange. Well, that and the fact I think it's cool that Weller and Gallagher are down-to-earth enough to just sit at a local cafe and chat.
I was looking for something else on YouTube and came across this fantastic clip of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell lip-syncing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for some show around the time of the record's release. Don't they look great? It must have been cold when they filmed this, because you can see Marvin's breath! Or maybe he was just that cool...
Diana Ross reworked this in 1970 for her second solo single (and more recently, Amy Winehouse reworked it even more, adding completely new lyrics to the music to come up with "Tears Dry On Their Own"), but for me, this is the definitive reading of this incredible song.
Some more Style Council imagery, this time from their early singles. All the Council's records were lavished over by Paul Weller and designer Simon Halfon (along with photographers Peter Anderson, Nick Knight and Lawrence Watson), but their first half dozen or so releases were the ones that really left an impression. From the stark black of debut platter "Speak Like a Child" (above) to the Gallic cool of theirÀ Paris EP, each one had its own distinct look that served to reinforce Weller's vision of the band's image...
From 1983, the 7" and 12" sleeves for second single, "Money-Go-Round":
7" and 12" sleeves for Summer 1983's À Paris EP, containing "Long Hot Summer":
7" sleeves for singles four and five, "A Solid Bond in Your Heart" (1983) and "My Every Changing Moods" (1984):
And finally, there's the Groovin' EP from 1984, featuring "You're the Best Thing" and "The Big Boss Groove," and more or less the end of TSC phase one. While Weller & Halfon continued to do interesting things with sleeve and advert design, the look changed considerably and wasn't quite as vibrant or consistent.
Another Style Council advert from my collection. The first Style Council ad, actually, proudly announcing "A new record by new Europeans." This was worlds away from how Paul Weller was pitching his previous band to the public, and it really got people's backs up. Not everything the Council did back then worked, but few bands were as deliberately provocative.
What a look, though: Weller in white Aquascutum mac, two tone brogues and closely cropped hair; Mick Talbot in his Bogart trench. Très cool.
Belle and Sebastian released some artwork for what will be their eighth studio album, entitled Belle and Sebastian Write About Love. No release date has been set yet, but hey, what's the rush? It's only been four years since The Life Pursuit, right?
1. God Help the Girl - "Baby You're Blind" 2. Lucky Soul - "Up in Flames" 3. Sia - "You've Changed" 4. The Coral - "1,000 Years" 5. The Divine Comedy - "I Like" 6. The Lodger - "Have a Little Faith in People" 7. Manic Street Preachers - "(It's Not War) Just the End of Love" 8. The Morning Benders - "Excuses" 9. The Charlatans - "Love is Ending" 10. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - "Better Things"
Union Made has been doing brisk business on the border of San Francisco's Misson and Castro districts for just under a year, catering to fans of quality menswear with brands like Alden, Gitman Vintage, Tretorn and Levi's Vintage Clothing. (Amongst an every-growing assortment of others...) Now they're sharing the love with those not fortunate enough to live in the Bay Area with their new online shop: