Archive for March, 2007

Royal De Luxe: The Saga of the Giants

I remember being utterly amazed by the coverage (mostly of the citizen journalist variety) of The Sultan’s Elephant last year, but hadn’t seen a proper video or read a proper write-up until this excellent article on 3quarksdaily.

Julian Crouch, a maker of large site-specific images and co-artistic director of the company Improbable, writes of seeing the Elephant move for the first time. “The thing was real. It was alive and it was enormous and it was really there. And in the midst of my pure admiration I could feel something crumble inside me.” What crumbled, it turned out, was his notion of how unfeasible it was trying to get a large image to do many things at once instead of just one thing – a idea foundational to his twenty years of experience designing and making such.

With frankness, Crouch tells how it felt to be a maker of theatre watching Little Girl Giant hoisted from the time capsule that had smashed down onto the tarmac in Central London. “When they lifted [her] out of the rocket, the crowd just gasped. Of course I work in ‘the business’ so I tried to stifle my own gasp, but by the time her flying-hat was off and she blinked and shook out her hair, I was absolutely and completely lost. She was beautiful. But really beautiful. In a deep way… And [there was] a little voice in my head that said, ‘you could never, ever have made this.’ ”

I’m not usually given to sentimentalism but I feel almost physically upset that I’m not likely to ever see a Royal De Luxe show in person. For now, this will have to do…


Manic Street Preachers – Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

The Manics have put out their fair share of shite the last few albums, especially the supremely underwhelming Lifeblood, but this is a pretty exuberant pop piece, all chorus, really.

Plus it features the Slavic Swedish goddess Nina Persson (of the Cardigans, in case you didn’t know), and that’s always a major plus in my book. She looks damn huge next to James Dean, man.

Ash – You Can’t Have It All

I’ve always loved Ash, but this new single is a little short on ideas, as is the video. Charlotte Hatherley’s (ex-Ash guitarist) new stuff, on the other hand, is pretty kickass.

Reads: Atomik Aztex

Atomik Aztex is a peyotl-fueled stream-of-consciousness about alternate realities, where Zenzontli, Keeper of the House of Darkness is simultaneously a fearsome Aztex warrior in a world where the Aztecs slaughtered their would-be Spanish conquerors and a butcher at Farmer John’s abattoir in a reality much like the one we’re in.

Incredibly confusing book with its genre-mashing and dimension-hopping, but chock full of pretty cool ideas and vignettes, not to mention fantastically graphic descriptions of Aztec savagery, which apparently has been elevated to a science in the world of Atomik Aztex. There’s a particular passage where Zenzontli attempts to stave off own his own human sacrifice that is both uncomfortably graphic and slapstick funny, which is a hell of a tough trick to pull off.

Atomik Aztex
(ISBN No: 0872864405) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

all the world’s a stage

Freaking ace Hokkien version of the Gary Oldman Nokia N93 ad.
Got it off theory.isthereason.