Thursday, 21 May 2015

PILOTS PODCAST - EPISODE 9 'MADE IN CHELSEA'


A show that has become a bastion of British TV, Made In Chelsea uncovers the world of the rich -and mostly white - 20 somethings that populate this particular area of London.  OR DOES IT?  This is what Anne and I discussed in this weeks Pilots Podcast.  Also I say several times that Ms. Dunlop is related to the Dunlop rubber family and now I don't actually know if that's true and I feel a bit weird about it.  But I left it in because this is REAL TALK.  #realtalk

You can stream it below:



Or you can download it here, OR we are now on iTunes!  You can get all that iTunes goodness here.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

OUR 'BAD LOVE' ZINE



HEY GUYS!  Jeremy here with a Summer Camp-related post. Back to your usual service very soon.

So to go along with our new album we are publishing our very own zine! We have a lot of extremely talented friends and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase their talents in zine form.

We're doing a launch party (with acoustic performance) at the wonderful GOSH comics bookshop in Soho on Monday 25th, please come along! It's free entry and there's drinks. Starts at 7pm.


Oh - you can get the zine from here. Travelling Man (Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and York) will also stock it.

The contributors are:




John's something of a legend in the webcomics world - so much so that I first came across his work last century. He sets all his comics (Bobbins, Scarygoround, Bad Machinery and the new and hilarious Giant Days) in Tackleford, a sort of Yorkshire Condale where all kinds of stories, from suburban to fantastic,  rub against one another. 


Joe is a preposterously talented poet and writer. I think Elizabeth met him at a library benefit she did with Emmy The Great. He wrote the incredible Submarine, later a film directed by Richard Ayoade. And he runs, with Ross Sutherland, an occasional literary event in London called Homework. (He also has lovely hair). 




We were really excited to see what Emmy would come up with for the zine because we knew that as well as being an incredible singer/songwriter/popstar, she's an amazing writer. She came up with probably the strangest contribution, an oddly touching sci-fi dystopian tale told through the medium of Instagram. (If you don't know Emmy's music, stop what you're doing and listen to Swimming Pool immediately!)



Charlie Lyne - once a hilarious movie blogger - now makes films, notably Beyond Clueless, which we wrote the soundtrack for, of course. He asked Elizabeth to write for a zine he did back in... 2009? 2010? and is now finally returning the favour! His story is a wonderful meditation on what happens when you get what you want.

Babak Ganjei



I've known Babak for as long as I've been a professional musician - he played in Absentee, who were signed to Transgressive Records way back in the day, and we often toured together in the mid-00s. Now he mostly does visual art of various stripes. One of my favourite projects of his is the webcomic Hilarious Consequences and his recent Farage Blackout project is both topical and very amusing.




Our cover artist Julia is no stranger to the world of zines - she runs her own zine publishing, One Beat Zines, with Sarah Broadhurst. Her eye for detail & vivid colours are really something - I didn't realise for ages that the kid on the bike outside is Brian Krakow from My So-Called Life (and the namesake of a song from our 1st LP). 



The mysterious Timothy Winchester makes very sweet & funny comics. Believe it or not, he also runs a Dungeons & Dragons group that Elizabeth & I are a part of (along with some other lovely folk including Clark Burscough) - so as you'll see this comic is very much a fair representation of reality. Speaking of Clark...




Clark is part of the team that runs Thought Bubble, the UK's finest comic art festival, which takes place in Leeds every November. We weren't familiar with Lucie's art before but we're sure you'll agree it's quite lovely!


Ross is a poet, writer and performer we met through Joe Dunthorne and the Homework night they run together. He's incredibly talented - his most recent work, Stand By For Tape Backup, in which he plays back an old VHS belonging to his deceased grandfather, looping back over sections as he reminisces and memorialises, is one of the most extraordinary one-man shows we've ever seen. He's just turned it into a film with the help of Charlie Lyne, so watch out for that.


I'm not sure who this is.

Monday, 18 May 2015

ASOS CO-ORD AND MAXI SKIRTS





We have a garden now, and even though it's tiny, we're sort of freaking out about it.  Things are...growing.  And some of them are great, and obviously supposed to be there - rosemary for example - how culinary of you garden!  But there are also these two huge weed plants that are encroaching on everything and just won't stop growing.  In every direction.  We keep looking out the window at them and murming, "We really need to do something about those..." and then we resolutely do absolutely nothing about those.  I think until they're actually growing on the house and through our windows we're going to pretend they're not there.  Is it possible to have a fear of gardening?  I think we have that.  And I'm sticking to my story.

One thing I don't have a fear of (get ready guys, great segue coming up) is co-ords!  And look, this one has a maxi skirt!  I never wear maxi skirts!  But here is a picture of me, actually wearing a maxi skirt!  How blown your minds must be right now.  I imagine you're reeling back from your laptop in shock.  I love this co-ord.  And with my clogs from Free People it makes me feel like a swedish woman, and I would so love to be a swedish woman.  I feel like they definitely know how to deal with weeds.  Please help us.

Friday, 15 May 2015

THE VINTAGE KILO SALE







So you can buy clothes by weight now.  Did you know that was a thing?  At the moment it's just vintage but imagine if they extended it to high street brands, or even couture.  It would be like when I was a student and would get my lunch at the supermarket salad bar and make sure I picked the lighter options (as in weighed less) so I'd end up getting more food.  University skills guys, they matter.  I went to my first vintage kilo sale a couple of weeks ago at York Hall in Bethnal Green, right next to the Museum Of Childhood for all you dollhouse nerds out there.  I was very pleased with my purchases, and I am normally a terrible vintage shopper.  I have no patience for rummaging and feel intimidated by the confidence of other strong independent female vintagers.  But I didn't have to look very hard to find these '70s dresses, stripy tops and embroidered denim shorts.  It's also pretty amazing how much you can get, all this was one kilo.  The Vintage Kilo Sale moves around, it's basically a touring shop, so to find out when it's near you check their Facebook

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

NEXT OUTFIT







My first memory of hearing about Next was in one of The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole books.  Adrian is obsessed with Leicester's branch of the clothing shop, and gets up early for great bargains in the sale.  Obviously the shop has moved on a lot since those days (thank goodness) and for me they're a favourite.  This outfit (and bag) is all Next, I was trying to do a Kate Bosworth - from my intense internet searching of my style/girl crush she seems to be wearing a lot of chunky knit jumpers tucked into patterned skirts, and I'm a fan.  Also getting into wearing more coloured shoes and these are super comfortable and just a little bit '90s and a little bit mules/cloggy (as in clogs, not as in ew, weird, why/how would you have "cloggy" shoes?!).  The bag is an amazing suede shopper, it's the best, so soft I could sit there stroking it all day despite the fact I'd look pretty deranged.  So I wear this outfit in honour of Adrian Mole, also I feel like there's a chance Pandora could be into it, the idea of which makes me very happy.

Friday, 8 May 2015

STYLE DISSECTION: TANK GIRL



Hey, you remember Tank Girl, right? Course you do, it's a tale as old as time, Fievel with bleached blonde hair and arm warmers. No? Well it's 2033 and a comet has crash landed on earth and in doing so it’s screwed up the weather system meaning no more rain, so no more water. Everyone is fighting over each drop of H2O, and a tyrant called Kesslee (played by Malcolm McDowell) has taken control of the water supply with his evil Water & Power Corporation. Catchy name. Tank Girl a.k.a. Rebecca Buck is an outlaw who fights back against the system after they swoop in and murder her boyfriend. There are also Kangaroo/Men hybrids called Rippers. It is unclear how these mutated men came to be, but just go with it.
Honestly, it wasn't really the plot that grabbed me, rather, when I watched Tank Girl for the first time, my immediate thought was “Wow, I really do love Lori Petty.”  She was great in Point Break, beautiful in League Of Their Own, and I'm so excited that she's returning in the next season ofOrange Is The New Black. Her voice is so sweet but also dry and smoky, and she's delicate but can also completely own those tricky, badass characters. TL;DR—Lori Petty is a hero. 
The second thought I had was “OH MY GOD GWEN STEFANI!” People must have made this connection before? Surely? Who came first? The lead character from Tank Girl—Rebecca Buck—or Gwen? For the record this is what Stefani looked like in 1992, courtesy of No Doubt's first music video for their single Trapped In A Box.  
I love how all American she looks, with her backwards cap and plaid dress, like a perfect cheerleader headed down a bad alley.
Then in 1995 (the same year Tank Girl came out and the year of No Doubt's breakthrough single Just A Girl) Gwen's style took a swerve from girly to this...
Which reminds me a lot of the stylez of Rebecca Buck.



I love the idea that Gwen would have been influenced by Tank Girl and the character of Rebecca Buck. She’s an amazing person. She laughs in the face of adversity. She’s brave beyond belief and uses blue paint to do her nails while she's keeping watch in the middle of the night.
An artist being influenced or appropriating something in pop culture doesn't bug me at all—if anything it's great to have that insight into who they are and what they appreciate. Although I should say that I don't think Gwen has ever talked publicly about Tank Girl so it could just all be a major coincidence. 

I think Björk was also dressing pretty similarly in 1993.

bjork
Interestingly, “Army Of Me” features on the TG soundtrack. Trivia fans take note: Alongside Graeme Revell, Courtney Love pulled together the soundtrack. I keep trying to picture Courtney Love listening to Bjork as she chose the music for the film, and I'm really enjoying that image in my head. (In my mind, she's wearing dungarees and a scrunchie).
Although it is interesting that one of the first songs we hear while watching this film is Devo's “Girl U Want,” the lyrics to which feature the line “She's just a girl / She's just a girl,” while the opening lyrics to No Doubt's huge 1995 hit were, you guessed it, “I'm just a girl.” Look, all I'm saying is that it makes me really happy to think of Gwen Stefani watching a VHS of Tank Girl over and over in her teen bedroom in Anaheim and being totally inspired by it, to the point where she did pretty much became the living embodiment of that Rebecca Buck. especially to suburban girls like me who wanted to mosh at punk shows and wear crop tops and the baggiest jeans possible and maybe try out a bindi… before we realized it really wasn't cool to re-appropriate someone else's culture in order to try and make out with a boy in a band. 
Every time I go on stage I think about Gwen Stefani. I still can't walk past plaid pants without thinking, “Maybe I should just try them on…” So Tank Girl is essential research. 
The film was based on the comic by Jamie “Gorillaz” Hewlett and features several animated sequences which he created. 


But rather than these being a creative choice, these scenes were included for more functional reasons, to cover up the huge holes in the script left when about ten major scenes where just, err, not filmed. As movies go it's tremendously flawed. It makes little sense, it's kind of boring, it's not that funny, or scary, or emotional—it's just sort of bonkers—but I loved it, and I’m not alone. A lot of this hinges on the appeal of Buck, who, as it goes, wears over 18 different outfits and hairstyles in the film, and was called “stridently feminist” by writer Dominique Mainon. She's comfortable with her own sexuality, and is completely able to hold her own when facing the weird water-obsessed scumbag who killed her boyfriend, played brilliantly by Malcolm McDowell. I also think present day David Lynch totally stole his style from McDowell's Kesslee.
By the way, the costume designer Arianne Phillips said this (to thefilmexperience.net) about working with Mr. McDowell:
“He came to the fitting and he was really appreciative. He said 'I haven't had time to do my research. I've been on another film and this has really helped me tremendously to figure out my character and have an angle on my character.' That made a huge impression on me along with many cues about an actor's relationship to costumes”
I like that a black suit with a white waistcoat and white shirt with no tie really helped him get into character.
“Yes I know who I am now!”
But let’s turn our attention to the soundtrack, which was somewhat more successful than any sense of plot. One genius moment of sound and vision is Joan Jett and Paul Westerberg singing a cover of “Let's Do It.” In fact the film features several versions of the same song which are used when Rebecca distracts some creepy guys with a high kicking dance routine. See? totally insane.


Another insane moment is when Tank Girl has sex with her stoner kangaroo boyfriend Booga (he's a mutant) while wearing this bra. Apparently MGM, who produced the film, insisted on cutting a more NSFW version of this scene, despite having spent $5000 on a prosthetic penis for Booga. As you do.
Oh and yes, in case you were wondering, that is Naomi Watts playing Jet Girl. On IMDB it says she is ashamed of this movie which makes me feel sad. She had to audition for the part nine times.


She has a gradual makeover during the film as she gains confidence and independence thanks to her friendship with Tank Girl. Who doesn’t love a makeover?


This mirrored helmet, satin jacket and yellow bralette is such a strong look.  She's also wearing these pants in this scene. Saran Wrap pants—wipe clean, and sweaty which will make you lose weight. So many benefits! 
Tank Girl has it down when it comes to insane, cool hair: colors, accessories, loads of braids, shaved sections, whatever. But Jet Girl is the hat queen.


In general her headwear is excellent and practical. I also really want her glasses. Polka dot scarf for the win. But it’s this final shot of her as a back-combed beauty, smiling as she points a gun at the guy who used to sexually harass her at work that really screams pure joy to me.
Guys, I think she's wearing chaps. 
There are a lot of British bands featured on the soundtrack—which is unsurprising considering Hewlett hails from that bit of the world—bands like Portishead, oh and um BUSH. Yes, BUSH, Gavin Rossdale’s, who just happens to be married to GWEN STEFANI. Jeez. Am I uncovering some insane grunge/pop punk early 2000s/late 90s conspiracy here?! If Gwen did love Tank Girldid she ever talk to Gavin about it? Have they even made this connection themselves? They must have, right?! Sounds like pillow talk to me!
My world is unraveling RN.
But in general the soundtrack is very female heavy, for example the L7 women growling on “Shove,” sample lyric: “Get out of my way / Or I'm gonna Shove.” Do you remember L7? Another Californian export, they were an all female band who sang about how annoying it is when strange guys pinch your ass, which, to be fair, is really annoying. They're big supporters of the Pro-choice movement, and between 1991 and 2001 helped organize festivals to raise awareness and money for the cause.  They're awesome. Suzi Gardner from the band was the first woman to have her breasts plaster-cast by Cynthia Plaster Caster, while fellow member Donita Sparks once threw her used tampon into the crowd at Reading Festival as a response to them slinging mud at the stage. I feel like Rebecca Buck would have wholeheartedly approved of this behavior. In much the same way I approve of this behavior below. 
Now that is some sweet rain gear. 

I am a big fan of this look too, Iggy Pop's (!) weird creepy werewolf get-up as he plays the part of Rat Face. 
Next Halloween outfit sorted. 

Because the filming was a bit of a mess there are lots of continuity muck-ups, which might be deliberate, but I feel like they weren't.  For example in the scene below when Rebecca and Jet Girl are kidnapped by the kangaroos, Rebecca's hair does some insane self styling. 
Rebecca is also a maven when it comes to customisation and re-working of found items.  For example the way she re-designs her standard blue prison overalls after escaping.

Or the way she creates looks from random things she's found on her travels around post-apocalyptic earth.

I LOVE Jet Girl's look here. Oh and by the way, the Kangaroo in the middle is played by Ice-T. Of course it is. The film ends with Tank Girl saving the day, while wearing a furry helmet.  And Kesslee's body being drained of water so his face goes weird and does this:


It's so odd and doesn't make any sense, but that's so not the point. This is a film you watch for laughs and inspiration, an example of how big money can ruin stories, but also marvel in how wonderful it is something as nuts as this was actually made and released. 
I'm going to leave you with this screengrab of Rebecca kissing Jet Girl, as to me they're the real love story of the film.


And Gwen, if you're reading this, can I be your Jet Girl?
(This piece was originally published on Noisey)