For only the second time in my life I managed to get the train ticket booking system to work in my favour and get a first class return to Liverpool for the princely sum of £43. While the Virgin first class lounge at Euston isn't really happening, you can buy cheap drinks and stock up on mini-cans of Virgin cola should you so desire. Anyway they did have this nifty charging station which I quite liked:
The last time I bought a ticket for a festival it was about £80 for the whole weekend which is why I'm shocked to see that festival tickets cost about £150 these days, and probably part of the reason why I don't go anymore. That's roughly a 100% price increase in 10 years. Wowzer.
Anyway, Scouse and I have been thinking about crossing the Atlantic next year for Rock The Bells, which means I'm on their mailing list and get notified of all sorts of concerts and events that I can't go to. At the end of October, everyone's favourite leanheads Cypress Hill are presenting 'The Smokeout Festival', a two day extravaganza with Goodie Mob, Geto Boyz and Hieroglyphics reunions! - sadly it's a follow on from that late 90s nu-metal-hip-hop-love-in and also features Deftones and Slipknot. Anyway, I was curious to see how much tickets cost and I was shocked to see this:
$30? For two days? Yeah you might be stuck at the back behind a rig but you only paid $30. You can't even get a ticket in the nosebleed section of the O2 for that these days. And okay, okay this is more like a Wireless festival than a Glastonberry (sorry, I can't help it), but you still couldn't get to a 2-day gig for under £30 here could you?
I think it's brilliant that you can get cheap tickets to see so many acts and means that the crowd won't just be the middle classes and old people (in this context I class anyone who is not a kid) who can justify the spend. Plus if you do have loadsa money you can buy a VIP ticket and get t-shirts, posters and the opportunity to spot some celebrities from the other side of a velvet rope. Over here our entry level prices are VIP, which can't be good for music appreciation in general. Just another case of rip-off Britain. I despair.
Next Friday I'm judging a little open pitch as part of London Digital Week. It's a bit like the Push the Brief event that Ash and Ant organised last year, with a live charity brief open to agency teams. You will be briefed by the client YouthNet, before having 2 hours to answer the brief and then presenting it to a team of judges including the client, David Bausola, Beeker Northam and err, me.
All you need to do is put together a team of 4-6 of your finest (a bit of research around YouthNet probably wouldn't go amiss either). There is also the possibility that some real work could come out of this - and if that isn't motivating I don't know what is.
If you would like to get involved but can't get a team together contact Sol who is trying to put together a team of renegades: solwei85 (at) gmail dot com.
Details here and registration here. Look forward to seeing you there.
I was just sending an email with a hyperlink in it and it struck me that we now instinctively understand to click text written in that particular shade of blue. Maybe it should be called hyperlink blue.
For the record, I think the Blueprint 3 is a pretty awful album and that Jay-Z should have retired after The Black Album like he said he was going to. Anyway, I saw this twitpic by Charles today and smiled despite myself: The flag only speaks to people that already know about Jay-Z, in the same way that the Rhapsody ad does (although it's a bit lame in hindsight that all his album covers are just his face). It's clever to talk only to your advocates and create knowledge hierarchy rather than try and get new fans - but this is easy when you're Jay-Z and raking in 9 figures a year. It's probably more clever because Jay-Z is a pretty mainstream act (c'mon, he played Glastonberry [sic] and records with Chris Martin) and this approach talks to the people who've supported him the whole while, reminding them of his glorious 90s albums and his place in the hip hop canon - by making them a special circle of people who 'get the reference' he keeps them as advocates.
But none of that makes the Blueprint 3 a good album. Unless you like Mr. Hudson. If you want to listen to 40 year olds rap, go out and buy Cuban Linx II.
Finally made it to the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Serpentine today. As usual, it took me until the last day to see it. A lot is said about the artistic merit, or lack of, of Jeff Koons, but I find his work makes me really happy. That's pretty special. For anyone that missed it, I leave you with some monkeys:
I came across this picture from the last. ever. Rakehell's Revels. Unsurprisingly it reminded me of a trend I actually spotted (as in, I saw it in real life and not on the internet) which was named 'double dressing' by The Future Laboratory.
If you hadn't guessed, double dressing is when people wear matching outfits. The first girls I saw doing this were some south London rude girls dressed identically from head-to-toe. Same hairstyle, same hairclip, same pink MacKenzie jumper, you get the picture. I was in my pyjamas looking for a Guardian on the Walworth Road and had neither phone or camera, but these girls made a massive impression on me.
It got me thinking about how powerful the visual impact of dressing alike is in an age of individuality. Think about Gilbert and George or Viktor and Rolf - their outfits centre around quite plain suits, but the act of doubling it up make it a much bolder visual impact. I think formation dancing fits into the same social category.
Update: came across this photo by Dominic Joyner (hope you don't mind me using it)
One part truth, two parts mixer is a digital notebook for Priyanka/@pristyles. Yes, you've reached another planner's blog - but it's mainly full of random thoughts and pretty pictures.
If you're reading, hello - it's nice to meet you.