Benedict Radcliffe

Ok, so the first time I saw this on Spike Jonze’s blog ‘We Love You So’, I thought that Benedict Radcliffe had Photoshopped a CAD drawing of a Lamborghini Countach into a photo shoot image; I thought “That’s brilliant, that is!” But then I realized that the crazy fucker had mad a full sized Lamborghini Countach out of metal and painted it bright orange. Now *that’s* art!

Check out this talented fucker’s website. Fucker.

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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. I saw this post on Spike Jonze’s blog ‘We Love You So’ … so I pinched the whole thing.

“In 1993 Roddy Doyle wrote one of the best books about childhood ever published and, fittingly, won a Booker Prize, possibly the most prestigious award in English-language literature. The book is Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and it’s written from the perspective of a ten-year-old kid growing up in a suburb of North Dublin in the 1960s. The thing is, it really IS written from the kid’s perspective, replicating the consciousness of a young’n through its language, observations and insights.

If the Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is occasionally hard to follow, it’s also achingly realistic. This probably goes to show that ten-year-olds have more complicated emotional lives and intellects than we commonly give them credit for.

In a review of the book for Entertainment Weekly, Tom De Haven wrote that “Even the best writers seldom capture the temper and shifting textures of childhood with approximate, let alone absolute, fidelity.” Doyle’s novel is awe-inspiring for the simple fact that it accomplishes exactly this.”

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I’ve been fascinated by derelict buildings for as long as I can remember. Given the opportunity, I’ll scale a fence or crawl through a briar patch to get a look inside one.

I recently stumbled on Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre‘s photography site; this talented duo are two after my own heart. Their portfolios of the ruins of Detroit, the factories of the former East Germany and abandoned theatres here in the US are breathtaking.

Similarly, this Flickr set of Hellingly Asylum in the UK is stunningly frightening, but I’d still explore a bit… just not at night.

I’ve also bookmarked a Polish site that features less-than-high-quality photos of old factories and various Nazi and Soviet fortifications/bases/factories. These may be more haunting because of their assumed histories.

The Polish site is here, look for the descriptor “Fortyfikacje, obiekty militarne, fabryki” for these types of galleries.

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Before Audi was Audi…

it was Auto Union. They made some ugly cars in the 50’s, but they made some of the most beautiful cars in the world in the 30’s. The Auto Union Type C and D “Silver Arrows” are among my favorite cars of all time.

Check out this video of three restored Auto Union racers, the exhaust sound is incredible and the turn at the 5 minute mark is so cool.

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Micro cars…

are kinda awesome. The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, 50 miles east of Atlanta in Morgan County, has the world’s largest collection of the world’s smallest cars. Basically the product of the post WWII economy, these small, affordable means of transport were mainly build in the defeated Axis countries by companies that had previously been involved in the now forbidden aviation industries. BMW, Fiat, Mazda, Messerschmitt, Zundapp, Fuji, Honda, and Subaru are just some of the names you might recognize among the many cars in the museum’s collection. This is a road trip waiting to happen.

1961 Isetta 300:

1967 Solyto Break Camping:

1961 Messerschmitt Service Car:

1958 Goggomobil DART (Batmobile Jr??):

Browse the site for pics of many, many more; including cars that are no longer in the collection and cars for sale. There are also a couple of BMW Isetta’s on eBay right now for around $15k.

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it’s no Volkswagen…

oh wait, it kinda is. The Audi TT has never been my favorite car, but it’s growing on me. The new models have lost the squashed VW bug look that they used to have and look as fast as they are now. In addition to the base model, you can get the more-sporty TTS, but only Europeans will have access to the far superior TTRS.

Take a peak at this cool orange TTS, very comprehensive review here as well.

I also love the fact that you can get an orange and black leather interior now.

Orange not your thing? Try this murdered out TT with an Oettinger body kit and flat black paint. Hot.

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rules my world. Music has always been part of what makes up my identity and my tastes are all over the place. At this moment I’m listening to a BKLYN based duo known as Sleigh Bells.

Super bombastic guitar and drum machine with a school teacher singing! Check out their Myspace.

Big thanks to Spike Jonze’s blog We Love You So for this discovery.

Another type of music that I grew up with and have always loved is late 70’s punk rock. The Clash, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, The Adverts, etc; all, to some extent, are well known names, but thanks to the Music Ruined My Life blog, some lesser known bands from punk’s formative years are seeing the light of day again. The series ‘Every One a (Punk Rock) Classic’ showcases bands that blur the lines between mod, punk, and pop; before everyone became angry and dyed their hair blue. Head over there and give a listen (there are convenient MP3 players embedded). This paragraph brought to you by U*X*B’s “Crazy Today” from ‘Every One a (Punk Rock) Classic Vol. 4’.

If you like bands like The Kinks, early Rolling Stones and early Who, then you might be interested in discovering more about Mod and Northern Soul music. Essentially the by product of early Motown releases hitting England, there are some real gems out there. I’ve gotten some great compilations from the Mod 64 blog and quite a few of these tunes have made it onto my playlist at the the bar. It’s really, really difficult not to enjoy this music; even if you don’t know the song, you find yourself tapping your foot while it’s on. Spend some time digging through the archives on Mod 64 and you’ll come across compilations like ‘The In Crowd’, ‘Northern Floor Shakers’, ‘The Mod Scene’, and ‘Northern Soul Connoisseurs’; just to name a few from my iTunes. Hit Amazon and you can preview songs from these, dig around Mod 64 and you can download them.

As I said before, my musical tastes are all over the place; in addition to old punk, new indie and classic mod, I also really like old Jamaican ska and rock steady music. I have the blog Youandmeonajamboree to thank for broadening my knowledge of this stuff. Like mod music, the best place to start is with compliations; these allow you to get a taste of the music and figure out which artists float your boat the most. Youandme is a dense site, with long scrolling pages, so be patient, there are some gems out there. Individual artists like Desmod Dekker, Byron Lee, Prince Buster (he’s filthy he is) and early Bob Marley and Peter Tosh are safe bets, but the more you dig, the brighter the gems you’ll find!

Finally, I’ll talk about a type of music that almost no one reading this will enjoy, but I listen to alot of it, so I may as well drop it in here; black metal.

I know I’m feeding the stereotype by dropping Peter Beste’s photo of King of Norway’s Gorgoroth in this post, but remember the saying ‘You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” … or maybe you can. Black metal as a genre is about as broad as any musical category out there, with the possible exception of ‘indie rock’. Bands like Gorgoroth, Dimmu Borgir and Burzum occupy the harder (read brutal) end of things, while bands like Alcest, Amesoeurs, Drudkh, Lantlôs, Spektr, Walknut and Thränenkind create music that is atmospheric, heavy and, yes, catchy. I’m sure the idea of tapping your foot along to black metal seems absurd, but I’m doing it right now (to Thränenkind’s ‘Im schwarzen Kämmerlein’). American bands like Krallice and Wolves In The Throne Room are no slouches either, just in case you think all of the best black metal comes from Europe (I’m not sure who the ‘you’ I’m talking about here is, Jeff may be the only one who knows who Wolves or Krallice are). Fans of My Bloody Valentine will want to check out Sweden’s Lifelover; all three of their releases are unbelievable; reminding me of MBV in an insane asylum. Bands like Stars of the Lid, Blut Aus Nord, Trist, Nordvargr, Northaunt, Nortt, Lustmord, and Xasthur (to name a few) create purely creepy atmospheric music that is great to zone out to while you work.

As I said before, black metal is one of the broadest genre’s of music out there. I would say there is something for everyone, but that’s just not true. If, however, you think bands like Mastadon, Negură Bunget, Pelican or Isis are “metal” then you need to step outside of that safe (boring) little box and give some of these bands a try. As always hit any of the bands listed above on their Myspace page, since previewing music is all that shat is good for anymore. Find that you like any of that stuff, then hit blogs like blackmetalownsyou to download stuff or to peep new releases that you might like; but be forewarned, hit that site with some knowledge of your ‘type’ of metal, as the spectrum is very, very broad, and they cover it all.

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