Friday, 30 October 2009

Halloween Week: It's just a jump to the left...

And so our Halloween week draws to a close... (I said that in my best Vincent Price voice). I did prepare a big post about halloween costumes but the internet ate it! How feindish!
I hope you all have wonderful Halloweens, whatever you're doing. It's not very big in the UK, but for my part I'll be going to see the Rocky Horror Show dressed as a female/rockabilly version of Meatloaf's character. Can't wait! I may post some images of my costume and make up next week :)

For now... let's do the mash! THE MONSTER MASH! Here are some strange creations from Lancy Perry of Crescent Hill Designs...


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Halloween Week: Vintage spooks

Here are some vintage Halloween greetings cards to continue this week's special spooky theme!


Monday, 26 October 2009

Halloween Week: Subtly Spooky

Continuing Shoegazer's Halloween Week, today the focus is on the cute Halloween-themed jewellery of Ashley Nizolek who runs Etsy's A.N Original Jewelry. These sweet silver shapes would add a subtle spookyness to your outfit in the run up to Halloween and are a must for the quietly enthusiastic fans of All Hallows Eve amongst us. Most items, particularly the skulls - which could pass as Mexican sugar skulls - could be worn all year round so are worth every penny.


Friday, 23 October 2009

Halloween Week: LoopyBoopy

With Halloween just a week and a day away, I've decided to devote a weeks worth of Shoegazer posts to the weird, wonderful and deliciously creepy creations people have made for the occasion. My first fiendish find comes from the dark and twisted world of Loopy Boopy. Colleen Downs, who lives and works in New Orleans, creates some very macabre dolls and ornaments of dead boys, creepy clowns, zombies, witches and the ghosts of the French Quarter. I could quite easily see these creations coming to life in a spooky stop frame animation film, which can only be a credit to the quality of her work. Visit the Loopy Boopy blog for more information.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Imaginarium...

I was looking forward to seeing The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, not to see the final performance of the late Heath Ledger as most seem to be, but because the trailer made the film look quite unlike any film that’s been released for years. I went to the cinema knowing nothing of the story but wanting to be drawn into the weird and wonderful world I had caught a fleeting glimpse of in the trailer.
I wasn’t disappointed. With my all time favourite films mainly consisting of things like Labyrinth, this film really struck a chord with me and was a real visual treat. And one of the things that stood out the most was the amazing set design.

After seeing the film I was digging out my photos from the Museum of Childhood because Doctor Parnassus’ rickety old travelling theatre reminded me of an antique toy theatre I’d seen there, fallen in love with and been inspired by for various ongoing projects. Here (below) is the image I took at the Museum... as you can sort-of see (unfortunately my photo doesn't show the multipul layers stretching back and featuring all the different set elements), it is quite similar to the fold-out theatre seen in the film (see the top image on this post):I decided to search online to see who the set designer for the film was, and what should I find but this quote from an interview with the film’s writer and director, Terry Gilliam:

Phil Stubbs of Dreams: Could you tell me a bit about the design of the Imaginarium wagon itself and what the influences were?
Terry Gilliam: It probably began with Pollock's Toy Theatres in London. I remember when I first came here there was a shop - and it still is here. They do these Victorian toy theatres, which are cardboard cut-out ones and they have always intrigued me. In fact for the first go at it, I went down to the Museum of Childhood here in London. I knew they had several old ones there, so I just took some photographs and fiddled with them in Photoshop.

Great minds think alike eh? Me and Gilliam, we've got a bond. Anyway, I’d urge you to go and see the film and enjoy it for yourselves. As for me, I'm left with a head whirling with inspiration again and am completely re-motivated for various projects that have been gathering dust of late.

Here are some detailed shots of the theatre from the film, by Steve J on Flickr - check out his photostream for more:

Also outstanding were the costumes and makeup in the film, I'll leave you with a couple more shots to whet your appetite:

Photos can and will of course be removed if they infringe copyright - please just leave me a comment. They are simply used here to share my enjoyment of the artistic elements of the film.

Friday, 16 October 2009

I spy with my magpie eye...

The first jewellery to excite me from the Spring/Summer 2010 collections are these exquisite necklaces from Vera Wang. Intricate webs of chains dripping from the necks of the models... perfect!
And if you were worried that you could no longer wear all those vintage brooches you've collected - Galliano's got your back:

Have you seen any jewellery from the collections that you like? Please comment and let me know :)

photos: C.Moore

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Sheogazer Music: Bat for Lashes, live

Just a few months ago it was the Brighton Dome’s smaller and less atmospheric neighbour, the Corn Exchange that Natasha Khan and her band, Bat for Lashes were packing out. Now, with the second album Two Suns surely high in many a critic’s “top albums of the year” lists, a second Mercury Award nomination under her belt and even more loyal followers in tow, Natasha Khan has certainly taken her band to the next level. Despite the acclaim, Natasha is the same endearing creature she’s always been. When she addresses her home crowd, it’s with her disarmingly soft, sweet voice and her dance moves remain understated and perfectly fitting for the music . . .

The set includes many songs from Two Suns, with the single Daniel causing the adoring crowd to dance and cheer their way through most recent single Pearl’s Dream and into What’s A Girl To Do from Khan’s first album, Fur and Gold . . .
On the whole, I wouldn’t say this was a gig to vent your frustrations at the world and dance and thrash around like a thing possessed, rather it was a gig to allow the audience the time, space and stimuli to take a step back from reality and enter the strange, dark, uplifting, melodic world of Bat for Lashes. Personally, I would loved to have seen the band amidst the gothic arches of Brighton's Concorde 2 venue, I feel it would have suited the mood so much more - but I fully understand that the bigger venue was needed for this stage in the career of Bat for Lashes . . .
Please check out our clip of Bat for LAshes performing Daniel at the Brighton Dome, thanks to ShoegazerVideo, and let us know what you think and if you were there!

words&photos&video: Claire B of Shoegazer

Shoegazer Music: The Maccabees, live

The Maccabees
Brixton Academy - 3.10.2009
For those of you who don't know much about The Maccabees, a band who last Saturday played their biggest and most triumphant London show to date, allow me to fill you in. Based in Brighton but originating from South London, the five-piece consists of Orlando Weeks (vocals/guitar), Hugo White (guitar), Felix White (backing vocals and guitar, brother of Hugo), Rupert Jarvis (bass) and Sam Doyle (drums). After releasing their debut album Colour It In in 2007, the band gathered a loyal following of fans and received moderate critical acclaim thanks to songs that ranged from gentle and melodic (Toothpaste Kisses, Precious Time) to upbeat and infectious (Latchmere, X-Ray).

2009's follow-up, Wall of Arms marked serious progression for the band, and where Colour It In could have been unfairly overlooked amidst the barrage of indie releases, the band's second offering reallt made music lovers sit up and take note. Featuring the brilliantly dark and brooding No Kind Words and Love You Better, this is an album that steps forward from those of the band's contemporaries and embraces the dark side. With Arcade Fire's producer Markus Davis in tow, the band have developed their signature sound immensely and have delivered sophisticated songs for almost all moods. And, just as significantly, they've produced an album that men like - an album that speaks to the boys in the crowd in a year that's been dominated by female-based music.

And so to the gig itself - For the first time in a long while, we couldn't help ourselves but venture right into the heart of the throbbing crowd at the gig. We jumped, danced and sang along to song after song that the band performed with relish. Groups of guys threw their arms around each other's shoulders and cheered and grinned, their faces telling that, as far as they were concerned there and then, no other song defined their friendship; no other other band spoke to them quite like this. Of course, this could just be the hysteria of the moment, but it was wholly refreshing to see a crowd so engaged with the band and so willing to enjoy themselves. Many a girlfriend's face expressed the look of "I didn't know you liked them this much."

But don't get me wrong, this wasn't a crowd divided. Just as many girls and women were enjoying the music and dancing and singing their hearts out. This was a gig that pulled the audience in and gave them a sense of collective euphoria.

When the crowd drowned out frontman Orlando Weeks' amplified vocals on old favourite Precious Time, the band appeared visibly moved, hugging each other in deisbelief at their triumph. Felix White declared Brixton Academy to be "the best venue in the world," and as the final shords of Love You Better rand out, Weeks was clearly overwhelmed by the reception of the crowd and left the stage in humble tears. "I think you've given us the best night of our lives," he confessed. I'm sure they gave many of the 4,000 strong crowd one of the best nights of theirs too.

words&photo: Claire B of Shoegazer

Friday, 2 October 2009

Shegazer finds: Sacred Cake

Time for some Etsy finds and first up is Sacred Cake who's motto is "seek the sacred in the ordinary". Sacred Cake is the creative outlet of Jennifer Valentine who says on her Etsy site:
"The forlorn, the abandoned and discarded objects of life are the things in which I find the most beauty. In the things some people consider no longer of need, I see loveliness and potential. Imperfection inspires me. People inspire me. There is infinite potential in all of us and my intention is to convey that in my work."
I love the reinvention of old, found objects and the obvious love Jennifer has for forgotten objects others might overlook. Visit Jennifer's blog for more of the same. These inspire me for future memory frames.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin