Clash DJ buddy, Big Audio Dynamite member, and documentary filmmaker Don Letts was enlisted by Fred Perry to make a series of feature films about fashion in British music subcultures and their relationship to the laurel wreath logo-ed brand—one that originally made tennis wear for the Wimbledon set. We're happy to report that "the unique story of British music & street style" is well worth a look.
It's no fashion fluff project—episode one begins with some expert sociology in a nice, quick explanation of the emergence of the first post-war subculture: the Brit Teddy Boy rebel amid economic prosperity. In England, the ducktail haircut joined with the drape coat, aping the Edwardian look with an American rock n roll twist.
Episode two fantasically traces the emergence of mods.
Episode three highlights the skinhead culture with some surprising details: button down shirts were borrowed from American collegiate style and haircuts from American astronauts, and surprising pronouncement: the multi-racial skinheads were perhaps England's first multi-culturalists.
The series doesn't hit one over the head with Fred Perry references, it doesn't need to. And the series is also dead honest about the possibility of an end to England's music subcultures—perhaps killed off by the Internet for good (no mention of dubstep grime). Or perhaps, as the commentators offer, the political unrest in the UK will birth a new one—"There's something coming, we just don't know what it is, yet."
You can view the entire six part series on Mods, Rockers, Casuals, Soulboys, Punks and Britpoppers at Subculture Films.
Miranda July's upcoming "We Think Alone" project will exist only in the intimate space of the personal inbox. Over the course of 20 weeks, July will send subscribers 20 emails containing excepts from actual email correspondence from Lena Dunham, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kirsten Dunst, Sheila Heti, and more. The idea of sharing emails not meant for publication came about after July noticed the surprising amount of intimacy in mundane email composition. She writes, "How they comport themselves in email is so intimate, almost obscene — a glimpse of them from their own point of view."
“It’s like hunting for endangered species and putting the trophy of an animal’s head in your study.”
Meegan Czop, who works at Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange, realizes the comparison she’s making between hunting and salvaging old buildings for raw material is a bit gruesome. But, she still gets a thrill finding a new purpose for the detritus of decades-old construction, and the hunting metaphor is apt.
The Rebuilding Exchange has made a name for itself upcycling material for architects and designers—wood from a South Side bowling alley was used to build the offices of Trunk Club, the online bespoke fashion powerhouse, for example. And the RX recently collaborated with Strand Design to create stylish benches and clocks from reclaimed material. But the company’s current project, helping find a home for wood from the Old Globe Grain Elevator in Superior, Wisconsin, may be its biggest job yet. The eight-story mill, completed in 1887, is one of the largest in North America and could provide over five million board feet of lumber—“enough to rebuild Wrigley Field"—to designers. The wood is all old-growth timber that’s been smoothed out into intricate, wavy patterns by decades of erosion from falling grain. The RX crew is racing to get as much material as they can before the bank forecloses on the land, and have already found architects and designers interested in utilizing this rare cache of wood.
“People should have the same appreciation for this material as they have for finding old vinyl,” says Czop. “It can be dangerous working up there, wielding a chainsaw on a boom, but this is a salvager’s dream come true.
There's no shortage of amazing facts about Brian Eno. And, no, we're not talking about the album he did with Television. It is only natural that the musical pioneer might enjoy a good feline cuddle once in a while like the rest of us. The Internet blogs would have us believe he once did a Purina ad, with his own cat, no less. But the original posting at Dangerous Minds seems to have gone offline, and while Boing Boing has a link to a large version, the image shows no trace of a moire pattern which would indicate it had been scanned from an old magazine. That's not a dealbreaker, of course, as moire patterns are easily removed by Photoshop experts, but it is slightly suspicious. We remain skeptical but intrigued.
Video by Score. Music by Boyton.
Curator and artist SuperBlast traveled the States from coast to coast to meet Cleon Peterson, Cody Hudson, and Martha Cooper—all artists represented in the upcoming "FUTURE/MEMORY" show opening June 22 in Dresden, Germany. Hudson talks about the relationship between his sculpture and painting—and his art as a means of expression. Peterson explains his attraction to dark subject matter. Also on the show flyer are Boogie, Horfeé, Husk Mit Navn, Stefan Marx, Cleon Peterson, Jay "One" Ramier, Skki, and SuperBlast himself. The show is for the Street Culture @ Hellerau, a festival at the European Center for the Arts Dresden.
FUTURE/MEMORY runs June 22—July 6, 2013, 4pm-8pm, free.