Thursday, 29 April 2010

Leica V-Lux 20: Close up and personal

Looks like Leica has pulled it out of the bag with its latest compact. The V-Lux 20 has got a 12 x optical zoom and a 12.1mp sensor.

That means you can shoot a rabbit's chuff at 50 paces and blow the resulting image up to the size of your bedroom wall, if the urge takes you.

There's also HD recording for the filmmaker in you. I do hope they've addressed the quality conversion issue for media players, because that is nothing short of shocking, as my own videos prove.

Still, you get all this in a slick looking little block which is about the size of a packet of fags. What's more, they've added a handgrip.

Now where's that rabbit?

Lupe Fiasco: I'm Beamin'

Lupe Fiasco's feeling a bit pleased with the way things have turned out for him. Judging by this video there were plenty of people telling him he wouldn't make it and now look! He can afford a pair of Dita sunglasses!

Via Fatkids

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Thou shalt not answer the door to men in suits

I can say with a fair degree of certainty that you are not going to want to open your door to anyone wearing a suit.

It can only mean bad news. At the worst it will be a member of the police, telling you that your car has been used in an armed robbery, and at the best, especially given the political goings on right now, you're going to be greeted by the toothy grin of the local politician, who has probably just tried to expense the equivalent of your salary on a new lawnmower.

But I wasn't all that disappointed that a chap in a suit was knocking on my door. I had a few questions for my Member of Parliament anyway, such as what he planned to do about the parking in my street, and if he felt it entirely necessary for my town to have 30 hairdressers.

But before I could fire off my salvo this wide eyed man, a bead of sweat forming on his already damp hairline, opened a little black book and said: "I've been asking people what they think of ..."

And that's as far as he got, because at the top of the page I noticed the word 'Psalm' and realised with horror that this wasn't an MP at all. He was a member of the Jesus party, on a mission to get everyone to Vote God.

Now I don't have a problem with these people. Although anyone who chooses to knock on doors in their spare time to talk about God must, in my opinion, be a little unhinged. I just don't want them knocking on my door. In the middle of my full English breakfast.

I felt like telling him about another way to find enlightenment. But I know that any attempt to engage in enthusiastic conversation would only prolong the matter. 

So I kept it polite and told him he should go and ask someone else what they thought about his passage.

He looked surprised. Like I was the first person to have told him where to go all morning. And then I realised, I was probably the first person to have opened the door.

Lamborghini Gallardo: What price a City runabout?

I'm sitting at work and the traffic is crawling along the Highway outside. A Lamborghini Gallardo noses into view, gloss black from nose to tail, save the red lettering on the back. Even the wheels are black.

Hardly the nicest environment for a thoroughbred Italian supercar. I'm sure it would much prefer to be winding its way around Lake Como.

As the girl driving it nudged it another couple of yards down the road, it got me thinking: how much would you really have to earn in order to drive a Lamborghini to work every day?

A good few quid, I would wager. Her bonus must have been fairly hefty this year, certainly big enough to consider a Gallardo worthy of a daily commute.

Not sure I could bring myself to do it, no matter how much I earn. Because driving through the middle of London in rush hour staring at the business end of the lorry in front has to be just about the worst end to a day I could think of, no matter what badge was in the middle of my steering wheel.

Even worse, factoring in the price of petrol and the Congestion Charge. All adds up to a £200k and rising stress machine.

Far better to be whistling between the traffic on a bike, I reckon.  Save the Lambo for Sunday afternoons.  After the bike ride.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Church's Valet box: For shiny people

Remember the days when there was a shoe shine man on every corner ready to buff your brogues to within an inch of their lives? Me neither.

I'm guessing that's why Church's has brought out this valet box, so you can do it yourself. None of your Kiwi crap here though, this is all luxurious creams and super soft brushes.

In fact it all looks far too good for shoes. Why not have a go at your face with it instead? I'm sure you'll develop a fine patina.

Seriously though, what with the recent release of the Visvim shoe care kit, it seems the looking after of footwear is taking on a bit of a revival, in line with the general smartening up of menswear. Which can't be a bad thing in my book.

This will set you back £142, which is serious money for a bit of polish. A quick google turned up a Loake one for £69.99.

Via Selectism

Iron Man x Hot Toys collectible: Rock hard advertising hoarding

Might as well stick with Iron Man for another post, get it in before the release of the film in a week or so.

This is a customised Hot Toys collectible, created by Anthony Mestas and is part of the Iron Man x Hot Toys collARTible Expo. Anthony is an artist for Sideshow Collectibles, who have put out some of the more memorable figures of the past.

And given the amount of promotion and product placement this film has been generating even before it has been released, I suppose it's no coincidence that he's chosen to deck this model out with corporate sponsorship from head to toe and a racing paintjob.

Tony Stark would be proud.

Via Iamfatterthanyou

Monday, 26 April 2010

ACDC v Iron Man 2 at Rochester Castle: Well hard

ACDC Vs Iron Man 2 - Architectural Projection Mapping on Rochester Castle from seeper on Vimeo.
There aren't many uses for a castle in modern society. The days of knights, barbarians and marauding types are a few centuries behind us, unless you happen to be into role playing.

But they do tend to make imposing backdrops and in the case of Rochester Castle, do a pretty decent job of acting as a projection screen.

And where else would be better suited to a 3D animation film featuring ACDC and Iron Man? It's like that castle had been waiting all its thousand year or so life for this moment.

It must have felt quite comfortable having the place invaded by a bunch of long-haired ruffians again.

Via Selectism

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Switch skates: On a roll

There's not many decent skate shops in south Essex, so I consider myself blessed that probably the best one is located just up the road from me.

Switch skates was set up by a bunch of skaters a couple of years ago, and stocks everything from the better-known Stussy and Carhartt to niche skate labels such as Enjoi and The Hundreds.

On top of that they have an entire room dedicated to the boards themselves, known as ... the Boardroom.

The shop is always putting on little events such a film screenings and is heavily involved with the local park.

It's also where you will find my Skyway for sale.

If you live a bit to far away to visit in person, like on another continent or something, they also have a website,

SSON fixed gear bike: Feel the force

Is white the new black? There's certainly been a return to the colour, if you can call it that, among the motoring fraternity, and there's a lot to be said for a white machine with black bits.

It looks kind of mean, like the stormtroopers in Star Wars.

There's also a simplicity in such a monotone appearance, which makes an all-white fixed gear bike all that much more desirable.

Take this one, from Swedish manufacturer SSON - as stripped down as you can get, and a diamond white paint job to emphasise the fact.

You don't get much slicker than that.

Via Freshness

Friday, 23 April 2010

Outlier Pivot Sleeve shirt: Ride in style

New York's Outlier is doing a fine job of sharpening up cyclists these days. None of your day-glo spandex here. It's all Loro Piano suiting material and fine Oxford shirt fabrics.

It's what they do with these fabrics that makes the difference. They make caps out of the suiting material, and the shirts are remodeled for the cyclist in all of us with a sharper fit and, you guessed it, pivot sleeves.

That should have you pedaling around safe in the knowledge that your shirt isn't going to be riding halfway up your back.

Available here

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Lamborghini boat: It floats

 Now this is what you need for your Yuketen deck shoes - a yacht inspired by a Lamborghini. A good 35 feet of supercharged floating thing, with more angles than a protractor and a nice shade of sludge.

The angles are what counts here - they are apparently a reference to the Lamborghinis soul, right from the really extravagant ones of the Eighties, although I don't see much being taken from its tractor days.

That shiny hull contains all manner of sailing related stuff like, a home cinema and a hot tub. Absolute essentials for an ocean voyage.

Like a pair of deck shoes.

Via Culture Shoq

Burberry April Showers collection: Let it rain

Seeing as this is shaping up to be one of the dryest Aprils on record, there might not be much call for the Burberry April Showers collection.

But that doesn't make this lot any less appealing, especially the neat little trench coats, which have thankfully been fashioned minus the ubiquitous check under the collar, and look all the better for it.

There are a couple of short bomber-type jackets in the collection too, but they've added a stonking great logo on the chest. Which is a shame.

Available here
Via Selectism

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Tamara Mellon. And cat. And a pair of Choos

I imagine the converation is going to be a little awkward at the watercooler in the Jimmy Choo office, seeing as the boss has just got her kit off for Terry Richardson.

The resulting image is, as is par for the course for Mr Richardson, a little lacking in the garment department, although I see Tamara Mellon still managed to get a pair of her pumps in shot. Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, that one.

But the tactically placed pussy does it for me. Cracks me up.

I just hope my boss doesn't get any ideas. He's no Tamara Mellon, that's for sure.

There's a good piece on Tamara over at Interview

All hands on decks

Nothing really says summer for your feet than deck shoes. Or flip flops, but whether they actually qualify as footwear is up for debate.

With deck shoes you are buying into a way of life. Sun bleached days on the yacht, captain's hat on, pipe in hand, steering a course to Canvey Island.

With their return to dry land over the past few seasons you've got a few to choose from.

Here is three of my favourite pairs:

Visvim Americana Deck

Quoddy Deck High

Available from:
Por Vocacao
End Clothing

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Graffiti Analysis: It's the way you write it

Graffiti Analysis 2.0: Digital Blackbook from Evan Roth on Vimeo.
I've lost count of the amount of times I've sat on that train and been gripped with the urge to tag something. Being a respectable and considerate member of society, this something cannot be the back of the seat in front, which leaves me in a dribbling, twitching mess as I battle the urge to deface my trousers.

But now I will have my iPhone to let my frustrations out on, thanks to an app called Grafitti Analysis, which basically turns it into a drawing pad and then lets you do really cool stuff with your scrawl, such as twirl it about.

If you want you can then download it to the Graffiti Analysis archive where it will join the biggest database of graffiti writing ever created.

Terrific idea if you ask me, and it might even save a couple of chair backs in the process.

Via Iamfatterthanyou

Kaws Accomplice key chain: Weird little freaky fella

I love these little freaky Kaws Original Fake key fobs. This Accomplice character of his is a bit Disney in a bad dream, and a bit Frank the rabbit from Donnie Darko with those ears. If you think these look creepy, you might not have seen the previous Accomplice release, which was partially disected (below).

These are positively cute by comparison.

Gotta love the little fella though. 

They'll be released around April 24 at Medicom if you want one and apparently they are flat but made to look 3D, if that makes any sense.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Acronym SS10 collection: Volcanic dust proof

Volcanic ash all over the place, nights spent lying on the floor of departure lounges - you need some pretty serious equipment to cope with this spring.

Luckily enough, Acronym have just released their 2010 spring summer collection, and as you might have guessed, it comes pre-proofed against pretty much everything nature can throw at you.

All techy fabrics like Goretex and Schoeller, and a few extra pockets to keep your urban survival kit nice and dry.

And just in case the lights go out, they've even thought of a solar charger for your phone.

Weather proof and disaster proof . All the same, best not get too close to any volcanos.

Available now at The Glade

Outlier tropical wool cap: Nice for your head

It's always handy to have something on your head when you're out on the bike, and  if a bit of sartorial flair is what you're after you could do worse than this Outlier tropical wool cap.

This is made from some tropical wool suit material Outlier dug up in a Brooklyn basement. That should give you something to talk about down the pub.

Get it here

Sunday, 18 April 2010

For Sale: Skyway Streetbeat. A piece of BMX history

It breaks my heart to put this up for sale, but it's been hanging in the shed since I got my road bike and that's no place for a 1984 childhood dream.

It's the BMX equivalent of leaving a Ferrari Dino to rot away in a damp barn. No, this bike deserves better. It deserves an owner who will put it on display in his lounge, or at least take it for a spin occasionally. Maybe do a few tricks down the local skate park, it would like that, although vintage BMX purists (and there are plenty) would balk at the suggestion that this should even be ridden.

Do you know there are people out there who treat these old BMXs with such revere that they don't even get chains put on them?

Not this one. This Streetbeat saw a bit of (gentle) action, basked in the limelight for a little while, got admired and fawned over.

And now it's time for it to leave the stable, so you will find it on sale in my local skate shop - Switch in Leigh-on-Sea Broadway. Pay it a visit, of only to rekindle those memories of wheelies and endos and other tricks which I've never dared do on it.


Peanut butter and marmite on toast

Beats a kebab any day of the week and you don't even have to queue up for it.

That's what I call an all-round result.

Can't say I'm too keen on squeezy Marmite bottles though. Whoever thought of them out to be sacked. 

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Princesses: Who needs them?

One of my friend Andre's classic lines was that he "doesn't do princesses," shortly after being pushed to the limits by the demands of one in particular.

It's a motto which you would be wise to follow, even if you're a video game character.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Blek Le Rat: Faces in the Mirror exhibition

Blek le Rat at White Walls | May 1, 2010 from White Walls Gallery on Vimeo.

Banksy didn't just wake up one morning and decide to go and paint with stencils. He was inspired by Blek Le Rat.

This Frenchman has been stencilling the streets of Paris for decades - a few sheep here, a Mona Lisa there.

The influence that would lead to The Banksy Show is quite evident. But while Banksy has become such a household name that even my mum has heard of him, Blek Le Rat has remained pretty much in the shadows.

And that, for the purists, is why he has become a legend.

If you're over San Francisco way on May 1 you can catch some of Blek's work at the White Walls Gallery.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Banksy Exit Through the Gift Shop LA premiere: Chaos comes to town

You always know when Banksy's in town. He brings his own travelling circus of managed chaos along with him.

He's gone beyond simple stencil throw-ups these days. They are just what he uses to let you know he's arrived. For the main event,  you get the whole shebang.

Banksy's art shows are now installations in their own right. And his movie screenings have become art shows themselves.

This is the scene at the Los Angeles Theatre, venue for his Exit Through the Gift Shop film, which premiered at the weekend.

The red carpet had been sprayed, a limo shunted into a truck at the entrance, and even the cops were pole dancing.

Like a bit of Bristol in LA.

More images at Arrested Motion