Saturday, June 29, 2013

Easy boy

June 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of me being interested in the Dutch Top40 as broadcast weekly at that time by Veronica. To celebrate this piece of my youth, I intend to make Saturday Top40 1973 day in this blog for the rest of the year - providing a link to the list of that day 40 years ago and selecting my favourite song of the new entries of that week. Today we feature the list of 30 June 1973, and my pick of the newcomers of that week is a fun song by the Dutch duo Greenfield and Cook: Easy Boy (and we all prayed together). Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).

YouTube

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The war of the worlds

For the 100th post under this heading, I have selected a landmark record from the seventies, in many ways. Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical version of HG Wells' classic SF novel has stood the test of time, not least because of his choice of artists for his project, from Richard Burton to Justin Hayward. The cover is brilliant as well (actually the complete book that came with the album is a fantastic piece of work, full of excellent illustrations). Mike Trim, who had started his career working for shows such as Stingray and Thunderbirds, provided the cover illustration, a stunning depiction of a Martian tripod defeating the battle ship Thunderchild. For an excellent article on this album's background, see here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ginger

My wife has been turning out new paintings at a steady pace, but until she is satisfied with them and approves photographs of them, I go back through the archives. This is one from 2006 that I had not posted yet, a lovely visual play on the resemblance of curly hair and flowers.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The free electric band

June 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of me being interested in the Dutch Top40 as broadcast weekly at that time by Veronica. To celebrate this piece of my youth, I intend to make Saturday Top40 1973 day in this blog for the rest of the year - providing a link to the list of that day 40 years ago and selecting my favourite song of the new entries of that week. We kick off with the list of 23 June 1973, and my pick of the newcomers of that week is that great song by Gibraltar-born Albert Hammond: The free electric band. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I would put it on my MP3 player).

YouTube

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A different kind of truth

The Art Deco style has made quite a comeback in recent years, and that is reflected in album covers as well. Here is a beautiful recent example by long-running American hard rockers Van Halen for their 2012 album A Different Kind of Truth. The sleeve design is credited to George Hernandez.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monuments to order - from North Korea

This is such a strange piece of information. The linked Hyperallergic article describes one of the most profitable North Korean enterprises: making art on demand for customers in Europe and Africa. This goes from realistic paintings to monumental sculptures, such as the 50m high one depicted above, ordered by the Senegalese government (image credit: Dorothy Voorhees). As a German official who ordered a traditional fountain stated: "The top tier artists in Germany simply don’t make realist work anymore. North Koreans on the other hand haven’t experienced the long evolution of modern art; they are kind of stuck in the early 1900s". Weird stuff.

web site

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fighting cows

This is one of the less known masterpieces by my favourite painter, German expressionist Franz Marc (1880-1916). It dates back to 1911, and is owned privately - which probably explains its relative lack of exposure. More on Marc in the linked Wikipedia article.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Famous Logos

The linked web site gives an overview of scores of famous logos, from Abarth to Zara, including for each a bit of history, as well as the various design elements. Fun to browse, some facts are well-known, some quite surprising.

web site

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Rite of Spring Premiere: Fact and fiction

Last week was the centenary of the legendary scandalous first performance of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps), which arguably started the era of what is now called 20th century classical music. The linked BBC article tries to separate fact from fiction around that evening, and although quite some questions remain, it is a fascinating read.

web site

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Next to me

Emeli Sande's big 2012 hit Next to me is one of the better ones I have heard on the radio in recent years. The design for the corresponding cover is stylish as well, with its choice for her pose and the monotone rendering. More about Emeli Sande on the linked wikipedia page.