July/August

Hey there – happy summer!! Disclaimer: the following video is an example of a video which is both happy and summery and totally non-subjective.


Admittedly I didn’t quite meet my blog deadline this month *boo*. I also missed Truck Festival *boo* due to my current internship (marketing, all very fun). But, as one of my top-used words here is “fun” (Wordle word clouds I salute you) I did manage to pop along to Underage with Artrocker.tv. My review is being edited now, but in the meantime do take a look here for my Highs and Lows of the festival. We had time to chat to Akala, Ellie Goulding and Daisy Dares You, who liked my (excuse for an) outfit! We also spotted Darwin Deez and Tahita from NYPC backstage (whilst popping to the posh loos). My favourite act of the day were probably Chiddy Bang, though I advise you to read the full review when its out!

We caught the tail end of this too – an illegal set from Isleworth’s finest, The Ruskins:


Here is my favouyrite picture from the immense (as in great, not GREAT BIG as she is not) Cathryn Innocent:

I’ve just been on my 2nd journalism course, which was great and really got me thinking about the presentation of my blog and interviews, not to mention the law and various bias which media outlets can hold. Just to reiterate, I am completely independent despite any media affiliations and the thoughts expressed here and on my Twitter account are all my own musings and annoyances 🙂

…that said, I love the BBC. Stood outside the Tardis as part of said course, which may count as a religious epiphany. Nowhere near the Blue Peter garden but that’s fine, I don’t need to regress any further *sucks thumb*. I digress – I had an amazing time on my course and found a few amazing twitterers and bloggers who I’ll link to it due course. As always, you can reach me at hannah@hannahjdavies.com if you want to collaborate.

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Thursday night gem The Real Hustle: Celebrity Scammers has filled the Question Time-shaped gap in my TV schedule. However, I think we’ve all seen Matt Willis – formerly of Busted fame – pull that “I just shat myself” face long before he joined Alex, Paul and Jess on one of their most daring scams yet. Lest I ruin the episode for those who are now two weeks behind, it was a corker. The Real Hustle has always relied on comedy and shock value in equal measure, but the introduction of z-listers like Matt and Strictly lothario Brendan Cole has added a new dimension of cringe to this BBC3 staple! I don’t want to be cynical but Busted do have a new album out, reportedly hitting the shelves next year. Long live the long con..and shameless self-promotion!

Year 2004?: Loveable hasbeen Matt added to the already popular show

Play that List

Besides listening to “I’m Coming Out” every day, if you care to know what is in my playlist then take a look on Spotify…you didn’t actually think I’d link you there, when I have Kajagoogoo, Cyndi Lauper, DMX, Danny Swain, Tea Leaf Green, Simple Minds, Ashley Tisdale and Badly Drawn Boy in the same playlist??? More likelihood of finding a blood diamond down the back of a supermodel’s sofa. Oh, wait…

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Having a chat about politics with AkalaA quick chat with Ellie Goulding
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“When Bob Geldof was kicked out of Pink Floyd…”

Urrgh, I’m almost a fool. I have to use these Sweet Valley High titles in order to grab your attention. That said, “almost a fool” refers only to the fact that its April Fools tomorrow rather than any intellectual anguish I might be having over my upcoming exams. I’ve almost been a fool millions of times, from fake £20 notes to bogus prizes…just dont trick me tomorrow because I will fall for it.

This pretty amazing (cake vs.) pie chart from This is why you’re fat has caught my foolish attention:

…as has everything else vaguely sweet recently. Weird craving for a proper, gen-u-ine New York cheescake, actually; one of those which looks like a round French cheese and tastes like one too. If anyone wants to bake me one then please go ahead.

Anyways, onto some higher culture. I have enjoyed such cultivated televisual viewing of late, including The Undercover Princesses on BBC3.

A follow-up to the equally cringeworthy culture-clash comedy of  The Undercover Princes, this series saw three ethnically-diverse but equally stereotypical “royals” – the Bugandan with a shapely behind and a taste for market-stall weave, the shy, sari-wearing Indian wallflower and the whiter-than-white Europop heiress from Germany, who almost didn’t count as foreign – looking for love in the UK. So, the BBC sent the trio to our culture capital of Essex and watched asmadness ensued. One of Uganda’s princesses, nicknamed Cinderella, found Caribbean match Paul (Paw-ul) on a trip to Asda for mushrooms in a surprisingly tidy scene which was typical set-up fare. Meanwhile, sweet-natured asian princess Aaliya went on a series of disappointing dates with men who looked like Crimewatch-paedo-cut-outs for conversations about the weather, where we almost expected to hear Mad World dubbed over her plight. Eeyorl-liah was a nice girl but socially inept when it came to the opposite sex, and scuppered one of her dates by getting claustrophobia…whilst wearing a helmet. Doh! Instead of love, we got more BBC subtitles over anyone who wasn’t from Essex and a horrible soundtrack which even featured “world’s most overused and dramatic tearjerker” Kissing You by Des’ree. Yes, the song from Romeo+Juliet. A highlight was Xenia from Germany, however, whose much-hyped “relationship” with hairdresser Elliott involved much retarded singing, impressionism and crap dancing. Put her anywhere else and I think this woman would have been labelled a fag hag. Hilarious stuff as always from the BBC’s digital stable, but can we please have some proper princesses next time…this lot really lacked authenticity!

High Renaissance Man – exclusive –

Yes, THIS is what the title of the blog is about! HIGHLY CULTURED MEN!

Vice ran this pretty amazing picture of JFK in a series of hats for next month’s issue…just to cover myself legally I should point out that the pic below is by Tara Sinn of http://www.babydinosaureyes.com/, and it is just so cute. Especially the top hat…can someone please Cafe Press this into a mug/t-shirt/babygrow (with permission ofc).

And here is my horrific illustration for the following feature. I forbid anyone to Cafe Press this:

It’s been less than 2 months since Mr Totally Tom – that’s Mr Totally Tom Stourton and Mr Totally Tom Palmer to you and I – launched their comedy short High Renaissance Man on Youtube. Part one of four is above, and given my damning review of a BBc 3 programme (also above), I advise that our controllors take note: this is what TV needs.

The two Toms – who have somewhat sarcastically declared that they want BBC’s “pinkies”, that’s £50 notes to you and me – have been friends since the tender age of 12, when they met at a sleepover (everybody say: awww!)

Described by Michael Hessletine as “Evelyn Waugh on acid” (100% true quotation), the duo take their inspiration from Garth Meranghi’s Dark Place and Brass Eye among other series’, although this Bristol-based mockumentary is all their own work, and they strongly deny “copying” anyone. In fact, their influences peek through rather than being worn on a collective sleeve, surely the mark of subtle genius. Thanks to the way in which universities are “interlinked” through Facebook, High Renaissance Man has gone down a treat on the interwebs – probably because James Talbot-Smith (Stourton) is the perfectly recognisable Oxbridge-reject  turning his hand to uni pursuits such as event promotion with his trademark awkwardness. If Abercrombie did philosophy degrees…

That’s enough from me anyways…let’s read James’ exclusive diary for hannahjdavies.com!

The diary of James – by Mr Totally Tom

D e a r  D i a r y,

J a m e s  h e r e  a g a i n.  F i r s t  o f  a l l,  a s  y o u  m a y  h a v e  n o t i c e d,  I  h a v e  j u s t  f o u n d  a  f u c k i n g

l e a n  f o n t  t o  u s e  f o r  m y  d i a r y  e n t r i e s.  M a k e s  i t  l o o k  l i k e  a n  o l d s c h o o l  t y p e w r i t e r  – a n d

i t  u s e s  u p  l e s s   i n k.

Spiked Mathew’s tea with seven grams of Mephedrone this morning. He has an exam later AND his parents are taking us for lunch after. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that one! Even though I will be sort of. He’d better pay me back.

Speaking of pranks, expenses scandal broke out today – so fierce! In a bit of trouble with Dad as I ordered a duck house on his account for one of my nights – he is soooooo angry. Also v. bum-out as has ruined my Duck and Bass night – apparently freedom of expression has been banned by the government! Sorry, didn’t realize Tony Blair had collaborated with the Nazis! (Not! – as in I’m being sarcastic not as in I think Nazis actually are actually in power in real life).

Anywayz, until the next time we meet, see you tomorrow dear diary.

Yours truly truthfully,

Me….James.

*Thanks to the two Toms for their help with this feature…now go and watch all four parts of High Renaissance Man on Youtube!

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LIKE A DRUG

Up on VBS.tv right now, you can click here to watch the first part of the Vice Guide to Film, on Mexico’s Narco Cinema, from their popular internet TV station (you might remember me talking about another VBS production, Swansea Love Story, in a previous post).

I digress: in this series, Vice will be exploring some lesser-known cinematic genres from across the globe, as co-founder Shane Smith and creative director Eddy Moretti explore the relationship between drugs and B-movies in Mexico, Korea and Japan. It’s described it as a foray into the low budget, seedy, fast-paced, straight-to-DVD genre inspired by (and often funded by) Mexico’s ultraviolent drug cartels. This culture-packed production is essential viewing for all Vice-lovers and beyond, as it also touches on the bizarre pagan patron saint of drug dealers…and a music genre based about trafficking! Throw your guidebooks in the bin, grab un sics (yes, thats a six pack of beer in spanish…spanglish) and click onto VBS.tv instead…


Til next month, adieu (actually, I’m going to be working with Artrocker on Underage Easter festival next week so that might pop up here too)
Yours
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Reading 09: Hannah J Davies is waste…

Hannah J Davies was too busy living it up at Reading festival to prepare a blog this month. In actual fact, she almost came to a terrible end during Bloc Party, who obviously don’t understand the meaning of party. Their demeanours are most like Bloc Funeral.

D

I

n g    2009 MMIX.

Radiohead were amazing of course…in that offbeat, half-caring, underdone, overdone, thoughtful way that only they and a few other bands can lay claim to. It was an amazing experience, nonetheless: Hannah J Davies’ first Reading festival…breathing in dusty air and smoke, breathing out awe and idolatry as she watched her dream headline act. Thom Yorke’s Kermit-style croak of “wassup” did little to question his place as the awkward but ultimately genius Master of The Universe.

Anyways, enough about her, she is waste and didn’t prepare a blog for her readership. Let’s turn our attention to 3OH!3 instead, whose straggly swagger was current. “I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby” separated the men from the boys, although ironically there was some plenty of couple action during the tune.

Master Shortie infected our minds with his subliminal Demon Headmaster promotion of – in no particular order – his tour, album and trainer line. Phew! His cover of Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants is standout, and rather memorable if not ironic.

Amateur H had an amazing day, even though she was almost crushed and owes her life to three gentlemen who aided her in crowdsurfing out of aforementioned Bloc Mortuary. She sustained a twisted ankle and a few bruises, and lost a friend who she has consequently not seen since but who got out of the lion’s den alive.

Reading was eyeopening – a small, self-sufficient world just beyond a motorway and a McDonalds where anyone – from former teachers to friends of friends of friends could be found. Communities were formed, but alas Amateur H was not part of any particular one, going only for one day, and – primarily – to see T Yorke and co. deliver classics such as Karma Police alongside …wait for it… two new songs, one of which had never been heard before! So much so that I now don’t remember what it was called, but boy was it good to be involved in that tenuous make-or-break moment.

It was a success, and lame claims to fame include seeing Edith Bowman’s hair and shoulder pads sans neck, floating through a glass window, and standing 10ft from Vampire Weekend’s drummer at Radiohead. That is lame, based on a VP set which was a happily mediocre crashcourse in mediocrity. Although Ezra has to be in the top 10 musical Jewish hotties…way above Simon & Garfunkel at any rate.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are given a resounding Yeah Yeah Yes by this writer after an amazing set…and Karen O’s pointlessly yet highly important costumery. A true, crazy legend.

So home we went, with the search for our missing friend over and a train which featured artbitches snorting cocaine (literally) and a bunch of perving wideboys. I’m sure the french people would’ve been of no help whatsoever had the rapey atmosphere exceeded its 12/10 mark.

So, alls well that ends well…and I’ve had enough music to last me a good few weeks.


hannahsig1

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Guess Who’s Back…

Missed me munchkins?

I’ve been a bit ill recently – nothing serious luckily, just a cold – hence neglecting this blog. Of course there was that little thing called CHRISTMAS as well, but there you go. I sincerely hope you had yourself a merry little one, and did something rather than just gorge and watch telly.

Actually thats what I’ve been doing since Monday 22nd. I sincerely love turkey drenched in bread sauce and cranberry sauce…even in an economic downturn we actually had the best xmas meal to date, which was definitely upped by my somewhat cousin Ken Kobayashi’s impromptu performance after dinner! myspace.com/kenkobayashi will tell you all you need to know if you’re an Air/Beta Band kinda guy/girl/snail.

Some of the day was also spent laughing at blackpeopleloveus.com, a hilarious internet viral which is still doing the rounds. Ignore if you saw this back at the ole Y2K whilst working on an oldskool Mac with a colourful case…

Anyways, here’s an image which warmed my cockles (not).

Who needs warts?
Perry-Perry Sores: Random caption aimed at demonizing Katy, not Nandos

…Been out today, now that my cold has subsided. Shopping, would you believe?

Not a lot of music journalism haha, but instead I think I’ll write about Guitar Hero World Tour. I am absolutely crap at this game, terrible, useless, unless I play it on Easy which is fairly soul destroying in itself. No, I’m here to praise the game’s great producers for their fantastic animation of Billy Corgan (aka God). It is just fantastic to watch my favourite grungey slaphead in all his 3D glory.

Anyways, onto my fabulous xmas gifts for others, which included gems such as nothing and nowt (THIS IS THE BIT WHERE THREE GHOSTS COME AND SHOW ME THE ERROR OF MY WAYS ETC). However, I’m currently coverting my brother’s great new Student Cookbook, which features pictures of the multi-talented Sam Stern leaning up against food at markets, buying nuts, bartering for fish and doing other food-related things.

Ooh, and his recipes too of course, which feature a general overkill on the words ‘sexy’ and ‘well’  but still manage to remain tasty. He’s Jamie Oliver for girls who write their essays at 4am…well,anyone who CAN write, really.

Poser...
Poser...

I was watching a ‘most annoying’ list on tv last night, narrated by one of my favourite people: Richard Bacon. It was truly awful stuff (Eurovision? Jonas Brothers? Pete Doherty?) yet remained highly entertaining. I dont know what it is about watching ex-CBBC presenters earn their salt by taking the piss out of my second favourite kojak, Naomi Campbell, which is so gratifying. It’s gripping, especially some of the mud celebs would rather we forgot…Noel Edmond’s declaring that he hadn’t paid his TV license, I mean WHAT A RETARDED THING TO SAY ON THE NEWS?? Oh, its okay actually because Noel did pay his license, he just wanted to appear ‘cool’ and ‘rebellious’ by bragging about how he hadn’t been caught.

Salad tosserr.

New and highly entertaining concept:

Noel Edmonds presents Deal or No Deal dressed in outfit bought entirely from a flea market whilst he shows his nipples off a la Kate Moss, frenches Katy Perry’s dad and cooks eggs benedict a la Sam Stern. Cos that’s cool, right kids? Imagine cool Noel, Greentoothing the pictures on his RedBerry to his cool friends on Facenook…yeah…

I dont know why I’m hating on ‘inherently cool kids’ today, really, after all I am the epitome of London dress. There’s actually been a fire in Hoxton today, so maybe I should be careful what generalisations I make… I’m totally non-judgemental, really…not to be confused with some people’s desire to hate on ‘The Cool Kids’ who are actually a rather fine outfit (see ‘The Bake Sale’).

*Currently listening to:

Sweeney Todd soundtrack

THE film of the year, plus when I downloaded this, I got a digital booklet with lyrics about pies and murder! Can’t wait for the next Tim Burton offering – Alice In Wonderland…

sweeney1


Simon and Garfunkel

– The vintage summer cool of Mrs Robinson makes me want Pimms. Reminding myself it’s December via the use of a small heater in my room at night…Dickensian or what?

mrs-robinson

*Currently watching:

Not a lot…planning to watch 30 Rock (hilarious) and The Wire (so I can appear more intelligent with my televisual choices) pretty soon.


Bisous, I’m off to order some cheap clothes on the internet, and maybe my local branch of Woolworths. That was cruel and unfair and I apologize….

hannahsig1



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