Friday, 2 March 2012

Web Stuff I Love

Lose Yourself

It's easy to lose hours when you get drawn into searching for random crap on the internet. Like most people, I love a good fail video and odd crazes involving putting bread round a cat's face, but I also like things that are a little more creative.

Here are my faves at the mo:

Sleeve Face
This one has been going for a few years now, but whenever I take a look it always gives me a few giggles. The basic premise is to use a record sleeve with a face on and recreate the rest of the scene. My favourite ones are where people have really gone to town to make the background and outfits match those on the actual album cover. Check out A Festive Christmas by Carl Morris, now that's what I call effort.

Dear Photograph
The idea is to take a picture of the past and put it in the present, using the original setting as a frame around a photograph. I love the contrast of colours and focus, and how time seems to stand still in some of the pictures - THIS is one of my favourites. I really need to dig out my childhood photos so I can do one of these.

1000 Journals
This is such I clever idea I feel that it really should have been mine. A thousand journals are being passed from artist to artist around the world, in what must be one of the biggest and most inclusive art projects going. Drawings, stories and photographs can be used to fill a couple of pages before the journal is passed onto the next person. Images are added to the website as the books get filled and it's really interesting to see what different ideas people come up with.

The Burning House
We've all thought about this. John Peel even prepared for it with a pre-packed box of vinyl he said he would save were his house to burn down. A box that allegedly contained several copies of the 'Teenage Kicks' 7" by The Undertones. While my CD/record collection is one of my life's companions, as well as being one of my most treasured possessions, I feel that most of them could probably be replaced if needs be. I think higher up the list of must-rescue items would be my ticket stubs - a grubby catalogue of paperwork dating the majority of my musical movements over the last 16 years. I would be devastated if I lost this record of my youth as there is no other way to trace my gig movements and as I can't remember most of them without using the stub as a little reminder, all of those wonderful moments would be lost forever.

Last year I went to the Home of Metal exhibition in Birmingham. A beautifully compiled display of all things Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Napalm Death-related cool stuff. Old posters from gigs that took place before I was born, old ticket stubs for amazing gigs in grubby sweatboxes that changed the lives of those that witnessed them for the small price of about two quid and some fantastic black and white photographs. One of the items that caught my eye was an obsessive Judas Priest fan, who had travelled across the globe and documented every gig he had been to in an A4 book - the venue, the city, the country, the date, the support acts, all the details were their for him to pour over and look back to in old age. I can't tell you how jealous I was of that guy and his book. If only I'd logged all this stuff I'd have a complete record of every band I've seen live. Damn it.

Keri Smith
My amazingly talented friend Dina Thanki drew my attention to this crazy lady, who creates activity books that help you feel like a kid again. Forget traditional journalling and sketch books, Keri Smith encourages you to break all the rules with her series of books. From chucking coffee over the pages to wiping your feet on them, paper disguises to random doodles, these books let you let go of being an adult for a while.

Louder Than War
For the best in new and old music, this one can't be beaten. There's loads of interviews and reviews, but I find articles like the top anti-Thatcher songs and what if only 30 bands could exist really get me thinking and unleash the music-list loving beast within. I see a list coming on...

Sabotage Times
For daily laughs and much-needed pick-me-ups this is the website I turn to. It's really well written in a lad mag kinda style and has a sense of humour that just kills me. I love people who don't take themselves too seriously, so this really is my kind of thing. As well as its stupid side, there's really interesting articles on music, such as this interview with Clash legend Mick - you're my guitar hero - Jones

Want to see the world's tallest giraffe, a burger that looks like Chewbacca or find out how having a hard on gets you priority seating on Japanese public transport? Sabotage Times has got it all covered.

Cassette From My Ex
A must for anyone who remembers dedicating hours of their life to perfecting the art of the mixtape in the name of love and who still has shoe boxes full of the things hidden in the wardrobe.

In the wise words of High Fidelity's Rob Gordon: "The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. There are many dos and don'ts. First of all you are using someone else's poetry to express how you feel - this is a delicate thing..."

Ahh yes, a 'subtle' combination of songs whose lyrics would reveal to the recipient in no uncertain terms that you wanted a shag. About as subtle as filling an entire tape with this sexy little Nine Inch Nails number.

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