Tuesday, 29 June 2010


If you know anything about the crystal world you'll know how ecstatic I was to wake up to this package of records this morning. Sure we'll have a proper write up on Oldfield soon, or at the very least on Pictures in the Dark.

I also happened to do this blogspot entirely on my mobile phone. Tower of Babel man.

Monday, 28 June 2010

It's you and me

You can make your break in one decade and still make your best songs in the next

Bonk Bonk Bonk

When I was about to head home the other day, I bumped into a friend who asked if I'd like to join in on an impromptu ride in the countryside around Nottingham, and lacking any reasonable excuse not to, I did. While it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride, unfortunately I bonked on the hills towards the end - beset by muscle fatigue, I struggled to turn the pedals at a decent pace. Seeing David Millar also bonk in the British Road Race Championships on Sunday offered me some comfort, though I think we both would've been better off had we watched this cracking film made by the British Rail film board in 1955, and heeded the advice at the beginning of the second part.

All I Do Is Think Of You

Above are just a few of serial killer Rodney Alcala's 2,000 plus collection of photographs he took of various women, girls and sometimes boys during the 1970s.

I came upon the photos earlier in the year when Californian Police released them to the press and public in the hopes of finding information about the subjects involved, believing there to be further unreported victims within the set of portraits .

The images offer up a snapshot of distinctly 70s fashion and film aesthetics as well as a feeling of stunningly intense intimacy, giving you a glimpse into the mind and life of this perverted man. Yet behind all the beauty to them they serve as a cold and sobering reminder of the fine line between affinity and obsession and the horrific acts that human beings can commit against each other.

Though sentenced to death in March for the murder of Robin Samsoe in 1979 and four other accounts of homicide (read the official report here) investigative estimates put Alcala's crimes of torture, rape, assault and kidnapping anywhere from 30 to 50 to even 100 cases spanning several years and different states across America.

You can sense the distress and desperation the Police are faced with when trying to tackle the sheer expanse of his crimes when you get quotes from his prosecutor Orange County DDA Matt Murphy, simply exhaling out comments like 'God only knows how many people he killed'.

Due to his confident rapour with women and brutal psychotic violence of his acts Alcala has been compared to the serial killer Tim Bundy and was also sometimes dubbed the 'Dating Game Killer' by the media due to a 1979 spot on the USA equivalent of Blind Date 'The Dating Show'. Joining Steve Martin and Michael Jackson in the list of notable alumni from the TV series (fyi the former is genuinely funny and entertaining, the latter's tragic then quite sweet, then tragic again).

More of the photos released can be found at crime.about.com/od/serial/ig/Rodney-Alcala---Photographs/

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I'd rather be in Barcelona

You can count The Crystal World as fans of Primavera Sound, so it's always quite nice to see its home, the Parc del Forum, used on adverts...

It's hardly surprising, especially given those visually arresting solar panels. But this one for Tesco Mobile really bugs me. I mean, where would you rather be - the beautiful, sunny, cultured Barcelona or the white, soulless vacuum of Tesco?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Shock of Grey

Ivy-Style is a blog that, as its name suggests, focuses on the life and style of the preps, college students and WASPS of the privileged American East Coast.

It's an interesting and inspirational read, spanning decades, trends and fashions whilst touching on celebrity, culture and history in equal and erudite measures. Despite being essentially a site about pretty awful rich people, there's something infinitely more attractive about boat shoes, Ralph Lauren shirts and rolled up blazers than the offensive Jack Wills affair that plagues much of the current English home counties and Universities. It's probably just a form of Yankophile escapism on my part, and definitely the continued influence of Mad Men (no not the Sesame Street version).

'Like' them on Facebook and you'll receive amusing and varied updates from site-creator (and possible Grand Dragon/Skull and Bones club member) Christian Chensvold, offering up arbitrary freebies and brotherly like advice.

One of Chensvold's recommendations is The Official Prep Handbook by Lisa Birnbach, an all knowing guide similar in vein to Stuff White People Like by Christan Lander, in that you're not sure whether the author is satirising or glamoursing their particular subculture. A bestseller upon its 1980 release, below's a promo video for her new book 'True Prep' with Chip Kidd coming out later this year.

Given that I feel I dress in a certain way to try give off an impression of a well-rounded, presentable and intelligent individual despite only knowing enough about most things just to blag my way through a conversation and not having any real practical or transferable skills there's a certain poignancy when Birnbach says things like 'I think that dressing this way and having some good manners and good eye contact and a nice handshake can be your cover for a lot of things'.

500 Days of Summer

Altreport just dropped a bomb of a before they were semi-famous bricks with a post about Zooey Deschanel being the star of Crystal World Rhythm game favourites The Offspring's video for She's Got Issues. Kinda disappointed I never made the connection myself, though perhaps Deschanel's convincing pink barnet might have thrown me off the scent, and that I haven't listened to that song since I was MTVtween (was always more of an All I Want man really, the cartoons in SGI's always feared me out a little too much, something about the Richard Nixon animation that was always a little too much)

I can hardly confess that Zooey's one of my favourite manic pixie dream girl's, I would even argue that she isn't even a true MPDG. Something about those retarded doughy eyes that always annoyed me, oh and her music, and acting career, and her fanboys, and her in person. Katy Perry occupies all the space my heart has for dark haired pale girls with prominent fringes.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Indecent Proposal

When this guy spends a Ted Mosby-esque inordinate amount of time telling his kids how their parents got together, I'm sure they'll be delighted to hear he proposed through the medium of dance to Metro Station.

Although, at least it's less embarassing than the guy who'll tell his kids that his proposal method-of-choice was to pretend to be late to attend a taping of Daily Mail-made-televisual flesh, Noel's HQ, only to reveal himself to be the front end of a pantomime horse dancing here to seminal anthem Britain Has Gone Bonkers.