Archive for December, 2007

A quiet season

I’m convinced that London life moves in cycles, with the streets and pubs feeling deserted on some weekends, and everyone out on the pavements on others.

This holiday season seems to have fallen into a trough of this wave. Halloween sometime starts a month-long endless fireworks show, with Diwali and Bonfire night. This year was almost quiet in comparison with some.

Plans for New Year among my friends are all pretty lax–everyone is taking this year off. This afternoon people were out shopping, but the pub that would usually be thronged for Sunday lunch was half-empty.

Am I the only one who’s finding that this New Year is a quiet one? Let me know in the comments if you have some amazing plans for a New Year night out.

Empty Victoria Line Tube Train
Originally uploaded by Calistobreeze

A Little Shopping Tip

You would think, looking at the newspaper post-Xmas, that the UK was obsessed with shopping. I’d like to set the record straight. We’re not obsessed with shopping so much as obsessed with the sales. Knowing this, some of the smarter or more commercially savvy shops on Oxford Street have decided to open rediculously early. Today I read in a tabloid that Marks & Spencers opened at 6am yesterday and still there was a queue of 600 people to get in. Frankly, it makes my 10 minute wait to get into Abercrombie & Fitch in NYC look tame. But I have a tip. It’s called Personal Shopping and it’s offered by some of the bigger department stores such as Selfridges.

Personal shopping takes all the hassle out of battling the rugby scrum to find the one size 12 Ghost dress in purple left on the racks by letting someone else, the personal shopper, do it for you. Not only will this wonderful person go around the entire store and find you all the kind of clothes that you like, in your size, they will serve you cups of tea and coffee, and bring you a magazine to read while you are waiting in your bedroom sized dressing room. There once was a time when Selfridges used to offer this service for free but I guess folks such as myself abused the privilege a little too often and now there is a small and (I believe) refundable charge on purchase of the items. Personal shopping. It really is a godsend.

I hope everyone understands ;-)

Merry Christmas / 聖誕快樂 / 圣诞快乐 / Feliz Natal / Frohe Weihnachten / Glad jul / Feliz Navidad / メリークリスマス / 즐거운 성탄 / buon natale / Joyeux Noël / Καλά Χριστούγεννα / веселое рождество / wesoły Boże Narodzenie

Hot discussion in Karachi

musharraf.jpgPresident Pervez Musharraf has lifted the state of emergency in Pakistan, but the debate rages hot and heavy at our sister blog in Karachi–it’s our network’s most-discussed post. Author MB includes this image on his post, saying, “This photo of a man on the street of Karachi probably explains overall situation better than any of us could.”

Be Naughty but be Nice

2004-12-19-xmas_shopping2.jpgWas doing a gig up near Oxford Circus today, and I couldn’t help but notice how rude people were being to each other. Really, is a bit of tat for your brat worth it? I’m so sick of all the commercials telling me to buy this and buy that for Christmas. Can we just have a moratorium on the buying this Christmas? Actually, I think I’m gonna do that. No new purchases. I got a butt load of wooly hats left over from goodie bags I got from the LFS Grad Show. That’s my family sorted. If they don’t like it, they can send the hats to the freezing starving kids in Russia. Bah Humbug to all you naughty Oxford Street shoppers!

A bit of Shameless Self Promotion

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The experimental short documentary “Liza” by director Patrick Jackson (produced by Daneeta Loretta Saft, music by Kirmann_) has been nominated for the LUX Award for Best Experimental Film at the 5th London Short Film Festival (4th – 13th January 2008). The film will be part of the Leftfield & Luscious screening at the ICA on Monday 7th January at 6.30pm. Please come along. Patrick, Kirmann_ , and Daneeta are all LFS Alumni. Also screening is Jackson’s “Daybreak” as part of the “Love on the Road” screening at the ICA on Friday 11th January at 6.30pm. “Daybreak” was 90% crewed by LFS Alumni.

5th London Short Film Festival

Halloween presents THe 5th London Short Film Festival. Fri 4th – Sun 13th January 2008. ICA, Curzon Soho, Roxy Bar & Screen and Amersham Arms
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Looking for New Film Making Talent?

grad2007invitecrop.jpgAnyone interested in new talent should check out the films coming from London Film School graduates at their annual show. I graduated in 2003 and have been working as an independent filmmaker here in London since then. Ben Gibson’s complete overhaul of the school is reflected in the quality films that are coming out of the place in recent years. I have also worked with this new crop of filmmakers, and I’ve been quite impressed with their professionalism and their technical and artistic integrity and grit.

Graduates will be screening their films at the National Gallery on 11th December from 10 – 12 and 2 – 4:30 followed by a drinks reception. Screenings are by invitation only, but you can RSVP by signing up here and saying that Daneeta sent you.

Hope to see you guys there.

Cosmic Music

cosmo.jpgI first heard New York DJ Cosmo spin six years ago on a Sunday afternoon at the Notting Hill Arts Club. Wearing flip-flops and decks right on the dance floor, she was the first female DJ I had the pleasure to dance to. Her stuff is so unique and fresh…non-agressive, shake-your-groove-thing music mixed with just about everything from World Music to the Blues to Classical. The crowd around her is always lovely, so if you are tired of “the scene”, and you just want to dance your ass off, check her out on Thursday the 6th.

Cosmodelica on Thursday, 6 December
at Plastic People
(147-149, Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2).
Doors open at 9pm and entry is free until 10pm (£5 after)

Cosmo will be selecting a far-out and funky brew of
cosmic disco, psychedelic rock, electronic dub, roots, acid house and
anything else that is guaranteed to move your mind, your body and your
soul.

Cosmodelica radio show on Samurai FM
Cosmo on My Space

Art from the Heart Party: Charity Extravaganza!

villagedrum1.gifOK, Here’s a party that will be hard to pass up if you are a tree-hugger, a dream-catcher, an art-lover or just into cheap eats and drink. Art from the Heart Party takes place on December 7 (7pm till midnight) at the Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith, London. Tickets are £15 and get you free beer, free food, and free entertainment from, says mate Ross Heaven, “musicians, cabaret performers, poets, and raconteurs.” I am assured that the Irish Ambassador and celebrities galore will be present. And, you can cut-price art from international artists who have donated work to raise funds and awareness for the Village environmental project. Tickets are available from tania@taniaahsan.com.

Now, if you’re wondering about my mate Ross, he is the founder of the Four Gates Foundation: “active in the teaching, promotion, and application of spiritual wisdom and freedom psychology.” Ross is a super cool dude and not full of shit like some other new agey types I’ve met. And how, you ask, did I meet him? He’s a certified Voodoo priest, and when I was shooting the making of doco for London Voodoo, I interviewed Ross for the special features. He’s the real deal, so, if you are into all that jazz, check him out.

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