"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gifts beyond the grave or pure coincidences

In my recent collections, I have been noticing a bit of a pattern of what I have been buying without even noticing too much since I love these songs and materials anyway. A lot of the items the photos were done by the late Eric Watson and some weren’t, but the videos were done by Watson and some were both photos and videos done by him. There’s more of course but I’m only speaking for what I have gotten thus far. 
Reason the titled mentions gifts beyond the grave was because I did a post about Eric Watson on here not  too long ago, a good friend of mine told me of his passing. I was sad but I didn't know much about him and still clueless besides of what I know of his work and all. From what I read he was fantastic only wished I knew who he was as a person, like a lot of the artists I like or starting to adore. Ever since I did that post, a lot of his items wind up coming out of nowhere in Amoeba Music    and we aren't just talking about these items, rare and limited ones for that matter and the best part they were actually pretty affordable! I have so much I can decorate my room with a bunch of art. The rarest of the items I have that Eric done are: The two "West End Girls" vinyls, The Further Listenings, Smash Hits Yearbook 1983, and the remixes (he did the video though, not the design) and I guess also the 45s too of "Suburbia" and "Heart" and the 2000 collection compilation( the Nightlife era photo was by him), The CD maxi single (4 discs) and Essential and the Lenticular casing of Alternative. Out of all the further Listenings, Actually was the only one I didn't buy from Amazon, I gotten it from Amoeba. I was trying to help someone with their post about the conflicting info about Allison Watt's painting of Eric Watson's photo that was originally the idea of Actually and wouldn't you know it, it was right in the store! Someone was portraying Chris Lowe from the Love Comes Quickly photo very poorly and I mean this person didn't even try to get it close to the photo, I'm not an expert but there is a such thing as effort and the person didn't have no effort at all. For one using a different color for one thing it was such a view to see! Hey I'm a critiquer, I have to say it like it is. Wouldn't you believe that the Love Comes Quickly( he did both the video and the photos) vinyl popped out of nowhere? I'm telling it's very bizarre! I even developed liking the Pet Shop Boys at their early career and funny thing moments after that, The Maxi CD Single and the two "West End Girls" vinyls I found them, for one I was listening to "Pet Shop Boys" one of their early experimental work and I found the 12 inch version of it? I'm telling you it's very strange! One thing I do regret was not getting the vinyl of "Always on my Mind" but the image was so tiny; it was smaller than the Please image. The "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore" single was still hanging in there so I finally gotten it, then later on or before I can't remember but Essential (like the Further Listenings some of the photos were done by him) was in my midst. I'm still not over finding the rare version of the Alternative casing even though Eric only did the portrait photos in the inside of the booklet. Then being  constant like I am, this guy was telling about another section they had in the back of the store where 12inch vinyls were and "So Hard" was one( he did the video and the photo), limited edition of "New York City Boy"( he did the photo series, not the design) "Domino Dancing" (he did the video, not the photo, and Clare told me on Wayne's site that this song Neil mentioned that it was a reference from Soft Cell's "Numbers" which funnily that's not my favorite Soft Cell song, but I love "Domino Dancing"). The 45s I was even shocked they had those in Amoeba and out of the ones they had were "Heart"(only the photo series)and "Suburbia"(he did the video and the photo series) which were photos done by Watson himself. Recently I gotten a CD version of "Was it Worth It?" to match my vinyl he did the video of the song. DJ Culturemix was one I gotten from Amazon, Clare told me that the Grid (Dave Ball and Richard Norris) did a remix of "DJ Culture" wouldn't you believe that he did the photo series and the video to it? and lastly the Smash Hits Yearbook, you do see my Best of Smash Hits the 80's, it was just a brief reminder he was one of the photographers for the magazine. The 1983 Smash Hits yearbook I would have never guessed there was something Eric Watson did right before you hit the Soft Cell photo, and it wouldn't you guess it had the Smash Hits team in their favorite art logo or item on their t-shirts and it included Krysia and Neil too! It shocked the hell out of me, I didn't think you can find that in the Smash Hits Yearbook! And Catalogue there's more Eric Watson references and we aren't just talking about in the book, but really the "Suburbia" glossy case and the the peach/pink/salmon color you can see the "I Don't know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore" photo! 

I swear it's so weird, you'd think I had some kind of connection or something but I don't and yet I wind up with so much(well to me it's a lot) of his work! I guess it doesn't suck to give out tributes to artists who have an actual passion or interest in the material! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Smash Hits Yearbook 1983

This is another addition to my Smash Hits collection, this is the 1983 yearbook of Smash Hits! I read that Neil Tennant edited this one along with the 1982 and the 1984 year book. And Editing is a form of art believe it or not. I will do another post about this one as well! This book is really more than I expected which is really good because, I gotten my money's worth for this! It had Marc Almond as one of the photos and then this was only one of the ones I can get that's cheaper and easier to find of the three. It consist of a photo of Soft Cell, the Stevie Wonder Story, Simon Le Bon about his best ideas and the color of his socks, The Smash Hits Diary 1983, Martin Gore as Sherlock Holmes,  The Best-dressed Chests/On the Button,The Police: 1977-82 and so much more! The thing that struck me as more than expected right before the Soft Cell photo, The Best-Dressed Chests were photos of what it seems to be the Smash Hits team, Tee Set in their shirts of bands and different art or artists, and the fact it was done by Eric Watson too! And two of the photos were vaguely familiar one of Krysia of a WAH! shirt which is also  can be found in the Pet Shop Boys, Annually book and the other one was of Neil in a Mao art looking shirt, it's a photo I see from various internet pages which I thought was pretty cool to see familiar photos  from this book! And what's funny is that the two photos are vertically from each other! I can tell right now, I am going to really enjoy this book as well as the Best of Smash Hits books! So much art it's mind bottling! 

A brief post about DJ Culturemix

I will do another on this one later since of Catalogue! When a friend of mine, Clare told me about this remix of "DJ Culture", I was shocked because Dave Ball of Soft Cell with his band The Grid, did a remix of this song!! Who would have guessed!! I know it’s not really a collaboration, but the fact that something like this happened it’s just really shocking and of course this version of "DJ Culture" is incredibly rare, like pretty much practically a lot of the Soft Cell references or relations I have been recently finding out, like today Clare told me that on Wayne Studer’s site, about “Domino Dancing”, Neil reportedly said that it was a version of Soft Cell’s “Numbers” because of the theme of casual sex. Ironically, it’s one of my least favorite Soft Cell songs; well it was one of those songs I liked but grown out of it. What’s even more shocking, you wouldn’t find that in the Further Listenings booklets! And then by them knowing a Soft Cell song beyond 1982 shocked me because that's more of their rock phase, and I know they aren't so big on rock music, so i find it quite impressive! But anyway I find this so awesome, again someone from Soft Cell that’s in another band did something for the Pet Shop Boys! And to top it off, the video of "DJ Culture" and the photographer of the series were done by the late Eric Watson! It also includes Music for Boys (Part 3) and the Overture to Performance! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Still working on more drafts, don't fret! Quick update!

Greetings! I'm currently working on more posts and drafts, I did some updating in my limited/rare collection blog if you want to have a look see. There's Pet Shop Boys and Soft Cell related items in there I updated along with New Order/Joy Division, The Who and Linkin Park here's the link URL! I will also update my collection list! http://uniqueitemsofart.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Art review on Pet Shop Boys Alternative and Format.

Alternative(lenticular casing) left
Format (right)

These both B-side sets are a real fascination to me, because of the contrast between light and dark which I really like. Alternative:The darkness where try are wearing fencing masks, really gave me the sense of being trapped or stuck or even suffocating. Where as Format it doesn’t consist of them at all; however, each line represents the albums and tracks on Format, the colors as well as the graphics according to Mark Farrow and the colors and the dominant color is white and it looks like a liberated ideal to me. Both were designed by Mark Farrow, Alternative was with Pete Mauder. Alternative was originally going to be called Besides but then with the Lenticular casing (which I have), Neil’s and Chris’ faces shifted and that’s how it became Alternative instead. I also have the regular one, I keep it because my mother really likes Alternative, but I love the lenticular casing version way better. I don’t really have a favorite they both look really neat and symbolize something unique. Eric Watson done the portraits inside the booklet of Alternative and Richard Burbridge did the photos of them in masks. Format I think if I’m not mistaken was one of the ways a piece of music would be in. Both were B-sides sets have interviews of the band by Jon Savage; I definitely get the sense of Invisibility in Format because there’s no photos of them. Also Format consists of bonus tracks as well as B-sides. The Lenticular casing version is a box but the opening is on the side where the booklet and the CD case are inside. The bootklet have both Neil and Chris and the CD case (interior) have Chris on it. Format have the booklet and the two CDs in a coat cover like Ultimate(deluxe) I heard this version of Alternative is rare, I was blessed to find this version at Amoeba store. There’s a vinyl version with the lenticular casing as well. Again I really love the contrast between the two B-sides. It’s nice to have the better versions of the CD sets because you definitely get your money’s worth. I gotten Format on the UK version of Amazon, I saw the US version of Format, it’s not as good looking as the UK version of Format.

My favorite songs on Alternative~                           My favorite songs on Format~(still testing this out)
"A Man Could Get Arrested"                                   "Blue on Blue"
"In the Night"                                                           "We're All Criminals Now"
"That's My Impression"                                            "Nightlife"
"Was That What it Was?"                                         "No Time For Tears(7-inch mix)
"Paninaro"                                                                "Transparent"
"I Want a Dog"                                                        "Lies"
"Do I Have To?"                                                     "Delusions of Grandeur"
"The Sound of the Atom Splitting"                         "Silver Age"
"One of the Crowd"                                                "Discoteca (new version)"
"Your Funny Uncle"                                               "Gin and Jag"
"We All Feel Better in the Dark"                             "After the Event"
"Losing My Mind"                                                  "We're the Pet Shop Boys"
"Music for Boys"                                                    "Screaming"
"Shameless"                                                            "The Resurrectionist"
"Too Many People"                                                "Party Song"
"Violence (Ha├žienda version)"                                "Sexy Northerner"
"Euroboy"                                                                "Casting a Shadow"
"Some Speculation"

Monday, June 11, 2012

My art review on Pet Shop Boys Invisible video.

I’m still not so keen on the song itself, it’ll grow me soon though. I don’t mind depressing songs but it’s really, really sad. The rumours behind on what’s it about, I don’t blame the song being the way it is. I know, along with several fans knew it was an official leak. It sounded sincere compare the false demos people had. This is an official track, I would not change my view because it’s Pet Shop Boys because that's being false and when I like something I like it because of me, not because it's a band, not really logical isn't and forcing to like something is even worse I find, in fact, they both go hand in hand really! I don’t hate their music, and I’m still excited about the new album, even the title itself Elysium is something I really didn’t expect since they don’t believe in God, yet the word meaning afterlife, it also consist of mythology as well as astronomy which is quite impressive! However, I think the video is magnificent; it’s amazing that it’s a depressing track yet the portrait of the guy along with the background had color! It kinda reminded me of how Tim Burton’s movie The Corpse Bride had a similar effect to that whole concept where the dead was colorful and the living was dull almost black and white. Not only that I was in art history class in my first year back in school and the concept of this piece really reminded me of Viking Eggeling’s 1924“Sypmphonie Diagonale” mixed Keith Haring with a hint of Roy Lichtenstein, especially the thickness of the lines, the colors and it’s every abstract. “Symphonie Diagonale” is very abstract and experimental just like this track and it’s piece as follows. I like how the guy was moving around giving as the portrait within itself moves and changes form and sometimes match the background and sometimes not. Like I said, I don’t hate the track, it’ll grow on me in time, it just threw me off, and then by being surrounded by a lot of negativity in my lifetime personally wasn’t really expecting this, but don’t think I hate Pet Shop Boys because that’s NOT the case at all and again I am excited about the new album and hope there’s more art videos! I'll work more posts in a moment, but I wanted to post about this before my mind slipped away!