Thursday, March 31, 2011


Frances Griffiths with FairiesNext month should be interesting as the immediate group associated with our student accommodation are celebrating birthdays! A few ideas are being thrown around at the moment. Living in West Yorkshire we're considering driving to Cottingley, to take photos of the fairies. Action Man has always wanted to visit there.. Fabric, London, Otley Run's and house parties should keep everyone occupied for the duration. I only hope that funds will be available, and last...

Last night we showed everyone how to end the night, checking in at Broadcasting Tower, Leeds. Broadcasting Tower is a new development in Broadcasting Place in Woodhouse Lane. In June 2010, Broadcasting Place was the recipient of the 2010 Best Tall Building in the World award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. We should be forgiven for presuming that we would be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous because that's not the type the rusty tower seeks to attract! The building forms part of Leeds Metropolitan University, housing its Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology, as well as some student flats, and is close to the main campus of The University of Leeds and other academic institutions. Swaying in the wind, we were packed into a bedroom with students from various cities and countries. So much culture in one room, my university tutors would have been proud. That said, there wasn't much reaction to my attempt at speaking Russian during a presentation today. Points for trying? Tonight we're hoping the neighbours keep the noise down as we're trying to play loud music?!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Music And The Moving Image: Kraftwerk

View more presentations from Joe Dawson.


Like many other Krautrock bands - Kraftwerk drew on the influence of experimental electronic forces such as composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Tangerine Dream to create minimalist music on synthesizers, drum machines and tape recorders.

Ralf Hütter listed The Beach Boys as a major influence, apparent in their 1975 chart single, Autobahn.

Wolfgang Flür also made a similar remark comparing Kraftwerk's German identity to the Kinks and their strongly-English brand of pop/rock

For their image Hütter stated that "The culture of Central Europe was cut off in the thirties, [as] many of the intellectuals went to the USA or France, or they were eliminated. [Kraftwerk were] picking it up again where it left off, continuing [the] culture of the thirties, and doing [it] spiritually".

Emil Schult, an electronic violinist, was seen as the man behind the image. He had a masters degree that covered many aspects of the visual media including painting, photography and film, but also brought him into contact with some of the more revolutionary political student movements of the time.


In the 80's Kraftwerk strongly influenced a generation of English new-wave groups like the Human League, Tubeway Army ( Gary Numan ), Depeche Mode and OMD, while David Bowie claimed to be have long been an admirer - this can be heard on his album 'Low' - Bowie asked to work with Kraftwerk, but typically, they refused the offer.

Michael Jackson who was a huge fan, evident on his album 'Bad‘, asked Kraftwerk to produce his sister, Janet’s album ‘Control’, but they also refused the offer.

The group are cited as a major influence on a host of electro artists, Afrika Bambaataa and Arthur Baker who produced their1982 'Planet Rock' single which was built around samples of both 'Trans-Europe Express' and 'Numbers'

This melding of European electronic music with African American music led to the development of hip-hop, House music, and Techno.


The lyrics reference the revolutionary technique of robotics, and how humans can use them as they wish.

"Я твой слуга" (Ya tvoi sluga, I'm your servant)

"Я твой работник" (Ya tvoi rabotnik, I'm your worker)

In the video Kraftwerk are communicating to the audience visually, although they’re not visible a representation of them as artists is shown.

A quote from The New York Times states that while all concert performances are mechanical to the degree that they repeat well-rehearsed music, Kraftwerk had its own wry twist. Its robots were far more demonstrative than the band itself.

Another article from The New York Times states that Kraftwerk is the most important music group since the Beatles. The band laid down a blueprint for the music's future, developing an automated, impersonal sound that although it seems ultra-intellectual and European, slipped across barriers of race, class and nationality...


Transferring the spirit from the body to the machine is often the main analysis, but it’s essentially an expression of technological spirituality. In this manner: "techno dance music defeats what Adorno saw as the alienating effect of mechanisation on the modern consciousness“

The equipment-free aspect of reality here has become an illusion; the sight of immediate reality has become an orchid in the land of technology. Pop illustrates and complicates Walter Benjamin’s theory of authenticity and the disappearance of aura in the age of mechanical reproduction. Although the notion of being ‘authentic’ is seen to be confirmed by the live performance, Kraftwerk used Robots instead of people. The audience isn’t going to be let down because everyone is used to the characters instead of the actual thing. Mona Lisa as an example; no one notices the real one from the fake.

We can also reference Jean Baudrillard’s work on “Simulacra and Simulation“ , where the distinctions between representation and reality disappear.

Both Adorno and Heidegger were concerned with false representation and distorting a more "authentic" relationship with the natural world

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ready To Start

After a night out in Leeds on Thursday we got talking about culture and places where we would like to live. New York was discussed at length with The Suburbs creating the setting. The city, birthplace to many genre's in the world of music, has obvious appeal to the artistic and cosmopolitan. Attempts to be creative that morning and feel involved with a larger movement only failed because we needed to sleep..

According to Apple 'people have been dreaming about video calling for decades'. Friday afternoon I tried FaceTime and that dreams going to continue for the foreseeable.. Requiring Wi-Fi I headed to the university to communicate with the children, who were visiting my family. Awaiting approval to use various communication methods with them is like waiting for rain in a drought.. Their mother worries that everyone online wears a bear costume. I have a more laid back approach and see these services and tools as a necessity, especially when the parents have separated. Thankfully common sense prevailed and later that evening my tech support experience assisted when helping my children install Skype. I'm hoping that this will bridge the gap, and bring my son into the conversation more as he's the visual type. If he can't see what's going on he's minds elsewhere.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Think About It...

DSCF1501.JPGThe early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. I have been in two minds recently, been going around in circles but finally caught my tail. Excited about the festival season, and I'm considering volunteering for several roles as that would provide many experiences over those long summer months. I have also come to the conclusion that I would have liked an iPad, but instead I'm going to have an Ibiza this summer. Plenty to arrange but this is an opportunity that may not be presented again!

I went to the cinema yesterday and watched Submarine. The coming-of-age comedy-drama film is about a boy who wants to lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. 
Alex Turner on the soundtrack was impressive with his first effort as a solo artist. It's a great British film and I'm also going to attempt a hat phase at some stage. Discovered a great art shop in the City, On The Wall which I'm sure to visit on a regular basis once I have funds available. Finally I recently mentioned that I was working on a case study, and have reached a milestone where I require participation from as many users as possible. Please could you take part in this iTunes research survey for a contemporary media studies assignment 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Frankenstein's Wedding...

I love weddings. Drinks all around. For one night only, Leeds' Kirkstall Abbey played host to a one-of-a-kind live TV event – the marriage of scientist Victor Frankenstein and his bride-to-be, Elizabeth Lavenza. We were cordially invited to the event, billed as a bold and ambitious project which aimed to explore Mary Shelley's gothic masterpiece through live drama and contemporary music.

We weren't sure what to expect but our first visit to the Abbey was unique and enjoyable. The Frankenstein story given a modern makeover with pre-recorded footage complimenting the live action. For the production the audience were instructed to learn a dance routine, the sequence was provided on YouTube but also rehearsed several times before the show started. The first dance was the cue for the audience to participate and it worked. I'm interested in watching the footage which was broadcast on BBC3 as it must have looked quite the spectacle. I wasn't very elegant but that wasn't for the lack of trying. It was great to participate in a variant of the flash mob, I have had opportunities in the past but obstacles have prevented my participation. The dance enhanced the liveness of the production and the organisers must have been impressed with the end result. Should there be another production I'm hoping they consider implementing Michael Jackson's Thriller, that would be impressive...

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Different On the Mountain

A logo used, and trademarked, by PepsiCo for M...The Mountain Dew promotion currently taking over the City will be appreciated by the Leeds Met Library cleaners tonight! There were bottles everywhere and people were even sprawled out across surfaces and bookshelves craving more. I made the last part up but seriously, this drink has a comedown and should come with a health warning! I'm sure earlier I had a pee and it was glowing.. I have been a regular visitor to the library recently as I'm working on an assignment for contemporary media studies. I have almost completed the first stage and will be seeking people to contribute to the research project by answering questions about their media player usage. The objective is to understand whether iTunes provides everything you need to be entertained anywhere, anytime. I'm excited about the information I should receive and will be using social networks to promote the survey. Once enough data has been collected I will analyse results with the rest of my study group and start producing a presentation to show the rest of our class. I will provide an update on the work once it's complete... 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time To Destruction

Tonight was always going to be an experience as we were heading out to celebrate a presidential campaign and the end of the world! Do not adjust your monitor, the world isn't about to end. Instead these were events hosted in Leeds. Recently I have assisted an athletic union presidential candidate by promoting his 'vision' for the university. He emerged triumphant and to show he's appreciation he organised a gathering at his friends house. That's how you throw a party!! These friends were either really generous or hadn't read the code of conduct. The event was actually a low-key affair, Dominos and alcohol were provided with DJ's on rotation. I attended with my girlfriend and not really knowing anyone we made ourselves comfortable and waited for the Dominos to arrive. Being unknown has it's advantages, especially when you consume a serious amount of pizza! Scorpion Vodka, which contains a real farm raised scorpion, was also offered but we didn't get to taste the 'soft woody' taste. The majority of people headed to Halo afterwards but as a massive asteroid was set to collide with the earth we headed elsewhere. Having seen photos from previous parties, I expected more but this seemed to just be the usual club night with the theme an afterthought. Could have been so much more, particularly the part about exploding but I will be considering London the next time this catastrophe should head to our planet.. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

One Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin

It's hurricane season in Leeds, an overstatement albeit windy at the moment but incomparable to the scenes from Japan of the Tōhoku earthquake. The full force of mother nature powered through the Pacific Ocean and a merciless tsunami has engulfed everything in it's path. At magnitude 9.0 it's the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The quake also shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in). Thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected! I'm sure the people of Japan will show the world their resilience in the face of this terrible natural disaster. A contrast to the UK that experienced complete disruption because of the wrong kind of snow?! The Tōhoku earthquake is a developing story, we learnt about what had happened early this morning after returning from a night out and watching scenes on television. Footage of the tsunami has been shown steadily on news outlets and I'm sure more accounts from the disaster will emerge over the next few days. The scenes are a reminder of the Indian Ocean earthquake which triggered a deadly tsunami that occurred on Boxing Day, 2004. Many had not seen the devastating effects that a tsunami had presented before then. 

お大事に Japan..

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

One For The Kids

Yellowcard playing live in October in support ...Entering the O2 Academy Leeds yesterday, it was clear that most in attendance were the younger side of 16. That struck a chord before a note had even been played because I was so much older than the majority. We were there to exit flyer the event and to watch performances from All Time Low, Yellowcard and Young Guns! I'm not sure that many fans were old enough to attend the night we were promoting but who's to judge. Young Guns set the bar with their opening set, closing by informing fans that they would be returning to the studio to record their second album. Yellowcard were next, and they were the band that we were there to experience. They didn't disappoint either as their set delivered and raised the bar even higher, with their acoustic guitars and violin which sounded amazing in the O2 Academy. The young crowd were enthusiastic, moshing and jumping into each other like a swarm. We didn't get to experience much of All Time Low because we had to move on but the night was really enjoyable. Seriously need to up the attendance at gigs and festivals as since moving to Leeds we haven't been to as many as I would have expected. This evening watching The Nines we have learnt that Koalas are telepathic and that we weren't going to be setting any records with the poor amount of pancakes we consumed.. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Always Read The Label

Been considering options for the summer and came across the embedded YouTube footage. The video features an appeal from my friend, he's been travelling for a while and appears to be enjoying the experience. I would like to travel the World, although an extensive period in another country wouldn't be an immediate consideration.

I would prefer short bursts, that way I would have appreciation but not lose touch with everything important back home. I want to be more influential to my children over the next few years. Teach them about what's important and open there eyes to the World. Tonight that was placed on hold as we headed to Propaganda at O2 Academy, Leeds. Not sure what the doctor ordered but everyone had their 'camera face' on show! Returning home early in the morning we displayed similar addictive behaviour to the YouTube footage. Attempting to play Mario Kart wasn't advisable because it can seriously damage your health!

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Day The Music Died...

Ibiza SunsetAfter much anticipation over the last few months it appears that the Ibiza dream might be over! Various reasons have meant that it's going to be difficult to travel to the Spanish island this summer. I'm not going to rule out travelling there completely but I have expectations and they don't look like they will be reached. There's no point doing anything by halves and I don't want the experience to be anything but memorable. Other options depend on whether the children will travel to America for the duration. The most frustrating part of any decision is the financial aspect! I still haven't sorted out accommodation for next year and I haven't earnt any serious money since starting university. It's back to the drawing board for the time being..

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This Looks Suspicious

You have been successful in the draw for tickets to attend Frankenstein's Wedding… Live in Leeds. The gap between spam and email marketing gets smaller all the time, both are basically advertisements or messages conveyed with others. If I hadn't applied for these tickets I wouldn't have wasted any time in going for the Delete option, but these are the droids I'm looking for..

Half expected to hear "Jabberwocky" yelled out in the last lecture because we arrived late and the teacher went wild! I arrived and looked into the room and didn't recognise anyone, I figured the previous class were still there and decided to wait. Everyone that arrived afterwards followed my example. When we eventually entered the lecture room he didn't appreciate the disruption and shouted?! I thought that was an overreaction and I wish that he put that much energy into teaching as I still don't understand the expectations of the module. Later we attempted Orange Wednesday but following complications settled for a Nando's. The evening ended on a positive though as we found a bike/trike, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl have nothing on this..

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ancelotti Khush Hua

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08:  Darren Fletche...At university, I'm really enjoying the Popular Cinema module as I have been introduced to many unique films. Defining the popular, the narrative techniques and the interpretation in other countries! Mr. India is one example, a Hindi science fiction superhero film that provided great entertainment. Mogambo was pleased! I like sharing what I learn at university with the people that I live with, I'm sure they will appreciate some of the films over the coming weeks. Headed out with them to watch the football tonight and was quietly confident. Chelsea emerged victorious and kept their faint Premier League title hopes alive and damaged Manchester United's own ambitions as they came from behind to beat the leaders at Stamford Bridge. I didn't show much enthusiasm afterwards as there's a long way until the end of the season. Inside I was optimistic but Chelsea may have won the game but I feel Manchester United have already won the league. Even if City supporters think otherwise..
Enhanced by Zemanta