Friday, 29 March 2013

It's T-Shirt (Good) Friday 4 !

A T-Shirt For It's Time And Place...... 
And this week we have a Coen Brothers Extravaganza! But before that it's time for the answer to last weeks T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum. It was quite a tricky one. But it was Schrödingers cat. If you knew it or guessed correctly make sure that you give yourself a treat with your cup of tea today. Perhaps a Hot Cross Bun?! If I may be so bold. Now... before reading the below. I strongly suggest putting some Creedence on. So get your tapes of Chronicle 1 & 2 out of your glove box, dust them off and press play!

Today's T-Shirt is from :

Way out west there was a T-shirt, T-shirt I want to tell you about, t-shirt by the name of The Big Lebowski. At least, that was the handle his lovin' makers gave him, but it never had much use for it it's self... I only mention it 'cause some- times there's a t-shirt-I won't say a a-pparel, 'cause what's a a-pparel?-but sometimes there's a t-shirt. And I'm talkin' about the t-shirt here-sometimes there's a t-shirt who, wal, it's the t-shirt for it's time'n place...

You can spend a lifetime searching for a really great t-shirt and then other times the t-shirt will find you... Which is pretty much how the Big Lebowski t-shirt came into my possession. The Big Lebowski is more then just a fantastic classic Coen Brothers film. It's a total cult! There is an annual get together every year to celebrate the film and the character of 'The Dude' transcends celluloid. There is in fact a Dudeist religion, you can join here:  If you can be bothered. It is perhaps more 'Dude' to not be bothered... anyway... It is one of the easiest religions you could follow, You just have to be very 'Dude'!
It's fair to say that it's a film that keeps on giving. Many people take quotes from it, mainly because it is such a quotable film and other people like my good colleague from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Creative Director, Nikkie Amouyal buy the t-shirts! As in the case of the below tee. But after She purchased it (...and this is where the real shock horror of the story is... ) It became an unwanted gift! An unwanted Big Lebowski t-shirt? I hear you say, surely not? But it is in fact true. A sad, sad day for The Dude. But this terrible drama did not continue for long, as Nikkie very kindly gave me the t-shirt and it has warmly nestled itself ever since around my slightly squidgy rotund upper half. A nice happy ending this week for t-shirt Friday. The End! ... Or is it... No! Grab yourself a white russian or a sarsparella and have a go at this weeks T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum! Which is : In the Scene where the Dude is looking through Maude's vinyl album collection what is the name of the German electronic band?

Friday, 22 March 2013

It's T-Shirt Friday 3 !

A Tale Of Two T-Shirts...
So here we are again... these Friday's come round quick don't they?! Did you know or guess last weeks 'Rock Snob T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum' ? It was a tricky one. The answer is that Lowell George was in the 'Mothers Of Invention' before he formed Little Feat. It's believed that Frank Zappa fired him because he wrote the song 'Willin'. Although there is a lot of mythology and hear say to Lowell George a bit like Orson Welles (see Jackson Browne) Lowell can be heard on 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh' and incidentally the famous cover for Weasels... was designed and illustrated by Neon Park who went on to illustrate and design nearly all of Little Feats covers from 'Salin' Shoes' through to 'Ain't Had Enough Fun'.
Anyway we have another T-Shirt to talk about now, although to say that we are talking about just one lonesome t-shirt would be quite incorrect. This story has a shadowy second t-shirt involved. It's a story of mystery, conspiracy, lost love, revenge, jealousy, deceit, anger, murder and t-shirt packaging. Hope you are ready for the murkier side of t-shirt Friday?

Bazinga! Actually this story has none of the above at all. Well... maybe a little, the t-shirt packaging and the conspiracy! Have you ever been in a similar fix at all? Here is a description of the situation so you can picture it. It's hurtling nearer and nearer to Christmas, although you're doing quite well with the Christmas shopping there is one person that your pen always ponders over on the list. You just keep re-writing a question mark next to them. This happened to us this Christmas just gone. Both Miss Russell and myself were really lost on what to get my sister. There just appeared to be nothing out there in the world of e-commerce websites that was offering itself as a viable present. But then in a flash of inspiration my sister's love of 'The Big Bang Theory' filled our heads. Sheldon's was the path we would follow, he was the Jedi that would show us the way forward to a T-shirt for my sister! And so it was and so it shall be that we got the below purple Bazinga! T-shirt from:

A couple of weeks passed by. We wrapped up the Bazinga t-shirt and prepared for Christmas and then as so often happens, there it was, Christmas day! Miss Russell leant over and gave me a present from my sister and brother-in-law. With a bit of a chuckle Miss Russell then said "Why don't you open that one" So without any more thought, I did. Only to discover that they had got me a...... Book... Bazinga! Actually what they had got me was a  Bazinga T-shirt too! It was as if we were telepathic or something.... The Red Bazinga t-shirt is the one that they got me. 

It all came out later on though that Miss Russell was a double agent spy and had conspired with my Sister and knew that we were both buying each other the t-shirt! On the other hand though it's still nice to think that there may on some level have been a kind of Jedi, sci-fi, sub-conscious, group telepathic, t-shirt, thing going on!

Well 3 t-shirts down and many more to come, but now as is customary to T-Shirt Friday here is the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum! - In The Big Bang Theory Episode 'The Tangerine Factor' whose cat does Sheldon use as an example to advise Penny about her date with Leonard? Wow! that is one for the fans!

Friday, 15 March 2013

...It's T-Shirt Friday 2 !...

....And This Friday's T-Shirt Is...
Ok so it's finally that time again and finally time to unveil the answer to last Friday's T-Shirt conundrum the answer to 'Which continent has the largest number of countries?' is dah... dah... dah... 'Africa!' give yourself a good pat on the back if you got it right, there will be another T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum at the end of this post, so look out for it! Anyway I digress. Today's choice is a very nice Lowell George T-shirt which was designed by Bathroom wall T-Shirts, check out their website:

Greenwich Market makes for a really nice visit, Greenwich itself if you haven't been there has a touch of the maritimes about it, it also has a touch of the mean time's too if you fancy a nice pint! or if your interested in time and space! Anyway it is a lovely place to visit and there is a lot there to do. One of the many things is a visit to Greenwich market, it's open most of the week but Tuesdays and Sundays are really good times to go. One particular visit, found both Miss Russell and myself looking strangely at a T-shirt stall, it was an intriguing one for two reasons, firstly the designs were unusual, quite surreal and very creative and secondly there was a photograph of the stall owner with Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh! As our eyes gazed over the uniqueness of the t-shirts the un-named chap in the photograph came to life from round the back of the stall! He stared straight at me in what you might call a rather non-subtle way looking firstly at my face then at the t-shirt that adorned my rather rotund top half. In an inquisitive but kind way he asked "Is that you?", "Where?" I answered. Miss Russell looked around. "On Your T-shirt?" he replied "Ha ha" I laughed, looking down at the shirt I was wearing "No 'fraid not, It's Lowell George... from Little Feat?" I answered ending the answer with a question, he stared at me blankly... "Ha ha! I thought you'd made a t-shirt of yourself playing guitar" "Cool Idea!" he added "No... no it's Lowell George" I laughed. We then all joined in laughing. We said our goodbyes and moved on. The T-shirt advertises itself as 'The Rock Snob's T-shirt' and my guilty pleasure when thinking back to that incident is that poor chap had no idea who or how great Lowell George was. For 5 minutes I felt like the biggest rock snob in the world and I'll let you into a little secret it felt really good! Miss Russell and myself spent the rest of that day wandering around Greenwich laughing about it all and planning what T-shirts we would like to be on next!... 

So now we are at the end again of T-Shirt Friday but don't fear T-Shirt Friday will be back err... next Friday but for now a Rock Snob T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum for a Rock Snob T-Shirt : Lowell George was famous for being in 'Little Feat' but what band was he in before the Feats? - all will be revealed next week!

Interested in Lowell George and Little Feat? Check these out :
Mark Brend's book : 'Rock and Roll Doctor' is excellent! :
Little Feat's Official Site :
& Wikipedia on Lowell :

I'm also on and off, writing a small book about my love of Lowell and Little Feat, plus 4 other bands that have featured heavily in my life. Perhaps one day it will see the light.... anyone out there interested in publishing it?!

Monday, 11 March 2013

'Healing' In The Digital Age

A Therapeutic Line
Where I previously used to work we often used to discuss how in the midst of all the craziness of doing adverts, flyers and posters while balancing about 3 or 4 other projects, plus whatever else was being handled at the time, we would often find it a very calming experience to be given a retouching job. You can just shut yourself away in your own little clone tool world! It can be a very therapeutic way of spending your time...
So it was really nice when Dawn Rey from I.B.Tauris approached me about doing a retouching job. You can see the before and after below. We also did a little bit of colour correction on the image too. The Image will be used on their Catalogue cover. 
I.B.Tauris publish some very interesting books, check out their website :

Music Listened to while working on I.B.Tauris / Mrs Rey's line project
Planet Rock Online - Many repeat playings of The Temperance Movement's 'Ain't No Telling'
A Tab In The Ocean by Nektar - do check out :
Cressida by Cressida
Songs In the Key Of Life by Stevie Wonder

Friday, 8 March 2013

It's... T-Shirt Friday!!!

....And This Friday's T-Shirt Is...
You may or may not know that I really love t-shirts, the designs on them, collecting them and wearing them, it's an ever growing collection that I have and often they have a story or two connected with them, so every Friday a t-shirt from the collection will be showcased, so here it is the very first tee for T-Shirt Friday (seems almost like there should be a drum roll...) The below t-shirt was bought for me by my lovely girlfriend Miss Russell and it was designed by 101 Apparel, check out their website:

There we were, a late night heading home on the Bakerloo Line when on got a chap at Baker Street. Holding a bag and looking rather cool in a pair of designer sunglasses. 
He sat down opposite us in the carriage no sooner had he done this the lady that he had seemingly been chatting up got up and off the train at the next stop. His concentration turned to the t-shirt I was wearing which just so happened to be the one below. "Wow!" 
he exclaimed "That's a fantastic T-shirt". His amazement at the t-shirt slightly startled us, 
"I'm from Africa and that T-shirt shows the whole world coming together in peace and music". It was pleasing to hear how much he liked the shirt, he said again "That really is quite some t-shirt" but this time telling the chap who had taken the place of the lady that had shunned him earlier, the tired chap next to him could do nothing but agree, nodding politely. "I must give you something" for a minute it seemed that he might like to swap something for the t-shirt but we made it apparent to him that it had been a present from Miss Russell, he seemed to understand that the t-shirt was not up for grabs. "Here, you must have these" he thrust the designer glasses that he had been wearing at me, the chap next to him came to life "But if you give him the sunglasses, what will you do tomorrow when it's sunny again?" it was a very valid question and for a moment I felt bad for having taken the glasses "No problem" he answered, while pulling out of the mystery bag another pair of designer sunglasses which he perched on his forehead, where the others had been only moments before. We left the train thanking him and feeling both amused and slightly bemused!

P.S. We often go to a pub quiz on a Thursday night. It's a good way to relax and test our knowledge. One particular pub quiz night both t-shirt and quiz question collided in perfect harmony. All day it felt like there was a reason why I was wearing the below tee and it all unfolded like a well packaged piece of apparel right there in the pub. After quite a number of non-t-shirt related questions along came the clincher, the one we and the shirt had been waiting for... "Which continent has the largest number of countries?" after a long pause, 
we looked around almost trying to resist the obvious. Until suddenly we could resist no more, all eyes were on the t-shirt of knowledge. Busily counting the countries... 
Anyway to cut a long story short the t-shirt provided the answer and proved that a shirt 
can be both decorative and informative... As for the answer, why not have a go yourself? 
You could even order yourself the same shirt to find out or there is of course the slightly less interesting option of just opening up an Atlas. Next Friday I'll reveal the answer. 
Clue: It's the 'sunglasses' guy in the first story's favourite continent. 
Good Luck!