Friday, October 26, 2007

Le Cool this week...

art Sign of the Times: Seen at Stolenspace

I once caught wind of a Basquiat show going on at a tiny gallery in Nusa Dua, Bali. Luckily I was on the stunningly beautiful tropical island, and boredly spending my time flirting with four-foot-tall Indonesian surfers and trying to get sunburnt English guys to buy me drinks. I needed to be rescued from this slaggy existence and was convinced that some art by one of New York’s most legendary 80s street scrawlers was a great way to put perspective on things. I don’t know where you’re at this week – but if you think that the work by a classic graff artist might sort out your existential issues – take a peek at Seen’s work at Stolen Space. Featured in Chalfant and Cooper’s pivotal ‘84 book, Subway Art – this man is a total legend, and his second show at the Truman Brewery gallery will be hype. I have no idea what this has to do with slumming it in Kuta Beach. /

Fun Go On a Date

I know everything you read right now bangs on about how it’s getting cold, which inevitably means it’s time to do something or other differently. But if there’s one thing that should change with the seasons, it’s your love life, no? Ok not a total Facebook relationship status overhaul, but maybe you should go on a date? A good idea would be to go out with friends on a Saturday (or Wednesday!) night, get really trashed and call that f**ker you’ve been crushing on for like, evaar. Tell ‘em it’s high time you got it on and make tentative plans to meet up on Sunday. Wake up still drunk. Get in the shower – wash off all the sin and put on a cute outfit. Make sure your breath and hair are in check. Meet your honey, smile and head straight to a pub. Do shots of tequila until any trace of nervousness is completely wiped out and then go for a walk in a park and make out on a bench. End the day however you like (up to you!) and if that’s not a cure for the cold-weather blues, I don’t know what is. /

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hot Shit

My friend got her first tattoo when she was nine and her two younger sisters soon followed suit. They are crazy blonde Jewish girls who drink like champions. The youngest one is currently tearing up the web(?)waves with her bad attitude and ill fashion sense. Check her out. Now.

London Selected * 032

Club/Gig Skepta: Greatest Hits Tour You gotta love the arrogance of a hip hop artist. Particularly one such as Skepta, who is so confident in his talent, he names his debut LP ‘Greatest Hits’. Debut it may be, but Skepta, dubbed the ‘king of grime,’ is no novice to the game. Having launched his Boy Better Know outfit with brother (and fellow big name) JME off the back of his posse Roll Deep, the North London spitter has been a solid resident on the grime scene for time. His launch party at Cargo tonight is not the first time on this Shoreditch stage either; he recently supported crewmate Wiley’s record unveiling here – which was a mad party in its own right. With support by London “Disco House / Melodramatic Popular Song / Tropical” DJ duo Radioclit, who are sure to throw down a bananas set, the show will no doubt be a sonic adventure with big beats provided by some of the UK’s hippest music makers. /

Film/Party Bike Film Festival: Monkey Warfare Last year when my best Canadian friend told everyone to come down to the Bicycle Film Festival’s afterparty most of our homies stared blankly in confusion. “A bike film festival?” one asked, “I don’t get it.” For some reason, it seemed, the sexy and dangerous subculture of bike couriers that is so popular in our North American hometowns had not yet penetrated the mindscape of our London-dwelling mates. This week’s launch of the 7th annual festival celebrates all things BIKE, including art shows, great films and even better parties. Tonight’s film, Monkey Warfare, is set in Toronto’s lovely Parkdale (the breeding ground of one Le Cool writer, ahem) and follows the antics of a pedal-pushing couple involved in anarchist activism and drug dealing – ya heard? How about following that up with a jam at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes headed by Cardiff-bred The Steers and attended by a bunch of tattooed hotties with really great calves? Yes, I think so! /

Friday, October 19, 2007


Members of Congress have apologised to a Canadian who was seized in New York in 2002 by US officials and sent to Syria, where he says he was tortured.

Syrian-born Maher Arar told a congressional hearing his 10 months in a Syrian jail had been "hell".

Mr Arar appeared by video link from Canada because he remains on a US government watch list.

A Canadian government inquiry cleared him of any involvement in terrorism. Syria denies that he was tortured.

Mr Arar appeared on a giant screen before a joint hearing of House of Representatives committees into "extraordinary rendition".

This term refers to a highly secretive process by which US intelligence agencies send terror suspects for interrogation by security officials in other countries, where they have no legal protection or rights under US law. (From - read more click title)

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Mya's not my backshot queen..."

It's movin'! Those familiar with the clever word play of Red Café know that he's no stranger to the game. The Flatbush, Brooklyn native, who emerged on the mixtape scene in the mid-90s, has endured one tumultuous journey in signing with major labels. From failed deals with Loud Records to Arista to Capitol -- where he was set to release his debut LP, I Got A Story To Tell -- no one can say this man hasn't put his time here to read the rest of my feature for Baller Status. /

Le Cool Week 31

Competition UK B-Boy Championships
The first time you happened upon a b-boy circle had to have been utterly fascinating. The dance sector of hip hop’s four elements has its way of drawing in a mob; whether it’s the cocky stature of the participants or the sheer brilliance of their bodily skills – it’s hard to turn away. But if you’re a tired old hip hop hag like myself, the old windmill bit tends to wear thin. However this weekend’s UK B-Boy Championship is built for all. With crews reppin’ every nation from the Russia to Korea – there will be enough talent and innovation at this global gathering of breakers to please any crowd – even one full of jaded heads like myself. Sunday’s event at Brixton Academy will have crews vie for the title of world champs. And with Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew hosting, it’s sure to be a dope, fresh, ill and stupid affair. /

Dance Shaolin Monks
I once bribed a train conductor to let me sleep in the dining car and travel 20 hours to inland China to check out some of the wonders of ancient East Asian culture. It was a great adventure. On the way back, however, the pack of mad Aussies I was with concocted another ridiculous plan to jump off the choo-choo and make our way to the legendary temple of Shaolin. I decided to sit that one out. Luckily for me (and you!) – the renowned monks of said sanctuary have themselves made their way across the land to expose us to the wonders of their captivating martial art. The only train-hopping you’ll have to do is at Holborn where the talents are being unleashed at the Peacock Theatre. /

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Le Cool - Week 30

art Dorian Gray Project: Happy Days
Back in the early days of ‘online social networking’ I met an artist on MySpace who was supposedly part of this heterosexual male painter crew, infamous for their seduction of impressed female admirers. I think the admiration was due to the fact that these guys either came from graffiti backgrounds or just made really interesting pictures out of paint and canvas. I don’t actually think my internet friend Nathan James is one of these creative casanovas, but he does make really dope urban culture-inspired portraits, using a combination of traditional painting, silk-screen printing, and digital manipulation. Check his, and 30 other contemporary painters in this thorough show at the John Jones Gallery in Finsbury Park. And if all that don’t get you – a German performance artist who goes by the name of Michael Jackson will be doing his thing at the opening party! Why not? /

DJ Battle DMC World Championships
A good DJ is essential to any party. Take for example this past weekend – I went to Poole for a getaway with my girlfriends. We ended up at this travesty of a bar called Dundee’s – which is not only the local sports bar, but also a ‘fun-ttraction’ with an Australian theme and late night drinking license. Anyway – the DJ was clearly one of those lazy jerks who rely on their Party Club Planet Mix ‘96 CD to torture the crowd with the Grease Medley and Jump Around and then hope we don’t notice when he plays the entire disc again an hour later. This is why the competitors at this weekend’s DMC World Championships prefer to call their art ‘turntablism.’ Head down to Indig02 and check out the globe’s top vinyl virtuosos as they compete for world domination. /

Convention London Tattoo Convention
There are a helluva lot of terrible tattoos out there. And you never realise it until summer hits and suddenly all the tribal arm bands, Looney Tunes characters and colossally delusional word statements like “HONOUR” and “COURAGE” are exposed in broad daylight, on pasty canvasses, in their regretful splendour. Whether the result of a drunken inspiration transpired in a tourist market on a Mexican island (yes I am guilty) or an unfounded declaration of love (not guilty), it’s safe to say that the majority of ink out there is truly cringe-worthy. The rest is an often-overlooked art form, which has occurred in and out of mainstream human culture throughout history. London’s Tattoo Convention is held this weekend and is hailed as the most important in the world. So before you lie down in that dodgy Camden bong shop to have your footie club’s name tatted on your ass, please check out what the experts are up to. /