Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lebanese Sweet Treats

There is a wonderful Lebanese shop just round the corner from me. I often go in and pick up delicious treats. I do love Arabian foods, especially their deserts. So this shop is perfectly located for me. Today I picked up some Almond Halawa, Almond milk and some banana cream biscuits, as opposed to custard creams. I had cravings for these items today and sat down with my morning papers to enjoy them. If you haven't tried Almond milk, DO. It's absolutely delicious and best served over ice. It's incredibly sweet, so you might want to drink it slowly. Such simple pleasures :-)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Choose Grum

If you buy one CD this month, make sure it's Grum's debut album Heartbeats. So what's the Grum sound? Well, Grum can best be described as a blend of Daft Punk and Mylo, mixed with 1980's synth Pop instruments. If you like your 80's beats, then you'll love this. Grum's second single, Can't Shake This Feeling will having you singing and dancing into the winter, trust me. It's incredibly catchy. Do check out the video clip, i've included a link below. It involves scantily dressed bimbo stuffing their faces with baked beans and marshmallows, very messy. So if you're looking for a great album for your iPod, choose Grum.

Grum Website - www.grum.tv

Grum - Can't Shake This Feeling (Watch VIDEO Here)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Sentimental Writer

I have written a piece about Big Brother for this months issue of Out In The City, page 24. I don't usually write about my time as a contestant on Big Brother, as I often wonder, does anyone really care what I have to say on the subject? Besides, many of my former Housemates do such a better job when it comes to speaking about Big Brother. They are far more researched, eager and articulate (eyes roll back) on the subject than I am. Despite that, I decided to give it a go. When Out In The City approached me about writing the piece I was unsure where to start, how to comment on my time as a contestant. I realized there was just so much I could cover, talk about. FUCK! Writers block . . .

I decided to leave it be for the time being, and get back to unpacking boxes that had been sitting in a spare room for months. I soon unearthed a box containing loads of Big Brother memories. Writers block ALL cleared! This was where I would start writing from. While I'm not sentimental about my time on Big Brother, I am a sentimental writer. If you would like to read my article in this months issue of Out In The City then click the links below. Hope you enjoy? . . . Richard :-)

September 2010 Issue - View Online (Click Here)

Out In The City - www.outmag.co.uk

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Chery Cole Gave Me Smegma!

Yesterday I was retrieving album cover art from albumartexchange.com for my iPod. I use this site as it has a vast collection of high quality scanned and edited album images, perfect for the avid collector like myself. It's so easy to use. Just drop the name of an artist or album title you are looking for in the search engine, and . . . Voilà! Pretty album covers for your iPod, it's that easy. Yesterday however, I sure did get a vulgar surprise from albumartexchange.com. I often forget to log into my account and when doing so am confronted by captcha. Don't you just hate captcha? Having to type in all those warped letters just to confirm that you are human and not a computer generating a response. So annoying, but rectified If I had have logged in, but I didn't. I was on the search for some Cheryl Cole singles covers, I dropped Chery Cole in the search engine, hit search, and was presented with the GROSSEST captcha. Have a close look at the captured Image I took above! . . . Can you see it? My captcha? That's right! Type in Chery Cole and I get Smegma. Well I don't really, maybe Derek Hough does. Maybe Ashley Cole did have. OH! I don't know! It's all just a little gross for me, and put me right off ever wanting to do another search on Chery Cole, for fear she might give me SMEGMA, again!

Album Art Exchange - www.albumartexchange.com

Friday, 20 August 2010

Show Your Devotion For Sheila B!

Take a little trip down Disco lane with me. Let's riffle through that old vinyl collection of yours shall we? Now, I bet you don't have any Sheila B. Devotion amongst those dusty old LP's. Do you? Maybe you were still in Moms tummy when Sheila B. Devotion were releasing Disco nuggets like "Love Me Baby", if so, let me be the first to introduce you to Sheila. Firstly, Sheila isn't really Sheila. She was born Annie Chancel in a small French village. Annie, Sheila, went on to become a very big French Pop singer. In 1977 she formed Sheila B. Devotion with a group of men who love wearing satin trousers. She started singing in English and the rest is history really. Her career took off, the Germans (mass consumers of crap music) brought bucket loads of her LP's and she became a Disco Queen across Europe. Their biggest UK hit was a cover of "Singing In The Rain" which peaked and number #11 in the UK charts in 1978. Sheila B. Devotions most recognizable song was the Chic produced "Spacer". Remember Swedish Pop group Alcazar? Their hit "Crying At The Discothèque" sampled "Spacer" with re-recorded lyrics. Sadly Sheila (Annie) is an old woman now, a bit like Cher, and tours occasionally in France and Germany. An 18 CD box set was released in 2006 with more than 400 songs. YES 4 -Hundred SONGS! It's just a shame only 'one' is remotely memorable. As for the other 399, I dare you to spend your days listening to them all. Go on! You can buy Sheila B. Devotions box set on Amazon or you can check out her rather fabulous website (In French) with more details about her. I've also included some wonderful Sheila B. Devotion videos below. Enjoy!

Sheila B. Website - www.sheilahome.com

Sheila B. Devotion - Singing In The Rain (Watch VIDEO Here)

Sheila B. Devotion - Spacer (Watch VIDEO Here)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Mary Portas You Are Needed In Birmingham!

Just around the corner from where I live in Birmingham is a clothing boutique for both men and women. Sadly it's not an Armani shop, nor is it Alexander McQueen or Dolce & Gabbana. In fact it doesn't have a name. No brand. No description. Which is probably a good thing. Peek inside and you'll get a jaw-dropping look at what this little boutique is stocking. Fashion rejects from the 80's & 90's, collections manufactured in some breakaway region of the former Soviet Union. Now, you'd think no one would be interested in purchasing such garments, right? On the contrary, this little boutique is always full. It's a pimp daddy's hidden paradise. Why just this morning I walked past the boutique and it was heaving with a large group of middle aged Ugandan men covered in gold, happily snapping up bargains. "I take 4" one chuckled before slapping his credit card on the counter. Seeing him with his 4 shiny metallic shirts, WELL! I was tempted to go in and grab a few for myself. For some reason, and I can't figure out why, I find myself drawn (COUGH!) to this lovely blue suit jacket and checkered trilby hat I have captured in my photos above.

When I stood back and admired the window display (again, please see attached photos taken by MOI) I couldn't help but think - Where's Mary Portas when you need her? Mary if you read this, there's a little boutique around the corner from where I live in Birmingham that sure could do with your troubleshooting. Quick! Get your BBC chums, and your Mary Queen Of Shops series down here immediately. Alternatively you could just bring a huge wrecking ball, or Gok Wan if the wrecking ball is too costly.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Happy Birthday Madonna

It's the Queen Of Pop's 52nd Birthday today and I made this rather special Birthday card for her using photoshop. So, Madonna! Should you be reading this, I hope you are impressed by my creative eye and design skills? Oh! and 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' M. You're still fabulous! I will have a Martini and dance around my living room while blasting Vogue in your honor. Richard xXx

Madonna's Official Website - www.madonna.com

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Excuse Me. You Have A Pig In Your Hair!

Not having any hair myself, I've always marveled at the hairdos of others. But seeing a woman with an animal in her barnet, WELL! I'm left speechless. So what are these slightly spooky, but superbly creative photos about? Well, they are from a Japanese website by Nagi Noda. So who is Nagi Noda? Well Nagi Noda is a music video director, director of TV Commercials, CD jacket designer and a multi-discipinary artist. Well that's what her Biography says. She has directed music videos for the likes of the Scissor Sisters and Tiga, but that doesn't answer my question - Why on earth is she making (out of hair) animals and putting them in her models hairdos? Hair art or crap art, you decide? I personally love Nagi's vision. So, Nagi if you can make me a giraffe for my baldy head, then I'll pop a cheque in the post.

Nagi Noda Website - www.naginoda.com

Friday, 13 August 2010

Lady Gaga & The Vanity Fair Style Issue

Lady Gaga is everywhere at the moment. This month she graces the cover of my favorite magazine, Vanity Fair. For their 5th annual Style Issue Gaga is the logical choice, the only choice. No other woman has risen to the title of 'Style Icon' quite as fast as Lady Gaga, the Vanity Fair cover is well deserved achievement for the unstoppable Lady. Flip through the pages and you can marvel at Gaga, photographed by Nick Knight wearing Alexander McQueen, Armani Privé, Somarta and Noritaka Tatehana. Another look, another day in the life of Lady Gaga! I can't wait to dive into her interview and stunning pictorial. If you want to see more of Lady Gaga's shoot for Vanity Fair click on the link below.

Vanity Fair - www.vanityfair.com

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Moment You Wake Up!

The other day I was blogging about Smurfs. Today, I thought I'd blog a little more Rated-R. I want to Blog about a much bigger painted creature. This fine muscled tattooed hunk. I mean really, it's what you want to see first thing in the morning when you wake up to read my Blog, isn't it? Anyway, I don't know who he is or his name. But then you don't need to really. I did rip him off the DNA website. DNA is a gay Australian publication with lots, and lots, and lots, and LOTS or rather fetching fellas. Do check them out while you sip on your morning cup of coffee, nibbling on your crumpets.

DNA Magazine - www.dnamagazine.com.au

Monday, 9 August 2010

Everybody Loves A Smurf!

Everybody loves a Smurf, don't they? We all grew up watching the Hanna-Barbera children's television series, didn't we? Surly as a child, you loved the little white cap wearing blue critters? I certainly wanted to live in a little mushroom-shaped house, didn't you? I amassed a large collection of figurines and plush toys. I even had the hit single by Father Abraham. I played it to death on my parents record player, singing along as If I were a Smurf. I can even remember most of their names - Brainy, Greedy, Handy, Hefty, Jokey, Vanity, Lazy, Smurfette and Papa Smurf, come to mind. I personally loved, the greatest cartoon villain ever sketched, the wizard Gargamel. He and his bumbling cat Azrael, who was a constant threat for any Smurf who wondered to close to Gargamel's hut, always made me chuckle. But it was Smurfette I most loved, obviously. She had such fabulous blonde flowing locks, the cutest dress and fantastic heels. But seriously, I'm not Smurf obsessed. So, who was your favorite Smurf? Do tell?

The Official Smurf Website - www.smurf.com

Saturday, 7 August 2010

I Was Never Being Boring!

I have been feeling rather nostalgic over the last few days. Possibly because I've been listening to all my Pet Shop Boys CD's. Their music has such a wonderful affect on me, and always has me reflecting on my late teens, early twenties - the years between 1988 and 1991, not that I want to reveal my age. I suppose the Pet Shop Boys music between these years and that time in my life are are perfectly connected, THE soundtrack of my youth. Neil and Chris were always there, during high school days and disco nights. Pouring out of a small stereo from a high school locker, or singing in the background as we got ready to go out clubbing. The smell of menthol cigarettes, hairspray, and burnt hair from a pair of straighteners reminds me of Domino Dancing. While the taste of cheep red wine, vodka and coke always makes me hum Left To My Own Devices. Then there's Being Boring. The song of my youth, possibly yours. It's a song that spoke to my generation on so many levels. Being Boring was all about growing up and the ideas you have when you are young. It's about the friends who go off into the world to find inspiration and bring it back. It's my song and my friends. It's hard to imagine my life without this song or the Pet Shop Boys for that matter. It's even harder for me to say which of the Pet Shop Boys albums is my favorite. I'm somewhere between Introspective and Behavior, but closer to Behavior. If you have a favorite Pet Shop Boys album, tell me about it below. I'd love to hear your feelings on this Blog post. In the mean time, I hope you're not being boring.

Pet Shop Boys Website - www.petshopboys.co.uk

Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring (Watch VIDEO Here)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Marlene, Miss Dietrich If You Please!

"A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman." Marlene Dietrich

There are many woman who are no longer with us that need celebrating and Marlene Dietrich is one of them. I adore this Icon and thought I'd share these lovely photos I found of her with you. At the peak of her career in the 1930s, Dietrich was the silver screen's highest-paid actress. She was the essence of cinematic eroticism, a beguiling creature whose allure established her among film's most enduring icons. While immensely sensual, Dietrich's persona was also strangely androgynous. It was this androgyny that Dietrich will forever be remembered for. Her love of mens suits and top hats created an added dimension of sexual ambiguity which served to make her even more magnetic. If you want to see more of Miss Dietrich then click on her website below.

Marlene Dietrich Website - www.marlene.com

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Moncler Style

Moncler is known for it's fashionable ski wear, in particular it's trendy Down Parkas worn by stars like Kanye West and Madonna. However, as of late the Italian fashion house is designing beyond the slopes, for the high street. They have been creating a more sophisticated and stylish range of mens jackets, with the hip young lad in mind. Moncler's 2010 fall/winter range of jackets for men can be seen everywhere, on fashion blogs and mens magazines like GQ. I've always loved the Moncler look even when I can't afford it at times. Moncler is of a high quality so it isn't cheep. I highly recommend you check out their latest collection, I'm sure you'll agree - Moncler is Très Cool!

Moncler Website - www.moncler.com