Bears, Illustrated

Bears, Illustrated, organised by queer artist and friendly chap Christian Fernández Mirón, is a free downloadable calendar for 2010 featuring twelve risqué depictions of big, burly men by different artists from across the globe. Okay, so you’re right, 2010 is almost over but the good news is that Christian is now looking for submissions for 2011. If you’re an artist with a penchant for bear-ish gentlemen then get in touch with him via e-mail and submit your stuff for next year’s calendar.

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Drug Factory Press

Awesome gig posters by Ryan Duggan AKA Drug Factory Press.

More of his glorious work can be seen here.

Star Slinger

Do you like soulful, stuttering hip-hop that’s heavy on sidechain compression and made by cute,  chubby bearded boys? Hey, me too! Maybe that’s why I’ve fallen so hard for Star Slinger, the latest project of Nottinghamshire producer Darren Williams. So far he’s already remixed indie rock overlords Deerhunter and chillwave upstarts Small Black, released a full length, Volume 1, through his website and is currently hard at work on his second, Jetpack Jam.

Musically, Star Slinger falls somewhere between the frantic sampling of UK producer Gold Panda and the innovative hip-hop of Jel or RJD2. Occasionally he veers dangerously close to dinner party territory but I’m prepared to forgive him since he’s so damn handsome. Check out the video for album standout May I Walk With You? below:

Not bad, eh? Turns out he’s opening for Ratatat on their November UK jaunt. There’s no Glasgow date, sadly, but all those lucky folks down south should definitely go see him. And y’know, Ratatat ain’t too bad either.

Alasdair Roberts – Long Lankin

I must say that I’ve been slightly disappointed with Alasdair Roberts‘ last two full lengths, 2009’s Spoils and this year’s Too Long In This Condition. They’re not bad records by any stretch of the imagination, but both have had to dwell in the shadow of his 2007 masterpiece, the near flawless The Amber Gatherers. There have  however been a handful of beautiful songs on both. The undisputed highlight of his last record was his disquieting version of the traditional Long Lankin, a song that I fondly remember him playing live even before Spoils was released. I found this great, bare bones live version this afternoon and have watched it several times since. I strongly suggest you do the same!

Spectrals – Peppermint

Flame-haired scamp Louis Jones, better known to you and I as Spectrals, is about has dropped a new 7″ on Moshi Moshi. The song, Peppermint, has a beautifully blurry video courtesy of director Lucy Needs. Watch it!

Team Macho

I’ve written about Team Macho for previous blogs but I feel that their work is go good it’s worth singing their praises again.  Team Macho is a Toronto based art collective comprising Lauchie Reid, Chris Buchan, Nicholas Aoki, Jacob Whibley, and Stephen Appleby-Barr. I don’t think I’ve seen a single thing they’ve created that I didn’t like.

Only Fades Away

Chris Balla of Knight School has joined forces with Jed Smith of My Teenage Stride and recorded a fantastic version of caUSE co-MOTION’s already brilliant Only Fades Away, a single from a few years back. The song sounds just beautiful slowed down substantially and with heaps of Byrds-esque guitar in place of the frantic jangle of the original. I don’t know if it’s going to get put out or anything as there only seems to be a YouTube video at the moment. Hopefully some bright spark will have the common sense to get this little gem out on a 7″.