Jack White makes a solo return with his own
personal present day Revolution 9.
WORDS Lorenzo Ottone
A rather absurd video has just appeared recently, suggesting a solo comeback of former White Stripes’ guitarist.
The recording, entitled Servings and Portions from my Boarding House Reach, is a deconstructed cut-up of sounds and genres – in the style of Cubist collages – mirroring the variety of contemporary music and likely to suggest Jack White’s influences in making his new album.
What is still not clear is whether Servings and Portions from my Boarding House Reach is a song from an upcoming album – whose release date is yet to confirm – or an LP teaser simply done à-la Jack White.
The pastiche of sounds varies from funky drumming and ragtime to Jack White’s trademark electric take on blues and Beatles-flavoured ballads –especially contributing to add reminiscences of the Fab 4’s cut-up technique used in "Revolution 9" and "A Day in the Life".
What stands out the most, though, is the repeated presence of samplers and sounds borrowed from hip hop – promising an album which could result in White’s most eclectic work so far.
Earlier this year at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit, White confirmed he had been working on a new album and said: “It’s a bizarre one. I’ve just got to let it settle. I need to listen to it by myself. I haven’t been able to listen to it by myself for a while.” In another occasion Third Man Records head described his new work as “good gardening music or roofing music or, you know, back-alley stabbing music.”
Servings and Portions from my Boarding House Reach’s video confirms the black-and-electric blue palette already used in White’s two previous solo albums. Hands seem to be the leading motive for the new album, appearing many times in both human and mannequin form.
Graphics used in the video suggest early 19th century esoteric atmospheres – who knows if Jack White’s suit wardrobe will update to that of a dandy clairvoyant.
While waiting for further news about the new album all we can do is watch on repeat the cryptic teaser and try to find more hints left us by Jack White.
PHOTOGRAPHY Natasha Rukavishnikova
WORDS Julian de la Celle
Most of you may already know about Rockins, the London fashion label created by duo Jess Morris and Tim Rockins who bring us the best quality silk scarves, among other pieces, and now they've just opened up the first physical store of their own! After having such icons as Kate Moss, Bobby Gillespie, Liv Tyler, Keith Richards, Jamie Hince and more wear their scarves, the brand has made exceptional progress in the past four years and has been featured in magazines all across the board including Vogue, W Magazine, AnotherMan and various past issues from our archives. We met up with Jess and Tim at the new spot to discuss the store and future plans for the brand in the coming years.
First off, how does it feel to finally have a physical spot for Rockins? What inspired you both to open up the first shop near Portobello Road?
Jess Morris: It's truly amazing! I always knew we would open our first shop on Golborne Road. It's where Tim and I met and our lives revolve around this area. There's a real buzz about here at the moment. It's a perfect blend of vintage stores, restaurants, independent boutiques, antiques, record shops and of course the market!
Is there anything exclusive for sale at the store that isn't also online?
Jess: Yes, we have some one off leather biker jackets that Tim has heavily customised and lots of of great silk prints that are exclusive to the shop.
What's the most exciting thing for you to have a physical presence now?
Jess: To finally meet our customers and to sell our brand story to them face to face. Its a dream..... We have been going for four years now but always within other people's stores so at last we get to show people who we are and what we do in our own environment.
I love the exterior and the way "Rockins" is designed, did you both sort of creative direct the way both the interior and exterior would look like and how did it all come together?
Jess: It all happened magically, we found this corner shop which was like finding a precious jewel in a carboot. It looks down the street towards the market and is the best location possible. It had been a solicitors and a showroom but never a shop, so it had never fulfilled its real potential. We worked with what was already here - a pink upstairs exterior, fab tiles on the doorstep and this great elevated corner position. Everything else fell into place - Tim's incredible shop sign and the gold leaf shooting stars wall, real life mannequins and Elton John's centre table!!!!
It has windows on both sides so we really get to go crazy with the window displays.
What music would a customer expect to hear once they've entered the space?
Jess: Tim has provided about 30 hours of playlists - he has been location sensitive so there's a great mix of Ladbroke Grove psychedelia like The Pink Fairies and Hawkwind to Reggae and Soul. I love being in the shop.... it smells and sounds like heaven and it's filled with glorious clothing!
Do you think now that there is a physical space there is an opportunity to host small events? Is that something you have discussed at all?
Jess: Yes, of course. In the New Year when we are not so manically busy we will be able to host book readings and acoustic events...
Is there anything you'd like to tell us about future plans for the space or anything else coming up for the brand?
Jess: I think the joy that this shop is bringing to everyone who steps inside needs to be shared and spread out. We would love to open a couple more shops and take our British Rock 'n' Roll flavour to LA and maybe Melbourne.... it's early days but things move quickly around Rockins!!
Unrelated to the store itself, are there any songs or bands that have stood out to you this year that you find yourself listening to or going to see live?
Jess: Still obsessed with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and everything they do......
WORDS Justin Bieggar
With an old school indie flare, Sweden's charming quartet Tella Viv are introducing their sophomore EP From The Cradle to the Kitchen Sink. For those who remember the days of one instant classic after another, take note – clean fuzz is back with an extra kick. But these modern times have developed new waves of digital sounds, and the guys aren't letting those go to waste. This one follows their debut, From Coast 2 Coast, released in 2016 just two years after their inception, when the band quickly found their niche and simply never left the studio.
Opening strong with "Rotate", we're set to a runner's pace with a dystopic melody and staggered signature. It's something akin to a manic episode that keeps destruction to a minimum and optimism at healthy levels. The title is quickly announced in anthemic fashion and keeps a tight grip on our ears. We're pulled almost instantly into the soft spoken "Synergy", a direct conduit to the past with cloudy howls that fill the atmosphere and announce "Synergy echoes through my voice / don't need no radio".
Muted keys set the stage for fuzzy synths on "Where Did My Heart Sleep" and spike the needle with soulful strength. Subtle breaks reflect the warm intentions of 60's R&B but don't deviate too far from the original path. The introspective lines take anthemic attitudes, further defining the road ahead for listeners from every walk of life. Transitions to "Juvenile Crime" take a more contemporary approach, with near hip hop beats and electro-futurist vocals guide us upward toward the stars.
We could call it contemporary indie with a surf accent, or even modern twee pop, but the truth about Swedish musicians is they have always had a way of eluding definition. Enjoy their work (Teaser video and full EP below) as they play us out of 2017 and into an even brighter future.
PHOTOGRAPHY Henry Calvert
WORDS Harley Cassidy
When life is thrusting bawdry rock duos in your face to the point where you’re suffocated under a blanket of leather jackets, singular, dense riffs and faceless entities, The Lemon Twigs are that vital dose of lurid, ambitious, flare-wearing magic that one may need.
Of course, on stage, The Lemon Twigs are more than just a duo, accompanied by fedora adorned bassist Megan Seankowski (that isn’t of any importance, I just like fedoras) and keyboardist, Danny Ayala. They are here to give the D’Addario brothers room to breath and show us the goods. What I knew of the band’s live performance since they hatched from a parallel universe in 2015, is that they dress like the Bay City Rollers, have a penchant for leg-splicing, high-kicks and have an arsenal of ballads that will make even the coldest of hearts feel something. What I didn’t prepare myself for, was how good they would actually sound.
From retro-schmaltz to prog-heavy wizardry, The Lemon Twigs own the handbook. Eldest brother, Brian opens up the first half of the set, his voice, stark and pure, holding the weight of classic 70s demi-gods like Todd Rundgren and other much-used comparisons. It’s the kind of voice you don't hear that often in rock bands anymore; yearning and melodic, it’s best delineated on the glorious, fan fave, These Words and also, on an excellent, strutting cover of Jonathan Richman’s, ‘You Can’t Talk To The Dude.’
Halfway through, there’s a changeover and Michael D’Addario takes centre stage. In short, Michael is more feral, wild-eyed and stranger than his brother. He teeters on the other end of the 70s scale, shimmying around like a Stooges-era Iggy in his favourite sequinned camisole, a wardrobe staple. It was during this exact moment that I realised what makes The Lemon Twigs such a provoking entity live; they balance each other out in a way that not even a handful of musical duos could manage artistically.
Their set list featured tracks that joined the dots between unexpected genres and eras; Michael’s half is all glam Bowie pastiches, camp vaudeville turns and face-melting guitar freakouts, especially on "Night Song". Their crowd interaction is just as intriguing; whether it’s because they were child stars or not, they have a talent of complete crowd control, even when they’re spouting absolute nonsense or babbling incoherently to one another. As they bring out the endearingly earnest, "Light and Love" for the encore, you acknowledge that the hype is real, The Lemon Twigs are on their way to becoming pop enigmas and then go about your day.