New Psychedelic music icons portraits from Dunstan Doodles

Posted in Art, Culture, illustration, manchester, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2018 by dc

Psych Icons - all together promo

Slacker Shack regular Dunstan Doodles has uploaded his new psychedelic music icons portraits onto his site. The twelve new pieces were recently exhibited in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and prints are already starting to sell well off the back of the show.

The portraits feature music icons from the golden age of psychedelia. Here’s the list in full – Grace Slick, Arthur Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Roky Erickson, Syd Barrett, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Mama Cass, Donovan, Steve Hillage and Jerry Garcia.

Dunstan’s style involves combining illustration and collage techniques and layering individual elements of the portrait onto mountboard piece by piece. He works on commissions and sells a number of prints of icons from the worlds of music, film, tv, literature and sport.

All giclee prints from his new Psych Icons collection come in A3 size, printed on top quality FS Platinum Etching paper. There’s also an option to get your print mounted and/or get it framed.

You can take a peek at all twelve icons here

New Manchester art exhibition celebrates the golden age of psychedelic music

Posted in Art, Culture, Exhibition, manchester, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by dc

Slacker Shack regular, Dunstan Doodles is launching his new exhibition of psychedelic music portraits three weeks today, on Thursday 10th May.

The free exhibition features twelve portraits of icons from the golden age of Psychedelia, including legends such as, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Syd Barrett, Janis Joplin, John Lennon and Grace Slick alongside four new psychedelia-inspired collages.

Psych Flyer - finalfrontdesign

Dunstan has been specialising in portraiture for the past few years and the idea for his new Psych Icons exhibition came straight after finishing a series of Manchester Icons portraits early last year.

Fans of acts like Love, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and the Grateful Dead and those ears deep in the swathes of new psychedelic music that’s currently back in vogue, will love the show.

The event is being held in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter in the slick and spacious FOUNDATION COFFEE on Lever Street. The evening starts straight after work at 6pm and features DJs, acoustic sets from Control Of The Going, Cold Water Swimmers and The Cornelius Crane, and a well-stocked bar and cafe. It’s free entry and runs till 10pm.

Original portraits and collages will be available to buy on the night along with unframed and framed limited edition prints. Dunstan’s work can be viewed here.

#PSYCHICONS

‘Manchester Icons’ collected – a new print

Posted in Art, celebrity, Culture, Design, Film, manchester, Movies, Music, Pop Culture, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2018 by dc

Between 2013 and 2017 I sporadically worked on fifteen portraits of cultural icons from the city of Manchester. Late 20th century men and women who’d made a real cultural impact on not only the city itself but the world at large.

With lots of help from friends and acquaintances (and lots of arguments later) I came up with the chosen fifteen icons. Stars from the worlds of music, film, TV and comedy. There were notable absentees like Morrissey, Ian McKellen and Liam Gallagher, but hey, you’ve got to stop somewhere, and fifteen sounded about right!

The final fifteen were as follows – Tony Wilson, John Cooper Clarke, Victoria Wood, Lemn Sissay, Mark E Smith, Shaun Ryder, Caroline Aherne, Danny Boyle, Ian Curtis, Johnny Marr, Maxine Peake, Les Dawson, Steve Coogan, Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher. You can view them all individually (and order prints) here.

Anyway, late last year, as some of the prints were getting snapped up as Christmas presents, I thought a nice way to conclude the project would be to collate all the icons in one print. Something for people who like my style and want to celebrate all the icons from across the series – so, here it is…

Manc Icons collected - low res

Low price A4 and A5 giclee mini-prints are currently available (mounted or unmounted) with a limited edition A3 print coming soon. You can order yours here.

Ten NEW bands you should check out NOW…

Posted in Music, Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2018 by dc

Life takes it’s toll and whilst I’d love to be a prolific blogger like five or six years ago, it’s no longer possible. I do like to keep this little blog ticking over though, so every now and again I can highlight some new art, a cracking film or some great new music.

As I creep into middle age, like many folk, I have lots of conversations with people about how, “there’s no good music anymore”. I nearly always baulk at this suggestion, and whilst 2018 probably isn’t going to be remembered as a great year of new music like 1969, 1977 or even 1994 were, it’s certainly started off on the right note.

Just yesterday I was having a chat about new music with a friend and pretty quickly we were able to list about a dozen top new acts that had released debut EP’s, albums or just a song or two in the last few months. The music scene might be starved of money on the bottom few rungs of the ladder but the creativity’s still bubbling and thriving.

I’ve put together a list of ten acts who’ve released debut stuff this year (or for the pedants amongst you, late 2017 and this year), and who I’d encourage you to check out (especially if you think there’s no decent new music nowadays):

MIEN – Their site describes them as, “a Transatlantic four-way collision of considerable force”. Pitchfork have labelled them, “apocalyptic psych rock”. I’d call them, “kraut-psych noodlers with tunes”.

The Fernweh – A Northern three piece whose debut single, ‘The Liar‘ has a late 60’s psych-folk feel to it and loads of charm.

Olden Yolk – A New York four piece crafting catchy motorik influenced folk rock, with some lovely little electronic flourishes and prog rock moments scattered here and there.

Boy Azooga – A cracking new Welsh band who remind me of recent blues rockers like The Black Keys and Royal Blood, but there’s also a playfulness that touches on bands like Can, The Happy Mondays and the Super Furry Animals.

Sports Team – Peculiar UK six piece mixing up elements of slacker rock and 80’s post-punk to create some chest-thumping, wayward excellence.

Andre Bernier – Lovely, mellow folky shenanigans (from a man who needs to upload more stuff onto YouTube).

Cut Worms – This American singer-songwriter has been getting a fair bit of radio play recently. He has a really catchy late 50’s / early 60’s retro sound (think Harry Nilsson sings The Everly Brothers, or vice versa) that kids could probably listen to with their nan without it seeming too odd.

Creep Show – A new collaboration between John Grant and Stephen Mallinder (aka Wrangler) – think alternative 80’s electro-pop meets sinister oddness and dry mirth.

ARTHUR – Avant-garde oddball that hit my curiosity buttons perfectly – I know nothing about him, except for the fact he’s on a London based record label and has two tunes available that both barely scrape over the one minute mark.

Palace Winter – A Danish duo serving up gently dark scando-alt-pop that’s more palatable than that sounds. They’ve had plenty of 6 Music plays, which makes sense.

So, there you go, ten top new bands / actslooking for some love this year. Who have I missed out? Let’s share some new stuff…

Dunstan Doodles’ Manchester Icons slideshow

Posted in Art, illustration, manchester with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2018 by dc

A slideshow I’ve put together featuring my Manchester Icons portraits…

All available as A3 sized giclee prints over at Dunstan Doodles.

Slacker Shack’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

Posted in Lists, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2017 by dc

KGLW

It seems a fair few years since people were muttering about the supposed death of the album. If streaming has changed anything it’s been an increase in the variety of music people consume nowadays and the choice available. If 2017 is anything to go by the album format is still very much the heartbeat of top quality music in my book.

Over the past couple of weeks as I’ve listened back to dozens of albums from the past year I’ve noticed how varied my favourite albums of the year seem to be. From the urban magpie brilliance of King Krule‘s ‘The OOZ‘ and the concrete post-punk commentary of Idles‘ ‘Brutalism‘, to the quirky folk songs of This Is The Kit‘s ‘Moonshine Freeze‘ and the fresh electronic sounds of Four Tet‘s ‘New Energy‘. It’s been a vast and kaleidoscopic year for music in all it’s forms.

Astonishingly, my current favourite band, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, ended up releasing five albums (FIVE??), and in doing so put the work rate of most bands to shame. I loved all five albums too (and all 5 would be in a top twenty). Their chokka-block year started with ‘Flying Microtonal Banana‘, followed by ‘Murder Of The Universe‘ and then, ‘Sketches of Brunswick East‘, a brilliant jazzy collaboration with The Mild High Club. Then as December progressed and it looked unlikely they’d follow through on their promise of five albums in a year, the brilliant ‘Polygondwanaland‘ popped up out of nowhere and just yesterday they capped things off with another absolute stunner in, ‘Gumboot Soup‘. I’m off to see them in May and it’s been years since I’ve been as excited about a gig.

So, enough gassing, what’s the Top Ten look like?

Like this…

Four Tet – New Energy
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland
This Is The Kit – Moonshine Freeze
King Krule – The OOZ
Kendrick Lamar – Damn.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
Idles – Brutalism
Chad VanGaalen – Light Information
Spoon – Hot Thoughts

So, that’s mine, what’s yours?

Slacker Shack’s Top 20 Alt’ Tunes of 2017

Posted in Lists, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2017 by dc

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The world may have seemingly teetered on the brink of apocalypse now and again during 2017 but it’s been a pretty good year for music nonetheless. They often say that in times of bleak politics and social division great artistry shines, and whilst it may have been a fairly dull year at the cinema, it was a blockbuster year for TV and maybe even more so for music – or at least I like to think it was as I reminisce over the year gone by.

I love compiling a Top 20 list of tunes each year. I’ve done it since 2008 and it’s started to feel like a nice little time capsule collection and something that helps my middle-aged brain look back and absorb the year.

The ‘Slacker Shack Top Ten Albums of the Year‘ list will appear in the next day or two but in the meantime I want to jot down a handful of my musical highlights from the year:

  • The mighty King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard releasing four albums – and four great albums too – there are very few bands around at the moment who are trailing a blaze quite as fierce as these adventurous antipodeans
  • Another King – this time, Londoner, King Krule‘s album ‘The Ooze‘ – Gilles Peterson described it as the album that best sums up exactly where British music is at currently – it sucks in everything from classic London songwriters like Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg, to 90’s trip-hop, British soul and 2-tone – a real melting pot of brilliance
  • The return of Beck – whilst ‘Colors‘ is not as mindblowingly genre shaking as he’s been in the past, any Beck album beats 99.9% of the music it finds itself surrounded by and singles, Dear Life, Dreams and title track Colors were up there with him at his peak
  • The raw, fat-trimmed post-punk bellow of Bristol’s Idles and their cracking Brutalism album – there’s was something very 2017 about their sound and popularity
  • Four Tet’s ‘New Energy‘ album – it made me reminisce back to my days as a youth in the mid to late 90’s whilst simultaneously sounding like a modern blueprint for progressive electronica and IDM

There’s more of course – I could blather on for hours like a lonely Pitchfork writer with verbal diarrhoea. I could ponder why San Felu‘s ‘How To Build Windmills‘ EP didn’t get heard by as many folk as it’s excellence warranted. Or why I’ve not heard people waffle on about the brilliance of Wovoka Gentle, OCS, Landlady or Snail Mail as much as I should’ve. But I won’t 😉

So, without further-a-do here are Slacker Shack’s Top 20 Alt’ Tunes of 2017 – if you’re on Spotify, get streaming – if you’re not, sorry…