I am a confessed train enthusiast. For me, the intrigue of rolling stock, disused track and proposed line extensions goes hand in hand with the sanctity of network map design. There is an inviting simplicity to clean lines and neatly separated destinations, as if the area presented is an orderly hub of efficient travel. A network map presents opportunities for new adventures and certainly inspires within me the desire to explore.


This is the first tshirt to be made by African Apparel, a Bristol-based tshirt label. We want one.


Is it acceptable to call a feature 'Part 1', even though you have no intention of continuing it? Regardless, here are two pop music videos that we think are really swell.

First up is the debut single from Anglo-Icelandic pop walrus Stairs To Korea, Boy Bear It In Mind, released today through the indefatigable Brainlove Records. Buy it from iTunes here.

Next up is a video from Mississippi's Dead Gaze. The song, Back And Forth, is from the upcoming release End of Days, Why Not You?.


Fifty miles south of Palm Springs in the California desert lies the Salton Sea - a man-made body of water created over 100 years ago from the flooding Colorado River. A once prominent tourist and vacation destination in the 1950's and 60's, the area is currently in ruin and decay. The salinity of the water is now greater than that of the Pacific Ocean and most of the area establishments have long since been boarded up. However, there are still residents living in a handful of small towns surrounding the Salton Sea and some who visit to regard the decomposition.
Upon each visit I have made to the Salton Sea, my attraction to the peculiar relationship of this region's past and present deterioration has increased and I cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia for the landscape when I view these images.


O. M. F. G. Is this a joke? Way to go Microsoft. The token black man is a nice touch.


Cardon Copy is an ongoing project by Cardon Webb, who has taken it upon himself to redesign and replace handwritten posters in and around his neighbourhood in New York City.

"Cardon Copy, takes the vernacular of self-distributed fliers and tear-offs we have all seen in our neighborhoods. It involves hijacking these unconsidered fliers and redesigning them, over powering their message with a new visual language. I then replace the original with the redesign in its authentic environment."




Christoph Rehage's The Longest Way video caught our eye because it combines three of our favourite things. Namely travel, the internet, and beards.

If you've had internet access longer than ten minutes, you've probably seen those one-photo-a-day video montages that people do. Christoph has taken that one step further, interspersing the standard still photos with short videos of his journey between Beijing and Urumqi on foot. His video is remarkable not just for the beard growth seen over the year of his travels, but the awesome backdrops he chooses. Enjoy.

For more on Christoph's travel, see his website.


Bandstand Busking

A few weeks ago my band (Internet Forever) were lucky enough to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon playing on a bandstand in Islington. This struck us as a totally awesome idea so we spoke to the people that started it to find out more.

The event was a Bandstand Busk which, they told us, is "a mix of two things... online videos, but also little events in bandstands around London". If you go on their site you can see performances from over 30 artists, including Of Montreal (see this below), Black Lips, and Slow Club.

All over London there are bandstands in parks that are hugely underused and so Bandstand Busking are doing everyone a favour by getting performances on them that you can go and watch FOR FREE. There is nothing about this situation that we don't like.

The next one takes place on Sunday 2nd August at Northampton Square in Islington. First Aid Kit are playing and other bands are TBA.




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We are very lucky kids at PARTYNICE cos Chaos Vs Cosmos has donated a previously unseen piece of his artwork. He's most commonly found making posters for shows and artwork for music releases. You can see more of his stuff over at his blog or myspace. Worth checking out as well is his musical output, the most recent of which is the awesome Slushy Guts.






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The job openings for reading the news in China are quite limited, especially when it comes to English language news programs produced by Chinese channels. Even though news is extensively covered in China, English news is reserved to either dedicated English channels (check out the ground breaking CCTV 9) or the sporadic scheduling of regional TV stations. A big hindrance is that as most if not all Chinese media is state run or heavily influenced, most TV companies cannot legally employ foreigners. Through clever legal manoeuvring, loopholes are found and native English speaking foreigners are brought in to add a touch of authenticity to the channel’s English language output.

A recent conversation with one of these newsreaders became a fascinating insight into a world seldom seen by anyone who doesn’t possess a Chinese passport. The newsreader is American and had found the job through guanxi, a system of contacts that is built up through family connections or networking. If you want to be successful in China, these contacts are essential to get jobs, promotions or complete business deals. Despite having no experience in broadcasting, through these contacts she was able to get an interview and was offered the job.

The work itself is pretty mundane, just 3 hours, one of which is spent in make up. The script arrives and the usual Chinglish grammar mistakes and badly translated words are taken out and a readable flowing version is self edited minutes before recording by the newsreader. Negative words are asked to be taken out by the Chinese staff. ‘Smog’ is substituted for ‘haze’, but bizarrely ‘acid rain’ is somehow kept in. The camera man preps the studio and the news reader is left alone to go record the news in a slow controlled manner being careful not to slouch or contort any part of her body.

The usual news story is of a visit by a government official or local economic news. Thankfully, she told me, there has not been any crisis of conscience when reading the news but any reporting of the 3T’s (I’ll let you guess what they are) is still open to bias and twisting of the truth. “But that’s how it goes in China,” she informed me, and as much as China has progressed to the eyes of the outside world in recent times it’s still the same old story for the nation’s newsreaders.

For further reading please read the blog below for an Australian writer’s slightly paranoid account of working for the China Daily newspaper, the Chinese government’s English language rag!




I read something once in which genius was described as the ability to see a scene or problem in it's entirety; to step back, zoom out, and see the solution click together with perfect clarity before your eyes.

It's a nice idea, and it stuck with me. But those kind of moments come rarely. Answers are discovered by accident as much as by design. Knowledge systems have a life of their own, in which multiple perspectives are a necessity, everything is contingent and subject to change, absolute truth is a fallacy and a complete understanding of anything is impossible.

It's the human condition. Being created without asking, hurtling towards death at unknown velocity, and frantically juggling the endless mass of situations, ideas, experiences and stimulus along the way.

And it's great when you come across a piece of art or music that has taken some or all of this into account. I was recently converted to the cause of Oakland's Why? for this reason. Watching Yoni Wolf spit his dense OCD lyrics in the flesh, I came to realise that what I had perceived as wise-ass meandering was actually an endearingly human attempt to hold all that knowledge and memory and to make sense of it, rationalise it, and reprocess it as something understandable. Why? stopped being annoying right there and became an expression of what it is to try and hold back chaos.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone takes the approach via a kind of poetic anthropology, in which we get fleeting glimpses of characters across America, each with their own back story, their own concerns and their own problems. Individual lives are dotted through his prolific output like stars across the sky, and a tiny event like a string of pearls snapping and scattering in a nightclub becomes heartbreaking in his hands.

Installation artists like Mike Nelson and Tomoko Takahashi use a chaos of objects as their medium. Nelson creates maze-like networks of rooms in which you might find yourself stepping from a completely authentic-looking office reception into a garden shed, complete with damp wood smell and rusty tools, into a velvet and mahogany funeral chamber. The significance we project onto spaces is illuminated, and innocuous objects become loaded with meaning.

Takahashi celebrates chaos and colour, packing galleries with countless objects in garish colours, squashing meaning and significance together until they are no longer recognisable. Her installations are a fireworks display in which all objects are equalized in a joyful melee.

Martin Creed's minimalism uses the opposite technique to reach the same conclusion. By removing everything from the gallery, he leaves us with a meaning vacuum that explodes like a split atom upon examination.

A direct attempt to grapple with information overload comes from Simon Bookish on his new album Everything/Everything. Released on Tomlab late in 2008, it's a dizzying proto-jazz record in which the flood of information and knowledge is portrayed first as a threat, but ultimately as a liberating force that can yield the answers to everything, especially when the finite human lifespan is taken out of the equation.

I don't remember where the idea I paraphrased in the first paragraph came from, but it's out there somewhere, on paper or some server. It could have been a previously unread internet diary or the work of a great Greek philosopher. I'll probably never find out.

But whatever it was from, the idea emerged from the chaos and stuck in my head just like the sounds and ideas all of these musicians and artists did, and a picture starts to form...



This Saturday sees our first two PARTYNICE PRESENTS events take place. In London, we are hosting a house show with Internet Forever and Stairs To Korea, who will now be joined by Raymond Detritus.

You need to email us for a guestlist place. Space is limited so be quick. The show is being photographed for the VICE Magazine photoblog, there will be barbecue, and it will be pretty awesome all round.

Meanwhile, in Seoul, PARTYNICE's Tomek Roszkowski starts his photography exhibition Pilot Light. So says Tomek:

Me and my sister worked together on the Pilot Light project. There are two sets of photos, both supposing dreams as spaces that exist beyond the confines of our imagination.

The first, called 'Ghost Dreams', examines the idea of recurring dreams that we've stopped having becoming neglected spaces, subject to an imaginary urban decay and being recalled/revisited many years later and bearing witness to what has essentially become a ghost town as a physical space and as a reflection of who we were at that time in our lives.

Second, 'Zhou Wang's Nightmare' are snapshots from a night where by some criss crossing of plugs, I experienced the nightmare of an 82 year old Chinese man, vaguely understanding the significance of the defining images that haunt a person in that most honest and brutal space, our own nightmares.

Tomek, along with his sister Agnieszka, were interviewed on Korean radio about their collaboration. Listen below.




My total success rate with blind dates has so far been zero unless we count the lovely French man we dragged in off the street last week. I keep running into him in Tesco, usually when I’m in some kind of state of disarray. He tells me about his day in his breathy French voice. I reply with any old shite that pops into my head in my disgusting Kent/London accent. He goes off, no doubt to buy something very grown up and sophisticated, (I’m picturing red wine and an erotic novel) I head straight for the chocolate hobnobs.

To add to this misery, long suffering gay flatmate has been away all weekend in Cambridge. I have had to fend for myself, suffice to say Super Noodles have been getting a lot of business from me. He came home today and the following conversation took place:

Me: “How was your weekend?”

LSGF: “Yeah was great. Went punting. The guys are hot. Katie, will you have sex with one of my friends?”

Me: “Have you been pimping me out to your friends?”

LSGF: “Sort of. Only on Facebook. He thinks he might love you.”

I’m not sure where he found the time in between commuting, teaching and his own tangled love life to make a neon ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ sign for the living room but clearly it has happened. I expect him to develop an Eastern European accent and start dolling out beatings within the week.

That said, the advantage of this over my previous attempts is that LSGF has given me a ‘definitely not mental’ guarantee. The disadvantage is that I’m not sure I fancy this guy and besides, he is currently in Marseille (There’s a definite French theme here, non?).

So until his return I’m stuck in an exceedingly unhealthy rota of awkward conversation with the French man in commercial outlets and flirting with the teaching assistant I’ve got a wildly inappropriate crush on. Aces.



When I was walking home this evening I had my ipod on shuffle. I think I heard a bit of Beat Happening, some Black Flag, and some Mirah. Then after Ariel Pink I heard Spanish influenced guitar… “Don’t leave me in all this pain / Don’t leave me out in the rain…” Warm rays of joy travelled from my guts into my heart and then leapt up into my head. I stood taller and I’m pretty sure I visibly swelled and blushed with wanton emotion. It was Unbreak My Heart. When a Microphones track came on after I wondered why I was wasting all my time listening to such fucking nonsense when clearly all the best songs are power ballads by female singers.

If I have my itunes or ipod out at parties it doesn’t take long before people start noticing artists that seem erroneous: Toni Braxton, Belinda Carlisle, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey, Sinead O’Connor, Roxette. There’s even space for Complicated by Avril Lavigne and Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson. These songs always get picked, people always sing along, and people always air drum when the chorus of Total Eclipse of the Heart kicks in. Proof, if needed, that these kinds of songs ARE AWESOME.

Of course it’s the pomp and ridiculousness that appeals to most. I note this, but also truly believe that they are the most perfect form of song. The tension and release! The raw emotion and heartbreak! Can you even imagine being as heartbroken as Sinead O’Connor in Nothing Compares 2 U? Doubt it. I definitely can’t. I love these ballads precisely because I can’t relate to them. But it’s something to aspire to.

One day I want to fall in love as hard as Bonnie Tyler… “AND I NEED YOU NOW TONIGHT! AND I NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER! AND IF YOU’LL ONLY HOLD ME TIGHT! WE’LL BE HOLDING ON FOREVER!” … Fuck it all up as much as Roxette… “Make believing we're together / That I'm sheltered by your heart / But in and outside I turn to water / Like a teardrop in your palm” … and write a song as awesome as any of the aforementioned.



PARTYNICE contributor Tomasz Roszkowski is one of eight photographers to feature in Seoul Art Collective's forthcoming exhibition, entitled Pilot Light. So says the blurb...

‘Pilot Light’ explores photography that recalls memories from one’s past, negates time and space and transports individuals into a world all of their own. When perception elicits a spontaneous reaction; a dream, a taste, a sound, a smell… there we find the intangible realm of memory. The photographic works question what it is that draws the past back into us, and the boundaries between memory and imagination.

Pilot Light 전시회에 노출된 사진들은 우리의 감각이 꿈이나 맛이나 소리 또는 향기로부터 자연스럽게 반응할 때와 같은 추억들을 상기시킨다. 이 사진들은 우리에게 추억을 묻고 또 추억과 상상의 차이점을 묻는다.

Pilot Light will be running from the 11th to the 23rd July, at the DOOR Gallery in Hongdae, Seoul (121-818 서울 마포구 동교동 177-22). Call 010-9441-9335 for visit the website for more details. We'll have a full review and photographs from the exhibition in due course.

Flyer photograph by Charlie Engman.


Mention the word 'sustainable' whilst talking fashion and suddenly the conversation feels as much fun as watching kittens get run over by bikers.

But write a blog where you style up the same dress every day for a year, and suddenly 'sustainable fashion' is a game of sartorial wit and flair.

This was Sheena Matheiken's idea. Remember school uniform? Matheiken waxes lyrical about the ingenuity of Indian school kids when it came to customizing their look: “peeking through the sea of uniforms were the idiosyncrasies of teen style and individual flare”. Armed with seven copies of the same short black button-through tunic, the bold New Yorker has so far modelled a fresh outfit every day for two months. Together with designer/stylist friend Eliza Starbuck, the pair hope to engage the online community, galvanise a little support for sustainable fashion and raise cash for education charity Akanksha.

And so far, she's the toast of the online schoolyard. The black dress has seen a rainbow array of tights and socks, collars and lace, cute belts, sexy dresses and a healthy handful of vintage headpieces. It's also seen a brilliant range of response, from coos of pleasure to jeers, boredom to effusive delight. Matheiken says she's bombarded by attention, including donations and offers from designers. Here's hoping that the excitement for the Uniform Project generates some lasting reserves for Akanksha, and puts sustainability back on the agenda for conscientious clotheshorses everywhere.



This promoting lark is pretty simple, right? Well we're soon to find out. We're pleased to announce the first of what we hope will be many PARTYNICE PRESENTS shows. First up a guestlist-only house show with Internet Forever and Stairs To Korea. We're not one for writing hypey blurbs for bands. If you don't know these already, you should seek them out. And because we're generous chaps here at PARTYNICE, why not download yourselves an mp3 from each band, courtesy of us?


STAIRS TO KOREA - Boy Bear It In Mind

Email us at partynicemag @ gmail.com if you want to come. Numbers will be strictly limited, y'know?

FYI, the photograph we used for our flyer is by Ben Acree, who happens to be one of our absolute favourite photographers around.


Writing this is maybe the most fangirl thing I’ve ever written. Considering the fact I once started a Barr/Owen Pallett slash fiction blog, this is a bold statement.

I got Issue One of Scott Jason Smith’s comic zine Paunch a while back and took an instant liking to his illustrations and storytelling. Other comic zines I pick up at fairs and symposiums seem to be full of cute drawings of animals or immaturely drawn tales of love failure. Whilst there is a space for things like this on my zine shelf, I’d much rather read something along the lines of the graphic novels I like (e.g. stuff by Adrian Tomine, Craig Thompson and Alison Bechdel) – stuff that acts as a sort of social commentary by showing you the world through an outsider’s eyes.

Paunch hit the mark because it had the life story of a cat burglar and stories about ‘the great British public’. I’m trying not to say, I LIKE IT COS IT’S REAL. But fuck it: It is real. And the stories are interestingly drawn and told, and the characters selected are not boring or typical.

I soon picked up the other issues of Paunch when I saw them and also Up A Blind Alley, a diary comic he did. All of them were similarly awesome, so I’m super excited to have Scott involved with PARTYNICE and I hope you enjoy his stuff as much as I do. GUSHING OVER (sorry).

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