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).

Click for full size...



I’ve always loved fish. I gave up meat and poultry primarily on financial grounds, but it wasn’t long before I resolved never again to eat the flesh of poorly-reared, chemically-pumped animals. I didn’t even like the taste that much anyway.

For some reason fish never crossed the morally-dubious threshold, despite clearly being alive in a way vegetables just aren’t. I love bream, haddock, sardines, sea bass, mackerel and salmon, but I probably love tuna the most. I love a good piece of fish from the market, but the reality of my wallet means tinned tuna is the easiest and cheapest way for me to get my regular dose of brain food.

I was naïve enough for a while to think the fish I was eating had been caught traditionally: the fish happily living and breeding; the fisherman happening upon them. I thought it was just the food chain, but now I probably won’t touch tuna ever again.

While the endangered bluefin tuna species used for sushi may not be the kind that ends up in my pasta, its plight (and that of its slightly less endangered but still over-fished cousin, the yellowfin) has resulted in questions being asked about the fishing methods used to catch the more common, tinned skipjack tuna. The fish are caught using a method called ‘purse seine’, which means the net spanning a large area of the sea closes like a purse to entrap everything unfortunate enough to have swum near. The nets go deep, which means it’s not just surface-skimming skipjack that is caught: bluefin tuna is routinely ‘accidentally’ caught and then disposed of and even sharks and dolphins can become entangled and die. The delicate balance of all ocean wildlife is at stake because of our insatiable demand for fish.

Marks & Spencer recently became the first supermarket to switch to only selling tuna caught by the less intrusive and more sustainable pole-and-line method, and other large companies have followed suit, including sandwich chain Prêt a Manger. Its co-founder says he was made aware of the plight of fish after watching documentary The End of the Line, billed as ‘the world’s first major documentary about the devastating effect of over-fishing’. I haven’t seen it, but it’s clear the film has had serious and lasting repercussions.

So why I am concerned? Soon, all supermarkets and probably all major brands will only sell pole-and-line caught skipjack tuna. And I don’t eat sushi, so the bluefin is off my conscience. But while this method of fishing is more sustainable, the fact remains that tuna is still being consumed at an alarming rate. Why must we stubbornly insist on continuing to eat something that’s in grave danger of upsetting the environment with its disappearance?

For me, the only other option is a move to full-blown vegetarianism. This has already proven harder than anticipated, particularly after a traffic-congested drive to London on Monday morning. I was starving and picked up some paninis for my Dad and myself during a break: one tuna melt, one mozzarella. I have no idea why I didn’t just pick two mozzarella ones; I suppose I wanted to provide my Dad with a choice and secretly hoped he’d pick tuna. But he immediately pounced on the vegetarian one and I kept my mouth shut because he’d paid and was doing the driving. I felt sick with hunger but with every bite my recent discoveries sickened me further. I finished it, but from now on I think I’ll stick to appreciating the delicacy of seafood from a considerate, rather than culinary, perspective.



We asked Stairs To Korea, the man behind the hugely popular Andersen Ben-Hilliens Rock Paparazzi blog, to contribute to PARTYNICE.

The result is our new column STELAZINE. Enjoy the first installment, Equine Euthanasia, below. Our minds are blown.


In 2006 I heard that Barenaked Ladies song that has the line "Watching X-Files with no lights on" for the first time in years. I realised that watching X-Files with no lights on was a well good idea. I imagined feigning fear and conning someone into cuddling me whilst I was doing this and immediately bought the first season from play.com.

I used to be into it when I was a kid. I even bought the X-Files magazine and imagined growing up to be a cross between Dana Scully and Nancy Drew. So it was no surprise when I got back into it in a big way. I think I maybe managed to con at least two separate people into cuddling me whilst watching it too, which is pretty good going. Turns out being a dork into 90s sci-fi is pretty hot to strange indie boys.

I soon got through seasons 1-5. Sometimes I watched 4 or 5 episodes a day. I started going to Lewisham Library and heading straight to the paranormal section. I read books on real alien abductions and had nightmares about small greys visiting me in my bedroom. I looked up academic essays on UFO phenomena. I began to think that the undercover policemen that were watching the crack den across the street from my halls were actually watching me. I wondered if the times when I was a kid and I woke up delirious were due to abduction rather than fever. I HAD GONE TOO FAR AND I KNEW IT.

I tried to take a step back. But now I was synonymous with X-Files to many of my friends. It was like the time my mum expressed an interest in pigs and then got pig ornaments for her birthdays, Christmases, and anniversaries for 5 years until her shelves were literally collapsing from the weight of them. My room was full of X-Files merchandise: posters, a light-up clock, a map, books, a mouse mat, mugs, t-shirts.

Should a 24 year old woman have two large X-Files posters on her wall? Should she wear an X-Files t-shirt at any opportunity? I had surpassed having a slightly kooky and unexpected interest and moved into weirdo territory. I stopped watching. Like Harrison Ford I got frantic. I took down the posters and replaced them with arty postcards, I put my merchandise in a drawer. I stopped my quest to find out whether or not the mytharc episodes made sense if you watched them consecutively. This part was particularly painful.

A year later and I was starting to think it was safe to go back and that I might re-watch the pilot (Scully in her underwear!) but then I lost interest. Someone sat me in front of the Battlestar Galactica pilot instead. HOLY SHIT, IT'S GOOD.





Y'know that feeling when you chance upon a band on Myspace that completely blows you away? Meet Dead Gaze, the musical alias of Mississippian R. Cole Furlow. A friend of ours described him as a 'tropical Wavves', but if you took Nathan Williams' straight-up distorted surf pop and threw in some Panda bear-esque atmospheric vocals and multi-instrumentation, you'd be closer the mark.

After having debut LP The Pride of Calling Panther Lake on repeat for the past few weeks, and with the follow-up EP Small Lava imminent, we decided to ask him a few questions.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Dead Gaze started out. What are your influences, musically or otherwise?

Dead Gaze started out as outlet for me to write songs about my home state of Mississippi and the people living here. Initially, i just wanted to record as much loud, pastoral-ish pop music as possible. I think it really just ended up with me spacing out and forcing the music out the door. My father lives in the middle of nowhere, with really nice trees and a backwoods pond. that setting was definitely a nice piece of inspiration. He's a band director at the local community college in Wesson, and lets me use his band hall for recording. I've found sitting out there for a while makes you think a bit clearer, and maybe let's you focus a bit more. It was a nice atmosphere to record and have a place to be weird. And that was good. My influences change everyday. Right now I've been jamming a bunch of Jay Dee, Yabby You, Fleetwood Mac, Spacemen 3, John Hurt, Jorge Ben, R Stevie Moore, Harmonia, and Waylon Jennings to name a few.

To these British ears at least, you have a definite West Coast sound. What's it like making music in Mississippi? Is there a supportive local music scene? Do many touring bands pass through the area?

I dig the West Coast, for sure, but it's not me. I think Mississippi is a comfortable place to make music. It's really laid back. In my world, I am lucky enough to have a bit of a hideaway from the city. Which is where a ton of my inspiration for making these tunes comes from. Lots of bands come through the north part of the state where Oxford is. Next weekend Animal Collective is playing in Oxford which will be rad. Japandroids, Woven Bones, and Jacuzzi Boys are all playing in the next couple weeks as well. A lot of my buddies in Taylor, Ms have started an arts collective which has blown up. And Jackson has a couple decent venues. There are some great song writers from around here, which sometimes makes performing new tracks for people intimidating. But generally speaking, MS is pleasant.

You gave away your first release 'The Pride of Calling Panther Lake' for free. What was your reasoning behind this? Do you think new artists need to do something like that to get a foot in the door? And what are your thoughts on illegal fire sharing, mp3s blogs, and such?

I gave it out free so people would listen to it. I just want people to have it, and listen. I enjoyed making it, and i do see an understandable amount of worth somewhere in the mix sometime soon on the next releases. But i'm going to keep releasing music, no matter the case. Illegal file sharing is here. that's why making nice records is important.

Tell us a little bit about your next release.

I'm actually releasing a new EP called SMALL LAVA next week. It's more sample based than the full length. There's not nearly as much space as there was in the first release. I had a lot of fun making these songs, and i think it shows. I always wish my tunes would end up happier, and i think sometimes on this release they do.

What can people expect from your live shows? How does the band set up differ from your recorded output?

The band has it's first real show on the 9th of June. We got together and played a bit. It's way more sludgy live than on recording. The band is musically the most talented line up I've ever played with. so I'm super excited about the chance to sweat it out.

What are your plans for the summer, and beyond?

Keep recording, play some shows. seriously nothing too exciting. it gets really hot here in the summer time, and it kinda drains you after a while. so staying cool will probably be something i look into doing all summer. Hopefully a bit more drinking, and a lot more recording. Always check the myspace page and stay posted for new releases and shows. If i could release something every day, i would and i might try depending on how slow the summer truly gets.


A Simple Man (taken from The Pride of Calling Panther Lake LP)

PARTYNICE readers can be the first to hear the new SMALL LAVA EP by clicking here.



Staff room discussions in schools tend to fall into the broad categories of discussing the weekend, bitching about other members of staff, pondering what lunch will resemble today and moaning about pay/workload/children/parents etc. However, by some kind of cosmic alignment today’s topic actually had some resonance outside the bubble that is education. Today we discussed art.

The ever so subjective question of favourite artists came up. I, perhaps naively, put forward Sophie Calle. Big mistake. Not only did I have to explain who she was and google The Hotel for them, but when I had they all agreed it was basically wank and not ‘proper’ art.

Now I’m pretty thick. I can’t drive, I avoid political debate like the plague for fear of revealing my level of ignorance and without the aid of Word my spelling level is on a par with Ludacris. Seriously, I sometimes have to spell check words during instant messaging. But if there are three things I can sound fairly convincing on they are modern art, psychology and the life of Robert Smith. (Granted the last two aren’t relevant to this.)

The detail that most people overlook when viewing conceptual artists just as Calle is the strict constraints they actually put upon their work. If it was as easy as taking clandestine photographs of strangers and adding a bit of blurb underneath then every Holga-toting GCSE art student in the land would be having their Sunday lunch with Charles and Nigella. The fact is the ‘blub’ underneath is actually reminiscent of an Oulipo essay. (It’s a French literary movement you heathens.) Calle’s work is heady mixture of voyeurism and her own vulnerability. In a society currently obsessed with voyeurism under the guise of social networking even her oldest pieces are still painfully relevant.

Raise your hands if you’ve ever been dumped. Now go look up Douleur Exquise and take care of yourself. Amazing. Every nuance of pain put down on paper to remind you that you are not alone. Do these pieces have a ‘happy ending’? No. But they get shorter as Calle’s pain dissipates. Time heals, things get easier, and answers are found. Not for every question but enough for her and you to move on.

This is not to say that all conceptual art is instantly validated by its own existence. Like I said, anything to do with art is 100% subjective. I happen to think for example that Damien Hurst is a bit of a pretentious cock. But lovely Sophie engages with the things that are important to me; love, loss, definitions of beauty, stalking of strangers. And she does it in a way that connects and moves me. So recognise. Or don’t. It’s up to you.



Last week did not go well as you know. But spurred on by journalistic commitment and a desire to not spend the rest of my waking days alone and gently weeping along to Dashboard Confessional songs, I am persevering with the blind date debacle. I’m scared before even meeting this man. We’ve exchanged some witty emails. The banter was good. He answered my question about what he would do in the event of a zombie holocaust with intelligence and a level of detail that suggested he’d really thought about it. I like that kind of thing. A lot.

So when he asked for my mobile number I gave it up like a fresher at a traffic light party. Obviously I did not realise that he is clearly mental or I wouldn’t have done it. If it takes me more than 20 minutes to reply I get some passive aggressive, stream of consciousness musing on what he possibly could have done to offend me this time.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him last night that long suffering gay flatmate had brought home two 18 year old students and we were making cocktails with witty names like ‘womb punch’. Even worse, around the 1am mark we began yelling out of the window at strangers. Somehow this lead to us inviting a strange French man into our home. It had bad news written all over it, surely disaster would now ensue? Nope. He was just very French. Dark dishevelled hair and stubble, dressed head to toe in black, he spent what felt like forever passionately telling me that Sting writes the most perfect pop songs he’s ever heard.

Flatmate and the kiddies were passed out in various states of disarray while we were still discussing drunken flower picking, my inability to drive and why he hates Manchester. The Frenchman stayed until 5.30am. I got a kiss and he sauntered off into the deserted streets. Leaving me with two questions; does it count as a blind date if you picked them up off the street? Will my actual date this week cut off my limbs and try mounting my torso?