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.