Author Archives: Kevin Baker

Why Listen Live?

The web is awash with good tunes. Musicians can have fans from Beirut to Boston without ever leaving their bedrooms; someone in Birmingham can be a star in Bahrain. But for all the connections to be made online, there’s one you can only find live. See, streaming a song is a one way transaction. The […]

Fred Clark (Review)

Fred Clark must be one of the hardest working musicians in Kent. He’s played nearly ninety gigs this year, as well as writing, performing, and self-producing his new album, Stay Smiling. He plays an inoffensive type of acoustic pop, influenced by artists such as Jack Johnson, Newton Faulkner, and Pink, though the first thing I […]

WinterKids Discontent

WinterKids came charging out of Surrey during the indie explosion in the mid-noughties, immediately creating the kind of industry buzz that every band dreams of. Their guitarist, Bradley Osborne, remembers one biz type congratulating them, “’you’ve done really well guys,’ he said, ‘you’re in the top one percent. Now you just need to be in […]

Cinema of Transcendence

In a piece for Esquire back in 2000, Martin Scorsese sang the praises of fellow director Wes Anderson, citing his “fine sense of how music works against an image,” and calling a scene in his first feature, Bottle Rocket (1996), a “transcendent moment.” But what did he mean by that? What is the cinema of […]

In Praise of Sunsets

When was the last time you watched a sunset? Can you remember? Was it on the train? In a field? In a beer garden? Maybe you watch it every day. Maybe the last one you saw was in a movie. Nowadays, given our hectic schedules, and the prevalence of attention sucking machines (be it an […]

Musical Fiction / Fictional Music

Fake bands and musicians abound in literature. Sometimes they help a writer create a sense of verisimilitude in an otherwise foreign setting, for example, the characters in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange listen to invented bands (The Heaven Seventeen, Johnny Zhivago, Googly Gogol), as well as recognizable names like Beethoven, thereby making the picture of […]

Stop Motion Forever

Recently I wrote a tribute to Ray Harryhausen, the king of stop-motion. Now I’d like to go deeper into the strange world of animated objects, as well as taking a look at modern monsters… Stop-motion has been around nearly as long as cinema itself. It started in the 1890s, and by the early twentieth century […]

Alive & Streaming

Hollywood has hated television since it first gained widespread popularity in ‘50s America. “Why,” they were forced to ask themselves, “would someone pay to travel outside their homes for two hours of crap, when they could inside and watch endless hours of crap for free?” Their answer was to give the audience something extra, trotting […]

Stop Motion: A Tribute to Ray.

Like most kids, I spent my pocket money on stupid crap – plastic toys which fell apart within weeks, comics, stickers, and a fistful of E numbers. The only purchase I stand by is Jason and the Argonauts (1963), which I bought on VHS and watched so many times the tape wore out. It was […]

Revolution in the Bedroom

Skinny B is a DJ and producer, specialising in the creation of lo-fi hip-hop and skewed electronica. When he’s not in the studio, or spinning tunes at The Rafters and Drakes, he’s scouring the internet for music for his monthly podcast, Scratch the Surface. I joined him in his studio, Da Bomb Factory, to talk […]