Moddi Unsongs, Kodi, and Catherine Rayner

Moddi Unsongs

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Moddi, or Pål Moddi Knutsen, is a Norwegian folk musician whose latest project is an album of previously-banned covers, Unsongs.

Admittedly, few of them are familiar to me, but I recognise Kate Bush’s Army Dreamersbanned from BBC radio during the first Gulf War – and Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer.

Moddi’s voice is endearingly awkward, reminding me of Björk or, especially during Open LetterDolores O’Riordan. I really like June Fourth 1989: From the Shattered Pieces of a Stone it Begins, Army Dreamers, and The Shaman and the Thief.

Kodi

I recently upgraded my home internet connection – previously I was only able to receive a paltry 1MB download speed – and the first thing I did was buy a device on which I could install Kodi.

Kodi® (formerly known as XBMC™) is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more. https://kodi.tv/about/

I’tim-and-eric-mind-blownm really not sure how it’s legal – it’s something to do with the fact that nothing is ever downloaded to your device – but it allows you to stream essentially any TV show or Movie at any time. Mind blown.

So far, I’ve watched a bunch of shows and Movies: Harley and the Davidsons (made-for-TV bobbins), Hail, Caesar! (very good), and Westworld (OMG!! AMAZING!!!11); and I’m planning to get rid of my Sky TV dish.

Catherine Rayner

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My 3yo daughter has a copy of The Bear Who Shared. I can’t say I’m a fan of the story, but the illustrations are beautiful. It’s both written and illustrated by Rayner and I’ve since found out that she has won awards for her artwork.

She has quite a few kids books out, and if they’re anything like the one I’ve read, I’d recommend taking a look at the art, rather than the story.

Saga, Sturgill Simpson, and drawing

Saga

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a comic or a graphic novel as much as I’ve loved Brian K Vaughan’s Saga.

Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series [depicting] a husband and wife, Alana and Marko, from long-warring extraterrestrial races, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their daughter, Hazel, who is born in the beginning of the series and who occasionally narrates the series as an unseen adult.

It’s like Star Wars written for grown-ups; it’s graphic, funny, and sometimes both; and it has great characters, such as The Will, The Stalk, The Brand and Lying Cat.

But the thing I like about it most is Fiona Staples’ artwork. It’s so good, and I’m definitely going to look at some of her other work.

Saga Volume 6 is out now.

Saga

Sturgill Simpson

I’m off to see Sturgill Simpson in Glasgow tomorrow night (review to come, perhaps). I’ve been enjoying his work since he released Meta Modern Sounds in Country Music and his more recent album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, is just as good.

To get you in the mood, here’s a clip of him on Letterman from a couple of years back, doing one of his more straight country tunes.

Drawing

I’ve stumbled back into picking up a pencil and paper again recently – not that I’m any great artist, but I do like to try my hand at some illustrating every now and then.

This time, I’ve been asked if I’d like to contribute a pin-up for a friend’s forthcoming comic. Fraser Campbell’s Alex Automatic will be out later in the year, and hopefully I’ll have something in it. Here’s a sneak preview of what that might look like.

Alex Automatic

Monsieur Moustache mustard

A graphic illustration of a man with a moustache.
Henri “Oh là là”.

Lovely Package have some examples of work done by German agency Studio Chapeaux (Behance) for Monsieur Moustache Mustard.

For more than 3000 years, mustard has been cherished as a sophisticated complement to the finest dishes, conquering the world’s most illustrious dining tables. To bring to life recipes from across the mustard spectrum we have created a range of moustachioed connisseurs. Each expresses the character of a particular mustard through their moustache.

They are the grande monsieurs moustache.

I love this kind of illustration. Reminds me very much of Stanley Chow, or Daniel Nyari‘s geometric styles.