token girl: like a girl, but better

Thursday, 6 November 2008

ex-press yourself

rock chicks (PUKE) have their ramones, gNr and skid row tees and slithery drainpipes, but what do dance divas have apart from a glowstick and a glazed stare?
i've amassed a near-redundant collection of variously mangled, reassembled, customised pop music people merchandises which have hardly been worn ever and are now stored in greyed, rolled up raggity lumps under rotting cardies in my wardrobe. apart from MADONNA and TIGA, most were drunken/internet/impulse buys, not fashion statements - yes i possibly loved every band at the time, but (1) t-shirts really really don't suit me (2) why do i have to show off about who i like in clothes form? no one cares.

when i got my first BABE t-shirt in '94 it didn't take me long to realise that letting your t-shirt do the talking's a fun (if dumb) way of getting attention. while rock and pop acts have always flogged their brands on carefree cotton, dance kids have always been a bit more subtle, imaginative or just not bothered about pledging public allegiances on their clothes. increasingly, however, the rave scene's been having fun with this simple & effective medium, starting with those let's move to berlin and buy t-shirts t-shirts and culminating in a whole rail of slogan tops...

for the much-dreaded end of the end, mr c & co have commissioned a shirt-company to design a mini-collection commemorating the underground good times everyone's enjoyed there. i like this TIL DEATH DO US PARTY vest (which is pretty much sold out). the black and gold (bl-a-ck and gold) is always a winning combination - just ask adidas, nike and AA. but roll out the clearance rail for bpitch's techno tees (above) - who wants to be more techno than you?? i hope the phrasing got lost in translation. not funny. but I H8 techno? that's more like it.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

everybody wants to be a dj

last friday night when i would usually be following on my post-work dinner and drinks with a disco, i instead went home to witness the disco, on-screen, courtesy of the brothers dewaele. part of the weekend never dies wasn't a bad motto for me to live by once upon a time - and only temporarily - but soulwax did it for about 2 years, playing gigs by day, djing by night and doing their rock-rave thing the rest of the time. yeah they're old, but in their new, hmm... documentary? (don't want to do a play on words for that one) they are throughly aged in the white jeans and polo tees> that's the night version of their stage-wear. not that it matters. if they're old, (like their contemporaries featured here: lcd, tiga, erol), then the wobbly, careless youth of their audiences brings the average age of the cast down a generation or so.
structured around the playlist of their always-played, recycled anyminutenow/niteversions, i'm thrown back in the pit at fabric, glastonbury, canvas (RIP) and SONAR this summer for KRACK, ny excuse... not bored, just thrilled, again unashamedly. soulwax wouldn't go away. we moaned about their bad parties - the easter overload in kings x when everything broke and everyone had to q, even to get home, but they deserve this extended mtv interview. the only proper document of the electro-trash scene committed to serious celluloid. NY excuse to listen to soulwax again.

Monday, 29 September 2008


issue 9 launches at the lock tavern on wednesday 15th october - james did this KWAIIII flyer for us. girl gangs tky style!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

boho-etton: has benetton really gone crustie??

benetton's a/w campaign has hit the tubes with a rainbow brite-fest of crusty-inspired colour and woolen hair-jumper get ups. it looks as if the creatives from their agency have been watching fraggle rock boxsets in between getting psychedelic at glade/in the greenfields! if the models in this pic didn't look so guilelessly happy, i'd have to shield my eyes and run away. it brings me right back to freshers week 1999, when i was doing high street hippy-chic in pink buffalo slippers.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

sonar, so good (again)

Kittin is high. Kittin is climbing across the decks on all fours, purring 'Rippin Kittin' and there should be fireworks going off in the sky right now above SonarPub she's so hot. The world's finest goth-techno-leopard-print-diva has devised a super-sized laptop solo show this year, but Mademoiselle Caroline could probably play broken records (which, wonderfully, she's done at previous Sonars) and still have us eating from her paws. Favourites from 'Thee Glitz' days right up to the recent 'Batbox' are multiplied and mixed live into stadium-filling, acid house anthems then overladen with those irresistibly accented lyrics. The Sonar press department might have been hyping the 'female factor' on the lineup, but every single year, the very womanly Miss Kittin unofficially headlines the festival and its reputation rides on her tattooed shoulders.

Last year Hamburg label Dial released (whisper it) 'This Bliss', the debut album by emo-minimal deity Pantha du Prince and some divine decisionmaker has put him in the sublime sunrise-slot. His live set is all surface-sparse techno, teetering on the deep side of house. Whatever it's called, this is music to make you go limp, wobble a bit and not recover your senses until several days later. Each shift in tempo or silky new sound in 'Eisbaden' or 'Saturn Strobe' is an exploding star expanding across the galaxy. When 'Florac' builds up then breaks into a mind-blowing sitar-drone apocalypse, it levels this girl to a trembling wreck, crouching on the concrete floor.

By which time the sun's up for non-stop dj/producer/legend Ricardo Villalobos. Since it's Sonar and since he's closing proceedings (for now) he appears to have undergone some kind of photosynthetic transformation in the Barcelona heat. This morning he could be on the terrace at Space, spinning what sounds Balearic house and having a very non-serious-techno time of it, so that when the glittering curtain finally falls he's grinning, hands aloft behind the decks and we're already counting down the days to Sonar09.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

i heard a rumour

respect to my fave madonna blog, madonnalicious (and so she is!) who are refusing to report/just plain ignoring the *whisper* divorce rumours... good! no true fan would care to indulge such tabloid-filler when there's the far more important matter of STICKYNSWEET tour rumours to listen to!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

you can't knock the hustle

You belong to the city
You belong to the night
In the river of darkness
He's a man of the night

omg jayz jayz JAY-Z!! can't believe he used to be hustling mixtapes with wraps of crack on the streets of NYC! he's SUCH A sweetheart - maybe something to do with beautiful B?

the whole jay-z/glastonbury ordeal ('controversy') has been sooo painful to witness. i don't think this would've been the case if it had been kanye booked in the headline slot - it's less to do with hiphop as a genre, than jay-z's low-visibility over here... even though he made 2 of the biggest hits in years (crazy in love and umbrella?)? i was putting the embarrassment down to the medyah until i watched it last night and witnessed the crowd for myself - only the chicks in the front row knew wtf was going down! no one even seemed to appreciate that utterly cutesome, badass brit-rap that he did 28 minutes in!! bow down mofos! bow tha fuck down!

and i also CAN't BELIEVE that he played 'can i get a OOO-OOO' at glastonbury!! one of my all-time swing-jack tunes ever, 'bounce wit me bounce wit me, uh huh'! yeeeeeeah


Friday, 30 May 2008

festival fatigue(s)

one of the side effects of a choc-a-block festival season (may---september) is that the packed calendar has given every publication with an inch of 'shopping' column an excuse to write a lazy feature on how to do FESTIVAL "CHIC". said piece will pull together dribs and drabs which look as if they've been scavenged from the bottom of sienna's 'scraps for windowcleaning drawer'.

i'm signed up to all the highstreet e-mailouts (whyyyy? farewell personal data) and so have been getting advice from RIVER ISLAND, urban outfitters, asos (of all places!) on what to buy before i p*ss of (and it p*sse* down) to 'glasto'/v/... - who has ever been to a festival (in this country) and found a sensible reason to wear anything other than knee-high wellington boots? (which is a trend in itself) bejewelled flipflops anyone?

beachwear i can fathom, wedding outfits - i suppose, festival chic - no.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

auf deutsch, bitte

...which reminds me that i also bought this. i'm going to attempt some kind of small flowchart to describe what was one of the best vogues i've seen in years (it helps that i don't know any german so am just going on the pretty pictures).
supermodel> claudia schiffer> naked> check
photographer> legend> mario testino> blankchequebudget> check
superhero trend> catwoman> fetish> mask> luella S/S08> check
sex> sells> check

and that was just the cover!

the female technover

every berlin techno lady, including monika (who doesn't have much of a uk presence as far as i'm aware) is name checked here to preview the ellen and anja albums in the context of their superstar status in the city.

i picked up the second issue of the magazine mentioned in the article, bangbangberlin (LICK MY KUNST asks the cover in (f)lurid pink and yellow) at munich airport on monday - who could resist a neon berlin fanzine written in both german & english? (or the cover) when i flicked through - and what made me hand over 6euros for it - was a review of laurent garnier's night at panoramabar in february. that was the night that net, s-l and i waited in a rainy, typhoony, don't leave the house TORRENTIAL storm outside berghain for an hour and a half. at least. but it was worth it. BBB has fanzine-level writing (from me, a zinegirl who is immune to syntax/grammar), but realzine content. something on stil in berlin - the occasionally updated german streetstyle blog where the stars are definitely on the screen and not behind the camera - why are fashion people so terribly earnest darling? there's also a feature on flyers and the graphic designers who are making BBB's favourite ones in berlin right now. it might sound obvious in an art/club zine, but it works.
hmmm what else? getting a bunch of bpitch people in a photoautomat, that's fun too.

since i won't be moving to the bln any time soon, a subscription might be in order...

Thursday, 22 May 2008


around about the end of april, marks and spencer, with their history of genius in retailing, stop selling classic black opaque tights in their stores. this is presumably something to do with 'space' on the 'shopfloor' - they need room for SUMMER picnic grub and cava and wotnot, but it's not particularly practical or customer friendly to just eliminate such a staple, whatever the (british) season anyway. (i'm basing this post on 1 or 2 visits to the store in angel only, but i remember this happening last year too).

but OH, what's this? they still do FOOTLESS TIGHTS. useful, wicked, ta. so i'll be darning my past-it pantyhose to wear with my pretty summer frocks then.

tout est cassé: unravellment chic

your skirt is undone at the back

mum 08:51am

often, one can feel as if everything is unravelling and one's grip on oneself is as tenuous and fragile as a manuscript held together with an elastic band. snap. fall apart. so this morning, hair gone wild and shirt untucked, i was just about holding it together until a man approached me as the train pulled into the station to tell me that my back-sde was exposed. luckily, we could both laugh about it. embarrassedly.

which was so try-hard trend i can't believe i didn't think of it before...

1. if someone says 'your collar is sticking up' tell them: it's meant to be. i'm doing rockabilly/elvis/rizzo in grease.
2. if someone says 'your zip is open' it depends on which one it is. you don't want everyone checking out your underwear on the way to work, but it's sometimes quite fun to flash some flesh. i have this white indiegirl blouse from topshop that (very inconveniently) has buttons all the way up the back and was in the lift at goodge street station once when a lady said 'excuse me, your top's unbuttoned' and she proceeded to do it up for me in a very motherly, dare i say tender way.

therefore: wearing clothes wrong on purpose=good, being careless: sometimes bad

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

the chinese invasion

liberty's got an AMAZING window display right now featuring mountains of retro trinket toys - in one viewing i spotted trolls and power rangers and miniature soldiers. They've been built into a monstrous frame to highlight the plight (?) of the chinese factory workers who made them. made me think of that bit in concise dictionary 4 lovers when z gets a vibrator for her birthday and reads 'MADE IN CHINA' on the back.

found a couple of flickr pics which give snaphots of the mega-ness.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Formidable record label head, casual fashion designer and full-on disc mistress Ellen Allien might be my hero for ever, but even the loyalty (and patience) of her biggest fans will be tested by this relentlessly sparse trip with her into the Berlin state of mind. During opening track 'Einsteigen' (enter), we glide into the incidental buzz of the city. As bustle crackles over a single note tapped out over and over again, a voice over a loudspeaker announces that the train's arrived at Alexanderplatz station, which is where we begin our journey.

This Berlinette, this Stadtkind has made a record (her fourth solo stretch) that's borne of mornings becoming afternoons behind the tinted windows at Ostbahnhof minimal institution Berghain. SOOL was dragged out of a stupor, its dot-to-dot skeleton etched like clouds onto the dawn and viewed from the banks of the Spree at parties where the phrase 'don't forget to go home' was invented. It is now and always has been the city (and what else?) that pulses through her veins, while on the outside her skin's baked in a glaze of last night's (or was it the night before?) sweat.

If Ms Allien's last solo LP Thrills was a celebratory but patchy, loved-up and danced out session, and that faultless Apparat collaboration Orchestra of Bubbles set the emo-techno standard, SOOL is a severing and a step beyond. With the help of east German sound re-structuralist (and guest producer) AGF, she racks out the electronic test tubes for some intense sonic experimentalism, to once again redefine the boundaries of her shifting soundscape. So 'Elphine' climbs to a spooky crescendo with whistles (human and tin) and the brassy thrum of trumpets and oboes; the brooding minimal of 'Its' is pinned down with a Jaws bassline and 'Bim' throbs with a blood-in-your-ears heartbeat.

Where there are vocals, they're chopped up to reverberate around the beats, as if the bones of the album have been left half bare, those clipped voices trapped in an echo chamber. 'Sprung' makes tentative, paranoid steps towards the dance floor, with an acid-deep beat and haunting fragments of a memory of a party that might have happened some time before strung out across five deliriously lost minutes.

'Frieda', then, interrupts the blissed out blips nine tracks in – it’s a swoony, semi-pastoral ballad which Ellen tenderly addresses (in English) to her 'sun', making me wonder whether she expected anyone to actually make it to the end of the album. For whoever braves it that far, closing track 'Out' is slashed through with the metallic-sounding swishes of a sword to the drip-drip rhythm of a broken tap. It's hard to recognise Ellen here at all: you have to roll back your head, switch to that rattled, addled, empty six o'clock in the morning brain and allow yourself to slip in between the sounds, contract and expand when she tells you to.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


body language > in white rooms > control me /charlotte.

booka shade

Sunday, 16 March 2008

sack the stylist

special men's fashion issue of STstyle today, featuring a pic of WILL YOUNG!! wearing this! t-shirt in jessica brinton's column! SHOCK! yes i'm in shock. it looks like an orchestra of bubbles/bpitch design, so wondering how will got his hands on it. didn't know he was berlin techno, how sweet. i can see him going down a treat at panorama bar, strike a pose!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


grim west end hellhole the astoria has received it's bulldozing orders (almost) from mayor ken. demollition has been mooted for years, but something to do with the crossrail scheme has finally been confirmed i think, which means it's - PRAISE BE - about to be razed to the ground. the intersection of tottenham court/charing x/oxford st roads is one of my least favourite places in london. let it be damned.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


trust jahcoozi to find me another electrobootyshouty laptop girl to love... they previewed their latest album in true old school hiphop style with the blitz'n'ass mixtape in late 07, showcasing their own tracks next to the klaxons (it works), dizzee and 50cent. 18 minutes in, after snoop&jfoxx's 'psst' the syncopated beats and clipped rhymes of 'tricky' drop. it's got that kind of 'brrrr' very last year drill sound, but with a broken housey girl vocal over the top - that's ELLE P (not el-p), berlin experimental artist and new best thing ever. she lists her influences as 'clic clac, art, up and down' which works for me.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

more hot germans for plan b under the dizzying influence of red wine

MIT - Coda
Confession: I am a total Germanic-maniac. I don't drink lattes, I sup milchkaffees. I don't do London, ich liebe Berlin. So, naturally, I snoozed to brooding Cologne electro-minstrels MIT on my headphones in some Kreuzberg hotel and drifted into bliss.

MIT are one of those acts who think they have to pretend to be an indie band just because once upon a time they learned to play some instruments. However, thanks to the still-evolving indie-dance crossover legacy of DFA, they needn't worry - no one has to feign band-ness anymore. Instead of letting the frontman sing then, I wish they'd no lyrics at all - who needs 'songs'?

The finest tracks on Coda are the post-Jeans Team almost-instrumentals (Coda, Park and Deispiel) showcasing oi-techno which pulses with zippy beats worth at least one Soulwax edit and echoing with the masters of electroclash - a bit of T. Rauschmiere here, Kittin there and Tiga all over.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

owww my ears/this week's coolest coldest headgear

ok, all the geek boys will have their own opinion on which 'noise excluding lughole plugpods' you should buy because, you know they're the major noise-draft excluders. HOWEVER i accidentally discovered these sony headphones when my friend zoe gave me a bunch that she'd nicked from her dad/office a few years ago. the sound is far superior to lil free ipod earphones because they're uh headphones and they're not bulky enough to upset the stuff-space ratio in your bag when you're not using them. the only reason i say this is cos when i was on the 38 bus from angel (not officially the trendiest route in london, but up there nonetheless) this morning, as i took a shifty glance from behind my fringe around at my fellow passengers, no less than 3 within eyeshot were using said peripherals. trend? i think so.

Saturday, 9 February 2008


That try-hard trend accidental experiment in full then...
btw all those paparazzi pics of amy wino in the papers everyday bother me not because of whatever disheveled state she was in at the courthouse-drugdealer-petrolstationcourtyard this morning, but because she never ever has a coat on, just a raggedy lace vest or a skimpy fred perry polo t. i'm so jealous! i hate wearing coats too - i'd much rather just throw on a lil leather jacquette or cape thing, but it's been too cold. how can she get away with it? is her ex-cabbie dad now her on-staff chauffeur or something? that would be so convenient, you'd never need to worry about your stupid heavy coat matching everything else again, never mind the whole cloakroom issue.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008


1. the stars of the epoch-defining fin de siecle electroclash movement are finally getting their celebrity dues in the form of designing their own collection for h&m. uh kind of. tiga AND chicks on speed have contributed hoodie and vest templates respectively to raise money for aids charities - i was speechless (even though i didn't have anyone to talk to) when i saw the rails of 'clash fash inside the doors of h&m oxford circus - most people are going to assume that CHICKSONSPEED is just another lame faux rocknroll logo from the h&m dodgy wholesale division. but that's not the point - all for a good cause! and it's reassuring to know that the chix are still in business (well there's another girl monster out soon anyway) and that tiga is keeping busy in between podcasts and existential crises brought on by listening to too much mnml.
2. STOP PRESS!! tiga has done a spesh itunes podcast for it which i can't access because it crashed my computer! i've only just tired of listening to his podcast #4. 'i wish i could reverse edit bits of my life.'
3. this is true.
4. and makes me think that i can't wait for this...

Saturday, 2 February 2008

"let the bats in my head fly out"

1. bodywarmers: shudder. i was on the number 19 bus to oxford street on thursday and spied the man in the seat in front of me unashamedly wearing a dirty old bodywarmer. shame on him! they are the ugliest garments to ever curse a 'wardrobe'! especially when they've been washed loads of times and go all deflated. YUCK. the topshop vintage concession the biggest con on oxford street? my current shopping project priority is to find a smashing outfit for nick & phoebe's wedding and i haven't even started to look yet because january is not a month for shopping, nu-uh. anyway, they charge £80 for the kind of polyester granny-rags that no ebayer would have the gall to ask more than 99p (+ p&p) for! it's always been a ripoff, but just keeps getting more and more expensive - you'd have to be really lazy/rich/in object-lust to buy anything in there these days.
3. in much more important news, miss kittin has declared herself a feminist in the cover interview in this month's dj mag - KITTINLOVE. that quote in full:'I've realised that if you're a woman, especially if you're an artist, I think it means that you are a feminist, because you're here to talk about who you are. there is some stuff to talk about being a woman in this world. it's still better to be a man in society.//i was influenced by other powerful girls like electric indigo, who was always politically engaged, and i could never dare compare me to her, she's done such great work and i respect her so much for that. the same for peaches...they took it by the balls and i didn't, for some reason, i shied away from it. i have to be pretty humble with that because i was not more of an activist.'

Thursday, 31 January 2008

i was going to write a secret thing on WHATEVER HAPPENED TO LE TIGRE? for pamflet, even though i knew that JD was djing and hanging out with peaches, jo was cutting hair in NYC and kathleen was all married with beastie boy/man. but now the 2js have rattled up on myspace as a hot globetrotting dj duo and promise NEW MATERIAL v soon! and how did they play in london in the AUTUMN and i didn't know?? check out their blog too, totes girl fun.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

anna you're a star/anna's got the blues

i have unintentionally dipped a converse-trainerd toe in this season's chief one-off/throwaway trend the STAR. zoom in on battered, charity shop blue canvas, with white U-S-A, U-S-A white laces with lil stars specially bought from office years and years ago. i hope no one thinks im trying to look like kate moss. photo to follow, obv.

Monday, 28 January 2008

there was freezing fog, ok? i can't believe i missed this


FLATTERY WILL GET YOU EVERYWHERE: pamflet returns to the social

our last party at the social in december 2006 has gone down in (pamflet) legend - laura marling played live (thanks to sophie) and the dramatic shimura curves on stage breakup happened. still, they've invited us back and this time it's for 4 (5?) hours of pure pamflet action - lady-led lektroluv, ashlee simpson, blog-house remixes and nostalgia-pop while wearing pink dresses and performing an improvised repertoire of un-self-conscious arm-waving dance moves. PHEW. that's what valentine's day is really for.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

i've forgotten what

i was going to say