Somesuch Blog

A blog about the things we do.

#1 Stunna

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Director Vincent Haycock (pictured above) made a video for Calvin Harris’s single 'Sweet Nothing', which went to NUMBER ONE in the UK charts on Sunday. Cop it below.

I love NUMBER ONES. If you work at a record label a NUMBER ONE means that you might not get made redundant for at least another week. In times gone by, a NUMBER ONE also meant that you might be able to enjoy a glass of champagne at the Monday morning label meeting. I don’t know if that happens anymore? Likewise a NUMBER ONE represents an armistice of sorts: a brief period of respite where the Sword of Damocles is lowered, before your MD resumes his daily persecution of you. Do you know how fucking lucky you are to even have a job? Sony just fired ten thousand people. If we don’t deliver this album we’re fucked. P45 fucked. Job centre fucked. Have you been to a job centre recently? They stink of piss. And AIDS. Yes, sadly the prevailing atmosphere in the Dream Factory - AKA the Fart Machine - is one of fear, paranoia, frustration, jealousy, acrimony and larceny. But for a few precious hours a NUMBER ONE makes it feel like everything is gonna be OK.

On a side note, while Vincent Haycock is one of the nicest, mellowest guys around, you definitely don’t wanna fuck with him. He will get punchy if provoked. His wife Stephanie tells a story of an evening in a downtown dive bar in NY. They were having a few dranks. Getting lean. Fucking around. Dancing a bit. They accidentally barged into one of those bitchy, effete, metro-sexual, hipster types. Low cut vest, hairdo, winkle-pickers, spray on batty-man jeans, angular weasel features. The guy took exception to this and poured a full pint of lager over Stephanie’s head. Vince politely asked him why he felt the need to have done that. He got all up in Vince’s face. What? What? Boom. Vince popped him in the face. Sharp jab. The dude staggered back, blood pouring from his nose. He started screaming and sobbing. Oww. Fuck. Fuck. My nose. I just got a nose job. My fucking nose.

[Baby] James Bond, Jackie Chan, and that bitch, MacGyver
[Wayne] Private planes, Jaguars, Bentleys, and Prowlers
[Baby] I’m the # 1 stunna!
[Wayne] Wh-what, wh-what, what?
[Baby] The # 1 stunna!
[Wayne] Wh-what, wh-what, what?

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Collage of the Week

Over the past month Somesuch associates have killed the internet here, here, here, here, here & here.

Roman Gavras got given a gold computer by a Libyan potentate. 

With Yuletide approaching we’ve decided to rinse some Christmas adverts.

And we’re hopefully about to sign some new directors, none of whom look like this:

While I’m on paternity leave I’ve been taking the opportunity to brush up on my business skills by reading The 48 Laws of Power. Apparently it is one of the most requested books in American prison libraries.

Shape Up

I love going to the barber. I love getting my head shaved. You’d imagine that this would be a simple procedure - ‘a bit like mowing the lawn’ - but you’d be surprised how easy it is to fuck up a crop. A good crop needs to be tight. The barber needs to keep going over it with a comb, checking for stray hairs that the clippers might have missed. No one wants that mental patient, picky head look. If the clippers start to catch on the scalp then they need some Wahl oil to help the flow. The final pass should be done free-hand with a big pair of scissors, almost like a tailor’s shears. The critical part is the sculpting of the sideburns and the line around the ear and nape. For this the barber needs to draw for the outliner. He needs a steady hand: one slip with the ultra slim trimmer could leave you with some Vanilla Ice tramlines on your dome.

In my opinion, at least where London is concerned, the Turks have got the barber shop game sown up. At Pasha’s on Stoke Newington High Street - the one where all the rudeboys go - you can get the following for a tenner: they hook up your fade or crop; they singe off your ear hair with a burning swab soaked in methylated spirits; they trim your eyebrows and nose-hair; they squeeze your black-heads; you get a hot towel compress followed by an application of eucalyptus moisturiser; they douse you with that after shave - ‘chili sauce’ - that makes your face sting; and lastly they rub your shoulders and crack your knuckles. For a tenner. 

Going to the barber has become something of a compulsion. I now have to go every two weeks without fail. This can create problems when I’m shooting abroad as I’m forced to explore whatever tonsorial options that city may have to offer. Recently I was in Miami with Daniel Wolfe shooting an HTC commercial for Mother when my two week cycle elapsed. Fuck man, I’m gonna have to get all indigenous up in this piece.

The third shoot day was a night shoot in Little Haiti. As the call time wasn’t too arduous, Daniel and I decided to head out a little early and visit a barbershop in the neighbourhood that we’d found by chance on the recce. There was no signage outside and the windows were covered by a metal grille, but the door was open. Inside was a long, narrow room with taupe linoleum floor tiles, three battered Belmont chairs, fluorescent strip lights above the mirrors, a couple of old photos tacked straight onto the glass, a TV showing sport, and no sinks. A purist joint. Two men greeted us. We were seated immediately and wrapped in white capes. Both barbers wore white Dickies, white socks, and Nike slide sandals. Standard. My guy had a Short Afro Temp Fade; Daniel’s rocked a flawless Dark Caesar. Daniel got straight into it.

'Half all over. And natural please mate.'

'Aight. I got you.'

Daniel is a barbershop veteran. The key word here is ‘natural’. Afro-Caribbean barbers have a tendency towards precise hairline sculpture. The sharp lineup. Tight. If you don’t want that, you need to make it clear.

As I sat down my barber launched into some Creole patois.

'Komon ou ye? Kisa ou ta via?'

I mumbled, confidence draining.

'Number one please boss. And, yeah natural too.'

'Kisa?'

'Natural. You know. Normal. Yeah?'

'Oke. Pa gen pwoblem.'

Fuck. The head nodded, a friendly smile beamed, but the eyes betrayed the fact that he had no idea what I was talking about. Fuck.

He ran the clippers over my head in methodical sweeps, starting at the crown and then working his way across the temples. Back and forth, back and forth. I relaxed into the chair and slipped into the familiar barbershop reverie, my mind emptying until it felt woolly and nice, calmed by the gentle buzzing. This is gonna be OK. I barely noticed when he switched to the trimmer. Buzzzzzzzzz. It lingered on my forehead, small chiseling motions shaping the filaments-zzzzzzzzz, before describing a wide arc down to my sideburns. With steadfast ease the graver etched its line.

Before I knew what was happening it was too late. I didn’t need to look in the mirror. The realization came. I look like a white version of this:

OK. Not that bad, but definitely like this:



'I met this girl on Monday
Took her for a drink on Tuesday
We were making love by Wednesday
And on Thursday and Friday and Saturday we chilled on Sunday’.

Daniel Wolfe’s HTC commercial will now be out in June. Look out for the four minute version. It’s tight.

Temple of Doomed Leisure Time

Three months ago I got addicted to Temple Run, a game designed by Imangi Studio for the IOS platform.

Richard Kylea Cowie and Wayne Rooney are also adherents.

Temple Run is straight up divorce in an app. IOS crack. You might as well free-base your iPad, douse yourself in 151-proof rum, and then set yourself on fire. It will ruin your life faster than a night out with Michael Barrymore.

In the game you play an explorer who steals a precious idol from a temple, thereby invoking the wrath of a troop of demonic monkeys from whom you have to escape. While pursued you dodge obstacles and attempt to run as far as possible without getting caught. Along the way you collect gold coins to score points and try and grab various ‘power-ups’ to enhance your abilities. It’s basically some Indian Jones shit. Initially you get to pick from three different characters, but if you gather enough coins you can unlock others.

I like playing as Barry Bones. He’s got a wicked gait. Although, I also unlocked conquistador Francisco Montoya, and pigskin wielding grid-iron star Zack Wonder. Zack is a rude boy.

Writer Tom Bissell identifies what he calls iPad gaming’s Movement Problem, ‘whereby precision navigation within a given game-space is complicated by the necessarily imprecise nature of tracing your finger along a touchscreen’.

This isn’t really a concern with Temple Run. It should be taught in remedial video game class. Before the Sony Playstation brought an ineluctable sophistication to gaming, dilettante players were able to get by with button mashing on 16-bit consoles. Street Fighter 2 was the worst. Some chief could just play as Blanka, pound the controller like an ape, and somehow grapple the shit out of you before you had a chance to bust out your Hurricane Kick, Dragon Punch combo. Temple Run is even more primitive. It flows inexorably forward and you can only move left or right, or duck or jump. As the game gets progressively faster, so your spasticity seems to increase. After running for a couple of minutes you find yourself launching uncontrollable swipes at the iPad’s screen. What the fuck am I doing? Smack. Smack. Pause. Then another palsied attack. None of it seems to matter too much. As long as you time your blows, and they’re vaguely in the right direction - horizontal or vertical - it tends to work out.

But, holy shit, it’s addictive. I was staying up to 3.00 am playing it. And when I wasn’t playing it I was thinking about it. Constantly. Not since Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out in 2002 have I been so hopelessly obsessed by a game, and it pales in comparison to that masterpiece. I played Temple Run so much that it made me feel sick. As I went to bed and closed my eyes, the ocular spasms would kick in. I could see Barry Bones running in my mind’s eye. Nauseated I’d drift in and out of consciousness until I found myself floating on a raft inundated by 3D monkey chimeras, screaming and scratching, like Klaus Kinski at the end of Aguirre, The Wrath of God, caught in a fucking animated sui generis temple fever dream.

During the day I didn’t fare much better. I played as soon as I woke up. I played on the bus. I played when I went for a piss. My motor reflexes were so fuse-blown that I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. I had persistent headaches. And I still didn’t manage to clock it.

I truly have no idea how you can achieve the final objective of scoring 10 million points without spending £699.00 on ‘In App’ gold coin purchases.

Maybe you need to be a premiership footballer. Or a rapper.

Anyhow.

We’ve made a ton of new work in the past few months that I should have got round to posting and writing about. You can find it here.

Adverts for HTC and Stella Artois drop in the next few weeks, as well as a new video from Romain Gavras.

I also wrote a piece about our Cobra shoot in India here.

Follow us on Instagram: @somesuchandco

Ice cold.

One picture is worth ten thousand words

Fred R Barnard was working late. He was on deadline for a print ad in the trade journal Printers’ Ink. Ideas never came too easily to Fred. His favorite adage was: ‘I had two ideas today; the second was to shit-can the first’. That kinda summed him up. He pulled hard on an Old Gold and thought for a minute. Gaspers always helped him get shit straight in his head. Fuck it. He cracked open the container of his Benzedrine inhaler. Inside was a thin paper strip, which he rolled into a ball and swallowed. Jesus. It tasted like shit. He took a slug of cold coffee and that didn’t taste much better. He’d never been much of a hop head. But baby, bennies were a whole different deal.

Fred stared at his note pad for a minute and then settled back into his chair. He was starting to feel good. Really fucking good. His mind wandered. The other night he’d been to Grauman’s Egyptian joint to see ‘It’. Damn. Clara Bow. ‘The It Girl’. What a great picture. He’d always had a soft spot for flappers, but she was something else. By all accounts Clara loved the hooch. And heavy necking. He even got a kick out of the more discreditable rumours, the accusations of incest and lesbianism. Man, he wanted to ball her so bad. The thought made his nuts ache.

And then, quite unexpectedly, a single line of copy snuck into his head. ‘One picture is worth ten thousand words’. Holy shit. In one abrupt movement he lent forward and grabbed his pad. It was a pretty good line. He wrote it down and carefully considered it again. Yep, it was pretty fucking good. He laughed.

The advertisement ran in Printers’ Ink on 10th March 1927.

The phrase is probably truer now than it was then.

Here’s a good example:

Here’s another:

And here’s one more:

The above image is by British photographer Ewen Spencer.

We have now signed him for commercial and music video representation. Check out his work here.

Bad Man Ear Warmers

'I've been examined ever since I was seamen
They took a sonogram and seen the image of a demon
At birth the nurses surrounded me with needles
And drugged me all up with the diseases of evil…’

क्रिसमस और नव वर्ष मंगलमय हो

Just got back to yard after five weeks in India. I now look like this.

But after a week back, I feel like this (c/o Micah Walker).

And weirdly I’m dressing like this. Oi star, borrow me that tracksuit.

We were in Bombay shooting a Cobra commercial with Daniel Wolfe for Beattie McGuinness Bungay. It was absolutely buck wild. We spent four days on a train at the behest of the Indian Railway Authority. They’re a lunatic mob. Choo choo.

The advert should be finished soon. Twitter will tell you when.

Trevor Beattie came on the shoot. It was great to meet him. A pure don. Unfortunately McGuinness and Bungay couldn’t make it.

Man, we loved India. So much so that Bombay is going to be the subject of our next guide. In fact we’re going to publish it as Issue 2 of the Somesuch & Co fanzine. Hopefully it’ll be done in the next few weeks. Hit us up if you want us to mail you a copy.

A bunch of other work drops soon, including Kim Gehrig’s feature documentary for Coca-Cola: ‘Beat 2012’.

We’re going to have a screening at the end of February. Hold tight for invites.

And a two minute version of the accompanying commercial airs during the annual gack gala otherwise know as the Brit Awards. I hope Ed Sheeran doesn’t wet himself. All the A&R men present will be dreading their next label meeting. That’s when the recriminations start. ‘Why the fuck has no one here signed the NEXT Ed Sheeran. You’ve all got AIDS’. How I’ve missed the music industry idiom. That last invocation of HIV plus is apparently how one well known executive at Universal used to address his beleaguered boys. Cute.

Roman Gavras’s new video for MIA will also launch soon. I’ve seen a few excerpts. It will injure your mind.

Finally, we might be making a commercial for Palace Skateboards. If that happens I’ll retire. There won’t be anything else I want to achieve.

Stay big. Anon.

Smiths Court

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Ah man. Shitty draws in the courtyard. The tarmac’s dashed with shitty wet-wipes. A pigeon pecks at one. Fuck man. A few feet away, gold spray paint describes the outline of a pair of shoes. The drizzle causes a rivulet of gold to run away into the drain. Shitty rain.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Last night a balding man of indeterminate age squatted in the corner of the courtyard, kecks around his ankles, and took a shit. He had a scar that ran from the corner of his mouth to his ear-lobe. Half a Chelsea smile. Half as funny. You could barely register a strain as he heaved the pale, quarter-pounder poo onto the floor, adjacent to the McDonalds box strewn nearby. The street cleaner on his break didn’t see - slumped over his cart, he was far too engrossed in a giant Stephen King novel to notice the shitty ghost wiping his arse.

Shitty rain continues into the afternoon. The man limps back through the alley into the courtyard. He and his suit are painted gold. Tracks of sweat streak his face revealing the pallid flesh beneath. He carries a gold-painted suitcase and a small wooden plinth.

Earlier that day he stood on the Southbank. Hold still you cunt. Oi shit cunt. Statue-man. A shitty camera went click pap. Fuck he thought: cotch off a Jubilee Gardens break. In the shadow of the London Eye Golden Wonder drew on a Benson, sucking it up. Later a kid smacked him in the goolies. Then silver-robot-man clocked him. Maltese beef. Oi l’oxx. I’m talking to you. F’oxx ommok. Son of a shit cunt whore. Knuckledusters and a screwdriver glinted in the sun. Ilaqli l-bajd. OK OK. Better bounce. Shitty luck.

The rain starts to abate. The man sits on his plinth and carefully removes a blackened crack pipe from his coat pocket. His fingers are blistered and scorched. No prints for the feds to ink. He packs the gob-stopper bowl with dirty grey rocks. The glass is tacky. Torch it bruv. The crystal chunks melt away and he sucks the vapour as it escapes from the cylinder. His pupils stretch. Far-flung-ghost-face. Out of reach.

A few hits later, however, and he doesn’t feel so nice. The familiar irritability and paranoia set in. He stands and paces - cracky spider walk - before resting his forehead against the brick wall. A nasty case of the Ekbom’s ensues. Fuck man. The crack bugs creep. Weaver ants elbow their way through his dermis, the hard carapace of their bodies grazing the lymph vessels. He starts to scratch furiously.

In the coming weeks the bulldozers will arrive in Smiths Court, clearing the way for a shitty new retail area, where Mambo and Fred Perry will compete for our cash, and this man will be forced to smoke elsewhere as another vestige of old Soho dies.

Come and visit us before we have to move.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The Raw And The Cooked

Food is incredibly important to Somesuch. Sally’s parents - Jim and Wendy - run an award winning restaurant in Martinborough called the French Bistro. If you’re ever in New Zealand make sure you go there and order the duck a l’orange - it’s an unruly banger. And Sally is a wonderful cook in her own right. Anyone that’s been to our house for dinner over the years will attest to this. Yep. We love food. Somesuch Restaurant is the dream.

Luckily our directors share this passion; none more so than Daniel Wolfe, who trained as a chef and worked under Paul Kitching at Juniper. I’m told Kitchens are rough, full of bruisers. Cock sure. Work, go out, drink, eat a gross of oysters Batali-style, sniff gack, eat Ambien, valium, sleep, get up, prep, work. It’s grueling. A pranging sous-chef flips his fucking lid and tries to blow torch you in the face. Creme-brulee-head. The fuck are you doing? Cunt’s laughing. Sorry cuz. I was only joking around. But as Daniel says, none of this dims the passion. It starts and ends with food. So he made a film about it. We had some short ends and half a day with BAFTA winning actress Vicky McClure: the result is ‘The Raw And The Cooked’, a tribute to blow, depression, disappointment and retro dishes.

Follow us on Twitter y’all.

The Raw And The Cooked from Somesuch & Co. on Vimeo.

Mixtape Hype Volume 2

Oh shit. It’s here: the Slipmatt mixtape, made exclusively for Somesuch & Co.

RAW.

For those that don’t know, Slipmatt is a pioneering DJ and producer. He was also one half of SL2 who in 1992 blessed the world with one of the seminal breakbeat hardcore anthems, 'On A Ragga Tip'.

We met Slipmatt at a hardcore revival night while researching Daniel Wolfe’s 'Blind Faith' video for Chase & Status. He was so wicked. He very kindly came to Manchester and DJ-ed the rave and in the process blew the minds of a whole new generation of wild-eyed bean aficionados.

Warning. Warning. While listening to this mixtape you will hear part of ‘Spliffhead’ by the Ragga Twins. When this came out in 1990 on the Shut Up & Dance imprint, Dance Energy was my favourite program, and I wore Chipie chinos and trainers like this:

(I actually ended up meeting Flinty Badman; Daniel street-cast him on Riddley Road market and put him in the Plan B ‘Recluse’ video.)

Anyway, you are about to listen to half an hour of absolute fucking bangers.

Hold tight and keep it locked.

One love Slipmatt.

Slipmatt Old Skool Mixtape May 2011 by somesuchandco

'Amnesia haze is a next bud trust me' - Wiley.

Watching the new Palace promo video - ‘Gangbanging At Ground Zero’ - will probably be the wisest investment of 06:29 that you make today. It features all your favourite members of the Palace team shredding in New York City. It will instantly remind you of that time when skateboarding - and its documentation on video - was good, namely the mid 90s.

In other hood-rat news the director AG Rojas now rides for Somesuch. You can watch his showreel here. He’s also just made a video for Travis Barker that drops in the next week or so.

AG is our Shiloh Greathouse. Or Daniel Castillo.