Author Archives: nonkompliant

Nobu

Nobu is now a global brand. This means that when the waiters all call out the traditional Japanese welcome call to new guests arriving to dine, their call is echo-ed around the world by a bunch of other non-Japanese speaking Nobu waiters who all call out in their local dialect their pidgeon Japanese version of the welcome greeting. I don’t mind this. If I was Japanese I might take a different view. And the restaurant just about escapes the theme park designation because the quality of the food is pretty good. Certainly there is nowhere in London that you can find Yellowtail like it. But what does this do for us all and how little or large does it make me feel. In a way when I dine in this kind of Californian, Peruvian-Japanese home from home – it makes me pine for Matsuhisa on La Brea in LA or possibly for Nobu on the beach at Malibu – it scarcely reminds me of Japan – but perhaps faintly it does. Of course Nobu is now in Tokyo too – also perhaps as an oddity in its masterchef namesake’s homeland.

Having said all that – I still love it. There are now three Nobu restaurants in London – each more expensive than the last. No one can possibly justify the prices, but if it was my daily canteen I’d be happy – even if you do have to argue with the haughty girls behind the desk to get you a table at an hour you actually want – rather than when their computer tells them they might have a gap. The brains have been switched out for a massively smooth process – but the cocktails are good – and the food is excellent despite the staff!

Advertisements

Weebl and Bob

Weebl and Bob are incomprehensibly entertaining!

Gilberto Gil and the creative economy

So the Guardian interviews the Brazilian minister of culture, who is none other than that hero of latin jazz Gilberto Gil and he has no problems relishing the hippy legacy “when you ask him about his intellectual influences, he cites Timothy Leary. “Oh, yeah!” Gil says happily, rocking back in his chair at the Royal Society of the Arts in London. “For example, all those guys at Silicon Valley – they’re all coming basically from the psychedelic culture, you know? The brain-expanding processes of the crystal had a lot to do with the internet.”
I have never quite put it all together like that, but he’s so right, after all Silicon Valley is just down the road from Grateful Dead Country, Haight Ashbery and all that is still a roach hanging off the lips of every uber-geek – of course the technology is the ultimate hallucination. No wonder we have such difficulty explaining what any of it means. I mean take David Hornik’s most recent valiant efforts to get anyone, anyone at all, to explain what Web 2.0 actually means – zip, nadda, a puff of weed on the breeze, brother. Toni Schneider name checked Yahoo – berlimey Toni! And the best quote from David’s podcast is the guy who says “It’s just like web 1.0 only the funding rounds are smaller”.

At lunchtime I met with my old friend Horace Truebridge who is now something terribly important at the Musicians Union. He told me at great length how frustrating the UK government’s current position was because on the one hand they were looking to tax musicians’ earnings as a self-employed entrepreneurs and on the other hand they were trying to ban the Union from collective bargaining on the basis that it is monopolistic in some way. In the end what we both agreed on was that there is no model for the Creative Economy. UK Plc apparently believes that with manufacturing industry vanished and service businesses disappearing from the fair old sceptred isle, it is the Creative Economy that is going to become the UK’s defining characteristic. And this is, allegedly, because we have such fabulously bolshy musicians who create magic sounds that are just not to be found anywhere else in such deliciously creative form.

Then this evening, Sarah brought Professor Angela McRobbie round for a quick glass of wine and we had a smilar discussion about the paucity of any provision for small businesses or entrepreneurs who want to develop creative ideas in this country. There are lots of artists who get hand outs, there are even a smattering of small companies who survive through one grant application after another, but the reality is there is no model in the UK right now for a creative economy – just more forms of patronage, state, church, etc Plus ca change, etc.

So how does that connect with Gilberto Gil? Well he is really pressing the Brazilians into a different kind of creative economy – apparently. He is also directly attacking notions of intellectual property. He is way more radical than our good creative commons friend Laurence Lessig. Gil explains: “Pharmaceutical companies selling patented Aids drugs, for example, were informed that Brazil would simply ignore their claims to ownership and copy their products more cheaply if they didn’t offer deep discounts. (The discounts were forthcoming.) Gil himself has thrown his weight behind new forms of copyright law, enabling musicians to incorporate parts of others’ work in their own. And in one small development that none the less sums up the mood, the left-wing administration of President Luiz Inacio da Silva, or “Lula”, has announced that all ministries will stop using Microsoft Windows on their office computers. Instead of paying through the nose for Microsoft operating licences, while millions of Brazilians live in poverty, the government will use open-source software, collaboratively designed by programmers worldwide and owned by no one.”

Now that is really challenging everything that the US and UK economies are based on…

Metabloggers

Never quite as ahead of the game, as I’d like to pretend, I just discovered RocketBoom which is highly entertaining and makes me feel like the whackiness of the world is in need of celebration. I’m not sure if I really want to watch Amanda presenting her particularly cooky brand of speeded up non-news everyday – but then the good news is – it only lasts a few minutes – and I can turn her on when I want to (so to speak).

Now what I really want is multi-channel vlogs where I can choose the ones I want when I want, according to criteria we all understand. The fabulous challenge will then surely become all about the filter – and whereas music can be searched by artist, genre, etc – in the whacky totally available, completely flexible world of the vlog – well anything goes and any tag could get you through the night.

Never mind about playlists – what about TAGlists? Because how do I know what tags to search for? I mean there may be some basic newsworthy ones like on Flickr – like earthquake or flooded village – or mudslide – but what if I don’t know what I want – and what if I really want to be educated, entertained, informed?

hmm – taglists from tagmasters – or maybe just the metabloggers – the filtering layers of folk I trust – now those are tastemakers – and that of course is where it all gets kind of strange and kind of familiar – all at the same time.

The daily thought process continues…. almost daily….

luminous bath tub

lttmainjpg.jpg This is the best of the week undoubtedbly, several other magnificent blogs have commented on this. But I add my name to the list of admirers. find out more here What softly womb-like experiences will we have in here? Sweet dreams!

levels upon levels

Photo_091805_011.jpg

MOMA, NYC

retail romance

  Photo_100405_001.jpg Sunset over Homebase