Hugh Reinbolt: Opinions and thoughts on emerging and cutting edge trends in technology, digital and social media that inspire me.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Star Wars Addidas Collection

Lucasfilm Ltd. have partnered with Adidas Originals to launch a Star Wars clothing collection for 2010, Spring / Summer starting in January with a lot of wicked sneakers, sweats and t-shirts. A collection in Autumn (Fall) / Winter will supposedly follow. What is certain is that this collection will be limited edition and quite pricey.

The Spring Collection will be split into three - The Characters Pack, The Vehicles Pack and The Direct Pack - inspired by respective elements (characters, scenes and designs) from the Star Wars films - hybridised with Adidas style. The Star Wars Collection will be available in Adidas Originals stores and select retailers in January and will apparently be promoted via a new web application, which will be available on the web in the next week or so...

Check these out:

























See:

Awesome & Awesome

Highsnobiety


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Monday, 14 December 2009

A TV that streams websites

Check out this TV available exclusively at Marks & Spencers over the Christmas 2009 period.

The iViewer has a built in web link and software to stream websites directly from the Internet, such as the BBC iPlayer, YouTube & Sky Sports.

Priced £499 for the 32" version.  Sounds hot.



Read more at MailOnline
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Sunday, 13 December 2009

More Clash of the Titans posters

Feast your eyes on another set of posters for Clash of the Titans (plus a better image of the poster previously posted):















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Up in the Air - The Future of Digital Promotion & Consumption

I have recently opened my eyes to an extremely interesting and innovative new technology ('runtime') being used by developers to create amazing desktop internet applications - Adobe AIR. I guess it is not so much the technology itself which I find so intriguing, more the way it has been put to use - particularly to create a whole new way in which music and film are starting to be promoted.

The first AIR application that I took notice of, and took for granted, was Tweetdeck, the widely used Twitter application. More recently I noticed an application that really caught my attention - Fanbase, which has been developed by Atlantic Records/Warner Music:



Fanbase is a free 'desktop application' for music fans that has been branded to several music artists (and a certain movie) and gives users a richer and more interactive experience of that particular artist. The application, which allows fans to receive fresh content from their desired artist in a single download, consists of an audio player, chatroom and a live feed of news, videos, photos and tour information. Now, providing an artist is active, this is an exciting method for keeping fans engaged. Fanbase is supposedly available as a mobile application, although was unavailable from iTunes UK at the time of writing.





Fanbase sits nicely on your desktop with a simple and visually stimulating layout and design. The application allows you to receive continuous updates from a range of artists and switch between them via a simple drop down menu. You can also minimize the user interface so you can keep it running if you want to multi-task.



Fanbase is sort of similar to the new iTunes LP in that it creates a far more visual and interactive experience with a digital product by adding value with multimedia content  - thus making the intangible tangible. It comes across as a music player (although the Bloc Party application I tried out was severely lacking in audio), however it is a lot more functional than a mere album sampler and has the potential to be as rich in multi-media as you can imagine. The integration with a live chat function is brilliant and if enough people are using it, it would be a great way not only for fans to communicate with each other, but for the brand owners to discover what these fans are saying in real-time - whilst 'experiencing' the music. I believe that the future of commercial music as a commodity rests on how interactive music companies make their 'product'. The demise of the album format and the rise of digital is forcing change in how music is both consumed and promoted and Fanbase seems to offer an alternative that puts the two together hand-in-hand. If such an application can co-exist on one's personal computer and mobile phone/iPod/portable music device, with access to unlimited artists and repertoire then the possibility of Fanbase being a primary route to market is extremely high. I would be interested to know how popular this application is in terms of worldwide downloads, but it's the principle that is significant.


If that isn't cool enough, this really blew me away when I discovered this online -- and far be it from me to not mention the word 'Avatar'...... It seems those guys are striving to innovate. Also utilising Adobe AIR, 20th Century Fox have recently released the Avatar Interactive Trailer:



This desktop based application combines the full legnth trailer for the movie with clickable 'Hotspots' at regular intervals. The 'Hotspots' reveal more about the movie and the world that it is based in, featuring great videos of 'character profiles' and 'design' of the creatures and technology within the movie - as below. Once you have viewed one of the 'Hotspots', the trailer resumes from where you left off:





This is fascinating, not only because it is so unique and cutting edge, but because it really makes me think about what else is possible with the interactivity of film. The interactive trailer provides fresh content unavailable elsewhere and gives the viewer further insight into the film before it is released in the cinema. It goes beyond the traditional trailer by opening it's pre-release doors and allowing the consumer to look slightly further into the movie, characters and world before seeing the film itself.

I wonder what is next - could this be paving the way to fully interactive movies, where the viewer is in charge of making decisions for the characters within a film; putting them into the character's shoes and enabling them to explore the world of a movie directly themselves? Or is that too far fetched and expensive a concept? It might happen one day, why not? But what is inevitable is a surge of interactive trailers like this, which could serve as a source of unique and exclusive content beyond more traditional-digital media. I wonder if bonus material like this, released before a film has been released in cinema will have a strong impact on box office takings. Time will tell.
Another great aspect of this promotional tool is that the application fully integrates social media, and you can click betwen the trailer and live feeds from Flickr, Twitter and YouTube:



Here content and news are centralised so the user can see exactly what is going on around the movie and discover new content without having to click between different websites. This is an awesome strategy - 20th Century Fox have spread content across the movie's official website, social networks such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter posts, and now via a brand new channel in the form of a next-level trailer, which integrates social media channels. This application would allow the news feeds from myriad sources to reach the user in a single place, therefor letting them pick and choose what to read and what to click through to with minimum effort. As social media becomes more and more important in everyday life, amalgamating the information people receive from the various networks is logical. Why make the user think when they don't have to?


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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Clash of the Titans: poster

This new poster is pretty cool - a childhood 'classic' reborn for the nu-skool; Clash of the Titans (released 26/03/2010). Sam Worthington is pretty cool too.








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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Avatar Movie Clip - You Should See Your Faces




Amazing?

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Monday, 7 December 2009

The Hangover Bus

I post this for no other reason than that it is cool. The Hangover is a wicked film and one of the best modern mystery movies...damn hilarious!

The Hangover Bus was spotted today, the day of the UK DVD release, outside an advertising/media agency in Central London.









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Monday, 23 November 2009

'Avatar' Set to Revolutionize Advertising With 'Augmented Reality'

Yes, the mighty 'Avatar' is also getting involved.

Explore Pandora here.




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Life Enhancing Mobile Fun

I have been fasinated for some time now about a phenomenon known as Augmented Reality - so much so I was quick to brag to friends about this latest upcoming craze and demonstrate my newly aquired iPhone application, which goes by the name of 'Yelp':



In the above example of the 'Yelp' iPhone application, there is a secret function called the Monocle - after downloading the application, you must shake your phone three times (and repeat the words 'Bloody Mary' each time) in order to activate the joy of Augmented Reality, which in this case allows you to see where all the nearest bars and restaurants are as well as customer reviews. As the tech uses GPS and a built-in digital compass, the Monocle only works on the iPhone GPS.

Ever since the phenomenon has become more widely known and acceptable into mainstream culture as a means of fun and life enhancement - after all, as you can see, it projects CGI onto real life imagery and video! How much more fun could you ask from a mobile phone.

I wish I had been quicker to the draw, the very same friend who I showed off my 'Yelp' iPhone application to (in no better a place than Soho) has since seen a feature in the Metro. Unfortunately, at the time of writing I was no where particularly interesting to take my own screen shots, but I will! Meantime all I can provide are generic snaps pillaged from the net.

Another great example, which so far I think is a lot more enjoyable than 'Yelp', is 'Layar':



Not only does Layer display it's results in a much more visually appealing way, but it integrates user photos as well as general information. I've not had much of a chance to play around with this tool, as I have a life, but it is definitely worth a go if you have a chance - and certainly helpful if you end up lost in the middle of the streets.

If, unlike me, you are not a street urchin and you do get lost, say, in the middle of London, then there is an amazing iPhone application called 'Tube Finder' (alternatives are available for New York and Tokyo, 'Nearest Subway' and 'Bionic Eye' respectively)....and yes, it is really fun to use for a laugh:


 

There are quite a few of these bad boy Augmented Reality applications out there - even one that 'scientifically' analyzes facial features to assess if your face is genuinely beautiful or not, but I don't think it is that accuarate. 'Fit or Fugly':



 

There is even an application that maps out star constellations when you point your camera at the night sky, although I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. Head on over to Gizmodo, an amazing website which regularly reviews the latest iPhone applications - and which I credit as where I heard about these applications in the first place. As to whether or not these are available on Android, I do not know. If not, they will be.

Something more serious that I found this morning was news of UK artists NDubz' forthcoming album (Against All Odds) being released with Augmented Reality integrated artwork. When the album artwork is held in front of a webcem, the artwork on screen will show '3D' images ("triggered from data embedded within the album artwork") of the band talking and then giving a performance of their new single. "Consumers can turn the sleeve artwork around to view the band from alternative angles".

Such a thing I first heard of during the promotion of the new BMW Z4:



This sounds like we are really getting to the future. I have a friend who works with projected 3D and holographic advertising in the Middle East, so I know there is more advanced tech out there. It's just a matter of time for it to become mainstream.

The company behind the N-Dubz initiative were also responsible for the opening of the UK's first augmented reality exhibition at Nokia's flagship store in Londont to launch the N97. Of course Universal Music UK came up with the idea... Read more at Satellite.


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Sunday, 8 November 2009

TaskForce

TaskForce - aka Chester P and Farmer G - made a random appearance at Reading's SUB89 last week. Having been down with the flu, I am a week late to write anything about it.

Taskforce were joined on stage by Inja (Delegates of Culture) and the now-16 year old Remus, son of Farmer G, who I first heard years ago when he was 10 - featuring on TaskForce MFTC Vol. 2.

Needless to say it was a heavy hip-hop night, with the crew performing classics, new tracks and getting on a Dub Step tip as well. It was a very intimate event, and it was weird meeting Chester P, considering he is the best rapper alive......

I made every effort to take snaps with my iPhone, but they didn't come out very good to be honest - it may have had something to do with the alcohol I drunk (it is possible to take quality photos with an iPhone, click here for proof - amazing). However, I have chosen the best and included them here:


TaskForce


TaskForce


TaskForce


Inja & Chester P


Remus



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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Filmmakers - 14 Islands Film Challenge

I have recently been exposed to a lot of short films made by some very talented people in the UK. It has been nearly a month since The Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge launched at the beginning of October as an online filmmaking competition. This national short film contest, dubbed 14IFC, is searching for 14 of the best film directors in the country to fly over to The Bahamas in 2010. Once there the directors will each stay on their own island for 14 days to create a short film of any genre and style with the help of local residents. 14IFC will climax at a red carpet BAFTA showcase in London, where a Grand Prize Winner will be awarded with £14,000.

Any filmmaker keen to get involved should sign up as soon as possible and submit their personal details, a 500 written treatment based on a local hero (dead, alive or fictional) and of course a 3 minute example/showreel of their filmmaking. The deadline for submissions is midnight Saturday October 31, from which point a panel of judges will select 42 semi-finalists to create a film out of their submitted treatments - the prospective 14 finalists will then be selected from this group based on the "quality and content of their local hero short films".

14IFC is a project that I am working on directly as a freelancer and I am taking much interest in the films that are being submitted via the official website. I have to say that the films coming through are incredible -- some are phenomenal. Below are a few examples of the films being displayed on the website, which demonstrate the high calibre of filmmakers taking part in this contest and indeed the range of talent that exists in this country.


One of these examples was deemed too explicit to feature on the website and so I am lucky to present this showreel almost as an exclusive. This first piece by Conscian Morgan, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing and immaculate pieces of film uploaded to the website so far and really is some hard hitting footage:

Uzong Films



View on iPhone


A fascinating excerpt from a 'Guerilla Gardening' documentary by Roland Hancock:



View on iPhone


A hilarious showreel by Kevin Curtis.....get ready:



View on iPhone



Cutting edge. Welcome to the next generation of UK Directors....

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Monday, 26 October 2009

Hyperdub

I am a bit late on this one - thanks to BetterNeverThanLate for covering. There is a great article about record label Hyperdub - home of Kode9 and Burial - on TheGuardian.

Etched Headplate is one of the most amazing tracks "of all time" - I mean it.

Check it: www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/oct/22/hyperdub-steve-goodman




Also very late on this too - my mate told me about Burial's collaboration with Four Tet on two tracks ('Moth' & 'Wolf Club') - listen here. Superb. Superb.



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Avatar Stills - Trailer 2

I have no shame in being blatantly obvious about my obsession with the awesome movie-force of Avatar. So I am pleased to share two new cheeky movie stills, c/o MarketSaw. 2nd trailer online Thursday 29 October.

(I promise to write about something other than Avatar very soon)








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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

James Cameron's New Avatar Trailer

The second trailer for the almighty Avatar is to air in cinemas this Friday, October 23 but will not be online until Thursday October 29. I couldn't complain about the first trailer, because I love ambiguous weirdness like that, especially if it appears to be that epic. So I can't wait to see what's happening with the next tease.

Read more at: inentertainment.co.uk

Take a look at these amazing images c/o screenrant.com


















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Monday, 19 October 2009

One in three 11-16 year-olds 'upset, depressed, angry or stressed'

Fresh Google news came to my attention this morning that bought back memories of old. These are not very positive memories but it did make me wonder what all the fuss was about.

A recent UK survey concludes that a good third of kids in the UK blame school and loneliness for the blues. I for one will always blame school for giving me the blues 90% of the time, but it must have been something deeper than that. Maybe it was the lack of a medium of expression, such as this blog I'm writing now, that kept things bottled up. Saying that, even with the accessibility of the web, majority of children choose not to resort to the medium of the Internet as a platform for expression. Despite this, a new Childline website is being launched to "reach out to more children online", which seems an obvious contradiction considering the aforementioned statistic.

In my 'experience', I believe young people should be encouraged to express themselves in which ever way they can, by people they can relate to. I always hear of crative initiatives, such as dancing schools, especially around London.

God knows what the education system is like right now- on the inside I mean, as a student. But I like to think children are being influenced to get creative more nowdays than when I was 11-16.

Music was always my vice and my medium. It might not be for everyone but it is still my stimuli, each and everyday. Young people need to find their passion and their voice - and be helped along the way if necessary. 11-16 year olds should also be discouraged against drugs. So many kids get lured into smoking too much marijuana. They shouldn't do this until they're at least 17.

Read up:

www.telegraph.co.uk

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Friday, 16 October 2009

Feathered Friend - Defected

Get to the Future's interview with Claude VonStroke has been featured by Defected.



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MySwitzerland virtual shopping

Possibly the most random of seemingly non-interesting things I will ever write about, however it's actually quite amusing. 'MySwitzerland.com' is offering £7777 (fair enough) worth of prizes to those that participate in a virtual reality 'Swiss Shopping Challenge' across Switzerland's 7 major cities and successfully spend no more than £1111 within 105 seconds in each location:



Despite the amusement, the problem for me was that I don't have the hand-eye coordination to successfully bag the items that scroll across above those red shopping bags. I want to go to Switzerland now though. For those that can coordinate hand to eye, get your itchy trigger finger out at MySwitzerland.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Birds Running Around My Brain



"It will all be digital. The days of coming up just as a DJ with no productions are far behind us"


Get to the Future has been fortunate enough to score an interview with one of todays global pioneers of dance music, or more specifically, of the most innovative house, tech-funk and techno in the world - Claude VonStroke. Below we talk music, partying, digital and the future.





On October 19th 2009, the producer, international DJ and label boss of Dirtybird and Mothership is releasing 'Bird Brain', his second album since the incredible 'Beware of the Bird' in 2006. True heads and party people will have heard and been submerged on the dance floor by the classics 'Deep Throat', 'Chimps', 'The Whistler' and of course the epic 'Who's Afraid of Detroit?".

The filthiest of Dirtybirds has blessed the world with his army of dirt ridden heavyweights (including The Martin Brothers, Tim Green, J. Phlip, Voodeux, Catz 'n Dogz and Italoboyz- to name a few) and has recently taunted us with disgracefully teasing tracks such as the lush, intelligent jungle inspired 'Aundy' as well as 'The Greasy Beat' and the latest 'Bird Brain EP', which should have people rushing for the Portal of Beats or the nearest record shop. Here the man himself has fired over words of wisdom via electronic-mail, straight from the Dirtybird HQ in San Francisco:





You’re a little bit popular in the UK – how does the dance scene – and the crowds - here compare to San Francisco? Do you have a favorite country and city when it comes to playing out live (besides San Fran!)?

I really love playing in the UK. I have a couple favorite cities around the globe like Paris and Berlin but the UK is the most consistent overall for me, especially places like Leeds and Manchester.



How is the American music market at present compared to the last couple of years - does electronic dance music fare better today despite ongoing filesharing?

Well our label is selling better here but I think that is due to hard work over the years more than anything else and maybe people realizing we are actually from the US. The overall music market is pretty dismal everywhere for CD sales. Digital is booming but it's not actually replacing the same amount of revenue from physical sales so I see most companies shrinking a bit.



How do you envisage the future of dance music, both in terms of music sales and live activity - do you think the focus of electronic music labels is going to be increasingly on live performance?

Yes for sure. I see the producers completely taking over from the DJs. DJs will say this can never happen but once this old guard of 30-40 year olds is done then it will all be digital, all producers dominating the industry. The days of coming up just as a DJ with no productions are far behind us. Hopefully this will lead to some cool experimentation with the live performance aspect of things and not just pre-programmed sets in Traktor and Ableton.



Having rocked Creamfields 2009, how have you found the festival circuit over recent times and what have been your highlights?

Festivals in the UK have been a bit hit and miss due to the recent noise restrictions. It really sucks when I get up on the decks and the whole crowd is shouting at me to turn it up and there is no more room to turn it up. Even so, the UK crowds are definitely some of the best. I had a really incredible gig in Sydney, Australia last week at a festival called Parklife. Festivals can be amazing. It just depends. Even a bad festival is fun 'cause you are playing your music to 1000s of people! How can I complain?



You’ve often stated that you’ve come from and were inspired by drum and bass. This is evident in a lot of your tracks, do you still listen to drum and bass today? If so, which artists do you like?

I don't follow it but I’ll still throw on an old record or an old album by some of my favorite producers like Krust or Ed Rush & Optical, etc. It's something I’ll probably dabble in a bit in the future, bring back the older sound again.





Are you producing, or planning to produce other genres such as drum and bass? Can you provide any information about your Grizzl alias and work in hip-hop?

The Grizzl will be more of a surprise. I don’t want to say too much about it right now, as I haven't really begun production on much of it yet. To answer the other question, yes I'm definitely going out of genre next year and trying out some new things! Yes, maybe some DnB as well!



As a pioneer, what music production software and hardware do you use - that you wouldn’t mind revealing? (Is this true that you “only use Reason”??)

It used to be true that I only used Reason. My first album was 95% Reason. Now I find myself using Ableton a lot here and there. I also have some hardware now like a Moog and some pedals and weird effects. But I still think it can be done in Reason and it shouldn't even be surprising to anyone. The functions available in Reason would have cost $500,000 + in like 1995 if you had to buy the equivalent in gear. Like Theo Parrish once said to me, "You can use sticks and bricks to make music."



You have an innate ability to create various styles, from the beautifully deep and musical to outright heavy rollers and even combining the soulful with the humorous. Your vocal edits and ‘drum-in-cheek’ sonics are your signature – did you set out deliberately to produce music that didn’t take itself too seriously all the time, or was it a natural progression? Please comment.

The whole point of dance music and DJing is to have parties. Parties are supposed to be fun. So why not have fun music at your party? It is such a simple equation that people forget. Party people want to smile and dance and try to have sex with other people. It is all based on having fun so at least some of the music should be fun. Having all these serious people mulling around criticizing the music is depressing. These are the same, lame people who refused to dance and just sat in the corner and clowned on everyone in high school. I'd rather not be in that group.



“Vocal Chords’ and ‘Big ‘n’ Round’ give a teasing taster of ‘Birdbrain’, especially in contrast to 'Aundy'. What can people generally expect from the new album, particularly in comparison to ‘Beware of the Bird’?

It is a little bit more cohesive. The tracks all make sense together like an album should. The first album was all singles thrown together. These tracks were made to be an album. It gets dirty and nasty and deep and soothing...all across the board.



What have been your key influences, musically and experientially, during the course of making ‘Birdbrain’?

Trying to figure out how to still make dirty, sexual funk while I am married with two kids. It can be hard, no pun intended, but as primal humans we never really lose that urge to get greasy on the dance floor. I just have to tap into that primal shit and it all works out great.



You have been around the globe with your DJ sets, has this had a strong affect on your new album?

Absolutely, when you can go to a lot of different places you can see what works for people all around the world. Every place is different and I would say that some of the tracks are made for different territories. Like some tracks from the album will work in Berlin and some in San Francisco. But they all work together as well. At some point though, this can be a detriment to the music. At some point I had to stop catering to people and just go ahead and finish the music I wanted to make - keeping my voice if you will.





With regards to Mothership, how would you describe the state of the more underground and purest techno scene both in the US and Europe?

I never really know how to answer this. There are pockets of people everywhere who are more underground and that will never change. Mothership is more underground than Dirtybird, but I still consider both labels very underground regardless of the fact that Dirtybird has a few big crossover hits. It is always surprising to me when someone is a big fan of Mothership but not Dirtybird or vice versa because I love both sounds.



Can we expect any long players from any other Dirtybird’s and Mothership dwellers sometime soon? What's J.Phlip got up her sleeves?

Of course there is the new 5 Year Birthday project on Dirtybird coming early next year and then there is also the new Catz 'n Dogz album on Mothership coming in the Spring. J. Phlip is rolling out some new tracks and remixes right now. I think it will be a while before she does a full artist album but she is progressing nicely.



Can you divulge any new/forthcoming signings, releases or projects from either Dirtybird or Mothership?

Yeah, the next Mothership record by Maetrik is unbelievable. The lead track is called "Show Me". Also one of the best club records in a long time is coming on Dirtybird this Winter by Sascha Braemer. It is probably my favorite all-around EP of the year, or at least the one I play the most.





Have you any plans to take the Dirtybird/Mothership night international......or at least to the UK? Please do…

We already have done it. We had a Dirtybird in London last year and we are taking over Room 1 at Fabric for my album release this December. We also have a label night once a year at Watergate in Berlin and there will be more coming in other cities TBA.



What’s currently on your iPod’s ‘Most Played’ playlist?

I listened to the new Jay Z album a few times recently, also Kid Cudi - but nothing is really blowing me away in commercial music right now. I like to go jogging to mixes by our fellow label artists a lot. I also listened to all 3 "Special Herbs" beats only discs by MF Doom the other day.



Is there anything else you would like to say?

Yeah, check out the album on October 19th. The album is a dying art form and I might not make another one....



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Educational....The words speak for themselves - if they weren't quite tantalizing enough, you should click through to Dirtybird and sample 'Bird Brain' right now. For those who are keen and eager to catch Dirtybird live, this is when and where you can:



Claude VonStroke’s “Bird Brain” World Tour

November 2009
Nov 6 - Paris @ Rex Club
Nov 7 - Manchester @ Warehouse Project
Nov 13 - San Francisco @Mezzanine
Nov 20 - Berlin @ Watergate
Nov 21 - Germany TBA
Nov 27 - Los Angeles @ Compression


December 2009
Dec 4 - Amsterdam @ Melkweg
Dec 5 - London @ Fabric
Dec 18 - Toronto @ Mod
Dec 19 - Chicago @ Smart Bar


January 2010
Jan 23 - Munich @ Harry Klein
Jan 24 - Barcelona @ The Loft
Jan 29 - Dublin @ Button Factory
Jan 30 - Leeds @ Back to Basics


February 2010
Brasil & Japan - dates TBA




Bird Brain - Release date: CD/digital October 19th. 2009



A HUGE thank you to Claude VonStroke for taking the time to talk to us!

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