Musician-Turned-Filmmaker John Maclean Premieres a Darkly Whimsical Feast for the Acclaimed Rockers
Two of Scotland’s most talented siblings, Django Django drummer David Maclean and award-winning director John Maclean, collaborate on a surreal video for “Hand of Man”, a single from the band's eponymous 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated album. “It’s a little ditty about the idea of going back in time to the beginning of mankind and taking the hand of humanity to guide us forward through time to the present day, avoiding the slip-ups we've made along the way,” David says of the track. Shot on black-and-white Super 8 in Elephant and Castle in London, the film jumps from a nostalgic warehouse party to a dreamy Dionysian picnic then back again, where drummer David is joined by bandmates Vincent Neff, Jimmy Dixon and Tommy Grace for the track’s pastoral harmonies. The filmmaker describes the video as an “end of great things”—a reference to the near-obsolete Kodak stock used and the soon-to-be-demolished space in which the party scenes were shot. “It was the last day in our friend’s building,” he says, “which will inevitably be knocked down to make way for more dodgy flats with tiny triangle balconies.” The quartet with a taste for psychedelic album art and outlandish stage costumes first met at art school in Edinburgh. John also rose to fame in the Scottish capital with the cult folktronica outfit The Beta Band, before turning to directing and picking up a Best Short Film BAFTA for his 2012 crime thriller Pitch Black Heist, starring Michael Fassbender. This latest work may mourn the passing of time, but it also looks forward to “the beginning of great things: Django Django, the spirit of youth, integrity, finding a way to live forever—and fresh bread.”
Let the Grammy-Winning Guru of Record Production Guide You Toward New Year Nirvana
Recording artist whisperer and all-around wizened sage Rick Rubin contemplates life and art on the stunning cliffs outside his Malibu residence in this short film by Alison Chernick. The mogul ruminates on living in harmony with nature, the importance of recreating its perfection in art, and the transcendental power of sound before leading us into a guided meditation, a practice he has followed since becoming fascinated with yogis as a teenager. His trademark beard, untouched since he was 23 years old, pays clear homage to their spiritual influence. The story of Rubin’s beginnings at Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons in 1984 from his New York University dorm room has become the stuff of legend. He has since become one of the most influential producers in the history of pop music, producing seminal hip-hop albums by artists such as LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., and The Beastie Boys, with an unparalleled knack for genre-bending and critically acclaimed covers. He has also masterminded the late-career resurrection of a number of artists via American Recordings, exemplified by Johnny Cash’s victorious comeback. Add to that eight Grammy awards, being named one of Time’s most influential people in the world, and a co-presidency of Columbia Records, and Rubin has more than earned his magic reputation. “He is on a journey through the spiritual and creative wilderness,” says Chernick. “It’s transformative to witness.”
An Invite to the Fashion Designer’s Mini-Festival Shindig
Best record store
Pegasus Records has been around for about 30 years and they have a great selection of local Muscle Shoals music. They also buy and trade, which doesn't happen that much anymore.
Trowbridge's is the old-school local luncheonette in town. They serve really simple, delicious sandwiches and homemade ice cream. I always order the pimento cheese and a "babysitter." It's not listed on the menu but it is a local favorite: hot dogs, chili and mustard on white bread toast.
Ye Olde General Store is a great shop that carries deadstock and new workwear. You can always find great items from Carhartt, Pointer and Duck Head. Gordon, the owner, is really helpful and kind.
I try to get to the Florence-Lauderdale County Farmers' Market, The Tomato House and Spring Park Market on Thursday evenings, and Jack-O-Lantern Farms in Muscle Shoals. These are all locally grown fruit and vegetables markets in the area that have a great produce and homemade treats like pickled okra and sauces.
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques has an incredible selection. My wife and I love to shop for antiques and they have everything from bath fixtures, windows, knobs, and everything else you could think of to fill, or build, your home.
A little is just enough... too much is dreadful. It can be very potent, especially hidden in punch or eggnog!