PIN UP ART
THE GLAMOUR GIRLS OF BILL WARD
Edited by Alex Chun (Fantagraphics) 0...
Busty bimbos in black silk stockings - that was pin-up artist Bill Ward’s speciality. Ward, who died in 1998, produced more than 10,000 saucy girlie pictures, the majority and best of which were published in the late 505 and early 605 in men’s magazines such as Playboy and humour titles including Cartoon Humorama (‘All Abroad With Bill Ward!’) and Gee-Whiz! (featuring ‘Peek-a-Beauts’). Around 150 of those full-page illustrations, ahem, flesh out this strapping hardback, which is edited by comics journalist Alex Chun and produced by Fantagraphics, the cutting edge comics publishing house and
cartooning archivist operation.
Ward’s women conform to the Playboy/Barbie model: melon-sized, gravity defying breasts, a tiny waist and the longest legs, all wrapped up in lacy lingerie or the tightest dress. Ward further titillated his ‘readers’ by positioning his girls in provocative poses, spread across a bed making a phone call, for example. Elsewhere, the glamour pusses are found straddling the boss’ desk, or adjusting their stockings in a public place.
Of course, the pin- ups, which were accompanied by captions such as ‘Oh, my new job is grand; all I had to do the first day was take down all he would say!’ and ‘Well there was something I liked about you Harold - but I spent it all!’, are as misogynistic as a Russ Meyer movie. But
like self-confession ‘tit man’ Meyer, by today’s standards Ward’s art is inoffensive stuff. His glamour girls, as Chun notes in his introduction, are ‘Sometimes bawdy, but never tawdry’ and “maintain the allure, innocence, sophistication, and most importantly, the glamour that epitomised 19505 pin- up art.’ Nothing like today’s FHM lads’ mag beauties, then.
And whatever you think of Ward’s broads, you can’t deny the top quality of his artwork. Although a dab hand with watercolours, Ward’s forte was a medium called the Conté crayon. With it Ward brought to his illustrations a then unparalleled detail and texture - check out the glorious sheen on his ladies’ black stockings.
This is a beautiful coffee table (or cocktail lounge) book, and one for the discerning retro enthusiast.
106 THE LIST '.
'5) /\(>' 7004
HIP HOP N*E*R*D Fly or Die (Virgin) COO.
Their willingness to do exactly as they please serves them well. It is quite an achievement to make a record as simultaneously poppy and peCuIiar as this one.
Embracing the rock of the 70s. soul of the 803 and the R88 slutiness of the 90s to distressingly successful effect, Fly or Die judders and flails like an unruly elastic teen suffering from excessive Sunny Delight ingestion. It swings ungracefully from cornball swooning crooning to marching band drumming to JBs- style groove digging to laux indie pop in a beat. And it works. almost. Despite being disjointed. impatient and petulantly weird at points Fly or Die is still quite brilliant. (Mark Robertson)
CHmLOUT HELICOPTER GIRL
Voodoo Chic (Instant Karma) 0000
Jackie Joyce goes by the name of a kooky super-heroine who landed on earth from outer space. but don't let that put you off. Helicopter Girl's second LP is filled with more laid back beats. guitars. pianos and samples. elevated above the average chill-out effort: fit only for thirtysomething dinner parties by Joyce‘s spell- bindineg purring vocals. Sultry. sinister and incredibly sexy, she makes Alison Goldtrapp sound tame and as a result you almost feel guilty for sticking Voodoo Chic on the stereo. The Perth lass' incredible voice
combined with the LP's swirling strings. creeping melodies and funky edge make for supreme late night listening that shows up Zero 7's latest for the bland drivel that it really is. (Camilla Pia)
ROOK'N'FUOKING ROLl. YOUNG HEART ATTACK
Mouthful of Love
Holy Shit. YHA want to 'make records that teenagers would lose their virginity to’. apparently. On this evidence it'll be a last. brutal, dirty. sleazy. squelchy fuck up a dark alley rather than a candlelit Barry White experience. YHA are a totally tucking ballistic old school rock'n'roll band from Texas. and this record is the biggest kick up the arse imaginable. Duelling boy—girl vocals layer over spunktastic riffage and insanely frisky rhythms to produce something familiar yet somehow completely unique. This is the best bits of AODC. UFO. the Stones. the MOS. lvlotorhead and Aerosmith and it rocks. It‘s not rocket science. it's rock'n'roll.
THE BAD PLUS Give
Another iconoclastic assault on jazz conventions from pianist Ethan Iverson. bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King. Their brash midwest attitude stands in sharp contrast with the urbane mainstream of American jazz. and their explosive combination of cutting edge experimental jazz
with Off-the-wall deconstructions of pop and rock icons has seen them hailed as visionaries and condemned as crass. Anyone who generates that kind of heat has to be doing something right. and the Bad Plus certainly are. The new album mixes original compositions by all three with covers of Ornette Coleman's “Street Woman'. Black Sabbath's 'lron lvlan' and — provided you're not too quick to hit the off button 7- Abba's ‘Knowing Me. Knowing You'. (Kenny Matliiesonl
TACOMA RADAR No One Waved Goodbye (Andmoresound)
This gently engaging debut album from the Scottish slowcore bunch is a wliispery, soporific little record. and one that shows considerable promise. Tacoma Radar don't exactly race out the blocks. but that meandering approach serves them well, tracks like 'Take Your Time and the excellent closer 'Loiieliness Comes Without a Sound' taking a while to go nowhere much. but doing so with an undeniable charm. Overall the album is perhaps slightly linear in feel and while Tacoma Radar might lack the killer tunes and poetic heart of fellow local sleepylieads the Zephyrs. their la/y style makes for very pleasant company indeed. (Doug Jolinstonei
JAZZ VIKTOR KRAUSS
Far From Enough (Nonesuch) O...
Fans of Bill Frisell's spectral. genre-crossing approach should check out this fine new disc from bassist Viktor