As a website The 405 is dedicated to bringing a (mostly) fair-handed verdict to bear on new music, art and film. Sometimes though, the urge to shout about something that doesn't strictly fall within our remit as an online magazine is too much to resist, and so we bring you the first installment of The 405 Editors' Picks. In no way conceived to soothe our ailing egos, this feature is aimed at being a simple, honest representation of what the coordinators behind the site are loving, new, actually any good, and remotely related to music/art/film or otherwise.
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This week I've been camping out on Star Slinger's website, downloading all the free stuff he has on the site and been relaxing to his souful sounds whilst slightly deleirous on antacid tablets (New Years wounds). I recommend getting your hands on everything he's produced. You won't regret it. I've also started to read my first book on my Kindle. It's called Generation A by Douglas Coupland and is about a bunch of people across the planet that get stung by Bees. Sounds boring but in the world they live in Bee's have been extinct for 6 years, so their appearance is a global phenomenon. It's witty in typical Coupland style, yet quite sad due to the fact that it's a real world issue we're facing. I'm now a huge kindle fanboy. I've always been skeptical of them but it really is a brilliant product.

I've had a week of saying a belated goodbye to 2010 with some of the art events that I've been to: Last Wednesday, the 12th night after Christmas, when all the trees are finally taken down in accord with tradition (if any of you removed yours before that night, then I'm afraid to tell you it's bad luck) the artist, Giorgio Sadotti, orchestrated a performance at the Tate Britain in which someone marched around the remarkably huge tree in the building's rotunda, cracking bull whips. This caused the needles of the tree to shower down onto the floor and the audience to shudder back into the little alcoves from where they viewed the performance. Although the show had to be cut short due to the whips breaking, it was as ever for Sadotti's work, very engaging for the audience. If you ever happen to hear news of this man performing somewhere in future, I recommend you go and watch. What also shows a departure from the old year is the current, but soon to end, commission in the Curve at the Barbican Centre. Damien Ortega's exhibition in that passage way, 'the Independent', is a series of minimalist sculptures that respond to what he read in the Independent newspaper, daily from 29th August to 27th September 2010. They mostly relate to incidents of crisis and controversy, involving capitalist organisations and big governments, but rather than the content of the newspaper, Ortega's works investigate the materiality of newspaper itself. If you are the sort who wonders around proudly with a folded copy of the paper under your arm, then you'll certainly love this show, but it closes on Sunday, so hurry over!

I have a tendency to get rather obsessive over things, and this past week my downfall has most certainly been 'Fighting Smiles' by Jonquil, whom I was introduced to by our very own Ones To Watch download album. It's so insanely catchy, heartfelt and well paced. Having said that, the forthcoming debut album by The Joy Formidable, the debut EP by Among Brothers and the new single (At Home) by Crystal Fighters are all seriously giving it a run for its money. Aside from that, lots of gaming as usual, mainly Enslaved, for which Nitin Sawhney wrote the soundtrack, Alex Garland the script and Andy Serkis the mo-cap. Another big step forward in my eyes to the effective fusion of film/games industry talent. I've also been watching this video for an Amon Tobin song, just can't get enough of either the track or the visual effects work.

My main find this week was the stunning Ruth album just reissued on Angular. Ok, so I've had it for well over a week, but it's really fucking good, and is still the main thing I listen to. It's part of that coldwave scene thats semi popular in the right circles. Coldwave is basically the french name for post punk, only they used minimal synths instead of Andy Gill to sound awesome. Standout track and title track Polaroid/Roman/Photo has to be one of the greatest things I've ever heard, while Mabelle and Thriller are pretty close. The other thing I've listened to this week is the 60's. Spending your Saturday night in an Irish bar for 6 hours listening to The Pretty Things, drinking scotch and talking to people about how amazing garage music before 70's was does that to you. Lastly, I just thought I'd like to say a well done to Leeds and Stevenage for making sure that the FA cup remained interesting and to Charlton for letting us get through. Shame about Ipswich.

Courtesy of Becoming Real's recommendation, I have been mostly listening to the ice-cold synths of Led Er Est and their album Dust On Common. Great dark, spacious and synth-driven pop.

Sadly if you type in Gravitys Rainbow into Google these days, you will of course get a bunch of 2007 nu-rave-related balls. But originally it was a classic novel by Thomas Pynchon, and it's something I'm trying to get into on my commute. But it's a huge book, I've a poor attention-span, so we will see how that turns out. And:

As it has been for the past 8 plus years, my Christmas ‘holidays’ revolved around revision :sadface: Here’s some things I got up to when I wasn’t wasting my time trying to learn formulas that I’ll probably never use again or calculating stuff that a computer programme can do instantly. I remembered something from school (amazing right?) where I was told that you worked better if you ‘treated’ yourself every so often. So I decided that after every hour of revision I would listen to a random Johnny Foreigner song. I don’t think it really helped much. On Monday I picked up Johnny Foreigner’s shiny new. Its artwork alone was worth the seven mile walk that it took to get it from my ‘local’ post office.

I also spent time trying to remix the new Internet Forever track. It took about four hours before I realised it was too hard and gave up. The rest of my free time was spent (as it usually always is) on Football Manager. Where I managed to get Aldershot promoted to League One within my first season, followed by a mid table finish in the second. I heard on Monday they sacked their real manager, so I think I should be pretty much in.

Hey Rosetta - Seeds This album comes out in February and its already giving me tingles. If I could criticize their debut offering it would be to say that the strength of the songs, exemplified live, was not matched on record. With the second album they have no such worries. "Seeds" is passionate, its honest, and its full of well crafted rock songs. Orchestrated perfectly, it tempers hip shaking rock with tender emotion, Tim Baker's exceptional voice at the fore throughout. Right now I can't stop listening to it, not that I've tried too hard, I just hope that they come back to the UK soon.