Archive for the Thoughts Category


Posted in Art/Style, hybrid culture, Music, Thoughts on July 5, 2010 by lili

Apologies for the lack of updates on the Grab Bag. I am collecting URLs and YouTube videos behind-the-scenes, yes I am.

In the meantime, check out mainstreamology, the wonderful and exciting blog of Zoltan Kacsuk, who emailed us today:

I accidentally stumbled on your blog Grab Bag, and i can’t tell you how happy I am. I always knew other people must be into gathering the same kind of stuff on subcultures and countercultures as I am, but so far I’ve never encountered a range so closely matching my own interests.

So just wanted to let you know that, I am really grateful for the collection and I am in the process of reblogging (with a reference to Grab Bag obviously) all the stuff I like and need to my own tumblr, which you might also like (based on a reverse logic of the above):

Thank you, Zoltan!

Mainstreamology is my new favorite blog.

John Hughes vs Shane Meadows

Posted in Film, Thoughts on August 11, 2009 by lili

Cinebeats has published a brilliant thought-provoking article on John Hughes’ films vs Shane Meadows’ “This Is England”:

I’m told in countless obits written about John Hughes that some segment of ’80s youth culture found comfort in the way that his movies portrayed teenagers as well as outsiders and malcontents. But if you were actually questioning authority during the ’80s it was impossible to identify with any of the faux rebellion found in Hughes’ movies. The man preached conformity over and over again. The so-called “outsiders” in Hughes’ films rejected other teens like themselves so they could date popular jocks or beauty queens. In other words, if you followed the social rules laid out by John Hughes you’d get a “hot date” for the school prom and be “accepted” into Reagan’s America.


Without a supportive family and a college fund, the future looked incredibly bleak which often led to an increase in recreational drug use. Like the kids in Meadows’ film, we ended up forming makeshift families simply based on our musical tastes and wardrobes. But our clothing wasn’t just worn for kicks. What we wore often reflected our social class and attitudes. In other words, wearing an anarchy t-shirt wasn’t just a fashion statement. It was a social statement that could get you kicked out of school in the ’80s.

Eddie: Another thing about the John Hughes films was that the music seemed ‘pasted on’:  let’s license a bunch of current, obscure british songs of now, and stick ’em on the soundtrack to give it some cred.  Doesn’t matter what goes where, ‘cos the kids in the movie aren’t really interacting with the music.    Probably not a fair comparsion, because in ‘This Is England’, the music in the film actually defines the mood and times of when the film is set.

Subcultures: Part 2

Posted in Art/Style, fashion, Thoughts on November 3, 2005 by lili




Copyright 2005 Lili Chin & Eddie Mort (photo BGs found via Google images)

Subcultures: Part 1

Posted in Art/Style, fashion, Thoughts on October 27, 2005 by lili




[by Lili & Eddie. London photo-BGs via Google Images]


Posted in Thoughts on October 9, 2005 by lili


[by Lili]

Old school Boombox reference

Posted in Art/Style, Thoughts on April 27, 2004 by lili

The Birth of Boomboxes: 1976-1981

On a sidenote: Over the weekend I was talking to a guy who organizes non-commercial “Bush raves” with solar-powered sound systems. Via solar panels, the solar energy is collected in rare “gel”-type batteries and used to power up the party lighting, DJ equipment and speakers. This guy was telling us a story about being threatened by the cops who wanted to stop the party. And they couldn’t because they weren’t able to simply “pull the plug out”. He can drive the party anywhere he wants. The music is completely portable.

This dude also told us that he likes educating kids about alternative energy. “…so they’re not just taking their drugs and having a good time. They also have the opportunity to learn something new when they see that we don’t have a generator”.

Greenie ideology aside, I found the visual idea of “solar-powered sound systems” kinda cool. This is the sort of technology our Dance Crasher kids would swear by. The sun shines, the music blasts out.

Dance Crasher

Posted in Thoughts on March 24, 2004 by lili

The Subcultures

Group 1 – Breakbeat-Ragga hybrid· Fashion – bomber jackets, dreadlocks, Beanies, Big pants, Club wear, Soft gear, chunky shoes, glitz and lycra… like first sketches. Music – Dance-Ragga-Breaks-Dub-D&Bass-Hip Hop Funk

Group 2 – Electro-New Wave hybrid Fashion – Angular, sleek, robotic, like uniforms, visors & gadgety accessories. Straight/sculpted hair. Think Japanese Transformers. Music – Electronica-Pop-New Wave-Bleepy-Noise Theremin sounds-think Polysics, Fire Starter,Kraftwerk

Group 3 – Rockabilly hybrid Fashion – Rockabilly JDs big quiffs & bangs ( like Endsville but extra stylized.) Leather jackets, silver chains, Flame motifs, girls wear catty sunglasses, furs & very red lipstick. Music – Rock n roll (in diff. languages also) & Swing mixed with beats. Psychobilly, garage.

Group 4 – Exotica-Lounge hybrid Fashion – 60’s sleek jetset- pastel/candy colored suits, white sunglasses & boots, Mondrian-ish, Twiggy-ish, Vidal Sassoon, Tropical prints, hawaiiana, tiki pendants, Native jewellery, Jumpsuits Music – Lounge-Shibuya-kei pop-Hawaiian with beats. think Pizzicato 5 & Sr. Coconut.

Group 5 – Mod-Ska hybrid Fashion – Swanky suits, slim pants, parkas, pork pie hats. Chequered prints, pinstripe, turtlenecks and wool. Bouffants and pale lipstick… (Similar to Exotica-Lounge group but less attention to color, more attention to fabric texture) Music – 60’s rocksteady, ska, R n B, Studio One label mixed with beats.

SKETCHES HERE (a work in progress)


Posted in Art/Style, Thoughts on September 3, 2003 by lili

eddiesketch1.png eddiesketch2.png

%d bloggers like this: