Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
1. Star Trek Into Darkness is perhaps not as light as the first installment of J.J. Abrams Star Trek but then the title suggests that anyway so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Great cast, Benedict as a bastard works brilliantly and some scenes are so genuinely tender that I cried space tears. I saw this at The Aubin in Shoreditch which is now my favourite cinema, blog to follow.
2. Despite this track being uploaded to YouTube three weeks ago it only came to my attention this week thanks to Shaun Keaveny on 6 Music. Jerk Ribs by Kelis has to be a contender for best song title this year.
3. Despite the Lichtenstein: A Retrospective gracing Tate Modern since February I’ve only just managed to visit. I have seen this before (or a very close version of it) at The Guggenheim another lifetime ago. I love his wit and nod to other artists as well as his unique way of expressing what he see’s. Much needed inspiration as I’ve just purchased some acrylics to get back into painting. Oh, and now I want blue hair.
4. I always associate Vampire Weekend with the summer. It’s more their specific sound than a particular memory. So their third album release, Modern Vampires Of The City, is helping me cope with getting the winter coat back out of the cupboard earlier this week. Another solid album from the New Yorker’s.
If I shelve my hormones for a moment I have always been suspicious of Ryan Gosling’s level of perfection. I think he’s been genetically modified to brain wash us into what perfection should look and behave like. Recently I went to see the utterly breathtaking Place Beyond The Pines and left with my mind made up that the only men I’ll date from this moment will wear their t-shirts inside out for no reason, bleach their hair and have a dagger tattoo on their face. Such is the power of Gosling.
My suspicions were cemented for me at the weekend when I got a text from my friend Jo (who I am now in eternal debt to) asking me if I’d heard of Dead Man’s Bones.
Turns out, and we may be the last people on the planet to know about this but it’s my new obsession so I’m blogging anyway, Ryan Gosling along with Zach Shields wrote an album of love songs for ghosts, zombies, monsters and werewolves . With a children’s choir. With no experience of playing any instruments. Best concept album that’s come into my life since Metronomy’s The English Riviera.
The videos below are worth watching.
Be still my fluttering ovaries.
Due to gallivanting around Dartmoor and Brixham and lack of internet access this is more of a fortnightly round-up.
1. The first book I read as an East London resident was A Hoxton Childhood by A.S Jasper. An honest and frank account of growing up poor in 1920′s from the voice of an ordinary man. No romanticising the past. It could have been wrote by my Dad from the stories he’s told me and he read the entire book in a matter of hours when I passed it on to him. A beautiful message in the book and interesting to read about the streets that now surround me.
“Be thankful that you were born now and not then. Go forward, but try to be tolerant of your parents along the way”. A.S Jasper.
2. If you ever find yourself in Torbay the only place to have seafood is Simply Fish in Brixham. Menu is dictated by availability from the boats straight in from fishing at a quarter of the price you’d pay in London. Queues rival that of restaurants such as Meat Liquor. My favourite dish is their Tempura Cuttlefish (pictured above). Managed to fit three visits in during my visit home.
3. Janelle Monae is back with Q.U.E.E.N featuring Erykah Badu. Adore everything about this woman and still lament the day I got sidetracked by an ice cream van playing 90′s dance music at Glastonbury and missed her. Makes me want to quiff my hair and deal in monochrome only.
4. Before the Devon adventures and in between moving house I managed to sneak in a couple of trips to Pick Me Up London. Just as inspiring, inventive and batty as it was when I first attended last year. I’d highly recommend signing up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on it next year.
5. Hot on the heels of (the superior, let’s face it) Daft Punk comes a new track from Basement Jaxx which really minds me of Friends Va Fan Gor Du. Getting my dance on.
Not many daughters are on the receiving end of a smug dad when they get robbed. My first weekend as an East London resident resulted in my iPhone being swiped as I dashed into a shop on Hoxton Street sober as a judge in broad daylight. My dad, born and bred in the area, has put up with years of people telling them how much Hoxton has changed but when my mum broke the news of this theft he jubilantly exclaimed. “Told you Hoxton hasn’t changed!”.
Out of the two old dears that nosed their way into my misfortune one comforted me and offered to pray to Saint Anthony while the other shouted at me for “being an idiot. you can’t take your eyes off anything for a second in Hoxton It’s crap!.” I suspect my Dad would have sided with her.
Last year I set myself a to-do list. Life happened and things didn’t pan out despite achieving it in parts. I have three Lido’s left to swim in London and I learnt how to ride a bike (albeit not brilliantly yet. I doubt I’d pass my cycling proficiency). This move sparks a mentality of getting back on track as living here was part of the plan.
We sat up on our roof terrace last night with a bottle of wine watching the sun go down and the water returning to glass after a day of long boats passing, plastic bags floating past like lyrics from a Suede song, Laburnum Boat Club plunging in and ragged looking ducks disturbing the canal. I felt the luckiest and calmest I’ve been in a long time despite the bad luck on the first weekend I arrived.
P.S I predict I fall in the canal by the time the year is up.
P.P.S My first week was soundtracked by Kindness, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Bat for Lashes, Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Haim. You can play my mixtape on YouTube here.
1. On the occasions I write about music I always scurry away from attempting album reviews. For the sole reason I never agree with the ones I read. Music is so personally emotive that the only thing I’d have to say is “go and listen to it yourself and make up your mind”. I’ve read some disappointing reviews of Mosquito, the latest album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this week. For me their albums are always consistently creative and brilliant. Also, I shall now approach life with all the enthusiasm of a choir master. I also like Karen O’s love child of Willy Wonka and Elvis Presley look.
2. I’ve just finished Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The book behind Bladerunner. I am sure many of you will disagree with me, but I felt that the book was far richer than the film. But then I always do tend to prefer the original texts. Bookworm over film nerd.
3. We’ve all listened to this a dozen times by now? After numerous false starts, fan edits and sketchy Coachella videos. This is the official edit of Daft Punk’s new song Get Lucky featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodger. It has summer written all over it. Now to dream of a surprise Glastonbury appearance.
4. I opted for Place Beyond The Pines based solely on the fact I have ovaries and Ryan Gosling is in the film (thems the rules now). I knew nothing about the plot other than suspecting it was Drive on motorbikes. I was wrong. It is refreshing, surprising and had a soundtrack that spans every possible genre. Tip for the chaps reading this; Inside out t-shirts and bleach blonde hair is very S/S 13.
5. Perhaps lost amongst the Daft Punk hype the new track by Thundercat is worth your ear time as well. Heartbreaks + Setbacks. Pitchfork fawn over it in their review. They have said exactly what I would, but far more eloquently.
I never sleep well during a full moon. So if you add that to Tinnitus playing its wicked part in a lack of a peaceful nights sleep regardless of the lunar cycle, this week has been restless. At some point around 4am Wednesday morning I started trying to compile an Easter mixtape but all that kept popping into my head was songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and Blue’s All Rise (blame a catholic upbringing and drinking a lot of cider in a town that loved pop, tacky boy bands and R&B). Despite the fact that the mere mention of these songs runs the risk of creating unwanted earworms to anyone foolish enough to be reading I didn’t want to actually put you through hearing them.
Last night as I was sat sinking pints listening to my male colleagues talk golf and scrolling through my phone the Glastonbury line up was partly announced (I know there’s more to come because Thom Yorke in some guise wasn’t listed so I am still hopeful for John Grant and Yeah Yeah Yeahs in my wildest dreams). So instead of Easter this mixtape is based on those first knee jerk excitements as I glanced through the stages. I can smell the petrichor, sloe gin in hip flasks and the mud already.
- Phoenix – Girlfriend
- Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood
- Solange – Losing You
- Villagers – Becoming A Jackal
- Foals – Milk & Black Spiders
- The Rolling Stones -Ruby Tuesday
- Devendra Banhart – Can’t Help But Smiling
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Nobody’s Baby Now
- Nas – The Message
- The Horrors – Still Life
- Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
- Haim – Falling
- Local Natives – Breakers
- Rodriguez – Inner City Blues
- Peace – Bloodshake
1. Polica live wasn’t quite what I was expecting but by singer Channy Leaneagh’s own admission she was finding herself ”out of sorts and nervous” at Shepherds Bush Empire this Thursday. But when I’m sat with a rum and coke next to amazing friends watching live music then I’m always going to be blissfully happy. Especially as Wandering Star means a great deal to my closest friend who was there with me. Also epic double drummers are always a treat to watch.
2. I read my first Ray Bradbury book this week and can feel a new obsession coming on. Something Wicked This Way Comes made me miss tube stops, read under the duvet and utterly fired my imagination. For any bookworm who has been as rubbish as I at discovering him treat yourself this weekend. His writing is poetry at times light and in love and at others dark and gothic.
3. Adam Buxton’s BUG is something I instinctively knew I would adore before ever getting the opportunity to see it. Tuesday at Leicester Square Odeon I laughed more in those three hours than the entire month. I’ve since realised that when people have asked what BUG is I can’t do it justice with my summaries. “So he reads YouTube comments out…” is met with strange looks as I elaborate. So just go, laugh and still be smiling about it days later. To quote one enthusiastic Bowie fan mentioned “He is the tasty egg of my breakfast glory”.
4. The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere played all last week. I don’t listen to audiobooks and only ever listen to 6 Music so this initially felt slightly odd for my brain. But I was soon lost in London Below as an amazing cast (Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okonedo, James McAvoy, Bernard Cribbins and Natalie Dormer to name a smattering). I’m not sure how long it will be on iPlayer for but turn off the lights and listen to it, Dirk Maggs has done a tremendous job and the music featured is stunning.
5. Finally Wilton’s Music Hall will get its own blog post at some point down the line as it is thoroughly deserving of its own limelight. I visited on Saturday for the historical tour and a quirky, borderline immersive, theatre production of The Great Gatsby followed after. This grand but crumbly music hall hidden away between Whitechapel and Shadwell epitomizes why London is such a great historical city, much like Dennis Severs’ house in Spitafields. I am booked in for a further two events so expect a fuller more detailed post soon.
It feels like an exceptionally busy week for music so I thought I’d post a midweek round-up today instead of on the not-so regular Sunday Swoon (by the weekend I predict witterings over Adam Buxton’s BUG, Polica and Wilton’s Music Hall).
1. Vampire Weekend popped up with two new songs this week, Diane Young and Step. A band always synonymous of festivals, the smell of damp grass and the taste of rum and coke for me. Happy to have them back. Both songs being streamed on their website.
2. Suede have released Bloodsports twenty years after their debut album, making me feel exceptionally old. Brett Anderson is still insisting on using words like semaphore, slither, gutters and aerosols in his lyrics but I will always adore this band and Bloodsports hasn’t failed me. It feels like typical Suede and that gets my seal of approval.
3. The internet went into meltdown hyper mode on Sunday evening when Beyoncé released snippets of two new songs Bow Down and I Been On. I am beyond words as I usually am over her, super fan. Just listen. Also this promo for her forthcoming Mrs. Carter tour makes me want to live in her idea of a royal court.
4. The debut album If You Leave from London trio Daughter is released this week. It makes me melancholy and calls regrets to mind. That’s the beauty of music, when an overwhelming emotion or memory arrives from nowhere even on the happiest of days.
1. Just to start this Sunday by making you all feel old, it’s been thirteen years since Sugababes released their debut album with the original line up we now see reunited as Mutya Keisha Siobhan (wondering how much of an argument it was over the order of their names appearing given reputations). With a lot a help from Dev Hynes this reworking of Kendrick Lamar’s Lay Down In Swimming Pools appeared this week.
2. I’m not entirely sure how David Bowie managed to keep this sudden album release hushed up for so long but credit to all involved for doing so in an age where rumours and album leaks are all too common place. As I type this news that The Next Day is number one in the charts have just popped up on my Twitter feed. It’s a great album, it will never be Space Oddity or the Labyrinth Soundtrack (what can I say, that was my era. And I never want to find out how much padding was down there when he played Jareth).
3. Helen and I had goosebumps throughout Jessie Ware’s entire set on Thursday night at Shepherds Bush Empire, and tears in our eyes at some points. One of my favourite albums of 2012 almost doesn’t do her justice live as her voice is so purely powerful and heartfelt. Taking In Water and Wildest Moments particularly emotive. When she was joined on stage by Goldsmith Vocal Ensemble for No To Love (mixed in with snippets of Madonna’s I Want You) I can’t recall a better live moment in recent history. Utterly brilliant, insanely talented and to all appearances a bloody lovely and unassuming personality.
4. I have a huge soft spot for the Jungle Book, it’s the first film I ever saw at the cinema with my Dad so the songs hold a special place in my heart. AlunaGeorge covered I Wanna Be Like You for Radio 1 this week along with new single Attracting Flies.
5. Not even David Bowie can eclipse John Grant this week. Genius second album with the same snide humor as Queen of Denmark but this time set to more beats. I would recommend buying Pale Green Ghosts over any album this week and it’s worth taking time to read this frank interview in The Guardian.
The amount of time it’s taken me to get round to the final letter of this self-imposed alphabet playlist challenge is living proof that I have found myself in a job where I have a severe, and saddening, lack of time to fart around on the internet. Oh to be a grown up.
But finally it is here. The letter Z. From Zoe to Zola Jesus, and Zulu Winter to ZZ Top. It has been a pleasure trotting through the alphabet musically for you all. I hope you’ve enjoyed at least some of the tunes.
Now onto the next mixtape challenge… coming soon.
- Zulu Winter – Silver Tongue
- Zebra – Right Here, Right Now
- The Zutons – You Will You Won’t
- ZZ Top – Gimme All Your Lovin’
- The Zombies – She’s Not There
- Zola Jesus – Night
- Zoe – Sunshine On A Rainy Day
- Zero 7 – Destiny