Posts Tagged ‘Beyonce’
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.
So this weeks mixtape has been compiled by friends, family and tweeters that were willing to humour me with the following question:
“What would be your Olympic sport and what song would accompany your montage of best of moments?”
Some people were remarkably quick at replying, making me think that people have been daydreaming of Olympic glory during London 2012. Some people sent me hysterical replies (I’m looking at you Jo). Out of all the sports it seems cycling is the most popular, surprised no one picked Kenny Loggins Danger Zone and asked for it to be changed to Highway to the Velodrome (groan, sorry, a hundred times sorry!). You can play this Olympic Mixtape on Spotify or YouTube, track list and contributors below. Out of all of them I am grinning the most over Thom’s choice but huge thanks to everyone that played along as I’ve not stopped smiling at all the suggestions. More photo’s from my Olympic experiences can be found on my Flickr. Oh, and to my friend Lizzie, “six packing” is not a recognised Olympic event….yet. ♥
- 13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me (Monkeypicks for the 400m)
- Hawkwind – Silver Machine (Lucy Track Cycling)
- Nina Simone – Feeling Good (Rehanon, first of a few for the Triathlon)
- Goldfrapp – Rocket (Burning_Lies, another for Cycling)
- Queen – Princes of the Universe (Thom Vincent picking fencing for a gloriously camp, extravagant event being held in Britain)
- Tori Amos – Professional Widow (Claire Loy, never worn a leotard but opts for Gymnastics Floor)
- Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run (My Dad running the Marathon)
- Spandau Ballet – Gold (thepubdiaries for the Kierin because it’s slightly mental)
- Elvis Presley – If I can Dream (Gareth choosing 1500m, on the song “you can fight a bear after hearing it, its that inspiring”)
- Hot Chip – Over and Over (Priyam for Table Tennis)
- F*ck Buttons – Olympians (Marc for the Triathlon, also dreams of winning gold in the 10k swim)
- Beyonce – Run The World (Natasha blasting the 100m)
- Anthrax – In My World (Phil also for the Keirin, the lyric “nothing touches me, I’m a walking razor blade” hits it for him)
- The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build A Home (Helen goes for Rowing)
- Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Balboa) – Bill Conti (Matt goes for Decathlon after his hero Daley Thompson)
- Radiohead – No Surprises (Jo opted for Synchronised Swimming, “Although I would like to imagine that the water would add an element of grace I lack on land, I think the actual effect would be more like Thom York’s slow drown in the video. You get to wear coordinating costumes and listen to music in that event”)
- Moloko – The Time Is Now (for me when I smash it at the Triathlon)
A couple of days ago I read an interview with Annie Lennox in The Guardian. She talks about winning the Barclay’s woman of the year accolade in 2010 when she asked for people to stand up if they were a feminist. Half the room remained seated, and chances are I’d have been in the half of the room that stayed on my bum. Not out of meekness or embarrassment. Certainly not because I’d have been picking my nails wishing I was back in the kitchen darning my partners socks or whipping together a casserole.
I’d of remained seated because I don’t feel the need to label myself just because I am female, independent, feel strongly about women’s rights and enjoy dancing to Beyoncé. For those reasons I also don’t know how I really feel about International Woman’s Day.
In the interview Annie Lennox ponders “it made me wonder, what is wrong with the word”. Nothing at all is wrong with the word, and being female (working ovaries, a brain, two feet etc) no one is more grateful that it exists. I may stand alone here, I just don’t feel the need to brand myself because of my gender.
I grew up in a family where my parents shared the mortgage, housework and childcare. I have watched my parents sitting down to the crossword every weekend together, mutual respect for their intelligence, as equals. Way before fathers were allowed into the delivery room my Dad was trying to barge past burly matrons to support my mum (only to be smacked round the head and sent down the pub by the midwife, “nothing for you to see here”).
In my career I have been lucky enough to work with inspirational men and women (more commonly known as my colleagues) and although I have experienced utter idiocy and poor decisions on numerous occasions they have simply been that. Foolish management choices, not sexist choices. I have frequently felt more supported and more equal to my male colleagues in fact. In the workplace it’s more often been female co-workers creating unnecessary competition and tension unfortunately (and I could write a book on how much this saddens me).
As for my relationships, I currently date a feminist. If you frequently take the central line in London look out for a man ranting at anyone daft enough to be caught ogling page.3 on public transport. He will also march against those that find strip clubs “lads” entertainment and spit at TV shows “aimed at woman enforcing the idea that you’re ditzy emotional idiots” (Sex and the City, Take Me Out). I must stress he doesn’t do this in order to get a hot meal and my pants off.
But when Annie Lennox says this shouldn’t be a female only members club I do wholeheartedly agree. Do not cross the line unless you can show your bra and prove you own a Patti Smith CD is outdated when I know so many brilliant men that see us as equal, not less able sex objects who have no worthy opinions or contribution to the world. Take a look at the men in your life and ask yourself if this is their picture of you? I suspect not. The reason being is because us women are great judges of character, have choices, earn a wage, know what is unacceptable and therefore we wouldn’t give anyone the time of day if they did treat us like this.
Maybe I am exceptionally lucky and rare, I am certainly not naive enough to think my experiences are a blueprint for every woman out there. Yes we have a long way to go. Woman are woefully represented at board level and in our parliament (and when we get there end up doing “ironic” sexy GQ shots, Mensch I’m looking at you). Vile programmes like Loose Woman do the sane, clever, witty lady zero favours. Mens appearance is not picked apart in minute details (Lana Del Rey recently at the receiving end of quite vitriolic abuse). But the people, male and female, I surround myself with give me hope.
I will be eternally grateful to the advent of birth control, the suffragette’s for pioneering the feminist movement and to Annie Lennox for cropping her hair, putting on trousers and showing us we can do it just like the fella’s. All these things are the reason I have the voice and platform to type all this and it was her voice that drifted through the walls from my sisters bedrooms when I was seven, one of my earliest influences and examples of a strong, talented, intelligent woman (all those things we weren’t meant to be once upon a time).
It’s just that I’d have felt more inclined to jump up on the table and swing from the chandeliers had she asked me to “stand up if you’re a human”. That’s where we need to be. ♥
***If you’re on Twitter you can find me here ***
I first started compiling my picks of 2011 back in July and have intentionally not revisited the list, interested to see if the final list will be utterly and completely different given the multiple personalities that seem to tiptoe out of me through my music choices.
Twitter spoke when I asked how many tracks should make up this list, the majority said 50 so here they are (in no particular order as that would have been as painful as picking my favourite Rum)
|1||Slow Club – Beginners||2||Metronomy – She Wants|
|3||Little Scream – Boatman||4||Lykke Li – Sadness Is A Blessing|
|5||Ghostpoet – Us Against Whatever Ever||6||Brett Anderson – Brittle Heart|
|7||Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out||8||Sissy & The Blisters – Let Her Go|
|9||Hooray For Earth – True Loves||10||Beyonce – Countdown|
|11||Bjork – Cosmogony||12||Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm|
|13||Anna Calvi – Black Out||14||Josh T. Pearson – Country Dumb|
|15||Lana Del Rey – Videogames||16||Wye Oak – Civilian|
|17||Beirut – Santa Fe||18||Bombay Bicylce Club – Shuffle|
|19||I Break Horses – Winter Bears||20||The Horrors – Still Life|
|21||The Kills – The Last Goodbye||22||Michael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready|
|23||Emmy The Great – Iris||24||Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails|
|25||Friends – I’m His Girl||26||The Drums – Money|
|27||Theme Park – A Mountain We Love||28||Black Keys – Lonely Boy|
|29||Wu Lyf – We Bros||30||Zulu Winter – Let’s Move Back To Front|
|31||Summer Camp – Better Off Without You||32||Tom The Lion – Golden|
|33||Friendly Fires – Blue Cassette||34||PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder|
|35||St. Vincent – Cruel||36||Joy Formidable – Whirring|
|37||Gang Gang Dance – Mindkilla||38||Wild Flag – Boom|
|39||Battles – Ice Cream||40||R.E.M – Uberlin|
|41||Au Palais – Tender Mercy||42||Metronomy – The Look|
|43||Bon Iver – Holocene||44||SBTRKT – Hold On|
|45||Gil Scott-Heron – I’ll Take Care Of U||46||Black Lips – Family Tree|
|47||M83 – Midnight City||48||The Maccabees – Pelican|
|49||Field Music – (I Keep Thinking) A New Thing||50||Summer Camp – 1988|
Technically I can’t give the NME complete credit for inspiring me to compile my own cool list as I only agreed with one of their choices, but they were the drive for me to blog my own list. It’s not all about the music and it’s not in order, these are the people who have made me laugh, inspired and amazed me.
1. I’m not sure if there are any rules about recognising a fictional character for this but The Killing’s Sarah Lund makes the cut. She’s independent but fragile, highly intelligent and as a result of that is messed up socially and emotionally. Finally a female lead character that doesn’t resort to dumbing down and pouting at the men. Also because of her I’m now wearing thick knit jumpers.
2. This time last year, had you asked my opinion on Hugh Grant, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have had one. This year his dry humour, wit, intelligent, candid and frank talking in relation to the Leveson enquiry has turned him into a surprise hero. We need more sane and honest characters like Hugh Grant to speak up, he’s set the bar.
3. I’ve had Jarvis overdose this year and I’m craving more. Three Pulp gigs and a book signing at Rough Trade where I got to meet the man. From seeing him writhe and squirm his non-existent hips to This Is Hardcore to then watching him recite from his book accompanied by a geeky Powerpoint presentation has ensured he stays at the top of my “thinking woman’s crumpet” list.
4. Despite a recent realising that listening to some of her tracks make me irrationally angry with the boyfriend when he’s done nothing wrong she rocked my world at Glastonbury this year. The first female solo artist to headline in a long time turned a lot of doubters into fans (if anyone mentions Skunk Anansie I stress solo artist). You hear no massive diva strop stories, no photo’s falling out of nightclubs drunk, I love her ass and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of Countdown (one of my 2011 tracks).
5. Summer Camp used their talents for the greater good this year when they released their debut album through Pledge Music and by opting for this route they’ve supported the charity Shelter From The Storm UK. They’ve proved you don’t have to tread the traditional route to sell out gigs and shift record units. What’s more their creativity wasn’t stifled or controlled, they set the agenda. Their fanzine detailing the concept of Welcome To Condale was quirky, insightful and artistic. A refreshing approach to music.
6. This is a strange one for an Arsenal fan to be listing but my oh my do I adore Mario Balotelli. Even if the stories surrounding him are urban myth I will choose to believe them for their nutty charm. The latest of these tales (which would be unbelievable if his name wasn’t attached to them) being he was driving around Manchester dressed as Santa on Saturday night handing out money. He’s also been recognised in The Guardian’s 2011 style highlights. Genius
7. Covering Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song for Trent Reznor and then claiming she didn’t even know who they were made me laugh. Featuring on David Lynche’s, Pinky’s Dream, has me keeping fingers and toes crossed for future collaborations throwing up Twin Peaks meets glitter and gothic. The staging of her “psycho rock opera” made me want to run across the oceans to Brooklyn. Even away from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s this woman proved she’s a volcano of creativity. The stage notes to cast members of Stop The Virgens read “It embodies the collision of darkness and innocence. We skin our knees on the way to wisdom.”
8. I type this blog on my Macbook, I tweet (obsessively) on my iPhone, I get to walk around with a constant soundtrack to my life because of my iPod. This man changed the way I view media and technology and has given me the tools to do the things I love with ease and no stress. When he passed away I wrote a short piece on him which can be found here. He left his mark in this world and inspired so many.
9. Steve Lazarides The Minotaur exhibition at The Old Vic Tunnels this year wowed me more than any other artistic event I’ve been too in 2011. It was like Guillermo del Toro and Neil Gaiman had secretly plotted a strange, dark fairytale and I left wanting to write more and more, take better photos, pick up charcoals and a sketch pad, create odd poems. His vision and eye for the strange gave me a creative cold shower this year when I needed it most.
10. Last but in no means least are the people across the UK that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that community does still exist in cities. To everyone that picked up a broom, bunked off work to help local shopkeepers clear up their businesses, people who donated, worked selflessly to restore damaged areas, you restored faith at a dire time and for that you are the very coolest people in the universe. Of course, it was one mans initiative, quick thinking and kind brain that started the Riot Clean Up movement so for that we have Dan Thompson to thank from the bottom of our hearts to the tips of those fingers that leapt to action. To those I met, those I know contributed, those that are strangers; may karma kiss you all over for your good deeds. ♥