Posts Tagged ‘Summer Camp’
Feels like it’s been a massively busy week in terms of the very favourite thing I like to submerge myself in, the thing that helps me completely ignore all those nagging questions I like to put off. Questions like why haven’t I wrote a book yet, whats the meaning of life, could I ever become a proper vegetarian, should I risk the handwash cycle on the washing machine? Music, wonderful music. My excuse to ever procrastinate and drown out the nagging voices in my head.
1. Full post of Bruce Springsteen to follow, for now I am still in that lovely haze of a gig high so will save my words for another day. For now listen to this lovely stripped down version of Thunder Road that he opened with. Perfection.
2. Lianne La Havas released Is Your Love Big Enough this week and it’s instantly become the soundtrack to a new chapter in my life. To hear the storytelling of her loves and loses at the tender age of 22 shows a true life wisdom. Feels like it’s a womans world in the music industry this year, makes me immensely proud. I believe we’ll be talking about this lady in the same breath as Joni Mitchell, Lauryn Hill and Marianne Faithful as the years roll by.
3. I imagine I’m not alone in being batshit happy about the return of Bloc Party this week? Octopus is exactly what I’d have described had someone asked me what I’d want from their return track. Ferociously fast strummed guitars, that constant thud of drums that drowns out your own heartbeat and Kele’s honey vocals drizzling effortlessly above the noise. Perfection.
4. One of my very favourite bands Summer Camp (live, for their album Welcome to Condale and general understated brilliance)released their Always EP this week to help tide us over with new material. Love the underlying menace and sneering in title track Always. Dark.
5. A couple of weeks ago Frank Ocean posted poetic and brave words about falling in love with a man on his Tumblr. As a result I suspect people who hadn’t even heard of Odd Future, and many who dismissed them, have sat up and taken notice of a refreshingly vulnerable and honest performer. The release of Channel Orange was brought forward and it truly is brilliant. Comedic, fragile and clever. ♥
Technically not events that happened within the past seven days but all that real life/bad hangovers got very much in the way of Sunday’s recently. Macaroni Cheese, Baseball and some seriously skill, brill & ace music….
1. Feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity to hear the album from Friends. Such perfect indie pop. Think Karen O fused with Debbie Harry. Makes me want to wear those 80′s neon headphones and pretend I’m in a music video (which I am sure people do frequently in Dalston irrespective of soundtrack so perhaps I should move there). Manifest! is making me smile. A ton.
2. Finally my stomach got to try Pitt Cue this week. Guess what’s inside those panko breadcrumbs? Go on guess. Macaroni Cheese! Sounds bizarrely suspicious but oh my does it work. Topped with pickles and pulled pork in a brioche bun, with a side of shiitake mushrooms. I’m not sure if this is their invention but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such a culinary combination. Pitt Cue, if you are responsible for this invention let me know so I can leave you something amazing in my will as a thankyou?
I went to the trailer instead of the restaurant which is on the Southbank, lovely to sit by the river with a book and some decent grub. Follow their Twitter updates here.
3. I’ve been playing Crybaby for a couple of weeks now, unable to blog about it on its release date due to weddings and hangovers (which often go hand in hand). If I could buy everyone that reads this blog a copy I would. Think early Richard Hawley, scrap that, think better than early Richard Hawley. It’s heartbreaking and truly beautiful music from Danny Coughlan. It will give you goose bumps and tingles.
4. It takes a talented teller of tales to make me invest so heavily in an American college baseball team (Geena Davis and Madge never managed to peak my interest in the game after all). Chad Harbach has created such flawed, painfully human, broken but brilliant characters in The Art of Fielding. Amazing debut novel.
5. Technically not this week unless you include the hour I got home after Field Day but they deserve to be mentioned as my ultimate highlight over the bank holiday weekend. Of course I didn’t get to see all the bands I wanted, I am never quite militant enough when it comes to festivals but those I saw (Pond, Summer Camp, Kindness, Sleigh Bells, Theme Park, Franz Ferdinand) gave me that muddy knees wild abandon experience I cherish so much at festivals. It’s impossible to pick an absolute favourite but Kindness excelled all expectations. At all costs I would dash to see him and his band again, anyone that covers Womack & Womacks Teardrops is the boom and the lick. ♥
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Before any clever clogs point out to me that there’s no way I can see all the bands on this list due to those painful festival clashes we all suffer at times I am fully aware. That’s what getting drunk is for, those flippant decisions that you can regret the morning after. Still, they’re the bands and artists I am most giddy about for Field Day this Saturday. You can play the mixtape on Spotify or YouTube. ♥
Underwater musicals, manly meat and poetic books. What a mixed bag of a week I’ve had…
1. All thanks to Summer Camp (see swoon number 3) I developed a huge crush on Aquamusicals this week, more precisely Esther Williams. I am slowly working my way through her splish splash synchronized swimming films from MGM. The clip above is from Dangerous When Wet, her co-stars were Tom & Jerry on this occasion. Brilliantly kitsch, charming and quite bonkers (especially if you watch after a few gins).
2. I really don’t want to say too much about this book as I know a couple of regular readers are halfway through it and I’ve also said I’d lend it to a friend (as an escape from her book club reads) but the language is beautiful, the characters tragic yet lovable, their little obsessions are poetic and educational. Highly recommend Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance Of The Hedgehog.
3. My first live experience of Summer Camp was at Efes Pool Hall in Dalston last year and I can happily report that upgrading to a bigger venue doesn’t lessen the intimacy and audience inclusion you feel seeing them live. Elizabeth and Jeremy still keep the rolling montage of vintage films (hence my swoon number 1) back of stage lending to their concept town of Condale (and making you nostalgic for your youth with Mary Poppin’s and Teen Wolf). As well as the familiar album they played new material and stripped down acoustic tracks including a sing-a-long inducing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere (no microphone required for Elizabeth to give you an idea of how powerful and pitch perfect her vocals are). Truly special live.
4. There is an underground den for music geeks halfway along the Edgware Road called The Rock & Roll Public Library – Mick Jones. It’s a collection stemming from the man himself’s personal collection that started before The Clash was a glimmer in his eye. It takes in books, vinyl, fanzines, posters and is a truly fascinating historical archive. It’s only there until March 31st so time is ticking. A photo set is on my Flickr.
5. I’ve been to meat mecca and it’s name is THE RIB MAN. Leaves the likes of Bodean’s in the shade not only in the quality of the slooowwwww cooked ribs pulled into fluffy white rolls the size of your face, but service comes with a huge chirpy smile (unlike aforementioned restaurant). Worth the queues and crowds on Brick Lane. £5 well spent. You can read more about The Rib Man on his website here. ♥
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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. ♥
When I was a small child I used to decorate the house by unwrapping every Lil-let I could find in the house and hang them from the Christmas tree or sellotape them dangling from the window frames. I was too young to know what their real purpose in life was for. However, I must have known it was wrong as I would only ever Blue Peter the house up, using sanitary products, when my mums back was turned. I remember still feeling slightly perplexed as she frantically ran round the house tearing down all my hard work before guests arrived.
Inevitably one fluffy white icicle would always remain unspotted, which possibly spurred me on to keep repeating this action until I was old enough to know better.
Merry Christmas to everyone that’s ever supported, stumbled upon, shrugged off this blog. Hang an unused tampon from your doorbell this year if you want to scare away the carol singers. This tip (and the mixtape below) are my gift to you.
Click here to play the mixtape. I’m especially fond of Jarvis Cocker dancing in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds video, and if you have never heard Cyndi Lauper & The Hives, In A Christmas Duel, you will instantly want to dangle mistletoe over their heads and snog their faces off. ♥
- Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas
- Saint Etienne – I Was Born On Christmas Day
- Cyndi Lauper & The Hives - In A Christmas Duel
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Fifteen Foot Of Pure White Snow
- Lynrd Skynrd – Santa’s Messin’ With The Kids
- Ike & Tina Turner – Merry Christmas Baby
- Summer Camp – All I Wonderful Christmas Is You
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want For Christmas
- Dolly Parton – Hard Candy Christmas
- The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
- The Pogues & Kirsty McColl – Fairytale Of New York
- Bob Dylan – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
- Kate Bush – December Will Be Magic Again
- Wham – Last Christmas
- Al Green – The Christmas Song
- Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
- She & Him – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
- The Kills – Silent Night
- Elvis Presley & Martina McBride – Blue Christmas
- Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa
- Sufjan Stevens – Put The Lights On The Tree
- Slow Club – Christmas TV
- The Maccabees – Home Alone Medley
- Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
I spent my entire weekend trotting up and down the Thames for the end of summer festival. All the while plotting this weeks mixtape in the back of my head. The things I wanted to type, the songs I wanted to hear. I had tons to say but then the Hare Krishna’s wiped all my ideas so this is not the post I had intended.
As we sat outside the BFI with double rum & ginger, feet aching after walking around for hours a group of Hare Krishna’s approached with drums and chants at full pelt. It’s not a surprising sight in London. Anyone walking from Tottenham Court Road to Oxford Circus would have tuned into the sound of tambourines and bells gradually approaching. This particular group surprised me by joining forces with a group of drumming buskers and it then mutated to a conga line with bystanders joining in. Sounds confusing but it was a joy to watch and summed up why London is so brilliant. Clad in white robes and sandaled feet they swished past me sweeping up people dressed in jeans and jumpers, their musicians blending with the buskers. Hare Krishna Vs. Buskers mash-up if you like.
The Thames Festival is exactly what I needed this weekend. I know a lot of people can’t stand the idea of organised fun or Boris Johnson so I understand it’s not for everyone. However, with my recent and ongoing rotten luck in the job market reconnecting with London felt important, vital and inspiring. With the boy Lolita, armed with pennies for drink and my camera, we spent the whole weekend between London Bridge and Westminster. A few snaps can be found on Flickr.
We got to toast the Thames on Southwark Bridge with hundreds of others, tables lit up with pumpkin lanterns and strings of coloured lights. We stood on the shoreline when the tide was low under the neon message “We Wanted To Be The Sky” (based on a Cat Power lyric) clutching potent ciders with our toes in the sand. We watched Mercury Prize nominated Ghostpoet play to a crowd happy to stand in the rain to hear the true voice of London today. We watched a carnival procession of the beautiful, insane and strange. All for free.
Click on mixtape to listen to the tracks below via Spotify and raise a toast to the Thames sometime this week (although I wouldn’t recommend drinking from it). ♥
- Summer Camp – Better Off Without You
- The Breeders – Cannonball
- The Drums – Money
- Ghostpoet – Us Against Whatever Ever
- Hot Chip – Boy From School
- Florence + The Machine – What The Water Gave Me
- The Kinks – Victoria
- Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Tigers
- The Only Ones – Another Girl Another Planet
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Turn Into