From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Archive for January 2013

Sunday Swoon. January 27th 2013

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1. If you’re looking for a warm, funny and intelligent film to go and see at the cinema then The Sessions is currently playing in UK. Based on the autobiography of poet Mark O’Brien, a man confined to an Iron Lung, who is determined to lose his virginity at the age of 38. He is helped by his priest, friends and a therapist. Starring Helen Hunt, William H Macy and John Hawkes.

2. Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is the tale of Moth, a girl born in the roughest slum in New York in 1871. When she is 12 her mother sells her to become a maid. From there her tale of survival begins. It’s a charming and tragic tale full of characters with both ugly and beautiful character traits.

3. AlunaGeorge features in the BBCs Sound of 2013 list. Disclosures track White Noise features this young duo and it’s stunning. I’ve played it every day this week.

4. It seems London’s stomach won’t slow down in its mission to fatten itself on burgers. Patty & Bun is the latest no reservations burger restaurant getting top reviews. On this occasion the praise is worth it. My ‘ARI GOLD’ Cheeseburger was the perfect patty, tangy red pickles in a brioche bun. Rosemary chips were salty and golden. The service was far superior to any other place I’ve visited recently, friendly staff clearly enjoying their jobs with huge smiles on their faces. Check out their website here.

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Written by Anon PA

January 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

The Letter ‘Y’ Mixtape.

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The penultimate letter of my alphabet playlists features one of my favourite bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I had to resist the temptation to only list tracks of theirs. From French electro pop to sixties legends. Part of me wishes this alphabetical challenge was ending here as Yazoo feels like one of those songs you walk away to, or from, if your life was a film.

You can play my letter Y mixtape on Spotify or YouTube

  1. Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People
  2. The Young Knives – Weekends and Bleak Days
  3. Young Rebel Set – Red Bricks
  4. The Yardbirds – For Your Love
  5. Yo La Tengo – Is That Enough
  6. Yeasayer – O.N.E
  7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Pin
  8. You Say Party! We Say Die!
  9. Yelle  – Que Veux-Tu (Madeon Remix)
  10. Yazoo – Only You

Written by Anon PA

January 24, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Sunday Swoon. January 20th 2013

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1. Shout Out Louds have returned with Walking In Your Footsteps and sold out a London show at The Lexington almost immediately. Hopefully they’ll be on the festival circuit over the summer. This sounds like a Swedish Phoenix track.

2. This is the first album released this year that I was itching to hear. Following up from 2010’s Becoming A Jackal Conor O’Brien brings us {Awayland}. It’s roots remaining in the folk music present on Villagers first album, yet it’s also something entirely different. The Waves is monotone blips and poetic for example. However it’s the track above, Earthly Pleasures, that really stands out for me.

3. This track from Junip, Jose Gonzalez’s band, is simply lovely. Line of Fire is taken from their album due out in the Spring. Feels like the perfect soundtrack as I watch the snow fall across the roof tops in London today.

4. When you a band suddenly arrives in your life and you discover you’re actually a couple of albums behind? Dutch Uncles released their third album, Out of Touch in the Wild, this week. Listen to the strings and envy the dance moves in Flexxin. You’ll also instantly adore them if you’re years behind like myself (what an idiot).

5. I am mainly excited about Justin Timberlake releasing a track because I used to hugely love watching his dance moves in the videos for his singles. Guilty pleasure for the trouser snake I’m afraid. The first 40 seconds are misleading but after that this song is catchy enough. His website crashed just on the countdown for this so he can clearly command a lot of excitement.

 

The Letter ‘X’ Mixtape.

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With the best intentions I thought I’d get through the entire alphabet in playlists last year but I failed with only three letters to go. Frankly, I’ve run out of steam and enlisted the help of Gareth and Matthew as X and Z are proving tricky. Thanks to them I am pushing on to finally complete this.

If you listen to the entire playlist IOU some sweets and/or booze. I can’t stand X-Press 2 but I was determined to get to 10 tracks and was willing to select this based on David Byrne featuring on it. Likewise I’ve never found my way in to The XX but I loved Angels from last year.

You can play my letter X mixtape on Spotify or YouTube

  1. The XX – Angels
  2. XTC – Making Plans For Nigel
  3. Xpansions – Move Your Body
  4. X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents
  5. XXXY – Ordinary Things
  6. Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself
  7. The Xcerts – Aberdeen 1987
  8. X – Soul Kitchen
  9. Xzibit and Snoop Dogg – Bitch Please
  10. X-Press 2 feat. David Byrne – Lazy

Written by Anon PA

January 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

Jimmy Doyle – Hoxton Boxer

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Our great (and evil) Aunt passed away recently, aged 97. She lived a spartan existence and there was no evidence of the memories we collect through our lifetime. No photo’s or letters. There was however a press clipping about Jimmy Doyle who would have been my grandad’s half-brother.

For a long time I’ve toyed with attempting to research my families chequered and colourful history. The paternal side of my family are from Hoxton. Back in the days when trousers not meeting your ankles was down to having to get clothes that didn’t fit from the missionaries because you were poor, and not because you’re a hipster. Finding out about Jimmy, former professional boxer, and local lad who kept the local boxing club during the war and kept score during the 1948 Olympics, has made me more curious to find out more.

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The photo’s aren’t fantastic and the print has worn down but I have transcribed what we believe the full newspaper clipping says.

“The man who defied Hitler’s Luftwaffe to keep Hoxton’s Crown and Manor Boys’ Club open throughout the war years is dead. Former professional boxer, Jimmy Doyle, who devoted a lifetime to running the Wiltshire Row club, died recently aged 84. Past and present members of the club paid tribute to their former leader whose service spanned 29 years. As a youngster he boxed as an amateur with the Hoxton Manor Club and won two London Federation of Boys [illegible] 1922- 1924. The Hoxton Manor Club merged with the Crown Club in 1939 to form the present Crown and Manor Club. He became assistant leader of the Crown and Manor Club when it was formed in 1939 and two years later he became its manager. “He managed to keep the place open during the war despite it being bombed” said club spokesperson, Dave Munday. “After the war he continued as club manager, being appointed a boxing score: during the 1948 Olympics. He finally retired from club activities in 1959”.

If anyone has any experience or tips on tracing family history I’d love to hear from you.

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Written by Anon PA

January 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Sunday Swoon. January 13th 2013

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1. From all the new music this week the spotlight has to be on the unexpected release from David Bowie. In a world where every moment seems to be public, privacy a rare gem and music leaked frequently the fact that this appeared from nowhere adds to the enigma and brilliance of this wonderful man. It’s melancholy, it’s right for a 66-year-old man to lament and ponder on his life. Where Are We Now? is definitely right for this era of Bowie.

2. Just before the above blindsided me I was welcoming back Suede. Barriers is instant, galloping along and I don’t care how jowly Brett Anderson gets with age. I’ll still choose him over Damon without hesitation. You can download it for free here. I’m generally skeptical about Brit pop reunions but he’s poetry to me and I’m hopeful about forthcoming album Bloodsports.

3. And for all those that like their music barefoot and bearded (I hugely do) Devendra Banhart also released new track Für Hildegard von Bingen.

4. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed two new songs this week at The Glasshouse in California. They sound raw and rough, like Fever to Tell. Karen O’s stage persona adding weight to her being one of the best front people out there. Why don’t I own a zebra print cape to get stuck in?

Written by Anon PA

January 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

My Old Dutch

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When I was a child I somehow managed to persuade the kind-hearted souls surrounding me to ferry my ass around. Back home in Devon it was our neighbour Kate Loram who would offer to take me on the back of her bike when we all headed out (not my own sisters I hasten to add). I also convinced my cousin, another Kate, to tie an old pram seat to the back of her bike with a ton of old roof rack straps and pedal me around as if I was Cleopatra propelled by mans invention of the wheel. It was named the Crazy Contraption and it lasted well into our late teens. I enjoyed the view while others done the hard work. As this got me to the sweet shop and back I never learnt how to ride a bike.

I can count the amount of attempts on one hand. On two of those occasions I have been extremely tipsy and therefore had that misplaced confidence that goes hand in hand with alcohol. On another I was concerned my sister had got lost on a family holiday to Ireland and as the sun set I decided this was the quickest way to find her (I managed about 10 metres before falling off). On the last of these occasions the friendly constabulary of Kentish Town told me perhaps I shouldn’t be trying to cycle drunk and sing songs from the Jungle Book at four in the morning. That was six years ago.

I quite frequently think it’s something I should learn, that I am secretly an amazing cyclist and will probably progress to the Keirin within a week. So when someone told me that I could have a free bike providing I collect it from Brixton this week I jumped on the Victoria Line without giving much thought as to how I’d get it back to Willesden Green. Despite a bit of rust and flat tyres I instantly adore this bike. The cousin who done so much pedalling for me in our childhood said it’s exactly how you’d want a bike to look. I now understand the excitement children felt at their first bicycle and understand why my friend Steve was able to send me photos of every bike he’s ever had, each with a life history.

To say my journey felt epic yesterday is an understatement. Pushing it from Brixton to Clapham Junction, so I could take it on the overground train, took over an hour. I was genuinely perplexed that Emeli Sande wasn’t following behind me soundtracking it. When I realised Clapham’s Long Road is a literal naming, a steely and naive determination kicked in and I cycled/wobbled my way across Clapham Common flat tyres and all. I arrived just after the curfew for bikes started but I’d come that far and wasn’t about to be turned away at the gates of Mordor (even if discovering Clapham had a retro Wimpy made me want to spend more time there). Knowing I had yet another walk at the other end and the fact it was getting dark made me rather defiant. By the time I got home I needed a nap and nurofen.

Now of course I have the job of cleaning it up and making it road worthy but what are YouTube videos and friends for. Then there’s the small matter of riding the damn thing competently. Watch this space (or watch your ankles if you live near Gladstone park).

My Old Dutch Bike.

My Old Dutch Bike.

Written by Anon PA

January 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm