Archive for May 2013
1. So I have a huge soft spot for Baz Luhrmann films. I’ve heard people niggling at his adaptation of The Great Gatsby, someone saying they walked out after ten minutes, but I loved it. The party scenes were visually breathtaking, made me feel like I am missing glittery ticker tape in life. The casting was perfect for the characters, Mulligan and DiCaprio as Daisy and Gatsby especially. It stuck close to the original book by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The soundtrack was perhaps a little too much vanity from Jay-Z.
2. The much talked about Parquet Courts played London’s historic The 100 Club last Sunday. Without getting drawn into the whole “is guitar music dead?” question what I will say is it was great to see a band who didn’t look like a Top Man advert, over groomed and too stiff for movement. There was a kid alone (he really was a kid, around 16) right at the front looking like he’d just discovered the greatest band of all time. Eyes unblinking, mouthing every word, rapt with attention. I love seeing that look on people.
3. I always get sucked into these “great summer read” books (I admit it, I even read Dan Brown). I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in about two days, staying up until the early hours to get to the end. It’s surprising and full of twists without over complicating the plot. I predict a film adaption will follow by the end of the year.
4. Field Day was utter brilliance on Saturday. Perfect weather, great company for the day and some real standout performances from the likes of How To Dress Well, Kurt Vile, Animal Collective and Bat for Lashes. I’ll opt to put a track of hers on here because it was the last crystal clear memory I have. Things after that got a bit gin hazy. The best day of 2013 so far, by far.
5. Lastly a new track this week from bare-footed, natty haired Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Better Days.
The bands I’ll be aiming to see at Field Day this Saturday in a mixtape (I distinctly remember writing last years sitting in a park in the sunshine). Although, from my present mood I am considering rounding off the day watching John Cooper Clarke so I should have added poetry and spoken word into my list. With a cider in my hand, the smell of petrichor in the air and dirt on my knees. I do get goosebumps over that first festival of the year feeling.
You can play my mixtape on YouTube.
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.