From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Archive for August 2013

Sunday Swoon. 25th August 2013.

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1. Anna Calvi is, for me, one of the strongest songwriters to appear in recent years. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her live twice and to those lucky enough to have tickets to see her at the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall know that my jealousy runs deep and bitter. ‘Eliza’ is the first new track to surface from her second album ‘One Breathe’.

2. I read a book made for hipsters this week and I’m OK with it. Office Girl by Joe Meno is definitely one for the people of Dalston. People on bikes under the impression they’re the next big art movement. It has genuine charm and I found myself understanding and sympathising with characters I thought I would loathe.

3. I went to see Frances Ha on Monday and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since (my first visit to the tarted up Barbican cinema which is a gorgeous space and only £6.00 a ticket on Mondays). Directed by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig plays Frances with a deadpan sincerity in the tale of a friendship moving into more grown up stages of life. But mainly I took away from the film that you need to be the happiest version of yourself possible in life. It was inspiring and I’d happily pay to see it again for that feeling.

4. Mikal Cronin’s MCII has been my summer soundtrack. He was spectacular at the Lexington and really hope there’s appetite for him to come back and tour the UK so more people get to see him live.

5. Finally, feels like autumn is almost at the doorstep in Mount Kimbie’s new video for ‘Home Recording’.

Sedum Trays (Dirty Fingers)

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Yeah I’m blogging about Gardening now. Glance around my flat and you’ll see an abandoned vintage typewriter, knitting needles wedged on top of some books, my acrylic paints are under the TV, remnants of last years Sloe Gin are on our (dwindling) drinks shelf, my bike is outside and now I have a sedum tray at my feet. I am a hobby whore. I will never settle on one thing long enough to perfect it. A sentence that can be applied to most areas in my life.

My mum is an amazing gardener. When we first moved into the family home when I came along thirty-five years ago our gardens were paved over, not even a weed poked through the concrete. My mum turned them into a brightly coloured haven, carefully choosing plants to attract our disappearing butterflies and bees. Last time I was at home she made me think of gardens as an art form. “Think about all the colours you see around you in nature. It’s like picking out colours you’d want to paint with.”


Having just moved into a flat with the luxury of some outdoor space we set about making a sedum tray. It’s like building your own miniature garden. When you head out to a garden centre (or my favourite Columbia Road flower market) you’ll need a decent size pot and then chose a mixture of succulents and alpine plants (ones that effectively thrive well in hard conditions and grow well when clumped together).


Prepare your pot by lining the bottom with a smashed old plant pot (obviously not the plastic ones) which will help with the drainage. Mix some grit in with your soil (as they don’t like getting too wet). Don’t bother wearing gloves, I think there’s something about getting dirty hands that is far more satisfying. Just make sure you pack the soil tightly between each of the plants you put in and don’t pack it out too much, remember these plants will blossom and grow! The photo below was taken the moment we put this together, now the plants tumble over the sides or reach up to the sky.

Sedum trays don’t need a lot of care which is what makes them so perfect (it helps that succulents retain water). You won’t need to water it constantly every 7-10 days. Just make sure you snip off any dead flowers to make room for new ones to grow. Like getting a fringe trim!

sedum tray

Finally, here’s a gardening inspired playlist for you all, featuring Bat for Lashes, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Jeff Mangum, Wild Nothing, PJ Harvey and more. Enjoy.

Written by Anon PA

August 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Sunday Swoon. 11th August 2013

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1. I know Animal Collective were brilliant at Field Day despite being so drunk I don’t remember much of it, just more of a positive and definite feeling in my bones. This week they released their official video for ‘Monkey Riches’.

2. Summer Camp have returned with ‘Fresh’. I’ve seen them a fair few times now and they’re always an utter joy live, Elizabeth Sankey has a voice that any music lover should experience live. Huge excitement for a new album.

3. MGMT perhaps overdoing the obvious symbolism slightly in their video for new single ‘Your Life Is A Lie’. Awful live in my experience but always a good running soundtrack so hoping the album helps me escape from lethargy.

4. Hugely looking forward to the Manchester Warehouse Project in November. One of the nights we’ll be going to is Field Day presents… Curated by Four Tet and Caribou. Looking forward to hearing ‘Kool FM’ live.

5. And finally even though this a very old track I have spent the past four days in my own all girl version of this video, driving around the locations in Metronomy’s video for ‘Heartbreaker’ on a break to Devon with two ace friends (not on a weird Metronomy pilgrimage, just by chance). Just to say a huge thank you to both of them for such a brilliant time.

Sunday Swoon. 4th August 2013.

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1. Running until 29th September at Somerset House is I Only Want You To Love Me by Miles Aldridge. This is his largest retrospective to date and you’ll catch glimpses of how he sketches his ideas through to the final photo’s. His work focuses on women and colour and all his pieces certainly command your attention in their brightness and composition. Adored his take on religion especially.

2. New album from Fuck Buttons has been on repeat the past few weeks. Stalker and Hidden XS standout the most for me and it’s definitely worth listening to Slow Focus. Missed them at Glastonbury (clashed with The Rolling Stones) but hoping to catch them in London this September.


3. Fika on Brick Lane has turned into a Wes Anderson shrine. Curated by Dani Wes Kingdom is littered with film references (even down to replica’s of Wes Anderson’s made up books from Moonrise Kingdom) to cocktails including a tiny fish in a bag, a nod to Life Aquatic.

4. By some kind of karmic luck (a contact at V&A and the kind Anna on Twitter) we managed to get to the long ago sold out David Bowie Is at V&A. Unbelievably moving and inspiring. Other curators take note, this is the future of exhibitions, the headphones worked on sensors as you approached displays. Do what you can to get along on its final week, and if you can’t work a miracle then you can book tickets to the live cinema event.

5. The strange but beautiful video to Earthly Pleasures by Villagers is on their website. Definitely one of my favourite albums from this year and the accompanying music videos are always worth watching.