From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

What Was & What Will Be. And Artichokes.

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Happy New Year my music loving, book nerd, pick and mix addict alcoholics.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reminiscing about 2011. It was the year I became addicted to Romanesco, Rum & Ginger, and Hackney (inconvenient seeing as I reside in north-west London). The year I met Jarvis Cocker *swoon*. The year I got a tattoo. The year I spoke to Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music. The year I remained in love. The year I made a wish in a 6th century wishing well, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The year I found community through Riot Clean Up, the most precious days of last year came from destruction, who could have predicted that – amazing!

It was the year I tweeted for The Guardian at Glastonbury and started writing for Flush The Fashion (thanks Pete!). It was the year I started this blog and had Thom Vincent, Dan Thompson, Bob Winckworth, my Dad and Priyam Chovhan guest blog for me (thanks a ton lovely folk). I’ve had a ton of support from friends, family and strangers in my writing which has truly meant the bloody universe to me.

The year I averaged 2.91 books a month and 2.58 gigs a month (festivals not included as some bands at Glastonbury are a bit of a blur) mainly with Lolita who has energetically suffered my stubborn determination to trek around various venues and fields. This was my soundtrack of 2011.

It was also the year I didn’t truly recognise the value of a friend until she was over the other side of the planet (I should have never let her get on that plane) and that is my one regret. It was the year I was made redundant from a job I loathed, only to find another and be told on my first day they were going bust at Christmas (it’s ok, I found another job after a frantic couple of months). The year my parents bailed me out on a number of occasions reminding me how important family are, I am eternally grateful for their love and support, poor sods.

Then I started thinking about 2012. I’ve never been one for resolutions but this year I decided I’d like some aims to plod towards. My list started with “Eat more artichokes”, and then it remained at that one point for the entire day. I also plan to work my way through the awesome books Cocktails with Bompas & Parr and the stunning Vintage Tea Party. Have a dip dye at Bleach, another tattoo, go back to meditation classes, learn how to ride a bike, find some new friends to trot around London with. Keep a journal in a slightly alternative way thanks to Keel’s Simple Diary, join a book club (ticked off the list thanks to The Good Ship, Kilburn). Above all I hope it’s a content year with few dramas and plenty of creativity.

I’ll leave you all with The Maccabees, the first album of 2012 I’ll be buying and the first gig of the year I’ll be heading to. Happy New Year, hope it’s a proper little belter for you all.


2011 Definitive, J’adore, Batshit, Swoon Mixtape

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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)

You can play the mixtape via Spotify or YouTube. Enjoy reminiscing over 2011’s music and let me know what I’ve missed so I can kick myself! 

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

Written by Anon PA

December 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

2011 Cool List

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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.


Written by Anon PA

December 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm