From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

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Field Day Mixtape 2013

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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.

Field Day

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Sunday Swoon. March 3rd 2013

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1. David Bowie not only released a new video for the track The Stars (Are Out Tonight) this week but you can also stream his album The Next Day on iTunes for free up until it’s release date on March 12th. This video is beautifully shot and now my style inspiration for the rest of the year. Tilda Swinton looks stunning.

2. Typing the words “Johnny Marr released his first debut album this week” I immediately want to follow it up with “How has this only just happened?” Feels like we have been robbed somewhat, but Messenger was worth waiting for.

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs released Sacrilege to the world. Lo-fi and gritty with a choir you’d expect to turn up on a Primal Scream track. It definitely sounds less polished than the sounds of the last album It’s A Blitz. Perhaps Mosquito will be a return to their earlier tracks. No matter what I’ve adored every album so I am confident it will be one of my albums of the year.

4. Warm, simply beautiful and instantly lovable. Caitlin Rose’s album The Stand In will definitely make the albums of the year at the end of 2013. If I was going to tell you to buy one album from a week of busy releases it would be hers.

5. I have a huge soft spot for Theme Park after seeing them support Summer Camp at Efes Pool Hall in Dalston (what seems like an eternity ago). A band that bring drinking something boozy out of pineapples and exposed ankles to mind even when I’m freezing in heavy knit cardigans have my heart. Their self-titled debut album is out this week.

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

Sunday Swoon. January 6th. 2013

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1. I cannot recommend a visit to Dennis Severs’ house enough. At 18 Folgate Street in Spitafileds stands a house frozen between 1724 and 1914. While I could bore you with my adoration and excitement of every room from basement to attic part of the wonder was going in blind and uneducated. Don’t read up too much, Dennis Sever intended for us to let the sights, sounds and smells fuel your imagination. I think if I went during each season I would have a different experience each time (so I plan to do so this year). You can book via their website.

2. There’s a ton of new music due out shortly that I’m geeking out over. Starting 2013 off with a new Pulp song produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is a start I wasn’t expecting.

3. Life of Pi is one of my favourite books and it’s hard for me to believe I first picked it up 11 years ago, intrigued by the cover. I always get itchy when films do their take on literature. This is visually beautiful, one of those rare films where 3D does add to the overall experience. My only concern is people are going along to look at the animals and missing the spiritual message that is key to Yann Martel’s book.

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4. Voodoo Ray’s on Kingsland Road, Dalston, is officially my number one pizza spot in London (Franco Manca’s held on to its title for a year). Authentic New York pizza by the slice, Brooklyn lager, super friendly service that comes with genuine smiles and a very talented in-house artist who decorates the pizza boxes.

5. I wish I’d had thought to do a Twitter Q&A on The Hobbit when it was released, answers courtesy of my mum who knows everything there is to know about the book. I didn’t realise just how much of a super Tolkien nerd she was even though this would have been one of the fist books she read to all her children. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson (it’s funny to see how dated it now looks). The Hobbit didn’t disappoint, although no need to pay extra for 3D. Great to see so many English Actors in main roles.

NB: You can tell it’s Christmas blockbuster time at the cinema seeing as I’ve been twice in the space of two weeks. That’s nearly half the amount of times I went during the whole of 2012.

Sunday Swoon. December 16th

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1. John Grant has confirmed a new album Pale Green Ghosts will be released 11th March 2013 and has released a track of the same name this week. A touch of Wild Beasts about it, at least to my ears.

2. I swear on all that is good on this green earth that Bone Daddies cured my hangover by the time I got to the bottom of my bowl of Ramen, served up over a loud soundtrack with a diet coke. I had the Tantanmen, the chilli giving a massive kick to the rich and hearty bone broth. I’m not sure if it was The Rolling Stones blaring out or the food itself but I left with the hangover kicked to the kerb.

3. Easily in my top 50 tracks this year How To Dress Well has released an official video to & It Was U this week in conjunction with Urban Outfitters. A Spiritual gathering waiting for their leader to glide in on a Segway drapes in dandelion yellow. The only negative being I’d have liked for Tom Krell to have been riding it.

4. Two girl crushes, St. Vincent and Alexis Krauss, join my original girl crush Cyndi Lauper (dating back to The Goonies release date when I’d have been eight years old) on stage to perform Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Yes it’s an amateur video but that’s the beauty of the internet. We get to see these little moments happen. Oh yeah, and Rosie O’Donnell is on drums.

5. Although I’m not a huge fan of this particular track I adore this video. Winona Ryder reunited with director Tim Burton on Brighton Beach. I’m off to watch Edward Scissorhands.

Expect More Kindness

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I’ve seen Kindness once already this year at Field Day. I went more nuts than I ever imagined I would, I adored his album World, You Need A Change Of Mind from the moment I heard it but I never imagined just how insanely energetic these songs would be live. Adam Bainbridge does not stop dancing, tonight decked in a gold lame shirt, baseball cap and skin tight jeans. He also throws in covers from Luniz, Womack & Womack, Anita Baker, Pointer Sisters, Aaliyah. As well as his own sampling of Trouble Funk and The Replacements.

Shortly after Field Day a few changes happened in my life and when I was going through a bit of an emotional shut down my lovely friend Priyam sent me the link to his track House.

Hearing it live tonight felt like an arrow to the heart. But a really bloody good arrow, like I’d been speared by those girls on Roxy Music’s Flesh and Blood album cover. A jolt to remind me I’m in a really good place right now, something Priyam was probably trying to make me see would happen. Kindness himself mentioned how he realised the true meaning of this song when he was singing it to the eight year old boy who appeared in the video. Also that in Berlin today a famous DJ was playing this to his bride on their wedding day as his promise to her.

Me. In A Good Place

A handful of my friends are having a bit of a rough time of it at the moment. I guess I just wanted to drunkenly blog that it will get better. Listen to this song to help you on the way.

Written by Anon PA

November 8, 2012 at 12:15 am

Sloe Gin Recipe

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I appreciate that by blogging my Sloe Gin recipe that I have now addressed practically every subject I could poke my beak into. But I am no chef so you won’t be seeing any baking tips from me. I just make a cracking moonshine (even if I do say so myself). I went home to Devon this weekend firstly to visit my family, secondly to pick Sloes. For Sloe Gin you will need the berries, sugar, gin and I add Vanilla pods. You will also need empty sterilised bottles.

The Sloes aren’t fantastic this year and the hedges were practically bare. If you go foraging for them yourself then my tip would be to take a walking stick or umbrella as all the best berries were out of reach, something hooked to pull branches down would have been perfect. As it was three generations of my family found themselves climbing into bushes, along cliffs and into ditches along Berry Head to fill our tubs. The perfect Sloe is slightly firm with a purple sheen over it. Discard any green or wrinkled ones.

Once you’ve heard your berry picking party say “I’m getting fucking bored of this now” (I’m looking at you Mum) then head home and rinse your sloes. One last sense check for rotten ones would be sensible now. Now, mundane and laborious as this is you need to prick each sloe a couple of times over with a needle. Fill your empty bottle with Sloes about a third of the way up, add a generous amount of caster sugar and a vanilla pod.

I never use exact measurements, it’s more about common sense. If the sugar and sloes take up a half of your bottle there’s too much in there. All you need to do now is fill the bottle up with Gin, and you really don’t need to go buy Tanqueray. I made one batch with Gordon’s and one with Lidl’s gin last year and couldn’t tell the difference, the flavour comes from the other ingredients.

Now you need to prove you’re not a snaffling alcoholic as it takes patience. In fact three months is the perfect time. You need to place the sealed bottles somewhere cool and dark and once a week give the bottles a little shake. Someone once told me they place theirs in the boot of the car as the bottles will get the movement needed for the brewing while you drive so you don’t need to check in on them.

Once your three months is up then strain through a sieve to get rid of the little bits that remain, place the liquid in the bottles and well… get drunk!

(Sloe Gin is lovely over roasted plums and it’s also the perfect late night festival drink, warms your bones)

Written by Anon PA

September 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm