Posts Tagged ‘From Desk Till Dawn’
Inspiration from Santigold, Breakfast like a king and World Book Night…
1. It is no exaggeration to say that Santigold’s gig at Heaven on Thursday night utterly inspired me and lifted me to a better place. She just sort of left me thinking I want to be better at everything, all the time, whatever I choose to tackle. A pantomime horse, dancers that I couldn’t take my eyes off, a sweet spirit and singer that connected with her audience. Her album is also released this week and there’s not been a day where I’ve not played it, Disparate Youth and The Riot’s Gone standing out. Exceeded all expectations.
2. Monday night I took part in World Book Night. It was a brilliant experience and I immediately blogged about it once my copies of Let The Right In were handed out to the commuters of North West London. You can read about it here.
3. A very early start this morning was eased by a visit to The Breakfast Club. We’ve patiently queued on many an occasion out in the rain and quite happily. It’s always worth the wait, Mocha’s, perfect poached eggs, pancakes and service always with a huge sunny smile.
4. Adore the tongue in cheek strap line on the poster’s for Blunderbuss. Jack White pitches it as his debut album which makes me smile considering his vast back catalogue and musical projects. This album is perfection, predictably Jack White but that’s why we’re all on the edge of our seats every time he releases something, with whomever is graced by his genius. ♥
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I decided to have a week off from my self-imposed mixtape duties this week and handed the reigns over to Twitter. I asked people to message me the first song that pops into their head and the first ten people came out with the below (except it turned into eleven). With the tracks coming from completely different people the choices are truly eclectic, I may experiment more in the future with this format.
There are people I can’t compete with in coolness from their choices, there’s also a track in John Cale that I’d never heard before and Mick Hucknall managed to thrust his ginger hips (?) into my blog for the second time. Could not see that coming!
- Chairmen of the Board – Patches (monkeypicks)
- The Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian (CurlyKerryLee)
- Spiritualized – I Think I’m In Love (GarethEvans1975)
- John Cale – Pablo Picasso (BobWinckworth)
- Simply Red – Holding Back the Years (Sarah_Woolley)
- The Clash – Stay Free (GoingUndrground)
- Bob Dylan – Quinn the Eskimo (Ryledale)
- Spencer Davis Group – I’m a Man (famouswhendead)
- Janelle Monae – Dance or Die (elllmilll)
- The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (buzzstas)
- The Beatles – For No One (DanStayte)
An amazing man in a green jumper, Zulu Winter and a pioneer in puppetry….
1. Thanks to the blonde in the bottom corner (a.k.a Jo) I have discovered The Amazings and it’s just such a brilliantly simple idea. They help people who are about to or have already retired pass on their secret skills. From steel pan drumming, foraging to retro up-do’s (which we attended on Tuesday) the “Amazing” passes down a life lesson for a small fee. I learnt the secret to Victory Rolls, how to use Kirby Grips (finally) and we all fell in love with Michael from Toppers of Hackney, owner of a brilliant vintage jumper and a music collection that Shazam wasn’t picking up. Yes, he’s *that* retro.
You can book activities on their website. Do take a peek if you live in London. Props to the team behind it, I am hooked and will definitely return in the near future.
2. I touted Alabama Shakes as THE band to watch in 2012 for Flush The Fashions latest digi issue. Genuine, raw, soulful, vintage. The album is out this week and has made me want to glug Bourbon and buy a rocking chair.
3. This week I have been obsessively watching Jiri Trnka’s puppetry. Most of his movies were aimed at adults, for example adapting Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream or producing shorts warning against drink driving. He was a pioneer in stop motion and animation. Really charming and minutely detailed.
4. Caught the latest single from Zulu Winter this week and, like everything they’ve produced so far, instantly fell in love with it. Counting down the days until their debut album which will be released in May. They had at the cowbells on their first release Let’s Move Back To Front. Can’t recommend them enough. ♥
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A holiday camp under tunnels, The Futureheads in a church, David Hockney’s epic collection. London never fails to delight me…
1. The Futureheads at Union Chapel this Wednesday were achingly sublime , faultless and I was completely smitten. My full review for Flush The Fashion can be read here so I shan’t reiterate my point, a few photos from the evening are on my Flickr. I implore you to catch them if you’re a curious and genuine music lover that wants to hear something brand new. Their album Rant is also out this week and has pretty much constantly played along with the album featured below.
2. I feel like I’ve been waiting an age for this album to arrive, from the moment Will Self declared it his most anticipated album of 2012 via a rare Twitter appearance, to the change of release date putting it back. Internet Forever are simply a perfect band to me. Melodies, catchy sing along lyrics, pop, shoegazing, eerie 60’s undertones, indie. They make you feel as if you’re listening to all your favourite genres in one go without being crowded, overly complicated or scenester.
3. One of my very favourite London venues, The Old Vic Tunnels, once again came up top trumps over Easter Weekend with their pop-up Holiday Camp. Brilliant DJ playing the right amount of classic tack and pop to shake your jelly, indoor campfire, badminton. Old memories of summer holidays under the grey, dank, dark tunnels. Although hitting the bouncy castle on a full stomach of gin was not our wisest decision of the night.
4. Sean Penn + Francis McDormand + the music of David Byrne had to only = a film I would love. This Must Be The Place is tragic, heart cracking sad but ultimately weirdly funny and redemptive. Actually found myself making triumphant and jubilant “aaahh” and “yyyeeaaayyy” noises at the screen.
“Dark flowers bloom in the autumnal garden that grows inside of me”
5. Being organised comes in handy when you can smugly walk past a very woeful but determined looking line of people chancing their luck at trying to get into David Hockney. Had I not pre booked I’m not sure I’d have lasted out in the rain. The Yorkshire landscapes made me feel nostalgic for my country upbringing in Devon. Luscious valleys reminiscent of Totnes. His paintings are overwhelming, from charcoal sketches to the colossal connected canvases painted from memory, to the same country tunnel revisited during the seasons. Definitely had an art high yesterday. Final day today just incase my words that don’t do it justice inspire you to run down to the Royal Academy of Arts. ♥
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A week where I finished a book full of freaks and loved them all, spent hours being wowed by graphic art at Somerset House and discovered Afternoon Shift…
1. When I first started reading Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love I tweeted that I was more than a little disturbed by it. Thankfully people convinced me to persist. Yes it stems from a slightly sick and twisted imagination but the result makes the ugliest of things quite beautiful. It’s like the love child of Angela Carter and Neil Gaiman.
2. Something had to come along to stop my brain shouting “GRIMES” at me every time I paused when deciding what album to put on. Grinderman 2 RMX appears, for the moment, to be that album. The Joshua Homme remix of Mickey Bloody Mouse is something quite special. I can be guilty of dismissing remix albums as lazy but this doesn’t lack in imagination and is brilliantly produced. You can listen to is on Spotify here.
3. The Daily Mash had me in hysterics over their festival for twats piece this week. If there was ever an article I wish had come from my brain it could be this one.
4. Somerset House have hosted a contemporary graphic art fair called Pick Me Up. Thanks to good egg Jo I was able to cram in on the final day and was completely overwhelmed by the standard of artists on display. Oh to be rich and snap everything up. From Paul X Johnson’s soft and romantic figures to Zim & Zou’s paper Polaroid camera’s. Extensive, vast, varied and washed down with coffee and ham and piccalilli rolls.This really deserves a post of its own, you can find photos on my Flickr.
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Underwater musicals, manly meat and poetic books. What a mixed bag of a week I’ve had…
1. All thanks to Summer Camp (see swoon number 3) I developed a huge crush on Aquamusicals this week, more precisely Esther Williams. I am slowly working my way through her splish splash synchronized swimming films from MGM. The clip above is from Dangerous When Wet, her co-stars were Tom & Jerry on this occasion. Brilliantly kitsch, charming and quite bonkers (especially if you watch after a few gins).
2. I really don’t want to say too much about this book as I know a couple of regular readers are halfway through it and I’ve also said I’d lend it to a friend (as an escape from her book club reads) but the language is beautiful, the characters tragic yet lovable, their little obsessions are poetic and educational. Highly recommend Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance Of The Hedgehog.
3. My first live experience of Summer Camp was at Efes Pool Hall in Dalston last year and I can happily report that upgrading to a bigger venue doesn’t lessen the intimacy and audience inclusion you feel seeing them live. Elizabeth and Jeremy still keep the rolling montage of vintage films (hence my swoon number 1) back of stage lending to their concept town of Condale (and making you nostalgic for your youth with Mary Poppin’s and Teen Wolf). As well as the familiar album they played new material and stripped down acoustic tracks including a sing-a-long inducing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere (no microphone required for Elizabeth to give you an idea of how powerful and pitch perfect her vocals are). Truly special live.
4. There is an underground den for music geeks halfway along the Edgware Road called The Rock & Roll Public Library – Mick Jones. It’s a collection stemming from the man himself’s personal collection that started before The Clash was a glimmer in his eye. It takes in books, vinyl, fanzines, posters and is a truly fascinating historical archive. It’s only there until March 31st so time is ticking. A photo set is on my Flickr.
5. I’ve been to meat mecca and it’s name is THE RIB MAN. Leaves the likes of Bodean’s in the shade not only in the quality of the slooowwwww cooked ribs pulled into fluffy white rolls the size of your face, but service comes with a huge chirpy smile (unlike aforementioned restaurant). Worth the queues and crowds on Brick Lane. £5 well spent. You can read more about The Rib Man on his website here. ♥
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I have to start off by saying that never will you find a crowd so diverse and different in age, choice of footwear, height, regional accents, choice of tipple, background (you name it) than 6 Music listeners. I don’t think this really hit home for me until I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you/them at their 10th birthday party at The Southbank Centre last Friday.
From a statuesque giant rocker clad head to toe in leather, young hipsters wearing gold lamé skirts and pop socks, cheery cockney chaps flying solo for the evening refusing to watch Graham Coxon due to a bad experience at a previous festival. Impeccably turned out suburban types looking slightly traumatized at having to drink wine out of plastic cups. Women wearing wellies and dancing around pink gloves on the dance floor, another in her late 40’s swinging around a carrier bag, her feet performing the perfect shoegazing shuffle (both of whom looked happy as pigs in sh#t).
All united because of a radio station that was very nearly axed two years ago. Where would we all congregate without it?
It also speaks volumes that 6 music were able to provide a line up that wouldn’t be out of place at the likes of Glastonbury. Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves of Destiny started live proceedings in Queen Elizabeth Hall, she thanked “sparkly eyed Marc Riley” for being the first person to play them on the radio. Her album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose has been one of my most played albums this year but hearing it live really highlighted what a big sound this petite blonde has. Orchestral, classical, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bon Iver and Beirut.
Anna Calvi, by general consensus of people we spoke to that evening, was the real highlight of the evening. About a year ago we saw her perform at the NME emerging artists tour at Koko and never have I seen a crowd so attentive and focused. Now she seems even more self-assured, people were motionless, rapt with her performance. There’s something dark and brooding in her, demonstrated in her sultry version of TV On The Radio’s Wolf Like Me.
Now my review will get slightly vague due to the amount of wine accidentally consumed.
Graham Coxon adapted his trademark stance (striped t-shirt, head slightly bowed, feet turned in, guitar go) and delivered exactly what he always does, a man so talented he’s unlikely to make any slip ups. I was holding out for Freakin’ Out which was frantically and energetically delivered. The beautiful Gruff Rhys dressed reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Team Zissou and a hot science teacher you never admitted to fancying playfully poked the audience with cards saying “Thank You” after applauds, his solo work not a million miles away from the SFA but cosy, heartwarming and melodic.
PIL closed the evening to an audience on their feet, flooding into the aisles to dance and defying the staff trying to keep them seated. John Lydon gave thanks to the 6 music listeners saying “someone’s got to put up with this stuff”. This Is Not A Love Song was a personal highlight of the evening (though perhaps played a little too early in the set based on audience reaction).
What exceeded my expectations of the night, yet perfectly sums up the sense of community and interaction 6 Music shares with its listeners, were the moments you found yourself side by side with the DJ’s. Radcliffe and Maconie’s Northern Soul Disco was the most I’ve danced this year, and I have to say Stuart Maconie is possibly one of the warmest, genuine characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too. Don Letts played songs that helped me get through sleepless nights of Tinnitus when it first forced its way into my ears. John Holmes pulled off a mash-up of ABBA & Van Halen (you can listen to it on Soundcloud) and I suspect was as drunk as us by the end of the night. Peter Serafinowicz was utterly and effortlessly charming and I think both the boy & I developed a smidgen of a crush on him. Huey Morgan also treated us to an acoustic set of his new solo material (a love song to Shaniqua). If Queen Elizabeth Hall was the main party the foyer turned into the kitchen where all the brilliant people lurk with the gin picking the most amazing songs to play.
6 music could easily turn this into a yearly occurrence. Huge congratulations to all involved and thanks for the memories. Also, massive IOU to Mondonomy for swiping up tickets.
PS Would love to hear from anyone that had tickets for the Purcell Room for Laura Marling and Lianne Le Havas. Please do comment below if you stumble across this blog.