From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Kindness

Marylebone and Eton Mess

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I won’t name the person in question as she’s far too modest and wrinkles her nose up at praise. Pay her a compliment and she accepts gracefully but always adds “funny how people see you isn’t it?”. I’ll leave it up to her if she wants to share this post. Today is her birthday and well, she’s truly been a bloody brilliant friend to me the past year.

She’s helped me move house on a Monday night straight from work, carrying boxes and boxes of books to the top floor of my building. Shared many a glass of wine and gin. Shared some special gigs. Reminded me I’m well loved during tough times. I remember a particularly low day last July she sat opposite me in a pub in Marylebone. Her expressions a complete mirror of my own, she was genuinely as upset as I was.  To me that’s a dear friend, someone whose very expressions show they’re going through it with you. She’s an amazing person.

So, this mixtape is for her, you can play it on Spotify or YouTube.

Happy Birthday and I’ll see you later so you can blow out the candles on your Eton Mess. ♥

  1. Bonobo Feat. Andreya Triana – Stay The Same
  2. The Knife – Heartbeats
  3. Zulu Winter – You Deserve Better
  4. Jessie Ware – Taking In Water
  5. Polica – Lay Your Cards Out
  6. How To Dress Well – & It Was U
  7. Daft Punk – Get Lucky
  8. Kindness – Swingin’ Party
  9. Chromatics – Kill For Love
  10. SBTRKT – Pharaohs

Written by Anon PA

June 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

2012 Was…

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I do not have a decisive enough personality to make definitive lists so just off the top of my head this year…

Has been soundtracked by albums from Crybaby, The Maccabees, Friends, Wild Nothing, Mystery Jets, Mary Epworth, Beach House, Zulu Winter, Kindness, How To Dress Well, Hot Chip, Sharon Van Etten, Sleigh Bells, Polica, Toy, The Futureheads, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Grimes, Grizzly Bear, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Jessie Ware, Bat for Lashes and Perfume Genius. I wasn’t blown away by Alt-J (someone had to not be).

I can count the amount of times I went to the cinema on one hand but adored all the films. The Hobbit, Avengers Assemble, Moonrise Kingdom. Most of all I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild and Searching for Sugar Man.

It seems to be a year where I’ve mainly read David Sedaris. However, Anna Richardson’s Little Gods would be my book of the year. Stunning debut novel. After reading Virginia Woolf, A Room Of Ones Own I am determined to work my way through the rest of her books next year.

The exhibitions this year have been the strongest since I’ve lived in London. From Charles Dickens writing desk at the London Museum to Grayson Perry at The British Museum.

It’s been a year where I finally got to see Mystery Jets live, and at the Royal Festival Hall with someone who’s support has been unwavering this year. There’s been Gigs where I’ve been with my parents and created cherished memories, gigs of sitting in Hoxton basements and leaning over Heaven’s balcony. Drunk gigs, sober gigs, gigs that have moved me to tears or where I’ve come away with aching feet from dancing so much.

Above all these things it’s mainly been all about London 2012 for me. I hope I am forever changed by the Olympics and Paralympics. It made me kinder, motivated, deliriously happy and proud to be British. Actually, proud to just be a human being. This Public Enemy song will forever serve as a reminder.

It’s been a year of pesky Tinnitus, goodbyes and job changes. It’s been a year where friendships have sprang out of the unlikeliest of places and where I will never underestimate the kindness of strangers. At times you have overwhelmed me with your support and general brilliance (I know some of you read this blog, most of you will never even know you made a difference).

Of course there’s plenty of things I didn’t get round to in 2012. Like swimming round all of London Lido’s, having tea with Ian Hislop, learning how to ride a bike or shaking Robert Jay QC by the hand.

It’s been a year where I’ve decided bravery is one of the most important qualities you can possess. A year of remembering I can breathe underwater.

2012. In equal measures I’m glad to see it gone and reluctant to let it go.

Here’s to 2013. Happy New Year.

NB: Huge thanks to Pete at Flush The Fashion for putting up with my contributions for another year. To Pub Diaries for letting me waffle on in a Q&A. The ever energetic and tireless Dan Thompson for printing my pop up shop piece. To Darren Hayman for letting me talk about my love of swimming and to The Guardian for printing my ‘Six Songs Of Me‘. To Tim for having me on Resonance Radio. And to everyone who reads this. Cheers.

final collage

Sunday Swoon. November 11th

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I am settling into a new, very busy, job and haven’t found much time to blog of late. However, I woke up extra early to draft this. Mainly because of the two gigs I’ve been to this week, possibly the best I’ve been to all year.

1. The Foals return and I’ve had their track Inhaler on repeat an unhealthy amount of times this week. More dirt and bass than the wistful crisp beauty of tracks on Total Life Forever. February feels like a torturous amount of time to wait for the album. Yannis is genius. Can’t wait to see them at The Royal Albert Hall in 2013.

2. We stood utterly speechless, crammed shoulder to shoulder at XOYO on Monday night to watch Tom Krell (a.k.a How To Dress Well). My immediate reaction was “I bet Prince creams his pants listening to this album” and I stand by that. Live it is almost impossible to grasp how he hits those notes, my brain kept on nudging me to say “he’s actually doing that, that’s him”, this unassuming polite character. The atmosphere he creates is stunning. The crowd reaction to his a capella encore was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

3. I am back working within walking distance of the best burritos in London, this makes me extremely happy. By far the most successful hangover cure I’ve stumbled over and frankly would pay good money for one right now for that reason. If you ever get a chance check out Daddy Donkey’s on Leather Lane Market.

4. My second gig of this week was Adam Bainbridge (a.k.a. Kindness) at Heaven. I blogged about it the moment I got home so if you missed that post you can read it here. It sums up all that seeing him live means to me, and his album will definitely end up in my top 5 this year.

5. The Rolling Stones have (sort of) arrived on Carnaby Street in London. Christmas Decorations made out of gold records glinting in the light to celebrate 50 years of the band. There’s also a little pop up shop opened perfect for Christmas stocking fillers. Items thankfully reasonably priced. One More Shot was released this week.

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

Sunday Swoon. October 7th

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Lots of amazing music, coffee and one night of non stop laughter…

1. Still laughing a week later, every now and again something Rob Delaney said during his sold out shows at Soho Theatre makes me break out into grins and giggles. When he returns next year do go see him (I will be again). I have no words that will give him justice. He is hysterical, charming and I wish more comedians approached jokes about women they way he does. Bravo. A million times bravo.

2. I got to review the insanely amazing SBTRKT (pronounced Subtract for those that have been living in the stars or working on an underwater scientific base) for the equally brilliant Flush The Fashion this week. You can read my review here.

3. What I love about Natasha Khan, Bat for Lashes, is how artistic and stylised her music videos are, you can instantly feel that a lot of love and attention has gone into the production. Whether there’s a tinge of Donnie Darko as she cycles through deserted streets with animals in hoodies or the sadness of a drag queen prowling the stage. In All Your Gold she is resplendent in moody monochrome, moon snapping at her fingertips as the tides turn.

4. As 2012 draws to its close (and where have these days gone, too fast again my friends) the race for album of the year is on and Kindness has never left my top 5 since it’s release. This week, thanks to 6 Music Live I was reminded just how brilliant Adam Bainbridge and his band are. They were my stand out act at Field Day. You can watch this weeks session here. I guarantee it will bring you a world of joy.

5. I had a lovely Saturday morning in Soho, deeply involved in an exciting writing project. The scene was set in Foxcroft & Ginger. As my addiction to coffee grows (this is what happens when you cut down on alcohol) I shun chains and seek gems like this. A cheaper and higher quality cup of coffee served by warm and lively personalities. Food served ranges from cocoa rich brownies, dainty apricot pastries to chunky slabs of aubergine and doorstep oozing, dripping toasties. I also like that they sound like Roald Dahl characters. Find them on Berwick Street.

Music for Melancholy

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Allow me to have a bad day. I am sat nursing one of the many bottles of wine leftover from the M&S dine in for £10 offers that have been collecting in the kitchen reminiscing on the past 12 months.

I got made redundant last August, found a job I was excited about only to discover on my second day that the office was closing down by Christmas. So the panic of finding regular employment started all over again just as soon as it had stopped. After a lot of energy sitting in my uncomfortable interview clobber I found another job by November. I jetted off to Istanbul for an exciting work trip within two weeks of joining them and contracted Tinnitus on the return flight to London.

12 months later I am being made redundant yet again as the office I work for closes. My lovely ENT Doctor who (not Doctor Who, that’s a very different Doctor) has worked so very hard and dealt with all my frustrations patiently and kindly, threw his hands up today and told me he’s exhausted every avenue he can think of to cure it. All of which have failed (regular readers of this blog will know that music is the centre of my universe and therefore my hearing is precious). Add to this the break up of a long-term relationship earlier in the year, which despite the fact I am happier out of that relationship I miss my sidekick and it was a tough thing to go through. Most days I laugh at all this shambolic rotten luck, because of all the wonderful amazing things landing on my doorstep (London 2012 especially inspiring, friends and families support even more so).

The point to all this? None really. I am by nature a glass half full sort. In fact I’m more glass half full, favourite crisps in the cupboard and a bottle of rum under the kitchen sink. I’m not typing this to offer any wisdom other than to say I think it’s OK to have a shit day every now and again, and it’s more than OK to admit it. This post isn’t intended to cause worry. It’s just about that one message, that it’s fine to have a melancholic evening. Drink wine, feel a bit peeved about the hand you’ve been dealt and listen to lyrics. Then wake up in the morning ready to kick the world in its chops and run round the park listening to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On  A Prayer (I do that).

It’s good to have a soundtrack to wallow in, and beautifully sad music has a magical way of lifting me out of a sulk. Here’s what I’ve been listening to, just in case anyone out there is feeling a bit naff. Music offers a million things to me, that it can be cathartic is just one little element.

You can play this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. Bat for Lashes – Laura
  2. Florence + The Machine – Never Let Me Go
  3. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  4. The Middle East – Blood
  5. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  6. How To Dress Well – World I Need You, Won’t Be Without You
  7. Perfume Genius – Hood
  8. Anthony & The Johnsons – Hope There’s Someone
  9. Bon Iver – Holocene
  10. Kindness – House

July 18th Mixtape – Marc’s 25 for 2012

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Last week I blogged a mixtape made up of twenty-five tracks that have rocked my socks at the halfway point of 2012. This is born out of Twitter discussions with Marc and he’s agreed to let me put his list up so here are his. I expect he’s sleeping off Latitude somewhere so this will potentially pass him by. There’s a smattering of similarities to mine but it feels like a very different mixtape given the tracks he picked in comparison. I can’t stop playing the Purity Ring track.

You can play Marc’s mixtape on Spotify or *YouTube. Enjoy 

  1. Friends – Friend Crush
  2. Best Coast – The Only Place
  3. Passion Pit – I’ll Be Alright
  4. La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye
  5. The Maccabees – Pelican
  6. Solar Bears – Alpha People (feat. Keep Shelley in Athens)
  7. Lower Dens – Brains
  8. THEESatisfaction – Ecnhantruss
  9. Pond – Elegant Design
  10. Purity Ring – Fineshrine
  11. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
  12. Nicolas Jaar – With Just One Glance
  13. Charli XCX – You’re The One
  14. Death Grips – Get Got
  15. Alt-J – Breezeblocks
  16. Kindness – House
  17. Beach House – Wild
  18. Polica – Dark Star
  19. Hot Chip – Motion Sickness
  20. Sharon Van Etten – Serpents
  21. Django Django – Waveforms
  22. Burial & Four Tet – Nova
  23. Perfume Genius – Hood
  24. Grimes – Oblivion
  25. Oneohtrix Point Never – I Only Have Eyes For You

*Not all the tracks were available on Spotify as he’s clearly too out there with some of the choices so for the full list YouTube is the best option.

Written by Anon PA

July 18, 2012 at 10:31 am