From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Mystery Jets

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

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Sunday Swoon. December 2nd

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Not a peep of a Christmas song despite the fact it’s December, I shan’t punish you all yet…

1. The partnership of Hot Chip and Peter Serafinowicz continue their artistic relationship as he directs a third music video for them. Don’t Deny Your Heart was released this week. Spot the controversial refused handshake at the start of the Football match and try and work out where it will go from there.

2. Anyone sauntering past a book shop recently would have spotted The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Joasson as it seems to be in every window I pass by. Lovable characters from one unique imagination. Highly recommended read, would make a good stocking filler for a book-worm.

3. Finally got to see Mystery Jets live this week. Five albums in and somehow they’ve always alluded me but it was worth the wait to see them headline the Royal Festival Hall. Beautiful set taking us to sunrise through to a full moon, birds fluttering across the desert scene of their Radlands. Appearances from a gospel choir and Laura Marling to name a few. I was still grinning two days later from this gig.

5. Apart from Mystery Jets the song I’ve had most on repeat this week is Local Natives with this beautiful track Breakers. I’ve added them to my Glastonbury wish list.

Music for Getting Up And On With It

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The other week I had a self-indulgent moan and posted Music for Melancholy. In my own way I guess I was exorcising the demons of a frustrating run of bad luck over the past twelve months. Since being slapped in the face with redundancy I have spent the past few weeks putting our families tried and tested work ethic to the test and it’s eventually paid off (that ethic being you work, you pay your taxes, you get on with it… you hear me Starbucks?).

Recently I pushed myself through three tough interviews at one firm to lose out literally by the toss of a coin between myself and one other candidate. On route to my final interview Ken Livingston was sat next to me on the tube and I considered it to be a bad omen. A prophecy fulfilled. Last Thursday, as I trekked my way to another interview I stumbled over a Ferret in Holborn outside the office I was going to, a thought that still makes me smile while feeling puzzled. It was the job I have been offered.

Conclusion; Bitey Ferrets are luckier than politicians. Like I even needed to point that out.

I have to say a huge thanks to my friend Lucy who sat with me during my melancholy weekend and reminded  me “You may be having the worst of times but you’re surrounded by the best of people”. Friends and family have nudged me along as well as the music I’ve been listening to. I owe them a million karma points.

This week I banish the melancholy to the bottom of the recycling bin along with the half price bottles of Oyster Bay. This Mixtape is brought to you by relief and a tiny bit of fight (trust me, it’s taken it). The tracks below are some of what I’ve been plugged into during moments of stress and exhaustion, a truly random and diverse selection. I’m sharing it with you in case anyone needs a kick up the bum.

London 2012 Legacy. From the Olympic Park

You can play this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. Doris Day – Keep Smilin’, Keep Laughin’, Be Happy
  2. Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
  3. Aaliyah – Try Again
  4. Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At
  5. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
  6. Public Enemy – Harder Than You Think
  7. Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up
  8. The Joy Formidable – Whirring
  9. Mystery Jets – Someone Purer
  10. The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Sunday Swoon. May 6th

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A comic book makes me want to run away to Paris and Mystery Jets welcome return…

1. I am guessing that every music lover out there has whiled away some well spent hours this week perusing the John Peel archive thanks to the Centre for Creative Arts. I believe the aim is to upload 100 albums per week up to October from John Peel’s vast and legendary record collection, sessions and radio shows. Think of it as Spotify but with soul and love, and no awful records. Visit the website and lose yourself in the archives. I implore you.

2. In my state of frequent Tinnitus insomnia I sometimes plough through a book in a night and this morning I finished French Milk by Lucy Knisley. Such a beautiful journal. A tale of five weeks in Paris with her mum told through words, cartoons and photos. Charming, unique and conjures up such a strong sense of the smells, taste, views of Paris that I want to elope right now.

3. Mystery Jets consistently release albums that instantly find their way to my heart. This week they released Radlands and despite some bonkers moments (The Hale Bop is a touch Scissor Sisters, indie does glam rock, works on a level I can’t get my head around but find myself singing along regardless) I instantly love this album. Opening three tracks especially.

4. I am certain people fall either side of the fence when it comes to The Gossip. I imagine for many they’re too pop, too mainstream. Whatever your opinions of their music the music world seems like a gobbier place when they’re around, Beth Ditto is transparent, ruthlessly honest and to hell with the consequences. I respect that approach. Interview and album stream on The Guardian’s site here.

5. I have a soft spot for Studio Ghibli films. For completely brainless reasons I like being distracted by the colours, fairytale, animation. I’m possibly regressing and trying to ignore reality but I’ll take escapism any day. This week I got lost in Ponyo

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