From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Sunday

Sunday Swoon. April 1st

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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.

5. Huge thanks to @goodstufftom who put me on to Afternoon Shift this week. I will use his words “informative, clever and not stuffy at all”. For radio fans please give it a listen

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Sunday Swoon. March 25th

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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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Sunday Swoon. March 18th

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A weeks round up with Paul Weller, a big moth, Hot Chip and more……

1. Hopefully I’ll get round to writing a more full review of 6 Music at The Southbank Centre at some point this week as it deserves its own spotlight, but had to include it in this weeks round-up. Exceeded all expectations, met a lot of DJ’s that have introduced me to bands I now adore, great performances from the likes of Anna Calvi and Graham Coxon. A real credit to everyone involved in an amazing evening and congratulations to the staff, audience, artists and 6 Music for making it such a memorable night. 

2. Album of the week has to go to Grimes for Visions. This album is a truly a headphones moment, it’s been my soundtrack to solo strolls around the streets. It’s addictive and the track above is what I’d urge you to listen to as a way in. The video is brilliant as well,  a shed load of testosterone. Muscleheads in the locker rooms, sport fans roaring in the stadium and petite Grimes with her stereo singing an electro lullaby. She’s also on the cover of this weeks Dazed & Confused looking stunning.

3. I blogged about Paul Weller at Maida Vale for 6 Music earlier in the week so you can read all about it here and be saved from my ramblings again

4. Craig provides the words and then Thom sketches for “Me And My Big Moth“. Super funny content from super talented boys. All those things you probably shouldn’t be laughing at but will. Please check out the whole set on When Monsters Attack.

5. Hot Chip – Flutes is the first offering from forthcoming album ‘In Our Heads’ out in June. I woke to this song Saturday morning and I’ve been frequently going back to listen again. What I love so much about this band is that I literally find it impossible not to be feel happy and full of joy when they’re on. Infectious positive bunch of talented boys.  

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Sunday Swoon. February 26th

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It’s been a bloody delightful week…..

1. Utterly smitten with Graham Linehan’s adaptation of The Ladykillers. Brilliant acting from an amazing cast (Peter Capaldi, James Fleet), found myself guffawing over the slapstick humour, laughed a ton and fell in love with the stage design (it’s my future home, in my dreams). Thanks to a twitter tip off from the man himself we had front row seats for the bargain price of £20 per person so if you tweet it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if the offer comes back around. Slick, brilliantly amusing script and visually a real treat. Peter Capladi’s facial expressions alone are worth the visit. Highly recommended.

2. I look at Sleigh Bells Alexis Krauss and think “you are everything I could never be”, by that mean I mean recklessly cool (I have wild abandon down to near perfection, coolness doesn’t come naturally to me). Reign Of Terror is hyperactive, destructive while being supportive and encouraging, storming and stomping as well as comforting. Alexis seems to be pulling someone, kicking and screaming, through a chaotic time. You can listen on Spotify.

3. All credit goes to Chris Owen on Twitter for bringing the above video This Is My Home into my life. I don’t want to say anything other than it was a beautiful reminder that there are good souls out there. Guarantee it will warm your cockles.

4. I took a seaside trip down to Broadstairs with ace friends yesterday. It used to be our family holiday destination growing up so for me personally it was revisiting my childhood. Nothing had changed, Bleak House (where Dickens wrote the book) perches on the cliff, fish and chips, second-hand book shops, the chipped and weather-beaten beach huts dotting the beach, Morelli’s ice-cream parlour dishing up sundaes. Perfect day.

5. A promising ballerina that had to give up her dancing career after a slipped disc and spinal fracture turns to writing music as a way of coping. I was always going to fall hard for Oh Land before even listening to her sing, seeing her live takes it to a completely bizarre and wonderful new height. She came on stage wearing brothel creepers, mint coloured tights and a skin tight pink dress complete with what looked like two slaughtered care bear heads puffed up on her shoulders. Hailing from a creative family she clearly lets performance course through her live shows, not just the costume changes and the constant dancing. A bunch of balloons at the back of stage had constant projections of a ballerina, a dozen tiny wolves and at one point each balloon dotted with her face providing the background vocals.

6. I’m cheating and letting this spill over into 6 swoons this week. The Shins have returned with Simple Song and I adore the track and accompanying video.  

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Sunday Swoon. February 19th

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Fourth Sunday swoon. Curry, Art & Music….

1. My love affair with the British Museum is ever-growing, a fortnight ago I fell in love with the Norman Foster roof, I could have laid down and watched the sky turn from ocean blue to velvet-black (curators at The British Museum can you fix it for me to sleep over one night please? I’ll behave). Last night I made a pilgrimage to the Grayson Perry exhibition, I blogged about it yesterday and you can read it here if you missed it. This article in The Guardian by the man himself is also worth a read.

2. After many thwarted attempts I finally got to try out the Kennington Tandoori on Thursday, my soon to be brother-in-law has never once failed with restaurant suggestions and this is his go-to Indian restaurant when in London. I’ve always thought Tayyabs would be impossible to topple from my top slot but after scoffing their Nilgiri Murgh (a chicken dish heavy on the mint, not like anything I’ve tried before) I am hooked. Can’t recommend it enough to any foodies out there. Also adored the map of India printed in their menu (above). 10/10 for the KT.

3. Ever underrated Field Music get my album of the week, it neatly takes me from flat to desk in 35 minutes. This is their fourth album, it’s short and sweet. I love the simple melodies mixed with the complex music on this album. You can listen to Field Music for free here if you’re curious (via Spotify)

4. For the first time in many many moons I gave a flying toss about the song at the top of the charts this week. I tell you what, it was a nice feeling. Took me back to my teenage years spent squatting in front of the tape deck with my hand hovering over play and record, ready to tape the top 40. Also, allowed a tiny bit of faith to creep into my bones over folk showing some good taste (eek! hope that doesn’t sound snobby?). Congratulations to Gotye.

5. Something about Richard Hawley sends me into a proper tizz, weak at the knees, glazed over adoration. He’s popped up on a B-side collaboration with indie cool kids Arctic Monkeys on this track You & I. It’s dirty, gritty, dark and he utterly steals the limelight on this track. 

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Sunday Swoon. February 12th

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The third Sunday swoon is strictly one for the music lovers out there…

1. Certain bands fall in to the category of what my Dad would call “Those that fucking live it”. E.g. when watching Paul Weller in Hyde Park last year he’d shout “He doesn’t just turn up, he fucking lives it”. This category is reserved for those bands that have the music coursing through their veins, that wouldn’t even exist if they couldn’t make music, they’d explode into a million tiny musical notes and float into space. Seeing The Black Keys this Thursday made me firmly shove them into this group, fantastic gig, happy crowd and snow over Alexandra Palace made a magical night. Also, support act Band of Skulls really impressed me as well, worth checking them out. Caught my other half google imaging them and thought “I bet he’s trying to suss out if singer Emma Richardson is hot”. He was. She is.

2. Ever since Zulu Winter waltzed into my life last year ringing cowbells in Let’s Move Back To Front I’ve been hooked. This video adds to the chill running through my bones this week for We Should Be Swimming. Anyone else hear shades of Duran Duran in this track? If so, does it make you feel guilty happy?

3. I’ve been trying to find the right words since seeing Justice at Brixton Academy this Friday and have been woefully at a loss. Never has a band quite shattered all my expectations and glued them back together in an inexplicable, mountain of brilliance, a structure that shouldn’t even exist. The attention to detail, the false starts that trip up your feet leading you to unexpected tracks, the production leading to a set list that you feel could never be recreated. Potentially one of the best gigs I have ever been to.

4. Album of the week is Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny. It’s called Yours Truly, Cellophane Noise and you can listen for free on Spotify. Love the tone of her voice, she sounds like the tomboy you’d want to befriend as a teen, rough but beautiful. A summer dress with skinned knees.

5. The lad sent me a text message in the early hours this morning telling me Whitney Houston had died, he said “I know she may have meant a lot to you” and he was right. Whitney Houston was one of the first albums I owned, my neighbours would have suffered years of my dull [sic] tones floating down from the open windows of my attic room as I sang her albums from start to finish. Many years later my closest friend and I ditched the initial wariness we had for one another when My Love Is Your Love was released, finding a connection that’s officially my longest ever relationship through our mutual pop tart tendencies. This playlist is especially for Jo as I know she’ll be feeling the upset today (you can play via Spotify). She was an amazing talent and quite simply, it’s just very sad that this has happened. Tragic. 

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Sunday Swoon. February 5th

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The second week of Sunday Swoon is brought to you by the following….

1. So far 2012 has brought a run of fantastic books to my eyes, and yes I am fully aware we’re only a few weeks into the year but I’m a bookworm and when they’re as good as When God Was A Rabbit I can’t put them down. Charming story of a girl called Elly that stretches from her childhood through to her thirties. Loveable characters, tragedy and charming hilarity. The best review I could find (that doesn’t give away the entire plot) comes courtesy of David Hebblethwaite for Huffpost if you want to read more.

2. Galleries & Museums. Had a blissful day with dear friends on Saturday. First at the Hayward Gallery for the brilliant David Shrigley exhibition where I left wanting to scribble, feeling like a creative juicy fruit. Then a chilly stroll up the The British museum where I fell utterly in love with a roof. Yes, you heard correct. The mummies fascinated me, the ancient Japanese scrolls impressed me with their minute detail. But it was the Norman Foster roof that wowed me the most. Major swoon.

3. M.I.A is B.A.C.K. Fell for this track immediately, video is another piece of genius from her. Only problem for me personally is every time she’s on the scene I get an itching for Hi-Tops and I am not a girl who would suit them in the slightest. Press play and you’ll be chanting “Live fast. Die young. Bad girls do it well”. Addictive.

4. I am massively clumsy. I am the one that will stumble across the needle in the haystack, discover said needle carries a disease and I’ll realise my tetanus is out of date. Due to these reasons snow actually terrifies me, always convinced that on the first tentative step I’ll end up on the floor with a broken hip. I usually enjoy the view safely indoors, this time I took my long-johns outside to get a closer peep. Yes I did fall over. It wasn’t so scary.

5. Album of the week goes to Django Django. First time I heard the track Default on the radio my inner monologue was screaming “I can’t put my finger on what this reminds me of”. I love that feeling, when something feels sparkly new and original to your ears. Listen to their album, and if it reminds you of someone else please keep it to yourself. I want to keep this feeling, it’s so rare. 

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Sunday Swoon. January 29th

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Figured I’d add to the weekly pressure of delivering a weekly mixtape by attempting to post a mini blog each Sunday as well. This will be my top 5 from the week. It may be an album release, something I’ve put in my mouth, a gig, a cocktail, a moment, a music video, a blog, an exhibition, a poem, a photo, a book. On its debut my Sunday swoon this week is made up of the following…

1. Courtesy of a Tweet from 6 Music I discovered the shadow puppetry video for Kate Bush ~ Eider Falls at Lake Tahoe. I can’t quite put my finger on a memory from my childhood, there was a programme that used this ancient theatre art of telling a story. Perhaps it’s an old fairytale I can’t quite bring to mind now I’m a jaded old adult.

2. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, I was so determined to finish it that I was reading it under my desk in between meetings. I don’t want to go into detail as if you’re looking for a good read I don’t want to give you any spoilers. Some of the best character writing I’ve devoured in a long time, bright, quirky and pulls at your heart-strings over matters you’re least expecting to feel emotional about. The Guardian published an insightful review if you do want a professional account, but I read this without knowing any details and think I got the most from it this way.

“One key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out”  

                                                                                                      The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

3. Francois & The Atlas Mountains released E Volvo Love this week. It seems to now be my default commuter jam album. I’m instantly transported to a gite, wine on tap, cheese at my fingertips and an inner calm that helps me zone out from the man trying to ram his gym bag up my bum. Also, in their video for Les Plus Beaux, feet have never looked so attractive. My French is rusty but I believe the song title translates to the best, or most beautiful (correct me if I’m inevitably wrong)?? He must be referring to those toes!

4. First gig of 2012 will taken some beating. The Maccabees at Brixton Academy on Thursday will be a cherished memory for the entire year. Three albums in means they have quite a back catalogue to draw on and subtle, mature tracks from Given To The Wild blended easily with earlier anthemic crowd rousing songs. We left it late getting tickets so were up in the Gods but none of the atmosphere or sound was lost and we were on our feet for the entire set dancing to the point of collapsed topknots and aching heels. I’ve created a spotify playlist of the set The Maccabees played here. Live highlight has to be the sense of occasion and new lease of life track Feel To Follow has live. Shivers and goose pimples.

5. The story of a lost Nick Drake recording of  Cello Song found by Michael Burdett in the bins behind Island Records HQ in London where he was employed as a post boy charmed me to childish joy this week. Years later it’s resulted in an exhibition called The Strange Face Project which you can see at The Idea Generation Gallery in East London. Tragically, after the initial joy and wonder wore off I’ve spent the week in a mild panic over how many rare recordings have been turfed out into the bins or had the top 40 recorded over them through the years. 

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