Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
I’m not sure if it’s the same for everyone, but I feel like once you pass a certain hump in your 20s, you’re suddenly just ‘over’ going to nightclubs. The whole thing just seems like a lot to do. It’s not that you’re too sophisticated or fancy, but sometimes you just want a bit of fine dining, rather than a bassline repeatedly pummeling into your very soul. I hit this at about 23, then again at 25, then was over it for sure at 26. So what is it about the nightclub environment that just gets tiresome?
Sunday, June 17th, 2012
This afternoon I met and had a lovely conversation with musical mastermind, Imogen Heap. A few years ago, I randomly came across her live recording of her song ‘Just For Now’ on YouTube and was blown away by its brilliance. Then I saw her Everything In-Between documentary about the making of her album ‘Ellipse’ and was really drawn to her creative process. Since then, both of those things have been great resources to me when I’m feeling a little ‘stuck’ creatively. So, when the opportunity came to possibly meet her, I thought I’d better jump on it.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
This right here is the first video from my brother’s band, ‘Alaska’. The song is called ‘Girl’ and they’re pretty damn awesome. You can buy their EP here. And rather excitingly, they will be performing here in London town on Saturday February 11th at Paper Dress Vintage in Shoreditch. Come on down! They’re a new band, they’ve worked really hard on their new material and though sure, I may be a little biased, I really feel they’re bringing a new fresh sound to the musical landscape that is really needed right now. Give them a follow on Twitter too @alaskasounds and of course, if you happen to work for a record company or some such, you should probably get in touch.
Next big things right here.
Monday, April 18th, 2011
Well my friends, you ask, you get. I’ve had many people ask me to make a running playlist and I finally got round to doing it. Last week, I met the legend that is, Ms Paula Radcliffe (interview up on the blog tomorrow hopefully) and then yesterday, of course, was the fantastic London Marathon. I didn’t run it myself but was itching to get involved from my couch. Seeing all those fantastic men and women out there giving it their all was just the motivation and inspiration I needed. So whether you’re a new runner or just want to vary your own playlist slightly, have a listen to mine and download it. Tracklisting below.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
A few weeks ago I had a bit of a rant about Rihanna and her tendency to walk dangerously close to the porn line in her videos. Well, now UK artist Skepta has decided to throw any kind of caution in that arena to the wind and just go ahead and make a porno with his music in the background. The internet was ablaze last week when he released the video for his song ‘All Over the House’ and reaction has been predictably mixed.
I’m not familiar with any of Skepta’s work but just to bring you up to speed, his song ‘All Over the House’ is an intricate tale of how he and some random chick had sex, well, umm, all over his house. Deep and meaningful, it is not. I heard people were up in arms about the video but no one was really saying why. I made it through about 30 seconds before my inner catholic lost her shit and shut it off.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
I have a habit of falling asleep with the TV on and waking up to CNN en Espagnol, confused as hell. I need noise to fall asleep. Not living-in-Heathrow’s-flight-path-level noise, just a gentle hum of somethingness to lull me into snooze mode. So in an effort to stop drifting off to the sweet sounds of Law & Order: SVU and having night terrors about weirdo, doll-collecting criminals lurking in the New York night (don’t ask), I’ve been on a mission to find something to fill the void.
Everyone’s natural response to this dilemma is music. But music for me, at the moment, is a no no. I’m going through a phase where it just annoys me. Not all music irritates me, but for me to go through all my music and create a suitable playlist of music-to-fall-asleep-to that doesn’t annoy me, is the type of thing a crazy cat lady does. And I’m not one of those. Yet.
So, I have ventured into the mysterious world of ambient sounds. I downloaded an iPhone app called, believe it or not, ‘Ambiance’ and spent some time scrolling through the various sounds available to weirdo freaks like myself that can’t just fall asleep like normal people. ‘German Street Market’ was the first one that came up. Hmm, too much hustle and bustle. Might make me want to shop. Nope. Next up was the ‘Spanish Pine Forest’ – ugh, too many chirpy birds. Nope. Following that there’s the ‘Chinook Helicopter’ – it was around this time that I realised some people’s idea of relaxation differs vastly from mine. Then came ‘Commercial Dishwasher’ – are you kidding me? Who came up with this shit?
Then it was just bad sound after bad sound. ‘Babies laughing’ – yeah seems nice, but my theory is that all babies start crying at some point and I don’t need to experience that until I’m a mother myself. I sure as heck won’t be falling asleep to it. Then came ‘Montevideo’ which is a combination of people speaking in foreign tongues and birds chirping. No thanks. Then of course there’s ‘Bald Eagle’ which involves more birds chirping, except it’s kind of an angry bird. Or I could go with the ‘BMW 320D’ which sounds like rapid fire bullets aimed straight for your brain or ‘Challenger Tanks’ which makes you feel like you’re in a war zone. Yeah, that’s bound to bring sweet dreams.
I could have gone with ‘Mountain Wolves’ – why not? I’m sure everyone wants to fall asleep to the howls of a creature that, given the opportunity, would rip your face off.
Then finally, I found my sound. I opted for ‘Walk Through a Rainy French Forest’. Rain, footsteps and the occasional chirping bird has been lulling me to sleep for the past week or so like you wouldn’t believe. Oh sure, you may think the footsteps would freak me out, but what you don’t know is that they belong to my imaginary, very hot French boyfriend who is giving me a piggy back through said French Forest to keep my high heels dry. He’s a real giver like that.
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
I have a few phobias. I’ve got the bog standard fear of spiders, but I also have some odd ones, including my now infamous fear of oranges. Recently, I’ve developed a weird intolerance to music that is driving me nuts.
I’ve always had an slight issue with noise. Specifically, things like children’s toys that play a song over and over. I can’t stand it. It’s rare that I find myself in the presence of highly irritating kid’s playthings, but if I do, I will dive across the room looking for the ‘off’ switch and if that fails, I will throw the damn thing out the window.
But recently, this has extended to music of any sort. And this is annoying, because I love music! I’m not sure how or why this has come about, but I can barely listen to anything without it driving me nuts. Part of this is because I have a thing about repetition and when I really listen, I become hyper aware that music is essentially the same four or so chords repeated throughout a song.
The other night, I was having dinner with the fam with some Bob Marley playing in the background. We were having a great conversation, but all I could hear was the music. Literally, everything else around me tuned out and all I could focus on was this repetitive bassline piercing through my soul – and not in a good way! I became very anxious and eventually had to ask for the music to be turned off – this almost got me banished from my family. I had to beg and plead: ‘No, no! I love Bob Marley! I just have this weird thing about music right now. I can’t listen to it! I’m sorry!’
A few weeks ago, my mother and I went to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s at an old movie theatre near us. It’s one of my favourite movies. I haven’t watched it for a while. Just as I was getting into watching Miss Hepburn do her thing, all I could focus on was how many times Moon River played through the movie. It’s everywhere. It’s actually pretty much the only song in the movie, just with a slightly different arrangement for different occasions. Again, I got anxious, my heart was beating super fast. I thought I would have to leave the cinema. It’s ridiculous!
And I know it’s ridiculous, yet I don’t know how to stop it or why it even started. It has eased off a little bit over the last couple of weeks. It was at its worst when I first moved back here from Canada, so I attributed it to the stress of the move. And it’s just going to get worse in the run up to Christmas, because Christmas music sucks the biggest donkey balls of all.
Well, now you all know I’m nuts. Share something nutty about yourself in the comments, just so I don’t feel like such a crazy freak. Please?
Friday, June 26th, 2009
Like so many others, Michael Jackson pretty much defined my childhood.
When the news of his death broke yesterday, I honestly found it hard to choke back tears. For a man who put so much heart into his music, it was very difficult to imagine that heart would ever stop beating.
The Bad Album was the first album I ever bought (well, was bought by my parents for my brother and I to share), on cassette tape, naturally. I think we literally played that thing to death.
I remember the premier of the Black & White video being broadcast on regular TV. Not a music channel, regular prime time TV. That was fucking huge in England. I think everyone in the country was glued to their TV that night and it was all we talked about at school the next day.
I remember the Remember The Time video, pausing it and slow motioning it until I had every dance move down.
I remember being in Dublin, watching him on Oprah. That interview seemed to stop the world for a minute.
I remember seeing the footage of his Motown 25 performance where he did the moonwalk for the first time and feeling just as electrified as I would have been had I been there myself.
I have watched more variations of the Michael Jackson story than I thought were possible. There was a time when I could have quoted the The Jackson Five Story movie word for word.
Yesterday, for an hour or so, there was complete confusion as to whether he had passed or not, with all news outlets seeming to report different things. About twenty minutes after all the major news channels seemed to confirm it, a funny thing happened. Michael Jackson started blaring from the radio. I turned it up. There wasn’t a soul in my office that wasn’t tapping their foot, nodding their head and singing along. And there is his legacy.
So I would like to thank the God that is Michael Jackson for enriching my life and my iPod. Thank you Sir. Heaven is about to have one hell of a party.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
I’m not all the way sure what her deal is, so this is more of a preemptive strike. I sense I will have enough of her in the very near future, so she may as well stop now. While I respect that she’s ‘out there’ and going against the grain and pushing the fashion boundaries and all that bollocks, it all seems a bit forced and fake and well, made for 18 year old girls who work at American Apparel to drool to. I also dislike that she enjoys being in public wearing just a leotard. If she starts a trend with that shit, I don’t think I could handle it. I really need for people to wear pants.
Somewhere in the world right now, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Big Daddy Kane and numerous others are banging their heads against walls wondering how the hell this dip shit has risen from obscurity to make some of the worst trash to ever hit the airwaves. This new generation of rappers can go to hell. With their crazy dances and their radio jingle hits. I will personally be first in line to slap some sense into every 14 year old who has bought this fool’s record. And I’ll slap their mothers too. Yeah, I said it.
What’s that? Eminem is back on the scene? Oh, I must have missed that due to me not giving a shit. From the come back single, it sounds like the same old, same old. Maybe he should just stick to producing. It’s not even so much him releasing music that bothers me. It’s that it must be accompanied by his visual. And God damn! What the hell happened to his face? Seriously. I mean, he was never the best looking dude, but um, something looks a little off. And frankly, it scares me. I’m gonna need for him to get that fixed before attempting to be in the public eye again.
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
My ridiculously good taste in music (and everything else) has been well documented on this here blog. But there are some songs on my iPod, that I will inadvertently turn the volume down on, if I think that there’s the possibility someone on the train might hear it. We all have them, our iPod secrets. Those songs that are OK behind closed doors, but you don’t want anyone to know that you actually listen to them.
Well, I’m busting the lid of this bad boy and letting you in to, what I like to call, my ‘turn it down nuggets’.
Let it be said, I love me some Barry White. And I love this song, but the opening bars make me blush. If I’m listening to this on the train, I often have to just skip it, for fear that if I let it play, I’ll start dancing seductively against some unsuspecting businessman on his morning commute. Good Lord, I’m getting a bit flustered just thinking about it. Oh Barry…
Every time this comes on my iPod, I think ‘how the hell did this get here?’ and yet, I am yet to take it off. I don’t even like the song and still it remains, just popping up on my shuffle every now and then to taunt me.
Having anything by R Kelly anywhere near my iTunes makes me need to Purell my entire body. It’s sick and wrong. But this song (‘my mind’s telling me no, but my boooooddddyyyyy, my boooooddddddyyyyy’s telling me yeeeeheeeessss’), you can’t listen to that in public. Ugh, I can’t believe I just admitted to having that on my iPod – I need ’90s R’n'B singer rehab.
I’m not ashamed to admit that my love for Phil runs deep. Sussudio is the shit! WHAT?! I just have to turn the volume down when this comes on my rotation and I’m in public because I will throw down to some Sussudio. Don’t test me.
Fellow Block fans can affirm this for me: is is just me, or are the opening couple of bars on this track just insanely loud? I have tried to just let this play on my iPod while I’m on the train because, let’s face it, it’s a great fucking track (it’s OK if you’re still in denial – you’ll come around eventually), but I get strange looks from people (the ‘Block Haters’). Bedroom = fine. Train = not so much.
So come on – I shared mine. Tell me your iPod turn-’em-down nuggets in the comments.