Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Ride my Chevrolet.

I know, I know, ZZ Top lyrics as the title is not very imaginative, but hey, it's half nine in the morning and I just want to share this purdy car with you...

Some serious car lust, there.
I love how every so often you'll either see one of those incredibly well dressed men, straight out of the Sartoralist or something, driving an immaculate hot-rod, or a muscled, tattooed guy who looks like he was paid thirty quid to bump you off in an equally immaculate one. I can't decide who looks better in them.
You see? Hot rods bring equality to the world!
Except they don't really, because you never see a woman in one, except for one of those quinsentially English, eccentric ladies in headscarves. And I don't want to be that old yet.

"In a flat forty-one with my strat on the door
We was goin' to the country for what we came for.

I'm sure you've smelled the trees in the air.
The best of motor cruisin's just the joy to get there."
ZZ Top - Chevrolet

Love, Peace, and God Bless American Hot-Rods,

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Post-Birthday Big Up... Part One

It was indeed my birthday yesterday, and although I am completely knackered from last nights antics, I will selflessly share some of my gorgeous presents from my equally gorgeous friends and family.

Left to right, clockwise; The Fashion Book, Giant "M", Red Accessorize Satchel, Van Gogh Book, Snow Patrol "Up to now," Muse Book, Kate Nash "My Best Friend Is You," Card, Address Book, Edward Monkton Card, Vintage Sage Typewriter, Yes Man.

Various media.

A very unflattering photo with The M.

The Muse T-Shirt.

I shall update soon with various outfits from the shopping, Mx.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Mercury Nominations

As an self-confessed music snob, I like to pay attention to different up and coming bands, as well as established bands receiving awards for their achievements. Therefore, I was quite interested to read the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize Shortlist, which is always a pleasant mixture of unknown bands and well-established legends (and perhaps a bit of mainstream crap thrown in here and there to satiate the chavs.) It goes as follows:

Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions
I have this album, and I have to say it's absolutely bloody brilliant. Best album nominated, without doubt. Soaring riffs and Simon Neal going for it like a mother bitch on vocals (pardon my French) the song picks include:
Bubbles (very catchy chorus)
God and Satan
Shock Shock
I adore their Scottish accents which burst through the solid vocals - these and Glasvegas are the best things to come out Scotland.

Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
I must admit had to look this one up, so I watched him on Jools Holland and I was rather impressed. The Irish music scene has been fantastic recently (wish I was there!) and this is pretty good, in a wobbly, folksy way. I love the warble melody for Meaning the Ritual.

Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea
Again, I loved her debut album, and saddened as I was by her jazz musician husbands death, I was quite excited to hear her new album. It didn't disappoint - slightly darker than the last, shot through with loss, I thought this album was quite beautiful. But then, who am I to judge? I'm just a biased, jazz-loving teenager.

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
Definitely deserved this. I've never heard folk-rock quite as interesting, quite as heartfelt, quite as cool. Cool isn't really a word you'd associate with folk-rock, would you?

Paul Weller - Wake Up the Nation
Paul Weller - what a babe. He sounds very "Notting Hill," very 90s indie. Don't get me wrong, it's good, but it feels as though they put it in here just to satisfy an old-timer criteria.

Wild Beast - Two Dancers
A cross between The Temper Trap and The Smiths (two of my favourites) but they just miss the mark for me. Amazingly original sound, but the lead singers voice is on the unsettling side of operatic.

Kit Downes Trio - Golden
This is why I love Mercury Prize. Because a jazz pianist's group can win a prize. They're not exactly to my taste, because I get bored when there's no singing, but technically brilliant all the same.

Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
Why is it that words mean so much more when they are sung by certain people? Laura Marling is one of those people - she makes lyrics mean something. She's folk, individual, talented and beautiful. Highly recommended.

Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek
I hate rap. I leave all that over-processed shit to The Masses - as far as I'm concerned, music should be raw and organic. But Dizzee Rascal is something else - he's so bad, he's good. He talks his way through songs about drugs and disco without panache, or that horrible chavvy rapper quality. He actually knows about music, and I actually think he's quite good. I wouldn't choose to listen to it, but as far as rap goes, it's the cream of the crop.

Foals - Total Life Forever
Ah, The Foals. Happy, Topman music! I don't care that this album is less ambitious and more straightforward - I love it. Special pick is the title song.

I Am Cloot - Sky At Night
Basically three weirdos from Manchester came together and produced... something quite remarkable. Sounds as though they have taken inspiration from Snow Patrol, Radio Head, Oasis etc. Very nice.

The XX - XX
I don't want to like the XX... some of their songs are pretty good, but some of them sound a bit too much like The Cure or Depeche Mode. VCR is a pretty good song - the video screams Skins! - but some of it is so dreary it's just fashion music. However, the 80s sound is pleasing to the ear... you find yourself playing it when you don't want to. I'm unsure about this one, it's a bit of a guilty pleasure.

So all in all, quite a mix! Not sure they've made all the right decisions there - I think Muse could do with a prize, as well as The Courteeners and Bombay Bicycle Club - but I'm glad some lesser-known bands are getting more recognition.
After all that I'm sure you're glad to hear I probably won't be producing much more pretentious indie shit music journalism for quite a while.

Love, Peace and Album Nominations,

Sunday, 18 July 2010

When I am Prime Minister...

1. I will change the set-up of Theme Parks so that only a certain amount of people are allowed in each day, but charge more, obvs. Then maybe you'll get more than three minutes of ride time without having to pay FastTrack!!

2. Drugs will be made legal. I know that's quite a controversial thing to say, but if those stupid kids want to screw their bodies up with Reefer and what-not, then it's up to them. Stop wasting police time.

3. Stop fighting. We've got boys and girls dying out there everyday for Christ's sake, and for what? So that, on a good day, they can maybe grenade a 13 year old Iraqi girl? OK, so I might not be the expert on this, but how can you not think that taking someone's life is wrong?

4. Gig prices will come down. Ditto festival.

5. All flasks will be quality tested before sale. Those things can be LETHAL if they leak!

6. All girls over 10 will be issued with an eyelash comb. Seriously, sort your mascara clumps out! And if you're under ten - why are you wearing makeup?? Take it from me, you don't need it.

7. All students will have obligatary Ray Charles time. At least once a year.

Obviously I'm having a little rant moment, apologies if I offended anyone, I tried not to. Opinions expressed.

Love, peace, and World Domination,

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Creative Pulse

I am feeling the creative pulse at the moment, for several reasons, actually. The first, because I am very excited about an art summer school that I have recently signed up for, which I think will be very interesting and helpful. I will be trying all sorts of things, and since Art is my favourite subject, I am really looking forward to it!
Secondly, I watched My Sisters Keeper today. And, yes, I did cry. One of my best friends in Ireland has leukaemia, and every time I saw the girl, or indeed her boyfriend who also had leukaemia, I just saw him. this was rather upsetting. Anyway, the cinematography in it was actually quite beautiful.

These opening credits with the bubbles were lovely, you could feel that something was going wrong in every second of it.

I can't find a good picture of the opening credits, but the lighting was lovely, just like this. She looked so happy.

In the film, Kate, the girl with leukaemia, made a beautiful scrapbook for her family. It reminded me of one of my favourite blogs, The Next Page.

And lastly, I am preparing a mural for my bedroom wall. I have scaled up this picture, by Roy Litchenstein, and I'm planning on painting onto my room soon!

"You don't love someone because they're perfection, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not"

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Australia's on the Wallaby

For one reason or another (oh, OK, I've become acquainted with some Australians) I have recently become very interested in patriarchy, and how some countries, and indeed some countrymen, have the power to capture so many people hearts. I have encountered this before, with Ireland, which I think is a singularly beautiful and sad country. The people there have known so much war, it is hard to believe that they can be so full of love. I am, of course, generalising a lot, I'm sure there are some terrible Irishmen, but c'est la vie.
Anyway, back to Australia. As I said, I have met some Australians recently (and no, not all of them were so full of love) but they really cheered me up. I found them very inspiring. I also watched the film Australia, a Baz Luhrmann, which was, of course, fantastic, and I found the scenery so absolutely gorgeous that I really want to go!

I also found, through another Australian friend, this poem, or rather song. I am told it is an Australian folk song, and if you read the whole song, it's beautiful, but very sad. Rather like Ireland, in fact.

They say that I never have written of love, they say that my heart is such
That finer feelings are far above; but a writer may know too much.
There are darkest depths in the brightest nights, when the clustering stars hang low;
There are things it would break his strong heart to write do you think that I do not know?

Love, Peace and Slan,