At the moment I'm incredibly busy with a full time job in London PLUS manic preparations for university interviews. But I might come back to this blogging malarky properly after that's done and dusted....
I'm in Copenhagen (oh, you jetsetter you) at the moment, but back home tomorrow. The next few days are going to be spent frantically trying to find ANY and EVERY way to distract myself from the ever-nearing horror of Thursday. Thursday the 18th of August. At 6AM on said date I will receive an email from school containing 3 rather important grades. Ha... Ha.... Hah... LET'S NOT THINK ABOUT THAT!
Here's a song. A friend and I watched the remake of the film 'Arthur' the other night starring my beloved Russell Brand, and I must say it's one of the sweetest and funniest things I've seen in a long while! Ah Russell. Although he might not be considered a top-notch actor, in a film like this where he is basically playing himself he copes pretty well! I remarked that it's sort of like watching him doing a stand-up act, but just with a storyline round it. And there's nothing wrong with that, is there!
Plus, STELLAR original soundtrack. I nearly had a heart attack when about halfway through the film during one sweet little montage or another I heard the unmistakeable tones of one Mr. Ben Gibbard...
Our 3rd year at Camp Bestival, and yet another epic pre-birthday weekend for two of us.
Mark Ronson playing his Amy Winehouse tribute/Magic Meadow/Yaaks/Washington Irving/Lulworth Caste/Laura Marling/Newton Faulkner/The Correspondents/And again (coolest. dancer. ever.)/Frolics by the carousel/Groove Armada/Castle Field/Beardyman/Fireworks
I know I left school nearly a month ago now, but the truth is being so young in my year group has meant that I have been putting a hella lot of important things off until the day (02.08.11) has arrived. "I can't possibly expect to be given job yet, I'm not even 18!", "I'll start thinking about driving after my birthday" ..... etc. Although knowing me I'll continue to do the exact same thing, except replacing "birthday" with "results day" - "I can't start thinking about university until after I know where I stand in terms of A level grades"...... Gee, procrastination.
So, let's lay it down - 2 hours and I'll be adult who has the next year to do these things:
Apply to university
Get a job to earn some DOUGH
Interrail round Europe
Take a singing diploma
And finally get round to learning to drive.........
I'm having a joint partay on Saturday with a friend whose birthday it is today. The theme's 'musical icons'. Me, doing a MUSICAL theme? Shocker!
A couple of weeks ago now I traipsed up to London to see one of my all time favourite bands, Death Cab, on one of their rare jaunts over to the UK. You may be wondering why I use the verb 'traipsed' in that sentence - that doesn't sound like a particularly enthusiastic mode of movement for someone on the way to see one of her favourite bands. The thing was, I had been at a friend's rather large 18th bash the preceding night (complete with free ice cream van and photobooth, yeah, I KNOW!) so, come mid-afternoon on the day of the gig I was still not feeling particularly enthused by the thought of moving from my comfortable position on the sofa watching the first series of Skins from start to finish, even if it was to see Death Cab.
Anyway, in the end it was well worth the effort of leaving my nest. Since we had left leaving my house till as late as was possible without actually missing the gig we didn't exactly have prime positions - we were very much at the back of the O2 academy - with the 'swayers' as opposed to the actual dancers. Which, though a shame, at that point in time suited me well enough. (However, this poor position has meant that my photos aren't as SUPER AWESOME as they usually are in gig posts... soz about that).
Since they're a well established band with seven (I think?) albums under their belts I was intrigued as to which songs would make the cut for their set. One of the nicest things about this gig, in my view, was that they didn't neglect their older albums in order to play their newest release, Codes & Keys, in full, like some sort of advertisement. Of course a good few songs from the new LP were played - the single 'You Are a Tourist', the remarkably cheerful 'Stay Young, Go Dancing' and the title track included amongst others - but plenty of songs from the other 6 albums were played too.
They started with 'I Will Possess Your Heart' (if you don't know it GO LISTEN TO IT HERE) from 'Narrow Stairs', with its brooding 5 minute intro - an epic start by anyone's standards. I was particularly happy to hear 'Photobooth', from the Forbidden Love EP, since that was the first song by of theirs I ever heard, and of course 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark' was a stand-out moment, with Ben Gibbard left alone on stage with only his acoustic guitar for comp'ny (the cynic in me raised my eyebrows at the sudden intensification of the crowd's whooping, there must've been a fair few people there for whom this was the only familiar song - don't get me wrong, I love it too, but it does bug me when people neglect the rest of a great band's 'oeuvre' just because of one famous track). Ben even made a quip about vampires before launching into 'Meet me on the Equinox', a song they wrote for one of the Twilight movies - a track which I must say I enjoyed a lot more live than I ever did before, I'd always thought it was a little weaker than their actual album material. But meh.
Anywho, the final moment I'll focus on is the final song they played, Transatlanticism. Blimey that was a good way to finish. Slow-burning build-ups are definitely what this band do best, so bookmarking the set with two of these was a good choice.
Here it is. Hangover forgotten, ears still slightly ringing, I was somewhat dazed leaving the venue... It was a pretty magical way to finish the evening.
Needless to say I left the house at 11:30 PM last Thursday with two equally Potter obsessed chums to go to a midnight screening of the end of my childhood. Scars and glasses drawn on, wands at the ready. Oh, what a night.
So the new(ish) Bon Iver album has already made itself comfortable in my list of favourite albums of the year/possibly ever.
As a casual scan of any review will tell you, it's a very different record from 'For Emma...', which, as I'm sure you all know, he wrote holed up in a cabin in the woods after a bad break up. It was a beautifully sparse, folky affair, but this self titled follow up is bigger; much bigger - for evidence just try the final track Beth/Rest, which is unashamedly 80s... an epic. Overall, percussion is more prominent, and one of the most obvious differences is the new inclusion of a far wider variety of instruments - listen out for sweeping string lines (Towers), electric distortion and plenty of brass (check out those cheeky saxophones in Minnesota, WI).
But, the one thing that hasn't changed is that voice. There's something so unique and instantly recognizable about Justin Vernon's falsetto vocals, along with the way he layers them up with those shimmering harmonies. The way he can convey emotion through his voice alone surpasses, I reckon, the majority of artists today who are attempting to do the same thing. Even his diction in pronouncing certain words seems to hold some sort of power.
So, in a word, it's magical. Please do watch this:
What I love most about this video of one of my favourite tracks on the album, Holocene, is that is showcases that amazing sense of this album being a group effort. This isn't just Vernon's game any more, it's all of theirs. Another thing that this live performance highlights is something that I mentioned earlier - the new orchestral feel Bon Iver have employed is clear; just watch/listen to 3:37 onwards - it sounds like a chamber orchestra tuning up for a performance. Also, if you watch carefully you'll see many of the band picking up multiple different instruments throughout the track, along with singing harmonies, shaking shakers, et al. This level of musicianship, I dig... But I suppose since I'm a musician myself this might be a selling point for me a little more than for some others. Still. Amazing, magical, beautiful.
Helloo, I'm back from Portugal. I had a pretty much perfect week... Such a good way to celebrate the end of exams. It basically consisted of swimming, sunbathing, reading, eating, sleeping, drinking, dancing. I haven't gone to bed before 4 am all week, though, so getting to sleep last night after I'd got home was a bit of a challenge... And home feels VERY quiet after spending a week with 9 loud gals. We had such a laugh. Of course all my friends returned to England wonderfully brown from the sunshine, but I, true to form as an 'English Rose' (blah blah blah), am as pale as the day I left. Oh, I lie.... I managed to burn a little bit. I was slathered in factor 30 all week, buuuuut guess where I didn't think of sun-creaming? My parting... Serves me right for wearing my hair in a centre parting I suppose.... So my scalp got burnt. GOOD TIMES!!
This song feels appropriate:
I also listened to the new Bon Iver album A LOT. I will do a proper post on that soon..
I'll be gone for a week 'cause I'm off to Portugal with some friends to celebrate the end of exams, and whatnot.
It is a budget holiday to say the least; I'll give you a few choice examples from the reviews I've read of the apartments we'll be staying in: 'filthy dump', 'holiday from hell', 'never stay here'. SO our expectations are preeeettttttyyy low, thus I'm hoping they won't seem so bad when we get there!!! Hah.....
Anyways, so I should be packing right now since I have to get the train to London in a couple of hours, but instead I'm getting majorly distracted by cuteboyswithcats.net ...........
You may well have heard Foster the People's single 'Pumped Up Kicks' which is also fun. But I thought I'd post this one, 'Houdini', since it's less likely you've all heard it. Look out for them at festivals, lads; they're definitely going to be dominating this summer.
The dreaded A Levels are over and I am a free person until October 2012. Isn't that a terrifying prospect. Within 2 hours of putting my pen down at the end of my last exam (Latin Prose, if you were interested- probably not) I was already freaking out about this next year; what I'm going to do, how I'm going to earn any money, where I'm going to live, et cetera. It's such a bizarre thing to be confronted with after 13 years of full-time education, especially with the last 8 of them being boarding - a year with no structured plans, as yet.
SO, I now embark upon a search for work of the boring, money earning kind (I just applied for a job at Waitrose, and had to ramble effusively about my PASSION for excellent food and friendly customer service, umm...) and also of the interesting, but probably NOT money earning kind... I'm hoping to get work experience placements at magazines or newspapers, publishing houses, etc. But without contacts in these areas it seems very difficult to break into. Well. We shall see, won't we!
ANYWAY, what this means for YOU is that I am no longer restricted by evil internet restrictions imposed upon me at ye olde english boarding school, and I can begin to post again a bit more frequently. But what I want to KNOW from you lot is what you're interested in me talking about. Do you enjoy my rantings about my life and whatnot (a life which I hope will start to become more interesting and blog-able [cringe] over the next few months) or would you rather I shut up and just give you glorious musical titbits? Do tell me. I like it when people talk to me, then I feel like I'm doing this for a reason rather than just as something that I'll look back on in 20 years time and cringe over what a pretentious little teenager I was!
Here's a song I listened to a lot during revision. It's beautiful, and gets pretty intense later on. Tis especially good through headphones. Shut out the outside world, blah blah. Epic.
...This song is nice. I'm getting back into "Ben Gibbard Obsessive Mode" on account of the new Death Cab album (s'gooooooooood), and a friend introduced me to this other album he made in 2009 (with Jay Farrar from Son Volt) based on Jack Kerouac's novel Big Sur, to go alongside a documentary which I now want to watch. I've added that to the list of 'things to do when my exams are over and I actually have time to enjoy myself'!
But in the mean time, it's good revision music.
Hope you're all well. I'll be back proper-like in two weeks. TWO WEEKS TODAY I WILL BE FREE!
Will probably still post songs etc from time to time, but am going to attempt to limit my internet time a smidgen so that I can get the grades I want......... My A levels begin 4 weeks tomorrow, and end 5 weeks tomorrow. Gah. Think of me..?!
I've had it firmly stuck in my head for the last few days since I saw the video on a music channel, so I thought I'd post it.
This post is also intended to help those who have been trawling google in a fruitless attempt to find a song they've heard but don't know the name of, furiously typing in "her name is joan of arc lyrics", but to no avail...... How very confusing. Poor dears. I hope this page comes up on google to enlighten them.
I say that with irony. My school was one of those who decided that we would not be joining the rest of the country in a celebratory day of bunting and champagne, but we were allowed to miss lessons between 11 and 1 to watch the wedding on TV.
Ok, so, Kate and her papa are walking down the aisle, and when they arrive, Wills tells Kate she looks beautiful, then leans over to father Middleton and says: ".... we were supposed to have just a small family affair."
That has got to be my favourite moment from today.
It's different, of course - as a friend of mine said, it sounds like a culmination of all their respective solo stuff, but that's not to say it doesn't work.
HOW ARE YOU ALL, YOU'RE OK, OK I'M GLAD, I'LL START POSTING AGAIN NOW, COOL, PLEASE WRITE ME COMMENTS OTHERWISE I FEEL UNLOVED AND WILL FEEL NO MOTIVATION TO WRITE MORE, THAT'S JUST THE WAY I AM, CLEARLY GOT SOME ISSUES, I'LL TRY AND WORK THOSE OUT, KTHANKSBYE.