Colours: Eloise Laurence vs. Blur

I’m currently very much in awe of Eloise Laurence, who starred alongside Tim Roth in the brilliant film Broken (2012), an adaptation of Daniel Clay’s novel, Broken. If you haven’t yet seen this dark but uplifting coming of age film, do! I’ve only just started reading the book, but I assure you both are good.

Rarely does a film do a book justice, but director Rufus Norris is spot on, and Damon Albarn does a fantastic job with the music for the film (which is the reason for this post). My favourite being a rendition of  Blur’s fan club single ‘Colours’, which is far better than the original. Well done Eloise for the magnificent performance and what a lovely voice!

Moomins in Hawaii

Although most of America is yet to discover the Moomins they were quite popular at one point in Hawaii, where the Moomins aired in the 90’s.  They even had a Hawaiian version of both the opening and ending theme songs (sung by Robi Kahakalau), which I think are super cute! There was also a Moomin shop in Honolulu on Ala Moana Boulevard but it closed long ago. I even rang the business number listed but it was not in service.  I doubt I’ll find a dedicated Moomin shop in Hawaii, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for Moomins in Maui. In the meantime, enjoy these songs–and Happy Easter! I’m off to prepare for a Moomin tea party!

My Bloody Valentine: Not Everyone’s Cuppa Tea

I’m really not sure what all the fuss was about when My Bloody Valentine finally released their album m b v, 22 years after predecessor Loveless.  MBV’s music isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea and it certainly is not for me.  I think you need to be on drugs to really appreciate the racket that come out of the band. Their song, Who Sees You sounds like a broken record and makes me want to slit my wrists. It’s eerie and depressing, like many others. In Nothing Is, I wonder if anything is going to happen but nothing does. It’s like someone recorded a riff, put it on repeat and let it play out for 3 minutes. Hardly musical genius.

I tried very had to appreciate the music (can we even call it that?) that was thrust forth and devoured by so many eager fans but I simply could not wrap my head around it. Perhaps my opinion will be like a voice in the wilderness but I’m not alone in my feelings as you’ll see on the Guardian’s poll of the album. Right. So 94% of people who have listened to the new album are obviously people that like the band to start and the 6% are either unimpressed fans or people that simply loathe their music (i.e., moi). But don’t take my word for it.  Have a listen to the entire album below and let us know what you think!

Rating: 2.7/5

Dumb Ways to Die

Let’s face it. When you die, you die. But just as there are noble and heroic deaths there are also some pretty dumb ways to die. Here is an adorable animation published by Australian train company, Metro Trains Melbourne–a safety message warning people against behaving recklessly around trains. Click here to learn more about Dumb Ways To Die. The characters are super cute and the tune is catchy and would make a great learning tool– there is even a karaoke version! While listening to the song, I realised that I often do some of the things they warn against, such as get my toast out with a fork and eat medicine that’s out of date. Oops! What other dumb ways are there to die? I’m sure there are lots!

Dikta Discovered

I can’t believe I just found out about Dikta! Some of you may know I’m a huge fan of Of Monsters and Men and Hafdís Huld and now I’m delighted to add another Icelandic band to my list of favourite bands. Dikta is an indie rock band made up of four members, Haukur Heiðar Hauksson on guitar, piano and vocals, Jón Bjarni Pétursson on guitar, Jón Þór Sigurðsson on drums and Skúli Gestsson on backing vocals and bass. They already have four albums out–Andartak (Mistak Records, 2002), Hunting for Happiness (Smekkleysa, 2005), Get It Together (2009), and Trust Me (Kölski, 2011).

I don’t know much about Dikta other than what I gathered from a quick Wikipedia search. But I do know that I love their music–‘Losing Every Day’, ‘In Spite of Me’, to name a few and especially the song ‘Goodbye’ from the album Get it Together, even though it kind of pulls me down. The first few times I heard it I sat bawling my eyes out. I wondered what had prompted all those tears and then I realised it was because the song hit a bit too close to home…

Is That Really Ai Weiwei?!

Many of you probably know Ai Weiwei as a highly influential Chinese contemporary artist, noted for his architecture, photography, film, and his openly critical stance on democracy and human rights in China. So you can understand my surprise when G told me Ai Weiwei had joined the likes of Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations), Boris Johnson and David Cameron who have all ridden the Gangam wave (groan). I know, I know…not that again!

When I first saw the video I thought it was yet another parody of Psy’s Gangnam Style. Surely that couldn’t be the man himself! But as Huffington Post UK has confirmed, it really is him! I’m not quite sure what to make of it — but as Sam Parker has said, “perhaps by remaking the global internet hit of the moment he is hoping to draw further attention to internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China, where raunchy pop videos extolling materialism are generally frowned upon.”  It hasn’t gone viral yet like Eton Style, but who knows…it just might?

Have You Got Eton Style?

Have you ever disliked something so much you end up talking about it all the time, to the point where you’re not even sure if you love or hate it anymore? Well that’s sort of how things are with me for South Korean rapper (if you can even call him that) Psy’s insanely annoying song Gangnam Style, which apparently Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson are also fans of. There’s no escape — it’s literally everywhere I turn!

I still can’t believe that was the first K-pop song to break through the Western music market. And there seems to be no end to it, from tube signs to friends making their own parodies and even the poshest of pupils remaking the song into their very own Eton Style! The Eton video went viral on YouTube after only a day of being uploaded, gaining a whopping 43,326 views. It made me cringe, just like the original did but for different reasons. That said, I liked that I could actually understand it and the lyrics were quite funny (and spot on).

“We may awkward, frustrated, lonely and insecure (hey), yes insecure (hey),  We’re not too social, can’t talk to women, although we try (hey), we’re just too shy (hey),
If you approach us then we’ll just break down and cry.”

If I was forced to choose which one I ‘liked’ more (rather, hated less), I’d have to say Eton Style. Posh or not, they really are no different than your average teenager. Okay, well they could work on their dance skills a bit more — painful but entertaining to watch!

What Are The Six Songs Of You?

Some of you may have come across The Guardian’s music project that allows people to hand pick the songs that mean most to them. Categories include the first song you ever bought, a song that always get you dancing and the perfect love song, just to name a few. I decided to give it a go and had some trouble deciding on the perfect song for each category. I could have easily chosen Andy William’s “Moon River” for a song that takes me back to my childhood but ended up going with Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On”. What are the six songs of you? Create your own playlist here: Six Songs Of Me.

Farewell, Andy…

On 25 September, 2012 “Moon River” singer Andy Williams died at age 84. He passed away at his home in Branson, Missouri, a year after being diagnosed with cancer. Known for his smooth voice and charm, he was one of the classic American crooners that I grew up listening to.

“We’re after the same rainbow’s end/ Waitin’ round the bend/ My huckleberry friend/ Moon river and me”

Mummy and I would listen to “Moon River” over and over again as I day-dreamed of all the places I would travel to one day. Now as I sit here all teary-eyed, knowing that Andy is no longer with us, I am reminded of how fleeting life is. Each time a beloved artist, family member or friend leaves this world I struggle with my own fears of death. But I also become more determined to seize every opportunity I have to be in the present, to laugh and to love. May Andy Williams rest in peace and may his beautiful songs continue to live on in generations to come.

This Is Brighton

In the spirit of sharing beautiful music and film, I couldn’t resist passing this on to you after discovering it on The Big Forest’s blog (you should also check out their shop on Etsy).

Featuring music from a song dear to my heart, “To Build A Home” (by The Cinematic Orchestra with vocals from Patrick Watson), along with images of one of my favourite places in the UK, I found myself pondering life and feeling incredibly grateful for all of the experiences I have had thus far. Without further ado, here is a beautiful time lapse film of Brighton captured by an incredibly talented 14 year old filmmaker, Caleb Yule.