Wednesday, 28 April 2010

M.I.A.

If you are of a slightly sensitive nature you may wish to carry on in blissful ignorance and not watch this very amazing video.

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.


Romain Gavras is a pretty awesome video director. Certainly a man who does not do anything by halves and I imagine is quite intense. Also responsible for the Justice - Stress video - which I found made me not want to go to London for a while - he is a man of great talents.

On a different note... YEY! M.I.A. is back! I properly think she is a role model.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Darwin Deez

death by audio|darwin deez|march '09 from darwin deez on Vimeo.


In a cold academic office on a Tuesday, lots to do to seem like I am worthwhile, fiddly annoying bits all day that seem inconsequential. In my lunch break editing an essay for my Masters. Go home and carry on editing. Possibly eat some mackrel. Read, read, read, make notes for a meeting tomorrow.

I don't have one bit of motivation and would much rather be in the above situation.

Darwin Deez.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong..

..but Steph Mulrine can.

Simian Mobile Disco - 10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong

Tracks, sounds, noises, songs. Sometimes they articulate a feeling. It can lovely, bubbly, fluffy feelings that you may have for someone else. It could be gut-wrenching grief and loss. But how often does it tend to be frustration? And not all those with lyrically obvious cathartic messages that say the things you can't. No, fuck all that. Like genuine skin-crawling frustration at yourself and no visible way to deal with it. Elements of this track do that for me.

Maybe I need to talk about it. Maybe I need a fresh perspective. Maybe I need to be away from a University, my books, journal articles, notes, post-it's, etc, etc, etc, for more than half an hour. We're not making progress.

Waking up at 5am, nervous, thinking about how the two dissertation topics you are currently working around are may lack-lustre, is probably not good.

This track embodies the emotions that seem to characterise my tempestuous nature of late. And it goes someway to highlighting my continuing 'outsider' status. The bleeps seem to say, if you listen really carefully, You're a loner...

And you can't argue with the bleeps.

Thanks Simian Mobile Disco!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Drunk Girls

LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls

My new job which is temporary and I was hoping I could impress the right people to keep me on looks like they'll have no other option than to let me go. And so working hard and trying to impress has been a big waste of time. Prospect of unemployment. Excellent. This video made me happier though.

Fuck. Shit. Fuck.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Duke Dumont


This always catches me off guard and always, always, always makes me feel superb!

Duke Dumont - Postlude [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

I need alcohol and sleep. But this is still magical.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Kicking my heels!


And I swear, when I feel like kicking my heels, I do actually do it. Quite well too! Good news, a day to get things done, a peek of sunshine. No money or food, but that is always the case! I'll survive.

This whole General Election is pretty much freaking me out. I get scared that I'll soon have to look for a new home, in Scotland, and uproot my life there. And generally, I'm far too philosophical to really pledge my alliance to any political party. But having seen a barrage of Conservative posters in the country side that surrounds Teesside recently I've considered putting a Lib Dem poster in my window. And a Labour poster. Or something that states free-choice. Or something crude that says "Vote for whoever, as long as it's not the Conservatives or the BNP".

So the article Tory lead narrows amid huge voter disenchantment is something to smile at. And, ~swoon~, Jon Snow last night talking to 'the people on the street' about the Tory plans and getting laughed at. Oh, it is very nice. Reportedly people would rather see a hung parliament over either a Labour of Conservative government. I think it is morbid curiosity. Part of me would like to see a hung parliament!

Anyway, my hero so far, and a lot of people's from what I can gather is Vince "The" Cable. I definitely have a bit of one of my notorious crushes there. The Cable is dreamy and he makes me laugh. Ladies, what more could you ask for?!

Yesterday on the bus home from work, I had a headache, I was forcing myself to read my book on the ever depressing subject of neoliberalism, the elderly lady next to me was doing that annoying thing where someone sits on your coat. Hope was non-existent. As it so often is on public transport. Then I looked up from reading the name Thatcher for about the 100th time to see a 'Vote Lib Dem' poster in someones window on the first floor of a flat on a main road. My hand automatically dropped my book and pressed against the glass. Hope. At the time one of my favourite tracks was reaching it's pinnacle. And I swear, it was all I could do not to shed a tear at the beauty of it all.

The Field - Everyday [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

The overt and publicly political nature of this post has made me cringe and blush at myself, I do not do this sort of thing normally and probably won't be doing so again. I apologise.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Supergrass Split


Pottering around the kitchen and back yard yesterday in the sun, with 6 Music ringing out and Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape show is playing host to Danny Goffey and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass fame. They are answering very random questions on decorative bowls and trying to get in on the children's music market. As always the boys are very entertaining and get on wonderfully with Adam Buxton and his less than mainstream style of humour. I giggle lots, eat my lunch in the sun, everyone is happy.

But today is another day. The internet in my new house gets sorted (but not my broken computer), I nearly take my finger off peeling tatties, I eat a lemon top, I read a book on qualitative research methods that from the size and the text layout appears to think it is The Bible. It is fair to say it is a pretty mixed day. Then testing the internet connection what do I see?

Supergrass to split after 17 years

What?! No. I shouted the headline very loudly to my housemate. His reaction is equally as blunt and pained.

I have been a fan of Supergrass for many years. The above picture is the very same as a poster I had of them on my bedroom wall when I still lived at home many years ago. It was the centrepiece of a collage of clippings, posters, flyers, pictures and ticket stubs of many, many different artists. And it looked great.

I've seen them live four times. Never once have I been disappointed in their performances. They are simply a joy to experience.

Their DVD released for the 10 year anniversary Supergrass Is 10 was charming, fascinating and very, very funny. It spawned some lines that have stayed as one-liner in-jokes for years.

A band with character that without them the landscape of music will be forever lacking. I have shared one of my favourite and more obscure Supergrass tracks. The first is the last track of the album In It For The Money and I always got into it in a big way. At a festival some years later I found the single for Richard III which included the B-Side also for your pleasure Sometimes We're Very Sad, this being one of my favourite tracks I bought the single straight away to take home and listen to find out just what it was. And it is just great!

I might have been slightly too young to have followed them from their beginning, but my affection for this band caught up in no time at all. I'll hopefully be going to show my respect at their farewell tour dates schedules for early June.

Supergrass - Sometimes I Make You Sad [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Supergrass - Sometimes We're Very Sad [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

Friday, 9 April 2010

James Murphy


He's told NME that he is done. "I'm out of here" in fact. There is another tragedy we can squarely pin blame on the NME for. If they hadn't of done that interview he wouldn't of said that. It would of happened regardless. But, fuck it, let's blame the NME.

And we can talk about the philosophic things he said in the interview with regards to money and getting rich. But right now I need to make light of the situation.

So I throw open the discussion of what James Murphy can do once he has 'retired'. I think come and carry my numerous books I always have around for me. My very own fluffy, older, entrancing American book carrier. It'd be a conversation starter.

"Oh, hi, how are you? Have you met my materials vehicle, James? He used to make amazing music with LCD Soundsystem, but now he turfs my books and notes around for me. He's got some interesting views on the nature of employment and pay.. Mmm.. Haven't you, James? And look at how cute he is! You should see him hit a cowbell! Got time for a coffee?"

I have time to work out the finer details yet, they are touring more or less forever. Go to Pitchfork to have a listen to Drunk Girls.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Feminism and Arctic Monkeys


A conversation which goes some way to demonstrate the strange connections the synapses in my brain make.

"So, Steph, why do you hate feminism?"
"It's not that I hate it. It's -- well -- it is difficult to explain..."
"Go on."
"Well, feminism to me is like The Libertines or Arctic Monkeys--"
"What?!"
"Now, bare with me here, it'll make sense, just let me explain."
"Feminism is like The Libertines or Arctic Monkeys?! What?!"
"Honestly--" laughing at myself "it will make sense."
"Hmmm."
"When The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys were surrounded by all that hype and media and cultural frezy I found it incredibly off-putting. Everyone was proper bumming them. It was a bit like if you listened to them you'd have to immediately enjoy them. So I thought, 'Fuck it, I'll get round to listening in my own time when the fuss has calmed down'."
"And that is the same as feminism?"
"Yea, in a way. It comes across to me from a particular point of action and revolution. I never took any module at undergrad that had anything to do with it. If you were to listen to the Arctic Monkeys at the height of their fame it was already being presented to you in a particular way, a cultural manner that meant you were part of something, regardless of whether you wanted to be or not. Well, feminism comes from a particular political point of view. And I'm rather philosophic, to be honest. I'll watch the revolution for now. I don't see my place within it."
"Oh."

You've got to worry.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Interpol


As if from no where I woke up one day last week and thought "I want to listen to Interpol. I'm sure I have an album of theirs somewhere". Which was strange not only because I normally wake up scared and tense and also because I never really got into Interpol at any point in the past, so it wasn't like resurrecting an old favourite, more like discovering something that had originally past me by.

And I seem to have fallen into the sound that Interpol create effortlessly almost completely. Soaring, searing, adoringly harsh, cutting. Music for the precipice.

Interpol - Say Hello To The Angels [via YouSendIt for 7 days]

My hands are cold and you are warm, but that is not the only reason I want to touch you.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

I used to make you feel something..


My situation has changed immeasurably of late. A new job, a new home, a new direction in life. The 6 months leading up to that point were not easy at all. And although much has changed and I'm certainly in a better place it is not to say that any of it is any easier. In talking about the things going on in my life with people they or I often use the words 'juggle', 'difficult' or 'fuck!' quite a lot. It has made me think about Pop Cultureddd and what to do with it a lot too.

I have come to no definite decision.

But in the spirit of honesty I am doing my Master's degree part-time and commuting approx. 50 miles to do so. I am working at a University part-time temporarily, but working hard to impress and make it worth while. I have no money. I have no social life anymore. I have few friends. Actually, probably less than few. My Mum is amazing but constantly fills me, unintentionally, with worry. I live a big house with a reliable yet sometimes extremely annoying best friend. I share all of this and my life with a bearded man who is particularly wonderful at cooking, stopping me from going mad and uses all of his Sundays to wind me up to the point of feet-stomping.

I loved my blog. I loved writing. I loved music and I loved sociology.

I think it might be time to try and take all that back.