Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cat Eyes

I had been wanting a pair of nice vintage cat eye frames for quite some time and the other day I finally came across a pair at my local Savers, and they only cost me $2.99. Bargain!

The only problem is that the lenses are extremely strong. It's like looking through them for one second has the possibility of giving you a headache for 5 years. So I've popped the lenses out and have toyed with the idea of wearing lenseless frames. I'm unsure whether this is totally lame or not, and it probably is, but hey, at least they're not the 3D glasses you get from the cinemas that we've all seen so many people wearing thinking they're totez geeky in a totez ironic way. Maybe I should get some sunglass lenses put in or wait until I actually need glasses.

Clap Your Hands

On the 1st of February I saw Sia. When my friend texted me asking me if I wanted a ticket I said yes without hesitation. Part of my lack of hesitation was due to the heart wrenching article Sia wrote a few months ago about her quitting music due to her depression and dislike of fame. This is very likely to be her last tour ever, so how could I not get on that?

The show was amazing! She is so great and funny and I love how she can be so beautiful and so hilarious interchangeably, or even at the same time. She was painted black, wearing a black puffy top and a pink puffy tutu-like skirt. She had a painted black sheet of cardboard attached to her back, which camouflaged her painted black face and hair into the darkness. Possibly a comment on fame and feeling the need to not stand out for the sake of happiness? For the encore she came out in the same outfit, without the black cardboard and with a set of 'bubble wings', which with the help of some fans behind her blew bubbles out into the audience. Amazing!

Her little talks in between songs were so so so so hilarious. She just seems so lovely and down to earth. From getting the audience to heckle her to singling out and complimenting a seven year old girl who's outfit was inspired by the cover of We Are Born because she was singing along to every word. We later 'wrote' a collaborative audience/performer song which Sia dedicated to the seven year old. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH I WISH I WAS THAT LITTLE GIRL! She was consistently communicating with the audience and it was so lovely. Really, she mentioned that parents are like TV channels and what words she used to mispronounce (ambulance as amblience).

Sia performed  a mixture of her two latest albums We Are Born and Some People Have Real Problems, with the exception of the song Breathe Me, which boosted her career when it was featured on the finale of the TV series Six Feet Under, of course (and oh my gosh it was too lovely to hear this song live ahhh). Her setlist was great. It's hard to even single out any highlights because it was all so spectacular. Before You Will Be Loved she assured us that the maths has been done and there are 1.4 million people out there for every single person, which was a lovely thought right before a lovely song. She signed the whole way through Soon We'll Be Found just like in the film clip.

I'm so glad I got to see Sia's (most probably) last tour everrrrr! I think I've already said it but oh my gosh she is so beautiful and funny and amazing and talented and spectacular. Oh, and her dogs' names are Pantera and Lick Lick Science.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Hottest 100 Day

Australia Day for me is more like Triple J Hottest 100 day. If you are unfamiliar with the Triple J Hottest 100 it's a massive annual music poll which counts down the one hundred favourite songs of the previous year on Australia Day each year. 1.26 million votes! All over the world! 152 countries participated! Even Mark Ronson voted! Wow! Exclamation mark!

In alphabetical order of artist/band names these are the songs I voted for:

Gorillaz - Superfast Jellyfish {Ft. De La Soul & Gruff Rhys}
Janelle Monae - Tightrope {Ft. Big Boi}
Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Co.
Kimbra - Settle Down
Kyu - Pixiphony
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl -  Somebody To Love Me {Ft. Boy George & Andrew Wyatt}
Patrick Wolf - Time Of My Life
Robyn - Dancing On My Own
Washington - Underground
Yves Klein Blue - Walk On The Wild Side {Like A Version}

 These are the songs that really stand out for me in 2010. They are the songs that helped to make my year what it was. Some define specific events and some define whole series of events of my life in 2010. I saw Yves Klein Blue do Walk on the Wild Side just before jumping up on stage and dancing with them during Getting Wise (one of my most beloved live show experiences ever with my number one Australian music crush, Michael Tomlinson), I saw Megan Washington front and centre and snatched her setlist after the end of her beautiful performance, I saw Kyu in the boiling heat of the Worker's Club beat their chests like drums and scream amazing harmonies, and I can never forget dancing in my bedroom to Mark Ronson in my best Boy George getup. Most of these songs I've listened to while driving, with the window wound down all the way, the radio up way too loud, with me singing my heart out. There were so many other songs I wanted to include. Kanye, Sia, Cloud Control, Cold War Kids, the list goes on. I really had a hard time whittling down my shortlist to just ten songs, but there they are, my favourite songs of 2010.

There were a few surprises. Kanye West's Monster was only number 88! How on earth did that happen to such an amazing song with an amazing ensemble of guests? Nicki Minaj's verse alone is clearly deserving of top ten status. At least Runaway came in at fourteen. M.I.A.'s XXXO just missed out, coming in at 101, and there were no other M.I.A. songs. Ridiculous.

As disappointing as it is, I'm not surprised that barely any of the songs I voted for made the list, although I was surprised that Superfast Jellyfish by Gorillaz didn't make it. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. just got into the top ten at number ten with Somebody To Love Me, which is probably my favourite song of the year. A lot of really great times come to mind when I hear it, and from the first time I heard it I fell in love with it. Just great music, great guest vocals, great lyrics, great everything. Ughhh, just such an amazing song.

One of the highlights was Big Boi coming in at 77 with Shutterbugg, which is not one of my favourite songs, but features some of my favourite funniest/worst lyrics of the year: "I'm shitting on niggers and peeing on the seat." I'm very happy that Washington got multiple songs in there, same with Gorillaz, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. and Sia. It was also good to hear some songs from a bit earlier on in the year that I'd sort of forgotten about like Darwin Deez and You Got the Dirtee Love by Florence and Dizzee Rascal.

But anyway, the Hottest 100 top ten songs of 2010 are:
10. Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. - Somebody To Love Me {Ft. Boy George and Andrew Wyatt}
9. Art Vs. Science - Magic Fountain
8. The Wombats - Tokyo, Vampires and Wolves
7. Cee-Lo Green - Fuck You!
6. Adrian Lux - Teenage Crime
5. Boy & Bear - Fall At Your Feet
4. Birds of Tokyo - Plans
3. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance The Way I Feel
2. Little Red - Rock It
1. Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane

The Hottest 100 for me marks another year of music gone. Makes me wonder what 2011 will bring to me in terms of music, emotions, events, people etc. Fingers crossed for the Golden Ticket!

Won't Let The City Destroy Our Love

The video for Patrick Wolf's next single The City has been released! Yayyy! This song makes me so much more excited for the new Patrick Wolf album, which will officially be called Lupercalia. The City is such a beautiful, high spirited song with a great sense of assurance, and I'm predicting the new album will project that same sort of vibe.

The film clip is a collaboration with Australian born director Kinga Burza, who has worked with artists such as Marina and the Diamonds, La Roux, Kate Nash and Katy Perry. The film clip makes me want to play with Patrick on the beach, with his understated James Dean-esque outfit choices (something we haven't seen much of from him) and his attractive model friends/extras. It's a bit of a reinvention and new direction for Patrick, and it's all so romantic and exciting. I can't contain my enthusiasm and eagerness for more songs from Lupercalia, which shall be released in May 2011.

Unfortunately I can't embed the video, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You're The Only One I Want

I was hanging out with a friend yesterday and we were talking about Kate Bush's album The Red Shoes. I realised I've barely done any blog posts in over a month now and I have decided that Kate Bush is the perfect person to blog about.

Kate Bush is an amazing lady. She's not only an amazing singer song writer, she is also a spectacular performer (which is evident in The Line, the Cross & the Curve, which I will get to a bit later). She puts more emotion into her songs than in any other songs I've heard by other artists before. You can just tell that she cares about her music and what she's singing. The only tour she's ever done, Tour Of Life, was ambitious and was a template for modern pop concerts. She was a pioneer of the big theatrical style of concerts today and she was the first performer to wear a radio mic so she could sing and dance freely. Kate Bush is incomparable to any artists of her generation and to artists of today. To put it plainly, she's spectacular.

I have often brushed Kate's later work aside, assuming that it's not as good as her earlier work from when she was more in the limelight after the success of Wuthering Heights, but I was definitely wrong to do so. For the past week or so I have been a little bit obsessed with her 1993 album The Red Shoes. There's so much contrast, light and shade. From fun, quicker paced songs like Rubberband Girl, Eat The Music and one of my favourites Why Should I Love You? to the beautiful, slower songs like Moments of Pleasure, The Song of Soloman, and another one of my favourites You're the One. And then there's something with a bit of both in a song like Top of the City. Her lyrics are always pretty great, but on this album they are out of this world fantastic. I really just can't get enough of this album.

The Line, the Cross & the Curve (1993) is pretty much a series of film clips for The Red Shoes album with bits of dialogue in between to string them together that was inspired by the the 1948 film The Red Shoes. It has some pretty great choreography, particularly in the opening scene, where Kate and a male dancer are moving as one in Rubberband Girl.

There's also some great visuals including a floor that is covered completely with fruit, a mirror that gets smashed releasing a gush of water (this reminded me of Titanic when the windows cave in), and a scene in which a character is running down a tunnel that eerily reminds me of a recurring dream I had as a child where I was walking down some sort of creepy never ending dark tunnel (surely there's some fucked up interpretation for that one).

The short film gets a tiny bit silly at times, sometimes even a little kitsch and often over the top. It's also a bit strange, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Kate Bush. Some could almost find it a bit pretentious and gratuitous, but I have too much respect for Bush to think that. Kate herself described it as "a load of bollocks" but I actually enjoyed it. I think it was fun, and a short film provided a good platform for Bush to showcase some of the great songs from her album, and they are very good songs.

The film doesn't have a lot of dialogue, but I particularly liked this monologue said by Kate's character:
I can't go on. I'm torn between what I was and what is to become of me. In these shoes every step I take is laced with madness. They fill me with pain and confusion, with thoughts that are not my own. I have danced their dances. I see streets and buildings I know so well, although I have never been to these places. Together we raced with wild horses til they dropped, we have leapt from cliffs into the raging waters below. And together we tripped from a stage into the pit. I see me falling. I feel my fear. And yet I was never here. These shoes are all anger and passion. I am possessed. And I no longer have the strength to fight them.

Of course it's hard not to love purely talented ladies. Kate Bush is certainly fits that discription.

Kate Bush - Why Should I Love You?

If I Could Have A Second Skin

I very much enjoy dressing up. In fact it's probably one of my favourite things. I dislike when I haven't been to a dress up party in a while and I substitute that by getting dressed up in my bedroom when I'm bored. Around two years ago I even made a friend have a certain themed party so I could go as a certain amazingly talented yet completely tragic crack whore singer. Last month I threw a Virgin Mary costume together from sheets and tablecloths about twenty minutes before I left my house for Christmas Brinner (which wasn't even dress up, any excuse). Another time I spent a few days gluing hay to the insides of a Wizard of Oz Scarecrow costume I had made. I get pretty into it... sometimes if I've had a bit to drink I'll even get into character, as shown in a tagged video of me on facebook, waving a flask of vodka around singing If I Only Had a Brain from The Wizard of Oz, and, luckily not captured on video, my awful Amy Winehouse impersonation.

Right: A certain amazingly talented yet completely tragic crack whore singer. Left: Miscellaneous oriental lady aka Mulan (I took some liberties, okay?)  
 I've noticed that the majority of my costumes and costume ideas happen to be quite female oriented, and I've never really thought much of this, especially considering the fact that if a girl goes to a dress up party as something more male oriented no one really blinks an eye. And why should they? It's called a dress up party for a reason, and I will dress up as whatever I like (as long as the theme permits, of course). At one party I even got mistaken for a girl on more than one occasion.

My friends and I as the Wizard of Oz gang, me as the Scarecrow. Unfortunately some of us didn't put in as much effort as others (ahem, the cowardly lion).

Dress up parties are just so good, ugh! I'm already planning my 21st theme two years in advance. I do not miss any opportunity to dress up. So I think if you're having a party it should be a dress up party and I should be invited. That's all. Thanks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is Good Music

I'm not a big fan of Christmas at all. I think it's all of the religious and consumerism bull shit that I just don't care for, that and the terrible Christmas themed songs and carols. This Christmas my parents have gone away and I am left all alone, an orphan on Christmas day. There is no Christmas tree and no gifts underneath it, but I don't mind.

Christmas isn't all bad though, not when there's people making wonderful Christmas music (as opposed to your regular cringe-worthy Christmas music that makes you want to stab yourself in the ears with a letter opener and/or any other sharp objects you can quickly find in a close vicinity).

All I Want For Christmas by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who are one of my favourite bands in the world and are incredible live) is just so beautiful. It's so sweet and lovely and poignant without trying too hard, unlike another Christmas song with a very similar title by a certain Mariah Carey (just kidding, that song's pretty great too). I believe every word coming out of Karen O's mouth, and I feel I can relate too, ha.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - All I Want For Christmas

Of course another favourite artist of mine is Kate Bush, who makes December magic again with December Will Be Magic Again. This woman makes every month magic for me. I feel like I've learnt most of my dance moves from watching her videos on youtube, and seriously, just watch her wriggle and groove around in that sexy red jumpsuit on that silky red chair. I want to join her while sprinkling fake snow all over the place. It's just magic! She's magic! And now December is magic (again)! Magic!

Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again

An obvious classic choice of fantastic Christmas songs is Eartha Kitt's brazen 1953 hit Santa Baby. I don't really know what attracts me to this song, but it's obviously attracted a lot of other people too judging by the countless cover versions that have been done. I don't know, maybe it's just that Eartha is seductively convincing Santa Claus into giving her expensive gifts, and well, I don't know, maybe she's willing to do some sexual favours in return? Who knows? It does sound a bit like that to me though.

Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby

The Ramones remind us of what Christmas is supposed to be about with Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight). Joey reminds us that "Christmas ain't the time for breaking each other's heart" and I suppose he's right, but a lot of people seem to forget about that and they just focus on drama (and very often which presents to get for who). This song reminds me of Christmas when I was fourteen years old, but not for any reason other than because I was fully into punk music at that time.

The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

These songs are what makes Christmas good again. These are the songs I want to hear by candlelight, or when I'm innocently walking through a shopping centre during the month of December. Not fucking Silent Night or Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer, those are not songs that I want invading my ears.

Whatever, happy birthday baby Jesus.

 (These pictures have pretty much nothing to do with music but I just can't not post some Christmas trashiness from Edith Massey and Divine).