Saturday, 6 April 2013

I'm lazy, I'm hazy / new music review / brushing yr teeth - mish mash stuff post

Early afternoon today, I woke up late and wrote out a list of my favourite albums of all time. HERE. This evening, lying on my bed in a vague haze I am listening to two of my top ten and am beginning to glimpse at the majesty of all - how little I know and have managed to grasp and am beginning to discover. Whilst my family are downstairs watching Doctor Who I am reading through the Sick Mouthy and Devon Record Club archives and bookmarking a lot of things that I don't have time to do without committing to them at the expense of other things (each of these uncommitted to - and so I do nothing).

My two favourite records this evening, brought to mind by my list and pushed into my ears by the discovery of Wild Swim.

It can't be time to break through yet, though; I refuse to move through the haze, sober up and pursue that which gives me a sense of fulfilment as well as the fa├žade of enjoyment. I really am rubbish at seizing the day.

What do we do when we are without the drive to delve into the archives of the canon, or shortlist? Either look forward or just ignore the issue. For once, I seem to have done the former and in earlier perusing the Glastonbury emerging sound competition (not capitalised, read: too lazy to fact check the comp.'s name) longlist I discovered a host of new things to be excited about. Of these, the one with which I really clicked was Wild Swim. Towards the end of your first listen, it dawns upon you that they're amazing.

The last thing you would do would be to accuse them of aping Wild Beasts, and yet it is hard to ignore an approach that blends the most baroque of Hayden Thorpe's vocals with a minimalist sound reminiscent of all the influences you would expect cited for Smother - the kind of music that gives you a hankering for late Radiohead or Atoms For Peace. As Echo develops, it reveals itself as almost onomatopoeic: a collage of influences that near-crescendos, never quite coming to flower. Ending in a cacophony that leaves you almost as puzzled as you are pleasured, the track is the more wild side of Wild Swim, a band whose music seems to be the result of mixing restraint with boundlessness. The record's b side, Bright Eyes, showcases the opposite end of the spectrum, a pool in which you can languish and perhaps pull a length or two out of that locker we probably have a key to somewhere. Currently available to pre-order, their latest is a more mature fusion of the two styles, and is even more brilliant than Echo. I may well purchase both releases, but I'm trying to save money and writing this feels like justification for only streaming them. I won't forget about them. This should be more than enough to tempt you into listening now. Do it. Can you sense my urgency? I must flip the record and refill my drink.

Forget it. I have finished my drink and so am signing off here. Here is a link to my Instagram account, where I've started a new trend of people taking unattractive pictures of themselves brushing their teeth. Byeeeeeeeee


p.s. I only told you about one of the longlist. There were loads of good'uns - find it here. Other favourites were Moats (obviously, I've mentioned before that I like them and they're quite nice too), Isaiah Dreads (a 15 year old mc who has an incredible flow but semi-rubbish beats) and Mt. Wolf. Here's a song.<br />
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Thursday, 4 April 2013

"Will you by any chance...?" / 'Yes I will'

Important Jamie news: on the strength of repeated - and I mean heavily - listens to Smother in the last few days, Wild Beasts have now overtaken Los Campesinos! as my favourite band. I would pay quite a lot of money that I do not have to see them again tomorrow. Please buy Smother (LP if you have the means to play records) and then sink into it. Allow it to surround you like a warm bath, sum you up like an epitaph, be blatant ad a bailiff and allow its lips to blister when you kiss. You shall become electrified and mutually bring a creature alive.

It's alive... it's alive... it's alive!

But yeah, buy it.

*Word games at the end of this blog post courtesy of Bed Of Nails, track two on the best album in the wooorld right now

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Consider the Liebster

Thank you, Gabriela, for your wonderful introduction. And, ladies and gentlemen, may I wish you all a very good afternoon, good evening and good night. Welcome to - cue awesome red carpet music - your yearly fix of slight entertainment from the blog that doesn't bother doing much stuff ever AT THE APRIL 2013 LIEBSTER AWARDS

Tonight's category: my ELEVEN FAVOURITE BLOGGERS. Aaaaaand the winners are...

 le projet d'amour // ladybird likes // hearts of sand // vivatramp // tabloid watch // the opinions of a dickhead // vixenelle // emma carlisle // intimate vignettes // vicky flynn // la vie en bleu

Honourable mentions: Amy, who is great but has written even fewer blog entries than I; Mani, who won't appreciate this award; Oh, Littlecloud - Diane - whose blog I can't find anymore; Los Campesinos!, my favourite band who as such enter this list with irregular posts and at the liberty of a massively biased judge. As an excuse to cut some off of the shortlist, I've stuck to a pretty strict (i.e.: universal other than LC!) Blogger only policy: for more awesome stuff to read, check out my reading shelf on the blogroll tab.Well done everyone!

Anyone confused? I don't blame you. My research, nothing if not vague and lacklustre, told me little about the Liebster awards but here are some handy bullet points:

- It's a really nice community thing that I am shocked to be a part of
- In receiving this award, Gabriela was super super nice about me but I didn't notice until today which made me feel guilty and rush this post
- The Liebster is a chain-style award in which each recipient, should they accept their award, must present their own set of eleven favourite blogs. I've semi-retired from my Twitter account so God knows how anybody is going to notice that they've been mentioned here. I apologise for ruining the game.
- Embarrassingly, the first four of my chosen bloggers must have been mentioned in about 80% of my posts, and Bee at Vivatramp almost everything I've ever written on this website. Ridiculous, even for someone who made me start this old thing.
- Award winners then must participate in a mandatory Q&A

Here, I answer those questions put to me by the effervescent Gabriela. Thanks for tagging me, G!

1. What story do you think had the biggest influence on you as a child?
    I don't have one go-to book, or tale, so the biggest influence would most likely have been a subliminal thing, setting a vague tone for me. So probably something in a Dennis the Menace strip. Other things include my 'skim reading' of the Bible, a task undertaken because my friend Peter thought he could read the entire  text quicker than me. Save the books of Genesis and Revelations, that I read as 'proof', I counted physically turning the pages of reading to guarantee my success (following his lead. I SPIED on the boy).  Revelations - and, indeed, Genesis - was absurd enough that the challenge was the beginning of my interpretation of religion as funny, not serious, something my love for my Grandma (her late husband, my grandfather, a vicar) meant that I didn't come to terms with/give any thought whatsoever to until secondary school.

2. Do you like IKEA?
    S'alright. I like Daim bars and before I became a vegetarian I once went just for their meatballs & jam.

3. Do you think that social network sites like Facebook have had a positive impact on human interaction?
    For me, there are two sides to this: whilst it's hard to deny how much more easy the internet has made it for us to keep in touch, or grab somebody's attention quickly at a minimal cost, this ease allows us to distance ourselves from our own comments, negating time to think ideas through and wearing down our patience. Moreover, this semblance of anonymity combined with the ability to google or facebook stalk someone before actually talking to someone makes us somehow less human, more cold...

4. What are your thoughts about personal adornment like jewellery etc.?
    As in body-art? I have no problem with it but would advise caution with anything permanent or prominent. The combination of a) being rubbish with needles, b) mum's opposition and c) knowledge of my poor decision-making and inability to keep one opinion means that I don't think I'll be able to get a tattoo for quite some time.

5. What is usually your biggest motivation for reading novels?

6. What do you view as your best quality?
    All of the things I like about myself seem to serve me badly when it comes to anything serious, but I guess I'm quite a nice person in that I'm agreeable and get along well with people. Also I've got friends who are good at making cake.

7. Is there a language you have always wanted to learn for some reason?
    I just find it annoying that I have no motivation to do anything. If I had it MY (lazy) way, I'd be fluent in French (for literature), German (for cool things) and Russian (to be allowed to be interested in how different alphabets relate to each other). Maybe Latin or Ancient Greek too, or one of those African tongues that require different muscles with which to speak. Essentially I cannot see a single bad thing to do with learning another language.

8. What helps you organise your thoughts?
    Rambling out loud or writing things down to someone which forces me to vocalise and then realise what I actually think about something. I also use lots of post-it notes (my favourites besides normal and square are the little bookmark-pointer ones) and a moleskine journal. Plus a load of old textbooks and fake moleskines for extended thought/midnight ramblings/lecture notes. AND it would churlish to disregard my phone 'notes' and desktop sticky notes. The notebook I keep by my bed is good too.
   I hadn't realised I was so passionate about notes.

9. Do you distinguish between reading on an e-reader and reading a paper copy of a book?
    As a (joint honours) drama student I'd always choose a paper copy of a script - you can bend the pages of a Kindle (etc), nor throw it down to quickly play a scene. Also one of my top ambitions is a personal library and the smell of old books (i.e. damp) is the best. So, um, YEAH.

10. Which season of the year do you like the most?
      Winter's nice for encouraging people to stick together but it's hard to look past a nice long sunny afternoon for an ideal day.

11. Do you dread people on the bus suddenly speaking to you?
      I almost exclusively welcome it because I'm too lazy to ever get involved in a book. I like social interaction! Providing they're not a nutter or I'm deeply involved in something or rushing etc. SORRY I'M RUSHING NOW

Here are eleven questions for anyone tagged in this post to answer. Have fun, chocoholics.

1/ How do you listen to your music?
2/ Do you use local independent shops to buy your books, records, etc.? Why?
3/ Your three favourite second hand shops.
4/ Top four cheeses.
5/ What is your favourite city?
6/ Have you any first-, second- or third-hand words of wisdom to pass on to your readers & I?
7/ Do you tend to view religion as a successful idea-turned-institution, or an intensely personal experience? Are the two mutually exclusive (does the first not negate the other? (feel free to answer in a line or two IF YOU'RE BORING(/interesting)))
8/ Which punctuation mark do you like the best?
9/ Is there any way in which the internet smiley ':3' does NOT look like a botched circumcision?
10/ Is book burning necessarily unjustifiable?
11/ Is this valid?