A Rocking the Daisies Checklist

For everyone who uses their social media accounts on the regular, it’s now 2 days until Rocking the Daisies 2014 and, thus, we are seeing at least five parody videos, giveaways and helpful hints every hour.

I have only been to one RTD (sorry, can’t keep typing that shit) and I went for the Saturday and the Sunday as I had a fulltime job. It was worth it –Bloc Party gave me cool points in my teen years that my lack of boobs didn’t and listening to them on repeat during those years is something I am not ashamed to admit.

The only downfall is that this year I have to navigate the intricacies of a packing list as the time previously was wonderfully all organised by my friends who had roadtripped down.

rocking the daisies

thetango.net

The questions burned at me this year. What alcohol are we bringing? How much? How bad is the temperature at night? Most importantly, how do I keep my alcohol and food cold? I cannot tell you how much of an issue this is for me. Like all peeves, it started out as a tragic misstep. I swigged what seemed like a recently boiled Quali Juice bottle of orange juice and vodka once and now cannot drink screwdrivers anymore. The only way around this is to use berry juice and to prepare! Failure is not an option.

rocking the daisies

Novelty hats do not hydrate you. Image credit: http://www.songfreaks.com/

Essential items:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag: I have a massive man-sized one to turn myself into a duvet burrito. It gets cold at night so get drunk and wrap yourself in one.
  • Additional blanket: make sure it’s fleece and not pissy cotton. You do not want breathable fabric. Also make sure this does not leave the tent or you’ll be picking out the debris until the next RTD.
  • Pillow: stick to one, less to carry.
  • Toiletries: above all, remember the toothpaste and toothbrush, wet wipes, toilet paper and the towel.
  • Sunscreen and hat, just like on field trips.
  • Whatever clothes you like. I find this varies from person to person (I don’t believe in onesies simply for the lack of toilet logistics), although hoodies, leggings, beanies and big jackets help at night. Pretend you’re an onion, just don’t leave things on the dance floor.
  • Sunglasses
  • Torch or some kind of light that is not your phone: seriously.
  • Passport and/or ID/certified copy: check this before you leave because I can’t imagine how suicidal I’d feel if I was the plum who forgot the one thing to get into the party while my mates look on with shame.
  • Cooler box: this is going to save you. People may whinge that it takes up space in your car but these are probably the same people who believe that “eating is cheating” and on Sunday are unrecognisable and crying because they have intense sunstroke and haven’t drunk water since Thursday.
rocking the daisies

Like this person. Gif credit: http://giphy.com/

rocking the daisies

Yeah.

  • I am currently working on trying to find a biscuit-thin camp mattress. I can rough it if drunk enough, but would like to have some barrier between me and rocks.

Food and drink items:

I have debated long and hard on this and list in no way reflects any other party-goer. I’m going on Friday, therefore I am planning for the food and drink to last at least until Sunday morning, 9AM. From then, I will treat myself to an overpriced breakfast bun and a Magnum. Note: If you haven’t heard, RTD is swapping warm six packs for cool ones at the bar, so there is also that if you don’t have a cooler box.

Alcohol

My drink of choice this year is a little cocktail I modified from a German housemate. And beer.

  • 2x Stoney Ginger Ale
  • 2x bottles of vodka
  • 1x water bottle
  • 1x 5 L water bottle: extremely important
  • 2 x six pack beer
  • 2x lemons, the juice is for ginger beer cocktail
  • 1x cucumber cut into slices for cocktail
  • Pimms for cocktail (optional depending on how poor I am come Friday)
  • Ice: 2x packs (although also hoping we can get from the bar)

Food

A contentious issue for some, I am now older and not above admitting that I need sustenance at least twice a day; especially if I am to stay vertical and semi-coherent enough to enjoy the music. Camping means anything that can go off quickly is to be ignored. So let’s stick to the basics.

  • Lots of hotdogs: cut and butter the buns before you go because I don’t think knives are allowed and I don’t want to “endorse” them, clearly you’re all out to stab people.
  • Tomato sauce/mustard
  • Fruit: apples and bananas
  • Chips, flavour and quantity dependent on you. I am bringing some hummus on the first day for dip.

Cigarettes

  • I have found that the rule for this is: it doesn’t matter how many you buy, you will end up having to bum by 4pm on Sunday anyway. So never enough.
  • Lighter, have one in the car and one on your person. However, we once had a group of about 6 people who, in an act of universal fuckery, all lost their lighters simultaneously. The car lighter was the hero of this story.

Misc.

  • Coffee has to be bought at a vendor, the only luxury I will allow myself.
  • Spare cash: this depends on you, although I advise having a little emergency fund in your shoe. Don’t leave shit in your tent. Don’t rely on ATMs.

If you really want to prepare like some manic Bear Grylls of festivals, Noisey Vice suggests taking the Monday off to languish happily at home behind your drawn curtains (I have taken this tip) and to ensure your home on return is tidy and fridge stocked with at least one decent meal and some Creme Soda.

Cover image:

www.chicagonow.com

A love letter to Glastonbury 2014

Hi there Glasto (I can call you that, right?) and Worthy Farm,

I may not have been able to don wellies from Harvey Nicks, stalk Alexa Chung and Interpol or drink myself muddy and bloody but I lived vicariously through the BBC Youtube channel of the performances and the hilarious Noisey write-ups.

matt healy

Matt Healy of the 1975. This image captures everything I want in life.

Alexa chung

My Max Mara jumpsuit in space-silver Alexa needed.

mgmt

MGMT in a mud-free zone.

Arya Stark

Arya Stark was there too.

I just wanted to express gratitude to you and the internet as, because of this event, I have been able to inject a little sunshine and happiness into my corporate work day this past week with much aplomb.

In the aftermath, I hope that your fields aren’t too strewn with Strongbow cans, hemp products and used condoms. I am now going to pore over the Facebook photos my London friends have posted up in the hopes of getting one last taste.

See you in the future (I promise I won’t wear a flower crown).

X

The highlights

Interpol

interpol glastonbury

One of the only bands who sound even better live than on their albums. They aren’t the festival type, as this interview with ex-bassist Carlos D will attest, yet they still hypnotise with each staccato note. The setlist was as golden as the sky: Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights mainly but with two songs off their new album, El Pintor. Some die-hard nit pickers knocked the setlist but I think it was just the right fit for Glastonbury; a festival where a lesser band than Interpol would sink right under the layers of filth and beer if they didn’t give the audience what they wanted while still maintaining their own essence. Always well-dressed, always in sync with each other and always relevant. And Kessler’s red socks.

interpol

He’s like Regina George.

My favourite moment: the outro to PDA at around 40 mins. Kessler going mental on his cherry Gibson, Banks’ loving looks  at his bandmates and Fogarino just smashing it.

 

Bombay Bicycle Club

Being mean about these guys is not OK, they’re multi-faceted with each album and always surprise me. Unlike Mumford and Sons. I think it’s so great that they’ve included female vocals on their new album. Even though they were performing a full set the next day, they still managed to pull off an amazing surprise set on the Introducing stage. This show is the equivalent of munching jelly beans in the sunshine whilst playing with baby farm animals without going overboard on the spectacle (looking at you, Arcade Fire).


My favourite moment: Luna (at 13:52). If that song doesn’t touch you in the heart and marrow, you are the great stone dragon. Just look at their faces! So stoked to be there.

MGMT

glastonbury mgmt

I would have loved to look around and see who was tripping out to this shit.

If this is any indication of  their future Rocking the Daisies performance, consider me well and truly ready.

 Brian Jonestown Massacre

They’re baaaaaaaack! A little older but still the same druggy tripcats we love.

The lowlights

What in the smokey, pencil-dick thin vocals hell was happening with The Horrors? For shame, Faris.

 And this dude who overdosed on ketamine on the first day.

Day one was already marked with tragedy, when a 67-year-old woman died on festival grounds. According to The Mirror, the festivalgoer passed away from natural causes not tied to the festival or occurrences on the ground and her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The same cannot be said for the second death at Glastonbury. After overdosing on the drug Ketamine and being in a “life-threatening condition” for a day, a 26-year-old man also passed away after attending Glastonbury.

According to The Telegraph, the unnamed Reading resident died this morning (June 27) after having a reaction to the powerful horse tranquilizer, often taken for recreational purposes within the rave scene. It oftentimes goes by the street name “K” or “Special K.”

“A man has died following a suspected reaction to ketamine. The man was taken ill overnight on Wednesday into Thursday and was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Unfortunately he died earlier today,” police said in a statement about the incident.

– www.musictimes.com

Point of the story: the K is never special.

Image credit:

http://www.tumblr.com/

 

Good music Friday

This week, I finally got myself a SoundCloud account and have some stellar gems to share with you all (Read: the one person who reads this).

Follow me if you like at Prettyintights

Kiesza

You have probably heard this lady on the radio or seen her motherflipping cool music video.  In. Love.

Jamie XX

I am a huge fan of Jamie XX (listen to his newest release, Sleep Sound) and unearthed this mix he did for Radio 1’s Young Turks. Holy hell.

FAMY

I had never heard of these guys before I saw DIY tweet about their new single. While it seems people are comparing them to the now disbanded heavy pop act, WU LYF, I can safely say that these guys are onto something else entirely. For one, the vocals are intensely articulate and the lyrics blow WU LYF out the water. My definite pick of the month.

Image:

www.thehouseofcoxhead.com

Cool music: Burger Records

Not sure if you have seen it but Vans have been promoting documented stories of independent musicians, skaters and punks in East LA in their Living Off The Wall campaign. I did a write up on it recently which you can read here and you can subscribe to their videos here. One of the videos caught my eye, which focussed on the independent record label, Burger Records, known for releasing material on cassettes.

Burger records

Looking at the logo will induce cravings.

Burger Revolution

“Being able to eat whatever you want is our measure of success,” says founder, Sean Bohrman. While he looks like a crumpled, stoner Linus with a bunk bed surrounded by boxes of his clothes, Bohrman is no slacker. Burger Records, the label and the store, is a culmination of more than seven years of hard work. Bohrman and his business partner, Lee Rickard, started their label in 2007 and opened the record store in 2009, quitting their jobs and actually living in their record store to do what we all want; live the dream only talked about.

burger records

Since 2007, the label has put out 600 titles or more (“Who’s counting?”—Rickard) and has signed 500 artists including tenacious surf punks, FIDLAR, Black Lips and avant garde art pop band, The Garden. Stepping into their record store is a veritable treasure trove of musical treats that don’t subscribe to any genre, even offering up gospel, blues, techno, lounge and disco, among other eclectic records. Speaking to the artists in the videos, the love for Burger Records is their ability to be a label that is consistent; getting music to the people who want it.

The garden band

The Shears twins of The Garden (Yes, they also do runway modelling and DGAF).

Black Lips band

Black Lips do their OWN poses, thanks very much.

In 2012, Burgerama was established, a rock, pop and punk festival for all ages and featuring most of the artists from the label. 2013 was big year for Burger Records with dozens of bands joining the Burger caravan tour and over 50 of the bands playing at SXSW. Despite the fact that the store has no shower facility and there is no discernible filing system, these two guys seem to be delighting the public, gaining fans and promoting a great method of making music. To me, that’s a fucking legacy.

Follow @BURGERRECORDS

Listen soundcloud.com/burgerrecords

FIDLAR at Burgerama III, Santa Ana, California, March 22-23, 2014

FIDLAR at Burgerrama 2014, Santa Ana, Calif.

Burgerama 2014

Jealous yet?

Mac Demarco at Burgerama 2014

Mac Demarco at Burgerama 2014

Burger Records

Mini-Burger Records at Burgerama 2014

Burgerama 2014

White Fang’s impressive gymnastics at Burgerama 2014

 

Images:

http://www.vice.com/en_us

iamconfused.fr

http://ambig.com/

http://farmerdavescher.com/

http://ladygunn.com/

http://www.spin.com/gallery/burgerama-2014/

Ezra Koenig Sweater Appreciation

The preppy New England style of Vampire Weekend is often the line that separates the camps between the fans and the non-fans.

ezra koenig twitter

For many, Vampire Weekend are just a little too preppy or, if you want to be mean, completely naff poshos. I personally enjoy Vampire Weekend. Their three albums have been nothing short of what I have come to expect from them without being boring or sounding derivative. Once you have listened to their music and watched videos of their interviews or live concerts, you understand their fashion choices. Even those who are ardent naysayers could find it in the hearts to respect the fact that they dress based on who they are: four music students from Columbia. It would be out of place and incredibly pretentious if Rostam Batmanglij rocked up in a ripped Nirvana shirt or slouchy beanie.

Today, I would like to focus on the object of my affection: Ezra Koenig’s sweaters. The man is very Brooklyn, although he was more Brooklyn than anyone back in 2007. But never mind that, enjoy the knitted and embroidered glory of these jumpers.

ezra koenig sweater

Ezra explains the ‘no liquids near the sweater’ rule to unruly co-eds.

The nicest looking Rorschach test.

Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend)

Ezra in his playroom.

ezra koenig sweater

Classic in a slightly darker black.

sweater ezra koenig

The cableknit that started it all.

ezra koenig

Lemon yellow for a fishing weekend with the boys. The matching sunglasses were later burned.

ezra koenig

Chuffed in Lacoste.

ezra koenig sweater

And you hold the mic, like a birdy on a branch.

 

ezra koenig sweater

The kind of sweater that should come with a matching fireplace and mug of Milo.

Ralph Lauren sweater

The coolest of them all.

Images:

http://www.complex.com/

http://www.tumblr.com/

http://fuckyeahradsweaters.tumblr.com/page/18

 

Lazy Sunday Movie Pick: Drive

The informal name for this post edition is definitely “my younger sister’s movie education.” I mean that to sound only slightly teasing and mostly affectionate. I find that lazy movies on a Sunday are just as beneficial for me. I can see my sister, her adorable kitten and get cosy with a fluffy duvet and steaming cup of tea. Today, we added Bubbly chocolate to the mix; they now have Top deck Bubbly. Wonders never cease.

drive 2011 opening credits

On today’s menu was the ode to noir, Nicolas Winding Refn’s, Drive. Based on the book of the same name by John Sallis, the story focusses on the protagonist, an unnamed driver played by Ryan Gosling, and the interesting life each of his three separate jobs give him. I saw this in the cinema and still remember how I felt while watching it; my chest was tight and my breath was regularly suspended whether it was due to the loaded expressions between Gosling and love interest, Carey Mulligan, the sheer stylised violence that never seemed too over the top (read: Tarantino. But that’s his trademark and we love him) or the glorious shots of Los Angeles that switched seamlessly from the urban suburb of Echo Park to the glittering rabbit warren of downtown to the long stretch of the beach-buttressed Pacific Coast Highway.

drive 2011 ryan gosling

You don’t say?

Drive, along with being a tale of unseen bravery and honour, is nothing if not a tour of LA by car; something everyone new to town will need. And what better tour guide than Ryan Gosling? Although my sister did once say: “I get that the movie is about driving but flippin’ hell.” Yes, there are a lot of shots whilst driving. Sometimes, you will feel as if you’re playing GTA and switching the POVs. Even so, Refn’s directing and the cinematography are so well styled that you’re consuming the glossy beauty of these scenes, craving for more.

drive ryan gosling

drive ryan gosling

scorpion drive ryan gosling

As we joyride around with the Driver, we get to see more of his inner life, which is helpful because he is as laconic as Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men. It’s great for the watcher, because the characters around the Driver are never quite sure what he’s doing or thinking yet we get the grandstand view. Gosling acts brilliantly here; instead of looking like a dumbstruck pretty boy who handles a car well, his face does all the talking. Added to this, the chemistry between him and Mulligan’s character, single mom down the hall, Irene, is as palpable as the explosive car chases.

carey mulligan ryan gosling drive

carey mulligan ryan gosling drive

Everyone’s favourite anti-hero, Heisenberg AKA Bryan Cranston, makes an appearance as down-on-his-luck car shop owner, Shannon. Seriously, everyone comments on what a raw deal this guy gets. Shannon is the one who supplies the Driver with his three jobs: getaway driver, stunt car driver and auto-shop mechanic.  Shannon also sees the Driver as his way out of working-class grease monkey hell, hatching a plan to get the Driver to race stock cars because he is a prodigy with anything slightly motor-related.

Without giving anything away, the Driver’s efficient method of living below the radar doesn’t continue for long, namely because he decides to take a chance and act on his feelings for Irene and her young son, Benicio. And a lone wolf knows that adding other people to your pack causes problems fast.

ryan gosling drive

Everything about the movie is slick and deliberate to the point where some will criticise it for a lack of substance. However, I found it refreshing not to be inundated with character dialogue that goes nowhere and to just get lost in the underbelly of LA. It reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero, where the titular character repeats the slogan on a Sunset Strip billboard he has seen: “Disappear Here.” Instead of being loaded with back stories, I was able to deduce my own about the characters and what motivated them. Refn is a director who knows exactly what kind of a movie he wants to make and it shows. For Drive, he was awarded Best Director at the 2011 Cannes Festival.  One critic noted that action and art can happily go together when executed well, which is a succinct summary of Drive.

albert brooks drive

christina hendricks drive

Along with a killer storyline, there are several terrific actors that make an appearance including a chilling turn by Albert Brooks as a gangster, Ron Perlman as his volatile partner and the luminous Christina Hendricks. The cherry on top is that this is all set to an 80s-inspired synth and new wave score by the talented Cliff Martinez. It’s neo-noir at its dark and seductive best.


Images:

secondcitytzivi.com

www.windows8-wallpapers.org

http://www.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

Daddy Cool: the weekly round-up of awesome

As you may have accurately assessed, I am a bit of an internet trawler (sounds better than troller. I am also less aggressive). Here what has astounded and amazed me to the point where I say, “that’s too good not to share.”

Dylan Rieder

I find a lot of stuff on Tumblr and this pick is no exception. Leaving his ridiculously good looks and legit style aside with great difficulty, Dylan Rieder is a an insanely talented skateboarder. I will let the footage speak for itself.



Porn 4 Jews

“You weren’t chosen for a reason,” Seth Rogen says to his gentile friend in Knocked Up. My one friend readily admits to her love for those who study the Torah’s teachings. Luckily, the internet has satisfied the desire for some authentic Jewish lusting. Follow Porn 4 Jews and the eye candy at Hannukah Hotties. 

porn 4 jews

PURIM SAMEACH!!

Night Drive

These two Austin natives caught the attention of my ears after hearing them in a movie on the weekend. The movie was That Awkward Moment. It would have been great if the production company changed “awkward” to “painful” and “moment” to “90 mins.” Anyway, Night Drive are cool customers with a modern take on 80’s music  with their excellent use of throaty bass guitar and synth. Their single, After Dark, has been repeat; a song with a catchy hook that mesmerises you as the vocalist beseeches you to “hold me closer.” A dangerously sexy track, it is the perfect song for you to meet a mysterious stranger or head down PCH  to GTA Vice City. Own the electro-pop goodness for yourself and simply like their Facebook page to get your free download of After Dark and its remixes.

night drive band

 

Images:

https://www.facebook.com/NightDriveMusic?fref=ts

 

 

Back in time: 20 years of Britpop

On this day, 20 years ago, Blur released their third album, Parklife, to commercial and critical acclaim. Thus, Britpop was born; a period of music that was the soundtrack to the derision, bitterness, hedonism and angst of the people who created it while trying to balance stardom and privacy and the fights borne out of the relentless hand of the media that served to raise up and tear down.

britpop

Girls and Boys

Blur, with their angelic faces that belied utter mischief and a cock-of-the-walk attitude, always had what it took to be a truly successful band; critically and commercially. From the start, Damon Albarn was a bloody-minded man on a mission and in Graham Coxon and Alex James, he had found his lyrical and musical counterparts. Even listening to Blur’s music from the 90s, one can hear the talent in Coxon’s playing that was  in sync with Albarn’s lyrics; allusions to the British way of life; council flats, messy relationships and excessive partying.

I asked Damon for a Blur poster, and he was really rude – ‘Fucking buy it, then.’ And I remember him coming down and lecturing us, saying, ‘We’ve got the biggest dressing room and you’ve got the little one, but you have to pay your dues.’ Just being a real arsehole.
Justine Frischmann on her first meeting with Damon when Suede were supporting Blur at Brighton’s Zap Club in 1990.

britpop

“For me, Parklife is like a loosely linked concept album involving all these different stories. It’s the travels of the mystical lager-eater, seeing what’s going on in the world and commenting on it.”

– Damon Albarn, NME 1994.

By the time Parklife was released, the shoegaze and new wave era were over and there was an impressively large wave of new bands to make their mark on the face of music, the likes of which hadn’t been since the British Invasion of the 60s. America had grunge and Britain had “Britpop.”

When I think of Britpop, I remember how exciting it was to see friends breaking through in such a short time. At first the media’s attempts to pigeonhole us all together seemed forced. But the concept of ‘Britpop’ soon gained momentum and it became clear that it had become an entity in its own right. That redefinition of English music and identity felt important at a time when so much of the popular culture seemed to be coming from America. There was a desire to make work that celebrated where we were living, using our own imagery, vernacular and humour. There was also a softening of boundaries during that era – in a way, Damon working with Phil Daniels had some parallels with Tony Blair representing the Labour party… a reappropriation of traditionally working-class iconography by middle-class intelligentsia.
Justine Frischmann on Britpop

britpop

Out of the furore, came the idea that Britain and being British was cool again. NME was most integral in promoting the likes of Blur, Oasis and Elastica as the faces of a new kind of England; one dominated by snarls, cheap beer, Adidas trackie pants and brashness. Albarn had always been a show-boater, even though on occasion, he would display a vulnerability belying the insecurity beneath; but Oasis really brought out the competitor in him. This was not helped by the fact that media pitted the Gallaghers against Blur in a modern day battle of which band really was the face of British music. One only has to peruse back issues of NME and The Guardian to find a plethora of insults from both sides, of which nothing was sacred, not even Albarn’s girlfriend, Elastica’s Justine Frischmann.

britpop

Damon, who’s stretched out exhausted on a sofa clutching a big ‘I Love You’ sign that he’d bought for Justine at a truck stop, has been through six pairs of shoes on this tour, torn from him when he dives into the adoring crowd. More than once he has asked the crowd to return them, cheekily claiming he’s not Jesus and he can’t go barefoot. But the crowd never believe him. “J-e-s-u-s”, they chant back at him and, he admits with a grin, it’s as close as he’s ever felt to immortality.
Damon Albarn | NME 1994
I was double rude to Justine the other night, going, ‘Go and get your tits out’. It’s her boyfriend, innit, ‘cos I love getting at him ‘cos he’s a dick. If anyone said that to my bird I’d chin the cunt. But I fancy her big time! I’m having her, man. In the next six months it’ll be all over the press – I’ll have been with her. Don’t say that though, ‘cos I’m mad for her and that’d fuck it right up…
Liam Gallagher on Justine FrischmannNME 1995

britpop

britpop

In light of this, it would not be imprudent to say the media frenzy and obsession with the Blur/Oasis feud, served to crush the band’s creative spirit and even their likeability. Here were these talented musicians embroiled in a bitter battle to prove themselves yet imploding from the sheer exhaustion of it all; neglecting their music. After the release of Parklife, Blur was propelled to worldwide stardom and each band member used this passport to enter the intoxicating life of excess.

 “As Parklife gathered more and more momentum I slipped anchor and blew adrift on the shallow sea of a permanent backstage party. There was always one more place to go and I leaped into London’s deep and dark night.”


– Alex James, A Bit of A Blur.

britpop 20 years

Battle Royale

In August 1995, things came to a head when Blur’s label released the single, Country House, off their new album The Great Escape, on the same day as Oasis’s Roll With It. British media pounced on the story and called it the “Battle of Britpop.” Blur won the battle, with Country House taking the top spot, yet lost the war when Oasis’s album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, sold more copies.


britpop

Aftermath

Talking to the people and the fans, things weren’t the same again for Oasis. The Gallaghers flat out could not work together anymore. Naysayers believe Oasis to be nothing more than Beatles rip-offs while others will see that they achieved what they could, despite their inner conflict; a miracle when you remember Liam and Noel haven’t really spoken in five years. After Albarn’s descent into heroin and subsequent split with Frischmann, Blur turned into an introspective and humbled avenue with what is known as the “break-up” album, 13. It’s a great record and shows how Albarn can turn any experience into something expressive. Coffee and TV alone proved that Blur could take on the 2000s. And who knows, we might have a Noel/Damon collaboration soon.

Interviewer : Would you collaborate with him [Noel Gallagher] in the future?
Damon Albarn : I’d love to work with him. But I don’t know… That’s the exciting thing about being a musician and collaborating with people, you don’t know what it’s gonna be like when you turn up. It could be shit. Or it could be fucking… marvellous.
Damon Albarn interview after the NME Awards (2014)

britpop

Celebration

What makes Britpop special, even though it was a star that burned too bright and faded out just as quickly, are the cultural landmarks the songs and albums have become. They are moments captured in time and hold intensely special places in many peoples’ hearts. While I have focussed on Blur and Oasis, there was a flurry of bands that were all members of the Britpop party. It is worthy to note that Britpop may have started with boyish abandon but many of the bands that came out of it were made up of women.

Pulp

A band who were more than happy to stay the bemused spectator amidst the ego-fuelled spats.

Elastica

Their self-titled debut LP was released in March 1995 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1. It became the fastest selling debut album since Oasis’s Definitely Maybe and held the position for 10 years. The band were poised for worldwide success but internal conflict and heroin addiction all but disintegrated it.

Suede

While not strictly a Britpop band because they started in 1989 and have lasted through the years, Suede distanced themselves from the loutish attitudes of their peers with darker and more glamorous alternative rock. Definitely the “weird kid” of all the Britpop bands, lead singer and songwriter, Brett Anderson, started Suede with then-girlfriend, Justine Frischmann, who later left him for Albarn. This “love triangle” was the springboard for most of the media’s attention and before Oasis, the media stoked the fire of Albarn and Anderson’s obvious dislike for each other. Animal Lover was written by Anderson after Frischmann arrived home with scratch marks on her back from a night with Albarn. For an awesome article on this period and relationship read Love and Poison by John Harris.


Echobelly

A Morissey-influenced band that would have been unremarkable if not for Sonya Madan’s hypnotic voice and lyrical ability.

 

Images:

http://www.tumblr.com/

www.theguardian.com

Pick your playlist: sites where you can enjoy mixes

I am something of a mixtape junkie.

Some people like to listen to one genre or one artist/band on a playlist in its entirety (which I like too) but my moods are as interchangeable as the colours of a Harajuku Girl’s accessories or the sweets in a lucky packet.

I guess we cannot rightly call them “mixtapes” anymore but I remember making my first one from songs on the Cruel Intentions OST and one of the NOW60-something CDs. Contradictory tastes even at age ten. They were much more of a labour of love back then. You had to be ever so patient and wait for the whole song to be done before pushing down the record button to off. But the end result was a tape you could blast for the next 6 months. What DID we do without music sites? I didn’t even have MTV.

playlist mix tape

Oh, Bittersweet Symphony. You really helped me adjust to Grade Five.

Here are some awesome sites I recommend for playlists you can stream and enjoy besides Soundcloud, Bandcamp or 8tracks. (8tracks is one of my faves though). If you would like to enjoy mixes made by moi, I can be found on 8tracks: http://8tracks.com/kezia-synergize

 

Shake the Dope

I recently discovered this while researching for my Broad City post. These dudes have an entire playlist of all the show’s music AND it’s downloadable.

Cue angel chorus.

Other than that, they have other golden mixes from people with much better music taste than mine. Their January one is on repeat at the moment.

The Symposium >> The Fifties
Casual Sex >> Nothing On Earth
FIDLAR >> Gimmie Something 
Bodies of Water >> Triplets 
Jacco Gardner >> Clear the Air 
Foxygen >> No Destruction 
Wild Honey >> The Echo 
Junip >> Your Life Your Call 
Matthew Dear >> Slowdance
Smith Westerns >> 3AM Spiritual 
Dirty Gold >> Sea Hare 
The Memories >> Dancing In My Dreams 
Girlfriends >> Big Machines 
Theo Verney >> Blood Let 
Kurt Vile >> Never Run Away

Fluffpot

A lovely lady I know has an awesome blog and posts playlists regularly. Not only that, but she conducts interviews with musicians and other interesting people, who then contribute their musical favourites.

 Psychedelic Psyblings

Don’t be put off by the name. It’s more of a homage to the fuzzy, wavy genre of psy rock than anything else because on this site, you get a panoramic tour of genres.

“A curated collection of playlists from a series of contributors, all of which are involved, as musicians, in making music we love.”

I am an avid fan of Splashh and Toto Vivian submitted a cracking playlist so I am all up in that honey. However, there are great gems submitted by musicians cooler than you to expand your musical education.

Psychedelic Psyblings Playlist: Toto Vivian / Splashh by Psychedelic Psyblings on Mixcloud

Psychedelic Psyblings Playlist: Thomas Warmsley / Temples by Psychedelic Psyblings on Mixcloud

 

Images:

thehiddenpaths.com

http://www.tumblr.com/