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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Song of the Day: Vacationing People by Foreign Born

2009, thus far, has definitely been a year for 'freak-folk'. With bands such as Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear at the helm, the experimental and fantastical has come to the fore front of the indie music scene. And yet, it leaves some people cold- those that long for a distinguishable melody under smorgasbord of sound.
Step in Foreign Born. They still have that slightly experimental edge, and tunes that are the product of many layers of sound, but still have a tune; a melody. In short, they're bringing something new to the table, but you can still sing along at home.
The formation of Foreign Born began in college dormitory, where roommates Matt Popieluch and Lewis Pesacov made beautiful music together (but not in that way). Fast forward a few years, and with more musical experience under their belts, the pair unite again, this time with pals Ariel Rechtshaid and Garret Ray. Thus, over one very good weekend for music, Foreign Born were formed.
I'll be honest with you- the first time I heard 'Vacationing People' (below), I wasn't instantly dazzled. But I found over the next couple of days, it was a song I came back to time and time again. It's a largely faultless and very catchy song- but don't take my word for it. Click 'play' and see/hear for yourselves.

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Pointless But Oh-So-Funny Site: One Post Wonder

I've found another one!
I should probably get a life and stop seeking these cheap laughs, but for the time being, may I introduce... One Post Wonder!
One Post Wonder is a blog that aims to showcase the greatest (and funniest) blogs with only one post. A part of you will laugh at the pointless subjects the one-time bloggers discuss (and how tenuous a grasp they have of correct English spelling), and the another part will lament the extinction of these blogs, and leave you wondering what if they'd just carried on blogging...?
Case in point- (above), has the potential to be one of the blogging greats. A blog based entirely on one man's hatred of a shadowy and anonymous 'Mike' figure, the only post on this most glorious of coming-of-age journals/ social critiques reads:
mike is a stupid idiot
He thinks he has friends, but he doesn't because he is mean and hates people who have friends with cooler kids than him. I personally wanna die if he tried to be cool.
See what an inspirational, slice-of-life blog this could've turned out to be? No? Me neither.

(A quick whinge, however: I notice, despite the quality (or lack thereof) of, it has six comments. Six! I realise they're all from advertisers// people promoting their own blog, but six! That's more than I've ever had, and I've written 70+ posts! If there is anyone actually reading this blog, leave me a comment- say anything, really. It'd just be nice to know there's actually someone out there...)

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Song of the Day: An Anniversary Away by Reverie Sound Revue

If you haven't heard of Reverie Sound Revue (and alot of people haven't), all you really need to know is that they're making waves with their self-titled album (released earlier this year), and that they're everything you've ever wanted from a female-fronted indie pop group. For instance, are you feeling disappointed with Metric's 'Fantasies'? Don't worry- it wasn't just you, it was another album by Metirc with a few solid songs smothered by instantly forgettable mindless pop melodies, or 'more filler than killer', as they say in the biz. Never fear, Reverie Sound Revue will take the edge off your heartbreak.
You want the basics- pretty, pitch-perfect yet still interesting vocals, talented musicians- but, at the same time, you're crying out for some originality, and a memorable musical experience. Look funo rther than Reverie Sound Revue- my pick of the female-vocalist indie pop groups this year so far- you won't be disappointed.
Also, a fun fact (I'm just a fountain of knowledge at the moment): al of the vocals and instruments for this album were recorded separately by band members all across Canada- from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. They got details of lyrics and composition to each via e-mail. I thought this might make for a disjointed album, but I was pleasantly surprised. Check out 'An Anniversary Away' below:

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Dirk Auer...

... is quite clearly a madman. He spent over 110 hours making custom-built, 16-wheel rollerskates so that he could skate around an 860-metre rollercoaster track in Stuttgart. See? Madman.
Fair play on him, though- he did break a world record with his daredevil (i.e stupid) stunt, and average at a speed of 90mph.
Of his recent shenanigans, Auer said: 'this was a very dangerous stunt because there were so many factors to consider - if the skates were to catch a stray nail then I could have fallen and I would almost certainly have died.'
Maybe I'm alone on this opinion (as rollercoasters make me puke violently- nice, I know), but this might not be a stunt I'll be attempting any time soon...
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Happiest People Ever!

Another pointless but oh-so-funny site I thought I should share with you: Happiest People Ever!
In short it's a collection of really miserable looking people, such as the gleeful woman above. Some people will inevitably find this site a little pointless, but there are those that appreciate how funny glum people look. It's a site that basically wants you to find join in other's misery- and I for one am all for it.
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3 Degrees of Separation: The Who to Lightspeed Champion

Three Degrees of Separation: (noun):
1. A series of posts in which I link three bands together by cover versions- the best way to fully explain this is just to launch into it- I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Artist 1: The WhoI usually start with a little band bio for each artist, but if you don't know who The Who are, frankly, I'm appalled. They're one of the most successful and influential bands of all time, and are widely considered to be one of the best bands to live ever, and are responsible for such classics as 'Who Are You?' 'Baba O' Reilley' and- of course- 'My Generation'. My Generation was listed at number 11 in Rolling Stone's list of "500 Greatest Songs Ever", and has been featured in everything from The Young Ones to The Simpsons to Austin Powers. As they are considered one of the great live bands, you can listen to a live recording of My Generation below:

Artist 2: Green Day
Green Day recently covered The Who 's "A Quick One While He's Away," Social Distortion 's "Another State of Mind," Elvis' "That's Alright Mama" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" in conjunction with the online release of their new album, 21st Century Breakdown, on I-Tunes. With that in mind, here's a completely different Who cover they did: My Generation- it's not a patch on the original (obviously), but not too shabby nonetheless.

Green Day are also considered a bit of big deal. I feel a little stupid writing a band bio about them as well, so I'll just say they've recorded 8 albums, and sold over 22 million records in the US alone. 'Dookie' (widely considered their greatest album) sold over 15 million copies worldwide- their three following albums, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning, all achieved gold status (the one above double-platinum). For your aural pleasure, here's Scattering:

Artist 3: Lightspeed Champion with Florence and the MachineThree reasons to love Lightspeed Champion:
1. He makes good music (always good for a musician to do that sort of thing, really)- and his song, Midnight Surprise, feature backing from Tilly and the Wall (who, you can tell from this post, are some pretty cool cats).
2. His blog is awesome- it's filled with things such as word-play based movie reviews; I wish I was smart enough to come up with something like that.
3. He has very nice hair.
I have very little to say of Florence these days. After I awarded her with the prestigious accolade of 'One of the Sexiest Gingers in Music Today', she goes and lets me down with 'Lungs'. It's really not that bad at all, but it's just distinctly unremarkable. However, her cover of 'Scattered' by Green Day with Dev Hynes is pretty catchy, so maybe I'll let her off.

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Eileen's 'Could-Go-Either-Way' Upcoming Film Picks

Welcome, one and all, to Eileen's could-go-either-way upcoming film picks!
Before we begin, I should probably explain what I mean by could-go-either-way:

'Could Go Either Way': (adjective):
1. A term used to described an object, situation or idea with an indefinite outcome; that is to say, the reception and consequences of such an object, situation or idea, could be really awesome or remarkably shitty.

So basically, I pick two films that could either end up being an amazing film experience, or could just be a steaming pile of turd. It's really up to you to decide which one you think is going to be a success, and which one a failure- and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Ok, so for your viewing pleasure today:

1. Whip It!'Whip It!' is set to become next year's cutesie-indie pick, a la 'Juno' and 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'. Directed by Drew Barrymore (interesting, you say), 'Whip It!' tells the tale of "indie-rock loving misfit" Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page, everyone's favorite cutesie-indie-postergirl), who finds acceptance in a group of punk-rock derby roller girls. It's billed to be the next touching, coming-of-age film about finding acceptance and love. Aaw.

1. Drew Barrymore is fairly awesome, and could turn out to be a half-decent director.
2. The roller derby element does add something new to the mix- it's based on the book Derby Girl, by Shauna Cross- if you like books about derby girls (and who doesn't, really?), you should check out the awesome graphic novel: 'True Tales of Roller Derby: Doppelganger at the Hangar'.
3. Ellen Page has blue hair for a portion of this film, which rocks.
4. There is a very minuscule chance this could have a sort of 'Lords-of-Dogtown-for-chicks' kind of vibe. Obviously, it isn't going to be a powerful story about the conception of modern roller blading (as Lords of Dogtown was, only with skateboards), but it could possess the same sense of camaraderie and acceptance.

1. It does look like the kind of overdone, unoriginal cutesie-indie film that has been plaguing our screens alot lately.
2. I think Ellen Page is in danger of becoming the new Michael Cera: good for a laugh, and in some pretty awesome films (Page: X-Men 3, Cera:Superbad), but ultimately they seem to play themselves in every film they're in.
3. The title's fucking atrocious. Note: if you want to find out more about this film, be sure to type 'Whip It! Movie' into Google- I dread to think what might come up if you just typed 'Whip It'.

2. Jennifer's BodyNow, for something completely different- 'Jennifer's Body', a teen slasher film. It stars Megan Fox as a man-eating cheerleader who likes to torture and kill boys in her spare time, and Amanda Seyfried as Fox's protegee who vows to end her killing spree.

Megan Fox AND Amanda Seyfried? Even being a straight girl, I can understand the appeal of that.
Amanda Seyfried is a fairly decent actress- and I love her glasses in the trailer.
Nobody's really expecting this to be amazing profound- as long as it delivers enough gory fun, I'll be happy.
It's written by Diablo Cody- although I wasn't overly smitten with 'Juno', she is fairly cool, and I hope she brings something new to the scary teen movie format.
The title is also a song by Hole, which is a good omen.

Megan Fox. I understand she's one sexy chica, and does try to act, but for me, show always seems a little vapid and soulless. I also fear this is just going be another case of Transformers 2: 2 hours of Megan Fox in very low-cut tops, sprawled over motorbikes, running in slow motion, and generally being more provocative than a hooker on a Friday night.
High school setting? Check. Sexy as hell, man-eating cheerleaders with a dark secret? Check. Been done a million times before? Check.
The soundtrack features alot of wemo-y bands that all sound quite similar: Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, Cobra Starship...

Which one will be the victor in "Eileen's 'Could-Go-Either-Way' Upcoming Film Picks?" Only time will tell.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Song of the Day: Lisztomania by Phoenix

If you haven't heard of Phoenix, there's still a good chance you've heard them- their music have appeared on many soundtracks, such as 'Shallow Hal' and 'Lost In Translation', and they appeared in 'Marie Antoinette' (which might have something to do with Phoenix's vocalist, Thomas Mars, dating the director, Sofia Coppola). Their fourth studio album, 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' came out in May, and seems to have the critics smitten- it was awarded four stars by NME, Rolling Stone and an A- from Entertainment Weekly.
The album's opening songs ('Lisztomania' and '1901') in particular are triumphs- joyous and dance-y, and highly welcome off the dancefloor as well as on.
And here's an interesting fact for you (aren't I full of 'em?): according to Wikipedia (source of all knowledge worth knowing- for instance, did you know the state muffin of Minnesota was blueberry?), the word 'Lisztomania' ''was coined by the German romantic literary figure Heinrich Heine to describe the massive public response to Franz Liszt's virtuosic piano performances. There were allegedly screaming women at these performances, and the audience was sometimes limited to standing room only." Fascinating stuff right there.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ivana Helsinki: My Favorite Fall Collection?

I think I'm in love with Ivana Helsinki's 'Star Rain' catwalk collection. Clean, quirky lines, more stars than a night sky, and (the best part) it's actually wearable, unlike so many catwalk lines. I love everything about it, right down to the drawn-on eyebrows.
The collection has an uncommon intricacy and unusually muted palette for Ivana Helsinki (more often associated with bright, bold colours and simple prints), but still has alot of the bold prints she is known and loved for. As wear as being kitsch and flirty, most of the clothes look durable enough to last through the winter months- not that anyone buying them should put this to the test- these are clearly garments to be treasured, afterall.
If you like what you see, you should check out the boutique, where you can find items such as these (click to enlarge):
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Alice in Wonderland

As more and more details emerge about Tim Burton's upcoming adaption of Carrol's 'Alice in Wonderland', I begin to get more an more skeptical.
Obviously, it will have all the marks of a Tim Burton- delicious (if twisted) cinematography, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (joined by Anne Hathaway, surprisingly), reasonable special effects, and I'm probably going to love it. So why the negativity?

Well, I think more than anything else it's the fact that any Burton picture is going to be downright creepy. Now, I have no problem with that- I love his films. But what irks me is when he makes films for children. Adults have a taste for the weird- but one look at the Mad Hatter (above) when I was a kid would've given me nightmares for weeks. I was scared of The Mask, for God's sake!
Burton undoubtedly has an air for the subtly sinister- but sinister and children rarely go together without tears. Maybe I'm wrong- maybe a spook once in a while is healthy. Maybe Burton will tone the creepy- it is, afterall, a Disney film. We'll have to wait until March of 2010 to see is my suspicions are justified.
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Song of the Day: The River by Anathallo

If you're looking for some cheery summertime music with depth and originality, look no further than Anathallo. The septet who hail from Mt. Pleasant in Michigan use all of your everyday instruments (horns, guitars, drums, piano, bells...) as well as a few found sounds (chains, balloons, velcro strips, stomp boxes, and pipes) and their seven voices to create their vast and beguiling sound. And it's a sound that has won them great acclaim- Paste magazine described seeing Anathallo live as "cacophonous and dizzying, but simultaneously tender and gripping without any trace of sentimentality. Anathallo nestles itself somewhere between Ian MacKaye’s DIY ethos and Sigur Rós’s pointed emotionality." And I couldn't agree more- tracks such as 'The River', below, are superlatively composed, gripping, and encompass the noteworthy talent of all seven band members, whilst still being approachable- everything you could possibly want from a song. Check it out.

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H+M Barcelona...

... looks like the most awesome thing ever.
Some bright sparks at an interior design firm called Estudio Mariscal have created world's most awesome H+M shop. They also designed all of the furniture, which is kind of showing off.
Picture it: from the outside, it seems like your average 19th-century headquarters office, but the interior is a blend of the old and the new, mixing into a bizarre/psychedelic/somehow classical mix. It all adds up to a 3-storey showcase of modern design and fashion, whilst still mainitaining the foundations of the bourgeois architecture in place before.
What better way to view the latest attire from everyone's favorite wacky/dirt cheap clothing outlet?

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Crash and Burn

If you're lucky enough to live in NYC: stop reading my blog and get down to the Joshua Liner gallery!
As well as housing modern art from artists across the world, if you go at the moment, they have the 'Crash and Burn' exhibition by Canadian artist Ben Tour- a collection of 15 mixed media pieces. Most of the paintings (as you can see above) are energetic portraits of women- capturing the facial features perfectly, but making them his own his brooding grey and blue washes, heavy shadows and sporadic splashes of vibrant colour.
Although the overall composition is quite frenetic, it's clear to see a lot of work has gone into each piece- shown by the layers of acrylic, ink, Flashe, marker, and spray paint.

If you head to the exhibition page, you can find not only an online gallery of Tour's work, but some accompanying notes on his portraits, such as Shroud:
"Shroud, a second, even darker work on canvas, depicts multiple perspectives of a shadowy figure combined with the more explicit narrative element of a telephone (a ‘noir’ish, pulp-fiction attitude is present here and elsewhere in the show)."
Check it out!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Emily Richmond

Just a little something I found at nogoodforme:
You know the sort of person who has bags of drive and ambition, and the kind of brilliant mind that can see those goals achieved? Emily Richmond is one such person. She has dream, drive- and a nifty little itinerary that'll spell out her big picture for you.

the plan.
circumnavigating the world by boat: 24,000 miles in 24 months.

EXPLORE remote towns in far-away lands.

CONNECT with people from various cultures. interact, document, give.

CONSERVE energy by utilizing alternatives like wind and solar power. research and promote developing initiatives in sustainability around the world.

Pretty cool, huh? The problem is, whilst Emily is brimming with determination and drive, she's lacking in funds. So, in order to seek funds, she's started a Kickstarter website, where you can pledge as little as $1 to help give her dream a chance. If you pledge before 31 August, you'll be helping someone with the ambition we sometimes all lack in our own lives achieve her dream- and that's a pretty awesome thing to do be doing. Plus, if you give her a dollar, you get your signature on her sailboat. If you're interested, watch the video below to find out more, and then head to her website- and pledge away to your heart's content.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Song of the Day: French Navy by Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura seem to be going from strength to strength. I was dazzled upon first hearing their latest offering, 'My Maudlin Career'- its bold, brassy melodies are a far cry from the much more modest 'Underachievers Please Try Harder'. It seems that each of their albums charts their growth as they become more musically extroverted and confident with their own sound. French Navy is a prime example of this- striking, carefree and described by Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste as “pure bliss. This is a wonderful first track to download if you’ve never heard them. A great introduction to their music". With that in mind, press play, sit back and smile.

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What We Missed Out on at... Latitude

I think I've whinged on already about how I want to be Latitude, roaming the fields whilst listening to Regina Spektor, Ladyhawke and Manchester Orchestra. As Click Music put it:

"Latitude always manages to retain its boutique atmosphere while attracting the big names, and the big crowds. The event never fails to impress, and an entire weekend could easily be spent wandering around the lake and in the woods away from the main stages, with surprises and unexpected treats to be found everywhere. This year's festival-goers are greeted on Thursday evening with a pretty display as they cross the bridge from the campsite to the main arena in the twilight hours. A huge water fan is sprayed, with a giant pink sheep and Latitude logo projected onto it, with the sheep being an integral part of this back to nature festival. Many an hour can be spent idly staring at the pretty pink and green dyed creatures as they roam the park."

Oh, it sounds too perfect. Note to self: save up and go next year.
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5 Fashions: The Notebook Edition

You might question it, but notebooks are very much a part of fashion- everyone who keeps a notebook has a different opinion on what a good notebook is. Some want precious leather ones to fill with their best writing and ideas; some want quirky, handmade books that are one-of-a-kind; some want them plain, so they can feel free to let their creative juices flow. Above are some of mine- as you can see, there's a mix of cheap (such a the Woolworths one in the bottom right corner, covered with pages f
rom Vogue) and beautiful (like the top right one, purchased from the Centre Pompidou. Here, I bring to you five different notebooks that are beautiful in their own way.

1. The Moleskine Museum Notebook
Start with the classic- a moleskine notebook is 'A simple black rectangle with rounded corners, an elastic page-holder, and an internal expandable pocket.' This simple, classic notebook has been used by the likes of Van Gough (above) and Hemingway- and even appeared in the film Amelie.
Nowadays, they come in all different sizes, colours, and for different purposes (such as writing, sketching and collecting). The museum sketchbook was launched in the Van Gough museum in Amsterdam, and are silk-covered notebooks with close-ups from famous paintings that come in seven brilliant shades.

2. Jane and Jeremy Envelope Books
If you're the sort of person who wants to fill their notebooks with things- receipts, postcards, cuttings- the envelope book is a must. The name says it all- the book is made from collected envelopes, in which you can store whatever your heart desires.

3. JungAe Burgundy Min
i Leather Journal
If hand bound leather journals are more your cup of tea, check out this exquisite journal. It has all the decadence of your straightforward leather journal, but the quirky binding and tie at the front give this book a character all of its own. Grab it for the meagre sum of $13.50- but be quick, there's only one left!

4. Marquand Editions Modern Handmade Blank Book Journal

For those who prefer a blank canvas to let their creative juices flow, Marquand Editions do wonderful, high-quality notebooks. In addition, all the notebooks are made from recycled paper, and also use a special stitching method that make the books lie flatter, meaning its easier to scribble and sketch away to your heart's content.

5. Yellow & Red Rescued Cover Journal
I love this journal- aside from being easy on the eye and made with good-quality paper, the covers are made from covers of books the binder found in the Discarded Book Bin at her local library. You have to agree that's fairly awesome- not only will you be getting a one-of-a-kind notebook with a story to tell, but you're helping to save that cover from certain doom at the hands of the library system.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What We Missed Out on at... Benicassim

Every cloud, dear readers- every cloud.
Although we may be stuck at home whilst festival-goers worldwide are partying, listening to awesome music and abandoning every scrap of hygiene, it could be worse... we could be at Benicassim.
I'm not trying to insult the line-up with the remark above (although, really, could you get any more indie?), but apparently things haven't been going so well. Extreme wind has been causing all sorts of problems- headliners Kings of Leon even pulled out because of it. This, mixed with temperatures so hot that fires have started breaking out doesn't really make for an ideal festival experience. Take a look:

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Song of the Day: Recent Bedroom by Atlas Sound

Atlas Sound's upcoming record, Logos, is one of those records that the more you hear about it, the more exciting it sounds. Case in point:
Soundbyte 1: Atlas Sound is an experimental solo project by Deerhunter's Bradford Cox- so a name you can trust.
Soundbyte 2: It will contain collaborations with Panda Bear (Animal Collective's Noah Lennox) and Laetitia Sadier (of Stereolab). Getting excited yet?
Soundbyte 3: Cox said of the album: 'My last album was a bedroom laptop type thing. Very introverted. Logos is an album that was recorded all over the world. It's not about me. There are collaborations with other musicians. The lyrics are not autobiographical. The view is a lot more panoramic and less close-up. I became bored with introspection' Very progressive sounding, don't you think?
Soundbyte 4: If none of this has impressed you, I'll let the music do the talking- here is 'Recent Bedroom', from Atlas Sound's previous alubm, 'Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel'. Enjoy.

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What We Missed Out on at... Coachella

Out of all of the summer festivals, the one I really, really want to go to is Coachella. It's always been Coachella. Always baking hot, with a consistently diverse line-up (where else could you see Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Billy Talent and MSTRKRFT and My Bloody Valentine all in one place?) for me, Coachella has always been the place to be.
My heartbreak about once again not being able to go was all the more aggravated by these wonderful photos by Sebastian Kim. Look above- how badly do you want to join Brandon Flowers, Jenny Lewis and Conor Oberst as they lounge around in the sizzling heat in crazy attire? And below, would you not like to be jumping for joy// finding shade under palm trees like Late of the Pier and White Lies? I most certainly would. Farewell, Coachella- until next year.

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5 Fashions: "Summer Lovin'"

It's taken its time, but summer is finally here- a fact that might not make you rejoice.
It's the same old story- you promised this year, you'd get a tan, go on a bikini diet, and embrace the carefree look by going au
naturale with your hair and make-up. But your holiday's on the horizon, and you're still competing the Corpse Bride with your paleness, haven't lost the stomach and can't resist the call of the straighteners. Fear not- I'm here to help.
This edition of '5 Fashions' will look at the hottest summer trends- and how bending the rules with help you pull them off without looking like a complete loser.

Look 1- The Structured Dress
Aah, the Structured Dress, that old foe. Magazines keep saying how brilliant they are, and how they will turn any woman into an instant hourglass goddess. Lies upon deceit upon lies! Unless you're already rocking an hourglass figure, they can go- well, pear shaped. Carrying a slight bit of weight around the middle? No chance. A little lacking in the chest/hip department? Forget it. That is, unless, you cheat.
Rather than opting for the type of bodycon dress that is so skin-tight that you'll have to be cut out of it, or accentuates your every lump and bump, opt for a simpler, cleaner line. The Eve Dress on the left (Snoozer Loser NY,
$110.00), has the classic two-tone look of a bodycon dress, but the simple silk body leaves a little bit more to the imagination. This particular dress also has the block-colour and slightly boho look about it as well, so is bang on trend for the summer.
For those of you blessed with a perfect figure, the possibilities are endless, but Rebbecca Torres has an amazing range of bold, geometric bodycon dresses (such as the 001, right, $110.00) that will make the most of your figure.

Look 2- Nautical
Nautical is one of my favorite looks this summer- bold patterns, muted colours, and a touch of burlesque (which I've previously proclaimed my love for).
However, if you're a little bit scared about looking like a sailor, downplay prints are stick to one key nautical item per outfit- subtle hints of the sea can be found at Zara, such as the T-shirt above left, which I grabbed in the sale for a fiver.
If you're feeling adventurous or want to embrace your inner burlesque dancer/ sailor, check out the beautiful dress above right (Market Publique, current bid $32.00). It's on auction now, but only has a few hours left, so be quick!

Look 3- Floral
Anything and everything floral is always a big summer hit. Colourful and carefree, there is a floral to suit every shape and size.
As with nautical, it's best to stick with one key floral piece per outfit, to avoid being too much of an eyesore. Similarly, rather than going for a busy print 'explosion-in-a-florists' dress, try going for a more subtle print- such as Miss Selfridges' floral dress (above left, £20.00).
To really stand out, you could always opt for the colourful Alice & Olivia Dress (above right, £370.00)- and there were also some notable floral pieces in my last 5 Fashions: Miss Candy Twist.

Look 4- Nude
Sick of seeing teens swanning around in garishly bright floral dresses? Not to worry, nude is here for you. Overshadowed by the brighter, bolder trends, the nude palette has been sneaking onto all of the pre-autumn runways.
To make it work for you, go for playful pieces in light pinks of creams rather than delicate items in off-white; you run the risk of looking too washed out and too fragile. This light pink dress (Chick Downtown, left, $440.00) ticks all of the boxes and won't make you look ill.
For the less pale/breakable readers, take a look at this gorgeous silk dress (Lotta Stensson, right, $80.99)- delicate never looked so damn good.

Look 5- Block Colours
Block Colours are a minefield of potential fashion disasters- clashing colours could make you look like a loser, colours to similar will have no impact, too bright and you'll be washed out, too light and you'll be unnoticeable and washed out- it's a tricky one to gauge.
In order to pull this one off (danger-free)- cheat. They might not technically be colours, but black and white are decadent and will never go out fashion. You can't go wrong with dresses such as the block jersey dress on the left (Asos, £35.00)- and there's no chance that you'll go unnoticed.
If you must try this one out properly, I am quite fond the Topshop skirt on the right ($65.00), but be careful what you pair it with.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Song of the Day: Big Bird in a Small Cage by Patrick Watson

And now time for something totally magnificent- 'Big Bird in a Small Cage' by Patrick Watson is a song to lift your spirits. He has already won acclaim for his music- winning The Polaris Music Prize and the 'New Artist of the Year' at the Juno's- and is set to set hearts racing and minds soaring with his latest offering. Watson's quirky, innovative and wonderful new album, 'Wooden Arms' encompasses his vast and rare talent. But it's Watson's uncommon knack for composition that sets him above the rest- a skill that is perfectly demonstrated by the smorgasbord of sound within each song. Definitely one of the best albums I've heard this year- so sit back, press play, and get ready to fall head over heels in love.
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3 Degrees of Separation: Nirvana to Dappled Cities

I know I only posted the first '3 Degrees of Separation' yesterday, but this one's a corker, and it seemed like a crime to keep it from you. So, here it is: the 2nd ever 3 Degrees of Separation!
Basically, I link three bands together by cover versions- the best way to fully explain this is just to launch into it- I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Band 1- Nirvana

A band that need no introduction, and that had both more success and more raw talent than many bands could ever hope to have. As well as anthems for a generation, such as 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', some of their more low-key songs seem equally resonant with their fans- songs such as Polly. Polly tells the chilling true story of a young girl from Washington who was abducted, raped and tortured with razors, ropes and a blowtorch. Cobain's only narrative flourish is that the victim manages to escape by flirting with her captor, convincing him to trust her. This allows her to escape while he stops for gas. Although the message of the song may be shocking, the song is as beautiful to the ears as it is disturbing.

Band 2- Animal CollectiveLoose experimental musical collaborative, Animal Collective, have crafted a cover version of Polly, that despite the eloquently-played instruments, to me sounds even more chilling than the original. Whether or not this is a minor triumph or just plain creepy is in the ears of the beholder. I'll let you decide- you can listen to it below:

I have previously written about Animal Collective's most popular song
au moment, 'My Girls', here- including a hilarious song description that have failed to see the funny side of and have consequently deleted. The page does now point out, however, 'It also annoys the hell out of Animal Collective fans when people listen to this song in seclusion and do not experience the entire album—which was, in fact, the artist’s intent.' In support of this, please now enjoy 'My Girls' in seclusion below- sorry, Animal Collective fans, but it is what the band would've wanted, afterall.

Band 3- Dappled Cities
Dappled Cities' version of 'My Girls' strips back the multitudinous layers of sounds, focusing more on the vocals and a simple beat, almost indistinguishable from the original. Dappled Cities themselves are a lesser known indie-pop band hailing from Australia, who formed in 1997 and have through thick and thin (and losing a band member so he could pursue a career in bio-mechanical engineering, seriously) remained until the present day. The fact they formed in 1997 makes them sound rather old- they're not, they were all 15 when the band began. Oh, to be 15 again- when I was 15, I wore a khaki blazer and Converse all the time, and listened only to mildly angry bands with female vocalists. Good times.
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