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Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Being a Wemo Secretly Rocks!

Hello world! I hope you've all had a Merry Christmas- I have. I write to you from the keyboard of my new, sultry-blue laptop, which is one of the loveliest presents I've ever received. I'm also thrilled that the blog reached the 10,000 hits mark- thanks to everyone, that really made my day.
Anyway, I thought I'd write about one of my favourite cultural fads that I tried out in my younger years- that mystical enigma known as 'wemo':Ok, so I'm not technically a wemo, but I used to be. I had the fringe that covered 50% of my face, the badly died hair, the thick-rimmed glasses, the Converse with doodles all over them, the Nightmare Before Christmas- related accessories from Claire's, and the compulsion to include the word 'wickidsafe' in every sentence. And, to be perfectly honest, it was freakin' awesome.
The best thing about being a wemo is the music. You don't believe me? Well, prepare to be convinced. Here's my list of why it's awesome to be a wemo.

Note: I am using the following definition of 'wemo': music that has alot akin with the more popular 'emo' (which, as i gather, tends to be largely about loud guitars and being upset about things). Wemo, in contrast, tends to cheerier, with more pop/dance influences, and is generally considered 'less hardcore'. Hell, I was a wemo, and even I don't fully understand it.

1. Wemo Music Never Takes Itself Too Seriously
Question: When have you ever heard anyone say: 'I still like Cute Is What We Aim For, but 'Rotation' will never top 'Same Old Blood Rush With a Brand New Touch'?
And, ok, such dialogue is an insult to the English language, but don't you wish you could get so hyped up over music that could be described as 'mediocre at best'? The great thing about wemo music is that everyone knows it's shit, but it's catchy, so you just don't care! And rather than deconstructing every note, analysing each and every song, wemos simply kick back and listen. It doesn't matter if it's cool, or 'good'- you listen to the music because you like it, because it makes you feel happy. It's like Chloe and The Twang- other people may hate them, but she'll be damned if that stops her from enjoying it.

2. Wemo Love is Like Comic-Book Love, Which is the Best Kind of Love
(Above: Ramona Flowers and Scott Pilgrim, one of my favorite comic-book couples)
Comic-book love is so-called because it's the sort of romance that you find in the pages of many graphic novels: it starts with a chance meeting between a boy and girl- typically hot, in an alternative sort of way. The rest of the book is filled with the quest to find one another/win the other's heart, usually involving some hilarious hijinks and crazy minor characters. Nobody ever gets together until the very end, when we see a series of quirky dates, ending with true love, and a double-page spread of an exquisitely-drawn kiss. Wemo love draws on the same principles- they don't look at love from a Hollywood-ending angle, they work hard for a good romance. And it's these sort of cutesie romantic songs that I love.

3. Wemo Dudes Are Ridiculously Sexist, But Nobody Cares!
3OH!3 only ever refer to girls as 'ho's', and The Medic Droid demand that you 'Kick of your stilettos and fuck me in the backseat'. But, rather than getting all feminist and angsty, you're too busy pulling shapes with a fistful of glowsticks to care that gender equality is being compromised! Just roll with it, bitch!
4. Wemos Have the Best Crazy-Ass Music Videos
There's a very big difference between experimental-indie music videos that are nuts and wemo music videos that are nuts. Experimental-indie music videos have deep, allegorical meanings that us mere mortals are simply too dumb to understand. Wemo ones don't even pretend to make sense. Take The Hush Sound's 'Crawling Towards the Sun', below: the moral we can glean from this is 'People will like you more if you grow a moustache'. And Panic at the Disco's 'Nine in the Afternoon'? 'Anyone who wears onesies and animal masks will look like a prick'. Simple, random, fun.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Song Of The Day: Salt Air by Chew Lips

I stumbled across this song just a few seconds ago and I loved it so much I just had to share it with all of you in cyber land. This little jazzy number called 'Salt Air' is by the Chew Lips and as well as being a really good song, a dance/pop clash with stunning vocals, the almost geometric-feeling video is definitely worth a watch.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Read More......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tri's Top 10 Albums of 2009

10. The Maccabees – ‘Wall of Arms’

Despite receiving a lot of criticism for their newest album ‘Wall of Arms’, The Maccabees’ somewhat repetitive lyrics and intricate drum beats, provided by replacement drummer Sam Doyle, have pushed them to number ten in my list this year. It is true to say that their sound has changed, moving away from tracks such as ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ with playful lyrics about fleeting moments, to songs such as ‘One Hand Holding’, which depicts the all too familiar breakdown of relationships. This transition reflects that of their producer; exchanging the Britpop Stephen Street for Markus Dravs who engineered Arcade Fire’s ‘Neon Bible’. Their new album explores a larger emotional range, with more depth and instruments than can be found on their debut album ‘Colour It In’, a combination which has pushed The Maccabees into my most played artists this year.

‘If you’ve no kind words to say, you should say nothing more at all.’

9. Throw me the Statue - Creaturesque

Ok, so I have to admit, this album does not quite reach the high standard set down by their debut ‘Moonbeams’, with tracks such as ‘Lolita’ demonstrating the band’s quirky edge. However, ‘Creaturesque’ shows signs of progression within the band, and the fact that Scott Reitherman’s voice is a lot softer and less forced than previous recordings (particularly in ‘Cannonball Rays’) only increases my liking of the album.

8. Kate Voegele – ‘A Fine Mess’

Following her first appearance on One Tree Hill in 2007 and consequent release of her debut album ‘Don’t Look Away’, Kate has become successful in her career, releasing ‘A Fine Mess’ which once again showcases her strengths as not only a singer but song writer, guitarist and pianist. Some of the songs are fairly similar, but overall ‘A Fine Mess’ is a relaxing and feel good album from a talented artist.

7. Olafur Arnalds - 'Found Songs'

‘Found Songs’ - a haunting album of just seven songs, most of which consist of a slow piano riff in minor key, and minimalist in both content and structure. Many of the songs are accompanied by violins, creating a moving album that never fails to relax. This Icelandic post-rock composer proves that sometimes, less is more.

6. Jack Penate – ‘Everything is New’

Jack Penate – another artist who has changed his tone, leaving behind the lonely guitars found in his debut ‘Manitee’ to experiment with trumpets, strings and layered voices in ‘Pull my Heart Away’, even piling on the samba drums in ‘Give Yourself Away’, a personal favourite. His new album, produced by Paul Epworth (Bloc Party and Maxïmo Park), presents a desire to reinvent his image and breakaway from lovely but perhaps uninspiring songs such as ‘Learning Lines’, which provided only fleeting success.

‘The right way must be left, straight ahead is never good at all.’

5. Newton Faulkner - Rebuilt by Humans

After great success with his debut ‘Hand built By Robots’, Newton Faulkner has once more produced an upbeat acoustic album with piano, keyboards and strings all adding depth and texture to his bouncy guitar rhythms. His distinctive mellow voice provides an ‘easy-to-listen-to’ album of 18 songs, and despite some weaker contributions, others such as ‘Over & Out’ with the London Studio Orchestra more than make up for it.

‘Strangers constantly between us, wish that they would leave us.’

4. Temper Trap – ‘Conditions’

An album similar to Passion Pit’s ‘Manners’ in its composition of falsetto voices and synth-pop sounds. Created by Australian four-piece band Temper Trap, this debut album brings together imaginative drum rhythms by Toby Dundas in ‘Drum Song’, with guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto’s ability to mount tension throughout ‘Resurrection’ and bring each song to a dramatic climax. It seems myself and fellow blogger Chloe both enjoyed this album enough to put it in our top ten.

‘There’s a science to fear, it plagues my mind and keeps us right here.’

3. Passion Pit – ‘Manners’

This album may stand out against the rest of my choices, as the band of five, including the imaginative Michael Angelakos, have produced a surprisingly varied album of what has been named ‘synth-pop’. A combination of falsetto choruses and layered synths provides us with standout songs such as ‘Sleepyhead’ and ‘The Reeling’, which subtly reminds me of the 80’s. ‘Little Secrets’ uses a chorus of children which adds to the diversity of ‘Manners’. Overall a great album that just makes me want to get up and dance – however embarrassingly!

‘They crowd your bedroom like some thoughts wearing thin.’

2. Tegan & Sara – ‘Sainthood’

Well, what can I say. After listening to this album on repeat for just under a month, I am still not tired of the upbeat rhythms and perhaps repetitive lyrics with underlying meanings that make ‘Sainthood’ stand out against the rest. It is clear that the Quin twins have matured since their last album ‘The Con’ - (‘I know it turns you off when I start talking like a teen’), but are no less successful in their collaborative song writing style. Songs such as ‘The Cure’ and ‘Alligator’ are personal favourites, but then again, so is the rest of the album.

‘When your bed is empty do you really sleep alone?’

1. MoZella - Belle Isle

So we’ve finally reached number one. MoZella, or Maureen McDonald, released her second album under a new studio Universal Motown Records in October. ‘Belle Isle’ is an intricate combination of truthful lyrics, playful guitar riffs and most of all Maureen’s distinctive voice, which makes her sound unique. Perhaps it is because she writes about situations to which so many can relate, or because her songs are so memorable that I have chosen this album as my number one year, and cannot wait to hear more!

‘And the darkness outside is a mirror to my eyes, ‘cause my soul won’t reflect any light.’
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Charles' Top 10 Albums of 2009

Following on from Eileen's top 10 albums of the year, this is Charles' thoughts on the year in records:

10. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
One of the most prolific experimental releases of the year, Fuck Buttons' second album has had considerable critical success. Released on ATP Recordings (the same people who bring us the ATP festivals), there are few who haven't hailed this as one of the records of 2009.
MP3: Rough Steez [RS]

9. There Will Be Fireworks - There Will Be Fireworks
2009 has been a great year for Scottish music. With new albums from the likes of Idlewild and The Twilight Sad, it has been hard to ignore. Yet many people have overlooked one of the greatest Scottish albums of 2009. Still unsigned, There Will Be Fireworks recorded their self-titled début in a mill just outside of Edinburgh; as well as being a brilliant and cohesive piece of work, it makes you wonder - if they can do it unaided by a label, then who else will venture there?
MP3: Colombian Fireworks [RS]

8. Converge - Axe To Fall
You could almost guarantee another strong release from the Massachusetts hardcore band. What people may not have been anticipating was the almost Tom Waits-like 'Cruel Bloom' and, in what could be their best track yet, the creepy and atmospheric 'Wretched World'.
MP3: Dead Beat [RS]

7. St. Vincent - Actor
Two years after her début 'Marry Me', Annie Clark returns stronger than ever. Her songs sound more mature than her previous record; it would appear Annie has been doing some growing up. Every track is as solid as the last, crescendoing up to the climax and highlight of the album 'Just The Same But Brand New'.
MP3: The Party [RS]

6. mewithoutYou - it's all crazy! it's all false! it's all a dream! it's alright
With their fourth offering, mewithoutYou have departed completely from the post-hardcore days of old, switching distorted electric guitars for acoustics and pianos and the screams and shouts of Aaron Weiss for a more melodic vocal line. This ambitious effort may not quite match 2006's 'Brother, Sister', but you've got to hand it to them for trying. Songs such as 'The King Beetle On A Coconut Estate' are a fond way to remember the band in this, - if rumours be true - their last record.
MP3: The Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie [RS]

5. Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
Charlie Fink was a man of many problems. After 'Five Years Time' was released, Noah and the Whale were at risk of being branded a one hit wonder and, no sooner than it was a commercial success, Fink had been abandoned by former band member and girlfriend Laura Marling. He only had one choice - to create a solemn, heart-filled album of longing and solidarity which fill the tracks on 'The First Days of Spring'.
MP3: Love of an Orchestra [RS]

4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
This band have been described as "bland" and "lacking in balls". In a way, it's easy to see why, but people are forgetting that music doesn't have to be constantly changing and experimental to be exciting, or even good. Sometimes all it takes is sheer songwriting strength, which is something The Pains of Being Pure at Heart definitely don't lack.
MP3: Young Adult Friction [RS]

3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
The Brooklyn-based band burst into the US charts earlier this year with some of their poppiest material yet. Although it may not live up to the masterpiece of Yellow House, songs such as 'Ready, Able' and 'While You Wait For The Others' show Grizzly Bear at their best yet.
MP3: Two Weeks [RS]

At this point I have just realised that I am a complete retard; I miscounted my top ten and there's actually 12 albums on this list. FML. So I'm just going to continue and hope that no-one notices...

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
It was the album that everyone was talking about this year, but not without good reason. Blah blah blah, you already know it, here's AnCo, in at #4 (not #2).
MP3: Brother Sport [RS]

1. Blue Roses - Blue Roses
Blue Roses sounds just like her name would suggest: a female singer-songwriter inspired by folk and lo-fi. But that description does not do her album justice. In what is one of the best début albums of the year, Blue Roses proves that she is a name worth remembering.
MP3: Greatest Thoughts [RS]

0. The Antlers - Hospice
Another album from an indie folk band based in Brooklyn? Well yes and no. With this stunning breakthrough record, Peter Silberman explores the concept of life in a hospice in a breathtaking 50 minute journey. This album is chilling, depressing, and probably the best thing to come out of Brooklyn all year.
MP3: Kettering [RS]

-1. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Based around Natasha Khan's conflict with her city-girl persona of Pearl, a blonde femme fatale born out of the city of New York, the stories and ties between the two characters and the universe around them run deep in these 11 interweaving tracks. Natasha doesn't just create an album; she creates a new world altogether. At any point whilst listening to this record, I dare you to shut your eyes to hear, see and feel Natasha's strange and mystic universe.
MP3: Glass [RS]

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Chloe's Top 10 Albums of 2009

As Eileen said, throughout this whole month each author will be proclaiming their love for the albums of 2009. As we are all interested in the same genre of music, there might be a little overlap, but hopefully we can each serve up a fresh dollop of musicy-goodness for your listening pleasure!

1. Alessi’s Ark – Notes From A Treehouse

There is only one way to describe the voice of front woman Alessi Laurent-Marke and that is dream-like. Each song is produced with the same soft vocals and light melodies and this over all makes the album beautiful to listen to. Although don’t be fooled, there is some upbeat songs such as ‘Over the Hill’ and ‘The Dog’, mixed with slower, more soulful tunes such as ‘Magic Weather’ and ‘Hummingbird’. Amazing.
MP3:Over The Hill [R]

2. Jamie T – Kings and Queens

Somehow Jamie T has managed to touch people from all different music tastes with his new album ‘Sticks and Stones’. Even my sister, who thinks N Dubbs is the new Mozart will happily put this one on repeat. So, what makes this masterpiece so diverse, so that your skinny jeans wearing indie kid and your gold hooped chav both playing the same songs? I can only guess and I think its because of Jamie T’s diversity, he does not fall into any category. ‘Sticks and Stones’ got a lot of airtime this year, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, after asking my sister what her favourite one on the album was she exclaimed ‘3698’.

3. Jewellery Quarter – The Twang

Charles will kill me for this, but I absolutely love The Twang and when I think of the summer of 2009, the song ‘Barney Rubble’ will be what pops into my mind. I played it on repeat throughout my whole holiday and then at the end of the summer saw them in concert—the lead singer Phil Etheridge actually winked at me, but that’s a story for another time. There are some amazing songs on there; obviously ‘Barney Rubble’, an ultimate party tune and ‘Twit Twoo’ which also features a slowed down remix called ‘Twit To Waltz’. As well as those there are songs which a little bit different, ‘Rainy Morning’ is simply a monologue over a basic melody which probably wouldn’t work without the thick Birmingham accent. Love it.

4.Lungs- Florence + The Machine

Whilst I still think that some of Florence’s original demo’s were much better then studio-edited versions, it would be a crime to say that this over all is not a good album. Florence Welch and her band have again managed to do what so many indie artists have failed to do and that is to touch the hearts of all of the nation whilst not really comprising their over all image. Songs like ‘Hurricane Drunk’ and ‘Cosmic Love’ still have that quirky sound and others such as ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ and her version of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ managed to make their way into the Top 20, as well as our hearts and the album came in at number 2 respectively. (UK album and Singles Chart)

5. Two Suns – Bat For Lashes

I’ll keep this one short as Eileen has pretty much said it all. Bat for Lashes or Natasha Khan will have you wailing – because surely she’s the only one who can get that high? – her dreamy lyrics till the dogs start barking. Absolutely beautiful.

MP3: Glass [R]

6. Bomb in A Birdcage – A Fine Frenzy

I have already exclaimed my love for this album in my very first blog post here, but I am still willing to proclaim my love for this 11 song masterpiece from the rooftops even now months later.

7. Far – Regina Spektor

A very long time ago Eileen gave us a song by song review of this (find that here) and whilst, like all of Regina’s albums, it’s a little out there and not to everyones tastes, it has to appear on my list for the originality. Who doesn’t like a little dolphin/seal sounds anyway? ‘Folding Chair’ definitely provides for all our aquatic needs!

8. Love, Save The Empty – Erin McCarley

Whilst not being the most groundbreaking of albums on the list, Erin McCarley is a smooth-singing, acoustic guitar strumming mentionable artist. Songs like ‘Love, Save The Empty’ combine beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics with a melody that masks the pain behind the words. My favorite on the album is ‘Blue Suitcase’ is a metaphorical journey that’s definitely worth a listen.
MP3: Blue Suitcase [RS]

9. Conditions – The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap were first introduced to me after watching 500 Days Of Summer, the song ‘Sweet Disposition’ effected me so much (and my mum for that matter) I just had to download it. This is the kind of album which has me dancing around my room—with the curtains closed, obviously—and using as a little pick me up when I’m feeling down, songs like ‘Rest’ and ‘Solider On’ do the job nicely.

10. Battle Studies – John Mayer

The album of the month last month has also made its way to my top 10 list, I’ll keep this one brief too, as I’ve already talked about it. John Mayer manages to portray break up’s in this album beautifully, but for more information, just click here.

PS. Sorry there isn't a MP3 for everyone, I have ridiculously slow download speed.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Eileen's Top 10 Albums of 2009

Throughout the month, we will each be bringing you our Top 10 favorite albums of 2009. Up first, Eileen:

10. Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
This is an album which will no doubt be cropping up time and time again in lists such as this. It is clear from the off how meticulously executed this album is, how painstakingly the Brooklyn-based quartet have strived for perfection, in what appears to be largely a collection of love songs (certainly the case in ‘Two Weeks’, ‘I Live With You’ and ‘All We Ask’). But then, the album in places seems effortless, with something about it that seems to ooze nature- particularly apt, considering ‘Veckatimest’ is an uninhabited island off the coast of Massachusetts. The whole thing leaves me slightly confused, but in a very good way.
MP3: Southern Point

9. Grammatics- Grammatics
One of the most promising first albums I’ve heard in a long, long time. I think what makes this album a stand-out work for me is the sheer ambition- the soaring highs of ‘The Vague Archive’, the magnificently composed breakdown in ‘Relentless Fours’- which you simply don’t see in other fledging musical acts. A bit of a triumph.
MP3: The Vague Archive
8. dredg- The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
And now for something totally different- some high-concept art/alt-rock, largely inspired by ‘A Letter to the Six Billionth Citizen’ by Salman Rushdie. Yes, I know- and it’s actually good! Although dredg are always a breath of fresh air, they’ve basically followed the same basic backbone as their previous El Cielo- soaring rock ballads interspersed with short, experimental ‘jousts’, as their bassist put it. Maybe not quite as successful as El Cielo (giving that it doesn’t feel that original anymore), but still a top record.
MP3: Ireland

7. Manchester Orchestra- Everything to Nothing
One of the only albums this year that I’ve genuinely been anticipating that has proved better than the act’s previous material. 'Mean Everything To Nothing' has the same triumphant melodies and quiet, introspective periods as 'I'm like A Virgin Losing a Child', but is bolder, better and carried out with a little more finesse. Andy Hull's vocals, in particular, have ripened considerably. Top stuff.
MP3: I've Got Friends

6. Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion
Ok, so you’re probably sick of hearing about this album by now, but how could I not? It is brilliant, afterall. Usually, experimental albums are musical marmite- some love them, some think they’re unbearably pretentious and just random noises that a child could’ve bashed out with a toy xylophone. But on the whole, MPP has received wide-spread praise; a fitting testament, I think you’ll agree.
MP3: Brothersport

5. Neko Case- Middle Cyclone
As I’m writing this, I’m smiling. Why? Because ‘Middle Cyclone’ is so much fun! A country album that never takes itself too seriously, but has moments of rare and brilliant beauty. Not my usual cup of tea, but I love it.
MP3: This Tornado Loves You

4. Bat for Lashes- Two Suns

Before you push the ‘play’ button on this one, get ready to be dragged by your heartstrings into Natasha Khan’s mystical world of surrealism and romance, all capped off by breathtaking vocals. Magnificent.
MP3: Glass

3. Alexisonfire- Old Crows/ Young Cardinals
I’d never really given hardcore/post-hardcore a chance before this year, but I’m so glad I warmed to it. It’s often considered to be a genre with little in the way of artistic accomplishment, but albums such as ‘Old Crows/ Young Cardinals’ explode such stereotypes. Principally based around the contradiction of beauty with violence within the modern world, Alexisonfire take us on a journey through the beautiful and the depraved- as well as a few chantable choruses thrown in for good measure.
MP3: The Northern

2. Patrick Watson- Wooden Arms

I probably use the word ‘beautiful’ too much. But when I call this album ‘beautiful’, I express the utmost admiration for the humble, the intricate and the heart-warming composition of ‘Wooden Arms’. It’s an album to fall in love with, time and time again, and I’m in complete disbelief that it hasn’t received more acclaim.
MP3: Wooden Arms

1. As Cities Burn- Hell or High Water
Yes, my album of the year is ‘Hell or High Water’. There’s something about the circularity of this album that beguiles me to no end- indeed, the rolling currents of the sea are a recurring motif, and several of the songs bear the lyrics ‘round and round we go’. But As Cities Burn definitely aren’t walking in circles- they’re headed firmly in the right direction. Although their last album, ‘Come Now, Sleep’ received considerable acclaim, for me there was something overdone about it- the introduction (‘Clouds’, in which we hear several people’s views of God set to music) and the finale (a 14-minute marathon, Timothy) in particular, seemed as though they could do with toning down. What follows, ‘Hell or High Water’, has all the same triumphant, guitar-swelling peaks, but the quieter moments are brooding, brilliant and just as enjoyable. Nothing here seems overworked- there’s just the right balanced of nature and nurture. It’s an album that takes my breath away every time I hear it. Truly, truly brilliant.
MP3: Pirate Blues
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

5 Fashions: Kooky Stocking Fillers

Just when it seemed that I might have to abandon '5 Fashions' (because, let's face it, we'll all be hiberating in trackies and wooly jumpers for the next month or so)- I had a brainwave. I'll use 5 Fashions as an otulet for my surplus amount of quirky gift suggestions! Because, really, there's nothing more a la mode than being generous at Christmas time.

1. The Indie Rock Colouring Book, Yellow Bird Project, $10 Ever wondered how colouring books could be made any more awesome? By allowing you too 'Wiggle yourself through the intricate Broken Social Scene maze, color Bon Iver's enchanted water supply, or slide down the psychedelic playground of MGMT', of course! Yes- it's a colouring book with activities inspired by indie-rock musicians. And yes, it's freakin' awesome. My particular favorite feature is 'Draw Rilo Kiley's current hairstyles!'- endless hours of fun right there.
MP3: Rilo Kiley- Portions for Foxes

2. Bacon Bandages, Perpetual Kid, $3.99 I have a little saying- 'everything's better with bacon'- and now, even your minor cuts and grazes can bask in the glory of my favorite pork-related food product! As mouthwatering as they are sterile, each tin contains 15 plasters.

3. Lego Wallet, Color By Numbers, £20.00 It seems you can get everything lego-fied these days; and wallets are no exception. Each hand-made wallet features white, yellow, black, lime, brown, oprnage, blue, green and red bricks.

4. Origami Sticky Notes, Perpetual Kid, $3.99 I'd love to know who comes up with the product ideas featured on How do we plasters more exciting? Make them look like bacon. How do we sex up post-it notes? Have printed instructions on them, so you can transform them into beautiful origami creations once they've served their purpose. Whoever comes up with these knick-knacks is quite clearly a genius, and it's probably of great benefit to mankind that they're fighting for good and not evil.

5. Stacked Paperback Wallpaper, Anthropologie, £127.59Ok, so this would only be considered a 'stocking filler' by people who heat their house by burning hundred pound notes, but it's simply too awesome to ignore. If having endless amounts of bookcases isn't enough to prove your bookishness, then Tracey Kendall has the answer- this handy wallpaper, featuring a print of stacks of books. Inspired!
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Top 10 Work's Christmas Party Songs!

So, we have already posted our own artsy, alternative Christmas playlist for this holiday period, but I pose the question—what about the old favourites? What about those songs that transport us back to Christmas discos, men in red suits and plastic beards and decorating the tree with the ones you love. Here’s the top 10 songs that encapsulate the Christmas period to me and no doubt you. Hey, the lyrics may be cheesy, the score may not be the melodic orgasms we're used to on this blog, but everyone has a different memory attached to each of these classics… so why not?

1. Do They Know Its Christmas? – Band Aid
Ah yes, that old chestnut. Course, I’m talking the original, the 80’s version with such names as Phil Collins, David Bowie, Jools Holland, Paul Weller, Bono and Paul McCartney to name but a few. It was set up by Bob Geldoff (yes, he’s known for more then having stupidly named, pointless offspring) and Midge Ure to raise money and awareness for the Ethiopian’s who were living in extreme poverty. I think its absolutely brilliant.

2. Fairytale of New York -- The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
I know it featured on the old playlist too, but I think it deserves another mention. Honestly how couldn’t I mention it with lyrics such as ‘You scumbag, you maggot, You cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse , I pray God it's our last” . Absolute genius. Its definitely worth a listen! Love it!

3. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Ok, so I am not a big lover of Mariah. A woman is a voice as powerful as that finds herself prancing around in the worlds smallest bikini’s and singing ‘why you so obsessed with me?’ and completely ignoring the fact she has the vocal range of a goddess? Well, it annoys me. But this song is brilliant, an awesome cheesy Christmas tune to drunkenly snog that unsuspecting work colleague at the Christmas do to…

4. John & Yoko And The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Who doesn’t love a little peace and love at Christmas time? Especially when its sang by the legend that is John Lennon and an army of tiny angelic voices. This song actually gives me chills and it enough to make even the biggest Scrooge smile upon any old Tiny Tim. Beautiful!

5. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Perhaps the catchiest, cheesiest, most overplayed Christmas song of all time? Despite this I find myself jiving jovially whenever the Christmas season rolls around and this classic begins to get all its air time. Which is a lot. This one reminds me of Christmas parties when I was a kid at the local Navy club, when I was all glitter and feathers. Absolute bliss.

6. Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade
Another corny 70’s that has stood the test of time since it was first released in 1973 by the glam-rock band Slade. In a 2007 poll it was even voted the UK’s most popular Christmas song and still finds itself onto the radio of the nation and into their hearts as well. May it never go old!

7. Last Christmas – Wham!
My personal favorite Christmas tune, so much so that I actually know all the words and belted them out in the common room just the other day, to the grimacing, embarrassed faces of my friends. And like the others on this list it has definitely stood the test of time. Since its release it has been covered by a number of artists, many haven’t done it justice, Wikipedia just told me Ashley Tisdale and the Crazy Frog was one of these artists, I threw up a little in my mouth. But over all, you can’t beat this classic hit and a Christmas song which is definitely timeless.

8. White Christmas – Bin Cosby
No Christmas list would be complete without this one. From the movie with the same name, this song is the oldest on our list, being released 1954, yet still holds true in the hearts of all generations. The movie and the song are played almost every Christmas and in many households its tradition to watch it with the family. What’s not to love?

9. Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue
The sexy Christmas song which just about sums up all the materialism of the Christmas period. This song reminds me of a dance show I did a few years back, naughty santa outfits and stiletto heels, hardly the type of thing for a family thing. But this song is definitely the song you want to be smooching under the mistletoe to, so why not?

10. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Fun fact: Actually my mums’ favorite Christmas song. So this one is for you Mummy Trumper (yes, that is my surname, thanks for pointing that one out Eileen!). A satirical look at the hustle and bustle that happens at this time of year, but it ends with the realization that actually Christmas is awesome…

And on that note, I bid you adieu. Merry Christmas everyone. Don’t get drunk at your Christmas parties and snog your bosses, don’t pass out in your turkey in front of your grandma after too much sherry and keep the Santa secret hush hush for another year. I thought he was real until I was 12… man, I’m sad.
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