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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Song of the Day: Two Atoms in a Molecule by Noah and the Whale

Just a quickie (insert vulgar joke here) to share with you the song that has been stuck in my head all day.
Basically, I've pretty much spent every evening for the past week or so watching every second of Winter Olympics coverage I can. I'm a woman obsessed- I simply cannot get enough of it. Whilst normal Olympics bore me senseless, I find there's something so captivating about taking the concept of Olympics, and plonking it into the middle of Canada in a snowstorm. That way, at the very least, you get some awesome accidents. Particularly in bob-sledding- just a point, but America only really won because everybody else fell off at the vertical bit.
Anyway, that isn't my point. My point is that the British coverage has a really awesome soundtrack, the best part of which was definitely this song by Noah and the Whale. And seeing as it's the month of luurrve (what with Valentine's Day and all), it seemed doubly appropriate to share it with you. Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Playlist 9: Love Songs, Part 4

1) All I Want From You Is Love – Let’s Go Sailing
‘And all I want from you is love.’

Shana makes it pretty clear what she wants in this song; Love. The singing is soft and heartfelt, backed by music that just makes you want to smile, always.

2) Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer
‘Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance, silver moons sparkling. So kiss me.’

Despite being released back in 1997 when I was merely 5 years of age (and too young to appreciate it) this song never seems to get old. It describes a summer romance in the ‘bearded barley’ and an ‘old tree house’, when all you want to do is make out. Well why not =).

3) So Here We Are – Bloc Party
‘I really tried to do what you wanted, it all went wrong again.’

One of my favourite bands of all time, and also one of my favourite songs. I’m not sure that this song is really about love – Keele sings about a mistake that just brings a relationship back to square one, but the repeated guitar riff, confident lyrics and gradual crescendo shows me that he’s not quite ready to give up.

4) My Best Friend – Hello Saferide
‘And we dance in the living room, dance on the sidewalks, dance in the movies, dance at the festivals, dance, dance, no men ever really dance like this.’

Ok, so I’m not admitting some secret desire for women, but I do think this song is well written, entertaining and probably true. Every girl has a best friend who they love to pieces, and a male acquaintance that they hate to pieces. Annika questions why not just scrap the latter all together?

5) Set the Fire to the Third Bar – Snow Patrol
‘We'd share each other like an island, until exhausted close our eyelids.’

The voices of Gary Lightbody and Martha Wainright fit perfectly together in this song depicting the trials of a long distance relationship; ‘I’m miles from where you are’, but it is still about Love. Obviously sometimes, it can work.

6) Lower Ground – Katie Sutherland
‘I need more to give to you, it’s not enough saying I do love you....but holding onto you is the best thing I’ve done.'

A feel good love song about Katie’s belief that saying ‘I do love you’ is just not enough. So what else can she do to show she loves someone? Write them a song of course.

7) For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti – Sufjan Stevens
‘If there's anything to say, if there's anything to do, if there's any other way, I'd do anything for you.’

I love this song. It has harmonies, a banjo, some sort of horn, and lyrics about doing anything for the person you’re with. Lovely.

8) Dice – Finley Quaye
‘Nothing can compare, to when you roll the dice and swear your love’s for me.’

Ok so I’ll admit it, I first heard this song on season one of The O.C, in an episode where Marissa is waiting patiently for her boyfriend Ryan to come and kiss her as the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve. In typical American TV show style, he only just makes it (after running up about 30 flights of stairs!), and kisses her just as the bell strikes. I guess it’s never too late.

9) Ghosts – Broken Records
‘In my heart, in my heart.’

Ghosts is a song about the past, about ‘people who’ve shaped your past in ways you can’t understand’, and who never really left your heart. I’m sure we all know someone like that; not necessarily a lover, maybe a childhood friend. It’s songs like this that make me wish I had listened to Broken Records earlier.

10) Smash Into You – Beyonce
‘And me and you belong, I wanna run smash into you.’

So if you asked me what Beyonce mean when she sings ‘I wanna smash into you’ I’m afraid I could not tell you. I’m assuming she doesn’t mean it literally, but rather that she is ready to put everything into her relationship. Good on her I’d say. This is one of those songs that I probably shouldn’t love as much as I do.

11) Wherever I Go – The Album Leaf
‘Wherever I go, I take you with me, cause I don’t want to see you leave.’

I think the fact that this song has 16 lines, says the word ‘you’ 16 times, the word ‘I’ 12 times, and the word ‘here’ 8 times speaks for itself. He clearly just wants to be with her. Simple but sincere.

12) Chalk Stars – Animal Kingdom
‘I'll be drawing chalk stars on a black board, seeing rainbows in the raincloud.’

I will admit, this song is not technically about love. To me it is about optimism and always looking forward. When Richard Sauberlich sings ‘don’t you know we all cry sometimes’, I think he’s saying ‘Hey, it’s ok to be sad, things will be just fine’, and in a way he always manages to convince me with this simply beautiful song.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Thing I Want 1# - A Chocolate 'Tash

A combination of two great loves-- chocolate and mustaches.
What can possibly be better? Not only can you walk around looking like an Victorian man, if you get too many strange looks you can gobble it up in seconds.
You can find these (in case any of the other ATS writers feel like a random outright gift for me?) at Nibbee.
Please, buy me one?

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High Heel Hunt: Part 1

I have a massive confession to make.
I don' t own a single pair of high heels.

You might be asking how the Hell a girl who regularly blogs about fashion could go through her life without ever purchasing a pair of stilettos or wedges- well, the answer is threefold:

1. I have fat feet- they're kind of square, so high heels (designed for women whose feet could be described as 'dainty' and 'elegant', and not 'chunky' or 'deformed') cause me immense physical pain.
2. I'm short. It's my niche. Put me in a pair of heels, and you eliminate what I like to call the 'tiny and adorable' factor, which is pretty much the only viable angle for a girl as dorky as myself. As a short person, I can just take all that nerdiness and make it endearing. In a pair of heels, I just come across as slightly deranged.
3. I'm massively clumsy- we're talking broken bones, stitches in both my knees, shins and face (all separate ocassions), and even bruised teeth. I bet you didn't even know people could bruise their teeth. Well, they can, and throwing a pair of glorified stilts into this equation will probably end in tears, or at least a trip to A and E.

And yet, I'm willing to put all of these reservations aside in search of the perfect pair of high heels. Thus, I invite you to join me on my quest to find my perfect pair- and you just might find yours too!
High Heel Hunt: ModCloth
As anyone who frequently reads the fashion section may have noticed, I'm rather in love with this website. To visit ModCloth is to fall into a magical world of beautiful vintage-style pieces that seamlessly blend into a modern lady's wardrobe. Although the shoes on this site are theatrical and fabulous (and therefore right up my street), ModCloth is not the hidden gem it used to be- thus, supplies run out fast. The two pairs of shoes on the left, for instance? Both sold out. And the two pairs on the right- the 'Veronica' and the 'Cirque de Sole-leil'- come in at $104.99 and $87.99. Although fairly-priced for the average heel, as a penniless teenager, I'm having to stick to a budget of around £30. So visual delights such as these will remain, sadly, out of my reach.

High Heel Hunt: Desire Clothing

Desire Clothing is a budget fashionista's dream- beautiful shoes and affordable prices, and I can testify, very high-quality. If you dream of snakeskin or leather, studs or sequins, and that strangely awesome calf definiton on a pair of 3-inch heels can give you, you'll be in your element. If you're more of a timid shopper, like me, the hunt continues...

High Heel Hunt: Polyvore

This site is genius. Not only is it an outlet for the creative-y types to express their style, but it also has a 'Shop' feature, with literally millions of garments. In terms of shoes, they have all the latest from the major fashion houses, as well as hundreds of pair of shoes for under $50. They also all display on one page, so you can scroll through dozens of heels until you find the perfect pair. No matter what your style- pretty, vintage, vampy or sophisticated- there's a pair for every pair of feet.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Lost Knives In A Basement

Sometime last week, Manchester band Lost Knives announced a rather secretive low key gig at an unknown location in Manchester. Naturally, curiosity got the better of me and on Wednesday night found myself outside the venue, 117 Oldham Street, home of Butterfly Records, who were more used to band practices than gigs. As we entered we were directed down to the basement, where the band's gear was laid out at the far end of the room, with an eerie static projection onto the back wall.

The band made their way slowly forward through the crowd to the stage, where, after little introduction, they burst straight into one of three new songs they showcased. The first was a long, brooding crescendo reminiscent of - dare I say it - Godspeed You! Black Emperor themselves. A far cry away the other new songs - one, a raw, aggressive number that proved the band didn't need their fancy electronics and samples to sound good; and the other, written and sung by guitarist Steven McInerney - a slow sombre affair with xylophones and tender vocals.

Although blighted by problems including detuned guitars and missing xylophone beaters (I don't know how this happened, but it did), Lost Knives still put on a worthy performance. In such a short set in a basement in Manchester they proved that they had it all - the long, large epics, short, simple guitar songs and even a slow sombre number to start the waterworks. Oh, and they also proved that playing gigs in unusual venues is fucking cool. I hope to attend and put on shows in similarly obscure venues in the future.
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5 Presents To Lose Your Partner - Part 2

The second installment, but the lads this time. Want to get rid of your man? Just buy them these presents and they'll be out the door leaving only flaming tire tracks in their wake.

1. Sex for dummies by Dr Ruth K Westheimer
>Really want to offend your boyfriend? Well, here you go. Ruth, the old dear, has officially written the ultimate break up book. So want to get rid of your fella and mentally ruin his sex drive for the rest of his life... easy peasy lemon squeezy.

2. Hannah Montana Pajama SetIt's certainly a fact- unless you have a very strange boyfriend- that if you brought your lover a pair of hannah montana jammies, especially in this beautiful barbie pink, he'll be questioning both your sanity and why the hell he ever found you attractive... Unless he's a Hannah Montana lover and then he's got the best of both worlds!

3. Bed Wetting Plastic Sheets
This works especially well if they suffered with it as a child, brings back horrible childhood memories. But other then that, it will humiliate your boyfriend/husband to death... unless you said it was for yourself and... crash- whats that? The door slamming shut as he runs out the door. Goodie! He might, however, find it funny if he has a dry humor (cheap pun!)

4. A ToupeA mans biggest insecurity- going bald. Lets play upon that should we? Especially this beautiful one above, alternatively you could get a stick on Hitler 'tash as follow up present.

5. Croc's
No explanation needed... LOOK AT THEM!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tri's Guide to Toe Tapping - Valentines Edition

As it was Valentine’s Day recently, this special edition of Tri’s Guide to Toe Tapping focuses on a specific routine performed by Hayley Newton and Drew McOnie, which depicts an argument between two lovers. Our posts this month have been about how a song or lyrics can encapsulate a relationship; why shouldn’t dance also have this ability?

Contemporary began to emerge in the early 20th century as a reaction to the rigid and specific techniques associated with Ballet (perhaps painful is a more fitting description!). Rather than following certain moves or rules like most other dance styles, contemporary focuses on natural shapes and movements, and can be performed to any type of music. For example this routine is to 'Speechless' by Lady Gaga.

I have chosen this specific clip as it really demonstrates how this style does not follow traditional rules, leaving dancers free to move in a way which suits the music or the storyline. I’m sure you will notice that the whole routine is performed around a bed, and how at the beginning Drew throws Hayley across the stage, only to be thrown in return at the end! If their aim was to illustrate the constant ups and downs of a relationship, the fighting and the making up, then I think they have succeeded with this routine. And yes, ok, it’s taken from ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ which I’ll admit is only slightly cooler than ‘Strictly’, but apart from the annoying judges it was actually a pretty good show. (Unfortunately neither Hayley or Drew got to the finals.) But here is their routine:

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Remix Wednesday: Dance or Die

Time for a mid-week pick me up, and a floor-filler to boot. I would like to take a minute to introduce you to my favourite crunk-rock Christian group, Family Force 5- well, they're the only crunk-rock Christian group I listen to, but well, they're awesome. They combine everything I love about irresistibly catchy and unabashedly cliché dance tunes with the rough-edged vocals you're more likely to find in a punk-rock band.

Add to this mix The Secret Handshake- a man who claims to be 'really influenced by Family Matters and Step By Step and the Ninja Turtles and Len and Spacehog and awesome ‘90s radio music'. What you end up with is something a little cheesy, a little rad, and more than a little likely to put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Song Of The Day - Valentines Day by Hello Saferide

'Just me, myself and my biggest laughter
Candle light dinner on Valentine`s Day.'

Ok, so as a single seventeen year old I might be slightly biased against this commercial holiday celebrating a baby with a pink bow and arrow (seriously health and safety, where are you when actually needed!), but I think this song is a celebration of the fact that actually, you don’t need a boyfriend, or girlfriend, to be happy – in fact Hello Saferide argues quite the opposite...

'Roses are red and violets are blue, sugar is sweet and I`m leaving you.'

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

5 Great Songs In Foreign Languages

Parce que la musique est la vie!

1. Francois & The Atlas Mountains - Royan
I came to the attention of this song after it featured this weeks episode of skins. There is something pure, almost angelic about the backing vocals that makes this a haunting listen.

2. Kinky - Papel Volando
From Mexico, Kinky have a dancey-techno feel about them, especially in these song. I love the chorus sound of their voices. This song was featured in the second series of Gossip Girl, which is, unfortunately, where I caught wind of it, but I absolutely love it now.

3. Carla Bruni - Quequ'un M'a Dit
Yes, THAT Carla Bruni, as in the woman who is now married to the president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy. Not only a first lady generally or a first lady of fashion, Bruni can clearly carry a tune. This song, featured on the '500 Days of Summer' soundtrack is beautifully sweet.

Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi

An absolute classic! Perhaps the most successful song written in a different language to ever hit the UK. It just makes me want to jump around, head banging and try desperately to sing along... I fail there though.

Rose - Ciao Bella
Sweet, singer songwriter with a charming voice. Don't be fooled by the name though, she isn't Italian, she's French, like most people on this playlist, but hey, the French do good music, what can i say?

Music Playlist at

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Playlist 9: Love Songs Part 3 - Chloe

1. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
"I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields, only to be with you"
In my mind, this is perhaps one of the greatest love songs of all time and not only because its appears in the opening scene of "The Runaway Bride" when Julia Roberts gallops off on that horse, wedding dress flapping in the wind, although that has a lot to do with it, I fucking love that movie. This is a song about striving for that special someone, that person you would do anything and go anywhere for. U2 have always had an brilliant knack for writing heartfelt love ballads, but this is definitely the best.

2. Breathe Me - Sia
"Be my friend, hold me, wrap me up, unfold me, I am small and needy, warm me up and breathe me"
Sia's vocals, with her beautifully soft tones which melts like butter, have always induced that gushy love feeling inside me, combine that the slow dulcet piano that plays throughout the song and the violins that slide effortlessly in halfway through and you've got a ballad for the ages. 'Breathe Me' is a song you want to wrap yourself up in, about the human feeling to be wanted and cared for, I think we can identify.

3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
"And if a double-decker bus, crashes into us, to die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die"
A double-decker bus, a ten tonne truck crashing into the protagonist? Call that romantic, some people might say. It's a strange concept, I agree. But there's something Romeo and Juliet-esque about this song; not being afraid to die if its beside the one you love. The song, in true Smiths styley is a depressing one, but you can not argue it's not romantic. Even in death, there is a light that never goes out.

4. Destiny - Zero 7
"When I'm weak I draw strength from you, and when you're lost I know how to change your mood, and when I'm down you breathe life into me, even though we're miles apart we are each others destiny"
Now, this song, has sentimental value to me and that's perhaps why its made it onto this playlist. There are a hundred different songs which would explain love better, but nearly two years ago I was introduced to 'Destiny' by Zero 7 at my cousins wedding as it was chosen as the music for their first dance. There was so much love there, in their eyes and expressions as they slow danced that there is no way this could not make its way onto this list.

5. Strange and Beautiful - Aqualung
"I've been watching your world from afar, I've been trying to be where you are, and I've been secretly falling apart, unseen"
Because not all love is requited. 'Strange and Beautiful' is about those people you see, those who steal your heart but don't realise you exist. In a none creepy stalker fashion, of course!

6. Here with me - Dido
"And I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me"
And again, another song about when love stories don't end like the movies. Not all love works out and this song is a beautiful recount of heartbreak. Twinned with the innocence of Dido's vocals, these words seem all the more bittersweet.

7. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
"A moment, a love, a dream, a lie, a kiss, a cry, our rights, our wrongs"
The lyric above pretty much spells out a relationship for me in small, bitesize, musically-beautiful chunks. The lead singer of The Temper Trap Dougie Mandagi's voice is angelic and this song just rings of lovey-doveyness. And it just makes me happy, ok!

8. Constellations - Alessi's Ark
"If your body is the sky, then your freckles are the constellations"
(Squeals a little bit as she is going to see them and then composes herself) This song is actually beautiful. The lyrics "Hell I'm in love with you, my branches they turn to you, asking me if you love me too" are both adorable but vulnerable. Telling someone your feelings in a fragile place to be and this song captures that perfectly. However, unfortunately I could gain a copy of this for the ipod.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Playlist 9: Love Songs, Part 2 - Charles

1. Elbow - Starlings.
I could easily have chosen 'One Day Like This' and blabbered on about how the song is an "anthem for our generation" or whatever, but when it comes to love you don't care about that shit. A love song is a song for two people (three, if you're lucky). It should say "this is our song, and the rest of the world can go fuck themselves." I'd like to think that's what it's all about, anyway.

2. The National - Fake Empire.
"We're half awake in our fake empire" croons Matt Berninger, vocalist of the very mellow The National. As this song crescendos with intensity with guitar hooks and trumpet swirls, you just want to close your eyes and wake up to a Fake Empire of your own.

3. Antony and the Johnsons - Crazy in Love (Beyoncé cover).
The original might be a stroke of genius, but it's not particularly... moving. Antony has promptly changed all that with his spine-tinglingly beautiful rendition. As long as you're not too weirded out by his haunting (read: creepy) voice whilst getting down to it, then it's pretty much perfect. The other option is the cheap laughs that can be had out of Antony pronouncing every specific word: "got me hoping you'll page me right now." Brilliant.

4. Radiohead - True Love Waits.
It's typical of Radiohead to not even record a proper version of what is probably their best piece of work to date. Thom's fragile pleas are surely enough to provoke raw emotion from even the most soulless among us ("True love waits in haunted attics/And true love lives on lollipops and crisps"). It's a song of longing, intimacy, and classic Thom-weirdness: Everything you want from a true romance.

5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything With You.
The entirety of TPOBPAH's début album makes me happy. 'Everything With You' is no exception. It makes me realise that I'm young, carefree, and that - somewhere in the world - some people are in love. And, call me a romantic, but something about that inspires me.

6. She & Him - I Was Made For You.
In my dreams Zooey Deschanel is singing this song to me, not Ben Gibbard. It seems all you need to score hot chicks now is musical talent and ridiculous sideburns. Gibbard beats me on both counts.

7. Dave Sitek - With A Girl Like You (The Troggs cover).
Maybe it's the slow tempo, or the "bah bah bah bah bahs" of trumpets, but Dave Sitek has made this song a damn sight sexier than the original. The lyrics of total avoidance of what he actually wants to say are what makes this song so cute - it's not some film bullshit, this song shows real love.

8. Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You.
So, it's a song about Jesus. Maybe. But only if you want it to be. Make your own sexual euphemisms for the "you went up on a tree" line, but despite what Sufjan may have written this about, I've got my own interpretations. This is my favourite gay love song of all time.

9. Bright Eyes - Lua.
When I thought of Bright Eyes, the first love song I thought of was 'The First Day of My Life'. So naturally, I completely disregarded this and chose something else instead. Just as honest as 'The First Day of My Life', 'Lua' depicts a troubled relationship - "I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss" - but that's life. It's not all plain sailing, and it's comforting to know that everyone goes through shit, even Conor Oberst.

10. The Magnetic Fields - The Book of Love.
I could have chosen any song on the aptly named 69 Love Songs, but this one seems to speak out a little bit more than the others. Peter Gabriel released a beautiful cover on his new album Scratch Your Back, but there's only so much orchestras can do. Sometimes, for all the grand arrangements money can buy, all you really want is a man with a really deep voice to sing an honest song to you. Love is simple, close, intimate, and it doesn't get much more personal than this.

Download: At The Sinema Presents: Love Songs, Part 2 [RS]
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

5 Presents To Lose Your Partner - Part I

Who said romance is dead? It's clearly not, Valentines day shows that. Everywhere you look are red roses and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and teddies declaring undying love. And yes, that's great. But what if you don't want all that? What if you don't even want your partner? Here's 5 fail-safe ways of getting dumped before you can say "chubby baby with a sharp pointy weapon!" Here's part I, the female addition.

1. OhMiBod Music Powered Vibrator.
With the tagline "Love your music? Its time to love it back?" its hard to take this product seriously. It makes my little ipod seem dirty! And honestly, there is probably nothing more unattractive then being brought a vibrator by your partner its basically saying "I can't pleasure you, so here help yourself!" Not that I know this from experience, of course. However, imagine if you could listen to 'The Saturdays' or rock out to 'Guns 'N Roses' at the same time, she'dwill be out the door before you can "Karen O(rgasm)"

2. Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution
Not only will this get you dumped it might also get you a black eye, so beware. Everyone knows that you never mention a girls weight, ever. This only equals crazy mirror checks and incessant "does my bum look big in this?" questions. But if you want to loose your girlfriend then buy her this book. Mean, but fail safe.

3. Body Mint Deodorant Tablets
Nothing says "I love you" like deodorant tablets. No, actually nothing says "you smell" like deodorant tablets. Yes, these little babies pride themselves on being the first all natural, all body deodorant tablet, however it doesn't mention how giving these as a gift, especially on 14th February can result in break ups and the container being thrown at your head... however, for the purposes of this list, that's a good thing!

4. Dyson DC14 All-Floors Cyclone Upright Vacuum CleanerNow, don't get me wrong, some ladies worship the god of Dyson. Honestly, they are like the Shangri-La for hoovers, it takes me about 5 seconds to hoover my room... when i can be bothered, of course. But for valentines day, perhaps not. Its basically like saying "OI, BITCH, CLEAN MY HOUSE YEAH?" and this would definitely end badly, this very thing happened to my auntie, but it was for Christmas, world war three. This would be very effective, especially if your girlfriend reads feminist literature... however, if she's a twilight reader choose another option.

5. How to Raise Your I.Q. by Eating Gifted Children by Lewis B Frumkes
Only buy if your girlfriend;
a. doesn't know how to read or has never picked up a book in her life
b. doesn't have a sense of humor.
This way they will think that you think they're stupid and that your a cannibal. These are two qualities not many woman find attractive in a man, unless you happen to be Brad Pitt and then fuck it, eat as many infants as you want!
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bytes from Cyberspace, Number 3

As an apology for disappearing off the face of the planet for most of January, I thought I'd share with you the snippets of internet goodness that have had me dribbling over my keyboard lately. Trust me, they're good.

1. Karen O, As a Person, As an Idea, As an Entity(Via
I’ve expressed alot of love for Miss O on the blog already, but I couldn’t help but share this stunning photograph of her with you all. The photographer (whose work can be found at seems to have clicked the shutter at the perfect moment- this expression pretty much sums up the crazy, playful, loveable eccentricity that she is known for. And I really want my own headdress made out of hands.

2. Tegan and Sara’s ‘Hell’ Music Video

You can always rely on Tegan and Sara to provide the world with a crazy, random-ass music video that makes absolutely no sense. Well, I suppose there might be some hidden meaning to it all that only really smart, intuitive people get, but I most certainly don’t. Also, the crazy knitted person is liable to give me nightmares for some time to come.

3. This Girl’s Hairpiece(via
I used to think was a webaite for fashionable people to gloat about how fashionable they are. But now, I find it kind of beautiful and inspiring. Take this girl, for example; that awesome hairpiece? Yeh, she made it herself. Lovely.

4. Viet-My Bui(via
I absolutely love this girl’s artwork. Her use of colour- whether it be all-out Technicolor wonderfulness or a more moody and sultry palette- is incredible. Her style settles somewhere in between the idealised, simplified lines of cartoon work, and more serious, lifelike pieces. And she’s only 21. And she’s not even a professional artist- she’s a law student! What a travesty. You can also find out more about her (she’s also very fashionable, and generally rather cool), on her blog, here.

5. Quentin Veron’s A/W 2010 Collection(Via
Oh, the opulence! The drama! The flashes of thigh and lashings of colour! With less of a price tag, and less fur (neither of which is likely to happen), this could be one of the best A/W collections I’ve seen.
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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Playlist 9: Love Songs, Part 1- Eileen

Since Valentine's Day is looming on the horizon, we thought we'd each share our favorite love songs with you, to woo your fair maiden/ handsome knight, or just so you can bask in their general loveliness. Up first, Eileen:

Playlist 9.1- Love Songs
Here's one for the lovers ;)

1. THE CURE- Just Like Heaven
‘I promise that I’ll run away with you’.
Not only one of my favourite love songs of all time, but one of my general favourite songs of all time. The classic tale of girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, boy doesn’t show it and girl’s too insecure to realise he loves her. Heartbreaking, beautiful, a classic.

2. YEAH YEAH YEAHS- Modern Romance
‘This is no- and there is no- modern romance’
I think what makes this song so touching for me is Karen O’s voice. Modern Romance is from ‘Fever to Tell’- an album in which she is frequently heard hysterically screaming and shouting, in a way only she can. So, when she comes out with vocals like this- soft, raw- it adds to wonderful honesty of the song.

3. BON IVER- Skinny Love
‘Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?’
Because not all great romances work out. I suppose that’s the beauty of love- its fragility. What makes a good love song for me is that gentleness and tenderness- big, overblown romantic statements with belted vocals and a full orchestra don’t seem to have the same sincerity as a guy, and a guitar, and something real to say...

4. SAY ANYTHING- Alive With the Glory of Love
'When I watch you, I wanna do you right where you're standing.'
... Having said that, here’s a big overblown love song. I can’t help myself- with lyrics as honest as this, who can’t fall in love with this song? I guess it’s the musical equivalent of ‘The Naked Man’.

5. THE BEACH BOYS- Wouldn’t It Be Nice?
'It seems the more we talk about it, it only makes it worse to leave without it'.
The love song for every teenager, who wish instead of waking up to a cold cup of tea and nagging from your parents, you could wake up beside the one you love. Aaw.

'I cut his hair myself one night, a pair of dull scissors in the yellow light...'
Spektor has several times rewritten biblical or mythological stories, such as Oedipus. In Samson, Spektor doesn’t see a story of betrayal, but a love story- and it’s a story she narrates beautifully.

7. CAT POWER- Sea of Love
'Come with me, my love, to the sea, the sea of love'.
I remember my grandparents dancing to the original song when I was a kid, and Marshall does a pretty good job of filling this cover with just as much sincerity as the original. Lovely.

8. CITY AND COLOUR- Casey’s Song
'With you on my mind and my heart held in your hands, screaming: 'Break Me'.'
Ok, so I thought I’d round up with pretty much my favourite song ever. There’s something in the simplicity of it- the exquisite tone of Dallas Green’s voice, the beautifully-played guitar- that gets me every time.

You can listen to the whole playlist on the nifty little I-Pod below. Enjoy!

For more information about this playlist, click here >>>

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Song Of The Day: Everybody Hurts by Various Artists

Just promoting the charity relief single for those suffering in Haiti after the earthquake. This single of the classic by REM includes Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, Kylie, Rod Stewart, Alexandra Burke, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Joe McElderry, Cheryl Cole, JLS, Mika, Michael Bublé, James Blunt, James Morrison, Susan Boyle, and Westlife. Buy the single or just support the cause! Its released for download on 7th February and on CD 8th.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

January: A Memoir

The first month of the year has been and gone, which is a bit bleak since I've basically done nothing. If you, like me, have been a bit of a cultural hermit this month, here is our concise round-up, giving you all of the best bits of January without all the snow and coldness and misery. This way, you can get up to date with all of the latest stuff, and your friends will never have to know you spent the entire month in your room, watching Tarantino movies and progressively becoming wider- or what that just me? Anyway, moving on...

TV Show of The Month: Glee
Glee, for us British, has only just hit our screens, but has already caused quite a stir with the public. And apparently that's not just with us, after only 11 episodes airing on American TV is managed to scoop a Golden Globe. Get them! So whats the hype? Glee is a musical spectacular set around a normal high school glee club who are desperately trying to hold it together to get to sectionals and eventually nationals. It has your stereotypical 'musical drama' crazed fangirl, played by Lea Michelle, who was in the original cast of 'Spring Awakening', so me and Eileen already loved her. It has the gay kid, shown rocking out to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies', the black girl with a voice as big as heaven and the sporadically placed 'other nerds with good voices'. Enter the 'cool kids', Flynn and his cheerleading girlfriend, and you've got a club worth listening too. Throw in a sarcastically evil cheerleading coach, a germ-fearing guidance councilor and a stupidly gorgeous spanish teacher to run it all and by god, you have a hit! Definitely worth a watch.

Film of the Month: Up in the AirNominated for five academy awards, 'Up in the Air' tells the tale of Ryan Bingham (as played by the ever-so-handsome George Clooney)- a man hired to fire people, who can fit his entire life in a suitcase- and completely loves his emotionally-stunted existence.
That is, until a plucky young upstart in his company (Anna Kendrick, the chick from Twilight) threatens his way of life. The relationship that pans out between them reveals them both to be pretty damn childish- Bingham shuns all connection and responsibility, and Kendrick's character lives in a much more idealised and naive world.
I guess what makes this film different is that after this journey of self-discovery, the end is still bittersweet. The lesson here is not 'Open up your heart, and you WILL find love!', it's 'Win or lose, you have to play the game'- and I for one quite like that.

Album of the Month: 'Heartland' by Owen PallettSet in the fantasy world of Spectrum, Heartland is a tale of an ultra violent farmer, Lewis, and his struggle to come to terms with his creator and main deity of the land, our very own Owen Pallett. An ambitious project, but nevertheless, despite the mythologies and stories Pallett has created, he never loses sight of the single most important feature: the music. A lot denser than He Poos Clouds, Pallett has maintained his personal charm whilst at the same time adding electronics and orchestras to create something that sounds, for want of a better word, epic.
Read full review here>>>

Fashion Designer of the Month: Hayden-Harnett
It's the age-old conundrum- you want to look sophisticated, but also capable of fun. Regal, yet playful. Basically, not a slut, but not boring.
Step in Hayden-Harnett. They primarily make (awesome) handbags, so they bring a completely different perspective to the table. You can expect patchwork, metallics, and detailing to make you dribble, but all finished off with a certain undeniable decorum.
The collection (including the Pandora Dress and the Cambria Patchwork Silk Skirt, above) may set you back a bit, but come on- it's totally worth it.

Posts of the Month
A few of the cool things that have been going on here At the Sinema:

At the Sinema's Best of 2009- They said it couldn't be done. They were wrong. The ATS writers have managed to cram all the juicy bits of 2009 into one epic post. Check it out- you won't be disappointed.

What Does the Nation Listen To?- Chloe wrestles with that unknown beast- the UK singles chart. Not for the faint-hearted.

Should I Listen to Last.Fm?- Millions use Last.Fm, but how useful is it, actually? We find out.
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Monday, February 01, 2010

Tri's Guide to Toe Tapping

To most people, the word ‘dance’ may conjure images of gay guys in tights bending in unnatural ways, or old couples reminiscing in their living rooms with scratched records, or even the scantily clad women in music videos getting friendly with a pole. Well kids, I’ve got news for you, dancing does not have to be gay, or wrinkly, or naked. It can be fun, and expressive, and a form of exercise that doesn’t involve excessive pain! Yes, they do exist, and my mission is to persuade you of this.

As it is nearly Valentine’s Day, I thought I should begin my monthly summaries with Rumba, the slowest and sexiest of the Latin American dances.

Originating in Cuba, Rumba has developed over the years into an intimate partner dance, which usually depicts a story of love and/or loss. Without being overly technical, it requires strength in the legs and movement in the hips – basically meaning dancers have to move fluidly along their whole body, in order to make the routine sensual and the storyline believable. As the music used for Rumba is often fairly slow, the dance also involves pauses in which the couple form shapes and sometimes lifts. Oh, and eye contact is also pretty important.

Just in case that made no sense to you, I’ve chosen video of Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe’s Rumba, mainly due to the choreography – look out for how their actions are mirrored then reversed, and how she leaves him at the end. And I know what you’re thinking; Strictly Come Dancing is so uncool that you can’t bear to watch this video, but seriously, who wouldn’t want to dance with him! Or her for that matter. So, here is a Rumba:

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Something To Sink Your Teeth Into

Is it just me or has the whole world gone vampire mad? It started with the sickeningly gushy Twilight, branched out in True Blood to sex-filled mayhem and now the new show 'The Vampire Diaries' is finding its way to our British screens. Add that with the new movie 'Daybreakers' as well as a few others appearing on our screens its clear that the nation has gone batty (cheap pun) for vamps. In this post I'll be looking at all of the aforementioned and evaluate whats creating hoards of fang-astics! (another cheap pun)

The Twilight Sega
Lets be honest, you either love it or you hate it. We ATS tend to hate it, but we can't deny that its popular and is probably the reason behind the vampire mania. The book has sold over 17 million copies worldwide, the movie grossing more then $382 million and the movie sequel 'New Moon' managed to have the biggest single day domestic gross at $72.7 million. So its clear to say that despite its somewhat questionable themes; such as promoting teen suicide, pregnancy, marriage, marginalizing the main female protagonist and making every man in the world pale in comparison to a shiny, sparkly vampire; Edward Cullen and his band of merry vampires will probably go down in history alongside Dracula as some of the most famous vampires. And it is almost definitely what has stemmed this vampire craze. I could go on, but I've had this rant before.

True Blood
I am a massive fan of this TV show, but I will openly admit that I sometimes wonder how some of it is aired on TV. The pilot episode was vampire porn. Honestly. A lot of flesh finds itself onto our screens during this hour, whether its the main male, an old vampire called Bill (Stephen Moyer) or the Southern Belle Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, from X Men). Despite this it actual has a very credible story line, unlike most vampire fiction humans know of their exist after they 'came out of the coffin'. There is a mixed reaction to this, series two sees the vampires clashing with 'The Fellowship of a Sun', an anti-fang religious group, but the Japanese have managed to create synthetic blood, called 'True Blood' so the vamps no longer need to feed on the living. Throw in drug addicts who thrive off vampire blood, a crazy goddess, telekinesis and stereotype Southern prejudices and you have yourself a humdinger of a TV show. It has won one golden globe and an emmy, so clearly the critics agree!

The Vampire Diaries
I watch this one too. Honestly, how can I complain about Twilight when I thrive off every other trashy vampire show? This one is set around two gorgeous brothers... wait, a minute, that's why I watch it. Got'cha. Anyway, these brothers, Damon (Ian Somerhalder- YUM, from Lost!) and Stefan (Paul Westley) are vampires and they both fall for Elena (Nina Dobrev) who looks remarkably like their old flame Katherine who drove the two brothers to become enemies. Think of it like your typical high school American TV show with a twist of supernatural. Don't be fooled by the first few episodes because honestly, they're shockingly bad, but as the series progresses it gets better and better and the plot thickens deeper. If you like 'True Blood' and trashy, teen TV like 'Gossip Girl' or '90210' then this a show for you. Or if you like chiseled chests and the beautifulest cheek bones you have ever seen (Paul Westley) then this is also the show for you.

This hit the cinemas here and in America at the start of the month and I haven't got around to seeing it yet, but from the trailer it looks epic. This is completely different from the others, its set in a world full of vampires, where the small population of remaining humans are harvested for blood, but the stores are running out and without the blood the vampires turn into animalistic "sub-siders" driven by their hunger to feed and losing all humanity. Elvis, (William Dafoe) has managed to cure himself of the vampire plague and now Edward Dalton must find this cure once again before all the blood stores have run out and the remaining humans become extinct. This is a new look at the vampire, no romance, no starcrossed lovers, just the Gothic idea of vampires in its raw, original form.

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