Weekly Digs: St Vincent

St Vincent has been kicking around for years now, she’s very indie and alternative but has a massive following. I first discovered her a few years back when she did a collaboration with David Byrne from Talking Heads.

Her solo work is full of intricate melodies, and unusual sounds ensuring she stands out from the mainstream/pop crowd.

This track in particular ‘Cruel’ has a distinct melody throughout that is either a very distorted guitar or a horn with some extra reverb on it. Either way, it makes for a quirky and catchy tune!

Enjoy.

N

Amy Poehler is My New Favourite Person

Amy Poehler at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood

Amy Poehler is probably best known for her work on Parks and Recreation and Saturday Night Live. I was late to the Parks party but I have consumed all 7 seasons in the last 6 months. Which has lead to me obsessively watching old SNL clips on YouTube. This woman is so hilarious sometimes I can’t stand it.

I have also recently finished her book ‘Yes Please!’ Which is also hilarious and thoughtful and endearing. She has a way of writing about her life that is not contentious, she mentions a lot of famous friends and encounters but it’s not braggy or name-dropping. She is very honest and constantly refers to the fact that writing a book is hard and that anyone who says otherwise is lying. She then backs up the point by letting her good friend Seth Myers write a chapter for her, as well as contributions from her mum and dad and BFF Tina Fey.

Among the funny anecdotes from her early years in improv in Chicago to her days on Saturday Night Live, she drops some pretty good life advice.. here are some snippets;

“That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”

“However, if you do start crying in an argument and someone asks why, you can always say, “I’m just crying because of how wrong you are.”

“Dancing is the great equalizer. It gets people out of their heads and into their bodies. I think if you can dance and be free and not embarrassed you can rule the world.”

“I cannot stress enough that the answer to life’s questions is often in people’s faces. Try putting your iPhones down once in a while, and look in people’s faces. People’s faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, or nauseous or asleep.”

She also voices a character in the latest Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’ and at the end of the year we get to see her and gal-pal Tina Fey in a new comedy called ‘Sisters’.

There isn’t really a point to this post, other than for me to gush openly about how much admiration and respect I have for this woman and to share how funny she is… check out the trailer to Sisters;

And something worth watching… Amy Poehler rapping about Sarah Palin whilst 9 months pregnant…

If you are looking for a good, easy read I highly recommend ‘Yes Please!’

N

Paris Summer

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Cheese, bread, wine, pastries, sun, strolling along the river… all things I love and all things that I did in Paris. I love this city. It is such a delight, you can stroll along the Seine in the sunshine, admire the bluish/green water.. the fact that their river is not brown is a delight in itself. It creates an atmosphere that instantly makes you feel more cultured, sophisticated and in complete holiday mood.

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My reason for being in Paris was to meet up with one of my best friends, who has moved over from Perth. So we hadn’t seen each other in a year and our first mission was wine and cheese in the park! Our Airbnb apartment was in a prime location not too far from the Arc de Tromph and were lucky enough to have beautiful park Parc Monceau a mere 5 minute walk away. So we settled in there nicely, killing around 5 hours drinking rose and eating the most delicious Brie I have ever tasted… all with a fresh baguette from our local bakery. I could definitely get used to the Parisian way of life!

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Because of our great location, it was easy enough for us to walk down the Champs Elysee, a massive mall fit for a shopping addicts dream. We then took a turn and headed down towards Le Seine that boast a view of the Eiffel Tower and the many bridges that cross the river.

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We also managed to venture out of the centre of town, to Pere Lachaise Cemetery to pay our respects to the late, great Jim Morisson who died in Paris on 3rd July 1971… we just so happened to visit on the 3rd July and then proceeded to the nearest bar for a beer to cool down.

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The only downfall of visiting Paris in summer is the extreme humidity that comes with the heat. It made for some very sweaty exploring, which is why on our last day we decided to play proper tourist and join a bus/boat tour, complete with air-conditioning! It was a great way to tick off all the remaining sights we couldn’t fit in on foot, it was also a great way to avoid the crowds. We zipped passed The Lourve, Notre Dame, The Latin Quarter, Eiffel Tower before boarding a boat to cruise along Le Seine soaking up as much Parisian goodness before having to jump on the Eurostar back to London.

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It was another trip that make me appreciate just how close all the destinations are over here. Two and a half hours on the Eurostar and you’re in the centre of Paris. Making it a very do-able weekender. I daresay, if you got the right priced ticket, it would even be worth going over just for the shopping alone!

Parisians and indeed the French have a bit of a reputation for being somewhat rude or not entirely welcoming to foreigners. I personally have never had a problem with the locals in Paris. I like to do as the French do when I’m in their neck of the woods and at least attempt to fit in with the locals. Every shop I enter or local I encounter, I simply smile and say ‘Bonjour!’ They can then immediately tell I am foreign as my accent is probably completely wrong but they usually just smile and say ‘hello’. I find that if you put in the effort, they respect you a little bit more and do you the courtesy of speaking in English.. even if it is broken!

I find Paris to be a very livable city, I would move there in a flash…if only I spoke French!

I also had this song stuck in my head the entire time…

N

 

Weekly Digs: Best Coast

Best Coast are best known for their Californian/surfer-rock/indie sound. This single Heaven Sent released in April, and adds a little punk/rock sound into the mix.

The guitars are grizzly and smothered in glorious reverb the track sounds LOUD.

This track kind of makes me want to jump on a skateboard and high-five strangers!

Enjoy!

N

Wicked!

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I grew up obsessed with the Wizard of Oz… literally obsessed. I would watch that movie just about every single day. My parents had taped it off the TV for me, in the late 1980’s onto a Beta tape. So along with all the songs and the plot line, I still remember all the ads that were shown during that broadcast, which gives me a somewhat unique experience. For example, I remember once Dorothy and Toto have begun their journey down the yellow brick road and they start to skip and sing ‘We’re off to see the wizard’ in my head, the screen cuts to a commercial break and I see an ad for the brand new Toyota Corolla..

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So with this childhood obsession in mind, I finally got around to seeing the West End production of Wicked! It’s a musical that follows the backstory to the two witches featured in The Wizard of Oz, based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’. We see how Elphaba (who was born with green skin) and Glinda (everybody’s favourite darling) manage to form a strong friendship and how ultimately Elphaba earns the reputation of the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’.

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I had some doubts going into the show, how could a show based on a tale I love so much, ever live up to the original? I had heard mixed reviews, some people absolutely love it and others detested it. I found it thoroughly entertaining! I thought the performances were outstanding, it was some of the best singing I have heard in a while, and the costumes were marvelous, especially those from the Emerald City. I did think however, there were a few too many ballads included in the soundtrack. I think if anything it has the potential to be a little bit more upbeat, but they still managed to get some good laughs in!

If you haven’t already seen it (it feels like everyone on earth had except me) I would recommend it. It’s great for a bit of an escape into the land of Oz, where you can forget your daily woes and get wrapped up in the wicked fantasy of it all!

N

Weekly Digs: Rudimental

The boys from Rudimental are back with a bangin’ tune just in time for the European summer.

Never Let You Go has the signature Rudimental break beats, mixed with just enough brass and a killer vocal.

Guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor!

Their new album, ‘We The Generation’ is out September 18th.

Enjoy!

N

Weekly Digs: The Wombats

I’ve followed the career of The Wombats since the beginning. Their synth-pop-indie-rock sound delivers catchy riffs and hooks by the bucket-load.

Their latest and third album Glitterbug came out earlier in the year and from the sounds of it, they are continuing the deliver the goods.

Be Your Shadow is their latest offering and it’s a catchy one!

 

Enjoy!

N