Archive for April, 2010

stories made by us

I stumbled across this Swedish fiction blog*, called Stories Made By Us, the other day (when I was avoiding the reality of my lame existence by tumblr-surfing), run by two Swedish teenagers. They’ve made a series of short videos that just completely blew me away! Short and simple, but just some really beautifully filmed and scored stories about real people and their lives (not ‘real’ as in autobiographical, but ‘real’ as in realism).

Here are parts 2, 4, and 5 of the series (my favourites):

Part 02: I love the music and the innocence of this one, especially the use of the letter. Very endearing.

Part 04: Yup, that feeling truly sucks. Great acting and filming.

Part 05: I love the silence and pace of this last one. It really embodies her sense of loneliness. (Note: FYI, the cigarettes are significant because in part 1 you learn that she smokes them as a symbol of keeping her love alive. And I think it’s the same girl as the other vids; she just dyed her hair and grew it out, or is wearing a wig)

*What’s a fiction blog? Find out here. I love the concept.. think it’s fascinating.

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new music april

Hello fellow indie music lovers (and musically fluid friends)! I’ve been meaning to write this post for almost a week now and am finally getting around to it! That’s right, congratulate me.

In anticipation of my very first pay day since starting work at Event Cinemas (yay for not being skint anymore!), I bought some new music, which for me is cause for celebration, and I thought I’d share some of the new stuff I’ve been listening to (all you Tegan and Sara haters out there, take note).

Broken Bells, self-titled
Who are they? Broken Bells is a collaboration between The Shins front man, James Mercer, and artist-producer, Danger Mouse (real name, Brian Burton)… how can you go wrong here, seriously. The problem is.. I feel like the album kind of loses momentum towards the second half (perhaps because it has less funk than the first few songs). Also, I can definitely appreciate this music on a certain level, but for me, the best music is the kind that evokes your emotions in some way, be it sadness or happiness or love or whatever, resulting in an emotional connection to the music.. unfortunately, this album just doesn’t do it for me. Having said that.. there are some really awesome, catchy tunes here. Album highlights: The High Road, Vaporize and The Ghost Inside. If you like….. then this album is for you. The Shins, Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, Beck’s Modern Guilt, good beats and production. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/brokenbells

The Optimist by New Young Pony Club
All I have to say is that this album from four-piece London rock band, New Young Pony Club is HOT. If you like….. then this album is for you. Female-fronted rock, an amalgamation of pop, rock, punk and dance music all in one. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/newyoungponyclub

Teen Dream by Beach House
Who are they? Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. The problem is.. No problem! This album is fantastic! It’s my favourite new album at the moment. Sarah and I both heard the last song, ‘Take Care’, when we were browsing JB Hi-Fi one day and were immediately captivated, although neither of us were game enough to buy the album that day. I bought it a few weeks later and do not regret it for one second! Why I love it. It’s all about the emotions people. This music evokes so many different images and emotions in me. Just the sound of Victoria Legrand’s earthy, husky, deep voice makes me go nuts. It’s like I can feel the pain and sadness in her voice. I can’t help getting lost in this music, and that’s the kind of music I love. Album highlights: Zebra, Silver Soul, Norway, and Take Care. If you like…… then this album is for you. Emotional, cinematic music, organs and synths, husky voices, scandinavian sounding music. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic

Causers of This by Toro Y Moi
Who are they? Chazwick Bundwick. I first heard the song ‘Minors’ on FBI radio and was instantly attracted to his sound. The problem is.. Sometimes a lot is really too much. Bundwick likes to mix a whole bunch of beats and synths and cuts of vocals and in some songs, the cacophony becomes too overwhelming and disjointed. Perhaps that’s his purpose, and I can appreciate that artistically.. but in terms of sound aesthetics.. not too pleasing. Also, the album starts to lose appeal as it progresses – it’s hard to keep listening all the way through. Having said that.. It’s refreshing to hear something new and different. Also, the beats are great and I love the sound of his vocals. Album highlights: Blessa, Minors, Imprint After. If you like…….. then this album is for you. Chillwave, synths, electronica, new sounds. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/toroymoi

Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping by Grouper
Who are they? Ambient/Noise musician, Liz Harris. I first heard this song on Skins episode 306 and just loved the sound of it. Why I love it.. It’s just got a really emotional sound to it – I love that guitar and the etherealness of Harris’ voice. If you like……… then this song is for you. Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, ambient/atmospheric sounds, rustic-sounding guitars, scandinavian sounding music, reverb, ethereal vocals. Check it out here: www.myspace.com/grouperrepuorg

Believer by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
Who are they? Norwegian duo, Susanna Karolina Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild. Why I love it.. This is my favourite song at the moment. I first heard this song on Naomi’s episode of Skins season 3 (seriously good music on this episode.. more to come) in one of the most beautiful, tender love scenes I’ve ever seen (watch it here if you’re keen. Warning: contains mature content). It’s just so sparse and intimate – there’s almost nothing but the sound of Wallumød’s voice and a keyboard of some kind (or perhaps a harp even?). The combination of this song and the visuals in episode 306 is just so magical and touching. The song is so involving that every time I listen to it I have to literally stop what I’m doing and/or thinking and fully immerse myself in it. If you like…… then this is the song for you. Beach House, Grouper, Skins/Naomily/making love on a mat beside a campfire beside a lake in the english countryside with the help of booze and ciggies (or perhaps just the idea of it), scandinavian sounding music, emotional music, ethereal vocals, sparse, intimate music. Check it out here: http://www.myspace.com/susannamagical

Jump In by High Places
Who are they? Experimental music duo Rob Barber and Mary Pearson. Why I love it. I also heard this song first on Skins episode 306. It’s just such a fun song and I love the combination of all those different layers of glockenspiel and what sounds like glass chimes or beer bottles or something. The lyrics are simple and yet to me, so meaningful. If you like……… then this song is for you. Scandinavian sounding music (yet again), Grouper, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, indie folk music, glockenspiels, multi-layered music, ingenuity. Check it out here: http://hypem.com/track/570307/High+Places+-+Jump+In

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
Who are they? Australian alternative rock band. This song has been around for a while so I won’t say much about it. Love the vocals, love the guitar riff. It was also used in Skins episode 402. Sadly this is the only song I’ve gotten to know by The Temper Trap. Will check them out more when I get around to it. There’s so much good indie music out there, it’s hard to keep up! Check it out here: www.myspace.com/thetempertrap

My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille by Beirut/Realpeople
Who are they? Beirut is an indie folk band that fuses Western and Eastern European sounds. I was never really a big fan of Beirut’s sound, but I heard this song playing when I went to Adriano Zumbo with a few friends, loved it, Shazam-ed it, and found out it was Beirut (or more specifically, Realpeople). It’s all quite confusing. Basically, Beirut recently released a double EP, the second being an electronic based one called Holland, which is credited to the name, Realpeople, rather than Beirut. Why I love it. I mostly just love indie music coupled with electronic sounds and beats. I think it’s just a really interesting mix of sounds and styles. If you like……… then this song is for you. Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap, electronic folk, experimental music. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDuDGjw86og

Go by Jonsi
Who are they? Solo project by the vocalist and guitarist of Icelandic group, Sigur Ros. Well known for his amazing falsetto and musical sound. The problem.. Not sure yet. I only bought it the other day so I need more time to get to know it but thought it was worth mentioning nevertheless. Why I love it.. Well, you have the vocalist/guitarist from Sigur Ros, who are more well-known for creating somber, beautifully haunting music, trying his hand at writing pop music. It’s a new take on pop and as far as I can tell right now, I don’t think the experiment has failed. Looking forward to getting more into this album. If you like………. then this album is for you. Sigur Ros, electronica, indie pop, cinematic music, the closing song from How to Train Your Dragon (because that’s by Jonsi), music with foreign influences, scandinavian sounding music. Check it out here: http://jonsi.com/media and/or download ‘Boy Lilikoi’ for free from iTunes now!

Ok this post is longer (and took longer to write) than I expected. Anyhoo, hope you find something new and interesting to tickle your fancy. If you’re bored, or just don’t like studying for mid-terms like me, give me a shout out and let me know what you’ve been listening to lately.

on differentness and acceptance

Now we look up into the eyes of bullies breaking backs. They seem so very tough (it’s a lie, it’s a lie), they seem so very scared of us. I look into the mirror for evil that just does not exist. I don’t see what they see (tell them that, tell them that).

— from I Was Married by Tegan and Sara

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Like there was something strange or unusual about you? I’m inclined to believe that many people have never felt this way, but at the same time, I think that that might just be naivety. Perhaps everyone feels a sense of differentness to some extent.

Differentness is particularly apparent in high school cliches: the band geek, the science-fiction-comic-reading-nerd, the effeminate/sensitive male, the tomboy, the goths/emos, the kid with bad acne, and the obese, just to name a few – anyone who doesn’t fit in with the dominant majority’s conception of “normalcy”.

Perhaps in some ways we are all “normal” and “different” at the same time. But differentness, I feel, seems to be something that is frowned upon much in our society. In some ways, the disapproval is institutionalised, such as with marriage inequality, for example. In others, it is internalised in our subconsciousness and comes out only through our speech and attitudes towards people who are “different”.

I know that I myself am guilty of judging people and thinking that they are less of a person because they are different. I know now how it feels, however, to be on the other side of that and I hope to be more accepting of people and their differentness now and in the future.

When I was thinking about this post, I came across this website called “Teaching Tolerance“. It brought to mind the radical (and I say that somewhat sarcastically in case you cannot tell) idea that tolerance should be a subject that is taught in schools and included in school curricula. Knowing that I plan to be a teacher one day, I truly believe that this is one of THE most important lessons that a kid can learn. Sure maths and english are important and all, but it’s also important to educate our kids to be decent human beings! Maybe we would even see a decrease in teen suicide as a result.

I really do believe that the world would be a better place if we could all be more accepting of one another’s differentness and treat each other equally as human beings; if people didn’t have to fear social rejection or ostracism; if people didn’t have to feel guilty or ashamed of who they are; if people didn’t have to suffer the consequences of hatred and discrimination; if differentness was celebrated instead of condemned.

“Celebrate who you are. Celebrate differentness.” — that’s a motto I could live by.

lookie what i found..

i found these online. a little stalkerish… but i admire the dedication. just felt like posting these. they’re so puurdy ^^

tegan rain quin

sara kiersten quin

and i made a collage of my favourite skins screencaps. i love the colouration and directing and camera angles and especially all the long shots and close-ups.