Archive for the ‘ music ’ Category

On love and equality

Tonight I saw Tegan and Sara perform live for the second time in my life. The first time I saw them was in 2010, when I was crazy-obsessed with them (see posts here and here and here *face palm*). Three years later, I can honestly say the obsession has died down a little and has instead evolved into a strong appreciation and admiration for these out lesbian identical twins.

I was pretty deep in the closet back in 2009 when I first started listening to Tegan and Sara. I had been struggling to come to terms with my sexuality, especially with what it meant in relation to my conservative, religious upbringing. At the time, there was no one I trusted enough to talk about it with, no one who I thought would understand and who wouldn’t condemn me and see me as a freak. When I realised, whilst listening to the album The Con, that the sentiments of love and heartache that these women were singing about were directed at other women, I suddenly felt like I was not alone. I slowly began to realise that it was ok, there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I didn’t have to be afraid or ashamed about how I felt or who I was.

Four years later..

As I sit in my chair at the Sydney Opera House, watching the heartache on Sara’s face and listening to the struggle in her voice as she sings the lyrics of Now I’m All Messed Up, especially the part when she yells “go” to this person she is in a relationship with in the song when it is clear that what she really wants to say is “please stay”, I am struck by the knowledge that although our hearts may beat for the same-sex, our love is just like any other’s. We feel the same excitement and exhilaration of that first kiss, the same joy and ecstasy of falling in love, and the same pain and utter desolation of having our hearts broken. For any person who has ever been in a heterosexual relationship, we have felt that same love.

Having said that, Australia is still one of the places in the world that has not legalised same-sex marriage. Some people may ask why marriage equality is such a big deal. Why can’t we just be content to do what we want in our own homes? Why is it so important for our marriages to be treated in the same way that heterosexual couples’ marriages are treated? The reason is that the government’s stance on marriage equality says a lot about its, and our society’s, attitude towards gay people, as well as having real-life, practical repercussions on our lives. I hope that in time, these attitudes will slowly start to change and that people will start to realise that no matter what your sexuality, we all live and breathe that same love, as miraculous and heartbreaking as it is.

On human connection and missing someone dear to you

What shall I do with a life turned to memory? I tried to forget you. I tried to forget you. Where shall I go when I wake from a dream of you? I tried to forget you. I tried to forget you.

Saturday by Electrelane

Every now and then I hear a new song that completely captures me. It’s more than just a good beat or a catchy tune. Usually it will be a song that speaks to me on an emotional level; that depicts me as a person and what I am going through or have experienced at a certain time in my life. Why? I think it’s because most of the time we’re lonely; we’re lonely and we need to experience some sort of human connection in order to keep us sane. That’s what music is for me: a gateway to the emotions of another and to the reassurance that I am not alone.

I was listening to this song today from Electrelane’s “No Shouts No Calls”, which by the way, is swiftly becoming one of my most favourite albums, and the lyrics and music just completely captured me. It’s hard to explain how this happens or how it feels, but it’s kind of like being blind and then getting your sight back and seeing everything for the first time. Or it’s like being on drugs (not that I have ever done that but it’s like what I would imagine being on drugs would feel like). Basically it’s that feeling you get when you experience something so beautiful that it makes you want to cry. The words and the guitar and the bass and the piano and the drums and the vocals and, oh! Everything about this song just floors me. These women are so amazing and talented and inspiring and in the words of E. Page, “I am totally jealous because I will never be them”.

Listen above, read below.

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Saturday by Electrelane

I’ve got a photo from a long time ago
Hold it in your pocket
Hold it in your pocket
I’ve got a ring that my grandmother gave to me
Wear it on your finger
Wear it on your finger
I’ve got a letter that’s full of our secrets
The last one you sent to me
The last one you sent to me, oh

What shall I do with a life turned to memory ?
I tried to forget you
I tried to forget you
Where shall I go when I wake from a dream of you ?
I tried to forget you
I tried to forget you

I still see you
I still see you
I still see you

I turn in my sleep and I see you beside me
It’s your imagination
It’s your imagination
I go to the places we went to together
Find another countries
Find another countries

I turn in my sleep and I see you beside me
It’s your imagination
It’s your imagination
I want to go on but it’s another day without you
I tried to forget you
I tried to forget you

I still see you
I still see you
I still see you…

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one of the many reasons why I love them

So many quotable lines..
—————-
S: I feel smothered by your attention.
T: There’s a little insight into Sara’s relationships for you. What? I’m just saying. It’s called boundaries. (pause) No, Sara’s super co-dependent.
S: No way. I’m actually probably the least co-dependent person on this stage…”
—————-
S: She does something inside of me that real life people have done.. and I’ve never even met her.
T: She’s never been inside of you so that’s weird to say.
S: Eeek.
—————-
S: Umm.. let’s.. let’s play the next song now.
—————-
T: Ok, some people got it, some people didn’t. We’re all different.
—————-
Watch and enjoy!

P.S. over-sized jackets on tiny people: adorable.

cuteness follows


reflections on tonight’s tegan & sara experience..

Tonight was surreal. I don’t want to ramble on and on about how fucking awesome it was to see T&S live (which it soo was!) so instead I have a number of reflections I wanted to share on tonight’s experience. (Note: I know the first 4 points make it sound like it was really horrible, but it really wasn’t. I mean, those parts of it weren’t great but the overall experience and T&S’s set in particular were pretty fucking amazing. Just in case I didn’t make that clear enough before)

1. All-age shows kinda suck
I am all up for inclusion, and the fact that I was once a teenager myself makes me a tiny little bit more considerate of the whole teenage demographic, but 14 year olds and alcohol and quite possibly pill-popping do not a good concert experience make. Period.

2. Expect douchebaggery (this is possibly linked to #1)
When you get a big group of people together, you can expect at least a little bit of douchebaggery, sometimes more. Things like people pushing in and standing right in front of you, people up the back pushing people who are down the front so that you end up squashed like a sardine, gasping for air, and feeling extremely claustrophobic even though you don’t actually have claustrophobia, for example.

3. Expect to get really up and close to complete strangers
I have never been so intimate with a group of strangers my entire life. I mean, when someone’s face is literally in your hair (and yours is literally in someone else’s) and you have certain body parts rubbing up against you, any concept of personal space just totally goes out the window.

4. In need of oxygen? Look up!
When you have a big crowd of people altogether, breathing down each other’s necks, you start to feel a little light headed and short of breath. What should you do in this kind of situation? Look up! That’s where all the oxygen is. Carbon dioxide bad; Oxygen good.

5. Merchandise later; staking your claim first
Tonight we made the mistake of buying merchandise first and then finding a place to stand second. Although, there are benefits to this game plan (you don’t want them to run out of merch), I think being closer to the stage definitely trumps merch. Not that our spot was particularly terrible. I was happy with where we were, but to think we could have been even closer! Oh boy!

6. Sara is a-fucking-dorable
I had a really good view of Sara most of the night, and I just gotta say how adorable I think she is. Her cuteness is just too much (see related article: Reflections on Tegan & Sara’s cuteness. I couldn’t agree more!). I’ve passed judgement in the past on those crazy people who do things like jump on stage so that they can try to touch her, and who throw bras and underwear at them, and yell things like “I love you Sara!”, but no more! I think I get it now. Having experienced strange things tonight like seriously wanting Sara to be my wife and seriously being convinced that she looked at me that one time, I know that I am being ridiculous and stupid and incredibly lame, but I revel in it because I accept that that is who I am: ridiculous and stupid and incredibly lame. And I know I’m not the only one. Pass judgement on me all you want, but I really don’t care. (I swear she looked at me… kidding! Well, sort of…) I will now proceed to tumblr-stalk her. Goodnight!

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.

I made a mixtape for you

I was listening to a podcast yesterday featuring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page’s iTunes playlist (they both had some awesome songs on there) and it made me realise how fortunate they are to be celebrities because they can do something like create a music playlist and share it with the world… and people will actually listen to them! Most of the time when I try to do something similar it’s like, “Yeah yeah Janice, we know. So anyway…” which is fair enough because I’m not a celebrity.

For me, sharing music is one of the great joys of life. I love hearing about new artists from friends and I love sharing what I’ve been listening too. It’s like passing on the baton. Or like education. Life enrichment and whatnot. In short, I really think that something important is happening here.

So without further ado.. I present to you my magnificent and brilliantly rad non-celebrity playlist! Now this is not an extensive list, but I chose some of the songs below because they make my heart do cartwheels of pure uninhibited joy. Others I chose because of their sheer beauty and simply because they inspire me. Still others I chose because they’re just really catchy and make me want to bust a move or rock out like a crazy maniac. And others I chose because if my heart had tear ducts then these songs would make it cry many many rivers.

Note: You’ll be happy to know that I did not just create a list of twenty Tegan and Sara songs. I’ll post that one tomorrow.

I’m kidding! Relax!

Lover’s Spit by Feist (listen)

First off, we have Feist’s cover of a Broken Social Scene song. This is just such an unbelievably beautiful song (despite the subject matter). And Leslie Feist, what an incredible voice. I absolutely love the build up which starts about one third through the song, and for some reason I just go completely nuts for that bass.

Coincidentally, this song was also on E Page’s playlist and to quote her:

Leslie Feist singing this Broken Social Scene song…need I say more? Let’s just make out.

Agreed.

I Found a Reason by Cat Power (listen)

I just recently discovered this song and I’ve gotta say that it is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Both Cat Power and Leslie Feist have amazingly beautiful voices. This song is so delicate and sweet and invokes images of.. well, let’s just say intimacy. Just too beautiful. Makes my heart warm.

Beautiful by Me’Shell Ndegeocello (listen)

Wow, another beautiful, delicate, amazing song. I first heard this song on So You Think You Can Dance season 4 in which Chelsie and Mark performed a Mia Michaels choreographed contemporary dance. What more can I say? It was love at first… sound. Just a stunning love song.

Videotape by Radiohead (listen)

A shoutout to Sarah for introducing me not only to this wonderful song but also to Radiohead in general. Thom Yorke’s voice singing the lines, “You are my centre when I spin away, out of control” and “No matter what happens next, shouldn’t be afraid because I know today has been the most perfect day I’ve ever seen” is just heavenly.

Camp Out by An Horse (listen)

I just realised that the songs I’ve shared so far are all the “my heart does cartwheels” kind (and there are more to come) so to mix it up a little we have this indie rock/pop song from Brissie duo An Horse. I heard about these guys from Tegan and Sara (they literally called me up and were like, “You have GOT to hear this band!”). No, that was a lie. They did NOT personally call me up.

I really could have chosen any song from their album Rearrange Beds because the entire thing is just fantastic, but this was the first track so. I love how catchy all their songs are and I just love Kate’s voice and Damon is such an extremely talented drummer. This is one of those, “I just want to rock out like a crazy maniac” kind of song.

Feel It In My Bones by Tiesto feat. Tegan and Sara (listen)

Speaking of Tegan and Sara (and I promise you this is one of the only two songs that I’ve chosen), I’m so glad that T+S collaborated with DJ Tiesto to produce this song. I had it playing in my head non-stop for weeks, to the point where I’d be sitting at a restaurant with friends bopping my head like a true idiot. Just so damn catchy I’m still dancing to it. The only way to listen to this song is LOUD so turn your speakers up! And I think the video clip is pretty freaking cool too so check it out here.

Your Arms Around Me by Jens Lekman (listen)

This song is featured in a beautiful underwater love scene (Drew Barrymore, amazing!) in the movie Whip It!. You’ll have to watch the movie to see that one (go rent it, now!). It’s a stunning sequence. Now every time I hear this song I have beautiful images of Landon Pigg and E Page swimming around in my head. Pun intended.

Accidental Babies by Damien Rice (listen)

Admittedly, Damien Rice has written several beautiful, heart and gut wrenching songs. This one sticks out for me. From the somber piano to the honest, raw, and intense emotional lyrics. This guy is afraid of nothing. I am completely awestruck by the sheer intensity of this song.

I know I make you cry. I know sometimes you wanna die. But do you really feel alive without me?

Lie in the Sound (Live Version) by Trespassers William (listen)

Anna-Lynne Williams from indie rock/pop band Trespassers William is another woman whose voice I am completely in love with. It’s just so heart-breaking and ethereal.

I love the lyric, “I love you more than I should. So much more than is good for me.” It reminds me of that fear that you get when you realise that you love someone so much that the thought of losing them pretty much sends you into a spiral of despair and makes you want to die. And the chorus, oh!

I am falling. Say my name and I’ll lie in the sound. What is love but whatever my heart needs around. And it needs you too much now.

High Times by Landon Pigg feat. Turbo Fruits (listen)

Also from the Whip It! Soundtrack (so fantastic).

Ahh, Landon Pigg… (note: brief spoiler ahead) you turned out to be a true a-hole in the movie but hot damn you are a good musician and songwriter in real life! I love love love this song. It’s 5 minutes of just pure catchy, irresistible indie pop genius. I could use more songs like this.

Pot Kettle Black by Tilly & the Wall (listen)

Another one from the Whip It! Soundtrack. Seriously, watch the movie and then go and buy the soundtrack, compiled and produced by Miss Barrymore herself.

This is such a great song to start the soundtrack off with. Drew Barrymore, I love you! Just a fun, rocking, indie-pop song. Love that guitar riff.

So Jealous by Tegan and Sara (listen)

At last, the only remaining Tegan and Sara song on this list. Boy, this was a hard choice. It’s hard choosing between the albums alone, not to mention individual songs. Jeepers! Sainthood is definitely one of my favourite albums but I pretty much love every single song on that record so it’s damn near impossible to choose just one (listen to some songs here). The Con, equally hard.

A few songs stick out for me on So Jealous however. Not to say that it’s not a fantastic album. It’s brilliant! I hold a very special place in my heart for it. Ever since I watched this video of the band performing the title track though, I have been totally and utterly head over heels madly in love with the title track. There’s just something so magical about this song. The synths, the punchy guitar, the vocals.. it’s definitely the musical embodiment of crazy lunatic jealousy. I think this is the most amazing, genius song that Sara has ever written. I can’t get my head around how she comes up with this stuff. Floors me every time.

Service Bell by Grizzly Bear & Feist (listen)

Oh golly, this song. So haunting and beautiful. It’s a shame it’s only two and a half minutes long. Needless to say I love the sound of Feist’s voice in that high register. If you do not own a copy of Dark Was the Night I strongly strongly urge you to get your hands on one! It features some of the best indie musicians around and the money goes to a good cause. Two discs of amazing, exquisite music.

Skinny Love by Bon Iver (listen)

Bon Iver is just transcendent. Justin Vernon’s vocals and guitar just cuts me every time. For Emma, Forever Ago is quite likely from start to finish one of the greatest albums you will ever hear. I will be terribly sad for you if you do not get the chance to appreciate this music. It was incredibly hard to pick only one song to share; I might as well have chosen one by random. Holed up in a cabin in the woods tending to a broken heart, Vernon has created one of the most emotionally driven, masterful pieces I have ever heard. This album is so good, it makes me want to cry like a hormonal pregnant woman on acid! It will definitely stay with me for a very very VERY long time.

Entertain by Sleater-Kinney (watch)

Now for the hard rockers. Sleater-Kinney are one of the most notable bands from the riot grrl music scene. Their music can be described as belonging to the punk rock/hardcore punk/indie rock genres. Needless to say, these ladies ROCK!

Featuring magnificent lyrics in true riot grrrl fashion:

Hey! Look around they are lying to you. Can’t you see it is just a silly ruse? They are lying, and I am lying too. All you want is entertainment. Rip me open it’s free.

In response to me saying that I love female-fronted rock bands, someone recently asked me if I was a feminist. I’m not sure that I’m a feminist, but I do appreciate strong women who are in the music and film industry. I love female-fronted rock because it’s so great to hear and see the juxtaposition between the beauty and softness of the female voice and the sheer raucousness of insane guitars and drums. There’s something very empowering about seeing these women do what was previously thought only men could/should do. If there was ever a doubt before, these ladies certainly prove that girls can definitely rock too! Download Entertain for free from S-K’s website.

Coincidentally this is also one of the songs on E Page’s playlist and to quote her once again:

This song makes me freak out, basically when I listen to it I can’t control myself. For intense purposes, their album Woods should never be playing if I am driving. I love these girls, but I am also totally jealous, because I will never be them.

Well said.

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So there you have it. I dare to hope that this music opens up your world and gives you enriched eyes and hearts like it has mine.

To view this playlist (and more!) on iTunes, click here.