Monday, November 17, 2008

Terrible am I child, even if you don't mind

Fleet Foxes - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Listen to this amazing rendition of 'Blue Ridge Mountain' where the Fleet Foxes break into an abandoned Grand Palais and perform with such enthusiasm and care. They play in an enormous chamber-like room which makes their already echoey, perfect harmonies even more echoey, perfect and filled with mythicism and passion. 

In the quivering forest,
Where the shivering dogs rest,
Our good grandfather,
Built a wooden nest.
And the river got frozen,
And the home got snowed in,
And the yellow moon glowed bright,
In the morning light.

Terrible am I child,
Even if you don't mind.

This is my favourite song from Fleet Foxes' self-titled LP of this year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Burn, burn, burn

Jack Kerouac [via the impossible cool]
"A tremendous thing happened when Dean met Carlo Marx. Two keen minds that they are, they took to each other at the drop of a hat. Two piercing eyes glanced into two piercing eyes - the holy con-man with the shining mind, and the sorrowful poetic con-man with the dark mind that is Carlo Marx. From that moment on I saw very little of Dean, and I was a little sorry too. Their energies met head-on, I was a lout compared, I couldn't keep up with them. The whole mad swirl that was to come began then; it would mix up all my friends and all I had left of my family in a big dust cloud over the American Night. Carlo told him of Old Bull Lee, Elmer Hassel, Jane: Lee in Texas growing weed, Hassel on Riker's Island, Jane wandering on Times Square in a benzedrine hallucination, with her baby girl in her arms and ending up in Bellevue. And Dean told Carlo of unknown people in the West like Tommy Snark, the clubfooted poolhall rotation shark and cardplayer and queer saint. He told him of Roy Johnson, Big Ed Dunkel, his boyhood buddies, his street buddies, his innumerable girls and sexparties and pornographic pictures, his heroes, his heroines, adventures. They rushed down the street together, digging everything in the early way they had, which later became so much sadder and perceptive and blank. But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn and say commonplace things, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!" What did they call such young people in Goethe's Germany? Wanting dearly to learn how to write like Carlo, the first thing you know, Dean was attacking him with a great amorous soul such as only a con-man can have. "Now Carlo, let me speak - here's what I'm saying . . ." I didn't see them for about two weeks during which time they cemented their relationship to fiendish allday-allnight-talk proportions.
Then came spring, the great time for travelling, and everybody in the scattered gang was ready to take one trip or another. I was busily at work on my novel and when I came to the halfway mark, after a trip down South with my aunt to visit my brother Rocco, I got ready to travel West for the very first time."
The brilliant Jack Kerouac with one of my favourite passages from On the Road.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What you have in your hand

[via Loveology]

This week I finished the last of my high school assessment and the weather seemed to pick up on the escasties of my friends and I. It's been a lovely week of too hot, muggy weather that makes my blood sing even louder and my skin burn with the sun as well as my excitement. I feel light, free and full of optimism for the future, fully aware of my strengths and the strengths of all the wonderful people around me. Here's two songs that are, I suppose, soundtracking these days for me in a most spectacular way:

Indie pop at its very, very, very best. Gloriously infectious in a way that makes you thankful that you've got something this great to sing along to as you skip down the street. It's feelings in sound in all their complexity: wondering, hesitant and confusing even in happiness. Full acknowledgement that we can't ever turn your brain off for just a minute and just stop thinking. Can we enjoy this moment now or do we only know how to enjoy the prospects of the future and smiles from our pasts?
[from Yes or No which you should get if you know what's good for you, I love every song on this album]

The Very Best - Tengazako

Last year's summer anthem is remade into something, possibly, even more uplifting by The Very Best [go here - you can download to the entire album/mixtape for free!], I've posted about these guys before, as I said, they're a collaboration between the fantastic Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit. I really cannot get enough of the clear and uplifting voice of Esau over the much loved guitar of 'Paper Planes'. Bend your knees, raise your arms and let the familiar sounds wash over you.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Brian DeGraw from Gang Gang Dance

Avey Tare and Panda Bear from Animal Collective

Pieter Schoolwerth

I just spent a good hour and a bit looking through the fascinating, varied and beautiful work of Isabel Asha Penzilen. She takes the most wonderful photographs of artists, musicians and couples in their homes as well as contrasting landscapes, cityscapes, nature, misplaced objects and nameless people. She somehow, amazingly, manages to make her images both hazy and sharp, full of soft tones but clear with contrast - like soft, dreamy skin and dark, intent eyes.

I also loved the pictures of some of my favourite musicians in their practice spaces.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Come together

Congratulations America, it's been a long time coming. I've been quietly confident for some months now that this amazing feat would come about and that having a point of view would become more than just a useless, pointless exercise in frustration. The last eight years have been horrific but the sun is shining again. It's going to be difficult to undo all the bad that's been done, but I've never seen such an intelligent, well spoken and, most inportantly, level headed politician in all my life and I have no doubt that 'yes we can'.

It isn't the first time he's made me cry, he pulls my cynicism and apathy completely to pieces. If you haven't seen this yet, then you must: