Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spring has sprung!

Photos by Joanna Branson

Tomorrow marks the first day of spring and (coincidentally) the first day of my new, fantastic, dream job as an adolescent and family counsellor. This week i plan to take up swing dancing (anyone interested in coming with?), wine and dine my charming man, go for coffee with a new friend, get back on track to becoming cello goddess of the world and finish decoupaging my mirror (exciting 'how to' post coming later this week).

To celebrate the arrival of spring here's a mix Jens Lekman put together last year. He made it to lament the end of the European summer, which of course coincides with the start of our spring. It's warm, fun and everything spring should be.

Death of the summer- Jens Lekman

Happy new week everybody!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Definitely not feeding the horse...

We didn't really get into the whole 'Olympics thing' here at Number One Millionaire. So to make up for this i'm going to share with you a video that i raved about over dinner tonight (and coincidentally couldn't find at the time, thus ruining my hilarious anecdote).

Kudos to my housemate Torben for this spaztastic find.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At Mount Zoomer

At Mount Zoomer art work

I've been meaning to do a review for At Mount Zoomer by Wolf Parade for months now. Wolf Parade's debut album Apologies to the Queen Mary was my favourite release of 2005 and introduced me to my favourite. band. ever, Sunset Rubdown.

Wolf Parade is a band that started as gorgeous Spencer Krug (of Sunset Rubdown and Frog Eyes) and Dan Boeckner (of Atlas Strategic and Handsome Furs). After 2 EP's Dante Decarlo (of Hot Hot Heat) joined their crew as a second guitarist and percussionist.

My love of Wolf Parade's 'Apologies to the Queen Mary', grew into an obsession with Sunset Rubdown and transformed into an inability for me to see anything with Spencer Krug's name attached as anything other than brilliant. Thus when i first listened to At Mount Zoomer (with bated breath, waiting for my eargasim to erupt), i was sorely disappointed and figured it must be one of those albums that takes multiple listens to get into.

After months of multiple listens (and many sleepless nights searching for some kind of hidden genius i must have over looked), i had a dream that captures the essence of what's wrong with this album...

Wolf Parade by Shane Ward

I'm in Landspeed Records massively excited about today, the release day of new Wolf Parade. I can't find 'At Mount Zoomer' on the shelf so i go ask the kind of pudgy, High Fidelity want-a-be guy sitting behind the desk.

Hey.' I say.

'Yeah?' He grunts back.

'Do you have At Mount Zoomer by Wolf Parade in?' I tentatively ask him.

'Yeah, it's here. [hands me the CD]. Do you like Spencer Krug?'

'Uh, you could say that.'

'Cool, one sec.'

[He reaches for a phone, dials a number and starts talking to someone]

'Oh hey man. There's a hot chick here who thinks she's in love with you.... [pause]. Yeah, I'll put her on.'

[Rob Gordon-try-hard passes me the phone]

'Hello?' I ask shyly.

'Oh hey, i'm Spencer Krug.'

'Oh, wow. I really love your stuff. Don't you live in Canada?'

'No honey, i live in Braidwood. I'm coming in to Canberra this afternoon. Would you like to go for coffee?'

We go for coffee and i spend the whole time explaining how much better a song writer he is than Dan Boeckner and how At Mount Zoomer is fundamentally flawed by the fact he let Dan write some songs. Spencer then asks me to play cello for Sunset Rubdown (?) and my Jens Lekman fantasy of having twins and playing for his band is lived out with brilliant Spencer.


Best dream ever? I think so.

Anyway, for me, this album is good, but it certainly isn't the genius i was hoping for. I think this massive media machine got it right. The album is fractured and spastic, and it feels like two very different song writers have separately written a bunch of tunes and stuck them under the banner of 'Wolf Parade'.

Spencer Krug's songs are far superior, and that's not just my bias talking. His songs are darker, more complicated, and his vocals are as twisted and as stunning as ever. Dan Boeckner, however, has provided us with some etchy pop songs with catchy guitar riffs. I'm especially fond of the guitar on 'Fine Young Cannibals'. There are merits to both styles of song writing, i just happen to be of the opinion that Spencer Krug shits all over Dan Boeckner on this album of singles.

This is my favourite Krug track from the album (i think it's also the standout track ),
My favourite Boeckner,

And the only song they wrote together is pretty special too (though no Sunset Rubdown epic),

What do you all think of the album?

I'm giving it a 7.5/10.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And then reality moved swiftly in...

So I know I came over all hyper-excited about the new house in my last post, and made it sound like some kind of magical fairyland wonderland marble-mansionland. But let me tell you, cherubs (in a gather near t' my bosom and let me share with you some wisdom, kinda way), I'm not sure if anyone has told you this, but moving really is THA WORST. I think from now on, I simply won't do it. I'll live in a gypsy caravan, just as I'd always planned.

Plus, you know, the house...magical fairyland though it is, has some flaws. The gas heater leaks gas. There is a dire lack of power sockets, and they're all in the most impractical of places. The fancy newly polished floors are (and it kills me to say this) almost more trouble than they're worth. There is no garden.

But don't get me wrong, m'dears. I do love the joint - it has a lovely character. I am happy. This is the moment I've been dreaming of for most of my adolescent/early adult life. In fact, on Friday, when we picked up the keys and I started moving in items from my glory box, I even uttered the following words to my housemates, triumphantly and with great glee: "This is the happiest day of my life." They laughed at me, and went back to their macbooks (they were trying to fleece wireless internet from the neighbours). But it kind of was, in a way.

So, to reignite the fire of my enthusiasm, I thought it apt to share a few pictures of some of my favourite corners of our new, somewhat humble, abode.

Olde-worldy light switches

Even more olde-worldy light switches

Beautiful, wooden doors, with lovely hexagonal brass door knobs

Wallpaper on the inside of our wardrobe

Bathroom lady on our ensuite door

Orange tree!

Pegs holder on clothesline. KC tried to remove the bird deposits from it with a bit of the ol' spit-and-rub, but managed instead to create a spitty-pooey paste. But I told her that you wouldn't mind.

Apparently this little room is where the milkman would have delivered the milk back in the olden days. How positively quaint!

Daffodils on the mantelpiece for Daffodil Day, and oranges from our tree.

Twin Beaks.

Enjoy you crazy, dirty kids.*

*Joke aimed at one millionaire in particular. I was wrong. VERY wrong.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

DIY high fashion

Hello darling ones! Sorry to have been so slack recently but I think I was a little overwhelmed with the excitement that was 80's week and haven't been able to post anything NOT 80's related. To celebrate my return to blogging I am doing something a bit new, some DIY fashion. It's fun project time! Hurrah. This is a first for the blog and a first for me as well. As much as I talk about altering things and creating my own fashion masterpieces I usually cave and never actually do it.

As I have been perusing this months magazines I have seen this Dries Van Noten bangle necklace featured a lot and so I got to thinking, I can totally make that myself! And as it turns out, I totally did. Finally a use for the incredibly ridiculous amount of bangles my mother and I have between us.

To create this runway replica you will need:

1. A length of thick ribbon.
I used a belt as ribbon wasn't quite strong enough to hold all the bangles
2. Copious amounts of bangles.
Though, of course you can use as many or as few as you like as it is all
your own creation!
3. The balls to actually wear it out of the house

So I am yet to actually wear this anywhere and to be honest I don't know if I will. Making it was a lot of fun though and has given me the warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment for today, which I should really have achieved by finishing my essay.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dance like flowers in the wind for spring.

Wild Flowers by Craig O'Neal

Dearest wildflowers,

I'm sorry we've neglected you all so much of late, but we've all been really terribly busy. My blogging babes are weighed down both with uni and discovering the joys of 'inner city living', while i've been working on a 'life cleanse' of sorts.

Winter has been getting me down. I don't enjoy feeling cold and my goldern locks miss the sun. Gloom and doom had firmly settled upon Jaimieville, so i decided it was in my best interest to shake things up somewhat.

So far my 'life shake' is très sucessful (unlike that song 'Shake It' by Metro Station. Could that song be any worse or any more stuck in my head?). I've some amazing job opportunities in the works and my little soul feels far less clutered.

Expect great things in the upcoming weeks dearest ones. The smell of spring is growing ever stronger and I'm delighted to guide it in.

This is a list of uber poppy songs that coax out the happy dance bug in me (if anyone is mean to my little list i'll have their head).

Profusion by Kenneth Webb

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Movin' on out...

Remember this post, and this post? Well, friendlies, it's all coming true for me too! This time next week, the boy, the girl, and another boy and I will be shacking up together in a georgeous inner north home. A home with polished floorboards and huge, airy rooms. A home with lots of sunshine, with old-fashioned light switches and insanely high ceilings. A home with history, character, an ensuite and an orange tree! A home filled with friendship and laughter and lovers! A home which, for the next six months, will be ours.

It's a home I plan to fill with big, colorful bowls of oranges, fresh flowers, the scent of baking, outdoor lanterns and a potted herb garden. It's also a home from which I can catch the bus right outside the front door, and straight to uni in 10 short minutes. I wish it was a home with a kitchen as beautiful as the one pictures above, but it'll do nicely, for now.

I can't quite believe that I will be leaving the bland outer suburb I've spent almost my entire life in, and will finally be able to unpack my well stocked "glory box", but chums, it seems it's true! Everything is a tad chaotic at the moment, I also start a new job tomorrow, and my thesis is due in two short months. And not only will I be moving out of home for the first time, but I'll also be moving in with the boy. Eep! But after a year filled with unemployment, thesis procrastination and suburban boredom, not to mention hours and hours of driving, I think this is just what I need.

I promise lots of updates in coming weeks: furniture shopping escapades, photos of said light switches, moving in debacles, craft projects, etcetera etcetera.

Oh, the Martha Stewart in me is about to faint with excitement!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Elderflower Sunshower

Wow. Well, I hope ya'll enjoyed our brief frolic into eighties land. I'm pretty sure I did.

There may, just may, be an even briefer and more exciting Number One Millionaire 80s revival in coming weeks, but in the meantime, put up your feet. Have a cocktail. Dream of summer. Kiss a stranger.

I call it Summer Rain (cos that's what it tastes like, to me).

There are two ways I like to make this. The first is more of an evening/late night cocktail:

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix two shots of vodka, with 1 1/2 shots of elderflower cordial, the pulp of one passionfruit, and a few strips of lime zest, and shake vigorously.
2. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with another few curls of lime zest.

(I tend to like this version strained - ie. without the passionfruit seeds, but feel free to just tip it in higgledy-piggledy, seeds-and-all if that's what roasts your parsnips.)

And the second version is a lighter (non-strained), more afternoony cocktail:

1. Place 2 shots vodka, 2 shots elderflower cordial, the pulp of one passionfruit, and a few strips of lime zest into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously.
2. Pour (don't strain) into a double-0ld-fasioned glass (ie whisky glass, or short tumbler) filled with ice. Top with sparkling mineral water, and garnish with a few curls of lime zest.

If in either case you find that it is still a bit too bitter or alcoholic, simply add a little more elderflower cordial and stir. It works much like a tastier version of sugar syrup.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's in the's coming!

Goodness gracious, petals, I've been planning this post for a mighty long time. Possibly since before I even started blogging. That's how much this lady means to me. You might even say that she completes me.

Where do I start with Kate Bush? Why is it that I love her so? Why do Never for Ever, The Kick Inside* and Hounds of Love mark the soundtrack to my life, even though they were released years before I was born? Why is she my ultimate, number one girl hero?

These are emotions, friends, that are difficult to convey. Perhaps it is the notes of strength and frailty in her gorgeous, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes terrifying, often unearthly voice. Perhaps it is her ridiculously fabulous outfits, or her ability to dance oh so seductively with a double bass, as if there was nothing she wanted to do more than make sweet, tender love with that sexy combination of wood and strings and assorted knobly bits. Or the way she cries "Heathcliffe!" in Wuthering Heights, or gently sings "peek-a-boo, little earth" in Hello Earth or the melancholy in her voice in "This Woman's Work", or her defiance in "The Wedding List". Its somewhere, also, in the magic her music evokes, of mysty fairy tales, strange, fantastical creatures of the underworld, and ephemeral, heavenly spaces. The brilliance, and originality of her production. The fact that, to me, she encapsulates, yet utterly transcends the eighties, and my discovery of her truly marks the time in my life that I became a woman.

Whatever it is, the lady is genuis. And whenever (oooh) it gets dark, it gets lonely there's no one else to whom I turn. She is my lotus flower.

This is a, by no means comprehensive, mix of some of my fav songs to get Bushy to. Best enjoyed via energetic, interpretive dancing around one's bedroom. Clothing optional.

Kate Bush - Army Dreamers - Never for Ever

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love - Hounds of Love

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights - The Kick Inside

Kate Bush - Cloudbusting - Hounds of Love

Kate Bush - This Woman's Work - The Sensual World

Kate Bush - The Man with the Child in his Eyes
- The Kick Inside

Kate Bush - Running up that Hill (a deal with God) - Hounds of Love

Kate Bush - The Wedding List - Never for Ever

Kate Bush - The Jig of Life - Hounds of Love

Kate Bush - How to Be Invisible
- Ariel

Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel - Don't Give Up


Running Up that Hill (possibly the best partner dance of all time):

The Big Sky

Wuthering Heights (those facial expressions!):

I actually really can't decide which version is more fabulous, so here, have this one too:

* I realise that The Kick Inside was actually released in 1978, but see my earlier post on my disregard for the distinction between the late '70s and early '80s

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hungry for some 80's tunes

Image from here

These are just a few 80's musical treats from me. Be warned, I have not the superior music taste of my lovely blogster sisters. I tend to be a bit lame.

Blondie - Heart of Glass
I love love love Debbie Harry. She's the coolest.

The Cure - Love Cats

Journey - Anyway You Want It

Boney M - Ra Ra Rasputin
Possibly one of my best school memories is when my Year 11 History teacher played this song to the class to teach us about the Russian Revolution.

Toto - Africa

Psychedelic Furs - Love My Way

Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
Jaimie and I saw Duran Duran at V Festival this year, AMAZING. Though I have never felt more like I was 35 before.

A-Ha - Take On Me


Jaimie still in love with Westley after all these years? Inconceivable!

The Princess Bride is probably my favourite movie. I use 'probably' because at this moment in my sleepless night i can't think of any movie i enjoy more. Though i must be honest with you my lovely 80's babies, i had (and still have) a few qualms with this film. For a film that teaches one how to scale the cliffs of insanity, battle rodents of unusual size, face torture in the pit of despair and still manage to convince me that growing up was a great idea, why did they make the lead heroine such an ungrateful so and so?

I've never confessed to this before but i loathe Princess freakin' Buttercup. I think this one passage from the movie sums her up quite nicely (or rather, ratbagedly...)

Grandpa: [voiceover] Nothing gave Buttercup as much pleasure as ordering Westley around.
Buttercup: Farm boy, polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.
Westley: As you wish.
Grandpa: [voiceover] "As you wish" was all he ever said to her.
Buttercup: Farm boy, fill these with water - please.
Westley: As you wish.
Grandpa: [voiceover] That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "As you wish", what he meant was, "I love you." And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.

Poor picture of perfection Westley. He is subjected to one of the rudest, most ungrateful heroines of the 80's. Stuff the evil step mother from Sleeping Beauty, vote 1# Princess Buttercup for 80's Satan. Now i'm all for the feminist message she sends, i.e, you do as i say boy and then fall in love with me, 'cause well, you're hot and i want you. But come on lady, you're a bitch. A big, beautiful, blonde haired, rich, bitch. In fact i think this picture of 'Princess Buttercup' sums you up brilliantly...

On a final note, i hate you. You didn't deserve Westley and i blame you for his transformation...

All i can say is this would have never happened if he'd married me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

It was acceptable in the 80's.

Still from Sixteen Candles

Talk about best freakin' idea for a themed week ever! Vanessa Ness Ness Mc Awesome, you win this weeks merit award!

I, like Vanessa Mc Awesome, love the 80's. To me the 80's symbolise a reason to douse on over the top make up, squeeze into ridiculous (but brilliant) outfits, flaunt patterns and colours that usually if combined would have you parting people in a crowd like Moses parted the red sea, and give you an excuse to let your inner dancing queen light up the dance floor.

So, for my introductory post i've created a picture montage of some iconic trends that, as Calvin Harris so funkely sang, were acceptable in the 80's.

Big hair. Now these guys are tough. They wear metal chains, are obviously dangerous with their styling products, and their make-up says,' AIDS; i'll karate-kick you in the face'.

Certain trends of 80's culture appear to be making a resurgence within our current pop-culture. But you must ask yourself, what happens to a person when they adopt bad aspects of 80's culture into their identity...

Obviously this sub-culture is not for the faint of heart. Or maybe just not for trashy, drug fucked hoes.

80's aerobics? Hell yeah! You get skinny you brightly clad, fun loving, headband wearing spectacle of joy!

Sometimes i adorn my silver sparkly leotard over my blue tights, put on a bright pink headband, pull up my brightest knee high socks and run around the house punching the air to 'Modern Love' by Bowie. I am lame, but so are the 80's.

Kate Bush is one of my biggest lady loves. I'll leave her for Julia to serve up deliciously for you, but what an amazing spectacle of originality, beauty and talent. She's incredible.

While Loony Tunes used to scare me senseless when i was young, they are undeniably cool. I mean talking cartoon animals that weren't from the Disney studio? (Not that i don't think Disney is the best thing ever).

'Oh you'll never believe it! I'm an alien that looks like a crazy mix between an ant-eater and a bee hive!'

I'm not sure if it's just me but Alf is just about the stupidest looking puppet i've ever seen. Every time i see his ugly, crazy face i get all giggly and silly. Oh man, he cracks me up. Not quite as much as this next guy does though...

I googled the TV show 'Super Friends', to stick a picture here and talk about the crazy lame show, but then i found this one of Vanessa and i at her 80's movie themed party and think it speaks for Super Friends enough.

And now here are some of my favourite tunes from our number one decade, that were acceptable in the 80's and i think are still acceptable at this time...

Modern Love- David Bowie

Temptation- New Order

Graceland- Paul Simon

Ask- The Smiths

Pur- Cocteau Twins

The Mercy Seat- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Atmosphere- Joy Division

German Film Star- The Passions

West End Girls- Pet Shop Boys

Much love,