Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thunder Power and Ambivalence.

Thunder Power

We get sent a lot of MP3's from bands and promoters wanting us to hype the crap out of their group. Being the wonderful procrastinator i am, i try to listen to most of the stuff we're sent. And people, usually it's balls. Utter rubbish. Try to re-glue my eardrums together kind of crap. So when i found something i actually kind of like i got all excited and felt i needed to share it with you fine young cannibals.

Thunder Power are a 6 piece from Omaha. The lead singer sounds small and her vocals have been described as smokey, which cracks me up even though i know it probably shouldn't. Her voice is quite similar to Tracyanne Campbell's of Camera Obscura. They play soft indie-rock tunes, that honestly kind of verge on annoying (like so much 'twee' music), but get stuck in my head so badly that i find myself listening to them pretty much on repeat. They play happy, boppy music that you don't really have to concentrate on. I like them, even if my ambivalence doesn't exactly portray it.

Cover art and CD for Thunder Power's EP 'Love yourself'

Here are my two favourite songs from the EP;

Take a Hike
Imaginary Rules

Think of a mix of current popular twee outfits and you'll have a sound close to theirs. If you're into that sort of thing check them out here. Heh, their Myspace says they sound like 'kittens with wings and lightening fingers'. Way to be lame Thunder Power.

Meh, they go okay, but they are stellar if you're used to utter crap in your MP3 inbox. Please people, send me something good.

Yours with love,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remaking Fashion

John Galliano for Christian Dior, Dress model no. 39 2000, spring–summer designed,
2003 made, The tramp collection, NGV

In a couple of weeks I am heading to Melbourne for Meredith Festival and as much as I am looking forward to Meredith, which is a lot. I am also looking forward to staying with my sister in her new pad, shopping, hanging out and spending all my tax return, which I suspect will be a pittance. Since I am a bit of a nerd I am researching a few things that I want to do and included is the Remaking Fashion exhibition at the NGV. I only found out about this exhibition today, but after reading the outline/summary/low-down of it, I am super excited. It's also free, which fits into my almost non-existent budget perfectly. The list of designers whose work is included almost made me squeal with excitement: Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Nicholas Ghesquiére for Balenciaga and John Galliano for Christian Dior, as well as Pierre Cardin toiles from the 1960s. Sounds amazing! The NGV collects a lot of fashion pieces so it has an extensive collection to draw from.

Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, Top, skirt, overskirt, leggings and shoes, hat and bra, 1982–83 autumn–winter, Nostalgia of mud collection, NGV

Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Dress and Necklace 2008 spring–summer, NGV

The idea behind the exhibition is to look at the construction process behind the garment, and how these functional elements have now become part of the overall aesthetic of the clothing. Items such as zippers, studs and boning (hehe, boning) are no longer just functional components, but are often used as purely decorative elements. The focus of this exhibition is all part of the deconstructive realm that is particularly characteristic of some modern designers and an element of fashion which appears to be gaining increasing popularity in mainstream fashion. This can be seen in the recent collaborations of Comme des Garçons with H&M, and Christopher Kane collaborating with Topshop in the UK. I have a very limited knowledge about fashion so hopefully this exhibition will give me a bit more. Fingers crossed it's as rad as it sounds!

All photos and info from the NGV website

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love in all its various incarnations. Part (1.5)

Hehehehe, i just found this video clip to Sin With Sebastian's song 'Shut Up (And Sleep With Me)'.

You've got to watch it.

Happy start of week kidlets.

Love in all its various incarnations. Part (1)

Fetish 1: Picture by David Lynch, shoes by Christian Louboutin.

Sexual fetishism is defined by Wiki as the sexual attraction to, or arousal by, materials or objects that aren't commonly associated with sexuality. So basically, fetishism can be seen as anything that causes a person sexual arousal that is considered a little left of center.

A friend informed me that there's a fetish night at Cube this Saturday evening (oooh, tonight! ) which sparked my interest in the theme 'love' and what forms 'love' can take within our society. This is the first of several posts exploring this 'ideal' if you like.

According to my google search on fetishes, shoe fetishes appear to be most popular, or shall i rephrase, more socially accepted. Some other well known ones include amputee fetishism, leather fetishism, infantilism (sexual arousal through wearing diapers and be treated as an infant), and algolagnia (pain fetish). Some of my more obscure favourites include swim cap fetishism, vorarephilia (desire to be eaten), scatophilia (sexual arousal through involving feces), and then there's the good old wholesome fun of asphyxiophilia (arousal from self-strangulation). See this list of paraphilias for more arousing fun.

Fetish 5: Picture by David Lynch, shoes by Christian Louboutin

According to my old friend the DSM-IV, sexual fetishism, in all glorious forms, can be diagnosed as a clinical disorder if it causes the person experiencing it considerable distress and discomfort. Apparently these days people tend to embrace their specific fetish and there are clubs, stores and secret societies that help unite people in their unique eroticism.

I find the concept of fetishism liberating. I believe it's responsible for the idea that there are no longer many sexual taboos. So, what does that mean for us? Basically, we can have sex and be aroused however we like provided that it doesn't disturb the other people involved. How liberating is that? My feminist foresisters would be proud.

The Red Bubble's fetish section has some fabulous art works and what appears to be a fairly tight-nit fetish community if anyone is further intrigued...

Duck Tape by Bobby Bare on Red Bubble.

We live in a fascinatingly diverse world.

Shut Up (And Sleep With Me)- Sin With Sebastian

Love Song Number 7- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Tekno Love Song- CocoRosie

Human- Carpark North

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Beer Bites, Part One: India

Melissa at The Traveller's Lunchbox recently wrote that despite the massive life changes she has endured over 2008, the year will probably always be remembered as one in which she made an awful lot of jam. Which made me realise that my years are often defined by the discovery of particular foods, or 'food movements', too. While this year was one in which I moved out of home, wrote a thesis, had my first real job and started a blog, it was also one in which I became a vegequarian (who eats chicken on occasion), planted my own herbs and tomatoes, started shopping at farmer's outlets, and blogged a lot about food.

Last year was somewhat less eventful, and thus will always be remembered as the one in which I discovered beer. Sure, I had drunken beer (sometimes in copious amounts) previously. And although at the time I was pretty sure I enjoyed it, I realise now that I mostly did it in a highly unfeminst attempt to bond with men folk. No better way, I always say, to form friendships with males than by indulging along side them in cheap, yucky, bogan Australian beer (although I acknowledge that this probably says far more about my social skills than those of the average Australian man).

So it wasn't until my Indochina trip of January '07 that I truly learnt to love beer. Asian beer. Every meal in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia was accompanied by a long neck of the local brew, for which I usually paid roughly between 0.5 - 1.5 Australian dollars. There is nothing better when dining on the dusty banks of an empty Mekong in Phnom Pen than a long brew of Khmer beer (even though it does taste unmistakably like eggs), or a Beer Lao with a fifty cent all you can eat vegan banquet in magically lit night markets at Luang Prabang, or a fresh beer Hoi with a delicious bowl of steaming pho on a tiny chair positioned
precariously on the edge of a busy road in Hanoi. Nothing. Better.

So, in delayed celebration of the discovery of my love for Asian beer, love of the truest, most feminist kind, I intend to post a series of recipes of yummy nibbly delights to enjoy with certain brews from that mystical east.

The idea for today's post (which, in turn inspired this series of posts) occurred to me by accident, when I prepared one of my favorite cheap, easy and quick snacks this afternoon - poppadums with various Indian fixings. I sat down to eat it and realised, achingly so, that it would be simply perfect with a beer. An Asian beer. The Indian brew, Kingfisher would have been ideal in the interest of keeping things ethnically correct...but the bottlo across the road had none. So instead I went with my all time Asian fave, Tiger. I'm no good at describing its taste (I said I liked beer, not that I understood it), but it goes perfectly with anything spicy. So I sat down to feast and drink...the boy studying across from me, and the sounds of live jazz from the pub across the road floating in with the afternoon breeze which tickled our freshly hung Nepalse prayer flags. It was a most divine Sunday afternoon.

Tiger Beer with P
oppadums and Indian dips.

As much as I enjoy a good curry, I often find it is all the extra bits - raita, chutneys, pickles, poppadums, naan - that I truly love about Indian food. They also, as is the topic of this post, make for great nibbles with beer...and are fantastic as a pre-dinner thang, or just with casual afternoon beers with friends, lovers, or indeed, alone. I haven't given too much guidance here, because I generally just throw whatever I have on hand together, so I think experimentation is key. You might also like to make some of that bannana and coconut thing, but, as banana is the one and only food that completely scares the bejesus out of me, I did not.

To make the poppadums, simply follow the instructions on the back of the pack. While I believe the deep fried method is undeniably better, I made mine in the microwave today out of intense Sunday-afternoon laziness. You could substitue fresh naan bread from your local Indian shop, but there is something about the crunchy, fragrant, chick pea flavour of poppadums I love, and I generally always have a packet in my pantry.

Cucumber Raita
I like this quite nontraditionally chunky, so I combine about half a roughly chopped cucumber with 2-3 tablespoons of natural Greek yogurt, half to a full tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of fresh finely chopped fresh mint, or one teaspoon of dried mint flakes, and plenty of salt and pepper, and maybe a pinch of ground cummin or coriander. Mix well.

Tomato and Coriander

Combine two roughly chopped ripe as ripe tomatoes, with your desired amount of finely diced red onion, two teaspoons of finely chopped coriander, 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

I also mix a good, sweet commercial mango chutney with lots of extra chilli flakes, and serve it along side the poppadums and dips. To be honest, this is my favorite bit, and is often the only thing I can bring myself to prepare. So I wont judge you, even a little bit, if you decide to skip the dips, and just go with the chutney, or an assortment of chutneys and pickles, even.

All ingredients can be prepared up to several hours in advance, although the poppadums might go soggy, so probably best to make them fresh. Serves approximately four people for beer nibbles, or two for a light lunch.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The perfect space


I've been scouring the interweb lately for quirky, cheap and easy decorating ideas for our new abode, and this room has to be my favorite find yet. I just love the use of old boots as vases for dried flowers, the georgeous mirror, rich wall colour...and, most of all, the rumpled sheets.

I'm pretty sure if I lived here I would spend my days in bed writing succulent erotic novels and drinking mulled wine, and my nights entertaining local artists, poets and miscellanious creatures of the underworld.

From Bilyana Dimitrova's new book, via Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's a fresh spring, so let's sing...

Noel Rodo-Vankeulen, Fake Burst via Ruby Mag

This song seems appropriate today. I'm sure I don't have to tell you why.

Yeasayer - 2080

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baking melodies with Pikelet.

Pikelet (aka Evelyn Morris) by Lauren Bamford

To backtrack to my series of posts on Australian artists, this post will focus on lovely Pikelet.

Pikelet is a musical outfit fronted by the superbly talented Evelyn Morris.

As i couldn't find an enormous amount of information about Pikelet on the interweb, I'm going to imagine that when Pikelet needs flour (metaphorical or not) for her creative endeavours, she walks to the local supermarket that lies at the end of her Melbournian lane way (Pikelet lives in the outskirts of Melbourne). When she's sick she can't send anyone to get her eggs (as there are no other members in her band) , so she has to be very creative with how she gets her ingredients (or comes up with songs). And gosh golly, creative this fine lady is.

I would describe Pikelet as 1/3rd saccharine and sprinkles (not to far removed from the sounds of Decoder Ring and Goldfrapp), 1/3rd do-it-yourself wonder woman (as she is responsible for most of the instruments you hear on her tracks), and 1/3rd curious and mystical (because i'm getting lazy and her music can be a little 'crazy'). Combine these parts to create a perfect concoction of fluffy acoustic Lo-Fi . Mmm, delicious.

Learn more about this clever cookie here. She's one album to her name thus far and has toured with the likes of Camera Obscura , the Microphones and Sufjan Stevens (just to further wet your appetite).

Here's a lovely video of her performing one of her songs. It's gorgeous, sit through it.

And here's an MP3 for you to keep (buy the album here).

- Pikelet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

'Cause I'm your lady

I really love a good cover. Song variety, blanket variety, substance variety; i'm not terribly fussed about the type.

So in the tradition of cold nights, and for the loss of a vital member of the Number One Millionaire community, here's a collection of some of my favourite covers. Use them as needed.

- The Decemberists

Nothing Compares to You (Prince*)
- Dan Kelly

This Modern Love (Block Party)
- Final Fantasy

Faith (George Micheal)
- The Boy Least Likely to.

- Jens Lekman

Modern Love (David Bowie)
- Syme

- Nouvelle Vague

Power of Love (Jenifer Rush)
-Final Fantasy

I hope you enjoy these songs. They're some of my all time favourites.

Stay well and safe. Remind people that you love them.