Monday, 4 May 2015

Album Review: Childish Gambino, because the internet

Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover (you know, that guy from Community) is an actor, writer, comedian, singer, rapper and producer from California. Because the internet is Gambino's second studio album, his first being Camp. It was released in the December of 2013 and yes, I know, all of my reviews are long overdue...

Gambino actually wrote a screenplay to accompany this album, which I think is quite a clever way to add more dimensions to his music. This album is very story driven, which means that each song of the album effortlessly flows into the next. This is done by repeated samples and a progressive story. I love how he chose to centre around a theme for this album, that is technology and how how it effects social interactions between people. He makes many references to technology in his lyrics such as "hashtag", "retweet" and "trolling". Similarly, an interpretation of the song 'II. Worldstar' is that it's depicting the internet as a sadistic place with attention seeking users, doing anything to gain "likes" or "hits". I think the fact that Gambino is actually writing about the topic of technology and the issues of it provides him with a niche in an otherwise saturated industry. He also had some very impressive artists feature on his album, names such as Chance the Rapper, Azealia Banks and Jhene Aiko.
The instrumental solos in some of Gambino's tracks are stunning. The end of the track "II. Worldstar" has a beautiful sax solo, which not only gives it a jazz feel but also adds to the hopelessness of the song (picture lone man playing in a window of a large apartment building in New York). Also the interlude 'playing around before the party starts' features a dark, descending piano solo with light chatter in the background, foreshadowing a somber ending.

Each track of the album seems to be influenced by a different genre, genres such as jazz (as previously mentioned), hip hop, Iranian even, pop and r n' b especially. Also many of the songs have ethereal and magical (for lack of a better word) sounding instrumentals, which provides an unworldly element to the track. For example "i. the worst guys", "i. pink toes" and "iii. life: the biggest troll". However I think that these ethereal sounds are used to echo the lyrics and the theme of the song. Take the track "i. pink toes" for example, the first line of this track is "rainbows, sunshine everywhere we go". These lyrics create images of a utopian world, which I believe Gambino is trying to reinforce with the use of his instrumentals, therefore reiterating to his audience that this perfect world is unrealistic.

Some highlights of this album for me are "i. pink toes", purely because of the stunning vocals and the melody line is catchy. Also "v. 3005" because I enjoy the rhythm of the song and how it moves (and probably because my friend and I know the whole rap - I'm not even going to pretend I'm not proud of that fact). Lastly "ii. shadows" because it was the first song I heard from Childish Gambino and I feel like it's a good place to start. However I always look back on my old reviews with different favourite songs, so it's probably going to change. All in all, it's a stellar album.

I give Childish Gambino's 'because the internet' a 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Gig Review: Chet Faker at The Palais (27/2)

So this is long overdue... I went to see Chet Faker on the 27th of February at the Palais in St. Kilda. And let me just say that that theatre is beautiful. At first I was put off because I was completely convinced that I'd been there before to see Cats the musical with my grandfather but I fact checked with my mum and that was a lie (but perhaps a foreshadowing :o). Anyway singing cats aside, two of my friends and I arrived at 7.30, as the tickets read, but as we found out later he came on at like 9 (which coincidence or not, coincided with the arrival of the rest audience). A quarter filled theater aside, the support acts were overall - a solid meh. The first group were okay, they're a duo named GL (a mix of funk and pop). I think the reason I didn't enjoy their set was because the (lack of an) audience were speaking over them (rude.). The vocalist, Emma Thompson, had an incredible voice that was reminiscent of Sia - although that could have been because of her blonde bob and costuming. I took a particular disliking to the second support act, Roland Tings, who was a (crap) DJ. I think it was a combination of his shitty 8 minute intro that he introduced as "this is a little something that I wrote on the road last week" (a little something would be correct) and this thing he called dancing which involved him having what looked to be some sort of epileptic fit. This was made to be slightly more entertaining through our running commentary throughout his whole set (at least we whispered - well sort of).

Eventually 9pm came and Chet Faker a.k.a Nick Murphy a.k.a my brother's friend's brother (humble bragging) arrived (along with the rest of the sold-out set's audience). He began the show with an intense instrumental opener, in which he mimicked the DJing of friend Flume. He utilized stage lights and more specifically strobe lights to the point where I, no joke, put on sunglasses to protect my eyes. After Cigarettes & Loneliness, Murphy made a point of acknowledging his hometown and thanking all his fans for supporting him. A highlight was the track Melt, in which he channeled Michael Jackson at the mic with his smooth moon walk esque dance moves.

A particularly humerous part of the night was when he was performing To Me which involved looping and overlapping and all that great stuff. Anyway, the audience began to clap (irregularly) which resulted in Murphy having to stop and restart after telling his audience that "it's good to clap but it's important to clap in time" with a small smile. He got the audience on their feet with the cover that he was most known for No Diggity, after giving a small speech on how not to be afraid to stand up and just move with the music. Murphy even gave a nod to Van Morrison with a cover of Moondance that was stunningly heaped with reverb. The show then ended with the most anticipated track of the evening, the Hottest 100 winner Talk is Cheap where the audience joined in to give Murphy a bit of love.

All in all I had a great evening, that resulted in unexpectedly meeting Lakyn Heperi outside the venue at the end where I cringedly told him that I'd been "following his music journey since the start". What can you do? At least I got a photo.

I give Chet Faker at The Palais Theatre a 4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Album Hall #2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm building (slowly but steadily) a CD collection and I have accumulated a good few albums over the last month or so.

ÁSGEIR: In The Silence
I received this for christmas, back in December and I'm pleased I did because it's a stunning album. I'm mostly only buying albums that I already love just because I think that's a good place to start. Anyway, the album is pretty good yet what Àsgeir lacks is versatility within his music. All in all though, a good album to listen to in the background.

CHILDISH GAMBINO: Because The Internet
This one I bought a week ago. I haven't listened to the whole album yet but I have listened to a few tracks such as 3005, Crawl, Oakland and a couple others and enjoyed them. Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover (from the TV show Community) is not only a singer but a rapper. His songs tell a story and are at times comical, Glover has a true solid voice throughout the songs I've listened to thus far, which makes me believe his authenticity.

BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB: So Long, See You Tomorrow
I. Am. Obsessed. With this album. I love every single track on this record as each brings me back to the summer of '13 when I discovered it. This album is one I can see my self going back to in years to come. Highly recommend.

Another album that I have a lot of love for. Again, I love each track and I haven't found myself getting sick of any of the songs and I've listened to it for a year or so consistently. I was reading an interview a couple of months back and discovered that Cloud Control actually recorded each song in a cave, which isn't hard to believe as each song has a lovely mystic sound to it with beautiful reverb (which I assume is accredited to the acoustics in the cave).

I've actually written a review on this album so if you want to find out more about it you can read it here. But again I love this album, it brings me back memories of summer also because of the laid-back vibes of each track particularly towards the front end of the album.

I have also stolen (I use that word loosely) three albums from my parents collection and those are Beyoncé's B'Day album (my favourite of hers), The Smiths - Best...1 and The Cranberries - No Need To Argue.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Album Haul

I have completely neglected this blog. But I'm going to make excuses and blame it on exams and the fact that our internet has been and currently is, utter shit. Anyway, I've been spending money but I like to believe it's towards a positive cause. The music industry. I have decided to build my CD collection because I used to have, up to a week ago, only two CDs; those being the Saddle Club Soundtrack and a So Fresh Summer Hits compilation dating back to the good old early '000's. Therefore I will show you the CDs I have bought:

PAPA VS. PRETTY: White Deer Park

I actually bought this album a couple of months ago when I attended the BallPark Music gig which I have a blogpost on reviewing the show, which I will link here. I bought this album because I was in a spendy mood and it was only $10 so how could I resist? This album is permanently in my car and it's a good album for road trips and rainy days. It's okay. The tracks all seem to blend into one and it takes a couple of listens to actually be able to distinguish each song. The only track that seems to stand out and actually display variation in the band's songwriting, is Smother which is rock influenced and has a real anthem vibe that I dig.


This was a gift from my mum's friend about a week ago. I must admit I haven't had a chance to listen to the full album but I have listened to a few of the individual tracks. It's a solid album and is easy-listening. Their sound is generally folk influenced and both vocalists have stunning voices. A good winter album.

SHE & HIM: Volume 3

I have never actually heard of this band before and again I haven't had a chance to listen to the album yet. Although I do recognize the girl on the front to be Zooey Deschanel, so I'm intrigued to listen to their stuff. I will report back.

HAIM: Days Are Gone

As I said in my previous post, I'm kind of over Haim's music as I listened to them heaps last October - December. Yet I do still believe it's a solid summery, easy-listening album with some good pop-rock tracks. I recommend this album to those looking for something new this summer. But as for myself, I'll give it a listen again this summer but probably not as much as the others.

BOY & BEAR: Harlequin Dream

Again, this is another band I got over last year although to be fair I haven't given this album a good crack yet. From what I've heard of it, that is Southern Son and Three-Headed Women, I'm not as big of a fan of it as I have been of previous albums, but I will give it another go as I'm generally a fan of their music and their slight folk influences. 

BANKS: Goddess

I am a massive fan of BANKS otherwise known as Jillian Banks, and I can tell you now I have listened to the album over 10 times now.  I find her music to be incredibly honest and raw. BANKS really adapts her tone to suit the theme of her songs, which I find many vocalists don't seem to find the need to do. The highlights of this album for me are Fuck Em' Only We Know, Stick, and Warm Water although I am obsessed with each track. 

HOZIER: Self-titled

Again I haven't had a chance to listen to this album all the way through although I have listened to Take Me To Church and From Eden, which have a similar sound. Yet I have had a brief listen to other tracks like Cherry Wine, which is quite different to the other two tracks previously mentioned, this shows the versatility of this Irish singer-songwriter. I'm looking forward to being able to listen to this album as a full body of work and I might write a review on it in the future.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Musicians Who Not Only Rock It Out On Stage

Laugh at me all you want, but that is literally the only title I could come up with. In an ideal world I would have created some really cool pun, combining both fashion and music, but apparently I am not as wordily talented as I thought I was. Anyway, basically I have composed a list of my top 5 favourite artists who are style-stalk worthy. Before I clumsily construct anymore sentences, I'm going to get on with it.

Number 5: Broods
Broods is a duo from New Zealand consisting of Georgia Nott (lead vocals) and older brother and multi instrumentalist Caleb Nott who works on the production and backing vocals of their tracks. Their most notable or recognisable song would probably be Mother & Father, which is a cool, icy, electro-pop number from their new album Evergreen. I must admit that I haven't paid much attention as to what Caleb has been wearing as both of my eyes have been fully focused on Georgia. 
I love the sports luxe reference of the shorts, combined with the heels to balance the look together. And her hair. Love. It.
 Okay I must admit that Caleb is in need of an honourable mention here for that awesome bomber jacket, which I kinda need in my life right now. But also, I love the half-length sleeves on what seems to be a kimono inspired cover-up?
An all black outfit that is cleverly broken up by the slice of midriff. And her hair again! Very, very cool.

Number 4: Haim
Haim (pronounced Hime) is a pop-rock, all American band combined of the three sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim. Their records are consistently bright and summery, perfect for hot-weather barbecues or lying by the pool. Although I've almost progressed from their music, their style, clothing wise,  is still completely current and relevant to me. 
 (from left to right) Danielle, Alana and Este
Love Alana's leather shorts and cropped high-neck textured top that creates a simple but completely effortlessly cool look. I also adore Danielle's leather gilet, which is toning down the inevitable farmer vibes that are radiating from her tucked in flannel and belted trousers number.
 I'm really digging Este's simplicity in this long-legged, black jump suit outfit with the cinched in waist to sort of separate the two sections whilst giving her a bit of shape simultaneously. Also love her sunnies, especially that beautiful muted orange colour. But most of all that STUNNING coat that Danielle is wearing, with the less-is-more style of the white T-shirt dress.
Turtle-neck? Check. Monochrome? Check. Grid pattern? Check. This straight dress is literal perfection with the tied-around-the-waist sports luxe jumper adding just enough shape and detail to contribute and not take away from this outfit. Love the coordination of the second outfit to give off a I-just-came-off-the-run-way-and-I'm-totally-rocking-it feel.

Number 3: Wild Belle
If I'm going to be honest Wild Belle is a band I have only recently discovered. They remind me almost of Sticky Fingers, especially in the song Keep You. Wild Belle are an American band comprised of siblings (can you see a common thread here?) Elliot and Natalie Bergman. Their music combines an array of genres plastered together in a way that is perfectly cohesive, much like their clothes.
 Ah, I love clashing so much, and it works here flawlessly. I'm focusing mostly on beard-and-hair-central here (let's be honest I'm jealous of his hair) but I'm digging this rock reference that's gained by the button down shirt and cropped blazer. I'm also admiring Natalie's beautiful arm cuffs.
 All I can say is, the 60's in a shirt.
I have been lusting over a white suit for a really long time. What both siblings did right here is find one that is cut in a really cool, modern and up-to date way. Love. Love. Love.

Number 2: Grimes
Grimes or Claire Boucher is a Canadian producer, artist, musician, singer-songwriter and music video director. Her music is influenced by a wide array of genres such as electronic, hip-hop and medieval (I told you there was a use for the Dorian Mode ;) ) Her clothes definitely reflect her experimental music and I'm obsessed.
 I am obsessed with her green ombre hair, I think it looks so cool and so her. Not to mention that amazing army parka/coat.
 Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh. Yes. First of all that denim gilet has been on my want list for at least a year now, ever since that Zara one sold out. :'( Secondly that maxi dress is so perfectly bedazzled that I'm in love. And lastly, how does one purchase such stunning pieces?

This is probably my favourite out of all her looks. I love the school girl and boy influences these pieces radiate. The plaited piggy-tails. The denim culottes. The stockings. The trainers. It's androgynous in the most beautiful way possible. 

Number 1: FKA twigs
And lastly and most importantly the most well-dressed musician out there (in my opinion would have to be FKA twigs, otherwise known as Tahliah Barnett, who is an English singer-songwriter, producer and dancer. Her music is a mixture of electronic, chill and she includes slight references to R&B. 
 If I'm going to be honest I just really like this photo and of course her Tee, and her hair, and her make-up.
 This outfit is honestly flawless. The culottes, lingerie-inspired top paired with the Doc Martins combine an array of styles that fit together like a jigsaw. Her sassy pout and wind-swept wavy hair really does add to the look.
I really do love this outfit. Her hair, first of all, wow! I just love how effortlessly cool she manages to look in this all black number and I adore her tarnished gold necklaces. 
I love how Twigs really allowed the printed trousers to speak for themselves. She kept them a statement by pairing them with classic brown Timberlands and a simple black crop with vibrant red lips.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

All You Can Ask: Lena Dunham

I never quite knew what the, I guess you could call it hype, was about surrounding Lena Dunham. I thought she was just a comedic and likable actress. But I was wrong. Not only is she an actress, but she is a figurehead, a feminist (+10 brownie points), a writer, a director, a producer and just a rockin', really cool, genuine, forward thinking person and I want to be friends with her (#lovemelena). She is an advocate for everything that would be law in my utopian society (except maybe the allowance of penguins to run for presidency - it's a great idea I promise).

To promote the upcoming release of her new book 'Not That Kind of Girl' which is out September 30th (get on it) Lena filmed a bunch of videos labeled Ask Lena to quench the thirst of practically any question that you have ever pondered. I will link them below to save you the time of frantic googling so happy birthday I hope you enjoy your present and no you can't exchange it, you shouldn't want to anyway. xx

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Top 5: Favourite Films

Okay so I should probably tell you that I'm not a big movie watcher (even though I do work at a video rental store, really not too sure why they hired me to be honest) so constructing this list in all honesty wasn't that difficult a task. Another thing I should say to you is that my friends tell me I have an awful taste in movies, apparently I'm into 'monotone' movies (I say embrace it) but um fuck them I'm going to force my list onto you regardless. Anyway, now that I've got you all pumped up for a killer movie list let's get it started...

Number 5: The Truman Show
I watched this back in 2008 I want to say, and I really enjoyed it. I recently had to re-watch it for school and I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much if not more! I found that I got a lot more out of it this time round as I'm obviously six years older and wiser (okay maybe not wiser) but the ideas and themes the film addressed were really quite complex and interesting. It touched a lot on what we value in a society and if being ignorant really is bliss. I'll give you a quick run down on what it's about if you don't already know, basically it's about a man named Truman who was born into the main character role of a reality TV show. Cameras have been following him around ever since he was born, 24 hours a day non-stop. Truman is unaware of this as everyone around him are acting as his friends, acquaintances and family. He lives in a man constructed dome-like 'society', which is completely cut off from the real world. The film centers around Truman wanting more out of life and wanting to escape his 'ordinary'.
Number 4: The Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter is my childhood. It's the one series I have re-watched over 200 times (no exaggeration). They are just a bunch of 8 amazingly feel-good films that instantly improve my mood. I don't know whether my enjoyment of them is purely nostalgic or that I get something new out of them each time I watch it. All I know is that it's a series I will never stop re-watching and never ever stop loving. I think my favourite is probably the Prisoner of Azkaban purely because Voldemort is not in it which makes it much less dark and somber. My favourite character, you ask? I think it would have to be Severus Snape because he is the most relatable and genuine character, I feel, he's also fairly underrated which also adds to the appeal.
Number 3: 10 Things I Hate About You
This film is so feel good (obviously not as much as HP but it's still up there). I feel like it's such a classic chic flick and the fact that I like this is saying a lot as I'm usually not a fan of those girly misogynistic shitty films. What gives this film extra brownie points would have to be the sexiness of Heath Ledger, if you are to watch any scene watch the bit where he's trying to win back Kat by serenading her at school, oh my dear god that scene. I love how this film manages to incorporate a teenage girl love story while maintaining it's independant-women-beyoncé-like vibe. Assuming you already know what this film is about I'll give you a 30-words-or-less summary. Girl meets boy. Boy dates girl for money. Boy eventually falls for girl. Girl finds out about money and you know where this is heading. Anyway it's a must-watch so get on to it if you haven't already.
Number 2: Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon. Matt Damon. Matt Damon. He is sure looking fine in this movie, I must say. Phenomenal performance by both Damon and Robin Williams (who tragically passed away recently due to unfortunate and terribly sad circumstances). The acting in this film is purely amazing, so genuine and so raw. This movie makes me tear up every time because of how heartfelt and relatable it is. It's about a boy named Will Hunting (see what they did with the title ;)) who works as a janitor at M.I.T., he has a talent for maths but isn't quite sure what to do with it as he comes from a rough and financially unstable background. He is recommended to see a psychologist whom which he forms a very strong relationship with and simultaneously receives crucial life guidance from. Love. Love. Love this film. Perfect for a rainy day.
We have reached our number one, drum roll please. dadadaddadada bom tsh!

Number 1: The Breakfast Club
As cliché and pretentious as it seems to sound The Breakfast Club would have to be my favourite film of all time. It answers all of the troublesome questions of high-school life and raises so many more. It is such an important and thought-provoking film while it still manages to keep it's comedic tone. I can't stress to you how crucial it is that you watch this film. It's not supposed to be particularly sad but it made me cry watching how these five teenagers who had nothing in common at all (except a Saturday detention of course) ended up bonding and forming such formidable yet unlikely relationships. I adore every single character and could relate to each one. Ahh, such an amazing film.

P.S. I am well aware that I overused the word 'amazing' and 'relatable' but my vocabulary seems to be incredibly limited. Someone please buy me a Thesaurus for my birthday. Thank you in advance. xx