Monday, 26 July 2010

Oui, Je t'aime!

Nearly 20 years after the wonderful Monsieur Gainsbourg's death, they have made a film about his rather eventful life. From his early days as a Jewish child in Nazi-occupied France, through to his stud-muffin days in the 60's , and finally his alcohol-induced descent into an early grave, there was surely never a dull moment. Thanks to the impeccable casting, beautiful cinematography and, no doubt, amazing soundtrack, this looks set to join La Vie En Rose and Walk The Line in the music biopic hierarchy! I absolutely can't wait to see this, it looks so bloody good. Enjoy.

Oh, and it will be out on July 30th.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Aww Zooey Deschanel, I feel terrible saying this, but Gigantic wasn't great. Not that it's awful, it does have its merits, so I'll kindly say mediocre (ouch). The general premise of the film is that 28 year old mattress salesman Brian (played by Paul Dano) desperately wants to fulfill his lifelong dream of adopting a Chinese baby. Well, who wouldn't. 

But it all goes tits-up when he meets and falls in love with a beautiful, somewhat spoilt young lady named Happy (Deschanel). Oh yeah, and there's a subplot where a homeless man stalks and attacks Brian! I thought Gigantic sounded like my cup of tea, and when we put the DVD in, my ears were filled with the wonderful sounds of Animal Collective, and I turned to my sister with an expression not unlike this on my face:

Very promising start, I thought! But alas, the soundtrack was one of the most redeeming features of this film. It is an intriguing storyline, admittedly, but the director seems to be trying to hard to make it quirky and different. In fact, I couldn't help but think of this article and chuckle to myself. Still, it ain't too bad, and is worth a watch if you're at a loss for something to do. But for now, please enjoy this beauuuuutiful little number!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tasty Shortbread Foxes

Admittedly, foxes have got a bit of a bad reputation recently, but I've always thought they possess a certain cheeky, cavalier charm. After pondering long and hard about what to bake, me and Laura settled on shortbread. As for the fox element, well... I recently watched the visual treat that is  The Fantastic Mr Fox, got goosebumps hearing 'Fox In The Snow' live and, just before the baking commenced, a fox ran through my garden. Coincidence? I think not! So really the decision was made for us already. If you wish to follow suit, read on; if not, just look at the pictures, I won't judge you.

1. Making shortbread is easy as pie. Easier, in fact - it only uses three ingredients! Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, then cream together 125g of butter and 55g of caster sugar until smooth and delicious-looking.

2. This is the tricky part - you must make the agonising decision over which cookie cutter to use. These bad-boys are from Ikea, if you're interested. 

3. Add 180g of plain flour and it's time to stick your hands in. As you can see, it ain't pretty, but it must be done! Then, if you do so desire, add a bit of food colouring for extra pizass. You may want to use a spoon for this, as my hands were permanantly blushing for days after. 

4. With great aplombe, throw more flour onto the surface of your choice. Roll out the mixture to about 1 cm thickness, using a rolling pin, a can of cider or your very own hands. Then start chopping out shapes and popping them onto a baking tray. 

5. Once your baking tray resembles some sort of urban wildlife massacre, sprinkle them all with sugar and pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes. 

6. Once they're looking all golden and crispy (and, to our disapointment, not very pink), snatch them greedily from the oven. Then leave them to cool down, or until the anticipation gets all too much. And there you have it. Topical biscuits for all the family. 

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I Am Not Jesus, Though I Have The Same Initials.

Best things about this video: the wonderful Sheffield accent, 'give it the tortoise-head', the faraway stare, 'love it, love iiiit!', and the cheeky cardboard cutout at the end. What a man!

Yeah, Latitude!

Oh, hi!

I have just got back from one of the best weekends of my short life thus far, courtesy of Latitude festival. After hearing great things about it from a trusted friend, and seeing the rather impressive lineup, the sis & I decided it was about time we branched out from our standard Leeds Festival endeavour. An excellent decision, for it was quite the lovely experience – you would never see pastel coloured sheep, lake projections and ostrich burgers at a Reading Weekend, would you, now?

Another massive difference we noticed is the atendees haven't all just got their A-Level results, there were in fact lots of babies 'n' bald spots alongside the expected youngsters. It is undeniably the most middle class thing ever, but in a good way – the place was teeming with good quality Vegan/ Vegetarian/ Organic foodstuffs and lots of posh children, inexplicably playing with Victorian toys.

Moving swiftyly on to what the whole event was about – the wonderful bands! Off the top of my head, here are a few of who we went to see... Yeasayer, Girls, The Maccabees, Laura Marling, Grizzly Bear, These New Puritans, Belle & Sebastian, Wild Beasts, Frightened Rabbit... and many more. Oh, and bloody TOM JONES, a surprise addition to the lineup, bless him.

 For me, the best band of the whole weekend has to be Belle & Sebastian, whom I've loved with varying intensities for over half a decade now but never got to see! The very lovely, very Scottish Stuart Murdoch was absoloutely in his element, dancing around with vigour and at one point declaring 'I was on the verge of whipping my top off there... but then I realised it would be like seeing your dad in the shower!' And of course, Grizzly Bear – the last band of the weekend – were on top form as always... my mind still boggles over how fully grown men can have such high angelic voices?

Now, as some of you may know, I've always had a massive soft spot for Jarvis Cocker. So imagine my extreme joy when I'm happily pottering over the bridge when, out of the corner of my eye, I see this tall, bespectacled gentleman walking – nay, sashaying – right past me. My official line on the matter is I didn't want to bother him as he was with his kids, but in reality I turned into a bumbling, incoherent mess of a lady upon sighting. Starstruck is the term I'm searching for, I reckon. So instead I merely grabbed Laura's arm and hissed 'That was Jarvis Cocker!', and will forever regret my inability to grow a pair. Ah well. Later that day, we bumped into Will from The Inbetweeners, who was extremely polite and exactly the same as his character, but still, he's no Jarv.

Last but not least, no festival report would be complete without a quick little bitch about the toilets, which would more aptly be decribed as 'troughs'. They did, however, provide one of the funniest moments of the weekend – Lo happily wandered into a toilet, and only as she went to leave did she notice smears and handprints of... well, frankly, human shit... all over the walls. I think we laughed solidly for about an hour after that traumatic little event. So there you have it, we absoloutely adored Latitude. My apologies for finishing on such a bum note (pun intended).

P.s. I didn't bring my digital camera with me (I'm far too careless!) so these are just pilfered off Facebook... though I did bring my Action Sampler with me, so you can wait with baited breath to see those in the near future!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

My Top Five: Modest Mouse

Like the majority of human race, I was first exposed to Modest Mouse when they released a lovely little number named 'Float On'. I was instantly smitten, and they have since become one of my most beloved musical ventures. The band plucked their charming moniker from the Virginia Woolf story 'The Mark On The Wall', and have been churning out wonderful songs since 1994. However they didn't reach mainstream success for another decade, when they came up trumps with the truly wonderful album 'Good News For People Who Love Bad News'. Since then it's all been smooth sailing, and in 2006, they received the ultimate nod of approval when a certain Johnny Marr decided he'd join 'em.

The brains behind the band, Isaac Brock, has led quite a life – he grew up on a trailer park, had the standard musician substance-habit, was falsely accused of rape, and was charged with attempted murder (because his passenger broke their finger in a crash – no joke!). His slightly questionable life experience has left him with a knack for seriously good songwriting skills though, so it's all good. Wikipedia (fountain of all knowledge) sums it up wisely: 'He is noted for his very clever wordplay and frequent use of metaphors, philosophical lyrics, themes of oppressive urban lifestyles, and certain phrases and sayings commonly used in the early- to mid-20th century and in blue collar environments.' Yeah, what they said.

Without further ado, here are my most beloved Modest Mouse songs. Oh and please excuse the shoddy, unofficial videos, it wouldn't let me use the ones I wanted!

5. The World At Large

I melt a little bit every time I hear this, it's just so easy on the ears. Fun fact for you: I once saw this used in a romantic moment on Hollyoaks, no less.

4. The Good Times Are Killing Me

I should probably be saying something about the wonderful song - but look at that rather unusual set! Plastic plants and a mock-skyline?! Also note the keyboard players impressively tattooed hands.

3. Dashboard

Easily one of my (top ten) favourite songs to dance to when I'm out on the razz. When this badboy comes on, my usually impeccable manners goes out the window - I have no qualms about pushing my way to the dancefloor. 

2. Ocean Breathes Salty

Prettiest song name ever, I think so. Unfortunately this video doesn't do this song justice, so please Youtube the actual video, it's excellent - maybe Isaac had a sore throat?

1. Missed The Boat
And finally, my all-time favourite Modest Mouse song (currently) is this little gem. The lyrics are truly wonderful and his voice is like no other. I challenge you to not adore this!