In church with a Welsh man.

I’m back in the church in Ashford (lovely venue , Nick Cave should consider playing here), sipping on a pale ale that needs to last me 2 hours. Tonight I’m watching Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals playing songs and incorporating a presentation about his latest album/film/book American Interior.

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As far as concept albums go this one is my favourite. Legend has it that in 1792 a young Welsh man named John Evans set off to unexplored Central America in search of a mythical lost tribe of Welsh-speaking native indians. 222 years later distant relative Gruff Rhys decides to follow his footsteps and take the same path through America in search of what is myth and what is truth.

Having enjoyed the album for a few months now which is an eclectic mix of  beautiful hooks, tinges of country, spaghetti western (lolo) folk and pop. It’s a grand example of Gruff skills as an amazing song writer, especially the title track American Interior and The Swamp.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect going in, as I had only ever seen him in a rock show context.

Opening with a documentary covering the background story, the myth of the Welsh prince Madoc  who sailed to America in 1170 .Gruff appeared on stage and began to talk through what made John Evans go into an insane expedition on the other side of the world, this was accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs on the screens accompanied with songs from the album. He presented the storytelling perfectly, my mind didn’t wander at all. The whole show was informative, engaging and amusing and the song’s sounded beautiful acoustically.By the end I was so engrossed by the life hardships and bizarre series of events of John Evans life I sympathised with him, and I left wanting to know more.

He also brought along his puppet of John Evans who accompanied him through out his trip and I don’t think I was alone in being moved by this story , once Gruff left the stage the puppet remained on and there was quite a que of people to take photos of/with him. (Such as myself)

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After 2 hours he did come back on stage to play ,Candylion and an amazing version of Honey All Over.  If anyone was hoping for any SFA classics they weren’t going to get them, to be honest I think it would have been totally inappropriate to play any of them either. It’s an excellent show in its own right.

 

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interested? You should be! You can head over to the website for more details… http://american-interior.com/

 

A little photographic history

On Saturday I headed over to Sommerset House London to catch A Nick Cave &Cohorts :a Little History by Australian photographer Bleddyn Butcher. Wether it was because it was London Fashion Week and events had closed off most of Sommerset house to the public made it quite difficult to find the entrance.

Once in sadly it was underwhelming, there were on 16 photos on display. They were all beautiful but if you’re not local then it’s quite a way to travel for so little. But as I said the work itself was quality so here is my favourite shot on display with the wonderful Rowland S. Howard

note your not allowed to take photos. the sign is in the corner and about 10cm big.

note you’re not allowed to take photos. the sign is in the corner and about 10cm big.

The show is on until the end of the week, (28th September) you can find details here!

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/a-little-history-nick-cave-and-cohorts

 

That’s all for now…but Ive almost finished a quilt (I know amaze…)

 

 

 

Dancing By Myself

Today as I was walking the long school walk I had the iPod on shuffle and Prince’s Raspberry Beret started playing. It is my favourite Prince song and If I’m at home I’ll instantly break into dance. But this time I was in public and I had the uncontrollable urge to start making some serious 80’s jazz ballet moves in the park, the kind of moves you see in a video clip.

I’ll warn you I’m not a dancer, 5 lessons of Jazz ballet ,doing the chicken dance at all weddings and thinking I can breakdance isn’t really going to get me into any dance studio. But when I was young my career choice was music video choreographer, this was before I realised that you needed some actual dancer skills to direct dance videos.So in a way I have always matched music, image and dance together.

One of my dreams is still the same one I had when I was 6 which is to don a red dress, go into a foggy field and blast Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush from speakers whilst doing the dance in full. It’s hard to try not to stop the car when I drive by  a field.

I’m also always very nervous about signing in public (funny that seeing at a time I was a singer) so If anyone says to me how does that song go? 9 times out of 10 I will do a small dance as well as sing the song very out of tune.

So here I am in a park wanting to break into dance and I can’t. Why can’t I? Why can’t any of us? Why can’t we just break into song and dance like in musicals. Or even at the very least break into dance more while we’re shopping. (I say ‘more’ because I already do break into dance if I hear a good song on in a shop. My local Tiger store plays brilliant rock n roll music, I’m always dancing in a small manner, not like letting it rip but there is dancing in my steps)

I’m sad that we don’t live in a world where it is completely acceptable to just start dancing. I’m not talking about street dancing or flash mob dancing all of that is good a thing but that’s not what I’m talking about, that stuff is too organised and at times over-produced and very slick.

I’m talking about spontaneous, spur of the moment dancing,  in the shop just having a bit of a shake down, in the street doing some kicks and jazz hands, breaking out a bit of MJ’s moves in the bakery, doing a twirl with a trolley (without causing public damage), breakdancing in a meeting at work to show my displeasure. I wish I could do this more, in fact all the time.

It’s ok to do it when you’re a kid, it’s perfectly acceptable but once you get to your late teens most of us stop. We shouldn’t stop?! I love to see anyone over 35 just start breakdancing, even if they are not good at it…..especially if they at no good at it, more the reason!

I would love to live in a  world where we all could be a bit more like the Bjork video It’s Oh So Quiet. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a Gondry world?

In the end I resisted the urge to dance in the park, which was hard when it was followed by “You’ve got the look”.I’m no richer for it.

It’s a post about nothing.

Can you tell I’ve been watching a lot of Seinfeld this week? A whole ton of it.

It’s been quiet on the Kentish front. I’ve been so wrapt up in Rocekette’s first day at school that everything else has had to move around it. (a bit like orbiting).

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It was taken for a shoe competition, don’t worry it wasnt based on photographic skills.

I have been making but everything is for gifts at the moment and I can’t reveal any of it at this time so as soon as recipients get them I will put them up.  This is probably what it will be like now until Christmas..that and trying to actually quilt the 4 unfinished quilts sitting in the corner.

Actually what I can show is what I finished yesterday that took no time at all to complete. It’s a cloud pillow for Rockette. I’ve had that Incy Wincy spider fabric for well over a year with no idea what to do with it. The pattern you can find in the Liberty Sewing book. It took about an hour to make they are tiny though, which is why its near baby Tigger to show you the scale. (My photocopier was refusing to make the pattern bigger)

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Oh and you can find the tutorial here at the Liberty website (How Lucky!) http://www.liberty.co.uk/blog/17747/make-your-own-cloud-cushion/

The EPP continues as I started doing them one way and then realised that was not what I had set out to do so now it’s going to be a bit different in the corners (yay for the imperfections!) They taking so long to put each one together (am always forgetting this).But I’m pleased with them so far I’m just undecided on the assembly.

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Off both usual blog subjects I did learn how to make chutney this week, which was something I was always afraid of, but now I realise it’s too easy. So we made Nigella Lawson’s Beetroot and Ginger recipe so easy. I just have to wait out the next 2 months to see how it turned out. Guess what people are getting for the seasonal holidays??? I make Rocky Road every year but I’m getting a bit bored with that. (stop talking about Xmas).

Whilst I was not at home for the cooking and baking day I enjoyed the luxury of working in a larger kitchen, one where 3 people can fit in happily.. When I asked for a sieve I got something that looks like it came from Antiques Roadshow. That was hard work, the sieve that time forgot.

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In the end I chucked the flour straight in , which goes against ALL of my baking common sense. Still the Beetroot Brownies turned out brilliant.

You can find the recipe at the link below or from the River  Cottage Everyday book. But eat them fast, the ones I made on Saturday already started moulding today (Thursday) and had to sadly be chucked.

http://www.ocado.com/webshop/recipe/chocolate-and-beetroot-brownies/3685

IN MUSIC NEWS…..

My good heavens pretty exciting week for music , this does not included a free U2 album.

Karen O- Crush Songs

Firstly the amazing Karen O from the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs, has gone it alone and delivered Crush Songs. I’ve been waiting for ages for this and if you’re hoping for a slick well produced record then I think you will disappointed.
Its raw and sounds like it was recorded in a toilet with a mic hooked up to a tape deck and that is what I love about it. The songs are about heartbreak and the recording technique I think adds to the sentiment.
They are all short and sweet, understated, tender  and a beautiful album to be sad too. I wish I had this in my early 20s.

Beck -Morning Phase

I’ve come back to Beck today. I always forget how much I love his stuff. Morning Phase has been out for a while and its lived in my house ignored( criminal) so on it went today in its full glory. This is full of overtures. I love a string section and there is so much overlay in this. Wave is magnificent strings and atmospheric, can’t go wrong. There are so many good tracks on this I was tempted to include a link for the whole thing. The track Morning sounds quite like the start of Golden Age or Guess I’m Doing fine which is fine as he is consistent . Heart is a Drum sounds quite laid back the whole album has something of a late afternoon at the beach country feel to it…with strings.It’s also a good album to listen to while on a long walk on a sunny autumnal morning

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 Ryan Adams- Ryan Adams

Firstly can I say this album cover scares me slightly. He looks like an escaped convict, or a bit like Syd Barrett .

I always leave long listening breaks between Ryan Adams, but this man is prolific (20 odd albums so far including Whiskey town) this is good as it offers value for money but he has a large back catalogue I’m so far behind that I’ve had to by-pass the last few and go headlong into this one.

This is his second album this year as the first album he offered was considered “too depressing” and shelved. So now we have this one which on the sad scale comes up about mid-range, It’s good I have been enjoying it but I can’t help thinking some of it sounds like lots of contemporary male artists from the 80’s. There are tones on Don Henley, Brian Adams, Tom Petty even a touch of  (well you catch my drift). The 80’s is in maybe it’s just natural progression for Adams. It doesn’t vary wildly different from his other recordings. I do like the single Gimmie Something good and Stay With Me, but these are the tracks that also don their hat the most to that radio rock sound.  I love Whisky Town and this aint that, but I’ll be content with most things this man put’s forward.

I will try to have happier albums in the next blog!

It’s getting loud in the house of stitch

After  a few self-indulgent posts about my obsession with Ipod’s I really should get back to quilting stuff.

In crafty world I’m slow-moving as usual. I finally started a new paper piecing quilt (if it turns into that…probably) so only a slight variation on the hexagon, hexagons surround by half hexagons. I know revolutionary!!!

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The there was a choice of two put to a vote on fb the plain version won. I’ve realised just how many people like calm and organised in a chaos world. (or it did just look better?) but the votes were something like 16 to 2 so you can’t argue with that.

The  plan will be to do enough in varying rows. fingers crossed it will look good, and not so much like coasters as has already been pointed out.

There are only 63 more days till Halloween. Krakatoa I’ve gotta get that quilt finished!

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I put all of my stuff away and made my home look neat for the Frozen party and have not really had the inclination to bring it back out again even though I know I have too. I think once the holidays are over and school starts I’ll be quilting like a she demon possessed! The blocks are all finished I just need to join them all together.

So if there are only 63 days to Halloween…phew there are still 118 till christmas, take off 22 days to get the full advantage of a month of decorations (94 days) and, yeah  I still have stacks of time to make my Christmas throw  for this year.

All this means the end of Summer, Autumn has already presented itself well and truly here  so that it all sad. I’m a sun person, like a lizard.

 

The only other thing on the craft side from this week is the stash of fabric I really didn’t need to buy but at half price it would have been rude to say no. I’d like to make a skirt out of the little french men but the rest of it I don’t have any plans for , and I’ve been so good lately avoiding all temptation of reduced fabrics and sticking to the projects. There is a nice medallion quilt in the love liberty book that I’ve wanted to make so I’m sure most of it will get used for that. IT WILL GET USED!

Whats on the iPod/ streaming?
On the music front this week I havent listened to a great deal. I have no idea where the time has all gone or what I have done but my ears have been restless of late and not content with much music.  I’m ashamed to say that the most I heard over the previous weekend was when I played Just Dance 4 for an hour (straight in, no warm up and no exercise for about 3 months no ta  great idea) so I did heard lots of chart stuff I hadn’t really heard or paid attention to. I’m happy to say I still wouldn’t listen to these tracks by choice outside of the game.

 

This week Royal Blood’s debut LP was released. It feels like it’s been around forever already what with all the hype. But the reason why I love them is purely from a bass players perspective. They are a drum and bass band only.  All of that sound is coming out of a single bass guitar! When I first started playing bass I used to play it like a guitar along side Sonic Youth and Pixies albums until I learnt how to play it properly. But I love what they are making and that the humble bass which is normally cast aside (or even in some cases excluded) and turning it into the main feature, It’s a beautiful thing and one that makes me very happy. The album itself is chock-a-block rock album, it’s all good. (No mucking around there)

 
I’ve also been listening to a collection Kasabian albums, but mainly43.12. I’ve not been a fan of old Kasabian, I don’t like the swaggering attitude the lead singer just reminds me of a rockier version of Robbie Williams (Shouldnt mess with him his from Leicester n all) How old did that last statement sound??!!!

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Anyway I have been enjoying their new album it’s one of those big hit records like a punch in the face. So I started listening to the back catalogue (which all live on my iPod) and I was surprised at how many hit’s they did have. All those big ball’s out tracks in the end I was impressed by all of it. Maybe Kasabian and I got off on the wrong foot. I just started working at Virgin Megastore when their debut album was  released so I had to listen to a lot of it.

I have lots of bands that have suffered that fate, Coldplay, Elbow, Van Morrison, Pendulum, Pachelbel’s Cannon, the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack and the Venga Boys. I can’t listen to any of this music without feeling slightly nauseated.

 

The new discovery this week is Stephen Steinbrink, which I only discovered because I did judge his album by the cover art and gave it a whirl.stephensteinbrink

It’s a beautiful folky pop acoustic album.Yes sad but were you expecting any other?

That whole singer song writer thing gets bashed around a lot so I don’t really want to attach that reference to him. It’s just a beautiful album and an artist I’m going to have to listen more off (a whole 6 more albums of if I can track them down). I love a comparison so I thinking in a small way maybe Charles Jenkins from the Ice Cream hands, maybe a bit of Brendan Benson? I’ve read that this man has toured America with a quiz team and has also listed everything he has eaten on tour (if your interested in that sort of thing) http://stephensteinbrink.com/everythingiateontour
I’m going to do a separate blog on JMascis’ new album as I’ve got too much information here already.

The hoader needs to face her problems.

A few weeks ago I bemoaned that my ipod wasn’t big enough. But having it on shuffle this week I can see why.

I hold a lot of records that I doubt I will ever listen to. I’m a music hoader.

As I was baking I had the pod on shuffle and I reckon I skipped more than I listened to for two reasons, too depressing or that boring band. The first problem is the sheer amount of depressing stuff that is clogging it up. I’m trying to surround myself with positive happy things at the moment but my iPod isn’t helping this, I will pop it on shuffle now for some examples.

Sigur Ros, Tori Amos, Bernard Butler, Joy Division, Beth Orton.

These are not bad songs at all, just sad ones and my iPod thinks it’s the Leonard Cohen of electronic devices, it just loves misery. I need two pods for different moods. (a Leonard Cohen and a Weird Al Yankovic)

Leonard also needs a clean out. There are albums that I put on there for one good song and thought that it would grown on me as I mature as a person. This has not been the case I have not become the sophisticated listener and now after at least 5 year minimum I have all sorts of stuff such as (Wait ,Before I delve in none of these albums or artists are bad I just didn’t make the connection, It’s gonna happen.)

Joy Zipper, the Engineers, Death Cab for Cutie (except Plans), Film School, Gersey,Grand National, High llamas, Iron and Wine, Kent, Leaves,Long-view, M.Craft, Mono , Julian Cope (except 20 mothers), The Raveonettes, The Shins (I’m going to try them again before I march them off), Smog, Tori Amos albums , one or two Rolling Stones albums (sacrilegious!),the Veils, the Vines, Sophia, Shack.

 

You get the idea. I should like these bands, I should love the Raveonettes but I just don’t.

But my quandary is do I trash them even though I may want to hear them in years to come? They were music darlings at some stage were they not? What have I missed? In the case of Julian Cope I did see him live and he was amazing, but in my kitchen not so.

I’ve also got other artists on there listed under “Stuff Im not sure when I’ll be in the mood for” These include Boss Hog (so cool maybe too cool? I love JSBX too much to remove this ), CSS, Cooper Temple Clause, Black Crowes (3 snakes) DIO, Distillers, the Donnas, Doris Day, Jamiroquai (never in the mood to be a space cowboy ,but if you do get a spare 2 minutes go onto his website and read his bio, it’s pretty hilarious) and  Michael Nesmith who indeed has great country albums but I’m never in the mood to listen to them even though I know they are good.

Finally I have  stuff so embarrassing it’s not even a cool guilty pleasure it’s just awful or I grew out of it. I’m not sharing I don’t want to be mean. This also includes soundtracks that I’m not really going to listen too, we will leave that there I’m not proud of a lot of them and as I am trying to hang on to an inch of respect I’m going to let your imagination run wild. Ok one hint, I went through a stage when I really enjoyed Glee. (That’s it!)

What to do? I started to delete them very carefully , listened to a lot of them again and still deleted them, didn’t even move them to another hard drive I just got rid. I hate having loose songs on my iPod I like full albums so I’m still midst “do I like it enough to keep the lot?” . If I finally get sophisticated enough to enjoy them I’ll stream them.

 

Making a mixed tape for an almost 4 year old.

This was easier to make than the playlist

This was easier to make than the playlist

This is harder than it seems. It would be easy to fill it with nursey rhymes but as it was going to be aired at a party with more adult’s then children I thought I should be considerate.

It was easy at the start, The Frozen soundtrack in full. No that wont work, only half of the album is made up of vocal numbers the other half is score, that would create a weird party atmosphere. Next favorite songs, Jake Bugg- Messed up Kids, Werid Al -Now that’s what I call polka, Metronomy- Love Letters,David Bowie Starman/Jean Geanie/Oh you Pretty Things!, Feist -1234 (in replacement of the amazing Sesame Street version that you cant buy).  Man that’s all a bit hip I better put on some chart stuff so I don’t sound like I’m rasing a hipster.

Katy Perry, that “Call Me Maybe” woman, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk  and Pharell. I even played Agadoo because she learnt it at nursery (Mr Crafty Mastermind thought it was a mistake and thought the playlist had stopped working). Then some Disney and Muppets to finish off.

It took me ages and ages to get half a list and lots of “Do you like this song?” “Well what songs do you like?” CHILD DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD PLAYLIST??? Obvisiouly not.

In the end It played through once or twice then went offline, someone played the whole soundtrack in full and then when it came back up online a chart show started playing and no one complained….I shouldn’t have bothered.

If this was my 4-year-old mix tape it would have been easy, it would have been Abba, Olivia Newton John and the hits from Young Talent Time.

What would your 4-year-old mix tape be?

The Friday Night Project.

I’m singing “it’s Friday night and I ain’t got no social life, I think I’m gonna go and make a bag”

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I had been looking around the net for something pretty easy bag tutorial and at the same time didn’t require more than a meter of fabric. Why? This is because I’m that nice mixture of tight and skint because of this I have an extra tight fabric budget. So I only buy fabric in up to half meters unless I’m in Ikea. (One day I’ll write a post about quilting on the cheap)

So I found this very nice looking retro messenger bag at the Stitching Scientist.

http://thestitchingscientist.com/2014/05/oval-messenger-bag-with-free-pattern.html

For a bag novice like me it’s like a mine field the only other bag I had ever made was from the book Meet me at Mikes and it had turned out more like , thus forever being know as Skirt Bag. So this tutorial was pretty straight forward.

In some parts I cheated and in other parts I couldn’t. Such as I spent ages looking for an alternative to fleece interfacing because it is really expensive (£8.65 a meter, and this didn’t fit into my tight remit) But there was no alternative after reading way too many blogs about the stuff I just bit the bullet and bought a meter from my lovely local sewing shop. It gives it a soft quilty feel, I was tempted to use some wadding but I needed to iron it in. Just dont iron on the wrong side (the stick side) it was hard to get the glue off my iron and it’s still not the way it was.

I needed to cheat elsewhere. The tutorial did ask for a meter of the backing fabric, luckily I already had half a meter of the blue herringbone and I had seen that Plush Addict had it in a sale so I picked up another half a meter. I wouldn’t have needed it if I had not messed up one of the side panels and cut it in the wrong direction, so that was wasted on this project at least.

I guess the meter is to use for the lining, instead of using the expensive stuff I used the awesome Ikea £3 a meter stuff and it worked just as well.

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The main difference was that in the strap I used the fleece interface instead of normal interfacing and it was a nice touch, it gives that bit of extra comfort when your using it for grocery shopping it wont dig in. But I am carefull so far not to overload it…c’mon I’m not that confident in my sewing skills. Also when your finishing off with the top stitch, make sure the hole is in the back part, I’m dumb I put mine in the front. I also finished it with top stitching about a quarter-inch around the top, It just felt like it needed it.

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It’s easy to make I just need to work out how to put a zip in it the next time I make one.  That awesome front fabric is Alexander Henry-Lost at Sea. (I haven’t seen it in the UK as yet I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, it’s very beautiful I love it)

Yo DJ spin that wheel…..

I’ve not listened to too much new stuff this week, much of the same stuff as last week. I’ve put on to the music list Perfumed genius who reminds me of Mick Ronson, a modern-day glam song. I’ve also had Brian Eno playing , his early albums anyway I do like how he can move between pop and atmospheric instrumentals on the same album. I’ve included two amazing pop tracks.

Work had been busy this week by Tuesday I was trying all sorts of music to get me through to 5.

Ryan Adams worked for a bit, I thought about maybe War on Drugs or Jack White but it was so busy and my brain decided that it was sick of thinking it needed something big, bigger than Billy Ocean big (were talking big)., but that just wasn’t cutting it.

I’m going to destroy my reputation but I have mentioned them before so no big surprise. On went Roxette best of, that did the trick. Before I knew it, it was 5 I went home with a spring in my step and then put some more of them on while I cut fabric for the Halloween quilt. So there is it my escape from boring tasks music is Roxette, Im not embarrassed. I’m going to share that my mum took me to see them back in 1990 or something like that, it was my first proper buy a ticket not free in the park arena show. They were ok to what I can remeber, not much of a set.

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After a dose of that it did make me want to listen to a bit of Heart and a bit of Nelson strangely enough.

 

It’s happened, I’ve turned into a tech dinosaur.

I thought this day wouldn’t come, or if it did I would be older , how foolish am I!!!  I saw this happen to my father in the 90’s turning from a massive tech head to whats this dvd player everyone’s talking about?

Mr Dinsosaur soon wont be able to listen to T-Rex on the go.

Mr dinosaur soon wont be able to listen to T-Rex on the go.

I heard this week that there is talk of Apple considering to cease production of the iPod. For a lot of people I know this is old news so this already displays how far behind I am. You see I still buy CD’s and burn them into my i-tunes, I still have dreams of opening a tiny record counter that s evaporating fast, of reuniting my two vinyl collections that are separated by the sea and setting up an amazing soundspace to work and listen to my amazing collection. With the sales vinyl resurfacing from the depths of the bargain bins (yay!) I thought we had reached a nice full circle. Not so!

I wouldn’t have this problem if there were a suitable replacement but at the moment there is nothing else on the market. I don’t like using my phone to listen to music on, its way to unreliable to hold my precious tracks on, Plus it wouldn’t be able to hold my entire collection – it wouldn’t even make a dent.

Yes I could use clouds to store all of my music on, but why would I do that? I don’t have much more control over that say if that company went bust or just decided to close, Is it fair in my understanding that I could just lose all of my stored stuff?

Why would I want to store all of my stuff on clouds anyway? Not to sound like some crazy person I am sick of companies such as Amazon knowing what I like and what guilty cd I bought through them and then offering me recommendations. I’m giving them market research for free. I find that annoying. If I want to listen to Roxette’s greatest hits in the privacy of my home I will without anyone else knowing about it. I like total anonymity when it suits me, and other times I like to tell the world what to listen to. But that’s my call.

Sounding like a nut job already? I will continue and now contradict myself a bit (cause that’s what I do).

I love Spotify, I love it I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have it as a teen. I wouldn’t have needed a Saturday job so I could buy records, I would have been exposed to a lot more stuff instead of what ever the radio choose to play. In some ways this would have been a good thing but also a bad thing.

So I love having it now, but if I were to replace my iPod their service with their service  I would need to pay for premium to take it everywhere with me, so there is my first beef,  paying for tracks (and streamed in lesser quality)I already own. The other being that the wi-fi/ reception service where I live is terrible and if you’re sitting on the train it’s worse so my service would be constantly disrupted which makes it hardly worth it. Sadly my lovely iPod is almost full and it occasionally shows sign that it’s just going to stop working one day so I probably need to shell out big bucks to buy another one before it all stops (and get round to backing it up on a hard drive).

 

What are these ye olde things of the past?

What are these ye olde things of the past?

As if all of this wasnt bad enough I read in one of the newspapers yesterday (print not online) that the whole concept of the full length album itself is old news and younger hipper artists are considering abandoning it to just be a hit making factory?? Heavens alive!!!! No artistic temperament there, no musical journey. I can’t see that happening with any credible artists….I hope.

After all the tragedy I thought an apt track to listen to would be Wezzer’s Say it aint so. Ironically this was not on my iPod and I had to go to Spotify. Isn’t there room in the world for both of them?

If anyone is interested the Guardian article can be found here, it’s annoying.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/29/album-music-format-streaming-playlists-extinction

Just a short what I have listened to on repeat this week. I have talked about Jake Bugg before, but I havent listened to the first album until this week. It is amazing I wish I had been able to write songs like that when I was 18. Good heavens It went through once and I played it again, and then again until rockette was a bit sick of it and wanted to hear Frozen.

If you’re having a first listen, don’t be put off by the first four track they were all the hits and the stuff the press loved , from track 5 its amazing ,sad,soft and loving and has a lot of Bob Dylan and some country . To be honest I’m amazed that the album did as well as it did (the music is just not what you would expect). I love it and it hasn’t come off the stereo..I’ll be buying it on CD this week.

 

The monotony of the block & enjoying Weird Al amongst others.

I normally post once a week, but I just didn’t feel like I had anything to really contribute In the last 2 weeks  (until I made that random skirt).I’m in the middle of making a few different things.

The chevrons need putting onto bigger backing pieces now, I went into the lake of dread and finished one piece of the Alison Glass paper piecing blocks (and that was after picking it apart twice), Rockette’s massive quilt is still sitting in the corner still not based together let alone started to start quilting and the mock adult skirt is still sitting in amongst it with nothing done. I don’t know what it is but every time I open up my Tilly and the buttons book my head goes to mush.

What has turned into a bit of a chore is making 26 6″ star blocks for another quilt at the moment. Normally I really enjoy making blocks but this one has become more fiddily than I anticipated.

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This small block uses an array of 1&3\4″ and 2″ pieces .Theses are so diddy that when I’m sewing a quarter-inch seam to turn them into tiny  triangles that when they go through the machine they fall in between the feed dogs and get mashed. Try unpicking that without destroying the fabric fibers and losing a bits of fabric.

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Then each little square needs pressing and then each row needs pressing, there’s a lot of pressing so a lot of getting up a down, and a bit of burning fingers….

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Then I sew all these little squares together and then sew them into little lines . That’s the bit taking me ages.

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and low and behold you should have a small star block where all the points should meet together. (Most times this almost works, close enough).

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All of this means that each block is taking about 40 minutes. I’ve done 10 over about 2 weeks!

(These blocks haven’t been blocked/ cut down to their correct size so that’s way they look a bit messy/longer in places)

I’m sad that I feel that this has turned more into a task now and not a source of real enjoyment but I’m sure once its done it will look pretty good.

Whats playing these last 2 weeks

On the music side of the last two weeks it has really been about Weird Al Yankovic. I’ve loved him since the 80’s at a time when I used to write terrible parodies. I had ambitions to be as good as him but sadly mine were  not. I crafted such embarrassingly titled delights such as   “Simply irrachookable” (Simply irresistable) and “I want your brand (Flakes)” (I want your love), why am  telling you this?? These are some of my most embarrassing moments in my life, these are my what are you thinking( whilst in mid performance) moments, these were all the other kids at school staring at you perplexed because you decided to perform it for some sort of school performance moments..I can’t go on I will just push that back in my to forget pile until someone works out how to remove it (it’s in good company it’s getting a bit close to capacity).

Anyway yes Werid Al, Word Crimes this should be learnt by all children in school. It really gets my goat when the english language is abused because of laziness or stupidity. So instead of getting annoyed I’m just gong to sing this song at people.  (I think I like singing at people I spent last week at work singing Metallica’s “Sad but True” after the end of every statement that everyone would make about the state of the work place. I know annoying yes?). I love the music for Blurred Lines I just hated the lyrics, now I can listen to it with it without conflicting emotion.

I love spellchecker. Now that’s what I call Polka! has also been big in our house. Listening a lot to that. He has done videos for 8 of his new tracks they are an amusing way to spend 4 minutes. What else is there to watch? Gordon Ramsey’s New Kitchen Nightmares USA? (Yes, yes you can watch that)

Weird Al is taking up most of my time the only other thing I’ve given over any time to is Sean Lennon’s new project The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger . This is the second outing Charlotte Kemp Muhl (she is also his girlfriend but then I thought it is sexist to just to refer to her as that).

I liked Lennon’s 2006 release ‘Friendly Fire” it was a lovely heart-break album. But I don’t think he gets the recognition he really deserves. I feel a bit sorry for him it must be difficult trying to make your way in a world when your father was a revolutionary. This is GOSTT second album, and I only came across this as I was flicking through a magazine at smith’s and was attracted to the sleeves art work (as we know I’m a sucker for art work). Its got a psychedelic multi layered summer feel to it. I keep comparing other music to the Webb Brothers but Last Call does remind of ‘Beyond the Atmosphere’ that and MGMT . It’s a nice record to chill out or sew to. Spotify tell me they are playing in Birmingham next week. Music clips are a bit weird (I shouldn’t be surprised really) so much so I had to switch off ,too odd for Rockette’s little eyes. (I couldn’t explain half of it, it was a bit pompus).

Last night I had a quick listen to Jenny Lewis new album which is streaming on Soundcloud before it’s release. So far so good I’ve been a fan of her work with Rilo Kiley and of her solo stuff , and to a lesser degree Johnny and Jenny. I hadn’t realised it’s been 5 years between solo albums, where did that go? I remember buying Rabbit Fur Coat. I was also still working at a record store mind.

This album is much more inward looking , far more personal and a well-rounded good body of work .I’ve added ‘One of the guys’ on the Spotify playlist this week just because I think it resonates with me more personally. She’s round my age and I think it’s an honest look at getting on . She is a great songwriter with twang’s of rock, country and americana. I’ll keep this one on rotation.

I’ve also been enjoying Cass Mc Combs album Big Wheel and Others. I’m slowly loving it, it’s made out of that kind of stuff. it was a twinge of country in its ballads. I cant compare it to much that comes to mind. I’m going to say The Triffids but it’s probably not much like it really.

This is getting out of hand! We have the new Sebastien Tellier album in our house, I love it but I’ll save it for next week.!

Venture into the world of dressmaking.

This actually isn’t my first try at dressmaking. When I first got my machine I did make a small top for a much smaller Rockette, but by the time I finished it she had already grown out of it, now it sits at a bottom of a draw.

But I had bought some lovely Riley Blake Unicorns and Rainbows fabric with the determination I was going to make a skirt.

https://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/shop/category/riley-blake-designs/available-now/unicorns-rainbows-1/unicorns-rainbows-cotton-2/

So with the Opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games on in the background and feeling reluctant to make another block I put into Pintrest “easy kids skirts tutorials”. The easiest looking thing that came up was toted as “The easiest skirt you will ever make” that’ll do.

Easy it was, you can find the tutorial here

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-a-simple-skirt.html

It took a whole hour and a bit to make (stopping of course to cheer on Australia when they entered the arena). The only things I will say is make sure you either zig zag/french hem/overlock all of the raw edges (the seam and the casing for the elastic) I thought I would do it further down the track but before I knew it I was done with not enough space on the seam to do it later (this was my own dumb fault for cutting it crooked and not leaving a big enough seam allowance)

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I did enjoy making it. I don’t think it looks too home-made, I’d like to think it was something you could buy in one of those Whitstable boutiques. Next I’ll try a multi layered one.

The only complaint from Rockette was that it was too tight and then it was taken off as quickly as it was put on in exchange for her new Frozen t-shirt, that’s gratitude for ya!

On a completely different note look at the weird kind of things you can win at a regatta in 2014….

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Yeah it’s a coconut. There was a weird Halloween punch ball thing too but I forgot to include it.

There’s another entry to follow shortly, nothing for 2 weeks and then I’m on fire!