Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday: Oberhofer and Bloc Party

This week Music Monday is brought to you by my dear friend Anne, who showed me this song on Saturday night, in between movies and Boysincider. Oberhofer was quite a hard name to remember, especially after a late night during which various alcohols were consumed, but after a few tries I managed to find them on Spotify! I very much enjoyed their album, Time Capsules II...

... and not just because of the nature of the artwork. (COLLAGE! I think I might be developing an addiction. I'm envisioning my own death as I write this, crushed beneath the crumbling towers of National Geographic magazines).

The lead single, Away Frm U, is an infectiously catchy song with a healthy dose of toy piano, even if the title is very badly spelt (I know I know, it's probably got something to do with irony, but text language in song titles always makes me cringe).

 Thanks Anne for that juicy musical morsel!

I also want to post this album trailer for Bloc Party's forthcoming album 'Four'. Freakin' yay! I know this has been out for a couple of months, but I'm getting pretty excited because a couple of days ago, I bought Lovely and I tickets to see them play in Manchester for the Warehouse Project. Freakin' freakin' yay!!!

All these tidbits sounds very promising; they seem to have edged away from the electronica (not that I didn't like Intimacy, I really liked it, but it seems as though Kele got all of that out of his system in The Boxer and The Hunter EP) and returned to the guitar driven style that makes Silent Alarm such a good album. Oh man. I'm getting so excited just thinking about it.

The album comes out the day AFTER we see them in Manchester, which I thought was bad luck at first, but now that I think about it as I write this, it will be really cool to have all these brilliant memories drawn out, memories of hearing the songs live during my first listen.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Cathy McMurray Art

As you might have noticed, I've been going on a bit of an art trip lately. This time I've chosen painting over collages, though these are far from traditional. I want to be wherever it is that Cathy McMurray takes inspiration for her paintings. No scratch that, I want to be in her paintings! They're so vibrant and colourful, filled with mountains and trees and complimentary geometric shapes. Although the themes in her paintings are very similar throughout (I have no problem with this, because it's nature, and they're gorgeous!), she does experiment with what she paints on; from stones to cedar wood, the natural elements are carried through from the "canvas" to what's painted on it beautifully. Want!
If you like these, check her out her Etsy store, or if you have some serious money to burn, you can buy some of her originals at Buy Some Damn Art
Before I go, I just want to quickly remind you that Poetry Mixtape is launching Wednesday! Huuzah! You can see the first issue here, and check out the cover on my Pinterest!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Word Wednesday: Felicia Day, Written Kitten and Other Assorted Geekery

So today's Word Wednesday is going a little off topic to start with, but I promise you, there is point to this introduction. There will also be words, and it is Wednesday, so all my bases appear to be covered. Hooray! 

There has been so much talk lately about positive role models for young women, and with all the Kardashians and Snookis (Snookie?) that seem to be forcing their way into our social peripheral vision, not to mention the amount of reality television swamping every channel in favour of well written, scripted comedy or drama, the options seem few and far between. But do not despair, impressionable youth! There are so many fantastic women in the world, you just have to know where to look! And it's not on E! news or Jersey Shore.

As far as super awesome women go, Felicia Day is probably on the top of my list.

She is so many things; beautiful, talented, super smart and extremely driven, but my most favourite thing about her is that she's unabashedly herself. She's a massive geek! So much so that she's created a web series about a fantasy role playing game community and a whole YouTube channel dedicated to assorted nerd things. You might have heard of Geek and Sundry; if you haven't, check it out now! It's the best; there are shows about video games, science fiction and fantasy books, general geek and pop culture fare, and a show called Table Top, which is hosted by Wil Wheton and is all about these awesome role play type board games! They're also going to be hosting Season 6 of The Guild soon, which I am super excited about.

I can only imagine what it would have been like if I'd had someone like her to look up to whilst growing up, especially in my early teens. The side of me that loves video games, fantasy novels, movies and tv, went from being an enormous part of my personality as a kid, to something that I tried not to draw too much attention to, because let’s face it, when you're a fourteen year old girl in highschool, all you really want is to fit in.
Thankfully a few years into highschool, I found some wonderful friends who embraced and even shared some of my geeky tendencies, but I think if I'd known of such an inspiring writer/actress/gamer/woman, or be exposed to The Guild or any of the brilliant content on Geek and Sundry, I may have spent less time wondering why I had such an obsessive love of Pokemon and N64 and Lord of the Rings, and no interest in glitter makeup, boys without magical powers or elf ears, or Impulse body spray.

SO! What's this got to do with writing? Well, Felicia does a series of vlogs, or Flog's, as she likes to call them, for the Geek and Sundry Channel. Well, one of my favourite parts of the Flog is Fave Five, a segment in which Felicia shares with viewers her five favourite new internet discoveries of the week.

If you watch the episode, you'll see that one of her favourite things is a website called Written? Kitten, where for every hundred words you write, you are presented with a new picture of an adorable kitten! Seriously! Kittens for words!!! It sounds silly, but I used it last night, and managed to finish a short story I'd been putting off working on for days!

I think kittens are a perfectt way to end this blog post. All Felicia images are from

Monday, July 23, 2012

Music Monday: Jonathan Boulet

I know I say this about pretty much all the music I post on here, but the new Jonathan Boulet album,  is SO GOOD! Seriously. So good. Everything about it is big; the sound, the energy, even the amount of instruments used, but it isn't so crowded that you feel overwhelmed, (like Explosions in the Sky, who I love, but I have to be in a specific mood for) or too drawn out and over the top (Muse anyone?). I could listen to this for hours, and it’s definitely the kind of album I'll be using to excited about, well, anything!

It was so hard to choose a song, so I went with 'This Song Is Called Ragged' because I also really liked the film clip; it's creepy and weird and very visually stimulating, in a dripping, exploding and slow motion kind of way (Minds out of the gutter please. Thankyou!) But you should also check out 'Hallowed Hag', 'Piao Voca Slung', and the charmingly titled 'Keep Away You Feral Son of a Bitch'. In fact, just listen to the whole album, because there really isn't a weak song on it.

Also, this is probably my favourite album title of the year so far: We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart. Urgh. Some people have all the talent.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Matt Wisniewski Collages

I don't have much to say about these digital collages by Matt Wisniewski (yes I know, more collages! They're like visual crack for me, apparently) other than that the two mediums blend so seamlessly together, it makes my heart ache a little bit. So pretty!

via Daydream Lily

On another note, I've taken some of Lovely's advice, because he's super clever when it comes to the internet, and made a Pinterest Board for this blog. It's going to feature all the images from my blog, and so if you like what you see, you can re pin, and click through to read the rest of the post! I'm going to have one for Poetry Mixtape as well. Yay new social media ventures!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sarah Burwash Collages

So I'm sure you're aware of how much I love collages (my posts have been rather collage heavy of late), and these collages by Sarah Burwash blow my mind a little. I love the spooky black and white photographs of burning forest, the little bursts of geometric colour, and the combination of the two. They're just great all round, really.
You should check out her website, she also does amazing illustrations; I'm thinking of buying this print for my new wall.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Music Monday: Taken By Trees

Welcome to Music Monday! Look at me, being on time and everything! Hooray!
Today I'm featuring a song by the beautifully ethereal Taken by Trees. Even if you have never heard of this act (I hadn't until a week ago), you might recognise the voice; it belongs to Victoria Bergsman, who sang the girl part in the Peter Bjorn and John song, Young Folks.

I decided to post two videos, one of her original songs called Only Yesterday, and this beautiful cover of the Animal Collective song, My Girls, which she re titled 'My Boys'. I have become completely enamoured with this song, I love everything about it; her voice, the syncopated guitar and weird, electronic beats, and the gorgeously lit tightwalking video clip.

Poetry Mixtape: A New Project!

So I have a little bit of announcement to make, about a project that I dreamed up whilst rearranging my collage wall/ listening to the Portlandia themed Nerdist Podcast/reading countless articles about zine making in Rookie Mag. As you can see, I'm pretty easily influenced.

I've always been fascinated by the idea of making something out of nothing; I suppose that's why I enjoy writing so much, because I love creating characters and worlds for them to live in out of all the bizarre, seemingly nonsensical happenings of inside my mind. It's a very empowering feeling, to know that you have it in you to create something, something you admire, something you think is beautiful, something you can call your own without question.
In this instance, I've decided on the approach of taking something and turning it into something else, transforming materials into something so different to what they started out as, it seems as though they really might have sprung from some strange pocket of energy in the atmosphere.

I know this sounds a little pretentious, but I have this incredibly, almost exhaustingly strong need to create something, every single day. It's almost gotten to a point of OCD where if I haven't done anything creative, whether it be write twenty pages of my novel draft, or an idea for a new piece or project on the back of a receipt or a metcard on my way home from work, I start to feel anxious. I start to feel like I'm wasting time, and that makes me even more anxious, and then I waste more time on anxiety, rather than actually coming up with ideas that could lead to awesome creative projects. It's a vicious cycle, and for some of you it may sound a little bit familiar.

Poetry Mixtape was born from such a scenario; an idea that sprouted from my deep seeded need to be creating more frequently, to bring a little bit of my focus back to my much neglected poetry, and the desire to have a physical manifestation of my words.

It is a combination of three of my many major creative outlets; poetry, DIY, and collages. I am a very visually stimulated person, and can spend hours staring at things; paintings, photographs, even whatever is happening outside my window. People can often mistake this for vaguness, and they aren't always wrong, but I promise you, that most of the time my mind is busily working, trying to figure out how I can preserve the memory of this thing I have become so enamoured with.
It would be wonderful if I had any sort of artistic talent, because I could take all these beautiful influences and the visions they have evoked to create my own beauty; but I can hardly draw to save myself. I have no idea what to do with a paintbrush. Even the photographs I take cannot do justice to what I see before me, and what I can see in my mind. I just get frustrated and put the Nashville filter on them (instagram anyone?).

So, instead of dwelling on what I can do, I asked myself, what can I do? I can take images from old books and magazines, whether it be old dictionaries, Yen, or Vogue, or National Geographic, or even an old copy of Harvest Literary Magazine that I picked up from the Op Shop for $2, and use them to make my own art. I am pretty handy with a pair of scissors and a glue stick. And I can write.

That's all well and good, I hear you say, but where does the mixtape part come in?

Well! Each week, I'm going to put aside an afternoon or evening to create one of these tiny poetry zines, which will consist of 8 pages, and contains one poem, and however many accompanying mini collages I can come up with that I feel represents said poem the best. Each month will have a theme; I've already picked my first one but I'm not going to share it with you yet (oh the suspense!). I will however, give you a sneak peek at the cover of my very first instalment.

 At the end of each month, I think I'm going to take the four tiny note books, and sew the bindings together to make one larger monthly poetry zine! Because just like musical mixtapes, I think it works best when there is a theme involved, however stretched or thinly veiled or convoluted it is. I've also thought of making copies of the tiny zines, and hiding them in magazines all throughout the city, in the hope that someone might find it, and like it, and keep it for their own. Tiny Guerilla Zines! Huzzah!

As you may know, I've also become quite passionate about the way out society consumes things, so I have one rule for this project; only the words can be brand new. The base materials must be recycled; the books, the paper and the magazines used for collaging. I've decided that little embellishments, like stickers and washi tape are ok (because it's almost impossible to find them at the op shop), but that's it; not only do I want to give some of the thousands and thousands of magazines (most of which go into landfill) a new lease on life, it pushes me to kind of think outside the box in terms of finding patterns and pictures that work together, rather than just going down to Lincraft and pick out some pretty scrapbooking paper. 

The first instalment will be released in full on my new Poetry Mixtape blog, where you will be able to read the whole zine cover to cover, collages included! The first of four will be launched on the 1st of August! What do you think of the cover? I really like it; it is very pink, but with the right combination of colours, pink isn't as offensive to me as I once thought. I'm starting to learn that liking some shades of the colour pink is not the gateway drug to the Fashion Club (I've also been watching a lot of Daria).

So if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please, have a peruse, share what you like, and if you're so inclined, try it yourself! I would love to see what a little slice of your creative world looks like!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Magical Mystery Mixtapes: Making Playlists to Break your Writer's Block

So I stumbled on a great new way to get motivated to write, and thought that I would share it with you! If you're anything like me, the initial flood of adrenaline that comes with the next great idea can tend to wane as you get into the thick of writing it out, and sometimes the stories go in unexpected directions, and you have to make the decision of whether to see where it takes you, or reign it back in. I almost always go with the former, but it can be exhausting, and difficult to finish a story.
You may remember a recent post where I talked about making playlists for your short stories, to set mood and and tone and build a world around your characters. Well, I've found that you can also use them to push through the tough bits and the writers blocks.

Pick some songs that best represent the direction you would like your story to go. It doesn't have to be long, maybe six to eight songs. Once you've chosen them, press play, and don't stop writing until the playlist is finished. No editing, no deleting! It's kind of like a self motivated word war! You might find that what you write becomes heavily influenced by the lyrics of the song you've chosen, and that's ok; you can take these bits and intertwine them with your own ideas to create something new and exciting and something you might never have thought of otherwise! But you might also find that it is the sounds or the melody of the songs that lead your down  a particular path. I'll give you an example of this; I've been working on a particular short story for a while now, and I made this playlist because it was getting a little stagnent.

Here's my playlist:

And here's some of what I came up with whilst listening to it, unedited :

You’re so strange. You're the only one that I know of who would want to stay in a place like this. How can you think, or sleep, when everything around you has something to say? 

That was pretty much like what my life was before I came here; always someone in my ear, telling where I had to go and what I had to do and how I had to dress and look and talk and be. At least here it’s a peaceful babble, like a stream of water, or the sound of traffic from very, very far below. It’s almost like I need it now; if everything went silent I would probably go crazy. You know how some people need the crackle of the TV to send them off to sleep? Well I need that sound somewhere in my head, or I’ll lose it. I know I will. 
I like to listen to the whisper of the trees; they’re vaguer, and they have nicer things to say than houses. The older one’s, they’ve seen so much, their stories mean something. The houses and hotels, they only talk about what goes on within them; they never think to use their windows to look outside.

Aren’t the trees bitter though? So many of their brothers have been cut down to build the hotels.

They were angry for a long time, but now they’ve had to pass that anger on to the people; if they hold it inside themselves for too long, their leaves all fall off and their roots begin to rot and they die.

I guess that can happen to people too.
Yeah. It happened to you. And to me too. 

They don't quiet seem to match up, except for 'Hotel' by Tori, and maybe the Le Coup song. But to me it makes perfect sense, because this is what I want my story to sound like. And what I've written here has given me a better idea of my second character, and what I'm going to do with the relationship between him and my protagonist! 

Let me know if you give this a try, and if it helps in any way! Happy Writing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

APAK Studio Illustrations

I love the adorable spookiness of these illustrations from Apak Studio, they remind me of the drawings we used to do in primary school, where you would make a coloured crayon drawing, and then cover the whole thing in black crayon, and then scratch away the black to reveal streaks of colour underneath. These are of course much better than anything I did back then, or anything I could do now, for that matter.

courtesy of bones,braids and a tricycle

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tunesday! Imagine Dragons

Welcome to Tunesday, also known as what happens when I miss Music Monday. I'm counting on the pun title making up for my slackness. I will tell you that the reason I missed my blogging appointment was because Lovely and I went to the half price Monday session at the Nova Carlton to see Cabin in the Woods, and it was AMAZING! Not since Scream have I ever been quite so taken with a horror movie, and even then this definitely surpasses that in terms of wit and effect. I won't give away anything, because the best way to feel the full impact of this movie is to go into it with a little expection or understanding of the movie concept as possible. But I will say that I'm so glad the movie industry is letting Joss Whedon do what he does best, which is make crazy clever and wildly entertaining cinema.

Anyhoo, back to the music.
This week I'm featuring a band that I discovered this morning, called Imagine Dragons. I was originally going to put up their song, 'It's Time', but on listening to the whole E.P. Continued Silence, I decided that I liked 'Radioactive' better; for me it has the most spark, and is the most unique of all the songs. You should listen to the whole E.P though, each song has a very clear message and the harmonies are great!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Word Wednesday

I'm on my way from work to a friends for pizza and a Lord of the Rings Two Towers marathon (we're watching the extended edition so I would classify the who movie as a marathon!), but I didn't want to miss another Word Wednesday! So I'm gonna try something new, and write a poem on this train, right now, unedited! I don't know how good it's going to be, but I'm kind of excited to see!
Ok, here goes!

Honey don't

I want to say that
It's too late
But time is broken
In two, three, four
Cracked like the sky
Open, and it all poured
Out and I now I can't
Find which parts of our life
Go where

I want to take the colours
Of the sky,
Bruise purple hot pink burnt orange
Into my veins
And taste them like flowers
That grow out of the fertile humidity
And if it's raining
A sunset is just wet pollen
From crushed flowers smeared
Across the skyline

Your love tastes like this
To me sometimes
If I bite my tongue

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Queen Bees Playlist: Songs for Rose and Honey

So as you know, I'm a little bit obsessed with music and with Spotify! Well, one of the things I love to do is make playlists of musics to accompy my short stories! Until now this has just been a fun little exercise for me to amuse myself and to keep inspired, but now I finally have a way to share them with you!

So as my stories are published, I'm going to be releasing a playlist on this blog to go with them! This playlist is for my story Queen Bees, which was recently published in Rose Red Review! So if you would like, you can have a listen, and then read the story and let me know if you think they're a match! I would love to hear any suggestions of songs you think would be suited to this story too!

Anyway, enjoy!

Busby Marou: The Corner Hotel

Last Thursday night, Lovely, his work mate Dan and I took a trip to the Corner to see Busby Marou! We'd already seen them before earlier in the year, at St Kilda Festival, and were very much looking forward to seeing what they had to offer since then!

 Well, we certainly weren't dissapointed this time around! Whatever expectations I had when entering that gig were blown away by the first song. Busby Marou has an energy that you can only really experience if you see them live; like a lot of bands I feel that it gets a little lost somewhere whilst travelling from studio to speakers. And I do very much enjoy listening to them on my iPod, it's just that I can't help but compare whatever comes up on my playlist to the live version of that song.
The energy in the room was so enourmously joyful, bouncing back and forth from the crowd to the band members, and so I couldn't help but spend the whole time grinning like the silly girl that I am. And Jeremy Marou's guitar skills are some of the best I've ever heard; it's his techinical abilities that elevate the band above a lot of the other coastal folk kinds of bands that are releasing music at the moment. Even now, I'm listening to the album whilst writing this post, and I am amazed by how good he is. How many people do you know who can shred of a uke? Honestly, I know none.

Busby Marou is definitely a band that sounds good in my headphone speakers, but live the music takes on a life of it's own and transforms from good to incredibly good. If you're on the fence about whether or not you're really into them, go and see them live! You'll be jumping off that fence and onto the dance floor to stomp and clap and give yourself over to the music in no time!

Highlights: Underlying Message, Biding My Time, 5 Rocks, Better Be Home Soon, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)

Tunesday: Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers

Hello lovely readers, I know I know I'm late again. I could rattle off a few excuses but they are fairly generic and boring and I'm sure you've heard them all before, so instead I'm going to cut straight to the making up part and give you two songs for you to listen to today! Huzzah!

So the highlight of my day today, apart from being able to sleep in and stay in bed writing and watching the Guild, was finding the We Are Hunted App on Spotify! Way to make my new music finding tools even more streamlined guys!

Not only did I get to listen to the new Cat Power, Tallest Man on Earth, and Alpine singles, I found two new bands that I would like to share with you.

First up is Of Monsters and Men; these guys aren't strictly a new discovery for me because my friend Jessa had told me about them a little while ago. However, this is the first song of theirs that has really grabbed me, and after half a dozen sequential listens, I adore it! I love how these use the male and female vocal as opposing characters in the story of the song, and you know how much I love boy/girl vocal bands, so it's instantly elevated to another dimension of amazing. I can't wait to listen to this album, if it's anything like Little Talks, it's going straight on my travelling to work playlist.

And the clip is just whimsically stunning. 

The second band I chose was one that I had never heard before, but was drawn to almost instantly. 'Ho, Hey' by the Lumineers is such a sweet song, and the message is simple enough to make me all gooey inside like a Caramello Koala. Beautiful stuff.

There is so much amazing music out! I wish I could hear all of it and see all of it and experience all of it, but I think my brain might explode with joy.
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