Wednesday, August 26, 2009

something in the water

A while ago I mentioned my love for the Swedes, particularly the music they make, and how it could result in an entire post. Here's that post.

It's calmed down a bit recently but my obsession with Swedish bands was pretty furious for a while there, it became difficult to differentiate my actual appreciation of a song or album from my supposed love for it due to its origins.... Anyway, here are some of the bands and people that fuelled the craze.

The Knife was my first Sweden crush. The story of how I found out about them is weird, long winded and a little embarassing, and I don't think has ever been told before so here you go...

I joined MySpace when I was 17 (because of a boyfriend in a hardcore band, but that's another post, or not actually). Anyway, I'd had my account for a little while, it was all very exciting and I had about 5 friends; my by-this-stage-ex boyfriend, and a few random hotties from NYC that I'd SEARCHED for thinking it would actually help me find REAL FRIENDS while alone visiting the Big Apple. One of these hotties, let's call him say, Josh*, was particularly cute in a Lower East Side indie band kind of way -you must know how appealing that kind of cute is to an 18 year old girl - and had an amazing video on his profile which brought me back repeatedly to his page. I actually emailed Josh once, to ask who the video was by, and he graciously responded with 'It's this Swedish band called The Knife'.

Josh and I didn't work out. He took the video off his profile and I discovered facebook, but I will never forget him and the things he tought me. After that I looked them up, made Real Groovy order their album from Denmark, and proceded to subject my friends to Deep Cuts on repeat, along with the bonus DVD.

Mildly interesting fact: the official video for You Take My Breath Away, which was on the bonus DVD and eventually (about a year later) on NZ television, wasn't even the one on I'd seen Josh's profile, which was way better and had skeletons. Apparently that one was the 'second version', and I found it for you on youtube

You can see how it might've attracted me, right?

Peter Bjorn and John (or PB&J as I affectionately call them) fill a lot of my 'favorite song criteria' quite consistently; hand claps, whistling, clever lyrics, collaborations, covers, remixes etc... These guys covered Paul Simon, one of them made the music for Lykke Li, they frequently have moustaches and all of their albums sound different. Sold.

Listen to It don't move me and Nothing to worry about from their newest album Living Thing, The Chills from Writers Block, and Inland Empire from Seaside Rock, as well as all their other songs

I think Studio are my favorites. I am in love with these men and was secretly devastated when my girlfriend recently returned to Wellington from Gothenburg as it dashed all hopes I may have been harbouring of going over there and finding them and getting married.

I discovered these two when they featured in a little story at the back of a magazine that said they were also graphic designers and their album art was nice. They wear Really Hot in the picture so I tried to find them on the internet. Have you ever googled the word Studio? It's almost pointless. Do you know how hard it was to find these pictures for you today? Anyway, they make (in my opinion) amazing and beautiful music, 12 minute instrumentals and shorter songs with lyrics in unnerving little couplets on albums that are only released on vinyl and have very nice covers. They also remixed Kylie Minogue's big single a couple of years ago and I listened to it all Summer. I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to spend the time it could take finding links to their songs, but if you put in the work I promise it'll be worth it. Listen to West Side and Life's a beach! as well as the remix of 2 Hearts.

The Shout Out Louds have a good name, a song remixed by Studio, a girl, pretty cool album art with flags, and a glockenspiel. I haven't looked into it but I wonder how many Swedish bands utilise the glockenspiel?

To me they look like cool fun to hang out with and one of them slightly resembles Jason Schwartzman. Maybe when I marry Studio (yes, both of them), we can hang out with the kids from the SOLs and go for bike rides around Sweden. I get the impression that this is what people in Swedish bands do, they all hang out together and go for bike rides and picnics and to the beach, I hope this isn't too naive of me.

But seriously, the Swedes seem to have a bit in common with the NZs (I really didn't want to say 'kiwis' here) when it comes to musical collaboration and insestuousness.

Okay, next.

Jens Lekman writes the best lyrics. His songs are like stories and he has an accent which means when he sings he kind of says a 'd' sound when there should be a 'th' like 'fader' instead of 'father', it makes me go weak at the knees. He totally gets the appeal of steel drums also. Listen to Into Eternity and all the songs available over here.

I was just looking at his website and found out he lives in Melbourne, hello, perhaps I should have already known this? Anyway it now makes sense that he's collaborated with Melbourne lady singer New Buffalo as I akways wondered how that had occured (and where can I get my hands on ehatever it was they produced?)... I will let you all know if I meet him and if he knows Studio 'cause I see some potential here. Also if he's playing any local gigs as I envisage them being a tonne of FUN. Read about his inaffection for U2 in a bloggish section of his website called 'smalltalk'

please be aware that I live in Melbourne, Australia these days and I can't fly halfway across the world for a slice of cake.

I feel as though I may be running out of steam... I'm tossing up whether to stop this here and continue with the last 3-4 favourites tomorrow or at a later date, or to push on through and make this the longest post ever. Now that I've considered that properly I think it might be best to go with the interlude, so I might just post some pretty pictures in the meantime and finish this up next week

*This could come across as terribly creepy if he ever read this. If that happens, I'm sorry.

favourite things

Aging man-models Mark Vanderloo, Greg Hansen, Werner Schreyer, Larry Scott, Andre Van Noord photographed by Heidi Slimane for Vogue Hommes International Spring/Summer 09 and the "Fashion Bailout" spread from April 09 Vogue Italia, photgraphed by Steven Meisel.

Photos from here and here xx

Thursday, August 20, 2009

lulu in hollywood

I love Louise Brooks. I will admit right away this has a lot to do with sharing a name. However I think she is beautiful and ballsy and oozes glamour in a way only silent movie stars and other people who died before I was born can.
I have a picture of her above my 'dressing table'. This exact picture in fact, in her tutu; it seems to go well with the hat boxes and vintage cosmetics and sparkly costume jewelry I have laid out but never wear.

Looking at these pictures this morning make me want to dress up in tulle and sparkles and feathers and dark lipstick and go out somewhere dark and smoky for a drink this weekend.

Also she rocks the fringe/bob better than anyone and whilst I am 'growing' my hair - a painfully slow process, I swear - she makes me feel okay about it's general inability to ever get past chin length.


Monday, August 10, 2009

"sad elephant! he cannot participate in the baby elephant walk while he is in a drain!"

"Foreign media have rushed to report the plight of a baby elephant which fell through a manhole and into a drainage ditch in eastern Thailand.

British tabloid The Sun said the calf suffered "a trunkful of trouble" when it fell in the hole.

The Mail online went for a more emotive introduction: "His startled expression and pleading eyes say it all..."

Image and report from here

oh hi

Hello, it's me, I've not been here for a while. I've not been on holiday or anything either, just lazy and busy and with limited internet access. Here are a few of the best things distracting me from work today...

This blog post, it's funny and snarky in an I'mboycrazy kind of a way. But it's someone different. But if you haven't read boy crazy, please do. It's really a very excellent blog.

This John Hughes tribute, and really everything from this website. And I'll just come right out here and say how much I love his films and how sad I am about his death and I won't take your time up with a whole post about it (well, not today anyway) but here are some other good ones if you're in that sort of a mood (the obituary from the NY Times has links to a great slideshow and lots of sweet quotes).


I am not big on the whole youtube videos of random people covering big pop songs phenomena. But this one is great. It's awesome.
We may be a little biased.
The girl in this video is a beautiful and talented friend of Han and myself, and sent the link in an email with the subject 'missing yous'. If you're very clever you'll recognise her from the film Eagle vs Shark, also starring Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame.

So you see, she is awesome.

All pictures from LOLITA

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

its a worm driving an apple car

As you know, we are big fans of Maurice Sendak here at Grow Fonder (although Lou loves Where the Wild Things Are, I think my all time favourite is In the Night Kitchen)

Anyway. The other day my flatmate emailed me this whole pile of illustrations by Richard Scarry. Do
you remember him?

His work wasn't quite as intriguing as Sendaks,perhaps, but the art he created is striking and immediately loveable. There's a whole lot of action and detail, little elements of surrealism and lots of happy and helpful animals who drive cars made out of apples or doughnuts.

I remember being really into Richard Scarry's Busy Busy World when I was little...,,,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

naive idealism

: ha
i guess its rude to scoff at other people's naive idealism...
me: but sometimes that comes off as really cute?
Nigel: yeah. Noone should crush that
12:00 PM maybe we should all be a little more earnest?

imploding capsules

The problem is that at the moment I'm not feeling particularly fond of anything really.

Its been an average couple of weeks, the kind of shitter where the lame stuff that has happened to you pales in comparison the stuff happenning around you. Where you feel guilty about feeling a bit bummed out, and are totally aware that the little things that are happening to you aren't really going to matter in the long run.

Anyway. So the capsules aren't really bursting for me of late.

To conquer this I've decided to make my bedroom really pretty. It already was rather nice but I've gone for a full throttle assault on my malaise, which means:

There are pretty antique lace camisoles dangling off ancient coathangers on the walls.
I've had them for a while (passed down from my mum) and they are off-white, button up, cropped and a bit ghostly. In summer I plan on wearing them a lot, hopefully with my silken Stella underwear and a tan. I have a feeling that wearing the two together will make me feel like a Sarah Moon Pirelli girl and I can't wait. Might actually do that tonight. But removing them from the room might ruin the ambience? Decisions are hard.

There is now a nice smelling candle in my room. The combination of pretty lacey camisoles with the wafty "meditative" scent of the candle is, obivously, pretty good for my bedroom's ambience.

I'm about to pick up a giant album full of old polaroids from my uni days. Some of these may wind up on the internet but most of them will wind up on my wall. Hopefully t
hey'll fade a little. They'll make me think of summer road trips and camping by the beach and that will make me feel nostalgic and happy. Ambience.

Adding to the ambience is the near constant re-playing of "Elvis Presley Blues" by Gillian Welch. I need to stop listening to this song because it's maudlin and makes me mope. But honestly, nothing else is hitting me in the gut as much as it is right now.

Photos from

UPDATE: I went shopping on my lunchbreak and bought this:

Only mine is longer so I wouldn't have to wear pants with or could wear with teensy shorts and feel edgy. Its Lonely Hearts and is on sale and was really rather cheap but also is probably going to be weather-inappropriate in about two weeks.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes it's impossible to explain how much you love your friends.


On Saturday night I went out to dinner with my old old old friends at this fabulous Japanese place called Nishiki which is a silly but delicious place in Freemans bay. We drank a bottle of wine or two and wound up returning to their flat for more wine, stopping for ice cream on the way.

We got to the flat, sat at the dinner table and had that whole girl talk thing that has to happen when you hang out with people you've been buddies with for 10 years, lots of talk of sex and shit and periods (not in that order, well, actually, kind of in that order. But not together. We're gross, but that's fine).

Then all of a sudden we started jumping in a circle to Paparazzi
by Lady Gaga, which might be the best song of all time, doing that crutches dance that she does so well in the video. We were all giggly and turned off the lights and then someone pulled out a couch cover and threw it on top of us (we were planning on going to a ghost themed party later, this was a costume idea)and put on that godawful song by the Black Eyed Peas with the "GO OUT AND SMASH IT (SMMMAAASH ITTT) LIKE OH MY GOSH" lyric in it and we totally went nuts.

All of us were jumping under this couch cover, falling over, stumbling about and screaming out the lyrics when some shit of a neighbour called noise control. On seven girls. At eleven on a Friday night. Apparently, this might have had something to do with Cat yelling obscenities at the neighbour's child earlier in the evening but who are we to know? All I know is that the noise control man let us off easy and looked suitably embarrassed by the situation.

So after that we finished the song, called a mini van and mished off to find this ghostly party. The taxi driver SUCKED but it was OK - we found the party, got under our couch cover, and entered the party en masse.

Unfortunately, it was the wrong party. In fact, it was some chick's 21st that we crashed, they all seemed to hate us, apart from the boys out the front who posed for photos with us. So we made a quick escape, pulled over a nice young man who got out his map and gave us directions. I also messaged my flatmate who was at the actual party for directions. He said he would yell my name, and we should follow the sound.

So, we made it to the Ghost party. Finally. One of us fell over on top of some dude who threw her into a wall. Luckily Bex was there to punch him in the face: "I AM A PHYSIOTHERAPIST ! I KNOW HOW TO HURT YOU!". Another one disappeared to pash a hot random.

Eventually, we went home.