I’m in the Hi-Fidelity

January 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm (Album of the Day)

Album of the Day:  Pink Flyod’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Why?  I’m dabbling.

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I Probably Shouldn’t Have…

January 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm (Feminism, Uncategorized) ()

After one particular slog of a day last week, writing and researching, I decided I was not going to torture myself further by doing course reading that night.  Instead I rummaged through my own “leisure reading” drawer and settled on The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962.  Futile, I know.

Much like her novel, The Bell Jar, Plath diary prose are fused with the sinister undertones of her troubled psyche.  I have only made a dent in the immense document, but like with her poetry, the empathy I feel within the confines of her stifled narratives are overwhelming.  Plath was one of the great writers of the female mind, that part which was (is?) largely unexplored.  There is paradoxically an urgency along with a hesitancy in some of the entries, however, I am still exploring the early days.

It could be because I too am in the spring of my aspiring career in writing, but whatever it is, I find comfort in her words.  The art of balance is one I need to master.

“Some things are hard to write about.  After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important parts.”

 

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Today

January 6, 2011 at 1:02 am (Ireland, Lobster Killer, Student Poor, Talking Heads)

Today I shall grace this page with a relatively lazy post, as I am steeped with essay work, but I have committed to the blog this year, I am determined to succeed.  So here I am.

I think a lot of  ‘album of the day’/’song of the day’ posts can be expected in times of studiousness.  Look forward to them, I know I will!

So my soundtrack to “work” yesterday was not an album, but rather one epic song, which perfectly encapsulates my optimism for the future.

Then of course, I was drawn to this:

Which in turn made me think of this guy.

Damn I really wish I had his ingenuity to think of a blog theme.  I guess (whoever my few readers may or may not be) are stuck with my ponderings and rambling!

Happy Hump Day! Wait it’s actually Thursday… curses.

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Funny Thing Happened Today

January 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm (America Envy, Ireland, Rip off Republic, Student Poor) ()

I arrived back from Christmas break today. Upon unloading the luggage, I decided that along with visting a friend, I would grab a view necessities to tide me over a few days. Cereal? Check. Fruit? Oui, and of two varieties. Milk? Success. Clear Nail Varnish? Nah, not really urgent, will only be spending money I don’t have. Yet, magically, I found myself at a Clinique counter (on the other end of town) buying a new foundation.

“Oh please,” I told myself, “this is justifiable?”

“Why yes,” pleaded my irrational self, “think of your skin….”

Gah.

So long story short I forked over 27.88 euro for this foundation.  Yeah Ireland really is the Rip Off Republic, look at what the US price is!  Wish I was near a Sephora right now

But, hey, at least I didn’t buy that nail varnish I didn’t need.

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Bat-Shed Revisited

January 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm (Album of the Day)

It’s that time again folks, first one of the new year, the album of the day post!

I haven’t picked this one up in a while, so it’s a particular treat.  Bats For Lashes Fur and Gold.  I remember buying it because her MySpace page promised that the music sounded like Halloween.  It did not disappoint.  It could easily be the soundtrack to a Tim Burton film.

I think I’m a little obsessed with songs that include harpsichords, Horse and I is one such song on Fur and Gold that revels in its medieval majesty.   There’s something very archaic (well, obviously) and haunting about this instrument, bringing songs beyond what they would otherwise achieve.  Could you imagine Arcade Fire’s Rococo without the harpsichord?  Banality.

Trophy is one of the stand out tracks, so I will leave you with a live version I checked out before I ever bought the album.

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He’s Justin Timberlake… Bitch

January 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm (End of Year Review) (, , )

The Social Network was surprisingly one of the most thrilling cinema experiences of the year, and in no doubt thanks to the genius that is David Fincher and Jesse Eisenberg’s hyper-neurotic portrayal of controversial internet entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg.

The only reservations I hold is the Oscar buzz and critical success that has surrounded the film.  Not that this is undeserved, it is rather where it is aimed that has me perplexed.  Even as early as September, before the film’s international release, there were rumours regarding the Oscar campaigns for this film and its actors.  Most journalists were even touting Justin Timberlake’s performance as nomination-worthy.   This is for playing a character in a manner that essentially reflects his own roguish persona.

Undoubtedly Timberlake has charisma, but to say that his contribution is noteworthy above the turns of Eisenberg and Andrew Garlfield is foolish, and simply conforms to mainstream perceptions.  Timberlake lacks the nuance and constraint which the actors who share the screen carry.  If anything I found myself cringing when he appeared on-screen.  He relies on his cheeky-chappy charm which is hard to stomach at the best of times.  He’s lucky he has connections.

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All is quiet….

January 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm (Recession, Resolutions) (, , )

On New Year’s Day, the traditional ritual is to profess a resolution, to make a commitment to change.  People’s resolutions are usually overly ambitious and most fail at the first hurdle.  Not intending to offend, this is just the reality of the matter, the reality of taking on too much.  Being so specific is another fatal error.

Usually I intend to be a better person, but perhaps that is just a cop out.  This year, then, I will vow to make things better for me.  I will get real about my career, college, writing, money.  Ireland, after all, is in a defunct state.  If I want to get out of here unscathed I must rise to the challenge.

I resolve to progress.

 

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Album of the Day

December 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm (Album of the Day) (, , , )

In the newly established grand tradition of Zooey Deschanel (courtesy of her twitter account) I’m going to sporadically post with this title.

And today’s album of the day, *drum roll*, goes to St. Vincent’s phenomenal work on Actor.

I started off the morning with Never For Ever by Kate Bush, so I am feeling the feminist women-doing-it-for-themselves-by-being-multi-instrumentalists kinda mood.  Mmm do not think that hyphenated phrase will be taking off anytime soon.

Anyway back to Actor.  St. Vincent, aka Annie Erin Clark, poses a beautiful contrast to Kate Bush high-octane vocals.  The tracks roll into one, but in a glorious, majestic way.  Clark is adept in creating gorgeous crescendos of sound and harmony.  It creates a peaceful atmosphere as I attempt, and fail, to study.

I was first attracted to her music when I happened upon Marrow, and cannot wait until I can afford to buy her first LP Marry Me, but for now I will enjoy Actor on repeat.

The song that began the love affair:

The Strangers is another favourite and here is an acoustic version that is well worth the listen (I usually don’t recommend acoustic versions so listen I tell you!)

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Recommendation to the Nation

December 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Vibes and Scribes, as the citizens of Cork know, is an amazing book shop, or rather book shops as it has expanded in the last few years.  It is akin to The Strand as its eclectic catalogue caters to many whims.

As I did down in The Strand in that fair summer of ’09, I browse this shop regularly.  This is a lethal custom.  I am probably broke because of it.  Inevitably I always leave with some treasure.  One day I came across The Noir A-Z.

Compiled, or “imagined”, by Julian Hubbard, this is indulgent treat for those inclined to the surreal and subversive.  Hubbard organised this project once he recognized associations that ran through the themes of his photography.  Thus The Noir A-Z was born.  It may be a more subdued, but his works present similar anxiety and charge that frequented the lens of Man Ray and the canvas of Salvidor Dali.

 


Due to its suggestion of noir film themes, Hubbard’s images remind me of Cindy Sherman and her excellent Untitled Film Stills series.  Sherman’s objective captured the female stereotypes that occupied media culture, while Hubbard seems to utilize the cinematic aesthetic to pay homage to the perturbed perspectives of the Surrealists.

 

Here are a couple of my favourites.  I urge you dear citizens to add this to your collections.



 

Q is for “Quiescent”

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The Pillow: A Bum-saver

December 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm (Uncategorized)

So yet again I’ve been neglecting my blog.  However college is wearing me out.  Have mercy on me.  But as I am sitting here, struggling to read a novel online (spare a thought for a poor student who can’t afford books of limited availability), I am nevertheless thankful for the new spurt of  confidence received by simply placing a pillow on my chair.  Seriously this novel is gonna get owned now that I thought of my pillow.  I love and cherish my Pier 1 cushions…. oh how I miss that place (though dear lord, as a non-home owner how could i have found such joy in the shop.  Inexplicable.  But fact.)

Here are cushions I would like to add (or ass, NARF!) to my thriving collection.

Throw on some Hendrix and we got a party

http://www.pier1.com/catalog/browse/0600.rugs-pillows-windows/tabid/514/CategoryID/144/List/0/catpagesize/25/Level/a/ProductID/8601/ProductName/Embroidered-Aubergine-Pillow/Default.aspx

I have a thing for bird motifs.  Craving this

http://www.pier1.com/catalog/browse/0600.rugs-pillows-windows/tabid/514/CategoryID/144/List/0/catpageindex/1/catpagesize/25/Level/a/ProductID/8602/ProductName/Embroidered-Birds-Fall-Pillow/Default.aspx

Just cause it looks like it stepped out of a Matisse Odalisque painting

http://www.pier1.com/catalog/browse/0600.rugs-pillows-windows/tabid/514/CategoryID/144/List/0/catpageindex/1/catpagesize/25/Level/a/ProductID/28341/ProductName/Teal-Envelope-Pillow/Default.aspx

Well this was a wonderfully indulgent post that tempered my studies very nicely indeed.  Good day sir.

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