About moi

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I'm awful at updating blogs; as I am typing and spelling... I'm a flautist and dabble in some guitar, piano and singing. I also have an interest in writing and history (nerd I am not). Marmite lover and synesthete; owner of two cats and a goldfish. Don't like planes much and I find octopuses (or is that octopi?) pretty creepy. I'm allergic to peanuts.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Time to write a blog.

Ahh, I guess it is about time I updated my blog by actually writing an update of my life; which I haven't done recently. As you can tell I have put up a few youtube links (I know... Sesame Street) and a couple of bits of writing, but no actual life blurbs. So, as I have no work to be getting on with and plenty of flute, piano and music theory to do, I thought I'd just give a quick summary of what I've been up to recently...


Well, to start with I have been getting into my films. Since my parents decided to enter the 21st century and get Sky TV, with multiroom so we can watch in the conservatory too, I have discovered the benefits of Sky Movies. I've never really been a movie person, unless the film is based between 1960-1990 and has some element of music, otherwise I'm not bothered. However, over the last couple of weeks I've watched Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist (Ok, music element), In Bruges, The Hangover, Monsters Vs Aliens (actually, I will confess I do have a thing for Disney Pixar and similar kids animated films...) and Sunday night, (500) Days of Summer. Which was awesome! Although I really don't understand what's so amazing about Zooey Deschanel. I've also got Juno on the planner for some point.

Keeping on the TV theme, I'm pretty pleased to have the Inbeweeners back on the screen. Oh, how it opens up a wide range of topics to discuss in tutorial on a Tuesday morning.

On the college theme, things are getting back into swing now we've been back a couple of weeks. The new cafe is preeeeetttty schweet. TV and everything. Quite impressed it has lasted this long with out some kind of food resembling substance chuck at it. For my Music Tech coursework I'm recording and producing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7v71mAkac8&ob=av2n coz I'm cool and hip like that, but it is such a feel good tuneage. I felt I must share that.

I've been out and about too, with band practise (notice the shameless plugs of the youtube videos) and going up city (anyone not from Norfolk, that means Norwich). Went to the Chinese the other week for the bf's 18th. It's an all you can eat place, so basically you eat, then the Chinese lady comes along and steals your plate as soon as you remove that last grain of rice. I don't understand why they do this. Surely that is just creating more washing up?! Considering it's an "all you can eat", if you had a real passion for Chinese food, you'd never leave.

Hmm, what else?

Oh, yes, for enrichment I've started Creative Writing. An interesting session with interesting people. Read http://peachyssej.blogspot.com/2010/09/and-this-is-what-i-got-out-of-creative.html to fully understand my life changing experience.

Finally, I think I will finish by reviewing my Carl Barat obsession. I have ordered a signed copy of his solo album, a copy of the movie "Telstar", the story of Joe Meeks, featuring Barat as Gene Vincent, and I am still deciding where will be best to order his biography from at the end of the week.

I've also realised the weather has officially become crap as my ginger tom cat has decided sleeping 7 hours straight on my bed is better than sleeping in birds nests, which he did all summer.

The end.


Friday, 24 September 2010

A Rainbow Sea.Sesame Street: Will.i.am's Song "What I Am"

Again, here is another Sesame Street related post.
Whenever I see an episode or clip from Sesame Street, my whole heart fills with sun rays and I can't help but feel all cheerful and breezy inside. It's like all my cares in the world have been blown away by a tiny gust of wind. And as that tiny gust goes past, all the flowers and trees sway like they are waving me on through my day. Their bright colours merge into one, forming a rainbow sea. :P

It's such a feel good programme, even if I am perhaps ten years too old for it...

but this song truly is amazing kids! Take heed! What you are is special!

And I swear I am not high.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

And this is what I got out of Creative Writing...

And this is what I got out of Creative Writing...

September 2010

Enrichment, for those of you who don’t know, is what our college do to keep the teachers happy. It’s basically a way of keeping them in their class rooms and supervising teenagers, but without them actually teaching anything. And the great thing is, if the teenager doesn’t want to be there, then they can arse off home and not lose their EMA bonus and the teacher doesn’t have to put up with the little shit. It’s a win-win-win situation really. Apparently Enrichment is meant to “enrich” us in some kind of subject area we wouldn’t normally study, or further enrich us in one we do, or maybe it’s to keep us off the streets of Norfolk...? In other words, they’re extra activities we don’t have to do on a Wednesday afternoon.

This year, seeing as I needed to find something to jazz up my personal statement for uni and music enrichment was a bit of a fail last year, I decided to juggle my time between doing some photography (as my As teacher wasn’t too happy I dropped it at A2), Music Tech. coursework and Creative Writing. Considering I want to venture into journalism once I eventually manage to escape education, I proposed that involving myself in some form of writing activity may be quite useful.

It was one of those days where you wake to find an invitation from a clear blue sky peaking under the bedroom blind, convincing you that today would be a pleasant day; only once you step outside, the wind grabs like a surprise tickle from behind and you realise there’s no point in going anywhere without a coat, or you’ll freeze your tits off. Unfortunately the only view I had from the class room window right now was a brick wall, and therefore no distraction from the set of questions about to be forced upon me.

What’s your name? An interesting fact... And what do you write?

Ok, I could answer the first, I was pretty confident with that one. An interesting fact? I’d just use my usual one: I met Ralf Little - it normally sparks some interest. But what do I write? The general consensus was teen fiction, with a dash of romance, fantasy and a little si-fi added for good measure.  In some cases, these were being morphed into novels. I’ve never written anything resembling teen fiction or romance, fantasy or si-fi, let alone contemplated writing novel. The truth is I have rarely written any type of story in my free time. I write reviews and do bits and pieces on just general observations, keeping an online blog, but apart from that I’ve never exactly sat down and thought “Yep, today I am going to write the next Twilight”.

That was another problem. I’ve never touched a copy of Twilight in my whole life. I’ve never seen the films. My friends and I generally try to avoid the whole thing like the plague. I’m a BBC 3 Being Human person myself. I prefer a little more reality. I like the idea that the characters could be normal people in the normal world and you’d never know unless you stumbled upon one on a full moon, then you’d be fucked. I like my vampires to be hot and Irish, not sparkly with a dodgy fake American accent. Revealing this, I could tell, would not make me many friends in this room.

And that leads me onto another issue. I’ve never actually read a “teen fiction” novel, so to be quite frank I wouldn’t know what to expect in it. I’m not much of a romantic, more of a realist, and as far as si-fi goes, I watched the first Star Wars film to be released and quite enjoy Lego Star Wars for Nintendo DS. I have, however, read the whole of the Harry Potter series, so that’s fantasy covered. But I still didn’t really want to reveal that my favourite book is In Cold Blood, a non-fiction novel by Truman Capote, and if I had to choose a favourite author, I’d pick Roald Dahl (I cannot begin to explain how badly I have always wanted to move objects with the power of my mind, just like Matilda).

I’m not too great at finishing books either. Most books I do read are biographies about some kind of music figure, and the last book I did actually finish was a collection of short stories inspired by The Smiths.  
I was beginning to wonder what I was actually doing here.

I had to think quickly. Saying I reviewed JLS and McFly wasn’t exactly going to make me the coolest person at the table, it definitely wasn’t half as impressive or creative as writing a novel.  My creative writing coursework had had pretty good feedback though. When in doubt, bring the humour out.

“So Jess, what do you like writing?”

“I like writing coursework.”

*face -palm*

This literally was one of those moments where you fall to your knees, praying that the world would just swallow you up, right there, right now. Why on earth had I said that?! I guess it is just human nature to hide fears with something that comforts us, mine being stupid dry humour.

But that is how I prefer to write, that is what I learnt from my first Creative Writing session. I can’t do the emotive “teen fiction” descriptions. Well, I could if I tried, but it isn’t me. I like to be daft, pull out the funnies (yep, got that off Shrek. It has disappointingly become one of my phrases) when I can, make observations about life, our culture and society. I guess that’s why I am pulled towards the field of journalism rather than becoming a fictional writer. Maybe I will however, make an attempt to write a short story or two, but for now I will end with what I did manage to produce in Creative Writing.

Using the opening line: he was determined not to reveal... and the words ‘faith’, ‘reverse’ ‘cringed’ and ‘worldly.’
‘He was determined not to reveal to her how much he could not stand this band. Every note made him cringe. It was like having some kind of elf sitting in his ears, tickling with their sharp little nails. “Have a little faith, you’ll love them.” She’d promised. It was the point where she had described the music as ‘worldly’ that he knew he should have put the car into reverse.’       

‘A summer without friends is like a garden without trees. You just can’t branch out from your bedroom door’

ImageHot, Irish Vampire. (John Mitchell, Being Human, played by Aidan Turner).

Sparkly, not quite as good as Mitchell, Vampire, played by the dude from Harry Potter.

Sunday, 12 September 2010



Oh, yes girls (and guys...), finally we can shop online for H&M! Sign up for exclusive preview. It's like heaven!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Friday, 10 September 2010


Here's my band, Pout, at Brickfest, B2, Norwich.
August Bank Holiday 2010.
Filmed and edited by David Bullock.


Here's my band, Pout, at Brickfest, B2, Norwich.
August Bank Holiday 2010.
Filmed and edited by David Bullock.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Quick round up.

As before, blogging on a Friday night failed. Then did Saturday's. To be honest, I couldn't really be bothered, I was quite tired both nights and I'm a lazy slob sometimes. I blame facebook. 
This week, I can't really remember what happened because not much really has, and to be honest again, I pretty much did nothing for about three days at one point. Saying that, I did have a nice trip to the beach at Cromer with the bezzies on Wednesday. We chucked stones into a bottle to earn "man points" - I got one - and ate chips and doughnuts. Unfortunately, we did not catch crabs...
Oh, of course, Monday I played a gig with my band at the B2, Brickmakers, Norwich as part of their "Brickfest" for charity. Pretty good turn out I have to say. Thank you to those who came along to show their support. Our next gig is the Thursday 9th September, B2, Norwich, supporting a friend's band. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Perfect-pout/341101367303
Today I had band practice, although our singer was ill, so in order for her to rest her voice for Thursday, I shared singing duties with our drummer. I hate singing. 
Tomorrow, should be going bowling, hopefully. Apart from that, not much else has really happened. I made space in my room for my guitars and flute... Yeah, not much.



Friday, 3 September 2010

A Controversial Recording - Editors – In This Light And On This Evening.

This is a piece I wrote for a small summer term Music Technology research project. It isn't assessed work or coursework, so it doesn't matter too much if I post it. 

A Controversial Recording

Editors – In This Light and On This Evening
July/August 2010

The third album release from Editors saw the British band take a new direction away from their post-punk roots. Debut “The Back Room” clearly demonstrated a Joy Division influence, and were quickly compared to the likes of Interpol with their doom and gloom indie-rock style. Despite this the album quickly gained critical success and peaked at number 2 in the UK charts. When it came to the difficult second album, Editors hit the ground running and “An End Has A Start” topped the charts at number one, although some claimed it to be a more commercial Joy Division.

However, third album “In This Light and On This Evening” has sparked mixed opinions from the music industry and fans alike. Perhaps more New Order than Joy Division, the 9 track album lays heavily on the synthesisers rather than sparkling guitar riffs and comparisons focus more on the 80’s synth pop of Kraftwerk rather than the late 90s/00s post-punk revival by Interpol. It wasn’t exactly what fans had been expecting.  Luke Turner for the NME awarded the album 5/10, writing: “Indeed, they’ve possibly succeeded in alienating the casual fan with the brief moments of nastiness that are here.”  And it is true that many fans did just turn their noses up Editors’ third offering. Why? Maybe the “casual fan” was expecting the usual Radio 1 friendly vocal, guitar, bass, drum line up with a catchy tune that doesn’t stray from the comfort zone of the first two albums, taking back the 40 year old dads to their Joy Division days. But you can’t continue to reproduce the same sound over and over and over... ideas run out. Originality is lost. As Ben Urdang points out with “An End...” the band “encountered some criticism for essentially reproducing a similar sounding album... In This Light and On This Evening, the band have progressed, having eschewed their trusty guitar sound in favour of one more synthesized. It's both understandable and positive that they've decided to make that move rather than dourly churn out more of the same.” While Nick Mitchell, giving the album 2/5, believes “the problem with their progression is that they lay on the retro electronics too thickly, as if eager to prove how much they’ve changed.” Just as Bloc Party attempted with “Intimacy” and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with “Zero”, the third album is the golden opportunity to reinvent yourself as a band; to add in those outside influences which were too risky to fuel the difficult second album; too... synth-y.

It wasn’t just development in sound that sparked mixed opinions. Front man Tom Smith’s lyrics also created interest among reviews. Mitchell writes “...most are oblique and disconnected” and Ian Cohen (awarding a 3.7) suggests that Smith “delivers your rebellious 15-year old cousin's next Facebook status”. While Mike Diver indicates that “it might be the best album Editors have yet produced, even if obvious singles are conspicuous by their absence”.

Despite all of this, Drowned In Sound gave the album a 7/10, Allmusic 3.5/5, The Guardian and The Times 4/5 and Clash Music 8/10. Following the success of “An End Has A Start”, it shot to number 1 in the UK charts.

“In This Light...” isn’t “The Back Room”; you can’t just open the door and walk in. You need to dust away the cobwebs and proceed with new eyes, or ears. “In This Light and On This Evening” is definitely not Editors’ best album yet. But how can it be when the sound differs so significantly from that of the previous two? It is not intended to be a follow up to “An End...” but to show the diversity and creativity of a band, which, if having reproduced their previous work, would have been equally criticised for little originality and commercialism. The album still contains Editors’ broad but delicate sound, with memorable riffs and debateable but bold lyrics. Live, “In This Light...” snuggles perfectly in between old numbers as Smith still obtains his energy and passion which drives the songs forward. 

I Guess What I'm Trying To Say Is... I Love Carl.

I started this like, at the weekend, and finally finished it tonight. Personal statements and unis and what not... but I told Laura I would finish it, so here it is ->

I Guess What I’m Trying To Say Is... I Love Carl.

September 2010

I was very satisfied by The Libertines’ comeback when I watched their Reading set on BBC Three, especially as I’d convinced myself Pete would die just moments before he set foot on stage. My friend had a bet on that the whole band wouldn’t even make it to Reading; I think he’s now £10 in debt. Those who know me well enough would now be making the joke I was only satisfied because of Mr Carlos Barat. And, yes, that was an added bonus. I still believe he is the only man who can pull of black skinny jeans successfully, but that is not the point.

From what I could tell on my tiny TV, the boys in the band (had to get that in somewhere) were tight and sharp on stage. The set was tight, despite the power blip in the middle, and the music was tight, they looked like a band at the peak of their career (“peak” meaning a successful second album, two or three singles in). Every member gave the impression they wanted to be there, enjoying the experience, enjoying each other’s company. There was so much bromance between Pete and Carl that I was surprised they didn’t burst into some kind of passionate musical love fusion.

Give Pete his due, after the extent he has been through since The Libs’ initial split back in 2004, he did come out enthusiastic and confident, looking his healthiest I’ve seen from the press in a long time.  It was clear he was already slightly drunk though, but that didn’t stop him from politely asking the crowd to help each other out and not to stand on each other’s heads. Good boy.

What my dad and I noticed (because my dad’s cool and hip like that) was that Pete has pretty much gained house hold name status through the British press, and hence if asked by your grandmother how he initially became famous, you would naturally say he was the front man of Babyshambles and previously The Libertines.

However, in reality, it’s Carl Barat who is ultimately the linchpin of The Libs. Carl’s energy and stage presence was unbeatable, taking centre stage with a casual walk of confidence. Those die hard Libs fans would know that Carl Barat is a keen actor as well as musician. Pete loves the microphone, yet his vocals are not half as clear and strong as those of Carl’s (we will blame it on the fags and booze). But what it was that stuck us was how “gig fit”, as my dad put it, Carl and Gray Powell are. Both looked healthy and strong, holding up the performance by bringing a vital spark of energy to the stage. Barat and guitar bounced across the stage with ease and if you attached some kind of electrical converter to Powell’s arms, you could have powered the whole of Reading AND Leeds. Just watching Powell behind his drum kit wore me out. Phwaor. And let’s not forget good old John. I know he never looks too enthusiastic, but he can play and never lets side down; a reliable, strong and essential backbone to the band.

The same couldn’t be said for Pete however. By the time I Get Along arrived at the end of the set, if Barat didn’t have him in a lover’s embrace, Pete would have comfortably collapsed to the stage floor and slept through the rest of the festival. A number of times he disappeared to sit behind his amp, wipe his forehead and sip his pint. If all four members of the band took this approach to their Reading come back, you may as well go down to your Local’s open mic night.

I guess what I am trying to say is yes, the set, the comeback, the whole performance and band themselves were outstanding, considering the difficulty of the past 6 years or so, and I give full praise to them for how tight and just in general awesome their whole comeback has been so far. In fact, the whole reunion has broken the laws of music physics. However, the driving force clearly shone through. Maybe, if it wasn’t for the stronger members of the band, mentally and physically, the whole thing would have been hanging on the edge of a complete cock up. I seriously doubt Pete could have made it without the loving support of Carl. Although Carl and Pete are the musical/lyrical foundations, Carl, Gary and John are the driving force, the physical foundations of The Libertines and always have been. When Pete went AWOL in 2004 they carried on (with later fellow Dirty Pretty Things member of Carl and Gray’s, Anthony Rossomando on guitar) regardless. At Reading 2010 it was obvious that these three members are still the rocks for Pete to lean on, holding up the performance with an incredible amount of energy; I couldn’t help but get the feeling they needed to be as tight as they were just in case Pete slipped up. Overall though, well played boys, I look forward to seeing more. I especially hope it lasts out long enough until next summer. I’ve already booked a 2011 Reading ticket. A Libertines’ encore would be quite nice. Not a G ‘n’ R one though. I heard Axle was a right tosser.

Left: Carl Barat. Right: Tosser

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

So here's a thought, Miss Swift.

So here's a thought, I was watching Taylor Swift's new video "Mine" this morning. From what I gathered the song and video were about her meeting her dream guy, falling in love, getting married (what is her obsession with getting married?!) etc etc; but also flashing back to when she was a child and seeing her parents arguing, being scared that this will happen between her and her guy, then actually fighting and then making up again. To me this is awfully familiar... have you been stealing ideas off Kelly Clarkson, Miss Swift? Hmm? Yes, it does sound incredibly like the video to Because of You. In fact, Miss Swift even ends up having kids at the end of it... oh, yes, what a coincidence?! I think not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPBwXKgDTdE <-Miss Swift
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3D8J1rjGLg&ob=av2n <-Miss Clarkson