lately…

Blog bits
It’s been a bit crazy around here and blogging has to keep moving down the list of things to do, chores have to come first now rather than me avoiding them lol.

Reading
I’ve just finished reading From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara and have now started its sequel From Notting Hill to New York . . . Actually. I think the thing I love the most is how Scarlett ends up in so many vignettes of scenes from movies like the brownie competition from Notting Hill and the guys fighting in the fountain for her honour from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Basically if you love London based chick flicks give the first one a go – I’m positive that you will love it.

Watching
Season Six of Dawson’s Creek mainly, I’ve also re-downloaded You’ve Got Mail given that it’s filmed near my friend’s new apartment. She’s over in New York studying/working and apparently she regularly goes past some of the locations (while noting that she is!).

Listening
Erm the soundtrack from Hairspray and the Glee versions of the Grease songs.

Thinking about
The usual, I have a to do list that takes up one side of an A4 sheet and I think I’ve only crossed off like 3 things! I guess it’s handy having a really slow computer at work some days!

thursday tunes

Thursday Tunes

As well as podcasts now I’m walking to and from work there’s a lot of music being played each day (and quite a lot of dancing too sometimes!). Here are the top 5 current favourites:

Dancing in the Streets by David Bowie and Mick Jagger

Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

Telescope by Hayden Panettiere (Also have the Lennon and Maisy cover)

Ho Hey – Lennon and Maisy (Cover of The Lumineers)

Final Performance (Mashup: Price Tag/Don’t You Forget About Me – Barden Bellas (From Pitch Perfect)

seven: podcasts

Two days last week I went for a walk in my lunch breaks, mainly to and from the supermarket but it kept me out of trouble and got me away from my computer for a little while. Also I walked from work to The Fountain rather than catching the bus (which would have shocked Chris a bit more if I hadn’t had to prompt him to check his phone when I got to The Fountain).

Anyway, that has very little too title. I was listening to music but then started to get bored with the small amount of music that I have space for on my phone (I keep trying to take pictures and it freaks out and tells me there isn’t enough space!). I decided to listen to podcasts instead. I’ve been listening to a couple of them anyway but decided to tell you all about them.

EPIC FU Logo from FB

EPIC FU is up first – really this is a video podcast so I tend to watch it when I can sit still rather than when I’m walking around. This is all about geek culture and all the bits and pieces that come with that – the current post on their homepage is all about Top Travel Apps. EPIC FU started life as JETSET until it was renamed. It’s created by Zadi Diaz and Steve Woolf. It’s won various awards including Webby Awards and Streamy Awards.

Being a geek is all about having a passion for something—films, bands, technology, video games, going green—and that passion makes you totally kick ass! EPIC FU is all about stoking the flames of geek passion, and therefore improves your kick to ass ratio with every viewing.

From the EPIC FU Website

Blog * Twitter * iTunes * YouTube * Facebook *

Wez-Wanders-Banner-987 

Next up is Wez Wanders this is a reasonably new podcast from Nathan aka Wez who lives in Australia. In a six degrees of separation kind of way I got to know Wez via Ruby or maybe it was the other way round.

Anyway so Wez has a podcast, it’s all about travel and his adventures. I got to know Wez when he did a trip of about 8 countries in two months or something crazy like that. He started in Japan and worked round to England and then back round to Australia.

The Wez Wanders Travel Podcast is about well… travel. Wez talks about travel news, what’s been happening in travel, travel tips, as well as great destinations to visit. Do you have any questions about travel? Ask Wez and he will answer them on the podcast.

* Blog * Twitter * iTunes * YouTube * Facebook *

Jelly and Bean

Jelly and Bean is one of my favourite podcasts at the moment. All about tech, TV and movies amongst other things. I even got a mention after emailing Jelly following the first podcast back in November.

Jelly aka Daniel Farrelly and Bean aka Branden Maynes are also from Australia and are friends with Wez too! Branden is married to Ruby so as you can imagine it’s all a bit crazy and I got to know them all via Twitter, later by Facebook and then met Jelly and Mrs Jelly a few months back when they were in England for their honeymoon.

Do you like tech? Games? TV? Movies? Well DANG. We have so much in common already! Jelly and Bean are two super pals who like to talk about all of the aforementioned topics, resulting in a nice little peek into the world of geeks, all in the form of a delicious weekly podcast that can be played into your ears!

From Jelly

* Blog * Twitter * iTunes * Facebook *

272: Fill In The Blanks Friday

Joining with Lauren from The Little Things We Do

1.  My first memory is I remember being about three or four and climbing out of the dining room door (which used to lead directly into the garden. I tripped over my own feet or the door ledge and fell over and grazed up all my knee and I remember it bleeding quite a lot. I told Mum about this memory a few weeks back and she said that she didn’t remember it lol.  

2.  My first love was okay so I’m going to be awkward on this one. The first boyfriend that I had and told him I loved him was when I was about 15. So I guess my first love would be my Dad in a way. He’s amazing and so encouraging. He’d teach me about stuff in the garden and help me with my homework. A few weeks back we were at the Fountain talking about various bits and he turned round and said he was proud of me then gave me like a manly punch in the arm – which made me jump and I nearly fell off the chair I was sat on. I do know that my Parents are proud of me but sometimes it’s good to hear it right? I met Chris when I was 15 and although I fancied him and we did try the going out thing for a few months, it didn’t really work at first but he was my best friend for quite a few years and clearly it was meant to happen because look at us know! Married and Foster Parents to Our Sidekick (okay so we didn’t do parenting the “normal” way but he needed someone and we stepped up to the plate).

3.  My very first favourite colour was pink. Well I presume that given that my bedroom was pink until I was about 13 or 14 but then again I’m not sure lol.

4. The first time I really felt like a “grown-up” was when erm I’m not sure I guess when I became responsible for another human being on a full-time basis (October last year when Our Sidekick came to live with us). You’d think that graduating from university, getting married or having a mortgage would have me feel grown up but clearly not lol.

5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is pretend it is not morning and that I can go back to sleep usually it’s not – today made me nearly cry – I thought it was Saturday and was happy about a lie in only to realise that if it was Saturday why didn’t I remember going to the cinema with Libs? Oh dear it’s not Saturday it’s Friday and something about that super depressed me.

6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc…) I ever bought was I’m not sure if I bought it or if I was bought it but the first album I had was the Spice Girls on cassette tape (unless you count over killing my days cassette tape of The Eagles – I loved Hotel California!), about the same time I was given a bunch of blank tapes and would record songs off the radio to make my own mix tapes lol.    

7.  My first car was a dark blue Ford Fiesta, it had belonged to a boy racer before me so the stereo had been rewired and various other bits. It was great, until it started burning oil and then when it was really dying, my dad and I drove in convoy to the scrapyard and left it there to go to the car garage in the sky. My Dad was all ready for me to be really upset about it as it was my first car and things like that but I wasn’t. I then got my Yellow Fiat which I loved even more than my Fiesta lol.

165: The Day The Music (Album) Died?

A few weeks ago me and a group of friends stood outside church and discussed “What was the last album you bought?”. I really had to think – what was the last album I bought. At the time the last album was Ben Howard, Mumford and Sons or Disney (except Disney was bought for me) but they were all digital downloads rather than physical CDs. I think I only listen to CDs in the car now (because I can’t get my iPhone to play music through my stereo without lots of wires and interference).

I wracked my brain some more – what was the last physical CD that I purchased. I think the conclusion that I came to was that it could have been Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor by Caro Emerald – but then that’s been in my car for ages (I don’t actually remember not having it in my car). Then it could be Don’t Look Down by Cerys Matthews but that’s been in there for over a year now (After I saw her play at Milton Keynes Stables – she was amazing!).

I tend to select the tracks I like – for example on my current Recently Added play list it goes something like……

We Are Young by Fun (feat. Janelle Monáe)

Shake It Out by Glee

This Kiss (feat. Carrie Hope Fletcher)

I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meatloaf

Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe

So why am I writing about this – and why now. There’s a guy called Alex Day aka Nerimon. He’s been on YouTube for years but has recently been turning the music chart upside down when he made it to Number 4 in the Christmas chart in 2011 without being tied to a record label and pretty much by fan power I think!  He then went on to make it to Number 15 with his next song Lady Godiva in April 2012. He’s now shaking it up some more by releasing three singles all on the same day – which is completely different to what a record label would suggest to do. Then again with some singles hanging around for weeks and weeks it’s possible for some artists (like Lady Gaga and Adele for example) to chart multiple times even though the songs were released weeks (or months apart). Also with talent shows like X Factor and The Voice covering “older” songs the originals and the covers then make it into the chart again (what’s funniest in my opinion is when the original charts higher than the cover or higher than it did the first time round). He’s even managed to have two appearances on the Forbes Magazine website twice this week (Article 1, Article 2).

So I’m posing this question (if it hasn’t already been else where). Is the physical CD album dying? I’ve chatted to people about no longer purchasing CD singles because they were £4-5 for 3 or 4 tracks when I could wait for a 12 track album for £8-10 and now I can just cherry pick the tracks that I’m actually going to listen to rather than skip. It annoys Chris on road trips that I’ll just play one or two songs and then flick onto the next CD (which probably explains why I seem to drive most of the time because it’s preoccupying me!)

How about record labels – if you can launch a career without being tied to a major label will we see smaller independent labels pop up here and there. How easy (or hard) is it to set up your own record company? Then again maybe you record your own songs and covers and stick it out there on YouTube and see what happens. I’ve recorded a couple of covers but I get more feedback singing at the local Open Mic Night. (I do keep meaning to take my camera with me and try and record some up to date covers lol).

108: Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

(Source)

I don’t tend to buy albums any more because I don’t always like all the songs – and there’s always that one that never gets played on the CD (or MP3 as most of my music is going that way)

But what about an EP – more than a single less than an album – well again I don’t tend to buy them – I probably buy it by the song (or weight up is it cheaper to buy the album rather than 11 out of 12 tracks for example!). Sometimes I download songs that I just can’t help but play over and over to the point that I’m singing it in the shower or while I put the kettle on at work.

Anyway! There’s an EP I want to tell you about.

A while back my blog-friend Chantilly, started up a Kickstarter project (if you’ve never heard of Kickstarter take a look here) so that she could record and produce her own EP. Well I already liked her music and her covers (or at least the ones I’ve seen on YouTube and not live – she’s in the US you know!) so I contributed to her Kickstarter project – the cool thing about it is that depending on the level of contribution to the project you might something back. So for example with Chantilly’s because I was at a certain level I got an advance track and a download (or something like that), on another project I got a bumper sticker (which I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it but I have it – I might stick it to my MacBook!) Anyhoo so with Kickstarter you only pay your money if the person reaches their target – well Chantilly did and we waited with baited breathe for the EP to appear….and here it is!!

moon back cover

Today is the official release of her EP which is why I am dedicating today’s Tuesday Tunes to Chantilly. Over on Chantilly’s blog there is an Official Album Release Blog Party Awesomeness thing! She has a fab line up from lots of other bloggers (I’m now kicking myself that I did sign up but at the same time something had to give!). Her fab assistants for the day include Tieka from Selective Potential, Ashley from After Nine To Five. Mary-Morgan from The Muffington Post and Miki from Miki’s Scrapbook amongst other fab people.

uttm blog party header

So head over to Chantilly’s blog and take a look at all the fun that is kicking off over there or pop over to Bandcamp (click the link below) and listen to the tracks (it’s like try before you buy!). I reccomend Escape and Just The Way You Are.

I think you will like Chantilly if you like KT Tunstall, Sandi Thom, She and Him and The Civil Wars. Either way take a listen.

Minus the Tuesday Tunes logo at the top (which has it’s own link), all the images belong to Chantilly – she’s kindly let me use them to tell you all about her fab EP. Please go take a listen – she’s awesome I promise!