A few of my (current) favourite things…

It’s been a bit serious on the old blog of late, so I thought I’d lighten things up with some snippets from youtube that have amused me lately.

First, in honour of Valentines day, the adorable lads of Out Of The Blue are here to sing you a song:

Next, we have the inimitable Miriam Margolyes (who I’m pretty sure was born without any f**ks to give and who I want to be when I grow up):  WARNING FOR THE GENTLY NURTURED: MIRIAM MARGOLYES IS NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, OR PROBABLY LIFE.  (Funny, but.)

And then, a very short visual explanation of why I’m a Cumberbitch to my bootstraps.  Phwoar!  (If you’ve seen the season of Sherlock this is from, you’ll know that this might not even have happened and Molly will never have Sherlock to keep, but none of that matters.  It’s still amazing!)

And now I must climb out of the youtube rabbit hole and do some work!  Enjoy your Wednesday!

Some music for the mid-week slump

Sometimes, whether it’s mid-week, mid-day or mid-life, you need a lift.

Music is one of my favourite lifters and recently, I have been delighted to discover  Postmodern Jukebox.  Their specialty is covers of modern songs in older styles – and man, do they have style!

I’ve included some of my favourites here, but there is whole rabbit hole full of others on youtube.  Make yourself a cuppa and go try a few.  There are links underneath the videos to buy recordings if you want them on your playlist.

Enjoy!

I can’t tell you how much I love this.  Actually I can.  I’m learning it and intend to include it in my future cabaret act!

The Star Wars arrangement alone is worth the price of admission, but Sarah Reich is fantastic!

Sadly, I can’t do an Andres-sisters-style number by myself, otherwise this might be on the list to learn too!

There is something appropriate about ‘Thrift Shop’ being done in a vintage style!

And finally, All About That Bass with harmonies and actual bass!

 

Going your own way

I was going to have a rant.  I read something about writing process that gave me the irrits, and I was going to have a rant.

But then I got to thinking (it’s my curse, being able to see things from both sides) and I decided that there was something in the advice, even though it irritated me, so I have been giving it some more, less ranty thought.

There will be a post in it, but in the meantime, the gist of what I wanted to say is:

Do what works for you.

If it’s writing like a mad thing, then editing at leisure, do that.  If it’s writing at the kitchen table after everyone is in bed, do that.  If it’s doing most of the work in your head, then writing the thing in almost one draft, do that.  Whatever gets you to ‘the end’ and makes you happy with the result is what works for you and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong.

And now, in celebration of doing things your own way, my latest favourite musical group, Walk off the Earth, with a great a capella cover of Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble.

I should have got onto them much earlier, as they were the ones responsible for this clever cover of possibly the most covered song in the history of the internet, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.

I was amused to discover this little more recent send-up, which made me like them even more:

And finally, perhaps the best example of my point, of doing it your own way, this great cover of the Beatles From Me to You.

Enjoy!

Have a great day – your own way!

Friday (New) Favourites: Les Miserables

I admit I came late to Les Mis.

Despite being a young adult when it was in the theatre in my home town and despite studying French for many years and being a bit of a Victor Hugo fan, I didn’t go.  I don’t know why.  It’s possible that it fell in that window in which most of my money was spent on drinking and fast times. 😉

So when the movie came out I thought it was high time I caught up with this phenomenon.  So I went.  And I enjoyed it very much.  It was visually gorgeous and the performances were, in my humble opinion, excellent.  I thought the decision to use actors who could sing and record them as they acted was brilliant.   Anne Hathaway deserved that Oscar.  Her broken rendition of ‘I dreamed a dream’ was one of the most harrowing things I’ve seen on a screen in recent times.

But the upshot of all of this is that I get it now.  I get why people adore this musical.  There’s a great, sweeping story with love and death and heroism and vileness and more than a touch of madness, yes.  But the main attraction is the music.  It’s magnificent.  It’s infectious.  Indeed, after seeing the movie, I stomped around singing ‘I hear the people sing’ so many times that my darling daughter threatened to storm my barricades and make the streets run with my blood if I didn’t stop.

And it appears I am not alone in loving it.  You must watch this wedding video which is a great testament to the musical, to how much these people like the married couple (because there was rehearsal involved) and what can happen if you leave the choristers alone with the beer for too long…

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More Unexpected Joys… (and the purple end of a rainbow snake)

It’s been a week of delightful surprises.  On Wednesday I introduced you to the charming, talented Lucy Spraggan.

She’s clever and funny and I couldn’t think of who to compare her to, until I thought of another of my all-time favourite singer/songwriters, Kristina Olsen.

This song, performed with her favourite performing buddy, Australian cellist Peter Grayling, should show you why she’s a favourite…

I hope Lucy goes on to create such a body of work and give as much joy as Kristina has!

Another unexpected joy was my lovely friend Resa’s latest creation.  She has been doing a series of ‘art gowns’ and her latest is almost too gorgeous to describe.  It’s old Hollywood in a new fabric and never has a dressmaker’s model looked so magnificent!

Then there was this: a love story with no words in a little over six minutes.  Black and white, charming, old-school animation that delighted my eyes and lifted my heart, from the very talented people at Disney.

Finally, I have actually followed through on my commitment of last week, which was to get out my knitting and have made some progress on the rainbow snake.  This is the violet and indigo end (obviously) and I’m sure you can see why I had to have the variegated yarn as well, even though it has doubled the knitting involved.  It’s not the best picture, (I’m never getting a job as a stylist) but I thought I should show you the beginnings, so I can do progress posts.

The unexpected part of this was how much I enjoyed doing it.  It’s calming and somehow rejuvenating to be achieving something while just sitting.  Much better than ‘just’ watching TV or, in the case of last night, my girl’s Karate class.

I hope you’ve had some unexpected joys this week too.  Here’s to celebrating them!

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Weddings, Parties, Anything – a few of my favourite things!

Today on the radio, I heard that one of my all-time favourite music groups is being honoured in a hall of fame.  The band’s name was Weddings, Parties, Anything and they’re an icon of the Melbourne music scene.  They were never huge in the charts, but they are well known and loved among Australians of a certain generation and deserve to be better known.

They have a special place in my musical history as I discovered them though this song, just after I first moved to Melbourne.  It references a heap of local landmarks and I remember being so excited when I recognised these new-to-me places in the lyrics of a song.  This video is a very cute interpretation, too! (BTW, the clocks in question are on the facade of Flinders St train station – a traditional place to meet in Melbourne.  Can’t tell you how excited I was the first time I arranged to meet someone there after hearing this song)

Under the Clocks

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Musing on Movie Music

I don’t think it’s Friday anywhere in the world, but I beg your indulgence because I missed my Friday Favourites post and I have some favourites to share.

The other night, I went to the girl’s school Music Festival.  They are very into the arts at her school and they have an orchestra, a concert band, a stage band, a brass ensemble, a percussion ensemble, a guitar ensemble, two choirs… you get the idea.  Hence, a music festival.

It was very good.  No, really, it was enjoyable.  It’s a credit to their music teachers that attending these events is much less painful than you might expect.  And they played an extraordinary variety of music, from the latest rap thing (himself did not enjoy it, but I quite liked it) through Burt Bacharach to Tchaikovsky.  And it got me thinking about music.

Specifically, movie music.  They played a medley from Titanic, which was something like this one:

Close to the beginning of this is the section called ‘Take Her to Sea Mr Murdoch’.  And sitting there, in a fairly cramped auditorium at an Australian high school in 2012, I was instantly transported to the sight of the Titanic setting sail in the movie.  And I didn’t just see the visual in my mind’s eye, I felt the swell of emotion, as well.  The pride of all the people responsible for getting her under way, the glory of her size and newness and the swelling hopes of the people going to the new world for a new life.

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Sunday Sounds

This week, I have been strangely obsessed with music.  Not that I don’t love it, in many forms and styles, but I normally avoid it while working.  This week, though, I had some old favourites on high rotation and in digging them out, I came across Extreme.

Extreme is basically a heavy metal band (or at least they were at the height of their fame in the late 80’s, early 90’s), but they achieved possibly their greatest hit with a gentle acoustic love song.  More than Words is a showcase for the superlative guitar of Nuno Bettencourt and the sweet voice of Gary Cherone and might be familiar, even if you have never heard the band name.  I find it quite inspiring when writing romance!

PLEASE NOTE: It is possible that the videos will have a loud and annoying ad at the start of them.  Just mute it until the proper video starts, is my advice.  All of these videos are black and white, so it’s easy to see when they start. (Note to VEVO – if you would match the music being advertised to the music being watched, your ads might be more effective.  Just sayin’…)

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What makes a man sexy? Part III

So what started as an off-hand reply to someone else’s blog post, has turned into a three-part extravaganza on my own little patch of the internet.

I promise I will stop after this one; not necessarily because I have run out of things to say, but because one really must draw a line somewhere and, well, people are beginning to talk…

Ahem. So, without further carry-on, here is my last set of manly characteristics that do it for me.

Intelligence.

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Today’s Musical Friday Favourite = OK Go

I love, love, love, OK Go.

What other modern band would illustrate their song with a multi-coloured tango?

Or work so well with the Muppets?

Or go to this much trouble for the sheer, gleeful, musical madness of it? (Listen to the end to get the ironic, [in view of the song subject] spoken last line of the video.)

A true Friday favourite!  Do you have any OK Go favourites?  Or Muppet favourites, for that matter?  Or any video silliness to share?

Hope your weekend is looking good…

Imelda