VIEWFINDER: METRONOMY – MY HEART RATE RAPID

Where are the lyrics to this sound to be found? I have seen various declarations such as “it’s about pancakes” (or hot dogs?), “the song is about 3 young ladies who fall into Marcel Duchamp by accident and decide to change their lives as a result” and mentions of hippos. Huh? Who knows!

At least your eyes don’t lie to you when you watch the My Heart Rate Rapid video. Yes, they are gyrating with giant iPod ear-buds. Oh Metronomy, my heart beats rapidly for you…

If you are in AKL on the 9th of January, you are in luck! Metronomy are playing with The Teenagers at the Kings Arms. And for those in Wellington on the 10th, you may enjoy the fine aural companionship of the two bands that night at Bar Bodega. But you have your tickets already, don’t you?

THE ONLY THING WE NEED FOR XMAS

Somehow I don’t think the keytar is going to work for us as a gift under the tree these holidays, whether giving or receiving. They’re much bigger than I ever expected!

Thankfully, there’s a more suitable stocking sized alternative – a stylophone! This miniature stylus operated synthesizer is a recreation of the 1967 classic. It’s famed for being used byDavid Bowie on Space Oddity and being promoted by Rolf Harris. In today’s music realm, Hextastic has effectively sampled the instrument, Rolf too.

“The craze has begun…”

Don’t you want to sit around the Christmas tree playing digitized riffs from Christmas carols? How about a round of Ja-Ja-Jangle Bells or Silen-en-en-tttt Night? Perhaps just in the company of my friends, who are all tech heads and DJs. It would sound like seasonal bliss to them!

LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON

I have been feeling the urge to watch a lot of French or French inspired films lately. One of the DVDs I picked up was Le Scaphandre et le Papillon or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Directed by Julian Schnabel, it tells the story of Jean-Do Bauby – the editor of French Elle – who suffers a stroke, leaving him completely paralysed. The only thing he can move is his left eye.

Thankfully, with the dedicated care of the people around him, he still enjoys a quality of life and the ability to communicate – with a blinking derived alphabet system. It all culminates in the publishing of a novel, as transcribed by his supporters.

If you have seen the recent James Bond movie, you may be familiar with Mathieu Amalric, who plays Bauby. I was saddened by his role in the Hollywood explode-a-rama, however do not fear he is a brilliant actor and The Diving Bell is a testament to this.

The film has not been without disputes. In real life, Bauby’s girlfriend is not the wench she is made out to be in the movie, as this article discusses. Florence Bensadoun actually spent weeks by his bedside, tending to her lover, while the filmic wife was apparently not true to life.

Despite the controversy, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon is still a loving, dreamy film that shows that a life is still to be valued even when everything but your mind is gone.

RATING:

(This is the French cinema trailer, which in my mind is far superior to the Western offering.)

VIEWFINDER: THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS – ELEKTROBANK

Elektrobank, directed by Spike Jonze and starring one Sofia Coppola. I have been scouring the internet for the last few days looking for the Miss Dior Cherie clip but alas, nothing yet. Dear Internet Goddesses, please provide!

However, I did stumble upon the iheartsofia youtube channel which made me feel loads better, and among the champagne ads and dreamy trailers was this gymnastics themed video:

Sigh. Sofia is my number one crush and inspiration. Is there anything she can’t do?

A battle of two beasties

I love watching films that make me uncomfortable. Cinema of unease that leads to a slight clenching of my jaw as I study the screen. A painful conversation or two that makes me twist my toes into knots as I listen. That was the Squid and the Whale… a brilliant movie that I waited far too long to watch. It’s the story of the Berkmans and divorce, the separation of an entire family.

Here are a selection of stills from the film.. It was set in Brooklyn, 1986 – so it was interesting to see how the costuming was rather neutral – except for Anna Paquin’s scarf! Or rather has fashion come around enough to declare brown corduroy jackets fashionable? Check out the hot typewriter shirt in the last still.

And this is the movie’s namesake; the squid and the whale at the Natural History Museum in NYC. I hope to go see it some time very soon! Just like I hope you get to see the Squid and the Whale film soon if you haven’t already.

PS. The soundtrack is awesome. I rank it up there with the Risky Business soundtrack – 1980’s aural pleasure ❤

Viewfinder: The Shins – Phantom Limb

Dear SubPop Records,
Thank-you for all the joy you have brought into the world. The day you signed The Shins the world smiled… and when the Phantom Limb video was made… Well, it’s a slow burning epic. A school play to rule all school plays.  The end and saving grace of the world. Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a little but it’s still 4 minutes of wonderful! Thanks again.
Love,
CFS

 

Viewfinder: Ladyhawke – Paris Is Burning

“Hi my name is Ladyhawke. I want you. I play a bunch of stuff and sing a bunch of stuff. Rad.”

My heart is beating like crazy for the sounds of Wellington fox Ladyhawke. She’s playing in Glastonbury very soon, has played with Soulwax and Peaches – and is totally going to take off, so I thought I’d give you a heads up now, so you can say ‘I loved her before she was a global-mega-star’. Paris Is Burning is her latest music video, directed by Casper Balslev. I think she looks very Kate Moss-esque…

The archives: Lee Hazlewood

I first heard the crooning of Lee Hazlewood while ensconced in the changing road of a K-Road boutique. However, at the time I was too wrapped up in trying on a complicated dress than to ask the shopkeeper who was currently riding the record player. Later that afternoon, a quick Google search for snow and buffaloes provided the goods.

After delving into his archives and checking out his musical history (why hadn’t I heard of him earlier?!), what struck me the most was Hazlewood’s sensational sense of style.

Hey there Lee Hazlewood

Here’s Lee and Nancy Sinatra performing ‘Some Velvet Morning’, for NBC’s television special “Movin’ With Nancy” in 1967.

Lee & Nancy

A man not afraid to accessorize (neither was Nancy!), Lee successfully modeled the Cyclops glasses, ruffles, the fleecy jacket, the handlebar moustache, aviators and cowboy chaps. A man of all trends, here’s to you, Lee!

Pure gold

If you haven’t heard of Santogold yet then very shortly you wont’ be able to get her out of your head. Described by a friend as the love-child of Rhianna and the Kings of Leon (an alt-pop baby), Santogold shimmies her vocal chords and leads you down an aural rabbit hole. Close friends with M.I.A. and other new breed musicians, Santogold is a girl for the 21st century. Her self titled debut album has a number of stand out songs including; L.E.S. Artistes (the video is astounding, reflecting the current fashion climate perfectly with a mix of buttoned up nostalgia and futuristic confusion), Lights Out and You’ll Find A Way (which screams to be remixed). Also noteworthy is her collaboration with Mark Ronson – ‘Pretty Green’ – a pretty wiggle worthy song for summer. Check out this interview in the Guardian for further confirmation of her rising star. The album Santogold is out May 12.