Showing posts from 2013

HBD: A Playlist To Ring In A New Year

Happy birthday to me! I'm having cake for breakfast and preparing to have my own little dance party before the festivities continue later today.
They say 22 is a weird age, because it's "neither here nor there". I don't know- I'll have a verdict on that at around 00:01 on the 14th of November.

For now, let's get to dancing! Here's a song for each year of my life- plus one for good luck :)

Cee-Lo Green – Bright LightsBigger City
Altered Images – Happy Birthday
Icona Pop – I Love It
Icona Pop – All Night

Jimmy Nevis – I’m In Love With You Rita Ora – Hot Right Now

Kelly Rowland – Forever and a Day Dreamteam – Tsekede D’Banj – Oliver Twist AKA – I Want It All Kelis – Milkshake AKA – Kontrol Khuli Chana – Hazzadazmove Khuli Chana – Jiva Sfabulous

Elle Varner – Oh What A Night JoJo – All I Want Is Everything Pharrell – Happy

Mi Casa – La Vida Beyonce – Party

Cindy Lauper – Girls Just Want ToHave Fun Elle Varner – So Fly Teargas – Take You Out

Yet Another** YouTube Video: Fairytales and A Capella

What do you get when you combine a capella, some of everyone's favourite Disney stories, a 21-year-old film student and YouTube? You get Jon Cozart, and his great parody of famous happily-ever-afters, and where those people would be if they lived in the real world now.

Who doesn't like to pick apart the stories that gave them their fondest childhood memories while music plays in the background. It's the prerogative of every grown-and-jaded person out there.

**This 'one random YouTube video every other week' thing is getting old, I know. I will try to do better- please just stick with me?

The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather (Or: This Is How I Study)

I don't own sweaters, I own jerseys; and I don't like the cold, or having to bulk up against icy winds. But there is something about this song that has me longing to own one of these, and walk along the beach at sunrise.

There is also this cute choreography video that I found:

This is because it's exam time, and I'm doing what I usually do when I should be studying: spiralling down the YouTube vortex, and dreaming of being someone else with a much more glamorous life, living somewhere fancy like London or California. *sigh* I try to fight it, but only the results will tell how successful I have been...

Last Thursday Night: Marie Claire Trunk Show 2013

Last week Thursday, Lungi and I attended the Marie Claire Trunk Show at Neighbourgoods Market. This annual fashion event is the ultimate pop-up shopping experience. Top South African designers (Pichulik, Kirsten Goss, Sies! Isabelle, to name a few) displayed their ranges, Inglot cosmetics had a stand where they were doing patrons' make-up, and there were several perfume samples being spritzed around.

Johannesburg's fashion people browsed racks full of beautifully-made, on-trend clothing while listening to the music of Short Straw and Jimmy Nevis. There were crepes for sale at one of the stalls, and I was feeling adventurous so I tried one with banana, caramel and what I suspect were pecan nuts. Warm fruit and strange nuts are things I usually stay away from on principle, but I suppose the air of the night- fashion, music, glamour- emboldened me. I don't regret it.

Though I was not able to buy anything (I have Two and Loin, Cloth and Ashes taste on a Mr Price budget), I was…

What's On My Mind this Monday...

"I learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen"

India Arie's 'Video' was in my head all of a sudden, and after listening to it for the first time in years I have remembered how much good Ms Arie's music does for the psyche!

Also read Aisha Baker's post on Baked the Blog about learning to accept imperfections, and how not to let them keep you from living a good life.

"Drug Pop" for the Weekend

I just decided that it's Synth Pop Friday. Listen to Airwaves, by Gateway Drugs:

Ja, so... That Happened. (Or: "The End of An Era")

It was the final party at 80 De Korte street this past Friday. PUMA Social Club Braamfontein is closed- for real, this time.

And from the Marketing Director of PUMA South Africa:

"1 year of epic", indeed. For that year, we were guaranteed to see some of South Africa's most talented musicians in a great venue, for free. When will that ever happen again? This is one of the best ideas PUMA has ever had, and whichever city gets to experience it next had better appreciate it!

Beatenberg On the 5FM Playlist!

The best way to get up early on a Friday morning: hearing a song by a band you wish everybody liked as much as you do being played on the morning drive show!
My eyes flew open, I pulled away my blanket and sat up to start singing to Beatenberg's "Chelsea Blakemore" on the radio. I was that excited. From shooting "takeaway shows" in Kalk Bay, to the great set they played at PUMA Social, and now to be playlisted on one of South Africa's biggest radio stations. Beatenberg have well and truly arrived.

Solange Does "Matchy-Matchy" Better than You (Plus She Can "Saaang", and Her Dancing is Everything)

Ah, Solange.

I have posted before about how Solange is DJing, modelling, blogging, singing and trendsetting her way into my heart. Now, I'd like to say that I am a convert- she has impressed me, and she is definitely doesn't just fall under "...and many more" on my list.

Here is the video for "Locked In Closets", in which she shows us what happens in A Day In the Life of Solo:

Yesterday, Solange released the video for "Lovers In the Parking Lot", in collaboration with The Creators Project. I love the sound of this song- Solange really shows that she is a talented singer.

I want those shoe laces, and I need to learn every dance move that she does. I like how she is alone in the passage/ jewellery shop/ pawn shop/storeroom where she does all this choreography- she could easily have recruited dancers to fill up the space with her. She didn't, and that's probably because she knows that she has definitely "got this" by herself. (That …

Justin Timberlake - Take Back The Night

This song has convinced me that I need to buy myself a copy of The 20/20 Experience.

Eartha Kitt - I'm Still Here, and I Won't Compromise

I saw this picture of the legendary American actress, singer and cabaret star Miss Eartha Kitt yesterday, and I just had to go and find the original video it was taken from.
In this video, Miss Eartha is speaking to an interviewer about love and compromise, and how she doesn't understand why she would have to change herself just because a man came into her life. The idea is so ridiculous to her, that she actually throws her head back and laughs at it.

I just saw her in Boomerang with Eddie Murphy a while ago, and she just struck me as the coolest, most self-assured woman- full of life. She was like the epitome of the fabulously streetwise grandma! (Also, she was a little crazy. But that's good!)

I was glad to find one of her memoirs, I'm Still Here, at the library.

I'm sure I'm in for a story full of passion, intrigue, The Hustle, love and the journey to self-knowledge- I look forward to it.

I Heart Kate Spade NY - The New 2 Park Avenue Beau

What does it take to get me back to this blog? A Kate Spade New York bag. I was browsing through some New York Fashion Week Instagram photos from some bloggers and celebrities, when I saw some pictures of this great new bag, with the hashtag "me and my beau". Kate Spade New York's president and creative director, Deborah Lloyd, points out 6 reasons to love this tote:

The 2 Park Avenue Beau. Wow. It had me dreaming all kinds of New York Living dreams, especially when I saw the accompanying promotional video, which shows pieces from this year's Kate Spade New York autumn collection.

I could be a Kate Spade Girl. Most definitely.

So... If I put a really big picture of this on a dream board somewhere in my room, will I wake up to find my very own Beau waiting for me...?

The Blurb Made Me Do It: Fat - A Love Story (In Which Age Is Not Just A Number, and I Give Away the Ending)

On the back of this Barbara Wersba book is an extract which reads: "Getting fat is really a feminist act... It is a challenge to sex-role stereotyping and our concept of womanhood."
I just had to read the rest of the book to find out what the story really was- I like reading most things about feminism and the re-imagining of womanhood, it makes me feel like I am Getting To Know Myself.

Fat - A Love Story is about Rita Formica, a teenager from the wrong side of the Hamptons, with an overeating problem and a crush on a blonde rich boy. Already, it sounds like something I would rather pass up than spend precious time reading, but that one sentence of the blurb made me want to see this one through.

Rita knows that she overeats, her parents are distressed about it, and she has given up on trying to do anything about it. Then one day when she's out running errands with her mom, she sees Robert Swann- rich, blonde, tan, aloof, all the things teenagers in America seem to…

Glossies Throw Down: The September Issue

"The September Issue" is a phrase that didn't mean anything to me before I started learning about Her Majesty Anna Wintour. It is the name of the 2009 documentary which follows the famed (and mysterious) Vogue US editor as she compiles the year's most important edition of the fashion bible, and it is also the name of a phenomenon in the world of fashion magazine.

The September issues of fashion magazines is seen as the all-important forecaster for the year to come. Trends in make-up and fashion (and even lifestyle) change over just as the season changes over- from autumn into winter (and with this comes the promise of new, luxurious wardrobe staples- boots, scarves, coats). What the September issue holds is the key to being fashionable and "in the know" for the new season, and making a smooth transition into the new fashion year.

It is almost as if all the previous editions of a magazine do not matter at all, once the September bumper reaches newsstands. An…

Raven-Symone - That's What Little Girls Are Made Of

How many music videos did you star in when you were 7 or 8 years old...? 

Wits Art Museum Presents: WAM After Hours

The Wits Art Museum has already garnered much attention from Johannesburg's art lovers, and it seems the management is keen on staying on the radar. That's where the idea for an after closing time "cocktail party" type of event comes in. This past Friday, the 2nd of August, was the launch of WAM After Hours.

WAM After Hours gave a crowd of curious minds the opportunity to visit the Museum at night, see the work considered for the Martienssen Art Prize 2013 in an exhibition titled "Again, and then again, as well, too", and explore "Meaning Motion", the series of digital art installations by Nathaniel Stern and Tegan Bristow.

Nathaniel and Tegan were interested in how the human body performs meaning, that is: what happens when body language and the spoken or written word meet?
The installations encourage visitors to the museum to walk in front of a motion-sensitive camera, see the words that are projected onto the walls, listen to the sounds that co…

MonArk - Smiling (Or: When Peter Santa Learned to Love)

The 5 multi-talented guys  that make up MonArk (who either belonged to different bands in the past, or are also working as producers)are from Potchefstroom, and are committed to making music that is "popular, yet tastefully engineered". They call the genre "cinematic pop", and I quite like it.
They have an international sound, reminiscent of One Republic (not surprising, as they list that band's lead singer, Ryan Tedder, as one of their influences).

Smiling is a song about love: "the realistic, uncompromised and true battles of lov[ing]".

Read more on the band, and the upcoming album, here.

rAndom International Presents: How To Take A Walk In the Rain- No Umbrellas, Wellies or Raincoats Necessary.

Every so often, a group of highly creative people comes up with an idea that has people thinking "why hasn't anyone come up with this before?", and also "what am I doing with my life?"
These are two of the thoughts that came to mind when I read about rAndom International's installation, Rain Room, which just stopped showing at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.

Using a combination of artsy, complex-sounding tools like "solenoid valves" and "injection moulded tiles", some engineering skills and a desire to create a social science experiment, Stuart Wood and Florian Ortkrass produced the Rain Room.

The Guardian sent a reporter to experience the Rain Room for himself when it was installed at The Barbican in London, and to speak to Wood and Ortkrass about what they had created: is it art- or is it a feat in engineering?

The installation is described as "a hundred square meter field of falling water through which it is possible to…

What To Listen To Now: Beatenberg

I was at PUMA Social Club last Friday for the first time in a long time, and I am so glad that I got to see Beatenberg perform.

I had never heard of them before I saw the line up for PUMA Social, so I consulted the wisest music guru I know, YouTube. This Cape Town band, whose members are Matthew Field (vocals/songwriting), Robin Brink(drums) and Ross Dorkin (bass guitar) definitely made a new fan out of me with this acoustic version of You Never Sing To Me:

I liked the sound of this immediately, and was even more taken by it on Friday night, as it came as part of the impressive set that the band did for us. The music has an infectious beat, and there is nothing to be done but to dance- this is largely due to Robin's incredible drumming, and the way he and Ross were working off of each other to support Matthew's oddly earnest vocals.

Together, Beatenberg produces music that is like Freshlyground and Johnny Clegg rolled into one: wholesome, fun music that plays with &quo…

JoJo! Remember Her? You Should. (Or: From the Diary of an Unsung Diva)

I rediscovered JoJo in a big way this week. Wow- I can't believe I haven't paid any attention to her since hearing about that Marvin's Room cover she did a few years back, because since then she has been working really hard.

The 22-year-old has been putting in a lot of hours at the studio for the past 4 years or so, and has released two mixtapes: Can't Take That Away From Me (2010) and Agape (2012). Looking at her gives me the impression that she has been growing into the RnB/ hip-hop diva identity she set up for herself with her first two albums, which spawned hits such as Leave (Get Out), Too Little Too Late and How To Touch A Girl.

These days, JoJo is putting out material that has a much more mature, urban sound, and that voice of hers, as the kids say these days, "just won't quit". She has an impressive range, and she performs with a high level of professionalism- showing that she is really dedicated to her craft. Many, many artists say this about the…

P!nk - True Love

Comparing this song to "Family Portrait" from all those years ago, makes me realise just how far from angsty, volatile and "Mizundastood" P!nk has come. I like it.

The music has evolved, and P!nk still has the same great voice. It seems like she sorted out whatever trouble she was having with her marriage, and I'm assuming that's her daughter making a brief appearance at the beginning of the video, so things seem to be going pretty well for Ms Alecia Moore.
The latest album is called The Truth About Love. Go and get it.

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From Nickelodeon To the Billboard Hot 100 - Ariana Grande

I had been hearing the name "Ariana Grande" bandied about for some time, and it had been appearing on some Tumblr reposts I came across for quite some time, but it was only after I saw this video that I understood why:

Ariana has quite a voice! She does the "early noughties throwback pop" thing so well, (her music has been compared to the type of sound that people like J-Lo were putting out in the early 2000s), and the Brenda Russell sample, her intensely Mariah-like vocals and the collaboration with Mac Miller certainly helped to get her single into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's going to be interesting to see what this former Victorious castmate does to stay relevant now that she has caught critics' attention.
She has already collaborated with Mika on Popular Song, and she does a cover of Emotions (one of my favourite Mariah Carey songs) that proves that she is talented, and singing seems to come to her as easily as breathing. (How else can you…

Missions at the National Arts Festival: A Recap