Friday, 27 July 2012

If I could play you a song to make you fall in love... (Part 3)

If you've missed 25-16, here's part 1 and here's part 2. Now carry on.

15. Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
Circa '98
I know, I know, I know. This has been played way too many times. But that first line! That movie it was written for! That heavy instrumental bridge! John Rzeznik is a genius for writing this track, as I think it was key to whatever catapulted the Goo Goo Dolls into Class A music heroes of the '90s.
And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cuz I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

14. Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Circa '94
This song reminds me of skater dresses and Dr. Martens, flannel shirts and white sneaks, grade school crushes and sticking secret notes in Tracker Keepers. Basically love in the early '90s. If you're too young to remember, well... that's a shame. But it's a seriously sweet, sweet song and if you can't imagine slow dancing to Hope Sandoval's ethereal voice then perhaps you have two left feet. I kid.
I want to hold the hand inside you
I want to take a breath that's true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth

13. Nick Drake - Northern Sky
Circa '70
When I gave my friend this playlist, he singled out this track as his 'new favourite old song'. I'm not surprised, because despite the raves about this track I think it's one of the most underrated love songs around. Nick's voice is meek and timid but strong in evoking a really sweet fuzzy feeling that reminds me of hot cocoa, marshmallows and snuggling. There's your northern sky, but who's your northern star?
I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky

12. Van Morrison - I'll Be Your Lover Too
Circa '70
This song, my friends, does it. The simplicity of its lyrics, the laidback throw of a guitar and a drum, the intensity of Van Morrison's voice... boom. This is such a perfect song for an intimate setting: Take your lady love on a roadtrip, go somewhere picturesque where you can have some wine and cheese under the stars, bring out a guitar and sing this song. Simple. Even vampires do it.
And you'll look at me with eyes that see
And melt into each other's arms
And so I come to be the one
who's always standing next to you
Reach out for me so I can be the one
who's always reaching out for you

11. Jeff Buckley - Everybody Here Wants You
Circa '97
This song fought with Van Morrison's offering for the 11th spot. Jeff trumps the wannabe lover because of his voice. There's something about it that ties and knots my insides in many ways that would put a scout jamboree into shame. This song was apparently written for his then girlfriend, the same one he was with when he passed away. He writes, he sings. And it feels like silk.
Love can taste like the wine of the ages 
And I know they all look so good from a distance 
But I tell you I'm the one 
I know everybody here, well, thinks he needs you
And I'll be waiting right here just to show you

To be continued...

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Six tracks in sunny July

(Props to you if you get the musical reference for this entry's title) 
The sun's out in London and my playlist is sorted! =)

Frank Ocean - Sweet Life
I've been waiting for Frank's full length studio album since I fell in love with Thinkin About You (and the nice covers on YouTube). The wait was well worth it because Channel Orange is nothing less than brill. It's idiosyncratic R&B at its finest. It's all sorts of moody, part dreamy, part confessional, and ultimately a statement. If you've read that beautiful memoir-slash-revelation entry on Tumblr you'd definitely feel a more intimate and relatable vibe off Orange in its storytelling. Get it. Love it.

St Lucia - Closer Than This
I first chanced on St Lucia while listening to Rolling Stone's SXSW Playlist. They were also featured in Kitsune America and I liked their tracks. They sort of remind me of  I love this song because you can play it in the morning when you wake up, on a boat or by the shore coasting beach life with mates, or in the early hours of down after a steady night out, and still have the same sort of "It's a blessed sweet life!" feeling.

The Pass - Colors
This tune is a few years old, but is still a nice steady beat to listen to. The tracks from their 2010 albums (BURST and their EP Colors) are pretty decent, slightly reminiscent of summer festival staples like Passion Pit, Franz Ferdinand, Friendly Fires, and The Strokes. Quite dance-happy alternative. Awesome for random road trips and steady white noise at barbies.

Bag Raiders - Prelude
An old favourite from the Aussie duo's brilliant self-titled debut and another catchy catchy track. I used to stick this track on loop whilst getting ready for a night out. I love its progression and I love that it reminds me of a really awesome place in the Far East; It takes me back to a time of happy roadtrips and sunrise, of sunsets and cliff diving, of clinking glasses of homemade cocktails and then dancing around under the moonlight =)

Usher - Show Me
This makes the list because it's possibly the most played song off my Spotify account in the past five weeks, simply because my boyfriend couldn't get enough of it. Off his new album, Looking 4 Myself, it's one of the catchier tracks and I can imagine the rest of the world singing 'Woohoo!'s.

Labrinth - Express Yourself
So maybe this is literally, a remake of Charles Wright's song of the same title, but I still love how funky and soulful it is. The whole interpolation also gets three thumbs up as it seems like a parody of Simon Cowell's non-original, formulaic show acts (particularly verse two). Ironically, Labrinth is the first 'non-talent show' act Syco has signed in ages. But the dude's multifaceted: he's gone Gospel-esque, he's gone electro, he's written songs and he's produced some too. X Factor? Oh yes.

What's on your playlist these days?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

What's on your cheese board?

I really love cheese, the kind you eat crackers with. Last week, I went gaga over dairy at Borough Market and bought some to serve at a barbie I hosted at my house. This morning, I woke up with a massive craving for cheese, fruity compote and some crackers so I opened my fridge to see what I'm left with.

Comté, Sleightlett, Wigmore, Beenleigh Blue, Ubriaco Classico

I'm amazed I've not finished the lot, considering how much I've been nibbling over the past week.

Ubriaco Classico - L'ubriaco, Green Market
Formaggio ubriaco translates to 'drunken cheese' and the Venetian classico was actually the first block I bought. It's beautiful to look at, with its dark, deep burgundy rind and pale interior. The cheese is matured in raboso and you can really taste the wine. It's yummy eaten with some antipasti like prosciutto or parma ham and though it's already 'drunk', it's acturally really good to down with a nice glass of shiraz.

Comté - Le Marche du Quarter, Middle Market
I've been craving for a decent block of comté for a while now and they sell quite a lot in food markets. Of the ones I've sampled, the best one is really from Le Marche du Quarter. The block they were selling was matured for over 18 months so the flavour was well-developed: perfect in its nuttiness with a nice sweet finish. When I sampled it, I ate it with a serving of goose foie and fig confit. Indulgent? Oui. Delicious? Very much so. 

Wigmore v Tunworth (no photo) - Neal's Yard Dairy
Two soft cheeses: one made with sheep's milk (Wigmore), the other with cow's milk (Tunworth). The Tunworth is rich, nutty, sweet and is amazing served like grilled brie but I actually prefer Wigmore. It's actually one of the mild cheeses of the lot but I like it because it is distinctly sheep-y with its sweetness and has a very nice, smooth texture. It's a bit harder than other soft cheeses but it goes well with either honey or some nice fruit preserve.

Beenleigh Blue - Neal's Yard Dairy
Another sheep's milk cheese. The lady who served me actually made me taste the young version of this cheese (matured for three months) first. I wasn't too keen on it so she suggested I try the older one (matured for seven months). It tasted better - more tang, more hints of nuttiness, saltier. I guess I've always liked things more mature.

Sleightlett - Neal's Yard Dairy
This soft, crumbly goat's milk cheese is absolutely out of this world. It reminds me of a plain version of the ever so dependable shop-bought Boursin, except this one's more organic and somehow more flavourful. There's a slight tang, reminiscent of something citrus-y and summery, and also a mild hint of nuttiness. It tastes great with a cold glass of sparkling rosé.

If you're serving a decent cheese board for dinner, make sure you have a bit of everything for your guests as some people prefer soft cheeses over hard/cow's milk over goat's/sheep's milk. Also, don't forget to serve up some nice bits and bobs like fruit, jam or crackers. Of course, to get the full flavour of your spread, make sure you also have wine that would go well. Ask your cheese vendors, I'm sure they'd know. My guests at the barbie seemed to like the Tunworth and the Coolea (an Irish hard cheese from Neal's Yard which is similar to gouda) best, hence I do not have any photos of the lot. My favourites? The ubriaco (no surprise there!) and the sleightlett. 

Ahhhh. This entry is making me salivate and it's not funny anymore. I cannot wait to prep a yummy cheese board for dinner! 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Mixed Tape Series: Jason Mraz - After An Afternoon

I'm back(ish), and because words are quite limiting, this sums the past five weeks. I did say something special was brewing, right? =) More on this later and I promise you this is as cheesy as it gets. 

I bare my windowed self untamed and untrained
Dreams that hardly touch our complexions truest faults
If room enough for both my drowsy spirit shall fall

Him: My friend asked if you had any flaws
Her: And what did you say?
Him: That you were an alpha
Her: What the eff. I'm not. I just know what I want and work my way to get it. Like most girls.
Him: I know, and I like that you're independent but you're too independent sometimes. And emotionally detached. Hey, I'm not saying it's a bad thing...
Her: Good. Because it's not!
Him: Stop being alpha!
Her: Stop being annoying!

Bold waves tumble to the season of my heart
Where you have offended my faith and my trust
Until all is lost into the beauty of the day

Her: I hate you. You. *punch* Changed. *punch* Everything. I was pretty content doing my own thing. 
Him: So was I! But you know, I didn't realise there was a void until you came around.
Her: Well. I still hate you. *punch*
Him: I love you.
Her: You're drunk.
Him: A little.
Her: Then shut it.

And there's something in the way you laugh
And it makes me feel like a child.
Aspects of life they confuse me
You and your thesis amuse me

Him: Don't freak out.
Her: Oh God.
Him: I really want to be with you.
Her: I'm freaking out. Because I'm not freaked out.

Oh, after an afternoon with you
and your rich brown eyes, your lips and dark hair,
elbows and exposed knees tossing toward the ceiling.
After an afternoon, with you.

Her: I'll miss you when you go
Him: I know, and I'll miss you too. But you're worth the wait.
Her: So are you.
Him: And nothing worth it comes easy.
Her: That's true. But this is worth it. And this is so easy.

Face to palm
Tear to tear, mouth to tongue
Heart to ground.

Heart to ground, I am in love

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Mixed Tape Series: Maroon 5 - Sad

Man, it's been a long night
Just sitting here, trying not to look back
Still looking at the road we never drove on

Him: How do you know when you're ready to be happy again?
Her: I don't know. Some people simply choose to be, some just wake up and feel that they are.
Him: Hmm. You make me happy.
Her: Well.. so do you.

Oh, but I'm scared to death
That there may not be another one like this

Him: You know you are really something special. To the world, to your friends, to me.
Her: So are you. But why does this feel like you're saying goodbye?
Him: Really? But I'm always here, no matter what.
Her: And I... for you.

And I confess that I'm only holding on by a thin thin thread

Him: Are you happy?
Her: I believe so. The past couple of months have been a bit of a whirlwind but now I am happy.
Him: Good. good.
Her: I chose to be happy.
Him: I think you don't only choose to be happy, you deserve to be happy.
Her: Thank you... and so do you.

And i'm kicking the curb cause you never heard

The words that you needed so bad

I think
I could have made you happy, but life has a funny way of leading us exactly where we need to be.

I'm so sad.

I wish you well.