40 Songs

40 songs from the soundtrack of my life.

King of Wishful Thinking – Go West // Hometown Glory – Adele
Ironic – Alanis Morisette // Stronger Than Me – Amy Winehouse
Shine – Years & Years // Glory Box – Portishead
You’re So Cool – Hans Zimmer // Little Bird – Annie Lennox
Let Me Be Your Fantasy – Baby D // Heaven is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle

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Miss you, Gurl

Formation – Beyoncé // Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill
Triumph of a Heart – Björk // Deceptacon – Le Tigre
There’s More to Life Than This – Björk // Big Time Sensuality – Björk
Joga – Björk // Lucky – Britney Spears
I Want it That Way – Backstreet Boys // Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch

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Same

Lovely Day – Lou Reed // Hurt – Johnny Cash
Rock the Casbah – The Clash // Last Nite – The Strokes
Close to Me – The Cure // Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
Strange Love – Depeche Mode // There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
The Light – Common // Thriller – Michael Jackson

Untitled design (10)
Express Yourself – Madonna // Hotline Bling – Drake
Dilemma – Nelly & Kelly Rowland // Creep – TLC
Crazy – Aerosmith // November Rain – Guns N Roses
Insomnia – Faithless // You Got The Love – Florence & the Machine
Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry // Dreaming – Blondie

Untitled design (9)
Forever inspo

40 Songs playlist here.

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Music to Cry To

tumblr_nfmwr7rCvT1tf75mqo1_500It became apparent during a conversation over the water cooler (kettle) a few weeks back that my colleague Tom has never been moved to tears by a song. I wonder if it’s because men don’t seem to listen to ‘the lyrics’ (or so I gather from the few I’ve actually spoken to about it)?

Whatever it is, I was surprised (and perhaps a little disbelieving, I mean COME ON), and while it would be far easier and quicker for me to compose a post about the song(s) that haven’t made me cry, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some that have, and do, make me weep like a wee bairn on the regs.

Somehow the below tunes have also managed to heal me.

It’s a little like the bit where Emma Thompson is questioned by Alan Rickman (Always) as to why she loves Joni Mitchel so much in Love Actually (2003): “Because she taught your cold English wife how to feel”.

That’s exactly it – crying at sad stuff makes you feel and feeling stuff is GREAT – I thoroughly recommend it.

Have a selection of my most emotional songs:

I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You – Colin Hay

UGH. Put me out of my misery right now. I dare you to listen to lyrics such as “Don’t want you thinking I’m unhappy, What is closer to the truth, If I lived till I was a hundred and two, I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you”. GULP.

The loneliness and sorrow comes through in every word and yet it’s ridiculously beautiful and hopeful, like somehow just loving this person was enough. Makes you want every love you feel to be as deep.

Apparently it appeared on the Garden State (2004) soundtrack but don’t let that put you off!*

Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

Jill actually reminded me of this song recently (Monday) when we reviewed the heart-shattering Iris (2001). It appeared on the motion picture soundtrack for City of Angels (1998), a film that has also destroyed me in the past (Look, I’m a huge Nicolas Cage fan and I don’t care what anyone says about it).

It was also a song I listened to a whole lot while backpacking around Australia, falling in lust with my Aussie boyfriend (now a racist) and getting my first Official Heartbreak™ because he couldn’t keep his lovely dick in his pants. I cried a lot that year and quite a bit through the end of the nineties but this song helped me along nicely.

Jolene – Dolly Parton 

This song is the worst! I mean it’s a begging letter from a woman who knows her lover is in love with someone else FFS. And she’s sweetly asking this total sex bomb not to phunk with her heart, or his. BLUBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB.

Also, Dolly P is the Queen of all things, right?

At Last – Etta James

At a wedding last Summer this song played and I cried, for no good reason. The sentiment, the unfairness of loss, my feet hurting in heels – all that. What a voice and what a fucking tune.

Hometown Glory – Adele

Obviously Adele was going to make this list, it’s the way of things. This is my favourite of all her songs because it makes me think about wandering the streets alone, thinking about life.

I love the lyrics, “Is there anything I can do for you dear? Is there anyone I could call?” “No and thank you, please Madam. I ain’t lost, just wandering.” and I love the piano intro too.

Day Too Soon – Sia

Honestly, I could have chosen any one of Sia’s songs and my statement would be true, especially Breathe Me and Elastic Heart but I chose Day Too Soon because it’s happy and hopeful – and I love Sia. Is she an angel sent to Earth just to make my heart beat faster? Well, that’s how she makes me feel.

Don’t get me started on the two songs she did with Eminem about Survival (Beautiful Pain & Guts Over Fear), and the recent Alive). Killers.

~

I could go on and on but I’ll leave it at these 6 heart breakers.

What are your favourite songs to cry uglily to? (Has to be ugly crying or it doesn’t count).

*Semi-kidding.

Things & Inc #4

It’s been a while, so I thought I’d share a few of things I’ve been into lately. Why the hell not, eh?

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Television: Sense 8

I’m not great at explaining what the chuff is going on in most Sci-Fi stories, most of the time barely clinging on to the plot myself, so I’ll let IMDB explain it for me:

A group of people around the world are suddenly linked mentally, and must find a way to survive being hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world’s order.

Got it? I have just about grasped it now but the first few episodes were not my friends. What sets this series apart from similar, and what ultimately pulled me in and kept me there, is that it’s written and directed by The Wachowskis.

I can’t believe there are many people out there unfamiliar with The Matrix franchise, but if one of you happens to read this post (hi, what have you been doing?); The Wachowskis were responsible for the trilogy. They’ve also been involved in a few films I adore, including Bound (1996) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Even writing and producing V for Vendetta (2005).

What makes Sense 8 rule, aside from great characters and some fucking great action scenes, is that it takes a close look at issues such as sexuality, gender, identity, religion and plays around with our perceptions of those things. Essentially, these eight ‘sensates’ can walk in each other’s shoes and wouldn’t the World be a better place if we could all do that, even for a moment?

I can’t talk about all the characters but I will say my favourite is Sun Bak (Bae Doona), a Seoul businesswoman with a Masters degree in Ecomomics – who is also an up-and-comer in the underground, and male-dominated, kickboxing world.

EXACTLY.

I strongly recommend this though I will freely admit that I nearly stopped watching after the first episode. I’m so glad got over myself as this was so worth my time. With a rumoured 5 year plan in place for the characters and show, the future is looking rather bright for Sense 8.

Film: Creepcreep

I love Mark Duplass. He’s handsome and clever; and frequently credited with pioneering the mumblecore movement with his brother, Jay and a handful of other like-minded writer/directors.

He also does creepy rather well, as this film proves. The gist is this: a videographer answers an ad in Craiglist to be part of a bizarre assignment in a remote mountain town. Things, of course, are not quite as they seem when he arrives.

I have to be careful with this mini review as it would be easy to give the game away, and the beauty of this slightly odd film is in its subtlety. And then not. You’ll see what I mean.

Aaron (Partick Brice) meets Josef and quickly realises there’s something a little off about him. But he also has a sad back story, which has driven him to reach out to Aaron, so what’s a kindly guy to do?

I’ll let you figure out for yourself how Aaron and Josef get on but since this is a ‘found footage’ film, you’ll have the idea going in that it isn’t all friendship bracelets and clinking beer bottles.

Chilling, atmospheric and ominous as fuck.

Music: Go/Shine

The best two songs of the Summer (so far).

Go makes me feel like a superhero when I listen to it, usually whilst walking to work. And I bloody love Years & Years.

Believe me, listening to current music is not something that I do very often, so to be into these is kind of a big deal.

What have you been loving lately?

Frank (Film) Review

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Never judge a film by its poster

I’m sick as a parrot, snotting and coughing all over the place and to top it all off, I royally fucked up my pancakes. It’s generally been a very mediocre Shrove Tuesday (and regular Tuesday) in the life of this Voluptuous Mind.

Except.

Except I think I might have just found my new favourite film of all time, on Netflix, just there for the plucking.

Frank (2014)

Synopsis: Jon is a wannabe musician, writing his own songs, with varying degrees of success, around his day job. By chance one day he finds himself playing keyboards with eccentric pop band, the Soronprfbs.

Verdict: Oh my gosh. I avoided this film at first because I didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit to not being that musical and although I do love music (90’s hip hop/The Smiths), I’m just not that into music biopics or the like.

This is something along those lines and in my mind I thought it would be boring and more than a little wank. I stand corrected as it’s neither of those things. In fact, it’s pretty close to perfect in terms of story (if a little flimsy), characterisation and dialogue. Mixing genuinely funny moments with poignant scenes, it gives you the feels where you don’t expect to have them.

The titular Frank, in particular, is an enigma far beyond his mask. Wearing a papier mâché head at all times (even to sleep), he carries a certificate that permits him to keep it on, even in the face of authority. He has a phenomenal singing voice while the rest of the band have varied and unique musical talent. Somehow it kind of sort of works.

Frank-Movie-PosterFrank is bolstered by his not very warm girlfriend, Clara, who takes an instant dislike to Jon, telling him early on to ‘go home’. The band have traveled to Ireland to record their first album and none of them seem that fussed about Jon, only Frank wants him around.

But Jon is convinced that he has the potential to access the far corners of his mind creatively. Will he be able to do that with a little help from his new friend? As the bond between the two of them grows, so too does Clara’s hatred for Jon.

Jon’s social networking skills, meanwhile, start to build up a small but strong following for the band, promising them an audience they never knew they wanted. Frank believes that Clara doesn’t want people to like them, but following a genuine tragedy within the group, she agrees to the band travelling to perform at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. This is not a sign that Clara is softening though, as she threatens to stab Jon if he ‘fucks up America’.

I’ll let you watch for yourself to learn the rest but I do highly recommend this film, which was inspired by the book, Frank by John Ronson (about 70’s Comedian and musician, Frank Sidebottom).

I will just sign off by saying that I love Maggie Gyllenhaal always and this performance is no exception. There’s a scene in which Jon calls Clara a really bad name (spoiler alert: it starts with a ‘C’ and ends in ‘unt’) and I thought to myself, yes that’s exactly what this character is (oh my but what a fabulous one).

Fassbender too plays his part well. Who knew that one man could elicit such genuine emotion whilst wearing an expressionless helmet/mask? He has an inimitable charisma that makes people follow him and somehow too, believe in his vision. There’s an element of something else there too that makes you want to protect him.

Finally, Domhnall Gleeson is just a little gem. His comic timing is wonderful and he puts me in mind of a young Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords. I can’t wait to see him in more, especially Ex Machina.

Rating: I give this charming and genuinely heartwarming flick a not at all shabby 4.5 out of 5. And I’m tempted to pop the missing 0.5 on top anyway for taking my mind off just how shit I feel.

That’s me for tonight, I’m heading to bed now. Nighty Night.

Images via Google.

Cue the Violins

If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album? Via The Daily Post (21st November 2014)

tumblr_naa2ac3rpn1r2x63jo1_500If my life had a soundtrack, I hope it would be make me feel exactly like Pitch Perfect‘s does. You know, good.

I’m all about feeling good and being stirred. I love an anthem. I like to listen to songs that make me imagine myself in certain scenarios. A dance off in the aisle of the night bus with twenty strangers, for example.

Showing an old (and beautiful) ex-boyfriend how amazing life has been without him. The high school reunion I couldn’t bear to attend in real life. Am the only person who does this?

Don’t expect anything too high brow from the Soundtrack of my Life. You would get some Shaggy, ‘Superfreak‘ by Rick James, a bit of Prince (because who can stay still when Prince is up?). You’d get Alanis Morissette because ‘Jagged Little Pill‘ was amazing.

You’d get the very best of The Cure, epecially ‘Close to You‘. Depeche Mode’s ‘Strange Love (Blind Mix)‘ would swing by and hold hands with The Smiths.

There is a Light That Never Goes Out‘ is my favourite and would therefore play whenever I gazed upon my true love. ‘Milkshake‘ would be my personal theme tune whenever I entered the frame. Or maybe I would prefer ‘Edge of Seventeen‘?

A bit of ‘Faith‘. A lot of Spice Girls. ‘Express Yourself‘ by Madonna. ‘What It Feels Like For a Girl‘ too.

How is it even possible to choose what 12 songs? My life would have to be a trilogy, at least, just to fit it all in.

What about you?

In other news, it’s the weekend before my birthday and I’m heading back ‘home’ tonight. It’ll be very family heavy and that’s exactly what I want and need this year.

Call me a sentimental old fool if you like, but I want good company and quality time rather than drunken debauchery or, more likely, self-loathing because I’m no longer young.

Happy Friday all!

Proud Pleasures Part 1: In Praise of Miss Swift

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I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I believe in Proud Pleasures.

If I like something, even if it’s just a Shaggy record from 1998, why not admit it? I don’t care what the cool kids think. When all is said and done, I know who I am and who I am has horrific taste in music and LOVES pop.

Candy striped, sickly sweet pop music that gives you toothache.

Which leads me effortlessly into my love for Taylor Swift. I know she’s in the press a lot, that everyone loves her for her autobiographical songs and her full skirts. I like these things about her too but if I’m honest, I’m mainly in it for the Muzak. That girl can make a damn good tune.

Music is not my first love (film is) and although I do of course listen to and enjoy it, I’ve never really got into the Indie albums my friends love. I don’t know the latest bands or who’s the best performer at a live gig. I’ve never been a festival goer and I don’t spend my money on concerts.

Maybe I am musically stunted, I know there is a whole aural universe out there just kicking it’s heels waiting for me, yet I’m stuck here on Planet Pop – and I’m okay with that.

So Taylor, I like you. I really like you. Red was fantastic with strong songs in I Knew You Were Trouble and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and 1989 – 1989 is a perfect slice of steaming hot pop pie! Not a foot wrong as far as I’m concerned.

(Vintage looking Polaroids included with the physical CD? Genius!)

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I love you more than PSLs

I’m in love with Welcome to New York, Blank Space, All You Had to Do Was Stay, Bad Blood and Shake It Off, it’s hard to pick favourites on an album, as my friend Lightle says, full of tens.

As for my personal feelings about Tay, she seems okay. Nice enough. I assume the saccharine girl persona is just that, and that there is probably more to her than we know but she’s obviously self-aware and I like that. Anyone who can poke fun at themselves is A-OK by me.

So, in closing, I want to hark back to my favourite T. Swift era: the Dawn of the Woolly Hat and Jake Gyllenhaal in Coffee Shops Swifty. I wish he had never pissed her off and that they had stayed together. Sure, we wouldn’t have WANEGBT but we would have Jaylor Swyllenhaal!

I’ll get my coat now.

Incidentally, this is the first in a series of regular posts I am going to call Proud Pleasures.

Update: AND How You Get The Girl and New Romantics. So good. So so good!