Sunday, June 9, 2013

20 years in music

There is a temptation in music polls to vote for songs you like which you know are likely to rate well, rather than honestly voting for your absolute favourites. Unfortunately, whatever you do, The Verve will still somehow make it into the top 10. I'm the sort of person who listens to a whole CD at a time, so picking out individual songs is frustrating. Anyway, all of this is to explain why nothing I voted for made it into the Hottest 100 of the last 20 years. The good news is that unlike democracy in the real world, nobody dies because of music polls.

Here's what I put down...

A Perfect Circle - The Hollow 
The genius of Billy Howerdel's composition is a kind of instrumental minimalism and carefully engineered texture.

Pearl Jam - Thin Air
I spent highschool listening to Ten, but this may be one of their best.

Powderfinger - D.A.F

Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
So many late nights working on uni projects, listening to Siamese Dream and Pisces Iscariot.

The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build a Home
Reprising the D A E motif again in 'That Home' brackets Ma Fleur into an album that wants to be played end-to-end. It's a beautifully understated record.

Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet
I'm trying to limit myself to one song per band, but choosing a favourite Modest Mouse song is like being asked to choose a favourite child.

Mid Youth Crisis - Happiness and Authority
I guess it was either this or Between The Lies for the Network sample. My mum used to call MYC 'that shouty band'.

Audioslave - Cochise

Godspeed You Black Emperor - East Hasting
I know, this is more of a movement than a song. What a chilling build-up.

David McEldowney - Stupid People
I don't know how many times I heard this song before he recorded it. All that time, this song wanted to be slightly more reggae.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

A Silver Mount Zion - 13 Angels Standing Guard 'Round the Side of Your Bed

Neutral Milk Hotel - Oh Comely
When Fran├žois described music as 'really important', he didn't mean it in the hollow, critical post-modern sense, but the personally meaningful thing-that-describes-life sense. This song was important to him; I couldn't listen to it for about two years after he died.

Matthew Dewey - Orchestral Suite No. 1
This was a triumph. The English language is missing a word which means "the vicarious pride one feels when a friend achieves something great".

Ben Harper - Forgiven

Muse - Hysteria
Took me ages to transcribe this into my ancient Nokia brick as a monophonic ringtone.

Apocalyptica - Faraway
Not bad for a Metallica cover band.

Michael Franti and Spearhead - We Don't Stop
I didn't really know Michael Franti's work at all (well, other than Television the Drug of the Nation)  before seeing him with Spearhead at Falls Festival 2003. Clare and I listened to 'Everyone Deserves Music' a lot when we started going out.

Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates

The Beautiful Girls - Let's Take the Long Way Home

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I love setting myself a good challenge. However, seeing the challenge all the way through is another challenge in itself. I am eager at the beginning but start to crumble a few weeks in when I lose a bit of the enthusiasm.  For instance, I was super keen when I started my sewing 'to-do-list' challenge but now that I have made a few things, I have unconsciously decided to take a little rest for a while.   One reason for my sudden lack of enthusiasm is the fact that my sewing room is so messy at the moment I can barely walk to the sewing table, let alone move the chair to sit in front of it. Which is why this next challenge is so necessary.
The challenge I am going to set myself till December is to tidy-up and declutter my house. '2013 in 2013' is the challenge set and designed by Slow Your Home blogger, Brooke. So in 2013 I am going to simplify my life by getting rid of 2013 items in my house. These will be items that are unused, and that take up valuable space in my life and weigh me down. I am super excited that I found this website as I wouldn't have been able to do it myself. 

Recently, I have been finding our house difficult to live in. I am constantly tidying up but it is never clean. Our house is small, so it quickly becomes messy and cluttered. The clutter makes the house feel smaller, and the smaller it seems the more stress I feel. 

I have come to recognise in the last few weeks that the state of house is very often linked to my mood.  When it is messy the whole place feels chaotic and it feels like I am control of nothing. By removing 2013 items from the house in 2013 I am hoping that the house will easier to manage and maintain, and that it will begin feel lighter. By simplifying my house, I am hoping to feel less stressed. And the less stress I have, the better I am to be around.

As I am starting the challenge a bit late, I am not following the challenge solely month by month. Instead, I have printed off the check-lists for the last six months and will clean up areas and keep a tally for the items I get rid of as I feel inspired. For instance, these last few days have seen me cleaning up in the hallway, which include areas from both January (the entry way) and June (the linen closet). By breaking down the tasks like this and not seeing it as something I have to complete quickly (which I would find super stressful), I am hoping I won't lose my enthusiasm and my mind will stay focused on task. Hopefully, it will lead to good outcomes and by the end of 2013 I will have gotten rid of 2013 items that create stress in this house. 

Wish me luck. I will keep you updated :).