If you’ve just discovered the magical ramblings and professional articles then hello, I’ m Hannah and I’m a wordaholic. Welcome back if you’re one of those who has commented, critiqued (or just laughed at me) over the past 12 months.
So, its been almost a year since I kicked things off; using this site in part as a way to share my truly random findings, my best music, fashion and lifestyle pearls and also to link to my work elsewhere. It has been met with complimets and confusion, so much so that I think it might be time to reorganize things a bit, and redefine… something I’m not going to start now, because I have two months worth of material to just offload here…
So here we are, catching up with the calamity.
I’ve been told to write in black from now on by a load of very valued readers, but my green font and pink background are part of what makes me the ‘Schindler’s List girl’ of music websites. Yes, I know that film was about the Nazis. Maybe I should’ve just stuck with a comment about my Daria-like cynicism.
Anyways, I haven’t enirely been slacking off from writing in recent months. Firstly, I did another truly fantastic work placement at NME which meant listening to lots of new music and helping out in the most beautiful building in London* where anything can happen! (*my view entirely).
Inevitably, there are mundane, everyday goings on (stalkerish post, terrible demos, arguments over deadlines), but not many work experience girls can say that they’ve got to swoon over The Drums in person, who popped by to record a session for NME Radio. The Kink(s)y pair were a Stroke(s) away from me (those were much better in my head)..I digress: I was three metres away from the sparkly Speakeasy-city charm of the polished-and-deconstrcted duo. They are a dream of 1950s/60s surf soul and self-conscious noughties prose and repition. Choirs and restless brass accompaniment courtesy of these beach boys put me at a night spent in passionate conversation on a Brooklyn fire escape in swirls of iced (latte) rain. I hate on the bougeousie far too much for my own good, but The Drums are romantic and possess – for fear of tarring them with the same brush as CSS, The Shins, Fleet Foxes – a future-forward cult cool on tracks such as Instruct Me which is usurped by mixtape grainy licks of grunge rhyme”Submarine”, which seems to cite The Polyphonic Spree and Placebo.
Oh yes, and they look like they should be working at A&F.
Proper highlight material there, as well as the fact that I got to present an opening for a Roland Eye Session (a new performance venture from the guys at Roland Amps/Keyboards) and attend an unforgettable session with hardcore sweethearts Failsafe.
© Kerrang/Bauer Group
Here are some pics from the Eye session:
The boys performed their Kerrang anthem ‘Only If We Learn’ as we glided over London in our spacious pod. Not only did they give a stunning, intimate rendition, they were also some of the nicest guys I’ve yet to meet. It was easy to cast aside the Metalhammer image of a 2000s metal band being a masked gang of animal-sacrificing Viking warriors, greasy-haired axe-wielders or a pre-pubescent suicide forum with fringes…and feel what I call ‘soulcore. Metal music, courtsesy of the soul. Fellow worky Anna and I couldn’t believe our luck, and typically we spent most of the journey snapping panoramic shots on our BlackBerrys and getting soundbites about the band’s next gig which was the following evening in Newport.
And our express tickets meant absolutely no queuing. Haa.
Check Failsafe out here, and keep your eyes peeled for the video of the session which will hopefully be up here very soon!
I haven’t been totally slacking from the writing side of things, however, and I reviewed the BBC Emerging proms for my friends over at Converse Music last month – you can find that review here !
By sheer coincidence, the gig I was reviewing (which, I unfortunately didn’t enjoy at all, see above!) was at the Roundhouse on the same night Failsafe supported Bowling For Soup. Would’ve rather been with the latter bands.
I also wrote a little piece on my favourite fanzine, The Pix, run by the incredible journalist, DJ, fashion goddess of i-D Hanna Hanra. Yes, I would love to meet her, and not just because we have the same name bar one letter.
This picture pretty much confirms her status as like, SUPERCOOL…like. Anyhow, here is what I wrote – flippantly and sans title – for her fabulous website.
Here’s a review of a single I did whilst at NME. Be warned…its not too pretty:
The Duke and the King
Summer Morning Rain (Loose Music/Universal)
What exactly does ergonomic mean in relation to keyboard design? That is a question I pondered as I struggled to capture a sense of creation behind the faceless and self-indulgent mundanity that is ‘Summer Morning Rain’. Optimistically billing themselves as glam, folk and soul, these Later alumni deliver no more than unremarkable join-the-dots guitar which borrows more than slightly from Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’. Cliché seeps from every apparently cultish Brooklynite pore via sweet but ultimately dry observations. If there is one noble thing about The Duke and the King, it is their ability to endow the masses with genuinely comforting, uncontroversial blues. However, they seem to be swaying in the middle of the same dead-end dirt track inhabited by tributes, buskars and other imitators…and for this they will never be the raconteurs an original fairytale of New York.
Don’t think I’ve ever written a positive single review.
I went on a journalism course this month, run by the brilliant Debate Chamber, which confirmed for me that I definitely want to keep slagging people off writing and commenting and thinking, and ultimately that I WANT TO BE A JOURNALIST! Very useful course either way, would really recommend it to anyone thinking of joining the media.
Anyways, I’m going to have to get some sleep, feeling pretty vile and in need of these
(yeah, they’re limited edition Snoopy tissues I went crazy for aged 12, ok?!)
(the beautiful Converse/heel combo I’ve seen about London town, possibly an asian copy of a catwalk style but they are buff…even if they smell of pvc and polystyrene, and the heels might break at an awkward moment resuling in severe injury/loss of feeling in your toes).
Merry Christmas .. I’ll be back to give a cynical overview of the world very soon.
x x x x
Currently watching: The Thick Of It, Sat, 10:40, BBC 2. Hilarious, sharp, culture-rich, punchy even after the commercial success of cinematic spin-off In The Loop…if it were a person, I would marry it, if only for the witty banter and eventual inheritance.
Currently reading: Hippo Eats Dwarf by Alex Bosse…a detailed look at Urban Legends through the ages. Well-written, if not slightly alarmist with its gruesome tales of the link between human hair and soy sauce. Pass the bento bucket!
I’ll leave you with a image from my favvvvvvvvvourite website of the year, thisiswhyyourefat.com. Hot Apple Bacon Turnover With Icing is wrong, dirty and makes me so very hungry.