Massive blog recluse/”radio presenter”

…and that’s what my business cards will eventually read. I am a blog recluse in the sense that I hardly ever blog but I will shortly be resuming my normal end-of-the-month service ūüôā

edit: the title is hugely misleading and makes little to no grammatical sense but whatever, I always write them first. Technically I’m an anti-recluse. Rant over.

I haven’t reviewed anything in a little while (although I have The Drums coming up in a few weeks, gah!) so here are some links to my reviews for a gig which I went to recently in my uni town…

Sam Brookes w/ George O’Brien & Anna Costello¬†

Purple Radio review

The Fly review 

How to be better than Fearne Cotton with a cherry on top* Р myths about student radio plus my first three late night playlists

...I really don't take myself very seriously...promise...

*it’s fairly easy tbh

So, you may well ask, what have I been doing with myself? I’m a recent convert to student radio since coming to uni, having previously thought of it in fairly pejorative terms. Some myths to clear up on that one…

Myth number 1 – you don’t have to say anything relevant because hardly anyone is listening, and if they are then they won’t be relying on you as a major news outlet.

Mythbusting – yes and no. It’s true that audience figures probably won’t be anything higher than the number of hot dinners you’ve had this week divided by the number of drunk Dominos orders you wish you hadn’t. That said, there is still a sense of responsibility to the listener, so aimlessly rambling on about your week probably isn’t going to get you that Sony award. Conversely, sounding like a self-important LBC compere is just as pointless. So I’m straddling somewhere in the middle, and trying to convey how ¬†passionate I actually am about music.

Myth number 2 Рyou have to play commercial music all of the time. 

Mythbusting – if you’re in a daytime slot then perhaps it may be the case that you are asked to play a specific amount of tracks from A/B/C lists, but that means that there is still some room to manoeuvre. I applied for, and was given, a late night slot which fits my night owl personality as well as allowing me to play whatever I want, e.g.: an eclectic mix of 70s, 80s and 90s gems, new indie music and electronic bits and bobs.

Myth number 3 – student radio isn’t professional standard.

MythbustingObviously the training provided by student stations won’t be the same depth as commercial training or accredited certificates, however it is often hugely relevant and high quality. Learning about how to use a mixing desk and operate programmes, even if they’re inferior/different to those which you may find in a work environment, is always going to provide you with transferable knowledge anyway… As for the standard of output, that depends on the presenter and their own knowledge and commitment I suppose. No pressure for a self-titled teen freelance music journalist then…

Now for my first three playlists…

Week one’s Spotify playlist¬†

Norgaard - The Vaccines 
My Everything - The Thirst 
Video Games - Lana Del Rey 
Come As You Are - Little Roy 
7th Date - Spectrals 
Punching In a Dream - The Naked and Famous 
Avenging Angels - Space 
So Far So Long - BB Brunes 
Ain't Nobody - Clare Maguire 
Lipgloss - Pulp 
Either / Or - Elliott Smith 
Don't Rush - Tegan and Sara
Lullaby - The Cure 
 

Week two’s Spotify playlist¬†

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - U2	

Wake Up	- O. Chapman	

Follaton Wood	- Ben Howard	

Dna - The Kills	

Hotel California - The Cat Empire	

Hounds Of Love	- Kate Bush	

Bad Feeling - Veronica Falls	

You Do Something To Me	- The Kinks	

Duck Egg Blue	- The Kabeedies	

Somewhere In My Heart	- Aztec Camera	

Shady Lane - Pavement	

Once Around the Block - Badly Drawn Boy
 

Week three ‘s Spotify playlist¬†

Cavern	- Liquid Liquid	

Road to Recovery - Midnight Juggernauts	

Breathe Me In - Sam Brookes	

Heart Cooks Brain - Modest Mouse	

Sentinal Bloom	- SCUM 

Phantom Limb - The Shins	

Forget You All the Time	- Cloud Nothings	

Get Lost - Tom Waits	

You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates

Bottle Up and Explode! - Elliott Smith	

So Light Is Her Footfall - AIR	

69 Fanny Street - The Peth	

This Is the Day	- The The
 
Recommendations are welcome for my show, which is on purpleradio.co.uk on Thursdays from 11pm to midnight ūüôā¬†
 

Vice mag gets geeky *guffaw*

That looks like it says gruffalo doesn’t it? Anyhow… it’s been a while since I tuned into Vice’s vids, but here’s something which caught my eye, probably because I’m a huge anime nerd at heart…

A Dragon Con Odyssey Рnow on Motherboard 

Do you know what Dragon Con is? Nor me. But Vice do. Cosplayers are usually more likely to fit into a “Don’t” page in the mag, but on their shiny Motherboard video site you can find out about the intriguing traditions and heartwarming stories behind the ridiculous masks, silly wigs and awe-inspiring accessories courtesy of Vice’s comics editor Nick Gazin, who visited Atlanta’s annual comic convention. As with all Vice documentaries, there are the usual suspects (strange paedos and socially inept obsessives do feature) which are offset by oddities such as a goth band with an obvious Depeche Mode influence and a run in with Carrie Fisher which is more than a little Borat-esque. A must watch for nerds and jocks alike, which can be seen here.¬†

HJ

x

This month I’ve been…
Watching: Top Boy (as was half of the free world I’m sure)
Reading: The Sealed Letter РEmma Donoghue 
Eating: too much, all of the time 

Catching Up

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 ‚ÄėSummer Morning Rain‚Äô. 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‚Äôs ‚ÄėFree Falling‚Äô. Clich√© 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‚Ķand 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

those:


(yeah, they’re limited edition Snoopy tissues I went crazy for aged 12, ok?!)

and this

(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.

Yours,

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.

Grands bisous.