Wednesday, 28 May 2014

What I'm Listening To

Every year around this time there is always a bunch of music released in preparation for summer on the other side of the world (so expect an influx of new albums and songs about drinking) and with that influx comes another update about what I'm listening to. Once again is quite varied so hopefully there's something for everyone.

I've just realised that this is very similar to my exercise playlist so maybe crank this one while walking the dog like I do? I don't know.

Lily Allen - Our Time

I absolutely love Lily Allen and I want her song Hard Out Here played when ever I enter a room but I have to say this track is the one I am listening to the most. I'm really enjoying her new album 'Sheezus' too.

Ed Sheeran - Don't  I am beyond excited for Ed's new album that's coming out next month and I am loving this version of 'Don't' that he performed on Jools Holland last weekend. That boy is a genius with his loop pedal.

Iggy Azalea-Work You've probably heard 'Fancy' featuring Charli XCX but this song is better. I bought her album "The New Classic' the other day and it's pretty good! I particularly like the song 'Goddess'.

Lady Antebellum - Bartender Lady A have just announced that they're working on their 5th studio album and again, I'm excited. This song is unbelievably catchy and a is wicked lead single.

Sia - Chandelier  I was a bit meh on this song when I first heard but a friend of mine told me about this video so I re-watched it and I am absolutely hooked. It's the most beautiful, hunting music video and It reminds me of Pink's 'Try' music video a bit. Even if you don't like the song this video has to be appreciated for what it is.

Zac Brown Band - Goodbye in her Eyes I've had this song on my ipod for a really long time and always liked it but lately I just keep going back to this song. It's so sad but lovely at the same time. the Zac Brown Band are so brilliant, I really wish they had more of a following in New Zealand.

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Woeful Tale of The Bad Blogger

I have been a bad bad blogger.

Writing is never easy but it's even worse when writer's block strikes.  It sucks.  Big time.  It's even worse when the ideas are there but the words were not.  My voice, metaphorically speaking, had gone.

It's been a new experience for me and to be honest it's been kind of nice to not have a constant noise in my head.

Nice but weird.  And totally not me. 

Thank God it is slowly returning.  A little bit stumbling, a little bit out of pace but still slowly coming back.

Hopefully you'll forgive me if this post  is not up to my usual standard.  It's almost like being back at the beginning and writing my first ever post.  Nerve wracking but exciting.

So what have I been up to during the The Great Silence.... well reading and listening and watching.  And as usual I just have to share.

The winter people by Jennifer McMahon

"In 1908 Sara Harrison Shea was found murdered, just a few short months after the death of her daughter. Now more than a hundred years later her ghost is said to haunt the fields surrounding her house.  But there is something far more frightening haunting the woods..."

I love a good spooky story and Jennifer McMahon's latest book is exactly that.  It is also the story of just how far a parent will go to save a child.  But is the price too high?

Fractured by Daniel Atkins

"What would you do if life gave you a second chance?  Five years after a terrible accident Rachel's life is falling apart. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn't work like that.  Does it?"

I don't want to give too much away but this is a great what-if story with an ending that will take you by surprise.

The Mindy project Season one

As usual I blame my online friends for getting me addicted to this show.  But if you're looking for a comedy then The Mindy Project is the perfect antidote to those wintry blues.

It's funny, it's romantic and just a little quirky and filled with weird and wonderful characters and it's also glorious.  Hint hint hint Season Two is even better.

It's Sex and the City for the 2010's.

Banshee The complete first season

Don't let the 1st episode of this show daunt you.  Carry on watching and you'll soon be completely hooked.

Trust me.

It's dark and disturbing and violent.  Like really really violent. Think decapitation by a truck no less.  And it has a Kiwi actor in the led.  And he is awesome!

So watch it.  Okay.

Old tyme religion by Hugo

A bluesy, rock mix with a touch of bluegrass and folk thrown in, this is a new discovery of an older CD  and one that I have to been listening to over and over again.

My favourites are 99 Problems and Bread & Butter.

I'm just a little disappointed that he hasn't done another album since this one.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Great North

Last Friday night I went to the Great North album release show for their new album, Up In Smoke. This is the third full-length album from the band, following on from their 2012 album Halves which won the 2013 Tui Best Folk Album of the Year award.

I loved Halves and I was very excited to hear the new album. Up In Smoke captured me from the first listen; each song tells a story, yet interconnects throughout the album to unravel a larger story of lost faith and a possible resolution of hope. Front man Hayden Donnell is a wonderful story teller, and backed by his talented bandmates, an excellent producer, and a beautiful choir, this album is bound to capture you as it did me.

They're on tour at the moment promoting Up In Smoke, be sure to catch them when you can, its a real treat! Next show up Auckland way is on the 7th June at the Sawmill Cafe in Leigh. I wouldn't miss it. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Book of Hat

‘This way I will NEVER have to get a job, learn how to cook more than two-minute noodles or do anything mildly productive. I never have to grow up and I can forever be a kid! Though my ‘forever’ is shorter than most, I don’t mind. What I do mind is that I am going to have to leave everyone I love behind.’

I am well aware that I need to shut up about John Green's The Fault in our Stars and you are probably fed up with me constantly writing about it and it was very much my intention to do just that - that was until I found The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland

"Hat was 17 when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that starts in the bones. Living in Wellington, New Zealand, Hat has fought the disease for three years and found a friend in cancer sufferer Hazel from John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars, duplicating her trip to the Anne Frank House. In 2013, Hat celebrated her 20th birthday and mixed with the stars of the new Hobbit movie - both things she never expected to do. Since her diagnosis, Hat has kept a blog called My Experience of Walking the Dog and the posts are collected in this book, edited with the author's blessing. Why the blog title? Her family says cancer is like a dog - fine if it stays in its own yard. Hat's dog got out. This is her unexpected story"

Harriet's story is uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. The fact that any child or young person would ever have to suffer from a disease like Osteosarcoma is unjust and terrible but Harriet shows so much maturity, compassion and positivity through her blog posts that I couldn't help but admire her. Harriet wrote this blog for her friends and family and I could really feel that when I read her book. There is warmth in the pages and her love for those around her really shines through. There is so much to be learned from Harriet's life and the love and compassion she has for those around her.  

I always want the readers of the blog posts I write to listen to my recommendations but I don't think I've ever wanted you to read a book as much as this one. I will post a link to the library website but I would also like to encourage you to purchase this book as money from each copy sold goes to Canteen. 

The Book of Hat is the real The Fault in Our Stars and it's a beautiful legacy.

Harriet's Blog:

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn

I'm sure many of you would have seen on Google this week that it would've been Audrey Hepburn's 85th birthday on the 4th of May 2014. Audrey is my absolute favourite actress so I couldn't let the occasion go by without writing a blog post about her.

She had a very interesting life not only with her career as an actress but growing up during the second world war and her humanitarian work in later life. Her son Sean Hepburn-Ferrer wrote a book about her entitled Audrey Hepburn, Elegant Spirit if you want to know more about her life. We also have quite a lot of the films she starred in so make sure you watch those sometime. I personally love her in Sabrina so try to at least watch that or the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Something to look forward to

There are some pretty cool things coming out in the next wee while that I thought I would share with you today.

Ed Sheeran's new album

Ed Sheeran's new album X (pronounced multiply) is out of the 23rd of June 2014. The first single of of the new album is called Sing and it's produced and co-written by Pharrell  Williams. After hearing a couple of the songs of off this one I am beyond excited. Ed is brilliant so I know this record will be too.

The Fault in our Stars movie

 The movie of the book I never shut up about is out on the 5th of June. SO freaking excited and nervous. I've talked about this book and movie so much you're all probably sick of it but I just have a lot of feelings okay? Okay.

City of Heavenly Fire

This next one I cant say I"m personally looking forward to but a couple of 14 year old girls I know are beyond psyched about it. We get so many request for this series that there is no doubt in my mind that other people will be just as thrilled. Out at the end of this month and if you want to get in early on the request list click here.