WHEN YOU LISTEN / 19

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I just realised that it's been months and months since I posted about what I've been listening to. Possibly the whole year. That's a while between drinks. Probably another round up coming soon, but to get your started:

* The Kills are nothing new, just new to me. I don't know how I missed them, their particular brand of awesome, but I did. So when Ngaio bought me a ticket to see them at the Enmore last month, I was blown away. I knew they were cool, but my goodness - coolest ever. And so bloody talented. I don't think I've ever felt anything as passionately as Alison Mosshart felt those songs. I've definitely never looked as cool. Ngaio bought a tee when we arrived, and I liked the print so much (Doing it to Death) I bought one too, which seemed a little eager. But 30 seconds into the first song I turned to her nodding and said 'I'm so glad I bought the tee'. 

* Again, nothing new but high on my current rotation is the lovely Devendra Barnhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. It hits all the right soft but charming and off-beat early spring feels when the days are longer and you can leave the doors open and feel uplifted and light. What a man.

* Oh lordy, this album is on repeat right now. Can't get enough. I fell in love with Michael Kiwanuka a few years ago when I came across this clip and love the new direction he's taken with Love and Hate. I mean, it's brilliant. And the clip is a revelation.

* Realised I already wrote about the Laura Jean ages ago, but I've made the image now and the colouring works for me (plus i was listening to it again quite a bit last week) so you'll just have to live with it.

* Julia Holter is all keyboard harmony dreamscapes - pop-like love songs with twitches of synth but in a natural and casual way and bursts of strings and soaring a voice. It's a really lovely album. 

* I first heard hear Willy Mason at my local, Arcadia, on a slow Saturday afternoon, while I was waiting to meet friends for ciders. It's that kind of album. Restless Fugitive is smooth - in no rush to catch you - just a well-paced, rusty and endearing feel. 

* I was raving about Kate Tempest a while back, and have been pretty hooked on her album ever since. It's a nice change to the usual alt-country I drown myself with. She's so sharp and effortlessly cool. I love her confidence and clarity. 

* Speaking of drowning myself on alt-country, or in this case real-country, I give you the Civil Wars. Definitely not everyone's taste, but gosh I love them.    

* Waxahatchee is about my favourite thing this year, no question. She's got a bit of the late 90s Liz Phairs about her, in a stripped back and kick-butt kind of way. I have been listening to Ivy Tripp non-stop since January, it just builds beautifully.  

SUNDAY / 27

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Another glory day. Early up, bircher of my dreams, and a swim. That's right, A SWIM. In the depths of winter, where actually it was gloriously sunny and the Clovelly rock pool was a charming 19 degrees and I braved it for a good 6 minutes or so. And then sunned about on my towel in my bathers soaking in the vitamin D. It felt amazing, and a sign of things to come (even though I suspect the water will cool down a little more, before it starts getting warmer again, since it is only August).

I had a nap and ate some very good leftover cheesecake from my dinner party the night before (roasted maple strawberries with a gingernut base) and listened to a bit of JR. The light in my room was all golden and sunset-y and I felt rested and full.  

YEAR THREE.

YEAR TWO.

YEAR ONE. 

DEDICATIONS

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a tray day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plain's enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed. 
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the Intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeaning, of identity with strangers. 
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious. 
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
hand
because life is short and you too are thirsty. 
I know you are reading this poem which is not your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are. 
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are. 

Adrienne Rich   
 

SUNDAY / 25

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I had a few too many champagnes last night for a friend's 40th. It's a wonderful thing when besties you've known for 17 years get together and all you do is laugh and smile and eat cake. My sister came up for the night and sore heads or not, we were up and down to North Bondi for breakfast by about 8:30. We had pancakes and soy lattes and bought a few things before she made her flight home. 

And since I was still a little seedy, I thought I'd catch up with my bookclub reading in bed. Which of course lead to a two hour nap while Dan made soup and listened to a killer playlist (I mean...). I love day-sleeping, and I love sleeping while other people are around - while there's music and stuff going on, something about it that I find enormously comforting. Waking up and rolling over and hearing snatches of songs and conversations.

YEAR THREE.

YEAR TWO.

YEAR ONE. 

 

SUNDAY / 24

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Not much of a Sunday. I felt pretty angry and disappointed at a few things, so it was good to stay in and take it easy. It was good to get out for a walk at sun-down too. There's beauty every damn where and it was just what I needed to have that beauty closing in on me, all rosy and golden as the day faded.

YEAR THREE.

YEAR TWO.

YEAR ONE.