Saturday, 15 October 2016

songs for the way home

Last week's playlist was designed to lift your mood during your commute to work/college/wherever you go in the morning, so it only seemed appropriate for this one to be dedicated to your journey home. Specifically, if you've had a particularly difficult day and find yourself collapsing on the bus, with only enough energy to press play and lose yourself in the music.

'Lisbon' by Wolf Alice is one of those songs that had an instant, almost magical, connection directly to my brain. It's easy to fall in love with a song, but occasionally a combination of chords or a specific lyric just instantly grab your attention, and Wolf Alice seem to be masters of this.. or at least for me. EVERYTHING about this song I love, it's possibly my favourite from the album. Sooo perfect for those angsty teen days where you "feel like going out and smashing windows"..... amazing. Also, I know I already raved about both Wolf Alice and Modern Baseball, but they're SO GOOD so I had to include 'Your Graduation'. Honestly the kind of songs I need during my final years of being a teenager (or months if being eighteen technically makes you an adult?!?!? help).

You've probably already head "Alaska" by Maggie Rogers by now, but if not, allow me to introduce you. This video is the main reason her music suddenly gained so much attention, but she is endlessly deserving of it all. I could honestly write about this song all day but the best way for you to understand is for you to LISTEN!!!! 

Michael Jackson has featured in every playlist so far on the blog, and will probably find a place in all future playlists. I can't help it, I love MJ. It is undeniable that he was an incredibly talented artist who successfully mastered his craft, meaning that his songs deserve a place on my spotify account. A day does not pass without a little bit of Michael Jackson, making it impossible for me to narrow down only one song a week.... but Dirty Diana is a classic. (It was between that and Stranger in Moscow).

Oh and I'm not going to write about The End Of All Things because I already have an entire post about it!

This week will be my last week of term which is a relief but also incredibly stressful as it means first draft deadlines for coursework. Hopefully during my week of freedom I'll be able to find time to write multiple blog posts. There's so much I want to write about lately! My aims are to FINALLY fill the photo frames which have been empty for the past three years in my bedroom and to make these cinnamon rolls. I am also banning myself from updating this blog until the first 1000 words of my history coursework have been completed so.............. see you then.

the club kids

I don't quite remember how my fascination with the Club Kids began, but I vaguely recall a 4am epiphany in my hazy, high on exhaustion and caffeine state of mind, as I realised I was obsessed.

Perhaps it's my upbringing in the most normal (i.e boring) place on earth that causes me to be so intrigued by the eccentric youths running around New York City, wearing intense make up typically reserved for film sets or halloween. They make me slightly ashamed of my lazy college attire, and wonder if I should trade my oversized denim jacket for a floor length fur coat.... not today.

Outlandish outfits, the ‘cool kid’ vibe and an endless supply of drugs. The Club Kids ruled New York’s nightlife and fashion scene during the eighties and nineties. While grunge was becoming significantly more popular, these youths favoured glamour and style over dirty band t-shirts and ripped jeans. They craved second glances and shocked murmurs from often disapproving crowds in the supermodel era when fitting in was viewed as cool. The Club Kids were the epitome of eccentric, going about their day to day life in lingerie and a floor length fur coat. Feather boas, jackets covered in sequins, platform heels and clown make up were just part of the uniform as the pack paraded through New York City clubs, completely aware of how in awe everybody else was of them.

The Club Kids were a band of pirates, some chased from their home towns for being too strange, others living off the life savings of successful parents. Yet somehow, they all wound up in the same place at the same time, with the same passion for all things strange.

Imagine the most shocking costume Lady Gaga ever wore to an award show. The Club Kids could make it look like Topshop basics in their most casual attire. The innovators of being famous for being famous, (way before Paris Hilton) they were almost cartoonish and completely unreal, making it impossible to look away. When observing modern day fashion and celebrity culture, it is obvious that this gang out outcasts are to blame for most of it.. so why are they almost forgotten in the fashion industry they so heavily influenced?

Unlike the current trend of rich kids, club kids couldn’t display their costume-like attire on instagram for the world to see. It was something you had to either experience in person or the next day on a faded copy of New York Times. Prior to the internet, word of their antics was spread purely through gossip, creating a sense of mystery surrounding them. Perhaps it is the lack of documentation of the club kid reign that prevents a legacy that is shouted from the rooftops, however it seems to run deeper than that.

Fashion wasn’t the only obsession of this clan, they also worshipped drugs and fell quickly into addiction purely to keep up with the fast paced New York nightlife. While society tends to favour squeaky clean stars who’s reputations remained untarnished, the Club Kids thrived on danger which spiralled out of control dangerously. The friends who once seemed inseparable now being torn apart by drug abuse and the pressures of a constant public spotlight and speculation.

Tragically, a story which begins with bright eyed teenagers trying to make it in New York ends in murder, a prison sentence and adulthood. but where are they now? the fate of the club kids isn’t as romantic as they had possibly hoped for.. although perhaps the lifetime without drama and isolation from normal society is exactly what they planned.. if so they succeeded with prison sentences. Maybe the catastrophic ending was appropriate.. Maybe the most tragic thing that could have happened would be for the glamour and attention of club kid culture, to be traded for nuclear family life. 

The story of the Club Kids is one that begins with light, as a band of misfits find comfort in each other and revel in the attention their wild attire gains them.. yet the end of their era is one that is so tragic and shocking, it overshadows their vibrant past. (I plan to write about this soon).

However, even though their reign has ended, their legacy hasn’t. While nudity, scandal and the shock factor may seem almost boring in modern pop culture, as celebrities compete for tabloid attention, it wasn’t always this way. These young adults figured out how to get your name on peoples lips and since then every celebrity has mimicked it.

Perhaps the love for club kids is due to what the represent: youth, creativity, confidence and carelessness, qualities craved and longed for by so many.

I would love to write more about the club kids, and I'm currently considering a feature on each of the key members, as well as the story of how their reign ended. So..... stay tuned?

(The majority of this post was written as part of my creative writing coursework)
Photo sources: 1234567

Friday, 14 October 2016

summer 2016 (aka the calm before the storm)

Ah.. summer.. those six (plus?? I lost track) weeks of bliss, sandwiched between two years of extreme stress, formally known as A levels. During my, sadly brief, hiatus from college life, I actually did some cool stuff which I have failed to document on the blog... until today.

First of all, I actually witnessed Beyonce perform with my own two eyes. Yes, if you were in Manchester on the 5th of July and rolled your eyes at the thousands of people sitting on the ground outside of the Emirates stadium... just know that I was one of them. On that day I spent a total of nine consecutive hours standing, making me endlessly thankful for my youth and stupidity to put myself through that torture. Fortunately it was completely worth it and I can safely say: Beyonce is not overrated as a live performer.. in fact she may be underrated. Despite the endless hype surrounding her, I feel that it is impossible to truly comprehend how incredible her concerts are. Even videos and photos of the Formation World Tour don't do it justice, the whole thing is a huge experience that feels almost impossible, as if something so insanely amazing could not exist. The next day I returned to work experience aching and exhausted, with the sadness of returning to normality after something incredible happens. 

A week of my summer was spent in the Isle Of Skye, facing the harsh weather of the scottish highlands. Although, I did actually appreciate the serenity of untouched landscapes, and the fact part of my family are from there!!! There's something I really do love about being far away from home with minimal internet access (never thought I'd say that..). After months of stress, it felt amazing to be detached from everything (mainly college), instead spending time with my family. 

I then spent ONE NIGHT at home, before boarding a plane to Porto Santo, a tiny island close to Madeira. Usually I begin to long for the familiarity of home after a week or two on holiday, but this year I was devastated to wave goodbye to the sun and return to Yorkshire. Probably because I knew a day later I would be starting year thirteen, coursework and MY UCAS APPLICATION :( :( :(. For those two weeks, though, I somehow managed to push my endless list of priorities out of my mind, and focus on swimming in the sea, drinking cocktails and dancing around the hotel room with my siblings.

Winter is beginning now and I'm extremely jealous of my past self for being able to walk around in only a bikini, whereas I currently seem to be spending too much time shivering at the bus stop.

I hope you all had a good summer!!! I have some coooool posts planned I can't wait to share.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

life lately and songs for your monday morning commute

Despite my best intentions to update this blog, a combination of university open days, coursework and the dreaded UCAS personal statement have been competing for the title of my number one priority.. meaning once again my blog has been neglected. Days have been spent wandering around university campuses and trying to imagine making the city my new home, which is somehow exciting yet terrifying simultaneously. 

Yesterday I found myself strolling through London, running breathlessly up the endless stairs of Covent Garden tube station and unexpectedly ending up in Chinatown. Strangely it was peaceful to navigate my way through one of the busiest cities in the world, as my dad showed me the route he used to walk to work decades before I was born.

This conversation triggered the inspiration for this weeks playlist. On our daily commutes to work, university, school and college, we are all so oblivious to the fact we're almost in automatic mode. Daily routine is so familiar that it requires no thought, and I find that kind of interesting. One person's idea of normality is so drastically different to anothers that there is truly no normal in the world. Perhaps my fascination with this is due to the fact my personal idea of normality will soon be turned upside down as I begin a new chapter of life in an unfamiliar city without the people I've known for so long.

This playlist is your travel partner for the week, accompanying you through that daily morning traffic. I imagine you running up the train station stairs or down a busy street with Stevie Wonder serenading you, and that makes me happy. All I Do is my favourite song right now, and I'm sure you will love it too (fun fact, Michael Jackson actually provides backing vocals for this song and you can tell by listening that this was pre-thriller, recorded in 1980).

I truly hope you have a peaceful monday and a great week!