Euphonious Fridays – Lippy Kids


When I picked up Massive Attack‘s most recent release Heligoland last year, one of the first songs that I immediately fell in love with was “Flat of the Blade”.  It features singer Guy Garvey.  I immediately fell in love with not only his voice, but the way he vocalizes the lyrics.  He’s an incredibly emotional singer.

Fast forward a little bit, and I finally decide to check out Garvey’s band – Elbow out of the UK.  The band’s been together for about two decades.  And I’m finally really just discovering them now.  I’d like to hang my head in shame for that one.
The band’s fifth studio album – Build a Rocket Boys! – was released in March of this year.  The name comes from a lyric in the song I’m featuring, ‘Lippy Kids’ – also the name of the working title for this album.  The song is so…pretty.  It’s subtle and unassuming and stunning and inspiring – all at the same time.  The song was apparently written in defense of the British kids who one might see hanging out on street corners, and one might consider a criminal simply because they did so.  In other words, street toughs.  All in all, it’s a lovely song and I highly recommend that you check out this band if you haven’t.  There is so much good music coming out of the UK these days that it hurts my head to think about it!
So thanks Elbow…now I’ve got to go and buy your back catalogue.  I’m going to be broke after my summer vacation with all the music I’m going to need to buy.

lippy kids on the corner again
lippy kids on the corner begin
settling like crows
though i never perfected that simian stroll
the cigarette senate was everything then

do they know those days are golden?
build a rocket boys!
build a rocket boys!

one long june
i came down from the trees
and kerbstone cool
you were a freshly painted angel
walking on walls
stealing booze and hour long hungry kisses
and nobody knew me at home anymore

build a rocket boys!
build a rocket boys!

Here’s ‘Lippy Kids’ live at Blueprint Studios.  Gorgeous!


Euphonious Fridays (Saturday Edition) – Unfinished Sympathy

Robert Del Naja (3D) and Grant Marshall (Daddy G), with Horace Andy in the background

Yeah, so it’s Saturday now.  Uploading large videos in Iqaluit isn’t exactly how I wanted to spend two hours of my life due to errors, but c’est la vie.

In honour of it being just over a year since I first saw the band that inspired the name of my blog live, I decided I would feature one of my favourite songs by Bristol-based Massive Attack – “Unfinished Sympathy”.  One of the reasons I chose this over another was that I managed to snag a video of this song from the concert.  And because this song has been named one of the best songs of all time by numerous European media sources.  What’s wrong with you North America?!?

So back on May 9 of 2010, Ian and I had the very good fortune of checking out the Massive Attack tour as it passed through the Sound Academy in Toronto.  We both recall it being colder than it should have been that day.  We stood in line freezing our tushes off, listening to some dude who was parked on the cul-de-sac by the club blasting Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” and other classics.  All the while, we remarked on the varying ages of people attending the show…we thought we were gonna be the Oldie Oldersons of the bunch, but there were a couple in their 50s that were standing around us too.  Very cool.  I was overly worried that security was going to snag my camera before I got in, as there had been rumours on some message boards that the club did that – though it appeared to be on a show by show basis.  If the band didn’t care, then neither did the venue.  Thankfully that was the case, as I managed to get some amazing pictures that night – which I am obviously going to be sharing with you.  What good blog host wouldn’t??


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Shara Nelson

“Unfinished Sympathy” was released waaaaay back in 1991 on the album Blue Lines.  It features singer Shara Nelson whose amazing vocals layer nicely over the strings and samples.  To hear it live was a phenomenal experience – so rarely do I see a band where the music is reproduced so accurately, so beautifully live in comparison to the recorded album.


Shara is just one of many vocalists that have graced core members Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles (who is no longer with the group) with their presence.  Throughout the course of their five full length albums, not including best of compilation Collected, their singles box set or the soundtrack for Danny the Dog (known as Unleashed in the US starring Jet Li), they’ve attracted a huge number of singers to sing over their tracks.  These include Horace Andy (a contributor to all of their albums), Neneh Cherry, Tricky, Tracey Thorn (of Everything But The Girl), Sarah Jay, Elizabeth Fraser (of the Cocteau Twins), Sinead O’Connor, Mos Def, Damon Albarn (of Blur), Tunde Adebimpe (of TV on the Radio), Martina Topley-Bird (who has worked extensively with Tricky), and Guy Garvey (of Elbow).  As you can see from the pictures, some of the past vocalists come back to tour with the band live.

There has been a lot of debate over the actual song lyrics and what it’s about.  From the recorded material and the live versions that I have, this is the best estimation I can make for the lyrics.  Interpret as you like.

I know that I’ve been mad in love before
And how it could be with you
Really hurt me baby, really cut me baby
How can you have a day without a night?
You’re the book that I have opened
And now I’ve got to know much more

The curiousness of your potential kiss
Has got my mind and body aching
Really hurt me baby, really cut me baby
How can you have a day without a night?
You’re the book that I have opened
And now I’ve got to know much more

Like a soul without a mind
In a body without a heart
I’m missing every part

Like a soul without a mind
In a body without a heart
I’m missing every part

The video for this song was one of the first to employ the use of a continuous shot.  It has been imitated quite often, including The Verve’s video for “Bittersweet Symphony”…ironic, no?
Here’s a couple more videos from the concert we attended, including the full length version of “Unfinished Sympathy”.  The audio is quite distorted since we were right in the front and it was loooooud.  You can probably even hear me screaming at points.  Yup.  That’s me.
This is a clip from “Karmacoma”.  I’m screaming in this one too.  😉

My Out of Style is Coming Back

Two posts in two days!  What’s the occasion?, you ask.  Well now, I was nominated for the Stylish Blogger Award.  So I’m celebrating with some verbal diarrhea!  I was nominated by Ian at The $#!& I Think About.  Yeah, I’m married to him…you think I’m going to let a little nepotism stop me from receiving an award??  That’s just not my style…

Speaking of style, most people who know me in my offline life recognize me as “the least possible stylish person on the face of the planet”…which is better than being “the least possible stylish person beneath the surface of the planet”.  I just like to call it my own style.  And that style is either ahead of the curve, or pitifully behind.  Maybe a little of both…

Even my blogging style is erratic at best.  I’m a go with the flow kind of person.  Not necessarily wishy-washy in opinion…but certainly not as stubborn and rigid as some people may think I am (though there are things I don’t bend on – I HATE mushrooms!).

I think that before I go too far into stuff that isn’t related to this award, I’ll get down to the guidelines for receiving it.  Winners of The Stylish Blogger Award must list five of their favourite things, and then pass the award along to five worthy bloggers.  Easy as pie.

Which isn’t easy, by the way.  Do you know how complicated making pie can be?  Especially if you don’t have the required 9-inch pie plate that every recipe calls for?  Ugh.  Oh, and pi isn’t exactly easy either…try memorizing that sucker past about 10 numbers.  I still need to look it up.

Since Ian didn’t use up one of his slots with mentioning our relationship as a favourite thing, but acknowledged it beforehand…I’ll do the same.  Love you honey!  Wow…that just sounded awkward.  We don’t exactly do the pet name thing…lemme try that again.  Love you my little undead zombie monkey…there!  So much less awkward, right?  On to my other favourites…

  1. Massive Attack – They’re the band that I named my blog for, and have been one of my favourites, if not the favourite band of the past decade and a half.  I finally had the good fortune (aka money, transportation, timing, knowledge of the event prior to the event) of seeing them live last May with Ian.  They put on a phenomenal show and I hope to be able to see them at least once more before they stop touring.  If you watch House, they are responsible for the theme song.  They’ve released a bunch of albums and loads of singles.  Come to think of it, I don’t know why I’ve never dedicated a post to them before and posted my pictures!

    3D & Daddy G of Massive Attack in Toronto, May 9/10

  2. Comedy – Be it stand up, sit down, or any other number of ways that it is delivered, I can’t get enough of humour.  I adore stand up comics like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Russell Peters, Margaret Cho, Demetri Martin, Nikki Payne, Dave Chappelle, Bill Maher, Russell Brand, Daniel Tosh…I love stand up!  I would love to spend the afternoon with one of my newest “must watch” individuals, Karl Pilkington.  I’ve apparently been living under a rock for a number of years as I’ve just recently discovered him, but I can’t get over how much this guy makes me laugh.  Seriously…check out The Ricky Gervais Show or An Idiot Abroad…you’ll love it!

    Bet you didn't think I could find a picture of Karl Pilkington AND a couple of globes...

  3. Geography – I am officially a nerd for geography.  I took a liking to the possibilities I was presented with in high school, and decided to major in it at university.  It’s less about colouring the countries all pretty like and more about the interconnectedness of the world around us.  Geography is everything!  Social, cultural, historical, economic, physical…I couldn’t resist studying something that would let me look at the development of glacial landforms in one class, the spread of disease in another, how city development is influenced by transportation hub development which is influenced by topography in a third, and how to put all of those items together in a map in a fourth class.  Alex, I bet you can name a prof for all of those courses too!  I can’t believe I’m working in my field too…it’s fantastic!
  4. Dragon Age – I am in love with this game.  Not since Marble Madness and Tetris have I been so obsessed with any one game.  I’m currently salivating as I wait for the delivery of the sequel to Dragon Age:  Origins.  It’s a role-playing game with massive replay appeal…where decisions you make early in the game affect your ending…and it’s just really pretty.

    Fighting one of the dragons...cuz, it's dragon age...oooh look...pretty, sparkly magic! Source: Bioware

  5. The North – this place has made me fall in love with winter.  If it can do that for winter, spring, summer and autumn should be spectacular.  There’s a lot of things that might make a person not like it up here, but for me, it’s an amazing place and has quickly become one of my favourite things.

    We haven't been able to photograph these yet, but when we see them, this is what they look like...

Now, enough about me…you should really be checking out these Stylish Bloggers!

  1. Holly at Holly-the-Strange – Holly is taking a brief hiatus from blogging, but when she returns, she’ll find this award waiting for her.  This is definitely to celebrate her anti-style!
  2. Christy at Mamarazzi Pages – Christy is a wonderful photographer and often blogs about her stylin’ family!
  3. Kittie at Culinary Eccentricity – Kittie blogs quite a bit about some very stylish food!
  4. Bryoneyh at [Postage Stamp Required] – Bryoneyh blogs about her adventures through post-graduate life as a single woman…with style!
  5. Lorna at Gin & Lemonade – Lorna is a reader, writer and fellow crazy cat lady, so if that doesn’t exude style, I don’t know what does!

Don’t Stop Believin’

The cast of Glee did it.  Hundreds of hopefuls on musical reality television shows do it.  Thousands of drunkards in karaoke bars on Friday night do it.  So now…I’m doing it.

That’s right…I’m finally using Don’t Stop Believin’ as a post title.  Go ahead.  You can touch me.

I know you’re wondering why I would do such a thing.  Well, I’m about to let you in on the reason.  So gather round kids…let me tell you a little something…

I’ve noticed on a lot of the blogs that I read that people are all about the bucket list.  People have 30 before 30s and 40 before 40s, etc.  There are lots of things that people want to do before a particular deadline.  I might have the ambition, but I don’t necessarily have the resources to put together such a list of must-have experiences before I die.  I also have this little problem of lack of focus sometimes, so it makes things like writing priority lists of experiences a little difficult to come up with.  What I might consider to be important one day, would not necessarily be so the next.

Regardless, the other night I was watching television, and it occurred to me that I had witnessed something on the show I was watching that I really wanted to experience.  Unfortunately, without connections, a lot of money to bribe someone, or some fairy godmother to sweep in to grant me my one wish, there’s no way, no how that I’ll get to experience what I saw.  But, that doesn’t stop me from putting together a list of the unreachable dreams and goals that I would love to accomplish in my lifetime (but probably won’t if Richard Branson is not my benefactor – cuz he can make anything possible).

I present to you…

The Ultimate Bucket List (with a hole in the side)

  1. Have my own theme music – seriously.  Who doesn’t want this?  It’s like Shaft or Black Dynamite.  Walk into a room and be greeted with a solid bass line?  I can’t think of anything better.
  2. Run down the ramp and fly into the ring at a professional wrestling event – yes.  I’m that girl.  I see those wrestlers get to make spectacular entrances every week…with loud music and pyrotechnics.  I want that.  I want to be able to do this.  It goes hand in hand with my theme music.
  3. Wax poetic with Christian Bale – does anyone really need a reason behind this?  It’s Christian Bale.  I’m fairly sure that the chat would be fairly one-sided, but I wouldn’t want to interrupt that Welsh accent, now would I?
  4. Walk the hobbit sets of Lord of the Rings – I think this one is all but a pipe dream now.  The sets have long been removed, and unless they have been securely stored in perfect condition, not even Richard Branson can help me with this one.
  5. Time travel – cuz it’d be awesome.
  6. Survive and flourish through a zombie apocalypse – I’m always working on my zombie plan.  Now to just wait for the zombies…
  7. Follow Massive Attack on their next world tour – I finally got to see this band in May of 2009 after about 14 years of being a fan.  Well worth the wait.  Their next world tour may just be their last…it would be phenomenal to witness that nightly…
  8. Build a completely self-sustained, off the grid home with its own natural water filtration system, waste management system, etc., etc., etc…. – I’m not talking a compound here.  I’m just talking about a completely environmentally sustainable home in a natural environment.  Dreams can come true!
  9. Finish playing all of the Silent Hill games – I own them all.  I have started them all.  I am too scared to finish them all.
  10. Write The Jolie Adventures.  Oh, okay, this is one on the list that WILL actually happen…soon!  It’s coming…I promise!