August 28, 2011

Homemade Rage #2: S.H.E., Mercury Rev, Irene Cara

S.H.E. is a Taiwanese girl group. It's very difficult to engage with Chinese language pop music, because there's so much of it out there and even if you do find a song you like it's fiendishly difficult to ever actually find it again or find the relevant CD. This one I like. It's got a slightly rockier edge than most Asian pop, but is still unashamedly poppy and infectious.

August 21, 2011

Homemade Rage #1: Armstrong, Europe, Ruby

Thanks to the wonderful capacity of Youtube videos to be embedded in other web pages, I can do this: little collected groups of pop music videos I've selected for you to watch and listen to. I'm thinking of doing three videos each time, which seems nicely manageable and can fill 10-15 minutes of your day. This time around I've embedded tracks from Craig Armstrong, Europe and Ruby. I hope you like them.

Craig Armstrong is a phenomenal musician and composer - his music has backed an increasing number of Hollywood movies. This track, "Wake Up in New York", was from his second studio album As If To Nothing, and features vocals by Evan Dando. It's just a beautiful song, wonderfully performed.

August 19, 2011

Five Films: Tilda Swinton

One of my favourite actors in the world is Scottish actor Tilda Swinton. She has carved herself a strong niche playing slightly unusual, somewhat androgynous characters, and her immense talent has been rewarded with acclaim and prizes around the world – including an Academy Award in 2008. These days she balances her time between big Hollywood blockbusters (she’s the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, for example) and small independent features, as well as running a variety of strange and exciting film festivals (my personal favourite is the one held in a hall in the Scottish highlands where everyone watches the films in beanbags while Swinton bakes them cupcakes). Here are five of my favourite Tilda Swinton movies.