Monthly Archives: November 2011

Don’t be blue, just ’cause you be puttin’ a business outfit together!

There are a few things that the city of Frankfurt (am Main) here in Germany is known for:
a) the sausages named after it, b) it being the only city in Germany with a real skyline, c) its international airport which is the major airport in Germany, d) its status as a city for fairs, and e) being Germany’s financial center.
Since the beginning of October you can add f) to this list, that would be me pursuing an internship here.

I won’t bother you with the gruesome details, but I will bother you with my quest for the perfect business outfit. Because mind you, gentlemen and gentleladies, the days of Alex the outfit-slob are over, arriveth the days of Alex the outfit-snob!
Or rather, everyone here in Frankfurt wears suits. Or business outfits. Well, business outfits that are suits or at least look like suits. My point being: I need business outfits! (Cause face it, when you think of me, you think of business, right?)
First off, a shirt is the mandatory item for any business outfit, right? Right. Thus:

These three beauties are all from McGregor New York, who are celebrating their 90th birthday (which you can learn more about HERE if you want to) this very year. You can get to their online shop by clicking HERE or any of the above pictures.
I love the collar of the first one, and the light blue. I am also a big fan of the chequered blue and white one in the second picture, but I love the last one. Love the Paisley pattern on the inside, love the shades of blue.
Which obviously brings me to the central color of this outfit search: BLUE. Cause why? Cause blue, you know, is not black, nor is it grey, it is not as reserved, yet not far out there. And I just happen to be loving blue clothing at the moment.
Like for example these two neckties I recently purchased:

Which would go amazingly well with this McGregor suede belt

that just happens to be (kinda) similar to one I recently purchased in a thrift shop (I’m luxuriously cheap, y’all!):

Shirts and ties and belts are fine and all, but dudes need proper jackets to make their business outfits work, and luckily McGregor’s Distinction collection helps me out there as well with these two neat choices.

So here, I’d choose the one on the right over the one on the left, because this is SERIOUS BUSINESS after all, so to at least pretend to be seriously businessy the right one wins.

You guessed it, shoes. Once again I turn to McGregor Fashion New York, that is where they’re from, and adapt their goodies to my Frankfurt hood a.k.a. dream about incorporating these into my imaginary business ensemble. Cause pretty they are. Very.

Now, this is all very nice and good, you all might be saying, but isn’t this a tad too safe? You might not be all too mistaken, respond I to this, so I will wear this jacket designed by Yigal Azrouel over it all to give it a little more edge:


Now, I’m ready for business. Corporate world, here I come (nicely dressed).


So, let us discuss Florence + the Machine’s racist new music video

Urgh, Florence, here I was just praising your new album and raving on about how awesome it is and how awesome you are and then you pull such a stunt? Speaking of course of your new music video for the next Ceremonials single No light, No light.

If you cannot watch the above video for whatever reason, you can also click THIS LINK to view it.

It is painful, because I wanna believe that Florence + the Machine are just awesome people, totally aware of the pitfalls of language and imagery and avoiding them because they too are fighting for a greater good (great question to ask at this point: Alex, do you think you are fighting for a greater good?). Having to accept first of all that one of the songs on the album that I like less is being picked as second single is one thing. Having to sit through the accompanying music video is a whole other.

Cause damn, girl, this is fucked up.
I was uncomfortable watching this even when I still thought that there was going to be a twist and it turns out that the black guy is actually her boyfriend and it’ll all be good. But no. Turns out the only black guy in the video happens not only to be the only one to get to dance, ermh, wildly? Savagely? Threateningly? But he is actually also physically hunting poor young white girl (oh, Florence….) and threatening her. But rest assured, no harm will come, because: young white boys as priests in a church! Which is an image to trigger a whole ‘nother discussion of its own, but of course we don’t stop there. Because after so much threatening Mister Black Guy (Voodoo! of course!) the final moments of the video are spent in her very white boyfriend’s arms. Phew, poor viewers, there you were, all afraid that poor white Florence might have to get into any sort of contact with the black dude, but luckily all ends stereotypically bad well and white girl ends up with white dude and the dancing black guy was nothing but a nightmare for white society Florence. Ok, so now you try to defend the thing to me and not burst out laughing because of all the racist bullshit that is going on here. I dare you. I fucking do.

And all of that would be bad enough, but is it just me, or is there some serious Blackface happening in this video? I am not entirely sure, but my advanced google search gold has turned up some more voices ascertaining that the guy being the black dude in the video is actually not black in real life but was painted black for the clip. Which, I mean, damn. No. There are fuck-up limits you should not cross, and seriously, Blackface is about as bad as it can get. How can I keep talking about how awesome Florence + the Machine supposedly are when obviously no one involved in this multi-thousand dollar endeavour puts up her_his hand and goes: Excuse me, isn’t this racist imagery? Shouldn’t we reconsider? Isn’t the narrative just reinforcing racist and potentially dangerous stereotypes?
Because hell no, there is no excuse for all of what goes on in the No light, no light video, and first and foremost the whole “it’s art” thing is no argument on substantial ground.

I was so hoping to see even the slightest hint of a meta-level in this video, some suggestion that the clip-makers were aware of what was going on and trying to subvert it, but subversion did not show. I really whish this video would not have been produced in the first place, but now I am really just waiting for shit to hit the fan hard. Let’s see what Florence + the Machine will answer to that (and please: let it not be utter bullshit).

Ceremonially reviewing Florence + the Machine’s Cermonials

You may remember my first Florence + the Machine review where I talked about their_her first album Lungs (here) and was raving, cause I enjoyed it from beginning to end. This last October she released her sophomore album Ceremonials and naturally expectations run high, so let’s have a look at how it fares as an album.


I could try to fool you and act like I do not love it from beginning to end, but instead of just giggling and saying awesome a lot I will try to be articulate and state: this album has both met and far exceeded my expectations. I started with fear, cause if you like an album that much (me and Lungs) you may expect too much from the second album and not give it its individual chance. Especially if the album heavily involves Paul Epworth who produced her Lungs single Cosmic Love which is, ermh excuse me, one of the greatest songs of all time. I am relieved to report – and also a little amazed by the fact – that I love Ceremonials just as much as a I love Lungs, which I consider to be quite the accomplishment. It totally works as an album and I can’t wait to finally possess the vinyl and have this ultimate one-album-feeling about it, even though it means I miss out on the special edition bonus tracks.

But since we’re all so fond of statistics and charts and all let us break the album down song by song, starting with the one I like the least up to the one I love the most. As a twist each title gets as much sentences as there are ranks in reverse order. Makes total sense, right?
But let me first make the honorable mention shout-outs to the three acoustic versions plus one demo on the second disc of the special edition, cause not only are they all about my favorite tracks, they are also just really really nice and it’s good to have them.

All this and heaven too
In one sentence I can only say that this doesn’t really suck, but the lyrics kinda do cause they are very reminiscent of (does anyone even remember) Natasha Bedingfield.

Never let me go
Another song that isn’t horrible, but the chorus doesn’t really do it for me and feels like a let down. Too cheesy and safe and un-Florence on an album so full of greatness.

Leave my body
While You’ve got the love was an amazing album closer on Lungs, this one is kind of a disappointment. My feeling is that the song intends to be darker than it actually is and thus doesn’t really work nor bear the significance it tries to bear. Which is sad, cause it does have some potential.

No light, no light
Florence Welch said in an interview that this song represents the album in its entirety, but I am really glad that it does not really, cause it is not my favorite. She clearly likes it, since it’s set to become the second single. However, it feels a tad too safe for me, like something that someone else could easily have come up with really – and I don’t like the chorus. Its saving grace is clearly Florence’s voice and style, but that alone does not make it a stand-out track.

For those who can see it (it does not work in Germany e.g.): I am most definitely going to talk about the racist implications of the imagery used in this video, probably tomorrow.

Bedroom hymns
I’m not here looking for absolution? This is kind of a reverse case to other songs on the album in that the chorus totally convinces me, but everything else, except for the last part, doesn’t. Though, and I will confess it here first (can you see them headlines coming?), my feeling is that this is actually a grower and half a year from now this could easily be one of my favorites. It is not now, so let’s wait and see. And the ending with its jammy feeling is really great…

Strangeness and charm
Of the songs I like less, this is one of the more awesome ones. I love its upbeat nature. I love the verses. I love the bridge. But as with some others it is the chorus that doesn’t really work for me and thus diminishes the impact a little. In this case really a shame, cause with a killer chorus this would be a killer track.

Seven Devils
This is a peculiar case for me. I really love the beginning and the chorus and overall I think this is actually a pretty wicked song. However, somehow it ends up in the middle of the field and I often find myself skipping it. Probably because the bridges and verses don’t entirely convince me. Having said all that, I tend to think that over time this one will actually climb on my list. Of course I need to listen to it more often to get there. If this is one of your favorites I would actually really like to know why, so please comment!

Only if for a night
We are actually breaking an invisible wall here, cause from here on I will talk about all the songs that I always listen to, while I often tend to skip the other ones mentioned before. Only if for a night is in the middle field, because there are some aspects to it that don’t convince me a hundred percent, like e.g. the beginning. However, since I’ve heard Florence recount the story of how she dreamt of her just shortly before passed grandmother on tour and how this became the inspiration for this song, well it makes it oddly personal to me, all of a sudden. And I agree, how weirdly practical is the advice of a ghost to concentrate? I love how this track works as the perfect introduction to Ceremonials. It gives us massive drums and tops it off with the mandatory choir, all contrasted to Florence Welch’s amazing vocal range. And it gives us the first hint of what awaits us in terms of bass on this album. Which is an awful lot and probably the major departure from the previous album – but for all the right reasons.

Breaking down
Breaking Down feels a lot like Pretty in Pink. There, I said it. It is most definitely not pink, but it does definitely reference the 80s. In a good way, of course. It sounds like one of those feelgood teenager movies where everyone has ridiculous hair and wears oversized color-blocking sweaters that are pretty rad, but also hurt the eye. So while the whole thing evokes positive 80s nostalgia the lyrics are actually a lot darker than I would have expected. But also in a good way. It is an odd combination here, but the whole anxiety theme works remarkably well with the kids’-song-80s-feel of it. Thus, my initial reaction upon first listen of “I don’t like that one” quickly turned into adoration (with a neon-bandana and turquoise leggings y’all).

Lover to lover
Strangely, this one was a grower for me, while to many other people it was an instant hit. Now I totally get the appeal. In an interview on youtube (to youtube actually) Florence said she tried to write this song from the perspective of a man on tour. Gurrl, take your inspiration where you can get it, cause it doesn’t really feel like that to me, but it does sound fucking amazing. I love the Sixtie-ness of it (though you could argue for the 70s as well I guess). It has a damn catchy chorus, an awesome ending, nice choirs, good bridges. There are all the right pieces and I love it don’t get me wrong, nevertheless I feel like there should have been an extra punch. I don’t even know where or how, but something to make it stand out even more. Having said all that I will so totally dance to it when I’ll encounter it on a dancefloor. Cause song was made for jumping to it.

Remain nameless
Dude_ttes, this one! Effin’ this one. This bassline drives my neighbors insane but sums up oh so very nicely what Ceremonials is all about (and what differentiates it from its predecessor). Oddly, I somehow think or rather feel like this one is a cover of another song, but my short and unrepresentative google search does not confirm my suspicion. Does anyone know? I am even more impressed if this is all Florence’s doing. Cause not only is the music A+, the lyrics of this one are just brilliant. You can call me anything you want. I am a little sad that it is not going to be a single or won’t even get a lot of exposure since it is one of the bonus tracks of the special ed. IMHO it totally deserves to be on the actual album, though it admittedly doesn’t really fit that well with the rest. But then again, did Kiss with a fist?

What the water gave me
This was my first impression of the new album, and what an impression it was. It totally reassured me that things will be fine, that there is another masterpiece on the way. And how true that turned out to be! By now I find myself liking other songs on the album even more than this one, but every now and than it just blows me off my feet. It is such a powerful song, with this immense build-up and this amazing choir. I am deeply in love with how deceivingly quiet it seems for the most of it just to build up to this point of breaking loose and letting it all out. And I really like how Florence + the Machine stick to their themes. There is a lot of water being mentioned on Ceremonials, and has actually also been referenced quite a lot on Lungs (where it was all about breathing, obviously). And this song not only mentions water prominently it also feels like a massive wave of sound that crushes you, takes you down and drowns you in its awesomeness. Its heartbreaking choirs will fill your lungs and choke you to tears. And if you think I’m exaggerating: I am most certainly not.

Shake it out
This is another case of “didn’t like it that much at first but love it now.” Which seems weird to me now that I know how wonderful that song is and what I love about it. And what I love about it is that the chorus is gorgeous, but the verses are even more so. It creates nice imagery with language and the music takes you there to make you shake it out with your very limbs. It is an obvious single choice, but that didn’t occur to me at first. Now I keep dancing away at the very hint of this song. Cause I like to keep my issues strong.
Once again the interesting aspect of this song is its lyrical darkness contrasted with very upbeat and dare I say positive rhythms and melodies. I am also very fond of my pretend command of language to more or less (read: less to zero) accurately describe the musical phenomena I observe. Cause really, I have not clue. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I can identify the chorus, but that is about where my deeper knowledge ends. I’m just putting words on it and pray to ancient greek goddesses that you’ll bear with me and my nonsense. Thanks.

This is kinda my Ceremonials’ Cosmic love. Which might not make much sense to you, but it totally does in my head. I promise. What I mean is that this song feels much like Cosmic Love on Lungs. It is an absolute and definitive favorite and evokes feelings that make my universe feel bigger and brighter and somehow more worth living in. And if a song does that to you, grab it and hold on to it, sez I. It is in many ways also very similar structurally to Cosmic love, with the verses, the build-up, and the quieter bridge towards the end – and of course a very powerful chorus. Plus choirs, drums and harps, which was the excellent model recipe for Lungs. Fun fact: I can’t help but think of Destiny Child. Say my name, y’all. Maybe Beyonce will sue. Cause there is also Florence’s Halo cover floating around the interwebz. It might be floating around HERE. But it also might not.

Heartlines is damn near perfect. Damn near, cause obviously there is another song that beat it to the top spot. But admittedly, technically we might just call it perfect. I am deeply in love with the beginning. But I am also deeply in love with the verses. With the bridge. With the fuckingly amazing chorus. With the message. I mean, come on, keep following the heartlines on your hand? You have to come up with that shit. I love the tribal drums and deep bass and how it totally complements Florence’s voice that brings full range in this one, from whispering to shouting, trembling and breaking it down crisp and clear. I am sincerely hoping for this one to be a single, because it totally deserves to become a universal hymn. My absolutely favorite line in this one is “I’m there with you up against the wall on a Wednesday afternoon.” Because let’s face it: how many times do Wednesday afternoons get screen time in pop songs? Exactly, basically never.

Yup, I guess you didn’t expect this one on top of the list. Or did you? One of my absolute favorite songs on Lungs was Swimming which also wasn’t on the regular album, but only available on the special edition. The same with Landscape, which is squeezed in between the demo and the acoustic versions. But damn, what a gem it is! At first it took me a few days til I realized that this and Heartlines isn’t the same song, and once I figured that out all hell broke loose. All positive I-can-finally-listen-to-this-on-its-own hell. It feels more like a Lungs leftover than any other song on the album, probably because it reminds me a lot of Kiss with a fist, even though the song’s atmosphere is a completely different one. But seriously, I love every single thing about it from beginning to end. Those drums are the shit. And I keep humming this tune to myself ever single day, barely able not to burst out singing on the train, cause it is so infectious.
This is probably the place where I should wonder what it is with those amazing extra tracks Florence keeps hiding away from bigger audiences (plus, I got 5 sentences left). I’ve already mentioned Swimming, and her cover of Addicted to love was musical geniousness. Now here is Landscape being my fav of the album and Remain nameless scoring incredibly high. I suspect girl has a vault of treasures hidden away, she’ll not be able to fit them on all the B-Sides she’ll be pushing. Which makes me teary eyed.

All in all, this album is stellar, and I cannot wait to see them perform the songs live (which I hopefully will next spring in Berlin). And it makes me excited for Florence +the Machine albums to come, of course. Cause if she can keep the standard or even manages to improve it there is a hell of a lot goodness in store for us.

Go, give it a listen.

A Storm of Words – My humble review of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords

I just mentioned the word humble in the title to lure you in. So, now that you’re here let’s get this review started.
Talking of course about the third (or third and fourth) novel in the Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R. R. Martin. Let’s keep this shit real: by now I am addicted to this series like Whitney Houston to crack. Only with more positive side effects.


I guess I read the UK paperback issue, cause I read two books: A Storm of Swords – Steel and Snow and A Storm of Swords – Blood and Gold. Which tells us that the thing is long and which of course makes us giggle a little, cause heehee, we’re in on it, right? Steel and Snow, that’s like Jon SNOW on the wall (arms and all) and Blood and Gold, if that’s not referring to the Lannisters, to what else, asketh I. It is the third instalment in the series (my reviews of no. 1 HERE and of no. 2 HERE) and was published in 2000. I’ve already confessed my addiction to the saga, but nonetheless there is stuff that I liked and some that I didn’t, so keeping with trahdishion I give you a rundown of Minuses and Pluses with a little Could-Be-Both in between.

Janos Slynt
The whole “Jon Snow is a turncloak” and the ensuing election of a new commander of the Night’s Watch left me all a little underwhelmed. Granted, it wasn’t horrible, but it was a tad too obvious and Janos Slynt in combo with Alliser Thorne was just too bad a villain to be taken as a serious threat. So Jon Snow is Commander of the Night’s Watch now? How will that tie in with him being the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and supposed future king…oops, just wondering about some theories there. Unfortunately he became a bit of an asshole, which is sad, cause he was a favorite character before.

Oh, the fuck with the whole Lord of Light business. R’hllor sucks, that’s what it is. As a god and kinda as a storyline. His whole Christian god yet not Christian god shenanigans get on my nerves and Melisandre better start bringing some kickass bad or she’ll be the blandest mysterious women all in red in the history of gods who set swords on fire. Can somebody just shoot her and make her go away?

I’m being a bit unfair with Melisandre here, cause my real issue lies with R’hllor and the potential storylines I see coming with him/her/it. But then again, Melisandre’s character is basically nothing but a spokesperson for team R’hllor, so there.
To my non-joy there is also the whole Dondarrion/Thoros fraction praising his ass and we don’t even wanna go into Lady Stoneheart territory.

The Ironborn
The whole Greyjoy family, well maybe for the exception of Asha, sucks, at least IMHO. I get it, we are supposed to get an insight into their plotting and we need a setup for Crow’s Eye and the havoc he is about to wreak upon Westeros and its political system, but – and I can’t even explain why – I just don’t like to read about them, least of all about the Drowned God and this whole bullshit. I remember being really pumped about the whole religious systems co-existing in Westeros in the beginning, with the Seven and the Old Gods, but now all we get is some Norse myth in masks and pseudo-Christianity and the fun of reading about religious underpinnings is gone. Can the Old Gods please make an appearance? Like, let all the weirwoods cry blood?


Handling of the wildlings
In my last review I bitched and moaned about how I didn’t wanna read about the wildlings cause I expected what, well, actually happened. That’s us being told that they’re all actually human and have their own sorrows and their own honor and alla that which is blurgh, cause: really? I could’ve told you three years ago. Having said that making them all just fodder for a mandatory epic battle that turns out to kinda not be so epic feels like betraying them and what they actually could have been and the threat they could have posed to the Seven Kingdoms. Now that they are gone as a storyline I kinda miss them, but most of all because of the potential they actually had as such.

You know what, Littlefinger used to be such an entertaining and interesting character. And now he is just a vile manipulator that schemes his way into positions, Lysa Arryn’s bed and poor Sansa’s life and innocence. Argh, he really is the scrupulous fuck he always claimed to be and it ain’t half as much fun as thinking he might just be saying it and actually be an awesome kid.

Lysa Arryn
She sucks more from a meta-point-of-view in that she feels so totally like a constructed character that is there to serve a purpose that it makes it hard for me to believe her actions, words and supposed motivations. Also, despite the Eyrie probably being a really pretty place, all the shit taking place there since book one continues to cement its status as most dreadful places of them all in the Seven Kingdoms, complete with a caricature of a female ruler, which is really just a little pathetic.


What leaves me neither hot nor cold is once again Dany. Her storyline isn’t actually bad, the whole Unsullied business and freeing slaves all over the east (not to mention glimpsing at those ancient cities) is pretty neat, but then there is the whole “was Rhaegar really the greatest man in all of history I wonder” business mixed with the “Oh no, Ser Jorah betrayed me, and you too Ser Barristan whose name I just learned, but I forgive you” and the “cute, my dragons are like kittens, they hiss and fly and kill, heehee, cute” thing. Ermh, I don’t know, it’s all not terrible but it is also not great and reads rather like some teenage girl-grows-up-to-be-a-princess thing which, well, aren’t there other options?
But since we all know that by the end of this saga Daenerys is going to rule the entire world, let’s see if coming plot-twists will make her journey a tad more interesting.



Admittedly, I wasn’t an Ygritte fan at first, but damn, girl grew on me fast. Her practical down-to-earth-ness and her keeping it real all the time with anyone made me give her my reading heart and also admittedly her tragic death kinda cemented that status.
You know nothing, Jon Snow. Nuff said.

Jaime chapters
What a shocker, we get to read Jaime’s POV. And even more of a shocker: it is actually really kinda awesome. Cause of course he’s an asshole-ish prick, but hearing about his motivations and learning about his outer and inner journey made me really appreciate him as a character. Plus of course, his totally seeing what goes wrong with his twin-sister and her attempts of keeping the peace.
I am also really really fond of him losing his hand and what it does to him in terms of finding the inner human being again. Not even mentioning the potential love-story unfolding here.
And how heart-wrenching is it that he lied to Tyrion all these years and finally admits it – only being lied to in return (and setting up some major future conflict here). Poor Lannisters, they just don’t know how to.

Speaking of potential love-stories unfolding: How incredibly gorgeous is Brienne of Tarth as a character? Not only is she righteous and honest and dutiful, but girl is so out of the box for everyone and goes against anything that the Westerosi belive in that it chokes me with tears, because she is Samwell-Tarly-level of awesome in being the ugly duckling that is really just the mightiest of them swans in all of birds on water history. Can somebody please give her a little kiss on the cheek from me? Kthanx.

He ruled ever since, right? Everyone loves Tyrion and everyone should, cause he survives and he saves Joffrey’s reign (though he hates his guts), he is the most awesome unwanted husband anyone could ever have (Sansa, be grateful), he treats his favorite whore nicely (and she is being a dick in return) and ta-dah: he finally kills the super-villain that is his father and does away with his stuck-up-ness and frees us from the one on team evil that can actually hold it together and make evil work.
Wonder where he is and when he’ll show up. Miss you, Ty, come back soon, please.


Arya and Sandor Clegane
Awww, the Hound, good old houndy Hound, how we always kinda knew you had a heart of gold and now that you’re with Arya who is cool in all the right ways (despite having to learn a lot and grow a lot and endure a lot and a lot of a lot else) you show all your true colors and we would all really like to hang out with you more and learn how to be such a scapegoat with a heart of gold. I’m kinda sorry that their time together was so short.

The Unsullied
Yeah, Daenarys, blah, but the unsullied, I mean, man. Man. M. A. N.
That is one rough existence right there. Wouldn’t wanna be in their shoes. Kill your puppy dog? Kill a baby? Castration? No wonder that don’t sound like the most appealing job description ever. So they become the greatest killing machine consistent of thousands but what makes them really awesome is the moment they go all like: we’ve hated this existence for like ever, we just didn’t let y’all know and kill the slave-masters and support Dany and her slave-freeing shenanigans. I mean, awww, man, fucking: AWWWW! Touched my heart right there.

We cannot not mention him. From staying true to the Watch to freeing Gilly, meeting and helping Bran and ultimately of course him killing one of the Others, Samwell continues to be the favorite overweight clumsy young man in all of ASOIAF.

The Red Wedding
This book tries to bring some epic moments, but if there ever was one in this very instalment, it would of course be the Red Wedding that takes home the price. There we all were believing the Frey’s to forgive Robb and then – BAM – they not only kill him, but most of his host and unbelievably also Catelyn. And even though we are all well aware of Martin’s tendency to kill off major characters I have to confess that Catelyn’s death really was a blow (while Robb’s was anticipated, really) and left me with a few moments of disbelief. Now we know that there is a twist to Cat’s death, but let’s wait with judging that one.
Other than that, the whole set-up of the Red Wedding: super-neat. From both Martin on the meta-level and the Frey’s and Lannister’s on the in-the-story-level. Thumbs up for the chill, dudes.

So, I conclude this lil review here, knowing full well that I left a lot (like really a super lot: Davos, Sansa, Bran, Oberyn Martell) out and that, if you don’t know the novel, you have no fucking idea what I am talking about here. If you made it to this sentence nonetheless, kudos to you! What I hope you got from this rather eclectic review (note to self: review shortly after reading the book, not long after it, having already started subsequent novels) is that I really really really enjoyed the ride and can totally recommend you take it as well.

Winter is coming (now also officially here in Frankfurt, Germany. Thank you, the Starks).

Why music videos are great, or: Kimbra – Cameo Lover

Don’t we all know it: being absolutely obsessed with one single song for no apparent reason whatsoever? We do. Alas! I got reasons, mind you. Cause it’s fun and life and love affirming and all. Speaking of course of:
Cameo Lover. Miss Kimbra an me, we do not have a story. I was aware of her existence and her single Settle Down which didn’t overly settle with me (heehee). This one though….
I cannot even try to express the love I feel for the song alone. When I think of the expression “music in my heart” I think of this: a song I totally love, that rings in my head a whole day and – you may laugh all you want – gives me confidence because it, urgh, I really don’t know, but it boosts my confidence level and general positivity (even though it doesn’t even have to be a positive song). Blah blah what?
Yep, the video is very amazing too. Here’s why:

#1 The Girls.
Hugs for Kimbra, but how awesome are her dancing girls here? Apart from that killer choreography… Just the way they look and how they all kinda don’t match but then again match very well. From the ridiculous hair to the pastel-colored-outfits (applause to stylist Sarah Banger) they make my heart swell. And to praise the choreography once more: I especially love love love when they do the whole tambourine thingy.

#2 The Boys.
Now there, guys, don’t you worry. Cause I likes you too! Cause Kimbra’s being all semi-metaphorical here with the stern boys blindfolded cause their little hearts have to be opened up first. And cheesy as I am I of course totally dig it. The color-swap, the minimal finger-dance choreography, even the final reveal when love interest no. 1’s blindfold comes off. Oh, gender-juxtapositions, what have you done to me?

#3 The Colors.
Now there, everything that tries to go symbolic on our asses with colors and in the process engages the whole rainbow is a WIN in my book. Seriously, I freaking love it. All black suits turn to colourful chair-dancing gents and the pastels of the girls’ outfits and all in front of that bright white background and my heart is about to stop and my head about to explode cause damnit, this whole color-scheming is right down my alley. Therefore major shout-outs for production designer Sally Addinsall and colorist Christine Dobson.

#4 The Dress.
And how could I discuss girls, boys and colors without mentioning The Dress. Oh, I am a hundred percent that when you look at it in real life it’ll suck abominably but on camera this is the million dollar dress, baby. The pink, the yellow, the shape, the fifty-ness of it, everything comes together perfectly. Heck, I even love how it is incorporated into the choreography in terms of shape and wriggling her arms around that.

#5 The Direction.
And all of what I’ve mentioned so far owes its debt to the fuckingly fantastic direction, which is really ah-mah-zingg!! The cinematography (by Edward Goldner) is flawless, the choreography is stellar, the camera movement is engaging, the editing brings the suspense, mood fits song and song fits visuals and in the middle of it all Miss Kimbra being made a star, because one director (Guy Franklin) in this world cared about what he did. Not that others don’t, but allow me some grandeurish pathos here.

Every day’s like talking in your sleep.

DIY – Matchbox Advent Calendar

November just sneaked  in, so y’all are getting nervous, cause the hell, your sweethearts and kids all want advent calendars and it’s only one month left to get one. Do not despair, I am here to help. Actually, I am just about to throw the DIY advent calendar I made for my boyfriend last year in your face, in case you might wanna get inspired by it (which is of course totally what I hope for).

Step 1: Get inspired. I got my inspiration from the decoration-blog-sphere in the form of the picture below. I’d love to credit the source, but this pic has been slumbering on my harddrive forever and I can’t remember where I got it from. But my guess would be Decor8. To help you with step 1 this post right here exists.

Step 2: Assemble as many matchboxes as possible, preferably 24.

Getting matchboxes of different shapes can be fun. As can be the hunt. Take boxes from every bar you’re at, they usually give out free ones.

Step 3: Empty the matches in some other container – you’ll be set with matches for the coming years. They come in handy once you want to light all those christmas candles.

Step 4: Puzzle together the matchboxes in a tree-shape (we might also just call it triangle) and glue together each “floor” aka the horizontally in line ones first.

Step 5: Ok, admittdly my taking-pictures-of-steps-in-between skills are pretty shitty, cause after glueing together the “floors” wrap green fabric (or paper) around each “floor” and once done with that, glue all the “floors” together in previously laid out tree-shape.

Step 6: Decorate your matchbox tree. In my case I glued some buttons and button-like thingies on it, cause I got a huge jar of all sorts of buttons standing around and they make for pretty tree-decoration.
Decoration also includes putting numbers on each box. You can stamp them on, or handwrite or do whatever you like (press in Braille maybe?).
Step 7: Fill your matchbox advent calendar tree with all the wonders of the earth. Or candy. Which are of course not mutually exclusive concepts.

Step 8: Be extremely proud of youself. Well done!