Monday, 30 November 2009

Albums Of My Decade

It's one month until the start of a whole new decade. 1O years ago I was 11, it's crazy stuff to think about really.

When I was 11, things were different, as facebook will tell you;

- Freddos were 10p and Space Invader Crisps were 15p.

- Kids played outside instead on on games consoles all the time.

- Nobody knew how Harry Potter ended.

- There was no such thing as an ipod or an iphone, you had a cassette Walkman and cassettes to play on it,

- Your mobile phone was as big as a house brick with a great big arial sticking out, if you had one at all

- Everything was sequinned and sparkly because the millennium meant everybody loved futuristic styles.

- S club 7 were the hottest thing in pop and everybody did dance routines to their songs at the disco.

All that stuff seems like such a long time ago. But It really wasn't. I guess I'd have to say I grew up in the noughties. I started a child and finished an adult. I discovered a lot of things; money, shoes, mulberry, beer, sex, fashion, filth, drugs, love, Brian De Palma, heartbreak, travelling... But the most important, the most influential, the most life changing thing I discovered was music.

I come form a music loving family, my parents raised me on Brit pop and post punk, Primal Scream , Joy Division and Blur were some of my childhood memories. The radio was on permanently, Dad was a John Peel devotee and mum went to more gigs and festivals and concerts than I can remember. But it wasn't until the noughties that I really began to care about the music.

I let it rule my thoughts, my style, my habits, everything. I devoured copies of Smash Hits at 11, Kerrang at 12, Q at 14 and NME at 16. I listened to every free CD, spent my pocket money on singles and made endless compilation tapes that I listened to at every opportunity. I was, and still am a bit like a female version of John Cusack in High Fidelity.

Music made me who I am, to quote a terrible cliché there. It made me artistic, passionate, creative, expressive and idealistic. Music made me feel more powerful than any drink, drug, achievement, fuck or love ever has.

So, to jump on the 'best of the decade' bandwagon, I give you the songs, the artists and the moments that shaped my wonder years. In no particular order, here are my top 10 albums of the noughties:

- The Libertines, The Libertines
This album came out towards the end of the band's success, when Peter was off being a twat with Babyshambles. It basically describes the implosion of the libertines is heart wrenching honesty. What Became of the Likely Lads always sends chills down my spine. Purist fans will argue Up the Bracket was better, but I definitely felt more of an affinity with this record.

- Jet - Get Born
This album was successful off the back of one song, Are You Gonna Be my Girl. That song just reminds me of being in my friend's front room, with a bass guitar and a battered drum kit yelling along to the words. As an album, it made me want to dye my hair black and dress like Johnny Ramone circa 1978. So stylish, so attitude-y, so very cool.

- Amy Winehouse - Frank
Everybody raves about Back To Black, which undoubtedly a great album, but Frank was more subdued, more considered and full of beautiful, elegant love songs and songs about how guys need to shape up and how real love never works out the way it does in films.

- Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
This came out as I finished secondary school. It's all about being too cool to be a jock and how it's more interesting to be the kids in band Tshirts that carry collage-covered briefcases and have a rubbish band that practices in the music rooms after school and studies physics or history or art, which is what we were. Best song is Michael, Alex Kapranos has never been sexier.

- Ash - Meltdown
This was all about the riff, the signature track - Clones - we ripped off in one of our band's songs cos it was so cool. The guy/girl vocal dynamic was exciting and so YOUNG sounding. Fave lyric - How's it feel to be a freak? Oh so pale and so unique. To walk lonely in the rain, unashamed that we are not the same

- Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way
This was probably the first entire album that I got properly excited about. It's just 4 old ex-party boys with recovering heroin habits, but they sure make good summer songs. It probably didn't help that I had a massive crush on Anthony Keidis, haha.

- The White Stripes - Elephant
The start of a long and beautiful love affair with TWS. I saw the video for Seven Nation Army and was hooked. Cold Cold night is a stand out track, as is the concluding song - It's true that we love one another. I later bought this album on vinyl at their 2005 Alexandra Palace show, it's even better as a record.

- Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
This is the album I always turn to when I'm down, when I need to relax or even when I need sleep. It's perfectly melancholy and bittersweet. A truely great break up album, will have you howling the house down. Best song is Amsterdam, right at the end, my friend played this on the piano when we were dating, very sweet, reminds me of him always.

- Daft Punk - Discovery
I liked this album thanks to the incredibly cool anime-style videos for one More Time, Digital Love and Harder Better, Faster, Stronger. I was a big Sailor Moon fan in my youth (still am) and it just caught my eye. It wasn't long before the best dance music ever made got right under my skin and stayed there.

- My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for the Sweet Revenge
A bit of a guilty pleasure. Was a huge influence on me when it came out, me and all my little chums bought Helena on picture disk in HMV for £1 each. One friend dyed his hair black and wore eyeliner in tribute to Gerard Way, he looked a lot like him I must say. Best track - I'm Not Okay (I Promise). Perfect touch of mainstream-emo-pop fodder.

Luv and kisses,


Friday, 27 November 2009

"The spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly will be on display at the V&A. Tracing the evolution of her style from her days as one of Hollywoods most popular actresses in the 1950s and as Princess Grace of Monaco, the display will present over 50 of Grace Kelly's outfits together with hats, jewellery and the original Hermès Kelly bag. Dresses from her films, including High Society, will be shown as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar award in 1955. These will be accompanied by film clips and posters, photographs and her Oscar statuette. The display will also include the lace ensemble worn by Grace Kelly for her civil marriage ceremony to Prince Rainier in 1956 and 35 haute couture gowns from the 1960s and 70s by her favourite couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Yves St Laurent."

Yup yup. Grace Kelly's wardrobe will be on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from April 2010, just in time to be a major major influence on street style for summer.

The catwalk shows tell us that next S/S will be a fairly feminine affair, softer, ice cream colours as an antithesis to last year's acid brights and colour blocking. White will be a big player and the statement shoulder of the last 12 months will give way to a more waist-centric silhouette (we live in hope, waists are a great deal more wearable!)

Princess Grace knew a great deal about style; she was classy, she was classic, the epitome of ladylike chic. I mean, she was a hollywood leading lady who became an actual princess! You can't see the likes of Paris Hilton doing that, though she might argue she already lives a better life than a princess but who cares, Paris Hilton is incidental.

I just can't wait to see the beautiful clothes that sum up this amazing icon of class, elegance and femininity.

Monday, 23 November 2009

More drawings, enjoy my lovely readers.

Luv and kisses, MerrieGirl

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A very beautiful poem

Words, wide night -Carol Ann Duffy

Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I'm singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine the dark hills I would have to cross to reach you. For I am in love with you

and this is what it is like or what it is like in words.

Friday, 20 November 2009

I'm sick, so I spend my time drawing...

Just a selection of drawings I've done over the past 2 days. A little bit risqué and there is some partial nudity, so view with that in mind please. Enjoy...

Hopefully will be more to come.

Luv and kisses, 
MerrieGirl xxx

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

As promised - what to wear to a strip club...

Gosh I am so behind in this blogging business, it has been about 3 weeks since I meant to post this blog. But unfortunately work has been intense and our internet and phoneline have been cut off (shock horror much!)

So I'm actually writing this from the uni library. Yes I am in on my day off and in the library like a GEEK. Well I am a geek, but that applies regardless. I am not terribly happy to have missed my Tuesday morning lie-in, but que cera cera. Life goes on.

So, strip clubs.

If you should ever visit a proper strip club (not one of those fabulously entertaining burlesque clubs or special event nights where the women are elegant, sexy and dressed in Agent Provocateur and custom made sequinned bikins with those amazing feather fans in jewel colours - think the film Gypsy) but a real old man in an overcoat, bouncers on the door, cliche type thing, the most important thing to remember is that the women will look good. I mean, it's their job, the better they look the more money they make. There will be naked bums, boobs and legs everywhere. It will all be smooth, hairless and toned from hours of pole-dancing training. It will be fairly intimidating (even if you are a guy).

I recently went to club in Cardiff for a friend's 21st. We were a group of about 20, mostly guys but a few girls including myself. I later spoke to the girls there about the struggle I had deciding what to wear, I mean full on sexy isn't going to even compete with the girls there, and jeans would mean a shake of the head at the door most likely.

The consensus was that smart-sexy-chic was the way to go. Too much leg/bum/cleavage and you risk looking try hard, like you're trying to out-sex the girls. This would leave you looking like you were a strip club reject. Never a good look!

However, you did need to have a little bit of flesh on show; a cheeky hint of cleavage or a stocking clad leg poking out of a pencil skirt or little cocktail dress. This was, more than anything, to remind any male company that 'hey, I'm a seriously sexy woman too!'

Altogether, the look to go for is one that says 'I'm not trying to fit in with the stripper girls, I'm trying to look a little more sophisticated, a little more titilating - without wearing a sparkly, thong bikini and putting my nipple in your mouth.'

Personally, I wore a monochrome pencil skirt that sat high on the waist, belted, with a black low cut top with 3 quarter length sleeves (hey it was Cardiff, I was cold!) and a lacy camisole peeping out of the top to lessen the cleavage impact, you know common decency applies in ALL situations. And my ubiquitous black tights and black mary-janes. A slash of red lipstick and bed head hair gave it a kinda sexy twist, but in a low key way.

Did it work? Well i felt at ease, I felt sexy, I felt classy. So I guess it did. Probably an 8 out of 10 overall. Higher heels, such as these...

would have made more of an impact. Toe cleavage, after all, is ALWAYS acceptable. But never mind, something to remember for next time.

Much Love,
Merrie Girl