Note: Because I started BEDA 3 days late, this post is going to be a “substitute” for my missing BEDA #2 entry.Time for another music recommendation! I haven’t done one of those for a while now and when I went onto my categories list… I noticed that I’ve only done it once as part of my “from the cd stack”-series so far and only 2 other times all in all. (Proves again how rarely I post things around here.)
Today I’m going to introduce you to Mighty Oaks, which is a “Berlin-based indie-folk band”. They were founded in 2010 by their lead singer Ian Hooper and guitarist Claudio Donzelli. Later their bassist Craig Saunders joined the two founding members and completed the band. They’re now a three-man group from three different countries even: the USA, the UK and Italy.
So far they’ve only released one EP and that might be the reason why people outside of the scene probably haven’t heard of them yet. I myself got to know them Sunday two weeks ago – Shout Out Louds are touring at the moment and a friend of mine gave me the tickets for their Swiss concert as a birthday present – and Mighty Oaks happened to be the supporting act for Shout Out Louds.
From the beginning on Mighty Oaks had me enraptured. I bought their EP later but when you’ve listened to them live, you’ll surely agree with me if I say that the EP is only narrowly a substitute for their live music. They are good. They are really, really good. Ian Hooper’s voice is amazing and the guitar playing is amazing and those guys are nice, funny people. In general, I’d describe their music as a rough-but-also-smooth voice paired with mood-brightening guitar tunes making you want to sway to them all day long.
Because I obviously have trouble expressing myself eloquently, let me write out two lists for you:
1.) Words I associate with Mighty Oaks’ music: green, wind, summer, spring, forest, trees, nature, road trip, morning, dawn, grass, meadows, earth, fun, happiness, smiles, heartache (of the good and the bad kind, I suppose), blue skies, gardens, breeze, bare feet, freedom
2.) You’ll probably like Mighty Oaks if…
- you like indie music, folk music and optimally indie-folk music;
- you like bands such as Mumford & Sons or Angus & Julia Stone;
- you like music played mainly by guitars;
- you like music which reminds you of words from the list above.
What do you think? Did I get you hooked on it? (I admit I’m terrible at selling things to people… but I have a possibly sprained ankle at the moment and it hurts and my head does too… excuse me for not thinking clearly right now and being so ineloquent.) If not (yet), you might want to listen to the two samples below (the second is my favourite):
I hope I could got some of you hooked on Mighty Oaks – they’re one of my favourite bands now and in most places still unknown, so I felt the need to spread their music out because in my opinion they surely deserved the support. I’m only afraid that I couldn’t give you more information – I didn’t have that many to begin with and I don’t like to analyze music before listening to at least a whole album of the artist and they have only their EP out… if you want some more information, you might want to check those links out:
Note: I’m sorry – somehow it’s not possible for me to embed the two video samples above. Just click on the link, it’ll redirect you to their vimeo pages.
Laying in my bed right now and listening to the thundering sounds of fireworks nearby, I watch how the minutes on my clock turn from one minute to another. From 00:00 to 00:01 and from 00:01 to 00:02 and so on. It’s actually quite sad: sitting in front of your computer on New Year’s Eve while all others are out there partying hard or just enjoying an exiting night with friends.
But this year there has been complications and one way or the other, I somehow knew that, as so many years before this one, I’ll be spending New Year’s at home, despite this year’s possibility of breaking the habit.
Last year for example I could recall myself lying in my bed desperately trying to stay awake until midnight because it felt plain wrong to not stay up on the last day of the year and trying to think of some ways to stick to my resolutions I’d written about earlier. It was my first “real and official” time then; I had no experience whatsoever and looking back now, I must confess that I haven’t been that successful with my resolutions list.
I came up with exactly 5 resolutions of which I achieved:
- 2 to a three-quarter,
- 2 others to a half and
- 1 to zero.
I was, of course, most successful with continuing to write this blog; it was my first and utmost goal and I’m proud that I haven’t vanished yet. The second thing was actually my sports-resolution (going running from spring on) which I really did – occasionally. My two halves are 1. the poetry thing which I did a few times but I sadly have to say that I haven’t been that creative this year and 2. searching for a new hobby. That one I managed only half: I mean yes, I engaged in that school play but it was only temporarily, nothing for a longer period. Still, I’m glad I haven’t been sitting around at home as much as last year (or better: 2 years before.) A failure of mine was actually the writing resolution (the one where I wanted to write a story) – I did nothing of that kind. I tried to find the time; but as you probably noticed from this blog’s content I focused much more on photography this year than writing and whenever I had free time I’d spend it attached to my camera.
All in all not a brilliant result, I guess, but rather a failure of my part. But I also think that this resolutions business may be associated with the saying of “Try, trial and try again”. And so I’m just going to try again with these:
- Keep on writing this blog; especially filling out the “holes” and motivating myself much more.
- Getting a DSLR camera and start shooting at whatever comes my way.
- Figuring out a topic for my final paper (is due anyway).
- Trying to keep on going running as soon as spring arrives.
- Write a bucket list.
- Keeping as many promises as possible.
- Learning a few star constellations.
- Starting to read a few English literature classics.
- Stay individual.
- Be myself.
- Be happy.
And now I’m just going to ignore the fact that this list is far too long and it makes it just so much harder to accomplish all these goals Happy New Year to you all!
Do you know the feeling of the mid-holiday depression? (I don’t actually know if there’s a name for that, so this phrase is actually invented.) I’ve asked around a bit, but somehow no one seems to have got it (yet).
But unfortunately I do. I’ve got it. And that was the reason why I haven’t written for so long although I have holiday and lots of free time. Said “depression” (or at least that’s what I call it) appears (as noticed in my own experiences) mostly in the middle of the holidays.
Once I got it, I feel totally bored with everything (as if my life isn’t already boring) and nothing really inspires me. There’s a huge lack of inspiration because somehow I’m just not in the mood for getting inspired – although I really want to get inspired. And I’m really sorry but I think I won’t write a lot in the next few days as well because I always need inspiration to write.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and although I think it’s unnecessary to celebrate love on a single, certain day (when you got 365/6 days to celebrate love), I, at least, should be happy seeing so many happy couples giving each other amounts of chocolates and flowers [I won’t mention other people like, for example, singles (although they should also be celebrating – you’ve certainly heard of AVP (Anti-Valentine’s Day-Party))]. But because I’ve got my “depression” I totally ignored it and didn’t realize that I wanted to write about Valentine’s Day until 23:33 pm. By then I was already too tired to write and went off to bed, listening to All You Need Is Love.
Sadly I don’t think that love is the cure to my “illness” because I don’t really feel better after consuming music about love (and I’ve been listening to the Love actually soundtrack the whole day) and watching movies implying love like Invictus or The Blind Side. Even sweet “victories” like finally banishing Backstreet Boys from my iPod or finally rousing myself to read Pride And Prejudice haven’t really cheered me up.
Sometime this afternoon I even considered to save money for a weekend trip alone on my own to the alps, just to hang out in one of these romantic chalets and taking pictures of the nature. By that time I was even blaming my bad mood on my class because we’re 19 girls (soon 20) and 5 boys; and with such a crowd of girls it would just get so complicated and exhausting sometimes that even my holiday life is affected. Yeah, logical really.
So, I’m really sorry to bother you with such a boring, depressing story about the past few days, but I just had to write everything off of me and I wanted to excuse myself that I probably won’t write for the next few days. I hope you’ll forgive me.
As a reward for reading the depressing crap above, I went though my iPod searching the 5 most cheesy love songs for you (lousy present I know, but there’s nothing else on my mind):
- Paperweight by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk (my favourite, actually)
- Like Chocolate by Emilia
- Lost Without You by Delta Goodrem
- Way Back Into Love – Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore (I truly don’t know why this is still on my iPod)
- Too Lost In You by Sugababes (Only on my iPod ’cause I wanted a full Love actually soundtrack!!! I swear.)
On cold, rainy days like these I like to sit at home, reading a magazine. Currently the Kinki magazine. In their editorial they asked us, the readers, what keeps us going on dark days like these. What gives us motivation, inspiration, imagination. For me it’s definitely not my school books (which are waiting to be read). Also not a rain dance. Or my bed – it rather temps me to stay in there forever.
What keeps me going on (or even just waking up) are photos, good music, exciting articles… all these cultural stuff.
My list (yes, a list again) of inspiring things on cold, rainy, dark winter days:
- The Grease soundtrack: (for example this:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHFbhhi_XVc
- Books like The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff or So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
- The Kinki magazine (http://kinkimag.com/) with creative photography like these: or cool recommendations like this one: http://kinkimag.com/articles/handbuch-fur-spione/ (for English readers: Guide for Spies)
- This blog with its amazing photography: http://laurenlibor.wordpress.com/
But you know what’s best? What gives me motivation, each day and each week (not that there are already many of them): You. It’s really, really nice to have actual people reading my blog and commenting it as well. It supports me, because after almost 2 weeks, I’ve already posted all of my ideas and it’s getting hard to find topics to write. So sorry for my posts recently, they weren’t very interesting or well-written. But I’m trying to improve my posts. Promise.
So, a great, great thanks to all of you! You’re the greatest support these days.
Today I went to the cinema to watch… The Tourist! That’s the absolutely brilliant and awesome film starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. 😉 The whole story takes place in Venice and during the opening credits I, once again, got lost in the wonderful, amazing and enchanting pictures of Venice – the city of lovers, secrets and lots of history. When I was at home again, I instantly had to stare again at the photos me and my dad took last spring in Venice. This city is totally amazing: it was once the maybe most beautiful city of whole Europe, but now you’ll only see hints of it: most of the old buildings have turned their colours into many different shades of grey. Nevertheless you just get captivated by the atmosphere of the city; you can really feel the history around you. It’s told in the walls, it’s told in the many little alleyways, in all the narrow canals, in their traditional art of living and in the gondolas, these typical, richly decorated Venetian boats. Venice is simply a city you just have to see once in your lifetime.
Here are my three favourite pictures taken on my trip to Venice last spring:
As for the movie I only can recommend it. I’m not good at writing recommendations, so I’m just going to spill everything out, that’s coming into my mind. The movie’s synopsis you’ve surely read on the internet or in the newspaper; I don’t want to write it down, because I fear of maybe spoiling too much.
Reasons why you should watch The Tourist:
- You like Johnny Depp. Or Angelina Jolie.
- You like action (that means pistols, chases and such).
- You like Venice.
Or, you know what? This list doesn’t work out. Next try:
The Tourist is a movie with many surprising turns in the plot, witty dialogues, awesome acting actors, amazing camera work and enough action. Eh yeah, that’s why you should watch this film.
(I know that this recommendation’s really, really bad – but it’s my first time. And my head’s not very clear at the moment, I’ve got concentrations problems – I want to watch this film a second time and just can’t think clear. Sorry.)
Oh, and yeah, reasons why you shouldn’t watch The Tourist:
- Eh, you neither like Angelina Jolie nor Johnny Depp (although that shouldn’t keep you from seeing this/a film, I think).
- You don’t like action.
- You don’t like Venice (although that also shouldn’t keep you from seeing this film, I think).
As you see, there aren’t many reasons for the contra side. So feel free to watch The Tourist! 😀
Just short for today: I just want to quickly write down my observations at a lunch I had to attend today. It’s actually a launch of my family and some other Indonesian families & friends of us.
Observations on a New Year’s Lunch of Indonesian families
- Most essential point: We like to eat Asian, especially Chinese food. Don’t ask me why, but on every great occasion there would be Chinese food. It’s true many of us have Chinese roots, because many centuries ago, many Chinese people came to Indonesia (and brought their traditions, and that means food too, with them), but still… I mean, I’m bored and annoyed of eating so many times Chinese food. But this whole thing could probably just be, because there are Chinese restaurants everywhere around the world. 😉
- We like to share our food with others. Like every typical Asian (? Or probably just Indonesian?) family we order the main course for everyone. That means that there are several dishes on the table and everybody just takes a bit of what he likes best, which is possible to order in Chinese/Asian restaurants. That’s in fact a really good idea; if I go eat Chinese with my Swiss friends, I always order a menu for myself and afterwards I’m always full up. So, I just eat as much as I can (without having a bad conscience for not finishing my meal) and in the end there’d be always someone eating up the rest. 😉
- There are always photos taken (Eh, actually not only of the people, but of the food as well.). Which can be very annoying, but also somehow funny, because it has somehow developed to an Asian trait (just watch the behaviour of Asian tourist, which is also very cute and funny) over the years.
- Indonesian are known for their love for food; I think that of all nations I’ve got to know, Indonesians really love food most. Whereas European tourist would particularly recommend to each other good hotels, museums and shops, Asian tourists look for the best restaurants! It’s so typical; when my cousin was once visiting us here in Switzerland, we didn’t get to make a full sight-seeing tour because of their importance of having a culinary tour. 😀
- The passion for food is also shown in their conversation topics. When I listened to my mum and her friends, they mostly talk about food! But not only food of all kinds, but also the cooking, and of course, good restaurants you just have to visit once in your life.
Well, that was it for now. Seeing, observing, hearing this has just made me so happy; I think it’s cute (Go ahead. Just think I’m weird.) to see people getting so happy just by enjoying and eating food, talking about food.
And last, I’ve finished reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins today; and I just found the perfect quote of the main character, Katniss Everdeen for this post:
“… All around the dining hall, you can feel the rejuvenating effect that a good meal can bring on. The way it can make people kinder, funnier, more optimistic, and remind them it’s not a mistake to go on living. …”
This morning my mum made me go to the church. I’m not a fan of going there, mostly because lazy me has to get up early in the morning. But it is New Year and so I did her this favour (right use?).
In his sermon the pastor talked about New Year, about a new year. I couldn’t pay attention well, since I was still half asleep, but this one question attracted my attention: In conjunction with the saying that behind each successful woman stands a man (bad translation, I know) and vice versa, he asked us if ,during the last year, there was someone behind us, bolstering us, helping us on our bad days.
From this point on I really lost my attention; I began to think about his question. And came to the conclusion, that there are many people who helped me; but somehow (and unfortunately) I never got to thank them for their help and support.
The following below is a typical “thank you” for all the special people of 2010.
- First, a thank you to my best friend, because especially in 2010 she had to listen to me complaining so much. I promise, I’ll be in better mood 2011! (Well, I hope so.)
- My mum who, I discovered last year, is not only a mother to me, but also a best friend.
- Medea Smyke on FF.net, because her stories lighted me up on my worst days.
- My all-time drunken neighbour, of whom I’m scared of, but anyhow makes me laugh (there are always funny misunderstandings with her because she’s mostly pretty drunk).
- My English teacher, because for the first time in my life, I played a real theatre; and it was even in English! (I don’t count the ones in primary school)
- The nicest and most amazing jewellery designer on the Berliner Trödelmarkt, whom I owe my new-found obsession for owls.
- A big “thank you” to all my friends at home as well abroad, for many memorable experiences and a new amount of inside jokes.
Maybe I’m late with these; maybe I’m not allowed to thank anymore, because I didn’t when the right time was. But “Better late then never!” is what I’ve learned while writing my post speak now and that’s why today, on the beginning of a new year, of a new beginning of everything, I decided to thank to you all. (I now, that not all of the people above will read this, but again, it’s better to at least have said/wrote it once, right? And I don’t think that I should thank every one of them personally, because em… my neighbour for example would be pretty insulted, I guess.)
So, thanks again! You’re the light in my life. 🙂
PS: So far, I’ve posted every day, which is a real success for me (and yesterday even three times)! Yay!
New Year’s resolutions are always a tricky thing, I think. Last year was the first time I made a real list of resolutions and I succeeded in only four out of ten. Sadly, it’s not writing these goals rather than trying to achieve them that is harder to accomplish. I always try to find doable resolutions, with a real potential to be achieved at the end of the year. But somehow I’ve always failed.
Why? First, I kind of (intentionally) forget them during the year. But I don’t think, that if I’d remind myself each day of my resolutions, I’ll get them done; lazy as I know myself (this is really a bad trait of mine), I just postpone them to another day.
Second, I didn’t consider them well; for example I promised last year to go to the theater more often with a friend of mine. We subscribed to a kind of “club”, with which we can get the tickets cheaper, but of course it’d be just worth it, if we use them often. Which we never did. Not once. Eventually, I wasn’t keen on this subscription anymore and so failed in one of my resolutions.
And third I lacked in courage: One of my resolutions was to ask my father to watch the stars together. He’s a great astronomy fan (and that’s why I was named Stella – the Italian word for “star”) and when I was younger, we used to watch documentary films about astronomy together. But I’ve grown up, spend more time with my friends and he’s always busy working; I didn’t dare to ask him, because I might be disturbing his work. And so also this resolution fell through.
As for this year I decided that the ultimate solution to all my problems would be witnesses. Yes, witnesses. I think, I need witnesses who are able to see my New Year’s resolutions and as a result I might bring myself to achieve them, because I expect something from myself; because I don’t want you to see me failing in achieving them. (Now you might think I’m weird – and let me say: I also think I’m weird.)
Well, these are my New Year’s resolutions:
- Keep on writing this blog! (The single most important resolution, good for my PostAWeek stats and I won’t fail this one, promise.)
- This year I decided to finally do something against my boring life and this would mean searching a new hobby. (Blogging doesn’t count for me, since this isn’t something in the real world; it’s something virtual) At the moment I’ve got to choose between taking drama classes, volleyball, yoga, starting a drawing course and starting a photography course. (Question: What would you personally chose?)
- To write a story. A real story as in a novel or short story and the like. This year’s the first time I’ve heard of NaNoWriMo, the campaign to write a story or a book of at least 50000 words in a month, which was November then. I hope I’ll get an idea by then. And I don’t think I will succeed in writing a full story, because I’ve started so many stories but after about three chapters didn’t find any ideas to continue. Anyway, the main thing is trying, right? And if I fail, I can still try it next year again. At least I’ve tried.
- Continue writing poetry. I started a few months ago, mainly in English, because somehow the words just came by naturally. A few excerpts of them you’ll certainly see when I’m commenting my photos.
- Finally, because I know how much of a couch potato I am, I wrote down: Go jogging from next spring on. Haha, I’m really exited to see how much of this I can accomplish.
So that was it for my New Year’s resolutions. About each accomplished one of them I’m going to post something (which, btw is also good for my PostAWeek stats, haha). I hope, I’ll be able to achieve each one of them!
As for now, Happy New Year to you all!
PS: Here’s one of the songs of my New Year’s Eve soundtrack – it’s about the morning after and somehow depressing (a bit) but I still like it (probably just because I grew up with this):