It’s like the year is speeding by, but still it goes on forever.
Yeah, it’s been a year (or maybe two) since I’ve posted anything here, but now seems as good a time as any.
Over on Twitter I’ve been posting some of my favourite none traditional but still (somewhat) festive playlists and albums. But Twitter being what it is these days, content discovery is HARD so I’m posting them all here for your listening pleasure.
The new Minus 5 record is exactly what you would expect it to be (and multi denominational to boot)
The bloodshot Christmas comp is great, and not just for Murder by Death, or the oddly addictive ‘The Pagans Had It Right’
Here’s an old 8 tracks playlist I made. It’s more for whiskey and books by the fire than dancing around a Christmas tree.
One of my favourite, not super easy to find hence the YouTube link, Christmas records is Dark Mark Does Christmas, by the inimitable Mark Lanegan. Don’t listen to this if you’re a cheery person.
And to finish, here’s a playlist I made last week during the best snow day that London has seen for years. This is definitely a blankets and tea playlist.
I don’t know whether it’s just that I’m old now, or that no-one bothers blogging anymore because terrible men have ruined the internet, but all my old favourite music blogs are gone, and with them the mediafire links to their playlists.
I love streaming (I have premium accounts on Apple, Amazon and Spotify) but I miss being able to craft and easily share a mixtape made out of the perfect songs, and not just the ones that were available.
Please share your favourite Wintery playlists with me!
..a lot of YA.
— Kim Townend (@kimlovesstuff) December 28, 2015
I don’t know whether it’s arrested development in full force, or the fact that so many of the ‘adult’ books by female writers I’ve read are studies in marriage or parenting, but YA books (especially the ones written with the adult end of the spectrum in mind) are just more fun. Full of the ‘what ifs?’ rather than the ‘oh no’s
And if like me, you’re keen on anything supernatural based, the YA variery are generally loads better. (Mostly because you don’t have to read embarrassing vampire sex scenes).
So, on the off chance thay you’re interested, stand out books of 2015 for me included:
I really loved this. It’s not YA (officially), but it is a coming-of-age tale/thriller. Think Jawbreaker (movie, not band) meets The OC meets School Ties but with a way darker edge (the narrative is kicked off by a murder) Excited to see what Lili Anolik does next.
If you’re old enough to have grown up on 80s movies and understand their majesty and excellence, and also are a feminist, and also live to read books of critical essays, then you are going to love this. You’re probably also going to get really annoyed about the state of Hollywood today and maybe you’ll wander around talking shit about ‘foreign markets’ for a while too.
Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Boys (first 3 books in quadrilogy)
Bit late to the game on this one. Had this on my Kindle for the better part of a year before I got around to reading it and then absorbed the first 3 books in the series in the space of a month or two. Southern Gothic YA obsessed with dead Welsh kings? Muscle cars? Elite prep schools? YA written as if the reader is actually aware of the things that teenagers do? I’m dying that I have to wait until April to read the final book. Also, I have a huge crush on Gansey, which is totally cool because he’s fictional.
I’m going to start this by explaining that I am not a Harry Potter fan. In the slightest, and I never really understood Potter fanfic. I’ll take Narnia over anything Rowling creates, any day of the week. However, I am a huge nerd for anything that Rainbow Rowell puts out, and I fell in love with Simon and Baz back when they were just written in italics in Fangirl. I WISH THEY WOULD ADAPT THIS FOR TV.
Part study on post Katrina New Orleans, part Originals-esque vampiric monster thriller. Alys Arden proves herself to be a worthy sucessor (if a slightly less subversive one) to Poppy Z Brite’s New Orleans gothic throne. If you really liked The Craft way back when, then you’ll probably really like this now.
I haven’t posted here for a whole year. Turns out 2015 got really busy. But in an effort to start blogging-for-fun-and-not-for-work again, I made a mixtape for when it’s Christmas but you’re sick of Christmas songs.
It’s got some Death Cab, some David Bazan, bit of Ryan Adams, some Sharon Jones. It might come in handy after you’ve listened to the Low Christmas Album for the hundredth time.
Until 2016, guys!
Or rather, I made a mix for late November days.
Deciding what to listen to in November is always a dilemma for me. After Halloween it’s the one month of the year that I’m not really interested in hearing punk rock songs/songs with monsters in. Couple that with the fact that it’s still way too early to start with the Christmas theme, and you’ll see the problem.
Round this time of year I always return to slightly dreamy indie, americana stuff. Like the last wave of melancholy before festivities set in.
So, here’s what I’m listening to this year:
I haven’t been writing much over here because I’ve been busy with a) a course in writing Young Adult fiction and b) my new project London TV Club which is having it’s first ever meeting this week.
On the off chance that you haven’t heard me blathering on about it, London TV Club is like a book club, but for TV shows and the first meeting is (seasonal aptly) a discussion about Halloween Specials.
Anyway, here’s all the info – I’m very excited about it – and it would be lovely to see you there.
Here they are. Went with a supernatural/dead theme.
I feel like I’ve really begun to embrace my gothiness.
It’s that time of year again.
Here’s a mix that’s better for staying in and watching the leaves fall, than going outside and stomping them.
Mostly composed of late 90s/early 00s indie rock and emo, it’s best served with the first hot chocolate of the season and a good book.
Last Friday, I decided to see if I could get last minute tickets to a screening of Dead Snow 2, Red or Dead at this years Film 4 Frightfest. As it turns out I could, so on Friday afternoon we showed up to the Vue cinema in Leicester Square just in time to see Robert Englund hanging around the foyer.
I love the idea of Frightfest, but I’m never bothered about enough of the screenings to get a weekend pass. (Plus, I miss the days when it was small enough to be at the Prince Charles instead of a multiplex)
Anyway. Lets talk about the movie.
The sequel picks up right where Dead Snow left us, with Martin in the car, missing half an arm at the bottom of the mountain. (I like when horror sequels do this, apart from the obvious exception of Halloween II) Things happen, Martin ends up wrecking his car, wakes up in hospital to find that as the only survivor with a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to him he is the prime suspect in the murder of all his friends/girlfriend. To make matters worse, the doctor has unknowingly attached a zombie arm to him, mistakenly believing it was lost in the car wreck.
Clearly, no one believes Martin and his crazy nazi zombie tales, apart from a small american child also in the hospital. He alerts Martin to the existence of the zombie squad. I won’t talk about anything that happens next, as it would ruin your enjoyment of the plot unfolding.
I will say though, that Dead Snow 2 is in no way a horror movie, it’s an incredible blood soaked, un- PC gorefest and it’s all the better for it. Martin Starr ( I know, right, Martin Starr!)’s zombie squad add a consistently comedic, english speaking element to the proceedings (Tommy Wirkola was obviously considering international dollars this time around) the gore is gross out at it’s finest and it’s actually laugh out loud funny (and smart). On a number of occasions during the screening I enjoyed the ripple of laughter travel through the audience as more people began to get the joke.
If you like horror, or zombies, or nazi movies, or scandinavia, or laughing or anything genre based – this movie delivers.
See it as soon as you can.