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Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 29th. The day that comes around every four years. Except it doesn’t really because that would be silly. It’s just called March 1st in other years but apparently they’re needed in order to keep our Gregorian calendar in check. This article explains better than I could, I think

http://www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx?id=6780

There is, of course, the silly tradition that today is the day that women can ask their boyfriends to marry them. Silly being the key word here. Why is it “ok” to propose on February 29th but not on any other day of the year? Truth is, kids, it’s ok for either partner in a relationship to propose on any day of the year.

I, however, do think it’s the man’s job to propose but I’m somewhat of a traditionalist. On reading a womens’ gossip magazine today (as I’m afraid I sometimes do) they were asking men on the street, whether they thought it was ok for a woman to propose and how they would feel if their partners did. The overwhelming response was “I don’t see why not. If she wants to propose, she should”, which was actually really nice and refreshing to read. One guy said “no, it would undermine my masculinity”, showing that he actually feels it’s a manly thing to do but isn’t proposing, in a way, a show of emotions? Aren’t emotions meant to be a female thing?

I’ve always thought of proposals and engagements as showing your love and commitment to your partner through being all slushy, which on the whole (I realise I’m stereotyping) isn’t really what men do. I’m not saying it will happen soon, as both Dan and I, are still far too silly and childish for such serious grown-up things but I’d hope that he would take the initiative and do what I think is traditional. He knows I’m a bit of a sucker for things to be done “properly” anyway, so I’d hope that he makes it special for me!

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Lots more social networking, trying to connect to people who can help my future today. Initial conversations aren’t so bad, it’s just getting them to look at your work and be interested in hiring you that’s difficult. I’m under the impression that if I keep trying though, something will eventually pay off.

I have begun drafting a review of Lana Del Ray’s album, which I’m hoping to get finished and upload on here. I’m also quite interested in Emeli Sande too, so lots more music reviews to look forward to.

My friend Lauren has also recommended the new Woman In Black film, which I’ve heard incredibly scary things about. The play terrified me as a teenage drama student, so I’m sure the film will too!

Of course, I can’t forget the main reason for my trip back home this week either. MEST at London’s Rhythm Factory on Saturday night, which will definitely get reviewed and shall become my very first gig review! I’m so excited and this blog is finally beginning to look like how I envisioned back in late December.

TITLE: R U Mine?
BAND: Arctic Monkeys
LABEL: None
RELEASED: February 27th 2012

Arctic Monkeys shocked us all this morning with the unexpected leaking of a new track and video for R U Mine? Even weirder is that the song had no details of a new album or follow-up releases with it. They did apparently promise to release a song ahead of their upcoming tour with The Black Keys, but with no current label, it’s certainly a surprise gift to their fans!

The Sheffield foursome are Dan’s favourite band, so he’s completely buzzing off it and I imagine a lot of other huge Arctics fans will be too. It’s got quite a dark sounding guitar rhythm with almost ghostly backing vocals but it keeps with the band’s smooth sensual style of Suck It And See. I think I also detect a little bit of earlier material too, so it’s for fans old and new.

The lyrics suggest Alex’s longing and craving for his lover and the woeful tone certainly puts it across perfectly. There is also a dark, sexual subtext and the song is obviously rooted in desire and perhaps a little insecurity. “All I wanna hear her say is are you mine?” Yes, he’s asking her to say it but it could suggest that he’s perhaps doubting whether she is his. The words themselves aren’t the easiest to interpret but it’s the ambiguity that makes the song all the more intriguing.

R U Mine? was released with a video, which you can watch below. It shows the band driving through Californian streets, while the song is being debuted on a local radio station.

It’s probably going to be a big hit for them due to the still unsolved mysteries surrounding its online release and is it possibly a hint at what to expect from their next album?

TITLE: Beekeeper’s Daughter
BAND: The All-American Rejects
LABEL: DGC/Interscope Records
RELEASED: January 31st 2012

Beekeeper’s Daughter is a song that many fans of the band’s earlier albums such as their self-titled debut and Move Along will perhaps find a little lacking in energy and punch. It’s certainly a lot more pop-based, even more so than their last album When The World Comes Down, which spawned the number 4 hit, Gives You Hell.

With this being the first track since 2008, we were expecting something huge from the Oklahoma four-piece and the song certainly has some big hit potential. The guitar solo around 2 minutes in really makes you want to jump on your bed with an air guitar, feeling like you’re rocking up some huge LA venue. It’s not a million miles from Gives You Hell but Tyson’s rocky vocals give it some edge amongst other pop tracks and despite the shift in sound, it’s still clear who’s playing.

It’s pretty clear from the off-point what the song is about. The chorus itself “You’re a pretty little flower, I’m a busy little bee, Honey that’s all you need to see” perfectly sums up the central sexual theme of the song. It’s the story of an arrogant lothario, boasting about his conquests. However, there is also an element of anger and frustration detected, suggesting that he’s perhaps fallen a little bit in love with the subject of the song and he’s unsure whether to continue his womanizing or settle down with her.

The video itself juxtaposes the aggressive sexual nature of the lyrics, as it resembles the opening of a city-based musical with dancing workmen and even a pickpocket, who proceeds to twirl his victim up in the air, like a newly formed Strictly Come Dancing couple. The cheerleaders, random barbershop quartet and grinning passers-by just add to the bizarre opposition between words and actions. Add to that Tyson dressed like a Hollister model, while happily smiling about his adventures and you’ve got something that seems quite out of place. Sure, it goes with the upbeat guitar but the words should suggest a much darker theme. All in all, it’s a happy video, as long as you ignore what a bad boy Tyson has really been!

Like previous Rejects hits -Dirty Little Secret, I Wanna, Gives You Hell- the narrator is an angry young man with a whole host of sinful thoughts and desires. The band’s musical style has altered somewhat over the years but you have to start asking… maybe a different story and character some time, guys?

Dan turned 22 today. That seems incredibly old to me but of course, he’s not! Nothing has changed from yesterday when he was 21 but I remember thinking how old it seemed to be in your 20s and it’s so scary that I’m there now.

I spoke to him on the phone earlier and he was round Lewis’ house alone, while Lewis was at work. He didn’t know if he’d got my present yet but I know he’ll love it, when he sees it. As you know, if you’ve read my earlier posts, I call him Polar Bear and I bought him this.

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/displayProductDetails.do?sku=7395012

It’s just a little self-motivational book with pictures of polar bears in it. I want him to read it, whenever things get hard, as it just basically reminds you to “keep your cool”. I would say that’s me being thoughtful in two different ways!

Good news is that I’m now over 4000 words into my writing project but only halfway through my planned overview, so there’s going to have to be some more serious editing. However, my original strategy of editing as I write seems to be slowing down any real productivity, so I’m just going to write now and see what happens.

Finally halfway through my word count for my writing project! SO excited because I think I can finally see where it’s going.

Went for lunch in The Blue Creek, where I went with Lauren and Becky a couple of weeks ago. Had a caesar wrap and hot chocolate and just sitting in a corner editing my project was actually the most relaxed I’ve felt in a while, so it was awesome.

Having not lost any weight for a couple of weeks, despite not falling off the wagon, I’ve discovered that I’ve hit an annoying plateau and must increase my exercise. So I went for an hour walk tonight before dinner, five times around the whole town. It did get hard towards the end but My Fitness Pal told me that I burned over 200 calories doing it, so I’m happy!

Haven’t heard anything back from any of the companies I messaged about work, so I’m thinking I might have to send a few more out soon. It’s just so frustrating. Even if they replied saying no, I’d be happier but leaving it un-replied to is SO annoying!

After a seminar on Robert Burns’ The Merry Muses of Caledonia this morning, charged with bawdy sexual imagery, I decided on the subject of the Romantic Eroticism essay, due in on March 9th. I will be writing on the relationship between popular and elite art and literature using the work of Burns and Thomas Rowlandson, whose pictures are quite honestly just eighteenth century porn. If you want to see exactly what I’m talking about, turn off the safe search and google his prints… these pictures were ADORED back then!

On getting back to the flat, I wrote out a long to-do list, as Richard gave us a worrying lecture at the end of the seminar about how to do this essay and he made it sound like more than a normal one. It’s 3000 words but the way he suggested we write it, particularly the introduction, just sounded quite scary and unknown.

On top of the pressure of the writing project, for which I still have a considerable amount of research to do, I am SO busy until March 21st at the earliest and that’s only if I stick to this plan rigidly and don’t go over any mini deadlines I’ve set for myself. It’s times like this that I’m glad I don’t have a job to take up my time!