Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Lana Del Rey: National Anthem Video (ft. A$AP Rocky)

Lana Del Rey's latest video for her single National Anthem is, according to A$AP Rocky, "some cool trippy shit, some real 2015 shit".
Proceeding the famous moment in which Lana imitates Marilyn Monroe singing for the president's birthday, the instagram-style video begins in unison with the song and both Lana and A$AP Rocky depict the perfect, presidential American lifestyle of JFK and his wife. This unblemished portrayal heightens the doomed fate at the end of the video as a gunshot sounds and the underlying message of the song comes to it's climax. The lingering shot of a tattoo reading "trust no-one" is quite significant to the story of JFK, considering how Marilyn was his lover and this video comes from the perspective of his wife. The audible voice of Lana is then carried out with an instrumental that is so emotionally burdened and powerful. It's just a perfect seven minute forty piece of cinema that represents the song beautifully.
For me, I find that this video captures the meaning of the lyrics perfectly, which I never quite understood as clearly without the visuals. It also brings into light such a monumental moment in history (JFK's assassination) that maybe the 'newer generation' hadn't known about prior to this.
p.s. Am I the only one who finds A$AP Rocky quite attractive with this powerful and polished demeanour?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Jay Z and Kanye West @ Radio 1's Hackney Weekend

This was a bit delayed but because of my contemplative state I was hesitant whether or not to post this. So, now I've made up my mind, enjoy this monumental moment.

Judging by the last performance of day one at Radio 1's Big Weekend, it may as well have been called the Jay Z and Kanye West show. Bringing out the old classics such as 99 Problems and On To The Next One, as well as inviting guests Rihanna and M.I.A to join him on stage for his two hour set, Jay Z certainly did not disappoint.
However, the performance reached its climax when Kanye West appeared to perform a multitude of songs from their album Watch The Throne. Delighting fans with Otis, Who Gon' Stop Me and No Chruch In The Wild, an electric atmosphere was created as the set approached the grand finale. Kanye teased the audience with "but there's still one city we ain't taken y'all to yet" and everyone knew what was coming as "ball so hard motherfuckers wanna fine me" resonated around the immense crowd gathered to see hip-hop's finest duo perform Niggas In Paris. With glimpses of Beyonce moshing in the pit, everyone followed suit and absorbed the heavy beats that are impossible to resist moving to. It was bloody brilliant. The three encores. "AGAIN?" Three.


Update / News / Changes

Exciting news! You may have realised that I've changed the name of my blog from musicandmollie to Stereo Specs, allow me to explain...

Okay, so I realise that I have been a bit distant from this blog in recent weeks; I've been considering changing to a different format and style and what not as I have been in deliberation as to whether or not I should create a music blog solely for that purpose. So, after a lot of contemplation, I've decided that I shall continue to use musicandmollie, now Stereo Specs, to write and inform about the latest and greatest musical developments. Exciting, right?

 But, don't think that this is the last of Mollie. In order to continue writing my more personal posts, as well as the odd musical exploration, I have created a brand new blog that I hope to use as a kind of scrapbook; somewhere to discuss my latest musings, such as recent obsessions, as well as developing my writing in doing so.

So basically,
New name: Stereo Specs A blog solely for music posts.
My Personal Blog: Musings of Mollie A place for me to express my latest interests etc. so I don't interrupt this blog.

Who knows, I may find this a completely useless idea and end up using this blog for everything but ho hum.

Here is my thanks expressed in a photo set that I like to call 'A Series Of Unfortunate Faces':

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Touch Me

Touch Me
Yasmin and Jamie xx

"If I let you feel on me you gon' have to play this one more time" Indeed, the majority of listeners will be playing this one more time. The steel pans that continue within this song from start to finish create such a mellow atmosphere amid the snapping beats that Jamie xx is largely known for. With the delicate touch of Yasmin's voice, that isn't always perfectly in sync with the music, as well as the rhythm delving into darker corners as it swells into the main melody, an enticing mood lingers that leaves you wondering what's going to happen next.

If you aren't within this majority of listeners then I suggest you consider getting your ears tested.

Jamie xx is just brilliant.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Frank On A Friday

Frank Ocean released this trailer via his tumblr today. With no caption, it's unclear whether 'Channel Orange' is an album release that follows up Nostalgia, Ultra or if a different project is in the works. However, upon hearing just one minute and forty-five seconds of the previewed song in this video, I am darn excited.

Frank often posts material that he is working on through the blogging site; I found myself in a pensive manner when I'd read some of his poetic, thought-provoking lyrics such as the excerpt below about a 'lone wolf'. It's actually quite powerful.
travel far lone wolf
live long lone wolf
when it’s cold, make a pact 

with the wind lone wolf 
not a pack lone wolf
we see your shadow lone wolf
we know the way you love it
the darkness stays lone wolf
don’t call or cry for it
howl for the light lone wolf
survive the night lone wolf

Frank also shared this a capella version of a song entitled Summer Remains last month with the caption 'just at home fuckin around, no judging'. After posting the ever-captivating lyrics, it's apparent that, as well as having such a naturally powerful and buttery voice, this artist also has a strong talent for writing songs.Plus, he can play the piano. What's not to love?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Black Keys x Johnny Depp

Who? Johnny Depp and Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys
Where? MTV Movie Awards, Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
When? Sunday, June 3rd
What? Possibly the coolest collaboration that will ever be.
Why? Because, clearly, Johnny Depp is the coolest guy on Earth.
Oh yes. Johnny Depp, as if it were even possible, seems to have gotten cooler.
Seamlessly fitting in with rock 'n' roll vibe of The Black Keys, Johnny clearly knows what he's doing. After having been presented with the MTV Generation Award in Los Angeles on Sunday night, he took to the stage to perform Gold On The Ceiling. Upon receiving the award, Johnny joked "This is the get out of the business award" and then went on to play Lonely Boy with the blues group. Man alive, it was cool.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the entrance that The Black Keys made. They so cute.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Part 2

Yes, another post dedicated to my recently discovered love of the Royal Family...AKA Harry, Kate and Wills.

Firstly, let's discuss the amazing Diamond Jubilee Concert that was held last night:
The setting for the concert · Awh look at Prince Harry and William's brotherly love · Big up the person who organised the fireworks, it was a jolly good show

Seeing the breathtaking images of the stage, set in the middle of the Queen Victoria memorial with Buckingham Palace stood majestically in the background, it's hard to imagine a more perfect setting. I was struck by the sheer amount of people that were in attendance; the camera panned out to a wide shot that showed the mall overflowing with people, all of whom were waving flags in support of the Queen. It was really spectacular...then a certain Prince comes into focus and all of my meaningful thoughts are pushed away with dreams of marrying Harry. (How cute did he look singing along to Tom Jones?)
After a few performances from the likes of Robbie Williams, and Annie Lennox, the Queen arrived. I thought she looked so graceful and young for her eighty-six years. Unfortunately, her husband Prince Philip couldn't attend due to falling ill but spirits were kept high thanks to the unifying of different cultures with the performance of 'Sing'.
The evening came to a close with a magnificent fireworks display after the significant moment of the Queen lighting the beacon. As London was lit up by the pyrotechnics with the red, white and blue London Eye seen in the distance, flags waved wildly all along the Mall with everyone roaring in appreciation of Queen Elizabeth II. It would've been so good to be there.
However, I admit that my favourite moment, or at least the funniest part, of the concert was most definitely when Peter Kay walked out in a traditional horseman's outfit being his usual hilariously funny self. I couldn't contain myself.

So, as you may have guessed, I spent today watching all of the Royal happenings right from the service at St. Paul's to the fly-over at Buckingham Palace. The Queen looked so cute, taking in all the spectators and wonderful air show provided by Spitfires and Red Arrows.
Imagine having all those people stood outside your house though · Red Arrows flying over Buckingham Palace · STOP IT HARRY. You beautiful person, you.

Kate Middleton appreciation image. She always looks so perfect.

Oh, I also made a (generically British) apple crumble today too. Yummay.
Ooh, would you look at that. Just in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee message...

all images via dailymail

Monday, 4 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

 Cue the obligatory jubilee post...
Although some miserable so and so's don't enjoy taking part in the celebrations related to the monarchy, I love the patriotism involved in celebrating the Queen's diamond jubilee. The bunting, the red, white and blue colour scheme, the food (scones galore!) all create such a British atmosphere. Having watched the Jubilee Pageant in its entirety yesterday - I didn't want to miss an inch of Prince Harry looking dashing in his princely attire - I felt a real sense of pride in how us Brits can come together and celebrate such an outstanding achievement that concerns the whole country.
Having said that, as a part of the younger generation, I don't think I ever understood the extent of the Queen's work and how, at only 25 years old, she gave up her life to serve her country. As we are often bombarded with images of Kate's latest style feats (I'm not complaining, she becomes my girl crush every time a royal event takes place) and William and Harry touring the Commonwealth, it's easy to forget that the Queen also does this and more.

In addition to the flotilla, Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber took on the almighty task of creating the 'Jubilee Song'. I watched the programme last night that documented Gary Barlow's journey across the Commonwealth in order to record a multitude of sounds from different cultures that would be used in the track. It was really beautiful to see how much music affects certain people's lives. It made me wonder why we pride so many musicians in this country (some of whom don't even write their own material) when music could be created freely and enjoyed by everyone. I now also hope that when I go to Tanzania, I can experience some of the singing and percussion groups that he did.
I think the concept of the song is perfect for the occasion. I would have preferred it if the choir weren't such a prominent role because, in some instances, it overpowers the other cultural aspects but on the whole it's a lovely song. Prince Harry's tambourine talent really makes it worthwhile.

Diverting from the meaningful purpose of the documentary, I also witnessed Prince Harry. Dancing. Feel free to play this video of the Prince moving his hips to One Love in Jamaica on repeat, I did.

All in all, we just love a good excuse for a party and what better reason than to celebrate the 60 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II? I will most definitely be watching the concert tonight (7.30 on BBC1).
Oh and Prince Harry: I'll be waiting at the alter.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Have you ever been on youtube and randomly found a really good song (albeit due to the fact that you've been scrolling endlessly through 'related videos')? Well this has recently happened to me. The song that I am referring to comes from CHLLNGR and features Coco O:

Looking at the production of Sundown, there is such a diverse and eclectic mix of different sounds within the track; the haunting drone, the relentless percussion beat and the stirring bassline that withholds a sort of brassy effect all combine to create a complex piece of music. Combining this with the captivating vocal from Coco O of Quadron, I find myself oddly relaxed and captivated by the song. I love it when music causes you to be solely focused on what you're listening to, this is most definitely a sign of a good song.

After having listened to CHLLNGR's remix of Islands by The XX, it seems that they have perfected the art of using beats to create a certain type of atmosphere. Similarly to Sundown, a combination of droning in the background has been used on top of inescapable percussive elements. Listen to this remix, you will be happy you did dude (well, until the high pitched voice comes in anyways).