June edition: Things on the internet that are worth their URLs – 7/6/17

Some things you can look at on the internet other than this blog post: a list, by me. 

Why, hello there! I’ve been meaning to post something on here for so long, but then other things always crop up (Food shopping! Commuting! Clipping my toenails!) so it gets pushed down to the gutter of the to-do list.

Alas, while I’ve been knees deep in spreadsheets, sorting out my personal finance – when I should be packing a lifetime’s amount of hedonism into my newly entered 21st year – other people on the internet have been making some REALLY good shit, some of which I am honoured to share with you here.

There’s some serious stuff re: tomorrow’s impending election (duh duh duuuuhh), enthusiast audio #content in podcast form and a beautiful article about the process of making an album that’s going to be one of the greatest of 2017, because Our Lady Patti Smith has a test pressing in her sacred hands and she is SMILING:

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So rather than this blog post being a DESTINATION this evening, think of it as some guidance within the vast abyss online that is the World Wide Web, pointing you towards URLs worth your time. But if you’re reading this on Thursday, and you’re a UK citizen, stop scrolling right now and go and VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! I’LL MAKE EVERYONE WHO VOTES A BUTTON BADGE OR SOMETHING! WELL, NOT EVERYONE OBVIOUSLY, BUT YOU! YOU! VOTE! VOTE! BUTTON BADGE! VOTE! TAKE AN ‘I VOTED’ SELFIE IF YOU HAVE TO! AND I WILL MAKE YOU A BUTTON BADGE! JUST GO AND VOTE!

Anyway, and on that note:

If you want to see how women across the UK have been feeling in the run-up to this snap general election, watch this video series from The Debrief interviewing 20-somethings across the UK about their thoughts on the policies, the parties and the politicians themselves (why does alliteration always induce so much smugness?) This particular link brings you through to the article about Derby North, the most marginal constituency in the UK. But – as you’ll see in the video – the marginal seat doesn’t spark the sort of enthusiasm and excitement you’d think a two-horse race might. Vice has also released a video about the upcoming election, focusing specifically on the issues that Brexit has pushed aside, and ones that don’t feature heavily in the manifestos, including homelessness, climate change and ‘forgotten cities’. It fucking breaks my heart when Vice journo and hilarious human being Amelia Dimoldenberg hears from a group of Stoke lads that every single nightclub in town has closed down and she’s like, “What!” My hometown is a bit like that – or was heading down that way for a bit, anyway – and while it might not seem like that much of a big deal, it can have such a detrimental effect on the city and the people living there, it’s mad. (Ooh, just so I can share this again because I think it is excellent, Vice also ran a feature called ‘Home Coming‘ where its writers revisited the places where they grew up and it makes for COMPELLING stuff. Or maybe not. Idk. I’m obsessed with the idea of growing up in a dead-end town, so much so, I WROTE A PLAY ABOUT IT! But I can’t link out to that cause it’d be a 30-page PDF. If you missed it at the time, you’ve missed it. Anyway. Anyway.)

If you want a podcast, listen to these wonderful pop music musings on Unbreak My Chart. It’s a half-hour chat between two music writers, Fraser MacAlpine and Laura Snapes, having a jolly ol’ time talking about the top 10 singles in the chart that week. They also talk about new releases across the genres, so if you’re too cool for Bieber, you can be mildly content with the fact that they also mentioned Arcade Fire and Liam Gallagher in the last one. It’s not at all sneering or pretentious, just two people bouncing off each other, reveling in the glory of all things pop. With great adjectives! As shown by the outpour of emotion following the tragic terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last month, and the OneLove megastar concert last weekend, this podcast places the importance of pop music highly – right where it belongs. 

If you want to read about how the creative process isn’t any one thing, read this interview with Robin Pecknold about Fleet Foxes’ upcoming album Crack-Up. FF frontman and indie-folk dreamboat Robin Pecknold spoke to the New York Times about ‘getting out to get back in’, in preparation to record an album that is so hotly anticipated by me, and others, that I GENUINELY HAVE A REMINDER ON MY PHONE TO GO OUT AND BUY IT.

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Kyle Johnson for the New York Times

In it, along with other juicy revealers as to why Father John Misty packed up and left, he dishes out this gem for anyone who is ever considering recording an album/creating something, ever: “[We thought] If we’re going to do this, it has to be something that’s not going to make us want to kill ourselves.”

And on that note, I’m out. Not in the way you’d think I mean by saying ‘on that note’ – but logging out. Bye.

Give yourself a hug: Avoid spontaneous combustion, and other things learnt during the past week…

Chimpanzee Melissa huddles forlornly over her baby, shielding him from a downpour. National Geographic | December 1965
Chimpanzee Melissa huddles forlornly over her baby, shielding him from a downpour.
National Geographic | December 1965

I gave myself a well deserved hug the other day. I think I’ve been beating myself up too much about things that aren’t in my immediate control, so I wrapped my arms around myself and was like, “Thanks, me. You’re doing just fine.”

After what had been a particularly stressful day, I got home to write up something for a competition – was so not up to it – so then went out for a drive (I am still learning post-first-fail), and ended up getting so angry that Dad was like: “Slow down! You’re gonna crash into that girl on her bike!” And I was all snotty and teary-eyed like: “I don’t even care!!”

I was basically in one of those moods when you literally cannot even right now, and there was no signs of it going away.

(I have since found that when you feel so anti-everything that you cannot literally even anymore, if you listen to ‘Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)’, things seem much easier to comprehend.)

This week I phoned my boyfriend DEMANDING that he sing ‘Hypnotize’ by The Notorious B.I.G until I felt better. It worked.

The hardest thing about bad situations is that you have to feel all of the things you are feeling, even the horrible, sad stuff that you’d rather fast forward.

Caitlin Moran wrote in her Times Saturday column yesterday (2 May) that her biggest advice for teenage girls is that you “only ever have to deal with the next 60 seconds of your life.”

When someone very close to you rips your heart apart, there is no way around it. (I am reminded of the children’s book, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’: “We can’t go under it; we can’t go over it – We’ll have to go through it!”)

It took me 18 years to realise that – and I’m no good at bottling stuff up. (JOURNAL KEEPER FOR 14 YEARS.) Cry about it, write a letter to whoever it is, trash their house minorly (make sure it’s reversible – no smashing or breaking. Trust me – I’ve KNOWN this)

Figure out how to deal with the stuff, and try it out (preferably without hurting anyone further, that can just re-lousy everything.)

Things aren’t going to be amaaaazing all the time, especially if you’re going through something that’s emotionally tough. You don’t always have to be the best version of yourself; so if you’re going through a hard time, cut yourself some slack. The happiness you’re aiming for needn’t be a constant state of ecstasy, but rather a middle-ish sort of OK. A great article about this way of thinking, written by Tim Lott, can be read here.

My biggest argument against suppressing these feelings (that make your head feel like it will pop off) is that there are ACTUAL reports of HUMAN SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION, so just take NO risks honey. It is not worth your beautiful hairdo.


I’ve been listening to Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Carrie and Lowell’ a lot recently because 1) it’s addictive and oh-so-moreish, and 2) He’s headlining at End of the Road this year.

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I had meant to write a proper review of it a few weeks ago but have been really busy doing other general life things; now I don’t think I could serve it justice.

I wholly admit I was not a fan of Sufjan before this, so I have nothing to compare it with, or do that ever-so-important music journo thing of citing his biggest influences – cause quite frankly kiddo, I just don’t know.

All I know is that it was written about his mother and stepfather, and, after a unanimous discussion re: SS by my friends, we came to the conclusion that he could write about rotting fruit or dog shit, or BOTH, and still make it sound beautiful.

For those real-melancholic types around here, check this out:

It both slows your heart down and speeds it up. It’s a wonderful record, and apparently his best.


I went to the National Theatre last night to see ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ Again – this play has been on since November of last year, so I can’t say I’m bringing you cutting-edge, hot-off-the-press reviews, but I get cheap seats, and for cheap seats my friends, you must seriously book WELL in advance.

It was set in Mumbai and focused on the lives of a community living in the slums near an airport, and the conflicts they faced with police/money/each other/etc.

I took a tonne of notes, as there was a lot to take in (I felt the play was longer than it ought to have been, but the pace was still excellent) and the writing was very human – of course – as is the writing of David Hare.

For your ease, and my ease: (I don’t need to write a long review – I am now v. hungry) Some – most are illegible – of my notes are included below:

  • incredible set – reeks of money. National Theatre.
  • Meera from the Kumars? Excellent
  • Feisty female roles
  • Prosthetics – burn make up good but v. gruesome
  • shows how extreme poverty can make people lose sense of morality
  • bit on the long side?? Am i tired??
  • baddies: “let them fight among themselves, then they won’t fight with us”
  • general audience consensus- good
  • Actor playing Abdul: Very sexy

I thought it was great to see a play that took a genuinely very humorous and human take on an awful situation (one that I admit I wasn’t aware of.) One minute you were laughing at the ‘look how ridicularse corruption is, darling!’ due to the witty, observational quips in the text, and then you were covering your eyes from somebody having their eyes gauged out after stealing scrap metal.

All in all, it was clear why this play has been running for so long. And even towards the end of the run, you wouldn’t have believed it. It’s not my usual choice of theatre – but I think it’s something that will stick with me for a bit. If you want to read a proper review, please divert your browsers to the search engine, ‘Google.’


In other news, I have started rehearsals for King Lear, been accepted into the National Youth Theatre and got tickets to Glastonbury! So there’s that. Also lined up is a trip to Belgium, Belle & Sebastian next week, in three weeks, and in seven weeks (lol) and my birthday! I’ll be writing about it all.

T.A.L x