It's Saturday! Here's another edition of The Weekend List, an alternative to the weekend papers which I always enjoy buying but have more recently felt disappointed by. Instead here are some thoughts on sober dancing and body confidence, Sebastien Tellier's wonderful new Bossa-inspired single, the impact of Girl Power on a generation of twenty-somethings, Miranda July's suit and how to spent your last day on earth.
You can read the last Weekend List here.
Yesterday I had the day off and pottered around the kitchen drinking coffee, washing up and listening to Lauren Laverne's Woman's Hour takeover. "Yeah, yeah, usual suspects" I thought, when I heard Caitlin Moran's name mentioned as one of the guests, but the 20 minute interview with the two drinking tea in Moran's kitchen and discussing mistakes, asking for money and bringing up daughters was fantastic. A very special mention to the moment later on when Laverne asked Mel C if there was a correlation between the 'fourth wave' of feminism with the coming of age of women who were brought up with The Spice Girls and their blend of Girl Power. I really recommend listening to this if you were one of those children who did Spice Girls routines at break time at school, or if you raised girls during this time (Hi Mum!) I actually found myself tearing up in a moment of heightened nostalgia for those peddle pushin', girl power days. Don't tell anyone, though.
This week I bought a suit from Topshop. Online it was perfect and striped like a humbug and I knew that if I bought it it would transport me into a 1970s shagpiled lounge, and I would have taken up smoking and I was probably putting on a record and about to dance like Julianne Moore in A Single Man. Alas, when will I learn to accept that Topshop does not design clothes for my body? I tried on the new suit, standing on the toilet at my work- the only way of seeing my full body in the mirror- and felt immensely disappointed but unsurprised.
So the quest for a killer suit continues. Which leads to me to Miranda July's Hepburn-esque suit, which popped up on Lena Dunham's instagram account this week. Serious respect to that suit!
Glow in the dark badges! With the word 'pizza' and smiling faces. It's a damned shame that these badges from the Ccooll lot are sold out but I'm holding out in case they come online again.
Bad Sex: A vow to never excuse a sub-par fuck again via Adult Magazine.
The Key to a Good Relationship is Not Talking. "As Philip Roth puts it in American Pastoral, "the fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful consideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong.""
Dancing soberly and expanding comfort zones. I've recently signed up to be involved in 'Summer' which is a 'glorious cocktail of public choreography' arranged by the wonderful theatre company Quarantine. This is very new, unknown territory for me as 'acting' and 'performing' is always something I've shied away from. Rehearsals are strange and wonderful. We arrive at the empty office building, vacated not so long ago by The Co-Operative Group and sit around the table eat and talk together. In our last rehearsal we talked about the realtionship between specific music and memories and our own 'must-get-to-dancefloor-now' songs, and I asked the others which songs I should play at our party. Afterwards we went into the main office, a huge open space, to go through a series of tasks. Richard asked us to find a personal space to be by ourselves and he would start to play music. We should just imagine we were alone, and when and if we felt ready to begin to dance. I was terrified and really had no idea where I would summon the confidence required to dance in front of a people I had just met, in the broad daylight after a day at work. The first song played and I had no desire to dance to it. It was fairly unmemorable but it wasn't a song that would pull me to a dancefloor. This didn't help me feel any better about the prospect of dancing so I closed my eyes and imagined I was in my own room at home where recently I've danced completely freely and alone. Or sometimes in the sitting room at the weekends where I've moved back the carpet and really gone for it. Eventually the others started emerging from their little corners and then Richard played ABC by The Jackson 5 and I was surprised at how quickly I wad able to shrug off the shyness and move a little closer into the middle space which was open and revealing and away from the pillar I've been hiding behind. Richard cleverly incorporated some of the songs we'd discussed before- I let myself go completely to Let's Dance by David Bowie and built up a little sweat. My comfort zone extended more and more and throughout the evening as the tasks that might have seemed like hurdles became small steps that I was incredibly proud of. I cycled home feeling wonderful, thinking about the power of dance and movement and how important they are as tools to personal confidence and happiness.
How would you spend your last day on earth? Maybe not enough in the way of dancing for me, but Guy Garvey's take still pretty much hits the mark.
Beautiful documentation of cherry blossom season at Shinjuku Gyoen via Hello Sandwich.
Animal collective nouns. One of my absolute favourite things about the English language. A bellowing of bullfinches! A quiver of cobras! A tower of giraffes! This comprehensive list is one to print out and learn.
Last night we had a big party. I spent much of the week leading up to it thinking about the right music to dance to, in order to create a failsafe and wonderful playlist for hip swaying and collective grooving.
Sebastien Tellier's new single L'adulte went onto the list. The music video is all warm Brazilian nights and patterned lounge suits (yes!) and dancing in the heat. I absolutely cannot wait for the release of his Brazilian concept album in July.
This week at work I asked Manchester band Bernard + Edith to curate a playlist for us, and I'm so glad they did because they introduced me to the wonders of Bennington by John Maus. What a sexy, synthy song. "I love those fucking eyes. And I still love the girl." You must watch the music video for a Twin Peaks x Saved By The Bell mix of gelled hair, motorbike romance and brooding brows.
Gruff Rhys's latest album American Interior which you can stream here on YouTube, and Sufjan Stevens' wonderful new project Sisyphus.