Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Queen Is Dead Review {27 Years Late}

Until now, this blog has been predominantly fashion based. However, I have decided to make it a little more open to reviews of music, films, books and lifestyle choices as well as fashion. I have wanted to be a fashion journalist for a long time but lately I have become so captivated with books and music that I must factor them into a potential career in the future. For my first album review I have chosen The Queen is Dead because The Smiths are the best thing in the world ever and it is my first vinyl record that I have bought all by myself. I am going to make these reviews both visual and personal by telling you what goes through my mind when I listen to the music. P.S. please don't judge me. This post involves some serious fan girling. Enjoy if you're a Smiths fan and if you're not then listen to them. NOW.

Yesterday I went shopping with my best friend. We planned to go to a store that sells records. I really wanted to get a Smiths or Morrissey record but I didn't get my hopes up in case they didn't have any. They had five. As you can imagine, it was a difficult decision. I decided to buy The Queen is Dead over any of the compilation records because I want to collect all the original records. The Queen is Dead also has my favourite song, Cemetery Gates. 

Since then I have listened to the record over and over and over and over again. For me, it will probably be the record of the year but it actually came out twenty seven years ago which is crazy because it's so brilliant but came out eleven years before I was even born. 

Every song is beautiful but my favourites are 'Cemetery Gates', 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', 'I Know It's Over' and 'The Queen is Dead' in that order. 

I felt like crying all day just because I was carrying an original Smiths record which is like a huge deal for me with my obsessive personality. I was worried that I would be disappointed because I had spent £22 on ten songs. I was worried that the whole 'music sounds better on vinyl' thing would be a myth. I have a record player at home but never use it. I was anxious all day but when I got home and put it on I was no disappointed. 

My friend and I Morrissey danced around my living room until we were out of breath. We looked like this:

Today I have listened to the record probably about fifteen times; getting up to change the side to play the next five songs. It is just so, so perfect.

The opening track is the album title, The Queen Is Dead. This is the best anti-royal protest ever. It's anti a lot of things actually. I think that it is mostly a protest to society and capitalism. The line 'past the pub that saps your body and the Church will snatch your money' followed by 'the queen is dead boys' demonstrates this. 'Talk about precious things, like love and law and poverty' and 'no one talks about castration' I think are saying that there are still taboo topics that shouldn't be taboo because if a band can have an anti-royal song as the title and opening track of their album then we should able to talk about everything. This is a great song to dance to and Morrissey's Mancunian accent comes through when he says 'mother's' and I die of pleasure.

The next song, 'Frankly Mr Shankly' is a lot shorter. Russell Brand, who is good friends with Morrissey, said that one of his friends had sent a resignation email to his boss with the subject of the email 'Frankly Mr Shankly.' One day I want to send someone an email with that subject and be all like 'Frankly Mr Shankly since you asked, you are a flatulent pain in the arse.' My favourite lyric from this track though is 'But sometimes I'd feel more fulfilled, making Christmas cards with the mentally ill.'

The third song is 'I Know It's Over.' I hate when people just dismiss Morrissey and The Smiths as 'depressing' because I actually think that they are quite hopeful and the mantra is less 'let's all kill ourselves' but more 'things will get better even if they're really, really bad and lonely at the moment.' However, this song actually makes me feel quite sad. The line 'mother I can feel the soil falling over my head' is hauntingly repeated in a beautiful way throughout the song. I think it is the sound as well as the lyrics that make this track more saddening. It is brilliant though.

Next is 'Never Had No One Ever' is another more bleak song. I love the repetitive 'I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone.' It kind of makes me when to stay alone so that I can sing along to it. I also love the specificness of the 'bad dream' that lasted exactly '20 years, 7 months and 27 days.' Why the dancer gif? The 'I'm alone' bit is perfect for spinning round too. Not that I've tried it or anything...

The last track on Side A is my all time favourite The Smiths song. It is not one of their most successful but I love the music, the voice, the lyrics and above all the literary references- 'Keats and Yeats are on your side while Wilde is one mine.' It speaks a lot about plagiarism. I think I like this song so much because I like writing so hate blatant plagiarism and I love Oscar Wilde (I bought a book of Wilde quotes the other day.) If life after death exists and I have been good enough to go to heaven I am sincerely hoping that I will get to walk round a cemetery with the young Morrissey and discuss Oscar Wilde.

Side B opens with Bigmouth Strikes again which makes me want to play guitar like Johnny Marr so badly but I disappoint myself every time I try. It's a good one for trying to dance like Morrissey though which I think is a slightly more attainable goal because I don't think anyone can really play guitar like Johnny Marr other than Johnny Marr. 

The Boy with the Thorn in his Side is a song that has got stuck in my head before but doesn't really speak to me on a personal level as much as some of the others do. That said, it is still a million times more meaningful that most of the songs produced by the British music industry today. It starts by talking about someone who pretends to hate everything but really just wants to fall in love. This makes me think of Enid in Ghost World because she acts like she doesn't care about anything but then her world kind of falls apart and you realise that like everyone else she wants to be be loved. Then Morrissey sings 'how can they look into my eyes and still they don't believe me?' which I guess could be applied to many a situation in life.

Vicar in a Tutu is fantastic. It seems comical but really the message is that you should do what you want and no one should judge you for it. 'A vicar in a tutu is not strange, he just wants to live his life this way.' A teenage girl obsessively blogging about an album that came out twenty seven years ago is not strange...

There is a Light That Never Goes Out is such a classic. It can be applied to so many things. The Smiths might have split twenty five years ago but their legacy will remain forever as the light that never goes out. This is what I mean about The Smiths being hopeful. Even if a ten ton truck kills the both of us, look on the bright side, at least we'll die together. Every cloud has a silver lining. There is a light that never goes out.

The closing track for this album is Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others which is the perfect anti-dieting song. I have a post planned with a list of things to do that make you feel not guilty for not losing weight. The final lyric on The Queen is Dead is 'send me the pillow, the one that you dream on' which is sung so dreamily and I just want to send my pillow to Morrissey is a non creepy way...OK there is no non creepy way to send someone a pillow.

The photo on the album sleeve. The sleeve also has the lyrics inside which is fantastic because I love it when albums have the lyrics with them. By the time I bought this record though I already knew the lyrics...

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Glam Rock

1974 Creem Glam Rock issue

Firstly, I will apologise for my absence from what some might call the blogosphere for the past week. I didn't do a Pretty Passions, Fine Fashions post this week because my inspiration was getting a bit repetitive and I ended up writing about the same things every weekend. The quality not quantity mantra comes into play here because I'd rather have a couple of weeks away from blogging then come back refreshed and ready to write about something passionately as opposed to robotically.

I have a confession to make: I have been cheating on fashion with music. Please don't ostracise me too seriously for this. Every time I hear the sound of either a folky song or a rock song I get goosebumps and butterflies. Fashion sometimes makes me feel like this; for example when I saw the Chanel Resort 2013 collection online, when Emma Stone was on the cover of Vogue and when I read Coco Chanel's biography. I am trying to link fashion and music in my life as much as possible which is not incredibly difficult because they are both a sort of explosion of arts and are involved in everyone's lives to different extents. 

The glam rock era in the '70s is probably when music influenced fashion and vice versa most seriously. Artists like Bowie, The New York Dolls and T Rex broke down the barriers of social standards with their eccentric dress sense and blatantly unapologetic androgyny.

With the break up of the Beatles at the beginning of the decade, the outlook for popular British music in the '70s could have seemed rather dark. Then glam rock stepped onto the scene and it could not have been much brighter. The Beatles were not the only legendary musicians to demise in this decade. Elvis was found dead in 1977. However, who needs Elvis or The Beatles when you have Bowie and Bolan?

As far as fashion is concerned we are talking platforms, bright make-up, streaked hair and Ke$ha scale amounts of glitter. Flamboyant suits resembling last summer's 'pyjama party' trend were also popularised by this music genre. It was all very experimental and in many ways it still is. Although it broke down  boundaries in the music industry (cue Lady Gaga) in reality an all out glam rock outfit would probably not be very graciously accepted anywhere other than the more liberally stylish cities like London and New York. 

I think the most recent glam rock influence on the fashion industry has to be these glittery Nicholas Kirkwood for Meadham Kirchhoff platforms. Send me the ones on the right pretty please. The pink ones are too Disney Princess and the blue ones are a bit too Snow Queen but the green and dark pink are more New York Dolls.

Aren't these Nicholas Kirkwood for Meadham Kirchhoff the cutest, coolest footwear you have ever seen?

More glam rock inspired clothing:

Glam rock icons:

I just have to finish with a not entirely unrelated picture of Moz because if you're going to blame anyone for my lack of blogging blame him. Seriously, this music has taken over my life. Whatever, I'm not going to resist it. In fact, I have a post planned where I will review The Queen is Dead which I bought on vinyl yesterday and like died then came back to life and listened to it and cried and Smiths era Morrissey danced with my best friend and wasted a whole day just listening to it on repeat. Who cares if the review is twenty seven years too late?

Look it's my favourite person in a Jobriath t-shirt.
This post is quite text heavy but I'm glad I'm back to bloggings. I kept putting it off and feeling really bad about it but now I'm back I have a certain feeling omnipresence that I only get from forcing my views down people's throats sharing my views with the world via the internet.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013

Images from Collage created by me.

The autumn/winter collections are now being shown but in the practical sense we are just coming up to the time of year when it becomes appropriate the wear outfits inspired by the spring/summer collections so I believe that it is time for me to share my opinion on at least one of the latter collections. I have decided that I need to be more critical of art forms; one of them being fashion. Hence, I must say that I didn't like Marc Jacobs' Spring 2013 ready-to-wear collection. I found it too fashion-y in a cosmopolitan super bitch sense whereas I think that fashion should celebrate creativity and it is the big names like Marc Jacobs' responsibility to do that. Due to this lack of creativity there seemed to be no deeper meaning behind the clothes. I am not slating Jacobs as a designer because I love his recent collections for Louis Vuitton, he has done a lot of fantastic work in the past and I am sure that he will go on to do more in the future. However, I found this collection quite shallow unlike perhaps Jacobs' ideas for the Autumn/Winter 2012/13 Louis Vuitton collection where no expense was spared to bring a real steam train to the show and have the models dressed in Edwardian costume. Jacobs said that he wanted to evoke the "glamour of travel and the romance of going somewhere" which I find quite a charming idea to have behind and collection. I also think that I liked this because I'm a bit of a history boffin. That collection had meaning though. In the Spring 2013 show the models looked moody and ill. I do not usually jump on the 'fashion models are too skinny' bandwagon but without naming any particular names there were at least three models who looked scarily skeletal and by scarily skeletal I mean significantly skinnier than Cara Delevigne. Overall, the fashion show was uninspiring because the models whizzed past in a blur of stripes and there was little time to think, not that the collection inspired much thinking. Art and fashion are based on opinion and in my opinion a fashion show should never be rushed, the clothes should have a historical or social context or demonstrate the designer's feelings about something.