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Archive for July, 2011

It was probably 1994 when my brother popped his head into my bedroom and said “Hey, you know that song by Nirvana? The he’s the one who likes all our pretty songs and he likes to sing along… one?”

Me: “Um, yeah.”

Brother, with a snarky smile: “Do you know what it means? Heh.”

Me: “Yeah, it’s about someone who sings along to a song and doesn’t know what it’s about.”

Brother: “Oh…. Yeah.” He was defeated in his attempt at a dig.

Little did he know that I’d been following his choices in music for a few years by then. He would voraciously read Spin and Rolling Stone and I in return would flip through his CD collection and make mental notes.

These days I still pay attention to what bands he’s listening to. The difference is that we now openly share good music and he respects my taste in return.

So when he told me to check out Group Love, I did. And then when he told me I absolutely HAD to respond to their ad for people to be in a music video, I did.

That’s how I found myself in a house in Dalston on the hottest day of the year hanging out with about 20 other extras and the band. I left with several impressions.

  • Being an extra is really monotonous and only to be undertaken when paid or for a project you really believe in.
  • People who have random Mondays off and choose to spend them as an extra in a music video are an interesting lot.
  • Group Love are really down to Earth nice people who deserve all the success in the world.
  • Listening to a song on repeat for about 8 hours straight is a guaranteed way to get the song stuck in your head. Take me to your best friend’s house, dun nah – dah nah – nah nah nuh…

Being an extra involves being good at waiting.

We were rewarded for our hard work with a private impromptu performance of songs other than Tongue Tied.

Grouplove Private Performance

A few days later, I was already going through withdrawals. Group Love was performing at Bar Fly in Camden. I scrambled up some tickets, called up fellow extra, Holly, and went to check out the sold out show. I love it when bands play small intimate shows. I hope they get really huge, but sadly that will ruin my chances for having a repeat experience.

Click here to see the video for Tongue Tied. If you pay close attention, you can see me pushing through the crowd at about 3:39.

Group Love’s debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song, arrives September 13. Check them out, they rock.

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I was aching for something cultural and Blair was restless in her painting studio, so we decided to meet up at the Tate Modern to see their permanent collection.

I love modern art museums, but any museum can be a serious marathon. Floor 3 with the surrealists is manageable, but by the time I’m at the Rothkos, I am shifting my weight from leg to leg and adjusting my typically massive bag from one shoulder to the next. This is when we decided we were in serious need of some caffeine and a snack if we were to continue. We headed to the 7th floor restaurant where the views were amazing and the atmosphere stylish.

Restaurant View

Blair, excited for her cake.

Unfortunately, that’s about the only good thing I could say about the restaurant that day. We had really been looking forward to the cake and coffee. The server brought the wrong coffee, and when we did get the right one, it used real milk instead of the soy we had ordered. It was delicious, but I was concerned for anyone lactose intolerant. Then the cake came out. The carrot cake was spicy with a nice cream cheese icing, but the coffee cake was not at all like I had imagined. The sugar was overly intense. I had to scrape all the icing off in order to enjoy any bit of it. Even then I had a hard time tasting the coffee flavours through the sugar. The worst disappoint was that the chocolate covered espresso bean on top wasn’t an espresso bean at all. It was overly sugared espresso bean shaped chocolate. I guess they assume their clientele REALLY like sugar.

The selection

Oh well, I guess everyone has an off day?

Don’t order the coffee cake.

The good thing was that we had the sudden boost of energy we needed to continue on with the museum. We managed to squeeze in the Diane Arbus room right before closing. That is something I can recommend.

The Tate Modern Restaurant is open Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–17.30 and Friday – Saturday, 10.00–21.30

ARTIST ROOMS: Diane Arbus runs until March 31, 2012

Tate Modern Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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When we first arrived in London, I was at a party where someone told me “It takes about a year in London to find the right job, flat and haircut.”

I’ve been here over a year now, if you don’t count my time in exile. It’s been slow moving but finally starting to feel comfortable and fun. Where we are now is where we thought we would be about 6 months ago. Although maybe not, since six months ago it was winter and everyone was hunkered down in not so friendly hibernation survival mode.

My home is fine. Our garden is much expanded from last year. As I share my home with Husband, I have to let go of the little bits of control I want to exert on it’s operation. I have to clean when I don’t want to, and I have to do things like let him keep a desk in the bedroom even though it’s really not healthy or feng shui. In return, he has to put up with shoes and books scattered about and my aversion to the vacuum cleaner. But honestly, our real estate manager is the worst part of the whole deal. At this point I know that they are absolutely useless and I just have to roll with it until we eventually have a place of our own or take a private rental.

A part of 2011 Garden: tomatoes, swiss chard, peppers, mint, basil, courgette, oregano

I’ve also learned not to be so particular about my hair. It’s going to do what it wants to do and I have very little control over it. The styles that look great on other people aren’t always the best styles for me. My hair is like having a teenage daughter. In order to live in harmony, I have to let it express itself in it’s own way.

And my job? If I could extend those philosophies to my career I will have jumped a massive hurdle.

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