Song of the Day: Kelsey Lu – Dreams

Truth be told, I wanted to keep this young lady all to myself. Everything about her is ‘now’.

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Song of the day: Radiohead – Burn the Witch

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Radiohead throwing us a massive album-shaped bone this past weekend (I’m on trend, I promise; I’m only posting this this late because I’ve been too tied up to reach my internet). Anyway, based on my friend’s review of the whole thing, it’s apparently “the most truly affecting Radiohead album to date.”

I believe it, I’ve been bingeing on this little snack every day since it was abruptly revealed, and I’ve just finally also heard the second teaser track, the incredibly cathartic ‘Daydreaming‘. But also now that I know what the latter’s about (read above review), I’m also finding listening to it in view of the video slightly tear-jerking.

So far all very brilliant though, really.

 

wkd Jane Aldersley of Bad House Party

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This is Jane! I knew I loved this New Zealander the minute I met her; the first time because, well duh, she throws (and plays ‘wkd’ sets during) one of Dubai’s best, and practically self-funded, indie music nights (catering to all my musical needs from Toro Y Moi to NOFX, The Cure to The xx); and the second time because, when celebrating said night, Bad House Party, winning a TimeOut award for Best Alternative Night recently, she pulled me aside for Jaegerbombs and jokingly said “that’s probably the most un-indie thing ever, winning an award”.

“That was a total shock, although a very pleasant one at that,” she adds now.

Needless to say, 2016 has seen BHP off to an even more promising start. “Our main objective this year – apart from keeping the DJ nights running successfully – was to try to bring over three international bands to play live, which would be one up from the two we brought in 2015. So far we’ve got one solid in May and one tentative in October, so I guess we are on track to achieve that, provided we have the funds to pay for everything.

“Bringing bands over is an expensive hobby!”

An expensive hobby that the entire team – who have day jobs – are certainly good at, and which will only continue to reward them in 2016. I, at least, am forever grateful for this slice of ‘something else’ in the UAE and happy to party with them for two nights in May.

Yep, BHP hit up Casa Latina tonight with more uncaged (inflatable) animals moshing with Dubai’s discerned listeners to, erm, Cage The Elephant et cetera, et cetera… whereas next weekend they bring Brighton rockers Black Honey to town for another smashing bash.

If you go to any one of these parties, go say hi to Jane – she’s lovely – and tell her all the random facts you now know about her because of this haphazard Q&A.

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*The acts are coming in. What else is on the BHP agenda this year?

“To try to attract some kind of sponsorship. We’ve done everything so far without sponsorship, using only the funds generated by the regular DJ nights – not because we are against the idea of corporate sponsorship, but just because we’re all a bit clueless and non-mercenary, I guess! Winning the Time Out Award triggered some interest in that area, so it’s looking positive.”

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*What other essential parties/club nights do you frequent in Dubai besides your own?

“I have huge respect for the folks at The Other Side, who are trying to put on live band gigs on the regular. Having worked on a couple of band bookings for BHP, I know what a long, expensive and frustrating process it can be, just to get a decent band to stand on stage and play instruments in this town. TOS make it look easy, and they deserve all the support.

“Freshly Ground Sounds are also doing an amazing thing by giving a platform for local musicians to perform in front of an audience, and the standard is actually really good.

“I try to drop in on the other Dubai indie nights, Step On and Loaded, as often as possible. Both nights put a different spin on Indie compared to BHP, but that’s awesome in my opinion.

If, when I arrived here 8 1/2 years ago, someone had told me that one day there would be three or four different regular Indie nights in Dubai, I’d have laughed and told them to get back on their meds.

“Although bass and house music aren’t really my things, I do have a lot of love for three other nights in Dubai – Karak Beats, Dust, and Analog Room. They always have a great vibe and attract interesting, creative, friendly people, which means I can always have an awesome time chatting at the bar, even if I’m not dancing.

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Where’s Waldo? The Drake Edition

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Just a little Monday midday pick-me-up in case his new album’s left you feeling blue – FIND DRAKE! I literally have no time to pencil in crying this week so I haven’t heard any of it yet. Typical tearjerker? Feeling ‘some type of way’ about it? Would love to hear. OR, what other albums are you digging instead right now?

wkd out & about: The Other Side X Ray-Ban Private Launch

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I think a huge portion of my young adult life was spent wanting to own a pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers. You know, the classic black RB2140s, as they’re fondly known by no one? When I finally, at 20, found a job decent enough for me to afford one (even 3!), at roughly Dh800 a pop (at that time), I still didn’t feel like I had earned the right to buy them. I’m weird, yes.

Now I’m 27 on some sort of semi-paid sabbatical of a bender (or bender of a sabbatical?), and therefore NOT making that money anymore, and I STILL don’t own one. I have, however, broken and lost a TON of cheap frames quite consistently in that time – which has not made it easier on me deciding to invest in a pricier pair.

But I do get invited to Ray-Ban’s parties, and for now I’m okay with that much proximity.

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I’m so late in posting this because I had some actual real adult work I had to take care of this past week. But last week Ray-Ban teamed up with indie live music hosts, The Other Side to throw a hell of a party for the launch of their latest line of eyewear (which I’m really digging, by the way; can’t wait to show you some of the pieces).

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Needless to say, we also got to hear som ‘wkd’ sounds. Not only was it my first time to ANDLounge, which is a really pretty place at The Address Marina; it was also the first time I’d heard of Londoners BIG DEAL.

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They’re touring this summer, and this is what they sound like:

I know, jump-around-your-room-with-your-hair-loose-because-life-is-going-semi-bummerish music. Or driving in your car music, I guess.

I also like this song:

 Anyway, Ray-Ban and The Other Side are at it again in May for this event featuring TELEFERIK. Check it.

RIP Prince and Dubai Tribute

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I spent a lot of quality time audibly crying my eyes out at home on Thursday night and refused to go out this past weekend. I never knew a celebrity – even one of such legendary musical status – could do that to me (even Bowie, who died on my birthday, only got my corneas just a bit moist – even if I did spend more somber time obsessing over his legacy in the weeks that followed). As for Prince, I haven’t really been able to listen to much music yet since the news…

I will always regret not being at karaoke last Thursday to sing ‘Purple Rain’ like I always do when I go. What an epic missed opportunity.

Oh well, I’m finally taking a minute to properly acknowledge that his passing is all real, and hope to share more of that moment with you in Dubai this Tuesday night at Cocktail Kitchen, who are putting on a tributary DJ Set.

Follow this post or Cocktail Kitchen’s Facebook page for event updates.

Song/Story of the Day: Dream Machines – Recall

…I don’t know, it just triggers my happy; a slice of infectious dance-in-traffic fun.

I met the singer, and therefore first heard about this band, in my hostel on a trip to Istanbul a few years back. We toasted the local beer on our balcony overlooking the teargassed Taksim streets, played with cats in a hipster bar overrun with them (and whose bar staff served us on bicycle and let us DJ), then stuffed ourselves silly on awesome artery-clogging street eats like iskender. Istanbul is still a favourite.

Harry May Kline lives in Los Angeles and has a funny tattoo on his arm of a martini glass that, in a few pen strokes, he is able to turn into a lion’s face. That’s what I remember about Harry.

I had said at the time that I’d come visit him sometime in California – he worked at a cool bar there and seemed legit chill – but of course half of these encounters with random travel friends don’t materialise (I won’t say ‘never’ because I’ve had some magical friendships built in hostel lobbies since!). Just like I never really thought I’d be into his band more than ‘liking’ their page for the sake of being friendly.

BUT I AM INTO HIS BAND. And I hope he keeps it going (<—- this was my original point)