Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Top Albums of 2012

I decided to write a few blog posts which discuss what I enjoyed in 2012. This is the first..

Top Five Albums of 2012

1. Cruel Summer - GOOD Music/Kanye West
I know what you're thinking guys... Kanye West with the best album of 2012?! And yes, before you ask, I know that I am white (and poor) and am not a 'G'. However, I must profess my love for Kanye 'Yeezy' West and his penchant for everything in excess. Watch The Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy served as perfect introductions to this eclectic mix of all year listening. Cruel Summer is a compilation album and feels almost like a mixed tape of someone's favourite songs rather than an actual album it itself. I know that there aren't a huge amount of awesome things we can say about Kanye West as a person (sorry baaae!) but do not let it stop you from having a listen to this album.

Highlight tracks include: Clique, Cold, and Creeper.
When to listen: When driving. You will begin to think you're in a 'hummah'

2. Babel - Mumford and Sons
The first album by Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More, remains to this day one of the best albums I have ever heard, to the point where I was actually scared to listen to their second offering in case it ruined them for me. Whoaaa, lordy. I hate the fact that I missed time on listening to this on repeat. This is an eclectic, folky offering which, despite all of its joys, might sometimes step a little too far into the whimsical sorrow of string instrumental. You would probably have to already enjoy Mumford and Sons to do this album justice, but if you are a fan then you surely won't be disappointed.

Highlight tracks include: Broken Crown, Lover of the Light
When to listen: Before bed

3. Coexist - The xx
So, shoot me. I'd never heard of The XX before this album was released in September. It was actually a colleague who got me listening to them on the claim that they were "the best band ever!!!". OK, not the best band ever, but as far as music goes, particularly in a year that I feel was somewhat dry of spectacular musical achievement, they are not half bad. Give this a listen and you probably won’t regret it.

Highlight tracks include: Reunion, Angels
When to listen: In the gym

4.  Until Now - Swedish House Mafia
I am almost certain that you have to be a particular kind of person to really appreciate Swedish House Mafia. They are not for everyone. Contrary to popular belief, however, you do not have to be a smack-head raver to appreciate the way their tracks are so finely put together. I have always had respect for talented musicians, no matter what genre they choose to pursue. I’ve been in enough dodgy bars all over the world to appreciate a good DJ!

Highlight tracks include: Antidote, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
When to listen: A New Years Eve Party/Nightclub

5. Our Version Of Events - Emile Sande
I know that this one is a bit of a dark horse. It isn't really all about the album guys (I'll admit, I'm cheating a little!) Anybody who watched the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (hello, everyone!) can appreciate the talent here. This album does have its weak spots: you will never listen to every track, but the tracks you do enjoy? You really, really enjoy.

Highlight tracks include: Heaven, Next To Me

When to listen: Over dinner

Noteable mentions: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats - Regina Spektor; Not Your Kind Of People – Garbage; Halycon – Ellie Goulding 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Letter To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self..

KGUYZ, been a while.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life now and the sense of déjà vu, which is haunting me on a daily basis. I wondered whether I could ever actually get caught in the same situation twice; or whether it would, inevitably, be different.

The second law of thermodynamics gives us an arrow of time, and states that all matter, whatever it is, will change over time. Like humans, stars will die… and everything will eventually cease. Something of low entropy will become a high entropy object, and it cannot go backwards.

So surely I have not gone backwards, and the situations I find myself in are, if only in a small way, different?

This was the inspiration behind the below letter. It is a letter to my nineteen-year-old self. I realized that, if nothing else has changed it is my perspective on the situation, and the way that I deal with the decisions and options before me. My subconscious reaction is ultimately different, and can never go backwards.

Nineteen was an interesting time for me. This is why I felt it important to go back there, and see exactly what has come of it.


A little piece of advice in terms of what is coming in the future for you, kid. It’s definitely going to be interesting.

First off, try remembering who you actually are as opposed to who other people think you are, and make you want to be. Other people are a constant source of inspiration, but they shouldn’t define you. From time to time, you’re going to see your entire future in another person, but it simply isn’t the case. It’s because you don’t really know what’s coming and you need to trust something. The best thing you can do is to make this mistake.  You’re going to take the long road, kiddo. You’re going to be that person who learns who they don’t want to be before actually figuring out who you are. It’s OK. This lesson in itself will define you.

You’re going to meet people who just weren’t built from the same stuff as you. Don’t judge them for it. Some of your best friends in the future will be people you never thought you would have anything in common with. Life is about chemistry and understanding. It isn’t about how you grew up or where you came from. You’re going to take a pretty serious point of view on this later in life.

Look back fondly on everything you can still remember. If you can, write stuff down. It’s more than a little embarrassing that you can’t remember all the great memories your friends have. Then again, perhaps it is because the memory bank is filled with so many other wonderful things.

Don’t start smoking. Seriously, it’s gross, and you will fight against it for the rest of your life.

The decisions you make now will change who you are forever. Choose wisely, but don’t let the thought process dominate. Always trust your gut: it will serve you well.

Every time.

Don’t ever take your money for granted.  Sometimes you will make a good amount, and sometimes you will make nothing. Spend money: it will not last forever, but be sure to save some for a rainy day. There are a few rainy days in your future.

Oh, and another thing? You’re going to work in sales. It’s probably going to make you begin to hate all people, but it’s also going to give you a pretty thick skin. You won’t be scared of a ‘no’, and you won’t expect much on a maybe. Your life will become dependent on the black and white: this is not a bad thing. In a few years you will understand the pun behind the negative shades of grey.

Stop taking yourself so seriously: Laugh.
You have years and years ahead of you: Slow down. Don’t rush so much.  You’re just not ready yet and that’s OK.
Listen to bad music, watch awful movies.

And never underestimate the value of helping another person. Nothing is ever worth anything unless you have someone to share it with. Whatever it is that you think you want from your life and from yourself, it will never be what you think it is unless you have family and friends there to stand by you.

Don’t grow up too fast, kid.

Also… remember to moisturize. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012



Those who have seen my posts on Facebook and Twitter will know full well that I followed (with great gusto) the US Presidential Race. I keenly watched every debate and joined in the millions of Americans who every day tweeted their opinions on the candidates and their policies. I laughed when Obama laughed, and tried to hold back tears when his first debate was a colossal failure. I clenched my fists and ground my teeth in anger whenever Romney opened his mouth, and I have passionately argued against his views.

Those who know me well know that I am not a ‘politico’. The only thing I really know about Julia Gillard is that she has really bad hair. Likewise, my knowledge of Boris Johnson begins and ends with my love of his infamous blonde locks.

Having said all this I perhaps shouldn't have been surprised when, upon seeing me in fits of happiness and excitement at the results of last night’s election, I started getting asked, “why do you care?!”

I was asked this so many times I thought it might be best if I was to explain.

Immigration Policy is one of the big reasons why I care about the US election. Obviously this will one day affect me because I am not a US citizen. Romney stated that his party ‘loves’ legal immigration, but would take a tougher stance against ‘illegal’ immigrants who are every day crossing the borders, overstaying visas, and seeking refuge in the US. This argument actually made up a disproportionate part of Romney’s campaign. What Romney really meant was this: “Let scientists, entrepreneurs, and technology geniuses into America so that they can start American companies that will bolster the economy. Everybody else, especially the Mexicans, can stay out”.

Romney even went as far as to propose the construction of a high security electric fence to run the border.

Didn't they make a movie about this?! Oh yes: Machete. Robert De Niro played (Mitt Romney) the Presidential candidate.

You want to know why you lost the Latino vote, Mitt?!?

As somebody who might one day want to take an extended working holiday in the US who does not understand science, I can’t say that the Romney/Ryan policy is incredibly attractive to me.

Education really needs to be a priority because I am really sick of Americans being the butt of every joke because they are stupid. Don’t get me wrong: I know a lot of Americans that are very well educated, intelligent, and eloquent. Unfortunately, they do not represent the majority of the country (or at least not in the eyes of the rest of the world). Obama put together a plan to really make education a priority. He fought against the increase of student loan interest rates which saved the education sector close to 60 billion USD. This money was then put towards college grants, and capping student loan rates. Mitt Romney paid no attention to the issue, other than to state that people who could not afford college education should simply “borrow the money from their parents”.

Uh, yeah Mitt. You’re right. The best way to stop breeding new generations of idiots is to encourage them to borrow money (from their parent’s money tree no doubt).

I CANNOT deal with more people who cannot read, write, or figure out where Sweden is on a map. This will simply spawn more things like ‘Teen Mom’ being accepted as normalcy. People are getting dumber, and they need to be stopped.

Further to all of this, equality is really something that I think people take for granted in the Western world. I honestly didn’t think twice about the fact that I was entitled to education until I read about Malala Yousifazi being shot by the Taliban for supporting a women’s right to study.

Our ideas on equality were seriously brought into question by this election. Mitt’s views on Hispanics, Gay and Lesbian couples, and a woman’s right to choose really made me take a look at how equal we really are.

So if all of this is happening in America, why do I care about it all the way in Australia?

All over the world there are developing countries that are looking to the US to set the example. Note that these countries are developing: they are growing in power and prominence on an international scale. America has huge amounts of influence in the Western World, and American culture is seen by many as some sort of ‘pinnacle’ of existence. It seems we have evolved in many ways yet still seem to believe in the Great American Dream.

Do we want countries developing to new heights of discrimination? Or should we be encouraging them to educate themselves on the matter; to love one another; and to realize that countries must rise and fall “as one family” regardless of their gender, race, or sexual preference?

The elected President of the United States needs to lead the way for every country that has become accustomed to McDonalds, Friends, Apple computers, and Starbucks Coffee; and have grown to believe that the American ideals are to be held in the highest esteem.

I care about the US Election because regardless of the outcome, America will continue to sit on a pedestal for so many people all over the world who aspire to their influence and ‘greatness’.

And for all those who will try to argue that decisions made in America cannot have international aftermath?

In 2001, George Bush made a decision that sent 28 nations to war and killed millions of innocent people.

I care because I don’t want to see that happening again.


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why I Forgive Kanye West

I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are angry at Kanye West. Here’s a few reasons why:

1.     Who can forget the ‘Imma let you finish’ moment at the VMAs?
This was years ago, yet somehow it sticks in all our minds as one of the biggest ‘jackass’ moments in Gen-Y history. Love her or hate her, Tay-Tay Swift did NOT deserve that.

2.     He has turned Kimmy Kay into a ‘ghetto-fabulous’ mess.
Again, you can love her or hate her, but Kim Kardashian used to wear nice clothes before she became one half of ‘Kimye’. They fit her better, too, but that’s not for here.

(This is a hot mess)

3.     He has not been blessed with modesty.
See here HERE when he stormed the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards to protest his “million dollah” video not winning. On another occasion, he also said that if there were a modern version of the bible, he would be in it. ERM, OK HONEY PIE.

So perhaps Kanye has taken things too far before. He has had ridiculous hair, ridiculous clothing, and has even sung a song about how ridiculous he is. (Yeah, it's true. Hear it HERE)

I do believe, though, that we should probably forgive Kanye for all of his (many) wrongdoings.

Here are my reasons: WHY I FORGIVE KANYE WEST

1.     He knows exactly who to collaborate with to make a hit.
Need I list: Chris Martin, Rihanna, Jay Z, Adam Levine, Beyonce, Swizz Beats, Bon Iver, Thirty Seconds To Mars… Need I continue?
Point is, once I have collaborated with some of the biggest selling artists of the decade, I will be able to say that Kanye is not cool. (Not happening ever, by the way.)

2.     He lets us know where he’s come from.
Now, I know I’m not alone when I was like, “HOLLA GURLL” when JLO did her ‘Jenny From The Block’ stuff. I’m whiter than Casper, and I began to identify with the Bronx. Similarly, Kanye wants us to know that he is from humble beginnings, and he has never shunned his past. From ‘Made In America’ (Watch The Throne, 2012) “I told my Mumma I was on the come up; She said you going to school, I’ll give you a summer; Then she met No I.D and gave me his number; Ten years later she drivin a hummer.”
Don’t we all love a man who love his mumma!?

3.     He kind of has a point... Even when he says it wrong.
Of course, when he said that George Bush ‘hates black people’, it might not have been the most politically correct thing that any one has ever said. I would like to point out, however, that many modern celebrities would never be so candid for fear of persecution.
Plus, ‘Single Ladies’ is one of the best video clips of our time.

(Whoa there, Kanye)

4.     He’s a damn rock star!
He talks shit, he’s abrasive, and he makes people angry! How many true rock stars are left in this world?! If we begin to eliminate the Kanye’s, we might get stuck with (a) the too-good Bieber-fever, or (b) Miss ‘keep-me-relevant’ Madonna.
Bitches, please. Move aside?  The King is here.

5.     He admits when he’s wrong.
 Currently the world is gripped with this snooze fest (other-wise known as the US Presidential Debate), where it seems that a politician can say or do anything without ever having to apologize. Need I write how REFRESHING it is to find a CELEBRITY who is the first to admit he is wrong, and go even further than a simple apology? I am referring, of course, to Kanye calling himself a douchebag in his song Runaway, which he wrote to apologize for Tay-Tay Swift-Gate. See HERE

So, I guess there you have it. A rockstar who speaks his mind, operates as an open book, and isn’t too big to say ‘sorry'.

What’s not to forgive?!

Oh, wait. I forgot this:


Point taken.

[Image sources here and here and here]