What They Don’t Tell You About Travelling

Angkor Wat, 2013You’ve seen the kind – the thrill seeking, adventure-loving, continually travelling folk who seem to thrive on sleepless nights and exotic street food. Tales of broken down Tuk Tuks and wandering abandoned temples are plentiful and you can’t help but envy their lives so very different from yours. Nevertheless, it seems all wonderful to be travelling the globe, meeting colourful characters and soaking up the sights, but here’s what they don’t tell you about the whole ordeal.

Sometimes, it just sucks. Not the travelling part, but the returning home to find that everything you once loved seems trivial and meaningless. The mission trip I went on to Cambodia earlier this year (read: most incredible and life changing experience I’ve ever had) was the best thing I ever did. Spending 5 days building a brick home for a family battling HIV/AIDS, and two wide-eyed weeks inhaling the culture isn’t something you just do and forget about, instead it never really leaves you and follows you around as you go through the unimportant and meaningless motions of life. It’s so hard to think about entering year 12 when your heart is still overseas and your mind still tuned into “don’t drink the water, you might get cholera.” It’s hard waking up on a Monday and trying to get ready for a day of lessons when you can practically hear the welcomes of “Hello lady! Are you from Australia?” that once echoed around as you walked the streets. Australian roads are so lacking in atmosphere, a heavy silence having replaced joyful honks and criss-crossing traffic, not to mention our lame excuses for a ‘market.’

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Listen: United State Of Pop 2013 (Living The Fantasy)

One of my favourite parts of the year, DJ Earworm’s United State Of Pop Mashup was released this week. Highlighting the hottest hits of the year in a mashup so perfect you’d be forgiven for thinking it was one song, the United State Of Pop never fails to impress.

Give it a listen, and relive the year that was in musicland (and then, if you’re so inclined, check out their channel and relive years gone by, surprising yourself with the fact you still know every word and yet can’t manage to recall any facts for school/uni).

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Wild Heart, The Vamps

My favourite up and coming boyband, The Vamps, have just released the video for their new single “Wild Heart”. Filmed while the boys were in LA, the video is set on a party bus and really makes you wish you were rocking out on there with them.

The song is as perfect and catchy as you’d expect from the cute British teens, and will have you singing about their wild hearts at the top of your lungs (much to the relief of those around you who are just happy for something other than One Direction).

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Twisted

Do you love Disney, Wicked, and/or Team Starkid? Well, you’re in luck, as Team Starkid have just released their latest parody musical, Twisted, onto youtube. A retelling of Aladdin, making Aladdin a douchebag and Jafar the misunderstood hero, the musical is as hilarious and brilliantly clever as you’d expect a Starkid Production to be.

You can watch the first part below to get a taste, or click here to watch the whole show:

frangipani princess xoxo

Joe Jonas Opens Up

Joe Jonas has broken his silence and opened up to New York Magazine on his life as a Jonas Brother. And wow, revealing would be an understatement.

It’s weird, The Jonas Brothers have been my favourite band for almost seven years, and this one article has shown me that I really don’t know much about them at all.

This article, more than anything, shows the control that publicists and managers have over artists. I’m studying media, so I suppose I understand more than most people what goes on behind the scenes, but even for me it’s shocking to hear it in the artists’ own words. It’s a two way problem, really: the media needs to learn to respect the privacy of artists, and management and publicity teams need to let the artists live. It’s something we really need to seriously work on fixing.

Here’s some of my favourite excerpts from the article, but you should really read the whole thing.

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#MyFirst…Kiss (Or Being Almost 20 And Still Waiting For One)

Each week Kerri Sackville is running a series titled “My First”. This week the theme is My First Kiss. I decided to add my thoughts. 

My name is Georgie, I am nineteen years, nine months old, and I have never been kissed.

I know. In a world of Tinder, Cosmo, and casual hookups, I’m still sitting at the kiddie table.

I’m not sure how it got to this point. I never intended for it to. In my young imagination I was going to have the Real High School Experience, complete with huge parties and lots of making out. But I suppose along the way I was ‘blessed’ with social anxiety and Saturday nights spent partying turned into Saturday nights spent in bed, fearing the outside world. It’s a bit hard to be kissed when you’re too scared to talk to anyone of the opposite sex.

Meggie Royer, in her wonderful piece “For Twenty Year Olds Who Have Never Been Loved”, writes:

All of a sudden two decades have passed and you still have not kissed anyone with tongue, or kissed anyone at all for that matter, or had a 3 AM conversation with someone who would rather look into your eyes for ten minutes straight than talk.

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Movie Review: About Time

At 21, Tim (Domnhall Gleeson) was told by his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to travel through time. This time travel, however, is not without restriction. They can only travel backwards, and only through their own life experiences. Although skeptical at first, Tim soon discovers that he can, in fact, travel in his own timeline.

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Tim immediately uses this to rectify a recent embarrassing New Years kiss, and then soon attempts to use it to make his sister’s friend, Charlotte (Margot Robbie), fall in love with him.

Time passes, and Tim moves to London. He moves in with his dad’s eccentric playwright friend, Harry (Tom Hollander) and begins work as a lawyer. On a night out at a “dark restaurant” with his best friend Jay (Will Merrick), Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), who he immediately recognises is the girl of his dreams. However, upon returning home, Tim discovers that the opening night of Harry’s play has been a disaster, and so turns back time in an effort to make everything right. What he doesn’t realise, however, is that by doing this he erases his meeting with Mary. And thus begins a back and forth which lasts the first half of the movie, with Tim travelling through time to make Mary fall in love with him again.

Picture Courtesy Of Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy Of Universal Pictures

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Music Review: Midnight Memories, One Direction

It’s pretty clear that One Direction don’t really need to worry about their album sales.

Their new album Midnight Memories, officially released on the 25th of November, was another in a long line of One Direction material to be leaked, this time making its way online an entire week before it was due to be released. One has to question if this was in fact a clever marketing strategy, as it has become the fastest-selling album in Amazon UK’s history, and is currently number 1 on iTunes in several countries. Maybe 1D have simply beaten the internet.

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The album’s first single, Best Song Ever, from its Baba O’Reilly rip-off opening signalled an album built on fun, huge stadium songs. (Possibly the best thing about the song, however, remains Zayn Malik’s brief yet alluring brush with drag, as secretary Veronica in the song’s video.) By contrast, the second single, Story of My Life, is more of a Mumford and Sons affair, presenting quiet, pensive lyrics and frantic strumming guitars.

The album, however, manages to consistently draw on both these styles, and is not the confusing and dissident mess initially suggested by its singles. Classic homage is strewn throughout the album, with songs reminiscent of The Police (Diana), Joan Jett (Midnight Memories), KISS and Van Halen (Little Black Dress), and Rick Springfield (Does He Know?). Equally, barnyard romps Happily and Through the Dark are the main representations of the band’s newfound flirtation with British folk rock. What results is a weirdly coherent smorgasbord of sounds.

There are some clear standout songs on the album. You and I, the album’s clearest ballad number, is a simple and beautiful number about the power of love to overcome external forces—an overwrought premise on its surface, but made new by nuanced and metaphorical lyrics. I can almost see the blinding light of 50 000 tween iPhones waving back and forth now. Don’t Forget Where You Belong, penned by Niall Horan and boyband of days past McFly, is another standout track, channelling the ambient pop rock sounds of bands such as OneRepublic. The song, an adorable ode about finding a home in your friends while on the road, marks another refreshing change for the band, in that not every song on this album is about wooing/being heartbroken by a girl. In a similar vein, this album features a never-before-heard amount of gender non-specific songs—to the point where there are more instances of vocal acrobatics from Zayn Malik, the band’s own Mercedes Jones, than there specific references to a girl.

Better Than Words, a song composed primarily of the titles of other songs, which according to co-writer Julian Bunetta, was conceived of in the bathroom by band member Liam Payne, has also become a fan favourite. The song is lighthearted, lazily sexy, and a little bit silly, and gives the band another opportunity to exhibit their impressive and vastly matured vocal chops. Other highlights on the album include Something Great (penned by Harry “I’m Finally In A Hipster Band” Styles and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody), Louis Tomlinson’s main offering in Strong, and the powerful Right Now.

Of course, the album is still full of the same laughable and occasionally offensive pop waffle as the previous two, even if the music itself is of a far higher quality. Songs such as deluxe edition track Why Don’t We Go There? feature some Unfortunate Implications—in the song, 1D attempt to coax someone who has voiced a desire “take it slow”, to “give in tonight, and let me set you free”. It’s definitely no Kiss You.

Another candidate for Dumbest Lyrics Ever is the 80s hair band-esque jam Little Black Dress.  Ignoring the blatant objectification entirely, in this song, a black dress floats independently around the room at a party, somewhat ghostlike, and starts turning heads (presumably in terror) with its presence. The boys of One Direction are intrigued by this dress, and naturally wish to know more about it. “Little black dress, did you come here alone?” they ask, obviously confused about how it could have, given it’s a dress without a wearer. “Little black dress, what’s your favourite song?” I’ll bet Lana Del Rey’s Blue Jeans gets it going. It’s entirely possible that One Direction are simply overcome with desire for the dress itself. Maybe Zayn’s drag stint went over better than we know. Let’s just hope this doesn’t result in a One Direction Brand formalwear line.

That all said, this album’s lyrics are a lot less creepy and coercive on the whole. Most importantly, the music comes across as far more real—for the primary reason that, for the most part, these are their own songs, stories, and emotions on display. They resonate, in particular for long time fans of the band, because they resonate with their singers.

It’s second nature to want to split up an album of this kind, and indeed a band of this kind, into fractions and catgeories—25% classic rock, 25% Appalachian folk, 25% intense homoerotic tension and 25% accidental misogyny. However, what makes this offering from the world’s favourite boy band so different is that it is the first One Direction album which has felt like, well, an album. Certainly there are (very, very heavy handed and obvious) influences there, but ultimately the sound we’re hearing is the band themselves.

Whether you’ve already downloaded it or not, I recommend you procure this album legally.

Midnight Memories is out now via Sony Records. 

Rating: 5/5

Charlie @ frangipani princess

Movie Review: Carrie

High School is full of bitchy girls, it’s just a fact of life. 99% of girls will come into contact with a total bitch, and the other 1% will be the queen bitch. Unfortunately, some girls are more prone to bullying than others. Girls like Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz). Carrie has been raised by a single, fanatically religious mother (Julianne Moore). Carrie has been so sheltered that she made it to seventeen without finding out what menstruation is. And this is here the film begins: Carrie in a high school locker room, screaming that she’s dying while girls throw pads and tampons at her. Being 2013, of course it’s filmed and before the end of the day everyone has seen the horrible video.

Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures

Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures

But then popular girl Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) decides to help Carrie, and convinces her boyfriend Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to prom. Her best friend, Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) does not approve, and her refusal to apologise leaves her kicked out of the prom by kind gym teacher (Judy Greer). Chris doesn’t want to take no for an answer, and begins planning Carrie’s ultimate humiliation.

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