Monthly Archives: September 2013

Monday Morning Music: Das Fluff

There’s music for the country, music for the city, music for driving the open road and music for riding the subway, music for day and music for night. If you’re in the mood for some cool urban, night time tunes, look no further than Das Fluff. They’re a British group and they’re not easy to categorize. You could file them under electronica, dance, punk, goth, alternative and be correct on all counts.

I had the pleasure of meeting them last time they were in Hong Kong (read about it here), and have been listening to their latest release over the last few weeks. There’s a gritty, filmic quality to Das Fluff music – makes me want to grab a camera, go out and film the shit out of neon streets and questionable alleyways. The new album, Meditation and Violence, is a great soundtrack for urban dislocation and alienation, where edgy songs like ‘Drop Break Slip Crash’ and ‘100%’ share space with the icy and beautiful ‘Moonsong’ (my favorite on the album).

Not surprisingly, Das Fluff has a large following in Japan. ‘Tokyo Daisuki’, an industrial ode to all things Nippon, came out last year but is on the new album. Here’s the video:

Das Fluff are currently on tour in the UK, supporting Lydia Lunch, but if you can’t make a gig, you can preview the entire album by clicking here.

Check them out and tell me what you think!


New Page – Maneki Neko’s R Us!

I may take some heat for this, but I don’t care. My ongoing urban photography project is now a full-blown obsession. Left hand up, right hand up. Gold, white, black, pink. Moving or stationary. If you want to know what the hell I’m talking about, please have a look at the newest page on this blog:

Thanks and may the lucky cat be with you, x.

Lost in Translation, but beautifully so…

Sometimes my blog gets hit by comments that inhabit this netherworld between actual advertising and crazy spam. A Japanese purse retailer called commented on my Das Fluff piece by merely writing ‘Prada Hermes’ (the Prada was in Japanese, had to Google Translate that). Must be code for ‘Das Fluff rock Tokyo on a regular basis.’ Das Fluff have a big following in Japan so if they’re looking for a sponsor, bagmutton might be keen.

Last week ‘So Cheap Shoes China’ had a go at therockmom’s 2012 wrap-up by writing the following:

Nightfall instances features unexpected blues and purples that tote up to the majesty of the spontaneous phenomenon. Nike Continuous chose to forward with a more public solar manifestation as the ‘Sunset Break down’ edition on their advised Max flagship, a look whose blocking template parallels the up to date ladies stylishness we’re seeing for the original age here today. These unusual womens Nike Show Max+ 2013s blend Hyper Downcast and Pink Dynamism into a beautiful gradient that shows how the 2013 is built due to the fact that both work and beauty. Disillusion admit us positive how they approach to the Sunsets or the simpler two-tone styles we’ve seen and be on the worry because they just dropped in Asia.

A direct translation from Putonghua? Must be because only a non-native English speaker could come up with something so bad yet so beautiful. Disillusion admit us positive. A koan. A promise. A call. Bob Harris and Charlotte on the 52nd floor.

So Cheap Shoes China – I’m a low-mileage Asics fan, I like a high arch, US size 7 1/2 🙂

Embrace the Dance

Let’s begin with a little lyrical inspiration, courtesy of a short-lived but lovely television show called ‘Bunheads’. Watch this with your child, it’s beautiful. Then keep reading, then watch this again, because you’ll want to.

I think I’m back. Well, the kids are in school, I’m writing, editing, organizing carpools, meal planning, all the stuff we’re lucky enough to take a break from over the summer. Honestly, having your parents cook and buy groceries when you’re visiting is heaven on earth.

We had a wonderful summer, even if it involved a lot of schlepping around the States on the family roadshow. But the trip made me appreciate how: 1. it’s impossible to get tweens to function before noon; 2. a fast rollercoaster can actually make you cry with laughter; and 3. country-hiphop as a genre (aka ‘Cruise’ by Florida Georgia Line) is just a really, really bad idea.

I also realized that my kids are becoming these people who are amazing and funny and wonderful to be around. I know I’m gushing here, but it’s true. They’ve always been like that  (she says humbly), it’s just that growing up has a wonderful way of banishing those obstacles – car seats, potty training, sippy cups – that can often get in the way of enjoying them as people. We still have our battles, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve hit our stride as a family and it is a delight. I keep saying to EO and YO, ‘You know you can be 10 for as long as you want’ or ‘Why don’t you stay 12 for like 3 more years.’ That would be fine with me.

In a similar vein (bear with me here), lately I’ve had several conversations with Moms about ballet. Their daughters are three, four years old and are keen to take ballet lessons. What’s interesting is that, as we talk, these Moms sound somewhat embarrassed, as if they should apologize for their daughters being girly. That maybe there’s something old-fashioned or retro (and not in a cool Mad Men kind of way) about pink leotards and tights and buns. Not ‘unfeminine’ so much as ‘unfeminist’.

Mind you, most of my friends are sporty types. And my daughters and their friends are all athletic. But my EO took ballet for eight years and she loved it. And I loved being a dance mom. Man, I could put together an awesome bun, I tell you. EO has stepped away from ballet this year to focus on swimming and I feel a little sad that she won’t get the chance to dance. For her, I think, it was 45 minutes twice a week of pure simplicity. One teacher, a bare studio, music, and a small group of girls – friends from different schools – skipping and sashaying and leaping across the floor. How many of us get to enjoy that on a regular basis?

When YO was taking hip hop a couple years back, we went to the Christmas recitals and got to see the kids perform a whole range of styles: tap, classical, lyrical, jazz, street. I always marveled at the older girls who just threw themselves in to their modern dance routines. They ranged in age from 14 to 18, and they weren’t all tall, willowy types. They were good, but to be honest, we were never going to see them on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. But, you know what? That didn’t matter. Dance is one of those things, like singing, that the amateur can embrace as much as the professional. Fully committed, free of doubt or self-consciousness, these girls felt the music; they owned their emotion. And as I watched them, I felt like something was right with the world. That it wasn’t uncool for young girls to express their angst or joy or confusion with step-hops, grapevines and jazz hands. With contemporary routines choreographed to pop songs. With the everlasting, life-affirming idea to turn to your friend and say, ‘Let’s make up a dance!’

So, I tell you sporty/strong/modern Moms out there, embrace the tutu! Let your daughter dance! Self-expression, like a 60 mph rollercoaster, is good for the soul.