Here’s stuff I’ve been doing this month. Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of this stuff too. Hit me up if you have any recommendations of your own.
Stuff I’ve been listening to
Laura Marling’s Semper Femina is a beautiful and complex album. I’d been excited about it for a while but I know it’ll take me a while to properly discover the whole album.
It took me two years to fully appreciate Short Movie. I think it’s just because Laura Marling matures and develops as a songwriter with each album and while I still love her early early stuff, she’s clearly a different person now and the complexity of the songs reflect that.
I went into Redeye to buy Laura Marling and Process by Sampha was playing. At first I thought it was an old SBTRKT album but then I realised I’d not heard it before.
I asked the guy if it was Sampha and quickly decided to buy the record. It’s really good. It has a very British sound and a great diversity to it as you’ll see below. I’ve had it pretty much on repeat.
I also saw James Vincent McMorrow live at the Opera House. More on that further down…
I’ve recently listened to The Shins – Heartworms. The release of this kind of bypassed me and I wasn’t sure at first but it seems alright. A few poppy tunes and some throwbacks to older stuff. I’m still making up my mind.
S-Town, the new podcast from This American Life and Serial dropped on 28 March. So I just started listening to that. So far, it’s intriguing.
Stuff I’ve been watching
Fences was decent enough. You can tell it’s adapted from a stage play. Everything from the tight stage-like sets, the positioning of the cast and the script evoke theatre. I think it really worked for the film.
My mate Jonno recommended Donald Glover’s Atlanta to me. It’s great. It’s funny, dark, witty, sharp.
Mary Berry has a new series on the BBC. She’s making up really simple, home-cooked comfort food recipes. It’s inspired me. The same can be said for The Hairy Bikers’ Comfort Food. It’s just lovely to watch.
I’m catching up with Broadchurch. It reminded me how harrowing the first season was. It’s such an awesome whodunnit. It’s something I can totally binge watch.
Stuff I’ve been playing
I bought a Nintendo 3DS. Yes it’s lame but I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon Sun. I’ve realised I like gaming like some people like TV, for total shutdown, lazy-brain time when I don’t want to think about anything. It’s the reason I never play anything but FIFA on the PlayStation.
Pokemon and Animal Crossing are perfect for this. I really like them and the 3DS is a neat little console with some cool features.
Pokemon has a lot of cut scenes but it has a more engrossing storyline than previous games in the franchise. Animal Crossing is what it is, pure escapism.
Stuff I’ve been doing
I finally went to Automata. The occasion was to celebrate my four years in Australia.
It was one of the best culinary experiences I’ve ever had. And I sampled some great beer, wine, sake and coffee. See the Instagram post below for what I ate. Words can’t do it justice.
Another thing I went along to was the third birthday celebration for Shenanigans Brewing at Bitter Phew. Anyone who knows me knows I love my local Sydney beer. I love what these guys are doing, the beers were excellent.
I saw James Vincent McMorrow live at the Opera House. It was really good. He’s developed a different stage presence since I saw him there two years ago. He no longer stands awkwardly behind his keyboard but was bopping and moving about, making dorky hand gestures and cracking jokes.
He was mostly playing stuff from We Move but the older stuff he played he completely reinvented in the most incredible way. He threw in heaps of soul, blues, jazz and funk motifs throughout his older stuff. He released an alternative version of We Move, I’d love to see him do the same for his previous albums. It brought a whole new sound to his back catalogue.
March is great despite the weather because it’s the start of the AFL season. I went to the SCG for Sydney Swans vs Port Adelaide and I’ve been watching other games on TV. I’m loving it despite the catastrophic loss on the first day of the season.
Otherwise work has been insanely nuts and it’s really taken it out of me. My attempts to run more than last year have suffered a bit but I’ve still managed to do a decent amount of running. What this has done is affected my website writing. I’ve been trying to squeeze it in where I can.
I’ve bought tickets to see Laura Marling and also to GABS.
My brother moves out to Australia in early April so I’ve been helping him get organised before he arrives. He’ll be coming to GABS too but that’s not until May.
Otherwise I’ve got the slow cooker out again making a big bolognese and a beef joint with winter vegetables (seasoned with orange zest and thyme). I also baked an apple, cinnamon and walnut cake with toffee sauce. It was delicious. I made some quick and easy fudge using coffee liqueur too. It could have turned out better but it ticks a box when I get sugar cravings.
It’s been a busy and fun month. The rain hasn’t got in the way of my running too much but I’ve definitely been eating more.
Let me know if you have recommendations of cool things I should take a look at!