Alondra Bentley and Nine Stories

When a concert begins with a song about a ladybird, followed by one about falling in love and then the feelings and philosophies behind gaining white hairs when turning 30, I just know I’m going to enjoy my evening. Throw in an electric piano, ukulele and a guitar, along with a mesmerising voice and gentlemanly manners and I am smitten. Nine Stories is an upbeat, quirky pop group from Madrid, Spain and here on their China tour with Alondra Bentley, Nacho Ruiz was representing this unique band.

They played at B10 in O.C.T Loft on the Shenzhen leg of their China tour. This was a great venue for their performance as the space was big enough to cater for all the audience and yet still cosy enough to give the performance more of an intimate feel. It got even more special when Nacho from Nine Stories joined the main act of the evening- Alondra Bentley and they performed as a duo. Alondra’s voice is seriously one of the most incredible I’ve ever heard. It threw me headfirst into a memory of a warm, summery day in a forest with a picnic and all my favourite people. Her voice is light and soothing, filled with all the colours of the rainbow, and then some. Their songs were both magical and down-to-earth, just like them. I loved the way they had little chats with us (the audience) between each song and being here in China they’d even made the effort to learn a few Chinese words. I admire that so much. Not only was their show outstanding but their stage presence was also very special. They connected with the audience on a very personal level and only had good things to say about their time in China, especially in Shenzhen which they said they’d fallen in love with! This made me smile and inspired me to start reliving those feelings one gets from first arriving in a brand new city, a brand new country; those initial moments should always be cherished.

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Image sourced from here.

After the show they came straight outside to sign records and they took time to learn everyones names and wrote them individual messages, even writing Chinese names! They were very sweet and so instead of buying their cd, I decided to buy their vinyl because I’ve never bought one before and I thought this would be the perfect first vinyl purchase to make. They are such sweet people and beautiful musicians. If they happen to be playing in your city, please please go watch them! Not only will it be an absolute treat for your ears, but I guarantee you’ll leave in an optimistic mood and that smile will linger long into the evening. And then of course, you can just listen to their music whenever you feel your positive mood faltering and it’ll be returned immediately, I promise!

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Image sourced from here.

Thank you so much to Alondra Bentley and Nine Stories for gracing Shenzhen with your amazing talent and happiness! Please come back to China soon, and all the best for your wonderful future! I look forward to more sweet songs about the lovely little things in life!

This is one of my favourites, probably because I can relate to it so much!

Monday Musique: Stars – Elevator Love Letter

I haven’t seen the stars since I arrived back in China. These days lately have been the hazy kind, the grey murky kind that seep across your every path clouding and shrouding everything in it’s reach, enveloping it all into one big industrial bubble. Luckily, there is no shortage of green trees in my new neighborhood and a nice splattering of blossoming pinks along my morning motorway commute. These allow me to glide along in the daily penguin parade without getting too far sucked into the repetitive mist. And there’s always music. Today I am enjoying one of my old favourites- Stars, a dreamy indie group from Canada that have been delighting my ears from my high school years when I wore a plastic strawberry hair bobble every single day. Stars always make me smile with their sweet, mesmerising melodies and ethereal voices. If I can’t have real stars right now, at least I always have Stars in the musical form.

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Image sourced from here.

What do you think? Dreamy, right?! Please feel free to recommend some new musique to me. Every Monday is going to be Monday Musique day from now on, yay! Hopefully I can introduce you to some lovely tunes!

Love,

Luna.

Mr Little Jeans

This song! Wow! Mr Little Jeans, I love you. Who is the girl behind this magical voice? Well, she’s small and Norwegian and she makes me want to dance in a purple forest under the full moon all night long. And that choir, now that’s some talent! I can’t wait to listen to the rest of her songs.

I love this video too! It compliments my life nicely right now. I hope there really is someone watching over me.

What have you been listening to lately? Feel free to share some music inspiration in the comments below, infact please do!

“throw yourself on the aeroplane and fly like magic”

I am loving this alternative dancey-folk song from the British/Spanish band- Crystal Fighters. Doesn’t it just make you want to smile? And dance around in the sunshine? Like all day long?!

In between real-life job stuff, I think it’s a good idea to take some time out to appreciate the small things in life, such as this lovely song.

But also, have you noticed the moon today? It’s a perfect little moon; the way a child draws the moon (OK, I draw it that way too)- it’s a slender little sliver, and it’s creeping up to the half moon mark. I love the moon.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in this crazy life we lead, so easy to forget the real beauty in everything that surrounds us.

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Lately, in amongst job applications and interviews and decisions, I’ve not wanted to miss a thing. I can’t seem to walk past a new, hidden alleyway without cycling down it to see if there’s anything exciting to be discovered.

When was the last time you just explored? I know most people are busy leading hectic lives but there must at least be five spare minutes where you could mix up your route home from work, or maybe you could try a new dish at your favourite restaurant, or how about going totally wild and trying a new restaurant?!

I should probably just become a professional explorer.

“Helloooo world, please hire me. I think you’re beautiful. I am very good at persuading other people you are beautiful too. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our journey of adventures together.”

Love,

Luna

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André Chocron

I can’t stop listening to Mikhael Paskalev after I saw Emma-Jane talk about it on her blog. I am obsessed. One song in particular- ‘I spy’- is amazing! Infact, I needn’t say any more; just watch this video and those dance moves- epic!

Mikhael Paskalev is a Norwegian/Bulgarian musical genius and his music is pop with a twist of indie and a touch of folk thrown in for that extra cool. He says he is inspired by The Shins, Edward Sharpe, The Mamas and the Papas, so yup- he also has good taste. I like him.

And I like the music video above too, and not just for that dancing! The director of it- André Chocron, a film director based in Oslo, he has got some skills. A friend of mine introduced him to me tonight and then we realised that he also directed Paskalev’s ‘I spy’. Check out this crazy stunning video that he directed:

Yes, those businessmen are skateboarding down that beautiful road. Isn’t this just incredible? He only graduated in 2010 from The Norwegian Film School, so this guy is clearly one to watch. I can’t wait to see what else he’s done! That is creativity right there in all it’s underwater dancing glory. Yay!

Have you seen anything else this guy has directed? I’d be so keen to watch! Thank you.

Ballerina Project

No, but seriously, is it too late to become a ballerina?

A few days ago I stumbled upon this incredible site- Ballerina Project. It was created by a photographer- Dane Shitagi, and is an ongoing series of photographs that capture the ‘real’ ballerina in all her forms and emotions. He has been working on this project for 12 years and I am so excited to have found such stunning images. There’s something about an image of a ballerina in a gritty cityscape; the contrast of elegance against inner-city filth, reality.

All of the ballerinas photographed are professionals who have worked for the most exclusive ballet companies.

The coolest part about the majority of these photographs…? Before 2012 they were all taken on film cameras!! Analogue photography is the best!

Here are a few beauties, and to check out more go to the site here or join the Facebook fan page here.

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All of these photos can be found here and you can also subscribe and purchase photos on the site here.

Any ballet teachers out there??

mystical music moments

Ever have those moments where you’re listening to a song on your iPod, whip out your earphones and realise the song you were listening to is playing in the shop you’re now standing in? Or how about hearing a song and instantly being transported back to a time and place from days gone by?

Even cooler, I was sitting in the office at Lomography on my first day and a familiar song came on, aka the one above- Kick the Bucket by Charlie Winston. Now, I have no idea where I found this song, who recommended it, or why it was even on my iPod. All I know is that I listened to it a lot on my trip to Korea back in 2011, and for some reason it stuck as my song of that specific trip. I remember listening to it on the bus as I traveled along bumpy roads to stay in a temple high in the mountains. I remember listening to it as I happily sailed through the streets of Seoul. Most importantly, I remember listening to it when I bought my first Lomo camera- the Diana mini ‘en rose’.

Why is that cool? Well, because this song ties in very nicely with my first ever Lomo purchase, and it also just so happens to be the first song that played as I sat at my desk in the Lomo office here in Taipei, 2 years later. Life.

I swear everything in my life is connected, or maybe I just love making these little connections…either way, it makes life pretty interesting!