The first photos at the top of this set were the first of their kind that I saw in Paris. We were meandering the streets of Montmatre, I was snapping photos of stencils and space invaders (at some point I will upload and share my collection of space invader photos) when a kindly passerby, noticing my love of street art, drew my attention to the cheeky face projecting from a nearby wall.
The face of a single man, Gregos, appears all over Paris and in my opinion is only second to the space invaders as the best street art in the french capital. The walls of Paris are so old, have seen so much, yet while they cannot talk and share their stories, some of the walls can tease us with a borrowed, cheeky tongue.
HANNAH PEEL - TAINTED LOVE (by Soft Cell)
So it is a well established fact on this blog that I am a sucker for a good cover. Music box covers are now my favourite kind of cover after hearing this hauntingly beautiful rendition of Tainted Love by Hannah Peel. Although aside from the covers by Hannah Peel, and there are a few on youtube, not sure how I will satisfy my thirst for more music box covers…
Rundle Street, Adelaide
Could it be possible that Slinkachu has been to Adelaide?? Literally a week or two after being given a copy of Big Bad City, a book with a selection of Slinkachu’s “little people”, I glanced down while walking with a friend and saw this adorable little door! What are the chances?? Has it been there for ages and I didn’t notice it, or did it coincidently appear around the time I was made aware of miniature street art… it looks like it’s been there for years.
If I didn’t need to get up relatively early tomorrow morning, I would simply listen to this song on repeat until the early hours of tomorrow. I have been meticulously going through my music collection the past week in a sort of “spring cleaning” fashion and I have just happened across the Tous les matins du monde soundtrack which ends with this baroque song. I have immediately placed the song in my “perfection” playlist which contains around 100 songs that could easily bring me to tears with their beauty. I haven’t seen Tous les matins du monde but I should though as it is about the life of Marin Marais.
Why did the viol fall out of favour? I remember in high school that some of my specialist music class got to learn the viol, so I guess it is not completely forgotten. Sadly, as a clarinet player without any experience with stringed instruments, I never got to try.
BEN FOLDS - BRICK
6 am, day after Christmas… from the word go, this song demanded that my advent calender have an additional day. It’s a sad note to end on, but I guess sadness from time to time is just a fact of life. If you don’t know what the song is about, read Ben’s own words on the story.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed my advent blog while going on a journey of highs and lows through the powerful mediums of song and storytelling.
And I walk down to buy her flowers and sell some gift that I got.
So I lied. Yesterday was not the final day of the blog. Today is the final day. My advent calendar blogs were always dodgy - I never had regular daily blogs and often the blogs were posted several hours after the corresponding day had ended - so to be consistent with that, this will be an advent of 26 “doors” rather than 25. Why? Because the next narrative song has a lyrics that requires it be shared on the 26th of December. It’s a sad song, hence I’ve saved one final sad face.
What better way to end this advent than with a story of hope in the face of great difficulty. The story details one of the fights Aboriginal people have made to regain the rights taken from them during European settlement. The story and song are bittersweet in that they tell how rights can and have been regained for the Aboriginal people but they also remind us that the rights were unfairly taken in the first place and that there is still much more work needed to right the wrongs of the past. But there is more sweet than bitter in the song, after all from little things, big things grow.
Well that was the story of Vincent Lingiari, but this is a story of something much more, how power and privilege cannot move a people, who know where they stand and stand in the law.
KATE MILLER-HEIDKE - CAUGHT IN THE CROWD
Such a powerful story told with such honesty by Kate in this live performance. The album version of this song doesn’t do the raw emotions of regret, sorrow expressed by this song justice. I would have done anything to be in that audience that night. You can see from their faces that they are just transfixed by the lyrics and her voice.
I hope that the story is true in that I hope that there is some guy called James somewhere in Australia who has heard this song and knows how sorry Kate is.
I think we can all relate to having certain acts that we committed in our past that have hurt other people and that we will regret for the rest of our lives. The best we can do is to strive to avoid committing such acts in the future.
I was dumb and I was proud and I’m sorry.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS - JENNY
My favourite Conchords song by a mile, a mile! I saw the guys on Australian TV years ago, loved them, but lost track of them. Then during end of year exams in my first semester at uni, I discovered videos on youtube of their recent HBO special. I watched the videos of the 5 or so songs they performed on the special over and over again and giggled each time (and somehow managed to pass all my exams). The moment I heard Jenny all those years ago I thought it was fantastic. It is still perfect in my opinion and it lives up after hundreds of listens and after 6 years. The comedy could not get any better. Jermaine is a genius - the “pardon” at 5:47 and “relieved” at 6:42 are gold. Brett makes a wonderful woman - “we have a child” with pursed lips.
That’s right, wasn’t it one of those boring work parties?
…That’s why I said wasn’t it.
Shhh! It’s technically Christmas right now and I am late with the third and second to last advent posts, but most places in the world right now it is still the 24th, so I think I can get away with it.
The chap in this stencil looks like a singer or a stand up comedian to me - the following band have done a pretty good job of combining both those things…
ps. I love the crinkles in the arm of his jacket.
HARRY JAMES ANGUS - UNDERGROUND
I have wanted to blog this song for SO long but until 2 months ago, Harry had only released his solo work on CDs sold after his concerts and there were only a few poorly shot videos on youtube. Then in October his solo album Little Stories was released and with it came a flurry of professional videos on youtube thus FINALLY I was able to share this song and I decided to make this advent calendar. As the name suggests, Little Stories is an ENTIRE album of narrative stories - I totally recommend that you get your hands on it and hear all the tales Harry has to offer.
Be prepared to go on quite an adventure, deep underground, with this story.
I still don’t know if I believe him, but he swears that this was true, still we all know the funny things that acid can do.
KATE NASH - WE GET ON
Oh unrequited love. The friends in this song a brilliant. Just like real friends, giving you down-to-earth, supportive advice when you need it most. I think what I think about this story is that the whole thing seems real. I identify with and believe in the emotional elements of this song - the shyness/embarrassment, the scheming, the nervousness and the undying hope.
His eyes are way too close together and we never even liked him from the start.