Jul 31

Mixed Tape Monday #9 – Sam

Without Sam I probably would have failed Digital Media. Not definitely, but probably. In exactly one year, over hundreds of coffees, hundreds of web designs, sketches & doodles, late night feeds, movies, late night park visits, sleepovers, gourmet breakfasts and quiz nights – Sam became a best friend. He’s a creative powerhouse – everything from music to art to writing to web, he amazes me with his ability to make it look like he’s been studying in every field for decades. And don’t let his skinny build deceive you… he’s also annoyingly athletic – always up for a run, kicking someones ass with a hacky sack or beating everyone at bowling (yeah we went bowling).

He is currently with his girlfriend Steph, making beautiful music and beautiful love in the USA.

Our paths must cross again soon, if only for a quick glimpse of each other over a cup of coffee.

(Self portrait)

You Are – The Punch Brothers came into my life with fizz pop bang, furiously so, from my friend michelle who is resolute in marrying each and every member, in a poly-amorous way not in a an individually focused way over the course of the hopefully many years of her life. ever since that first show in sf at the wonderful opera house i’ve mustered as many shows as I could manage/afford but one of the very best of theri shows had to have been in new orleans where we discovered the luke winslow trio, later down the list who happened to for them. as these things happen in life one new experiences leads to another and such was the case with the discovery of the incredible and beautiful josh ritter with the punch brothers doing and incredible version of another new world which makes an appearance in this lovely little list.

Like A Drug (Bonus Track) – Queens of the Stone Age – it’s so sultry! it would be a great song at the end of the night of a fancy diner party with someone you’ve been enjoying the evening with from a distance and you’ve both had just enough whiskey to tilt you over an edge you were teetering upon for a while, now you are in that sexy kind of dance half there half elsewhere in the mind dance close but still too far away, hands on hands off, while friends and strangers are sparsely scattered about the house in various states of consciousness and levels of nudity, hands in hair hands off, you mouth the lyrics as you learn them, your love is like a drug. fall into each other and in the morning realise you’re fairly closely related, enough so your completely disheveled, you question your morals and decisions in life as a whole, your life becomes a lie to yourself and to everyone around you and you eventually decide to end it all by jumping into the grand canyon but your dead end job, lack of enthusiasm and will power are enormous road blocks so instead you wind up moving in with a distant aunt of a friend of yours from high school you met in a bar one dark and depraved night out you had where you wound up yelling at strangers that you had sex with your cousin, lucky for you your old acquaintance was there and compassionate enough to try and get you outside on your feet and home before the grand canyon came to you in the form of a large skin head dudes fist. now you listen to this song on repeat and try to find some hidden codes that could reveal to you the secrets of life because if fate had delivered such a cruel had perhaps there was something else, a contrary fate within the song between the lines you fall in love with crustaceans and the patterns on their intricate shells there you also try to find meaning you wind up meeting a a kindly woman as you fossick along a distant beach and she tells you that everything is going to be ok she touches your face with an empathetic and warm touch with the other she takes your hand and leads you into the ocean, you smile as you greet the sea.

The Mess We’re In – PJ & Thom a wonderful thing happens when two english folk frolic about in New York going to lots of sexy parties and falling in and out of love as one might fall in and out of theri braless outfit on a drunken escapade one particularly debaucherous evening

Heart Skipped A Beat – The XX each time i listen to it my heart does the same. from an entirly wonderful album that I love very much thank you yes please more please.

Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood – St Vincent rocky soft tender raunchy leather sticks chocolate on toasst! tops!

Absolutely Cookoo – The Magnetic Fields – “I’m easy to get rid of but not if you fall in love” – if you’re not already in love with this or even if you hate it – listen to all 69 love songs and find out more about this musical project because it’s a great story and he’s a terribly interesting fellow, ready, set go! sposed to be a great documentary about it all but I haven’t seen it yet, sadly.

As April is To May – Luke Winslow-King here he is! you found him! i already talked about him but he was also very handsome, the whole group were rather fetching, actually mildred, we’re they dear?! yes they were. and the lovely little lady sung and played the washboard but not as proficiently and surprisingly & ingeniously as wash board chaz (look up that name! and chaz fest and then save all your pennies and go, a truly magical affair mid-week jazz fest season new orleans). check out more from luke and the trio, great stoof.

The Way it Goes – Gillian Welch – I was so happy, as many of you must also have been although it could be one of those controversial but essentially a matter of taste opinion debates but I love the harrow and harvest and this was a tough one picking out a single song form that album for this list and especially because there have been so many of her songs in this fantastic concept area of this inspiring blog

A Change is Gonna Come – Otis Redding – cheese and crackers! lordy just, gah, wwaah, just you know ahhhhhh. OTIS! via sam cooke lovely.

Idaho Potato – Sarah Quintana – superb little gem of a woman, she’s so hugable, lovable, delightfully delectable. she played at chaz fest with this beautiful Haitian girl who played the cello and had the most haunting and gorgeous voice which she used very finely to sing us an old Haitian song which I can not find much to my chagrin. one day it’ll pop up somewhere least expected and I will be so happy.

Old Fashioned Morphine – Jolie Holland! she’s so great! and i love her and you cant have her because she’s mine and I keep her in my little box with buttons and shes just for me but you can have a little bit of her just for a bit but then you have to give her back because she’s MINE! alsoe a must listen is Mad tom of bedlam. yes do.

Death Don’t Have No Mercy – Rev. Gary Davis is amoung one of my favorites in a recent exploration through the rich and beautiful world of blues history, this song I found through hot tuna who did a great acoustic kind of bluegrassy version of it but for me nothing beats that broken scatched and raw sound of these old blues recordings

Ramblin’ Man – Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan these two are a stellar mix miss isobel is the belle from belle and Sebastian which I thought was just great when i found out because I do enjoy them, yes and mark lanegan has been a favorite for a while so when they paired up well jeez I was just tickled pink! they are a beautiful vocal pairing and I enjoy close to everything they have made together.

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song – First Aid Kit we like you fleet foxes and this is a little gift for you; two beautiful swedish girls singing in the forest one of your songs und now we are very successful too thank you! it’s not the 70’s they just dig that fashion in sweden and they do it well

Another New World – Josh Ritter here it is a gorgeous sea shanty ballad heart wrenching tear jerking tale of love, and here’s that group of studly musical virtuosos doing their version yikes! mr ritter I’m just so taken by you! he’s also written a book! gosh i’ma rush out and get that one!

Unattainable – Little Joy a recent find and one of those glorious love at first sight/listen moments. you know it’s been one of those obsessive kind of infatuated love affairs so far, every day at least twice a day she’ll cut me off soon at this rate I’m sure but I’m enjoying it till that time. – le video! oui c’est vraiment bon!

I don’t actually have internet right now (i’m sneaking a bit of time at a cafe, sans headphones) but as soon as I get internet I am listening to this. I am so excited. Thank you Sam.

Jul 28


In just 4 months this little girl has gone from not being able to hold her head up, to this:

Jul 27


Speaking of poop (it’s hot topic right now) – I need to bring your attention to a recent food obsession of mine. It’s not actually the most recent obsession (that would be goji berries) but it’s recent enough to talk about.

I’m talking about chia seeds. The glorious little nutrient-dense super seed that is going to change your life.

In bullet-points for efficiency:

  • Chia seeds are little and black (or white) and kinda look like poppy seeds.
  • They’re actually a member of the mint family!
  • They are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fiber moderates blood glucose levels and lowers cholesterol. Insoluble fibre helps with good intestinal health, including regular gut function and can reduce the risk and occurrence of colon cancer. (Found here)
  • They hold 12x their own weight in water. Try mixing chia seeds in water and watch it turn to gel! (Say goodbye to Metamucil forever)
  • Chia seeds provide complete protein (perfect for vegetarians!) fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc (holy MOLY! Thanks Dr Weil)
  • I’ve read in various places that Chia seeds are a wonder-weight-loss solution. This makes perfect sense..high fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer!

So what are you waiting for? I’m assuming you can buy Chia seeds from most health shops. We buy ours from Huckleberry Farms. And if you’re curious how to eat the wee things, here’s how we do it:

  • Sprinkled over porridge/added to muesli in the mornings (1 tablespoon)
  • In our bread
  • In baking (see below)

We made these muffins with a black bean soup one night and they were glorious. The chia seeds will amaze you. And the quinoa tastes glorious.

Black Quinoa Corn Muffins (Found here)

1 cup organic corn meal
¼ cup organic corn flour
1 cup cooked black quinoa (any colour will work)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
3 Tbsp. chia seeds + 9 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup oil of your choice
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 chili, minced or ½ tsp. ground chipotle (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Put 8 muffin liners in a cupcake pan.
1. Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add the cooked quinoa.
3. Check the chia gel to make sure it is thick a gloppy (it should take 15 minutes or so to obtain the right consistency). In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together, including the chia gel.
4. Add the wet to the dry and combine in as few strokes as possible. Fold in the cilantro and minced chili.
5. Spoon batter in to muffins cups and bake until the edges are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test (approx. 25 minutes).

Jul 25

On sacrifices

After 6AM yoga this morning I was sitting at One2One Cafe in Ponsonby burning through the pages of my latest book obsession (Water for Elephants) as fast as I could in the short 30min I had between Yoga and work.

As I was reading I suddenly re-realized how much of a sacrifice children are, especially for the parent that stays at home. The more I think about it the more I appreciate what Pamela does for our wee little baby.

I mean sure I provide financially for the family, but I love my job, so (usually) going to work isn’t a dread at all. Sure I have good days and bad like anyone else, but I am fortunate enough to love what I do for a living.

On the other hand, Pamela put everything she loved doing on hold. Exercising went first throughout the first few months of pregnancy, then work. Then Mika came into this world and exercise slowly came back but full-time work hasn’t and it’ll be on hold for a while. And the longer she stays at home caring for our little girl, the harder it will be to get back to the working world.

(However, Pamela is one of the few people I know that won’t stop doing stuff no matter how sleep deprived she gets. So instead of full-time work, she’s managed to get started with her photography business alongside another new mama (and hair & make-up artist) Julia O’Neil.)

I can see how a sudden change like this can be scary for a new family. Especially if the communication between mama & papa is poor – both could be left feeling like they are missing out on something. It shows me what a product of love and dedication a happy family is and I feel so lucky that we are working hard to make it work. And I feel even luckier that it doesn’t feel like hard work.

Just some thoughts I had this AM.

Jul 24

Mixed Tape Monday #8 – Helen

Dear Helen,

You are so beautiful and your tunes filled my morning with delight. I love Black Water also, I don’t find it too depressing. Erase Me is a fun morning car song. Thank you so much for bringing these tunes to our week.

Love Pamela, Ivan and Mika.

Dear Pamela,

I have so loved seeing all the cool music that people have posted on this blog. It’s exciting.

I was so close to putting rap and drum and base all throughout my playlist just so people didn’t get too blue listening to it but restrained myself (somewhat) so that we have excellent fodder for the next round of playlists.

Here are a selected few songs that make me grin on the inside.

1. Talihina Sky – Kings of Leon

I thrashed this Kings of Leon album in 2006 quite severely. It’s easy to picture a group of mates getting stoned over some train tracks in the southern states on a sunny day. Love it. Makes me want to go to America.

2. Ship Out on the Sea – The Be Good Tanyas

A little bit of country music. Haha, or a lot! This Chinatown album is amazing (if you like what’s going on in this song, that is.) My flatmate and I have had this song in our heads for weeks. The Be Good Tanyas do a really neat cover of Rising Sun too. Listen to it.

3. One More Cup Of Coffee – The White Stripes

I’m a bit partial to covers. A 1999 Jack and Meg + the best Bob Dylan song ever. I love the lyrics “your heart is like the ocean/mysterious and dark”

4. Calliope! – The Veils

My friend played this on the piano when I lived at Whitaker Place and I fell in love. Devonport spits out some cool bands! (although I guess these guys are really Londoners now.) Exciting music.

5. Wolf Like Me – TV On The Radio

A disappointing show at the Big Day Out but this album, Return To Cookie Mountain, has some winner songs like this one.

6. Black Water – Timber Timbre

This song plays on bFM a fair bit. Red finds it a tad depressing but “depressing” music makes a happy Helen. Weird? Maybe, but Timber Timbre is definitely a new Canadian love of mine.

7. One Monkey – Gillian Welch

Gillian has popped up in quite a few of these Mixed Tapes but here’s my favourite. Love.

8. America! – Bill Callahan

Thank you iTunes for suggesting I listen to Bill Callahan’s new album after I purchased Timber Timbre. Super cool dude. The David Letterman part in this song makes me laugh. Is he mocking his America or just really proud? Great voice.

9. Society – Eddie Vedder

From the Into The Wild soundtrack. This is one of those songs that fills me with appreciation for our beautiful life and makes me want to go and fill it to the brim.

10. Henry Lee – Nick Cave and PJ Harvey

From Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads. These two were together when they sang this on the album. Lucky PJ Harvey. Lucky Nick Cave.

11. Erase Me – Kid Kudi feat. Kanye West

Pam and Tess – you guys mentioned you were fans of this dude so here’s one with Mr West J I thought this song sounded a bit like Weezer when I first listened, so fun. I love Kanye. I know he’s a fool and all that jazz but he really does make some cool sounds. Listen to this really loud first thing in the morning. Boom!