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Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Month: June 2011 Page 1 of 3

Music Of The Month

Every month I will pick four newly catalogued albums that have been on heavy rotation in Teen Blog Towers and give them a slightly longer review. Because they deserve it.

body talk 1Body Talk pt.1 by Robyn. The first in a series of three mini-albums (we have part two here) from Sweden’s pre-eminent electro-pop chanteuse and arguably the best. Though short in length at only eight tracks, it does guarantee an extremely favourable “Killer” to “Filler” ratio as every song is worthy of “hot jam” status. Features appearances from dancefloor faves Röyksopp too.

james blakeJames Blake by James Blake. Following the NME approved indie-dubstep trail blazed by fellow Londoners the xx, whilst harkening back to the trip-hop of Massive Attack et al., James Blake has crafted a debut that seems tailor made for cold winter nights in. Which is perfect timing really – the days have shortened somewhat. Well played, James.

jesus and mary chainUpside Down, The Best Of by The Jesus And Mary Chain. Jim and William Reid’s noise rock band, The Jesus And Mary Chain lasted far longer and exerted much more influence than critics originally expected (and, presumably hoped for). Characterised by caustic performance and confrontational walls of sound, the brothers eventually evolved the band into a mainstay of alt-rock radio, leaving behind an indelible lo-fi blueprint for the Dum Dum Girls and Best Coasts of the world to study.

lady gaga born this wayBorn This Way by Lady Gaga. Though this album was almost unquestionably the most anticipated of the still young decade, Lady’s (it’s cool if I use Lady as her first name, right?) stadium-sized persona was threatening to outshine anything she’d achieved musically. Lucky then it doesn’t disappoint. This collection of songs is the pop event of the year, the giant eggs and meat dresses are merely window dressing.

Trailer Tuesday!

Hello again! Today’s trailers are animated. On computers!

The Shrek franchise continues to truck along with Puss In Boots, which stars (OBVIOUSLY) Puss in Boots. My second favourite of the Shrek universe characters (my favourite is the Gingerbread Man, if you must know). So funny.

Here is Brave, Pixar’s latest. It will be Pixar’s first fairy-tale, and reportedly will be more grim (Grimm!) that their previous films. Also it is the first Pixar film to feature a female protaganist. Many firsts!

That’s all for now!

Fashion Friday


Remember Rye Rye, M.I.A’s protege and featured in this post?  Well, here she is again starring in Prabal Gurung’s spring collection’s video.  How cool is that?  And the clothes?!  I DIE.


I couldn’t think of a NOT this week.  (Lame I know).  But I did find LC up to even more LC stuff, so the NOT is more of a P.S really. 
(Actually, isn’t Forbes some kind of conservative, business magazine?  Maybe this is a NOT then).

What are you, Pottermore?

What is Pottermore.com? I do not know. I heard a rumour it had something to do with cellphones, but I forget my source. The Guardian has some theories also. Obviously it is Harry Potter-related, somehow. An online game? What do you think it might be? Comment below and if you’re right (what it actually is will be announced on Thursday/Friday) then we will somehow highlight your prescience. A prize for the ages!

UPDATE: Well now we know what Pottermore is! Kind of! Some sort of e-book shop/fan site I think. Sian got it right, pretty much, in the comments. AWESOME.

Here are the first photos from the Hobbit film, btw. Have you seen any of the actors around the city? I tend to come across them in supermarkets.

Trailer Tuesday

So! Here are some film trailers. And a book trailer.

The final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt2 trailer is out! (We have the first part at the library, in case you can’t remember it? There was a lot of marching about in a forest?) Go Mrs Weasley!

Attack the Block. We love this trailer. Hope you like it too.

Katie Alender’s book, Bad Girls Don’t Die, has a sequel coming out soon. It is titled From Bad to Cursed, and here is its spooky trailer.

The Muppets official trailer!

New Books

Forgotten, by Cat Patrick (279 pages) – London (a girl) has a memory disorder; she can’t remember the past, but she know what the future will bring. She can not remember the boy she loves, and she can’t see him in her future, but she know that today she loves him. And also that there will be a car crash later today. Yikes!

First lines: ‘Aren’t Fridays supposed to be good? This one started badly.

Rockoholic, by C. J. Skuse (368 pages) – Jody is obsessed with the rock star Jackson Gatlin. At one of his concerts she is caught in a stampede and is carried backstage. Somehow she winds up kidnapping Jackson, as you do, but it soon becomes clear that he doesn’t really want to leave her garage. Someone on Amazon.co.uk says, “one of the funniest, most entertaining and highly original books I’ve read in a long time” so reserve it eh?

First lines: ‘To our local newspaper, my grandad’s death was ‘a shocking accident that brought Bristol city centre to a standstill’. To my mum, it was humiliation beyond words and a week’s worth of whispers from her colleagues at the bank.

The Last Summoner, by Sherryl Jordan (187 pages) – It is said that only men can summon dragons, but when the king needs help from the dragons when the land is under attack, Ari and her blind grandfather uncover the moondust mirror and travel to the swamp to summon them. Will the dragons answer Ari’s call?

First line: ‘Alone, the girl crept through the gloomy swamp.’

Heart Burn, by Anne Cassidy (215 pages) – Amazon’s product description says, ‘years ago, local bad boy, Tyler Harrington, did a favour for Ashley. Now Tyler has been beaten up and hospitalized, and he’s calling that favour in. Ashley must hide an envelope for him, but under no circumstances is she to look inside it When Tyler is abducted, Ashley opens the package. What she finds inside is the key to who is holding Tyler. But somebody else wants the envelope and, as long as Ashley has it, she is in mortal danger.’ 

First line: ‘I was waiting for Beth outside Whitechapel tube station when I  heard what happened to Tyler Harrington.‘ 

Wood Angel, by Erin Bow (270 pages) – Kate lives in a time when witches are burned at the stake. Because she lives with a cat and makes and sells lucky wooden charms, she is voted Most Likely To Be A Witch when her village falls on hard times. Terrified for her life, she flees with a stranger who ‘has a plan more dangerous than she could ever have dreamed.’

First line: ‘A long time ago, in a market town by a looping river, there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd (214 pages) – Allow me to copy and paste from the catalogue; ‘Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.’ Siobhan Dowd died before this could be written, sadly, so Patrick Ness wrote the book. It is BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by Jim Kay.

First lines: ‘The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.

The Thief-Taker’s Apprentice, by Stephen Deas (282 pages) – Berren has been a thief all his short life, but when he is noticed by the thief-taker after trying to pinch his reward for the capture of some other thieves, Berren becomes the thief-taker’s apprentice. He thought he knew the city, but now he has to contend with all the political intrigue, corruption, and murder that lie in the shadows.

First lines: ‘The crowd had come to watch three men die. Most of them had no idea who the three men were. Nor did they particularly care.’ 

Long Reach : An Eddie Savage Thriller, by Peter Cocks (401 pages) – Eddie Savage finds out that his brother had been working uncover to infiltrate the Kelly family, a dangerous gang in London. He also discovers that his brother is dead, supposedly by suicide, but Eddie ain’t having none of it. Determined to uncover the truth, Eddie infiltrates the gang and is soon up to his neck in Kelly business. A ‘gritty, glamorous thriller with a heart-stopping, brutal conclusion.’

First line: ‘Donnie gunned the Mercedes back across the Medway bridge.

Akata Witch : A Novel, by Nnedi Okorafor (349 pages) – Sunny lives in Nigeria, although she was born in NYC. She is albino, and feels that she doesn’t fit in. She discovers that she – like two of her classmates – are in fact ‘free agents’, full of magical power, and she has a lot to learn. When the magical authorities ask her and her friends to track down a capture a ‘hard-core serial killer’ with powers greater than theirs, Sunny discovers that magic has a dark, dark side.

First line: ‘The moment Sunny walked into the school yard, people started pointing.

Viola in the Spotlight, by Adriana Trigiani (283 pages) – Catalogue! I choose you! ‘Back home in Brooklyn, fifteen-year-old Viola has big summer plans but with one best friend going to camp and the other not only working but experiencing her first crush, Viola is glad to be overworked as an unpaid lighting intern when her grandmother’s play goes to Broadway.’ This is the sequel to Viola in Reel Life.

First lines: ‘There is no better place on Earth than right here on my stoop on 72nd Street in Bay Ridge. Borough of Brooklyn. City of New York. County of Kings. The Empire State.

Teeth : Vampire tales, edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (452 pages) –  Do you like vampires? Do you like short stories? Do you like books? Do you like library books? Do you like reading? Books? Vampires? Vampire books? Reading them? Reading this? Well?

First line of the first story: ‘As it turns out, if a person dies badly, sometimes the soul can’t escape the body and will have to feed off the living forever.

Deadly Little Secret : A Touch Novel, by Laurie Faria Stolarz (252 pages) – Running out of tiiiiime, so here is the catalogue again; ‘When someone starts stalking high school junior Camelia, everyone at school assumes that it is Ben, who is new at school and rumored to have killed his previous girlfriend, but Camelia is nevertheless inexplicably drawn to him.’

First line: ‘I could have died three months ago. Ever since, things haven’t quite been the same for me.

New Mags 21/06/11

This week we have a bunch of Entertainment Weekly mags; a new Creme mag (Blake Lively! Personal fortune teller! Shortland Street boy countdown!); a new Mad magazine AND a new XBox360 mag. We’re expecting a new magazine shortly, which I will add to this post at SOME stage. Arr.

UPDATE: The new magazine is NZ Rugby World. It can be found at Central and at Newtown libraries, in the YA section.

Fashion Friday

Resort collections for 2012  hit the internet this week (here’s style.com for full coverage) and they are being blogged about willy-nilly.

Acne showcased skirts over pants.  How 90s.  Tres chic!




Also this week, the things some people will do for attention (or to be a model).

New Non-Fiction

Man, there’s still so much non-fiction coming in. Pretty sweet if you enjoy facts, am I right? Rather than describe them all – the titles give away enough clues as far as the content goes – here they are in list form.

Waves: great stories from the surf – Tim Baker
The Twilight saga: the official illustrated guide
101 things I learned in fashion school
– Alfredo Cabrera and Matthew Frederick
Cat on a hot tin roof – Tennesse Williams
Let’s get this staright: the ultimate handbook for youth with LGBTQ parents – Tina Fakhrid-Deen
Indie craft – Jo Waterhouse
Tees: the art of the t-shirt – Maki
The complete book of drawing manga – Peter Gray
Weirdo noir: gothic and dark lowbrow art – Matt Dukes Jordan
Illustration now – Gregoire Noyelle and Katy Lee
Rock gods: 40 years of rock photography – Robert M. Knight
Glee: the official annual 2011
DC Comics: year by year visual chronicle

There you go. Lots of interesting topics covered. Reserve them if you would like.

New Music: New Zealand Edition



Man On Wire – PNC
Evidently quite
proud of Palmerston North roots,
changed name to show it.

Means – Street Chant
All girl guitar pop
trio’s debut entry in
to the indie soup.

Flags (Deluxe Edition) – Brooke Fraser
The same as before
only now there is more. (these
rarely rhyme, so yay!)

System Remix – Shapeshifter
The same as before
only not really, because
remix equals change.

Our New Life Above Ground – Avalanche City
Where were they before?
Down with the mole people? Are
they mole people? Yikes!

Jam Pac’d – Various Artists
Pasifika jams
pack this compilation. Hence
the title I guess.

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