Life is Hard…

Many song titles could have been typed into the title bar of this entry, but i decided to book-end this post with a bit of ‘Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’. You know why.

I realise we’re not very far into 2014 but, until today, i didn’t have many wonderful expectations for this year. It started off pretty crummy. I won’t go in to detail, but let’s just say it was disappointing. Disappointing, frustrating, and rather annoying. I would say more (not really) but I think most can relate to those three words in one way or another… and another… and another.
I was feeling sad, a little hopeless, and somewhat negative. I didn’t feel negative about life in general, just certain areas which i wished were different. I wasn’t necessarily walking around with a long face, but i was definitely walking around with a perplexed mind and a hurting heart. I tried to recognise exactly what i was believing about my circumstances, if (and how) i believed they would change, whether or not i was powerless to change them, and what the heck to do with myself until change did appear.

If, after many years, our expectations aren’t met, we can easily be tempted to stop expecting.
If, after many prayers, nothing happens, we can easily be tempted to stop praying.
If, after many (enter appropriate amount of time here) your dreams still seem to be without a glimmer of hope, we can easily be tempted to stop dreaming, or wishing, or hoping.

This is, basically, what went through my mind as i walked around contemplating God and life, and overanalysing behaviours (mine and others) all the live long day. The good thing is that it kept me very busy… I’ve been on holiday, so i’ve had nothing but time. It also made me ask myself some very important questions, which is a good thing every once in a while. However, it made me very tired (who knew that considering throwing in the towel could be such an arduous task?) and it wasn’t a whole lot of fun.

I guess, no matter how cheerful one’s disposition, there will always be moments in life that are ‘less fuzzy bunny – more prickly pear’ as my flat-mate Sian would say. (Oh Siany and her jokes!) I also remembered hearing ‘you might not be able to change your circumstances but you can change your attitude’, which I would be SO tempted to argue against, if I wasn’t so tempted to try it.

I don’t think it’s healthy for people to never feel anything negative. It’s a good thing to go through tough times, to question what you believe and why, and to ask for help when you need it. Moments like that are important for us to grow and learn and mature, absolutely. But sooner or later one can get tired of tripping over one’s own bottom lip. Plus, you’ll need that lip for when you want to comfort-eat yourself through your next soft-serve.
Being sad and confused in the dark is boring, and sooner or later you need to find your way back into the sunshine.

Life is far more fun with a head full of dreams, expecting something wonderful to happen at any moment, and believing that something is possible no matter how hopeless it seems. To live beyond hurts, failures, un-forgiveness and revenge and to always remember that the picture is way bigger than the part we can see.

God’s timing IS perfect.
His plans for us ARE good.
And anything IS possible.
(The three lines that made me want to punch people in the face a week ago.)

That’s something I (have to) CHOOSE to believe, and live.

So to end this post. I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from my favourite musician, Alexander Ebert…

Image

“…The intellectual path left me very depleted of spirit… my sense of adventure and spirit and magic disappeared and, honestly, it’s just more fun to live with magic than without it… with the sense of anything being possible… with the sense of the the invisible as a possibility, than it is to believe that ‘this table is just a table’. It’s just more fun to believe in the possibility of anything being possible!

Thank you Alex! You’re a real gem!
Jo
x

I will not cut down on my Parklife to get some exercise.

But i do understand what Blur was trying to say!

I feel quite blessed to be “working” for ‘Love SA Music’ with Simon Hodgson. He sends me all over the city to listen to music and tweet about the bands, venues and festivals. Sweet deal!

So this weekend my BFF, and partner in crime Bronwyn, and i headed off to Parklife SA, to spend the day listening to some of the best South African bands play under the hot South African sun. (Which we weren’t quite prepared for, but anyway…)

I’m a bit sad that we didn’t have a bigger group of friends with us. Out of everyone i know, only two were at the festival, which is confusing. Why don’t more of you attend these events? What were you all doing yesterday? HUH?

We weren’t able to get to all the bands, but the ones we did get to were amazing!
I’m seriously blown away by the amount of talent popping up everywhere, after what seemed (to me) like a bit of a cool-band drought a while ago. Although i wasn’t a fan of everyone on the line-up, I honestly think they’re all doing a darn good job of representing South Africa. GO TEAM! (By the way, there is/was a band called The Go Team! and they’re cool.)
#justsaying

We really enjoyed the vibe in the park, and mostly sat around on the grass, watching the people  while we waited to stage-hop from one favourite to the other.

The first artist we saw was Nakhane Toure. This man’s voice is  incredible. Do yourself a favour and check him out!

You can listen to some of his stuff here…
http://https://soundcloud.com/nakhane-toure-1

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Nakhane Toure

Short Straw are fun guys, and Shane from Desmond and the Tutus made a guest appearance during one of their songs too.
#winning
http://https://soundcloud.com/shortstrawband

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Short Straw

Speaking of Desmond and the Tutus, they sure do sing about some random stuff. We saw them too, and had a bit of a dance 🙂
#getyourgrooveon
http://https://soundcloud.com/confusionists/01-desmond-and-the-tutus-kiss-you-on-the-cheek-original-mix

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I am ALWAYS impressed by ISO’s performances! Richard (the singer) has the voice of an angel, with a face i could just spread on a cracker!
#socute
Watch the video for No Fire

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ISO

Although we didn’t get to watch Matthew (not Michael) Mole, he also never disappoints, and is a pretty big deal *ahem*! So if you’re tired of the rock you’re living under, you should come into the light and check him out! This guy really is a real Cape Town gem! His songs contain some of the most beautiful lyrics i’ve ever heard, and from the first little ‘twang’ of the banjo i was sold! Not to mention the most soul warming voice I’ve heard on a human! I also have the privilege of  saying that he is, genuinely, one of the nicest people i know!
#NoiDontGetPaidForThis
https://soundcloud.com/matthew-mole

Check out his video for Take yours, I’ll take mine.  And here’s a pic. Wouldn’t want to leave Matt out.

Matthew+Mole+-+birds+to+the+side

Then it was time for one of my (other) absolute favourites- Jeremy Loops. (It’s a toss up between him and Matthew Mole. Don’t make me choose.)
Since the very first time i saw Jeremy Loops perform, i have loved him. There’s something about his music and his look  that’s like a breath of fresh air when you’re suffocating in skinny jeans and military haircuts.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that he came skipping on to stage to the song ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (my favourite international band) or the beautiful sound of his harmonica, but i honestly was the happiest i had been all week. The energy that he gives off, together with his saxophonist Jamie and his smooth rapper Motheo, is definitely contagious! (Album out SOON)
#WellDoneLads
http://https://soundcloud.com/jeremyloops

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Jeremy Loops

And then unfortunately we had to go. *wah-wah* So we didn’t get to see Seether, but i’m sure they were wonderful.

Please  listen to and support more South African artists. These guys make our country more beautiful!!
And feel free to invite Love SA Music to your gigs 😉

#JoleneOut

White Arrows – Get Gone

Love this fun song by White Arrows, perfect for playing in the car on a busy, sunny saturday X

Dance, dance, dance … Dance some more!

Now that i have all my fellow South African’s singing the Mango Groove song (sorry!) here begins my new post…

This past weekend was the busiest EVER, but also the most wonderful! It was filled with farewells, welcomings, celebrations, birthdays, dedications, engagements, markets, and an absolute highlight: the ‘Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’ concert, which i attended on Saturday night at the ‘Town Hall’ in New Town.

MOST of the time people say ‘What’s this Clap Your Hands thing’. So, for those of you who were wondering… they are an Indie Rock band from my beloved New York, USA. You can listen to their toe-tappin’ dancey fun beats here:

http://www.myspace.com/clapyourhandssayyeah

I was also overjoyed (but not surprised) to hear that my favorite SA band ‘Desmond and the Tutus’ were opening for them, and let me just say that with a line-up like that, fun is a GUARANTEE!! Oh, and you can listen to the Tutus (as they’re nicknamed) here:

http://www.myspace.com/desmondandthetutus

Never in my entire life did i think a night like this was possible, and i couldn’t help but say a little prayer of gratitude when i was squashed against the barrier in the front of the crowd! Pity i fell down the step in my garden a few hours before the concert and busted my ankle 😦 It slowed me down a little but i still managed to dance. One can’t help it when such wonderfully fun music is blasting through your earlobes.

I only got into bed at 3am sunday morning, and remembered a time when that happened every weekend. I really miss the good old days when we always had a party to go to. It’s harder to do in your 30’s though let me tell you! I started yawning at about 10pm, running on nothing but the pure excitement of seeing one of my favorite bands!

We are CLEARLY older now, something made obvious when we all soberly left the venue, stopped in at the 24hour Wimpy for a toasted sandwich and coffee, and had a discussion about  the health effects of eating at such an unusual time of the day.

My, how things have changed! But i haven’t had that much fun in a long time ❤

La Vida es un Carnaval (Life is a carnaval)

I just love dancing, and have practiced some form of it my whole life basically. Like most girls I started ballet at the age of 4, which i did for a few years, then moved on to modern; free-style; hip-hop and had learned the basics of ballroom etc for my my matric farewell, so i figured i could dance…. until i met Carol and Alex.

We became friends while all working in the Hamptons as au pairs. Carol is from Brazil, and Alex from Costa Rica. We got on like a house on fire, and it didn’t take long at all for us to be joined at the hip. One night Alex invited to a salsa club in South Hampton called 75 Main. I knew the basic steps and was feeling pretty confident… until we walked into the club, and realised i was sorely, sorely mistaken. I wasn’t even sure if we were speaking about the same dance.

Carol (being Brazilian) took to it like a fish to water, and with the ease and confidence that left me staring, mouth agape, and awkwardly aware of how “white” i felt at that moment. Lucky for me, people knew to expect this reaction from a fair-haired South African girl, and soon there were a few Hispanic men volunteering to give me a lesson *wink*. Thanks to my previous dancing history i picked it up pretty easily, and was dancing the night away, being twirled this way and that, although still a far cry from the kind of moves Carol pulled. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it didn’t take long for the three of us to be recognised as “regulars”. 75 Main remains one of my favorite memories of my year in New York.

I’ve longed to go dancing since then…  PROPER dancing! Not just standing around in a circle, bopping up and down to music… And this week my friend Brett invited me to go check out a social at a dance studio in Sunninghill! Man alive, was i excited!

Last night we went to the Dance Cafe. It’s a studio, so it wasn’t like the club i was used to in New York, but we had such a blast doing the Rhumba, Salsa, Samba… even the Waltz and the Jive. Boy was it a good work out too! Definitely my FAVORITE way of burning a few calories! There were group dances too, which i particularly enjoyed… reminded me SO MUCH of the wonderful times i had with Carol and Alex. I can’t wait to go again, and drag some of my friends along with me 🙂

My feet were a tad sore and legs slightly stiff when i woke up this morning, but one of my favorite salsa songs is still stuck in my head. It’s sung in Spanish, so I’ve never known what the words meant, until this morning i when i decided to googled them. They are so wonderful and inspiring that i thought i HAD TO share! Last night i was reminded how much i love to dance. How much i love music… and music from all over the world. Brett said it’s sad that dancing isn’t as much part of our culture, and i 100% agree. So this song not only reminds me of my year in New York, but also reminds me of the kind of life i want to live… Free, fun, and full of dancing!

It’s by Celia Cruz, and it’s called “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”. Here are the english lyrics, and the song for you to have a listen to. I hope it gets you to jump of your chair and dancing the day away!

http://lyricstranslate.com

Anyone thinking that like is unfair,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
that life is beautiful, you must live it.
Anyone thinking he’s alone and that that’s bad
Needs to know that’s not the case,
that in life no one is alone, there is always someone

Ay, there’s no need to cry, because life is a carnival,
It’s more beautiful to live singing.
Oh, Ay, there’s no need to cry,
For life is a carnival
And your pains go away by singing.

Anyone thinking that life is cruel,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
That there are just bad times, and it will pass.
Anyone thinking that things will never change,
Needs to know that’s not the case,
smile to the hard times, and they will pass.

Ay, there’s no need to cry, because life is a carnival,
It’s more beautiful to live singing.
Oh, Ay, there’s no need to cry,
For life is a carnival
And your pains go away by singing.
For those that complain a lot.
For those that only criticize.
For those that use weapons.
For those that pollute us.
For those that make war.
For those that live in sin.
For those that mistreat us.
For those that make us sick.

Hey! Do you like music?

Well then you should listen to this!

“OH MY WORD”. That’s what i said when i heard this song by HIGH HIGHS. It put a huge smile on my face, yes, i love them. So here you go… take a listen and have a look.

http://www.myspace.com/highhighs

http://highhighs.com/

Frightened Rabbit

If you like Death Cab for Cutie, then you might have “liked” them on Facebook, and if you’ve done that you would have seen that they just got off the road with this band, Frightened Rabbit, which they love, and I now love! So check them out!

Here’s a song called “Swim Till You Can’t See Land”.

 

http://www.myspace.com/frightenedrabbit

http://frightenedrabbit.com/

 

 

“Bombay’s berry berry nice dis time of year”

That’s another quote from FRIENDS (told you there was one for everything) … I thought of it while listening to this cool new album by BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB … enjoy 🙂

I have great taste in music …

if i do say so myself. I’m also very modest about it! haha! Sure, sometimes i only hear about a band a few years late, but the point is that i DO hear about them, and i LOVE spending time searching for music i’ve never heard before…. so …  Just do yourself a favor and listen to this FLIPPING COOL “indie folk Christian” band:

Future of Forestry

http://futureofforestry.com/

YOU’RE WELCOME !!!

A bedtime song for you …

By one of my new favorite bands: Blind Pilot – We are the tide.

http://www.myspace.com/blindpilot

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