Saturday, 30 January 2016

Hyperborean Labyrinth

Last week I listened to more new music for goal #29, but forgot to blog about it before the weekend, whoops!

So this post is a few days late, but still here.
This time around I listened to bands that I would never have otherwise listened to!

Alternative Rock from Russia
This was recommended by Lilia (Paracosm of Lilies). I don't understand Russian, but found Lumen's music a comfortable listen. Their sound is pretty similar to that of American alt rock bands, I think!
The title of the song linked above is 'Лабиринт' (labirint), which means 'labyrinth'.
LUMEN Official Website

Negură Bunget
Romanian Black Metal
Found this act when I was looking for acts according to home country! I know nothing about black metal, so all I can really say is that to me, they sound like other black metal bands--some awesome guitar work and drums along with death vocals. Death vocals aren't entirely my cup of tea but this is easy to have on in the background, and the video effects are cool. 
The song linked above is 'Dacia hiperboreana' which translates as 'Dacia Hyperborean'
Negură Bunget Official Website

I guess now I'll go listen to this week's new music!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Take Me to Church! Finland

It's that time of the week again where I share the new music I've listened to over the past seven days (so far so good for my year-long goal!)
This week's post is going to be a quickie, because time has run away with me somewhat!

Indie Rock from Ireland
Recommended by my friend Sara! I've heard of Hozier before, but had never actively sought his music. I really should learn to pay more attention to what music is popular in my own country, because I enjoyed the few Hozier songs I listened to!

Don Huonot
Rock from Finland
This 90s band was recommended by another friend, Rina! Their music and the videos I watched reminded me of a combination of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and I don't know what else? Haha. But they were interesting. I quite liked them!

That's it for this week! Wonder what I'll end up listening to for next week's music!
For the other music I've listened to for this goal, check out the relevant tag.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Top 5 Reads You Need

Last June, I completed my reading goal:
050. Read 3 books per month for 1 year
Now we're in January, it seems a good time to revisit the 36 books I read, and highlight the five that stuck out the most. These are my top recommendations!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

A Mixed Bag of Music

It's the end of my second week of a year-long goal attempt:
029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year
This week, I wound up listening to four new artists, because after I'd listened to two, a friend sent me YouTube links to some music she wanted me to listen to!

As a result, this week's music is a bit of a mixed bag...

Madame Edwarda
Japanese Goth/Post-punk
My friend Demelza-Clare mentioned this band on her personal blog, and it piqued my interest because I like 99% of the music she writes about! 
A little research online tells me Madame Edwarda were active during the early 1980s, with new releases appearing in 2014. Apparently the band reformed around 2010 to become a resident act at Tokyo goth club, 'Club Walpurgis'.
Their music sounds typical of the kind of 80s goth music that came out of the UK, which I enjoy. It's really easy to listen to!
The song above is from their 2015 album 'Rêve Désir'. 
Madame Edwarda Official Website

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
Steampunk out of London
Another mentioned by aforementioned friend! Their music is a bit thrashy and sing-songy, with fun and catchy lyrics. This band are clearly quite eccentric (by which I mean awesome) in that in 2010 they released a song on wax cylinder! A more recent release included not only the CD, but a tin containing specially-made chocolate and gin! Now that's the kind of bonus goods I like, haha!
A fun band worth a listen, and their music is available on Bandcamp, so you don't even have to wait for it in the post :)
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Official Website

Bonus Music!

Alternative hip-hop from South Korea
This was an act my friend Lianne linked me to in response to my spamming her with music links!
I don't listen to much Korean music, but this band has a fun and upbeat sound to their songs, so I enjoyed listening!
EPIK HIGH Official Website

miss A
Korean Pop
Another act suggested by Lianne, this all-female act is comprised of members from South Korea and China.
From the small number of Korean acts I'm aware of, miss A sound fairly typical of South Korean girl groups. The song I linked above is upbeat yet relaxing to listen to, and strikes me as the Korean version of 'Independent Women'!
miss A Official Website

So that's Week 2 done and dusted. 50 more weeks to go...

I'm still looking for suggestions so please tell me all your favourites--right now my list of acts to check out is decidedly biased in favour of Japan and South Korea, so I could do with some others!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Put Some Whisky In It

So here it is: my final selection of chocolate for goal 50!
It's hard to believe that I've tried out 50 chocolate bars now! It seems that not long ago, I was watching Heston Blumenthal at a chocolatier's on TV and thinking, 'Chocolates? Now there's an idea'
Whilst some have been the same flavour, different brands have created that in different ways, or put a new spin on how the flavours are combined.

Anyway, here are the final three chocolate bars!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Music from Myanmar and More

 Since a new year has begun, it seems like the best time to start on a particular goal:
029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year
(When I say 'new', I mean 'new to me').

Hopefully I'll manage to stick with this goal throughout the year--it's somewhat more challenging than my reading goal, because I have to remember it on a weekly, not monthly, basis!

The first week of the year is almost over, so here are the acts I've listened to:

Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein 
Pop music from Myanmar!
This musician appeared on a BBC travel program about Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Intrigued, I got online to find out more (and listen to a full song)
I really like the strength and emotion in her voice, so despite being unable to understand the lyrics, I can still enjoy her songs!
A lot of her costumes are also visually stunning--the program she appeared on called her 'Myanmar's answer to Lady Gaga'.
Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein Official Site

Japanese Electropop
This duo's video 'PoW!' was on YouTube's suggested videos, so I checked it out. It has a really upbeat, fun sound, which took me a while to get used to. When I clicked on the first video, I didn't know what to expect!
Despite being from Japan, this act sings in English. The vocals in a lot of their songs are given a synthetic, electronic sound, which really enhances the effect of their music.
Their costumes are somewhat quirky--lots vinyl/latex, sometimes in familiar or traditional styles (the 'Dead Wrong' video features the duo in vinyl kimono).
FEMM, by the way, stands for Far East Mention Mannequins :)
FEMM Official Site

I'm always looking for new music, so if you have any suggestions - any genre, any language, so long as I can find somewhere to listen online! - please let me know!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Chocolate Orange (But Not As You Know It)

A selection of orange-flavoured chocolate

I'm coming closer to my goal of trying 50 new chocolates, and only recently have I really hit on the idea of trying them in themed selections!
This group of bars are all flavoured with orange, and in some cases go that little bit further to provide a unique taste.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Top Goals, Completed Goals & Recap of 2015

Now that 2016 is here, it's time to look back at 2015, and figure out which goals are at the top of my list for this year!

Here's a recap of how 2015 was for me.
(If you want to skip this part, I've listed the goals I completed beneath the recap).

In January, I went out with my sisters and tried iceskating for the first time, at a very interesting location. (goal #88)

I also finished posting my 52 paintings for goal #55, though I didn't make the master post until February, which was overall a quiet month for Doing A Thing.
However, I did restart my Etsy store, Little Deer Daydreams.

When March rolled around, I decided 'no more books!', because I had tonnes to read and a bad habit for buying even more.
(I didn't stick to this rule, and my book pile grew even higher...)

March was the month when I spotted a squirrel on a motorbike, went on a little trip, and froze my butt off exploring Whitby with a friend. (goals #36, 39, 48)

April was another quiet month, in which I mostly did some reading (goal #50) and made plans for the next month.

Brighton Fringe was the main event in May, when I completely exceeded goal #79 by seeing not one, but five plays, including an open air performance held in the Pavilion Gardens, a one-man show and an adaptation from a novel.

I also went to some fascinating art exhibitions (goal #10) with a neighbour.

Come June, I was ready to lazy around and do nothing!
But I was still productive: I completed an online course (goal #69) and followed the Brighton Sculpture Trail (goal #40)...which I didn't blog about until July. Whoops!
I also completed goal #50: read 3 books per month for a year. Which makes up for my blogging so slowly, I think ;)

All in all, that makes July a really quiet month regarding goals, but I did go to a couple of new cafes (goal #36) and try some great food (including the most amazing mushroom soup ever).

I also went to an anime convention at the end of July/beginning of August. Whilst I didn't blog about the event as a whole, I did write about the musical performances by Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer and Professor Elemental (goal #59) ...which in my usual long-winded blogging style, was posted in September!


August was also the month that I climbed the O2 (goal #84--my #1 priority for 2015!) with a friend, and because that wasn't enough excitement for one day, we also headed to the Hayward Gallery to check out Carsten Höller's immersive exhibition, Decision (goal #10)
In September I went to a concert in the church, performed by neo-classical/folk rock band The Moulettes. With this event, I completed goal #59: Go to 5 music events.

October turned out to be another quiet month, but I did make a skirt from a pattern (goal #89) and came up with some new goals.

November felt like a busy month, though mostly because a lot happened in the space of a few days (not all of which got blogged about!)
Early in the month I went to see Priscilla: Queen of the Desert with a couple of friends. Towards the end of the month, a friend and I went to Hyper Japan Christmas Market in London, where I tried some Japanese street food (goal #08, goal #36), tried some other food that I've never tried before (goal #44) and experienced chindonya (goal #42).

By the time December rolled around, I wasn't prepared to do anything other than Christmas-related things. But my parents and I did go to see comedian Bill Bailey perform his show Limboland at the Brighton Centre.
No blog post from this because I didn't take any pictures, but needless to say he was hilarious.
...and December was the month where I more or less forgot this blog existed. Sorry!

Still, goals-wise, 2015 was a productive year.
I completed the following goals:
008. Eat Japanese food
040. Follow the Brighton Sculpture Trail
042. Check out a different type of performance art
050. Read 3 books per month for 1 year
055. Create 52 paintings in 1 year
059. Go to 5 music events
069. Complete an online course
079. Go to see a play
084. Climb the O2
088. Go ice skating

Bolded goals were on my priority list for 2015.
Although this means I only did 1/5 of the goals I really wanted to complete, I still completed 10 goals this year--and worked on several more.

So now we're in 2016, here are the 10 goals I want to achieve this year:
010. Visit 30 museums/art galleries/exhibitions
This is probably going to take some time...

012. Complete 3 photography projects
I bought a nice DSLR in November. Time to lean how to use it and take some awesome photos!

013. Go swimming
Wanted to complete this last year, but never did.

018. Go llama trekking
Still haven't done this, but I really want to.

019. Abseil down something
Being suspended from a height by a couple of bits of rope isn't an idea I take joy in, but I want to do this to prove to myself that I can do it.

029. Listen to 2 new musical acts every week for 1 year
Suggestions welcome!

038. Go on the Brighton Sewer Tour
It's going to be stinky, but interesting

067. Sell unwanted things at a car boot fair
Still have too much stuff.

091. Make something with power tools
I need to stop being unnerved by them! Plus being able to use power tools and make things is useful.

092. Learn a new skill
I don't know what this will be yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Some of these goals come from last year's priority list. I'm determined to do this stuff (I just need the money, energy and transport capability!)