New Video From Lacuna Coil – ‘End Of Time’

They say that New Year’s Eve is all about ‘out with the old, in with the new’, but here’s a bit of old and new, with new music from one of my favourite bands from my younger years (not too much younger, I’m not that old!).

Lacuna Coil’s vocalist Cristina Scabbia has to be one of the best female singers in rock music (sorry Amy Lee / Hayley Williams etc) and these Italians have always had a really distinguishable style from the rest of the metal pack.

Here’s their beautiful new video for ‘End Of Time’.

The band have just announced a US tour this February with Atlanta metalers Sevendust. Check the dates on their website www.lacunacoil.it.

RC xx

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DIY Lace Bow Headband

I love headbands, but the best ones are always really expensive. A while ago I realised how easy it is to make your own, and I’ve never gone back! Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to make a cute little bow headband in a few easy steps.

You will need:

* Thin elastic, about 20 – 30 ”

* Lace (the same colour and as your elastic), about 11″

* Thread (again, same colour you want to use)

* Needle

* Scissors

* Tape measure

* A lighter (optional)

1. Measure your head (judging by how tight you want the headband)

2. Cut the elastic to your head size. Test this out once you’ve cut it, because you might want it a bit tighter.

3. (Optional) Carefully melt the edge of the elastic to stop it from fraying.

4. Sew the edges of the elastic together, so you have the basic headband.

5. Cut an inch off the lace and put this aside.

6. Fold the remaining lace in half, from top to bottom (so its still the same length)

7. Tie the lace in a bow, without knotting it first. This may take some practice (just pretend you already have the knot in the middle and it should work). Try to make sure both sides are even.

8. Take the piece you cut off earlier and fold it in half, lengthways. Wrap it round the middle of the bow and sew it in place. Cut off any extra material from it.

9. Sew the bow on to the headband, preferably over the join so its hidden.

10. Wear!

RC xx

Alternative New Year’s Eve Ideas

Anyone else looking for some last minute plans for New Year’s Eve? If you don’t like the idea of standing in the freezing crowds, trying to catch a glimpse of the lights on the South Bank, maybe have a quick read of these and see if one takes your fancy? (Again, I’m sorry, this is very London-centric).

 

The Underworld Camden

CLUB SILVER NEW YEARS EVE EXTRAVAGANZA

9pm, £12, Entry: 14+. Under 16s MUST be accompanied by an adult

(Apparently) Camden’s best alternative NYE party! Mostly indie and alternative music, with a bit of cheese too. Tickets here.

The Old Queens Head, Islington

THE OLD QUEENS HEAD NYE PARTY

8pm, £20

Party tunes and a fancy dress theme – come as your childhood ambition.

DJs on the night: Cat Lovers DJs, Bad Sex DJs, Wolf Club DJs, Fin Munro, DJ Risco, Mohare. Tickets here.

The Social, London W1

THE LINE OF BEST FIT

8pm, £16

Indie tunes downstairs with The Line Of Best Fit and Double Denim Records, with Rockfeedback & Transgressive Records upstairs for a heavier vibe. With some live music and guest DJs thrown in, you’ve got yourself a party there. Tickets here.

Hootananny, Brixton,

THE CORRESPONDENTS

9pm, £22.50, Over 21s

Vintage inspired electro jazz from the London twosome. Plus swinging Balkan folk mayhem with Sheelanagig and beats from the Soul Jazz  Soundsystem. Details here.

The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch

PINK MIST NEW YEARS EVE HOUSEPARTY!

8pm, £10

Sadly upstairs with Tubelord is sold out, but downstairs, ‘Whatever Happened To P-Rock’ will be playing punk rock tunes through the night with a bit of help from Team Wolf (Gallows), Beez (Last Resort / Scuzz TV) and more surprise guests.  More info here.

If you’re not in London, or fancy a quiet night in, try a house party watching The Exorcist. (Always a good time)

RC xx

Friday Classic – We Are The Ocean – Nothing Good Has Happened Yet

This has to be one of my favourite songs of all time. Essex four piece We Are The Ocean have been blending melodic verses and screaming choruses since before it was cool. This piece of rocking goodness is from their self-titled debut album, which came out in 2008.

What are they up to now?

The band have just released their fourth album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’  and are on tour in the UK from January. Check the dates on their facebook page.

RC xx

Band Tips For 2013

If you haven’t spent all your Christmas money yet (and why not, if you read my pick of the sales yesterday?), you may want to hold onto that as I’ve got a list of some of the best music coming your way in 2013. Carefully researched (read: I googled the bands I like), here’s some new albums that are worth waiting for.

Black Veil Brides – Wretched and Divine

Conceptual goth-punks release their new album on Jan 8th

 

Fearless Vampire Killers – Exposition: The Five Before The Flames

A five song prequel to their debut album ‘Militia of the Lost’, out March 11th.

 

Night By Night

The classic rockers are planning to self release their debut album this year. (Guess we’ll all stay tuned for details..)

 

Paramore – Paramore

The self titled fourth album from the three remaining pop punks comes out on April 9th.

 

A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy

New album from Florida hardcore 5-piece due for release next year. You can stream new track ‘Violence’ from their site here.

 

Mallory Knox – Signals

Cambridge rockers release their eagerly awaited debut album on January 21st, featuring new single ‘Wake Up’.

RC xx

Best of the Christmas Sales

Is anyone’s wallet feeling a bit heavy after yesterday? Don’t worry, I’ve trawled through the best sites, to find the sales you’ll definitely want to get in on (while there’s still some decent things left!).

Shoes

–          Schuh have quite a lot of discounted converse and vans. Plus its free delivery. Nice.

Music

–          Play.com have a price crash, with cds going for around £4.99.. Anyone fancy the new Gaslight Anthem album?

Band Merch

–          Young Guns have 30% their merch stall with the code ‘Woof’

–          Rolo Tomassi have 10% off with the code ‘2012’

–          Grindstore have a sale on, with varying levels of discounts. It’s not bad actually, but for converse I’d stick to Schuh.

Clothes

–          Attitude Clothing have an ‘up to half price’ sale. Mostly jeans. And tights. And a black Christmas tree if you want to stock up for next year?

–          Blue Banana have ‘up to 75% off’. If you read the small print, they call it an ‘emo clothing sale’. Well, can’t argue with that.

Other

–          The Night of the Living Thread have a sale on, if you need some more cushions / bunting / hair clips in your life.

RC xx

P.S. Apologies that these are mostly UK based!

P.P.S I wanted to put Lush in here, but the site is so busy it’s not even working. Go into the store instead?

My Own Christmas Mixtape

I’m aware this has been done a lot, but I thought I’d join the bandwagon and come up with my own Christmas mixtape. It’s got some of the classics, with a few newer ones to rock out to as well (plus a slow one to remind you of those awkward school discos when you have no-one to dance with. Or was that just me?).

mixtape

Happy Christmas guys (and girls)
RC xx

P.S. Unfortunately, it doesn’t embed properly, so you’ll have to click the link to listen to it, but don’t let that put you off!

Alternative Christmas Films

I’ve never been a fan of the standard cheesy Christmas films (especially the rom-coms..), but there’s a few festive(ish) movies that I wouldn’t mind watching. Here’s my pick of the best alternative Christmas films on offer.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

I’ve never been quite sure whether this is a Christmas film, or a Halloween one (to be honest, I watch it on both). Still, it had to be in this list as its a spooky-but-sweet  tale from the amazing Tim Burton.

 

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

A really chilling Finnish film, set in the Korvatunturi mountains, Lapland. Days before Christmas, some diggers discover a body, encased in ice under the mountain. As they dig it out, the reindeer disappear and only a little boy seems to guess what’s going on. Definitely one to watch if you want a different perspective on Santa..

 

Die Hard

I don’t think I need to explain the plot, or the fact that its clearly not a traditional Christmas film. It is set as the festive time though.

 

The Hogfather

I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan, so am always interested when there are adaptations of his books. This cheery one follows ‘Death’ as he observes the people of Ankh Morpork  during their celebration of Hogswatch, but something is very wrong.

 

RC xx

Three Ways to Wrap Presents

For anyone (including myself) who’s ever tried to wrap presents at the last minute, then realised they don’t have any wrapping paper, here’s a few quick ideas for you!

 

1. Crepe Paper

Crepe paper works amazingly well as wrapping paper. You need to double it up because it’ll tear really easily though. Luckily, lots of presents might actually turn up (if you’ve ordered them online) already wrapped in it. In which case, find some ribbon and tie them up with it for a finishing touch. If you can’t find ribbon, have a look at some of your clothes. A lot will actually have pieces for hanging up, which you’ll probably not need.

 

2. In the box it arrived in

Decorate the outside with paint / tinsel / glitter / anything else you can find. I try to save some boxes because they make a great way to package lots of little gifts, if that’s what you’re into. Fill the box with cut out pieces of bubble wrap, screwed up newspaper or those polystyrene things you get and then mix the presents in. Its fun to watch people digging around in the box to find their presents!

 

3. Scarves / Fabric

If you have an old scarf or some fabric lying around (some of us used to study textiles..) you can wrap the presents up with this. Bonus is that it doesn’t need selotape, if you’ve run out of that too. For a quick how-to, watch this video from Lush.