I first heard a bit of this song in a Sephora a few years ago. Then they played it on New Girl (in two separate Christmas episodes). But I never knew who the artist was. Then some kind soul pointed me to the band and lo, I found the track.
I don’t know much else about the Bird and the Bee, but this is hands down my favorite rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas. In addition to the great, groovy sound (which reminds me of the Cocteau Twins), I just loved how…different the song sounded. Turns out, according to their soundcloud page, “we changed the song so that every repeat is a completely different progression.” I love it.
The song never gets boring and her voice is simply gorgeous. I only wish it was available for sale or download or something.
[READ: December 16, 2013] Five Dials #27
I was a little harsh on Five Dials Number 26, but overall, it still kept up the greatness that has been Five Dials. And #27 keeps up the excellence. Since Five Dials likes globetrotting, this issue is based in and around Greece, the county that is in tumult.
This one also has letters from Our Glorious Readers. One of the readers sensibly comments that the Berlin issue would keep her busy throughout the winter. Wish I had doled mine out better. I feel that Toronto gets a little knock from the editors who seem to think it is not as cool as Berlin. I also enjoyed the reader’s description of Peter Stamm’s writing as being like skiing.
CRAIG TAYLOR-A Letter from the Editor: On Timelines and Greek Photographs
Taylor talks about the timelines that tend to appear in newspapers, most of which seem to talk about the collapse of something or other (like the Greek economy). After visiting Athens, Five Dials felt it was time to bring some Greek writing to English readers. The letter talks about the contents within and gives good context to Dimitris Tsoumblekas’ photos which are quite good but are even better when you know what they are doing–especially the one about his father.
DIMITRIS TSOUMBLEKAS-Four Photographs
DANIEL SHERBROOKE-(Clapham North, SW9)-The Shell, the Grit, the Oyster Card
This essay about England’s Oyster Card was really cool. The Oyster Card appears to be a Metrocard of sorts. Sherbrooke talks about the cards that his guests have left behind (some with cash, some with debts–and he think so them as mementos of their visits). When I lived in Boston I was very attached to the T cards that you used to get, and I saved many of them. But of special interest to me was the end section in which the Oyster cards were outfitted with RFID cards and people took the chips out and attached them to other things–and they still worked because they paid money online. I love the idea of the guy dressed like e wizard who used a RFID wand to open the turnstiles. [I just looked this up and discovered that there is Facebook page devoted to this idea!].
EITHNE NIGHTINGALE (Clapton E5) Eithne Nightingale discusses Foucault Over the Garden Fence
This seems like a simple essay of a woman befriending her gay neighbor, but there are many complexities in this relationship–like when her ex-boyfrend stalked her and she stayed at his place. Or when his new boyfriend left for Poland and he took a turn for the worst. The story ends very sadly in unexpected ways.
HELEN CONFORD (Hackney, E8) Helen Conford witnesses the Citizenship Ceremony
I have heard of the American Citizenship ceremony from a number of people, but never the British one. It seems like the stirring of emotions is just as strong regardless of where it happens–PG Tips or Coke.
JOE BRAINARD- A list: I remember
Brainard lists more than 1,000 things that he remember. Excerpted here are dozens. As random “As I remember wax paper” to “I remember how much rock and roll music can hurt. It can be so free and sexy when you are not.”
SAM DONSKY-Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part Two
a lengthy poem chock full of pop culture.
JOHN OLDALE-Greece: An Octagonal Tour
Points of interest for those looking for information about Greece, such as the origin and subsequent alteration of the word archipelago, or that beauty originally applied to people acting their age, and also the convention for mourning (a woman should wear black for 1-5 years after a parent dies). Also the origin of “It’s Greek to me” (medieval monks and then Shakespeare). It’s these kinds of essays that Five Dials excels at.
STEPHEN THOMPSON-Practically Unwatchable
Thomson is a black Briton who moved to Greece with his girlfriend. They stayed in Patras, a poor, disreputable location. She knew Greek and blended well, but he stood out. And he was made acutely more conscious of his race than he had anywhere else. Greece is full of poor black immigrants and he was really aware of the color of his skin from the way people treated him. The moment came to a head when he was watching Greece in the World Cup. They were playing Nigeria and the Nigerians were gathered together under their country’s flag. Yet he rooted for Greece (having lived there six months he felt an affinity for the country and wanted them to succeed).
YIANNIS DOUKAS-Sappho the Housewife
a shorter poem
CHRISTOS IKONOMOU- (translated by the author) Like People Who Hadn’t Laughed for Years
I enjoyed the circularity of this story. The narrator hears of a man named Lycos who was laid off. He is sad for the man but since he doesn’t know who the man is, he is able to put it out of his mind. But when he learns that he not only knew the man but was aided by him (and yet he didn’t know his name), he feels compelled to get involved in whatever small way. This was a positive story that I found quite enjoyable.
THOMAS SMITH-Things Simmering
A series of five line drawings letting us know that things will be okay.
CHRISTOS ASTERIOU-(translated by Themelis Glynatsis) “The Psalm”
The narrator sees his uncle Anastasis, who was three months dead but not given a proper burial. His uncle speaks to him, just as he did in life, when he was a constant companion–speaking his mind against familial injustices
EFTYCHIA PANAYIOTOU (translated by Peter Constantine) Variation on Anne (on translating Anne Carson’s “The Beauty of the Husband” into Modern Greek.
This is a poem based on a translation. I didn’t understand much of it.
PANOS KARNEZIS-An Afternoon Outing
A boy and his uncle go out for a snack. The uncle says the young boy can have a beer, but he orders orange juice instead. The waiter brings him orangeade, which the uncle finds upsetting but which the boy likes. The uncle talks throughout the lunch but the boy just drinks his ade. The uncle even orders him a sandwich but he just drinks the ade. The end had a wonderful twist. I enjoyed this a lot.
SAM RIVIERE-Year of the Rabbit
A poem about writing a poem.
THE BACK SECTION
TONY T-The Best Bit
Tony T’s appreciation of Swann’s Way is pretty much all about the mention of the madeline. (I havent read Proust so I can’t say anything more about it but that Tony T was really impressed)
LAURA GOTTESDIENER-The Apples of Zuccotti
This essay is about the food cooked and prepared in Zuccotti park during Occupy Wall Street. And how apples became symbolic of the resistance–both because of the preparation into (rather yummy) food, but also in the use as projectiles.
BEN MASTERS-On Style
At first I thought Masters was talking about fashion, but it soon becomes clear that he is talking about writers and their style of writing. We form a bond with a writer and learn to trust them as they trust us, their readers. Certain writers are clearly themselves, “from Dickens to Joyce to David Foster Wallace” with the caveat “never trust anyone who too easily dismisses your prose for being overwritten.”
And Finally… Five Minutes to Midnight by LAURENCE HOWARTH
In these last five minutes a hook up at a party is full of awkwardness. The cab ride goes in an unexpected direction. I really enjoyed how these five-minute segment take slices of life and honestly break them down into nearly real-time segments. Although this one is left maddeningly open-ended.
I really enjoyed #27. It had many things that I enjoy about Five Dials, including great illustrations by Hannah Bagshaw