Living with…Beach House…for a week

Having strayed in to the world of 30 day challenges both here and elsewhere in the last few months it’s back to the musical journey that is Living with…!

And rather than visit the historical archives of music I’ve been playing about in 2012.  A bit of Alt J, a bit of Lana Del Rey, a bit of ZZ Top (yup, they’re still around and making great music) and my personal favourite of the year so far, Beach House.  I was originally attracted by the name, reminding me of Hove seafront, and then afterwards the fact they were getting cracking reviews, and then the music.

So it’s off  to the seaside we go…

Bloom by Beach House

Beach House are a bit of now and a bit of the past.  Falling under the musical category of dream pop, their sound reminds me very much of favourites such as Cocteau Twins, Altered Images and even a smattering of The Cure.  In fact anything from the 4AD catalogue of the last couple of decades can really be cited as some form of influence.  And yet their own sound as well.

They are a Baltimore-based duo with vocals and keyboard from the wonderfully named Victoria Legrand and guitar and stuff from Alex Scally.  She’s French so that’s probably a real name rather than an affectation.  The songs of Bloom merge in to each other in a complete hour of mystical keyboards and shimmering guitar with layers of Mme Legrand’s voice on top.  Although the two singles Myth and Lazuli stand out a little as having catchier riffs, in essence it’s an hour of musical flow.

I’m not afraid to say I love this sort of stuff – you don’t get hung up on the lyrics, you just go along with that flow of music until it all becomes one.  So maybe not everyone’s cup of tea – there is no hidden number one single in here – but it can fit well with the mood where you want music to carry you along, with no obstructions or batterings along the way.  And when you get to the end, you know you’ve travelled somewhere.  Can’t remember quite what happened, but it seemed to be good along the way.

Video choice is pretty simple really.  They’ve only done proper one that I can see, a recent cut of Lazuli featuring a great alien intervention egg smashing scene:


A Googled Beach House

And while we’re on the beach I’m not sure if I feel proud or not to hear this week that Google’s main offices in London have taken the great theme of Brighton sea front complete with beach houses and turned that in to an office design in the way that only very rich companies with too much money can do.

So instead of the Yellow meeting room, Meeting Room 1 or ‘the boss’s office’ which your average rather dull organisation will boast, Google have wonderfully striped huts called Piers and Sunshine.  So, am I upset that they’ve nicked the stony beaches, gaudy beach huts and tacky pier of Brighton to make a themed office?  Or should I hope that somewhere in the midst of all that seaside inspiration something good and creative will emerge from the Don’t Be Evil organisation?


Don’t Be Evil, Star Wars

And while a lot of the world bemoans Disney’s purchase of The Star Wars series, I’ll pose two questions:

Surely they can’t make any more of a mess than George Lucas has done with the last three films?  If Disney can get Pirates right we need to give them a crack at aliens and spaceships.

And what if we drag some of the original storylines forward from 1977, doesn’t this give us a new angle on some of the classic scenes?

The droids we’re looking for, updated.