Wednesday, June 30, 2010

pop*eye...Sea of Bees - Songs for the Ravens (2010)


Sea of Bees
Songs for the Ravens (2010)

The raven is a spiritual symbol in many cultures, often believed to represent the souls of the damned or an equivalent yet mysterious presence, dwelling somewhere between this life and the next. Sea Of Bees, aka California native Julie Baenziger and friends, encapsulate an otherworldly mood in their debut album, an interesting and unguarded blend of occasional dark corners and quirky escapism – the latter of which best depicts what music is about, after all. There are plenty of other artists leading similar outfits at present, and comparisons between Baenziger and certain Scandinavian singer-songwriters are particularly justified from the outset. Opening track ‘Gnomes’ incorporates charming elements of country/folk-pop and cute, melodic harmonies that feel slightly snaffled from Nina Persson’s A Camp, and it’s these elements that neatly establish a collection of songs whose primary goal is to sweep the listener away with their feelings.

Based predominantly on ‘lovey-dovey’ matters of the heart, despite the title’s suggestive, sinister subtext, Songs For The Ravens is perhaps best described as generally quite adorable, sometimes bordering on the well-meaning complexity of infatuation. Dreamy percussion unites with layers of more urgent drums during one highlight, ‘Skinnybone’, but Baenzinger’s sighing vocal maintains a slight spookiness. “Feel the colour of your soul right next to me,” she muses, the feeling of drifting created throughout becoming a lovely, longing sensation in a nostalgic ‘Fyre’, better demonstrating the American influences we might expect. Here Baenziger follows the more rocky terrain of Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy’s best attempts at soul searching, an approach rather famed in indie-pop and so traditional in its inspiration that it lends an identifiable edge to a song.

While ‘It Won’t Be Long’ proffers a more sombre ambience, with dynamic moody guitar and organ pitched alongside somewhat introspective lyrics (“It won’t be long until I lose my mind”), the commanding sunnier disposition returns in further odes to friends or lovers (‘Strikefoot’), effortlessly soaring towards a reckless drunkenness in trying to forget the one that got away (‘Sidepain’). It’s a sentiment we all can identify with, and so another quality in Baenziger’s songwriting that adds to its success. The absolute lack of pretension is complete in final track, ‘Blind’, a simple cello-and-piano piece that ends the album with a relaxed, subdued tone, ensuring that the ravens’ – and any humanoid listeners – every emotional need is covered and highlighting that, while not exactly varied in focus or feel, Sea Of Bees are no one-trick, er, corvid. An engaging introduction to a nice new talent, one can only imagine that the big black birds will tap their beaks on a nearby surface, both in time and in approval.

"The strength, innocence, honesty and purity of intention that flows throughout Sea of Bees’ debut, Songs For the Ravens, manifests itself compositionally and technically – most immediately with the laser beam pull of Jules’ captivating voice. She’s so versatile, not only as a vocalist but as a songwriter, that Songs For The Ravens finds her masterfully navigating Americana-tinged stompers (Sidepain), heavy, trotting expanses (Marmalade), soaring harmonic rock sorrow (Wizbot) and keyboard-brightened musings (Willis). Aside from the drums and a few other instrumental lines, Jules wrote and played every single bit of the entire album – including handheld percussion, glockenspiel, guitar, bass, keys, marimba and slide. This is a record that will soothe your broken heart, commiserate with you when you’re angry, befriend you when you’re lonely and celebrate life with you through the pure joy of its being. Longing is expressed with hope; sadness with understanding. Its scope, intensity and solidity would be considered stunning for any weathered artist; it’s simply astounding here."



"The strength, innocence,
honesty and purity of intention that flows throughout
Sea of Bees' debut!"

the portastylistic

Monday, June 28, 2010

Porta's Look!...Ten tips for happy holidays


for Happy Holidays
By Tyler Brûlé


The “what the hell am I going to do this summer?” season had its official start in Fast Lane’s inbox this week as mums and dads, boyfriends and girlfriends suddenly realised that they’d better come up with the goods in the form of a sunny, comfy break to keep their nippers and partners happy.

I’m not sure why people from Hong Kong to San Francisco have jolted to life so late but there was a definite tone of panic on the part of many readers in search of hotel recommendations or specific destinations covered in this column over the years (the name of the Mussolini-esque resort town south of Rome is Sabaudia).

While FLGCS (the Fast Lane Global Concierge Service) still isn’t fully operational as an automated “ask and pay” service on the FT’s website, I’ve decided to offer a few summer pointers to get the disorganised thinking about where to go, how to get there and what to wear once they’ve settled in.

1. Fly on the world’s cosiest airline – try Air New Zealand

Commercial aviation and cosy don’t usually go hand in hand, unless you’re caught on some US commuter airline, sandwiched between the window and a card-carrying member of the Krispy Kreme Klub. Uncomfortable situations aside, Air New Zealand has managed to create a global aviation brand that mixes the right amount of Down Under hospitality with sunny professionalism. On a recent flight from LA, sitting in 1K (they only offer business class, no first), the service was warm, the aircraft clean and the overall experience smooth. But they don’t fly to enough destinations. An Auckland-Vancouver-New York-Munich-Singapore-Auckland route would be a nice addition to their current round-the-world offer.

2. Fly the uncomplicated way – go private

Unless you’re tagging along with friends, flying private can often be a headache if you choose the wrong charter operator or opt to fly from an obscure airfield. Lufthansa’s Private Jet service has done a good job at streamlining the process and will whisk you all over Europe and the Med basin in its zippy fleet of Cessnas staffed by Swiss pilots and pleasant German cabin attendants. The best bit is it can all be booked as part of a regular ticket.

3. Take the train for stress-free travel

Riding the rails in Italy just gets better. Milan’s main station has had a much-needed facelift, while improvements to the rails and rolling stock can get you down to Naples in four hours and there’s even proper competition on the way in the form of a new high-speed service launching next year.

4. When in doubt, go to southern Italy

I’m writing this column from a lofty perch above the Med where the sun is shining, the coffee is perfect and there’s a shiny red Morgan bobbing in the bay waiting to zip me around Capri. If you’re looking for a dependable, relaxing 10 days off, then Italy’s a good place to start.

5. When southern Italy’s booked, go Greek

A colleague recently returned from a two-day trip to Mykonos and said the Belvedere was “just like the Portixol in Palma, only a little more chic and deluxe with an outstanding DJ.” As it sounds ideal, and I fully trust her judgment, I’m trying to figure a way to make a visit sometime after the crowds depart in early September.

6. Sandals or espadrilles?

Vienna might not sound like an obvious home for summer footwear but local shoemaker Ludwig Reiter has a perfect pair of suede espadrilles with a thin rubber sole that work poolside and on the tiles.

7. Light or chunky shades?

I’m not really one for sunglasses but my mum told me all that squinting while reading in the sun wasn’t good for me so I gave in and had my prescription put in a pair of matte gold, vaguely aviator-ish, ultra light frames from Danish brand Lindberg.

8. Flouncy or fitted?

Going overly ethnic in the resort wear department is not without its pitfalls. Will all those sarongs you bought in Bali really look appropriate in southern Sweden? If you choose fabrics carefully (or go for custom orders) some tunics from Beirut and Paris-based retailer Liwan can work in the town or on deck in Istanbul or Amagansett.

9. Long or short trunks?

With men’s swimming trunks, as long as they’re Orlebar Brown or Aspesi, you’re in good shape – particularly if you opt for the latter’s madras series for this summer.

10. Should you bare it all?

Not if sneakers or loafers are involved. Japanese brand Tabio makes hosiery for all kinds of footwear for the summer season – including ultra low-cut socks that keep your feet fresh and never peek out from the upper.

Tyler Brûlé is editor-in-chief of Monocle

More columns at


- A -
Collection that's perfect for 2010
for refreshing my brain from tension
at this time!

I got inspire from these magazine...



- Quality of Life Survey -

Munich residents have a reason to toast themselves months before Oktoberfest this year, as the Bavarian city tops the list of Monocle Magazine's Quality of Life rankings for 2010 -- thus making it the world's "Most Liveable City."

According to Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brule, the fourth annual survey ranks cities based on a variety of different criteria, including social and economic circumstances for residents, public health, infrastructure, and ease and availability of local transport.

With two cities each in the Top 12, Germany and Australia certainly lead the pack. But other Europeans needn't fret as Asia scored only one spot, and the U.S. was shut out entirely, with its top-ranked city, Honolulu, slipping two slots from last year to #13.

Monocle's Europe-heavy results are comparable to an earlier survey conducted by global constituency firm Mercer, released in May, though they vary widely in their specifics (Madrid, #10 on Monocle's survey, comes in at a measly #48 on the Mercer survey).

Monocle Magazine has released its annual Quality of Life rankings for 2010. The judging factors go outside of economics and politics and focus on liveability factors such as restaurants, green space per head of population, response time for emergency services, local entertainment, and even the ease of starting businesses.

See Monocle's pics for the world's top 12 cities to live, play and learn in the slideshow below:

#1 - Munich, Germany


2009 rank: # 4

Munich claims the number 1 spot in the Quality of Life Survey for its balance between technology, green thinking, and the arts. And while the rest of the world is faced with a shrinking population, Munich is reporting an upswing in birth rate.

#2 - Copenhagen, Denmark


2009 rank: No. 2

After playing host to climate change conferences over the year, Copenhagen has set the standard for low-emission urban living and is continuously transforming itself into the eco-capital of the world.

# 3 - Zurich, Switzerland


2009 rank: #1
The recent financial turmoil has done the city good; more and more young people are flocking to the area and starting up their own businesses. Pair the new entrepreneurial spirit with stellar educational facilities, and the city has begun to boom.

#4 - Tokyo, Japan


2009 rank: #3

Despite the bustling crowds and high-rise buildings, Japan’s capital remains clean and eco-conscious. By 2013 the city is expected to create 200 hectares of green space alongside with 200,000 new roadside trees.

image by Tilton Lane

#5 - Helsinki, Finland


2009 rank: #5

This small city provides a welfare system that ensures a high quality of life, free education for everyone, and even free wifi. In addition, the city is connected to major cities – just 8 hour flights to both New York and Asia.

image by Claudia.Ar


6. Stockholm

Stockholm boasts Europe’s cleanest air and provides areas where you can swim in clear waters and cross-country ski across forests. Recently, the redevelopment of its docks and new residential projects has helped the city to rank at number six.

image by Claudia.Ar


7. Paris

Recent developments of reconnecting the city with its disenfranchised suburbs and taking back its place in the culinary world has leveraged Paris beyond its postcard-perfect streets and charming cafes.

image by skene


8. Vienna

Vienna is home to top-ranking health care, a reliable public transportation network, acres of green space. On top of that, the Austrian capital continues its redevelopment efforts for its shorelines and sponsors numerous public cultural events.

image by Kliefi


9. Melbourne

Beyond its fun-loving cultural image, Melbourne means business. The state’s average economic growth is 3.3% and job growth is at 2.1%.

image by alistair_35


10. Madrid

The capital of Spain has taken on a new endeavor titled the Madrid Rio Project, which reclaims 8km of river parkland and urban beaches. Other ground breaking projects include the creation of 16,000 new homes and green space.

image by R. Duran

The rest of the 2010 Most Liveable Cities Ranking are as follows:

11. Berlin
12. Sydney
13. Honolulu
14. Fukuoka
15. Geneva
16. Vancouver
17. Barcelona
18. Oslo
19. Montréal
20. Auckland
21. Singapore
22. Portland
23. Kyoto
24. Hamburg
25. Lisbon

Monocle Promo

Special Thank post by psfk

more on..Monocle



We have travelled the world, gathered the statistics and come up with the definitive list of the best cities in which to live and work. The full results are published in the latest issue of Monocle

magazine, but you can preview the winning cities in our interactive map below. Use your mouse to move around the globe and click on the city markers for more information:

25 most liveable cities: our annual Quality of Life survey

As you run your mouse over the Monocle list of top 25 cities, have you wondered why your hometown didn't make the cut? Each year we send researchers to urban centres that we've heard good things about, or that have been included in previous surveys, but in the end, do they really merit being named as one of the top 25 places to live in the world?

Sometimes it's crime that lets a place down. This year we headed to Chicago, for example, but when you see its murder rate - in 2009, 453 people were killed out of a population of 2.85 million (Tokyo with 13 million people had 179 murders) - it's hard to make it a winner.

Other times cities may be safe but lack other key ingredients. Take Düsseldorf where there were just two murders but which is missing the softer aspects that make a city work. Even a few more places open on a Sunday just to buy groceries would help.

We also put Hong Kong to the test. Here's a city we like so much we are opening a bureau there, but on our metrics test it misses out. Traffic congestion, air quality, housing and conservation all need attention.

In the end the cities that make the cut are not just OK, but places that are benchmarks for urban renaissance and rigorous reinvention in everything from environmental policy to transport.


Tyler Brûlé is editor-in-chief of Monocle
More columns at

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Portastudio Playlist: A COSY SOUNDTRACK FOR WEEKEND+Live Session 22




'Michael Jackson Sing-Along Celebration'

portastylistic bring you Twenty-two session select
the highlights & favourite live Performance Michael Jackson Memorial
music sensation.

Welcome to the rainy season,
Today's back from Smashing big day shopping at JJ weekend market
Portastudio Playlist was proud to present
One Year Anniversary Of Michael Jackson’s Death later
Special Playlist tribute to the King of Pop.
There was singing and dancing, candlelight and crotchgrabbing.
A fond farewell on this session comes to you from Portastudio Playlist.

Long Live The King
"Peter pan of POP"

-the portastylistic

I have also recommended this moment to you
flown in some great artists musical talent
from around the world for hopefully classic and contemporary special night,
who perform their sunshine and sweet tunes
I and inspire musicians
to change of the season get match or not for our live-style.
Unique sound have hit the charts throughout Europe, the UK and the US.
To set off the playlist
get to everybody in the mood of weekly.

This Cosy life night weekend for your experience cosy music playlist
with some familiar to set of inspiration tracklist on your weekend
a indies-pop power. our panel which also includes selected
the Portastylistic every Saturday at 8pm. Bkk, Thailand time.



By the Soundtrack Weekend’ inaugural music guideline,
with exclusive live music from Portastudio's playlist.

Including Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Jamie Cullum,
James Morrison, James Dean Bradfield, Jason Mraz and The Bird And The Bee

so conclude
+Live music performing at the perfect way and welcome to
your life join with the cosy music performs a set of songs on this session.

{01} 'SMILE' | {02} 'I'll Be There' | {03} 'Billie Jean'
+Live by Michael Jackson | +Live by Mariah Carey Ft. Trey Lorenz | +Live by Coldplay

{04} 'Don't Stop The Music' | {05} 'Man In The Mirror' | {06} 'Bright Eyes'
+Live by Jamie Cullum | +Live by James Morrison | +Live by James Dean Bradfield

{07} 'Billie Jean' | {08} 'Don't Stop The Music' | {09} 'Yours Is Not Alone Mix I'm Your'
+Live by Jason Mraz Ft. Nikky | +Live by The Bird And The Bee | +Live by Jason Mraz Ft. Michael Jackson

* * * * * * * * *





-the portastylistic

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot and Covered...One Year Anniversary Of Michael Jackson’s Death

Long Live The King
"Peter pan of POP"

-the portastylistic





Marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, Friday is all Jackson, all the time on TV. Such programming includes:

"The King of Pop: One Year Later" (CBS at 8 a.m.), as "The Early Show' dedicates the 8 a.m. hour to remembering the singer, and James Morrison performs "Man in the Mirror" from London.

"Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar" (BET at 1 p.m.), the documentary that looks at his life and interviews his siblings and friends in the music industry.

"Best of Michael" (MTV at 5) counts down the Top 10 music videos chosen by fans, followed by "Michael Jackson's Influence on Music" (MTV at 6:30), which is an hour of videos from other artists inspired by Jackson.

"Michael Jackson" 30th Anniversary Celebration" (TV One at 8) airs the 2001 concert in Madison Square Garden with a performance from all the Jackson brothers.

"Michael Jackson -- The Final Days" (CNN at 8) looks into the confusion and rumors surrounding the pop star's death one year ago, and "Larry King" (CNN at 9) talks to Jackson's brothers Tito and Jermaine.

"Dateline -- Michael Jackson: A Mother's Story" (NBC at 9) airs an interview with Jackson's mother, Katherine, in which she discusses her son and grandchildren.

"20/20 -- Michael Jackson: After Life" (ABC at 9) spends two hours interviewing people close to the singer, including his makeup artists and stylists.

Friday morning, "NewsPlus with Mark Segraves" (WDCW at 7:30) hosts former D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. (D-Ward 5) and discusses his race for council chairman, and also talks to mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray (D).

New Disney original movie "16 Wishes" (Disney at 8) tells the story of Abby, whose 16th birthday gets a whole lot more interesting when a magic box of candles means each of her wishes comes true.

"Tavis Smiley" (WHUT at 10 p.m.) talks with Helen Mirren, whose semi-revealing pictures in New York magazine made her quite the Google trending topic this week, about all the interest in her photo shoot. "I mean honestly, what's the matter with people? It's ridiculous," Mirren tells Smiley. "It's because I'm old." The 64-year-old actress's husband, director Taylor Hackford, is also on hand to discuss the couple's latest movie.

Dominion Cab Drivers' Larry Frankel and D.C. Professional Taxicab Drivers Association's Carolyn Robinson appear on "Politics Program With Mark Plotkin" (NewsChannel 8 at 11:35).

Jay-Z and Eminem stop by "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS at 11:35) to perform three songs on the Ed Sullivan Theater roof; plus, Jay-Z sits down for an interview, and Eminem offers a helpful Top 10 list: "Eminem Pieces of Advice for the Kids."


"Michael Jackson One Year Anniversary Light a Candle on June 25, 2010..." FANPAGE


For his legions of fans, he was the Peter Pan of pop music:
the little boy who refused to grow up.
But on the verge of another attempted comeback,
he is suddenly gone, this time for good.

It has been a year since Michael Jackson suddenly and tragically passed away. On June 25, 2010 world celebrates his anniversary with candles and songs.

Michael Jackson passed away a year ago. It is hard to believe, but it’s true. The death of the King of Pop became a celebrity death rumor, which turned out to be true.

He died at the age of 50. Michael was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. He died after he suffered cardiac arrest from a combination of drugs in his body.

For millions of people around the planet, the most memorable and heartbreaking moment of 2009 was the tragic loss of music legend - Michael Jackson.

Remembering Michael – The First Death Anniversary

Millions of fans are still mourning over the death of Michael. People don’t forget the King of Pop and one year later on June 25, 2010, they celebrate Michael Jackson’s first death anniversary.

If one wants to join celebrating Michael Jackson’s year anniversary, he or she can go to LA. All fans meet at Forest Lawn on the day of the anniversary - many of them are going to bring in hundreds of helium balloons with a note card attached. Each fan will be able to write a private message to Michael. Also, Michael’s fans will light candles and sing his songs this day.


Michael Jackson - This Is It - Directed by Spike Lee

" Thank you Michael, We Always Miss You."