Bloc Party – The Prayer, London Playlist No. 3

Bloc Party, lead by London native Kele Okereke, is known for their edgy and modern sound, which is captured effortlessly in ‘The Prayer’. Released is 2006, this song was their first single off the album A Weekend in the City. The quirky verses are off set by the melodic chorus which makes the song somewhat conflicting, but it works. This is one of my favourite songs to listen to while wandering the cobbled streets of London.

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Profile: Rohan Daft

Rohan Daft, Author and Online Media manager

“It was my intention to go on an adventure” said author and online media manager Rohan Daft. A London native, Daft has had years of experience in both print and online journalism. He is the author of a Spanish cookbook, Menu Del Dia, and previously wrote a gossip column for the London Evening Standard. “You learn that journalism is all about getting stories,” Daft explained, “and it’s a lot of pressure.”

After spending a year researching and writing a Spanish cookbook in Spain, Daft returned to London and became the online media manager for Richard James, a high end men’s clothier. He works to maintain the company’s website, as well as other social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, and pintrest.

Although online media is drastically different from cookbook writing and print journalism he began his career with, Daft said he adapted to the online platform well. “I like how immediate it is,” he said, “It’s rewarding to see the effects and receive feedback within minutes of publication.” He also enjoys the short style of writing, which he has “a lot of experience with, being a former gossip columnist.”

Daft’s success in both print and digital media can be directly related to his keen attention to detail. From the colours of the blog to the precise word choice, everything Daft publishes is deliberate and purposeful. “Whether it a car or a suit or a house, you want the world to see it the way you intend it to be presented.”

Although he focuses mainly on the online media for Richard James, he remains interested in writing books. “It is difficult to make a living out of feature and book writing so I find it satisfying to do that part time.”

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Calvin Harris – Bounce, London Playlist No. 2

A feel good, upbeat and empowering electronic anthem for the young and the restless.

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Stonehenge: A Rocky Review

Stonehenge, located 85 miles from London

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument that is estimated to have been built between 3000 to 2000 BC in Wiltshire, England. The stones are Bluestone, Sarsen, and Welsh Sandstone, and there is very little evidence as to how the monument was actually built. It remains a mystery as to why it was built or how it was used, and the immense size and weight of the rocks poses the question of how a prehistoric population was able to transport such huge rocks from over 200 miles away. This monument has withstood thousands of years and to this day remains standing picturesque in the middle of vast grassy hills.

As mind blowing as all this is, I found this excursion to be incredibly boring. Putting all the history and wonder aside, the whole exhibit was looking at rocks. Yes, they are large and put in a specific design, but they are not the biggest rocks I’ve ever seen, or in unusual shapes, or different colours.

And yes, of course it is incredible to imagine a population that existed 5000 years ago walking on the same grounds I walk on today. It’s hard to picture what they could have looked like, or sounded like, or talked about. How did they use the monument? It must have been very important to them, to have gone through the trouble to move such enormous rock across hundreds of miles.

Contrary to how it may seem, I am actually very interested in ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians and Greeks, and so on. But a full 60 minutes of staring at a pile of rocks just did not spark my interest. For me, the excursion could have been made much more interesting. There were audio guides to rent for a couple pounds, but the que to do so was long and did not seem worth it to listen to a monotone voice talk about boring facts. It would have been more interesting to some type of pre-tour history and myth exhibit to engage and educate the tour-goers before seeing the monument.

Speaking of tour-goers, there was certainly a lot of them. The crowds around the monument were large even at 10 am on a Sunday. It was difficult to get pictures and even when I could get a good shot, there were multiple people in the background.

Busy crowds around Stonehenge

All in all I do not regret visiting the ancient site Stonehenge, because it is famous for its incredible mystery as to its origin and use.  It was a free excursion, so I couldn’t justify NOT going. After all, it is one of the Medival World Wonders. Just to be able to say “I have seen Stonehenge” is cool. Besides that, I was not impressed.

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Swedish House Mafia at Milton Keynes Bowl Review

Lights were flashing, bass was pounding, and beats were dropping. The Swedish House Mafia show at Milton Keynes on Saturday, July 14 was everything and more that you would expect from a house music concert. After announcing their breakup via their website on June 24, SHM fans scrambled to purchase tickets to what would be their last UK show ever. Subsequently, ticket sales reached nearly 65,000. Madeon, Alesso, Calvin Harris, and Pete Tong all rocked the stage as well as supporting acts.

The weather could not have been more agreeable, considering the typical gloomy English weather. Many in the crowd took advantage of the warmer temperatures by wearing little to no clothing, and celebrating in true drunken fashion. The excitement in the air was intense, it was obvious that everyone there was ready to dance and enjoy the last of what Swedish House Mafia had to offer.

And they did not disappoint. From the first beat of the bass the crowd went wild. As the stage filled with neon flashing lights, the group appeared on their turntables, bobbing back and forth in unison to their recent release ‘Greyhound’. They jumped, fist pumped, yelled and spun their most popular tracks all night. There was pyrotechnics, fireworks, and strobe lights going in perfect sync with the music. The concert ended fittingly with their statement-question of a song ‘Save The World’ where every hand was sky high as if praying to their house music gods.

I returned home covered in mud with my ears still ringing. I laid down in my bed and could still feel the bass resonating up through my feet. I know that concert may not mean much to the world of music in general, but it would be something 65,000 people, myself included, would never forget.

*This is the promotional video for the The Milton Keynes bowl.

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Wheatus – Teenage Dirt Bag, London Playlist No. 1

Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag is an ode to the unpopular kids in high school who are different, and maybe a little weird. But then again who isn’t? This song is feel good up beat and always makes me want to sing really loud.

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