It Ends Today: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

When I first read the Harry Potter books, I was studying abroad in England. I bought the Bloomsbury version of the books with blackandwhite cover photos designed for the adult audience. Classy.

With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it’s the end of an era. I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces from past films (Sybill Trelawney, Cho Chang). And I eagerly anticipate the “Look. . .at. . .me” moment and “19 Years Later.”

Stupefy!

 

Into the Pensieve: Favorite Film Scenes

– Little Hermione’s magical confidence (“It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-oh-SAA!”)

– The opening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Lumos maxima! Sure, underage magic outside of Hogwarts is not allowed. But it’s a thrilling scene and introduces the audience to the mesmerizing vision of director Alfonso Cuaron.

– Harry takes flight on Buckbeak in Hagrid’s verdant classroom setting

– The second Expecto Patronum

– The Yule Ball: the date-arranging, especially Harry nervously asking Cho Chang (she’s Scottish!) in the Owlery; the dance itself with Cho and Cedric Diggory looking fine, Hermione looking beautiful, and Pulp and Radiohead members cameo-ing as the Weird Sisters.

– The first appearance of Voldemort and the Death Eaters: the terrifying reveal of  Voldemort in the graveyard, the crazed laughter of Bellatrix Lestrange as she escapes from Azkaban

– The battle at the Ministry with Dumbledore’s Army, the Order of the Phoenix, and the Death Eaters

– Harry’s first kiss (with Cho), Ron’s first kiss (with Lavender Brown), Hermione’s first kisses: Victor Krum kisses her hand, she kisses Harry in the Horcrux locket hallucination, and she will finally kiss Ron in the last film

– The horrifying sight of Katie Bell suspended in the air after touching the cursed necklace

– With Ron’s blood on her hands, Hermione casts charms to protect their location after escaping from the Ministry

– Harry’s enthusiastic and awkward dancing with Hermione in the tent

– In fact, anything Team Harmony—Hermione hugging Harry, Hermione smacking Harry, “I’m sure that Harry’s kissing was more than satisfactory” 

– The sinuous delivery of Alan Rickman as Snape

– The proud and protective gestures of Hedwig, whose death was the once of the most devastating parts of the series for me (and for many others)

View 23 memorable Harry Potter props on Entertainment Weekly’s website here

Armitage + Radiohead = Tudor Romance

[Our first Tumblr shout-out—sophieroe! The Tumblr army has begun.]

After finding so many lovely Armitage + Keane videos, I was looking for Armitage + Radiohead videos and I discovered this cache of gorgeous videos by summersparkle2 featuring Guy of Gisborne + Anne Boleyn from The Tudors!

Richard III for Richard Armitage gold!

The editing and lighting manipulation is superb; her videos have exceptionally convincing portrayals of crossover romance and she showcases beautifully expressive moments by Guy and Anne.

And we shall see the two of them together! Natalie Dormer, who plays Anne, co-stars with Armitage in Captain America.

I also bloody love summersparkle2’s taste in music. “All I Need” is one of my favorite Radiohead  songs.

The dialogue at the end of this video ramps up the intensity.

Here’s a passionate one featuring Florence + the Machine.

A quieter take on the romance featuring a track by Safety Suit.

Listen Up: Kate Walsh (the UK singer)

The only good thing to come out of myspace was my discovery of remarkable singer-songwriter Kate Walsh. She hails from Brighton and has maintained her stripped-down approach to music through four albums released via her independent label. Her latest album Peppermint Radio consists of covers of major and minor songs by UK artists.

01 – Subterranean Homesick Alien [Radiohead cover]
02 – When Love Breaks Down [Prefab Sprout cover]
03 – Unbelievable [EMF cover]
04 – Lullaby [The Cure cover]
05 – Beetlebum [Blur cover]
06 – A Little Respect [Erasure cover]
07 – Move Any Mountain [The Shamen cover]
08 – Who’s That Girl [The Eurythmics cover]
09 – Save A Prayer [Duran Duran cover]
10 – Feeling Oblivion [Turin Brakes cover]
11 – Monochrome [The Sundays cover]

I particularly love “Monochrome” and “When Love Breaks Down.” Her tone is so beautiful—the songs become quite heartbreaking.

Listen to the album on Rhapsody here.

 

A fifth album is due this fall.

I was able to see Kate twice at The Living Room on the Lower East Side and she was spellbinding onstage with just her guitar.

 

With Adele blowing up and selling out Stateside, Kate deserves a wider audience.

Do check out this amazing YouTube playlist and buy her music on iTunes.

While No One Drives: Seduction By Radiohead

In addition to Keane, Richard Armitage likes Radiohead. Both of these British talents have their alluring charms.

“The Amazing Sounds of Orgy” is a b-side on the “Pyramid Song” single during the Amnesiac era. Shh, it’s our secret.

I want to see you smile again
Like diamonds in the dust
The amazing sound of the killing hordes
The day the banks collapse on us
Cease this endless chattering
Like everything is fine
When sorry is not good enough
Sit in the back while no one drives
So glad you’re mine

 

UPDATE: How timely. It is the tenth anniversary of Amnesiac‘s release. Check out Stereogum’s YT round-up of Amnesiac covers.

Bat for Lashes on Getting to be Mates with Thom Yorke

sweeter than Bambi - Bat for Lashes

sweeter than Bambi - Bat for Lashes

In 2007, Thom Yorke loved Bat for Lashes song “Horse and I” off of her first album, Fur and Gold, placing it on his iTunes’ list of recommendations.

He remarked: “natasha khan of bat for lashes ain’t scared. i love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws. this song seems to come from the world of grimm’s fairytales, and i feel like a wolf.” Love it!

The two artists were able to get to know each other when Bat for Lashes served as the opening act for Radiohead.

In a recent Pitchfork interview with Natasha, she shares some cute moments of their camaraderie on the road:

Pitchfork: Oh, Radiohead! You played with them recently and they said great things about you. What are some of your most vivid memories of your shows opening up for them?

NK: I think just being a total geek and embarrassing myself in front of Thom Yorke several times was what I remember. Just because he’s quite elusive and like, he’s a lovely guy but he’s quite difficult to kind of create conversation, you know, like a situation where you can just talk, and I think I sort of told him once that– [breaks out laughing]. I was wearing pajamas with weird rainbow patterns on the bottom, and he was wearing what I thought were red pajama bottoms, and I was like, “My pajamas are sooo much cooler than your pajamas.” And he was like, “Uhh, these are trousers I’m wearing on stage tonight,” and I was like, “Oh. [long pause] Sorry.” And he was like, “They cost me quite a lot for pajamas.” And I was just like, “Ohhhh, fuuuuuuckkkk.” So I was trying to be funny and I just kept putting my foot in it and insulting him basically [laughs].

And eventually– he was really sweet, and we did have good chats, and we kind of just punched, you know like [laughing, smacks Pitchfork playfully on the arm] “Hey, what’s the,” really embarrassing, you know like, you like somebody and you’re trying to talk to them and you end up just hitting them and tripping over them. It was kind of like that situation. [laughs]

Pitchfork: Are there any other artists going forward that you’d be interested in collaborating with?

NK: I wish that I had been able to sing “All I Need” with Thom Yorke off the last record. Because I love singing that song sooo much, and I sing it in a high register and it sounds really good [laughs]. But I missed my chance on that.

Awww – cute pajama banter!

Are you paying attention Thom Yorke? You’re soooo good on duets. (see P.J. Harvey collaboration “This Mess We’re In” or Bjork collabo “I’ve Seen It All” from Dancer in the Dark for evidence)