Tag Archives: tegan and sara

Zine Review: Do What You Want

Published April 2017, edited and curated by Leah Pritchard and Ruby Tandoh.

35026501Cover blurb: Do what You Want is a one-off magazine, curated and edited by food writer Ruby Tandoh and her partner Leah Pritchard. Focusing on mental health and illness, it features an interview with actress Mara Wilson; writing from New York Magazine’s advice columnist Heather Havrilesky (Ask Polly); recipes from food writers Diana Henry, Meera Sodha and Bee Wilson; and an exclusive Q&A with Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

With essays, comics and poems by contributors from all walks of life, Do What You Want shows that mental wellbeing is for everyone. This is a project in aid of mental health charities and not-for-profit organisations. All profits will be split between Mind, Beat, Centre of Mental Health and more.

My Review: As soon as I’d heard about this zine, I knew I needed to order a copy! I’ve love Ruby Tandoh. So to hear she was curating a zine about mental health with her girlfriend Leah (now fiancees – congrats you guys omg), I was over the moon. As a Tegan and Sara obsessive, my excitement was undoubtedly furthered by the announcement that the zine would include an interview with Sara Quin!

Do What You Want covers a huge variety of mental health issues, from eating disorders to anxiety, depression and the intersectionality of mental health with aspects of identity such as being queer. I adored how broad this zine was, as it’s so eye-opening to read accounts from a variety of people from different backgrounds. I’m sure that many people who read this will find something to relate to, as well as come away from it having learned something valuable. It’s rare to see so many diverse, honest stories in one place like this; that’s what makes the zine so special.

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Every contribution is presented absolutely beautifully, whether it’s a personal story, report on statistics and services or a recipe. Presentation ranges from vibrant comics and portraits, to gorgeous illustrations accompanying heartfelt essays, interviews and first person accounts. I took my time reading this to admire all of the work that’s gone into making this book so visually exciting. The uplifting, wonderful artwork perfectly accompanies some incredibly hard-hitting topics.

I started reading Do What You Want during exam season, and that proved it to be the perfect read to dip in and out of. This zine is a wonderful read whether you’re leafing through a passage or two a night, or reading the entire thing in a day.

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As I was about halfway through, I did notice there were significantly more female contributors than male ones. It is fantastic to see so many talented female artists and writers in one place. However, I did want to see more representation of men’s experiences of mental health, after reading around the topic previously, and being aware of some shocking statistics. This is still a teeny tiny problem for me with the zine, but it definitely was addressed really well through a couple of contributions such as George Almond’s portrayal of toxic masculinity in a moving account of his family.

Overall, I am so, so impressed with Do What You Want; it’s the kind of book you want to shout about from the rooftops and demand everyone reads. not only is it an amazing resource on mental health information; it’s also a beautiful collection of art and writing, and has raised a lot of money for various charities. This is definitely up there in one of my favourite reads of all time. After selling out its initial 4000 prints, the zine is going into a reprint, so you can still order a physical copy now, or get the ebook if you’d like it sooner!

My Rating:

four and a half

 

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Where Have I Been?!

This post might confuse some people, because I haven’t technically been absent from this blog – at least, it hasn’t looked like it. There have been posts around every two weeks so far this year, so there aren’t exactly cobwebs. But I feel like there are. I haven’t actually really written any posts this year; everything from January and February was written around Christmas, and scheduled. In addition, I’ve not done anything hugely creative. Up until a few months ago, I was regularly posting discussions and infographics and things beyond simple reviews.

For anyone who follows me on other social media, though, you may have realised I’ve slipped into the shadows of the internet, in terms of this blog. I used to post on Instagram at least once a week, and Tweet obsessively; that’s dried up now. I tweet probably once every few days, and that’s mainly an automatic thing when a scheduled post publishes.

So what happened? Why have I slowly been disappearing over the last few months?

I thought I’d do a personal post while I have the time now, to let you guys know what’s been happening. Life is busy!

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Here’s one of the products of my recent messing around on Photoshop.

  • I’ve been developing another interest. It’s no secret that I’m hugely into photography, and since beginning to study it, I’ve been pushing myself in my own skills to improve my personal work as well as assignments for school. My free time is even more limited now, so reading time often becomes time where I’m planning, shooting, teaching myself a new skill or editing. If you’re interested in this, you can see what I’ve been getting up to on my Flickr page! It’s not a huge thing, but this is an online space I’m increasingly falling in love with, as I can see my progression. I also have another blog where I post sets of photos.
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This was taken at Wieden + Kennedy, the endlessly awesome advertising agency I had the chance to spend a week with in October.

  • My career ideas are changing. From literally since I can remember, until the start of secondary school, I wanted to be a writer. That changed in secondary school, where for about five years, I was completely dedicated to becoming a future publicist or an editor. Now? I’m not so sure! It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with their career; it’s still something I would love to pursue, and still seriously consider. However, since starting to study photography and media, and after spending a fantastic week at an advertising agency, my ideas are all over the place! I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do next; I’d love to still work in publishing, but my options are widening to photography, videography and advertising too. This has meant I’m devoting more time to exploring these interests, and looking into career paths.
  • AS Levels are hard work, man. I thought I’d find it easier to make time for this blog after GCSEs, but even though you study less subjects at sixth form, it feels like three times the work. My school runs mock exams literally every month, and I’m constantly under pressure from that and the immense amount of homework I get. I’m studying English Literature, Sociology, Media and Photography; the first three require a lot of essay writing and revision. My time at sixth form so far, personally and academically, has been incredibly tiring and stressful. Most evenings, by the time I’ve finished homework, I’m ready to sleep!
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Some photos from my mini Tegan and Sara tour – meeting them and their support acts Alex and Ria!

  • February half term! Usually, in my half terms, I’ll read and review lots so this blog remains active during term time… but I spent February’s week off very differently. If you’ve read this post, you’ll know I’m a huge Tegan and Sara fan, and I have a separate part of the internet where I express that! During the half term, I went to London and Manchester two days in a row, to see them live, along with many friends I’ve made within the community. It was an incredible experience, but a hugely busy one! It was really fun to do something so far out of my comfort zone.

So, there’s four bullet points that sum up a lot of why I haven’t been around much. I do miss blogging and reading, and I especially hope I’m able to balance schoolwork better with blogging, because it’s just as important to me and it’s something I love to do. I’m not going to be taking a break from here – and I’m certainly not quitting! Reviews and whatever else I can manage to write will still be going up as often as possible, and hopefully I’ll be back properly soon.

Thank you to everybody who reads, likes, shares and supports what I write here! I am so grateful for all of you.

2016 Favourites | What I’ve been loving this year

Hello again, for the last post of the year 🙂

Last year, I did a post called “15 in 15” because considering it was 2015, the number worked. I thought I’d do a follow up “16 in 16” but… I think I’ll be sticking to fifteen because if I keep that up every year, these lists are going to keep getting longer!

Read on to see what were my favourite books of the year, as well as my top picks of music, film and TV. The majority of titles in all three categories were released in 2016, but some are slightly older things that I’ve discovered.

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Last year I read something like 190 books, and this year, I’ve only read just over 50! I wouldn’t say this has been my best year for reading, but I have discovered some fantastic books. Unboxed by Non Pratt was unexpectedly poignant and Everything Leads to You has become one of my favourite books of all time.

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After my GCSEs ended, I spent a month in bed, on our newly-purchased Netflix, binge watching a gazillion tv shows. I adored How to Get Away With Murder and The Get Down, two shows that weren’t even on my radar at the beginning of the year, but I’m now a massive fan of. Movie wise, the Ghostbusters reboot has to be one of the best things to have happened this year. Bless Kate Mckinnon. Rogue One was pretty fantastic too.

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2016 may have been rubbish, but the music that came out this year most certainly wasn’t. Honestly, I could write pages about every album above. I adore them! While I’ve been veering more into indie sounds, I was also introduced to Sleater-Kinney, one of the most iconic riot grrl bands, and so many songs of theirs have become hugely important to me. Tegan and Sara’s Love You To Death is literally the best thing to have ever happened, and will forever be a favourite and special album. I’ve gotten into quite a few new artists, like Shura and Lauren Aquilina, but my favourite new discovery is probably Christine and the Queens, who’s the musician everyone needs in their life.


So, there we go! That’s another whole year of stuff. 2016 was a bit rubbish in general, but at least there’s been some great media to distract us from it, eh?

And before I go… A huge THANK YOU to everybody who has been reading my blog this year. I am hugely grateful for every view, like and comment on my posts, and seeing that people enjoy my ramblings is what makes me keep blogging!

See you in 2017. ❤

Book Review: So Jealous X by Tegan and Sara Quin & Emy Storey

(^plus many other contributors!)

This isn’t the kind of book that I usually review – despite being generally dedicated to YA, I couldn’t not review this, even though it’s non-fiction & music. It’s safe to say I’m a Tegan and Sara obsessive. I totally do not have a dedicated Tumblr ahem. So… this post doesn’t quite fit my blog demographic but I need to fangirl. Pls excuse my bad photos.

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sojealousx.com description: It was nearly a year ago when we started talking about how to celebrate the 10th anniversary of So Jealous. We all agreed we needed to put together something really special; an extensive look back at a record that changed our sound and the course of our career.

We’re re-releasing the record and packaging it with our live DVD, “It’s Not Fun, Don’t Do It!”, as well as a 22-track bonus CD containing b-sides, previously unreleased demos, and new remixes of our favourite songs from the record.

The three discs will be bound into a beautiful hard cover book that contains over 100 pages covering every memorable So Jealous moment we could recall, along with personal accounts from the plethora of characters involved in recording, releasing, marketing, and touring the record. Not to mention tons of never-before-seen photos, many from our own personal albums.

My Review: I’ve been a Tegan and Sara fan since mid-last year, when I discovered them: So I’m not a long-time fan, as many are. However, I think I was nearly as excited as most long-time fans when I found out about So Jealous X: The tenth anniversary re-release & book, celebrating my favourite album of theirs.

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I love So Jealous, the album, because of its indie-rock feel and the beautiful lyrics. I practically begged my parents for a pre-order of So Jealous X... My little fangirl heart died a little when I opened it on Christmas.

The book is just so gorgeous to look at. I’m a big fan of Emy Storey, Tegan and Sara’s artist, who had so much input on the layout of the book. The look and feel of So Jealous X is just amazing. It feels like a very personal scrapbook made at the time; I loved leafing through all of the dreamy-looking polaroids and funny candid shots from backstage on tour!

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So Jealous X is a complete, and brilliant, archive of everything So Jealous-era. There’s so much more than I thought would be in there: I was expecting the book to be some pages of song lyrics, some photos of behind the scenes production… And So Jealous X does include that… along with poster artwork, and merchandise archives, and music video storyboards, and press shot outtakes, and brilliant anecdotes, and even more.

I enjoyed everything. I would totally buy more Tegan and Sara books – maybe on the tenth anniversaries of their albums post-So-Jealous, there’ll be more?;D

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The writing was so fantastic: I loved reading Tegan and Sara’s introductions to the book (They were so nostalgic and wistful-sounding) and especially loved all of the inputs from band members like Ted Gowans, guitarist. It was so fascinating to read how important So Jealous was to Tegan and Sara – their accounts shows how pivotal the album was.

On Christmas day, I intended to read just the intros by the twins, and ended up sitting and reading the entire book in one go. And I’ve reread many parts since. Reading about the whole band’s experiences and memories – from Tegan and Sara themselves, to managers and art directors – makes you feel like you were there with them.

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Also, it’s not just the book that’s beautiful – this goes a lot off topic from a book review, but the book does come with SO Jealous, the album, plus the DVD from the era “It’s Not Fun, Don’t Do It!” and a bonus CD of remixes and covers and demos of songs from So Jealous. The DVD made me laugh wayyyy too much, and the bonus audio that had never been heard before was so mind-blowingly awesome. I really liked the covers of Tegan and Sara songs included – my favourite has to be the screamo-ish So Jealous rendition by the Cancer Bats. I haven’t stopped listening to it!

Overall, I couldn’t have loved So Jealous X more. I love how personal So Jealous X feels to fans – with a whole, colour book, containing so many experiences and recounts and photos, along with two album’s worth of songs and a DVD, it’s so much more than just a re-release. Though quite a bit of money, I really recommend it if you’re a fan of the Quin twins, or if you’re looking for a crazy, amazing new band to discover. 😀 // End fangirling.

My Rating:

five

I received So Jealous X as a Christmas present!