Tuesday, 22 December 2009

UK Christmas Number One

It's official! Rage Against The Machine are UK Christmas Number One, beating the X Factor!

If only we had the same victory last year with Jeff Buckley!

I think The Guardian sum it up quite nicely for me.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas is nearly upon us!

Here is an amazing video from the Fleet Foxes, appropriate for the season!



Tonight the UK Christmas Number One is being announced, and due to a lot of dedicated and organised heavy metal fans, X Factor winner Joe McElderry's 'The Climb' is going head-to-head with Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name'!

Apparently, Rage is beating Joe in the charts at the moment. This could make history. The first X Factor Christmas single not to go straight to number one! I really, really hope so.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Quilla Constance ' Snow Daddy'



About seven months ago I introduced you to the fabulousness and outrageousness that is Quilla Constance.

Now I am delighted to be able to tell you that her single, 'Snow Daddy' will be released - very appropriately, may I add - on the 23rd of December, 2009!

To celebrate the release, Quilla is throwing a launch party at Proud Camden, Chalk Farm Road in NW1 London on 23/12/2009, from 7:30PM - 4AM. Everyone is invited, and the tickets are pretty cheap from what I gather. You can get them here.

Also at the launch, Quilla - whose costumes are designed by Holly Lloyd and Debbie Waygood - will be showcasing the video for 'Snow Daddy', along with a remix by Drew Blake, who's worked with Kanye West. Sounds pretty darn cool to me!

You can listen to 'Snow Daddy' at her psychedelicmyspace page. I never get bored of this track, I discover something new I like about it every time I listen, kind of like David Bowie's 'Life On Mars'.

Quilla Constance is seriously exciting right now, she is definitely nothing like anything that's in the charts, which seem to be dominated by indie, pseudo-folk at the moment, whereas Quilla is daring, edgy and punky! This is just what music in the UK needs!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Paloma Faith

I've never really paid that much attention to Paloma Faith but I heard her latest single "Do you want the truth or something beautiful?" on the radio and it made me sit up and go "wow!"

There is something quite striking about her but I can't put my finger on it. She's very unusual. According to Wikipedia she has an MA from St. Martin's College in theatre direction, and she's a former burlesque dancer!

Anyway, as always, judge for yourselves!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Feeling Good

This is a beautiful piece of music with a universal resonance, in my opinion.



What do you guys think of it?

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sting

Sting, from The Police, has gone public with his opinion of television reality music contests. Have a look here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8355611.stm

I wanted to ask, if anyone has seen a good band performing live in public and they have some of their stuff, please, please let me know about them. Post a link to something in a comment and I might make a post about them :)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Joanna Newsom

Here is someone who is a very unusual but in my opinion an incredible songwriter and performer. Her name is Joanna Newsom and she's a twenty seven year old Californian.

Reserve your judgement until the end of the video!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

X Factor



I would appreciate it if the following message was read by as many people in the UK as possible. So if you could pass this on via Facebook or some other social networking tool, I would be most grateful. There's a special button at the bottom of this post.

I am really hoping that X Factor do not murder another masterpiece in December. If you are not sure what I am talking about, cast your mind back to last December. The winner of X Factor released a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", and it got to Christmas Number One.

A lot of real music fans put up one hell of a fight though. The Facebook group, "Jeff Buckley For Xmas No. 1", of which I was a part of, amassed around 145,000 members at its peak, and all thirteen of us put on a valiant show at our Trafalgar Square flash mob. We managed to get Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" to Number 2, and considering his version was released sixteen years prior to Burke's, I'd say that's not a bad achievement.

I just hope that Simon Cowell doesn't do the same thing again, in order to line his pockets. Because folks, that's what X Factor is all about. Its purpose is not to make someone a star, nor is it to turn someone's life around, its purpose is to make Simon Cowell - one of the richest men in the UK - even richer.

The majority of people who have won the X Factor have had very short music careers and I bet there's a lot of people out there who watch the X Factor and yet cannot remember all of the names of the X Factor winners.

Bearing that in mind, why on earth would Simon Cowell waste so much time on such a programme? It's simply because, ITV pay him a sum of money that could feed a small country in Africa, and he makes megabucks from the DVDs, the tours and everything else.

Is the music generated from X Factor really that good? Think about it.

Personally, some of the best music I've ever heard has been at a small pub in Bristol or in a tube station in London, where you are so close to the musicians you can touch them.

It's these people who spend their days carrying their heavy guitars around, composing their own music, networking with other musicians, honing their craft, working in recording studios who deserve the public's adoration and to eke out a decent living.

Not people like Alexandra Burke who are perfectly content to defecate all over some of the most beautiful and poignant music ever written.

Yet millions upon millions of people tune into the X Factor every week. I look at my Facebook and it's covered with people letting me know "in my pyjamas watching X Factor" and "so and so to win!"

But where does that actually get us? What does that do for us? It gets us a semi-talented, half-witted, puppet of Simon Cowell who will release one or two albums and then disappear into obscurity, with their million pounds or so.

I am asking you to stop watching X Factor, and instead, go to see a band in a pub. They would be so grateful for you to be there, and if you have any questions after the gig, they would love you to ask them.

If it is so difficult for you to stop watching X Factor, then please, do not buy or stream whatever cover it is they will be releasing for Christmas Number One.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if for once someone other than an X Factor winner made it to Christmas Number One?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Mumford and Sons

Wow, I think I can stick my neck out here and say that these guys are going to be playing Glastonbury next year.



What a talented group. They're a London-based folk band who've been getting a fair bit of air play from Radio One. I love the bluegrass feel in this.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Skunk Anansie

Sorry I haven't been posting as much, the reason for this is that I have just started University, and a new job! So I don't have as much time to update this anymore.

While I'm here groveling, I thought I might mention a group called Skunk Anansie, an excellent 1990s punk band that I used to be quite fond of. Definitely check them out! My personal favourite song is Little Baby Swastikka! Sadly on YouTube you can only get the live version, so go download it from itunes somewhere!

Oh yeah, and DON'T watch X Factor!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Lindsey Mae


Lindsey Mae is one of my latest friends on Myspace. She is an acoustic singer and guitarist who has some pretty good songs under her belt. Papier Mache is a little like "Better Together" by Jack Johnson, to give you some idea of what she's like, but believe me, she does have her own style!

I'm honoured that Lindsey was the one who added me, because she's so talented, and at the time of writing this, she has 24351 friends on myspace, with a flooded comments board.

I really love the harmonies on Lindsey's songs, she has a sweet, simple voice that has a special honesty to it. All of her songs are good. They're very relaxing to listen to, the sort of thing I'd put on the jukebox when I'm in a pub during the day.

Here's an excerpt from Lindsey Mae's myspace, where you can become one of her contacts:

"I tell stories from what i see and what i feel, for all the world to hear, understand, and relate to. Music is all about the story behind the writer, inside the noise, between the written words. It's about the story that comes with it and the one you make of it. It is the spaces left empty between the lines for you to fill with your own story, to finish the story. That is what music is...one big never-ending story."

How beautiful is that?



Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Edge and Justin Timberlake: A bit of humour/A theory



Could that be "The Edge", the enigmatic guitarist of U2, shaking his stuff with Justin Timberlake? He's mainly at the beginning of the song. The video may be best viewed in HQ.

It's well known that Justin Timberlake is good friends with Coldplay, and Coldplay are good friends with U2.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Monday, 24 August 2009

Amy Winehouse performs with The Specials

At the V Festival in the UK at the weekend, the amazing singer Amy Winehouse sang a surprise duet with ska legends The Specials.

It's a real joy to watch one of my favourite singers perform with one of my favourite bands. The Specials are a Ska band who gained popularity in the 1980s and have constantly performed since. They are famous for hits such as "Ghost Town", "Much Too Young" and "Gangsters".

It's great to see Amy singing so well after her shambolic performance at Glastonbury in 2008 and the cancellation of her Shepherd's Bush gig earlier this year.

I hope this is the dawn of a new era for Amy. She is incredibly talented, and very intelligent and charismatic. She's just let herself down due to drug abuse. But it looks like her sabbatical in St. Lucia has really helped her to think clearly and sort herself out. I won't hold my breath though. Drug addiction is a terrible illness that has a nasty habit of coming back.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Please Vote!

Hi everyone, I've been nominated for The Good Web Guide Website Of The Year award. If you'd like to vote, the link is below :)


Please Click!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Mika's New Song - We Are Golden

Woohoo! The moment I've been waiting for has finally arrived! My husband, Mika has finally finished his long-awaited second album "The Boy Who Knew Too Much"*, and he put the first single "We Are Golden" out on the airwaves on the 20th July 2009. We will be able to buy the single in shops in the UK from the 6th September but it's been available for download since August 4th.



What do you think? I think it's every bit as good as the songs on his debut album "Life In Cartoon Motion". He's still upbeat, colourful and it's definitely one to put on when I've had a rubbish day.

Is there any limit to Mika's genius? If this single is anything to go buy, he's got yet another award-winning, platinim-selling album on his hands and he will definitely go down in history as one of the greatest recording artists of all-time.


*The name is actually subject to change, he's looking for ideas from fans on what to call it!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Emmet Swimming



I have pleasure in introducing you all to an amazing band who were brought to my attention by Ariel Publicity. They are called Emmet Swimming. They sound absolutely amazing. According to the Ariel website they are compared to, among others; The Cure, Barenaked Ladies and Tears For Fears. I definitely agree with The Cure comparison. The Cure is my fourth ever favourite band so that's quite a difficult thing for me to admit to, but that is how good Emmet Swimming are.

I find the lyrics so beautiful, that they actually bring a tear to my eye. Sorry if that sounded corny by the way, but I can't help it, I can get very emotional and girly when it comes to music!

Ariel are brilliant. They are always e-mailing me up-and-coming artists, but this is the first one I've listened to and thought wow.

I especially love "The Dance", "Don't Call Her" and the track "Joanna At The Door" makes me want to get up and salsa. It's got such an exciting latino feel to it.

If you go to Emmet Swimming's myspace you'll find some of their brilliant tracks on there, including the Cure-esque "Broken Oar".

You can buy their albums for pennies at www.amazon.com

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Alesha Dixon and Strictly Come Dancing


This post may only seem relevant to British people as it applies to a British television show and a British celebrity. I believe the US has a similar show to our Strictly Come Dancing called "Dancing With The Stars".

Anyway, the reason for this post is that I cannot take it anymore. In case you haven't heard, Alesha Dixon is to be made judge on Strictly Come Dancing; replacing Arlene Phillips.

Before I start whinging, let me take this opportunity to say that I think Alesha Dixon is clearly a lovely person who has been through a lot over the past few years and behaved admirably since coming into the limelight.

Alesha also performed reasonably well on the series of Strictly Come Dancing on which she competed for the title, which she went on to win. I say she performed reasonably well. As a (sometimes) voting member of the public and someone who has spent years learning the wonderful artform that is Ballroom and Latin dancing, I feel I have the right to say that I don't think she deserved to win. I think Matt Di Angelo (who came second) deserved that honour.

Her footwork wasn't too tight and her arms were a bit all over the place. The main reason for my opinion is that she was already a dancer. She'd danced in her music videos with Mis-teeq and N*E*R*D, whereas Matt hadn't done much dancing at all previously.

The judge that Alesha will be replacing, and indeed her fellow judges, are all extremely experienced and qualified dancers and choreographers, ranging in age from their 40s to their 60s. Basically, they do know their stuff. And I'm sorry Alesha, but you don't. And winning one reality T.V. show doesn't really change that.

Even Bruce Forsythe is an accomplished dancer with an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of dance.

The professional dancers who coach the celebrities on the show are also highly experienced, both in dancing and choreography; most having danced in competitions since childhood. Not only do they have to teach their charges to dance, they have to create the choreographies.

I'm afraid that in hiring Alesha Dixon as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC is insulting the professional dancers and the dance world in general.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Dead Poets Society



I have finally managed to see a film I have been wanting to see for years. It is twenty years old this year and stars Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke.

Dead Poets Society is about a man who teaches English in a very unusual and liberal way at a very strict and academic boy's boarding school, and inspires them to think for themselves in the process.

I am so glad because even as just someone watching the film, you are learning about poetry as if you were one of the students.

Here's a poem referenced in Dead Poets Society. It has a very special meaning for the film.


O Captain My Captain
a poem by Walt Whitman



O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

From www.poetry-online.org

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Lily Allen's New Song - 22

Here is the new single from Lily Allen! I've listened to it once and I already think it's brilliant, which is rare for me as most songs are usually growers when it comes to my ears.

I've loved Lily Allen's music ever since she burst onto the scene with "Smile". Her videos are always very imaginative and her lyrics are very simple and easy to understand. Plus I loved the cover of "Oh My God" that she did with Mark Ronson

Lily's got her own style and she's confident with it, which I admire.

22 is the latest release from her second album "It's Not Me, It's You". The first single from the album was "The Fear" and the second was "Not Fair" - both absolutely brilliant.

I just thought I'd mention that I'd heard "The Fear" about a year before it was released because Lily had it up on her myspace, where I am friends with her! You can be too, just add her!



Monday, 13 July 2009

The Genius That Is Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey is a British comedian and in my opinion, the best comedian in the world. He is so witty and satirical with his comedy. However he is also a highly accomplished musician.

His work is not only hilarious, but also thoughtful and intellectually stimulating. He's unique.

I would love so much to be able to see him live. It'd be a dream come true for me. Maybe next year. *sigh*

Here are some examples:









Monday, 6 July 2009

What have "Fastest to Canada" and "The Stringbeans Quartet" got in common?

They were both at the Keynsham music festival yesterday, and they both rocked!

Fastest To Canada are a folk rock band, and here was their description at the festival:

"Imagine Fairport Convention without the jigs and reels, The Grateful Dead without the endless hours of guitar solos! Take That without the chubby one who ate all the pies! What you do get is an eclectic roots sound drawing on original, contemporary and traditional music. This may be folk rock but don't panic, there's a whole lot of fun to be had with songs of misery, death, work-related health problems and sailing."

Fastest To Canada consists of Jacqui Haigh, the lead singer, three guitarists - Andy Collins, John Sweet, Richard Ireland, a multi-talented musician - Andy Marr and a drummer - Mo Morgan. Jacqui has a totally folky voice, and the multi-talented musician amazed me. One minute he was playing a recorder, the next he was totally killing it on a saxophone.

In the middle of their set one of the guitarists announced the next song:

"It's about an arranged marriage which finishes in a mutual suicide pact". It was actually a really good song!

They all had beautiful voices and when they sang together I was reminded of Steeleye Span. I bet Fastest To Canada could do an amazing "Gaudete".

They played both slow, sad songs and upbeat, happy tracks. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them. Have a listen for yourself at Fastest To Canada's myspace!

The Stringbeans Quartet are a quartet (obviously) of female string musicians; Sue, Emily, Emma, and Bethany . Three on violins and one on the cello.

They were different, fresh and exciting. Their set included "Eleanor Rigby" and "Cool for Cats". I could have listened to them all day! Go and unwind to their wonderful playing at their myspace!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Jerico Kane


I would like to know YOUR thoughts on this band!

Go to their myspace and tell me what you think please!

It's not really my type of music, but it sounds like it'd be great to listen to while I'm driving.

The production is first class.

I do love comparing new acts to other artists and I think they sound like a cross between The Hoosiers, Flo' Rider (sp?) and Calvin Harris.

I don't think they're the best thing since sliced bread but I KNOW they're as good as a lot of what we're hearing in the charts.

The band members themselves are very interesting in the fact that they come from all corners of the globe! One member is from Australia, another is from New York and another is from the UK!

But yeah, I want to hear YOUR opinions on them. Good or bad. I know my readers all have very differing tastes in music and it'd be fantastic to see what you all think.

So visit their myspace, then leave me a comment and I will be your BFF forever!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson Has Died



Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Today the world mourns the loss of an extraordinarily talented man who passed away from a massive heart attack yesterday at the age of fifty.

Not only was he a wonderful singer but he was also an amazing dancer, most noted was the famous "Moonwalk" which he invented.

I don't want to get into some of the scandals he was involved in but what I will say is that I believe Michael Jackson was a kind, innocent caring man who had an absolutely horrendous childhood, and would never, ever harm anyone else intentionally. Draw your own conclusions from that.

I also want to say I am shocked and heartbroken. I really wish so much that I was born a lot earlier so I could have been around in the Golden Age of popularmusic, the Sixties and Seventies.

Some suggested watching; Thriller - just incredible, genius, mindblowing; the dancing has been emulated in so many things it's hard to count them all. As a passionate dancer myself, I really love to watch the moves. He was always good at his choreography and music videos. A true artist, through and through.

I leave you with my favourite Michael Jackson video. One which highlights his love of other human beings and animals. I cry every time I see the video and it is all the more poignant now. He did so much for our planet.

Rest In Peace Michael. I pray God is looking after you and watching over your family, whom my thoughts are also with.





Photograph taken from http://groupieblogfiles.wordpress.com

Friday, 19 June 2009

Happy Birthday Sir Paul McCartney


^ From www.gibson.com

Yes I know, I'm over a day late! Sorry!

Yesterday, the 18th of June, was the most handsome Beatle, (in my opinion!) Sir Paul McCartney's 67th birthday.

Describing how much and why I love The Beatles would take up an infinite amount of posts and this isn't the last you'll hear from me about them on here, but I just want to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday. The Beatles are my third all-time favourite band and Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most talented musicians to walk this Earth. We are very lucky he is still around. Sadly John Lennon and George Harrison are no longer with us.

After The Beatles McCartney recorded a soundtrack for a Rupert Bear film. I happen to have been lucky enough to hear a song that he wrote and recorded but which was left off the finished version. It is, in my opinion, one of the best songs he's ever written. You won't find it in the shops or on YouTube.

Sir Paul also set up a band called "Wings" which were very successful, and he recorded one of the most famous Christmas songs "A Wonderful Christmas Time". He is still touring and does a lot of work for good causes.

Some people think he's a bit of a doorknob and I guess he's done some silly things as we all have. I think he's bloomin' marvellous.

I'll leave you with a relatively recent Paul McCartney video. It's one of my very favourite Beatles classics.

*sigh* if only I could meet a man just like him!



Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Kaiser Chiefs on BBC Radio 6

Kaiser Chief fans are being treated to two hours of their heroes every Sunday in the month of June on BBC Radio 6.

Ricky Wilson and Nick Hodgson have been taking over from 3:30PM - 5:30PM, playing some excellent music including that of The Specials.

You can hear previous Sunday's broadcasts at Kaiser Chiefs' Message Board

I lurve the Kaiser Chiefs. "Ruby" was my anthem for 2007 and "Oh My G0D" is on my iPod (I'm gert posh I am, 'avin' an iPod like).

I nearly saw them in 2007 when I went to T4 on the Beach in Weston-Super-Mare, but sadly I had to get back early.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Kylie to have a catholic wedding?



Apparently, the fabulous Kylie Minogue wants to get married in a catholic church and is planning to convert.

Source:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/35/20090613/ten-kylie-minogue-wants-catholic-wedding-764dee7.html

Personally, I think it's a wonderful idea if that's what she really wants to do, and is committed to the catholic faith. I get a bit annoyed with people who marry in a church just because it's "pretty". Anyway, this article might be just a load of gossip, but I hope she has found the right man for her in Andres Valencoso. She deserves so much happiness. A few years ago her then fiance Olivier Martinez allegedly cheated on her and then she found out she had breast cancer, which she won a brave battle against in the end.

As for her music; okay, she's not the greatest musician in the world. However, her songs are guaranteed to get me on the dancefloor and from looking at programmes about her, my goodness, can she put on a show!

She's 41 years old now believe it or not, but you have to remember she's been in the charts since the late 1980s.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Children's book - Elliott by Tobin Sprout



Now I am going to do a book review which is very unusual, seeing as this is a music blog, but this is the book "Elliott" by Tobin Sprout - the singer I wrote my previous post about.

The publishers, Mackinac Island Press were kind enough to send me an exclusive PDF preview of the book and I have to say I am very impressed. The story is not only written by Tobin Sprout; he is also responsible for the stunning illustrations.

It's a children's book about a rabbit called Elliott, who works as part of a magician's act, and a little girl called April who is his biggest fan.

Here's a little excerpt:

"Elliott loved when Walter announced the show each night.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Amazing Magic Show,
featuring. . .ELLIOTT. . .THE MAGICAL! ”
Elliott loved being in the spotlight. He loved the sweet smell
of cotton candy and fresh popcorn that filled the air. When Elliott
popped out of his magic top hat, people cheered.
To Elliott, Walter Wiggins was a hero. His small gestures of love
grew large in the hearts of those he touched. He especially touched
the heart of a little orphan girl named April, the biggest fan the carnival
ever had."

I really loved reading this. I thought it had a beautiful, 'antique' or Victorian quality to it. The drawings were lovely. The story itself is very imaginative and wonderfully written, but also holds important lessons for children, such as loss and learning to let go and carry on with life.

I feel it's a story that children wouldn't necessarily be able to grasp if they were reading it by themselves. It's something that would be perfect for a parent to read their child at bedtime, or a teacher to read to their class in an afternoon lesson.

I feel very privileged to have been basically sent an amazing book for free. All they asked for was my opinion, they didn't even ask me to do this.

Still, it's no substitute for the real book. I might just have to order it from their website at Mackinac Island Press.

While I'm on the subject of writing (and gushing) I just want to say thank you to Pass Your Driving Test for posting my whole article on your blog. And also want to thank Post Secret for reminding me there are people out there with bigger problems than mine!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Tobin Sprout

I admit I've been a bit Youtube-happy lately and this is no exception.

Here is a song by Tobin Sprout, from the 80s and 90s indie band, Guided by Voices.

The song is called "Wedding Song" from Sprout's up-and-coming album "Bevel Web" which is due to be released in the Autumn.

I find "Wedding Song" very relaxing; the sort of thing I'd be very happy to put on the jukebox at the pub while I'm playing pool.

Tobin Sprout is also an author and has written a lovely children's book called "Elliott" - which sold out in its first month - and is going to write a song of the same name.

So, a man of many talents!



The book "Elliott" is available from http://www.mackinacislandpress.com/

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Good Classical Music!

Classical music is not one of my favourite genres, but I have to say that sometimes I will hear a piece somewhere and it will touch me.

I remember a few months ago, I was round the house of a friend of mine. He'd been through a rough time lately but he'd recently bought an upright piano, which he told me he could play.

I didn't hear him play it until one day I heard beautiful music coming from another room to which I was in. I walked in and there he was. He played me about five pieces wonderfully; all were Bach.

I'd never experienced the privilege of being the sole audience member of a pianist before. I was very moved.

Anyway, you may have heard Saint-Saens "Le Carnival Des Animaux". Sections from it often get used for advertisements on the television. My favourite section, "Aquarium" was recently used in one of the trailers for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (excellent film by the way!).

I first heard it in primary school, many years ago. We had a very good teacher who was great at facilitating music sessions and she played us the full "Le Carnival Des Animaux" - section by section, and asked us to write down what they made us think of as we listened to them.

She didn't give us the names of the sections. They are of course all named by the animal they represent. For most of them, there was a wide range of answers. But for "Aquarium", about 90% of the class had put "fish" or the sea.

I loved this piece of music then and I love it now.

Have a listen, and feel free to listen to the other sections of the song. You've gotta love his sense of humour - "Pianists"!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

10 Songs That Make Me Feel Confident

Do you ever hear a song and suddenly feel really empowered and confident? Maybe you don't; maybe it's just me. I might just be making myself look like a mad person here (well actually, I AM) but I thought some one, somewhere might be able to relate to this.

I know songs can make people feel happy, sad, hopeful or calm, but what about confident?

Sometimes, a certain song will come on, maybe on my iPod, or a pub jukebox, or the radio, and something comes over me. It's hard to explain. It's like a layer of self-consciousness is peeled away. Sometimes I play myself one of these songs before a job interview, or appraisal, or even social situations I feel apprehensive about.

Anyway, enough of the psychobabble, here are ten of my most confidence-boosting songs:

1. Do Your Thing - Basement Jaxx

2. Venus - Shocking Blue/Bananarama

3. Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd (note to self: must make a post about this band <3)

4. She's Not There - Santana (" " ")

5. One Way Or Another - Blondie

6. Baby I Don't Care - Transvision Vamp

7. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse

8. I Know I Can - Nas

9. Strong Enough - Cher

And of course...

10. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

Just to add a bit about that last one, at the time Gloria Gaynor recorded that song, she had been in a terrible skiing accident and her mother had recently died, which is why it's so powerful, in my opinion.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Guitar kitteh!

I have to apologise for two things in advance:

1. This is a rather lazy post.

2. It's rather cheesy.

But...

...it combines two of my favourite things; music, and cats!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Susan Boyle admitted to hospital

Source

Susan Boyle has been "rushed" to rehabilitative care after suffering with "exhaustion".

I really pray this isn't serious and that she gets well soon. I also hope that the press will stop prying into her life and sensationalising every little move that she makes and calling her names like "hairy angel". I hope that the paparazzi stop harrassing her and people stop all the negative comments that they have been making.

I wish her a successful career in singing, and a happy, relatively "normal" life.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Jefferson Airplane



They might not be everyone's cup of tea but I really enjoy listening to their music. It's total psychedelic indulgence. They were one of the original Woodstock bands, performing in the Summer of Love.

Their best song has to be "White Rabbit", but I also like "High Flyin' Bird" and "Somebody To Love".

If you want to listen to "White Rabbit" with a groovy video to go with it, click here!

For a bit of extra trivia, this song was written by Grace Slick, the singer.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Mark Ronson and The Rumble Strips



Mark Ronson is one of my music heroes.

Every song the DJ and producer works on sounds fantastic. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you must have heard his award-winning 2007 album, "Version" for which he produced cover songs sung by British artists.

There was of course the smash hit cover of Zutons' "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen's very snazzy version of "Oh My God" by Kaiser Chiefs, and Daniel Merriweather's soulful take on The Smith's "Stop Me".

And now he has produced The Rumble Strips' latest album "Welcome To The Walk Alone".

From what I could hear on The Rumble Strips' myspace it sounds every bit as good as everything else he's produced, including Amy Winehouse's Back To Black album.

Of course, Mark Ronson can't take all of the credit, The Rumble Strips - a Soul/Ska band from Tavistock, Devon - have been going for years. They released an album in 2007 called Girls and Weather, and a single called Motorcycle.

In the band you have Charlie Waller on lead vocals and guitar, Tom Gorbutt on sax, vocals and bass, Henry Clark on trumpet, vocals and bass, Matthew Wheeler on drums and Sam Mansbridge on bass, vocals and orange drum.

"Welcome To The Walk Alone" will be released on July 13th.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Quilla Constance - Electronica Punk Artist



Quilla Constance is probably one of the most original music acts to emerge at this time.

She is a talented dancer and conceptual artist who is using the medium of pop music to explore the questions her art raises.

Think that sounds weird and wonderful? Wait until you hear her debut single - "Snow Daddy".

The controversial music of Quilla is best described as Electronica Punk but you could definitely liken "Snow Daddy" to dance music; and yet it's so much better than any of the dance music you'll hear in the charts right now.

It's had the Midas Touch of talented producer and composer David Greenfield who co-wrote the song with Quilla Constance, recorded her vocals and made the beats and sounds complement each other.

What makes it more interesting is that it's actually a darkly witty track about a Trust-afarian using daddy's money to fund her Cocaine habit!

"Snow Daddy" hasn't got an official release date yet (it's looking like November 2009 - to go with the snow theme!) so I feel very honoured to have been able to listen to it, and the only way I was able to even find out about it was through meeting Quilla Constance and her producer personally. Get me!

Quilla Constance told me:

"My punk vocal delivery for 'Snow Daddy' has been described as 'edgy and sardonic' and the sound of my vocal has been compared to 'Lene Lovich' from the 70s." I myself was reminded of Natalie Bassingthwaite's vocals for Voodoo Child, with the Rogue Traders.

Go to Quilla Constance's myspace at http://www.myspace.com/quillaconstance to be one of the lucky first few to listen to the first mix of "Snow Daddy"

I'm looking forward to seeing the accompanying video - which will include Quilla Constance performing!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Amy Winehouse cancels Shepherd's Bush gig

Source

Amy Winehouse was due to play London Shepherd's Bush as her first gig in the UK in months but has cancelled.

I do really hope she is getting her life back on track but it sounds like she's just getting worse.

Her last gig in St. Lucia was apparently a shambles; she allegedly couldn't remember the words to her own songs and walked off stage half-way through blaming the weather conditions.

Sources say Amy Winehouse is working on her third album. I don't think we'll ever see it. It seems to me that the only way the album will get released is as part of a post-humous greatest hits collection.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Anvil: The Story of Anvil



I knew as soon as I heard about it on the radio that I had to see it and my goodness, it was better than I expected.

"Anvil: The Story of Anvil" is a DOCUMENTARY about a Canadian heavy metal rock group by the name of Anvil, consisting of "Lips" on lead vocals and lead guitar, Robb Reiner (that's two 'b's, and yes, it's just a coincidence; for all you Spinal Tap fans out there) on drums, and another two on guitars - the line-up of which keeps changing.

Reiner and Lips have been Anvil since the 1970s, and in the 1980s they played a huge tour alongside the likes of Metallica and Bon Jovi, who went on to achieve high critical acclaim and make platinum-selling records. This wasn't the case for Anvil, and pretty much as soon as the tour finished, Reiner and Lips had to get minimum-wage manual jobs. Near to the beginning of the film you see Lips working for a catering company for schools.

Since that tour though, Anvil has kept rocking. They are currently working on their fourteenth album, but they have had to remortgage homes and go through hell to do this; to follow their dream.

The reason why it seems like I'm doing a film review for a music blog is because this documentary is so important to music. It tells of the corruption in the industry, the heartache musicians have to face; how the vast majority of musicians don't make it and get screwed over.

I have to admit, heavy metal is one of the few music genres I am not too keen on, but, I must say, their song "Metal on Metal" is pretty catchy.

This film has just stopped being screened in cinemas (movie theatres for people living across the pond from I) and I've just looked, it hasn't been released on DVD yet, but I am sure that when it does it's going to be a bestseller.

This is a must-see film for any music lover.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Alex Roots - not Fake



^ Nicked from Alex Roots' Myspace ;)

I genuinely believe that I have just discovered for myself the best female punk rocker since Debbie Harry. She is definitely up there with Wendy James and Suzi Quatro.

I can just visualise her songs playing loudly while I'm driving my car with the window open.

Alex Roots has a terrific voice, she can sing live, she co-writes her songs, she has attitude, brains, and she's really cute!

I just found her by reading an article by Paul Lester at The Guardian about how we have lots of talented young female singers entering the charts. I have to agree with him there. We've already got Lady GaGa, Lily Allen and Katy Perry and friends.

Here he talks about Alex Roots alongside Paloma Faith, Daisy Dares You, Pixie Lott, Sky Ferreira et al.

Being what I like to refer to as a "lady of leisure", I had the time to check out all of the girls' music on myspace. Alex Roots clearly shines the brightest out of all of them.

On this occasion I will have to disregard Radio 1 and say that Alex Roots deserves the most airplay on the radio.

All of Alex Root's songs are really, very good, but especially Fake which is amazing; and the video for it, in my opinion, is fantastic.

Alex Roots' Myspace - Look for the "Fake" video

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Matt and Kim

I just heard of Matt and Kim while looking at DJ Samantha Ronson's website. They are actually pretty good. They've got a fresh, upbeat sound and it looks like they're making a real name for themselves. They're described on Wikipedia as an "Indie Rock duo" which seems pretty accurate to me. They're from New York.

Anyway, to check them out, go to their myspace. I highly recommend it!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Oxjam Spring Fever 2009



Here is my article for Oxjam Spring Fever 2009.

The reason it's late is I thought when Oxjam asked me to do an article, that they actually wanted it, but I was mistaken.

Still, it wasn't a complete waste of my time, money and energy because I get to post it on here! Also, I helped to raise money for charity and was fortunate enough to speak to very talented people. Here goes:

First Acoustic Night was a Great Experience

Gig: Oxjam Spring Fever
Venue: The Hillgrove, Bristol
Organiser: Julia Pflaum
Date and time: 02/04/09 8PM ‘til late

I have been helping Oxjam for the past few months; mainly putting up posters and contacting musicians. I heard from the regional manager of Oxjam South West – Melanie Skinner, about a gig happening not too far away from me. An acoustic night. Quite a lot of these happen in Bristol but I’ve never been to one before. This was the perfect opportunity to see what sort of event it was.

I arrived at the Hillgrove on Dove street in Kingsdown at 7PM. I spoke to the organiser, Julia Pflaum and we chatted about our shared love of poetry.
I introduced myself and the photographer, Michael Moustafi , to the first act to arrive, Karl Alesbury – “like the place but without the Y”, as he cheerfully told me while introducing himself.

He was a solo performer with an acoustic guitar. He remarked on the intimacy of the venue. I had to agree there. It was smaller than your average pub.
Karl kicked off proceedings with a cover of The Beatles “In My Life”. I felt his soft voice captured the emotion of the song well.

He then performed a song called “Glistening Lights” which was good, a brilliant cover of “Life on Mars” by David Bowie, a Foo Fighters cover, a song called “Toothpaste Kisses” and “Playing by Numbers”. His guitar playing was excellent.
Next up was Katey Brooks, another solo singer with an acoustic guitar, who described her sound as “Acoustic soul folk”. I asked her if she was likened to anyone and she replied “Tracey Chapman”. Coming from anyone except her, a young, slim, blonde lady, I would have believed her!

She started with “True Speaker”, which I loved the lyrics of. Then she played “No-one but my best”. I thought that on this song she sounded like a cross between Alanis Morisette and The Cranberries, and as I was listening, I was thinking ‘this is why we shouldn’t watch The X Factor and should start listening to real music’. It was during this song that people began to take notice of the performer and stop whatever they were doing. The pub chef came over and whispered to me:

“She’s pretty good isn’t she? When she came in she looked really nervous but I could hear her playing from the kitchen and she sounded really good.”

Her third song was “This old skin” and as I listened the first thought that popped into my head was ‘wow, this sounds like Tracey Chapman’.

By the time she was playing her last song “Lines”, there was a huge crowd around her and one could hardly move.

The next act was Bashema with a keyboard to accompany her.

Her first song was an instrumental called “Different”, and it was totally different! It wasn’t anything like the previous acts. It was a type of contemporary jazz. The second song was “More this”. I absolutely loved it. Her third song was “Phenomenal” I really identified with the lyrics of the song on a personal level. I also loved her fourth song “Writer’s block” and her cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”. She definitely made it her own.

Next up was a poet called Malusi. As a poet myself, I predicted a loss of audience but boy, was I wrong. More people actually crowded round to hear him. He was just reeling off word after word in very quick succession, from memory. The best way I could describe him is Saul Williams crossed with the lead singer of Faithless. He blew me away with his words about war. I heard a girl in the audience say to her friend

“How does he remember it all?”

While watching him I thought “this is real poetry" and that if only he was more famous, more people would appreciate the art form.

I managed to grab him for a chat after his performance. I asked him what others had been wondering, which was how he managed to remember what he was saying, and he replied:

“When I’m writing it, I just write and recite, write and recite and it just sticks.”

After him there was a singer called Tammy Payne, from the band Jukes. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the names of her songs because she came on so quietly! However my ears were able to inform me that she sounded very folky, with a hint of jazz.

Last up was Ross, another poet. He did an excellent poem which was one against the anti-smoking brigade; about how smokers should have the right to smoke without being lectured. He was another true performer.

At the end, there was a raffle, and a lady called Janine from Oxfam came up to say a few words:

“Oxfam works on developments to help people out of poverty. It also works in emergency situations. It works to find solutions...I believe that in a wealthy world, poverty is unjustifiable.”

That was the real reason we were all there. I heard some excellent music and contributed to proceeds of over £100 for charity. Not a bad night at all!
You can listen to some of the artists featured in this article at their websites:

Karl Alesbury - www.myspace.com/karlalesbury

Bashema - www.myspace.com/bashemasolo

Katey Brooks - www.myspace.com/kateybrooks

Tammy Payne (member of Jukes) - www.myspace.com/jukesuk

Malusi - www.myspace.com/zionrianize - also has an interesting video on YouTube

Photography by Michael Moustafi

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Paradise by the Dashboard Light Lyrics

Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meat Loaf

Man:
Well I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday
Parkin' by the lake and there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Lookin' any better than you did
And all the kids at school, they were wishin' they were me that night

Together:
Well now our bodies were oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right

And we're glowin' like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowin' like the metal on the edge of knife

Man:
Well come on
Hold on tight
Well come on
Hold on tight

Together:
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep, dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light

Woman:
Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed
Ain't no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Well ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed

Man:
Baby don't you hear my heart, you got it drownin' out the radio
I been a-waitin' so long for you to come along and have some fun
Well I gotta let you know
No you're never gonna regret it
So open up your eyes, I got a big surprise
It'll be alright, I'm gonna make your motor run

Together:
Well now our bodies were oh so close and tight
It never felt so good, it never felt so right

And we're glowin' like the metal on the edge of a knife
Glowin' like the metal on the edge of knife

Man:
Well come on
Hold on tight
Well come on
Hold on tight

Woman:
Though it's cold and lonely in the deep, dark night
I can see paradise by the dashboard light

Together:
You got to do what you can, and let Mother Nature do the rest
Well ain't no doubt about it,we were doubly blessed
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely-

Together:
We're gonna go all the way tonight, we're gonna go all the way tonight, tonight
We're gonna go all the way tonight, we're gonna go all the way tonight, tonight

Woman:
Stop right there! I gotta know right now!

Before we go any further, do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

Do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further, do you love me? And will you love me forever?

Man:
Well let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
I'll give you an answer in the mornin'

Well let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
I'll give you an answer in the mornin'

Well let me sleep on it
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
I'll give you an answer in the mornin'

Woman:
I gotta know right now!

Do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further, do you love me? And will you love me forever?

What's it gonna be, boy? Come on now, I can wait all night
What's it gonna be, boy, yes or no? What's it gonna be, boy, yes or no?

Man:
Well let me sleep on it!
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
I'll give you an answer in the mornin'

Well let me sleep on it!
Baby, baby let me sleep on it
Well let me sleep on it
I'll give you an answer in the mornin'

Woman:
I gotta know right now!

Do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further, do you love me? And will you love me forever?

Man:
Well let me sleep on it

Woman:
Will you love me forever?

Man:
Well let me sleep on it

Woman:
Will you love me forever?

Man:
I couldn't take it any longer and dang I was crazy
When the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave
Started swearing to my God and on my mother's grave
That I would love you 'til the end of time
I swore I would love you 'til the end of time

Together:
So now I'm prayin' for the end of time
So hurry up playin' around
'Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don't think that I could really survive

I'll never break my promise or forget my vow

Man:
But God only knows what I could do right now

Together:
Prayin' for the end of time is all that I can do, ooh, ooh
Prayin' for the end of time
So I can end my time with you

Man:
Well it was long ago and it was far away and it was so much better than it is today...(fade out)

Woman:
It never felt so good, it never felt so right and it was blowin' like the metal on the edge of a knife...(fade out)

Well there you have the best song to do at karaoke. You seriously need to practice it first but it's some of the best fun anyone can have in their life. If you're a male you need a female friend and vice versa. I strongly recommend it.

I love this song because it's almost like a play within a song, like an opera....sort of.

I have a very special place in my heart for Meat Loaf but that's for another post.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Shining Light - Ash or Annie Lennox?

Have you even heard this song? It's truly beautiful.

Which version do you prefer? Ash, who are responsible for the original, or Annie Lennox?

I asked myself this question and found it very difficult to answer, but eventually I decided to root for Shining Light by Ash. I do tend to prefer original versions of songs for their integrity, but also as a classic rock fan I just love the guitar chords and lead on this. Annie Lennox has got a wonderful voice though, and she is a great lady.

I must say I haven't heard that many Ash songs, maybe I should get into them a bit more.

By the way there isn't a competition going on between them, I just thought it would be interesting to choose between them!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Jimmy Page Robert Plant No Quarter


I wrote a post a while ago about an album I managed to practically steal for £3; No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded (1994).

I first listened to it when I was about 19 and I was round an older male friend's house drinking and smoking (:O tsk tsk bad I know but to be honest, the best way to listen to it is probably just with friends, chilling out in the evening).

Anyway at that point in my life I'd vaguely heard a few Led Zeppelin songs before but didn't know much about them. I didn't have a clue who it was on the tape I was listening to, playing guitar and singing; I just knew that what I was listening to was real music.

So you can imagine my surprise when my learned friend enlightened me with the news that it was in fact Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. They had recorded an album without the other members of Led Zeppelin.

By the way, I'm not saying this album is one of the best classic rock albums ever made, it's not. But it's certainly one any fan of real music should listen to!

No Quarter does include some Ledhead faves such as Kashmir and The Battle of Evermore - a song originally recorded with Sandy Denny - but for me, the best song on that whole album has to be "Friends". That's the song that made me blow out a smoke ring and mumble "Hey...whoozat singing?"

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Paul Hegley



^^From Paul Hegley's Myspace: Him in the recording studio.

I went along to the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town in London last night to watch my cousin, Paul Hegley, solo singer and guitarist play an acoustic set.

He played four original songs, "Bricklayer Blues", "Smalltown Celebrity", "What I Really Love", and one yet to be recorded - all written by himself - and one cover; Bob Marley's "Jammin'".

All of the lyrics of his own songs conjure up plenty of imagery and the guitar fretwork is just amazing; proper bluesy stuff.

His cover included a new arrangement and sounded very interesting to say the least.

If I had to say who Paul Hegley's voice most reminded me of I would venture a cross between Jon Bon Jovi and Luke from the Kooks, but that doesn't really do it justice.

Before you make any comments you shall have to check out his myspace, where you can listen to his three recorded songs.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Eagles Hotel California Lyrics

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

Then she stood in the doorway
I heard the misson bell
And I was thinkin' to myself
This could be heaven or this could be hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say


Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is tiffany twisted
She got the Mercedes-Benz
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard
Sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget

So I called up the captain
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "we haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They're livin' it up at the hotel california
What a nice surprise, (what a nice surprise) bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The Pink champagne on ice
And she said "we are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
Relax, said the night man
We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave

That's Eagles - "Hotel California" lyrics. The lyrics to my favourite song of all time by my favourite band of all time. And I had the honour of seeing them perform it live in 2006 and I can honestly say that's one of the top three moments of my life.

The show lasted about 4 hours and I'd thoroughly enjoyed three and a half hours of it when they all stood up, said thank you to the audience and walked off. I was horrified and outraged, because they hadn't played Hotel California. I demanded an encore, I nearly lost my voice, yelling "Hotel California! Don! Don! Don! It was no use, the lights had gone out on the stage. I was so upset. Then a little light went on. In the middle of a stage there was a guy in a sombrero playing the trumpet. "Very nice", I thought, but I was still upset.

Then he played a really long note, and stopped. All of a sudden, all the lights went on, and that unmistakable first chord boomed out. Hotel California! There was Don Henley on the drums and, of course on vocals, Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmidt, and Joe Walsh on the guitars and a host of backing singers and other guitarists. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened.

They played it perfectly and Don sang absolutely beautifully. They even had the famous guitar duet from the original recording. I was singing along with the hugest grin on my face.

You can't really get much better than that. It is a truly amazing song. All of their other songs are absolutely brilliant but "Hotel California" is their best. I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to learn about real music should buy "Eagles: The Complete Greatest Hits" released in 2008.

Hotel California was released as a single in 1977 and went to number one in the US. It won the Grammy for Song of The Year in 1978. It was written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder. Eagles were inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of fame in 1998.

It's a staple rock n' roll song for a lot of people, hence my earlier post.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Why The Cure are amazing



^ Neal Preston, www.thecure.com

The Cure is one of my top four favourite bands and I thought it was only right that I do a post about them sooner or later.

They only became one of my favourite bands very recently. Up until then, I'd just heard a song here and there, a theme tune to a programme (Close To Me), or a song on the jukebox (Boys Don't Cry), or on the soundtrack to a film (Just Like Heaven), absolutely loved it but not known who it was by and not really cared, until I discovered all of these amazing songs were by the same group.

I can't really explain why I like their music so much. I believe it may have something to do with the sound production. Their music really comes alive with a good sound system. A thought I keep having about them is that their music is like an "ear massage"!

Lady Sovereign fell out of my good books lately when she sampled "Close To Me" for her latest song. It just shouldn't be allowed. The Cure are unique and no good will come of meddling with their songs. If a song doesn't have all of the ingredients; the instruments, Robert Smith's voice and the sound production from another planet, it's not The Cure and it will just sound mediocre.

I just had a little peek at their website and found a beautifully written letter from the gorgeous Robert Smith to his fans on the first page. It's his argument against all music being free, and I totally agree with him.

I've always thought about the artists out there that are trying to put food on the table, hence why I started this blog.

The Cure have just finished a tour and I am absolutely kicking myself for not going, but I wouldn't have been able to afford it. Maybe next time.

They actually released a new album called 4:13 Dream last October, which I may just have to buy, and they are releasing another one this October! They are pure geniuses.

By the way, they formed in 1976.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Homeless people - Encourage them!

This isn't really related to music but I felt I had to share it.

Today I was sitting outside Liverpool Street Station in London with my can of diet coke when a guy walked up to me and asked if he could make me a copper wire sulpture for some spare change. I practically bit his hand off. My own copper wire sculpture? Usually you have to pay at least £5 in shops that sell those.

He said I could have one with my name on or a flower. I chose the flower.

He made it out of a single copper wire, about 30cm long, and he made it so quickly and with such grace. In exactly the time it took him to make it he explained that each of the four petals on it represented one of the four elements, and he explained it so beautifully it was like poetry. I got all of that for a pound.

If any of you live in London, go to Liverpool Street Station where he usually is. His name is Darren, he's very polite and he's from Johannesburg. If he approaches you, buy a sculpture. Some people might have reservations about what a homeless person might do with his revenue, but I honestly don't care what he does with it. I believe talent like that should be encouraged because it could really do some good in the world.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Lyrics that are disgusting/cheesy



^^ Taken from omg.yahoo.com

Lady GaGa:

Her songs are very catchy indeed, but I am afraid I have no love for her.

I seem to be the only one with this opinion but I think the lyrics "'Cause I'm bluffin' with my muffin/I'm not lying I'm just stunnin' with my love-glue-gunning" are absolutely disgusting and have no place on a pop song of someone who markets her music at teenagers.

"Bluffin' with my muffin" seems to have become a popular phrase, judging by a quick look on Google. I'd hate to think young girls are walking around saying that. The words just make me cringe.

Another one, Taylor Swift. Am I also alone in thinking this song is nothing but rubbish cheese?

She's basically inserted the words "Romeo and Juliet" into a mediocre teeny pop tune and somehow people think it's the best song since sliced bread. The video is so pretentious and arrogant it almost makes me want to puke, along with the line "You were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles/And my Daddy said stay away from Juliet"

Yuck!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Mika!


Who would have thought a lonely, bullied Lebanese kid could grow up to be a talented and visionary songwriter and performer with 283,998 friends on myspace (when this was published), a host of awards including Ivor Novello Song of The Year 2008 and the BRIT for Best British Breakthrough Act 2008, and be a hero for so many people?

His debut album "Life in Cartoon Motion" can not only boast having the most number of songs on a given album that I really like, but also amazing artwork that the guy himself contributed to.

His album has definitely got the biggest feel-good factor of any album I have listened to in my life, with songs like Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) and Lollipop. But it's more than that.

I feel as a fellow former child bully victim that his music truly connects with me, unlike any other artist's work.

There's only one question us Mika lovers are asking.

When is Mika's next album coming out?!

To be honest, I think if this one album was all he ever produced in his life, it would be more than enough. I just feel he is capable of getting more out.

Any Mika fans out there? What do you think? Have I missed the announcement?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Getting Lost in Allston


^^^ By K.A. Ambrose

The most amazing blog I have ever seen has been brought to my attention, and it is by someone called K.A. Ambrose who lives in the United States. The blog is full of colour and it is written with such passion and spirit.

"...we should be able to approach , as we would call this the pre-enlightened age. thing that are just outside of really feeling. they come as disturbances in the force, and define a way of interaction but jar intuition jam its frequency and determine out side of us.

“ a knight and a night did battle
a days of daze followed. “
.
For all the nobility of thought and reason. we are bound to the documentation of feelings.
but there in that, , Walking is a mater of
how you see”
all life is creation. Be that a return to roman classics, then further the conversation with enactment. with acceptance, mean the god man first cares he is god man, life is the futility of civilizations merit systems, only a quiet day to let birds in . lets light shine. the ability to aee hear, feel that and every dawn is heaven. While responsibility doesn’t first become, no magical powers except maybe empathy, no guessing the lottery number for materialism are only so. All higher life is without. "


Ambrose is a writer, and artist, but also a truly wonderful musician that goes by the name of Kada. Go to http://www.enertialcall.com/ and download Getting Lost in Allston, which is simply one of the sweetest pieces of music I have ever heard.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

White Noise



Occasionally; only very occasionally, my mother will play music that grabs my attention.

An example of which is White Noise.

I was round her house a few weeks ago and she played an album of her teenage years, their debut album which she had to specially order from Fopp, Electric Storm, released on Island Records in 1969. Their myspace tells us:

"the debut White Noise album featured Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson, who had worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and David Vorhaus, who had studied classical orchestral bass playing and electronics.
Tne instrumentation consisted of early electronic instruments and a huge amount of tape manipulation, the standard techniques of the Workshop in those days. The album only emerged on CD - in a "matrix mixed" format - as late as 1996, again on Island, but was rapidly deleted. NOW RE-ISSUED BY UNIVERSAL"...

...and it is just incredible really. Each song sounds different to the other and it so enjoyable to sit back and listen to this masterpiece. I strongly recommend the song Here come the Fleas.

The amazing thing is, White Noise is still touring and making albums. They have a forthcoming concert at the London Planetarium. Just wait until I tell my mum, she is going to flip!