Saturday, 25 February 2012

Day 303 - Music

If there is anything so hotly debated and down to one's own individual tastes, it is that of music.

Music, is indeed universal. So, in an attempt to regain some ground, I thought I'd let you in on what I'm listening to, loving, hating, and so on.

First of all, and I think this is being due to my being a musician, I am bordering on obsession with music. It is such, that the first thing I do when I wake up and get dressed is listen to music, listen to music on my way to school, listen to music at school as and when I can, listen to music on my way home, listen to music at home while doing work, listen to music on my way to and from work, listen to music when making dinner when I do, listen to music when I get into bed, listen to music as I fall asleep and I often wake up in the middle of the night, still with my iPod playing. In between all of that, of course, I compose, perform and arrange music in the spare time I have. So, yes. I have a slight thing for music! In fact, my iPod passed the 3000 track mark the other day, of which, I've listen to them all at least once, with some having been listened to over 10,000 times. So, just in case you ever doubted my obsession, there you are!

So, what music IS on my iPod? Well, I'm quite proud to say that, I listen to music of nearly *all* types. I have 58 different genres of music on there, of which, there are 188 Artists and 282 albums. Now, I won't run you through them, all, but, you get the picture.

If I could describe my music taste in one word? Eclectic. I listen to different things as and when my mood feels like listening to it.

Classical Music. Yes, I'll be honest, I do listen to Classical Music, and am quite proud of doing so, I ususally listen to it when I'm working (writing essays or reading for example) and won't listen to it, say when I'm at the gym. But it does form quite a large bulk of the music on my iPod.

I suppose I can't escape the reaches of Pop Music, and do have a fair amount on my iPod! My most.. guilty pleasure would have to be Lady GaGa. I know, there will be hoards of you tutting and rolling your eyes, but, I must confess my love for her. I adore her and quite a lot of her music! Not all of it, I must be honest, but, yes. I do adore her! But, of the biggest mainstream pop artists there are, she's probably the only one who I'm a big fan of. I don't have a single track by Katy Perry or Rihanna for example, only the odd one or two from Pixie Lott, Florence + The Machine and Jessie J. There are a few others who I like, but that stems from music talent, and THAT is what I truly appreciate in music, talent.

Christina Aguilera, I know, not everyone's cup of tea, but there is no denying she has talent. Take a look at this live performance of 'This is a Man's World':

Other pop artists I listen to with, what I consider to be 'talent', would be Adele and Amy Winehouse, for example. But, I must confess, I actually prefer music that's a little more.. alternative to the mainstream.

By biggest example has to be Lana Del Rey. I first heard 'Video Games' when she released it on the internet early last year, and fell in love, and her new album 'Born to Die' certainly doesn't disappoint. It's an incredible album, and songs like 'Born to Die' and 'Radio' just, are masterpieces written by herself.

There is something just, in my opinion, so sublime about her voice and her music.

On the subject of alternative music, there are some artists out there, so underrated who really deserve more recognition!

One of these artists is 'Oh Land'. Now, their music is just, incredible. 'Sun of a Gun', as you can see below is sort of, mainstream enough but still alternative enough to be considered different.

On a similar note, Robyn, who's well known enough to be considered pop is also one of the most underrated artists I can think of, and, her track 'Call Your Girlfriend' is really quite stunning, but, also on that note, the video is eccentric but at the same time, delightfully simple:

Sticking with the theme of female alternative artists, Paloma Faith is another one of my favourite artists, and I must confess, I adore her! Her album 'Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?' is one of my most listened to, and the track 'New York' is just, well, I think it's one of those tracks that you can't help but love!

But in case I'm beginning to bore you, I thought I'd move on to a new, and yet totally different type of music and that has to be Folk music. Now, I know that there are a lot of you who are likely to skip over this, because it's all a little bit, meh to a lot of people. But, I implore you, just take a listen. 

One of my favourite folk bands, a band I'm going to see in April(!!!) are 'Dark Dark Dark', from America. Their music is so special and quaint and quirky, it's, well, fantastic. Their song 'Daydreaming' is one of my favourites, the music video is below, as well as a live performance of another favourite, 'The Hand':

So, I'm mega excited to go see them up in London in April.

And, now to one of my greatest musical loves: Jazz.

There are so many elements of jazz in day to day music that people just, almost don't appreciate it as a standalone genre as much as they used to. My favourite Jazz artist, without a shadow of a doubt, has to be Nina Simone. She sang with so much soul and feeling and depth in her voice, that her music is so heart-wrenching but so powerful at the same time. Her entire repetoire is simply unparalleled, and below are just a few of my favourites.

But, there are the other jazz and soul legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James who will never be equaled:

Right, that's enough for one day, methinks. I didn't even get to mention the music delights of Einaudi, Aston, Birdy, Miss Li, Pink Floyd, Rob Douagn, Lia Ices, Bowerbirds, Woodkid, Royksopp, La Roux, St Vincent, Emiliana Torrini, Kate Havnevik, Delta Goodrem, Portishead, Maksim, Hannah Peel, Alice Gold, Frank Sinatra, Sia, Goldfrapp, Matt Dusk, Kate Bush, or 'Hurray for the Riff Raff'.

If you're looking for new music, I suggest some of them!

Coming up in the next few days will be a post on the music I hate, featuring One Direction and Justin Bieber.

Sorry for the long post, have a magical Saturday!


Friday, 24 February 2012

Day 302 - Welcome Back!

Yes, I know.

It's been far too long, but, I'm back. For as long as I can, at least, and probably not daily, but, hopefully regularly enough that I can write decent posts about things more than the trivial.

So, let's start with what's happened since last September.

Well, as you can imagine, quite a lot, quite a lot indeed. We've had heartbreak, heart-warming moments, death, birth, Christmas, My 18th, Friendships formed and lost, smiles, tears, music, film and theatre, birthdays, and so on and so on.

But enough about me! How are you?! I hope you're well.

I realised, the older I'm getting, the more bitter I'm getting. Not only bitter, but sort of, cynical. I think it's more cynicism than anything else. For example, whenever I watch the news, I seem to just despair at how unjust the world seems to be, I know, quite a miserable opening for the first blog post for a while!

Just a few examples recently, today on the news, retired businessman Christopher Tappin is to be extradited to the US for allegedly selling batteries to the Iranians for nuclear missiles. This man doesn't have a criminal record, British judges say that the extradition is legal and the European Court of Human Rights won't intervene in the extradition.

Meanwhile, Abu Qatada, once described as 'the right hand man for Al-Qaeda in Europe' was released a few days ago, and it was claimed he couldn't be deported as 'he wouldn't get to face a fair trial', whereas of course, Mr Tappin, with a chronically ill wife, is to stay in an unidentified US jail while Mr Qatada is freely roaming the streets of London. At a cost of £10,000 a week to the UK taxpayers.

I dunno, is it just me that thinks that this is.. well, wrong?

Something that made me chuckle this morning, is that the man who set fire to the Reeve's furniture shop in Croydon has admitted to arson today. So, what with teenagers bearing the brunt of the attack, and similar attacks across London, how old was he? Bearing in mind all the bad press that all these teenagers got, the broken society was in the youth, teenagers were responsible for the rioting! All these teenagers, they're all to blame! Oh, sorry, didn't I mention how old Gordon Thompson, the arsonist was? He was 33.

Not 13, not even 23, but 33. Twice the age of most of those accused of the rioting.


Joke's on you.

Anyway. I'll leave you all to your days.