Still In Bloom

What is it about certain music that makes it never age and appeal to all?  I went to see Russell Brand last week and the music that was playing before he came on (good choices by the way who-ever put it together) was a real mixture, some of which went down better than others.

Then In Bloom came on and looking around the theatre, most people were getting into it.  The audience  was a mixed bunch ranging from kids who were probably the same age now that I was when In Bloom was released, through my age group *cough38cough* and older.  It got me thinking about why there is certain music that somehow speaks to people at the time and continues years later.  What is it about Nirvana especially?  I know that for me, it will always be special and meaningful as I was 15 when Nevermind came out and I think that you hold on to music from that time in your life in your heart.  But what about the kids who were born around the time that Kurt died?  What makes them listen to and enjoy it now?  Any younger readers – I’d love to hear from you.

I watched the Stone Roses documentary the other day too and again, looking at the fans ranging from people who were there the first time round to their kids who seemed just as into to it.  I think it’s an interesting question and one that I don’t really have the answer to… What do you reckon?

Have a listen to this while you ponder…

Easy Like (Saturday and) Sunday Morning

My weekend wake-ups are always, without fail, soundtracked by Mary Anne Hobbs on 6Music.  She’s one of those people that upon hearing her, you really want to be her friend and go for beers with – now I’ve written that, it sounds a little fan-girl doesn’t it?!  You know the kind of person though right?  Caitlin Moran, Lauren Laverne and Alice Levine are also on that ‘people I wish were my friends’ list.  *there is no actual list – just to be clear*

Any-hoo… back to the matter in hand.  I’ve been listening to this track for a good few weeks now and if you need a little gentle persuasion to make it up and at ’em then this is the perfect one…

Nils Frahm is a German musician and composer, based in Berlin.  According to his wikipedia entry, during his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski, a student of the last scholar of Tchaikovsky.

I love how this track builds and builds and it just lifts the spirits – well, mine anyway.  It’s 9 minutes long so grab a cup of coffee, sit down and immerse yourself…

Can I Have Your Attention Please

I was recently reading an article about how our tv viewing habits have changed and how this, in turn, has affected programme making.  That annoying recap of what’s going on every five minutes to cater for the people dropping in through channel surfing.

It got me to thinking about how we engage with things that go on around us, not just tv, but everything.  Has our attention span been shortened to the point that we can only deal with things in short sharp bursts, whether that be 140 characters or a constant recap.

One of my favourite tracks around at the moment is Brennisteinn by Sigur Ros which is a whopping 7 minutes 41 seconds long.  I say whopping, as the average song is 4 minutes long apparently.  Isn’t it strange that we think that 8 minutes out of our day is a long time.

My challenge to you then, is to sit and listen to this lovely track for nearly 8 minutes. The thing I like most about Sigur Ros is that because the lyrics are Icelandic, which I for one don’t speak, you can just immerse yourself in the music.  I will often put their music on if I need to write as it’s not distracting.

I would go into this further but I’m worried you may have stopped reading…

Oh, a little fact for you – brennisteinn means sulfur… *every day’s a school day*

It’s Like Choosing Your Favourite Child.

I love this time of year, there’s lots of voting for stuff going on – usually by far more important people than me, but we can get together with friends and guess *or is that just me?*

As I may have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Radio 6 Music.  At the moment, they are asking listeners to choose from a list of 100 tracks as to what we think has been the greatest song release from the last 10 years.

You can find the list here and what a list it is!  I’ve not voted yet as just when I think I know which one, another one looks at me with big sad eyes and asks why I didn’t pick them.  We have until 7pm on Friday 25th Jan.

Let me know what you’ve chosen – I’m going for Sigur Ros, no, The White Stripes, no, MIA, no definitely Alt-J, no, Yeah Yeah Yeahs ooh didn’t realise The Strokes were in there too *repeat to fade as I weep helpless over the keyboard*

My husband glanced over at the list and immediately said The Postal Service – that, right there, is the difference between us!

Oh, and just so we’re clear, I love both my children equally…most of the time…

Tribal Gatherings

As anyone who listens to Steve Lamacq on 6Music will know, on Friday it’s ‘Wear Your Old Band T-shirt to Work Day 5’.

The day is Steve’s now annual response to the fashionistas who take the short cut to musical credibility, picking up their band merchandise on the high street rather than the gig circuit.

Steve invites listeners to dig out their favourite t-shirts and celebrate the art of declaring “I saw Coldplay at the Colchester Arts Centre and I have the poorly produced, cider-encrusted shirt to prove it!”

This got me to thinking that it’s virtually impossible now to tell just by looking at someone, what their musical taste is.

From the Mods in the late 50’s and 60’s to Glam Rock and Punk in the 70’s through to New Romanticism, Goths, Heavy Metal, Acid House and Madchester Baggies, Grunge etc etc etc you could pretty much tell at a glance what the said youth was into.

Now it may be that I stopped noticing, but fashion seemed to get more about, well, fashion rather than music.  Band t-shirts seemed to disappear from everyday life – with the exception of ‘mettlers’ who seem to have a definite identity at all times.  Then, mini band t-shirts started appearing in popular high street stores and yes, my daughter had a bright pink Ramones t-shirt at the age of 5.  In fact, now nearly 3 years on, there are still mini RUN DMC, Stone Roses, Rolling Stones and Nirvana t-shirts widely available.

What was/is your favourite band t-shirt?  Do you wear them often?  My favourite and probably most worn were the ubiquitous James flower long-sleeved ones.  The last gig I went to resulted in not a t-shirt but a piece of art…how times have changed…

I’m now off to Mum’s house to dig out some old t-shirts to pick one to wear on Friday – will you be joining in?  Further details here


Editing Sweet

Once I became a parent, my life slowly started to need editing.  It probably started with my wardrobe, weeding out all the exquisite dry-clean only items that, it turns out, don’t mix well with a baby with reflux – who knew?!

The next phase of editing was probably a personal one.  As harsh as it sounds, there are people who a) don’t want to hang out with you as ‘Mummy’ and b) you actually realise that you don’t want to hang out with them either.

Then, as your children learn to talk – mostly by repetition in the early stages, you have to edit yourself.  Conversations have to be appropriate as does your choice of music in the car.  It’s amazing how quickly you get to know where the sweary bits are and can cough accordingly.  I’m sure my eldest daughter thought I had a horrific case of bronchitis at one point!  This is where radio can lull us into a false sense of security with their friendly radio edits.  I forget what song it was now, but me and my eldest had been merrily singing a song together along with the radio and when we tried doing the same with the album version there were F-bombs all over the show!  #awkward

I think that this is why I have developed a form of “exercise tourettes” *not a scientific term as far as I’m aware*.  Every time I partake in my outdoor circuits class, I get a bit sweary.  Luckily, everyone there is lovely and doesn’t seem to mind…

Alas, now for me, Tenacious D will only ever be played on my iPod but I’ll leave you with one of the clean ones…*hopefully*

As a parent, have you had to edit anything?  Let me know!

Radio Ga-Ga

No, not that one, or indeed the other one…

This is my radio – yes I know that it’s not the best DAB on the market but being the girl I am, I needed wanted it to fit in with the aesthetics of my house *judge if you will*

Pretty much the first thing I do in the morning is stumble bleary eyed into my kitchen, flick the kettle on and switch the radio on where it stays on all day.

I’d always been an avid Radio 1 listener but started feeling more and more out of touch – was I *gasp* getting OLD?  I tried Radio 2 but aside from a couple of shows, I felt too young.  Where was a girl to turn?  Radio 6 Music of course.  A great mix of new music (keeping me feeling down with the kids) and some older stuff to jog the memory.

I’m sure you’re all way ahead of me, but if you’ve not tried it, give it a go.

Let me know your thoughts on radio..

*whispers* I do still tune in to Zane Lowe of an evening…