Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ages of Rock

Last week I got so unbelievably excited beyond belief when I found, much to the new-found amazement of FREEVIEW, that BBC4 were running a 'Nirvana Night'. Of course, remaining my eternal favourite band 4eva & 4eva this would be... interesting. How many hours of it could I watch without falling asleep? Nah, well I ended up recording them, and thank my lucky stars I did.

First off was the iconic Nirvana 'Live at Paramount Theatre, 1992' which featured Dave powerhouse, Kurt floppy hair and bouncy Krist running through their new found hits in their new, new stardom. The best 'song' of the set ended up being for me, the one that I'd least expect overall, 'Endless, Nameless'. Oh gosh, more than anything else, the ENERGY that it provided out of my television screen was out of this world. I'd stare at my screen, transfixed, not being able to move because I might miss something if I'd literally blinked. Cue Pete Townshend smashing and looping guitar movements, fun fun fun.

Coincidentally, If you were to break down the structure of 'Endless, Nameless' (which is funny because it's supposedly totally obscure, with no structure or sense of being- just total orgasmic punk rock) it's literally Very loud- Paced 'quiet'- Very loud- Paced 'quiet', which was a dynamic practically invented by the Pixies.

The Pixies and their legacy were discussed in detail on the next program 'Seven Ages of Rock' - Black Francis and Kim Deal discussed their Nirvana-inventing, soul inspiring musical song structures, and it was actually so interesting. This was a program that actually discussed, in detail, the rhythms of Kim Deal's bass line in "Where is my Mind?" and why that makes her a good bassist, better than others and Black Francis broke down the eternal Pixies hardcore fan favourite, 'Gouge Away'. After watching this program, 'Gouge Away' is now one of my favourites, being so ridiculously clever and simple simultaneously. It's memorable, because it's different and it demonstrates such beautiful melody with the Punk Rock ethos still intact. Francis runs through the line on an acoustic during the program, and I don't want to give much away, but he's still got it. If only Pixies were doing a UK tour soon... But anyway, make sure you check out the informatively factual Seven Ages, because it is the only doc I've seen that cares about the music and doesn't talk about any of the other selling media nonsense like "their songs got more painful blah blah blah cause she was on heroin blah blah and he was too blah blah music junkies vanity fair blah marriage blah she's a bitch". The program that came after, "The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain", I don't want to talk about, because it made me cry that much. It's very well done, but so sad I felt depressed for hours after.

But in the meantime, here's some Pixies to feed your brain. Because once you like Pixies, there is no going back. It is a way of life.

Fun fact for you: this is the Brixton gig in 1991 that they did that Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl supposedly 'snuck into'. Rock star stories amaze me.

P.S. I've got my family so educated on Nirvana my Grandad even watched the Paramount performance and said Dave Grohl was 'wow... he's just such a powerful drummer, isn't he?'. I've got him interested... and I hope anybody that reads this blog can be, too.

Monday, 31 October 2011

7 Billion people... and 7 Billion music lovers.

So today is a momentous day in the history of demongraphy, right? Yes, you say. Today, we have *supposedly* reached our landmark number of 7 billion people on earth. 7 billion souls... 7 billion mouths to feed... 7 billion people who need love. Yes. I thought really this is the only topical thing to write about today, as the UN and other charities have very much involved themselves in new changes to be brought about now... because 7 billion is a motivator, of course. 7 billion should bring change right now. They are launching many strategies to try and tackle this 'problem' as it may be, or tell 'stories from 7 billion' and '7 billion strategies' to also kind of celebrate the fact we've come so far... or have we? Anyway, I'm getting more into the contexts of the matter, as I am naturally a Geography student, and this is what I study. Change of people over time. But the '7 billion actions' page is brilliant, packed full of information and it's qutie a landmark really, 'a global movement for all humanity.' But I'm getting besides the point, this is a music blog and a music blog it shall be.

There are only two things that unite these 7 billion: love for music and love for love. So there. Enjoy this little fabulous song and its message. I love the diversity of sounds coming from one song! From your one in 7 billion xox

Sunday, 16 October 2011

10 Reasons why you should listen to Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream" TODAY

As a teenager at her optimum "music age" of sixteen, it's easy to obsess over music. New music that's hit the charts, newly discovered music that your mum had listened to when she was sixteen. Sixteen, sixteen, sixteen. It's a great age. You have so much more of your life to go, so much more disposable income to spend as you wish, so many more albums and bands to discover that will "change your life"... this prospect excites me more than anything else. The possibility of all this music, right at your fingertips! I find that the single reason why life is so unpredictably amazing sometimes.

But there is one band that I will always remember now. Smashing Pumpkins is that band. With every band, they're never perfect. Live, in the media, their albums, the members and the band squabbles are always changing. But the music, goddammit the music! If there's only one album that you could listen to for the rest of your life, this could be the one. For me, it's a pretty close tie between Siamese Dream, Live Through This, Celebrity Skin (both Hole) and Doolittle (Pixies)

Zane Lowe himself, the man of the music on Radio 1, personally my favourite DJ on there (for numerous reasons, mainly because I think he has a passion for what he does more than all of the other DJ's put together) has stated that this album is probably the most played album of his life. Not necessarily his favourite, but most played. There can be a line of difference between the two, depending on how your life swings, which album you go back to always but also which one you might save for the very special moments in your life, so not to become overplayed.

But why should you listen to this album from Billy Corgan and his bunch? Why not Mellon-Collie and the Infinite Sadness or any other? (Equally brilliant by the way, it's just this one is a step up) I'll give you ten quick good reasons why. I want everyone to make their lives more beautiful by listening to this album.

1. Corgan's effortless for the melodies that just come swirling out of this 50 so minutes is astounding. Where do they all come from? The beginning of 'Mayonaise' for example... when did he write this? HOW did he write it? His talent for beautiful guitar lines is immeasurable.

2. Okay, 'Mayonaise' then. That one song makes the album what it is. It's a complete soul healer. It really doesn't get better than this. The fuzzy guitars pull at your heartstrings, the lyrics .. oh, the lyrics: "Try and ease the pain somehow, feel the same/Well, no one knows, where our secrets go" is paired with a powerful almost arm punching realisation... and the perfection lies from where people try to sum up what they're feeling... but they don't quite get there. Amazing. That song always makes me feel like I have the best life ever, that everything's beautiful, no matter when. That there is promise in the music world.

3. High ranges on guitars that WORK. Whether it's fretting on ridiculously high E's... or the low grumbles of guitars on songs like 'Soma'.

4. The Guitar Solos: 'Mayonaise', 'Soma', 'Today'... these solos make you question if there is a higher power of guitar soloists through history that all deserve thrones.

5. 'Today'. My gosh, that one song has been described as "simply one of the best songs ever made" by one Music Journalist (Forgive me, for I know not which one, I read so much lately by many music journalists I only remember their words, and not their names...) I agree. It's about the worst day ever, summed up in one of the coolest verse chorus verse structure ever. I remember in Physics class one day with one of my best friends (also a Pumpkins obsessive) and we tried to DISSECT the lyrics to that song, man. They are intense. But on a weird sense... it's also happy. It tries to speak on a whole new level to those that are perhaps a bit depressed, but saying it points out the better aspects of life would be wrong. They make life seem weirdly cool, with all its lust and ridiculousness but the fact that you shouldn't get too bogged under by its strain.

6. The break in 'Soma'. I watched this song performed live in like the late 90's and when it got to the electric guitar interlude (followed by the jaw-dropping solo) I just started crying. If the music is powerful, if even the bloody chord sequence makes you want to jump up an down and smash things, but simultaneously almost speaking to you so much it makes you shed tears, it's done well. Trust me on this one. The anticipation to that cracks me up...

7. The random piano and string solitudes they put in the album. Whether it's 'Spaceboy' which is just one awesome string melody throughout, or 'Soma' when it's ridiculously quiet and then LEAPS into the grubby sequence mentioned aforehand, they really get at you, man. It almost makes that complete Macho Hair Metal Rock cower in the corner with its tact. The drums are also a huge variation. They go from "Little Drummer Boy" one minute and then another they could be mistaken for Grohlism.

8. The amount of distortion on this album is worth how much you pay. Ok, so you don't like distortion? The album has been worked so greatly that each of these songs can be played acoustically, easily, just like that. YouTube the acoustic live version of 'Cherub Rock'. I want to invent my own dance to that one.

9. Billy Corgan's voice. Nuff said. Even more entertaining when you have no idea of the lyrics and you mimic the poor guy. It's original, I'll give you that.

10. The fact that practically the whole album is tuned half a step down. Ok, even though this annoyed me the other day when I was trying to learn '1979' on my acoustic, it works. Really well. But if you can't be bothered, that's alright too don't you know, just find a version in standard. Simples.

I could go on for decades, but that gives you enough material worth reading to make the decision whether to leap in or not. One more thing: I LOVE THE COVER ART. It's cute, and reminds me of those summer days when you are only 4 and you've got all these wondrous things to come. Fun fact: one of the little girls on the cover is now the bassist in the current line-up of SP. That's one of the reasons I love life. Coincidence!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

You know you're addicted to Tumblr when...

Whenever you see Soundgarden's "Fell on Black Days" on your Spotify playlist, you can only think of Chris Cornell and replace the song title with "Fell on Frappes"

So, instead of speaking of unexplainable things, I'll just give the song instead, shall I?
Courtesy of Maggie,

It's beautiful. Shall I buy this album? I think so. Then I can make a blog post about it!

Posts coming soon: Musical things that get on my wits, my Smashing Pumpkins obsession and more Courtney Love. Coming your way 2011.

This music thing, it's hard work, isn't it?

I've had a very successful week, as far as succesful weeks go. I am now one more A* up on my roll of GCSEs, which has made me very happy.

But most importantly this week, I have found that all my hard work DOES indeed equal success, and with every great cliche it has a struggle story, a log of challenges that I have faced to get to my goal. I have just passed my Grade 6 Keyboard with Distinction, a pleasant surprise, something that makes me grin from ear to ear just thinking about it. Who knew that I could get this far? I certainly didn't think that I would be able to play a simple piano piece when I was six, never mind fully accomplishing a full orchestral version of the Beatles' hit "Eleanor Rigby". I always wanted to succeed in whatever I chose to do, and as a six year old watching a young man play a keyboard in the local electrical store, I knew I wanted to succeed at that! And so here I am... Grade 7 keyboard, with the added extra of Popular Music Theory which has increased my thirst of knowledge for the ever-interesting pop music industry so much that I now HAVE to write a blog post on this phenomenon at least once a fortnight. It's funny how things turn out, isn't it?

But.. anyway. Back to the keyboard. Last year, I was distressed that I had to put in so much work in order to achieve just a merit. JUST, aha. A contradiction in itself. So when this year came, I had no worries to the amount of time and dediction I had to put in, I just did it. With hardly any complaining either, haha. I sat down at my music programme for like 7 hours a week, because I KNEW somehow that it would all turn out with the best outcome. So to celebrate my success, I find myself writing about it. I was completely speechless that I could achieve such a mark so far down along the line, but it happened, and it's made me extremely satisfied as a result. I'm never afraid of hard work, but now in the future I know that it may not have definite success at the end of it, but I do it anyway because I want to and I enjoy it.

This is a bit like how the music industry works sometimes. The news of the death of Steve Jobs proved my thoughts. A man perhaps not directly involved in the music industry, but one who single handedly changed the way the music industry worked in less than a decade? Quite an achievement, you think. He did what he enjoyed, which was being the director of a company which had no entitlement to succeed, but it did anyway through entire perserverance. He's completely changed the way people see music through the invention of iTunes and the exponential growth of downloads at the consequence. If you have an iPod, which I highly doubt you do not have, what would you do without it? I have to admit I overlook the way a single device smaller than a small paperback can hold shelves and shelves of previously hard copy music, namely because I haven't known anything different! I only rely on my memory as far back as my Sony Walkman when I was very young, the first music storage system my Grandad gave me as a gift, and he has given me many more of them since then, most being products of Apple. Many others also overlook the fact it is possible download music at the click of the button. Sure, Steve Jobs didn't event this, but he sure made it popular. I still collect and buy CDs out of the reasoning that I like my music there to touch and to display not only on an electrical catalogue, but many don't. I'm sure Jobs' hard work puts homage to this. Music acts today make their music with the aim (advertising, A&Ring etc.) that it will be released through iTunes first. Some may centre their entire career around this.

The world is very different to the world 20 years ago, in terms of the industry and the way people see music. Going into the matter of whether today is better or not and the ethics of iTunes is another blog post, but you cannot deny the force for which Steve Jobs has fought to change how things work, all through his hard work. I for one may celebrate his genius, his innovation and for his ability to make so many people so happy in such a little time (Me and my iPod, my Grandparents and their iPads, both products have changed our lives dramatically). So thank you Steve Jobs for your hard work, I'm sure you can have your well-deserved rest now.

It's all hard work, isn't it? That's what makes life so interesting!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Go back to your Gold Soundz...

So, the winter months are coming. The days are drawing in. Depression and SAD are beckoning us. That's just me, anyhow.

This post is dedicated to the one song that wipes all of these aforementioned factors immediately. It is my favourite song in the whole word (surprisingly not by Nirvana OR Hole!). It is the song that has travelled with me to the other side of the world and back. It is the soundtrack to loves, lost loves, places, fun sun times but most importantly to my favourite season, summer.

This blog post is almost a memoriam to the now fading summer. The summer of 2011. The best summer of my life.

Enjoy a little capsule of what makes my life phenomenally happy, always, no matter what season it is, I suppose.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

At a store near you, always: Nirvana

What better time to resume your blog writings with your post-summer depression, lacking of creativity because you are back in full-time education and most importantly, when there's a killer anniversary of a certain special album that everyone's raving about? I will speak of my new loves, my old loves and my forgoing obsessions in another post, but this weekend, everything is owed to Nevermind , the album that changed hell of a lot more than it was supposed to.

24th September 1991, 20 years ago and 1 day today. (I know, I'm not a proper fan, I got confused and thought the anniversary date was on the 26th)

Geffen released their first album from their new signing, Nirvana, spending 120,000 and initially pressing 46,521 copies of the album to record stores in the US and worldwide. The album was released to a few hardcore fans already eagerly anticipating their next musical development but mostly to a new audience, an audience and critics that would name it notable and "ground-breaking" upon release. Of course, they were right, and this audience only grew and grew, watching the ever movements of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Of course you know that, the rest is history.  

24th September, 2011, yesterday. The album has now sold well over 30 million copies WORLDWIDE and has rock-solid status as a classic that'll never be forgotten. Dave Grohl has just released another album with his band Foo Fighters (yes yes, you know this, but this is just background for other readers), including song "I Should've Known" featuring fellow ex-bandmate Krist Novoselic on Accordian and feedback of "IS THIS SONG ABOUT KURT COBAIN?" (Yes, Nate, it supposedly is). Frances Bean Cobain has flourished into a beautiful little "punk" butterfly, looking like the perfect mix of her most famous parents and Krist Noveselic is politician, hoping someday that the world WILL stop using escalators, a "testiment to human laziness".

The times have changed, Nirvana as a band and a legend have evolved and changed into something of the most perfect "Punk Rock legend story" but their album Nevermind still remains EXACTLY as it was 20 years ago, the polished punk rock masterpiece that really did send the world of music reeling, contrary to all this supposed exaggeration about it doing exactly that. Of course I would say all this, I'm a fan after all, and Nirvana have been my favourite band for only a little over 3 years so they're still in its 'obsessive' stage, but that one groundbreaking album has more relevance now than ever, because you have a new generation learning and loving with that 45 minutes. Contrary to popular opinion, Nirvana weren't an overnight success, they spent long and hard working up to the one 'magical' moment that was Nevermind , and we are all forever indebted to 'magical' three that made it so.

This weekend is all about remembrance, and adding your only little stories and personal touches to the Nevermind legacy is what it's all about, to keep the little circle of Nirvana spinning on. So, here today, I shall run through every song on THAT record and try to write down in words instead of dance routines and/or inaudible guitar lines from my mouth what exactly they all mean to me.

1) Smells Like Teen Spirit

- The first song I ever heard from Nirvana in about 2008, when I was researching the band for my first Popular Music Theory exam, to which I am forever indebted to for introducing me. I read the passage about them, I revised it and most important, I listened to Nirvana. It's such a cliche to say that I had never heard ANYTHING like it before, but I truly hadn't, being still stuck in that awkward 13 year old stage of listening to any rubbish that hits the mainstream waves (Nevermind was obviously the difference to this back in 1991, a year I would have lived in for anything). It still sweeps me off my feet as much now, albeit not as much then. I remember trying to digest the noise... I had never before been exposed to Punk Rock, but yet even trying to deny it in my little common head, I knew instantly I liked it. From then on, Teen Spirit has been my soundtrack to whenever the maddest things happen, the most angry situation... I always put it on and thrash around. My friends, being influenced by my new musical choices, downloaded it illegally and from then, we always played our "Nirvana spinney game" to which you spin round and round in an enclosed space (preferably with pet dog or many people in a small room). This was the subject dance at many sleepovers, drunk nights etc. from then on. It gave you such a power to feel expression, but to also feel like there was nothing else in the world. I remember meeting the first boy I ever fell in love with in a little practice rehearse space when him and his 'band' were rehearsing this very song. I walked in, listened, jumped around in absolute ecstaticness and pointed at him and spoke the words for which I will always remember: "You sound like y'know, Dave Grohl or something". When they actually played the song at a Senior Talent Show at my school, my friend Maria and me gave them a standing ovation at the end. I was wearing a shirt I'd made myself with their band name on. It's all seems too long ago, now. It's sad that I cringe at this one, now.

2) In Bloom

- Still one of my favourite Nirvana songs to date. I sing it every spring when it starts to dawn on full blast in the morning, when the blossoms start to bud and there is wildlife again, the days get longer and all you can hear is "Spring is here again, reporductive glaaands" from my mouth. I have the Sup Pop video of it on my iPod, with Chad Channing and I absolutely adore it. I feel the song is exactly how Kurt Cobain felt after its release and the manic popularity of the band. It still sums up everything I believe in, and when I get angry, it's the one I choose, too.

3) Come As You Are

- The first thing I learnt to play on guitar, and because of it, a fond memory. It's almost romantic in its spirit, but also a statement of sweeping depression. Its absolute melancholy always gets me when I can't understand my feelings, or I just need to mellow it out a bit. Always such a haunting guitar riff, also, and still my favourite to date!

4) Breed

- A song to which I still love, but am less mad about. I love its absolute craziness, and Grohl's drums are something of drums beauty, if there is such a thing. I sing this when I'm absolutely over everything... and I will forever love how it can suddenly be suddenly so melodic... and such an AWESOME guitar line, almost like a grumpy voice...

5) Lithium

-My fondest memory with this song is when another friend's band played it in a dingey little gig place where I live... he had been raving about how it was his favourite Nirvana song and how the bass line was 'epic', and I for one couldn't wait to hear it. He absolutely mastered the bass line and the lead was wearing a beau 'Kurt' t-shirt. I pushed myself to the front for the opening riff, and sang it word for word for the whole song. My friends were almost bemused, but one of my best friends just stood there with me and sang it word for word and we practically screamed the "YEAHH" at the beginning of every chorus. I remember the same friend turning to me one day and saying "Megan, you know the line 'I'm so horny, but that's ok my will is good?' Well, I thought it was 'that's ok, my willy's good'". The same guy I mentioned earlier (aka Dave Grohl) turned to me during this absolute immense gig and said "So I guess you know all the lines, then?" That night, I was swept up in the spirit of the absolute 'teen rebellion' and loved every second, and it still remains one of my fondest gig memories.

6) Polly

- Another classic I learnt on guitar... I love the chord sequence, I love how it's totally anti-rape, and only recently I heard a rendition of it from the same bass dude that I still call one of my best friends. It is the song of every busker at some point, and it would be my choice too.

7) Territorial Pissings

- I love the Jonathan Ross show rendition of this... and I will always love the Reading version, too. Recently, when visiting the Brick Lane 20th Anniversary Nirvana exhibiton, some of my favourite lyrics were printed on the wall from this song: "Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody try to love one another right now!"

8) Drain You

- My absolute FAVOURITE from Nevermind, forever. This is mainly because it's kind of a sick love song, and I love that. It hold memories of romance for me, and will forever make me think of this certain person when I listen to it. I will forever be fascinated by the lyrics, and how Cobain came up with them. I remember being super pissed when I found out Fall Out Boy plagiarised from this very song. Haha, the angry youth! The 'breakdown' still remains groundbreaking, and whenever I hear it I just think of my absolute favourite performance of it... the french television Nirvana, when Kurt's guitar cuts out, and he grabs the mic jazz-style... yeah, I've written a blog post on it, you can find it in my archive! I can't tell you exactly why it's my favourite, it just is. That's why Nirvana are so great. You like their songs without really even knowing why.

9) Lounge Act

-I always skip past this one, and I'm disappointed in myself for doing that, cause it holds some of the coolest bass and guitar riffs... and the lyrics! "Rather be dead than cool" I love Kurt's voice in it.

10) Stay Away

Every drummer I've ever spoken to about Nirvana always names this one as the coolest ... Dave Grohl could never get it wrong. "Monkey see, Monkey do" How can you possible begin to describe Kurt's voice in this?

11) On A Plain

- Another for my guitar sessions. Another one I see as a love song, and the purest "Pop" Nirvana you can get. The harmonies are top, and the lyrics will always remain as fascinating, but one where you can sing without a care for thought. The break sweeps you.

12) Something in the Way

- It hasn't helped me with depression or anything, because thankfully I have never had depression. But you can see how it helps... a beautiful melody. Absolutely magnificent, the vocals on this will always be cemented in my mind, as will the memory of Kurt to most musicians...

So there we have it. My past, present and future Nevermind. What it means to me. What all the newspapers, new reports and special Nirvana packages this weekend have tried to get at this weekend: Nevermind has the ability to mean something to everyone, because of its most natural and easy empathy of meaning, lyrics and stories of love and loss and alienation and happiness... it does it all. 20 years is nothing when memory reigns. Whether you're 1 years old, or 60... it can do it for you, if that's what you like, of course. I have just finished listening to the entirety of Nevermind for the nth time, so I'm happy that such a record can still be established for when it comes down to it, its awesomeness. I don't own the record, apart from on my wall, but I will take this frame everywhere with me on my journey in life, because it's what started it all for me (in my musical freedom), after all.

Sorry for the Colossal post. I feel like this is my diary now for musical pinpoints in life.

Monday, 11 April 2011

One of These Days...

Dave Grohl one day will actually bring out an album that will be disappointing.
BUT not Wasting Light. This album is without a doubt, the best his career has had to offer yet. I couldn't think it would have got better than The Colour and The Shape, Foo Fighters, etc. . It did, in the form of Wasting Light.

By God, is this an album to listen to. Obviously speaking as a hardcore fan here, but these are songs to walk to, dance to, scream to, and be all melancholy about. Everyone.

The album starts with the simply tremendous "Bridge Burning", a heralding start. The guitars swoop down and knock you unexpected ... then the song descends, swooping into Dave Grohl's signature scream on "These are my famous last words". His famous last words, perhaps, that this album would be the Foo's heaviest so far. It definitely is quite contrasting to say, the acoustic Skin and Bones album, with the classics. But these songs are actual thrashers. You can air drum to them, air guitar, and even do the backinbg vocals for goodness sakes! That makes a good rock song. I particularly enjoy singing to the "Burning in the ashes!" backing vocals. A start like this practically sets you up for disappointment after but then comes "Rope". I didn't particularly like this one at first, it was mainly because it was THE mainstream one, and I prefer to dig a little deeper on an album as a whole. The riff at the beginning is slightly annoying, but the mixing in this song is fantastic. What else could we expect from the team that produced Nevermind? Exactly. But this one has got some nice hooks, including the nice drum solo from Tay Tay and guitar solos galore. It soares, and it's a rock song you can REALLY sing along to, even the girls. You can almost hear Pat Smear's (formerly of the Germs, and then to join Nirvana as their 2nd guitarist in 1993) contribution, glowing as he is, the extra instrument really mellows the sound. And I suppose the sound is aging with Dave's voice, but what could you expect? They performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend for an 80 minute set, and it was like an explosion, the climax was there, the show was brilliant, and then it was over before you knew it, a path of destruction left. Dave Grohl was still the man, and the only sign of aging he shown was his clambering back upon the stage...

My grandad even enjoyed it. I say even, well really, we are the people that go to see 60-odd year old rockstars play blues. That's our thing.

All in all, the biggest and the best pick of the album have to be: 'These Days' ("Easy for you to say... your heart has never been broken") which is soon to be a smasher in terms of Foo Festival songs. If I get the chance to see them (Our father, who art in heaven...;)) THAT will be the song I'm singing at the top of my voice, at sundown; 'Arlandria' which, among the usual critiques of Foo teens on twitter, seems to be a favourite ... I featured it for purely popular circumstances; and finally, another favourite 'Walk' ("I never want to leave, never say goodbye, forever and ever, I'm never gonna die") which has some beautiful melody lines. I will also recommend 'Better Off' which is a mix between early esque Foo and Tenacious D... it's proper boy blues rock. Nice riffs, too.

Can you tell I'm trying desperately to pass my English exams?
Sorry about excess Dave lately, but it's probably because I AM JUST LOVING the sounds that he's making right now. And a bit too excited about Pat's return...

Peace, Love and Burning Bridges (in the name of a brilliant new foo record!)


Sunday, 27 March 2011

I'm actually doing Cartwheels... My Song of the Month

Happy BRITISH SUMMER TIME! The time has come: my favourite time of the year, a time for steadily increasing prosperity... and a whole bunch of good times to come this summer- it's going to be the best summer of my life... So I've had a great weekend, so I'll have to celebrate by posting this very pleasant song indeed, which no guesses needed, came from one of the O.C. soundtracks... I picked it up on one of the episodes, and it's just perfect... so as the month closes, this is certainly my song of the month. have a great week everyone!


Saturday, 12 March 2011

All in a day's work



Warning: features a very scary looking Lemmy and a very beautiful certain Grohl's wife.

"Wasted Light" is released on April 12th at all Good record stores.
Foo Fighters plan to record a 13-track record of covers for Record Store Day in approx a month.

Pray for Japan, pray for life,

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Arise, Sir Dave Grohl...

Dave Grohl has always been much more than the drummer from Nirvana. Maybe because of the fact that he has, actually, penned more hits than Kurt Cobain, and is the award winning Frontman of Foo Fighters, arguably the best rock band on the planet to the present day. Award winning.

As the reputation as the "Nicest Man in Rock" and simultaneously the "Hardest Working" one, he is quite a man indeed. This post is a kind of a tribute to the Man himself, as myself being one of Foo Fighters' biggest fans, and everyone who knows me well knows, he is one of my biggest inspirations in life.

So, naturally, Iwas thrilled to be casually looking through an NME Special issue tribute to Mr Davey when it stated clearly that Mr Grohl himself will soon be picking up the Magazine's iconic "Godlike Genius" award, where previous recepients have been Mr Roger Daltry and Mr Paul Weller. In my opinion, Dave Grohl is the perfect follow on from these. Not just a drummer: a impressive vocalist, beautiful songwriter, producer, member of many a supergroup (Them Crooked Vultures, I ask you!), generational inspiration and generally, a really nice, hard-working guy. Not bad for someone who started life learning drums by hitting his pillows. The awards were this week, and the YouTube vid of his acceptance speech has lots of hits. He has many grateful fans just like me supporting him in everything, you see.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr D.Grohl's and one of my favourite icons' acceptance speech...

"You guys realise you gave this to a drummer, right? OK... this one's for the drummers! No, but honestly, I remember twenty years ago I walked in the side door over there, it was the first tour I ever did with Nirvana, and we arrived adn we were so jet-lagged but the Pixies were playing Brixton Academy that night! And we begged and begged and begged to get in, but they were like 'No, we can't get you in' but finally someone snuck us in through the side door and I stood right there as the curtain came up and they played 'Debaser' and I was so incredibly moved, I thought 'I hope someday I can be in a band that's big enough to play fucking Brixton Academy!' So this one goes out to The Sir George Robey, and The Astoria, and the side tent at Reading Festival and Brixton and Wembley and... this one's for Kurt! Thank you very much."

Only an actual Godlike Genius like him actually deserved this award.

Thank you, Dave Grohl. I love you.

P.S. The NME Awards 2011 magazine in very good, features many Davey among others on the cover and beautiful pictures and words of their post-gig, too. A must read.
Have a great week, everyone, and let Dave keep inspiring you all!


Sunday, 27 February 2011

I like Punk Rock.

I like Mudhoney very much, you must know that.
I like Mark Arm even more- He's like 47 now and BY GOD has he still got it. That's all I'm saying.
So you can imagine how pleased I was to stumble across this track on the 'Roots of Nirvana' CD compliation I got with last month's Mojo.

This song, In'N'Out of Grace is probably the definition of the early Punk Rock/Grunge movement in Seattle in the early nineties. Mudhoney were destined for stardom and they were always considered to probably be bigger than Nirvana. Sadly, they never made it that far into the mainstream, but they are one of the BEST to come out of that era, with Mark Arm still managing stuff at Sub-Pop, which I find pretty cool. He's very reliable when it comes to staying himself. Through everything. Mudhoney didn't make any mistakes. They just weren't Nirvana.

Hear that scream :"JESUS TAKE ME TO A HIGHER PLACE!"

Have a good week folks,


Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Ultimate Nirvana Skill- Improvisation.

I'm very agitated at this very moment at the stresses of modern life as a 15 year old teenager in Britain, so I think it's the perfect time for a blog post.

Okay, admit it, everyone has done it: Improvised.

Whether you haven't got the appropriate lie set up for your parents to swallow, you improvise. When your music falls off the stand at a concert with whatever instrument you happen to play, you get pulled up for a speech at an awards ceremony at school/the oscars (delete as appropriate!), you have to create the perfect arrangement in a week and you've done hardly any work: You improvise. These may not be your desired situations, but when faced with the scary, the extreme, the unexpectable, the annoyance: you improvise it. Everyone's done it, and it's an essential skill that musicians derive over their lifetime: the improvisation. I did it this friday, in an own arrangement, usually solely modal scales and blues scales. I pulled it off, and apparently it sounded "Free and funky". Kudos for me!

The way it's used in Popular culture is interesting: Blues, R&B, even Dance Club Music...

But this is by far the best one I've seen, and it's relevant to the theme of Nirvana on this blog. The scream at 2:26 is singularly the best Nirvana moment I have EVER seen, so I thought I'd just share it with the world. The improvisation at 2:11 is certainly that of a real musician in a real band, where his guitar cuts out eventually (Note: this is French television they are all dressed up for) and he throws it down in a rage. The rest is his mind acting spontaneously, and if the scream at 2:26 wasn't already planned because it was in the song already, the sudden "Kurt Cobain does Jazz Solo Act" wasn't expected: the way he throws the microphone stand around is like something reminiscent of the jazz age.

A impeccably passionate performer, to say the least. And the sexiest (that tie and waistcoat- phwoarrr + anger at his guitar blowing)


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year, Popular Music!


Hope you all had a happy Christmas and hope the music you choose to play today wishes you another great year of making memories..

Last year was pretty basic, on the blog front. My tags were either Hole or Nirvana... this may continue for the rest of the new year!

I am buying more into music that isn's the grunge era, and just the day before yesterday, I remarkably bought a CD from HMV that was actually produced in 2010!! A remarkable fate for me, and my close friends would even let out a shriek of surprise.

No Age's "Something Inbetween" is produced by Sub Pop and was the band was hopefully helped by Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe inviting them on his show and stating them as a "fine band". They were good, so I bought the album. That's how it should go! No downloading necessary, just make the effort, and for me definitely I feel that that is SO much more rewarding!

It's a great album, and I had a great year, plagued by the same music, always influencing me.

My Grunge Box is the epitomy of my obsession, and I hope it never dies anyway...

But now I move onto a new obsession: the music of the O.C.

The O.C. is, of course, A brilliant pinnacle of California dreamy drama, where there's loads of rich kids that somehow have more problems than you. But the commercial impact of this show were amazing; although it ended nearly 4 years ago now with Season 4, the producers brought out multiple "mixes" of music with the music featured on various episodes, depending on what series you were looking at. Mix 2 and Volume 2 were from the first series (which I successfully finished a week ago; known to be the best season, that was a full 20 hours of my life I spent watching that- time spent well, for me!) and these include some best music moments and the songs I favour at the moment. Thanks to these compilation discs, my iPod will now have more variety. Songs like South's "Paint The Silence", the Killers' "Smile Like You Mean It" and obviously the theme tune "California" by Phantom Planet are all, with the exception of The Killers, songs from pretty obscure bands. This is VERY CLEVER. The musical director of the show really knows her stuff, and by putting these previously unknown mainstream acts there's lots in it for her (You can tell I've been reading a book with a guide to the music industry and record labels, huh?) It fits the situation, makes the show look even more gorgeous than it already is, and it also means bands like Death Cab are known. Death Cab For Cutie practically made themselves on the use of their songs in Season 1.

So the main resolution for this year is new music. My music library is rapidly expanding, so your should too. Maybe just impulse buy an album because you're curious? Link bands with other bands you already like. It's the only way you can start on the million of unheard music in the USA alone.

Happy New Music!

P.S. Will post pics of the ever famous "Grunge Box" soon, or you can access them on Twitpic from my twitter shown on the top of the page on the left hand side :)

^ Mix 2 features the greats like The Killers, Death Cab For Cutie and a great cover of "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Jem, orginally from that of Paul McCartney. Enjoy!