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.