Tuesday, 4 December 2012


I've been a Hole fan for a very long time now, and whatever you have or haven't got against Courtney Love (which, may be quite a lot if you're a Nirvana fan) many don't even give her the chance and listen to her band Hole, whose debut album was way back in 1991 (Pretty On The Inside, anyone?).

Now, yes, I'm a fan now, but it's quite likely, as with any band you listen to in your mid-teenage years, I may detest them in a few years; dis-consider them because they were something I listened to when I was infatuated, angry, emotional and all very storming riot-grrrl in your face. Saying this, I will always love the simple music, the most simply-massed chorus lines, the melodies that are easy and perfect for gigs, with hardly any triviality in them. Some of Hole early music was melodic noise: distorted, pure and kind of cataclysmic. In the simplest terms, this got a hell of a lot easier when she met Kurt Cobain, and we can possible consider him to be an influence on her songwriting skills. I worship this woman, and I'm pretty fond of Kurt too, but they definitely helped each other out musically, a kind of mutual relationship. You only have to listen to Live Through This, which released only a few days after Kurt Cobain's suicide in April 1994 sounds a bit like a prophecy, a cry for help and it's painfully ironic. But it also elements what Love does best: anger; sweetness; bold sweeping antics and choruses; lust but a lot of love too. You've just got to listen to Doll Parts, which will forever remain my unrequited love anthem of teenager-dom. 

But Celebrity Skin? Celebrity Skin was glamour, revolution, a new start and a completely new world of Hollywood, glitz and glam for Courtney Love. She was going out with Edward Norton, attending the Oscars, getting down on a knowing basis with superstars like Elton John and Kate Moss.

But there was still some 1994 in her and that album. 'Malibu', my favourite song from this album will forever also be my favourite Hole song. It's painful, exquisite, delightful, regretful but once again, full of love and gratitude and everything that Courtney Love encompasses. You have to listen to it over a multitude of summers to understand it, but this song is summer through and through, and not even specifically the season either. 

I have the 7'' single of this framed on my wall at home, and every time things get tough, I gaze over to it, listen to the track and remind myself that through it all, one day, I will be residing in Malibu with Courtney Love too. Physically, I'll be there and it's the conclusion of my travels post-degree, but of course, emotionally too... always. 

I can't be near you the light just radiates,

Megan x 

P.s. Nude dress in the future? I think SO. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A sad musical post. But what is it? Is it life or sacrifice? Both.

This day follows the day in which I took my last music exam ever (most probably), Grade 8 popular theory and this weekend marks the end of my eleven years of music education. In effect, this blog (for which use is limited and sporadic) will thus be my only musical creative output now. This saddens me deeply. 

When I was six, I was lucky enough to receive a demonstration performance of my local music school in my hometown, and after weekendly visits to Curry's and extreme admiration of all the keyboards they had to offer there, I took up music lessons as a hobby and so my mother would find me something to do that wasn't reading or primary school work. This 'taster session' transcended into a full eleven years of lessons, concerts, tears, sweat and lots of hard work into this weekend and the cultivation and conclusion of grade 8.

I'm struggling to write this blog post right now because from now on, there will be a large gaping hole in my life where my creative input lived. But why do you not carry on, you ask? I have made a sacrifice, a final sacrifice, to get into University next year, and for me to achieve this I must finally drop the last thing and stop kidding myself I am superwoman.

Every moment, more or less, is something I've benefited from. I know that for sure my children will have an extra-curricular music education from a young age, but they not be lucky enough to get the standards of the one I attained. 

Of course, apart from the obvious musical literacy in words and notation, performance confidence, creative knowledge required in order to learn an instrument (an instrument that is severely underrated, something that takes a great deal of effort and undeniably, talent to learn... grade 7 was one of the hardest things I've ever done), my lessons gave me invaluable social interaction with young people whose minds worked just like mine. Without popular music theory, I wouldn't have discovered Nirvana. Without Nirvana, I wouldn't have formed an interest in the works of popular music itself. I wouldn't be writing this blog post right now. I wouldn't have considered being a music journo as a possible career, and I still often think about it. 

I would in no way be what I am: my work ethic; my long fingers; my confidence on stage; my vital extracurricular on UCAS; my application granted to travel to Australia last year with a real theatre company and of course, my stunning ability to be able to form an Am7#5#11 chord and know exactly what scale fits over it. Yes, some may seem trivial, but they make me complete. 

Honestly, I don't know why I wrote this post. But I'm kind of mourning, and writing on a platform about music is consoling, another trait I wouldn't haven't discovered. 

Here is a link to Lana Del Rey, a new odd taste of mine that I just can't get enough of. 
Sometimes walking away from something when it feels right gives you happiness... and eventually I'll feel that next year when I get accepted into a Uni to do what I want to do and have wanted to for a while now. But for now, I'll leave it here. 

Thank you for everything, Liz. Apart from my mother, you are the next single biggest influence on my life and always will be. You are fabulous. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

These Days: version 26th August, 2012, Reading Festival

So... it finally happened. The best moment of my life. Imagine it yourself: you have a favourite song of a certain band that have remained with you for a significant part of your existence. You find yourself above the heights of a crowd of 90,000+,  50 metres away from the band in question. The riff that is one of the most audibly recognisable things to you on earth has started to play. Yes, you can belt out the lyrics as loud as you want, because the rest of the crowd are: “One of these days, the ground will fall, out from beneath your feet”. Cue killer chord sequence: “But it’s alright, yeah it’s alright”

Never did I fathom what Reading Festival turned out to be on Sunday the 26th August 2012.  Yeah, of course it was going to be killer, this is one of the most legendary festivals on earth, am I not right in saying? But on Sunday, I managed to see a great deal more than I expected. I didn’t only see the Foos. I watched many an act, which is amazing for a first true gig experience. I feel valid now writing about music from witnessing such enormities in music industry on Sunday.
I had the pleasure of watching Pulled Apart By Horses, who turned out to be heavy in a refreshing way. This was 11am, you have to remember. Highly enjoyable and recommended. These guys obviously worked hard for their right to be on the main stage, compared with some others that I had watched coverage of over the weekend...

The Lock Up Stage was unashamedly good ol’ fun. You had the circle of death, the wall of death and anything else so scary throughout the day, but it looked just so jolly good fun even my mother wanted to join in. And some of the acts drew large crowds. Especially that band with a lot of umlauts in. They deserve more than this title, but I really only came to Reading Festival for Foos. Came away feeling a bit more musically experienced and happy to be so once I’d stood (quite close) through a set of the Joy Formidable. Finally! A girl front! So nice to see, and I don’t just say that because I’m a feminist, but say that as a musician. I needed a bit of a higher melody line after all that thrashing. They have really listenable lines throughout, mainly because guitars feature heavily in a doubtless strat sense. So much effort was put into this set, and the look of the band. It was appreciated to say the least, something which makes me smile at the support these relatively unknown acts get. I can see them on the main stage in 2-3 years, easily. This is a band that will now be proudly displayed in my ‘Recently Added’ playlist on my iPod when I eventually get round to buying what Spotify tells me is The Big Roar with some funky looking song names. All adds up, worth recommending highly. Spotify also tells me that related artists include Yuck, so this makes sense in the musical gene pool of my mind.

The Joy Formidable. 

Then I finally made my way to the main stage half way during Bullet For My Valentine set to bag a good spot for Foos. Good decision, albeit they didn’t play my personal favourite “Hearts Bursts into Fire”, or maybe they did, but I wasn’t there.
Kaiser Chiefs. British Best. My personal highlights here were the obvious “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” and “Ruby”, but after the cracking closing ceremony performance “Pinball Wizard” was featured... good move. Mum said how surprised she was to find that so many ‘young people’ knew the words to Pinball Wizard. I wasn’t. It’s likely that if you go to a rock festival in England, you understand that the Who are the greatest Rock band that England have had, with Queen of course. It’s set in stone, and the fact that they still play now and then show that the mod movement wasn’t just theirs to see. Anyway, Chiefs rocked it. Highly enjoyable although nothing to completely throw me off, just a great live band. I’d say the same for the Black Keys, and I’ll look forward to seeing them again in the near future I hope. They were good enough to support Foo Fighters at least, so Festival Republic think something of their great Rock-blues beats.

And, finally, to the point of this blog post that is quickly turning into an essay on Reading: the Foos. Nothing would prepare you for them if you hadn’t seen them previously/been a member of a huge festival crowd with a popular band. I’ll do a list of highlights just to avoid the tedious sighs a whole analysis would evoke. But it’s difficult. To say they drew a crowd of 90,000+ is enough, and for each and every member to erupt when they walked on stage is a big thing. They were just suddenly there. And suddenly, everything I’d been waiting for was right in front of me. Dave Grohl looks exactly the same as I thought he would, they existed as least, which was surprising to me in my mind. A lot of teenagers recognise him as some form of deity, including me, to which my only feasible reaction was to burst into tears. I can’t have been the only one, and that’s the best part.

Foo: they had everything.

11)      Their live sound is unbelievable. I could write a full blog post about this alone. There was no differentiation from the studio sounds of Wasting List, Colour and The Shape, One by One etc because this is a band that simultaneously treat themselves seriously and not at all. Seriously is the idea that Wasting Light would be recorded entirely on tapes, with no backup tapes. Butch Vig was bullied into this. And now, with such a number one hit in countless countries being made in a garage is something of a music divinity/aurora of authenticity that so many people lap up.  Not seriously is that every musical interlude between songs was so effortless it could not have been rehearsed
    2Introduction of band members and proclamation of Dave Grohl that Taylor Hawkins is “so fucking sexy”. Shiftlett owned it too.
33)      The presence of Pat Smear. As said so brilliantly in their music doc Back and Forth, “Pat Smear? He’s still ALIVE?” This guy was on the exact stage 20 years ago with Nirvana and then to be featured as an integral part of Foos was a huge thing for him. The smiles on his face. Priceless.
44)      These Days. This song, when released, was like something I’d been waiting for my whole life. And that was a year and a half ago. So many tears were shed. It felt like Grohl and gang were almost playing to me alone, and that was worth all the bucks in the world.
55)      Crowd participation. Watching with envy for years at the great reception at Foo gigs was something that you don’t understand until you sing a whole chorus of “Breakout” with thousands of others, casual fans or hardcore fans or fans that just follow after they get the idea. Amazing. “Yeah, you make me Breakout, make me BREAKOUUTOUTOUTOUTOUT”
66)      Dedications. Yes, Grohl dedicated said “These Days” to Krist and Kurt. The crowd erupted in simultaneous sentimentality. And “Walk” to his daughter Violet Maye. And “Monkey Wrench” to his other daughter Harper, “This is for you, Harps”
77)      Dave Grohl “story time”. I got a fantastic video which I may post later of Dave playing the casual “Times Like These” riff, but no one quite realising it yet because they were so captured by his words. When he told the crowd of the 1995 Dave saying he wasn’t going to “Fucking play the main stage when it was Foo’s first Reading”, you realised just how long this band had been around for and how much Dave Grohl deserved this success.
88)      The golden oldies. I told myself “I really hope they play Alone + Easy Target and Wattershed because these are really great rock songs and Grohl is a genius” but no way did I think this wish would be granted! And in great style too, and only a slightly different take on it because this was 17 years later of course. Utter brilliance when I heard that stonker of a riff on ‘Wattershed’.
99)      We knew that this was special. It was obviously a farewell gig, but farewell in a short term sense for Dave Grohl. He’s been playing Reading for 20 years now, so you expect it, but to be there on such a classic set that will go down in Reading and Foo history is special. And 20 years after the the first band I really loved. With two members from that band being in this band, being on stage, living on as legends. Really special. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
110)   Everlong. Fireworks. Tears. Enough Said.

One of these days. It happened. And it was the best time of my life. Nothing means more to you when you feel so passionate about music. Of the grunge variety.

Here’s a picture I took on the night. Alas, zoomed in. But here’s the man himself.

Now I just need to see Pavement, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. But it doesn’t matter really, not anymore. 

Megan x 

Monday, 9 July 2012

So you're a rocker and you're a woman... so what? Many things, that's what.

There is always one concept in the music industry that people can't seem to grasp. Male musicians 40 years old, teenage boys who want to be "rock stars", even little 11 year old girls, transfixed by the likes of X Factor (which I do NOT watch, just to put it out there... but that can be another blog post) for crying out loud!

It's the concept of the 'girl' rocker. The girl/woman who can rock at fast, as great and as powerful as the men of her equal music ... the examples are endless. Courtney Love being the prime example in my horizon... you have Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie, Chrissie Hynde, Shirely Manson, Kathleen Hanna, Alison Mosshart... bored yet?

But of course, as a woman who DARES to breach the innoccent, 'feminine', disadvantaged prototype of woman that is STILL circulating today (believe it or not, not then read some Jessica Valenti for some 21st century feminism that ascentuates the importance of feminism over sexism today of all times) will be judged, doubted and put down for her career choice, stepping into society to supposedly trying to 'ruin' the male dominated music industry. You might not agree with me on that one, but sure, there are increasing images of girls more "rocked up" and I'm not talking Joan Jett in leather trousers, I'm talking so called "soft grunge" girls with dip-dyed hair and tumblr blogs. This is not what I intend society to cast its ignorance off from, I just think more girls deserve the recognition that we can play harder and faster than boys if we want to... anyone can have rock soul. 

To the girls who are living vicariously with guitars in their hands and a snarl at their lip.... keep doing what you're doing, darlings. The world needs a bit of realism in a totally surreal, male dominated world. Teach the ignorant. 

This post is dedicated fiercely to the first WOMAN rocker I discovered, Courtney Love. Happy 48th Birthday, and I hope that you know there are so many girls out there who look up to you because of your strength and beauty. You are the epitome of everything I love and believe in. I think you know that now, after retweeting me and making me a top tweet! (of which I screamed like a little girl) What can I say, I have a way with admiration! In some ways, you saved me (and doubtless others) Thank you. 

Sunday, 25 March 2012

BST and singing like Eddie Vedder

... Speaks for itself. Surprisingly, I had the best winter of my life this year- somwhow, I managed to turn a horrible and bottomless pit of selfish whimsical moaning into something that I could remember.

Anyway, I have no real inspiring thoughts at the moment, but I did finally purchase Pearl Jam's Vs. this week, and as I am now spending my days gigging, revising for my AS levels and singing like Eddie Vedder, I thought I'd post.

Enjoy another grunge classic.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

When the sun shines, climbs through your window ...

Life really sucks sometimes. But when I listen to this song, and remember that pretty much everything around me has the potential to be amazing and beautiful, just as Billy Corgan makes it out to be in this song, everything is nearly okay. 

2012 is nearly okay, but it can only get much better with each passing day, which I have every faith and have learnt that it does. 

This has been a short motivational post. Thank you. 

Monday, 2 January 2012


So I'm bad person because I haven't written in almost two months, and I'm still miraculously getting visits. How is this? I don't know, but I hope 2012 carries on like this.

The problem with having this blog is that I so often get swept up in the events of life and always cease to remember that I like writing about music.

But the last two months have been different for me and this connected love of writing and music.

I've met someone- or got to know someone- who writes as earnestly as me about the state of music today and how there's no feeling, Smashing Pumpkins do a better job of capturing that whole spectrum of emotions music should make you feel when it plays.

He idols Marilyn Manson, I idol Courtney Love- a friendship made in hell, you think? But we both share our romance for Billy Corgan, the actually really gay semi-rock God, that wears Paisley shirts and should never have gone bald. Our romance for the whole catalogue, where he prefers the damn evil songs from "Melloncollie... " and I am such the 'fangirl' I love Siamese Dream and those are the songs I learn obsessively on my guitar. Reading this, you'd think we have nothing to talk about. But we have, and it's great to finally speak seriously with someone about music. Here is the song that always reminds me of him, and saying this I am so close to buying the "Gish" reissue for vinyl, it's unreal. So I can be one big cliche once again and post Rhinoceros because it's all I need right now, the calming effect on life where 2012 just seems to be one stressful, horrible ride already. 

When you read this Jordan, remember that I never want to stop hearing you play "1979" and listening to music with you. It was the best thing to end 2011, and I want this in 2012 too, trust me. Happy new year.