“Your heart is a thrown and sinking stone.”

9 03 2013

If the mind could take a holiday, would you let it or would you let yourself carry on? Bad things happen and good people go unnoticed. Too many people want to be famous, anonymity is no longer sought after. It’s a shame. Everything is shame; especially when you cannot do anything about it. We remember bad news because it lasts longer than anything good. We condition ourselves to cling onto the bad because it’s a sick form of comfort. The good slips through, as does time. As much as I dislike the concept of time I am utterly fascinated by it. Yesterday I had a job interview near Camden, so afterwards I went for a walk around Camden. On my own. It was pissing down with rain and I wandered round listening to music. If it wasn’t so grim outside, I’d have stayed longer. Camden isn’t my favourite place in London, far from it. I’m not really sure where my favourite place is in London. I just love that city. I used to hate it. I’m not sure why I hated it so much. Now? Now I have less positive feelings for the North of England. Maybe it’s a shame, maybe it isn’t. But you see, the North is always tinted with a shade of grey. London isn’t. It has something else, like no other. Or maybe I’m just really pleased with myself that I can use the tube all by myself without getting lost. Proud moment.

I wandered around the city a few times. No one knew me, and I didn’t know them. When I thought I got lost I just went a different way and got to where I wanted to go. Even if I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be there; I still got there. Time, patience and being aware. In a way, I could apply that to life. My life to be exact. Of course I could. I should. I’m going to try. I took great comfort in nobody knowing who I was. Not caring if I bumped into someone I knew. Stopping to talk to a friend in the street is something I’m not a fan of. I’d rather just sit down with them somewhere. Standing in the street to discuss events and emotions seems to informal. Also, you’re in the way of passers-by. If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s me being in the way of someone. Keeping distance is an art-form. I think I’ve gently got to grips with it. It’s not a tight grip; it never is.

It’s that time of year where I hate myself even more for not having a job or money. Christmas doesn’t bother me; it’s not having money to not go to SXSW that really gets to me. As a music obsessive, SXSW is my idea of heaven. I’ve never been to a music festival nor do I ever want to go to one. Stand in a field surrounded by drunken twats that smell of piss listening to the outline of bass rather than an actual song? No thanks. If I wanted that, I’d go to a club. And I don’t like clubs. SXSW seems like a classier affair. Where people actually care about music. No one is there to get so drunk they throw up and pass out. They are there to discover new music in brilliant venues. Bands from all over the world are there. Shit..last year The Jesus And Mary Chain played. I watched a bit of it on the internet and felt a rush of self-hate mixed with love for that band merge as one. I don’t know what I felt, but I just wished I was there. One year, I will go. I just have to. Maybe I should play the lottery, maybe that’d increase my chances.

I haven’t written anything for a while. I don’t know why. I haven’t even written any lyrics or poetry in my notebooks for a long time. I expect too much from myself at times with that. I’m not some literary machine. I never will be. I’ll take inspiration where I can, and when. I’m 100% sure I’d have found a lot at SXSW.

But all is not bad. After waiting for many years, I finally have tickets to see Beach House in 2 weeks in London. Two days after I’m seeing Foals. If there was an award for “Best Girlfriend In The Universe” mine would win. Not only just for this, but for her general being.

So this week will be spent mostly wishing I was at SXSW in small and sweaty venues with bands that would blow my mind. There’s always Record Store Day to look forward to.





“Lately, I’m not the only one. I say, never trust anyone.”

3 11 2012

I know age isn’t important. I know it’s not a big deal, but when your 26th birthday is creeping up on you; you cannot help but think “what the hell have I done with my life?!” I know this will pass soon, and on my actual birthday I probably won’t even pay any attention to how old I am. I don’t look my age at all. I look like I probably should be in school. Youthful skin. Maybe that’s my Italian genes coming through. Or maybe it’s because I nap a lot. I have no idea. The key is to moisturise. Always. In the morning and before you go to bed. Look after your skin, and you too can look as if you should pay child’s fare on the bus. Skin tips from a scruffy bint. Enjoy.

Last year when I turned 25 I think I had a brief moment of “oh fuck I’m nearly 30 what have I done with my life?!” And I think it is going to happen again. I don’t know why because no part of me does things in the hopes of getting approval of anyone. I don’t wish for that ever. If that was the case; I’d just be like everyone else. I don’t make an effort to not be like anyone else. This is how I turned out. Whether or not its a good thing, well that’s undecided. Maybe as I get older I may tolerate myself a bit more. Maybe I’ll stop being cruel towards myself. However, if I get in first; it won’t matter so much when someone else does. But there are things others say/ do that probably hurt a bit more than if I was to pick up on it about myself. But, it isn’t worth the time. Not much is. Time. Time. Time. Ages us all, aches us all. Us.

I maintain an element of silliness to make sure I don’t age too much mentally. If I see someone trip up in the street (providing they are not bleeding to death or a pensioner) I’ll probably find it funny. I think most are like that. When you take everything too seriously, it all loses meaning. And we’re all trying to find meaning. Maybe we’ll never know. Maybe we do know, but still want to keep looking. The answers can come from looking outside or from your own reflection. Just depends on how deep you want to get.

So, as I approach 26 I do wonder if I’ve done anything of worth. I just don’t know. I really don’t. My life pretty much revolves around music and I guess I hold interviewing Warpaint as the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve met and spoken to some of my heroes; and they say you should never do that. But I know of many who have done so, and it being a pleasant experience. I fully endorse meeting those who have changed you and saved you. Sure it’s mainly to do with music for me, but there’s about 2 people who I class as friends that have also done this. So maybe interviewing Warpaint may only be the best thing I’ll ever do. I have no idea. Or maybe it was that time about a year ago when I showed Shirley Manson a piece I wrote about Bleed Like Me on her Facebook page, and she read it. Then told me it made her cry. How many people can say they’ve made their role model/idol cry? I’m still trying to work out if I’m proud of that or not. I’m not sure. I feel bad about it, but I’m glad she saw it.

This seems far too self-indulgent and no doubt I will dislike myself for writing this down. But it is better than a drunken outburst on a pavement with friends moaning about how I’ve done nothing with my life isn’t it. Some things you need to spare others from ever seeing.

It’s just an age. It means nothing. Those kinds of things do not define who we are. I’ve also finished watching all of The Wire again for the third time. Still kind of wish Jimmy McNulty was my best friend or something. And I’m going to always be pissed that they killed Bodie and Omar. That wasn’t right.

Anyway, have some songs; if you’ve got this far. Here’s to the bands/singers over the past (nearly) 26 years that have been my crutch and saviours.

 

 





Top 10 Male Singers (of all time..sort of.)

13 10 2012

I frequently have internal battles with myself about my favourite songs and records of all time. I place them into categories to make it easier, such as Favourite Debut Record of All Time to BEST SONG EVER PART 1 OF 100. Stuff like that you know? But earlier, I managed to come up with a solid list of my favourite male singers of all time. I basically narrowed it down to singers that were around before I was born because if I did recent ones, I’d firmly place Brandon Welchez from Crocodiles as my number 1. Maybe I’ll do a list for that.

So, I’m going to attempt to list my favourite male singers of all time (that existed before I was born..I was born in ’86. The golden era of Hip Hop.) Of course I may change my mind at some point, but hopefully I won’t fret and lose sleep over this. I’m a born worrier; but I keep it well hidden. Obviously I’ve just admitted to it, so it’s not a secret. Oh well.

10. David Johansen (New York Dolls.) I hate that I’ve had to put this in order because I want to jumble it all around. However, the love I have for David Johansen goes beyond him being my number 10. What I love about him is his flamboyant style and distinctive drawl. I remember my mum playing their first record round the house when I was younger. I didn’t know it was the Dolls but I was hooked on Jet Boy. I probably used to sing it, and get the words mixed up. Nothing has changed. Into my teenage years, I saw a copy of their debut record at my uncle’s. I was drawn to the cover, and I always stand by it being my favourite album cover ever. The sheer beauty of it just drew me in straight away. Utterly gorgeous. So, what is it about David Johansen that makes me adore him? I think he’s one of the best front-men of all time. His charisma and charm just leaves you in awe. The way he moves makes you want to emulate him in a dramatic fashion. He’s one of a kind, and undoubtedly inspired so many to express themselves in a way no one else dared to do so.

9. Townes Van Zandt. My love for Townes started only a few years ago, and it wasn’t his voice that got me hooked. Before I even heard his voice, I read his lyrics. His lyrics were that of a troubled soul. You couldn’t help but connect with him, yet at the same time feel uncomfortable that you connected with his words. Then when you heard his voice, you TRULY got all the pain. Some singers become actors and don’t believe in what they do. Some just want the money. With the likes of Townes, you could tell that music was everything to him. His life was dependant on making music. It didn’t really matter how the listener felt; he just needed to get it all out. We all need an outlet, music is one of the most powerful ones. Townes possessed a unique voice that no matter what, just sounded so vulnerable. He didn’t have to put on an act; everything about him was truthful. At times some of his songs became too painful to listen to, but at best- you just knew someone else understood some of the perils of every day life.

8. Nick Cave. Some singers you remember falling in love with, because it just stays with you for the rest of time. Nick Cave is a prime example of that. My gran used to look after me when I was younger, before I went to primary school. Before chewed up and spat out my soul. Or you know, before I ate paint and sobbed before swimming lessons. My uncle used to live with her in this house, and I always remembered going to his room when he was at work and staring at a poster of Nick Cave on one of the walls in his room. I’d stare at it in utter awe. I don’t know what my toddler mind was thinking, but it was fixated on this person. I felt like I was looking at something untouchable. I guess I knew of Nick Cave’s genius before I even heard his voice or read his lyrics. Fast forward to about 10 years old and I’m hearing Into My Arms and Henry Lee on MTV. Something was happening in my mind. I knew exactly what it was. I knew what I wanted to be. A writer. I wanted to write words like this; but the thing is, no one can write like Nick Cave. The man is a genius. Sure enough his vocals may not be to everyone’s taste, but his lyrics…I fail to find a song that anyone couldn’t relate to. Everything about him just makes you want to expand your mind and explore other worlds.

7. Leonard Cohen. One of the greatest writers of all time regardless of genre. Leonard Cohen and Morrissey were the two song-writers that truly made me care about words. Poets such as Poe and Rimbaud got me hooked on words too. But these two singers just made me see everything in the world in a different way. The darkness and love and romance of everything around us was made clearer by them. Leonard Cohen for me just creates a different world. A world that is free of everything but full of questions. I think that’s a good way to live. It’s hard to live that way, but it gets you through. I always place Leonard Cohen as a poet before anything else, but his voice is so powerful. Some may seek singers that hit high notes and have a stupid range. I don’t want that. I want you to sing in a way that makes me feel like you are telling a story to my soul. Leonard Cohen does this, and so much more. I’ve many reasons as to why I adore him, that’s just one of them. I don’t think I could put the rest into words to be honest.

6. Otis Redding. I’ve found a pattern in the singers I love; they all basically sing songs about loss and pain. I’m a cheerful soul. Of all the Soul singers in the world that have existed, it was Otis Redding that I truly found a life-long love for. Everything about his voice makes you wish you were around when he was starting out. Imagine being one of the first to have heard his voice all those decades ago. His sad songs could break the hardest of hearts, but his joyful songs could bring tears of happiness to your eyes. He had the power to make you feel every single word he sang. He died far too young, everyone knows that. And I also think most know that Otis, although he had a short career, he was truly one of the best. I’ve got a bit of an issue with the term “Soul” music because all music should come from there and you should feel music right in your soul, but regardless- Otis oozed more soul than most.

5. Joey Ramone. No idea how to get into writing about Joey because let’s face it- he possessed the greatest voice in Punk. The way he towered over the mic stand. Pulling it to and fro like a man under a spell made you want to start something of your own. Easily one of the most distinctive voices of all time. His voice was like no other. His stage presence has obviously been an inspiration to many over the years. From how he stood to how he dressed. He wasn’t just part of a band, he was part of a movement that fuelled the souls of so many lost people. Myself included, and also justifies why I was born in the wrong era. To be in New York in the 70s would have been perfect. What do we have now? Of course we do have wonderful things, but imagine being part of one of the most powerful movements in music (and possibly society.) One of my most prized possession are my Ramones records. I rarely play them as I don’t want to ruin them; but when I do, I can truly hear all they stood for. Joey was the voice for so many, and you know what, he still is.

4. Lou Reed. I’m going to try keep this as short as possible because I truly have no issues with writing a massive essay about my love for Lou Reed. However all I want to say and could say about him has been said before. Again, this is another genius my uncle got me into. He got me into Velvet Underground then after he saw my love for them he told me to listen to Transformer. Is Transformer one of the best records made? Damn right it is. Wagon Wheel is one of my favourites for sure. I just love Lou’s style of writing. He’s a genuine story-teller who takes you into the underworld of all around you. You think all you see is all that exists, then you listen to a Lou Reed song and it’s like you fall into a different world. Something quite dark, wonderful and weird. You never want out of it. I think, once you listen to Lou- that’s it for life. Once you give yourself over to his words, you feel part of something that no one or nothing could tear you from. You even forgive him for that Lulu record because Transformer exists.

3. Scott Walker. I guess like most I have already mentioned, Scott Walker is an acquired taste. His debut record is by far one of the greatest records ever made. My Death is probably my favourite Scott Walker song, you know, with me being a ray of sunshine and all that. But in all seriousness, my love for Scott Walker came from of course, The Walker Brothers. His solo work is just a work of art. Every record is a masterpiece. You really cannot deny that he’s a genius. The way his mind works, the way he writes, the way he sings- he’s just out of this world. He’s an enigma, for sure. I cannot wait for his new record to come out in December. Every record of his sounds entirely different from the last; but they always remain timeless and as important as each other. To have a career that reads like that is rare, and something that should be treasured.

2. Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart.) A strange soul who made even stranger music. Safe As Milk changed a LOT for me. I think it honestly changed how I listened to music, and the ways it affected me. It opened up my mind. What did Trout Mask Replica do? Well, it freaked me out in the most pleasurable way for sure. I think it is one of the weirdest records I’ve ever heard.  I loved the way his mind worked. From his songs to his paintings- everything about him just oozed freedom and creativity. The two go hand in hand, but not many can make them work as perfect as Don Van Vliet did. He was a rare spirit that made you feel so free. When you listen to Safe As Milk, whether the first time around or if you’re a new fan, everything about it just gives you something you are never going to get again. I guess you can only get it from a Beefheart record. Certain musicians give you certain feelings, I think what Beefheart gave you is something that goes beyond words you know. I’ve tried so many times to pick a favourite song by Captain Beefheart, but instead I’ve narrowed it down to a moment. It’s when he says, “A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast ‘n bulbous, got me?” at the start of Pachuco Cadaver. No idea what it means, but it’s wonderfully strange.

Okay so for Number 1 I just couldn’t decide. Bob Dylan or Morrissey. I can’t choose. There’s no way I can do that. So, joint first place are Bobby and Morrissey. So I’m going to keep it brief.

1. Bob Dylan. Where do you begin when attempting to write about your love for someone so inspiring? I have my mum to thank for my obsession with this man. I’m proud of my Dylan tattoo on the back of my neck. It’s of a song that guided me through hell and back. Through hell some more, and back again. His words provide guidance through life- the good and the bad. It is like he is reassuring you every step of the way. My mum used to sing Forever Young to me when I was a baby before I went to sleep. His music is perfect for long train journeys or just walking around on your own. He makes you feel okay with whatever is going on. You stare out to all you see with his words echoing delicately in your ear, and you’re to restart/carry on. I hold Blonde on Blonde very dear to my heart, and I think it is possibly my favourite Dylan record. But with so many, I think it is hard to choose a solid favourite yet it seems to always be the one I go to for various reasons.

1.Morrissey. I’ve always declared Morrissey as being the one true love of my life. Mainly because his words/songs have been there when I thought I had nothing else. Speedway has been the song that sums up my life for the most part, as does Alma Matters. Everyday Is Like Sunday fully describes where I unfortunately live. I could honestly write an essay about every Morrissey song and still feel I had more to say. His words are a safety net and a force of hope to guide you through. He manages to release every unwanted and wanted feeling you have ever had, and will have had. Dismiss him as a moody sod all you want; but maybe you are scared to see yourself in his words. Seeing him live..every single time feels like a healing process. For some reason, every time before I have seen him- something shit has gone on in my life, and I’ve seen him and it all feels okay. His music goes beyond just being music, and I know every Morrissey fan feels like that. He’s not someone you just stick on as background music. He’s the soundtrack to all you do. He’s someone I don’t think I could actually sit and listen to with. It’s a very personal experience, mainly because I relate to a vast majority of his lyrics. I just adore everything about him, he’s the reason as to why lyrics are so important to me. I wear my Morrissey tattoo on my arm with unconditional love and pride. He changed my life and saved my life; that’s why he’s my number 1.





“Vicious, you hit me with a flower. You do it every hour. Oh, baby you’re so vicious.”

13 08 2012

Patience can be a weakness or it can be a strength. People will use it against you. People will always for the most part, use your good traits against you. Example, say if you have a kind heart- people will bruise it. If you seem to be the kind to help others, they will take advantage. What good comes from being bad? I wish I was tough, but then if I was I wouldn’t be who I am. And who I am, well I don’t know if it is good or bad. My heart is too big, and I should break away some pieces so it shrinks and contains all that matters. What exactly matters? Well, you can only find that in your heart. So maybe I’d be defeating the object if I did something like that.

You give parts of you away. Sometimes you give them to the wrong ones, sometimes you give them to the good ones. Maybe you only learn your lesson when it is too late. You can go back in time in your head which causes you to break your own heart. Then what do you do? You simply owe it to yourself to not mourn the things you had no control over. We all seek some form of control. It can be in good things, it can be in bad things. Do not judge them. Never judge. We’re all different but we all fight to stay alive. Sometimes it can be such a drag, but it’s alright. It’s quite alright.

As I get older, I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all. Sure my body feels bruised and broken at times (I think 80 minutes on the treadmill today may be a vital part in this) and my head feels like it may explode from frustration- but if I let it all matter, then I won’t know what to do. You’ve got hide sometimes. The panic attacks may increase over here, but I’ll get out.

So why long for something that just isn’t there? Is it even there? That’s why I love old old old music you know? It is like THEIR frustrations and their love and their lust and all in-between was written in a much deeper tone. It went beyond all that is around now. I mean sure I love the bands I listen to that are new, of course. I love the euphoric journey they send me on. But there is something about hearing something from the 60s about losing something/someone that just sound much more vulnerable than anything around now. I admire anyone who writes so honestly that they are pretty much letting every raw feeling out. Maybe that’s why I write like I do. The things I write here are the things I say to nobody. Why would I? I have no need to. I don’t wish to. I’m too stubborn, but I use it for the good rather than bad. For the most part. I’ll always believe I was born at the wrong time, always. However, I’m not going to dress like a hippie, spin around a few times and hug everyone. No no. I’ll stick to what I wear and listen to what I like.

I have no idea why I wrote any of this, maybe I had to let it out. So to the one person who may happen to read this. I’m sorry, here are some songs to make up for my idiotic ramblings that are far too frequent yet scattered.





Forever Young: Happy Birthday Bob Dylan.

24 05 2012

 

“Something there is about you that moves with style and grace,
I was in a whirlwind, now I am in some better place.
My hand’s on the sabre and you’ve picked up on the baton,
Something there is about you that I can’t quite put my finger on.”

71 years ago, a hero was born. At the time he wasn’t a hero, but he fast became one. Bobby, you are everything and more to me. I know of a couple of fans of him, I know more who do not like them. Let it go, I let it go. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion- but don’t say you don’t like someone if you’ve never heard it. Better yet, don’t say you hate Bobby when you have never listened to Blonde On Blonde. I treat that record like I’d treat a kitten. With care and love. I listen with tenderness and caution.

As you know (or maybe you don’t) Bob Dylan was my mum’s obsession growing up. So, she passed that obsession onto me. For as long as I can remember his music was always played in the house. Being rocked to sleep in her arms as she sang Forever Young. Watching the video to Subterranean Homesick Blues and being told, “Watch him Liv. Just watch him.” And watch him I did. I was in awe of his posture, his waistcoat and his words. Everything about him turned my world upside down and back again. Sort of like when you fall for someone completely unaware. It’s a bitch, but it is also enjoyable. If it goes your way. Personally? It never does. It’s okay, I’ve got music. When I was at Uni and until I lived on my own until ate last year, I had section of my wall just dedicated to him. I’m not ashamed at all. As soon as I get myself sorted, it will be up once more!

For Morrissey, I had to do that silly open letter (I’m sorry if you read it) but for Bobby, I just want to let out what his music means to me. No letter, just..an expression of sorts.

Bobby taught me how to care for everything around me. The unfairness and the equality. Tread carefully, but use your tongue as wisely as possible. He taught me about sufferings past, present and those that were to come. There’s a handful of singers that made me aware of words. Not just how you write them down, but how you say them. I have always had a weakness for the Bobby pronounces his words. Certain words, all words- just everything Bobby stood for, I stood for too. Of course I am too young to have been aware of him from the start. But he was there since I was born. He’s always been a constant in my life. I really wouldn’t be as in love with poetry as I am if it wasn’t for Bobby. I used to read his lyrics as poems to truly feel and understand every single word. I still stand by Hurricane being one of the greatest things he has ever written. The songs about love and the ending of love always mean a lot to me. Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright) is a song I can associate with one or two. It’s the perfect song to connect a fading love to.

Like A Rolling Stone was a song I played religiously it seemed towards the end of my time at University. That was an awful time. So, I did what any music obsessive would do- I had Like A Rolling Stone tattooed on the back of my neck. It was the second tattoo I had done, it was by no means my last. This song just made me feel less alone with not knowing what was going on. When he sings, “No direction home” I just feel as if it was written for me. That specific line. I’ve never really had a home, and I have never felt like I belonged anywhere. I guess it is why I get frustrated that I cannot settle. That line means more to me than most, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ever got that tattooed on me to be honest.

Bobby’s music was always used as a lullaby. I never had an issue with sleeping. The main problem I think was, I just fought it. I would be tired, but I’d stay awake and act as if I couldn’t sleep just so I could hear certain songs to help me sleep. Eventually, my mum caught on to what I was doing and just used to put me to bed with music playing anyway.

I don’t bang on about my political views at all (I’m not religious, but I believe everyone is entitled to their own views and shouldn’t be told they are wrong. HOWEVER, I hate racists and would like to see an end to certain political “parties.”) But Bobby made me socially aware, it of course became more dominant when I was at Uni. Don’t worry, I never went on a protest or anything because I wanted to be seen or to be a typical student. Far from it. Start your own movements, in your own way. I think speaking up to a person one on one when something is wrong is just as powerful (if not more) than chanting up and down a street. Again, that’s just how I see it and I’ll probably be told I am wrong. It’s cool, if it makes you feel better..crack on love.

Bobby is like that cup of tea on a really cold day. His words warm your soul. He soothes your insides. Like whiskey, he is an acquired taste. I fully understand that. Bobby fans are hard to find. We’re a gentle bunch, so be kind to us. We’ll be kind to you.

So many times I have heated conversations with my mum about the best Bob Dylan record. She never understood how much I loved Blonde On Blonde until a few years ago. I remember getting a text it read, “I fully get why you love it. It’s his best work x” I firmly believe it is. Thing is, I even love his Christmas records, and I hate Christmas songs. I do a good Bob Dylan impression, but I will only demonstrate if I feel comfortable with you. And as I don’t feel that too great around most, I rarely do it. I’m such a tease aren’t I. In the most non-sexy way possible.

I could never pick my favourite Bobby song. I have such love for I Want You,It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Maggie’s Farm, Positively 4th Street. There are hundreds more that I just adore. Positively 4th Street is the perfect, “Fuck you..I know what you’re like and I don’t want you around no more” kind of song. Bobby can make you fall in love and make you cut things out of your life all in one go.

Aged 71 years young today, he is still one of the most influential singers of all time. Some may still call him out as “Judas” others know that he is just easily the greatest. For me, he’s everything. Just everything. A saviour and a friend. His words mean more to me that I can put into words. The love I have for him goes beyond description. That’s when you know it is love, and how you know it is forever. No words are enough.





Bob Dylan.

27 09 2011

Bob Dylan is one of my heroes. I don’t have many, but he’s easily one of them. There are thousands and thousands of reasons as to why I am in love with his music. Some may say he never believed in his own words, that it was all an act. I don’t care, the fact that his music made me believe in something- fake or not, is a good thing. It’s always good to believe in something; it doesn’t matter what it is. It’s a personal thing. Whether it’s religious, spiritual or even music. It’s all powerful, and it is all yours.

Bobby’s music has been with me all my life. My mum is a huge fan of his. I remember when we were in Edinburgh 2 years ago seeing Morrissey and we walked past the venue Bobby was playing. She saw his tour bus and made me stand looking at it for ages just in case he came out. See, this is exactly where I get it from. I’m not sorry, and neither is she.

His music was always being played around the house or my mum would be singing a song of his. Forever Young is one song I always remember my mum singing a lot.

With a career like Bob Dylan’s, where on earth could one begin? I don’t want to dissect his career; I just want to discuss what it is that he means to me and why he means what he does to me. His way with words, his voice, the way he never listened to anyone and just did his own thing; all of this is so inspiring.

One of the first songs I remember listening to, after raiding my Mum’s Bobby collection was Like A Rolling Stone. At over 6 minutes long, I couldn’t get enough of this song. I played it over and over. Every verse amazed me, with every listen; I found something else to love about the song. I love the song so much; I have Like A Rolling Stone tattooed on the back of my neck. For me, this song is just everything. I’d heard it many times before but I truly paid attention to it the summer before I went to University. I spent that summer working a job I hated with all I had, but I wanted to have money in my pocket for when I buggered off to Uni. I’d walk to work playing this song; I’d walk home playing this song. It was just everything to me. I could lose myself in this song like no other. I could get over the dullness and bore of every day life during that summer.

Whilst at Uni, whenever I missed home all I had to do was play Forever Young. It just made the homesickness easier to deal with. I studied Bobby a lot whilst at Uni. Not in the sense that I was told to by lecturers, but I bought as many books as possible that were about his music, read articles online about his work- I just took so much in about him. I didn’t care for his personal life; I just wanted to know what drove him and influenced him to make the music that he did. I even used his lyrics as part of my dissertation. If it wasn’t for Woody Guthrie, we wouldn’t have Bob Dylan. I spent my free time listening to anything and everything Bobby had ever done. I was just in constant awe of what I was hearing. There was also a hint of sadness because I knew nothing would ever be this good again. People like Morrissey, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan are rare. They don’t happen often; maybe another will never come along again. I’m content with that though, nothing and no one could ever compare with those three at all.

Of all the albums, it is Blonde On Blonde that owns a large segment of my heart. I remember getting into a discussion with my mum about the best album of his. She couldn’t see why I thought Blonde On Blonde was my choice. I explained why pretty much every single song is a work of art, how gorgeous the production is on the album and just how honest to the core each song is. I received a text off her a few days after this conversation, “Liv, you were right about Blonde On Blonde xx”

So why is Blonde On Blonde his greatest album? Well, it’s a matter of personal taste to be honest. Some may not think so, and that’s okay. He has around 34 studio albums, it’s impossible to pick the one that rules your heart. Highway 61 Revisited is a work of art. Then you have Blood On The Tracks; one of the most exquisitely written albums with regard to pain and heartbreak ever. The bitterness and anger in the songs is brutal, but in Bobby’s own special way. However, I still stand by Blonde On Blonde being his best album. It’s also one of my favourite albums ever.

Bobby’s touring the UK this year, and I did want to go but I asked my mum if she would want to and her reply was, “I want to remember him how he was when I first heard him.” I can see her point. I think if I was to see him now, his performances would not be the same as they were in the 60s and 70s. He changes the way he plays his songs a lot, and I’m not sure if I want to see that.

There’s no way I could possibly pick my favourite Bobby song, but one that always seems to have meaning is Positively 4th Street. I love how he conveys the disappointment from another into this song, how seeing someone is such a drag. Everyone knows someone who causes these feelings to erupt, it can be quite draining. But with a song like this, it makes the feeling easier to just shrug off and let go. That’s the best way to deal with anything.

Without Bob Dylan’s music, I probably wouldn’t love lyrics as much as I do. I know I regard Morrissey as my favourite lyricist, but Bobby has something else. A completely different take that I don’t think I can describe without boring you to death. Which, I have no doubt already done. So I am going to leave it here. It’s all been said before how wonderful people think Bobby is. I love the way he is in interviews, quite like Lou Reed. There’s never been anyone like him, and there never will be again. That’s just how it should be.





Albums of 2009.

26 12 2009

I’ve battled with pen, paper, keyboards and my own choices doing this list. So, I’ve decided to not make a list. I am simply going to tell you what my favourite albums of this year are. Then, I shall tell you what my top 3 are because they are the only 3 I can’t change..not that I’d want to.

I’m basically doing this because I am an indecisive bugger when it comes to this and not making an official “Top 10” list or whatever was just pissing me off. It makes sense. Here we go.

Remember..in no particular order (apart from the last 3 I mention!)

Golden Silvers-True Romance.- A band I enjoyed seeing live and made my dull summer a bit exciting.

Doll & The Kicks- Self titled, bloody brilliant album. Next year, I hope, sees them getting signed. It is a bloody horror, a shambles! that they are not signed. They’ve been supporting Morrissey for ages. SOMEONE SIGN THEM.

Bob Dylan-Togther Through Life. I just love Bob. Simple as. One of my heroes.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs-It’s Blitz! This band will NEVER make a shitty album. I know a lot of people were like “IT’S NOT LIKE FEVER TO TELL!!” Well, obviously because that’s Fever To Tell-the debut..and this is their 3rd album. Clearly they are not going to make the same album over and over. That’d be boring. And we all know that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are far from boring.

New York Dolls- ‘Cuz I Said So. Legendary band showing these new bands how it’s done!

Girls-Album.  Amazing album. Amazing band. Sounds a bit 60s ish, which is never a bad thing. No fillers, just a brilliant album.

The Raveonettes- In And Out Of Control.  Same as the album by Girls. Stunning album.

Comanechi-Crime Of Love. First saw them support Gossip in 2006, been in love ever since. Seemed like forever waiting for this album, worth the wait. Means I can stop playing the EP to death now!

Gossip-Music For Men. This band mean a hell of a lot to me, it’s not my favourite album by them but I still love it enough to say it’s one of the best this year.

Jack Penate-Everything Is New. For some strange reason Jack Penate makes me want to runaway to Brighton. I don’t know what it is. Every time I listen to him, I just want to get on a train and go to Brighton. It makes no sense, I know. Bloody good album though!

Norah Jones-The Fall. Her previous albums didn’t do anything for me. But, The Fall left me in awe. A beautiful album from start to finish.

White Lies- To Lose My Life. Dark, haunting…two things which I love in music (I’m not a miserablew person though)

Bat For Lashes-Two Suns. Natasha Khan could sing me the phonebook and I’d still find it captivating and enough to reduce me to tears.

Julian Casablancas-Phrazes For The Young. This album was good enough for me to be okay with The Strokes not putting an album out this year..or last year…or the year before that. It’s THAT good.

The Dead Weather-Horehound. A sexy album. I hate myself for that statement but bloody hell it is true. Alison Mosshart’s voice can make the strongest person weak. This is what happens when genius’ come together.

Metric-Fantasies. I interviewed Emily and Jimmy from the band. Lovely people. This album got me through some crap. Magnificent album. Worth waiting for.

Morrissey-Swords. Ahhh..an album full of wonderful B-Sides. THANK YOU MOZZA!

Morrissey- Years Of Refusal. I love the artwork and title. I love Moz. It’s Morrissey. I don’t need to explain why I’ve mentioned him.

Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career. Most underrated band of 2009. Fabulous live. Beautiful, heart-wrenching album.

La Roux. Flawless live. Amazing on record. Cover My Eyes breaks my heart every time. I’ll always remember being at the Brum gig in November when they played Cover My Eyes..and me and my best friend hugging each other. The song kills us both. But somehow, seeing it live wasn’t as bad as hearing it on record. Elly Jackson is beautiful. La Roux got the 80s sound right and made it seem effortless and not tacky. Unlike some bands who try too hard.

The Horrors-Primary Colours.  Proving that the second album can outshine the debut. This album sounded nothing like Strange House. Strange House was an excellent debut and Primary Colours, for me, is just as good.Maybe better. The Horrors gained more fans with this album and it’s easy to see why.

TOP 3…THE ACTUAL LIST THAT I WON’T CHANGE!

3. Fever Ray- Fever Ray. Odd and fucking good (sorry for the swearing but I had to.) This album left me in awe. I lay on my bedroom floor listening to this when I got it. There was no other way of doing it to be honest. It sent me some place else. I love it when music does this.

2. The XX-xx. Favourite new band of 2009. I remember hearing their cover of Aaliyah’s Hot Like Fire. Anyone who knows me knows how much of an Aaliyah fan I am and have been since 1995. This is a cover that I adored and from then on..my love grew and grew. When I heard they were supporting Florence + The Machine I felt like my birthday had come early. The vocals, the lyrics, the music..everything. Just everything about this album made me happy. The first track, Intro is simple yet you can take what you want from it. I hope 2010 sees more people seeing how wonderful this band is. Which leads me onto…….

1. Florence + The Machine-Lungs.  You knew it would be my number 1. It’s been my favourite album since it came out. I’ve played it every day since it came out. I’ve got a singed copy, a copy on vinyl and the deluxe edition. This year started a bit wanky for me and I’d been using certain songs to deal with it all. I read that this album deals with Flo’s split with her boyfriend, I suppose that’s why this album was a crutch to me. It pretty much changed how I felt about things around me and people around me. It gave me strength and guts. I remember watching a clip back in 2007 with Flo and Dev Hynes singing in his flat and just being in awe with Florence. Seeing her go from unsigned, playing small venues to winning awards and putting out an album like Lungs makes me feel like a proud parent. I know it sounds a bit obsessive fan ish. But we’ve all had that one singer/band that means the world to us and makes us laugh,cry,smile,dance,sing and what not. Me and my best friend met her in September. Meeting Flo with my best friend is quite possibly one of the greatest things ever. The photo of us 3 together is the most special and important thing to me. I look at it and it just makes me happy. I can’t really put it into words how much Lungs means to me, so I’ll stop. There are so many reasons why this album is my favourite album of this year. The main one being it stopped me from going a bit mental and helped me accepted the changes around me. Adjusting to become a better person. Blinding helped me let go of everything that no longer mattered. So thank you Florence Welch.

(I’ll do another post about singles and stuff later)

xxxx





Bob Dylan

25 08 2008

Robert  Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan. The first musician I can remember hearing. My mum is a massive fan of Bob Dylan, I have her to thank for my ever growing obsession with this man and his work.

 

What is it about Bob Dylan that draws you in? Is it his voice? His words? The way he plays? It’s not one single factor, it’s a combination. For me, I love the way his words just work. Lyrics mean everything to me, and Bob Dylan sure stole my heart with his.

I advise you to listen to Hurricane and Forever Young if you don’t know much about his work.

 

One song in particular that I remember being sung to me when I was little was, Like A Rolling Stone. Little did I know how much over the years would that song mean to me. Everything about that song from the words to the music means the world to me. I like to put my headphones on and let Dylan’s words pour into my ears as I go into my own little world. In my own little world it consists of me, Morrissey, Bob Dylan and Cat Power- it’s not as depressing as it sounds.

 

Too many people seem to shrug Bob Dylan off thinking he’s depressing or whatever- you’re missing the point if that’s the case. He’s more than a singer, the guy is a poet. A legend. His songs give advice (please please please listen to Forever Young) and to an extent- guidance. Been screwed over by a friend? Then listen to Positively 4th Street. Unsure about the one you love? Check out Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine). Want to hear an 8 minute long true story? Hurricane is the track for you.

 

Bob Dylan is not just a musician. He’s an artist and a radio presenter. His hourly show on Radio 2 is worth listening just to hear his voice.

 

There’ll never ever be another Bob Dylan. No other musician will ever be able to do what this man has done- how could they? The guy is one in a million. After being called “Judas” 42 years ago just for trading the acoustic guitar for an electric- I think genius was the word they were looking for.

There’s so much to write about him, but words do not do this man justice.

 

I wear my Bob Dylan tattoo on my neck with pride and love.





Antony & The Johnsons

3 07 2008

Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heavens Door is one of the most beautiful songs to have ever existed. Now, imagine one of the worlds greatest, most beautiful singers take this song and make it so haunting yet so delicate.

I give you Antony & The Johnsons’ version of Knockin’ On Heavens Door.

 

Antony & The Johnsons- Knockin\’ On Heavens Door.