“Into the night as the stars collide, across the borders that divide. Forests of stone standing petrified, to be by your side.”

29 10 2012

Sadness is something that creeps up on you when you least expect it. Much like love, happiness and rage. Much like any feeling I suppose. There is something about sadness that hits you harder than most and is much more difficult to shake. Some people wish to wrap themselves around it and become self-centered (I don’t get that) and some manage to just carry on as normal. There’s no right, there’s no wrong. But most will say you are wrong. I’ve not felt sad in a very very long time. But I saw something today that reinforced just how horrifically sensitive I am. And how much I dislike it. I’d say it is a negative trait, but I don’t have it in me to be tougher than I am. I’ve tried, and I’ve even tried being cruel. I can’t do it anymore. It just seems pointless.

So today whilst walking home from the gym I saw something on the pavement that made me feel so sad, and quite sick. The way I walk to and from town is basically a country road. There’s a farm on one side, and when you walk past it you get a delightful stench of SHIT. That sure wakes you up when you walk past it. Anyway, this isn’t about the animal shit I get to smell every morning on my way to and from the gym. It’s about what I saw. Anyone who knows me even a tiny bit knows I adore animals. I’m one of those annoying twerps who has conversations with dogs, cats and rabbits, and is convinced they understand. If you have a pet, I will try to steal it from you. If you have a dog, I’ll make it my best friend. If you have a cat, I’ll hold it up and sing Circle Of Life to it. If you have a rabbit, I’ll attempt to steal it. That’s just how I am. Anyway, this morning walking back I saw a dead rabbit on the pavement..right next to me. At first I thought it was asleep, but I realised quickly that the poor bugger was dead. Thing is, it looked at utter peace.

I honestly have no idea what my point is with this. I probably don’t have one. I guess I just believe animals all have the same emotions humans do. Sometimes animals seem more gentle with each other than people do. The way some people are with each other is just disgusting. Have you seen how monkeys look after each other? If that doesn’t melt your heart; then something could be wrong with you. I wish people were more gentle and sensitive towards each other. Being tough is alright when you need to be; but not always. You don’t need to always be defensive, this is speaking from experience. You can’t let the past make you who you are. You cannot blame others for all that may be wrong in your life. Yet it seems easier doesn’t it?

The next person you scowl at or launch vile words at; think about it before you do so. How does this tie in with the dead rabbit I saw? I don’t know if it does. Maybe I wanted to write down how sad it made me seeing that. Maybe there’s more to it. Just be gentle. Be kind. There’s enough shit in the world, don’t add to it.





“I know it is wrong, but we just don’t belong.”

7 12 2011

Have you ever felt, although you are surrounded by people you know- and these people may or may not care about you, that you just do not belong? Do you have a place you feel happy and secure with calling “home”? Do you ever look at Society and just think you were born in the wrong era?  That your emotional attachment to it all is slowly fading. If so, I understand fully how you feel.

I’ve wandered through life not feeling part of anything. I’ve never made it my goal to make a difference in a person’s life- mainly because I know I never have, and I probably never will. I don’t mean it in a self-hating kind of way- far from it. You can feel you don’t belong but still maintain an ounce of self-worth. I feel like that most days. Anyway, I don’t need to go in depth with all of this. These are the songs that have stopped me from feeling like I have to be part of something, that I have to belong. We don’t have to. Create your own world.





2011- Songs.

15 09 2011

I know I’m doing this too early in the year, but if I do it now- maybe I won’t change my mind. I know I’ll change my mind as soon as I publish this. I’ll hear a song and think, “SHITTING HELL. THAT NEEDS TO GO ON MY LIST!” Hopefully I will gain some self control and not do that. I’m not doing this in any order, however the last song I mention is my song of the year. It’s pretty obvious what song it is. I’ve got a cool story to accompany it too, it’s just given it so much more meaning to me and I love it more than I did before.

Let’s begin :

Dirty Beaches- Lord Knows Best.– When I first heard this, I honestly didn’t think it was something from this year. I just thought it was an old old song being re-released. I was stupidly wrong. Lord Knows Best is taken from Alex’s album Badlands which was released in March this year, it’s such a beautiful album. What I love about this song is how old it feels, the sample on a loop and Alex’s vocals. His voice sounds so desperate, which is what drew me in straight away. I love anything that sounds dark, angry, frustrated and painful. This doesn’t mean I’m some morbid wanker, far from it. I’m just someone who is always drawn to the dark side of things- it just means more to me than hearing something cheerful. However, this is lyrically, not a dark song. It’s about loving one person and nothing/no one else matters. Just this one person. I guess you could call it a love song. Whatever it is, it’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year.

Wye Oak-Civilian.– You know when you hear a song, and you give all your attention to the lyrics? That’s what happened when I first heard Civilian by Wye Oak. The album is just stunning. This song means so much, “I am nothing without pretend. I know my faults, can’t live with them.” It just screams out fragility. The whole song does. It’s almost as if, you can use this song to admit to all your faults- you’re human, and it is how you feel. I adore the build up in the song. Their musicianship is so strong and so inspiring, it’s just so stunning. It’s one of the songs that make me wish I could write something as powerful as this. As far as duos in music go, Wye Oak are one of my favourites.

Widowspeak-Wicked Game.– I know it’s a cover, but it’s so good. I love how haunting they have made it, but at the same time still has the same feel as the original. I usually hate it when a song I love is covered, but this is just stunning from start to finish. The way, “This world is only gonna break your heart” is sung is damn hypnotising. The song makes you feel like you are in some kind of trance. It’s just perfect. If you’ve never listened to them before, start with this cover.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart- Heart In Your Heartbreak.– I know this came out late last year, however the track is taken from their second album which came out in March this year. So, I’m going with that. Their album came out at a time that I wish to never go through again. This song was my crutch for 2 months. I used to listen to it to stop myself from feeling like shit and realising…well, I don’t want to make it too personal. Basically, when you think you can’t get over having your heart broken- you actually can. And when you do, you becoming strong and nothing can touch you no more because you have felt so shit, you’ve experienced rock bottom and you will do anything to never feel that way away. I cannot pick out a lyric that I love, because I just adore it all. This song was around when I didn’t know what to do with myself or what to do with how I was feeling.

Novella-The Things You Do.– When you listen to Novella, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking you were listening to a band from LA. They have that gorgeous lo-fi/sufer pop feel to their music. They formed in Brighton and are now based in London. If you love Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast, you are truly going to fall in love with Novella. I hope next year beings them great success because they really do deserve it. This song causes your head to spin and your body to float. It’s so beautiful.

Zola Jesus-Vessel.– I am going to struggle putting this into words because the music Nika creates owns a large part of my heart. Her music is so enthralling and haunting. Everything about her music just makes my soul shake and my head swim. I am constantly in awe of her talent. She’s only 21 years old, she’s so bloody gifted. Hopefully I’m seeing her in November. I’m oretty sure it’s going to be like some kind of religious experience. I have every confidence that her album Conatus is going to be one of the best albums of the year. Her voice is so distinctive and powerful. I love the dark feel in her music. I love how her music can make everything better. I took a walk today and just played her music. It was like I was drifting off into another world. A dreamland. I honestly cannot praise Nika’s talents enough. I really don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like her music. She’s a massive credit to the music industry, I just hope they realise that instead of obsessing over pop stars that contribute nothing.

The Horrors- I Can See Through You.– I could pick any song of theirs, but I Can See Through You is my favourite off Skying lyrically. The album is beautiful, but more on that when I write about my favourite albums of 2011. Faris’ vocals on this song are so strong. The band sound as perfect as ever. So captivating and hypnotising. I know a lot of people are getting into The Horrors based on Still Life. What pisses me off is that they dismissed them during the Strange House era. That album will always be one of my favourites. The raw, brutal sound to it is amazing. The garage rock vibe it has is stunning. However, those that are only just getting into The Horrors have missed out on many years- their loss.

The Kills-The Last Goodbye.– It was close to impossible to pick which song by The Kills I wanted to include. I toyed with the idea of putting Satellite in because I love the reggae electro feel it has. Then I wanted Baby Says because I love it like someone would probably love their child. Then it was Nail In My Coffin. I went through the whole album, until I chose The Last Goodbye. Why did I choose The Last Goodbye? Well, it has the best and my favourite lyric from a song I’ve heard this year. This line describes me better than I could. This line owns my heart. This line makes me feel okay with being a sensitive bugger. The line is of course, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” I read an article about the album before it was released, and they spoke about this song and mentioned the lyrics. When I read that line, I was instantly blown away by the honesty and vulnerabilty in the lyrics. Then I listened to the song. I cried. It was like finding the piece of you that you had missing for so long. I have no idea what will happen when I see this live. I’ll probably want to get on stage and hug Alison. When she sings this, you can see she puts all she has into it. It is so heartbreaking and so perfect. You can take what you want from this song, that’s what I love about The Kills- you can create your own meaning to their songs. If I could thank them personally for this song, I bloody well would.

Florence And The Machine-What The Water Gave Me.– I guess anyone else would pick Shake It Out, but I like to be difficult don’t I. I’m choosing What The Water Gave Me because I love the darkness around it. Shake It Out is beautiful, and it feels like Flo is taking you to Church. The lyrics are haunting and gorgeous. Much like What The Water Gave Me. I love how the song builds and builds, when she sings “Let the only sound be the overflow. Pockets full of stones” it sounds and feels so enchanting and euphoric. All her songs are euphoric. Her music makes you feel free and weightless. That’s why I love her. I cannot express it in a way that you will understand, but that’s as close as I can get right now. Pretty sure Ceremonials will be the best album of the year. October 31st cannot come quick enough.

It’s honestly no surprise what I’ve picked as my favourite song of the year is it? I said it in February and pretty much every other day since. You ready?!

SUMMER CAMP-I WANT YOU. – This is the only song that I have heard this year to have such a grip over me. It’s done something to my brain. I have to listen to it every single day. If I don’t, I get the shakes (I don’t really….) Elizabeth and Jeremy have created the best song of the year EASILY. I know I love Flo and The Kills but this is honestly the greatest thing I have heard this year. No other song has had this hold over me. The lyrics, oh jesus, the lyrics. So true! It states exactly being in love is like- cruel, intense, dark and grand. Being love can turn you into a dickhead sometimes can’t it. However, if you listen to I Want You, you can see it isn’t always the case. Some have said it’s the stalker anthem of 2011. I don’t think it is. I think it’s quite simply, intensely liking/loving and wanting someone; and you just want them to feel the same. You believe you can make them feel the same. The synths, the guitar and the drums…oh lord. When it drops and kicks in it is like a glorious kick in the face. I’ve only been in love for real once. It’s more than enough isn’t it? If I was to ever feel that way again, I’d use this song to clarify how I felt. I’d play it and think “Does this person make me feel like this?” And if the answer was yes, it’d be love. If the answer was no, then I’d go back to my books and records to save myself disappointment. If any of you listened to BBC 6Music yesterday morning, on Lauren Laverne’s show. They played Better Off Without You and I Want You. I tweeted them saying it was amazing, and Elizabeth replied with, “I was thinking of you when we played I Want You. Not in a weird way.” HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Seriously, so fucking cool. It made my year, no doubt. I’ve decided, if I ever decided to inflict my presence upon a girl and start a relationship, when we split up- I’m going to play Better Off Without You to drag me through it. Oh, I’ve not heard Summer Camp’s album yet but I can tell you it’s the best album of the year. It’s right up there. Trust me. Now, get your ears around my favourite song of the year. If it doesn’t cause your bones to move, heart to skip several beats, your head to spin and your soul to feel reignited- then I think you have no braincells left. Cheers Summer Camp, for making the best song of the year!

I do feel bad for leaving out some songs that I fell in love with this year, so have a few more :

Blood Orange-Sutphin Boulevard.

Marina And The Diamonds-Fear And Loathing.

The History Of Apple Pie-You’re So Cool.

The Weeknd-House Of Balloons/Glass Table Girls.

Lana Del Rey-Blue Jeans.

Seapony-Where We Go.

Best Coast-How They Want Me To Be.

Wavves & Best Coast-Nodding Off.

Morrissey-Action Is My Middle Name.

Youth Lagoon-Montana.

I got carried away….I’m not sorry though.

 

 

 





New York.

14 08 2011

New York City. The birthplace of two genres of music that own my heart. Punk and Hip Hop. Oh, I can’t love the two? I can’t possibly love Hip Hop because my favourite band of all time is The Smiths? I can’t love Hip Hop because I think Warpaint are one of the best bands around right now? Oh okay then, I guess I’ll just start being small minded like the rest.

Or not.

New York City has given us some of the greatest musicians of all time. From Disco to Salsa- it all started in NYC. Going through most of the music I own, most of it comes from NYC. It’s something that I’ve recently picked up on and as a result, I am fascinated with all music that is created in this city. I hate flying. It shits me up a stupid amount. I have a brief panic attack whenever I fly to see my family on the Isle of Man and that’s only a 20 minute flight. However, if I had the money and a doctor gave me enough tablets to knock me out for the duration of the flight- I’d go to New York. I’d explore the birthplaces of the bands I love, the venues that they’ve played. I’d go to underground clubs and watch bands play that nobody has ever heard of. I’d wander round eating a bagel and explore the record shops. I’d take a virtually empty suitcase and bring back a load of records and books with me.

I’d take everything in and refuse to go back home. Knowing me, I’d probably take copies of my CV with me whilst there and give it to various record and book shops. That would be the best thing ever. Not only would I no longer be in England, but I’d be constantly surrounded by good music.

I can dream I suppose. Or, I make that dream a reality. I’m going for the latter.

So, New York City. The home of The Strokes, Ramones, Mos Def, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars. I could list them all.

It’s quite possibly the home to the greatest. I am tempted to say Manchester because of Morrissey- and of course, I regard this one person to be greater than thousands. Always.

The city has given us, within the last 10 years, bands such as The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Battles, TV on The Radio and Brand New. All of which have their own distinctive sound.

I remember when I first listened to The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and thinking it was the early 90s and in hope that The Jesus And Mary Chain were still going, coming back to reality wasn’t nice.

The city has so much to offer for anyone. It doesn’t matter what your race, religion, sexuality- anything. None of it matters (it never should anyway) there’s just something for everyone. It’s just this ridiculously huge place that has everything.

When I listen to the Ramones, I always think what it must have been like to have been around in New York when the whole Punk scene started. Imagine going to CBGBs and seeing a band start out- years later, they become one of the most influential bands of all time.

Imagine being part of the Factory scene- being in awe of Edie Sedgwick’s beauty every single time she walked past. Or being around when the Velvet Underground first emerged.

New York City, responsible for so much- yet it doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Ever.

You cannot mention New York without naming one of the best bands to have come from the city- A Tribe Called Quest. They were one of the first hip hop groups I remember falling in love with. I remember watching the video to Scenario on MTV at a very very young age, and just being obsessed. I loved the way Q-Tip pronounced his words and the words he used. I just loved everything they did.

I loved Q-Tip’s solo work- anyone who doesn’t love Breathe & Stop is a twit. Seriously. I just couldn’t get enough of them. The Low End Theory is easily one of the greatest Hip Hop albums created. It mixes Jazz with Hip Hop in a way that has not been done since, if it has, it hasn’t been done as well. The production on the album is mind-blowing. The samples used on it are just insane. From start to finish, it is sheer perfection.

I remember in 2001 first hearing The Strokes. For the past 10 years they have got me through bad times and have been there through the good. Two years ago I had Is This It tattooed on me. The album is so personal to me. I obviously don’t need to tell you why, but it was a crutch for so much- it still is. It always will be. I fail to see why many overlook First Impressions of Earth- the bass on Juicebox is mental. Heart In A Cage is just perfect. Evening Sun is beautiful. All four of their albums mean a lot to me for various reasons. They have that same rawness that the Ramones had. They don’t have to explain or define what they do to anyone- that’s how it should always be.

Music from New York has this type of edge to it. I can’t think of a better word, so I’ll go with edge. It has a distinctive sound. When you listen to band from the city, you know they are from there. It’s this raw, powerful sound. The feel of Punk still lies within a lot of bands from New York- even if they don’t realise it. Punk wasn’t just a genre of music- it was a way of life, a state of mind, an attitude. It’s in bands such as The Stokes, Vivian Girls, Yeah Yeah Yeahs etc- the way they play and how they are on stage just shows this.

Some may regard Punk as a music genre as dead, and that is the case. But the true spirit of it is alive and well within certain bands from New York City.

When I think of the music that has come from New York, I think of all the cultural aspects that are with it too. It’s such a vibrant place. It is full of all forms of Art. Whether it’s break-dancing, graffiti, theatre, cinema, Salsa- it’s everything. It has everything.

So many songs have been written about New York. It’s the Hip Hop community that you feel can truly sum up what New York is, and what the place is to true New Yorkers.





The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

5 04 2011

Every part of me hated writing this, but I had to get it out. I’m fully aware how crap it reads, but it had to be done. I suppose. I guess I just wanted to write about how much this song means to me right now.

Currently everything feels ever so wrong. When I get this, I have no choice but to use a band or singer to be my crutch.

Usually it’s The Strokes, Morrissey, Metric, Bob Dylan and Cat Power.

Now? Now I’m using The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Why? Well, because right now, they’re the only band I listen to that vocalise every ounce of hurt and disappointment I feel. Nobody I know listens to them, so that makes my attachment to this band less painful, I suppose.

 

I’ll just start with a song off their new album, Belong. Heart In Your Heartbreak is the one song in the world that makes me feel less alone and slightly okay- even if I do want to have some form of outburst when I listen to it. Everything about this song just reaches me in a way nothing or no one has. Or maybe, I just can’t let them. A song won’t let you down, but a person will.

“And there’s no use to say just how much it kills, when it still kills all the same. Every thought of her name like a hand to an open flame.” Something so simple can just sum up the immense pain of having your heart torn out. Someone mentions the person, and every part of you aches-in a bad way. When someone used to mention them, and you were happy. Now? Even just their name makes you feel awful.

The chorus. Fuck. The chorus is just a massive ode to a mistake. We’ve all made them haven’t we? We’ve all given a part of ourselves that don’t deserve it, but at the time- you feel it is right. I still think it was, and always will be. Anyway, chorus:

“She was the heart in your heartbreak. She was the miss in your mistake. And no matter what you take, you’re never going to forget.” She was once everything, but you were nothing. You can get drunk out of your mind, do whatever- but you cannot forget this person. It’s an internal war that will not get out.
“She was the tear in a rainstorm. She was the promise that you would’ve sworn. And no matter what you say, it’s never gonna come back.”
They make you cry, you’d make promises for them- to them, and you never make promises. You can bend over backwards until you crumble for them- but they will never be yours. You know why? Because they probably never were.

 

Then you realise, you are utterly alone in this feeling. Yes others have felt the same, but you are entirely alone. But you’ve got this song to carry you through. Hell…you want to stand outside said person’s window with this song playing, just so they understand how crap you feel. But you know, sooner or later they’ll feel the same. You won’t be an empathetic shoulder for them to cry on, or will you? Probably because you’re a pushover.

Anyway, this part sums up the loneliness and shame you feel: “And your friends don’t understand that the world could end, and it would feel no worse than this. Every thought of the look in her eye, like a cold California sky.” It’s lovely and it helps having good people around, but nobody can shift this cloud of awfulness over you at all. Nothing and nobody has the answers. Maybe it isn’t answers you want. You just feel like you’ve lost one of the best things you had, except you didn’t really have it. You were close. You fell, and you fell alone. The falling part was great, but you hit the ground and as you hit the concrete- you had parts of you damaged that you don’t see any point in fixing.

 

“And no matter what you pray, it’s never gonna take the pain away. And even if she’d stay, you know it’s wrong. And no matter what you pray, it’s never gonna take the pain away. ‘Cause even if she’d stay, you know she’s gone.” And if by some strange stroke of luck they decided they wanted you, you know deep down it just wouldn’t be right, it’d be no good. You’re too hurt to call them let alone let them back in. Maybe in time. But wanting them to leave the one they are with, and come back to you is just wishful and stupid thinking isn’t it.

 

So in time, you’ll be alright. Or so they say. But you’ve been here a few times before that whatever faith you had, well, it’s nonexistent. Maybe you’ll function better carrying a bit of pain around. Maybe it’ll make you a better person, toughen up.

Whatever it’ll do to you, you just have to make sure that you act like it doesn’t matter and it never happened.

Until you get there, you’ll just play this song over and over