Heavy

There isn’t very much to say today. In the last half hour or so I learnt the news that Chester Bennington, from Linkin Park, killed himself. I rarely get super upset over famous people dying, but this seems to hit home really hard.

Linkin Park were a bit like Blink 182, where they opened a door to other music. I have memories of having my personal CD player in my school bag with Hybrid Theory in it. Complaining that it jumped when I tried to walk anywhere. I bought every album by Linkin Park. Throughout their 7 studio albums, the band became chameleons, doing the music that made them happy. A big part of the music I now listen to, and the kind of person I am comes from Linkin Park. Chester was a hero to millions around the world, but that doesn’t stop mental health problems.

If you feel alone, or just a bit lost, please speak to someone. I write this blog as a way to get my issues out of my head, but I have also relied on others. I find it hard speaking to friends, so services came into mind. There is always someone willing to listen, you are not alone.

Service that helped me was the Samaritans.

UK & Ireland: The Samaritans call free on 116 123

(If anyone reading this has services which helped them in their country, please comment below and I’ll add to this post.)

Playlister

This sound really sad, but I like making music playlists. It is on a similar track of thought which states that organising things can actually relax a person. I have always made playlists, because I like to listen to a mixture of music. The love started from making mixtapes as a kid, taping songs off the radio or from albums I had at home. There was quite a bit of joy involved, when a person who you gave your mixtape too, liked it, and would maybe get into new bands.

Last month I made a playlist on Spotify, so that I could listen to a variety of songs I liked when I was making my way anywhere. If I am out and about, I usually listen to music on my mobile phone, purely because it’s portability. But, I never just want to listen to just one band or one genre. So, by making a playlist of different songs I like, I can listen to a wee variety, and not lose all the memory on my phone.

Because I have listened to the playlist a lot, I thought I’d make a new one for April. It might be something that I’ll try every month. The songs, that I selected this month are below.

Rancid- Timebomb

Good Charlotte- I Just Wanna Live

Emma Blackery- Nothing Without You

Tessa Violet- Not Over You

CKY- Escape From Hellview

Jimmy Eat World- The Middle

Waterparks- Stupid For You

Linkin Park- Breaking The Habit

Iron Maiden- 2 Minutes To Midnight

Mötley Crew- Kickstart My Heart

Skid Row- Wasted Time

The Stone Roses- She Bangs The Drums

The Strokes- Last Night

The Libertines- Can’t Stand Me Now

The Proclaimers- Sunshine On Leith

Skids- Into The Valley

The Clash- I Fought The Law

Stiff Little Fingers- Alternative Ulster

Dead Kennedys- Holiday In Cambodia

Minor Threat- Straight Edge

MC5- Kick Out The Jams

Fugazi- Bad Mouth

T.S.O.L- Code Blue

X-Ray Spex- Oh Bondage! Up Yours!

Linkin Park (feat Stormzy and Pusha T)- Good Goodbye

Alice Deejay- Better Off Alone

Darude- Sandstorm

Paolo Nutini- Caledonia

Anti-Flag-  Die For Your Govenment

The Bouncing Souls- Lean On Sheena

Propaganghi- Failed States

Lagwagon- The Cog In The Machine

Belle & Sebastian- Expectations

Lady Sovereign- Pretty Vacant

The Casualties- Tomorrow Belongs To Us

The Unseen- Paint It Black

Time Again- The Stories Are True

Choking Victim- 500 channels

Sonic Boom Six- Monkey See, Monkey Do

The Pietasters- Out All Night

If you want to listen to this playlist, please visit here. This is until i actually figure out how to post a playlist on here.

Tuning In

Music is a constant in my life, and it is probably the same with anyone reading this. Of course, you may not actively seek out to listen to music, but it is still there. It is in the shops you visit, it accompanies your favourite TV shows and is on the radio station you listen to in your car. It is everywhere. Music is that one think that helps give everything rhythm.

A lot has changed in how we get music, to purposefully listen to.When I was wee, people taped songs off the radio. Something that was a bit of an art-form, if I were to be honest. Trying to get as much of a song as possible, without the voice of the station DJ. I remember swapping my tapes with friends, as everyone had different mixes. It was fun, and I could see myself listening to the Pepsi Chart show, spending the large portion of my Sunday, waiting for my favourite songs. I was young and daft, but weren’t we all

As soon as I had my own money, I would by music magazines and any album (at that point CDs) I could afford. The thrill of new music, and getting to read the liner notes made me feel like I was getting a snippet at a band I liked. It wasn’t long after that things changed forever. The internet came into public use, and friends I knew started using services like Napster and Limewire to download songs. It was the first time, for many, that they could access an artist’s entire back-catalogue with a few clicks, and it didn’t cost a penny. I, myself, tried Limewire, but a virus and incorrectly labelled music files, caused me to opt put of that option. I still liked my CDs.

Eventually things progressed. The torrent sites were forced offline or became unreliable, and online digital music stores like iTunes, reaped the benefit. However, with today’s faster internet speeds, people are opting into streaming content. To the stage, where most radio stations stream live content from their websites. It means that you can now pay a monthly fee, if you want to, and stream your favourite artists to your games console, smart TV, mobile, or almost every device that can get an internet connection. It is getting to the stage, where a lot of people who consume music, don’t even need to purchase it anymore. I find that sad.

I use streaming services,  like Spotify and Amazon Music, but I use them for either ‘music-on-the-go’ or to find new music to listen to. The last few albums I purchased, was for artists that were on my recommended playlist on Spotify. These services are smart, they know what artists you listen to most, and give you new music based on that. It’s very intuitive.

I am friends with a lot of musicians, all of which make the most money when someone buys an album or some other merchandise. So, as a result, I have always bought music.I like to try and get the physical CD, or even vinyl record, to put money back into an artist I enjoy. I think that is only fair. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the same. For every legitimate streaming site, there are 3 or 4 illegal streaming services. Now sites like Putlocker maybe are more about movies and TV shows, but the point still stands. Is it really fair to enjoy something, but not pay for it?

Maybe it is because I have been stung by people wanting things for free, myself. A few years back, when I was on my last year/ just left college, I tried to get a graphic design business up and running. It was actually the main reason this very blog was started, to promote the development of my new company. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off quite like I expected. I struggled getting clients, because I was on my own, and had no experience. But I would get interest from people, mostly from established local companies, requesting some work to be done. Unfortunately, these people wanted everything done for free. I kind of excepted this was going to be part of starting up myself. I had a part-time job, but stepped up to full time, to pay for bills and things. The people, who wanted the free labour, would send me emails when they knew I was working (I gave every perspective client my work rota, so they knew when I’d be available). I would finish working a long day in a call center, and would have several emails from people, all sent during that day, asking why I was ignoring them. I was working, my phone was off, and I couldn’t access my private emails, something I had already explained. I would get dog’s abuse off these people, who said that they were doing me a favour. But I worked on, and sent them the final work and they refused to acknowledge me.  They had previously said that the publicity would be good for me, so they shouldn’t have to pay. It was horrible. I lost all confidence, and to-date, I kind of put everything on hold.

And that is why, I don’t think I could sleep at night, knowing that I was taking in the work of other creatives for nothing. So no Kodi boxes for me, you can keep your ‘chipped’ Sky systems, and I’ll pay for what I can afford. And I will appreciate it all.

 

The Manky Hoors: Fuck Everything EP

It is still the early part of the working week, and your energy may be draining already. You are maybe stuck in a minimum wage job, or just sick of hearing about the ‘powers that be’ abusing their power. Life is a bit of a bastard sometimes and the only thing that can help you work through your anger, is a wee bit of loud music. And The Manky Hoors are perfect for that.

The Manky Hoors are a Scottish punk band, hailing from Rosyth, Fife. Having spent the last several years gigging around the East Coast of Scotland, Fuck Everything is their brand new EP. If you like your punk rock full of fast tunes and sharp lyrics, think of NOFX, Good Riddance or The Vandals, this is the band for you.

The songs are proper fist pumping, scream at the top of your lungs, anthems. Songs that urge the listener to fight against the authority created to keep the normal person in their place. That kind of music is a bit of an antidote for the realities of modern life. Something that there is not nearly enough of in the local music scene in Fife. So, rather than listen to another band that sounds like Oasis stuck in a time warp, try something a bit different. Listen to the full EP below.

Check in with the Manky Hoors on Facebook and become pals. And if you like, share, because that is what the decent thing to do if you like some music.

Last Night…

It’s taken 24 hours to collect my thoughts on what happened yesterday. What happened yesterday? Well, (in case you don’t follow me on social media) I was going to see Good Charlotte for the first time in 5 years, not just that, I got meet and greet. 

Meet and greet is something contentious in the music scene, right  now. Where artists charge an extra fee, so that fans can meet artists without having to wait outside before or after the event. I have always thought it was not a good thing. Having mostly visiting small venues, with no more than 2,000 fans, it has been okay seeing the band outside the venue. I never saw the point. But when bands upsize to bigger venues, meeting them becomes difficult. That is where meet and greets become more popular. 

Last night, All Time Low‘s Back To The Future Hearts Tour came to Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena, and their support was Good Charlotte. Good Charlotte is a band I have been a fan of for 15 years, and who have been a massive impact on me as a person. This is a band, who’s music has helped me through the darkest periods of my life, where I considered giving up completely. 

So if I was going to do Meet and Greet for one band, it was Good Charlotte. Because All Time Low were the main band, their group for the meet and greet was a lot bigger than that for GC. ATL had 56, GC had 5. Yes, 5. We got to meet Good Charlotte and get early access into the venue. Going to the room where we’d meet the band was nerve wrecking. The butterflies were horrendous. But it was great. We had a super casual Q&A session, where it was like the 5 on them at one side of the room, and the 5 of us on the other. I had to pinch myself at one point. Benji Madden then got out his guitar, and we got to pick a song. The one that got the go-ahead was The Motivation Proclamation, my suggestion, as it has always been a favourite song. And they played it acoustically. I believe I did cry at that part. Slightly. And then we got photos. A picture taken by one of the tour managers.

 And another one, a selfie taken by Joel Madden (which would have killed me as a 16 year old).  

 Then there was lots of hugs, more small chat, then it was over. We got a GC bag, shirt and signed poster. It was beyond anything I ever thought it would be. To be able to say thank you, personally, to the band who made me who I am today, was priceless. 

We then got out early access to the venue, and got to the barrier. Funnily enough, I got to the same general area that I would get seeing GC in a smaller venue. Stage left. Between Benji Madden and Paul Thomas. Was so happy.  

    
    
    
 I sang along every word, and the band were as flawless as normal. I have missed them so much.  

The set list was as below: 

The Anthem

The Story of My Old Man

My  Bloody Valentine

Girls & Boys

Riot Girl

Makeshift Love

The River

Dance Floor Anthem 

I Just Wanna Live

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

Because I saw the band I loved, I let the bigger All Time Low fans into the barrier, and I went for a drink. This is the way I have always done concerts, the biggest fans deserve to be at the front. I do like ATL, but I didn’t think it was fair to take up barrier space for bigger fans. It’s gig ettiquite. 

If you have ever considered doing meet and greet, do it. Other’s may speak ill of it, but that’s because they have never done it. I have achieved something I have dreamed of for 15 years, almost half my life. If you work hard, and you really want to you should do it. It really was one of the best experiences of my life,  and it really is a good idea if you are attending a big venue that offers it. Both the Good Charlotte and All Time Low meet and greets were organised by Future Beat, who do a lot of VIP deals for events. If you can, give meet and greets a chance, because it really is an opportunity for people to achieve their dreams.

Hello Kitty, Kitty

Music sites across the internet are awash with criticism towards, Canadian pop rocker, Avril Lavigne’s latest video Hello Kitty. As a fan of Avril’s previous music, I thought I’d take a wee look. Have a look for yourself, below.

First thing I’d say, is that it is dang catchy, very cutesy pop music. Which is fine. But, I feel that there is a section of the music buying public, who liked the Avril who sang Sk8tr Boy, not this perky, girly nonsense. Those people need to understand that a music artist, be it Cradle of Filth or One Direction, they will not recycle the same music album after album. They will progress, change their sound to get more sales or keep with their own tastes. Music is something artistic, and art is influenced by what goes on around you. As a result, as a person’s life changes, the music that they wish to create may also change. You can argue about it being marketed as the Hello Kitty song, and being appealing to young children. Sitting here on a Hello Kitty bed, with a Hello Kitty plush beside me, actually makes me think this song is marketed at me, actually. Yeah. Awesome.

The video is set in Japan, with cute Japanese girls as backing dancers, as Avril sings about a pre-teen slumber party. Or that is what it sounds like to me. There have been cries that this video is racist, particularly to the blank expressions and dance routine of the backing dancers.

“I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan.”-Avril Lavigne

Fair enough comment to make, right? Except, it feels a bit like when a racist person says they have a ‘black friend’ as if that proves they aren’t racist. I don’t think that is the intention at all, but I can’t help shake that thought out of my head. But, what she is saying is true. Avril is very popular in Japan, so has ended up doing a video that may appear similar to other Japanese pop videos, in a manner of it’s styling. Possibly paying homage to the music scene that has made her feel accepted. Looking back at Qwen Steffani’s LAMB dancers, I find that more offensive. Love, Angel, Music and Baby were 4 Japanese dancers that followed Gwen around like puppies, in many music videos and tours. These people didn’t have a voice, but became a big part of Gwen’s act. Maybe I wasn’t aware of it, but I didn’t see such a negative reaction for that. And that act actually did make me feel strange seeing it.

In this world, where cultural appropriation is becoming a majorly debated topic, people call foul of any person seen not respecting other cultures. Some people don’t have the capacity to believe that they could disrespect something just by wearing an item of clothing, for example. If something looks cool and interesting, some people want to be a part of it. They maybe don’t know the intricacies of the culture, but that doesn’t mean they disrespect it. However, if someone from the culture, which you are borrowing from, does get offended, they should be listened to. If what you are wearing is from another culture, it is not your voice that matters when someone from that culture is offended. There is a belief that is instilled in some ‘white’ people, that they have the right to anything. This is not true, and people should respect one another, no matter their colour or heritage.

Do I think the video is offensive? It’s more rubbish, than racist, in my opinion. BUT, racism isn’t something that I have experience in, so I don’t feel qualified to base a decision on it. Qwen Steffani’s Japanese phase made me feel a lot more uncomfortable than Avril Lavigne’s one. The crass advertising of a children’s product is what turns my stomach more than the Japanese theming.

Poll: How do you find music?

I have created a poll, in a way to discover how people find music to listen to. It is something that I am interested in, particularly with the wide choices available today. Music no longer relies on the radio to sell it, people take to the internet to discover new bands. And I am interested to whether this actually has an effect on how music is consumed.

July Playlist

I have 8,116 songs on iTunes. This is great, but sometimes a little overwhelming. I can’t decide what to listen to, and sometimes putting your iPod on shuffle doesn’t do it. So, I decided to go through my iTunes and make a playlist. A playlist of 82 songs, which is a lot, but its what I wanted. The songs I picked, are noted below.

The Killers- All These Things I’ve Done
a1- Ready or Not
Good Charlotte- Sex On The Radio
Iron Maiden- 2 Minutes To Midnight
R.E.M.- Nightswimming
All Saints- Never Ever
Operation Ivy- Smiling
MGMT- Kids
Morrissey- First Of The Gang To Die
Amy MacDonald- Caledonia
No Doubt- Ex-Girlfriend
NOFX- Linoleum
Mest (feat Benji Madden)- Jaded (These Years)
Melanie C- I Turn To You
Lethal Bizzle (feat Kate Nash)- Look What You’ve Done
Linkin Park- One Step Closer
McFly- Room On The 3rd Floor
Lady Gaga- Bad Romance
Lady Sovereign- Love Me Or Hate Me
Amy Winehouse- Back To Black
Kei$ha- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Kings Of Leon- Sex Is On Fire
Horrorpops- Walk Like A Zombie
Jake Bugg- Trouble Town
Feeder- Just The Way I’m Feeling
The Exploited- Exploited Barmy Army
Ellie Goulding- Starry Eyed
Hanson- Where’s The Love
Deadmau5 & Kaskade- I Remember
Green Day- When I Come Around
Gwen Steffani (feat Akon)- Sweet Escape
Anti-Flag- 1 Trillion Dollars
Faithless- Insomnia
Fatboy Slim- Rockerfeller Skank
Goldblade- Riot! Riot!
East 17- House Of Love
Eminem- The Real Slim Shady
Dizzee Rascal- Sirens
Coldplay- Viva La Vida
The Distillers- Idoless
Dizzee Rascal & Armin Van Helden- Bonkers
Chumbawamba- Tubthumping
Blondie- Call Me
The Buzzcocks- Ever Fallen In Love
Buddy Holly- Earth Angel
The Casualties- For The Punx
Christina Aguilera- Fighter
Calvin Harris- Acceptable In The 80s
Anti-Nowhere League- I Hate People
Ashlee Simpson- Pieces Of Me
Atomic Kitten- See Ya
Avril Lavigne- Freak Out
Britney Spears- Toxic
Blink 182- Up All Night
The Bouncing Souls- Lean On Sheena
Patti Smith- My Generation
Rancid- Hoover Street
The Saturdays- Beggin’
Savage Garden- Truly Madly Deeply
Selena Gomez & The Scene- When The Sun Goes Down
Shakira- Don’t Bother
Sham 69- If The Kids Are United
Simple Plan- When I’m Gone
Skindred- You Can’t Stop It
Sonic Boom Six- Sound Of A Revolution
Sonic Boom Six- Northern Skies
Spice Girls- Who Do You Think You Are
SS-Kaliert- Make War Not Love
Steps- Last Thing On My Mind
Stereophonics- I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio
Stiff Little Fingers- Johnny Was
Sum 41- In Too Deep
Teenage Bottlerocket- Mini Skirt
Time Again- Lines Are Faded
U.S. Bombs- The Contract
UK Subs- Teenage
The Veronicas- I Don’t Wanna Wait
Vice Squad- Business As Usual
Wednesday Night Heroes- Wash ‘Em Away
The Who- Baba O’Riley
______________
I like a playlist I can leave on all day, which is why it was so long. I also like lists, so a list about music is like a strange part of heaven. What are your options with playlists, do you like long or short? Do you stick in specific genres? Or do you just keep your music on shuffle?

Music Monday

I am unsure if anyone enjoyed last weeks entry. But I enjoyed making it. Lists and music, what more can a music geek ask for. I am forever making my own top 20 lists, so I felt that this would be a nice addition to my blog. Nobody has said anything to counter this yet, so I assume that people like it. Or that noone has read it. Either way, I am happy, and this gets me excited for the week. Hooray.

1) Elvis Presley- Suspicious Minds

2) The Stranglers- All Day And All Of The Night

3) Operation Ivy- Take Warning

4) The Beat- Tears Of A Clown

5) Billy Idol- Rebel Yell

6) Blondie- Call Me

7) The Smiths- What Difference Does It Make

8) Tiger Army- Power Of Moonlight

9) Seasick Steve- It’s A Long, Long Way

10) RUN-DMC Vs Jason Nevins- It’s Like That

11) Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros- Junico Partner (live)

12) Emerson, Lake & Palmer- Fanfare For The Common Man

13) The Aggrolites- Dirty Reggae

14) The Cardigans- My Favourite Game

15) Reef- Place Your Hands

16) Natasha Bedingfield- Pocketful Of Sunshine

17) Alphabeat- Fascination

18) Horrorpops- Where They Wander

19) Britney Spears- Hold It Against Me

20) The Real McKenzies- Kings Of Fife.

So, there is week 2. All of these songs, plus last weeks, are at music monday  on Spotify. The playlist will be updated every week, so if you like what you hear, feel free to subscribe.  Cheers.

Music Monday

Welcome to another week. Something that I do every week is make a music playlist. It is songs that I listen to all week, and helps keep me motivated. And I felt this would be a nice little addition to my blog. Something that I could post weekly, and show my favourite songs of the moment. So here is my first, of what I hope to be weekly, Music Monday.

  1. Metro Station- Shake It
  2. Twin Atlantic- Eight Days
  3. Faithless- Insomnia
  4. Selena Gomez & The Scene- Naturally (Disco Fries Extended Remix)
  5. Good Charlotte- Boys & Girls
  6. Cock Sparrer- Riot Squad
  7. Ke$ha- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
  8. SS Kaliert- Until We Strike Back
  9. Stiff Little Fingers- Johnny Was
  10. B*Witched- I Shall Be There (feat Ladysmith Black Mambazo)
  11. Avril Lavigne- When You’re Gone
  12. Madonna- Don’t Tell Me
  13. Amy McDonald- Run
  14. The Distillers- Idoless
  15. Jack Off Jill- Choke
  16. Toxic Narcotic- Asshole
  17. Skye Sweetnam- Music Is My Boyfriend
  18. Lethal Bizzle- Babylon’s Burning (The Ghetto)
  19. The Casualties- Warriors On The Road
  20. Aus-Rotten- Poison Corporations

If you want to listen to this playlist listen to it on Spotify at music monday 

Not to your taste? Let me know what music you’d share in a playlist.