Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I'll Try to find you... Left of The Dial

So I wanted to cover a few bits and bobs about social networking. I’m mostly covering the pro’s, here.  The majority of people seem to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or all three at once but I do have a good few friends who hate it, won’t do it because they don’t think its “cool”or feel they can’t do it because it gets them in trouble with their girlfriend. The fact is I don’t see why not to do it, you don’t have to check Facebook  everyday, use it in passing, stay in touch. We need to accept that electronic communication is taking over from traditional forms now, I admit I don’t like using the phone...
Those who hate facebook feel annoyed by status updates. Why tell everyone that you are so excited about flying to New York City for a week only to find your house burgled while you are away. People use their status as the chance to boast about something thats happening to them at the time, others say pointless things that don’t interest anybody, maybe I'm one of them. These points are true but I think its so handy to be able to have a bit of banter with someone at the click of a button if you can’t physically see them or call them, it kind of bridges the gaps in between two people seeing each other, tides you over. I love the photo sharing too, I have a lot of friends I don’t see a lot of; at least this lets me see what they’re up to now and again. I used to post a lot of lyrics to songs that I was listening at the time, but nobody cares about that, why not actually show people the songs and write about why I like them (part of my reasons for starting this blog.)
People I know that use Twitter seem to use it for celebrity watching more than socialising. Im partial to a bit of celebrity gossip myself but I think being friends with bands, artists, writers, actors, actresses  or following the ones you really care about on Twitter or Facebook can be a good thing too if you have an interest in a person. It humanises these previously inaccessible people.
Examples of famous people interesting me at the moment, Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows always updates the statuses for the band and through this I have learned that he lives in New York City, I've even seen the view from his apartment window, it did say the district too but Ive forgotten that here.  On Twitter; following Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, I knew he was going on holiday to Mexico, I saw the view from his balcony, could tell you what games he played, events he attended, films he saw in the cinema, this every day stuff that everyday people do but as they are famous and inaccessible you don’t see the normal human side to these stars. 
Don't get me wrong I'm not a social network salesman and I don't spend my life on here but my point is that for me I think all this social stuff is a good accessory in life. It may mean less time with a phone pressed to our ears but that only means less radiation frying our craniums! More positives! I can keep in touch with friends, share my music, videos, follow my favourite sports, music, film stars and just be connected in all these ways so I don’t really understand how some people can be strongly opposed to all this
Thanks to those who followed the link and checked out my You Tube Profile last time. For those who didn’t heres a link to one of my latest vids, another cover but its a song about a guy (and to quote Brian Fallon) ”not so much being a Casanova but trying to prove it to a lady anyway”  a real soulful song with a romanticism in the lyrics that Ive rarely heard lately. I hope you like...
My song of the blog for this week is going to be Newton Faulkner, Dream Catch Me, I got this guys album “Built by Robots” early this week and its a really good easy listening acoustic album, £3 in HMV! It reminds me of a wedding I went to two summers ago and this song was played as the soundtrack to the photographers slideshow, thats when I discovered this guy. I love the lyrics, I know what its like when I've had someone on my mind and you play out these scenarios in your head of how things could go or how they should have gone. There’s some sleep to be lost there guys, but this song sums those dreamy, contemplating  feelings up for me.
Thank You very much youve been a great audience, enjoy yourselves, enjoy each other!  This ones called Backseats, we’ll see you next time!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

I Wore My Heart On My Jeans...

Kid Rock once said “If it looks good you’ll see it, If it sounds good you’ll hear it, If its marketed right you’ll buy it, But... If Its Real You’ll feel it.

This is one of my favourite quotes, I just believe it is so true, good music to me is something you can relate to and identify with. The songs haven't just been churned out to meet a deadline so that a record label can begin to market and sell their "product". Time and thought has gone into them, which is taken from real life experience and influences of those who came before. The best performances of songs are those which really strike a chord with you and hit you right here. How many bands actually do that for you these days. Look no further than Keith Urban's live rendition of "You'll Think of Me", Bruce Springsteen's performance of "Blood Brothers" in New York City in 2000, these are performances that can actually bring a tear to your eye. Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty sings with so much intensity that you can tell he means absolutely every word. That is the way to perform. You can’t manufacture this stuff on some reality TV show. X factor is entertaining and all but has anyone heard much of Joe McElderry all year or even Matt Cardle since Christmas. At least MC plays the guitar and says he’d rather front a band. Too many bands churn out song after song of meaningless nothing in order to fill an album that may have one or two decent singles on it.

A few people have mentioned that they liked the song I posted last time Blue Jeans and White T shirts by The Gaslight Anthem and I'm glad you approve. That's what this blog is about sharing music that I'm passionate about with people and hopefully opening their eyes to something new. Brian Fallon (their singer) really wears his heart on his sleeve when he sings, you can really tell his music means a lot to him and I think its really rare to find singer songwriters that are like that these days. I see a lot of videos on You Tube where people are comparing his style to Brandon Flowers. So heres my side of The Gaslight Anthem vs Killers debate. Brandon Flowers sings his songs well, pretty much as they are on the cd but you never get that impression that he's really engrossed in his own music, he's more of a showman whereas Brian Fallon transfers the song from a a few instruments with a set of lyrics into something that you can actually feel when it is performed, there is a soul in his voice that makes you think he's going to break down in tears at times. Don't get me wrong The Killers have made some great songs and I'm a fan, the majority of which came on the Hot Fuss album but their albums have tailed off. I've watched their live DVD but I haven't actually seen them live as of yet so I will put any further judgement on hold until that day. The Killers obviously have a major record deal, they've been well marketed and they've written some good catchy tunes which people enjoy going wild to. So have the Gaslight Anthem but just not on the same popularity scale and I can see why people compare the sound of the two styles of singing. I have no doubt that The Gaslight Anthem could be as big as the Killers if and when they sell out to a major label and benefited from greater marketing and publicicty but the fact is that they insist on staying with a small label at this point. This earns my respect, gives them integrity and proves that for them it really is all about the music and not a big money deal. Both bands have written some anthemic songs with fast paced beats and catchy lyrics but if marketed the same it wouldn't necessarily be "Somebody Told Me" you would dance to every night, instead it could very well be Great Expectations. That said this all just my own opinion and who knows what the future holds for these great bands.

This last week I've been mass uploading videos to my You Tube profile. This is the link for my channel, please take the time to watch a few songs that I have covered. I intend to put up a few of my own songs sometime soon too! So watch this space...

If you only have time to watch two or three, look for Meet Me By The Rivers Edge, Casanova Baby, High Lonesome, The 59 Sound as some suggestions but know that I appreciate the time some of you take to watch these and any comments and feedback are much appreciated. Its all part of the education I spoke of last time, maybe you will hear my version of a song and off the back of that look up the real version?  I don’t know, but I'd encourage this because even if you slightly like what Ive done, the real thing is incomparably better.

Ive rambled on for a bit now. I'm going to leave you with my song of the blog which is Keith Urban with You’ll Think Of Me and do me a favour here, watch this at a time when you won’t be distracted. Watch it from beginning to end, listen the words right through and prepare to be bowled over by the emotion and intensity of the performance, don't worry if tears fall guys, if music can do that to you it has to be a good thing, thats real music....

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Singing with our Heroes 33 Rounds per Minute and Never Going Home Until the Sun Says We're Finished.

For my first post I just want to let you know what to expect from this. I may only post every few weeks when I get chance. It wont interest everybody but hopefully engages some of you. I'm not putting a lot of thought into it I'm literally typing as I think it. Ive tended to post a lot of stuff on facebook but there isn't a whole lot of space to say what I want to say in just a status. I will probably be pretty music focused but not totally. Speaking of which, the title of this blog is a lyric from a song that I relate to a lot by the band that Ive been most obsessed with lately, Its from Blue Jeans and White T Shirts by The Gaslight Anthem, check the link at the end and give it a listen.

My friends have always been important to me and I may not see them as much as I'd like anymore that will always be the case but I often find myself thinking about when times were more carefree, before mortgages, bills, economic crisis, when we just used to hang out, make out,  and party until the sun came up. We were wild at heart, we still are I guess but things were so simple back then which is why I like simplicity of blue jeans and white t shirts because thats me wearing those jeans and that white t shirt, singing along with my heroes (remember Livin on a Prayer and Summer of 69?) so for me this song means nostalgia, memories, looking back upon an easier time and never forgetting that time because at the risk of sounding like my Dad they could be the best times of our lives. This isnt to say Im downbeat about the now or the future, not at all, life is good (mostly) but these (our) memories are there for us to look back upon and I hope if anyone reads this that you like this song and can see where I'm coming from.

One thing Ive always loved about music is there is so much of it, so much that there is always something out there that we will love even if we are yet to discover it and Ive always enjoyed sharing my favourite songs with the people I know and care about. I call it educating people so I guess that makes me the teacher so please humour my suggestions and give them a try and do this homework, you may discover something new that you love. Im also interested to hear about the songs that bring up these memories for you, so fire them back at me, explain it, and I promise to look them up if I don't know them.

So until next time..... Thanks for reading