Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: “Swallowed’ – Bush

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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Today I am going for some 90s nostalgia. This song definitely reminds me of being a teenager, but I still love it every time I hear it. It aged well 🙂 There were a few Bush songs I really loved around that time, though they were never a favourite band,

Music · Music Monday

Music Mondays: ‘Persephone’ – Tamino

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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My head has been all over the place these past few weeks for one reason or another, and whenever I need to find some calm inside myself I find myself listening to Tamino. He is this amazing young Belgian/Egyptian singer, who writes the most emotive songs I have ever heard. His songs are slow, but I find them surprisingly grungy, and they just hit a very special note for me. I love the Arab inflections he manages to weave into his songs.

I miss live music so much, and Tamino is definitely at the top of my list of people/bands I want to see live once this annoying virus decides to be contained. I think it would be an experience! (I will add one of his festival show from last year at the bottom, just to add a bit of live music to my – and your- life, cause its sorely missed!)

This song refers to the Greek myth of Persephone, who was abducted by Hades and became the Queen of the Underworld. Funnily enough, I just listened to this on the audio book for Mythos by Stephen Fry, so very appropriate!

Yes my love, I confess to you
I am only here to break your heart in two
The very flower you chose that day
Its only task was to decay
You see?

When I watched your first bathing
I only warned you with a lowered voice
“Be wary of my river’s undertow
It flows with water from the coldest source”
Did you hear?

And then I made sure
You would always return
You still know of dawn
But you always return

When you hid under my black wings
They couldn’t have protected you from anything
Once in flight they would have let go
You would have once again wound up below
Only broken

Indeed, it’s wrong to keep you near me
One could call me cruel and deceiving
But in your sacred air I am full of light
Your loving arms are the true delight
To which I’m lost

And you’ve noticed it
There is something right here
You have come to love, yes you’ve come to love
What you always will fear

Yes, my love, I confess to you
I’ve nothing but the means to break your heart in two
My part in yours may seem important now
But with every spring it will seem so small
Just for now I am your fall
I am your fall
I am your fall

Music · Music Monday

Music Mondays: ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke

It has been way too long since I did one of these. I have been listening to lots of music, but I keep forgetting!

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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I thought I would take this as an opportunity to talk about my favourite ‘book club’. I say book club, but it’s mainly two guys discussing books about music on Instagram Live. It’s up to you whether to just watch the conversation or read the book and join in the comments.

So, shout-out to the Shelf-Isolation Instagram account (@shelfisolationpod), started in lockdown by The Amazons frontman Matt Thomson and American musician Joshua Speers. The book discussions take place on Tuesdays at 12pm PST, 3pm EST and 8pm BST, Check it out if you can. You can usually watch it afterwards as well. They deserve a Hamilton, Jack - Just Around Midnightbigger audience (though I don’t think they care!).

The current book being discussed is Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination by Jack Hamilton, which I am listening to on audio. It’s a very interesting listen.

I have read quite a few of the books with them if and when I had time and I have really enjoyed doing so and listening to them talk about it. Ones I can remember off the top of the head that I read for Shelf-Isolation include Face It (Debbie Harry), High Fidelity (Nick Hornby), Uncommon People (David Hepworth) and Mo’ Meta Blues (Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson). It’s been a lot of fun and it inspired me to read more books on a subject I really love: music.

I will share a song mentioned in the current book being discussed.  ‘A Change Is gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke. It’s one I love a lot. Enjoy!

 

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Indigo Night’ by Tamino

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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I recently discovered this Belgian musician called Tamino and he has completely blown me away.

Normally I prefer faster paced music, but there is something about his music, with its beautiful instrumentation, his incredible voice, with those slightly French and Arab intonations that just burrows into my heart.

This song sounds like heaven to me. I just want to close my eyes and listen. Sometimes you just need music to take you up into a different world and listening to him does that for me.

Indigo Night

Imagine, the girls around town assemble
The traveler’s son they come askin’
Where he came from
‘Cause they’ve watched him
Washing his face near the pond
A curious boy and they wonder
Where he came from

He says, “I, I have seen the world’s most beautiful places
Still I feel, as If I’m a walking machine
Watching it all through a screen
There is nothing in between to me
This might as well not be real”

Imagine, the girls take him up on a hill
It’s an Indigo night, there’s a chill
The boy is confused but he’s still
As they gather around him
So many of them, they all sing
About the pleasures of life

And he cries, “Why can’t I sing along with some feeling, or some meaning?
It feels like I’ve always been blind
I don’t know why you girls are so kind
For there are so many in line
Whose lives aren’t as lost as mine”

Now something happened there
The smell of the grass, or maybe the air
There was no more despair
Just something about that night
Maybe the girls, they lit some light
And made everything right
‘Cause he’s never been
More alive
Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Black’ by Dave

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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I had no choice but to choose this song and this particular performance for today. Last week Dave performed this song at the Brit Awards and man, it gave me goose bumps. I think the message is so important. I think everyone should listen to this song and the lyrics. It’s an important message. I felt it in my heart even if it is not about me. For me this is about the state of the world and the fact that we have to accept each other and stop stereotyping. Like Dave said, equality should be the norm, not something to be praised. Love is the only way forward.

 

 

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Godmanchester Chinese Bridge’ by The Howl and the Hum

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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I went to my first live show of the year over the weekend, so thought I would put the spotlight on the band we went to see, which is The Howl and the Hum. They are a young band from York in Northern England.

They were surprisingly good. The singer, Sam I think, has an amazing voice and is quirky in the best possible way, keeping the crowd (all 250 people of them 😂) engaged. Then mentioned they just finished recording their debut album. I will definitely be buying it, because they were pretty excellent live. They are pretty ‘genre fluid’ from song to song, which I like.

Back when you weren’t successful
Back when you were interesting
Back when you we were in the same boat, making waves
Back in my head now
You’ve made yourself very hard to forget now
Do you remember that bridge in the
Midlands they pulled apart to see just how it stood
But now you’re something big in the city
So cruel to say
But its such a pity
So cruel to say
But I hope you lose your way
Back when we were inseparable
Back when you were a reckless one
Back when we get lost to get lost
Do you remember that mess?
Now I return to Godmanchester
Back to the bridge
And I see it still standing there
And I’m still that lost kid
Wrapping his head around forever
But now you’re something big in the city
So cruel to say
But its such a pity
So cruel to say
But I hope you lose your way
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
Waiting on Godmanchester Chinese Bridge
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
And if you’re lost
I will be waiting
Waiting on Godmanchester Chinese Bridge
Waiting on Godmanchester Chinese Bridge

 

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Still Disappointed’ by Stormzy (Wiley v Stormzy beef)

I haven’t done this one for a while, but then, I have not been blogging much full stop!

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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Bear with me, this is going to be a long story! (and out of my comfortzone!)

This past week brought the UK grime scene to the fore (there are criteria for making grime different from just rap, is it just the 140bpm thing? I don’t know!). Now, I don’t listen to a lot of rap music. It is not that I don’t like it, there is just not enough time in my day to listen to all the music I would like to listen to! I like Stormzy. What can I say? I am a sheep! No, it’s not that. Fact is, the guy is just incredibly likable. And his music is accessible for people who don’t listen to a whole lot of rap/grime etc music. Which is exactly why the following occurred and for some reason I found myself following what was going on and I may as well talk about it a bit!

Wiley (40) is one of the founding fathers of the grime scene in the UK and Stormzy (26) is the pretender to the throne. For some reason Wiley started going off on Stormzy, mostly for working with Ed Sheeran as far as I can tell. The fact that Stormzy is mixing grime with more popular music seemed to irk him quite a bit. Also, on his recently released album Heavy is the Head (went to no 1 in the UK charts!) Stormzy has a track called Wiley Flow, which seems a homage, but Wiley apparently took it as a diss.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Wiley sent a diss track (Eediyat Skengman) out to Stormzy to an old school grime beat. He mainly attacked Stormzy’s credibility as a grime artist and the music he is making.  He managed to wake the bear and Stormzy came back with a track pretty snappy. On his track Disappointed he makes it very clear how disappointed he is and disses Wiley’s brother (Cadell) and dad. He does not really seem to take it too seriously and throughout the music video (made on the fly!), he is holding a mug of tea and a spliff, as if he could do this whole thing in his sleep. He makes it look so easy. Of course there were some grumblings from the grime scene that Stormzy’s track was in fact set to a slower drill beat (Know Better by Headie One, which in itself is a  bit of a diss).

Wiley’s reply (Eediyat Skengman 2) was a better effort than his first, but he made the big mistake of dissing Stormzy’s mum (again!). The bear turned into one pissed off dragon, or as Stormzy says in the track (Still Disappointed‘not a happy bunny’, and certainly in the first half of the track he seems really pissed off and goes at Wiley’s mum quite a bit in retaliation. However, in the second half, he is clearly just taking the piss and mocking the whole situation, which was absolutely hilarious in my opinion. Again, with mug of tea and a spliff in hand, he makes it look so easy, especially since he had the track (which has direct replies to Wiley’s second track) ready less than 24 hours later with a scorching video to go with it and that whilst he had signings and interviews to attend.

Wiley should not have replied, but he did with Eediyat Skengman 3 (though not within the prescribed 24 hours). The track added little to what had already gone on, and I presume Stormzy won’t reply. He does not need to. After all, he has a busy schedule and he said what he needed to say. I would be very surprised if he did.

Now, I am a indie rock chick at heart, but you have to admire the workrate of these rap/grime artists when they are beefing, especially when they are responding within 24 hours with pretty hot work.

It very much looks like a generation clash to me. On one hand you have the old guard, who worked hard for the genre and for where they got to, and on the other hand you have this young upstart who managed to break from your genre into the mainstream by mixing it with other genres. That’s tough, right! However, it is not like Wiley has never dabbled on the pop side of things, but he is more of a grime artist than Stormzy is. The problem is that when an older generation starts on a younger one it comes across jaded. Instead of being proud of paving the way, Wiley seems to feel that Stormzy is using grime to further his own career. Now, I am not sure whether that is the case, but I know that a lot of young kids out there will be listening to more grime, because Stormzy promotes it and how can that be a bad thing.

Also, Wiley has a new album coming out soon and since the beef has started dropping tracks, so one has to speculate that this was all a publicity stunt on his part. I am sure his name has been trending because he has been beefing with Stormzy, who was number 1 in the singles and album charts in the UK as the time of the beef. What better way to get your name out there again for when you drop your album. Highly suspicious!

Both Wiley’s brother Cadell and grime artist Dot Rotten have sent for Stormzy, but he has not dignified those with replies. I don’t think he will. There’s no need.

Anyway, this is Still Disappointed. (I won’t add the lyrics, as they are pretty harsh). If you are interested check out all the above tracks for a proper narrative in this particular diss exchange.

 

Books · Music · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Solid State (Kenneth Womack)

Womack, Kenneth - Solid State

★★★★★★☆

Title: Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles
Author: Kenneth Womack  
Genre: Non-Fiction/biography/music
First published: October 2019 by Cornell University Press
Edition: NetGalley e-ARC coursey of Netgalley and the publisher

Solid State takes readers back to 1969 and into EMI’s Abbey Road Studio, which boasted an advanced solid state transistor mixing desk. Womack focuses on the dynamics between John, Paul, George, Ringo, and producer George Martin and his team of engineers, who set aside (for the most part) the tensions and conflicts that had arisen on previous albums to create a work with an innovative (and, among some fans and critics, controversial) studio-bound sound that prominently included the new Moog synthesizer, among other novelties.

This book took me way longer to read than it should have done, because I found it tremendously interesting. Like everyone, I grew up with Beatles songs all around me and of course I knew that they split up due to various personal differences, but I never looked into the how and why.

But before it looks at the end of The Beatles and their reasons for splitting up it takes us on the journey of the ins and outs of the making of the Abbey Road LP. Here the author goes into tremendous detail of what techniques were used and how the individual tracks came to be and how exactly they were recorded. I thought it was a fascinating insight into the world of recording an album at the tail-end of the sixties.

I got taken on a journey that goes deeper than I expected and I really enjoyed the intricate details and getting to know a bit about each individual Beatle at this end stage of the band.

If you have little interest in music, this may be a little dry and geeky for you, but as a person who is a self-confessed music geek, this was just wonderful to read. And if you have no interest in music, you probably would not pick this up anyway…

6 out of 7 stars

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘My Honest Face’ by Inhaler

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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You know when you hear a song and you think, well that sounds a bit like… whatever. Well, I heard this song and thought it sounded a bit like early U2 and that the guy’s voice sounded like Bono. Well guess what, turns out the singer is Bono’s son. I think that is pretty amusing 🙂 The more I hear this song, the more I love it. It makes me want to do silly dancing (the best kind of dancing!).

I am really enjoying a lot of new bands at the moment, which gives me life 🙂

 

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Mother’ by The Amazons

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

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It’s been a while since I did one of these. I have also been pretty absent from my blog recently. I have not been reading that much lately, partly because I have been listening to a lot of music instead, as that is my second obsession behind reading.

I have been to a couple of gigs in the last month and I was completely blown away by one of the bands I saw live. I liked them beforehand, but seeing them live was such a high that I now absolutely love these guys. The venue had a capacity of only about 250 and it was the sweatiest, hottest gig I have ever been to. They were freaking amazing!

That band was The Amazons, who I posted a song by a few months ago. They completely and utterly blew me away and that was one of the best gigs I have been to in my 25 years of gig-going (and that is saying something!). I was buzzing for days after – seriously!

So here’s a live version of one of the songs from their second album Future Dust, which came out in May this year. Epic live band. I can’t wait to see them again in the future (unfortunately probably not in such a small venue again *Sad face*).

I chose this live version of Mother, but it really does not do them justice. Honestly, if they ever play near you, go see them – you won’t regret it!