Sunday, 19 April 2009

Don't Apologise.

I've been listening to a proper mish-mash of stuff tonight, and it's got me thinking about music taste and what it's 'supposed' to say about you. (The inverted commas are my online winking device...go with it.)

Where did this rule book come from that liking one sub-genre of music makes you infinitely cooler than another sub-genre lover? I get the music snobbery part, hell, I'm as guilty as the next person but does liking such a wide range of things somehow dilute your character? Are you spread thinly over toast, rather than scooped out and slapped on? I wrote my dissertation on how your personality affects the music you buy and it was the highest grade I got for my entire degree. I think the fact I quoted Jeff Buckley, Van Morisson and Rob Gordon (well, Nick Hornby if we're getting pedantic) helped.

I have bands and artists that I love and they could not be further from one another in sound, tempo or philosophy. Otis Redding does not sound like Biffy Clyro. Sufjan Stevens does not sound like Hendrix.

I've got an image in my head now of one of those heavy-coated, street-vendors who have a tendency to fling open one side of their jacket to reveal pockets overflowing with watches, trinkets, treasures and old handkerchiefs. Gulp. Is that what my music collection looks like? Let me try to qualify what I mean.. you know the quizzes you can take in magazines where they ask you to tick various coloured boxes to decide your relationship/career/fashion/supposed pet choice? You end up ticking 5 red boxes, 4 yellow, 3 yellow and 3 blue. At the end of the day, this is someone else holding up a definition of you with the boxes they've created but I do think my music collection is made up of blocks of colour. Shades, tones and textures that all somehow fit together like a Rubik cube.

Sufjan sits down with Buckley, Bird and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
Otis can share space with Franklin, Cooke and Brown.
Biffy Clyro live with Pearl Jam, Pumpkins and Jimmy Eat World.
Hendrix bonds with Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King and Buddy Guy.
and... Paramore, Panic At The Disco and Kelly Clarkson can all hang out together in perfect harmony.

I'm not ashamed of a single piece of music I own, or like, or shouldn't like. From my perspective, at least, they all thread together because they're mine. I can see that I lean towards the more acoustic, earnest, lyric based stuff but there is always space for the balls-out guitar solos, the bar-jumping, throat-screeching vocals, the thumping back-beats, the undefined electronica, the twang of Americana and the all out pop-power of the universally accepted.

I like cool stuff, and I also like really uncool stuff too. I don't care, all I do care about is that I can complete a Rubik cube. Therefore, I am cool regardless of what you think of my musical taste.

Monday, 13 April 2009


I've been cheating on Tumblr again, I'm sorry.

I'm here to talk about tattoos. I've been talking about getting one for at least 3 years but am finally starting to narrow the decision process. Hello, I'm indecisive.. plenty nice to meet you.

I'd like two, possibly three, the first of which I've known about for a while.


It means hope, in Spanish. It's to represent what that year away meant to my life, meant to my headspace, meant to my heart. I'd like it either on my ankle, or wrist. The font, however, is a bitch to decide on. Maybe something like this?
The second is a little harder to stamp. And the third is going to be a quote I haven't found yet.

Here's what I got as inspiration:

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Don't you dare.

Note to self: Don't claim to be doing something in your blog unless you're actually going to do it. It's all well and good to use the space as a post-it note to remind yourself but don't you dare write something and then not follow through..(I'm not going to talk about best friends, nor am I going to do anything alphabet related. At least not today, I'll just wait the topics out).

I'm in a weird head space tonight. I'm going backwards into musical nostalgia and wanted to just get all this stuff out of my head about growing up with artists, and what that means. And how fucking rare it is to have an artist that sticks with you.

Everyone has music that reminds them of something, a place; a person; a feeling. Music has this strange power to pick you up and put you somewhere else - hearing the songs on the debut before the second album that got big; hearing the translation of those songs into a live show; hearing the rough cuts and the finished mixes. It grows. The music grows. When it grows along the same timeline that you're headed there's a different lock on the relationship you have with it. This is not to say that you're confined to the music that evolves within your generation - half of my life is mapped from compass points in too many decades - it's just that a different relationship develops. You get to be completely present with an artist of your generation; you get to take home the ticket stubs and close your eyes in a crowd.
When you find an artist that grows up as you grow up there's a unique element of symmetry that seems to appear - not a set of parallel lives, but more a case of patterns. Those patterns seem to weave into and out of your own life and the music pins them to the walls. It works with artists that are almost gone by the time you come round to them - hearing a live version of B.B King's 'Worry Worry' works two-fold, first I'm in a crowded theatre in November '64 and then I'm lying on a bed in an in Argentinian coastal town in '06. The music gets pulled through the years, into your lap.
I feel it works like a family does. The music you get in your generation is like a sibling, or a best friend. The music that comes before is all shades of your parents and their peers. You love both but for different reasons - with your parents you get to hear about how things were, why they happen and how to solve them but with your peers you get to figure it all out for yourself. Your parents might steady you with their advice but it's your peers that you get to share it with.