Sunday, 11 May 2014

Album anticipation

Rumours circulate.

Waiting! Waiting!

Dates are announced, a single is released and maybe another track leaked.

Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!

Counting down! Saving, reading interviews, watching interviews.

Woo hoo! Off to the shops I go.

This was the scenario I would go through upon waiting for an artist I liked new album to launch. I would skim my lunch money (Sorry Mum) and save and wait till its release date then rush to the shops to purchase the CD. Eagerly read the cover book on the bus or wait till I got home so I could read and hear the new found lyrics at the same time. Like an absolute music nerd. I am not ashamed to admit this in the slightest.

Today however it is in no way as eagerly anticipated.

I still get excited about a bands new work and the effort that the have so obviously put into their music. But due to digital downloading and the demise of the CD. The volume of excitement is not as high as it once was. Okay! So I am at least 15 years older than I was when I would pour all my money into music. I have a family and inevitably so my priorities have changed. Also with growing up I now see the machine and publicity planning that goes behind an album release. Its timed to perfection. On the other hand I see that a band have finished their work months before it is released. Due to the digital overtake record companies leave more time between single and album releases in order to generate more chart sales. Look big marketing mogul I just want to hear the new songs.

What prompted this whole post. Twin Atlantic. The band have been in an album creating hiatus for near enough a year. As bands do. So when they used the power of social media to excite fans about their forthcoming single. We knew an album would not be far behind. On the 24th of March a teaser with an incredible guitar riff was released. Followed by exclusive airplay on of their single on the 31st March. Hours later the video was launched. Not too bad of a schedule. So I was thinking cool come May their album will be out. NOPE!! On 23rd of April after further Facebook teasers the launch date of August 18th was given. Boooo Hissssss to that record company and gone is a Twin Atlantic filled summer.A 6 month wait from teaser to album launch, Red Bull records you have lost the plot. Especially with forthcoming tour dates. How are fans suppose to enjoy new songs if we do not know them prior to the gig. No matter how much you attempt to entice with Pre order offers. I'm not parting with anything three months in advance. The anticipation will dwindle further I am sure. But more than likely I will be up on the 18th August eager to download.

So like my younger self I am left.

Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!

Monday, 14 April 2014

The forgotten Ones.

"Oh my I forgot about this song!"

The other week while sitting at a comedy gig at the interval and a Muse song starts playing. I cannot remember which specific one. But we both looked at each other in sudden realisation of oh yeah we liked Muse. At one point. So today here I am thinking that there must be a plethora of albums and bands that we all forget we like/liked or at least listened to for weeks on end.

 Now I am not talking about the ones of childhood past such as Boyzone and East 17. I mean Muse I have easily not listened to in a year. Another band I forget about is 30 seconds to Mars. So due to Jared Leto's (30STM front man) Oscar win they too have been on my return list. One hit wonders like Deep blue somethings "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and New Radicals "Get what you give" have always been around on my play list creations so how is it a bands full back catalogue can disappear off my music radar?

 To quote the musical rent I feel we go through "Seasons of Love" I think that the change in seasons can have a complete effect in what we listen too. Obviously as the snow falls in the month of December we hear Christmas songs and Slade is yet again let out of its box. But as the temperature slightly raises (I do live in Scotland) in these spring months. I find the more upbeat my play lists and listening requirements are.I prefer more melodic songs than the usual emo and rock I listen too. Often in summer some dance tracks seem to seep into my car stereo too. There nothing like driving, sunglasses on, windows slightly down, singing along to your favourite tunes.  So I'm off to rediscover those. I will do some sort of voodoo sun dance at the same time.

Blog Songs : Muse Exo Politics
 Deep blue something -Breakfast at Tiffany's
New Radicals - Get what you give

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sing along songs.

Everyone sings along to their favourite songs when we hear them. Be it a slight hum in the car to the radio, a full out rendition in the shower or pretending you are performing to masses in your living room when really its just to your cat. You do not have to be the best singer ever to sing. It is a bit like therapy and can make you feel happy on the dullest of days.

Recently I volunteered to take part in " Songbooth" a project created by Greg Sinclair one of the artists in residence at the Citizens Theatre where I work. 

You chose your own song to sing. I could have had some personal meaning. I chose to sing "Walking in Memphis" by Cher. Originally by Marc Cohn. It's a song that I remember a lot form my childhood. My Mum was a big Cher fan and when her "It's a man's world" album was released we owned it on CD. I vaguely remembered the original in that I knew the song had previously sung by a male. So I chose that song as it reminded me of the fun times I had bopping around the house with my wee mum. 

It got me thinking of the vast amount of songs that I love to sing along to. Songs that I have sang in the past either in a performance or just on Karaoke. It was not an easy decision but I felt that I could do the song justice without sounding like a drowned cat. I have sang many ballads and musical songs and I easily, without thinking could have sang "Part of your world" from The little mermaid as I sang it most nights to my son when he was a toddler.

I enjoyed the experience and I have only watched a little of it back. Seen as I would probably be my own worst critic. 

So what song would you sing? What songs can you "pull out your back pocket" and give a rendition of. Even if it is just for yourself or your cat. 

"Sing as though no one can hear you" 

Artist in residence exhibition details are below. 

Exhibition Info.

Song for this blog: Walking in Memphis - Cher

Sunday, 19 January 2014

If I were to have a conversation with my fifteen year old self.

"I listen to anything apart from Opera and Country."

"Listen to country music! Who am I?  My gran?"

"Its soooo over dramatic and boring."

"All their songs are whiny and about God or heartbreak."

I said lines similar to this when i was around 15 years of age. Lets face if we all had a time machine I am certain there are many conversations we would have with our younger selves. As a teenager music is a sense of self and independence. I still liked some pop music but was leaving behind the plastering my walls with boy bands. Listening to more Indie and punk bands like Greenday, Foo Fighters and Stereophonics. Along with a growing interest in movie soundtracks and hip pop. However I would have melted with embarrassment and rolled over in my skinny coloured jeans and Benetton jumpers and laughed if you had told me : When your 30 you are going to find a taste for country music. Nope. No way. Not in a month of Sundays would I have taken you seriously.

But here I sit listening to a play list filled with country tracks that even Dolly Parton would be proud of. Opera I now enjoy having been taught to sing "lascia ch'io pianga" by a singing tutor. Yes in Italian and all. It is a very complex and beautiful song. As Opera is all about story songs I wish I had not been as naive as a teenager and listened to it more.

So as tastes change I wonder if in another 15 years time I might be listening to another whole different genre of music. Raving it up to heavy techno music at the age of 45. Who knows what the future holds? But for now I shall remain the girl who is a a little bit country but a whole lot of rock and roll.

Track of this Blog: Stars Tonight by Lady Antebellum

Interesting Read: University of Cambridge research link.

Friday, 10 January 2014

This is the New Year.

I have written before about the power I feel that a good soundtrack on a show can have. These days I find myself using the shazam app in order to find out tracks playing in a recent episode. At times even watching a scene over just to hear the track again. I am not going to deny I do watch a lot of TV shows. With my husband however (saying that will never get old) It is a thing we do together. Catching up on the weekly goings on of "Sons of Anarchy" and "NCIS". I often wonder who chooses the tunes?

I find that when creating work with children that I have to be careful which music is used for their scenes. Point A is that it has to be child friendly and B It has to suit the scene. I have been caught out and had to use some of my own musical tastes, which the 9- 12 year old group can screw their noses up at and the 6- 8 year old kids have no idea that a song was possibly released prior to their birth everything post the recent top 40 to them is old. The thing is I don't want to feel as if  music is pushed on people. At times hobbies and passions can be. Saying to me "Oh i don't really like music" is like saying you don't really like to breathe. A bit harsh and over dramatic but never the less true. I adore it.  To someone else it could be "I  don't really like football", "I don't really like dancing". We all have different things that drive us and we are all different people.

 As the new term of classes I assist are about to commence I have found myself at my computer with my old ipod and this term I shall not be caught out.Yes this does mean that the latest version of the Now pop album will be downloaded but at least I should have something for everybody. I just wonder if the big producers on TV shows do similar things. I feel elated if a kid ask me who a song is by because they like it. I feel I have passed on something they may look into. If an artist I adore receives a you tube hit from a kid hearing a track I have played. I can only be doing something right.

 So as I shazam this weeks track from an episode of "Person of Interest" Big TV Exec show music director person. Please know that you are doing some great work. Maybe I will use your chosen track in my own work as this weeks warm up.  Teaching kids drama is one of the most rewarding jobs. It is fun, it is exciting. it is tiring and at times can try your patience. But I would not swap working in theatre for anything. Even to pick the tracks on a TV show.

P.S The track from Person of Interest was Building Steam with a grain of salt. By DJ Shadow
Check it out.