“When I’m weak …


“When I’m weak I draw strength from you
And when you’re lost I know how to change your mood
And when I’m down you breathe life over me
Even though we’re miles apart we are each other’s destiny”

This is from one of my favourite songs by Zero 7. Reminds me of all those exs of mine that I always left thinking “you will always be my baby’. Listening to this song reminds me of all of them. It reminds me that I was lucky enough to have these people in my life.

We are still each other’s destiny. I once loved you. That’s set in stone. Nothing will change that. Before I met you, you were apart of my destiny. 

 

Dare I not hear the right song, it could drive me crazy!


I was listen to music today. For the first time in a long time (relatively). I was LISTENING to music, not just playing a few songs. I dont really play music when I have a lot to unpack (whatever this means).

I find that music clutters my thoughts when I need to think clearly. It delays my thought process. Gives me so much comfort, offers me no solutions, only feelings, too many feelings. Makes me wander into places of nothingness, where I desperately search for something. 

Music is messy, it’s chaos, it’s cathartic, poignant, it’s silly, it’s staccato and untidy, its so many things! Too many things. It’s best enjoyed in a neat space.

I can’t handle music all the time. I can’t take on it all the time. Maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m a coward. But people always go on about how powerful music is. Perhaps I have a profound respect for great power.

Anyways, in my very neat space, I’m listening to Nightmares On Wax, Beirut, Bjork and Les Nubians. Dabbling in some Maxwell, Whitney Houston and Bobby Womack. The latter group is for control, to understand mortals. The former, is for me, to understand my process.

My new friend Feist


I haven’t blogged about music in a very long time. Very unbecoming of me. I’m a huge music lover. I love it all! Been meaning to do this for a while now, since last year. Complements of my buddy from another buddy @PearlBosh, I discovered Feist.

I’m a sucker for subterranean music. I think it stems from being an only child. I can only listen to artists that won’t be on Vuzu’s VEntertainment or E! News etc… I like my musicians eclectic and distinct. I need to listen to music that speaks to the person’s experiences and thoughts, for kindred spirits to relate . This is why I have I massive R.E.S.P.E.C.T for artists who write a lot of their lyrics. Living it, feeling it and then singing it, is generous and I appreciate it. Sharing is caring.

I remember discovering Regina Spektor (all by myself), it was a revelation. If you’ve heard any of her tunes you’d know for sure, she’d doing it for her and sharing. Something about her music screams “I needed to get this out of me. In case you’re going through the same thing…here it is…relate if you will”. Much like Feist.

Feist! A Canadian born musician. If you want more details google her. I’m going to speak to her songs that speak to my person. So I have three albums, Let It Die, Metal and The Reminder.

Let It Die
Favourite song this album is hands down the title track. Let It Die. In terms of love for me its always there but it never blossoms. Lyric from the song: “The saddest part of a broken heart isn’t the ending so much as the start”. This is so true (for me at least). Like that mango in the fruit basket that just won’t ripen. Its the anticipation of what’s to come, that is the tragedy. Its lessons you learn whilst waiting for that fruit to ripen. It just goes bad, before reaching any potential. Then you still have hope…but in reality…you just got to let it die.

Let It Die is actually my favourite Feist album. I could actually go on about the other songs. I’ll probably quote her in future blog posts. But if you’re keen check out, “Inside And Out”, “One Evening” and “Secret Heart”.

Metals
I don’t like this album as much as I like the one above, I’m one of those people who sees in black and white…I always have favourites, this is why I shouldn’t have kids. Check out “Graveyard” and “How Come You Never Go There”.

The Reminder
My second favourite Feist album. Yes, I left the penultimate favourite last. Because of this here track “Brandy Alexander”. I love this song “He’s my Brandy Alexander, always gets me into trouble”. That lover you seem to love, like taking down a shot of Brandy, but you always get drunk and end up doing nuts. The lyrics also follow “he goes down easy”. This just speaks to addiction to something light and maybe even fun. A weakness worth keeping I suppose.

Also check out “I’m Sorry” for those moments you feel pathetic for apologising.

Love me some Feist. You should check her out for real. Some of it is a lil too folky and emotionally excessive, but hey…maybe you’re feeling stuff and it’ll strike a cord.

“I feel it all, I feel it all.” I feel it all by Feist:)

For everyone out there living in an emotional circus. You should check out Feist.

The Grammy Awards 2012 (This Is Not A Rant)


I want to have my two cents worth on last nights Grammys.

In my infinite wisdom, yours truly set his alarm for 3H00 CAT to watch the Grammys. For the first time in a very long time I was excited to watch “the greatest honours” in music. I was keen and excited to see what the Grammys prepared for the incomparable Whitney. And I stayed up for the starlets who we now have to count on to fill the space in our hearts, that Whitney so tragically left, with their angelic voices and range defying abilities, the princesses of soaring ballads Adele and Jennifer Hudson.

Mind you it had been a while since I last watched the Grammys. In my youth I used to love award ceremonies, but I’d lost touch with that world. I couldn’t keep up with the industry and my taste in music wasn’t well represented in most (all really) of these award shows. But every now and then I’d visit youtube after every major award to soak up some of the good performances and I do remember seeing really good ones in the past as well. So besides the tribute, Jennifer and Adele, I was hoping for some of that magic last night.

The whole thing was underwhelming to say the least. Yes, I am biased and the topic of music is extremely subjective. I’m not arrogant; I’ll acknowledge that this is MY disappointment and not a reflection of the work the producers and performers put into the show. But I have an opinion to express and it is not a happy one.

On the performances

  • Chris Brown (Breezy if you’re nasty) gave us a show, a dancing show. He was out there dancing like a new act in Cirque Du Soleil. He’s a brilliant dancer, I must say. If I was into that kind of thing I would’ve been over the moon! But I’m not, it’s the Grammys and he was lip-syncing.
  • The rednecks. I’m not even being rude or racist. It was like a southern hoedown at some point. Taylor Swift looking and going on like something from Huckleberry Finn, or maybe even Gone With The Wind The Musical (not really, I’m being nice). There were others before and after her, not sure who they are. They sang and did their thing.
  • The Beach Boys and Adam Levine. This particular performance I actually found disturbing. Thing is when I think of geriatric performers, I think Steve Tyler and Mick Jagger. The Beach Boys and Adam Levine on stage together…it was like a Viagra commercial.
  • I would at this point like to remind you once again…my opinion. Somewhere out there someone was enjoying all this crap.
  • Rihanna and Coldplay. Two tweets came in that really resonated well with me. 1) “Someone please tell Coldplay and Rihanna there’s a difference between singing and competitive weeping” 2) “Puppies die when Rihanna sings live”. I love Coldplay, came to see them jam when they were in South Africa. I love Rihanna too, she’s a rebel and its fun to watch (sometimes listen) her. Her performance was actually reminiscent of some performance I remember from an MTV awards show in the mid to late nineties. It went well with her song actually. But I think its time someone from SONY or other music equipment companies out there to invent a microphone that will work with this sweet girl’s voice.  This is coming from a good place actually, because you actually see the struggle in Rihanna’s face when she sings live. Like she knows she’s killing puppies and she’s just trying so hard not to spare a Lab or two.
  • Adele! Congratulations to her for wining all six of the awards she was nominated for. She’s still so young! I’m looking forward to watching her career. She sang beautifully!!!! Her voice is something out of a fairy tale. It’s rich, it’s mature, it’s melodic, it’s an absolute pleasure to hear her sing. But there’s a “but”. I don’t know about your guys, but I think Adele is incredible stiff on that stage when she performs live. We’ll get the occasion high school talent show swing and a few hand gestures every now and then. It’s a live performance, give us a show! Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Aretha they all have signature ballad antics to LET US KNOW (and boy do we know) that they’re feeling the song. Dramatic heaving shoulders, raising your hand to the Lawd Geezos, leaning back as if to harness strength from the heavens! Okay, I went a lil too far. But you must agree she’s a bit of an automaton when she performs. Even her backup singers seemed to be having a much better time than her. Those sister were grooving to the beat. Maybe she’s modest and she’s still a lil shy. Still love her though. I’ll close my eyes when she performs and imagine whatever I want to.
  • Jennifer Hudson. Her rendition of Whitney’s “I’ll always love you” was heartwarming. If they had more time, pretty sure the producers were going to get Mariah, Aretha, George Michael, Dion Warwick, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and a host of other artists to sing a verse each to give Whitney a proper send off. Jennifer did her right though, I cannot take that away from her. I think I’m a TV magic junkie.

The host

LL fucking Cool J! Terrible host! Never again! It was like he was MCing Miss Baltimore. He was average to say the least. He’s got very little stage presence. No personality whatsoever. He bored me.

In conclusion

I didn’t like the Grammys this year. I guess it’s obvious from the above. If I had to rate them I’d give them 2 out of 5 stars, and that’s very generous. But yes, I’m a 20something year old South African and they cannot cater for everyone, I just wish it felt like they’re trying too. Nicky Minaj stood no chance against the balding Hillbilly Bon Iver (I know, like who the fuck is that?). I’m boycotting the Grammys for the next five years.

Postscript

  • This post was actually going to be 2000 plus characters long. I had to edit it quite a bit. I got into the politics in the music industry and other things in knew little about. It would’ve been like Lil Wayne giving a lecture on quantum physics.  I also went on a rant about how Al Sharpton should’ve given a speech/prayer when the ceremony started.
  • Big up to @MissValy @CrazeBsebolao @One_Neo and @KefilweAshley for watching with me.

 

When Drew got voted off Xfactor


I’m a huge fan of the X-Factor USA. I’ve probably only missed one episode. This week, two people went home, Drew and Astro.

I was slightly disappointed when Astro got sent packing but I’ve never cared much for Drew. She was the saddest girl in America on that night. I thought she was going to pull out a razor and slash herself right there on stage. I am no sadist but after seeing Drew weep, I wanted to see it again.

So I went to YouTube and found something much better. This video is absolutely hilarious. It’s Hitler’s reaction to Drew leaving. He throws the biggest fit ever. My favourite part is when he says that he had dreams of Astro and Dido singing a duet like Eminem and Dido. But he says other really funny things too. Enjoy!

What do the children listen to?


This morning I had a conversation with @dream_machine about music and what it means to us. We got to the point where we started discussing the kind of music our parents liked when we were younger. And we started questioning what children listen to and what’s appropriate for them.

In 2008/9 was doing my rounds at Cavendish. A little girl, who couldn’t have been much older that seven, was belting Katty Perry’s “I kissed a girl and I like it”. At first I thought she it was so cute, I mean she’s a little girl and she’s singing in the middle of a busy mall. Then I thought about the contents of the lyrics. Is it really appropriate?

When I was younger I listened to songs with suggestive lyrics too, but I didn’t know better. I’m not trying to make this a generational thing, but maybe it is. Case in point, Pony by Ginuwine, sometime in the mid 90s yours truly used to get down to this song. Looking back I don’t know if I even had an opinion on the lyrics. All I remember is singing along very excited. I think I was nine when Pony came out. No one discouraged me not to sing along to Pony.

So again, what do the children listen to? I know don’t want my kids singing along to any Rihanna’s S&M “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me”. See maybe it is a generational thing. There are so many more songs with suggestive lyrics and so many more scantily clad artists. For those of us born in the 80s, the biggest threat to our innocence, visually and lyrically was Madonna and maybe (huge maybe) Janet and Cher. And back then you didn’t get this insidious feeling that record companies were targeting children.

Now these kids born in the 90s have so many options and the record companies are definitely targeting them. “The kid’s choice awards”, where all these artists are praised.  Getting them hooked now, to secure future profits.

But then again, I still don’t know what is appropriate for children to listen to.. How does a caring parent even monitor this? So I’m nowhere really. My fear is in that children are getting robbed of their childhoods. There’s so much music out there making them grow up way faster than they have to. Over sexualisation, over stimulation… a stolen innocence. . Britney Spears, Rihanna, Beyonce, Katty Perry, Lady Gaga, the constantly topless R&B boys and so many others.

 

P.S. My kids are going to listen to listen to K-pop (Korean R&B and Hip-Hop). They can get down not knowing better.

I don’t hate House Music, I hate the Stans, Part Deux


Yeah so this is part two, I was tired yesterday. Like I said. Feeling super charged now, and I actually needed rest for this second part. I did not see it coming.

Ah yes, there I was Cape Town, the land of the free (with racism and all, story for another blog)! Where expression is rife and life is but a thing to do. I was the wide eyed small town boy in a huge community of peers. Away from all the Glens and Simunyes of this world. Keen and ready to discover new things.

I was meeting awesome people. Interesting people. People who are open minded and most importantly people who don’t steel
calculators (yes Wel I am very bitter about my calculator). Obi was with his kind of people. House Music was dead to me. House people were dead to me. A new dawn had come.

Then behold, Big Bash!!! Now for those of you who don’t know what Big Bash is, I’m have to take a moment to try and describe it with the extremity which is due to it. It’s a fan-fucking-tastic event, where you make life friends in the toilet as you
throw up, make out with people you will see every day in your varsity career and will probably never speak to again. Big Bash is a page out of every ridiculous American teen flick. Its debauchery at its best and worst. Memories of Big Bash 2005 are rushing through my head right now…I’m lying that’s how awesome it was. Lol, I lie. But ya, it’s a little patchy. I don’t remember if
DJ Fresh was there, I just consulted with a few buddie, no one remembers. LOL!!! Useless. But he was at most Big Bashes.

So I get to Big Bash and it’s insane. Madness! Different dance floors to choose from. I was going to go finger every single one of these dance floors!!! I even left the people I was there with (I claimed they disappeared), they weren’t as excite as I was. I went exploring!!!

I found the House dance floor along with all the non-Simunyes. These same people, my people, to my chagrin, happened to
be house fans. How could this be? I was confused. These people all seemed so sensible when I met them. But now…not so much. At first I thought it was the alcohol….but no. I was drunk to. And back then, my tolerance was lower than our cabinets IQ. Give me a few shots of anything, and I’ll be anyone you want me to be.

It was the music! House music makes the stans lose it! You know what white kids look like at raves…it’s almost the same
thing, only with MUCH BETTER dancing and without the drugs. And that’s the thing right there. WITHOUT THE DRUGS!  So
much dancing and sweating, and they make these intense facial expressions. I couldn’t listen to the music. People reaction to the music was too much of a distraction. This is, admittedly, not how one should judge Music, but it’s how did.

I’ve since had conversations with House Stans, wow. They’ve defended it on an intellectual level, not the “E monate jo” story I would’ve probably gotten from my people from yester-year. But listening to a house fan speak, isn’t very different to listen to someone in a cult defend their leader. Speak to someone who’s never missed 5FM on a Friday at 6. Never meaning, even when they do, they download the tracks online. Speak, to someone who’ll randomly (without even you asking shem) say, “Yeah, I’ve got 50gigs of House”.

Truth is, House junkies are not any different from the annoying Justin Bieber fans out there. And House music isn’t
annoying like Justin Bieber. A few weekends ago, drunk people left two house CD’s in my car. I’ve been listening to them. And wow, House Music is awesome! House Music is still my future! That 14yr old chubby boy was right!

The stans!!! Oh Lawd the stans!!! Calm down! We’re all trying to have a good time. You’re just trying to have theeeeeeeeee
absolute BEST time.

So ya…the end.

I don’t hate House Music, I hate the stans!!!



I just got back from work. I’m so tired!!! I’ve decided to split this post into two. This is the first part. Its very long, finishing it off now would kill me, and it probably wont make much sense close to the end. You’d also be wise to urban dictionary “stan”.

I want to start by explaining what inspired this note. I was doing my routine facebook stalking. And I stumbled across this lovely treasure on someone’s info tab. If said someone happens to read this blog, you’ll be strong. You inspired me to blog such.

Company:

Love sweet sounds

Position:

House Inspector

Description:

I listen too very sweet sound of house.. If i start knoding.. Then knw its dope

My history with house music is a special one. When I was a young’un, my aunt, who’s 10yrs older than me, had this CD called “Fresh House Flava 4”. It was the year 2001 and I thought music had died gone to heaven and it came back as an angel. This album was my first taste of house music, and I was completely sold on the idea of house music.

I was at a very awkward stage of my life then. A chubby Brits 14yr old who could not dance for shit! But when Track 1 “Summer Daze” played, I’d break it down and it would break in a million little pieces. Don’t even get me started with “Rise”, “I’m alone until you show me” and “Get on my camel”. House music was defined for me. It was the music of the future; I was a part of that future. Things were going to be awesome!!!

So I go to school, and I tell everyone about it. To my surprise (because I’m from Brits, and I don’t really know what’s potting there) people knew about this phenomenal thing I had just discovered. My disappointment was the kind of people who were the most excited about this. It was the hoodlums in my grade. Those kids who started getting out of hand round about that time Emanuel was a staple on etv. I actually remember the names of the hoodlums in question, Glen and Simunye (real name Katlego). The people I could not stand were excited with me about “My future music”. As a side note, Simunye stole my calculator (no honour amongst House fans).

This was my first taste of the “Average house fans”.

This didn’t make me lose any interest in House music. I had my love “Fresh House Flava 4” and I was happy. My future encounters with house music would unfortunately be at the taxi rank when I went home in the afternoons. The fans in the case would be the taxi drivers. My faith in this music, its future, and my place in it were tested.

I didn’t completely lose interest, we had decent jams, thanks to Oskido and his Church grooves. I had good times to those amazing jams, Isabelle (which I called Kaizer for a long time) and that classic Come done (also Condom). Me and house music were still not the best of friends anymore. Admittedly, my exposure to the music was grossly limited. I was not going to go to “Fountain” or ko “Stadium’ong”. I would rather indifferently listen to the anecdotes every Monday morning, watch the re-enactment of the dance moves to that song.

After high school, my future with this music seemed more like a distant past. Then enter stage left, varsity. And a whole different kind of house stan. Nothing like the hoodlums I had grown accustomed to, but house stans nonetheless.

This is were I’m going to stop for now. I’ll tell you the rest of my story with House music Tomorrow. I’m too tired and listless right now. Its been a long day.

“The world cannot live on popstars alone, we need artists” Randy Jackson


When @LTqha tweeted this on twitter, I was jumping up and down testifying like a saved Christian Madea type! But then I got thinking. Who gets to decide who’s an artist? Who made Randy Jackson the mayor of Art Town?

What Randy says makes a lot of sense. We know exactly what he’s talking about. Simply put, its Adele vs Rihanna. Adele being the artist and Rihanna the popstar. I’m going to get back to this artist vs popstar comparison later. I have to bring up another point for what I’m saying (trying to say) to make sense.

The other day, again on twitter, @TrentGrapeJuice tweeted that “Britney Spears and Rihanna have no talent. #ThatsAll”. I was again, sweating like a demon testifying.

Back to popstar vs artist and Britney and Rihanna not being talented.

I’m calling it all bullshit! It makes sense. But its bullshit!!! I like to think its true. But I’d be bullshitting.

An artist, one who produces a work of art. Art is simply the most subjective thing in the world, a lot like love. Art is perception, whats deemed to be appealing, art is whatever “we the group” decide it is.
Talent, is the capacity for achievement or success.

We are sometimes so arrogant in what we like and what we don’t like, that we constantly forget that its not gospel. Different folks, different strokes. We need to stop seeing the world in terms of what we like and what we don’t like. Its very narrow minded.

It pains me to say this, but Britney, Rihanna and the rest of the “microwave music oompa-loompas”, are artists. What they do, for some reason which is not mine to understand, is art for some people out there.

I hate most pop music, and most of the shit on MTV these days. But no one has the right to call other people’s children untalented and “non-artists”.

Anecodote. I while back I watched a clip of “Comic relief” with AliG. He had Posh and David as his guests. Ali asked if the kids wanted to grow up and to be athletes like their father or musicians like Mariah Carey. Posh laughed and said: “I’d like to grow up and be a musician like Mariah Carey.”

IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DOESN’T MEAN IT SUCKS!!!

In my humble opinion.