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.

 

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.