A Song A Day – May 6th: A Bygone Time?

6 05 2011

The building may be an eyesore, but it's where I spent 3 of the best years of my lifeI can’t believe that this time last year I was sat awake til’ nearly 5am, talking on facebook with university friends as we were putting our finishing touches to our 5,000 word long dissertations. I was writing about the pyschology of sound in movies and how digital evolution has affected the way we watched the movies. To the right of me at the time was BBC’s coverage of the general elections, and to the left was a half drunk can of Red Bull.

I was expecting to be feeling emotional that night, but for some reason I was almost emotionless. I was just sat staring at a word document full of quotations/references, pontificiation, hypothesis and more. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fascinating subject to write about and reading up on some of the people and papers my tutor (Andy Connio – the best lecturer I ever had at university) had directed me towards changed the way I thought about things and gave me several great leads to write a paragraph or two on.

As was the norm, i’d gone through Brian Eno’s Music for Films and the score to Twilight before I had the TV audio on low. It was strange knowing that the following night, i’d have no more work to hand in, and that my 3 years at university had come to an end minus graduation.

So with that in mind, and thinking about the year which has passed and what university was like, one song came to my head and stuck out more then others.  The chorus to this song fits like a glove and the lyrics are very apt. My song choice today is Ohh La La by The Faces.

poor old Granddad, I laughed at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man
he spoke of women’s ways
they’ll trap you when they use you
before you even now
for love is blind and you’re far to kind
don’t ever let it show

I wish that I knew what I know now
when I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
when I was stronger

the can-can such a pretty show
will steal your heart away
but backstage back on earth again
the dressing rooms are grey
they come on strong and it ain’t too long
for they make you feel a man
but love is blind and you soon will find
you’re just a boy again

when you want her lips, you get her cheek
makes you wonder where you are
if you want some more then she’s fast asleep
leaves you twinkling with the stars
poor young grandson there’s nothing I can say
you’ll have to learn, just like me
and that’s the hardest way

ooh la la
ooh la la, la la, yeah

I wish that I knew what I know now
when I was younger
I wish that I knew what I know now
when I was stronger

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A Song A Day: April 14th – A Dedication To The English Weather

14 04 2011

Yep, that looks like England!

Today has been a quiet day for I have discovered how awesome Angry Birds is. It’s on sale at the moment in the Playstation Store for just £1.24 – You can’t argue at that, such a simple game, yet so goddamn addictive and fun, pretty destructive too. Who doesn’t like using birds to blow up crates of dynamite which takes out these inanimate green blobs?! Pure awesomeness — The birds are as tough as also!! They seem to bounce of anything and then Poof! They’re gone.

Anyway, recent game discoveries and general geekery aside — I’d like to dedicate todays song today that most English of all bastions, the weather.

Most UK readers will agree that the weather at the weekend and Monday wasp pretty nice, I enjoyed my first hot drink of the year outside on the patio and temperatures broke the 20oC mark. However, since then we’ve had rain, coldness, hail and thunder. I don’t much care for you’re recent showings Mr. Weather, so if you could please return to how you were this past weekend I shall be a happy blogger!

Joking aside, today’s song comes from one of the finest UK rock bands, and possibly the greatest thing to come out of Wales along with Bullet For My Valentine. Sorry to all Stereophonics fans at this point, but for me they come after the above.

The Manic Street Preachers have a very good back catalogue now, with some top notch tracks under their belt. They’ve proven their rock credentials and continue to hit the nail on the head for guitar-based rock in recent times. Not only that, but a few years ago they released the joint best Christmas song (along with The Darkness) since the peak with Slade and Roy Wood… but I’ll delve further into Christmas music another time… fear not.

The song I’ve picked out (and subsequently dedicated to the English weather) is You Stole The Sun From My Heart

Drinking – water to stay thin
Or is it to purify
I love you all the same

But there’s no – no real truce with my fury
You don’t have to believe me
I love you all the same

But you stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from
You stole the sun from

You have – broken through my armour
And I don’t have an answer
I love you all the same

I paint – the things I want to see
But it don’t come easy
I love you all the same

But you stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from
You stole the sun from

Think I’m – I’m lost among the undergrowth
So much so I woke up
I love you all the same

But you stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from my
You stole the sun from my heart
You stole the sun from
You stole the sun from

I have – I’ve got to stop smiling
It gives the wrong impression
I love you all the same

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A Song A Day: April 9th – Bi-Winning

9 04 2011

Obigatory Charlie Sheen Blog Post...Now, I’m not one for normally jumping on bandwagons and succumbing to various cult things, but I have to admit that Charlie Sheen has my attention as of late. It seems as though no matter where we go at the moment he’s always in the celeb/showbiz columns, more often then not for the wrong reasons.

I’m not going to for one moment sit here and condone his actions recently, but it has made for some tremendous paraodies and the impact of him on popular culture and internet culture has been hard to ignore. It’s now not uncommon for the phrase bi-winning to be uttered in relation to some kind of ‘win’ on the internet. To you and me, ‘win’ is slang for good. Kids these days…

So anyway, I got sent this video by a friend the other day over skype. It’s a song edited from various interviews recently and I have to admit I’ve rewatched it a million and one times. I went back and watched the original interviews from which the footage was culled from. I’m not sure to call him a genius or an arse quite frankly, but they’re certainly worth a watch.

Anyway, this song has gone viral on youtube with close to 20 million views. The interview reponses have been edited, chopped up and arranged for humorous effect moreso then anything.

Also, seeing as the rumour mill is working harder then an itallian waiters pepper grinder tonight with RIP Charlie Sheen rumours (it’s a twitter death, in that it’s total rubbish) – I’m posting up Winning by Charlie Sheen.

I’m on a drug called Charlie Sheen
It’s not available, if you try it once you will die
Your face will melt off
And your children will weep over your exploded body, over your exploded body

You love to party
What’s not to love?
The run I was on made Jagger and Richards look like
Droopy eyed armless children
That’s how I party
That’s how I party

I was bangin 7 gram rocks, that’s how I roll – winning
I have one gear: GO – epic winning
Are you bipolar?
I’m bi-winning
Win here, win there, win win everywhere

—– inspirational bridge —–

I’m a total frickin rock star from mars – winning
C’mon bro, I got tiger blood – winning
You borrow my brain and you’re like DUDE, can’t handle it
Win here, win there, win win everywhere

I’ve got a list — help me sort this
From the epic win to the desperately winless

Chicken nuggets – WINNING
Bubblegum – WINNING
Pretending to text to avoid someone – EPIC WINNING
Slow dancing – WINNING
Slow pantsing – WINNING
Breakin the rules of the Geneva conventions – WEAK

Adonis blood – WINNING
Violent love – WINNING
Givin needy women caresses and hugs – EPIC WINNING
Childbirth – WINNING
Colin Firth -WINNING
Tinky Winky’s purse………duh, WINNING, WINNING

Chorus

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The 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 8: One band/singer whose popularity you will never understand.

8 03 2011

After a non-event yesterday, the 30 day song challenge, continues forward with a post who’s popularity you’ll never understand. I think no matter who I post today, I’m going to split people, but that’s just the nature of the beast. Unlike yesterday, I can think of ideas for this.

Whilst there are a couple of artists I can think off, the one that really sticks out like a sore thumb is Radiohead. I’ve never got why people rave about them, they’ve got a handful of good songs if I’m being generous. I’ve tried to get into them, but they just don’t do it for me. It also bugs me a lot when people say they are the modern day Pink Floyd. That is a total load of nonsense. There are things that the Floyd have done which Radiohead can only dream about. If Johnny Greenwood call pull out a solo that rivals Gilmour, then I might be more believing. I’m not saying Thom Yorke and co. aren’t bad song-writers, but I’ve never felt the lyrics deep inside me. I can’t say I’ve felt connected to their music all that much.

People have said OK Computer is the Dark Side of the Moon for the 90’s – I don’t believe that for one moment, I normally challenge that if I hear it. I remember sending an e-mail to the DJ on Planet Rock when he said Paranoid Android was on a par with Bohemian Rhapsody. It also bugs me when OK Computer gets high places in those oft-wrote Best Album lists. I’ve heard OK Computer. There is no way on earth it stacks up to other albums around it in those lists such as Sgt. Peppers, Dark Side, London Callling, Pet Sounds, Plastic Ono Band, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars etc.

I can respect them for experimenting and trying new things, but sometimes I feel like they’re trying too hard. There’s a fine line between experimentation and self-indulgence, and Radiohead blur that boundary.

However, I’m not totally anti-radiohead. They do have some great songs, don’t get me wrong. Tracks like Street Spirit, High and Dry, Fake Plastic Trees and Just… Hmm, it’s interesting that all the above song are from The Bends…

Either way… The one band whose popularity I’ll never understand…Radiohead.

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You’re so fucking special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell I’m doing here?
I don’t belong here

She’s running out the door
She’s running out
She runs runs runs

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here

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A Song A Day: 6th Feb – ‘The Voice That Calls To Me’

6 02 2011

Today has been a slightly fragmented day. Thanks to some pretty hefty wind in the night, it was around 4-30am by the time I finally dropped off to sleep properly. I doubt it helped by playing through uncharted 2 at 4am, but Hey! I completed the game in the end. Now to replay the game, but on a harder difficulty. Whilst I’m on the topic of video games I’d like to give a shoutout to another blogger who’s doing a Song A Day, this month it’s all about video games. The one that caught my eye over on Melissa’s blog was Tetris Theme A, which is in the top 10 greatest video game themes ever in my view. Anyway, go forth and check it out, there should be some great things coming!

So, onto todays post.

In sleep he sang to me, In Dreams he cameA short while back, I had a bit of a rant about digital downloads vs. physical copies and I favored firmly on the side of the physical copy. One of the points I made was the fact with a physical copy you get a proper case, artwork and all around more bang for your buck. A prime example of this with me was when I brought Once by Nightwish. I remember one night catching the Metal Hammer awards on TV and I saw a performance part way through of Nightwish performing live. Based on the 2 minutes or so I saw of them performing Nemo, I brought the Once album (quite how I afforded 6 CD’s that month is beyond me) – I was lucky enough to get the platin edition of the album which had bonus tracks and one of the best CD packaging designs I’ve ever seen.

Once

Artwork, Flaps et All!

As you can see in this image (which I quickly snapped just) you can see the presentation. The CD itself is behind 4 flaps containing artwork, imagery and prose. You get 6 artcards with a picture of each band member, plus one group shot, and on the back of each card are the lyrics to the album. You just don’t get that on your digital download. I’m not against them per se, I just feel a bit dissapointed that they seem to be the future of owning music.

Once was the bands most popular foray, and it what got me interested in the band. However, not long after I got into the band, they got rid of the vocalist Tara Tuomen which in my mind was a HUGE mistake. The band just didn’t sound the same afterwards and I didn’t follow them as much as I used to. To me, it was almost a kin to a U2 without Bono on vocals, or a Queen without Freddie on vocals (Credit though, Paul Rodgers spell in the band was fantastic)

Anyway, before they splitted ways, they played a version of Phantom Of The Opera which when the first time I heard it, blew me away. It really showcased the fantastic vocal skill and power of Tarja’s operatic prowess, as well as the trademark symphonic metal sound which the band specialised in. They released an official live version also, which is what I’m presenting for you here.This is Nightwish – Phantom Of The Opera (Live)

If your speak system can go to 11… Now would be a good time to twist that dial ;-)

I’ve left the names in, just so when you read it, you can get a sense of the characters in the song

[Tarja:]
In sleep He sang to me
In Dreams He Came
The Voice which calls to me
And speaks my name
And do i dream again
For now i find
The phantom of the opera
is there inside my mind

[Phantom:]
Sing once again with me
Our strange duet
My power over you
Grows stronger yet
and though you turn from me
you’ll glance behind
The Phantom of the opera
is there inside your mind

[Tarja:]
Those who have seen your face
Draw back in fear
I am the mask you wear

[Phantom:]
It’s me they hear

[TOGETHER:]
My/your spirit and your/my voice
In one combined
The phantom of the opera is there
Inside your/my mind

He’s there the Phantom of the opera
Beware the Phantom of the opera

(PHANTOM:)
In all your fantasies
You always knew
that man of mystery
(TARJA:)
Were Both In You

And in this labyrinth, where night is blind,
The phantom of the opera is here inside your/my mind

[PHANTOM:]
sing my angel of music

[Tarja:]
he’s there..
The Phantom of the opera

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: http://bit.ly/eBAhZi — or at the Facebook Fan Page: http://on.fb.me/fszSws

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A Song A Day: January 20th – ‘The Only Road I’ve Ever Been Down’

20 01 2011

I nearly had to engage the flux capacitor for this post, but it’s first thing on the 20th for me. 1am to be precise, so that counts in my book. I’m going to be out most of the day today – travelling to see my girlfriend, then we’re going to go for a chinese before relaxing and spending some quality time together.

Yesterday though, I read a news story that HMV (the last high street music chain in the UK remaining) have begun to seek financial advice. I fear it could be the beginning of the end for HMV, however I sincerely hope not. If so, it would reflect that progression to digital downloads, which I just don’t get the mass appeal off. I’m not against digital downloads per se, but suffice to say I use them very little. I appreciate the instantainous appeal, but for me, it feels lacking. I only really download the odd song of itunes. Normally, I prefer to buy albums, and for that, going to the record store will never be beaten.

Maybe it’s because I’m old fashioned, maybe it’s because i’m just set in my ways, but for me, buying in a store is all I’ve ever really known. For me the ONLY advantage of online buying is price. The reason I dislike buying albums from itunes is that it’s just there on the screen. Just there… I click it and it plays. For me, there’s no physical connection. No case to hold, I don’t get the enjoyment of opening the case for the first time, and discovering what artwork is on the disc. I don’t get that pleasure of trying to get the booklet out without creasing it. I like being able to look at the case on my shelf, and then when I want to listen to it, taking it off the shelf, taking out the disc, loading it etc. I find with MP3’s — that is lost. You just point, click and play. Maybe you’ll get artwork in the corner.

There’s no rush of going out to get the album from the store, and then seeing it on the shelf like some glowing piece of treasure. A great example of this was the lastest album by The Orb. When Metallic Spheres came out, I knew I had to get it. I remember checking HMV several times but not seeing it. I checked a few supermarket’s also but no luck (but it’s not a mainstream release) – That’s another point, HMV carries alot more choice then the supermarkets. Anyway. I eventually found the CD, and held it in my hands for a second before realising that I had to buy it before I could play it. I got home, and went through the familiar feelings of taking off the cellophane, opening it up, reading the booklet, observing artwork etc. You just don’t get that with a download.

Anyway… *disables rant mode* — todays song came from an album I had a similar experience with, except I was still able to count my age in single figures! This track is one of those turn it up, I’m alive kind of tracks. Taken from a stonkingly good album called Urban Hymns by The Verve. This track is arguabaly their biggest hit. Bittersweet Symphony. The lyrics are wonderful, but the video is a true work of art. I really hope you enjoy this one.

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
But I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no

Well I never pray
But tonight I’m on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now

No change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
I can’t change
I can’t change it

‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

You know I can’t change, I can’t change
I can’t change, I can’t change
But I’m here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I’m a million different people
from one day to the next
I can’t change my mind
No, no, no, no, no

I can’t change my mind
no, no, no, no, no,
I can’t change
Can’t change my body,
no, no, no

I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
That you’ve ever been down
That you’ve ever been down

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