Friday, 18 April 2014

A Retrospective and Amended View of my Life Thus Far (Part 2- Music)

Following on from my bout of self reflection, this post shall be about music. To remind ourselves of what on Earth I was wittering on about in January 2010, here is an excerpt:

2. Music: Music was big thing for me in 2009. My tastes have drastically altered. I have stopped listening to DragonForce, much to the delight of some of my peers. I have also discovered my love of all jazz and swing, and have decided on Michael Buble as inspiration. I now have a severe dislike for R and B, because lets face it is both overplayed and overrated. I have discovered a whole bunch of new bands like the Royal Crown Revue, but most notably was the only NES-rock band in existence, the amazing 'I fight Dragons'.

 Needless to say, the music tastes expressed above are somewhat... antique. To start, DragonForce is well and truly out the window. I do very occasionally listen to Fury of the Storm (like once a year) for the purposes of nostalgia, but that's it. As for the Jazz and Swing phase, that has moved on to an extent, giving way to an altogether new stage of my tastes. What is it? I have no idea. People have said gypsy, but I don't think that entirely catches it. Many of the bands I like at the moment have some element of carnival influence or equally unusual sounds, and I think this comes from a longing for something to break the monotony of pre-packaged, individually wrapped slices of utter boredom the popular music industry is churning out these days.

I like liking bands that nobody has heard of. It shows that I'm not just another chump who is told what to like and how many times I should listen to it by Radio 1, before it becomes hilariously 'last week' and the trendy kids begin to devour the new zeitgeist before I realise what is cool. I like small bands. Bands that are made of real people, that because of their smallness, one can get a genuine insight into the way they work and what kind of people they even are. I don't have to pick up their autobiography in waterstones for £19.99 to know what flavour crisps is their favourite, there is a realistic chance I may get to ask them in person, if that was something I truly desired to know. For some reason, I don't tend to idolise many famous musicians, because I can't really relate to them. The only  musicians with worldwide success I truly enjoy are the likes of Tom Waits, for his famous 'screw you producers, I'm going to hit some tin cans and punch a piano and it everyone's going to love it' approach; and Gotye, for his personal video blogs into the way he works with music as if he is creating art and his refusal to pigeon-hole his music. And even then, sadly, nobody is aware of his finest work because its not that one that we all heard a thousand times on the radio. But I digress...

I like Tankus the Henge! I've met them at various gigs I've been to, and their lead singer signed my accordion. Magical.

I like MynieMoe! Chris Otero and Ben Jones. Two apparently ordinary blokes with a talent for making me do nothing else but listen to the music they make. The addition of a sousaphone? Brilliant. Grab the drummer from Origami Dinosaur and the Slytones? Brilliant. I've met them too.

Town of Cats? Saw them playing with MynieMoe in Brighton. Ended up supporting their EP launch with my new band (I'll get to that) and sleeping in their house. Fantastic.

There are more that I could rattle on about. The point I'm making is that I appear to have placed relatively ordinary people who make sublime music on a pedestal equal to.. I don't know... a Take That fan's love and respect for Take That? With this in mind, I have met and interacted with my own personal celebrities in a way that has made music and its pursuit all the more incredible for me. I know that the kind of music I like now is the fully mature being that grew from my earlier tastes for one reason- the music I write, the music I hear in my head and the lyrics I choose all fit into this genre, whatever it is- and that feels very nice.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Retrospective and Amended View of my Life Thus far (Part 1)

How does one go about summarising the changes in my life over the last three or four years? Looking back through the posts in my blog, I find it acts as a constant source of entertainment and a reminder of all the good times I have had with dear friends. Fortunately for me, a younger version of myself, sat waiting in Atlanta airport for a connection flight back to the UK, caught in the throngs of yet another family holiday, created a handy template for such a summary- one which I shall endeavour to repeat. In this short run of 2014 blog posts, I shall be offering a series of rebuttals that address the points of summary I was making back on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010.

Let us begin.

"Churston: Well, my first section of 2009 was spent at churston grammar school. I had a great time with friends and stuff at that school, and as strange as it sounds, I will genuinely miss that place. All that arsing around with Alan and Wade in the music and art room. Me and Wade got caught with a gun in school, that was fun too. See further back in the blog for what that was all about! Also, my A levels turned out great. We even turned the 6th form room into a barn for the last day, complete with hay and all. The worst part was parting with my dearest friends, that is tough. But hey, I still see them now and then."

So, education then. Well we all know I don't go to Churston anymore. I went originally straight from there to study at Bath University, only to leave after my first year for reasons which are detailed here. I then spent a year living back in Devon, working at Wetherspoons in Brixham. During that year I decided that I wanted to become a primary school teacher, and set about applying for university courses. As we know, I ended up at Reading University on a four year BA(Ed) with an art specialism. Little did I know, I would meet the girl I had always dreamed of having, make some great new friends and generally find happiness all round.

I am now three out of four years in, and after spending two years at two separate universities being a fresher, I am finally progressing like a normal person and dauntingly so, a future in which I am a real person who pays taxes and works a full time job is a distinct reality. How very peculiar.

I have always regarded the endurance of my friendships as a particularly strong aspect of my life, and as the years have passed I am happy to report that this has remained so. Ever present characters that appear throughout the archives of my blog such as Ricky, Wade and Big G are now my housemates here in Reading. I still have contact with  my dearest friends from back in Devon, Sam, Phil and Lee, and we always catch up for a pint when we can. (Happy 26th Lee you old sod!)

Well there we are, point number one sufficiently addressed. Stay tuned!