Friday, 9 December 2011

Music sucks.

Following on my theme of things I hate: I hate music.

Just kidding. I love music. Silence is only allowed to exist in my house in two situations: when I'm sleeping or when the TV is on. At all other times there must be music, and therefore I don't think I'm pushing any boats out when I say I listen to a lot of the stuff, and I have quite well formed opinions on what makes "good" music. Nothing I've written here is based on a whimsical late-night rant (seriously, normal service will resume next week).

Tastes in music are very personal, and there is not neccesarily a right answer to anything, and I respect that. But the point I want to raise tonight is that modern mainstream music is... shitter than a shitzu that got stuck in a public toilet.

I did have a relevant image, BUT LOOK HOW BIG THAT RABBIT IS!!!

The idea from this blog came from a facebook debate, started because I said I like Dire Straits and apparently nobody else thinks they're like... the best band ever!!!
Anyway, the point was that the Dire Straits were undoubtedly (trying not to cross fact and opinion too much here, Harry) very talented, and that the mainstream artists of today are comparatively untalented. Some of you might be thinking "moot point...", but evidently not everyone.
Contiuing the example of Dire Straits, Sultans of Swing is one of the greatest guitar pieces of all time. The music was all written by Mark Knopfler and his crew. They came up with the lyrics, the riff, and consistently played the song to a high standard live without any kind of electronic aid. Over 30 years on and the song is still popular with young and old alike.
Now for contrast, I've picked an artist at random that I don't like, but don't really "hate" (i.e. picking Bieber wouldn't have been fair), so I've chosen Tinie Tempah. His popular track "Written in the stars", was written not by himself, or even "in the stars" (ho ho ho), but by a collection of unassosiated writers from his record label. Tinie plays no instruments, only vocals... which are heavily auto-tuned anyway. Pitch correction may sound pleasant, but it creates the "these songs all sound the same" effect, and sounds about as good live as my arse after a wetherspoons curry night.

Pictured: How I expect Tinie to react to my arse.
Furthermore, I believe that a true test of the quality of music is it's popularity over time. Since popularity is normally such a temporary thing, a track needs a little something extra to keep people coming back to it. Whether that be random stupid German singing like Nena's "99 Luftballoons", doing something utterly memorable like the school children in Pink Floyd's "Another brick in the wall", or purely for musical finesse like Jimi Hendrix's "All along the watchtower". It is my belief that little of the music from the past decade will stand the test of time. Artists that have been widely popular while retaining much of the rock 'n' roll edge, such as Coldplay and The Killers (somebody is going to kill me for saying this) will inevitably still be played on the radio in 20 years time. However given the fast changing pase of much of the genres that dominate main stream music at the moment, it is highly unlikely that it will still be fresh or valuable enough to warrant replaying. (This effect has been in place to a certain extent with pop music in the 80s and 90s that is already out of favour with the likes of Magic FM).

Hear that Barack? Colplay are popular!

So I thought I should end this with the song that started it all. Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms". The song was written in 1985 and is based on Mark Knopfler's view on the Falklands war (Though for a history geek the WW1 imagery in the video is somewhat baffling). The title phrase is actually how Mark's dad, a war veteran, refered to the Argentines. Which is penny for thought.
Anyway... enjoy it. It's slow but beautiful.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Blog number 2

It's been a while since I wrote my last blog. In fact, scratch that, it's been so long since I was last here that I could officialy call this a quaterly blog if I wanted to. That would, just for a moment, fool you into thinking this time gap has been a deliberate ploy, and not actually because I am lazier than that guy they must have hired to fix facebook chat. So uh, yeah, it's 0030 now, and I have a lecture at 0900 (I'm a pilot, I can write time without a : and it makes me more sexually desirable to potential females than you) and this my friends, is blog number 2.

This has been inspired by a blog from my good friend, and racist cat collector, Mini. I started commenting on his most recent blog, which I felt really reached out and touched me (no not down there, Dad!), after about a paragraph and a half I realised I was basically writing my own blog. So I deleted that and posted something about him being gay instead.

Now seriously for a moment, most people reading this blog will know me personally, but for those that don't, I wouldn't consider myself a social outcast, or even particulary socially awkward. I make friends with people very easily, and few people ever really "dislike" me, for want of a better word. I enjoy playing team sports and socially drinking. In all respects I'm a typical university student. Except for one thing; I don't like clubbing.

 Well.... I don't like this either, but this isn't what I meant.

You might think it sounds odd to suggest that all students enjoy clubbing, evidently you are not at university, or you don't know what clubbing is. Alright, I know I'm not really alone here, but the point is that a big part of university culture is that you are supposed to enjoy clubbing, in fact my university delibrately spends millions on ensuring it's students have the best clubbing facilities.

Case in point, at the start of all university students Freshman years, is a "freshers week", billed by many as "The best week of your life". I was a little sceptical from the start, but went along with it. By the end of the second night (there were 2 whole weeks of this) I was bored and wanted lectures to start. I do regret not making more of it, but I think in the same shoes again, I'd still make the same steps.

This was my introduction to university. It was the start of what would be many nights seeing my flatmates off (people who I would spend most of the day laughing and joking with) and trying my best not be woken up when they came back absolutely wrecked.

So, what is it that I don't like about clubbing? Well I've broken it down into several bitesize chunks, suitable for a small dog or tame badger:

1 - The music.
My parents brought me up around what I generally consider good music. Music that everybody can enjoy and listen to, you know, The Police, Oasis, Coldplay. Nobody can really say they hate that music.

Alright Barack, you're allowed to hate Coldplay!

I consider this sort of music to be in the middle of the spectrum, people enjoy it, but it is not everyone's favourite. Outside of this specturm are the niches, Rock, Ska, Rap, Hip-hop etc. And different people prefer different niches in differing levels. Personally I enjoy Indie and Rock music, but am partial to anything from rap or hip-hop provided it's not trash.
This is ok. We all enjoy different things. Except that shit they play in clubs. That's not ok. Fuck it. That's not even music. It sounds like a car alarm causing nails to vibrate against a blackboard.
Now, this would not normally be a problem. A metal band might occasionally scream into the mic and I don't like that, but it changes. Club music does not. And this is why I believe that club music does not manage to cross the line between noises and music. It is moronically repetetive, and even when the song ends (usually a saving grace for any bad track on an album) the next song sounds EXACTLY THE F****** SAME!
I can't enjoy it, and the music is inexplicably played so loud that I can't forget for a moment about the state of society today that we listen to this crap instead of appreciating the musical talent of Dire Straits or Fleetwood Mac.
They never tell you who the artists of the songs are, but I'm almost certain David Guetta is behind this.

You're so fucking dead.

 2 - Dancing is not social
Often when I am asked to go out in the evening (and for the record, I have said yes to this far too many times, out of politeness/stupidity) the card played when I say no is "Come on, be sociable". I never bother to explain to them why what they've said is so wrong, because I don't think they'd understand. To me, being social has to involve conversation, "banter" (over-used word of the year, 2010), or at the very least enjoying eachothers company.

 What's not to love?

Just to clear the air, I can't dance, in fact I probably dance like a Dad, and knowing this makes me feel very self concious, but this is irrelevant really as this is a personal factor, and my blog is not just about me (for one week only!). Dancing in a club cannot possibly involve conversation, just trying to ask for a drink at the bar is like trying to break down a wall with your face ("Fosters.... FOSTERS.... FOSSSSTTTEEEEEEERRRRSSSS...... THE ONE ON THE FUCKING TAP!"). It would of course be saved, if we could enjoy eachothers company while dancing. Unfortunately, it's not your own friends company you enjoy it's every sweaty man and chlamidya-ridden woman who dares to breach your personal space.
No wait, breach is too soft a word, 'violate', or 'rape' would actually be far more accurate.
So what dancing amounts to, for me, is awkwardly moving about to unenjoyable music while your personal space is raped by people you wouldn't want to touch with a sweaty barge pole.

Thank you, Internet.

So then, you probably think, if this is as non-sensical as you claim, then why do thousands of university students claim to enjoy this every night, for four or five years of their life? ... Ahem, please read all of the blog before asking such ridiculous questions. You disrespectful piece of shit.

3 - Clubbing represents an easy way to get sex.

And there is the crux. Students want meaningless sex, and they want it easy, cheap and on tap. Clubbing allows you to get close to the opposite sex, and the volume of the music allows you to avoid the difficult "conversation" thing that normally lets two people know how compatible they are for eachother.

David Guetta would sure speed this shit up.

Except that I believe my last paragraph is wrong. And this bring's me back to the wonderful blog of my racist cat friend, Mini (I mean he has racist cats, not that he's actually like my racist cat sidekick, not since the expenses scandal, anyway). His blog brought to light the sexualised promotions of student clubs in sheffield, one of which rather bluntly declared "You're going to get laid tonight" (I wondered if I could sue them for false advertising if I didn't). This was like a revelation to me. It put all my ideas and gripes about clubbing together and tied them off with a rather intelectual point.

Students don't want meaningless sex. Most students are probably looking for relatively serious relationships, and sexual partners who they can share their favourite film with (without getting chlamidya). However the culture is such that, it is "hip" (They still say that... right?) to appear to be sexually active with multiple partners, and be able to pick up new partners effortlessly. This applies to both sexes, and as such, a selection of true slags (for want of a better word) have to exist to create the illusion that it is the norm, and due to the lifestyles desirablity (in the same way a criminal is a desirable lifestyle...) the demand for these sexualised clubs sky rockets around universities. The environment they create is perfect for meeting a no-strings-attached partner, and therefore it is THE place to be on friday night, where people pretend they like dancing to the noises instead. Some people may claim they enjoy clubbing for what it is, and hell, maybe they do, I'm not judging, but a significant player in the university clubbing lifestyle is the belief that regular meaningless sex is what everyone else is doing, and if you're not doing it, then you're not cool.

Sorry Barack, you need at least 3 more sexual partners to be cool.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

I had a dream...

When people told me to start blogging, I thought it would be a very difficult business to get into. How does one go about it? Do you buy a plot of land and grow your own from scratch? Or do you have to go find some that are ready and take them yourself? Presumably paying someone to do so?
Well, I wish someone would have clarified it with me earlier. The trial is coming up and it looks I'm being charged with "Unauthorised Logging". Nobody was using those trees! I checked for tree-houses or those little rope swing things. I think there were some kids up there, but they hadn't built any solid structures, so they can't have hadn't made any long term investment.
So anyway, as I was carrying the tree over the fence, I looked into the back room of their house, and couldn't help but notice a woman "blogging" on her computer, and that's when it all clicked.

Dreams have a habit of being strange, it seems to be in their nature. Very rarely do I have a dream which is just "went to shops. bought milk. went home." It would more likely be closer to:  "went to shops. tried to buy milk. realised i was naked. why is my lecturer here too? Now I'm driving... wait, I can't drive... Oh shit it's that murderer off the TV! RUN! Wait, can't run!" and wake up sweating.
So anyway, It shouldn't be too surprising to hear that I had a dream, where I released a wild bear into my family home for a laugh....
That's actually pretty concerning, isn't it? Well it gets worse. I wasn't trying to make me laugh, I was trying to make them laugh. "Hey look family, you might be mauled to death in your own kitchen. lol."
I think the penny might have dropped at some point, when the bear was in the utility room, and my mum was going in there with a basket of washing (my dreams can be horrificaly stereotypical), to which I shouted "Wait! Don't go in! There's a bear in there!"
How would I even get hold of a wild bear? I have trouble picking up Mini's dosile (and racist) cats as it is. Would travelling across the world to bear country (Bearzil?), laying an elaborate trap to catch a being at least 5x my weight (probably 3x by the time you read this, but that's for another blog) at the considerable risk of my own life, and then attempting to transport it back home in a massive box, really be worth it, EVEN if it were certain to be the funniest joke in the world?
I can't remember how the dream ended. I like to imagine that I managed to control the situation and tame the bear. And then maybe it would become our butler. (Father Christmas, If you're reading, Butler bear please)

Sometimes though, I wake up, and I'm really not sure what was dream and what was real. So if you hear anything, maybe read a newspaper headline along the lines of "Wild bear slaughters family of 6 in tragic comic mix-up", It might be best to call me or leave a comment or something. I may have to lay low for a while.