So here I am, it's some god forsaken hour of the morning and I can't concentrate on my story and I've written two poems so I'm going to follow in Davey's very admirable footsteps and compile a music list, my music list. I have around 90 albums in my CD rack, 90 albums spanning various decades and genres, some I listen to all the time and some I keep purely for silly sentimental reasons, there are also 3 singles - just 3. I must say my music taste has evolved and changed so much in about two years, largely based on recommendations from you guys, aww love ya - you saved me from 'Now' albums and Dido, anyway I digress. My top ten albums, compilations and otherwise. Some of them are currently in my Dad's cars and house, Mum's house and possibly my shed and anywhere inbetween so hopefully it'll be sort of accurate, although I can't promise all the information and titles are correct since I only really pay attention to what it sounds like, anyway don't make promises - they're silly. Right I'll stop this now since it's not funny and all you really want to know is my favourite music, oh and maybe how many typos I can make at 3am, so here it is:
10) Snow Patrol - Final Straw
Yup, sorry guys but I can't help it, I love it. My favourite track being 'Run', the music isn't top-quality but the lyrics are often there and I guess it really depends on your mood. It is a little melancholy but pretty chilled-out and hey it's just what the doctor ordered at this time of the morning, the space between asleep and awake, you're not stoned but you wish you were and you're not overly happy - so you go for Snow Patrol with the upbeat music and downbeat lyrics, a complete contradiction. Like me.
9) Anastacia - Anastacia
Yes Keir she is a loud american, a very loud american who also sometimes rocks if you're driving along (being driven to be exact but hey let's not split hairs here) and you have the top down and you wanna annoy people who don't feel like being yelled at by a bitter sounding american woman who has highly possibly just been dumped - or so it sounds. In all honesty she lives in my gym discman so she had to have a place really since there's nothing better to get nice and sweaty to, sorry for that image.
8) Damien Rice - O
You really need to be quite down to listen to this, some say it's bland and some say it's just plain shit but I disagree. He's been likened to Elliott Smith but I don't think he's really worthy of this accolade (we'll get to Elliott later). The best track being either 'Cannonball' or 'Cold Water' there isn't much instrumental here, it's mainly voice and accoustic. And anyway we all need to calm down sometimes.
7) Saxtet - Urban Groove
A criminally unheard of group made up of saxophones and clarinets it's right up my street as a jazz musician, the five members all have unique playing styles and they all write their own music for the rest of the group to play, they also all play different saxes and claris so it's a great variety. This is their latest album which I bought when they played in Guernsey around two years ago and I met them and did a workshop with them. Some groovy jazz to chill to and to dance to, it's got it all.
6) Natalie Imbruglia - Left Of The Middle
Personally I think she ruined it all with the dodgy movie with Rowan Atkinson and her latest album, this album couln't really have been bettered. Her style and band are sometimes similar to my now defunct band with its powerful vocals and strong drums on 'Big Mistake'. However my favourite track has to be 'Smoke' just because I sort of, aargh what's the word!, identify, I identify with it, and after you've realised personal connections in music there's no looking back.
5) Bob Marley and The Wailers - Legend
Ah Bob, what can I say? You either love him or you hate him, you're either stoned or you're not - not that it's necessary to be by any means, if you like it then you'll feel it whatever your state. This album has everything and it's all pretty beautiful, I can't really name favourite tracks on here because I don't have any! Perfect for listening to with special people early in the morning or even alone. I love it all, and true love lasts a lifetime - remember that.
4) Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
Another jazz legend, one that I've been familiar with for years and years, donkeys years you might say if you were my Grandma. Anyway his music is timeless and continues to resonate today, some 14 years after his death in 1991. He had a unique vision and titanic power, the man who inspired my first jazzy notes and continues to reside in my top five so many years after.
3) Ok Computer - Radiohead
I did toy with the idea of putting The Bends here but I don't think it's really like their other stuff and I thought this one was the album that displayed them at their best, I didn't like a whole lot of Hail To The Thief. It was a recommendation to me of course and subsequently the first of three albums I have bought. I don't think I can really explain why I like them so much it's just that if you let go a bit you can allow yourself to be sucked in to a pretty cool place, a place I'm not too keen on leaving usually.
2) Gold Against The Soul - Manic Street Preachers
Possibly the trickiest decision I've made since I had to choose whether to study maths or physics yesterday, it wasn't easy I'm telling you. I seriously considered The Holy Bible since it's so widely acclaimed, and rightly so. However then I'd have to consider Everything Must Go and Forever Delayed and then you get pulled into so many possibilites, so I chose the first release among my collection and the album I've listened to most recently, I like 'Yourself' quite a bit.
1) From A Basement On The Hill - Elliott Smith
How bizarre! My newest album is the number one! Recommended by Keir just a short while ago I ran along to amazon and bought a copy, I haven't stopped listening since. I wasn't sure if you could fall in love with music that quickly after a recommendation but hell can you fall in love when the music's this good. 'king's crossing' has to be the best but if I had to list all my favourites I'd end up listing the entire album, so I won't. It's really depressing and deep, maybe it's the knowledge that he ended his life around the time of the album but as soon as you start to listen you're pulled into a whole other world, a dark and exciting one that works well on all levels, and at all volumes - I've tried. Yep this one is a keeper I think, so I would like to thank Keir, thank you Keir. Breathtaking
Right so there it is, sure you'll recognise most of it since you probably showed me the way to a lot of the artists I've got here. Of course several more artists should have made it in, here they are: Interpol(Keir), My Bloody Valentine(Thanks Davey), Green Day, Joy Division(Keir again), The Corrs, The Stone Roses, Shania Twain, British Sea Power(Thanks 'The Guardian'), Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Des'ree(Romeo and Juliet song), Meredith Brooks, KT Tunstall, The Libertines(god knows why), Simple Plan, Bloc Party, The Clash, Jack Johnson and any others I'm likely to have missed off.
I was going to end here but then I'd have nothing to do at all and I'm quite enjoying writing this although I must say I don't actually have anything else to say, so skip this if you don't feel like a ramble. Music is pretty much what makes up my basic existence, I started with the recorder at age seven - that was a mistake, the recorder is always a mistake. Then things started to get interesting when I got to junior school, I took a music test for aptititude from which the Guernsey Music Centre selects musicians to train and teach in a chosen instrument. I passed this test but that year so did a lot of people and there wasn't enough instruments to go around, so I waited a year before taking up the clarinet, about 6 years ago now. I have progressed through 4 different woodwind bands to get to the one I am in now and have taken 5 grades, the latest of which I failed but lets not go into that. I play with the band every Saturday for two hours and attend lessons with my teacher every Wednesday for 45 mintes, I almost gave up a while back because I felt that I was a bit restricted to Mozart and the like but I had a chat with my excellent teacher and we have an informal thing now where I choose the music and I go to the band on Saturday whenever I can, so that's all good. A mere two years ago I started playing the Keyboard with a private school and I love it, I've taken two grades because I picked it up pretty quickly being in the same clef as the Clarinet and now I basically play what I like, with my teacher helping with the technical stuff and chords. Ok so that's the end of the organised music, now we move to the fun, not so organised stuff like drums, guitar and vocal. My aural teacher told me I could sing and encouraged me to join a choir to tune it up a bit, Huw taught me the drums last summer, Dad taught me guitar and these three instuments are ones that I fool around with, write music with and generally have a good time with, whenever I can.
I mentioned my defunct band earlier which I'm guess some of you might not have known existed but it has done for the past three years now. Huw is always the drum man cos he rocks and he's played them forever, his sticks are like extensions to his hands, it's pretty intense. Tom is always on bass for similar reasons to Huw and he thinks it's 'good for his image' - we love him really, even if he is a bit shallow and somewhat naive. Now Jon and me have an arrangement, don't worry - it's all above board - and we alternate between guitar and vocals, although it must be said I do spend most time on vocals since I don't technically know guitar, I make it up a bit. I wrote most of the lyrics but if anyone else ever had ideas they were of course free to submit them and we'd try them out, we all wrote the music to go with them although only Huw and I actually have theory knowledge. Anyway we were good and now we are no more since Huw and Tom have left school and Guernsey in favour of travelling all summer and then university, Jon and I hadn't the heart to replace them so now all I have is the school jazz band, a small but happy affair consisting of 10 members on sax, clari, drums, guitar, trombone, trumpet and erm triangle. So I still have quite a bit of music in my life, thankfully! I think I'd go stir-crazy without it!
*Niki falls asleep*
Ok I think I'm pretty much done now since it got to about 5am and I fell asleep in the middle of writing this, consequently the laptop power ran out and I awoke and performed a pretty hasty file recovery operation, I continued writing all this crap at about 10:30am and now it's 12pm - I got distracted. Anyway I''m gonna have to get going since I'm meeting people in about an hour for lunch and stuff, maybe the beach since it's so hot and sunny, plus I have to go choose the music! Actually I probably won't get online to post this till tonight so not much of it will make sense but hey, story of my life!
Finally a mention for the awesome local bands, the members of whom I am great friends with but they don't blog, fools.
Theraputic Hoovering, Beaver, Andy Mason, The Cheerios Incident - TCI, 8 In a bar, and anyone else who plays at the hockey club or the doghouse on Friday and Saturday nights, you rock.
This post is dedicated to the memory of Fight Reality; Tom, Huw, Jon and Me!
Love you x x x