Spotified: April and (the start of) May

I came on here to write another thing, but I forgot what it was, so I thought I’d do that thing I do every now and again where I make a spotify playlist and share it. Here’s the latest one I put together. Includes a winner of The Voice, a few legends, a couple of legends in the making and stuff that reminds me of my student days, among other things.

The playlist will probably get bigger as I go along, which means I might end up renaming it again at some point. Feel free to keep coming back to it and/or follow it if you like.

 

 

This is my theme tune right about now

It’s true. Like the song says, sometimes I just want to be alone with my thoughts. In fact, at the moment, it can be all the time. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not. Suppose some will say no, but I try and take every bit of me time I can get.

 

Ten Song Sunday 3

I really struggled putting one together this week. I’ve not been feeling that well today and didn’t really feel like going on the laptop to blog again earlier, but then I thought I’d try and see if it took my mind off feeling like shite. This is again pretty random but I hope you enjoy it.

(N.B. Yes the first song in this playlist is in Welsh. The only thing that I can understand is that it mentions the patriarchy but you don’t always need to know what someone’s singing about in order to know that it’s a f***ing tune, do you?)

Ten Song Sunday

When I first got Spotify, I was mad on making playlists. In fact, that was and still is, the best thing about it. I always like to share what I’m listening to, usually by posting a tweet of a link to a current favourite with a #nowplaying hashtag attached. I used to post a few of my playlists on here too, until I started to slip out of the habit.

Today I decided that I wanted to start posting playlists regularly again, so I came up with this. I aim to post a spotify playlist of ten songs every Sunday. This kind of follows on from the “Ten Songs” playlists that I did as part of my NaBloPoMo challenge last year, which I quite enjoyed doing if I’m honest. Why only ten songs? Because I think it’s a decent length for a playlist made on spotify to have. Nothing against the long ones, but yeah I do find myself getting bored of the ones that seem to go on for hours after a bit. Although I suppose you can always dip in and out of them, I guess. The playlists themselves won’t have a specific theme, aside from being made up of some of the songs I’ve been listening to over the last seven days.

Anyway here’s the first one. The playlist includes:

  1. The Supernaturals – Alone With My Thoughts
  2. Gene – Fighting Fit
  3. Flyte – Please Eloise
  4. Everything Everything – Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread
  5. Editors – All Sparks
  6. Puressence – This Feeling
  7. Shannon Saunders – Bodies & Beats
  8. The Hoosiers – The Wheels Fell Off
  9. Mansun – Legacy – Radio Edit
  10. Florence + The Machine – Ship To Wreck

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Ten Songs

Day two of this thing and I didn’t know what to write about. I had a couple of goes, but ended up ditching them after two sentences. It was then I thought that I would go to that old standby, the playlist. And so I have created a playlist of songs on Spotify called “Ten Songs” (because that’s how many are on it. Original huh?). They are all songs that I like including one or two I haven’t heard for years and/or I didn’t even know were on Spotify. Have a listen, if you like:

Isn’t it annoying when a song gets stuck in your head?

Isn’t it even more annoying when several songs get stuck in your head?

This happens fairly frequently with me and while I tend not to mind as much when it’s a song (or songs) I like it can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to do something. Like writing blog posts, for instance. It’s difficult to come up with something interesting when your cranial jukebox is stuck on repeat.

Anyway, these songs have been in my head a lot in the last week so I thought I would share them with you. They are all pretty decent tunes, but that’s my opinion.

Music polls and snobbish fools.

If there is one thing I hate, it’s snobbery. I’m pretty much against all kinds, but one form that really gets me going is musical snobbery. There’s nothing I despise more than people who look down at artists who they don’t regard as “cool”, regularly put down the music tastes of others and try to tell people what they should be listening to. So when something happens in the music world that really pisses off the jumped up critics, cool types and the self-proclaimed “guardians of taste” that make up a huge chunk of music journalism, I punch the air and laugh at how pathetic they are.

Today, the Guardian, that oh so liberal and pretentious broadsheet, announced the results of their reader’s poll for the best album and single of 2011. The winner of both polls was..wait for it…Matt Cardle, for his album Letters and the track Starlight respectively. You can imagine the look of sheer horror on the faces of their pop hacks when they counted the votes and realised that their pollsters had voted an X Factor winner as their favourite of the year. You can imagine how bitter the person writing the article result must have felt towards the voters, as well as their thoughts: “Oh why couldn’t they have voted for The Vaccines, or some dubstep act that nobody’s ever heard of?!” How I’d have loved to have seen them squirm.

The Guardian obviously felt embarrassed by the result, so much so that in the article announcing it the writer ridiculously claimed Matt’s victory was down to his fanbase “hijacking” the poll and “block voting” to ensure he won. For one, most people, except Guardian readers and visitors to its website, did not know that the paper was running such a poll. Two, you could only vote in the poll once as you had to register your email address when you voted – a tactic designed to stop block voting. Not even the most obsessive fan of an artist would have the time or energy to register 100+ email addresses just to vote in what is, for the most part, a not entirely important contest. Not even Directioners would do it, however they would give it a bloody good try (they’re very dedicated, those One Direction fans).

Seeing them try to deny the result was amusing, but at the same time so indicative of the attitude a lot of music journalists have towards people like us – the ones who actually buy records and pay to see the bands they love live. If you are going to ask members of the public what their favourites are, you must be prepared if the answer they give you isn’t necessarily what you expect or want. You don’t dismiss what the people tell you and you certainly don’t go implying that the winner won because of what you believe to be suspicious voting activity. Truth is, there are a lot of people out there who like Matt Cardle. Just as there are loads of people who love Coldplay, Keane, the soon to split Westlife, Stereophonics, James Blunt, Justin Bieber, and many other artists that are popular with the public yet often get stick from sections of the media.  There are a lot of bands and singers I don’t like, and some whose popularity I will never understand, but I would never put them or their fans down.  All music, whatever genre it is, whoever it is by, means something to somebody.  For someone to knock my taste in music would be like knocking my memories, the things that have happened in my life, both good and bad. And as for telling me what I should and shouldn’t like, well I don’t tell you to stop being a pretentious twat, no matter how much I would like to.

I admit, I have Letters on my iPod. I downloaded it as soon as it came out, and  I think it is a good album. Sure it is a little too slick and over produced in places, but it is still better than a lot of the rubbish that has been in the charts this year. It’s not cool, but then I don’t listen to music for that reason.  I listen to it because I like it. The people who voted for it in the Guardian poll did so because they liked it too. And whether the snooty journalists at the Grauniad like it or not, it won fair and square. Fuck da haters, as they say.

 

How to fail at NaNoWriMo

So in my last post, I mentioned how I had signed up for NaNoWrimo and was challenging myself to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I thought it would be a good idea to write a post telling you my progress on it, seeing as there isn’t really anything else I can think of to blog on here at the minute.

So far it is well into the second week of the challenge, and it’s got to be said, I am finding it a lot harder than I thought it would be. Not that I never thought that writing a novel in thirty days would be an easy task, I just thought that once I got into it the ideas and the words would just come out. Suffice to say the amount of words and ideas that has come out from writing for it hasn’t been a waterfall as much as it has been a drip leaking slowly from a tap.  At my last count, I had just under 1000 words, which is pretty much under what you would be expected to have at this point in the challenge. A bad thing? Some might say that, but it is more words than I had at the start of the month, thus I am sort of pleased that I have managed to do anything at all. Plus, I can’t be the only person in this position.

My progress on my novel (or lack of it, in some ways), can be attributed to a number of reasons – lack of time, lack of ideas and that good old friend of ours, procrastination. I am in full-time employment, and depending on what kind of mood I’m in I don’t always feel like getting stuck into story writing when I get home. I’d rather watch TV, browse the web, listen to music, post nonsense on Twitter or indulge in my Tumblr obsessions. Sometimes, even just sleep.  I intend to catch up on it at the weekends, but then I end up doing something else during the day, so I put it off until later on, and not get far with it.  I don’t intend to procrastinate, it just happens, which is still kind of worrying.  I know that at the end of the day, this is just a bit of fun but you know…

One way that I thought I could beat the writers’ block was by starting a blog on Tumblr in which I have attempted to write posts as the main character of the story. By doing this, I have been able to bring up some character traits, come up with other characters, locations and identified one or two bits that could be useful to the actual storyline.  These have probably contributed most to my word count, as I haven’t been able to put together any proper chapters yet, as much has I have tried to.  I suppose if the novel-writing turns into a total fail then there is still a blog that can come out of it, albeit a fictional one.

If there is one thing that I have learned from the whole nanowrimo experience so far, is that it is probably not a good idea to make an iTunes playlist for it – or not to have certain songs on that playlist at least. I created one prior to starting the challenge as I thought it would (a) motivate me a bit and (b) provide a sort of soundtrack to the whole experience. Word of warning: putting a song like Pumped Up Kicks on a playlist you designed to help you write something is asking for trouble. In fact, just avoid putting anything from Foster The People on it –  their songs will stick in your head and have you mentally singing along. Or out loud, which would be incredibly embarrassing. Seriously, save listening to them when you’re not coming up with your next amazing plot twist.

 

Tweet To The Beat.

Those of you who follow my twitter feed will know that I tend to abuse the #nowplaying hashtag a lot.  I will post at least one tweet of a song I’m listening to every day, often including a link for people to listen to it on Spotify.

In a moment of boredom, I thought it would be a cool idea to make a spotify playlist of every song I post on twitter over a certain period of time – or at least until I get bored with it.  I guess it will be the soundtrack to my twitter life – and general internet experience.  I only have a few songs on it at the moment, but it will grow over time. Once it does I’ll post the link to it on here – should anyone be interested.

The rediscovered.

In a moment of boredom, I decided to compile a Spotify playlist of songs that I loved that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  I am still in the process of compiling that list, seeing as I am one of those people who is always adding songs, removing others and generally shuffles it around about 50 times before they are satisfied with it.

Before I do unleash it on the world, I should point out that some of the songs that I have rediscovered might well be undiscovered by some people. Indeed there are one or two by artists that aren’t that well known, but you might like them.  Anyway, it will be up soon. Just thought I would warn you.

EDIT : My Spotify playlist is now ready for your enjoyment and possible amusement.  I might add more songs to it over time, but for now here it is as of today.