Getting To Know You

This post is strange. In that it’s about a total stranger.

It’s a woman. At least, I think it is.

I have no idea who she (or possibly he) is, but I know everything about her. NO, I’m not a stalker.

I had the good fortune to find her iPod.

Three years ago, my brother had a summer job working as security for various festivals (I forget which one) and after such an event, he found an 80GB iPod under a chair in the VIP area.

He followed the right protocols; turned it in to the police, and waited three months (the usual rule is 28 days).

He waited, and when it wasn’t claimed, he gave it to me as a present. I was thankful and a bit down for the poor person that lost it.

So began a three year lesson in someone else’s life, based purely on the 5504 songs they have on their iPod.

And over five thousand songs is a lot of music.

I listen to the songs they listened to when they were down, when they were ecstatic, tired, chilling out, raving, hungry, downcast. It’s a very strange phenomenon to have this little slice of someone else’s life. Some songs I’ve never heard before, some I admire this person’s taste in, some I completely judge them for. But the truth is, before I delete a single song from this iPod, I am determined to listen to every one. A kind of musical education, if you will. I’ve even transferred a few records on to my own iPod, which is considerably smaller. In reality, I own two; but to me, this black 6th generation classic is part of someone else’s life. It doesn’t contain any recent popular music (top 40 stuff).

There’s some classic music, like Vivaldi and Rachmaninoff, a LOT of 80s stuff (which isn’t exactly to my taste) some awesome party mixes of the early 2000s and a fair amount of crap too.

There’s everything from the Verve, to the Prodigy, to a disturbing amount of Kate Bush, and back again to Led Zeppelin and Eurythmics.

I am happy that she has one of my favourite songs of all time ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark, however. (I can see half of you judging me, and the other half googling it to see what’s what).

Anyway, it’s a lovely thing to have someone else (unwittingly and probably begrudgingly) give me their little slice of life via the medium of music. Whoever you are, you have some amazing playlists. I appreciate them all.

The only sneaking suspicion about this person I have is that she must be a woman; as the entire Bridget Jones Soundtrack is on here, including Chaka Khan. I suspect she must be older than me, as every single Robbie Williams song (before 2011) is on there too. I checked. That’s a lot of Angels.

Despite her penchant for much of Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, of which there are many, I conclude that this woman must be either a complete maniac, or as totally down to earth as you can get. Maybe I’ve passed her in the street. Maybe she’s someone famous? Is she alive? Is she happy? Is she on the other side of the world or down the road? Is she listening to the very same playlist on her replacement iPod?

I guess I’ll never know. It could be anyone’s. But thank you, mystery person; for three years of awesome music so far. For your Kings of Leon, your Paolo Nutini and Stereophonics that I listen to when I’m down. I’m dubious as to why you need so much Madonna still, but I’m getting there.

Driving Home For Christmas

snow-traffic-roads

This time of year we all find that those long car journeys are a necessary part of the festive period. Vehicles laden with presents and gifts for the family, and the effort worth it to spend time with the people you love. I do find settling down for the long-haul up the motorway a difficult feat to endure. Many people just go to sleep. I like to plug in my iPod and let the world pass me by. Recently, after having found myself skipping many songs on my playlist, I decided to find a few songs to add so that when I do have those hours to spend doing nothing, I can perfect my playlists.

I narrowed my list down to my top 15, though I wouldn’t recommend listening to them all at once.

Lazy Rich – Better Wipe That Up (Revolvr Remix) I quite like this tune, it’s not too intense and good for when you don’t feel like singing along.

James Blunt – 1973, After a,ll the hype of the Christmas festivities, sometimes it’s nice to unwind with a little bit of easy listening.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett – Cheek To Cheek, I quite like this rendition of Fred and Ginger’s classic with out being too ‘jazzy’ or loud.

Ed Sheeran – Sing, a recent hit that’s upbeat and always has me singing along.

Sigma ft. Paloma Faith – Changing, I adore this one, particularly the fact that Paloma Faith is in it.

Redbone – Come And Get Your Love, this one has recently come back as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and in my opinion is absolutely brilliant.

Enya – Storms In Africa, Before you judge me, this new-age vibe is great for when you want to be alone with your thoughts or are driving to the rising sun.

Razorlight – America, a classic.

Tijana – To The Sky, F.Y.R Macedonia’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. The video is crap, but the tune is refreshingly not-too-cheesy compared to most europop.

Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing, an absolute favourite of mine, and the guitar solos are worth waiting for.

Katy Perry – Legendary Lovers, KP always ups the vibe and her tunes are especially good on her Prism album.

Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream, a genius song. There are three versions of this which I absolutely adore; the original, the Sam la More 12” remix, and this version, the RAC Mix, unfortunately the only version which isn’t available on iTunes.

Jay Z and Kanye West – No Church in the Wild, no explanation needed.

Room 5 – Make Luv, such a good vibe from this one.

Royworld – Dust, I find this one to be a pretty mellow tune.

And some others which didn’t make top 15 of my unusual driving playlist;

  • Biffy Clyro – Victory Over The Sun
  • Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
  • Pendulum – The Island (Radio Edit)
  • Credence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen the Rain
  • The Wombats – Moving To New York
  • Katy Perry – It Takes Two
  • Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People

Let me know what you think! Comment below.

As always, stay Peachy.

8 Things I’ve Learned As A Newbie To KPOP

Psy's famous Gangnam Style

Psy’s famous Gangnam Style

Korean Pop has taken off exponentially in the past few years in the west thanks to the global phenomenon that is Psy and other catchy tunes. Instead of ignoring this potential fad, I decided to investigate what it was all about. Soon, I learned that my appraisal of a potential new (credible) music genre was to be no easy feat. Here are some of the things I have learned from a preliminary glance down the rabbit-hole.

  1. EVERYTHING TAKES PLACE IN A PSEUDO-REALITY WORLD – from the conglomeration of videos which have graced my computer screen I have gathered that every video either takes place in a totally different post-apocalyptic minimalist hell-hole, or the inside of Hello Kitty’s vagina. Obviously this depends on the tone of the song itself, or in some cases, has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
  2. GENDER ROLES ARE PREDOMINANT – men are always portrayed as ‘modern warrior’ types that are basically hipsters, and women can be either leather-clad dominatrices or the Korean version of Japanese street fashion. Either way, expect (a) a lot of pink, or (b) just monochrome. The segregation of genders is obvious, as bands with male and female are few and far between. K-POP is the metaphorical arena where boy and girl bands go to grand-slam for the title of cringiest song.
    HelloVenus

    HelloVenus

    2pm - ADTOY

    2pm – ADTOY

  3. IT’S SURPRISINGLY TASTEFUL – once you get the ‘tutti-frutti’ taste out of your mouth and become obtuse to the fact that there is absolutely no depth to the music, you’ll realise that all the dance moves are so meticulous that everyone might as well be robots. Apart from the appearance of some questionably short skirts, Korean women do not show much of their breasts or mid-drifts. They are sexualised in a totally different way to the west – with their clothes on. None o’ this ‘bralet’ business. ALSO – WHITE SUITS EVERYWHERE.
    MBLAQ - Smoky Girl

    MBLAQ – Smoky Girl

    BTOB - Wow

    BTOB – Wow

  4. HAIR IS EVERYTHING – we’ve got nothing on their coiffure. Seriously, I’m jealous. All you have to do is Google ‘Kpop hair’ and it’ll reveal their *interesting* style.

    Words fail.

    Words fail.

  5. SUDDEN ONSET MASS GYRATION IS THE NORM – I wouldn’t be surprised if the singers wake up already rippling their bodies to the strange catchy beat….
  6. Which reminds me – YOU’LL BE ADDICTED – not enough to swear off all other forms of music, as most of it is just overly saccharine syrupy siren song, but occasionally you find a contagious beat that convinces you that you really want to cut your hair with severely graduated bangs on one side.

    B1A4 - Tried To Walk WHAT IS THIS?!

    B1A4 – Tried To Walk
    WHAT IS THIS?!

  7. ITS LIKE A DRUG – again, so sweet that you’ll be happy as a clam whilst you’re watching music videos and bopping along, but afterwards, reality drifts back. No longer am I immersed in the glitter and hair gel from five minutes ago, I’m actually in my room, it’s 3am, and I genuinely feel like I’ve been on some class A shit for the past hour.
  8. YOU’LL HAVE THE STRANGEST DREAMS –nsfw.

    Don't ask.

    Don’t ask.

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about then check out this video from YouTube by Tessa vd B:

This Knockoff Taylor Swift Song Sets Women Back Farther Than “Blurred Lines”

There are very little words to describe how misguided this artist must be for ‘putting her name to these lyrics’.

Thought Catalog

It’s been a while since we’ve had a cringeworthy music video to talk about, and country (ish?) artist RaeLynn has come through to fill that void with this super-regressive song about how girls are there to give guys someone to open doors for, tie their ties, and, I assume, never leave the kitchen. And unlike the other virally bad videos we’ve had recently, this is not by some production studio for rich kids to pretend to be pop stars. This is a real song, on VEVO, from a real production studio. RaeLynn is, from what I can tell, a real artist. And these are the kind of lyrics she is putting her name to.

If you don’t think it’s that bad, I suggest you watch it. Because, yeah. It’s THAT bad. [tc-mark]

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Top 40

It’s very difficult for young adults to escape from the incessant call of mainstream music.  Things like festivals, clubs and the radio are full of young singers desperate for a number one that they’ll do anything different to stand out. I for one, hate it. Please don’t think me a hipster (ugh) I’ll still dance along to the same beat like everyone else on a typical student night out, but the truth is that I just don’t like what the industry has become. Yes I enjoy some songs, and I won’t go out of my way to NOT listen to them, but it’s so much more interesting to listen to other things. I’m not talking about heavy metal or heavy duty Bach or Mozart… but something more off the beaten track, which for me is far more rewarding to listen to.

Movie soundtracks for me, are the bees knees. You can escape to a whole new world in them so quickly, and even though a lot of them don’t have an awesome drop halfway through, it’s a much more effective and quicker way of chilling out after a long day.

Now, when it comes to music composition, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but music appreciation is something we are all familiar with, in that we all have many favourite bands/guitarists/singers etc. The music we all listen to regularly, such as that in adverts, in tv shows and in movies is, without risk of ruining the illusion, classical. It’s obvious that some soundtracks are famous, for example Hanz Zimmer’s Pirates Of The Caribbean, but no one seems to appreciate that they listen to music that is more often than not performed by one orchestra or another, (think Doctor Who’s theme tune or that of Game of Thrones). I find it strange that many say how much they hate classical music without even realising that the shows and films that they love depend so heavily on it. Obviously this isn’t the same for films with killer songs in them, like musicals, as they often seem to be at the top of the charts days before the film has even finished it’s opening weekend, but my point is that people work so hard on soundtracks that so often go unnoticed, especially if the film is not a box office hit. It’s not difficult to find the soundtrack online and listen to it. Very often, classical music promotes relaxation and improves mental agility when coupled with studying. 

At the risk of all this sounding very twee and sightly dorky, the point is that it’s just genuinely so much better than anything in the charts. Yes, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jay Z and all the rest are very talented and brilliant business people to have achieved so much and have beautiful music playing on every person’s iPod in the world, but it really isn’t the same. 

Who needs the charts anyway?! My top 5 list of popular epic soundtracks:

(Look away now if you don’t like Hanz Zimmer*)
  1. One Day – POTC, Hanz Zimmer
  2. First Class – X-Men First Class, Henry Jakcman
  3. Chevaliers de Sangreal – The Da Vinci Code, HZ & Richard Harvey
  4. Main Titles – Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi
  5. Time – Inception, HZ

and a top 5 chill out list:

  1. Bedroom Dreams – The Tourist, James Newton Howard
  2. One Morning At Pella – Alexander, Vangelis
  3. The End, The Joneses, Nick Urata
  4. Now We Are Free – Gladiator, HZ & Lisa Gerrard
  5. Main Title – Out of Africa, John Barry

*Hanz Zimmer is awesome, however his work is now incredibly popular. However some of his stuff is a bit same-y. POTC and Gladiator are compared as the motifs used are similar, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from how epic his pieces are. If you have a controversial opinion about Hanz Zimmer, drop a comment! (minimal music jargon terminology please)

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