Mainstream acts its ok to like.

There is nothing wrong with being a music snob, I have been known to turn my nose up at a Cheryl Cole song or 2, but in reality, I believe that you shouldn’t judge people for what they listen to. Music is all about making us feel good, and helping us tap into our own emotions, and if Cheryl Cole’s awful singing and terrible lyrics do that for some people, just let them be! I have always been more of a “rocker” and what really grabs me is a great drum beat and some fierce and catchy lyrics, but I don’t discriminate against genres; I have my favourites, namely Punk, Indie and neo-psychedelica, but I have been known to dabble with a bit of pop music, some heavy metal, and yes, even a touch of rap! For those of you who can’t embrace the good in all genres, there are some acts out there from the mainstream world.

1. Eminem

Eminem began as somewhat of a novelty act, insulting other celebrities in his songs and incorporating silly lyrics, however among the more revered “cartoon-esque” numbers, there are also some meaningful and hard-hitting lyrics about lower class life, his family, and friends that have passed away. The difference with Eminem is that ordinarily he will only rap about party’s, women etc. in a tongue in cheek way, and lately about drugs in a way that shows the reality. His is not all about ‘tits and ass’ as many of his counterparts are.

2.Britney Spears

Britney has been around so long that if you are over 18 years of age it is ok to finally confess that you never fell out of love with her (and I know it’s not just me!) Her old music brings back memories  and her new music reminds us that you’re too long in the tooth to hit the dancefloor, despite the fact that most night clubs are crawling with 17 year olds. Plus she wears biker gloves, which makes her automatically cool in my book.

3. Pink

Pink has always been more of an anti-popstar throughout her career, and since her second album, missundastood, it has  been ok to say how cool you think she is. She is a strong woman, who doesn’t feel the need to conform to the current trend for female singers, be it blonde hair, or acting like a tramp (yeah, that’s you Rihanna). She is the definition of the word FIERCE! and if you turn your nose up at her music, because she is mainstream, you’re failing to see the bigger picture.

4. Take That

Robbie Williams SHOULD have gotten a mention on his own, because he is my version of GOD and I’m not ashamed to see it, but Robbie is still rebuilding his credibility as a result of Rude Box, so Take that have pipped him on this one. Since there come back looking all grown up and serious with Patience, they have been re-installed into many people’s music collections and people that never hid the CDs and poster could sing proudly about their love of Mark, Gary, Jason and Howard. They have become an entirely new group compared to the 90’s and they have produced some belters since their return. Nothing like some feel good pop to brush the cob-webs off.


Hangover music

It’s Saturday, so many of you will be nursing dicky tummies and floating heads all thanks to a wild night on the sauce, others (me) learned how to play poker and ate a five cheese pizza. The wonders of unemployment. I may not have touched a drop for quite some time, but the memories are still there, so I am aware that many of you are cringing at above-whisper noises and now, the idea of a five cheese pizza, so I have decided to compile a list of hangover friendly tunes to help you in your recovery. Here are my top five hangover melodies!

5. The xx- VCR. 

Perfect, with it’s soft tones, quiet lyrics and lullaby-like elements. Not necessarily for the violent, need-to-sleep-all-day hangovers, but it does the job when your choking down your evening-time breakfast roll  and gearing up for night of face-stuffing and mindless television.

4. Paul Weller- you do something to me. 

Again, not one for the extremely sensitive heads, because there are some booming moments in it. But it is one of those songs that set in just the right key to have a calming affect on the listener. Paul Weller’s voice has been one of the most pleasant voices in the industry since his baby-faced days in The Jam, so treat yourself to this quite song, and perhaps a Rubex.

3. Peter Doherty and The Wolfman- This is for lovers

So, we’re getting into dying a death territory with this one. There are no surprises, no loud, screaming parts, just delicate piano, mild base, and Doherty’s possibly hungover vocals.

2. Elbow- An Audience with the pope

Quiet, hypnotising and baring Guy Garvey’s amazing yet lazy style of vocalising, this is as good as alternative hangover-friendly songs come. If you are barely able to read this article I suggest you switch of the browser, stick on itunes and play this song on loop until you go back asleep. You deserve it, go on!

1. The Verve- The drugs don’t work

This one is more for future reference, because if you’re at the stage were this is the only thing that can relax you to the point of hangover-ease, you are more than likely unable to function well enough to operate a computer. With nothing but guitar, soothing lyrics, and possible a valuable message as lie there, bucket at head, it will not only relax you, but teach you a lesson.

Why music means so much to us.

Inspired by one of The Indie Sight’s wonderful writers, Jenny Darmody, I decided to, once again, steer away from the structured review that I had originally intended to be the fulcrum of this blog and post more of a commentary piece.

Jenny’s blog is one that I visit quite often because I simply enjoy the way in which she writes, and because I admire how she can jump from one topic to the other. I, on the other hand, would completely loose the run of myself if I was to write about a variety of topics, so even for this random blog post, I will stick with writing about music. For those of you who don’t personally know me, my biggest passion is music, and my greatest hobby is writing, so it must be understandable that I am naturally compelled to write about music. The particular post of Jenny’s that inspired me to write this blog, was one in which she discussed the most meaningful songs to her. It got me thinking about why music is such an important part of all our lives; even those who may not be considered as music aficionados place some importance in music whether they are aware of it or not.

I once read a book about the psychology of music and, despite the high-brow language, it really hit the nail on the head. The gist of the book concluded that we fall in love with music as humans, because we struggle to express in our own words, how we truly feel. As cheesey as it may sound, I agree with this because I understand the comfort we can get from hearing others sing/talk about something that affects us so deeply, it’s almost a relief to know that there are others who are fed up with their lives the way they are, or sick of being single, or PROUD to be single etc. I for one, can associate music with the realisation of many emotions I have encountered over the last ten years. It has been the case where I have been left wondering why I feel so down, or indeed, why I feel so happy, and then when I hear a song, and it may have been a first time listen, or hundredth time listen,  it hit home- that’s how I feel.

We all have those songs that pull at our heart strings, that remind us of a time in which we suffered or of a loved one, or of a joyous time that we wish we could have held on to for a little longer. I am reluctant to express publicly why certain songs affect me, and why I would directly associate myself with them, because sometimes, and call me cynical if you so wish, it is dangerous to let the world spot your vulnerabilities. However I have no trouble in saying that I am a sensitive person and I do, for want of a better term, bond with certain songs, because it feels as though I could have written them if I could truly expel my emotions. I am sure that this is something that occurs to many people, particularly music fans, as a recent study I read about revealed that us true music fans are more emotionally sensitive and empathetic than those who simply listen to the music to pass the time, or fill the silence. Think of a time when you have sat in your car listening to the radio, or flicked through the songs on your MP3 player and it was like a bright light spanning on front of you, when someone you don’t even know, is saying exactly how you feel through the speakers of an inanimate object. It truly is a surreal and mind opening experience.

My most recent mind-opening song related experience came on Monday morning as I got ready for work. I had my ipod in Steve- my iPig, blasting out some of my favourite songs when one I hadn’t heard in a while came on. Frank Turners’ powerful anthem Photosynthsis seemed to have grabbed me by the shoulders, shook me and screamed at me not to give up on my dream of being known for my writing and my potential contribution to the music industry from a promotions point of view. It took me by surprise to realise that the answer to my sudden despondency was in a song that I had sung with gusto in my bedroom before nights out, and now the ditty has more meaning to it than I had ever imagined it would. With the help of some sound advice from a loved one, and the power of Frank Turner’s song writing skills, I have an idea of what I need to do to get what I want with my life now. If that is not a testament to how moving, important and influential music can be, I don’t know what it is.