Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Andrew Bird.

So I know I missed last week's post but I was kidnapped (by myself) and forced (not really) to watch (binge on) a few episodes (seasons) of New Girl. Don't judge me. It wasn't my fault (it really was). But anywhoosies, today's Music Wednesday is going to be about Andrew Bird. You know in 2014, I've discovered more new musicians than any other year. I'm so glad I made the effort to push myself out of the comfort zone of my music library. I'm normally content (and lazy) when it comes to my library. I'd only add a handful of songs to it each year. But as I've mentioned before something about studying for my final year at uni really drove me into albums and musicians I'd never heard of or listened to, and this whole journey of musical discovery kept me sane through coursework and exams but also made me fall in love over and over again.

It was late winter/early spring when I first heard an Andrew Bird song/album. I can't remember which album of his it was that I listened to first but it hooked me enough that I went and listened to his whole discography. The reason why I love Bird is because he marries two of my favourite things: Instrumentation/musicianship and folk music/storytelling. In fact he reminds me a bit of a super super folk version of Sufjan Stevens. See when I say I love music, I'm not really talking about a vocal over a beat. I mean that's great and all but my love really stems for a deep seated appreciation for the craft and art of music and musicianship. That's why I love classical music so much. Or even artists like Bird and Stevens. I'm the type of person that can get lost in a 20 minute song and not feel a second of that time pass. Then I listen to it again to get completely caught up in whatever story is being told or I visualise the colours that the different notes sound like and behind my closed eyes I can see this masterpiece painted by the instruments, filled with texture and layers and themes and dynamics and...

I don't know. I just love music lol. In ways I can't describe. And so I thought I'd share this song with you.

Until next time x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Musings: 21 Up New Generation

Today is Wednesday which means Blogday at Without the 'Ay' headquarters, aka my room. Today's post is going to be about something called 21 Up New Generation. I've been trying to get my head around how to write about this for exactly nine days and have come up with nada. Zilch. Naught. Diddly-squat. You get my drift. It's been a whole lot of nothingness each time I've reached towards my keyboard in an attempt to communicate my thoughts. So I'm just going to try and capture parts of what's going on in my head and hope that somehow you get it.

Here goes.


So 21 Up New Generation was on the other night. Exactly nine days ago. On BBC One. I was on it.
Not only was I on this one, but I was on the last one 7 years back. Oh and I was on the one before that. And I'm probably going to be on the next one 7 years from now. And so on. And so forth. For some reason I now have that guy from 'The King and I' in my head going "Etceteraaa Etcerteraaa". But I digress.

For some reason being a part of the show is completely natural and normal to me. What isn't normal to me is people knowing I'm on the show. Why is that so strange to me? Every time a new episode of the series airs, people that know me but don't know me always ask why I didn't tell them that I was on it before, I'm like why would I? I've been a part of this spectacular thing now for longer than I haven't. I see it as both a big deal and not a big deal at all. Every seven years a handful of people, some that I know and some that I dont, come and hang out with me for a couple of days. We joke around, we're serious, we talk about life, love, education, religion, successes, failures, expectations, disappointments, hopes dreams, realities, difficulties, and everything else that Julian can think of. And then they're gone. A year later the rest of the world/ anybody who tunes into BBC One when it airs, are provided a glimpse into those conversations and then six years later it all happens again.

But see the reason I don't wear my Up-ness on a t-shirt is because between each show, life happens. A whole lot of life happens. And while that life is happening, I don't sit around and ponder my Up-ness, I'm taking part in life. Every now and again, maybe once or twice a year i'll think about the series. I'll be walking down the street and randomly stop and marvel at the fact that there are these people that I am connected to. This makeshift, circumstantial family, with the 'Uppers' being the siblings and Mel and Julian (the producer and director respectively) being the parents. Then I continue walking down the street. And up till now, that was my experience being part of the show.

Something was different this time round though. Because this time round there was the internet. Sure, the internet was around when 14 Up aired, but not like this. It wasn't this living breathing intrinsic part of life that it is now. And that changed things for me a bit. This time round I was able to read people's reactions on Twitter. There were people who have watched all of the installments, people who are discovering the series for the first time. And I got to see it all. So it's like my experience changed from just me, the other 'Uppers' and the team that ties us all together, to us and well- the internet lol. See, logically, in previous shows I knew that people watched it, but this time it was more tangible, which made my participation in 21 Up feel more tangible as well.

 I don't know what else to say, I mean I have a whole bunch of thoughts but they're completely unintelligible, even to me. But I mean, despite being used to the Up Series. It's still a brilliant thing to be a part of. Well, it's a brilliant thing period.

So yeah, until next Blogday,

Rella x

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Evita Soundtrack

You know, I had been planning to write about Feist today. I've been meaning to for weeks, I even mentioned it in the Kings of Convenience post. But earlier today I was watching a marathon of a random 1 season American cop drama and out of nowhere, I started singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina, beginning to end, word for word at the top of my lungs. I turned to my sister and said, "You know Evita is my favourite musical right?". To which she replied, "Duh!" And then, I thought to myself: 'nobody would know that'. Seriously, very very few people know that Evita is my favourite musical. Ever. And it is largely because the soundtrack is freaking awesome. And I watched it when I was really young, and have watched it a dozen times since, so it's literally embedded in my existence. So since today is #musicwednesdays I'm here to discuss four of my favourite songs off the movie soundtrack.

1. Another Suitcase, Another Hall

This song traumatised me as a child. "So what happens now, where am I going to?" was like the most heartbreaking thing I'd ever heard and Eva seemed so despondent and helpless, it just crushed me. And since then, if I see something particularly heartbreaking or sad in a movie or show, my head will automatically sing "So what happens now, where am I going to?"

2. A New Argentina

Because this song is awesome. Because one day a few years back, I was working at my old job and this randomly came on the work iPod, and my manager and I randomly broke into song and dance. Because of the "Don't think I don't think like you, I often get those nightmares too, they often take some, swallowing" section which is just musically brilliant. 

3. I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You

I think as a kid I didn't love this song. I only began to appreciate it when I was rediscovering the movie and soundtrack as a teenager. And now it's one of my favourites. 

4. Eva's Final Broadcast/Don't Cry For Me Argentina

Again with the sadness, and again with perfectly portraying that sadness in that song. Because of "Have I said too much? There's nothing more I can think of to say to you". For years, I've found myself randomly singing that line while pretending I'm on that balcony, cracking my voice in all the right places to make me seem both strong and breaking at the same time lol. "I'm Argentina and always will be".

Honorable mention: Eva and Magaldi. Because again- awesomeness. Because of the rhythm of the lyrics.

Have you watched Evita? If so what are your favourite songs? Do you have a favourite musical that is unexpected to those that know you?