Tag: Foo Fighters

Music to work by

I have a thing for loud, chord heavy rock music. It is why I still enjoy tracks from The Cult, why Puddle of Mudd, Eagles of Death Metal, Aerosmith and the like feature heavily on my playlists.

None of those acts (with perhaps the exception of Aerosmith) would claim that they are at the pinnacle of song writing, I doubt they’re expecting an Ivor Novello anytime soon but they do write some catchy, if simple, melodies. Ideal stuff to whack on in the background whilst I’m getting my head down to work.

On a separate note, is this a generational thing? The need to have a source of ‘noise’ to help focus?

Anyway, riff-tastic rock is a tried and tested accompaniment to my working habits. I do veer into electronica on occasion, but ultimately the Sigur Ros’s and Portisheads of this world are too varied in tone and pace and end up disturbing trains of thought. Rap music is about the only other alternative for me, with Jay-Z and Q-Tip jostling with long time favourites Cypress Hill for ear time.

I’ve tried Classical music, Jazz, Folk, Pop, and everything in-between but nothing works as well as good ole fashioned rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll! Maybe that’s my predeliction towards rock music, brought up on a diet of Queen and Status Quo, peppered with Simon & Garfunkel, Manilow and Sedaka, it’s understandable that I favour the pop side of rock music, and generally appreciate a well crafted song regardless of genre.

But for music to work by? Gimme chords, heavy riffs, a chugging bass and thumping drums and I’m happy. Lyrics are not important, subject matter makes no difference, as long as I can keep if banging away in the background I’m a happy and productive bunny.

This post was brought to you by the Foo Fighters track All my Life, the Eagles of Death Metal track Cherry Cola and Puddle of Mudd’s Nobody Told Me.

What music do you work by?

Stress is a wonderful thing

Nearing the end of a project is always a stressful time. Regardless of the best plans, contingency and prayers, things always end up tight at this point. That’s when the stress kicks in.

I actually revel in this kind of work, doing my best stuff under pressure, with no time to ponder I make decisions with conviction and plough onwards. There is also a subtle effect on other areas.

I’m usually working long hours at this point, and so end up a little run-down, narky and tired. Emotions of all kinds are quick to the surface and over the years I’ve started to focus more on them than any impending doom scenarios that are building elsewhere. I should point out that I work in the software industry so, in most cases, missing a deadline is bad for business but no-one loses a life, it’s not the end of the world, so whilst I do get stressed there is a point where I realise I’m getting stressed and I just… well… stop getting stressed. Hard to explain and it took some amount of time to get it sorted in my head.

Anyway, whilst I’m in this zone I try and focus on the positives and one always comes shining through. Louise. She knows how to handle me at times like these, and it makes me appreciate her all the more.

In addition, with emotions wrought and wrangled and because I often resort to headphones to get the last minute of “do not disturb me” time out of the day, I find the oddest songs can develop a strange resonance and catapult themselves into my internally kept list of favourite tracks. Such tracks literally give me goosebumps. Whack on Nothing Else Matters by Metallica and when that guitar solo kicks in… yup, goosebumps.

Sticking with the rock theme, for I cannot lie I do like my rock music, the current song achieving similar levels is the oddly repetitive yet wonderful anthemic Come Alive from the Foo Fighters. Not only does it seem to musically hit the right notes, lyrically it brings me full circle back to the centre of my life, my darling wife. Odd that.

I just wish I could play it just a little bit louder (but I’m quite considerate when using headphones).

Anyone else get this with certain tracks? Just me?

25 lines

Inspired by Lisa and Rob, I’ve got a little quiz for you.

It’s simple enough, 25 lyrics, guess the song and artist. I’ve used the “Party Shuffle” mode of iTunes to pull 25 random tracks from my library, so don’t blame me… entirely..

Ohh and it’s not always the first line of the song, some were a little to obvious for that.

UPDATE: DEADLINE passed, here are the answers to all… er… 26 tracks

  1. I want your tender charms, cause I’m lonely and blue
    Rescue Me by Fontella BassPB Curtis
  2. Spread out the oil, the gasoline. I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine
    Start me up by The Rolling Stones
  3. From the torn or taffeta, You’re frozen in the contemplation of a win
    4 pounds in 2 days by Lambchop
  4. Go hug your sister, Go love your sister, Go hug your sister, One and the same<
    Pistol of fire by Kings of Loen/li>
  5. You can hear, dear Mother Nature murmuring low “Let yourself go”
    It’s De-Lovely by Cole Porter (sung by Jeri Southern) – Cheerful One
  6. And her hunky funky junky, Of a boyfriend, Got her on late nights, With her skirt tight
    High Times by Jamiroquai
  7. With all the will in the world, Diving for dear life
    Shipbuilding by Elvis CostelloRullsenberg
  8. Put your hair back, we get to leave, Eleven gallows on your sleeve
    Perfect Circle by R.E.M.David
  9. Inside you’re pretending, Crimes have been swept aside, Somewhere where they can forget
    Mysterions by Portishead
  10. Seven out a twenty one knocked down now only fourteen left to go
    Out of nowhere by Athlete
  11. There is nothin’ fair in this world, There is nothin’ safe in this world
    White Wedding by Billy IdolJoanna
  12. I got a faulty parachute, I got a stranger’s friend, An exciting change in, My butchers blend
    Losing Hope by Jack Johnson
  13. I have a choice between the bat or the belt, each time I hear about the hand you’ve been dealt
    Wind Up by Foo Fighters
  14. Petrified for the millionth time. Slowly my soul evaporates, No parachutes no dismal clouds, Just this fucking space
    I’m not working by the Manic Street PreachersLyle
  15. Fear me you lord and lady preachers, I descend upon your earth from the skies
    Seven Seas of Rhye by QueenTom
  16. L.A. proved too much for the man, So he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know
    Midnight train to Georgia by Gladys Knightrobin
  17. You stay the night at his house, With no ride to work, And I’m the one who tells you, He’s another jerk
    You by Aimee Mannpootlecat
  18. We dive into a dark doorway, Hiding from the clouds of grey, Oh babe, I don’t mind it at all
    Scottish Rain by The Silencers
  19. May God bless and keep you always, May your wishes all come true, May you always do for others, And let others do for you.
    Forever young by Bob Dylan – Canute
  20. Yeah but nobody searches, And nobody cares somehow, When the loving that you’ve wasted, Comes raining from a hapless cloud
    Slow Hands by Interpol
  21. I dont have to sell my soul, Hes already in me
    I Wanna be adored by The Stone RosesRullsenberg
  22. Hold up, hold on, don’t be scared, You’ll never change what’s been and gone
    Stop crying your heart out by Oasis
  23. And into the sea goes pretty England and me, Around the Bay of Biscay and back for tea
    This is a Low by BlurKerron
  24. A year ago, last Thursday, I was strolling in the zoo, when I met a man who thought he knew the lot
    I’m a Gnu by Flanders and SwannZ
  25. Viktor was born in the spring of ’44, And never saw his father anymore, A child of sacrifice, a child of war
    Leningrad by Billy JoelBlue Witch
  26. Lost in a lullaby, Side of the road, Melt in a memory, Slide in a solitude
    Fugitive Motel by Elbow

Honourable mentions: Adrian McEwen.

Right. Have at it people! I’ll update correct guesses when I can over the weekend. Ohh and we all KNOW it’d be easy to just Google for the answers but what’s the point in that?

Live music

It’s getting close to the end of the year and the first ‘best of’ lists have begun to surface. I’m a huge fan of such lists because of my constant belief that I’ve missed some cultural zeitgeist or other, so much so that I am currently running about a year behind everyone else in a desperate attempt to keep up.

Aside from the usual culprits – book, cd, dvd, movie – on the more musically inclined lists there is always the ‘best gig of the year’ to be considered. And therein lies a sticky (literally for some venues) problem.

How do you rate the ‘best gig’? Is it the music? The atmosphere? The energy of the band on stage? The interaction with the crowd? The interaction IN the crowd? Or that undefinable something that pushes beyond your expectation? And after considering allof that do you also need to consider how much your pre-gig expectation will come to weigh on your decision?

And finally there is our old favourite ’emotional attachment’ to consider as well. Of all the gigs I’ve been to this year, a couple have had a definite advantage because they are already benefitting from a non-musical memory or influence. In that sense, given that I’m already pre-disposed to the gig itself, it’s quite possibly unfair to compare these gigs with others.

For example.
The Kings of Leon gig (last year) was excellent. They translated the album in a tight, powerful live act, handled the audience well and paced the gig well. It was easily one of the best gigs I attended. However, whilst the R.E.M. concert was musically better than I had expected, it wasn’t on a par with the Kings of Leon gig. Despite that I have no qualms stating that the R.E.M. gig was better. Not only was it in my ‘hometown’, but it was with the same group of friends that, in the very same spot some 14 years before, I saw Runrig. Now that’s entirely unfair on the Kings of Leon but hey, it’s not MY fault, right?

I have two gigs left this year. Next week I’m off to see Björn Again, and tonight is a gig which I’ve been anticipating for about eight years.

I bought their first album on the back of one song, something which broke my long standing “always hear three good songs before purchasing the CD” rule, and passed up the opportunity to see them the next year. I still regret that decision.

Since then I’ve not been able to see them when they appeared at Glasgow Green in a double-headline with the Red Hot Chili Peppers as I was boarding a plane at the time, nor when they headlined T in the Park this year as I was in Torquay. They’ve visited Scotland every year since I bought their first album and I’ve never managed to see them live. Until tonight.

And this is what I mean. I have such eager anticipation of the gig tonight, and that anticipation rides on the back of over eight years of yearning, that I’m worried it either won’t meet my expectations or that it will gain extra credibility because I’m finally seeing them live. It’s almost unfair to the other gigs I’ve been to this year.

Anyway, I have the t-shirt, I’ve got iTunes primed with their last couple of albums, and I’m certain of one thing. The Foo Fighters will rock.

Last night

Note: They always say you should self edit, and whilst I’m no good at that I think it’s only fair to forewarn you that what follows is self-indulgent waffling. You are hereby excused from reading this post. I don’t want to delete it but, seriously, scroll down a bit to the next one, or pick a link from the blogroll on the left.

Still reading? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Aside from the usual beer consumption, a couple of Southern Comforts, and some dancing, Friday night was memorable indeed for many reasons, and only some can be revealed here (lest someone read about something that DIDN’T happen). One reason in particular is stuck in my head but it’ll require some consideration before I figure out all the bits especially as it consists (in part) of snippets of conversations in a nightclub, with only the occasional word heard (thinks: did she say “competition?”).

Anyway, that’s enough cryptically obfuscated nonsense – although it was necessary even if only to provide me with a reminder of a unique evening – the main reason we were all “partying like it’s 1999” was because Lesley had officially left the building. A lot of people had taken the afternoon off, but thankfully they weren’t TOO drunk by the time I got there. The number of colleagues and friends (and her cousin) a testament to how missed she will be from our, now much quieter, office.

Still I’ll see her in December, if not before, for the Foo Fighters concert. I DID say I’d gotten a ticket, didn’t I??

Louise was also out last night and, for once, she has spent the day nursing a hangover. This is a reversal of some magnitude as it’s normally me being the pathetic one, lying groaning on the sofa all day and… ok to be honest I suspect she’s either eaten something that has disagreed with her or, and this MAY be more likely, it’s related to the fact she no longer has a gall bladder? I have no medical basis for this (my Google-fu is failing me as well) but she certainly was more than just hungover. Believe me, I’ve plenty of experience in that area.

Spent the afternoon (come on, I didn’t get home until 4 am) catching up on the first three episodes of Lost. I’d seen the first one aff the internet and the next couple keep things moving along. Admittedly I do wonder where things are heading, but I guess there are still a lot of characters to be introduced and developed.

Right, I’ll stop waffling now as I’m certain this is just an avoidance technique on my own behalf to stop me thinking about last night in too much detail – although it’s something I’m prone to do, dissect, gather the pieces and solve the puzzle. What’s your favourite avoidance technique?

Friday Morning

9 am. I’ll be at the ticket office purchasing a ticket to FINALLY see the Foo Fighters live in Glasgow.

If ANYONE gets in my way or generally fucks things up and I fail to get a ticket then I’ll… I’ll.. ohhh I’ll be SOOOO mad…

Friday morning. And counting.

Ohh and support from The Futureheads and Eagles of Death Metal (a Josh “Queens of the Stone Age” Homme project) should make it pretty darn good.

T in the Park 2005

Lineup announced. Tickets on sale tomorrow. One of my fav bands, the Foo Fighters are confirmed!! I missed them two years ago when they played Glasgow Green with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and was majorly hacked off. I promised myself I’d catch them next time they appeared in Scotland.

Guess what.

I’m on holiday in Devon from the 4th to the 18th of July. When’s T in the Park? 9th and 10th of July.

Swearing follows…

Read More

Musical Meme

Don’t do these often but I’m lacking inspiration – via Lyle and Uborka

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
48.8 GB at time of writing (9217 songs to be precise).

2. The cd you last bought is:
Still waiting to be delivered! The Milk-Eyed Mender by Joanna Newsom.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, all of 30 seconds ago (currently playing The Truth by Handsome Boy Modelling School).

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you

    Telegraph Road – Dire Straits.
    Reminds me of family holidays in France when I ‘discovered’ Dire Straits early albums (on chrome tape no less!).
    Queen and The Soldier – Suzanne Vega.
    Because it’s a great great song.
    Teardrop – Massive Attack.
    Put it on, turn it up loud, close your eyes and float away.
    Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns ‘n’ Roses.
    First single I bought Louise “I’d hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain”.
    Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters.
    Was from an album that I used to raise my spirits, I was looking to the sky to save me and it did.

Note: I’m surprised at how mainstream the above list is, truth is I listen to music in spurts, focussing my attention on a few albums at a time, then I move on. Very few songs every get to come back around (until I discovered MP3s and the ‘shuffle’ option that is!)

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?
Lyle.. no no he’s done it. The musicality that is Troubled Diva? Hmmm he’s not even finished his current project, I wouldn’t do that to him. Would Peter do it or just talk about doing it? (I’m hoping he does, what with his radio background) Hanni maybe? Would Caroline manage to NOT list a u2 track? Gosh, I dunno.

Alive!

It’s Monday morning. Ain’t that great! The birds are singing, the sun is shining, a light breeze ruffles the leaves in the trees. Ain’t life grand.

If you want to achieve a similar outlook on a Monday morning simply follow these instructions – they worked for me:
1. Ensure your personal listening device (iPod) is playing something loud and uptempo – Foo Fighters, All My Life was on mine.
2. Start thinking about what your day holds as you finish the short walk from the station to your office.
3. Glance round as you start to cross the road.
4. Spin round suddenly as you realise you’ve just stepped out in front of a large lorry, which is moving quite fast.
5. Revel in the adrenalin rush as your heart reaches 250 b.p.m.

Simple.

Feel free to alter the specifics of the instructions, you could be walking to the shop, it could be a road sweeper rather than a lorry (although that wouldn’t really be that scary now would it…), just remember that the main aim is to get that adrenalin flowing, raise your heartbeat, leave a tight, sicky feeling in your stomach and a slight tremor in your hands.

Then all you need to do is wobble into work, plonk yourself down and enjoy the rest of your day life.