Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Listen, do you want to know a secret?

Among the many subjects I like to enthuse about in life, music is one of my most favourite things... Not just because I am now a music maker, but because I have loved listening to music for as long as I can remember! 

From my first love, Elvis, to my current #nowplaying fav Laura Marling and my unconditional love of The Beatles - music has been the soundtrack of my life. So many memories, happy and otherwise, are tied up in all those songs that saw me through my teenage angst, my twinkly twenties, and thanks to stint working at Smooth Radio in the Midlands, Barry White will always remind me of my thirties! #Bingo (Barry White Bingo was a game we played, and sometimes still do!)
And by holding music in high regard I am not alone. 'The idea that music can have therapeutic value is far from new: in ancient Egypt, chant therapies were seen as integral to the healing process, while in ancient Greece, both Aristotle and Plato embraced its beneficial properties, writing that it could help people become better human beings and overcome emotional difficulties during the process of catharsis.' says journalist Maria Konnikova in the New Yorker on a similar topic. We hear stories over and over about music arousing people from comas, and I've had a number of conversations with friends and family (and radio audiences) about what song you'd like to be played at your funeral (my cousin has a whole playlist ready!). Music is, for most of us then, integral to life. Music and song lyrics help us express ourselves and to feel empathy with our fellow human beans. We're all collating the soundtrack to our lives, all of the time. 
I was thrilled when a former colleague - having kept track of my musical adventures via social media - asked me to share a song on the soundtrack of a short film he was making for a client. The girl in the movie is following her dreams, and he asked about a specific published track he'd heard, but I had a much more suitable one waiting in my collection from when I'd recorded my EP last summer. 
Surprisingly enough, Believe, is a song I wrote when I was feeling a bit low. I think it was my attempt to cheer myself up, and while that may not have been the immediate result (in fact, I felt it was far too optimistic), I now enjoy the warm feedback I receive whenever I perform it live. And it was a perfect fit for the film I think you'll agree. 
Music can be uplifting, and when used on a soundtrack like in this instance, be key to illustrating what the audience is feeling about the subject matter. I hope everyone who hears this song feels inspired. But I can't control how people feel... Or can I? *insert melodramatic sting here* 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The end of the cinema is nigh (is it?)

I am a fan of watching films at the cinema, on the big screen, giving my whole attention (which is no mean feat in this day and age let me assure you!). I went to the Odeon in Liverpool city centre last night, and I don't frequent this establishment for a number of reasons... all of which I worry is going to see the demise of the cinema! *cue melodramatic stab from the orchestra pit* haha 

The film I went to see was an ace little romcom (one of my fav genres when done properly) called ManUp and Simon Pegg tells you all about it here. I arrived on time, like I say I enjoy the cinema experience and that includes the trailers, and being a former copywriter, even some of the adverts! It's a really special medium for advertising is cinema, the chances of people missing the message is minute! Just think of the possibilities (and why we all know the Pearl & dean theme) haha 

As we (me and my romcom girlfriend plus one) entered the screen we were the first to arrive, I don't expect a Tuesday night to be packed but as the trailers kicked in we had a total of 13 of us ready to see the movie. Is that enough? At £10 a pop I'm not surprised more people are choosing to watch movies streamed online etc, there's no justification for the cost in these giant multi-screen picture houses. Imagine, then, if they had a 2 for 1 ticket offer for all off-peak times, would they be packed? sell more refreshments? Do they really need to hike up the soda & popcorn costs to survive? £7.50, Odeon, is NOT a 'deal' for a drink and a snack - it's daylight robbery! haha It feels to the everyday punter like just another rip off corporation trying to make a living from the peasants who wanna see the talkies >_< 

Then there were the trailers... oh dear! The trailers are matched I would assume, to the movie/ age rating of the movie about to show... sadly the 15 rating of the romcom meant I saw a handful of JUST AWFUL teasers for movies I would rather stick pins in my eyes before sitting down to watch - who is making these terrible movies? I know they cost MILLIONS to make! Who gives the green light? who is it they think will watch this lazy storytelling? Goodness knows, as a writer, I understand your target audience is everything & I'm definitely not the preferred demographic for the films I was being 'teasted' by... but WHERE was my 007 trailer??? (that's what this is all about it, isn't Jodes, you just wanted to see some Daniel Craig-crumpet teaser? No, well, maybe, no! ;) haha) 

My question is, will cinema survive? I love it dearly, and I support my local art house/ community cinemas much as I can... I even set up a little cinema society to seek out other movie-lovers in my district... but when the new stuff being churned out is so depressing, I can't GO to the cinema & when I DO find a movie worth forking out for there is little in the way of 'experience' left and just warehouses where they want to charge you a fiver for a cola! *sigh* 

Please explain to me why I am wrong to fret, that everything will be ok, that more movies like ManUp will out (especially with digital tech helping lower budgets get thru), that old people like me who love movies won't let the cinema disappear & someone in a big corporate cinema chain will REALISE the way fwd isn't ripping off their customers on popcorn... anyone? hello? ;) 

Some movie related stats 

First film I recall seeing on a big screen: Flash Gordon

First movie related crush: Possibly Elvis Presley, I didn't realise in my innocence I was watching really old repeats haha #devoed

Favourite movie quote: Really there are too many, to be fair, but one of them would be 'We came. We saw. We kicked its ass' from Ghostbusters ^_^ 

Favourite movie date: Had much fun seeing the Alpha Papa movie couple of summers ago with my then new squeeze, now proper partner in crime - we laughed so much we went to see it again the following week, then bought it on DVD too ^_^ #cuddlytoy 

Favourite director: I'm gonna say QT, but I do like me some Hitchcock, and they both use the offscreen so cleverly in delivering their plotlines!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


One my simple pleasures is listening to vinyl... Yes there is crackle, but research shows you lose a lot of the depth of a track when it gets condensed for mp3/ digital transportation... and I think those bits that get lost are missed! I read this article and it kind of explains whats' missing... kind of... 

So here are on a rainy Saturday in Liverpuddle at Beat Towers playing some vinyl - last weekend I was in North Wales for a sunshiney weekend & popped into a second hand emporium on the way home... got myself a few 45s, my latest love since they're so easy to carry & the artwork super cute especially this one from Capitol Records and Ol' Blue Eyes - check out the weather report ^_^ what's not to love?! Musical climate gay and swingy?? oh yes please! shut up and take my money!! haha 

Other crackle-filled treats I landed this month are Cilla Black Anyone Who Had A Heart// Martha & The Vandelas Jimmy Mack// The Monkees (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone// Gems one and all - it's a happy Saturday today, let vinyl be pressed foreves ^_^ 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

New York state of mind

I'd like a New York state of mind for my 40th 

I'm turning the big 4-0 this summer and I thought about how I'd like to celebrate this big moment...

When I was 21 I had a kitsch-tastic pyjama party with my best friends in a Harley Street basement flat, listening to Burt Bacharach records, eating cake drinking cocktails...

When I turned 30 I had a big family and friends cocktails do (are you seeing a running theme?! haha) in my Liverpool home, having been ex-patriated for over 10 years at that time - it was totes emosh & probably what like a wedding is, except I don't plan on doing that sort of thing ever...

And here we are! My record collection is improved like a fine wine collection, I've stopped drinking cocktails and moved on to fancy wines & rum and my shoe collection is as EPIC as ever ^_^

Happy times indeed, the best thing about being in my thirties has been getting comfortable with myself - lord knows I wouldn't want to be 20 again (tho sometimes it's true to say I miss her energy! haha). I'm now in a place where I'm fulfilled at work, at home, my passions are many and I enjoy filling my free time with them - from guitars, to beards and finding more amazing shoes...

A big birthday needs a big event... so what about the big apple? New York New York for my 40th! 

Except I don't have a big job & nor does anyone I know so NYC cash is a bit of an ask... My friend suggested a crowd thing and since I know a heck of a lot of people maybe it's possible... If you can throw in a quid or splash out a fiver (which is essentially the same as chipping in for a birthday rum) we might make this dream birthday thing happen & #obvs I'd be really chuffed ^_^

Here's the link - let's do this thing!