‘Do you wanna be in the business?’ – 10 songs about the music industry

I read Mike Love’s autobiography last week, the lead singer from the Beach Boys who isn’t Brian Wilson. It’s actually a wonderful read, and a fascinating one at that for anyone supremely interested in 1960s America. In it, Love documents the sudden rise of the Beach Boys as ‘America’s Band’ after Life magazine ran a cover feature about California’s surf craze. So, writing to a brief almost, the Beach Boys signed a deal to produce seven records in something like two years, on the theme of surfing, girls and cars (Surfin’ USA, California Girls, Little Deuce Coupe respectively). While I was reading it I could help but listen to the band on repeat, which got me yearning for summer during a time in mid-March where we’ve been seeing blizzard-like snow. The interesting thing about the Beach Boys is that Pet Sounds and the re-imagined Smile Sessions aside, they have only around 15 hits that have kept resurging every 10 years or so, as another generation discovers their music and makes out with their boyfriends in the car to it. The memoir also recounts the band’s infamous lawsuits throughout the years which got me thinking about the workings of the music industry since the ’60s. So I made a PLAYLIST of songs about the curious, sneaky inner goings-on in the biz (scroll down for related lyrics*). You can listen to it here.

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Here are a list of other books that I have hugely enjoyed since the turn of the new year: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney; Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Rookie on Love by Rookie writers and contributors; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I’ve tried to get into Goodreads as a way to easily share and get recommendations on what I’ve been reading, but I JUST CAN’T RATE A BOOK OUT OF FIVE! I just rate ALL the books I’ve read out of five, mostly as a pat-on-the-back to myself: Well done you! Five stars for reading a book!


I went to Newcastle for St. Patrick’s Day to see my dear friend and Girl Chat co-host Chloe Trayford. It were a right belter. Here’s some art I saw at the Baltic Gallery that I give you full permission to use as your phone wallpaper.

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On the train home, I watched Beats Rhymes and Life, a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest available on Netflix! Watch it! It’s great! It’s so great I had no idea my train arrived 40 minutes late and I got the full price of my ticket back. All good news.


Other things that I’ve been up to: Saw the motherfucking GOAT Milo at Birthdays in Stoke Newington at both his sold-out shows in London a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have any photos. He did completely different sets both nights and it was probably the most life-affirming duo of shows I’ve ever seen (no hyperboles, trust). It was quite otherworldly to be stood at the front of the crowd and see someone be so creative so spontaneously and with such conviction. If you’ve not heard him yet, I suggest you do so wherever you listen to your music. If you want to support independent radio, here’s an appearance he did on NTS Radio. He steps up around 14m 30s, but listen from the start to hear an insanely good Busdriver track.

OK, I have a terrible cold and I’m out. I’ll be back soon having done some REAL writing.


(P.S. Here’s all the lyrics related to the music business in the linked up playlist, in case you didn’t believe me).
*1. Check the Rhime – A Tribe Called Quest
“Industry rule number four thousand and eighty
Record company people are shady
So kids watch your back ’cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it, look at how they act”

2. Paint a Vulgar Picture – The Smiths
“Best of! Most of!
Satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves!
Buy both, and feel deceived
Climber – new entry, re-entry”

3. Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell
“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
Nobody was calling me up for favours
And no one’s future to decide
You know I’d go back there tomorrow
But for the work I’ve taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song”

4. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar
“You shut me down, you like the control
You speak to me like I’m a child
Try to hold it down, I know the answer
I can shake it off and you feel threatened by me”

5. Re: Animist – Milo
“Showboat rappers get stood up in their studio
I heard Wal-Mart signed Jason Derulo
Then dropped him cause he couldn’t sell crew socks
And refused to adopt the umlaut”

6. W.O.E is Entertainment – Jurassic 5
“Welcome to the wonderful world of entertainment
Where life imitate art and people get famous
Welcome to the world of showbiz arrangement
Where lights, camera, action is the language”

7. We Walk – The Ting Tings
We can’t be honest
We call it off
We got the choice if it all goes wrong
We walk, we walk

8. Have a Cigar – Pink Floyd
“You’re gonna make it if you try,
They’re gonna love you.
I’ve always had a deep respect and I mean that most sincere;
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think,
Oh, by the way, which one’s Pink?”

9. Country House – Blur
“City dweller, successful fella thought to himself
Oops I’ve got a lot of money
Caught in a rat race terminally
I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it
I’m payin’ the price of livin’ life at the limit”

10. Show Business – A Tribe Called Quest
“Let me tell you ’bout the snakes, the fakes, the lies
The highs at all of these industry shing-dings
Where you see the pretty girls
In the high animated world
Checkin’ for a rapper with all the dough
If you take a shit they want to know
And if you’re gonna fall, they won’t be around, y’all
So you still wanna do the show business?”

Listen to the latest episodes of Girl Chat now

EDIT: I’ve stopped updating this page now, but go ahead and listen to the latest episodes in the feed below. 

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Girl Chat is me and my best mate Chloe Trayford speaking to each other on the phone once a week, talking about topics on relationships and love. The idea to record a podcast came from our extremely long phone calls that would often top the 90-minute mark when Chloe was studying abroad in the Netherlands.

The juiciest stuff was always about relationships, so, ever the content creators, we decided to start recording them (with most of the names omitted or changed to protect the truly innocent). Relationships seemed like a good topic to start the project with, as we’re usually the first person we’d both go to concerning matters of the heart, but after the six episodes you’ll find gradually being added below, we hope to venture out to other topics of conversation (career stuff, political stuff, etc, TBC).

Listen to the first series of Girl Chat on iTunes or Soundcloud now (and rate and review if you’re feeling kind). 

#1 Do you believe in soulmates?

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Can soulmates can ever be A Thing? How do you know if someone’s right for you? And how can you decide when to pull the plug on the whole ‘together forever’ deal, if you need to?

#2 Is a long-distance relationship worth it?

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Long distance relationships: are they doable, or just, er… long? In this week’s episode, we talk about why being away from your beau/belle isn’t necessarily all doom and gloom, and offer our best tips for making it work.

#3 Can open relationships ever work?

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There’s a lot of stigma/blame/shame around open relationships, so in this week’s episode, we discuss the line between polyamory and infidelity, and how it might not be as complicated as people make it out to be.

#4 New Year’s Resolutions: a fresh start or a waste of time?

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Whether you’re a fan of them or not, it’s that time of year where everyone’s reflecting on the year gone by and talking about RESOLUTIONS. Is it useful to commit to breaking bad habits or should we stay happy as we are? BIG questions for two slightly hungover Girl Chatters. And this time, Chloe’s in the building!

#5 Sex: Being in the moment and speaking your mind

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This week, we chat about how to stay in the moment during sex, being honest with your partner (and yourself) about what you’re after, plus the importance of always having loads of delicious breakfast stuff stocked in your cupboards to leave the greatest impression of all in the morning.

#6 Codependancy, setting boundaries and knowing what’s right for you

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This week, we’re back discussing the importance of recognising when you need to take time out from something intense; establishing boundaries and communicating them to others; and knowing that you weren’t put on Earth to please other people.

#7 Online dating: do’s, dont’s and how to create the Ultimate Profile™

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This week, back by POPULAR DEMAND (kind of), we’re talking about online dating. We discuss things like how to choose your dating profile photos in a way that’s “basically the opposite of catfishing” and Chloe gives us her foolproof guide on what you’d need to do to get her to swipe right. Swipe us right! Tell your friends!

Going Underground: Thoughts on life in London, one year on – 6/9/17

I’m writing this as paint slathered on my newly-assembled IKEA bed slowly gets its fumes up in my respiratory system. After what feels like an eternity of frantic Facebook messages, unread voicemails, and offers falling through, a group of very desperate (but very wonderful) girls finally found a house to move in to in Peckham. Go us!

The move marked the end of my first year in London, and it’s been quite the 12 months. Being a serial journal keeper, looking back on things year by year is something I tend to do quite habitually. I used to do this weird thing as a teenager where I’d track my progress each year – say the date was 13 August, I might take a look back at last year’s journal to see what I was up to on or around that date, and see how I fared up. For example: ‘Since 13 August 2013, I’ve kissed four more boys and got a fringe!’ So this post is kind of like that, but with more boys and no fringe.

If you overlook the fact that no matter how hard you work, you’ll never have enough money to go out (from filing copy in the 10 seconds you get Wi-Fi at Underground stops, to never getting a lie-in at weekends to get to the bottom of a to-do list), life in London is a rewarding hustle. It took a while though.

It’s strange to think just how much has changed since I moved away from home, but now, as I sit here, totally exhausted (perpetual state) and in need of a beer (more-than-occasional state), I feel quite grateful for the risk that I took.

Living in the city can be hard, but it pays off. I grew up in a village, where the nearest place you could get a pint of milk was a 10 minute drive away. Growing up in a place with fewer than 100 people in the mid-’00s was a weird one – it didn’t feel very rural, in fact – I spent most of my time inside the house trying to perfect my Tumblr profile.

Yet living in London is different to what I expected. Some thoughts on how to do it:

You are allowed to stay in bed all day sometimes and not feel guilty about it

In Hugo Macdonald’s beautifully written book How to Live in the City, he says it’s totally OK to to pencil in days to lounge around in bed all day – and to do this guilt-free. Because city life is a strain physically, mentally and emotionally, you shouldn’t torment yourself about it, either. (I suppose, in this frazzled digital world we live, the same could be said for those residing in hamlets).

There’s an idea that you should constantly be going at the same rate as the city, but try to remember all those evenings spent working overtime, or the times you had to cancel something hobby-based to do something work-related, and collect all your zzzzzzs guilt-free as you drift in and out of consciousness (unless you’re at your desk, obviously).

Don’t shy away from building small relationships with people you see every day

There are thousands and thousands of people bobbing around a city at any one time. It’s an impossible feat to attempt conversation with everyone you pass on the street, but why does it feel much easier to queue for the self-checkout machines at a supermarket rather than conjure up the effort to talk to someone? Your day-to-day existence can feel more connected when you say hi to the guy who makes your coffee, the woman struggling with her buggy on the bus, or the teenager at the corner shop where you top up your gas. This might seem so horribly self-help preachy but it’s bound to make you feel better, and it requires less effort than you’d think. Even saying hello and – the biggest small change you can incorporate into your city lifestyle – making eye contact, will help you feel more connected to those around you.

Be a tourist in your own city

Exploring parts of the city you don’t usually kick around in is so important to do when you can. There is so much to learn from being a tourist in the place you call home.

Macdonald says: “It’s shocking how many of us have not ‘seen the sights’ in our own cities. Whether it’s the palace, the parliament, the natural history museum, the observatory, the boat trips… these are dots on a map, chapters in a guidebook and stops on a tour for good reason. They represent the history and the culture of the place in which we live. They form the lens through which others see and experience our city – and the more ways we can look at our city, the more interesting it becomes.”

So get your sneaks on and get walking (selfie sticks optional).

Making the most of your commute

The dreaded commute can sometimes feel like one of the worst things about having a nine-to-five in the city (I have to admit, I feel quite blessed when I work from home and don’t have to step outside until everyone’s tucked away in offices). But, if you flip and reverse your commuting habits, it doesn’t need to feel quite so chore-like and time-consuming.

Imagine if you lived above your office, or just across the road from it. It’d be weird! Like those kids who used to live right near school and never knew the struggle of a rotting packed lunches and near-bullying banter on the bus home.

If you can find a way to enjoy certain aspects of your commute, it can become a way to prepare yourself for a day’s work, and likewise, leave it behind at the office as you ride home on your hour-long commute. I lost my headphones for a few weeks recently, and eavesdropped hard on the funniest conversations, the sort of things you read in Time Out’s hilarious feature Word On The Street. If listening to anyone spout bullshit before 9am is your idea of hell, listening to music on your commute is an obvious way to deal, and if you curate your playlist specifically to last as long as your journey (a bit smug about this one), you are DEFINITELY bossing your commute.

If I had 100 words in which to sum up what I’ve learned in 374 days here, they would be these words:

  • Be sensible with money, but try to curb in talking about it ALL THE TIME, as everyone’s broke as shit and no-one needs constantly reminding of that fact. Instead, revel in the solidarity shared with the three other people squatting next to you near the reduced section of the fridge in Tesco. (Except for when they take the last £0.87 sushi you were eyeing up.)
  • Be kind. Kindness is so underrated, and we’re in dire need of it. Thank the bus driver; don’t cancel on your friends twice in a row; hug your flatmates often.

Over and out, and ready for a nap! Zzzzzzzzzzz

‘Nothing more than confetti on the floor’, or, considering ways to resolve 2017 before it even begins – 26/12/16

Resolutions for The Next Year. How lovely it is to measure things in years for absolutely no beneficial reason to us whatsoever. I think 2016 could have actually been a bit less depressing if you didn’t have to hear someone tell you how shit 2016 was being at least once a day. Oh god, a 96-year-old BBC weatherman died. Great, 2016. A racist reality TV star became the president of the United States of America. Thanks, 2016. Primark discontinued their sales of fishnet tights. Literally what the fuck, 2016.

On a personal level, I’ve had a pretty good year. I finally moved out, I travelled across a continent via high-speed train during the summer, I met a serious amount of gobsmackingly good people in a relatively small 12-month timescale, and generally had a huge hoot doing the whole lot of it. People came to watch a play I’d written, Joanne by Lady Gaga came out at the exact right time that I needed to hear it, and Instagram released a Snapchat-like feature where you can see who’s looked at your ‘story’, proving that most of your beady-eyed ex-boys still think you’re mad hot!

I went home last weekend to have Christmas with my dad, as I’m with my mum for the actual birth of Christ this time around in Spain (Feliz Navidad!) Spending the yuletide here is very different to being at home, but I am loving it. You can feel a bit weird about Christmas when your parents no longer hang out, so instead of having to deal with all that at home, it seemed like a good time to go on holiday. 

I’d been getting along just fine in London these past few months but I wonked out a bit when I mistook whisky for water at our Christmas party last week and the visit to my dad’s was a welcome break. I felt way more soothed out afterwards (my dad was quite adamant to run me a hot bath after I kept showing him how much my shoulder has been clicking lately. No, seriously, my shoulder can come out of its socket and go back in again – mostly pain free – every three to four minutes. He kind of went: Physio could be quite pricey, but Radox Muscle Soak could be the solution to this six-month problem! It wasn’t, but anyway, being home was lovely). Pa gifted unto me a book in which Beatles fans recall meeting the band on various tours from ‘58-’64, along with a recording of six Steptoe and Son radio episodes on vinyl! Like, the guy knows me, you know?

While I was immersed in hot water, trying to heal my dislocated shoulder without the financial interference of a private medical professional, I got thinking about what I could to do next year to resolve my things-that-could-be-improved things, in the hope to give 2017 a one-up on 2016. Here were some things I was thinking of doing – and am still thinking of doing – except now I’m editing this post sitting on a beach on the Costa del Sol. Come at me, 2017:

Cook better food

I moved out four months ago and thought that if you spent a fiver on a recipe book and made sure you came back from the supermarket with some onions, that pretty much meant you were Rachel Khoo. It doesn’t, my culinary skills are still quite limited to lazy bolognese (i.e., make a huge vat of it, freeze, and eat three times a week for a month).

We keep a rabbit in the flat (as a pet, not for consumption) who eats parsley and kale out of a tiny cardboard box, and sometimes I can’t help but think that I’m the one that wants to be eating something as hip ‘n’ healthy as kale, not this tiny and very cute mammal. I am better than I was, though, and I’m getting the hang of shopping relatively healthily in supermarkets on the cheap. Not only I am buying onions, I now occasionally buy the odd clove of garlic. I nearly bought parsnips the other day, but only nearly.

Answer emails on time

This has been a strange source of aggravation over the last few months: REPLY TO NECESSARY EMAILS ON THAT SAME DAY GIRL, because when you put it off until tomorrow, three weeks go by and you end up having to start emails with:

Hi,

Sorry for my late reply, I’ve been in hospital after a malaria-y kinda safari trip on the equator, hence why I couldn’t let you know about This Really Important Thing, nor respond to your several follow-up emails.

Yours very, very, very truthfully, 

Tara

I have no idea how I got into this habit so hard and fast, but I’m going to nip it in the bud as of RIGHT NOW. If you email me in 2017, I will have replied before you’ve even pressed send, okay? I’ll live in the outbox.

Stop saying sorry

Look, I’m particularly stubborn when I don’t feel it necessary to apologise for something that wasn’t my fault, but I am quite happy to say sorry to my flatmate if I walk into the kitchen and she’s frying some eggs. It’s good practice to try and not apologise by default. A colleague at my old workplace once said to me: You say sorry for nearly everything you do! And I was all, Sorry! No not sorry! Sorry not sorry! (God, 2017 is NOT going to work out at all, is it).

No more shopping on ASOS

What could alternatively be titled ‘Spend More, Buy Less, Live A More #SustainableLife’, I am going to call ‘No more shopping on ASOS’. ASOS is like Tinder, you could easily spend an entire evening on it, but it never makes you feel Peak You. Particularly since its warehouse burned down a few years ago – and delivery only became free if you spent more than £20 – it’s became a weird hellhole where I find myself buying thigh high socks and hair clips just to get my basket’s monetary value up to £20.01. It’s all too easy to spend £20.01 on shit you don’t want just to make yourself feel better. So when I feel like a delicious consumerist pick-me-up, I’m going to head to HMV and buy a bargain bucket CD (like I did the other day with a Fugees album that has since changed my life), instead of a collection of naff velvet chokers off 0f ASOS. I am adulting!

No more tote bags

YOU’RE INVITED: Are you free on January 1? Would you like to attend a ceremonial burning of all 1,001 of my tote bags, collected at various free events and music festivals? Hooray! Bring your own bottle! It’s happenin’! I’m boycotting the tote bag in 2017 to a) fix my clicky left shoulder b) look like a More Fashionable Person who actually has proper compartments in her knapsack for things like LIPSTICK and BUSINESS CARDS. You may be pleased to hear that I’ve already invested in/been gifted such bags, and I am so hyped to begin the new year equipped with body pouches that DON’T JUST COLLECT TOBACCO IN THE BOTTOM OF THEM. THAT’S ALL THAT TOTE BAGS ARE GOOD FOR. ‘Anyone got any baccy?’ ‘No, but let’s turn my tote bag inside out, and – among the tampons and broken pens – we could roll up at least eight cigarettes!’ But no, I don’t have a lighter. For all their space and life span, tote bags NEVER contain the thing they really should have in droves: fire, for your tote-born fags. Massive eye roll, tote bags. But 2017 may already be looking up – my new one has a ZIP compartment!

Write more about shit you love (it’s not a waste of time if you just get on with it and do it)

Since my hack training began in late August, I’ve been closely monitored on my work with words each day, but had begun to forget the pleasure of writing for writing’s sake. This isn’t really a resolution, more so a reminder to myself that I’m at my happiest when I’m writing a lot. So, on that note, and perhaps ironically, I’m going to stop writing now to go and pour myself another whisky and coke.

Good luck, resolution makers, and here’s to a wonderful start to next year. Here are some tunes to create your 2017 rulebook.

Love,

T.A.L x

On making busy happen because otherwise you’d be, er, so ‘not busy’, and why it’s okay to sit and wait

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Bathers at the European Health Spa in St. Petersburg, Russia National Geographic | November 1973

On my to-do lists of recent, writing a blog post has always meant to have been at the top, but instead shoved to the bottom for something *more important*. Since I last wrote, I’ve been working 37 ½ hours a week, in a production of King Lear, moved house, and was in Pilton, Somerset, coincidentally at the same time as Glastonbury Festival was on. And luckily we came across some tickets (about three months ago) so went along. It was alright.

For all the blog posts I haven’t written over the past month, I’ve written one thousand in my head. I’ve hit an unfortunate point recently where everything seems to have fallen into place, for the first time in a while, and I’ve hit an unsettling comfortableness.

Comfortable as I’ve been doing all things I really enjoy, but unsettling because I haven’t allowed myself the space to really enjoy them i.e Taking Too Much On Than You Can Deal With Right Now.

The last month has been full burnout, and at times I felt like all I was doing when I wasn’t doing anything was sleeping, only to wake up and CRACK on through to-do lists again. But hey, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, not by any means.

When I was little, I would spend whole days during the summer holidays sitting by the phone, making everyone call me the ‘telephone lady’, and answering every phone call with “Hello, you have reached the Lepore’s household. How may I help you today, ma’am?” I like to be useful. And yet I am the laziest workaholic ever.

In the past couple of months I’ve been trying to up my productivity, with much dismay. I’ve had to completely stop watching the television, and try to cut down my internet time so I can do all of the important and necessary things in my spare time, such as phoning my mother and pruning my bonsai tree.

I want to do so much, and I want it to happen to me now. Why is it that I keep looking at job vacancies online, when I’m five months into a job I’m really enjoying? I’ve been going straight from work to rehearsals then home, to pack my things into a box to move house – but OMG Tara, why haven’t you started on your play yet? You said you’d have a first draft completed by the first week of August! God, you suck!

Being at burnout stage forever makes you have endless wars with yourself. Never being good enough, putting too much pressure on your tiny mind: Oh god! I’m so busy! I can’t do anything!

I had a huge brain vomit the other day when I couldn’t work out if ‘You’ was spelt like that. The Y looked weird and intrusive. I’d been sleeping for five hours a night.

When I feel like I couldn’t possibly write another paragraph, learn a new song, or go anywhere ever again when I have to interact with people – I have to force myself to ask why I wanted to start this in the first place.

Everything I have ever done as a hobby started out as a thought that excited me so much just before I went to bed. I once got so excited at the prospect of performing a one-man version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I got up in the middle of the night and performed it to myself in the conversatory. Now that’s passion.

But being a true burnout makes one devoid of any passion. A lyric I go back to again and again and again is David Bowie’s “My brain felt like a warehouse/It has no room to spare/I had to cram so many things to store everything in there” from Five Years on Rise/Fall of Ziggy Stardust.

I mean, my god. I wouldn’t ever go to ‘warehouse’ as an adjective to describe the ol’ noggin but like, of course I wouldn’t – because I am NOT DAVID BOWIE. That just sticks with me a lot. Cramming things into a WAREHOUSE. There sure is a lot of things in your brain, Mr. B!

I’m obviously not comparing my simple, small-town mind to that of His Holiness, Davey B, but yes – that lyric – followed shortly after by “I never thought I’d need so many people.” Guh. I digress. I know what I meant initially, but I just fangirled too hard, too fast. Listen to it.

Perhaps I just try and keep busy all the time because I am determined to sustain my interest in ALL THE THINGS. I think part of me feels like because I’m not a student, I have to occupy my time with lots of interests and hobbies, to help make up for a lack of degree.

For creativity to be able to flourish, you really need headspace. Quality headspace, long walks, galleons of wine. Ha ha. Although maybe that is what you need.

I took a book out of the library three months ago and have renewed it FOUR times. If it keeps giving this much, I will eventually buy it.

The book is The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy, by Michael Foley. Obviously I took it out because of the title, which is brilliant, but it makes for a mixture of very interesting reading to be ingested in snippets, lest you’re some philosophy square who knows about guys called Nietzsche and Jung.

The whole book is quotable, obviously, that’s why it made it as a book. The Loss of Transcendence chapter is one that’s been bouncing around this big old warehouse over the last few days. He opens the section talking about Our Lord Bruce Springsteen, and how at a huge stadium concert of his, the people sitting nearer the back seemed completely indifferent and uninterested. I was all, but, this is The Boss! I don’t believe that for a second. But then of course I can. The problem is, myself especially included, the more you do, the less bothered you can become about it.

Mr Foley:

“Constant exposure to entertainment has left many incapable of sustained interest, never mind transcendence.”

If we can’t sit still, shut up, or stop wanting things, are we missing out on some of the most important things in life? Truly experiencing things – rather than experiencing things and subsequently uploading them to Facebook, or experiencing things vicariously through other people’s Facebook pages?

Having a self-destructive streak (albeit a small one, closer to a strand), this said something to me:

“The paradox is that the most intense experience of the self is the loss of self.”

We spend our whole week agonising over how our hair looks, our jobs, what our ‘purpose’ is, how you will make sure you save more money next month – i.e A constant will to improve oneself, and then go out and get absolutely blotto at the weekend. It is only human to seek a true, real sense of self and satisfaction, only to want to feel nothing at all on a Saturday and dance to Rocky Horror on the kitchen table.

In order to achieve a more natural, non-narcotic feeling of transcendence, it takes time, and dedication. Be busy, do lots of things, but know they will take time to pay off. You can’t have it all now. You just haven’t earned it yet, baby.

Jeffrey Lewis’ song most wonderful song ‘Time Trades’ is all about doing stuff that takes TIME but will be so worth it.

Foley continues:

“Skill must first be acquired, slowly and frustratingly. There is no immediate gratification. Indeed, there many never be any. But when the skill becomes automatic, the miracle may occur.

“The activity seems to become not only effortless but autonomous – to take over, to assume control, to be running itself. So the musical instrument plays itself, the sword wields itself, the poem writes itself, the dancer does not so much dance as permit music to enter and take over the body.”

So yes, busy yourself, and enjoy it. Just don’t expect the rewards to come by as quickly as your weeks are going. It’s only when we take the time to reflect and become conscious of what we’re working hard on, and possibly wait for however long it will take – without succumbing to the need for immediate gratification – will we truly reap the rewards.

I want to do things properly, with genuine feeling. I want to stop reading books with my laptop open. I don’t want to miss out on all the proper stuff in life cause I’m too busy working on a gazillion things, rushing them, and never speaking properly to my mother. Or tending to my bonsai tree.

Further reading:
Rookie’s Krista Burton wrote this about the joy of things that take TIME.
http://www.rookiemag.com/2015/07/literally-the-best-thing-ever-decades-long-projects/

Mike’s book. Really worth your precious minutes.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Age-Absurdity-Modern-Makes-Happy/dp/1847396275/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438117815&sr=1-2 

Auf wiedersehn!

T.A.L x

“All I do is play the Spaceball Ricochet”- a love letter to Marc Bolan

“Your diamond hands will be stacked with roses/And wind and cars and people of the past”

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A couple of days ago, I wrote about post about Belle & Sebastian’s Tigermilk. Scroll down. The record blu-tacked next to it on my wall, however, possibly means a little more to me- (hence the central position of it.)

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T.Rex, like The Beatles, were a band I came to know through going to see a tribute band with my papa- and both have been groups who’ve pretty much been at the forefront of everything I’ve ever listened to, since I’ve been able to actively make choices in what to listen to (apart from Steps, who really were the first band if I’m honest, but for the sake of the post- let’s be cool and pretend that wasn’t the case.)

An extract from my diary from the day I devoted the rest of my life to The Beatles, reads:

I HAD TO write, I have just realised the most important thing in the life. The People. Imagine the world without shit like WAR?!! There will be a feeling among the world like the time in the room with the Bootleg Beatles playing All you need is LURVE when everyone stood UP and drifted into their own world full of daises and rabbits and lollipops. I am going TO SPREAD SOME LOVE AND PEACE AND TRY TO SAVE THE PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH! peace. I just hope that a peace resolution will START so I can live in a world of harmony and tranquility.

I wish I could say that I made that up, but unfortunately I actually wrote that once.

But for now, let’s think about T. Rex.

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I watched the tribute T.Rextasy- and, of course- being an impressionable 10 year old, surrounded by 40-somethings all singing along to Hot Love (na na na na na na na) I peered about and thought, HEY! This band must be good! There are all these paunchy middle aged people really having a good time! And, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was doomed, as now I would love the music that our Dads listen to, at the age of ten. I was a 10 year old paunchy middle aged man.

Alas, the glittery, shimmering frontman that is Marc Bolan doesn’t make you feel like that. Bolan has the power to take you out of your frumpy little self, and place you into a world where you can do anything, be anything, say anything. His lyrical style is simple, and often nonsensical with favourites such as these:

  • I could never see/The cosmic sea/Was like a bumblebee
  • Me I funk/But I don’t care/I ain’t no square with my corkscrew hair
  • I have never never kissed a car before/It’s like a door

But I still love him. I love him cause of the flamboyance and the ability to make anything sound sexy and wonderful in its own right. Amongst the ‘silly’ lyrics, he really wrote some stuff that tugs at my old and battered heartstrings including one that inspired the name for this blog.

  • You diamond browned hag/You’re a gutter gaunt gangster
  • Book after book/I get hooked everytime/The writer talks to me like a friend

Oh, Marc. *breathes as he does towards the end of Get it On*

Bolan is often compared to Bowie, they’re both similar- yet I can appreciate them in their own ways. Bowie had more of an artistic vision, whereas baby Marc wanted to be famous. And he got really, really famous. The rise of T.rex is often likened to the early stages of Beatlemania, and well- OBVIOUSLY, because have you seen this guy work a stage? REALLY THOUGH? REALLY MARC, YOU’RE KILLING ME

T.rex will ALWAYS remind me of being in my early teens, it’s theatrical and fun and sexy and really, really good music to get ready for a party to, (and then go to the party and still play it all night, slut-dancing with your friends to ‘Well you can bump and grind, if it’s good for your mind’)

However, The Slider as an album means more than the CD of hits, because it sounds so complete, so right, and most of the songs were single releases anyway, so one’s thirst for glam-pop is satisfied.

I would happily travel everywhere listening to this album on a loop, and Ballrooms of Mars maybe is one of the best songs I will ever hear. Oozing with drama (and glitter)

The BEST thing I ever found one day when trying to rearrange LPs is this:

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Dad’s graphic/calligraphic artwork on ‘Ride a White Swan’ was drawn when he was 12, which we always joke about as we pretty much heard their music at the same time, so in that respect this band means a lot to me too.

The Slider was all I had to listen to for a while, it was so playable and interesting I only needed that (before I started to listen to Electric Warrior more a few years after- which, is- hjdfkadjh) Like Springsteen’s Born To Run, sometimes you only need one album to listen to- because it just does everything. 100% pleasure.

And finally, my favourite ever quote ever said by anyone, which I apply to my day to day life:

“Rock n roll is a bitch, and you’ve got to come on that bitch” Marc Bolan

Change the words Rock n roll to ‘life’ and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Rock on

T X