Posts Tagged ‘Music’

A good day after a long weekend

After a long weekend of family, friends, fun and way too much food it’s not that easy to get back into the swing of things….

Today is like a double Monday! Not only do you have a long weekend to recover from, your week is shorter so you have to double more in less time. So why am I stating the obvious? Well, as hard as this day was it wasn’t my worst. I have had so many bad days over the last few years… Days that were horrible and sucked without a real reason for my misery. So when I get to walk away from a double Monday without feeling completely defeated -don’t get me wrong, I still wish that I had gotten more done today but a part of me is proud of what I achieved.

Usually by now I would be completely warn out by my anxiety. Usually my Sunday’s are filled with anxious anticipation of the negative persuasion because of the week that is upon us but I managed to allude the pressure I am prone to place on myself. And this morning I woke up and took it one step at a time rather than trying to attack an entire week’s tasks in one day. It helped.

Small things like taking a minute to show my bosses kid how to get to the high score in the Shrek game on my phone or having lunch with my friends even though I was only seconds away from bailing on them because of work pressure or that extra 2min I spent talking to a customer about her family or actually going through my music to choose a song I like to start the day with instead of relying on the random button and spending the next 5min skipping a bunch of songs I wasn’t quite feeling…

Music has been an amazing pick me up throughout the years and today I’m just really grateful that I’ve been able to get inspiration when I could have easily convinced myself that today was a day of doom…

Today I had a good day

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Inspirational Song Of The Day

First you hear the melody and your fingers start to tap… Before you know it, your head is nodding in rhythm and you start to smile as the first line of your favorite song is blasting through the speakers!

As you sing along, every word of every line seems to have been written just for you about your life. In that moment you know that you are not alone! Whatever you are going through, someone else has also been there and they survived to sing about it. And so can you…

We had this amazing friend Lacey Crawford who was incredibly talented and loved pouring her heart out in we music and we will always remember her laugh… Sadly she was suffering from depression and her internal loneliness overwhelmed the love surrounding her, which prevented her from seeing her options clearly and in November 2010 she took her own life. We have dedicated the Don’t Lose Your Grip account to reminding everyone (including ourselves) that life is worth living and there is always someone who loves you, you just have to hold on a little longer…

If you ever need to talk, just message us on twitter and will be there in a heartbeat

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Music Saves Lives

If you follow our twitter feed on a daily bases you will be aware of our #InspirationalSongOfTheDay competitions. A simple concept where our followers and even we at times get to share the songs that have helped us through tough times and made that day just a little more bearable… Sometimes this involves lengthy discussions about artists and their writing styles or just the lyrics we love or the music video that showcases it all… And it’s not really about the winner; it’s about the power of music.

 

So tonight’s #TopicsToDiscuss is about the power of music. I’m sure all of you have heard at least one person close to you say “If it wasn’t for music I would not be here” or the more poignant “Music has saved my life”. And you probably rolled your eyes and thought ‘drama queen’…. but from personal experience I can completely relate to those music lovers. When life gets you down and it feels like no one around you understands and you are completely alone, that is when music steps in and every song seems to be about you… every lyric just makes sense and every note gives your body permission to breathe… music can save lives as long as we give it permission to.

 

Have you ever experienced a moment where words from friends and family were not enough but music made sense? That’s exactly what we asked our followers and they recalled a lot of these moments… Moments when they couldn’t see the light but music helped them through it. For a list of amazing songs that inspire our followers, checkout the #InspirationalSongOfTheDay link or #20DaysOfRae

 

If you have been part of our #DLYGfamily from the beginning you’ll know that Lacey had an amazing voice… and that we loved her. Music is what brought me and Chrisselle to twitter in the first place and that is also how we met Lacey… So music has always had a very big role to play within Don’t Lose Your Grip. When Lacey took her own life it was hard on those of us left behind but music helped us cope… talking about it has helped us cope… being able to help others share has helped us cope… For us music is more than just a few notes: it is a life saving tool that can speak louder than words and get through to us when no one else can.

 

Basically, music has a brilliant way of changing our moods and allowing us to reclaim the version of ourselves that the world tries so hard to destroy. If you want to share your favorite music with us or your stories or recovery or just want to talk, we would love to hear from you! PS this discussion was inspired by one of our amazing followers @whoisalicia_ and her post Everything’s Fine

Reality of Recovery

There are so many people still suffering in silence. That’s more astonishing when you consider how many people use the internet every single day and have access to knowledge and support and help, yet it does not always seem like enough.

One of our aims with Don’t Lose Your Grip is to give others who are going through or have been through the struggles that we are facing a platform to speak openly and honestly and most importantly in a judgment free environment. Our weekly #TopicsToDiscuss does just this.

Tonight we back to our routes a bit and reminded our followers that we do these discussions because we have been there… It really is that simple, we have been in similar situations and we want know how much opening up about these issues that are considered taboo has meant for our recovery.

From a personal perspective: I haven’t really been eating in a healthy manner and I can feel it throughout my body. I can feel my energy levels dwindling and my control slowly dissolving. I know that this is not acceptable and that I can’t go back to the beginning of my eating disorder struggle. I can’t go through all of this pain and loneliness again. I can’t start all over again. I can’t give up all of my triumphs in one foul sweep. I simply can’t! For the last week I have been eating only my 3 favourite foods. And only eating half portions… This scares me. I know how hard I have worked to get to this point of not allowing my eating habits to control me; I know how many times I cried and begged for help without anyone being able to read the signs and I don’t want to go through it again; I don’t want to go back to that lonely place where I hate myself.

By now I’ve realized that I am not alone in my struggle and whatever I’m going through, there is probably someone else out there who feels to same. So we asked our followers to share their recovery fears with us. These were some of their fears 

–          Not knowing when you will relapse

–          Fearing the relapse

–          Not knowing if it will ever happen again

–           The fear of losing my strength

–          That doubt in my mind that I never did fully recover and it will happen again

–          The fear that I’ll never actually beat it, that it’ll just be sitting there waiting for me to mess up again

It comes down to realizing that there is still so much about eating disorders that people have not been able to articulate or understand. These are all things that you won’t find on a recovery pamphlet. People don’t talk about the reality of recovery openly enough. This sets us up for a dangerous fall because we have no idea what to expect and that builds so much anxiety and fear. We need to talk about these issues more openly! We really need to get to a stage where people do not judge you for the label of your disorder.

And then, as soon as you open up about your disorder, everyone wants to ‘fix’ you. And as they through their ignorant comments about, they don’t realize that they are actually hurting you a lot more. This is why we asked our followers what the worst advice was that they have received regarding their eating disorders. This is what they shared

–          “You’re doing it for attention; you’re being so selfish”

–          “Just get over it”

–          “Just eat one”

–          “you need to get some chips inside you”

–          “You’ve got to have SOMETHING!”

–          “When you’re at work, leave your issues outside”

–          “Go on a diet”

–          “your being pathetic now, grow up”

–          “you are too fat to have had an ED”

There were a few extra implying that you can just switch your disorder on or off whenever you feel like it. Plus a few where they were told that it was their choice to suffer from an eating disorder. These ignorant comments saddens me… if you do not understand what someone is going through, don’t patronise them by spewing out the first phrase that comes to mind. If you really want to help, give them a hug and tell them the truth: tell them that you don’t understand and that you just don’t get it. At least that way we have the opportunity to give you more information and let you in on the other side of ED; the side that no one really talks about.

One of our followers commented that some think we do it for attention. So when people die from EDs, is that for attention seeking too? It really hit home how much these simple little phrases can affect our choices and lives. Simply by allowing an ignorant and negative comment in, we’re placing ourselves at risk. Going on a diet to reduce the amount of food intake or your weight can result in an over correction and lead to anorexia or bulimia and all the way back to over eating again. Finding a balance is hard under any circumstances but when you have this shadow of an ED constantly following you around; it makes the subject a lot more sensitive. When someone mentions food, your mind automatically races to figure out what they are implying about you; how this mention of food will affect you and what everyone else expects you to do about it or how they expect you to react to it… That is a lot of thought that goes into just one bite. There is a lot more to an eating disorder than just eating.

The emotions that are involved are far more powerful than the physical aspects. The scars that we hind behind our ED are the ones that last the longest and you can be on the healthiest eating plan in the world but if you do not take care of the emotions behind it, you cannot succeed. We asked our followers which things have resulted in their relapses. These were just a few

–          SCALES!!!! They always renew the obsession with getting on multiple times a day

–          Magazines like Vanity Fair which forces the idea that being super, dangerously skinny is beauty

–          Too many bills to pay and pressure of everyday life

–          Normalisation of junk food always tells me I’ll be able to eat it this time… because other people can

Realising that the things that most people do not give a second thought to affects you this much is tough… Trying to remove them from your life or finding ways around the pressure is just as tough and when you have to do all of this while being judged, it a hundred times worst. That lead us to ask what has helped our followers find the strength to keep fighting and we got two very clear answers

–          Support from friends or family

–          Music

Having someone who can remind you of all of your strength and beauty when you cannot see it, is extremely powerful. Having someone to go to when nothing makes sense is very useful and knowing that you can build up a relationship of trust where they see you for more than just your diagnosis, is truly amazing. Support is a big part of recovery.

We have been big advocates of the power of music from the get go. We have always believed that music is just one more way to express how you feel and remind you that someone else has also been there and experienced the same trials and emotions and they made it… If they can do it, so can you. Music gives hope when words fail. Also the reason we’re dedicating our #InspirationalSongOfTheDay competition to #20DaysOfRae by Rae Earl.

So what did this 2hour conversation between friends in a safe environment mean? Well, maybe nothing to you… But for me, it was great to talk about the things that society tells me to keep secret and it is nice to be reminded that you are not alone every once in a while. It validates the feelings I have by showing me that I am not the odd one out. It reminds me that I have a lot of support.

Ok, so it’s not exactly a world changing event but it’s a start… It’s a place for people to express what’s on their mind without being afraid of the judgement and everyone is welcome.

I’m a Fucker

I wanted to start this post by saying that all of you know that I am a P!NK fan but then I realized that it’s been quite a while since I actually spoke about it on here…

So for those of you who haven’t been around long enough to experience this side of me: I’m a P!nk Fucker! I never really got around to liking music when I was in High School. I mean, I listened to music – stuff my parents played that I will always love and probably make my children listen to one day as well and also all the pop stuff that I didn’t really get… I listened to Westlife and Michael Learns To Rock because that’s what my friends were doing; I listened to Country and because that’s what my parents danced to; I listened to because that’s what made my grandmother happy; I listened to Katie Malua because I liked words more than the beat because I still have no rhythm; I listened to Avril Lavigne because my boyfriend made me a mixed CD and I listened to the most awesome Christian Rock music because I got to express my faith openly.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to get to the P!nk part, well in High School I sort of touched on it but growing up in South Africa meant we were a bit behind in ‘new releases’ so all I really got was Get The Party Started. I wasn’t impressed by the song on the radio because it wasn’t really the type of thing I listened to and also the artist sounded totally pompous… BUT then I saw the music video. At this point in my life I was still very set on becoming a movie director so I judged all things visually with a harsh air of pretentious arrogance (yes those are both synonyms for pompous… ironic). I was surprised to find out how young the artist was, I was also pleasantly surprised by the humour in the video… it gave the song a new depth and to me that is exactly what music videos were suppose to do. So that was my first encounter with P!nk. During the next 5years there wasn’t a lot of P!nk in my life but I did come across ‘You Make Me Sick’ I found the music video… disturbing and frustrating… I loved the car spinning upside down; I loved the throwing stuff fight but the whole naked rose pedals thing freaked me out – I know it had to do with the whole ‘war of roses’ theme but at that age the whole naked famous person in a video made me feel like she was selling out to an image and that disappointed me a bit. In her defence, she was still pretty young and new to the industry.

A couple of years went by and unawares to me, P!nk was a busy girl and turned into an amazing women who went after everything she wanted and didn’t mind opening up about everything that she was facing. In 2009 I was working in a 5* hotel in London and we were in the middle of trying to win – ok steal – a huge client from 2 other top hotels. It may not sound like a big deal but this account was worth a lot of money so the pressure was on and there were 4 of us who were still studying Hospitality Management and we really wanted to prove ourselves… we were good at what we did and we always wanted to finish what we started, which in this case meant that we were at the hotel every day from 5am until 2am the next day (most days we didn’t even go home, we crashed in a random hotel room – benefit of working in one – or just drank a lot of coffee to get through the day) for 5days a week for 6weeks. We also had other functions to attend to during this time so don’t think we had a day off… a slow day was one where we actually got to go home or worked less than 16hours. We had a huge team of inexperienced guys that we needed to control and motivate. So during the first week we were in the Ballroom and resetting for lunch and the Gigantic Screens were down playing Sky News and we sort of looked at each other and realized that we could change the channel and put on MTV. As we did this, So What by P!nk started playing and everyone picked up the pace. Needles to say: the song got stuck in my head – first time that I heard it. Around 2pm we were clearing up after lunch and people were getting quite tired and irritable. Most of our morning team would be leaving in an hour at which point we would be getting fresh reinforcements. Those of us pulling double shifts were slightly irritated by the complaints of people who would be able to rest in an hours time leaving us behind to complete another 11hours of non stop work… and in a spontaneous fashion which was highly unusual of me I sang ‘Nanananananana I wanna start a fight!’ and everyone laughed. It was at this point that I realized that music could relieve the tension and that I didn’t know the rest of that song… I also called the song ‘I wanna start a fight’ and was quickly corrected by a few French Fans who continued to educate me about all things P!nk and that lead to a marathon of listening to all of her albums.

I fell in love with ‘Long Way To Happy’ on I’m Not Dead and as I finished reading the words in the album cover booklet I glanced over at the credits and saw A.Moore listed as writer on almost every song of the album… It didn’t get it just then, I had to google it before I realized that A.Moore was P!nk… Alecia Beth Moore.

This changed everything! She went from an ok singer who made a few cool music videos to an artist who was daring to bear her soul to an unforgiving world. There were still so few artists who were actually good enough to write their own songs and few of those actually write about their own experiences. I simply had to hear more of this honesty and with the magic of the music store down the road, I had them all! At work ‘So What’ became our theme song. Every time we got frustrated or tired or just annoyed we started singing and everything seemed less stressful. So at the end of the event we were all exhausted but we survived and we won the clients over. One of the chefs who were with us through it all bought us tickets to P!nk’s Funhouse show at the O2.

Even though I was pretty hooked on her writing, I hated live shows because I use to organize them and feel sort of left out watching them rather than being behind the scenes – probably why I did so well with event management at the hotel. So when we decided to go to the show, it was more like a joke. Just a way for us to celebrate that we survived a hectic month and I didn’t expect much, we even got tickets quite far in the stands and it was more about us than P!nk – I feel like I should apologize here… Any way, P!nk sounds a million times better live than on an album! She also came out and did an entire song on a couch! A couch!!! I didn’t think that was possible; how can you spend 5min in the exact same spot and keep the attention of thousands of people? Well she definitely kept our attention! And then there were all of these insane acrobatics and Cirque du Soleil stuff that would scare the crap out of most people and she did all of it while singing live!! Yes LIVE!! While hanging upside down! Without a harness!! She sounded amazing!! She was funny – even after almost falling because her silks were not properly secured! As if that’s not enough, she slowed it down and sat at the edge of the stage – barefoot – singing ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’ accompanied only by her guitarist… It was amazing!!!

Anyway, moving on from the awesomeness that is P!nk singing live: what impressed me most was her faith in humanity. What I mean by that is that the songs she wrote was so open and honest and raw and the fact that she was sharing her experience and views knowing full well that the world will judge her for every single word but she had faith that for every one who judged her, one person would accept her and thank her for allowing them to feel less alone. She is willing to take on issues most people tip toe around or feel to embarrassed to talk about and she’s doing this because to her writing is therapy and sharing her realizations might just help someone else who is also trying to fight through the same pain…

I’ve always said that I like music but I don’t really have a particular artist I like… until P!nk. I am a fan. I am a P!nk Fucker. I am an underdog! I am fighting my demons and willing to stand up for those who are doing the same. I always felt like I came late to the P!nk party but recently I’ve realized that that is the best thing that could have happened. If I had listened to Can’t Take Me Home religiously, I might have fallen into the trap of believing that P!nk was just an angry teenage girl who was the anti-Britney but instead I skipped right to the awesome part; the part where P!nk started showing Alecia Moore to the world… I am completely in awe of P!nk and don’t see that changing anytime soon!

Every song that comes out of her heart is even better than the one before; as a fan we have the opportunity to grow with her and usually end up learning something about ourselves as well or at least having one of those I-feel-that-way-too moments. Being a Fucker is way more than listening to P!nk’s music, it means you care about the things she cares about… it means you understand what she feels… it means you connect with other people who feel the same way she does and essentially the same way you do… you connect with people on the other side of the world of different ages who have felt the same emotions depicted in her songs. So I will always be a P!nk Underdog…

Be The Difference

I would like to introduce you to an amazing woman. It’s actually hard to believe that she’s still only 19. She’s just a kid but she’s already doing great things.

Maybe that’s the point: she’s still a kid. It seems like as soon as we cross over to our twenties we stop caring. I mean, obviously we care about our families and our jobs and stuff but it becomes very much centred on ourselves. We stop trying to change the world the way we wanted to when we were little kids. It’s like we lose that drive and start thinking small. Well Chrisselle isn’t there yet and considering the amazing team she and Hammy makes, I don’t think either of them will ever end up like most of us: forgetting about the fight for world peace.

Now before your mind starts dwelling, I’m not suggesting that they have found the answer to world peace but then again maybe they have… By doing everything they can to promote happiness. So let’s get back on track: this post is about one particular act of spreading happiness to those who need it most. Check out Chrisselle’s blog post about the charity concert she’s planning in aid of Suicide Help-lines “Don’t lose grip”.

So if you are anywhere in the UK, make sure you get involved! This is good and this is important. If you can do anything, anything at all to help someone else: just do it! I know I’m not doing a whole lot at the moment but I’m still that little kid who wants to change the world. I honestly don’t know one single person who is completely happy with everything in the world, so why have we stopped trying to change it? Why does it seem like we’re all waiting for someone else to do it for us?

Recently I moved to Zimbabwe and since I’ve been here I haven’t really done a whole lot to promote change but I haven’t given up yet. I’ve spent the last 9 years talking about change and how beautiful this country is, which is why I felt it was time for me to move here and do something to make sure my children will one day be able to experience its beauty. If Chrisselle can go big and focus on more than just her personal life, then what’s stopping the rest of us? I’ll tell you: nothing!

Ghandi said: Be the change you want to see in the world. So you, yes you reading my ramblings, get off your butt and be the difference! Don’t complain about this hectic world we’ve inherited, find a way to fix it! Don’t just sit back and watch as people you care about give up on life and themselves, get active! We have this amazing advantage over all things bad: numbers! There are more of us in this world who believe in peace and love and happiness than those who don’t, we just have a tendency to forget that. This is just one project out of hundreds that you could get involved in, why this one? Because this one is right at your doorstep, actually it’s just a click away! Why are you still reading my blog?! Go to http://Chrisselle.com/?p=137 already! I really won’t mind…. Go!

We have a shot at being the difference in someone’s life. If this event benefits just one single person by providing them with someone to talk to when they have lost all hope, then it’ll be so worth it! If you have any free time what so ever, why not get in contact with your local help lines and go be the difference. Start an after-school chat group and give someone else the opportunity to talk about their lives to someone outside of their life. Get involved; don’t let more people lose their grip on life. You have no idea how much a hug or smile or just a few kind words mean to someone who feels all alone in our messed up world.

Please be the difference! You know you want to…

AM

I see you

Since the release of P!nk and Dave Meyers’ F***in’ Perfect music video, there has been a lot of talk involving suicide and the sheer hopelessness many people feel every day.

Unfortunately we live in a world where practically no one can say that they have never known someone who contemplated giving up on life. We live in a time when there is so much pressure, not just from the outside world but even from the family who’s suppose to be your corner stone during times of doubt. And what’s worse is the pressure we place on ourselves… you rarely hear someone say: “I’m awesome!” and actually mean it and in the unlikely event that they do, we tend to label them as arrogant and obnoxious. It’s almost like we designed the world so that we can’t win.

Then one day a musician takes the time to look at her fans and see that they are terrified; terrified of being no one; terrified of letting themselves down; terrified to let their true colours show. Instead of just ignoring it, this amazing person who has a great talent for writing and an even greater one for getting people to listen, decides to upset the apple cart once more: she writes a song about alienation and depression. She’s not arrogant enough to believe that she has a solution but she’s willing to give it a shot… Her goal: “That it promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion”. So far that’s exactly what’s happening!

In my final year of high school three of my six closest friends wanted to commit suicide. Actually to be fair the one guy was just severely depressed and refused to eat or move and he only talked about suicide. It’s that ‘only’ word that sends shivers down my spine. Like thinking about giving up on your life and yourself isn’t bad enough? Well it is! And believe me, I have spent many a day since then worrying about my friends because I missed ‘the signs’ the first time around and I said ‘only’. My friends who went a bit further than just thinking about it tried it, thankfully for us they didn’t know what they were doing so we found them in time but they still spent months [some of the best months of anyone’s life time] in hospitals and clinics. They still have to make that choice everyday: choose life. Every time they face a challenge they have flashbacks to that moment they felt so absolutely powerless that they couldn’t see any way out of it… And then they remember that they made it through. It wasn’t easy and this challenge ahead of them won’t be easy either but they’ve made it once so they can survive anything. When we talk about those years in High School now, they don’t remember the millions of little things that kept piling up on them, they remember us, their friends, huddling around them. They remember the strength they got from knowing that we are there for them.

It’s just sad that they couldn’t realize that we have always been there ready to tell them that they are amazing and a simple conversation with them about the weather would make us smile. It’s tough knowing that we came so close to losing our friends to the insecurities of feeling unseen and unheard. It’s something that has altered my perception of showing emotions: I always preferred being stoic and showing emotions only when I really had to but the fact that my best friend could be standing next to me laughing and joking one minute and attempt suicide the next shook me to the core. To think that behind that laugh was thoughts of feeling utterly alone and numb… Since that memory still haunts me, I now live by the rule that ‘I call them as I see them’. If I get even the slightest inkling that you are not 100% alright, then I’ll tell you that you’re fuckin’ perfect to me! Remind you that you make me feel more alive simply by allowing me to be in your presence. I still wonder if one line of approval or that one hug could have saved my friends this entire trauma… but we can’t dwell on the past, all we can do is help others walk a different path.

Loosing someone is never easy! Losing them to suicide or depression is a lot harder because the guilt is so much worse! We see so many friends and acquaintances every day and instead of telling them that their tie looks awesome or that their hair due brings out the blue in their eyes, we just walk by. We keep it to ourselves thinking they already know or that someone else will tell them. What if no one ever tells them? What if you could make their day simply by acknowledging that you notice them? In the traditional Zulu culture they don’t really have a word for ‘hello’ and if you translated what they use instead it would akin to “I see [the real] you”. They’re pretty much saying they see your spirit and the person you really are. So next time you think about walking past someone without a word, just think about seeing them and say hello. Let them know that they’re not alone and more importantly remind yourself that you are not alone!

A song and a video won’t reduce the number of suicide attempts but maybe the people who listen and watch them will.

Please,

AM

*If you or someone you know needs help, please visit TWLOHA

*If you ever want to talk the quickest way to reach me is through twitter @am_mf

The Story Behind Original Albums

I hate Greatest Hits albums!

Firstly: I’m a collector. If I like something, I like to have everything that revolves around that subject. So as a music lover, I am picky. I don’t like too many artists but when I finally get around to liking them, I really, really like them! Naturally this translates into me owning memorabilia and going to their shows and waking up with their songs stuck in my head. It also means that I have all of their albums. Each one individually shelved with its own set of memories attached. Then someone ruins this with a Greatest Hits Album.

Fifteen years ago this wouldn’t really have been a problem as I would have just rearranged my cassettes (we didn’t have CD’s yet when I was 8) but now I buy an album; download it onto my laptop and give the CD to one of my cousins or aunts who don’t have their own computers. So far it’s all good but as soon as I start playing music or trying to organize my folders I come across the problem of duplicates. In some cases hearing the same song play twice in a matter of minutes, is actually pretty awesome but the fact that this song sounds exactly alike and is basically just a waist of my memory drives me a bit loopy.

So do I keep the original stored under the original albums heading or do I opt for the new Hits album cover? This is exactly what I’ve been trying to determine for the last hour! I’m going insane. I don’t want to destroy my original albums and leave gaps in their numbering; I don’t want to delete most of the new album I just bought because truth be told, I find the cover interesting and new [it’s my logic, no need to be concerned if you don’t quite follow] and so I have 17 songs that are all duplicates and I have to delete.  I could just keep both but eventually theses 17 songs from one artist will turn into 170 songs from 10 artists and I really don’t feel like wasting that much space.

Obviously it makes more sense to delete the ones in Greatest Hits because I can still mark the songs to reference Greatest Hits and at least that way I only end up ripping to shreds one album instead of all 5. Annoyingly this will leave me with an album that only has 4 songs on it…

Secondly: I’m not stupid, I know which songs are good and which aren’t. Besides sales figures can’t determine if they are hits; making more money doesn’t make me like the songs any more or less. I know which songs I prefer and with a Greatest Hits album it is rare to find a story.

What I mean by this is the art of designing a good album. It’s not just throwing a bunch of songs onto a disc; posing for a photo and calling it a masterpiece. It’s carefully planning the message you want to share and showing your audience how you learned those lessons. Basically taking them step by step through your thought process and allowing them to share in your experiences so by the time the album is through, they feel like they shared an entire journey with you not just a bunch of random thoughts.

Maybe I’m making more out of this than I should but I have always been drawn to artists who can share their development instead of just doing what some producer and PR Manager think best. I’m one of those people who only use shuffle when I want to listen to several artists, not when I’m listening to one single album. Because what’s the point of having a track order if it is meaningless?

With Greatest Hit albums they usually put the tracks in chronological order or in order of profit margins. This doesn’t tell me anything I want to know… I want to feel closer to the musician that is why I buy their albums. I don’t just want to listen to their music, I want to understand it. With Greatest Hits CD’s I just feel the magic is missing…

It’s still sort off ok if they only put old songs [songs that are on other albums] on the Greatest Hits album. At least then I don’t have to buy the album because I’ll already own all of the songs in their original capacity. But no, everyone needs to add new songs on that they wish to release. That’s the biggest problem I have with Hits albums.

I get it, I really do: they have some spare songs that are pretty awesome but didn’t quite make it onto their last album for one reason or another and they don’t have enough of them to release a full new album so they just use their old hits as filler and try to sell the idea that the new tracks are actually a bonus. Well guess what: it messes with my system!

I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on this; it’s just simply an expression of my irritation. I like things my way [slight OCD] and Greatest Hits never seem to add anything to the experience. I prefer the original albums, including all the songs I love to hate.

As always: it’s just my opinion,

AM

21st Century Background Noise

I was listening to track 13 of P!nk’s ‘Greatest Hits… So Far!’: Sober and the line “The quiet scares me coz it screams the truth” made me think about the last time I just sat there in silence. I honestly cannot remember even one recent moment when I didn’t have music playing in the background or 20 people chatting away.

You would think with the amount of load shedding in South Africa and even here in Zim, I would at least be able to come up with one silly moment of silence! As it turns out, these power cuts are no match for our laptops increased battery life, not to mention 8G cell phones and IPods. At this rate, we don’t even need to rely on generators or inverters… Well, while I was wondering about my lack of silence my laptop battery indicated that it was ready to go to sleep so I figured I’d let it run down and enjoy the silence ~actually I was just too lazy to go upstairs to plug it in.

The peaceful serenity lasted a whole 80 seconds! Yeah, I am really that pathetic! I managed to hear a few birds tweet before my thoughts started running away with me and just as I was about to go off in a public thinking mood [that’s code for talking to myself out loud], I was interrupted by people…

Therefore, instead of sitting in silence, I am upstairs –plugged in my laptop- listening to the rest of ‘Greatest Hits… So Far!’ and writing down my thoughts. Instead of focusing on what my mind is trying to tell me, I’m laying it on you and hoping that I can put off dealing with the inner workings of me for a bit longer. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the quiet scares me and even though I’m not proud of it, I’m not sure I have the energy/courage/willingness/need to change it…

This isn’t exactly where I was expecting my thoughts to go… So I think I’ll just stop writing now, now that I’ve admitted how insanely screwed-up I am sometimes. Maybe I will try being comfortable in the silences a bit later but for now I’m just going to enjoy the 21st century background noise drowning out my intense fears.

Just a thought,

AM