First of all, apologies are in order for my rather lacklustre performance last week. I didn’t manage to write a long-form piece on the Friday and I was away for the visual one on the Monday. All you got was my rambling Wednesday audio and for that I truly apologise.
Anyway. On with the visual.
This isn’t my favourite visual of the last week (this one is), but the topic means so much to me. Since going to my first gig when I was 16 (it was Killswitch Engage) music has always been a big part of my life.
Well, it was a big part of my life even before that. My first love was numetal and I adored Limp Bizkit. I even had a red cap and a big bomber jacket like Fred Durst used to wear. It made me feel very cool.
I used to queue up outside HMV (a chain of music shops in the UK that’s now nearly dead) on a Saturday morning to buy new releases with my mate. I distinctly remember queuing up waiting to grab a new release of Slipknot’s Iowa.
It was a proper event. I’d buy the CD, take it home, stick it in my HiFi and then sit back and listen to it. I’d pull out the CD sleeve and admire what they’d done with it. Sometimes it was photography, sometimes lyrics. Sometimes hand drawn weirdness. It was always fun.
Things have changed a bit since then. I consume most of my music through Spotify these days but I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. It’s the music shop on a Saturday morning experience on steroids. Every hour of every day holds the potential for me to discover new music.
When I got my Spotify review last year it told me I’d listened to 1967 new artists. I like finding new music, listening to old music, sharing music and enjoying it.
Lots of people moan about things like Spotify as if it’s killing music. For me, streaming services have opened me up to a world of discovery that was never previously available to me. Now when somebody tells me about a new genre—Britfunk is the latest for me—I can spend weeks deep in that genre discovering a whole new line of music I never knew existed.
Music is just, well, lovely. It can make you feel anything from sad to happy. It can make you remember things you’d completely forgotten. It can be a way to connect with others.
Besides, there’s really no better feeling on the planet than when you get to experience a new song that you really love for the first time.
I remember when the Coronavirus lockdown first kicked in in the UK last March and I spent ages watching live shows of amazing bands. Beastie Boys live in Glasgow from 1999 sticks in my mind more than any others.
Just another cool memory made possible by music.
Happy Monday music listening.
P.S. Slow Down by Loose Ends is a new track I’ve just discovered that’s amazing. The track is old, but it’s new to me. Britfunk, funky, groovy. Just all the right things.