Like books, podcasts, talks etc
If someone asks for a recommendation when your interests aren’t mainstream, it’s easy to hold back. It’s easy to be reluctant to share that local band who are heavily influenced by 80s synth pop.
You might skip over that book you read a while back by a neurologist purely out of curiosity.
That podcast with a spiritual/holistic focus won’t even get a mention.
But I think those things are worth passing on. If you were lucky enough to find something you enjoy that people you’re around might not be aware of, why not tell them about it?
It’s easy to be put off by the thought of blank or uninterested faces.
But at least you were willing to share something about yourself.
Plus, you might even find someone else who is interested in the same things as you.
You can always go back.
One of the things that I don’t think is often considered is that when you leave your comfort zone you can always go back if things don’t work out.
For example if you make music and usually just keep it to yourself, try putting it out there for people to hear. Sure you might be nervous and it’ll take a bit of courage but if it doesn’t go well you haven’t lost out on anything.
And if you lose that feeling of courage you can always go back to keeping your stuff to yourself again, you can always go back to your comfort zone.
However, on the flip-side you can keep trying because good things take time and it’s like Ziglar once said ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well‘.
You like that song by that band you randomly came across on Spotify. They happen to be from the same city as your favorite Brit Pop band .
You follow the band on twitter, you tweet them about how much you love their music. You make your way through all their songs over and over again.
You know most of the words now.
You see that they have a show in your city and you squeal with excitement. You’ve been into this band for almost 6 months and getting to see them live is what you’ve been waiting for.
The cost of the gig is like £8, so cheap you book your ticket the day they go on sale.
The night has finally arrived and you’re at home pulling out the contents of your wardrobe. You need something that says, ‘I think you guys are so great and I love your music’ but at the same time is subtle and sophisticated.
You spend a few hours in a dimmed basement room with a drink in hand shouting along as the band performs their set. You manage to get front and centre, how else could you express to the band how much of a fan you are?
You jump, sing and shimmy the night away until suddenly they’ve reached their last song. The crowd is going wild, you’re glad to be apart of it. So carried away by the music that you become one of those people that clambers onto the stage. Theirs about 15 of you up their happy and smiling, there’s no doubt that this music means something to you.
And then the final song is over.
You’re buzzing full of energy and you’re sweaty but you don’t care.
You can’t wait to do it all again.
One afternoon I decided that instead of going to lunch at the usual place with the usual people, I would have alphabet soup.
This means nothing more than I sat alone with my headphones in listening to music ranging from The Preatures to Chance the Rapper and The Stone Roses to Amine.
I was sat writing for less than an hour but managed over 1000 words. Despite the fact that I skipped lunch at the end I still felt pretty satisfied.
Music has played a significant part in my life from a young age. 90s and early 00s music brings back memories of childhood, growing up and my sisters.
But it’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve started listening to albums from beginning to end. Nothing compares to falling in love with an album that you can play without skipping a track. I think it’s quite amazing the way that songs can tell stories. The way it feels to hear the opening track and the way the closing track is sometimes upbeat but sometimes soft and slow.
I wanted to share a few albums that I happily listen to from beginning to end, feel free to share the albums you like in the comments.
Girlhood – The Preatures
Up for the downstroke – Parliament
Heard you missed me, well I’m back – sly and the family stone
Care for me – Saba
an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape – Duckwrth
America eats it’s young – Funkadelic
Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
Isolation – kali uchis
In a million years – Last dinosaurs
There I stood on a Monday night in a room full of strangers, in a city that was slowly becoming more and more familiar.
I was there to do something I never thought I’d get to do. I never thought there was a chance that my favourite singer from New Zealand who now lives in New York would ever come to England.
But she did and so the day the tickets went on sale I bought one.
That was over 6 months ago.
And on Monday night I finally got to see her live.
Her voice was beautiful, she was beautiful and it felt special being there as she performed songs about love, war and death.
The same songs that I had listened to on buses, trains and walks.
The songs that picked me up and songs that I sat with when I felt down and needed comfort.
Her show ended with an old favourite and the crowd clapped and sang along.
I left full of gratitude for the art that was shared that night and that good feeling that comes from hearing the songs you love.
I recently read a review for an album by favourite New Zealand singer and it wasn’t particularly favourable. The article in summary said that the album had a few good songs and then some not so good ones inbetween.
I feel like when you’re a fan it’s easy to almost become protective of the people you support. With this particular album I have my favourites on the album but the ones I like less aren’t bad songs, they just don’t move me as much but that’s kind of the point.