Today I want to share with you a video of a track from a new band to me – Bad Pollyanna.
This track gut punched me last night.
My rational mind knows that I have never been alone in my Mental Illness, I have sat in full waiting rooms and read enough Mental Health Blogs to know that there are legion of us out there. However, when, in the middle of the night and I am sat on the side of the bed in the dark and things got a little too loud in my head, I don’t think I have ever felt so alone, or when I am out and things got a little too crazy and the world swamped me and it feels like it wants to eat me alive, I have never felt so vulnerable.
This song just for a few minutes lifted me up and reminded me that there are others out there and I and others with problems sit on the shoulders of those who support us when we are not quite as strong as we are on our better days.
You can find out more about Bad Pollyanna at their website www.badpollyanna.com where you can get all of their social media details from to keep up to date with them.
If we were meeting for coffee this weekend, I would be gingerly sitting down and not moving my head too much. Last weekend I did *something* to my lower neck and it hasn’t improved any at all all week. Pain has been a visitor this week, a visitor that has overstayed its welcome well and truly.
My week has been dominated by TV. I haven’t really been able to use a computer that much and using my tablet or Laptop has been out of the question for obvious reasons. This is the worst Crick in the neck I have had in years. I kinda feel like the Genie from Aladdin “10,000 years in a bottle can give you such a Crick in the Neck”. Over the weekend my brother sent me a You Tube video from the soundtrack from Sons of Anarchy:
Now, we as a family watch a lot of TV shows, American TV show especially, but Sons of Anarchy was a show that had never really crossed my radar. I had never really singled it out as I didn’t think it was a show that my household would like to watch. The Sopranos was a bit of a tough sell on my Mum, and we still haven’t finished it with her, and Gangsters don’t usually go down well. I wasn’t sure on the overall content really, so I gave it a pass. It’s not that we are prudish in this house, Game of Thrones is a big favourite so sex and violence isn’t a problem.
Anyway, I sent the above video to my Mum and within 20 minutes of her listening to the video, she demanded to know why if that was the standard of the music, we hadn’t been watching the programme????
Now, If we were having coffee this weekend, I would be asking you the question:
“How do I correlate the use of music to how good a TV show is?”
In the case of SoA, I think the answer is simple the producers have gone and found excellent musicians and have used members of the cast (Katey Sagal) very well and kept the music home-grown and organic. We are at the end of Series 1 of Sons now and we are well and truly hooked. I figure by the time this weekend is over, we’ll probably be well into Series 2.
If we were having coffee this weekend I hope you wouldn’t mind the partisan atmosphere floating around the house at the moment as we build up to Saturday’s nights big Rugby match (or if you are reading this after Saturday.. the inevitable thrashing the Welsh took at the hands of the English Rugby team). You see my Mum has Welsh Heritage on her mother’s side and feels it only right to support the home team when Wales are playing. When England and Wales are playing it gets slightly fraught in the house with a bit of banter tossed back and forth.
I used to play Rugby, and if we were having coffee this weekend, I would explain why I stopped playing Rugby when I did. When the people I was playing against started looking like trees and I started feeling like I was falling out of a tree every weekend, I knew it was time to give up. I had fun at the time and I did consider taking the game up again quite recently, but found it cost prohibitive in my area. It is a shame when grass-roots sports are priced out of the range of normal people, I am sure they have their reasons.
If we were having coffee this weekend I’d be really interested to know what you have been up to this week and I’d really like to know what TV shows have caught you by surprise, shows that you didn’t think you would like, but once you started watching them, got hooked and then ended up glued to Netflix or Amazon Prime for the next 5 days until your eyes were hanging out on their sockets? Will you be watching the Rugby this weekend or have you got any other sporting events lined up? Let me know? Don’t forget.. we have to fit Doctor Who in here somewhere too!!
I think it is pretty obvious that music is important to me seeing as that every post on this blog usually devolves into something music related eventually. I have mentioned in the past that I have minimal musical prowess, not for the lack of try I might add. If you take a look at my Author Profile at the bottom of every post it pretty much states that I wanted to be Elvis from a young age, that may have seemed like a jokey throw away quip, but in truth… well let’s put it this way at any given chance I would swivel my hips for anyone who would watch and I perfected the snarling lip fairly early in life. The lack of a singing voice only held me back until modesty kicked in. (more…)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Rockers and Rollers.
Groovers and Shakers, It’s time to shake your Money Makers
*Stamping feet beat a rhythm*
The band you haven’t seen Come Together
Since the Told you To Hide Your Love Away
*the screams build louder*
Last seen on Saville Row, The Police,
The Told them to Get Back; Then They Were Gone!
*4 Blue Spotlights appear on the stage*
For One Song Only… The Beatles.
The 4 Blue Spotlights Opened in time with a thunderous Open Chord that rang like a Choir Invisible, to show pixel perfect reconstructions of The Beatles.
*The crowd screams grew to levels unheard of since 63..that’s 1963*
“..So why on earth should I moan, Cos when I get you alone
You Know I feel OK”
*The stage lights swirls and whirl, changing colours and shapes. The audience scream and cry for more*
“When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight, yeah”
*A fleeting moment in history passed in just over 150 seconds*
The stage returns to dark.
“The Management of the Hard Days Night Hotel & Casino complex would like to thank you for your Patronage in this the 100 Anniversary of Death of All Known Music. Please join us Next year when we will bring you Michael Jackson singing to a Rat. Thank You once again and please tip your robotic waiters on the way out.”
I appear to be in rant mode of late, I swear I am not Mr Angry, it just seems that things rile me up and it puts me in the mood to write, which when you have been going through a dry spell; you are grateful for. You can rest easy that this rant is not as heavy and as political as the last one, this one is more a personal bug, and needed to be released and let out and set free so I could justify some of my more obsessive tendencies. (more…)
Over on It’s Just A Ride I made mention that I had started the process of embarking on a few new creative things. Mostly this involves writing as my efforts at visual art (outside of my stuttering photography) is poor to damnable. I am pulling together a few ideas, but the one thing that is playing a big part in my creative thinking is Music.
Right from when I was old enough to hear, music played a big part in my upbringing. At 3 years old I “conducted” my Dad’s brass band in a concert in a Pub beer garden. When I got older (12/13) I started taking lessons in Brass (I played pretty much every Brass Band instrument going.. I sucked at all of them.) I moved on a couple of years later to Drumming. Animal was always my favourite Muppet and banging the skins always appealed to me. I joined a Marching Band in the town I grew up in. I got a good grounding in how to keep time and the basics of drumming. The problem was, I couldn’t remember anything I was taught.. so I made it up and hoped no one noticed to much. For the regimented part of stick work, I made sure I was in time with everyone else so as not to look out of place, but the actual playing.. I drummed to my own tune.
I should have realised then that my musical aspirations were severely limited and I should probably look for a more “suitable” outlet for my creativity. There was one small problem in all of this though.
My Dad was a musician from the age of 12. He was taught music at school by the same teacher who taught me in the same school my Dad went too. My Dad played in the local Brass Band for god knows how many years. It was part of him. I doubt he ever would have called himself a musician, but in hindsight I can look back and say most assuredly, he was. He may never have written an original piece of music, but I do know that he could transcribe music from one instrument to another with relative ease. He was the one that taught me the C scale on the Cornet. He wrote the scale out on a chalk board that I had gotten for Christmas one year. Each night he would sit with me and help me practice for a few minutes before dinner. He did the same for my Brother.
I couldn’t give up whatever form of music I was playing. My Dad had invested too much time in the past to make me want to play. I got kicked of the Brass course at school. I had stopped attending the lessons and I had given up taking my instrument (whichever I was favouring that week) home to practice. I guess the teacher couldn’t be bothered with me anymore… he gave the slot I used to take to someone who actually gave a shit. This left me with a bit of a problem.. I no longer had a “proper” instrument to play. I was a drummer with the Marching band.. but I don’t think my Dad took my wanting to be a drummer all that seriously. I knew I would never have my own Drum Kit, the best I got was a Casio Drum synth. It was pretty cool and it sounded close enough to the part that I could use it for when my Brother and I started a rock band with a couple of friends from school.
I left the band just in time for them to go into a studio to make an EP of some self written stuff and a Jimi Hendrix cover. I was more proud listening to that tape than I have ever been listening to any other music. The reason being, my brother was all over that tape. He was still a novice compared to where he is at now. I have mentioned numerous times before that I am so envious of my Brother because of the ease he seems to be able to do anything he sets his hand too. Music, Design and being a great Father. It all comes super natural to him (or so it seems.) I am sure if I could find that tape now and played it to him he would cringe and deny all knowledge of ever playing on it… but it was my favourite release if the year.
Once I stopped playing in the Marching Band and with my Brothers band, I pretty much gave up playing music. I would still drum along with my favourite tunes with my hands on my knees, but that’s about it. That’s when listening to Music became more and more important to me.
As I mentioned earlier, music had always been a big part of my life, but after 16/17 years of age, I pretty much inhaled music on a minute by minute basis. I never left the house without my Walkman and a spare set of batteries.
My creativity that had been filled by making music, quickly shifted to working in the Theatre (you can read about my Theatre exploits in the Limelight stories hereherehere and here .. it’s an unfinished masterpiece that will probably never get finished..lol.) Working in a Theatre there are a lot of hours where you are in a dark room painting things black or hanging curtains and music (and coffee) helps to pass the time.
It was in one theatre on what was probably a very boring Tuesday evening that I first had a proper real exposure to the band that had dominated my life ever since. Pretty much for the past 17 years Pink Floyd have redefined how I approach music and how I hear the world around me. That boring Tuesday evening was like a beacon on a hill that shines bright. The album in question was The Division Bell. I thought that album was the best thing I had heard in years. That stayed the case for a couple of weeks until I managed to lay my hands on the topic of my next post…