the importance of openness 

hello – it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here but I’ve been distracted by personal matters and those that affect all of us. 

Last week Manchester suffered an attack on young innocent children leading to 22 fatalities and many more injuries. The healing of that attack is still underway but the immense support of those who could help is what’s making everything more bearable. As someone who regards Manchester as a second home, it hit hard but the sense of community and brotherhood Manchester possesses and displayed last week, made everyone in the country feel the pride and passion for Manchester as a Mancunian would. 

Last Night, We as a country suffered again with 3 attacks on London: London Bridge, Vauxhall and Borough Market. It is distressing to watch people have to crawl under tables in a bar in fear of being killed by selfish individuals who know no more than hate. We offer our support it seems over and over again but the rate at which these attacks appear on the news is rising and although we fight through each one together, it is getting no better. 

Each attack only spreads more hate among us but we can’t let it take our sense of community. The way many people today regard these attacks are those that are religiously motivated and committed by immigrants (which the scapegoating of has increased since the refugee crisis started and the attacks in Paris in 2015). Muslim people cannot be held accountable for the selfish actions of individuals that inflict pain on our country. Our community is full of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Atheists, Catholics and people who just don’t know what they believe and we should be proud of ourselves instead of turning on one another as this is a route of the problem. 

Terror becomes a reoccurring issue if we choose to use hate to combat each event. political parties like UKIP constantly present immigrants as the route cause to terror but as they preach this hate and their words become recognised by those who choose to listen, THEY are subsequently causing radicalisation of young impressionable people. YOU CAN’T BEAT HATE WITH HATE, YOU CAN’T BEAT FIRE WITH FIRE. By using power and control to scapegoat groups within society you are only making those you target develop hatred towards that power. This only encourages radicalisation as they will turn to alternative for support which may in unfortunate cases be groups whose aims are to inflict pain on others who see differently. 

We see it time and time again – in two years I’ve seen more pain and suffering than I have in my whole life leading up to 2015. Since 2015 we’ve had Paris, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Nice, Wurtzburg, Munich, Ansbach, Reutlingen, Berlin, Istanbul, London, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Dortmund, Paris, Manchester, and now London again, in Europe alone. Obviously I don’t believe that attacks are completely avoidable as in many cases they are completely spontaneous like that in Norway a few years back and those who commit these atrocities are clearly a threat but suggesting they are all part of the same group not only endangers innocent people within our society but also endangers those you accuse of being responsible. Attacks on important European countries is becoming more and more frequent and it would help a hell of a lot more if individuals didn’t feel targeted by their governments and felt accepted and didn’t NEED to fall back on the support of radical groups. Being accepting and loving can prevent an increase in homegrown terrorism.

 They are part of this world as much as you are

I’m sick and tired of people’s lives being ripped to shreds by selfish individuals who create hatred among religious groups who weren’t involved at all and create an environment where people are skeptical of everything and trust is virtually nonexistent. WE ARE 16 YEARS OLD BUT WE FEEL OBLIGED TO DO SOMETHING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRIES – which should be the responsibilities of politicians, rather than them, discouraging our multicultural societies, seperating us more than any terror attack ever will, scapegoating the innocent subsequently creating more terrorism, and doing nothing about it. it’s infuriating because as a collective I believe we are more compassionate and more understanding than those who currently have the power to make a difference. As a teenager the only difference I can make is by sharing my opinion and retweeting information in the hopes that is helps somebody in need.

it is CRUCIAL that we stay positive and rather than trying to find an easy target to blame for these atrocities we should come together and offer the help we can give. offer love and aid where you can, strive to bring people together rather than driving people away through hate. Positivity sometime feels like a hopeless cause after a tragedy it rests on us to help those affected and rebuild our communities. 

bleib lieb, wir sind hier zu helfen ❤

Prince Nelson : A Year On

21, April 2017 marks the one year anniversary of the death of Prince : a genuine icon in the music. He was defiant, symbolic character that not only brought forward different aspects of masculinity but also femininity in a way only he could. 

What makes his case all the more sad is the fact that someone so iconic was found collapsed inside of a lift – it seemed as if the death he was given, in no way suited his personality type and flamboyant flare everyone fell in love with. 

Prince was one of a kind; there are some things Prince did that if anyone else were to do it, it would be weird. For example Prince was able to make crawling out of a bath look good, he pulled off make up, frills and heels better than most people will ever be able to. Although his persona was so flamboyant and glamourous there was still an element of ambiguity surrounding him. For example, although the majority of his music was centered around sex he was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and spoke many times about the strength he received from his faith. 

Prince is still recognised for his androgyny, sexuality and femininity; regarded as sex symbol and a man who was able to shape the music industry from then on. His symbol, named the ‘love symbol’ features the symbol for both genders in one arrow which many associate with his inclusion of many women in his band and as background singers.

Songs like ‘Kiss’, ‘Cream’, ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Head’ are renound for their explicit references to sex and help normalise the conversation of sex as a more acceptable recreational activity (not that it was heavily needed it after the late 1960s summer of love and the introduction of readily available contraception for all women and men!).  although he explored sex through his music he was still able to bring us to tears with it in songs like the world famous ‘Purple rain’ which I can’t listen to without crying. 

Prince will stay defiant even beyond the grave and continues to touch hearts around the globe with his incredible falsetto and pure musical talent.

R.I.P PRINCE ROGERS NELSON!

Little Richard, Big Impact

Little Richard, even now has the reputation as a true rock ‘n’ roll revolutionary along side the late Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis.

 His popularity blossomed in the early 1950s merging the authentic sound of New Orleans with gospel and heavy, passionate piano. Although he produced alongside other greats nobody could compare to the electric, soulful vocals of Richard that shakes you from song to song. His distinctive style sets him apart from the rest of 50’s Rock n Roll which gave him a spark to inevitably light up the future of music. Even in 2017 most of us are able to recognise the bullet-like vocals of ‘Tutti- Frutti’ and sing along as if it were released last week. The sax-oriented, happy go lucky, classic hits filled with ‘woo!s’ is an inescapable burst of energy no matter what age.

Little Richard was not only a legend for his musical success but socially too. Richard openly talked about sexuality and explored orientation a particularly contraversial topic at the time. He performed as a Drag Performer in the early 1950s after dressing up in his mothers clothes since he has a small child. His sexuality and experimentation lead to his father kicking him out on the grounds of his homosexuality. Although Richard had a religiously centered upbringing, he believes that “I’ve been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not hate”. His kind-hearted and liberal attitudes on life gained him a lot of support and admiration from other future musicians and important figures; the most memorable being Lemmy Motörhead who Richard was an inspiration for. 

Although a lot of his life was plagued with tragedy and drugs he still goes down in history as a legend and an icon –

 Long Live Rock n Roll x 

Run DMC – the most popular unknown group of the 21st century 

The group Run DMC were founded in 1981 and quickly became one of the most influential hip hop groups of its era. The three group members : Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mitzell from Hollis made music that is still considered cool (which is an achievement in itself). 

The groups most well known song is “it’s tricky” (from their 3rd album Raising Hell, one of the first hiphop albums to reach mainstream listeners) which has been featured in many films and follows the infamous guitar riff of 1979, The Knacks “My Sharona”. I mean – nobody can resist the temptation to sing along as soon as they hear “this speech is my recital”, it’s almost infectious.

The group also found success in their collaboration with Aerosmith on “walk this way”, able to combine 80s rock with the hip hop of Queens. The Christmas hit “Christmas in Hollis” also made its way into the new traditions of Christmas music.

There is no denying of the groups success considering the lack of ‘mainstream’ hip hop at the time but why do they still remain a rather forgotten about group? Popular departments stores stock their merchandise and they become more of a clothing brand than a well known influential hip hop group. Department stores have always used popular brands and music groups on their clothing ( like the 1990s band Nirvana) but I find it slightly depressing seeing a 5 year old girl wearing a Run DMC shirt from H&M without her being able to enjoy the fact that her shirt symbolises the invention of mainstream hiphop and the development of modern music. That five year old girl may have an in depth knowledge on 80s Hip Hop groups which would be awesome but the chances are slim. I don’t have an issue with the selling of the merchandise in the department stores, in fact I believe it could help bring popularity back to the group, I just find it funny how the title “Run DMC” can mean two different things (particularly through generational splits) : 1) a hip hop group 2) the name on my t-shirt.

my main message her is just – listen to Run DMC, they’re cool.

even Run DMC wear Run DMC shirts

🙂 

 now that the light is fading

This year, up and coming artists have been taking centre stage and the regular award winners are making way for lesser known artists and although I consider myself a fan of more aged music and film – I’m glad this change has come around. It’s brought around a new love for an artist named Maggie Rogers whose taken 2017 in her stride finally releasing her EP ‘Now That the Light is Fading’. 

I discovered her through her most successful song Alaska in 2016 and found myself looping it over and over again. Maggie Rogers was discovered by Pharell Williams at a masterclass and we are all glad he did because the Ep is a work of art. 

The five songs included are: 

1) Color Song – a fantastically harmonised acapella piece with crickets in the background which just add to the depth of the piece, and just adds the touch of charming character that most ‘chart’ music seems to lack.

2) Alaska – her first single which rose to a lot of viral hits and continues to be one of my favourites, the song manages to maintain a chill and mellow vibe whilst also containing a quite modern sound with the solid drum beats 

3) on + off – probably my favourite on the Ep. It contrasts a modern sound with Rogers’ more soft voice which is not only interesting, but beautifully crafted. 

4) dog years – this track has a very ‘woodland’/’summer camp’ feel to it, with its bottle chimes, bird calls and music video featuring girls with kanoe paddles. 

5) better – the last track on the ep has a soft electronic backing to compliment her voice. It’s also backed with bird calls and multiple voices to add depth to a more electronic piece. 

The Ep, in my opinion, sounds as if it were based on an Alaskan summer camp, or national park. The crickets, harmonised vocals of Rogers’, bird calls, glass bottles all add to the original beauty of her music, which makes her so special. It has a balance between mellow and upbeat that allows it to be amazing for both mellow evenings and more lively atmospheres – truly a work of art.

Who is the best character in ‘Grease’?

Grease hit the cinemas in 1978 and continues to be a hit today. I mean – is it really a surprise that it’s still popular if you have a whole hour of John Travolta singing and dancing? Although the story line is pretty mediocre for a high school based musical (other than the fact their car flies), it’s still ranks higher on my ‘school based musicals’ list than High School Music 1,2 and 3.

After having watch the film more than a few times since I was first introduced to it, It’s pretty obvious what makes the film so special. The film tackles teen pregnancy and peer pressure in a way that doesn’t influence the younger audience but to older audiences there’s an underlining sugar coating of regular life that we all crave.

The characters are also crucial to the film appeal. ‘Danny’ played by Travolta, is always a favourite being a main character along side ‘Sandy’ played by Olivia Newton-John. Yes, their love story and personalities are the biggest feature of the film but the characters with less screen time give it the spark. Although Travolta and Newton-John have the main story, there’s one character I just can’t keep my eyes off.

BLANCHE HODEL! (If the name doesn’t ring a bell it’s the secretary at the school which is the living embodiment of a hot mess).

Why, you ask? well I’ve compiled a list of her most memorable moments.

1) The first time we meet Blanche is on the first day of the school year where Professor McGee asks hodel for the paper but the secretary is only able to find the Ines they lost last year and smudges in the ink. 

2) In what may be my favourite scene, Hodel is sat with McGee at the pep rally for the schools football team and as the coach delivers a passionate speech on how Rydel is about to destroy their opponents, all you can watch is a tiny old women pretending to rip someone apart.

3) Hodel manages to win over our hearts for a third time whilst the Principal wants to make a speech to the graduates of Rydel and Hodel is given a xylophone which with she then proceeds to create her own little tune with before McGee graps her stick. 


4) At the school dance during the handjive she makes her way over to seperate a ‘vulgar’ couple before being picked up by the waist and being bounced around whilst she produce nothing short of a Marge Simpson screech. 

She is the opitomy of disorder and a lack of organisation, but her bubbly and slightly naive personality is something that is present within all of us and we can all laugh at. 

(quick side note – sorry for the lack of posts over the last week or so, I was in Hungary and although I had a lot to write about, I found it quite hard to focus on anything but the goulash) 

Were The Rolling Stones the first Bad-asses in the Music Industry?

Beginning in the 60s, The Rolling Stones gained fame and success through music and their down right bad attitude towards the conservative Population of Britain at the time. Mick Jagger and the guitarist Keith Richards were given sentences for many minor crimes including drug possession but were they the revolutionaries to a new genre of angry teenage music?

THE ANSWER IS YES.

Mick  Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts  and Brian Jones kicked off a storm among the teenagers of the 1960s as they created songs like ‘Paint it, Black’ which described a song about a man’s pessimistic out look on life and ‘Beast of Burden’ which was able to relate to teenagers who felt hard done by the strictly conservative and bland adult culture that was a prominent part of society. By the late 1960s they were already proclaiming themselves the greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll band on Earth. They sung about issues that the everyday people of Britain would listen to and be able to relate to. Although this doesn’t sound every ‘cut-throat’, parents hated them. They were a nuisance. Newspapers and television would often question the admiration of a band like the Stones. For example , the article titled ‘would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?’ which outlined the concerns many parents had about the attitudes of the young men in the band.

Around the same time, the more ‘parent- friendly’ band from Merseyside, The Beatles were becoming constant chart toppers and the Rolling Stones were seen as the more dangerous alternative to the clean cut boys from Liverpool. Whilst the Beatles had a clean, cheeky charm, The Rolling Stones pioneered a gritty, blues based rock n roll that got rebellious authority hating teenagers on to the floor. They became the prototypical band of the British ‘Rock n Roll’ Invasion and the two bands brought Britain back to the top of ever-changing cultural leadership.

The bands early first decade was full of popular music but although not all of the songs were no.1 hits, they continued to be the most visible band of the decade with far-reaching popularity no other band has yet achieved. The music wasn’t the only thing that made the band make headlines. The bands reputation was littered with controversy and crime. In the late 1960s, they were all caught urinating on a garage in Essex and fined £5 each. The action with the worst affect was their free concert on a highway in Altamont, America were a member of the Hell’s Angels (who were hired as the security for the gig, went into the crowd and stabbed a fan to death. Nevertheless, a fan dying at their concert was not the damaging thing for the Stones’ reputation (which was already pretty awful).Richards was jailed for one year for drugs possession and Jagger was given 5 months. Keith Richards’ sentence was usually long for drug possession and sparked up a lot of controversy starting a line of reports on articles deeming their cases unfair especially considering Paul McCartney was arrested for Drug Possession and only spent the night in a cell.

The Rolling Stones were considered the ‘Anti-Beatles’ who parents hated and tried to keep their daughters away from, whilst those teenagers rebellious enough to listen to their music would kick up a storm, inadvertently starting generations of new rock bands and a culture of rebellious, music loving kids. I mean… if that’s not kickass then what is?