Monthly Archives: November 2010

Music Blogs – Are They the Curse of Music Journalism?

Recently I’ve been doing some research into music journalism and I’ve found out some interesting things.

Whilst surfing the net I came across this really good blog, called The Pop Cop which basically covers Scotland’s music scene. However, I stumbled upon a different kind of blog entry – it was discussing the effects that blogs have had on traditional music journalism.

The piece argued that blogs were just as official as music journalism, the only difference being that one got paid and the other didn’t. However, The Pop Cop also believes music blogging to be “a passion or a hobby” (click here to see the article), whereas professional music journalism is said to be the best for quality of research and writing.

But who would you turn to for information about a new band or CD? Would it be the music magazines or a blog you found online? Which has more credibility?

As a music blogger myself, this argument leaves me feeling a bit trapped. My blog is for my leisure and if anyone reads it and takes information from it then great! But I don’t think blogs naturally hold as much credibility as that of the professional writer.

I’m torn even more so because I’m studying to become a professional writer. Music journalism would be my first choice but it’s a popular career path and to break into it takes a lot of time and effort. You have to be prepared to work for free. So if that’s the case, then why not set up a free blog and start from there? The internet allows people to say what they think, after all.

But is it old fashioned to believe that the professional is more trustworthy and informative than the average blogger? I think so, but I can’t help but feel slightly more secure in reading information in a magazine rather than on the internet.

The Pop Cop stresses that music journalism may be a dying art but he’ll be sad to see it go, and so will I.

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MattyB – We Are Who We Are

I saw this the other day on the blogger buzz. I was horrified yet intrigued. Take a look at this video of MattyB – the seven year old rapper.

Now tell me, what did you think?

He’s seven for christ sake! Please tell me that sprung into your mind? He’s good, don’t get me wrong, and one of my first instincts was to go, “Aww bless!” But, really? Is this right?

Children that young shouldn’t be forced into the music business. It’s not fair on them. They’re too young to handle it and at the age of seven? Well that’s just ridiculous if you ask me. His parents are obviously endorsing it too, just look at the video.

Please feel free to post your comments below. I’d be interested to find out what you guys think about kids that young producing stuff like this.

 

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This makes me hate the music industry…

I’m not sure what to think of this. I’ve just seen an advert starring two of the worst people in the music industry, the awful twins, Jedward.

They are the reason why the industry is a joke. I was happy thinking they’d disappeared and all was well with the world but no. Now they’re in this advert for Nintendo DS.

It makes me cringe! It’s awful. It’s terrible. And it’s bound to be on repeat on our tellies over the Christmas period. Oh joy!

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Jimmy Eat World Live

We enter Bristol O2 Academy in plenty of time to find the lower floor filling with bodies and the stairs already packed with people trying to get a good view.

The atmosphere takes me straight back to my teen years where I was here almost every weekend, and I was left feeling positive that this was going to be a great gig.

As soon as Jimmy Eat World hit the stage and strummed the first note everyone was screaming. They had the whole room singing from the word go, so much so that sometimes that’s all I could hear around me, over and above the music.

Bringing to the forefront their most recent releases, including the new single My Best Theory, Jimmy Eat World seemed to get the majority of the plugs for their seventh album out of the way within the first half.

They didn’t want to disappoint their faithful fans and moved swiftly on to playing numerous oldies such as their most popular single, The Middle and other classics like 23 and Work. One that had everyone holding back tears was Hear You Me. Sang intensively and emotionally, Jim Adkins (lead vocals and guitar), captured the song’s meaning perfectly without bringing the mood down too suddenly.

Starting out in 1994, with their debut album Static Prevails released in 1996, they’ve come a long way since those early days but have never changed their sound dramatically. Their familiarity factor draws in and keeps their loyal fans. The audience at this show were engrossed in the band as if they were praying to a shrine.

Whilst showcasing over 14 years of music they managed to keep things direct yet fun. Audience interaction was kept to a minimum but when it did occur, they assured it was light-hearted and amusing.

The four piece band seemed to send a vibe around the room which lifted everyone’s mood. Their energy was astounding and their enthusiasm even more impressive (seeing as they would have played some of their songs thousands of times over the years). They put on a good show and definitely left me reminiscent of my teen years in more ways than one.

 

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Who’s Your Favourite Live Act?

I’m off to see Jimmy Eat World tomorrow and it got me thinking about when I used to go to gigs every week. I used to be glued to the Carling Academy (now the O2 Academy) website searching for who was making their appearance. I guess I grew out of that and it became about seeing those people I really like.

So this led to me to start wondering who I would class as my favourite live act. It’s really hard to narrow it down as I’ve seen what seems like hundreds of concerts but I think I have a few I could list quite happily.

1. Michael Buble – I know you are all probably thinking I’m a little obsessed but he is a fantastic performer. With his ticket prices starting at £50 you would expect a good show, and he gives a lot more than that.

2. You Me At Six – There’s something about this band that I just can’t get enough of. They give it their all on stage and you know they’re passionate about what they’re doing. Interestingly I only got to see them as they were supporting the next act…

3. Paramore – This was an awesome concert. Hayley Williams is undoubtedly one of the best female rock singers around and her voice is mesmerising when she sings live.

So there you go. Those are my top three – for now (they’ll probably change within an hour but on the spur of the moment, these are the ones that spring to mind).

Who would be your top three favourite live bands?

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What a Distraction!

I’ve got ever so slightly distracted from my dissertation with watching clips of Michael Buble on YouTube. However I definitely don’t regret this decision. In fact, I’m enjoying it so much that I thought I would share with you all a lovely clip from his tour:

Here he performs Cry Me A River which was the opening song for his Crazy Love UK tour which has recently finished.

His voice in this clip is spectacular! I was lucky enough to see him at Birmingham NIA earlier this year. At the end of the gig he sang without a mic and filled the arena with his voice alone, it was breath-taking. It was one of those moments when all the hair on your arms stick up. A true swing musician.

Anyway, please enjoy! :)

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Oh, Brother!

Do you miss the sound of 1990s? Do you feel a little hollow that no-one managed to succeed Blur or Oasis since the days of Britpop? Well, no need to fear Brother is here! This brand new band is bringing it all back.

Brother, a four piece group from Slough (who also happen to share their name with a celtic tribal celebration band – as I discovered whilst trying to google them), combine their Blur inspired songs with cocky attitudes reminiscent of the Gallagher brothers. This alone has probably already set them up to be the next big thing.

Apart from being a little bit too arrogant, to the point where you actually end up cursing under your breath at them, this group has what it takes. It’s refreshing to hear the memorable sounds of my childhood once again as an adult but this time with more umph.

New Year’s Day is a true clean pop-rock song built around classic guitar riffs and a unforgettable chorus. This track has a very similar sound to Blur with the opening echoing vocals of Damon Albarn in Blur’s Girls and Boys.

Their other demo, Darling Buds of May, is just as good sticking with those standard chord structures and drum beats representative of Britpop. This one is less of a punch in the face compared.

They’re well worth a listen and definitely one to keep an eye on. Although, just to warn you they’re probably not to everyone’s taste!

 

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