Wednesday, 22 August 2012

DOE-eve post! :P

So I'm off DOE-ing tomorrow. Basically it's camping for a night, which is organised by the school, and when you're done, you get the DOE Bronze award. Which helps you in interviews for jobs and stuff. So yeah, I haven't finished packing yet, and my bag is almost bulging at the seems. Not good. I don't remember it being this full the last time, probably because I'm with different people. So yeah, that's it really. Hopefully the weather will be nice, but knowing Scotland, I seriously doubt it. We've been getting random heavy showers of rain, so camping in that will be so much fun! Hint the sarcasm there. Anyway, ciao for now amigos! :P

Monday, 20 August 2012

Wassssssssssup?

So I haven't posted on here in a while, I guess I have no excuse but considering it's my blog, I can choose when to post! That doesn't make me sound shallow at all doesn't it? Hope everything is going well. So since I've last been on here, I've now been accepted by the university to study music, and I have got a room in accommodation, so basically it's now getting near the time where I'll have to prepare for leaving in a few weeks time. Scary much? Hopefully I'll be able to fit in with everyone else there, but we'll see as time goes on, I'm sure I won't be the only scared witless soul there. She says hopefully. So today, I've done basically nothing so far, and it feels brilliant. Although, I did wake up from an amazing dream last night, which featured Brian May and a park bench. I'll leave you to figure out what happened. By the way, it was the younger Brian May and not how he looks today, even though he still looks fine, it's a bit weird to think that to say the least. Anyway, suppose I better go back to doing nothing. Wooo. In the words of Joey Graceffa, PEACE OUT HOMESCOUTS!! :D

Monday, 13 August 2012

Album Review - Birdy

So I have another album to review. I bought this a couple of months ago, along with a few other albums I wanted for a while. This album came back into mind after I heard Jim and Tanya on YouTube rave about it on their monthly favourites video. I remember the first time I heard this album, I was a little disappointed about it. But I've decided to give it another chance, considering the artist is 15 years of age and has an amazing voice. This is in the easy listening genre, with a pop sort of edge to it.

1. 1901 - I first thought it took a while for this first song, originally by Phoenix, to get going. The piano sounds great in this track as it has this mysterious echoic feel to it. Then she starts singing, and it's amazing to think she's only 15. The maturity in her voice is beautiful.  I haven't heard of this song before this cover, but it does sound great, very relaxing yet optimistic.
2. Skinny Love - This was the first single from the album, based on the Bon Iver version, and this was the song that made me fall in love her voice. Just piano and voice in this song, not many tracks are like that nowadays, and it's just simply stunning, emotional at its very best.  The high notes she sings send shivers down your spine, pure beauty. Definitely a favourite of mine.
3. People Help The People - Originally a song by Cherry Ghost. An eerie and almost sad piano intro to the song. The cello is great in this track too, making it sound more dramatic. It's a bit slow at first but then the drum kit comes in and brings in a bit more pace, but just a tiny bit to keep it steady. Her voice is absolutely brilliant, very natural in this song, she doesn't try too hard to bring out massive notes which is great to see.
4. White Winter Hymnal -  A Fleet Foxes song, the drumbeat seems to annoy me a little bit in this track. And to be honest, the repetition of the lyrics does irritate me a little, but the harmonies are stunning. It would be great if they lost the annoying drum beat and just left it with the piano and the harmonies of this beautiful young lady's voice. Another thing, this song is very short, just over two minutes, just thinking there could've been a lot more to add to it.
5. District Sleeps Alone Tonight - Once again, drum beat is a little annoying. Think they've gone a bit too techno like which doesn't really mix in with the beautiful reverb like sound coming from the piano and Birdy's voice. This version of Postal Service's song is pretty good, optimistic once again, her voice is still strong, but the drum beats are seriously going downhill.
6. I'll Never Forget You - Quite an interesting intro to this version of a Francis and the Lights song, not too sure what key it's meant to be in. Dunno what they effect they did to Birdy's voice, but it doesn't sound as genuine this time which is a shame. The octave in the piano is quite nice to listen too. Then there's a sort of build up to the chorus with the violin, and it's one of those sun rising moments. I want to love this song, but I wish they didn't put an effect on her voice, and it was real as it was on the previous tracks as I would absolutely love the song, but it's the little things that stop me.
7. Young Blood - Another annoying electronic drum beat in this Naked and Famous cover. Maybe it's just me who loves a natural, realistic sound but oh well. Once again, it's not amazing, almost as if I'm listening to the same stuff again. Her voice is still great but there's something missing. Not sure what but it's bothering me.
8. Shelter - The xx is the only artist I recognise that she's covered, but I still don't know their stuff too well. No doubt that she's a great piano player, a more mysterious sound to this track. This song is winning me back, her voice is sublime in this and the harmonies, oh my god! Quite an emotional song this is, and the loss of the drum beat isn't missed at all. Absolutely adore this, beautiful!
9. Fire & Rain - A cover of a James Taylor song. We're back to the cheery side of her music. Drums are sounding a lot better in this one, more realistic, thank goodness. She really owns this song, really great and happy, makes you bounce in your seat. Really like this. :)
10. Without A Word - This is the only original song in the album, the rest are all covers. Have no idea what that electronic intro is meant to be, it was one of those, 'oh god, not again' moments. But the piano comes in and she sings, and it warms you a little. Makes you wonder why she didn't add more of her own material to this album, she's a great songwriter. The rhythm of this is slightly confusing, whether it doubles in speed or it's irregular time changes, can't put my head around it. But it's a beautiful song, once you get over these minor things, and listen to the voice, it's great.
11. Terrible Love - This final track is a cover of a song by The National. Sung in a nice key, but the lyrics are basically the same all the way throughout. I know that's not her fault, but it's irritating. The violins and electric guitar reverb is absolutely stunning in this song. You can feel the emotion and happiness in this song, which is great. This song has a big sound to it, quite amazing.

Overall Rating - 7/10. I am still shocked that this album was by a 15 year old. Second time I've listened to it, I'm more convinced. She has a big future ahead of her, I'm sure. Also, she looks amazing in the album cover, natural and youthful which is a huge breath of fresh air, she's being herself and not slapping her face with make up and being fake like most people nowadays. One thing I would say, she should loose the electric drum beats and bring in more original material, have more songs like Skinny Love where it's just her and the piano but with her own written material. Maybe I'm being too picky but still, it's better like that. My favourites are Shelter, Fire & Rain, maybe Terrible Love at a push, but it's definitely Skinny Love that is the best track on the album. I would recommend it to others, but listen to it on Spotify before buying the album first, so you can get your own opinions of it. But overall, good album and I can't wait to hear more from her.

Goodbye London 2012!

So many of you will have watched the closing ceremony yesterday and once again, it didn't disappoint. With many musical acts making an appearance, John Lennon's face formed in the stadium, the whole ground covered with newspaper, it had it all. Of course the most magical moment was when Freddie appeared on the screen singing to the crowd. Now being a massive Queenie, and knowing how much they've inspired me in life, I did burst into tears at that moment. But it was incredible to see how he still captivates the crowd and controls them with the palm of his hand, nearly 21 years after his death. And then the roar from that Red Special, soared into view as Brian May, with his coat with Badgers and Foxes and that familiar Q, walked to the stage, still looking bloody marvellous rocking out that incredible Brighton Rock solo. As for Roger Taylor, now he's shaved his beard, he looks young again. That familiar drum beat for We Will Rock You filled the stadium, as a young Jessie J joined them. To be honest, she didn't blow it, but she wasn't incredible. It didn't matter as Brian and Roger were in a class of their own anyway for most people to notice. I am so proud of them, still shaking with pride today. Then it was soon time to extinguish the Olympic flame. Where Take That made an appearance without Robbie... I prefer them as the four of them anyway, considering Gary lost his stillborn child just a few days ago, it was great to see him sing again. Overall, the closing ceremony was incredible, as were the overall Olympics. Shame it's all over now, nothing to watch on TV for the next four years. Bring on Rio 2016 and well done to all the athletes, especially the one's in GB who got us 3rd in the Medal Table. :D

Thursday, 9 August 2012

SQA Results

Two days later, still can't believe these are my exam results! Did someone else sit my exams for me?! I must've taken some kind of intelligence pill or something. Most people are only happy getting A's in their Highers. I'm over the moon that I got B's! And that Advanced Higher Music grade is a beauty, considering I just missed out on getting one for Higher and my appeal didn't work. :) Hope your results were what you wanted as well! :D

Sunday, 5 August 2012

What a joke. For youths to rely on.

This is a poster from last year, and this is the heading it gives you. Basically, you can find out your results through text or email whilst you're away. Last year, it worked in our favour, as I was one of the 30,000 pupils who got their SQA results early. This year, they claim they're going to send the results on Tuesday to people's phone or email in boxes before we get them through the post. So we find out a couple of hours earlier. Here's an idea, how about we find out much earlier than that, so we can organise for the university we're willing to go to instead of every teenager in Scotland freaking out so much, some of them are close to committing suicide! Ummm....? No of course not, that's a stupid idea, completely against the bloody Curriculum of Excellence! :O Sorry, I'm a bit nervous about getting my results in under 48 hours or so. Don't really know exactly, I've lost count. AHHH!

Proud to be Scottish. :D

In pictures: Scottish Olympic medal winners
Just thought I would show you this link today, just to show that us Scots should be proud of the athletes representing our country. We should be proud of everyone winning medals for Great Britain, but of course, it's always amazing to see someone from your actual country, whether you're Scottish, English, Welsh or Northern Irish, winning medals and achieving their goals. Of course last night, was a stunning night in British Athletics, and today gave us for once, a smiling Andy Murray. :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

You gotta love the Olympics! :)

I got to admit, at the start of the Olympics, after the opening ceremony, I had little to no hope in our British athletes. We didn't get off to the best of starts, waiting for ages for our gold medal to arrive. But looking at it now, we're doing pretty well. Considering the National Lottery gave all of its money into the athletes training for this event, we can now clearly see it's paying off. I guess not many people will be able to experience the feeling of winning an Olympic gold medal, or even a silver or bronze, it's a terrific achievement. Just goes to show, with dedication, passion and true determination, we can all achieve our dreams, big or small. So I'm actually enjoying watching the Olympics this year, especially the swimming. Big muscular men in tight swimming shorts, oh yeah, sign me up for more of that! haha. :D

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Don't Just Hear - LISTEN

Haven't shared this on here yet, but it has such a vital message. From one of my favourite YouTubers ever, it would be great if you could all share it.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012