Saturday, 30 April 2016

A Little Story About a Song...

Hello all!! It's been a while since I uploaded anything really. Or it at least feels like it. But today is story time, so I hope you are all sitting comfortably!

I adore a Scottish rock band called Biffy Clyro. I discovered them after the release of the 2013 double album Opposites, and since then have been exploring their back catalogue, and just falling in love. They are one of my favourite bands, and while, yes, I forget this sometimes, I always find myself going back to them, and all of these emotions flood back. 

They released an album in 2007 called Puzzle. Said album can be heard in a depressing way, as I first heard it. To tell you the truth, I avoided listening to the album for a very long time after nearly crying over breakfast when listening to it. I wasn't in a very good head-space at the time. Nothing major, just y'know, a thing. When I finally went back to the album, I overlooked the lyrics and listened for the music. 
That lasted until the final track on the album. That song is called Machines and I want you to listen to it right this very second. Do so by clicking here. Listen to the lyrics... 

Simon Neil, the frontman of Biffy said of the song "This is an acoustic song we recorded on the last day in the studio. I wanted the album to end on a positive vibe. No matter what you go through there's always hope. You can make yourself happy." 
For me, that is what the song represents. The lyrics hit me and changed my outlook on life a little. It's become on of the things that I tell people now, when they feel that they're stuck in a rut - take it one day at a time, and just keep moving forward. Each day that you survive is a little victory, and these pieces will create the whole picture. 

I don't word it quite as well as that, but I mean it in that way. 

And there is a little story about my favourite song off my favourite album by one of my favourite bands. I think it's a song everyone will need to hear at some point in their lives, and if that point is now for you, then I hope it helped, and I hope you sort things out. 

I will leave you with a lyric from Biffy's new single, Wolves of Winter... 

You can achieve anything, just remember, no 'I' in 'team' 
There's two in 'brilliant' 

What a lovely lyric!
Bye for now, 
Dottie x

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Record Store Day...

16th April 2016. That was the date of this year's Record Store Day, which, for those of you that don't know, is a day for music lovers and vinyl addicts to come together and celebrate the physicality of music (i.e. vinyl LPs, singles, etc.)

Record Store Day (which will henceforth be referred to as RSD because laziness) began in 2008, and today, independent record stores in every continent except Antarctica participate. Bands and artists will release special LPs, 7" or 12" singles, and various other cool vinyl products. In-store signings and gigs will take place, and fans will queue for literally hours to get their hands on limited edition vinyl of their favourite bands. 

I don't really know what to write about, but RSD is something that I discovered two years ago. I thought it was pretty cool, but obviously I had no interest in vinyl, and no way of listening to it. Fast forward two years, and I've participated in two RSDs, and have a very large collection of vinyl.. Five of which I bought for myself.. The other goodness-knows-how-many were given to me by my dad and my uncle.. 80s music.. Hell yeah!

I bet you're wondering what I bought at this year's RSD, right? Well... I can tell you now that I didn't buy any of this year's special releases.. I purchased a second-hand edition of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, the orchestral one. Orchestral!! It's pretty cool, and definitely one to check out, because it's a very clever album, kind of ahead of it's time, in a way, and composed when Mike Oldfield was only 19. Talent right there, dude! 

Last year, I went in search of Biffy Clyro's Puzzle, the 2007 album released on double 12" vinyl for the first time. I was unsuccessful last year, unfortunately, which is hardly surprising, as Biffy fans all over must have gone in search of it, as I did. I believe only around 3,000 were pressed... And this year, I managed to find the sacred album... In mint condition... The packaging has never even been opened! So, I purchased that.. Or rather, my dad did.. But I have been wildly searching for jobs for weeks, and once I get one, I will pay him back, and it will officially be my vinyl... My favourite Biffy Clyro album on my favourite format of playing music... I am so in love... 

So yeah, that was my Record Store Day! How was yours, did you do anything special or buy any interesting music?? Let me know!!

Talk soon!

Dottie x

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hey You...

Hey you. Yes, you. The one reading this right now. Do me a favour, yeah? Just one little thing. I want you to smile. That is literally all I am asking you to do. Smile. 

It felt good, right? And also possibly stupid, since that little voice in your head told you to do that.. But you smiled. And that is very important. Even if you're having a bad day, there is always one little moment where the dark clouds will shift a little, and a tiny ray of sunshine will appear. And you will smile, or feel a fleeting moment of happiness. 

We all struggle through some pretty tough shit sometimes, I get it, believe me. And we will struggle for what seems an eternity. But we'll make it. Just like we made it every other time we felt as though we couldn't. Because that is what we do. We are fighters, survivors. As a race, the human race, we have survived a hell of a lot. So you can survive this. Whatever it may be. You got it. 

But throughout all of that struggling.. There are still some beautiful moments that take the pain away for a while. 

I am going to give you an example.. I was having a pretty miserable morning today. There was no particular reason behind it, I was just a bit irritated, sad and lonely.. And I do what I always do on a Tuesday morning, and headed to the nearest coffee shop to kill time before college (and drink tea, of course). And for some reason I didn't manage to waste enough time in a coffee shop whilst playing on my phone, so I decided to walk to college quite slowly. 
And I am very glad I made this decision, because this is the result...

Which, okay, literally seems like the most boring photo ever.. And you would be right, it is. A couple of cars, some old warehouses by a boat harbour/dock place.. However the photo isn't the important part. What matters is that I smiled for the first time today when I took that photo, and I was able to walk into class as a happy person, because I'd taken the time to just be on my own and have a gentle stroll into college. 

I think we all get too caught up in our stresses and worries, which is of course understandable and it happens to the best of us, but we need to take some time out to just relax. I understand also that what I'm saying seems like such an easy thing, but that so many people really don't have much time in their day to chill out and watch a few episodes of a TV series on Netflix each evening. 

This is where the little moment of happiness comes in. At the end of each day, reflect. Accept that, yes, maybe it was a sad day, but there was a small moment that made it less so. And that moment is the one that you need to hold on to. 

I hope this made some sort of sense, and you enjoyed reading what I had to write!

Thanks again, 


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Beauty is Subjective...

Before I begin writing this post, I would like to say that it has been inspired by this post, entitled "Am I Pretty?" and is written by the ever-wonderful Sara Lou. So, before you begin reading what I have to say on this topic, please go and read what she has to say. 
So, go read Sara Lou's very beautiful post here.

Okay, have you read it? Okay, good. 

So. Here's the thing. We can all look in the mirror and see imperfections, see ourselves in a way that other people don't. There is a reason for that. We are so used to our faces, so used to looking at them, that we can spot things that shouldn't be there, a blemish, for example. And we will focus on this so-called imperfection, which makes it stand out more, we notice it more. It's the same with features that we don't like, too. But when someone else looks at you, they don't focus on what you see as less than perfect. They see you as a whole person. And while not everyone will find you attractive, they cannot say that you're unattractive. Every other person you know, and even strangers you pass on the street will not see what you think is so obvious, so awful. It's the same when you look at people - you don't see them as having a weird nose or out of proportion features or whatnot. 

What I'm trying to say here is something that my boyfriend tells me all the time - beauty is subjective. This means that what one person finds attractive may not be attractive to the next person. I do not see myself as an attractive person. I mean, I'm not saying that I'm ugly or anything, but I don't see myself as attractive or beautiful. My boyfriend feels the same way about himself. Yet we are attracted to each other, partly because we like similar things and have some pretty interesting conversations, but we find each other physically appealing too, I guess. But beauty is subjective. It's influenced by things such as personal taste and feelings. 

So you might find someone attractive, while your best friend does not. 

And we get so caught up in the idea of being attractive to everyone that we forget that this is impossible. I'm not telling you not to dress up or do your make-up, because those things are fun, but I am telling you to make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons. 
I see so many younger girls nowadays saying that they hate their perfectly acceptable bodies, and that they feel the need to coat their face in make-up to feel pretty. And this is wrong. Sometimes I wonder if self-loathing is becoming a trend, and yes, Sara Lou pointed out to me that it is. And that's awful. 
No matter your gender, because this isn't just an issue for girls, you should never hate yourself, or feel the need to hide behind something just to feel accepted. I never wear a lot of make-up. I have bad skin sometimes, I get spots, gross ones. But everyone does. And yes, we all have down days, but I know that spots go away and my face looks damn fine with, or without them. 

I want to start promoting self love. I want anyone reading this right now to write a tweet or a facebook status, or a blog post if that's your thing.. And I want you to start a discussion about self love. Talk about your imperfections, the parts of yourself that you don't like, yes, but realise that despite this, you can love yourself. And another thing.. I want us all to stop feeling like everything is a competition - it's not. If you think your best friend looks stunning, then say so! If you see a stranger wearing a bloody remarkable outfit that you only wish you could rock, then tell them, even if it is a little awkward. It's little things like that, that will help to build a person's self esteem, and help them on their way to loving themselves. 
We need to stop ripping apart other people, because it's not doing us any good. 

Remember that self love is important, and not wrong, or vain. Remember that there is nothing wrong with complimenting someone if you think they deserve it. Remember that beauty is subjective, and you should be looking good only for yourself. 

I love you guys. 
- Dottie. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Music Questions Answered.... (Part One)

This post is inspired by Emma, who has written/will write her own answers to these questions! 

1. A song that you like with a colour in the title... Would have to be Small Blue Thing by a wonderful artist called Suzanne Vega. Her music is so beautiful and well-crafted, and I am pleasantly surprised to find that I own a few of her LPs.

2. A song that you like with a number in the title... Would be 20 Years by The Civil Wars. Again, their music is dominated by stunning acoustic guitar, and some really lovely vocals! 

3. A song that reminds you of summer time... Is George Ezra's Drawing Board. I find this song kind of funny, and just interesting, in a lyrical sense. I have a memory of waiting for the release of this album, and joining a listening party on Apple, as he streamed the album before it's release. The dude has also liked a couple of my tweets, too! Definitely one to check out, as are the rest of his songs. 

4. A song that reminds you of someone that you would rather forget about... Is really hard to come up with, as everyone in my life right now deserves a place here, and those who aren't in my life have left for a reason. I guess I could say Sum 41's Over My Head, as I know that someone I used to be really close to listened to it, before we kind of broke things off badly. However, we parted officially on good terms, so this is a terrible answer. 

5. A song that needs to be played LOUD... Is without a doubt Sorry You're Not a Winner by the bloody amazing Enter Shikari! I've seen them live twice, and each time, I had so much fun yelling along and moshing to this song. It's honestly just brilliant! Plus, okay dude, the video is funny/brilliant, okay?! 

6. A song that makes you want to dance... Is a song with the word 'dance' in the title; Shut Up and Dance With Me by WALK THE MOON is just a catchy song, and you have to dance around your room like an idiot every single time it plays. Every. Single.Time. 

7. A song to drive to... is again Shut Up and Dance With Me. Because I was in a car with Emma and her sister, and this song was played, and it just made me very happy! 

8. A song about drugs or alcohol... is a proper raw punk song by the Ramones called Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. Yup..It's the Ramones, so it's obviously a pretty raw, punky song.. And they were a '70s band, meaning there was a lot of drug use and abuse, and all of that jazz.. It's not necessarily a good song, but it fits the theme of this question, and I do quite like the band. 

9. A song that makes you happy... In particular, a song that makes me happy is Mad World, as covered by King Tut's Revenge. It's a really interesting take on the song, and gives a totally different emotion to both the original, and the better-known cover by Gary Jules. If you're ever down, just give it a listen, and have a dance. Boom! Instant mood booster right there. 

10. A song that makes you sad... I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, originally by The Everly Brothers, is a beautifully emotional song. The first time I heard it, it was covered by Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) and Norah Jones, so that is the version I have linked. I can't really listen to the album they recorded, as it is really sad.. 

11. A song that you never get tired of... is Slash and Myles Kennedy's cover of Sweet Child O' Mine because it's stunning and so beautiful. I could most definitely listen to it again and again, and I actually do. Stunning. 

12. A song from your pre-teen years... When I was a pre-teen, I listened to lots of different music Not rock/punk/whatever I listen to now.. Just different, I guess, for a kid? A song from my pre-teen years would be Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head by a band called the Gorillaz... And I still listen to them today. Because the album this song is from is really cool, and you can shut up.. 

13. One of your favourite 80s songs... Is really difficult to choose, because I do tend to listen to an awful lot of 80s music sometimes, since I own over 100 vinyl LPs from late 70s/early 80s/90s.. I am not going to go with a typical 80s song for this, and am instead going to opt for Calypso by the stunning Suzanne Vega. I was listening to it the other day, and I cannot get over how beautiful it is. (Apologies about the quality, and the weird video..)

14. A song that you would love played at your wedding... Is a really difficult question to ask me, because thinking about a really long-term commitment like marriage really scares me, so I don't do so.. I am going to have to leave this question unanswered, sorry. 

15. A song that is a cover by another artist... I've already mentioned a few in this post, however I'm sure I can come up with one more.. A guy called Josh Pyke has done a pretty cool cover of Chandelier, which you should totally check out! I'm pretty sure he uses a loop pedal to do so, which I totally love! 

I hope you all found this post interesting! I actually found it really difficult to write! Look out for part two, coming at some point!!

Bye for now!!
- Dottie.