Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Lion’s Tunes #12

Welcome to another edition of The Lion’s Tunes.

At the suggestion of a close friend, I decided to put my love of music to good use.

She pointed out to me that since I love music and listen to so much of it, I should share what songs I’m currently jamming to at the moment.

I usually tweet or Facebook about what music has got me all caught up and catching feelings, but putting it into one space really allows me to savour the music.

I’m by no means a music expert and I won’t pretend to be. Most of what will be written here is information I’ve learned on the net and just my personal opinions on the songs. So have at it...

·         Song:  Life Itself
Artist: Glass Animals

I can’t even remember how I discovered this band, but honestly it was such a awesome moment when I did. I have featured them before on my music blog post series, but recently the band released new music, and as soon as I saw this I got so excited.

To me their music is very psychedelic pop. It is difficult to really explain, but you have to listen to it for yourself to understand. Their new song “Life Itself” has me feeling goosebumps the very first time I heard it. I was like “oooh, what is this!”

I just like their vibe, and there was a comment on the music video that I found so funny, and had to share:

While Zaba [previous album] was more slipping into the jungle and losing yourself,
this feels more like you’re exploring the jungle and finding yourself ...”

They have been doing the music video story line thing so I am going to post 3 here also. If you want to find the others then you can find them on the YouTube.

·         Song:  Fake It
Artist: Bastille

The first single for Bastille's fortcoming album, "Good Grief", did nothing for me. I was a bit worried that after their time away, my love and appreciation for the band had dulled. I was scared that I would  fall out of love with them, and when the first track dropped, it was a scary sign that maybe I was right.

Thankfully I wasn't because I am fucking in love with their latest single "Fake It". It is the Bastille I love, and also allows me to really enjoy the vocals of Dan. There is something so wonderful about this song.

I have been murdering the song on repeat. I also noticed that they did a live version of it, and I always love listening to the live versions because it is very telling how much of the artist/band is produced versus talent.

·         Song:  CTRL+ALT+DEL
Artist: Jimmy Nevis, Opposite the Other

My love for songs that come out of those collaboration shows vary. Sometimes I love it, while other time I don't. This song came out of one of those shows where two artists from contrasting genres get together and create a song. It is often done with the purpose of seeing where the process takes them and what sound they come up.

There is a lot more to the story but that doesn't matter as what came out of the process was this really really amazing song that I am loving.

·         Song:  Consideration
Artist: Rihanna ft SZA

While ANTI was released a few weeks before Lemonade, I only got around to listening to the album after.

I had been a little dissuaded by other people’s reviews of the album, and besides I had never really been a big Rihanna fan. I liked her music, but outside of the music, I was not really caught up in her vibe.

Anyway, I finally got around to listening to the album, and while I do feel like Rihanna is due for a break from the music industry, this album is pretty great. She delivered what felt to me like her best vocal performance to date. No one can deny that she put effort and pushed her vocally because that is what she did.

Everyone assumed that because of “Work” she was just going through the motions, but then we all found out that it was actually paying homage to Jamaica and her roots with the pronunciation, and it all made us look at the song differently.

Consideration, is one of my favourites.

·         Song:  Fall Together
Artist: The Temper Trap

Can I just say how happy I am that The Temper Trap released this song??

Over the past year, I have come to realise just how much I actually loved the band. They were the group whose music I always enjoyed, but I just never realised that I was singing along to their music. It took for their previous single “Sweet Disposition” for me to realise how dumb I was being, and I was really dumb because that had been the last single for quite some time from the band.

I was so relieved when I heard on a new music show that they have put out a new song.

The first time I heard it, was the first time I loved it. I have subsequently added it to my favourites and love listening to it in the mornings on the bus to work.

Bonus: This man live is a pitch perfect rendition of the studio track

·         Song:  Particles 
Artist: Ólafur Arnalds ft. Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir

My dear friend Chelsea and I love the band Of Monsters and Men. Going to their concert in Cape Town was honestly one of the best experiences of my life because I don't think I ever felt so uncontrollably happy. It was a truly special moment.

So my friend Chelsea really really just loves Nanna,who is the lead singer of OMAM. The band looks to all have returned back to Iceland and enjoying some downtime. While back home, Nanna collaborated with a fellow artist. Chelsea introduced me to the song, and I am grateful she did because it gives me goosebumps.

·         Song:  Cool Girl
Artist:  Tove Lo

I was really worried that her new single from her forthcoming album wouldn't be good. The first listen of "Cool Girl" had me on the fence but now I am murdering the new Tove Lo track. She is a artist who sings about the fun and naughty stuff in life that I don't always relate to, but I get who she is and her commitment to her music. That is why I really like her stuff.

Looking forward to her album "Lady Wood" in October.

·         Song:  The Whip
Artist:  PHFAT & Mikhaela Faye

PHFAT is a South African music producer/rapper and his love for Hip-hop has always been clear in his music. I particularly became increasingly aware of the rapper after a collaboration he did with a folk pop South African band. I had previously included it on “The Lion’s Tunes”.

This new song is not usually my kind of thing, but it got to me and I really like it. Good music is good music, and this is definitely it.

·         Song:  Poetic (Norde Remix)
Artist: Seinabo Sey

I heard the original, and thought it was pretty cool. The lyrics were definitely highlighted, and it had a distinct spoken word vibe to it. With the remix, I really like the new direction the song took, giving it different spin, and energy that the original lacked for me.

Seinabo Sey is really talented, and you should go check out her other stuff to get a deeper understanding of her music.

·         Song:  Couldn’t Believe
Artist: Broods

I like this duo. They are increasingly growing on me after being introduced to them by Troye Sivan.  There is something that soothes about this particular song, especially when listening to it at 10PM in bed. It just has a calming effect. There first single “Free” was more upbeat, and I thoroughly liked it, but I also like how different this song is to that.

·         Song:  Take a Chance
Artist: Flume ft Little Dragon

I love how the song isn’t what you think it is. It starts out slow, but it buildings and when it gets into the drop, it took the building and upped the ante of the song. It is a great song to groove to and even to use as a 5 minute track to add to your gym regime if you want to have a song that builds into a sprint and then eases you out to a walk.

I have liked what Flume has been putting out ever since discovering “Never Be Like You”. His other song with Tove Lo (who I adore) is great too if you want to go give it a listen.

Bonus: Innocence ft AlunaGeorge

·         Song:  Into You remix
Artist: Ariana Grande

I first heard this song by one of the interns in the office who said that Ariana’s album is worth a listen, and that this was one of his favourites on it. She also released a music video for it.

The thing that caught me about this song was that there was a difference when listening to it with earphones/headphones and just laying it on speakers. I find that you hear more of the song with earphones/headphones as opposed to it just blaring through the speakers.

I really like the different beat added in to the remix of the song.

Bonus: Side to Side ft Nicki Minaj

·         Song:  Nikes
Artist:  Frank Ocean

By now everyone is aware that Frank Ocean has FINALLY released new music. He was trending for the last month on a regular basis with everyone patiently waiting (nagging) him to get his shit together and release this damn album.

Count us surprised when he not only drops a visual album, ENDLESS, he goes and drops, "Blonde" too and a graphic novel. Safe to say after he id done touring this, we won't see Frank until 2030...

Bonus: Pink+White

He did collab with a Beyonce that had everyone just falling in love with the song, but it is okay if after the first listen you go, "Where was Beyonce on it though?" because that was literally me. I only figured on the second listening that Queen Bey was doing some melodic phrasing and runs on the song.

Frank Ocean is probably one of the few people who could get Beyonce to back him up on a track with no singing.

[No good quality audio video could be found to embed]

·         Song: I Need A Firest Fire ft Bon Iver
Artist: James Blake

James Blake has released a new album, “The Colour in Anything” and I was scrolling down YouTube listening to a few songs and stumbled across a review. It was interesting watching it because it pointed out the transition that has happened with Blake.

He is still doing individualist things with his music, but he has also found more mainstream appeal in recent years. I heard of James Blake a few years back because of a university friend, where I fell in love with his sound "Life Round Here". His stuff was very hipster and fringe, but now it still is still hipster, but mainstream hipster.

He had a few writing credits on Beyonce’s Lemonade even having a collab on her album “Forward” where he featured on the track more than Beyonce. If Beyonce practically gives you a track on her own album, you know that you must be slaying.

I Need A Forest Fire with Bon Iver is my number 1 favourites, but I also love Modern Soul, Radio Silence, Choose Me and Two Men Down.

Bonus: Bon Ive - 22

Theo. Over and Out

Bonus - Throwback James Blake

Discovering my wanderlust...

In the main center in Grahamstown.
I had hoped to write this post sooner, but I have been extremely busy with work.

The Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival rolled into the Cape Times #ElectionsTrek and finally Elections itself. I have very actively lately complaining about how tired I am.

I am actually hoping to take off soon, but besides my complaints, my recently work activities did make me realise how fortunate I am.

I had never been on an aeroplane before until I was selected to go and cover the National Arts Festival in Grahamastown. The whole Arts Fest experience was so amazing and eyes opening, to quote the slogan it was “11 Days of Amazing”.

I won’t recap too much of what I did because I did write a live blog for work which you can find here, but it was a truly wonderful, sometimes stressful experience where I learned a little more about myself.
It was so great learning about a town that I had never been to, and if you ever want to learn about a town in a short span of time, the Arts Fest is it. You have shows across the town, and it forces you to be a little adventurer.

What I loved most about the whole experience was that it ignited this desire in me to travel more.

I’ve always had this desire to travel, but it did so in a completely different way.

I had only been back in Cape Town for about a week before going away another week-long work trip.
 It was part of the Cape Times’ election coverage where a reporter, a photographer and I travelled to a few of the smaller towns within our province to find out how people felt about elections.

It was enlightening because you are driving to towns, which people usually drive past.

We visited 5 towns in a week, and visiting these smaller towns made me appreciate them. I will never shy away from just stopping into a little town while on a road trip because you can never know what you might learn.

The people I have met through my trips, the stories I’ve heard and the experiences I had are all memories that I will never forget. All of these things have given me a greater insight into the world around me.

A super awesome friend and I are actually tentatively making plans to go on a Euro-tour in about two years, and I cannot wait. Sure I would love to go overseas before then, but I am not above hard work to get myself there.

I will definitely encourage others to explore the area and world around them because you never know what awaits, and for myself, it is something I look forward to exploring further.

Friday, 5 August 2016

HETEROBORIA – My Neologism

I am not even going to pretend that I am not weird, or a little of an oddball.

As emotionally exhausting, and alienating as that can be a lot of the time, it also gives me wonderful insights into things and allows me to look at situations from a different perspective.

A random strand of this is that I am a very creative person.

A unusual thing happened when I was on social media recently, and I came across someone’s twitter account. I instantly found myself developing a little online crush on someone (which is not the first time this happened) and so I scrolled through their account.

The more I scrolled the more the journalist in me was unleashed, trying to figure out if this person batted for my team - using their pictures and tweets to decide if there was a homosexual undertone to anything they put out.

I instantly became uninterested in this person when my research showed me they were heterosexual.

In my mind, their opinions on an array of subjects was no longer interesting. It lost that dynamic and complex layer of thinking that I had interpreted as being there.

The person just became another cisgender heterosexual male, who I am sure is intelligent, cool and has something that makes them idiosyncratic, but whatever that was I could no longer see it.

Something that made them stand out in my mind, vanished.

It was in that moment this new word pop into my mind – HETEROBORIA.

The word would come from putting the roots of heterosexual (hetero) and bored (bor) together to come up with this word –heteroboria.

Sometime passed and I still thought about this experience. The more I would come across someone on social media who I thought was interesting, would then become less so once I saw that they were heterosexual.

I was being a little tongue-in-cheek and made a picture of this Theo-ism (a theo-ism because my name is Theo and it is something I made up).

Once I did this, I spammed all my friends with my creativity saying “Look at how genius I am at coming up with this NEW word”. 

My friends indulged me, and appreciated how weird I was being, but while chatting with a fellow gay friend, he pointed out that a few days before he had experienced the same type of feeling.

He was having a chat with someone else and in this conversation he had ended up describing the feeling of heteroboria.

Besides feeling validated, I could only just laugh about it.

While this word is probably not going to redefine the use of the English language, and I will probably not receive any awards for it, I can at least appreciate the fact that my unique perspective on this allows me to come up with such eclectic things.

If nothing else comes from this, I can rest contently knowing that I created a word that entertained the loved ones in my life, and made someone smile.

Yours Sincerely,
The Lion Mutters

PS – While I can admit to not have the best grammar, and my spelling isn’t always flawless, it is trippy seeing the number of times the word heterboria was underlined as I typed this. Lol.