Monday, February 22, 2010

Robbie Williams | Reality Killed The Video Star

My latest CD/Album of the moment has to be Robbie Williams' "Reality Killed The Video Star" and I make it my selection for #musicmonday this week.

I must admit to falling out of favour with Robbie since he did the "Swing when Your Winning" album, swing being one of the few genres of music that I do not like. Following that collection of critically acclaimed old time favourites, he seemed to dissapear into the wilderness for a while. His latest music however has resulted in that unmistakeable voice of his sounding once more in my lug-holes.

Robert Williams was born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, within a few miles of where I have lived all my life. I also worked for a period of around fifteen years in his home town of Tunstall where everyone seemed to have some connection to the Williams family. They knew him, grew up with him, knew his mum or lived next door to someone who's sisters uncles girlfriends dog was once boarded in the kennel next to his mothers aunties dog. He, Robbie that is not the dog, was never fortunate enough to know me personally.

I can't say I was ever a fan of the original Take That but from the minute that Robbie Williams launched his solo career I sensed a completely different style of music emerge from him. I was instantly hooked, not particularly on Robbie the man but definitely on Robbie the musician and performer.

His first three albums "Life thru a Lens" "Millennium" and then "I've Been Expecting You" each made their way onto my all time favourites list. I enjoyed the brilliance of "Angels" long before it became a hit and was universally loved by so many.

But what about "Reality Killed The Video Star." This I feel marks a return to the Robbie Williams sound that I first enjoyed. I believe the album was mostly written in Robbie's home studio and he collaborated with a number of songwriters to produce the tracks. In my opinion the time spent producing this piece of work was time very well spent, it contains all the old Robbie Williams magic.

Reality Killed The Video Star - Tracks:
Morning Sun
Bodies
You Know Me
Blasphemy
Do You Mind
Last Days Of Disco
Somewhere
Deceptacon
Starstruck
Difficult For Weirdos
Won't Do That
Superblind
Morning Sun (Reprise)

Released in November 2009, "Reality Killed The Video Star" is easily obtained on CD or on download. I have also played tracks from the album on my Blip.fm station.
Have a listen now by following this link http://blip.fm/woodpecker50

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snow Again

I could hardly believe my eyes this morning as I peered through the curtains - Snow Again.

Most years a fall of snow would be a once-a-year event, this year it's becoming normal. Is this what we will come to expect in our winters. Are the changes to our weather pattern all a result of global warming, or is it simply a natural cycle of change.

I look out the window and I see very little activity, throughout the day very few people seem to walk up or down the street. The snow fails now to bring the children out of doors, at least around here. I cannot see anyone enjoying snowball fights or building snowmen, I am sure if I was young and fit I would have been out there today. As it is the day has been spent inside the house again, passing away the time wishing that the wintry weather would come to an end.





Friday, February 19, 2010

Snow for a Change | Weather Forecast | Staffordshire England

We have not had any snow for a few days, apart from odd little flurries that failed to stick, until last night that is. Tucked away from the world inside our house cosy and warm, I was quite surprised to look through the window before going to bed to discover that it had been snowing. It was in fact still snowing, quite big fluffy flakes of snow and already it had laid a blanket on the ground. I quickly closed the curtains and shut it out, enjoying instead the feeling of warmth and comfort from being inside our snug little house.

The snow continued through the night. I am often awake throughout the night and sometimes unable to lie in bed, last night was one such night, so I did continue to sneak a peak through the window. Luckily we did not suffer a plummeting thermometer and so the snow failed to build up to any significant depth. As the morning progressed towards dawn, a very fine rain took over and the snow in places began to melt away.

As the daylight established the true start of morning, I could see the blackbirds waiting on the fence and in the Pear tree. Snow covered the back garden completely save for odd looking rings of bare earth around some of the plant pots and the birds maybe felt they would sink into the snow if they landed onto the herb garden where the mealworms are put out for them.

After feeding the birds and adding some warm water to the bird bath, for I had noticed that although not frozen solid the contents resembled a huge slush puppy, I decided to switch on my connection to the internet and see what weather was in store for us.


I think I'll just keep the curtains drawn !!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blip.fm | Music monday

I have recently signed up to Blip.fm a fun and social way to share music. One of the cool things about it that I like so much is the ability to link blips to your Twitter account.

A “blip” on Blip.fm is a way to share a song and with the option of adding a short message under 150 characters, like a tweet in Twitter. If you have linked your Blip.fm account to your Twitter account then the blip appears in your Twitter time line along with a link to the music. (There is also the option to connect with a Facebook account).

In "account settings" you can choose whether you want the links active or not. This is great if you are trying out songs or modifying your playlists and do not wish blips to show up in your Twitter updates.

With Blip.fm you become a DJ playing the music of your choice. You can also create your own playlist and listen to other user’s playlists as well. This is a great way to discover new music or perhaps be reminded of some of the songs you liked in the past. Discover other DJ's and add them to a list of favourites, keep blipping music and people who like what you play will choose to follow you.

Oh and by the way, it is totally free.

Blip.fm is simply another social networking tool with the emphasis on music, bringing together people who share the same tastes.

To sign up to blip.fm (quick,easy and safe) go to Blip.fm

If you would like to visit me on Blip you will find my station here; http://blip.fm/invite/woodpecker50

You can find me on twitter here; http://twitter.com/Woodpecker50

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Poetry corner

The boy stood on the burning deck,
His body all a-quiver.
He gave a cough,
His leg fell off,
And floated down the river

A streaker running through the park,
had buttocks like a peach.
Two old ladies had a stroke,
the third one could not reach.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mumford & Sons | Music Monday

I was watching Bargain Hunt at lunch time, this being my normal lunchtime activity if at home, when I noticed that the background music of the programme was that of Mumford and Sons. I decided to make the Mumford and Sons album "Sigh no More" the object of today's Music Monday selection.

Music Monday:
Music monday ( hashtag #musicmonday ) is a term given to a favourite trending topic featuring on the social networking site, Twitter. Those of you who are already a part of the Twitter community can find me on Twitter here; @woodpecker50 ). If you want to join twitter then visit the website and you are able to join in a matter of seconds. all you need to submit is a user name, password and email address.

Blip fm:
I have also recently joined Blip.fm, this is a free to join online radio station where you play the songs of your choice. You can then invite others to listen in to your songs or playlists if you so wish. I have only just started on Blip but it does seem OK and easy to use. There also seems to be a vast choice of music on there to listen to. Here is the link to my station - http://blip.fm/woodpecker50

Back to Mumford and Sons:
It was Christmas morning (2009) when I was first introduced to Mumford and Sons by daughter "P" who had been given the CD as a gift. She played it for me, being sure that I would like it and she was indeed correct. I immediately thought of them as being an Irish folk band, musically accomplished, performing a music rich in melody yet played with passion and vitality. The vocals were filled with close harmony, at times soft and gentle, then raw and rugged.


I was surprised to discover that far from being Irish they are in fact 4 young men in their twenties from West London. The genre of their music is loosely defined as folk rock whereas their individual backgrounds embrace jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk and rock.

They are a band of four vocalists, three guitar players, two drummers, a pianist, an organist and a bass player, while the banjo, dobro and mandolin are often thrown into the mix for good measure.

Needless to say I was soon out buying the CD for myself and have been playing it often ever since. Today I have featured on Blip.fm, four of what are possibly my favourite tracks off the album. Have a listen and see if you agree. The album is available on CD from all the usual outlets or for download.