Friday, 25 February 2011

Songs of Definition pt.1

The Smiths - 'Accept Yourself'
Imagine yourself as a lanky, acne-ridden, fourteen year old. Physically you are a gargantuan target for ridicule. Luckily, you are a step above the true victims of high school life, the outcasts who spend every minute of the school day regretting their existence. Imagine you are a lanky, acne-ridden fourteen year old who has managed to avoid the pit of constant bullying. Sure, the bigger, cooler kids pick on you every now and again for being a 'boffin' or for being a bit 'weird' but you're by no means a suicide case. Imagine you're favourite subjects are History and in particular, English Literature. Imagine you love football, movies and music.
You are imagining me.
I felt out of place, as though I would never fit into the mould my friends, my parents and my teachers insisted on putting me in. "You can make something of yourself. You're a bright lad." I had neither the incentive nor the inclination to 'make something of myself'. I felt as though my close knit group of family and friends were forcing me into a corner. I often felt alone in a room of people I called my closest. It's a very adolescent sensation, to feel so very different to your peers but most teenagers go through it and I was no different. The torment I experienced daily, inside my own skull was greater than any external worry I could ever have had about what girls fancied me or the size of my dick or whether I could pop a boner on demand. Feeling like some kind of outsider, while enjoying the luxuries of a large group of people who loved me was a very strange experience. Guilt and disappointment.
By this time, as with most kids my age I was very familiar with a band called The Smiths, led by Johnny Marr's driving guitar and Morrissey's witty lyrics. I claimed songs like 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' and 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' were personal anthems but even then when I was at my most moping, at my most angsty and forlorn I felt that it was all a bit much, as though all of this emotion was a bit silly.
With my devotion to The Smiths at an all-time high I pooled some money together and bought 'Hatful of Hollow', a collection of B-Sides and John Peel sessions. On this was a song called 'Accept Yourself' in which Morrissey's wordplay was at it's most succinct. Playfully joking with lines that actually resonated with me. As was the way with Mozza, he made the most imploring messages seem commonplace with his everyman turn of phrase and irreverent humour. I won't patronise you by going into a full analysis of each line, explaining why they appealed to me so much at this juncture in my maturing brain but it was finally a song that rather than reinforcing any negatives in your situation or merely pretending everything was going to turn out alright, it was a song that jauntily suggested just accepting that you are going to look, behave and think the way you are doing BECAUSE you are you. Nothing else. You are who you are and rather than trying to struggle against the current or, indeed, submit, just enjoy the fact that you are a human being, much like any other human being with your talents, fancies, insecurities and issues. It reminded me that, Jesus, we're all a bit fucked up, we're all under duress but you needn't worry about yourself because that's the least of your worries.

By J. F. Rudge.
Twitter: @Johnny_Rudge

Thursday, 24 February 2011

MTM an Intro

More Than Music....It's a feeling.
This blog is intended as a platform for music lovers to introduce other people to music they may never have heard or to review new or old releases or post a tracklist and tell everyone the importance of the songs included, literally anything musical goes and hopefully we can get a few people contributing.
As this is just an opening shot at this blogspot I'll chuck a recollection of one of the songs that stands out as memorable for the first time I heard it.

The Verve "The Drugs Don't Work"

After High School, I flirted briefly with A levels, consisting of Psychology, Sociology and English Lit, at the same time I was working part time at SuperDrug, stacking shelves on the tills and general Saturday kid duties. Like everybody of that age, I think, I was experimenting with how much I could drink, take and smoke before passing out, so soon enough, I was doing more hours on West Brom High Street, than at the college campus just to fund growing habits. Whilst working at SuperDrug I met a girl who I ended up living with for a couple of years, I quit college and SuperDrug, found full time work whilst she finished her A levels.

After she got her results, she decided to take a job as a lab assistant rather than carry on to University which displeased her parents. 12 months further in and she's changed her mind and enrols at the University of Manchester, leaving with promises of fortnightly trips back to visit. Not currently earning enough to make ends meet on my own, I moved back in with the folks, who themselves were on an un-repairable drift away from each other. Anybody who has left home and had to move back will tell you, it's horrid, all that freedom lost! My drinking and what not escalated causing ructions to the point I thought it best I found somewhere on my own.

By now I was working in a record shop in West Bromwich and found a cheap flat above the sports shop next door.
Around this time a couple of things hit me.

Princess Diana died and although I was not part of the national outpouring of emotion, it was one of those things that initially you don't believe can happen to someone of their worldwide stature.

Also Ms.Geology Degree decided to put me out my misery.
I'd been ignoring the fact she was back only during half terms and other breaks, I even kept the flame alive while she spent a summer break in South America rather than with me in my filthy flat!
It hurt but I carried on regardless safe in the knowledge I could afford lager and blow.
Over that period I also cut myself off from my family and any remaining friends from school.
I was drunk, drugged and lonely.
And then Steve Lamaq's exclusive play of the Verve's second single off Urban Hymns came on Radio 1's Evening Session.
And that is the only time I've ever cried at a song.

posted by Adam Rudge
twitter @rudgey76