An apology from Colin and Matt

I listen to a great radio show on Amazing Radio on saturday mornings. It’s called The Saturday Show with Colin and Matt, hosted by funny guys Colin Greaves and Matt Horne (no not that one!) .. i really enjoy their banter, the riddle, the burning question, the quirky news roundup, and the music they play.

A few weeks ago the burning question was: “The Postal Service! It’s a bit rubbish, really, isn’t it?” and because they were discussing the postal service, they thought it would be fun to ask for answers on a postcard. So i sent them a postcard. I didn’t have time to choose a funny one, or one with boobs on, which i know would have made them happy. So i sent them a scene of Winchester from my favourite local artist, Josephine Chisholm.

They received it the following week. They tweeted about it and posted this picture.

To me, that is iconic Winchester. The Buttercross, the old architecture, busking, St Giles’ Hill.

Matt liked it, but Colin wasn’t impressed. Comments such as: “That could be anywhere!” and insinuations that people in Winchester are all farmers. I remember the comment “Is that a wheelbarrow?” particularly stung! And of course, the lack of boobs was mentioned.

Anyway, so yesterday was a saturday and my partner and i decided to listen to XFM instead. I took part in Colin & Matt’s riddle on twitter, but let them know that i wasn’t listening because of the postcard comments!

Colin asked for my email address. I was hesitant, but figured it’s easily found on the internet so i sent Colin my email address.

Then today i received this!

Dear Aimee, a fan of our Saturday Show,
This is just a quick email, good morning, hello.
You sent us a postcard, the only one we’ve ever got,
And I said some bad things, am I proud? I am not.

You see, it’s not that I genuinely thought it was bad,
I thought it was great, I was happy, I was glad.
But for comedic effect, I said it was dire,
I’d come to regret this as things did transpire.

I’m so very sorry if you took offence to my ribbing,
If I said I didn’t care, I’d only be fibbing.
Our fans mean the world to us and you’re one of the best,
Upsetting or offending you leaves me rather distressed.

Please accept my sincere apologies, the postcard was ace,
We’ve even put it up on the wall, it’s taken centre place.
I’d hate for you to think we don’t appreciate our fans,
Going around insulting people is not part of our plans.

So I’m sorry, and thank you for being an absolute gem,
And please don’t stop listening and changing to XFM!

HOW SWEET IS THAT?!?!!

I’ve never had a personal poem written by a radio DJ before, it was so lovely! Of course, Colin is fully forgiven, and i’ll be listening again from next week!

But just in case that wasn’t enough, Colin also drew a picture for me!

What can i say? I’m truly blessed!

I heartily recommend The Saturday Show with Colin and Matt. You can find it 9am-12pm every saturday on Amazing Radio on DAB, or listen online: amazingradio.co.uk

"It All Comes Tumbling Down" lyrics

Oh, wow, Right Said Fred, great song you made here – an election anthem for the Lib Dems! I love the lyrics and the tune is so catchy!

Watch the video here: “It All Comes Tumbling Down” by Right Said Fred

Here are the lyrics:

Does Brown look elected to you?
He was just next in the queue.
Give us a shot, cos we’re sick of this lot!
Does Brown look elected to you?

Are you all tired of the norm?
Well now is the time for reform
There’s nothing strange about fairness and change
It’s just that you’ve never had it before

It’s been a party of two, well change is long overdue
And now it all comes tumbling down
Vinny and Nick – you know they won’t miss a trick
Because they’re clean and sound as a pound

It’s been a party of two, just the reds and the blues
But now it all comes tumbling down
Cameron, Brown, take a look at them now
We’re gonna run those cats out of town!

So gird up your loins and prepare
There’s an almighty change in the air
Just put a cross in the bright yellow box
There ain’t nothing else to compare

It’s been a party of two, well change is long overdue
And now it all comes tumbling down
Vinny and Nick – you know they won’t miss a trick
They’re clean and sound as a pound

It’s been a party of two, well change is long overdue
And they won’t leave you with a bill
We’re the Lib Dems – we’re your family of friends
We can and you know we will!

It’s been a party of two, just the reds and the blues
Now it all comes tumbling down
Cameron and Brown, take a look at them now
We’re gonna run those cats out of town!

I love it so much!

We’re the Lib Dems – we’re your family of friends! So totally awesome! :D

Mike Torr review in the Southern Daily Echo

A friend of mine who i met through geohashing and geocaching is a talented musician composer who has just started publishing music via Amazing Tunes and i am hoping will soon be played on Amazing Radio. I am greatly encouraged in this hope now that Mike has been discovered by Xan Phillips who features artists on Amazing Radio in the “Xan Down South” sessions. Here is an article from today’s Southern Daily Echo. Mike has scanned the picture here: Mike Torr in the Southern Daily Echo but since the resolution is poor, i have transcribed it:

IT was June 2007 when I first played Southampton composer Mike Torr’s music on the radio.

Tiny Lights was the track and it featured a staccato beat overlaid with a calming voice from a TV documentary saying: “look into the night sky: billions of tiny lights.”

Great stuff!

So I was delighted to discover his track, Euphoria had charted at amazingtunes.com, the website that powers Amazing Radio.

It features a sax solo by Chris Alpiar, a film composer in the US, who Mike’s never met, they just used the Internet to transfer each other’s music.

Naturally Mike’s delighted to be a hit: “It feels unexpected and frankly brilliant to be in the charts!” he told me. “I didn’t necessarily expect any public success, but of course it is gratifying that this project has found an appreciative audience!”

The album Collision took three years to complete and although a labour of love it forms just one strand of his output.

His main passion is film music and he’s recently teamed up with some Southampton directors on a couple of projects. “Working with other creative people with different skills is often very rewarding and I think a large feature film is the ultimate example of creative human co-operation.”

Both are documentaries in pre-production, one is about an Antarctic expedition documentary and the other enviromental.

Mike has some interesting theories about film music and we’ll be discussing that next week, but for now I suggest you discover his music at miketorr.com

Mike Torr can be found on AmazingTunes at amazingtunes.com/users/macronencer

Favourite songs of 2009

Around this time last year i posted my Feel-good songs of the year. I thought i might do the same again this year. These are the songs i’ve been enjoying this year, in no particular order.

The King Blues – Save The World Get The Girl – a catchy tune, nice London accents, and the memorable political message to Gordon Brown: “Going to war to prevent war is the most stupid thing I ever heard”.

Regina Spektor – Fidelity – This is the year that i really became a fan of Regina Spektor. It’s hard to choose my favourite song; they are all so good, but this one has an especially adorable video. Eet and Samson have also been played many times. Regina has such a beautiful pure voice which i never tire of hearing.

David Bowie – Life On Mars – features in this year’s favourites simply because i got into watching the television series Life On Mars early this year, and it reminds me of happy sunday afternoons curled up on the sofa watching the show.

La Roux – Bulletproof – Actually, basically anything by La Roux. I love their quirky style, both musically and visually. And i have to admit, i find Elly Jackson insanely attractive!

In October i heard about amazingtunes and amazingradio which have completely transformed my music listening habits. Amazingtunes is an ethical music site where any unsigned artist can upload their own music for the world to hear and buy. The great thing is: artists receive 70% of the download revenue, which is unheard of in the music industry. The best tunes get selected to be aired on amazingradio, where the listeners vote for them to be added to the general playlist.

Amazingradio is available in the UK on DAB digital radio, and online via iTunes or Windows Media Player. Our radio player has pretty much stayed constantly tuned to amazingradio for the last 2 months. It’s a great place to hear new music and support emerging artists. Here is a selection of my favourite music from amazingtunes:

Belle Humble – Try – a most excellent pop track which never fails to get me dancing whenever i hear it!

This Love Affair – Ifs, Buts and Maybes – guitar driven light rock, with a vocalist reminiscent of the Manic Street Preachers.

The Last Tycoons – The Dry Law – i have no idea what this song is about, and the country style is by no means my usual style of music, but i find it intriguing. I particularly like the line, “Everybody’s begging for forgiveness from the Lord, well i ain’t begging for a thing”.

Johan Lundgren – To Friends and Followers – another song with a country feel. A nice simple song, nothing fancy about it whatsoever, with a bittersweet message about the fact that we change friends and aquaintances over time. Some people we wish to stay in touch with, others we just “lost along the way”.

Richard Walker – Look At Yourself – I call this anti-emo music! It’s like: alright, this is your life, stop moping about it, you could blame everybody else, or you could take responsibility for the choices you’ve made. “If you’re looking for someone to ease your pain, take a look at yourself”. I don’t know if this would really help me if i was actually feeling miserable, though!

stornoway – Zorbing – quite a unique sound: a simple tune with an unusual accompaniment, nice harmonies. Zorbing is rolling down a hill in a giant inflatable ball. Something i want to try one day! :)

Well that’s about it. I hope you find something in there that you like. I do encourage you to listen to some songs on amazingtunes, and tune into amazingradio too. There’s a lot of talent in there waiting to be discovered.

Feel-good songs of the year

Four of my favourite songs of the year, which cheer me up no matter what i’m feeling:

The Holloways – Generator

May i remind you that you don’t live in poverty
You’ve got your youth, and you’ve got a roof over your head.

Noah and the Whale – Five Years Time

And though nearly all these moments are just in my head
I’ll be thinking about them as i’m lying in bed
And i know that really, it might not even come true
But in my mind i’m having a pretty good time with you.

A-Punk – Vampire Weekend

No point quoting any lyrics here – it’s the tune and the rhythm that i like so much!

Frank Turner – Reasons not to be an idiot

Why are you sat at home?
Your’re not designed to be alone.
It’s a lovely sunny day
Get up, get down and get outside!

Funny, all these songs have a kind of folk feel to them.

What are your favourite songs of the year? Not necessarily released this year, but what have you enjoyed listening to?

By sermoa Posted in music

Songbird!

Songbird 1.0 is finally here!

I have been using Songbird for a couple of years now instead of iTunes. I feel so proud that they have achieved the 1.0 milestone. Off to download it right now …! :)

Update: Oh, the icon has changed! For ever it has been a little egg, slowly cracking. Today it is a little yellow bird! How cute!! :D

OceanLab – Miracle

This week i went to a talk encouraging artists to help take action on climate change. If you don’t think artists can make a difference, i challenge you to watch this video.

Are you hoping for a miracle, as the ice caps melt away?
No use hoping for a miracle
There’s a price we’ll have to pay

It’s too easy to turn a blind eye to the light
It’s too easy to bow your head and pray
But there are some times when you should try to find your voice
This is one voice that you must find today.

A lovely song, and such beautiful imagery in the video. This has really made an impression on me today.

Are we human, or are we dancer?

Well the worst of my illness is definitely over: i have managed to stay awake all day and i have just made some delicious ginger cookies!

Ginger cookies

I haven’t made cookies for ages! They’re so fun and easy to make, and trust me: they taste wonderful!

I’ve decided not to go out to the fireworks tonight because the weather is not too happy. Besides, i can probably see them just from looking out of the window!

Have you all heard that lovely new song from The Killers?

Are we human, or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human, or are we dancer?

I really have no idea what the song is supposed to be about, but i love the tune and it makes me want to dance! I take it to mean that we have a choice how we go through our lives: worrying and stressing about everything or just choosing to let it all go … and dance instead! What do you think of the song, and what do you think it is about?

Church – week 3

Today was my third visit to the church. It’s a good place – i like it. The people are nice, and the music is great. They play quite modern tunes, lots i’ve never heard before, and also a few of the good old songs. They did the dreaded 4/4 version of Be Thou My Vision this morning – the version that sounded great the first time i heard it (in about 1998) and has been steadily annoying me ever since! You know what would be really awesome and innovative? Try playing Be Thou My Vision in a slow 3/4 as it was intended!

There was one song that i could not sing. I just could not agree with it in the slightest.

One way: Jesus
You’re the only one that I could live for

You are the Way the Truth and the Life
We live by faith and not by sight for You
We’re living all for You

Umm, no, sorry. I do believe that Jesus is one way, but not the way. Jesus is not the only way that people can know God. I am sure of this because i know plenty of people who have a wonderful, admirable relationship with God, without the need for Jesus. Ever had a chat with a Muslim during Ramadan?

You will never ever change
Yesterday today the same
Forever till forever meets no end

This idea that “God never changes” is dangerous, in my opinion. Change is good and healthy. If God never changed then we would still be stoning our daughters and women could still not be priests. Oh, wait …! Society changes and religion has to adapt or die. I think that’s pretty obvious.

There was one song that i really liked. It was about God, and mindfulness. It was quite mystical, like something from St Francis of Assisi.

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything

That is such a nice song. No surprise, it is written by Tim Hughes, one of my very favourite Christian artists … and not just because Tim Hughes is exceptionally cute! ;)

I spoke to someone afterwards about this thing i have about Jesus not being the only way. The response was something along the lines of: “Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you. I’m praying for you. There’s nothing worse than not knowing.”

There’s nothing worse than not knowing.

I agreed with that. I’d love to have something to believe in. But the more i think about it, there is something that i believe in. I agree wholeheartedly with something that a dear friend told me a long time ago:

Christians have not got everything right, and non-Christians have not got everything wrong.

The one thing i cannot stand with Christianity is this superiority thing. It’s been three weeks and already i feel under pressure to go along with what they believe. There seems such an urgency to make up my mind that Jesus is the only way! I must conform, i must agree. I’m sure they think they’re trying to help, but this is the very thing that puts me off.

I once left a church because they prayed that Muslims would “find Jesus” during Ramadan. I once left a prayer group because the leader was actively praying against the Muslims being allowed their own prayer group. I am very intolerant of intolerance!

The more i think about it, the more i believe Neale Donald Walsch has it right:

We are all one. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.

I have always wanted to go to a multi-faith church. I think that would suit me perfectly. The trouble is, where’s a multi-faith church anywhere near Winchester?!

I like church. I think church is, on the whole, good for me. It’s nice to feel i belong somewhere. I enjoy collective worship. I enjoy getting to know people and making friends with people. I just hope that they can accept me as an agnostic, not expect me to immediately jump to their way of thinking, and not expect me to want to run out and convert everyone.

People will all follow their own path. There is plenty of good in this world, and there is evil. There will always be a balance. God is good. Jesus is one way to God, other ways are also available.

PS. Here’s a link to that wonderful song by Tim Hughes.
PPS To be fair, here is also a link to the One way: Jesus song.

I need a new hobby

Once upon a time i used to turn my computer on straight away from coming home from work, and i often used to program and work on websites late into the evening. These days, however, i often don’t even bother to turn on the computer at all. I love programming, and i’m really enjoying the challenges of my job, but it cannot both a job and a hobby. I need to find a new hobby!

I’m really enjoying getting involved with the WinACC and being a low carbon champion. We went to a meeting this morning which was really good fun. I feel like i’m getting to know people a bit, which is nice. I’m also vaguely considering going to church again. Yeah, shock horror, i know! It’s very strange. I thought i was happy being agnostic. I feel i’d like to believe in something, but the trouble is, i need a child-like faith to believe in God, and i’m too analytical by nature. Much of Christianity just doesn’t seem to make sense to me, and yet, i’m still attracted to the idea of belonging to a church.

A hobby i’d like to explore more is astronomy. I would really like to get a telescope and explore the night skies a lot further. There’s so much to see out there, and it really fascinates me. Perhaps i need to join a local group of amateur astronomers.

I’d still like to do something with music. If i’m honest, perhaps that’s where church appeals to me. Good, lively, communal worship with a decent band really excites me, and i miss it. The trouble is, the churches which appeal to me musically usually tend to be the ones that really put me off with their extreme doctrines and beliefs.

Anyway, i seem to be blurting. I didn’t actually intend to come on here and talk about my spiritual desires right now!

Oh, i pre-ordered the Beedle the Bard book today at Waterstones. YAY! :D