Saturday, 17 September 2011

Attempting talking about songs in real life.

 This week, I was given a golden opportunity to deliver the discussing of music that I've gotten quite good at through blogging in front of real people. I discovered this last friday at my Boys Brigade session, where it was announced a number of guys there would have the opportunity to bring in our music playing devices (most manufactured by Apple) with the instruction to share a song with each other.
 We weren't to pick a song simply because it was our favourites. The idea instead was to think of a song that is very important to you, if it brought back a special memory or had a special meaning to you, simply a song which triggered a emotional response as it brought back a memory of some sort.
 I put a lot of though into it and came up with the thought to use a song and came up with the idea to use a song that was one of the first to get me into the heavier music that I idolize so much today. However, I also wanted to pick something that would really surprise the guys who were doing this music challenge with me, who frankly were expecting me to pick (sic) by Slipknot. I figured it would be better if I chose something that would really throw them off course, so I reflected further back on my life than my discovery of Iowan legends.
 I had to think of the first song I heard which introduced a more aggressive side of music to me, when I remembered what song that was, it was just the perfect song to use. When I thought more about the song I realized it was by a band that I've looked up to ever since and still go crazy for today. The fact that I still do after seeing the masses of criticism they've received over the years really helps put forward their underlying message not to let anyone get you down and not care about what anyone thinks of you. Because I decided the song I was going to use was the furious and adrenaline fueled piece of pop punk that is I'm Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance.
 And so, with this in mind, I thought of some things I could say about it with all my thoughts of it in mind. However, as I discovered at BB, we could only play a minute of the song, de to the large amounts of people who wanted a shot. I figured I would start playing the song from the second chorus, therefore giving an opportunity to hear the life changing chorus in full, as well as Ray Toro's sassy guitar solo, and the eerie piano bridge followed by the first type of vocals I heard which bared some resemblance to a scream vocal, as Gerard Way violently screams "Kay". It seemed perfect.
 So, it was obvious I was going to come across problems. Starting with my iPod commiting temorary suicide that afternoon and being in need of a restoration. Now this would not be a problem for most people, but when your iPod contains 4758 tracks, that means uploading all your music takes that bit longer. It meant I had to use my older clunkier iPod Classic model, rather than my sleeker Touch which made me feel horribly unprepared and incredibly petty about the things I choose to complain about.
 But that was no real problem. I'd simply pop my iPod on those speakers and get some MCR playing to everyone. Which is where the second problem cropped up. My excitement in taking part in the activity was completely dashed after the instructor doing it with us revealed that they had not brought speakers, but assumed that everyone's devices had speakers attached to them. Suddenly having to take a different iPod does become a real issue. My iPod Touch has actual speakers. Granted they have a quality that sounds like you're listening to the song in another room, but it had speakers nonetheless. I had to rely on holding out my earphones, which thankfully were fairly loud, while everyone crowded in to hear the sound that emerged from them.
 And, so the time to came for me to offer my contribution to the collection of songs picked so far, which featured at this point numbers from The Proclaimers and of course the 'Knot. Everything was set up, though not the way I had imagined, and no one was expecting the choice of song that I was going to make. And so before playing, I spoke a little bit about the song, trying to replicate my blogging style. My speech went a little like this:
 "Um, yeah... this is a very important song to me. When I heard this back in 2004, my music taste was pretty much limited to whatever was on the radio. So, this was the first time that I heard something that was really aggressive and angry sounding, which is obviously the kind of music I thrive on largely these days. It's speedy and furious punk rock... uh... riffs were like nothing I had ever heard before. So, this band have really become a favourite in my eyes. I've really... looked up to them ever since and y'know... their music's gotten me through some... hard times. So this is were my journey to becoming a rock fan kinda... began. This is the fantastic My Chemical Romance with I'm Not Okay."
 As soon as the name of MCR was mentioned, I heard several people saying such phrases as "Aw no", "Aw, what the fuck?" and "Aw they're gay!" As the music tore through with it's rapid fire punk assault, many looked on wanting to start headbanging but resisting, to look respectable, others, myself including had lost it, I was headbanging slowly and deeply during Ray's solo and even found myself miming the lyrics, opening my mouth with particular force during Gerard's scream. All in all, it was a lovely experience which left many shocked and surprised with my choice.
 Anyway right afterwards, my friend James tuned to me and said out loud "Why didn't you play a death metal song?" and my friend Marc played Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse out loud, claiming that it "cheers him up whenever he feels depressed." And that pretty much sums up my friends from Blairgowrie.
 So, that's the kind of thing that happens when I try and talk about music in front of real people. Personally I prefer writing but it was pretty cool to discuss music with fellow rock fans, which doesn't often happen at school. It was a pretty fun experience despite it's mishaps, and gives me more confidence in discussing the subject to crowds of masses.

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