Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A circle of ignorance?

A thought came to me today. Which was the last new band that I've discovered who I genuinely really liked? I thought about it and I came to the conclusion it was the King Blues, way back in... 2008? That's over 3 years ago so it begs the question:

'Is that really the only good new band of the past 3 years or have I just become ignorant to discovering new music?'

My favourite bands were all front runners of the punk revival in America in the early nineties, being Green Day, Nofx, Pennywise and the like. I remember when I was about 14 I said to my Dad:

'Have you ever heard  Rancid? I think you'd like them. The Clash sound a bit like them.'

His reply was:

'I have Paul but I think you'll find it's Rancid who sound a bit like The Clash.'

My thoughts as a 14 year old teenager who clearly knew better than my Dad when it came to music:

'Tut, what are you talking about? Get with the times old man!'

My Dad was right of course, but I think he had fallen into a circle which many others have, myself included. I think with music you can become accustomed to listening to what you already know and can become ignorant to discovering new styles and sounds. You label new bands as just trying to sound like established acts which are already out there.

Our parents did it, we do it and our kids will probably do it.

Not everybody falls into the circle though and I know many people who are introducing me to new bands all the time but I just think, 'yeah they're all right, but they're no Bad Religion are they?'

As an aspiring journalist I need to break this thought process and try to have an unbiased view on music. I'll give these new bands which people recommend me a real good listen and try to give an honest, unbiased opinion.

Who knows? Maybe they just won't appeal to me and I'll carry on listening to what I know best but maybe, just maybe, I'll discover a new band to take over the King Blues dusty mantle of  'the last new band I discovered who I genuinely really liked'.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Some sober thoughts

If everybody in the world could watch this video, I wonder how many lives it would change for the better?

I recently went to a presentation by the Global Poverty Project and was astounded at some of the things I learned. Here are a selection:

  •  1.4 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty
  • That's nearly almost 25% of the world's population living on less than $1.25 a day.
  • By 2015 the world could save 3 million children's lives if it spend 3.8 billion on malaria treatment
  • Currently the world spends 5.2 billion a year on fake tans and hair loss.

What a sad state of affairs it is when society spends more money on cosmetics than they do on medicine which could save people's lives. Or when the top 1% of the population in America own around 40% of the total wealth. An individualist society fuelled by greed.

I recently watched a documentary called 'Zeitgeist' too. It brought up an interesting concept about money. Can we eat money? Can we drink money? Can we burn it and use it as fuel? No we can't.

Money is merely a barrier to all those things we do need. Especially to the people living in extreme poverty. And seeing as water, food and fuel all come from the earth's natural resources, it hardly seems fair to me that we have to pay for them.

It's the start of 2012 and it's that time where I sit down in the early hours of the morning to evaluate life. I don't know what I want from it but I know that one day, I'd like to change the world for the better in some way.

Whether that be something I write, say or do, I don't know yet.

When I grow old I don't want to look back and think I lived a normal everyday life. I want to look back and know, without regrets, that I got everything out of life that I could and I left a positive mark on the world somehow.

Of course it's an unrealistic expectation but who's to tell me I can't try?