Archives for category: Music

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Netflix, mainly due to their view-on-demand format, their collection of programming I’ve never seen before and the award-winning drama from their own productions – I really liked House of Cards.

I tried another Netflix series called Lilyhammer – not very good. I liked the Swedish setting, but the Italian mafia clichés were a bit too much. Then a friend recommended another Netflix production – Orange is the New Black. I read the blurb and wasn’t that interested. I thought it sounded like the aftermath an older programme called Weeds, which I enjoyed it, but never got past series two.

However, one sleepless night I decided to give ‘Orange…’ a try. I was in bed and could watch it on my smart phone – comparable to other local television station apps, this was easy. The dialogue between the characters is great. I decided to get out of bed and watched a few more on the tv. Brilliant scripts – funny, political, emotional characters. There are flashbacks to the characters previous life, giving the viewer a better understanding of the key players in the series. I couldn’t stop watching.

So, in order to feed my new ‘addiction’, I had to create a distraction for the kids when I wanted to escape to watch another episode. Thankfully, our Netflix subscription allows me to watch ‘Orange…’ and the kids can still access their favourite Netflix programmes as well. I watch on a mobile device in the kitchen (while tidying up after dinner & washing the dishes) and they get to watch cartoons on the television. Their favourite programmes at the moment are Word Girl, The Magic Roundabout, Wild Kratts, Pokemon, and Total Drama. Education and entertainment for all of us!

Before anyone thinks we are constantly watching tv, let me share that we also spend a lot of time outdoors. This summer has brought plenty of sunshine so we had many days on the beach, meeting friends in parks and playgrounds – we even sheltered from the sun in shaded forests because the sun was so warm. We went camping in the back garden, joined a group of friends in a new outdoor ecological space outside the city and explored west Cork. Then our family holiday was up the west coast to Galway and Mayo.

Driving from Cork, the trip can be a few hours so road trip entertainment for the kids is essential. We have a few games we play on these trips, but we also listen and sing along to music. My wife is great for making up compilations that entertain the kids, which, admittedly, I struggle through some of the time. The latest cd (remember them?!) in the car involves a lot of pop music – Katie Perry, 1 Direction, Beyoncé, and thankfully Rodrigo y Gabriela (this is not pop music!).

The Katie Perry stuff is a bit more manageable to listen to, because I heard she is very involved in the song and music writing – saw this on her documentary [available on Netflix]. Whereas, the 1 Direction stuff is annoying when an intro to one of their songs is very similar to a song by The Who – definitely a bit of ‘creativity’ by the 1D manufacturing team, rather than the band!! However, my daughter loves the 1D music and it’s great to see her sing and dance to it all. She even sang a song at a recent event – in front of approximately 100 people; so that’s impressive. Netflix have a few musical movies and programmes at the moment, so I think we have a few resources to watch over the coming months. And it will help distract me while I wait for the next season of ‘Orange is the New Black’! 🙂

ORANGE

I recently received an iTunes voucher as a gift and was a bit perplexed at the idea of using it. I like to think I have an idea of current gadgetry and how to use a few popular apps. However, using a voucher to download music was new to me. I uploaded most of my cd collection to iTunes when I first bought an iPod many years ago, and then downloaded them to various Apple products since. I have also bought directly from iTunes – it’s so easy, really; I bought the last Muse album (The 2nd Law) and when they only had an EP – Kodaline’s small collection of songs. I previously wrote about one their tracks here.

This task might seem a bit trivial for many, but I haven’t really grasped the online purchasing concept just yet. My wife seems to do enough for both of us! 🙂 Anyway, I logged in to iTunes and spent the voucher, deciding to use it for some nostalgic sounds, something the kids like dancing to and some songs I like from listening to the radio. It’s not the most exciting playlist for a 21st century generation, but I think you’ll agree it is a diverse selection and I’m sure some of you will like some of the choices. They’re listed in no particular order.

Passengers. All the little lights
Little Green Cars. My love took me down to the river
Stereophonics. Indian Summer
The Rolling Stones. Angie
Justin Timberlake. Cry Me A River
Stiff Little Fingers. Alternative Ulster
David Bowie. Loving The Alien
David Bowie. Absolute Beginners
Annihilator. Alison Hell
Mike Oldfield. Moonlight Shadows
Plain White T’s. Hey There Delilah
Ludovico Einaudi. Nuvole bianche
Natalie Imbruglia. Torn

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Photo credit

I’m sure most of you have experienced a time when, without warning, a song or tune floats continuously through your head. All day you hum, whistle and sing the tune! Sometimes it’s recognisable to you straight away; then other times this melody drives you mad as you try figure out what it is.

Today, I’ve had a repetitive musical air follow me. All day. Thankfully, I know the song, and who sings it. Thankfully, it’s a song I love. I first heard it by chance last year; I bought the EP and shared my newfound musical treasure to my wife and friends. I played it constantly at home and in the car; and sung it passionately while playing air guitar. (My wife will undoubtedly question my use here of the verb ‘sung’!!).

Weeks later, I was thrilled to discover the band are from Dublin – my birthplace and home for many years! A few months later, a song from their aforementioned EP was chosen to be played during a scene in the hospital drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Sales of this track (and the band’s EP) shot through the roof afterwards.

Who am I writing about? Kodaline. The song going through my head most of last year and today is ‘All I Want’. So, I thought I should share it with you. Be warned, I’m going to attach links, and when you click and listen to this track you will be humming it all day. If you already know this song, you’re probably already humming it!

Check iTunes for the original EP and song. Check YouTube for Kodaline videos, or for a huge selection of cover versions from guitar wielding admirers. Whilst there, you can also check out some of their live sessions. A really beautiful one is here, when Kodaline sang at the TodayFM radio studio for Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show.

Today, I hummed and whistled this gorgeous song and melody. My two and a half year old son has a nicely developing musical ear, so he joined me in humming this song. Then my seven year old daughter heard us and joined our chorus. I then threw in some enthusiastic finger drumming (and the compulsory bit of air guitar) and we rocked our way through the kitchen and the day. ‘All I Want’ is definitely an enjoyable tune. It’s certainly not a song worm.

Now it’s your turn…

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still shot from the TodayFM / Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show recording on YouTube