The other day I was at a party, trying my best to pretend I am a sociable person. The conversation turned to music and I was asked what instruments I play. I gave my standard response: “I play the piano and sing, and can play a bit of ukulele, guitar and bass”. To which he snorted and said, “The ukulele is not a real instrument”. He went on to say that because it’s so easy to play (“Cmajor is only one finger!”) that it doesn’t count. I strongly disagree with this idea. Unfortunately I couldn’t verbalise my objection at the time so I just let it slide, but now I feel it is time to address this issue.
The ukulele is a real instrument. To say it’s not is to be a snob and kind of an asshole. Just because something is easy to play does not make it any less valid. That was what I loved about my ukulele: within a day of owning it, I could already play more songs than I ever could on the guitar I’d had for 3 years. Honestly, I believe that anything that inspires people to make music should be encouraged.
To prove that decent songs use this instrument, here are some of my ukulele favourites:
I’ve always been someone who loves her free time. I need a lot of downtime to recover from working otherwise I quite literally go mental. Now that I’ve started uni, my free time has been bitch-slapped and replaced with a constant stream of WORK WORK WORK. A typical day for me actually looks like this: Wake up, hit snooze, wake up properly, get ready as quickly as possible, run to bus stop, wait at bus stop for 10 minutes (because the bus is consistently late when I’m early/on time, and early whenever I’m late), lecture, lecture, lecture, food break, lecture, tutorial, run to catch bus home, work, assignments, readings, dinner, readings, collapse into dream.
The only reason I’m writing a post right now is because I am avoiding a Stats assignment involving stuff which I really should know but can’t seem to remember. Also avoiding my law readings. To any budding lawyers or law enthusiasts, here are some tips:
Don’t study law if you hate reading copious amounts of dry legal text
Don’t study law if you value your free time
Don’t study law if you hate being put on the spot (hooray for the socratic method!)
I never thought I’d miss school. Actually, I don’t miss school at all, but I miss the ease of it. You always knew what was going on, the work wasn’t that hard, and when you went home, you did a tiny amount of homework and then had free time to do whatever you wanted. You certainly didn’t spend Saturday calculating information about the returns on treasury bills. I’m not quite sure what the point of this is, only that I miss having unbridled free time and not feeling like every time I go online is eating away into study time. That being said, I’m glad I’m here and I’m definitely going to continue my studies. Hopefully time will make me slightly more adept at handling my time.
(I’ve said “time” far too many times in this post. It seems uni has also stolen my eloquence. Through a quick check of the thesaurus, there are pretty much no good substitutes for it though. Example: “…i miss have unbridled free conditions and not feeling like every stage I go online is eating away into study phases.” This could probably be remedied by better sentence structure, but I’m not an English major so whatevz.)
Ed Tullett – free & legal download here He got in touch with me through tumblr so I checked his music out through the above link. If you like Bon Iver, you’ll like Ed Tullett. The music is definitely his own style; he described it as “falsetto/harmony rich acoustic stuff, with some banjo and other stuff thrown in”. Really you should totally check it out. It’s good. It’s free. It’s legal. Win win win.
Kiersten Holine - last.fm page here with free & legal downloads available Last.fm suggested her to me and I’m all for getting free new music so I had a listen. She’s really good. What I’ve listened to seems to be almost exclusively acoustic guitar and singing, and her accompaniments are perfect for the songs.
Throwing them in here because they deserve more recognition. “Lisztomania” and “1901″ are their most popular songs and rightly so, they are great songs. But“Love For Granted” is so beautiful and lovely; it is incredibly underrated. Phoenix is one of my favourite bands. It’d make me really happy if I found others who loved them as much as I do.
The other day, I had the incredible privilege of seeing Bon Iver live. Basically it was spectacular. I did not expect them to sound almost identical live as they do recorded, and Justin’s voice is so unusual and good and I fell even more in love with the band and ugh so very very good*. I was kind of sad to not see “Michicant” or “Flume” but the show was so awesome that I’ll forgive them. Seeing as it was so great, I wanted photographic mementos but it totally did not work out well. This was the best quality one I got:
Terrible quality, I know. But really, who cares? I saw freaking Bon Iver live and it was amazing.
I should also mention that every time someone pronounces “Iver” as “eye-va”, I die a little inside. There needs to be a worldwide awareness campaign informing people how to properly pronounce it.
As well as having that crazy awesome experience, I also recently saw Death Cab For Cutie. I was kinda gutted they didn’t play “The Ice Is Getting Thinner”, “No Sunlight” or “Dream Scream” coz they’re my favourites, but when they played “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”, it more than made up for it. “I Will Possess Your Heart” also made me crazy happy. I don’t know what it is about really long songs, but they excite me like nothing else.
Again, terrible photo quality. But again, Death Cab were pretty awesome live so who cares?
So the point of this post is to say Death Cab and Bon Iver are great bands, recorded and live. Buy their music.
Occasionally when life is not as cruisey as I would like it to be, I start thinking about things far too much. And for some strange reason today, I was pondering about what makes someone good or bad. Is it our thoughts or actions or something else entirely? Like, say you unintentionally find yourself in conversation with someone you find incredibly annoying. In your head you’re saying, “oh my god, please stop talking to me, this is excruciating, leave me alone”. But on the outside you smile, look at them in the eyes and reciprocate their conversational efforts. You’re polite and friendly and leave them feeling better than they did before. So have you just done something good or bad? Is it the thought that counts or the way you chose to act? Are you fake for disliking them internally but acting the opposite when you spoke? Or are you good for being kind to them when you really didn’t want to? My mind is far too full and I am perpetually puzzled.