Random Survey (since I’m bored)

Put your music player of choice on shuffle and list the first 5 songs.

Where Do We Go From Here (Charles Bradley); Redbud Tree (Mark Knopfler); Les Nuits d’une demoiselle (Colette Renaud); The Ritual (Avalon ft Mad Maxx); How Am I Different (Aimee Mann)

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Would you take anyone with you?

Right now? Saint Gaultier. And I most certainly wouldn’t take anyone with me.

What is your preferred writing implement? (eg. Blue pen, pencil, green pen)

Black ink pen.

Do you ever play board games or other non-computer games? Got any favourites?

Yes, I love board games! Scrabble, Cluedo and Monopoly are my favs.

A musical artist you love that isn’t well known.

I guess this would be very hard. I’d probably pick a band like 1990s or Adanowsky. They aren’t very well known in Oman I suppose.

A musical artist you love that is well known.

Leonard Cohen

What is your desktop background currently?

A picture I’d taken in Dam:

Amsterdam '12

Amsterdam ’12

First colour name you can think of that isn’t in the rainbow

Silver

What musical artists have you seen perform live?

Ahhh, loads: Iron Maiden, Opeth, Incubus, Michel Legrand, Angela Gheorghiu, Joshua Bell, Children of Bodom, Westlife (Haha)… lots!

What pets do you have? What are their names?

An English Springer Spaniel called Rusty.

Name at least one book you loved as a child.

Without a doubt it’s The Secret Mountain (Enid Blyton). I must have read the book a million times.

What things annoy you more than anything else?

Spoilers on social media. Pointless, humourless image macros. Noisy kids in movie theatres. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals. Yeah, humanity in general :)

Furthest away from home you have ever been?

Glasgow, Scotland.

Is there is anything that is guaranteed to always make you happy?

Rusty. Music. And a shirtless Farhan Akhtar.

Is there anything that always makes you sad?

Farhan Akhtar with his clothes on? Haha. It’s a long list. Loads of things make me sad.

How often do you clear your browser history?

More often than is actually necessary.

Do you believe nude photos can be artistic, rather than erotic?

Of course. The Nu Project is ample example.

Would you prefer to be at a beach or in the countryside?

Right this very moment: The countryside. But I’m sure my answer will change tomorrow.

Is there anything you should be doing right now?

Yes, working on my SOP.

Day 10 of Blogging Challenge

I’ve been a little lazy and not stuck to the challenge. But I guess that’s OK. I don’t want to push myself too much and just take it a day at a time.

So here we are, Day 10. Today’s topic says “Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play.” Fun! I wish I could do more music based blog challenges. Scratch that, I will try and figure out a blogging challenge which revolves around music. Anyway, back to the topic. I will link each song to a YouTube video as well in case anyone’s interested…

1. Wolfmother – Mind’s Eye : This is a great sign. It used to be one of those I-want-to-listen-to-this-song-on-loop-forever kind of songs. Great stuff!

2. Dream Theater – Afterlife : Not one of my favourite DT songs, but still a great one.

3. Eleni Karaindrou – The Weeping Meadow : OST from the first film (titled The Weeping Meadow) of Theo Angelopoulos’ trilogy. A beautiful, emotionally vivid instrumental piece.

4. Blue Oyster Cult – Flaming Telepaths : A favourite by BOC. Check it out if you haven’t heard it before.

5. sHEAVY – Invasion of The Micronauts : General consensus is that sHeavy sounds very ‘Sabbathy’. At least the vocalist does. Check out Electric Sleep – my favourite track by the band – if you haven’t come across their music before. (Of course, only if you’re into Stoner rock  or Doom metal.)

6. Jaco – Malaysia : Oooh, electronic music! It’s a pretty decent track.

7. Ruth Brown – Looking Back : I actually came across this song while watch My Blueberry Nights. I love Ruth’s voice… she’s divine!

8. The Hot Rats – Crystal Ship : I prefer the original by The Doors. Even Nevermore did an awesome cover. This is decent too.

9. Rich O’Toole – In a Minute or 2 : OK, I have no idea how this song is on my playlist. I have no recollection whatsoever.

10. Pink Floyd – Interstellar Overdrive : No list is complete without a Pink Floyd song. Haha! So there you have mine.

I’m glad no potentially embarrassing songs popped up. Like, say, if someone had a whole playlist of boy band songs. But of course, I’m not that person. So I didn’t need to worry about that. I mean, who listens to 98 Degrees or a1 anymore? Not me, that’s for sure!

Growing up in the 90s

The 90s was a fantastic decade to grow up in! We had awesome TV shows like Buffy, Roswell and Charmed; pop music wasn’t about being a ‘Stupid hoe’; we read magazines like Smash Hits; watched awesome cartoons like Duck Tales and TMNT; and decorated everything with glitter. Yep! Good ‘ol days indeed.

Here’s a list of my favourite things from the 90s:

Boy bands: Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Five (or 5ive), Ultra, 911, A1, Another Level, O-Town, Code Red… I’m gonna stop right there. Looking back, I often wonder why I even spent my precious pocket money on half those records (audio tapes and then CDs) but boy, was I hooked!

MTV: Remember the days when MTV actually played music videos? And awesome ones at that too! I ‘discovered’ bands like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, R.E.M. etc. solely thanks to MTV. (Yes, I did listened to all those bands in the 90s as well.)

Freddie Prinze Jr.: If you were a dorky girl back in high school – heck, any girl for that matter – I totally bet you had fantasies about meeting a guy like Zack Siler who’d sweep you off your feet. All my teenage fantasies revolved around Zack, come to think of it.

Fear Street: If you grew up in the 90s and without reading Fear Street (or for some others, Sweet Valley High) then I feel sorry for you. My Fear Street collection was something I was really proud of and I think I’ve read almost all the books in the series. Party Summer was my favourite.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: How the heck did we go from the likes of Angel and Spike to Edward Cullen? Tsk. Tsk.

Top of the Pops (magazine): I remember saving up aaaall my pocket money to buy TOPT. I’d immediately pull out the gigantic poster and put it up on my wall… and then do the same with the single/double page posters. Yes, my wall resembled a decoupage box.

Young Times: Which kid growing up in the Middle East in the 90s didn’t read YT? Best magazine ever!

Women in Music

Too often I hear my friends complaining about the dearth of “quality” musicians these days. To them I say, “They are everywhere!” You just need to just need to try a little harder and listen with an “open mind”… Another popular complaint I keep hearing is that there aren’t enough women in the music industry. So I compiled a list of my favourite female musicians (who you probably won’t hear on the airwaves in Oman) just for your listening pleasure :)

Now this list is highly subjective (and naturally not exhaustive) and limited to my knowledge (or lack thereof). There are plenty of wonderful musicians out there…but right now let’s just stick to 20…

1. Madeleine Peyroux

 

2. Melody Gardot

 

3. China Forbes of Pink Martini

 

4. Marsha Ambrosius

 

5. Brooke Fraser

 

6. Ingrid Michaelson (glad to see she’s becoming increasingly popular)

 

7. Esthero

 

8. Imogen Heap (another massively talented singer who’s finally getting the recognition she deserves)

 

9. Jana Hunter also part of Lower Dens

 

10. Susheela Raman

 

11. Sharon Van Etten

 

12. Emiliana Torrini

 

13. Lhasa de Sela (sadly, this very talented woman passed away in 2010)

 

14. Katie Melua

 

15. Lykke Li

 

16. Molly Jenson

 

17. Yael Naim

 

18. Feist

 

19. Béatrice Martin aka Cœur de pirate

 

20. Meiko

Hottest Men in Metal

Alright, I really didn’t think I’d be able to post today. My connection was pretty wonky all day. But here I am, Day 7 of my 30 Day Challenge. In case you’re wondering (and even if you’re not, I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you anyway), it was my colleague Rekha Baala’s idea. So if you like, hop over and check out her fantastic blog and how she’s coming along with the challenge.

Anyway, moving on… I’ve just recently realised that at the end of the day, no matter how much jazz, blues or psy trance I listen to, I keep coming back to metal. Black, folk, death, progressive… anything and everything! Today’s post is about metal… well, sort of. Instead of talking about my love for the genre, I’ve decided to pick out the hottest guys in metal. Maybe metal isn’t up your alley, but some of these men just might be ;)

Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy)

Daniel Bergström (Vildhjarta) – – Wearing the Katatonia hoodie

Paul Masvidal (Cynic)

Henkka Seppälä (Children of Bodom) – – Sorry Alexi

Phil Anselmo (Pantera)

Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns (Finntroll)

Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa (Finntroll)

Mathias Nygård (Turisas)

Petri Lindroos (Ensiferum)

Tommy Karevik (Kamelot)

Top 5 Douchiest Songs

We’ve all heard these songs and probably even sung along to them. Some of them might even be favourites. But if we stop for a minute to really think about them, it’s as plain as daylight – these are songs drenched in douchebaggery.

#5. The Hardest Thing – 98 Degrees

First of all, before you start judging me, I don’t listen to these guys anymore. I just happen to have a couple of their songs on my playlist. Alright, FINE… maybe more than just a couple. But that’s not even the point. This has got to be one of the douchiest pop songs from the 90s. Case in point, the lyrics:

I’ve got somewhere else to be
Promises to keep
Someone else who loves me
And trusts me fast asleep
I’ve made up my mind
There is no turning back
She’s been good to me
And she deserves better than that

#4. The Call – Backstreet Boys

This is the last boy band song on the list, I promise. But before I begin my diatribe, wasn’t this song awesome? A catchy tune, cute guys, and a pretty awesome music video. All in all, a fun song to sing along in the car with your girl friends… But then you listen to the lyrics:

I should’ve said no
Someone’s waiting for me
But I got my coat, called and said
Listen baby, I’m sorry
Just want to tell you don’t worry
I will be late
Don’t stay up and wait for me

How the heck did this song top the charts and bag a couple of those MTV awards?? Oh wait…

#3. Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz

Enough said.

#2. Lips of an Angel – Hinder

The first time I listened to the song, I went from ‘Aww’ to ‘WTF’ in literally less than 30 seconds. Here’s a guy who’s got a nice girlfriend who’s sitting in the next room oblivious that her boyfriend (aka douchebag) sometimes wished she was, in fact, his ex? How does that even happen?? This song would have totally won the douchebag competition if it hadn’t been for our next contender…

#1. Beth – Kiss

Beth, I hear you callin’
But I can’t come home right now
Me and the boys are playin’
And we just can’t find the sound

For those who haven’t gotten it yet, it’s not a love song. Just because it sounds like a ballad, doesn’t mean it is one. The guy is basically picking his friends over the girl…and from the sound of it, it’s not just that one time. What a douche!