08 November 2012
"but summer has gone and i worry next time around it won't be so good and i'll be all memories and no hope and that's what they call old" - sarah records fanzine
"one of the biggest things we needed when we were young was excitement. music was the most important things in our lives. i think we're the loneliest people i've ever met. music and videos were everything." - richey edwards
i feel like a teenager again this week. everywhere i go i seem to be reminded of all of the things that meant the world to me when i was fifteen. it's making me feel old and young again all at the same time.
first of all, generation terrorists was reissued on monday. it came out twenty years ago. ouch. i went to rough trade to watch 'culture, alienation, boredom and despair', the new documentary about the making of the album, and saw james play some of the songs from it. it was such a lovely night and it reminded me how important the band were to me growing up. seeing all the tv footage from snub and rapido and remembering the first time i saw them being interviewed on transmission and how i couldn't believe they were saying the things they were saying because i'd never known bands could be like that before. they were talking about all the same books i was excited about and quoting from all the films i was watching and their lyrics sounded like they were stolen from my sociology textbooks. and they loved kylie. and i thought i was the only one.
i wasn't really into rock music. i'd had a soft spot for hanoi rocks because my friend's older sister liked them and i remember staying up to watch guns n roses live at the roxy on heavy metal heaven, but that was about it. i was taping john peel and my friend chantelle was feeding me mixtapes of the pooh sticks and talulah gosh and the pastels and i was finding my way around pop music, backward and forwards from there. it's funny now to read about the influence that bands like mccarthy, jasmine minks and all those other C86 bands had on the manics. and it was great to hear the home demo of motorcycle emptiness on the steve lamacq show the other night, because it sounded like it could have come free on a flexi with waaah fanzine.
i don't know what i would be like if it hadn't been for the manics, but i know i wouldn't be the person i am. and we wouldn't be the band we are. they were the first band that i remember pete and me both being really into.
"SARAH... It's just a record label, I guess, but - rather a nice one, maybe. ANYWAY, it's OURS. you can invent your own."
then this morning, clare from sarah records posted links to an online version of the sarah 4 fanzine. you can read them both here and here. it was amazing to read them all again. i'd forgotten what amazing writers matt and clare from sarah were, and how angry their writing could be sometimes. frustrated because they believed pop music was important and could be something that could change people's lives and so many bands didn't even try for that.
"a few stand up and fight, most don't bother. quite a few pretend not to know there is a fight anyway, and if there was, it certainly wouldn't be anything to do with them, would it? THEY MAKE ME SICK." - sarah 4
i guess as far as i was concerned, manic street preachers and sarah records were coming from the same place, even if they sounded worlds away from each other. but then i always thought nirvana were cuties too.
"THIS IS YOUR COUNTRY TOO... so rise up and spit down your bobby gillespie's worthless new noise 'cos it no more comes pure from the HEART. 'cos there's no more DESIRE. no more PASSION or HATE or real LOVE just a sick rock infested mess, tory dreamers, eighties godheads, KILL KILL KILL." - sarah 4
so many happy memories. but we've got an album to finish mixing. we can't just sit around talking about pop music all day. well actually we can, but maybe not quite like we used to.
01 November 2012
" all of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft." - the declaration of feminism, 1971
"men rule the world, and they do it by opressing women and forcing us into shoes that create permanent foot problems" - sabrina the teenage witch, 1997
it was halloween last night and i went to see kate nash and emmy the great perform the songs from the musical episode of buffy the vampire slayer tonight. it was amazing. so i kind of had a buffy themed halloween, but i've written about buffy on here a lot before, so i thought i'd write something about my other favourite spooky feminist icon, sabrina the teenage witch? pah, sabrina the teenage W.I.T.C.H. more like. except that doesn't really work because she's not a socialist politico feminist, but still, she does live in a matriarchal household with her two aunts, who are a respected scientist and a concert violinist, where the only male character has been turned into a cat for trying to take over the world. she is way cleverer than her boyfriend harvey, but never feels like she has to act dumb for him. she is a powerful, independent, academic and unapologetically intelligent third wave feminist, who points at things.
sabrina the teenage witch isn't just an accidental feminist icon either. this isn't something that's just been read into the show. it was always pushing its own explicit feminist message. in one episode of season two, inna gadda sabrina,salem eats a time ball and westbridge is transported back in time to the sixties. the episode is all about what happens when a girl who has grown up taking feminism for granted is transported back in time to a time when the second wave was still fighting for very basic rights. when she goes to the sixties time warp version of her school career fair, her friend jenny isn't the editor of the school paper like she usually is in the series, and when sabrina presents her with an article she's written for it and reminds her that she's the editor, she replies confused, "me? i'm a girl. i'm the secretary of the future homemakers of america club chapter seven thirty two."
then, when sabrina is told that girls aren't allowed into the college that she was going to apply to, her maths teacher replies by quoting gloria steinem and suggesting they burn their underwear in defiance of the misogynistic patriarchy.
the episode ends with sabrina telling harvey about what happened at the college fair, and complaining about the limitations on her future career. sixties harvey tells her, "you don’t need a career, you’re my lady. we’ll grow our own food, you’ll have my children and some day, if it’s not too much of a hassle, i might even marry you." to which sabrina replies "i’m sorry. i stopped listening after ‘my lady’!"
boom. and all this before lunchtime on a saturday.
20 October 2012
"a reminder of the strength and pain of being young;
that it can't come again, but is for others undiminished somewhere."
i went to see the perks of being a wallflower at the cinema on monday night. it's a really sweet film, just like it was really sweet book. logan lerman was brilliant as charlie and the soundtrack is really great too. it reminded me of all the john hughes films i loved growing up and i know that if it had come out when i was fifteen it would have meant the world to me.
it made me think of a lot of things. it made me think about how it feels to be young and still have all your dreams left to come true and how you never know what's going to happen to you. and it made me think about how lost and alone you can feel when you're fifteen years old and how much songs can mean to you. and it made me think of all the mixtapes i used to spend every night after school making and of all the mixtapes my friends used to make me. dexys, the smiths, cocteau twins. the soundtrack to the film could have been one of my old mixtapes. it was particularly nice to hear 'dear god' by xtc in the film. i remember taping that song off the radio and then taping it on to other mixtapes because i didn't have it on record. it was years before i actually found a proper copy of it. there's a scene where charlie is making a tape for sam and the tape runs out halfway through the song. i don't suppose many fifteen year olds these days have that happen to them. and as annoying as it used to be when that happened, i think they're kind of missing out.
"and i thought about how many people have loved those songs. and how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. and how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. and how much those songs really mean. i think it would be great to have written one of those songs. i bet if i wrote one of them, i would be very proud. i hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. i hope they feel it's enough. i really do because they've made me happy. and i'm only one person.” - stephen chbosky
i miss making mixtapes. making playlists on itunes or spotify just doesn't feel the same. it's too easy maybe. i guess because it doesn't have to happen in real time, you don't have to even listen to the mix as you make it if you don't want to. i miss having to think of a way to end side one and begin side two and i miss the rewinding when i've changed my mind and i even miss the moments when the tape would run out halfway through a song and i'd have to rewind and use one of the short songs i'd always use when that happened. to begin with it was always 'please, please, please let me get what i want' by the smiths or 'the sweetest touch' by golden dawn, but then as i got older, 'girl's best friend' by kenickie would always be my song for whenever that happened. and i'm happy that we recorded 'god takes care of the little things' for people to use as their short song at the end of their mixtapes if they ever need one.
"so, i guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. and maybe we'll never know most of them. but even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. we can still do things. and we can try to feel okay about them."
- stephen chbosky
when i got home from the cinema i made a mixtape full of all the songs i would have been listening to when i was fifteen. except it wasn't a mixtape it was a mix on mixcloud, but it felt kind of the same. and it doesn't have the sisters of mercy on it, which it probably would have done when i was fifteen. some things it's okay to leave behind. i've put side one of it here so you can listen to it if you want to.
we were thinking about making some mixtapes for people to buy on our pledge music page, but i didn't think anyone would want to buy one or if anyone even had a tape player anymore. and then i thought that we'd probably have to charge twenty five pounds for them anyway and that seemed a bit much. so i set up a mixlcloud page instead. i'll put side two up on our mixcloud page tomorrow.