Going To A Rock & Roll Concert? Don’t Forget Your Earplugs.

I don’t sleep a lot and a few months ago I found myself watching a Coldplay concert which was on the TV at 4am.

I don’t like Coldplay. They don’t do anything for me but I’ll always watch any band play live (even if it’s only once) and when you’re up at 4am anyway, you don’t care what you’re watching.

The concert was just about to bore me to sleep when I noticed something which…saddened me.
That’s it, it saddened me. It put a little light out in my heart.

Coldplay were nearing the end of their set and as they were playing their last songs, the TV cameras panned around the front row of the audience who were all slightly awkward looking middle aged guys who looked like they’d given up a long time ago and were now content with their wives buying their clothes from the GAP Store for them.
You know the type…

All the way through Coldplay’s last song, the entire front row were checking their watches and I eventually figured out why.
– They all planned to make the last train home.
It was unbelievable.

When the hell did this happen folks?
When did people become so…BEIGE?

Coldplay’s music really depresses me but it’s nowhere near as depressing as the beige behaviour from their fans. – Which, in turn, is nowhere near as beige and depressing as this BBC News story….

Tinnitus sufferer Plan B is supporting a charity campaign which urges music fans to protect their hearing.

Tinnitus, a constant buzzing in the ear, is often caused by loud music and is prevelant among musicians and frequent concert-goers.

The Loud Music campaign aims to make people aware of the dangers.

“If you’re listening to music a lot, producing music or performing live, then always wear earplugs,” said Plan B. “You’re not Superman!”

“When I first developed it, I thought it was trains rushing by my house as I live near a railway line – it was really loud and an extremely high-pitched ringing in my ears,” the 28-year-old singer says.

“There’s no doubt it’s been caused by years of being on stage and subjected to very loud decibels of music.”

The Action on Hearing Loss campaign includes adverts and a video featuring people’s ears being attacked by a drill or hammer.

Earplugs will be handed out during London’s Camden Crawl this weekend, which showcases new music talent and is credited with bringing artists such as Amy Winehouse into the limelight.

“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem,” said Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who is also backing the campaign.

“I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse. But I wish I’d thought about it earlier.

“Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears.”

The campaign includes five tips on how music lovers can avoid permanent damage to their ears, including standing back from speakers and using chillout zones in clubs.

Judge Jules, Jazzie B and DJ Smith have added their backing, while 70s chart-topper Gary Numan said he wished he had taken advice earlier.

“I didn’t look after my ears and I’m in trouble,” said Numan, 54. “It’s getting serious, to the point that I can’t mix my music properly anymore, so it’s majorly impacted on my career.

“If I’d just looked after them when I was younger then this would never have happened, so I very much regret it.

“I would often be at gigs, standing at the front next to the speakers, not wearing earplugs, thinking I’m cool and being manly, but that’s just rubbish, it’s stupid.

“So look after your hearing and wear earplugs.”

I’m sorry folks but this is bullshit. It’s bullshit supported by people who write music for TV adverts and coffee shop compilation albums okay?

Chris Martin says: “Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears” but a monitor is designed to sit at your feet so that you can hear yourself play. It’s generally quite loud because it has to be so why would you bury it in your ear?

I could understand something like this coming from the likes of Neil Young or Ozzy Osbourne but Chris Martin, Gary Numan and a bunch of tinny sounding garage rappers?
Nah. Bullshit.
The only way folk are gonna develop hearing problems is by listening to any music made by those people.

…And as for you Chris Martin, my ears go all the way up to eleven and I like ROCK & ROLL and I like it LOUD!
– You ‘I-Will-Try-To-Fix-You‘ wet wipe-clothes from GAP-elevator tune penning-earplug wearing-safety first idiot you!

Does it say “Remember To Put Your Earplugs In Kids” on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” album?
No. No it fucking doesn’t. It says…
TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME“.

You May Also Be Interested In:
*
No Particular Place To Go.
* Balls & Noise.
* The Soundtrack To My Life. 13/03/2012.

The Soundtrack To My Life. 15/04/2012.

“A Night To Remember” (Audio Book). (2010).
Artist: Written by Walter Lord. Read by Martin Jarvis.
Why You Should Get It: This is a complete and compelling moment by moment account of The RMS Titanic disaster as told by the survivors themselves.

I bust my audio book cherry with “A Night To Remember” last week and it has left me completely stunned.
Highly recommended!

“Cape Fear” (Original Score). (1991).
Artist: Bernard Herrmann & Elmer Bernstein.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

Ah, Bernard Herrmann. I’ve listened to his work every week ever since I got the “Taxi Driver” soundtrack last year! Did Herrmann ever write something that wasn’t completely brilliant? I can’t find any evidence if he did.

This is of course the soundtrack to the 1991 Martin Scorsese film “Cape Fear” and not the original 1961 film of the same name and so, what we have here is Bernard Herrmann’s original score adapted and arranged by Elmer Bernstein.

And it works!
It’s gloriously ominous.

“Left My Blues In San Francisco”. (1967).
Artist: Buddy Guy.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

“A Wasteland Companion”. (2012).
Artist: M. Ward.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

I had to get M. Ward’s “A Wasteland Companion” because last month he supported the brilliant Leslie Feist in Glasgow all by himself and I thought he carried it all off well. When he opened for Feist, Ward only used an acoustic guitar and (I think) a loop pedal and it was really great y’know? He’s a magical guitar player with really interesting and unusual chord patterns.

“A Wasteland Companion” is a very nice album but it’s mostly full-on band material instead of the stripped down bare bones I saw at the Feist gig. It’s probably one of those albums which I’ll listen to a few times before forgetting BUT!
– As I was typing this, I asked my pal Sean if he’d ever heard M. Ward’s material and he said that he has his first two albums which are bare and stripped down so maybe I should go and dig those up before I go any further with M. Ward.

“Grinderman”. (2007).
Artist: “Grinderman”.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

I like Grinderman much more than I like Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds and despite what everybody I know told me, I thought that “Murder Ballads” was a fucking terrible album.
SO THERE YOU GO!

“Romeo And Juliet”. (2001).
Artist: Sergei Prokofiev.
Why You Should Get It: Just click HERE.

“Deja Vu”. (1970).
Artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

“Deja Vu” (or as I’ve come to call it, “Davie Who?”) is a complete classic of an album and I guess now is as good a time as any to explain how I have an almost mint condition vinyl copy in my house.
Basically, I stole it.

Way back in the mid 1990’s my girlfriend’s Dad had “Deja Vu”  on vinyl and he never played it. It was such a hard to find album back then and I could not wait to hear it. I couldn’t even believe that he had a copy nevermind a mint conditioned vinyl copy.

I constantly asked him for a loan of the album or if he could even see his way to playing the album for me. Just once. It wasn’t a lot to ask but he wouldn’t do it so one day I just removed it from his house and moved it into mine. I still have it and I play it all the time but I am sorry that I stole it.
No really, I am!

“The SInking Of The Titanic / Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. (1975).
Artist: Gavin Bryars.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

I don’t really have any words to describe how great and profound this music is. If I think of any, I’ll come back and write them down.

“The Godfather PART II” (Original Score & Soundtrack). (1974).
Artist: Nino Rota.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

“L.A. Woman” (40th Anniversary Edition). (2012).
Artist: The Doors.
Why You Should Get It: Click HERE.

I’ve always loved the “L.A. Woman” album and I’ve always loved The Doors. I think every single song on the album is a belter and the remastered 40th Anniversary version sounds AMAZINGLY clear.

Jim Morrison recorded his vocals for this album in a bathroom and you can really hear it in this version. Matter of fact, unless you have “L.A. Woman” on vinyl, you should pick up a copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition.

– But make sure you get the correct edition because strangely, this is the second 40th Anniversary Mix of this album. It was first remixed, remastered and released in 2007. Weird eh? I really don’t know why that was.

The version I’m recommending to you contains 2 discs and was released in 2012.

You May Also Be Interested In:

The Soundtrack To My Life. 13/03/2012.
The Soundtrack To My Life. 04/02/2012.
Balls & Noise.

The Soundtrack To My Life. 06/08/2011.

Prince’s mysterious and hard to find acoustic album “The Truth” (1997):

The Cramps, “A Date With Elvis” (1986):

The soundtrack from “The Devil’s Rejects” (2005):

The Misfits’ “Night Of The Living Dead” Single (1979):

ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” (1983):

Cab Calloway’s “Are You Hep To The Jive?” (1994):

This is what I’ve been listening to whilst clearing out my flat all week and I must urge you to go out and find that Prince album at the top of the list.
“The Truth” is mainly an acoustic album from Prince and it was released as a sort of bonus disc to his 3 Disc “Crystall Ball” Collection in 1998.

“The Truth” is nothing short of sheer magic all the way through and I’ve been telling everyone I know about it ever since I managed to find a copy in a second hand record shop years ago. For me, the stand out track is the title track which features an alarm clock and the loudest, longest, most over the top scream from Prince that you’ll ever hear from anyone in your life!

A close second favourite of mine is the track “Dionne” which will blow your mind away with it’s multi layered harmonies, simple acoustic guitar and lots of other little studio surprises which leave you on the floor thinking “What?”
If you can find it, get yourself “The Truth“.

My favourite song of the week comes from the soundtrack to “The Devil’s Rejects” and it’s called “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” by Elvin Bishop. I must have listened to that 20 times this week already!
I don’t know anything about Elvin Bishop but I’m off to see if I can find out.

The Soundtrack To My Life. 31/07/2011.

The Beatles. “Rubber Soul” (1965):

Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” (1969):

The Velvet Underground’s “Loaded”- The Fully Loaded Edition (1970):

Iggy Pop. “Lust For Life” (1977):

Guns ‘N’ Roses. “Appetite For Destruction” (1987):

At first glance I suppose these albums could look weird together but that’s what I’ve been listening to this week and if you think about it, they make sense together.

As well as the music, I really love the album artwork on all of those records.
Especially Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” and Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”. I always have a laugh to myself when I see Iggy’s smiling face looking out from a shelf in a record shop.

The Soundtrack To My Life. 22/07/2011.

Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three’s “Riverboat Soul” (2010):

The Shangri-Las’ “Myrmidons Of Melodrama” (1995):

Led Zeppelin’s “Led Zeppelin II” (1969):

Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures’ self titled album (2009):

Roy Orbison’s “Crying” (1962):

I’ve really loved Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three ever since I happened to see them play live at the Celtic Connections Festival a couple of years ago.
They’ll have you stomping the floor and occasionally shouting out “YES!” at the top of your voice.
They have a new album out called “Middle Of Everywhere” but I’ve yet to hear it.
“Riverboat Soul” is from 2009 and gets played often in my place.

The Shangri-La’s are maybe my favourite girl group behind The Chordettes and I could happily listen to them all the time.

I dug Led Zeppelin’s second album out last week because I decided that I wanted to learn “Heartbreaker” on the guitar.
I thought it would be really satisfying to be able to play that song on the guitar and it really really is!

Ever since it came out, I really liked Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II”.
No seriously, I did!
It was over the top and brutal and trippy and you know what else?
I even liked the white horse stuff in it.
Yeah that’s right, I even liked that but I only realised at the start of the week that the fictional band from the film “Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures” are an actual band! With an actual album!
Whoo Hoo!
It has “Transylvania Terror Train” on it which appeared in Rob Zombie’s film and that’s the track I’ve played most so far.
Cartoon Horror!

“Crying” is the only non greatest hits Roy Orbison album I have but you’d think it was a greatest hits collection what with all the…great…er, hits.
Actually, maybe it is a greatest hits collection.
I dunno, but it’s dark and sad and brilliant.

%d bloggers like this: