Tag Archives: writing

Wanted: Rooftop Shouters – Must Have Own Passion

Most regular readers would be aware by now that I also write for the independent music site [sic] Magazine. It’s important to me here at S4E that I have the freedom to talk about what I want, when I want, and my purpose is not quite to tell the world what I think, what’s good or what isn’t, why someone else should or shouldn’t like something… What drives me, and every thought behind what I post, is the hope that I’m able forge connections to music, either specifically or in general, by showing people how I connect to it.

I write for [sic] because they allow me to do much the same thing.

It’s like being able to shout from two different rooftops at once – an action that can be a cathartic thing, but as those who also shout are probably aware, as much as doing so might get people to stop and stare, the greater purpose is to ensure that they listen, that the message is heard as far and wide as possible. Over time I have received some wonderful and deeply appreciated compliments for the way I write about music, both here and at [sic]; what I love (if just a smidgeon ;)) more, is finding out someone else discovered something new that they love just as much as I do after reading something I’ve written.

That’s also why I gravitate towards writers and blogs that talk more about how an album or song has affected the writer as opposed to adopting detached objectivity and trying to tell the reader why they may or may not like it; which is always harder for me to relate to when I’m reading about a release I haven’t even heard – they don’t know me, and I don’t know what they’re talking about.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because I want to see a site like [sic], which favours truth, passion and individuality both in music and its writers, thrive and grow. As an independent site, [sic] aims to give an extra voice to those that sometimes struggle to find them. There is room to spare on this rooftop, and the more voices we have the better.

If you have a similar passion for music, if you can’t shut up about your latest discovery until all your friends, family, co-workers and strangers on a bus know about them too, and think you can translate this into the written word, consider taking a platform where even more people will be able to hear you and the music you love.

For more information about [sic] Magazine, as well as contact information if you are interested in writing for them, just click here.




Theme Songs for Favourite Things – Stories #2

The Swell Season – The Moon


Lions and Hyenas

When I first started the Theme Songs… series, I did so because I wanted a way to talk about some of the other things in the world that mean something to me and at the same time challenge the way I relate to music a little by trying to find something that somehow matched this other thing that was totally unrelated…and wasn’t me; and of course the musical aspect kept it relevant to what S4E has become – that being a music-focussed blog.

There are two things over in my little bio that reflect what S4E once was – “I write fairy tales“, which I have found myself referencing less and less vaguely, and the stuff that comes after “S4E began as…” I also mention that one of my obsessions is lions, which is in no way an understatement.

Before I get to that, I thought I’d just explain briefly that while it seems a little odd to me to post one of my own pieces of fiction here – at least now and under the heading ‘favourite things’ – it isn’t an ego thing. I do have brief moments when I’m proud of some of the things I’ve written, but most of the time I think it’s terrible (which is intended as a simple fact, and not a thinly veiled request for compliments – those I don’t need ;)). I mentioned here recently that I believe there is an inherent reciprocal quality to all art; that is, in order to receive, one must give; in order to create, you have to take. Music has always been a strong influence on me when I was writing, often enabling me to access certain things I would have otherwise struggled with. I guess what I mean is that while I predominantly write about music now, there is music in everything I have written, and to show the result of that is, for me, part of that reciprocality.

This piece of writing used to be here, which means a very select few out there who read this will have already seen it, although I have edited it a little since then. I chose this not necessarily because it’s a favourite in terms of how good I think it is – my thoughts on that waver constantly – but because writing it was the catalyst for quite a few other things, and without it, S4E wouldn’t be what it is today. Maybe it’ll help give a clearer sense of where I’m coming from with what’s here now, maybe it won’t. It’s not strictly a fairy tale either – most of those either don’t make sense out of context of the series or have inappropriate content.

I called this Lions and Hyenas for reasons other than the more obvious ones. I don’t think I should get too specific with what it’s about, but it was very much inspired by the primal relationship between those two creatures, which exists on what can only be called a battlefield. To quote a documentary I favour, ‘if animals can hate, then this is a blood-feud of hatred‘. Outside of the competition for food, lions and hyenas are savage enemies, tormenting and killing one another purely out of instictive dislike. And yet their survival is actually, in part, dependent on one another, and – in some cases – the hatred they share. At the time I wrote this, I saw that struggle, that ‘blood-feud’ relationship that is ultimately co-dependent, as a  metaphor to a different, human experience – part of the internal self-savagery and destruction that can go on in a person’s thought process, and sometimes acts as a survival or coping mechanism.

The thing about lions, they’re scavengers just as much as they are predators.

The theme song was an easy choice this time, because it was the song I was listening to the most when I wrote this. It speaks about some of the same things I was trying to; which is ultimately being disassociated from something that was once a primary connection.

>> Lions and Hyenas


Why I Love – An Elsewhere Post…

For my last post of the year, I would like – once more – to direct attention somewhere else.

I discovered the blog TheSteinbergPrinciple earlier in the year, via the very worthwhile charity album Gold Day – The Songs of Linkous, Smith and Chesnutt (which, by the way, you can still purchase at Bandcamp).

Since then I have been visiting the site on a regular basis and not only been introduced to some truly great music, but I’ve also taken inspiration from it, expanding some of the content I include here on S4E.

I recently had the opportunity to contribute to the blog with a post called Why I Love – a series of posts by various contributors that explore some of the things in the world that are treasured by the individual writer. Obviously, I was only too glad to take up the opportunity, and the post can now be read over on the site. Thus I extend the invitation to anyone that has an interest, as well as encourage spending a little time exploring the site in general and all the awesome things to be discovered there.

And, of course, my sincere thanks goes to Euan at TSP for giving me the opportunity to contribute the post, for the inspiration, for the very kind words about S4E and for giving space to my words.

Lastly, I wish everyone a happy and safe 2011.