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Behind The Song Lyrics Nottingham Sounds

My Ride (An Open Letter To NCT) – Annotated Lyrics

Here’s a new song written during FAWM 2016. Consider it a love letter to Nottingham and it’s excellent public transport system. As a family we’ve managed without a car for 10 years now which would only be possible in a city like Nottingham. The song could have been twice as long with all the people and places I wanted to mention but at least I got a few in. 

The song was inspired by the Beastie Boys track An Open Letter To NYC from To The 5 Boroughs. I loved the way they name checked various places and transport systems. NCT is Nottingham City Transport which run 372 buses.

Aye up me duck! A traditional Nottingham greeting Public service announcement, Lemme push the bus as the way to get round Hoodtown = Nottingham, a reference to legendary Notts outlaw Robin Hood now Yellow 71 stops opposite Bulwell Bogs an area for playing, paddling and fishing near the banks of the River Leen. ‘Bogs’ is unfortunately also slang for ‘toilets’ Ya Blue 45 goes up Mapperley Top Mapperley (pronounced Map’ley by locals) is the highest point of the city, hence Mapperly Top It’s got the posh kid voice that’ll give you the creeps Various bus and trams have experimented with using local people to do the automated announcements but for some reason the 45 has a child with a very upper class accent that wouldn’t sound out of place in Village Of The Damned Got a ticket for the cricket? Get the Green 13 to Trent Bridge There’s a farm smack-bang in the middle of  Stansville  Stonebridge City Farm is in St Anns. St Anns = Stans = Stansville Get on the 21 actually the 25 or 27 might be better same as the Panthers fans will The Nottingham Arena/National Ice Centre is the home of the the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Team. Most of their fans actually come in on the tram and get off at Lace Market.

Northbound 40 if you’re feeling Blue, scratching like  DJ Jazzy Jeff to the GMU Genito Urinary Medicine (for sexually transmitted diseases) Little C, big C or up the duff = pregnant, Looks like City’s where you wanna get off bruv/love maternity/neonatal and cancer treatment facilities are also based at Nottingham City Hospital Orange 36 to the QMC Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham’s other hospital, deals with many things including A and E. Stop at the Savoy Cinema on Derby Road is Nottingham’s only surviving pre-Second World War cinema via Sainsbury’s. Ya gotta stock up man, them sweets ain’t cheap I would never advocate smuggling sweets in the cinema Screen 1, have a cuddle in a double seat Yes they have double seats!

My ride is bigger than yours even Jay-Z’s ain’t got two floors. My ride is bigger than yours even Kanye’s ain’t got two floors. My ride is bigger than yours even Chuck D’s ain’t got two floors. My ride is bigger than yours even Tupac’s ain’t got two floors.

There’s kids sneaking maccy d’s McDonald’s fast food onto the 43, round the corner from where Fopp used to be Fopp Records on Queen St moved to the Broadmarsh Centre to make way for a Red’s True Barbecue Brand new Nokia, take it out, feelin proud, shocking taste in music, bled = friend/brother (lit. ‘blood’) imma play it loud. Old Jack’s eating crackers on the back of the bus On the coffin dodger = old person run no one makes a fuss Wollaton (pronounced Woolaton) is a sedate part of Notts with a large amount of elderly people Pink 30 powered by beets not Beats By Dre the Ecolink 30 was an Ethanol-powered bus introduced in 2007. When ethanol got too expensive it was converted to diesel Beetroot that you used to eat yoof = any male person [lit. youth] back in the day sadly Ethanol is made from sugar beet not beetroot but it’s too late now!

Roll past Wayne Manor Wollaton Hall is an Elizabethan country house built in the 1580s and was used as the exterior location of Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises. Wollaton Hall is five miles north of Gotham (pronounced ‘Goat Ham’) where Batman’s Gotham City got its name 

back into town, driver’s complaining, Shurrup! = be quiet (alternative – “stop chunterin’) Put the ramp down. The lady with the [wheel]‘chair that’s chin-controlled wants to ride this beast up Illson Rd Illson = local slang for Illkeston Always drama livening up the place, the mums is fussin over buggy space cos theres a pimped up pram with the spinnin rims, so big no other mothers can squeeze in. My ride is bigger than yours…

Drivers skiving = avoiding work down the alley on Angel Row Next to the Central Library Taking five minutes for a crafty smoke where the Beatles played the Odeon in ’63 Twice. On 23rd May they headlined a tour supported by Roy Orbison and Gerry & The Pacemakers; and on 12th Dec they were supported by The Kestrels. They also played a ‘one night stand’ on 7 Mar 1963 at the Elizabethan Ballroom Co-Operative House (on Upper Parliament Street) with Gerry & The Pacemakers and returned to the Odeon for one last time on 5th Nov 1964 supported by Mary Wells. Now we got a Nando’s and a Nando’s wannabe Rooster’s Piri Piri is on the site of the Odeon Cinema, Nando’s is a little further down Angel Row. Annie’s Burger Shack is hard to beat Home of outrageous gourmet burgers (eg the Johnny Vegas Burger – bacon, toffee apple butter, black pudding, sweet chilli paste and a mini Guinness-flavoured jelly doughnut on a stick) started in The Old Angel Pub, moved to the Navigation pub before settling in it’s own building in the Lace Market. Owner Anmarie Spaziano grew up in the house featured in horror film The Conjuring and says it’s all a load of baloney. But you’ll never get to try it cos you’ll never get a seat Annie’s is still extremely popular, but their booking system is much better than when it first opened sloppy joe for lunch at Brown Betty’s on St James Street or try Homemade cafe on Pelham Street (or at the Pavilion at the Forest Recreation Ground) Maryland skim your can but they keep your change Maryland Chicken on Lower Parliament St, purveyors of the cheapest chicken in Notts are not allowed to hand you a can of coke. They are contractually obliged to slide it to you across the counter. And though everything is £?.99p on the menu, they never have any 1p pieces.

Kids swimming in schools to Oceana the largest nightclub in Nottingham Girls like goldfish, lads like piranhas. Pure and simple, maybe, simple not pure Walk past the Left Lion see if he roars There are two large art-deco stone lions guarding the entrance of the Council House in Old Market Square. It’s traditional to meet someone at the ‘Left Lion’ (the one on your left as you face the building). The local legend is that the lions roar when a virgin walks by. Xylophone Man’s got a blue plaque Frank Robinson was an eccentric busker, nicknamed Xylophone Man because he played a child’s glockenspiel (not xylophone) repeating the same odd phrase over and over again (like the tune you hear on the track). A plaque (black granite, not ‘blue’) in his honour was placed on his ‘pitch’ (outside H & M on Listergate) the year after his death stating “He played his Xylophone here for fifteen years, bringing a smile to the faces of the people of Nottingham”. The feds = police would cut him no slack if he came back ironically Nottingham now enforces a strict ban on unlicensed buskers like Frank Would he get on Mark Del’s show? Mark Del presents the popular and influential NUSIC (New Notts Music) Podcast Can I get a “Hell No!” Poddingham might though – he’s the Pope of Mansfield Road Poddingham Paul is another Notts Pod/Vodcaster known to frequent a particular drinking establishment on Mansfield Road.

How you rolling? I’m rolling heavy. You need to wash your tabs = ears out= you are obviously hard of hearing I’m rolling heavy, said heavy I’m rolling. 13 tons. Built in Poland. 39 Feet from head to toe, 6-cylinder diesel, direct-injection, four-stroke Most NCT buses are Scania OmniCitys, a transverse-engined, low floor, citybus with similar specs to above and built in Słupsk, Poland. Looking for a rhyme or a rhythm or a pattern In a skanky old Metro The Metro is a free newspaper given away on Notts buses that an old lady sat on. There ain’t no clowns round Canning Circus (home to the Warsaw Diner) is where Derby Road, Alfreton Road and Illkeston Road meet. They’re just workers, no one’s gonna murk us = kill/badly injure us. Nottingham’s unfair reputation as a ‘gun-crime capital’ has led to it being called ‘Shottingham’ by outsiders.

Gooseh’s got rides Goose Fair is held at the Forest Recreation Ground and is one of the largest annual travelling funfairs in the UK. The fair dates back to around 1284. Author D. H. Lawrence return home from London every year to attend. Mela’s got rhythm The Nottingham Mela, celebrating Asian music, dance, art and culture, is the longest running Mela in Europe. Tarantino hit Broadway brought Pulp Fiction with him  Quentin Tarantino curated Broadway Cinema’s Shots in the Dark Festival in 1994 and gave a surprise British premier of Pulp Fiction, bringing the film with him from the Cannes Film Festival. I’m loud like Little John the hour bell in the Council House. Tuned to Eb it’s the UK deepest bell, and at 10 tons it’s the 5th heaviest. It’s chime was offered as a temporary replacement for London’s Big Ben during repairs. Sillitoe-gritty Alan Sillitoe, one of the so-called “angry young men” of the 1950s, wrote Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Hooks as sticky as the floor in Rock City legendary music venue and nightclub on Talbot St which opening in 1980 Getting busy like the bus stop at Forest Rec a staggering amount of buses head out of the city centre down Mansfield Road and all of them try to stop at one small, badly-lit stop next to the Forest Recreation Ground or Tight like the floor space inside Rob’s Records Rob’s Record Mart in Hurts Yard (a place resembling Diagon Alley painted in preschool-friendly colours) is a vinyl store so small and chaotic that when Rob tidied up it became an item of local newsSo bring me a bus! Bring me a driver! Bring me breakfast from Warsaw Diner! at Canning Circus (on Derby Road) get there early if you want a seat!

© Matt Blick/Pete Glover 2016

Categories
Production Recording Songwriting

Rick Rubin on Songoverwriting and Underproduction

Rick Rubin gave a brilliant interview to Andrew Romano’s in the The Daily Beast. Here’s some excerpts on songwriting and producing

I’d say [to Kanye] “This song is not so good. Should I start messing with it?” And he’d say, “Yes, but instead of adding stuff, try taking stuff away.”

There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across.

For me the Beatles are proof of the existence of God. It’s so good and so far beyond everyone else that it’s not them.

My job [as a producer] is to be a professional version of the outside world—a listener who is not attached to any of it, who doesn’t know the story of how it was written, who doesn’t know how it works, who doesn’t know why this is important to you.

I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it. So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know.

There’s a cycle that’s dictated by the reality of being a touring artist [when you only have eight weeks between tours to make a record]. At some point in time the cycle takes over, and even though you’re not really ready to make the record during that window, it’s the only window you have, so you put it out. Cracks in the foundation start. And slowly, over time, the creative process gets eroded, and [making a record] becomes something that’s just a window in the schedule instead of the most important thing that drives the whole train.

I always request that artists overwrite. Write as much as possible—and then we can narrow down—because you never really know. The best song you write might be No. 25, not No. 12. For every System of a Down record, we’ve recorded probably 30 songs to get the 12 or 14 that are on the record. The same with Chili Peppers. It was a little bit of a struggle with Black Sabbath…We probably recorded 16. And there are eight on the album. It made sense to me [to work that way] because in the past they were on a roll from album to album, and now they haven’t been a band together in 35 years. The idea that after 35 years the first 10 songs you write are perfect is unrealistic.

How did you discover Public Enemy, another one of the greatest rap groups ever?

D.M.C. played me a tape of Chuck D hosting a radio show. The show was called “Public Enemy Number One.” So I called him, and he said that he had already done the rap thing. Now he had a regular job. He wasn’t interested. He felt like he was too old. He was probably 20. Chuck thought he’d missed his chance. He worked at a record store. I called him every day for six months, probably. He would leave a message with whoever was there, like, “Tell Rick I’m not here.” And then eventually I got a message: Chuck wants to meet. And he comes in, and he’s like, “I’m willing to do it under these terms: it’s called Public Enemy. It’s a group. It’s more like the Clash than a rap group, and it’s me and Flavor Flav, and Griff and Hank are involved.” And I said, “Whatever you want to do is fine.”

Read the full interview here

Check out my Black Sabbath/ Beastie Boys mashup here

Categories
Top 10

Top 10 Music Releases of 2012

Here’s the music that’s rocked my world in 2012*

1) Perfect Wreck (EP) (2012) – Mountain Schmountain
2) Ghosts Upon The Earth (2011) – Gungor
3) I Done A Album (2011) – Beardyman
4) To The Five Boroughs (2004) – Beastie Boys
5) Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares Vol. 3 (1989) – The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir
6) Champion Of The Game Of Love (single) (2012) – Chris Henson
7) Strange Negotiations (2011) – David Bazan
8) Fight The Power (Coneheads OST) (1993) – Barenaked Ladies
9) The Book Of Love (single) (2011) – Peter Gabriel
10) Normal (2005) – Bumblefoot

1) Perfect Wreck (EP) (2012) – Mountain Schmountain

Naming an 5 song EP that clocks in at just over 11 minutes as your favourite release of the year feels a little odd. But this miniature masterpiece has not left my playlist since it was released early in 2012 and I’m still finding hidden depths. Totally original in writing, viewpoint and execution.

Get it here

2) Ghosts Upon The Earth (2011) – Gungor

The ‘Liturgical Post rock’ band continues to put more and more miles between it and anything else the industry would label as ‘christian music’. Birthed at the intersection of spirituality, originality and great musicianship.

Get it here UK US

3) I Done A Album (2011) – Beardyman

Beardyman is a musical renaissance man, who transcends mere beatboxing with awesome chameleonic vocals, impressive DJ, mixing and songwriting skills and comedic chops a plenty.

Get it here UK US

4) To The Five Boroughs (2004) – Beastie Boys

MCA’s death this year set me off visiting and revisiting all things Beastie. I hated this album when it came out and yet loved many of the songs which I later bought in other formats. It took me a while to remember why. Two words – copy control. When I got the CD in 2004, the inbuilt anti-piracy software (malware) crashed my computer and I never went back. Piracy may kill music but Sony gave a masterclass in how to kill fans. Buy the download it, just to be safe…

Get it here UK US

Check out NyGel’s Ch-Check It Out Istanbul (Not Constantinople) Remix 

5) Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares Vol. 3 (1989) – The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir

Vol. 1 is one of my favourite albums of all time and vol. 2 is none too shabby either, but it took years to finally make it to vol. 3. No other music sounds quite so other worldly and yet primally familiar… feels like Atlantis is calling me home…

Get it here UK US

6) Champion Of The Game Of Love (single) (2012) – Chris Henson

Quite simply one of the funniest and best written love ballads I’ve ever heard. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Get it here

7) Strange Negotiations (2011) – David Bazan

2012 was the year I discovered Bazan after being told by several different people that my depressed christian songs sounded like Pedro The Lion. I can see the similarity and Bazan’s writing gets more assured with every release.

Get it here UK US

8) Fight The Power (Coneheads OST) (1993) – Barenaked Ladies

I had an epiphany listening to this bunch of mild mannered white Canadians singing the unofficial anthem of militant black hip hop. In the future hip hop will take it’s place among the folk music of the world and people of all colours and creeds will faithfully recreate Tupac and Ice T tracks with no more embarrassment (or understanding) than a middle class folk balladeer singing about the Irish potato famine.

I guess Buddy Ebsen really was a hero to most…

Get it here UK US

9) The Book Of Love (single) (2011) – Peter Gabriel

Gabriel’s album of left field orchestral covers, You Scratch My Back, yielded this beautiful version of The Magnetic Fields song

Get it here UK US

10) Normal (2005) – Bumblefoot

Guns n Roses guitarist Ron Thal’s alter-ego/band created a compelling audio journey through mental illness. Angry, lyrical, funny and full of great musicianship.

Get it here UK US

Honourable mentions

Somebody That I Used To Know (single) – Gotye/Walk Off The Earth
I Can’t Get Behind That (from the album ‘Has Been’)– William Shatner ft. Henry Rollins
El Camino (single) – Elisabeth Cook
Human Racing 20th Anniversary reissue – Nik Kershaw
Bangarang (EP) – Skrillex
Whole Lotta Helter Skelter (mashup) – Soundhog

*When I say 2012, I mean releases I first came across this year. I can’t help it of people are inconsiderate enough to release records before i’m ready to listen to then, can I?

Categories
Showing Up Song Vault

The Intergalactic Wizard

Photo: Steve Burns

For my 46th song project I got distracted from the mashup idea that was distracting me from the song I was writing while I should have been writing another song.

I ended up working on a mashup of The Wizard by Black Sabbath and Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys. I’ve always thought the second track on The Sabs debut album was unfeasibly funky for a hard rock band. See what you think. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you

The Intergalactic Wizard – mp3

Other samples taken from

Alive, Shazam! and Hey, F**k You by the Beastie Boys

Other free songs by Matt Blick that are nothing like this one

   
Categories
Uncategorized

How Do They Do That?

Ever wanted to see what a DJ does up close and personal?

Weeeeell…what Beastie Boys collaborator Mix Master Mike does is absolutely nothing for the first 1:48 but thereafter is amazing.

Check it out!

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