Those three words are said too much. They’re not enough

Songs I shouldn’t like but do and why
Chasing cars – Snow Patrol.

Not a big fan by any means. Yet the lyrics here have always struck home.
No big ramble about what they mean, make your own mind up. However I will finish with this line.
“If I lie here, if I just lie here. Would you lie with me and just forget the world”

Well would you?

Songs I like but probably shouldn’t…and why

http://open.spotify.com/track/65Kt1dbZ53GRRvc3ngIRCk
Robyn (with Kleerup) – With every heartbeat

I started listening to this after reading the excellent Phonogram book 2.
There is something haunting and beautiful about this track that I want to share with you. Be warned, there are a lot of remixes out there but this is the version I like.

The track starts straight away, no slow fade in of volume.  Its just there and demanding attention.  the drums provide the heartbeat of the song with the synth laying the foundation.  Then she starts to sing in that soft, fragile sounding voice.  I am not a lover of her work, so can’t confirm that this is what she sounds like.  On this track the voice is perfect.

A relationship has reached the end and they are walking away from each other.  The first verse makes this clear and then she starts to repeat the same sentence over and over, almost like a mantra to re-inforce that this is the right decision.

The voice goes silent and the strings take up the space.  Rising in intensity, accompanied by the drumbeat.  Then the drums disappear and we are left with the strings.  Emotionally uplifting and deflating at the same time for a few seconds before the synths kick back in.  Robyn then starts to sing “And it hurts with every heartbeat”.  Now I think the original version ends here for some reason.  this version continues as she repeats the line again (and this is the only change I would make to the song.  I would have had complete silence of the music and just have her voice be the only thing you have to hang on to.

Anyway, the line is repeated time and time again as the drums burst back into life.  Jeez I could dance to this track.  Somewhere in a darkened dance floor, I would not be able to resist the beat.  This track then takes the hurt and pain at the end of a love affair and condenses it into an almost perfect pop song.

Then all too soon, her voice goes silent and the synths start to fade.  Reality has crept back in and we are left in the middle of that dance floor as the lights come up.

Alone.

Maybe she’s just pieces of me you’ve never seen

I feel I should post something here to welcome my new followers and to hopefully explain a little bit about myself.

Hello *waves*

 

I am Scottish, I live in Aberdeen and am 41 (depending on when you read this, the last part may not be true)

I set this blog up after Posterous fell on its arse.  I wanted a place where I could post random short stories, just little things that were written in 10 minutes or so.  Warren ellis the comic writer, coined the term Burstfiction once and I snaffled it because it sounded cool.

So I was writing wee stories in my lunch hour and somehow they morphed into a tale where my online avatar, came into the real world.  Well a version of the real world.  The little stories all started to link together without me really trying.  Then I did start trying and it all came together in a way that surprised even me.  Now I am not a great writer but I know I am a decent writer.  Admittedly because I seem to set everything I write in and around Aberdeen, the appeal is limited but that’s ok.  The internet gives me the freedom to do this and you the freedom to read or not.  It’s good like that.

Then my relationship ended.

My self esteem and confidence, which were always pretty low anyway, just crumbled to dust and I had that horrible feeling that I had nowhere to turn to.  I did not need advice or worry, I just needed to vent.  So this blog became that place.

When I started getting more people reading my blog posts than were reading my stories, well I wont lie, I was insulted.  For a bit anyway.  A good friend of mine told me to just do what felt right, so that is why today I have done both.  Writing is an escape for me in many ways and that is my reason for doing so.

Thank you for taking the time to read and I will see you in that dark bar sometime.

The Laird

x

P.S. I actually am a Laird too (I bought a title for my 40th) and my flat was nicknamed the Dark, so my username is not a complete lie!!

“We were singing in the rain, like we invented singing”

There was a battle going on in the DJ booth as the Laird entered the local pub.  Inside the usual wooden furnishings had gone and in their place was a nightclub.  He stepped back outside to check that he was in the right place, satisfied that he was, he went back in.

The music was pounding just out of sync with the lights.  It was a tune he recognised but could not place.  A blast from the past.  The two Djs were wrestling each other to stop the other from reaching the controls.

“They need to hear this song, it is that important!” shouted one of the men, the tail end of the sentence disappearing as a hand pushed his face downwards.

“Not Three times in a row it’s not.” replied the other.

The Laird wandered to the bar and waited his turn to be served.  Behind him the music continued, fading smoothly into a new track.  If he had not seen it , he would have thought all was ok back there.

There was only one barmaid on tonight and a host of thirsty punters.  The Laird accepted that it would take some time for him to be noticed, let alone served.  It always did.  He was used to it by now.  Not belonging to the young, good looking ones or the scary interesting ones, he waited and looked at the range of drinks behind the bar.  The pub was nothing like this last night and yet today it was.  He was mulling this over when a soft, pretty voice interrupted.

“Hello there, what can I get you?”

Looking up he saw a barmaid stood right in front of him.  Not the lone one he had seen earlier, she was still serving a group of metal kids to his left.  This lady had appeared from nowhere and had come to serve him first.  This never happened to him and the surprise made him temporarily forget what he wanted.

“A pint of Lager please?” he eventually managed to say but because of the volume of the music that surrounded them, the barmaid leaned in closer to hear.  He repeated his order and she smiled while she went to fulfill it.  A poppy tune faded in from a hard dance track and again the Laird thought he recognised it.

“It’s not love but it is still a feeling” the barmaid said as she returned with his drink.  Seeing the confusion in his eyes, she added, “That’s what the song is called.  Its one of my favourites.”

“Thanks.”  he replied as he paid the lady.  The crowd at the bar was getting heavier and he made to turn and head to a safe haven.  The barmaid was still talking to him, making no attempt to serve the waiting customers.  The throng seemed to not even notice her.

“So then, I have not seen you in here before, have I?”  The last part was either a question or a statement and he could not work out which.  Shaking his head, the laird sipped his drink and let the cool liquid lubricate his dry throat.  She continued.

“So what brought you here tonight then?”  She was leaning on the bar now.  He realised he had better answer her.

“Well, I have had a bad time of it recently,” She made that face that people make when they hear sad news, he continued, “And I thought I would go out for a quiet drink to cheer myself up.”

She laughed at that comment, this just made him feel uncomfortable.  his mind raced through a hundred and one reasons that she may find that statement funny and settled on the bad ones.  He started to formulate an escape plan, he just had to wait until a break in the conversation and then he could say his goodbyes.

“Well you probably wont get much of a quiet drink here.”  She laughed again and he was sure she touched her hair slightly.  “However the corner seating over there,” She gestured into the darkness,” that’s where the music is the least loud.”

“Ah thanks.” He turned and then looked back to smile at her, only to see her coming out from behind the bar and joining him.

“Come on, I will escort you.” She linked her arm in his and together they walked into the dark.  the track changed again and this time the beat of the music flowed like electricity through his body and he felt his posture straighten and his walk become a strut.  This was obviously a dream, he had decided, so he may as well just go with it and enjoy it.

The seated area was empty, the occupants of the club too busy pulling shapes in the church of dance nearby.  They both sat down and the lady picked up a drink that was already sitting there.

“Oh sorry I should explain.”  Her eyes sparkled with excitement.  “I was sitting here already and when i noticed you arrive, I had to come and get you.  You see, we have been waiting for you.  You and I need to have a long talk.”

The music swelled and seemed to drown out the rest of the club, leaving the two of them alone in the darkness.

We may not last but we’ll have fun to the end…C’mon baby let me be your bad boyfriend

Todays post comes from a conversation i had recently with a single female friend.  We spoke about how having been out of the game for a while, the thought of dating again is scary.  Things have changed out there and there is a chance we could mess it up.

So what about a Training Boyfriend / Girlfriend concept?  (Apologies if this already exists, in which case skip the post, there will be nothing to see here!)

When you were younger and learning to ride a bike, you may have had stabalisers on your bike.  Littel training wheels that allowed you to get the feeling of cycling with an added safety net that it was hard to fall over.  What if there was a way that you could get back in the dating game with the help of a friend of the opposite sex, who was there to show you what to do and more importantly what not to do.

SummerGirl

You see, I know that if I did start dating again, If I really liked the person i had met, then I might go all Bernard Black on her.

Or I may decide to act all aloof and nasty (that’s what girls want right?).

Either way this could be avoided if I could go out for a date with a female friend.  not as friends but as a training date – you would both have to agree this beforehand.

You could learn from the wisdom and advice of your training partner and not be as scared and nervous when you eventually go on a date.

Now I am obviously not talking about the physical side, if you are unsure about that, then this is not going to help you.  Just two friends that for a night are strangers and learn to get along.  At the end of the night, the friendship returns and you take your notes home and learn.

I can almost hear you thinking “Aye right Laird, this is just a scam to get dates without the embarrassment of asking someone”.  It really isn’t, it is a semi serious idea that has been hanging around my brain for a while.  It probably would not work at all.  I do not think this could be done with strangers either as that could accidentally turn into a real date, which may be great or not but friends would be honest with you.  That’s the key.  If no-one tells you that your playbook is wrong, then you are going to go back to it time and time again.

( and yes that clip is about the physical side but the point is the same)

 

So what do you think?  Good Idea? Stupid Idea? Interesting idea but needs work?

Let me know

Peace falls from the leaves tonight

A quick thank you to the people who read yesterdays post and were worried about me!!  I thought it was a positive post but it just shows you that sometimes words without context can come across many different wordsThere is no need to worry as I am fine but I am blessed with wonderful friends and for that I thank you x

Anyway this made me think of expression through art.  A lot of what I write, be it fiction or blogging, is torn from how I feel about things.  I sometimes have a point to it all, sometimes it is just a venting exercise to get what is bothering me out there and to look at it from a new point of view with the hope of making some sort of sense of it all.

Artists do this all the time, be it through words, art or music.  The great thing about work like this is that it can mean different things to different people and no one is wrong.  only the creator of that art can tell the truth and sometimes that is lost in time (at least it is with me).

With my writing, i would feel like I was cheating if bits of it were not from my heart.  While this can cause confusion and potentially open you up to ridicule, the advantages are always a more powerful piece of work.  I use song lyrics as titles as a form of summing up a post or story or to help create a mood.  They do not always work but that wont stop me from using them.  Today’s title comes from the band Analog Missionary “Open Star”.  A lovely song but that lyric always stands out for me.  it makes me think of the death scene in “Hero” which is so lovingly done and peaceful that I hope that when I go it is like that.

The best example I can give you of using emotion in art, is Bruce Springsteen “The River”.  Now put your feelings of Bruce to one side and just bear with me.  The song is a beautiful haunting song that talks of loss of innocence and youth.  One of my favourites of his.

Now go and track down the version that is on his live album box set from 1985 or so.  The track opens with Bruce talking about growing up and fighting with his dad and all the problems that come with that time in your life as a teenager.  Then he moves onto the Vietnam war and the draft.  This is powerful and heartbreaking stuff and could only come from someone who had lived that.  The story has little to do with the song but the emotion that is built up by the telling of the story and then the harmonica kicking in afterwards to start the song, is possibly the most wonderful example of using your own life and putting it into your art.

Now we all have songs or books or art that we think do the same and if you have any, let me know.  i love to experience new things and while i may not agree with your assessment of something, there is just as good a chance that I will.  then you will have shared something almost magical and that is always a good thing