Monthly Archives: September 2014

Working Class Heroes

Working Class Heroes

“There’s room at the top I’m telling you still

But first you must learn how to smile as you kill

If you want to be like the folks on the hill

Working Class Hero is something to be”

With spiralling controversy that lead to a radio station manager spending a year in prison and a $10,000 fine for allowing it uncensored airplay, this John Lennon classic has been covered by Ozzy Osbourne, Greenday and Marilyn Manson, just to name a few. Influenced by the left-wing political movement and thinkers at the time, it carries a messages that hits home to all of us. In the song John Lennon denounces the rules of family and school that diminish an individual, in it, he encourages revolution in the heads and hearts of you and I.

“Keep you doped with religion, sex and T.V

And you think you’re so clever and classless and free

but you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see”

JohnLennonWorkingClassHeroTheDefini

“When they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years

Then they expect you to pick a career

When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear…”

They say the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, they say no one dies a virgin because life fucks us all, they say everybody dies but not everybody lives… let me digress a bit, yes, I consciously want to digress. See, every few weeks I visit the barber, the one I go to is situated on the closer outskirts of the CBD and often when I’m there, I get to see homeless people walk in to ask for water. Whilst they wait for their buckets to fill up, surrounded by mirrors, oblivious to their worn-out clothes, they start dusting themselves up. Helplessly I experienced a profound sense of sadness when I first saw this. It doesn’t occur to us that a homeless person who probably has a single meal a day (if they’re lucky) gives a damn about what they look like… back to my point. We allow society to program us into thinking that not going to parties every week and not being affluent means you’re not “Living”. FUCK IT. whether you’re upper class or lower class, we all have days that are better, likewise worse than others… it’s those days that remind us that we’re alive, that we all have the strength to go on… that we all have a story to tell… a story that perhaps has evolved the soul into appreciating a beauty so invisible to a sister in her LV shoes.

 

"Superheroes" video shot

“Superheroes” video shot

This one is for the unsung heroes, written by Irish pop rock band The Script, “Superheroes” is one hell of an inspirational number, It hollas at people who are going through the hardest of times but still manage to keep their head held high.

Shot In Johannesburg, South Africa the video tells a story of a struggling single dad who makes sure that his dear little daughter isn’t affected by the financial struggles he faces in the dark… An unsung hero indeed as so many people have been brought up by single mothers, no one ever really talks about single dads… we forget about them, just as we tend to forget each others values as human beings, grading each other into lower, middle and upper class.

 

"Superheroes" video shot

“Superheroes” video shot

With a suit and tie facade, the dad leaves home for work only to change outfits as he in fact works at a dump(ster). As for the daughter, wishful thinking often comes around when her dad is away, thoughts of her actually having friends. She feeds these wishful thoughts with the little she has only to be let down once more… at least ’til her hero comes back home… Damn! if you haven’t seen this video, you have to.

"Superheroes" video shot

“Superheroes” video shot

“When you’ve been fighting for it all your life

You’ve been working every day and night

That’s how a superhero learns to fly

Every day, every hour

Turn the pain into power”

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“Superheroes” video shot

Heads up, yes they’re not coming to Durban but The Script will be returning to SA in a few months, Get your tickets and who knows? maybe they’ll shoot another video here 🙂

 

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Bikini Weather (23 Thousand Trips Around The Sun)

 “Consider this

Consider this, the hint of the century

Consider this, the slip

That brought me to my knees, failed

What if all these fantasies come

Flailing around

Now I’ve said too much”

€Not being understood never scared me, it’s all I know.
Being the weird soul that I am, I had it coming, yet I’m highly intrigued by how I always try to relate things to each other.

Being born in ’91 “Losing My Religion”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Give It Away” were the 3 biggest rock songs that year, songs that have define who I am as I’ve been very vocal with my attempts to understand why we’re here.

"Losing My Religion" video shot

“Losing My Religion” video shot

Being born into a religious (Christian) family, the questions I’ve had about the name of God may allude to me “Losing My Religion”, my faith.

As a kid, being expected by family and family friends to fill the cool shoes of a late big brother slowed me down, as they were too heavy for my young feet. The life he left behind smothered my name lifeless, I was never myself, I was never Ndumiso but a miniature version of my brother, as I was put under the pressure of walking in his shoes, suddenly my existence was meant to fill the void that he left in people’s heart… His brogues.

You used to captivate me by your resonating light
Now I’m bound by the life you left behind”- Evanescence

Trying to conform I did what I could to feed everyone’s expectation of who or what I was meant to be though everything I was, was short of anything my big brother would’ve ever been in their eyes. So I threw my arms up… I rebelled.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" single cover

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” single cover

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” integrated a sense of self-worth I never had. With lyrics like “I’m worse at what I do best and for this gift I feel blessed” I realized the true notion of contentment, the idea of trying not to be the best son, but the idea to build myself up (without competing with anyone) from being the worst best son… I mean best worst son.
It’s because of this number that being an outcast or being made to feel like one will never move me.

"Give It Away" single cover

“Give It Away” single cover

Being born into this world, we are all born into different situations and backgrounds, yes I don’t have much, I never did.
But whatever little I do have is a lot,
It’s a lot because it’s been enough to keep the breaths I’ve taken coming likewise, the breaths I’m about to take going forward.

What I will forever struggle to understand is what on heaven did I do in/on the other side (before being born) that millions of kids who are born into poverty, infected with various diseases didn’t?

The hunger for wealth has never driven me as much as it drives some of my brothers as to me money doesn’t equate to respect nor does it equate to being God, but if God is love then “hell yes” altruism and selfless behavior equates to being God, not in any weird way but in a way that loving and giving is you allowing His name to live through you.

This is just a few lessons a song released by The Red Hot Chili Peppers 23 years ago titled “Give It Away” has taught me.

This may be the day I was born, but it’s not MY DAY, it’s yours too. Make the best of it.

"Give It Away" music video gif

“Give It Away” music video gif

“Giveraway, giveraway, giveraway now”


Gray Noise

It’s that time of the year again.
The birds are humming the bees are buzzing… well, it’s Spring Day in South Africa
What’s new? definitely not Spring or any of the four seasons for that matter.

“Perfect skies are blue and strange, just to think of what has been arranged
And a bloom of flowers here
But my boots are still too tight
Standing here day by day
All I want to say, all I want to say, all I want to say
Is I think I know what’s wrong with me now”

The Springbok Nude Girls rocking the crowd

The Springbok Nude Girls rocking the crowd

Something spectacular happened in South Africa 20 years ago… Freedom, yes, but what I’m about to talk about right here is our first post-apartheid rock band… Yeap, You guessed it…
Lead by Arno Carstens, The Springbok Nude Girls were voted the Best South African rock band in a poll conducted by 5FM. As far as music is concerned, that’s the least of their achievements.

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The Springbok Nude Girls on stage

Above I quoted lyrics from A Springbok Nude Girls classic, “Bubblegum On My Boots”. This number swings from being a shy-trumpet accompanied arm waving sing along tune to a full on rock n roll head banger.
The song seems to be about a big fish in a small pond, procrastination and all his friends.
It’s about a moment when one realises the  boundless-ness of  their potential and how they’ve allowed circumstances to keep them from going forward thus far.

What Arno Carstens has done with this number on his 2014 solo release Lightning Prevails is a treat to old and new fans… it’s something you have to hear for yourself.

Like every one else in this world, I’m convinced that I have the best taste in music, and as a person with a good ear for music (that I am), I dub Arno Carstens as one of the greatest rock stars of our time, I’m not basing this as just a fan but because as a musician, he proved that he isn’t The Springbok Nude Girls, that he could make it work with or without his band… I could name a few band leaders who’ve went solo without much success, but I wont.
When The Springbok Nude Girls went on an indefinite hiatus in 2001 not all was lost as two years later (In 2003) Arno Carstens went on to release one of the most anticipated solo projects in South African music history in the form of “Another Universe”, his debut solo album.
Becoming the biggest selling South African English rock album this side of the millennium, “Another Universe” did not only go platinum but won a SAMA for Best Rock Album the following year.

Black music?

Black music?

White music?

White music?

At the wake of my palate as sound was just like the others, no, I mean colour was just like the others, Yes, it was only later that I learned that music had colour, and when I did, it felt like I had been living my whole life in another universe, see what I did there? (What I’m trying to say is that I think classifying music as either white or black music is total rtyuihg)

 

“Another Universe” is another classic Arno Carstens reworked… this time, with the help of the legendary Johnny Clegg… This song alone deserves its own blogpost… watch this space.

It’s quite obvious that Arno Carstens is a force to recon with which is why I’m so excited to see him as one of the judges/mentors in X Factor SA starting this weekend on SABC1.

Lightning Prevails album art

Lightning Prevails album art

Lightning Prevails is out now! treat yourself.

“Lets play the mellow music slow, leave the car on the highway and go
Nobody needs to know another universe, Make a distance between us and them
Lonely, lonely, never us again”