Music I’ve been loving lately – Syd and Ray Blk

I just thought I’d share a post about some of the music I’ve been listening to lately, I tend to revolve in the same musical space for quite a while because I just get so happy existing there. Also, just a note, I write about two artists here, but I give them quite unequal word time, that’s for no real reason, other than the fact that I’m just quite unmeasured and if it flows for longer then I just let it 🙂 .

Listening to new artists, although exciting, is not always something I’m in the mood for. It’s a bit like starting a new TV series, having to get to know all new characters and story-lines etc. I like to find media I wash myself in to be of comfort, that’s why I like familiarity a lot of the time, or perhaps I’m a bit lazy in this department.

I have to be in a very particular mood to start listening to a new album for example.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Let’s go:

  • Syd’s most recent album – Fin

I love Syd’s vocals, attitude and stage presence – she oozes sex appeal for me and makes music that I want to move to. Her music could so easily be the soundtrack to eye-fucking someone on the dance-floor, letting the darkness and the drink make you liquid.

I particularly like Dollar Bills, Know, Body and All About Me.

It’s such a smooth album, that really wraps you up in it.

  • Ray Blk’s – Durt

I keep coming back to Ray Blk – I first heard her sing 5050 and it just made me look for more of her work. It just sounded like it might have been some old classic that I was failing to recognise and I was surprised to find it was an original song – I’m not sure what felt familiar about it, but the point is – I loved it.

I love her candour. And the emotion she conveys so gracefully in her voice, I find the content of a lot of her songs to be so touching and real.

My favourite songs from “Durt” are My Hood and Gone (which features Wretch 32) – Chill Out is also so listenable.

Talk To Me and 2am are also great tracks that I listen to on repeat.

Her voice is so expressive of pain and sometimes bleakness, but she combines it with touches of lightness and humour. Her references to pop-culture really make them real by setting the lyrics in time, the details paint such a vivid image for me.

The first verse of 2am shows that detail perfectly:

 ” […] no no, cartoons on the telly,

cold spaghetti in my belly.

I laugh loud, nobody can hear me,

Zoidberg, Carlsberg, I’m feeling merry”

I appreciate the rhymes and half-rhymes and the lonely picture she paints with humour. That clarity of bringing the scene to life, I think, is a real skill.

Also, I love it in Talk To Me when she says “Hope you hit it last, Kanye not Ray J” – I find it really beautiful and candid, by using this image – she expertly avoids cliche and to be honest, it kinda gets my heart a bit. On top of that, as in a lot of her songs, the pace of her deliverance propels things forward so pleasantly and with such great rhythm.

Candour, honesty and directness are things I admire and love to hear so much in music, the personas in her songs speak a kind of truth I find really emotive, she shows us so many things at once, her vulnerability, her sexuality and her drive, as well as her creativity in expressing those feelings.

I just love her story-telling basically and the effortlessly cool frame in which she places it, and now I’m gonna stop gushing, it’s feels a bit out of character, haha.

I just love hearing complex female voices in music and Ray Blk and Syd, I feel, give us just that.

H

 

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Camera eye

Sometimes I see other people’s faces on their profile pic here and I feel a little, not jealous, exactly, but like I want to put my picture up so people can see me,

Why is that?

I’m not sure.

I think it gives such a nice personal touch, and as a reader, and a consumer of other people’s words – I enjoy putting a face to a poem.

Watching someone perform a poem can be really moving, it can be great and I’d love to have the confidence to do such a thing.

However, how would I grasp on to my anonymity then?

I know what I’ve written and published. I know every poem and I imagine that sometime Auntie Margaret might see it or someone who doesn’t particularly like me maybe, may get them up to have a nice laugh.

“Jason, have a look at this. She’s talking about masturbation again- silly cow, what a dirty fingerer.

What makes people like that? Is she an exhibitionist or something?

That must be why she never leaves the house, eh.”

“Huh huh huh – you are funny Janice, I’m glad I married you. You do make a good quip. Now come and sit on me thumb.”

Hahaha – see, how am I supposed to write my poems and look you in the camera eye?

I could just stop being vulgar and disgusting.

Nah.

Beep

Beep beep,

You’ve got a message.

It’s from me.

I’m gonna start doing that in real life,

Or just vibrate so everyone knows I’ve got something to say.

I might lay on the table and just vibrate loudly until someone picks me up.

Connecting

Filling up notebooks is pleasing.

And I like turning through past thoughts.

I have some essays I wrote in 2015 – just for myself, not for school or anything.

There’s sort of journal entries where I’ve stayed up spilling.

Talking about my emotions, my sexuality, my problems, fears.

It’s nice to have a record of these things – if enough time passes it can be a bit like reading someone else’s diary, until you get to a part you remember really feeling and it can take you back there for a second.

Another record gets kept – often without this intention.

Messages sent between friends, to people I may not even speak to anymore.

You can search for a particular word and see hours of past conversation.

Odd.

Imagine when the only record one had of particular conversations was in one’s memory.

Just in a general vibey way – you can remember how you felt with someone generally and the odd bit of conversation, a particularly intense secret sharing session, or inside jokes that were repeated so much they became your second friend-language.

Now, sometimes I find people seem to exist in the words they’ve let me in on – in the smiling yellow faces they click in.

It catches me off guard in the first second of a phone call – when you can hear a voice

And you know that voice is embodied.

There’s someone else with a real body, whose lips form the sounds and whose tongue pushes them out.

Real eyes and real brain, speaking to yours.

How close, how connected – what a blessing.

What a blessing to see someone in your actual vicinity – to share the same space and time.

To be free to share smiles I can use my muscles to make on my own face,

To see yours appear with my own eyes and hear your laugh, sing-song.

To share sunlight and a drink, to both feel the bitter air on our skin.

Isn’t it a privilege to see your words touch someone else’s face in real time, instead of waiting for a response in a vacuum.

 

My brother hasn’t read any of my poems

My brother hasn’t read any of my poems,

I won’t tell him the address coz they’re all about sex,

Well not all – but a lot,

And they’re confessional a lot of the time.

He jokes:

“Why would anyone want to read about your headaches?”

“They’re not all about headaches.”

“Back aches then, neck aches – are you branching out into feeling cold?”

I do say I’m cold a lot to be fair.

 

Experience 1: A lot of people on dating apps are awful. Part 1 (Intro)

This is just the introduction to the first listed thing in Experience: what I’ve learnt :).

I’ve been using dating apps for a couple of years now.

I’ve tried:

  • OK Cupid
  • Tinder
  • Grazer (Basically Tinder for vegetarians and vegans)
  • Zoosk
  • Her
  • Plenty of Fish
  • Fem
  • Happ’n

And possibly some others that I can’t remember :).

The one I’ve stuck to most closely and have actually, wait for it, paid for is OK Cupid.

I find it’s generally reliable and I quite like how it’s all set up and it’s not too expensive (think it might be around £25 every six months for “A-list”, something along those lines).

It’s more than just a scrolling stream of photos with minimal bios like Tinder and Grazer, where I feel like I haven’t got enough information to decide whether I do or don’t like someone. Also if I’m feeling a bit indecisive, I often feel like I just have to end the application rather than make a decision about a person. And then, they can keep coming up every time I log back in and I still have no clue what to do – there’s no maybe pile.

You get to answer questions at any point, it’s all multiple choice, and from that, it assigns you with a range of qualities.

As an example, I’ll read you what it says on my current profile.

OKC describes me as :

  • Less Ambitious
  • More Compassionate
  • Less Arrogant
  • Less Sex-driven
  • More Polite
  • More Love-driven

than the average bisexual woman of my age on OKC.

(I must confess, I am less inclined to actually answer many of the sex-based questions on the app, mainly because I don’t want people who may want to creep me out to know any particulars of what I like or don’t like in the bedroom.

I don’t want to give certain people “ammunition” if you know what I mean – you can just imagine it …

OKC question: “Would you rather be tied up during sex or do the tying?”

OKC answers: “Be tied up; Do the tying; Neither thanks; I like both.”

Person A: Be tied up 🙂

Message from Person B > Person A: Oh you like being tied up do ya luv? *rubs knees*

You understand. I just like to keep some of the information to a minimum because I don’t trust everyone that could be witnessing this information to not use it to taunt or threaten or insult or shame me.

Therefore, perhaps OKC’s conception of me and my sex drive is slightly skewed. Although I don’t know I haven’t asked a sample group or anything.

Anyway, based on your answers to these questions, and what answer you’ll accept from a potential match, you are given a percentage match score to compare with every other member of the site.

Obviously, the match score can do little in terms of conveying how chemical you’ll feel in real life, but, I feel answering questions in this way does help get to know some basic things about a match.

For example, once I “liked” a match (gave him a little star) and he gave me one and we started chatting, he was a fellow vegan and from his profile and pictures, he seemed like a lovely smiley guy, bit of a free spirit.

We exchanged a couple of messages each, I complimented his pies (you can link to your instagram), and then I thought I’d have a quick look through how he’d answered some of his questions.

I found that he still seemed OK, we had quite a high match percentage maybe somewhere in the 80s or 90s.

And then, I got to the sex section…

One of the questions there was: “Would you ever film a sexual encounter without your partner knowing?”

And he’d answered yes.

I know.

So, basically, I feel for this sort of thing it can be really helpful, because if you have a few deal-breakers – you can weed them out without even having to actually chat. As much as I dislike the idea of commodifying one’s search for love or measuring the effort you may have to put in, if you’ve been on dating apps as long as I have you’ll know how difficult and time consuming it can be.

A couple of my friends and I who were all on it at once at one point, called it admin, because it often felt like a job – a risky, sometimes exciting, sometimes disappointing, but most often, extremely tedious job.

You often find yourself having quite similar conversations with strangers until one of you decides you’re not really fussed about talking anymore, or you meet, and then decide the same thing.

And then there’s the struggle of dealing with the titular awful people you can come into contact with, of whom there are different types. I’ll talk about some of these in more detail in the next section.

(Sorry there’s been quite a bit of convoluted describing of the landscape of the app here, I just felt I needed to give a bit of context and background info to start with and I’m not the most concise writer.)

H