Little did I know that the cantankerous old bastard that we call life would somehow contrive to throw up a million obstacles for a number of us that have been involved in the project. I have since relocated to a quiet life in Amsterdam, gotten married and embraced baking, the gym and IKEA. If embracing something is defined as swearing a great deal about it. I had happily settled into my life as an expatriate housewife when rock came and knocked at my door once more. It was the knock in the form of this video in my inbox. Quite frankly, it blew me away.
This is the first of the English songs written by yours truly for Frog’n’Dog. When Mariusz offered me the project he sent me away with a CD with a vocal line recorded and gave me free rein to feel in the gaps. This song, ‘Seventh Circle’, jumped out at me like a flasher in a public park. I wrote the text to the imagery the music provided for me. The opening forty seconds of this song painted a picture inside my head that was too strong for me to ignore. Now sit back, turn your volume up to maximum, press play and nod your head. And if you like it, share it, as if your life depends on you. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Frog’n’Dog.
When I turned thirty-two years old I believed that life had passed me by. That most of my dreams were destined to remain unfulfilled, and that I had to somehow find a way to carry on regardless. One of those dreams was a dream shared by millions of people who sing, dance and scream on this glorious ball of mud and molten lava which we call home. And that dream is called rock and roll.
The biggest obstacle in the way of my dream was the fact that when I sing I sound like a hippopotamus giving birth on the banks of the Zambezi river, when I play the few chords on the guitar which I know the neighbourhood dogs start jumping from their balconies and when I break dance I, well, erm, break stuff. The only thing which ever gave me any hope was my love for words.
A few months ago I had an invitation to meet a singer who had just started recording a rock album with his band here in Poland. All I knew was that he was looking for help to make an English album. I was curious, but also apprehensive as I really didn’t have any idea what I was letting myself in for. However the fire, the dream, the sheer minute possibility that it could happen was enough motivation to kick me up the arse and get me to meet him. We ate, drank, talked, drank, talked and listened to his album. Within thirty seconds of listening to the first song I had a big smile on my face. After the third track I recall whispering to my fiancée one simple word, ‘fuck yes!’
The band go by the name of ‘Frog’n’Dog’, which incidentally is the apt nicknames of the singer and the guitarist. They are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut Polish album. As far as the plan goes, in the summer they will record the English album, which they will release this coming autumn. In the meantime they are starting to play gigs here in Poland before they set out to conquer Europe.
This is the beginning of a journey which I am absolutely delighted to be joining them on. Never in my dreams did I ever expect that I would ever work with such a group of fantastic musicians on a project with amazing potential. 2013 in the chinese calendar is the year of ‘Frog’n’Dog’. Don’t just take my word for it, check them out.
One of the nightmares caused by the invention of social media is the given ability to demonstrate your bad taste to a wider circle of people. Whether it be the ability to show add videos to your profile or just the texts you write, the point is now its even easier to show what an absolute Muppet you are. When I was young, trendy and hip, and needed to make an arse of myself I would go to a party, with a much smaller circle of friends and do or say something embarrassing. Now all you need to do is copy paste something into the appropriate area.
This 21st century of magic has grown at phenomenal speed. The major issue with any interactions involving these modern forms of communication is that there are not any rules. All social rules have been tossed out the window. It’s perfectly acceptable to write on your friends wall, just underneath his Mum’s comment, it weren’t as funny as the time he took it in the bottom from a lady boy on a lads holiday of Thailand. There are no rules. It’s like a jungle out there in cyberspace. Except there aren’t any animals. Or trees. Or remote tribes fighting for their way of life.
One common phenomena which appears to be growing as a standard social media norm is the quoting of song lyrics. Rather than thinking up something original about how you are feeling you can quote the latest pop singing r and b sensation Arsehole MacDouglas new song ‘Yeah bitches,yeah,yeah,yeah.’ or something equally meaningful. It would be interesting if the same people used lyrics from different styles of music to demonstrate their emotions but they don’t. It means it works as a great system of categorizing people. I understand the urge to share videos but I find the lyric culture a little weirder. Saying that not so long ago I was disgusted to find that I did the exact same thing. It was during the riots in Britain that I thought I would try to dazzle my friends by giving them a particularly smart quote to see if I could join the cult of song lyrics. The song which came to mind was ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ by Frank Turner. The quote in question was;
‘Whatever happened to childhood?
We’re all scared of the kids in our neighborhood;
They’re not small, charming and harmless,
They’re a violent bunch of bastard little shits.
And anyone who looks younger than me
Makes me check for my wallet, my phone and my keys,
And I’m tired of being tired out
Always being on the lookout for thieving gits.’
So there I was, proud that I had posted a witty social comment using lyrics from a song I love. I awaited the clamor of comments. The pat on the back for identifying a song which spoke to the zeitgeist of that moment. Instead I got an old school friend who commented;
“You was a violent little shit at school lol”
And the moment was gone. Ruined. Broken by reminiscence. Perhaps I am too old to quote songs. Or maybe it’s a more feminine thing to do. What I can be sure of is that it’s a phenomenon I don’t understand and I certainly don’t know the rules to and that above all, fascinates me.