My friend from Brazil tells me that much as he loves our traditional seasonal music, he feels it's always sad too. I think he has a point. Even in more recent Christmas songs there's a pang, isn't there? Note how it's always Cold Outside, the weather outside is frightful, and yet...if you really love me so... well then... the boys of the NYPD choir will still sing Galway Bay.
Gil Scott Heron said "The Revolution will not be televised". He was right in some sense. It will certainly not be televised but digitalised on the radio. Although that might not happen for quite some time as the government, BBC and commercial radio have been bickering for years on scheduling a date to switch from analogue to digital.
Now in his 30's, Kinsella writes with finesse and charm about everything from fatherhood to his friends who "f*ck like wild" and the deeply personal nature of Owen makes him one of the contemporary scenes most emotive (if not emo) songwriters.
It's been a great year for music, and here's my selection of the best of it. I've chosen one 'if you only listen to one...' track for each album, which I think is the best/one you might not have heard of. Feel free to praise or abuse as you want.
Last week, I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Louise Dearman, the widely known British musical theatre actress.
Susan Boyle is an alternative thinker and has been diagnosed as having an Autistic Spectrum Condition. No real shock for those of us who live and breathe ASC. So to you Susan, I write this letter...
BIG H's signature choppy flow remains, the very same flow that placed him firmly as a Grime giant way back with Meridian Crew (former members included JME, Skepta) before forming BloodLine Gang with his comrade, Paper Pabs.
The top 20 chart-selling DVD series, Lord of the Mics, returns for its 5th series on 16 December this year. Having launched in 2001 by cemented grime producer/artist Jammer, the series caused a shockwave of excitement throughout the UK's urban underground by showcasing the battling talents of the, then unknown, artists such as; Wiley, Skepta, Kano and Tinchy Stryder.
hanks to years of unrequited love; a great deal of which came from the girls in my year and partly because of what Britney Spears did to my heart - I have come to a conclusion. We no longer secretly yearn for objects of our affection in the way that we used to.
Whole Lotta Love was my own introduction to Zeppelin. Up until this point, as a 12-year-old, I was a Beatles fanatic. So much so I used to sometimes carry a Beatles album to school in the hope that maybe some other like-minded student might talk to me about the fabs.
'What Now' comes at the right time as the tough girl action was a bit of a turn off for her more 'conservative' fans, it is refreshing to see Rihanna revealing a little more of a sensitive side.
I hereby forsake score-keeping of all kinds. Websites with tick lists, gadgets with play counters, social media with virtual scorecards to get you hooked just that little bit deeper. They can all take a jump; I'm reclaiming my life from score-keeping.
For me, inspiration is key in catching children at a young age. We have to inspire children to take up an instrument; inspire children through the achievements of their peers; and, once involved in music, inspire them through offering experiences of the highest quality so that they keep music at the centre of their lives.
Hailing from Wales, where talent seems to run in the valleys (Charlotte Church, Tom Jones, Gareth Bale!) Violet Skies is but a young female solo artist with a singing voice soft and yet, I imagine, distinctive enough to hush a room full of boisterous voices.
For every track I listen to, and for every new musical genre I discover and fall in love with, I am forever thankful to those people who first exposed me to music; in all its' culturally-significant, happiness-inducing, memory-evoking brilliance.
Last week, pop performance artist, Alexander Geist released the video for a new track, "A Woman's Right to Choose". A mysterious medley of ambiguous apparitions and morose saxophone riffs, the video leads us on a journey into arch sarcasm, and on to a provocative exploration of gender identity.