Monday, 8 September 2014

Routine Vs. New Things :S

          It’s mental that there is so much content in the world, there was once a part in Dara O’Brein’s stand-up routine were he talked about how he once had a night free, free from work, from his wife and has child, and he wanted to play music… then watch a film… then read a book… then play a video game… and ended up watching the last half of Robocop. This is an experience I’m sure most of us suffer at times. But I think because there is genuinely so much content and literally so much to do and learn, it has become a detriment to peoples live.
           What on earth am I talking about? Well basically it’s like this, I’ll use an example of television series. I watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation almost religiously. I’ve seen all seven series of both so much that these days, even my not persistent self can recognise an episode by its title. A big feat for me. And I continue to want to watch more television series, I’d like to try and watch Voyager again, but I’d also like to watch Hero’s, Prison Break, Boardwalk Empire, and other series that have a really high acclaim. But for me the investment I’d have to make in that is huge. Not financially, as fantastical as it sounds I have a loose weave method of thinking when it comes to consumption. I however am a lot more rigid when it comes to emotional attachment.
          And when it comes to long series with lots of episode’s that is what tends to put me off, to start watching say, Dexter from the beginning, that would mean 8 series and 96 episodes… Not a massive undertaking, but there lies my dilemma, and the initial point of writing this… while watching one of those 96 episodes, I could be in fact, watching an episode of Game of Thrones… Or watching a documentary, which was my initial plan for tonight, before I thought about playing Assassins Creed…and after I decided I was going to spend the rest of my night reading.
          It seems that with so much consumption available and at times at such a cheap price, you can really be at a loss for what to do and at what time. And I've found that once you've made a decision on what your actually going to do, you become at odds with yourself again by having to choose exactly what you want to so within that decision. I go walking sometimes and I decide while I’m walking I’m going to listen to music. But I never know what to listen to, usually my initial thought is to listen to something up beat while I’m walking, but as I finally choose my favorite pop-punk albums, I decide that maybe this walk would be the perfect time for masterful Prog… while at the back of my mind I believe that while you’re walking, there is no better time to listen to some brutal metal.
          Maybe the answer to this is just planning and scheduling, and I can do that to a degree. I plan to get up for work, I manage it. I plan to schedule plans with my friends and meet them. On my days off I decide and plan to go round town and look for stuff I need… but when it comes to actually investing myself in something it becomes a lot harder. And another thing, how stupid is it and how hard would it be to enjoy something that’s scheduled in? In uni every Sunday morning when I woke up and Wednesday before my lecturers I used to watch a film, every week without fail. But that wasn’t so much scheduling as it was enjoyment. Back then I watched a film by day, did my uni work and then at night played a game and probably watched an episode of a tv series I was watching, so since the period I am talking about three years ago the availability to watching and consume has bettered itself and upgraded the viewing experience.
          So I think maybe the solution is just moderation, actually committing yourself to something, I have for example committed myself to watching Game of Thrones, and home to get through it… I have however, already developed an interest in America and have a string urge to drop everything and begin reading and writing about America again… which will with no doubt end up with me watching documentaries by Michael Moore, or Errol Morris… or some other liberal like that. And so the endless circle of not doing anything new or constructive repeats.

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Parrot

            So I’ve just had what was a mini holiday from work, and with my four days off I decided to fill it by doing the things that I love to do the most, so on Thursday night I went back home to my mum and ate home cooked food, went to the pub and met a few guys I don’t get to see enough. Friday was spent in Swansea, exploring then going to see my friends band in the night and Saturday was going to be spent watching the football, but before the kick-offs at 3.00 I would have plenty of time to do what I did whenever I had a day off.
          Except this time it was not possible, firstly the comic book that I had a loose connection to had closed about a month ago, which was a sad loss to the many people who found a home there to talk basically ‘nerd’ stuff and forge friendships. So I had to miss that destination and move onto another. This time I was able to enter. But as I did the usual rush of excitement and nostalgic sense creativity was replaced with humbling sadness. It would probably be the last time I would walk through the small double doors of ‘The Parrot’

          Since its beginning three years ago The Parrot has been written about countless times, from locally in the newspapers and on social networking sites, but has also gained acclaim from a wider and broader audience. Many people have described The Parrot’s closure as a defeat stating that everyone involved ‘tried’ but ultimately has ended in a saddening failure. This however is complete bollocks and the lasting effects of the parrot will live on and show that The Parrot has had and will have more victory’s. It’s just that its closure is merely crushing blow.

The Parrot was split into two, upstairs is the Tangled Parrot and downstairs is the cafĂ©/bar/music venue area. And these two worked with each other almost in perfect sync. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere allowed you to wonder in and have some food and if you wanted, wonder up-stairs and be mesmerized by the vast amount of CD’s and Vinyl that was on display. 
           The Tangled Parrot’s musical footprint on my life alone has been at times inconceivable. I first walked through its door when it was attached to the castle sometime in January of 2008 making my first purchase of a Napalm Death’s ‘Order of the Leech’ it would be the first of many purchases from that location. At that time and being a 16 year old just starting to taking what Mat once described as the ‘horse blinkers off’ my musical knowledge was firmly in the world of Metal and the ’Emo/Screamo/ Post-Hardcore scene’ that was big at the time.
          My best recollection of this was once we were having a discussion about Fugazi were Mat told me about this new ‘Hardcore’ album he’d had in called ‘Shame’ from a band called Trash Talk and I don’t believe I've really looked back. Since then Mat has recommended me albums that I believe are still among my favorite purchases, Such as Fucked Up’s ‘Chemistry of Common Life’ and Crass’ ‘Feeding of the 5000.’
          As the years have gone on and the use/need of Cd’s is almost non-existent, and probably because of some consequence from my parents, I started to work on more of a vinyl collection. One that, much like the remains of my CD collection is built on purchases from the Tangled Parrot. And one again that has followed my continuing music progression.
          Basically from the beginning the Tangled Parrot has been aiding my listening experience and progression, and as I’ve grown into different tastes of music, the Tangled Parrot has always been there  for me to find an album that fits in my lifestyle at the time. And it is a dramatic difference from that Napalm Death album to my last Billy Bragg purchase. And I’ve talked with people about the Tangled Parrots influence on their lives and have over heard conversation in the store itself from people that I believe the world is a better place with the Tangled Parrot in it than without.
           Communities were built in that store, but there were also friendships formed downstairs during the gigs that were put on from the varying amount of promoters that put on shows. Again on a personal level, since my return home from university about a year and a half ago I have attended a number of shows and become a fan of things I never thought I would ever hear in my life. (Fasta benji is still bat-shit mental)
Before the End's Poster from the 6th
June. Headlined by Acres
          But it’s the diversity of the shows put on by The Parrot that shows the true class of the place. Nothing was ever too ‘out-there’ or different or weird. It is through these shows that I met a number of people and even became closer to the friends I already had. The Parrot has also formed the groundwork for promoters to grow and expand. My good friend Rhys who’s promotion company thing ‘Before the End’ for almost two years and consecutively put on Hardcore/punk/metal nights at the venue attracting some big names of the underground circuit. Through his work with The Parrot he has been able to expand to try and promote shows in clubs in Swansea.
Truth Seeking Conspiracy Logo
          The Parrot has also been able to push local bands such as ‘Fatal Desire, ‘Without Shores’ and the ‘Truth Seeking Conspiracy.’ Bands that have been able to practice in a live environment, improve and put on some great shows. This is just a small and a personal account of the influence and impact that The Parrot has had on myself, my friends and on Carmarthen. The announcement of its closure has becoming a talking point in many circles, a true tribute to the overwhelming success that has come out of the expedition. Overall The Parrot was a success, it started when not only the future of the economy looked bleak, but also when the future of music itself was obscured by ‘talent’ shows and digital downloading. But The Parrot rode that wave and stood proudly on the shoulders of people who loved music and loved to interact and exists within it.

          From the promoters, the bands that played, the sound guys, the people on the Facebook page, the guys behind the bar, and everyone else that was involved in making The Parrot a success and a great thing to be a small part of, I thank you.