Music: When rappers sample songs you know (Part One)

Hip Hop by Tom NashThe sample. Nothing in music is more divisive. Some say categorically that anyone that uses samples is not producing art and cannot be considered a musician. These people tend to anger quickly, which is ironic considering the reputation of the genres they look to belittle and demonise. The rest of us, I don’t know, get worked up over more important issues, hopefully…

The most famous genre for sampling is, of course, Hip Hop. Without sampling, Hip Hop simply wouldn’t be a thing, making it as integral a part of the music and culture as ridiculous slang, big-ass bass and weird hand movements to accentuate rhymes… *Rap hands*

Think nothing good has ever come from sampling? I raise you a Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys, a Three Feet High and Rising by De La Soul and an Entroducing by DJ Shadow… Never heard of any of these? Do yourself a favour and go catch up, as the ‘well-known’ samples below will probably be a mystery too. Run along, youngblood. Shoo; go learn.

Let’s face it, unless you know the source material, most of the time you wouldn’t even know you were listening to a chunk of some other song, unless someone pointed it out to you. Did you know the Arctic Monkeys have sampled Ennio Morricone (seriously- Google him)? What about Royksopp sampling Parliament/Funkadelic? Even bastions of whiny dad-rock U2 have sampled other artists (Harold Budd and Brian Eno, if you’re wondering).

When it comes to sampling, I guess ignorance really is bliss.
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New Year’s Eve: Overhyped, overpriced and something else alliterated

New Year's Eve by Tom NashSo it’s that time of year… The end of it, when we all take a break from getting ‘Christmas’ shitfaced (with a side of eating sausage rolls and Pringles from a pretty dish) to getting ‘New Year’ shitfaced (with a side of eating sausage rolls and Pringles from a pretty dish).

Some of us go out on the town, some of us stay home with friends or family. All of us will have a distinctly average night. Here’s why:

Paying to get into pubs
Of course, there’s nothing most of us love more than paying upwards of twenty pounds to spend an evening in a large room that stinks of stale beer, sweat and toilet and getting nothing but the standard night out in a pub (but busier) in return.

The real bonus is: you get to spend the evening with mugs who are willing to pay upwards of twenty pounds to spend an evening in a pub. That has angry bouncers making sure nobody enjoys themselves too much. And only sells shit lager and vinegary cider… Where do I buy my ticket?

Are publicans REALLY wondering why their industry is dying?
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Job Hunting: Avoid depressing workshops- don’t be a dick- keep your chin up

Employability by Tom NashA little while ago, I was asked by someone very dear to me to accompany them to an ’employability workshop’ for unemployed graduates. Being the warm, generous, caring soul you all know me to be, I said ‘sure’, then found out it was on a Sunday. Not happy. But it was at a big, wanky hotel and they were laying on a free lunch. Still not happy, but happier…

So we turn up at said big wanky hotel and wander about the place completely failing to find the room the workshop is in (picking up a few other strays along the way) as some numbnut thought a single A4 sheet was plenty of signage. Twenty minutes late, we finally get to where we’re meant to be and we sneak in all casual-like.

What followed was three hours of the most awkward, uncomfortable, utterly optimism-draining ‘ice-breakers’ I have ever had the misfortune to be involved in (You remember that I’m from Croydon, don’t you?). It was so bad, we scarpered at lunchtime- even the lure of curly sandwiches wasn’t enough to keep us there.

But I did learn some stuff and I got this blog post out of it so it weren’t all bad, you could argue…

Anyway, here are a few choice observations I made during this strange, soul-destroying event:
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CV Writing: The reasons you don’t get any replies

CV Writing by Tom NashCurriculum Vitaes, CVs, Resumes- whatever you want to call them, if you want to be employed, you need one.

But how do you know what to put on yours?

Fear not- Tom is here to steer you in the right direction. From the point of view of the poor fucker who has to read these things…

One of my many roles in one of my super important jobs (oh yeah- that’s how freelancers roll, baby) is to look through CVs and writing samples from aspiring writer-types and wannabe digital marketers.

Sometimes there are some real gems in the pile; we’ve found some extremely talented young writers who have been a pleasure to work with… But for every one of them, there have been ten CVs that have prompted a stink-face and swift trip to the shredder.
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Dinner Parties: Yawn and not much else

Dinner Parties by Tom NashMillions of hack-churned online articles about blogging will tell you never to acknowledge a gap in your writing. But here at TWTN, we (meaning… me) take convention and ignore it like the nutter on the bus.

It’s been a while, eh gang?

Apologies, rant-fans, but sometimes paid work, website redesigns and graduation ceremonies (that’s right- fully certified Master of the Arts now, bitches) get in the way of writing about random subjects for no real reason at all…

But here we are. So forget all this ‘listen to this’ and ‘you should check out this’ music rubbish I’ve been doing, my reader checks in to read badly researched (if researched at all) bemoaning of this tiny island clusterfuck we know as Great Britain, right? Fuck yeah!

You’re in luck this week. I’ve decided I don’t like dinner parties… YAY!!!
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Music: The best artists you’ve never heard of (CunninLynguists Edition)

Hip Hop by Tom NashHello, dear reader(s- ever the optimist). The site’s been updated and now everything is in one, easy-to-navigate place and that’s super.

So what better way to celebrate the sleek, sexy new design and layout than a sleek, sexy new blog post? None, that’s right. Great minds, eh?

Last time out, I shared a selection of artists that make beautiful, yet gangsterific (it’s a word) instrumental Hip Hop type stuff. Now it’s time to look at some folk what do the rappity-rap stuff… Where you going?

Well that was the idea, anyway. Turns out this lot need a post to themselves.

People that know me well can click away now, as they are probably sick of hearing me witter on about this group. “Who, Tom? Tell us!”

Umm… It says who in the title.
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Music: Five of the best artists you’ve never heard of (The Instrumental Hip Hop Edition)

Hip Hop by Tom NashSo I just realised that since I started doing this, my bio has mentioned my love of the oft-maligned genre of music known as Rap or Hip Hop (I know, white suburban fella likes Rap… Shocking!) and I’ve never written about it.

While those of you remember me mentioning that I write for Music Liberation will know I’ve covered a couple of Rap albums over there, other than the occasional tweet, I’ve never written anything about the music I claim to be ‘passionate’ about. Well, we’re going to change that.

In a break from the usual moaning about stupid people/things, the following is a list of (in my humble opinion) AWESOME Hip Hop artists that you need in your life. I’ll ease you in with some instrumental stuff.

*Please note, if your taste in music is dictated by Fearne Cotton, Kiss 100 (Is it still called that? Don’t answer- don’t care), or any television music channel, this piece won’t be for you.

Same goes if you’ve ever said “I can’t understand a fucking word they’re saying” or “it all sounds the same to me” when the topic of Hip Hop has been brought up in conversation.

Something vacuous is bound to be on E4 or ITV2, go gurgle in front of that while the grown-ups talk.*

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Television: Deciphering the daytime schedule (Part Two)

Daytime TV by Tom NashSo following on from my morning’s work and having recovered from Loose Women enough to force down something to eat, it was time to get into the afternoon’s viewing. And it was lucky I did; such treats were in store for me.

The news
So the BBC does the usual sitting on the fence (although that’s still too provocative for Daily Mail hacks and readers), as does the ITV coverage. Channels 4 and Five know who their audiences are and keep their daytime news bulletins to 5 minutes a pop, with Channel 4 coming out on top as they actually treat their viewers like they have a brain.

Basically, the news at the moment goes:

Yay, the Queen- reminder that Europe’s still got no money- bit about the Government changing their mind about something or doing something unethical and claiming ignorance- something about young people being scary or poor and unemployed (depending on how we feel about them that day)- brief mentioning of awful things happening somewhere abroad- if a soldier has died in Iraq or Afghanistan, something about that.

Then it’s back to the drivel.

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Television: Deciphering the daytime schedule (Part One)

Daytime TV by Tom NashHaving spent a significant proportion of the last five years studying the craft of writing, daytime television- while never attaining a spot close to my heart- is something that helped fuel my cynicism and general distrust in the world. So on a day off from my paid work, I decided to check out what’s on these days.

To bring you, my faithful readers, a well-researched and thoroughly devised blog post, I sat down in my pants, with a coffee (Brian Wogan, you are awesome, by the way) and a bacon sarnie and tried to get through a typical day’s schedule (on Freeview, Murdoch ain’t getting my money) without losing the will to live.

I’m still alive and my findings are as follows:

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Motorway Services: Where the bare minimum costs more

At the Service Station by Tom NashAh, the motorway service station. A British institution if ever there was one. They are nobody’s destination but still, usually thanks to our bladders, on long car journeys many of us can be found prying ourselves out of our vehicles and lumbering into these soulless strip-lighted bastions of aggressive capitalism like Zombies, ready to pay massively inflated prices for, well, everything… like the mugs we are.

Next time you find yourself at a Welcome Break or a RoadChef, take a look around. They’re great places to do a bit of people watching. You may just spot some of this lot:

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