Wednesday, 7 March 2012

'musodad announces split'

(Pretend you're all in a Press Conference-type situation)

Hi everyone

Can you all hear me okay at the back? Great.

Today, with regret, I'm announcing the split of 'musodad'.

It's been on the cards for a while - in January I announced I was taking a break from Blogging due to differences in my work / life balance and then later that month my Blog got contaminated by a bad pop song (on purpose) to make the break official.  However, I just couldn't stop thinking about Blogging and what my comeback post would be. Now, after that 2 Blog Post comeback, it's time to hang up my laptop once and for all.

I LOVE Blogging. I love the community feel, I love the banter and I just love writing stuff.

It's been loads of fun over the last 6 months but now I need to get my priorities straight. My homelife and work have suffered over this time and it has reached a point where this can no longer happen. The only solution is to take a permanent break from it (sorry for sounding over dramatic but I'm gutted to be giving up something that I love doing).

I could again say that I'm just going to take another break but I know the same thing will happen and I'll just be itching to write again. I really need to draw a line under it for good and concentrate on other stuff.

Thank you for reading, bigging up my blog, for all your comments, kind words, help, support, for tagging me in memes, for sending me CDs to review, which I never actually got round to reviewing (I promise I'll send them back. For the record, 'The Land of Sometimes' and 'Music for Baby (Jazz Nursery Rhymes)' are brilliant!) and for following me on here and on Twitter over the last 6 months. Thank you for making me laugh, making me cry (in a nice way), for making me realise there are some great friends out there waiting to be discovered (I've only met two Bloggers in person - @mammasaurusblog and @romanianmum - and they are absolutely fantastic people. I'd love to meet more of you in the future) - you are all bloody brilliant.

You never know, when things are back to normal, I might become the Blogger equivalent of a 'session musician' - a 'Session Blogger' perhaps - dipping in and out to help Bloggers when they need it. Guest posting here and there if you'll have me. I might even be like Doctor Who and re-generate into someone completely different like...erm Ralph Jones from Bognor (if your name IS Ralph Jones from Bognor, please don't sue me, it's just an example). Who knows what the future holds?

There is one regular feature which I was looking forward to continuing - '5 Bands I've been listening to this month' - the Music/Dad Blogger @Daley_84 is doing something similar on his excellent Blog Comfort in Sound so please pop over and start reading his monthly update instead. Also, @belfast_dad does a brilliant regular Tuesday Track feature on his Blog - so make sure you check that out too.

Before I go I want to leave you with a little song. It was the song my parents named me after and I feel it is a fitting finale. It is dedicated to all of you. I am Simon Smith, you are my 'amazing dancing bears'. It is also appropriate that my dad would look like Randy Newman if he had bigger hair.

Right, I'm off to speak to BT about getting some Take That-style phone lines set up just in case anyone takes the news of the split badly.

See you in 'The Next Life' (or more than likely on Twitter tonight - yep, I'll still be on there every now and then).

Remember "Once a Blogger, Always a Blogger".

Thank you and goodnight.

*Turns off lights, leaves building*

Sunday, 4 March 2012

#silentsunday featuring @mammasaurusblog

Right, I know this blog post is meant to be 'silent' but there's something I need to admit - I've broken the Silent Sunday rules.  You can read them here :

I confess (although you can probably tell as I'm in it) I did not take this picture, my wife did. Also, I have said the words 'featuring @mammasaurusblog' in the title, I'm not meant to do this.

If I am going to prove that Parent Bloggers are Rock Stars, however, we need to starting breaking some rules. It's what Rock 'n' Roll (or 'Blog 'n' Roll') is all about.

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to the person who originally started Silent Sunday - her blog is here and is a crackin' read :

Finally to join in with this week's Silent Sunday link up, now hosted at Love All Blogs, go here :

Right, in true Rock Star (or Blog Star) style I'm off to throw my laptop out of my bedroom window!

Actually, on second thoughts, I might throw it out my daughter's Wendy House window instead to mimimise the damage. Must also remember to put a pillow down, on the ground outside the window, first.

Actually, I'm going to scrap that idea altogether as it's a bit rubbish.

Friday, 24 February 2012

5 bands I've been listening to in February

Right, there are only 3 people who can revive this blog and get it out of quarantine. Hang on a minute, Tarquin, my PR Adviser, needs to tell me something...

Erm...there's now only 2.  The third, Gregg Jevin, is unfortunately no longer with us.  So, without further ado, here they are. Take it away Beefy and Taz!

Right. *checks under bed* It looks like that bad pop group have finally gone. *looks in wardrobe*. Yep, we've got the all clear. Phew. Many thanks to Beefy and Taz. You run along now chaps and do whatever you

To mark the return of 'musodad' I thought I'd update my blog with '5 bands I've been listening to in February'. This will become a new regular feature on the blog and will form part of the new 'musodad Monthly 2012' Spotify playlist that you can follow here - The musodad Monthly 2012

Oh and it won't be just new bands that will be included in this, there'll probably be something old, something new, something borrowed but I can confirm that the band Blue will definitely not be appearing anywhere on these pages.

So, without further ado, here are 5 bands I've been listening to this month...

1. Django Django

In 3 days time I will be seeing this band and fellow parent blogger @mammasaurusblog (aka Annie) is going too!

It was Annie who got me into them in the first place and since they released their debut album at the end of January it hasn't been off my erm...Spotify.

Very much looking forward to seeing them and also meeting Annie. It will be my first blogger meet up and she has been one of the bloggers who has inspired / helped me the most since I started 'musodad'. She is a Legend in blogging circles.

It will also be good to confirm that all you Parent Bloggers out there do actually exist and I'm not just part of some weird Truman Show-type stunt that's being shown on parent blogs across the globe. I will definitely discuss this with my hairdresser tomorrow as she likes conspiracy theories.  What if she's in on it as well though?!

Anyway, enough of me being paranoid, if you want to know what Django Django sound like, here's them doing one for their best songs - called 'Storm' - live -

2. The Maccabees

Another band (like Django Django) who were featured on my 31 Bands to fall in love with in 2012 Spotify playlist and although their third album has had mixed reviews, I reckon it's a corker.

It takes a few listens but I'm now officially hooked and can't stop listening to it.
The first single from the album was 'Pelican' and it's a beauty. You can listen to it here -

3. The Darling Buds

Do you know what I love about Spotify? That you can search for the name of a song / band and discover, or re-discover, a completely different band who you then can't stop listening to. That's the reason why I've been listening to 'Pop Said' by The Darling Buds so much this month.

I was putting together an NME Chart playlist for this year, searched for 'Hit the Ground Superman' by The Big Pink and re-discovered 'Hit the Ground' by The Darling Buds. I loved them when I was younger and now I'm loving them all over again. The album is a gem, every song is very catchy and I reckon it would be HUGE if it was released now.

That same night I tweeted I was listening to them and got into a conversation with @GoingUndrground who also hadn't heard them in ages. He listened to them, we both agreed they were amazing and we 'man hugged' over Twitter. Sort of.

If you don't know them, here they are on Top of the Pops playing 'Hit the Ground' which was their biggest hit at the time (ps in his autobiography Alex James from Blur confessed to having an affair with the lead singer. You didn't hear it from me, right? *taps nose with finger*) -

4. Bucks Fizz

Yes I can confirm that isn't a mis-print, it really does say 'Bucks Fizz' and, you know what, I'm not ashamed of it?! I probably should tell you how this came about though, shouldn't I?!

Last month @relucthousedad asked everyone for 'unlikely guitar solos' on Twitter. One of mine I put forward was 'The Land of Make Believe' by Bucks Fizz. Listening to it transported me back to nights out at 'Guilty Pleasures' in Camden and as their debut album was the first I ever bought I decided to go back and have a listen.

Yep, okay, they did record some real shockers - 'Talking in your sleep' being one - but songs like 'Piece of the action', 'Making your mind up' and 'If you can't stand the heat' are pop classics.

My favourite though has to be 'My camera never lies', if this was released now it would be MASSIVE. Pete Paphides, Caitlin Moran's husband, said on Twitter last week that it sounds like The Futureheads. They were way ahead of their time and there WILL be a revival this year (2018 at the latest). You heard it here first!

Your first step in joining the cult is to listen to that particular song here (wearing of bad leather jackets with cut off sleeves / waistcoats is optional) -

5. Then Jerico

When I was 13/14 years old, Then Jerico were my favourite band. I knew the words to all their songs and I'd annoy the hell out of my dad singing along to them all the time in the car. I even wrote their name on my school bag which, as you know, is the mark of a true fan.
But then something happened, I started getting into obscure indie bands (courtesy of John Peel) and I fell out of love with them. You can read more about that time here - Introducing 'musodad's Yuletide 24' playlist

So why now, after 22 years, are they appearing in my blog post of bands I've listened to this month?! Well, it's all thanks to @bryony32

There's a meme going around at the moment called 'MP3 Shuffle'. You put your iPod on shuffle and blog about the first 5 tracks that play. One of @bryony32's songs was 'Big Area' by Then Jerico. I had a listen, remembered how much I used to love them and even went a bit tingly.

Then when we were discussing them on Twitter, @randompearlsof mentioned he used to like them too and it turned into one massive Then Jerico love-in (especially between @bryony32 and the lead singer's eyes!)

I listened to them the very next day - the WHOLE of 'The Big Area' album without skipping ANY songs - and do you know what, they still sound pretty good? Some of the songs from their first album also stand the test of time.

I'd therefore like to take this opportunity to apologise to Mark Shaw, the lead singer (he's definitely reading), for being a bit unkind to them in the above blog post. I hope we can still be friends (I know we're not friends but if we were it would be great if we could carry on being friends. Even though we're not).

Anyway, the song I've chosen, to add to the playlist, is 'Song for the brokenhearted' cause I know I broke Mark's heart in that blog post and this is me making it up to him. *taps fist on heart* Love you Mark! -

So there you have it. Before I go, I'd just like to thank all of the Tweeters / Bloggers mentioned above. It's been great chatting music with you this month - in fact since I started 'musodad'. 

If anyone else reading has any recommendations of new or old music they think I should be listening to next month then please comment below or Tweet me @musodad and I promise I will check it out.

So, until next time "Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night!" (*whispers* "it's from 'The Truman Show'").

Friday, 20 January 2012

Mix-Tape Monday #11 : A Song I Hate

Warning! This Blog has been contaminated by the very bad song that appears below. It will therefore be placed in quarantine until further notice.

Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Love 'n' hugs

Simon Smith, lead singer of 'musodad'

Ps to join in with Mix-Tape Monday click on the badge on the right side of this blog and 'I want my mummy' - The Blogger formerly known as 'Boo and Me' - will tell you how.

Monday, 2 January 2012

musodad announces debut 'blog post album' release plus a meme / linky type thing

Hi everyone

Hope you're all well.

Today I'd like to announce the details of my debut 'blog post album' and also talk about how you can get involved in releasing yours as well as part of my new meme / link up.

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to 'Blog Post Album of the Year 2012'...

My definition of a 'blog post album' is a collection of your 12 favourite blog posts you've ever written (if you've written less than this don't worry, I'll give you an idea how you can still get involved later). Imagine you're in a band (I do every day!) and instead of needing to whittle down that selection of 30 songs you've just recorded during that 3 month stint in the studio into an album, you need to instead select blog posts.

There are so many great bloggers out there but finding the time to read everyone's archived blog posts is impossible and I reckon there are some 'hidden gems' out there that deserve to be released again - that was my main motivation for doing this.

At the end of the year, once everyone has linked up and released their 'blog post albums' I am going to hold a vote for 'Blog Post Album of the Year', where you can pick your favourites, with prizes and even a trophy as a little keepsake for the winner. Then we'll have an awards ceremony where the winner has to read out their blog posts on stage while the rest of us are moshing in the front rows. It will be awesome! Hmmm, maybe we should park the last idea for the time being but let's see how it goes.

The main thing about this though is that it is your chance to get your 12 favourite ever blog posts read by people and discover theirs along the way.

So without further ado, here's mine and then afterwards I'll talk about how you can link yours up -

Oh, and of course your 'blog post album' needs a name and a front cover. I've decided to call mine 'Home is where the Hertford is' in tribute to where we live. 

This is the front cover (you can probably tell that designing this kind of stuff has never been my strong point) :

The Yellow Fluffy Duck in the picture is the one given to O. by an American Police Officer on our Honeymoon.  You can read more about the events that led up to this in Blog Post 3 below.

The tracklisting, including links to the blog posts and sleevenotes, is as follows :

Side A

Blog post 1 - What inspired me to start writing 'musodad'...

I thought it made sense to kick my debut blog post album off with my first ever blog post as to why I started blogging - and here it is.

Blog post 2 - 'Daddy's Beard' - the debut single by Groovy Conker

'Groovy Conker' was the name of the band that O. invented while we were playing 'musodad's band name game' (see Blog post 4 below for more details).  Then, one day, totally unprompted, she wrote me a song.  This is the story behind it.

Blog post 3 - "O. darling, there ain't no appeasing you" AKA 'Two Honeymooners and a baby vs two American cops and a yellow fluffy duck'

This is the story of our Honeymoon and O's reaction to jetlag and long journeys that caused us to have a couple of encounters with two American cops along the way.  This is where the yellow fluffy duck on the front cover of the album comes in.

Blog post 4 - What's in a band name? Find yours with 'musodad's band name game'

Unsurprisingly this is a post all about band names. It ends with a game I invented for O. using magnetic words. As mentioned earlier, this game saw the birth of the band name 'Groovy Conker' which is what O. wants to call her band when she grows up.

Blog post 5 - What do you want to be when you grow up? Dreams of Rock Stardom and choosing the background music to Waterloo Road

I am obsessed with why certain music is chosen to be used in TV programmes. This blog post is all about that.

This was my first post featured on the @LoveDadBlogs Fatherload.  I was so chuffed to find out on that particular Saturday morning that it was in there.

Blog post 6 - What is the optimum number of songs to put on a playlist?

This is perhaps, no it definitely is, my most geekiest, music anorakiest (is that even a word?) and complicated blog post to date. My wife always reads my blog posts after I've written them (and occasionally has to point out the odd mistake etc). After she read this one, she looked knackered. I think it made her brain hurt.

Anyway, in a nutshell, if you've ever wondered why all of my Spotify playlists are (meant to be) 24 songs long - all of the answers are here.

Side B

Blog post 7 - Introducing 'musodad's Yuletide 24' playlist - it's like a rubbish version of 'John Peel's Festive 50'

This was my blog post tribute to John Peel on the anniversary of his death. I also felt this was the perfect time to announce my 'Yuletide 24' playlist - which was based on John's 'Festive 50' - in tribute to the great man. You can read all about it here.

Blog post 8 - Nick Cave and The Bad Parents - what not to do in the Peak District with two young children

This was my first non music related blog post about the time my wife and I took O. and C. down a cave in the Peak District and the examples of bad parenting that ensued. This was the blog post that was featured in the 'Who let the dads out?' dad blog post compilation book by @tombriggs79 and @dotterel

Blog post 9 - The Mimic Man and other holiday 'classics'

Our first family holiday (as a foursome) was to Majorca in the Summer. This blog post is all about the children's entertainment that was on at our hotel complex. It also contains a lot of references to Black Lace and describes the Worst World Record in the World Ever! (which yours truly holds).

Blog post 10 - X Factor Anonymous - one dad's unhealthy addiction to a prime time TV show

This blog post is all about my addiction to X Factor and my prediction for the 2011 series. My predicted winner came third, after originally being voted out in the first week. This proves that I know nothing.

Blog post 11 - When did High Street shops start playing such great music?

This was my second ever blog post. Even though it is raw it has a special place in my heart as it was on that shopping trip that I thought of the name 'musodad' and decided I was going to become a dad blogger.

Blog post 12 - The reasons why Parent Bloggers are cooler than Rock Stars

This was my last blog post release of 2011 and is all about comparing the coolness of Parent Bloggers and Rock Stars using NME's 'Cool list' criteria.

I have images in my head of all of the Parent Bloggers I have 'met' on Twitter over the past few months shooting a Band Aid type video one day and, at the end of it, all of us are singing '9-1 to the Parent Blogs'.  Will it ever become reality? Most probably, yes!

Well, that's it.  If you haven't read any of the above before, I hope you enjoy them.

Anyway, now it's your turn...

This is what you'll need to prepare before you post your album on your blog :

1) Choose 12 of your favourite blog posts and set them out with sleevenotes and links as above. The blog posts don't have to be from last year, they can be from the archives - it's up to you.

If you are a relatively new blogger, and don't have 12 blog posts, don't worry, you can release a 'mini album' if you like. If you've been doing this for years, and can't limit yourself to 12, don't worry, you can release a 'double album' if you like.  I wouldn't, however, recommend you posting a '5 blog post album box set' as it is very unlikely it will all get read but if you want to do it then please go ahead.

2) Choose a name for your 'blog post album' and a front cover and again set it out like I have.

3) Link it up at the bottom of this blog post.  This linky will be open until 31st December 2012 so no rush. After that everyone can start voting for their favourites.

4) Add the following link back to this page - Blog Post Album of the Year 2012 - somewhere within your blog post so that people can link up easily. If your 'blog post album' isn't linked up then it won't be able to be entered into the vote for 'blog post album of the year' as I might not know about it.

Once it's linked up, each month I will Tweet about the 'blog post albums' that have been posted the previous month and direct people to them.

So there you have it. In true meme stylee though, I've chosen 7 bloggers (AKA 'M Club 7') to tag and get the ball rolling / spread the word. Don't worry if the tag doesn't make it to you, it's a link up, anyone can get involved. 

M Club 7 consists of :


Go forth and conquer, my friends...

Finally, just to let you know, that due to musical differences in my work / life balance I'm going to take some time out from updating my blog but I'll still be on Twitter regularly, linking up to / interacting with other bloggers at the all new @LoveAllBlogs , reading / commenting on your blogs and hopefully reading your 'blog post albums' over the next few months. :o)

While I'm away I'll be promoting my album and taking it on tour - linking my blog posts up 'here, there and everywhere'. After that I'm going to head back into the studio to write some new material.

Now it's time for me to go. Remember, this isn't 'goodbye', it's merely a 'see you next tour'....

Oh and here's the link up thing...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

31 Bands to fall in love with in 2012

Happy New Year everyone - hope you had a good one.

Over here at musodad the new year means another new Spotify playlist.  Whereas the last playlist was all about rediscovering the past with #bandsthatshouldhavebeenbigger, the new playlist is all about discovering the bands of the future and which ones we might fall in love with in 2012.

That, in a nutshell is what the new playlist is all about. I'd like to add though that it's not necessarily brand new bands that I'm going to be raising a glass to, and making my 'Song of the day' on Twitter, over the next month. Elbow are the perfect example of a band who grafted for years to make a lot of people fall in love with them, so amongst the 'new kids on the block', there are going to be some 'old hats' - and one of these are about to release their third album. Oh and it's not just bands, by the way, some solo artists will be on the playlist as well.

In 2010, I fell in love with The Drums and in 2011 it was The Vaccines. This year who knows? I've a good feeling though that it might be the band who are going to kick the playlist off today. They are called Tribes and boy, they are good!

Anyway, there's a little teaser for you.  You can subscribe to / follow the Spotify playlist, and listen to a song by Tribes, here - 31 Bands to fall in love with in 2012

Oh and the reason there are 31 songs on this playlist when I always go on about 24 being the optimum number. Firstly, there were so many bands I wanted to include that I couldn't limit it to 24 and secondly, this could be my last playlist for a little while (I'll reveal more about that tomorrow) so I wanted to make the most of it and stretch it out over the month, I therefore chose 31 - one for every day in January.

Before I go though I also wanted to shamelessly plug my previous 6 Spotify playlists from 2011 :

Bands that should have been bigger Playlist

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this - again I was going to limit the playlist to the usual 24 songs but at the moment it stands at 35. Even a week after the playlist ended, bands are still being added (Modest Mouse were the latest addition). You can listen to the playlist here - Bands that should have been bigger

I'm still going to keep this one open so if you think of anymore then either comment below here or Tweet @musodad with the hashtag #bandsthatshouldhavebeenbigger and your choice will be added.

Top Of The Mums And Pops (TOTMAPs) Playlist

After I put together my 24 favourite songs of 2011 (see below), I wanted to know what yours were and this was the result. Again, thanks to everyone who contributed to this. We made it to the magic 24 number and you can listen to it here - TOTMAPs 2011

The Yuletide 24 - 2011 Playlist

These were my Top 24 songs of 2011 and you can listen to them here - The Yuletide 24 - 2011

Whistling Songs

This playlist was born out of The Yuletide 24. On the day that 'Lippy Kids' by Elbow was my Song of the Day, I asked Twitter what 'other songs with whistling in' they could think of and this was the result. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to it. You can listen to it here - Whistling Songs

24 sub-two minute wonders playlist

This does what it says on the tin - it contains 24 songs under two minutes long. Again a few people contributed to this (thank you) and there are some absolute beauties on here, it's definitely worth a listen - go on, you know you want to :o) - 24 sub-two minute wonders

The musodad playlist

This was the first ever Spotify playlist I put together for the musodad blog. It contains a number of songs that were relevant at the time e.g. songs I played at my ukulele lessons, songs I'd heard in High Street shops when I decided to start writing 'musodad' (see one of my first ever blog posts - When did High Street shops start playing such great music? - for more info) or just mean something to me e.g. they were my wife's ringtone when I first met her.

Again, I'd love for you to go and have a listen here - The musodad playlist

If you don't want to spend time clicking on every link above, search for 'spotify:user:musodad' in the search field on Spotify and you'll find me.

Right, that's about it from me for today - enjoy!