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My Favourite Album: Jagged Little Pill

My Favourite Album:  Jagged Little Pill

Young people are a key part of our gig-theatre show Lost in Music. We’ve recruited local young musicians for each venue on the tour who will perform with the professional cast. Young people are also involved with the marketing campaign for the show. Here’s a new article from our ‘Young Marketeer’ Jodie Rae:

Whenever someone asks, ‘what’s your favourite album?’, or, ‘if you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?’, you find yourself racking your brain for the 10 to 12 songs that you know for sure that you couldn’t get sick of. 

For me, the album that I feel resonates the most with me, but also presents a selection of songs that are simply pleasing to the ear is ‘Jagged Little Pill’ by Alanis Morrissette. This record only just took first place ahead of other iconic albums such as Ten (Pearl Jam), Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) and Dilate (Ani DiFranco). When asked to talk about my favourite piece of music, I started thinking about what could take the place of my favourite song of all time. However, I quickly realised that this piece of writing would never get started because my favourite song often changes on a daily or even hourly basis.   

In 2019, after gigging in a few bars across my local town, one or two friends had commented that, when singing, I had similar intonations to a female artist called Alanis Morrissette. I didn’t necessarily sound like the artist, but a few notes that I hit reminded people of her voice. Alanis Morrissette was always on my radar, and I knew the classics such as ‘Ironic’ or ‘Thank You’, but I hadn’t really explored her until then. As I do with most artists that I discover, I decided to listen to her earliest album first to get an idea of the sound. After hearing her raw, almost conversational lyrics in ‘All I Really Want’, raging guitar tones in ‘Forgiven’ and the occasional harmonica, I knew this album would be significant to me. 

‘Jagged Little Pill’ resonated with me on a personal level but also artistically.  Personally, I could almost place myself within the situations that she was describing, and she somehow successfully articulated the difficult and raw emotions that I had experienced before, in both her lyrics and the style of music. As a musician, it felt very refreshing to hear a female artist, like myself, talk about being in hard circumstances, but also getting angry about it. Before then, I had never heard a female artist so bluntly and unapologetically express how she felt. Hearing these lyrics almost gave me ‘permission’ to explore emotions and topics that I was initially intimidated to talk about. I didn’t want to copy what she had done, but I wanted to emulate the energy that she had and wanted to perhaps go below surface level when writing songs. 

Of course, I then went down a ‘Jagged Little Pill’ rabbit hole and started finding out the history and trivia behind the album. I think that learning about her pre-Jagged Little Pill career, where she struggled with self-image and identity under a glitzy, pop-star guise to then being dropped by her record label entirely, truly brings a new perspective on this album. Releasing an angsty record after commercial failure did not only show her emotional and vulnerable writing, but also meant she was taking a risk professionally. This just gives me another reason to love and appreciate this album.  

Emotionally, I felt connected to this album. I was nineteen, living on my own away from my hometown and was trying to find some sense of identity. Music and songwriting felt like an outlet for that. This album encouraged me to navigate my feelings and emotions and channel them into my writing. The topics on the album around love, moving on from previous ideologies, relationships and growing up all felt very close to home. This album helped to bring out my own emotions, my experiences and how I felt about them, which would then feed into my music.  I could go on about the significance of this album, but for the reader’s sake, I’m keeping this short and simple.  ‘Jagged Little Pill’ introduced me to an artist who is now among my favourite songwriters of all time.  It brought out the vulnerability in me but also in my writing and has truly defined an important part of my life. 

Jodie Rae is a singer-songwriter, musician, and actor from the West Coast of Scotland.  Jodie uses her music as a raw, unfiltered outlet that reflects her own experiences with love, self, and loss.  She has gigged and performed theatrically across Scotland, at events such as Celtic Connections, DMC’s The PLAZA, and the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

Lost in Music
Touring Scotland from 16 Sept - 7 Oct 2022
Tickets on sale now.

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Jamie Haining: What Music Means to Me

Jamie Haining:  What Music Means to Me

Young people are a key part of our gig-theatre show Lost in Music. We’ve recruited local young musicians for each venue on the tour who will perform with the professional cast. Young people are also involved with the marketing campaign for the show. Here’s the next written piece from our ‘Young Marketeer’ Jodie Rae:

I interviewed Jamie Haining, co-owner of Ellis Music Studios. Ellis Music Studios is a recording studio and rehearsal room complex in Irvine. Jamie is also co-owner of the events company, Bring It On Events.

How does music play a part in your life?

“Music plays a part in most aspects of my life. Obviously, a career, but also personally. I think there's very little time in my life where I’m not listening to music.”

What do you use music for?

“I use music to wake up. I use music to drive, work, to chill out. I use it to create, as a hobby and pretty much to go to sleep.”

What is your favourite type of music?

“I would normally say a bit of anything except… terrible pop music. Not all pop music, but just some of the badly done stuff. But my core favourite music would be alternative rock, grunge, metal, and post-hardcore. And I think I'm a punk at heart.”

How do you feel when you listen to music you love?

“It kind of depends on the situation or the scenario. But an adrenaline rush, I think, would be a good way to describe it. Generally, happy. Music equals happiness in my life.”

What has been your favourite musical experience in your life?

“Too many. They're all my favourites and change on a daily basis. I think just playing live. A specific instance is difficult to pick but, the buzz you get… You just feel invincible when you play live. There's a total rush.

I think from a ‘claim to fame’ point of view would be that we played with Incubus at the Cathouse before they made it really big.”

Why is live music important to you?

“I like seeing people create something. I like seeing four or five people, or one person even, creating something that they've written and come up with and playing it well.

One of my top three live bands that I’ve seen live is the band Thrice. How they performed… was just incredible. Note perfect. The sound was perfect. That could actually be one of my favourite musical moments.

It’s people creating something in front of you, as opposed to a studio where they're tweaking and fixing as they go. From a social point of view, you’ll go to see something with your pals and if the artist blows you away at the same time, it's just one big, good experience.”

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

“When I was growing up, I was absolutely obsessed with Simon and Garfunkel, and I really don't remember why. My dad always used to listen to bands like The Eagles or Eric Clapton or whoever. I’d be given a record and it would be something like Black Sabbath, The Who or Small Faces and it just kind of started me off my musical path there. But I think the thing that sticks out for me, when I was younger than that, was Simon and Garfunkel. I don't know where it came from, but I had vinyls of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and I remember my mum's friend would come and visit and always give me a new Simon and Garfunkel record. I was absolutely obsessed. I still am, to an extent.”

How do you think music can help benefit people?

“Where do you start? I think emotionally and socially. I was in a situation where I had a disabled and ill child. He had music therapy. He wasn't able to do much of anything on his own. But we always felt like the music and just putting that tambourine in his hand, we felt that he enjoyed that. We felt that he got it. So, I think it's important for so many reasons.

I would find driving to Glasgow difficult without Tool playing in the background or Nirvana on the train etc. I think for me, it's secondary to air. Most people would say music is important, you know, for dancing or for listening to, or for going to see gigs, but I think I would take that a stage further. It’s what I want to do for work, for hobbies. It’s what I want to do for fun.”

Jodie Rae is a singer-songwriter, musician, and actor from the West Coast of Scotland.  Jodie uses her music as a raw, unfiltered outlet that reflects her own experiences with love, self, and loss.  She has gigged and performed theatrically across Scotland, at events such as Celtic Connections, DMC’s The PLAZA, and the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

Lost in Music
Touring Scotland from 16 Sept - 7 Oct 2022
Tickets on sale now.

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Could I remember how to be creative?

Amy-Conway-smlii Amy Conway

Amy Conway

It’s hard to talk about anything that’s happened in the last two years without referring to the big ‘P’. The Pandemic has changed everything; we are all changed because of it and we will continue to change because of it. So I would say that it’s important to talk about anything that’s happened in the last two years with reference to the Pandemic. The Pandemic has created a very specific landscape which in turn creates an often hostile climate that affects everything we do. Covid 19 brought loss, isolation, fear and uncertainty to many, including myself, and so the gradual re-emergence of life brings hope but a whole lot of other feelings with it too. 

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Magnetic North Seed Fund 2022

Magnetic North Seed Fund 2022

Magnetic North has received an award from Creative Scotland’s Recovery Fund which will enable us to support independent artists through a Seed Fund which will give four grants of £4,500 each.  

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Space/Time Artists' online residency

Space/Time Artists' online residency

Next week we're running another paid online residency for experienced artists. Space/Time is a creative retreat for artists from any art form that asks the question “How can you continue to thrive as an artist?”. Although we're all easing back into real life after the stress of COVID-19, we know that participants value the flexibility of being able to take part in our residencies online. So, the artists gathering together virtually will be:

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