Tag Archives: Summer

Put Down Your Camera and Live in the Moment

Over the summer, I attended two concerts with my girlfriend: The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Blenheim Palace in June and Lana Del Rey at the O2 Brixton Academy in July. Across the course of both concerts, we took one photo between us – a close-up shot of Del Rey as she ventured towards the right side of the front of the stage where we stood. I remember both nights vividly. What I also remember vividly is the blinding wave of light, as hundreds of smartphones shone up at the pop star unflinchingly throughout the evening. It made me question how our digestion of real life and experience has become distorted by technology and the competitive nature of social media, no doubt catalysed by the onset of the Snapchat ‘story’. Camera phones are no longer a portal to memories but a barrier.

Secondly, I sometimes question why people even get their camera phones out in the first place. As the Blenheim Palace concert drew to a close, the night erupted into a booming salvo of fireworks as the Star Wars theme sound tracked a display of July 4th proportions. I, like the majority of the audience, was wowed by the fireworks but at the same time I’ve seen fireworks dozens of times. It wasn’t an occasion that was worthy of a video recording. The woman in front of me clearly felt differently – as she did on four or five occasions during the evening, updating her ‘story’ as the night progressed. I’ve always been against video recording at events, but documenting something so everyday as a firework display is not enhancing your experience, it’s sabotaging it. And more often than not, with your hands held high, documenting the same video as the 20 people either side of you and the other 200 people in the room, you’ll probably be ruining the view for the unfortunate person behind you.

“To exist in the moment without technological assistance is an experience of its own and I think that’s something many of us forget sometimes.”

But I’m not completely averse to documentation; sometimes what’s going on in front of you really is worth seeing again and again. It’s also nice to have that image frozen in time, the proof that says I was there when this or that happened. But I certainly feel that we live in an age where the belief is that the memory will only be captured if it’s done via a smartphone or camera. If an iPhone or camera is the means by which we lock in a memory, are we even truly creating that memory or are we actually blocking that process of remembrance from happening in our minds?

To exist in the moment without technological assistance is an experience of its own and I think that’s something many of us forget sometimes. It is great to have photos and videos for our own nostalgic enjoyment or for just pure smugness in the presence of friends and family. But for me, right now technology is not a helpful tool in the construction of memory. It hinders the feel of memory and how our senses grasp the enormity of something truly unforgettable happening. On top of that, the notion of filming everything and anything you experience ultimately blurs the lines between the great and the mundane. So next time you’re in the midst of something truly remarkable, leave your phone in your pocket and let the memories make themselves.

The Essential 2017 Summer Album Roundup

2017 has provided one of the most saturated summers for big releases in recent memory. Everything from superstar DJs, to teenage pop wunderkinds to quintessential indie rock bands have Continue reading The Essential 2017 Summer Album Roundup

Hinds Release First Spanish-Language Single with Cover Track ‘Holograma’

2016 has been a particularly stellar breakout year for Madrid-based lo-fi rockers Hinds. Their debut album, Leave Me Alone, was released to critical acclaim and their reputation for relentlessly energetic Continue reading Hinds Release First Spanish-Language Single with Cover Track ‘Holograma’

Glass Animals’ Transition from Summer to Autumn on ‘Youth’

UK indie outfit Glass Animals are on the verge of their second album How To Be A Human Being with a release date scheduled for August 26th. The band returned in May with their wildly energetic lead single ‘Life Itself’ Continue reading Glass Animals’ Transition from Summer to Autumn on ‘Youth’

The Vending Machine: Seven Point Five – Allah-Las

‘I would love to, have you by my side/But I aint gonna wait for the morning tide,’ sings Miles Michaud on ‘Seven Point Five’. Michaud’s drawl is typical of LA alternative garage Continue reading The Vending Machine: Seven Point Five – Allah-Las

Single Review: The Knocks feat. POWERS – Classic

‘The best way to successfully traverse the current landscape of the music industry is by releasing music that invokes some kind of emotion in the listener,’ wrote B-Roc and JPatt, better known collectively as The Knocks, in a letter posted on Noisey. Continue reading Single Review: The Knocks feat. POWERS – Classic

Two Chocolate Bourbons

Chocolate bourbons were my favourite. I dug my buck teeth underneath the biscuit and revealed the layer of chocolate cream. The texture reminded me of wet cement. For a couple of seconds I inspected the biscuit before consuming it in two bites and I remembered the expression of odd curiosity my Dad would give me when he witnessed this habit of mine.
Then she giggled. I’d forgotten I was at the beach and not in the comfort of my own living room. Continue reading Two Chocolate Bourbons