Here's my problem with today's music

In reference to this NYPost Article

Does anyone write their own music anymore?

Of all the popular massive hits in the UK and America, how many of them are written by the artist themselves? Just that artist. No one else.

I’ve always thought it was rare to see an artist do that, which is one of the reasons I love new up and coming artists. Because at least they made the effort.

Reading that article shows how sad a state pop music is in right now. Grand for the song writers, mind…

Dont’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with writing a song for someone else to sing because maybe you can’t or doesn’t interest you. But when it turns into a fucking factory, that is taking the piss.

“For Rihanna, “A-list producers and topliners [the term for vocal melody writers] were summoned to Los Angeles for two weeks and installed in studios around the city,” creating what Seabrook calls “a pop-up hit factory.””

So instead of Rihanna going “I’m going to write an album”, a factory was made in which people write a bunch of songs, throw them around and the best of the bunch are then hers? eh?!

Rihanna’s next album, “Rated R,” was a commercial and critical success, and its only No. 1, “Rude Boy,” emerged from the LA camp sessions. The song is credited to five different writers(if we count the two-man Stargate team as one entity), including Dean, who wrote the hooks; Rihanna herself, who wrote the bridge with Makeba Riddick; and Stargate and Rob Swire, who created the beats.

5 people wrote “Rude Boy”. 5 people.

Have you heard Rude Boy? If not, you don’t even need to. The Lyrics themselves speak for my disgust. The longest line is 5 words!!!! That’s one word per person.

I suppose to Rihanna’s credit, after being beaten by Chris Brown she probably struggled to think, so the fact she wrote the bridge is amazing… /s

Stargate and Dean would become frequent collaborators, with hits such as Katy Perry’s “Firework” on their résumé.

Even Katy Perry couldn’t come up with lyrics such as “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag”?!

Martin has played a pivotal role in Katy Perry’s career, co-writing and/or producing hits including “I Kissed a Girl,” “California Gurls,” and “Teenage Dream.”

So Katy didn’t write anything. Did she do anything? At all?

His three most recent No. 1 songs came from Taylor Swift’s blockbuster release, “1989” — “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood.”

WHAT?! Even the beloved Taylor Swift, who I often thought of as genuine, doesn’t write all her own shit? Agh!

Once you succeed, you no longer need to bother

It’s funny in a way. There are people out there who write their own music, produce their own songs and some of them write the best piece of fucking music imaginable. Yet they still have a job just to be able to pay for them to do the thing they love.

What? Once you’ve had a hit are you no longer required to try?

Sure, writing an album can take a long time. But it’s meant to. It’s a craft and an art that has to go through a process that involves sweat and tears. It’s should not be a case of some one going “Here’s 18 songs, we record tomorrow and the album is released next month”.

Where are the real musicians? The ones that, when they sing a song they sing it because they wrote it and it means something to them and comes from the heart?

Oh, they’re too busy struggling to get noticed because they don’t have people throwing deals at them so money can be made… and that’s a rant for another day…

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

Find me on / / Google

Apple Watch and Me.

The most expensive watch I’ve ever bought…

It’s weird. I grew up hating watches or infact anything on my wrist. It always bugged me. Bracelets, watches, those stupid paper bands you get at gigs (OK those I still hate. Fabric ones are the best)…

But this year I chose to get a Fitbit Flex. I wanted something that was accurate for step counting and I could just keep on. It would just be part of my life, not interupt it in any way. And it was great. I found myself walking more, forcing myself to take walks at lunch during work… But then it died. And so I decided to get an Apple Watch.

I was always considering an Apple Watch. And infact, I was fighting myself to stop me buying one. But once my FItbit died, I started considering it more. And my final choice was “Try it for 14 days. If I don’t like it within those two weeks, I can get a refund”… So I got my card out and bought one.

I bought the 32mm Apple Watch Sport. The cheapest of the bunch. And the silver one. The 32mm was a good shout, fits perfectly on me. The other was just far too big!


When I first started, WatchOS2 was already available for developers. So right away I installed it and got the benefits of some of the features. But my main thing I love about it is that it’s kept me active and actually hasn’t been as in the way as I expected. In fact, it’s been more useful.

The nightstand function in WatchOS2 is brilliant for those of us that don’t have an alarm clock. I do now have an alarm clock, because I really wanted to listen to The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X in the mornings…. but the clock on that is lit up so bright it’s annoying. So I still use the watches clock!

Walk, fat boy.

My main way to keep fit is just walking. I like walking. I also don’t walk normal speed, I walk slightly faster than everyone (or incredibly fast if I’m in a shopping centre. Bugger me people walk so bloody slow!).

The watch would monitor this, give me silly awards for doing so. It’s nice.

It also forces me to try take more breaks during work. “Stand up for a minute every hour” is the recommendation. Now, that’s difficult to do because sometimes I just far too busy to do that. But where possible, I do. And I think it’s helped my productivity a lot. Maybe it’s in the mind I don’t know… but it has.

It’s also quite interesting to find out just how much I’ve done in a day. Some days I’ll be active but feel like I’ve done nothing. The Activity app reminds me that actually, there’s a very good reason why my legs are aching…


This was my big concern. Would I get frustrated at being notified about everything when I can easily ignore them?


See, you can choose what you get notified by. And you can customise the notifications so they are different to your phone.

Your phone notifications will always appear if they do not have a WatchOS equiv. But normally these are minor things that I don’t pay attention to anyway so I’ve just ended up turning them off so they only appear in Notification Centre.

For other notifications, such as Tweets, Messages, Facebook, Email… I have them customized so it gives me a little tap and if I want to look at it I will.

The slight downside, is the tap for Messages is a lot less than the tap for Tweets. So Messages I seem to miss more, but actually I care more about Messages. If I get a text, I want to at least glance at it. But I find I seem to occasionally not realise I’ve been tapped. That needs to be changed…

But for the most part, I’ve worked out what I don’t need to be notified about and I can turn them off.

Take email. If it’s an email that comes through I can easily Archive it from the notification, or just put my wrist down and leave it for later. Same for Messages. If it’s a message I can easily reply to with a word or an answer to a question, I’ll do that right from my watch. If it requires more attention then I can leave it for a bit and I’ve set it to remind me up to 3 times. If I’m too busy, it’ll just wait until I can pick my phone up.

That said though, if you do respond from your phone, the answers do come across a bit rude. I’d advise thinking of redoing them to suit the way you talk to everyone. Sometimes saying just “Yes” will make people think something is wrong. Nothing is wrong, I’m just multitasking like a mad man!


There’s a few games for the Watch, but I’ve not really bothered with them. It’s not a gaming device…

Trivia Crack is good - well - craic… But meh. Games stick to the phone.

Strap on! Strap off!

The Apple Watch straps are… quite frankly, overpriced. Massively. So I’ve looked a lot into Third Party ones.

I have a nice third party Leather Loop strap. It’s pretty close to the official, except if you look closely it doesn’t fully match. Now normally, this’ll bug me. But for the price - not so much…

I’ve tried the Milanese Mesh strap but found it would always pick at my hairs on my arms. so I’ve stuck with the Leather Loop. If I were out in the sun and knew I would be sweaty, I’d go back to the official Sport strap that came with my watch. But for now, the Leather Loop wins.

Sleep Tracking

One of the things I loved about my Fitbit Flex was it’d monitor my sleep. The Apple Watch can do that, there are apps that do this. However, that requires you to wear it… yet I use it in the day, so the battery would die whilst I’m asleep…

There are ways you can do it, if you change your behaviour. However - that’s not possible for me. So I’m no longer tracking my sleep which seems a bit anti-monitor-health-constantly-you-lazy-bastard-y.


The Apple Watch is the kind of watch you wear in the day and take it off when you sleep. So, a typical watch really. Except when you take it off to sleep, you charge it.

I’ve not had any issue with the battery running low in the day (apart from a bug during WatchOS2 Beta’s…). I normally take it off charge around 8:15am and I put it back on charge at around 23:00… Normally there’s still ~50% battery left!

In heavy use (lots of walking, for example) this can get lower, but I’ve only really got it to the 30% mark. The only time I’ve really used the Power Reserve mode is when I pretty much showing it off all day and playing with it. Once you get over the “OOOHHH SHINY SHINY” moments, it’s grand. Quite frankly - battery is a non-issue.

Worth it?

Always, the price of Apple products is never really worth it. But at the same time, you are paying for a premium made product. And actually, some watches that do less than the Apple Watch cost over £1000!! So in a way, it’s a bargain!

If you’re into looking at keeping fit and you’re always active on your phone - I say go for it. This’ll help with both and actually get some of your social life back when you’re out at events.

If you need a new watch - Just buy a watch.


I’m loving it. It’s just a nice watch that lets me know if I’ve been a good boy or a lazy sod. I can keep an eye on the important stuff and leave the non-vital stuff to when I can use my phone.

The only downside? I wish I got the Space Grey version…

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

Find me on / / Google

Early iPhone Reviews are Pointless...

How can you review something after a day?

A day is not enough time to spend with the device.

Every device is different, internally or externally. iPhone or Android. When you get a new device, you have to learn it. Spend some time with it and see if it still suits the way you work… You cannot do this after one day.

Especially with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. It has a new feature that drastically changes how you work. You cannot see if this fits in your life after one day (or some, even less). It’s stupid.

If you’re thinking of buying the new iPhone, or any new device that has just been released - wait for a week or so. Give people time to make their actual thoughts concrete and see.

Now granted, another persons opinion won’t be the same as yours. But it’ll help you swing your direction.

Last thing you want to do is spend over £600 and regret it, because it doesn’t fit your lifestyle and how you use the device.

As for the reviewers… A quick overview at the start is grand. But a review is not possible after a day unless you’re incredibly closed minded.

Likewise, I’ll be posting a little overview at some point on my iPhone 6s. I should also do that about my Apple Watch…

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

Find me on / / Google

iOS 9 slow after upgrade?

Give it up to 24 hours…

I know, it sounds a bit silly. But on most iOS major release, a lot will update, migrate, and index in the background. This means Battery and Performance will take a temporary hit.

Just give it some time. And if need be, use the new “Low Power” mode to try and save some power.

I’d always advise to update at night. Once the update has worked, leave it plugged in and go to bed. Most the time, it’s finished by the time you wake up.

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

Find me on / / Google