Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Patrick Wolf- The Magic Position

Or 'The Magic Potion' as my I Tunes is lying to me.
Now. I love Patrick Wolf. I think he is gradually being elevated to 'hero' status in my book due to a ming-manglingly good performance at Koko at the end of last year, followed by the release of the rocket-fuelled Accident and Emergency single and more recently, a glitter-smeared performance that went down like a lead balloon at The Album Chart show. Truly inspiring stuff.
Before that, I liked him for his techno-folk stylings and crunchy beats but thought he could be a bit dreary at times. Yet live he was absolutely electric, beaming and darting around the stage. He seemed massively in love with life and we fell for him completely.
So it's safe to say I was looking forward to the release of The Magic Position.
The album opens with Overture, which has an extremely catchy violin hook. I'm not normally a fan of violins, but Patrick can do whatever the hell he likes, because he's a genius. I don't use that word lightly. He actually is, cos I say so.
The second song is The Magic Position, surely the highlight of the album. It is literally musical ecstasy. Again, the violin sounds divine and the whole song just sounds all over the place, marching along in a jumble of happiness. Patrick is unashamedly in love and it sounds wonderful. What is the magic position? I have no idea. I'd give it a go though.
To follow this with a song as good as Accident and Emergency is incredibly bold. This is great to dance to when you're out: I've tried it and I wasn't even drunk. The lyrics are ace and Patrick's energy is infectious.
To follow this with Bluebells (The Bluebell is too short to make an impact) is MADNESS! The three big hits, all unashamedly in a row. I love it. Bluebells reminds me of the first time I saw it live, the fireworks noises are so cool. Who else would think to have them as beats in a song? This is a beautiful song.
Magpie, with Marianne Faithfull, is where he starts to lose me a little. I do like his folky songs, but her voice sounds really old and the lyrics are uninspiring (one for sorrow, two for joy, yeah we know). Then there is a weird filler track that's just instumental and pretty pointless. I might add if you read the lyrics along with listening for the first time, be prepared to be confused, there seems to be lyrics to about three songs that don't exist.
After this there is Augustine which my boyfriend likes but I don't that much. Think it may be a grower though. Then there is another bit of filler. This reminds me of Bright Eyes, trying to annoy the listener, but Im sure it's just that I'm ignorant and don't understand.
Get Lost is the 2nd most upbeat track, and the keyboard really reminds me of early Pulp. A happy song about running away together. I like the line about the drinks being flat for some reason. Enchanted doesn't really do it for me, mainly piano-led it just doesn't go anywhere for me.
The Stars is really excellent, twinkling and haunting, combining beats with strings. I really respect the way he mashes up sounds you wouldn't expect to hear together. I also love the fairytale imagery. This is where Patricks strength lies, when listening to his album takes you to another place. He paints convincing pictures with both his lyrics and his voice. I think I'm already in love with this song. Finale is instrumental. He should have ended with The Stars.
So will Patrick make it to the mainstream? I hope not. He's too special.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

The Killers: Wembley Arena 25 Feb 07

I went to see The Killers last night and it was fucking mental! We were one row back, slightly to the side and proper crushed. We seemed to have the Narcoleptics Society on a day out in front of us, which was interesting, they were all snoozing on the barrier, but to be fair, that was when Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were on, who managed to be both dreary and dirgy. What a rubbish support act.
The Killers came on to a projection of Americana images on a massive white screen, with dramatic keyboards to whip us up into a frenzy, which eventually turned into 'Sam's Town' and a great swimming pool-sized bucket of red white and blue glitter was dumped on our heads . This was extremely exciting, I felt like I'd just won Millionaire or Deal or no Deal or something, despite most of it seemingly going down my top. The set was really cool, with skeletons, lots of crates, neon signs and fake grass, as well as tons of pretty lights and flags.
The atmosphere was AMAZING; the last person I saw at Wembley Arena was Morrissey, who quite-rightly inspires incredible passion, but The Killers were SOMETHING ELSE. Morrissey can be a bit mean with the hits at times, but The Killers belted them out one after another: they literally have no fillers. Everyone was going crazy! I've waited so long to see The Killers and they did not disappoint. Little Brandon was running round the stage, sweat dripping off him, standing on boxes and waving his microphone stand around with more enthusiasm than I've ever seen him deliver. He really did give it his all. I was really really pleased that they played 'Bling' and 'Why Do I Keep Counting?' because I'd been waiting to hear these live, and they were fantastically loud, singalong tracks. But the crowd loved the oldies and Mr Brightside' was rightly, riotously recieved. By this time sweat was pouring off me and I would have sold my granny for a Diet Coke. In my pre-show preperations of determinedly not drinking so I wouldn't need the toilet, I had overlooked the fact that we were virtually standing in the mosh pit two hours later. Oh well. It was worth a dry mouth and a sore throat from singing/ cheering.
Finally, when they did All These Things That I've Done it was good I felt like I was going to puke.
What an atmosphere. The Killers are a truly first-class live band. Definitely the best gig I've been to in 12 months; better than Patrick Wolf AND Morrissey and that is saying something. And I've still got Bright Eyes to come next month!
I could really die happy after this year. Nothing can beat the high of seeing bands you love at the top of their game.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Enders Vs Corrie

Quality-wise neither really deserve their own blog so let's mush them in together. Corrie's OK at the moment, the gay kiss and the David blackmail thing are mildly titilating. I'm forever waiting for David go upstairs and come back down better-looking like Madame Rickett did- but he never does. Instead we are forced to look at his sneery weasely face, which even a hair cut and a splodge of fake tan can't disguise. Don't do it Tracey. When she told him to 'come in the back way' the other day, there was some concern in my household and I'm sure, many others.
Corrie has its fair share of dross though: this endless Becky thing (just fuck off) and the boring factory family. Jason's acting makes wood look animated. Yawnio. Luckily, Corrie has Norris and Blanche and therefore always wins.
Enders is ultimate dross lately, it doesn't even feel like Eastenders now Pauline and Martin are gone. Phil Mitchell, whom I prayed for the return of for several months, is saddled with sappy twat Stella and the devil-child Ben. I want him to get drunk and go on a rampage! Knock some heads together! Fuck all this pussy-footing around bollocks. GO PURPLE!
Stacey Slater shagging that old ginger bloke is also morally-repugnant, and how dull is his wife? And if that fucking child of theirs sings a song ONE MORE TIME I'M GONNA FUCKING BOOT THE TELLY. As for that ridiculous plot-hole riddled storyline with Dawn having a baby- what the fuck? The wife having to listen to her and that bloke shagging the other day was just plain sick. That's not tea time viewing.
I also particularly hate BERT, BERT's chav child-spawn thing, YOLANDE, all of that family who live with Pat, especially the shouty, appalling actress mechanic blonde one and the skeletal black daughter who seems to have had a personality bypass. Further to this, I hate Mickey and his comedy hair.
Dear God, there's not even any totty or nuffink these days. Shit, why am I still watching this? Its depressing as fuck.
Although Dot is always super-cool.

Tennis 'Girls'

'Should Tennis girls be paid the same as men?' says the front page of the Daily Mail. And the clue is in the question. Of course 'girls' should not be paid the same as men. But should 'women'?
The paper pitches this quite subtly but there it is: women are less than men, why should they get paid more? From the 'Femail' section (which implies women don't read the real news) to this, women are put in their place and expected to put up and shut up. If we don't- if we drink or have sex for example, we are binge-drinking slatterns and if we play sport we shouldn't expect to get paid like men because we're worth less. In business we're worth less, and in every other aspect of life.

The tennis issue has bothered me for a while. Vocally in the past I have said women should be paid less, as they only play 3 sets to men's 5. However, I've changed my mind, and it's for exactly the reason of us being called 'girls' on the front of the paper and 99% of people probably not batting an eyelid. Well, I am. Because if society continues to treat women in this way, we'll keep getting valued less and we will never progress as sports-people, or in the army, or anywhere . And if the balance is now unfair, i.e. women are getting paid MORE than men at Wimbledon, because they are getting the same for less, then why the raised eyebrows? It's been the other way for hundreds of years. Deal with it. Maybe the balance needs to go back that way before true equality can be achieved.

Thursday, 22 February 2007


Despite being NEARLY THIRTY my boyfriend seems unhealthily obsessed with MTV American-teen programmes, Date My Mom, Pimp My Ride, Shag my Girlfriend etc. OK, not that one. And then I find myself watching Punked and teens getting plastic surgery. It is strangely comforting.
So the latest one we've been watching is Next, a kind of speed-dating show where they say 'next' if they don't fancy the dim-witted reprobrate before them. The girls are slutty and thick and the boys are full of bluster and mainly retarded. Yet still it is compelling. Why? I have no idea.
I'm jealous that all these morons in these programmes are so thin and rich obviously have no clue about geography or politics or sarcasm. But Christ. They are so fucking shallow. I can feel my brain-cells evaporating just watching this shit.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Freaky Eaters

I've been looking forward to Freaky Eaters since seeing the ad for it, and tonights one about a guy who was addicted to crisps was a story close to my own heart. I've been a freaky eater since I was about three, only eating about ten different foods in the world (Ive never eaten any vegetables or anything from a tin), so I found myself getting quite emotional watching this guy's story. The poor guy's wife basically held a gun to his head and made him give up his only food groups of crisps, pizza and chips. The weird thing was how SKINNY this guy was! How come my diet isn't keeping me so trim?
I could relate to so many things in this show, the fear of going out to dinner, packing crisps instead of food to go on holiday, and being labelled a 'social misfit' by friends, family and strangers. I understood everything he was feeling as the evil nutrtionist made him eat a strawberry. I could feel every gag as she enforced a pea on him. Yet 95% of the country were probably thinking, you absolute freakazoid.
Its a funny thing having this kind of neurotic eating disorder- is it about control, safety? Psychologically it's an enormous battle to change 20 or 30 years of deeply-ingrained habits. And by the end when they made him have a sit down meal with his extended family, he still wasnt fully 'cured'.
So is there any hope for me? Gawd knows. I was told by a nutritionist when I was about 10 I'd be dead by the time I was 18. I've probably eaten enough crisps in my life to climb to the moon and back. I'd like to be 'normal'. But, as Morrissey knows, there's no such thing.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

The Final Verdict

I had to watch this in dribs and drabs as I couldn't watch it every night for fear of topping myself. As I suspected after day one, a 'not guilty' verdict was the final result. Not because they thought the men weren't guilty- but because they couldn't 'be sure they'd done it'. How can a jury ever be sure? It's one person's word against another, no wonder so many rapists (if even reported) get off. It wouldn't encorage me to go to court in that situation, and get my life picked over in minute detail by barristers with very annoying voices.
But I too would have had to say 'not guilty'. Even though in my gut I felt they were. Which is pretty horrible (even though it wasn't real). Is this 'justice'?
Ps. Stan Collymore and that guy from So Solid Crew are both cunts.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

The Sex Inspectors

Or perverts, as I like to call them. Watching unhappy couples have sex is strangely compelling. The sex inspectors just seem to enjoy it too much though, and their tips are RUBBISH. Seriously, they might work for a week, but six months down the line...? Is a deep-seated psychological issue going to be resolved by a vibrator or a sexy outfit? Is the fact you've been together ten years and you just can't fucking stand each other anymore? Methinks not.
There are FOUR episodes of this on this week, which seems excessive. The second couple, the dowdy wife and the karaoke-loving holiday rep guy who stopped shagging her to watch the FOOTBALL were a weird combination. She looked ten years older than him and it seemed directly his fault; rating her kisses out of ten (he gave her a four), and telling her his exes said he was the best kisser in the world. What a fucknut. I think the main sexual problem was that he was clearly GAY. What straight man plucks their eyebrows?
More to the point, what is up with these people's HOUSES? They are all decorated straight out of the 80s. if you have a flowery border cutting your room in half, sandpaper it OFF. These are the people who actually buy those DFS sofas! Seriously, gross. Artex ceilings, beech furnishings, upside-down uplifter lights = a bad sex life. There you go.

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz was excellent- much better than I expected. The only bits of trailer I had seen involved Simon Pegg and Nick Frost jumping over/ crashing into those fences. Which was very funny, but hardly an action-packed highlight.
Similarly, the film starts slow, with Pegg's character being moved from the Metropolitan Police Service (not Force!) that he loves so much to a station in the countryside.
For the first twenty minutes or so, there are so many cameos it's almost distracting, Steve Coogan, bloke from The Office, bloke from Love Actually, Bill Bailey, woman from Peep Show... I could go on and on. The story is reasonably slow to start but I liked the gentle introduction of Pegg's character and his kicking all the underage kids out of the pub and arresting half the people in town (i.e. four) on his first night.

It is in the second half of the film that it really kicks off though, with some fantastically gory deaths and lots of kindly-executed cop-film spoofing (Point Break is genius). The action in the last hour of the film is really fast-paced, genuinely exciting as well as clever and funny throughout.
I won't ruin it by going into grand detail because I hate reviews that do that, but genuinely go and see it. I was expecting a sub-par Shaun of the Dead, and this film isn't quite as good, but it is loads and loads of fun. Long may the partnership of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost continue.

Monday, 12 February 2007

The Verdict- My Verdict

Who would let Stan Collymore and Jeffrey Archer on a jury? Is Sara Payne expected to be impartial on a rape case? Isn't the whole point of a jury that they are meant to be? I understand this is a TV show, but it's still firmly UN-reality TV.
I found the show deeply depressing. The rape testimony was very well acted and I found it upsetting. The girls on the panel took the liberal girly view. Collymore and that bloke from So Solid Crew took the side of the footballers (shocker!)
What have I learnt? Stan Collymore has an extremely annoying voice and won't keep it shut. He doesn't let anyone talk. Alex James, the pig-murderer from Blur, said fuck all. Is he being paid to be mute? That girl from Brookside also has an annoying voice. Jeffrey Archer stands too close to people when he talks to them.
What do I think so far? Are they guilty? I've not got a clue. Is this entertaining? Kind of.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Bloc Party: A Weekend In The City

I read a review of this album today (admittedly in London Careers magazine) that gave this two stars! Two fucking stars! Crikey.
Luckily, they are wrong and I am right. I really really like this album, it's completely immediate and a good fit for me.
Forget your downloading, if it's a band I LOVE I wait and get the CD. I love lying in my bed, reading the lyrics, letting it all sink in. I'd advise listening to it really loud first go.
Opener Song For Clay (Disappear Here) is an energetic start and concerns Kele feeling a bit let down in a posh restaurant. Poor thing. Somehow you feel for him though. How awful to actually live the dream and then be terminally disappointed with it. London is shit. Drugs are shit. You can criticise, but he's right, isn't he? It is all very empty and vacuous but we keep doing it.
Hunting For Witches has a nice guitar riff and I very much enjoyed it on my walk to work today. Lyrics concern bombings, racism; it's just like reading the Daily Mail. I think Kele is the same age as me, and grew up listening to Pulp and the Britpop explosion. Like him, I feel like I was sold something that never came true. But it did for him.
Who is this album about, him or his friends doing the 9-5? Surely being in a band must be fun. But what if your dreams come true and you still feel just the same? Maybe this tiny bit of hope of something better is the only thing worth having.
Waiting for the 7.18 is a more traditional Bloc Party 'ballad' (haha) of the twinkly variety. The drums are good on the album as well, I like the dance music leanings. I like the lyrics to this one: drugs, alienation. Is there a theme developing here? Yes indeed.
The Prayer was the first single with the video where they all looked twatted on e. It's good to dance to and I like that it's quite different to the rest of the album, and not such an obvious Bloc party tune. The tribally backing vocals are good too.
Uniform is mildly epic- Kele is disappointed that all the kids in the shopping centre look the same. Mainly like him and his bandmates. Actually this song is really good as it builds up. It's quite dark. The lyrics on this album are certainly miles more specific than on Silent Alarm, some would probably say too obvious. But generally it works, and I'm glad he's talking about things that affect me personally.
On is almost too similar to the others for me, similar to ones on this album and the previous. Some Bloc party songs blend into one for me and this is one of them. 'Vampires' and 'charm' have been mentioned already too! I'm so picky. Everyone will love this one, I'm sure.
Where is Home? like Uniform kicks in after the first couple of verses and lyrically is about Kele's murdered cousin and him feeling out of place in the UK. It's really depressing that probably a million people feel the same way and I feel ashamed, but also part of it in a minor way, because I feel no sense of pride in this country, and certainly none in being white, or English. Everything is just an accident of birth. This is a pretty powerful song lyrically and musically.
Kreuzberg has that Bloc Party twinkly sound, and seems to be about an ill-fated one night stand and the emptiness afterwards.
I Still Remember is the other one everyone has probably heard and was described eloquently by my boyfriend as 'the one about gay fucking'. Very different to the rest of the album; extremely poppy with a Smithsy guitar riff. The lyrics are reminicent of 'There is a Light That Never Goes Out'- a moving tale of a missed romantic opportunity.
Sunday is a romantic comedown tale. I really like it, except the line 'a pearl in your oyster' which seems pretty lazy and made my cliche-o-meter ring. I like the thought of being loved whilst 'strung out' though.
SRXT (I have no idea what that stands for: I've done fuck all research and the NME's not out to tell me what to think, haha) reminded me of 'No Lies, Just Love' by Bright Eyes- a suicide note in a song, but a nice gentle one, not like one My Chemical Romance would leave. Its really lovely actually, but leaves you feeling very depressed. What a way to end the album. Thanks Kele. Actually, the final end part is quite uplifting.
In conclusion though, a really solid follow up to Silent Alarm, no filler whatsoever, and you can't often say that about an album. I hope Kele cheers up and enjoys being in a band.
If he really DID have to do the 9-5 as I do, he'd be properly down.

America's Next Top Model: What's that coming over the hill?

Last week less-than-flattering pictures of Tyra Banks emerging from the water like the Loch Ness Monster were published in various low rent magazines of the variety I read. This was followed up by a bizarre online video of Tyra (presumably on her show) ranting about how 'all women are beautiful, whatever their shape and size'.
Except, of course, if you're a contestant on America's Top Model. You'd better be thin, and you'd better be prepared to get naked/ make a fool of yourself/ hack your hair off. I thought they'd be hacking their hair of this week, but alas, no.
But Nigel was back! Yay. And Twiggy. Hmm, whatever.
'Miss' J looked as bored as Simon Cowell is looking on Seasion 476 of American Idol.
The girls moved into Tyra Towers, a narcissistic delight festooned with billboard-sized posters of Tyra looking airbrushed in a variety of different ways. What a vain bitch.
Later Tyra did some weird thing where she pretended to be a superbitch model (like you're not). Her gurning is getting worse every week. She told the boot-ugly Asian girl that she should learn to love her dark eyes (despite having blue/green contacts in herself).
In the final bit where they boot folk out, Tyra's flab was there for all to see, she's done the Courtney trick of squeezing it all into something very tight, but nothing can hide those bingo wings.
Practice what you preach, Tyra. Or how long will it be before the empire crumbles, and a thousand skinny models go flying?