Saturday, 19 October 2013

The X Factor - Love and heartbreak

The flash vote is shit! Bring back deadlock, dumbasses.
Ugh, this prison officer loves football. So she's a control freak and a misogynist. Notice she mentioned football before her husband as the great love of her life. She looked cute in her wedding pics: must be hard work in those prisons! Surprise, surprise she's singing some boring arse song that you'd rather punch yourself in the face than listen to. I wish they'd make them just do new songs FFS. I'm tired of hearing fucking Whitney, Mariah and all that bollocks. Half the time you could be watching an X Factor from five years ago. My only hope is that as she's on first, people won't vote for her. I'm sure my mum loves her, I'm sure yours does, I personally think she's a boring, plate-faced personality void. No offence, ha! Even Nicole is saying she doesn't like it. Jam-honesty! Louis is pretending like he thought of the 'Screw-bo' joke. He didn't.
Dear God, even Kingsland Road like football?! I thought they were meant to be hipsters. This song is pure cheese. I wish they'd be a bit edgier. And if you believe that all of them are straight - clue, the black one definitely isn't - then you must be mad. I'd say up to three of them are probably gay. The dance routine was fucking awful. Them winking and leering was gross. The only thing that was OK was their singing.
I pretty much missed Nicholas's performance as I find that song so dreary and I was ranting about something on FB. So I missed Sharon's paedo comments. Oh well.
Abi's funereal version of Can't Get You Out of My Head was profoundly depressing. Is there a song on the planet that this bitch won't ruin? Everything about her annoys me; the budget specs, her boring personality and sub-indie schmindy ick music she does. I thought Sharon gave her some great advice. My advice would be, try spending more than £100 on your glasses. It's a worthwhile investment.
I like James Arthur in the audience all awkward. He was someone worth championing last year.
Oh Christ, Shelley is singing Single Ladies, probably one of the most offensive songs on the planet. That lyric 'if you like it then you should have put a ring on it' is both a disservice and insult to women everywhere. But what can you expect from a woman who's main interest in life seems to be seeing how many species she can endanger with her revolting husband? This song is a crime against women. Needless to say, Shelley is no Beyonce. But at least she's not Illuminati.
Oh so Miss Dynamix can't sing because the pregnant one is ill. This will give the misogyny brigade some more grist for their mill. 'She should be at home, waa waa waa'. Shut up.
I wish Sam Callaghan would take a walk... I don't mind where, could be into a canal, or just off a cliff, not bothered, really. He has the charisma of a potato. He has a face like a potato. Except I like potatoes. He just sounded like he was on the loo for the high bit. I don't think he's going to go the distance, I really don't.
I like Tamera. I just don't like this song. But I do think she could win it - she has a talent and stage presence the others don't have. I wish they wouldn't keep changing her look each week, I liked her blonde.
So Luke has been put in a boat this week. When's the water coming to make him fuck off? I'd like to see him and his pathetic hair bobbing off into the distance. Things I know about him: hair. mum. It's not enough to be a popstar, kiddo! You just haven't earned it yet baby. He's got a hanky hanging out of his back pocket. Apparently this means you're gay, and you're saying what type of gay sex you like. I'll leave you to fill in those gaps. I will say that he did appear to be able to carry a tune tonight, which is more than I can say for previous weeks.
Rough Copy have gone a bit cheeseball this week, too. Some interesting clothing going on there, too. I like them, but hope they don't get too watered down. I liked one of them whipping the mic off Dermy.
This backstage bit with Caroline Flack is just boring padding and filler. She's better than this!
If I never have to hear anyone sing 'Beautiful' again, I'd appreciate it. I like Hannah, though. She looks cool and she seems lovely, and she sang with passion. Aw, her comments were cute at the end.
Are Kingsland Road really in the bottom two? What a load of shit. Neither of those groups should be in the bottom two. Hmm. Bad buzz. Bring back deadlock!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The X Factor - the results

I don't think I'm going to be blogging a lot of these results shows. I've just got this feeling that I'm not going to get into X Factor this year. Get Lucky isn't really helping; hearing the original is enough to make me want to vomit. What's with the gyrating?! Make it stop. Bring back the Dermot trouser talk - it's less gratuitous.
Oh God, now we've got to put up with Ellie Goulding and her enormous moon face singing about something insignificant. Did the world request another Sharleen Spiteri when my back was turned? This song is just what I expected; a big pile of nothing. Who are her fans? Really? Even her thighs on show are unexciting. This is music for people who find Ed Sheeran a bit edgy. And she probably got her career bankrolled by her daddy, just like that hobbit.
No deadlock! WTF. Deadlock is the best bit of the results show. That sucks. I wonder why they've got rid of that. Probably because Louis kept fucking it up. That's going to remove quite a bit of suspense, actually.
Cher is on next. No, not Cher Lloyd, 'if I could turn back time' Cher.
The 'flash vote' actually ruins some of the suspense of tonight, too, because we already know one of the people on the block. Why are they meddling with all the suspense?! Leave that suspense where it is. Didn't they also tell us last night that it would be two people in Sharon's group going home, or did I dream that?
So Lorna and Shelley are in the bottom two. I feel sorry for Lorna, I like her! I wish it had been Luke.
I think the problem with Shelley is they've feathered her fringe a bit, and it looked better blunt. No wonder it's knocked her confidence: no one wants a wispy fringe. What's she wearing? Looks like she's going for a job interview. I guess she might be later.
Did Sharon just forget Lorna's name, or was she pausing for dramatic effect? Lorna also has 'work trousers' on, unflattering ones. Lorna is better than Shelley. Case closed.
Why is Sharon drinking out of a teacup, who does she think she is, Lady Gaga? She's abstaining from voting. She's becoming so affected, I've forgotten what her real personality is.
What the fuck! Did they really send Lorna home? She blew Shelley AWAY. I honestly can't believe that. I'm shocked. I thought Louis was just hamming it up when he voted for Shelley. Also, Lorna got more votes than Shelley, shouldn't that be taken into consideration by the judges, what the public want? Boo. Not sure I'm going to carry on blogging X Factor. I don't really care, and I'm not sure anyone else does. Huff!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The X Factor - 80s night

Why, hello there. Oh, God, it's 80s night. I hate the 80s. The only band I like from the 80s are The Smiths and I can't see someone busting out Panic tonight. I'll be happy to take that back if they do.
Is it just me or is Dermot looking a little tired? Maybe he's just getting old, or he's tired of life, or he's tired of X Factor. More likely he's just tired of bouncing from foot to foot like the world's oldest schoolboy.
Sharon Osbourne walked out like she was someone with a walking stick on Jeremy Kyle, pretending they're disabled to get benefits. She's also dressing like an old dear, now, too.
Are they all pointing at Dermot's willy? Is that normal? It's a family show, etc. What sort of person looks at people's crotches anyway? It's creepy!
Hannah's on first: the shit spot. Best sing up, girl. I like her blue eyeshadow and that building behind her. I do not like her outfit. That skirt is vile. I also do not like this song. The only pop song I like from the 80s is Freedom by Wham. Oh, and I like Like a Prayer, but I think that was 90s. I thought that was quite a lacklustre start to the show, to be honest. Her performance was stiff and the song was crap.
I like Nicholas. I do not like Spandau Ballet. I do not like the fact I had to look up how to spell it. And I thought he sounded a bit flat in places. Is Nicole coming onto a fifteen year old? I think she is. Wow.
One of Miss Dynamix is pregnant. The way people were going on about it, you'd think she was disabled. Women have babies and jobs. Get over it. As for their performance, I thought it was a bit flat and their dance moves were a bit 'Jedward', ie. all over the shop. I do like them, though, so I hope they survive.
I really couldn't be less interested in this prison screw. Get your teeth fixed. Power ballads! Somebody shoot me. This episode has been boring as fuck so far. This Sam guy has a squashed face like he's run into a wall. His voice is drowning in backing vocals.
Kingsland Road have at least been entertaining, and appear to be able to sing. I think the 80s suits them - I mean, just look at their normal clothes. I think they could go quite a long way. It's like the X Factor's first hipster boyband.
I kind of missed Shelley as I was rummaging in a cupboard for things to sell on ebay. But I got the general gist.
The inspid Abi is doing Bon Jovi on the piano. Fuck off.
I like Lorna, but I have a feeling people won't vote for her because they're always pushing prison woman instead. Tamera is really good but I don't like this song.
Luke's up next. Does this dude have ANYTHING other than dirty hair. Looking like Worzel Gummage is NOT a route to becoming a popstar. He's singing out of tune as well.
Much as I like her, this bit with Caroline Flack is completely pointless. Isn't this drivel what Xtra Factor is for?
I like Rough Copy but I'm not feeling Phil Collins, to be honest. Nicole seems to think it was shamazing. I think Kingsland were the best of the lot tonight.
Oh, now there's some twist. Oh they're gonna choose the bottom two now. It's two of the overs! Well. Not really a shock.
Considering what a long show that was, this is quite a short blog. I don't know much, but I know that's not a good sign.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The X Factor: Judges 'Ouses (You're welcome edition)

I've wised up tonight and started watching this half an hour late. Bye bye ads!
The groups are going to New York. The girls are going to Antigua. Gary could be bothered to turn up, Nicole couldn't. Gary's got Olly Murs helping him. I miss Olly on the Xtra Factor, and I can't even stand him, but he's MILES funnier that this so-called comedian they've got on. I don't like the new format of Xtra Factor at all, which is a shame as I like Caroline Flack. I think she's very naturally funny (unlike her comedian co-host, ironically). I still Rylan would have been great on Xtra Factor. I do like him on BOTS but I think he would have been even better on Xtra Factor and got less Flack (soz).
Kingsland have been renamed Kingsland Road. Dear Lord, look what they're wearing! I think Queensland might have been more appropriate. One has braces and shorts on. He looks like a small man who would come out of a cuckoo clock. Two others look like they're dressed out of the school lost property box. They're definitely going to go through - I think they could go a long way.
Gary is doing his concentrating face watching this next group, the unfortunately named Brick City. He said they were his favourite so no doubt they're going to do crap. They've 'reimagined' Around the World by Lisa Stansfield. One has ankle high green socks on, and the lady of the group is wearing her dressing gown. Yep, as predicted, 'not much chemistry'. Groups like this with a mixture of boys and girls never get through. They don't have a clear audience.
Nearly all the groups and a god chunk of the girls are black. That makes a change. They'll probably squeeze as many white people through as possible, but there's even a black guy in Kingsland Road (I feel like a twerp even writing that band name). Who knew Gary was so all inclusive? No black people in Take That, were there!
I quite like Rough Copy. One of them always wears a dress and I think they can both sing. I can't remember the other one who had 'visa issues'. I like the fact that they didn't give Dermot the full hug either. Take that, Dermot (sorry).
I don't remember seeing Xyra ever before, so I don;t think that bodes well for them. They've 'reimagined' one and only Phil Collins classic 'In the Air Tonight' so now it doesn't have a tune. Interesting.
Code 4 have also lost a member. Why don't they call themselves Code 3 then! It's like Five all over again. NEVER have a number in your band name, or your Big Brother alliance. Any fool knows that. They are too cheesy for me. The way they ended that song made me want to puke. Olly: 'They gave 110%.' Should have kept the 10% back.
Have they seriously called this new group Miss Dynamix? How do Miss Dynamite and Little Mix feel about this? They are super cute. The blondish one sounds posh! I like the red haired one's voice. It's kind of husky. They are like the black Little Mix but better looking. They have to go through. I want them, Kingsland and Rough Copy to go through myself.
Now for the girls. The girls are the best category by a mile. Nicole Scherzinger is being an annoying show off. Nicole has got Mary J Bilge. At least she has a career, I suppose. She's a different class to Olly Murs but I find her somewhat impenetrable.
Wow, it looks beautiful where they are! Can I go on holiday there?
I like Tamera. I think she's really talented. I like it when people catch their breath between notes. I did prefer her blonde hair, though. Fucking hell, Scherzinger or Blige could have given her a cuddle when she was crying! Cold.
I like Jade! I love her voice and I love her look. I love the fact she has her arms out. She looks so cool compared to how she did when she was on it before. Just goes to show how changing your image can make you look like a completely different person. You can be a big girl and work it in a really individual way or you can be skinny and insipid (Melanie).
Ugh I can't stand this 'quirky' Abi girl. She's not even any good. I could name 500 real indie singers who are better than her. Her voice isn't even as good as toyboy tiger Diana Vickers.
I miss Relley's Cruella Deville hair! I like her, she's lovely. She was really fighting for it. Damn, I like too many of the girls! Nicole has a hard choice.  
Melanie bores the shit out of me. She's such a drip. I really hope she doesn't go through. Oh God, not 'this is my last chance' again. Push her off the pier. I do like that song she sang, and I do think she had a good voice, but I can't connect with her. Mary J seems quite emotional today.
Hannah is up next. I like the way she talks and she looks cool. 'I want to be in places like this'. I don't blame her, it looks like paradise there. Look at that water!
She made Nicole cry so that's a good sign. Ooh, Mary hugged her! That's a good sign, too. 'You're welcome'. So you've said.
I think I want Tamera, Jade and Hannah to go through. But I really like Relley, too. I can't decide! The girls are on a different PLANET to the boys and the overs. It's shame we can't have 5 girls and 1 over. It's criminal to let some of these go for prison officer woman, for example.
OK, so now we find out who Gary's putting through. First up is rag tag brood Kingsland (Road). Well, we know they're going through. Honestly, their clothes clash worse than mine. Charity shop eek.
'What about now, what about today, what about something... something...' Simon Cowell really likes this song, have you noticed? So WHAT about now? What? We'll never know. Oh, Kingsland got through.
Yay, Rough Copy got through! I'm glad, there's something likeable about them. Aw, Gary said he's going to try and get the other one back! That's so lovely! I hope that happens. Aw, sweet. That one crying was so lush. I want to cuddle them.
Hmm, will it be Brick City or Miss Dynamix? Seen as Gary put Miss Dynamix together, and Brick City seemed to be named after a bad session in the lav, the writing appears to be on the (toilet) wall.
I like the blonde one in Miss Dynamix's make up. She reminds me of Tamera! Gary put the three groups through I wanted! Who'd have thunk it?
I wish Abi would shut up about lacking confidence. You're on telly, you must be fairly confident. 'I can't get a no, I can't.' I hope you do.
I love the bow in Jade's hair! Oh no, Nicole dumped her again. That sucks! She BETTER NOT put Abi through instead. I'm going to flip. I don't like this bit where you can't tell who they're talking to. Oh no, Relley got dumped, too. Boo! Nicole is not choosing the people I want. I can't believe she chose Abi out of those three. She was dire. Also: should have worn waterproof mascara. I honestly can't see people picking up the phone for her. I really can't.
Tamera has the most amazing lips! She keeps going on about the bad things she did, I think it was smoking weed, wasn't it? Big deal. All this Nicole hasn't made up her mind bullshit doesn't wash with me. She knows exactly that she's taking Tamera through. It's all actressing!
Put Hannah through! Please don't put dopey Melanie through over her. Hannah has got heart. Melanie is as vacuous as a Disney princess. At least Nicole made the right decision there picking Hannah. I wish she'd put Jade through, though! Grr. It's cruel bringing people back and back and rejecting them again. Like the chairs. No Rylan theatrics this year, more's the pity. Ooh, she mentioned him! Do you think Nicole still talks to Rylan? He says she does, but come on.
Oh God, not this telling the families rigmarole again. I wonder how many people switch off at this point. I'm always amazed how big people's families are. There'd be like two or three people there for me, and only one would be a relation. I'd just get a shrug and a sausage in batter off my mum, my boyfriend and my best mate.
That was cute when Rough Copy were reuinited. I'm such a soppy sod! I need to get a grip. See you at the live shows. Not literally. I'll be sat on my couch as usual. Your weekend ends here.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The X Factor - Judges 'Ouses

Hello, and welcome to judge's 'ouses (always to be said in the style of Rylan Clark). Louis kicked off two of the boys I liked last week and instead picked posh Giles and some fat people. The musical-chairs-of-doom twist was unforgivable, and reassures me that the judges have neither nor soul or ethics. Here's your dream! Oh, no, give it to someone else. Sick fucks.
The girls category seems super strong; I think any of them could go through. As usual the oldies and the groups are a lame duck.
I know everyone hates Sharon, but I like her and her little dog, and she's more than a vast improvement on fun-vacuum drug-fixer Tulisa. 'Oh I don't do drugs, I just arrange for other people to get them.' That must be the most stupid thing I've ever heard, and I've seen her cousin Dappy on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
How Sharon has the gall to say the words 'the most incredible performer and writer' and then cart out the disgusting Robbie Williams is beyond me. He is the most gross, overrated, ugly, revolting piece of shit on the planet, with no redeeming features. I can't even look at him. He makes Gary Barlow look like he has the charm of Aaron Paul.
First up is the dowdy prison officer, giving it all the 'as a mother' bullshit. Spare me. She's so overrated. Her voice is not pleasant to listen to. I'm tired of Whitney. The standard on the US X Factor blows us out of the water. It really does. I've been really enjoying it!
Lorna is cute and has a nice voice. I think she deserves to go through. I bet you they put dowdy prison officer through over her, though. They always make the wrong decisions.
This next woman is 34? I am 33! She looks old enough to be my mother. I thought her audition was piss poor. It's a shame as I like her. I love her hair.
Another one going on about being a mother. And singing Coldplay. Double misery.
Fucking hell, this next one (Andrea) has bought a flute. She's yelping through High and Dry. Jesus, she just squeaked like when you tread on your cat's tail at the end.
This Joseph guy is an entitled prick, and is useless. I can't stand him! The way he was acting during musical fuck-you chairs was pathetic last week. Blah blah I'm broke, blah blah my son, that doesn't entitle you to be a popstar! He bummed a bunch of notes there. He's not even average, he's BELOW average. Pitiful.
Louis has brought someone from Westlife, someone from All Saints... and Sinitta. OK then. Which Appleton is this, Liam Gallagher's ex? All Saints are possibly the most boring girl band that ever existed.
First up from the boys is not-quite-committed-to-his-dreads, thingymebob. I'm so glad I'm too old to go out with boys who wear skinny jeans.
Next up is Sam who has a smug face. Take your bracelets off and grow up. It seemed like he was struggling to me, although he was better than the first one.
Ad chat: Oh Eminem. What has become of you?
Next up is Paul, who replaced the one I liked last week. This guy is the best one yet and he's still meh.
LOL to posh little twonk Giles singing 'You're Beautiful.' Get rid!
Ryan is another fat kid so no doubt there'll be some patronising 'which fat one will they put through' dramatics later. He was crap, too.
I like this one the best who sang 'a thousand years' last week. Why does he look like he's got a permanent black eye? Now someone's going to tell me it's some condition and I'm going to feel guilty. He looks he should be in Eden Lake, terrorising some middle-class people. I really hope they put him through, he's the only one I like. He's moved Barry from Westlife to tears.
OK, here we go. Not in the least bit surprised that as-a-mother-prison-warden got through. Hope they put Lorna through out of the next three. Oh, she is. Thank God. Those other two weren't good enough.
I hope they put the blonde fringey woman through over this knobhead going on as if he's the only man to have ever had a child on the planet. Yes. Sharon made the right choices.
Ad chat: Olly Murs makes me feel sick.
Lol Louis just said 'it's not good news... it's great news!' My boyfriend likes it when they say that. I don't care if Giles or fake dreadlocks or ruddy faced Ryan gets through. I only care about Nicholas! Sorry, Ryan, your left your job for nothing. Bad luck.
Ah, posh Giles got ditched. Boo woo. That means dready is through. I must admit, I prefer him out of the three. Louis's already trying to get him to wash his hair. He'll probably have a skinhead next week.
Oh, yes Louis put Nicholas through. Both fat ones got sent home! Discrimination! I actually think Louis made the right choices. Odd.
Ad chat: Gok. Get to fuck.
Oh now we have to watch them tell their families. Can't we watch the ones who went home and told their families they didn't get through? That would be more interesting. LOL, they ARE showing that, too. Hilarious. But THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Imagine having to be filmed telling your family you've not made it. That's horrid! I'd rather send them an email or something. Even that guy's MUM was entitled! When he said Sharon didn't put him through she goes 'you're joking'. No. He isn't.
Lorna was drinking from the bottle... good on her.
Is this over yet? I'm hungry. Too many adverts. And I don't like Xtra Factor anymore. I want something grim and gritty to watch after this. Ooh, I know, The Killing (US). I like Robocop dude.
See you tomorrow!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Placebo: Loud Like Love

Yes, it’s time for one of my album reviews, one where I go through every song and say what other songs by that artist I think it sounds like, because that’s what I want when I read music reviews, not a load of bluff and bluster and showing off.
So let’s begin. I love the new Placebo album! Not a surprise, you may think, but I was expecting to be disappointed for some reason. I think because Placebo just became this huge obsession and then we kind of cooled on it, I was expecting the decline to go further, but instead I could be just about to reignite my crush. Plus I’m going to see them in December which will be the first gig I’ve been to since Desaparecidos – woo.
Loud Like Love is the title track of the album and is just lovely, jangly guitars, atmosphere, ‘love on an atom, love on a cloud’ but what it’s all building too is the chorus chant of ‘breathe, breathe, breathe, believe’, which is a mantra I can get behind. It’s Placebo at their best, energetic, positive, singalong and catchy. You can’t go wrong unless you’re a total sourpuss.
Scene of the Crime begins with moody handclaps. The song has got a grimy feel to it, and hangs on the hook of the lyric ‘we almost made it, but making it is overrated’ which has a nice ring to it. There’s also a good crunchy dance bit in it (almost wub wubs, but not quite) that reminds me of the English Summer Rain days, and then there’s some Pierrot the Clown style piano. The end is quite theatrical with him just yelping ‘scene of the crime’ which is quite enjoyable. All in all, it feels very much like a Placebo track. Which is what you want, right?
Too Many Friends was the first song I heard from the album and I love it. The lyrics are absolutely ludicrous – ‘My computer thinks I’m gay, I threw that piece of junk away on the Champs-Élysées’ – but isn’t that what we want from Brian (except in Special Needs)? If you can get over the hump of the first verse (and the word ‘communiqué’) it’s actually an excellent song. I love the way it builds up and the chorus is great. Brian Molko moaning about people on their iPhones, you’ve got to love it. The climax of the song is ‘all that people do all day is stare into a phone’. I think he means ‘stare into their phones’ but it’s not the last bit of English he fucks up on this album. I love the ‘I’ll never be there’ lyric at the end, and can happily imagine him singing this live.
The next song is called Hold onto Me. Unfortunately there’s a Courtney Love song called this that’s better – a trap Placebo have fallen into before with their Devil in the Details (Bright Eyes got their first). This is the first partly dreary song on the album. It’s perfectly acceptable, but that’s not what I want from a pop song. I want to be stirred! Instead, it feels a little plodding and whiney. The piece de resistance is some muttering talking part, most of which I can’t make out, but he seems to be talking about some David Icke type shit about ‘the fourth and fifth dimensions’ and ‘this is the bridge to an entirely different energy level’. Ok, then.
Next up is Rob the Bank, which is like a more palatable Trigger Happy (cringe). The lyrics hit a new low here, including ‘rob the bank and pick your nose’ which had my boyfriend howling with laughter. It’s not a bad song, sort of Placebo by numbers, I think, but it is a silly one. There’s a bit of xylophone on it later which is nice for Bloc Party fans.
A Million Little Pieces – no, not just the excellent book that really pissed off Oprah Winfrey – but now a middling song on a Placebo album. Brian sings:  ‘No more glowing in the dark for my heart’ – probably for the best; sounds like a health condition. It’s not a bad song, but I feel it’s got delusions of grandeur; songs about leaving town always do, like someone having an internet strop and threatening to quit Twitter. I do however like the end piano bit where it goes ‘All my dreaming torn in pieces’ – this album has definitely mastered the art of a strong ending for each of the songs.
Exit Wounds has a drum beat that really reminds me of cool-videoed dance song by The Notwist – ‘Pick up the Phone’. This reminds me of the previous song in that it’s quite dark and moody – has Brian had his heart broken recently? This has a chorus that’s telling you it’s epic, but it’s not quite getting me. There’s also some really stinking lyrics here: ‘If I could I would hover as he’s making love to you, making rain as I cry.’ Dearie me. Why doesn’t anyone tell him? Come on Stefan, grow some balls. I do like the different parts to this song, it’s got a weird sound in the middle, and again a strong ending: ‘put me in the ground’, which is reminiscent of one of the best songs of all time; I Know It’s over by The Smiths. If I Know it’s Over is 10, then Exit Wounds is 878,985. But still.
I suspect Purify will be the next single, it just has that single-y feel to it, it kind of reminds me of For What It’s Worth off the last album. I do like it, but it’s like Breathe Underwater or something; it’s just there and energetic, but not grabbing me emotionally.
Begin the end namechecks heroin, and includes the words ‘misconstrue’ and ‘misapprehend’. It kind of reminds me of A Million Little Pieces in that it’s quite moody. I like the line ‘I’ve tried, God knows I’ve tried, but there’s nothing you can do to change my mind’ because let’s face it, who’s not been there? My editorial side gets a little antsy after that, as there’s a line that goes, ‘And I don’t enjoy to watch you crumble, and I don’t enjoy to watch you cry.’ Surely he means ‘watching you crumble’? It’s like ‘someone tried to do me ache’ all over again. Brian; why do you do this to me? Apart from that bugging me every time  listen to it, it’s a decent song.
Bosco is the final song on the album, and really one of the best songs, almost the best song, in a way, after Loud Like Love. It’s an anti-ballad, and it had me crying in my car this morning (I was hungover though, and also cried at an advert on the side of a bus). The use of the word ‘happenstance’ is to be appreciated, even though you suspect it’s just to rhyme with ‘circumstance’ that comes next. He also shoehorns in the words ‘partisan’ and ‘belicose’, the second of which I had to look up. What is this, a Will Self book? Incidentally it mean ‘demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight’ which is probably a word I need to know (ahem). But the killer is the ending, just him repeating ‘how I suck you dry’ and it sounding like the saddest thing in the world. It’s another Placebo song with lofty ambitions, but this time it hits them. I want to say mesmerising but that sounds wanky, so I’ll say it’s something like mesmerising.
Finally, if you get the deluxe version of the CD, you get a DVD of some studio recordings of the tracks, which was very enjoyable to watch. Brian has Nancy Boy-era hair and looks very attractive (how does he stay so skinny?) and they seem to have sealed the drummer off in a plastic booth. I do think 10 tracks on an album is a bit tight; 12 even seems low, but at least the quality is good and there’s little filler. The song on the DVD that isn’t on the album is called Pity Party (of one). You can probably tell from the title that’s not going to be a winner. It’s like a less charming In the Cold Light of the Morning, so quite glad that didn’t make it onto the album. On the whole though, pleasantly surprised with the album and looking forward to seeing them in December, especially as the fans are all quite short so you normally get a good view. Win/win! 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Heart-Breaking Bad

I wasn’t first to the Breaking Bad party, but I started watching about a year in, when there was only one series. I remember thinking Walt would be dead by the end of season one. I also remember finding it a bit slow at first, which seems contradictory, but Breaking Bad has always been slow in parts, or maybe certain parts just seemed slow compared to the craziness of the rest of the show. Skyler and co sitting round with the talking pillow is a marked contrast to Walt blowing up Tuco’s ‘office’, for example, and don’t get me started on the bloody ‘Fly’ episode (yes, it’s a metaphor, blah blah). So Breaking Bad has always had light and shade, but the shade has gone virtually to black right now. The first series, in particular, seems cartoonish in its violence, and is full of laughs. The high octane thrills of cooking in the RV, the acid bath fuck up, the van breaking down, and things like Jesse’s answerphone message and Walt Junior’s fundraising website seem very far away. I’m really glad that I rewatched the whole thing up to the halfway point of season 5 before I watched the final 8 episodes, because it would be harder to watch the whole lot without feeling real sadness now, rather than the excited anticipation I had before.
In a way I wish I could ‘unwatch’ the last seven episodes, although the finale was absolutely fantastic. I suppose I wanted the obvious ending of Walt vs Hank – I felt like that’s what we’d been waiting for – that’s what we’d been building up to. For me, some of the final episodes became too far-fetched, and it began with Hank on the toilet. I always wanted him to see Walt in the Heisenberg hat! I also wanted Jesse to have the Trainspotting ending (which he did – in part), not to be psychologically abused. It also felt like the writers were so desperately to tie up loose ends – like Jane and Grey Matter, which both seemed irrelevant, but then the final scene in Gretchen and Elliot’s house was edge-of-seat brilliance.  When the lasers appeared on their chests, I jumped out of my skin. I felt like in the two episodes before the finale the heart of the show was lost –Walt and his family, which includes Jesse. But then I suppose that only served to make the ending more impactful. Still: what a lot to put us through. It was like in the Lion King when they kill Simba’s dad: how do you come back from that? With a machine gun, in this case.
I was still on Walt’s side right up to the Hank stand off in the desert; I know a lot of people had deserted (!) him long before that, but that was the final straw for me personally. I don’t see how Walt could go from warning Saul to never suggest Jesse being killed, to Walt offering Jesse up and telling Jesse he killed Jane in a couple of episodes? It didn't ring true. I felt like they were writing by committee and losing sight of the characters a bit at this point. I know other people feel otherwise, but the heart of the show for me was always the two of them against the world that one couldn’t and wouldn’t ‘run the business’ without the other.
The false ‘confession tape’ also felt out of character, and especially for Skyler: would she really have done that to Hank and Marie? I know she’s gone rogue, but that felt like a step too far. And ordering a hit on Jesse! Similarly, Jesse going to the DEA. Never the DEA! It didn’t feel right; Jesse isn’t a rat. I kept waiting for him to climb out of a window with the confession tape.
Jesse’s realisation that Saul and his cronies stole the ricin was also pure soap opera and a stretch, and Breaking Bad has never felt that way before. There could have been a lot more interesting ways for him to find out about Brock.
The fight between Skyler and Walt with the knife was great and horrible; but Walt’s cry of ‘we’re family!’ was also proper Peggy Mitchell. It felt like real domestic violence in that moment, though. The whole façade fell to pieces.
I also felt cheated out of the scenes where Gomez and Flynn were told about Walt; I know we were short on time by this point, but those type of reactions are what we’ve been waiting for; and if we can waste 30 minutes on Walt hanging out in a cabin, I feel like we could have had those moments. I wanted those moments.
My final criticism – and I’m criticising the show because I love it – is that I also felt like the way Hank was dispatched was just too much to bear for my little heart. It had always been Walt and Skyler, Hank and Marie, and it just felt hopeless once Hank was gone. Also, when Jesse nearly escaped and they bumped off the dozy Andrea: it just felt too cruel, too much to deal with. I remember when Gus and Mike first turned up I thought the show had gone ‘dark’ – but they seem highly likeable in comparison to the horrible Todd and the grating Lydia. I feel like far too much time of the last few episodes have been wasted on these unpleasant characters, when we could have had a good old fashioned cat and mouse game with Hank’s family and Walt’s family – but then again, the way they wrapped it all up at the end was more than I could have asked for.
It was a brilliant touch to bring back Badger and Skinny P (I called it!) and there were so many other glorious bits; Walt’s heart-wrenching goodbye to Holly (I cried), his confession (finally) that he did it for himself ‘I liked it’, the final bit of science with the rotating gun (I’d like to see Mythbusters pick the bones out of that one) and of course; him saving Jesse. That was his fault that Jesse was in that situation in the first place was not lost. But he saved him. So many more nice touches; uncle Jack smoking his final drag, Jesse finally doing Todd (I was praying for a ‘bitch!’) and Lydia getting it with the sweetener. That Walt died in a meth lab ‘the place where he lives’ was poetic justice. And didn’t you think Jesse was going to run him over right at the end? It had great echoes of when Walt ran over the drug dealers. And finally Walt was truthful with Jesse; he wanted Jesse to kill him. And Jesse wasn’t giving him what he wanted. Not this time. Was Jesse happy or just manic as he drove away, and where did he go? I don’t agree with the people saying he went for Brock – Brock has a granny, and Jesse has ruined Brock’s life enough. Jesse must be off somewhere new. The fact he didn’t get the money didn’t matter in the end; the money was too tainted to take to a new life.
Looking back at the unsurpassable Tuco, Hector and his bell, Tuco’s brilliant cousins, the downfall of Ted – it all seems like light-hearted fun compared to the recent series.  And there have been some laughs this series – Saul has been consistent from day one – but the disintegration of the partnership that underpinned the whole show was so hard to watch. They went at it so hard in the final episodes; I swear, I nearly had a heart attack. I was in bits.
I was sure I’d written a blog about Breaking Bad before, and quite disappointed that I hadn’t, as I would have liked to have seen my perspective a season or two in.
And now what do we do with our lives? Breaking Bad is the best drama I’ve ever seen. It has everything; comedy, violence, cool, great characters and actors. I have talked about it more with people than I have any other drama on TV. I have talked about it constantly for weeks. I love it wholeheartedly. I’m sure I’ll watch the lot again, but not for a long time! My heart can’t take it. My boyfriend summed it up best afterwards, as we looked for something fluffy to watch, a cartoon, or a quiz show. He said, ‘Right this wrong.’ But some wrongs have gone too far to be righted. Hank in the desert. Jesse’s soul. In a way, it feels like Walt got off lightly.