Saturday, 31 October 2009

Decade

There seems to be a lot of stuff flying around the interweb relating to albums of the decade and so on. Even though there happens to be two full months to roll it seems like a decent time to throw some lists together. He goes mine, in no kind of order:

  1. Hell Is For Heroes - Neon Handshake (2003)
  2. Rival Schools - United by Fate (2001)
  3. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)
  4. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American (2001)
  5. Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People (2003)
  6. The British Expeditionary Force - Chapter One: A Long Way From Home (2007)
  7. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (2008)
  8. The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)
  9. At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command (2000)
  10. Yourcodenameis:Milo - Ignoto (2005)
  11. Owls - Owls (2001)
  12. City and Colour - Sometimes (2005)
  13. Brand New - Deja Entendu (2003)
  14. Hot Club de Paris - Drop It 'Til It Pops (2006)

Along with these there are various support acts: Hundred Reasons, Hiding With Girls, Johnny Truant, Explosions In The Sky, Future of the Left and Joan Of Arc. Really what I've done is taken a look for the albums that I've played to death at various stages but would be happy to hear and indeed still do listen to. Special mention goes out to At the Drive-In and Rival Schools as they built a solid base for my music tastes to date. Newer albums that have stuck seem to be fewer in number, with the most recent being the excellent '59 Sound, candidates for the best of 2009 look like being Daisy by Brand New, Tanknology by That Fucking Tank and Beggars from Thrice, that said there's an awful lot of music that I've discovered this year. There are a whole load of bands that I really enjoy but can't quite nail a place in the list as they lack a killer album. Joan Of Arc for example have a great repertoire of catchy and haunting songs but in the context of an album I don't seem to get what they're doing as they seem to get lost in their quest for improvisation and discovery, bit maybe that is their charm. Others seem to have albums that sound and feel much greater than the (not insubstantial) sum of their parts: Mogwai, Hot Club de Paris and The Mars Volta do this superbly each using a totally different style of music but all equally at home playing the long game. There are no metal or hardcore albums in the list as again I don't think they can nail a place on the strength of an album but that goes with the territory and I'm sure they don't lose any sleep over it.

So that's the list sorted, now there's two months left to change my mind.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Terrible

As this month draws to a close there are a couple of points to bring to the table.

1. Frankly awful music.
2. Some frankly excellent music.
3. Not everything is significant.

1 is easily addressed by the exciting evening that has just taken place. I usually enjoy football socials as they are on the whole pretty fun. However this time a trip to the suitably named "The Lash" was only a pretty bloody short stay. With a terrible live act (Ndubz if that's how it's spelt) quickly stirring up some trouble, from where we were it seemed that a girl had been biffed right in the face by some bloke. Football or rugby, it doesn't really matter as it's pretty bloody foul behaviour either way. Maybe with the problem with the evening is it's super heavy drinking cock-fest style. Fairly quickly we left. Luckily really as I doubt the quality of entertainment could improve.

2 is covered by the discovery of some pretty good bands over the last few weeks. these are Mew, Part Chimp, The Forms and The Wicked Farleys. The later of which I received the album of today and it's a really enjoyable listen, packing in some excellent song writing and structuring. The Forms, I am currently listening to, do a similar thing but use their exceptionally smooth indie rock musicianship alongside an excellent vocal approach where the lead vocals simply blend in and become part of the music. It really is great stuff and is exactly the kind of music I really enjoy whatever my mood. It's a shame really but I need to collect a decent amount of sleep. I could really do without nine o'clock starts.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Four Down

Four weeks of lectures are now done, pretty much a third of a semester, the easy bit anyway. Not a lot is really worthy of a mention, it's all been fairly simple or entirely along the lines of stuff we've already done but that's never going to be a bad thing. In other matters, this weekend is, by my count, the third relegation six pointer we will have contested so far this season (a modest record of one won one lost is certainly better than league form in general). That's right, another team in orange to take on away from home and another chance to see a decent performance undermined by horrible luck and lack of ability in front of goal. Of course the terms six pointer and must win have been banded about for the last couple of weeks about this game, when really it's a good-if-we-win-it-but-on-it's-own-nothing-like-enough game. Six pointer is also a flattering term, used to describe the Wolves clash also, when between them the two teams had accrued seven points, an average of 3.5 with a range of 7. Really a battle between a dreadful team and the worst team. This weekend is likely to be similar, with the losing manager potentially getting the boot and the winning side potentially sticking with their useless managerial teams for a few weeks longer, really a no win situation for anyone. Least of all the fans who are likely to have to sit through a fairly tense, rigid and nervy performance to see their team ultimately struggle to do what football is supposed to be about, getting the ball between the white posts. Nail biting, gripping and potentially heart breaking, no Paul Hart pun intended.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wanted

Wanted: New team to join established trio at top of the pile. Must have large, fickle and poorly football educated following. Must be able to make it out of the champions league group stage but will not be permitted to progress much further than quarter finals and certainly not knock out any other English sides along the way. Must attract controversy through managerial antics and player misconduct, you are expected to be bad boys of the gang of four and must make constant reference to this in both playing style and media relations. You are expected to have a small pool of useful English talent but not at the detriment of big foreign names.

If you think you've got what it takes to join us; fourth place is waiting.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Nu-metal

Nu-metal and it's horrible revenge. Tonight I've had the privilege to listen to the finest offerings from the least technically proficient derivative of metal that has ever been thrown out, of course these tracks are all dated from around 2000. Yes; y2k. That's a long old time and to be honest this material has not aged well, take Rollin' or whatever they fuck they called it. It's a horrible track, a minute or two longer than it ever should have been, poor lyrical content and poor musicianship. Still back in my naive days, when I was but a youth and music was a fresh horizon I could count this as one of my favourite tunes. But now I see it for what it is, a poor effort in a very poor genre. Why are these days looked upon as the glory days of our youth? Tonight's DJ I'm fairly sure could be usurped for musical taste by almost anyone attending, that is of course if he was playing music he genuinely enjoyed, which is fairly unlikely; but if that is the case then why play the garbage that gets churned out week after week? Why not mix things up a little, That Fucking Tank would go down a storm with kids who want to mosh to Rage. 65days could see a few improvised moves being thrown. But still, in this shit we trust.

P.S.
A pattern seems to be emerging, drinking, blogging and poor punctuation. Roll on, roll.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Dilema or life choice?

I'll be the first (maybe second) to admit that I do really lack any kind of cutting edge, by cutting edge I mean nerve. Authority, spur and gung-ho spirit, that kind of stuff. What confronts me is a trivial, fairly bleeding simple proposition, a girl who I know full well does a subject that means she frequents the uni library that I also inhabit. And who tonight I'd say I pretty much checked out to her face, breath drawn through teeth, all of that rubbish. She didn't really seem to mind. Who I know full well is as close to the girl of my dreams (jokes aside) as is possible. What's the plan then? Confront or hide. I've taken hide for a good length of time and of course right now I've been drinking, which is a terribly unromantic way of approaching the confront option. A beacon for pissed ships, maybe but nothing more.

Of course these are the emptiest of words and really I'll never follow through on anything more than a syllable of them but really I wonder who would. When I think of who would I think of the reasons I wouldn't, they account for almost nil. Why wouldn't I? Someone I have never talked to will never talk to me. Someone I don't know will judge me as a horrible crass individual. Most people manage to do that.

So from here I have decided:
  • Bloody well do it
  • Do it
  • Don't worry about what occurs from doing it
  • Bloody well do it
There. Down in ink (if not ink then binary). Let's get on with things shall we.

P.S.
As predicted a red for Browny in today's game against the arch rivals. Shame that KPB's absolute stunner wasn't a match winner, a strike like that really deserves to be. If Hart's time is up then it's again almost a case to Tony Adams, where a nice bloke just isn't lucky. In fact completely unlucky, I feel sorry for PH, he's done the best he can with what he's got and that certainly isn't very much. Play like we did in the last half hour, with wit, initiative and creativity and we will stay up. Sadly I feel Paul Hart is not a bloke capable of coaxing that out of the players each week until the end of the season.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The poison

It's been a few weeks, and what with whole media broo-ha-ha (if that's how it's spelt) about illegal file sharing I hadn't pirated anything, not a thing. Then today, I went and bloody did it. I would love to be able to defend myself and say that it's not my fault, blahblah and blah but really it's my choice, lack of morals and tight fisted-ness. I do feel the problem really lies with the pricing of music, when it's available free (both cost and consequence) who would really fork out their money to HMV with their fairly grotesque mark up of prices. I'd much rather throw my cash at a local independent store and I'm sure most others would, but even that stance is a more costly than heading for a torrent site. Clearly something should change.

Midweek England blew away the poor chaps sent from Belarus, which really should be a regulation job. In passing glimpses England looked fairly flat, with wingers seemingly incapable of doing anything aside from losing the ball and Peter Crouch letting the ball hit him in the face/chin as it's bashed up the pitch towards him. Good stuff all round really. Beckham managed to snatch the man of the match award for his contribution, not much more than half an hour was enough to show up the deficiencies in England's wide areas with only Milner coming close to emulating the Beckham role. The bloke is most likely too old to be anything more than a super-sub for England come South Africa but that is a role he seems more than capable of growing into.

Yet more round ball action, Harry Redknapp comes back to Pompey. Exciting, fairly likely, scrappy, certainly. So here's to three points, a likely red for Brown and a fairly busy day for Jamo. Consider that we can double our points haul for the season so far, nothing could be better than stuffing the old twitchy bagpuss on his first foray back on the south coast.

Friday, 9 October 2009

West-williams-that-jovi

Titled as "Big Albums Coming In 2009" it's surprising to see that the list numbers 145 such albums, with only a mere two whole months of the year remaining. This is on the fairly fine website play.com. On the first page of this BAC09 it's good to see some of the stalwarts of the noughties: Robbie Williams, Eminem, Westlife and even some from beyond the scope of this millennium: Bon Jovi, Courtney Love and Bob Dylan. Now quite who lets this load of shit get released? More the question should be, who buys it? If you were a Take That fan, currently you are pretty likely to be 20+ years of age. Maybe a little too old to buy an album made by some now impotent old blokes? Even Robbie P Williams has got a disc to peddle, of course that was fairly clear from the moment I caught a glance at yesterdays redtops, 24 hours from death, drugs, drink, blahblahblah. Surely that's how times have changed, when Robbie started out that would likely be deemed very bad publicity. Now it's possibly the best he's going to get.

In better news the weather has returned to it's normal, wonderful self. Wednesday was a prime slice of Britishness, football training in the rain. Today, fairly similar conditions are on show, possibly why I'm writing this. It's taken around about half an hour of painful hard drive grinding and it all pretty much looks the same but Vista in it's infinite wisdom has bestowed upon me, Service Pack 2. I haven't used my desktop much in the last few weeks since I've been back, contributed to by the purchase (at last) of a more modern netbook. The device in case is an Asus 1005HA, for £250 it's looking like a top choice. The main requirements of big battery and decent keyboard are met nicely and the standard size hard drive is huge. It also has two speakers, which now seems like an incredible luxury for some reason. I'm going to cram it with music shortly and maybe see if some elderly games will function, I'm thinking Fallout 2 but maybe that's a little ambitious. I'm going now to start a pop career, with one eye on a 2018 World Cup comeback song.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Daisy

So it's a week down, five days. In other terms, £400 spent. It's likely I get the gene for loose reigns on finances from my father but it seems fairly unlikely, after receiving a proper payment from the SLC, that it'll prove much of a problem for the moment anyway. Work so far is pretty much as expected and true to form of the last four semesters. Initially a mix of easy/hard and work/no work. It is becoming quite obvious though that working is probably required for most if not all of the modules I've been thrust into. The fairly promising premise for my report module makes Monday's look a pretty decent prospect for the time being anyway.

In sporting terms today is something of a landmark, a victory away at Wolves is enough to banish the memories of a couple of bad performances at the start of the season. Certainly not the best performance of the last three, probably the worst actually, but this time things went our way. Yebda this time netting rather than hitting the woodwork. Importantly the team looks to be the best available, with the hard working but goal shy front two looking the weakest links. A mean defense which, in spite of age, could sit comfortably in the top ten come the end of the season if the rest of the team follows their example. A decent balance to the midfield, which for once has lost the "big boys" look of years gone by in favour of a more footballing output while still having one of the dirtiest bastards on the block in Brown. Certainly no Muntari, Mendes, Las and Diop but more than enough to hold the middle of the park. From the look of the next few fixtures there certainly are points to play for. Spuds at home is a big game and really the closest thing to local derby/grudge match that we're going to see for a few years. With the same support as was evident against Wolves going undefeated in three games could be the perfect comeback to such a wretched start to the season.

For a band who don't release too many albums Brand New seem to have come a long way without losing the knack of producing great music. I say great fairly seriously here as within the genre they sit with some very superficial peers and as many one hit wonders as you can shake anything at. To be able to churn out an album each year seems standard practise for some bands these days but maybe it's a credit to Brand New that they seem content to push for quality over a constant chart single presence. Of course I don't mean chart in the sense that they are pushing out tracks heading for the top ten but compared to their less talented peers they receive almost no UK radio play. Yet the huge frenzy around a new album erupts just in time for each release and their minimalistic approach to touring leaves them as something of an exclusive experience. This newest album is no different to any of their previous works in that it takes on a new sound. A band taking on pop punk, harder rock and some fairly alternative rock over the course of 4 albums is testament to creativity and imagination. How many bands produce the same albums over and over? How many bands are hailed as "pioneering" and the "next big thing" but offer no discernible difference between each song on an eleven track album? It's the cookie cutter band that they stand against, almost by accident.