Wednesday, November 16, 2005

today's buzz bands of the day...

The Golden Republic: go here or here and check them out. i got their album from amazon and it's great stuff, worth getting if you can find it.
If i havent mentioned them already, dog traders is another band worth checking out. they're the latest musical incarnation of drew, the man behind the mighty toothpaste for dinner.
Both are very good indie acts; the golden republic are more on the rock and roll side, with a touch of different influences including white soul, the current keyboardy indie-disco type stuff and punk on some tracks, while dog traders are more like REM on their more uptempo/dancey days.
Johnny Panic are good stuff too - modern pop-punk/punk-rock, a bit like green day. im surprised at the lack of publicity theyve had (youd expect a magazine like Kerrang to have picked up on them by now, but they havent...) as their debut album has tracks like "burn your youth" that are awesomely anthemic, sounding like hits already.
i dont think any of these bands will be huge (hardly anybody's heard of them yet), which is a shame, cos theres bands like the Bravery which arent as consistent ("an honest mistake" is great, but the rest of the album is weak) but have had plenty of hype and are massive now. Coldplay seem to be heading for U2-style world domination too, but theyve turned into one of the planet's most boring bands - sure, their first 2 albums were worth getting, but X&Y is just boring! "Speed of sound" is just a rehash of "Clocks"! It's such an overrated album, and definiately not their best! yet millions and millions of busy mums and dads drove to the supermarket in their SUVs to buy it at extortionate prices, and then placed it in a prominent position on their coffee tables to impress visitors... certain magazines harped on about it being their best album yet... i listened to it a few times and got bored of it very quickly. too much hype.
Ballads dont have to be boring, you know! Coldplay have become just another in a list of fashionable bland bands - keane, athlete, etc. I dont find them boring because they do a lot of slow songs (morrissey's vauxhall & i is all slow songs but it is a melancholic masterpiece, which proves my point that ballads dont have to be boring. it's emotional, poetic, different... take "speedway" for example, which features the sound of a chainsaw!), it's just that their music is so inoffensive that it's dull. There is nothing like great singing, musicianship, lyrics, originality, experimentation etc. to make any of them stand out. (Actually, i heard a coldplay song in a shop the other day, and it was only chris martin's distinctive voice that marked it out as a coldplay song, otherwise it could have been anyone. hes one of the only singers in a bland-band to actually have a distinctive voice...) I try to understand the appeal, really i do. i saw athlete on tv in the glasto highlights during the summer and they seemed like really nice people, but i just couldnt stand their songs. These bands are so bland that everybody likes them (but nobody loves them, because theyre bland enough to appeal to everyone yet too bland to really appeal to anyone in particular).
Sorry if it sounds like i'm being harsh on coldplay and co., i'll stop now.
I'm still ill, although i've cut down on painkillers and cough sweets. i feel really tired a lot, and have missed some lectures cos of that. But I still have to keep alert of all thats happening cos of stuff like module options - i have to fill in a form and hand it in by tomorrow! i have to choose between advocacy and work experience, and on the advice of dad's cousin i think i'll choose work experience.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rain Is Rubbish

greetings bloggers.
it has been raining a LOT here lately, which is a right pain, especially when it's cold and early in the morning too and you've got to walk through the rain to a lecture. even worse when you've got a nasty throat infection on top of it all too... like me. Last friday i was coughing lots and i just shrugged it off as some kind of little "freshers' flu, part II" thing, but from saturday onwards it got worse (and the smoke at the tar barrelling probably didn't help either) and on sunday i was very tired and in pain so, after hearing the concern of my mum on the phone, i rang a doctor, who reckoned it was a viral infection. he told me to take ibuprofen and paracetamol, drink lots of water, etc... there's no "magic cure" as it's caused by a virus (so you can't use antibiotics, theyre for bacteria). On monday my mum said i'd better see a doctor as well, just to make sure, so i visited the one on campus and she confirmed what the one on the phone said. She also said i had swollen glands in my neck (cos of the infection). horrible thought, i know, but i don't mind, because on sunday i looked in the mirror and thought, "yuck, im so fat, even my face and neck are fat. i need a diet!" but itwasn't actually fat, it was swollen glands, so its a comfort for me to know that at least i'll look much better when i'm recovered.
It's a week later and i'm still not better yet, and i've taken so many painkillers (i dont know when was the last time i've ever taken this many, or if i've even taken this many before), and i can't drink either, which does restrict socialising quite a bit. People seem to think that you can't socialise without alcohol. in a way it is true: i was reading an article on the net saying that a lot of people depend on alcohol to socialise, even though they're not alcoholics. it's not their bodies that are dependent on alcohol, it's their minds - they feel like they need to drink to have confidence and give their personalities a bit more sparkle. it's quite worrying really, and probably explains why we have such a "drinking culture" here in the UK (drinking is a way of overcoming that gloriously english trait: reserve).
Anyway, i can't drink and i don't feel like going out anyway cos of my sickly state (too cold out there!). I missed 2 events on campus that i would've liked to go to: zane lowe DJ-ing last night, and the Xfm DJs on tuesday. (there was also the open mic night on wednesday, but thats every week so i dont mind missing that so much).
Luckily, mum is coming over (again) this weekend, so that should cheer me up a bit. she'll also be bringing some stuff from home (saves me spending money on the train to go there) including some nice warm clothes (i'm needing them!).

i haven't done a lot this week because of my illness, so i have spent WAY too much time on the internet, especially browsing other people's blogs. a lot of them are rubbish but some are very interesting. What is annoying is the number of "spam blogs" popping up, created by robots and advertising stuff, like the ones that advertise stuff in comments on your blog - that's why i've switched on word verification in my comments, to prevent comment spam. sorry if it annoys anyone genuine who wants to comment.
anyway, some stuff i have noticed on the net recently...
Island Monkey
Top Of The Pods (their hangover cure may come in handy one day)
Backwards messages in songs, including Stairway To Heaven (incidentially, i have been listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin lately, i just wish i'd brought more of their records with me, they rule! i've also been listening to Beethoven a lot lately, he's in the windows xp "sample music". i love classical music and i should have remembered to bring some with me. Symphony no. 9 (scherzo) is only a minute or so long but i like it and it will do for now.)
Amusing places close to you (this is something i actually found ages ago, but i don't think i've posted it here before. basically go to that page and enter a UK postcode and it finds places with amusing names in that area. i can find places with names like lickham bottom, lower piles, crapstone, brown willy and piddlehinton in my vicinity... makes travel so much more interesting for the little schoolboy in everyone.)
Beedogs - yes, there is a website out there full of pictures of dogs dressed as bees. who thinks up this stuff?
Wikipedia - the free online encyclopedia in various languages, including good old english. very useful for homework, as well as just learning stuff for fun. check it out.
The internet is a wonderful thing. a few years ago some religious leader said something about it being "the tool of satan", which i can't understand: ok so some people may use the net for evil means like terrorism, and seeing as he's religious he probably doesn't agree with internet porn either, but that doesn't make the whole internet evil if you use my logic: it's like saying all paper is evil because you can print naughty things on it. some net content may be dodgy, but the net itself is just a vector of that content. anyway, didnt pope john paul II try to create a patron saint of the internet?

i think i'd better do some work now, i can see myself being a total slacker (oh wait, i already AM a total slacker, and have been for quite some time, much of my life in fact... oh well.) I'm also thinking of maybe getting a new look for my blog, the least i can do is learn how to type in proper PARAGRAPHS for once! i think i might think up a more imaginative title for my blog too.
here are a few titles i'm considering...
Reel Around The Bedsit (a pun on Reel Around The Fountain, of course. i thought i might let my slacker/bedsitter nature show...)
The Rain Falls Hard On A Humdrum Town (nicking another Smiths lyric... how me!)
Head In The Clouds And A Mouthful Of Pie (another of Morrissey's lyrics, and describes me well. i'm a bit of a dreamer, which probably explains why i like uni and hate school so much... but i won't go into that right now, it's another story...)
Alma Matters (ha ha... another Moz lyric... predictable aren't i? but it's rather fitting, as a lot of this blog concerns matters relating to educational institutions i have attended/am attending... alma maters.)
Whole Lotta Blog (another lyrical pun, this time Led Zep.)
if anyone likes/dislikes these, or has any more suggestions, just let me know...