Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Nooks & Trannies

My book finally arrived at Waterstones and they promptly called me when it was ready for collection. Sadly, it appears that it's been used as a rugby ball. These probably sound like the ramblings of a paranoid schizophrenic, but I'm guessing the fact that I complained about the delay has played some part in this. The cover is all bent (with a massive crease down the front of the book) and the spine and back cover are scuffed to hell. Yes, I'm a little annoyed that a company as large and reputable as Waterstones can allow this sort of thing, but then again maybe it just got like this in transit. Either way, Waterstones have lost a customer in me - when you spend £20 on a book (a fucking book!), you expect to get it on time and in an acceptable condition. By God, what has happened to customer service? I've seen books on car boot sales in better condition that this supposedly new copy of House of Leaves. Bah! At least it's here though - which is the main thing.

I shall be delving into it later on this evening and imparting my thoughts on this very blog in due course. On the subject of books and bookstores though, I noticed an advert on TV t'other day for the Barnes & Noble Nook. Does this mean B&N are finally launching in the UK? If they do, they won't have to try very hard to kick Waterstones' arse judging by my recent experience - all they'll have to do is not send orders to wrong parts of the country, and then deliver said orders in a condition vaguely approaching 'new.' Oh, and maybe employ staff that don't have massive tattoos of the Batman symbol on their forearms (with matching batarang earrings) or look like Hagrid stunt doubles. Seriously, I'm all for people being individuals and shit - but at least try to make yourself look presentable whilst being 'individual.' There are certain shops where it seems to be a prerequisite that you've got bright blue hair and a luminous nose ring in order to get a job there. Gamestation is one such place. Why? I'm a gamer. I'm probably the biggest games geek I know, but it doesn't make me want to walk around wearing a ripped tablecloth and have a gravestone tattooed on my neck.

HMV is another one. Actually - wait an fucking minute, there's a trend developing here (I think). Gamestation. HMV. Waterstones. All shops I've been in recently where at least one member of staff has had black lipstick on (and their sex didn't seem to matter). Curious. There's definitely some kind of link or correlation going on here...but I really can't deduce what it is. I suppose all of these stores sell electronics of some form...maybe that's it? I don't know, but it seems to be the de rigueur for somebody whose job it is to stand around offering (usually incorrect) music or games or book advice to middle aged people in beige trousers and brown NHS spectacles.

I seem to have gone off on quite an unexpected tangent there...but speaking of the Nook, it looks like quite a nice e-reader/tablet thingy. But seeing as I've already got both a Kindle and a BlackBerry Playbook (a device which also allows you, I don't think I've got much need for one. Maybe I'll go and ask the steampunk goth working in Rumbelows for his/her advice.

I recently bought The Click Five's second album Modern Minds and Pastimes. If anyone in the UK knew who The Click Five were, I'd probably get kicked to death and then set alight, but thanks to their total lack of presence here, I'm good (for now). Basically, TCV (as they shall henceforth be referred to) are what would be produced if Rivers Cuomo ass-raped any one of McFly. They're a band who sing ever-so-catchy pseudo indie/pop and sing it fucking well. I've had their first album for ages (can't remember where I even got it from) and most of the tracks are pretty hummable, but then a few weeks ago I bought their third album off iTunes. My god - what a record. So on Monday night I paid another £7.99 for their second album...and it's easily as good. Want three albums of toe-tapping power pop? TCV should be your first port of call.

Other recent media-related good shit I've encountered: Seasick Steve (music), Moneyball (film), Warehouse 13 (TV series). Seek them all and thou shalt be rewarded.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Icewind Dale

Sadly, this post isn't about an ancient PC role playing game, so if you came here after googling that title - I apologise. That's apologise, with an 's' - not a 'z.' Fuck off auto-correct. I went back up to Manchester at the weekend on the motorbike. I set off on Friday afternoon hoping to avoid the traffic on the motorway (it's always, always congested around Birmingham. Without fail. I bet it's congested right now, actually), but on the way to the M5 I discovered that my back tire was flat. It didn't look particularly 'down,' but when I was riding, the back end just felt 'funny.' Not Joe Pesci 'funny,' just a bit unstable. I stopped a few times and looked at it and pressed it with my thumb, and it looked and felt OK to my novice eyes/thumbs...but I called in to a garage before my junction and asked if a mechanic could have a quick look at it. Turns out it was completely void of any air whatsoever. Completely flat. He pumped it up with his little hand held squirty-gas thing (technical terminology, right there) and it went rock solid...and the ride quality improved dramatically. Leads me to wonder whether it's been flat the whole time I've had it, as truth be told, it's felt a little bit unstable the whole time. With the CBF, you could instantly see if you had a puncture because the tires were quite thin, but with this bike's big fat tires, it's hard to tell. Unless you get a bloke with a pressure gauge to check for you. So – note to relatively new motorcyclists: check your tires. If I hadn't just happened to pass that garage, I probably would've continued on to the motorway and then cranked the bike up to 70 – 80mph with a flat tire...and who knows how badly that little scenario could've ended.

The weekend passed with little incident – saw my myriad nephews and nieces and brother and sisters, saw some friends on Saturday night and then came back. The ride back was particularly horrible, though it had nothing to do with traffic jams or a flat tire – it was down to the fucking gale-force winds that threatened to blow me sideways off the road almost continuously. Seriously, the trees at the sides of the motorway were bending over with the force of the fucking wind and at one point just past Stafford, the back wheel actually shifted from under me and I thought I was dead. I managed to keep control and get the bike straight again, but fuck me – what is it with the damned weather this year? It feels like mother nature is throwing everything at me: January – February, when I first started riding, the weather was stupidly cold – to the point where I was wearing 3 pairs of gloves to keep feeling in my hands. March – September it rained almost constantly, with a little bit of wind and sleet thrown in for good measure, and now we've hit October, the wind seems to be wanting to get in on the act. The kind of wind I've only ever seen in news reports. And it's always blowing against me – never behind me, making the ride actually bearable. So, not only is riding a motorbike loud and cold and (to be honest) a little bit uncomfortable, now I've got to hold on for grim death because the wind doesn't want me to stay upright. Makes me wonder why I fucking bother to be honest. Oh, wait – petrol is still £1.40 a litre. That's why.

Went back to that shopping centre in Bristol this week to try to use some more of my vouchers. I'm probably in an enviable position in that there's not really anything I want or need. I've got a fuck load of gadgets, and enough I bought a travel towel for my planned Thailand trip in early 2013, and an iTunes voucher. Never used an iTunes voucher before, but it's pretty straight forward really – you just scrape the silver strip off the back and input the code that's revealed. So what did I get from the store? Bit of a mixed bag really. Got the new Muse album, The 2nd Law. And it's a bit cack. Several of the tunes are complete rip-offs of Queen songs, and the rest are, in the main, floaty high pitched dross with a few guitar riffs thrown in. There are one or two semi-decent tracks, but this is a world away from their last good album, Black Holes and Revelations. Their previous effort was underwhelming too... so might give Muse a miss from now on. The others I got were the new Motion City Soundtrack offering, Simple Plan's latest, an album from a band most people have never heard of but actually write some of the best punk/pop I've ever heard – The Click Five, and the latest album from Nas. I'm not a massive fan of the rap genre, but Nas' stuff is quite good in my opinion. Hence the purchase. So there you are. A few near-death experiences and some iTunes purchases. An action-packed weekend I'm sure you'll agree.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

We Are Young. Apparently

I don't usually post shit like this. I usually moan about stuff I've recently seen in reality - like the obese family down the road who today I glimpsed having a home delivery dropped off by Sainsbury's. Not overly unusual...until you learn that Sainsbury's is (literally) 300 metres from their front door. How fucking lazy can you get? I hope, I really, really hope that the entire family meet their respective ends suffocating under rolls of their own fat. The lazy, lazy, disgusting cunts.

However, the reason I'm posting right now, is that I've discovered a song that I love almost as much as the aforementioned family of grossly overweight fucktards up the street love shoving food down their flab-laden necks:

Basically, this song is epic. The slow-moving intro makes you wonder what kind of student-type existentialist bullshit you're wasting your time listening to...and then BAM! - that amazing chorus just comes out of nowhere. And that, my friends, is what constitutes genius song writing. I'd never heard of 'Fun' (the band, or the emotion) before, but by God this is a decent d├ębut tune. Enjoy.