Archives for category: Film

Where to begin…

WEDNESDAY

7 o’clock and were on our way out of Sandbach down onto M6 and the mammoth drive that awaits. My dad managed to keep his cool for the most part in the relentless heat. Managed to avoid a lot of queueing which was good but still ended up crawling at a snails pace through Shepton Mallet. After about seven hours spent on the road we arrived at the drop-off point where the eight of us boarded a short coach journey to the festival. Arriving was probably easily the worst part, having to carry all you bags in the mid-afternoon heat to look for somewhere to camp is no way to start the festival. But after severe amounts of moaning we found a nice little spot next to the toilets which were next to the dance village. Most of Wednesday for me at least involved exploring the sight and just sitting and chilling up by the top of the Park area. Most of this is irrlevent

THURSDAY

Suppose this is the day Glasto actually begins. After little sleep (because of those bloody Welsh guys in the tent behind us) a few of use went of down to watch Where The Wild Things Are. It was cancelled. So we went back to the tent and came back for Ponyo at the Cinema tent. Ponyo not Miyazaki’s finest work but a fun film non the less. Would have been better if I hadn’t of needed the loo all the way through it. Music then began later in the day at the Queens Head stage. Two Door Cinema Club were the first band we saw. Well heard, the place was packed but managed to get down the front from then after. Watched worst band of the festival Chapel Club. Could music possibly sound anymore boring and contrived. Micachu was very good, so good that her drummer proposed towards the end of the set. Local Natives ended the night a band who have really grown since seeing them for the first time on a cold Sunday night in Stoke.

FRIDAY

Started off a little slow not that Rolf Harris wasn’t brilliant/hilarious and all but there just seemed little on elsewhere. Tune-Yards weren’t bad and neither were The Stranglers. However earlier in the day I received a text saying that Thom Yorke will be playing a secret set up at The Park. This had to be investigated so off I went to the Info booth up there and asked. Apparently he was. Risks must be taken I thought to myself so after watching a rather good Phoenix i wandered up to The Park to see Local Natives once again who sadly said exactly the same things inbetween songs as they had the previous night. The came The Big Pink who were too loud for my liking, thank god no one I know saw me singing along to ‘Dominoes’. But the came possibly one of the greatest moments of my life, as soon as the various pieces of equipment and instruments came out I knew what was coming next. After a short wait Michael Eavis arrives on stage announcing the pair who were about to grace the stage as two superstars yet still refusing to say who was about to arrive.

“Hello I’m Thomas Yorke” he says before taking a seat next to his piano to whack out a few tunes from solo LP ‘The Eraser’ starting with the aforementioned track. Don’t think I’d heard Glastonbury this quite all weekend, everyone around hooked by his every word as if they were a group of school children listening to their teacher reading some sort of marvellous story. He continued to play through tracks from ‘The Eraser’ even messing up ‘Black Swan’ in which he called himself a ‘fucking amateur’. The magic however really began when Radiohead band mate Johnny Greenwood arrived on stage. Every song played felt special and intimate from then on in, ‘Weird Fishes’ even more magical than on ‘In Rainbows’. Then the hits just continued flowing from ‘Pyramid Song’ through to ‘Street Spirit’ everyone around totally engrossed and captivated by what was being played out before them. Personal highlights for me were ‘Idioteque’ in which Thom took to the piano and played it on that, just sweet. But you can’t beat ‘Karma Police’ really can you. Don’t think I’ve ever heard a sing-a-long that loud before, so loud that Thom decided to carry on playing when the crowd wanted more of it. The band closed on ‘Street Spirit’ to a rapturous applause and as people left the park area the mass sing-a-long continued. So good to know that we could possibly have another Radiohead album out by the end of the year. They’ve been away for far too long.

I paced it back to the Other Stage following this with a grin from ear to ear to try and catch the end of Hot Chip and from what I saw they looked brilliant. Of the three songs played it looked like they’d taken another step towards to big time with songs like ‘I Feel Better’ sounding epic as the sunset over the festival. Next up the band I was most looking forward to seeing of the whole festival. If anyone knows how to kick start a party then it’s The Flaming Lips, consistently one of the best live bands on the planet and a brilliant alternative to the averageness that is Gorrilaz headlining the Pyramid. So the madness began with Wayne Coyne running around the crowd in a giant hamster ball, whats not to love? Confetti and balloons showered the audience from above with Wayne screaming gibberish down a megaphone. After a few songs from recent double LP ‘Embryonic’ the awesome tunes that the band are famous for begin to kick in. Starting with ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’ featuring dancing Caterpillars and Frogs of course.  The ever enthusiastic Coyne continued leading the crowd through a set of old and new. Favourite for me being the supremely awesome ‘Do You Realise?’ a song that could be considered even more poignant at somewhere like Glastonbury. By this point and the end of what was an unbelievable day let alone performance from The Flaming Lips I decided to head back to the tent where me and my friends sat and discussed what a brilliant day we all had. And by 2.oo (ish) we were all in bed dreaming of what would lye ahead for the rest of the weekend.

James

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It’s official summer is well and truly and being really pale and ginger my neck is already scorched. It’s only a week until my first festival and line-ups pretty much sorted for everything I’m going to. So here’s the follow up to the post I wrote a couple of months

1. THE FLAMING LIPS

When I was 10 I’d religiously listen to the chart show on Radio 1 every Sunday. One particular Sunday I heard Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and I loved it all that crazy experimentalism and crazy noises. Of course being a 10 year old I had no idea what an iconic and influential band they are. This lead me to becoming the hippest kid that ever existed (apart from that kid in Piccadilly Records who went up to his dad and asked if he could have Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective on 12″) and so I went with my mum down the library where I went and got said album. I have adored ‘The Lips’ ever since and now I finally have the chance to see how spectacular their lives shows are. This will ultimately end what will be a pretty much perfect Friday night on the Other Stage at Glasto (apart from La Roux). Seriously, this is gonna one pretty special performance.

2. BEACH HOUSE

Where do I even start with Beach House. A band who have really snuck up on me this year in terms of their overwhelming brilliance. ‘Teen Dream’ is a big shoe in for album of the year with it’s luscious dreamy shoegazy tones especially on tunes such as ‘Norway’. But what does it matter if songs this awesome can’t be transported on the live stage. Well we’ll see come Dot to Dot Festival next Monday and once again on the Saturday afternoon on the Park Stage at Glasto

3. FOALS

Second album syndrome… pah. If 2009 was they year of The Horrors then 2010 is definitely Foals’ to claim as their own. Especially when they’ve gone and wrote a great summery record in the form of Total Life Forever which will suit the festivals perfectly. Can’t wait…

4. M.I.A.

M.I.A. looks set to continue her dominance in the field of good pop music. In a world where the like of Jason Derulo and the manufactured trash of Alexandra Burke dominate the charts it’s good to have someone as refreshing as M.I.A. to hold on to traditional pop values. For example doing a Pepsi ad and then giving all her money to building a school in Africa as was reported in NME recently. Wouldn’t see Gaga doing that would ya. Nope. Maya’s third album set for a July release is sound promising so far and I expect the live shows to go with it will be equally as promising. Gonna have to wait til the 1st of August at Underage Festival to find out though.

5. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE

Over the past twelve months it really has been hard to ignore Florence’s rise into the public eye as one of the best pop artists around. What makes it even more incredible is how she’s been able to stay in the mainstream but keep her indie credibility. Going off what  I’ve seen of her live shows on telly she sits as what expects to be a quality warm up for Hot Chip and The Flaming Lips on Friday evening at Glasto.

6. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM

If you’ve seen James Murphy and friends on their current tour then you’ll not their live shows are not to be missed. This is Happening may not be the follow-up the Sound of Silver that I was hoping for but it’s still got the killer tunes on it that are gonna make you move. Definitely a must see considering their gonna pack it all in, in the near future.

7. WE ARE SCIENTISTS

Really was so happy when the Glastonbury line-up was announced. Yet another band that I have loved for absolutely years and now I finally get the chance to see them. Expect highlights from fourth album Barbara, silly on stage banter from Keith and Chris and some cracking tunes from their back catalogue to be blasted out from the Other Stage on Sunday.

8. THE XX

It amazing to think that just over six months ago The xx were playing venues like The Death Institute in Manchester. Now however they have risen to hipster stardom and oh how I regret missing them at Underage last summer and not being able to see them when they back in Manchester earlier this year. However there ambient electro tones to the John Peel stage on Saturday night at Glastonbury giving me no excuse to miss them in June.

9.  HOT CHIP

Apart from my sister I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Hot Chip. Yet another band who I’ve loved for years but have never got round to seeing. Hot Chip therefore must go right up there on my list of bands (and yours) to see this summer. Still haven’t got round to buying One Life Stand but either way they won’t be missed considering they’ve got a sweet little slot on Friday night at Glasto

10. STEVIE WONDER

Better than Pendulum… You heard it here first people.

James x

Well it’s here at least. I went for a little walk around in the sunshine this afternoon to celebrate how lovely the weather has suddenly come and to send back my Dot to Dot tickets cos’ apparently there’s something wrong with them. And as I was out walking I noticed a few things:

  1. It seems like everyone is in love and holding hands
  2. The blossom always looks beautiful
  3. It’s that time of year where people are always out walking dogs or on bike rides
  4. ‘Brighten the Corners’ era Pavement is always the best kind of music to walk around to in the sunshine

Anyway what have I done this week. Well Monday was Bank Holiday and my mum and sister decided to go on the canal boat with Stuart so I went on a nice walk with my dad in the countryside. Tuesday was rather uneventful. Wednesday was good though. Went to see Kick-Ass with a few friends and I have to say it was absolutely brilliant. Probably the best film I’d seen since watching Control, which I watched the night before. Kick-Ass however was a long way from the doom and gloom of an Ian Curtis bio-pic. It had absolutely everything, a little controversy, romance, action, a stupidly brilliant amount of gore, comedy, those tender little emotional bits that are just lovely. You could list it’s brilliance for ages, maybe the plot was a little bit unintelligent but that was just about it’s only flaw. Heres a clip for you encase you haven’t seen it. Oh and it also had Starry Eyed by Ellie Goulding in the soundtrack, always a good thing.

So following that I got home and saw my mum for about the first time in a week and watched the United game. Looked like they we’re gonna destroy Bayern in the first half but no wasn’t to be. Bit disappointed that no British teams reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. But I would like to congratulate Fulham on reaching the Europa League final and while on the subject of football well done to Pompey as well for reaching the FA Cup final, well deserved after such a season they’ve had.

Thursday went to see my nan played a lot more Tomb Raider and have done very little work. Friday was along the same lines, and Saturday and Today, so today I am left with this fucking huge pile of work to do for Tuesday, wish me look people. At least I got a little bit of motivation now. If I don’t stick to a revision timetable then i do not get to go see Slow Club and Summer Camp next month, gonna write a massive sign in front of my desk to remind me to work. Only two months of this. Can’t fail, right…

James x

Favourite EP of 2009:

  • Emmy the Great -First Songs

Favourite Gigs of 2009 (based on social and music)

  1. Los Campesinos @ The Death Institute, Manchester
  2. Johnny Foreigner @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
  3. NME Radar Tour (Golden Silvers) @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
  4. Emmy the Great @ The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
  5. The Horrors @ O2 Academy 2, Liverpool

Top 5 Live Bands i’ve seen this year

  1. The Chapman Family
  2. Los Campesinos!
  3. The Horrors
  4. Johnny Foreigner
  5. Patrick Wolf (even though hes a dick)

Top 5 Films I’ve Been to see in a Cinema this year

  1. Up
  2. Where The Wild Things Are
  3. (500) Days of Summer
  4. Coraline
  5. Slumdog Millionaire

Top 5 Games I’ve Been Playing This Year

  1. Mario Kart
  2. Mario Kart
  3. Mario Kart
  4. Mario Kart
  5. Mario Kart

Top 5 Bands that I think/want to do well next year

  1. Delphic
  2. The Drums
  3. Internet Forever
  4. Veronica Falls
  5. Chew Lips

Top 5 Albums I’m most excited for in 2010

  1. Los Campesinos! – Romance is Boring (even though i’ve already got the leak)
  2. Something new by Radiohead maybe
  3. New Arcade Fire expect late in 2010
  4. New Friendly Fires in the summer
  5. Laura Marling’s new ones out in March i think

Top 2 Most bestest b-sides

  1. Slow Club – Thighs
  2. Vivian Girls – Death

Top 5 Favourite TV Shows

  1. Flight of the Conchords
  2. How Not To Live Your Life
  3. The Jeremy Kyle Show
  4. Match of the Day
  5. err can’t think of anything else i’ve really watched cos Heroes just got shit

Top 5 Favourite Macclesfield Town players

  1. Hamza Bencherif
  2. Johnny Brain
  3. Nat Brown
  4. Izak Reid
  5. Joaquin Medinilla-Cabotti

My Top Five Footballers of the Decade

  1. Jon Parkin
  2. Gianfranco Zola
  3. Tore Andre Flo
  4. Danny Adams
  5. Zinedine Zidane

List of people who I’ve met who are in bands that I like

  • Euan Hinshelwood (Younghusband/Emmy the Great)
  • Wesley Patrick Gonzales (Let’s Wrestle)
  • Patrick Wolf
  • Gwilym Gold (Golden Silvers)
  • Robden Alexis Nunez (Golden Silvers)
  • Rebecca Taylor (Slow Club)
  • Gareth Campesinos!
  • Kim Campesinos!
  • Harriet Campesinos!
  • Ellen Campesinos!
  • Rob Taylor (Sparky Deathcap/Los Campesinos!)
  • Laura Wolf (Internet Forever)

and  finally Top 10 Albums of the Decade (based on music and influence on my life)

  1. Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007)
  2. Los Campesinos! – We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (2008)
  3. Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
  4. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)
  5. Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger (2005)
  6. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (2003)
  7. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007)
  8. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am Thats What I’m Not (2006)
  9. Bat For Lashes – Fur And Gold (2006)
  10. Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires (2008)

WARNING SPOILERS!!!

This afternoon a couple of friends and I thought we’d go see Where The Wild Things Are. One of the advantages of skipping games is that you can go home, get a shower and get to the cinema before all the annoying girls (me included) go and see Twilight but sadly i still haven’t got round to seeing it. So yeah there was like us three and then three others. Don’t the adverts go on for ages though and we didn’t even get any trailers. I was also could afford popcorn today cos’ i didn’t go for a haircut but i will tomorrow. So yeah to be honest it stared a little slow until it all kicked off when poor little Max thought it would be a good idea to attack his sisters mates. The silly child got squished by this big moron who hardly apologised so he ended up just trashing his sister’s room and got snow everywhere which is of course what every annoying little brother should do. So yeah he then decided to bite his mum cos’ no one pays any attention to him, so off he goes to where the wild things are. OOooooooOOOhhhhHHHhHHHHhhhh!!!!!

This bit really reminded me of The Truman Show cos someone even thought theres this huge fucking storm the kid manages to stay in his little boat so fair play to the lad. Then hes gotta climb up this giant cliff face and he doesn’t ever seem to get tired. Then he meets up all the wild things and he becomes their king so they get up to loads of random shit like all piling on top of each other and going to sleep. Then this huge dog just appears which left be giggling for absolutely ages

Max bless him tries to make all the Wild Things happy but sadly he just can’t it’s just far to much of burden for the kid to carry on his little shoulders. Anyway heres a guide to the Wild Things

Carol: Hes got serious anger management issues and it seems like all the other wild things hate him, he tries to be liked but he just ends up destroying everything, made my friend cry when he smashed up his little model of his ideal world. It’s safe to say hes never gonna score with KW cos’ shes just too preoccupied with her owl friends

KW: She just a mess, she can’t even understand what these owls are even on about they just squeak, acts all pretentious like shes too good for the others

Douglas: It’s pretty obvious that hes only even friends with Carol cos hes scared that he’ll get eaten. Carol even has the cheeck to rip his arm of. “Thats my good arm” he doesn’t even seem to give a shit.

Judith: Stupid bitch seems to hate Max for no reason also seems to think shes better than the others

Ira: He smashes stuffs somehow he can cut perfectly circular holes in tress which is just crazy how on earth do you cos i’d like to know, dunno why hes even going out with Judith he can do better than that.

Alexander: I really feel for this guy everyone just seems to ignore him and he seems like a really nice guy, if i ever meet him then i reckon we could be friends

The Bull: Yeah, don’t mess with the bull cos’ hes proper badass he just stand there looking all moody doing his thang and then we he talks you like whats going on he should be all like “GRRRR don’t mess with me” but hes actually really lovely.

So yeah the film carries on and the hilarity/tenderness continues before Max just fucks everything up and leaves cos he can’t be arsed to sort out all their problems. Lazy shit. So Carol comes along and tries to eat him and gets all pissed off at these stupid Owls. So he just leaves and goes back home to have his tea.

On a serious note this is genuinely a really good film and combines absolute ridiculousness with tenderness and beauty. The cinematography is just beautiful as shown by some of the scenes shot in the forest’s. This best thing of all though is how I relate to the characters there isn’t someone in that film who i don’t know in real life and a lot of the characters represent myself. So basically it’s just a kids film but if you are under the age of 12 don’t bother cos’ it won’t be for you.

James x

So it maybe Tuesday now but the last few days have been quite eventful. Had a very long walk home with a good friend on friday night all four miles back from Sandbach to Haslington. There was a lot to be discussed so we talked and talked and talked, which we also then ended up doing on Saturday night walking there and back to Crewe but that was in the evening. During the day i got back into playing the last Splinter Cell game. Nothing feels better than getting up and just strangling innocent people, or falling of the side of a building for the god knows how many times and then throwing your controller at your sister whos just decided to perch herself in your room. Well I obviously didn’t do that. So in the afternoon i went to Crewe for the first time to try and do Christmas shopping but as per usual i came back with a CD for myself, saves myself the embarrassment of buying something JLS related for my sister. Then in HMV i overheard a great conversation between a little girl and her mother Daughter: “I’m gonna die soon” Mum: “Well die quietly then” This just left a huge grin on my face. So in the evening i went back into Crewe and talked some more mainly about people i hate which is a lot. One in particular who i now hate a hell of a lot more. So we met up at Pizza Hut another establishment which i hate before moving to the bowling alley which is full of people i hate. Like those stupid chavy pricks throwing basketballs at each other. There is soooooo soooo much to moan about. So we started bowling which only highlights how small my feet are a size 7 for someone who is 6″1. Bowling lead to me becoming increasingly annoyed with one individual. Who exactly are you trying to impress? Haven’t you realised how much i actually hate you yet. Your stupid hair, your stupid fashion sense and your horrible fakeness. Nothing about you is at all real, so just disapear and make my whole life a whole lot better.

So anyway as always i get very angry when i bowl cos i don’t like being bad at stuff so i ruined the whole evening for myself. As per usual i fail to pluck up the courage to talk to either girl who was with us this evening, it’s not that i have a problem with girls talking to me and holding a conversation it’s a problem of being starting the conversation and talking to girls. For some reason i’m absolutely fine in other social setting for example at a gig but that side of my personality just wasn’t there that night. Then i went and trapped my thumb in a gate round the back of where MFI used to be because I was ‘exploring’.  We discussed the person i mentioned earlier and how much we hate him.

So Sunday meant the start of winter football and the surface at school was perfect i must of fallen over at least four times and got extremely muddy. So as always it’s just a bit of fun grabbed myself a couple of goals in the final game we played so alls good. At least football is a way to constructively take my anger out. In the evening i stayed up and watched Happy-Go-Lucky which is a great film a perfect mix of comedy and drama it’s only made better by the fact that it’s British. I could see a lot of myself in Scott the driving instructor but i’m no way near as socially fucked as he is.

Yesterday was parent consultation evening which was to be honest a little bit of a shambles mainly because Mr. Bootherstone went ranting on for 10 minutes more that he was supposed to. Every teacher said exactly the same thing which was James’ handwriting is difficult to read. I think they might actually do something about it considering how annoyed my dad got. But anyway apparently i’m the best in the year at Sociology which was nice complement from my sociology teacher. But i need to improve in everything else even though i’m doing alright at English Language. It’s my choice to be in the sixth form so i need to improve at the end of the day

So hear I am and i’ve finally found the time to blog and i would just like to that everyone who viewed my blog on Monday for making it the most successful day of my blog ever and just thanks if your reading this anyway

So last night i decided to get the PS2 back out for some classic Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and bloody hell is it good. I actually would rather play that than play FIFA 10. Got back on the master league with Sandbach F.C. and it’s the 2014 season first game was an D1 cup semi-final against Leece. We take a 1-0 lead in the first half only to let it slip in the last minute. So straight from the kick off we ran the ball down the pitch 2-1 game over. I hadn’t felt that good about a game in ages. Then i went on to win the Master League again

Today was a bit disappointing i decided to record a cover of Frontwards by Pavement of course one of my guitar strings broke i was trying to make it a horrible lo-fi cover and i ended up playing my guitar too hard. So now i have no idea to fix it. So then i went out to Pizza Hut (grrrr i don’t like pizza hut) because it’s my friend Adam’s birthday. It was nice to walk into Crewe by myself i haven’t done it in ages so i walked at a good pace listening to Funeral by Arcade Fire which felt good. So I got there and all i had was ice cream from the ice cream factory cos’ i’m a horrible cheap skate, i looked like a right wierdo, but i need money for gigs so it’s all worth it. Met someone new today, thats always a good thing i like meeting people. So then we go to watch “The Men Who Stared At Goats” if you love pointless comedy’s then this is the film for you. It wasn’t that i didn’t understand the humour it was just that it was predictable and stupid. And there was absolutely no plot overall it was just a completely pointless film and a waste of my money. But Adam enjoyed it so thats all that really matters considering that it is his birthday. One thing that annoy’s me thought is when my friends don’t understand me, it like i was trying to explain to them why i didn’t like it but they just don’t get it, it kind of makes me feel as if i’m being singled out for not liking something in particular but hey what can i do. So i walked home listening to Arcade Fire some more and that felt good

Tomorrow=haircut

James x