About Me

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Leicester/Oxford, UK
student, traveller, keen aficionado of TTOW

Friday, December 24

Gigs of 2010

February 10th - Miike Snow - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham.
February 15th - Casiokids - Rock City, Nottingham.
February 15th - Hot Chip - Rock City, Nottingham.
March 7th - Hatcham Social - Orange Tree, Leicester.
March 9th - Ellie Goulding - Rock City, Nottingham.
March 9th - Passion Pit - Rock City, Nottingham.
March 10th - The Invisible - Bodega Social, Nottingham.
March 27th - Jonquil - O2 Academy, Oxford.
March 27th - Youthmovies - O2 Academy, Oxford.
May 7th - Jonquil - Nottingham Trent University.
May 7th - Foals - Nottingham Trent University.
July 16th - Pantha Du Prince - Melt Festival.
July 16th - Two Door Cinema Club - Melt Festival.
July 16th - Health - Melt Festival.
July 16th - Yeasayer - Melt Festival.
July 16th - The xx - Melt Festival.
July 16th - Foals - Melt Festival.
July 16th - Booka Shade - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Holyghost - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Hurts - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Darwin Deez - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Friendly Fires - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Miike Snow - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Chromeo - Melt Festival.
July 17th - ATrak - Melt Festival.
July 17th - Tiga - Melt Festival.
July 18th - Fred Falke - Melt Festival.
July 18th - Fucked Up - Melt Festival.
July 18th - Goldfrapp - Melt Festival.
July 18th - Massive Attack - Melt Festival.
November 6th - Foals - Rock City, Nottingham.
November 9th - Pet Moon - Electrowerkz, London.
November. 9th- Trophy Wife - Electrowerkz, London.
December 16th - Foals - HMV Institute, Birmingham.

Friday, December 10

My Top 10 Albums of 2010

1. Foals - Total Life Forever
The critically acclaimed second album from the Oxford quintet combines delicate guitar riffs, spacious synth and an even more direct approach by lead singer/guitarist Yannis. Total Life Forever includes brilliantly constructed songs such as Blue Blood, Black Gold and Spanish Sahara. Whereas their live sets grow from strengh to strengh. This album was rewarded with a Mercury Prize nomination.
Foals - Spanish Sahara by subpop

2. Mystery Jets - Serotonin
After signing a new deal with Rough Trade Records and touring for what seemed years, Mystery Jets announced their fourth album 'Serotonin' would be released in July 2010. I listened with great excitement and with curiosity as whether they had tweaked their classic sound. I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. In this record Mystery jets have acquired a more mature sound. Songs such as Flash A Hungry Smile, Dreaming Of Another World and Melt certainly show this new sound. You can listen to this album anytime and each sound compliments the next and previous...
Show Me The Light - Mystery Jets by mssngpeces

3. Caribou - Swim
After years of producing ecletic electronic music, Daniel Snaith produced his most successful record Swim. It took over the indie scene in early 2010 with its precise drum beats to synth ratio.. Odessa the first song on the album even went on to feature in the FIFA 2011 soundtrack. But it is the almost trance-like aspect of Leave House, Bowls and Sun which makes this album great.
Swim by Caribouband

4. Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
Gold Panda, a.k.a Derwin Panda, producer from London first full length album 'Lucky Shiner' really does get your heart going. Each song plays a major part of the overall picture, it is like he is telling a story. It seems like they have a deeper meaning which makes this record even more astonishing.. Snow & Taxis leaps out at you as if it was made for a movie soundtrack. While the more subtle Marriage and Casio Daisy add substance. It recieved an 8.2 on Pitchfork.com.
Snow & Taxis by Gold Panda

5. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
Hot Chip's domination of the electro-pop scene was re-established thanks to One Life Stand. It showed their fans that despite various solo projects the group were and are as strong as they have ever been. The inclusion of drummer Rob Smoughton for live shows has produced some great gigs from their world tour of 2010. Songs such as I Feel Better, Alley Cats and Take It In provide more evidence that they tend to make 4 or 5 superb songs on each record they produce.
One Life Stand (Radio Edit) by HOTCHIP

6. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Alice Glass and Ethan Kath continued their pursuit of the perfect experimental electronica sound following a successful debut in 2008. However, following a rather weird EP I was apprehensive as I listened to their second self-titled album. It was somewhat graceful, in a non-conformist way (if thats possible). Tracks such as Celestica, Baptism and Empathy really get you going. Although released in May, it recieved increased recogition thanks to the single release of Baptism.. It recieved an 8.5 on Pitchfork.com

Crystal Castles - Celestica by Crystal Castles

7. The Naked + Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You
The Naked and Famous are increasing in popularity everyday. Their debut album released in September showed that rock music still has an impact on a indie/electronic based musical spectrum in the UK. Punching In A Dream and Young Blood have quickly become radio favourites, and quite rightly. They have been nominated for the BBC Sound of Music Poll for 2011, so good things are expected..

The Naked And Famous - Young Blood by adamtaj

8. Vampire Weekend - Contra
I reviewed this record in January, and regarded it very highly. My opinion remains. Its clever use of synth and catchy guitar riffs whilst maintaining their classic sound is a hard act, they have pulled it off. It was recieved brilliantly across the globe, reaching number one in the US Billboard 200. Songs such as Giving Up The Gun and I Think Ur A Contra push their existing sound into a deeper sense, but Holiday and Cousins provide a glimpse of the first album.

Vampire Weekend - Holiday by MMMusic

9. Casiokids - Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar
This much awaited record from the Norwegian electro-pop group contains superb songs such as Verdens Stortse Land and Fot I Hose. Incredible use of synth to create a completley new and different sound makes this record stand out from other attempts such as from Passion Pit or Little Boots. The album also includes well made remixes such as the Velfred remix of Verdens Storste land.

Casiokids - Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar (double CD) by Popfrenzy

10. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
Yeasayer second album Odd Blood proves that experimental pop is acceptable.. Self-Produced and indepentendly marketed it shows great skill in combining bass and synth while produced a pop sound. It is fair to say that O.N.E was one of the summer tracks of 2010, while Madder Red and Ampling Alp show that there is substance to this record. I must admit that Yeasayer are much better live than on record, but that does not take anything away from Odd Blood.

Yeasayer - O.N.E by musicmule

Wednesday, October 27

things that i enjoy seeing

1. people walking down the street with large headphones on their head, if the person is an Asian then it makes me happier.
2. people who wear their backpack on their front because they are afraid of thievery.
3. seeing people having to run when they clearly do not run very often.
4. when people naturally walk very fast, for no reason.
5. witnessing people's calculations in terms of walking across the road when the traffic light is red..
6. people's reaction when a bus or train does not stop for them.
7. how rain can have a dramatic effect on people's behaviour.
8. when a couple or a small group of people enter a cinema screen, how they just stand still and randomly look around as if they were actually contemplating watching the film standing up.
9. the face of a jehovah witness when i tell them that i am a catholic.
10. people that tuck their trousers legs into their socks when riding a bicycle.

me finishing the leicester marathon on october 10 2010.

Monday, August 23

Ground Zero Mosque???

"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up." Pastor Martin Niemoller's words are well known but their context is not well understood. Niemoller was not speaking abstractly. He witnessed persecution, he acquiesced to it, he ultimately fell victim to it. He had been a German World War 1 hero, then a conservative who welcomed the fall of German democracy and the rise of Hitler and had few qualms the beginning of the Holocaust until he himself was arrested for supporting it insufficiently. Niemoller's confessional warning came in a speech in Frankfurt in January, 1946, eight months after he was liberated by American troops. He had been detained at Tyrol, Sachsen-Hausen and Dachau for seven years. Niemoller survived the death camps. In quoting him, I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust. Such a comparison is ludicrous. At least it is, now. But Niemoller was not warning of the Holocaust. He was warning of the willingness of a seemingly rational society to condone the gradual stoking of enmity towards an ethnic or religious group warning of the building-up of a collective pool of national fear and hate, warning of the moment in which the need to purge outstrips even the parameters of the original scape-goating, when new victims are needed because a country has begun to run on a horrible fuel of hatred, magnified, amplified, multiplied by politicians and zealots, within government and without. Niemoller was not warning of the Holocaust. He was warning of the thousand steps before a Holocaust became inevitable. If we are at just the first of those steps again today, here, it is one step too close. Yet, in a country dedicated to freedom, forces have gathered to blow out of all proportion the construction of a minor community center; to transform it into a training ground for terrorists and an insult to the victims of 9/11 and a tribute to medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is no training ground for terrorists. There is no insult to the victims of 9/11. There is no tribute to medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is, in fact, no " Ground Zero mosque." It isn't a mosque. A mosque, technically, is a Muslim holy place in which only worship can be conducted. What is planned for 45 Park Place, New York City, is a Community Center. It's supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It's to be thirteen stories tall and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space.

What a cauldron of terrorism that will be: terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards. And truly those will use the center have more to fear from us than us from them. For there has been terrorism connected to a mosque in this country this year. May 10th., Jacksonville, Florida; a pipe bomb at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. The FBI thinks the man in this surveillance video could be the bomber. It went off during evening prayers, and it was powerful enough to send shrapnel flying 100 yards. Fortunately, the bomber didn't know where to place it, so the 60 Muslim worshipers were uninjured. If he'd put it inside and not outside, they'd have been dead. And you probably would've heard about it on the news. Or maybe not.

Maybe those exploiting 45 Park Place would still shake their fists and decry terrorism by extremists who happen to be Muslim, and never face the shameful truth about our country: as the Jacksonville mosque bombing shows, since Sept. 11, Muslims have been at far greater risk of being victims of terrorism in the United States than have non- Muslims. But back to this Islamic Center. Its name, Cordoba House, is not a tribute to medieval Muslim subjugation of Spain. Newt Gingrich has been pushing that nonsense that " Cordoba" is a Muslim dog-whistle for "triumphalism." "It refers to Cordoba, Spain, the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world's third-largest mosque complex. Today, some of the mosque's backers insist this term is being used to 'symbolize interfaith co-operation' when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest." Those "Muslim conquerors" are a figment of Mr. Gingrich's lurid imagination. In Spain, in Cordoba, though the Muslims established multi- cultural, non-denominational institutions of learning, they were under constant attack from Christians, and from a series of internal all- Muslim Civil Wars. The Muslims lost Cordoba, and the Christian church they transformed into the "world's third-largest mosque complex?" It was turned back into a Christian Cathedral in the 13th Century. And it has been that, ever since. And is there not a logical extension to Mr. Gingrich's conclusions about Cordoba and "triumphalism?" Virtually every church, every synagogue, indeed every mosque built on this continent stands where a Native American lived, or died, or was buried, or saw his world, his religions included, wiped out, by us. What are we then, Mr. Gingrich? And by the way, a point Mr. Gingrich has not even whispered as he has shouted fire in a crowded theater: when the historical implications of Cordoba were made clear to the backers of this project, the property developer, Sharif Gamal, changed the name. They already compromised. "We are calling it Park 51 because of the backlash to the name Cordoba House," he told the " Financial Times." "It will be a place open to all New Yorkers and that is a very New York name." A very New York name. Like " Ground Zero." Except this place, Park 51, is not even at Ground Zero, not even 'right across the street.' Even the description of it being "two blocks away" is generous. It is two blocks away from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site. From the planned location of the 9/11 memorial, it is more like four or even five blocks. You know what is right across the street? I went there yesterday to refresh my sense of the World Trade Center, in which I worked nearly 30 years ago. At Church and Veezy, so close that the barbed wire of Ground Zero obscures its spire? St Paul's Chapel. Been there since 1766, where Washington went the day he was inaugurated, where the first responders came for relief nine years ago. You know what's also closer to Ground Zero than this Muslim Community Center? Church of St. Peter, at Church and Barclay Streets. As the sign says, New York's Oldest Catholic Parish. People hear " Ground Zero Mosque" and they think Mecca in the backyard and a loud call to prayer and they take umbrage. "We got no more than a few inches of skin and a couple of pieces of bone. Ground Zero is the burial place of my son," said Joyce Boland at the public hearing about the Center. "I don't want to go there and see an overwhelming mosque looking down at me." I honor her pain, and her fear, but Mrs. Boland has nothing to worry about. Unless she walks directly to it, she'll never see it. This is what you see from where the Center will be. Another nondescript building across the street. This building and others like it will block views of the Trade Center, and views from the Trade Center. It certainly will stand out on the north side of Park Place, but amid the canyons of lower Manhattan, it'll just be a distinctive building that if you happen to wander down a side street near the Trade Center, you might see. You know what you'll see there now? This, the Burlington Coat Factory, abandoned since 2001 when the landing gear from one of the planes fell 90 stories and went through the roof. For nine years, nobody's been willing to buy that building, just to knock it down and build a new one. It sold for four million 850 thousand dollars. In New York City real estate, that is spare change. And you know why it's spare change? Because walk around Ground Zero any day of the week and it's packed, with tourists and our version of pilgrims. But walk two and three blocks away and not so packed. Not packed at all. Empty stores. Boarded-up windows. Nine years later, and two and three blocks from the action and it's a ghost town. What was that about government not getting in the way of private business? What was that about letting the private sector spur new jobs in blighted areas? Oh, and what was that about Iraq? Why did we go into Iraq, again? I don't mean the real reasons or the naked, vengeful blindness that enabled the forging of a nonexistent connection between Iraq and 9/11. I mean, the official explanation: to free the world, and especially Iraq's citizens, of the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. That's its supporters' defense of the invasion, to this hour. Well, who lives in Iraq? Muslims. I hate to reveal this to anybody on the Right who didn't know this, but when they say Iraq is 65 percent Shia and 32 percent Sunni, you do know that Shia and Sunni are both forms of the Muslim religion, right? We sacrificed 4,415 of our military personnel in Iraq to save Muslims, and there are thousands still there tonight to protect Muslims, but we don't want Muslims to open a combination culinary school and prayer space in Manhattan?

From the beginning of this nation, we have fought prejudice and religious intolerance and our greatest enemy: stupidity, exploited by rapacious politicians. It's just 50 years now since Americans publicly and urgently warned their country-men not to support a Presidential candidate because he was a Roman Catholic. He would bow to the will not of the American people, but the Pope. He would be a "Papist." He would be the agent of a foreign state. His name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Despite the nobility of our founding and the indefatigable efforts of all our generations, there have always been those who would happily sacrifice our freedoms, our principles, to ward off the latest unprecedented threat, the latest unbeatable outsiders. Once again, at 45 Park Place, we are being told to sell our birth-right, to feed the maw of xenophobia and vengeance and mob rule. The terrorists who destroyed the buildings from which you could only see 45 Park Place as a dot on the ground wanted to force us to change our country to become more like the ones they knew. What better way could we honor the dead of the World Trade Center than to do the terrorists' heavy lifting for them? And do you think 45 Park Place is where it ends? The moment this monstrous betrayal of our America gained the slightest traction, the next goal was unveiled. 'No more building permits for any mosques in this country,' brayed a man from the euphemistically-named " American Families Association." Of course, he said, maybe the permits could be granted if the congregation, quote, "was willing to publicly renounce the Koran." "They came first for the building permits." But back to Downtown. Does the name " Masjid-Manhattan" mean anything to you? Let me take you, in conclusion, to 20 Warren Street. Not much to look at, not from across the street, not from up close. That open door is the only thing that distinguishes it from the rest of the grill-fronts of the neighborhood.

That, and the yellow sign there: "Entrance To Islamic Center." It's in the basement. It is a Muslim house of worship, Masjid-Manhattan. It lost its lease in a larger building down the street, two years ago. The new facility is so small that only about 20 percent of worshipers can use it, at a time. But " Masjid-Manhattan" opened in early 1970. Four blocks away, the World Trade Center opened, in December 1970. The actual place that is the real-life equivalent of the paranoid dream contained in the phrase " Ground Zero Mosque," has been up and running, since before there was a World Trade Center, and for nine years since there has been a World Trade Center. Running, without controversy, without incident, without terrorism, without protest. Because this is America, damn it. And in America, when somebody comes for your neighbor, or his Bible, or his Torah, or his Atheists' Manifesto, or his Koran, you and I do what our fathers did, and our grandmothers did, and our founders did; you and speak up.

Keith Olbermann. 2010.

Wednesday, May 19

constitutional reform?

the question of constitutional reform has been top of many prime ministers priority lists. however, the actual act of changing powerful and influential elements of UK government has been too much for many. since 1997, new labour have introduced radical reforms that have re-shaped the UK. these include; increased devolved powers to scotland and wales, the freedom of information act and the human rights act. the creation of a 'well oiled' parliamentary system is an extremely difficult operation, new labour came close but failed to follow through their original plans. the new coalition government may well desire constitutional reform bu the real question is whether they are willing to fulfil their visions into reality.

the first obstacle to constitutional reform is the house of lords. never elected and for many years wholly hereditary, this chamber needs to modernise. this means to create a fully elected house that has recognition from the public. although they only advise and conjure policies their reputation is down and needs rejuvenation.

in order to make this reform significant and worthwhile it is necessary to reform the house of commons. this reform should include a referendum on a change to the electoral system of mps and the discussion and ultimate change to pmq's. these reforms are needed to stop a u-turn in British politics. the recent general election showed us that the simple plurality system is incapable of dealing with multi-parties. the emergence of smaller parties should not be ignored and therefore the public opinion needs to be asked. the weekly event of pmq's has simply become a joke. the over theatrical media coverage pushes many away from politics and over time can have a detrimental effect. these reforms are desirable and must occur to enable the overall political system to modernise effectively.

the chaos surrounding devolved powers to scotland and wales needs to be addressed. the fact that in the past scottish mps could vote on english issues and english mps could not vote on scottish issues is undemocratic and a deterrent to fairness. referendums needs to be issued to ask people what they want on policies of independence, devolution and executive powers. having a coalition in scotland and wales of labour, snp and plaid cymru means that concessions needs to be made. the publics view could therefore be overlooked. referendums will configure necessary actions to alleviate these pressures. it is the politicians duty to serve its people, deciding important issues by compromise is unhealthy to democracy. the reason why this reform is desirable is because many have become disillusioned by the devolution settlements, they simply donot understand them. although in some cases this may not be of interest, the majority of scotland and wales would love to have their say in a referendum. however, the important question returns as to whether the current government ia willing to concede this reform.

overall the british political system has slowly modernised to keep in contact with the public view. however at this time many reforms are desirable to complete this process. the new government has an opportunity to implement these thoughts into reality. the way in which the recent general election played out shows clearly that the current electoral system is a risk when other parties increase their support. the resulting hung parliament produced a government that public did not vote for. this highlights the problem and shows the desire for change. the current asymmetric bicameral system has become unfair. the lords need legitimacy in order to remove the publics doubt in them. finally, the confusion surrounding the devolution settlements needs clarification. this can only be achieved by consulting the public through a referendum. the ability to desire however, is much easier than the ability to act. now it is up to the politicians to not let this opportunity pass.

Tuesday, May 18


MELT! Playlist by Cans of Rainwater

i will be attending the music festival MELT! in southern germany in july.. this is my mix containing artists and djs that will perform..

expect reviews and pictures of the event in due course.

Monday, May 17

foals @ nottingham trent may 7

it has been 9 months since my last foaling experience and within 20 seconds of their first track total life forever i realised how much i had missed them. the much more mature and filled out band played a set of about 80 minutes containing new and old songs. the crowd seemed nervous, but when cassius was belted out their memory was restored. sweaty, painful and briiliant all sum up the experience. i managed to push/force my way forward during their 3rd song olympic airways which now includes a new and amazing interlude. they then played a few new songs, the cleverly played blue blood, this orient and the quite incredible spanish sahara. there were taken in with awe by the crowd. the theatrical electric bloom did not disappoint, yannis's stage dive was followed by a rush to touch him! the encore produced a slightly altered french open and the crowd favourite two steps twice.

the night was a huge success for me. the ability to instill so much buzz into so many people is a skill that few bands have, but foals use it brilliantly.

Tuesday, April 27

Total Life Forever

i've managed to get hold of a promotional copy of Total Life Forever, the second record from oxford quintet FOALS. the wait for this record has for some been long and exciting. having heard alabaster, spanish sahara, total life forever and o-funk at various gigs in the previous 18 months it was obvious that foals were heading in a new direction. away from the math indie, which attracted the skins following, and towards the mellow. it was exciting as a fan to listen to gig reviews and see the crowds reaction. the live versions of the tracks listed are incredible and knowing that the band had taken their time and chosen specifically the studio and producer to suit themselves i knew that the studio versions would be even better.

1. Blue Blood
from what i can decipher this song is about finding your way home or to where you belong. a slow start with guitar riffs and the lyrics begin. yannis's voice has obviously transformed in the previous 2 years. he smoothly emits "you got blue blood on your hands, i think its my own...." then after a few more lines the bass and drums kick in and the beat of the song is presented. this is followed by a more complex riff and the song begins to turn to a chorus. the beat drops and before you know it, it starts going back and forth between these two brilliant verses.. then as the chorus finally begins it is interrupted quite superbly by another drop in the beat which is supported by the same complex riff. the song now begins to progress and all parts seem to synchronise together which leads up to the chorus again. then again the beat drops to that superb riff...it ends with the same lyrics that started the song. overall it is a fantastic start to the record and it simply stamps down what the new sound of foals is. this will certainly be a crowd favourite

2. Miami
miami begins with some delicate guitar sound alongside a brilliant and catchy drum beat. the guitar seems to evolve into a brass sounding instrument with a bongo drum sound.. then the lyrics start. the song is about betrayal and regret and about being saved. it combines clever lyrics, which set up a story of love then turns it around into a betrayal story, the trademark foals guitar sound and short hits of synth..the chorus finishes with a slow and quiet (In Miami) which is hard to pick up. at 3.42 it is quite a short track but it does not fail to produce all that is needed. a superb track that again highlights the change foals have made..

3. Total Life Forever
the title track tlf, which has been played live several times has changed slightly in tone. the synth from edwin now has a more pronouned tone which allows the lyrics to flow better i think. the chorus is by far the best part of the track. it tells a story of how a life that is full and non-stop is never good enough. and how the individual within oneself will always remain the core of a person. this is given away with the lyrics "singularity is here to stay". the studio version in my opinion misses out the intensity that was showed by the drop in beat in the live version, but it finishes off with a quite brilliant riff.

4. Black Gold
this track really stands out for me amongst the others. the almost cowbell sound at the start (played by edwin i believe) sets the tone of the beat which allows for the outrageous riff to ensue. the track is about the future and not knowing what it will be at all, this is again cleverly highlighted by the lyric "the future is not what it used to be". it also explains that if you try and change the future you lose friends basically. the synth really keeps this track going and it holds it all together, and at the end it is quite brilliant. i expect this to be brought out as a single. well i hope anyway.

5. Spanish Sahara
the slowest and longest track on the record and shows the most dramatic change from the likes of hummer/mathletics. it tells a story about leaving the past behind and going forward to a brighter future. the slow building of the song is fantastic. the guitars work brilliantly with the synth as it allows the lyrics to be heard and understood without being hidden by unneeded noise. the live version of this track has become a crowd favourite and quite rightly. it builds up to a frenzy of guitar and repeated lyrics of "i'm the fury in head/bed, i'm the ghost in the back of your head". it is almost arena music!

6. This Orient
the first single of the record and although the closest tone to the old record it does again show a change, most notably in the talent of yannis. he has somehow (maybe singing lessons!) transformed his voice from what was a shouting to a quite elegant tone. remarkable. the track is about the effect something can have on someone. the drums and synth work fantastically well together and using the human sequencer chart which sets up when each member should sing or portray a noise the song is a combination of quite odd sounds which mould together superbly..

7. Fugue
the musical interluse/instrumental which splits the record into two distinct parts

8. Afterglow
the beginning of this song sounds incredibly similar to a early morning loop that was released about a year ago, or maybe that is just me. then the drum beat kicks in and the lyrics start. the track is about betrayal and losing someone close to you. it uses a delay on the lyrics well to create an echo which highlights the point. the tone in the track changes from quite direct at the start to flowing well in the chorus. the chorus almost extends and the synth quitely helps this along. then suddenly when you least expect it the beat drops into what can only be desrcibed as pure musical brilliance..what follows is a combination of odd sounds which would not belong there at all if it wasn't for the beat. it then returns back to the lyrics which bring you back to the ground. i hope they begin to play this live as it will make my year.

9. Alabaster
when hearing this for the first time in portsmouth in april 2009 i was blown away by the riffs and drum beat. this track couldn't be anywhere nearer that sound, but it could even be better somehow. the synth makes this track flow quite brilliantly. its about completing yourself as a person by gaining the knowledge from someone else. then it hints that all this power can be taken away so beware. again it would be intriging to hear this played live know to see whether they play it differently from before. the drum beats endlessly throughout and combines with the synth like i've never heard before.

10. 2 Trees
this track is almost like a melody. it just flows around your head endlessly. it is about helping other people, by giving blood, lighting up their life or by just breathing (being there for them) and about not giving up or letting go. the track is played at quite a high note throughout but it careers up and down brilliantly. the synth again plays a part in the end by producing a little interlude to the track.

11. What Remains
quite a fantastic track!! it could be classed as an anthem, it caressess your ears beautifully. the lyrics are quite odd but the direction of the music makes up for it. the breakdown after the chorus the first time is exceptional. it builds up again and it soon becomes ingrained in your head. "Bones, Bones....." the drum beat throughout this is delightful. i hope this gets some recognition this summer, it is like a summer tune.."i've been to the darkest place you know"

Overall i would give the record an 9.6/10 . it really is quite brilliant and a superb comeback from foals who have shown the everyone that they have matured into superb musicians who are capable of producing quite scintillating music. i cannot wait to see them live soon and will blog about it then,,


Wednesday, April 21


she's up in the sky, she's up in the dark
i knew a girl who came form below
had a house filled with
religious regret and infinite death
she's the light in the dark
she's up in the sky, up in the dark
alabaster lover
you won't get her
we make each other...

she's up in the sky and the sky is on fire
she set the whole neighbourhood to light
then the people they all read her their names
run away...
and with victory the whole world will be ours
we will fear nothing in it..
alabaster lover
you won't get her
we make each other...

Tuesday, April 20


1. stop buying unnecessary things
2. toss half your stuff away
3. learn contentedness
4. list 4 essential things in your life
5. stop doing unessential things
6. do these essential things first thing everyday
7. clear distractions
8. focus on each moment
9. let go of attachment of doing, having more
10. fall in love with less

Friday, March 19

Shutter Island

i went to the cinema with a friend recently to watch shutter island. i was quite apprehensive because as a lover of scorsese, i was aware that some film critics had called labelled the film as different to the usual 'in your face' and intelligent films such as the departed or taxi driver// the film , set in the 1950s, begins with leo dicaprio and mark ruffalo who play 2 us federal marshalls who are on their way to a prison for mentally unstable. a inmate has mysteriously vanished from her cell. the place is an island called shutter island// they couple are treated oddly as they are welcomed on the island. the doctor, played ben kingsley, that plays their sort of host is a slightly edgy character who you cannot really trust// the marshalls begin their investigation and are soon thrown into a frenzy of lies and and confusion. teddy daniels, decaprio, starts reliving his past in his dreams and begins to question his own wellbeing.. it soon becomes clear that he purposely took the case in order to find the killer of his wife, an inmate, and avenge her death.. however the circumstances of this death are unclear and misleading// teddy begins to lose his mind and is catapulted into a craziness that controls his actions. he continually hallucinates about a young girl that reminds him of his time at dachau in ww2..he finds out that the prison/mental home actually test new and innovative methods of rehabilitation on its paitents.. the story becomes even more confusing as teddy is increasingly losing his mind an his partner seems to has gone missing.. in the most important scene in the film, in the lighthouse where the new methods are conducted, the truth(?) is unveiled..// it is claimed that teddy daniels is actually a paitent of the home who is under a method of trying to remind him of his past. the lady who went missing is meant to replicate his wife, who killed their 3 kids, and then got shot by him. his real name is andrew leadis an anagram of teddy daniels. it is up to andrew now to realise what has happened and come out of his alter ego and therefore complete his transformation..// however he does not trust anybody and finds it difficult to end his suffering.. his partner is actually is primary phycologist. the final quote from andrew to his phycologist is 'whether to die a good man or to live as a monster' similar to a quote from shawshank redemption, he is then escorted off by men who are carrying the equipment for the treatment. this quote can be interpreted many ways and leaves the viewer thinking and debating the outcome and meaning of the film for hours..

scorsese makes a brilliant film combining all his previous work and incorporating a new incredible use of music to create suspense, very much like hitchcock became famous for.// the film could easily have been made in the 1950s, i even think scorsese did this on purpose..dicaprio plays the unusual and incredibly difficult character extremely well, as he always does..just watch the aviator..//

i was looking forward to watching this film for a long time and i definitely did not disappoint..well done scorsese..again//

Tuesday, March 2


so i walked into the haze
and a million dirty waves
now i see you lying there
like a lilo losing air
black rocks and shoreline surf
still dead summer i cannot bear
and i wipe the sand from my eyes
its the spanish sahara
the place that you'd wanna
leave the horror here
forget the horror here
leave it all down here
its future rust and its future dust
now the waves they drag you down
carry you to broken ground
although i found you in the sand
wipe you clean with dirty hands
so god damn this boiling space
i'm the fury in your head
i'm the fury in your bed
i'm the ghost in the back of your head
cos i am.

Friday, February 26

albert goering - the anti-nazi brother

whenever someone thinks about the Goering family, they immediately think of the reichsmarshall Hermann Goering the sidekick to hitler and the evil regime the nazi's put over europe. this is fair enough because we should never forget the horrendous acts the nazi's performed and use it as a lesson for the future that these sorts of acts should be attacked and by all people. however, his younger brother Albert was the polar opposite to him. in almost every way.. alledgedly born to fanny goering and her lover hans thirring (who was half jewish) albert was a much more quiet person than hermann. both serving in the first world war with flying colours they soon went separate ways. with hermann joining the nationalist movement, akbert almost went into isolation, at one point not seeing his brother for 7 years. once the secons world war began albert dispised his brother and all that he stood for. however he decided to use his power as a way in order to free hihs jewish friends and colleagues. albert would travel to berlin, from his home in vienna, to persuade hermann to free certain jews from concentration camps. he worked endlessly to help those in trouble, whilst having his name and brothers actions an endless burden.. albert goering will always be my first thought when the goering name is brought up and his actions should be elevated considering his situation... to be anti-nazi in nazi germany was an incredibly hard way to live, but to be anti-nazi with your brother the reichmarshall must have been intolerable to say the least. . albert was arrested following the war and questionned at the nuremburg trials, where this picture was taken, he was arrested soley on his name. he was realised and lived the rest of his life struggling with alcoholism, depression and infidelity.. his life was ended the moment his brother became a nazi.. albert remain loyal to the goering name and for this reason he found life after ww2 incredibly hard. his gravestone, in the goering family plot, states the goering family motto 'we are not amongst those who yield, but amongst those who believe' it was only albert who remained true to this..

Saturday, February 20

Hot Chip w/CasioKids

Hot Chip


I went to rock city in nottingham on february 15 to witness a spectacular musical production. CasioKids were an incredible support and their music remains to infriltrate my ears on a daily basis..to the main event and Hot Chip played many songs froom their new album and some old classics. My highlight was definitely Boy from School and from their new album Thieves in the Night...

Sunday, February 14


went to the rescue rooms to witness a spectacular musical performance by the swedish trio Miike Snow...the small venue added to the special-ness of the event and enabled the crowd to feel truly integrated into the music. epicness was witnessed and I have to tell you.....

Sunday, January 31


My JANUARY Playlist

1. Hot Chip - One Life Stand

2. Kindness - Swinging Party

Swinging Party from Kindness on Vimeo.

3. Marina & The Diamonds - Obsessions

4. The Swiss - Bubble Bath

5. Theophilus London - Humdrum Town

6. Vampire Weekend - Run

7. Cécile & Venice - Rimmel

8. Venice - R0ll

9. Four Tet - Sing

10. Phoenix - Lisztomania (Classixx Version)

11. Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed (Penguin Prison ft. Theophilus London)

Friday, January 29

confucius and global warming.....criticisms?

my current modern china lecturer is the well-known scholar Michael Lynch. he has published many articles and books which show great support to the country of china and its system. many would believe that the chinese communist system is abhorrent and disgusting but one thing that i have come to respect aboutt the system is its ability to unite the nation and remain united. it can be argued that in the huge multilateral world today with globalisation, countries tend to rely on others and remain open to positive and negative policies in order to maintain their links, for example uk's military support to the usa. however, china has remained impartial to all international decisions and has always made its own mind up. this is something that should definitely be looked at, not in a negative way but possibly in a positive one. with predictions that they will become the leading economy of the 21st century, what they get up to will effect the rest of the world...

the recent copenhagen summit on climate change was attended by chinese ministers who felt obliged to attend. but that was it... they stood back and witnessed and did nothing. this was because they do not want to do anything..the amount of co2 produced in china in one week equals the amount produced in the uk in one year.. therefore it can be argued that to combat climate change and reverse the high levels produced is an impossible task. by turning off lights and walking to work instead of driving in order to save energy may feel like helping but in context we can not do anything AT ALL to change the rate of climate change...end of

the chinese way of life is centred around the beliefs and thoughts of confucius. in the years 551bc-479bc he produced a philosphy based on personal and government morality. basically he believed that people should remain in whatever level of social capacity they are. they should respect those above them and not think of moving levels.. this philosphy has stood in the hearts of the chinese for over 2500 years and can be argued as somewhat true.

i say true but obviously i remain inherently supportive to my social democratic values. the concept, because that is what it is, of confucianism only works in places where there is a pure belief that the head of state (monarch, emperor or president etc) is chosen primarily by god and therefore should be respected. for centuries this was the case in china, japan and many countries in indochina.therefore although i do agree with the confucianist concept as a theory that is all. .

i've been thinking of writing this down for a few days so there it is..

Wednesday, January 13


I have just mannaged to get a copy of the new Vampire Weekend record "Contra". I quickly uploaded it to my Ipod and sat back and started listening. It really was a breath of fresh air...

It begins with the classic VW sound and suddenly you are grasped into the song and nodding your hod without thinking. It really is a great opening song and it sets up the record perfectly. The vocal solo, plus violin, is brilliant as Erza (lead singer) portrays a meal full of chicken fillet or something.. Calfornia English, don't know it is meant to take the piss or not..

Cousins will probably be the first single, considering that a video has been filmed. It has the obvious VW guitar sound of delelelelele etc.. I LIKE

Diplomat's Son perhaps is the first sign of something different from the VW. By this i mean that i can decipher a little synthesiser somewhere. Don't get me wrong I like it and definitely adds to their sound.

Giving up the gun (some sort of political stance) has a great drum beat throughout..
Holiday..typical VW around 2 min duration..

Horchata (some kind of tea i think) really is delightful and a possible single..plus a xylophone type of instrument definitely adds to the song like Sans Soliel form Miike Snow.. next single

I think your a contra. Slight drag, probably to increase their female fan base..

Run. Song of the Record I think.. Catchy synth and drum beats with clever lyrics all in the classic VW style of up and down.. One to watch

Taxi Cab is a song that will probably grow on me but maybe not, whatever... again maybe one for the ladies.

I'd heard the live version of White Sky and loved it and the recorded version is not any different. Shows how the band has matured from catchy pop rock to actually writing proper songs..Erza'a voice really shows in this..

Overall I would give the record an 8.12/10 but in a few months time I can see that this might rise.. It should be more successful than their first but I doubt that will hapopen. Their fans will love this but that is it really. They will obviously play Glastonury and Reading/Leeds but not as headliners.. sadly

Sunday, January 10

boris yeltsin - hero or villian

did you know that in july 1996, during the russian presidential elections, boris yeltsin suffered a heart attack... this information was not known at the time and if it had been known the result of the election would have been different. gennady zyuganov, chairman of the communist party, should have won. in early 1996 yeltsin had a popularity rating of 8%. but by july this had risen to c. 60%. the only notable achievment during these dates is the peace settlement in chechnya, which in hindsight was a complete failure.

how on earth could his popularity increase this significantly in such a short period? the obvious answer to this is that yeltsin controlled the media and did not allow zyuganov any time in the limelight. he supressed his views and denied him access to national television. furthermore, throughout the election several acts of corruption were present including ballot rigging and voting for dead souls.

the results:
1st round. yeltsin 35%, zyuganov 32%, lebed 14.5%
2nd round. yeltsin 53.8%, zyuganov 40.3%.

it was in 18 days between these rounds that yeltsin suffered his heart attack. zyuganov heard of this and decided to tell the nation. however, when he went to the television centre he was refused to have any time on air and this news was hidden. furthermore, the votes alexander lebed recieved in the 1st round were bought off by yeltsin how offered him high posts in the government in return..

some could argue that russia in this period of history was somewhat at a crossroad and yeltsin, despite clear flaws, steered her towards democracy. however, is russia really a democratic state? it is difficult to argue in favour of this claim.

yeltsin, a democratic politician, consealed information that otherwise would have led to his downfall. would anyone in their right mind vote for someone who had recently had a heart attack and was suffering from other illnesses. just recently the democratic party of the united states argued that the republican presidencial candidate was too old, at least he hadn't had a heart attack...

i personally think that consealing this sort information was a huge mistake for yeltsin and everything that he achieved throughout his presidency is tainted with this.