Monday, 26 April 2010

Mmmmm... New Media

New media is still fascinating me. What is interesting me right now is the way that social media has been changing this past couple of years, arriving at the point where now it is pretty much accepted that this is the way things are done.

I find it very interesting indeed that the major companies are still having some trouble trying to assimilate the way that people are living their lives now and how they like to take in information and entertainment.

It's liberating to know that now the consumer has more influence than ever before. Then again, do we? Are we really that powerful now, or are we being conned into thinking so? Hmm. Perhaps a little of both.

Tools such as Twitter are being exploited as marketing weapons to an annoying extent (mention the iPad in a tweet and see what happens, or better yet, the phrase 'Internet marketing'), so it's only a matter of time before everything changes again...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Thursday, 15 April 2010

R.I.P. Peter Steele

Wow. This came out of the blue. News of the sad and rather sudden death of Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele was initially seen as a hoax, die to the hoax from a few years ago, but this time it has turned out to be tragically true. Peter Steele died from 'apparent heart failure' on Wednesday, it has been confirmed by bandmates and family.

This is tragic. Peter always seemed to be something of a superhero to me, a giant of a man with a massive intellect and a voice that was so very unique. The albums that I instantly think of in regards to Peter and his work will always be 'October Rust' and 'World Coming Down' rather than the ubiquitous 'Bloody Kisses', but the whole catalogue stands as testament to a talent that will be much missed in the metal world.

Sadly I was only privy to one live performance by Peter and Type O Negative, which was their infamous 3 song set at Donnington 1996. The deadpan sense of humour, coupled with those irresistible goth metal/hardcore/doom songs sounded like nobody else out there, which has always impressed me.

Of course, Type O wasn't all he did- there was Carnivore, his acting and more, and the numerous other projects he was involved with, all of which were executed with tongue planted firmly in cheek. In a world obsessed with irony, none were quite as good at it as Peter Steele.

48 is far too young to pass away. Such a sad thing. Peter was an icon to many people around the world, and he will forever remain a giant in the hearts of fans everywhere. It is most saddening to mark the passing of a hero, and my thoughts are with his family, friends and bandmates.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Doctor Who Series 5: Shaping Up Well


Just watched last night's Doctor Who on the iPlayer (as my girlfriend was too scared of the Smilers to have it on our TV last night... bless her), and I must say that this series is shaping up very well indeed. From Moffat's script and the production itself to the magnificent performances of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, 'The Beast below' encapsulates everything that is great about Doctor Who when the show visits the far future.

Matt Smith has really grabbed me as the Doctor now. I was really worried that there would be too many left over traits from the Tennant era for him to be able to make his own mark, but his portrayal of the Doctor is sublime. He's witty, relentless, clever and manic, but there is also a very calm, subdued element that brings to mind the early Doctors, in particular Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker IMHO.

Both episodes so far have been superbly put together, and this week's was positively epic while never actually showing anything particularly epic. Sophie Okonedo is always a pleasure to see in anything, and her performance as Liz is sure to already be generating thousands of fanfic stories. Who could resist an ass-kicking futuristic Queen with such an awesome costume? The Smilers were chilling, perfectly tapping into the common fear of creepy inanimate objects with odd faces.

These first two episodes have been a very strong start to what is shaping up to be an excellent series of Doctor Who. To me, this series, with this cast and crew, is bringing back everything that made Doctor Who so great in the first place. The RTD era did that too, but it's wonderful to see a different approach. Matt Smith- you ARE the Doctor. Nice one, mate.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Nevermind, Get Over It

The cover feature of a certain UK 'rock' magazine (okay, it's Kerrang!) has really annoyed me this week. Now, I can't say I've read it in years as they rarely feature any acts I'm actually interested in, but I'm always aware of who's on the cover. The current issue has... *sigh*... Nirvana on it. Again. It's a feature on the making of 'Nevermind', that tired old album that millions of sheep seem to think was so good. It was okay, but nothing particularly great.

Its success was down to apathy with the way the music scene was at that time and some clever marketing, IMHO, rather than the actual quality of the droning mess that was passed off as music. Now, for 19 years since its release, we've had 'Kurt the genius' rammed down our throats, and now there are young kids wearing Nirvana hoodies that weren't even born when Kurt took his own life.

The constant glamourization of such a disturbed individual, and all of his issues, isn't a great thing to be putting across to young listeners. Plus, that album came out ALMOST TWO DECADES AGO. There is a HUGE amount of fresh new talent around right now that deserves the cover spot instead of yet another dissection of an album that many of us are sick to death of hearing about, let alone actually hearing. Plus, there are thousands of other albums that could also have been covered like this.

Dwelling on the same old thing is just tired journalism. Unless it's Classic Rock magazine, isn't the point of regular music mags to bring new bands and music to the attention of the masses, rather than sticking something out that could easily be read for free on any number of different sites, or even in any number of back issues of the same title. Never mind.