Friday, 29 October 2010

FIREFEST 2010: Let The Rock n' Roll... erm... Roll.

FireFest 2010 begins tonight at Nottingham Rock City, and I'll be there as part of the Powerplay Rock and Metal magazine contingent to cover the bands and shenanigans at the festival.

Personally I'm really looking forward to spending some time around people that share my passion for old school rock music, and also to take in some of the best melodic rock acts around. I'm most looking forward to seeing Lynch Mob tomorrow night, as I am a massive fan of George Lynch as a musician, but I'm stoked for the other bands too.

The big moment for me will come on Sunday afternoon, when I'll be interviewing the legendary Nelson brothers, and later on reviewing their show at the festival. Good times indeed, and most appreciated right now as I've been having one hell of a crap time lately.

Hope to see some of you there!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

You'll Always Find me In the Kitchen At Parties... Chasing Those Arseholes With a Hammer

People that complain about the 'Go Compare' adverts don't know how good we've had it. Now there's a new plague infesting our TVs, and it's even more irritating, not to mention depressing. This bloody advert is based around the 1980 Jona Lewie song "You'll Always Find me In the Kitchen At Parties", reworked and performed by some bunch of scrawny twats called Man Like Me. The full 3-minute advert is too much to cope with, and if I sat through it I fear I would go on an axe rampage.

The short version simply encourages blind rage. Basically it's a bunch of hipsters being ironic in a house made of kitchens, with their pseudo-eighties clothes, their oh-so-cutting-edge delivery and their cast of assorted models and drunks that swarm around the set like flies round a big flat-packed turd.

Look at them. Look at their shirts. The buttons. Even the buttons make me angry. Look at the turquoise trousers. Feel the fury build and boil over. That bit where the two hipsters are on camera and letting things 'pile up' in the kitchen makes my brain itch and my hands crawl towards any blunt object I can find. Everything from their clothes and hair to the lighting of this thing just offends me.

It not only makes me want to avoid Ikea, but makes me actively want to track down everyone involved with making the advert, tie them all up in their underwear in a cold and empty warehouse, and make them watch Daphne and Celeste 'music' videos on a loop. For a decade.

Why does this advert encourage such anger in me? Because it's so damn self-referential, knowing and oozing with shit modern irony that you can't tell if they're taking the piss or genuinely think they're being original and ground-breaking. No. It's just crap, and crap that's been labelled with a cool name to shift some DIY shelves. Bollocks to the lot of you.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

WebBeat.TV - Starting Well...

WebBeat TV is the latest show to emerge from Livid Lobster, the folks behind the Cali Lewis fronted GeekBeat TV, and has got underway in fine style. It's a fun show, covering the web in general, new tech, viral videos and all kinds of stuff to do with the way we live our lives online. Presenter Pelpina Trip is just as cheerful and enthusiastic as Cali, but the format of the show is just a little bit too close to GeekBeat (and indeed GeekBrief before it) to have a strong identity of its own just yet. That said, it is a very welcome addition to my online media intake, and the future's looking bright for the show. It certainly has potential, and I for one will be sticking around to check it out for a while.

Here's the latest:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Cheryl Cole/Tweedy Makes Me Want To Eat My Own Head

I can't take it any more. I see her big wet doe eyes everywhere like an advert for guide dog puppies staring at me from magazines, TV screens and the net. It's driving me insane. It's like someone jabbing me with an annoying little stick for weeks on end. There is something about that Cheryl woman that just drives me to apoplexy. I'm sure she is a delightful person to know, as long as you've forgotten her racist assault. How someone that attacked someone and yelled racist abuse at them can be seen as something of a national treasure just defies belief. For crying out loud, she's telling people 'We're so worth it' in ads for hair products and adorning the walls of kids the country over. Great role model work there, Chezza.

There are so many pictures of one of her two facial expressions at the moment that walking past a newsagent is like seeing some grotesque flip-book in action. SINCERE CHERYL. Smiley Cheryl. SINCERE CHERYL. Smiley Cheryl. SINCERE CHERYL. Smiley Cheryl. SINCERE CHERYL. Smiley Cheryl. Something else that irks me isn't really her fault (more rather her PR people who probably float the 'rumours'), but that of the cheap rags that publish stuff about her. NEW PAIN FOR CHERYL. CHERYL'S HEARTACHE. What next? CHERYL'S FLATULENCE?

It's no wonder the poor little thing has turned into some fake-tanned somnambulist. The rapid-fire succession of nonsense surrounding her has evidently melted her brain. Oh yeah, and she's a karaoke judge as well isn't she? This amazes me. How can someone who has spent their entire professional career having her every vocal note processed and tweaked in ProTools/Logic/Cubase/Whatever actually pass judgement on people who are actually singing? An anyway, she only found fame through a game show in the first place. It's hardly like she's Ella Fitzgerald. Take a listen to her solo stuff. If you can stomach it. Mmmmm, taste those auto-tuned tones.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget the malaria. Oh POOR Cheryl. Poor little rich, violent racist thug. Yes, it's awful that she suffered from it, but it was one hell of a profile boost amidst all the other shit that was supposed to be going on at the same time. Cynical? Nah. Just jaded. Cheryl, you might be lovely, but I am so very, very sick of the sight of you. Couldn't you at least catch another tropical disease and offer us some proper entertainment?

PS: Nadine's new solo single is shite, but it's a million times more entertaining than any of your own stuff. So there.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Gearing Up For NaNoWriMo

Yeah, I know there's most of the month to go before NaNoWriMo gets started, but I'm already getting the itch. The past two years of taking part in NaNoWriMo have seen me write the bulk of two novels, and once this one is complete I shall be giving all three an overhaul and pitching them as a series. That's another story though. The main thing is taking part and getting those 50,000 words down.

I love the fact that it's the whole point of this month-long event to just get some content down. After all, it's better to have something that needs a lot of work doing to it in front of you rather than a blank page or screen. If you have something to use as a starting point, then you can build on that and refine it. If you don't get that first blast of text out, then you may never even start it.

That's the beauty (and indeed the frustrating thing too) about the NaNoWriMo concept- it helps you to turn off your internal editor for a while and just get some work done. You can pick up on the typos, plot points, changes in character appearance and whatnot later. Have you decided on your project yet?