Monday, 23 May 2011

46 Million People Doing Nothing.

Take a grenade for me Bruno. No really, please do.

I don't normally do posts like this. I've always tried to be constructive when I post and when I don't like something I might poke fun but I try not to hate too much on people because we're all - aside from Matt Bellamy - human. This right here is an exception though. Yep, I'm finally making one of those "oh look at the charts. Aren't they just awful?" posts. I really hate to because I love good pop music and you all know that. This song right here, however, is far from good. This song is so spectacularly bad that when I heard it for the first time I forgot who I was and all I stood for momentarily. I started talking in tongues and spinning on my head like Mark Owen use to do when Take That first came out. I don't know what came over me but I did know I didn't like it and that I wanted it to stop. Luckily, even Bruno Mars stops.

Funny chilled bloke.

A good opening couplet can grab the attention and hold it for the rest of a lifetime and the history of music is littered with songs with stunning opening lines. One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends/Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in Bruce once sang to open up 'Backstreets'. That line I've listed there I think about without hesitation when anyone mentions opening lyrics. It sets the tone for that song, that incredible album and the relationships born out of sheer desperation and a rabid desire for freedom that play out over it's eight tracks. You'd be hard pushed to say the same about Today I don't feel like doing anything/I just wanna lay in my bed. In fact, when I heard this SHIT for the first time earlier I honestly thought it was an advert jingle for a bed company. Is there a bed version of DFS that has a sale on 365 days of the year with 0% interest for 17 years. Actually, does DFS sell beds? Who knows? Who cares? You know what I'm getting at. Bruno Mars has written a song that belongs on an advert that stars Linda Barker. That's more damning than any number of words I can right here.

Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants/Nobody's gon' tell me I can't. Ohh. You tell 'em Bruno. You're your own man now and you don't care what they all say. You go Rage Against The Machine up in here wit yo hand down your pants man. Play with that cock of yours and wear your snuggie and damn what anyone else thinks.

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

I'm gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan
Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Nobody's gon' tell me I can't

I'll be lounging on the couch just chilling in my Snuggie
Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie
'Cause in my castle I'm the freaking man
Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can
Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all, nothing at all

Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X
Find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
And she's gonna scream out
This is great
(Oh my god, this is great)
Yeah, I might mess around
And get my college degree
I bet my old man will be so proud of me
But sorry pops, you'll just have to wait
Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything
No, I ain't gonna comb my hair
'Cause I ain't going anywhere
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
I'll just strut in my birthday suit
And let everything hang loose

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh, today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

So, what purpose does this song serve? Is it one for kids to play from their tinny phone speakers in the park this summer? Probably not. It's certainly not a party banger nor is it an emotional one that 16 year old girls can quote on their facebook status when their first boyfriend dumps them in favour of their "less frigid" mate. There's only one mental image I get when listening to this song in terms of context and I'll tell you what it is right here. I can imagine some daytime radio twat like Vernon Kay or Fearne Cot Death saying something like "This one goes out to all of you just chillaxin' around the crib for the day. Put your trackies on, get the telly on and make a cuppa - it's Bruno Mars." Awful.

The whole concept behind the tone of this thing too. Think about how Mars's singles so far have been either love songs or emotional break up songs. You can just see some idiot marketing guy going "We need something less serious. We need to show Bruno's fun side too cos boy can he do fun!" This is Bruno Mars having fun. He loves people the way they are, he's not superficial. He'd take a grenade for others, he's obsessed dedicated and look at him now! He's only bloody chilled out and LOL too. What a guy!

Seriously, to hell with Bruno Mars and to hell with this song. Sometimes there's good stuff in the charts, sometimes there's shit in the charts but the shit I can usually understand. It's a bit like prawns really. I think they taste and look utterly vile but I can see the attraction for others. Some people just dig a fishy treat that looks like an alien that will one day rule our world. I get why little girls might like The Wanted. I get why people buy N-Dubz albums but this sort of thing, I'm sorry, I'm waving the white flag here. It beats me. I'm done. Dead and gone.

Oh yeah, this has 46 million views on youtube, in case you were wondering.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Great Escape Festival Review - Brighton - 13/14 May 2011

Wasn't a Steve McQueen in sight.

It's been five days since I returned from The Great Escape (TGE) festival and I'm starting to think that if I don't write up some sort of review soon then I may as well not bother. It's starting to get a bit
like writing about what christmas presents you want in the middle of July. You're so late people are starting to think that you might be early for next year.

So, this was my first Great Escape and I'll be upfront here, I thought it was really good. My first impression was one of relief when I got there and realised that the thing was actually pretty decently organised. There were quite a few 'representatives' dotted about and it didn't take us long befoe we located where we should get our wristbands from. From here we tried to watch our first act - we had to miss the whole Friday due to work - of the festival - Fionn Regan.

Regan was playing at a bar called Horatio's on Brighton Pier and by the time we got there (despite being early) the queue was already pretty long. Now, we've witnessed the miracle of my short attention span many times on this blog and I won't lie here and say that I wasn't being drawn into the bar next door that was all of the following:

a) in total darkness aside from a mirrorball
b) full of people that were absolutely ruined. At 2pm.
c) playing 'Dancing Queen' and everyone one was singing along.

Not entirely my scene BUT I just loved the contrast of this joint with all the scenesters queueing up for Fionn Regan. All too cool for school in too tight clothes whilst some fat girl in the bar next door is losing her shit to the 'Macarena'. I'm all about things like that. That's life right there people. Anyway, we couldn't get in to Fionn Regan because it was too busy so we pissed about for a while until this guy Mrs, Meet Dinosaur really digs - Benjamin Francis Leftwich - was on.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich. 'Jamin to his mates.

I know what you're thinking, 'what a ridiculous name. who is this guy?' and for what it's worth, I agree. To give him credit, trusted online resource Wikipedia suggests that his name really is Benjamin Francis Leftwich so at least he's not called Dave Jones or something. Still, just go with with Ben Leftwich in future ay mate? I was quite impressed with this guy anyway. The whole set was acoustic singer songwriter stuff but he's got a really nice voice that even stood up acapella with no mic, nice little songs too. Worth checking out if you're into that sorta thing. He does look a bit like a posh British version of Spencer from 'The Hills' sometimes though, through no fault of his own.

After this guy we didn't see any bands for a bit. Not for a lack of wanting I'd like to add. It's more because Brighton is a cool place with lots to see and do so we just mooched about and soaked up the culture. By that I mean we bought some chips and sat by the sea for ages watching some skateboarders and it was really enjoyable. If any skateboarders are reading btw, are any of you any good? I don't mean to knock something that is probably well hard but whenever I watch someone on a skateboard they always seem to be shit. Look, I could do a 540 and a perfect kick flip within FIVE MINUTES of playing Tony Hawk's on the PS1 so step yo game up Brighton skateboarders.

After our little break it was time for, well, the main reasons we bothered going to this thing: The Antlers and Okkervil River. Yes, I should've explored more, I know, I know. Put simply though, if they weren't playing, I wouldn't have bothered. That's how easy I'm put off live music these days. Give me five years and the only festival I'll be going to will be the annual Man, Meet Dinosaur fest which, by then, will be a pretty big deal I should think.

This is The Antlers. You'll have to Trust me on this one although from this picture granted, it could be like, The Wanted.

The Antlers are currently on a pretty big world tour in support of their new record 'Burst Apart' and their TGE set consisted wholly of songs from this album. I'm still yet to hear this album such is my excitement of not giving in to listening to it until I have a physical copy in my greasy mitts. Consequently, my connection with some of the songs played was nowhere near as big as it would've been if they'd played some songs from the incredible 'Hospice'. The band have gained a (touring at least) member with a second guitarist being drafted in since the last time I saw them and going on first impressions only, they're a lot louder now than on previous tours. I'm really excited to hear this new record and going on this set, it sounds like it has some proper songs on it. Must say though, I heard this tune 'I Don't Want Love' for the first time at this show and it hit me like a sledgehammer. From a completely cold and previously unknown standpoint, that's a pretty special thing. Expecting big things when I hear the recorded version of this song.

Such a good photo! No, I didn't take it. credit to Mrs, Meet Dinosaur.

Now, now, now. On to the main event. Okkervil River were on next. I don't need to say here that I'm a big fan. I blog and tweet about this bunch pretty much constantly and you're probably sick of reading about them. Maybe you've even stopped reading because you're that sick of hearing from me about them. As I wrote in my preview, I felt really lucky to see both of these bands on a week so close to them both releasing new albums. There's something really magical and exciting about that because everything feels new. To you and to the band. For this reason, I was a bit dissapointed with the lack of new songs from OR. Dissapointed but in the same way they didn't play any songs released before 'Black Sheep Boy' I completely understand the decision. At a festival like this, your main aim has to be to win over new fans. You also have to assume that the majority of the crowd don't know you and consequently are pretty indifferent to what you've got to play for them. To this end it was no shock to hear the band play a set entirely consisting of their most upbeat, catchy and memorable songs. All of 'em chockful of big hooks. 'For Real', 'Unless It's Kicks', 'Lost Coastlines'. All great songs that'd make any best of OR cd you'd make for the uninitated. Trust me, I lknow, I've made enough of them bitches.

The band were in fine form, I must say. Their enthuasism and love for what they do is always evident and compared to many other miserable bastards, it's refreshing to see. Frontman Will Sheff continues to grow into his voice and his confidence seems to increase from show-to-show, record-to-record. Dude has no worries with stripping everything out until his only his voice remains and, in a live setting especially, this is something that works really well.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River. Modern day hero.

New album 'I Am Very Far' has been received pretty well from what I've read (that being every review written) and I truly hope this fantastic band receives some crossover success of the back of this one. Quite simply because they deserve it and I'm sick of them being ignored. There's one song on IAVF that has the potential to forcibly shove this band into the spotlight and I was genuinely shocked they didn't play it at TGE. It's called 'White Shadow Waltz' and if it's not released as the next single or the one after that I'll eat my hat and my cat. It's an epic building Arcade Fire of a song. Check it out and if you haven't already, check this band out too. And Great Escape Festival, check that shit too, it's good. See you next year.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Great Escape Festival Preview - Brighton - 13/14 May 2011

Rocking this thing like Graham Greene.

Bit late to this one considering it started yesterday and I'm sat on my bed blogging about it now but I am about to leave any minute to head to Brighton and watch some bands. By watch some bands I mean stand still with my arms crossed whilst occasionally nodding my head to show some appreciation, of course. "Who's playing you idiot?" Well, loads of people actually. Full lineup is here and if you know every single one of those bands playing I'd wager you either work for The Great Escape Festival or you're solidly unemployed.

Alela Diane plays TGE festival. Apparently unaware that I got a tick from holding a feather like that once.

"But MMD, you're a miserable old curmudgeon at the tender age of 25, what are you doing to a youthful virile event like that?" Well, two reasons mainly. 1. Okkervil River 2. The Antlers. I loathe to sound so reductive here because there are 300+ bands playing this thing and yes, of course there's other people I intend on seeing but the timing of this really could not be better. How many times do you get to see your favourite band just days after they've released a new album? How many times do you get to see a band that made an album as unforgettable as any over the past decade on stage before your favourite band? HARDLY DAMN EVER.

DJ Shadow plays TGE festival. Apparently unaware that he looks a bit Fred Dursty.

I'll report back with my findings on this weekend but I'm expecting great things. Those geeks over on twitter have been 'live tweeting' the event and by all reports, it's been going very well so far. I'll probably write some misguided tweets whilst I'm there too so make sure you follow.

If anyone needs me I'll be at the Okkervil River merch stand spending money I can't afford. Drive safe everyone.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Buy This.

Hungry like the wolf.

It doesn't happen very often but when it does, oh my, what an event. There's a new Okkervil River album out everyone. Buy it from amazon for only SEVEN POUNDS AND NINETY NINE PENCE. Go on, buy this and everything else this band has done and believe in music again. Full review coming this week, I just gotta take all this in. Like a sponge. Like a leech. But cooler.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reviewing Films Without Watching Them #2

Films now just aren't what they were in my day.

A while ago I was moaning (what else is new?) about how dismal the cinema listings were looking that week. I then went on to write about each film and how I'd hate it before actually watching it and in most cases, generally knowing very little about the premise or anything else about the picture. Dismissive? yes. Uninformed? yes. Surprising thing for me to do? absolutely not.

Same thing is happening now readers, the films currently being advertised all look shit. Here's a brief rundown of what's on at the moment, what I expect from each film and why I won't be watching any of them. Ignorance is the only bliss.


Nice hammer Thor. No euphemism.

We all know the story of Thor. Double hard bastard god with a big hammer who, department wise back then, was in charge of thunder and lightning and all that. Trusted educational resource Wikipedia also reliably informs me that the day before Friday, Thursday as we call it, is actually named after Thor. Literally. It's Thor's day. Nice useless factoid to remember for the next time you're at a pub quiz and your iPhone is out of battery so you can't google answers.

Anyway, they've made a film about Thor and it's imaginatively titled 'Thor'. It stars that kid up there in the picture Originally I thought it was going to be a 'Troy' type thing with a massive budget that although faithful to the times it was set, turns out to be bloody boring but guess what? Thor isn't like that. Oh no. Apparently Thor gets banished from wherever he lives, let's say heaven because I don't really know, and has to go and live in modern day Mexico City. A novel idea which doesn't completely inspire me, I must say. I'm guessing there's a couple of LOL scenes where Thor plays Mario Kart for the first time or goes in an elevator or something but I'd prefer this film if it was realistic about this situation. By this I mean, imagine if you were transported from centuries ago to this day and age. Just imagine it. Like you just woke up and BANG! It's 2011. Let's be honest, you'd probably be able to just about work out how to get the TV on. You'd then see some steaming turd like 'Jersey Shore' or 'My Super Sweet 16' and probably end up smashing your Thor hammer into your face to end the agony as quick as you physically could.

Reach for the stars.

I don't think that this new film, 'Hanna', is about Hannah from S Club. I could be wrong and I apologise if I am but Hannah has been out of the spotlight for so long now I just cannot see how it would make commercial sense to make a film about her today. With this said, I literally have no idea what this film is about. Why does Hollywood adore being so abstract in their film titles? Really does my head in, I must say. I think all films should have descriptive titles so you know what you're getting. This is why I adore the Scary/Date/Epic movie spoof series so much. Don't even get me started about that time I took a girl on a FIRST DATE to watch 'The Ring' because I thought it was going to be about jewellery. That was the longest night of my life and I never saw her again, in case you hadn't guessed.

Water for Elephants

Big kill for a human vampire that. Hats off.

This film is about Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon working in a circus and falling in love through "their shared compassion of a special elephant". Sounds weepy this one, doesn't it? I'm staying well clear for that very reason. Man do I hate crying in public. Not because I'm embarrassed I'd like to stress, more because it runs my mascara like a demon. There is one reason why I would like to see this though - finally I would be able to use my "Heard an actress was murdered last night - Reese something..." "Witherspoon?" "No, it was with a super sharp machete actually" joke. Every cloud...

Slight aside but is Robert Pattinson the luckiest actor working? I've not seen him in anything other than 'Remember Me' (shout out for having the worst ending to a film I've ever seen aside from 'The Village') but in that he was so far beyond wooden he was like, erm, MDF. Also, he isn't that good looking either is he? Serious replies only please. If you're under 15 and/or a vampire, you need not apply.


New decade. Same shit.

It's films like this that make you want to be a recluse, staying well away from the cinema at all times. Seriously, this is the FOURTH scream film. FOURTH. Peter Jackson wrapped up 'Lord of The Rings' in three films, just to give you a bit of perspective. The strapline on all the advertising for this film is "NEW DECADE, NEW RULES!" as you can see on that poster I've attached. We all know the premise already though, don't we? There's a murderer dicking about with Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. It's normally someone they know when the killer is unmasked at the end of the film, Scooby Doo style. The police are normally particularly pathetic and the ruthless maniac always wears that Asda Hallowe'en aisle mask. I can honestly feel myself running out of steam just typing about this film. To put it another way, there's another long running shitchise with a film out at the moment and I'd rather see that than this. Yes I'm talking about 'Fast and Furious'.

Winnie The Pooh

Why doesn't he ever wear any pants?

Game over. I'd actually quite like to see this.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Someone Buy This and Make Me Sad.

Individually signed letter FFS.

It's one week until the best band on the planet release their much anticipated (by me at least) new album 'I Am Very Far'. Pictured above is the quite frankly ridiculous special edition of the album and its contents. As you can see, you pretty much get everything you could ever want aside from maybe a bottle opener and a lifetime of contentment but even so, it's a real special edition. Kudos for not taking the normal route when it comes to these sorts of things and releasing an album that has one extra track of the artist farting and 'limited edition' packaging which usually means "We've made it an odd size so it won't fit in your CD rack."

I've got some sad news about the above package though dear reader and it concerns the hundreds of thousands of UK based Okkervil River fans like myself. This thing is $75.00 which is just entirely too expensive for a record, yet, if you think about it for a long enough like I did, you really can start to justify the expense. "It could be worse. I could've wasted the $75.oo on drugs that could lead me to a irreversible downward spiral," things like that. So, picture me with this thang in my online basket merrily typing in my card details and clicking that dangerous 'Proceed' button. I'm smiling, I'm chillin', I'm doin' what I do. Next screen comes up. $46.00 for delivery! MAN had I not thought about that! Now, $120.00 for a record is too much even for me. I'd like to say it's all completely out of order and what a rip off etc. but the thing comes in a wooden box! Weight wise, it'd be like sending a raccoon in an appropriately sized casked from the US to the UK a.k.a. "not cheap."

So I got a bit upset and all and then ordered the normal edition from Amazon. They probably won't even deliver it on time for release date so that got me double dip depressed. All the while I have to think about some little dork somewhere opening his special edition and being all happy about it whilst the throws the copious amounts of content around like he's in goddamn 'Duck Tails'. Life ain't fair and nor is postage and packing.

BUY 'I AM VERY FAR' HERE. or the shit normal edition from Amazon for a horrifically cheap £7.59.

P.S I'm not promising I definitely won't buy this btw. I'm already thinking about it with another browser tab open that displays my pitiful bank balance.