Album of the Year - Morrissey Years of Refusal
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Album of the Year - Morrissey Years of Refusal
However, the one interesting item that has arisen from the past few never-ending days was watching Diff’rent Strokes THS. I love that show (Diff'rent Strokes, not THS). It’s my all time favourite, feel-good viewing; it bulldozed social, racial and class barriers whilst providing moral messages and delivering warming humour, all at once – what’s not to like? But goodness, those kids were messed up after the show wrapped. Why didn’t Mr. Drummond do anything to help them? Did Willis and Kimberly not watch the anti-drug show which guest starred Nancy Reagan? And what became of Abraham, the fish, after departing the show in season two? But don’t judge them, just remember – ‘what might be right for you, may not be right for some.’
Monday, 28 December 2009
Thursday, 17 December 2009
1) Watched Gavin and Stacey - series 1 and 2 - back to back.
2) Eaten curly fries.
3) Waited for the postman to deliver my Michael Jackson Opus. I'm still waiting...
4) Learnt the Bad Romance choreography.
5) Watched the Royal Variety Performance and was disgusted at Miley Cyrus waving her leather-clad crotch at our Queen. And now I have been exposed to the below video of Miley's younger sister. My disgust deepens.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
I Hate... Trying To Buy Clothes / “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
But oh gosh, now there’s ‘pencil legs’, ‘cigarette jeans’, leggings, jeggings, treggings... None of which fulfilling my simple specification. Alas, I am still without jeans sans uncool holes.
Anyway, the point of this complaint being that clothes shopping is difficult and scary. However, I am interested in this pansy print shirt that Morrissey wore onstage a couple of weeks ago. I’m partial to a fine pansy print.
If you wish to take dressing like Morrissey to the next logical step, you can bid on the silver Gucci suit he wore whilst playing at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007, in support of Farm Sanctuary’s ‘Peace For Animals’. http://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/109065?preview=1
Friday, 6 November 2009
And what a venture it was; I travelled by private car, train, underground, boat and taxi to get there (plus a two mile walk to the Imax cinema to see This Is It for the second time).
Here are some of my favourite items that I viewed with my own fair eyes (NB cameras were strictly not allowed. I was so looking forward to pictures of me sheepishly posing in front of MJ artefacts...)
Oh the glittering gates of Neverland. Pure grandeur.
If I could have taken one display home it would have been this. These masks were used for the Ghosts video when MJ transforms into a ghoul-like being. Oh these were fascinating. I had my face pressed right up against the glass case they were in (most likely put in place to keep freaks like me away). These would look lovely on my bedside cabinet.
This is my absolute favourite of Michael's insanely embellished jackets (and perhaps the most wearable). It probably would have fitted me too.
And oh my gosh - that jumpsuit from the Dangerous Tour which Michael dons for Workin' Day and Night to which he performs the world's most fun group dance choreography which I long to recreate.
I have written a full review for Spark* (Reading University's student paper) which I will upload along with my Morrissey review ASAP.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Full review to follow in due course.
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Well last night saw the beginning of Morrissey Season for me. Unfortunately for Moz he was playing at the Swindon Oasis Leisure Centre; a dire, dire vicinity not worthy of such a man. However, he sheepishly walked onstage, muttered "Good evening... Probably" and broke into This Charming Man.
The last note was played and Morrissey collapsed. That was it. Gig over. I won't post a picture of Morrissey during his fall as that's just in bad taste.
His condition is said to be "stable" but that puts the rest of his Swords Tour in much jeopardy (bearing in mind these dates were originally part if his Years of Refusal jaunt but were rescheduled due to unspecified illness.)
I took my little sister to worship at the altar of Morrissey but she wasn't too upset as she enjoyed the wide variety of vending machines on offer. FYI her favourite was the milk chocolate Crunch Bar.
I wore this t-shirt like a massive loser.
Monday, 5 October 2009
"Make like Joseph and wear a Technicolor dream coat."
"Channel the golden days of the Gestapo with a military number."
"Go for a bold print that means you'll have to wear one bland colour underneath for the next five months." Etc etc
Forget it. One word: androgyny. Here are the looks I'll be going for as we make the autumnal transition this month.
Friday, 2 October 2009
I Hate... Overly Zealous Administration / “Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.”
Allow me to guide you through ‘Fresher’s Week’.
MONDAY: I turn up to my 'Academic Welcome'. Lovely, nice to be welcomed, but people quickly shift away from me when I tell them I don't reside in student halls and I don't seem all too interested in hearing about the super-fun party they had in their kitchen last night. We are then made to make idle conversation with the unknown beings around us. Cue people being intrigued and astonished when they find out I commute all the way from the far away and mystical land of Wiltshire.
TUESDAY: Time to register for my subject. By all means everyone seems affable, but again shock pervades them when they realise I have to get a bus and a train to study. Students are doing/playing (I do not know the correct verb when it comes to poi) poi. I went to ask for a campus tour from an older student. He kindly lifted his flabbergasted body from the 'help desk', heavily sighed and muttered, "Umm, alright then. If I have to." I tell him the exact buildings I need to find for my lectures but he insists on showing me Robotics and IT instead.
WEDNESDAY: I attend the scheduled briefings for my chosen subjects only to be turfed out and told I don't need to be there. I try to sort out my student card but my online enrolment hasn’t been processed. At this point it is made clear to me that my appointed student number is now superior to both my first and last name when identifying myself to others. I also get chatting to a girl, who at first I seem to have much in common with; both studying English, both had a 'gap year' (I hate that term. It immediately makes people think I've gone on some egotistical trip to the Balearic Islands to 'find myself' and get in touch with the something bigger than our transient existence here on earth) and also tried university last year. But it turns out she's a casual racist, so I nipped that friendship in the bud.
THURSDAY: Fun and games at the English Welcome 'Parties'. Everyone is made to where stickers with their names on, thus reducing us all to looking at one another's breast bones to find out each other’s names. We're also made to play 'ice breaker' games; needless to say, the outcome was highly uncomfortable and could have been an outtake from The Office (the UK version, definitely not the US).
FRIDAY: Day off. Stayed home and watched 'Will & Grace'. God, I wish I was Karen Walker. She's so fucking sassy.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I Like... Printing / "Just because you read it in a magazine, Or see it on the TV screen, Don't make it factual, actual, They say he's homosexual"
Read it here
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Can you believe those vocals? Marvellous.
Of course I'm enjoying all this Michael-mania (I would have been basking in it to a greater degree if he was alive) but I'm getting pretty sick and tired of people jumping on the allegorical bandwagon; "Oh yeah, I love Michael Jackson. I think I have a greatest hits collection somewhere at home, actually it belongs to my mum but I have seen the whole Thriller video." Wow, well done. It’s a shame he had to die for people to wake up and care about him. Plus when I see people wearing Michael Jackson t-shirts in an ironic, conceited way, I get so angry.
But then I think of Michaeal, the greater good, and I how happy I'll be when watching the film. Kinda like this...
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Some conservationist/BBC presenter, Chris Packham, (who I've never heard of) has said that giant pandas should be left to die out and get on the one way train to extinction: "Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation. I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity."
Look how fucking cuddly they are!
Pandas are so great people are taking hair dye to their dogs to make them resemble the clearly superior bear. This is big in Asia - I could really get on board with this.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Tickets go on sale Sunday 27th September.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
I Hate... Being OLD / "It's not your birthday anymore, there's no need to be kind to you, and the will to see you smile and belong has now gone"
I'm 20. That makes me feel physically sick.
Since I'm the only person without a Facebook in the entire universe, my friends obviously forgot my birthday because why wouldn't you forget something like that if you didn't have an electronic reminder? *Eye roll* So they made plans to go "out on the lash" in Exeter tonight, so I'm being dragged there and it's being disguised as an event for me despite the fact it's the last thing I would ever voluntarily inflict upon myself. I just want to stay home and watch The Rescuers Down Under.
Sorry to post this image again, but it really summarises how I feel right now. Enjoy the weekend.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Pool side playlist:
Amazing Baby - Head Dress
The Beach Boys - Barbara Ann
The Big Pink - Dominos
The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
The Jacksons - Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
Lady Gaga - Summerboy
Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Specials - Monkey Man
See you in two weeks.
We had the usual jobs of sorting and delivering insane amounts of post (apart from on Wednesday, thanks to the postal strike) and trawling for news stories. We also had to look for quotes from currently en vogue Stroke, Julian Casablancas, root around in the archives and research music's most lavish stage props. View the results: http://www.nme.com/photos/music-s-most-ott-stage-shows/148927/1/1
Obviously transcribing usually takes up the majority of the week (John spent 4 days transcribing a Pearl Jam interview) and I was lucky enough to be handed their latest interview with Alex Tuner who struck me as awkward but articulate. But listening to an interview with The Hot Rats (Supergrass’ Danny Goffey, Gaz Coombes and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich) trying to justify their decision to record an album of covers was not washing with me. They are supposedly fulfilling the full potential of some of their favourite songs that they feel the originals failed to reach. Yeah, right.
On Thursday night we ventured to Leathal Bizzle’s album launch at that hotel in Soho which is currently featured in the BBC series Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel. Sorry to spoil it for you but, yes, it manages to open in the end. It was all very weird: everyone was trying to network in a resplendent yet gaudy little room (I imagine it’s what the inside of Tim Westwood’s head looks like) with an open bar and celebrating Bizzle’s (did you know that ‘bizzle’ means ‘bitch’ in the US of A? Thanks John) third long player.
And Friday is always feedback day when you’re given a track, at random, to review. You’re given 100 words to impress an NME journo. I reviewed Bloc Party’s One More Chance and made my assigned critic ‘laugh out loud’ and said he would have changed one word and sent it straight to print. Shucks.
Every time I go to NME a fantastic experience is guaranteed; I always learn something new, gain more of a feel for the pace of a weekly publication and further insight of different routes into the institution of the New Musical Express. And more than anything else it drives my determination to succeed in my quest for music journalist excellence.
Monday, 10 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
I remember the day when Michael announced his O2 residency shows. I was on work experience at Grazia and had heard that the King of Pop himself was due to make an announcement that afternoon. I didn’t have access to a computer that day so had to find some other way of knowing what was going on, so I made sure my many, many trips to the post room coincided with BBC Radio News updates. But upon my final visit of the day nothing has happened but Michael Jackson being extremely late. Oh well, he is Michael Jackson so he can do that. He can do whatever the fuck he wants.
Whilst on my way home that night I saw a poster at Paddington station, “Michael Jackson – This Is It. 10 shows. July 09.” I just stopped.
I went all the way home with the biggest smile on my face (if you knew me, you would know what a that rarity that is). I sat hypnotised and bemused by footage of Michael’s appearance at the O2. “This is really going to happen,” I thought, “I have the chance to see my idol.” I watched the announcement on repeat on Sky News.
I managed to get one of the pre-sale ticket codes so was poised and ready on Ticketmaster at 6.30 am on the morning in question. But I just kept being greeted by the rotating doughnut of destiny (you know, “your wait time is 15 minutes.” That bastard.) A few hours and many curse words later and I had it. One ticket. 1st August. Row J.
Later that day my dad emailed me to say this:
“You have been considerably upgraded for the Jacko gig on Saturday the 1st. Details are below.
You are in row 4, seat 33, in the absolute centre block on the floor.
I do this because I understand the value and the sheer joy of witnessing your heroes "close up and personal" and of course because I love my children.
I'd do the same thing for Meg or Zoe [my sisters FYI] - but first off you have to have a hero, I won't do it just for any old artist.
There aren't many opportunities in life to make dreams come true, so I think it's always best to grab the chance when it comes along.
I hope the wait for the King of Pop is worth it and that the gig is all that you hope it to be.”
Yeah, my dad is the best, I know. He upgraded me to the Thriller VIP package because he knew just how much seeing Michael Jackson would mean to me. It all got me thinking about how it was that I came to be so enamoured with Michael in the first place. *Cue sentimental music suitable for a stroll down memory lane...*I came home one day from school, I must have been 12 at the time, and for some reason I was really into watching this programme on MTV called ‘The [insert artist’s name here] Story.’ It had a very basic format; they would play all the videos of one artist and scroll chronological, biographical facts about them across the bottom of the screen and it usually wasted thirty minutes of my life. But on this day it was ‘The Michael Jackson Story’ and it was a few hours long. “Bloody hell he must be interesting, I had better watch this,” I thought.
Three hours later and the impact had been made and I remember thinking exactly this, “I can’t believe a man so great and music so good exists.” Verbatim. I quickly collected all his albums and listened to them every day, read books about him during silent reading Englsih lessons and covered my school bag in MJ badges. Nobody else got it, kids would ask, “Why do you like him? Do you want him to abuse you or something?”
My obsession was just as strong on 25th June, which unfortunately was another I day I sat fixed on Sky News. I cried and felt sick. I didn’t and still don’t know what to do. The next morning I got up early after only a couple of hours sleep and tried to busy myself. I was washing glasses that were not even dirty and ‘One Day in Your Life’ came on the radio. That got me. I cried until it hurt.
So tonight will be the first time I sit down and listen to his music again since 25th June. I had listened to at least one MJ song a day since I was twelve but after he passed away I have just been too upset. I was ecstatic just at the thought of hearing ‘Will You Be There?’ live (it was the song that made me learn to play the piano), yet there I was but a few weeks ago hearing it being sang at his memorial service.
I love you Michael Jackson.
Friday, 31 July 2009
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Saturday, 25 July 2009
"We should probably just put him in a suit and hat and let him mime at the camera. Pete will be wearing that anyway and we can just film it in the kitchen or something.”
“Yeah, but let’s mix it up a bit and do some filming outside. I’ve got a football in the boot of my car. Let’s just get some footage of Pete having a kick about.”
“Good idea. Really original, but we need something to keep people watching right until the end. Something kind of taboo... I know: a gay kiss! It has nothing to do with the lyrical content of the song or the previous events in this so far hum-drum video but no one watches MTV anymore, and when you do turn it on they only show The Hills anyway.”
Skip to 3.25 mark for the lip locking action.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
I made this CD for a friend with a serious musical-taste deficiency. I mean, we're talking about someone who went to a John Barrowmen concert ALONE a little while ago. Shameful. However, the same friend also gained distinction in his first year exams at Oxford University (studying Medicine) so I'm pretty sure there's a direct correlation between me giving him this gift of enlightenment and his academic success. No need to thank me.
This is the first in a series of "There's Nothing Better Than..." compilation CDs. They're going to be the new "Now That's What I Call Music".
Friday, 17 July 2009
If you are going to buy something with Jackson’s beautiful visage on it, please buy something official. Don’t give your money to any twat with iron-on transfers, plain t-shirts and an ebay account; go to http://michaeljacksonmerch.sparkart.net/ and invest in some of the good shit they have on offer.
Apparently it had all been approved by MJ himself, which I don’t doubt as throughout his career his merchandise was second to none; he turned himself into a commercially viable brand and therefore putting his face or name to anything meant $$$.
Here are the gems I’ll be investing in.
T-shirts – there are some beauties available.
Dancing Feet - This is a classic. Nothing else is needed here. The name. The shoes. The socks. The magic.
Rainbow - I’m quite freaked out by anything bearing the words “This Is It”; it’s just way too sinister. However, the vibrant rainbow of colour against that unmistakeable silhouette is rather eye-catching. I think that is a true sign of super-stardom; when you are recognisable by shadow alone.
Numbered Event - These shirts are strictly limited edition. Each night a new version of this shirt would have been sold for one night only with a number on the back commemorating the number of the show the adoring crowd would have been blessed to see. So whichever night you may have been dreaming of seeing Jackson, the t-shirt will be available 24 hours only. I am waiting for my #9 shirt.
Bracelet - This is all girly and cute, so I want one. It looks like a knock-off Tiffany bracelet but is way better because of the regal engraving on the padlock. I’ll take it.
Playing cards – I thought ‘Chase the Ace’ couldn’t get any better, but clearly I was wrong.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Also, be sure to check out the cover of Q. The image is so striking. I stood and examined it, for what a healthy by-stander would call "a worrying amount of time", yesterday.
Other action true Jackson fans can and should take is to send angry emails to the editor of OK! The message that just left my outbox will probably land me with a restraining order but I'm OK! with that. They violated him last week on the cover and have now turned to his children this week: inappropriate and unnecessary.