Thursday, July 29

Let's Laud Cameron Diaz

I am 23 years old, I am not that fond of the human race and the notion of whiling away an entire lifetime with another being, in all honesty, sounds both moronic and horrifying to me. There I was attending my first ever wedding last summer, minutes away from witnessing the happy couple lawfully register their undying love for one another, and my now-late granddad asks, "So Adam, when are you getting married?" Not one to quash his generation-sparked hope, I politely ignored the situation and continued to listen to my portable radio (If you're gonna wed, why do it on the opening day of the season?!).

And not one to search out the wisdom of someone who once decided to star opposite the never-comic Jack Black, Cameron Diaz certainly called forth my cerebrum after a recent interview. She said: "I think the big misconception in our society is that we're supposed to meet the one when we're 18 and we're supposed to get married to them and love them for the rest of our lives. Bullshit." Hmm, yeah Cameron, you make a good point.

"Who would want to be with the same person for 80 years? Why not break it up a little bit?" Not me, Cameron. And yeah, I believe you're right! "I think people get freaked out about getting married and spending 20 or 30 years sleeping with the same person but if that's the case, don't do it. Have someone for five years and another person for another five years. Life is long and lucky and yes, love might last forever, but you don't always live with the person you love forever." OMG Cameron, you're so, so right. I SO know where you're coming from.

Maybe it's because I have never fallen in love with something that isn't a major football team out of the North of England. And that following my first few experiences of getting close to another, another turned out to be a total douche. Twice. But still, consuming 80 years with the exact same person, seeing their same, invariable face every time you wake up, yening for that small bit of seldom alone time - are you kidding me?! No way am I doing that, I'm freaked out about marriage because it's marriage, not because I wish to get married before I hit 30.

The divorce rate is reportedly at its lowest for 29 years in 2010. Is this something we should be celebrating, though? Why is separation considered a bad thing? I think people are right to split, it shows character, self-assuredness, confidence to go it alone and an attempt at this supposed supposition of happiness. Finally, I can't think of a better way to conclude this brief spot of musing with the words of one Cosmo. The only Cosmo worth knowing...

Oasis 'Married With Children'

"I've No Complaints"

Haven't blogged about this for a little while...

"They've done the job well. I've never been refused when I've asked for money for a player. What can I do other than carry on the way we're doing it and the way I'm allowed to - I've no complaints.The debt has come through by the club being bought out by an owner. You know full well that when a business is bought it's usually bought with debt. Because it's a football club it seems to attract more negative reporting from the media and from the fan but Manchester United Football Club, when it went plc, it was always going to be bought. It was inevitable. So when a particular family like the Glazers have bought it, it's unfair they come in for criticism because anybody could have bought it."

When is the SAF man ever wrong? Once in a blue moon, as it were.

Related posts:
Everything Will Be Alright (29/5/10)
Bias Bias Coverage (28/5/10)
Common Sense Talks (22/5/10)
Don't Let It Be Too Late (9/5/10)
I Swear I Knew It All Along (24/3/10)
Love United, Don't Mind Glazer (16/3/10)
We're In This Together (26/1/10)

Blood Red Shoes 'Follow The Lines'

Tuesday, July 27

Say "Astronaut" #12

From 'The Hamptons' (S5E21)

Interpol 'A Time To Be So Small'

Tuesday, July 20


I am sunburnt to a crisp. I have dry lips, a cold and am almost blind thanks to a cyst that decided to choose last weekend to combust and drip to my eyelids. I am tired, have a bad back and am in near-debt thanks to £9 cheeseburgers and £2.50 ATM charges. My favourite jeans are muddied at the bottom and I've got a load of washing to do. But do you know why Latitude Festival was so much fun?

Because of The National.

Because of Mumford & Sons.

Because of The xx.

Because of Vampire Weekend.

And because of The National.

Did I mention how incredible The National were?

Sigur Ros 'Festival'

Saturday, July 10

Vampire Love

Don't you just love it when these big crazes come along? Like the Tamagotchi Generation One. Or garage (music). Heck, Primark even. And 'The Twilight Saga' is indisputably the most feverish movie/book franchise on planet Earth today. Its ballooning popularity in the run up to second instalment 'New Moon' is what first clenched my attentions - and if I was gonna watch the sequel, I had to check out the first. Both of which I was truly endowed with. They had a sorta trashy, modest value to them which to me justified all the hoopla. Plus, you know, have you SEEN Taylor Lautner?!
So today, as well as serve my excitement for third part 'Eclipse', I attempted to carry out an experiment. It is the second day of release after all, so I went into the pictures ready to observe these Twifans (correct term) for all their maddening vampire compulsion. Course, like most 23-year-old Jews who hero-worship George Costanza, crowded places are never a good look for me. But although the screening safetied my own disposition, it was disappointing not to see virtually every seat taken up. In fact, there were quite a few empty seats, though that could also have been down to the fact that the cinema was showing 'Eclipse' literally every half-hour.
A movie of this size naturally needs its actors to act - and boy do they! Kristen Stewart's outing as Bella Swan, in particular, won't bag her an Oscar nod - chiefly 'cause it's not that kinda flick - but don't let that take anything away from an entirely plausible performance. She's a telling tale, too, as author Stephenie Meyer questions if one should give all up for the sake of another. It's an old-school take but eventually finds its footing during the closing chapter.
The fight scenes pretty much revel in their humbleness - there's little overblown and essentially dull swishes and swashes. And the sequence in which Robert Pattinson's vamp Edward Cullen proposes to Bella is poignant beyond control, much thanks to Sia's 'My Love' - as an aside, 'Twilight' soundtracks are supreme in their own right (Thom Yorke, Vampire Weekend, Florence, Paramore and Death Cab have all contributed over the last three).
And just as I treat the vampires in HBO's 'True Blood' as representatives of all kinds of minorities, they and the werewolves play the same cards here, both species even coming together at one point to fight off Bella's evildoers.
It ain't all love, loss and bloodsucking, either. At times the film mimics itself for its weighty temper - Lautner's Jacob telling Edward that he should keep Bella warm in the hypothermic conditions because "I am hotter than you" speaks of a humorous extra layer.
But really, it's Bella's closing speech to Edward that rings true not only to Meyer's intention of bringing forward individualism, but to all those Twifans too needing a place in the world. Here's said-speech: "This wasn't a choice between you and Jacob - it was a choice between who I should be and who I am. I've always felt out of step - like, literally stumbling through my life - I've never felt normal, because I'm not normal. I don't want to be. I've had to face death, and loss, and pain in your world but I've also never felt stronger - like, more real; more myself - because it's my world, too. It's where I belong."
'Eclipse' for me worked as a confirmation that Bella isn't reliant on another and is entirely her true identity. 'Twilight', eh? Way more than just a craze.

Ash 'Vampire Love'

Thursday, July 1

Albums Of Last Month

Johnny Flynn 'Been Listening' (Transgressive Records)

What happens when a rousing movement emerges as the latest trend, is that a swirl of third-rate spinoffs follow as a consequence. Hello 'Popstars', no thanks 'Fame Academy'. Hello Starbucks, no thanks Caffe Nero. Hello Mumford & Sons, no thanks Stornoway. And if it wasn't for Johnny Flynn's pre-'Sigh No More' debut album 'A Larum', one could easily infer that he and his Sussex Wit are only here and now because of Marcus and his. But really, Johnny, real name Joe, is just as epoch-making as Mumford, Noah and Marling - and 'Been Listening' is yet another grrrrreat album to pile upon the nu-folk vista of sublimity.
While 'A Larum' was right 'n' rosy in parts, this is pretty much wholehearted doldrums and drowning forsakenness all boxed in profound strummed grace and winsome refrains. Colin Firth's George Falconer in 'A Single Man' if he was real, born in South Africa and had Shakespeare posters on his wall.
'Lost and Found', with its beginning of the killer picking you'd find on Jeffrey Lewis's cutting room floor (only 'cause it was too pretty), speaks from the mind of someone on the edge, much like a lot of 'Been Listening'. However, here they "lie a-dying in bed; It's time for me and death to wed; I'll taste the loam; With a breath my body's dead". So despondent, but unfeigned and addicting just the same.
And like all the fabulous folk records of late, Ms Marling herself is in attendance via either body or spirit. As she should be, because 'The Water' would patently miss her silvery tones trotting along its ridiculously honeyed guitar work any other way.
'Amazon Love' is where the glamour of before meets its summit, arresting piano stemming from 'Hurt'-period Johnny Cash or something. "Blow me home, take me in, hold me close; We're aware of perspective to not be rejected; blow me home," goes the breakable-sounding Johnny midway through, his diffidence on show as black and white as ever, bearing witness to the wants of all around us.
Johnny Flynn is one accomplished inspiration. And if 'Been Listening' doesn't shift him to the fore by the sides of his nu-folk brethrens, nothing will. But that's fine, because I know it's brilliant. And so should you...

Best Track
The Water

Eminem 'Recovery' (Polydor Records/Interscope Records)

This is a first. Never has one so distant from the safely self-doubting dominion of indie managed to acquire an Album Of Last Month. What's even more mystifying is that Marshall Bruce Mathers III has been around shifting a good 80 million or so LPs for well over a decade. 'Recovery' may not be his most noteworthy, but it sure as shootin' is for a good deal of time. "I guess I had to go to that place to get to this place," Eminem reflects on lead single 'Not Afraid', itself a guiding light of newfound spunk and guts.
Team-ups with Ozzy Osbourne ('Going Through Changes') and Pink ('Won't Back Down') should flunk like the BP share price, but they really don't. "I'm debating on leaving this world this evening... I'm hatin' my reflection... Fame startin' to give me an excuse to be at an all-time low... And I just lost my fuckin' best friend... Hailie, this one is for you," he declares on 'Changes', downright angry, downright real. It all too makes for yet another heavy-hearted Eminem ditty, taking on the sorrowfulness of 'Stan' from 'The Marshall Mathers LP' and 'Curtain Call's 'When I'm Gone'.
Though this ain't all Marshall falling from grace for a shot in the arm. Well, it mostly is, but 'No Love' (featuring the now-imprisoned Lil Wayne) and 'W.T.P.' both sample that of a dance moxie ("Now you can do this on your own but everyone knows that no-one likes to be alone, so get on the floor and grab somebody, ain't nothin' but a White Trash Party," he goes on the latter). And Eminem may be steamed up and steely throughout, but he can't keep his naturally comedic foible at bay. There's less of last year's "Damn, I think Kim Kardashian's a man", more "Man get these whack cocksuckers off stage, where the fuck is Kanye when you need him?"
But the strongest number goes to the Rihanna-featuring 'Love The Way You Lie', a profoundly popstumous stomp of unpretentiousness you'd half-expect on an Usher record - Only with extra of the junky acoustic strings de-stressing below and not so much of the "Right now there's a steel knife in my windpipe, I can't breathe... Next time I'm pissed I'll aim my fist at the dry wall".
Production-wise it's not as glossy as it could be, but Eminem's PO'd intentness sorta overrides all that. Jeez, talk about a recovery.

Best Track
Love The Way You Lie