Sunday, 14 December 2008

Top Ten Albums of 2008

Sod the turkey, mince pies and unoriginal dramatic plotline on Eastenders - Christmas is all about top 10 lists, and this is the only one I bother doing. Enjoy.

10) FREEZEPOP - Future Future Future Perfect (Rykodisc)

When a band announce on their sleeve that "no real instruments were used in the making of this recording", you probably know what to expect. Synths clash with more synths clash with some very pleasant nonchalant vocals from Liz Enthusiasm(!). The likes of Erasure and Dubstar are obvious reference points as the more lively likes of Ninja of Love and Brainpower sit alongside the sublime likes of Swimming Pool. It's a bit too whimsical at times, but you won't ever get a headache.

Check out: Less Talk More Rokk

9) CULT OF LUNA - Eternal Kingdom (Earache)

Concept album warning! Still here? Well, as this album is based lyrically and sonically on a diary written by some murdering loon, then the tag applies. Although between you and me, this album is nothing new for CoL. Their enveloping and sprawling dischordant wall of noise is executed as finely as ever and is not for the faint of heart. Eternal Kingdom also seems them creeping back into ther darker territory they had moved away from on the last two albums, whilst retaining that sense of restraint they had began to take charge of. The result: something that may well create a loon out of the listener if caution is not ensued.

Check out: Eternal Kingdom

8) ALPHABEAT - This is Alphabeat (Copenhagen)

Proof positive that "Pop " is not a dirty word, Alphabeat offer up the kind of classic sunshine pop that seems to have been missing from our charts for some time. Quintessentially Scandinavian, the Danish sextet offer up one infectious harmony after another. If its not the disco-rock of Fantastic Six or Boyfriend, its the throbbing synths on Touch Me Touching You and Rubber Boots. Like all sugar-infected pop music, this is not to be overdone at any one time, but to be consumed regularly as part of a balanced music diet.

Check out: Boyfriend

7) HADOUKEN! - Music for an Accelerated Culture (Atlantic)

Whilst we should discourage any attempt to stick "nu" before an established genre tag in order to regard any new sound, "nu-rave" is pretty darn appropriate for these young Brits. Energy? Pah, these guys belch it out in their sleep. Rave beats clash with casio bleeps, grimy raps and buzzing guitars to concoct a record so utterly now that it should be first into any time capsule. What's most pleasing is not just the ability to throw everything and the kitchen sink in to good effect, it's that pretty much all tracks are classic pop songs with a defining hook and chorus. Which means we get the catchy likes of Declaration of War and Driving to Nowhere as well as the more pulsating likes of Liquid Lives. Ah yes, there's also THAT Atari siren that kicks off That Boy That Girl.

Check out: Game Over

6) BLEEDING THROUGH - Declaration (Trustkill)

Reigning in producer-supremo Devin Townsend was an inspired idea that the Orange County bruticians should have come to earlier. Previous album The Truth wasn't bad, but it was too raw most of the time. Declaration makes up some ground and serves to honour the wondrous marriage of gothic keyboards and straightforward hardcore metal.
It also proves that they're not one-trick ponies as the full-on likes of the title track and Seller's Market stand nicely alongside the romantic grandeur of There was a Flood and Sister Charlatan.

Check out: Seller's Market

5) METALLICA - Death Magentic (Vertigo)

Honestly, even if it had just one impressive solo, Death Magnetic would have been held in higher regard than the much-maligned St Anger. The more cynical may suggest that the abundance of "classic" 'tallica, solos and thrashy riffs on DM is both an attempt to regain lost fans and take advantage of metal's current resurgance. Whatever. The more devoted Metallifan knows classic 'tallica when they hear it, and this is it. They've done it before, so this won't make any "all-time" list, but this is the boys doing what they love because they can. You can bang that head again now.

4) OPETH - Watershed (Roadrunner)

Let's face it, it's highly unlikely that Opeth could ever put a foot wrong. They've made a steady career of melding prog and folk with the most extreme of metal, and it would be foolhardy to suggest that anyone else comes close to touching them. The Swedes pick up where last album Ghost Reveries finishes but decide to ramp up the heavyness when applicable. This is the heaviest they have sounded for a few albums, but in contrast, their acoustic and prog moments are moreso too. It's hard work, but like anything that requires effort, it reaps its required rewards.

Check out: Heir Apparent

3) CANCER BATS - Hail Destroyer (Hassle)

If debut effort Birthing The Giant was the unpredicted bomb dropped square in the middle of rock's conciousness, then Hail Destroyer is surely the delayed explosion. The Canadians' vicious blend of Black Flag-inspired harcore and the kind of southern sludge metal that Down are renowned for doesn't just slay on Hail..., it tears apart, mutilates and then fucks the corpse for good measure. If the title track and Harem of Scorpions are perfect examples of savage melody mixed with rock violence, then Sorceress and Pray for Darkness are examples of what the pit was made for. The bonus here is that The Bats know how to balance things out. Bastard's Waltz and Lucifer's Rocking Chair buck and groove in a tight spot and just reinforce the rage that surrounds it. Epic Hail.

Check out: Regret

2) LADYHAWKE - Ladyhawke (Modular)

Is great music a result of experiencing life to the full or can it be a result of being a complete fanboy/girl? Whilst we can't accuse her of forfeiting the former, Ladyhawke's Myspace page proves that she could well knock those numpties on "Eggheads" into touch in any pop music round and still have five minutes to write two great songs. The reference points from the last 30 years are frequently obvious but when the songs are this great, who cares? New Zealander Hawke, real name Pip, has conjured up forty-odd minutes of the best kind of Pop music - saccharine-free tracks that stick in your head that you have no desire to get rid of. No instrument sounds over-used or over-produced at any time and Pip's dreamy vocals are utterly heartmelting. This is proof that only great pop music, and not the lure of fame and fortune, can inspire more great pop music. Best debut of the year, no question.

Check out: Magic

1) LADYTRON - Velocifero (Nettwerk)

For those Mods who know that a Velocifero is a type of scooter and are wondering if Ladytron have ditched the Moogs and Korgs and gone all Quadraphenia on us, it should also be noted that it can mean "bringer of speed". Not a reference to the local dealer, but appropriate nonetheless as Velocifero is one enormous high. Ladytron have somehow created an album so astounding that you may think they've plugged in their synths to the astral plane itself. Velocifero sounds more massive than any synth-based album has any right to. Black Cat and Burning Up throb and thrust, Ghosts and The Lovers completely reanimate the corpse of Glam Rock, Kletva and Versus remind you that there are no limits to using any music from around the world while Deep Blue is, quite simply, perfection.

With Velocifero, Ladytron haven't so much raised the bar for themselves and their peers, they've shot it into the stratosphere and out of sight to pick up some offworld elements on the way. They may as welll invest in some scooters and naff off to Brighton for a while because it's unlikely to see them surpassing this any time soon.

Check out: Deep Blue

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

He's not a work of art or anything...

I'm once again indulging in a bit of nostalgic Britpop and came across this little bugger on What's hugely worrying is that whilst I liked it, it was never a favourite song or band....

but I still remembered and mouthed pretty much every word as it was playing...

I want another shot at being 16 dammit. I'll do better this time, I swear.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Blame Davey

If you think about, or debate, a certain event too much, you will eventually arrive at several origin points, with the earliest being The Big Bang/Genesis etc as they were the first things ever and the debated subject eventually came from that, along with everything else. Of course, this is ludicrous, but it's always fascinating to take a major aspect of any part of Pop Culture and find its birth. The death of one scene, the emergence of a wide-eyed new talent. The possibilities are endless. Sometimes, though, its something thats not obvious and you would never think about.

So, the Myspace generation. How did it happen and why did it happen the way it did? Was its success based on the emergence of this "emo" scene, or was it something that was destined. And why, oh why do I always come back to this particular album as a turning point?

A Fire Inside (AFI) were another scraggy young punk rock band from 90s California, all ripped clothes and dodgy haircuts. Fair play to them, but nowt overly special barring a bit of energy and the odd cool track title (I Wanna Get a Mohawk (But Mom Won't Let Me Get One)). It was pretty much law that US punk bands had to like old goth punks The Misfits to some positive degree, even if it only meant to play the odd cover at Halloween. AFI, however, had some sort of moonlight-induced epiphany and decided to fully embrace their inner Danzig in 1999, which resulted in Black Sails in the Sunset complete with even weirder track names (Malleus Maleficarum, Clove Smoke Catharsis). It also got them noticed a bit more and they enjoyed it so much they never washed off the make-up again. They followed Black Sails... up in 2000 with The Art of Drowning

Not surprisingly, with any local band made good, the local rockers took notice. Orange County started to sell more black nail varnish and rock bands of other genres started dabbling in the dark (music) arts. It was around the turn of the millenium that the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Bleeding Through and Eighteen Visions also started to make a name for themselves. Suddenly, local kids who had nothing but sunshine and ska had something a bit new and fresh to enjoy, even if the rest of the world had seen it before. The OC was black, black, BLACK, like the rivers of hell through an eternal cordial blend of evil and sin, etc. By the time AFI released the next album in early 2003, Sing the Sorrow, California had a quite a large dark-hearted community. This whole thing was no doubt exacerbated by the rest of the world spunking over Linkin Park et al. Those scensters have got to be ahead of the pack, haven't they?

Then in October 2003, somthing else happened. Some bloke called Tom decided to take the best bits of Friendster and Yahoo and came up with a new way for men to stalk hot girls. Unsurprisingly, this California-based "Myspace" malarkey seemed a great thing to grab ahold of first by these local be-gothed whippersnappers, seeing as they retained a bit of good old-fashioned hardcore elitism - "We were there first!"... Granted, everyone was going to jump in, and did, but by that time, the dark horde had made their mark with their skinny black clothing, sideswept haricuts and mirrored photography. They did get there first, kids, don't forget it!

This, of course, was dynamite for any other bands who were starting to get somwhere in 2004 as they could take full advantage. The first to this cake was My Chemical Romance, and funnily enough, they became huge. I'm not sure who decided that "emo" was the right term though. That's a discussion I never want to enter.

The rest really is history. Of course, I could be talking out my backside as I've never been to California. But I did read the rock mags on a regular basis, and I picked things up, and all of this just seems to fit:

AFI Go goth,
the local kids then go goth,
the local metal and hardcore bands go a bit goth,
they all create their own communtiy and look,
they showcase their community on some cool new platform,
the everyone else joins in....

Not that I'm saying that the biggest pop cultural phenonemnon in modern history owes AFI a few royalties, but for me, this is quite an obvious path. What I'd be keen to see is if folk have a different timeline figured.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Breath Deeper, Daydreamer...

If I take 24 years of listening to music, I would find it difficult to pinpoint many artists or songs that I liked at one point but now cannot stand. Coal Chamber is the only one that springs to mind, and maybe Limp Bizkit. Granted, that's always going to be the way with albums released. I'll either quickly go off a particular album or never like it in the first place while the rest of their catalogue remains prized. Korn is an example - I needed more cash for the Reading Festival grub fund - so their later albums were flogged. I didn't eat very much...

But overall, I've always dipped into that catalogue occasionally and got some pleasure from artists who have long passed me by in sound and scene. That casette copy of the London Boys' "Twelve Commandments of Dance" got some spins a while back, and in the midst of Stock, Aitken and Waterman's jizzlobbing on the late 80s charts, their dance pop sounds pretty good nearly 20 years on.

The same goes for those Britpop artists of the mid 90s. Though I never brought a great deal before Iron Maiden grabbed me, I've still kept most of it - although I'll come back to that later. But recently, I've been listening to a lot, Mainly through and anything I've downloaded on a whim. And I have to say, I'm getting a real kick out of it and I do think that some artists were as good as the music mags of the time suggested they were, even though they wouldn't admit to it now. And what has bought this nostalgia on? This:

Phonogram is not a comic book I ever expected ro read in my lifetime. Yes, there's plenty of subjects available, but Britpop was never on that list. Never would I have thought I would read about a central character who frequently extols his perceived virtues of Sunderland mob Kenickie.

The central idea of this book is that music is linked to a kind of magical plane, where scenes are as a result of Magical and God-like activity. The Goddess Britannia conjured up the 60s stuff before returning 30 years later. And now, she is being forcibly resurrected to help create another great British scene now with a load of crap artists. Kinda.

This is one of the most original things I've ever read...and also one of the most pretentious. But it needs to be, because you cannot think of that scene, or many others, without recalling that particular characteristic of music journalism. It needs to be told in an "up its arse" method to honour the subject matter. Which means like any great album, you'll need to read it several times. The Glossary itself is nearly worth the money alone. Thanks to all the references within the book, a back-pages reference guide is needed for those who struggle to remember some of the era's lesser players. And because of the story's present day settings, it ain't just Britpop that gets all the attention. Check the Glassary for Gillen and McKelvie's fantastically brutal entry for Razorlight.

Now, about those old records. I did chuck my Oasis CDs during a More-Metal-than-Thou point in my life. D'oh. But I have no problems with chucking out that Northern Uproar single...

Monday, 23 June 2008

Modern Times

It's not uncommon that I joke about my age and the fact I seem to be getting old quickly. Yeah, I know, it's everyone.

But seriously, I really cannot keep up with things these days. It seems that there's some new fancy gadget or software every day that everyone else knows about except me. And while I can keep up with various PC basics, with everthing else, I just feel like this poor bloke more often than not...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

You won't see that on the Tellybox! - Mooo!

So, it's a quiet autumn evening. You're off to the Lamb and Flag for a couple of mild ales with Bob from down the road. It's a pleasantly mild evening so you detour across the field to enjoy the peace of it all.

You're discussing Leeds United not getting promoted this season when you walk over a hill and see a Zombie giving one to a cow.

What do you do?

Answers on a postcard.

Alternatively, you can check out Frank Cho's "Zombie King" here. He couldn't be bothered to continue the project but we'll let him off as he's Frank Cho.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Woo hoo!

Fair to say overall, it's been a shit week. Not the worst, but rubbish is the general over-riding frame of mind by the end.

Monday saw a fairly inocuous trip to watch the new Indy flick hampered by bad weather and awful train delays everywhere. This ended up in me appearing to be on the only train moving anywhere at one point and having to arrive at a terminal destination a good mile walk from the cinema in order to guarantee getting there. And I did. After getting drenched and missing the planned viewing. Still, I saw it and got to be social even if the day felt a bit wasted.

Work? poo off. Nothing went right. Amd while I ended up doing everything that NEEDED to be done, I certainly didn't get everything done that I wanted to get done thanks to various programs buggering up and other factors getting in the way. Mail merge, anyone? Fuck off!

Electricity died on wednesday night. OK, this provided us with an excuse to spend the evening down the pub to watch a shit England match and play pool, as well as meet some new folk. But generally, offically rubbish.

Thursday - rubbish.

Today, well, I'm glad the months over, but I left the bar feeling rubbish. Mainly because of mates offering advice and opinions to me on things that they believe they know about (and maybe they do, from THEIR perspective), but that help not a jot because I'm not actually them, and I, as me, cannot legitemately apply their advice. Different strokes and all that.

I'm learning what works for me and it is getting me somewhere. Couple that with the British way of getting on with it and I'm making more progress than people think I am, but because of an established perception of character...Funnily enough, it's not me that brings this subject up as it's not a problem, but I end up having to get defensive and sound like I'm making excuses. Gee, thanks.

I'm more confident in certain regards than I've ever been. So don't bloody well shoot me down because you believe I'm going the wrong way about it. Have some faith.

Roll on June.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

You won't see that on the tellybox! - Frank goes to the Zoo

It's fair to say that I rarely see anything in films or on TV that surprise me. It may be a great story well written, but it is unlikely it will contain anything that truly makes me go "woah, nellie". Doctor Who could, but never does. Perhaps when Steven Moffat takes over as chief bloke it may, but that's in another couple of years.

I leave the surprises and shocks to the comic books. Even after the best part of 15 years serious reading, I still come across events that may or may not be intrinsic to the plot, but leave me utterly dumbfounded. I thought I'd share them with you. Viewers of a nervous disposition...probably shouldn't be reading this blog in the first place. You've got other things to worry about, I'm sure.

The Punisher likes his guns. He likes using his guns. A lot. Driven insane by the murder of his family, Frank Castle chooses to spend his friday and saturday nights blasting holes in any serious lawbreaker he can. And if he hasn't got a gun, he'll be using something else, especially if it's one of nature's natural killing machines. Have you ever felt threatened by some oik with a Staffy outside Woolies? No need, they're both pussies. There's far more hardcore out there as Marvel's Second Punisher volume #4 showed back in 2000.

On the run from Ma Gnucci's 'orrible lot, Frank sidesteps into the local Zoo and heads straight for the fishies. Piranah are fishies, and to be fair the following isn't the first time these toothy bastards get a hefty free meal:

Let's face it, Joe Dante got there first.

Still, piranhas and a subsequent man-sized boa are small fry, it's the polar bears you've got to worry about. What's that, you say? They kill for fun, of course they're a danger! Well, yes, you'd be right, which is why you wouldn't see this coming:

And, frankly, neither did the polar bear.

Still, here are some nice mobsters saying hello.

What's that, Mr Bear, you don't take kindly to being punched?

Frank has since attempted to replace the deceased Steve Rogers as Captain America.
America! Fuck, yeah!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Hurry up, Harry, come on!

It's that time of year again. The morning when I get up at a reasonable hour (read: before 10 am), get my newspaper, have a lazy breakfast, and get whatever necessary chores/work done.

Then, sit back for the afternoon with lots of tea/ale (depending on energy levels) for the FA Cup Final and all it's pre-game entertainment. Well, I say entertainment. Its not exactly the Superbowl, and there aren't cheerleaders to ogle over. You may like Alan Hansen in that way, but I don't.

In case you're wondering, I won't be gunning for the underdog. Nothing against Cardiff or the Welsh, I like the Welsh. Not sure why, but hey ho. No it's Portsmouth for me as they've really worked at it the last few seasons and Harry Redknapp's managerial career deserves something a bit better than the Inter-bleeding-toto cup.

On the other hand, maybe Portsmouth shouldn't win. Last time they won, a World War kicked off...

Friday, 9 May 2008

Meet Fletcher, your new roommate...

You're going to jail. No really. And you don't even know it.

And all cause of that bit of porn you've got on your pc or behind the copy of the Indiana Jones trilogy.

Surely not, you say? well, yes actually. and don't call me Shirley.

Explanations: Have you heard of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill? No? Well, bad luck because it's now an act. And it's not surprising you're clueless because it's received naff-all media coverage, for some reason.

It's clauses 62-65 you want to look at. Or 63-66 once they've finished dicking about with it. It's all about extreme pornography, necrophilia, rape etc, which on first listen sounds justified as those things are bad, right? well have a look here...

You'll be excused for scratching your head as it's all a tad confusing. You're joe bloggs who talks normal, innit. Words of more than three syllables are effort and enunciation is probably an Aztec city. If you get the jist, you're probably thinking ..."this affects me, don't it?". Well, probably, you and at least 10 million British adults.

The history: Some bloke whose name doesn't deserve to be mentioned again killed a teacher 5 years back. He was a nutcase, like many in history. Except he liked necrophilia and asphyxia sites. So obviously, those inspired him. As a result, our wonderful Labour, government....decided to effectively outlaw those sites and the images within, in the process chucking the owner of the image in the slammer for 3 years and signing the sex offender's register. Understandable with certain sexual interests, but with this lax law, they've effectively outlawed every website or image/video where the pornography and act is a tad more creative than missionary.

Note the bit about "threatening someone's life":

Whipping. - check. obviously, could mess up your joints that.
vampirism - check. draining blood is baaaad, mmkay.
bondage - uh huh. staying in one position can't be good for the arteries, can it?
spanking - well, spank in one place for a few times and you could cause a blood clot.

I may sound daft, but the non-specifics of the law is the problem. Where is the line drawn?
Ultimately, the thing that has seemingly gone out the window is the issue of consensuality.
Even stranger, you're pretty much allowed to do what you want with the Mrs/Mr, but you can't document it. Acted scenes are disallowed because of what they represent.

The consideration clause for BBFC rated films is laughable. The kind of nutcase they're trying to protect us from could easily, and legally, buy Hostel, Devils Rejects etc. a nd just watch the more unpleasant scenes to get his kicks. If he doesn't extract those scenes to his PC, he's fine. He still gets his evil jollies and may still do something horrific. It doesn't solve the problem. It just crimilises millions overnight.

Your art books, photography hardbacks, MY BLOODY COMIC BOOKS!! They're not rated in the UK, are they? They're straight from USA. My copies of Dogwitch or Empowered could cause me a problem regardless of wether I get my kicks from them or not as they're quite suggestive. And don't get me started on my metal collection. Thank goodness I'm not a Dimmu Borgir or Cannibal Corpse fan...

I don't want to know what you do. Enjoy it, just keep it to yourself. And yes, if you want the necessary inspiration made by folk who wanted to and enjoyed it, then you should. No, I don't understand why you want to be strung by your balls and had wax smothered on your nipples. Then again, I don't understand why you want to wear that Charlton Athletic shirt. It's your life, in your bedroom. Keep actual kids, animals and dead folk away and crack on.

Don't even get me started on the "protecting women" cobblers. We all know that women have the filthier minds and inclinations and men just want a quickie at half time.

It's part of the act now, but apparently doesn't kick in until January 2009. If you feel the law's a bit crap or feel anything you take an interest in makes you a criminal because of it, visit the site, speard the word, sign the petitions etc, because it could still be yanked out.

One things for certain, this does ensure I will NEVER vote Labour...

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Quote of the day...


akarshshekhar of the site proclaimed...

"nothing can suck more than St Anger,not even a fuckin blackhole"

I have no idea why this made me laugh more than anything in recent memory, but there you go.

little things, people. little things.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

I know nothing about security lighting...

There seems to have been a bit of a kerfuffle in the lives of various hip Geek types across, well, the world, it would seem. Channel 4 sitcom SPACED has finally confirmed what I always regarded as inevitable and landed itself a USA remake at the hands of McG. This was never a question of if, but when, following the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Of course, the kerfuffle is naturally down to the Spaced fanbase screaming blue bloody murder at the damn heresy of it all. I'd like to say I'm the same, but I can't.

To put you uncertain types in the picture, Spaced ran for 2 series on C4 in 1999 and 2001. Geeky lad and lass pose as couple to rent a flat in North London. They have barmy mates, barmy adventures that fall totally within the realm of "possibly everyday" and it all gets done whilst nodding towards Evil Dead, The Matrix, Human Traffic and numerous other cult classics. The ultimate cult classic, if you will. Very British , but hugely accessible on a Global level for it. The first American I showed it to is now a devotee of all creators involved - Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Jessica Hynes and Nick Frost.

Naturally, everyone's got a bit steamed at the news of the remake, but to be fair, for the wrong reasons. It's been made known that the original creative folk have not been consulted, which doesn't surprise me. It's the same with comics. No one needed Alan Moore's permission to film V for Vendetta as DC held the rights. That's contracts for you: The creators get the fan love and creative name, the studios get the hard cash. A lot of people have protested at this, and quite right on that principle, but others were doing so beforehand because...

It's going to be crap.

Really? Since when? Because it's American? Because Pegg's not writing it?

We have no idea what it will be like. It could be God-awful or it could be the greatest thing ever and trumping every sitcom ever made. But hey ho, it's obviously going to be rubbish so on that same note, I won't be writing my comic book cos I'm probably ripping off a lot of comics beforehand and I can't write for toffee.

Or, I could give it a go and see what happens and if it's crap, fair enough.

Let's face it, it's more to do with folk's possessive love of something and the fact that anything new is going to expose it to the masses or taint it's memory with something they consider less than tasty. The classic attitude of "we had it first, let's keep it that way". That's up to you, but an American remake, crap or not, successful or not, will do absolutely nothing to change my love for Spaced, and anything that will directly or indirectly point folk in the direction of Pegg at al is a good thing.

Of course, there's a full-on geek petition now trying to stop it from happening. Safe to say I won't be signing it. Who the hell am I to say, "you can't do this" or "that's an insult". I didn't make it or pour my creative juices into it so I'm in no position to start making demands, which is what I'd be doing. The creative folk have that option and weren't consulted so it's all moot. If someone wants to sign it on that principle then fair play. However, if the studios aren't going to do the honourable thing and go to the original creators, are they really going to give a monkeys what a load of uppity geeks say?

I also saw some folk moaning that it was McG's presence pissing them off. What? the same McG behins The OC and Chuck and who seems to have helped nail two wonderfully loveable nerds in Seth Cohen and Chuck Bartowski. Moan all you want, that's a reassurance in my book.

How about this option: Let it happen, watch the pilot, rave about it, get them the figures and the thumbs up for a full series. Than let them pour their funds into it and then show your tr00 feelings then. That'll leave them a bit worse the wear. Unless of course, you do absolutely love it, in which case, enjoy it.

PS - I was one of those right at the beginning of Episode one when first shown. Just saying.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Only in Dreams

Tonight, I scored quite possibly the greatest goal I will ever score.

Just outside the 12 yard box, just to the right of the nearest post, surrounded by 3 defenders, I took a chance and, with the outside of the boot, managed to curl the ball pinpoint into the far left corner.

I would say it's the goal of the month.

Alas, it was one-off shot from Mr Rooney in Pro Evo 5. Says it all, really.

In real life, I would have tripped over my own feet trying similar. Luckily, I can't do that right now as I'm sidelined with an ankle injury that was, at one stage, swollen bigger than Gibraltar.

Know your limits, people.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

More cock, please!

I had a rubbish upbringing.

Maybe even a bad one. At least, that's the conclusion I should really start to come towards. Alright, I was slightly sheltered. Maybe. Either way, I don't seem to be inclined to do the many things people do that seem to be the norm these days.

To elaborate. I'm not naive. I've always understood for many years that there are many rotters out there (I know, rotters, who says that anymore, eh?) As well as all the rubbish things peple can do, there's the one choice of cheating on your loved ones and generally causing a bit of heartache in the process. Remorse and guilt possibly included. Yep, it existed and bollocks to the perpetrators.

Alas, it seems to become evidently clear that these people are no longer in the minority, if they ever were. I was happy in the knowledge that I had known a couple of folk here and there who needed a good slap in those regards but now it seems to be everyone around me, good mates, included. Brilliant.

Some of this is down to gossip, other times, from their own mouths. The former is obviously suspect here and there, but the knowledge of the latter renders it more believable. And when someone announces they've been floating their wares elsewhere away from the other half as innocently as if they're asking if you want another pint, then I'm sorry to announce I'm at exasperation point.

When did this become the norm? When did it become totally ok to disregard everything good you have and risk it? No doubt the excuse of "they cheated too" or "I'm a bad person" may come up. Excuses, and rubbish ones at that. There's probably also the classic "everyone else is doing it".

Well, not quote. I'm not. And I never will. Many thanks to my parents for giving me a conscience, much appreciated. And were I in a relationship, I'd be too damn elated to want to cock it up. Or, up the cock elsewhere.

Maybe it's just arrogance and this need to take risks. I don't know, maybe it's pure selfishness and "bollocks to everyone". All I can say is, looking from the outside, I've what these acts result in, suicide being one of them.

So to clarify: If you cheat on a loved one/other half/spouse etc: You deserve a flogging and a repetitive stapling of genitalia. Whatever you're gender.

And yes, if you are a mate reading this and are currently indulging in the above, I already know about it. Sorry.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Running Up That Hill

The most important thing about a new place to live is not the house/neighbours/localmicroclimate/crumpet, but of course, the pubs. Granted,when seeking new accomodation, it should really be a given to try out at least 20 local establishments (if there are that many) within walking distance beforehand to assist the decision. City folk-no excuse. And let's face it, if you're closer to the cowpat than you are the congestion charge, then pleasant locals are abound.

Whilst I am happily getting used to the idea I live in Earlswood and not Redhill (nuts to the postal address - Earlswood has more of an English ring to it), I have to remember that Redhill has many drinking places in it's immediate environs, most of which I've been warned about. Luckily, I have about 7 pubs within a ten minute walk from my gaff that does not require me to go into Redhill's dark and evil locality. Wonderful.

Any rightful drinker should try out these at haste, especially when one, The Joshua Tree, employs their housemate. Alas, no football and many golfers would have me running a mile.
The Old Chestnut is too local, if you get my drift, so that's out. The first one I tried is the Garibaldi, slightly up a hill towards the common. Off the beaten track (read: no pub crawlers). It's small and furthest away out of all of them, but hardly far. And already a result, Iwould say.

Football is a guarantee, especially if it's United. And even though there's a match on the tellybox once in a blue moon, it has a fairly respectable Crystal Palace contingent. Double wahey. Ok, the landlord's a Liverpool fan, but his general niceness excuses this slight misdemanour. And with camra-friendly beers, we have a winner.

Just need the internet, and I'm done.

And a housewarming threesome, possibly.