‘The Island’: What Makes It So Good?

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Upon flicking through the channels one could be afforded the mistake of thinking that ‘The Island’ was merely a Get Me Out Of Here and Survivor mishmash given a ‘Bear Grylls TM’ lick of paint and stamp of authority. Anyway, who could argue with my cynicism giving that Channel 4, once the home of groundbreaking and innovative programming, today churns out such eye-opening documentaries such as ‘My Granny the Escort’ & ‘The Complainers’ as well as reality TV gold such as ‘Made in Chelsea’ & ‘Gogglebox’.

 

However, my initial pretentious snubbing of The Island gave way to curiosity shortly followed by complete obsession after watching a 28-year old actor and 60 year-old dental business consultant team up to capture, kill and eat one of the jungles most feared animals, a cayman. The unity that bonds two completely different men when slaughtering another species for a Channel 4 production is heartwarming; and when a 21-year old chases down and throws a rock at a group of rare birds in any other setting he gets an ASBO. On ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ it is a beautifully tragic metaphor of their struggle…

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Top banter aside, what makes the program stand out from the current dross on our airwaves is not just the harsh reality of the show but its core structure that focuses on survival. A Bear fan or not, his words of wisdom that he interjects with cannot possibly be more annoying than two Geordies with big foreheads. I don’t even mind the hideously unsubtle product placement of his Bear Grylls TM knife collection. I WANT THEM.

 

What really makes this program great is that there are no ‘prizes’. Nobody ‘wins’. Nobody is voted ‘off’ and there isn’t a panel of moderately famous ex-survival experts with big red buzzers ‘judging’. Upon writing this review four, one hour long episodes have been aired and I still don’t know half the mens names. And I don’t care.

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As with any piece of edited footage, it can be hard to cast judgement over certain arguments in camp. Action-man Rupert is disheartened at certain lazy camp members such as Craig (The Welsh one) and wants to go hunting for crocodiles at night, what could go wrong!? Ryan and Dean (the Gay one) feel like Rupert and Tony (The old one) are bullying people and being overly argumentative. The truth is, we don’t know exactly what is going on down there. It could even all be fake. Truman Show-esque. But my advice is this, lets get rid of our big red buzzers, stop judging and enjoy 13 men have a horrible time whilst we sit in front of the TV whilst consuming far too many calories than it is recommended to do so.

 

Isn’t that what Bear would have wanted? 

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NEW|Damon Albarn – Heavy Seas of Love

Edited masterfully by Matt Cronin.
Beautiful footage by Damon Albarn.
Annoyingly scenic & jealousy infusing imagery from that main guy from blur.

NEW|Peace – Money

Taken from the 2nd album.
Feat. businessmen & impractial handshakes.

The best albums in 2014’s first quater

WEBB415_Cheatahs_Cheatahs_PS

Cheatahs: Self Titled

Released: 10/02/14

Lead Single: Cut The Grass

My Fave: Get Tight

“A blend of ecstatic noise, ambient drone and visceral, ear-splitting alt-rock, combined with lyrics that touch on the complexities of relationships, nature, the city, memory, dislocation and self-identity, the self-titled record displays a giant creative leap from the lo-fi fuzz of the band’s first two EPs.” – Wichita

Temples

Temples: Sun Structures

Released: 05/02/14

Lead Single: Shelter Song

My Fave: Sun Structures

“The Kettering revivalists’ debut is the full psych package – minus the drugs” – NME

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St Vincent: Self Titled

Release Date: 24/02/14

Lead Single: Prince Johnny

My Fave: Regret

“Equal parts funky electro throwback and prog chanson monster, St Vincent‘s fourth album feels like the culmination of a trajectory from the margins to centre stage with a minimum of intellectual loss.” – The Guardian

Eagulls Euro Tour

Eagulls: Self Titled

Released: 04/03/2014

Lead Single: Nerve Endings

My Fave: Hollow Visions

“Eagulls are a four-piece band from Leeds who write revved-up post-punk songs combining the sound of a mannered Killing Joke, who they’ve covered, with a deep atmosphere reminiscent of early Misfits and guitars that bring to mind the Cure’s “Boys Don’t’ Cry”.” – Pitchfork

Schoolboy-q-oxymoron-deluxecover

Schoolboy Q: Oxymoron

Release Date: 25/02/2014

Lead Single: Man Of The Year

My Fave: Collard Greens

“Schoolboy Q is a hip-hop Everyman preoccupied with easy vices, making “Oxymoron” very blunt fun” – NY Times

 

Festival Guide 2014

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Writing this blog in the United Raindom (ha!) it can be hard to believe that summer is just a few months away. However, festival season is nearly upon us and it is never too early to start planning for that once in a lifetime experience. Without further a do, this is your guide to the biggest and best music festivals in the world in 2014.

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Best Festival:

And the nominations are –

  • Reading & Leeds (QOTSA, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, Blink-182)
  • Glastonbury (Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Disclosure, Blondie, Black Keys)
  • T in the Park (Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, Arctic Monkeys, Pixies)
  • Bonnaroo (Elton John, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend)
  • Rock Werchter (Metallica, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Black Keys)
  • Ultra Music (MGMT, MIA, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren)

And the winner is… Rock Werchter!

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Belgium’s number one rock and alternative music festival is a sell out already and there is little wonder when you look at the star studded line up. Festival Park in Werchter welcomes the likes of Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Chase and Status and much more across various genres from the 3rd-6th of July. The festival is a blend of British, American and international artists whilst maintaining its roots with a large selection of Belgian acts such as Stromae.

Most Disappointing Line Up:

And the nominations are –

  • Benicassim (fib) (Kasabian, Paul Weller, Paulo Nutini, Lily Allen)
  • Y Not (White Lies, Dizzee Rascal, Frank Turner, Razorlight)
  • Lattitude (Royksopp, Black Keys, Mogwai, Editors)

And the winner is… Benicassim!

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With last years amazing line up making the Spanish festival one of 2013’s highlights, the initial acts announced are incredibly safe and uninspiring. QOTSA, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Beady Eye and Primal Scream in 2013; Ellie Goulding, Tinie Tempah, Example, Courteeners and The 1975 in ’14. No doubt there is still some quality acts to see and a more poppy line up in a beautiful Spanish summer will please festival virgins. However, the festival that promised so much looks weak this year if you’re planning on going abroad.

Best Cheap UK Festival:

And the nominations are –

  • Bestival (Outkast, Foals, Disclosure, Busta Rhymes)
  • Bloodstock Open Air (Megadeth, Down, Emperor, Children of Bodom)
  • Boardmasters (Chase and Status, Snoop Dogg, Bastille, The Cribs)
  • Global Gathering (Chase and Status, The Prodigy, David Guetta, Sub Focus)

And the winner is… Boardmasters!

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6th-10th of August sees the likes of The Cribs, Peace, The Enemy and Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) arrive on Cornwall’s sunny shores. With tickets ranging from £99-£139 and surf, BMX and skate displays taking place throughout, there’s no better way to spend a weekend.

http://www.boardmasters.co.uk/

 

Watch Cheatahs New Video For ‘Get Tight,’ Then Get Their Brand New Album

this band have supported the cribs recently and their sound is too sexy

I Don't Need This Yes I Do

Cheatahs are a band that like to release 4-song LP’s in the U.K. and make it really hard to find any sort of real album from them in the United States. Until today. The guys have combined a few U.K. exclusives into one legit self titled album.

Here’s the new video for ‘Get Tight.’ Find more about them on their Facebook right here. 

View original post

Bombay Bicycle Club And February’s Albums Review

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow 8.5

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Steadman and co’s 4th album in 5 years is a culmination of all their previous works, plus more.

The opener, Overdone, introduces the electro-hiphop-indie rock record in dramatic style and the album bounces from every cornerstone of the bands recent cultural voyage. Singles Carry Me and Luna strike distinctly different chords and act as metaphors for the album on a whole. Home by Now‘s beat sounds like something straight out of GTA: San Andreas and Feel is an absolute Bhanger! (listen to it and see what I did there!!). The London four-piece have delivered a very good album no doubt, but the record often feels disjointed and the eclectic mix of sounds is, in fact, its downfall.

The Family Rain – Under The Volcano 7.0

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Anthemic choruses and heavy riffs in a very safe record that is still worth a spin.

The Walter boys from Bath have delivered a catchy first album that rarely strays from its Brit-pop/ indie rock path… and it’s far from groundbreaking. The band have recently supported Jake Bugg, Miles Kane and The Courteeners and that should give you an insight into the sort of sound they are going for. The album never reaches the heights of debut single Trust Me… I’m a Genius and the whole record just feels unbelievable, unauthentic and same-y.

Katy B- Little Red 8.0

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Baby Katy delivers a fierce woman of an album that merges all aspects of London clubland.

Kathleen Anne Brian’s second album manages to retain an authentic sound and feel whilst simultaneously providing exciting, innovative tracks. Labelled as a Dubstep temptress after reaching mainstream success in 2010 with Benga-produced Katy On A Mission, it could of been easy for the pop star to rest on her laurels. However, with just the right splash of funky house, drum’n’bass, warbling and crooning this album is sure to feature in nightclubs for the foreseeable future.

The Two Best Debut Albums of 2013 So Far

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2013 has already given us some top class new albums from renowned artists such as the Arctic Monkey’s and their fifth record ‘AM’ as well as dance legends Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’. Honourable mentions go to Foals, Queens of the Stone Age and Kanye West for delivering yet more exciting new music, though it is two new records which I will shine a light upon in this article.

Firstly, Drenge. Drenge, according to Wikipedia, are an English Blues-Rock band based in Castleton, Derbyshire. I’m gonna go ahead and say that description gives you no idea to what Drenge are about. The band’s self titled debut album does not give you a moments peace* from start to finish. Absolute ‘bangers’ in the form of ‘Bloodsports’, ‘Dogmeat’, ‘Face Like a Skull’ and ‘Backwaters’ are surrounded by a wall of noise you wouldn’t think possible from a pair of brothers.Image

YouTube comments range from Blur/Nirvarna comparisons to racial slurs aimed at others who chose to comment but I would suggest simply listening to them for yourself. If a crude or callous comparison had to made then it could be suggested that this band sound as though Morrissey had taken over from Kurt Cobain to front an indie-grunge hybrid.

Either way check out the new album and the music videos for which they have made almost one for each song.

Drenge- Drenge: 8.5

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* Birmingham’s four piece certainly know their stuff and debut album ‘In Love’ blends sounds from across the indie spectrum. As ever with new rock bands, they have been compared to about every artist since the Beatles, but this time you can see why. It’s hard to put a finger on their sound with tunes such as the incredibly cool ‘Wraith’ clashing with the heavier ‘Follow Baby’ and anthemic ‘California Daze’. The album sounds instantly familiar but the track is original enough to warrant the hype they are attracting.

Peace- In Love: 9/10

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P.S. They’re touring together this November!

Is Walter White already dead? (WARNING: Spoilers ahead)

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In the latest episode of AMC’s record breaking TV series Breaking Bad, protagonist Walter White seemingly wins the long-running battle against his DEA agent brother-in-law; but at what cost?

White, AKA ‘Heisenberg’, has forever justified his bending of the American dream by insisting that it is all for his family. When Walt was diagnosed with cancer, still reeling from the achievements of the company that he and his colleagues had started (Gray Matter) but he had left before making his money, he decided that his only option was to ‘Break Bad’. Walt could not face the idea of leaving behind Skyler as a single mother looking after both the disabled Walt Jr and baby Holly.

Throughout the five seasons ‘W.W.’ and his accomplice Jesse Pinkman have had many dangerous run-ins with both the law and serial killing gangsters; not quite the bedtime story that he wants to read to his child. Throughout all this, oldest son ‘Jr.’ becomes more and more aggrieved with the lies and fabrications that get more unbelievable as the violence escalates. However, after Marie believes Hank has Walt arrested and forces Skyler to reveal all to Jr., Walt’s whole plan (and life) unravels.

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Hank had in fact been killed and Walt rushes back to a terrified Skyler and Jr. It is at the point after the two fend off Walt with a knife that he looks at them and realises what he has become. His family don’t recognise their father and husband anymore. “We’re a family!” screams Walt rhetorically, as if the psychopathic slogan justifies his murders.

Not one of the characters we have came to love, or at least root for, have their lives left intact. Nothing will ever be the same from this point. What else can Walt do but run to salvage what’s left of his life? The reaction to Hank’s death and the emotional phone call to Skyler proved that there is a glimmer of Walter White left, but his reluctance to lose face showed that he has almost completely been consumed by ‘Heisenberg’.

Heisenberg

 

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

Y Not?

This time last week thousands of music fans across the east midlands and beyond were waking up to an alcohol and euphoria induced hangover. The previous night Justin Hawkins and his band of merry men had strutted, shimmied and crowdsurfed their lycra clad selves to a climactic finale.

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With his perk nipples and well maintained moustache still firmly emblazoned in our minds, it would be arguable that Y Not Festival 2013 saved the best until last. As a sodden Derbyshire reverberated to the sound of ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’, ‘Every Inch Of You’ and 2003’s hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’, the Darkness and Hawkins once again proved that they are no novelty act.

However, it was Saturday night’s headliners and Y Not’s biggest ever crowd that this festival will be remembered for. I am not sure what the Cribs opened with due to having to physically drag my compadres away from their vodka, but the mammoth set which included ‘Men’s Needs’, ‘Come On Be A No One’ and ‘Be Safe’ closed with 2009’s ‘City Of Bugs’. The brothers from Wakefield are one of Britain’s best live bands right now and the crowd certainly reflected that.

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Other top performances included: Drenge, The Enemy, Swim Deep, Electric Six and ShaoDow.

Disclaimer: We didn’t see Friday’s headliners, ‘the Horrors’, due to a thunderstorm which meant we had to return to our tent and get blind drunk.

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