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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Playlist 10: Spring, Part 4 - Charles

My definition of Spring: Who gives a shit? It's like summer but not even as good.

of Montreal - Springtime is the Season
Springtime is the season, ladies and gentlemen, and what better way of saying than through some old school lo-fi of Montreal, that'll never fail to put a smile on your face.

Tears For Fears - Sowing The Seeds Of Love
"Anything is possible" indeed. A feel good song that makes you just wanna jump up out of hibernation and be like "fuck yeah! It's springtime!" Maybe.

Jónsi & Alex - All The Big Trees
You can almost track Jónsi's musical career through seasons; back in the old days of Von, ( ) and the weird baby album whose name I cannot pronounce, it was winter; the music was dark and cold. Jónsi's new album sounds like summer itself, with Jónsi himself describing it as "playful" and "colourful". This leaves Jónsi and Alex wonderfully in the middle, with this beautiful ambient album that could only be spring.

Antony and the Johnsons - Daylight and the Sun
"I cry for daylight and the sun" croons Antony as the raw piano breaks through that thick cloud to show sunshine for the first time this year. Or something like that.

Stuart Murdoch - Another Saturday
Based on the melody from an old folk song, Another Saturday is that lazy song for when you really can't be arsed to go outside, cos the sun just ain't shinin' yet.

Converge - Jane Doe
Nothing says spring like the wailing of "I want out" between frantic screams and punk guitars.

Download: At The Sinema Presents: Spring, Part 4 [RS]
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Monday, March 29, 2010

I Can Shop A Rainbow, Shop A Rainbow Too

PolyvoreI have managed to get clothes from the more affordable shops in every colour of the rainbow. Lets brighten up the day shall we?
Red By Modcloth
Including a beautiful crimson vintage dress.

Yellow by Net-A-Porter

Including a sunshine yellow clutch bag.

Pink By H&M
Including all these tops, which can't be brought online :(

Green By Farfetch
Including the kookie alien shirt.

Purple by Bluefly

Including that gorgeous purple clutch bag

Orange by Forever 21

Including those pretty, summery hair clips.

Blue by American Eagle

Including that cool, slouchy hoodie.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Random Thing I Want 2# - Random Chicken Ornament

Following on from Chocolate Tash's in my new, personal little segment, I find random crap that I want.
Today, I introduce a random, fluffy, multi-coloured chicken ornament. Not only do I like colourful things, as I tend to find altogether distracting and funtastic (an invented word, that encapulates things that are just a little bit better then the word 'fun'), but I have also always really liked chickens. These little gems are £10 and can be brought from paperchase online or in stores. But for a limited time only, as its for Easter. So if Charles, Eileen or Catriona fancy suprising me when we celebrate the death of Jesus, then this is what I want.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

US Singles Chart - Music From Across The Pond

You may remember a few months ago I took on the UK singles chart, explaining in my opinion why I think they got where they did. I would like to retract my statement about Lady Gaga from that by the way. But anyway, its that time again, but this time I'm taking on the land of the free, the home of the American dream, Uncle Sam's kingdom. That's right, the US of A. Bring it on bitch!

1. Rihanna - Rude Boy
Ohmydeargodilovethissong. Its absolutely fantastic. But then again I have always loved Rihanna, ever since the bass of 'Pon De Replay from the speakers' first flowed through my sneakers. (See what I did there, I don't even wear sneakers, well, trainers as we Brits call them, its a right pain when i want to go to the gym...) This song is a great song to dance to, its got that thumping repetitive beat that makes drunken people think they can move to. I tend to flick my hair around a lot to it. But the whole song is about sex. "Come on rude, rude boy, can you get it up? Come on rude, rude boy, is you big enough?" No wonder the album is called 'Rated R'. And whilst its nice to see a woman asserting her sexuality, its worrying that a large amount of Rihanna's fan base will be young girls, can you imagine your 11 year old sister belting out these lyrics? No, I didn't think so either.
2. Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
I must say this one stumped me. Who the fuck are/is Lady Antebullum? Like a new more complicatedly named Lady Gaga or what? So I stumbled over to my beloved youtube (over all not too happy about it, seeing as I'm currently listening to the new Laura Marling album) to listen. Is it just me or does the guy on the left look like a hairy version (oh shit, don't show him to Eileen) of that guy from N Sync, Lance Bass and do they other two look like extras from Hollyoaks? But no, they don't sound anything like N Sync, they just sound like Taylor Swift singing with Miley Cyrus' dad. Not sure it would sell over here, but then again Miley and Taylor have done quite well. Its very country and western, something American's love, something I'm not over all impressed with and this song isn't a lyrical masterpiece. But its a sweet love song, that's my only explanation.

. Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz ft Ludacris
An English R&B artist breaking America? I'm impressed. He has done what Robbie Williams so many others failed to do... (and hopefully what Cheryl Cole also fails to do, lets not spread that torture even further) Although this song is all about being a player. I'm not sure why people would want to identify with a song which repeats the line "I'm only going to break, break your heart". Nice guy. But it features a big named rapper, which seems the general way to break America. And its the repetitive, R&B sound that the masses like. It makes me want to break his heart... but in a more sadistic way. But hey, gotta hand it to the guy. He broke America.

4. Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas
WHY? WHY? WHY? I loved 'I've got a feeling' and 'Meet me halfway', but why do they feel the need to ruin Fergie's already shitty voice by making it robotic. It seems like Will.I.Am makes the rest of his band mates into cyborgs and keeps his own voice completely natural, surely that's a bit mean? But this song has a thumping bassline which the uneducated music listeners seem to like. And maybe they like appalling english to? I mean what the fuck does 'Imma Be' even mean? It it some other language? The language of the peas with black eyes? I have no clue, I just know I don't like it.

>5. Nothin' On You - B.O.B & Bruno Mars
Firstly, why do they feel the need to get rid of the 'g' in nothing. Is that asserting there gangster powers or something? I was taught that proper english will get you everywhere, but apparently spelling like a twat gets you onto spots number 4 and 5 on the US singles chart. Also, B.O.B? You're name is Bob, deal with it. Unless its something different, cos again, I don't have the faintest idea who these people are. To Youtube once more! The songs quite nice, but its very much like every other R&B song, it features a gorgeous black guy with a lovely voice and a less gorgeous rapper and they sing about love. Come on guys, be original. I heard this years ago when Neyo was so sick of love songs and Chris Brown wanted the lovy-dovey kiss kiss.

What can I derive from this information? Americans like R&B/rap music. In fact number 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 31, 33 and 35 are also all R&B/rap songs. At least America's consistent.

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Playlist 10: Spring, Part 3 - Tri

My definition of spring: A time of the year when the moon starts to lose and the sun stays out for longer each day. Basically, it’s just about the end of winter and just about time for summer, which is why all of the songs on this playlist are ones that make me feel happy and remind me of that feeling when you wake up in the morning with the sun coming through the window, and you just have to smile to yourself. Just a little.

The Roadside – Tunng

I must admit, my many attempts to work out the meaning of these lyrics have failed epically, and I’m pretty sure it’s talking of some unpleasant deeds by ‘The Roadside’ – ‘You should stop worrying, then they waded naked into the water, mmmm’. Very strange! But the pretty pretty music and the mixture of male/female voices makes me like it even so.

Colourful Life – Cajun Dance Party

Oh I'd love to go to a brand new place but recognise the sky’. I like that line. It’s wierd to think that everywhere in the world, wherever you go, it will always be the same sky, same moon, same sun, and stars. Makes the world seem smaller somehow.

I Declare A Ceasefire – My Latest Novel

Although some people believe the lyrics should be taken literally and applied to war, my interpretation is that this song is about letting go of the past or old grudges and starting afresh, which is what made me think to put it in a Spring playlist. The smooth Scottish accent of Chris Deveney presents the lyrics in a believable way that’s nothing but pleasing to the ear. (But I may be biased; I have a soft spot for Scots.) ‘Please put down your guns, lower your weapons, oh I declare a change of heart.'

Glass Houses – Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

It’s been a while since Get Cape. has appeared on my playlists, but this song never fails to make me smile, probably because of the layered harmonies, random trumpet playing and questioning lyrics; ‘Isn’t it infantile to consider yourself the judge of someone's rights, to a better life?

See Me Through – Ida Maria

Ok, so this song strays away from the theme of happy and uplifting, but the way Ida Maria’s voice struggles and strains as the song progresses reminds me of the sun pushing its light through dappled trees – picture a forest in spring with the sun rising all around you and you’ll know what I mean. (Or just think I’m weird, either one =). ‘Oh God, I can't believe in you just because I'm afraid you're true’. Beautiful.

Feeling A Moment – Feeder

A Golden Oldie. Well really, it’s not all that old (the album 'Pushing the Senses' was released in 2004), it just seems like longer. 'Feeling a Moment' is one of those songs where the lyrics don’t match the mood of the music, but you can’t help loving it anyway. ‘How do you feel when there’s no sun, how will you be when rainclouds come and pull you down again.

E Is For Estranged – Owen Pallet

If I was to describe this song in one word it would have to be ‘magical’ - an enchanting combination of strings, piano and voice that echoes sunny days and oozes with pure genius.

Morning Sun – Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams is not an artist that I would normally listen to, but this song reaches above his previously over-produced, unimaginatively dull singles such as Rudebox (or whatever the hell that was called). ‘Morning Sun’ combines the most honest lyrics to come from Robbie in a long time, with an unusual but effective harmonica solo. Criticise me all you want, but I like this song. ‘How do you rate the morning sun, it's just too heavy for me.

Time and Space - The Accidental

Right, it’s finally the end of Spring Playlist number 3, and despite having some of the most cheesy lyrics and most clichéd rhymes, this song really summarises the feeling and meaning of spring for me – ‘Time and space stretch out before you, and the universe implores you, to take your place amongst all are part of everything’.

Music Playlist at

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Is Rock and Roll Still A Man's Game?

This is a question that's troubled me lately. I don't want to bore you, but here are a few of my thoughts on this issue:
In terms of the music industry as a whole, it’s not a bad time to be a woman. Reigning pop princesses Beyonce and Lady Gaga have been scooping up awards galore, and on the indie front Florence + the Machine, Bat for Lashes and Lisa Hannigan were all nominated for The Mercury Prize this year, and the winner, Speech DeBelle, was also female. Yet, can the same be said for rock?

Flicking through the pages of Kerrang! each week, disparities may become apparent. Each week, there will of course be women in the magazine- Hayley Williams, Cassadee Pope, Cristina Scabbia- but usually in the poster pull-out section. I can give you a pretty exact physical description of Pope and Scabbia, but I couldn’t name a single song by Hey Monday or Lacuna Coil. We typically see alot of fresh-faced females in the ‘Ones to Watch’ section- such as Japanese Voyeurs or Halestorm- and yet, they don’t seem for the large part to make it any further into the magazine. This isn’t to say Kerrang! is at fault- gaps appear elsewhere. Of all of the entrants into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame up to 2008, only 10% were women. And it’s not just front of house- only woman, Trina Shoemaker, has won a Grammy for Sound Engineering.

Yet, why is this? Many different people have many different theories. Some see females in rock as sex objects, an image perpetuated by the traditional ‘sex and drugs and rock n’ roll’ ethic of the industry, and an audience unable to get past such stigmas. I don’t see this as entirely true. Although image is certainly a part of it- many will be aware of Mindless Self Indulgence’s ridiculously flexible bassist, Lyn-z, but how many were aware there was another (less gymnastic) female member, Kitty? But yet, think of how many tweens listen only to Lostprophets or Fall Out Boy because of Ian Watkins or Pete Wentz- this isn’t an entirely female problem.
An article I read by Marion Leonard struck a chord. In her article, she discussed Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear concerts she attended where the bands insisted on a ‘Girls to the Front’ policy. Think about positioning at a rock concert- who will you typically find in the circle pit, and who would you find near the speakers? I know I for one fall into the latter category. But what does this suggest about the rock industry? I suppose, in a generalised way, that perhaps men are more seen as being suited to the cut and thrust of a music genre considered to be more aggressive and visceral than most. So much of modern rock takes place on stage, and when faced by an audience whose performance preferences lean towards the loud and the thrashing, a woman (who, let’s be honest, tend be softer in both body and voice) are invariably faced with more of a challenge.
It’s refreshing to see, women such as the one above. You may not be familiar with young Emilie Autumn, but last week, Kerrang! named her live performance (along with her dance troupe, the fantastically named Bloody Crumpets) as potentially ‘the best live performance’ of the year. Her shows are said to blend her pioneering ‘Victoriandustrial’ sound with burlesque-inspired circus acts. Many will feel Miss Autumn only earned her accolade due to the fact she romps about in next to no clothing, but the fact is, this stage show is pioneering- rather than adhering to the moshing, thrashing, typical performance of many of the rock bands today, Autumn’s performances are indisputably inherently feminine. You don’t have to be a fan (I’m not a massive one) to appreciate the steps women such as Autumn are taking- not just in terms of female musical identity, but music in general.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

5 Female Artists I Have Girl Crushs On: Volume I

Firstly I would like to point out I'm not gay.
I have a boyfriend, he's very nice.
But these ladies are extremely talented and I love the music they produce. How can I not harbor a little crush for them?

Sia from 'Zero 7'
This woman stole my heart a long time ago, when I first heard the song 'Destiny' played at my cousins wedding for their first dance. Her smooth, beautiful lyrics captured me at once and after hearing 'Breathe Me' which I featured on last months playlist about love my infatuation only increased.

Ellie Goulding
My boyfriend is concerned about my love for Ellie Goulding. I play her all the time whenever he comes over, which is pretty much everyday. He likes 'Starry-Eyed' which is perhaps the only song from my whole Itunes he can tolerate, so it gets played on repeat pretty much. Ellie is perfection. Her voice is angelic, her lyrics are heavenly and her melodies are the work of the gods. In summary, I fucking love her. (The Writer - LISTEN!)

Marina from 'Marina and the Diamonds'
Marina is a recent love for me, I discovered her through Last Fm sometime last year and I didn't like her. But with the constant playing of 'Hollywood' I have become to love that vocal range of her. Some songs are like 'Hollywood' and feature a deep, dusky tone but others 'I Am Not a Robot' are soprano. But don't just judge her by those two songs, her album 'Family Jewels' features some bigger, brighter gems.

Laura Marling
Yes! I'm going to see her! -dances like a crazed loon- But Laura Marling folky, sometimes country sound has always held my heart and is my most listened to artist on Last Fm. Her lyrics are thought-provoking and poetic, her melodies as striking as that peroxide hair of hers. My favourites are 'Ghosts' , 'Night Terror' and 'New Romantic' .

Lykke Lii
I was first introduced to this Swedish sweetheart after she was featured on the New Moon soundtrack with the beautiful song 'Possibility'. I then got her album 'Youth Novels' and fell even more madly in love with her. Her sound is so original and the album is a soothing, beautiful lullaby from start to finish. Listen to 'Time Flies' which is my favourite on the album.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eileen's 'Could-Go-Either-Way' Upcoming Film Picks: The Twilight Showdown

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Welcome to another slice of 'Eileen's 'Could-Go-Either-Way' Upcoming Film Picks! Let me break it down for you:
'Could Go Either Way':(adjective):1. A term used to described an object, situation or idea with an indefinite outcome; that is to say, the reception and consequences of such an object, situation or idea, could be really awesome or remarkably shitty.
In this instalment, it's the battle of the Twilight thespians- Kristen Stewart vs. Robert Pattinson. Not that it matters, because Twilight's for pussies, and it's likely that neither of them will outshine their co-star Anna Kendrick's performance in 'Up in the Air'. Anyways:

What is it, and Why Should I Care?: 'The Runaways' is a biopic of the rock band by the same name, charting their rise and fall, and in particular the relationship between band members Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning)- which apparently, has been quite lesbo'd up for the film.

Hell Yes:
1. Leather, lingerie, lesbianism. Need I say anymore?
2. The Runaways are a pretty decent band, a did a lot for women in music, and the soundtrack in general looks awesome.
3. I'm quite into my rise-and-fall films. You know the sort- band gets successful, fames goes to their heads, they nosedive into a pile of their own shame in some drug-and-debauchery related scandal. Think 'Lords of Dogtown'- create radical new ways of skating, get really famous, burn out, shave head and watch best friend die of cancer. Yeah, those films are great.

Hell No:
1. I've heard Dakota Fanning's version of 'Cherry Bomb'- let's just say she ain't no Cherie Currie.
2. It's a film about a 70's rock band, so we can expect sex-a-plenty. Whilst this in itself doesn't seem like a downside, I'd like to remind you all that Dakota Fanning is fifteen. Yes, fifteen. Thus, if the rumours about a scene in which she plays with her, umm, Fanning whilst clutching a picture of Farrah Fawcett are true, there is some truly illegal shit going down in this film.
3. A lot of rockstar biopics can be quite self-indulgent/ inaccurate/ godawful.


What Is It, And Why Should I Care?: 'Remember Me' is a romantic drama in which a young ingenue helps a troubled, rebellious, generically handsome stranger heal the scars of his troubled/rebelled/generically handsome past. And, as for why you should care: well, you probably shouldn't.
Hell Yes:
1. I like the stock 'ingenue' character, Emilie de Ravin. She's in Lost.
2. It was mildly satisfying to see 'R-Patz' get all roughed up in the trailer.
3. Ok, I've got nothing.

Hell No:
1. 'I'm Robert Pattinson- I'm deep and profound. Girls find me attractive, but I don't play up to that- I only took my top off and bared my weirdly purple nipples to the world in New Moon because that's what my character would've done. I spent two weeks in a forest to find my inner Cullen'- what a douche, really.
2. This entire film has been done a million times before.
3. Who even thought 'romantic dramas' were a viable concept for a film? All people do in these movies is cuddle and weep. And then cuddle. But then they just weep some more. The only romantic drama I can think of that didn't make me want to tear my eyes out was 'Hallam Foe', and that was because the 'troubled' lead was homeless, Scottish, and banged his stepmom.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Gaga Gives Me Goosebumps!

Figure One

I'm a dirty, dirty hypocrite. So sue me.
I've jumped back on the Gaga bandwagon and daymmm, does it feel good!

The timeline of my love for Lady Gaga starts off with a peak. 'Just Dance' had me doing just that. 'Pokerface' was loved, 'Love Game' was awesome and 'Paparazzi' made me crave icecream (see figure 1, yes, I'm going all Geography GSCE on yo' ass) and then BAM! I met 'Bad Romance' and i was turned off. Perhaps it was the scary monster dancing or the nightmare inducing video but i was like a small child watching 'The Addams Family' for the first time again... absolutely fucking terrified. But Gaga has made me love her once more, after collaborating with Beyonce in her new song 'Telephone' and producing the MOST AWESOME VIDEO OF ALL TIME. True, she shows her vagina, true she prances around in underwear for about 3/4 of the video (all nine and a half minutes of it) and true, i do feel like I'm watching soft lesbian porn, but goddammit, i don't care. This video is completely degrading to women and the moral is basically "wear your only underwear, poison people and flash your vag-ga ga (see what I did there?) and the world will love you for it". But the outfits, cinematography, epic duologue and a brilliant pop song make up for it. OH AND SHE WEARS PEPSI CANS IN HER HAIR AND A PAIR OF GLASSES MADE OUT OF CIGARETTES AND SHE EVEN MAKES A SANDWICH. I have been converted to the house of Gaga.

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Playlist 10: Spring, Part 2- Chloe

My turn! My turn! My turn!

1. Magic Weather - Alessi's Ark
"And sleep with an umbrella, the freedom's there- I can depend on magic weather"
As you have probably already concurred, I'm a massive Alessi's Ark fan and I think the title of this song just encapsulates springtime. It is magic weather, dancing between winter and summer and highly unpredictable.

2. The Nature of Daylight- Mark Richter
This song is completely instrumental so there are no lyrics. It got a real melancholy tune to it and because of the title, i can just imagine a ray of sunlight coyly peaking from behind a cloud. That's what made me choose it. It's a beautiful song. The man behind the music is Mark Richter, a German composer has worked with the BBC's Philharmonic Orchestra. Get him!

3. Over The Hill - Alessi's Ark
"We feed the ducks in the local park and eat ice cream, get all jittery, not from the sugar itself, but from what you do to me"
Spring is about renewal and rebirth and that's why i picked 'Over The Hill', its all about new relationships. Plus, the imagery of her feeding the ducks in the park takes me back to my childhood and before you say "no one eats ice cream in March", talk to our ice cream man Pete, who is already doing the rounds!

4. The First Days of Spring - Noah and the Whale
"Its the first day of spring, and my life is starting over again"
Again, there is that thought of life changing, just like the seasons. Noah and the Whale were featured recently as our 'Song of the Day' which you should check out if you like this song. This song is all about love lost and yearning for them back, its bittersweet and lovely. Enjoy.

5. Blow Away - A Fine Frenzy
"Its the ride we take, many winged escape, its the bough we break to blow away"
The lyrics are subtle, but if you listen carefully there is some beautiful nature imagery running throughout the whole of this song. Plus, its a bit bouncier and happy-go-lucky, mix that with A Fine Frenzy's beautiful vocals and you have a song to make you feel happy about the world. And why shouldn't you? The good weathers finally here!

6. Strawberry Swing - Coldplay
"Cold water, cold water what do you say? Its such a perfect, its such a prefect day"
Its the melody that makes this one for me. That spirited drumming and the merry guitar rifts. Its just spring in a nutshell. Bright, breezy and full of life! Plus, I want to see people duke it out on the comments. Coldplay fans or not? I think they are prefection and would quite happy make fruity-named babies with Chris Martin. I'd make enough for a whole fucking fruit basket!

7. Early Spring Till - The Wheel
"Are you tired? Do you feel wrung out? Have you fallen from where glory sprouts?"
Melancholic lyrics with soothing beats. A contradiction to my previous songs which associate bouncy happy tunes with spring and nature. But this song is so beautiful it just has to be included and nature is beautiful. Its a somewhat strenuous link, apart from the name of course, but this song is worth a listen, so I'll be a rebel and include it anyway.

Music Playlist at

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Song of the Day: Spanish Sahara by Foals

I have little so say about this song, other than I fell in love with it on first listen. Yes, it strays away from Foals’ usual style, but the profound lyrics and gradual crescendo, combined with a slightly eerie video and Yannis Philippakis’ rugged look provide something to be watched time and time again – you almost have to watch it more than once to make sense of what is happening amongst the sea and the snow.

Their new album ‘Total Life Forever’ is due to be released on 10th May this year. 59 days folks!
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Monday, March 08, 2010

Avatar: A Rather Late Review

Avatar; a futuristic take on the story of Pocahontas, set in 2154 in the breathtaking world of Pandora, where plants and animals alike are joined by a bio-botanical neural network spanning across the entire planet but all leading to Ewya, their mother and God. At first glance, although beautifully crafted by the wonders of modern technology, this film appears to be shallow – a mere upgrade of a well known story where love conquers all. However, after watching it for a second time, other themes started to push their way to the surface, and I began to realise that perhaps this film does have some depth (other than the 3D effects).

I find it hard to believe that anyone who watches this film will come out feeling disappointed that the Human invaders, led by Colonel Miles Quaritch (Steven Lang), did not win in their battle for Unobtaniun; a source of money and power. In fact, the film challenges the very structure of Human society. It is hard not to notice how at the start of the film, the Na’vi (natives) are referred to as ‘Aliens’, but at the end it is the Humans who receive this title. As it is the Na’vi’s home, surely this should have been true from the beginning, but of course, Human nature and ego-centricity led them to believe that they were the superior race – all others should learn their language, their ways and comply with their unquestionably correct rules. Sound familiar?

Which leads me to the ever relevant and controversial theme of Region, which is just as prominent in 2154 Pandoran society as it is today, on Earth. The only difference is that an entire world believes in one God, Eywa, who ‘maintains the balance of all life’ on the planet. In this way the people of Pandora are more united than those on Earth, and are able to come together to fight a common enemy in defence of their God. Can’t exactly see that happening today, not now that religion serves as a weapon rather than a defence; a motivation rather than a deterrent.

Ok, so maybe I’m reading too much into this film, but I really did believe that the Director was trying to convey some sort of moral, or a warning at the very least – fighting almost destroyed Pandora and everything they believed in just like its currently destroying parts of Earth. Pandora is a world of freedom and flight, an almost brain like structure where birds dress like dragons, mountains float on air, trees act as speakers for their ancestors and everything is connected so perfectly in balance – who wouldn’t want to live there! (Well, the blue skin with fluorescent freckles may put some people off I’ll admit.)

Overall, Avatar is an amazing film in terms of graphics, which almost goes without saying, but also in terms of depth and moral; things you rarely find in films these days. Read More......

Sunday, March 07, 2010

No-Fuss Reviews 4

Sick of music reviews that go on forever and ever? Tired of being bombarded with more information than you could ever possibly need? Fear not- I present to you my no-mess, no-fuss music reviews.
Get it? Got it? Good.

On the surface, it's a perfect dream-pop album; an anthology of love stories that sit so easily on the ears. Yet, there's something in there- in the echoing, quietly powerful vocals- that transforms this album into something shadowy and surreal, into a precious and blissful reverie to be enjoyed time and time again. Maybe a little too sedate in places, yet still pretty damn beautiful.

II. LIARS- Sisterworld
I opened my heart to Liars after falling for 'On the Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack' when it was used in The Nines. The bluesy vocals and ethereal harmonies in the opener, 'Scissors' suggests we're in for a similar journey. Yet, as it furiously descends into the guitar line, we enter 'Sisterworld'- a dark, dystopian realm, allegedly based on LA. Expect shrill violins and apathy twinned with rage. But I feel what makes this a stand-out album for me is that it doesn't rely on the joyous, electronic soundscape that dominated many of the great experimental albums of '09. They mix up the formula, sometimes unsuccessfully (see the rap/chanting on 'Scarecrows on a Killer Slant), and sometimes to dazzling effect- 'Pure Evolution', for instance, is absolute perfection.

It has got to point where 'indie' these days can almost be taken as an insult. It's a word that no longer conjures up images of visceral chants in pokey studios- chants with heart and with meaning; instead, it has come to be affiliated with the monotonous musical output of a group of British lads with asymmetrical haircuts, Topman loyalty cards and not a clue about original music-making.
Thus, NME describing Screaming Lights debut output as 'goth-disco crossover' should be taken as a good omen. However, that's where the good news ends with this album. Commanding vocals, an atmosphere of the early 80's and a few solid songs- check. Yet, like all 'indie' albums of this ilk, there seems to be little in the way of heart, of charisma, of longevity. Words have been crafted to describe albums like this: solid, average, uninspiring. Not without its good moments, but swathed in mediocrity.
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Song of the Day: Time Crisis by Pin Me Down

Guitarist Russell Lissack (Bloc Party) has teamed up with Milena Mepris (formerly of the electro-punk band Black Moustache) to create a pop/dance side project named Pin Me Down. They made their debut performance in May 2008 supporting Yeasayer and subsequently released the single ‘Time Crisis’. To be honest there are parts of the song that remind me a lot of Bloc Party, for example the guitar riff in the chorus, but that’s probably one of the reasons why this song appeals =).

Their debut album 'Pin Me Down' along with the single 'Treasure Hunter' are due to be released on the 16th April this year.
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February: A Memoir

FILM OF THE MONTH: Youth in Revolt“I Want To Tickle Your Belly Button… From The Inside”
The words of a genius? I definitely think so! This line is from the hilarious new film ‘Youth In Revolt’ starring the boy who have made his money off being awkward, Michael Cera, as well as host of others; Jason Long, Zach Galifianakis (the guy from ‘The Hangover’) and ‘new star’ Portia Doubleday- at least, that’s how she keeps being described. It tells the story of Nick Twisp, your stereotypical sensitive virgin who lives his mother who can’t hold down a stable relationship and her idiot boyfriend who rips off three sailors. Because of this they flee to a cabin for a week, where Nick meets Sheeni. Cue the madness. In order to get back to the cabin when they eventually venture back, Nick invents Francois Dillinger, his evil alter-ego with a pedo mustache and the freakiest fucking eyes I have ever seen. But setting fire to his town with his mums car, old caravan and a lot of petrol is just the tip of the iceberg. The best movie I have seen so far this year!

ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Los Campesinos!-Romance is Boring'In Media Res' kicks things off with the heart-wrenching first line, "Let's talk about you for a minute." It builds into an angry, brooding middle section before again threatening tears in what has to be one of Gareth, and indeed the band's, finest moments: "If you were given the option of dying painlessly in peace at forty-five/But with a lover at yr side, after a full and happy life/Is this something that would interest you?"
From then on, the album takes us on a roller-coaster journey of emotion and musical styles, ranging from traditional Los Campesinos! twee pop such as 'There Are Listed Buildings', to the more rockier title track 'Romance Is Boring', eventually culminating in the final, devastating Coda, which leaves me swallowing sadness I feel every listen. It is a record crafted from the heart, and an early and surprising contender for album of the year.

TV SHOW OF THE MONTH: CSI TrilogyThis spectacle was for CSI lovers what Jesus’ resurrection would be to Christians. Millions of us tuned in to watch Laurence Fisburne (Grissom-replacement-extraordinaire) travel the country, and with the help of a few of his CSI buddies, try to take down a trafficking system responsible for some of the worst atrocities CSI has ever shown us- illegal organ harvesting, sex slavery, and even making girls who weren’t fit for prostitution become surrogate mothers for cash. Despite being a little disappointed that there wasn’t more interplay between the three CSI teams, this trilogy was as compelling as it was shocking, and I loved every moment of it.

DANCE ROUTINE OF THE MONTH- Rufus Hound's 'Fight for This Love'.

As its coming to the end of this month, I’ve chosen my favourite dance clip (so far) from the first episode of Sport Relief’s ‘Lets Dance’ – basically a mick take of all the other serious dance shows, where celebrities dress up like other celebrities and raise money for charity by making fools of themselves. Genius.
I don’t really have much to say about this video, other than Cheryl Cole if you saw this, you should be worried, because a ginger man in his 30’s wearing split trousers and less than half a top made this song much more entertaining than you ever could. Sorry love.


Come spring and summer, you may find your high street stores bursting with all the usual classic cuts and work wear staples, but with a twist- a splash of colour here, a few ruffles there. If this is the case, the man to thank for this is Peter Pilotto. But the real reason this fledgling London-based designer really caught my eye is That Dress (on the left). Although gaining a reputation for being a dab hand at the tunic, this dress is something else- part bird of paradise, part firework, this dress is a melange of colour in irregular, painter-esque swathes. An absolute dream.

FUN FACT OF THE MONTH- Women in Horror MonthSeeing as how I know how much my pointless trivia enthrals you, I’ve decided to give you a fun fact about every month. FUN FACT TIME!: This February was the first official Women in Horror Month. This may seem quite trivial, bit it couldn’t have come at a more crucial. In this month’s ‘SFX Magazine: Horror Special’, which claimed to be an ‘ultimate guide’ to horror in all media, not a single woman was mentioned. Not one. Meaning the hard work of writers from Mary Shelley to Poppy Z Brite was completely ignored. I for one feel it’s about time that the stigma of women only being seen in hotpants screaming in the horror genre clears up for good. Find out more about it here.

Tri's Guide to Toe-Tapping: In a new series here At the Sinema, Tri introduces us to the exciting world of dance. Not one to be missed.

5 Presents to Lose Your Partner- No stranger to scaring people, Chloe shares the secret to making people think you're crazy through the art of tactless gift-giving. Expect bed-wetter covers and toupees.

Lost Knives in a Basement- Charlie's review of up-and-comers Lost Knives, whom he saw in a basement. Because he's that indie.

High Heel Hunt- Eileen embarks on the daunting quest of finding a pair of comfy, clumsy-proof yet beautiful shoes. This may be quite a long series...
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Playlist 10: Spring, Part I- Eileen

It's playlist time, bitches!
The most amazing thing happened this morning- as I opened my eyes, I was greeted with golden light shining softly through my curtains. And it was warm! It seems the very second March started, it brought spring with it, which is awesome because I'm sick of the snow. So, to celebrates all things spring-like, may I introduce you to:

Playlist 10- Spring and NatureSome songs to get you in the mood for warmer weather and longer days

1. CHAD VAN GAALEN- Willow Tree
A supremely talented Canadian crooner, who even makes some of the multitudinous instruments he plays, which is pretty damn rad. I have absolutely no idea why this song was the first to pop into my head when I thought of spring- it’s about death, the very antonym of the meaning of spring. Still, it has that peaceful, melancholic tone that sums up spring for me.

There’s nothing massively complex or profound about this song- it’s simply a charming melody, slightly wispy Scottish vocals and a massive dose of sunshine. Yet for all of its catchiness, there is still something delicate and full of promise in there- lovely jubbly.

3. ATLAS SOUND- An Orchid
After having our spirits lifted by Pearl, we plunge straight back into the pensive and melancholy with Atlas Sound. From ‘Logos’, one of my favourite experimental albums of last year, ‘An Orchid’ is rich is shadows and echoes, and sounds slightly like a spectral lullaby, which for me makes it all the more enjoyable.

4. EISLEY- Trolley Wood
For some reason, this song always reminds me of when me and my friend from primary school got lost in the woods, and found a fallen oak, the roots of which looked exactly like a triceratops. I have no idea why that memory popped into my head, but there you go. Contemplate that whilst listening to the exquisite harmonies of Eisley.
FUN FACT TIME! As well as being a talented musician, Sherri Du Pree of Eisley is also a really gifted photographer. Check out her stuff here >>>

5. DREDG- Planting Seeds
‘Look what I’ve found, a seashell in a sea of shells’- nothing like a good bit of dredg to get you feeling jaded about life in the season of birth. Aah.

6. HEADLESS HEROES- The North Wind Blew South
Headless Hero’s revitalise this tune from the 1970’s by adding a gorgeous, uplifting string section. A song to get inspired to.

Mayfly tells the tale of a sunny romance with a girl who is second best, and the inevitable heartbreak she feels. A little depressing again, but it bears this line; ‘Your diary’s looking like a Bible with its verses lost in time’, which is exquisite, so I think we can forgive a little heartbreak.

8. TELEKINESIS- Great Lakes
A track from the marvellous self-titled album released last year, which narrowly missed out on my Top 10 Favourite Albums of the Year. Another quite pensive, melancholic ditty- I’ll cheer up soon, I promise.

9. STUDENT FILM- A Rainy Spring Day in New York
A song to remind you that it’s not all sunshine and happiness from here on in- there’s still rain (and April Showers) to contend with. Oh, and it’s also a CHOON.

10. FRONTIER RUCKUS- Spring Terror Nerves of the Night Mind
I absolutely adore the gently undulating melody, and ups and downs of the vocals- a song to be savoured. Sit back, close your eyes, fall in love.

You can now listen to the whole playlist below- enjoy!

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