Simple Plan Live Gig Review

Last night i went to see Simple Plan live at Nottingham’s Rock City. For those not in the know, Simple Plan are a punk rock band, similar (but different) to Blink 182/Sum 41 etc.

The support acts that warmed up the crowd last night arent really worth mentioning – i didnt think they were particularally good, and i definately didnt think they were suitable warm ups to a band like Simple Plan. So for me, i was waiting for the band i came to see…

I’ve liked Simple Plan for a while, and the thing that makes them stand out for me is their Lyrics. They’re both witty and meaningful, and many of them you can really relate to! Unfortunately, in my opinion, the one fault with the gig was that the vocals really needed to be turned up a bit. Other than this, the gig was brilliant.

The band were energetic throughout the one and a half hour set, really feeding off the sold out crowd. At one point, they even got one of their fans up on stage to play drums for the band! And to be fair, he did a pretty good job!

This energy really showed up in their songs – every song they played was excellent – great representations of the album tracks! I say representations, as they werent straight copies (thankfully – it always annoys me when you pay to see a band live and you just get a copy of their album on stage!).

All in all, the gig was amazing and thouroughly fun. It’s a shame that the support’s werent picked better to give a better representation of the music following. If that had been the case, it would have been a 5 star gig!

Eurovision Winners lead a new “Rock Hallelujah”

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Eurovision this year has been scarred by the sharp edge of Finnish Metal!

Finnish ‘hard rockers’ Lordi have won the Eurovision Song Contest by a massive margin, leading the contest into a new realm! For me, Eurovision has always been about cheesy pop and generally crappy songs, and I have never bothered to watch it. However, for some reason, this year i felt compelled to watch, and I have the feeling that reason was Lordi.

In the scheme of Metal, these guys are incredibly cheesy, however, their song, ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ is actually pretty good (albeit incredibly tongue-in-cheek), and obviously the whole of Europe agreed (even the UK who voted them 12 points – the highest possible – which I never would have expected!)

For me, this is great news, as it is once again bring Rock and Metal to the forefront of culture, something that can only be good for the genre as a whole! As record labels realise that rock is here to stay, and still popular (if not increasing in popularity), they will sign more new rock and metal acts than the otherwise would have done! Vive la revolution!
Well done Lordi!!

A look back at 2006… (Music)

The final chapter of my look back at 2006 is a look at the Music of 2006. I havent found myself with that much time to sit and listen to music this year, but I have heard some good, and some bad things in the little I have heard. Here’s my lo-down:

  1. My Chemical Romance – Black Parade
  2. The All-American Rejects – Move Along
  3. Wolfmother – Wolfmother
  4. Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
  5. Evanescence – The Open Door

Honourable Mention: Teddy Geiger – Underage Thinking
Most Disappointing: The Killers – Sam’s Town, Most Over-rated: The Arctic Monkeys

My Chemical Romance are definately my band of 2006. I discovered them at the start of the year with Three Cheers for Sweet Revence, and have been loving them ever since. Their classic rock influences, combined with their upbeat punk make them one hell of a listen, that always puts me in a good mood. Black Parade takes this a step further, and is well worth a listen!

The All-American Rejects were not a band I immediately wanted to listen to. Swing Swing was, at the time, a bit cheezy for me, so I decided to give them a miss. Then I heard Move Along on the radio, and it gripped me. It Ends Tonight in an episode of Smallville was the final straw, so i got hold of this album – an absolute gem – where every track is a good listen!

Those who know me know that my favorite band of all time are Led Zeppelin. Wolfmother clearly have the same fandom and are massively influenced by arguably the greatest band of all time. This album is great when i’m in the mood for something Zeppelin-esque yet have bored myself with the Zep! Cant wait to see them live 🙂

Muse have done it again, with another cracking album this year. Not much needs to be said about one of the greatest live bands of all time. The only problem with this album is that the songs get in my head and I cant get them out again!!

Evanescence are a bit of a breath of fresh air for me, lending some nice, female vocals to the music that I love. Arguably a little cheezy, this doesnt deter me from what is ultimately another great album for the band (although still a large step behind their first outing, which is probably in the top 10 of the last 10 years).

Teddy Geiger gets an honourable mention for an easy listening album from a young (16) artist. Definately worth checking out, i’d also like to applaud him for his appearances in Love Monkey – a great show that was cancelled WAY too early. Ah well, it happens…

The Killers, after releasing one of the best albums ever have followed it up with something that, while it has the same feel, just isnt on the same level. In fact it isnt on the level below it either. Its not a bad album, but i was expecting so much more. Nevermind. Still…disappointing.

And finally, a band that need no introductions, the Arctic Monkeys. They have been over marketed, over hyped and tickets for their gigs were going at over 300quid even before they released an album. And they arent even good. In fact, they are annoying. Most overhyped band of the centuary – i think so.

So, that ends my roundup of 2006. I hope you enjoyed reading it, if you did, spread the word, as I fully intend to get this blog back up to speed now!

Until next time…

Too Many DJ’s (and solo artists, bands and anything else really…)

What is the best way to organise your music collection?! iTunes-Logo

I’ve been looking at my collection recently and i have TONS of duplicate songs. I use iTunes to organise my music, and this has never been a problem, but I recon i could save myself a fair amount of space if i could just remove a number of the duplicates. All very well… BUT WAIT! There is a problem. What happens when you want to play the soundtrack from School Of Rock, but you no longer have Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song in there, because you already have to complete albums collection of the Zep? This for me is a problem. I want to be able to have my cake and eat it. I want one copy of the file, but the ability to have it recognised as part of multiple albums/track numbers etc.

Oh but wait – i want more. I also want all of this to be automated when I import one of my cd’s. I don’t want to have to go through my collection song by song and add this information…

Ah, dreams – where’s that star when i need it…

Am I alone in this? Anyone else crying out for help sorting their music collection? Is there already a solution for this that I dont know about?! (please say yes). Who knows… maybe I’ve just lost it…. ciao for now…

A look back at 2006… (Movies)

Well, now that 2007 is upon us, I thought it was about time i took a look back at 2006! 2006 has been a busy year for me, with a distinct lack of blogging, however, my committment to this blog will continue once i get through the busy-ness! So, lets start the year as I mean to go on!

Movies

So, first, lets look at my top Movies of 2006:

  1. V for Vendetta
  2. Casino Royale
  3. A Good Year
  4. Superman Returns
  5. X-Men III: The Last Stand

Honourable Mention: Nacho Libre, Dishonourable Mention: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

V for VendettaFor me it seems, 2006 was all about Comic book movies. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of comics, however, i think V for Vendetta is only in this category in the loosest sense of the word. It’s always difficult to think back over a years worth of movie going, and trying to distinguish which films you’ve seen were actually released this year, but V for Vendetta stuck in my mind as being a great film, with plenty of action and a great storyline, as well as some great acting on the part of Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman.
Little needs to be said Casino Royale – a great film taking the bond series in a new (darker) direction. Daniel Craig was great as usual.
A surprise entry on my list is A Good Year, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russel Crowe. Not a box office smash (155th this year according to The Movie Times) but a charming little film, which was witty, amusing and a lovely story. It was never going to be big, but I personally would really reccommend this film – if only because it’ll give you a whole different outlook on both Crowe and Scott!
Superman again needs little said, a cracking film, with some wonderful actors – Routh takes over the boots admirably, and Spacey is quite frankly an evil genious.
X3, while a little disappointing (where was Gambit?!) in living up to X2 (one of my favorite films of all time), still had what it takes to be a great film. Shame that (for now) it’s the end of the franchise – i’d have liked to see this go the way of Bond as there are just so many stories to be told, but with a Wolverine spin-off in the works, that should satisfy!
Nacho Libre gets an honourable mention simply because of Jack Black – its very funny – especially for an (ex-)wrestling fan!
Ice Age 2, for me, was more of the same of Ice Age, and I didnt like that film. When compared to Pixar’s outings, or even some of Dreamworks better films, it just doesnt hold up. I know I’m out of the intended age range (although its supposed to be a family film), it just left me coming out stale.

So, that wraps up my Movies of 2006… now onto Games…

The Darjeeling Limited – Micro-review

tumblr_lspz5fFHuV1qhzdcmo1_500I was lucky enough to get hold of tickets to a preview screening of The Darjeeling Limited at 20th Century Fox Studios in Soho last night.

Directed by Wes Anderson, (of Royal Tenenbaums fame), i was expecting the worst. The Royal Tenenbaums really didnt sit well with me when I watched it, so I was expecting that it would be relatively dull.

Prior to the feature, there was a short called ‘Hotel Cevalier’ which on its own, I didnt think stood up to that much, and the best bit was seeing Natalie Portman in the buff! However, once this combined with the main feature it made a lot more sense.

The main feature, starring Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody, was quirky and amusing, with some genuinely laugh out loud moments. Many of the jokes were aimed at the rediculousness of the situation – americans stranded in India, with absoultely no idea of what’s going on, and the feelings assoiciated with that situation were conveyed well.

It was and interesting journey, but a journey that started to feel a little bit long towards the end. However, nearly as soon as those feelings arose, the film started to round off and began its journey to the climax.

I dont want to give any more away, but what I will say is that I know this film may not necessarily appeal to many of my friends, and it didnt immediately appeal to me, but if you go in with an open mind there is a lot to enjoy about it.

Pride FC (Shockwave)

After saying that I defintely wasnt going to watch it, i ended up watching Pride last night, and all in all, i wasnt really that impressed.

In my mind, the best fight was the last fight of the night (Silva v Arona). In my mind Arona did the most work in that fight, but in the end he was robbed by a 2-1 judges decision.

Fedor v Zulu was amusing, purely beause of the way Fedor demolished Zulu! CroCop v Hunt was also a good fight to start with, but CroCop just seemed to lose interest in the final round, maybe when he realised that Hunt could just take whatever he could give! Hunt is a machine!

Anyways, being MMA, I did quite enjoy the event on the whole, but there is just something about Pride that I don’t like! I really wish i could say what it is, but I cant put my finger on it.

I got into MMA through the UFC, and maybe its the fact that in UFC you seem to learn a bit more of the back story to the fighters, and how they feel about each other etc. You really feel you can get behind the fighters due to the fact that you feel that you know them that little bit more! Having moved from a pro-wrestling addiction in the form of WWE onto MMA (although I’ve now started watching TNA, so am back to the wrestling), perhaps this insight into the back stories in UFC appeals to my pro-wrestling side, allowing me to gain an understanding with the fighters and actually care about the outcome of the match.

It probably also helps that having started watching UFC, I do know the fighters better, as I’ve seen them much more (whether it be on UFC PPV’s or on The Ultimate Fighter), and maybe this helps.
The only other thing i can think of is that the Octagon makes the event more exciting than having a generic ring? There is more space for the fighters to work in, and a barrier that they cant go through, but does this help the fight?! I really don’t know?!

Either way, I doubt you’ll find me raving about a Pride event on here in the same way you may hear about a UFC event, but you never know!
Finally, while I’m on MMA, if you havent already seen it, there is an amusing clip from K1 Figting of Heath Herring v Yoshihiro Nakao from last week on John Griffin’s blog. Deserved everything he got in my mind!!

More on Pride FC Shockwave

After my post the other day, FightOpinion.com has commented and pointed me to their thread here.

I was actually aware that the event had been cut thanks to John Griffin, but I wasnt aware of the full extent of the cuts.

It’s one thing when Japanese viewers who are getting an event free get a cut down version – at least they got to see highlights of most fights – but when paying viewers in the US don’t get to see what they paid for, i think thats pretty appauling. I really hope they get their act together for the next PPV. It also makes me angry as these fighters train for weeks and put everything into a fight and then it doesn’t even get seen by the majority of viewers!

I don’t know whether this regularally happens on Pride PPV’s – I would assume not – but it has only led to my opinion of Pride dropping further! Let’s hope they get it sorted for next time.
In the meantime – bring on the 4th February 🙂