About moi

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I'm awful at updating blogs; as I am typing and spelling... I'm a flautist and dabble in some guitar, piano and singing. I also have an interest in writing and history (nerd I am not). Marmite lover and synesthete; owner of two cats and a goldfish. Don't like planes much and I find octopuses (or is that octopi?) pretty creepy. I'm allergic to peanuts.

Friday, 31 December 2010

*Thing* of the day... Helena Bonham Carter Oh, this woman truly is a babe.

Oh, this woman truly is a babe. 

Nasty but classy, Bellatirx Lestrange makes Cruella Deville look like you average harmless dog sitter.
There is something scarily sexy about Helena Bonham Carter's character in the Harry Potter films. When she whines the line "Itty, bitty, baby Potter..." there's part of you that goes "Oooo, you biatch!". And that laugh... Oh. 

I guess it's being in a relationship of the king of all things dark, mysterious and just generally weird, Tim Burton that's helped.

I'm not a religious or massive HP fan, though I have read the books (Ok, my mum read me the books) and have seen all the films up to date; in fact, I even have a book about Quiditch. Despite that fact, I couldn't help but get a tiny bit excited when I watched HP and the Deathly Hallows recently. On a scale of 1 - Pee of excitement, it was probably a 7 - an "Awhh!" (Which I think I actually did say under my breathe in the cinema, as long as my boyfriend didn't hear me that's fine). I also let a tear slip when Dobby - don't read on if you haven't read/seen it - died. But that is a different matter.

Yes, I think I have the female equivalent to a "man crush" on both Bonham Carter and her alter ego, but if I was to be a villain for a day, faster than you could disapperate into Hogsmeade, I would choose Bellatrix Lestrange. 

There's also something quite *mmm* about Ron Weasley too...



I WANT TO BE HER.
Helena Bonham Carter - Bellatrix Lestange

Friday, 3 December 2010

A festive moan and stuff.

It's hit that time of year again. I could blab about Christmas lights and presents here, but I just can't be bothered. I'm not a big fan of this time of year; November - January. Last year I didn't have a particularly great time at this point, and although this year isn't half as bad, it's still not turning out that wonderful to be honest.

Snow has hit Norfolk. Yay.

I find it beautiful, how the snow dresses the naked branches of the sleeping trees and accessories the evergreens with white shall. And when you walk through those trees, through the country lanes, everywhere and everything is glistening, pure, peaceful and perfect.

But I'm pissed off with it. It's also a crappy reminder of past poop and it gets in the way of bloody everything. Like, tomorrow I have my music lessons, but they've been cancelled because it's too icey and I have a piano exam next week. Plus I have a driving lesson and I bet it will be cancelled, which is great when I'm ready to book my test. And then you have to worry about getting into college and whether it will be closed or not... I wish it would snow on a day when it doesn't actually matter, preferably Xmas day.

Xmas day is such a let down too. It's all over too quickly. You get up and before you know it you're eating chicken sandwiches from the lunch left overs and watching the Doctor Who special.

But, in my opinion, Christmas is the one day of the year when we should celebrate life, love, friends and family  and should thank everyone who means something to us for just being in our lives. Of course, we should do that all the time, but this period of the year is set aside to remind us, make us actually think about it. Throughout the rest of the year we just don't get the time, whilst this is the point where everything (should) slow down, giving back that important piece of time.

So that's my view on the festive period.

In other news, not much has been going on. I've see Athlete and Ellie Goulding at the UEA. Athlete were incredibly good, I can't believe it is only recently I have gotten in to them. Ellie's whole set was bloody amazing. It was all professional, with a full backing band and vocalists; stripped down acoustic section; video backdrop; beautiful staging and lighting; and her performance itself was unbeatable and energetic playing new tracks such as Lights and her cover of Your Song.

I can't really think of anything else for now.

Happy Xmas if I don't blog before.

Jess

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Wagner to Interzone! It's blog time, baby!

This blog is going to go to the rhythm of what ever comes to my mind at the time.

I'm terrible, I truly am.

I keep meaning to write a blog update more often, and yes, I know I keep saying that... gawd darn it.

I also keep saying I will write another article type thing, but of course, I never do; or I start and don't finish. It's the whole time factor, blah blah blah...

From time factor to X Factor (see what I did there?). Currently I'm sitting in the conservatory with the legend that is Wagner parading about on the screen (my mother just said he's entertaining purely for the fact he has bigger earrings than Pat Butcher...). I started to write a piece about X Factor. Yeah, I haven't finished it. *Shifty eyes* But, if it doesn't make this cyber paper, to basically sum up, my debate was: What is the "X Factor"? Is it being able to entertain? Is it having individuality? Quirkiness? Or to be able to sing like every other top ten diva? 'Cause let's face it, that's all that these reality shows seem to be looking for. If not that, a couple of cute looking lads to sell posters. And then it always seems to be those who come third or second who actually make it anywhere. I'm not sure, but if it's not the last option then Wagner seems like the only suitable candidate for the job. Oh, and if you decide to enter as a girl band, good luck.
In other X Factor news, my dad's cousin's daughter, Trudie Le Marie is a head stylist. Here's a video: http://xfactor.itv.com/2010/fashion/viewer/watch_ask-the-expert-week-4_item_201320.htm
and here's her website: http://www.trudielemarie.com/
Unfortunately I don't know her personally; I doubt she even knows of me, but it's still pretty damn awesome ;)

Else where, in the recent weeks I have taken my grade 5 music theory exam (still waiting for results), my driving theory test (which I passed, booyah, now just the actual test...) and I went on a spa day with the bezzies at Centre Parcs. A very chillaxing day. I've also been continuing my gig fest and went to Klaxons at the UEA last night, it was Magik (sha-boom). There's something special about this band. The energy they create on stage bounces straight into the crowed, and they absorb it, thirsty for the adrenaline. The sound is tight, pure and clear and this is reflected straight back through the band's stage presence. This is a gig I was thoroughly impressed by. On stage Klaxon's were joined by ex-DPT guitarist Anthony Rossomando doing all the extra twiddly extra bits. I got a signed poster too. Mmmm, oh yeah.... and from one Dirty Pretty Thing to another, I ordered my Carl Barat ticket this morning. Sexy.

Wagner to Interzone! 

Klaxons' auditions for new front man look promising... 
I wonder if Klaxons' gave Trudie styling tips? Shiny.

Right now, as I've been up and down and not concentrating properly, I'm currently watching a documentary about Take That in black and white, interesting...

I think I'll go now, as I need the loo.

ByeBye, cyber friends,

Ssej xxx

Monday, 25 October 2010

Dear Blog...

Dear Blog,

It has been brought to my attention that I have been neglecting you in the recent weeks. It isn't that I do not love you any more, it's just I have had very little time to write words worthy enough to sit on your page.

You see, last week I was given two history essays to do, as well as having to finish my coursework draft for English. Then I had to write a commentary on my coursework, which I managed to finish this morning. Music has been taking up a lot of my time - my grade 5 theory exam is in a week tomorrow and I've had to do so much revision for it. I can't help it, Blog, College is a big part of my life.

Not only College, but University now too. I know it was though for you, but UCAS did take up a lot of my time when I sat here at this screen. But it is gone now. The statement. The choices. The grades. Now I am just waiting for the replies. Just to let you know, Chichester have offered me a conditional. And I am sorry that I keep having to go away to look at my choices; it's necessary I do so, to make sure it's the right thing for me. Do you understand, Blog? I want to be happy...

Yes, ok, I have had free time. I wanted to spend this free time with my friends, doing the things I love, like going to gigs. The Joy Formidable were amazing. Ritzy's energy on stage, her presence and her musicianship is incredible. She is one of my heroes. And I got interviewed for the NME! I was in the NME, Blog! Then Manics last Sunday was an experience I will never forget. They are one of Britain's greatest bands. Live, they put on a true show. In his leopard print coat, Nicky Wire struts like a cat on the prowl across the stage, while James Dean Bradfield's vocals spread across the dance floor with such power and clarity. They played all the classics and new ones. They played Roses In The Hospital! Blog, it's one of my favourite songs. I couldn't believe it, I never expected them to play anything off Gold Against The Soul.

My band played another gig the other day, I think you will be pleased to know. We got a really good reception. We hadn't played with any of the other acts up before. I've kept updating you with videos of us though. I hope you have liked them. I always try to keep you posted on Pout.

I have been trying to write something new to put up on here, an article of some sort. I started to review TJF, but just never got around to finishing it, I just haven't had the time. Any time I have had I've tried to catch up with friends or just relax. It is important I get some rest at the moment; I've had a couple of colds recently and from that I caught tonsillitis the other week. It was horrible and I felt rotten for about a week. It was ok though: after a week it went down quite quickly, so in the end I didn't need to to go to the doctors. Unfortunately I am not feeling 100% again, Blog, a bit phlegmy. I want to keep myself healthy over the winter, so I must get plenty of rest.

I promise I will neglect you no longer. It isn't fair on you, you have done nothing wrong. If you do not hear from me in the next few days or so, it is not because I am ignoring you, I am just tied up somewhere (not literally, metaphorically... unless you really do not hear from me in any shape or form, then you may need to come looking), and will get to you with an update as soon as possible, I promise! I do not think we are growing apart, no, I do not think we are going in separate directions. Time has just not been on our side of late. I hope you have appreciated my update this evening though. I do care, I do love you, don't ever forget that. 

For now, Blog, goodbye. I wish you well and long to see you again soon.

Jess X

Monday, 27 September 2010

Time to write a blog.

Ahh, I guess it is about time I updated my blog by actually writing an update of my life; which I haven't done recently. As you can tell I have put up a few youtube links (I know... Sesame Street) and a couple of bits of writing, but no actual life blurbs. So, as I have no work to be getting on with and plenty of flute, piano and music theory to do, I thought I'd just give a quick summary of what I've been up to recently...

Um...

Well, to start with I have been getting into my films. Since my parents decided to enter the 21st century and get Sky TV, with multiroom so we can watch in the conservatory too, I have discovered the benefits of Sky Movies. I've never really been a movie person, unless the film is based between 1960-1990 and has some element of music, otherwise I'm not bothered. However, over the last couple of weeks I've watched Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist (Ok, music element), In Bruges, The Hangover, Monsters Vs Aliens (actually, I will confess I do have a thing for Disney Pixar and similar kids animated films...) and Sunday night, (500) Days of Summer. Which was awesome! Although I really don't understand what's so amazing about Zooey Deschanel. I've also got Juno on the planner for some point.

Keeping on the TV theme, I'm pretty pleased to have the Inbeweeners back on the screen. Oh, how it opens up a wide range of topics to discuss in tutorial on a Tuesday morning.

On the college theme, things are getting back into swing now we've been back a couple of weeks. The new cafe is preeeeetttty schweet. TV and everything. Quite impressed it has lasted this long with out some kind of food resembling substance chuck at it. For my Music Tech coursework I'm recording and producing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7v71mAkac8&ob=av2n coz I'm cool and hip like that, but it is such a feel good tuneage. I felt I must share that.

I've been out and about too, with band practise (notice the shameless plugs of the youtube videos) and going up city (anyone not from Norfolk, that means Norwich). Went to the Chinese the other week for the bf's 18th. It's an all you can eat place, so basically you eat, then the Chinese lady comes along and steals your plate as soon as you remove that last grain of rice. I don't understand why they do this. Surely that is just creating more washing up?! Considering it's an "all you can eat", if you had a real passion for Chinese food, you'd never leave.

Hmm, what else?

Oh, yes, for enrichment I've started Creative Writing. An interesting session with interesting people. Read http://peachyssej.blogspot.com/2010/09/and-this-is-what-i-got-out-of-creative.html to fully understand my life changing experience.

Finally, I think I will finish by reviewing my Carl Barat obsession. I have ordered a signed copy of his solo album, a copy of the movie "Telstar", the story of Joe Meeks, featuring Barat as Gene Vincent, and I am still deciding where will be best to order his biography from at the end of the week.

I've also realised the weather has officially become crap as my ginger tom cat has decided sleeping 7 hours straight on my bed is better than sleeping in birds nests, which he did all summer.

The end.

Ssej.
x

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Rainbow Sea.Sesame Street: Will.i.am's Song "What I Am"

Again, here is another Sesame Street related post.
Whenever I see an episode or clip from Sesame Street, my whole heart fills with sun rays and I can't help but feel all cheerful and breezy inside. It's like all my cares in the world have been blown away by a tiny gust of wind. And as that tiny gust goes past, all the flowers and trees sway like they are waving me on through my day. Their bright colours merge into one, forming a rainbow sea. :P

It's such a feel good programme, even if I am perhaps ten years too old for it...

but this song truly is amazing kids! Take heed! What you are is special!


And I swear I am not high.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

And this is what I got out of Creative Writing...

And this is what I got out of Creative Writing...

September 2010

Enrichment, for those of you who don’t know, is what our college do to keep the teachers happy. It’s basically a way of keeping them in their class rooms and supervising teenagers, but without them actually teaching anything. And the great thing is, if the teenager doesn’t want to be there, then they can arse off home and not lose their EMA bonus and the teacher doesn’t have to put up with the little shit. It’s a win-win-win situation really. Apparently Enrichment is meant to “enrich” us in some kind of subject area we wouldn’t normally study, or further enrich us in one we do, or maybe it’s to keep us off the streets of Norfolk...? In other words, they’re extra activities we don’t have to do on a Wednesday afternoon.

This year, seeing as I needed to find something to jazz up my personal statement for uni and music enrichment was a bit of a fail last year, I decided to juggle my time between doing some photography (as my As teacher wasn’t too happy I dropped it at A2), Music Tech. coursework and Creative Writing. Considering I want to venture into journalism once I eventually manage to escape education, I proposed that involving myself in some form of writing activity may be quite useful.

It was one of those days where you wake to find an invitation from a clear blue sky peaking under the bedroom blind, convincing you that today would be a pleasant day; only once you step outside, the wind grabs like a surprise tickle from behind and you realise there’s no point in going anywhere without a coat, or you’ll freeze your tits off. Unfortunately the only view I had from the class room window right now was a brick wall, and therefore no distraction from the set of questions about to be forced upon me.

What’s your name? An interesting fact... And what do you write?

Ok, I could answer the first, I was pretty confident with that one. An interesting fact? I’d just use my usual one: I met Ralf Little - it normally sparks some interest. But what do I write? The general consensus was teen fiction, with a dash of romance, fantasy and a little si-fi added for good measure.  In some cases, these were being morphed into novels. I’ve never written anything resembling teen fiction or romance, fantasy or si-fi, let alone contemplated writing novel. The truth is I have rarely written any type of story in my free time. I write reviews and do bits and pieces on just general observations, keeping an online blog, but apart from that I’ve never exactly sat down and thought “Yep, today I am going to write the next Twilight”.

That was another problem. I’ve never touched a copy of Twilight in my whole life. I’ve never seen the films. My friends and I generally try to avoid the whole thing like the plague. I’m a BBC 3 Being Human person myself. I prefer a little more reality. I like the idea that the characters could be normal people in the normal world and you’d never know unless you stumbled upon one on a full moon, then you’d be fucked. I like my vampires to be hot and Irish, not sparkly with a dodgy fake American accent. Revealing this, I could tell, would not make me many friends in this room.

And that leads me onto another issue. I’ve never actually read a “teen fiction” novel, so to be quite frank I wouldn’t know what to expect in it. I’m not much of a romantic, more of a realist, and as far as si-fi goes, I watched the first Star Wars film to be released and quite enjoy Lego Star Wars for Nintendo DS. I have, however, read the whole of the Harry Potter series, so that’s fantasy covered. But I still didn’t really want to reveal that my favourite book is In Cold Blood, a non-fiction novel by Truman Capote, and if I had to choose a favourite author, I’d pick Roald Dahl (I cannot begin to explain how badly I have always wanted to move objects with the power of my mind, just like Matilda).

I’m not too great at finishing books either. Most books I do read are biographies about some kind of music figure, and the last book I did actually finish was a collection of short stories inspired by The Smiths.  
I was beginning to wonder what I was actually doing here.

I had to think quickly. Saying I reviewed JLS and McFly wasn’t exactly going to make me the coolest person at the table, it definitely wasn’t half as impressive or creative as writing a novel.  My creative writing coursework had had pretty good feedback though. When in doubt, bring the humour out.

“So Jess, what do you like writing?”

“I like writing coursework.”

*face -palm*

This literally was one of those moments where you fall to your knees, praying that the world would just swallow you up, right there, right now. Why on earth had I said that?! I guess it is just human nature to hide fears with something that comforts us, mine being stupid dry humour.

But that is how I prefer to write, that is what I learnt from my first Creative Writing session. I can’t do the emotive “teen fiction” descriptions. Well, I could if I tried, but it isn’t me. I like to be daft, pull out the funnies (yep, got that off Shrek. It has disappointingly become one of my phrases) when I can, make observations about life, our culture and society. I guess that’s why I am pulled towards the field of journalism rather than becoming a fictional writer. Maybe I will however, make an attempt to write a short story or two, but for now I will end with what I did manage to produce in Creative Writing.


Using the opening line: he was determined not to reveal... and the words ‘faith’, ‘reverse’ ‘cringed’ and ‘worldly.’
‘He was determined not to reveal to her how much he could not stand this band. Every note made him cringe. It was like having some kind of elf sitting in his ears, tickling with their sharp little nails. “Have a little faith, you’ll love them.” She’d promised. It was the point where she had described the music as ‘worldly’ that he knew he should have put the car into reverse.’       

‘A summer without friends is like a garden without trees. You just can’t branch out from your bedroom door’

ImageHot, Irish Vampire. (John Mitchell, Being Human, played by Aidan Turner).


Sparkly, not quite as good as Mitchell, Vampire, played by the dude from Harry Potter.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

H&M

H&M

Oh, yes girls (and guys...), finally we can shop online for H&M! Sign up for exclusive preview. It's like heaven!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Friday, 10 September 2010

ALICE @ BRICKFEST

Here's my band, Pout, at Brickfest, B2, Norwich.
August Bank Holiday 2010.
Filmed and edited by David Bullock.

ALICE @ BRICKFEST

Here's my band, Pout, at Brickfest, B2, Norwich.
August Bank Holiday 2010.
Filmed and edited by David Bullock.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Quick round up.

As before, blogging on a Friday night failed. Then did Saturday's. To be honest, I couldn't really be bothered, I was quite tired both nights and I'm a lazy slob sometimes. I blame facebook. 
This week, I can't really remember what happened because not much really has, and to be honest again, I pretty much did nothing for about three days at one point. Saying that, I did have a nice trip to the beach at Cromer with the bezzies on Wednesday. We chucked stones into a bottle to earn "man points" - I got one - and ate chips and doughnuts. Unfortunately, we did not catch crabs...
Oh, of course, Monday I played a gig with my band at the B2, Brickmakers, Norwich as part of their "Brickfest" for charity. Pretty good turn out I have to say. Thank you to those who came along to show their support. Our next gig is the Thursday 9th September, B2, Norwich, supporting a friend's band. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Perfect-pout/341101367303
Today I had band practice, although our singer was ill, so in order for her to rest her voice for Thursday, I shared singing duties with our drummer. I hate singing. 
Tomorrow, should be going bowling, hopefully. Apart from that, not much else has really happened. I made space in my room for my guitars and flute... Yeah, not much.

Byebye,

Ssej
x

Friday, 3 September 2010

A Controversial Recording - Editors – In This Light And On This Evening.

This is a piece I wrote for a small summer term Music Technology research project. It isn't assessed work or coursework, so it doesn't matter too much if I post it. 


A Controversial Recording

Editors – In This Light and On This Evening
July/August 2010

The third album release from Editors saw the British band take a new direction away from their post-punk roots. Debut “The Back Room” clearly demonstrated a Joy Division influence, and were quickly compared to the likes of Interpol with their doom and gloom indie-rock style. Despite this the album quickly gained critical success and peaked at number 2 in the UK charts. When it came to the difficult second album, Editors hit the ground running and “An End Has A Start” topped the charts at number one, although some claimed it to be a more commercial Joy Division.

However, third album “In This Light and On This Evening” has sparked mixed opinions from the music industry and fans alike. Perhaps more New Order than Joy Division, the 9 track album lays heavily on the synthesisers rather than sparkling guitar riffs and comparisons focus more on the 80’s synth pop of Kraftwerk rather than the late 90s/00s post-punk revival by Interpol. It wasn’t exactly what fans had been expecting.  Luke Turner for the NME awarded the album 5/10, writing: “Indeed, they’ve possibly succeeded in alienating the casual fan with the brief moments of nastiness that are here.”  And it is true that many fans did just turn their noses up Editors’ third offering. Why? Maybe the “casual fan” was expecting the usual Radio 1 friendly vocal, guitar, bass, drum line up with a catchy tune that doesn’t stray from the comfort zone of the first two albums, taking back the 40 year old dads to their Joy Division days. But you can’t continue to reproduce the same sound over and over and over... ideas run out. Originality is lost. As Ben Urdang points out with “An End...” the band “encountered some criticism for essentially reproducing a similar sounding album... In This Light and On This Evening, the band have progressed, having eschewed their trusty guitar sound in favour of one more synthesized. It's both understandable and positive that they've decided to make that move rather than dourly churn out more of the same.” While Nick Mitchell, giving the album 2/5, believes “the problem with their progression is that they lay on the retro electronics too thickly, as if eager to prove how much they’ve changed.” Just as Bloc Party attempted with “Intimacy” and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with “Zero”, the third album is the golden opportunity to reinvent yourself as a band; to add in those outside influences which were too risky to fuel the difficult second album; too... synth-y.

It wasn’t just development in sound that sparked mixed opinions. Front man Tom Smith’s lyrics also created interest among reviews. Mitchell writes “...most are oblique and disconnected” and Ian Cohen (awarding a 3.7) suggests that Smith “delivers your rebellious 15-year old cousin's next Facebook status”. While Mike Diver indicates that “it might be the best album Editors have yet produced, even if obvious singles are conspicuous by their absence”.

Despite all of this, Drowned In Sound gave the album a 7/10, Allmusic 3.5/5, The Guardian and The Times 4/5 and Clash Music 8/10. Following the success of “An End Has A Start”, it shot to number 1 in the UK charts.

“In This Light...” isn’t “The Back Room”; you can’t just open the door and walk in. You need to dust away the cobwebs and proceed with new eyes, or ears. “In This Light and On This Evening” is definitely not Editors’ best album yet. But how can it be when the sound differs so significantly from that of the previous two? It is not intended to be a follow up to “An End...” but to show the diversity and creativity of a band, which, if having reproduced their previous work, would have been equally criticised for little originality and commercialism. The album still contains Editors’ broad but delicate sound, with memorable riffs and debateable but bold lyrics. Live, “In This Light...” snuggles perfectly in between old numbers as Smith still obtains his energy and passion which drives the songs forward. 

I Guess What I'm Trying To Say Is... I Love Carl.

I started this like, at the weekend, and finally finished it tonight. Personal statements and unis and what not... but I told Laura I would finish it, so here it is ->

I Guess What I’m Trying To Say Is... I Love Carl.

September 2010

I was very satisfied by The Libertines’ comeback when I watched their Reading set on BBC Three, especially as I’d convinced myself Pete would die just moments before he set foot on stage. My friend had a bet on that the whole band wouldn’t even make it to Reading; I think he’s now £10 in debt. Those who know me well enough would now be making the joke I was only satisfied because of Mr Carlos Barat. And, yes, that was an added bonus. I still believe he is the only man who can pull of black skinny jeans successfully, but that is not the point.

From what I could tell on my tiny TV, the boys in the band (had to get that in somewhere) were tight and sharp on stage. The set was tight, despite the power blip in the middle, and the music was tight, they looked like a band at the peak of their career (“peak” meaning a successful second album, two or three singles in). Every member gave the impression they wanted to be there, enjoying the experience, enjoying each other’s company. There was so much bromance between Pete and Carl that I was surprised they didn’t burst into some kind of passionate musical love fusion.

Give Pete his due, after the extent he has been through since The Libs’ initial split back in 2004, he did come out enthusiastic and confident, looking his healthiest I’ve seen from the press in a long time.  It was clear he was already slightly drunk though, but that didn’t stop him from politely asking the crowd to help each other out and not to stand on each other’s heads. Good boy.

What my dad and I noticed (because my dad’s cool and hip like that) was that Pete has pretty much gained house hold name status through the British press, and hence if asked by your grandmother how he initially became famous, you would naturally say he was the front man of Babyshambles and previously The Libertines.

However, in reality, it’s Carl Barat who is ultimately the linchpin of The Libs. Carl’s energy and stage presence was unbeatable, taking centre stage with a casual walk of confidence. Those die hard Libs fans would know that Carl Barat is a keen actor as well as musician. Pete loves the microphone, yet his vocals are not half as clear and strong as those of Carl’s (we will blame it on the fags and booze). But what it was that stuck us was how “gig fit”, as my dad put it, Carl and Gray Powell are. Both looked healthy and strong, holding up the performance by bringing a vital spark of energy to the stage. Barat and guitar bounced across the stage with ease and if you attached some kind of electrical converter to Powell’s arms, you could have powered the whole of Reading AND Leeds. Just watching Powell behind his drum kit wore me out. Phwaor. And let’s not forget good old John. I know he never looks too enthusiastic, but he can play and never lets side down; a reliable, strong and essential backbone to the band.

The same couldn’t be said for Pete however. By the time I Get Along arrived at the end of the set, if Barat didn’t have him in a lover’s embrace, Pete would have comfortably collapsed to the stage floor and slept through the rest of the festival. A number of times he disappeared to sit behind his amp, wipe his forehead and sip his pint. If all four members of the band took this approach to their Reading come back, you may as well go down to your Local’s open mic night.

I guess what I am trying to say is yes, the set, the comeback, the whole performance and band themselves were outstanding, considering the difficulty of the past 6 years or so, and I give full praise to them for how tight and just in general awesome their whole comeback has been so far. In fact, the whole reunion has broken the laws of music physics. However, the driving force clearly shone through. Maybe, if it wasn’t for the stronger members of the band, mentally and physically, the whole thing would have been hanging on the edge of a complete cock up. I seriously doubt Pete could have made it without the loving support of Carl. Although Carl and Pete are the musical/lyrical foundations, Carl, Gary and John are the driving force, the physical foundations of The Libertines and always have been. When Pete went AWOL in 2004 they carried on (with later fellow Dirty Pretty Things member of Carl and Gray’s, Anthony Rossomando on guitar) regardless. At Reading 2010 it was obvious that these three members are still the rocks for Pete to lean on, holding up the performance with an incredible amount of energy; I couldn’t help but get the feeling they needed to be as tight as they were just in case Pete slipped up. Overall though, well played boys, I look forward to seeing more. I especially hope it lasts out long enough until next summer. I’ve already booked a 2011 Reading ticket. A Libertines’ encore would be quite nice. Not a G ‘n’ R one though. I heard Axle was a right tosser.


Left: Carl Barat. Right: Tosser

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

So here's a thought, Miss Swift.

So here's a thought, I was watching Taylor Swift's new video "Mine" this morning. From what I gathered the song and video were about her meeting her dream guy, falling in love, getting married (what is her obsession with getting married?!) etc etc; but also flashing back to when she was a child and seeing her parents arguing, being scared that this will happen between her and her guy, then actually fighting and then making up again. To me this is awfully familiar... have you been stealing ideas off Kelly Clarkson, Miss Swift? Hmm? Yes, it does sound incredibly like the video to Because of You. In fact, Miss Swift even ends up having kids at the end of it... oh, yes, what a coincidence?! I think not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPBwXKgDTdE <-Miss Swift
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3D8J1rjGLg&ob=av2n <-Miss Clarkson

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Bounce Bitch.

My Friday night blogging failed. :(

Anyway, I've decided to sum up my week in the form of a video. Filmed on a Sony Erocsson Cyber-Shot, with music off my iTunes, staring me and my friends and some wind-up space hoppers, I'm sure you'll agree it's Oscar worthy... no? Oh... 

No space hoppers were harmed in the making of this film.
video

Audio: Bitch - Plastiscines.
Bounce - System of a Down.

As well as camping in a garage and playing with toys, I've also quite gotten into Example this week. Yeah, I know, a little bit chavy but I do love the lyrics "Blog spot, reclaimed the top spot, came down and Kate Moss'd your TopShop" and "Rap Velociraptor", though my friends think I'm weird.

I also bought Klaxons' second album, Surfing the Void.  A lot more heavier and guitar driven than Myths of the Near Future in some places,  but still pretty epic. Defo seeing them at Norwich in November. Saying that, I found it was easier to get in to the album with it on shuffle along side their first album on iTunes. I don't think as an album the tracks are able to stand out individually on a first or second listen. However, giving it a mix-up I was able to have a very enjoyable Klaxons cocktail. 

Due to Henrybaby's (the bf ;) ) man-crush on Micheal Cera, I was dragged out to see Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, which was pretty good. Or as it says on the website which I just checked out http://www.scottpilgrimthemovie.com/ : "An epic of epic epicness". I am very jealous that Scott has a Rickenbacker bass. I got pretty excited to hear Blood Red Shoes - It's Getting Boring By The Sea played in the background too. Parts of the film did drag a little, especially a couple of the jokes, but overall very funny enjoyable film. Very well made and would definitely see it again if I had cash. Or may just buy the dvd.

Right, better get on. Probably should eat lunch and then try and finish this personal statement for uni. Yay. Oh god, and I've got English coursework to plan. Should really stop leaving things to the last week of summer hols...

byebye,

Ssej

x

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The New Generation - Boy Bands, mhmmm ;)

The New Generation
July 2009

Yes, it is official, the boy band is back.

Take That; Boyzone; Westlife; ‘5ive’; Blue; A1; ‘N Sync; Backstreetboys... all warmed the hearts of teenage girls and boys alike across the British Isles and America, let alone the rest of the world, throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s. However, as these fresh faced lads with fancy dance moves and six packs so defined you could see them through their shinny white suits began to fade away and ‘split up’, a new generation of ‘Boy Band’ rose from their ashes.

This time, the fancy dance moves were swapped for guitars and drum sticks, and messy hair and poorly grown teenage stubble was chosen in favour of shinny white suits. These were the ‘Pop Rock’ boy bands – Busted, McFly, and Rooster to name the more successful – who essentially did the same job as their predecessors. They were good looking, poster worthy lads, and taking pride of place above the bed and kissed good night before you went to sleep. They were local radio station friendly and toured across the country performing at the large arena venues, occasionally appearing on Top of the Pops and Saturday morning kids’ shows. The songs were catchy. Mums approved of them. Let’s be honest, even I am not ashamed to admit as a 12 year old girl I saw Mcfly at Wembley arena pavilion. I even have the ticket on my bedroom wall still.

But something wasn’t quite right, and although they enjoyed chart success and multiple TV appearances over the period of two, three years, they just seemed to... fade away.

Recently we have watched the likes of Take That, Boyzone and even New Kids On The Block come marching back over the pop horizon, as if the Pop Rock era had just been babysitting the charts while they had a little break to start a family, get married, have a failed solo career (with the exception of Robbie Williams, although, where has he been hiding recently?), etc, etc. But let’s face it, their six packs are now beer bellies, and if they were to carry out any fancy dance moves, they would be making a quick visit to the chiropractic afterwards. No longer do they warm the hearts of the teenage crowd, but more like those belonging to the approving mothers. To be honest, they’re more ‘Middle Aged Man Bands’ than ‘Boy Bands’.

So, is the Boy Band actually back then? Well, of course this isn’t the 1990s anymore, in fact, soon we will be almost two decades away, but there is one hope – JLS. Signed to Epic Records, they were the runners up in 2008’s X Factor, the show we all love to hate, but watch anyway. They are four, smashingly good looking young lads, so that’s box one ticked. You can put them above your bed and kiss them good night (box two). They can dance incredibly well, and the recent single ‘Beat Again’ is so catchy that even I – who, if given the dilemma of choosing between Marilyn Manson or N Dubz tickets, would choose to see Manson, despite thinking he’s a bit of a tit to be honest - can’t help but sing along to (three, four). It is Radio Heart friendly and sure to do very well among the current teenage generation of Britain, especially the girls no doubt. And don’t worry, for yes, they will be approved by your mum, as member Aston Merrygold appeared on children’s program Fun Song Factory as a 16 year old (ahh, number five). So if you think you recognise him from anywhere teenagers of Britain, you watched him on your TV screens as little kid.

There are no guitars or drum sticks insight, no messy hair and stubbles, they’re just perfectly styled and shaved. Yes, JLS are a Boy Band, no question about it. But will they last? And is this the start of a Boy Band revival? Not the revival we’ve just had, no, more of a Renaissance, a re-birth of something old, but yet, completely new. Or is this just a blip in the ever changing music industry? Either way it was good while it lasted before and it will be good again.

Back For Good?
August 2010

A few things have changed since I originally wrote this piece as just a bit of something to pass the time.
 Every mother and daughter will be pleased to know, JLS are still going strong (unusual for an XFactor finalist, I know). However, I can’t help but gather visions of the lads dancing as nuns with the von Trapp family every time I hear their most recent offering to the pop chart. New single “The Club is Alive” uses a clever lyric sample from The Sound of Music (yes, from the musical), the original lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.  Can you guess the clever lyrics? No? “The club is alive with the sound of music”. Catchy, hey? And I think everyone will be pleased to hear that a second album is due to be released November 2010. YAY!

But my purpose for adding an extra chapter to this is not to talk about JLS, no, I’m here to write about Robbie William and McFly! I previously wrote that good old Robbie and McFly seemed to have faded away a year ago, drowned by the new boy band wave. But I was wrong...

Let’s start with McFly. Now on their own label Super Records, the “boys” have a brand new website and supported by some smart new haircuts and a new “super hero” image. Hmm, interesting but I must say, they are looking very *mmmm*, now all grown up and able to grow a full set of face fuzz; they can come to my rescue any day. The website is quite fancy too, check it out http://www.mcflyofficial.com/ (and I think you will understand the “super hero” image).  But don’t let this fool you! The cheeky devils are playing JLS at their own game. Come back single “Party Girl” is a lot more synth driven than your traditional “5 Colours” and “Star Girl” with some quite pretty vocal harmonies. In fact, the first time I heard the track I thought it was just a slightly heavier JLS offering. It’s quite a repetitive track to be honest and there does seem to be quite a bit of production on the vocals and drum track. Although saying this, after a few Radio One plays it has actually begun to grow on me like an unwanted wart, which although you know you should really get rid of, you kind of have a sentimental attachment to it. And it’s not void of guitars completely. If anything, the chorus is quite heavy with guitar. But the video... well, it’s almost like watching an episode of Being Human, which I’m not complaining about... but let’s just say it’s a good job I’m not 12 anymore (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrn6BbM0TRQ). Pwhaor.

And Robbie? I hear you ask. Sorry girls, but he has finally tied the knot. Yes, Robbie Williams actually has gotten married (and not to Fearne Cotton) and also has produced a couple of good come back singles too. But that is what the point is not. HE’S REJOINED TAKE THAT! O.M.G! No joke! Totally serious!  Take That are once again a five piece. Oh, how happy my mother is. The band have written and recorded an album which is set for release for later on in the year.  

So I take that all back, it seems we are going back to the future (shu-boom-doom). The pop rock boy bands are still hanging around, although a bit more grown up and perhaps not suitable for the 12 year old market anymore. The Middle Aged Man Bands are still holding their top spot, fully reunited with no plans to go anywhere just as of yet. And the actual boy bands, well they’re still going, sitting comfortable in the charts. A little part of me feels very content; knowing three generations of “boy band” can live peacefully side by side, it brings a tear to my eye.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A Friday night (Saturday morning) blog / Blog My Life 1

Good evening my blog stalking friends!

I have decided that the best way to go about this blogging business is to write a weekly update about the exciting , adventurous life I lead. Seeing as Friday evening generally seems to be the evening in which my brain is unable to engage with anything other than a computer screen, this is probably the most suitable time to do it. Unfortunately, this evening I have discovered that in actual fact, it's Friday evening that my brain engages with anything other than what I intended to being doing. I've been logged into blogger for the past hour and during that time I've discussed the prospect of being a slutty bridesmaid on facebook, MSNed, made a "tweet", loved an Example track on last.fm, taken a couple of pictures of my goldfish (yes, really), flicked through this week's NME, discovered a spot on my shoulder and almost finished a large packet of Cola Bottles (god, they are good). Yet this is all I've managed to write. At this rate it will be a Saturday morning blog, which really doesn't have the same sexy ring to it...

Hang on, I'm writing a "Friday night blog"... I officially have no social life. In that case, I propose that I write a weekly update at some point between the Friday and Sunday evening. Ohhh, that makes me sound a whole lot cooler. In fact I may even write two blogs! Yes, one on the Friday evening (of course, only if there happens to be a gap in my diary that day giving me time to do it) and one at the end of the weekend. Sunday night is not a time for partying. No! It is a day of rest, therefore the evening must be spent watching Songs of Praise, Antiques Road Show and Countryfile! So that's, what, a good three/four hours of faceb- sorry, blogging time.

Let's get to the point.
After arriving back from France at the weekend, I had the brilliant idea of setting up a blog! Enough said.
Well, Monday was spent visiting family during the day, and in the evening my beautiful boyfriend cooked me dinner, which was eaten whilst watching Hollyoaks; we are a romantic pair.
Tuesday I gained two new friends - Black Jack and Fruit Salad, my absolutely awesome goldfish! I also saw Toy Story 3 with the bezzie. That film is made for 17 year olds, not 7 year olds! I will add a picture of my goldfish at some point.
Wednesday... umm, oh yeah! After over a year I finally cleared out all my high school stuff.
Thursday was As results. 4 Bs, pretty pleased with that I have to say :) and then hung with my homies.
Today - dentists, and my teeth are perfect, as normal ;) And the evening with the bf, watching more Hollyoaks and Robot Wars on Dave.

Well, what an interesting week and blog... not. To be fair I had to rush this one as now it is actually gone midnight and now Saturday, and I've spent most of my time pissing about. So next time I blog my life, I Brownie Promise to do it properly and make it interesting and exciting, attention grabbing and jaw droppingly outrageous... now that's given you something to look forward to ;) Maybe I wont do it on a Friday night, but I will try and do a regular up date... hopefully. Oh well, it's a start.

Ssej x

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Some holiday piccys :)

Whilst on holiday this summer I made a few friends...
Mr Peacock...

Mrs Peacock...

A dog.

I met Mr and Mrs Peacock at some open gardens in south west France. I especially love Mrs Peacock. She had jumped up onto the wall quite literally out of nowhere. It was by pure chance that she happened to give me those "evils" as I pointed my camera at her. The image makes me chuckle every time as I can't help but imagine this peacock asking - in a French accent - "What are you looking at, biatch?!". Mr Peacock however, presents himself elegantly as his body curves diagonally across the image, yet the sky in the back ground gives him dominance and authority. The black and white image of the dog mirrors the sad expression in the dogs face... yeah, I took As Photography; I will stop now... actually, the dog was really happy and waved its tail as I went over and had a fuss :) 

The gardens are situated across the cliff tops over looking the Dordogne river and the views are breathtakingly stunning. For miles across the valleys, small town and villages sit snugly between rolling hills and fields. High in the valleys, carefully placed castles and chateaus overlook the land with great pride. 
 


^Here's some slightly dodgy pictures I took from the gardens. ^

Yeah, I have a thing for taking black and white images. Unfortunately, my Kodak Easy Share doesn't quite have the same quality as a DSLR or Film SLR. I should really save up for my own personal one... anyway, I'll give the images a once over on Photoshop Elements 8 and upload them at a later date.

If you look closely at the colour one however, there's two blue hot air balloons in the background. Can you imagine how spectacular it must be to experience the Dordogne from above, gliding through the open air? I think that's on my list of things to do.

I visited the gardens on a Thursday evening when the path ways are lit up with thousands of candles. As the sun set, the gardens began to take a new, mystical form. The whole atmosphere becomes magical in that way which is slightly eerie and scary, yet also romantic and beautiful; that type of magical where those stomach butterflies are raging a civil war... or maybe that's just me. It's always those moments where you realise that one person, that one special person, you want to share it with is 800 miles away. Hmmm, I'm not sure if that's the best description but maybe a butterfly civil war could be a selling point in a travel brochure.

The dog was tied up out side a little trinket shop in a side alley in a "bastide" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastide the picture on there isn't the same place, but I did visit it :P ). This is the shop enterance. ->
Definitely a Jess type shop :P I do love my jewellery and stuff...






Anyway, all I really wanted to share was the images of the peacocks and dog but this seems to have turned into an essay. Time to finish off.
Byebye.

Ssej X

A blog of some kind...

So, I've decided to start a blog... (wondering eyes, thinking face...)... mainly for the reason that I've decided if I really want to go in to journalism or something along those lines, I need to start being serious about writing... aha, yeah. I've had twitter 18 months and I've made 11 "tweets". Good luck.

This is my plan.

My English teacher said write stuff down, keep a diary or blog or whatever if you want to go into writing of some kind. I seem to spend half my life with my face glued to thousands of megapixels telling me that so-and-so has change their relationship status to "it's complicated", then spending the next hour searching the cyber-world to find out if there are any clues as to why this unexplainable event has happened. Of course, whilst investigating I am also keeping my friend informed of my findings by sending her electronic letters at the speed of light/broadband, signing each one off with a little winking face, like so: ;) Therefore, I came to the conclusion that instead of affectively doing fuck all between the hours of 6pm and midnight, I could spend it by doing something a little more productive. Yes, instead I'm going to tell the WHOLE WORLD how I've done fuck all, all day. Plan. Or I could just keep a blog of bits of writing, events, pictures etc to encourage me to record and collect stuff on a regular basis.

So that's what I'm going to do with this so called "blog". I'm going to add bits of writing such as reviews, ideas, thoughts, diary entries, pictures, links and maybe bits and pieces from college (obviously not whole pieces of work or coursework because that can encourage plagiarism my friends, and is very much frowned upon). Also I may shamelessly use it to plug my band http://www.youtube.com/user/pouttheband facebook: Perfect [pout]. I'm the guitarist. ;)

       This is a blog of some kind. Here we go...

Ssej