Friday, 10 December 2010

Proofs as to just how thick and stupid people are

So Comeron and Clegg (who don't even really desearve to be name on my blog, ever!) have put up the tuition fees to £9000. Also raised is the wage at which students need to be earning before paying back their loan.
And this is me, right: Hang on, the tuition fees have gone up to £9000 BUT, the pay back doesn't start until £21000 or more? How thick can they get, they are never going to get that money back!!
What are YOUR thoughts?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mando remix

Just found what I wanted to hear, fantastic remix of Dance With Somebody by The Salazar Brothers.

Also, I've been listening to constantly to Gay Bar by Electric Six. This be why:

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Just goes to show

Despite my listening habits, much of which from English bands, I've found that most of my time is spent listening to Swedish music. I managed to listen to twice as much Swedish than English whilst listening to 20x more English bands. During my research I found out that The Wannadies are Swedish. The You & Me Song is fabby!!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A blog about shit

Here is a list of some shit stuff.
  • The UK - Depressing island full of shit chav culture. Why must Britain be stereotyped as this chavvy? Some people just ruin it for everyone. Programmes like the X Factor and Big Brother lasting as long as they have is just getting annoying and proving how shit people on this island are.
  • The UK Music Industry - X Factor again. While REAL talent is struggling to make an impact, complete talentless nobodies and Barbies are getting everything they could wish for.What's the point anymore? Also stuff like this is ruining the chances of imported bands who actually know what they are doing. A lot of them have been brought up musically and their little fingers are more talented. Also, why isn't a certain cover by a certain band only available EVER on the Swedish version of iTunes. How do I get it now? Shithead industry.
  • UK iTunes - Shit. Can't get what I want, EVER. Have to import all my shit from Germany and shit like that. Remtards.
  • The UK Public - Don't have a clue. Chavvy scumbags the most of them, don't like to give new shit a chance. Stick two fingers to you from when I screw you all over.
  • The UK Goverment - Had enough, don't have a clue. Just getting shitter and shitter. How do you LOSE Trident? How are all poor people thick? Why are we paying tax when it's going on protecting murderer's identity's? Surely it's US that need protecting from THEM! HOW ABOUT PUTTING THEM IN JAIL YOU SHITS?
  • The UK Education System - No more coursework. Ok, we hated it at the time but it was an easy way to get marks. Also, the only way of explaining people's grades getting higher by the year can't be drawn from a result of better teaching because that seems to be getting worse. Some bloke from some examining board actually admitted to the exams getting easier - what they do is take out the questions more people are getting wrong and replace them with something a bit easier so expect a year 6 exam in place of a GCSE in a couple of years (if it hasn't already reached that point).
  • The UK Film Industry - Ok, so the films are one thing I agree on, some of them are pretty darn good! But what the government have decided to do is cut funding which benefits new filmmakers as well as the film industry in general. So don't expect anything too special in the next few years.
  • The UK University Scandal - The fees are going up - in 2014. But why? We're students, how will we afford to pay back? People are just not going to bother any more.
  • UK shops - All gone. Even the ones that manage to stand strong won't last much longer. Many of the great 'small' towns are now ghost towns, with their once full of stock shop windows now filled with shitty photos of shop interiors which just look shit. Woolworth's was great when we had it and I used to get everything from Zavvi, they got me whatever HMV wouldn't. How has it's original ownership thing of Virgin Megastores still massive in the states? I'll be fine as long as they keep Toys 'r' Us, IKEA (for he giggles of jumping out of wardrobes) and H&M (which is also Swedish anyway!).
  • The UK as soon as fireworks go on sale - I've seen enough fireworks and every year by the time it actually reaches bonfire night I am sick of the sight (and sound) of them! Why don't they just sell them on the day? And in particular DO. NOT. SELL. TO. MINORS! OR. CHAVS. ARSEWIPES!!!
  • UK 'Celebrities' - Celebrities my arse. And since when did Jordan Barbie girl become a best selling author?
Oh, and the new MSN is shit too.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Mando Diao unplugged 2

Here's the follow up to the unplugged trailer I posted last night. Not long to go now!! =)

Friday, 22 October 2010

MTV Unplugged

21 days until Mando Diao unleash their beast - Above and Beyond (MTV Unplugged concert CD + DVD) Here's part one of the trailer. Watch out for part 2!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Swedish lessons

I've been really busy lately. I'm back at uni for the second year of my degree as well as working on two jobs and street teaming for the boys in the band, Mando Diao. So it's all good. On top of all of this, I have taken time out to take Swedish lessons which have been going quite well. I've been doing a teach yourself method, using a website that a sweet-ass Swedish dude put together to help people learn the language. That site can be found here. It's basic Swedish but it's been a great help. As has my Swedish dictionary I found in Waterstone's. I even managed to have it for a full day without having looked up the swearwords (knull, skit and everyone's favourite fitta). So yeah, that's been fun. In seriousness, I've been knee deep in verbs, numbers and nouns (noll, ett, två, tre, fyra) whilst making a grasp at a beautiful language. In all due course, I will be a Swedish speaking 'scholar' of sorts (if it all works out right). I've worked through two lessons on that site now. Most of it is remembering words, which you'd expect. "Hon studerar Svenska." Ja, det gör jag. Det är kul. And back to English. So I'll be off, hej då.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Give Me Fire vinyl

I collected my Mando Diao vinyl today and was surprised by the addition of two extra tracks on side 2B, these being the amazing double-track Alone With Molly and In The Valley. These two songs make for great listening beginning with a slightly ABBA-esque piano intro (think Money Money Money slowed right down). As Alone With Molly blends into In The Valley the music starts to get darker as Gustaf Norén gives way to Björn Dixgård's vocal chords.
The new additions sit inbetween Go Out Tonight and You Got Nothing On Me.

Ray Davies, who Mando Diao have named as a 'mate', is bringing out a collaboration album featuring the likes of Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) and Bruce Springsteen. Bringing back a piece of MTV Unplugged in Berlin (during which Mandos invited up Davies to perform Victoria) the album will feature a studio collaboration between the two. Looking forward to that!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Southside Festival with Mando Diao

So I've finally got around to writing a recap of Mando's performance at Germany's Southside Festival with turned out to be an enjoyable performance with an amazing crowd. Even though I didn't attend myself, the online stream showed what was an electrifying moment in music history. Coming on stage with The Quarry, the Swedish quintet played through a setlist including recent chart smash, Dance With Somebody as well as old crowd pleasers like The Band and Long Before Rock 'n' Roll. Southside 2010 was one of the first to kick off this year's festival season and to employ Mando Diao as a headline act was a great way to get things started. For a band that has received acclaim in both Sweden and Germany, they can look forward to success in the UK and maybe after that, who knows?! The hour or so spent on stage included a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Bleecker Street as part of an acoustic encore featuring Gustaf and Björn. They proved just how beautifully their songs can be put across which is hard to describe just how amazing they sounded. It just felt so much how I was a part of an amazing evening even though in reality I was sat in front of my computer screen with my headphones in laughing at people commenting calling Billy Talent 'kindermusik'. I wish I could have been there to experience it in real. This one moment has stuck in my head since June and will be there for months to come. Listening back proves just how amazing and talented Mando Diao are musically. (And they are very nice to look at too!). In all, it was an amazingly brilliant night.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

JLS Condoms

An epic fail. Aren't we supposed to be DISCOURAGING children from having sex? Look at the age range of fans. Don't think I've seen anyone over 16 wearing a JLShit hoodie. And they are called 'Just. Love. Safely.'

Friday, 17 September 2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

All they ever wanted can never stay the same



Ace. Inbetweeners back on next Monday, what better way to celebrate than listen to this.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Friday, 3 September 2010

I am drunk YASSS


Strong stuff. At first GLANCE I was expecting it to be more like an alcopop, such as Smirnoff is in it Smirnoff Ice incarnication but this stuff is pure vodka.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Promotions people

Book Mando Diao for a UK gig ... please ...

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Mando Diao live

There's 20 000 tickets available for a free digital Mando Diao show on the 17th August, they are linited so just click if you want some! The show is probably the first of it's kind and great for those who don't have very many opportunities to see the band live.
The show can be viewed at aftonbladet.se

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Glasgow parody

First Boro Postman Pat, Teeside Tin Tin, Mackem Star Wars, Scouse Fireman Sam and whatever else was done. Now Glasgow had a turn with he Dolmio adverts. Enjoy.

Friday, 30 July 2010

80s party

After having Absolute Radio inserted into my ears this morning and joyfully listening to the likes of Oasis, The Las, Biffy Clyro, A-Ha, Blur and what was a 90s wet dream, I decided to go back yet another decade and party along to the 80s. Podcasts coming soon, guys!!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Gazebos

Gazebos are vicious and vile objects. On putting up a Gazebo to protect ourselves and expensive roadshow equipment from the rain, upon tying it up as best we could to all available fences, the Gazebo then decided it would take itself upon a gust of wind and flip over the side fence wherein snapping one pole and bending the other. The gazebo then decided not to let us pull it back over the fence, having jammed itself into the guttering of the behind building. The event was clearly hilarious but also annoying as the next group of people who put up a gazebo for a barbecue (after ourselves were moved indoors) had no issue because someone had the clever idea of placing them on a patch of grass, therefore giving them the availability to properly pitch the gazebo into the ground.

I had another incident involving two heavy roadshow loudspeakers last weekend in which they decided to fall over on their stands and leave me with a massive bruise on my leg. I suppose it is better than me ending up concussed.

I'm at the end of roadshow season at the moment (even though the rest of the group is not) and despite a few glitches (equipment not working/cutting out ... gazebos ... falling speakers) it has been really quite fun. However I have developed a strong hatred of a few things ...
- Justin £$%&ing Bieber
- £$%&ing Ke$ha
- Don't Stop Believing
- France
- Gazebos
- Joe Whatever-his-name-is

It's mainly children's listening habits that tends to annoy me. Can they not listen to 'proper' music and not just whatever is in the charts? It is kind of like they do not have their own sense of choice. And that's what really grinds my gears.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Sorry

Have been reading, playing bass, practicing shorthand and going on long walks inbetween films, job interviews and Heroes so haven't really had time to be here.
Not many gigs to report on and the European festival season has just about died down. TV is officially dead. That is all//

Monday, 5 July 2010

Festivals

Not even properly started here, but the festival season has been in full swing for over a month all over central Europe and Scandinavia with Pinkpop, Hurricane, Rock am Ring, Southside, Open'er Festival and Peace & Love. All of which looked amazing! My personal favourite being Southside for a cetain band (thank goodness for the invention of the internet and live-streaming).

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Weird Al



"Can't figure out why they don't weigh a ton" - GENIUS

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Callback

When you promise someone a call back, the least you can do is, um, call back. Not that hard. On the otherhand I now have no money left to spend on getting to job interviews, it's a case of staying alive. But I'm not that easy at turning stuff down. When I want something I take it seriously. When employers want something it's an entire pisstake ... sign shows up in window asking for staff ... candidate hands in CV ... employer rings up requesting candidate go to interview in two hours ... interview goes well and employer promises call back regardless of success ... no call back ... one week later and sign asking for staff is back in window. There's no courtesy at all, what's the point in trying with some people? You either want staff or you don't, love.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

43 Days For Post

After waiting a total of 43 days (yes, that includes one bank holiday and however many Sundays) the postman decided to deliver my post. How nice of him.

Refering back to yesterday, I have come across an old(ish) Noel Gallagher quote:
"Unfortunately, we live in the age of rap and R&B. Don't listen to the radio. That's my advice."
He also DOES think that there are GOOD bands on this planet too. You should listen to them.
"There's still a lot of good rock & roll: Black Mountain are incredible, Mando Diao, a band from North London callad the Jim Jones Revue."

That's good advice and worth taking note of.

Out.

Friday, 11 June 2010

bannerfromcitizen.jpg


Lovely enticing invite for you there, join in with the fun and games that make up mandodiao.com
In the meantime, it's almost festival time again. I decided not to report from Middlesbrough Music Live this year because, to be honest, the line up was a bit pants. I didn't get up to much instead but was thinking that maybe the organisers need a kick up the arse and that they shouldn't just hire bands because so and so have said they are good. They need to get out there and find them. There's plenty of amazing bands out there that never get much attention just because they don't sign to a bigger label or whatever. And there is even more amazing bands who just aren't making it over here because of the close mindedness of the British public. Dizzee Rascal? He's crap. Grindie, Hip hop? What the hell is wrong with you? I practically got assaulted by a member of De La Soul at Evolution basically because I wasn't enjoying them. It wasn't even music. It was three black guys talking over crap drumbeats. Whenever I want to hear people talk over 'music', I go to the cinema, that's what it's there for!
Look at this album review from nme.com for Mando Diao lastest offering:

The Swedish outfit fail to fuel flames.
and
Much like Jet, it’s difficult to escape the unerring feeling that without a major label budget Mando Diao would be little more than a top rate pub band.
Then look at the sort of bands the NME calls 'good' nowadays; and suprisingly they all manage to sound the same! Major label budget? They are, douchebag, last time I checked they were under the wings of Universal Island. That's have they manage to release not only an album but a 'package'. If they got their heads unstuck from Dizzee Rascal, Enter Shakira and Bloc Party's arses then music wouldn't be the mess it is today. Basically, all I'm saying is, you don't have to sound like The Libertines or The Strokes (cough almost everyone cough)to be considered good. It's just a shame that it's only these bands getting any attention. Most people clearly hate the sound of something new.I used to be like it myself until a couple of years ago when I decided that nothing is about keeping other people happy, just as long as you are happy with the way you are. Nothing is more important than being yourself. Fuck this corporate shit.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Google just got cooler

Google is renowned for its logo changes for special occasions and came up with a pretty damn good idea the other week in order to celebrate Pac Man's 25th birthday. The logo was changed into an actual working Pac Man game for a few days before being sadly deleted.
But that's not all, those of us lucky people who have Google accounts can now change the background of our Google home page and here's mine for you to have a gander:Isn't that lovely, non-account holders?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Birthdays, postmen and more

Yesterday was Zachary Quinto's birthday, so happy birthday to him. It would have been a good birthday present to reprise him in his role as Sylar in Heroes season 5 but thanks to NBC...

Why are postmen rubbish at getting stuff to you? I've been waiting for a package from Sweden for a month and I still haven't got it so I'm assuming it's been lost. I hope my parcel from Switzerland comes when it's supposed to - which is anytime between tomorrow and the 16th of the month.

It's a very sunny day and there are seagulls outside my window. They are very noisy and make me want to close the window. But I think I'll leave it for a while.

I finally watched Public Enemies last night - in a sort of fashion as the phone kept ringing. I would have probably kept on the storyline a bit better if I'd watched it uninterrupted. I wished for sun over heavy rain instead.

But anyway... that poll thing is still up, along with some lovely videos for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at both!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Great way to end gig going for a while

Just got back from Evolution Fest 2010 having seen many bands including The Horrors, The Futureheads and the wonderfully titled Dananananackroyd.
I have seen around a hundred brilliant bands play in the last 5 or 6 years (admittedly some of them were crap - I'm not being racist, I just don't like hip hop, or crap) and have made the decision to stay away from gig going for a while. It's not something I don't enjoy but for those who have been reading my blog the past few weeks will understand my participation as part of the Mando Diao street team - I am actually president for the newly established Newcastle Unit. Well, everyone is invited! While you're at it, check out Polarsets. They opened the stage at Spiller's Wharf today. Fantastic.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Flagstone - MANDO DIAO LAUNCHES iPHONE APPLICATION - MyNewsdesk

Mando Diao have launched an app for the iPhone which allows users to keep up-to-date with the Mando guys. See here for more information: http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/pressroom/flagstone/pressrelease/view/mando-diao-launches-iphone-application-416157

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A Mando Diao related poll

It's time to choose out of all their singles which one is the best (so far). To vote there's a poll thing down the side, look for it! I have included videos for songs where possible, for the rest you'll have to trust me that the link is not a virus but goes straight to youtube.com
Enjoy!

Mr. Moon


The Band


Sheepdog

Paralyzed



Clean Town

Down In The Past


You Can't Steal My Love

God Knows


Long Before Rock 'n' Roll

Good Morning, Herr Horst



TV & Me

The Wildfire (If It Was True)


Ochrasy


If I Don't Live Today, I Might Be Here Tomorrow

Never Seen The Light Of Day

Train On Fire

Dance With Somebody



Gloria


Mean Street


The Quarry


Nothing Without You

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Some interesting things to do

Join us at the Mando Diao Newcastle Unit on facebook or at the website www.mandodiao.com

Friday, 21 May 2010

Next week's Lost finale

Yes, people in the UK are tempted enough to stay up until 5am on Monday morning to watch the Lost finale. This is a reminder that the show is actually shown LEGALLY on Sky 1 next Friday at 9pm. I personally would much rather watch the Lost finale late than sit up until 5am on Monday morning to watch it illegally on the internet. Why bother watching it early in uber poor internet quality when you can watch it in HD or something on Friday night on the TV. You people are ruining TV.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Blitz Street

It's amazing how 5 bombs almost annihilated an entire street specially built for annihilating and yet a single milk bottle placed outside a door survived the assault. Pure luck.
This was an excellent four-parter that fully explained exactly just what it was like during the blitz and you can't get anyone better than Tony Robinson to present.

NBC CANCELS HEROES

The end is here.
After a disappointing end to season 4 of Heroes, NBC have decided to cancel the show which has received low viewings since the beginning of season 2. However, the company have ideas for a possible movie event to end the saga.

TV is officially dead. J.J. Abrams highly successful LOST has it's finale next Friday night, finishing up with a 2 and a half hour episode closing up the entire book. Flashforward also finishes in two weeks, and I doubt it will return.

It's not been a very well laid out year really. First Cameron and now this.

Oh well.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Futureheads @ The Other Rooms

Topman CTRL Student Tour began it's way around the country last night beginning with a show at The Other Rooms in Newcastle. Being a student crowd, you didn't get the drunk old arseholes who are just there to spoil stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with being old, that's just where most of the trouble tends to come from.

The stage was decorated with giant manly sized glowsticks, four LCD TV screens and some mini-cameras. And to be completely honest, by the time The Futurehead came on they proved that this is the venue that was made for them. It was perfect. Completely intimate. Considering the small stage, they still had a presence and a way with the crowd. From what I can remember of the setlist:
The Chaos
Walking Backwards
Heartbeat Song
Meantime
I Can Do That
Decent Days And Nights
Struck Dumb
Sun Goes Down
Skip To The End
The Beginning Of The Twist
Work Is Never Done
Worry About It Later
Carnival Kids
Hounds Of Love
Jupiter
The Connector
Man Ray

It was nice to have Meantime back in the set and even on a request that they play Hounds, Barry replied, "You don't even need to ask for that one." When the time for that came, we were split into half as usual, Ross' side were quietest (as usual) and everyone went mental. What a perfect way to end their own tour and begin the Topman shows.

The Futureheads are appearing next at Evolution fest on Newcastle/Gateshead quayside two weeks today. So far, that's going to be my final gig for a while as I'll be focussing on some Mando Diao street team work to get them over here. Bye for now music peeps.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Bugger

First political related blog. Gordon Brown has quit. David Cameron now Prime Minister. Just when we thought this country couldn't get any worse. Wish I'd sorted out my passport BEFORE this fiasco and jetted off to a mountain somewhere.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Tyler Shields

Just come across a kick-ass photographer who creates amazing photographs without using photoshop! I may have an idea how he does it but I'll not spoil it.
Some things will never cease to amaze me! Enjoy.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hey Hey Hey

Just made my first milestone in the Mando Diao street team. I've switched over from being an everyday citizen to an Ace citizen which is great.
Obviously joining the street team at www.mando-diao.com is not just about benefits, we get involved for the love of Mando Diao and it's such a proud moment when you reach certain milestones. The team is open to anyone to join, remember, everything you do is for them but if you don't like the work then that's fine too.

In other news, I decided to get myself a job interview for Ann Summers, to the amusement of some friends (I myself have been pissing myself laughing) so if I do get in then I'll do a little behind-the-scenes, you lucky, lucky people.

So, until next time...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Futureheads / Heroes

First off, experienced Futureheads live in Middlesbrough last night and must admit that they are getting better everytime I've seen them. Also, the venue was great as the stage wasn't taller than me (The Sage) and I didn't feel too far away, it felt quite intimate and gave me some good photo opportunities, they will follow in the next few days. I just have one wish: will Dave please stop having to sit in the dark, I couldn't get a decent pic. Thanks.
I'm looking forward to seeing them again at The Other Rooms, the venue is even more intimate meaning they are at touching distance. Niccce.

Heroes season 4 has just finished leading way to a 'Brave New World' and making me think, 'What a beeatch. Your daddy hates you now, Sylar still wants a pop.' Well, at least she didn't kill people in the process and she's always been about wanting to be herself. I particularly enjoyed the comments of 'It's not your coming-out party, it's his.' I know it wasn't meant in a gay way but what's funny is it sounded like it could have been.
I don't know what could happen with Heroes next. Hiro's girl dreams have been dashed, Peter and Sylar are BFF and Samuel is on his own.
*spends a couple of minutes thinking of season 5 scenarios*
Nothing. Oh, well, writers will know.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Heroes

Seen that one from Sunday twice now, having watched it at 2am on Monday morning which was nice, along with a Heroes takeaway, which was ok.
There's a cute little something between Sylar and Peter!

Last one over the weekend, and I miss that too because I'm off to see another band, this time The Futureheads are opening their 2010 tour at Middlesbrough, as part of The Empire's Metropolis club night which will be fun. This one's a late start at 9pm. And also, their new album, The Chaos, is out now so blend that into your ears.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

ASH LIVE @ THE ACADEMY

On our way to the Academy we encountered a load of people dressed like lifeguards with CARNAGE t-shirts on. Wherever they were off to, there certainly wasn't going to be any carnage as Ash were in town and now of them were there. Tonight's show saw them joined by Bloc Party's Russell Lissack who is the band's honourary fourth member for their second A-Z Tour - to commemorate their 26 singles in a year which is now up to N.

Considering Ash's fanbase as being quite large and dedicated - as well as diverse - the show was surprisingly not sold out, maybe everyone had dressed up like lifeguards instead. Daftys.

It's been nearly 20 years since Ash have formed so this show, as usual, had to show the best of each 'era'. Playing new tracks from their A-Z series, they also revisited 1977, did some Kung Fu and played an epic encore featuring Twilight of the Innocents. It has to be said though that for much of the new tracks, the majority of the crowd rarely moved. Could this be that the new stuff isn't faring as well?

The A-Z preview track Return of White Rabbit showed a possible dancier side to Ash which was expected to follow. Single A, True Love 1980, sounded like a space arcade and completely erased expectation. B, Joy Kicks Darkness, was again different and the series began to track back to Ash's love of space. It's always a nice thing to see a band prove they're not just one song - bands that are know who they are, I'm watching you - but sometimes it doesn't work. Having said that, the newer tracks did sound better live and the crowd did seem to be enjoying it. Which is all a band wants.

Ash going back and playing songs like, or basically just forgot that and make it just this one in particular. Meltdown live now seems to be turning into one of those rare treats, a track that gets its time until it's thrown to the bottom of the pile and forgotten about which is a shame because this was one of the tracks that defined who Ash were, showed what they could do, and more importantly came along on an album that also produced Orpheus.

So let's look back on Ash's last 20 years (or if you want to be specific - 18 years) and let them take centre stage, they are still certainly a band worth seeing and is probably one of the most epic performance makers of the year so far.

The Vitamin String Quartet & Ash

Discovered these last night - basically they take songs by contemporary artists and arrange them on strings. They've done 'tributes' to System of a Down, Muse, Sum 41, Green Day and The Cure, creating by the latter a version of Just Like Heaven that one could walk down the aisle to. People admitted in the YouTube comments for already having done so, saying that it could possibly replace Canon in D Minor. So, that, alongside other stuff, is available for download on Amazon at about 79p a track or £6.99 an album, round abouts.

Ash are playing Newcastle's O2 Academy tonight with support from The Parlotones who I discovered like to make random vocal sounds. So instead of Sylarwatch, you'll be getting an update from that and Sylarwatch will follow shortly! Having said that, I've not been doing Heroes updates on here for a while.

  • Hiro collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he 'died', fought Adam Monroe in a fight before the light until finally meeting his dead mum who's a healer. Lucky.
  • Noah is in blame for half the carnival getting shot. It was really Mr Multiplier.
  • And Matt has Sylar half buried in his basement after he came to him so Matt could remove his powers. Peter intervened and now he's pretty much fucked too.
There's about four episodes to go and whether or not there'll be a season 5 remains to be seen. NBC have said they might do another 13 episodes which will put the writers under a lot of pressure to get it finished in quality.
So keep looking out for that, and have a look at my shiny new poll.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Uni article - Viva City go to America

We’re at The Cluny, where Newcastle’s very own Viva City are preparing for their farewell gig before jetting off to America to add the prestigious South by South West to their roster.

The festival, based in Austin, Texas, first started in March 1987 as a cultural event to bring people from all over the world together for a week of film and music. The festival has been played by the likes of The Futureheads, Bloc Party and Morrissey, in previous years. And now it’s time for SXSW 2010.

Viva City applied to perform this year but never thought they actually be invited to attend. The four piece band are Newcastle’s cream of the crop, having played sell out shows in London’s KOKO venue as well as winning a slot for the Camden Crawl, which was based on a fan voting system.

And after that they are flying off to Austin, Texas, to play not just one, but three shows at this year’s shindig.

Viva City – Ali Allerdyce, Trev Cairns, Bruce Tate and Chris Cairns – have been wowing crowds in Newcastle with their synthy electro-pop since forming in 2006 and made a mark in the UK indie charts back in 2008 when their debut single Kate Bush hit number 3.

Since then they’ve collaborated with the “Most Popular Dutch DJ” – a status given at the GKA Awards – Don Diablo for Audio Endlessly, who reworked the track to guarantee a full
dance floor. The new, as of yet untitled album, is currently being put together.

The lads are hoping the US crowd take to their tunes; this will decide whether or not it’s the right time for the album to come out.

On the night of the ‘farewell Newcastle’ gig, The Cluny was packed with revellers out for a good time. In between arguing over which beers to buy, I managed to grab a few minutes with Ali and Bruce to discuss The Cluny’s food menu.

“The nacho’s are hit and miss here,” exclaims Bruce.

Nachos aren’t really important here. What is, though, and we will get there, is how the band feel about their upcoming American shows.

“We’re really looking forward to it. It’s just a good opportunity to showcase our music to the rest of the world,” Bruce explains. “I don’t know what to expect. It’s just a festival in a city.”

When asked how the shows would compare to gigs they’ve played in the UK, there were barely any words to describe their thoughts. The answer they did come to was “Hotter” showing that they have a sense of humour we can relate to.

Ali said: “I can imagine playing in America as a shocking experience.”

The trip also included time to shoot a video for their track Remove Moneymaker in LA as well as numerous DJ sets and an encounter with the DeLorean time machine featured in the Back to the Future trilogy.

When it came to naming the band, they wanted something that showed what they were about;
full of life and energy. So Viva City was a perfect choice. It certainly doesn’t need mentioning that’s a play on words though! I’m sure that’s easy to see. In an interview with SXSW’s official coverage website, Spinner Music, Ali noted; “[That’s] what you can expect from a live show.”

Back in The Cluny and the support bands are sound-checking, Chris and Trev have gone to Morrison’s to buy beer and I’m sat on a sofa with Bruce and Ali, who is reading the label on a bottle of Buxton water.

“This water has been filtered naturally for 5000 years and the sell by date is September.”

That’s just one of those things you never really think about until someone mentions it and it makes you think. But that topic is not for now. Viva City played a sell out show at The Cluny 2 last year to launch the single Have You Ever Felt So Messed up, my copy of which is sat in a frame on the wall. The venue was rammed with half-naked teenagers enjoying what Ali described as “a 14 year olds rave. That’s the sort of gigs I wanna play!”

The band enjoy playing gigs for underage kids. I reminisced to them about being unable to go and enjoy a band at that age because of age restrictions on the venues. Bruce describes a younger crowd as being “more fun. They’ve got no inhibitions so they just get to the front and jump up and down. We put [some] shows on ourselves for the reason that under 18’s can get in.”

So there’s no middle man there stopping fans from being able to see them. The kids are happy, as are the band. What’s wrong with that? Although nightclubs like Digital are still
appealing, Viva City are always back at The Cluny to entertain the younger crowd.

Speaking of underage crowds, a recent Viva City appearance was at this year’s T4 Outside In Festival at The Sage in Gateshead where the crowd was “really young. That was all like 14, 15 year olds,” Bruce recalls. And yes, they were completely off their heads. The crowd, I mean.

“They were all sneaking bottles of vodka in,” tells Ali, of the mostly underage crowd calling it “a proper Geordie event.”

So what’s next for Viva City? “The album’s due out September,” Bruce hopes. As do the fans who have been with them from the start. Viva City have spent a lot of time playing shows lately and building their fan base to the extent where voting systems – such as the Camden Crawl which was mentioned earlier – are getting them showcasing their talent in the capital. They’ve still had time to get into the studio and record most of their album which is slowly piecing itself together. September isn’t set in stone as a release date. Bruce admits it’s all up to their success at SXSW as “we want to release it at the right time.”

They are a band that deserves every little piece of success coming to them and following on from their triumphant launch in the States, they definitely have it coming.

(Photo by the Viva City photographer)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Stupid laws still in act (for some reason)

IN THE UK:
1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down.
3. In Liverpool , it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store
4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day
5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter
6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet
7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen
8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing
9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour
10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow

AND WORLDWIDE:
1. Australia - It is illegal to roam the streets wearing black clothes, felt shoes and black shoe polish on your face as these items are the tools of a cat burglar.
2. France - Between the hours of 8AM and 8PM, 70% of the music in the radio must be by French composers.
3. Thailand - It is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear.
4. Italy - It is an offence for women of 'ill repute or evil looks' to enter a cheese factory in the area of Ferrara.
5. Scotland - It is illegal to be a drunk while in possession of a cow.
6. France - It is illegal in Antibes to take photos of police officers or police vehicles, even if they are just in the background.
7. Lebanon - Men are legally allowed to have sex with animals so long as the animals are female. It is illegal to have sex with a male animal.
8. China - Women are prohibited from walking around a hotel room in the nude. A woman may only be naked whilst in the bathroom.
9. Hong Kong - A woman is legally allowed to kill her cheating husband, only if she uses her bare hands. The husband's lover however may be killed in any manner desired.
10. Switzerland - A man may not relieve himself while standing up, after 10 P.M.

Absolute madness.

RECORD STORE DAY / FUTUREHEADS

Sooooo... after queuing for one whole hour outside Newcastle's RPM, I wasn't expecting to grab a copy of a rare pressing of the new Futureheads so was getting pretty "Nevermind" but someone must have been on my side because I got there, asked and after a "Yes" from the assistant I rose into a cheer!

The b-side is a track called Agent Cooper and I must say it's bloody fantastic!

Friday, 16 April 2010

I'm actually apalled at some people's spelling

So, this got brought up today. The number of people who can't actually spell is just ridiculous. I mean, would you write like that in an English exam? No! Instead it's a case of "It's only FaceBook... blah blah blah etc." I can understand with texting, you only have a limited space to write so obviously you're going to shorten words to text speak but on the web there is just no need. Ok, so it saves time but think about the people who don't understand text speak. Think about the people whose English isn't even their first language and they are trying harder than you. I used to be an offender of this on a forum and used the excuse, "It's not an English exam!" but found that they were right! Think about people that can't read so well! Some people must feel pathetically stupid if someone who speaks English as a second language is writing better than they themselves are. The way kids are going now is just horrendous and I feel sorry for the most of them for being brought up the way they were, but for others there is just no excuse.
I was thinking of writing a short dictionary so that people learn how to spell right but it's just not worth the hassle. So instead I shall say this: Learn to type or just continue making people think you're an absolute arsehole.
Thank you.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Wowzers! That boy can drum!

Just been listening to Maybe Just Sad by Mando Diao, and my eyes pricked up to the sound of the drums, something I rarely do and I must so, Samuel Giers is a genius! That drumming is fantastic! That is all x

MANDO DIAO STREET TEAM INVITE

As it is apparent from looking at my Last.fm profile, Mando Diao have taken up a lot of my recent time and have given me belief in myself to be President of the Newcastle Unit of their Street Team, which has units covering the entire world to be true. Their songs are fantastic and they certainly deserve the awards, fans etc that they get. The one thing, and that's my job to do, as part of the street team, is to basically propel Mando Diao into worldwide stardom which they will love and deserve. So this is my invitation for you to join the street team at www.mando-diao.com and serving the band with little missions, the smallest of things, to help. Please give me, and the others, a hand. Join the crew, have some fun and enjoy the music.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Twitter is for people who are too lazy to write a blog

I came up with the above and after some thought believed it to be true. So I sit here and write some words to go with it. Twitter is basically a blogging tool but it's then again basically exactly the same as the status update thing on facebook but without the website to go with it. What's the point?

Anyway, Saturday is Record Store Day and 500 vinyl copies of The Futureheads Heartbeat Song are getting released specially. Sounds good, yeah?

Monday, 12 April 2010

Heartbeat Song

Digital copy only I'm afraid. It's on iTunes for 79p and Amazon have it for 69p. Whatever floats your boat. Full single contains a couple of remixes for your ears. Enjoy.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Heartbeat Song

Futureheads new single, Heartbeat Song, is out in full glory tomorrow. Available in all good record shops (probably).

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

YAY! Good News For The People Who Like Bad News!

Not really, just makes a good album title. But....

MANDO-DIAO.COM IS BACK ONLINE!! YAY!!

It didn't get destroyed by a virus and taken over by a porn website. The fun, games, and street teaming is back online. So get your arse over there and spread the Man(do) love.

I love you.

P&L.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Mando Diao's website hi-jacked.

The website at www.mando-diao.com now redirects automatically to a porn website, lovely. The site has been down for a few days, some kind of system error that is also affecting emails to/from their HQ. It is kind of annoying. Please spread the word. Hopefully we'll be back online soon.

//Newcastle Special Unit.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Advert pisstakes

So I was messing around on YouTube and on the main page was a link ro a Go Compare advert with Jimmy Carr that I just had to watch, so I did, laughed long and hard and then posted it here.


Also came across this mash up video the other day too. Well, I didn't, a friend did but I'll just take credit for it. What do you reckon?

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Lets make things nice and sparkling clear. This sarcasm - if I may call it such, is very unbecoming of you oh my brothers

I'm beyond getting upset over stuff. I've got to the point where I just want to stand up and point and laugh at the offenders who offend me with their apparent wit and so called 'awesomeness'. The cocky little shits who ruin lives are not worth it. I have viddied much problems and decided to just lay back and let them think they've won. I've learnt it's the only way to get people to back down.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Chipmunk songs

Still to find one that's not funny.
Made my own.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Last Night's Heroes

Holy smokess! Sylar's back! And this time he's back for good!
In a fun filled episode in which Claire Bennett and Peter Petrelli were dealing with the death of Nathan, Sylar still managed to find time to slip in some smooth shirtless action whilst trying to get back onto his killing spree. After many twists and turns to get back at Samuel he's now set on the path back to Claire, following their encounter in season 3 when she had her head sliced open thus making Sylar inevitably immortal. This completely screwed up the whole Save The Cheerleader, Save The World thing that Hiro Nakamura warned Peter against all those seasons ago. So Sylar being immortal is good for us Sylar fans because we won't lose him. Unless Heroes is cancelled.
It was nice to get back on track, Volume 5 has definitely lived up to its name of Redemption, well, so far. Who knows what's next?! But let's not look at it in that way.
It's all been good fun, and please please please, one last request! More shirtless Sylar!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

"This is just a saga now"

I was looking for just a straight forward clip of Chris Morris saying "Hello you" on The Day Today. Instead I found this funny piece of film, an overdubbed version of a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
"Open the pod door, Daaaaveeee"

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Finished film

Oh yeah.

Just adding some narration and clips of me humming the themes to The Great Escape and Mission Impossible. Fun times.

Never let me try and attempt to sing Land of Hope and Glory again.

Band practice coming soon, hopefully. Noel Theory is go.

Monday, 22 March 2010

RE-POST - So I've just completed my Element Series of Coasters on RCT3 and am coming up with 'themes' for them, these are what I have decided on so far...
FIRE - Give Me Fire (Mando Diao)
AIR - Air On The G-String
WATER - The Tide Is High (Blondie)
EARTH - The Earth Song (Michael Jackson)
If you come up with any better let me know, it could be a good idea to get as many tracks as possible and get like little playlist things done so FIRE could be like Give Me Fire, Meltdown (Ash) and Firestarter (Prodigy) etc etc...

More element songs:

FIRE -
I Started A Fire (Ash)
Feuer Frei (Rammstein)
Burn Baby Burn (Ash)
Disco Inferno
Hot Hot Hot


AIR -
Love Is In The Air
I Believe I Can Fly
(R Kelly)
The Dam Busters
Ride Of The Valkyries
Air Hostess
(Busted)
Come Fly With Me (Frank Sinatra)
Walking In The Air (Aled Jones)

WATER -
On A Wave (Ash)
The Riverboat Song (Ocean Colour Scene)
Under The Sea (Ariel & Sebastian)
Beyond The Sea (Frank Sinatra)
Float On (Modest Mouse)
Back To The Sea (Futureheads)

EARTH -
What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

Suggestions are welcome, guys.

ROGUE ANTI-MALWARE WARNING

Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP Security Tool 2010 warning.
Keep safe, I don't know how many sites are infected with it. It's cleverly designed to look like normal Windows security software but instead keeps showing pop-ups that say the PC has been hi-jacked. It has also blocked off internet use. And to get rid of the virus you need to register. Don't, it won't work. Everyone knows it's just a money making scam.
How much of a shit would you have to be to spend your time making viruses? I hope they get some themselves and realise how annoying and pointless it is. Then fuck off and die.

Friday, 19 March 2010

New Specsavers Ad

Completely cracked me up.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Nothing wrong with a bit of feminism

Basically got the sack on the uni radio, and we've not even put out a show yet! Apparently the demos, which feature myself, another presenter and the studio manager have been full of laddish banter which apparently doesn't really give me the chance to be involved, yet I thought it went great! How do they expect a female audience if it's 'laddish banter'? So I've been shunned from presenting to doing a news slot, which I'm refusing. The news just bores me. Also I'll not be allowed to join in with the banter. So, yes, it's just a load of sexism which I'm just not going to let push me down. I'll be back. It'll take more than a bit of sexism to make me back down.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Film and Sheepdog

Finished my edit of the group film, it looks crap but nevermind. Just joking, I'm quite pleased with it. I've also had my bass guitar out and have been learning to play Sheepdog by Mando Diao. All I can say is... I'm getting there. I just need a bit of practice and I'm away. It's nice to be back behind a real bass again after playing Rock Band for weeks on end, of which my current record is 5 song in one setlist, on medium mode, all 100%. What were they? Yes!
  • Eye Of The Tiger
  • Sex On Fire
  • Take Me Out
  • Call Me
  • Don't Look Back In Anger
I think we know who they are all by, thanks very much.
I will go out tonight, don't want to waste my time. I feel I'm bound to fly....

Monday, 15 March 2010

busy busy busy

Last night we watched Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, set during the Vietnam war. Despite the theme of death it was flipping hilarious and home to one of the most racist jokes I've ever heard, nearly. Don't think it's appropriate to stick up here so just watch the film.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Some people are either mad or stupid

I walked past Newcastle O2 Academy at 9 this morning to find a bunch of horrible little emo shits stood outside... with blankets. Turns out they were the start of the queue for tonight's You Me At 6 concert. Whatever is the point?! If they arrived at, like, 6 they would probably still be front of the queue anyway! I listened to a clip and they were god awful. Don't make me write about them again. Reminds me of the time I walked past a group of Elliott Minor fans who looked like they were shitting themselves for being out on their own at 4 in the afternoon waiting for that night's gig. I just laughed at them and walked past with my nose in the air.
Emo shits make a nice place look horrible with no effort.
MAKE EMOS HISTORY.
MAKE SCENESTERS HISTORY.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Mando Diao Newcastle Unit

Have become president of the Newcastle unit of the Mando Diao street team, of which I am very pleased about. So if I'm on about the Mando, then it'll be good to listen to me.
In the next few months I'll be bothering radio and TV stations with Mando related requests as well as putting the team together. So if you're interested in joining then please firstly join the citizenship at Mando-Diao.com and then go to the Newcastle Unit profile page, if the link works then it's here. I imagine there are fans up here as when Give Me Fire came out there was 7 copies in HMV. Now there's 1. And I didn't buy them all. If it was you then feel free to let me know and hope to see you in the team. It'll be very exciting and will create real benefits to yourselves as fans. So have a look, let me know what you think and have a great time!
If you're not from the area, there are other units to join that will be closer so feel free to have a hunt down on the street team area of the site.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Bring 'em In

Just listened to Mando Diao's Bring 'em In for what seems like the millionth time (it's a brilliant album!) and have only just heard (for the 1st time) some mumbling throughout Lauren's Cathedral, the album ender song.

This song is beautiful.
Does anyone know what the talking is? What they are saying?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Crystal... beautiful song

Fade away...
All that we have dreamed of
Bergman said it all,
the magic is in the fall, so true...

When you see him tell him all that you
don't know
all how much we've grown
so I cry but like always, I don't feel
that much in here
so I sit by your side just to be near you
oh lord please don't take him yet

Now you're gone, you're with angels
I will soon come visit you
and talk about, the time we had together
and our town is filled with tears

Don't feel bad while you're there
life was only sad sad while you were here
filled with rage and fear
and now I sit by your side
but you can't hear me
you can always count on me

don't feel sad, you're with angels
I will soon come visit you
and talk about, the time we had together
now our town is filled with tears

so I sit by your side
although you're not with me
when I comfort you, when I come to you

and like always, right here by your side

don't feel sad, you're with angels
I will soon come visit you
and talk about, the time we had together
and our town is filled with tears

Messing around with editing software

I've been messing around with an interview based film that we're making for a Media Practice unit and despite having not really done much, I've cobbled a fun couple of bits together played to the Super Mario theme (the interview is with a games design lecturer). The software we're using, Forscene, I've found to be no better than Windows Movie Maker which has given me so much.

Got a couple of stars yesterday for my work in other units, a radio bulletin and shorthand.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

In New Music We Trust - Live

Lady GaGa played at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on Thursday night, apparently revealing her tiny wang to the audience. The show attracted a bunch of Carnival Kids in fancy dress, trying to outdo GaGa's own crazy dress sense.
In the Meantime, Radio 1's very own Zane Lowe had taken over the O2 Academy for a night of magic and mayhem, playing host to Plan B, The Courteeners and The Futureheads. The gig kicked off a weekend of live music in Newcastle as part of the In New Music We Trust campaign which is showcasing at venues all over the city centre.
Back at the Academy and it's packed out before any bands have even come on, which is a rarity for a lot of gigs up in Newcastle. But the rest of the gigs up here don't have Zane Lowe DJing.
Zane has been presenting on Radio 1 for a number of years now, alongside presenting MTV's Gonzo as well as also playing in his own band Breaks Co-op. He's one of those people who has achieved superstar status, attracting listeners from all over the globe.
7pm and we're live on Radio 1. And it's manic.
First up is Plan B, who's bigging up his new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, which looks into a different style to what we're used to Plan B sounding like. The 'former' rapper, has experimented with a more soul sound but couldn't quite put it across live. The backing band were spot on and would have been perfect if it hadn't been for him.
The Courteeners have been getting quite a bit of attention lately and their fanbase is big enough proof that songs like Not Nineteen Forever and You Overdid It Doll are certainly clicking with the nation. Hannah Blundell, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the gig explained why The Courteeners are so popular. "I love the lyrics because simply they're really nice and I like how catchy their songs are. I became a fan because I was in my friend's car and she had them on so I listened at home to the new album and just loved it."
The second album Falcon came out last month hitting a mighty number 6. And it seems most of the sales had come from almost every person in the room as it was hard to find someone who wasn't singing along to every word.
It was coming to the last hour of Zane's slot on Radio 1 and his highlights so far included breaking a disc with a copy of Blur's Song 2 on it ("That's what happens when you use your own scratched CDs") and a rousing rendition of Maxïmo Park's Apply Some Pressure from the crowd. Maxïmo Park are always a hit in Newcastle and are very much due a tour. Their last album Quicken The Heart was released last May and is their least anthemic album. The band played a free show in promotion as well as appearing at HMV for a signing session.
Back at the Academy and The Futureheads are preparing to rock the venue with their unique style of post-punk, drawing influence from Devo, XTC and Gang of Four. This is the first show the Sunderland lads have played in the Newcastle since 2008 when they played The Sage so how better than to perform a comeback give the crowd a well awarded preview of new album The Chaos. And it was a comeback well done. The setlist included new tracks such as The Chaos and The Heartbeat Song as well as slipping in crowd favourites The Beginning of The Twist and Carnival Kids. Halfway through the set the crowd were split in two after singer Barry Hyde asked "Who wants to sing on the radio?" before kicking into Kate Bush's Hounds of Love. The 'Heads revisited their first album a number of times even playing "One of our more stupid songs" First Day, which looks to once again become a permanent track within their setlist. Twisting and turning through crowd pleasers and new songs The Futureheads played a choice pick of songs and it was good to see the crowd enjoyed the newer songs as well as the old ones. The O2 Academy is a great venue for this band, having been the ones who played the night it was re-opened this was an excellent chance to preview their fourth album.

The Futureheads are back on tour in May following the release of The Heartbeat Song on 12th April and The Chaos on the 26th. They are back in Newcastle on May 30th for the Evolution Festival. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketweb, the Evolution website, O2 Academy Box Offices and HMV city centre stores. Also playing is Sunderland's other band Field Music alongside The Horrors and Dananananaykroyd.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Michael Giacchino

This composer is ace. He's written for Alias, Lost and Star Trek (all J.J.Abrams thingys)as well as Mission Impossible 3, The Incredibles and Cloverfield. Recommend the Star Trek soundtrack, just sat and listened to the whole thing and it is beautiful.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

In New Music We Trust

Live.
Zane Lowe and Radio 1 will hit Newcastle hard on Thursday night, setting off a showcase weekend of new (and old) talent. The gigs start at the O2 Academy, doors are early at 6.15 making sure the crowd are ready for a full weekend of music.
Opening up the shows is Plan B, The Courteeners and the ever brilliant Futureheads, whose new album The Chaos is released on April 26th of which is a point to look forward to. This is the second album they've released under their own imprint Nul Records.
Just in time for the show, their new video has been posted up on Youtube. The song, about a love song written by a boy and girl, aptly titled The Heartbeat Song, takes us back, yet again, to nu-classic 'Heads. For your enjoyment, it's up here.

Fairer marking: a way forward

Northumbria Students Union is undergoing a bid for fairer marking.

The anonymous marking campaign was introduced to allow students to submit work for marking without their name so the result received depends on how well done the work is. This is to prevent preconceived ideas about the ability of the student affecting the grades they receive. Instead of handing work in with a name, the student would give their student number, unknown to staff.

The pros are that it would remove any potential bias that lecturers may have or any feelings of bias that students have about lecturers.

The campaign was first introduced in March of last year, as an election bid for Adam White, now one of the Union’s vice presidents. Starting in July, it is already en route to success.

Five of the nine schools at Northumbria University have agreed to the scheme which was launched by the union in July of last year. Two schools, Law and Sports Psychology are already familiar with using anonymous marking, having used the system themselves for over ten years. The law school in particular is bound by legislation to use this system. Having been successful, it was decided to begin a campaign to introduce it to the other schools.

Schools like Arts and Social Sciences offer students workshop style seminars to discuss work produced and help point them in the right direction. Obviously work done this way may not be as affected by the move. White said of this barrier; “Initially [it] was looking to introduce for only written assessment ... in terms of workshops it isn’t possible to completely mark anonymously and that’s not what we’re asking for.”

The aim is to continue with workshops and have an external examiner mark the work.

The move follows several other universities who have already introduced the scheme to much success. Leeds University ran the same campaign in 2006 and found the grades of female students went up by 15%.

White added, “I think the campaign across the country has always been successful and I think it will be here at Northumbria as well.”

To find out more click onto the Northumbria Student's Union website or pick up a postcard from the union.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Direct.gov is a pile of crap

How the hell is it expected to deliver efficiency to me when I am job hunting if it won't actually let me look at any of the jobs? This is therefore ruining chances of getting a job through this system. Therefore I may actually consider not using it again, complain to Mr Brown and run away to North Sweden.
Also, whoever changed the website over from Job Centre Plus to direct.gov in the first place needs sacking. The first time this happened (after a few weeks of being able to choose whether or not I wanted to use the original search) I was appalled at how hard it was to use. I much prefered the ticky boxes and the nice map. Now, after the 'upgrade' (and this applies to Hotmail as well), the loading time has just got slower and slower. So the couple of seconds I gave per day to have a quick search through all there was to offer has now been extended extenuously. And it's annoying. Sometimes things should never be changed. Here's a list of some other things which should have stayed the way they were.



  • The Hives forum. The forum went through a stage of upgrading to try and modernise the layout and the reply system, which showed shiny buttons for HTML editing. It didn't work. The forum has now been replaced entirely.

  • Student Loans Company. The loans are now processed by Student Finance England. Students applying can no longer go to their Local Authority and pick up a form. It's either apply online or pay a fortune requesting a form over the phone. Also, some requested forms aren't getting sent out and the loans are taking forever to come through.

  • The Automatic. Sometimes it can't be helped when the heart and soul of the band decides to quit but with the case of The Automatic they just didn't work without him. Alex Pennie left the band back in 2007, leaving the other three to continue without him, with replacement Paul Mullen (yourcodenameis:milo). It just wasn't to be, however their 3rd album Tear The Signs Down is out next week.

  • Freevolution. A few years ago, this music fest on the banks of the Tyne was free before introducing a new £3 fee for entry. Now it's over two days with more music, which I'm not complaining about! It's just pricey and costs a lot more. What's wrong with free stuff anyway?

  • Windows. Vista was great. XP was good. Windows 7 is just crap. It looks too Mac-like and most peopel who know me know how much I hate Macs. Yuck. The display is just horribly obscene and tacky. Basically it's just wrong. I am now relying on my laptop to not break just to escape it.

Anything I've not mentioned that should be there, leave me a comment and we'll do a little vote about the most annoying change.


Adeiu amigos... I'll be off and figure out this IMAIL thingy...

Friday, 26 February 2010

Apparently sleeping around will save humanity

The Metro ran a report today trying to tell us that sleeping with one partner will make the population 100% female. What bullshit.
To prevent this nonsense is to sleep around. Firstly, if all future babies will be female anyway, what's the point? And secondly, sleeping around is considered not good anyway due to STI's which we are all told to protect ourselves against. STI's are not a great thing to have and sleeping around will soon raise the risk of getting one and everyone will die out from them anyway. But if you want to believe this story then go ahead, but you've only got yourself to blame.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Viva City tomorrow

Interviewing them tomorrow, should be good. Followed up by a gig.

Monday, 22 February 2010

What? I've been working?

So I've made a start on all but one of my assignments (which will be shaping out to be a feature, hopefully on Viva City and SXSW). My essay, about the differences between print and broadcast media in the UK in terms of their roles during an election period is currently 28 words long and I am proud of it. That'll do. My news report is awaiting quotes, I'll post up when done and I'm recording an interview in a little while about the SU getting facelifted so that should be good. I've got two exams coming up in shorthand and media studies and am working on TWO film projects! Much fun.

Enjoyed Heroes last night, Matt and Sylar storyline is getting better and Matt is proving himself as being a decent character. He should have a face-off with Sylar when he gets his body back. Noah Bennet can referee. Now that'll be something worth watching, it would be brilliant!

Aside from that, Viva City are at The Cluny on Thursday before they disappear to America for SXSW, I'm trying to get an interview set up with them, that'll get posted. Next Thursday it's Radio 1's In New Music We Trust with Zane Lowe and The Futureheads. This will be live on Radio 1 so listen out for me! After that, The 'Heads hit the road to promote new album The Chaos out on NUL Records on April 26th. Then they are back in Newcastle on May 30th fo Evolution Festival alongside The Horrors, Calvin Harris and Paolo Nutini. Tickets are available now and are £17.50 for a day pass or £25 for a weekend pass.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

3.6

New Firefox released, let's you change themes easy and a nice choice.
LOST was on Friday, very confusing. It's still a bit WTF.
Heroes tonight, looking forward to that. Hope Sylar is very much in it.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Film filmed, editing not done, glorious...

Filmed the doc yesterday, was fun just a bit tiring. Glad I have today off to recover. Now there's just the editing to do and all will be complete...

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Once upon a time in Texas... [Spoiler Alert]

Tabula Rasa, the fifth episode of Season 4 Heroes, left us with Hiro travelling back to the Burnt Toast Diner of 3 years before. Tonight's episode, Once Upon A Time In Texas, picked back up on that story, giving us the chance to find out if Hiro is this time successful in saving Charlie, a waitress who died at the hands of the 'Brain Man', Sylar. But does he succeed?
Hiro has the ability to control space and time and uses this to his advantage to clear Sylar from the scene, therefore freeing Charlie from her untimely death but it's not until afterwards that he realises he has messed up the past timeline... Charlie isn't killed therefore Hiro doesn't go back in time to try and save her, meaning no love for Hiro... The solution, endanger your existance by 'meeting' your past self and sending them onto the path of destiny. All is fine. Or so it seems... an unlikely visit from Sylar posing as a 'doctor' to cure Charlie's brain tumour, changing her judgement about her being supposed to die, ends in a visit from Samuel who requires Hiro's assistance, but to get to him? Charlie.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Hello? Stupid people?

Builders at 8 in the morning, film crew just not that bothered, no one will fix the boiler...
People make me want to scream. I got up this morning, at 8, to find next doors had their radio on (loudly I might add) over the noise and the decorating. On top of this, it's also been really cold here for the past week, not outside, weather's been a beauty, but since we've have the boiler 'serviced' it's just never been the same and the guy that keeps getting sent out just isn't doing anything about it. Some people just want money for nothing and it's not fair on those of us who are having to volunteer for the sake of experience. On top of this, I am in the process of making a film, or at least trying to, due to the fact none of my film crew are communicating with me. Since when has the question 'When are you free to work?' been that hard to answer. Look's like that's something else I'll just end up doing myself.
Aside from this, I had a lovely present in the post yesterday. My tickets for The Futureheads Radio 1 show have arrived. For those who don't know, the show in question (featuring The Courteeners and Plan B) will be happening on March 4th at the O2 Academy in Newcastle as part of Radio 1's In New Music We Trust shindig, hitting the Toon March 4th-6th. Tickets are on sale now at most known outlets.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Highlights of last night's Heroes


"That is the second Parkman I've made scream today."
"I slipped back in when you passed out."
Ahhh, Sylar innuendos...

Last night's Heroes

Best ever. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

'Are we still the greatest?'

Kings of Leon lyric there. Just been kicking off the 'disco' with some Modest Mouse, Float On, and KOL's Sex on Fire. The bass on these headphones is pure gold. I love playing bass and it'll be out tomorrow if I have time, in between my illegal broadcasting and silent discos.

For all you LOST fans who missed out last night, well, you missed out. However, it's too confusing for me to explain what happened so try and catch a repeat, usually Sky 2 at some point in the week.

Heroes buddies, next episode BBC 3 tomorrow at 10 and it's almost halfway through the season already! Last Sunday's ep was Sylar centric, therefore it was mint.

More shirtless Zachy Q please!

Friday, 5 February 2010

The LOST festivities start in 10 mins

The start of the end. Beginning with a one hour special on Sky 1 at 8.
Did the bomb do what it was supposed to? Or are they all dead? Find out very soon!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Björn Dixgård's voice melts me

I have finally succumbed to the power of Björn Dixgård's voice and therefore my heart has melted. Very much like the Wicked Witch of the West but a far more nicer feeling.
Mando Diao's song Maybe Just Sad sends chills up my spine.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Twin Atlantic

Thursday, Other Rooms. 8pm. Be there!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Pat should have gone to specsavers

Pat breaks his specs


Also, Barclaycard have a new advert out, this time grinding steel, RCT 3 style...

February

Doesn't give me an excuse to change my calendar over though, it's perfectly fine the way it is!!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

MORE! BLOODY! SNOW!

Just when it seemed to be getting safe to go out again, the sky froze and rained snow all over most of the world it seems. Despite all this the sun is shining, so the snow will probably be gone very soon.

Happy birthday to Christian Bale, who is 36 today.
"I'm not wearing hockey pants..."

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Jimmy Carr - Rapier Wit

Jimmy hit the Toon last night with a second run of his Rapier Wit tour generating much applaud and laughter with out trying to laugh too much himself, this is probably thanks to Rob Brydon on Big Fat Quiz of the Year. The 'questions' section even involved one guy asking him to laugh to which he replied 'Say "pooper scooper"', pooper scooper and rollercoaster are the only two things Carr says he can say in a Geordie accent. Legendary.

Met him after the show, was nice.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Jimmy Carr

Newcastle City Hall, tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to this. I'm a big fan of Jimmy but his appearance is slightly intimidating. I'm very mean. Oh, and his also has this funny laugh.
Watch this...