Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't shop the Reaper

Long time - no blog.

Now I know I've posted about this before but what is it with shops and music? Today I went into Jarrolds (Jarrolds is Norwich's equivalent of Harrods but without the exotic produce and ice sculpture!) and the piped music was Blue Oyster Cult. Blue Oyster Cult! I was into heavy rock as a teenager in a big way and I can remember some parents throwing us out for being into bands like Led Zeppelin and Blue Oyster Cult. It was in NO way mainstream, and now years later here they are piping it round Jarrolds.

I'm not sure that that the Jarrolds generation really appreciates what that music is about - and does it aid or enhance their shopping experience? Or maybe it is aimed at my generation, the 40ish boys and girls, a bit of nostalgia to get us to linger within their retail walls a little longer and perhaps to part with a bit more money. I can't imagine that the old ladies in the tea shop really had any deep appreciation of "Don't fear the Reaper".

Monday, March 19, 2007

Not Fuzz

Simon Pegg fails to thrill in this thoroughly unfunny pastiche of cop films. Pegg delivers a film overloaded with famous British actors and gratuitous and pointless violence. This film was a sad reminder for me of the sorry state of British society.

I once rated Simon Pegg very highly as a comic writer - the series Spaced was original and extremely funny. It seems though, that he has gained stardom and lost the comic plot. He may be hob nobbing with the likes of Tom Cruise but he seems to have forgotoon the ingredients of a good, intelligent comedy. The intentions in Hot Fuzz are good, it gives a nod to several genres of film - most notably cop and Hammer Horror, but sadly fails to deliver the laughs. In a cinema three quaters full there were only one or two laughs and those were from teenagers.

Simon needs to get back to his comic roots and rediscover intelligence and subtlety.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kaiser Chiefs, Second Albums and the question of Artistic Integrity

one of this years birthday presents was the new Kaiser Chiefs album "Yours Truly, Angry Mob".

It is growing on me and there is no doubt that the single "Ruby" is catchy, but it just isn't as edgy as their first album. I suppose I shouldn't really be surprise - in my opinion a band's first album is often one of their (if not THE) best, and this a subject that I have blogged about before. The Kaisers first album "Employment" had a raw, gritty feel to it. It was fresh and unusal, and came directly from their experiences of real life and the streets of Britain. With this new one they have attempted to recapture some of that, but of course it was never going to be as raw because for a start they have been exposed to the full force of the music industry/media circus and all that goes with it. They have had money, fame, accolade. It's enough to make anyone lose their edge and sure enough this album has very little of the gritty sound that characterised their first. Although it does shine through on a couple of tracks.

It's not that I want a band to stay the same, that would be incredibly boring. Everyone needs to be allowed to grow and change artistically and spiritually. I just worry that sometimes a band's second outing albumwise can lack the artistic integrity of the first. Probably due in part to external pressures from management, record companies etc. Roll on the third, when they are more relaxed with fame....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Poetry Disco

I have just had a poetry tutorial and have just found out (thank god) that my poetry writing has improved this term. What a relief I was beginning to have serious doubts about both my sanity and my writing ability. Although having said that I haven't had my fiction tutorial yet...

On a completely different note I am beginning to wish that I had organised a party for my birthday, which is tomorrow. I could do with a good dance to get the angst of this term out of my system. Hmmm they keep talking about a get together at college maybe we should have a disco...