Friday, 20 May 2011

It's never silent...

Stealing from other's better blogs once again. Only because this one is specifically focused on music. That said, it'll probably happen again.
At the moment I'm sort of watching The Bourne Supremacy. I don't remember Identity being the best film out of the trilogy, but so far that would appear to be the case. After Matt Damon's amnesiac adventures, I'll probably just end up watching Minority Report or Star Wars as an excuse for Science Fiction revision - which, true to form, has yet to begin.

Back to the topic at hand. This week saw me travel the furthest I've ever been to see a band due to my housemate's girlfriend not being able to attend because the date was re-arranged for some reason. That band was Panic! At The Disco. I'm sure most of you are already decided upon your opinion of them, but allow me to indulge in a brief summary of their recent history. On the heels of their theatrical debut 'A Fever You Can't Sweat Out' - which was half club-ready dance beats, half violin and accordian-laden weird - the band took a drastically different turn towards Beatles inspired psychedelic pop for their second record, which was aptly titled 'Pretty. Odd.' The change in musical direction made them critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful. Since then, the primary lyricist and lead guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker have departed to pursue their own musical avenues.

Now a two-piece band, this has resulted in Panic!'s third album becoming a strange amalgamation of the sharp style that gained them fans and the musical maturity they demonstrated on their sophomore release - albeit with a more pop feel. Seeing as I travelled to Norwich to see them, it goes without saying that I love all of their releases so far, but this blog post isn't about reviewing their performance in the studio.

The only flaw with the venue (LCR at Norwich's University of East Anglia) was the heat. With very little air conditioning and bright lights beating down upon the audience, we were sweating before even the support band - who sucked - hit the stage. Thankfully the main attraction did not disappoint. Opening with their latest single, Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind), it soon became clear that the material from Vices & Virtues was the most polished. Friends who saw them on earlier tour dates stated that this is the best they've ever been live. Although this was my first time seeing them play, I could tell my friends were right. Fun was the name of the game, and the band were clearly having a ball whether it was with classics like Camisado or the only two tracks they played from Pretty. Odd. Frontman Brendon Urie comes from the same school of stage presence that Patrick Stump exhibited when I saw him in early May, bouncing around the stage with an electric energy that brought the other band members to life. After an hour and a half of dancing around to their infectious tunes all I wanted to do was experience it all over again. Luckily, it wasn't all heated jumping up and down, the band were also able to wind down with softer songs such as Always - moments like this were where the musical talent really shone.

They sprinkled their set with a few covers, but this was where the only cracks in their performance began to emerge. One of the night's highlights was their encore, which featured a truly rocking cover of Kansas' Carry On My Wayward Son. However, their earlier cover of a John Mayer song quickly brought the show to a halt as they indulged with a touch of *shudder* James Blunt and George Michael. Yes it was funny, but I felt that the time they wasted amusing themselves could have been better spent treating the crowd to a song of their own which wasn't on their planned setlist.

All in all though, I had an absolutely amazing night. It was fun taking a road trip with a friend to somewhere relatively unknown rather than sticking to the comforts of London and well-tread railways. I can almost see why people follow their favourite bands on tour. Other songs which were highlights for me personally included Trade Mistakes, The Only Difference... and the song that has provided the title to this blog post - Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met...). The full setlist can be found here for those who care.
Thanks for reading if you did. If you liked this pseudo gig review, let me know and I'll consider doing more in the future!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Too bad the things that make you mad are my favourite things...

Taking a cue from Stevo, who took a cue from Mini (both friends of mine who write much better blogs, here and here respectively) I'm titling this blog post with a song lyric. The song is Favourite Things by Incubus, I'll put it at the end.

Movie of the moment is Saving Private Ryan. Not gotten too far with it though. I keep trying to multi-task and it's one of those films that requires your full attention. I've also got two films I need to watch for my essay, should probably pop those in sooner rather than later...

This post's title is only really apt because I decided to write this blog around the theme of things (if you can even call that a theme)
Thing 1. Wikipedia is dangerous.
Thing 2...

OK, let's start with the first thing in the hope that I remember the other things I was going to write about.
As I'm sure it is for many, Wikipedia is my go-to source of information. Often this means that if I want to find out stuff about a television series, book or film then I search for it on the online encyclopaedia. In the past, this has led to many a spoiler that cannot be unseen. I've never learnt my lessons, and have to end up perusing the pages with an exceedingly cautious air. I can't be alone in this. If you want to remain oblivious to plot twists or unknown story elements, then the internet is not a good place to dwell, with wikipedia being one of the most deceptively deadly sites of them all...

The worst part is, the solution is so simple. No, I'm not going to stop using wikipedia and find another less spoilerific source - don't be ridiculous. All wikipedia needs is a button that says 'HERE BE SPOILERS - NE TOUCHE PAS' (that last bit doesn't have to be in French of course) which hides spoiler-y bits from those who wish not to be spoiled. Hell, I'd pay the creepy guy in those wikipedia banners for that. Also I'd pay him to go away because he haunts my dreams - but that's another blog altogether. Don't worry though, you'll never see a post entitled 'When Jimmy Wales stares a kitten dies.'

In other news, I'm on holiday. That means I can do fun things like go to Kapow! Comic Con. I won't blather on, as I'm sure my friend Harry has got a much better blog detailing it's happenings in the works. Here's the important bits though
- If you want a comic book signed, don't rely on the artist being on time.
- If you want to see awesome stuff, be prepared to queue lots.
- Also be prepared for disorganisation on the part of those who should be most prepared concerning said queues for awesomnity.

We saw exclusive clips from Thor, which I'm majorly excited for now. Even more so than Captain America, and that's saying something. We also got to see Super, which has only had a handful of showings over here (if any at all). It was dark comedy at it's best, even if overall the film had something of an identity crisis going on.

Non geek related updates in Joe's life include the success of both shows I was in, my return to brilliant bachelorhood and the joining of a band! I'm the lead singer, and I'm sure I'll shamelessly plug anything that comes of it here there and everywhere.

I remembered the second thing! There may have only been two things to begin with, in which case this 'theme' has most definitely failed. Anyhow.
I saw a film called Source Code the other day. The second film directed by David Bowie's son Duncan Jones, it is fantastic. Make sure you check it out. The ending has proved divisive amongst some people though. I personally loved it and don't see where the problem is. The one issue I do have with the movie is this. If you've seen it or are planning to - have this question in mind.

When will the protagonists actually go get some coffee instead of it just being spilt on Jake Gyllenhaal's foot?!

And that folks, is all for this post

Enjoy Incubus' Favourite Things.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Downtime from craziness

Just noticed how I've begun a trend of 'what I'm watching' in order to attempt a neat (which turns out being clumsy) segue into a post. I'll keep it up as long as I can...

Currently halfway through The Shining. I've taken a break because a) It's still an intense watch despite its age, b) I've seen half of it already and pretty much know what happens in the second half c) In an attempt to lengthen the scant few films I haven't seen, I'm re-watching My Name is Earl season 1 d) Which is awesome. e) Still.

As promised on twitter, this post is gonna be about all the shenanigans from last week. Well, almost all...

I had two essays due, one for Tuesday, one for Friday. True to form, I finished both of them on the morning of they days they were to be handed in. Although they were each sub par in their own ways, I've got to give it to the Science Fiction essay this time. It gets the award for the most rambling and craptacular piece of work..- Actually that is still held by the Practical Film essay I did before Christmas, but this was certainly a runner up. On the plus side, advance preparation for my next Sci-Fi essay starts soon. Little more eager for this one cause it's gonna be on Superman. That's right, I get to write essays about Superman. At University. Win.

These essays were buffered by rehearsals for the musical and play I'm currently in. The performances for both are on the tail of one another - speaking of which, buy ticket to come see me in Carousel! Here's the link if ya fancy it - which means that as hectic as things felt last week, it's gonna get even more so as we near show weeks. As of now though, things feel somewhat less stressful, as I've learnt close to all my lines and I'm aware of what I've got to work on. Could well just be the calm before the storm though...

As those who lurk on facebook as much as I do when procrastinating might already know, I recently turned that lady I mentioned a few posts back into my girlfriend. Early days I know, but we've got lots in common and things are progressing at a really nice pace, so this could blossom into something great if I'm lucky. I'll keep you posted of course, whether you care or not!

BALLS. Writing this blog post has made me realise this is not what I should be doing with my time... No, not the reading that I need to do for my seminar on Thursday, but my good ol' Curriculum Vitae. For two blissful years last I was in the wonderful position of being employed on a part time basis, ending in August of last year. This meant that I didn't have to even think about updating my CV as I went along. The job hunt (most all of which require me to hand in a CV) sees me starting from scratch, as that last job was before I had even started all but one of my A levels. A friend has provided me with a template, but it's just one of those things I can't motivate myself to do. No change there then...

I was gonna write a bit on the Oscars, but as usual, very few surprises to ramble about. Pleased with the wins The Fighter got, think best director should've gone to Boyle or Fincher, Tron should've been nominated for soundtrack etc... Think it's evident that we're a few years off of films like Inception actually having a chance of winning best picture - we can always hope I guess.

I'm off out now, so that's all for this week.

Have a rip roaring March wherever you are and whatever you're doing people!

Friday, 11 February 2011

That's Entertainment. Or not.

Currently watching American Beauty as part of the 'let's actually watch some of the movies I've not watched in my DVD collection' movement I've recently begun. Heat and American History X were dusted off most recently. So far, all very solid films.

Speaking of which, the screenings for my World Cinema module are finally picking up the slack last seen with the disappointing Nosferatu. Both Battleship Potemkin and The Rules of the Game have dazzled this past fortnight. Put down some good money to see The Fighter the other week - go check it out at your local cinema whilst it's around, one fantastic flick. So far, 2011 is shaping up to be an amazing year for films, but I'll be sure to do another blog post about that nearer some of the big releases.

All's well in my wild module too with some cool little sci-fi stories being discussed in my very lively seminar group.

This post was going to be entirely dedicated to a gig I went to last week, but I decided that it could be written about without my usual tendency to ramble on 'til the reader gets bored.

The band was Angels & Airwaves. I've blogged about them before, but this was my first time seeing them live. Not only that, it was coupled with a VIP experience where we got to sit onstage for soundcheck, meet the band, get stuff signed, have photos taken with them etc. Tom Delonge's music, both in Blink 182 and AVA, has inspired me for years. Having the chance to tell him that was something I definitely won't be forgetting anytime soon.On top of their astounding set, it was nothing short of incredible.

In other news, I'm currently nearing the end of a search for a costume to wear to next week's Musical Theatre Society Social. The theme is The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo-The Genetic Opera. I'm going with Rocky, dressing up as the 'hero' Brad Majors. I'm taking the easy way out, but given how demanding some of the outfits in both shows are, I'm pretty glad I have…

Think that's enough for this post. Got an essay to write next week, so I might just wait until I've got a bit more to say than 'this week was boring because essay' before my next blog post. Although it is on Eisenstein, so I guess we shall see about that.

In the meantime, have a great weekend whatever you're doing and hopefully a lovely Valentine's day too!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Why hello there...

Listening to Ben Folds and Nick Hornby's album, Lonely Avenue. Considering a while back I really didn't like charlieissocoollike, I guess it's a good thing that he's managed to turn me onto some darn good music.

Just had a look at my ex-girlfriend's blog. I know I'm one to talk, but it's amazing how so very little can be said with so much.

6 months. What has changed? Same answer as always I guess. Everything. Nothing.

As you've already figured from the above comment, I've had one failed relationship since July. Fun while it lasted, but it's certainly a shame that the friendship which began it hasn't fully recovered yet.

There are many more positive things to focus on though - currently averaging a 2.1 on all my work, which is surprising given how much work I had to do at Uni last term. Oh yes, I'm at the University of Kent studying Film. Do keep up.

Managing to maintain my interest in performing too, with an active role in the Musical Theatre society here. I'm in their current musical, Carousel, and was a part of their freshers showcase last term. I was also in a play staged by a local amateur theatre company just before Christmas, which was a welcome challenge. Got another audition on Monday too - wish me luck!

Also going out for a drink with a nice young lady on Monday evening. Trying not to get my hopes up obviously, but if I play it cool all should be well.

The week's end sees the first gig of 2011 hit as well, with a band and experience I've been waiting a long time for. I'll be sure to post something about that.

Not much else to say really. Settled in really well at Uni due to some fantastic housemates and great opportunities that have come up since I've been here.

Other than all that, I'm back. At least, until I can't be bothered to do one of these again. Keep an eye on my twitter box if you care that much.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Might just make this a monthly thing, not as if I'm itching to write or you're itching to read.

Anywho, summer is going very well so far. Probably why this blog hasn't received much love at all.
Going to see Inception again tomorrow with two very good friends, so that should be awesome. If you've not already gone to see the best movie of the year so far, make sure you do - there's a reason there's a lot of fuss about this one.
Hell, probably better than going to see the A-Team movie anyhow.

Comic-Con has come and gone with rather large fanfare surrounding certain movies such as the upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (which might well edge out Toy Story 3 as my second favourite movie of the year, depending on how good it really is). Got faith in Edgar Wright and Mr. Cera though, neither have failed to entertain me yet. Also interested to see more of Brandon Routh's character, as he's currently making up for Superman Returns with some pretty damn good acting in the latest series of Chuck.
Avengers/Thor and Captain America certainly seemed to come out on top mainstream superhero movie wise, with Green Lantern not following too far behind. I'm also intrigued by dark horses such as Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens. A movie featuring a showdown between Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford - colour me excited.

Alright, that's enough geekery for the post. Got my haircut today, which is fast becoming one of my favourite things in the world to do. Just always feels quite theraputic in a way. Odd? Yes. Do I care? Hell no.

Looking forward to my trip to Italy next week. Can't be bothered to go into details here, those who care can ask me. But basically it means I'll be seeing a lot of good friends I made last year, having lots of fun in the sun and hopefully coming back with at least a semblance of a tan.

Think that's it really, so hopefully the internets will have a whole month before I can be bothered to fill it with useless prose again!

Ciao for now.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


So blog... It's been a while. Hope you've been keeping well. The place is quite tidy. Nice job. Think I'll take the keys back now.


Tons of crap to dispell here, so this might be a lengthy one.
Let's get the shameless plug out of the way first?

My sister and I do a weekly podcast which is occasionally pretty funny. Give it a listen. People reading this blog probably have enough spare time to do so. It's called What Up! and you can find it at , or on iTunes!
If you like it (or don't!) feel free to comment with any constructive criticism or stuff you want more of!

Next up, exams! They are officially over, and were definitely one of the reasons why I've been so crap at blogging. Here's a quick rundown of how I feel they went in the order I took them.

Drama - The one I was most worried about which sort of turned out ok. Aside from the first three questions. They sucked.
English - Least worried about this one, but it has the nastiest questions. Still think I did good though as once I knew what I wanted to do I didn't struggle.
History - Exam that I had revised the least for which turned out to be the most enjoyable. Might've been because it was my last, but the questions were also perfect and I managed to write loads. Just hope it wasn't all crap.

And now exams are over, I have a wonderfully free summer ahead of me - Hell. Yes.

That might also mean you get a few more blog posts (from time to time ;)

Next. Doctor Who. I won't go on about this, as I know of at least two people who'll have already picked apart and raved about the best parts of the finale in their own blogs. Then there's the rest of the internet...
I'll just tell you this. Before this series, I really didn't like Doctor Who much. I could somewhat see the appeal in the Doctor's adventures, but I personally felt that the way the BBC was executing it was marred by poor special effects and even poorer writing. The trailer for the new series with Matt Smith as the Doctor actually intrigued me. Ever since 'The Eleventh Hour' (the first episode of the latest series) I've been hooked and it has fast become one of my favourite TV shows. I just want to congratulate Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan - who is smokin' by the way - and all others involved in the creation of these past 13 episodes on a damn near flawless season of television. I cannot wait to see where they go next with it.

Ok. That's all for now, but I have ideas for some more blog posts brewing already, so get ready for what will hopefully be a blinding summer, with the occasional mundane blog post from me documenting the (probably) boring stuff I'll be doing.