Friday, 23 April 2010

Am off to deepest, darkest Africa

So won't be posting for a while.  That's if the flight actually goes!

Am going "home" to see the olds.  It has been a while, and that while was made even longer by that stupid volcano!  Still, acts of God aside, The Mentalist and I are going.

Two and a half weeks of sitting on the Veranda doing sweet FA.  Life can't get better, except for winning the lottery whilst we are away!

If I get anywhere near a place that actually has internet access, I shall post on how wonderful it is, so y'all can get jealous!

On the flip side, it will be two and a half weeks with the olds, who still think I am 15.   And the pathetic thing is that I revert to behaving that age!  All sulks and temper tantrums - which will have less effect if it takes me 10 minutes just to get down on to the floor, in order to kick and scream.  The kicking thing really won't be a problem, tho, as my leg muscles spasm so badly, it will just look as though I am doing it on purpose!

So I hope you all have a fantastic two and a half weeks.  I shall miss checking up on you!  Don't do anything too exciting whilst I am gone, kay?


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Band of the week - part 2 - Killlswitch Engage

I have chosen Killswitch Engage for my band of the week this week (as opposed to James, who were my catch up for last week!) for a  number of reasons.  I really started listening to KSE in around 2002, just after they released their album Alive or Just Breathing, but I heard it with the original singer Jesse Leach, who quit the band before they got really big.  Howard Jones is now the singer, and I actually think he does a great deal more for the band than Leach.

KSE is metal, there is no two ways about it, but somehow I find their music quite uplifting.  It does, however, promote serious headbanging whilst driving if you happen to listen to it!

I have seen KSE live quite a few times.  Sometimes as part of a festival, and others where they have been touring.  Their stage presence is great, and they really do get the audience going.  They are very electric live, hence the reason I am promoting them.  Even if you don't like metal, I do think you should have a little listen, and see what you think.  Their music is quite diverse, so you do have to follow the four song rule ... you cannot decide you don't like them until you have listened to at least four songs!

If you are going to listen to them, please can I suggest you try out When Darkness Falls as your first track?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I have a new butler

The Mentalist has been sacked.  Or at least he thinks he has.  He went to work last week - admittedly not on Monday, as he had to take me to the doctors (I won't go alone, as they just don't take me seriously.  He is a great attack man!).  So on Thursday, which was supposed to be his last day before our holiday, his "manager" told him that he wasn't being for the week, and could he get the keys to the office back.  To which The Mentalist asked if he had been sacked!  His manager hadn't quite worked that one out, but  it comes as no surprise to me that the owner of the company would stoop so low.  And the arse still hasn't phoned The Mentalist to tell him anything, and we are now on day 6!  So we are assuming he has no job.

I am hoping so, as it means I currently have a new butler.

Having a butler is great.  I get a lift into work every evening, and a lift home every morning.  I must say that the lift home in the morning is wonderful, as I don't have to walk to the car, trying to bypass bankers that are far too important for their own good,  and drivers who think that a red light is not applicable to them.  Unfortunately, being on double crutches, I am unable to move very quickly, or turn  very well, so the walk generally ends up being more stressful than the night's work.

Speaking of which, the only reason I am able to write so much tonight is that I have managed to score myself a very easy powerpoint conversion job, which is supposed to take 12 hours, but will, in all honesty, only take about 6, so I thought I would do my spew and get it out of the way!

So, back to the butler.  At the moment, he will be sleeping, but very shortly I will give him a call, so he can get up to come and collect me.  Then, when I get home, I shall order breakfast, which will be served to me on a silver platter.  Whilst I do my ablutions, my bed (aka the couch) will be straightened, with pillows and duvet fluffed, so that when I am ready for sleep, I can just clamber in.

When I awake, I shall clap my hands, and the butler will bring me things.  I dream of coffee, but due to stomach pains, just can't take it at the moment.  Still, he can at least go out whilst I am pretending to sleep, and get me nice apple juice!

A little bit later, when I clap my hands again, the butler will then bring me dinner, with a nice drink and crushed ice.

Later still, upon my command, he will drive me to work.

And then I woke up!  I am only dreaming that these things will happen. 

Still, he does now have to go out and buy a suit (hahahahahahahahaha) so that he can be at least slightly presentable for interviews.

Hopefully someone will realise his worth, and I shall never have to work again!

And that is me done for the night.  May well do a band of the week tomorrow, just so that my faithfuls don't feel hard done by!

Nighty night.

Band of the week ... James

My first band of the week is going to be James.  I have chosen them because they were one of the first ever bands I went to see.  I saw them play a gig in Leeds in 1990, in a very small student union bar, and they were brilliant.

They are a bit of an odd band for me, as I don't normally have a great deal of time for English bands of the late '80's, early '90's.  I have always had a preference for American bands, so for those of you that know me, this is probably going to be a shock choice!

James are a band from Manchester who were formed in the early 80's, but didn't actually make it big until the early 90's.  I can understand why, as quite a lot of their early stuff is quite dire in my opinion.  I think that I was just too young to get it!

The reason I like James is because every time I hear one of their songs, I am instantly transported back to that particular point in time.  I know that this is one of the great things about music.  But somehow, this band more than almost any, make me close my eyes, and picture the night that I saw them live.

I could probably draw you a picture (if I was in anyway artistic!!!) of the entire venue, of how many people were there, of the mad early '90's English dodgy dancing that went on.  But I won't.  I will just ask you to have a listen to either album of Seven or Laid, and tell me you can't picture what I have in my head.  I bet you too could imagine the scene of 20 quite drunk uni students wailing along and throwing their arms around their heads to a beat of a different drum!

Happy music, all the way.  Go listen to the song "Sit Down", and whilst you are doing so, dance around the room with reckless abandon, and let me know if it cheered your day up.  If nothing else, it will give the neighbours something to talk about!

Not dead...

To all my faithful readers, I wish to apologise for my complete lack of posting for the last forever.  What can I say except I let pain be the manager in my life, rather than me managing pain.  It's a pathetic and sorry excuse, but if you ask The Mentalist and Tigga, they will tell you that I have actually been hell to live with.

I won't bore y'all with the details, because to be honest, they aren't particularly pleasant, and by reading about it, I will be taking up time in your life that you won't get back.  And for no good reason.

But I am back.  For a wee while.  Until the pain decides to take over.

I spent the last week lying on the sofa having a pity party for one, and whilst I could have blogged, somehow I just didn't manage to get the energy, or the inspiration to do so.  Which means that tonight I may well spew endlessly (so much for not taking up time you won't get back!)

With great fanfare, the Roskilde poster was released last week, which was quite exciting.  There were a couple of big announcements - some good, some not so good.  Really, really, really excited by Prodigy and Pendulum, not so keen on Prince.  But it should be good, no matter what.

For Soccermom, the band that I would recommend listening to from the line up that I listed the last time I posted, if you haven't already heard them, is Kasabian.  Their first album blew me away, and they are one of the most amazing bands live.  You will have heard their stuff, as I am sure it is used on the soundtrack for some of the CSI programmes.  But give them a listen, and let me know what you think.  I will, however, be sending you pictures from the Alice in Chains part of the Roskilde festival ... if you are really lucky, there may even be video!

Had last week off work, which was lovely.  Am now back, even though I am supposed to be in Africa this week.  Was going home to see the folks, but due to that damn volcano, am going nowhere fast.  We are hopeful to have lift off this Friday, which means at least two whole weeks without posting.  Which really irritates me, as I want to ensure I post more regularly.  The problem is that my folks are still on dial up.  Can you remember dial up?  With a 56k modem?  And they happen to be on a radio phone, which means any time there is any wind within a 2 bajillion mile radius, the line goes down.  But I suppose I can spend the time planning what to bore y'all with next!

Fate is a funny lady, though.  I wasn't really all that excited about going out to see the folks in the run up to last Friday.  I knew that the journey was going to be a nightmare, considering the huge amount of pain I was in, so Fate decided to make the volcano happen.  Which was good on so many levels, as it has meant I have managed to get a few last minute bits and pieces, as well as try to get my pain under control.

The bits and pieces part of the plan is going well.  The pain management part isn't.  Again, dull, dull, dull.

Hopefully, as I said before, we get to fly this Friday.  Which is so brilliant, as I cannot wait to see my dad.  I haven't seen him since February last year, and I miss him.  I really am daddy's girl!  The other bonus about having to move the holiday dates, is that due to there being no seats in the class we had originally booked in for our preferred dated for the return journey, we have to stay out there for a day longer.  I don't think that The Mentalist is totally cool with that (not that he doesn't love the meat, the beer, and sitting on the porch doing nothing, but an extra day with the not really outlaws?????)

I am going to end this here, as I do want to do the band of the week.  I might even do two, as I was so slack last week!

Hope everyone is well, and forgives me for my lack of discipline.  I do still love you all.  Just not so happy with me!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Roskilde band list - and what it means to me!

I am listing below the Roskilde band list as it stands. I have highlighted those that are of interest.  This is going to seem like a long post, but there isn't a great deal of reading!

Scandinavia’s next big ethno-punk orchestra.
Not particularly bothered by this, but if there is nothing else on, guess I can give it a go!

The heaviest lads of grunge rock.
Am super, super excited to see these guys.

Rich dream pop.
Don't really know them, but I can give a whirl if I happen to walk past.

Old-school roots rock.
Definitely going to give this lot a go!

Two generations of Balkan madness.
Take it or leave it really

Socially conscious hip hop with a dark brown soul flavour.
Am not a hip hop girl, so will definitely steer clear of this lot!

Peculiar electronic pop.
Nope. Not at all.

Samba sounds from 21st century São Paolo.
Brazilians are always good for a laugh, but dancing with two crutches can't be the way forward, so possibly.

Dark art-rock.
Yes please!

Funky and political Latin hip hop.
Hip hop again - thanks, but no.

Genre-disowning heavy metal.
Possibly. There is always the opportunity to see naked Finnish people, which is a win in my book!

Scorching hardcore metal.
Can I get a hell yeah?

Arty and rewarding indie rock for the adventurous.
And another hell yeah?

Danish 90s rock heroes are back.
Maybe, if there is nothing else on.

Ecstatic drumming from the ancient East.
Probably not.

Organic experimental pop.
Am always told to see this lot, but never make it. Maybe this year.

Young electro duo.
Doubt it - not a fan of electro!

Ambitious pop with tremendous power.

Soulful indie pop.
Hell fcuking no. I cannot stand this woman.

Electronic music for the nightlife.
Maybe. We shall see.

Gruff hardcore punk.
Yes please

Melodic noise rock.
One of those words in the description doesn't fit - Melodic with noise? I don't think so!

Virtual, electronic pop giants.
Got to, got to, got to. If only for the stage show.

Charged noise punk.
Hell yeah

Girl-fixated noise pop.
Hell no

Groovy and laid-back singer-songwriter.
Only if I can throw things at him. Heavy things. That might shut him up.

Praised Danish singer and poet.
Doubt it.

British rock with creative growing pains.
Seen these guys lots of times, and they always rock - so most definitely!

True-to-life bohemian hip hop.
Hip hop again - it's almost as though Roskilde don't want me there!

Melodic metalcore.
Love, love, love these guys.  And they are phenomenal live

Ambitious and dreamy indie rock.
Could be ok, but not too sure about the dreamy part of the description!

Desert blues with Western elements of rock and jazz.
Doubt it, because I find jazz ponderous.

Synthetic and ultra-cool disco-pop.
No thanks.

Sexy and glittering 80s pop.
And again, no thanks.

A Mexican-United States border party.
Think the sound could be ok, and if all else fails, at least there will be tequila!

Classic, bad-to-the-bone rock’n’roll.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. You could not pay me enough to see this boring band again. Lemmy should just give it up. If there is a god, and he does love me, Lemmy will die on stage at the festival! 

Grand stadium rock for the space age.
Nope. They are just dull. And have no stage presence. And I would rather have Placebo!

Electronic pop filled with sweetness and sighs of the heart.
God no.

Socially critical electro rock.

Life-affirming rock from the rainy city of Bergen.

Melodic and witty skate punk.
Yup, yup, yup, yup, yuppers! Love these guys. And they are great live!

Mythical voodoo funk.
The slacker icons are back.
Shit yeah

Progressive dark rock.
I think so

Metallic, strong-on-riffs hard rock.
Strong possibility

Sweden's alternative pop queen.
I just have nightmares of ABBA, so no.

Full-fledged folk-pop.
Not a fan of folk music.

German ghetto-tech aiming at the dance floor.

Titanic noise rock from the cold North.

Leader of Balkan pop.

Atmospheric and disturbing angst pop.
Doubt it, but may be convinced!

Symphonic, ice-cold post-metal.
Sure, could be fun

Quivering hip hop from virtuoso gift of gab.
Hip hop again. Starting to feel unwanted and unloved!

Stellar and epic pop rock.
God no. I have far better things to do with my time. Like stand in the queue for the toilet!

Uncomplicated 60s rock.

Supergroup to the highest rock degree.
Am in two minds. Adore Josh Homme, but cannot stand the man who shall not be named, from his band which shall not be named. But at least he will be the drummer, so there is a good chance I won't see him. Will have to see if it doesn't clash with something I want to see!

Hardworking heavy rockers.

Impressionistic, bohemian indie.

Psychedelic trance rock.

And that is the band list as it stands now. As and when new stuff gets announced, I shall keep you all posted!

And it is almost the weekend! Which is great news. As The Mentalist has promised me shoes!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wednesday blues

As I have previously mentioned, Wednesday is usually my favourite day of the week, due to there being a Roskilde announcement, but for the past two Wednesdays, there have only been announcements for the bands that are playing during the four days in the run up to the main event. So as you can imagine, I am not best pleased.

I have previously threatened to do a post on Roskilde, and I have decided that today will be the day.

Roskilde festival is held every year at the start of July in a town called Roskilde, about 30 minutes away from Copenhagen. The festival runs from Sunday to Sunday, but the first four days are mainly for unsigned bands, Roskilde cinema and for people to get in and set up camp. The final four days is the main part of the festival).

Each campsite, or Agora, has a specific theme. For example, there is the swimming Agora, which is the campsite right next to the lake. Here people can swim in the lake which is man made. The Agora next door to the swimming one is the fishing one. Bet you can't guess what goes on here!There is also a skating Agora, where there is a large skate park, as well as Agoras set aside for quiet, or reading, or dramatic arts. Last year they even had an ice skating rink (which wasn't really ice, but who's complaining?)

We stay in the camp which is called Get-a-Tent. There are two main reasons for this. Yes, the ticket is more expensive, but you don't have to take a tent with you, as there are brand new tents set up before hand, and you just get allocated one when you arrive. There are free hot showers, and nice, clean, flushing toilets. I know it makes me sound old when I say that those are selling points! And you get to keep the tents at the end of the festival. Which is great (although I now have a rather large collection of Roskilde tents gathering dust in my loft!) The other good reason for going Get-a-Tent is that it is generally quieter, and you don't wake up in the morning to find that someone has very kindly set up camp directly in front of where you need to get out of your tent!

So to the festival itself. As I have said, the main festival (or rather the bit I go!) starts on the Thursday afternoon. We usually head over to Denmark on the Wednesday, which gives us a chance to get acclimatised, and also catch up with people we have met over the previous pilgrimages! It also gives us a great chance to try and decide who are going to be seeing, and working out routes between stages to ensure we don’t miss much!

Over the past four years I have seen some amazing bands, but have also been subjected to some utter crap – Neil Young, Jay Zed to name a few.

But in all reality, Roskilde isn’t just about the music. It’s about the people. It is a brilliant festival because people are there for the experience. They aren’t there to get hammered. They aren’t there to cause a fight. They aren’t there to be an idiot. They are there because they genuinely love the festival. And once you have been to one, you will return again and again.

So that is just a nut shell of Roskilde. Closer to the time I will publish the entire list of those that I want to see, but if you can’t handle the wait, go to the website, and have a little look see! Maybe I will convince all two of you faithfuls to come!

I hate apples

Now for those of you that know me, you will have come to realise that I am a very calm and patient person (stop coughing at the back!).

For those of you that don't, just go along with the fantasy I have just written about!

However, there is one very large thing that I just cannot handle.  People making noise when they eat.  People snapping chewing gum.  People crunching crisps very loudly.

And my number one pet hate in this category is people eating apples.

There is a woman who sits opposite me at work who eats an apple every single night.  Good for her, you might say, she is being all healthy.  I must hasten to add, at this point, that she also eats a packet of crisps, so boo on her.

It takes this woman 25 minutes to eat one apple.  And she is the noisiest eater I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.  How the hell can it take 25 minutes to eat a damn apple?  I hear the crunch, so tense, waiting for the next one, and just when I have relaxed, she takes another bite.

There are days I would quite happily beat her repeatedly round the head with one of my crutches.

You may, or may not, be able to tell that she is doing it now.  I can understand why people go postal, as I am just about to.

If you don't hear from me for a little while, send me cakes (with files in them) courtesy of Her Majesty's prison service.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Band of the Week - The Hellacopters

I have chosen a Swedish garage rock band that have broken up as my band of the week this week.

The Hellacopters were a band that i got into on the back of another Swedish band, Backyard Babies. It is hard to define what exactly it is about them that I like so much.

Their sound is not unique, but somehow managed to speak to me on a level I cannot explain.

The Hellacopters played one of their last ever gigs at Roskilde in 2008 (I will do a post on Roskilde separately - hopefully tomorrow if they actually do an announcement - I am still waiting in anticipation!), which was probably my highlight of the festival.

When it was announced that they would be playing, The Mentalist and I agreed that come hell or high water we would be at that gig.

They were scheduled to play on the first night, at the same time as Radiohead, which is a band I am not particularly fond of, so to me it was double win. Only the people that really liked The Hellacopters would be at that stage, and I didn't have to hear/see Radiohead!

The band were phenomenal, although it was a tad disconcerting that all their songs were in English, yet all the talking that they did between songs was in Swedish! Still, the crown were mostly Scandawegian, so could understand both aspects.

The Mentalist and I managed to nab ourselves a great spot under a tree, on the grass, so we had enough room to dance around, whilst still being able to see and hear perfectly.

The joys started off when we got chatting to an older couple. I say chatting to the couple, the man had smoked his first few drags of weed in 25 years, and had passed out! His wife was enjoying herself prodding and poking him at intermittent intervals, in between telling us all about the previous years that they had been to Roskilde.

After that the band came on, and hilarity ensued! There was a man in front of us who insisted upon playing the entire range of air instruments, even some I hadn't thought of. He then decided to pretend he was a plane, and went flying around his group of friends. Unfortunately, he went a bit wide, and managed to knock into someone he didn't know, and make him drop his drinks. The great thing about Roskilde is that no one is aggressive. In a British festival, you would expect it all to kick off into a big fight, but within minutes, the two were great friends, and all was well.

I have spoken a lot about the gig, rather than the music, and my reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, I am still upset with them for disbanding. Secondly, I really think this is a band you should listen to for yourself. Look them up on YouTube, or download them from which ever music site you get your music from, and give them a whirl. If I was to make a suggestion for one song to listen to, it would be "I'm in the band" from the Rock & Roll Is Dead album.

Happy listening!

Silence is golden...

so shut up and get rich?

I must apologise to all my faithful two readers for my silence over the Easter break. It isn't that I have been celebrating Easter, because I haven't. My excuse is pain. Which to be honest, is getting really rather dull.

Pain has been my "friend" for so long now that I should in reality be used to it, but as more and more time passes, I am finding myself sliding further into a funk than I have ever been before. I suppose it could be considered a form of depression, but I honestly don't think it is.

There ARE days that I want to end it, but not in a "the world would be a better place without me" kind of way. It is more of a case of not wanting to carry on if I am in the same amount of pain (or more) as I am at the minute in five years time. It is frustration at my inability to do the things I want to do. It is annoyance that I can't say to someone that I will meet them at a point in the near future, because on that day, who knows, I may actually be couch bound.

I am at the stage now where I cannot climb stairs, so I have to sleep on a couch in the living room. It isn't fair to the others in the house, because they feel they cannot be in the lounge if I am sleeping. To be honest, I sleep so little, it doesn't actually matter if they are in there or not.

I am also frustrated at the complete lack of interest the NHS has in how I am suffering. I am assuming that they think I am making this up, in order to get some kind of pain medication. Chance would be a fine thing. I am currently on the highest allowable dosage of a medication that I have told them on numerous occasions doesn't work, but I have not had a review at all. It is almost as though when I go in to talk to a doctor he listens to what I say, and then makes up what he wants to hear.

The Mentalist and I have decided to change doctors. I have said we should give the surgery one last chance at getting it sort of right. If they don't, I am going to go somewhere else. And I am going to keep changing surgeries until I get some kind of support.

Sorry for the rant, but pain has been well and truly in situ over the past few days, so it is all that is on my mind. However I am going on holiday in 10 days, so I am trying to get myself a PMA!

So I shall cheer the hell up, and post more frequently!

Love to you all.