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Archive for October, 2008

Folktronica

Friday, October 31st, 2008

James Yuill - Turning Down Water For AirJames Yuill, on first appearances, is a skinny bloke with a guitar and glasses that won’t stay up. However, bend your ears in the direction of his album, or catch him live, you’ll realise there’s a bit more to him than a another geeky looking guy with a guitar. With his many boxes of tricks, James Yuill adds all sorts of weird and wonderful electronic magic, from samples to bleeps and blips to crazy Daft Punk inspired riffs to complement his insightful acoustic sound.

As ridiculous as it may sound on paper, James Yuill’s unusual combination of fusing electronica and acoustic is a success, particularly live where you can witness him pushing buttons, hitting keys and strumming away, and you can also play the rather fun game of ‘spot the sample’ as he subtly includes bits of other songs in his electronica mash up.

His debut album, Turning Down Water For Air is out now on the brilliant Moshi Moshi label, and you can get it from Amazon for £9.98.

Hat Hunting

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

ASOS HatsWith the clocks going back at the weekend and the temperature dropping to single figures today, it’s without a doubt time to pull out the full winter gear – hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, earmuffs, thermal underwear…

Personally my winter wardrobe starts with a good hat, and ASOS have a great selection this year. If you’re a cutting edge indie scenester then this Checked Trapper Hat (£15,right) – the hat of choice of Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion -will ensure that your head is the best dressed around. If it’s a bit windy there’s even the option of fastening it under your chin for maximum heat retention!

If you prefer something a bit more traditional, then how about the ultimate bobble hat? The Pom Pom Hand Knit Beanie (£10) has that slouchy, handmade look about it and the pom pom on top is supercute. It’s available in black or red.

To get my pick of the bunch, or see what else is available, head over to ASOS now.

Clothes Show Live 2008

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Clothes Show Live 2008You can now book for this years Clothes Show Live which once again is set to be an absolute smorgasbord of fashion, beauty, hair and makeup. Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC, there will be five different colour zones for Highstreet, Vintage, Designer, Bargain and a Makeup section.

As always there’ll be live catwalk shows parading the latest trends, and your ticket includes entry in to one of the 45 minute shows at the time of your choice. And of course, there’s a chance to get your hands on some exclusive one off items that will never make it to the high street, check out the latest designers fresh from London Fashion Week, have a make over and be in general fashion heaven.

The Clothes Show Live is only one for five days from 5-10 December. A Standard Day Ticket costs £24, and are available to book now on the Clothes Show Live website.

Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million SunsSnow Patrol release their new album, A Hundred Million Suns, next Monday (27th). This is their fourth album, and sees the band take a more orchestral direction, but the album is still full of the catchy pop hooks and soaring chorus of their last album, the multi-million selling Eyes Open.

Performing on Later with Jools Holland last week, the band played their new single, Take Back The City, another epic pop track, and two other tracks from the new album, one of which featured a group of backing singers and a string and brass orchestra. Whether this was just a one off or these new additions to the band will be hitting the road with them on their next tour remains to be seen.

If you loved Eyes Open, no doubt this will hit the mark for you too. If, however, you’re still hoping Snow Patrol might revert to their slightly more experimental, earlier work – a track on one of their earlier albums had the rather incredible title Get Balsamic Vinegar…quick You Fool- then I’m afraid this is another disappointment. Pre-order A Hundred Million Suns from Amazon now and make up your own mind.

Dirty Sexy Money to Take Home

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Dirty Sexy Money Season 1If you missed the amazing Dirty Sexy Money first time round, well I don’t blame you, it was on a Friday night after all. The series followed the Darling family, one of the richest families in New York, and their recently appointed legal counsel, Nick George, who replaces his father who recently died in a plane crash.

Whilst trying to find out what really happened to his father, Peter has to buy the family out of all kinds of scrapes, including Patrick Darling’s affair with a transvestite, Karen Darling’s fifth marriage and subsequent divorce, and Jeremy and Juliet Darling’s constant over-spending and arguments.

The series stars some heavyweights in the world of acting. Peter Krause from Six Feet Under plays Peter, Donald Sutherland plays Tripp Darling, the head of the family, and Samaire Armstrong , Anna from The OC, plays Juliet Darling.

This is definitely one of the best American shows to come our way recently, and you can pre-order the entire first season, which is released on Monday, from Amazon for only £17.99.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby YoungI recently saw the film How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, and whilst I thought it was pretty funny, especially if you’re interested in the journalism industry, I’ve since been told that it’s not a patch on the original book it was adapted from. The story in the film follows Sidney Young, who makes the move from small time journalism in London to join Sharps magazine where he gets into all sorts of scrapes including hiring a strip-a-gram on bring your daughter to work day in the office and taking a rather large amount of cocaine whilst at a photo shoot.

In actuality the book is written by Toby, not Sidney Young, and the American magazine was Vanity Fair, and not the fictitious Sharps. I suspect the romantic sub-plot between Sidney and his colleague Alison has also been exaggerated in the film, because after all it is Hollywood.

So if you fancy finding out the real story behind the film you can get How To Lose Friends and Alienate People from Amazon for £5.99, which is cheaper than going to the cinema!

Black Books

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Black Books Complete Box SetI’ve said it before and I’ll say it agian, they definitely don’t make comedy like they used to. Black Books is undoubtedly one of the funniest sitcoms ever made, starring Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig. It’ set in a book show, owned by Bernard (Moran), who spends his day drinking red wine and trying to get rid of his customers. His assisstant, Manny (Bailey) tries to repiar the damage done by Bernard and keep the customers happy, and Fran (Greig) owns the shop next door, and pops in from time to time for a drinking session with Bernard.

Despite the fairly ordinary sounding setting, the hilarious and clever writing is what makes Black Books such a great sitcom. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s seen it and didn’t like it!

On paper, some of the scrapes the characters get into sound utterly ridiculous (drinking wine that was supposed to be for the Pope, a blind Russian piano teacher, dead bees and beard fetishes), so the best thing to do is pick up the complete box set of all three series from Amazon, which is currently only £9.98, and see for yourself!

The Late Greats- Life Without Balloons

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The Late Greats - Life Without BalloonsEastbourne’s finest The Late Greats released their debut album this week, ‘Life Without Balloons’, on the brilliant Izumi Records label.Taking their name from a song by the band Wilco, The Late Greats other influences can be heard all over this album, from At The Drive In to Bloc Party, this is spiky indie pop at it’s best.

The double vocals of Max ‘Velvet Hands’ Arnold and Ryan ‘Piss Whiskey’ Griffiths complement each other perfectly, and their ridiculously catchy riffs will be in your head for the foreseeable future after one listen. Life Without Balloons is cheerful, unpretentious, solid music that has a comforting familiarity about it. They’re not trying to break boundaries, change politics with their lyrics or invent new sounds, but this record is like a cup of tea – dependable, perfect for lifting spirits, and quite good at fixing problems.

You can get a copy from Amazon for £7.98.

The Fins Debut With their Single ADAPTOR

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The FinsHampshire lads The Fins have been battling their way to stardom since they got together in 2005. In the past few years they have set up their own record label ‘Numerical Blue’ and played 100 gigs all over the UK.

Today they launched their brand new single ‘Adaptor’ and band members James, Lawrence, Ryan, Rauf and Macca have had a pretty amazing week. Not only have they knocked many popular UK artists off the top of Amazon’s hottest release charts but it is so popular Amazon has sold out!

Check out the official Fins website for more information about the band and head over to iTunes to download the single. It’s definitely worth a listen!

Winter PJs!

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

winter-pjs.jpgThere aren’t many benefits to winter, but one of them has to be getting to wear some lovely warm pyjamas. Marks and Spencer definitely lead the way on this, they’ve got a pair everyone, and ever budget. These Per Una Berry Tartan Pyjamas, costing £29.50 are definitely the quintessential pair. Long sleeves, long legs, and even better, they’re on trend with a tartan print! They’re 100% cotton, so they’ll keep you warm, but not too warm, and won’t aggravate your skin.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in night time comfort, then have a look at the Autograph range. You can find pure silk pyjamas, or bottoms made from modal which is apparently like cotton but resistant to shrinking, fading and super-soft. Naturally though there’s a premium to pay for this range.

So embrace winter and hunt out your perfect pjs!