flaming lips gig

If you haven’t heard of the Flaming Lips, they are one of the most underrated bands of the last decade. Their albums are like nothing you will have heard before.

Anyway, the gig last night was like nothing I have seen before. This review from last year captures the atmopshere. They really get the crowd alive with balloons in the crowd, strobe lights everywhere, people dancing in animal suits with huge halogen torches. The music was amazing too! A sweep through their back catalogue and genuine crowd pleasers.

It was one of those events when you felt part of something special for 2 hours…. So if you ever get the chance to listen to their music, I’d recommend Clouds Taste Metallic and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Or just get on their website and look at some of the videos.

war stuff

Do a Iraqi War personality test to see which side of the fence you sit in regarding the war – only 11 questions.

When I see the French government standing up against the US, I wish out government spoke out rather than tugging the US line – probably more to do with our “special relationship” than anything else. France has felt threatened by the spread of American culture for the last couple of decades – the rampant growth of McDonalds, French film industry in decline etc. But luckily for them, they have some strong characters such as Jose Bove who have attempted to stem the flow before a generation of French youth have their centuries old culture knocked out of them…

Doves EP

I found a Doves EP on Soulseek, which has 4 tracks – Hit the Ground Running, Far From Grace, Northenden and Willow Song. Have to say it is amazingly good. Very melancholic. Don’t think it’s possible to buy it anywhere (cos it was deleted on day of release) but really worth a listen if you can. (Oh yeah, I was star-spotting in Asda in Manchester over Christmas and I saw Jimmy Goodwin out of the Doves in the chilled foods aisle – hence I was cheesy enough to congratulate him on his albums and his gigs @ Glastonbury and Brixton….)

I’ve also been listening to Autumn Shade which is the second track on the Vines album – Highly Evolved. Doesnt seen like it should be on this album as most of the other tracks are post-grunge and aggressive, this one is much more atmospheric and reflective – it’s too short though, needs a second verse.

Sky ‘News’

I’ve sat here in work for the last few weeks being brainwashed by Rubert Murdochs personal propaganda machine that is Sky News. Not only is the format of the programme in the mornings like some sort of gameshow, but the tone of their questioning and reporting is incredible.

They have huge plasma screens in the background with captions like “Target Iraq” and the presenter, Martin Stamford, has one of those wireless headsets strapped onto the side of his face that wouldn’t look out of place in the Eurovision song contest. Big graphics, sound effects and general dumbing down appears to be the way to attract the 21st century TV viewer who (presumably according to sky) isn’t able to stand an unbiased politicial debate or a soundbite longer than 10 seconds.

Then they have online votes that are always phrased in a certain way to enduce people into voting the way the pollster wants the outcome. Like “Given the brutal murder of a police officer in Birmingham, should Police be armed?” You see what I mean.

Finally the adverts are enough to drive me insane. Every advert is for compensation claims and Loans. Scenario : Typical 2.4 family household realise they have huge debts, ring Ocean Finance (1 call is all it takes), and package existing debt into 1 easy loan over 15 years at 36.8% APR – suddenly everyone is happy and the kids can go to Disneyland…..