About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Lowlands Festival 2007 can't come soon enough!

Over the last few months I have been waiting anxiously for any news concerning Lowlands Music Festival, which takes place in Amsterdam during late August every year. Lowlands is a festival with a lineup not dissimilar to Reading or Leeds, but also features more variety in terms of World Music; this year C.S.S, M.I.A and Interpol to name a few bands from afar. The first names playing this year have only just been announced: go to the bottom of this post to have a look at the promo posters.I went last year with about 10 other people and I really enjoyed it... it was a great place to go for your first festival: the atmosphere is really good (Dutch people are really nice, and most speak excellent English), the lineup is amazing and the facilities are traditionally Dutch. Now when most people think of festivals they get an image in their mind of shitty food, grotty showers and a general feeling of dirtiness. The toilets and showers at Lowlands are really clean and there a lot of them, which is good... I can't help recalling stories I have heard of overflowing bogs in Reading and Glastonbury.

Another huge difference at Lowlands is the quality of the food: most people don't eat much at festivals, because its all fast food. Well, at Lowlands, things are different; I can honestly say that the food at this festival must be the best out of all the festivals in the world, even though I haven't been to any others- there is a massive selection of fresh food on offer all day long, from falafels to pancakes and pizza and pretty much anything you could ever want. Its all pretty good value, and this also applies to the alcohol; everything at Lowlands is paid for with their unique currency, unfortunately named 'munten', and generally at low cost. I came back 100 euros poorer last time, which isn't bad considering I was there for 4 days. There is a supermarket where you can buy loads of fresh food each day, and you can trade a crate of any beer for a crate of cold Heineken. Not bad, hmm?

Lowlands is a superior experience in many respects; you only have to look at the ticket prices to get things into perspective. A full ticket, allowing you to stay there from the opening of the site on the 16th to the afternoon of the 20th, will set you back 125 euros, or £80. Compare this to the costs of Reading- a one day ticket to Reading can set you back upwards of £60... you do the maths. I suppose you have to factor in the cost of the plane journey over here, but there is nothing stopping you spending 2 or 3 days in Amsterdam beforehand and making it into a holiday. Also, the size of the festival site is way more convenient; all 8 stages are within 10 minutes walk of each other, so there is much more likelihood of you seeing lots of different bands on different stages.

So, to recap, Lowlands is an extremely cheap festival with a great lineup and brilliant facilities.... what more could a budding music fan want? Is anyone reading this going to Lowlands this year? Who are you looking forward to seeing?

The Strokes- continuing to lead a masterclass in the art of music videos

I was browsing NME.com when I was lucky enough to find a link to the excellent new video by The Strokes for You Only Live Once. Please take my recommendation and follow the link below to watch this great video for a great song. I have loved The Strokes since their genre defining debut, Is This It? , and if you are even slightly interested in popular or indie music you should listen to all 3 of their brilliant albums.

Click here to watch the brand new video for The Strokes- You Only Live Once

The Go Team- Grip Like A Vice!

The Go! Team are no ordinary band... having a lead rapper named Ninja, two drummers and cheerleader chants in many of their songs, this band was a bit of a surprise last year, popping up in last years top 100 albums frequently and being nominated for the Mercury Award for their first album- Thunder, Lightning, Strike. I really enjoyed their first album; it was a new blend of rap, hip-hop and samples which was exciting to listen to whilst remaining upbeat. The Go! Team have been away for a year since they were very much in the limelight, and recently released Grip Like A Vice, a recently cut single for their currently untitled second album, out on September 4th. Its a little bit different; darker, I suppose, but the quality of their music is still obvious. Click the links below to get the track, and leave a note if you like it. Has anybody out there in the blogosphere seen this band live? I've heard some good stories about them...

The Go Team- Grip Like A Vice.mp3

The Stills... After a short hiatus, they're back!

Finally! The Stills have returned! My wait is over!

These were the thoughts running through my mind when I clicked on two of the latest songs by The Stills, Oh Shoplifter and Helicopter, releases which I have been anticipating for 4 years. When their debut album, Logic Will Break Your Heart, was released in 2003, I became an avid follower of this band, along with many others (the album was in many people's top 20 that year): I loved lead singer Dave Hamlin's sleepy vocals, and the characteristically American guitar licks which accompanied him. I loved their album from start to finish: the lifting Lola Stars And Stripes to Still In Love Song, it was a fantastic album. The only problem was after listening to the album 20 times I was craving something new, or different, but The Stills just seemed to disappear. I waited anxiously to hear something... anything that would give me a sense of what the band's plans were. But nothing came.... I didn't hear anything about them until about a month ago, when I was reading a blog which was detailing the most exciting upcoming releases. And there it was... The Stills- Without Feathers. The album came out on the 9th May, but I haven't got around to buying it yet. I have, though, got two tracks off the album, both of which are excellent, if a little different from the bands original stuff. Click the links below to get the two tracks:

The Stills- Oh Shoplifter
The Stills- Helicopter

The Bravery- Back For More?

You would have thought that after the unanimous slamming The Bravery's first album received, they would have slinked off with their tails between their legs... but no, it turns out they went away for a couple of years to begin constructing the album that their first should have been. I was one of the people expecting their self-titled debut to be excellent, but when I finally got my hands on a copy, I was massively underwhelmed. How could they go so wrong? Where were the numerous crafted disco/pop gems to match An Honest Mistake? Plus, to top it all off, they couldn't keep their mouths shut. They probably wouldn't have received so many bad reviews if Sam Endicott, their lead singer, hadn't struck up a pointless feud with Brandon Flowers of The Killers... argue all you want, but make sure you have the songs to back you up before you argue with a band as international as The Killers!

Well, that's all in the past now, and thus far I'm very happy that they didn't give up the first time around. From the two tracks that I've heard, they are yet again on track to make an outstanding pop-punk album; I can only hope they don't drop the ball so spectacularly this time, and live up to the hype. And if they fail? Well, for their sakes I hope they retire with at least some dignity.... If you want to hear a track off their album, click the link below to download Believe, my track of the day.

The Bravery- Believe.mp3

Pre order their new album, The Sun And The Moon - released on July 16th- here.

The Twang- The Sound Of Summer 2007?

"Feels like my teeth are falling out,
From all the gibberish that's been pouring out my mouth,
What was i thinking? What was i doing with that milf?

My chin is exhausted, man it was time for filth."

And so begins the epic single track that is Wide Awake by The Twang, a special band, not only because they can insert the phrase 'milf' into a song without it sounding ridiculous, but also because they just might be the sound of this year. The Twang are a 5-piece indie band straight out of Birmingham, although I don't really think its fair to confine them into one genre of music. I know I use the phrases 'different' and 'unique' a lot, but I can apply them to this band without thinking twice; from the twisting guitars that open Wide Awake, the breakdown half way through the song or Phil Etheridge's heavy Birmingham accent, I couldn't really compare it to much else, or place it in one area of music. The success of this band also depends on the fact that they're not afraid to test the boundaries and try something new: Wide Awake runs in at 4 minutes and 47 seconds, a song which many bands would consider too long to put forward commercially as their first or second single. Their originality has really payed off, though; Wide Awake reached #15 on the UK singles charts, which is very respectable considering they were relatively unknown at this point.

Since The Twang went mainstream after NME ran an article on them, they have gone on to be classed by many- myself included- as the sound of 2007. Despite this, there are still a lot of people out there who go: "The Twang? Oh, the ones that did that song". These are also the individuals who think they are a one-track wonder even before they've heard what this band have to offer: go out and buy their debut album, Love It When I Feel Like This, when it comes out on the 4th of June, and then come and talk to me about one-trick ponies. And if you can't wait that long, download the tracks included with this post, all of which are off the new album.

This hype surrounding the band has been racked up a few levels higher for me; I had the opportunity to go and see The Twang and a few other bands at London Calling, an annual gig in Amsterdam to showcase upcoming bands. I was meant to go with my Dad, but I turned it down, citing tiredness as my excuse. I now wish I had gone, even if all the other bands there had been crap: I doubt I will get another chance to see this band in such a small venue: after this summer, they will be right in the limelight, playing festivals and stadium gigs. It might sound unrealistic, but I anticipate a debut in the vein of The Arctic Monkeys, completely fresh and with an original take on British life, and one which will go on to sell really well commercially. I just hope that they can mimic The Arctic Monkeys in escaping from the classic 'second album is rubbish' mantra.

Click the links below to hear some of the unreleased tracks off this bands new album:

The Twang- Wide Awake

The Twang- Either Way

The Twang- Cloudy Room

Click here if you want to pre-order their new album, Love It When I Feel Like This...

Interpol, The Heinrich Maneuver- Great Title, Average Song?

Interpol, the leading band in their mood-rock niche, are on track to release their new album, Our Love To Admire, in early July. Now I know for a fact there is a lot of anticipation over this album, given the wait we have had (almost 3 years since their last album, Antics), and I for one am really looking forward to July 10th, the official release date. Interpol have released two previous albums, Turn On The Bright Lights, their trend-setting debut, and Antics, their follow-up which went on to sell in the region of a million copies. When I say trend-setting, I mean the first in their field: think of how many moody-rock bands you can name nowadays: The Editors, anyone? Back when their debut was released, they were the first...

Interpol's sound is very unique, characterised by their choppy, edgy guitars, thumping bass, and lead singer Paul Banks' haunting voice. On their third album proper they have decided to include the valuable addition of keyboards; this is fairly obvious on their new single, The Heinrich Maneuver, which at first left me unmoved and disinterested. I have, however, persevered with it, and it is continuing to grow on me. I was reluctant to name it my track of the day when it was released 2 weeks ago, but today, it is. Click the link below to get this track, and please, please don't dismiss it as I did...

Interpol- The Heinrich Maneuver.mp3

The Editors- They've finally learnt how to write good songs...

My favourite song today is the new single by The Editors, 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' from their latest album, An End Has A Start which will be released on the 25th June. For those of you who don't know them, The Editors are a band with a similar sound to Interpol, and their music lies in the same mood-rock niche... Their first album, The Back Room, was a success, but I found that some of the songwriting was a bit lacking, especially in the lyrics. This new song bodes well for the new album, however, and I just hope they have a set of tracks that are as good as this one to make a more rounded album the second time round.

The Editors- Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors

If you like the track, get their first album, The Back Room, here...

Muse- The Best Band Ever?

'How are you doing London?' were Matt Bellamy's first words as he strolled onto the stage of the Sheperd's Bush Empire in West London last year, followed shortly by Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme, drummer and bassist in the outrageously good band that is Muse. At this point in the gig, I was still slightly shocked that I was even there... A few weeks previously I had headed over to the Muse website to check out their latest tracks from Black Holes And Revelations, and after being forced to enter a competition in order to enter, I listened to some of the new tracks, including Starlight and Supermassive Black Hole. I was unaware at that point that I would be listening to them live only 4 weeks later.

Two weeks after I entered the competition, an unassuming but highly important email popped into my inbox informing me that I had won two tickets to see Muse in their "Supermassive Gig", where they would be playing the new album in full, all of which would be recorded and shown on MTV a few weeks later. It just so happened that I would be in London on the day of the gig, and I ended up going with my sister. We turned up to a scene of chaos: there were a wide range of different people milling around the venue: some goths, some hardcore fans - brandishing their Muse T-shirts and badges-, and some bewildered individuals who had obviously entered without knowing who Muse were. After an hours wait to get our special wristbands and tickets, we were let in, and the gig started promptly. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Muse, and had been informed by my experienced Dad/brother/sister that their live performances were special. I didn't really realise this until Matt Bellamy opened his mouth to sing and began to play his guitar like a man possessed; believe me when I say that watching this band is a spectacle: Matt Bellamy has an exceptionally loud and developed voice for someone so small (he must weigh about 9 stone) and the way he manipulates his guitar is nothing short of amazing. He is backed up by possibly the best rhythm section in the world, with huge, heavy basslines and musically clinical drumming from Wolstenholme and Howard.

I was blown away by the performance: I have seen a fair few bands for someone my age, but never in my life have I heard a band who sounds better live than they do on their albums. I swear there are times during their performances where Muse add in licks and fills that aren't included on their albums, just as an extra: these only help to make their live performances a more rounded experience. This is really down to the fact that all three members of Muse are highly accomplished musicians: Matt Bellamy was a classically trained pianist before he traded in Tchaikovsky for AC/DC as a teenager, and both Wolstenholme and Howard know their way around their instruments. Bellamy must go through guitars quickly, the way he batters, bends and beats them into submission, and the sound produced by this band is encapsulating, loud and completely unique. A regular theme in Muse's albums has been outer space and the supernatural, and their music and live performances are truly out of this world. The music that Bellamy writes seems so effortless: whilst they revel in the huge choruses and pounding rhythms of songs such as Supermassive Black Hole and Map Of The Problematique, they are just as much at home producing lighter sounds such as Starlight and Soldier's Poem. All in all, I really think that Muse should take the mantle as THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD, due to their stellar live shows and brilliant music.

After my gig at Sheperd's Bush Empire, I was lucky enough to see them again a month later at Lowlands Festival in Holland. Their performance was different, but no less brilliant: their sound wasn't diminished by the festival tent containing 5000 people. I let out a huge sigh of relief when I watched them all the big festivals last year, for finally, this hugely talented band had made it to where they deserved to be.

The Cribs: Now with less added distortion!

The Cribs are a 3-piece indie-rock band hailing from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, made up by twins Ryan and Gary Jarman and their younger brother Ross. Their third album proper, "Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever", was released on the 14th, and I would really recommend it to anybody who considers themselves a music fan out there. Their second album, "The New Fellas", did fairly well, but didn't really get this talented band the publicity they deserved. The key to their songs is the visceral and raw take on rock music, and their live performances are no different: it is pretty common at The Cribs gigs for the lead singer, Ryan Jarman, to throw himself into the crowd and finally return to the stage with a broken something or other, and half of his clothes missing to show for it. The only negative thing I could say about them is that the rawness of their recorded music sometimes detracts from the fact that in actuality, they're all really good at their instruments. However, I know from people who have already got the new album that they've cleaned up their sound, for the better.

Lets just get this out of the way: these guys are the definition of a
rock'n'roll band; at the NME awards, Ryan did a backflip off one of the tables, landing head first on the adjacent one, which just so happened to be covered with champagne bottles and crystal glasses. The aftermath included a lot of broken glass, and Ryan being forced to go to hospital for stitches. That didn't stop him from returning later on that night, though, and going AWOL, before being ferried back to the hospital as he had opened his stitches again. One of his early injuries also causes Ryan's lips to bleed if he sings too much, which can be seen clearly on the cover of Martell, their first single (see right), and something that Ryan considers 'fucking annoying' but a bit of a party trick.

I really think these guys are on the up at the moment: from what I have heard, they have toned down the distortion on their second album, and are making some really good music. I just hope this calm doesn't extend to their live performances, which I know from experience are something to behold and enjoy, if a little bit loud for some people... If you want to check out some of their music, I have included 3 of their great tracks- click here if you want to get them all, or click the links below if you want to get each one individually. Its no coincidence that Men's Needs, the first single of their new album, is my track of the day. Enjoy!

The Cribs- Men's Needs
The Cribs- Hey Scenesters
The Cribs- Martell

You can buy the first album, The New Fellas, here, and the new album, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever, here.

Eurovision- A parody of its former itself...

was staying in on Saturday night, and spent about 10 minutes watching the annual Eurovision Song Contest, knowing what a laugh it would be. Now its a real shame that I have to refer to it as 'a laugh' considering how it used to be held in high esteem. Nowadays, most people seem to watch it just to laugh at the ridiculous fanfare that it is, whereas it used to be a sort of promotional event for up-and-coming acts. You only have to look over the last couple of years: who of note has won this contest? Lordi! Surely Not... Elena Paparizou? Who? I understand that some of these acts are famous in their own countries, but none of the recent winners have gone on to the worldwide success that Eurovision winners ABBA, Celine Dion and Bucks Fizz did.

What has happened to this hugely popular contest: the Eurovision Song Contest is in the top ten most watched non-sporting TV events in the world. I will leave you with some questions: The one of which is: what has changed? Why do most of the latest winners vanish into obscurity, without making any considerable impact on the international music scene? Is it the 'faulty' voting system, which seems to pick some of the worst acts as the winner each year?

Track Of The Day- 15th March 2007

My favourite track today is one of the new Guns N' Roses tunes off of Chinese Democracy, 'There Was A Time'. It starts off pretty low key, but after a bit of a build up sets into traditional Guns N' Roses gear, and turns out to be a bit epic in its own right. Have a listen, I hope you enjoy it. Has anyone heard anything else off the new album? What do you think about it, other than the fact that Axl Rose's voice has finally broken...

Guns N' Roses- There Was A Time

Move over Fiddy, Sway's in town...

Derek Andrew Safo, also known as Sway (DeSafo), is a multi-talented 25 year old who is destined for big things. A Muslim hip hop rapper who was born in London from Ghanian descent, even at the age of 25 Sway has still had huge amounts of success in the music industry; Initially a producer, Sway started his career by writing beats for up and coming rappers, but then set about becoming one himself by entering rap battles on the London MC circuit. In 2005, Sway won the MOBO for Best Hip-Hop Act even before he had released his first album, beating critically acclaimed people such as 50 Cent and The Game to the title, before going on to release 'This Is My Demo', his first album- an underground success in its own right.

Another remarkable trait that Sway possesses (other than the obvious ability to rap/freestyle) is his ambition. Whilst writing his first album, Sway set up his own record label, recording at his home using his own equipment and a computer. His first set of mixtapes, such as 'This Is My Promo', are excellent, and received play on the UK's pirate radio stations, as Sway had no record label to market him- It's really great that someone can succeed without the aid of a record company: last year Sway was nominated for the Mercury Award- he lost out to the Arctic Monkeys- but I thought that he had a fair chance of winning. His music is so good purely because of the raps on it; sure, the production is good, but it wouldn't mean anything if you couldn't understand and connect with what Sway was saying.

I have included a couple of Sway's best tracks off of 'This Is My Demo': if you like them, be sure to let me know, as I think Sway is a huge talent which is relatively undiscovered...

Sway- Download.mp3

Sway- Sick World.mp3

You can buy Sway's excellent first album over at Play.com

On my playlist today- 14th May 2007

So the following are the best tracks that are on rotation on my iPod today. Click the links individually to get each song, or click here to view them all together. I hope you like the tracks- if you do, let me know about it. I'm also open to suggestions or requests!

Battle- Tendency
Buy their 6 track EP here

Cold War Kids- Hang Me Up Today
Buy their debut, 'Robbers And Cowards', over at Play.com

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly- Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager (Part 1)
Get his fresh new take on protest music here

John Legend- P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)
Buy the second album, 'Once Again', here

Metric- Monster Hospital
Buy their critically acclaimed 'Live It Out' here

Otis Redding- (Sitting) On The Dock Of The Bay

Buy his final album here, on Play.com

Sway- Flo' Fashion
Buy his MOBO nominated Promo album here

The All-American Rejects- Move Along
Buy their stadium rock album here

Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Cheated Hearts
Purchase their excellent new album, 'Show Your Bones', at Amazon

LCD Soundsystem- Sound Of Silver

My track of the day today is the first single off of Sound Of Silver, the latest album from James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem. Its a really driven track, and I'm considering buying the album. Enjoy, and if you like what you hear, Sound Of Silver is on sale here...

LCD Soundsystem- North American Scum

Track Of The Day- Lupe Fiasco

I was just sent this new track by Lupe Fiasco, from his new album 'The Cool' which comes out later this year. This is the best of the 3 tracks I have heard, so enjoy. If you like this track, Food And Liqour, his Grammy nominated first album is still on sale here..

Lupe Fiasco- Cold Blooded

Tracks on my playlist today

As I lie ill in my bed, these are the best tracks that compile my playlist today. From now on, this will be a daily fixture, as well as my track of the day post... Click on the individual links to get the each track, or go here to download them all..

Albert Hammond Jr.- Back To The 101
Buy his debut solo album, Your To Keep, here...

Bjork- Crying
Buy her first album, Debut, here...

Bloc Party- Staying Fat
Buy their new album, A Weekend In The City, here.

Idlewild- No Emotion
Buy their new album, Make Another World, here...

Maximo Park- A Fortnight's Time
Buy their new album, Our Earthly Pleasures, here...

The Hours- Ali In The Jungle
Buy their new album, Narcissus Road, here...

The Stills- Still In Love Song
Buy their first album, Logic Will Break Your Heart,

Enjoy, and come back tomorrow to get the next installment in my day playlist...

The Arcade Fire cover the Clash

I was just sent this little gem of a song- in their latest performances, The Arcade Fire have been covering lots of old tracks, including this: Guns Of Brixton by The Clash. Enjoy (click the link after the space). If you like what you hear, the latest album by The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible, is out now. Click here to read my review of this great album...

The Arcade Fire- Guns Of Brixton.mp3

Spider Man 3- I wasn't exactly caught in its web

On May 5th, the day after its release, I went to see Spiderman 3 at my local cinema. Surprisingly, I only arrived 10 minutes early, and there were plenty of seats free, which was a tad weird, what with Spiderman being one of the biggest movies this summer. Anyway, the film began with the traditional web fanfare, only with a darker twist, which set the tone for the movie. The first 10 minutes highlight the fact that everything seems to be going well for Peter Parker/Spiderman. Peter is doing well in his job and is about to propose to Mary Jane, and Spidey is finally receiving the admiration he thinks he deserves.


Obviously, it all goes wrong, and all of a sudden, Peter is dealing with 3 different 'villains' and a girlfriend who is jealous of the attention Spiderman garners. Then this weird symbiote thing bonds with him to form the black suit which you have seen on all the posters. And then, through one ridiculous dance scene, the film loses all the momentum and brilliance it had in the first half. It never really recovers from this stupid Saturday Night Fever style scene, other than the epic final battle which involves Spiderman and the 3 villains. The main problem with this film is that there is simply too much going on; the main selling point, Venom, is only developed in the last 30 minutes of the film, and is then ejected from the franchise in a similarly abrupt manner. There is enough material and plot-lines in this film to fill 3 feature length films.

However bad the dance scene was, there were equally excellent positive points in the movie: Thomas Hayden Church excels as the believably motivated Sandman, and his transformation sequence in the particle accelerator is breathtaking. Similarly, the final battle between the 3 villains sees Spidey team up with the Green Goblin Mark 2, played by James Franco. I had never really though about the potential for a superhero team up, but this scene is fantastic, and I am now looking forward to the Justice League film. Topher Grace is good in his short segment as Eddie Brock and Venom, but I would have liked to see more of him... And finally, Bryce Dallas Howard as the blond bombshell that is Gwen Stacy... I didn't quite see her attractiveness in 'The Village', but she holds up well as the object of Peter's desire and Mary Jane's jealousy.

All in all, Spiderman 3 was a disappointment as the supposed end of the trilogy. Its good to know that given the excellent first weekend box office, the producers have said that they will be doing at least 3 more movies, which will give Sam Raimi (if he comes back) a chance to redeem himself for the film that was the low point of the trilogy.

Cinemas? Make way for Home Entertainment...

It probably hasn't occurred to many people so far, but the age-old ritual that is going to the cinema is slowly going out of fashion... A few of us have questioned why we go to the cinema with other people when it is essentially a solitary experience (what with not wanting to talk etc.....). Also, with the rapidly advancing technology that most of us own in our TV room, you needn't leave the house to have a cinematic experience: who needs to sit with 200 other people when you can watch Lord Of The Rings on your 108 inch projector with Dolby 6.1 Surround Sound, all in the comfort of your Laz-E-Boy recliner? I have a feeling that people are starting to come around to the fact that the digital age is upon us; films can be downloaded in DVD quality from BitComet just as they are released, and then watched on Media Center PC's....

Its quite disconcerting that this is the case: I think going to the cinema is still a worthwhile way to spend your money, and despite what I have said, it will be some years before staying in can match the overall experience of seeing a film you have been waiting for (insert your preference here) months. My main gripe with the film industry is the price: going to the cinema nowadays can set you back 15 quid, which somewhat lessens the enjoyment you get out of it. This is probably down to the fact that big cinema's such as CineWorld are buying out all the smaller companies. Thats all very well, but lets be honest; when was the last time you saw an indie film being played at your local multiplex? It seems that this aspect is having a negative aspect on the smaller films that are made every year, and on our wallets.

Iron Man.... what? Where did this come from?

Just after the accepted realisation that Spider Man 3 was a shoddy film of two halves, the makers of a new comic book movie have released this really cool publicity shot. The film is, of course, Iron Man, as if you couldn't have guessed by looking at the picture: although its been kept off the radar so far this year, it looks set to be a good thriller, with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role. I hope he delivers in the role of Tony Stark, especially in the 'grittiness' aspect, which hasn't been properly explored thus far in the comic book franchise...
Click on the image to view a ultra-high resolution version in all its glory...

Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy- Finally!

After a wait of 10 years since their last album, the first new Guns N' Roses songs were leaked two days ago. Click the link below to get Chinese Democracy, the title track of their new album which will hopefully be coming out sometime this year. I've only heard this song, but its enough to tell me that they have changed, but not in a bad way. If you want the album, you can pre-order it in loads of places...

Guns N' Roses- Chinese Democracy

Transformers- A good film "in disguise"?

The live action Transformers film comes out on the 27th July this year, and early screening reviews have stated that it is surprisingly good. It obviously has all the elements of a Michael Bay film: guns, explosions and car chases, but the cast are all said to put in good performances, especially Shia LaBeouf. I have been impressed with him in his other performances, in particular 'A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints', and honestly think that he may be on his way to being the best actor of his generation (he has been a big box-office draw so far, with Disturbia at the top of the box office for 3 weeks).

Anyway, all the footage and images I've seen of Transformers prove only one thing: that the robots themselves look fantastic. ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) have done a fantastic job in making the transformers and their transformations look realistic, which in a film that is basically about huge metal robots fighting, was the make or break element (take a look for yourself at the bottom of this page). Despite what all the 'hard-core' fans may think, Michael Bay was the right choice for this movie, especially when he has Steven Spielberg to help him with the lower-key moments of the film. Many have complained that he has changed the look of the Transformers; they wouldn't look anywhere near as cool if he hadn't, as the original transformers were box-like and wouldn't fit in (an old VW beetle? Definitely not the car Sam Witwicky would buy...)

Regardless of what people may have to say about this film in the coming months, I am extremely excited about this film, which may just be the dark-horse of the summer blockbusters; it has a lot of competition from Spider Man 3, Pirates 3 and Shrek 3, but I hope this film does well, so that they can make more in the future: the only complaint so far that I have heard is that people want more as soon as they have seen the film; I am sure this will turn into a summer franchise of sorts. If you are one of the lucky few who have seen the film, we would like to hear your opinions: what were your first impressions: good, bad or excellent? Did you think the CGI was good? etc etc...

Paris Hilton imprisoned- it took us long enough!

Paris Hilton has been sentenced to 45 days in jail after being found guilty of violated her probation for a drink-driving charge. The main question is: what took us so long? Jail seems like the only way to stop Paris from continuously turning out the drudge that is The Simple Life, or creating music that sounds better when it is on mute. In her trial, Paris stated she 'didn't realise that her driver's license had been suspended' and that she was 'very sorry and from now on' she would 'pay complete attention to everything'. Hopefully she won't turn up for her first stint in jail, whereupon her sentence will be doubled to 90 days.

Unfortunately, I doubt this will keep Paris out of the public eye long enough for us to forget about her. Instead, it will only prove to publicise her more, but at least it allows us a reprieve from the constant Paris pummeling we get in the media.

Ash- You Can't Have It All

I think I may be one of the first people to post this great new track from the 5th Ash album, Twilight Of The Innocents, which comes out on the 29th June, 2007. The band haven't released anything since their 2004 Album, Meltdown, after which their guitarist of 9 years, Charlotte Hatherley, left the band. She has gone on to pursue a solo career, recently releasing what is said to be an excellent debut album. Hopefully, the new Ash album will prove that they can still write their catchy tunes with just the 3 remaining members. If you want the track, click the link below, or get it in shops/iTunes.

Ash- You Can't Have It All

Play.com: everything you could ever want in one place...

I was recently informed of the very well kept secret that is play.com. Play is an online retailer in the same vein as Amazon.com, which has done extremely well for itself over the last couple of years. But now, excuse the cliché , there's a new kid on the block. Amazon, whilst being convenient, has done far too well due to the fact that it is the online retailer, alongside ebay. Play, which cannot currently compete with Amazon because of its size, still offers a much more efficient and satisfying way to shop online, both in terms of usability and the toll its has on your wallet.

The main reason Play.com can compete is because of its prices; even as a relatively small firm, it consistently undercuts the prices of its competitor's by £2-3. This isn't very much, you might be thinking, but it amounts to a lot after you by 10 CD's or 20 DVD's. And don't forget to counter in the fact that there is free shipping on every item you buy, and this isn't reflected in the prices. There is no silly 'Super Saver' deal, where you have to spend £20 in order to receive free postage which takes a week to arrive. No, at play.com, packages are sent quickly and with care: I received my last order with a day or ordering it.

The basic point of my post today is that I think that there is currently an imbalance in the online shopping world; companies such as Amazon are dominating solely due to the fact that they are there, and have been for many years now. But does this mean that there is no room for competition: i urge you, branch out and have a better look before you buy your next CD or DVD online; you will save money, and will be doing companies such as Play a huge favour...

Mark Ronson's 'Version'

Mark Ronson, the talented music producer and part-owner of Allido records , has just released his latest album, 'Version', which sees Ronson calling favours from many of the artists he has helped succeed, such as Robbie Wiliams, Paul Smith of Maximo Park and Lily Allen. The best song on the album, though, is Amy Winehouse's cover of The Zutons 'Valerie'. If you want to get this great track, just click on the link below. There is also a link to the equally brilliant first single 'Stop Me'.

Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse- Valerie
Mark Ronson feat Daniel Merriweather- Stop Me

If you like the tracks, buy the album here. I would love to hear what you think about this guy, and if anybody has the album, what do you think of it?

Volta- Bjork back on form?

I only just heard the first single from Bjork's new album, Earth Intruders, which sees her back to her best. I have to say that she went off the rails a bit, from the weird Olympics ceremony to her wishy-washy albums. I really enjoyed Debut, and though it was a unique album. Anyway, this new track proves that Bjork has set herself right again; click the link below to download this song:

Bjork- Earth Intruders mp3

The new album, Volta, is out now and can be bought in all major music stores and on iTunes. It's getting good reviews, and should do, considering the production team of Timbaland and Anthony Hegarty from Anthony and the Johnson's.

White Stripes and Icky Thump- Seven Nation Army Version 2.0?

I just thought I should post the new White Stripes single from their new album, Icky Thump. I think this is a great song, and a hark back to their older stuff from Elephant.

The White Stripes- Icky Thump

Click the link and then the Download box at the bottom of the page. If you enjoy the track, head over to the iTunes store where its on sale now...