The Weekly Digest #2

A quick update on “the future” of this blog and indeed my life; there’s a very good chance I’m starting a new 9-5 job this week in a bank (yep..) so my time online will be cut down significantly meaning I’ll only really be able to post on the weekends. Now granted, it wasn’t like I was updating this site regularly to begin with (it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted something, I have been writing stuff, it’s just a long work in process!) but there you go. One of the great positives with this new employment, besides ensuring my mum stops moaning at me to get a job, is the fact that I can afford to go to a load more gigs country-wide and I’ll also have the money to buy a new games console as my Playstation 2 is finally on the way out after nearly 10 years of service.

In summary, only good things can come from this, even if it is working at a bankAnyway, I digress. 

 

The Smiths broke up in 1987 after making 4 albums. Since then we’ve had 11 compilations collecting either their greatest hits, live material or non-album songs. By now, if you’re a Smiths fan you should probably already own the 4 LPs and the two best compilations (Hatful of Hollow and Louder Than Bombs) but if by chance you’re missing some of these, then this new comp is for you. The Smiths Complete contains The Smiths, Meat is Murder, The Queen is Dead, Strangeways Here We Come, Rank, Hatful of Hollow, The World Won’t Listen and Louder Than Bombs all of which have been remastered. I know it’s a cliché, but The Smiths were really one of the few bands I REALLY liked when I was a teenager and are a band that remain close to my heart. I made the decision to buy The Very Best of The Smiths, a compilation that in hindsight, does not in fact feature the very best of the band. Hopefully this is the final compilation we get as it features everything minus live bootlegs, but the cynical side of me believes The Smiths will be bled for money even further.

😦

The internet is clambering together to ensure that NBC doesn’t (although it looks incredibly likely that they will) cancel Community. If this was to happen, a tremendous void would be present in mine and hopefully your lives as the quirky/sweet sitcom has been consistently brilliant for 3 seasons. What makes this news even worse is the fact that NBC said they were removing it from their Thursday night schedule to make room for the returning 30 Rock, which [in my opinion anyway] fell off a colossal cliff at some point during it’s fourth season. From a fan’s stand point, there’s a lot more storytelling potential both in regards to wacky episode concepts that have yet to be written and also where it goes in terms of character relationships. The tension between Annie/Jeff is matched by that of Troy/Britta.  It’s a recurring thing for great sitcoms to be cancelled way before they run out of steam, but I really hope NBC change their minds, I don’t know what I’d do without my weekly dose of Troy and Abed 😦

Do the only thing we can do and sign the petition, try and save one of the funniest, smartest and best sitcoms on tv at the moment!

And if that didn’t convince you, maybe this will 

The Roots can claim to be one of the more consistent rap collectives who always drop interesting albums to an ever-adoring fan base. Their mixture of elite rap lyricism and masterful instrumentation (seriously, imagine if The Roots backed James Brown in his prime and tell me that wouldn’t rule) has built them a strong following over their near 20 year career. After all these years, they should have fallen off at least a little, but that doesn’t seem to be the case  with this upcoming album undun. The description the group have on their blog explaining the concept of the album makes the just over 2 week wait for this album too much

undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.

From the 3 leaks, Make My/Stomp/Tip the Scale, I’ve heard so far, undun’s shaping up to be a late contender for album of the year. Whilst the music’s absolutely stellar, the music videos are somehow even better especially that for Make My, which is my favourite of the leaks so far. There’s something about that song and it’s beautiful 2 minute outro that’s really struck a chord with me and I guess I have the hard hitting and gritty video that compliments it perfectly. Even if you’re not a huge hip-hop fan, give The Roots a serious shot, they will not let you down.

Kate Bush returned from her preferred location of general obscurity earlier this year with the album “Director’s Cut” which was, as it suggests, her revisiting some of her older material and re-recording them. Now she’s graced us with another album which is all new material with a particularly winter feel to it as the title 50 Words for Snow subtly implies. The reviews have been glowing so far as you’d suspect for a Kate Bush album and as is nearly always the case (minus Aerial which was, a little shit) and what I’ve heard of it so far has been pretty excellent; incredibly delicate and lush, much like a snowy Winter’s day. I’m of the opinion that if you don’t enjoy the music of Kate Bush then you are clearly devoid of a soul/ears so check out the stream here and enjoy her first album of new material since 2005.

It’s common knowledge that films of video games/video games of films rarely work. Go on, try and think of one video game film that was any good, there isn’t one*. Consider this is well known by all, the news that the Tomb Raider series was getting a film reboot was beyond perplexing. Having got the first film on video for Christmas all those years ago, I can tell you that even at my peak of video game fandom that I absolutely hated it and found myself falling asleep within the first 20 minutes. Then later in my life, I watched a documentary that featured an insight into just why the film was such a disaster; they were pretty much bumbling their way through the film’s production, having several script rewrites from several different writers whilst the film was being shot. The end result was a film that made absolutely no sense and was just as boring as the game itself. What makes this reboot even more confusing and baffling is the fact that it’s 2011 and nobody really plays Tomb Raider anymore; it’d be like making a Streets of Rage live action feature that only a few nostalgic fanboys would actually enjoy in 2011. Reboots and remakes are often nothing but pointless attempts at making some money, but I honestly don’t see this particular series reboot grossing what the 2 films did previously in 2001/2003 respectively. Not only that, but it will be god-awful.

*Okay, that was a lie. The Street Fighter film from 1994 is pretty class in the ‘Showgirls’ way in that it’s dreadful yet compelling. Same goes for the two Mortal Kombat films that double up as a techno music video with hokey effects and Highlander looking all brooding and serious for 90 minutes before he gets all wacky at the end. 

I guess that will do it for this week’s digest, the big problem for me this past week was the fact that I’ve been really busy either being ill, travelling or being in Leeds (and jobhunting, let’s not forget that!). I have a gig review I need to get around to finishing as well as a loooong piece on the film Kids, which after hearing some incredibly frank conversations between two young girls on the bus last week, seems to be scarily accurate in regards to young people’s sexual lives.

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