Skin Flakes

I just watched the first part of the first episode of the new series of Skins, because I couldn't be bothered to get out of my chair, and to be quite frank it is the worst thing I have ever seen on television.

It almost feels like it's trying to be a spoof of it's former self; which in turn was a spoof of what REAL LIFE is like for the vast majority of people in their late teens.

For a start, I've been to that part of Bristol, it's the nice part just out from the city centre, full of grand old buildings, lovely boutique shops and crucially, the closest Fopp to my house.
Of all of the occasions I have walked up that street, NOT ONCE have I seen a seventeen year old smoking a spliff at an outdoor diner, whilst the remainder of the population of Bristol continue idly as if that's normal. (At this point the viewer is clearly thinking "OH MA DAYYZZZ, DRUGZ!! DAT IS SOO RANDOMZZ!! ROFFLE!!!1ONE")

To add to the sheer normality of the situation, HARRY ENFIELD has just had a car crash and is being a bit of a twat to an old lady. Harry Enfield's daughter then decides it best to stay in the car (which I remind you: HAS BEEN CRASHED) whilst staring at the annoyingly good looking, no-doubt lad-rock-loving (judging from his pretty cool trilby) twat whose skateboarding "antics" opened the show (he caused two car crashes in the first 30 seconds of the show. But then casual road accidents are the new happy-slapping...or something), the aforementioned idiot who is smoking a spliff and drinking lager at 8AM, and the obligatory geek character who is so overly geeky and seems to be able to relate everything to maths and science that he is painfully and blatantly supposed to be the character that everyone feels sorry for because he'll be the one who stays single throughout, but will eventually get laid by the girl he's been obsessed with all series at a wild party in a barn in the Somerset countryside, whilst Foals play in the background.

If you don't know what I'm on about, then you can watch the video
here on youtube.

You may ask why I haven't embedded the video into this post: it's because Channel 4 have actually had "Embedding disabled by request". That's right. THEY KNOW IT'S CRAP! It's so crap that they're ashamed that they made it. It's like the ugly girl they've started seeing that they don't want to tell their mates about.

And just to rub salt into the wounds, they use The Lion and The Lamb by The Mae Shi on their adverts. Which almost makes me not want to like that song anymore, and has made me think twice about buying a "I'm Glad You're Alive" Tee-Shirt (although I will still probably buy one). Yes, you could argue about how sad it is that my mind is that fickle and filled with ridiculous notions of indie purism, and whilst I in no way resent The Mae Shi or Moshi-Moshi for trying to make a living, I do in fact believe that this allows you to understand just how truly filled with hatred for the notion of Skins that I am.

In essence, series three of Skins almost presents itself as Channel 4's attempt to be the sex awareness school councillor who addresses a year 11 class and actually uses the term "innit", in a bid to relate to the kids. It is the televisual equivalent of the cringeworthy attempts by any white, middle-aged, balding teacher to convey the topic of today's assembly through the medium of "a rap".

In short, it's just a patronising distortion of what real life is like for those in their late teens.
And they've further ruined Harry Enfield's once glittering career.

(Picture: Just a regular night out for the regular 18 year old in regular old South Gloucestershire. Blimey, I can't tell you how many nights out I've had where things have ended up exactly like that!)

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On my T.V! I think not...

It has taken a long time for me to fully appreciate T.V on the radio..After watching them Headline the Carling Stage at Reading I was blown away by how powerful they are live but once it came to their albums I found it difficult to wrap my head around what they were really aiming for.

Gracing from New York and forming in 2001 the band consists of Tunde Adebimpe, Kyp Malone, Jaleel Bunton, Gerard Smith and needing no introduction after his work producing Foals album and appearing at number 1 on the often debatable NME cool list is Dave Sitek.

The first album I was fortunate to get my hands on was the 2004 release
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. Then comes their most recent release Dear Science which is the most easily accessible of all of their releases but comes with brilliant Gems such as Golden Age all the way to spellbinding "Family Tree" which has to be one of my favourite songs from 2008 to date giving a softer side to a usual erratic TV on the Radio .

Yes they have always been critically acclaimed and are loved by the 'it' crowd but I can finally confess to being a TV on the radio follower and although it is now 2009 I can happily say that Dear Science is the album in which TV on the radio just made sense....
Here was a life changing record which gave new dimensions to music being produced in this current era.

I came across their 2006 release Return to Cookie Mountain which seemed to change my mind about this band completely, it contained the brilliant and mesmerising Staring at the Sun. This album intrigued me a lot but I could still not listen to it the whole way through without feeling something was missing. Yes it is easy to produce an easy pop record like Vampire Weekend or Little Boots but it is much more difficult and rewarding to produce a pop record which takes 20 listens to fully understand the brilliance of what they are trying to do.

Tv On The Radio-Family Tree MP3

TV On The Radio Myspace

Over and Out!

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Stroud Alternative Show!

So the first Stroud Fm Alternative Show of 2009 (the last before we return to our respective universities) was on tuesday!
What do you mean you didnt catch it? Well you can download it here...

Here's the first part of it edited slightly so I can loosely use the term 'podcast'.

The idea behind this show was a preview for 2009. So new music as well as predictions for celeb gossip, music and sport for the next year.

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Gareth's Tips For 2009.

For a period of time which is supposed to usher in new things and new beginnings, the New Year sure does herald a whole host of repetition.

Just as I always continue to refer to the current year as 2008, prior to correcting myself before my mouth has got around the last sound of the syllable "eight", so do I find myself reflecting on the year passed and optimistically speculating what the year ahead may hold.

Just as everybody embraces one another with a rousing chorus (or at least an approximation thereon) of
"Auld Lang Syne" at the midnight between the end of the past and the beginning of the future, so does everybody - and I mean everybody with the means to convey their point - feel the need to openly share their review of 2008, and most importantly their views on what 2009 may bring.

And why not?
For when it comes to expertise, not all of us can discuss the fine details of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, nor quantam mechanics, nor the use of javascript, nor the benefits of the equally tempered harmonic system, nor the FTSE 100; but oh my, when it comes to the New Year, we all know how to discuss this, for we are all experts on the New Year.

And seeing as I have the method to propagate my views on the matter of "2009", then darn it, why not?

My five most anticipated albums of 2009
  • Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone!.
    I'm literally so exciteteteteteted. (See what I did there?)

  • Sufjan Stevens - TBA.
    Rumour has it that it'll be the next installment of the 50 States project, entitled "New York".

  • Franz Ferdinand - Tonight:Franz Ferdinand.
    Not very "down with the kids" I know, but if you'd heard the new songs they'd played at Latitude, you'd agree with me.

  • White Lies - To Lose My Life.
    This has perhaps been one of the best guarded secrets from the foibles of internet piracy since the beginning of the internet, so it comes as no surprise that this album has made it on to the most anticipated albums of 2009 lists of nearly every music critic writing today.

  • Good Shoes - TBA.
    Remember them?

    My top five tips for 2009.

  • Cats and Cats and Cats.
    They were one of the best live bands I saw in 2008, and I genuinely believe that their album (currently being recorded, and to be released this year) will catapult them to the status that Johnny Foreigner and Dananananaykroyd have enjoyed this year.

  • Florence and the Machine.
    Yes, I did have to run after the bandwagon before I could jump on it but I don't regret it for a moment. The BBC, HMV, the NME and most of the British press are all claiming that 2009 will see the rise of the female singer-songwriter (as if 2008 and previous years didn't), so my money is on Florence breaking the charts first.

  • Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele.
    Bit of a wild card this one I suppose, but this is some excellently nerdy pop; imagine if the key songwriter of Noah and the Whale was the main character in the first Back To The Future instead of Marty McFly.

  • Rupert and the Robbers.
    I know, I know. This is the second band in my top five tips that my band have supported before, and so I may be a tad biased, but oh my, just listen to those tunes; if Rupert and the Robbers aren't at the very least being regularly played on BBC 6 Music by the end of the year, then I will be very surprised.

  • Sam Isaac.
    Some would argue that Sammy Isaac should have been in my tips for 2008. WELL THE BLOG WASN'T HERE THEN, SO BE QUIET. But to be fair, Sam had a cracking 2008, but that's not going to quash my belief that with the release of his new album in 2009 he will take over the British Isles and legally become sovereign.

    But what do I know about music?
    I'm merely an expert on the New Year.


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    Climate v Economy FIGHT.....

    Now Jeremy Clarkson is no stranger to criticism and opponents of his outspoken views. And this blog entry isn't necessarily pointing the finger at him, more the people who follow him. You know, the people who join Facebook groups praising his every word and applaud his newspaper articles. I'm sure he's great conversation it's just he's a tad on the sensationalist side of things.

    This may not come as news to you it's just today his article seemed to be putting climate change up against the 'current economy climate'. He seemed to claim that now we're facing a recession we won't waste our time worrying about the climate.

    According to Jeremy when everything was hunkydory "the people in power had nothing much to do except feel guilty about all the money that was pouring in. So, to make themselves feel better, they invented a problem with the climate and said no new roads could be built in case a family of snails got squashed". As much as I understand that the economic situation must be resolved it doesn't mean the problem of climate change has dissapeared, nor was it just a fashionable issue to fill the time until the next financial crisis.

    Clarkson goes on to say that "during the Cuban Missile Crisis, no one cared whether a footballer had a bit of a scrap down at the boozer". Nice comparison between an issue that Barack Obama has pledged $150 billion to in the next decade and....well, a fight at a pub.

    So Jeremy Clarkson, you are a national treasure. Just try to treasure our nation's conscience when expressing your views.


    Oh and being a music blog, best to end on a musical note. This has to be one of my favourite music videos ever

    Metronomy - A Thing For Me (Breakbot Remix)
    Metronomy Myspace

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    New year,New times..

    So New Years Eve was messy, epic and just downright good fun.

    Wax:On at Leeds University was brilliant. Erol brought in the big 09 with Justice's Water of Nazareth which nearly brought the house down. The rest of it is one biggggggg blur which ended up with a room full of lads and a wholeeeee lot of pizza.

    One clear memory however was the dubstep room which was insane. I wish I could comment on it more but we spent NYE for what it was meant for. Getting blindo'd.

    So this year shall be one of the best yet. Fingers crossed. Its back to the books for exams in January but from then on I can spend lots of time enjoying Leeds and various other places.

    I am most looking forward to the up and coming NME tour with White Lies, Friendly Fires and Florence and The Machine..oh and Glasvegas sadly. Emmy the Great will also be gracing the Brudenell Social Club along with mine and Chris' good friends Ipso Facto.

    Onwards to the predictions for 2009..musically and socially..

    1) Man Utd will win everything in their grasp with Berbatov getting his act together and scoring 30 goals
    2) Me actually passing my first year at university with a first after a magic boost of intelligence and punctuality
    3) Golden Silvers - Has to be the band of the year after their English Breakfast interview in Buck "Bacoooon and Eggs"

    Help! She Can't Swim-Are you feeling fashionable?


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