Thursday, 3 March 2011

Oh, how controversial...


Nowadays, it is almost impossible for a song to be played on the radio or for a programme on the television to be aired without incredible amounts of edits and ‘bleeps’ throughout. Understandably, there are elements of songs and T.V. shows that are deemed unsuitable, yet there are still shocking remarks made on many T.V. shows, in particular, which are allowed to be aired. For example, the recent racial remarks made by Richard Hammond on that, now infamous, episode of Top Gear, where he refers to Mexican cars as “lazy, feckless, flatulent (and) overweight”. As Steve Coogan wrote in The Guardian: “The Beeb's hand-wringing suggested tolerance of casual racism, arguably the most sinister kind.” I, myself, am a fan of the show but not of its presenters, who seem to adopt a sort of ‘anything goes’ attitude to their “comedy”, and these comments have made me dislike them even more. You would think that a highly coveted television network like the BBC would edit their pre-recorded shows more appropriately, without the deeply offensive and racist remarks. What are a few swearwords and off-the-cuff remarks in comparison to content like this, which they deem acceptable?

You may or may not be aware of the recent controversy over Rihanna’s latest single, ‘S&M’, and the video, which accompanies it. The video contains several provocative scenes, mostly surrounding the sexual act of Sado-masochism.

 
Obviously, the video is shocking and unsuitable for daytime viewing but in comparison to other music videos, which are allowed to be shown during the day, it is not that bad (I know, how controversial of me). For example, if you consider all the videos released by hip-hop and rap artists such as Flo Rida and 50 Cent, where girls are shown dancing around half-naked, while cameras zoom in on their breasts and crotch, Rihanna’s video is light viewing. A shocking video that immediately comes to my mind is 50 Cent's video for Candy Shop, which I have posted below. I find this video completely demeaning to women and, frankly, quite disgusting. What shocks me even more is that many girls would kill to be in one of these videos, where they are provided with the honour of cheapening themselves and looking like a porn star.



The swoon-worthy lyrics of 'Candy Shop' include: "I'll let you lick the lollipop." Oh, how generous of you 'fiddy'. The fact that this song was received with little controversy makes it even more perplexing to me as to why words such as “chains” and “whips” are ‘bleeped’ out of the radio edit of Rihanna's song. Obviously, when put into context, it becomes a bit clearer as to why the words have been cut out, as the lyrics read: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.” However, I think its safe to say, worse things have been said in the past.

Without sounding like too much of a feminist, I think it is clear that there is still a double-standard in what behaviour is acceptable for men and women, in the music and television industries today. It seems that men are able to get away with a lot more than women and it is considered acceptable for men to behave more recklessly. However, I do think many people need to lighten up and stop complaining about every little thing they disagree with. There are far more concerning matters to be stressing over, so just chill out and stop taking everything so seriously; life is far too short to be worrying about such minor things.

Monday, 20 September 2010

You'd be my master and I'll be your fever

I'm making a bit of a habit out of this disappearing act and I am truly sorry. I've just been lacking inspiration for anything to write about recently, as I don't know what route to go down with this blog. For now, I'm just going to continue with the mixed posts since I am still undecided on the main focus so keep reading please because I'm sure I will settle on something soon! :) For now, I'll do an album recommendation:


Villagers - Becoming a Jackal

Basically, the album is beautiful. It's just sheer and utter beauty. The songs are so pure and raw that you can't help but get sucked in to the essence of each different one. The lyrics are, at times, just simply stunning, yet at other times completely haunting. I've found myself, on several occasions, listening to the album repeatedly from start to finish just to even come close to comprehending his mindset for certain songs. I find his ability, in certain songs, to mask such dark lyrics with such beautiful melodies incredible. Although, I do feel like it doesn't fit sometimes and I would consider that to be a bit of a flaw in a few tracks. The standout tracks to me are 'The Meaning of the Ritual' and 'The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)' simply because I believe them to be the strongest lyrically and they are the easiest to listen to. However, I continue to be haunted by 'I Saw the Dead' with each listen, not only by the lyrics but also the piano riff, which never fails to give me shivers.

As well as the album, there is a series of videos he has posted on YouTube, where he performs some of the songs in his house, which I would also recommend. I find the emotion he can express in his live performances astonishing. I remember watching his performance of the eponymous track 'Becoming a Jackal' at the Mercury Music Prize Awards, in which he was nominated for 'Album of the Year', and I was literally on the verge of tears at the end of the song. I have never been so affected by a performance of a song: I had goosebumps, I got shivers and, as I said, I felt like I was about to cry. It was amazing, to say the least. I've posted the video below so you can see what I mean. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Saturday & Sunday at T in the Park

Saturday was probably my favourite day band-wise but the worst day weather-wise. It rained most of the day but luckily we were in the tents for the majority of the time so we managed to avoid getting soaked. Despite being completely sleep-deprived due to the antics of the stag do next to our tent, the horrible weather, the fact that my hair was drenched in beer and I was covered in bruises from the day before, I really enjoyed Saturday. We moved about a lot because there were so many people we wanted to see but we still ended up missing so many bands I love, including Mumford & Sons and We Are Scientists, which I am still truly gutted about. However we did manage to see Kate Nash, Vampire Weekend, Paolo Nutini, Mystery Jets, Laura Marling and Julian Casablancas, as well as a bit of Dj Yoda (I know, haha), Fake Blood (who was rubbish) and Erol Alkan in the Slam Tent earlier. My favourites were Vampire Weekend, Paolo Nutini and Laura Marling simply because I love them and they were amazing live. I will admit I was quite disappointed with Julian's set, apart from The Strokes stuff, because I didn't really know any of his solo stuff and he came on late, meaning that his set was really short. Although we were right at the front and I did touch his shoulder so I was reasonably satisfied with that because he is a babe and I love him. However, Mumford looked amazing on the highlights so I regret not seeing them a bit but hopefully I'll get to see them at some point.

On the Sunday we didn't see that many people because the ones we wanted to see all ended up being on at the same time, which was quite annoying, but we did see Dizzee Rascal, Biffy Clyro and Jay-Z. Unfortunately there seemed to be some problems with the sound at the Main Stage for Dizzee and Biffy as well, which ruined both their sets. However, Biffy were still amazing, as always, and I'm going to see them again later this year anyway and Dizzee was pretty good too but, in my opinion, not as good as he used to be but that's just because I prefer his older stuff. A part of me wishes we had gone to see Babyshambles and The Cribs instead but I haven't seen any highlights of their sets and I'm not actually sure if Babyshambles turned up so I'm not going to dwell on it.

Anyway, I'm going out tonight and my friend is coming round in an hour for pre-drinks so I better go get ready. Here are the pictures and videos:

Kate Nash
 


video

Vampire Weekend
 

video

Paolo Nutini
 

video

Mystery Jets
 


video

Laura Marling
 

Julian Casablancas
 

Not zoomed in at all may I just add ;)
 
Biffy Clyro (Sunday)
 

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Friday at T in the Park..

So Hiya, it's been a while! Basically, the wireless in my house hasn't been working for ages which meant I had no internet on my laptop, hence the lack of posts for over a month! I can only apologise to anyone who even reads this blog. Luckily I'm back with a fairly decent post I would say as I have some pictures and videos from T in the Park. On the other hand, they aren't the best quality since my camera broke on the very first day there thanks to the nutters at the Radio 1/NME Stage and I had to use my phone scarcely because I wasn't able to charge it. It ended up running out of battery and refused to turn on again on the Sunday anyway so no pictures or videos from then either, sorry! Anyway, I'm going to split these posts into 2 separate ones: Friday and then Saturday & Sunday together since there's quite a lot. I'll start just now with the Friday.

To sum up, the whole morning was pretty much a complete nightmare: the queue to get into the campsite was massive, as expected, our bags were incredibly heavy, the campsite was packed so we had to walk for miles to find a spot to camp, we ended up camping right next to a stag do (god knows why they had planned a stag do at T in the Park anyway) and it was pouring with rain when we put up our tent so all our stuff was soaking and muddy, resulting in the tent being wet and muddy. As you can imagine, it was not the most delightful experience. However, when the time came for us to go to the arena, the sun came out and the weather ended up being lovely. We stayed at the Radio 1/NME Stage the whole time as my friend and I decided that it had the best line-up for that day - although I was pretty gutted about missing Editors as they looked amazing in the highlights. So we ended up seeing Kids in Glass Houses, The Temper Trap, Jamie T, Florence & the Machine and Black Eyed Peas. I wasn't that bothered personally about Kids in Glass Houses and The Temper Trap but I was quite surprised at how many of their songs I knew and they were both very good so I was impressed. Anyway, I'll stop rambling so here are the pictures and videos..

Jamie T
 


video

Florence & the Machine


Black Eyed Peas

video

It's not me screaming at the beginning by the way.


I didn't upload everything because it would get a bit boring but I'll upload my pictures and videos from Saturday and Sunday tomorrow since I only have one picture from Sunday before my phone completely died.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Is plastic really fantastic?

As you may or may not have guessed, I'm going to discuss plastic surgery in this post, mainly concerning Heidi Montag/Pratt (I'm not really sure what name she goes by). I realise this is probably slightly out-dated but it still shocks me how much her appearance has evolved over the years and, in true Carrie Bradshaw style, I got to thinking: why do people care so much about looking "perfect"? In my eyes, "perfection" doesn't exist, it is simply a term that exists to give us something to complain about. Noone is "perfect" and noone ever will be "perfect". When I think about how often celebrities get botched plastic surgery as a result of striving for perfection, I always wonder why they care so much. On the topic of botched plastic surgery, the obvious names always spring to mind: Joan Rivers, Michael Jackson, Priscilla Presley, Pete Burns etc. The amount of time and money these celebrities spend on their plastic surgery shocks me. Forgive me for being cheesy, but I think imperfections are what make people beautiful because it makes them real.


As I previously mentioned, Heidi Montag's plastic surgery is particularly ludicrous to me, simply due to the fact that, in my opinion, she was stunning beforehand. However, her motives for getting the amount of plastic surgery she has are rather dubious: was it simply just for media attention, which she clearly lives for, or did she genuinely believe she was unattractive? Either way, she has ruined her face and body, as well as wasting an incredible amount of money. Instead of improving her appearance, she looks like she has aged about 20 years in the space of only 2 or 3 years. I cannot understand, and probably never will understand, why anyone would go to so much effort to alter their appearance, just to eventually end up looking like a waxwork model.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

SPOOOKY..

Just as I started typing this, I was looking up the lyrics for Holiday by Vampire Weekend, because I find their lyrics difficult to decipher sometimes, and it came on the radio. Yeah, weird, I know. While I'm on the topic, the album is fantastic. It's not quite as good as the first in my opinion but still brilliant all the same. I watched the repeat of Jools Holland this morning and they were so good on it. The line-up for that episode was one of the best they've had in a while I think: Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Corinne Bailey Rae, Metric, Crystal Castles (they were actually a bit weird though) and only Tom fucking Jones, who I must admit I'm not the biggest fan of but he's so funny. Here's the link if you want to watch it (UK residents only I think, sorry!).

Anyway, back to the point, I went out for tea last night with the girls to Yorokobi, a sushi bar turned restaurant, which was divine. In hindsight, I probably should have taken some pictures of the food but it didn't occur to me at the time. We will probably go back at some point anyway so I will do so then. The plan was to dress up a bit but looking back at my outfit it wasn't actually that fancy. Nevertheless, here it is:

Top: All Saints
Jeans: Topshop
Socks: Asos
Shoes: Boutique in Heidelberg, Germany
Jewellery: Vintage/mum's

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Granite city where dreams are made of..

Just a little parody my friend Hannah came up with out on the town last night. This is just going to be quite quick, since I have to go to work in about 20 minutes. So I'm currently nibbling away at my leftover BK chips, where the night ended - the classy gals we are. We had a reasonably successful night, apart from some slight drama with a dickhead who is not worthy of any more discussion than this. We took lots of pictures, however only one properly shows my outfit (minus the bag and blazer) so i'll upload a couple. I had my hair cut a couple of weeks ago by the way but didn't have time to take any pictures of it as I had my exams so you can see it now. It's a lot shorter and there's a few blonde flashes but you might not be able to see them. Anyway, here you go:


Sex & the City? I think so.


Just having a wee dance, getting Hannah in the mood
 

Eat your heart out ladsss
 

A classy end to the night