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F. D. Pastore "indie boy" (The cultural backwater of Milton Keynes)
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Definitely Maybe [3CD Deluxe Edition]
Definitely Maybe [3CD Deluxe Edition]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £19.85

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe give this one a miss?, 27 May 2014
Oasis and their music will always be closely associated with my time as a student in Cardiff. One of my earliest memories of Cardiff involves hanging around outside the now defunct Astoria nightclub to buy exorbitantly priced tickets to watch an Oasis gig.It was September 1994 and Definitely Maybe had been out a week. My mates and I were anxious not miss out on all the excitement and we were certainly not disappointed. At the time Oasis had built up a reputation for their confrontational stage shows and sure enough Liam provoked the Adidas clad throng to the point where someone threw a pint at him. The Gallagher sibling promptly stormed off the stage. Noel stormed off after him. There was a mild fracas before Liam rejoined the band to finish the set. A great night. Oasis' music soundtracked many a night out from then on. You couldn't escape it. Thanks for the memories. Was the music any good though? Noel and Liam constantly jabbered on about the Beatles and the music press picked up on it and made the lie bigger. Oasis never sounded even remotely like the Beatles. I'll never to this day understand how the spurious comparison continues to gain ground. The Beatles were groundbreaking. Their innovations in the fields of pop and rock music as well as studio recording techniques are well documented. Definitely Maybe, on the other hand, is predictable, plodding and lyrically inept.


Swagger
Swagger

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's the download, Amazon?, 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Swagger (Audio CD)
Every once in a while something comes along that makes you sit up and take notice. Or so the old adage goes. In my case Swagger by alt rock also-rans, The Blue Aeroplanes, is that something.
I missed out on this release the first and second time round so my opinion isn't swayed by nostalgia, just a soft spot for indie bands of the old school. And The Blue Aeroplanes jangle along like REM in their prime. I guess the unique selling point for this band is its lead singer, Gerard Langley, the missing link between Michael Stipe and Allen Ginsberg. He talked rather than sang, reciting his beat poetry in dark glasses while a dancer `interpreted' the songs.
The album begins with Langley asking the listener to "Pick a card... any card" as guitars chug away before he opines "Wrong!" It's a great start to a brilliant song. I couldn't venture to tell you what it's about but it's up there with opening numbers such as Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Queen Is Dead as a statement of intent. `World View Blue' follows and features a great chorus. Yes, chorus. Despite Langley's style of delivery there are `conventional' song structures at work here. `Love Come Round' is positively chipper - The Blue Aeroplanes channeling Shiny Happy People by way of a killer Johnny Marr-like riff. On `Weightless' and `Your Ages' the BA's are ethereal and really rather touching. Things should come unstuck on `The Applicant', where Sylvia Plath's poem is given the rock treatment. It's in fact another highlight. On hearing this song for the first time I figured the lyrics were Langley's own, delivered as they are so naturally and adapted seamlessly by the band. `What It Is' breezes along on lovely plucked guitars and belies its 6 minutes plus length. An urban myth tells of Michael Stipe making an appearance at this point to hum along in the background. `Anti-Pretty' is another slab of fop pop perfection. The reflective, acoustic `Picture Framed' segues into the propulsive `Cat-Scan Hist'ry' to round off proceedings. If it wasn't for the inclusion of Careful Boy sung, yes sung, not by Langley but some other band member I'd give the album 5 stars not 4. It's the kind of indie bed-wetters song Belle and Sebastian fans would clamor for but not my cup of tea.
Having been re-mastered and given the Deluxe treatment, Swagger comes with a raft of bonus tracks, most of which are only of interest to collectors. Razor Walk is pretty special though and the non-album single, You Are Loved is also worth a listen.


Bright Marketing: Why should people bother to buy from you?
Bright Marketing: Why should people bother to buy from you?
by Robert Craven
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for owner managers of small businesses, 9 Sept. 2007
I have seen Robert speak so when I had the opportunity to review this book for B2B Marketing Magazine I took my chance to read this book.

It is practical enough to actually make it useful to a small business owner. Read it with a pen in your hand and be honest with yourself.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this new book and I will now go on to read the other two books that I bought from Robert when I last saw him speak.


Seamonsters
Seamonsters
Price: £5.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this baby!, 13 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Seamonsters (Audio CD)
There's no better songwriter than Dave Gedge. He's got the voice of a bricklayer but he's peerless when singing about love and relationships - especially when they go wrong! Couple that with Steve Albini at the helm and you've got a classic. This album heralded the start of a more mature sound for the Weddoes. The guitars were louder than before and Gedge's lyrics are in turn sensitive and unflinchingly honest. This album and Bizarro were definite career highs though Hit Parade is worth a try for Come Play With Me alone.


Mercury
Mercury
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary, 13 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Mercury (Audio CD)
This was supposed the be the album that made AMC huge - the next REM. They had earnt themselves a major label deal with a big production budget and hot shot producer to boot but somehow it just didn't happen. This is probably the strongest set of songs Eitzel ever came up with and the band play a blinder. It's very uncompromising tho - not in the least bit commercial. Froom's atmospheric production doesn't help. 'If I Had A Hammer' was originally going to be a single until the label heard the finished article. Halfway through the music drops out to be replaced by an out of tune fairground sample which then leads into a wobbly guitar part. Don't get me wrong - I love it - it's just not REM... If AMC have a famous song it's probably 'Johnny Mathis' Feet'. Neil Hannon - whose a big Eitzel fan - used to play this live for a bit. It's classic Eitzel "Johnny looked at my songs and said 'Well at first guess, never in my life, have I ever seen such a mess'". Eitzel's voice soars throughout. The lyrics are heartbreaking, poetic. Anyone whose ever been in love should listen to 'I've Been A Mess' - "I can barely tell you just how pale I get without you. I've been a mess since you've been gone." Vudi plays lead guitar like only Vudi can - fractured soundscapes - beautiful in places, like twisted shards of metal in others.

AMC never made it big. They ended up splitting up and Eitzel produced some good solo lps. They've recently reformed. Yay! If you ever get a chance to see Eitzel or AMC live don't pass it up. Legends.


The Good Will Out
The Good Will Out
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £1.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure., 13 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Good Will Out (Audio CD)
I shouldn't like this band. People who know me would probably refer to me as a music snob - which isn't true - and here's the proof. I love this record and I love Embrace! A mate of mine at uni did me a copy of this album when it came out and I promptly chucked it in the bin without listening to it. That week I was moving out of halls and into a flat and for some reason I fished it out of the bin just as I was leaving. I'm glad I did because I couldn't stop playing it after that. For the next few months it was pretty much all I played. Maybe it was the sense of dislocation I felt after leaving uni and having to fend for myself (find a job, pay rent, be a grown up etc...) but the songs seemed to make sense. It sounds silly, but they really helped me! The intro may be nicked off Sgt. Pepper's but All You Good Good People is as good an anthem as you'll ever hear. Embrace got a lot of stick for trying to be like Oasis but that was just lazy journalism. Oasis could never write songs as good as these - more anthemic, louder, brasher - but what's truly amazing about this album is the deftness of touch. Fireworks, That's All Changed Forever and Retread are heartbreakingly good. Danny's voice is straining all over the place but that only adds to the fragility of the sentiments. The lyrics are great too. They don't read particularly well - in fact, they don't seem to make much sense on paper at all. Check out My Weakness Is None Of Your Business:

Don't wanna make a row
You do And it's your loss I'm around
I don't mind doing everything
Hallelujah you're the one come back now

When they're sung they sound like poetry to rival Keats! This album still sounds great today. Embrace lost their way a little bit - chewed up and spat out by their major label backers. To accompany this, get the b-sides compilation - Dry Kids. When they were making this album they had more great songs than they knew what to do with - most of them ended up as b-sides. I remember them playing Dry Kids live and it blew me away. They came on stage to big blinking lights that spelt out EMBRACE, punching the air like they'd won the cup. I repeat, I shouldn't like this band...


Outside, Closer [German Import]
Outside, Closer [German Import]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hood are lovely, 13 Aug. 2007
Hood are just simply amazing. This release, together with Cold House, are classics. Forget the labels (folktronica, indietronica etc....) it's just sublime music. This is what Radiohead wish they sounded like. The singles (the negatives... & the lost you) are the boldest things they've done to date. The Negatives is an off kilter soul song, I wear! The Lost You samples Robert Wyatt (and he's never sounded so good!) What's notable about this record is that Hood have ditched some of the glitchy electronica of Cold House for a more organic, wall of sound approach. Layer upon layer of instrumentation and detail give this record a warmer feel. The production is amazing. Still Rain Fell starts off with an amazing stop/start guitar sample and gives way to strings and the most beautiful lyrics I've heard in a long time "So much for the evening light/ It's gone before you hurry home/ Around here the walks are so long/ There's never chance to raise yr head/ But here's to the skyline/ And the tower blocks who block it out." And I've got to disagree with a previous reviewer - the singing is heroic too - vulnerable, yearning. It matches the mood of the music perfectly. If you like this also check out Cold House and Cycle of Days and Seasons.


The Sky Is Too High
The Sky Is Too High

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're So Great - and I love you!, 12 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Sky Is Too High (Audio CD)
This has always been my favourite Coxon album. I love 'You're So Great' (which he sang and wrote) on Blur's self titled album and this is basically a whole record's worth of songs like that. It has that same lo-fi, intimate feel and its a great one to stick on yr stereo if you're feeling a bit gloomy cuz you're missing yr girl/boy.

It kicks off with 'Thats All I Wanna Do'. Its exactly what you'd expect from a Coxon solo tune - off-kilter acoustic strumming and deceptively simple, Syd Barrett-esque lyrics like "There's not a sound/ When yr not around/ And it gets me down..." and "I just want to be with you / That's all I wanna do." The song also features some excellent electric guitar doodling.

For the next few songs, the electric guitar is stowed away as Graham goes all acoustic and reflective. Instead of being depressing, it makes for a fantastic, cathartic sort of record - especially if you ever find yourself parted from yr loved one for any length of time. It also features some great lyrics "I thought pain was clean/ And I thought hearts were strong/ But bones aren't sticks anymore/ And a day is far too long" (A Day Is Far Too Long). Think: a lo-fi Nick Drake or Madcap Laughs era Syd Barrett.

The only other songs to feature a full band (though it's probably Graham playing everything!) are 'I Wish' and the skatr punk 'Who The F***'. 'I Wish' is the highlight of the record for me, with its funny/sad lyrics like "I wish I could stop wishing you were here/ But I don't want to/ Coz I still want you..." and "I wish I could bring Nick Drake back to life/ He'd understand/ Hold my ha-and..."

What I love most about this album is its sheer bloody mindedness. I don't know anything about the circumstances behind the songs but it seems to me that Graham was missing his girl (a lot!) possibly due to the strains of touring? "Long time on the phone line/ There's sunshine when I dial nine" (In A Salty Sea). The songs are unashamedly romantic without resorting to the trite sentimentality of most love songs.

Enjoy!


The Watch
The Watch
by Carlo Levi
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation, 25 April 2004
This review is from: The Watch (Paperback)
Christ Stopped at Eboli is one of my favourite books. I read it atUniversity and have re-read it on countless ocassions. I was excited tosee another of C. Levi's books translated into English and promptlyordered it thinking it would be as enjoyable as Eboli. The truth is, thereis no way of knowing how good this really is as the Steerforth translationis terrible, making the reading a real struggle. Eg. 'car' is translatedas 'machine.' The Italian for car being 'macchina' which can also meanmachine. I could go on... A real shame.


Baader Meinhof
Baader Meinhof
Offered by digitalmediadistribution
Price: £29.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for any Luke Haines fan, 23 July 2003
This review is from: Baader Meinhof (Audio CD)
My mate bought this album when it was 1st released off the back of the stonking 2nd Auteurs LP and hated it immediately. I've only just managed to get him to lend it to me and I can see why. It's not pretty. I can only describe it as a kind of art school funk album about terrorism. When you get over the initial shock, though, it really starts to get under your skin. It only lasts half an hour and so you end up playing twice in a row just to get your fix. The instrumentation is simple but bold and compliments the rhetorical style of the lyrics really well. I can't imagine Haines' reasoning behind the project other than to perplex and annoy the complacent music industry but it only goes to re-inforce how important a talent he is.


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