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thefrogprincess

thefrogprincess

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since 30/11/-0001

24

Hi-Fi Serious - A 12/12/2002

Hot like the desert sky ...

Hi-Fi Serious - A By now most people will have heard of A, after the release of Nothing in February. The opening track from A's third studio album Hi-Fi Serious marks a change from A's normal sound, with a much heavier riff which suited the sound popular at the time. This obviously means that many new A fans like Nothing and not much more. It's slightly galling when a song like Foghorn or I Like Lake Tahoe kicks off and people just ignore it, or even, as happened at Leeds, don't know the damn chorus. Fools. Hi-Fi Serious is more grown-up A. Relationships (Something's Going On, Shut Yer Face) vs being single (Sing-a-long, How Ace Are Buildings) and acceptance of mortality (Going Down) vs idyllic holidays (I Love Lake Tahoe, A Vs Monkey Kong). But they haven't lost their sense of humour, or their love of life and Van Halen guitar solos (Pacific Ocean Blue, The Distance and Hi-Fi Serious). Despite having been going for six years now, A are still strong, and judging by the B-sides from the recent singles, will get better and soon be recognised globally as Kings of Rock. I'd like to see A in thirty years time, doing a reunion tour and releasing their fifty-millionth album and having sold countless millions of records, a bit like the Rolling Stones are now, but much much bigger. The artwork for Hi-Fi Serious is different from the ‘traditional’ style of the previous releases. The flaming A logo has been stylishly ‘distressed’, and everything’s matching in black, white and red. All the lyrics ...

Trailer - Ash 05/11/2002

Best. Debut. Ever.

Trailer - Ash Ash are a relatively recent discovery for me. After seeing them for the first time nearly a year ago now, I became a bit obsessed, and was extremely pleased when it turned out I could see them at the two festivals I was going to over the summer. For Ash are a blinding band live. It's not just the songs that everyone knows. It's not just Tim looking sweet at the front of the stage. It's not just Rick's silly haircut. It's not just Charlotte looking hot. It's not just the frickin brilliant music they make. It's the spirit of Ash, which is captured on their first release, Trailer. Bouncy, a bit silly, loud. This is earlier, less commercial Ash, but for most of the tracks you wouldn't know it. They sound as good as the slightly later stuff, and you wouldn’t think these kids were only 17 when this was released. Trailer-era Ash consisted of Tim (guitar, vocals), Rick (drums) and Mark (bass). Trailer roars off with Season, the main riff of which should have 'copyright Ash' stamped on it. It's insistent and dark, which is appropriate for the subject matter, news of a friend's suicide. It's sad, but you almost don't have time for it until you hear Tim's vocal coming through the guitar at the end, and it nearly breaks your heart. Between Season and Jack Names The Planets is a bizarre interlude with people doing silly Dutch accents, which never fails to make me laugh. Jack Names The Planets is probably one of the best known songs from Trailer. It was certainly the only one I ...

Is This It - Strokes (The) 01/11/2002

Hyped Music

Is This It - Strokes (The) Gah. The Strokes. Possibly the most over-hyped band in the world, ever. Hitting the music scene last year, just when the country was in the grip of two year olds in Slipknot rompers and mini skate shoes and before people thought Papa Roach sucked, along trotted The Strokes, The Hives and The White Stripes to save us. You'd have thought The Strokes had been performing miracles on the scale of converting thousands of mini-moshers within five minutes, and saving us from people who love Marilyn Manson, yet can't spell his name, don't know his real one and wear Reebok Classics under their brand new baggy jeans. But no. The Strokes released one album, released (and re-released) a few singles, caused trouble at music festivals, and yet were worshipped wherever they went. But not in this house. In this house, we do not like The Strokes. We scowl when their name is mentioned and slag them off at every opportunity. I'd heard Last Nite a couple of times, and not had the revelation that seemingly everyone else had. I'd also gone to reading Festival in 2001 and seen Eels fans crying because The Strokes had been moved to the main stage, and caused the running order to be totally buggered and Eels to be on early. I was lucky, and saw them, and then pointedly pissed off to get some food when Julian Casablancas turned up to play boring music at a bunch of NME-led zombies. So, I was incredibly bitter about The Strokes for months, until I listened to Last Nite all the way through in ...

Exile on Coldharbour Lane - Alabama 3 30/10/2002

Too Cool To Pray

Exile on Coldharbour Lane - Alabama 3 Over the last year or so, I've intentionally slagged off bands or phenomena that have been instantly popular. One being the Strokes, the story of which will be told later. Another being Alabama 3, whose song 'Woke Up This Morning' was used as the theme fro the Sopranos, which, I'm sick of hearing, is really really good and I've never watched. So I ignored Alabama 3 until I was played the album at someone's house. And thought ... this is different. Cool. Then I read an interview with the band in the Telegraph magazine, and decided I had to know more. Alabama 3: South Londoners who pretend they're from Tennessee or Texas or some redneck hyper-religious place. They sing about God, Heaven, sin, repenting, converting ... and techno music and speed. Bizarre. When I saw them at Glastonbury, listening to their Bible-bashing lyrics, I was slightly worried and kept turning to my companions saying 'they're not serious, are they? Are they?'. Because it would be terrible to like music by people who were religious and trying to brainwash you. Well, I'm pretty sure they're not entirely serious. But it makes for some damn good music. And they're hella funny live. Guy in cowboy hat singing, guy in cowboy hat and dodgy beard claiming to be 'the Rev D Wayne Love', huge guy playing drums, other members plus the dancing girls in blonde wigs and sequined American flag bikinis. Love it. Exile on Coldharbour Lane (a little reference to the Rolling Stones) starts off with Converted, the ...

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (DVD) 09/10/2002

You're a disappointment, Harry.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (DVD) I was so excited about this film. Jumping up and down for weeks, squeaking when the trailers came on, running round like a mad thing in anticipation. I've read the books many times, and I couldn't wait to see what Hollywood would do with these quite British books. Hah. I should have said do TO. First of all they changed the title for American release, because Americans deny the existence of the word 'philosopher'. And I'm not partaking in some random America-bashing. I wish I was. But, when it came out I talked to some Americans on the internet and spent a long time convincing them that 'philospher' was a real word and it had a meaning, and that it made more sense than 'sorcerer'. Not a good start, but surely the fim could be redeemed by choosing the right children for the main parts of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Another failure. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) appears to have only three facial expressions (Angry "grr", Happy - a vacant grin, and determination/concentration/puzzlement - they all look the same), Ron (Rupert Grint) confuses acting with forced sounding half-shouts and Hermione (Emma Watson) ... oh dear oh dear. Someone with the wrong hair (obviously straight hair that was waved slightly and not bushy enough) and straight teeth. It says in all the books, many times over, she has big front teeth. I am astounded that a film with such a budget as I assume Harry Potter got could not find some comedy fake front teeth to at least try and keep in with the book. Oh, and ...

McVitie's Jaffa Cakes 08/10/2002

Jaffa-Tastic

McVitie's Jaffa Cakes Jaffa Cakes are little round 'biscuits' about 2 inches in diameter. The top is covered with dark chocolate and the bottom is sponge and in the middle is some orange flavoured jelly stuff. You can buy them in packets of 12, 36 or tubes of 15. They're more expensive than own brand fake Jaffa Cakes and cost from about 80p for the tubeto a couple of quid for the big boxes, depending on where you go. Bah. How can mere words describe the wondrousness of Jaffa Cakes? I can't. Nobody can. All I can say is they are damn tasty. They can be eaten anywhere (at a party, in front of digital TV at 1am, in the pub, for lunch, at festivals ...) and you can eat so many of them. My record is 10 in a row, but then I felt sick. Usually there are other people around and they steal my Jaffa Cakes. Bad people. These not-quite-biscuits are for me and me alone. They are my happy food. I have appeared at the pub on quite a few occasions glowering, and promptly been frog-marched off to Tesco next door to get a fix. Add some Scrumpy Jack to these, and I am a happy girl. Yay. Jaffa Cakes: the sponge is quite dense and chewy, which makes them filling. The chocolate on top is dark chocolate, not sweet like Bourneville, but on the bitter side. The orange gel-type filling is some of the tastiest sweetest orange chewy stuff ever. When combined in various permutations, these components make heaven in a small round thing. Full Moon, Half Moon, Total Eclipse ... Ah, the fun that can be had with Jaffa ...

Mario Kart 64 (N64) 07/10/2002

Baby, you can drive my car

Mario Kart 64 (N64) Guess what the number one activity has been in my house over the last week! It's not napalming sausages (that was two weeks ago) and it's gassing your housemates (that's happened only once today). No, it's playing Mario Kart. Last week, my (Andy's) TV got moved downstairs due to the departure of the other one. And so, the N64 came with it. It's not my N64. I came by it through very dishonest means (telling my brother I'd pay him £50 for it and 15 games when I got a job. Hah) but it's in the house and has cool Legend of Zelda stickers on it. And so, when I was bored, I offered Matt a game of Mario Kart. I had to teach him to use the controllers (damn those PC gamers) and commenced the arse-kicking that lasted almost a week. Yes, I completely own at Mario Kart, unless I've just got up or I've been staring at screens all day. Matt lost 30p to me betting (20p of which I lost down the sofa. Dammit. I still intend to pay off my student loans by betting at N64 games), and Mario Kart completely owns me. Let me tell you why ... You can play on your own. Either against the fake players in the Grand Prix, which is deceptively easy to win, or you can do Time Trials on single courses. I remember when this first came out, there was a competition in N64 magazine that gave a prize to the person who could achieve feats of greatness in about 15 popular games of the time, and one of the tasks was to beat a time on a course in Mario Kart. Yay, fame. Or you can play against a friend. ...

forums.relicnews.com 27/09/2002

g33k ut0p14

forums.relicnews.com These are the forums for the company Relic, which makes the Homeworld series of PC games and Impossible Creatures. I've never played any of these games, despite many boardies threatening to post me Mac copies from the US. Hah. Until recently, my lack of HW experience was a secret to all but my closest friends. Fortunately, when this was revealed I was not banned or ostracised. I think they're just so relieved to have another girl on the boards to help the frightening 1:700 female:male ration that they don't care. Anyway. I can't exactly remember how I started going to these forums. I think one of the #homeworld massive sent me a link to it, to look at some writing or graphics. I wanted to post, so I had to register, and I've been checking it regularly ever since. Announcements/Newcomers: This forum was set up recently to cope with the annoying and repetitive 'hello, I'm new here' threads that regularly appear in the General Discussions. The atmosphere in this forum is pretty friendly, with newbies announcing their arrivals, and the mods, admins and regulars welcoming them. It's also used for new members to ask questions that they haven't found the answer to yet, at which point they're poked in the direction of the Guidelines or the Forum Issues. This forum also contains the Forums Guidelines that every member should follow in order not to be hit with the banstick. Impossible Creatures/Homeworld Forums: Despite not playing the stupid games, I can see that the ...

The League Of Gentlemen - Series 1 (DVD) 27/09/2002

The product of modern society.

The League Of Gentlemen - Series 1 (DVD) I have no words to describe the genius of this programme, but I'll try. As a Maths student who managed a 300 word newsletter that didn't need rewriting, I feel confident in my literary ability. And the delete key. Yay. The League of Gentlemen. I didn't get into it at first. I don't remember why. I don't even remember the first time I watched it. But I am a FAN. (Look out for my League fanfic in which Mark Gatiss ... lalala, bunnies). They are EVIL. Made up of Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss (the actors) and Jeremy Dyson, the League aims to be more weird, tasteless, evil, cruel and twisted than anything ever. Except possibly the inside of Andy's head. Bunnies ... Leaving aside the weirdness of their scripts, 'The League of Gentlemen' doesn't seem very special. A comedy series, set in a fictional village with a silly name, with the three main actors playing most of the parts. Not very exciting. But it is. Oh yes. The men who make 'The League of Gentlemen' are very bad men indeed. You'll find yourself giggling worriedly over the cave guide who reveals his tragic story (complete with Dr Who reference) during a silent, badly lit tour. You'll wince when the woman who brings brand new baby clothes and toys into the charity shop is told that they could kill a kiddie sinks to the floor sobbing. I've watched that episode many many times and I wonder how they could do that. You'll be horrified at the scenes between husband and wife that end mundanely with ...

Welch's Grape Juice Drink 14/08/2002

So THIS is what purple tastes like ...

Welch's Grape Juice Drink I first read about this juice in a book written nearly thirty years ago. I noticed the name, and forgot about it. Then I went America with my dad, and brought back many flavours of Koolaid, as requested. Among them was the wonderful, loveable, tasty sweet sweet grape flavour. We had lots of fun with grape Koolaid at parties: mixing it with vodka, eating it, snorting it (gives you a great sugar rush) ... and then the fun ran out. So I suffered in grapeless or inferior grape hell, until I descended upon Waitrose with my dad, and found Purple Grape Juice in the 'fresh juice' bit. "Yoink", said I, and my era of Perfect Grapeness started. Purple Grape Juice is purple. Very very purple. In a full glass, it looks almost black. When there are just the impossible-to-drink dregs at the bottom, it's a cool neon type purple. And the taste ... very very strong. So strong, that for preference I drink it with two ice cubes. Mmmmmm. It's very tasty. Not too sweet. I have no idea whether it tastes like purple grapes or not as I haven't had any for years. But it tastes much like grape Koolaid (which I sorely miss and forgot to get my cousin to bring over because I'm a fool) and that's what I wanted. No other type of grape juice has quite replicated the sheer grapey-ness of Welch's. Curse your wussiness, other grape juices, and why don't we have Koolaid here? This wondrous juice is a bit expensive in the chilled form, nearly £2 if it wasn't for Waitrose giving money off because it's a new ...

Pepsi Max 12/08/2002

Pepsi, just like every other cola product EVER ...

Pepsi Max except not. Mmm, Pepsi. My house used to be a Coke-with-all-the-fun-removed house, then a Waitrose coke house, then a normal Coke house, then a Diet Coke house when we decided the sugar in the three cans a day my brother was drinking was turning him insane. And yes, we tried limiting him to one a day, but he doesn't listen. And now that I have returned for the summer, we're a Pepsi Max house. Because it's 20p cheaper than Coke/Diet Coke. Yes, I'm that cheap. It's my futile rebellion against my brother drinking all my dad's beer and ale and forcing him to buy twice the usual amount. Pepsi Max: what's the difference between that and Diet Pepsi? I have no idea. So, Pepsi Max comes in a red and blue can, is fizzy and tastes different to any other cola product. Claims to have no sugar, which means it's full of additives that you could probably use to clean windows. Incidentally, if you leave coins in a glass of cola product for a few hours, the acids clean the skank off. Just think what that's doing to your insides, and your teeth despite the lack of sugar. I prefer the taste of Pepsi Max to Diet Coke at the moment, mostly because I'm sick of the stuff. I'd get own-brand coke if there was ever any left in big packs. Hurrah for lack of brand loyalty. I'm fighting the system. No really.

Austin Powers - Goldmember (DVD) 01/08/2002

It's not the humour that matters ...

Austin Powers - Goldmember (DVD) ... it's how you use it. This film is ... amazing. I loved it. My friends loved it. Bill laughed so much he nearly choked. Actually, he might have been choking on his drink, but that's beside the point. I enjoyed this film as much as I did the other two first time round: that is to say that I laughed and laughed and decided it was the best film ever. That was later amended to best film this year, later amended to "THAT WAS SO GREAT!" after I realised I'd seen Minority Report and Impostor, and The Twin Towers is yet to come. Oops, I meant The Two Towers of course. As many people have said, the film is mostly toilet humour and old gags. Of course, the old hilarious silhouettes trick and the one where they finish sentences in separate scenes are absolute genius. I welcomed them like old friends. And yes, there are a lot of jokes involving rude or nasty things, and the bit with Fat Bastard (mercifully his part was minimal) was horrible, but what are the bad things in life for, if not to make the rest of it look even better? The plot is a bit confused, but what do you expect from something that's a cross between a terrible Roger Moore-era bond film and an even worse Hollywood action film? (Yes, I know Goldfinger was a Sean Connery film. I have a huge knowledge of the Bond films and I know what I mean.) *Dr Evil (Mike Myers, man of many ... er, one face) wants to flood the world and he needs Goldmember (more of the wondrous Mike Myers) in order to do ...

Ibuprofen 26/07/2002

Drug of Choice

Ibuprofen I love these little sugar-covered tablets. Love them. During my first couple of terms at uni I was a bit ill and relied on paracetemol (unspellable word) to get me to/through lectures. Fine, and to stop the pain from hangovers and too much cinema. But one horrible day, I ran out and borrowed some ibuprofen from my friend, who has a bad wrist. WOW. Such an experience. Of course I had to get my own. Ibuprofen has helped me many many times. I've still got two tablets left of the 16 I bought months ago. Uses include: making exams possible by stopping the agony of a wisdom tooth coming through (DURING MY FRICKIN EXAMS. Where is the justice?); helping me to sleep through hangovers (one tablet and some water and I can sleep again); general painkilling during my very own specialised illness, which involves a lot of glands; healing sunstroke headaches; healing eye strain headaches (4 films in a row will do that to you); healing weird headaches that come from too much revision and worry; and not forgetting the period pains which sometimes leave me unable to stand. It's amazing. And I only ever take two if I think I'm dying. Ibuprofen: it's quite cheap if you get own brand stuff (mine is Tesco) and it makes you feel better. And means you don't have to take nasty soluble aspirin because it's the only thing in the house. Hurrah. Hah, this reminds me of my flatmate the medical science student, who almost gave herself a paracetemol overdose. She had a cold, drank lots of those ...

Nokia 8210 16/07/2002

This Phone Is The Bane Of My Life

Nokia 8210 This is a nice little phone. Until the evil inside breaks out ... It's only about 3 or 4 inches long, and 1.5 wide, and it is also very light, which means it's easy to 'lose' in a pocket or bag: I had many near heart attacks when it was new, and it couldn't be found for ten minutes, and would then turn up. The size means the buttons are very small, and while I don't really have a problem with them, people borrowing my phone complain. You can get lots of covers for this phone: mine include icky mint green, Pink Panther (much admired), Budweiser and a strange psychedelic pattern. Unfortunately I don't use these much any more due to reasons explained later. The reception can be dodgy, but generally it's good. In it's old age, the battery has become unreliable, but it might have been damaged when I tried to swap batteries with someone and the phone smoked when my battery was put in. Oops. It now turns itself off a lot. The menu, as with all Nokia phones, is easy to use. The 8210 comes with Snake, Rotation, Logic and Memory. All fun for messing about with on the bus. You can also send picture messages, which are nice but a bit pointless, as the pitcures are pretty crap. Unfortunately, you can't compose or send ringtones, but you can recieve them. Currently I have the Legend of Zelda Theme, the intro to Voodoo Chile, the riff from I Love Lake Tahoe, the Windmill song from LoZ Ocarina of Time, and the chorus to a Kinks song which I don't use any more, because it sucks. A nice ...

Microsoft MSN Messenger 07/07/2002

MSN Messenger v1.065 for Mac OS 8.5

Microsoft MSN Messenger MSN Messenger is great. Unfortunately because of the oldness of my OS, I have to stick with my ancient version (downloaded in 1999) and I can't upgrade. Sucks. Anyway, MSN is this cool thing where you can exchange what we call "instant messages", meaning you type something and press Enter, and the other person can see what you wrote "instantly". Except that's a bit of a lie, because depending on the quality of your or the other person's internet connection, state of your computer (and theirs) and of course the MSN network, they get the message right away, ten minutes later or not at all. That aside, MSN is quite cool because you can use little "smilies" instead of real words to show your emotions. Always useful. But, this version doesn't have this. Because it's old and it sucks. However, it does let you make your name be whatever you want. If that makes up for the fact that the program doesn't work as it should. A theoretically useful thing about MSN is that when you get email, a little box comes up saying "click here to read your email". Isn't it wonderful. But, once again, my old version either takes me to the hotmail login page (it's supposed to take you to the inbox, eliminating the need for logging in AGAIN) or doesn't do anything if it's in a mood with me. I have to say, one of the best things about MSN is it allows HOURS of conversation like this: "REMINDER: Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation. madz ...
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