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since 22/05/2004


Top Ten Underrated Bands 27/04/2005

Criminally Ignored

Top Ten Underrated Bands What's this? The top ten most underrated bands? I've got to have a stab at this. 10. Daniel Bedingfield Singer songwriters are ten a penny but there are as few as underrated and lacking in media coverage as Mr Bedingfield. His shy, boy next door image won't help him at all. He needs to add a cocky swagger to his armoury, with a showy, arrogant and posey nature. Then the world will take notice. Until then, this boy's going nowhere. Look out for: Gotta Get Through This - sure to be massive 9. Black Eyed Peas Now what this mob need to do is to leave their righteous, right on hip hop and recruit a beautiful female singer to add a pop edge to their stuff. Pilfering I Wonder If I Take You Home from mid-80s one hit wonder Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam for their new single would help too. You just don't hear enough of these guys on the radio. L.O.F: Shut Up - no, really please do. 8. Keane Well here's a thing. A band with a chubby singer who don't employ guitars as their instrument of choice. That'll never work and is probably why Keane are as overlooked and the Bhutanese football results. It's not just good enough having simple melodies, delicate vocals and pounding pianos these days you know. Sadly most of you will never hear this band's music. L.O.F: Somewhere Only We Know - pling pling pling 7. Jamelia This singer took 2 years off after recording first single Money in 2000. Sadly, with lack of exposure (no radio play, ignored for Band Aid and Bridget Jones, absolutely ...

10 Best Rock Songs 04/03/2005

Let Us Rock

10 Best Rock Songs Lots of guitars, squealy vocals and thumping drums. Let's rock! Number: 10 Artist: VAN HALEN Song: Why Can't This Be Love? Year: 1986 Why: From the opening, huge riff-laden guitar bits to Sammy Hagar's vocals, this epitomises all that was good and bad about rock in the 1980s. "Woah-oh here it comes/That funny feeling again" sung Hagar like a confused schoolboy just finding his hormones. Purists will despise the fact that I've included a post-David Lee Roth track, but I don't care. Number: 9 Artist: IRON MAIDEN Song: Run To The Hills Year: 1982 Why: They taught the Darkness everything they know. The squealing guitars riffs, the thunderous drums and the slightly tongue in cheek take on rock as a whole, ver Maiden were Spinal Tap reincarnate. Bruce Dickinson and boys for all their satanic and demonic imagery were nice boys who preferred a cuppa and game of footie over a sacrificial killing any day. This track about the pillaging of America by the white settlers, for me, remains their best. Number: 8 Artist: ALIEN ANT FARM Song: Smooth Criminal Year: 2001 Why: 99.9% of cover versions stay true to the original and as such cover no new ground. AAF took Michael Jackson's top tune, removed the synthy bass bits and replaced them with guitars thus creating a pop-thrash masterpiece. The singer scared me a bit with his wincing mannerism and the 12 year old Japanese girls in school uniform in the video was just wrong. Number: 7 Artist: MARILLION Song: ...

Member Advice on Career Decisions 03/03/2005

My Worklife

Member Advice on Career Decisions I've run out of letters but as I've completed this challenge sensibly for a change, I thought I'd share my credit control/accounts thoughts with you in the member advice of careers section. No, come back. 1. Where do you work? I work in a Harley Street Clinic called The London Breast Clinic. Our consultants are specialists in breast cancer. We also have the Groin & Hernia Clinic and a fully functioning x-ray department for mammograms and ultrasounds. 2. What is your job title? Senior Credit Controller. I am responsible for collecting and managing the practice's debts as well as various cashflow issues. 3. What does you job entail? As above but also banking and patient liaison reassuring patients of their account status. I speak to a lot of insurances companies and deal with them: they coulld move goalposts for England. 4. How long have you been in your current job? 1 year, 2 months and 19 days: Dec 15 2003. 5. Are you happy at work? Very, I have responsibility and people listen to me and do as I ask. Which is totally different to home! 6. Is it the job for you? Yes. After 16 years of working, I think I've finally found the job and, more importantly the company, that I am happy with. 7. Who do you get on best with at your work? I have to get on with everyone, because it's all about co-operation. The nurses are very friendly and helpful and the front office staff are crazy and busy. But I think it's the rest of the accounts department that I get ...

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Wu-Tang Clan 02/03/2005

The Statement Of Intent

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Wu-Tang Clan For seasoned rap observers like myself the glory days of this particular genre of music was the three year period 1988 to 1991. This was the birth if "gangsta" rap and the mellow, polar opposite "DAISY Age" murmurings of De La Soul and PM Dawn. Then Ice Cube left NWA and went solo, NWA split up, Dr Dre discovered Snoop Dogg, and the pioneers of rap in the late 80s failed to find their voice and repsond successfully to the poppier direction in which rap was heading. Then in 1993, from New York, came a crew of eight random individuals so effective as solo units and incendiary and explosive as a group, that rap music took a long overdue slap on the arse upon their very arrival. They were the Wu-Tang Clan and lined us thus: The RZA (pronounced Rizza), Method Man, U-God, Rebel INS, Shallah Raekwon, Ghostface Killer, Ol' Dirty Bastard and The GZA (pronounced Jizza). On the next album they would be joined full time by Inspecktah Deck and on a part-time basis by a rapper named Cappadonna. The next ten years would see their members dying of a heart attack, releasing fantastic solo albums and scoring the Kill Bill movies. This album was their debut and the opening BRING DA RUCKUS was their statement of intent on this their statement of intent album! The beats are explosive, and the sign of The RZA's fascination with old 70s kung fu movies soundtracks and samples rings through. The album is split into two sections namely Shaolin Sword and Wu-Tang Sword. Method Man and Ol Dirty ...

Fever to Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs 01/03/2005

O Karen, You Kill Me!

Fever to Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs The title is not a joke. If you've ever seen a picture of Karen O, the harsh-fringed lead singer of New York art-punks the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you'll know that she's an intimidating propostion for either man or woman to deal with. The YYY's have been releasing records for around five years now but Fever To Tell is their major breakthrough and finest release to date. Until it's release in 2003, they were very much and old style "indie band" releasing EPS and singles high in acclaim but low in sales. Fever To Tell changed all that and put them in the big league with fellow New Yorkers The Strokes and Danish copycats The Ravonettes. The album sets it's stall out with two fearsome tracks. RICH starts with dial-up modem type squealy guitars before launching into hazardous drumming and a scary "I'll take you out, boy" chorus refrain from Karen O's primeval yelp. She may be "rich, rich, rich" as the title proclaims but I think a night on the tiles is less likely than a kick in the head is judging by her mood. Next comes the biggest single to date, DATE WITH THE NIGHT, and you see how Franz Ferdinand got the idea for the drums and hi-hats for Take Me Out by listening to this track. Karen's vocals are mixed down quite low in this track and her trademark yelp hit us after barely a minute. There's a strange sexiness to her mixture of cute, breathy vocals and cavewoman screaming that I can't quite put my finger on, but music hasn't been this raw and exciting since punk stalked the ...

Everything from 10-20 28/02/2005

The Final A-Z Category

Everything from 10-20 I've now definitely run out of letters and numbers in the A-Z category. So here's my last ever challenge. There will still be member advices and debates on why prostitution is fab, so don't worry. Like you were.... I read Karen’s answers (Redbitch) to this challenge before Purplelynne and thought it was worth doing. She isn’t sure who wrote the original questions so if any of you know, please leave us a message in our guestbooks so that we can let that person know the deed has been done! I will try to keep my answers as short and sweet as possible as there are just so many questions to get through. Here goes: CURRENT *^*^*^*^*^* CLOTHES: ~ Dark blue tracksuit bottoms and a light blue t-shirt both from George @ Asda. Socks by Wilson. MUSIC: ~ None at the moment, but my MP3 player currently boasts the first The Used album along with some choice cuts by LL Cool J, Dionne Warwick, Nina Simone and, who else: Morrissey. TASTE: ~ I'm on a diet so just polished off a pack of Jelly Tots (no fat and low in calories - great for dieters to cure that sweet tooth craving) HAIR: ~ Short, balding, natural. ANNOYANCE *^*^*^*^*^*^*^* SMELL: ~ Poo after Jacob or Emily have used the toilet. FAVORITE ARTIST: Morrissey: Have I told you about him? He's great, go and by Viva Hate or Suedehead, you'll love him. If it's ARTists you mean, then Lowrie for the poulist choice or Dali for the bonkers one. I like the dayglo art of the chap that died of AIDS. His ...

i-bead 150 mp3 player - digital multi player 27/02/2005

Dated But Still Great

i-bead 150 mp3 player - digital multi player I've tried to write this in a style that will appeal to technophobes rather than jargon-mutterers. Hope this is OK. WHAT'S THIS THEN? It's an MP3 player from a Korean company called i-Bead. It's silver coloured with a natty little blue halogen display in the centre. Sizewise, it's approximately half the width of a tic tac packet and about the actual height of one. It holds approximately 30 songs in 128kbps mode. It's the 128 MB version of the product (there's also a 256 MB version). HANG ON: WHAT'S ALL THIS "kbps" STUFF? It's the quality at which you either download or copy your MP3 at. It stands for KiloBytes Per Second and 128kbps is slightly less than CD quality and is pretty much the recognised norm for MP3 files. Any higher and we're talking about taking up more space on your player, any less and the space is OK but the quality of the sound is going to suffer. If you copy in 128kbps you're looking ar roughly one MB of space per minute of music, so because this is the 128MB version of the product, you're goin to get 128 minutes of music fitting onto the player. RIGHT, GOTCHA. SO: WHAT DO I GET WITH IT THEN? You get an installation CD (which isn't really needed), the unit itself (obviously), a superb instruction booklet and a natty pair of headphones. These headphones are great for runners and joggers because they're actually "sports headphones". What you get is the usual headphones with the in-ear pieces but instead of them dangling down and you having to ...

Everything from 0-9 24/02/2005

1 I've Not Done!

Everything from 0-9 This was apparently set by Freaklikeme though I got this from Karenes who got this from Lauramaclean. Sounds like an STD, doesn't it? #Time now 19:31 #How is the weather Outside it's freezing man. Inside in my bedroom it's boiling. A bit like those domes in Antarctica where they wear shorts inside but outside it's, like, minus 80. I'm going running in a minute. #Name Wayne #Age 32 #Eyes Blue with hints of yellow #Hair Little and often #Height 5’10” #Weight 11 st 10 lb #Do you live in a house or flat or what A three bedroom extended semi with a gas central heating and driveway, 60 ft garden in a poular location. Soz, just harking back to my estate agent days there. #How many bedrooms 3 #Favourite room in the house and why Back room because it's got all my CDs and a PS2. #Best thing about your body Eyes, so I'm told. #Worst thing about your body Stomach: I run, I work out but I still eat all the pies. #How many kiddies 2 #How many brother and sisters 1 sister: Tina 28 yesterday. #How many relationships in your lifetime 72. 3 serious. #How many fillings None. ALthough a little wonky my teeth are strong and well looked after - like Geoff Capes' testicles. #How many piercings and where 1 in my left ear and a closed up one on the nose. Nose piercings were fashionable for a wek in '97 I think. #How many finger rings 1: da wedding one. #Favourite Colour Black. It's the colour of doom and ...

To the 5 Boroughs (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Beastie Boys 23/02/2005

All Back To '87

To the 5 Boroughs (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Beastie Boys At the tail end of 1986 three white boys from Staten Island, New York hooked up with the now-legendary producer Rick Rubin and recorded the first ever rap album by a white act: Licensed To Ill. It's mixture of big beats, rock samples and very clever lyrical interplay between the three band members (MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock) ensured a winning, unique combination that would sell millions of records worldwide. The singles, released in 1987, from that album (Fight For Your Right To Party, No Sleep Til Brooklyn and She's Crafty) were catchy, heavy on the wit and guitar and made stealing VW badges from suburban Golfs the chav pastime of that year. In short, the Beastie Boys were about fun, rowdiness and parent-baiting. Subsequent albums would see them going more experiemental, incorporating jazz, instrumentals and weird samples into their sound. This move never really caught on with their original "b-boy" audience and, as such, subsequent albums sold fewer and fewer until 1998's Hello Nasty signalled a small change in their thinking. The singles "Intergalactic" and "Body Movin" were typically "old school" but other tracks on the album were still quite experimental and noodly. If only they could recapture the spirit of 1987 in a whole album..... ....well, they have! It's taken a stolen election and 9/11 to do it but the Beastie Boys seem to have recaptured that old spirit on this new album - released last autumn, my favourite season - and it's to their credit that three ...

Top 10 Songs of All Time 23/02/2005

The Impossible Task

Top 10 Songs of All Time When you absolutely love music and all the genres and artists available to your ears, how on earth can you break it down to your favourite 10 ten tracks? Well, I've tried to but I'm sure as soon as I've posted this review I'll think of a glaring omission! So join me on journey that incorporates 60s melodrama, new wave synth pop, 90s rave, 50s rock n roll, 80s rap and the birth of dance. What? No Smiths? Well, let's give some other artists a go shall we? 10. KLF: Last Train To Transcentral Description: The KLF were the brains behind the Timelords' Doctorin' The Tardis, the book How To Have A Number One Hit and burning a £1,000,000 cash in a publicity. They also had their fingers on the early 90s "rave" pulse and produced three classic dance singles in a row (one of which, Justified And Ancient, featured Tammy Wynette!). Best bit: the muffled rap followed by the ecstatic "all aboard all aboard - wooah!" bit. Reminds me of: Clubbing every night of '91. 9. Pet Shop Boys: Suburbia Description: The Pet Shop Boys' best ever song and one that still sounds good to this day. Full of energy and melody this tale of barking dogs and police sirens may be lyrically naive but musically, it's brilliant. Best bit: The piano melody Reminds me of: Listening to this on my red Aiwa walkman in 1986 at the local park under the slide with my mates aged 14. 8. Walker Brothers: The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore Description: Huge, epic, uplifting pessimistic ...

Everything that starts with I ... 22/02/2005

It's Latitia's Challenge

Everything that starts with I ... SIMPLY THE BEST 1) WHEN WAS THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE AND WHY? 30th October 1999 and 14th February 2001 and 8th May 2004. The first two are when my kids were born and the latter was when I joined Ciao. Other fine days include losing my virginity in 1989 and finallly working out where the clitoris is in 1992. 2) WHO WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR BEST INFLUENCE SO FAR? Everyone says "parents", but I seem to be influenced by those I see daily such as work colleagues and my wife. I've picked up a few time management and money-making tips from old bosses and my wife always keeps my feet on the ground. She drives a stake through my left foot. 3) WHAT WAS THE BEST PRESENT YOU HAVE EVER RECIEVED AND WHY? It was the music-making tool Music 2000 on the old PSOne. My wife hid the faxt that she bought it and thought it was hilarious that I was thick enough not to suss. The joke was on her, however, when I disappeared for 18 days to record my debut album in a barn in Wales. 4) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST PURCHASE THIS YEAR (SO FAR) AND WHY? We're only 7 weeks into the year, so I'd have to say the pizza I bought, consumed and revisited on Saturday. 5) WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST HOLIDAY MEMORY? Getting a pool cue wrapped around my head by some chav on a holiday park in Kent. 6) WHAT IS THE MOST UNSELFISH THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE? I blow hot and cold when it comes to selfishness. Sometimes I'm really generous, other times I'm tighter than Gary Glitter's costumes. I'm quite ...

10 Things a Person Needs to Do/Not to Do to Have a Successful Date With Me 21/02/2005

Make Way Ladies, The Men Are Getting Involved

10 Things a Person Needs to Do/Not to Do to Have a Successful Date With Me Listen Silvajade, Karenes, Lizzy 8, Mens. I love you all, but you've got it wrong about men. "Don't be too pushy", "don't go over the top with compliments", "no, I'm not going to sleep with you on the first date" . You should be so lucky. If I were to grant you a date with me, this is what I want and don't want. **DON'T TRY TO MAKE YOUR TITS LOOK BIGGER** If, like ScarletRibbons, your babylons have seen better days or they're just small and are making you insecure, don't try and bump 'em up a bit. Wonderbras, stuffed bras forget it. I may be a bloke who follows his hormones before his head, but this fools no one. If I let you take me home after the date, I want to know that I'm groping something that's NOT half the size of how I've envisaged them. Do men put socks in their boxers or put tissue under their sleeves to make their biceps look bigger? No. **HAVE AT LEAST TWO DRINKS BEFORE SLURRING** If we're in a restaurant or bar, please line your stomach before you leave home. There's nothing more unappealing that a night involving a legless bird, taxi-fare negotiations before midnight and sleeping on rthe couch. **DON'T TALK IN SEXUAL EUPHEMISMS** Does winky want to go through the tunnel of love? You what. **DON'T BE LATE** I've got an image to live up to so don't make me look like I've been stood up. Get there five minutes early, mine's a pint. **I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR SISTER'S BOYFRIEND** ...called Gary or Sean or something. We're here ...

My Favourite Season of the Year 17/02/2005

Ooooooooh, Can You Guess?

My Favourite Season of the Year I'm going to be a little bit cheeky here and not actually reveal my favourite season to you just yet - you'll have to see if you can guess by the clues that I subtly drop throughout this review. The season falls during a period known as a "year". There are four seasons in total in a "year" and my favourite one is one of these four. It's the time of the "year" when the leaves start to fall from the trees and leave a golden brown hue on the ground. I love walking through parks at this time of the year and woodlands and forest with their immense tree count. The mild, friendly and reassuring crunching sound of the leaves as I walk over them is both heartening and a little bit daring. Am I hurting these freshly-fallen leaves? The weather during this season ranges from warm to cold and covers three months (September, October and November) so you can see that the weather is always going to be rather changeable. Best get your barometers out! I find it best to wear thin clothing with the back up of a waterproof or "kagool" during this season as showers are pretty common even though the weather may be stilll relatively mild. During September the horsechesnuts ("conkers") fall from the trees in certain areas, but - oouch - be careful! The spikey green shells that they come in are sharp to the touch and not condusive to this hearty, friendly season at all. My favourite childhood memories are of this season: tramping through muddy, leaf-strewn paths and kicking up crisp ...

All About Me 17/02/2005

He Sucks, He Chews, He Slurps, Helix.

All About Me Respect to da Helix for dis one: What is your favourite style of music? I think it's very unhealthy to have a favourite style of music. I can name my favourite artist across a wide range of styles nada genres. I grew up in the mid-80s listening to the tunes on the burgeoning rap scene. Rock is important because good music should have energy and attitude. I like mournful pop-rock like Snow Patrol and Keane, early 90s dance music from an era when I virtually lived in clubs. The 1970s was the best decade for reggae and I listen to a lot of that, 60s soul, 80s pop. You name it. What was the first record / cd you bought ? Paul Young: Wherever I Lay My Hat on 7" single whilst on holiday in Devon in 1983. It would have been Don't Try To Stop It by Roman Holiday but it melted in the caravan window, so we had to go back to the shop the next day. Who is your favourite singer of all time? Female: Nina Simone, her voice was filled with emotion and passion and it's a shame that she's only really known for My Baby Just Cares For Me or Feeling Good. Her back catalogue is a lot richer, especially her early 70s radical period. Male: Elvis. Although he stole a lot of moves and styles from the black community, he invented modern pop and we should all be indebted to him. Who are your favourite band of all time? The Smiths. They hit the nail on the head and reached out to an otherwise untapped audience in the mid 80s with their lyrics of self loathing and ...

Jokes 16/02/2005

We All Know A Swamp-Donkey: Powerphrases For 2005

Jokes **PLEASE DO NOT FEEL COMPELLED TO RATE THIS REVIEW. IT'S A CUT 'N' PASTED EMAIL THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL**. Anyway, here's some powerphrases for 2005. How many of these will find their way into disctionary by 2006? TESTICULATING - Waving your arms around and talking b*llocks. BLAMESTORMING - Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible. SEAGULL MANAGER - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves. ASSMOSIS - The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard. SALMON DAY - The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die. CUBE FARM - An office filled with cubicles. PRAIRIE DOGGING - When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see that's going on. (This also applies to applause from a promotion because there may be cake.) MOUSE POTATO - The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato. SITCOMs - Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business". STRESS PUPPY - A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE - The fine art of whacking the cr*p out of an electronic device to get it to ...
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