I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling 22

Before you’ve think I’ve lost the plot, I am not about to devote a post to Taylor Swift’s 22. In fact, I think Greg James’ parody is a much more accurate depiction of life in your early twenties.

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Not Like Any Other Love: The Smiths

Last week, The Culture Show on BBC explored The Smiths in a documentary, Not Like Any Other Love: The Smiths.

I’ve always liked The Smiths, though I wouldn’t class myself as a hardcore fan, but I’m always up for a good music doc so thought I’d give it a go. I wasn’t planning to blog about it, I was basically just using it as something to entertain me while I tidied my room, but I quickly got sucked in, sacked off the room tidying and became completely engrossed.

What struck me was how one band could have so many different aspects which appealed to people in different ways. People who criticise The Smiths often think it’s just all doom and gloom but, as the documentary points out, they emerged in Manchester 1982 – a time when unemployment was above three million for the first time since the 1930s; Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher was descending upon the northern industries; and Eurovision was being held in Harrogate. So bleak times all around, or as presenter Tim Samuels notes, The Smiths arrived ‘against this dismal backdrop of hardship and crap pop music.’ Continue reading

Caitlin Moran’s ‘How To Be A Woman’ – seeing the funny side of the woes of a modern woman

Recently my friend said to me ‘if you only read one book this year it has to be Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman.’ I didn’t really need any more convincing, particularly after I checked out the blurb on Amazon, which asks ‘Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?’

how-to-be-a-womanBooks about feminism aren’t a new concept obviously – from Mary Wollstonecrcaft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman back in 1972 to ol’ Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch in 1970 – feminism books have been doing the rounds for some time now. But feminism has evolved, and according to Caitlin Moran, if we are still counting feminism in waves, we have now reached the fifth one. Instead of shouting/rioting/going on hunger strikes, Moran proposes that fifth wave feminists have to laugh at all the difficulties of being a modern woman. Continue reading

Live Review: Beyonce

The hunt for Beyonce tickets was not for the faint-hearted – there were pre-sales, secret Beyhive Blog pre pre-sales, 02 priority, virtual waiting rooms and basically a whole lot of stress. However, after many early starts sat waiting in non-existent virtual waiting room, I managed to get my hands on some tickets, although the credit goes to my friend – I on the other hand, got the message ‘IT’S YOUR TURN’ flashing up, only to be promptly booted out of said virtual waiting room.

So this weekend the time finally came to see Queen Bey live – it’s fair to say I was ridiculously excited. I’m going to try and keep the gushing to a minimum but, she really is  incredible.

After a fair amount of build up, Beyonce appeared in a white dress (one of many outfits of the night, and – it goes without saying – looking amazing) and opened the show with Run The World (Girls) – pretty fitting as she had the entire capacity of the 02 arena in the palm of her hand. Continue reading

Compilation Albums: Now That’s What I Call Lazy!

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Recent figures from the BPI show that sales of compilation albums are on the increase, having risen by 7.2% in 2012, and continuing to grow in 2013 with an increase of 11.8% in the first three months of this year. Compilations account for 21% of all albums sold, but the real surprise is that digital downloads make up a significant component of these, with 23.5% of all compilations being bought as digital downloads in 2012. At nearly 25% you might wonder what all the fuss is about but that’s a dramatic increase from 16.3% in 2011.

So that’s the facts and figures out of the way. Now, compilation albums aren’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely owned a few Now compilation tapes when I was younger. In fact, my friend and I once found a copy of Now 4 on searching through her parents’ old vinyl collection, which seemed positively antique (I think we had reached around Now 50 at the current time). So the concept is a classic, but why is it suddenly making a comeback? Continue reading