What’s in a name?

Having just featured a little piece on X factor, I thought I share some, um… thoughts

So I’m not a fan of X factor in the grand scheme of things but I’ll admit I do indulge in the audition phase for the sole purpose of observing the psychological behaviour of the competition hopefuls, and for the opportunity to see the overly confident yet completely delusional have their dreams come crashing back down to Earth, a little sinister I know, but it makes for great television.

Beyond this, I do also enjoy trying to pick the winner in the early stages of the game based on the group or individuals presence and personality, and to be fair, of all the seasons gone by, these have been easy choices straight of the bat, as a bit of clever video editing and focus on individuals tends to subconsciously influence us all.

Now considering X Factor, of all the winners to date there’s an obvious recurring theme, Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, of which only 1 has managed a successful career (the jury’s still out on the last 2). For the most part, this could be attributed to the lack of nurturing beyond the show buck stop, but I believe there’s more to it than that…

Whatever happened to good old fashioned stage names for solo performers?… nothing, anyone smart enough is still using them, Lady Gaga… Stefani Germanotta couldn’t break into the industry until she invented a superficial character, one that I’m still convinced she’ll kill-off to reveal herself as the performer she’s always wanted to be. Or how about Rihanna… as talented as she is, I doubt she’d have had the success she’s enjoyed if she was performing as Robyn Fenty, there’s power and influence in a name, I know this, you know this, the industry knows this, and even Homer Simpson knew this when he changed his name to Max Power, so why, year after year do they churn out the same formulaic photo shoot (you know, the one in the tunnel with the extraction fan in the background) and with the name/surname format? It’s almost as if it’s only about the viewers recognising the X Factor brand… but then I guess maybe the contestants are to blame for not bringing any originality to the show, perhaps they need to start bringing a name rather than just playing desperate putty for the moulding.

Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, and Joe McElderry, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are all available to download from the Nokia Music Store and are completely free to ‘Comes With Music’ subscribers.

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Arctic Monkeys Humbug

humbug

So about now this blog’s Arctic Monkeys tag cloud is about to burst, creating a flash flood that could well sweep the competition out to sea. Following the impact Favourite Worst Nightmare and indeed the band as a whole had on me, Humbug falls within my top 3 most anticipated albums of the year. The trouble is the other 2 were within weeks of this release bringing to mind the modern urban proverb “you wait and wait for a bus and then 2 come along at once” only it’s 3 buses and I can’t choose which one to take to get me there quicker.

Upon learning of Josh Homme producing Humbug and reading that the band wanted more Brianstorm like tracks, I knew we were in for something that might alienate the Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not era fans and so wasn’t surprised to find this was indeed the case to a degree… and for those I am sad!… because I still hear the same old Arctic Monkeys now as I did then, only (as I commented on someone else’s review) Humbug is like the audio negative of the band’s earlier work with the undertones coming to the foreground while the beautiful colourings are suppressed below.

Stand out moments on the album: Potion Approaching and Pretty Visitors (it’s all about the toms man!)

Arctic Monkeys are exactly the reason we must encourage our children to make music from a young age (or whatever they want really), when they’re newly self aware and their sentience isn’t marred by the imposed limitations of adulthood, it’s this I believe that has given us a band of such depth and the early wisdom some may overlook.

Seen them live this year?:

Humbug ‘Launch Party’: 26 Aug @ Brixton Academy with support by Them Crooked Vultures, watched Dave Grohl drum an entire set at close range and I still left that gig obsessed with Matt Helders.

Check out other Arctic Monkeys posts from earlier in the year

Humbug is available to download from The Nokia Music Store and is completely free to ‘Comes With Music’ subscribers.

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Big Stinking Bass

Being a proud born and bred Bristolian it’s only natural and somewhat stereotypical – I have to accept, that I’m the type of guy thats obsessed with the deeper kind of frequencies that only a decent sub-cabinet can provide. So in my posts I’m gonna be providing you lot with all things bass driven, be it stuff happening in the world-famous Bristol Dubstep/Bass Music scene, tracks you can find in Nokia Music / Ovi Store, general rants or bits of bass related info.

So first off, I gotta give a mention to some of the things I’m involved within my home town. First of which is Karnival at The Tube on Unity Street. This is a monthly club night dedicated to the sounds of UK Funky, Bashment, Dancehall, Soca and Garage. It’s ran by residents Dub Boy, Atki2 (Monkey Steak) and myself, Stylatron. Last Saturday (5th of Dec) we had the pleasure of witnessing Ghislain Poirier and MC Zulucome and give the dance floor a serious workout. Anyone who knows these guys’ tunes knows that it would have been a lively one for sure! For those unfamiliar with The Tube, its an intimate joint with bags of character but, most importantly, packs one hell of a sound system!

Other nights I’m involved in are Ruffnek Diskotek and the mighty Monster Bassevents. Both of these nights are dedicated to Dubstep, Bashment, Dub, Reggae and general heaviness. Ruffnek are monthly events at Cosies with regular guest DJs, while Monster Bass’ happen only twice a year. We have the fantastic Mungo’s Hifi Sound System as our resident sound, which to experience is worth the entry fee alone! Past events have seen:

Chef and LD – Myspace / Myspace
Mala – Myspace)
The Bug and Warrior Queen – Myspace / Myspace
2562 – Myspace
Gemmy – Myspace
Dusk and Blackdown – Myspace
Starkey – Myspace
Monkey Steak – Myspace
Murderbot – Myspace
Heatwave – Myspace
Grevous Angel – Myspace
L.V. and Dandelion – Myspace

Trust me, its kinda big ;)

Stay tuned…

(PS: you can find most of these artists on the Nokia Music / Ovi Stores. Just  copy the names into the search box to find their releases)

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