Tag Archives: Muse

This last month

So in the last month, I have been on holiday. I have been to Washington DC, done stuff there; saw my first NFL game (Redskins vs Vikings) seen the usual sights, blah blah blah. Went to Virginia and California did lots of great stuff, all in all been a pretty good holiday  I may talk about it more later, but I am going to post a few photos of my time there some time soon. Now, since I have been back I’ve been to see Muse, and the Killers. I have seen a few new bands and singers since that I last updated my bands I have seen live list, so that has been updated. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/bands-i-have-seen-live/

Any who speak, later.

Top 5 albums of the 2000’s

Since I don’t rate my music knowledge enough, and feel I haven’t listened to enough of the ‘classic’ albums of the past decades… so I only feel confident enough to give a list of the last 12 years or so. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but this is only my opinion and I think, sorry know that many, many people will disagree with it. Hell sometimes I disagree with it…

5) Hopes and Fears – Keane

The first album in my very fluid list of albums, is the début LP by piano rock group Keane. Before people shout ‘boring’ and ‘depressing’ at me very loudly (you know who you are), people should give this a full listen. Hopes and fears is chocked full of emotion and feeling. Of course there are the tacks that most people will know ‘Everybody changing’ and ‘Somewhere only we know’ but some of the best tracks on the album are the lesser known ones. The song ‘We might as well be strangers’ really stand out; it is a track that builds up slow and ends in an almighty vocal permanences by Tom Chaplin(even better live). Talking of Tom Chaplin, his voice soars throughout. The album has a real maturity from a band who were then very young and new to the music scene and is a great indicator of what the band still had to come.

Best Song – Bedshaped

4) The Archandroid – Janelle Moane

A few years ago I would have been surprised as anyone to see this on my list, but times have changed. I think I have posted before how I first got to know about Janelle Moane, through her musical appearance on Stargate Universe so I won’t dwell on that. I absolutely love the whole sci-fi (look at that metropolis inspired cover) theme of the album, there is a concept and a story to Archandrioid something very few albums do. I love Janelle’s voice, it is full of funk and rock and roll, yet it has truth to it that allows a story to be told. It is as if she is both singer and a voice actor on it. But it is a work of music and so it can’t be all story, there is some amazing song on this 18 track album! I can’t wait for the her next work, for the continuation of the story as much as the music itself.

Best song – Cold war

3) Origin of symmetry – Muse

There are few bands that are as fun as Muse. Origin of symmetry their second album is not only fun but has an epic quality to it. The great thing about it, is that there is not one weak song on the whole thing. Origin’s is arguable what helped Muse break into the mainstream and you can hear why after the first song. You can’t go wrong with most tracks, but the song ‘Plug in baby’ and ‘Citizen erased’ are obvious highlights. Although there is real joy when you play the album from track one to eleven. This is something that I found out in one of the best ways imaginable, as I saw muse play live their special 10th anniversary show of the ‘origin of symmetry’ album at Leeds festival. It was one of the most special gigs I have ever seen. They played every track in order and it really struck home to me, what a special band/album this is.

Best Song- Bliss

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2) Under the iron Sea – Keane

Yes it is Keane’s second album on the list! After their multi million début album, Keane really needed to come back with their second attempt with something very, very good. I believe that they did this with a proper ‘classic’ album. Keane were known for being a trio that never used guitars (not the case now), but that didn’t stop them from making a keyboard distorted to the point in almost sounds like a guitar, a technique that is used throughout. This made sure that the album was much more up tempo to the last outing. Not only does the album have some of the more rockier songs that Keane have done, but it also has some great emotional song which ‘Hopes and Fears’ had in the bucket load. It is the perfect blend of Keane’s two sides and it really is the best album that Keane have ever done.

Best song – Crystal Ball

1) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Arcade fire are a great band, they have over 100 members in their band (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and they make some sweet, sweet music. Arcade fire have had two, ‘fine’ previous album but the Suburbs (the 3rd) was the first album that just clicked. It is slightly more polished album, yet still keeps the rawness of their music intact. However, I don’t think that this is only things that makes this album so much better than their previous attempts. I’m sure there is lots of different things that make the difference; I am just not musically talented enough to work them out .
You know I am not much of a dancer, in fact a bad dancer a very bad one, yet sometimes (not when anybody is about, I hope) I find myself doing a little dance; albeit with my head, to this album…. I like to think that this is good sign. Every track on the suburbs builds on the last, layers and layers (like each song) of music creates a deep thought process in the listener. I like an album that gets me to think. This is another band that when you hear the music being played live you immediately feel closer to each song and to the band. It is not number one on my list for nothing, you should check it out. Actually if you haven’t already check out all the albums…

The best song – Them all, but Deep Blue

A 2011 interview with me

Since I know no one interesting or famous enough (not that they would agree to do one either) to warrant an interview. So like the arrogant fucker I am, I thought i’d put my 2011 memories in the form of an interview.

1) Best place you visited?
In between my large period of being a hermit writer, I have managed to see some very nice places, I went to London twice. I saw Wembley stadium for the second time but this time with my team leeds rhinos playing. But the best place has to be when I spent the week in Rome, a place I have always wanted to visit. We spent a exhausting 5 days making sure we saw all the sites.

See more of my photos of Rome from my 5 days there here (https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/extras-rome-photos/)

2. Best book you read?
According my goodsreads account, I read 25 new book last year (plus 2 re reads of books). Not a huge amount, but I managed to fit in a number very good books in there. I managed to finally read all 3 of the Lord of the rings books. The new John Scalzi novel Fuzzy Nation was a great book, I read the 4th dune book. Other book I really enjoyed was flashfoward and the forever series of books.  I read number of other sci-fi, post apocalyptic, fantasy and the odd thriller book in the year. But my favourite would probably have to be Neil Gaiman American Gods, different to anything else I read this year and it is partly the inspiration for the story (more credit should be given to lord of light however) I am currently writing.

3. Best film?
For me it has been a pretty poor year for films, and I would have really struggled coming up with my best film year before last week. I ordered Rise of the planet of apes on sky box office. I really enjoyed the prequel/remake, perhaps I have seen a better a film, but I really can’t think of any off the top of my head.

4. Best TV show?
There has been a few contender’s for this, starting with the last ever episodes of Stargate Universe and in turn the Stargate franchise. However, that is tinged with so much sadness I can’t put it as my best TV show of last year. Walking Dead season 2 (part 1) also aired which carried on from an excellent first series. There was Game of thrones which pretty amazing and the Borgias which I enjoyed as well. The show I enjoyed the most would be the first series of Sherlock, the second series just recently started and it reminded me just how good the show is, and how great those first episode were.

5. Best Game?
Mass effects 2 (see http://wp.me/psL0a-jo)

6. Best Album?
Another thing that I really haven’t kept up with all that much. I got the new Foo Fighters album, along with the long awaited (for me) new Kaiser Chiefs album which I thought was great. However, I found a new group that I really like The Dresden Dolls, and while none of their albums were released this year. I found all their albums were available on the website, for a pay-what-you-like price. So I manage to get 3 albums and a live album for a cheekily cheap sum. The songs have been played over and over again on my I pod and computer so one of their album would probably be the best.

7. Best Moment?
Without a doubt seeing Leeds Rhinos win their 5th grand final in 8 years, from the fifth position.Which was the lowest ever position for a team to win it from, they shocked almost everyone (including me) by winning it, and showed the world that they are true team of champions. I have been lucky enough to see all 5 of those grand finals they won, in them I have seen some magnificent tries. But the two tries that Rob Burrow scored and made were pretty amazing, and will stick in my memory for a long time to come, like the Scot Donald try in 2007.

Best moment

8. Best Gig?
I’ve seen a few good bands this year, Hurts in February was amazing and so was seeing Muse for the second time at Leeds Festival. Though the best gig I went to was seeing Arcade fire for the second time too. They are a interesting band to watch, because they are so many of them. Your eyes move all around, not being sure what to look at next. I give credit to my sister for getting me into them, they have a unique style. And they put on great show.

9. Most important thing that happen you in 2011?
I guess having an almost full time job, while it was only for a little over 6 months, it was an interesting experience living life of almost full time working. It was not my ideal job, and not at all stimulating, but then again I did say I got the experience of a full time job, so what did I expect? Hopefully, a new job will rear its head soon in 2012.

10. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Quite a few things, there might be a holiday to American in the making which would be very, very good. I will be going to Italy to see my sister, who is now living there for next 6 months. But most of all I look forward to reading plenty more books, playing more games and getting a lot more writing done this year, a lot more than I did last year. Oh and the new Keane album and tour!

Done.

The weekend

After a week of stomach cramps, i took to having a busy weekend; going  by my own standards. On the Friday i went to Leeds Fest, on the Saturday i went to London and to Wembley for the challenge cup final*. It was a mixed time for myself, still feeling a little ill, i traveled to the leeds festival. It was nice to see my friends who was camping and hung out with them, ate some burgers, and listen to some good music. The best music of that night was of course the headliner muse. It was the second time i have seen them, and they put on a typical energetic performance. As it was the 10 year celebration of their second album, origin of symmetry, they played every song from that album, as well as some of the biggest songs. It was a very muddy evening, with the rain pouring down, the liquid mud reached my shins on the wellies. It was a miracle and something i’m quite proud of that; i did not fall over.

Then came Wembley, me any my Dad went to the amazing and huge stadium via a coach. I was tired from leeds festival, my legs were aching, so the 5 hour coach trip was nice, for the feet anyways. Some more bad burgers later and  the final was about to start. It started off bad 16 points down within 20 odd mins. I felt it was going to be a very bad night, but Leeds came back and was within inches of taking the lead in the last 5 mins. However it was not to be, the leeds lad should be very proud of them self, before the game they was not given a chance in hell of winning, and they came so close. There is always next year, but the time is running out for the Leeds Legend, Kevin Sinfield to win the only club honor that has alluded him.

Sunday i slept, a lot.

Again sorry for the lack of blogs….

 

* In case you don’t know, the challenge cup is a competition, in the sport of rugby league. This year final was between Leeds and Wigan, my team Leeds have lost last year final.

Off to Wembley

A quick post on the Rhinos.

Leeds are off to Wembley, and this year i can go with them as there is no pesky leeds festival to get in the way. Leeds in a hit and miss season still managed to beat Castleford, albeit in golden point extra time. It was of course through a (sir)Kevin Sinfield kick at goal.. They will face Wigan who will be massive favorites, there will every chance (a very good chance) that we will be well beat like last year and i am expecting it to happen. However less than 2 years ago leeds had completed history in winning 3 grand final in a row, while there is a few older players and number of more avareage players in the team now. I still feel that this team has it in them to put in a great performance and sneak win (well ya never know). I have booked the tickets and got the coach travel sorted out. It means that after the Firday at leeds festival, i will have to leave as soon as Muse stop playing, i need to rush home and get a few winks of sleep, before heading  for the coach. I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Leeds festival 2011 – My thoughts on the line up

Is this line up a hit or a miss?

A quick post just giving my thoughts on the recent Reading and Leeds line up announcement.

This year, unlike the last two I won’t getting a weekend ticket for the local music festival. I decided last year that i was not going to go for the weekend, but I did decide that i would most likely still be getting a day ticket.  I knew that unless they announced a-Amazing line up that this would be the case. So I waited for the announcement, Monday evening after i got home from work. And while it was leaked earlier i still waited to see if that was the correct.
I read carefully, looking at all the bands and decided it was not for me! While one of the headliners (Muse) are in my favorite bands, very few (I counted 4 ) would even make it in to the top 50. Those bands were White lines, the Offspring, 30 seconds to mars and Jimmy eat world.  The rest are in theses three categories;

  1. Bands i really dislike, My chemical romance (every song but that na-na-na-na na I kinda like that), Peter Doherty, panic at the disco and Bring me the Horizon.
  2. Bands I don’t mind but i hardly listen to, The Streets, The Strokes, Pulp, The naked and famous, Elbow (could actually be in my top 50; if I knew more of their songs), Enter Shikari, rise against, The pigeons detectives. There is more too.
  3. Lastly bands there is a few bands I have either never heard of not heard one song by them.

In summery, I love muse and I really like a few, but the rest I could not give shit about the rest.
So you know what I decided, a day ticket. I wanted to see Muse again so I will go on the Friday to see them. All this will save me quite a bit of money. There is the case that I can’t be bothered either.

Is this line up a hit or a miss? for me it more miss than a blind baseball trying to hit a ball from a wayward pitcher.

Other news of note
I’m currently reading the moon is a harsh mistress. Verdict so far – Poor

Had a driving lesson today went well

Buster (my dog) has finally gotten his bucket off his head (coincidently also called a buster) and he looks old self, minus half a jaw of course.

Leeds lost again taking the record to 3 wins to 3 losses, not the best start.

The ratings of Stargate universe keeps getting lower and lower. It really hurts me to say but this could be the end of the franchise (I think I will post something on this next month)

Nothing much happing on the writing front. Got a few good ideas down, some may see the light of day in some format some most likely won’t.