Tag Archives: Top 5

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

;

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

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Top 5 Metal Gear Solid boss battles

It is the return of the my infamous top 5 list…….

In terms of trademarks, the Metal Gear series has got a few, contrived but epic plot lines, a odd ball sense of humour, long cut scenes, but most famous of all (or at least, easiest to make a list of) is the boss battles. The battles range from tense shoot outs to fourth wall shattering oddness. So this is my top5 list

5) Rex vs Ray

It isn’t the hardest battle, it is is not particular that fun compared to other bosses on the list, but it is the only time in a series called “Metal gear” you get to pilot one of the fuckers. One of the most memorable moments in Metal Gear Solid 4 is the return to Shadow Moses, this section of the game is filled with nostalgia. As Snake moves in to the hanger, which housed metal gear Rex, on his first visit- and in here he sees the crumpled wreck of Rex. There is a slight amount of sadness seeing the beast that caused so much havoc in the first game, so damaged and useless. That is until, the wreck is revived and put back into action – it is a great moment. In a unique gameplay moment for the series, Snake pilots his old enemy against another Metal gear. It is a quite departure for the series, more reminiscent of Zone of the Enders than metal gear solid. And that is why it is in my top 5.

4) Liquid Ocelot

Also in in MGS4, a hand to hand battle between two brother (kind of) – for the second time. The fight starts as a clear reminder of the fight atop of metal gear Rex in MGS1, between liquid and solid. The fight uses a completely different control scheme preferring to use a beat-em-up style battle to what has come before it. It is a real fun battle, but the real special thing about this boss battle is the atmosphere. The battle comes in four parts, each with it own music, heath bar and style of fighting – each correspond to different game in the series. It is special fight, stylish and tinted with sadness. It might turn out to be the last of solid snake’s battles, and if so it has to get a place on the list.

3) Psyco Mantis

Some people might be surprised to see this battle so high (low?) on the list. There has been much said about this boss in the past, the dark humour, the breaking of the fourth wall and the BDSM – I won’t repeat all this. The Psyco fight is the perfect example of how games can do things that no other  medium of entertainment can do. I was 7 when I first battled Mantis and it is something that has stuck in my psyche ever since. It is impossible not to put him on the list.

2) Metal Gear Rex

In Rex’s second entry to the list, friend is turned enemy. MG Rex was was my first meeting with a Metal Gear, and I was pretty bad at it. Rex was very scary to a 7 year old, the whole game had led to this battle, and I ashamed to admit I had hand the controller to my mum to get past it. But as I got older I revisited the game and found a great boss battle. You are given a huge area, a stinger missile and told to fight a huge walking tank with nukes on its back. What is not to love?

1) The End

In first place, and my favourite boss of this great series is the End. On the surface the prospect fighting an old man whose only ally in the battle is parrot. But this old man happens to be an expert sniper and you are on his home soil. It takes nerves of steal to take on this man, especially on hardest difficulty, and to complete it you may need a few spare hours. The battle is the ultimate free roaming moment in the series, you are given lots of different ways to kill the end (some hidden) and a massive area in which to do. To outfox this eye popping sniper, you need to use nature to your advantage. Well I guess that is the end.

So that is my number 1, do you think I’ve made a glaring error in the list? Why don’t you comment below…..

 

Top 5 Leeds Rhinos matches (I have seen)

The new rugby league superleague season is now only 4 sleeps away, it will be my first season as a season ticket holder. As a 19 years old, I am not going to lie or think I’ve seen the best matches Leeds Rhinos and of course all those years before the name rhinos. But I think I’ve seen a few good matches over the short years.

5) Leeds V Bradford Bulls 2007 Millennium Magic

Sure it was technically not a fair win, sure Bradford should have won! But they didn’t,  mostly due to the referee. However, when you win such circumstances against your rival (then, now they are a little bit shit to be called our rival(joke)) make for a memorable match.

Not seen it? or want to relive the match? Watch the video below….

4. Leeds V St. Helens 2011 Grand Final

This years Grand final, and it was a good one. Two amazing tries, one scored and one made by Rob Burrow. Leeds looked out after 60 mins, but showed what they was made of and came back to win and be officially called champions of 2011.

3.  Warrington Wolves V Leeds 2011 Play off Semi Final

A great match that went to-and-fro. One of the most exciting matches I have ever watched. It was made sweeter by the fact most people gave us no chance of winning it.
Watch the highlight from  below.

2. Leeds V Melbourn Storm 2008 WCC

I might be a little biased about this game. Everything went good for me on this day. While there might have been Storm hanging over leeds (literally there was really bad weather that day, I’m not trying to make a bad pun) I had very good day. It was a Friday, and I was in the last lesson of my day at school, it was always a bad lesson for me. But I got taken out the lesson and told to wait at the schools reception. They did not tell me what was happening, and as you do I worried a lot. But, I soon found out that I’d been picked (due to a letter I wrote) to go on the trip to china, to represent the school and country at the youth science and technology expo. Later that day Leeds played Melbourn in leeds, and Leeds won and was crowned the best club in the world. I remember the rain pouring down and getting soaked in the trip back to the car, I remember it was tough and close game. Wish I could see it again; good day.

1. Leeds V Bradford 2004 Grand Final

The first championship win in 32 years, I might have only been 12 at the time, but I still felt how big of achievement it was and I’m very glad I got to be there to see it live. I think this experience probably cemented my love of rugby league and my love of the Leeds Rhinos.

Top 5 twitter follows

A day late but it’s still here….. the top 5 has missed a month but there will be 2 this month.

This month it’s 5 interesting twitter follows, you will hopefully find these people either as interesting or funny as i do.

5) James Dudley

Follow @MrJamesDudley – A friend yes, but he is crude, rude and sometimes funny. He is good person to follow if you want some cheep laugh, he is an aspiring writer like myself so he maybe famous one day. Also for you woman out there he will also most likely flirt with you, so you have that to look forward to.

4) Charlie Sheen

Follow @charliesheen – Need i say anything? He is either crazy or has a great PR guy, whatever it is sometimes his tweets are as crazy as himself. Though lately they have been more self promoting things, so unless things start to pick up from the loon, a swift unfollow maybe in order.

3) Opta Sports (Jim)

Follow @OptaJim – This is the OPTA sport twitter account for sports other than football. OPTA is basically a company that collects stats for sports, some of these stats are very interesting. While i find the lack of Rugby League stats disturbing, the cricket stats are very interesting.

2) Hideo Kojima

Follow  @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN – My favorite Game designer. The mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series. His main account is in Japanese, so this is a translated account, but you still get little tidbits of news on his games and on Metal Gear Solid. He however does not reply to any question you may have.

1) John Scalzi

Follow @Scalzi – My favorite author, he can be funny and interesting and he has a bad ass profile pic (from one of his books). He also replies  (if he can) to questions.

Well there is my top 5 follows, but really my number 1 follow is myself, because i’m funnier and more interesting than any of these people. So follow @JoelHopkins

Top 5 Stargate Universe Episodes

Out of the Top 5 i have made to do with the Stargate franchise, this one was the hardest to narrow down to just five episodes. This could be because the episodes are more fresh in my mind than the other series, or it could because many of the 40 episodes are of a very equal standard to each other. That is not to say it’s a better series but probably a more consistent with the episodes than the other shows. That does fit in with the fact it has a larger ark going through the program. I’m going to talk about why i liked the episode not what happened in it, because any one that actually does read this will probably know what happens.

5) Light

The destiny dives into the a sun

This was the first episode of Stargate universe to make me feel something for the character of the show, the danger felt real because the show was new and i was not sure how far they would go to a make risk element in the show. The music was absolutely superb, with what i i considered was the best score in any Stargate episode. While many did argue that the first 30 mins was slow, however i felt it all built up to explosive and hot episode.

4) Lost

The space dino

As the space dino above show this was an action packed episode, with the most use of the all important Stargate than i can ever remember, they visit many different worlds in this episode, each world has it’s own unique feel and it’s builds a lot of tension culminating in a great cliff hanger (which was ruined slightly by the next episode). We find out a lot about one of our character, told through flash backs. We see Greer with an Afro and who would not want that; worth the admission price itself that.

3) Blockade

Awed

Just for the fact the episode has visual effects, that would look good against the latest million dollar blockbuster, makes it deserves a place in the top 5. The second to last episode of the series, and i talked about the episode in my bi-week bi-week  round up of the last episodes of SGU, a couple of month’s ago. The great thing about this that both the A story and the B story are so good that you can’t tell which is which. Another episode that has great music playing throughout.

2) Time

Scott the action hero

This was the episode that even some of the more hardcore Universe neigh-sayers admitted was pretty damn cool. Time takes a well know part of the stargate mythology (the fact a Stargate can send you back in time; given the correct set of circumstances) and create not only a classic Stargate episode but a classic peace of Sci-fi, while the story is not completely original, it is done in original way, some people did not like the like cloverfield (that film) type camera angle, i was neither happy nor angry at it, i did not notice it all that much. I think this was Scott greatest episodes (even though technically not our Scott) i’m confused now.

1) Awakening

Ugly but ever so slightly cute

While not wholly are allies they were the aliens that were arguably the friendly aliens that we met; out there in the big wide universe. The scene which still gives me goosebumps the most in this one, is seeing the room where the Stargate are made. In over 300 episodes of stargate this is the most we ever see of the ancient devices being made. As always the vis effects are awesome and we see Telford take the center stage more, he changed from an annoying hindrance to a friend and a good character.

There is not much inbetween any of the episodes in this top 5.
Episodes such as Common Decent and Malice only just missed out.

Damn i miss Stargate, think i’m going to have get involved in the Gateworld Stargate rewatch.

Other news of note
4 More working days till i’m out of a job, confusing times ahead for me i feel.
Leeds won again and they are just 80 mins away from getting to another Grand final.

Top 5 Stargate Atlantis episodes

Another top 5, this time it’s Stargate Atlantis turn to get the top 5 treatment.

Before that, if you missed my top 5 SG1 episodes a couple of months ago you can view it here. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/top-5-stargate-sg1-episodes/

At the number 5 is; Rising Pt 1

The City Of Atlantis

First up and in a nice turn of events it, happens to be the first episode of Stargate Atlantis. Rising shows the (re) discovery of the lost the City of Atlantis. If you reading this you most likely know what happened in the episode. This episodes captures what Stargate is really all about; exploring. The crew go on a voyage through the Stargate to another galaxy, knowing full well they probably won’t be able to get home. I know that little situation on lasted a season, but it does not take away from the fact, that these people are willing to risk their life’s at least as they know it to explore. It gives you instant connect to the people, and you see the characters form an instant bond because of it. This episode is followed by a second part and view together it makes a great little self contained movie, that also spring bored in to the start of a great show.

Coming in at number 4 is; Midway

We never did find out who would win, in a fight between the two.

It starts off, Teal’c comes to Atlantis. Guess what the Ronon who is used to being the team mussel does not like some who is equally strong being there. There on the same side so they can’t have a proper a fight but a hell of a long sparing session ensues; with no winner. A wraith attack on earth brings the two together. It’s light hearted episode and a treat for fans of both shows. It’s got lots of action in it, it feels almost like fan fiction of an episode, the situation seems that impossible. Implausibility aside i love this episode, a real popcorn episode that you can watch over and over again.

And now their Friends :)

In at the third spot is; Vegas

Shepard at Crime Scene

The fact that the working title of this one was “CSI Stargate” should tell you everything you need to know about this one. A real departure for Atlantis and for the whole of Stargate. It’s not a parody of CSI just they stole the style of it for an episode. One of the episodes where you put it in an alternate realty so you can do pretty much anything you want. Neil Jackson (who also in an episode of SG1) does a great job as the silent Wraith who is a tad mental. It also is one of the few episode (till SGU came along) that played contempery music, which was great touch to make it feel like a different show .

My second favorite episodes is; Be all My Sins Remember’d

DA BLOB

The best episode to feature the Pegasus Replicator, really while there is one more episode to feature the Pegasus Replicators, it is the ending of that main arc. There is a lot of confrontation in this one, you see friends fighting between them self, (we see a little of the civilians vs military; which is so prominent in SGU) and of course the fighting between us and the Replicators. The highlight of the episode however is; the moral dilemma. Fran a replicator that we created, is wiling to destroy herself because it’s her duty. Throughout the episode she shows some signs that she could be have real emotions. They still let her kill her self though :'(.

Now time for my number 1!; The Shrine

David Hewlett stole the show

A Brad Wright episode, basically it’s a Sci-Fi Twist on alzheimer’s. It’s a touchy subject but it is done in lovely and sweet way. Emotion run high, as the team see the smartest man on Atlantis lose his mind. We see a real friendship between Shepard and McKay. That relationship that reminds me O’Neill and Jackson relationship from SG1. David Hewlett is such great actor, and he get’s to show acting chops in this one.
All great episodes, just go watch one of these episode and i’m sure you will become hooked on Stargate.

I’m watching Apprentice at the moment……. just saying.

Top 5 post of 2010 from yours truly

Yeah January is all focused on me, what I liked, what I want to happen and now what I felt was the best post that I posted (How else) throughout the few months i blogged.
There have been 38 blogs in the 4 and a half months that i have bloged in 2010.
It’s been a funny year for my old blog the views have massively out weight the comments (comment more you plonkers).
Over the course of 2010 I  have gained around 1500 view, not great, but it’s not like i’m famous, why would any one read my blog?

5. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/how-to-cope-with-blogging/ – I’m still starting in this bloging world. And this was my inner monologue of how I planed to create a plan of semi regular content for my little corner of the web. While not an enthralling read it is my most commented on blog with a MASSIVE 6 comments! (1 by myself).

4. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/fat-tim-a-short-story/ – A crap little story I wrote with hardly any views. It was a strange surreal tale of a obese man who has an encounter with a, floating, glowing object. Not amazing but I liked it. I wrote the whole story on my I-pod touch, which I still find a very cool fact.

3. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/just-the-prologue/ – A first draft and a little taster of the prologue of my novel which i’m writing at the moment. While my novel has changed lots since I originally posted that little segment. But I still think it’s an OK peace of writing which introduces the reader to my universe. The great thing about creating a sci-fi novel; is a feeling that you have create a whole universe, all in my little mind.

2. https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/my-top-5-science-fiction-books/ – My first of many top 5’s. It’s also my most viewed post. I love book, all types of books, of course as a sci-fi nerdling (i’m still young). I do love my science fiction and here is a list of my favourite one. Sure in a year or two I will hopefully have to change it but it’s a pretty god dam good list of books. ALL must read books.

1 . https://joelhopkins.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/a-short-story-3-ls/ – The second short story that I put up on my blog. And in my opinion a much better one. Still has room for improvement, but I have had  a few complements about it. Well a couple. It is a totally made story, contrary to the beliefs of some people i know. I think it’s a sad little story. When you read remember i’m a new writer still learning my trade, and of course there is lot of things I need to improve. Hopefully theses will come with more and more practise.

It is was my first half a year of bloging, i felt it was OK. I can’t wait to blog some more. DO some more proper articles, some book reviews and who know some more short story’s.

Other news of note

Today i had a nice day out in York with one of my friends.

The big news this week in my household is that my sister is back, you may remember from a past blog that she was going travelling around Asia. She is safe and sound and more importantly is she had a great time. The only bone she broke was her toe.