Monthly Archives: February 2008

2008…Another bad year for Honda F1?

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Well, now that the final pre-season test of 2008 is over, the casual spectator may notice that the Honda F1 team are at the bottom of the timesheets, again, as they have been throughout the Winter! Now, i know this is only testing, but one must wonder, after the ‘dog of a car’ last year (Jenson Button’s own words!!!), are Honda actually going to turn up this year?

It was almost embarrassing watching the Hondas’ struggling at the back of the field in 2007, especially after their first race win in 2006, and because they have two of the most experienced drivers on the track (Button and Rubens Barrichello) – it became so bad, that they were being out-paced by Honda’s ‘B-Team’, Super Aguri, who are being threatened by money concerns in 2008.

Surely, the new car must be better for Honda, but testing would suggest that it is not going to be good enough, especially considering that all of the other teams will have made progress as well! Yes, Honda have said that they are focusing more on the 2009 season, to give their new team principal, Ross Brawn, time to make the necessary changes, but i would have hoped that they would have made some advances…

This, of course, is doubly bad news for Jenson Button, as it looks as though he will never get the chance to truly compete for the Driver’s Championship – if he has a season as bad as 2007, then i believe that he will have to find a new team! As for Barrichello, the prospect of a season without scoring a point – again! – must lead him to question why he wants to stay in the sport…he may have not won the Driver’s Championship, but he has had a long and moderately successful career in F1, so perhaps retirement may not seem like a bad option!

Of course, we will not be able to tell how the season is going to pan out until the first Grand Prix and we see some actual racing, but it isn’t looking likely that it is going to be a good season for Honda…and i for one am disappointed with this thought! So, come on Honda, try to get it right this time!!!

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I’m NOT bored of ‘Cheap and Cheerful’…

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This post is dedicated to the new Kills album, as i cannot get their new single, ‘Cheap and Cheerful‘ (out some time around March), out of my head – it is so damn catchy…and is hopefully a sign that the new album is going to be good, especially considering that the first single ‘U.R.A Fever‘ is also amazing!!!

I recently bought their second album ‘No Wow’, and found that, whilst i like most of it, at times, it does lack invention, and can be a bit boring if you’re not in the right mood to listen to it, so i am hoping that the new album is a bit more consistent…and on the basis of the two singles, it would seem that it is certainly going to be more experimental!

I do find it strange though, that The Kills seem to be one of those bands that divide opinion in quite a big way – a lot of comments on their videos are positive, whilst at the same time, there is also a significant number of negative remarks, such as how they are ‘trying to be cool’, and all of the scenester-bashing stuff, but i don’t think it is fair! Just because a band produce a certain type of music, they can be quickly lumped in with a certain scene or crowd, without a lot of thought being put into the generalisation!!

This appears to be the case with a lot of bands, although i admit, some of them do deserve it…but that is obviously my bias and tastes shining through – it is hard to be completely objective in anything nowadays!!!

Anyway, back on topic, i can’t wait for the new Kills album…and they are also touring a load from March to May, and details can be found on their Myspace below!!!
‘Midnight Boom’ out on March 10th – The Kills Myspace

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Do awards really matter anymore?

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So, i was sitting here, thinking of something to write about, when i realised just how irrelevant awards are nowadays! At least for me anyway…

If i saw an album in a shop, saying ‘Winner of …….’, i wouldn’t immediately think “ooh, i wonder what that album is like” – in fact, i don’t think i would spend any more time than a second thinking about that statement. That is how little i think of awards nowadays! I mean, who can actually name an award that is credible anymore???

I suppose i am more of the opinion that, if something is good, then an artist, or filmmaker or whoever, should be pleased with the fact that they have made a product that meets their ideas…and should therefore not try to promote the fact that they have won ‘awards’. For example, film adverts always include ‘Nominated/Winner of 2 Academy Awards’, and then have, in tiny writing, ‘…for best costumes and best toilet facilities’…i mean, they are normally awards that have no real purpose to a viewer!

Companies try to suck people in with boasting about such and such an award, but i bet that most people only buy/listen to what they actually want to buy/listen to, not just what is forced down their throats by the big corporations…

…at least, i hope that people are still capable of independent thought…

Right, now i’m going to go out and buy Mark Ronson, Kate Nash and Arctic Monkeys

(I’m not really, this is just a comment about how little i think of the Brit Awards or any other award ceremony that is dictated by the mainstream…or is hosted by Sharon Osbourne!!!)

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Anticipation…the curse of the human mind?

          I don’t know…whenever i hear that a band i like is going to be releasing a new album, i get really excited, and usually start to build it up in my head…then, when i hear some snippets or the first single, i either get even more excited, or become worried that it is not meeting my expectations. This is why, anticipation is the curse of the human mind – if we did not anticipate something, or build up expectations, then there would be no disappointment – and who likes to be disappointed?

Luckily, 2007 was not that disappointing in terms of album releases – i probably built up the new Autumns’ album way too much, but i was not at all upset with it when it came out… On the other hand, the Smashing Pumpkins album did not fill me with joy – yes, we got the awesome Tarantula, but we also got the last few songs, which i can barely stand listening to…if i’m too tired to change the CD, then i will listen to them, but i don’t enjoy it! Another album that i was disappointed with, was Battles – again, Atlas was a great song, but i got so bored when i first listened to the album, that i actually started to work (!) to give me something to do!

Anyway, the whole point of me writing this, is to have a quick run-down of some of the albums / artists i’m looking forward to hearing to this year (in no particular order & i may also forget to include some on my list…i don’t have a brilliant memory!) :

The Futureheads: ‘This is not the World’ – May 2008

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With the follow-up to 2006′ ‘News and Tributes’ The Futureheads sound like they have gone back to their rockier roots – i love both the first and second albums equally, so i can’t wait to get my hands on this album…their myspace page has a few new tracks on it, all of which sound immense…

Futureheads Myspace

The Dears – Unknown title and release date

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I have been listening to The Dears so much recently, and ‘No Cities Left’ is a masterpiece – a true work of beautiful art, so my expectations are high for the new album, which should be out this year – i have a feeling that this is going to be their best yet…so i’m hoping that they will prove me right!

The Dears Myspace

Brendan Benson – Unknown title and release date

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Brendan Benson is one of the best singer-songwriters around, and his new album is certainly one that i can’t wait to get my hands on – if it is as good as the last two, then i know that i’m in for a treat! Here’s hoping we get some news soon!!

Brendan Benson Myspace

The Raconteurs / Jack White solo

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I thought i would combine these two to save space…The Raconteurs album is going to be good – no question about it! If you put two amazing songwriters like Jack White and Brendan Benson together, then it is impossible for the music to be bad!

As for Jack White, supposedly, he is working on 2/3 albums besides The Raconteurs for 2008, one of which is rumoured to be a solo album – i shall be constantly on the look-out for information!!

The Raconteurs Myspace

The Kills – ‘Midnight Boom’ – March 10th

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Referred to as being nothing more than music for ‘scenesters’, i really don’t care, the first two singles off of ‘Midnight Boom’ are so damn catchy, that i am listening to them virtually every day, which means that i can’t wait for this album!

The Kills Myspace

Guillemots – ‘Red’ – March 24th

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I thought that their ‘Through The Windowpane’ album was beautiful, but also a bit hit-and-miss at times, so i’m hoping for a more consistent album this time, but with all the quirkiness of the first still there – we shall see!!!

Guillemots Myspace

That is it for my main focus, as i know that these albums are definitely coming out this year (all being well!), but i am also hopeful that new releases from Modest Mouse (Starting to record next month), Andrew Bird (currently recording) and The Cribs (have been in the studio with Johnny Marr) might be popping up at some point in 2008, but there are obviously no guarantees!!!

I also wish for new releases from Iron Maiden and The Autumns, but the chances of that happening this year are slim-to-none, so i will have to make do with all my expectations for the others…

…sigh…i hope they’re good…

…peace…a.b…

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