Journal

Half-Marathon training starts this week

On the 16th October this year I will be taking part in my second half-marathon. This will be the same route in Birmingham, UK.

The last time I did it, which was last year, I managed to strain my knee whilst training as I tried running too far, too fast, too soon.

This time I am going to be following an 8-week training guide, building myself up slowly and hopefully beating my previous time of 2 hours 16 minutes.

Films & TV

Star Trek Beyond was pretty good

Today me and my good lady went to see the new Star Trek film, Star Trek: Beyond. I had no expectations for it – I was neither excited or anticipating it to be bad; I just went and watched a film at the cinema. And as it turned out I enjoyed it.

This film felt like it was intentionally going for a low-key feel. By that I don’t mean it was boring or poorly made – it just felt like they weren’t trying to make a huge blockbuster; just an enjoyable night out at the cinema. And that, it was.

I especially loved the little twist at the start with Kirk delivering an item to a vicious-looking alien race. I wont spoil it for you but it did make me chuckle.

So yer, the new Star Trek – pretty good. Take your loved ones for some unapologetic space-roaming fun.

E.Ps

Mustang E.P. by Hannah Grace

This E.p. just exploded into my ears in a way that reminded me of later-era White Stripes. The opening song is hugely-energetic that doesn’t let up for a second. It’s labelled as “pop” on my music subscription but I don’t think that does this E.P. justice. It’s got a chugging, powerful groove that would strangle the life from most modern “pop”.

“Keep your love”, the E.P’s second song starts calmer than it’s predecessor, but soon builds into a big chorus and fuzz-like-effect riffs. I am loving this E.P. already and am already thinking four songs isn’t enough for my newly-acquired thirst for this music.

The third song, “Blue with you”, really slows thing down into a comfortable groove that gives more room for Hannah’s voice to come through the song, and a cracking voice it is too. She weaves this blues-style song with an ease of command. This is another one too that builds up to a belter of a climax and she really does give it some whelly with her voice before bringing it back down to the ground before the final song, “Hey You”.

“Hey You” is a lovely, stripped back acoustic number that shows Hannah Grace is great-sounding with or without her huge arrangements backing her up. As much as she opened the E.P. with force, she closes it with a calm, soothing nature.

Hannah Grace is an artist I’m going to be keeping an eye on over the coming years.

Journal

Who’s that knocking at the window(s)?

So yesterday I rage-quitted Windows 10 for its constant blue-screening.

None of my games would work under the Linux distro I installed.

So now I have re-installed Windows 10 with the vain hope of it working fine.

One thing I didn’t actually think about during my immature rage yesterday, was to debug the issue – first with the hardware. So apparently RAM is a major contributor towards the Blue Screen Of Death, as it is affectionately known, so I thought that would be a good place to start.

At the time of writing I have hoovered out my pc base, removed and blew dust from the ram slots, then re-installed. I also disabled the CPU unlock in my BIOS due to a new warning on my P.C. during boot.

So far no blue has been seen.

I’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

Songs

We’re the Same by Priest

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard that Priest were releasing this new song.

“We’re The Same” has that signature “Priest” sound that I have come to love from their eponymous debut album. It sounds as though Madeline is pushing her voice further in this song – and to powerful effect. The chorus roars with her voice and the musical arrangements expertly produced by co-member David Kazyk.

The familiar blanket of Priest’s unique soundscapes perfectly envelope the song’s words and melody, making for a very welcome addition to their catalogue.

It is also really nice of them to release it as a free download on SoundCloud.

Big thanks to Madeline and David!

Journal

Goodbye Windows, It’s been nice

When I say nice, the only nice thing was being able to install and play steam games and have them run at great frame rates.

The trade off however was that not only was all of my computing being sent off to Microsoft servers, but also the frustrating Blue Screen of Death, which happened far too often. For this reason I have decided to go back, yet again, to full-on GNU/Linux. Specifically Mint 18 “Sarah”.

I immediately installed Steam for Linux and straight away I saw a huge degradation in graphics performance. Annoying.

I am now installing Play On Linux and then the Windows version of Steam through that, to see if I can get any improvements. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

 

Journal

The New Thirty Three

For the past seven or eight months or so I’ve been writing on a website I also built, called The New Thirty Three. I built it a while back and have only recently started writing more often on it.

I am now trying to put together a planned release scheduled for future reviews as well as future interviews.

Reviews

When I say reviews, what I really mean is recommendations. I am only writing about artists and albums that I actually like. As opposed to trying to review everything, whether I like it or not.

One thing I will never have on there is a scoring system. Scores given to albums like “7.9” are absolute bollocks. I’m sorry but they are. Ladyhawke’s latest album, “Wild Things”, got a score of “5.7” – presumably out of “10”. What a load of rubbish. That album is one of my favourite albums this year, and indeed in recent times, and no-one is gonna tell me it’s halfway up someone’s “scale of goodness”.

Interviews

I have a couple of interviews lined up, which I’m really excited about. You can read past interviews I’ve already done.

When I do an interview, I send the artist a set of about 17 questions – after asking them of course – then paste those questions and answers into an interview post. Because they are question and answer, as opposed to conversational, they tend to be the same – or very similar – questions for each person.

The Future

I have started talking with people in PR firms who work with some of my favourite artists and have even had people approach me to do reviews. This is really exciting for me and hope I don’t let them down at all.

I would like to see the website move to a full-time commitment and income within the next couple of years or so. I really enjoy listening to new music and love the challenge of writing about the ones I like. Even though before each review I write I always get the fear of repeating myself.

Thanks,

Dave.