Knight And Day

Never seen the film, never going to.  But this is the best review of a film I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading:

By way of background, Cruise played a spy (I think) who, for unexplained reasons, kept deliberately bumping into Diaz in the airport like a stalker. He then boarded an international flight which was almost empty. As it turned out, the only other passengers were assassins sent to kill him. However, in a cruel twist of fate, Diaz also boarded the flight. Cruise then killed all the assassins and landed the plane in a corn field which was very well done given that it was at night.

A farce ensued as he constantly drugged Diaz to get away from her and then they kept inexplicably meeting up in various locations around the world culminating in his parachuting them onto his own personal desert island and catching what appeared to be Tuna with his bare hands. They were safe on his personal island until she called her sister who was getting married. That was quite impressive not least because she managed to get mobile reception in the middle of the ocean. However, it caused bad things to happen.

The island was then attacked by what looked like a flying saucer before Cruise faked his own death and Diaz was captured by the assassins trying to kill Cruise. As it happened, it transpired that some kid who Cruise looked after had discovered an energy source which never needed replaced so they took a train to see the assassins to bargain for Diaz’s life with it. Cruise was shot while trying to protect the kid in an act of heroism but thankfully for everyone the energy source turned out to be very volatile and the assassins plane exploded as a result sorting everything out once and for all. Cruise survived his gunshot wound to the heart with no difficulty.

All in 1 hour 40 mins of cinema.

For Fans Of The Felice Brothers

If you are a fan of The Felice Brothers, and regardless of your feelings about their recent record ‘Celebration, Florida’, you should head on over to their official website now.  For the next 5 Wednesdays they are giving away a free track recorded at home in the Catskills, NY.  The 5 tracks will form ‘The Poughkeepsie Princess EP’.  It’s all free music from such an awesome band.  First track ‘Among the Missing’ is still available at the moment.  More tomorrow I suppose.

Check it out.  Enjoy.

Matthew Collings

If you don’t know Matthew Collings, please just go and check out his music now.  He’s a good friend of mine and a post graduate student in music at Edinburgh University.  Last night I saw him perform his dissertation piece at the music school and it just blew me away.  He’d let me hear it the week before and it immediately got stuck in my bones but last night he just hammered it home.  I always knew that he was a exceptionally talented musician but I had no idea how good he actually was.  The performance using a guitar and compressors was something special.  I really hope that the track gets out there to the wider public because it deserves to be heard.  Not many musicians I know amaze me.   Working with Matthew and learning from him has been eye opening.  Musicians amaze me.  I mean real musicians.  Anyone can write a song.  I’m not sure anyone can do what Matthew does, or the person on viola after him, or the pianist after that (though I didn’t like his piece he was amazing on the piano).  Real talent.  Blew me away.

I guess the point is that you should check out Matthew’s work which you can do here  Enjoy

Lozninger – Moving Targets Single

To all those who still bother to read this blog.  If you go to the mini50 bandcamp page now you will be able to download the new single by Lozninger entitled ‘Moving Targets’.  This is taken from the album of the same name which is due for physical and digital release on mini50 in September and is accompanied by 2 b-sides entitled ‘Love (Is Not So Strong) and ‘The Shades’.  The whole lot can be downloaded now for FREE.

Now you can’t really say fairer than that now can you?!  Enjoy.

Fionn Regan – 100 Acres Of Sycamore

Fionn Regan’s debut album ‘End of History’ is one of my favourite records.  Having fallen in love with his early work and, in particular, his debut record I was left a little confused by his follow up, 2010 release, ‘Shadow of an Empire’.  It’s not that this record was particularly bad.  No, more that the simple and beauitful acoustic tales of the first record were swept a way in a sea of amplification which, for me, failed to live up to the quality of his debut both musically and lyrically.  The full on Dylan-esque tunes, at times, bordered on tribute band material and never really grabbed me the way his early music had.  I was left wondering as to where this change in direction might lead in the future.  Basically, as an amplified electric performer he failed to convince me, both on record or live.

Fortunately, for me, it seems that the last record’s failure to set the world on fire, or propell Regan to the status he deserves as a song writer, sent him running for cover and into the arms of the music that he is more in tune with.  I don’t know if he felt that he had to try and push the boat out on his second record so as not to receive the usual criticism for “playing it safe”.  Perhaps he just felt that he, as an artist, needed a change of pace.  Whatever the reason though, this new record is packed with gorgeous tales of love and loss – reminiscent of his debut, though I’d admit, never quite reaching the same highs as tracks such as ‘Be Good or Be Gone’, ‘Put A Penny In The Slot’ and ‘Abacus’.

I am sure there will be plenty who say that this album is boring, and one paced.  However, for me, Fionn Regan is a class above his contemporaries (you know the ones who everyone raves about, no names mentioned) creating music that is new but sounds as old as the hills in which you can imagine he wandered whilst writing this record.  Stand outs include ‘Sow Mare Bitch Vixen’ – a Pink Moon, Drake inspired number if ever there was one, ‘Dogwood Blossom’ and the absolutely gorgeous ‘North Star Lover’.

Fionn Regan never seems to get the credit that his song writing truly deserves but perhaps this is a positive rather than a negative?  Sure, ‘End of History’ received a Mercury Nominatio in 2006  but based on Elbow’s recent offering, it might be a good thing not to win that award, ensuring that you retain the freedom to create the music you want to.  Certainly, Regan has had that freedom and on this new record he once again indicates that he is a master of his craft.  He may never receive the attention that he clearly deserves as a songwriter but for me, that’s ok.   As long as he keeps producing albums like this one I’ll be happy.

You can check out Fionn Regan here or if you’re in London go see him live at the Bush Hall on 20th September.  Enjoy