Monday, 21 January 2008

A (belated) New Year, and a (belated) new start.

Yeah, so I got bored of lists before I really even managed any. For those of you who care, track of the year was Maximo Park's immense 'Our Velocity' and album of the year was The Hold Steady's delightfully Springsteen-esque 'Boys And Girls In America' with, as it happens, Springsteen's own 'Magic coming second. If you haven't heard the latter yet, track down opener 'Radio Nowhere' and the untitled hidden closer.

Now on to the new: I've marked the beginning of 2008 in several ways. The first: I've been naughty with my dvd and cd purchases. Since New Year I have bought ten new dvds and almost as many albums. The second: I've been naughty with my ticket purchases. Five in a two day period, as it happens. The third: I've been very naughty with my cinema-themed purchases. I spent nearly £150 (or around $300 if you're a stateside reader, which is unlikely, but I'm an optimist) on an 'unlimited' pass to all Cineworld multiplexes - a brand I am fortunate enough to enjoy both at university and at home.

What does this mean for me? Well, I need a job now. So there's that. But also I shall be going to the cinema more often in order to make this worth my while. Whilst I've worked out approximately two visits a month as necessary to make the expense worthwhile, I'm aiming for far more. I made a list of films out this year that I want to see and it almost hit 70. And that's not including the crap ones I'll go see with friends because no one else will go with them (Madagascar 2, anyone? National Treasure's sequel, perhaps?). So I will be seeing a lot more films this year.

And finally, what does this mean for you? First of all, more gig reviews. I'm seeing the superb British Sea Power tomorrow, and you can also expect reviews of Alphabeat, The Go! Team, Kate Nash and Elbow all before the end of March. And the second, more substantial change, will be the inclusion of film reviews amongst the music. I'll try and catch you up with my recent film trips (St. Trinians, Enchanted and Charlie Wilson's War before I see Sweeney Todd on Thursday and finally make it to I Am Legend on Friday).

As a starting point, I was lucky enough to catch Lightspeed Champion do an instore in the Nottingham Fopp store last Wednesday, and found him not only smart, sweet and easily intimidated by sixty to seventy people watching his every move. His debut album came out today and I bought it immediately. He is a shiny beacon of modern English folk, which is very similar to the Bright Eyes school of folk, really (not surprising, bearing in mind his producer on the album), and involves no morris dancing or ukeleles it all. Which, on the latter's front at least, is a shame. We won't hold it against him though. There is no better folk musician with music out in the last year or so by my books, and until Emmy the Great (who provides backing vocals sporadically across the album) releases her own debut, there will be no other to equal him. Enjoy his cover of 'Flesh Failures' from the musical 'Hair' below.

mp3: 'Flesh Failures' by Lightspeed Champion

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