The Playlist Files – 29th April 2013

Okay so I changed the name, I think it fits better.


What’s been absolutely dominating my iPod this week then I hear you cry…


1) Beauty of the Dark – Mads Langer

2) White on White – FIDLAR

3) Control – Garbage

4) Dancing With Myself – The Donnas

5) The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy



Track one is an absolutely gorgeous track by this Danish singer-songwriter. I’m not even entirely sure how I discovered the song but I think it’s awesome, very mellow but very epic sounding at the same time.

Track two is a song by an upcoming LA Punk band. It’s a song I’ve been using to workout to a lot this week, and it’s just the right mix of punk and rock (meaning that it’s not too angsty for those who prefer something a little more palatable). They’ve got an album coming out very soon and I’m excited to see what they’re going to produced.

Track three; I can’t believe I’ve never discovered Garbage before – what have I been doing with my life?! Anyway, I did, and I love this song. The female vocals mixed with the grunginess of the track provide for an awesome audio experience.

Track four is there just because it’s an epic song, covered in an epic way. Also because if I’m running at 9.2 kph on the treadmill then the beat exactly matches my footsteps, pretty awesome feeling when you’re running.

And last, but certainly not least, Track five is the latest single of Fall Out Boy’s new album ‘Save Rock and Roll’ and it’s a very epic song. If you have not checked it out yet, please do, you won’t regret it!


One of the things that I think is so exciting, is that I keep discovering new music (partly because I do student radio) but also because there’s just so much out there that is epicly awesome sounding. Go out there and give yourself an eargasm!




The Vampire Diaries: A Comparison

Okay, teen. I know, I know, I know… and before you judge me horribly well, here’s to say I really don’t care. But anyway, this blog post is a comparison, in so far as a TV show and a book can be compared.

I got hooked on The Vampire Diaries a whole three weeks ago and since then have watched all the seasons up to the present, wondered what to do next, and started reading the books, the first of which I finished last night. Thus, insomuch as I have only read the first book, this blog will just be a comparison of the things that have happened there in.

It’s not very often that I’d actually say this but I really preferred the TV show to the book; usually a book manages to get so much more detail in its pages than a TV show ever could, but somehow the book is just far too simplistic, the plot moves too fast and the characters are very flat; whereas on screen the plot details are really intricate, characters are well developed and story lines develop within a much more reasonable time frame, also creating tension and just the right amount of horror (it’s about vampires mkay?).

Okay, I’ll just give you a basic plot outline so you have a vague idea of what I’m talking about here on in; a small town girl (Elena) leads a normal life until her parents die in a car crash, then a vampire (Stephen) moves to town and she falls in love with him, crazy murders happen and everyone thinks it said vampire boy (nobody knows he’s a vampire except small town girl), turns out it’s actually vampire boy’s ‘evil’ brother (Damon) who small town girl has complicated feelings for, sh1t happens from there… Did you like my summary?

Alright, well one of the things that struck me (and really irritated me) in the book was how fast relationships develop between characters. Surely more than ever a book has the time to develop narratives and dialogues between characters so that affirmations of love seem real. In the book Elena tells Stephen that she loves him after they’ve been together for a day – really?! Also, when Damon starts making appearances in the book, Elena’s feelings for him also develop much faster than would be “realistic”; I know they’re crazily attractive vampires, but surely even they need a little longer than ten minutes to make a girl fall for them?

Slating the book aside, one of the things I did like about it is Damon’s character; he seems nicely dark in the book. Whilst this definitely comes across in the TV series as well, I found the book actually making me scared of his character as well as intrigued to know more (which sadly the book doesn’t give).

I feel the TV series has so much more to offer than the books and I’m just more excited to follow what is going on. The differences between the TV series and the book are innumerable and, oddly, I think it’s actually the book that suffers because of it. For example the character of Elena in the TV show is more like the Katherine of the book (her doppelgänger and ancestor… very long story), the setting of the Salvatores being from the time of the American Civil War also provides greater interest and realism, because it allows story lines to flow from then to the present day as opposed to where the book puts them in Renaissance Italy. Another difference I thought was wisely made was the lack of “Meredith” and the redemption of Caroline. Meredith doesn’t really seem to play a role in the book, except to be Elena’s best friend, so to ditch that character and have Caroline take on that role as well as her own storyline was far more convincing.

So, to round up, if you wanna get hooked into this series (as I did), I strongly suggest you watch the TV Series and then, if you feel you must to get the whole experience, go and read the books. I found the books entirely disappointing next to the show and that is something that is very rarely said when comparing a novel to an adaptation of it.

Alright, enjoy this sexy cast photo of the Season 4 ‘Vampire Diaries’ cast…



P.S – I might do a full review/my thoughts of the different seasons of TVD… just cause I think they’re awesome

Weekly Playlist – 15th April


Okay, I’m still calling this a weekly playlist, even if it’s been two weeks since I did the last one! I might just start calling The Playlist Files, or something like that.

So what’s been rocking me this week?

1. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

2. Good & Gone – Frank Turner

3. Kiss You To Death – Alkaline Trio

4. Radio – The Blackout

5. Love Story – Taylor Swift


Okay, there’s only five this week because I’ve kind of being MIA recently.

I am loving the first track, and just to sound really hipster it annoys me that everyone else is loving it as well.

Track 2 was a free download offered by Frank Turner, coming off his upcoming album Tape, Deck, Heart which I am very excited about; I don’t like this track as much as I did Recovery (the first single), but in classic Frank style it’s still bloody good.

Track number 3 is from Alkaline Trio’s latest effort My Shame Is True, again solid pop-punky nugget, more punky than pop if you’re used to putting All Time Low in that bracket as well, I’m hoping this one ends up as the next single.

Radio by The Blackout is just awesome. These guys are one of my favourite bands, a welsh sextet who are just out for a laugh, and hopefully make a living along the way. The video for this single centres around them messing about in front of a piece of green screen. That’s about it really. I’ve seen these guys live eight times; definitely worth it because they’re fairly damn awesome!

And what the hell is track 5 doing there? Well, it’s there because this week I partially learnt it on guitar, so I’ve had it stuck in my head.


Also, just to clear something up, I will be writing some book reviews in the near future, but since it’s been my easter holidays I’ve almost been in hibernation. Hope to get back to posting more regularly soon!



Teachers Top 100

So, apparently teachers in the UK have chosen their top 100 books for teaching and enjoyment. Top of this list is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which I have to confess, I haven’t read. I read Persuasion at A level and I think it’s a great book but the few times I’ve attempted to read about the escapades of Mr Darcy and Ms Bennett, I’ve been overcome by the cliched nature of what’s been done to it since Austen penned the thing. I’m also pleased to see a lot of Tolkien on the list, I adore Tolkien and I wish there was a module on my course to do with 20th Century fantasy writers, but alas alack there is not. Reading down the list I am genuinely liking what is on the list, although I do take issue with one: Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer. WHY? This book is truly, truly terrible; the story is not great and the actual use of language/plot development/sentence structure/character development ain’t good either. I guess one of the reasons it could be on there is it might make more kids want to take up reading? Maybe? I don’t know, but the day that that series shows up on the official syllabus is a very very sad day indeed.

Also, it makes me a sad English Literature student when I read down that list and realise that I haven’t even heard of some of them, never mind read them. Worse still when I thought it was film and not a book. Whoopsie. I am pleased to say that I have read lots of the novels on that list, and I think I might use it as a reference to tackle more. I have The Independent’s ‘1001 books to read before you die’ tucked away somewhere, but I always find that slightly overwhelming. Maybe 100 is a better place to start. And before you ask, yes I know they’re books recommended by teachers, but look at that list there are only a few that I was designate as “children’s” books, and even those are fun to read so… why not?

I might even try and tackle that world renowned piece of literature next… might take me a good while to get through it though: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar… 

Music Playlist of the Week – 1st April


Okay, I tried to prevent myself from doing this because I’ve always read that a blog should have a particular “topic”, but I’ve already created another one to do with travel and photography. I didn’t want to make yet another one for all my musical ramblings. I think this blog’s “topic” is going to be creative culture – music/films/books all fall under that category right?

Oh well, it’s my blog.

Anyway… tracks that have been rocking my world this week:

1) Recover – CHVRCHES

2) I Wanna Be A Warhol – Alkaline Trio

3) Best of Friends – Palma Violets

4) Let’s Dance To Joy Division – The Wombats

5) Wessex Boy – Frank Turner

6) On The Ave – Pinhead Gunpowder

7) Surrender The Night – My Chemical Romance

8) The Rock Show – Halestorm

9) Norgaard – The Vaccines

10) Skinny Love – Bon Iver


Well that’s a pretty diverse mix isn’t it? Just in case you wanted to know, I host a radio show at my university radio station (Bailrigg FM). It’s a rock show, but I enjoy lots of other interesting music as well. Track 1 is an electronic kinda track if anyone’s into that stuff, Track 2 is the lead single off Alkaline Trio’s new album My Shame Is True, 3 is a brilliant track by this band I’m really growing to like – they kinda sound like The Libertines crossed with old school punk ideas. 4 + 9 are just a bit of indie pop if anyone’s feeling that, upbeat and lovely chunky nuggets of poppy goodness. Track 5 is by one of my favourite artists, love this guy – check him out if you haven’t done already. Track 6 is a bit more punk, as is track 7 which I’m feeling is pretty apt at the moment. Track 8 is just a lovely solid rock track and I can’t wait to hear what these guys do next, and Track 10 is there just because I like it. By the way, how do you pronounce the name? Is it Bon Eeever? Or Bon I-ver… I tend to go with the former; French pronunciation for the win! Obviously some of these tracks are old, some are new, but all of them are pretty damn awesome – what do you think?