There's a reason I'm not a poet

Posts tagged ‘fanboy’

We will steal your heart

So for the past few weeks I’ve slowly been letting my life crumble into ruin, and having a glorious time while doing so. Why?

Because I’ve got a new video game.

I was really excited about it coming out, and pre-ordered it off Amazon. Imagine my horror when I get an email to say the delivery has been delayed by a month because they didn’t have enough of the games in stock.

So I did what any sane person would do in my situation: I drove for an hour, crossed the border to the Republic and bought it in Dundalk.

I regret nothing.

The game is so slick. I instantly fell in love with the entire look of it, from the opening credits to the bloody start menu- the game is dripping with style. Never mind the fact that it’s set in Japan and is essentially about levelling up a group of teenagers with superpowers. Add in the unbelievably cool acid jazz soundtrack and one month later you’ve got a very happy Michael, 70 hours in.

So I’m trying very hard to still go outside, to still go to work and still speak to other humans. But I mean come on.

M

My Queen

Like the sun on the weekend

I’m a bit shattered this evening: had a few late nights recently, and long days in work. Sunday’s night was a good excuse though: went to see Lisa Hannigan! I’m a big fan of this woman, and remember how supremely excited I was when her debut album Sea Sew came out in 2008. She’s due to release her third album soon- I think the drop date is August 19th (unfortunately just after I go to China so I’ll likely miss out on it!) and this tour was to get back in the swing of things and get the album publicised.

My friends and I went for dinner beforehand (Coppi, was dee-lish) and had the best of intentions of being there early to get a front-row table. Unfortunately we ended up being late, because of ticket failure (by which I mean brain failure: I’m a dope and forgot to bring my bloody ticket). So we were standing, but we were right behind all the tables and it was a small venue so we had a good view.

She came on and opened with Lille, with just her on stage in comparison to the glockenspiel entourage I’ve seen her perform this song with before. Everyone was captivated and silent, and she carried on her control of the audience. Her cutesy shoulder dancing during Ocean & A Rock had us all grinning, and I have to say seeing the new engagement ring on her finger was a bit of a blow. All hope is lost.

She involved the support act Ye Vagabonds quite a lot, and had them playing key roles in multiple songs (at one point one of them looked like he was going to choke on his fiddle out of fear) and at the end the three of them did a stellar performance of Passenger. Her setlist was quite interesting: there was a large proportion of new songs and her choice of known songs was a bit different too. She didn’t play one of her big ones I Don’t Know, for example, and included a few others that it was great to hear. She’s crafted some lovely tunes for the upcoming LP so I’m really looking forward to hearing it. Good oul’ nautical folk, it’ll do a good job of reminding me of home while I’m off climbing in mountains and drowning in cramped Beijing buses.

M

Not Forgotten

Hello. Long while since I’ve blogged, trying to get back in the habit. Life has been good recently, work going well and time off work obviously going better. I was over in London at the weekend seeing a few people and the weekend basically involved drinking from like 11am and stuffing my face constantly in between uni-people catch-ups. Which was ideal.

Also had a nice time with the family the week before where we all went to my granddad’s old pub. He owned it during the Troubles so there were kind of mixed emotions with some of the generation above me, but obviously managing to get a large group of people together is a positive.

What I’m watching- Attack on Titan, The Walking Dead

What I’m playing- Ni No Kuni

What I’m reading- Twig, Clariel, Worm

What I’m hearing- The Corrs, Wild Nothing, Crystal Fighters

Need to step up my game in planning China. Tourist visas last for three months so I’ll likely go for that length of time, and am thinking of actually starting off in Japan for a bit! When in Rome, why not visit Sorrento. Exact plans will be confirmed a bit closer to the time, for now it’s about converting the pipe dream into some semblance of a pipe.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, as I will be seeing THE CORRS. They were the first band I really listened to, albeit I was eight and had no choice in the matter of which casette was being played in the car. They’re doing a comeback tour and have released a new album; while it’s not amazing it has grown on me and I’ll happily hear new songs alongside the classics. That is if me screaming the words doesn’t drown out their singing. The only thing less cool than going to see The Corrs is going to see The Corrs with my parents. So I’m ticking that box.

Peace out bluds

M

Make your own kind of music

On one of my rare weekends off my friends and I managed to fit in a nice bit of music, seeing two artists that I didn’t think I’d get to see in Ireland live, never mind in the same weekend: Sufjan Stevens and Feist. The former was playing two sold-out nights down in Dublin, and the latter was doing “An evening with…” as part of a local festival to celebrate the playwright Brian Friel. To be honest I had absolutely no idea what an evening with Leslie Feist would entail, but I wasn’t going to snuff at the ticket price of £15 to find out.

Four of us headed down to Dublin on the Saturday, stopping off at an artisan farm-house coffee shop/florist/grocer for a game of Spot The Middle Class Hipsters (I’ll stop making so many hyperlinks soon I promise) before a jaunt around Dublin for a few hours. I’d seen Sufjan once before, and remember being amazed as he finished off the show with his 25-minute long epic Impossible Soul, with giant balloons and beach balls falling from the ceiling into a crowd of indie ravers.

His newest album Carrie & Lowell has a slightly different tone, written following the death of his parents. It’s a beautiful (if heartbreaking) piece of work, and so on the night gone was the youthful exuberant wing-clad songster I’d seen before, and instead stood a man crafting some really beautiful music out of his grief. So many of the songs created such an encapsulating soundscape, each cast in front of brilliant backdrops: videos of his family growing up, or stunning vistas of sunsets, forests or oceans. Other songs were haunting: the audience not muttering a word, the whole concert hall together in silence.

The whole thing was just so impressive, that the imagination of one man could make such a beautiful and expressive show. I really enjoyed it. Also at one point he moved away from his acoustic roots and back towards his electronic ones and a space ship happened. It was class.

The Feist evening was a different affair, but one I still really enjoyed. Essentially she was interviewed by some woman (I think an actress but I don’t remember her name) about her musical influences, who inspired her to make the music she does, and where does her inspiration come from. Granted I would love to see her gig but this was the next best thing and I found the whole thing fascinating.

She gave a really intriguing history of her muses, in particular talking about the Archive of American Folk Song– something I didn’t know anything about. Basically a guy called Alan Lomax and his father travelled across America speaking to people in small towns and Native American tribes, capturing the music that the people were singing over the space of a decade. It was a really interesting talk exploring singing in the folk music/in the home setting versus modern day music, which she argued in a sense is being made for consumption rather than expression. It was all pretty fascinating.

She also played two songs at the end of the night, and answered a few questions from the audience. Obviously I wanted to take the opportunity to speak to her, so I stood up and asked some lame crap. But I don’t care how stupid it may or may not have been because now she totally knows my name.

Feist knows my name. She called me young man.

What a stud.

M

Hear Me Roar

Like several other million people in the world, I’ve been hungrily watching the last 8 episodes in the new series of Game of Thrones. I’ve read all the books over the past two years or so, and since moving back to NI have been having a right royal binge through the previous episodes, in order to get myself up-to-date to watch the most recent series alongside my friends.

I’ve really enjoyed this series in particular: the show has now reached a point where there are significant deviations in story lines from the books, so I’m left not at all knowing what’s going to happen next. The books also have the drawback of having to sit through the endless whining of characters that you don’t like- whereas on the show they’re on-screen for like six minutes top and then you move on and don’t have to endure the half hour it takes to read through them moaning about their mummy/daddy/daughter/sister issues.

The series also provides great opportunities to geek out. Last year my housemates got a Game of Thrones board game for their birthdays, and we had a pretty brutal session which involved the perfect amount of attacking each other, stabbing people in the back, and generally kicking each other in the crotch when we were down. Always fun.

Geeking out also has its rewards: a group of us went to a Game of Thrones pub quiz last week. And it’s no underestimate when I say that we bloody well tanked it. Not only did we come first, but we also won the speed round (winning £45 for our team) and didn’t get a single question wrong the whole night. I mean, they were kinda piss-easy, but that didn’t stop sitting on the Iron Throne they had made at the end of the night any less sweet.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Ain’t no white walkers here

M

The one with all the questions

So I did something fun last week. Our local does regular po-culture-themed pub quizzes, in the past running ones on Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Last week, my time came.

A Friends-themed pub quiz.

I KNOW

We assembled our team, we booked our table, we did our practice on QuizUp, and in the case of one of my friends, we (she) made four pages of notes. Front and back.

We were ready.

There ended up being about forty teams in all- it was pretty flipping popular. Some of the questions were incredibly niche: asking you for the name of the crazy girl who thinks that Joey really is Dr Drake Ramore, for the names of the women on Ross’ laminated list of women-he’s-allowed-to-sleep-with, the name of Emma’s manny, or the typo on the resumés that Rachel sends out. While we didn’t get full marks on these things, we did a bloody good job and it was down to our severe amount of PREPARATION.

Go team.

There were also spot prizes in the middle of the rounds where you had to write your answer and run up to the front. We were seated upstairs and at the back, so never quite made it to the front in time, however I still got really into it while running. Apparently at one point I elbowed some guy out of the way as we collided while sprinting to the caller. I have no recollection of this; I was in the zone.

It ended up being quite long as it turns out it takes ages to mark the answers for so many people. But at the end of the whole thing we were very pleased to find out that we came third! Which I was extremely proud of because flip me some of those questions were nigh impossible.

We were Judy, and we Looked Alive.

M