Monthly Archives: August 2014
Before I start this post, I’d just like to say a quick thank you to the lovely people who have followed this blog or subscribed to it by email. I didn’t expect to gain this many followers so soon and your support is really appreciated. So, thanks guys!
Now, let’s talk rock stars.
Sweat, calloused fingers, tinnitus… For musicians, it’s just another day in the life, and it’s a far cry from the cosy lives of Hollywood stars. But every now and then, the right actors and director will come together and make a truly spectacular film about rock stardom that looks just like the real thing. Here are four of my favourites that get it right.
4. The Runaways
The Runaways, aka the film where Kristen Stewart surprised us all by being really, really good. The movie follows the rising success of Cherie Currie as she joins Joan Jett’s band, the eponymous Runaways, and they set out for stardom. Visually lively with a wild musical energy, it’s safe to say that The Runaways is a lot of fun.
3. Velvet Goldmine
There’s nothing quite like Goldmine if you want a gorgeous, decadent movie about rock stardom, following such musicians as definitely-not-Bowie and definitely-not-Iggy Pop. In terms of story, it’s a raucous coming of age tale that follows a young Christian Bale as he starts his music journalism career and gets to know all the celebrities. The cinematography is stunning – and I’m not just talking about that famous roof scene – with fabulous stage costumes and sweat-drenched crowds that really capture what it’s like to be at a gig. The music is pretty fab, too.
2. Almost Famous
Almost Famous is America’s heterosexual answer to Velvet Goldmine: young lad wants to be a music reporter, travels with famous (made-up) rock band, falls in love with groupie. As rockstar movies go, however, it’s quite touching. Along with the cute romance, there are some scenes that just make you smile – the music troupe has a tendency to look like a big happy family at times.
1. Spinal Tap
Everyone’s favourite rockumentary easily makes the number one spot in this list. Director Rob Reiner takes on heavy metal with fictional band Spinal Tap, in a way that even real rockstars found a little too convincing. From the hilarious lyrics to the charming Stonehenge set design, this is definitely a movie that goes up to eleven.
What are your favourite rock star movies that I’ve managed to totally forget about? Comment below!
As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a bit of a media junkie. Here’s where I’ve been getting my fix this month.
I’ve been reading: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
I didn’t include ‘Salem’s Lot in my blog of vampire books the other week, and there are two reasons for that. Firstly, I hadn’t read it yet. And secondly, because I still haven’t finished it – and don’t really intend to. What I’ve read of King before, I’ve enjoyed: The Shining scared the pants off me, and On Writing is generally considered essential reading for any creative writer. ‘Salem’s Lot – or at least, the first 150 pages of ‘Salem’s Lot – unfortunately didn’t grab me in the same way. There were a lot of character viewpoints, which I liked, but it sometimes got a little confusing, and some characters felt very poorly created compared to others – and this goes about tenfold for his female characters. Just once it would have been nice if he’d described a woman without having to bring it back to how attractive she was or wasn’t.
The final straw for me, however, was the amount of homophobic slurs King scattered in. Far, far too many characters used the word ‘f*ggot’ or ‘queer’ as pejorative, whether in their dialogue or in the indirect verse. I don’t know if King perhaps utilises this, and makes a point about homophobia later in the book. I sincerely doubt it though, and to be honest that message would fall flat considering the homophobic language was bad enough to make me put the book down after so few pages. It’s disappointing; I was looking forward to a nice vampire story. Maybe I’ll give it another go one day.
I’ve been listening to: Howlin’ Wolf
Do you ever listen to an artist for the first time and think, why have I not already been listening to this for years? That was my reaction to Howlin’ Wolf, aka blues legend Chester Arthur Burnett. After catching one of his tracks on a blues programme on Planet Rock, it didn’t take me long to realise that a) this guy was obviously a big influence on Tom Waits, one of my long-time faves, and b) I was actually already familiar with one of his songs from Swing Republic’s remix album. Next thing I knew, I was working my way through his discography.
I’ve been watching: Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy
Edgar Wright and I are on the same wavelength. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End have somehow managed to combine everything that I love: comedy, cinematics, intertextual references, zombies, murder, Arthurian allusions, Timothy Dalton – I could go on. So when my partner popped down for the weekend and suggested we watch the entire trilogy back to back, I jumped at the chance. Every single film is smart, hilarious, and shocking at once. I give them five stars each, and can’t say which is my favourite because they’re somehow all equally fantastic. Very few trilogies can boast that.
I’ve been literally consuming: Salted Caramel Green Tea
I have a horrible feeling that this delicious infusion is limited edition, so I’ve been stocking up. Green tea is hella good for you, and with this one’s sweet, smooth caramel flavour, you bet I’m going to be drinking it non-stop from now on.
What have you been consuming this month? Comment below!