Jack of all trades, master of none
ECLECTIC MIX SEPTEMBER 21
Well it’s been a month of real opposites. We continued into a small short heat wave again, and had temperatures hitting the mid 20’s if you can believe it. Yip Scotland (well the central belt) was practically tropical! However like all good things they end, and the wet, windy weather that so stereotypical of Scotland reared its head again. The tree’s green’s gave way to all shades of red, gold and browns, before litterying our pavements and roads. But the flipside, its a great excuse to get used to the colder weather, and wrap up warmer, and take comfort sitting on the couch or being warm and cozy in bed while the wind and rain batter’s the windows.
ECLECTIC MIX AUGUST 21
Well it happened everyone, we had a heatwave and it was glorious. This drizzly famous land of Scotland has been scorched by the stunningly sunny weather, and as of the time of writing its continued into September! So this playlist has been influenced partially by it, but also heavily by my viewing this month. I discovered on Netflix the show called Hip Hop Evolution, if you have the time, and love Gangsta Rap, R&B, Hip-Hop, Rap, Trap, or G-Funk then it’s definitly worth a viewing. Similarly so if you only have a passing interest then its still brillant viewing, and will explain the world of Hip-Hop and show you how actually varied, and important it has been to the music scene. Its 30 years+ history and origins all laid out, and told in great detail by those who made it, by the end of it you'll know your MC Ren to Q-Tip, The Neptunes, De La Soul, Goodie Mobb and everything in between. Another show which influenced this playlist was The Defiant Ones, a show exploring the origins of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, their eventual union, and the impact the 2 of them have had on their respective areas before and after working togther. Don’t stress though, this list is just as varied as ever, and as always eclectic, just this month with a heavier slant towards R&B. Your ears will feast on old 80’s beats, iconic R&B, Trip-Hop, Dance, Indie, 80’s Classics, Alternative and Rock !
The Flying Fox, Helena
The hold up had been a success. It couldn’t have gone any better than I planned. The courier’s crashing through the ice, into the freezing cold water being an added bonus. Meant we didn’t have to deal with any heroes. Riding hard, the cold wintery night air stabs at my face, through a thick scruffy beard. Hard to feel my face is actually there. It’s like my conscious thoughts are the heaviest part of my head. Cold air starts to bring me back down, grounding my reality. The giddiness of pulling off the heist fades, my mind changes gear. Catching up with Pete before we get into Helena becomes the priority.
Pike Creek, Helena
‘This is the final score’ I told Pistol-Pete. And myself. I was tired from a decade of hoodwinking, robbing, and sticking up places. I’d put aside some money to retire on. I never wanted to be an outlaw, not that I’d really seen myself as one. But I’d never wanted to stay in this life until I was gunned down like a chump, by some hothead wanting a name for themselves. I was thirty-two, and it was time!
Intermission: Whatever happened to the cinema??
There’s no escaping since the impacts of CoVid have been felt on a global scale. It has filtered down into and impacted almost every aspect of life that we take (or should that be took) for granted prior to this global pandemic. It’s had real significant impact on peoples personal lives, and sadly many people have now been affected, or lost loved ones to the virus. It is hard to imagine prior to this pandemic, something like a virus outbreak (which has happened several times over the years) could change the way the world operates, and the gears of global economy to grind to a halt almost overnight – but it has. Our lives have changed, and there is no doubt this will have lasting impacts for the foreseeable future. Where it has hit us most, is in the social aspect, and the things we do for fun to unwind after the long working week. One of which, along with pubs and restaurants, has been cinema.
Call of Duty Warzones: The ultimate love/hate relationship!
For context, the Call of Duty series for the last 2 decades has been the biggest and most famous FPS (first person shooter) series out there. Starting in 2003 the series originally focused on WW2, as did subsequent titles until 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which moved the setting to present day. Launching around the same time as the next gen of consoles, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 appeared: consoles which truly embraced the online multiplayer aspect of games. Modern Warfare’s timing was perfect. For the next decade it would dominate the online shooter market, releasing new titles within the franchise yearly, growing the Modern Warfare storyline into Hollywood-like proportions, as well as its yearly alternating Black Ops series set in the Cold War years. Overall, it would go on to become the 3rd biggest selling games franchise of all time, selling a combined 300 million copies worldwide. By 2016 its latest installment Infinite Warfare was released, looking to move the title into a near futuristic era and freshen up the franchise. The move backfired with fans having a lukewarm reaction to the jump-packs, futuristic guns and gadgets as well as changes in game play. As a result, it ended up being the lowest selling entry to date so far. By this point it seemed like the series had become stale, with Activision deciding the next installment would go back to the series’ roots, and it’s WW2 setting. Met with a more muted response but finishing the year as one of the best-selling games, 2017’s Call of Duty: WW2 helped remind the publishers that underneath it all people just wanted a boots on the ground shooter grounded in a reality. However, there was a shift in the attitude and expectations of what FPS could offer, as competitors where circling and simultaneously players were looking for a new challenge. Players were being drawn away from the series to play shooters which offered this. PlayerUnknowns Battleground (PUBG) and Fortnite, both released earlier the same year as Call of Duty: WW2, they gave players a unique and different gaming experience: Battle Royale mode!
The Dangerous Power of Nostalgia
If you google the word nostalgia the Collins dictionary definition reads as, ‘an affectionate feeling you have for the past, especially for a particularly happy time’. Further definitions continue that it is ‘a yearning for the return of past circumstances/events etc’ or that it’s a state of feeling caused by something – ‘the evocation of this emotion, as in a book/film etc’. Simply put it’s the strong warm feeling you get in your brain when you think back on a fond memory, watch your favourite movie, or eat that favourite dish in your favourite restaurant. There is a dark side however. For when we get this feeling (or any feeling), there is a rush of Serotonin and Dopamine in the body which gives us this sensation of pleasure. But our bodies (especially our brains), can begin to crave these rushes, our sub-conscious driving us to seek out these things which cause this affect – which in no surprise can become addictive. However, what may come as a surprise is how much of it is around us, and how much it is sold to us through various ways and formats. For anyone who is a consumer and let’s be honest that’s all of us, whether it’s in movies, games, tv shows or foods will have experienced nostalgia in one, if not all these mediums. We are currently surrounded by remasters, HD remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, etc.
Graphic Novels You Must Read: Daredevil The Man Without Fear
When people hear the word Daredevil, they probably think of someone willing to put themselves in harms way. Someone willing to risk life and limb to achieve something no one else ever has, doing what seems impossible to the average person. That’s what this article is about. To a degree, but more directly towards one of Marvel comics lesser-known properties, and the graphic novel which epitomises him. A character who dresses in a red leather-looking costume with red eyes and little horns on his head. Who fights small street crime instead of the cosmic villains with universe ending powers, but wouldn’t shy away from that fight either. DAREDEVIL: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR is a must read, and to give you a flavour I’ve included pieces from the graphic novel itself here for you to enjoy.