Carrier Pigeons

Quite frankly we need to bring back carrier pigeons.

No one likes instant communication, its … well instant and greatly reduces humanity’s in-built scope to waste time.  If instant communication were a person it would be someone small and irritating with an b.o problem.

So lets go back a step, carrier pigeons – they are the way forward.  There are several more reasons for this than just the idea of carrier pigeons shooting momentarily through my synapse.

1) Its been said before (literally several lines ago) but people like wasting time. Facebook, X-Factor, trying to touch your nose with your tongue.  We do nearly all these things to waste time that would otherwise be spent solving world hunger or planning the next mission to Mars.  It’s what people do and enjoy; it will be will greatly enhanced by carrier pigeons.  Even the word creation of the word procrastinating is an almighty effort to waste time.  If someone hadn’t wasted time making this word we could have talking squirrels by now!

2) It would be an event, like Christmas or pay-day.  E-mails, texts, instant messaging; they fly about so fast they make you dizzy.  You can’t see them travelling?  That’s only because you once nearly did, your brain nearly had a melt down and forced you to buy go eat something even though you weren’t hungry. With a carrier pigeon it wouldn’t just be ‘ you’ve got mail’, you’d have a bird flying at your window like someone fighting their own reflection.  It would break up your day amazing.  Then once it’s in you’ve got to catch it; hours of fun.  Even once you’ve caught it, read your note, and released it again it’s still letting you waste time by making you clean up the mess it made.

Carrier Pigeon

3) Instant communication gets everywhere to, like nits in primary school.  One minute you’re on your day off and suddenly that annoying friend that won’t shut up is trying to tell you about something you don’t give care about.  With carrier pigeons that would never happen; mainly because the time they take to reach you with a message is likely to be hours or days.  Giving you plenty of time to ignore the world and finally finish that book you started three years ago.

When you come to reply you’d still have to catch a pigeon, and then you’d never be able to find a pen. Yep, we need carrier pigeons back.

Dave Horn

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Column: Animals

Column: Scary Adverts

Story: Arnold the Newt

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Scary Adverts

This was written around a year ago, just a little something something to keep your eyes filled while the next review comes together.

Forget Jedward, The Human Centipede and the iPod, adverts really are the most horrifying thing we’re exposed to today.  The latest advert by Nokia for the ABCD 500,000 (insert blatantly random characters here) show what scary beasts adverts can be.  The sinister whispered delivery by a child is the least scary part of this audio assault.  The advert accuses parents who don’t by the latest mobile cancer factory of actually ruining Christmas and doing their child harm (under 12 if the advert is anything to go by) in their clearly very busy social life where a judgement based on phone apparently means a life of loneliness.

The 30 second terroriser along with classic brands that have audacity to update their adverts and in turn pollute social networking sites present a clear need  to reform advertising through the awesome power of common sense.  It’ll be genius,using horrific advert a new voice would enter the advert and give the kid a slap; telling the kid to be less materialistic and that the true meaning of Christmas is family and fun.  People still believe that right?  Anyway this injection of common sense would be genius across the board.  Technology  – leave the house and go enjoy nature for real rather than watching it HD 3D uber screen and  using its inbuilt link to your brain to natter about whos voted where.

Dave Horn

Christmas Songs

Glad tidings oh mighty readers, it is I, your genius wordsmith, Lord Mitch of Emery! Here once more to preach to the masses of followers I seem to have gathered in my short writing career, with my works likened to that of both Marlowe and Shakespeare (although some would say that this is only achieving the penmanship status of a single writer… HISTORICAL CLASSIC LITERATURE JOKE FTW!). Today I touch upon another subject that everybody seems to have an opinion about… Christmas songs!

The idea of writing about this came to me as I was travelling in the back of my tour bus to another sold out night at Wembley arena, DJ’ing to the thousands with David Guetta, Deadmau5, Skrillex and Tiesto in support (all totally in awe of my amazingness)… OK, I was actually hitching a lift in the back of my friends car to DJ at another friends 18th Birthday Party, but that doesn’t have quite the same epicness to it and… well, sod it, it’s my writing! As we travelled, the unmistakably bouncy synthesizer part from a certain Wings song came on. Yes! That’s right people, ‘S-iiii-mply h-aaaa-ving a wonderful Christmas time’. Well, despite the fact it was still only November the 17th, we cranked up the radio and had a bloody good festive sing-song! However, when I mentioned this to a fellow, how shall we say… well-lubricated, party goer later in the evening, he simply remarked how it was ‘too f***ing early to be hearing that stuff yet’… A fair point, albeit bluntly made… Yet I could not help but wonder, was it too early? I mean, no, it was not quite yet December (yes, even at 18 I still have an advent calendar counting down the 25 days until Christmas in December. Laugh all you like, but I’ll get the last laugh with a nice bit of choccy before a long day at work or uni or doing whatever tasks is I have planned that day), but does that mean it was, ‘too early’. To quote the great Michael McIntyre, the minute the last of the bonfire night firework smoke clears, many of us believe the countdown to Christmas has begun!

I personally love Christmas music, everything from the old fashioned carols (‘Silent Night, Holy Night…’) to synth pop festivity (‘Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away…’), a bit of yuletide rock ‘n’ roll (‘Rocking around the Christmas tree…’) to a slice of glam rock merriment (‘SO HERE IT IS, MERRY CHRISTMAS…’), a little tongue in cheek naughtiness (IF I AINT DRUNK THEN IT AINT CHRISTMAS…) and a small left-over helping of the less conventional Christmas anthem (‘F**K YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!’). So have no problem with hearing some lovely festive tunes around me in mid-November. I even took part in a re-recording of the Band Aid Anthem, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ on the 17th November (yes, I managed to squeeze it in just before my Arena DJ extravaganza! I really am rather brilliant like that, even if I do say so myself). It was an absolutely excellent day in a fabulous studio in the middle of nowhere, with some of my favourite singer/songwriters that I get to perform with on the local circuit and all in aid of the Meningitis trust Charity (you can actually download the song for free. I’ll pop the link here). Everyone involved suddenly had a feeling of festivity and togetherness (clichéd, yet true), which was absolutely marvellous (or ‘totes amaze’ for those more hip and fashionable than my humble self).

So, returning to my original question, when does it become OK to actually play Christmas songs? Perhaps we could set some sort of curfew of the dates they can be played between to help prevent any more arguments? David Cameron, sort it out (or whatever politician would be in charge of suggesting such ruling… Hell, perhaps I could give it a go! Time to form the ‘STOP THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC DATES MADNESS’ party! Anyone who would like to be considered to join please leave a comment below)!

Also, I would like to make it clear that I enjoy ACTUAL CHRISTMAS MUSIC, not whatever the cleverly timed release from the winner of whatever TV singing competition has released in time to snatch up the Christmas Number One single every single bloody year (yes, even though I already owned ‘Killing In The Name’ by Rage Against The Machine in 2009, I still bought 4 more copies of it, just to make sure I had made my contribution). No, I do not have a problem with the pretty much guaranteed Number One single that winning one of these shows pretty much guarantees. Nor do I begrudge the winners this. What I do not stand for though is the timing meaning it falls right upon the Christmas Number One Battle every sodding year! Perhaps it’s high time somebody wrote a Christmas song that could be the Christmas Chart Topper this year! Come on people, we all know that once you’ve had a Christmas hit, you can pretty much live off the money you will gain from it be played and re-released every single year! Think it’s time I got to work on this… Best go find myself a pen, paper and some tinsel. Until next time my lovely readers, farewell! Now where did I put those baubles…?

Mitch Emery

Digital DJing, The Controversy

What with leading the glamorous lifestyle I do (complete with fine Champagne, private jets to my party season DJ residency at Space in Ibiza, numerous cars, multiple mansions and diamond encrusted laptop I write these articles on) I am writing this article whilst on an early morning bus to University! ‘Living the highlife eh Mitch’ I hear you say… or am I miss-hearing the cries of ‘bus wanker’? I have been told I bare a resemblance to Will from TV comedy ‘The Inbetweeners’, where this marvellous phrase gained notoriety.

No, I write this article on a public bus, at 7:30am on a Monday morning. Some may say this is a ludicrous time to be even considering taking on such work, but I find that my slightly irritable nature at this early time may help to convey the point I am about to make in a far more direct way. Here goes….

As I mentioned in my previous article (my first in fact) I am a DJ. However, there are some who would disagree with this statement, due to one simple fact… I use a laptop to DJ with… NO CD’S? *SHOCK!* NO VINYL? * HORROR!* MORE CREATIVE CONTROL OVER MY MIXES? *GASP* THIS CANNOT BE!!!!! Yet why does this cause such violent outrage and anger within the DJ scene? Why must we be divided simply due to the format we like to play songs on? Why can we not just get along and be united by our music? Well, let’s have a look.

The first point I would like to make is to wonder, do the people listening to the music actually care where it is coming from? I am as of yet to see a crowd grooving on down to vinyl, boogieing the night away to CD’s and then, as the digital DJ plugs in his laptop, leaving in protest of the DJ DARING to use this modern way of mixing! They will not stand for this monstrosity of technology! Oh, hang on, wait a minute… Nope, as long as they like the music, they don’t give a s**t!

Now, I am in no means having a dig at non-digital DJ’s, I respect all DJ’s, regardless of their chosen style of music or the format on which they spin (vinyl DJ’s I have big respect for, as the art of vinyl mixing is a bloody tough one to master, one which I have yet to master what with using either laptop or cd’s) but at the end of the day, as long as the tunes are good, why must we fight so much? Yes, digital DJ’s may have the use of a sync button (would just to make it clear that I manually beat-match) to automatically beat-match with, but if they don’t know all the other skills needed to mix with, this will be of no use to anybody! Beat-matching is a good skill for the DJ to have (as it enables you to mix on more than laptops), but is not the only skill needed… So come on DJ’s, why don’t we all play nicely and return our focus not to the format which we mix on, but the tunes that we play and the music that brings us together!

Mitch Emery

Hi, I’m Mitch – I’m New Around Here

Why hello there all! My name is Mitch Emery and I shall be your host for the next couple of hundred words! So, I’m now writing for the awesome Banned Reviews thanks to Head-Man/Top-Boss/The Guv’nor, David Horn!

Well, I’m going to be writing lots of music related stuff, including reviews, interviews and general thoughts of the world of music and all related to it. I think though, it’s probably best to introduce myself to all you lovely folks. I’m a Singer/Songwriter, DJ, Radio Presenter and Music Technologist, so yeah… Music is pretty much my life. I’m also currently studying for my Music Performance degree at Canterbury Christ Church, which I’m enjoying very much!

So, it’s my first article, so I better discuss some sort of controversial topic. In fact, I may write a conflicting argument with a recent article concerning bacon being a lie (yes, this is a non-musical related topic, but one I strongly feel should be addressed). This is what I consider an almost blasphemous statement to be making… Obviously not properly blasphemous though, due to the fact that as far as I’m aware, there is no Church of Bacon, in which people go to celebrate the existence of bacon in all its deliciousness (although maybe the infamous meat dress as controversially worn by Lady Gaga was a nod to some form of secret cult of bacon worshipers  Wow, less than 250 words into my 1st article and I may have started a conspiracy theory to rival the Illuminati).

Anyways, back to bacon… Ask most people (and here I am not counting vegetarians or vegans, because that would be a very biased set of people to ask, what with the whole ‘no meat’ lifestyle and all) what there number one miracle food is and the answer would be bacon! Even many of the vegetarians I know state that the smell of bacon frying is the one thing that could convert them back to the ways of a meat eater… Even the most militant vegan I know has been heard to admit that the smell of frying bacon could tempt him back to the ‘path of darkness’! Need I say more?  Ok then, yes I do say more. Within this same article, the writer claims that he has survived 5 days of music festivals on bacon, yet has grown weary of it by day 4 and would exchange it for an apple!?!?! AN APPLE!!!! A BLOODY APPLE OF ALL THINGS!!! NO NO NO!!!! NOT IN MY LIFETIME!!!!

Well, that’s me guys, hope you enjoyed reading the last few hundred words as much as I enjoyed writing them! Hope you guys enjoy my next article, where I will discuss the controversial subject of laptop DJ’ing.  If you have any opinions to add on the subject of bacon (or on any subject at all), please feel free to leave them in the comments section, but until next time, I leave you with this picture of a bacon loving dog 😀

Mitch Emery