Saturday, 31 May 2014

Let's Talk About Music, Baby - 5 Must-Listen Indie Rock Songs

Music is a huge part of my life and, as a result of this, I like to talk about it a lot; however, previous blogs that I've written for have been very specialised (usually talking about film) which means that I haven't really gotten the chance to cram my music taste down all your throats. But since The Pop Culture Cynic is a glorious mish-mash of...everything, I figured I'd take this opportunity to chat about music! So whether your music collections needs some fresh tunes (I can pull that off, right?) or you're planning a totally rad party (I can definitely pull that one off!) or whatever, here are five of my picks that will definitely be featuring in my summer playlist. I'm not promising that this list will introduce you to brand new, recently released music or totally underground stuff that no-one knows about; you might have heard these songs or bands before and you may have hated them - each to their own! My initial plan was to just do a list of songs that I'm into right now, but then I realised that all the songs I'm going to write about could more or less come under the category of indie rock/pop, so I've decided to make a series. This is my "happy indie party woo" list. Maybe next week I'll do "songs to cry in the shower to". I've also linked all the titles to the songs in question, so give 'em a quick click. Go on, I know you want to. Let's roll.

The Royal Concept D-d-dance single cover
Mmm, so white-washed by the sun... Photography!
The Royal Concept are a Swedish four-piece band who previously went by names like Concept Store, The Concept and Stockholm's Royal Concept, much to my confusion whilst I was YouTube-ing their songs. All their songs are great and y'all should check out their album Goldrushed, but if committing to listening to an entire album seems a little bit daunting (been there, The Hush Sound, I'll probably never listen to you in full. Sorry.) then I will urge you to listen to their single "D-D-Dance", which came out in 2011. It's an upbeat tune with acoustic and electric guitars and sharp drums and slightly distorted vocals coupled with electro-pop goodness and what else can I say other than: it's happy. It makes me smile and makes me want to dance, which it what they're probably aiming for given the chorus: "D-D-Dance dance dance 'til you get it right, always on the go, keep your head up now." Forgive me if I am convinced for three minutes and forty six seconds that I can dance out my troubles.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

2.8 Hours Later: The Brona Experience

2.8 hours later edinburgh zombie survival sign

"Watch out for the trees," he said. The last piece of advice from a corrupt guard before we were thrust into the Safe Zone. Safe Zone my fucking arse. There were zombies everywhere. 

That's right guys. Zombies. 2.8 Hours of zombies. Let me tell you, I went through an amalgamation of many feelings; fear, exhaustion, short lived exhilaration due to the adrenaline pumping through my veins. But mainly the first two. It. Was. AWESOME. We had ourselves a team of five: Myself, Ben, Kate (Ben's mate) and a wonderful couple we were paired with since our two teams were originally a tad (as Ben says) "eensy-weensy-teensy". Thus a journey of friendship and the undead was born.

If I were to recommend a team size, I'd say five is the best number. Not too big, not too small, as we did get a taster of what it was like being in a bigger group when we were teamed up with another group and it wasn't as good. That said, too few people meant that come later when there was lots of zombies, you'd be buggered. Five was a happy middle ground.

Before all that, however, we queued.

2.8 hours later edinburgh zombie survival queuing
Queuing like bossi (plural of boss).

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Medicine In Film: The Sea Inside

The Sea Inside Mar Adentro film poster

Ahoy there, dear readers! Apologies in advance for this post seeming a little rough around the edges or too rambly, but I lost my laptop charger this week and have been out of commission for a few days so I'm a little behind on things. Now where did we leave off? Ah yes; last time we had a demented old lady being cared for by her devoted husband and today we're looking at a quadriplegic Spaniard who has been trying to die for 30 years. Well shit, this is just getting perkier and perkier in't it. Shall we?

Today's film is The Sea Inside (or Mar Adentro), starring Javier Bardem; a true story of the 3-decade-long struggle of the author Ramon Sampedro, who suffered a paralyzing neck injury in his 20s, to be given the right to take his own life by Spanish courts. Another author? I think the real moral here is not to write books unless you want to have some seriously nasty shit happen to you.

The Sea Inside Mar Adentro film javier bardem
Like male-pattern balding.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Netflix Anomalies: Mean Girls 2

Mean Girls 2 film poster
It tried so hard.
First order of business - I have officially been welcomed aboard the writing team of The Pop Culture Cynic in a permanent writing post; wahey! I'll be uploading on Saturdays and I look forward to a future of reviewing, ranting and general pop culture-y goodness. Let us rejoice with this picture of me and Ben dancing together the first time we met and celebrate how far we've come.

Rhona and Ben party dancing
We're both wearing red converses - fate, I tells yah, fate!
Now, on to the second order of business - I'm going to start a series called Netflix Anomalies (as you may have figured from the title of this post) exploring and reviewing some of the more questionable works of film and television that can be found on one of the most glorious, procrastination enabling, life destroying sites of all time - Netflix!

I've just watched Mean Girls 2 and I have some thoughts. Let's discuss, shall we?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Medicine in Film: Iris

Iris 2001 film poster

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring joyous news! My exams are finally over and with two more weeks until the results come out (ack!) I've at long last had the opportunity to sit back and relax for a few days. That said, there is no rest for the wicked so I've been thrust back into university work almost straight away in the form of a month of individually allocated mini-projects. These 'Student Selected Components' (SSCs) can range from surgical placements to research opportunities to a study of the arts.

I'll give you one guess which of those I got my greasy fingers all over.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

House of Cards Really Messed Me Up

House of Cards. I'm jumping straight into it. What. The. Fuck.

House of Cards (2013) Poster
You glorious bastards.
"A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him."

Okay, so if you haven't heard of House of Cards (what rock have you been living under?), it's a political drama Netflix original series all about dramatic politicians. The meat of the show lies in the characters so that's what I'll be focussing on today. Kevin Spacey is our main character, Francis Underwood, with Robin Wright playing alongside him as his wife, Claire. They are both unspeakably evil. Not in a kind of "they do bad things in order to achieve ultimately good goals", nope. Evil, straight up.