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Browsing: Arts & Culture

It is now a popular rock legend that “not many people heard The Velvet Underground, everyone who did formed a band”, with the now-iconic New York garage rockers’ rough, unkempt experimentation directly influencing much of the next 50 years’ most enduring music. What is rarer however is bands who attempt to modernise much of this band’s most bizarre tendencies, something Dutch band Lewsberg have attempted to do on both their self-titled debut and new album, In This House. Opener ‘Left Turn’ greets the listener with the repetitive grind of dissonant guitar chords alongside Arie Van Vliet’s forlorn spoken word delivery…

Feminism and rock music have often had a somewhat fractured relationship. The often barely hidden misogyny found in everything from the blues that inspired rock to a huge range and history and worryingly persistent issues  of sexual harassment at concerts has hardly made this disparate set of scenes particularly inviting for women. Punk however is a notable exception. Whilst of course the crude sexism of much of rock can still be found in artists like The Stranglers, punk has more often than not been a riposte to rather than a promoter of misogyny. This began arguably with one of the…

Combining two of the most visceral and bizarre artists of the 2010’s, Wasted Shirt is a collaboration between prolific garage and psychedelic rock artist Ty Segall and Brian Chippendale, the drummer in the brutal and complex noise-rock band that is Lightning Bolt. Listening to the two singles released prior to Fungus II’s release, I could have been forgiven for thinking that this was largely an add-on to Lightning Bolt’s most recent album Sonic Citadel. Double the Dream and album opener, All is Lost, share the same dense production and fast yet sludgy bass guitar riffs that forms the majority of…

Something that should probably be reflected upon during a time of crisis around the coronavirus and increasing authoritarianism across the world is how it will impact music. Much of the most profound music has come during times of huge strife, allowing artists to create music with a huge emotional resonance. Probably the most notable modern day example of this would be the case of Russian feminist punks Pussy Riot, whose unauthorised public performances of songs railing against Vladimir Putin, homophobia, sexism and the Russian Orthodox Church eventually saw two of their members imprisoned for 21 months for “hooliganism motivated by…

Reflecting back a few years, the teenage version of me would have honestly loved to spend all day indoors playing games with no responsibilities, no work, and no school until September. However, this grown-up 20-year-old me just lacks motivation, can’t find anything to do, and is just generally finding ways to support my mental health and keep myself sane during this global pandemic. Like me, many of you may be struggling to find some games to play during all this, so I thought I’d share some of the games I’ve been grinding away at and leveling up on to keep…

For anyone struggling to make sense of the uncertain and fast-changing times we are currently living in, there are bound to be moments where you find yourself craving to escape to a simpler, less complicated world. Luckily, there are plenty of TV shows that tick all those boxes, ideal for those who are self-isolating. Got a list of shows you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t found the time? Just want to find something fresh and new? No worries, here are a couple of suggestions from myself and others, from light-hearted family drama, comedy and detective series, which will help…

I first read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was 10 years old. However, due to being so young and the language it used, I really struggled to read it. It also didn’t help that the book had been spoiled for me by an episode of Friends (if you’re a fan you know the one). Even though the edition I own is a beautiful one, first published in the 70s, I never had much motivation to read the book. As I got older, I started to read more classics, such as The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and…

In examining the history of Bangor, it is impossible to ignore Bangor University. Even more so for one of its students, writing in one of its studios, on one of its computers, with its logo sewn on to the side of his jacket – all of which I am, and it is. So it’s no surprise that I won’t be ignoring the university, and in fact I’ll be starting with it. To this end, I spoke with Huw Price, the Professor of Welsh History at Bangor, to learn more. How did the university in Bangor originate? There was a college…

Apologies in advance for the fans of American Horror Story, I am not talking about the Roanoke series. I am going to be delving into the 433-year-old mystery of the disappearance of the Lost Roanoke Colony. The Roanoke Colony refers to two separate attempts of permanent English settlement in North America; both attempts were led by Sir Walter Raleigh. The first colony was established by Governor Ralph Lane in 1585. This colony’s main failure was due to not only a lack of supplies and bad relations with local Native Americans, but Lane, whilst waiting for a resupply mission, decided to…

As we swiftly enter a new decade, you may notice certain elements of society that remain the same, but there is potential room for change with others. The television license is a price many of us are willing (or unwilling) to pay in order to source entertainment value directly from our living rooms. But in a society where entertainment grows ever more portable, could the time to say goodbye to the old box be approaching? Culture secretary Nicky Morgan made a recent statement claiming ‘we must all be open-minded about the future of the license fee at this point’, implying…

Brimming with hilarious one-liners (‘Wash your hands you detty pig’ will forever be written on toilet doors) and packed with innuendos, the return of Sex Education has proven it to be a Netflix teen drama like no other. Following the tradition set by American cult classics such as The Breakfast Club, its success can owe a lot to its authentic portrayal of life as a British adolescent as well as the obvious scenes of a sexual nature the characters find themselves in. Fully aware of its popularity, I tend to avoid shows with settings like this, due to their tendency…

Fantasy is one of the most popular genres when it comes to reading and even if it’s not your favourite, you can guarantee that you have read a fantasy novel at some point. Whether it be the classic Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with other Tolkien works such as the Silmarillion, the collection of notes for the world of Lord of the Rings, or maybe you were a bigger fan of the Harry Potter series, having grown up alongside the characters. Whichever you prefer, this collection of recommendations may help with getting you into more fantasy series and growing…

With us already two months into 2020, you may have already started on your reading for the year, and if not, don’t worry; you have another ten months to do so. However, if you are like me and read a lot of books during the year (hoping you don’t get into a big reading slump) or just have a terrible memory, you can sometimes lose track of how much you’ve read so far in the year. So, here are a few suggestions on how you could track your reading this year. Goodreads: Goodreads is one of the most accessible ways…

After entering a new decade, we are also in the midst of the beginning of the next generation of gaming, and with it there’s a lot of new things that each company is bringing to the table. While Sony has effectively become radio silent, and Nintendo revealing that they won’t be moving away from the ever-popular Nintendo Switch, Microsoft seem to be much more aggressive in their approach. Xbox Series X In December, Microsoft announced the official title of their next generation ‘Project Scarlet’ console. Titled ‘Xbox Series X’, Microsoft has revealed some information regarding the new console, mainly its…

Microtransactions have become a massive factor in gaming during the last decade. That’s not to say that they were never present, but they were never really as aggressive as they are now. Microtransactions were mostly found in mobile games and free-to-play games, but it was at the beginning of the 2010s that they caused a great divide in the gaming community. However, are they as bad now as they have been during the last ten years? So the first instance that really brought microtransactions into full-priced triple-a titles was in 2014 with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare which introduced Supply…

One of the most recognisable directing styles in the world is that of director/producer Michael Bay, the former music video director who has gone on to create box office behemoths over the past 25 years. However, where he has generally had financial success his films have often been torn down by critics and as a result only 3 of his 14 features have achieved over a 50% critic rating by Rotten Tomatoes. His work has been criticised for having lacklustre plots, poor acting and in some circles he has even been accused of racism and sexism by some of his…

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