Friday, 13 January 2017

Humans 2.0: Review and Giveaway

Humans Series 2 Episode 2

Synth or human? Where do your loyalties lie and how far are you prepared to go to protect your principles and the ones you love? Humans 2.0 is where it all begins. The lines are drawn in the sand and relationships are put to the test.

Reeling from the events in the first season, the Hawkins family are struggling to put the pieces back together in their fragile suburban existence. Can they protect their Synth friends and allies or is it time to protect their children?

Humans Series 2 Episode 2

Meanwhile, Mia (Gemma Chan) thinks she has a real chance at love and Niska (Emily Berrington) walks away to protect the one she loves. The Synths are becoming conscious and everything is at stake.

Humans is set in the not too distant future. We’ve moved beyond smart phones and the must have accessory is a Synth to meet all your needs. They look, sound and feel just like humans but little do we suspect that the AI divide has finally been breached.

Humans Series 2 Episode 2

I adore Colin Morgan and loved him the moment he appeared on screen in the title role in Merlin. I knew I would not be disappointed with Humans but the first season exceeded even my highest expectations. I did wonder what they could do in the second season to improve the formula but it is all change. From Synth consciousness to the mysterious Dr Athena Morrow, everything about Humans 2.0 was more entertaining and fascinating than the first season.

Humans 2.0 C4SP019 3D

Never one to keep my passions to myself, I have decided to share the love and I am giving away a copy of Channel 4’s Humans 2.0 on DVD. Enter using the Gleam widget below.

Humans 2.0: DVD Giveaway

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Make a Living in the Music Industry

Jean-Michel Jarre in concert

Are you unhappy with your current career choice? Are you trying to find a different career path that will be more fulfilling for you? If this is the case, getting a job that involves working in some facet of the music business could be exactly what you are looking for. This is especially true if you have been a music lover for your entire life. There is no reason you should be relegated to only singing along with songs you hear on the radio. You can actually be a cog in the machine that allows this great music to be created. Here are several of the best examples of various ways that you will be able to make money in the music industry.

1. Work for music artists as a publicist

Publicists are an essential part of the careers of musical artists. This is because an artist will need to go out and promote their new music before it is released. This is because it is essential that the musician gets the word out to the public that their new music is available. A publicist is responsible for setting up various interviews and media appearances so the musician can promote their latest release. The publicist also negotiates the parameters of the interview. For example, there might be something the the artist's past that he or she does not want to talk about. The publicist will talk to the person who will be conducting the interview and make it clear what subjects are off limits and cannot be discussed.

2. Working as an engineer or a producer in a recording studio will allow you to be a part of the creative process

Do you have the desire to work closely with the musicians while they are actually creating their music? It would be in your best interests to receive the necessary training to work as a recording studio engineer or a producer. The producer is basically as powerful in a recording studio as a director is on a movie set. He decides on any changes that need to be made in order to make the songs sound as good as possible. Many musicians will produce their own songs because they do not want someone telling them how their music should sound. However, some of the most successful musicians in the world still welcome the opinions of a skilled producer. A studio engineer is the person who oversees and operates all of the equipment in the studio. The mixing board is a huge part of this. He can move the switches on the board to bring various instruments and vocals up or down in the mix according to the instructions of the producer.

3. Manage the careers of musicians

Having a great manager is essential to the success of any musician. A manager oversees every aspect of the careers of his or her clients. The manager will negotiate various deals on behalf of the musician. A road manager will put together concert tours and book venues where the musician will perform. Coran Capshaw built an amazing career by managing Dave Matthews band and many other musical artists who are known around the world. Capshaw is loved by his clients. Being a manager of musicians can be a challenging, yet rewarding career.

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Monday, 9 January 2017

La La Land: An Entirely Subjective Review

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in La La Land

I have a problem. I really want to add my voice to the chorus of people raving about La La Land but there is absolutely nothing I can say that hasn't been said already. Heck, they even cleared up at the Golden Globes last night so if you weren’t already planning on seeing it, you are now.

But I loved it and it is my favourite film so far of 2017 and I want to gush about it. That's the problem when I love something, objectively flies out of the window and I'm left with little that actually would interest other people. 

So here goes: an entirely subjective review. 

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

I've wanted to see La La Land since the very first moment I heard of it last year. It had hit the film festival circuit and writer after writer was returning loved up and glowing reviews. I’m surprised I wanted to see it at all really, especially at the cinema because I'm not a great fan of musicals.

I certainly didn't expect to fall in love with an all-singing, all-dancing Hollywood musical. 

But there is something about La La Land. The story is as old as Hollywood itself: an aspiring actress meets an aspiring jazz club owner and the two refuse to fall in love.  But this story hasn't been told with Ryan Gosling before, whom I adore, and Emma Stone. Everything, from the locations to the wardrobe to the gridlocked drivers dancing on the highway in the opening scene is simply ridiculous and sublime. 

Ryan Gosling is Sebastian in La La Land

And then there is the talent - Gosling's fingers flying over piano keys, the duets and the perfectly choreographed tap dances that made me want to learn to dance. I was tempted not to find out whether or not it was all Hollywood effects but I caved in and am happy to confirm that it was all really Ryan Gosling playing that piano.

I have to add, it wasn't all sunshine and roses with the whole film and La La Land broke my heart into tiny pieces at the end and then trampled all over them with a glimpse of what could have been. Still, this remains my favourite film of the awards circuit so far and I love it almost as much as I loved Brooklyn last year (a film that I adored so much that I absolutely couldn't write a review about it). 

I know. Worst review ever but if you’re looking for an uplifting and incredibly fun film that will make you fall in love all over again and want to watch every single classic film that ever came out of Hollywood, then this is the film for you.

La La Land will be released on 13 January 2017 in the UK.

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Reviewed: Jack Croxall's Anchor Leg: A Sci-fi Novel ★★★★☆

Anchor Leg  - Jack Croxall

The Anchor Leg: the final stage of the Relay between the planets. Situated between Ceres, Jupiter and Saturn, it is where the Charybdis is stationed, transporting personnel and equipment to the mining operations located there. Seren Temples is a security apprentice on board the ship, reporting to the head of security in a seemingly routine post. That is until the Charybdis is mysteriously thrown off course and they detect a distress signal from the Scylla, a small VIP envoy ship that has no business being this far out in the Relay.

Seren and the rest of the security team board the Scylla to discover a junkyard of corpses and twisted debris floating in the zero-G environment. What happened on the ill-fated Scylla? What is the significance of the vial of frozen human blood found on board the ship? These are questions that will have to wait because soon malfunctions, riots and incursions occur on the Charybdis, putting the whole future of the Relay into jeopardy.

In Jack Croxall’s Anchor Leg, scarce resources on Earth have caused humanity to spill out into the solar system, engaging in mining operations in the Relay and eternally searching for a way to colonise Mars. It is a sci-fi novel that explores the end point of humanity’s competition for resources and the follies and lies of the super wealthy.

Our protagonist Seren Temples is seventeen years old, haunted by the horrific events she witnessed on Earth, where the poorest and most disenfranchised are forced into township subsectors, walled and overcrowded slums that pervade Eurasia and Britain. The Relay is the farthest point that humanity has reached into the solar system but Seren is not sure it is far enough in her drive to run away.

Anchor Leg by Jack CroxallI thoroughly enjoyed Anchor Leg. I like to say I’m a fan of sci-fi but as much as I love the bright lights and costumes in films like Star Trek, I know absolutely nothing about the science behind the fiction. The good news is that you don’t really need to with Anchor Leg but the book did send me searching for more information on EN Drives which revealed that we are closer than we think to starting space exploration.

What I liked about Anchor Leg is that it was effortlessly diverse, even introducing a new minority in the Spacers who might spend their lives in space without ever setting foot on their home planet.

I appreciated Seren’s relationship with Abril Antonio. So many YA novels focus entirely on romance (which, to be fair, is pretty much all I focused on from the age of 13) but it was good to see a situation where the love was obviously there but not a central plot device. I absolutely loved the LGBT aspect of their relationship. More of this in YA books please authors!

As a protagonist, Seren’s character was wonderfully developed. Not only does she grow and develop perspective regarding her past experiences, but we also get to see her rise to the challenge of leadership when it is unexpectedly thrust upon her.

Jack Croxall’s Wye remains one of my favourite books of all time and reading Anchor Leg has made me very excited about what he will release in future. I’m thrilled to say that I haven’t read his book Tethers yet, so at least there is that to look forward to while I wait for his next release. What impresses me most is how Jack switches between different genres; he writes for the young adult market but his genres have covered steampunk, dystopian and sci-fi so far.

I give Anchor Leg by Jack Croxall an excellent four out of five stars and would recommend to fans of sci-fi and young adult fiction.

★★★★☆

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© 2005 - Mandy Southgate | Addicted to Media

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