Maren Morris’ Hero – Country’s Getting Cooler

Maren Morris and her self-styled brand of country music are tricky to label. Not only does she like that inability to put her in a box, but so do her growing army of fans. Her debut major album, Hero, is a confident stride on to the mainstream stage with a distinct style that sets her apart from the moment she opens her mouth. It says something about how hotly anticipated Hero is, that her recent collaboration with Dierks Bentley on … Read More

What I’m learning from 1880 letters

posted in: Column & Life, Lifestyle | 2

  WANT AN AUDIO VERSION OF THIS POST? SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. A few months ago, buoyed by the reminder that I’d always wanted to start a collection of vintage and antique ephemera, I bought a bundle of letters on Etsy. They were a punt of a purchase. I knew the 50+ letters and postcards had been penned during the late 1870s and early 1880s by a woman living in Pennsylvania, whose husband was working away in … Read More

Bare Bones – Bobby Bones Book Review

At the time when I was either in Middle Tennessee or making plans to book more extortionately priced flights back to Nashville, WSIX was the best company. While I was there, mornings in the car were soundtracked by the country music radio station that made me feel less like a visitor and more like a resident with every traffic update, weather report and new single I had no hope of hearing at home. On glumly returning to the UK, listening … Read More

Life is Strange (Spoiler-Free Review) – they’ve just got so many feelings

Life is Strange – the decision based graphic adventure game from Square Enix – slipped past my gaze during its ten-month 2015 release. It’s a video game so engrossing and evocative I wish I’d paid it more attention when its name was first floating around social media. I also wish I’d written it. Having only now completed all five episodes over the space of a few weeks, I’m still feeling its emotional impact several days after closing the book on … Read More

Preacher – Rogen & Goldberg hit the bullseye

Vertigo’s Preacher comic book series, first published over a six year period from 1995, has two shining lights: it’s effortlessly cool to the point of privately painting yourself into the panels, and it’s unceasingly compelling. As a more recent reader, the discipline needed in putting one book down and not diving head-first into the next in the interest of making it last wasn’t always summoned. The agony of reading Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s clever melding of words and artwork … Read More

Why we should let teachers keep their regional accents

posted in: Column & Life, Lifestyle | 0

According to a report by linguistics expert Dr Alex Baratta at the University of Manchester, student teachers from the North of England feel pressured into relinquishing their regional accents for one more clipped. Mentors have suggested to some during training that their original accents weren’t clear enough to be understood by pupils, some have been ridiculed for their accents and were made to feel inferior, while in one case a participant reported that an interviewer contemplated stopping an interview due … Read More

Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising – Bare Torsos and Ninja Feminism

Much is written about comedy’s power to deliver important messages and instigate debate while wrapped in a duvet of laughs so cosy we’re relaxed into discussing contentious issues. Almost like swallowing an opioid before receiving bad news, it chills us out. Chris Rock’s monologue on diversity at the 2016 Oscars, for instance, packed an applause-worthy punch while still making most of the audience smile along with him as he ripped their collective industry apart. The weight of balance between fun and … Read More

April 2016 Comics – Hits and Misses

Most Promising New Series – Poe Dameron (Marvel) When I heard that your boyfriend, Poe Dameron, was getting his own comic series I was giddy with anticipation. I’m yet to find anyone whose heart doesn’t thump for Oscar Isaac in his orange flight suit, exuding rebellious-for-a-good-cause spirit. But what really set my anticipation sensors tingling was the news that Marvel were placing the series in the hands of Charles Soule and Phil Noto. Charles Soule is currently one of their … Read More

1 2 3 4 32