Musical Discovery: “Bad Dream” by Chlöe Howl

Critics’ Choice Award nominee Chlöe Howl has released numerous singles since her 2014 nomination. From deep bass tracks such as Paper Heart and No Strings to upbeat, rhythmic pop in tracks such as Rumour and Disappointed. Now, the soulful singer is back with her new track from her debut album, Bad Dream.

Like Howl’s previous singles, the track begins with a driving drum beat and underlying guitar riff. Then Chlöe’s vocals are introduced with the typical soul and a slight vocal distortion. 

As for the chorus, it feels more laid-back than previous ballads. However, that is not to say that the chorus is not good. It features commendable high notes, as well as a catchy melody and rhythm.

With the singer releasing occasional singles throughout, fans like myself are eager to hear news of a debut album.

What do you think of the song? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: A Streamlined Few Months…

It’s scary to say that in two weeks time, I would have finished my time in compulsory education.

At that point, I will be on study leave, preparing for the May and June exams to arrive… 

But nevertheless, once this brief moment of stress and panic over exams may happen in May and June, I then have the months of July and August to relax and look forward to university in September.

So come the end of May, I’ll have this weird moment of freedom. There’s no more work to do (for a while, at least). I don’t really know how I’ll react to that – I always like being busy!

Anyway, I can tell that the weeks will fly by and from the stress of exams to saying goodbye to compulsory education, it’s going to be a tad emotional…

How has your week been? Comment below!

Liam

Blog Awards #19: The Versatile Blogger Award

So on Monday I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the brilliant Raven over at Just Write About It. Thanks so much, Raven! Be sure to check out her blog, folks!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

(Source: Versatile Blogger Awards)

The Nominees:

  1. Into the Bookcase
  2. Voyageur Kalee
  3. Thrift O’Clock
  4. Jenny in Neverland
  5. Cow Heart Girl
  6. Tyranny of Pink
  7. Kirsty Ralph
  8. Rachael Amy Reads
  9. Bethan Likes
  10. Appreciate the Day
  11. Twenty-Something Sherbet
  12. Mandirito
  13. Jasmin Charlotte
  14. Eagle-Eyed Editor
  15. Qthee

The Facts:

I’ve actually been nominated for awards before that ask for a long of facts about myself. But I’m running out of things to say! So, with me being a fan of random facts (I’m a thinker after all!) here are 2 interesting facts that I hope you’ll find interesting!

  1. Albert Einstein, when he saw his sister for the first time, thought she was a toy. “Where are the wheels?” he asked.
  2. Sherlock Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in the books, and a deerstalker is never specifically mentioned as being the hat Sherlock wears.

So there we go! Congratulations to all 15 nominees, and thanks again to Raven for nominating me!

Liam


Vote for a GCSE in British Sign Language! | The Wednesday Article

Deaf lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, is backing Signature’s campaign to create a GCSE qualification for British Sign Language (BSL).

The campaign is a pitch to Richard Branson, as part of his latest promotion: Pitch to Rich – which allows businesses to pitch new and exciting ideas to the Virgin boss.

Signature is one of the main course providers for BSL qualifications from Level 1 to 6. Now, Signature hope to introduce a GCSE qualification in BSL.

As a deaf young person, Liam strongly supports the idea of a GCSE in BSL.

“I’ve always wanted to learn BSL to communicate with friends,” said Liam. “But it’s just as important for hearing people that they learn BSL, too.”

Members of the public have until the 5th May to vote. The top 150 campaigns will then form a shortlist.

To vote for this campaign, you can click here.

Liam

Musical Discovery: “Treasured Soul” by Michael Calfan

For this week’s Musical Discovery, I discovered a song I think I’ve heard of before.

Towards the end of March, I went to see Madeon live in London (read the post here). Before he came on, his support act, One Bit, performed. If I’m not mistaken, this track, Treasured Soul by Michael Calfan, was on their set list. I was the reminded of it when I overheard it last week.

As the song begins, it’s clear that the track has a strong soul theme. With a light, mellow piano riff alongside an offbeat drum beat, the song starts with the typical 90s dance-soul.

Then, the fitting soul vocals add to this style, and it isn’t long before the track delves into it’s anthem-like chorus. Unlike the recent dance anthems of today, the track’s chorus incorporates the marimba style of African music. This new style creates an exciting new melody that means this song is contender for this year’s summer anthem.

What do you think of the song? Could it be this year’s summer anthem? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: Thoughts on Sherlocked

I heard the news earlier this year, and with a worldwide fanbase, it was to be expected. There is going to be a Sherlock convention.


I have never been to a convention before, but I’ve always been a fan of Sherlock, so I knew it would be a good experience. So I got tickets to attend the convention yesterday, at the ExCel Convention Centre in London.

First off, we had to go on numerous tube lines to get to the venue. This included my first ever visit on the DLR, which was interesting. After a large amount of travelling, we finally arrived at the ExCel to begin our day.

On the inside were lines of restaurants and takeaways, before signs pointed us in the direction of “S5″, the area of the ExCel was to be for the whole weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). As soon as I entered the ‘arena’, I noticed the room was filled with fellow fans (some in impressive cosplay), as well as a large amount of merchandise and elements from the show. We arrived in plenty of time (since the first item on our agenda was to see the Visual Effects Show with Danny Hargreaves), so we went straight to the queue for the autographs to get our free ‘virtual tickets’ for Sue Vertue (Producer) and Steven Moffatt (Co-Writer) autographs.

Although the idea of the ‘virtual ticket’ sounded a bit confusing at the time to a novice convention attendee, it was soon made clear that we can go and do other things with our time and check back regularly for our number to be called. Thankfully, our number for Sue Vertue was in the 30s, so it wasn’t long before we could get her autograph. As for Steven Moffat, we had tickets in the 300s, so that gave us a bit more time to explore.

After looking at other tweets from attendees, a select few did have a few negative things to say – mostly the organisation and price. Personally, I found that there was enough to do in one day (I was not too sure about whether an attendee could be completely entertained for the whole three days), and there were memorable things to do for free (such as see props and get a few autographs). That being said, the rather hefty prices for some autographs, photoshoots and ticket packets were a tad extortionate. Also, I will admit that the organisation wasn’t so good either, as we found with our first talk for the day…

The procedure to get into the main talk stage area, was to go out of S5, and queue inside the large ‘hangar’ of S7. This would then feed out of S7 all the way down to S6, where we can enter. But, when the talk comes to an end, and you have another talk after that, you have to exit through the door on the opposite side and quickly queue up again. It was a bit tiresome.

Anyway, we were fortunate enough to get tickets to talks by both Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott. But before that, we decided to go to the free visual effects show with Danny Hargreaves (a special effects designer who has worked on the likes of Doctor WhoCoronation Street and of course Sherlock). In this very interesting and entertaining talk, we were given demonstrations on how effective gunshot wounds are created in the show, as well as explosions. In particular, *SERIES THREE SPOILER ALERT* there is a scene in His Last Vow where after Sherlock is shot, he falls down and the camera tilts. In an exciting demonstration, we found out that it was actually a rig that Benedict sat on which lowered him to the floor as the camera tilted – fascinating!


It was great as well as Danny himself went back to his stall to demonstrate props to visitors. Later on in the day, I was able to ask him a couple of questions. These included what his most expensive stunt was (to which he said he couldn’t say since it will be coming up soon), what happens if an actor messes up the stunt (they get a strict telling-off!), and how the infamous fire scene from The Empty Hearse was done without harming Martin Freeman (short answer – controlling the fire with coolants and other cool stuff!). Danny was a really nice guy and it was great to find out more about the effects!

Benedict’s talk. Excuse the poor quality photos – the only way I could take photos was by taking a picture of the large screen, which doesn’t work well with iPhones!
Then came the talks. Understandably, Benedict’s was packed. At the start, there was a light show of eager fans wanting to take a photo of Sherlock himself. But then, the host began to ask questions about Benedict’s portrayal of the sleuth before turning the questions to the ecstatic audience. Overall, the talk was entertaining, with a Chewbacca and Smaug impression along the way.


After leaving to queue up again, we were let into Andrew Scott’s talk. Unfortunately, due to the audio set-up, I was unable to hear much of the talk apart from a few sections. In particular, I question I wanted to ask (which another fan managed to ask for me) was how Andrew would differ his performance of Moriarty to his performance of the next Bond villain. There was silence before he said his answer, but I was unable to hear what he said (thanks to the bad audio).


With the main talks done, we had some time to explore the props. There were opportunities to queue up and take a photo of yourself outside the 221B door, which we did and was great fun. As well as that, there were props such as The Lost Vermeer Painting, and the taxi from the first episode, A Study in Pink. You could also see the sets for Mycroft’s Office as well as the actual 221B set. There was even more props in a special Props Museum, which I will talk about later on in this post…


Another exclusive of the event was a special display called John Watson: History of a Hero. This detailed the life of John before his meeting with Sherlock. We find out about his childhood, as well as what caused the shooting in Afghanistan.


Then we had lunch before having another look at merchandise. At the end of the day, I bought the official programme, a pen (of course) and a printed picture which I could use for my autographs. There was also a BBC Shop on site that sold even more goodies, but the book I wanted to buy, The Sherlock Chronicles, was sadly sold out when I arrived.


So we decided to go to the Props Museum. Inside, were numerous props from the series. These ranged from costumes, to newspaper articles, to some of the most famous props from the show. Set in the form of a walk around museum, it was great to see the items up-close.


It wasn’t long before the day was starting to draw to a close, and we had seen it all – apart from the autographs. We went back and quickly joined the queue for Sue Vertue, who was really friendly asking how my day went. Then later on we met Steven Moffat, who gave me some interesting writing advice.

It was also exciting as whilst we were in the queue for Steven, we noticed that his son, Louis Moffatt, was also doing free signings. For those who don’t know, Louis is the actor that played Young Sherlock in Series Three. It was great to meet them, get their autographs for free and add it to my collection.


Overall, I had a great day. It was so great to see actors and props in real-life and feel involved and part of a fandom (as weird as that sounds). Sherlock has always been a favourite show of mine and so it was great to see how it comes together. I’m curious to see if the convention will happen again next year…

Did you go to the Sherlocked Convention? If not, who out of the cast would you most like to meet? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery Posts return to Normal! | The Friday Article

In breaking news, lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell has announced that his Musical Discovery posts will return to normal, after a WordPress update was released recently.

Liam recently made WordPress aware of an issue regarding embedding YouTube links – after the videos he uses in his reviews failed to embed.

After liaising with WordPress support, the blogger helped WordPress to identify the issue, which was resolved in their latest mobile update, version 5.0.

In the update details, WordPress confirmed that the update included a “new multifactor auth support”, “new stats sections”, “a new post details screen” and “improvements to the notification screen”.

After realising the fix, Liam said, “I am thrilled that the YouTube embed issue has finally been resolved. Musical Discovery posts are one of my favourite posts to write on the blog.”

“I’d like to thank the happiness engineers at WordPress for their help and support.” Liam added.

Liam is expected to release his next Musical Discovery post on Monday.

Liam