This years Frankfurt Motors Show was all about plug-in hybrids. You could hardly get between stands for falling over power cables left lying around to underline that fact that you could plug the car at the end of them into a wall socket to charge its batteries and get some zero-tailpipe emissions motoring done. Of course it wasn't all hybrids, but it was impossible to navigate the halls and not come away with the impression that in ten years time most of us will be driving cars we can charge like our mobile phones even if they still have petrol or diesel engines under the bonnet.
Like Hoover, Jaffa Cake and Airfix the word Kindle has become synonymous with eBook readers despite there being a number of other devices available from the likes of Kobo, Nook and Sony. Now the most popular of them all, the backlit Kindle Paperwhite, has had a major overhaul which promises a host of new features and an all new display. Is that enough for the Paperwhite to keep its crown as King of the eReaders?
I've never been quite sure what the Arctic Monkeys were all about. When they first broke back in 2006 they were clearly an indi band but then in 2009 they turned to Josh Homme to produce their new album. Under the guidance of the Queens of the Stone Age frontman that they performed a stylistic u-turn with 2009's Humbug, ditching the indie sound of their first two albums for a much darker, more ominous rock soundscape. So is AM more of the 2006 or 2009 Monkey's. Well, it's 2009 again, and then some.
With a dedicated fan base, a European tour supporting L.A Guns and offers from half a dozen record labels under their belt, Damn Dice is about to release a new 6 track EP called Wild ‘N’Ready. Relatively new to the music scene (the band formed in 2011), Damn Dice have quickly gained respect among music fans, musicians and critics alike with positive notices flooding in even from big names like Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe and Beau Hill of Beau Hill Productions (Alice Cooper, Europe, Warrant, and even Stevie Nicks!).
Taking as their influences such modern and classic bands as Bon Jovi, All American Rejects and Skid Row, The Brink has certainly mastered a vibrant, kick-ass rock and roll sound. Knocking out ballsy, head-banging rock ballads-perhaps better suited to a stadium and accompanied by bright lights and a healthy dose of pyrotechnics- they've already built themselves a hearty fan-base on both a local and national level.
Every Saturday we'll be posting a music video by a new and upcoming band that we thinks deserve your attention for at least four minutes. We kick off with the video for Campfire by the Satellite Stories. Campfire is the first single from the band's second album which is due for release in November.
Check out below the video for some UK tour dates later this month and in the New Year.
Calling an artist "the new" someone can often be a kiss of death but after the first play of Joy of Nothing I immediately thought "blimey, the new Van Morrison!". Joy of Nothing is actually Foy Vance's second album, the first, Hope, was released all the way back in 2007. Since then he's released the odd EP but nothing really substantive. You could have been forgiven for thinking he'd given up on the day job. Has the wait been worth it? Hell yes, the new album is quite simply superb.
1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war depression led to a vision of a better, fairer, more just society. The spirit of the age was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper. Director Ken Loach has used footage from Britain's regional and national film archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative.
We like to champion new British talent here at My Dad Rocks and Caleidra fits that bill to a tee. Still only just 17 this young lady has already been the subject of some pretty heavy coverage from the mainstream media and got her first break after her GCSE music coursework led to her being spotted performing on TV by producer John McLaughlin, famous for his work with 911, Busted and Westlife. McLaughlin, in his own words, "decided he just had to work with her”.
Smartwatches are all the rage at the moment. Wrist-mounted Bluetooth adjuncts to your smartphone the idea is that can use them to read e-mail, check incoming caller IDs and even access your apps all while leaving your precious phone in bag or pocket. It's not a new idea, Sony has been pitching its LiveView and SmartWatch devices for a few years now and there are numerous efforts from independents, many KickStarter funded. To be frank all have been pretty poor. But now the really big boys are getting in on the game. Apple is rumoured to be working on an iWatch while Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Gear.
Spain is not the first place you think of as the home of inventive indie bands but that is precisely where The Dirt Tracks hail from and their new single is rather interesting not just from a music perspective. The first cut from their forthcoming debut album Kaleidoscope has been produced by David Giménez Valiente and blends two songs into one. One via the left stereo track, the other via the right. Strange huh? But stay with me.
This is the first in a new occasional series where My Dad Rocks scribblers are invited to knock together a brief introduction to a recording artist they love but think criminally unknown here in the UK. Our resident music expert Jim gets the ball rolling with a look at American country-rock singer Chris Knight.
Chris Knight is a country rock singer/songwriter from the tiny mining town of Slaughters in Kentucky whose music has often invited comparisons with the likes of Steve Earle, John Prine and even Bruce Springsteen.
If by the artists they have supported shall ye know them then 19-year old Gabriella Jones is someone to keep an eye on because her most recent recent support gig was opening for Beyonce at the LG Arena in Birmingham. Since starting to sing professionally Jones has also performed alongside Rihanna, The Killers, Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi. And she's found time to release an EP and double A-side single while working with the renowned producer John McLaughlin. Busy girl.
For anyone who travels overseas a lot a dual-SIM phone can be a real benefit because you can divert your data through a local carrier while still taking calls on your regular, roaming number. This is particularly handy with modern smartphones as there is nothing worse than stepping off a plane in parts foreign only to lobotomize your all-singing, all-dancing device by turning the data feed off. But let us say you want a dual-SIM smartphone with a big screen but you only have £200 to play with. You probably think you've no chance, but Archos has just the phone for you in the 50 Platinum.
Unless you really, really know your cars spotting the difference between the original Range Rover Sport and a Range Rover proper was a damnably difficult task. Even when the two were parked side-by-side it wasn't easy. Second time around though and it's a different story. In large part that's down to the Range Rover Evoque which is selling like hot cakes and clearly shows that a Range Rover-badged motor with a touch of style is an attractive offer even if the price is a bit on the high side. So it's perhaps not too surprising what what we have in the Mk. 2 Range Rover Sport is a car based on the Range Rover and sharing more than passing visual similarity to the funky Evoque. As a recipe that certainly works for me.
To some the definitive bedsit band, all navel gazing and no substance, to others brilliant poetic storytellers recounting the pain and travails of everyday life and the champions of the outsider, the excluded and those on the fringe of the cool set. To be honest I tend to the latter view. I wouldn't call myself a die hard B&B fan but there's a poignancy and wistfulness in their songwriting and performances that you'd have to be a heartless clod to not recognise. This new collection of 19 rarities, collectibles, B-sides and non-album tracks taken from the past decade of the band’s career won't change anyone's opinion of the them but there are still some cracking songs here.
Some films would never work if the lead character was recast and such a movie is R.I.P.D. (that’s the Rest In Peace Department) which is dominated by Jeff Bridges’ gloriously over the top performance as long time dead Western lawman Roycephus “Roy” Pulsifer. This 96-minute comedic romp concerns recently deceased Boston cop Nick (Ryan Reynolds) who after being betrayed and shot by his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon, sadly showing no more engagement or range than he does in the EE commercials) discovers that the Hereafter has its own police force.
A quick stroll down any high-street will demonstrate that big, garish, visually declamatory headphones are all the rage. But what if your main concerns are value, convenience and sound quality rather than telling the world and his dog that you have more money than sense and that you think Dr. Dre actually has anything more to do with the headphones that carry the Beats name other than him signing the licencing deal with the manufacturers? If they are then can I suggest you check out the K451 headphones from AKG?
Earlier in the year Renault cut back on its UK range quite brutally making some people wonder in the French car maker was thinking about ducking out of the British market altogether. Not a chance. What La Reggie is doing is focusing in what it does best, small cars like the Megane and excellent new Clio, the electric Zoe, the budget Dacia range and now its funky looking entry into the small MPV/SUV/hatchback arena, the Captur (pronounced Capture).
Any film with a cast of two is unusual, but when those two are Hollywood heavy-hitters George Clooney and Sandra Bullock we are navigating close to the shores of the downright unique. The premise of Alfonso Cuarón's (Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) new movie is the struggle for survival after an accident in orbit leaves novice medical engineer Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) and seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) tumbling through space in head-spinning and stomach-heaving fashion.