Comparing Critical Perspectives on Pink Floyd’s The Endless River (college)

Released in November last year, the final Pink Floyd album had been sitting around for about 20 years before David Gilmour and Nick Mason decided to released these old sketches to the public. Here are some different critical perspectives from various news papers and blogs on the album. First some positive reviews:

“A good way to call it a day”

This first article is a review in the Guardian newspaper by subeditor Molly Woodcraft. The article seems to have looked at a lot of the facts behind the album as members of the band and personnel for the album have said a lot of the stuff they mentioned in interviews. There is a chance that these fact might also have been included with a press release sent to the paper.

I feel that the review focuses too much though on the redeeming qualities of the album and doesn’t mention the cons at all such as the album being based on material that was essentially thrown away during the Division bells sessions and so if it wasn’t good enough then why is it good enough now. You could argue that they really released the album for the money alone. However to give them the benefit of the doubt they both seem like good people and released the album for the sake of former band member Richard Wright who died in 2008.

“Pink Floyd: The Endless River – Review”

The next article is a review from the Financial Times written by Ludovic Hunter. The article mainly mentions the feeling of loss that reoccurs throughout Floyd’s discography and history, making mention of original front man Syd Barret’s departure and ruined mental state and also Roger Waters bitter leave after falling out with the rest of the band. This review also mentions the fact that the album was intended mainly to be a tribute to the late Richard wright.

The article itself is quite short, although it may be a shortened version of the one published in the paper that day as some websites do that from time to time. Again it is also too positive focusing only on the angelic idea of there being a new Pink Floyd album making the reviewer blind to the cons.

Both these reviews seems quite credible being from well established news papers but do give to much of an angelic view to the album instead of being constructive and focused. To Balance out the positive, lets see some negative:

“Boring and desperately disappointing”

Oh boy, this one sounds fun. This review comes from The Independent and is written by Andy Gill, a clear hater of anything post waters for the Floyd. The whole article is barely an actual review in the sense that it is just one biased opinion and does not really look that much at facts with the exception of the backstory of the album. Honestly, did David Gilmour shit in this guys coffee or something?

After many dated terms and half baked insults about the music he even makes a reference to original front man Syd Barret with the line “It would take a Barret-load of drugs to make this sound remotely interesting”, a reference to Barret’s mental deterioration which has been blamed on drug use.

“Pink Floyd drifts towards nothingness with ‘The Endless River'”

We move across the Atlantic for our next stop, a review from the Los Angeles Times written by Mikael Wood. Again i think Gilmour dropped his guts in this guys mug or something as he comes off as one of the post-waters haters, even mention the lack of “bit-sized tunes” such as “Money”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”. These songs while good were all just commercially successful where as something such as “Echoes” is disputably one of their best works in terms of composition, team work, production and lyrical work; all coming from a song approximately 23 minutes long.

Again like before this ‘review’ is hardly that as it is too biased to his own view rather than thinking critically about the album itself. One of the stupidest things he says is that the album should not be called a Pink Floyd album and refers to it as “bait and switch” claiming that the album is a rip off to all Floyd fans. Some people really are not worth the time.

Now one thing is clear, reading those last two reviews my fan boy nature came out to defend the Floyd as best as i could so my view to is going to be bias on the album, therefore i shall try to conclude in a constructive and balanced way. But first, one more review:

Prog Review 290 – The Endless River – Pink Floyd

This review comes from you-tuber Darren Lock from his series Prog Review. His review while giving it a lower rating looks at both the positive and negative in a balanced and constructive manor. To name a few things, he mentions about how to mixing and flow of the album is good. Looking at his personal feelings about the album i get the sense that he has listened to the album and that though i disagree with some of his points i can respect his view more by the way he delivers the review.

Conclusion

In my opinion i like the album, but it is by far a ‘good’ album. When they announced the album and slowly released interviews they mentioned it would be finished version of jam sessions from the archives and Division Bell sessions and so it would be stupid to expect a masterpiece. I feel that these reviews from the newspapers are too biased whether it be a post-waters Floyd hater or a Floydian fan boy but the review from You-tuber Darren Lock is more balanced and constructive.

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Comparing Two Events (college)

Below are comparisons of two contrasting festivals:

Download

Download Festival is a rock and metal music held in Donington Park.  The event has an age restriction of 17+ (children 16 and under can attend accompanied by an adult of 18+, Children under 5 are not permitted).

The events team has a contact email for any lost property and also provides special facilities and services for disabled festival attendees.

Each Year they donate a large amount of their profit towards the neighboring communities who will then use the money to improve local areas such as schools, medical centres etc… This will help the event’s team gain a good relationship with the local communities and ensure that the festival can keep taking place.

Other facilities include the camping grounds. People who purchase camping space will need to bring everything. The grounds will have washing and toilet facilities. There is also a “quiet” camping area in a separate field with a 00:00 curfew which is good for younger attendees and families. For £16 you can also book a campsite locker to store valuables such as phones, jewelry, cameras etc… Each locker has a usb charging port in so you can charge devices.

Aside from rock and metal bands there are also rock DJ sets played afterhours in the Doghouse, a local venue.

Because download showcases a specific genre of music they need to show it within the design of their media coverage. Their website design uses darker colors, fire effect borders and graphics of “hellish” hounds. If someone was to stumble upon their website they certainly would not mistake it for a pop or EDM music festival. This design will also help draw in the specific crown they are looking for as people familiar with the genres of music will see the designs as similar to some of their favorite bands album artwork or media designs.

Glastonbury

Glastonbury festival is a music festival that takes place in Pilton. The festival donates money and works with charities Water Aid, Oxfam and Green Peace. Because of the last one, people who travel to the festival via public transport or bike receive a special ‘Green Traveller’ discount for the festival. This discount is good for encouraging attendees to be greener and help the environment.

The festival showcases a wide variety of music from pop and rock music to club music meaning they can attract a much larger audience. Their diverse entertainment however is not very well conveyed through their website and media as their designs include bright colors and simplistic fonts. This design conveys the ‘pop’ feeling, which works for some genres but not for something such as metal music.

The website has an online registry for disabled attendees who will need special assistance and facilities. This however comes with a warning that with the venue being a field and unpredictable weather there may be complications with movement and access around the site for wheelchair users.

Because Glastonbury showcases a wide range of genres they can attract a lot of attendees. Even with the media and website design aside it Is a well known festival and so they do not need to work as hard to advertise.

Noobs on the NSR – a Radio Show Review by Alex Peter Josephson (college)

Listen to the show here.

As I tuned into NSR just the other day a mix came on by four of the college’s students. The show begins with no opening but with a short introduction to their first song ’18 and Life’ by Skidrow, a song about a young man being imprisoned for murder. Starting of the show this way is kinda dull as anyone listening might not know what the show is about. The Show itself follows a simple format of introducing each song, playing the song and then each other presenter giving their own opinion about the song. While there is nothing wrong with this format however it is executed in a clumsy way.

Their next song is ‘Kings of Beer’ by Tankard, a song that follows ’18 and Life’ well being the same genre and style. Now despite the lack of opening just by the first two songs listeners should be able to gather what genres they will hear… Or at least you would think.

Thirdly is the song ‘Run with the Hunted’ by Sky Hill, this song while still technically rock music stands out instantly with it’s alternative style rather than heavy metal. Despite this, it is still a nice song and somehow does fit with the show.

Now would be a good time to mention that the songs for the show were each chosen by the four presenters evenly meaning that their personal tastes are brought to the show. This does work for most of the songs with the exception of songs brough on by both Joseph and Ryan as they stick out, especially with Ryan’s songs (You’ll see what I mean).

The fourth song is ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd, again sticking out from the first two but still somehow fitting. This song was chosen by Joseph and you will notice a “dad’s record collection” vibe to his choices, all of which being from the 70’s and being prog. This is one of my favourite songs from the set, but this is inevitable accounting to the fact that I am a major Floyd fan and have been since The Wall was released in 1979.

After a fantastic solo from David Gilmour and more rubbish commentary we move onto ‘People = Shit’ by Slipknot. Oh dear. This song instantly displays terrible mixing within the show as I found myself turning the radio down 20 dB lest the neighbours complain. It feels as if the editing consisted of sequencing only and not mixing the audio to give a consistent dynamic range. Going back to the commentary they clearly recorded it with no effort as it sounds like they passed around an SM57 with no pop filter or shield and just gave a brief view on each song. A better way to have recorded the show is to get a condenser with an omnidirectional pick-up field and talk with that in the middle of them, but that’s just how I would do it anyway.

Our next delight is ‘Put Your Death Mask On’ by Wednesday 13. This song returns the to the style of the first two songs. They should have really thought about their choices more to make the style consistent. If you think that all the songs so far are fine together (and I know I said they worked but I can go back on myself) then think again because after this comes ‘The Next Episode (Remix)’ by San Holo. This song is a remix of a Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg song…. Yes, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg. Now tell me how did we get from rock and heavy metal to hip-hop? Well that fault belongs to Ryan, one of the four presenters. While this song sticks out more than Kim Kardashian’s ass it is still a good song… But 0 points for consistency.

We then return thankfully to rock music with ‘Watcher of the Skies’ by Genesis. The song unfortunately is the previously unreleased single version as opposed to the 7 minute album version but the length suits radio more, that and this version is interesting to hear. After that we have ‘My Name is Jonas’ by Weezer. This song again fits better with the first two songs and was a good choice for the show. This can also be said about ‘Milk Lizard’ by The Dillinger Escape Plan. This song has a very experimental style to it which wins me over being a prog fan. After these three songs I felt like the show was becoming more consistent in style, how can they fuck it up?

Well… ‘Raw’ by Bad Meets Evil, that’s how. This is another song from Ryan. Although it is a good song like his last choice ‘The Next Episode (Remix)’ it again sticks out so much, how hard is it to be consistent? You pick a genre, then pick your songs. This inconsistency continues with ‘Oxygene Part 4’ by Jean Michel Jarre. This electronic gem is a favourite of mine but seriously guys, pick songs that compliment each other. It seems that I am focusing too much on the inconsistent nature of the show’s music choices so to be constructive, maybe they could have done a prog show as the style is quite universal. That way “Oxygene Part 4” would have fit in being ambient electronic, a genre that has origins from progressive rock.

The next song almost gave me heart attack as it exploded into my ears. This was ‘Coldly Calculated Design’ by The Faceless. Again fitting in more with the opening songs but maybe a bit too heavy, especially following Jean Michel Jarre. Still a decent song with again some interesting compositional elements to it.

This is followed up by ‘Dragon Slayer’ by Ninja Sex Party, a band with a pretty funny name. This song though sounds like it was ripped straight from the music video which there is nothing wrong with in a way but couldn’t they have edited out the opening and closing sounds? There really is no excuse for that lazy editing. Ranting aside, this song is a parody satirising songs where the protagonist is bragging to a women about the stuff they have done to try and get into their pants. Quite funny when you listen to the lyrics. The Lead singer from this band is also the lead singer from Skyhill who was featured earlier within their mix.

After some more bland commentary we move onto ‘Know your Enemy’ by Rage Against the Machine and I Love this song. Rage against the Machine’s funky style always gets me moving just from Timmy C’s great bass playing. This is followed by the final song ‘Funny Ways’ by Gentle Giant. This song is a decent choice to end the set but again the lack of mixing is evident as the song is really quiet. It’s as if the group slacked off for most of the time and then their teacher informed them of the deadline so they rushed to finish on time. Idiots!

The show ends so abruptly after the group converse. They could have at least recorded a short opening and closing then put some sort of stock music or whatever, maybe it would have sounded a bit more professional. Despite this and the inconsistencies it is still worth a listen for fans of rock music (who also like a bit of hip-hop) and is a good listen if you are doing house work or typing up a review under a fake name of your own radio show made for college…

With that note, I conclude.

Another Metal Night at Bar 42 (college)

As part of our college course we will be putting on a gig at Bar 42 in Worthing. Line up will include Hole in the Sky, Enslavement, Vile Discectomy and Reminiscent.

The gig will Start at 07:45 on 15th December and will have a £3 Entry fee.

The next step is promoting our gig through social media, flyers and also a short radio ad that we hope to feature on the NSR (Northbrook Student Radio).

Event Page

Members of an Event Management Team (college)

Events Management Team

Chairman/Chair Women – This person is the head of the team. They manage the other members and organise meetings to discuss how each member’s work is going.

Treasurer – The role for the treasurer is to allocate funds to each other member of the team and also manage all other finances for the event. They too must be in contact with every other member of the team.

Secretary – The secretaries’ role is to document the movements and activities for everything going on within the team. This helps organise tasks and also makes it easier to recap after the event.
Marketing & Promotion – This section of the team has the task of researching different marketing techniques such as what genres of music are popular. These techniques will help the event gain popularity. The Promotion side will deal with handing out fliers/posters, sorting out TV and Radio advertisements etc…

Promotions Manager – This person is in charge of the promotions and will control the promotions team. Smaller event’s teams will most likely have only one or two people in charge of promotions, in which case there is generally no exact promotions manager or the person in charge of promoting might be supervised by the chairman.

Arts Team – The arts team will be in charge of designing the posters, website/page (i.e. Facebook, Event Blog).

Bookings – The bookings team are in charge of booking entertainment, stalls and various other things or the event. They might also book sound engineers if need be.

Sound Engineer(s)
a sound engineer is in charge of engineering the sound during the event including doing sound check and setting up equipment. This is not an essential role within the team because most venues have in house engineers and you can also hire teams of engineers to work when your event is held in somewhere such as a park.

Public Relations ­- This person will be in charge of liaising with the local communities around the area of which the event is to be held. They are responsible for making sure that the local communities are ok with the event and also get any feed back afterwards to see if there were any problems and what they could improve if they were to hold another event. This person will also meet with the local council to get permission to hold an event and also sort out things such as security and public services.