Archive | April 2018

A list: Go-to songs #2 – 23.4.13

Oh my golly gosh another golden draft, I’m going to schedule this one to go up four years since it was created. Wait it’s 2018 now? Five years since it was created. I was also writing it at 1am, as I had a wild uni life back then.

So these are all songs that were in my regular rotation back in April 2013. Three of them came out that year, I was big into Save Rock and Roll when it came out.

I started this little series to see what my music tastes were like at any given time. The fact that it went unpublished for four five years gives me a chance to line it up with five tunes I have on repeat right now.

Spoilers: all ten songs are pop-punk, and all ten are awesome. Not one of these new songs were released when I started this article. Onwards!

2013 Top Five

S.O.S. – Good Charlotte (Chronicles of Life and Death, 2004)

Ah, revisiting these songs is so fun. Little gem from the Chronicles album, took me a while to find but once I did I couldn’t listen to anything else for like a week.

Alone Together – Fall Out Boy (Save Rock and Roll, 2013) 

This album has fallen off my radar a lot in the last couple of years. Fall Out Boy have released two since then, the newest I haven’t even heard yet. Saw them at Leeds in 2016 and they are still great live, this is still my favourite song from this album and I will be listening to it again once I’m done here.

Aint It Fun – Paramore (Paramore, 2013) 

Now, if I’d remade this list last year there would more than likely be three new Paramore songs on it. After Laughter took a little while to grow on me but it is so good, and such a risk that you can totally see coming now in songs like this one.

Circular Logic – Carridale (Relapse In The River City, 2011)

I have not listened to Carridale once since I left uni. Maybe once. I don’t remember. Anyway, this was just one of those related artists I came across on Spotify. Really good album, haven’t listened in years.

The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy (Save Rock and Roll, 2013) 

Great intro, still a great band, but this year especially I’ve been finding a lot of new bands thanks to the magic of Spotify’s suggested songs and having to drive to work every day.

2018 Top Five

Sister Cities – The Wonder Years (Sister Cities, 2018)

Brand new, had it on constantly since it was released right before my birthday. The Wonder Years are and always will be the best pop-punk band on the planet to me, and fingers crossed I’ll have seen them for the third time before this post goes up.

Royal – Waterparks (Double Dare, 2016)

Pop-punk is a funny genre, one that a lot of (incorrect) people think doesn’t exist at all. This is probably the most out there album I’ve heard since After Laughter. Hoping to see them next year, unless I went to one of the March gigs and have already written about by the time this goes up…

Paradise – Broadside (Paradise, 2017)

A band I hoped would play Slam Dunk actually got announced when I asked them to! One of the aforementioned bands I found on Spotify (I actually have Neck Deep’s newest album to thank for these last three bands).

Mess – Real Friends (The Home Inside My Head, 2016)

Band two that I correctly predicted for Slam Dunk! Granted I had about twelve guesses and only got the two, but I have a history of sucking at everything so this is good going for me. I could also have picked The Rich Life of a Poor Man for this spot, I just wish I could find it on YouTube to repeat forever.

Left For Dead – ROAM (Great Heights & Nosedives, 2017)

Cannot help but sing this chorus over and over, infectious band and album and they were one of my incorrect Slam Dunk guesses. Incorrect so far… So if you like a band, go see them. Time’s a wastin’, I could have seen Oasis. I could have seen Oasis.

I need to go sit in a corner and play Little By Little for a while. Thanks for reading!

I’ve thrown a bunch of other old lists down here to get more clicks it seems, so let’s keep those there now that these are all five or six years old.

Hooray for lists, here are some more: Songs 5.4.13Creepy or Common 1Creepy or Common 2Top 22 Albums 1, Top 22 Albums 2Top 10 Actors.

Bye bye!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack


Harry Potter Studios 2016

So while attempting to delete my second blog from my account (yes I have a second blog, I used this page for uni so there’s a bunch of attempts at journalism on here somewhere) I ended up on my drafts. And as it turns out, there are a couple of posts that I swear I’d already written on there…

So here we are with the first of them, scheduled to upload two years to the day of us actually going!

The drive was looong. A twelve hour, 600 mile round trip is not fun. We had two nights in a really nice hotel though, and some tasty food. We also went to a big sound stage to look at some old film props.

That is literally all I had written on the draft, so after I stopped laughing I had to think back and remember what we actually did. Luckily, I have a whole album to jog my memory! Looking back through these will be a chance to admire Emerald’s red hair and the fact that I haven’t changed a single bit in two years.

So yeah the drive sucked, but the hotel I booked was lovely, and we had a beautiful birthday dinner for Emerald where I had cake brought to us but no songs sang by anyone. Nailed it. On to more Potter pictures.

First of all, I have to point out that I am no Harry Potter fanboy. I read all the books when I was a kid, and I’d seen all the movies before I met Emerald – I’ve seen them all about 80 times since – but I’m not super into everything about it so I’m sorry if I get things wrong.

The sets they had through the whole tour were really cool, the best ones being the Great Hall right at the start, the outdoor set with houses and the Knight Bus (think that’s spelled right), and the Hogwarts Express.

Diagon Alley was cool, and there were a whole bunch of mannequins with different costumes from different films which I really liked, especially on the train. Emerald absolutely loved the entire thing of course, I think I’ll struggle to ever top this birthday.

The creatures were also all cool, but the huge Aragog above on the doors frightened Emerald and we had to hurry through to the next area.

It was a really nice day, I guess the south are used to having actual summers. I wish I’d got a couple of pictures of the hotel and the meal, but instead here are more pictures with one of me being exactly the same as always.

I also lost the ones I took on the train itself, but I have a few demonstrating how cool the mannequins were. The temporary exhibit was about Hagrid and had a big cool full size costume and once again I don’t know where those pictures went…

Collection of mannequins here, it looks weird but it really made me see into the making of the films somehow.

There are SO many props to look at it took us a good two hours to get through everything. I may also have put a photo or two in here twice, if so I apologise but they are in no kind of order and I wish I could remember which order we saw everything, but I can’t remember what I ate last week.

I could look up when Alan Rickman died, but I’m guessing it wasn’t long before this trip. I got Emerald a Pygmypuff (sp?) and we named him Alan after good ol’ Snape.

Oh! I forgot about the outdoor pictures, which brings me onto the one thing that was a huge let down for the day: the Butterbeer. It, was, awful. Like, the frothy stuff on top was like the end of a pint of lager, and the actual liquid tasted like three year old cream soda. Picture features a woman with dual ice creams though!

Lastly we have all the photos that I either couldn’t fit into a category or I forgot I’d already put them in somewhere else. Awesome trip, even for someone who’s not a huge Potter nerd. Would recommend for anyone who has enjoyed any of the Harry Potter franchise.

Side note before the actual real last set of pictures; how good is the soundtrack to Scrubs? I really don’t know where that show would’ve been without it’s montage music. And yes, I am watching the one where Ben get diagnosed with leukemia.

Anyway, the very end had a cool miniature of the entire castle and was awesome, and that’s pretty much all I got. Sorry about the two years that went by since I actually went! And the nine months or so since I last put up anything… Next holiday scheduled is Download which is going to be just the best thing ever, but by the time this goes up we may have organised something for Emerald’s birthday, who knows!

Just glad to be back in the swing of doing things that make me feel content.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

My Wrestlemania 34 predictions

It’s Wrestlemania week again! To celebrate, I’m watching Wrestlemania 30 for the first time while preparing all of our accounts to move house, and it made me think that now I’m writing semi-regularly again I should bring back my little set of predictions.

(Last time I did a set of wrestling predictions I told my buddy Dan at The Visual Guyz that I’d beat them, and I got a full house, so come at me guys. You can find their channel here, if you want to see more predictions that aren’t as good as mine.)

Anyway, let’s find out what matches are going down on Sunday. My lack of current wrestling knowledge is embarrassing at times.

André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

We’ll start off with the two Battle Royals, and therefore the two hardest matches to predict for someone ho hasn’t been watching the product week to week. Going to keep these short and just pick a winner off the announced participants.

Matt Hardy. His Broken gimmick is brilliant, and this is exactly the kind of thing WWE would give him to make it look like they know what they’re doing with his character, only for him to fall off the face of the earth. (Looking at you, Mojo Rawley and Baron Corbin…)

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal

Women’s wrestling has come such a long way even since Wrestlemania 30. I’m currently watching the Vickie Guererro Invitational Divas Battle Royal or something along those lines. Whatever it is, it’s the only women’s match on the entire show.

Hopefully this one won’t be quite as terrible and will show off a few upcoming stars… Like Ruby Riott. With any luck WWE will make this match mean slightly more than the men’s one has recently, and she’ll get a decent kick out of it.

Sidenote: How amazing would AJ Lee be in this division right now?

Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali – Cruiserweight Championship match

Couldn’t care less, get rid of 205 Live and get the cruiserweights back on the main roster. Cedric Alexander, literally because I have to pick one because if Dan picks up my challenge I might need this point.

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Title match

Reigns, right? If not, why go through with the match with The Undertaker? This has been in the works for three years, the day Reigns conquers Lesnar and takes all that momentum absolutely nowhere, because nobody cares. Reigns should look at AJ Styles’ match with Lesnar, and copy that with a little more offense.

It’s harsh, and Reigns is definitely talented, and the match will be excellent, but imagine someone like Daniel Bryan or Braun Strowman, even someone like Nakamura, Balor or even The Miz(?!) beating Lesnar for the title? I just hope they have the sense not to put this on last, it’ll kill the show.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship match

I don’t quite have the hype for this that a lot of fans do, mainly because my only exposure to Nakamura has been in WWE, and his run so far has been extremely underwhelming.

I think AJ should retain, and will retain in a match that will bring back some of the excitement and mystique of Shinsuke Nakamura. Not quite a show stealer, but one of the top matches on the card.

The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor – WWE Intercontinental Championship match

This match will be the best of the night. Miz has been on a roll for years now, and for me deserves another run at a top title. Because of that though, the Intercontinental belt looks important again, and having top guys like Rollins and Balor going after it helps it’s prestige.

I would love Miz to retain, but the WWE do like stepping on his toes just as he’s doing something special with this title, so I can see them giving Rollins the win, I believe that would make him a Grand Slam champ if he’s not already.

No, he’s not. Rollins wins and joins his SHIELD teammates in the list of Grand Slam Champions. I’m a sucker for a triple threat match.

Randy Orton (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev – WWE United States Championship match

I don’t know how, when or why Rusev was inserted into this match, but I can’t see him or Jinder Mahal getting near this title. Either Orton is retaining, or Bobby Roode will win his title back after a month, in an utterly pointless move.

Since I’ve gone for a title change in the IC match, I’ll say Orton retains.

The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers – WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match

I’m really glad that WWE are using Luke Harper and Erick Rowan again, not such a fan of them stealing their first names off them.

It’s surely too soon to put the tag titles on them though, and with The Usos in the form of their lives it would be a shame for them to lose their championships. I’ll take The Usos, and hope they move on to a feud with The Bludgeon Brothers.

Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

Finally, a match that isn’t a Battle Royal or for a championship. Ronda Rousey’s massively anticipated debut must end in a win, a pin, and absolute domination of Stephanie McMahon.

Angle & Rousey to win, the match will be underwhelming if it goes more than seven or eight minutes, but I can’t see that being an issue with so many matches on the card.

Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

This feels just like Kurt Angle’s in ring return, entirely wasted.

Daniel Bryan could have had any number of great singles matches to return with at Wrestlemania, and he’s stuck in a plodding, uninteresting story with Shane McMahon, Kevin Owen and Sami Zayn.

I feel as though Owens & Zayn should win too, which leaves Bryan coming back with a loss. They’ll pull off a good match though.

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax – WWE Raw Women’s Championship match

Alexa Bliss is one of my favourite wrestlers today. Her run has been brilliant, in an age where fans cheer people for being bad, she’s the most hated woman in WWE since Vicki Guerrero. The men have The Miz, the women have Bliss.

Nia Jax has been made to look strong without being a real, viable championship player for a while now, and I think the same will be true on Sunday. Bliss to win via nefarious means.

Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka – WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match

Asuka. Easy. They surely won’t end her streak before she’s won the top title in the division, as whoever beats her for the belt down the road (probably Rousey) will get a way bigger rub.

Fully expect Charlotte to put in the performance of the night in making Asuka look amazing too.

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Braun Strowman and TBD – WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match

I’m really excited about this match. Partly because Cesaro and Sheamus are amazing, and partly because I’m hoping that Bray Wyatt returns in some form to be Braun’s partner.

It’s a long shot, and I personally think when wrestlers are written off television it should be for months, giving them the bigger surprise return. But it’s too close to Mania now, and I need Bray to come back.

Whatever happens, Braun won’t take the pin. I’m even going to say Strowman & Wyatt to win.

John Cena vs The Undertaker

This is the toughest to call. Do you give Taker the win? Does Cena really need to be the third person to beat The Deadman? Will this be Undertaker’s last match?

I am just praying that after his hip replacement The Undertaker can have a better match with Cena than he had last year with Reigns. If it is his final send-off, he deserves better than Wrestlemania 33.

I’ll say Cena sends Undertaker into retirement with the win, in a match I’m sure everyone wants to see. I just hope it lives up to the hype.

(This match hasn’t actually been confirmed as far as I can see at the time of writing, but come on, it’s happening.)

That’s all from me and my predictions, check back on Monday and see if I got any right at all…

I bet I get more than The Visual Guyz though. I’ll embed their predictions here if Dan’s not too scared to post them. Bring it!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack