This is the name of a new album by Lee Ronaldo and the Dust. It should probably be subtitled #firstworldproblems. It’s mostly based on Lee’s experiences of being in NYC during _super_storm Sandy. I’m sure a lot of people had their lives or lifestyles messed up by Sandy but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s interesting to compare the effects that natural disasters have on different parts of the world. Rich places: tens of billions of dollars worth of damage and a few people dead, poor places: tens of thousands of people dead and a few hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.
Most of the lyrics are about the weather and being stuck inside, so I can dig that. I actually quite like the album. Enough to have bought it. I only found out about it through that way that ‘friend of a friend’ way that twitter works. I haven’t kept tabs on Sonic Youth since Washing Machine and I was pretty disappointed to hear that Kim and Thurston broke up under messy circumstances and in a way that makes it seem fairly unlikely that Sonic Youth will ever get back together. And so through twitter I saw a life performance vid of Kim’s solo project body/head. I don’t know if they’re stoners – maybe that’s what summer in Germany does to you. And Thurston’s off having an affair—so when I listened to Last Night on Eart I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Lee has basically inherited the Sonic Youth sound. I don’t know what went on with their last however many albums but there was really only one way to go and that was mellower. That’s how this album is and of course it didn’t hurt that Lee also inherited SY’s drummer, Steve Shelley. Kind of like after the Beatles broke up and Ringo ended up living in the guest house at John’s big-arse mansion. And there’s two other guys in there I don’t know who they are.
There are times when the lyrics or singing sound a tad lame, and this is where there is no Thurston or Kim but Ronaldo’s always been a great guitarist and there’s some characteristically sweet chord progressions in there. You can stream the album here
You know when I look at some plants I get to suspicioning that they might be distant cousins of other plants I vaguely know of. For example, this here sunflower looks just a touch like the tobacco plant. I only ever saw a tobacco plant once and briefly but there’s something familiar. There was another connection I made the other day but I can’t remember what it was now.
I can’t get over how rainy it is. It’s not torrential killer rain but either gentle drizzle rain or short showers followed by sun followed by more showers. It’s a combination of the facts that it was drought conditions the last time I sat through a winter here in victoria and that the only time I’ve been here since 2005 was in January or February—sunny and drying out rapidly. I’m sure we’ll get there but it feels like a long time getting there, not that I’m minding it. More weather and plant news at 11.
It has been a while since I posted but here we are.
I’ve been doing a few driving lessons. For someone so keen on motor racing and car design and so on and such forth I actually find driving pretty dreary. That’s probably why I’ve never been motivated to get the license. The one thing I would like is to get out travelling a bit. See all the little towns I’ve been through in the west of victoria. I like being a passenger. Looking out the window and day-dreaming. One invention that’s about twenty years too late for me is the self-driving car.
I guess I jumped the gun a bit on saying that winter was over six weeks ago or whenever. It has still been a bit cold. There has been quite a good deal of rain. Much more than what I remember it being like back in 2004. It’s hard to belive it’s been so wet and cool here when NSW has been burning. It’s nice to feel drizzle. Drizzle reminds me of being a teenager in the country. There is no drizzle in korea.
You know I don’t watch that much TV but when I do I find myself lamenting the state of television commercial advertising. Problem one is that I guess networks offer companies deals like ‘if you only advertise with us we’ll give you a discount’ so, if you only happen to watch one or two channels then you see the same lame ads over and over. And I mean that literally sometimes. I saw the same 15second ad being played twice in a row the other day, multiple times. Man that’s sad. That reminds me of country TV when I was a kid.
The second problem is that there’s little creativity evident.There’s nothing memorable. Even if you don’t remember the product and just remember the ad then that’s a win in my book. The only locally made ads that are worth mentioning are “compare the meerkat.com” and this one below, which I just found out is pretty old (2011) and I only saw during late-night programming. I like to think of it as, “Ohh, Fail!”
Alcohol companies are the only ones that seem to have money for advertising and the key concept of all of them is nostalgia. An ‘Ohh Fail!’ of a different kind is the Carlton Draught “beer chase” commercials (featuring Dr.Julian Bashir from Deep Space 9) because unless they’re going for a global market why would they film Australian ads in LA?
On the other hand I do really like the two Southern Comfort ads. Great choice of music.
I’ve been battling away with the procrastination and getting a bit of study done of late. It’s related to music and occasionally there’s tracks I want to listen to for reference that I don’t have on any computer here and so I go take a look at youtube. It’s pretty amazing that when you type in artist name – album name – “full album” almost always it’ll show up and you can stream-listen the whole thing. Most middle class people have an internet connection that is capable of that these day. And it strike me that this is probably one main new way that kids are discovering new (old) music now. It’s quicker than illegal downloading and actually it strikes me as odd that the corporate music nazis don’t consider it illegal. Posting 10 seconds of a Simpsons episode will earn you a take-down but as long as it only has a still-image attached you can upload pretty much any album you want and it’ll stay there. Last night I was listening to The Rolling Stones December’s Children. I really like that song Blue Turns To Grey.
The last two nights I have woken to the sound of a bell. A bike bell but not one of those new unsatisfying ‘ting!’ bells, it’s the old ‘brrring!’ kind. It would be reassuring to know that it was a real bell because then I would know that I wasn’t going crazy. But there is no bell here. The first time I thought someone was stealing the bikes but we only have the ting bike bells. The sound is not part of a dream, although admittedly could be signalling the end of a dream. Two nights in a row, at roughly the same time (2:30am) is a bit weird though. I shall have to investigate all devices to determine if there is some alarm set that I am not aware of.
edit: night 3, no bell. Sanity: returning.
double edit (16/9) – I think it’s something in J-e galaxy tablet. When it’s turned off there’s no bother.
Well this is exciting. I missed, what… the last two(?) elections but here I am all ready to vote. I was actually thinking I might get slapped with a nice big fine when I rock up to the booths on Sat. but I’m sure the DFAT told the AEC I was OS.
“Humanity Is A Flawed Creation”
I’ve been rewatching the 2000s ‘reimagining’ of BattleStar Galactica and really enjoying it. Edward James Olmos is a great actor. And in one scene he uttered the above pullquote. That’s pretty much how I feel when I think about politics, and parliamentary politics in general. It’s far from perfect but it could be worse.
Will we ever be free?
This website below the line is useful for figuring out senate stuff. I wonder how many people out there properly understand how preferences work…? I mean, you can control where the preferences go completely if you want, but if you want to be lazy and just vote “1” above the line on the senate paper then the above website shows you where each party send their preferences. I heard some misinformation a while back that the wikileaks party were sending their preferences to the shooters’ party but I am glad to see that’s not true.
It would be good to see Assange get into the senate even if only for the fact that it would mean that he could legally get out of the .ec embassy. I read most of this a couple of months ago and he is really an intelligent fellow, perhaps too much so for Aust. govt but maybe that’s how you drag its IQ up.
This is the biggest broccoli head I have grown. I stuck my hand in there for size comparison but I don’t think it worked. If there was some sort of petrol and fertilizer crisis I think I’d end up a lot thinner because we had to wait quite a while for what will be enough broccoli for part of one meal. I don’t know what they grow broccoli in to get it so big. I didn’t use any fertilizer.
For some reason australia says that the seasons start and end with the month but the 21st that follows seems more real to me, ie. Sept 21 is the end of winter. Either way today may as well be the beginning of the warmth since here we are down on the corner before nine in the morning and it’s got that feel—windless, cloudless, dry and ready to bake.
So if that was winter then no wonder I had trouble adapting to korean winters. I think we turned the heater on a total of 4 times, two of which were when mum was here. I’d often see people walking around the shopping centre footpath in t-shirts and shorts and wonder if it was just because they were senseless idiots or because they’d come from 30° hot cars or houses and that they were running heaters hard all winter.
In the comment sections of tech websites I have noticed the alarming regularity of people getting rude, fanatical and bananas about their chosen variety of smartphone. Why does this happen? My theory includes: 1. All smartphones are essentially the same. Standard functions like phone calls, text messages, take a photo or check the weather—they all do that. 2. They are a luxury ie. fairly useless. One could argue that toilet papers are all fairly similar but (in modern society at least) it is considered an essential and so we don’t feel the urge to populate comment threads with our ravings on toilet paper, which leads me to my third and final point. 3. We do in fact feel like suckers for buying these things and desperately need other people to agree with us about being correct in owning “X” phone.
I have to say app prices have really jumped the shark too. They used to be 99cents if not free. Then a few came in at two bucks. And now I keep seeing the price $5.49 pop up. It’s not the minimum price, there are still free and cheap ones but developers seem to think they can get away with a five dollar price tag for what can often better utter shit. Then there’s the odd one that asks forty dollars or similar, for a computer program you’re going to look at on a tiny phone screen.
Yesterday I was looking at an app called, “Zombies, run!” which is a fitness program that encourages you to go jogging and if you don’t keep your pace up you’ll get infected by zombies. Apparently there are little story bits and encouragements that you listen to on earphones that give you the hurry up. I like stories. I’m trying to get a bit fitter and if I ended up wasting $2 on this thing then it’s not the end of the world is it? But the last time I tried to do sustained running – about 6 years ago – my knee started to get really sore. And if there was a zombie apocalypse why couldn’t I ride my bike to escape them? I didn’t get the app.
I haven’t been to the footy since I was 15 but with J-e’s yen to try all things Australian and to spend some time with mum, we went to the Geelong vs Sydney game last Saturday at Kardinia Park. Sitting behind the goals is not my favourite spot because half the time when the play comes toward you, you’re excited to be able to actually see what’s happening but also wanting it to go away because it could mean the other team getting a goal.
(Correct me if I’m wrong but) it’s strange to think that Kardinia is one of only three (MCG and Docklands too) stadiums currently being used by AFL in Victoria. It’s a shame that more teams don’t still have their home ground.
I was a little surprised at how orderly and polite the crowd was in general. And you know, I didn’t see one meat pie there. Not one! Maybe they don’t even sell them any more. I saw people walking around with buckets of chips, sometimes with some kind of “fish” fillets on top, hot dogs but no meat pies.
On Sunday we went to Bunning’s to get a few gardening supplies. It’s pretty amazing how many different kinds of garden hoses there are. Every colour except red/pink. I didn’t get a hose. I got a few plastic pots for vegetable growing projects. Also a cheap footy to kick in the local park. Interestingly none of these plastic things were made in China. Two pots from Italy, one made here, (plus a buck made in NZ) and the footy was made in India.
I should be working on my study but it’s damn hard to concentrate.
I was listening to this radio mix on ninjatune=solidsteel (get in quick because it’ll only be there for a few more days) marking 25 years since Public Enemy released the album, “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”. It’s pretty good. There’s some interviews in there with (I think?) Terminator X—I didn’t know he could speak…
Anyway, I was washing the dishes at the time and it got me thinking down memory lane. Vague as the memory is I did actually buy that album back in 1988. We, the family, had travelled up to Geelong from our country station one saturday and I was looking around in Brashes (remember Brashes?). Rather uncharacteristic of me, I slammed down my hard-earned pocket money for the cassette of ITANOMTHUB without ever having heard it, or knowing who Public Enemy were or even what kind of music it was.
I just liked that cover and the name ‘Public Enemy’ sounded really cool. And I liked the little silhouette in the crosshairs logo, which on the back was connected to the phrase ‘public enemy no. 1’ I think.
Anyway, upon getting it home and listening to it I found that I didn’t like it at all! There was too many repetitive loop samples and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I actually took it back to the shop the next week. The usual practice with tapes like this is that there is no returns because, you know, you could just dub it to a blank tape—and that’s like stealing music, but I guess I must have had such a genuine disappointed confused look on my 14y.o. face that I did get an exchange for something else (fucked if I can remember what now).
These days I do appreciate PE’s place in history but not enough to listen to whole albums of their stuff on a regular basis. And a quick look at the track listings of It Takes A Nation, and its successor, ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’, the latter really does have a lot of classic hits on it.
I really like this mash up of Rebel Without A Pause with a bit of Herb Alpert
But I think my favourite PE track is one that Flava Flav takes the front for, Can’t do nuttin’ for ya man. I like his sing-song delivery. I’m going to try and learn how to play this one on the Telecaster.