Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some of this might be good

Hunter S Thompson on the feelings of optimism in the late 60's

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .

[It never lasted - Thompson continued on...]

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

We are so sensitive!

In response to Writer Girls review of "The Butterfly and the Diving Bell".

I found the Dirty Dozen very emotional - and I've since discovered I'm not the only one!

Talk about sniffing in unison!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

20:20 Vision

Twenty things I wish I did in the last twenty years

Saved 10% of my salary since 1986
Brought a house
Asked NFG to marry me
Believed in myself more
Embrace what i couldn't change about myself
Changed my job at least twice
Pushed myself
Accepted less crap from others
Expected more
Drunk less
Was less judgmental
More open minded
Felt the fear and did it anyway
Cut my losses more quickly
Made more mistakes
Bent or broke the rules
Lived the moment while I was in it
Damned the consequences
Make a difference

The concern is not so much how many I can still do, but how many I can actually make myself do in the time I have left here.

Chickenshit is a word - right?

Friday, June 27, 2008


Best heard live, this duet by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks is lovely, yet bittersweet.
I love the live version on the "Pack up the Plantation" CD. This clip's audio is a little too sterile, especially given the story being told.

You've got a dangerous background
And everything you've dreamed of
Yeah you're the Dark Angel
It don't show when you break up
And I'm the one who oughta know
I'm the one left in the dust
Yeah I'm the broken hearted fool
Who was never quite enough

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where the Day takes You

Haven't heard this for years.
Before the Commitments there was Phil Lynott.

The I's have it

I'm writing while listening to this clip.

I am thinking it's partially about infatuation.
I have learned that this is not necessarily a good thing.
I understand that some people may prefer a challenge to a sure thing.
I wonder if anything else is enough.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Haiku Moment #2

Just as the clock struck 4pm, the rain began to fall.
I was already at the rear exit door, ready to escape the office for the 10 meter walk to my car. After the first step, the drops fell harder; I should have turned back then; hindsight is 20:20 'though.
Six paces later the rain was setting up a suppression fire around the car park. People were diving for cover, as the torrents lashed down on their targets. Water ran like blood over the asphalt. Mother nature, her thirst unquenchable, unleashed hell: it started to hail.
On the mad dash to my car I came across two fallen comrades in the car park, fishing for a dropped set of keys under a storm water grate. Irony was at work here too. I moved on without regard - a man possessed; no time to save the lives of keys long lost to the will of nature; they were dead - they just didn't know it yet*.
A mere 10 seconds later I had made it to the safety of my car - I had survived another day.

I can cope with being wet: living in Dunedin most of my life has cured me of any potential Ombrophobic tendencies, but the one thing I cant stand is wet feet.
Thirty minutes later, squishing loudly (and sadly), I walked from my garage to the living room, I retired my shoes to the hot water cupboard for a few hours, knowing later that evening I had to go back to work.

People - I would like to try and convey some of the joy I experienced when I put those shoes back on later that evening. I'd like to, but I doubt I'd be able to do justice to the emotion. My only wish is that you too can one day experience this moment of nirvana - try it soon.

Perhaps on a cold winters morning, when the still bedroom air seems to assault you at every turn as you attempt to start a new day, grab those shoes from their warm resting spot. Warm shoes on one's feet can create a smile that takes some beating, even after the hell of a thunderstorm.

* No news on the keys yet - will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rock of Ages

Question: Is it better to burn out that to fade away?

Pre Rick Allen's Accident

I've been thinking about Def Leppard a lot lately.
OK - You can stop laughing right now!

If you stop to think of the other music around the 80's, Def Leppards' music actually hasn't dated too horrifically, at least compared to the other dross we were inflicted with back then.
Those who led the charge with critical musical passion may have started with Bauhaus or Shakespeare's Sister, but quickly strayed to Michael Bolton, Milli Vanilli, and Wet Wet Wet whilst dating. Yes - Many fine men were lost, some perhaps, never recovered .... (not thinking of anyone in particular, ya understand?)
The 80's were indeed a troubled time musically - sure you could struggle through with The Stones or Led Zep on your turntable, but listening to Uriah Heap or Motorhead didn't get you laid. Come to think of it - it probably still doesn't.

While the local AM (Yes - AM!!!!) radio station pumped out such classics a Centerfold by the J. Geils Band, or Let's Hear it for the Boy by who the fuck cares (I still shudder with that memory) - finding a more rockier sound was harder than you'd first believe. You could go the New Romantic route, and face it, most of us did - but lets just forget that ever happened OK?

So - In the meantime a little album by Def Leppard called Hysteria sold shit-loads of Cassettes and CD's in New Zealand . I recall being in Wanaka over the Christmas it was released , playing Animal on a minuscule battery powered ghetto blaster in the back of my Capri, all this because CD players weren't really about then.

Years later I still listen to this album - maybe not the syrupy tracks like "Love Bites" or "Throw some Sugar on Me", but "Dogs of War" still rates highly, as do a few other tracks.

And lest we forget, back in the day, if a guy just happened to be a bit of a bogan, and he just wanted to show a sensitive side to his bogan girlfriend, (in the faint hope she's throw him a shag) there was always this track.

If you think I'm still taking the piss, take a listen to this. Just goes to show you, although we all get older, our talents still remain.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Always a Browncoat

[Don't worry if you don't get this post - just follow its example]

There are a lot of things I should be more upset about. The fact that I even take time to dwell on these pettier emotions, shows that I have far too much time on my hands for this angst.

I mean - why do I get so upset when I see yet another "Director's Cut" of Bladerunner at the DVD store. Is it perhaps, because I have to sit through yet another reinterpretation of the story?

I wonder, when the night finally takes me, as I lie down to sleep -
Is Harrison Ford's much hated monologue intact ?
Will we find out - definatively - if he is really a replicant ?
Will I actually see more through the light, mist, and atmosphere in this version, and if I do, will it actually make sense?
I wonder these things before I drift off - because, years on, I believe Harrison probably wonders as well.
How many times oh Lord - How many times?

Donnie Darko has also been re-released with commentary from Kevin Smith and director Richard Kelly. With music originally intended for the film, but initially cost prohibitively denied, it just happens to be missing the brilliant cast commentary from the original release, especially around "Sparkle Motion" and Mary "Stands with Fists" McDonald. Trust me - get the early version.
I might be able to save you - but not I.... I have two copies.

Serenity director Joss Weaton has released a Directors cut that I've also purchased. It's probably the same version as the old one that I gave to Writer Girl, but I so desperately want Fox to sanction another movie, I'd buy more copies if I thought it would make a difference. Jewel Staite mentioned recently that Joss was getting the Firefly cast back together for the comments track on the Blu Ray version of Serenity. A Blu Ray fucking version - OMFG! I don't even have a Blu Ray player - but if Fox are ever going to sanction that movie...

Actually- come to think about it - just don't talk to me about Firefly - everyone I know who's watched that show left wanting more. Years later, in yet another interview, Jewel Staite still rates Kaylee as her favourite character. (sigh).

Still - all these wishes and frustrations are a blissful refrain from a potential boredom waiting just around the corner. Be different - embrace that, that makes you you. Embrace that, that makes you different. In a world where conformity is an easy, yet strangely unobtainable option, our uniqueness is all that we truly own.
Don't give it up without a fight, and just for a change, take some time to admire people who live their lives on the outskirts of the herd; even if they aren't treading the same path you are.
They are, after all, kindred spirits.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A B-side guide to life

Friends and liars
Don't wait for me
Cause I'll get on
All by myself
Put millions of miles
Under my heels
And still too close to you
I feel

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yeah right

So - a flirtatious email surfaced inside my work in-box yesterday.
Is there anything more stupid than dating someone you work with?
Someone younger than the (1/2 your age + 8) year calculation, allows for.

Yep - Upon reflection I'm sure that it's a great idea.

I just wanted a much simpler life. Somewhere, I know someone is mocking me!

Enough already!!

Some regrets - but not many

Accepting things I can't change has always been an issue for me.

I could learn to live with it all, if life didn't have a habit of fucking with me by continually dumping new and varied crap for me to deal with.
Life in its infinite wisdom may have been trying telling me something for some time, but like most people I'm loathe to listen to things I don't want to hear.

I may elaborate at a later date, but not before first assuring friends and family they don't have to stage an intervention. One of the worst things about writing personal stuff here is that too many friends and family drop by to see how I'm going. In some respect a degree of anonymity would be a welcome change. That's why I admire Fish and Dooce so much; they put it out there for the world to see day after day, and they just don't seem to care. Lately I've been holding back, and because of that I'm starting to feel like I'm not moving forward here. Don't get me wrong This is ALL my fault - and I will have to deal with it sooner or later. Knowing me - it will be later - always later. :)

I read somewhere - "You never learn anything while you're talking". An interesting statement, and although it's one thing to listen; when you don't quite understand the language, those lessons can take time to learn.

One thing I have come to realise is that making ones luck isn't something you can do retrospectively. I'm guessing at least in that respect, I'm correct.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Take it easy on me - ok?

Sometimes my musical tastes are extremely eclectic.

I feel the need to justify this, I really do - it's just that I cant find the words.
Please forgive me, but on the off chance that you like it too - it will have to be our dirty little secret - OK?

It's not like its a Celine Dion fetish people!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Social Lepers

Setting: Three guys stand around a work desk discussing the early stages of beard growth.

[fade in]

Mark to Jase: "You had an impressive beard going there for a while Jase."
Jase: "Thanks, although it drove me mad when it got to that itchy phase"
Mark: "Yeah - I cant get past that - eventually I have to shave"
Sam: "It's quite prickly though - right"
Jase: "Actually it's quite soft"
Sam: "What about your partners? Don't they mind?"
Mark: "Well I'm single - so it doesn't really matter"
Jase: "I'm single as well, so it's the same for me"
Sam (English as second language): " Oh.. I'm sorry.. I didnt mean to mention your...(searching for word)... inadequacy"
Mark: " It's OK Sam - really"
Jase: "Yeah - It's fine"
Sam: (nods head - oblivious)

[fade to black]

Our McCarthyism

The following email appeared in my mailbox today. I wonder in the future, upon reflection, if historians will view polictical correctness the same way that they do McCarthyism from the 40's and 50's. I believe it's gone too far, and sooner or later there will be a backlash....

The following is the winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A & M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.
This year's term was 'Political Correctness'. The winner wrote:

'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.'

Monday, June 09, 2008

Where for art thou Eric?

First off - I refuse to apologize for the 80's. I know part of me feels I should, but I can't:)

I'm sure in the years to come the 70's parties I once went to will morph into parties revolving around the excess of the 80's. Party goers will, no doubt, be heading off with knitted ties, leather boots, black lipstick ,rounding the whole thing off with massive shoulder pads - and that'll be just the boys!

Don't forget - the 80's may be remembered for their excesses, but they also brought us some amazing music. Ushering in the 80's were The Clash with London Calling; it's wasn't all Duran Duran, and the Style Council, although people in general tend to remember the bands that pushed the envelope of (lack of) style I guess.
In the early 80's Pink Floyd released their concept album The Wall, Springsteen released The River, and a little known group of schoolmates from Dublin won a battle of the bands contest to record and album for CBS called Three. CBS passed on the band, and U2 signed with Island Records; the rest is history.

Band Aid came and went - I still remember the Queen set on that day. They were amazing. Live8 was an unfortunate attempt to capture some small part of the spirit of that original day - It was obvious the original audience wasn't going to get what they wanted as too much had changed in the years since; all that promise - had come to nothing.

Other bands that I personally remember making their mark in the 80's include;
The Cure, Depeche Mode, Queen, Guns and Roses, REM, The Pretenders, AC/DC, and strangely, the B52's....

Sure, Duran Duran were a self indulgent guilty pleasure. Robert Palmer was very possibly simply irresistible, and Michael Jackson may have thrilled us by taking off this sunglasses at the Grammy's.
a lot of British pop involved cardigans and crappy music videos but don't forget US pop consisted, in the main, of guys with huge hair, leather and makeup singing Girls Girls Girls (or variants thereof) ,


though it all was an optimism that seems to be sadly lacking today. I miss the boom days of the 80's occasionally - just occasionally mind, and never for long.

Now, there's a whole genre of artists talking about get'n rich or die'n try'n. But those same guys are actually making a pretty good living off samples ripped from those same 80's songs, so I guess thats some kind of justice.

We children of the 80's may have had a hand in the way the world is today, but I'm not sure that the youth of today, given the same economic environment, wouldn't have made the same life choices we did. Personally, looking back though, I wish I'd paid more attention to the gold, and less on the glitter.

That and girls, obviously.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Guest Post

I received this email today, and after getting Writer Girl's permission I have posted it. Rest assured I am looking into a suitable excuse for not having posted on Eric Carmen before now. At this stage I'm having trouble just picking one out of the multitude.

[Post starts]

I am concerned how Eric Carmen appears to be overlooked in your blog and by extension your music collection.
Please see:-

Observe the sartorial daring of the man: his exploding head, tangerine makeup, shiny gold lame leopard print jacket with shoulder-pads (any of those adjectives would be enough indictment in themselves, never mind all together), the vest, the braces, the drainpipes and white sneakers. Wait for the dancers who re-enact highlights from 'Dirty Dancing' on stage.

You can thank me in person.

[Post ends]

Sap Alert Part 2

Says too much really.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My point is this.

If I ask you not to think about dark chocolate, what is the first thing you think of ?
Yes, this isn't a trick - the answer is invariably dark chocolate.

I read a story once, where a naturally gifted pianist, with no musical training or influence listened (illegally) to a recording of Bach supplied by a fan. Because he knew it was (in the context of this story) illegal to listen to any others musical compositions, he tried to hide the fact he had heard the tune. Even though the concept of the structure of Bach as an artist was completely alien to him, (as were all other types of traditional music for that matter) he was eventually found out by those who uphold the law; not because they discovered the hidden recording, but because all shades of his music afterward that time were lacking in their Bach-ness.

His genius and musical purity, once praised from afar, were now corrupted, and so in this perfect world, it was deemed he could no longer play music again.

There may be no point to this post; or perhaps, just perhaps, this is just another case of dark chocolate. I'll leave it for you to decide.

P.S. The photo, I borrowed from here. I just that I love her smile; we should all smile this well :)

Why volume controls should go to 11

Wanna Rock?

Remember how your head (and hair) moved back and forward in time with the music as you stood (or perhaps pogo'd) near the front row of a rock concert - before there were mosh pits even!
I remember you - you were there; fists pounding the air; the power, the passion, and a smile you couldn't remove from your face if you tried?

For your listening please; The Cult of Personality by Living Colour.
Listen, but only....only if you still wanna rock :)

Original Video here at Sony BMG's YouTube site. I cant embed it - yet I can link to it - go figure :(

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Why is it you cant be addicted to something thats good for you ?

I ask this because I've been wondering if there shouldn't be some balance for the word "addicted". You know what I mean; some good to balance to all the nasty things we all can fall prey to.
And I'm not just talking the hard stuff here; what about Chocolate Cake, Coca Cola, and other sugary treats. It's bollocks really isn't it ? When was the last time you heard someone was addicted to Bran? Yet "they" have to have it every morning right? Hmmm braaaaannn.
I believe it's time to take back addiction from the bad, to remove the stigma of having an addictive tendencies.

I'm addicted; yep you heard me right. Maybe not to bran - lets face it - NEVER to Bran actually, but I've been making a list lately. And it's getting larger every day.

Just today I added a two new items.

1) "V" - Yep, but before you jump in and tell me each bottle has like 20 teaspoons of sugar in it, I'm talking the sugar free variety. God - when I first tried the sugar free variant after giving up the sugared up version i was struck by its HORRIDness. But determined, I stuck with it - determined to get past the vile taste to get to that sugar free goodness. It took a while but now it seems i always have 4 small cans in my fridge lurking - less energy than diet coke mind - take that you sugar Nazi's !!! Addicted and I don't care.

2) Massage therapy at the mall.
Yeah - not the "You want extra's" kinda place. Nice and safe in plain sight at the mall. When you saunter in and ask for a massage that's what you get. Not one of those deals where they place hot stones on your back either. Nope - this is a mans massage - at the mall you get to keep your clothes on as they work out those knots and sprains after a stressful day in front of your office PC drinking caffeinated drinks, and doing lines of coke. All above board - nothing to see here - just keep moving along folks.

And no - I don't miss the sugary goodness. As much as the Green Party might try to ban things that taste sweet as well (yes - they believe we need to rid our craving of sweet things in general) - I don't miss the sugary goodness. Honest I don't....

Sure - I may look the other way when they take away my sugar, I might even look at my feet when they ban chocolately loveliness from the work vending machine; but when they take my caffeine..... IF they take my caffeine - well that's another story entirely buddy. Thats when the revolution will start my friends.

[Disclaimer: this post may have been written whilst under the influence of a sugar free caffeine product]

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


It doesn't surprise me that the music industry is hurting. You just have to take a look at who are running the RIANZ. These guys don't make music, they make money, and lately their stock is falling. So, guess what do the these type of guys do do when they see their cash cow slip though their oily grasp? They legislate.

There is a young woman in spectacles and an orange wig dancing around her bedroom doing an
out-of-tune spoof of the song "YMCA", complete with arm-waving and expletive-riddled lyrics. Nothing out of the ordinary there, then, because of course, this is YouTube.

The song is actually pretty funny, and decent satire.

It's called "DMCA", after the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the US law that enshrines some of the rules websites such as YouTube must abide by if they don't want to get sued by the owners of copyrighted material posted by their users.

Viacom has launched a $1bn claim for damages over all those copyrighted clips, 150,000 of them, watched over 1.5 billion times, according to its lawsuit.

The problem here is a distinct lack of innovation. Anyone who visits this site cant help but notice all the Youtube clips. Here I share my musical tastes with others. I broadcast my love of music to those who drop by, and if people who come here are interested in an artist, maybe they'll go out and buy a CD or two: except in increasing numbers - they don't.

More and more people are bypassing the CD shops at the mall in favour of iTunes or downloads from their mobile phones. You know it's time to get out of the music retail business when The Warehouse is New Zealands biggest physical seller of CD's, and the largest digital download source in New Zealand is Vodafone New Zealand.
The final step in this mess has to be the eradication of the middle man, whose love of music seems not so much in its creation, but more with its destruction. The sooner artists bypass the recording companies, and fast track their music to digital downloaders, the sooner we wont have to worry about buying a platter of aluminium that costs up to $32 dollars - especially when that platter costs less than $2 to make and box.
So in the end we lose and the artists lose.
Support Youtube - advertise the music, share music with your friends, in the hope that it won't die out entirely on the world stage. By putting the music back into the hands of the fans, we can truly listen to what we want to, rather than to what's on some radio stations play list. And that's an innovation I'd love to champion.

Monday, June 02, 2008

This wont last long

I have sometimes been blessed in the ability to see bad relationships for what they are, and have ended ended them with good reason. I'm equally blessed, in that those I've dated have also had the same wisdom and ended relationships with me as well.:)
The end seems to justify the means - and I reluctantly admit, looking back, I am a better person for the experience.

This song is a rare posting indeed - and I suspect it wont be around for long before it gets removed. Although it doesn't necessarily subscribe to my life accurately, some of it fits a little too close for comfort. Plus it's a nice bit of 80's cynicism :)