Broken

January 22nd, 2007

What a day of internet craziness.  You know, when it came to setting up this thing, I did a fair amount of research into choosing a decent hosting company.  I’m more than a bit clueless when it comes to the interweb and I was all for anyone who could do all the WordPress shizzat for me.  So I went for a Melbourne based company and signed up for 12 months.

I renewed in November.  For another 12 months.  Sunday afternoon I noticed it was broken – a trip to their website showed me their forums were also broken, along with their support page.  I figure something is all fucked up over there so I’d leave it and if it wasn’t all good by Monday I’d give them a ring.

I sorta hit the ground running today at work (I had a sentence here about the annoyingness of a certain type of horse breeder *cough* Arabians *cough* but then I took it out because the last thing I want to do is offend anyone) so I didn’t really think about here until lunch time.  I open Mozilla and nada.  At this point I head back to the website and find the phone number…

‘The number you have called has been disconnected.’

I laugh at this point.  I mean, what do you do really.  I find an email address and I shoot them an email to support@… The email bounces back in about 5 seconds.

My web hosting people were clearly sucked into a black hole.

Massive kudos to Alan for saving my internet-impaired ass.   There was no way I could have A) found my archives when seemingly the whole server has vanished and B) replaced everything so quickly if he hadn’t been there to help.  THANKS Al :)

The archives are all wrong, and for someone as anally retentive about formatting as I am, this can be a little hard to swallow.  Still, see no evil, right?  If it’s okay with everyone I am just going to pretend everything past the first page is peachy.  And what the hell did I post about yesterday?  I can’t even remember.  I think I lost around three days.

So hopefully programming will return to normal from here on in.  And just a reminder to my future self –

  • The voice of Jeff Tweedy.
  • Impending sisters.
  • Finish the 2006 gig list already@!!
  • I can’t get no sleep.
  • Pitt Town.

Please, sleep tonight?  Sleep would be nice.

UMM

January 22nd, 2007

That was interesting.

Shooting stars and satellites

January 18th, 2007

The last week I have driven myself nuts trying to catch a glimpse of McNaught’s comet. I read about it all last week, I spoke to friends about it and I saw it on the news. At this point I think hooray, I am going to see me some comet! Turns out not so much.

Being perched on the side of a hill like I am, with nothing in front of me but expanses of turf farm and distant mountains, I thought I’d be front row centre for cometpalooza. On the first night I thought for sure I saw it, but now I figure it was just Venus rising up behind the mountains. Last night and Tuesday night I diligently turned off all the lights and sat outside from about 8:40pm to 9:20pm, trying to catch any glimpse at all. I got kinda jaded about the whole thing and decided to hell with the comet and all its celestial awesomeness.

I really wanted to see it though, particularly after seeing some photos taken of it from Perth. Then, tonight while I was sitting at home, I remembered a spot in Castle Hill where there is a pretty awesome view of the night sky. Alan and I, one night while we were driving along Windsor Road pulled into here for some reason (I think we were arguing?) and I remember thinking wow, the sky really is forever here. So tonight I though to hell with it, it might be the last chance ever I get to see the damn thing, I might as well.

And I SAW it. And it was more amazing than I’d hoped. It was massive, and the tail stretched on for a good way. It moved pretty quickly too – almost so you could see it moving. It was very humbling. Tomorrow night I’m going back with a camera, wine and more people. It should be fun, and I hope it shows itself again.

Oh lord

January 18th, 2007

I’ve already written about my first experience with Jeff Mangum and the amazing (and now one of my all time favourite albums, I gotta say) In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. The title track on that album is probably the song I mostly try to push on to unsuspecting musically inclined people like ‘truly, you HAVE TO HEAR THIS SONG.’ I had trouble, though, when I first heard it. No similar experience with On Avery Island – at first listen I really, really dig this album.

I think had I not fallen in love with ItAOtS first, this one wouldn’t have come so easily. Still, because of my constant playing of that album over the last 12 months, listening to this one kinda felt like slipping on old shoes, but not.

Excellent choice to listen to first in that I’m kinda struck with how amazingly good it is. Kinda bad choice though in that I might not get past this album now for a couple of days at least. I really need to hear it again. It’s all at once incredibly dark but uplifting, pure poetry lyrically (even if somewhat terrifying – I mean, Three Peaches?! holy crap), in a way anachronistic (which seems to be part of his sound), and not so much a track by track recording but a dizzy, grinding, melodic instrumental soundscape interdispersed with lyrics sung by Mangum in his crazy, wailing voice. ItAOtS was not dissimilar in this regard.
The whole album, particularly the sprawling, endless muddling of sounds at the end of the last track, leaves me feeling slightly unsettled but in that good way.

Also, Song Against Sex might be my new favourite song. And that’s saying something because I haven’t really stopped listening to Pittsfield by Sufjan Stevens in 3 weeks.

Oh my god

January 17th, 2007

For some reason this makes my heart do very strange things and my breathing go funny. When he looks dead at the camera and goes ‘whatever you like’, I am puddles.

I used to live alone before I knew ya

January 17th, 2007

Itellyawhat, there are some numb people in the world. Subtlety is completely lost on 99.9% of the population. I’m increasingly finding that if someone DOES grasp the subtleties of humour or emotion or interaction or music or whatever, they’re a fairly rare individual. Lucky for me I’m stalking the individuals out of the population one person at a time and persistently making friends with them.

At least, that’s the plan ;)
As part of my 43 things I’ve decided to seek out every CD in my collection that I’ve never listened to, and give it motivated listening. Given current time restraints owing to the day job and a more than full Filofax, it might take a while. I came up with 26 of the damn things – 26!!! It’s probably a good time to stop buying and start listening.
Anyway, here’s what I came up with -

John Vanderslice – Cellar Door
Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island
Cat Power – The Greatest
Live & Direct – Compilation (containing among others Smog, Cat Power and Kurt Wagner)
Silverchair – Diorama
Prince and the Power Generation – Diamonds and Pearls
Venus Vespa – Venus Vespa (EP)
Placebo – Meds
Kaki King – Everybody Loves You
Ben Folds – supersunnyspeedgraphic
Tim Buckley – Greetings From LA
Beck – Guerolito
Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue
Leonard Cohen – Dear Heather
Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
Faithless – No Roots
The Flaming Lips – The Satelite Heart
Grandaddy – Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla
Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
Lior – Autumn Flow
Loose Fur – Born Again in the USA
Snow Patrol – Final Straw
Something for Kate – Desert Lights
The Verve – Urban Hymns
We Are Scientists – With Love and Squalor
I don’t remember buying either No Roots or Rush of Blood to the Head. I have a feeling the latter I might have seen cheap somewhere and due to the ramblings of certain people, decided to pick up. There’s a lot of good stuff there so I’m pretty excited about it.
Other things making me happy tonight -

  • Moving, fan driven air on my just-now-washed hair.
  • The sound of constant laughter from the old guy in number 8 and his new lady friend.
  • Regina Spektor.
  • Deciding some things RE: organization of alcohol bottles and rice cookers and old fish tanks and what not.
  • No phone calls all night. Not ONE.
  • The comments I got RE: the meeting tonight. I was tired, we were all tired, and yet I was told I inspired people. This is a nice thing to hear.
  • Honey covered cashew nuts.
  • Finding a Bill Bryson book I haven’t read yet.

The only thing really shitting me is the fact that I’ve lost the ability to sleep. Seemingly. Last night in a fruitless attempt to catch up I went to bed at 11:30pm. I was still wide awake and fighting the idea of getting up at 2:30am. Everything I’ve read tells me you SHOULD get up, rather than lay there and let your brain run away. Problem is, if I get up I invariably end up here, and there are way too many brain stimulating things on YouTube for an insomniac. This, for example.

Sigh. I’m going to bed.

Black and white and white and pink with blades of blue

January 15th, 2007

God damn, I have been tired all day. And now it’s hit 10:30PM and I don’t have an ounce of sleepy. MF!

I found out this week that Wilco are touring. I’m very happy about this. They’re playing the Enmore, which means that tickets will sell out in 0.2 of a second. It’s a gig I’d like to share with someone else, but I think I’ll be going it alone. Basically tickets are hellishly expensive (over $80) and I know no one (apart from interstate peeps) who even know who they are, so are therefore unlikely to fork out.

Tonight I was trying to think of a good mid-sized venue – like, something in between Enmore size and Entertainment Centre size, but I came up with nothing. Seems the Enmore always sells out super quick. Having said that, though, I’m not sure how many people they cram into Rebel Rebel. When I went to see Death Cab there the venue seemed massive, but I was pretty drunk that night. Seems to me we could do with another live music venue in Sydney a bit larger than the Enmore.

Hang on, how large is the State Theatre? Probably smaller actually so scratch that thought. Much, MUCH prettier though. The State Theatre (while being home to my second most amazing live much experience ever, namely Ani DiFranco State Theatre February 2004), it has the most amazing bathrooms I’ve ever seen. Butterflies!

I like the Enmore though. The location is handy (being a short walk from Hell’s place and therefore a staggerable distance from home, as well as being close to about a billion seriously good restaurants) and the vibe is always good. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a bad gig at the Enmore, and I’ve been to a few now. First gig there was The Waifs – that was a lot of fun. Ah! Memories ;)

I used brackets way too much. I think it’s laziness as it saves me putting too much thought into my sentence structure. I think, though, so long as everyone knows what I’m rabbiting on about it’s all good :)

Holiday

January 14th, 2007

A whole weekend of not going out or not seeing people or not going to gigs. It’s a little bit foreign, but to be honest it’s been bliss. And actually that statement is not strictly true – I did go out for dinner tonight in Windsor with Alan. It was nice. We had Thai food and then drove to Pitt Town. For some reason I’d never been to Pitt Town, and I was a little curious about whether it would be a place I’d consider moving. Yes, is the short answer. We’ll see though – I’m just starting to get shizzat comfortable here for the first time in some time so when I’m done I might not be in such a hurry to move.

I think tonight everyone I know is at home. It seems to me that this time of year it often happens – there is usually some downtime after the mad rush of Christmas and New Year. I’ve had a few large gigs on the last few weeks and I have a few coming up, but this weekend and next weekend I’m wide open.

This is probably a good thing considering the flu I’ve had. I knew when it was coming it was a bad one, but it really knocked my knees out from behind. I took time off work not because I was told I had to, but because I honestly felt like crap. I need to try and do that more often because I think that’s the main reason I feel really good today. That and the fact that I’ve had more sleep in the last week than I’ve probably had in the last month.

So what did I spend my free evening doing? Filling in gaps on my MySpace. I really still have no idea what to think about this. It’s harmless, really, and I’ve made at least one person happy by having it there. I’ve found some people on there that I haven’t been in touch with for years, but I’m yet to ‘announce’ myself or fill in school links or what have you. We’ll see about all that. Still, tonight I put some stuffs in there about Me. And now I have my own walking, talking, flashing, buggy pseudo business card. Huzzah! :)

I think maybe I feel like MySpace is a form of personal advertisement. Maybe that’s why I feel funny about it.

Is there any music in the world with the ability to make you feel warmer on the inside than Xavier Rudd’s? I picked up his live album just before Christmas and listened to it pretty solidly in the car when I was cruising all over inland NSW. Incidentally, it’s the perfect music for driving along long, dusty rural roads where there is nothing but the odd bird and wheat crop in sight. I had liked one or two tracks of his from hearing them on Triple J (namely Let Me Be and Solace) but when I saw him live at The Great Escape last year the whole Xavier Rudd live experience kinda swept me up. It was one giant love-in and there was such a good vibe that night. That gig was the reason I picked up the live CD. I’m really glad I did, and it was the perfect soundtrack to cleaning out kitchen drawers today.

Tonight there is a fuckton of Madonna on Rage. The woman has truly made some horrendous fashion decisions, but one can’t deny her pop prowess. She got sass, too. I like a bit of sass.

Man this song True Blue is giving me flashbacks to Year 6, traveling on the bus from Canberra to Wagga on a school excursion at the time of night when it’s just on dark and all 11 year olds get a little silly. The Year 6 witching hour.

I think that’s my cue for bed.

On obsessing

January 11th, 2007

It’s oppressively hot. In a vane attempt to cool the temperature in the house I just now threw all the doors and windows open. It’s not really helping.
You know, I can get kinda obsessive about things. I get that. I am still, on occasions, astounded though and the levels of obsession people can get to.

Take, for instance, the show The Office. I’m talking about the US version here, with Jim and Pam and Michael and Dwight. I love love love this show. Like, I will go to Daily Motion Friday evenings because people over there upload whole episodes hours after they air in the US on their Thursday nights. I read Office Tally at least twice a week to catch up with news and spoilers. For a person who doesn’t watch any TV, well, next to no TV, this is pretty serious.

Still, there are people who take it to a whole other level. There are people who sit there with their TiVo or whatever the hell those things are, waiting for promos for The Office to come on. Then, they tape them. Then, they upload them to YouTube. Then, they will dissect the 20 seconds of rapidly paced footage with other crazy fans to try and figure out what each character is feeling and doing etc. It’s really something else.

And before anyone goes there I don’t upload videos of Adam Spencer on YouTube, okay!??!!>! I have my limits man.

I’m a believer

January 10th, 2007

Through school I had a friend called Adam who was one of those over the top, crazy people that filled a room regardless of how big it was. He gave off this warm, friendly energy (when he wasn’t angry, because MAN could he get angry) and he was the most amazing story teller. He had this way of giving little details to draw you in, and then once you were listening he’d throw his whole body and effort into it. He was funny and engaging and entertaining and had a way of characterising people that was all at once piss-taking and generous.

Tonight, while listening to the new album by Darren Hanlon, I thought of Adam. Darren tells stories in the true sense of the word – there’s no amount of flowery language or twisted, obscure metaphor – it’s just straight stories using beautiful language and warm humour and emotion. I mean, I’m all for songwriters like Michael Stipe who leave you so much room to interpret their lyrics into your own form and meaning, but sometimes there is so much joy in just hearing someone tell you their stories.

The album Fingertips and Mountaintops is more polished than Little Chills, and overall I think it’s stronger. I Wish That I Was Beautiful For You will forever be a favourite song of mine, but there are so many gems on this new album I think ultimately it will win out for me overall.

Actually, I’m going to go and listen to it now. G’night :)

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