Posts tagged ‘music’


We are the Champions

Apple has gone and confused people (not that difficult) by naming the 2009 iPod event after a Rolling Stones song on the same day the Beatles are re-releasing all their albums.

That can only mean the perpetually rumoured Apple Tablet is coming. Except not really. The only thing certain – a professional pundit will complain afterwards that it was not announced, despite almost everyone else (besides shareholders) knowing that it wouldn’t be.

Will Steve Jobs be giving the keynote? Will the iPod Classic finally die the wretched death it deserves? Will the Apple TV get a Take 3 and become useful?

Pretty standard bunch of questions really, but regardless I’ll be on hand to relay the answers to all these questions as the keynote unfolds – answers laced with just enough vitriol to create the impression I’m not some kind of apple fanboy. Which I’m not. Or at least I won’t be after tomorrow if Apple does not announce HD television for the Australian iTunes store!

Seriously Apple. Fuck you. I can see it sitting there on the American store. If I wasn’t so lazy I would buy an American gift card from eBay.

So there it is. If you only read one live blog of this event, then I strongly recommend Arstechnica’s. Because that is what I’ll be plagiarising reading. But if you read two you could probably read Macworld’s because that is generally excellent. I won’t mind because strictly speaking mine won’t be a live blog. More like a delayed-by-ninety-thousands-of-minutes blog.

I’m sure as hell not getting up that early.

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Eat Me, Drink Me

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200 Reviews Extravaganza, Part 1

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Australian iTunes

Well, it’s about bloody time. Though we apparently don’t have any music from Sony BMG, the Australian iTunes Music Store is up and running — with tracks available for $1.69 and albums for (usually) $16.99. Bought me a Sarah Blasko track this morning and it was easy as pie (the greek letter pi! ahem, no, not really).

Ah, but is anything free, you ask? Well, they have a free single of the week (This week it’s ‘Shadowlands’ by Youth Group) and a nice collection of Australian Podcasts too.

So, er, yay. Hopefully we’ll get some TV at some point in the future…

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Triple J’s Hottest 100 Volume 12

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Day 2


I think I just died and went to heaven. I just spent an entire day in a CD shop and still didn’t manage to completely explore it. Amoeba Music is on Haight St — the former centre of hippiedom — and has to be one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. It is in a former bowling alley and the CDs stretch as far as the eye can see. It claims to stock over a million CDs although now I have visited I doubt this is still the case. And they are all so cheap — almost everything is under US$15 and I picked up lots of really good ones for only US$2. I was particularly impressed by how well represented Melbourne (and Aussie generally) bands were — there were CDs here that you probably wouldn’t find in JB. Anyway, after seven hours there, with but a half hour break for lunch I was just about musicked out, so wandered down Haight St to a real ale pub/brewery my dad had recommended.

Haight St is something of a bittersweet place these days. It still harks back to the Summer of Love, now the best part of 40 years ago. There are shops full of bongs, tie-dye and everything else you might associate with hippies. It still has the colourfulness and easy-going attitude that were the hallmarks of those days. But, in what must be one of the greatest strengths of capitalism — turning any anti-capitalist movement into a new way to make money — it is no longer about pure motives, it is about the green stuff (cash, not hash). The most melancholic part is all the homeless people — largely those so acid-fucked that they still think it is 1967 and that it is only a matter of time before they bring down the Man. SF has a massive homeless problem — something you’d normally associate with a mega-city like NY or LA rather than one with fewer than a million people. It makes what happened in New Orleans seem a lot more plausible if even a relatively well-off city like San Francisco can have such poverty.

Anyway, back to the pub. I was sitting there reading my copy of the Onion (which I’d never realised was available in print) when looking through the gig guide I saw that tonight Alasdair Roberts was playing in a pub downtown. He, in particular his album Farewell Sorrow, has been one of my favourite artists for the last year or so. (He plays traditional British folk, as opposed to Alternative folk which is what I mainly listen to in the genre.) And despite having scoured both the internet and, since I arrived, the street press for every concert that was on while I was here I was finding out about it in a satirical newspaper. There is just so much happening here — of the seven nights I am in SF I am going to gigs for five of them with three of them by bands that would make my ‘gigs of the year’ list in Melbourne — that some little known folk dude from Scotland falls through the cracks. So, instantly recovering from my musicked-outness, I rushed across to the other side of town, again blessing this city’s wonderful public transport system. The gig was amazing. It was in the tiny back room of a pub holding barely 50 people and two of the supports — Marissa Nadler and Jack Rose — were almost as brilliant as Alasdair Roberts. It is just as well I live in the backwater of Melbourne because I don’t think either my bank account or my relationship with Gisela could survive a music scene like San Francisco’s.

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Horses in the Sky


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Shelf Life

Some music is beautiful and timeless to me. I love it the first time I hear it (well, more likely the third time but that’s not as poetic) and I love it still.

Some music isn’t. And it sits around on my iPod reminding me that either:

  • Love is transitory, or
  • I used to have shit taste.

Coldplay are a minor offender in this area. I’ll always like ‘Clocks’, mostly for its first 30 seconds. But the rest of A Rush of Blood to the Head really grates when it comes up in my random playlist, and for a while I banned it from my playlist. And I’ve no desire to buy X&Y — having heard a single from it on the radio, it sounds just like everything I’ve heard before. Perhaps a little more tightly honed.

I get this image of Coldplay sitting around, desperately trying to sound like the platonic ideal of themselves.

But my Coldplay backlash doesn’t even begin to rival my Travis backlash. Every time they pop up on my iPod I have to skip them, even ‘Sing’, which I used to really like. Now, it all sounds like painfully happy treacley ikkiness. I listen to a bit of it and wonder how depressed I must have been to have needed such relentless happiness blasted into my ears.

But then, I may be odd in that I find sad music uplifting and happy music depressing, in much the same way that I like cold blustery days more than shiny sunny ones. I think it’s a contrast thing.

And just to show that my taste now is probably as bad as it’s ever been, the track I’m always hanging out for my iPod to shuffle to is Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. Now there’s a single that has everything.

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