Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My 'combat mission' on a Huey

Today I hitched a ride on a Vietnam-era Huey, apparently the only licenced commercial Huey around, in Cape Town. it was Courtesy of Cadbury SA, who had arranged for local personality Good Hope FM DJ Guy McDonald to fulfil his lifelong dream to be a helicopter pilot. While he didn't actually take the stick, we were treated to a thrilling hour-long flip around the city by The Huey Helicopter Co. pilot Francois. Here are some photos, and you'll find a link below to a video of the thing...

PS: I'll try to pop some more photos up through the week...

Check out a video of the afternoon here...  

Have to say, it might not be for everybody, but this is one of those experiences I can say will open up a view new perspectives... It was thrilling enough doing fairly quick strafing runs in windy conditions, but I can only imagine what it would have been like running into a 'hot LZ'. The mind fries...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to the page... a case for pen and paper

pen and paperImage by LucasTheExperience via Flickr
It’s two days early, but it’s Monday, so I figured, what the hell… On September 1 I start a new chapter of sorts, what with the old band retiring, my new job starting, and a number of other new things happening… so I decided to also commit to a daily blog entry. And with it, this little piece of totally random spaghetti…

My desk at work seems to be having battle of wits with my writing pad. There’s definitely a cold war going on, and my emotional state is the battleground. In other words, my office desk is an embodiment of an eighties pop song about dating politics.

Something strangely ironic is happening in relation to my writing both for work and for this blog. I find myself reverting back to note-taking the old-fashioned way – pen(cil) and paper.

I’ve been noting thoughts and ideas down to paper more and more lately, and it’s as if this methodology is slowing me down enough to actually properly organise thoughts… making for hopefully more sensible writing.

Another advantage is that you can take a pen(cil) and paper anywhere you like – to the kitchen, to the lounge, to the break room at work… and you don’t have to wait for a machine to boot up the right application to jot down a thought.

This is actually the source of the trouble. I can’t actually seem to do this at my desk. So I actually have to go walkies every once in a while to kill another tree.

A third (or is it fourth) plus is that I tend to erase less when I handwrite something on a piece of paper. Word processors have made it so easy to scratch a thought, and some may argue that there’s so much clutter in the world anyway, that the ability to erase something utterly is a good thing…

But I tend to feel that there’s value in your “first thoughts”. Even if you never use them as you initially got them, they serve a purpose for me – sometimes even to point out a direction I don’t want to go.

PS: The Journaling link below leads to a pretty interesting “sell” on keeping a journal, but also encourages you to take their “depression quiz”. It’s a women’s sight. Possibly Christian-themed. Just saying…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A special encore request

Because it was Speedway who asked, we couldn't really say no, and because the last show was effectively a private fundraiser, somebody said we should at least afford the general friends and fam to catch it one last time.

I think we'll try to play everything here... well, as much as we can remember...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Classic: Crowded House - Woodface

Cover of "Woodface"Cover of Woodface
Crowded House's third studio album is largely credited with catapulting them to superstardom. Not that Crowded House (1986) and Temple of Low Men (1988) were poor albums by any measure, But Woodface's yield of five enduring singles remains universally crowd pleasing today, some twenty years later.

Strange to think that whereas most great albums are made by a band under strain (in-fighting, 'creative differences', etc.), Woodface was partly borne out of Tim and Neil Finn's reconnecting after many years of estrangement.

Perhaps it's the resulting explosive songwriting collaboration between the Brothers Finn, or the signature production touch of Mitchell Froom (Mr Suzanne Vega to you), or one of those inexplicable 'something clicked' moments in a band's career; Woodface spreads its tight 48 minutes over a generous 14 tracks, the first seven of which offer a masterclass in writing the 3:30 pop song.

full article here

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The A-Team (2010)

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from to...Image via Wikipedia
It's a big ask to bring (a much-loved 80s TV vehicle) into cinema some 20-odd years later. Do you go for a nostalgia trip, or do you try to bring new audiences to your "franchise"? Director Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces) does the clearly insane and attempts to go both ways at once. 

You almost won't mind the occasionally dodgy CGI, or the hilariously unlikely action scenes. Or even the endless montage-esque editing style (it's like the whole movie is a build-shit-out-of-spare-dialogue sequence).

Nope, you won't mind at all, because the actors seem to be having an illegal amount of fun hamming up the action and mugging for the camera, and nobody else in the cast really needs to do much more than let the movie happen around them - which, in the case of The A-Team, works like a charm. It's a chuckle-a-minute nod to old quirks and idiosyncrasies, and it's a bullet train of high-octane action, speed-of-light editing and big explosions.

(PIC: Ye Olde A-Team... bigger than MacGuyver)

full review here...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Din;t Rolling Stone used to be music culture magazine?

I ask because this is the latest cover of the ol' RS... and I'm just... I dunno.

I like True Blood - it's a great show. Most of me fwenz like it too cos they agree that it's dark and sexy and all the stuff certain other Vampire-themed films and tv shows aren't. There be no glowing undead in this show.

But - you know - it's a TV show, and its connection to music is at best tenuous.

Or maybe I'm wrong in still thinking that 'Stone is or was a music culture magazine? Maybe another childhood memory was nothing but a lie? Maybe nothing of what we remember about our formative years was anywhere near what they were in reality?

I feel lied to.

Monday, August 16, 2010

White Guys at Zula - the end of an era?

Three More White Guys will be at Zula Bar in Long Street, Cape Town on Saturday August 21, 2010. We're doing to raise money for Camps Bay Prep.

This will be an interesting date, as it may well be the last - as in last - time this band pays its old set. I've long been lobbying for a change of direction in this band. It's been seven years and I think its time to try something new.

It may sound like a big deal to retire songs that are so ingrained and expected from a live set, but I really don't feel all that attached to them any more. Mostly, I think, because playing what audiences demand and expect for so long closes the door on so many other ideas and opportunities.

I think I, personally, have become sort of stagnant creatively, and coming from a time when I played so many different roles in so many different projects in rather varied 'genres', it's a bit soul destroying to feel like you've given up the effort to try something new.

So I've told the Guys, we need to retire this. Alternatively, the new material has to go to a new project. That's second prize, because I don't really want to start out at step one with a new group again.


The Facebook event for this item is here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The King of Fighters

The King of Fighters (film)Image via Wikipedia
What's with combat movies and women? While the guys get to wear hockey masks, fur coats and leather jackets, the women have to settle for corsets, catsuits and impossibly short minidress-and- suspender combos. Even Chun-Li had tights, dammit.

Look, far be it from a guy to complain about Maggie Q and Francoise Yip (Canadian!) showing a bit of leg, but some realism would go a long way in a movie like this. Speaking of which (spoiler alert!), there are only two instances of blood in the movie – when Francois Yip gets semi-filleted near the start of the film (she survives), and right at the end, when suddenly everybody's showing the signs of about 75 minutes of non-stop ass-kicking. In between? Nothing. Not a bruise. Not even on the faux-lesbian couple who started the movie in towels.

full review here...

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th did not even have a completed ...Image via Wikipedia
What better way to celebrate today than take a look back at one of slasher horror's most enduring franchises? It's the Big Mac of the film business – cheap to make and cheaper to digest. Awful to the palate in general, but somehow always an option when you need to clog your mental arteries. Here's the story so far:

Friday the 13th ( 1980)
Mrs. Vorhees sets about knocking off horny teenagers because years ago her son Jason drowned. Because two Camp Chrystal counsellors were having sex instead of watching him. Kevin Bacon gets it in the chest. (Body count: 10)

Friday the 13th pt 2 (1981)
Jason is alive! And after killing Alice (who killed Mrs. Vorhees at the end of part 1), he decides to defend the camp from all and sundry. Five years later, cue (wait for it) a group of horny teenagers ready to die in inexplicably suspenseful ways. SH SH SH HA HA HA! (BC: 10)

Friday the 13th pt 3 (1982)
Jason heads to a farmstead, where he hides in a barn and counsels a number of hapless horny teens out of their misery. Significantly, he nicks a hockey mask off one of the kids, and a legend is born. Jason takes an axe to the cranium. (BC: 12)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
In a cunning twist, producers hint that this will be the last Jason movie ever. Jason has miraculously survived the axe to the head, as the unfortunate coroner would have testified had he survived the first ten minutes of the movie. Feeling homesick, Jason returns to Crystal Lake where – surprise! – a group of horny teenagers invades his space. Fed up, Jason seeks out the neighbours. Crispin Glover acts weird! Corey Feldman kills Jason! (BC: 14)

read the full article here...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kylie - Aphrodite

AphroditeNot that Aphrodite is intolerably awful. It just isn't 22-plus-years-in-the-business good. All up-tempo and club-targeted with breathy, girly vocal lines about nothing really interesting bobbing around near the top, it's an album that's custom-made for a flashy stage show – you can almost hear them thinking in the studio: "This will look great on stage!"

The album's production reeks of Madonna's last Stuart Price-produced efforts (Confessions on a Dancefloor in particular), echoing that producer's muscular beats and basslines to great effect in places. For a number of reasons – lack of invention among them - Kylie's melodies don’t work as well, which really should be the case in pop that is as apolitical and candy floss as this.

full review on 24.com

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YouTube - Terminator Salvation: Deleted Scene

Came across this completely random piece of Interweb funny. And decided to add a new content element/tag to this blog... something along the lines of celebrating the great, funny or just plain ingenuous moments of the web that made us proud... to be Interweberiffic.

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