Sunday, December 31, 2006

Musical meme

Sometime back, a friend visiting from the UK made a comment about my CD collection that got me thinking about how and when I've heard something distinctly different compared with what I was listening to around that time.

Usually friends, television or a good review/recommendation puts you on to a band but occassionally you discover something yourself - I know it's really only the illusion of discovery but it's still exciting to be one of the first of your social circle to be listening to a particular sound and to introduce others.

So this is a music meme, list your five self discoveries in the order of most recent to oldest discoveries with bonus points for official websites and links to videos (official, pirated or dodgy camera-phone concert footage).

My top five self discoveries are:

1. 2003. Meshell Ndegeocello. I first heard Ndegeocello's Peace beyond Passion at a cafe in Newtown, Sydney. This album remains one of my top 10. Stunning voice, incredible bass player with funk-style titrated directly from Bootsy Collins. Check out Leviticus: Faggot

2. 1988. Living Colour. Unbelievably, I was introduced to Living Colour while watching Entertainment Tonight - that tacky US entertainment show of an entirely beige palette. Nonetheless, they previewed a band reputed to be the first Black heavy metal band (I'll let others argue that point). Classic tracks include I want to know (from the Vivid album) and Fight the Fight (from Time's Up). This link is to a live version of Open letter to a landlord.

3. Mid '80s. The The. I first heard the album Infected (really cool people knew the earlier albums Soul Mining if not Burning Blue Soul) and was hooked. Here's a great link to, I think, a recent live gig - about a third of the way through is the very song I first heard, Heartland (lyrics here).

4. Mid '80s. Robbie Robertson. First heard on Radio with Pictures, Karen Hay was the host so it can't have been much after the mid '80s (1986 I think). Somewhere down the crazy river remains one of my favourite tracks.

5. Early '80s. Waterboys. Ok, this is a little outside the rules I set 'cause I stole a video tape from my brother without realising what was on it. I first heard This is the Sea - can't find that but can find A Pagan Place.

The best team one year out

The All Blacks have been the best team in the world most of the last twelve years but have missed out at the World Cup in the '95 final, the '99 quarter final and again at the 2003 quarter final. Just so we don't all start prematurely celebrating, here's a reminder of what happened each time.

  1. First, the dropgoal in '95. Forget the fact that it was extra time.
  2. Next, France knock us of in '99.
  3. Finally, Australia and Mortlock steal a win against all expectation in 2003.
If you want another reminder, there's that little gem of wisdom provided by George Gregan to the All Black forwards in the dying moments of the '03 quarter final, "four more years boys, four more years".

Saturday, December 30, 2006

10 greatest guitar riffs

Browncardigan links to this site that shows you the tab/sheet music for a selection of the 10 greatest guitar riffs - gotta say that, although they were never my cup of tea, Guns N' Roses Sweet Child O Mine is pretty cool.

One for crasster I suspect.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One day Roger Finch, one day

Ok, so that's got nothing to do with shit but I can't think of a way to introduce yet another browncardigan sourced clip - this one is stop motion animation (a fav of the 'bc' crew).

Some readers may nevertheless wish to suggest where the title of the entry came from... prizes may be available.

Dead-set comic genius

Post-it dance. Dance post-it, dance. Now break, jive, break - Travolta! Now die!

See it here. You guessed, Browncardigan.

Cooler stuff, doubt it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Updating the threads

First up, Rudd's ascention to the leadership has clearly resonanted with the electorate according to this story in today's Australian. Newspoll gives Labor a 10-point lead in primary votes over the Coalition. With a year to run, lots can change and Howard is an expert politician however this at least is some vindication for the leadership spill.

In related developments, Rudd also appears to have had genuine success selecting his front bench. Factions are notoriously powerful in state and federal Labor and frequently put up candidates for no other reason but that they're from this or that faction - tragic indictment on Labor frankly - however Rudd insisted on some new blood including Peter Garrett and appears to have won. Interestingly, Swan - a major backer of Beazley - has retained his shadow Treasurer's responsibility. This decision is being described as both a factional detente and a restoration of an old friendship between Rudd and Swan.

Howard's dog whistle politics are at full volume with the announcement of a revamped citizen test which includes an examination on Australian values and culture and an English language test.

Lastly, on more banal but nevertheless important issues, Sydney cabbies are in the news for charging huge fares, $150 - $200, to take people from Homebush to the city - a 20 minute drive - after the Robbie Williams concert. Sydney cabbies are shockers, many are thugs and thieves, some are flat-out psychos.

Changes introduced last year means that cabbies are not allowed to tout for business (as they were doing here), they must accept passengers/fares regardless of destination and not attempt to negotiate price. Yeah right. Mrs backin15 and I were out late Friday night and had exactly the same experience - cabbie pulls up, turns off his "availabe light", asks where we're going (not too far) and then decides that he's actually off duty. Bastard. Only redeeming feature of cabbies is this blog - Adrian's a top bloke (only wish I could find him when I need him).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Please, please, please give Eddie the job

Eddie Jones wants to coach England; brilliant - if his salary demands are too great, I can think of 4 million people who'll happily chip in to make up the difference.

Winston Peters on Aus Lateline

Just saw Winston on Lateline, ABC's late night news show on the Fiji coup.

He was very good, he seemed a little hesitant in places - very uncharacteristic - but was reasonable, sensible and conciliatory. Diplomatic even. Gwad.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rudd and Gillard new Labor leadership

Kevin Rudd has beaten Kim Beazley to take the top spot in federal Labor. Gillard is his deputy - it's a good balance between the right and left and both present a clear contrast with Howard and Costello. Gillard will be subjected to the same vile rumour Helen Clark has been throughout her career - she strikes me as a very strong, intelligent character. Rudd's apparently not well liked within the party though from the perspective of an interested bystander, I have to say I like him.

In a tragic coincidence, Kim Beazley's brother died this morning.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wellington in a week...

I've got myself invited to a party in Wellington, flights included - great stuff.

There are many things I miss about Wellington, friends particularly and besides catching up with loads of them, here's some of the things I'm looking forward to:
  1. Drink an Arano Feijoa Frenzy
  2. Eat the beef stronganoff from Wishbone
  3. Have a beer at Lovelocks
  4. Have a coffee at Masi (and probably Lido)
  5. Wander about Oriental Parade
  6. Have the chicken curry at Kopi
  7. A drink or two at Concrete (Is Bar Bodega still around?)
  8. Visit Smoke CDs (Slow Boat and Real Groovy too)
  9. See a band (I'd welcome recommendations - bands and venues)
  10. Any chance the Pohutukawa on the Terrace might bloom early?


I like the saying that you only ever regret the things you didn't do, rather than those you did.

I regret not getting on a plane and flying to Sydney in late November 1996 to see the final Crowded House concert. Hard to believe it was ten years ago. Sorry that a reunion isn't possible. Vale Paul Hester.

Thanks TVNZ for this interview with Neil Finn - good to hear a new solo album isn't far away (I could review the launch gig for Tim's latest effort which I attended at the Basement in Sydney a month or so back but I can't bring myself to say what I really thought).

National's health spokesperson in punch-up

Good god. A former GP, now front bench health spokesperson accepting hospitality from British American Tobacco. Serious misjudgement. Being an obnoxious twat and getting smacked on the nose at said corporate shindig... hard to challenge the government when you're sat on your arse!

I'll leave others to speculate as to why he's not pressing charges.

Gotta love Simon Power's involvement: didn't see a thing, didn't think hanging out with a cigarette firm was an issue, wasn't aware his trousers were on backwards...

Movember 3

What is it about blokes and 'tach's?

These two appear to be trying to enter a poor man's mile high club.

Movember 2

Crasster's a creative fella...

Took Mrs backin15 a little while to work out (which I find vaguely disturbing).

Anyway the 'tach is gone now until next year.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Movember ended yesterday so the 'mo goes however, here's photo from the Movember party held at Luna Park in Sydney.

Was damn good fun, particularly the dodgems - you still get in trouble for going the wrong way, but now at least you can tell the attendants to get stuffed and carry-on regardless.

For the record, I think the three of us raised close to $1,000

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rudd v Beazley

After several weeks of intensifying rumour, Beazley's called a leadership ballot for Monday - Rudd will challenge with Gillard - frankly, I hope they win. Beazley's average and old and will lose to Howard. Rudd may too but at least he's got a chance.