Mikes Random Musings

Friday, February 24, 2006

Please don't judge me to quickly. I am, after all, only human.

So I was reading an article about fallout boy. There is a quote in that article that really rang true with me, and got me thinking. Something, which never ends well.

"See: There's the bands that you say you like to sound smart, and there's the bands you say you like to get laid. And then there's the bands you really listen to." -- Pete Wentz.

I find these guys really obnoctious(sp?). In my head they represent the emo/myspace generation that shits me to tears. However, this comment is dead on the money.

The following is something that I don't think I have ever admitted out loud before now.

I like a lot of music. Some of it is stuff that I thought I 'should' be listening to. Some of it is stuff friends were listening to, so I started listening in order to fit in. Some is stuff that I have heard and thought, 'hell yeah', and kept listening to it.

There are times, where stuff that I have heard and liked, I have never admitted I liked. For example, I have both of Avril Lavigne's albumns, and think that both of them are pretty good. While I have no respect for her as an artist, I think that the music she releases is pretty good when you need something mindless to listen to.

I guess what this comes down to is, musical taste is something that is completely subjective and is completely beyond our control physical control. Just open yourself up, and let yourself experience everything that is out there.

Oh yeah, and I actually like the fallout boy albumn. I don't like them though ;-)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Okay, so I got a bit behind on listening to Hack. I was listening to a show from about a week ago on my way to work today, and something on there really really pissed me off.

First a value statement. I am a liberal. I have always supported the liberal party, I have electioneered for them, and I was even a young-lib for a short period of time. That being said, I don't always agree with all statements and policies that are raised by the party.

Now, on with my rant...

Recently the Qld Young Libs had a conference, where a member put forward a motion to lobby the government to privatise Triple J. His argument, was that the government would not be able to sustain the funding required to continue to grow JJJ. Mate, I have one word for you. 'WANKER'. Seriously that is what I think of you.

Privatising triple J is the worst idea I have heard in a long time. Advertising would ruin triple J. They would loose the editorial control, and freedom they operate under.

When these points were put to him, he responded with "well the model with which we privatise triple J, would need to be debated, but that does not need to be discussed now". Good god, if you don't have a plan for how you can preserve the culture that exists, then we should not be trying to change it. IF! you can come out with a rational plan on how to privatise JJJ, AND retain the culture and editorial freedom, then people might be more willing to listen. (Note, we will still call you a wanker however).

I now live in a country that has nothing but commercial radio (unless I buy a satellite radio). The commercial stations suck. You get about 3 songs an hour, the rest is back-announcing and adverts. The songs are censored, not just what I would call the main forms of swearing, but words like damn & bitch are silenced. The song selection is CRAP, the playlist never changes, so I can switch on the radio and almost predict the next three songs I am going to hear.

They also can't talk about anything of substance, or use real humor because they need to cater for the lowest common denominator. Instead you are stuck with pseudo-comedians who make jokes about farting in a jar and tricking a friend into smelling it (unfortunatly, I am serious about this). THIS IS NOT FUNNY!

So you want to do that to TripleJ as well ?

You want to kill off the up and coming australian musicians that triple J would normally foster, because I bet they are the first to go when they are no longer financially viable. What would happen to people like Richard Kingsmill and Robbie Buck ?

You want to kill off decent, youth orientated, current affairs, because you might offend potential advertisers.

You want to kill off up and coming australian comedians? I bet people like Mikey Robbins, Sandy, Adam & Will, Jay & the doctor, Chris & Craig (and to a MUCH lesser extent Merrik & Rosso), would never have gotten a gig on other radio stations initially, because they go against the norm. However they are all BRILLIANT announcers.

While I may not agree with everything I hear on JJJ, I am really glad they are there, because they do so much good for australian music/commedy/culture.

I'm going to close with a parapharsed quote from Robby Buck, which I feel sums up what would happen to triple J if this plan was to go ahead. While discussing the idea of privatisation, he said "we would be inundated with music from multinational corporations, that is supposed to sooth your soul, but instead, corrupts your mind".

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You know how I pretend to be good with technology and stuff. Well it's all a well constructed ruse. In reality I am hopeless with anything technical.

Case-an-point : I have had my iPod for about a month now. Ever since I got it, the biggest problem I have had, is the fact it is so hard to fastforward or rewind inside of media files. I've been pressing and holding the forward or backwards buttons, thinking that was how you fastforward/rewind. Today, I found out that if you press the center button, it changes the clickwheel from 'volume' to 'position' mode, so you can fastforward/rewind the media with ease. IT TOOK ME 4 WEEKS TO FIGURE THIS OUT! Sure I could have read the instructions and learnt this... but that's not how I operate. I expect things to be intuative... and this defnatly was not.

Only thing that made me feel better was the conversation I had with Tarang my officemate afterwards. I told him that I had figured out how to fastforward/rewind on my iPod and his response "yeah, you hold down the forward/back button". Tarang has had an iPod for years :-) So it's not just me who's a bit slow on the uptake.

Weather has been fscking awsome here recently (*knocks on wood*). The sun has been shining and it hasn't been raining as much. Actually got to go for a skate outside a couple of times. Plus last sunday, I was able to wear shorts/tshirt outside all day without feeling too cold.

Met another Australian while I was doing some shopping on the weekend. He told me there is an australian pub down greenlake which serves Tooheys New and meat pies... there will be a field trip there sometime in the near future.

Made a couple of decisions about my life in the last couple of days. Firstly I am moving closer to work. The commute is really getting me down, plus with summer comming I am hoping I will be able to ride my bike to work more. Plus I am up here most of the time anyway, and driving back/forth does not make much sense.

Secondly, I am going to stop killing myself over this job. All I have managed to do recently, is make myself sick again. As much as I like this job, I would rather be healthy than to have it.

[ Pearl Jam - Do The Evolution ]

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sitting here listening to The Tea Party on shuffle. I have all of the albumns here, and because of the shuffle, I am skipping backwards and forwards across all of them.

Amazing how a band can get it so wrong, and so right at the same time. Some of these songs are just so gentle and moving, then you move to the next track which is so harsh I almost want to stop listening.

I guess it's this dichotomy that keeps me coming back to listen again and again.

Not much else to report this week in the way of music.

I listened to the latest Tegan and Sara albumn the other day. Not bad, they have very different voices, so it makes some interesting harmonies in the music. I enjoyed listening to the albumn, but there was nothing there that really grabbed me (probably because it's not my sort of music).

My monitor at home died last night :-( To do anything at home, I have to move the windows onto the TV so I can see them. I am currently trying to decide what to do. Do I spend a couple of hundred on a new monitor (nice big LCD), or do I just push that money towards a laptop.

Problem with a laptop is, I would like something fairly powerfull (i.e. I *could* play games if I wanted to), but still be portable. Unfortunatly nothing like that really exists at the moment (no Scott, your laptop is *NOT* portable).

Meh, I shall mull it over on the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, for all non americans, this weekend is the Superbowl. The Seattle Seahawks, against the Pittsburgh Stealers. I don't understand the game, I don't really want to understand the game. I do however understand sport, so on sunday I shall be sitting with some mates, having some beers and watching the game. :-)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

When I moved to the US, the last thing I thought I would have a problem with would be the language. However, at the moment, it is just becoming really apparent how different Australian English is to American English.

The first major problem is my accent. It seems a lot of people here, have a problem understanding what I am saying simply because of my accent. I never thought my accent was that thick, but apparently it is.

The second major problem, is common turns of phrase that just don't make sense over here, or people have no context to understand them.

My first example of this, is something that happened, not five minutes ago with my office mate. He asked how long a particular task would take. My immedidate response was "acoupla' hours", meaning, 4 to 5 hours. My officemate was taken back by this statement, because he assumed this task would take a long time. He thought that my saying 'a couple of hours', ment it would in fact take 2 hours or less.

After thinking about this, I relised that 'a couple of hours' is an overloaded term in Australia. We take it to mean 'several' hours, i.e. more than 3. If we wanted to say 2 hours, we would say 2 hours.

The next problem came the other night while I was shopping. I needed a new light bulb for my desk lamp. I wasn't sure where they were so I asked one of the nightfill staff where I could find them, asking 'where can I find the light bulbs'. The girl gave me a blank look and asked 'bulbs'?. When I finally figured out that she had no idea what I was asking for, and repeated the question, asking for 'light globes' she knew exactly what I wanted and was able to help.

The third, and by far the funniest, is the concept of take-away. If you walk into a shop and ask for something to 'take-away' (e.g. 'Large coffee to take away please') chances are the person behind the counter will have no idea what your asking for. The correct term over here is 'to go'. Both myself and keith have had some strange experiences by asking for something to 'take-away'. Staff seem to think it means, we don't like what they have served us, and want a replacement.

While I am noticing these differences, I am also doing my best to spread the aussie influence over here... My ex-lead is very happy, because she now knows what 'bloody', 'bugger', 'pants' (as in 'complete pile of pants') and 'stuff it' (as in 'stuff it up') mean. They still get confused when I throw out a 'tidy effort, tiger', or 'bollocks' but we're working on it.

So I guess this lesson from this is, while people may speak the same language, they may not speak the same dialect.