I had a chuckle at a headline and story blurb on the Sydney Morning Herald site:
Beer prices rise as drought continues
The price of beer and other Australian staples are set to rise in NSW due to prolonged drought.
So does that mean that beer is the number one staple for people in New South Wales? The article itself continues in a similar vein focusing on beer and making only passing comment to food shortages.
“We anticipate there could be prices increasing in the order of 10 to 20 cents a schooner due to the shortage of barley,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said the barley shortage was unlikely to affect the taste of beer.
Well I’m glad to know that but.. err.. how much extra will my bread cost?
I’ve been a little on the quiet side. Life, study, and work is keeping this girl busy through the cold winter months. Some spare time should arrive soon.
But the real reason for this post..
One of my favourite bands, Starky, are sadly calling it a day. I’ve snapped numerous pictures of them over the last three years, bopped along to their tunes, and had a lot of giggles with my friends while seeing them live too many times to count.
It’s been nice.. but now “it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna burn”..
All the best to the Starky boys. Thanks for the tunes.
I’m still trying to sort out what I’m feeling from my America trip because there were so many brilliant aspects to it from laughing deliriously with old friends, sharing great meals, running about til my feet would run no more, shopping shopping and more shopping, doing the touristy things and finally getting a taste for LA, and of course seeing my favourite wee little band doing their comeback after splitting up 9 years ago.
Photos and holiday gibberish to follow soon enough but in the mean time..
It took a lot of effort in the days prior to the Jesus and Mary Chain’s show to ignore what was around the corner. Any time I accidentally gave it some thought made my knees wobble slightly. As we drove to Pomona I focussed on navigating us in the right direction, looking for the freeway exit and locating the venue but as we got out of the car, saw the people milling about, JAMC tshirts on every third person, I couldn’t ignore it any more.
I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t think, I could barely talk. How ridiculous! We met some old and some new friends but my head was niggling. I went on walks around the block. I fidgeted. Pondered. Wondered.
After a few looks inside the venue we finally took our places as the support band finished. The front rows weren’t budging but we were only a few rows in. My knees wobbled some more and I left my friends to go and sit in the photo pit and give my nerves a talking to. Why so nervous? I don’t really know but it’s probably because the reunion was so unexpected and when I’d last travelled to LA to see them they had broken up 15 minutes in to the set.
A few more photographers wandered in to the pit and then the band came on stage and launched in to Never Understand off their album Psychocandy released all the way back in 1985 when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I didn’t know whether to shoot or watch or fall on the ground. Jim Reid was looking like he meant business, brother William stood in the shadows on stage right with concentration over his guitar, Phil King on bass and Mark Crozer on guitar filled out the sound and provided backing vocals, and Loz Colbert’s drumming knew exactly when to let loose and when to reel it back in. Over the next 59 minutes I was mesmerised, star-struck, and in absolute awe. My butterflies and knees recovered and a huge smile had taken over my face.
The whole set was so much more than I had allowed myself to expect. Some Candy Talking tugged intensely at my heart. We were treated to a new song All Things Must Pass which got stuck in my head immediately. Hearing Jim’s voice so powerful and his little a ah ahh’s again will stay with me. Seeing William back on stage with a band was a thrill.
I didn’t want it to end but I knew there’d be more the next day at Coachella. As they left the stage sans-encore (because apparently they had no more songs ) I found one of my best buds with a big grin on his face and received a very happy hug. Seeing your favourite band is one thing, seeing them re-form is another thing again, and being able to share it with friends from all over this strangely large world is more than words could convey.
The following day we headed to Coachella for more of the same. Instead of a small 900-people crowd they played to tens of thousands of people as the sunset behind the palm trees in a California desert. We were about ten people in from the front, off to the left-hand side. I watched the band on stage, looked up at the video screens for close-ups, and kept an eye on my friends smiling and bouncing around, hearts full of happiness.
I had no wobbly knees this time and the band delivered even more powerfully than at the Glass House the night before. The crowd was singing and pumping arms in the air. Another 59 minute set, another mind-blowing performance, followed by hugs and more happy smiles.
I’ve been in San Francisco for a bit less than a day now. It’s scarf and jacket weather (though I’ve seen some people wandering around in tshirts..!)
So far I’ve just tried to get myself slightly oriented around Union Square and puzzled at the brilliance of this city so far - last night there were full bands (drums, amps, microphones) set up on street corners, saxophones on other corners, people standing in doorways selling “brilliant art”.
Time for some more wandering…
Me and my new baby (above!) are going on holiday. Packing procrastination is starting to get very tough.. I think I’ve done all that I can do to avoid it over the last few days so this is a last ditch attempt before I have to give in and make sense of the pile of bits-and-bobs that have landed in the middle of my lounge room floor.
San Francisco’s calling but the tune’s a little quiet. I can’t make out what exactly you want me to do when I get there. I’m sure you’ll be singing loudly in my ear soon enough.
Los Angeles, oh the city of smog-checks and few pedestrians, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you but I’ll attempt to decipher you again in a week. Old friends in tow. Excitement itching at us.
The desert and Coachella. Currently pegged at the fear factor because you’re the things that make me want to run… crowds + heat. But there’s one thing that had better make it all worth while. I’m…. sure (ish) it will.
Followed by a little cactus hunting and boardwalk walking, it’ll be time to head home.
Wow, that makes it all seem so.. quick.
It seems like yesterday I posted about starting uni education, but somehow three months have flown past and I’ve just submitted my final assignment for the unit. So it was only one wee little unit, and to get any sort of degree I’ve got to do plenty more, but it feels pretty nice to have got it over and done with (even if I don’t know the score.. but so far I’ve done okay.. in a few days I’ll start itching no doubt.. damn this immediacy our generation loves so much).
To realise that I can knuckle down and do some study in and around work is somehow life-affirming. Even if the study itself (Internet Communications) was related to my work (Web stuff). Even if I wanted to fall asleep at my desk a few times because I’d been too enthused with research the night before. Even if my gigs-per-week count has dropped dramatically.
With a few major projects at work in progress, and a (cough) holiday to America in April, I’ve decided to skip study for three months and get back to it in May. The only problem is not knowing what I want to study next. The idea of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (Internet Studies) seems a little overwhelming at the moment so I’m contemplating that my next study unit just be for “fun”. Perhaps “Photography - An Introduction” - if I do decide to work towards a degree then it should fit in as one of my electives.
Hmm.. but for now, I think I’ll just breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over.
For anyone interested in online education, take a look at Open University.
(excuse me while I freak out..!)
What do you feel when the band you’ve loved, who’s been your number 1, for half of your life, announces that they are going to play a gig in the US in April?
The last time you travelled to the US to see them, back in 1998, thrill and excitement spilling out of your pockets, they promptly self-imploded on stage after 15 minutes. Despite the band continuing on the road, minus one member, to fulfill their tour requirements, and those gigs providing you with a holiday you won’t ever forget, and the years and solo/other project gigs in between, the fun travels they provided, the people met because of the shared love, why does it feel so weird?
I’m not sure whether to laugh or fall over. I think I’m just smiling. I never expected for them to do it again. I may be stunned that they are giving it a go, but I’m happy for them. I’m happy..
(and if you don’t know who I’m talking about, it really doesn’t matter, this ramble’s mainly for me, I just felt like sharing anyway, a few will understand)
There’s only a few days left of 2006 but I can’t seem to compile my top gigs or album lists. This is more to do with a frizzled, over-worked, brain than with the quality of music - in the last twelve months I’ve seen and heard music that makes me go weak at the knees!
I started putting together the list of bands I’ve seen (by trawling my photographs to jog the memory) and after 5 minutes I’ve got a list of 76 .. if I gave it a bit of actual thought it should be around the 100 mark, similar to last year. So a good gigging year! Starky, Red Riders and Shaky Hands would be topping the seen-multiple-times-list with at least half a dozen of each.
In comparison to 2005, this year has had a much more solid output of recorded music as some brilliant albums, EPs and singles have been released. But more on that post-Christmas when I compile my favourites.
In between gigging, working, studying, and sleeping I managed to get through 36 books (at least one more should be added to the list once I get my feet up in the country-side) so in the mean time, in
no particular alphabetical-by-first-name order, my favourite new reads of the year (most of these were released in 2006 but a few might be from 2005 and I only got my hands on them this year):
I head off on my yearly country-side adventure tomorrow. Sheep and dog photos to follow next week (I bet you can’t wait!).