Category Archives: blogs

Best ofs for 2008

Okkervil River

I’m way too busy/lazy/apathetic to do any type of comprehensive, ordered list with links to sounds,  such as Mason does over at…

So I’m just going to generally reprise the format from my Best albums and gig of 2007 list…although I have done a better job of identifying the albums I got in 2008 that I enjoyed. The truth is, I didn’t buy that many albums from 2008, preferring to listen to the music I have, listening to stuff on or pinching Kate’s music…as well as restocking my collection with stuff I have on cassette and vinyl (currently in boxes in Melbourne). Anyway, in no particular order (I’m also aware that I might include a couple of 2007 albums in my list)…

  • Robert Forster – The Evangelist
  • Nick Cave ATBS – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
  • Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
  • Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Sigur Rós – Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
  • Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams
  • Eileen Rose – At Our Tables
  • Juliana Hatfield – How Walk Away
  • Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  • Immaculate Machine – Fables
  • Sons and Daughters – This Gift
  • Even – Even
  • Wintersleep – Welcome to the Night Sky
  • Land of Talk – Applause Cheer Boo Hiss
  • Stornoway – On the Rocks EP
  • Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
  • Ross McLennan – Sympathy for the New World
  • Glasvegas – Glasvegas

Here are some artists that I enjoyed seeing live during 2008:

  • Stornoway
  • Liddington
  • Laura Veirs
  • The Epstein
  • Ben Walker
  • Jont
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Little Fish
  • Okkervil River
  • The Lemonheads
  • Sons and Daughters
  • Juliana Hatfield
  • Even
  • The Canadian banjo bloke that Mason took me to see in Toronto
  • Family Machine
  • Wintersleep
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Calexico
  • Woodpigeon (briefly)
  • Camera Obscura
  • Ian McLagan
  • Neil Halstead
  • The Minnikins
  • The Marmadukes
  • Jali Fili Cisshoko
  • Luke Smith
  • Robert Forster
  • Nitin Sawhney
  • Romeo Stodart
  • Russ Henderson

The gigs I enjoyed the most (for different reasons). Broken Social Scene at Carling Academy Oxford, Robert Forster upstairs at the Cardiac at the Academy, Even at the 12 Bar in London and Juliana Hatfield at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.


Edit (17/5/-09) – I just returned from Wood Festival, where I saw Blind Pilot and purchased their CD 3 Rounds and a Sound, which was released in 2008. It’s absolutely sensational.


Memento messenger

Hat tip to Messenger of Doom for alerting me to this short film about an absent minded Sydney bike courier…”Short confessions of an absent minded messenger”

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WordPress app for iPhone

First post with the WordPress app for iPhone. Seems generally usable but basic.

Could do with a couple of tweaks as I deleted my first attempt because I could swear the UI wasn’t showing me the Save button! The ability to add a photo would be a good thing but that could have something to do with the way apps are built i.e the WordPress app probably can’t directly interact with the photo app.

Edit- I’m blind. You can upload photos. My mistake. Here is one of my neighbour AKA “Phlegm man”



Best albums and gigs of 2007

Music Room

Music Room sign at the Jericho Tavern

When I was in Vancouver in 2001, I found a kindred spirit in the form of Mason. He’s almost singlehandedly responsible for about 95% of the Canadian music that I have in my collection…introducing me to the New Pornographers, Mass Romantic.

His recommendations and the CBC Radio 3 Podcast have informed and developed my Canuck-o-phile instincts, to the point that I shamefully know more about independent Canadian music than Australian stuff.

Anyhow, we’ve kept in touch, although we haven’t actually spoken or met in person since Vancouver. Since I’m too lazy to compile my own best albums of 2007 list, I’ll point you towards Mason’s most recent blog post concerning the best albums of 2007. There’s a podcast in mp4 format where you can listen to an example track and hear Mason and Jehan’s opinions about some of the tracks, amongst others. It’s entitled “Hiptarded Podcast #1” which hints at the prospect of more in 2008. I wait with bated breath.

As for the selection, I’m not au fait with a majority of the albums, although I was familiar with more of the albums on his shortlist. I must say, from the Jamie T tunes I have heard, I have built up a natural aversion to him though. His reputation as the male Lily Allen reinforces that; I dont share Mason’s enthusiasm for her either.

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to discovering new music…I’m pretty “anti” the music press, so you’re less likely to find many bands championed by the NME or similar publications in a Ed generated favourites list. The same goes for BBC Radio 1. I tend to think that taking a bit more time to dig deeper and not just accept the artiste du jour as decided by the payola-esque music industry is a better idea…YMMV. I’ve been like that for years, just replace Radio 1 with Triple J (Australia) and the NME with…well the NME to see what I mean.

By the way, a couple of albums that I would have thrown into the mix that Mason didn’t mention are Hvarf-Heim by Sigur Rós (which I guess isn’t technically a new album) and Last of the Chanranguitas by The Epstein (Oxford’s answer to Calexico).

Perhaps as significant as a best albums list is gig attended and enjoyed list. Here’s mine:

  • numerous Stornoway gigs
  • The New Pornographers at Koko, London
  • Metric at The Zodiac, Oxford
  • Howling Bells at The Fez, Reading
  • The Epstein + Ox at The Holywell Music Room, Oxford
  • Sol Samba at The Zodiac
  • The Piney Gir Country Roadshow at The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
  • Sky Larkin, The Round Heels, The Epstein, Stornoway, Fonda 500, Goldrush at Truck Festival
  • You Say Party, We Say Die at The Zodiac
  • Sons and Daughters at The Zodiac

Cancelled gigs that I was looking forward to:

  • Rilo Kiley
  • The Decemberists

Gig of the Year:

  • Arcade Fire at Brixton Academy, London

Low cheese Xmas music

If you’re stuck at the folks’ and sick of the usual really crap Xmas music already (names that spring to mind…Slade, Cliff Richard, Band Aid Mud, Slade, Slade, Slade….did I mention Slade?), then you might want to buzz over to The Blue Walrus blog and check out their festive compilation, Blue Christmas II.If I only I had this back in the day, as an antidote to my dad’s cassette of Christmas songs sung in Cantonese!

Edit- I’ve listened to the whole mix now and I recommend skipping REM’s track on Disc 1, as they seem to have taken leave of their senses and covered the dreaded Slade, ergh!


Flickr Stats AKA Sex Sells

Swedish Samba dancer

I joined Flickr some time in 2005 (old skool!) and became a Pro member soon after that. After a year of Pro, I bought another 2 years to take me up to the start 0f 2009 and I have never regretted this decision one bit.

They recently introduced a Stats page so you can see how many views your photos have been getting as well as the referring source of the view. I’ve got just over 2000 photos on Flickr which have been viewed about 90,000 times in total. So on average, that’s about 45 views per photo.

The photo at the top of this post was uploaded to Flickr in November 2005. The photo below was uploaded in October of the same year. Currently, they have 4530 and 4303 views respectively. In the Long Tail of my Flickr Photostream, these two are definitely at the very left of the graph.

il tuo stimolatore magnetico naturale

I’ve only managed to appear transiently in Flickr’s Explore a couple of times. Currently a photo of some moo stickers is my only representative.

Although it would be nice to take some photos that consistently appear in Explore, I don’t really mind too much if they don’t. I can’t be arsed, nor do I have the time to try gaming the Flickr “interestingness” system and I rather like the concept of the Photostream anyway.

That’s not to say that I put any old crap up there…I do usually go through a selection process and sometimes, I even bother to do some cropping and post-processing!  Some of my photos are not too bad, I think.

Anyhow, I anticipate that in the days ahead my blog stats will spike dramatically…similar to what happened when I posted about my take on the Fakenger phenom. Posting some photos of semi-naked women will probably replicate that times 10! I might report back on it in Sex Sells Pt 2?

Chow for niao.

PS – my most viewed Flickr photo that doesn’t feature scantily clad females in a g-string/thong is my photo of the Glass Elevator in the Apple Store in Regent St. I’m not sure why though…pretty average shot.

My most “interesting” photo is the Spoke Cards photo of the messenger spoke cards I have/had in the front wheel of my fixie.

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Blogger/Blogspot now defunct

“R.I.P. Rest In Peace” from beauteous on Flickr. (by-nc-nd)

OK, so I flagged it earlier in the year…and now I’ve actually gotten off my arse and done it.

Both and now redirect to, which is powered by

So head to the renewed Platform 3 site and check it out.

Aloha Blogger…I like a lot of Google services but you aren’t quite up to scratch.

I’m about to defect to WordPress

Exodus II from the photostream of _mpd_ . Reused under a Creative Commons licence

Sorry Blogger, even after you released “New Blogger” and I created a new version of Platform 3…the blog on there and played around with it, I am still going to jump ship.

As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve had my eye on WordPress for a while…using one for work purposes. I have also set one up for another purpose and have found that I like it more than Blogger.

Here is what Platform3…the blog looks like after being exported onto I think it looks better and it also has functionality that in my opinion is more advanced in many ways than Blogger. What do you think???

Now if only I can get Bruce, my hosting provider to install WordPress on the server at so I can have better customisation…I have grown to like Google Analytics. I will have to buttonhole him at his wedding this coming Thursday and get him to install it when the dust dies down.

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