Saturday, June 06, 2009

Singing this will be the day that I die

After record labels and the album, then next victim of the digital age:

“Now, records can be made in a bedroom. With an Apple Mac, two good microphones and a few other bits and pieces, you can be more powerful than Abbey Road was 20 years ago,” he said

[From The day the music died for studios - Times Online]

In Peking there is a son / who is much greater than you want to be

Tank Man

Terril Jones had only shown the photograph to friends.

While working as a reporter in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he shot many photographs and recorded several hours of video. It wasn’t until weeks afterwards, when he had returned to Japan, that he discovered the magnitude of what he had captured — an iconic moment in history from an entirely unique angle.

His version of the tank man has never been published until now.

[From Behind the Scenes: A New Angle on History - Lens Blog -]

He's bigger than the both of us...

Interview with one of my best buddies......

Chad Taylor is a New Zealand born novelist whose most recent novel, The Church of John Coltrane, was published in France in January — in French. Taylor currently lives and work in London, where he is working on the final edit of his seventh novel. Prima Storia volunteer Jane Robertson recently caught up with Taylor in a cafĂ© on Brick Lane, in London’s East End, for a candid chat about genrelessness, rootlessness and open endings.

[From A Conversation with Chad Taylor ~ Prima Storia]

See, I know famous people.....Chad's new novel is out in France now

Now's the time for all good men / to get together with one another

Wooooowww......I knew it....

Friday, June 05, 2009

Another Porky Prime Cut......

It's the passion you find on blogs like this which define exactly why, despite the cries of doom, music and the industry that creates it, will, once the smoke clears, be absolutely fine.

I understand this:

George D. Henderson’s voice is infuriatingly frail. And at 17 songs, 62 minutes, some quality control was needed.

[From porky prime cuts]

Doesn't that apply to most albums? Hence the rise of the digital track download...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Take My Hand / And lead me to the promised land

Footpaths in Bali, in fact, in Indonesia, are rarely what we would call footpaths elsewhere.

Indeed I'm always bemused by the way mega malls that sit adjacent to each other in Jakarta, filled as they are with countless (real) Gucci, Prada, Boss and all the rest, seem unwilling, or are not obliged to put walkways between them. I guess that's the difference between retail in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia and retail in Indonesia...there they all feed off each other to create thriving shopping precincts, here they are trying hard to work against each other. Nuts really.

But back to Bali. where the tourists swarm and I guess a hefty percentage end up with an injury of some sort as a souvenir of the shocking state of the island's footpaths.

I blogged a while back (and I can't find it, mostly because I'm too lazy)..ohh, I've given myself a cloud now, so I'll try again..nope still can't find it and realised that all my old images seem to have disappeared into some sort of blogger purgatory after my move from Windows Livewriter to Ecto....what to do? Nothing I guess...

So I start again...I blogged a while back about this beauty near our office:Footpath in Kuta

Kuta Footpath 2

which takes a blind footpath over a drop of perhaps 8 metres into what can best be described as a public sewer.

Now, to complement that, we've got a new precipice for the unwary.

The brand new footpath in the sadly increasingly grotty and unwelcoming Jalan Laksmana (also know as Eat Street because of the number of upper to middle range eateries) is an engineering shocker, with weird angles, gaping gaps between the masonry, an uneven surface which one assumes was put in place without any attempt to flatten the underlying earth, and the common wisdom in the area is that somebody pocketed most of the budget for the project thus the disaster that we now have.

But that's neither here nor there because there are, mostly, no gaps to walk because it's blocked by belligerent taxis, and the motorbikes of the workers in the area. Thus forcing the pedestrians back onto the street to avoid the other taxis that maraud along there hunting for young Japanese couples they can take 20km out of their way back to their hotel.

In one of the brief bits you can navigate on foot you find, bang smack in the middle, this:

footpath on Jalan laksmana

which of course takes the unwary pedestrian back into a sewer...I see a pattern emerging, and not just the bumps on the sight impaired friendly (or not so friendly) bumpy bits.

But relief is at Jakarta, the omnipowerful legislature have, last week, passed a sweeping new traffic pedestrian friendly it now requires the disabled to wear a prominent badge, thus allowing them to be identified as less than normal and instructing drivers to let them cross. They won't of course.

I wonder what colour triangle best suits?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Like a lazy flowing river / Surrounding castles in the sky

This is actually pretty big news in the digital retail world as it marks the arrival of the first major on what is arguably the best digital music retailer. And it's hard to scream piracy when you simply can't buy the stuff outside places like the very user unfriendly iTunes, or the slightly friendlier but just as hard to search AmazonMP3.

eMusic may be the best site on the Internet for buying indie music, but those looking for major label tracks have always been disappointed by the selection. Today, though, eMusic took a major competitive step forward by licensing Sony's entire back catalog—that's everything, including the big names like Springsteen and Dylan, so long as it's more than two years old.

[From Springsteen, Dylan come to eMusic as labels open up - Ars Technica]

It's certainly more important than this incredible flow of unsupported drivel out of the UK. 4,000 jobs? Really? And you know this how?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some days the polar bear eats you...

Day in, day out Indonesia tests you. It has it's highs, and when they're high they're very, very high, and it has it's lows most of which are to do with the shocking state of the nation's crumbling infrastructure (including the education system) or it's nightmare bureaucracy, which feels like the worst elements of 19th Century Dutch colonial administration overlaid with half a century of incompetence and corruption, until nobody really knows what's going on much of the time.

Or the shitty, the customer is always wrong service.

Mostly though Indonesia is pretty easy going and muddles along. Java in particular always feels open and very generous (probably more so than Bali, where the smiles you see everywhere can sometimes hide something thoughts rather less charitable).

And so it was yesterday, when we went to the ISP to find out why we get cut off month in, month out regardless of whether we've paid or not. And we, at my insistence went to see the owner. And he re-defined the shitty, the customer is always wrong philosophy.

So, Pak Herry, why do we, regardless of whether we pay for your grossly overpriced and slow internet service, get cut off every month.

Because the money has not gone into our account.

But it happens when I pay cash in your office. In fact for the 36 odd months I've been with you, it's happened 20 times and I've never been late paying..not once.

It is because of your bank.

It has nothing to do with our bank. It also happens when I pay cash..please listen carefully.

No it doesn't.

Yes it does.

So you are saying I'm lying?

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can.

No you are not, you are now calling your long term reliable paying customer a liar and no number of smarmy platitudes will change that.

You must open an account in our bank.


You must open an account with our bank because our bank has problems with other banks.


You must open an account with our bank because our bank has problems with other banks.

Why can't you open an account at my bank since it's yours that is causing the problem.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. Please help us.

Good god. Brigid gets upset and tells Pak Herry that he's essentially a smarmy wanker. We move on....

Since you advertise 24hr service, is it possible to have someone in your office after 6pm and before 8am? That is, since your feed often goes down overnight...

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.


It costs too much. You must wait until morning.

So the biggest independent ISP in Bali can't afford one person to sit in the office overnight? I don't believe you.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.

Why can't my two connections, at work and home, be on the same invoice?

Mr Simon, we cannot do that.


It would confuse my staff. Please help us.

Surely it is a simple matter.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.

So I cannot get one invoice, because I'm worried that we will, now that I will have two connections, regardless of whether they are up to date, be randomly cut off every month.

Mr Simon, I cannot promise you that you won't but my staff are working very hard to serve you as well as we can.

No you're not. You are a smarmy soulless git, whose approach to business is to spend as little as possible and see how much you can get away with.

Perhaps you can open an account at our bank?

New ISPs are launching this year. But I'm thoroughly satisfied with ours, after all they are just trying to serve me the best they can.

Gotta believe when it's time to go / It's time to go

Petraeus on Gitmo:

Army Gen. David Petraeus said the U.S. military is “beat around the head and shoulders” with images of detainees held in Guantanamo, the facility in Cuba President Barack Obama has vowed to close. He said closing Guantanamo and ensuring detainees are dealt with by an appropriate judicial system would bolster the nation’s war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I do believe very strongly that we should live our values,” he said. “Generations of soldiers have fought to defend those values, and we should not shrink from living them, from operationalizing them, on the battlefield.”

[From Hot Air Headlines » Petraeus: Yes, it’s time to close Gitmo]

Bang, Bang / They shot me down

Heard a song on local radio today with a chorus that went:

Kill All White Men, Kill all White Men

It was repeated over and over again and I wondered how a tune called Kill All Black Men or Kill All Brown Men would go down on radio stations elsewhere.

This guy, in his powder bluel nazi helmet, as you do, and his speedos made me lighten up again.

A twit in Speedos