Friday, 27 February 2009

20 hours 'til Bag Raiders




Can't.

Fucking.

Wait.



How come we didn't see these guys at Parklife last year?

We have five items on the agenda for today

In the first instance...



The forthcoming album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz, leaked not so long ago. As sad as I am that this would happen to a band like the YYYs (and I genuinely am), getting a sneak peek at the album has only cemented my resolve to buy it when it comes out April 10.

It is very electro rock and quite the polished progression from the grittier Show Your Bones and yet-grittier Fever To Tell.

You'll love it. Clear highlights for your blogger are "Heads Will Roll", "Zero" and "Dragon Queen".



In the second instance...

Depeche Mode - "Wrong" (official music video)


Depeche Mode have released the official music video for their song "Wrong" from their forthcoming 12th album Sounds Of The Universe.

I'd say it was a lot like the music video La Roux released for their track "In For The Kill", but the similarities kinda end with a car and driving being the dominant theme. Whereas La Roux go for fierce, Depeche Mode instead opt for progressively disturbing. Check out how it ends.

Nice.



In the third instance...



I've been checking Depeche Mode's website almost religiously and am yet to see anything more helpful than Pre-order the Deluxe Box Set Edition: links coming soon!

Ugh.



In the fourth instance...



La Roux's second single "In For The Kill" isn't as good as "Quicksand", but remains a hell of a lot better than a lot of the other stuff coming out of late (Fist Of God anyone?). The music video has lots of driving and singing and more driving and singing. Looks very stylish and Elly looks quite dashing in the driver's seat.

As good as the song is, and as much as I can't get into dubstep, Skream did manage pull out a marvelous remix. I love how it slowly builds and builds on what appear to be largely repetitive lyrics. This isn't the first time Skream has impressed me with his remixing. The job he did on DM frontman, Dave Gahan's "Saw Something" is similarly top notch.

Pick up Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix of La Roux's "In For The Kill" over at Ohh Crapp!. They've also got the video for you to have a gander. They're so obliging.

Oh and LA Friendly have a cheeky remix of the same song by The Twelves.



In the fifth instance...

I love my new iphone.

I really do.

Monday, 23 February 2009

WRONG!!!




LA Friendly have a sneak peek at Depeche Mode's forthcoming album Sounds Of The Universe that is so very far from wrong.

Titled "Wrong", the song marks a very welcome return to the Violator sound, a sound free of the more experimental electronica they've been pursuing through Exciter and more recently Playing The Angel. Don't get me wrong. Both are great albums. Its just that Violator has always been the truly DM album for me.

Following what Radiohead did with In Rainbows, Depeche Mode are releasing the album as a deluxe box set that includes:

CD 1 - Sounds Of The Universe
1. In Chains
2. Hole To Feed
3. Wrong
4. Fragile Tension
5. Little Soul
6. In Sympathy
7. Peace
8. Come Back
9. Spacewalker
10. Perfect
11. Miles Away / The Truth Is
12. Jezebel
13. Corrupt

CD 2
Bonus tracks
1. Light
2. The Sun And The Moon And The Stars
3. Ghost
4. Esque
5. Oh Well

Remixes
6. Corrupt - Efdemin Remix
7. In Chains - Minilogue's Earth Remix
8. Little Soul - Thomas Fehlman Ambient Mix
9. Jezebel - SixToes Remix
10. Perfect - Electronic Periodic Dark Drone Mix
11. Wrong - Caspa Remix

CD 3
Demos
1. Little 15
2. Clean
3. Sweetest Perfection
4. Walking In My Shoes
5. I Feel You
6. Judas
7. Surrender
8. Only When I Lose Myself
9. Nothing's Impossible
10. Corrupt
11. Peace
12. Jezebel
13. Come Back
14. In Chains

DVD
Video
Making The Universe / Film (45.23)
Usual Thing, Try And Get The Question In The Answer (55.12)
Sounds Of The Universe [A Short Film] (10.05)
Wrong (promo video - 3.16)
Studio Sessions:
Corrupt (4.08)
Little Soul (3.52)
Stories Of Old (3.24)
Come Back (6.05)

Audio
Sounds Of The Universe plus bonus tracks in 5.1 surround sound
1. In Chains
2. Hole To Feed
3. Wrong
4. Fragile Tension
5. Little Soul
6. In Sympathy
7. Peace
8. Come Back
9. Spacewalker
10. Perfect
11. Miles Away / The Truth Is
12. Jezebel
13. Corrupt

Bonus tracks
1. Light
2. The Sun And The Moon And The Stars
3. Ghost
4. Esque
5. Oh Well

Packaging / additional content:
2 piece custom made box with foil blocking.
2 x 84 page hardback books:
The first featuring the lyrics to all the songs from the Sounds Of The Universe sessions accompanied by exclusive photography by Anton Corbijn.
The second featuring exclusive and candid studio photography by Daniel Miller, Ben Hillier, Luke Smith and Ferg Peterkin.
2 exclusive enamel badges
1 poster
5 artcards, sealed in a collectors envelope
1 certificate of authenticity



I'm pre-ordering the sonofabitch the moment a link pops up on the DM website.

Depeche Mode are the last great band I'm desperate to see live and Sounds Of The Universe is my In Ghost Colours for this year. I couldn't be more excited right now.

Really.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Oh yes I did!




... and we love it!

Now, if anyone has played Touch Physics can they please get in touch with me about beating level 8?



I've dropped a wedge on the damn ball but it won't budge, and I'm not sure how I'm meant to get it across to the star unless I draw a line from the white snowy peaks to the arm of the snowman, but then how do I get the damn ball to roll down that line to the snowman?

Ugh. Fuck. Shit. HELP!!!

All good things come to an end




Fallout 3 has claimed an obscene number of my hours since I got the game late last year. The game is immersive, open-ended and painfully addictive. Don't even ask how many times I've checked the clock on my cellphone only to realise it is four in the morning.

As addictive as the game is, I'm about ready to give it up for good. The main thing that kept me coming back, besides the gratuitous slow-motion head shots, was character development. I liked that the character grew in ways I wanted and that one could see the effects of those improvements.

Well, I've reached level 20 with my character and the game has decided that that is that. Any further development is from skill books, and I'm sorry but that just doesn't do it for me. I'm not even halfway through the main quest and have a good number fo side quests left to do. Its just that discovering new places, hunting down ever rarer loot, taking on enemy after enemy - none of it seems to matter much anymore.

If anyone wants to give it a go, let me know and I'll pass it on. I can also provide a few pointers so you don't end up restarting your character as many times as I did.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

This is my blog under section 92A













































































... boring, eh?

If you're in Wellington, there's a protest action at Parliament around 12:30pm. I plan on being there.

So should you.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Important life decisions

Should I get an iphone this week or instead book flights to Auckland for WOW at Neonsleep's website launch party in Auckland in a couple weeks?





Which is it to be, ladies and gentlemen?

"I'm pretty fed up with guitar - Indie and techno can get a bit monotone after a while."




I was tempted to headline this post with some gibberish as might be uttered by the Swedish Chef off the Muppets, but that would confuse the point of this post.

The 2007 album Det Snurrar I Min Skalle by Sweden's Familjen is proving just the thing I needed to listen today. I don't care that the lyrics are in Swedish, and so mean very little to me. The beats and rhythms are bouncy and fun and bear a striking resemblance to the baggy house of Black Grape and others in the 90s, albeit far less obnoxious than those acts were back then.

The album is just ridiculously fun with "Kom Sager Dom", "Huvudet I Sanden" and the title track "Det Snurrar I Min Skalle" proving very strong favourites.

It helps that I saw these guys twice on my last trip to Melbourne (Parklife and support for Ladytron), but the album is still a winner.

Pick it up if you don't already have it. I'm sure it's somewhere on itunes if your local CD store isn't borad-minded enough to get an album like this. JB might have it. I think I got my copy at Polyester.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Moments of maddening envy




Never Ever Land is returning to the UK with a line-up that includes Afrika Bambaataa, Drums Of Death, Holy Ghost!, The Golden Filter and Zomby as well as a number of Modular acts in support. The trip across to the other end of the globe would be worth it for Holy Ghost! and The Golden Filter alone.





The Human League are playing the V Festival across the pond end of March / early April and more than that, they're performing their album Dare live. Sweet Jesus! It's a shame the rest of the line-up is fairly ho-hum (Killers, Snow Patrol *yawn*)

It's official!

I've downloaded as much as Telecom will allow me until the cap clicks over to the next month's 10gb allocation of online goodness. So here goes with some announcements I've left wanting for reasons that are really quite lame...





Dan Deacon is playing Bodega this Thursday and you suck wet hairy ass if you aren't going to be there. Should be as good as Girl Talk minus the plastics and their anxious oaf boyfriends. Apparently his album has leaked and from what I've read, because of course I can't download anything right now, it is less dancey than Spiderman Of the Rings, which should make for a very interesting evening. Tickets are $25 ad doors open at 9:00pm. High Places and DJ Lotion are support.





Paul has let it be known that pre-sales for OK OK with Bag Raiders may still be available on UTR so you better be in quick. This the first of a series of Modular nights being held here in the land of the long white cloud and Bag Raiders are not an act to be missed. Cool Kids Club and DJ Lotion are support. OK OK is at San Fran on the night of February 27 and pre-sales are now $20.





Paul has also let it be known that Sohomo is coming back to Wellington the night of March 8, and he's bringing Over The Atlantic, DJs A.D.A.M. and Babes!Babes!Babes! (Shaun is too much fun) down with him with DJ Lotion representing our nation's capital. Should be a grand grand night, but then Sohomo never disappoints. Door sales are $10 and they open at 10:00pm.





Quintron and Miss Pussycat are coming to Mighty Mighty the night of 11 March and I really might have to go. Pre-gig puppet show? Hell, yes! Tickets are $20 and doors open at 9:00pm.





The Kills can't get here soon enough. Everyone's favourite asian got me a ticket, I just need to pay him back for it. He's good like that. They play San Fran on March 26. Tickets are $50 and I couldn't care less who is playing support. It's The MOTHERFUCKING Kills.





Santogold is now Santigold. Yeah. I was thinking the exact same thing.





Paul must be chasing sainthood with his not-so-obvious news that Le Castle Vania will be appearing in New Zealand in May. Granted it'll be in Auckland, but holy shit! I'm going, and so should you. Roadtrip anyone? Le Castle Vania plays Casette 9 the night of May 3. No word on ticket prices, door times or support. Yet.





How awesome are the new albums from Bat For Lashes, Fever Ray, The Juan Maclean and Junior Boys? Very, is the answer I'm looking for, people.



So, what's new with you?

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Something big must be going down

It sounds like every fire truck and ambulance in the city is roaring past my office window, most with police escort.

Traffic musn't be getting the fuck out of their way because the fire trucks keep honking their horns.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ride of the Valkyrie




I saw Valkyrie with Te Papa last week and have five things to say about the film, namely:

1. It played like an action film of old, before they became ruined by irrelevantly large explosions, by "state of the art" special effects, and by the now-ubiquitous over-use of CGI.

2. I'm not sure I liked that the good guys had English and American accents, while the bad guys had German and faintly-Russian accents. Just a little too obvious.

3. I liked that the pointless sentimentality was saved for the very end.

4. Tom Cruise was actually pretty good in it.

5. I genuinely enjoyed the film.



That is all.

Far from rough trade




I lunched at Trade Kitchen earlier this week with the wives and had a marvellous time. Good food, good company, good conversation, good timing.

The related experiences of others that have been there had me a little anxious how things would go. Whether around problems with the service they received or the food they were served, I wanted this to go well.

And went very well.

The lunch menu had a range of items that could tickle the interest of most people, but without burying us under a fussy and cluttered menu. Two of us went with the pea and halloumi fritters while the third of us went for wild mushroom and chicken risotto. The fritters were really rather good with the sweetness of the peas working well with the saltiness of the halloumi and the basil mayo and sliced avocado adding a nice smoothness and coolness to the overall dish. The roast beet and kumara side was cooked so well the balsamic syrup was made entirely unnecessary.

The food really was well done and I wish I'd thought to offer my compliments to the chef. Ah well, next time.

The service wasn't half bad either with staff who knew what they were talking about and got the job over and done with in a good and orderly manner.

My one gripe would be the layout. Trade Kitchen straddles a vacant corner store in an awkward L-shape and we were perhaps unfortunately situated along the more cafe end of the restaurant, which meant it all had a rather awkward ambience as mothers tried to push prams past us. Ok, so maybe it was only the one mother, but it was still awkward.

Would I go again? Definitely.

Would I go with just anyone? Probably not.

A cry for help




It seems appropriate to share this BBC news item that found its way to my inbox earlier today.

Before we get into what it says I feel I should point out that I am neither in the position to, nor of a disposition to, embezzle money from my employer to feed a habit my ample disposable income more than ably satisfies.

Long story short, some guy in the UK was arrested for embezzling a fuckload of cash from his employer and when police raided his place they found numerous cases of dunnies in his attic that he'd bought from ebay.

Although he says he pocketed just over NZ$1.5m to feed his "gambling addiction", it does seem odd that someone would choose to do that by buying dunnies. Sure they're worth ridiculous amounts of money online, but then you tend to have to spend that amount of money from the moment Kidrobot release them onto the market.

Maybe its the cycnicism speaking here or perhaps I'm reflecting my own motives on his motives, but I think he bought as many of them as he did because he liked them, and that worries me from what it says about me and my 'affection' for the dunny figure. I'm not indiscriminate in my purchasing of the figures. Far from it. I've passed on a number of the 8" releases and stopped getting blind boxes when POPUP was from sold out in that particular series. I do have restraint, albeit difficult to discern from my collection.

I love dunnies.

I make no bones about that, because it's true.

Challenged a couple of weeks back on just how many of the little figures I had, I just last week pulled down from the ceiling all of my dunnies. Stacked together, I was quite taken aback by the 13 full cases of figures (with 25 of the 3" figures in each case), the smallish bag of assorted 3" dunnies and the 15 8" dunnies I've got lined up in my room. Adding yet more to the private himiliation was the feeling that I still wanted more of the little buggers. Lots more.

I just wonder if I'll need someone to slap me in the face, to grab my shoulders and shake some sense into me should this ever get out of hand.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Cookies!




The cellphone camera is a beautiful thing, when images like this appear from nowhere.

The internet truly is a beautiful thing, when something like this springs from a post like this.

I never did ask Kell if it was wholesome and delicious.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

TRADING : Ye Olde English Dunny Series




Ok, so anyone not interested in dunnies can just ignore this post.

For those that are and have also been collecting KidRobot's latest dunny series, please allow me to be the saviour of your completist fantasies. Yes, it is trading time.

I have gone a bit mental for this series and picked up a lot more in a shorter period of time than I normally have, but then POPUP only got in 20 cases and I'm not sure they'll be able to get anymore. When I left the store on Thursday afternoon, they still had around three cases left, and it is easy to see why. The production and quality problems they had with Series 5 seem to have been well and truly resolved and this series features some really stand-out designs. KidRobot also seem to have worked out that we're happier collecting more and more of the dunnies when they ensure the more frequent pick-ups are designs good enough to warrant buying just one more blind box.

And so on the basis of that explanation I hope you'll understand when I unashamedly declare I've picked up 63 dunnies from the Ye Olde English series. Yes, just over 10% of the dunnies that POPUP got in from this series.

Here's a breakdown of what I've got so far:

McFaul x 4

Mimic x 3 (black) x 1 (red)

ilovedust x 2

Jon Burgerman x 4

TADO x 8

Doktor A x 7 (tree)

UAMOU x 4

Clutter x 2

Peskimo x 6

HiCalorie x Julie West x 1

Frames x 5

Triclops x 2 (TASH) x 8 (rainhead)

Shok-1 x 6

[I'll throw pics up once KidRobot get around to including these designs in their online roster of dunny releases]

The dunnies in this series I am very interested in are the McFaul (but then who isn't), the rainhead Triclops (looks very cool en masse) and the TADO (just adorable).

Now, here's how I prefer to do things:

1. I'm more interested in trading dunnies rather than taking cash.

2. I'm more interested in multiples of the designs that really float my boat, rather than filling the few gaps I have in my collection.

3. I'm not so fussed on the rarity of a figure, so will take more common dunnies in exchange for rarer ones where I like the design of the dunnies being offered.

4. I'm happy to trade across the different dunny series, so let me know if there are figures you want or can offer from any of the previous series.

What do you have? What do you want? What are you willing to trade to get what you want? Let's talk.

Post a comment or email me on the address in the sidebar to your left.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Priorities




I was going to buy an iphone today but then decided I'd rather buy dunnies instead.

So I did.

Fuck it!




The Telecommunications Carriers Forum have developed a draft code of practice for ISPs to follow when dealing with infringement notices they receive from copyright holders. This was developed in response to the imminent entry into force of the provisions of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008.

You can find the draft code here and they are seeking feedback on the draft code with submissions due Friday 9 March 2009.

Now, for those not used to plowing through dull documents like these then I suggest you head here to see what InternetNZ had to say about the draft code. It provides a pretty good overview of the key aspects of the code that bloggers and other internet users ought to be aware, especially if and when you find yourselves on the receiving end of the resulting process.

Oh and in case you were wondering, yes I will be putting in a personal submission on the draft code.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Points of clarification : Little Boots


Source: myspace (Copyright Gabriel Green)


Three things.

Firstly...
The Escape supplement in the immediate past Sunday Star Times has a brilliant piece on Little Boots cobbled from an item syndicated from the Guardian News & Media. Much like with the coverage Ladyhawke has received in our local media, I'm still somewhat amazed to see mainstream media over here pick up on acts I normally assume to be too niche to ever appeal to too many people down here in the ass end of the South Pacific.

Anywho, the item ends saying her EP (the Arecibo EP???) was released exclusively on itunes on Monday, but I'll be buggered if I can find it. The only Little Boots item on the NZ store I could find was the Fake Blood remix of "Stuck On Repeat" from some otherwise dreadful Ministry Of Sound compilation. Ugh.

Secondly...
A super friend of mine of the yet-to-meet-in-real-life variety is seeing Little Boots in New York tomorrow and I couldn't be more happy for her or jealous of her. I really do need to sort my shit out and head up north to see Little Boots myself. Anyone want to come see her in Paris in April? Oui? Non?

Thirdly...
I picked up a number of Little Boots' demos when she uploaded them sequentially onto her myspace over a month or so and one of them was her cover of Freddie Mercury's "Love Kills". I haven't heard the original so don't know how faithful a rendition she's made. What I do know is that madame's cover is a lovely gem of a song (which you can still check out on her myspace - radness). What I also know is that the Buffetlibre guys and Sidechains remixed it for the Rewind 2 series, and in doing so produced one of the clear stand-out tracks in the 89 song series. Is it wrong for me to prefer the poppier cover to the banging remix? Because I do. I really do.

Fourthly...
I know I said I only had three things, but I just had to squeeze this in.

Who needs a backing band when a tenorion can do it all for you?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Speaking of incredible...




I really don't know how I got onto these guys but damn am I glad I have. Why? Grocery Eats do the kind of food blogging I really wish could be done here in Wellington.

Case in point =
Texas BBQ : just check out that meat and the ridiculously helpful descriptions of what they got. Maaaaate.

Case in point = Bacon beer : this probably tastes disgusting and may very well turn even the most hardened beer-drinker off going near beer ever again, but I all the same am left kinda desperate to know how it goes and am genuinely curious enough to taste the finished product.

I think it goes without saying that Grocery Eats caters to a side of my palate I am just hopeless at satisfying. Wellington has little to no street food to speak of, too many of the less upmarket establishments in this city have left me mildly offended, and the making of fried food is as foreign to my cooking abilities as baking.

I probably should just grow a pair and do something about that, whether making more of an effort to check out places to eat in Wellington or frying shit up to the point it becomes second nature, but it seems so much easier and more enjoyable to just do it vicariously through the guys over at Grocery Eats.

How incredible is this?




Very, is the answer I'm looking for people.

I've been meaning to blog this ever since it popped up on Hyperbole over the weekend. The track it was advertising is still sitting on my desktop.

To anyone who could bake me a bakers dozen of these blue monsters, I would forever be the only friend you could ever want, need or desire.

I think I still have a Tickle-Me Cookie Monster somewhere up in the ceiling among the dunnies and the comics I haven't read in almost a decade.

Instances of online awesomeness

I'm feeling lazy.


Running Ponies put me to shame in the ranting and raving department, and yet colour me oh so smitten.

OTN leave me pondering the logistics of chroming a table tennis table.

Some Bastard has a live clip of French DJ quartet Birdy Nam Nam playing out "Violons", a much better track than my previous favourite track of theirs "Abbesses".

Asian Dan has a ridiculously amusing teaser for the forthcoming music video for Sebastien Tellier's "Roche".

FoundTrack have a clip from the Selfridges release of Kid Robot's Ye Olde English dunny series.

Asian Dan has a link to an interview XLR8R magazine did with Mr. Oizo that makes for pretty interesting reading.

Modular have a painfully homoerotic music video for Lifelike's remix of The Presets' "This Boy's In Love".

Vinyl Abuse have shown us what could have been with a failed submission for a Kid Robot dunny design.

Marshall gushes over the teaser trailer for the new Transformers film, although it just looks like more of the same to me.

Nerdy Frames posts a damn decent demotivation poster that could only be improved with cyborgs and werewolves.

Flabbergasted, if a little irritated




The trademe auction for the Prime Minister's bright blue arm cast (with bonus morning tea, his shout) has crossed the $10,000 mark and I really don't know what to say.

As happy as I am for the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ to benefit from the auction (they get all proceeds from the auction), this does seem to indicate a rather ridiculous state of affairs.

Is eye surgery in the Solomon Islands more or less needy than the work of City Missions, cancer research or battered women shelters? Is spending $10,000+ for a used arm cast and morning tea with the Prime Minister a particularly prudent thing to do in these economically-depressed times?

I really don't know why I should give a damn given my own achingly imprudent spending decisions and I am certainly not one to talk about wise investments, but for some reason this just rubs me the wrong way.

Monday, 2 February 2009

A step backwards?




New Zealand will be joining the ranks of Australia and the USA with it's own set of fairly ridiculous copyright laws that could see ISPs disconnecting the internet service for people accused of breaching copyright.

Awesome.

I guess the moral of this story is download what you can now and hope like hell no-one notices what you're doing once March kicks off.

I won't tell you to support the artists because we all do. Thanks to the internet, we're able to support them when we feel they deserve it and to the extent we feel they deserve our support. I'd hate to think we'd see a return to the tyranny of distance determining what we could and could not enjoy.

There is a lot more I want to say on the need for balance between the rights of artists and the rights of consumers, and how with rights come responsibilities on both sides, but I won't. Instead, I'll point you to what Dr Hitchcock has put together on the Act and other relevant stuff.

T-minus 26 days and counting, people.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Score!




The release party at POPUP last Friday night for Kid Robot's Ye Olde English Dunny series was ridiculously fun. Great tunes. Good gin. Dunnylovers aplenty. Some really rad designs in the new series. All of it helped add to a pretty sweet night.

Of particular note, the case I got on the night handed me a fair few of the better designs. As much as I like the one wearing a suit with the see-through head of rain, it's the beefeater that really floats my boat and I came away with two of the adorable buggers.

Although the series is the UK series, only some of the designs are overtly English, with the others looking nice but a bit out of place.

The production quality in the figures is the best yet, with some ridiculously intricate paintwork on some of the figures.

I will be buying more so if you want to trade spares, hit me up in the comments.

New beginnings




It seems my much-beloved Copita is to become the rather tackily self-described "Wellington's newest Japanese Restaurant".

Colour me genuinely horrified.

I'm not asking you to forgive the cultural snobbery. I'm merely asking you to understand that, at least to me, ethnic does not equate to fine dining and fine dining is what Wellington dearly needs more of, not ethnic.

Yes I do understand this is an irrational response given Koi has not yet opened or had a chance to prove itself a worthy successor to its preceding establishment, but that's how I roll.

LABBIT plus LEGO, multiplied by EVIL




This just arrived from our Melbourne correspondent on his way to Laneways.

I want one.

I'd also much rather be at Laneways right now than at work plugging away on things I'd otherwise struggle to get through this cruelly-abridged holiday week.

Sigh.