Sunday, 21 December 2008

Kak funny

These two South African productions made me lag baie fokkin hard. Jislaaikit.

Seduction101 - the lesser of the two, because it isn't in Afrikaans, but still good.


Poena is Koning! KAK funny.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Croquet Anyone???

Thought these pic's were quite amusing. The concentration. The competitiveness. The planning and organisation. And of course the Whites....

Monday, 15 December 2008

So rad

This might be the coolest thing ever made for a Nintendo handheld (with the exception of Tetris and Mario, of course)... witness the Korg DS-10. It was being officially launched in Tokyo the day after i left (they had a launch party with like a whole orchestra of dudes playing these things into a huge soundsystem) but luckily its now available in Aus. This is so awesome it inspires me to use words like 'ill', and 'fuckin' dope'. Standby for my fist composition.
Check it :

Iraqi journalist throws shoe at Bush and calls him a dog

And this shows that he still needs a shoe to the head.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Gregs Top Music List for 2008

Please excuse the layour issues, i started this on a pc, and my mac is buggering it up to spite me.

Top Five Albums of the Year (in no particular order):
  • Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

  • TV on the Radio - Dear Science

  • Santogold - Santogold

  • Portishead - Third (I know its just more of the same, but i reckon its still pretty good)
  • Bloc Party - Intimacy

Album that made me (for a fleeting moment) not hate hip hop for the uncreative, self-contratulatory wank-fest that it has become :

  • Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain (I know, its old, but it still sounds fresh)

Albums that got me all excited with the first few listens, but then aged like a Hypercolor t-shirt (badly) :

  • The Kills - Midnight Boom

  • Yeasayer - All hour cymbals

  • MGMT - Oracle Spectacular (apparently this was releasd last year actually)

Albums that dont deserve to have ever been distributed this year, perhaps ever (even on CD, and i hate CD's!)

  • The Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing or whatever stupid hipster name they gave it
  • Any song ever ruined by Mark Ronson (have you heard that guy speak? Ugh!)

Albums that i havent heard enough of to love yet, but will love in due course :

  • Hercules and Love Affair

Full 'best of' list coming soon...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

My music lists

Okay, it has to be done, so I'll start.....

Here are the 20 tracks I've listened to the most in the past 12 months per Last.FM

1 Alaska In Winter – The Homeless and the Hummingbirds 16
2 Bon Iver – Skinny Love 14
3 Bon Iver – The Wolves (Act I and II) 13
4 Bon Iver – Blindsided 12
4 Tobacco – Dirt (featuring Aesop Rock) 12
6 Bon Iver – Team 11
6 Bon Iver – Lump Sum 11
6 Bon Iver – Creature Fear 11
6 Bat For Lashes – I'm on Fire 11
6 Tokyo Police Club – Tessellate (Remix By Tom Campesinos!) 11
11 Bon Iver – For Emma 10
11 Bon Iver – Flume 10
11 Yeasayer – 2080 10
14 Thurston Moore – Honest James 9
14 M. Ward – Post-War 9
14 Okkervil River – Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe 9
14 M. Ward – Chinese Translation 9
14 The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #2 9
14 LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum 9
20 Dr. Dog – The Ark

And albums:

1 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago 100
2 Tobacco – Fucked Up Friends 74
3 Eagles of Death Metal – Peace Love Death Metal 70
4 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones 66
5 Tinariwen – Aman Iman: Water Is Life 65
6 TV on the Radio – Dear Science 63
7 Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 54
7 The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely 54
9 Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals 53
10 The Dø – A Mouthful 51

But that's not quite an accurate reflection, as they don't show what I've been listeneing to on CD. My favorites this year:

1. Nick Cave - Dig Lazarus Dig!!
2. Bon Iver - From Emma, for ever ago
3. Tobacco - Fucked up friends
4. The Kills - Midnight Boom
5. TVOTR - Dear Science
6. Stax Records - 50th Anniversary Compilation
7. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
8. Mojo's New sound of blues and soul (just a cheap freebie with a mag, but damn it's good)
9. Calexico - Carried to Dust
10. Joan as a policewoman - Honor my wishes

These are 2007 records which I only discovered this year and have been sufficiently overplaying:
Thurston Moore - Trees outside the acadamy
Bill Callahan - Woke on a whaleheart
Tinarawen - Aman Iman

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Nippon Ichi Ban

Konichiwa homeys! 

I've been meaning to write this blog post for a while, but between travelling (for business and pleasure) and writing up lists of things to do in Sydney for Phil to ignore, I've been pretty busy. Anyways, i was only in Tokyo for a week, and worked a lot of that week, and didn't take many pictures the rest of the time, so this is going to be a short post. 

As some of you know, I've always been fascinated with Japan, so i was amped to go there for a week, even if it was for work... After an overnight flight i ignored m bulging inbox, and headed out to check out some shops in Shibuya, which is the hipster district of Tokyo (this is a bit misleading because all of Tokyo is pretty hip).  It was at Shinagawa station, down the road from my hotel, where i had my first experience with the Tokyo public transport system, and i was blown away... I could write a whole blog post about how great the Tokyo metro is, but it still wouldn't do it justice. Tube be damned! The Japanese got it right. You have to be pretty mercenary though. If you get a seat, you don't give it up for anyone, 'specially not the aged who shouldn't be sitting anyway when there is work to be done somewhere. Shinagawa at night:

From Nippon

Anyway, witness Shibuya crossing below, apparently one of the largest in the world. Even if the Japanese had it in them to jaywalk, you wouldn't want to do it here...
From Nippon

I found some awesome record stores, and ate some super fresh soba noodles, and then headed back to the hotel to sit at the desk in my room looking busy when my manager Matt arrived. We then met our prehistoric agent Sawa-san who was a pretty cool old dude, but took us to a really bad restaurant for appetisers (only bad one we found the whole trip) and then apologised profusely, spitting as he explained that the owners were 'probably Chinese'. He then took us to a tempura restaurant that was pretty much the best meal of fried goodies I've ever had. During the meal, Sawa taught me that if you hold your chopsticks further back, then 'you don't have to put such a big piece in your mouth'. Jeebus, I was hungry!

Anyway, the next few days were a blur of meetings and trains (I almost got the white glove treatment in the morning rush hour) at huge Japanese corporations where all the identically dressed engineers stared meaningfully at my business card and exclaimed AH-SO! when i said i was from the Austerarian office - AH-SO Kangaroo? Interestingly, all the lead engineers looked like they were 15, but I'm guessing from their identical suits, they all loved school girls just the same. Between some meetings in Yokohama, we passed by Iron Chef Chinese, the Sichuan Sage, Chen Kenichis restaurant (for the Iron Chef fans out there) but sadly we didn't have time to go inside and sample his mapo-tofu:

From Nippon

Matts rad friend Steve - (who made this awesome website from a cycling trip he did from LONDON to TOKYO) took us out for two great meals, the last of which was at this great kind of Japanese pub/bistro kind of place (he said it was a yakitori restaurant i think) between tons of these pay-per-hour 'love hotels'. The menu was written all over the wall in Japanese, so thanks gott Steve and Sawa ordered for us. Sawa pointed out that this fine specimen was not on the menu :
From Nippon

Luckily this one was :
From Nippon

Those bright signboards are love hotels...

From Nippon

Anyway, i had Saturday to look around, so i headed over to the royal palace in the middle 0f the city. 

It was pretty peaceful, if a little boring, so i headed over to Akihabara, which is nicknamed 'electrictown' because of all the electronics shops. There are a fortune of electronics shops, selling everything from vintage synths, to classic Atari games, to strange electrical components, and everything in between (including a generous serving of Japanese soft porn - they love their big boobies, those Japanese!). 

From Nippon

Like the rest of Tokyo, there were vending machines EVERYWHERE, selling everything. Did you know that Tommy Lee Jones is the BOSS even though he sports some pretty gay colours? (yeah, that's Suntory from Lost in Translation, if you were wondering).

From Nippon

After that it was back to Shibuya to check out this famous comic book store (unbelievable, but pretty much nothing in Engrish) which also stocks lots of costumes for 'cosplay' which means dressing up like a comic book character and living out your fantasies on the forgiving streets of Tokyo. I've tried, but cant imagine someone getting away with this in a western city, you'd be wedgied to death within seconds of leaving the store. Anyway, this post is getting long and boring, so I'll skip my jeans buying experience (Edwins are the business) and just post some random pics from the trip.

Cambodia fisheye pics coming soon.

Aregato gazaimas!


Monday, 8 December 2008

lists and more lists

As I said last year, year end lists rock.
So once again here's Time's list of best albums. They really are not a mag who I would expect to come up with good music recommendations, but I think that makes me more interested in their choices. Lil Wayne takes top spot (is this album really that good and why haven't i heard it?) beating TVOTR (taken me a while but I'm loving the new album). Strange inclusions from Metallica (wtf!?) and Girl Talk (it's just 2manydjs using american frat party music). Portishead is in their as well, but i still don't get the attraction of the latest album.

Also this article under the most underreported stories is amusing, and there are some great inclusions in teh best photos of the year.

For a more credible and extensive list on the music side, the amazon's editors top 100 is pretty good, although obviously very american.

On a completely different note, here's a random story that I think may interest some of you on how the consumer downturn in america has affected the price of recyclables just as it has done other commodities.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Aimlessly blogging

Woo-hoo, I just let out my third report yesterday (Bell equipment: value but high risk, hold recommendation but investors with an appetite for risk could consider buying the stock) and have finished calling the insto's (institutions) to give them my 2min summary of the 35pg report because I know that none of them will read anything more than the exec summary anyways.

So now I have a chance to blog, and as always share some random articles that I've come across.

Some of you may have heard that in a couple of years you're gonna need a set top box (basically a decoder) to watch any tv (even SABC) in South Africa. This is because in line with the direction the rest of the world is taking, we're moving to a complete digital format. There are many reasons including greater language coverage, freeing up of spectrum for telecoms services and developing the electronic manufacturing sector. There's also a lot of critisism for the project. Basically it's an ambitious project that will affect most people in SA, so if you're interested read more here

In the global financial world there are more and more people predicting that the US is gonna have to take on too much debt to fund all these rescue packages, and ultimately the economy will falter. See here.

Following on Phil's article on Pitchfork, I was reading this review for Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit. Sounds interesting, there's a BLK JKS collaboration, and the album is a free download.

When I get home I expect these albums to be waiting for me in the post:


And finally a shameless plug. For those living in Jozi my sister has just opened a gift store with some rad xmas gifts. See the article in the times. It's in the Park centre on Jan Smuts in Parkwood. Park cafe next to them also serves great coffee.

The Findi's up but the Alsi's down. The world is not coming to an end, only the mining sector and a couple of hedge funds.

Have a great weekend y'all

M.IA.'s Paper Planes up for best record!

You prolly saw on Pitchfork already, but this year's Grammy nominees are actually worth taking an interest in...

Like the article says: "Yes, Lil Wayne and Radiohead are competing for Album of the Year. Please dear god, let those two pair up for one of those collaborative medley things that the Grammys always do. Please!".

Thursday, 4 December 2008

LoFi doin' it for me at the moment

In electronic and garage-rock form. The Chromatics....

...and Crystal Stilts.

Both pretty rad. Both been around a while, but I only discovered them recently. Maybe you already know them. Maybe you don't. Chromatics's latest album is their first on Italians Do It Better, which means it's good (the label's After Dark compilation is also hawt).

I can't get onto MySpace at work to link you to their pages. So go do it yourself.

The Doctor.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Water water water

The story gets more intriguing by the day: What Turton’s gagging has brought to surface for SA . The author is very experienced in the issues.