May 28, 2006

stadium arcadium

It's been four years or so since the Chili Peppers released By the Way. Like all of their past albums, it had a sound of it's own, but was a fairly predictable follow up to Californication (which took a while to grow on me, but is now part of my regular playlist).
Stadium Arcadium feels almost like a look to their past through older eyes. The energy they used to have is starting to wane, but in it's place is a comfortable, tight sound. Blood Sugar will always be my favourite album, but Stadium is not to be sniffed at. Tracks like the funky Hump de Bump, Warlock and Tell Me Baby are highlights, with Dani California, She's Only 18 and Turn Me On showing off John Frusciante's incredible guitar work. As they move away towards a more mellow style though, Flea doesn't get to spread his wings as much, being left to fill out the sound rather than lead it like he used to in tracks like If You Have to Ask and Suck My Kiss.

Overall, Stadium Arcadium is going to appeal more to new fans than old, but it's going to do well and deservedly so. The Red Hot Chili Peppers can still knock over the competition when they aren't even trying. If they tried just a little harder to funk it up, they could once again achieve greatness.

Verdict: Pretty damn good, but not life changing

May 20, 2006

halls gap

Deb's parents and her grandmother were over here for a holiday a few weeks ago. They went for a trip down the Great Ocean Road and then to Hall's Gap in the Grampians. I missed the first part of the trip, but met them in Hall's Gap after 4 or 5 days:

  • 5.45am wake up at alarm to catch 8.15 train from Spencer st
  • 7.30am wake up again without alarm
  • 7.35am leave the house after brushing teeth, using loo and dressing simultaneously
  • 7.42am catch a cab from Camberwell Station
  • 7.58am arrive at Spencer St
  • 8.01am buy ticket
  • 8.25am find that the train to Ararat is delayed
  • 9.10am leave Melbourne after standing on the platform for an hour
  • 11.00am train terminates at Ballarat instead of going through to Ararat due to an accident the day before
  • 11.10am manage to find the replacement coach that is going to Stawell
  • 11.45am coach driver announces that VLine is paying for a cab to get me to Hall's Gap because the late train made me miss my bus
  • 11.58am arrive in Stawell on the coach from Ballarat
  • 12.45pm cab drops me off at the nearest pub to Hall's Gap
  • 1.03pm my seafood basket arrives
  • 2.20pm time to get to the accommodation as Deb is running late and won't be there for a few more hours
  • 3.30pm find that the pub nearest to Hall's Gap was actually 4.5km from where we're staying, and I looked stupid walking around carrying a small suitcase
  • 4.00pm Deb and co arrive. Long bloody day I tell you

Anyway, there were bushfires in the region earlier in the year, so everywhere you look are burnt trees and stumps. It's starting to regenerate though, so it looks pretty cool.
The attached photos are:
"Lake" Lonsdale
Burnt trees new growth
The Grampians from above
Some kind of flower. Apparently you can live on it, but it tastes like shit
Bottles in the Seppelt drives
A ladder under the old entry point for the drives
Some of the local wildlife
Deb at dinner on her folk's anniversary

May 03, 2006

lucky he wasn't drunk

Or he'd be legless as well
Armless Man Caught Speeding