Archive for August, 2006

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swallow words like a placebo

August 23, 2006

a friend of mine recently syndicated my blog on LiveJournal, and when i realised that i didn’t even know what that meant, i knew it was time i investigated what all this rss stuff was about.  i’m often pretty slow with these things – i usually don’t bother finding out what something is until i have to use it – so i was pleasantly surprised to find that i no longer had to surf through my favourites in Internet Explorer when i needed a fix of something.  i now use FeedDemon, a Windows-based feed reader, to read all my blogs and any other sites that happen to have feeds.  with its three-pane layout, it kinda reminds me of the good old days of reading newsgroups in Outlook Express.  it does get a little sluggish sometimes, but only ’cause i insist on reading stuff in newspaper view, where it displays entries from different feeds all on one page like one giant, random blog, images and all.  it isn’t a free program, but you can download a trial version.  i only use it over, say, Feedreader, ’cause it’s more aesthetically pleasing.  they both have great features, and Feedreader is free.

anyway, now i spend entirely too much time reading other people’s blogs.  and i keep adding more feeds to FeedDemon.  in this age where everybody has a blog or a website or a fucking MySpace page, i wonder if i’ll ever have time to read everything.  but i suppose i’ll catch up soon.  i still have a frightening amount of unread posts, but it’ll probably get to point where i’ll just mark them all read and pretend they never happened.

in case you want it, here is my feed.

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means and lies and hatreds

August 15, 2006

“It is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God’s assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem.” – Jostein Gaarder, ‘God’s chosen people’ 

apparently, ynetnews, a Jewish site, has only just realised that some foreign media organizations – namely CNN and the BBC – have been publishing or broadcasting stories with a sympathetic bias towards Lebanon.  i won’t argue with this – i have access to CCN stories via 3 News and BBC World here on New Zealand tv, and will admit that i have noticed that they use phrases like “captured soldiers” and “Israeli propaganda”.  i only notice this, however, because i can compare it to news services like FOX News, (which, unfortunately, also plays here in NZ), who still insist that the Israeli soldiers were “kidnapped”.  how does one kidnap a foreign soldier in one’s own country?  when you sign up for war, you should expect the possibility of capture while you’re invading or occupying foreign soil.

i must admit, i have been feeling hopeful lately while watching and reading the news.  i had noticed the bias towards the plight of the Lebanese and the Hezbollah “resistance” (as long as i stayed away from FOX).  it seemed like the world was starting to wake up and realise what was really going on.  More importantly, people started asking questions and making their voices heard.

reuters.JPGnow, i don’t really condone biased reporting in the media.  i’m glad Reuter’s got busted for publishing and distributing doctored photographs – if you’re a global news outlet like that, it really is your responsibility to screen or fact-check any submissions from amateurs or freelancers – although in this case, any moron can see that the images in question were photoshopped.  badly.  but you have to ask yourself: why is this happening?  surely we in the West have not all become terrorist-lovers.  after all, our governments are constantly reminding us of our impending doom at the hands of the hijackers armed with household cleaning products.  could it just be that we realise, in this particular situation, that Israel is not in the right?  i think Norweigian author Jostein Gaarder said it best when he wrote “We don’t believe in the notion of God’s chosen people.  We laugh at this nation’s fancies and weep over its misdeeds.”  unfortunately, this brave man may end up in prison – speaking out against Israel (ie, “anti-Semitism”) is a punishable offence in the European Union.  so much for free speech…

if you wish to enlighten yourself on these topics, i urge you to read the following articles – knowledge is power, and all that.  the first is the ynet article and the second is about Jostein Gaarder.  the last two raise some questions about the recent “foiled terror plot” – namely “why is airport security making passengers mix explosive cocktails in the trash?” and “haven’t we seen this somewhere before?”

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wrapped in lust and lunacy

August 14, 2006

placebo1.jpgi’m sure no one is going to notice, but i decided to change the name of my blog.  i didn’t think the old title really reflected the tone that well.  not that everything on this site will be hard to swallow, or anything.  perhaps i am the bitter pill.  or something.  look, i don’t have to justify myself to you.

anyway, i thought i would share with you the two songs that inspired the old name (now relegated to being a post heading) and the new one.  both are from Placebo‘s second album Without You I’m Nothing released in 1998, undoubtedly their finest work (apart from some of their b-sides).  the album instantly converted me into a fan, and their music played a huge part in the soundtrack to my life at the time.  i have found some of their recent stuff rather lacking, as if they have lost the youthful energy and angst that made them sound so great.  if, for some crazy reason, you haven’t heard Placebo’s earlier albums, they are definitely worth investigating.

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i ride the pony that i like best

August 8, 2006

the_knife.jpgi know i’ve already posted about the Knife here (and here), but i figured that while i was still somewhat thoroughly obsessed with them, i would post links to the rest of their videos.  i had also uploaded the video for “Pass This On” that i found via torrents before i found the link from cliptip, so for the sake of completeness, i’ve included that below if for some reason you’d prefer an mpg.  also for completeness you’ll find the Röyksopp video “What Else Is There?” which features Karin Dreijer’s stunning vocals.

the Knife released a dvd in 2005 entitled When I Found the Knife that includes six videos from their first two albums, and a “short film” (electronic press kit) which you can also find below.  it was available as a standalone dvd, or is included in a 2-disc edition of Deep Cuts.  “When I Found the Knife Again” is the sequel to “When I Found the Knife”, created for the promotion of Silent Shout.

after updating this post many times, all the videos are now downloadable.  credit goes to Rosa Mannen (who shares her rips via the Pirate Bay) for some of the videos, and cliptip for links to others.  i also downloaded some of the videos from YouTube using this Video Downloader and then re-encoded them using the Super video converter – unfortunately, the quality is only as good as YouTube, but it’s better than nothing.  a final note: please don’t direct-link to any of my files.  you know that’s not nice.  and i could use the visitors!

updated again:  replaced some dead links and added the beautiful new video for “Na Na Na”. 

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work and love will make a man out of you

August 6, 2006

working full timethe Constantines are a Canadian five-piece whose sound is dark, brooding, intense and aggressive.  they’ve been around for over six years now, but i only stumbled onto them earlier this year when i downloaded the video for “Nighttime / Anytime (It’s Alright)”, with its eerily hypnotic ravenous racoons and peanut butter.  then tonight i watched their video for “Working Full Time” and was blown away by the stop-motion animation made up entirely of rocks.  these screencaps do not do it justice – it really has to be seen to be believed.

their sound is amazing.  their videos are fascinating.  i <heart> intelligent rock.

working fulltimebelow are downloadable videos and a couple of mp3s if you haven’t heard the band before (right-click and “save target as…”).  the first two tracks are from their “breakthrough” second album Shine a Light.  the other five are from their 2005 album Tournament of Hearts.  you can buy their albums at all the usual places, or follow the links from their page at Sub Pop Records.