Archive for October, 2006

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a heavenly pop hit if anyone wants it

October 19, 2006

chills logothere isn’t a lot of good things to say about Dunedin, New Zealand.  it’s cold, and full of obnoxious university students who do stupid things like racing wheelie bins down the world’s steepest street.  luckily, Dunedin managed to justify its existence when it gave birth to its own breed of indie/college rock affectionately known as the Dunedin Sound.  arguably one of the best bands to get lumped into this genre is the Chills, who are one of those bands that really epitomises the sound of NZ music.  unfortunately, for one reason or another, the band has always struggled, going through a number of member changes and break-ups, and never selling as many records as they should.  you can support them by buying their albums from the official Chills site, or at SmokeCDs.com (they ship worldwide).

the following three songs are considered NZ classics.  “Pink Frost” is haunting and melancholy, and the video features front-man Martin Phillipps wandering alone through the Otago landscape.  there is a popular misconception that “Pink Frost” was dedicated to the Chills’ late drummer Martyn Bull, who died of leukemia, but the story is that Bull left Phillipps his favourite leather jacket, and the sentiment made its way into the song “I Love My Leather Jacket”.  and finally, i wouldn’t be the first person to say that “Heavenly Pop Hit” definitely lives up to its name…

the video for “Pink Frost” is courtesy of Bedazzled, a great music blog that has iPod-friendly downloadable videos and mp3s.  i found their site because they have one of the only Chills videos on the ‘net, as well as lots of other hard-to-find stuff.  also, apologies for the poor quality of the “Leather Jacket” video, but it’s a version i found on YouTube and converted to a Quicktime mov.  and the only video of “Heavenly Pop Hit” i could find is on the VH1 site, but apparently i’m not allowed to watch it because i don’t live in the United States.  hmph.

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stay here and i’ll give up all i’m worth

October 17, 2006

one more track from one of the best albums released last year, Tournament of Hearts.  i can’t believe i didn’t post this first (or second) time around…

it’s good we desire disorder
with this design, we’re all born our own destroyer
in that evil hour, without defense
be sensitive
you were born to live

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never to be trusted

October 11, 2006

(c) Daryl Cagle - www.slate.comCrooks and Liars has posted a clip from a recent press conference where reporter Stephanie Melveaux foolishly asks Bush a perfectly legitimate question.  watch as he smiles condescendingly while spouting off the usual drivel about how the US has done everything right.

“You’ve asked what we’ve done. We’ve created a framework that will be successful. I don’t — my judgment is, you can’t be successful if the United States is sitting at the table alone with North Korea. You run out of options very quickly if that’s the case. In order to be successful diplomatically, it’s best to have other partners at the table. You ask what we’ve done. We got the six-party talks started. And that’s a positive development. It’s a way to solve this problem diplomatically.”

gee, i hope this all goes as well as that whole Iraq thing.  and as Melveaux pointed out at the beginning of her question, North Korea refuses to attend the six-party talks, and wants to deal with the United States one-on-one.  Bush talks about running out of options – at least the one-on-one talks will provide an opportunity to actually discuss these options.  Bush can’t keep getting China and Russia to do his dirty work for him.  Sure, Kim Jong Il’s pretty crazy, but god, he’s not that scary.

and when all else fails, just blame Clinton.

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don’t be afraid of something new

October 10, 2006

a friend asked if i knew where to find a video of “Light Surrounding You” by kiwi band Evermore that she could put on her iPod.  always up for a challenge, i had a look around but found only YouTube versions, until i stumbled across an avi on a torrent site.  knowing avi files won’t work on an iPod, i converted it into an m4v file – but not after a few hours of reading tutorials and trying out various programs before i finally ended up with a functioning, iPod-friendly video clip.

Violet Baudelaire trading cardof course, i could have avoided all that hassle if Apple would just open a New Zealand iTunes store.  you would think that people in a country that sells iPods through authorised Apple retailers would also be able to legally purchase digital music and video for said iPod.  the video for “Light Surrounding You”, and many other Evermore songs, are all available at the Australian iTunes store – which only brings me to another point: why does the US iTunes store only have one clip (“Running”)?  i don’t understand the disparity in content between stores – i realise that content will be determined by the record companies in each country, but surely something like the iTunes store is a good way for small or local bands to gain some international exposure and sales.

while i’m not a huge fan of Evermore myself (too emo for me), i’m always eager to promote New Zealand bands when i can, so i thought i would share the video here.  if you’re into whiny music that’s still soulful, you’ll probably like these guys.  if you’re already a fan, but Apple hates you, you can put this one on your iPod until you finally get an iTunes store.  i only found the clip vaguely interesting because it features Emily Browning, whom i adored as Violet Baudelaire in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

if you’re interested in how i converted an .avi into an iPod-playable video, i have included some simple instructions on a separate page

and just in case you don’t already hate Apple, here’s a couple of interesting websites.