The people you meet and the life you lead.

I noticed him walk into the party.  I noticed his $100 haircut and his perfectly fitting clothes.  I was immediately skeptical.  Or at least, wary.

“Yo dude,” my usual greeting.

We chatted, shared generalities, and found an easy starting point for the conversation.

We realised we both worked in similar industries and had similar backgrounds.

The conversation began to stutter as we realised we had very, very different views on how one should live their life.

If you’re not happy with your current situation, reassess your goals, and change it.

Discussion Leave a comment Category Thoughts

How did you get so lazy?

How did you waste away your days?

What do you think about when you sit down in the mid-afternoon?

Have you ever thought about how many lives you have?

What are your intentions for this one?

What are you doing to make it happen?

Discussion Leave a comment Category Thoughts

That old cod-wallop

I love it how I seem to keep drifting away from this blog – what with life and all – and then come frantically crawling back with promises of grandeur.

So maybe, this time, I’ll cut the promises (they’re getting a bit tired) and I’ll just get on with whatever it is I’m going to write.

what the fuck is cod wallop

This blog has gone from pro-surf commentary, to anti-surf commentary, to music reviews, to general surf commentary, then I popped in a beer review(?) and now I think it shall be a personal reflection page.  A place for me to do what I originally started blogging for…

To get heaps sick at writing.

I think the only way I’m going to keep my writing skillz fresh (my new job doesn’t give me as much opportunity – though I’m learning a butt-load of other things) is if I write for a public domain.

I can’t write a journal, it feels pointless.  But one thing I want to make very clear is this;

THIS IS NOT AN ONLINE JOURNAL

Or maybe it is… Whatever.  I’ll do what I want.

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Cottage Skateboards HQ

Times change.  Or is it time’s change?  I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care at the moment – I’ve got slightly more pressing things to ponder…

I’ve decided to use this blog as a-kind-of status reporting system.

I have amassed quite a few projects of late, and I want to give them all justice.  I want accountability, and I want to see action!

Presidential speeches aside, I think this will be a good way for me to utilise this blog more, give me something to talk about on social media again, and get me writing even more regularly.  Practice makes perfect, little ones…

First up, I’ll let you in on my most pride-worthy venture – Cottage Skateboards.

Feni (the most epicist woodworker around town) and I have stepped up our game.  Over the last few weeks we’ve been planning, collecting materials, and generally getting a feel for the whole process of making boards.  But in the last day or two, things have really ramped up.

Firstly, we have a new office/workshop!  In fact, I’m writing this post from the sofa-chair in the corner while I watch over the shaping bay.

Yes, we are totally legit haha.

Here are some photos depicting the transformation of the Rape Dungeon #2, to what it is now, and shall always be known as;  The Cottage Skateboard Headquarters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Feni shaping one of his surfboards a few months ago.  And here’s what the office looked like after our first day of “work”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will endeavour to keep you all updated on the progress of Cottage Skateboards.

Let me know if there is anything else you want to know!

Discussion Leave a comment Category News, Skating Tags , , , ,

Murray’s Whale Ale Review

I’m a sucker for interesting packaging, and if you can throw in a pun, I’m sold. This evening, while browsing the craft-beer section of my local bottlo, I laid eyes on a brew that fit the bill, or should I say, parted the ocean.

On first inspection Murray’s Whale Ale encompasses all that a micro-brewery pale ale should: home-style packaging (the beers come in a quaint little four-pack), a catchy name, and a cheeky description on the label (encouraging us to have a ‘you-know-what’ of a time). So let’s get into it.

When I first cracked open the dark brown bottle I was immediately greeted with a sweet, yet subtle tropical fruit bouquet. I poured the light-gold liquid into a tall glass and allowed the airy head to settle. It quickly dissipated and I noticed the gentle cloudiness often found in wheat-based beers. It was almost as though the whale on the label had relieved his blow-hole to produce the effect. Obviously I dismissed the idea pretty quickly…

What I couldn’t dismiss, were the initial syrupy flavours which paired beautifully with the aroma. The ale’s creamy texture flowed through my mouth effortlessly and left me with a slight sticky sensation, much like a glass of cloudy apple juice would during a childhood summer.

As the liquid slowly sailed towards room temperature and I sunk to the bottom of the glass, I was able to deconstruct the individual flavours. I felt this is when the beer really started to come into its own. I grasped at hints of citrus, however my face didn’t pucker, as any extra bitterness remained happily in-check.

Murray’s beers are concocted at Bob’s Farm in the beach-side town of Port Stephens (about 15 minutes north of Newcastle). Drawing inspiration from American style wheat beers, the Whale Ale was created to help celebrate the brewery’s relocation to the summery holiday destination. And the owners, having been blessed with the sight of a pod of these majestic ocean mammals every year since, aptly named the beer after them.

Bob’s farm also plays host to a cosy little restaurant and winery, and I imagine they would serve the Whale Ale with a spicy ginger chicken dish, or even as a delicious dessert accompaniment to a big bowl of vanilla ice-cream.

Usually American style wheat beers are made for summer drinking, however I think the sweetness of this beer lends itself to that time of a winter’s evening, just after you’ve closed the doors and windows, and have a few moments to sit down and really enjoy your beer.

 

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Ohhhh shit. I’m back.

Blah, blah, blah.  I haven’t been here for you.  Whinge, whinge, whinge.  I left you months ago and now I want to talk.

Sure, you’ve heard it all before.

But seriously babe, I’m a changed man.  I’ve re-assessed my priorities.  Figured out what’s really important in my life.

Yeah… Whatever.

 

Fine.  Punks…

I’ll show you what I have been working on, rather than make some gay little excuses.

 

  • I’m entering a short story into this comp – Young Writers Awards 2012
  • I’ve started some (very lucrative) freelance writing gigs – For Kondoot - Zeeco -
  • And started my own Digital Copywriting company – Pixelated Type (open soon)
  • I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft of my first novel – (Very tentative title – Mel’s Bourne)
  • And lastly, I’ve started development of a downhill skateboarding brand (Cottage Skateboards) – Cottage Skateboards (open soon)

 

Ok, here are my excuses…

This blog was hacked for a solid two months - Awasht

My music mag (Rave) closed-down after 1047 editions - Rave

 

Talk soon, yeww.

Any projects you peeps have going on?

 

 

 

Discussion 2 Comments Category News

Kim Churchill – Detail of Distance review

Kim Churchill – Detail of Distance

Indica Australia / MGM

The young gun of Aussie Blues and Roots releases strong follow up.

 

The Aussie twang of coastal lad Kim Churchill bellows out in his second album, Detail of Distance.   It doesn’t take long for his earthy stomp-box to get your feet tapping to a rockier style than he’s previously exhibited.

The first half of the album takes this heavier tone, with it all coming to an inspiring and equally uplifting climax during Bathed in Black.

From there, Kim pulls back and starts to show the soft, delicate fingerpicking side that has helped craft his ocean-loving image of a surfie-sweetheart (at least in the eyes of my female friends).

My jealousy, however, is short lived as he proves his worth through several classic, bluesy harmonica solos, especially in the title track, Detail of Distance.

Kim’s experiments with heavier guitar distortions are just the first sign of a confident change, a bigger sound that should translate well to his powerful live performances, which he kicked off at the recent East Coast Blues and Roots Festival.

Discussion Leave a comment Category Surfing

Ichabod’s Crane – Honeydew review

Ichabod’s Crane – Honeydew

Lost Bicycle Records

A trio of cross-legged, cello wielding, folk wonders

****

While writing the review of the debut album of Brisbane trio, Ichabod’s Crane, I wanted to use words such as; delicate, fragile, pleasant, and innocent.  The album, Honeydew, is those things, however I didn’t want you to think their music was too glossy or sugary.  I didn’t want to laminate their piece of rustic parchment.

The three ladies and their three main instruments of acoustic guitar, cello, and drums, take their cues from the feminine side of the Stone siblings, through cryptic and image-rich lyrics.  Under the canvas of loving, yet starry-eyed vocals and harmonies, the cello provides a wonderful floating gravity.

As quite a minimalistic arrangement, the girls never reach those full-band choruses, though nor do they wish to.

Let me offer you a peculiar parallel; if it were possible for the band Husky to marry another band, I think Ichabod’s Crane would be that beautiful bride.  I look forward to sitting cross-legged at either their next show, or their loving ceremony (honestly I’ll crash both).

 

Discussion Leave a comment Category Music Tags , , , , , ,

How to create a pleasantly-indie band name

“Ginger Infuuusion,”

“Ginger fuzz,”

“Fuzz tea,”

“Tea de Fuzz.”

I post my latest brainstorm on the band’s facebook group page.

A take another sip of my honey and ginger tea and think about how many ‘likes’ the lads will bestow upon me for one, or all, of my newest suggestions.

……….

The ‘likes’ never eventuate.

“That’s ok,” I think to myself, “the names were too obvious anyway.”

You see, coming up with an name for a band these days is tough.  There’s not too many out-of-context words you can add ‘The’ to. (Shins, Beatles, National, Kinks).  So I’ll look at the next technique.

The Two Word Name (TWN).

Why is this format so popular with bands?  My guess, because most humans go by the TWN.

For example.

Jimmy Kakanis*

Michael Jackson*

 

Basically, the technique takes a word out of its comfort zone by adding it to an unrelated word to fuse new meaning.

  • Make sure the new combination purveys some kind of image or feeling.
  • Make sure this image or feeling aligns with the type of music you want to produce
  • And voilà!  Your band has a sufficiently-suitable name.

 

Hrmm, The Sufficiently Suitables.

 

There are some rules however.  You must avoid anything relating to any of these themes at all costs:

Angels, Demons, Scream, Satan, Flowers, Love, Monkeys, Colours, Made up words, Controversy, Prepositional Phrases, Numbers, Replacing a letter/letters with a different letter (eg Awasht), Other Intentional Misspelling, Sports, Religions and Other Bands.

 

Let’s do a little exercise.

Start off with what you can see around you.

There is a ‘Pencil’ on my desk.

Now open the closest book to the 18th page, 18th line, 8th word (The 18188 rule)

‘Finish’

Add ‘The’ if it feels appropriate.

 

And there you have it.

“The Pencil Finish”

Or even.

The Finnish Pencils

Both are perfectly acceptable indie band names.

 

What is your best indie band name?

 

SPECIAL BONUS OFFER!  -  If you’re looking for a blues band name, refer to the chart below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Just two seemingly random names that came to me from nowhere in particular and may, or may not be, similarly talented people.

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perth – Babes, Water, Waves review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

perth – Babes, Water, Waves

Mixed and Mastered by perth

The glistening sound of a city’s debut

 

I casually glance over the glowing, sun-drenched valley near my home.  It’s late afternoon and the burning orb is low beyond the hills to the west.  I’m listening to perth’s debut album Babes, Water, Waves (and no, the city has not banded together to produce an album, the band is called perth and they are friends with Tame Impala).

Back to my story.

The deep orange of the sunset is a fitting colour to describe what I’m hearing as my mind starts to wander (not in an “I’m not paying attention,” kind of way, but in a “let’s explore,” manner).

The fuzz of synth and guitar meld with titillating glockenspiel melodies in ‘White Glasgow’ and ‘Original Food’.  Sparing lyrics caress the album’s fabric, adding emphasis to the chillwave style psychedelic-electronica.  The grab-what-you-can-find percussion speckles its way through the line-up and I realise this album has a lot more depth than it originally lets on.

The wind picks up, it’s dark now and I wonder if it will sound as good when I’m curled up under my doona.  I have a sneaking suspicion it will.

 

You can name-your-price to download the album here

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Obie Trice – Bottoms Up review

A bit of a past-blast from the dude who has always repped his real name.  I promise you no gimmicks and neither does he.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBIE TRICE – Bottoms Up

Fontana International

A reminiscent walk through the old ghetto

 

From a time when gunshots and Scarface samples were commonplace, comes the rapper who infamously boasted “real names, no gimmicks.”  Obie Trice serves up his first full album since he was shot in the head, and luckily for us, the synapses and cells he uses for rapping weren’t heavily impacted.

Trice’s third studio album, Bottoms Up, brings the feel of late 90s rap back to the modern day.  The familiar recipe of heavily sampled beats, spliced with alternating verses and an easy-to-digest chorus give Bottoms Up a deliciously sentimental flavour.

Trice also brings a couple of old friends to the table.  Production of Bottoms Up’s Intro is handled by none other than the Head Chef of hip hop preparation, Dr. Dre.  The artist who arguably gave Trice his big break, Eminem, produces ‘Going Nowhere’ and provides a couple of snug, in-the-pocket verses in ‘Richard’.

Overall the record holds some decent collaborations (Adrian Rezza and  MC Breed), some decent verses (Going Nowhere, Ups and Downs, Crazy), and decent beats (Intro, Spend the Day, My Time) however it was tough to find a track incorporating each of these ingredients.

It’s worth the trip down memory lane for those so inclined, bust out that old tall-tee, open your old book of rhymes and compare notes.  Interesting in a “where are they now” kind of way.

***

Discussion 1 Comment Category Music Tags , , , , , , , ,

Fair Ohs – Everything is Dancing review

Last week I reviewed Fair Ohs – Everything is Dancing.  It’s the first lil bit of published writing I’ve done in about a month so it felt bloomin’ great to get the fingers tapping again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAIR OHS – Everything is Dancing

Honey High Records / MGM

The Fair Ohs drag afro-punk through Cali and London.

 

When something unique hits your ears, it’s refreshing, eye opening and can even be inspiring. When, years later, you stumble across a similar sound, your expectations tend to be a little higher. You enjoyed the previous interpretation, you’ve had great experiences with it, and maybe you even listened to it in lying embrace with the girl of your dreams?

The pleasant fondness that nostalgia often provides sometimes acts as an obstacle to your future enjoyment of a style.  It’s a tough act to follow and the Fair Ohs have given it an off-beat crack in their Indie-Afropop-punk debut album, Everything is Dancing.

You might guess from the genre description that Vampire Weekend are the forefathers in this case.  You might also wonder how the Fair Ohs are going to fill – whether on purpose or not – the shoes of such a formidable chaperon.

How on Earth are they going to carve a fresh path after Vampire’s blood-lusting self-titled album of 2008?

Well it just so happens that in their attempt, the London three-piece have developed some kind of sun-sapping machine, managing to steal as much vitamin D from gloomy Britain as possible, giving off an illusion of the California surf guitar sound that’s been lapping at our ankles recently.

Their gritty African drum section keeps your feet tapping, but possibly not fast enough to keep you interested in the simple, repetitive, and sparingly catchy lyrics.

**1/2

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