You know, that Beat Happening song.
Paying 180 dollars and ended up seeing only two out of the dozens offered in Soundwave is not really my ideal festival scenario, but work blahblah meeting blahblah, roadwork blahblah no trains, and so on.
So I missed Dir en Grey, Mastodon and Glassjaw, but I did get to watch Stiff Little Fingers, whose singer’s voice remains unchanged over the last 40 years. It was funny seeing all the younger audience checking them out while waiting for the next band to play on the adjacent stage. That was cool.
And I watched GreenDay too. And that was awesome too.
When they played at my hometown 20 years ago, I was too young to go. So it took me two decades and…what, five albums or more? until I finally got to hear the songs that helped me got into so much more afterwards…including into Stiff Little Fingers!
I got a bit lost during the first few songs, cause they were obviously from the newer albums, but the younger audience seem to know the words. Duh.
But that wasn’t any problem (The guys bullying me were, though), and I was heartened to see the younger fans singing along to them. I actually was pleasantly surprised to see that much people eager to see GreenDay and not only for their Dookie/Insomniac songs.
Because they’re a decent band. Let’s not get into all that punk rock sell-out PC things. As a rock band, or at least as musicians, they sing about subjects that are way more interesting for me than most of the other artists out there are blabbing about.
Sure, they sang silly songs as well, and they are not Crass or Subhumans, but at least they acknowledged that this world (or at least America) has problems, ranging from the idiocy of reality talent shows, war, suburbia’s time bombs, to inherited hypocrisy.
They are also pretty good showmen. Billie Joe getting all theatrical and Tre Cool getting off the drum to dance in a bra, the interaction with the audience members and all that.
I didn’t get to mosh (not allowed), and was too far from the stage than what I would have really liked. They didn’t play Westbound Sign and Macy’s Day Parade, which I really like. But man, that was FUN.
And thanks for the Bohemian Rhapsody impromptu singalong, you Melbourne Soundwave weirdos, You’ll know what I am on about. They even synced the lights and all, if you noticed.
PS. Has anyone heard the Billie Joe- Norah Jones Foreverly tribute album? Pretty decent actually!
So I was quite excited to head down to the massive, apparently rising star that is Edinburgh Gardens for new year’s eve.
After all, it’s Melbourne, moreover, it’s Fitzroy North dang it, where the kooky, the greens, the hipsters and the art-smarts commune, right? There’s bound to be kookiness and artiness, right? some soul, old school hip hop playing, perhaps some guitars even, should be pretty chilled out yet festive, social yet smartass, weird yet accepting, right?
Drink, drugs, rave, trash, and I have a feeling that it would be pretty shit if one would come there without a group of friends.
Well, at least I am not in Afghanistan. Or Syria. Although I am quite intrigued by those researchers trapped in Antartica. Good or bad, only a few can tell that particular new year’s eve story.
Oh and at least we saw fireworks. My somewhat naive sentiment towards fireworks is that they are a tinge of populism in this selfish world. At least once a year, people in a city get to see something amazing for free.
Maybe I should have drunk some coffee.
New Year’s Resolution: get rid of ‘should haves’?
Drink more coffee? Ahh not.
I had a great time running around Melbourne with a coupla visitors earlier this month. Vegan pies in Preston, discovering fish leaves (they smell like fish), zaatar pizzas and dubstep in the morning and all that.
One of the places we went to was the Australian Center for Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square. Most parts of the center was free. The current exhibition was about Hollywood Costumes and we weren’t dying to go to that anyway.
The center has lots of stuff to keep us busy, such as the media library and the video games -from the vintage to the sophos.
A few highlights of my visits are this thing that rotates and turns into an amazing animation-like spectacle:
and this brilliant steam punk-ish creation by Anthony Lucas
As well as this sign acknowledging wayang as one of the first forms of animation.
One of the problems I have been experiencing with my newly constructed ride was a clicking sound (and sensation) on the right hand pedal, especially when I put a lot of pressure.
When I first mentioned the problem to one of the volunteers at the bike shed, he told me that the clicking, while felt on the pedal, can come from various sources, including chains, gears or the bottom bracket, so I expected to spend at least one whole day figuring out the source.
But last week I discovered that the problem was indeed coming from the pedal itself. phew. And so it only took around 40 minutes to take care of that.
I was already planning to change my pedal, because I didn’t like the look of the one I was using, but I am told that I can try fixing the problem by simply putting some lubricant on the part that connects it to the crank:
the best way to do this would be to hold the pedal with the part connecting it to the crank (the spindle) facing you (like the position of the pedal on the left-hand side displayed in the pic), squeeze some lubricating liquid into the nut-like part, then threading the spindle with your finger, so that the liquid can go inside the pedal.
To remove the pedal, I used a tool that looked something like this:
And it did not take much force – I simply grabbed the “nut” part and gave it a little twist. As the rule of the thumb goes, things go a bit weird on the left pedal, because you rotate clockwise to remove and vice versa.
However, the helpful video below shows that some pedals can be removed using a different tool, which is ”hex” (hexagonal) in shape.
So right now I am using a different pedal, sort of “vintage” type, as the web description says. The person who helped me fix the problem in the bike shed said she dislikes this type because it’s less gripping. I am yet to affirm this.
She gave me a tip. As I was digging for used pedals, I had to look for decent ones, and one of the things to do when scavenging is to make sure that the pedal’s connecting part (the spindle) rotate smoothly but is not wobbly.