Backyard Ladies

October 16th, 2008

The dandelions are in bloom out the back now. Spring is coming around, and with it emerges an impressive assortment of nature.

With this, in turn, emerges an impressive assortment of technology. Astounding!

Here’s a vid.

Lady Beetle in Backyard from Joshua Byrd on Vimeo.

The Future of Music Reviews

October 13th, 2008

So we had a show on Friday night past. One of Fletch’s friends sent him this review via SMS.

Running Guns
Sounds like Lou Reed with the Go Betweens and The Stooges in a dirty Brisbane carport. The future of rock.

The Strange Attractors
Sounds like a Dandy-Primal Scream-Small Faces-post Manchester freakout. Good to see the Brisbane tradition of sharing band members is alive and well.

Good night, good music. Thanks for the smoke.

–Brad, Engineer & Music Critic

’twas quite a night, a night of chaos. The next is on the 25th October at the Jubilee Hotel.

Shiny New Twitter

September 19th, 2008

Woke up thismorning to find a whole lot of cosmetic changes to Twitter, that they’d warned us about last night. Quite an improvement I’d say. Hopefully the Twitter staff are finally waking up to the fact that they’d better start making changes to their system and fixing problems, lest their competitors catch up too much.

Recently I’ve been trying out another similar service called Brightkite, much like Twitter, but with a focus on locations and mobile photography. Good thing I recently got my mobile email workingm to post pictures directly. Currently the service is invite only, but you can check out my profile, and if you want to give it a go, just give me a yell and I’ll send an invite. One thing that Brightkite does have over Twitter, as @lexiphanic pointed out, is its free sms notification service internationally, which Twitter turned off a little while ago.

Eager to see what further changes Twitter decides to make anyway, and still wondering when exactly they’re going to fix their IM service and Tracking.

The Good Wife’s Guide

September 18th, 2008

While unpacking around the new house yesterday, I noticed this on top of Fletch’s pile of papers.

Such a laugh, I had to steal it and scan it. It is uncertain if those are his underlines and highlights, or even if it is for real or just a satirical piece. It’s funny all the same.

1955, what a time to live.

The Second Step

September 9th, 2008

The second instalment of my attempt at learning Stairway to Heaven. The tab is not 100% the same as how I play it, but close enough.



It’s uncertain whether I’ll continue with this song, but this should give anyone a good starting point to teach themselves the rest.

Good luck!

A Smoking Issue

September 2nd, 2008

This is a reply I just had to write for some reason on a Facebook group thread I came accross:

I appreciate where both sides are coming from. I just don’t see why there has to be a law – best government is that which governs least, and all that – except that it’s mostly to do with politics, politicians promising good health so they try to make laws that restrict a bar owner’s freedom of choice over whether to allow smoking or not.

By supporting these laws, the people, you and me, are just playing into the hand of the politician, who’s next agenda will most likely be to restrict something that you actually enjoy doing.

I’ve gone on enough, but whatever, here’s my simple view:

Bar A allows smoking: people who smoke or don’t mind smoking go there, have fun and are happy.

Bar B does not allow smoking: people who don’t smoke or don’t mind not smoking for a while go there, have fun and are happy.

Bar C: sees which bar is doing better financially and chooses their policy accordingly.

I would prefer to control my own reality, rather than leave it up to those bumbling politicians, but that’s just me.

The Jonestown Show

September 1st, 2008

Last Wednesday has slipped away into memory, what memory remains at least. Glad of the fact that unlike some who attended, mine seems relatively intact, and free from too many distortions, aside from those inherent. An experience can be lived but once, through coloured glass filters; though its populous imprint on the mind can be readily called upon to grace consciousness time after time.

A pre-party was planned, Corey & Yolande’s palace in the Valley. Only a small gathering was expected, but as it unravelled, more and more bodies slowly sauntered in, filling to capacity. With them came the cigarettes and other stimulants, a cloud hanging like fallout over the preparatory daze of smiling faces, awaiting. Drinks enough and we were off, a bottle or two in hand.

Everyone was there at The Arena, all good company. Seems the somewhat elusive Brian Jonestown Massacre had slipped inside many a mind, making certain they wouldn’t want to miss bearing witness to this spectacle, not for the world. And so the night drew on, the people stumbled, and the Jonestown boys played to ears ablaze.

From a few rows back I stood watching, absorbing, a few times puling the camera out to record some snapshots in time. Also manage to catch some commotion video, nailing honey to the bee.

Evil genuis show, no encore for the sake of one; respecible in light of our apparent tameness as an audience. Tambourine James is following them to New Zealand to learn a few moves. Catch them if you can.

The BJM at The Arena

Learning to Climb the Stairway to Heaven

August 24th, 2008

Usually one of the first songs learned by the budding guitarist, I however only just decided a few days ago that it was about bloody time I actually learnt how to play Stairway to Heaven, now that I’ve started geting into Led Zeppelin a little more.

So Stairway is from their fourth album, which I keep telling Fletch is their best, but he won’t have any of it — although admittedly, I’m yet to hear his favourite, Led Zeppelin III, in order to compare. Hope to acquire it sometime soon.

To learn, I thought I might see if there were any tutorial videos on YouTube. I found one, but the guy seemed to be getting it obviously wrong in a few places. What better time to do my own video than while I’m learning myself? So I found a tab which seems to be passably accurate, and set up my camera.

Only just getting my fingers around the introduction right now. It’s quite a well crafted piece I must say; hats off to Jimmy Page.

Here’s the tab for the first part of the into anyway:


And the video:

Enjoy! More to come…

On the Evolution of the Robert Mapplethorpe Photo Book

August 21st, 2008

Dubious beginnings, a common trait of all good books, of ones worth remembering, worth recommending, worth reprinting, worth reproducing. We speak of both introductions and of origins. To introduce, our subject is what appears to be a book of photography by Robert Mapplethorpe, large and heavy, hardcover, nicely bound, and coming with one of those jacket-like cases you slide the book into — just in case you didn’t yet realise the book’s obvious value.

How it came to be here, sitting edgeways upon my floor, was that a girl from work asked the question if I had ever heard of the man, the photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. I answered in the negative. The next day arrived this mass binding of pages and a warning about the material to be found between the two red pages, rather explicit gay bordering-on-porn imagery, the reason it was not to be handed around the office willy-nilly. Too large and bulky to carry, a good strapping to the floor of the Vespa saw it arrive home safe and sound.

I expelled a thought of wonder at who in their right mind would still buy a book of such massive expanse into physical existence. Flipped through the pages a few times, noticing the few celebrity likenesses the most and of course the overt homosexual content, one reason, I imagine, that our lender attracted a certain kinship to this photographer. Kinship, awe, and admiration, reason enough for this lofty purchase. That and a chance to strut it upon coffee tables when friends come to play, an aid to outward expression, or to lend to someone at work who will subsequently analyse its evolutionary origins in existence. Either way.

Tangible, an object, and replicable, an ideal subject. This photo book, still thriving it seems in an ever-changing environment, a fluctuating market, has evolved some very specialised traits that allow it to survive. It is big and well bound, suitable for showing off to friends; it has pretty pictures that when looked at correctly, in the right frame of mind, will challenge the viewer’s way of thinking about the word (we talking about art here); and it is about a quasi-celebrity photographer and so gives the reader some kind of knowledge about the history of society in which they are living. Other traits are common to virtually all books, such that it contains pages, a front and back cover, and is relatively portable. Perfectly fit for reproduction.

Designed? Surely not. This book evolved, dubiously, in minds, in markets, in existence, in this post, from its countless predecessors. It will continue.

Additional resources: Artsy

Photograph of a photograph of Arnold Schwarzenegger and a man in the tub

Fueling Prophecy of the New Evolution

August 20th, 2008

The periodic reading during hurried lunch breaks of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius seems to have spurred on previous ideas — ideas that up until now had been lying dormant — to take on something new, a new project, or whatever it was that had built itself up in my head as what would seem like a good idea to spend a good deal of blood, sweat, and tears on for a considerable period of time, in order to reap the perceived extensive existential gain, whatever that may or may not be.

The idea is simple, and It’s been brewing away for probably months, or maybe even years, up there in Neverland: to pick simple, everyday things, things you may not think twice about, and write about them analytically in terms of their evolutionary existence, etc, mainly in order to offer an alternative view on our perceptions of the things around us — something like that anyway. We’ll see how it turns out after things begin to take shape.

So what I’ll do is I’ll pick something, something from the day, or something that occurs to me during the day, and then I’ll write about that, just to make it a little personal. That single object will most likely then get expanded into its basic form, or what it is, like my tambourine over there on the bed is a member of the percussion family of musical instruments — stuff like that, all biological, and trace the history and origins and study its continued existence in the universe. Follow?

This will be it, and I’ll do it every day for a hundred days, or more realistically, as frequently as life allows for however long it takes for me to throw the towel in. That should theoretically fill a book; I’ll publish it, and BAM! thrust skyward towards ongoing influence and memory in high society, to an escape from a weary workaday worldliness, while at the same time helping a few lonely souls along the way reach the fabled “new” perfect bliss and enlightenment.

I have no idea what I’m going on about… or do it? It really depends upon the state of evolution that this sentence you’re reading now has in your mind at this given time, or down the track, or before you even read it, while I’m typing it now.

Self-fulfilling prophecy. Who knows?