Monday, September 15, 2008

Name in Print

Part-time narcissist becomes full-blown ego manic!

The following post is cobbled together from stuff I have written and submitted for publication in other places. These writings don't really fit with the rest of my blog that well, until I fiendishly put this introduction here, to place the whole thing in context! Now there is no end to my ultimate power. I can raise an army with my pen, then wake up and tell other people that my dreams are quite abstract, even for my own tastes, but I digress...

Four Mini-album reviews of NZ bands:

Band: Collapsing Cities:
Album: Elixir Always

Collapsing Cities are a four-piece Indie-pop band from Auckland that recently played in Christchurch in April. They are known for their great live performances and off beat lyrics that focus on the quirky aspects of city life. “Elixir Always” is their debut album which was released last month, includes the songs “Seriously” and “So I said last weekend…”

Band: Sam Flynn Scott and the B.O.P:
Album: Straight Answer Machine

Sam Flynn Scott is a Wellington singer/songwriter's known for his work as part of the NZ band “The Phoenix Foundation”. His music could be described as an alternative mix of country and folk, but really it is just good guitar-based Low-Fi rock. “Straight Answer Machine” is Sam’s second solo album, and this time his is joined by his band the B.O.P (which apparently stands for the “Bunnies on Ponies”.)

Band: Tiger tones:
Album: Self-titled debut Album

This Christchurch alt-rock Group are previous winners of Roundup band competition (held annually at the Dux) have now released their self-titled debut album. Known for their great live shows, they have captured their raw energy and enthusiasm in this 11 track LP released on Christchurch based Pinacolada Records, which includes the songs 'Pop Eats Pop' and 'Saturday Nights'.

Band: Flight of the Conchords
Album: Self-titled debut Album

Now this album doesn't need quite as much promotion as the others as it has already gone to number 3 on the US charts, which is a pretty amazing achievement for a kiwi Folk-comedy duo. It is a funny album of well constructed humorous songs from the HBO series, such as "Inner city Pressure" and "Business Time". Worth a Grammy or two!

My summary of Hoi An, Vietnam:

My favourite destination from my time travelling in Vietnam was a little town on the coast called Hoi An. It is so historical it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, because it's a well-preserved example of a South-east Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries. Old-style colonial buildings that were built-up over centuries of contact with traders dominate and show signs of Chinese, Portuguese and French influences. Cars are banned from the old part of town so that the old cobble-stone streets won't be damaged. It is one of the cheapest places I know to buy silk, suits and pretty much anything you can think of. It has a really nice French bakery called 'Cargo' with exquisite sandwiches, cakes and the nicest coffee this side of Arabia! The town is really made for tourists to visit, has some great bars and restaurants. You can hire a bike for less than US$1 a day then go as far as your legs will take you, and I got the strap on my watch fixed for US$2, in about 30 seconds! A short bus ride away is the ruins of the Champa people, who were located there between the 10th to 13th centuries. Unfortunately many of the structures were damaged by bombing in what the locals refer to as "The American War", which we know by another name. So if you find your self in the area, be sure to drop by, or consult your trusty "Lonely Planet" for more info.

Letters to the Editor
of a Provincial Rag:

Media To Blame:

Dear Editor
Although the students will mostly take the blame for the carnage of the weekend, and deservedly so. Other contributors to the events such as the police and media need to realise their involvement. It is almost like they wanted a riot to happen. What do you expect when the media beats-up the story so much and then the police play right into the trouble makers hands, by constantly visiting Castle Street all day to get them all primed up for a battle. I am not knocking the officers themselves, as the majority of police do a fine job. But the decision makers at the top, seemed to make conflict a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is apparent when it is realised that it was mostly Otago students involved, as the amount of students travelling from Canterbury was significantly lower this year. Also a seemingly ubiquitous binge drinking culture does not help. My main attack though is reserved for the media themselves who seem to relish and encourage anything that will get public attention, however detrimental it is. . But as we slowly see serious newspapers descend into tabloids and the 6 O'clock news turn to a soap opera, maybe I should just be apathetic and accept that journalistic standards are slipping. As they say; you can't fight progress.

One True God?:

Dear Editor
In response to the letter from Ross J Alexander (1st September), who compares our 10 cent coin to a graven idol. While I respect all personal belief's (and also cultures); I would ask Ross if he objects to the prayer in the first line of our national anthem, or is his "God" the only true deity by decree, and all others are false?

Cultural Elites:

Dear Editor
As a member of Ngai Tahu by birth and the NZ historic places trust by choice, I am increasingly becoming ashamed and disillusioned by the actions of my tribe. Which of course does not mean the tribal members themselves but the 'suits' at the top who only seem interested in money and power games. First the Sunnyside Administration building and now Wigram Airbase. It reminds me of the part of Animal Farm when the pigs took over, and then started walking on two feet. Basically the people in charge of our interests do not consult with anyone but their elite mates, and when they do ask for 'opinion' we are given very limited options. But it's not like politics where I can join or vote for another party. So hopefully in future I can do something to bring power back to the people.

Georgian Conflict:

Dear Editor
After reading recent correspondence regarding the conflict in Georgian, I felt compelled to respond. To put it bluntly anyone who is either, fiercely Pro-Russian or Pro-US, is either bias, ignorant or both. I do appreciate all people have opinions, but if they aren't based on any fact or knowledge, what is the point? Both sides have blood on their hands and any apologist for either faction is uninformed. People should possibly leave International Relations comments to the experts or try to find some in depth news coverage that analyses the situation in it's full context.

Obviously I'm prepared to do anything to get myself noticed. Clean your car for a dollar mister? Especially to create a wholesome diversion while my evil plans are hatching! (evil laugh) I'll tell you one for free though if you don't blow my cover... I will plant strawberries in a public place and then put up a sign saying "Please don't eat these strawberries, as they are being used in a controlled research activity". But the only research will be to see if anyone eats them! That will show them all...

How nice of me to share!

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