Sunday, August 30, 2009

Now Playing:

The brilliant Aussie hip hop outfit, the Hilltop Hoods are back with a new album State of the Art. While I’m not usually a fan of this genre at all, these guys win me over with brilliant construction. Their backing is varied and very closely linked to jazz and funk. The vocal timbre for their rapping is more light and bouncy, more rhythmic and humorous than the forward-pushing angry vocals typical to the genre.

Here’s some standouts:

Track 1 - The Return
This album builds from the opening notes. The introductory track commences with a suspense-laden motif that changes context immediately as a funky main guitar riff enters, becoming a fill support for the overall groove. At times the entire backing will drop out unexpectedly, and then return full swing in order to emphasise certain lyrics. Nicely mixed, there’s a little jazzy keys improvisation at times to fill out the complexity in the backing.

Typically Australian in lyrical content, we have humour mixed with politics - The System is broken/the cistern is broken/the shit is just floating. As I mentioned before the vocal style is rhythmic and bouncy, fitting with the funky backing.

Track 3 - Chase That Feeling
How can I resist a track that includes a syncopated violin ostinato? From the outset, a piano (ahem, keyboard) riff sets the scene for this to be a far more serious song than the others. There’s a sung chorus, incredibly well built up with orchestral backing which is inspiring to say the least. And I will take that feeling/Take that pain and replace that feeling comes out under the chorus, emphasising the point of the song.

Of all the tracks, this is worth the most attention. If you’re Australian and own a television, you might have already heard it, since it’s already been [abused] appropriated by Channel Ten for station advertising.

I find it hard to listen repetitively to this album. The vocals in hiphop always tend to get to me after a while. But for a once off listen every now and then this album is brilliantly thought out, funky and definitely worth playing at high volume.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

...goes to Scumbag worker The Mole.

”It’s more useful than a cucumber in a women’s prison.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Without Music!!!

Note to anybody moving a CD player with a carousel:


I went to open it up the other day and there was a sickening crunch. The tray stopped in its tracks, halfway out. I tipped it on the side and hit the button. No matter what way I moved the whole setup, there was no I was getting that to go anywhere with the press of a button. So I grabbed it and pulled.


followed by

tink tink!

and now a tray all the way out with no discs in sight. More button pressing and the thing wouldn’t retract either. Time for surgery.

[Bear in mind that I had consumed most of a very cheap bottle of white wine in all its horror. Every step I describe here seemed like a good idea at the time.]

Safety first, I unplugged the whole setup and set to work busting into it with a screwdriver. Fifty screws and a sore wrist later, I popped the case off and found the three offending discs. They’d slipped over the back of the tray and jammed it.

Now is where I turn the thing on and hope that removing the blockage has magically fixed the operation of the tray. No dice. Bastardfuckingbastard. Dammit.I spot the gear that runs it in and out. I poke it gingerly, as if it might wake up and suddenly spring into normal operation. I poke it more roughly. I try to spin it, in order to remind it what it should be doing of it’s own accord. I try a bit more forcefully to spin it.


At this point I realise that I’ve probably stuffed it for life now.

Well stuff you, thinks Vic. I’ll beat you another way then. I’m drunk and I require music.

I plug my wireless router into the stereo games input. I normally have this setup and it works fine. Brilliant. I’ll use my computer to listen to the backlog on my hard drive and rip my CDs to it when I want to.

I fish out the trusty laptop, fire it up and hunt down iTunes.

”iTunes has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

Sorry for the inconvenience???. Sorry? Needs to close??? You didn’t even fire up in the first place, fuckwit. Not happy, Jan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to Clean Up Minor Grease & Oil Spills

Preparation time: 10 minutes, and two cigarettes.
Serves: At least six hours of continual work in various areas around a machine.

2 cheap plastic buckets (1 without handle)
1 plastic bag
1 bag rags
1 scraper
1 pair incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves
1 pair degreasing gloves
1 sperm suit

1. While smoking first cigarette, prepare buckets. Insert plastic bag into bucket without handle and roll the edges under, so that the bag acts as a liner for the bucket. Put degreasing gloves and scraper in this prepared bucket. Pour degreaser into the other bucket with handle.

2. Finish cigarette, put on sperm suit and incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves. Stand, have conversation, and light second cigarette. Walk to machine.

3. Finish second cigarette and locate nearest spill within machine. Scrape excess spill with scraper and place bulk in lined bucket. Once excess is removed, take off incredibly cheap crappy leather gloves and replace with degreasing gloves.

4. Take one small rag, dunk it in degreaser and wring out the excess. Make sure this is done over the bucket so as to not make any more mess and conserve degreaser. Wipe over the spill area.
*Do not place used degreasing rag back in degreaser bucket. You can use this rag multiple times before it loses effectiveness on spills, at which point it should be discarded. A common mistake is to place the rag back into the degreaser and reuse it. This will only turn nice, clean degreaser into oily black slop.

5. Replace degreasing gloves with incredibly cheap leather gloves and dry area with clean, dry rag, leaving no streaks.

6. Take cigarette breaks as required.

7. Repeat degreasing/drying process if necessary, before moving on to find more spills.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote of the Day

From a recent day out with Boz and EspressoHead

Boz: You should join the Vulcan pick-up lines group. It’s awesome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vic’s ”YOU’LL LEARN” list

Chorizos go in Chimichangas. DUH
(at least they do in my version)

Measuring cups are required for measuring things.

There will come a time when you will, undoubtedly, require salami.

Every roast potato “fuck-I’ll-chuck-it-in-it-can’t-be-that-hard” experiment has been utter failure. Look up trustworthy advice and follow it.

Saucepan does not equal Frypan.
You don’t own a frypan.

The big fuckoff burner at the front of your stove won’t simmer. It knows only hard boil and flat out.

Five gladware containers is NEVER enough.
Buy two packets.
Or start eating chinese takeaway more.

White corn tortillas SUCK!!!
addition from Dot the EspressoHead:
so does instant coffee. Buy a plunger.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reformation of The Groover

I have my own place now. For approximately the last year I’ve lived in a fairly reasonable situation in a granny flat titled Pixieland. I’m glad to get out of there, though. The name Pixie is a sour reminder of a sexual happiness I’ll never get to access again and living under a roof with that title constantly brought it home to me. It was like driving a car with a muffler leak. The carbon monoxide will make you feel tired but you won’t realise why. It’s my own fault that I have not taken this step earlier, completely.

Now I have a far larger place of my own. It’s eight in the morning and there’s sun spilling across my entire living area. The kitchen is filled with marble and stainless steel sexiness. I actually have a built-in closet that almost fits all my clothes. Once again I have a room to set up as a studio for music, editing and photography. Life is looking up.

On the list to aid in the reformation of the Groover of previous times:
- more bizarre kitchen adventures
- random road trips
- far more adventures in learning weird and wonderful things

Come along if you dare, but I’m going anyway.