Friday, October 30, 2009
I wasn't there myself personally, but a certain Dommy Hammond was there to witness history in the making as an impressively collected BANGS tore the roof off as if he were a seasoned veteran on the live music circuit.
Seriously. Who the fuck can come out of nowhere and influence a crowd like that? He even brought popcorn! Dinner and a show! And keep your "yeh but peepl r jus lauging at him!!" mentalities to yourselves. BANGS set out to do one thing, entertain the shit out of you. If a single person at that venue last night didn't leave absolutely beaming may i suggest a booking with your nearest proctologist for immediate removal of the forrest of sticks and tree trunks clearly residing deep inside your colon.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Every few years a new piece of music will emerge that is so raw in concept and honest in it's delivery that it makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. I'm talking about the kind of music that pushes away big budget recording studios and professional marketing mentalities whist simultaneously welcoming new concepts and aural experimentation with a transition comparable to that of a 2002 v12 Cadillac Cien. I am of course talking about BANGS groundbreaking new single "Take U To Da Movies".
"Bangs is a 19 year old rap artist born in North Khartoum, Sudan. At the age of 11, he moved to Egypt with his family after his Father married another wife. He spent two years there before coming to Australia in 2003.
He has been writing rap, hip hop and pop since settling in Melbourne in 2004.
“Music is my wife”, Bangs sang in a live jam recently. He writes about life, love and hope and his music grows with him till the end of life.
He recorded his first demo “Girlfriend” in 2005 with DJ Wasabi in Collingwood, then started to lay down tracks in his home studio.
In July 2008, he recorded his first professional album at Gateway Living Music Studios, titled “Hard to be Up”. Produced by John Favaro and Paul Last name, it features the new hit single “Take U to Da Movies”- Excerpt from BANGS biography.
His first single 'Take U To Da Movies' is the result of years of dedication as much as it is a dedication to all the girls who like to go to the movies. The track opens up with a shot of BANGS in the flesh and he immediately jumps into the first verse. Business as usual.
"Let me take you to the movies shorty,
i'm sure later on you'll be my baby,
lets sit down and just be by my side,
i got the popcorn, i know what size you like"
To most, this would seem like a typical r&b track about a guy that's trying to soften up his new lady friend but BANGS somehow manages to take it deeper than rap. To research this verse with an open mind is to realize that BANGS is in fact playing on the female's insatiable desire to be taken out for a good film and the idea that a hip-hop star should be able to do just that. It's a classic play on a timeless mentality and a protest to the ever recurring and somewhat stale theme in hip-hop that females are of little use in modern society and merely a tool for the male's satisfaction. The only satisfaction that BANGS is getting out of a female is that which comes from showing her a good time.
And if you thought this song was a one dimensional view on a chivalrous act, you'd be incorrect and i'd feel sorry for you. Again, if you watch the clip closely, BANGS uses the imagery as a chance to express his view on some more important issues.
Money - BANGS is by no means a political rapper, but the constant shots of money (sometimes of varying currency) is a constant reminder that the global economic crisis is still in full effect and if you play your cards right you too can be financially stable amongst tumultuous times.
Heritage - Throughout the video, background shots of BANGS' birthplace Sudan bring a certain element of pride to the track. BANGS wants you to know where he's come from, where he's at and where he's going. Namely, to the movies with a girl.
Technology - Remember the v12 Cadillac Cien i was talking about in the first paragraph? That's a concept car, as in it's not even out yet and probably never will be, yet BANGS is all too happy to show you what it could look like if it came to fruition. BANGS' is also seen to be using an iPhone in the clip, most probably to call his shorty. This a very fair look into the processes of technology and how one idea can lead to an accessory capable of changing the way we live, or can just as easily be lost in the stages of conception.
Gambling/Multiple Personality Disorder - Two more prevalent problems in modern society are discussed closer to the end. Again, BANGS is by no means a political rapper or even a conscious rapper, but he somehow manages to touch on some serious issues whilst displaying his love for the female form. Two birds, one stone.
Seeing BANGS at his final destination and the location in which he'll display his deepest affection for his shorty is by far the most climatic part of the song and the reason we all listen to BANGS in the first place. We don't catch a glimpse of the lady in question which could be taken as a subliminal message to all the women out there, hinting that it could be any of you that ends up under BANGS' spell at the cinema.
The song has been a youtube hit for a while now but only in the last few weeks has BANGS been receiving the recognition he deserves. Boasting over 120,000 views at any given time, BANGS' presence is now being felt on an international level and his popularity has skyrocketed to heights seldom seen by an independent Australian artist (see every winner of Australian Idol).
If there was ever a time for BANGS to capitalize on the currently stagnant Australian r&b/hip-hop market, now is that time. BANGS has the look, the lyrics and the catchy hooks to become a permanent fixture on the otherwise bile-inducing Australian pop charts and he has my full support on his journey.
BANGS sophomore album 'Hard To Be Up' is due for release on the 4th of December this year through a yet to be named distributor.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I went down to my local deli to get some breakfast supplies and much to the surprise of my tolerance processor, it wasn't open! I was pretty pissed off, but still happy from when i checked the time earlier so i patiently sat and waited for a little while. An exact hour passed and the little Asian guy that runs the deli rocked up all nonchalant and acting like he didn't know why i was sitting there. We talk sometimes, we're not complete anons, but not complete bff's either. He looks at me and says "hello what the fuck are you doing here", not like that, but i could tell he wanted to hurl expletives at me. I mean, I'd do the same if i saw some punk sitting outside my work before i got there and he wasn't getting paid for it. I replied "err, you're late" like his manager or something and he was all "fuck outta here, i'm right on time as always". It's true, Asian people are the most punctual and efficient people in W.A. but I could tell it was going to get heated regardless.
I jammed my watch in his face so hard that he almost went back in time and said "LOOK! YOU'RE LATE". He karate chopped me hard enough to knock me back, but also soft enough to only just get my attention. I tried to throw a fireball at him but at this point he was unlocking the door and not even looking at me. He made it in just in time for me to not throw a fireball at him and i went inside, grabbed my overpriced groceries and smashed them on his counter, still upset about his lack of sympathy for me while i waited for him. As he overcharged me, my half-asleep gaze was directed towards the massive digital clock above the cigar stand and it displayed the time an exact hour prior to what i had set my watch to. Then, all the karate chops and fireballs in the world couldn't stop me from one particularly rude awakening.
Oh hai! I'm Perth. I'm run by old people, farmers, crybabies, whingers, whiners, pussies and people that don't vote. I enjoy procrastination, darkness, early finish times, simple food and a good night's rest. I prefer the quiet life, opinions tend to rub me the wrong way and you can keep your small bars, convenience, late nights, good coffee and culture to yourself! I've got a beach!
I apologized to Joe (that's what all the english people that shop there call him, even though i'm 100% sure that's not his name which is kind of racist if you think about it, joe's just to polite to say anything) grabbed my expensive groceries and stomped back home, not without starting a fight with a swan and spitting on a freshly planted kangaroo paw.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Therefore, you could imagine my delight when i stumbled into IGA this morning and my half awake gaze was directed to yet another Smith's collaborative project. Ahh, good old Smith's. We've been together a long time and as insane as it sounds you're one of the only things in my life that has been both constant and completely awesome, aside from myself. Free Tazo's, the Full Monty, the unsuccesful yet always exciting 'Gourmet Projects', Vegemite flavour, packaging updates and movie promos. There's little else Smith's could do to claim complete monopoly over the potato chip industry and no company before or after them will ever do it with so much flair.
Which brings me to the 'Do us a flavour' promotion. I heard about this a while ago and was tempted to enter had i not been held back by laziness and memory loss. The concept is far from fresh and is basically another 'design your own flavour' competition, allowing those of us that don't work in the potato chip industry to essentially design our own flavours. The winner of the flavour fight will not only come out with a cool $30,000 but also a 1% stake in the sales of their flavour. 1%? You're too kind Smith's. The only difference between Smith's version and past attempts by other large snack food conglomerates is that Smith's actually followed through with it. So many times i've heard about these types of competitions and then months will pass and nobody will ever see a resulting new flavour designed by a member of the general public. It's like these companies think that nobody will notice a few months after the inital advertisement and the people that did enter will just assume that someone else won the competition. Way to play on our ignorance, successful snack food board of advertising.
With Smith's keeping their word and actually delivering on the outcome of their competition, four new flavours have emerged from four different contestants. With four different contestants from four different walks of life comes a chance for Smith's to be as politically correct as a large company can be and for the most part, they've done a pretty spot on job with that. Here's a quick run down of those contestants.
Weapon of Choice: Buttered Popcorn.
Mood Colour: Hearty casual yellow.
Steve is your typical middle-aged aussie bloke, not afraid to rock a beard but also not afraid to keep it in check. Steve enjoys hanging out with his two daughters with a movie and some popcorn, hence his obvious decision to combine chips and popcorn. I foresee Steve having a pretty big advantage with the hard-working, movie watching percentage of Aussie blokes.
Weapon of Choice: BBQ coat of arms.
Mood Colour: Zany soft red.
Vinnie is your typical young aussie bloke. Judging by his picture, he's a little crazy, but happy at the same time. Vinnie's girlfriend is a vegan, so he thought he'd stick it to her with a smokey, traditional and carnivorous defiance of her lifestyle choices. Vinnie is a bit of a wild card entry, his concoction seems to be more of a play on Australian iconography than a new flavour. However, Aussie Blokes love barbecues so it could really go either way!
Weapon of Choice: Ceasar Salad.
Mood Colour: Empowerment Forrest green.
Being a 'yummy mummy' is a full time job, so everyone at Smith's was delighted when Aline found the time to create her zesty little number for the judges. Combining something i hate (salad) with something i love (chips) is definitely a bold move, but Aline could definitely pull in some votes from the men and the women for being a bit of a stunner and the only woman in the competition.
Weapon of Choice: Late night kebab.
Mood colour: Comfortable cool purple.
Lucas is your typical young Aussie bloke. As you can see, he's a bit of a party animal and appreciates a solid kebab at the end of the night as much as he does the touch of a typical young Aussie woman. Late night kebabs tend to taste better than kebabs of any other time frame and we can only hope that Lucas' creation doesn't suffer the same fate as most late night kebabs (vomit)!
So you've got your four contestants and as a collective they're looking pretty diverse yet essentially all the same at the same time. Where you'd probably be mislead though, is in thinking that any of these four people (or the manufacturers of the chips for that matter) are capable of designing an edible Smith's potato chip. I was so excited about this competition when i first saw the promotional Smith's stall, standing there like it didn't mind being away from all the other chips because it knew it was more than capable of holding it down in front of the frozen party pies section, or anywhere in the market for that matter. I did a little Michael Jackson crotch grab to thriller pose routine inside the supermarket and everyone started clapping, then i snatched all four flavours and skipped to the counter whistling the theme song from the Sound of Music. I was whistling so hard that you could actually see the notes as they left my mouth. The notes then floated up to the heavens and burst like little musical bubbles. A trail of magic anticipation dust followed me all the way home. The dust and the notes instantly faded when i tasted Steve's buttered popcorn. Which brings me to the most important part of this post. The important part.
Steve's Buttered Popcorn.
Smells like: Buttered popcorn with a hint of being left out in the sun.
Tastes like: Gag reflex. I'm not even joking. I have no idea how they managed to mess up the most promising flavour but it's like the butter they used had been saturated in butter and then injected with more butter prior to being cooked. I can only imagine how hard it is to imitate the taste of corn. It tasted like disappointment.
How they could have made it better: Less butter. I wouldn't have minded if it tasted more like salt than butter because salt is an essential part of the Smith's regime and is therefore capable of saving any flavour, no matter how unnatural it tastes.
Would i eat it again? Most certainly not. One glance at the off yellow packaging the morning after had me running to the bathroom like i was in the early stages of pregnancy.
Vinnies BBQ Coat of Arms.
Smells Like: Lay's Texas BBQ but not as overwhelmingly awesome.
Tastes Like: A lack of effort. I think Smith's forgot that the packaging isn't edible and that the time allocated to the design of the logo for this idea would have been much better spent on creating an authentic tasting Australian barbecue chip. I tried to eat the logo and it tasted worse than Vinnie's BBQ but better than Steve's popcorn.
How they could have made it better: Three words. Tomato Fucking Sauce. It's so simple. Atomic Tomato or Heinz Tomato sauce flavoured chips will forever be remembered as two golden eras in snack food history. It might not be original, but all you had to do was sneak some of Australia's favourite condiment in amongst whatever else you guys jammed in there and the chip would have been more than edible and a formidable entrant in this competition.
Would i eat it again? Possibly. Like, if it was on the table at a friend's house and they had ignored my requests for different flavours or if nobody else had brought Salt 'n' Vinegar then yeah, i'd have a couple and complain about it.
Aline's Caesar Salad
Smells like: Herbs. But not real ones.
Tastes Like: Herbs. Something you'd offer a vegetarian at a movie night. Having said that though, the flavour did contain traces of another famous chip and a personal favourite of mine, Thins 'Light n Tangy'. It is this similarity that convinced me not to immediately hate Aline's flavour. A good summer chip should your local supermarket run out of Thins 'Light n Tangy'.
How they could have made it better: I can't help but wonder if this flavour was born to be on a thin sliced crisp as opposed to a crinkle cut. This is the kind of flavour you want to jump out at you but unfortunately the deep crevasses of the crinkle cut chip acted as bunkers for the spicy ingredients to hide in. My taste-buds were the rescue squad, but the herbs were too content to just perish in anonymity amongst the shade of their salty barriers.
Would i eat it again? Yes. But only on a thin sliced crisp. Maybe again on a crinkle cut for the same reason i'd eat one of Vinnies BBQ chips.
Lucas's Late Night Kebab.
Smells like: Body odour, onions, uncertainty.
Tastes like: Actually pretty good. Despite it's shortcomings in the initial scent department, Lucas has come up with a pretty accessible flavour. I'm going to put this down to the ridiculous amount of different ingredients that have gone into the production of this chip and not the quest for an authentic tasting late night kebab. I call it the 'Full Monty' syndrome. Jam as many flavours into one thing as possible and you're bound to get it right eventually or simply confuse your customers to the point of admitting defeat. Had this chip actually tasted like a late night kebab i wouldn't have reviewed it, kebab stands repulse me. They're like a central hub for all the worst characteristics of mankind to gather together and eat something that, much like themselves, is going to fall apart within a matter of minutes. Of course, i'm basing this on kebab stands at night, i've never felt the need for a kebab during the day.
How they could have made it better: Name change. Lucas should have swapped names with Steve and called it Steve's Souvlaki or something. As previously mentioned, late night kebabs don't really conjure up images of great taste and family fun.
Would i eat it again? Probably. Not sure really. Maybe.
And the winner? Well, it's like picking your favourite mental illness isn't it. No matter which one you pick, it's still not cool. Unfortunately for Smith's the idea of letting a bunch of anons create their dream chip has ended in four mediocre flavours that are probably going to get pulled within a matter of weeks, not unlike the Mother energy drinks before it or Vegemite's edgy new name proposition, i personally see this particular marketing campaign as a strike on Smith's otherwise impeccable reputation. I'm going to let Aline have this one, but only because her chip reminded me of another product of much better quality and somehow confused my taste-buds into thinking it was better than it was.
Overall though, the real winner is me. This post marks the first time i was ever able to go into a supermarket and cop every flavour of a single product at the same time and not feel bad about it. I can only imagine how great i looked to the checkout operators.
Friday, October 16, 2009
So how come i sneezed 26 times yesterday and didn't even get a boner? Not even a tingle? If the above calculation had any truth, anyone with hayfever would just stay at home all day eating lawnmower clippings and rolling around in cats. Instead, i walked around all day spraying inanimate objects and people with the contents of my nasal passage whilst simultaneously sniffling like a crack addict, rubbing my already swollen eyes and stumbling into the very inanimate objects that i was sneezing all over, which is great because not only did i have to control the mucous flowing from my nose, mouth and eyes, but also had to dodge new patches of mucous that i was in fact creating myself. I wanted to die, which isn't an orgasm. In fact, the only time i've ever reached climax as a result of continuous sneezing was that time it didn't happen, which technically means that it didn't happen.
People that don't have hayfever are always mega sympathetic to those of us that get it, but in my eyes their claims of worry and concern are completely unwarranted because they have no concept of how fucking shit hayfever actually is. Or you get those people that see you sneezing and are all like "Woah! You're gonna have an orgasm if you keep going that way!".
How about, let's say, i sneeze in your mouth?
You'll never understand our pain. We have the flu, a cold, allergies, unattractiveness, pink eye, overactive sweat gland syndrome and depression all at once and the best you can muster up is something about orgasms because you think laughter is the best medicine or that hayfever is 'cute'. Trust me, if i could transfer this feeling over to you, i would.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
As i was bludgeoned with campaigns and the latest mass marketing propaganda during my trip, there was one particular advertisement that hit me a little harder than the others. It was an RAC commercial on a big yellow billboard and black lettering. The black lettering formed a quote that read something like this.
"RAC handled my claim so quickly, i sent them a card"
I was doing about 200 km/h so forgive me if i didn't get it exactly right, but this was definitely the general jist of the advertisement. RAC's latest advertising campaign is quotes. The same RAC that has been the backbone of Western Australia's automotive tactical response group and has helped hundreds of thousands of idiots get back on the road. Now they're doing quotes, which basically puts them in the same league as penis enlargement, power tools and home gyms.
"Woah, my dick is like 300 inches now! I can't even have sex anymore! Who cares, i'm massive!"
"This drill pisses all over my last drill! No really, check out this setting! PSSSSSSHHHHHH!"
(A guy at a place)
"Thanks to this home gym, my dick is like 300 inches now! I can't even have sex anymore! Who cares, i'm massive!"
(A man, America)
I wouldn't be as offended if the quote was actually true, which it might be, but that's beside the case. Who actually says stuff like that? Where was this quote obtained, and who from? If i heard someone say that, i would publicly accuse them of being a robot. I mean, they don't even give a name. It just says something about that person being a customer, which is infuriating and one of the laziest, most unoriginal forms of advertising i have ever seen from a company with such a stellar reputation. Anyone can make up a quote to promote their company, look:
"This blog.......*sigh*.....This blog has changed my outlook on everything. Five minutes here and I feel cleansed, born again, invincible. A unique smorgasbord of rare truths hidden behind subtle embelishments and new world observation. It's like that Spice Girls song, 'Things will never be the same again', because after this, they won't. It all changes from here on in. Fuck the Spice Girls"
(Someone that read my blog once)
Someone get me a billboard, stat.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I remember back when i started this thing. The concept was still fresh and i was constantly in the mindset that everything i did needed to be recorded, drafted and documented on this blogger address. Everything from STAT tests and free big macs to Gears of War 2, Gametraders and coughing, there was little that could stop me from leaving the house, doing something and then going back to the house and writing about whatever it was i had done. The internetz was my oyster and it felt like a new era for being an online journal fag. Unfortunately, even the most awesome of dynasties aren't immune to change.
A while back i was going through my emails and one Julian Cole appeared in my received column(||). Julian had magically stumbled upon my blog during it's wonder years and was amazed that i wasn't utilizing RSS feed and that new social networking site that allows you to send mass 140 character messages to people of interest and receive responses of the same nature from said people. I did some research on RSS and fell into a coma whilst doing so. It was totally boring and difficult for me to set up and when i woke up two weeks later i decided to check out this other form of communication he was talking about, known only to me as 'Twitter' (it's still known as that). I was young, foolish and desperate for hits, so i decided to try it out without even thinking twice about it.
For those of you that think it's trendy to stay 'out of the loop' or 'away from social networking devils', Twitter is basically Facebook on a cocaine binge. It's slim, fast, on slimfast and only responds in quick short bursts should you manage to catch it's attention. No top friends lists, no priorities, just good old social networking stripped back to it's bare essentials.
Here's how it works:
- Your contacts are divided into two sectors. 'Followers', who are the people following your 'tweets' and 'Following', the people whose tweets you have subscribed to. It's all very cult like at this point in time.
- Here's where it gets crazy. Any tweets you produce are instantly seen by anyone that is following you. They appear on your timeline visible to others but not visible on the public timelines of others. This means, anyone that you are following who is not following you back will not see your tweets unless you @mention them. An @mention to someone that is not following you is generally a reach for attention from someone that didn't find it necessary to follow you, possibly because you are unimportant. Your @mentions to people not following you are on display on your timeline for anyone that is following you but the response is not. Well, that is until you use the 'RT' (retweet) function which is basically a copy and paste function for people that want to name drop or can't come up with their own tweets. People who consistently retweet are the real life equivalent of that guy that tells you that story about the time he met Chris Mainwaring every time he sees you, either because he is oblivious to the fact that you already know it, or he wants you to double know it anyway. Thankfully, i only retweeted once and it was a retweet of one of my own tweets, which is excusable if you're me.
- Excited yet? Thought not. So once you know who's following you and you're following the inane observations of a bunch of celebrities who tend to make 139 character mistakes within every 140 character tweet, you're ready to start tweeting. What do you tweet about? How does everything sound? Subjects on Twitter are only limited by the imagination of it's users and during my stay there i was made privy to important matters such as maintaining erections through Indian mail order drugs and the bowel movements of pretty much every rapper in the northern hemisphere. It's like a mobile compendium of the most important information you never thought you needed, but could have easily lived without.
- Sometimes people argue that Twitter is not just a fad application for people that want to be one step closer to living their entire existence on the internet, but also an extremely valuable marketing tool for new companies that want to appeal to the tech-savvy youth of today. I couldn't agree more, Twitter is definitely a great marketing tool, a great marketing tool for WHAT I HAD FOR LUNCH!
What i had for lunch, it's what's for lunch (click to enlarge).
@Wacksauce - Man, @Mary is such a fucking bitch.
The seed is planted.
@Mary - Hey! @Dave did you see what that @Wacksauce said about me? I don't even know him!
@Dave - RT @Wacksauce - Man, @Mary is such a fucking bitch......What an asshole!
The spark evolves into a small blaze.
@Marcus - @Mary and @Dave. Just ignore that guy @Wacksauce, he's spamming you to get followers.
My followers increase dramatically/the blaze turns into a bushfire.
@Wacksauce - Man, @Mary, @Dave and @Marcus are a bunch of spamming bitches.
@Mary, @Dave, @Marcus - @Wacksauce is a jerk! Don't follow him!
More followers, eternal flame.
There's all sorts of other shit that goes on in the Twitter ecosystem that is just as capable of wasting your time as it's base purpose. Things like #trendingtopics, twitpics and links to external pages with more twitter links on them are just a few of the things that convinced me my life isn't ready for another internet application. If you don't tweet, no-one tweets @you and the purpose is defeated and if you do tweet, you get more @tweets which means more work for results that don't actually count for anything but a few seconds of being sidetracked.
In reality: Labour equals results.
On twitter: Labour equals more labour minus time plus more labour recurring aka completely pointless. So, during my tenure i posted a rather mediocre 716 tweets. Most users that i was following had posted at least triple that between the time i started and my last tweet. However, all of my tweets were incredible and on average, consisted of around 100 characters. That's a total 71,600 characters and a shit load of time i could have spent elsewhere, namely on this very blogger account where my intellectual property generally resides. If you can be bothered doing the math, Twitter is half the reason i haven't been posting here very often. The other half is that i can't be bothered. Twitter was like a leaking tap in between my brain and my fingers causing me to dribble out whatever was on my mind or pissing me off and as a result whenever i sat down to have a good old whine on my blogger launchpad, i had nothing saved up because of Twitter.
It was upon this revelation that i immediately logged onto my twitter account and posted what will forever remain as my last tweet. "Twitter.................#i'm off that". I hash tagged the last three words because they were a trending topic at the time so more people could see it, old habits die hard i guess. To those of you still on Twitter, i wish you nothing but the best. We had some good times and definitely contributed to a-lot of other people's entertainment. I can only hope that you're on Twitter for the right reasons and that it doesn't interrupt the more important things in life, like your blog or a nice television show or something.
Look at it this way. You're with your friend in the city and you see a totally hot babe. Now, you can be the guy that spends 30 seconds on his iPhone telling a bunch of randoms about her or you can be the guy that's already halfway through the queue at McDonald's across the road.