Archive for the General Category

Am I getting old or are people just cunts?

Posted in General, Music on April 17, 2010 by doseofsalt

WARNING: EPIC LONG READ AHEAD.

Allow me to lay out my frustrations of a couple of incidents that happened to me over the last week.

I don’t know if anyone else finds this at gigs like I do, but no matter where I stand at a show, I seem to ALWAYS be blocking some sort of main thoroughfare that just happens to materialize right where I decided to plant my feet.  There could have been no one anywhere near the spot until the moment I decide to stand there, but once that happens it’s instantly transformed into the exact place person A needs to travel through to reach destination C having left origin B.  It could be a convoluted wacky route to the toilets, or the apparently new trendy journey to get to the bar by taking the least shortest path to get there.  I don’t know what it is, but people just start bumping into me or trying to squeeze between me and whatever I happen to have decided to stand near; and I take up a fair whack of real estate.

So here comes example one.  I went along to The Zoo to see the absolutely amazing Justin Townes Earle.  He’s an American singer/songwriter and son of Steve “you can smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road” Earle.  The guy is a fantastic showman and writes some truly brilliant songs.  He was supported by The Wilson PickersAndrew Morris and fellow American, Jason Isbell.  The show is kicking along nicely and Morris has finished his cool set.  He was joined by fellow Pickers Ben Salter and Danny Widdicombe which was a nice surprise.  Jason Isbell blew the stage to pieces with his awesome music and absolutely insane guitar playing.  Justin Townes Earle was who I was here to see though, and great opener acts were just icing on a cake I already knew was going to be fantastic.

I decided that the best place for me to plant myself was off to the left side of the stage, right against the wall out of the way and took up this spot and got myself in a cool zone to soak up some good old country tunes.  Not five seconds after getting myself situated do people start cramming themselves between me and the small group of people I’m going to immediately name The Hillbilly Fucktards who had decided to move into the three metres of space I had in front of me.  But they decided to do this in the 70 odd centimetres of space that was directly in front of me…leaving them the full other 2.3 metres that they could have inhabited terra nullius…a veritable no mans land.

The Hillbilly Fucktards were clearly already full steam ahead on their journey to alcohol poisoning at this stage and were being jovial with each other and leaning against each other for balance or comfort or both while they loudly talked about some sort of bullshit I didn’t give a fuck about.  Their long and malleable appendages which were capped with full glasses and bottles of their chosen poison flailed around in the air, punctuating whatever drunken point they were making, or illustrating some detail of a story that was probably a lie.  I am thankful that none of the contents of these glasses and bottles ended up being spilled all over me, though it was close.

Within no time The Hillbilly Fucktards’ drinks ran empty and they all teetered off to the bar to refuel before continuing on their mission to be the drunkest cunts in the venue.  As they left I thought to myself “now salty, here’s the perfect opportunity for you to move forward here and occupy the space they were just in…so they can’t come back to it…you, sir, are a GENIUS!”.  So I slide myself along the wall and comfortably take up the space in which The Hillbilly Fucktards had vacated.  They booze, they loose.  Or so I thought.  The triumphant group returned from their bar mission and seemed to just reform in the exact same spot they had, which now included me.  I was like an adopted member of their group it seemed and nobody seemed to care.

FUCK THAT.  I cared.  So I slowly slid my way back to where I was before.  If they hadn’t noticed I was there, they noticed I had gone as they fluidly filled in the space I had left and planted themselves squarely back right in front of me, again leaving their claimed 2.3 metre buffer zone.  Now when it comes to times like this, I’m a real stubborn cunt.  There’s no way I’m moving.  Fuck those guys, I was here first and I want to enjoy the show.  I don’t drink anymore, so I’m stone cold sober and wanting to marvel at the display of musicianship and lyricism that is taking place in front of me on stage.  So I’m standing my ground and going down with the ship if it kills me…or I have to kill them.  Either way I’m watching this fucking show and The Hillbilly Fucktards aren’t going to ruin it for me.

Now it could have been my persistence and the epic negative vibes that I was mentally blasting at these idiots, or it could have been the fact that the journey to the bar so they could SINK PISS MATE was too far, but they decided to pull up camp and relocate to somewhere else and I didn’t give a fuck where, they were gone.  Peace at least.  I could stand with my three metres of nice space in front of me and let Mr Townes Earle take me away to a better place on the wings of his music.  Sure, I was still the footpath to the toilet and the bar for every moron that couldn’t walk anywhere else in the entire venue to get to those places, but generally if I ignore it, those fucks become easy to ignore.

You’d think that this was the happy ending and soon I’d be riding a wave of country music gold and wishing I was in Nashville with a geetar slung over my back and a huge cowboy hat.  But you’d be wrong.  No sooner had The Hillbilly Fucktards decided to vacate their land, along come who I’d like to call Pretentious Wanker and Dumbshit Mate.  I don’t know what it is, but by standing within the one metre radius around my body, people must just begin absorbing my aura of fucking awesomeness or something, because that’s exactly where Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate decided to stand.  I was so close to them if I had stuck my head forward as far as it could go without even moving my body I’d have been right between their faces.  Now the epic invasion of personal space I can sort of deal with.  The dodging half drunk wobbling fuckheads standing using each other as ballast I could mostly handle.  But Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate weren’t happy to just stand there and watch Mr Townes Earle play some great songs…they also decided that RIGHT NOW was the best time EVER to start having a conversation about something.  Again, no idea what they were talking about, I couldn’t give a fuck.  But by this stage the music on stage was quite loud and they clearly couldn’t hear each other.  “They probably realised this and just stopped talking and watched the show” I hear you all assuming.  Not quite.

Pretentious Wanker proceeded to lean towards Dumbshit Mate and scream what he wanted to tell hm directly at his ear.  Dumbshit mate then returned the favour.  They did this over and over, their conversation seeming never to end.  I was reaching my boiling point.  Everything within me wanted to crane my neck forward that little bit and at the absolute top of my lungs just yell “SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!”.  I cooled down and they stopped for a short while, then obviously realised they had something else they had to talk about and started again.  The same epic rage started building in me again as I started picturing scenarios in my head of what would happen if I had just let rip at these cunts and told them to shut up.  In any event it never ended well so I calmed myself again.  My fiance decided that she wanted to go and sit down at the back of the room and I come to the realisation that I was fighting a battle I just couldn’t win.  So with a heavy heart I joined her and we sat at the back of the room, where there was noone else anywhere nearby and sat and watched the rest of the show.  It wast really great.

So tell me.  Should I just stop going to shows?  Has deciding not to drink anymore ruined the gig going experience for me?  I’d hate to think that to enjoy a show like I used to I’d have to have had a few drinks or be off my face.  I know that I’ve probably been both Pretentious Wanker, Dumbshit Mate and any number of species of Hillbilly Fucktard at sometime drunk at a gig…but surely deciding not to be any of these things anymore shouldn’t destroy the pleasure of going to see live music should it?

OK so incident B happened a few days later whilst spending some quality retail therapy time at Chermside shopping centre.   I was in that fabulous glass fronted wonderland that is the Apple store.  I had seen a couple of iPhone cases that I really wanted to find and have a look at, so figured that the Apple store would be as good a place as any to start looking.  Plus I’ve only been in there twice before so I figured any excuse would do.  They basically have a wall of iPhone cases in the store against the right wall at the back of the shop.  The area was mostly deserted when I walked in so I went and planted myself in front of the case wall and started looking at some of them.  Now as mentioned previously, I take up a sizable piece of the floor when I’m standing on it.  I’m not a small person and I’m very hard to miss.  So I don’t understand how when I’m standing right in front of a wall of products, clearly looking at them, people feel that they should come and stand in front of me to look at the same things I am.  I don’t mind if you reach in front of me and grab something to have a look at…with a “‘scuse me” thrown in is always nice but not a deal breaker.  But why would you feel it was ok to lean right in front of me, or even squeeze between me and the wall of products to look at something, and just stay there blocking everything I’m trying to look at?  I’m not invisible and you are not a fucking window.

A mother and daughter clearly thought I was as they decided that they’d basically push in front of me to grab a couple of things from the shelf and have a conversation about them…call a staff member over and continue talking to them while I’m still trying to look at shit, now on tip-toes trying to look past them.  I decide to take a step to the side and look at whatever is in front of me then.  It was nothing too interesting, so I decided to be just as much of a fuck and reached into the even smaller space now between them and the wall and grab some stuff to look at, making it clear that I was basically shoving them out of the way.  And they moved.  Good.  Get the fuck out of my way.

I then thought I needed to take this mission closer to the ground, so I squatted down to look at the merchandise that had been placed closer to the centre of the Earth.  iPhone cases worthy of this antideluvian shepherd.  So I’m squatting down looking at some stuff when a customer I’ve decided to call Shitcunt comes and stands looking at some of the stuff that’s above me.  Which I’m fine with.  I’m not looking at that stuff!  Look away my friend!  Oh wait…what are you doing?  Why have you decided to look at the stuff above me, but by standing right over the top of me so close that if I were to stand up I’d be placing myself squarely inside your chest cavity, or at best in your armpit.  I was trapped!  Like a moth in a bath!  I could feel my bezerker rage building up inside of me again and decided it was time for action.  I figured I’d just stand up; through Shitcunt if I had to.  This is pretty much what happened.  I stood directly up and bashed Shitcunt aside.  He took a stumbling step away from me, looked at me in what seemed like absolute shock and exclaimed “OH! SORRY MATE!” like he hadn’t even seen me there.  I didn’t acknowledge his apology nor his existence, I just kept looking for the Holy Grail of iPhone cases that I was pretty sure I’d find.  Anyway what does Shitcunt decide to do?  Exactly the same as the mother/daughter pair had done, who I realise now I forgot to name.  Let’s name them after the fact, The Dumbsluts.  So here’s Shitcunt leaning in front of me, not to just grab something to look at, but to study intently at the sake of my being able to actually see anything.

Well my loyal readers, that was me done.  I exclaimed “FUCK THIS!” and made a retreat from the Apple store, once again defeated.

So my question is this…are people just cunts?  Or now that I’m in my 30s am I just getting older and losing patience with pretty much everything, most of all people?

The Stupid Pants Affair

Posted in General with tags , , on December 15, 2009 by doseofsalt

Ok so the only reason I figured I’d post this is because it’s really really stupid.

You see I was in need of a new pair of pants. The pairs I had were equally as shabby and old and starting to fall apart. So I trucked my way to ye olde pants shoppe to make said purchase of pants.

I was however not ONLY looking for pants, I was also on the lookout for some shorts of two varieties! On the suggestion of my doctor I’m going to start swimming for fitness to help build some core strength and help lose some weight, so one variety of shorts I was after were the board variety. The other shorts I was after were just regular shorts which are basically short cut off versions of the pants I had come to get.

The pants I have bought a zillion times so I just grabbed my size down and put them in the counter. The two types of shorts I figured I’d best try on being a place where size can vary a lot depending on brand.

They fit fine so I paid and left the store.

Cut to a few days later and I’ve been wearing shorts the whole time. It SUCKS walking to the bus and work wearing a black tshirt and full length black pants in this heat so shorts it’s been. Come Monday I was driving in to work so I donned the new pants and headed down to the car.

I got in and started the car, backed out if the garage, got out of the car and closed the garge door. When I got back to the car to get in I had a lightbulb moment and realized I was wearing these pants for the first time…best check that I have my wallet. So I pat the area of my leg where my wallet always sits nice and secure in its cargo pocket. No wallet. FUCK.

Get into the car and pull it into a visitors park and dash back upstairs to get my wallet out of my shorts.

Find them in the floordrobe and get my wallet out if the pocket that the shorts and pants share due to their configuration and reach down to open the familiar velcro flap that secures said pocket closed and prevents my wallet and all it contains (mostly dust and old receipts) from spilling out all over the place should I chose to do a handstand or cartwheel.

My fingers grasp for the fabric protuberance but for some strange reason glide unimpinged up the fabric. “Must have missed it” I tell myself. “Try again”. Same result. My fingers just coast across my pants leg like some barren arctic tundra devoid of any outcropping of rock, trees, snow or indeed velcro fabric pocket closing flaps.

By this stage I’m well and truly in a state of confusion and bewilderment. What is this strange new leg region topography and how did I find myself here deep in it’s embrace, four days in with no sign of life or pockets (aside from the default 3 that most pants come equipped with) and no glimmer of cargo on the horizon?!

My gaze makes its way southbound to reconnoiter the region below the pants/shirt divide.

It seems that my initial survey of the region was made far too hastily as on this second trip it was quite clear that there was indeed no goldmine of pockets to be found. She wasn’t even giving me any flake.

So that is the story of how your humble narrator came to accidently buy the wrong pants.

Missing Milestones and Responsibility

Posted in General, Music on November 13, 2009 by doseofsalt

You know, it really sucks.

I hurt my back, as anyone who knows me would be aware of, and it happened at a rather shitty time.  You see, the band that I manage, Arcane, are playing their first interstate show this weekend in Melbourne and I can’t be there.

I should be there; I even have a plane ticket to GET there. But my back just hasn’t healed itself enough for me to risk on the trip.  Considering the journey starts at 6am Saturday morning, the gig is at midnight Saturday night and the return journey is 7am Sunday morning.  Practically 25 hours non-stop I think would just destroy any progress I’ve made on my “active rest” and trying to take it a bit easier on myself to let whatever I’ve done fix itself up.

It made me think to myself, if it was perhaps two or three years ago I’d be on that plane tomorrow morning 100% and would basically have said “FUCK IT” and dealt with whatever relapsed damage I did to my back when I got home.  I’d be able to just rest around the house for weeks and do fuck all.

But you see my dear readers, I have a job now. I have this responsibility that I have to take care of every day Monday to Friday every week of the year. I used to have pretty much unlimited free time to do whatever.  Pursue art work, do music industry stuff, whatever. In those times though, I was pretty much broke.

I’ve gotten myself into that cycle of really liking and appreciating the fact that every week like clockwork now I get a nice little wad of cash put into my bank account.  It’s not a spectacular amount, but it’s better than the situation I was in those two or three years ago.  I come to this office every day, do pretty much the same job over and over again and I get money for it. Responsibility is pretty awesome!

So if I had decided to just be reckless and go to Melbourne sure I’d have a hell of a time, and it’d be awesome to see Arcane play their first show down there. But I’m at a time in my life where I can’t afford to be that reckless dude because I wouldn’t be able to get in to work, which would be bad for cashflow.

And if working on the latest Toehider EP “In All Honesty” has taught me anything it’s that life has nothing to do with integrity and honesty, it’s all completely about making fuckloads of money.

I guess in all of this I could turn the blame onto the band itself.  Afterall it was whist doing work FOR the band that I hurt my back.

So yeah…I guess it’s not because of the increased responsibility I have in my life now that I’m having to miss this milestone…it’s because of Arcane.

FUCK YOU GUYS!

Have an awesome show.

Long days and hurt backs

Posted in General with tags , , , , on October 29, 2009 by doseofsalt

Saturday the 24th of October was a BIG day.

Had a day of shooting video that begun at 8am and ended up driving away after wrapping at around 2:30am.  It was a huge day of standing, sitting  on busted couches, lifting, stapling, crane use, driving, walking, shopping and holding a data projector at full stretch above my head for five minutes.

At some stage in that time I just happened to over do it and, as my doctor said using the correct medical term I “stuffed my back”.  Owch.

Sunday morning I woke up and had trouble getting out of bed…was so stiff.  Later in the day I got stiffer and it become harder to move and by Sunday night I was in pain and quite immobile.

Monday morning I was suffering pretty bad.  It hurt to do anything.  I could hardly move at all and actually had to make myself a walking stick out of a length of PVC pipe and some gaff tape to be able to hobble around.  Upon discovering I couldn’t even dress myself, I was lucky enough that Kylie dropped by home and was able to dress me.  I did the uncomfortable pouring of myself into my car and the “every bump is like a hot dagger in my spine” drive to work.

Big mistake.  I couldn’t move around the office without looking like some sort of 120 year old invalid and I ended up just going home.  It seems that trek in may have actually aggravated my problem more as Monday night I was pretty much unable to even move my toes without it killing my back.

Tuesday I stayed at home to rest…but there was no relief.  I took my daily suggested allowance of Herron, Nurofen Plus and Voltarin Rapid which didn’t put a dent in the pain…so Tuesday night it was off to the doctor.

It was here he gave me the aforementioned diagnosis of a “stuffed back” and told me that I need “active rest” at home and if I went to work again this week he would “kick my teeth in”.  These are his actual words.  I love that doctor, he’s so awesome.  Anyway he prescribed me some Panadine Forte and stronger Voltarin and ordered me home for that rest.

The scary part of it all was that he said if by Friday I had no improvement I’d probably have to get a CT scan on my back, as the damage would probably have been worse than he thought.

Wednesday went by much the same as Tuesday.  Towards the afternoon I thought it started feeling a bit better, but I wasn’t sure if that was from healing or because I’d been downing painkillers all day.  So I went to bed hopeful.

Here I am on Thursday night.  My back still hurts but I’m way way more mobile than I have been and the pain is considerably less than it was yesterday.  So I think it may be on the mend, which is good.  I had been stressing pretty bad that I had REALLY fucked something in my back, which it seems now I most likely haven’t.  Whew.

So in my ideal world, tomorrow I will be a bit better and by the end of the weekend I’ll be set to head back to work on Monday.  Here’s hoping!  Now I can start dreading the amount of work I’ll have piled up when I go back 😦

Moral of the story?  Hurt backs suck mega balls.

Technology that just works.

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by doseofsalt

So recently I was in the market for a new video camera.  For years and years I had sworn that I’d avoid anything that records to harddisc or flash memory purely because to me, tape was god.

Anyway, like God, I soon realised that it really wasn’t for me and I needed to change because capturing from tape sucks, takes ages and if the tape gets fucked, the footage gets fucked.  So fuck that.

So I was looking around at various options, and I didn’t want to really sink a whole load of cash into a camera, because in all honesty I probably won’t really use it all that much outside of filming Arcane shows and other little bits of bullshit to waste time.

I decided to go the flash memory camera route.  SD cards are cheap as anything these days and go up to stupid amounts of space, so I figured I’d go with that.  There were a couple of cameras I was looking at, each had their pros and cons and I was to-ing and fro-ing between them for ages.  There was the JVC which was supposed to be pretty great, but the menu system and control just SHITTED me to no end, and there was the Panasonic which had familar menus (have 2 other Panasonic video cameras), but wasn’t supposed to be a spectacular low light performer.

I decided that I’d go with the Panasonic, because it was a brand I knew and could trust, and while low-light would be important for what I’d be filming (bands), it’s not like I’d be shooting for professional release quality BluRay or anything.  I was just looking for pure unadulterated standard def glory.

So the Panasonic was it.  Took SD cards which I have an abundance of and all was great…I’d deal with any low light issues as they arose.

So I head down to my friendly JB HiFi and look at said Panasonic camera in the cabinet.  But my eyes, they did wander.  Up and down the cabinet I looked…past the JVC with their horrible “laser touch” navigation system…to a Sony .

“Sony?!” I asked myself.  “Why the HELL would you want to get a Sony?  Sure they make awesome cameras…but dude…Memory Stick?  What the sweet fuck is that shit?  The only other thing you have that takes Memory Stick is your PSP that you never ever ever ever play.  Eyes off the Sony and back on the Panasonic damn it!”

So I look at the Panasonic again…and my eyes drift back up to the Sony and the little note on it’s price tag that says “4gb internal memory”.  This gets my attention. “A puny 4GB?!  Is that all?!” I ask myself.  “You wouldn’t fit much on that you tool!” I say.  But then I look back at the Panasonic which has a grand total of zero GB internal memory.  Some has got to be better than none right?

So my mind is torn in two directions.  If I was Wang…that bottle just wouldn’t slice in half.  I’d have to rely on Jack’s reflexes to catch it.  No horse shit.

The attractive sales girl comes over and I ask if I can have a look at one of the cameras.  She says “Sure thing, big boy, you can have a look at any of my cans.”.  I had to correct her “No no, I said cameras…can I look at a camera.”.  She blushed and got the key out.  OK so that totally never happened, but she did open the cabinet and I pulled out…THE SONY!  Holy crap what was I doing?  I had extensively researched the JVC and the Panasonic so that I could be sure I was getting a camera that would best suit me and my needs and compliment my other technology!  Why was the Sony in my hands?!

I turned it on…it gave a delightful little chirp.  I panned and tilted around the store, scoping DVDs and TVs and other customers.  I zoomed.  I explored the menus, all of which were operated via touchscreen on the LCD panel.  “Jolly gosh” I said to myself, and my sultry and seductive sales girl sidekick.  “This camera is quite snazzy and fun to use!”.  Inside I was screaming at myself “PUT IT DOWN YOU FOOL!  PANASONIC ALL THE WAY!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

The voice in my head was telling me truths I didn’t want to have to think about.  “What if Sony do some strange things with the files it saves…what if the codecs are bizarre and make it impossible to edit without re-encoding first…what if they use some proprietory Sony file format…remember you read about that somewhere?”.  These things were all valid points that one would usually research at length before making a purchase.

I don’t know what happened next because I’m pretty sure I blacked out in the store.  I awoke in my car to find that I had bought a Sony Handicam. “Quick, go back inside and exchange it!” I told myself.  But I felt that to be on the safe side, seeing as I was sure I had just passed out, I thought I probably shouldn’t get up out of my car right away.  I decided to investigate what I had purchased in my state of unconciousness.

Turns out what I bought was a fucking brilliant little camera!  It came with a 16GB Memory Card Pro Duo or whatever they are.

I took it with me to the Arcane/HOSN album launch on Saturday night to film Arcane’s set and it performed just amazingly for what it is.  A cheap little flash memory camcorder.  Low light picture turned out great, the mic didn’t blow out from the intense loudness that the in-house sound guy somehow thought Arcane needed.  It did it’s job absolutely amazingly.

“AH HA! But what about the file format?” I hear you say.  Well…it records to mpg.  Which I can drag directly into my editing software, which works a breeze with absolutely no problems.

It was a purchase that could have ended so very horribly.  No research on it, the complete opposite of what I planned to get.  Yet it works brilliantly.

Thanks, Sony!

It’s like Platoon…only with random things and an iPhone.

Posted in General on October 12, 2009 by doseofsalt

OK so 3:30-itis struck today at work so I decided to have some fun and play out a war epic in and around my cubicle with the random shit that’s scattered along the divider and my desk.

I had so much fun with it I decided I’d re-post it here!

Part 1

Hold your positions men. We storm the cubicle at dawn!

1

Part 2

Stapler! You’re on recon!

2

Part 3

Eraser, thimblette, melted thimblette…you take positions in the outskirts!

3

Part 4

Watch out for change mines!

4

Part 5

PostIt notes…you cover the rear!

5

Part 6

Keep an eye on that tank down the ridge.

6

End…?

Blogging…let’s try this again yeah?

Posted in General on October 10, 2009 by doseofsalt

OK so I don’t know how many times I’ve started blogs or decided I was going to start a blog, but then never kept it updated or never even got as far as setting it up.

SO!  Here I go again.  I figure that now I’m in the world of iPhones and pretty much always being connected to the web/email/etc that I’m probably in a position now to actually make a go of doing it.  So I’ll give it a shot!

I do have a purpose for this though.  As much as I’m sure it will end up being a random collection of rants and what not, I’d like to use it as a place to discuss things that I come across in the music industry.  I like to try and keep up on new things that are going on.

I use Twitter quite a lot so I’ve added the Twitter side-bar to the right which will no doubt be updated more often than this blog will be, but I will be trying my hardest to keep this thing updated and current.  I’ve installed the WordPress App to my iPhone, so that should allow me to blog on the move!  I catch the bus to work a fair bit, so I’ll have oodles of public transport sitting time to rant hopefully!

OK so that’ll do it for post number one.  I will investigate adding this blog to my website which is http://www.andrewsaltmarsh.com and currently just hosts a gallery of artwork.  I’d like this to perhaps be the focus of the site with the art gallery as a link from this blog.  I’ll see how I go with that, it could just be totally disasterous.

At some stage I may come up with some snappy sign off line that I can use at the end of blog posts…that could be cool.