19 April 2013

The home studio begins

I use the term "studio" rather loosely.

I bought some microphones online last week, and they arrived today, so I've had some fun putting together the various audio components I have and setting up a working recording setup.

11 April 2013

2013 Reading: Part 1

I'm usually pretty good at keeping track of what movies I see during a year. I've never been that good at keeping a list of the books I read. In the past I've often had two or more books on the go at the same time. I've decided that I'd like to keep a log of what I read (starting from February/March, because that's the first time this year I remember reading a book cover to cover).

Books read so far this year... (that I remember)

1. James Patterson & Mark Sullivan, Private Berlin

James Patterson's "Private" series is an interesting one, in that so far only a couple have featured the same characters. The Private of the title is an investigation firm with agencies around the world, so there have been novels set in LA, London, Sydney and now Berlin.

On a side note, "Private Oz" had some great little phrases and characterisations included that made it look like Patterson and his co-writers had done their research. And then a paragraph later you'd come across something so Americanised that would never be said/seen/done in Australia, that you'd start to wonder if Crocodile Dundee II was their "research".

09 April 2013


Today was Cheap Tuesday, so I went to the cinema. My options were the new Die Hard (and as much as I try to avoid reviews beforehand, I've read mixed reports) or Danny Boyle's new film, "Trance". Kara was working, and since she'd rather see "DH5" than "Trance", I picked the latter to see on my own.

One of several poster designs.

08 April 2013

Backyard guest: part 2

I cleaned out and moved the old barbecue today.

Our resident bluetongue was still in residence, but beat a hasty retreat when I removed the grills.

07 April 2013

Music Month Wrap-Up

So my Music Month is over, and I go back to work this coming week. I'm a little bit concerted out...

Music Month (March 9 - April 3) contained:
  • 2 festivals
  • 3 concerts with international headliners
  • 1 concert with local headliner
  • 54 individual artists/groups (20 of them Aussie)
Music month in collage form.

06 April 2013

Birdy @ The Tivoli

After getting home from WOMADelaide, I got an email from the festival, part of which included a competition to win one double pass for each city of Birdy's Australian tour. I sent off my email, with my details and city of choice. I then promptly forgot about it.

On Wednesday morning I got a phonecall from a SA area code, and answered to find that I had won the Brisbane double pass - for the same evening. Kara wasn't that interested, so I headed off to the Tivoli on my own.

Easterfest 2013: Day 4

Sunday 31 March

Our Sunday started with another of the panel sessions in the Forum, this time hosted by SPARC. The topic was "Breaking the Barriers: Do we need more Christian artists in the mainstream of culture?", and guests included Evermore, Rowan Brand, Tigertown and Bec Laughton.

When this finished, the interview with Lecrae in the Arena was already underway, so I headed over there. Kara stayed to watch the sound and light show in the Entrance Tent. The music from that was loud enough to almost drown out all sound in the Arena venue. It was really hard to hear the questions or answers in the interview, until the light show stopped. When question time was over, Lecrae left the stage, and United Pursuit Band came straight on for their interview, as they had a Mainstage sound check to get to afterward.

Backyard guest

I was doing some work in our small back yard this afternoon. Mainly weeding and raking - we always get small branches falling from the trees out behind the neighbour's fence.

We have an old barbecue that I would like to convert into a portable drinks table. It's been sitting out the back, partly dismantled, for some time now. I took the lid off, and when I went to move one of the grill plates, got quite a shock.

05 April 2013

Easterfest 2013: Day 3

Saturday 30 March

Our Saturday started at 10 am with the Audio Adrenaline interview. Bassist Will McGinniss talked about the history of the band, its breakup in 2007 (and Easterfest-only reunion in 2009), and the formation of the new lineup - Audio "2.0".

Audio Adrenaline 2.0
L to R: Jared Byers (ex-Bleach & Relient K), Kevin Max (ex-dc Talk and solo), Will McGinniss (founding member), Jason Walker (member of Know Hope Collective), Dave Ghazarian (ex-Superchick).
For those of you who don't know, original lead singer Mark Stuart is unable to sing anymore, due to vocal cord damage (look up spasmodic dysphonia). With a heavy focus on the band's ongoing orphanage project in Haiti, Mark and Will recently put the band back together with the same name but new lineup. Kevin Max, formerly of dc Talk (and as a solo artist one of my all-time favourite vocalists), is their new frontman. The only original member playing and touring is Will McGinniss (bass guitar), but Mark Stuart remains active behind the scenes with "Audio A 2.0".

02 April 2013

Easterfest 2013: Day 2 - Demon Hunter

Friday, 29 March

Yes, this gets its own blog post.

I've been a Demon Hunter fan for at least 10 years, so I wasn't going to miss a chance to be front-row at their Easterfest gig. This was their first visit to Australia, and they did an incredible (considering travel time) four shows (Sydney, Toowoomba, Melbourne, Adelaide) in four nights before jetting back to the US. At the end of this month they're also playing South America for the first time.

And now, pictures! Lots of pictures. There's a bit of haze and pixelly stuff going on, because my camera's not that great in dark venues, but I was really close, which helped.

Easterfest 2013: Day 2

Friday 29 March

Good Friday was the first full day of Easterfest. We slept in, and headed down the hill to Queen's Park just after noon.

First thing on my agenda was checking out the first of the Noise workshops being run by Parachute Music. These had been run last year as a separately-ticketed event, off-site. This year they were held in the park, and were one of the highlights for me. Aimed at breaking down barriers between the "headliner" and the "audience", they included Q&A sessions, interviews, and practical advice on musical topics.

The first workshop was a Guitar Clinic. According to the program, Patrick Judge of Demon Hunter and Dave Ghazarian of Audio Adrenaline were meant to be the guests. Event staff apologised on behalf of Patrick, who was still en route from the airport (not sure where Dave was), but they did have another guitarist on hand to interview - Seth Davis from worship group Ascend The Hill.

Seth runs through the various pedals in his rig.
It was an informative session, with Seth showing us how he gets various sounds out of his guitar and effects pedals.

Easterfest 2013: Day 1

Thursday 28 March

Last weekend we went up to Toowoomba for our annual music festival pilgrimage, Easterfest. Easterfest is Australia's largest festival at Easter about Easter, and annually features a wide spectrum of Christian artists, speakers and musicians from across Australia and the world. This year marked Kara's 8th Easterfest, and my 13th or 14th. I've been going since the early years when it was known as AGMF, or the Australian Gospel Music Festival, and can't remember if I went in 2004 or not.

Waiting for the first bus of the day.
It took three buses to get to Toowoomba. From our place, we caught a bus to Garden City. From there, we transferred onto one that took us to the Transit Centre in the city. That's where the Greyhound Terminal is, and we had cheap tickets thanks to a late-announced (but much appreciated!) promo deal between Greyhound and Easterfest last month.

01 April 2013

Albums of 2013: Part 1

Well, here we are, a quarter of the way through the year already.

My must-listen albums of 2013 so far... (in release order)


Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba - Jama Ko

Biffy Clyro - Opposites

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