Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best 50 Albums of 2000-2009

The 50 Best Albums of 2000-2009
Basically this is the stuff I though I listened to most that came out in the above years and was really bloody good. I also limited it to one album per band, hence Nine Inch Nails, Machine Head and Lamb of God have their best album from the decade. It is mostly metal/hard rock but there is plenty of good pop that I rate highly. Feel free to comment.

In no order (though numbered for convenience) ...
  1. Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
  2. Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
  3. Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace
  4. Radiohead - In Rainbows
  5. Gojira - The Way Of All Flesh
  6. Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil
  7. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy
  8. The Haunted - rEVOLVEr
  9. Arch Enemy - Wages Of Sin
  10. Killswitch Engage - End of Heartache
  11. Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake
  12. Muse - Blackholes and Revelations
  13. Machine Head - Through The Ashes of Empires
  14. Audioslave - Audioslave
  15. Tool - 10,000 Days
  16. Trivium - Ascendancy
  17. Slipknot - Vol. 3 {The Subliminal Verses}
  18. Slayer - God Hates Us All
  19. DevilDriver - The Last Kind Words
  20. Rose Tattoo - Blood Brothers
  21. AC/DC - Black Ice
  22. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
  23. Velvet Revolver - Contraband
  24. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  25. The Killers - Sam's Town
  26. Jet - Get Born
  27. Airbourne - Runnin' Wild
  28. Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation Of Niggy Tardust
  29. Tenacious D - Tenacious D
  30. Metallica - Death Magnetic
  31. Megadeth - United Abominations
  32. Christina Aguilera - Stripped
  33. John Butler Trio - Sunrise Over Sea
  34. Wednesday 13 - Transylvania 90210
  35. Soulfly - The Dark Ages
  36. Sepultura - Roorback
  37. Kings Of Leon - Only By the Night
  38. Living End - White Noise
  39. Silverchair - Diorama
  40. Powderfinger - Vulture Street
  41. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
  42. Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Lovesounds
  43. Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life & Death
  44. Amy Whinehouse - Back To Black
  45. Chimaira - Chimaira
  46. The Darkness - Permission To Land
  47. Outkast - The Love Below/Speakerboxxx
  48. Rob Zombie - The Sinister Urge
  49. System Of A Down - Toxicity
  50. Amen - We Have Come For Your Parents
51. Andrew WK - I Get Wet (gees this album is fun!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Albums of 2009

My favourite albums of 2009 are...

1. Wrath - Lamb of God
2. Pray For Villains - DevilDriver
3. White Lies For Dark Times - Ben Harper & Relentless7
4. Backspacer - Pearl Jam
5. It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen
6. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
7. The Devil You Know - Heaven & Hell
8. The Resistance - Muse
9. The Infection - Chimaira
10. Sonic Boom - KISS

In the end I struggled to get this right so went with what I listened to most once I'd got it. Wrath was a clear favourite since its release in February. It is ear bleeding riffs and pounding drums with a fair bit of melody and acoustic interludes thrown in for variety. 'Contractor' will induce vomiting if you have a weak stomach. DevilDriver's album was crushing and was clearly their best work so far. Ben Harper's new band is rocking and were great fun both nights at BluesFest in Byron Bay. Pearl Jam continue their rebirth after the self titled effort a few years ago. Backspacer is an album that is the equal of their mid90's stuff, don't let anyone tell you different. Lily Allen is just good fun, witty lyrics and potty mouth included. Personally I like 'The Fear' and '22', but to each their own. Them Crooked Vultures was highly anticipated and once you realise that it doesn't sound like Foos or LedZep, it is pretty much a great album of rocking influences, though very much in the QOTSA style. 'Elephant' is just a great song and 'Eraser No Chaser' and 'New Fang' are not far behind. Far more interesting than the token new song on the Foo's greatest hits. The last four are all worth checking out. Muse's new one divided people- yes, it is overblown and trying far to hard- but there are some great songs on there though I rate it lower than their previous album. Chimaira's album is all atmosphere and horror movie vocals but a great effort nonetheless. Heaven & Hell was brilliant and the best 'old school' release of the year. 'Bible Black' is just classic Iommi riffing with clever Dio lyrics. The album is largely mid-paced but what a sound! Sonic Boom is nowhere near the old stuff but I dare you not to sing along. KISS is back and there are plenty of songs that will fit neatly into their set lists for future tours.

Honorable mentions:
EndGame - Megadeth
World Painted Blood - Slayer
Hatebreed - Hatebreed
Hatebreed was surprisingly thoughtful and had some great stuff, alongside the usual meat head lyrics. Slayer's new one is far better than their last. Plenty of thrash to be had there. Not sure about Megadeth. I didn't find it as catchy as United Abominations, but enjoyed the solo'ing and riffing more. There are a few great tracks but a few average ones too. All are good heavy albums though that warrent purchase if you want to listen to something new.

The High End of Low - Marilyn Manson
sorry Maz. This was just shit. Turns out Twiggy wasn't the answer.

Still to hear: Porcupine Tree, Powderfinger, Yeah Yeah Yeah's (I love 'Zero'!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

flash forward to the death of story telling

So I've watched a bit of Flash Forward and, like its cousin Lost, it appears to have zero direction beyond the basic premise. I won't go into it, but basically everyone blacked out for a minute and a bit and had 'visions.' While almost everyone blacked out (bar the 'men in black'- sorry, X-Files did that motif to death and did it well before they killed it), the world went to crap since planes and buses crashed and kangaroos broke free. Seriously.

A premise should never be confused with good story telling. Having a lot of characters should never be confused with character development. Four episodes in and we know little about even the main characters. The biggest revelation is that the dude from Harold and Kumar is going out with the chick from Bring It On! Oh, and the dude who died in Lost is a shadowy figure, someone like, well...
this guy,

this guy

and this guy.

Which brings me back to previous shows based on a premise. The X-Files' premise of aliens among us and the governments involvement was frustratingly teased out over nine seasons. The eventual ending was actually disappointing for the sole reason that it made sense. Followers of the show could recount the characters history and intertwining plots and could recognise the connections that had been there all along. All it needed was a two hour episode to tie it together.

Lost is well beyond the point of ever actually making sense. So many characters have come and gone and so many plot devices used across seasons that anything resembling rational, authentic story telling is long gone. Having lots of characters does not make us care. By way of example, the constant 'sudden' deaths of Boone et al., actually undermine your audience and cause them to resent their emotional investment. Killing the occasional character works but the constant stream of deaths (and indeed rebirths) doesn't help the audience. You keep pulling this card out every season and eventually they stop watching.

The X-Files largely survived this thanks to the 'one off' episodes that were a self contained story. There was still the major story arch (which was as complicated as hell) but the one off investigations by Mulder and Scully allowed the audience to reconnect with their protagonists and, on occasion, explore side characters as well. The premise was not compromised but it gave a more rounded show, and allowed casual viewers (and the writers) the chance to just see some 'cool stuff.' (The Simpsons did this perfectly during their golden era, though without overarching stories). The result of showing this ability to carry and complete a story was an audience who stayed with the show. They built a faith that they would eventually reveal the truth, something neither of the more recent shows has done. All Lost has done is offer flashbacks and flash forwards, a cheap way that avoids creating moments of exposition that invite the audience to care.

Flash Forward hasn't even been interesting enough to actually use a decent (or even cheap) plot device since they are still exploring their premise. There may be one off character pieces to come but so far it has been a slow process, clouded by a weekly schedule and too many characters. It is difficult to remember who is who when you have cops, FBI, a hospital and then minor characters to follow.

The success of these shows, along with certain novels (The Da Vinci Code) and movie franchises (Clone Wars), is only inviting apathy from the audience.

The art of story telling is the one suffering most. Tell a story and make me care about it. Leave cliff hangers and unresolved threads to the unimaginative.

If you are sick of crappy story telling- go see this (out now at Nova and good cinemas) and start watching this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Essedon FC season review

So we finished 8 out of 16 with 10 wins and a draw (the worst eight place of the final eight era).

What now?

Well Hille will be back to team with Ryder which kind of makes it irrelevant whether Laycock comes back at all. Bellchambers is clearly on the outs (exhibit A: they chose to play zero ruckmen in the final rather than play bellchambers). That's actually a pretty good ruck combo though and both are effective when going forward. Of course this relies on Hille making a full recovery, otherwise its more of the Laycock show we saw in 2008. Wouldn't mind seeing Christian Bock at some point too. He's listed as the tallest on the list.

The midfield has potential- I hope. Lovett has opted out and its a good time. He had a good year so his value is higher than last year but faded badly in the last few weeks so, depending on trades, can be replaced. Watson is the club's best shot at a champion right now and was great all year. Games without him exposed the lack of hardness around packs from the rest. Prismall has no problem getting the ball loose but lacks commitment and his disposal was shakey. A full preseason will make a difference. Lucky he cost us nothing to get. Winderlich was hot until he got hurt and never really got his run going again. Stanton struggled when McVeigh and Welsh were out but recovered much better once the midfield was full as there was less pressure on him. We missed Welsh and McVeigh early but they never really recovered and played with the sort of fire seen in 2008. That hurt the win column, but we did get to see Zarahakis, who looks good when he matures. The real problem, and it has been all decade, is getting good players to have a few great years and actually become champions. Watson should captain next year but the rest of the midfield was inconsistent. This is the theme of 2009. Moments of brilliance and then .... nothing really.

The backs are the strength right now, lots of depth. Hooker was great, though inexperienced, and was missed when he had to ruck more and more. Pears has earnt the full back slot and played well on the big name forwards. Hurley started back but is surely a forward with Lloyd and Lucas gone. Fletcher had some injuries but dominated rebounds when healthy. The freedom he was allowed due to the good form of Pears (and to an extent Hooker) was important. Hocking had a great year, playing most games as a tagger and generally doing fairly well. Slattery was inconsistent but capable when the opponent was right. Myers and Danaher are waiting in the wings. The backline looked great when it was loaded enough that Houli didn't need to play. Ditto Lovett-Murray who just went around wacking people.

The forward line has talent but the structure is a mess. Hurley was excellent against Hawthorn and should be first picked next year. Neagle looked good for quarters but never contributed over a full game. Monfries looked All Australian when he really went bananas but was ineffective far too often. He will be the key in 2010. Three goals a game should be minimum as a mid-size forward who can lead up and crumb is a great asset (see the grand final for good and bad examples). Gumbleton should (hopefully) surface and will probably have the same growing pains others have since it would effectively be his first year. The loss of Lloyd hurts a lot, since the three main forwards are largely unproven. Alwyn Davey needs to do something more constructive than just tackle (although he does this well) and must be the key small forward. Quinn was hilarious but never looked like he had a clue. Reimers had an interrupted year but still showed potential at times and surely more games will help him establish himself. Jetta disappeared after it was established he had nothing to offer. I still think McPhee could be of best service up forward. He marks well and his clangers are less damaging away from the opponent's goal. Lonergan did OK when he strung games together but I don't find him convincing yet.

Really that is the great part about 2009. We played shit and made finals. We only won 10 games but beat the Saints, Pies, Hawks (twice!), and Blues (twice!). We also dropped North, Richmond and Freo. Importantly, we played as many players as possible and got a good look at what they can do. Hooker, Pears, Hurley, Hocking and Zarahakis are great and should improve. Stanton, Winderlich, Monfries, Prismall, Neagle, Reimers and Skipworth can contribute but MUST contribute more, more often. The veterns- Welsh, McVeigh, McPhee and Fletcher- still have a lot to offer as long as they are fit and healthy. All in all, with Watson, Monfires, Pears and Ryder pushing for All Australian (nothing else should be the goal) and the return of Hille, the Bombers should do well next year. Those big versatile players- Hooker, Hille, Ryder, Hurley- are really the keys. Key position players are hard to find and they all have great hands and foot skills. Provided they can find some consistency.

Best 22:
B: Slattery, Pears, Fletcher
HB: McPhee, Hooker, Dempsey
C: Winderlich, Stanton, Lovett
R: Ryder, Watson, Welsh
HF: Davey, Hurley, Lucas
F: Lloyd, Neagle, Monfries
I/C: McVeigh, Zarahakis, Prismall, Hocking
Omitted: Hille (injured)
Out in 2010: Lovett, Lloyd, Lucas
In? Reimers, Gumbleton, Myers, Dyson, Danaher?

Monday, June 15, 2009


update I think?

not much happening very busy at work. My article was published in the latest issue of PEEL SEEDS through Monash University, good reviews so far.

Listening to lots of stuff at the minute- lots of Faith No More, some Porcupine Tree, Fishbone and Strapping Young Lad's last album "the new black" that I found for $3!

Speaking of SYL- Gene and Byron are touring oz with the new look FEAR FACTORY (which with Dino and Burton looks suspiciously like the old FF).

Marilyn Manson is coming out so the brothers D'Aprano will carry the ol' Draven flag into Festival Hall for the show.

Speaking of Draven, it was 10 years ago last week (4/6) since the infamous shit stirring gig at the old youth centre in Niddrie. A hell of a good time where friends were made and some idiot wore electrical tape around his arms and waste.

But that is a story for another time.

Draven's last gig in March 2004.

Monday, April 6, 2009

WRESTLEMANIA 25 (not the 25th anniversary.)

Straight up- this was an average Wrestlemania for a bunch of reasons. It may have had the greatest non-title 'Mania match of all time in HBK v Undertaker but there were two many 'meh' spots on the show. Here is a run down:

Nicole from Pussycat Dolls is up with the anthem. She isn't Aretha Franklin, or even John Legend.

Money In The Bank was the usual stunt fest and was executed well, despite Christian fluffing his Unprettier on CM Punk, and Shelton nearly killing MVP with the powerbomb. Finlay was useless but Kane and Mark Henry worked fairly well. Obviously Shelton Benjamin and Kofi Kingston spent plenty of time air borne and made the match entertaining. Chirstian was my tip but I'm not disappointed that Punk won. The chase begins...

Kid Rock then performed a medley of garabage as the divas made their way to the ring. The ensuring battle royal was rubbish. None of the returning divas were featured and the announcers playing dumb over Santino's involvement was ridiculous. I didn't see either Torrie Wilson or Sunny, and only briefly saw Victoia and Molly Holly (and even then it was because she had been dumped out in front of a camera). They couldn't fit the tag title unification match on the show because of this?

Matt and Jeff was another good stunt fest that went fairly hardcore. Shame it followed the MITB so closely as they went the ladders as well. The Twist of Fate in the chair was a great finish and saved the match. By the end of the show though I'd forgotten this match has even happened.

Jericho slapped the legends around. Steamboat looked great but Snuka and Piper struggled. Rourke entered the ring after Jericho challenged him and knocked Chris out. Kind of lame really. Jericho is money, especially considering what he had to carry to make this watchable.

Rey v JBL lasted 20seconds. Irrelevant. JBL retired after Rey beat him quickly. No one really cared since JBL has done little since his return. We missed a tag team unification match for this?

Undertaker defeating Shawn Michaels was incredible. Tom sat next to me and as we both waved off false finishes (chokeslams, devil's gate, and the odd chin music) we totally bought that Michaels might make it when he kicked out of the Tombstone. The Undertaker's dive onto the camera man was a highlight reel moment, better than anything in MITB or the Hardys match. The pacing was perfect and Michaels must surely jump higher on the list of all time great performers. He could go 30 minutes and get 5 stars out of a broom stick. The finish though, Undertaker caught Michaels mid moonsault and held on to hit the Tombstone, was brilliant. This is the sort of match wrestlers must watch if they ever want to main event. Proabably the best non title match ever and the best 'mania match since the Benoit won three way at Wrtestlemania XX.

My comment after this is that they can hold on to have Undertaker go to 20-0 in a few years. He is beyond facing midcarders now in this streak so they must line up a couple (Punk? Christian? MVP? Kennedy?) before facing Cena. Maybe he gets to WM30 and faces Swagger or DiBiase for the title?

The two title matches had no chance after that. Much like Hogan-Rock at X8, the crowd was deflated after the elation of Taker-Michaels. The three way did their best though to get it going again, and continuing the run of strong finishes to matches, Cena lifting both Show and Edge was awesome. The three way worked well with some great spots and moves (Show pushing Cena into a Edge spear was great). They really know how to make Cena look like a million bucks and it works. This isn't so monumental though since he was just champion six weeks ago.

After an insane build up, the decisions made in booking Orton-HHH made no sense and left this a massive let down. HHH kicking the crap out of Orton wasn't what needed to happen. With all that Orton has done to the McMahon-Helmsley family, a HHH punt, sledgehammer shot and pedigree was all the revenge Hunter needed. Add that to denying Orton his title dream and the feud is now dead. Any momentum Orton had going into this is buried. A really terrible ending to 'Mania.

Overall there was a legendary match, some solid stunt matches and a pretty good three way. I'd rate it well below X-Seven, slightly below XXIV though probably above the likes of XXII and X8, 21 and 23.

Monday, March 30, 2009

So It's Come To This... A List of my favorite Simpson episodes

So I came up with a plan to list my favorite Simpson episodes. Take the basis of most seasons (well Ok, the Golden Age of Seasons 4-8) and construct a perfect season. Way harder than it sounds so I have included some of the near misses at the end.

  1. Treehouse of Horror: A collection of three segments that I enjoy- 1. Night of the dolphin, 2. Homer3, 3. The Shining
  2. Family episode: Mother Simpson
  3. Bart episode: Radio Bart "I'm Timmy O'Toole And I'm Stuck Down A well"
  4. Lisa episode: Lisa The Iconlonist
  5. Homer Episode: El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)
  6. Marge Episode: Life On the Fast Lane
  7. Abe Episode: Grandpa vs Sexual Inadequacy
  8. Apu Episode: Homer & Apu
  9. Celebrity guest star as a normal character (Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio): You Only Move Twice "If you could kill a few people on your way that'd really help me out"
  10. Moe/Barney episode: Flaming Moes
  11. Sideshow Bob episode: Cape Feare
  12. Ensemble celebrity guests: HomerPalooza
  13. Clip Show: The 138th Episode Spectacular
  14. Travel episode: Bart VS Australia
  15. Homer in a new job episode: Homer The Smithers
  16. Flash back episode: And Maggie Makes Three
  17. Awesome song episode: Homer’s Barber Shop Quartet "baby on board" and lots of Beatles references
  18. Genre bending episode: 22 Short Films About Springfield
  19. Big event episode: Deep Space Homer
  20. Krusty episode: Kamp Krusty
  21. Personal Favorite: Two Bad Neighbours
  22. Springfield Elementary episode: The Principal and the Pauper People hate this episode but it is so subversive I love it.
And the runner ups:
Worst Episode Ever: Take My Wife, Sleaze > I just can't stand this episode especially the stupid fight at the end.
Episodes that were close to being included: Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious, A Street Car Named Marge
How the hell did I leave out: Homer The Great, Homie The Clown, Mr Plow
Two Dozen And One Greyhounds, Lemon Of Troy, Homer’s Enemy, Bart After Dark, The Cartridge Family, Lisa The Simpson, The Last Temptation Of Krust (featuring the awesome Canyonero sequence)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stream of GRRRR

busy hectic time of year and then people play jokes.

not funny.

listening to foo fighters. The pretender. "just another soul to sell, oh well... what if I say I'm not like the others... what if I say that I'll never surrender?"

hmmm new Josh Freese album for $7. Makes the to-do list.

Wrote a good piece for the year 11s. May post it here. Pretty flukey as there was minimal preparation, just hit the zone I spose. Came out Ok. Intimidated them a little, it was fairly good but had to tell them this has come from years of writing garbage. It gave them some ideas and felt good for a quickie.

Man that paragraph came out wrong. Must focus on positives though. Holidays are soon and can't wait.

Fell on black days?
Hopefully tomorrow is better

Monday, March 16, 2009

RIP Andrew "Test" Martin

Another wrestler with a drug problem died. This time aged 33.

Will they ever get it?

This blog is worth reading: Steel Cage

If you haven't seen The Wrestler I suggest you do, the story is one that is reality for many entertainers and Micky Rourke is just brilliant. It is a little bloody but the things these guys do for a crowd (and remember we are talking about a low income, low literacy, not exactly transferable skills sort of job. I don't think you can put "can take a steel chair shot" on your resume.)

It is becoming harder to watch. The pic below was my favourite moment when it happened but now just makes me sad and then angry...

Both are dead. One killed his wife and son and then himself. Autopsy revealed his brain condition was that of an 80 year old Alzheimer patient. The other died alone in his hotel room, tooth brush in his mouth. Autopsy revealed an enlarged heart and hardened arteries.

Something must be done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Movie reviews (50 words each)

Slumdog Millionaire
Pretty cool, though confusing for the first two thirds. Once the action gets in order and the flashbacks cut back then it rolls with a great tension to the conclusion and the long awaited Bollywood dance. Anwar is great. Dark Knight was robbed. Recommended anyway.

Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood is a widely recognised god of cinema. This is why- he knows what people are feeling and thinking and puts it on film. The ultimate story of self-sacrifice with the Obi Wan ending. An excellent film for text study in VCE.

Heath Ledger won an Oscar for the Joker. Jackie Earle Hayley is better as Rorschach than Heath was as Joker. This is way dark and a thoroughly thought provoking and still action packed superhero film. The graphic novel is different and deeper, but this works fine on the big screen.

There is plenty out there at the minute so these come highly recommended for different reasons. Certainly worth a look anyway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Example of being "in the moment"

The glare of the hardwood blinds me and I’m home. The lights prevent shadows from appearing but I play in the shadows from appearing but I play in the shadows of past triumphs and failures. The ball thumps into the floor like a bull preparing to charge. My chest heaves north in anticipation and hold my breath. I feel the leather at my fingers and launch the rocket at the moon.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Who lives for twitter anyway?

I am totally addicted to twitter. Since starting a few weeks ago it has annihilated facebook as my communication of choice. Despite appearing limited it has many more uses than the claustrophobic, ad ridden, zombie infested facebook site. Hell, there is an rss feed to my twitter to the right.

The ability to update anytime, anywhere, without the hassle that facebook brings is brilliant! Straight from my iPhone to you! And instantly the update of "what I am doing now" appears on my msn, facebook and blogs. All I have to do is bring up Twittee (an iPhone app) and the website does the rest.

And then there is the news feeds, and celebrity inclusions- including Trent Reznor, Brittany Spears, and Russel Brand - are awesome! Ok, not awesome but certainly interesting for the next month or so before something else comes along and leaves twitter users labelled the 'out' crowd, as facebook users are now.

There are educational implications too, check out this! You can create twitters for students to show knowldge of anything that involves change, opinion and time. For instance, the evolution of man in science, the rise of caesar in history and the role Lions play in aesop's fables. Deeper character study? Why not ask students to sign in and create twitter blogs for Vincent in Gattaca or Shylock in The Mechant of Venice? Imagine integrating the RSS feeds into a wiki on the subject being studied and having a list of what the characters are doing today? And what if they can do this from their mobile phones or iPod Touch? (Hence removing the need for any actual ICT equipment in the room).

As with anything software based, it does take some adjustment but the beauty of twitter is that it is actually simple (remember who got you into myspace and facebook and promised "it was easy"? Are you still on speaking terms with them?) There is little more to it than 140 characters to tell the world what you are up to. You can add mobile and quick pics that link to a seperate area but these arent essential.

So for your next social networking adventure, do consider twitter.

Totally off topic but WATCHMEN is out on Thursday! Fairly excited, review soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

they can all sleep soundly cause everything is alright...

The beat was complete chaos. The lyrics intense and hateful. Then there is this piano breakdown that asks if "it makes you feel better?"
I still remember when I heard March Of The Pigs in 1996. It was awesome, nestled on a triple J compilation it stood out for its more abstract take on heavy music. At that stage in my life it was perfect- mental, distant, yet strangely comforting. I would hunt down it's parent album and immediately fell in love with it. I was on The Downward Spiral and my teenage years would never be the same.
When I was lost in 99 they released a two disc opus called The Fragile. My girlfriend at the time had no chance of understanding why I would choose to sing "Broken Bruised Forgotten Sore!" Admittedly it did make more sense when we broke up. Just as TDS characterised the few years before, TF would soundtrack me through illness and recovery and culminate in the 2000 Big Day Out when I finally saw the five headed monster live. Things would continue this way until 2005, when free of a previously restrictive relationship and in a new frame of mind I would hear With Teeth and my new outlook would be met by the lyrics of You Know What You Are and The Hand That Feeds. Their reknewel timed my own.

So this is it?
After 20 years, Trent Reznor pulls the plug on Nine Inch Nails- my favorite band. Am I sad? Actually no, as a fan there was no better band to be a fan of the last five years. The have released four full albums of interesting and quality projects. With Teeth was followed by a live DVD Beside You In Time (first HD music DVD). In 2007 Year Zero was preceded by a ground breaking Alternate Reality Game and set lists covering the full repetoir including the rarely heard Last and never before played We're In This Together Now. Then there was the site that allowed users to remix nin tracks any way they want. The YEARZEROREMIXED album came with a data disc to facilitate this. Photos started appearing on the site of strange instruments and rather non-NIN personnel. The result was the brilliant Ghosts I - IV project, available in a range of formats and configurations to cater for different types of fans. (I have the $120 delux addition that is my favourite package ever.) Less than two months later a free download appeared again, recorded by the soon-to-be touring band, Discipline. Within weeks a full ten track album had appeared. The Slip is completely free and still available here. Late last year he uploaded 400GIG! worth of raw unedited concert footage for fans to build a performance dvd of the awesome Lights In the Sky tour. Again, there is no band on Earth that has given their fans this much to go on in such a short period.

So I reflect on the impact NIN has made on my life, both as outlet for frustration and inlet for new ideas. Finally I have a partner who loves NIN with me and maybe (just maybe) it's time to take a break from NIN for both of us. We share a favourtie NIN song (or songs) and will see them for the third time together this week. (It's possible NIN actually got us together but that is a story for another time). The journey has been all encompassing for nearly fifteen years and since they seem to be in a good place (and I am certainly in a good place) then this is the perfect time for TR to split NIN and live a little.

This week makes the seventh and eighth time I have seen Trent and his revolving door of collaborators. And I am back at a festival, at the same venue I saw them in 2000. (pics here for Melbourne 2007 and Sydney 2007).Unlike other bands, they are back for two shows to wave goodbye and celebrate 20 years of innovation and industrial mayhem.
So I'm just going to go sing and dance and rock out and reminisce about my own development.

Now doesn't that make you feel better?