Saturday, October 02, 2010


Our annual summer music festival, The Big Day Out just announced its first round of official bands making the lineup for 2011. Happy to officially announce, TOOL are headlining the shows! amazing stuff ... now this past week there's been a tidbit of info rumored that they may in fact do sideshows in a few cities. Guess where im going if this is the case :)

The 2011 Big Day Out dates have been locked in and the first lot of acts on the bill have been announced. After kicking off in Auckland as usual, the Big Day Out will circle Australia with shows on these dates:

Sun Jan 23: Gold Coast - Parklands
Wed Jan 26: Sydney - Showground
Sun Jan 30: Melbourne - Flemington Racecourse
Fri Feb 4: Adelaide - Showground
Sun Feb 6: Perth - Claremont Showgroun

The Lineup so far :



Big Day Out 2011 : Official Site

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home ...

First real breakfast after the 15hrs of A380 Qantas madness :) Real Bacon, Real eggs, Worstershire Sauce!! Thank You Melbourne!

Sunday : Comic Con Day Four ...

The come down to an Epic Pop Culture Event. Thanks Trev / Abby and all the San Diego people we met. Flying out to LA and then 15hrs onwards to Melbourne. then ... yes, another 4hrs on a train to get to my Uncles place in Victoria, Australia ...

and yes, I have my ticket secured for Comic Con 2011

Friday : Comic Con Day Two ...

A more relaxed start to the day, as we all split off to the Con later than expected, after sleeping in from the last night of Scott Pilgrim goodness. ducking down to Ralphs again i proceeded to stock up for the day but it seemed the weekly supply of pineapple had been exhausted from the day before :( oh well, fresh mango would have to do. quite good in the end, with Trev later commenting it brought back memories of Lost lol.

First up for me was a panel for Grant Morrison, the legendary Scot who's world famous in the comic writing arena, most notably for Batman and the DC universe. this guy is pure fun, and a great personality for the crowd to answer questions and give slight hints as to were his story arcs are going and what we can expect from the Batman universe. a pleasure seeing him again as i caught him back in 08. he also has a doco on his life and exploits coming out and he's writing for a movie too. again this was one of the first panels i attended which was filled with comic nerds, those guys that live and breath the characters so much so you don't want to say anything for fear of the "stupid look".

Staying in the same room, the following panel again pulled in Morrison with a cast of other writers and illustrators for the official DC Batman: The Return panel. I guess i gravitate to this character purely because he isn't a superhero. he has no super powers. he's a man behind a mask with technology, and a dark past seeking to put things right and settle his own demons. clearly the angle Nolan has been pushing in his trilogy films, which is going to end fantastically. this panel was great too, really delving into some works that i had never heard of and as with a few other panels, you hear a book mentioned, see the crowd buzz and figure, right that might be a winner, best be checking that one out on the show room floor. this was the case for Batwoman, Baltimore and The Invisibles.

Now comes the crazy part ... i had a bit of time on my hands and figured well, might as well try and line up for Ballroom 20 (second most popular room to Hall H and the movie studio previews). Joss Whedon was on and i thought i might be able to squeeze into his panel or at least i'd be early for the panel i actually wanted to check out, Entertainment Weekly's : Woman Who Kick Ass, with Jena Malone (Sucker Punch), Anna Torv (Fringe), Elizabeth Mitchell (V), and Ellen Wong and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). sadly i was mistaken for ever thinking there was a chance of getting into this panel. it was crazy. i must of stood in line for about 2hrs, and figured, nah this is bullshit, im off to the showroom floor. which i pushed to hit almost once everyday, more than what i did back in 2008. this proved to be fruitful and a swagged a bunch of Trade Paper Backs of series i had been hanging to pick up since the mid 2000's. mostly BRPD, Hellboy, 100 Bullets, Batman and a few others. note to anyone who heads to SDCC next, hit the far end of the pavillion away from the glitz and glamour of the movie studios and games, and you'll find many retailers selling stacks of books for 50% off. yes. half price! but the catch... you have to have patience enough to spend alot of time here and search through many boxes for those series you need. but its worth it.

Next up was a panel on Concept Design and Illustration for Film and Games. Spectacular stuff! headlined by a panel of stars who have worked on Iron Man, Avatar, Tron and other major motion pictures. i love seeing the concept art and theories behind what gets chosen to develop and what gets left to the cutting room floor. one particular feature was on the Banshee from Avatar. amazing illustrations and then a focus on how thats animated for proof of concept and later developed in 3D. we were told we were seeing behinds the scenes footage never shown to the public before. great panel.

Onto another panel for the next movie sequel for 30 Days Of Night, a movie based off of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith's Graphic Novel series. now i was a huge fan of the original and loved the tranformation to film staring our own Aussie, Melissa George and Josh Hartnett. for me it had the right low budget indie feel, whilst doing enough to be exciting and faithful to Ben's illustrations. i guess by the direct to DVD sequel of "Dark Days" the film didn't do so well. not even Melissa George signed onto part 2. smart move, as i sat through this panel, it was utter shite. the new actors were pathetic, hollywood shells, making a 2bit movie in 3 days, and yabbering on about how they trained to fire assault rifles and were stuck in sewers away from their trailers. what in gods name Steve Niles was doing attached to this i still don't know, maybe he needs the cash? this panel was so pathetic even the mic's were failing, and the room was one of the smallest at the Con. i left half way through, heading to dinner, and thought, ive gotta wash this taste out of my mouth with a bit o' Batman.

So to cap the night i ducked out at 10pm to check an advance screening of Batman : Under The Red Hood. the latest DC animated feature. fantastic show, and afterwards featured a presentation panel with all the voice actors and producers involved. check it out if your a fan. the Joker makes a worthy appearance.

Thursday : Comic Con Day One ...

Early rise 3:45am, Cold fog greeted us and a lite rain drizzle, not the San Diego weather i expected. Both Abby and I got down to the Hall H line up first while Trevor got a few extra hours of sleep, tag teaming with us later to save a spot in line and go grab breakfast. In line we met up with Kristina, a fellow nerd traveller from Toronto Canada, down for Comic Con and a city tour. another fantastic person, who tagged along with us all day and the four of us got along really well. Once Trevor had made his way down to us in line, we headed for a Ralphs visit (major grocery store 10mins from the convention hall), stocking up here for the whole day with groceries so we wouldnt have to sample the convention foods of pizza / nacho's and pretzels. I dove straight in and grabbed a tub of pinapple, an egg and ham bagel, 2 huge sandwichs and a few other things... Trev and Abby passed the comment of "I guess you HAVE TO EAT EVERY TWO HOURS eh?" haha, seemed that way. these two were super fast eaters.

First up in Hall H, (the convention hall set up for all the movie studios to present panels and trailers) was Mastermind, staring Will Ferell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey. its a new animated flick staring a bunch of stars lending their voice talents to the story. i wasn't a bit interested. i was there for Tron Legacy :) but Will Ferrell saved this, great spirit, coming to the show as a commedian dressed up in the Mastermind costume lol. no Brad Pitt, no one cared. a lite hearted panel with laughs to warm up the crowd for the day.

Tron Legacy entered second on the Disney Panel selection. We began the presentation with a new selection of video showing Sam first entering the new digital world, and being picked up by a Recognizer. First off, this digital world of Tron looks amazing. the footage was fantastic and well received, showing a montage of disc battles, and how Sam collects his suit. afterwards though i still think it was a bit overhyped, and probably the second showing last year overshadowed this presentation. the new trailer debut and a tiny amount of extra footage solidified this as a winner and a huge movie come December. the panel of stars chatting after the movie included all the major characters. "The Dude" was uber cool.

It gets me thinking though, is the wait in line all really worth it? all that effort for maybe 8mins of footage... and if the panel is crap, the day can be exhausting. I later mentioned to Mike that this is really not "Comic Con" anymore... its a Pop Culture event, and yes, the DisneyLand ride is worth it, for those four days of crazyness.

Next up was Salt. Angelina Jolie made an appearance, mostly because she's the star of the production. again, this didnt grab me at all. not one bit. it seemed like another tomb raider action female role for her, and the storyline didnt grab me, revolving around some CIA espionage action were a russian american ... yada yada you've heard it before. even in the panel afterwords, her answers were really put on and it left a very fake hollywood taste in my mouth.

Battle : Los Angeles was next up.. first thing to come to mind. Guess they couldn't call it Battle of Los Angeles or Rage Against The Machine would have their balls on a rope. ok the premise has me hooked, as the core of the story if the UFO flap of 1942 over LA. great. then .... its Black Hawk Down from there. again, came off a tad cheesy and the panels answers were kinda lame. the whole "we got down like marines" was utter bullshit, and i expected more from Aaron Eckheart, but the footage was uber cool and much more interesting than Salt. look out for this one to be a sleeper hit and a franchise in the likes of Battle : NYC etc etc.

From here on I left Hall H and the other guys to duck out to the Dark Horse comic publications panel (famous for Mike Mignola and Hellboy). I think this was my first for the Con, having left the others viewing the Joss Whedon and J.J Abrams panel. I was primarily here to see Mignola and some of the other writers and creators for Dark Horse. learned quite abit. great panel. exhausted though after the 3am wakeup, so much so that the aircon was putting me to sleep. learned about Mike's new book series, Baltimore: The Plague Ships. I must admit I really do like DH press, and the indie horror feel over the hyped up superhero angles from DC and Marvel which just seem too PG. minus the Bat ofcourse.

written so much and this was only half of the first day at the Con...

After the DH panel I decided to try and make it back into Hall H with Trev and Abby. the line was crazy, and I spent another hour in there, but organisation is great, calm people in line, undercover and chilled. unlike the floor which is just UTTER CHAOS! for a person who likes his space to breath and can't stand people cutting you off or stopping dead in front of you when the traffic flow is moving.

Finally I re-entered Hall H again, and was in time to catch the Expendables. Sly Stallones panel for the movie directed and staring him and a bunch of other 80s / 90s action heros. Fantastic and one of the best movie panels of the day, and the Con. i really thought this was going to be cheesy and terrible, but in actual fact Sly was awesome, comedic and charismatic. the flick is a balls to the wall action fest that screams fun. great to see the main stars turn out too. can you believe Sly's 60? can't wait to see this. now heres the crazy thing. the rest of the evening and all its greatness could simply not have rolled out better if it had been planned. and i'll go on to explain.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World was next. ok apart from the trailer I had seen early in the year, i really had no major background to this film, or its Oni Press comic series from the last 5 years. so much so i didn't figure until after that alot of kids roaming around the Con were dressed like the characters from the series. along with the Expendables cast, this panel went down as the best of the day. star, Michael Cera even came out dressed in a Captain America suit! lmao. The story is basically a huge pop culture reference on video games and a group of 20 somethings living in Canada. A love story that follows a young guy chasing a girl, and quirky story involving him having to battle her 7 evil ex boyfriends. seriously this is so much fun and a ball to see.

Now here's the crazy bit, after the Expendables panel, somehow Trev and Abby had saved my seat near them and i frantically sms'ed them to see if i could sneak back in. sure enough my seat was there and i decided to re-join them. through the Scott Pilgrim panel we got free buttons handed out to us with the instruction we were not to "swap them" with anyone. it was later revealed this would be a ticket for a full advance screening of the film!!! that night!! I mean how lucky was that? not only did i make it back into Hall H, but i managed to get back into the seat i had at the start of the day which was the only row to receive these advance screen tickets.

Oh it gets crazier ... we were then told to immediately leave the Hall and follow the director to a theatre in San Diego for the screening. lol however as you can imagine it was utter chaos as a few hundred people scattered in their frantic race to find the theatre. in our excitement we hadn't payed attention to the directions and figured we'd follow the crowd. well the crowd split in two and we got lost! haha, eventually we found our way, with Edgar Wright the director high fiving all of us as we entered! sitting down to an advanced screening, free popcorn, drinks, this was geek heaven.

how could this get better? as the movie finished, and the curtin raised, METRIC!!! were set to play! LIVE! yeh the whole band! playing 4 or 5 tracks, and man did they kick ass. what an EPIC day. Thursday down, 3 days to go.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Preview Night SDCC

Wednesday. Preview Night. chilled wake up today, for what is officially the kickoff to Comic Con San Diego. i ran around the downtown area for a bit just to get a feel for the place again. so nice to see the city decked out for Comic Con. there is no doubting the economic importance of the spectacle down here. every restaurant or retail outlet must depend alot on this one week of madness. increased sales and all the profits and chaos that must ensue. never the less the feel of the place is just super nice, very much like Perth, only 20 years into the future.

While i remember, Marriot? yeh its all pretty sweet, super super location, but we're missing a fridge and no free wifi. wait. no friggin wifi at all, BIG MIDDLE FINGER UP for that one, oh and its $13 a DAY! if we want to access it in the room. im typing this and sending it from a Borders store in the downtown area (yeh Dad, ive been looking for your books but no luck yet) so Mark, i gotta say, apart from the close situ, Double Tree was still an ace hotel. hell ... Adigio was 100% better mate. my nose has lowered haha.

Now the madness. people lose their collective minds here. it starts out as a placid buildup but i can tell its going to blow up. scary how many large overweight middle aged men and women seem to be running around, struggling to carry forty bags of crap and have no intention of giving way for anyone else in their way to seeing a showing lol. kids ? here? few and far between actually. its mostly people in their 20s. just in the hotel lobby, i saw a 30 year old lady, dressed as Lisa Simpson, giving an interview whilst her sister screamed and took photos. haha. Trevor cracks up when i see some crazy American thing and start shaking my head. "We don't get this back home"

Its now the afternoon of Preview Night, and we've just picked up our badges for the convention. im in a mellow mood, and it seems theres a few things we can do afterwards. im in two minds now to either hit a movie or just explore the floor and get a good nights sleep. we know Hall H will be mad tomorrow so im thinking we tag team it to line up. might get out at 3am and get in line for Abby and Trev to tag me out at 6am, and then i can sleep a bit and come back refreshed with breakfast... yeh the show only starts at 10am :) but im also in two minds weather to check out Nikita or Moon. but you know, this is about the Floor and Comics, so i figure watching the flicks might just be a waste, knowing we'll be doing that all Thursday. alright im outa here. the next you'll hear from me will probably be in line tomorrow at Hall H for ..... .. .. TRON Legacy!

Calm Before The Storm ...

Well, things down here are pretty much the same as i remember. its currently the calm before the storm, and by storm i mean Nerd Storm lvl5. we ducked out of the SD airport pretty smoothly and found our way down town to the Marriot (right next door to the SD Convention Center. we were greeted by the south tower of the complex being fully engulfed by a huge advertisement from Universal Studio's for some upcoming movie. still no one knows what exactly SKYLINE is just yet. thats the thing about this place, you almost have to make your stuff more obscure to just get some ones attention. more hotels along the foreshore here are all lined with window displays. Scott Pilgrim and another that looks to be for Gears Of War 3 feature, along with HEAPS of True Blood marketing inside the convention center.

Mark you'll be happy to know, Ralphs is still kicking haha. its the be all and end all for shopping out here. we walked down early and bought a few things for our long days ahead. the range of fresh foods on hand was pretty amazing, and i can only hope the keep up with demand... the demon spawn are coming MMHAHhahahah. gotta say just quickly, the weather this year looks real mellow and cool. its overcast and slightly humid, in the mid 20's .... really nice to not be beaten down with full on sunshine and 40 degree heat. sorry for the dull grey pics but again, its busy, and these are just captures in the moment. enjoy.

Next out we hit Rancho's a Mexican Place here in SD with a local friend of Trevors (Anthony if im not mistaken .. :) great little place, and again, nice to see a bit of town driving around. to cap the night ... you guess it, another screening of INCEPTION. this is just such an amazing movie its hard to wrap your head around it in one digestion. i urge you to race out and see it at the cinema (IMAX makes all the difference). ok off to relax, and sleep as much as possible. tomorrow we have to pickup our badges and then theres a stack of preview night events to check out, but i have a feeling we'll be hitting the hay early for a HUGE Thursday

Green Eggs And ...

Set off from Boston to San Diego yesterday and had a sweet flight over. unfortunately i was hit with a stomach bug from a bad case of breakfast at the airport, leaving me not to happy on the plane. really felt as if i might have to skip a day here to recover. but like magic, as soon as we arrived in SD, i started to feel better, and by days end, all was cool... now the next day, this is actually the best ive felt all holiday really. super pumped for Comic Con. plenty of photos to come, but probably short on words as things are just way to busy here to have an hour to think and type lol.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Boston, The Sights And Sounds ...

Saturday we decided would be the only day we had to really hop into the city real quick, and scope out some of the sights and sounds. we kicked things off with a great breakfast at "Mr Crepes" with Trev and Emily. diving into a strawberry and sugar crepe before heading off to the subway system for a quick journey into the city center. gotta say, straight up, the subway is fantastic. really really easy to follow and navigate. i love a city that has great public transport, even for the lame tourist like me, who doesn't need to get lost in 6hrs. highly recommend traveling using the "T"

The next 5hrs were solely spent in the city itself, just exploring. We decided due to the heat, which was in the 30's, not to over do things, and just get a taste for what the city had to offer. I hit a Celtics store and then grabbed a City Tour trolley for a ride round with colorful commentary. that way we got to see alot, without walking too much, and it was hop on hop off, all day. passing through the city it was eyeopening to hear bits of history from the 1700's being dropped left right and center. would love to be here for two or more weeks soaking it all in, but alas, we only had a day. we ended up at the wharf and tucked into an awesome meal for lunch, consisting of scallops and a seafood medley at this great restaurant "Chart House". yeh we paid through our ass for it, but it was a great one off, and considering all the seafood around this eastern seaboard is about to be killed off with this oil disaster, we better tuck in while the gettin's good. i can't imagine what new hardship that will bring to the local industries and fishing communities round here. sad times aheaf d im afraid.

Leaving exhausted, we took one final train out to Fenway Park, the local home of the World Famous Boston Redsocks baseball team. there was a game on this week, but unfortunatly we didn't have tickets so we couldn't check it out, but i'd love to on the next round. the Park and surrounding community is sports driven, and fans flood the economy here with merchandise and food purchasers. much the same as Subiaco is home to a plethora of pubs and coffee houses near the West Coast Eagles ground. again it was a taste, not fully explored, but loved none the less.

Finally for the evening we headed out for a bite and drinks with Trev, Emily and friends of theirs. great night summers night out we we're could really relax and just mix and chill with some great folks. cheers to all that were there. many beers, pool and rounds of darts later, we exited having one of the best nights out since those TOOL shows.

Lastly, today was spent chilling out and seeing Mark off to the airport. he ducks out back home today and im officially off to Comic Con tomorrow for the nerd fest of the year. sad to see him exit, as i would of loved to have seen him stick around for the Con if at all possible. however he's gotta deal with work and the prospects of new beginnings back home, so bon voyage buddy. the three amigo's will carry the flag over in California :) thanks for the great times on this adventure this year mate as always. see you for BRMC when we're back.

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