Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hit from all sides ...

Hey to eveyone.
just a quick note, sorry for the delays but all posts are up now and all caught up. as soon as i got off the flight i came down with a virus which hit me hard. still getting well, thx to all. more soon.


Big Day .... of something

Got off to an early checkout of the Y Hotel which had served us well, in retrospect writing this from the $400 Novetel which has been pathetic from hour one. more on that later.

once again catching the train system was a breeze and we departed on the selected Olympic Park direct line. arriving at the olympic site was fantastic, you can clearly see why Sydney got the olympics back in the day. would love to have explored a bit more, but time was of the essence and we made way for the hotel. checking in fine, leaving our bags we headed into the showgrounds for BDO.

all up a great site to stage the event, basically double the size of the perth equivalent. 50 - 70K people, lots of food, rides, and stages. if you want some personal time and space this is going to be the wrong place for it. our setlist was pretty easy as the day went on, grabbing lunch we then caught "The Butterfly Effect", numerous toilet breaks, then "My Chemical Romance", "The Vines", "Kasabian", "Jet", "Muse", and rounding out the night with TOOL.

all up is was good, a nice experience to say you've been there and done that. i wont be doing it again. the Big Day Out is still not worth its money in my opinion, and completely didnt suit TOOL playing live. cant begin to say how thankful we are to have seen them at the Entertainment Center the night before.

Novetel .....
ahhh yeh. who said staying in a $400 night hotel room was gonna be easy and painless. lets see ... no keys to the rooms before we left, so we we arrived back there was no proof for us to get in to reception and past the security on the doors. lucky i had my "baggage tags" then 12AM our bags arent even in our rooms. better yet they stuck us in a double room, and not a triple.... so no third bed. mark and i arrived at 12 and Rich decided to rock up at 1:30AM, with no baggage tags (which i offered to him earlier in the day) no proof of bookings, leaving us to wake up and go down and get him. even though we had left notice twice on the desk for his name and reservation.

glad to be coming home. two aces beats the three kings.
i'll leave you all with pics from the day. How good does Clint look rockin out from The Butterfly Effect :) most enjoyable act of the day.

"Word of tonight, All together, holyfuckingshit. .... Maynard James Keenan 24.01.07

As i sit down typing this after the show i dont quite know just where to begin, words cant quite touch it. value cant be expressed in monetary amounts, least i say. it was all worth that 90+mins of pure bliss.

the day started very AEnimic indeed. sydney's weather changed overnight to be cloudy and overcast, light drizzles throughout. a change was in the air. the day had arrived. we were completely relaxed and ready. spending the day trying to post on the blog without success, (hence this is delayed telecast to go online) getting a big lunch and cruising down to the show. throughout the day walking round the city wearing our tool shirts, and seeing others doing the same, felt comforting, like somehow, silently, we didnt know each other, but for this one day of the year, we were all connected.

Sydney's entertainment center is a fantastic venue for any occasion and we entered with ease. sitting down the anticipation was overwhelming, and the crowd slowly built to fill the sold out arena. opening with Stinkfist, 46&2 and Jambi, as expected all four members were in sync and perfect. the PA picked up nicely for maynards vocals to rise. it soon becomes evident with this band that they never disappoint, they never fail.

playing wings for marie and 10,000 days together first time in australia was magical. an ode to a passed mother, it was well respected, and signaled the start for the laser show and a huge "net of being" backdrop to emerge. the crowd went mad and mark and i just smiled as we knew what to expect from the californian show we saw in august. all in all you get out what you put in, each person using the emotion of the night to ride on.

i hear rumblings of a november tour. i see a melbourne adventure being born. keep the beer cold and a room free Miguel.... .. . .


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Early Bird Catches The Worm

Some crazy person (Rich) wanted to get up at 4AM this morning to "check out the sunrise" so we ventured off into the dark this morning. treking through the city, it was like a lifeless monster, and skeleton of a city with no people, no activity, no noise. nice to see a different side. walking past hyde park, we saw many early morning possums close up, and flying foxes returning to nest.

arriving at circular quay and walking to the Opera House, we chilled out and watched the sun come up. no one around, flat harbour water, one boat fishing, we looked to the east as daybreak hit. very nice.

grabbing a coffee we hit Circular Quay train station and headed for a breakfast you couldnt beat down at Australia's most famous of beaches, Bondi. this cities train service is unbelievably easy to use and follow, relatively clean as well. the best in Oz? on par with the BART.

arriving at Bondi Junction we ventured down coast, in an easterly direction and hit Tamarama beach first, they're all dotted up the coast from Botany Bay into Sydney Harbor. a few smaller coves and then Bondi Beach, viewed from lookouts to the south. what a view and that whole coastline reminded me so much of the Natal Coastline. rocky outcrops, rockpools, dotted by beautiful beaches. very Salt Rock / Balito. Bondi has remained on visual appearence, stuck in 1975. its buildings facing the coast are all heritage listed and restored, no highrise apartments here until you hit the northern edge. it was the perfect time capsule shot of the area. morning, surfing, sun, and fine salt air.

now for an easy day, pack up and TOOL.

Fishy ...

Today we split up early, Mark and I rising at 5AM to make a trip and behind the scenes tour of the Sydney Fish Markets, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere so we are told. making our way down to Central Station was fantastic, as this is the location we need to leave from for our trip to the Sydeny showgrounds. we caught the Light Rail which is basically a cross between a tram and rail carrage. lovely smooth ride, clean large and it takes the pressure off the main rail network.

$2.50 and 15mins later we are there. arriving somewhat 40mins too early for our tour we felt kinda lost, no signs or markings for the tour, but we knew we were at the right location at least :) time came, more people arrived and the tour began, and for a measly $20 you got an hour tour and free coffee. basically taking us through the working operations of the place, how its auctioning system works and buying methods. we then moved to the floor to sample some of the different species on offer, everything from your humble snapper to john dory, flathead, bream, all manner of crustaceans, right up to your large bluefin tunas and oddities like cuttlefish, mudcrab, deep sea crab. all in all it was fantastic! the female guide we had was often asking questions of "what species is this?" "how do you tell the female from the male?" etc etc, i think we stunned her and the crowd on just how much we knew. she asked if we were chefs, ..... yes for one, the others just a full time recreational fisherman and a part time graphic designer.

well that was a great start, however i had the unfortunate thing of losing my debit card happen mid morning which left a sour taste. no biggy, lost a small bit of money, ran to ANZ, cancel the card, ordered a new one and transfered the other funds out to my savings account and i was rolling. it just so happened i got a brand new service attendant on my counter and i basically had to do everything myself on the phone.

the rest of the day was spent shopping generally in the city and hitting a comic store. Kings Comics should be a staple for any illustrator to jump to when here. great selection and well set out the store was a pleasure to be in. and they had DMZ!. still not up to the high standards found in NYC.

tomorrow is flexible, but i hear the rumblings of another early start.

Monday, January 22, 2007

long time coming ....

40 degrees ...
need i say more ? hot town, summer in the city. after a late night, we all ventured out late this morning. easing into the day with a light breakfast as we knew we we're off for a Jet Boat ride round Sydney Harbor.

on booking Rich felt it may have been a waste of his money, soon to learn its probably the third best thing on offer right now in SYD. least to say this Jet Boat ROCKED! upon boarding we were told "might wanna sit up the front, it gets wet up the back" .. our response, Back seats thanks mate! :)

heading out into the harbor, under the bridge and round the Opera House, it was a blast, cruising around at 80KMs, 270 degree turns, handbrake nose dives, least to say we had the best adrenaline rush, and got soaked in the process. this was simply awesome.

moving from there it was now 1PM, lunch and we hit the SYD Aquarium. what a show indeed. as mentioned this city is up to international standards in terms of attractions and facilities. the one thing lacking is internet connection and speed in all outlets. Dad, you would have loved the aquarium. its set up as 3 main sections. fresh water, northern and southern oceans. each section having multiple mini tanks showing off various species. as well as including a seal enclosure and main shark tank. Dad, they even had schools of the typical taylor, cobia, whiting, mullaway, you should have seen the size of some of these! and a fresh water barramundi .... HUGE

knackerd we headed back, changed and chilled for a dinner in the city. gotta get up early tomorrow as mark and i are off early to go hit the fish market, for a guided tour. the SYD fish markets are the largest in the southern hemisphere and auctioning occurs every weekday as far away as norway. should be cool. take care everyone, all is well and safe. bit sunburnt here and there but eh, you get that. for the speed boat shots, we got absolutely soaked so hence these shots werent taken by me in the boat :) but its the boat we took out. @ 80KMs +, 6+ 270 degree turns, 3+ nose dive brakes, and much wave action :)

next ....


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saffies are all over...

AHHHHH what a day, definitely feels like i never left this city. its large enough to be an international location but still feels small enough to navigate easily around. its geography is perfectly laid out in terms of locations. theres no one "hot spot" to be in, each corner has its own thing going on. very cool, very new and modern, reminds me of an aussie mini manhattan.

all in all we are well and happy. Rich is a bit spaced in terms of it being his first major trip out, no parental guidelines and hes just soaking it all in. mark was a bit directionless the first day but i feel like i know the place well, kinda studied the map too much.

much apologise for the slim pickings of pics, my camera has gone to LCD heaven and mark hasnt taken many shots, will bust it out soon for you all to see some of the sites.

personal note im looking at units for UNI SUN and MON, and will be available for the phone on TUES arvo if you need me mum. so call if you need to, otherwise thanks a million to Ty for helpin me out. owe ya one mate.

middle of the day Rich and I ventured off to the NSW Art Gallery, while Mark caught up with family in the rocks. Rich felt it might be interesting, but gave me the line "dont think your going to stay here long and stare at every picture Shaun" haha. well turns out ... HE was the one more interested than me, inspecting and reading everything he could soak up. it was fantastic, for both of us and an eye opener for him. we got through about 40% of the gallery when it began to close. might go back and check out somemore.

well end of day one we had some quality 100% marinated beef burgers and chili wedges, awesome stuff, and low and behold a south african from JoBerg behind the counter ... funny stuff, we chatted and his words were to the effect of "good place to live in eh man (heavy accent) , home from home, glad we're here" i had to agree all the way. we dont know how good we have it here until we hit the outside world and realise we wanna go back home. the night was ended with Rich dragging the old fellas to some Bar called the "Mandarin" of all places in chinatown. we enter and go down to this basement, and upon arrival we all look at each other feeling like we've just stepped into a tokyo bar. when had a beer and chilled out. made it back in one piece all safe and saw the end of the tennis. heres to the sunday and our jet boat ride + aquarium + 40degrees.

oh yeah btw. i got toasted today. :) time to shop indoors.

Saturday, January 20, 2007



All is well and hot in sydney, just cruising around and shoppin abit. :)
funny thing is i found a mac store and im hoggin their connection to check email etc for 10 mins.
ok time for lunch .... pic for proof.


Arrival ...

All is good and well in the East. :)

Flight with qantas was a breeze and probably the best domestic ive ever been on really. quite a large size jet so we tended to get better service and general seats. as we were checking in with electronic tickets mark and i got seats seperate to Rich, no big deal, he survived al ok. meal was pasta or mediterranean chicken.

ahhhh arriving an hour late due to wind, we finally got in to good ol Sydney. feels like a second home this place, like we left it, remembered it all, and its lovely to hit a location where you are comfortable in your bearings and surrounds. caught the shuttle out to the Y Hotel in the inner city which is really in a killer spot for the inner city price. but it reflects it as you can imagine, but hey it beats the dumps we hit on the world trip. so far so good in the Y, bad thing is no net. no wireless in the room, paid downstairs, so im currently posting this from a cafe, which there is plenty of around, all paid wifi. but the room is great, and quiet with an aircon for the 40+ days ahead.

we hit chinatown for dinner last night and well still being on the west clock, we were out till 11:30PM really lovely weather at night, t-shirts and shorts allround ... everyone was living it up in sydney. the nightlife starts up round then so this is truely an "international city". we walked round to darling harbor having been here before many times its like we never left. this place is geared to entertain and truely brings the public into the city with locations like this. beatiful! shots in the day time to follow. my cameras giving me a hassle lately with the LCD but weve got the backup of marks.

Rich is still trying to find his money tree but managed to pull a 20 out last night for dinner. as of 7AM SAT 20th, he is still chasing his money tree, dont worry Deb he'll be fine :) . so today is setup as pretty much a free day for Rich and I as mark is off to visit family in the Rocks.

ok posting soon with pics. still gotta find time today to sit down and check out UNI units to choose. great to do when ur in a non free WIFI hotel and its like $10 for an hour of net access. we are so behind in Oz in that respect. i mean Lima had a net connection .... tells ya something.

all in all safe and sound. happy to be here. we all get along like a party. Rich is the comical little brother of the 3 ameigos. his two older siblings taking the piss outa him as often as possible haha. just kidding. talk soon. cant wait for TOOL.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

46 and 2 are just ahead of us....

Suitcase - check
Bag - check
Tickets - check ...

Yes folks its that time of the year again :)
as i bounce off the walls trying to pack all essential items for our trip to Sydney, i cant help but be reminded of a phone call i got from someone earlier this week. the question was posed "who are you going to see in concert again?" then i realised i better educate some of the less aware of you out there. who exactly is this band we call ....


Tool is an American progressive rock band, formed in 1990 in LA, California, when drummer Danny Carey joined Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones and bassist Paul d'Amour. The band turned out to become a highly successful act, "introducing dark, vaguely underground metal to the music public. To the oldies ... think modern day expanded version coalesce of Pink Floyd / Black Sabbath / King Krimson / Led Zeppelin. that kinda flavour.

They have gained appreciation and critical praise for a complex and ever-evolving sound, that ranges from "slam and bang" heavy rock metal on their first release to more progressive influenced songwriting on newer albums "Lateralus" and the current 10,000 Days, which in another era (think 70s Pink FLoyd) would have been considered progressive rock. Their overall sound is "primal heavy music, as distinct as it is disturbing to the unfamiliar"

They are known for addressing philosophical and spiritual issues in their lyrics, such as evolution and psychology, unwelcomed organized religion / authoritive force and spiritual transcendence.

Maynard (lead singer sums things up nicely):
Tool is exactly what it sounds like: It's a big dick. It's a wrench. It's also what it sounds like: It's a verb, it's a digging factor. It's an active process of searching, as in use us, use our music, use your emotions, we are a shovel, we are the match, your tool; use us as a catalyst in your process of finding out whatever it is you need to find out in life, or whatever it is you're trying to achieve.

So i'll leave you with some images from their recent live shows in germany and the states. this is the reason we travel to see this group perform, because the visual presentation is worth half the admission alone, theres more i could say on this but i dont want to spoil it for our youngest member.

In the end, Im sure most of you wont "get all this" thats fine ... but you know its alot more interesting on the other side ... think outside your top 40 radio, made to order, pretty face, verse chorus verse song box for a moment, step through, see you on the otherside.


the following is an outdoor show in Germany, similar setup for the Big Day Out. the rest are all indoor venue sets, which we will see at the SYD Entertainment Center. updates as we go into Sydney soon.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What Comes First ... the name or its acronym?

A new bill introduced in the US Senate this week would force satellite, digital, and Internet radio providers (but not over-the-air radio) to implement measures designed to restrict the ability of listeners to record audio from the services. Called the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act" (PERFORM)

If the name of the bill sounds familiar, it should. The bill was originally introduced in April 2006 with the support of the RIAA. It died in committee, but the senators are hopeful that the bill will pass this time around.

Like its predecessor, the new legislation would require content protection on all satellite radio broadcasts along with cable and Internet broadcasts. Broadcasters would be required to "use reasonably available and economically reasonable technology to prevent music theft.

The music industry's overexaggerated fears of piracy are driving the legislation, just as they did last year. "New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music. What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries," said Sen. Feinstein. "As the modes of distribution change and the technologies change, so must our laws change." Under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, consumers have the right to make noncommercial analog and digital copies of broadcasts. That would change if the PERFORM Act passes this time around.

Ahhhhh, scary stuff. on other news, things in the west are all fine and dandy for me. planning and listing for our upcoming Sydney holiday. cant wait, and it seems this week will scream by fast. Itinerary and regular daily posts coming soon.