Sunday, February 18, 2007

Music and Lyrics

In order to escape the heat and humidity that Melbourne is currently suffering through, Michelle and I headed to Melbourne Central to see the movie Music and Lyrics. I always enjoy Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, and they were great in this film. Hugh plays a washed up 80's pop star who is currently playing the county fair circuit. He and Drew's character end up writing a song together for current teen pop sensation Cora (modelled off a sane Britney Spears) called "Way Back Into Love." It's a cute little movie and really has some good parodies of the music business. The songs aren't that bad either. Definitely stay for the credits where they give the Pop-Up Video treatment to "PoP! Goes My Heart."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes my way. The best present to me is new music, so here is Neil Finn performing "Silent House" at the SCOPE Benefit in the UK on February 8th. This is a song he co-wrote with the Dixie Chicks, and it should appear on the new Crowded House album. It's not the best quality audio/video, but the beauty of the song still shines through.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tim Finn

Tonight I went to see Tim Finn play at The Forum. Before the show I wasted some time in the city with Belinda and we had dinner at Taco Bill. The food was okay, but still not up to my standards of good Mexican food. After wandering around some more we parted ways and I headed to the venue. I was surprised how packed it was inside as the majority of seats were already full.

Josh Pyke opened the show and did a good job. After his set I headed down to the booths in front of the sound booth to meet up with Rosemaree, Fran and her sister. Peter, who had been kind enough to comp us all tickets also reserved us the booth. We had a perfect view of the stage. Tim played a range of songs from throughout his career. The setlist was as follows:
Weather With You
Couldn't Be Done
Still The Song
Shark Attack
Six Months In A Leaky Boat
Midnight Coma
Dirty Creature
Salt To The Sea
So Precious
It's Only Natural

Not Even Close
So Long For Now

Astounding Moon
Poor Boy
I See Red

The pace of the show was non-stop since Tim went immediately from one song to the next. I was really impressed with his band, especially the rhythm section of Matt Eccles on drums and Mareea Paterson on bass. I personally think Matt is one of the best drummers in the world, so it's always great to watch him. The Split Enz songs really held up well even though they are over 20 years old. "So Long For Now" was a highlight to hear. Of the new material "Astounding Moon" is a beautiful song and "Salt To The Sea" was somewhat emotional since it's about Paul Hester's death. The crowd went crazy at the end for "I See Red" and a bunch of people were dancing at the front of the stage. Overall it was an impressive show and a good night.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Crown Casino

Tonight Adam and I headed to Crown Casino for dinner. He was kind enough to pick me up from work (this also allowed him to say hello to everyone). We had a wander around the Casino as I had somehow managed to never go inside the place before. The complex has assorted shops and restaurants, which get more upscale and expensive depending on what area you are in. There is also the casino, a movie theater, bowling alley, and concert venues/clubs. In the atrium they have a little show on at the moment for Chinese New Year which includes a dragon as well as lanterns that descend from the ceiling. We watched that for a few minutes before heading off to eat dinner at the Automatic Cafe. After eating we had a nice walk along the Yarra down to Southbank to have gelato at Trampoline. It was a nice evening and lots of fun to chat about work and how Adam's new job is going.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Connex Nightmare

The Melbourne train system has gone completely to hell this week. The Siemans trains (their newest ones in the fleet) are having braking issues and overshooting platforms. Each time it happens the train has been pulled out of the system. As a result, 37 train services on various lines have been cancelled, and more importantly for me, my train line has gone from 6 carriages to 3 until further notice, including during peak commute hours when they were already full. After two days of cramming myself onto the train in the morning and being a sardine, and the start of the school year on Wednesday (kids with backpacks) I decided for my own sanity to take the tram to work until Connex gets their act together. It may take a bit longer, but at least I can breathe and not be pressed up against people I don't know.

Articles to read on the topic:
Soapy Suds Too Much for Trains in Make or Brake Tests
Connex May Halt Fleet Today
Dangerous Tracks Slow Rail Speeds on Busy Lines
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