About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

09 December 2005

Who wants to live forever?

No not the Queen song, but rather a very interesting article on Wired, which looks at some of the downsides of living a long life - not the current average of 70-80 (in the first world) but rather for 150+ years. After all, the search for immortality is one of the oldest.

And I agree with the author - why would anyone want to live that long? And with the earth barely coping with 6 billion people, can you imagine what it would be like if everyone lives for 150 years? And there are off course the practical problems - when do you start retirement? How many anti-aging creams do you need to buy so that you look hip and young? What would be a pensionable age? And what would you do if you live for 150 years or would you just die of boredom?

06 December 2005

Massive Gig Alert

Seether is coming back to SA next year and they are touring the major cities in a massive gig put together by 5FM and Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Colab Mix features amongst others Fatboy Slim, Simple Plan (ironic after the debacle involving 5FM and Mark Pilgrim), The Rasmus, Prime Circle and The Parlatones. More bands are coming through to make up 12 hours of music so the rather steep price of tickets (R430 for golden circle) is quite justified in my opinion.

04 December 2005

Obz Fest 2005 (lots of photos)

Saturday was a busy day - air show in the morning, Obz Fest in the late afternoon/evening. Still less strenuous than last year, which involved a hike on Table Mountain followed by Obz Fest ... Before my reflections on Obz Fest, a bit of social commentary.

Like last year, I was quite amazed (though not really surprised) at the number of drunk kids. I know, that as a person who does not drink, it is somewhat hard to understand, but is it necessary to drink to have a good time? And kids weren't only drunk - some were stoned, and most spotted a cigarette in their mouths - and that's the worst thing about a festival like Obz Fest - people blowing their cigarette smoke into your face! It is obvious that anti-smoking laws and the yearly rise in sin taxes have not hampered kids from picking up the habit. On a positive note, it was great to see such a mix of people - old and young, rich and poor all jiving to great music. Undoubtedly there were petty thefts, but there did not seem to be any major incidents.

This year's Obz Fest was bigger with a second stage and more shopping area, although it featured fewer well known bands and a lot more up and coming bands. Like last year, I started off by meeting up with an old friend I hadn't seen for quite a few months. We started off at Cool Runnings (where my friend Mary was meeting a few friends) which actually seemed more packed than Obz Fest itself, which was probably due to the exorbitant prices being charged outside. We then went to see Polaroid (featuring Mary's boyfriend, Daniel, as a guest bass guitarist) playing on the second stage. We both agreed, while they had some good songs, we would not buy their CDs (if they ever got to that stage). In their defense, it must be said that the sound on the second stage was pretty bad.
Mary left after Polaroid finished, while I hung around for the last act, Black Betty, an all-girl string trio featuring a bass guitarist, a guitarist and a violinist. Unfortunately the sound really played up and eventually the band just gave up playing. Their music was interesting (a bit of a country/hip-hop mix) and I am tempted to go to a gig they are playing at on Thursday featuring amongst others Godessa and Polaroid.
After the demise of the second stage I went to see what I can best describe as "performance art". It mainly featured a white guy rapping with a DJ spinning some tracks - so what - Obz version of Eminem? But it was not only his rapping - his performance also included a few lines of opera singing, a bit of a ballad and a stage dive! I only caught the last part of his performance, and I am not even sure of the name of of the act (I think it is Waddy Jones). I would have loved to see the full act.

That was followed by some good punk rock with the "Dirty Skirts", which, while not brilliant, was nevertheless not bad and quite enjoyable. They are not yet ready to set the world alight in my opinion, but they were certainly very energetic.
Not being a huge fan of reggae, the next performance put together by the "African Dope Sound System" was not really the highlight of the evening. That said, there are a lot of people who like Reggae in Obz, and quite a few seemed to have lit up in support. Just one comment about reggae though - do they all have to talk with the Jamaican accent and lingo? I mean, surely home grown reggae does not need to have the Jamaican accent and lingo to be credible?

By now the crowd was building up, and even though a lot of people left after the reggae was finished (allowing me to squeeze to the front) more people packed in to see the final two acts - Bed on Bricks and Hog Hoggidy Hog.

Bed on Bricks are a brilliant act, this being the fourth time I have seen them perform live. At last year's Obz fest, Bed on Bricks were an opening act, this year they were one of the featured bands! Their music, while mostly rock, also features a bit of ska and they have some really interesting songs. But above all, they have an awesome stage show and where else can you get a rock act featuring an oil can guitar?

Bed on Bricks were followed by Hog Hoggidy Hog, which prompted a massive mosh pit from the kids out in front. That was strange as the Hogs play primarily ska - hardly music to mosh to. Added to that, was the fact that the kids just couldn't mosh properly throwing elbows and legs into everything! That said, Hog Hoggidy Hog were great and capped off a great day.

Ysterplaat Air Show

Saturday morning, I went to the Ysterplaat Air Show - my first air show. For R30 (no student discounts) it was quite an interesting experience. It featured mostly air acrobatics, including some crazy men jumping out of aircrafts while they were performing acrobatics and a display by the reigning world champion (picture), although there were some super-sonic jet displays. Having spent extensive time in the Air and Space museums in Washington DC, air shows I found the air show to be an interesting demonstration of some of the "displays".