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News Archives - August 2005
August 24 2005
: Nine Inches Of Pleasure
(Note: Witty news title has nothing to do with these items...)
Exactly one week ago was the big roadtrip to NinchCON 2005, as I'd previously hinted at here on Pants. For such a monumental occasion, and the fact that I haven't really done any concert reviews here in a while, I thought it'd be good to re-cap the event for the website.
This little adventure presented lots of exciting new experiences for me. This would be the first time I've gone to Melbourne, first (proper) time I've been interstate (Canberra doesn't count :), first time on a plane, etc.
Although the concept of a roadtrip is quite grand, realistically the best way for me & the lads to get to Melbourne was via the sky, so it was quite fitting (or perhaps ironic) that my first time in a plane would be with Virgin airlines.
With the recent news of the hundreds killed in a plane crash in Greece, a Qantas jet's engine exploding after taking off in Japan and a Columbian airline disaster that occurred a mere 12 hours before my scheduled takeoff, I was a little uneasy but I'm happy to say that the entire flight was extremely pleasant.
I get the impression that the reason why Virgin Blue has become Australia's favourite airliner is because of their attention to detail, making every passenger feel special. For example, after we landed in Melbourne one of the crew said over the loudspeaker "To everyone going to Nine Inch Nails tonight, we hope you enjoy the concert". Half the people on the plane started applauding & 'woo!'ing. As another example, before boarding the plane I was "randomly" pulled aside for explosives testing. Like I said, it's all the little things they do that add up... Nice one Branson!
My initial impressions of Melbourne are probably not that surprising really. It reminded me a lot of Adelaide, only with more people.
Much to my disappointment, the great citizens of Melbourne didn't look different and didn't speak funny, but the city itself was less grid-like in layout and there was construction going on everywhere you'd look. I'm a big fan of construction sites for buildings/roads/bridges etc., but no doubt a lot of the projects are in anticipation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The stuff that sticks in my mind though are all the small differences between Melbourne & Adelaide, like the fact they have 7-11 stores and we don't, or that if you push one of those traffic light buttons to cross the road, theirs don't make a sound but in Adelaide you hear a loud, constant 'blip blip' to assist blind pedestrians.
I think the biggest culture shock for the trip was the important and timely discovery that in the city of Melbourne, a beef schnitzel is so incredibly hard to find that by the time you do come across one, you've completely lost your appetite for it. Instantly. Just like that. Yep, it's gone.
The concert was held at Rod Laver Arena, a multi-function venue that's been mentioned here on Pants before. The arena was conveniently located pretty much just across the street from the Hilton Hotel which we were staying at.
I didn't catch the name of the supporting act for Nine Inch Nails at the concert, which I'm fine with because they were pretty crap. The lead singer had an attitude problem which only got worse when the crowd started to boo the act off the stage.
No one was there to listen to some random guy swear at us and play screeching out-of-tune guitars - we were all there for Trent Reznor to swear at us and play screeching guitars.
When Trent finally got on stage, the crowd went nuts. We were all very appreciative of the Reznor, as it's been a long time since he's been to Australia. And he put on quite a show for us.
He performed songs from all of his studio albums covering each of them fairly evenly, perhaps with a slight bias towards his latest album, With Teeth. He also pulled out a couple of rarer non-album tracks (Dead Souls and Burn), which was a very pleasant surprise for people like me who were already quite familiar with them. It's extremely hard to pick a highlight song from the setlist because everything was done so well. The crowd really got into it too, singing along with Trent on absolutely everything - from the sombre lyrics of Hurt to the anger & rage of Starf*ckers Inc.. After all, it's not everyday that you get to hear 10,000+ people screaming lyrics like "And when I suck you off not a drop will go to waste..." in unison.
As soon as Trent finished his last song to close the 2 hour performance, the house lights went on straight away. Not one to do the pretentious thing and prompt people to do the whole "Encore! Encore!" routine, when Trent left the stage he didn't have plans to come back out again. And I think the crowd accepted that, because I think we all were tired of the pre-planned encore act. Every single other concert I've been to (the Big Day Outs notwithstanding) has had the obviously orchestrated encore (or second or even third encore), and it annoys me to no end.
I think the biggest surprise I got out of the concert was not how well it went, not the no-encore thing, but the behaviour of the people in the mosh pit area. Basically, there was no moshing.
I was at the front barrier when Metallica played the BDO, and somewhere in the middle of the D during the Foo Fighters' BDO show and I was getting pushed and bumped around everywhere. Because we thought Ninch would be the same (and the fact we value our lives), we opted to get seat tickets instead for this concert but from our view in the stands, the mosh was oddly tame...
The roadtrip (part II):
With the big concert all over with, we eventually had to get back home to Adelaide to officially complete NinchCON 2005. This second leg of the roadtrip would again be assisted by the good people at Virgin Blue. Due to an unfortunate ticketing mishap, I was assigned a seat next to an elderly man (pictured right) who I understand has some sort of mental handicap.
To distract myself from this man's weird noises and pelvic motions, I decided to read a complementary in-flight magazine, titled Voyeur. This particular issue celebrated the 5th birthday of Virgin Blue and described the history of the company.
I've always been a fan of Richard Branson; I mean he's an extremely clever & enterprising businessman, loves to have a bit of fun, is stupidly rich and he has a head of hair that defies description. On top of all that, he even starred in a music video with XTC - how cool is he?!?
Apart from a few extremely minor issues (the beef schnitzel, plus the Hilton asking for $14.95 to see Yumiko Udo or charging $30 for a bowl of cereal), the entire trip to Melbourne went sensationally well. Without a doubt, it would have to be one hell of a concert to top this one...
August 14 2005
: Madre de dios! ¿Soy perdidoso mi mente?
If there's one reason why I continue to type long-winded verbose articles and make stupid pictures for this website, it's because deep down inside, I know that people really respect and value my opinion, and that the site's readers (yeah, the three of you) appreciate all the effort I put into this website...
Over a year ago someone on the forum challenged me to review latin sensation Shakira's Laundry Service album (as some form of punishment, I assume). In October 2004 I posted the review, which wasn't exactly full of praise for the GRAMMY® Award-winning artist unfortunately...
Well colour-me-surprised because here we are 11 months later at the launch of Shakira's latest album release, titled Fijación Oral, Volume I. This is one of those rare moments where my faith is restored, because Shakira is obviously one of the people who respect what I have to say here on Pants.
After taking all my criticisms of Laundry Service onboard, I am pleased to say that Shakira's newest album is remarkably better than her previous release. I'll go so far as to say it's one of the best albums I've heard all year. Top ten material.
No doubt shaped after my favourite Laundry song (Fool), the majority of Fijación Oral consists of slower, ballad-y songs rather than the obvious made-for-radio hits of the last album.
A few upbeat 'poppy' songs still exist, such as the first single La Tortura, but overall this is a very easy-listening album made so much sweeter by the fact that it is sung entirely in Spanish. With Shakira not needing to struggle with English lyrics in Volume I, her vocals on songs like En Tus Pupilas, Dia Especial & La Pared make for some pleasant listening...
Oral Fixation (Volume II), due for release near the end of the year, is meant to be the English-language companion to Volume I. It'll be interesting to see how that one turns out...
As much as I'd never think I'd say this, I am a fan of this new Shakira album. What the hell is wrong with me?!? Discuss.
August 7 2005
: Rule #2: You Do Not Talk About Tight Club
Many old-school visitors might remember back a few years to times when I was sharing my Pants with someone else...
Back in the day, while I was busy talking about Britney Spears or some other crap, Tight had his own spot on my server where he could post witty commentary on recent events. Although he exercised this opportunity several times, Tight's main reason for contributing to the network was so that he could completely destroy the reputation I once had with Google through a clever combination of gay propaganda and phrases synonymously used on warez download sites.
Despite this, I am quite happy to call Tight one of my good friends, and I'm also pleased to learn that he has recently become engaged to be married.
Regardless, I wish them all the best with their (eventual) marriage, and I should give you both some advance notice that whenever the big date for the wedding is, I don't think I'll be able to make it because I'll be interstate at the time on an important business trip... Sorry. :)
There's more where that came from...: Return to the News Archives index.
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