George Nostralucas presents… START WARS!

January 7, 2007

I was taken aback last week when I discovered that my significant other had never seen any Star Wars film…

I mean that’s like finding out someone hasn’t tried bread or something to our generation surely!

So I did what any loving boyfriend would, I initiated a program of education and made her sit through all six films. As an added bonus I’m making her watch them in episode order rather than the order they came out, this ruins a few plot twists such as the Leia and Luke being siblings thing and Vader being Luke’s dad but I figured I’d rather work up to the original three films than subject her to Jar Jar and ‘Comedy3PO’ half way through the saga (There are some things I can’t forgive George).

I realized today whilst reading this from Jyoti’s blog, how most of the storyline from episodes 1-3 is reminding me more and more of the current political climate. Seriously, everyone should revisit the Star Wars films and see all the similarities.

This Wikipedia entry is a good summary too. Read the parts about Palpatine designing his own threats to the republic (Usually ones he initiates as Darth Sidious) in order to seize executive power over the senate and later dissolve it entirely. When anyone challenges him (the Jedi) they are called separatists or traitors and added to the enemies and fear.

How true to life does this sound?

Remember kids, fear leads to anger… and there lies the dark side…


(s)Hit Factory

November 28, 2006

Hello!

I’ve got a project I need some help with. First a little background…

I’m in the process of buying the studio I work at along with my co-engineer and good buddy Rich. I’ll no doubt put another post about all that as soon as it’s all gone through. To be honest, my brain hurts just thinking about it. If you’re ever considering starting a business then please heed this warning – it will make you a bit mental.  Anyway, I was thinking about the studio and some things I wanted to do and one thing has been appealing to me for ages so I think I’ll give it a go.

I want to produce an album of other peoples songs. In a similar vein to the old industry model of artist and repertoire I want to build a band for each song based on where I want to take it and work out a whole production schedule for each one. Kind of like they did at Motown or Stax Records.

Here is where you come in. I need songs. The criteria is simple and is as follows:

  • May only contain the instruments you wrote it on, i.e. Guitar and vocals. No additions!
  • I need a text copy of any lyrics
  • I get complete license to do what I like with your song, even if you think it’s shit
  • You are to be of the understanding that you won’t be playing on it or singing it – if you can’t stand someone else singing your words then don’t apply

Other than that it can be whatever you want. Ideally I want this to be a really great pop album so songs about buggering corpses might not make it on (unless they’re as good as ‘Chrissie Kissed The Corpse’ by Of Montreal).

So if you’d like to take part then just email me an mp3 of the song and any lyrics or additional info that might be helpful to rob DOT pandaz AT gmail DOT com

Happy songwriting!


You Slut! pics from live session recording

November 27, 2006

The fantastic You Slut! recently signed up for a deal to sell their album in Japan and had to record some extras for it. We decided to just set them up and record a live session in our studio. Jump to me flickr to see some really blurry shots of them ROCKING OUT.


Red, Myspace and a big WTF?

October 9, 2006

The following is a rant I’m making about the RED campaign that has taken over Myspace today. Before I get people pointing out that any help or money to these people is something to thankful for, I know. I’m just pointing out below why I disagree with that as being ‘the best we can do’.

The new face of charity

Today I logged into Myspace and noticed the front page had been taken over by ego Red. Now I’d like to share a couple of issues I have with this project.

Ok, so Red makes no bones about it not being a charity and it simply being a consumer choice (one that will apparently help millions of people) but as a concept that just doesn’t sit right with me.

Aids in Africa is a huge problem, one that no doubt would have been lessened somewhat had the catholic church not campaigned AGAINST people using contraception. Maybe fucking Bono should take time out from having tea and chit chatting with bastards like the George Bush and the Pope and actually use his position to stick some difficult questions to these people. If Bono cared about the plight of anyone except Bono then he’d have actually made some personal difference, I realise he has publicised some good causes but never have I seen him take anything more than a shaky, political sloganeering stance on any issue, ever. Still, I’m sure all that good publicity he gets for himself through this ‘work’ never goes to his head.

Back to my problem with Red (Bono can wait, I’ll deal with him another time)…

So the problem is poverty, what causes poverty kids?

From globalissues.org

Behind the increasing interconnectedness promised by globalization, are global decisions, policies, and practices. These are typically influenced, driven, or formulated by the rich and powerful. These can be leaders of rich countries or other global actors such as multinational corporations, institutions, and influential people.

And how do these multinationals get so big? Who keeps them so powerful? The answer is the consumer, us, because if you’re reading this on a computer then you probably aren’t living in poverty. We buy their products, made in their sweatshops. We use their services, shelling out for airwaves or data cables that cost them next to nothing to provide.

And Red’s solution? Buy our multinational partners products!

The mobile phone industry must be chuffed that people will either be buying new handsets or starting new contracts in order to ‘help’. American Express will likewise be only too happy to shell out 1% of your spending in order to gain you as a customer, after all if you get charged a couple of times that’ll pay off their investment and make them some money. Plus there’s this fantastic bonus:

By giving you access to hand-picked offers and events, REDdeals help you get the most out of life: expect access to gigs, sporting events, late shopping nights and valuable travel and shopping offers.

GREAT! So they send you marketing bollocks to make you spend more as well! I imagine it costs a pretty penny for a company to advertise to all those American Express customers. Just another way that under the hood, all these companies will still, despite their charitable contributions, be making a profit from RED. Further advancing their profits and status as multinational companies.

So the RED ethos seems to be to fight the effects of consumersim with more consumerism. Is that teaching some kind of lesson? RED is offering people an alternative to charity, one where they can still be slaves to the market, only this time they’re paying off any sense of guilt they may have. They’re paying to opt out of actually doing anything about poverty. What do you do about poverty? “Me? Oh, I paid at the door mate”.

In theory, charities shouldn’t have to exist. Our societies should be able to work out systems where THESE FACTS don’t exist. Why should we have to subsidise the work that our governments are failing to do?

So, buy the RED trainers, order it over your RED phone, pay for it with your RED credit card, all you can do is continue to lace the pockets of large companies until there is some actual, tangible change in the way things are run. People like Bono are probably in a better position to suggest these changes to all the important people he lunches with, but he won’t. Cos he’s a massive fanny.


Grease Lightning!

September 11, 2006


Completely mental storm just cracked off after a really hot, sunny day. After taking about 400 shots I got about three that actually contained any lightning.

One of them isn’t shit


Fireworks!

September 9, 2006

Went to the Darley Park Classical Concert last week and took some photos of the fireworks.

They is HERE


Thorpe Cloud

August 28, 2006

Me, Laura, Marie and Rich went up to Thorpe Cloud today. We didn’t go all the way up due to high winds (unlike the last time I went there) but still got some nice photos.

Look at them in my mindpit