Thursday, December 21, 2006

Enjoy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas is Coming

After being bombarded by Christmas decorations in shops since beginning of November, it now actually feels that Christmas is coming. Only a week left before you can open presents, have a nice meal with the family and end up hung over and regretting the whole thing on Boxing Day.

A lot of people are complaining how Christmas is too commercialized and how it's forgetting what it essentially means. Christmas was celebrated as the birth of Jesus (although whether he was born on December 25th is another debate) but now it seems that Christmas is just an excuse to have a holiday, to give each other presents, to stuff yourselves full of turkey and to prepare for New Year's.

What I find irritating around Christmas are all the "Christmas" songs you suddenly hear on the radio. I think it's the only time you will hear Slade on the radio (one thing's for sure - Nobby Holder will never have to worry about money as he will keep getting lots of royalties every Christmas). Since when is Last Christmas a Christmas song? Just because it has Christmas in its title it's now a Christmas song? The song is about a one night stand that happened on Christmas and the next year they are both in the same room again. How very Christmas is that?

And then there is Do They Know It's Christmas Time. Bob Geldof and Midge Ure made this song to raise awareness about the situation in Africa. But now it seems again a celebratory song about Christmas. It's not. Everytime you hear that song you're supposed to be thinking about the hunger and poverty in Africa and not about a nice Christmas in Europe. And if you do thank God that it's them instead of you, then you are just sick.

Oh well, Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the festivities.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Knights of Cydonia

Last night Muse were in town, playing a gig in the Arena. As I now live about 10 minutes walk away from the Arena, I just showed up there at 8pm without a ticket (the gig was sold out). Ten minutes later I walked into the Arena after paying normal price for a ticket.

I already saw Muse before, back in 2004 when they were on at Paleo. That was before they have released their latest album, Black Holes and Revelations. In their latest album, the first song Take A Bow sounded like Radiohead from the Kid A era but towards the end became more like Rush, especially Knight of Cydonia.

The stage was simple but effective. Matt and Chris wore black while Dom was in white behind his white drum kit. I have rated Dom Howard among the top 5 best current drummers (alongside Travis Barker, ?uestlove, Dave Grohl and Matt Cameron) and last night he showed me why. His drumming and the majestic sound that came from it is the foundation of Muse's music. At the top of their music is Matt Bellamy's screeching voice, impressive guitars and amazing piano while Chris Wolstenholme hold fort with his bass and sometimes filling the gap when Matt is away doing his solos on either the guitar or piano.

They played most of their best songs, such as Time Is Running Out, Hysteria, Plug-In Baby, Newborn, Starlight, Supermassive Black Hole, Sunburn, etc. All very good to jump and shout to. Unfortunately the crowd here is (like always) very subdued and only on Time Is Running Out did the whole Arena jump along.

Muse finished the concert with Knights of Cydonia. This sci-fi/western prog-rock epic defines Muse. There is only one band in the world who can write and perform a song like this and make it into a Top 10 hit at the same time. I used to dislike prog-rock as it was very 70s and very complicated but Muse is definitely prog-rock and I'm definitely liking it.

After the concert, a 10 minute walk and I was home again...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Run Forrest, Run!

Last year I ran the escalade in 40.05 minutes.

This year I did it in 39.07 minutes.

One full minute of improvement!!! That with minimum training. Next year in the 38s??