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Radiohead – Brisbane Entertainment Centre Nov 10 2012

1993 was a good year for me. Maybe one of those golden years I’ll always look back on fondly. I was 15, had been playing guitar for a year, had a few girlfriends. It was also the year after Radiohead released “Creep” which was a runaway success, hitting #2 in the hottest 100.. only bested by Denis Leary’s “Asshole”. It was an angsty time, those grunge years.

But where Denis Leary’s comedic musical success was never repeated, Radiohead’s quirky and perhaps a little ironic song, was followed up with 19 years of incredible music. Some experimental, some mainstream successes but never anything as simple as “Creep” again.

Fast forward 20 years to Friday night at the Brisbane Entertainment centre in 2012 where a sell out crowd as diverse as any arrives to hear Radiohead in the flesh, and me, also 20 years hence. I’m different now, and so is Radiohead.

What they played :

  1. Lotus Flower
  2. Bloom
  3. Airbag
  4. The Daily Mail
  5. Myxomatosis
  6. The Gloaming
  7. Separator
  8. Reckoner
  9. You and Whose Army?
  10. Climbing Up the Walls
  11. Nude
  12. Staircase
  13. There There
  14. The National Anthem
  15. Feral
  16. Bodysnatchers  
    Encore:
  17. Give Up the Ghost
  18. Pyramid Song
  19. Morning Mr. Magpie
  20. Paranoid Android
  21. Street Spirit (Fade Out) 
    Encore 2:
  22. 15 Step
  23. Everything in Its Right Place (Unravel intro)
    Encore 3:
  24. Idioteque

The first thing that struck me during the opener was the sound quality. I’ve seen a lot of shows, including at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, but none with the clarity of Radiohead. All instruments were perfectly mixed, and the volume was loud enough to move you. It never became too loud for my ears or the front of house speakers. Except for one song which I’m certain began and ended with the brown note. (Listen for it!)

Radiohead’s video and lights for this tour are incredible and extremely well planned. 12 moving screens change position throughout the show while 6 remain fixed across the top of the stage. They are all perfect squares and project neatly cropped, photographic snippets of the band as they play. One might be a patch of stage, with half a foot tapping, or the top quarter of the snare drum. Visually, it was well directed and creates a very stylish music video effect that never distracts from the playing, but supports it. It also allows the band to remain relatively still, and play the music note perfect – which they did.

QR Code’s flashed between every song and I captured most of them, but alas I can’t seem to get them to scan validly. Keen fans will enjoy hunting down their extra content.

Apart from the practical, the whole show was visceral, dynamic and intense. Radiohead takes you from pindrop silence to gut wrenching noise over and over throughout the set with carefully constructed crescendos and contrasts. The musicality is so high, and their song writing so intelligent, It sometimes felt like I was watching a Pink Floyd concert, or maybe Beethoven. The percussion is extremely modern and drifts effortlessly between rock fills to techno-infused break beats without ever feeling contrived or forced.

Indeed, Radiohead seem to be one of the few “rock” bands of the 1990’s who experimented with electronic instrumentation, and kept going. For other bands of the time, they may have had a album with samples or drum loops that was never repeated. Radioheads use of electronic elements throughout the music fuse perfectly with Thom Yorke’s operatic singing style and often feel louder and heavier then any contemporary dubstep or EDM artists. At times, I thought the stadium was about to take off into space, dock with the mothership and warp at lightspeed to alpha centuri.

Radiohead’s 20 year career is well represented in their 2012 live tour, which is uncompromising, powerful and musically superlative.

Turducken Review, Belongil Bistro – Byron Bay

As I sat down at the 12-seater table, like Jesus himself at the last supper, I realised this was going to be a meal like no other. Indeed, the anticipation had grown to fever pitch throughout the last couple of weeks. A companion said to me “Dylan, I think this is the best idea you’ve ever had”. Turducken – A chicken, in a duck in a turkey – is the kind of meal that elicits as many positive responses as it does negative ones. They tend to range from “That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard.” to “That is the best thing I’ve ever heard”. With 11 men at the table that night, there was clearly a gender bias as well.

Christian, our cook, had been agonising all week about the garnish and the preparation for 12 of us. In the end, in order to ensure we each got equally layered and weighted servings, he created 2 long Turducken “tubes”. These were then wrapped in the skin / fat layers from the 3 birds creating a beautiful crispy outer layer. It meant that as they slow cooked in the oven the 2 turkeys, 2 ducks and 2 chickens had been transformed into something that looked like a giant, meaty elephant penis.

 

When it was served a collective “ooh” was heard from the guests and the waitress said “The cook wanted to let you know that the sauce was made from the bones.” That may have sounded off putting to some eaters, but not the 12 we had gathered. We licked our chops like hungry bulldogs. We toasted this fine culinary display of carnivorousness, swilled our wine and began eating. “This is the perfect meal,” I said, “There aren’t any vegetables!”. Of course there were, but they were mere decoration compared to the meat monolith we were all massacring.

Turducken was everything I thought it would be. Of course, my standards began with a can of turkey spam so perhaps my expectations were low. Belongil Bistro and Christian Poulsen had not only executed a turducken, they’d made it into an amazing dish. Tender, delicious and exquisite. When he came to join us at the table, we welcomed him with a hearty round of applause and were rewarded further with creme brûlée and more wine than we should have imbibed.

The Joy of Using a Height Adjustable Standing Desk

About 6 months ago I saw the light and spent over $2,000 on a desk. In doing so I joined the growing chorus of nerds and professionals who are standing while they work.

Something that didn’t feel right to me was sitting such long hours. On a typical work day I might sit a good 12 hours, and then go home and sit some more. You do it too right? Here we are, the great ape who stood up and conquered the world – sitting down like a chump!

Over 15 years of work and study most were spent sitting, and I think I stacked on a kilo for every one of those years.

We spend so much time sitting, I felt it wasn’t just justifiable but downright important to get a standing desk. In the end I went for an L-shaped desk with an electrical gearbox that raises or lowers the desk as needed.

There are a bunch of studies about the damage sitting causes, but I want to tell you my own personal experience after 6 months of standing at work.

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