Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's missing in modern music

Louis Armstrong has captured so many hearts with this beautiful song. His low, rumbling voice perfectly suited to the mood being set. The words and emotions are equally powerful yet the real magic for me is the character of the man. Just watch this video...

Character is a trait that most modern musicians lack. Sure they have incredible vocal talent, killer looks, platinum album sales and hoards of mindless teenage fans. It's all a bunch of 'A' grade crap if all those things come without that most fundamental of all desirable human traits, to have a personality. Case in point...

John Legend... he is really just an empty vessel channelling commercial manure in the right direction to cash in on album sales from image conscious girls. I can't even watch the whole 4 minute video without dozing off from the lack of life in his performace. I'm pretty sure his manager is standing at the edge of the stage with a "smile now" sign he picks up as a reminder every 15 seconds. Bleugh!

Don't dispair masses, not all new millennium musicians are trash, if you look hard enough some successful bands have Ooodles of personality (feel free to link me up to your favourite post Y2K 'musicians with personality' in the comments or on this thread in FB).

I leave you with my nomination:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Formula Z z z ...

Says an F1 journalist>>> "The cars are much quieter than before. There is no argument about that. But was the old engine sound particularly enjoyable?" (

Let me analyse the above statement in my humble opinion as a Formula 1 fan.

Question: How many racing events do you see with 4 wheeled cars lapping a track?
Answer: Roughly 3854 per month (okay I made this up, but my point stands).

So what makes F1 stand out from the crowd? Some would argue that you are watching the pinnacle of motorsport with the most advanced technology. Sure, as a fan I like to read about the tech and appreciate the bragging rights behind being the most advanced and blah blah blah... Something still bothered me after watching the first two races in the season though.

It wasn’t loud enough.

I find myself in a rather strange situation where I am annoyed at me for being so shallow. I always thought I was someone who appreciated attention to detail and subtleties. Now, after getting just that, I am left bored and unentertained. I miss the noise, it was exciting, unique and just plain mad. I wish had a little gnome to follow Bernie Ecclestone around. I’d call him Dobby, and I would give Dobby a universal remote control with which to mute Bernie’s TV every time he tries to watch something. I’d totally give Dobby a sock if he did that till the day Bernie died. Mute! No sound for you Mr Ecclestone. Mute again!!

I NEEED excitement. I want to see a bunch of 50 million dollar cars smashing into each other, cartwheeling off the track and into some trees leaving a trail of destruction and a really big fire somewhere, Anywhere! Back in the refuelling days fires were common, I fondly recall instances where entire fuel hoses and a couple of men holding them were dragged down the pit lane in a ball of fire because a twitching driver had too much caffeine before the race. RIP refuelling. I fondly recall engines exploding on the last lap of a race covering the track in a mixture of fire smoke and oil. So far the only problems hybrid engines have had are software related. SOFTWARE! Watching a live broadcast of a software issue is pathetic, the car just stops and won’t go till some tekkie in the pits plugs in his laptop. Drivers can’t even floor it anymore! For crying out loud! It’s a friggin RACE!

This weekend I praised Lewis Hamilton for having a perfect weekend (pole position, lead the whole race and stand at the top of the podium at the end) but at the back of my mind I thought “jeepers he should be crowned as winner of the most boring race in the field too”. I read an article in which Lewis Hamilton describes how challenging it is for the drivers with the new rules. 

Okay, I thought, challenging = exciting >>therefore>> races will be more fun, right.



The crux of Hamilton’s argument is that it is more difficult for the drivers because they have to do some maths while driving to make sure they use only a specified amount of fuel over the duration of the race (100 litres). If you get the math wrong you will go very fast, beat almost everyone and celebrate on the podium with some bubbly shortly before FIA officials in black suits take all your points and your trophy away (hey, at least you won some memories and entertained your home crowd Mr Riccardo). Hamilton then goes through details about how tough fuel saving strategies are and how one has to “lift and coast” to the corners to make your fuel ration last till the checkered flag (see the rest of this diplomatic article on ). In any case it is great that drivers are challenged but what about the fans? I do not tune in to a live race to see cars ‘lifting and coasting’. I wish Bernie would retire already so Ross Brawn can come back to fill his shoes and make F1 fans happy again.