Friday, December 10, 2010


my desktop with aDeskbar on the right
I should have posted this earlier, but... well, anyway. aDeskbar is a perfect solution for those of us who are really Mac users but have migrated to linux for whatever reason (I use linux at work mostly). As you can see from the screenshot it can sit anywhere you want it to, it can autohide, and it works seamlessly and trouble-free with the lightweight distros out there (in this case, Peppermint-ice). If you are interested, read the original post on OMGubuntu and download the deb file by following the links. I'm finding aDeskbar a valuable utility at the moment. Enjoy. The link:

Friday, December 3, 2010

watching them lower his box

watching them lower his box

Watching them lower his box into the earth
I remember all too well his passions:
the wine, the women, the song;
and silently I whisper,
“Don’t worry my friend. I’ll be joining you
before not too long.”

There was Sophie, a sophomore
when he met her;
they stayed together,
on-and-off, for over twenty years.
Never married. Often fought.
When she finally walked out,
he couldn’t forget her
even though she had ruined his life.

His favourite wine was Chablis, always cold.
The song was Beethoven’s--the Eroica.
Always too short for him,
it was ever too long for me.

Ah, but I loved him.

He had three jackets, I remember:
his blue leather ‘James Dean’ one;
an expensive tweed;
and one his father had given him,
a black one, that he only wore to funerals.
That was the one he hated.
No trousers ever matched that jacket.
He was never suited for death.

A thin rain pours thinly from a grey mournful sky.
I look again at the ground.
His box is gone now. Fat earth covers it.
The soil is damp and only waits for worms.

waiting for the bell to ring

waiting for the bell to ring

When I was at school,
sitting in class,
it always seemed to me
that real life must be happening elsewhere,
somewhere, anywhere
outside the classroom,
always beyond the school.

Somedays, I gazed
through the classroom windows,
eyes glazed,
unfocused, distracted.

I was young and impatient,
lusting for life,
always waiting for the bell to ring.

It’s a strange thing,
but leaving school
taught me no new lessons.
I’m older,
but hardly any wiser:
I got the life I longed for,
was impatient to begin.

I still sit and gaze
through windows.

Don’t laugh, but
I’m still waiting for the bell to ring.

Chems Play Beatles

Listening for the umpteenth time to the Chemical Brothers' magnificent return to form, 2010's Forward, it finally clicked where all the trippiness was coming from -- not so much from allusions to Private Psychedelic Reel, but the Beatles' work circa 1967. Specifically, sections of Forward are reminiscent of the Fab's Strawberry Fields-Sgt Pepper-Baby, you're a rich man-Magical Mystery Tour period. This is apparent from as early as Forward's track 2, Escape Velocity: in this song there's even an upward-scaling chord crescendo that sounds so like A day in the life that at one point I began thinking of Radio London's Final Hour broadcast (A day in the life was the last track played by that pirate station).

But it's not just that crescendo. It's the figuration, the sounds themselves, the swirling effects, and the abrupt shifts in the musical textures the Chems have fashioned here. This album, not those of  E.L.O, is the culmination of I am the Walrus's and Blue Jay Way's legacy. The Beatles, of course, made trippiness a mass phenomenon, so evoking that period makes a lot of sense. On track 4, Dissolve, the trippy elements are there at the beginning, but then there's the refrain, Caroline, Caroline. At first I assumed it was a reference to a girl. But now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's a reference (even if unconscious) to the other big pirate station of 1967, Radio Caroline?

Sakhile Live in Swaziland For me the best South African band of al...