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The handful that read this will know that the Barricade has been an area for tumbleweeds. Jase has gone AWOL and I have been too for the most part. Between work, trying to get a PhD done, visits to hospitals, epic bike rides, soccer, AFL, etc etc, it has been hard to find time for anything.

So here is a catch up post, with some brief highlights and lowlights:

Movies:

Tropic Thunder… what a disappointment. I was geared up to love it, but felt like I missed the joke. I think I laughed 3 times… actually it was 3 times… I can count them.

Hellboy 2… I didn’t get this either. I won’t say it was bad, I just didn’t dig the vibe of it. I am not a massive Hellboy fan, but thought this would be OK, but it was just meh

Music:

– New Kings of Leon… what a shame… I dig KoL. But not this one. To me it sounds like 11 times the same song. I will give it more of a crack, but I can’t see this one getting high rotation.

– New Mogwai… this just sounds like Mogwai. So I really dig it.

King Khan and the Shrines… an “on a whim” purchase in Missing Link. Man did I make out like a bandit. The new album “Supreme Genius” is GOLD. I knew a bit about them, and had some tracks from a split LP they did with the Dirtbombs, but man, this is 16 awesome party tracks. Has not left the car in days. Get it now!

– New Okkervil River… see Mogwai review above (but substitute the word “Mogwai” for “Okkervil River”)

Gigs:

– Nope, none.

TV:

Arrested Development… I am late on this one and finally caved since everyone says “you will love it”. I am half way through season one. Can’t say I love it. I like it, but not love it. There is something a little self-conscious about it for mine. But I like it enough to keep watching.

Other:

– Jase got me into Mike Allred and Madman comics in a big way. While I can’t say the current issues of Madman are amazing, they are still really interesting, and he is a great artist and a great writer. Allred’s X-Force I really dug too. And Dead Girl is just way too cool.

So that is it I think. New Drones is out tomorrow. Woo hoo! The big one of the year for me. I will be at the record store at 9 (well, close to that). And Wall-E tonight. Giddy up… the wait for this has been toooo long.

… muttler

Ah, my beloved Melbourne Victory. How good it is to see you again after more than a year. Yes I was a member last season, and yes I went to nearly all the home games. But did I see the Victory play the way they did last night? Not since we destroyed Adelaide in the Grand Final season before last.

Sometimes a rout in sport can be no fun. Not last night against defending champs the Newcastle Jets though. This was one of those games of such brilliance from your own team, that you love every minute of it. Our attacking plays were just so sweet that to think it is only 3rd game into the season a man like me can get very very excited. We have a theory that Danny Allsopp only fires every second year, and maybe that means we can win the title every second year. Well, he has 4 in 3 games. Not getting premature or anything, but I’m liking this season already.

… muttler

(from http://www.melbournevictory.com.au)

Classic photos redone with Lego. While the idea is not new, this shoots for really iconic photos. Some are actually a little confronting. The comments alternate between “Cool, Lego!” and “These images are cold-hearted and patronizing”. I actually kinda agree with both. Have a look and make up your own mind. Maybe this is a bit of a personality test… your opinion of the Lego version of the 1963 shot of the monk on fire probably says a lot about who you are.

http://www.wired.com/culture/art/multimedia/2008/08/gallery_legophotog

… muttler

From wired.com

Every time the Olympics come around I think “I don’t care”. But when they start, I can’t help but watch. And love it. And I get that extra bit patriotic. Go Oz.

Below is yet another obligatory photo of <insert cute nickname here> Stephanie Rice. The media is loving this… young, good looking, gold medal winner. But I have to say, today’s race, the 200m IM, was awesome. Now if the footballers can win tonight I will be a very happy camper.

… muttler

(photo from theage.com.au)

That’s the line I have always used when anyone asked what my dog Cooper looked like. You see, he’s half border collie, half whippet and no one could imagine what he looked like. Basically he’s like a short haired border collie with a long nose and long legs that can run like buggery. So the best bits of both.

Anyway, he passed away on the weekend at my Mum and Dad’s place where he lives. Not much to say except it was quite sudden and saddening. He was about 13, and I reckon 12.5 years of that were spent running chasing a ball. He was named after Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks for no real other reason except I was (and still am) obsessed with Twin Peaks and Cooper sounded like a cool name and all the family agreed.

So here is a picture of him for those of you still wondering what a half border collie, half whippet could possibly look like. Keep chasing that ball Coop.

…muttler

I haven’t had too many posters arrive on the door step in the recent month or two. The odd Jay Ryan and Leia Bell is about it.

Two awesome posters in the past month are these two for my favourite folk-comedy duo… yep Flight of the Conchords. The first is by the great artist Tyler Stout. It actually glows in the dark and shows two very creepy skeletons of Jermaine and Brett. Is only one of 50 so was very happy to grab that. The other is by EyeNoise and makes me smile each time I look at it.

Jay Ryan has put up a heap of things recently, but not for many bands I dig. Lots of art prints as well which are a bit of a change of style for him. The main two I have picked up are for Jeff Tweedy and Modest Mouse. The MM one is particularly interesting… full bleed (ie image goes all the way to the edges of the paper).

And last but most certainly not least is my favourite, Leia Bell. It has been mainly art prints for her, one of which was a 2nd Edition of the image which adorns my wall in full original painted glory. It is an image I love of which I have the painting, art print, and also the Mates of State gig poster. Awesomeness.

… muttler

Angelique Houtkamp has returned to Melbourne! Well kinda. Her work has, if not the lady herself (bummer).

Outre has a mini-ish exhibition of new work by Angelique up now called Til Death Do Us Part. The opening was last Thursday night and was well attended for a mid-week opening (as opposed to the usual Friday night shindig).

If you are unfamiliar with Angelique’s work, pop in and have a look. These pieces are mostly smallish in nature, but check out the limited prints up for grabs… great stuff.

It is only on until July 23 so get in there and have a look.

… muttler

Well, looks like Jase has gone AWOL, so it is up to me to keep this sucker afloat.

This morning was the last morning of getting up at 4:30am. Spain were very much deserved winners. Before the game I was thinking “Can they choke again? Surely not”. Thankfully they didn’t.

Yep, I was on the Dutch wagon for a while, then Russia. Ultimately, after the debacle/awfulness last Euro that was Greece and their god-awful boring play, I was just hoping for a team willing to razzle dazzle to take the honours. So could this be the start of a Spanish dynasty? We’ll see I guess. They look good though.

… muttler

(Photo from theage.com.au)

On Sunday I rode the new Eastlink freeway here in Melbourne on my bike with my mate James-o. All I can say is if the planning that went into this even went into the building of the freeway, then the drivers of Melbourne are screwed. Yes, I know that thousands more people turned up than registered, but it was so poorly organised that it was still stuffed from the start, not to mention just plain dangerous. In the end James-o and I didn’t ride the whole thing… we were about 10km short, but it was just too crazy to finish.

Hey Eastlink people, how do you account for:

  • Having riders ride head on into each other and just simply being asked to “keep left”
  • Only using one bit of freeway (yes, I know you had cars parked on one side in parts, but that doesn’t explain why kilometers of virgin road was sitting there idle)
  • Have thousands of riders trying to cram into one lane each way down near the Frankston end… and then ask them to simply turn around
  • Having 65km riders, who were moving at a fair pace, hit all the casual riders back at about the Monash?

All in all very crazy. I hope too many people did not get hurt (the ambulance seemed to be somewhat busy). Anyway, I got to see some of the crazy new “art” pieces on the side of the road. The bird is awesome, the Hotel, not so sure.

… muttler

To be honest I have no set allegiances in this Euro, but I get excited about it nonetheless. And I have to say the Dutch have stolen my heart. For one they are playing absolutely gorgeous football, but secondly, how can you not love the team that beat Italy in their opening game? If Romania beat the Dutchies then both France and Italy are out, the two finalists from last World Cup. Ha! The Dutch game against France was especially awesome. Robben’s goal defied the laws of Physics. And I kept him in my dream team. Sweet!

Otherwise, it will have to come down to the Dutch, Portugal, Spain, and a dark horse like Croatia I think. 4:00am mornings are a killer though…

… muttler