No Doubt are back…no doubt about it

No Doubt, the American ska/rock sensation, are set to tour after a five-year hiatus. Being a band that I enjoy and have listened to for many years, I was delighted to read this article in The Times, describing their tour and return to the stage.

Lead singer and face of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, went on to say that their reason for touring was to have fun and to perform their favourite songs again. This, to me, is what music is about- having fun and sharing your enjoyment with the world. The music that No Doubt writes is fun, energetic, entertaining and smooth, with Stefani’s vocals providing a unique touch to the overall No Doubt sound. The band members have, over the past five years, grown as individuals (Stefani is a mother with two solo albums under her belt). Watching musicians enjoying songs from their pasts is truly a unique experience. The passion, heart and enthusiasm given to the performance is like no other.

The band will be touring the northern hemisphere on their upcoming Summer tour. Hopefully the response from this tour (and feedback from South African fans) will spark the idea of a southern hemisphere tour? Maybe with a few South African bands on the bill? I believe this would do great things for South African music and the perception of South Africa to international bands and event management companies.


Categorized as Music

Rocking Rockstar Sandals

 Online alternative music and merchandise store, RebelRock, has a new stock of rockstar sandals. Yes, you read correctly…sandals.

This selection of sandals showcases stalwart rock bands such as AC/DC (both mens and ladies) and Pink Floyd, while also adding revolutionary punk/rock band, The Ramones, to the list. They really give me meaning to the phrase, “rock your socks off”…unless, ofcourse, you wear socks with your sandals.
The product looks to be of a very high manufacturing standard. The Ramones sandals look particularly comfortable. 🙂

Categorized as Music

HOW TO: Set up a rockstar video blog

Video blogging (‘vlogging’, for short) is revolutionising the way internet users access information and interact with one another. Watching a 5 minute video clip or tutorial is, for many, easier than reading an article that could easily span two or three printed pages. The average internet user can now, with a few clicks and an original idea, become an online, world-famous, video rockstar. If this is your one true dream (being a rockstar other than your Guitar Hero skills while the dog watches you with it’s head tilted slightly to the left), here are a few basic steps to rock stardome…and setting up a video blog (no instruments or years of musical training required).

Coca Cola Zero Fest 2009 – South African Bands

There has been a lot of excitement recently over the band line-up for the 2009 Coca Cola Zero Fest, happening in April, both in Johannesburg and in Cape Town. Having run for several years now, organised by Big Concerts in association with 5FM, the festival  has become widely known for importing big name international recording artists and placing them on stage. side by side with top of the line South African bands. According to Musical Mover and MyCoke, this year’s bill is set to include Oasis, Snow Patrol, PANIC! At The Disco and Bullet for my Valentine, as well as South African bands, Zebra and Giraffe and The Dirty Skirts.

5+ Websites for daily inspiration and fun

Inspiration is a feeling that can arrive in an endless variety of packages…from neatly wrapped parcels to boxes bursting at the seams to explode. Being at a computer for a large part of the day, I find inspiration in many nooks and crannies online. There are a few websites that I visit regularly that I find to be great sources of knowledge and information, in addition to offline activities that spark inspiration. Below is a list of a few websites that create inspiration, as well as a bit of fun reading for after the inspiration boost has subsided.

HOW TO: Track the sports score using Twitter

Here’s an interesting paradox. Sports (lively, active, outdoor, sweaty) and Twitter (prodominantly indoor, digital, non-verbal, ‘geeky’). Who ever thought that ‘geeks’ liked sport? It seems that many do.

Since the cricket started a few weeks ago, I’ve seen streams of tweets coming in from avid cricket fans, commentating on virtually every play and sharing their thoughts. This is a great way to get the score and the latest info on what’s going on with the game currently being played. Just the other day (before, during and after the Manchester United vs Chelsea soccer game) I saw a tweet congratulating Manchester United and, almost straight after in the same stream, a tweet from another user cheering on Chelsea. What is the common denominator here?

Ska in Scarbourgh with The Rudimentals

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of taking a drive out to Scarbourgh (aka. ska’bra) to visit the Cape Farmhouse. One of my favourite South African bands, The Rudimentals, were performing there that afternoon as a part of the “Farmhouse Rocks” summer concerts series. Having seen many Rudimentals concerts over the last almost-decade (since about 2001 or so) I have seen the band grow (in numbers) and evolve in ways I could only imagine. This concert was set to be nothing short of incredible.

After the long (and beautiful) drive out to the Farmhouse, I arrived to see a steady stream of families and friends arriving at the venue. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Scarbourgh, I felt instantly relaxed and rejuvenated. I saw friends, both old & new, and was glad to be able to sit down at a beautiful venue such as this.

The concert, as expected, was amazing. It was in fact better than amazing. The crowd was alive and enjoying the music, the venue was bustling with activity and the performance was in true Rudimental form- top class.

If you missed the concert, below is a video of The Rudimentals performing “Love Riddim” (to be released on their upcoming album) as well as a few links for more info and photographs. There will be plenty more concerts this year. I hope to see you at the next few. 🙂

The Rudimentals on Zoopy
The Rudimentals on Twitter
The Rudimentals on Myspace 

Were you at the concert? How did you find it? Share in the comments. 

When no words arise…click (Sunset Mini Photo Essay)

While blogging, I have found that blogs that are updated frequently (frequency is relative, ofcourse) are visited and interacted with regularly. As not everyone has the gift of the gab (or the gift of the type?) words don’t always spring to mind to write a blog post.

As this blog discusses my interests, sometimes it’s good to kick back and “smell the roses”, as it were, and type less. Thus, I present, a mini photo essay inspired by this evening’s sunset and the beautiful country that we (South Africans) live in.

Cape Town tweeters end the holiday in style

Last night saw the gathering of several Cape Town “tweeters” (users of Twitter) at the Alba Lounge for some drinks and conversation about Twitter, technology and general “getting to know people” chat. A group of around 15 people joined for the evening. These are my thoughts.

I find tweet-ups (and the concept) quite interesting. It’s a new experience for me, introducing myself by my name, and having to say “a.k.a” and my Twitter username for the confusion to lift. Once you pass that point and everyone knows everyone on a first name basis, conversation begins to flow. I think it’s like that with introductions in general though. Moving past the “hi, my name is” moments, some great conversations were had. Everything from WordPress and tech talk, to music and cats was discussed.

Tweet-ups are an amazing way to meet people and get to know familiar faces better. The power of advertising on Twitter also became quite evident to me. Having posted and re-posted a “tweet” (message on Twitter) advertising the tweet-up and having seen the message re-tweeted by a few people, I was glad to see how many users came through who I, at the time, was not following or didn’t know. The power of multiple Twitter streams is evident in this.

@MarcPerel of From-The-Couch was filming the evening for the world to see. He and @gabyrosario filmed interviews with some of the tweeters at the event. Should be an awesome video.

Thanks to everyone that came through last night. It was awesome to meet you all and the perfect way to end off the festive season holiday. Here’s to many more tweet-ups in future.

Were you at last night’s Tweet-up? If so, what’d you think? If not, why not? 🙂

5+ South African bands you may (or may not) have heard

South Africa has a wealth of musical talent, spanning every genre imaginable. One can go out almost every night of the week and have a unique musical experience. Having been actively involved in the South African music industry for several years, I have come across a vast number of bands and solo musicians, both established and independant, that have caused my ears to prick up and listen closer. I thought I’d share some of my discoveries with you, both new, recent discoveries, and several with a few years of gigging, late nights and endless parties under their belts. Look out world, South Africa’s got talent…in bucketloads!