Friday, November 30, 2007

Worship Unplugged #48 CD Cases

This idea courtesy of Nicole!!

Clear jewel CD cases make an excellent frame/container/display for a small picture/illustration/drawing or piece of creative writing!!

Like calico or a series of canvasses imagine if a group were invited to respond creatively to some story/experience or visual and they drew or wrote on a cd cover sized card.

The card goes into the CD case and then a group of cases could be superglued together side by side and in rows and columns for pairs, small groups or even whole communities.

They wouldn't be too heavy and could be hanged in a gathering space for display once dry!!

Sets of these could be made for tables or groups as stimulus for prayer for others/discussion etc.
In fact for this purpose the images could be printed on CDs as labels to add to the appearance.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Worship Unplugged # 47 MUSIC

This unplugged activity comes via Jonny Baker from

In many places and at many times I have introduced a song as a soundtrack for some form of prayer, reflection or input and have commented that people may or may not relate to that but for me an hour or more of just music would stimulate sufficient 'space and time' for me to enjoy that as inspired worship giving me sufficient connection between life, news, music, God and the songs themes and ambience!!

The beauty of this idea is to select out an hour of music your youth or young adult group will relate to that explores relevant themes... burn a CD and distribute it so they can download to their mp3 player [have spares on hand]... then prepare a single image/short text workbook styled page for journalling or reflection for each song and make them up into a booklet for each participant. Participants can then spend time listening, reflecting and responding!!

Do the hard work on the songs and the workbook and they will lap it up!!

Unreliable Idea # 33

Looking for that unique t-shirt [something of an old hobby of mine] then you could do worse than head to and ordering a shirt with a print of a legendary concert performance in a range of colours!!
Alternatively you could save the images yourself OR scan your own favourite tickets into the computer and take the jpeg file to the nearby shopping centre copy centre that handles t-shirts, mouse mats and coffee mugs and your all set for that present for someone who has everything!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interesting Momento from the Howard Years

Four weeks ago I was walking through Eastwood and a corflute political poster had come free from the telegraph pole in Benelong. I grabbed it from the footpath thinking 'if I drive past the campaign office I'll drop it in, if not I have cleared up some litter from the street and it'd be an interesting piece of political history [pictured above].

Former ABC journo/presenter Maxine McKew seems to have created history where boundary changes over recent years have increasingly moved this electorate west and made it more and more marginal. Maxine was described by Kevin Rudd as him 'messing with John Howard's head' and she meant he had to spend weekends at home and not touring marginals!!

She just may have won the seat and saved the trouble of a by-election from John Howard's resignation!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

20 Years since 'Diesel and Dust' for Midnight Oil

Here's your big chance... what's all the fuss about Midnight Oil? What is it about their music that made them world famous? Social justice? Aboriginal issues? What would they know about that?

Over twenty years ago Midnight Oil toured the outback of Australia, living and playing music in remote and urban settings right across the top end. Thye undertook this as part of the 'Blackfella/Whitefella' Tour with the Warumpi Band.

They came back inspired and having written seminal tracks for their 'Diesel and Dust' album that would take Midnight Oil to the world and bring indigenous issues to the forefront of mainstream media. This impact was celebrated with their performance at the Sydney Olympics. In their own small way they paved the path for Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach and others.

At the end of January 2008 you will be able to purchase a re-released version of the 'Diesel and Dust' CD with a DVD of a couple of songs and the 'Blackfella/Whitefella' documentary which has been seen on the ABC many years ago!!

Don't take my word for it... buy your own copy of this brilliant recording and see what all the fuss is about!! Keep in mind they are absolutely brilliant played live... lucky it'll be hot summer weather at end of January, so you need to dim the lights, grab a cool drink, sit in the dark and crank the stereo up and enjoy!!

Perhaps my abiding memory of that experience will be the way in which the Diesel and Dust set within any concert became a moving highlight... often started by all the inventive ways they could play an instrumental intro to 'The Deadheart' seeing how long it took for cluey audience members to begin chanting "do, do, do, do ,do do, do, do! do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do!" as the gangling rhythms of Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey set the mood to transport your imagination to central Australia!!

"Strict Rules" was a revealing book that documented the Tour and a segement of that ended up as part of the Year 10 English Moderator exam a few years back. It's a great read from a journo who travelled with the group. The same poster and excerpt of the bands thoughts came with the vinyl record. Colleague Rob McFarlane found a vinyl of the original album and gave it to me as a generous gift that will eventually find its way into a frame with my autographed t-shirt, 2 drum sticks and a few other bits of memorabilia when I get around to it!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ten Years since Michael Hutchence Death

Contrary to popular belief there are any number of bands from the 80s and 90s I have enjoyed and would travel and cancel stuff to see... INXS was amongst those.

Despite "Listen Like Thieves" being the album our inconsiderate flatmate Chris made us put on every afternoon while he got ready for ten minutes to go out again... we really did enjoy the music, the fan worship and the hot summer nights at Newcastle Workers or other outdoor Festivals taking in INXS live with the Farriss brothers, Garry Gary Beers and Kirk Pengilly... and the svengali Michael Hutchence.

If you read those early articles you were reminded that when INXS first got going in Perth and then moved to Sydney they were still under age and needed special permission to play pub gigs around the country.

They did have a unique sound and tragically and interestingly a 'larger than life' lead singer in Michael!!

He is the quintessential example of 1990s rock n roll excess and the unhappiness of wealth and fame masked by drug and alcohol abuse where fundamental happiness and filfilment seemed unattainable!!

Michael lived through the dramas of a relationship with Kylie Minogue [and her supposed loss of innocence] the supermodel Helena Christenson, singer Belinda Carlisle and others and with the late Paula Yates who left Bob Geldof to live with Michael!!

He moved in that rock star stratosphere...

His mysterious death in a Double Bay Motel room was very sad. Was it taking his own life or being caught out in a known sexual practice of faux hanging yourself to prolong your experience. I guess we'll never hear the full story of Kym Wilson and boyfriends time with him that night and the phone calls to London with lots of shouting!!

For all his faults and struggles he was a larger than life character on the world stage...

I still remember the tribute by U2 at their Pop Mart Sydney concert the night the thunderstorms persisted until claering to produce a hot pink cloudy sky during the rendition of "Never Tear Us Apart" from close friend Bono!! It was eerie and poignant!!

The Hutchence family had strong connections with the Forrest Kirk Uniting Church in Sydney's north and I've been shown the sappling planted in the grounds as part of a family memorial for Michael!

Personally I have no axe to grind with JD Fortune but what INXS have become through Rockstar and the addition of a new singer [following Terrence Trent Darby and Jon Stevens] is just a bit sad and is not INXS in my humble view... good luck to them!!

Powderfinger Silverchair

If like me you missed the 'Across the Great Divide' tour of these two exceptional bands THEN on December 1st in Oz you can grab a copy of the concert and behind the scenes doco!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Official 'I Missed Out!'

Well I hope they know what they're doing at ARU HQ!! Hopefully Ewen McEnzie has been given the nod to coach the Wallabies for three years because my brave attempt to return the team to running rugby under the keen eye of Team Member Mark Ella has been skuppered!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aussie Netballers World Champs

After years of one point extra time and emotional thrillers culminating in the Aussie losing the World Title four years ago... the girls stamped their authority again with a four point win over the silver ferns in the Final tonight in NZ!!

Irene Van Dyk was note perfection personified but it was the ausiie girls all court defense that restricted the Kiwis and delivered a great result. Skipper Liz Ellis [looking fitter than ever] had a great game leading our World Champs!!

Final score 42-38!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The film U2 promoted at Cannes in May this year is due for worldwide IMAX release from January!!

"Joshua Tree" remastered


The Joshua Tree: Remastered

'The Joshua Tree will prove a braver and better record than anything else that's likely to appear in 1987. ' (NME) The Joshua Tree has been meticulously remastered from the original analogue master tapes to mark 20 years since its release.

"There has been continuous demand from U2 fans to have The Joshua Tree properly re-mastered," says Paul McGuinness. "As always, the band had to make sure it was right, and now it is."

In 1987, The Joshua Tree reached Number 1 around the world and won a Grammy for "'Album of the Year', while U2 won the Brit Award for Best International Act and Time Magazine put the band on its cover, proclaiming them 'Rock's Hottest Ticket'.

Including the singles I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name and With Or Without You, The Joshua Tree went on to sell in excess of 20 million.

The album will be available in four formats:
• A standard CD featuring liner notes from Bill Flanagan, lyrics and unseen photographs from long time collaborator Anton Corbijn.
• A double 12" gatefold vinyl format, with the original album pressed across two 180 gram audiophile discs.
• A deluxe edition including a second CD of b-sides and demos from the original album sessions.
• A limited edition box set containing two CD's and a DVD featuring The Joshua Tree Tour live from the Hippodrome in Paris and other rare video footage.

The CD track listing is as follows: Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, With Or Without You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Red Hill Mining Town, In God's Country, Trip Through Your Wires, One Tree Hill, Exit and Mothers Of The Disappeared.


U2 "Wave of Sorrow"

U2 have always been brilliant at keeping fans happy and keen between major recordings! Stories of stolen CDs in suitacses, lyrics notepads going missing, live recordings released, iTunes deal etc!!

Following the DVD of Pop Mart comes a re-mastered release of Joshua Tree and extras!!
You may have just received an email from iLife attached to Facebook with footage of Bono talking us through a performance of the previously unreleased "Wave of Sorrow" which is a moving and important story again reflecting on Bono's trip thru Africa with his wife Ali and reading about the story of Solomon!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free Hugs comes Home

Whether you are aware of Juan Mann [the originator of the Pitt St Mall FREE HUGS campaign on Thursdays] with a youtube video picked up and spawning a clip to a Sick Puppies song... Juan has now added an invitation online to visit him at his home between 10am - 10pm except Thursdays!! Bring food, drink, video game....

12/30 Bucknell St Newtown

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Five Worst Films You've Seen this Year

Hi All,
Here's the challenge!!
What are the 5 worst films you've seen during the 2007 calendar year [which yes does still have a month and a half to go but as someone having all of December and January off this year I'm starting now!!]
In no particular order they are:

1. The Simpsons Movie
Disappointing simplistic story that could have been told in 30mins
2. Superbad
A few funny ideas but otherwise a less funny American Pie
3. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Hasn't that been done, saved by Jessica Beils
2. Evan Almighty
One good scene, funny, just not a good script and not clever
3. Death Proof
Quentin makes brilliant movies about ordinary America but this cut and paste caused me to ask 'why' it was a film?

Love at First Sight on NY Subway!!

This from the local papers on the weekend! A great story for the collection!

A brief encounter in a New York subway train prompted a romantically inclined man to set up his own internet site just to find the woman he saw.

Patrick Moberg, 21, said it was - for him at least - love at first sight when he exchanged glances with a rosy-cheeked young woman while taking the train from Manhattan to Brooklyn on Sunday. But just as he had plucked up the courage to talk to her, the train stopped and he lost her in the crowd.Undeterred, Mr Moberg, a web designer, set up a new site - - which was dedicated to finding her.

He drew a picture of the girl, who was wearing blue shorts, blue tights, and a red flower in her hair. He added his mobile phone number, email address and an appeal for help in finding her.

Amazingly, in a city of eight million people, it worked. Within hours, Mr Moberg's inbox had been inundated with emails and his phone was ringing continually. Some of the emails came from women who admitted they were not the girl, but asked him to pick them instead.

On Tuesday night, a friend of the woman contacted him and sent him a picture so he could confirm her identity. Mr Moberg announced the breakthrough on his website with a notice entitled: "Found Her! Seriously!"The mysterious subway brunette was later named as Camille Hayton, a 22-year-old Australian magazine intern.

The internet listings site Craig's List carries a "missed connections" section in cities including London and New York, in which people can try to track down the other party. But Mr Moberg's decision to set up his own website takes the searcher's dedication to a new level.

Yesterday, the pair appeared on Good Morning America, ABC's television breakfast show, having met for dinner the previous night.Mr Moberg claimed that he hadn't been nervous about meeting her, adding: "We totally clicked."Perhaps sounding a little more cautious, Miss Hayton said she "couldn't not meet" Mr Moberg after he went to so much trouble to find her. Mr Moberg said he had spent the journey "psyching myself up to introduce myself" but now wonders what he would have said anyway. "I don't think anything I could have said would have been able to sanely convey how strongly I felt about her."He added: "As soon as she had disappeared, I felt an undeniable urge to reach out to find her. "The only way that seemed remotely possible, without seeming like a total creep, was to put up a totally straightforward recap of what happened, and hope it somehow made its way to her."

Miss Hayton admitted that the encounter was a complete fluke as she had only been using the train to go to a friend's home because her own house had just burned down. Mr Moberg said he would be giving no more updates on his website. He said: "Unlike all the romantic comedies and bad pop songs, you'll have to make up your own ending for this."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Oh Dear!!

This is what happens when you "tow the party line" for over 3 years and basically have to pretend to be someone your not!! I'm not talking about Peter Garrett's latest kerfuffle over the "we'll change them all when we get in" comment... although thats part of it!!

It's more how someone so articulate, informed and coherent can become a media target repeatedly!!

To me that's because if you set your agenda, form your views and stick to your guns you can't say the wrong thing!! BUT if your task is to make yourself and your mob the 'smallest target possible' then you have to constantly watch your p's and q's... almost impossible for someone so vitally interested in making the world a better place!!

Disowning your own lyrics as a compilation or the views of others in your band
Tip-toeing around strong 'green views' for the sake of party policy
Endorsing a new Pulp Mill thru gritted teeth

Yes, I'm sure Bill Leak's 'lost voice' cartoon has some short term accuracy and pain attached!!
But hopefully PG can keep an eye on the bigger picture but use that energy to steer clear of further gaffe's [stuff up's]

Perhaps he's missing the impatient count in or foot tapping of Rob Hirst as another sweat soaked rant hits the air in any pub you name BUT Hirst fires up the drums to signal its time for a song Pete!! Maybe he should be on your front office staff!!