Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Israel Cannan, Prejudice, Modern Family, and Covers

1. Received an email about a singer guy named Israel Cannan.  I Googled him, and got to his IMDB page.  It says that for three months in 2007 he was the one that sang the Home and Away theme song.  I don't know if I remember the Home and Away theme song.   I remember the Neighbours one.  

2. Saw this article via the Adopt a Yasi Cyclone Affected Town's Facebook Page.   It says the government has been sitting on money that was raised for Cyclone Larry.  It's not a small amount.   $700,000.  Of course, people aren't happy about this.   Why did it happen?   Who knows....
The good news is they're going to add the money to the new cyclone/flood fund.

I can think of one thing in their defense.  Maybe they were saving the money?   I mean maybe they didn't rush to distribute all the money, because they understood that there would be worse weather disasters in the future.  For those who have suffered through Cyclone Larry, and not received enough help; they probably won't see value in my defense strategy.   Uh...can't say I blame them.   

It would probably have been best if all the money had been distributed....gone to those who needed it.  However, I think it could have been worse.   I mean what if we found out the money wasn't still sitting there, and it had been used.  But what if it wasn't used to help people?   What if it was used to buy a Member of Parliament's holiday to Europe? That would be much worse.   

3. Read depressing news from New Zealand.

4. Realized, after reading someone's Facebook status, 2011 has been a pretty awful year so far.     I guess there's SOME happy stuff. Like Egypt.  But all these floods, cyclones, shootings, earthquakes, etc....  You know, there's probably not more shit than usual. Maybe I'm just more aware of it. And there's the fact that it's happening in an area that has captured my little heart.  

5. Read Alex's six posts about going on cemetery tours with his wife. They drove around the Central Coast of New South Wales with their GPS system, and a map.   Alex is a great writer, and a great photographer, so reading about their adventures is very enjoyable.  I'm hoping he writes a travel book someday.  

6. Watched Israel Cannan video; Set Me Free.  And while listening to that, I read the email about Cannan.  He went on a tour around Australia.    He and his friend drove in an old van, and visited all the Aussie states.   I'm guessing that includes the territories?   How about Tasmania?  Maybe they took the ferry over there?

Anyway, they took care of their own marketing by handing out free singles to people hanging around.   That's pretty cool.  If it was me though....I'd probably have a lot of No thank you's.   

I told my friend that I put the link to my novel back on my blog.  He thought I meant that I was trying to sell my novel; you know people pay a fee, and they can download it.  I said I WISH that was the case.   Then I could just tell myself they were trying to be conservative with their spending.  But I'm letting people read the novel for free, and they're STILL not interested.  I guess the problem is there's so much out there for free on the Internet these days. Now it's not about lack of money for entertainment. It's about lack of time.   

7. Looked at Israel Cannan's website.  He's going on tour. He's going to be in Adelaide this weekend.

I read his bio page. I think it's pretty inspirational. He took his career in his own hands.  He travels, and shares his talent.  He went to America. He went to London.  He traveled around Australia.....

Although I guess most successful people have a similar story. And there are probably many unsuccessful people who have the same story as well.

8. Realized what I like about Israel Cannan's story.  To me, it represents the way art is happening these days.  A decade or so ago, the usual path consisted of selling ourselves to agents, producers, clubs, publishers, galleries, etc.   Then if they liked our work, they would share it with the public.   These days, more and more creative folks are taking their work directly to their audience.  There doesn't need to be be a middleman.

I'm thinking about Alex, the guy who wrote about his cemetery tours.  Back in the 20th century, he would most likely have HAD to write a travel book, and get it published....if he wanted to share his adventures with others.  He would have had to depend on a publisher agreeing that his book was worth reading. That's not all. He would have had to find a publisher that believed this book was worth more than the fifty other manuscripts in the office.  

These days, Alex can type something out on Blogger, upload his photos, and we can all read his blog posts.

And it's easier with music as well. You can do so much in your very own home these days.  You can record your own music, make your own CD's, and then pass them out to people willing to take them.  

As for making money. That's a different story.   If that's someone's hope, I guess they have to wish that their freely distributed work will be discovered by someone important.   

9. Listened to the Home and Away theme song.  I'm not sure if it's Cannan singing in it, or not.  

10. Listened to Cannan sing Where the Story Unfolds.  I'm not sure if I like his stuff.  It might make some time to decide.  This is a weird thing to say, but he reminds me of a fictional character.   Oh...how can I explain this?

Maybe it's kind of like Robin's video on How I Met Your Mother?  I mean I'm not trying to say his stuff is like Let's Go to the Mall.   But I can picture Cannan as a character in a sitcom; showing his friends the videos he made when he was younger.  It also reminds me of the movie my sister likes.   What's the name of it????

Ah!  I had it on my iTunes.  Music and Lyrics.  Here's the video from it.  Pop Goes My Heart.

So yeah....Cannan's video reminds me of music videos that are made for fictional characters in sitcoms and romantic-comedies.

I have a feeling I'm not explaining this well.  Sorry.  

Oh!  How could I forget this example! Dylan in Modern Family!  Israel Cannan sort of reminds me of Dylan.  

11. Looked at Israel Cannon's Facebook Page.  They have a music player thing.  I'm going to listen to "Walk".  It's very mellow. It started to grow on me a bit at the end.

I listened to "The Final Day."   I sort of like it.  

The song I LOVE today is this one.   It's Jo Jo Circus singing a song on Californication.  

12. Read article about Turnbull and multiculturalism.  It's pretty much bullshit.   He says,  People denigrating Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whether they're denigrating Greeks or Italians or Chinese, take your pick, denigrating people, religion, denigrating people's culture, denigrating their race is not the Australian way.  Yeah.  Maybe in a parallel universe Australia.    


Australia, like America, has a history of racism and discrimination.   Some things have gotten better, but we still have a long way to go.  And I seriously doubt things will ever be perfect.  People will always find an excuse to look down on others. I say as long as people aren't killing each other, beating each other up....as long as there are laws against discrimination....and as long as people TRY to get along, we're doing all right.   


I love the TV show Modern Family.   It's about a very multicultural family.  But they're NOT prejudice free.  They struggle at times to be understanding and tolerant.   Jay,  the patriarch of the family is not 100% comfortable with the fact that he has a gay son; and he's not initially pleased to hear that his son and his partner have adopted a child from Asia.  He's also sometimes has negative feelings about his own wife's Latino heritage.  But despite the family's stereotypes and prejudices, they love each other.

For those of you who haven't seen the show, here's a classic scene that illustrates the mixture of love and prejudice.  Oh, and here's another great one.  

13. Read article about Christchurch, and wished for more survivors to be found.  I don't know.  I guess I feel like each rescue is the universe giving us the message, Sometimes things turn out okay.   It's like when you have a family member in surgery, and it's the type where you really don't know if you'll get good news at the end, or tragic news.   Then things turn out fine, and you feel a huge amount of hope and relief.

14. Thought about how my focus is a bit narrowed at time, and it's nice that I have friends who keep me up to date about stuff outside of Australia and America.  I do see the headlines, and I get a little bit of news from Stephen Colbert.  I often have a general idea of what's going on, but I don't usually know the major details.   

15. Listened to Little Red's Slow Motion.  

16. Saw an old photo of Walter Burley Griffin. He's the American who designed the city of Canberra.  I think he has a very minor resemblance to Billy Crystal. 

Lord Wiki says he designed a lot of buildings in Chicago.  He also was the architect for the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne.  Lord Wiki has a photo.  I don't think I'm a big fan of it.

17. Heard Birds of Tokyo sing Heard it Through the Grapevine.   It's a Triple J thing. I think they have a program where they have singers do covers of various songs.  I saw the Veronica's do one, and then there was some group who did a really cool version of "Dancing Queen". 

I like this version of "Heard it Through the Grapevine".

18. Listened to Dancing Queen on Triple J.    It looks like there's a show called Like a Version.  This could keep me busy for awhile. Lord Wiki has a list of songs that have been done on the show.    I bet there's some good stuff here.  Well, at least I've liked what I've heard before.  

19. Listened to John Butler Trio do Message in a Bottle, on Like a Version. I actually had the wrong song in mind. I was thinking of Time in a Bottle

20. Listened to Josh Pyke sing The House at Pooh Corner.    I LOVE that song.   His version is weird, but I like it.  The recording has a weird squeaky noise. I'm not sure what's up with that.

It's such a beautiful song.   I think my favorite bit is....

Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do,
got a honey jar stuck on his nose.
He came to me asking help and advice
and from here no one knows where he goes.


21. Loved The Zuton's version of Runaway.  Lord Wiki says these Zuton people are British, and not Australian.

22. Listened to Crowded House do Everybody's Talking.  AWESOME.  

22. Listened to Dappled Cities do More Than a Woman.  It's different, and very cool.  

23. Listened to Yves Klein Blue do Walk on the Wild Side.   I love that song, and their version is cute.

24. Listened to Darren Hanlon do Together in Electric Dreams.  I LOVE this song! I'm so excited that someone did a cover of it.    

25. Noticed that Lord Wiki doesn't mention The Veronica's. Maybe they did their cover on a different show.  I forgot the name of the song, but it's the one they played in the V TV trailers.  I actually have it on my iTunes, but hard to search for it since I don't remember the name.

Ah!   I know the lyrics.   I can search that way..... 

"Uprising" by Muse!   Got it.   And here's the Veronica's version. They did it for the BBC, not Triple J.  

26. Excited because The Book Thief was mentioned on Modern Family!!

27. Pretended I was Australian.  

28. Pretended I was an Australian Mouse.

29. Thought about being brave...or foolish.    Sometimes I'm not sure which is which.

30. Decided I will probably feel full of regret in the morning. But that's okay. I'll drown my shame away with chocolate chips.