May 31stWell it's almost June so the Crowdies 'Intriguer' is almost in the hands of the public . The press and promotion growing, very close to locking in a satellite link with 'Hey Hey It's Saturday" on Australian TV. I've never been a big fan of that show but it gets to the suburban viewers and that relates in album sales I guess. With the band not touring here till later this year they need such exposure. The Australian market can be a tough one but I know Neil and gang are focusing on press so it will help. The Crowdies fan base truly amazing, really the supporters word of mouth and passion could make the difference. I know NSW will have the highest sales this time around , well for the first few weeks, I just hope it balances out... and we get a good national figure. Of course I'll be away when that first weeks ARIA chart comes in. That will be strange, I hope there is some tribal Internet place for me to check out our chart!!!
June 1stI locate some Bushmans Plus cream, it has the 80% DEET so great to prevent those nasty malaria mozzies.... and other carriers. The cream is so much better then the spray so I email everyone to grab a tube of that. Depending on the weather, it is just after wet season it could be mosquitoes everywhere....and they LOVE to snack on Mark and Trudi. Our two friends drop in who are looking after Ailsa Craig, it's great as it means someone is here 24 hours a day. The security system and cameras are so complicated, but after a few ear piercing errors we all get it right. We laugh at the night vision cameras, they work so well very spooky though. Feels good knowing the place is so safe.
I email my contact at Concord in the USA and we get a few of the 'Saturday Sun' promo singles sent to us- nice collectors items and perfect for a contest. So good to actually have a cd instead of download (boring)... plus it has the band photo on the back, and Neil without the moustache! I'm sure these will go to good homes when the winners are announced.
June 2ndI can't believe the USA deficit is now at $13 TRILLION , that is insane so much money. It's an increase of $1.6 TRILLION, 90% of annual GDC. I just don't see how America can clear such an amount it just keeps growing an an alarming rate. It makes you wonder who actually 'owns' America, it's not Americans. I accidentally clicked onto the U.S. National Debt Clock (yieks) http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ I still Obama's health care plan should be TOTALLY supported...some say with such debt it shouldn't.
I contact our lovely printer people, they are so good to us makes it an easy chore to get things like the newsletters done, wonderfully professional. I'm not sure if everyone is looked after so well but it's good to see a company that has it's act together.
June 3rdI grab some really good massage oil to help a friend out who has back and neck problems. I'm being gentle don't want to irritate it. Smells great too and not too slimy. Nice to have quality oil that doesn't make it feel like a giraffes tongue is licking your shoulders.
I decide to buy the Rocky Horror Show DVD (again) because it has 'Shock Treatment' with it as a bonus. It's been years since we've seen 'Shock Treatment" ...Richard O'Briens 'other' movie with a chunk of the Rocky cast. 'Little Black Dress' was always the stand out song from that. It's ok not brilliant but worth getting for $12.00. It's certainly no Rocky.
Mark has his new Pioneer Blu Ray player, we've given Panasonic Blu Ray players the flick after the problem with their lasers and some machines refusing to read discs after 18 months. Goodbye Panasonic hello Pioneer.
I buy a baby card for Fran and Pete, we think it's great that they have a baby boy..Nikolas... another May baby, I think all the May people should just have one big birthday!!!!
June 4thIt's kind of funny as it gets closer to Intriguer release I keep getting more and more emails from people we 'haven't heard of' in ages, or people wanting to sell us stuff or do interviews or hang out with the band, I know that's normal but because it's years between albums I always forget that it happens. You know your PR is reaching out when you go into a newsagency and the lady behind the counter tells me how many days before it's released! Our stock has been sent from Sydney but it usually takes 5 working days, so slow, I would love it now so i can starts ending it out asap.
Rosemaree is a goddess , she's going to pick us up at the airport when we return, so nice when a familiar face is waiting on the other side of that barrier when you go through the exit doors. Banshee will be happy to see us, she knows something is up, acting even weirder then usual.
I see this picture of that creepy Tony Abbott politician in the paper today and he has his mouth wide open showing his pirana like teeth in some horse like smile. What a dickhead please God can this moron NEVER be PM. He's such a liar. It's wonderful to see the Greens surge again in the polls. Abbott will never be PM!
Our hot water basically dies, well the main one. Thankfully Ailsa Craig has a back up and it runs the hot water for the en suite in the office and the shower.... so still we return we'll suffer it. I know they cant fix/swap it in time so office showers for us. It's weird as the one in the office complex resembles some bathroom in a hotel.....maybe it's preparing us for Kenya? It looks like one of those weird bathrooms from up market jack off porn movies!!!! Yieks did I really write that.
June 5thTrudi arrives at 11.00 and brings some cakes for tea. Grabs her passport and we chat, have a few laughs. The heating is on so the house is all snug, it's cold outside and the rain is about to start. A few hours later it is bucketing down, really really raining. Tania and Warwick are coming up tonight to say goodbye- which I thought was nice so I thought I'd cook as a surprise. I like it when people make an effort-they will always be rewarded. I work on some indian recipe's, but run out of vegetables for the Vegie Korma so decide to bite the bullet and do a half/half dinner. Half I will cook, half my indian friend at his shop will...which one will taste better?
I drive to Olinda to the shop and I'm early so chat to a couple who are celebrating their 34th anniversary. We joke that gay couples get a reward of an extra 10 years because it's a harder relationship. My friend at Indian By Nature walks out with the food and I am about to pay. I slide the good old gold Amex in the machine and all the power goes off. Everywhere....all the shops, the pub. the street lights..... I joke 'I didn't do it" ripping my card out of the machine in the hope the power would resume. It does 5 minutes later, but only on one side of the road. I grab my food and exit and avoid falling branches, a small storm has set in and buckets of rain. Kalorama is black no lights. I get home and Mark has lit all the emergency lighting , our house looks like some giant pixie palace with candles everywhere, some in hanging coloured glass containers, some in bright candles and others more subtle. magical. I light the fire to warm the place up as no power for central heating. The gas is ok so i continue cooking.
Mark hears the car arrive so I head down with the massive torch so they don't break their necks on our steps......easy to do!!! Warwick comments that he loves it this way so peaceful no white noise. It does add a calm. I nearly burn my Tandoori chicken, 5 more seconds I think. I was going to make Mango Lassi but the blender wont work and I couldn't be bothered doing it all by hand.... so we dig in. I like that they can't work out what is my cooking and what the restaurant cooked.
Afterwards Tania scores a back and shoulder massage from the Gryphon. My bedroom doubles as a massage area when the mood takes me-boy she sure has some knots!!!! My Egyptian lava lamp is working- a gift from Robyn and Trudi.....and I have Velvet Underground playing, mostly demos. Mark and Warwick are playing pool- we hear a lot of laughter, it's good.
Afterwards the fire is really roaring, a few drinks and what have you- and it ends up being a nice night. Bec calls and we have a chat, in between 'my turn' at losing pool. The power is back on again so I can light outside for them to leave safely.
June 6thMark has found a place in Sydney that actually has a few of the 65 inch Panasonic tvs. Chat to the owner , really nice bloke called Craig- and they have ran out but he will make it his mission to find us one. His wife loves the Enz so I'm sure there will be marital pressure. Compared to that other horrid company these guys are excellent. Their website is located at : http://www.streamaster.com.au/ It's great to deal with someone that calls back and is onto it.
I spend the afternoon getting bits and pieces ready for the mail out, it's huge , insane the office looks like Australia Posts sorting building! Mark has back pain from not having a break (bad boy).... the things we do eh!
June 7thI mail off the funky baby booties to Fran and Pete, I know we will only be going past their place at 2.00 in the morning so not a good idea to drop in and go 'surprise'!!! Still new parents they are probably awake!
I see good old 'Recurring Dream' is back on the Aussie charts with a bullet, #72 in the top 200, week 166 on chart..... so over 3 years on the charts... what a freak of an album. Intriguer and all the promotion around it will probably keep ticking over units of the Best Of.... so it may well hang around for it's 200th week.
Excited as Pete from Dog Trumpet sends us the marvelous "River Of Flowers' cd which is just out on Half A Cow records. Such a fine album.... love how "Mr Alcohol and Mrs Marijuana" is the first song. Trust me on this, take a chance and buy this album:
http://www.halfacow.com.au/shopping.php?page=shopping 11 excellent songs, Dog Trumpet are brilliant. We are all going to see them on July 1st at The East Brunswick Club (280 Lygon St. East Brunswick) at 8pm...so just after we return from Africa. If you live in Melbourne come on down and see these Ex Mental As Anything guys in the wonderful Dog Trumpet.
June 8thCrowdies play the Hammersmith Apollo tonight, always a fun venue...and the english punters will be all vibey for this one. I'm just stoked that they played 'Moonage Daydream' the Bowie tune during the encore.
Dr Chiro for the final acupuncture before we fly out... airline seats even in business are never good for your spine so this will help I'm certain.
I call travellex and have them hold some US dollars for us, so funny that in places like Kenya, they usually prefer US bucks or Euro's instead of Kenya shillings.
We end up buying our Crowdies 'Intriguer' stock from a store in Sydney, means pretty much paying full price but it will help with the chart- and at least we know they all go to a good home. between the cd mailers, dvdrs and extra new postal charges I'm starting to think it might of actually cost us- nothing major- I'm happy if we break even on such things as it really does help the band. At least we get them a few days before release so I'll be able to start mailing them out- so time consuming but we'll do it. I wonder how many other bands have people doing such things, I've often wondered?
June 9thThe 2 song crossover on 'Hey Hey Its Saturday' is on tonight.... so some extra promotion for the album. Hey Hey I can do without but it's exposure and with an Aussie tour still away off it all helps. We are in Kenya in 1 week, how fast has that arrived. So much to do still. We are working very late hours at the office. Tonight we actually worked through the whole of last night - insane. It started getting cold at 5.00 in the morning even with the heating on it was about 2 degrees outside. Brrrr. Brass Monkeys.
No wonder it was cold it started snowing around the 1000 metre mark, so the Alps are nice and white and you can feel it in the air. Mark looks tired , we have both worked too hard this week. The best is yet to come, Intriguer cds arrive tomorrow.
June 10thWe always hear the courier guy before he arrives it's 7.00 in the morning and he has his music SO LOUD, it's good as I can stumble out of bed and pretend I've been awake for hours, actually we have, a 3.00 in the morning work session so I cant stop yawning. 400 copies of Intriguer are carried to the office. I have a shower and start the boxing, address check, customs form etc ... tedious but the fans will be happy , depending on aussie post they could get it a few days early or even a few weeks. I hate that Teddy Bear staring at me, no wonder someone slashed it on the cover art. I don't hate the cover as much as I did, with it's vicious undertones it feels better. So our whole day is Newsletters and Intriguer cds. I avoid the computer as I know I have several press related emails, and even the phones we turn the machines on.
June 11thSpeak to the TV guy and he has the 65 inch tv stored away, yey. The last of its kind till panasonic get in their new model which isn't as good. It can get delivered when we return from Africa, which is great news. It's Marks present really , but hey I'm not complaining. I know several friends have shown interest in the 50 inch tv and they'll never get a bargain price like this anywhere. Till we have the new one in our sweaty hot hand we wont sell our old one.
Mark ordered in The White Stripes ' Under Great White Northern Lights' Blu Ray. What a brilliant 'on tour' documentary - filmed on their Canada tour. It was reported as being the best 'on tour' doco since the Stones Gimmeee Shelter. The critics are right, I wish Crowded House would do something like this- all bands should be made to sit down and watch this..... instead of the usual predictable 'tour' dvd..... this White Stripes Tour expose' is fucking brilliant. It finishes with Jack White performing 'son house's' (no relation to crowded) song 'Death Letter' on a beat up piano..... what an incredible song. I found this lovely 1967 footage of Son House performing 'Death Letter' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jN5vqEyV7g and of course the Stripes live version : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fM2qhG8mA4
I love both versions!
June 12thThomas the chicken boy is going to look after the girls god bless him. He has a big chicken cage at his place so they will be safe from Mr Fox. I take some time off to go and turn all the soil in the vegetable patch and drop in all the 'other' chicken 'stuff' oh well between the straw and the chicken poo it's great for the earth.... means more brilliant vegetables. Thankfully it was easy and fast too do and not too gross.
The fog came all the way up to the house this morning, it left a slight water mark on the walls, just moisture .... yep winter is well and truly here.
Fran and Pete send us snaps of Nikolas with his funky elfin booties on-excellent. Well his feet will be warm.
Call in and see the neighbours today. I ask the kids what presents they want from Africa. I spot them typing "Good African Present"s via google- made me laugh.
'Alice in Wonderland' arrives on Blu Ray- its ok nice and trippy...love the cheshire cat! Looks way too much like Banshee.
Drive to Eastlands and drop a dvdr in for Wendy at JB, they were just opening the boxes of their Crowdies stock so I buy a few.
June 13thDrive to the bakery- I grab White Stripes 'Icky Thump' cd off the shelf... giving it another chance and it's pretty cool....I never liked it that much when it was released-weird eh?
I'm having lunch and pop my first malaria tablet, so for me that's always a sign that we are leaving very soon. How many of these damn pills have I taken over the years- I've never gotten malaria..yet. I call Mum and Sis, must be weird for Mum knowing her 2 kids are off on yet another adventure. I'm sure she will worry. Mothers do don't they? I'm just wondering how soccer insane Africa will be?
So I guess that's it for us, next diary will be on Kenya and hopefully we won't be some tasty Australian morsel for a lion! Just a reminder emails etc wont get a reply till the last day of June. People can still use our paypal etc but you wont hear back from us till late June.
P.S.-Remember CROWDED HOUSE'S NEW ALBUM 'INTRIGUER' OUT NOW.