Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oz History

I admit that my perspective on what people should know is a bit skewed given my love of general knowledge, but I assume there is some stuff that everyone knnows. Apparently, no. I just asked about 6 or 8 PhD students when was Australia discovered by James Cook. No one knew. Somebody said 1788 (that's the First Fleet).

Everyone else said 1760s to 1770s. The answer is 1770. I'm curious. Do I know this because I like history or is it my QLD education? Or do we know it because of the Town 1770?

Also, a couple people didn't know the first Prime Minister. Good luck on the new citizenship test.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Internet Music Rant

I recently argued - perhaps somewhat drunkenly - with a mate over a song. I said that Janis Joplin had sung a version of "Son of a Preacher Man". Turned out I was wrong, although I had had the song (from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack) labelled as that on my computer for the last five years. Why can't people label songs correctly? Is it that hard? Just because a song may "sound" like another artist, doesn't mean it's by that bloody artist!

For instance, "Cats in the Cradle" was originally sung by Harry Chapin and NOT Cat Stevens while the cover was done by the one hit wonder Ugly Kid Joe and NOT Axl Rose and the gang. Similar artists seem to be interchangeable. Tom Waits and Nick Cave? There's no difference there, according to the internet.

And heaven forbid when a band member starts their own solo career, while still performing songs from their previous bands. Contrary to popular belief, songs by the two bands Cream and Derek and the Dominos cannot be simply labelled as Eric Clapton songs (and vice versa for that matter).

This is obviously a point of consternation for me. Then again, perhaps this is the internet gods hinting to me to buy my music.