Tanah Lot Temple (Bali)

Another temple in Bali and a very famous one at that… This temple is in a beautiful scenic location right on the sea (and that’s why it’s famous). That’s also what makes it a tourist trap. This place and Kuta (where the bomb went off…) were the two only places I saw in Bali where one is confronted with mass tourism. Which for me makes both spots places to avoid. To come back to Tanah Lot, once one forgets about the hordes of tourists, one comes away with two distinct impressions : the location is really stunning but the temple is disappointing. There really is not much to see from an architectural point of view and one is not really moved by any palpable sense of spirituality. It’s just another place to take pretty pictures…


Long Live Metallica !

Somewhere in the introduction to this blog, I mention that I’m a Metallica fan. Let me just clarify : I’m a dyed-in-the-wool hardcore Metallica fan and have been so since 1989 when I first heard their music. I’ve seen them live 5 times over that period of time (every time they come to Belgium or France). I own all of the CDs, some t-shirts, books, a cap, all of the videos of shows, documentaries, sheet music, I play guitar and bass and mostly play Metallica, you get the picture… 😉

Metallica had one disappointing moment for me and that was when they set themselves up as spokespeople for the music industry in the Napster case. It really did dent their image somewhat. However, the Napster story results weren’t entirely fair to Metallica because they’ve always actually been early adopters of technology and this every time it brought some kind of added value to their fan base. They did the first Quicktime broadcast of a live show. They were one of the first to use the multi-angle possibilities of DVD on a live show DVD (Cunning Stunts). It’s fair to say that Metallica has always tried, in many different ways, to give their utmost to their fans (which explains partly why they have so many loyal ones). They have done so again, this time using the web in a couple of interesting ways :

First, for each person buying their latest CD, St. Anger, they include a key that gives access to the Metallicavaultwhere one can download ten complete live shows (for free) spanning the past 20 years (including one very early one : 1983 ! )

Second, and a feature I really like, there is LiveMetallica.com . On this website, you can purchase complete recordings in MP3 or FLAC of any concert of the current tour (and that’s one hell of a lot of shows). You even get custom CD jackets, tray inserts and cd stickers to print for when you burn the CDs. The price is fair : 9.95 USD for a two CD show in MP3 (12.95 in FLAC). The sound quality is excellent and for an ultimate live act like Metallica, there is simply no better way to listen to their music. I just downloaded a show they did on the fourth of July in Rekjavik and it really kicks ass !!!


Thirdly, there is the Metallica on Tour site. This is where you find a tour diary, backstage info, setlists and of course information for all of the upcoming tour dates. Very well done and they have a cool newsletter.

Last but not least, there is the portal site Metallica.com . This site gives access to all of the above but adds more news and some goodies (screensavers etc..) plus giving all of the usual info expected on a band site.

Lots of stuff to keep even the most demanding Metallica fan more than satisfied 😉


Anne Clark : Forgotten Gem on iTunes Music Store

ACwpremix.jpgOne of the real pleasures of the iTunes Music Store is the multiple browsing possibilities and the chance of turning up something unexpected and fun… This evening while searching for something else, I stumbled across Anne Clark and promptly purchased the seminal electronic classic song Our Darkness (everyone should own this) and two excellent remixes of the same plus a bunch of other songs from her discography. Anne Clark is one of the pioneers of electronic music and she has had a huge influence on many musicians. I found that her songs have generally aged quite well. The originals have a very special ambiance but the remixes on the 1997 release Word Processing – The Remixes add a lot of muscle to the sound. Both are worth having ! Right now as I’m writing these lines, Anne Clark is blowing my mind ;-))

Ku De Ta : Feeling Privileged…

If you’re a fashionista, a cosmocrat, a hipster, the place to be and be seen in Bali, is, without discussion, the Ku De Ta. Situated next to the Oberoi Hotel on Seminyak beach, the Ku De Ta is a bar/terrace/restaurant/party venue for the beautiful people. Superb decor, incredible view of the sunsets (sunset is the time to be there), expensive drinks and lounge music (with live DJ’s), the Ku De Ta submits to all the requisite clichés but does so with panache. It is of course on of those places where style beats substance but you cannot fail to get caught up in the ambience. One ends up feeling very fortunate just being there ( I actually heard this comment from several people and in several different languages 😉 ). I’ll admit it as well : I felt being there was a real privilege. An absolute must-see if you go to Bali !!!