January 15th, 2011

Dan Hill has posted an epic tale of life in Brisbane as the floodwater started to rise:

We spot a large advert for chocolate milk adorning a building. "Dive into chocolately fun" it says. It seems newly relevant as we see the river, looking exactly like a vast, smooth soup of milk chocolate. The Brisbane River is famously brown at the best of times, being an extremely silty bit of river, but is now browner than ever.

The landscape round here is distinctly suburban. Not quite the manicured suburban of rich Los Angeles suburbs, or even 'Erinsborough', but the slightly more raggedy Australian version, with cars parked on lawns, rampant foliage growing in and around the low, angled roofs, set against straggly gum trees and paperbarks, a most unruly genus. But it's distinctly suburban nonetheless, which adds to the surreal aspect of views like Witton Road, where that chocolately fun engulfs a training shoe, some wheelie bins, and a box of breakfast cereal, and most of the street.

The most striking observation, for me, came as he recounted a trip to stock up on sandbags:

We've run out of sandbags [...] so we have to drive out to Kedron to pick up as many as we can load in the boot of the car. Plotting routes in and around the city is relatively complex, as you're listening for road closures on the radio, looking for the blue wriggle of creeks and rivers on the map, and trying to remember the topography of the city, all those swoops of valleys.

When was the last time you had to stop and think about whether your route took you uphill or downhill as you drove around a city?

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Refuelling David Byrne

August 12th, 2009

David Byrne's latest post, describing the logistics of touring by bus, ended with an surprising (to me) detail:

Our US busses ran on biodiesel. Not sure if the European ones did. That meant we'd book refueling appointments based on estimated fuel consumption. Local fuel tankers would meet us at pre-arranged places and times, as most gas stations don't stock the stuff… yet.

I've heard of air forces having plan long-range missions around the availability of in-flight refuelling; it never occurred to me that eco-conscious musicians might have to do the same.1

  1. OK, so it's not quite the same thing. As far as I can gather, David Byrne and his band didn't end up refuelling their tour bus whilst travelling along the motorway.

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