Tag Archives: youtube

Music: Jack Parow – Ode to You (ft. Nonku) (2014) Music 21 FEB 2015

I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion before that Afrikaans zef rapper Jack Parow is a bit of a guilty indulgence for me. Seriously, earphones in, Jack Parow blasting, and me coding at the keyboard is a combination that is hard to beat! :)

south african afrikaans rapper jack parow sitting at the bar

For those of you not familiar with him, here is a quick write-up grabbed off electromode.co.za:

“Thirty three years ago, Zander Tyler was born in Parow, Cape Town. Today he is known as Jack Parow, original donker dodgy afrikaans rapper. Contrary to popular belief, his wild-fire success did not happen overnight. Jack started out rapping with crews from the Cape Flats and has been at it for thirteen years. It’s been almost six years since his breakthrough in 2009 and since Jack Parow has released his first self-titled full length album that struck gold within two weeks of its release and went platinum within a year; headlined at major festivals in South Africa; toured Europe and played before packed out shows there; and then followed it all up with another two seriously popular studio albums! His songs are hits on national radio stations and he has been on prime TV shows and on covers and centerfolds of publications in South Africa and in Europe.

Jack Parow’s self-titled debut album (2010) sold almost 45 000 units which made this sexy romantiese Afrikaans rapper a force to be reckoned with.”

Anyway, from his 2014 Nag Van Die Lang Pette album release, here is Jack Parow, featuring vocals from Nonku, with the brilliant “Ode To You”:

Related Link: http://www.electromode.co.za/artist_JackParow.html

Music: 3 Doors Down – Here Without You (2002) Music 15 FEB 2015

Back in 2000 a song was released that literally blew my mind and which I just couldn’t stop playing and rocking out to – Kryptonite. That was the first taste of the brilliant 3 Doors Down for me, and quite frankly, they’re still to let me down – 15 years on!

3 doors down band

Writing for Rdio.com, Stacia Proefrock has this great write up about the band:

“Hailing from the small town of Escatawpa, Mississippi, 3 Doors Down hit their peak in the early 2000s with a string of post-grunge singles, most notably Kryptonite, When I’m Gone, and the ballad Here Without You. “Kryptonite,” with its minor-key shuffle and references to Superman, was the catalyst for the band’s career, generating an unprecedented buzz at a local radio station – Biloxi’s WCPR – during the band’s independent days. Such support helped make 3 Doors Down a regional favorite, enabling them to draw relatively large crowds to their local live shows and, consequently, extending their popularity beyond the Deep South to internationally famous clubs like New York’s CBGB’s.

The founding members of 3 Doors Down – vocalist/drummer Brad Arnold, guitarist Matt Roberts, and bassist Todd Harrell – were raised in Escatawpa, a cozy town of 8,000 people. Although brought up in religious households, the musicians also felt the call of rock & roll at an early age, eventually forming a rock trio in 1994 to play a friend’s backyard party. As the years progressed, so did the band’s sound, and the group soon added guitarist Chris Henderson and retained a studio drummer so that Arnold could come forward and sing live. After touring the Gulf Coast’s venues, the band made its way to New York, where a showcase at CBGB’s brought 3 Doors Down to the attention of Republic Records. A subsidiary of Universal, Republic Records signed the musicians and issued their major-label debut, The Better Life, in early 2000.

The Better Life became one of the biggest-selling albums of 2000, going platinum four times during its first year of release and spawning several singles. The band furthered its success with 2002’s Away from the Sun, which debuted at number eight on the Billboard Top 200 and, like its predecessor, climbed to multi-platinum status. 3 Doors Down toured steadily throughout 2003 and 2004 in support of Away from the Sun, and issued the live EP Another 700 Miles in November 2003 as a holdover between studio efforts. The group returned with a heavier album, Seventeen Days, in early 2005. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went platinum in its first week of release. A self-titled album, which followed in May 2008, repeated its predecessor’s success when it too debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.

3 Doors Down toured throughout 2009, released a digital-only acoustic holiday album at the end of the year, and began to work on their next album in 2010. With Howard Benson serving as producer, the guys shuttled themselves between L.A. and Tokyo, recording the album in both cities and eventually emerging with 2011’s Time of My Life.”

And now for today’s song, taken off 2002’s Away From The Sun release, here is 3 Doors Down with one of their big heartfelt hits, Here Without You:

(Impossible not to feel something you heartless bastards!)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Doors_Down

Music: The Offspring – Cruising California [Bumpin’ In My Trunk] (2012) Music 08 FEB 2015

The energy, humour, and irreverence of The Offspring (from day one!) has always made me smile and be entertained with pretty much everything they’ve ever released, and today’s highlighted music video is certainly no different!

the offspring band

They been making music since 1989 and have been popular since 1994, meaning they’ve been in the game for a pretty long time. If however you are not so familiar with them, here’s a great bio courtesy of Stephen Thomas Erlewine, grabbed from rdio.com:

“The Offspring’s metal-inflected punk became a popular sensation in 1994, selling over four million albums on an independent record label. While the group’s credentials and approach follow the indie rock tradition of the ’80s, sonically the Offspring sound more like an edgy, hard-driving heavy metal band, with their precise, pulsing power chords and Dexter Holland’s flat vocals. Featuring Holland, guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman, bassist Greg Kriesel, and drummer Ron Welty, the Offspring released their self-titled debut album in 1989. Four years later, their second album, Ignition, became an underground hit, setting the stage for the across-the-board success of 1994’s Smash. The Nirvana sound-alike “Come Out and Play,” the first single from the album, became an MTV hit in the summer of 1994, which paved the way to radio success.

The Offspring were played on both alternative and album rock stations, confirming their broad-based appeal. “Self Esteem,” the second single, followed the same soft verse/loud chorus formula and stayed on the charts nearly twice as long as “Come Out and Play.” The group got offers from major labels, yet chose to stay with Epitaph. While they were able to play arenas in the U.S., their success didn’t translate in foreign countries. Nevertheless, the band’s popularity continued to grow in America, as “Gotta Get Away” became another radio/MTV hit in the beginning of 1995. The Offspring recorded a version of the Damned’s “Smash It Up” for the Batman Forever soundtrack in the summer of that year; it kept the group on the charts as the bandmembers worked on their third album.

Following a prolonged bidding war and much soul-searching, the Offspring decided to leave Epitaph Records in 1996 for Columbia Records. The move was particularly controversial within the punk community, and many artists on the Epitaph roster, including Pennywise and owner Brett Gurewitz, criticized the band. After much delay, the Offspring finally released their Columbia debut, Ixnay on the Hombre, in February of 1997. Expectations for the record were high and it did receive good reviews, but Ixnay on the Hombre failed to become a crossover hit on the level of Smash, and the group also lost a significant portion of its hardcore punk audience due to the album’s major-label status. Americana followed in 1998, scoring the hit “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).” In mid-2000, the Offspring made controversial headlines with their decision to offer Conspiracy of One free of charge via the Internet prior to the initial November release date. Sony Music did not adhere to such a move and threatened a lawsuit; therefore, the band nixed plans to release the album in such a manner. Individual singles, however, were made available on the band’s official website and other music-related sites such as MTV Online.

The Offspring returned in 2003 with Splinter. The album was released through Columbia, proving the band’s flouting of the record biz hadn’t soured the major labels. It also featured the single “Hit That,” which returned to the smarmy, pop-referential feel of “Pretty Fly.” The Offspring toured the world in support of Splinter, and in the process they hit nearly every continent at least once. They returned in June 2005 with a greatest-hits set; in addition to their major hits, it included the new track “Can’t Repeat.” In 2008, after several delays, the band returned with its first studio release in four-and-a-half years, releasing the highly anticipated Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. While touring for their latest effort, the Offspring set to work writing new material and recording when they could. After three years of work, their ninth album, Days Go By, arrived in the summer of 2012.”

Right, now that you’re up to speed, here’s the music in question. Taken off 2012’s Days Go By album, Cruising California (Bumpin’ in my trunk) is fun, catchy and just an absolute summer smile creator. Love it, absolutely love it! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Offspring

Music: Papa Roach – Where Did the Angels Go (2012) Music 07 FEB 2015

I have been a massive, massive fan of Papa Roach ever since I laid my grubby hands on their Infest album way back in 2000, their rock/rap approach appealing to the raucous music tendencies of my twenties.

Over time, as I’ve grown and matured, so have they and their musical style, and while I do sometimes yearn for the sound of their earlier material, as a hard rock band they remain one of the absolute best!

papa roach the band

Taken off rdio.com, Heather Phares writes up this pretty good biography for the band:

“Starting out as a punk- and rap-influenced band, the northern Californian group Papa Roach eventually grew into a straight-ahead hard rock ensemble with strong heavy metal leanings. Consisting of Coby Dick, Jerry Horton, Dave Buckner, and Tobin Esperance, Papa Roach formed in 1993 and began releasing EPs soon after, including 1994’s Potatoes for Christmas and 1995’s Caca Bonita. By 1996, the group had replaced original bassist Will James with Esperance and hired a new manager; the following year, Papa Roach released their first full-length album, Old Friends from Young Years, which became a surprise hit on local radio.

The band’s regional success led to more prominent gigs, including dates with Suicidal Tendencies, Sevendust, and Powerman 5000, and a deal with Dreamworks Records, which released Papa Roach’s second album, Infest, in early 2000. The album went triple platinum thanks to the success of “Last Resort“, an intensely popular single that helped make Papa Roach one of the most beloved hard rock acts of the new millennium. Two years later, frontman Coby Dick opted to go by his given name of Jacoby Shaddix, and a new album, lovehatetragedy, was released that June. Stylistically, the band had begun to grow beyond its rap-rock roots and the new tracks showcased a slightly more mature, melodic, and straightforward hard rock sound. That same summer, however, the band joined a number of rap acts — including Ludacris and Xzibit — on Eminem’s Anger Management Tour.

In 2004, Papa Roach released their fourth studio effort, Getting Away with Murder. Buoyed by the success of the single “Scars,” Getting Away with Murder sold well and eventually went platinum. Two years later, Papa Roach began work on their fourth studio album at the infamous and historical Paramour mansion in Hollywood, once the home of silent movie star Antonio Moreno. Released in fall 2006, The Paramour Sessions featured a heavy L.A. rock aesthetic and generated two Top 10 rock singles, although its sales stalled around 400,000 copies. Drummer Dave Buckner exited the lineup one year later; after filling the empty seat with Unwritten Law’s Tony Palermo, Papa Roach hit the road to support The Paramour Sessions with tour dates alongside Seether and Staind. They remained on the road after joining Mötley Crüe’s Crüe Fest in 2008, but the band also found time to return to the Paramour mansion, where they launched songwriting sessions for another album.

Released in early 2009, Metamorphosis found Papa Roach reprising their interpretation of metallic hard rock and reuniting with Infest producer Jay Baumgardner. Papa Roach parted ways with Interscope in 2010 and signed a deal with the independent Eleven Seven label. The career-spanning collection The Best of Papa Roach: To Be Loved also appeared in 2010. The band’s first album for Eleven Seven, Time for Annihilation, combined new cuts and live re-recordings of their hits and appeared in August of 2010. In 2012, Papa Roach delivered its seventh studio album, The Connection. Featuring production from Sixx: A.M. frontman James Michael, as well as Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, the album showcased a mix of the styles and sounds the band has touched on over the years from rap to more straight-ahead hard rock.”

Now that we are all familiar with Papa Roach, (who have since released a new album in 2015 entitled F.E.A.R.) let’s turn our attention to today’s track. Taken off 2012’s The Connection album, here’s Where Did the Angels Go, another near perfect rock track from one of the bands I’ve followed right from the get go!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Roach

Music: Seether – Words as Weapons (2014) Music 05 FEB 2015

I’ve been a big fan of Seether / Saron Gas right from the start, and by start I mean from the time when Barney Simon used to rave about these teenagers and their unbelievably good tracks on his late night rock show on 5FM (back in the good old days when I still enjoyed listening to 5!).

shaun morgan and the seether band

Anyway, before linking to the video that headlines today’s post, I best borrow Bradley Torreano and Andrew Leahey’s biography for the band, grabbed off the excellent rdio.com:

“Hailing from South Africa and comprising members Shaun Morgan (vocals, guitar), Dale Stewart (bass), and John Humphrey (drums), Seether embraces a brand of heavy metal mostly associated with the post-grunge era of alternative music, complete with crunchy distortion and brooding textures. The band emerged in 1999 as Saron Gas (a name taken from the back of a sound effects CD) and released their debut album, Fragile, the following year on Musketeer Records. In a country whose musical tastes center around pop and indigenous music, Fragile found impressive chart success. Across the Atlantic, the U.S.-based Wind Up Records caught wind of the band’s growing popularity and signed the South African bandmates, who changed their name to Seether in light of Saron Gas’ similarity to the lethal nerve agent sarin gas.

An EP release and a spot on the Ozzfest tour preceded the unveiling of Seether’s full-length debut in the summer of 2002. Issued that August, Disclaimer featured the modern rock single “Fine Again” and led to a year-long tour, during which singer Morgan’s relationship with Evanescence siren Amy Lee blossomed. But while the tour ensured increasing commercial status for Seether, it also delayed the band’s return to the studio. In March 2004, a few tracks appeared on the Punisher soundtrack, including a duet version of Disclaimer’s “Broken” featuring vocal contributions from Lee.

Disclaimer II appeared that June, pairing a handful of new tracks with remixed or re-recorded versions of the previous album’s tracks. Seether viewed the album as an opportunity to re-evaluate their debut’s release (whose mix was, according to the band, subpar) and gave listeners new content as a holdover until the band’s proper follow-up. The promised sophomore effort, Karma and Effect, was released in May 2005 and entered the Top Ten, while the acoustic CD/DVD package One Cold Night appeared in 2006.

Following Morgan’s breakup with Amy Lee and a successful stint in rehab, Seether returned in 2007 with Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, introducing the album with the snide and catchy single “Fake It.” In 2009 the band took a break from touring to head into the studio with producer Brendan O’Brien to work on their fifth album. They went back out on the road for another year before eventually releasing Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray in 2011. Isolate and Medicate, the band’s sixth studio long-player, followed in 2014.”

Right, with that out of the way, it’s off to the video in question: taken off their new 2014 album, Isolate and Medicate, Words as Weapons is a particularly enjoyable song with, as always, fantastically strong lyrics and a great riff. 

Shaun Morgan and his buddies seem to almost never do wrong when it comes to making music – meaning thus that this track is well worth the listen! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seether

Tax Time Already? My Life 18 JUL 2013

sars efiling taxWow, can’t believe that the tax season has rolled our way already. To be fair though, I did leave last year’s tax return pretty late, so it does kind of make sense that it feels like so little time has passed since the last one!

Anyway, this time I was determined not to procrastinate, and seeing as I now have a nice system of bagging and tagging all medical expenses as they occur throughout the year, I sat down on Saturday evening with my folder of slips, tallied up my expenses (which were quite a bit mind you), and logged on to SARS’ awesome e-filing website (thank you LastPass for remembering all of my username/password combinations!).

Seeing as I have a pretty simple tax return to do (single income, no investments, out of pocket medical expenses), filling in the pre-populated form didn’t take more than a handful of minutes, and in what was a probably just short of an hour of my time, I was done and dusted filing my tax return for the 2012-2013 season.

And as expected, with their super efficient turn around on us smaller fish in the pond, three or four days later I got the SMS telling me that a neat little sum of just over R7,000 had been dropped back into my bank account! (And just in time mind you – I have pregnancy scans coming up on the horizon!)

Again, kudos to SARS and their fantastic e-filing platform. Efficient and so much less hassle than those old paper forms we used to have to manually fill in, duplicates at the ready for each mistake we were bound to make! :)

(And just a reminder if like me you can never remember: a negative amount on SARS’ tax return calculation means they owe you money. A positive amount means you better get ready to dispute!)

Related Link: http://www.sarsefiling.co.za/

Jessica surprises us with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! Jessica 22 JUN 2013

twinkle twinkle little starThe other night we were fooling around like we always do before bed time, when all of a sudden little Jessica caught us completely by surprise, breaking out into a perfect rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, after I had jokingly asked her to sing it in order to get some yoghurt from me!

Flabbergasted, I quickly ran to grab the camera to try and get a recording of this, and the end result is what I have posted up here today for you to share in. Not quite as perfect as the first time around when she sang it to Chantelle and myself unfortunately, but more than cute and enjoyable enough! :)

Still, I guess I should have expected nothing less from my little girl who magically perfectly potty trained herself months ago already!

This Long Weekend My Life 15 JUN 2013

Thanks to the cold and wet weather last weekend, we didn’t get up to anything really worth reporting back about, and with Chantelle a bit busy on the Saturday, Jessica and I did the best to entertain ourselves by playing some Just Cause 2, stacking countless tuna tins, and sneaking out for rides on the push bike whenever a little break in the clouds would allow for it.

2013-06-08 13.49.30

Sunday on the other hand was a different story, with pretty much all the cloud cover gone, leaving behind a beautiful winter’s day which we made full use of by first doing a spot of shopping, and then following it up with a Sunday afternoon drive through to Grabouw, where we stopped off for a light lunch at the Red Tractor Cafe (part of the popular Peregrine Farm Stall), followed by a bit of a play session on their fun wooden play park.

2013-06-09 13.44.22

And as the attached video evidence goes on to show, this seems to really have knackered poor little Jessica, who ended up in bed long before her usual bed time!

This long weekend however is going to be a whole lot more awesome. Chantelle has organised a weekend away for the three of us, booking us in at the remote Rico Suter Country House which sits on the Rico Suter wine farm at the foot of the Waaihoek mountain range, somewhere between Worcester and Ceres. We leave today and come back on Monday afternoon and hopefully with our thumbs held tight, the weather will play along and treat us well! (And if not, well then there is little better than a roaring fireplace in a little farmhouse anyway!)

2013-06-08 11.48.15

Can’t wait! :)

Music: Glaskas – Meneer (2008) Music 23 MAY 2013

glaskas afrikaans south african rock bandOne thing I enjoy after having made Alternative FM (AFM) 91.3 FM my de facto music station is that I get exposed to a lot of great South African music.

Case in point. Glaskas.

“Glaskas needs no introduction to the South African music scene. Since their emergence in the world of rock as winner of JIP’s Rockspaaider in the Eastern Cape in 2004, they have gained vast recognition as a name on the tips of the tongues of music insiders and the public alike. With four full-length albums to their name, Glaskas have already established themselves as one of the leading Afrikaans bands in the country. Glaskas band members are Deon Meiring (lead Vocals and Guitar), Lolke-Louis Claassen (backup Vocals and Drums) and Francois Kleynhans (backup Vocals and Bass).

In 2006, Glaskas released their debut album entitled Revolusie, Romantiek, Ruk en Rol. In 2008, they released their second album Engele Wat Skree, which was followed by their 2010 release, entitled Aan Die Ontmaskerde Heldin. Last year, the band released their much anticipated fourth album and latest album Verganklik en Afhanklik.

With the release of four albums, Glaskas have enjoyed the following accolades: nominations for a SAMA for Best Afrikaans Rock Album; VONK Music Award for Best Music Video, Best Rock Album, Album of the Year and Best Group; and most recently their 2013 Ghoema nomination for Best Rock Album. Their songs have been included on the soundtracks for the South African films Bakgat, Bakgat 2 and Superhelde.”

Anyway, Meneer was the first single off their second album “Engele wat Skree”, released in 2008, and for some or other reason this song really connects with me at the moment, so it makes sense to feature this awesome song on the blog then.

If you haven’t heard it before, enjoy!

Oh, and while Googling for some info on them, I even managed to grab the lyrics for this track:

Kan jy nie sien
dat ons wêreld heeltemal stukkend is nie?
My vriend, kom wys my bevryding asseblief
Ek is oorlaai met bekommernis
en eensame onsekerheid
Gun my 'n kans om vir regverdigheid te pleit

Moet my asseblief nie in hulle boksie plaas nie
ek is anders, ek glo – ek glo in 'n hoopvolle generasie

Meneer kom cure hierdie land, asseblief
Want ons strate en oë en harte is hopeloos verlate

Jy sal nie sien
as jy aanhou kyk deur die verlede se stukkende oë nie
Meneer kom cure my seer, asseblief
Jy sal nie sien as jy nie om jou begin kyk nie
Meneer, sê my ek is meer as net naïef

Moet my asseblief nie in hulle boksie plaas nie
ek is anders, ek glo – ek glo in 'n hoopvolle generasie

Meneer kom cure hierdie land, asseblief
Asseblief

And just for good measure, here is Glaskas performing this awesome song in front of a live studio audience (as opposed to a dead studio audience of course).

Related Link: http://www.stfrancisvillagenews.com/blog/2013/05/glaskas-at-potters-place/

Jessica builds a wooden Farm Picture Puzzle Jessica 06 MAY 2013

farm wooden picture puzzleAs you can see from this quick short video shot during the week, our little Jessica is becoming quite the smartypants when it comes to her wooden puzzles. This particular one is the farm, her favourite, but she’s pretty good when it comes to the numbers one as well.

Oh, and she decided to surprise us this weekend by wanting to learn more about tumbling – though she still needs a bit of a helping hand with this one it would seem! :)

Oh, and I don’t think I’ve yet mentioned the fact that she pretty much completely potty trained herself overnight, much to the amazement – and relief – of Mommy and Daddy!

Jessica the Bull (Cart Racer) Jessica 23 APR 2013

Jessica is rather fond of the wooden push cart which we somehow STILL haven’t returned to the physio, and something that she has learned somewhere along the line, much to the detriment of our toes and ankles, is that it is really, REALLY fun to chase people down with it!

Still, how can you chastise such a cute little slobber monster? ;)

jessica lotter holding maya the bee

Jessica and her WallTrax Toy Jessica 21 APR 2013

We came upon and bought this pretty cool toy from a stall at the Blaauwberg Market in January, after it managed to successfully hold Jessica’s attention and entertain her for more than five continuous minutes! WallTrax as it is known is simply a set of flexible, colourful ‘gutters’, which can be pasted with prestick on a wall or any vertical surface really, thereby creating a track – complete with drops and loops if you want – perfect for the glow in the dark marbles that they provide to run through!

Needless to say, much time is also spent hunting down the stray marbles when Jess gets throwing them in a little wrong! :)

Jessica and her Walltrax Toy

Jessica playing with Bubbles Outside Jessica 20 APR 2013

Back in January when it was still nice and sunny outside after I got home back from work, then there was little better than heading straight outside again, massive bubble maker in hand and an excited Jessica right behind!

(Needless to say, she was rather disappointed when we later dropped this on the tiles in the lounge and it broke.)

jessica playing with bubbles outside

Jessica playing Parrot with Words Jessica 19 APR 2013

I enjoy getting Jessica to practice making different sounds with her mouth, and a game we particularly like to play is parrot, where basically I run down a list of random words and she tries to copy them.

You really should hear her try to say “Orangutan”! ;)

But not this time. So instead, here is Jess and I sharing a cupcake.

craig lotter and jessica lotter eating cupcake

Jessica hides Woofie at Jacobsbaai Jessica 17 APR 2013

Not only does Jessica currently enjoy playing hide and go seek with us, she also loves hiding her toys – and heaven forbid any adults in the vicinity choose not to play with! :D



This was taken around the breakfast table on our recent(-ish) weekend getaway to Jacobsbaai.

DSC05932