30 December 2010

Nice knowing you, 2010

"Coming in a mess; going out in style" - D'you know what I mean? - Oasis

That line can pretty much sum up what 2010 was like for me. The start of the year signified the end of a fairly long creative break for 12th Avenue, which was much to our relief, as we were all dying to get on stage again. We spent the first month of the year auditioning bassists and after Brian joined, we hit the ground running. Although we didn't play quite as many shows this year as we have in the past; the quality of, and response to, the shows has been phenomenal. Judging by what our new management has done this year, I think next year is going to rock big time!

We released our first free digital single, "Hearts on Fire", earlier this year, which received some really good reviews and caused us to have to upgrade our website to handle more traffic. If you don't have the single yet, it's still free and available for download here.

Around the time that we recorded the song, SA had football fever with the FIFA World Cup being hosted on South African soil for the first time. I took the opportunity to watch one of the first round games at Cape Town Stadium and it was awesome. The band also had the privilege of performing at the various Fan Fests around the Western Cape, which were all amazing shows. The band also toured Gauteng and Namibia this year, which were both epic tours. It's just a pity that we weren't able to do the East Coast this year, but we promise to head out there next year again.

Even though another year is ending, there are a lot of new beginnings going on. Our bassist, Brian, welcomed his son into the world on 23 December 2010 and we're all really happy for him and his wife. We've decided on the songs for our new album and are starting recording in January. We're really happy with what we've written. For a sneak peak at some of our pre-production material, check out the video in my blog entitled "Tis the Season...". I'm also super excited for the new year, as we have a lot of cool ideas regarding our shows and new places to tour to. I really can't wait!

So here's to a new year, filled with possibilities and hopefully filled with as many good times as this one was.

See you in 2011! Don't forget to shut the door on your way out... :)

23 December 2010

I want an X-Box

I wasn't originally going to post another blog entry before Christmas, but I decided that I don't really do this as often as I should, so here it goes...

Remember when you were a kid and you'd write these long lists of things that you'd like for Christmas? The thing at the top of my list was always drums and when I finally got drums at age 11 (as a Christmas present), the list would normally consist of drum-related items like cymbals, hardware, skins and sticks. Occasionally I'd have things in there like a new skateboard and of course video games. 

This brings me to my wish list for this year. I know it's not going to happen, but we're all allowed to dream. So, instead of boring you with my usual list of drums and drum-related equipment, yachts, private jets, and a troupe of dancing jelly beans, I'll just give you my number one for this year:

X-Box 360 with Kinect and all Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Band Hero equipment, and extra controllers (why does it only come with one?)

Gimme, gimme, gimme!!!

I tried out Kinect the other day and decided that nothing else compares to it. X-Box is already awesome on its own, but I think they've really stepped it up now. Must...have...now!! Of course I'd still want to play regular games too, because it's just that cool, and we can't rule out all the X-Box instruments, especially the drums. Gotta have the drums!

Oh, and in case you were thinking "What an idiot, he didn't ask for games!", I'd like plenty of games with it please, especially the Lego games. I played Lego Harry Potter the other day and it's probably the most awesomely fun game I've played in a long time. 

"It's Levi-oh-sa, not Levioh-saaah!"

Speaking of Harry Potter, Mark, my brother/singer/guitarist, said that he wants to try to make Butterbeer sometime after having it during his trip to America. I think I need to nag him about that one...

Alright, I'll update this again after Christmas. Hope this year's a good one for everyone. Merry Christmas!!!

20 December 2010

Tis the Season...

My Google countdown timer shows that, at the moment, it's just more than 4 1/2 days until Christmas, which is my favourite time of year. It's hot and sunny (although really windy in Cape Town), and unless you have air-conditioning, you generally feel kind of sticky, but it's okay, because everyone else feels the same. You eat and drink too much, but that's pretty normal for me, and your skin feels tingly all the time because you're A) sweating, B) sunburnt, or C) both A and B.

Apart from the all-round awesomeness of Summer, Christmas time is just really fun. You meet up with people who you never see on any of the other 364 days of the year. Family members that you usually can't tolerate are nicer because they buy you great gifts. (Thankfully, I get along pretty well with my family, regardless of gift buying skill :) ) You see friends at church on Christmas morning, who are never there on any of the other 51 Sundays of the year. If you're not at the malls, fighting through the masses of annoying shoppers with their 6 children per family all screaming and crying for toys and sweets, life's pretty awesome around Christmas.

I've been staying in Cape Town for the past week, instead of my usual hometown of Bellville. My girlfriend and I are looking after a friend's place and cat while she is away on holiday. It's a nice change from home. We have a partially obstructed view of Table Mountain and are in walking distance of some pretty good restaurants. We've been getting up later than normal and playing stacks of Lego Star Wars on the PC. In other words, living the dream! Hehe!

On the band front, pre-production is in phase 2. We've selected the songs for the new album and are now putting them together with proper lyrics and getting all the parts perfect, so we don't have to do too many retakes in studio.

Here's a sample of some of the demos that we've been working on:

I haven't been listening to all that much new music at the moment, mostly shuffling my music library and listening to whatever my media player decides on. However, I have been listening to Taking Back Sunday's Live from Orensanz album, which is an awesome live acoustic show.

Since I highly doubt I'll even be near a PC, let alone online, on Christmas day, I'm going to wish everyone a Merry Christmas now. I hope it's a great one for you all! :)