29 June 2010

Glastonbury 2010

My phone died this weekend.  My camera died this weekend. What can only be defined as one of the greatest music festivals I have ever attended in my life, can only be documented with my words.  I was definitely NOT ok with being detached from the digital world, but I suppose this will be a good exercise for my descriptive writing style.  This was the 40th Anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival and I feel so privileged that I was able to attend this event!! Here's hoping this blog will be so vivid, even Stevie Wonder could see green.

DAY 1: Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Travel Day  
The road from London to Worthy Farm. Our tents, sleeping bags and wellies were packed.  Even though the forecast for rain wasn't likely, we assumed it would rain at some point anyhow.  So better to be prepared than soaking wet for 5 days.  We were to find our charter coach across from Embankment Station at the Tattershall Castle boat set to depart at 12:30.  We got there around noon, and were greeted by many other Glasto-goers hauling their camping gear outside of the station.  The bus system was to work as such:  Prior to Glasto day, we were sent our bus tickets in the post.  This ticket had a coach number assigned to you and you would receive your personalised festival ticket on this coach only.  Of all the buses that were there....our bus numbers were nowhere to be found.  Awesome.  The closer it got to 12:30 the more nervous I became.  One of the bus drivers, who appeared to be running the show, spent most of his time complaining about how unorganised this is every year.  It seemed like a system that made perfect sense to me, but maybe I was missing something.  His advice was that maybe our bus had already left...so I quickly quit listening to what he had to say.  Finally around 12:45 our bus arrived.  I think it took us a good hour to finally leave though.  Aside from the fact that there was an issue with where and for how long each bus could park up at Embankment - our bus driver lady figured that the most efficient way to hand out our tickets was to stand in the middle of the aisle towards the front of the bus and shout each name.  I suppose the idea of those speaker systems built into buses wasn't good enough for this situation.  Or maybe when they checked our ticket to get on the bus handing over our ticket at the same time was too much of an effort as well. Regardless, pretty close to almost 2:00pm we finally set off out of London due West for Somerset.

The drive was so-so.  I'm from Ohio, I know what farm lands look like so nothing was that breathtaking.  Unlike the drive back from Scotland where it was on the coast - that was beautiful.  Anyhow, we listened to some version of KISS FM but not too many people were up for gettin in the party mood on the drive - which was a lil bit sad, but whatever.  This Australian girl sitting in front of me was gearing up for her first Glasto like we were - but she had WAY more enthusiasm about it then I ever imagined could be possible.  About halfway into the low traffic drive, the England - Slovenia game was turned on the radio.  So we heard that, had a lil bit of excitement and as soon as the game ended we were pulling into the coach parking area for the Glastonbury Festival :D

Setting Up Camp
I went to Glasto with some friends that I live with on my floor, 1 Chinese girl and 1 Japanese girl and guy.  There were another set of Asians sitting across from us and we were intrigued as to where they were from.  I think my floormates were more intrigued that there were other Asians going!  After we left the bus, showed our ticket, and got our shiny cool wristbands we stood looking at the camping map to decide where would be the best place to stay.  The other two guys were there as well and after talking with them we found out they were from Singapore! So we hitched up our things and made our way towards Silver Hayes Camping area which I think is a new camping area.

You should be able to click the image to see a larger version of the still not-entirely-correct version of this map. Silver Hayes was in the Bushy Ground area just above the blue line - that's where we stayed.  This next section is probably best read with the map open in one screen and this blog in another.

Exploring part 1
Anyhow, we set up camp and then decided at about 5pm that it was DEFINITELY time to get some food and a beer.  I'm not even sure if I ate anything straight away - I had been munching on some breakfast bars in hopes that I would save money -womp womp- not so much.  Anyhow, had a bit of a walk around and made it...Oh wait I just remembered we DID eat.  We took a RIDICULOUSLY long walk around down towards what's listed as "South Park" but stopped somewhere in Dairy Ground.  One of the girls had asked where there was a good place to grab some food - and the worker promptly offered a "Chinese" stand.  Really people?  Anyhow, we all went there 'cause we couldn't be bothered walking any further without food.  I just got some chips, the guys had a burger and the floormates had some noodles.  After this we walked further on towards The Other Stage which appeared to be a festival within a festival.  There were tons of food options here!  We then headed towards the Orange Chill n' Charge tent.  Orange is a phone network out here in the UK and they sponsored a tent where nearly every possible phone charger would be provided and you could charge your phone.  There was also a theatre screen to watch the Football, computers to check your e-mail, and a mini-Pyramid stage playing Glasto Highlights.  I was wearing one of my fav shirts, which I felt was fitting for the festival: 
It says, "Keepin' It Green" the reason this is relevant is because, right before this photo, after we left the Chill n Charge Tent, the 'bouncer' for the place felt the need to call me over and feed me what he thought was a good chat up line.  Picture the beefiest English black dude ever goin all "Hey I love how you're keepin it green but how 'bout keepin it black! If I'm lyin I'm dyin and I ain't lyin" Me: yeaaaaa uhhh thx dude.  Deffo time for that cider now.

After the ciders we kept walking NE towards Kidz Field and the Cinema area/Acoustic stage. Lots of walking - nothing was really set up yet no artists were playing on Wednesday so I used this time to see as much of the festival as I could before the bands started.  After investigating the cool area the kids get to play in, we headed south towards Circus Field.  Tried to have a pint there but the bugs were out in full force and we just weren't having that.  I paid £4 for my pint, I prefer it to be bug-free. So we started hiking back towards our campsite via Pyramid Stage.  I think the sun was setting pretty far down by now. We picked up some more noodles that were again only mildly satisfying near Pyramid and kept walking.  Things are getting a bit hazy for my memory now and this is only day 1.  I'm glad I still have some pictures to jog my memory.  I think we went back to the tent after this, put on some warm clothes and head back out to see what this "Dance Village" was all about.  I think our first stop was a place called Cocktails & Dreams, which from the inside made it very hard for you to believe that you were on a farm and not in a beach club in Miami.  We stayed there for a bit, the awesome music we heard earlier when walking past (Arctic Monkeys) was NOT playing at the time (too crap for me even to remember). We we left there and walked further into dance village and found some techno place bangin music.  Only stayed for a short while and then we gave up on trying to find something to do all night on day one of the festival.  I feel like something is missing because it was 2am when we made it to the tent.  Let it be known that during the majority of this weekend, a beverage was in my hand.

DAY 2: Thursday, 24 June 2010

Exploration and Discovery
This day is particularly hazy - I confuse it with Friday a lot, but this was only Thursday.  The festival still hadn't officially started, so things were still sorta weird when it came to entertainment.  A few bands did start playing at smaller stages. Wasn't really sure who to check out, but for some reason this band "Two Door Cinema Club" playing at 7pm in the Queen's Head stood out in my mind as something someone told me at some point to go watch.  So I kept this in mind.  At the same venue around 10pm a friend had told me Local Natives were a band to check out as well.  We started our day.....-shrug- doin something. I think I was slightly hungover this morning, so we walked towards the Pyramid Stage via John Peel and I picked up a "Bacon Roll" aka English bacon thrown in a hotdog bun.  They could've put a lil effort into it and added some egg mang! Anyhow it hit the spot but still didn't take the hangover away - and I really wanted to get my drink on again - it was BLAZING hot!  I think I went to the chill n charge tent and spent quite possibly the longest 4 or 5 hours of my life in there.  One of the guys from Singapore had an iPhone as well and the battery needs charged pretty much every day to survive.  The others went off to explore, I think they went to watch Ponyo at the cinema field while we waited in this stupid Orange tent for ages! There was nothing "Chill" about the chill n charge tent.  Some idiots had already broken half the iPhone chargers because they just pulled them out rather than squeezing the sides to release the charger UGH no0bz!  Long - long - long queuing time for iPhones, it was sickening.  Ian and I finally got our iPhones on a charger and then took hostage of a lil tipi that was near our phones so we could keep an eye on them.  Remember the mini-Pyramid stage I mentioned earlier??? Yea I hate that frickin thing.  It kept looping the same 10 mins of video!!! They didn't even make an effort to put a DJ up there, or provide a different set of things to loop it was THE SAME THING all day long.  I suppose I should feel worse for the people that had to work in the tent - but listening to the same crap repeat in the hot blazing sun really took away from my "chill" experience.  And the sun took away from my "charge" experience as well.  Apparently my iPhone overheated and stopped charging for a good 30 mins - it was charging super slow to start with.  I had the screen turned over so the sun wouldn't hurt the screen, but I never thought about the phone itself overheating and not charging.  That could be a big reason why I was there for hours on end. HOOOOOURRS I tell you. /rant.

Ian and I were more than ready for a beer at this point, and the others met up with us around 3pm or so.  Had a beer and some lunch (I had a pasta that was NOT FILLING and not worth the £7 at all!) and then continued our trek further south towards Stone Circle which we hadn't done yet.  We made a long way of getting there, from Leftfield, through Bella's Field,then the Field of Avalon, and the Craft Field (I knew then that we were getting close because the air was full of hippies).  Finally I found Stone Circle and really wanted some time to just sit and look around for a bit. So I quickly walked to the other "peace" gardens where people were being "one with nature" and sat there to have a moment and not get too stressed.  Then i remembered my boyfriend that doesn't live in London anymore was supposed to be getting in to Glasto but I hadn't heard from him yet.  I called him and he answered "I'm here I'm at the Stone Circle." me: "OH MY GOD SO AM I!!!!" It was slightly miraculous and all too perfect really.

So I found Rob and met up with his friends and parted ways from my floormates for the time being.  This was about 7pm.  We were not going to make it for Two Door Cinema Club...Stayed at the circle for a good while drinking and such., Rob and I went to get some food near West Holt stage got some Brother's Cider, then went back to the circle...then it was nighttime .  Made our way to Rob's friends' tent near Kidney Mead and brought his stuff to my tent with his brother Rich.  We made our way to Rich's tent, for some reason I still don't know - but I think we walked all the way there just to walk back to our tent in the end. I don't remember doing anything Thursday night.  No matter -Friday is when the fun begins!

DAY 3: Friday, 25 June 2010

Bring on the bands!!!
Finally the thing i spent £185 for - time to start rockin out to some music!  Unfortunately I think we started the day spending, once again, a copious amount of time in the Chill n Charge tent. I hate that place.  So did Rob, his huffing about queuing wasn't helping any, along with THE SAME music being looped at that mini-Pyramid stage, and the sun screaming at us, life was looking pretty bleak at 10am.  No worries with our phones charged we could easily get ahold of each other eventually. Rob wanted to do his own thing and I had some bands I wanted to see on my own so no worries.

Joshua Radin, The Other Stage 12:30 - 13:30
I didn't really go to listen to him, but I walked past him as he was playing.  It took a good 15 mins to get around The Other Stage so I felt I had heard enough.  He's from Shaker Hts, so I felt I had to give a fellow Clevelander some love.  I wasn't really in the mood for his mellow music tho, which is too bad, I'm sure he's fairly decent to have made it to The Other stage - but I was more interested in getting to the John Peel Stage for Tegan & Sara.

Miike Snow, John Peel Stage 13:05 - 13:40
Miike who??? Whoops I guess I got to the stage a lil early, but no worries, Glasto is all about the music and I'm all about hearing new tunes.  I still had the Twitters at this time, so I was able to get some friendly thumbs-ups for Miike Snow. So I chilled outside of the tent, with my burger and my Patron Gold in my flask and watched the other festival-goers that knew the tunes get into the groove.  I would listen to him again sounded like fun stuff.

Tegan and Sara, John Peel Stage, 14:15 - 15:00
Yay, finally a band I know!!! I was happy about that, to finally get my festival on.  They were clashing with Corinne Bailey-Rae at the Pyramid Stage and The Stranglers at The Other, each probably would've been pretty good to check out.  It was really cool to see them live, they were a bit chatty tho - apparently Tegan was offering for Sara to sleep in a random's tent.  To be fair, Sara was lookin mighty-fine. Lesbian, twin, Canadian, indie thing aside - it was a chill way to start off my festival.

The Courteeners, The Other Stage, 15:15 - 16:00
Yea I didn't really know who they were, but apparently the Mancunian boyfriend was all about these tunes.  Clashed with Willie Nelson at The Pyramid Stage and Bombay Bicycle Club at John Peel Stage. So I met Rob and his mates there to listen to this band I knew nothing about.  Once again, I can't hate on hearing new music.  And they weren't too bad.  I got on a friend's shoulders and took a picture - but it wasn't too stable up there hahah.  Anyhow, I was really there for the next band...

Phoenix, The Other Stage, 16:30 - 17:15
This was probably the one act I was most excited to see!! And they delivered! I don't even know how I first heard about them, all I know is their Wolfgang Amadeus has been on repeat since I first got it.  It was fantastic being in a crowd of people singing along to every song.  And we were blessed with an extra long version of 1901 that kept the crowd pretty hyped up.

Snoop Dogg, Pyramid Stage, 17:00 - 18:00
Whoops Phoenix clashed with Snoop Dogg. Oh well I did not care.  To be honest, seeing a farm field full of middle class English people bouncing along to Snoop Dogg wasn't really my cup of tea.  And it was PACKED. So I hung off to the side and watched him from the screen.  Not that big of a Snoop fan - now if he would've brought all of his "featuring" artists on stage with him, that would've been a different story.  But it was just him, some random posse dude, and his blinged out mic for an hour, in the hot sun. Meh

Vampire Weekend, Pyramid Stage, 18:30 - 19:15
Hey they're cool, I knew a few of their tunes.  Was a little torn because at The Other Stage, La Roux had been twurkin it out for about 30 mins, but finished quite soon. Also clashed with Ellie Goulding at John Peel (but I saw her at John Mayer's concert) and Local Natives (so I missed them twice) at The Park which was quite a hike from where we were.  So we positioned ourselves near the top of the hill where a set of orange-hued flags were blowing.  This made for a good common location point - someone from our group was always there.  Fantastic.  Vampire Weekend were good sunny-day music, I enjoyed it!  My phone was still alive, and the Twitter hashtag, #glasto and @glastofest/@glastolive were tweeting rumours about the Special Guests that were to be at The Park Stage at 20:30 and informed us that Mos Def had to cancel due to a death in the family :(. 

Special Guests: Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, The Park Stage, 20:30 - 21:15
Twitter research was saying Radiohead would be the special guest - this was close enough to it.  It was very unplugged and mellow, and perfect with the sunset falling behind the stage.  I feel I should get a guest blogger on this section because I won't give it any justice with my description - I was never a massive Radiohead listener.  I knew the main songs, ya know?  But ending with 'Karma Police' and the crowd chanting "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself" well after the set was over, against the purple and orange sky was quite poetic.
This clashed with Florence and The Machine at The Other Stage and Mumford & Sons at John Peel - but I think being a part of a Glasto moment as big as that will make up for what I missed.  PS we heard the first two tunes of Dizzee Rascal on our way there - shoot me in the face, that was good-e-fucking-nough, I didn't want to stick around for all of that anyhow.  However Hot Chip and The Black Keys were on at The Other stage and John Peel stage, respectively.  I would've liked to at least hear some of The Black Keys and get some more Ohio-rep in there, but they were too far away.  I did hear a lil bit of Hot Chip as they were playing 'Ready For the Floor' so that made me happy, that's all anyone wanted to hear anyhow right?? But had to press on and make our way to the headliner of the night.

Gorillaz, Pyramid Stage, 22:00 - 23:45
This was quite good! I was hoping that the screen would show more of the cute cartoon videos tho.  I wanted to take photos and send my youngest bro a message to share the moment with him - but the phone was dead.  Awe-some! [not]. Gorillaz were the band of surprise guests - it was fantastic.  Although we're all sure Mos Def would've been up there for 'Stylo' if there wasn't a family issue, seeing Snoop come out to freestyle for the last song, 'Clint Eastwood' was quite hott! It was a beautiful end to the first day of music as the moon shone brightly over the mini town that erects once a year for music lovers.

Everything after this consists of going out to party and drink.  On our walk to find somewhere to go we heard Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs twanging it out.  Not my kinda music at midnight, but we stopped there to pick up some other friends.  It took a while for us to get there but we finally went to Arcadia (I hope you still have your map open) where we heard Kissy Sell Out spinning some awesome tunes.  This was accompanied by a massive stage that shot fire that could be seen and heard a few miles away, a girl with a fire hula hoop, another girl with a fire gun, and some acrobats that liked to twist around on a suspended string.  I think the best part was when he put on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and it turned into a massive singalong - but for the sweet guitar break it was replaced with a very sweet electronic riff - SO HOTT!  A very, very good night. Stopped for "Don-Uts" and walked through very dry fields with dust flying into my lungs all the way home. Boo.  I also think I finally decided that night that I wouldn't wear my wellies anymore - as they were rubbing against my calf and hurting me :(

DAY 4: Saturday, 26 June 2010

Chill n' Charge again?!!?
UGH seriously you have got to be kidding me with that Orange tent.  Everyone at the festival was hip to the idea of charging before any of the bands start, so the Orange geniuses decided it was best to limit the amount of time you could charge your phone to TWENTY MINS!!! ::blank stare:: It took me a bit longer to get ready in the morning with no showering, only using baby wipes to get myself sorted and putting contacts in my eyes (I'm pretty sure that wasn't sanitary) so I asked Rob to take my phone there and charge it with his for me and I would meet him there.  The tent opened at 10, I made it there about 10:30 or 11, only to be greeted by a queue of 30+ mins.  I had also brought Rob a breakfast sandwich (Mmm bacon AND egg this time!) to repay him for taking my phone there.  But the douches at Orange said there was a 'capacity' issue and even if your phone was in there you had to wait in the queue.  Luckily Rob walked around another side where I could see him and he told me about the charging limit, and I told him I'd just wait outside since by the time I made it in the charge time would be over anyhow.  What a waste of a day. It only charged to 6% after 20 mins - probably because it was sat in the hot sun, probably because it was charging from dead.  Either way, at this point I decided I would not have my beautiful iPhone again until I made it back to London.

Tinchy Stryder, Pyramid Stage, 11:00 - 11:45
Well, this was our second chance to catch some of Two Door Cinema Club, at The Other Stage, but there was a bit more interest in getting to that spot on the hill to find people since everyone's phones were dying.  I think we still could've seen it - since, as previously mentioned, everyone is just to the left of the flags, always. No big deal. Right, so I should be reviewing Tinchy Stryder....ummm he sucks. That's about it. It was too early in the day for all that bull! And the crowd was NOT having it participating in his "c'mon sing the words wiv me!" crap. A waste of a good time block that also had I Blame Coco playing at The Park (far away I know).

SUNSTROKE - it should be noted that today was the 4th day of straight sun, little to no breeze and it was about 30°C if not more. Moods and emotions were high, and water was scarce, like a friggin drought.  The water stands ran out of large bottles of water, the Ice cream trucks probably made a fortune by making up prices knowing people would buy regardless - it was, what @glastofest tagged as a #scorcher.

Reef, The Other Stage, 12:00 - 12:45
We probably could've seen more of them but it took way longer than necessary to walk the group from Pyramid to Other.  So we saw maybe 3 tunes.  I was mostly about finding some shade.  We eventually walked over to The Glade and sat for a lil bit, but basically just made a big triangle and headed back towards Pyramid after Reef finished.  Not much to say about the band - wasn't that eventful, and we missed 'Place Your Hands' anyhow.

Somehow this walk back to Pyramid took a long time as well - but I think we heard a bit of Jackson Brown, which I thought was crap.  I was more interested in what was going on at the Other Stage. I spent a good amount of time at the ATM while some TERRIBLE band played utter crap, I can't even find who or where they were in the programme so I can save your ears from ever crossing this BS.

Imogen Heap, The Other Stage, 14:45 - 15:30
I swear I'm not leaving anything out. How we had a two hour block of just walking between some stages that take no longer than 30 mins is beyond me.  I blame the heat.  We finally make it over to the Other stage, and see the last 3 or 4 songs.  I was a little disappointed with what I saw.  I was really looking forward to her using experimental instruments, but I guess she did that at the beginning.  When I got there she was being extra goofy, which was quite cute, but making an epic fail and trying to get the crowd to sing the background vocals of 'Just For Now'.  That was too bad, because that's actually a really good tune, but she did it pretty much a cappella.  The highlight of this was when Shlomo came out and did a song they had rehearsed just before performing.  Her voice, and his beatboxing was a very happy mix.

I'm not really sure if we saw anyone between this, because I think we missed Seasick Steve not that I wanted to hear that. I think we actually walked over to West Holts and listened to Devendra Banhart, whomever that is.  I think I only remember cider being involved at this point. but this must've been somewhere between 16:30 and 17:15. All of this is very, very fuzzy until Shakira

The Dead Weather, Pyramid Stage, 17:00 - 18:00
I'm quite positive we heard them.  I remember Rob telling me it was Jack White's band.  I don't remember being that impressed tho.  It was really just too hot to remember anything that wasn't already important in your mind.

Shakira, Pyramid Stage, 18:45 - 19:30
I was completely awake and aware for this part. I love Shakira, I've been wiggling my hips to her stuff since she made it big in the States, so to see her live and being able to "dance with her" really made my day.  I was particularly ecstatic when she sang 'Waka Waka' The World Cup song for this year.  I danced the entire routine! Wyclef came out to help with her hips telling the truth. And that was about it. Thank goodness the sun was going down by this point.

Scissor Sisters, Pyramid Stage, 20:30 - 21:15
HOLY FRIGGIN HOTTNESS AWESOME.  They are so sweet, and have so much energy!! And I mean c'mon they brought out KYLIE MINOGUE for a song as well.  My life was pretty much complete after this.  Definitely a good vibe to dance to as the sun sets on day two of the festival. But nothing could've prepared me for what was to come next as the headliner.

Muse, Pyramid Stage, 22:30 - 23:45
Muse is one of those bands where I know a lot of their songs, but I never really realised that they were the ones singing it. I always knew that I liked them, but I just never really knew them in an A-Z kind of way.  On the other hand, Rob knew them A-Z and Z-A.  So I really thought we should get quite involved and move from that usual spot in the back of the hill and get in closer to the crowd.  This was AWESOME.  Seriously, when I think about the performance it almost makes me cry, that's how amazing it was.  This clashed with Pet Shop Boys and George Clinton, but I think I would've hated myself had I not experienced Muse this way.  Time for another special guest: THE EDGE! So what if Bono couldn't make it - that doesn't mean the rest of the band should go unnoticed right??? So Muse and the Edge rockin out to 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. Such a brilliant moment. The Muse performance was definitely a top-five moment of Glastonbury.

We called this one an early night - sun and alcohol were working against us.

DAY 5: Sunday, 27 June 2010

Last Call for Music
While some were interested in seeing the England - Germany game, I was sticking to my plan of not watching football all week and only listening to music.  Wasn't wasting my time with charging my phone either - so I set off for breakfast with my floormates.

Paloma Faith, Pyramid Stage, 12:15 - 13:00
This must be year of the goofy chick.  She does have a great voice, but she seemed about as goofy as the other "out-of-space" looking acts. Read: Imogen Heap, Florence + The Machine...  Anyhow, it was the end, so I can't make a good comment on her music. I only know of her music, I don't know it that well.  But Sunday is supposed to be the chill out day, and her groovy soul sound sorta made it work.  Too bad it was still BLAZING HOT and my tan was turned on to extra-crispy-burn at this point.  Made it hard to relax to music at this point.

Norah Jones, Pyramid Stage, 13:45 - 14:15
She played too many new songs, so I didn't really know them that well.  But I think the bigger talk of the day is how GORGEOUS  she is.  She has a very cute bob cut now.  She's doin the whole dark hair, bright rouge lips look - and it worked very well.  Other than that, not too much to say about her - nothing stellar at this time of day.

Slash, Pyramid Stage, 14:45 - 15:30
I KNOW RIGHT? What the eff on a Sunday afternoon??? I think the England game was on by this point - too bad for those who went to watch that and not Slash.  Granted I don't know any of his solo crap - but seeing him play Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City was borderline panty-throwing worthy.  No joke.

Keane, Avalon Stage, 16:35 - 17:30
I bolted over here - it was a decent walk away from Pyramid, and I was by myself so I had more chance to get up close and personal.  This is a fairly small tent/stage for Keane to play on.  They weren't even expecting this many to turn out, assuming that everyone would be watching the football. WRONG! This was fantastically intimate!! Aside from them being late, this makes it into my top five moments at Glasto as well, including their own tribute to U2's 'With or Without You'. Beautiful.

Jack Johnson, Pyramid Stage, 18:00 - 19:15
I made it seriously JUST IN TIME for good ole Jack.  This was a great way to bring the day to an end.  So chill. I also appreciated the English trying to get into the Hawaiian feel of things with their faux grass skirts n' such.  America thanks you for the effort.  It really made me want to go back to Maui with the quickness.  I was also quite thankful for the sun finally leaving - that was a rough week of sun. It was during this that I realised I've seen pretty much every band that I've been listening to since circa 2000, and that made me feel pretty good about life. He clashed with We Are Scientists and MGMT

Faithless, lcd soundsystem, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Stevie Wonder, Pyramid Stage, The Other Stage, West Holts Stage back to Pyramid 20:00 - 23:15
These are all lumped together, because this was my attempt at proving you can see all the bands you want to see even if they are on at the same time.  None of them were ones that I wanted to see the entire set of ...maybe Rodrigo y Gabriela, but for the most part doing a "tapas" of music worked quite well.

I took Rob on this whirlwind with me.  Even though he's the Glasto Vet, I think too much time is spent by the tree on the hill.  Anyhow Faithless....I only really know one song by them, 'Mass Destruction' and we stayed for the first half until they played that.  I think if we would've been more 'involved' and gotten in closer it could've been quite good. But when you're bouncing between stages you gotta stay close to an exit route.

I thought lcd soundsystem, would've been a good set.  Which, to be fair, they really were.  They had a lot of energy still and that was hot.  But the crowd was too mellow to make it a great experience.  Stayed for the end of their set then ran off for a cider to hear what I think was the highlight of this quartet.

If you haven't heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela I strongly suggest you YouTube them.  It was really unfortunate that they started and ended at the EXACT SAME TIME as Stevie Wonder.  I think someone was trying to take the piss in the planning process - they are SOOOO good and should be given the chance to have a massive crowd hear them.  No singing, no dancing, just Gabriela beating on her guitar as some sort of bongo that plays chords and Rodrigo plucking in a Spanish guitar speed competition.  They are so amazing, and beautiful to watch and I really wish we would've stayed to see more of them.

Stevie Wonder, didn't really do it for me, and that's unfortunate.  I was looking to get my Motown on, but I wasn't that amazed by anything.  I think the best part is that you got to see a legend play live - but I don't think that made it an amazing performance that brought down the house or anything.  And EVERYONE AND THEIR M'EFFIN MOMMA came for this.  It was ridiculous.  He did play the tunes that everyone knows, but ya know, I could just imagine my mom sitting there listening to it, as someone who grew up with Motown, and thinking....-meh-.   And I felt the same.  Nonetheless, stage-hopping with Rob made the rest of it worth it, and this was a good final performance to end our Glasto festival with.

If you've been following along with your map you'll notice there's still an area that I haven't covered.  Well I made it there that night.  Block 9, Shangri-la, The Unfair Ground, and The Common.  I did all of them except for the Common which I'm really upset about because apparently there was some wall with people riding motorcycles and it was all scary like.  The "Wall of Death" I think they coined it.  These were all night club type things so it was pretty sweet to see it finally.  Shangri-La had a lot of underground looking stuff.  We walked into a few "un-cha, un-cha" type techno music places, but it wasn't the kind I liked. There was a big area where this reggae band was gathering a really good crowd though.  Block 9 was basically gay village, and I really, really, really, wanted to get my gay on.  But, I suppose we'll have to wait until next year to get in there.  Rob and I spent a good amount of time in The unfair Ground - which had the type of "un-cha, un-cha" techno i liked. Shit, I think House is even starting to grow on me.  But we heard some wicked DnB going too -i would've loved to be a bit more drunk and just wild out over that way. Alas, our tent was clear on the oposite side of the farm, in probably the longest line that can be drawn from one end of the farm to the other.  So we ended our night, and our time in Glasto on that note.  I am TOTALLY going back for 2011.

Oh and that wristband?? It glows in the dark!!! I didn't find out until I got home!

Wow this took me ages to write. The font editor sucks on this blog as well and ruined my clashing bands fonts in hopes to help you see who I missed as well without reading the entire thing. Sorry. *sigh* now If only the words would come this easily for my dissertation! Back to real life...

08 June 2010

Protecting the Privacy of Perplexed Persons

I've been on the Internet for a very long time.  Since 1995/6, when I was 12.  I'm now 27; that's 15 years and large portion of my life that has been spent and sent through the millions of tubes on the Web.  If anyone should be afraid of being hacked, I'd think I could have valid reasons.  Internet and its privacy options have changed drastically since those early days of AOL chat rooms and the age-old: "a/s/l?" conversations.  Yet, today, many people still feel threatened by the idea of putting their information on the Internet.  From something as simple as creating an e-mail address to the more encrypted process of online banking and the likes, users around the globe are still frightened of the "Hackers" that had their high point during the mid to late '90s.  I think during my research of Internet politics within social media, it will be useful to see how those participating view their privacy.  Hopefully, I'll be able to convincingly debunk this unjustified myth that the Internet is unsafe.  The fact of the matter is - we are our own worst enemy when it comes to our own privacy.  Users must learn how to protect themselves, as those who are hacked are normally the ones that have a target, neon light and flailing wacky-arm tube guy guiding those to take whatever they can from their profiles.

Stay tuned for my findings and arguments on Internet Privacy.

07 June 2010

The Curious Case of The Huffington Post

Surely I'm not the only one who is wondering 'WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO THE HUFFINGTON POST?!'

I feel as if it wasn't very long ago, where the majority of the updates on this site were intelligible and had real substance.  Now I only see headlines proclaiming "Justin Long: I love performing oral sex" or "Christina Aguilera wears light-up heart on her crotch". Really HuffPo??? Really??! Are you that desperate for an audience that you need to bring yourself to Perez Hilton's domain? I was following @huffingtonpost on Twitter, but I've had to unfollow and move them just to a list... my news list, so I could have my Twitter timeline back.  Although, I'm thinking they aren't even deserving of this category!  Occasionally I'll get an update that sounds like news. People following the oil spill (we should just call this an oil dumping by the way, there was no 'spill'...but that's another blog) will definitely be intrigued by the "Dead, oiled birds reported for the first time in Texas" headline.  But if that doesn't catch your attention, the following tweet about a couple getting married in a shark tank, must!

Now I'm the last person to knock the efforts of social media, HuffPo is classified as a blog at the end of the day.  However, I'm having a hard time seeing them as a credible source of information when they share breaking news with TMZ.

All is not sour with HuffPo - you are able to connect with your Facebook, Yahoo!, Google or Twitter accounts without having to make an additional HuffPo account.  On top of being able to comment, you can also "like" and/or share the article through one simple click - and even retweet on Twitter.  And of course, the other "share' familiars are there, with Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and the likes.  These are all great tools to engage the reader with your site.

Having said that, Arianna Huffington has a great sense of connecting with the audience through social media.  Yet, it would be nice for the "Internet Newspaper" to report and highlight a bit more news-worthy topics more often.

06 June 2010

Chicken Soup for the Hay Fever

I don't really have anything that intelligent to blog about today, but I figured if I want to get back into the habit of blogging I should do it everyday.

London weather thought it would be a great idea to bring my allergies on at full force, so my brain hasn't been function too well.  So for the past two days, I've been lain in bed, alone, putting as much anti-histamine in my system that my body will take.  Today I finally got up and made a meal later in the afternoon, the classic: Chicken Soup. I'm sure everyone has a variant on how to make it, and it's quite easy to just buy it straight from the can.  I haven't gone grocery shopping in ages, so i pretty much looked to whatever my fridge had to offer.  If you're like me, and strapped for cash, it can be useful to find that everything is right in your home. If you're home alone, knowing a meal that doesn't take much effort but also makes you feel better is nice as well!

The recipe is quite basic: chicken, water, veggies - but I figured I'd post what I put in today anyhow.

1 package of diced chicken breast (about 2 cups?)
1 white onion wedged
3 peeled and chopped carrots
2 diced cloves of garlic
1 can of sweet corn kernels
1/2 green bell pepper 
1 peeled and diced potato
1 small tomato, quartered
2 bay leaves
salt, black ground pepper, thyme, chicken cubes for added flavour

I didn't set the heat any higher than medium while cooking this.  1. the meat cooks better when it's done slowly and 2. I wanted to lay down or take a shower at the same time

Place the diced chicken, onions and salt in 2 cups of water. Cover, and let it cook until the chicken turns white. Add the garlic, green pepper, corn and tomato and carrots and 1 cup of water stir and cover. When it starts boiling add a chicken cube. If you've diced the potato earlier, place it in cold water while you wate to add this.  The potato should go in last, along with the bay leaves, black pepper and thyme. Depending on how you would like the broth to taste add another chicken cube. Stir, cover and put on simmer.  If you have some spaghetti or rice already made add that to your bowl.  Or if you don't feel like making those put in more potatoes so it can be more filling.  I added a lot of black pepper to mine, sometimes it makes my sneezy-nose or itchy throat feel better.  When's it done? When it tastes like soup. It all depends on how fast you tried to cook it.

Enjoy!! Drink lots of fluids, take lots of Benadryl and go to sleep!  That's where I'm heading now.

[UPDATED 04 June 2011] - a year later and I'm sick again.  Earlier in the week I made a roast chicken. When I got sick I cut that up and had chicken soup for days!

Added bonus to this recipe; boil some rice with spinach and mushrooms in the water. SO good!

04 June 2010

Book Review: The Myth of Digital Democracy by Matthew Hindman

It's well known by now that I am currently working on my dissertation and researching the influence of social media in politics.  The working title is: "Democracy in the Blogosphere", but after reading this book I feel I should make a change to the title. Blogging, as I am now, is one thing and doesn't fully grasp the meaning of social media.  But micro-blogging and using Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, LinkedIn etc...that's an entirely different category.

I think when I purchased this book, I had the high hopes of it at least mentioning some Web 2.0/micro-blogging actors, after all it was published in 2009. Unfortunately, I was only left with rants about a "Googlearchy", poorly used data and no solid argument for why there is a myth to digital democracy. There were so many conflicting statements in this book, I nearly couldn't finish! As a Master's student I feel maybe Hindman, academically, has more knowledge than myself. I mean, there's an entire chapter on statistics and economics and an appendix attached at the end as well! But as an Average Joella, that's spent the past 15 years online, in chatrooms, learning HTML, discovering messaging clients, building websites, designing blogs, creating profiles etc, his work trivialises the user and the potential of the Internet.

He opens with a recount of the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, with which I can agree, brought a momentous change in US political history.  It provided better avenues for fund-raising, and campaign volunteering and became a template for the 2008 election season.  Hindman then moves on to show that more liberals visit what he sees as 'political websites' than conservatives in the US.  This can also be understandable as most political activists come from the liberal viewpoint.  Where I begin to disagree with Hindman starts with his assumption of a "Googlearchy."

This Googlearchy, basically states that the more hits/views/visits a site receives, the higher it will show on a google search.  This is also determined by how many other sites have posted links to that site.  This makes sense.  If I search for "Ohio Universities" I expect Ohio University in Athens, Ohio to show up as it's closest to my word search, and most likely is linked to by several other websites.  I also expect a Wikipedia article to show up if I search for Vietnam War as many people use Wikipedia for basic information.  Hindman uses this same understanding to explain how an average user finds a political website.  This brings me to my second problem: the data.

Firstly, he assumes that as the average user searches with only one to three words the same will apply for political topics and navigate no further than the first page.  The latter is true, we more often than not stick to the first 10 findings on Google.  However, to say that a user searching for information on a political topic will only use one to three words, is demeaning to the user.  He uses sample searches such as "abortion", "gun control" and "the death penalty" to form his argument and show that you don't get the information you want through a search.  Sure if you wanted a basic definition of those topics you would only search a few words - but if you're a pregnant Christian teen in Tennessee I could imagine your search about abortion would be a bit more elaborate.

Secondly, I also find the dates of his data collection in comparison to his publication date troubling. There were a few moments where statistics from 1997 were used to argue a case for a book published in 2009.  If this were a subject on chemistry, perhaps this would be ok - but we're talking about the INTERNET! Information from 2006 can even be seen as obsolete today.  I would expect a book about the "myth" of digital anything, to keep current with the rapidly changing digital times.  There was a section where Hidman uses data from a 2003 publication to strengthen his argument that showed users had a hard time finding a website of any political candidate.  I think anyone would have a hard time linking to a political candidate's website in 2003 as it was quite scarce for them to exist! He opens his argument stating that it all begins with Dean in 2004, but uses data from a publication in 2003 (which probably collected their data in 2001/02) to make an argument in 2009.  The way we used the internet 3 years ago has changed - and Hindman needs to focus more on HOW we use it and not WHAT we are using.

Lastly, there is a great devotion of pages to the phenomenon of blogging and political websites.  I found it hard to see any of his data reliable at this point, not only because it was outdated but because he was searching the wrong websites.  Hindman found that there was little to no traffic to political websites and blogs, and of the blogs that were heard by the public, it was by elite, educated, white male professionals that created them - not the average citizen.  He used Hitwise, a website visitor tracker, to determine what was classified as "political" or "news" websites and N.Z. Bear (now called The Truth Laid Bear) Bloggosphere Ecosystem to determine blog traffic.  Perhaps this information would have been relevant a few years ago, but with the advent of Facebook's Open Graph, Twitter (neither of which were discussed in the book), the ability to comment, like and share on most websites - there is a lot left to be said. For the top 10 blogs that he researched, today some of them no longer even reach the top 250.  

I began to wonder if Hindman even had an interest in social media, and if so - how this was so deliberately misplaced from his book.  The video posted below shows Hindman in September 2009 on a panel for a discussion titled "Social Media, So What?"

I suggest you watch the vid and/or read his book for yourself to decide where you stand.  I expected more from this title, so my understanding of a "myth" in his terms is still left blank.  I don't believe blogging or social media is about how many people hear you - but about who hears you.  Even if the top 10 bloggers are the 10 most read 'political' blogs, the comment box invites any citizen to join in the conversation.  For what was phrased as 'political' websites he only focused on traffic to those that were instert-your-party-here.org or something.  However facebook pages for political leaders were not even considered. Social Media is about HOW we use it not what we use, and there is a reality to our participation in the online world of politics. 

Swimming with this Mermaid