lyrical typography

30 08 2010

In my little-known capacity as a frustrated typographer and designer, I recently found time to make an attempt at presenting song lyrics as graphics.

This was inspired by the discovery of a website called Music Philosophy, found through the always amazing Lost At E Minor.

It looked like a lot of fun, so I had a go, as I’m forever quoting lyrics, writing them on t-shirts, jotting down neat ones in notebooks and so on.

Much of the enjoyment came with sourcing and screwing around with new fonts. I’m right into typography lately, even if my manipulation of the graphics etc, leaves a bit to be desired.

Must be such a great job though, working as a typographer. Turning words into art. Maybe I’ll combine it with journalism and have entire features appearing as intricate art projects, hundreds of metres long.

My own efforts were clearly inspired by those appearing on the Music Philosophy site, but I chose a few fave artists whose lyrics meant something to me.

It’s only my opinion, but the original site was cheapened slightly through displaying the lyrics of a few questionable musicians (Alanis Morrisette, Des’ree and My Most Hated Band In All The World – Live. Yuk)

There’s more than enough amazing musos out there to avoid promoting the work of chumps.  (Why, why do people like Dave Matthews Band? Why?)

But music is obviously a very personal thing though and Mr Music Philosophy remains far more talented than I’ll ever be. Enjoy.

Hmm, I'm pretty sure Trent Reznor wrote that.

my favourite from the site

Modest Mouse and Bukowski. Bingo! (That's mine)

Architecture in Helksinki. The band name deserves its own.

good old Youth Group. That's mine too.

the other greece

29 08 2010

No islands for us, mate.

No whitewashed churches, blue-domed roofs, cute islands and all the rest of it.

We’re on the … mainland.

You never really think of mainland Greece. Or at least I never do, unless there’s a report of more riots in Athens.

But it’s there and it’s pretty big. And dry. And dusty.

Jumping off from Keffalonia in the Ionian group, we headed south rather than transiting the Corinth Canal and went around the bottom leg of mainland Greece.

Not much grows down there. Some olives, providing the only shade of green on otherwise barren hills, but that’s about it.

Limoni in the south of Greece

The architecture that hasn’t been leveled by earthquakes is vaguely reminiscent of Egypt or the middle east.

The arid grey-brown landscapes and rocky shores look a little like north-western Australia. (For the record, Oman and the Cape Verdes also look like WA. See: desert meets crystal ocean).

Small remote villages and the odd bigger regional town are scattered along the coasts supporting domestic tourism. God only knows what they do thru the winter.

Sort of interesting, but not something I’d come back to. Which also goes for Greece as a whole.

kind of middle eastern, right?

cute up close, but a long way from anything. Limoni

Hrvatska top to bottom

11 08 2010

Now our summer Croatian Crawl was tempered by the fact I was on my employer’s yacht, providing the muscle – if you will – to ensure their toy remained shiny.

“It’s not a working holiday,” we were told. Repeatedly. “You’re here to work.”

Ho-hum. Whatever. We went ashore at every opportunity and at one point, while anchored off a particularly inviting beach, I even considered swimming ashore for a beer.

Alas I was also slightly shattered from my day’s labours, and wasn’t sure I could swim back, drunk, in the dark.

Anyway, I still saw enough to reaffirm my love of the country.

There’s just something…pure about the place. Maybe not innocent, not after all those wars, but it remains pleasantly untainted by tourism and wild little corners can still be found around every headland.

along the coast road north of dubrovnik. pic by bea kotecka

Beginning from Pula on the mainland in the north, we struck out vaguely southward, cruising thru spots such as Mali Losinj, Rab, Dugi Otok and down thru the Koronati Peninsula.

Larger yachts were a rare sight up that way and the islands were stark – limestone outcrops, not many trees and even fewer people.

pula amphitheatre

After travelling up the inlet near Sibenik to the Skradin waterfalls – super picturesque and a sweet cruise up the river, even in our giant tub – we headed toward Trogir – an awesome city perched right on the waterfront with medieval fortifications intact.


The we hit the real good stuff. The southern islands of  Korcula, Hvar, Vis and Lastovo are heavily visited, but for good reason.

Ashore you find rolling lavender fields, pine forests on the waters’ edge, cliffside bars, hidden beaches – all the ingredients for summer fun.

Plenty of boats, sure, but there’s plenty of room and none of the aggro so common to the French Riviera or the Amalfi Coast at the height of summer.

clear water kayak action

ideal croatia

5 08 2010

rovinj harbour flickr pic by ros aukett

My perfect day in Croatia might go something like this:

–         Wake up in my picturesque seaside village and wander to the square for coffee (real milk; not UHT) and a cherry danish.

–         Procure English-language newspaper and catch up on news from three days ago (close enough, right?)

waterside cafe flickr pic by markus spring

–         Stroll to the closest rocky outcrop for the first swim of the day in the postcard-perfect Adriatic.

–         Wander thru cicada-filled pine forests to a secluded cove or maybe take a sea-kayak to find my own private beach

lokrum flickr pic by jesus cm

–         Take a sail across to the nearest island (many are within an hour or so of each other) and compare the temperature of their local beers.

–         Go wakeboarding on impossibly flat seas once the wind drops. No swells to contend with here.

top spot for a few beers of a summer eve - dubrovnik old town

–         Finish up with a few more beers as the sun sets around 8 or 9pm. Grilled seafood at one of the many hundreds of harbourside restaurants.

–         Catch an international DJ touring thru the summer months. Croatia has a surprisingly progressive music scene.

–         Repeat as required…

one of my fave bars in the world flickr pic by rich ford

Croatia, you’ve still got it.

5 08 2010

Maybe some secrets shouldn’t be kept.

And it’s hardly going to spoil things.

So here goes: Croatia.

Do yourself a favour and check it out. Soon.

Sure, it’s hardly a new destination and I’ve been telling people since 2007 that thought I thought the joint was tops.

But that opinion has been re-assessed and updated – it’s a must-see.

how good??

Even our two week superyacht blast down the coast with limited time ashore was enough to convince me that I’ll be back and you should go.

But why? Simply put, it does seaside European summer better than anywhere else I’ve seen.

Greece has the hundreds of rocky islands and crystal seas, but many of those islands are tacky, grubby and overdeveloped. Croatia is just…pristine.

Italy has the dramatic ocean cliffs and fresh grilled seafood too, but it’s filled with tourists. Croatia seems to be mostly chilled families on low-key holidays.

hvar old town and adjacent islands

France has impossibly pretentious ugly harbours, rubbish food, rude inhabitants and oh…never mind.

Plus I happen to particularly enjoy mucking about in boats and nowhere is better suited to a few weeks of leisurely ocean-going exploration than Croatia’s craggy string of forest-lined islands.

It’s windy for sailors. It has sheltered flat coves for watersports.

Croatia is peaceful. There’s no fuss and few crowds.

The people are friendly. The women are beautiful. And really tall.

The fruit is amazing. The cherry pastries can’t be found elsewhere.

Local beer is cold and delicious.

And everything is cheap

Needless to say I was pretty impressed.

the walled awesomeness of dubrovnik