Sunday, 11 July 2010

Today/this week

Today I went to visit my grandparents from my mum's side. It's maybe the last time I'll see them for a while now, and I mainly went over to say thank you for some money they gave me to help me through my first few weeks in Japan. As I mentioned in a previous post, they've always been a big inspiration for me. They've lived and travelled all over the place, and my grandma told me today that they wanted to give me the money as they remember the difficulty of heading out to Africa as missionaries with little money to their name when they were younger. This afternoon I listened to them tell tales from the past, including stories from their holidays to Hawaii as well as from my granddad's time spent working in Hong Kong in the 1970s.

Today I also handed in my notice of resignation to Pizza Hut. I haven't had that many shifts there lately to be honest. I worked one last night, but I'll perhaps only have one or two more before I leave. The place is quiet whenever the weather's nice.

Just watched the World Cup final. I thought Spain were deserving winners. I'll perhaps write some deeper thoughts about this year's World Cup at a later point.

There was a bit of sad news this week when MxPx's drummer, Yuri Ruley announced his departure from the band. I've posted about this band a few times on here, and although I wouldn't really claim to have a favourite band, if I did, MxPx would probably be it. They haven't made a killer release in a while now, but their albums have always been decent at the least and soundtracked different periods of my teenage years; 2000's The Ever Passing Moment and 1996's Life In General will always be two of my all-time fave albums. Also, Yuri has had such an influence on my personal drumming style, that it'll be sad not to hear him behind the kit anymore. I've always admired his blisteringly fast and basic style, much in the vein of Bill Stevenson, and his whole philosophy has definitely rubbed off on me and affected my own way of playing.

Now it's not that the band are splitting up, but Yuri's departure signals the breakup of the line-up which has basically spanned the whole of MxPx's nearly 20-year career. And being such a close-knit power trio I don't think it'll be long before the band calls it a day entirely - it wouldn't feel like MxPx if the band were to continue without Yuri. And I get the impression we won't be seeing too much of Yuri as part of other musical projects, as it sounds like he wants to concentrate on raising his family. Fortunately, there should be one last musical utterance from him as part of the MxPx side-project, Arthur. And his final MxPx show will take place in Las Vegas on the 18th of this month, where the band will play their magnum opus, Life In General in full. That would be a killer show to be at man. But I'm glad I got to see MxPx twice, the first of those probably ranking as my all-time fave live experience. Me and my sister went to see them at Nottingham's Rock City in August 2005, and they hadn't been to the UK in years at that point, so I was pretty jazzed to see this band who I'd been listening to for ages for the first time. And if I remember right, for some reason they were only playing two dates in the UK at that time, which added to the buzz around the gig. The venue was packed, as people kept cramming in all the way through the night until no-one else could fit. It turned out to be an amazing gig, and then we went to see them again a year later in Leeds, and that time we met the guys after the show. Three great guys.

It was good to see all the positive comments on the Punknews new story, and I left my own, as I wouldn't be surprised if the band read Punknews. It's good to know Yuri won't fade out into punk rock obscurity completely, and I'll look forward to the release of Arthur's long awaited LP.

Incidentally, I got another review posted on Punknews earlier on this week, this one for Teen Idols' self-titled debut album.

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