Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

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You’re The Voice

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April 20th, 2014 Posted 11:14 pm

Earlier today I trawled YouTube for cover versions of Australia’s other national anthem, You’re The Voice by John Farnham.

Known & loved by (almost) all Australians as one of the quintessential Aussie songs of all time, it featured as the lead single from Farnham’s hit record from 1986, Whispering Jack, which to this day remains the highest-selling album in Australian music history.

My discovery of one cover version on Youtube led to another, which led to another three; each of them leading to at least another six… basically, the song is so epically awesome that I spent a great couple of hours coming up with a huge list of my favourite (and not-so-favourite) studio recordings, remixes, reality TV performances, a cappella versions and amateur videos, which I shall share with y’all right here.

So here it is – the highlights of You’re The Voice on Youtube!

 

We begin with…

The original & the best: John Farnham

Now’s your chance to refamiliarise yourself with this classic Aussie film clip, a masterpiece from the mid-80’s. What a splendid profile Farnsey had back in the day. What a mullet. And don’t you love those bagpipes?

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A few things about Canada

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March 17th, 2014 Posted 8:09 pm

Well it’s been nearly 6 months since I first touched down on Canadian soil, and I’m very pleased to report that it’s been a delightful experience. I love this country!

I’m at the stage now where I feel like I’ve passed my probation. Settling in Toronto has given me the fantastic opportunity to get to know first-hand what life is like within the boundaries of the most populous & multicultural city in Canada, and I’ve done enough travelling around the province and south of the border to gain a basic understanding of the North American way of life in general.

So in no particular order, here is a list of a few Canadian quirks, loves, frustrations, tongue-in-cheek observations and comparisons to life in Australia that I’ve come to notice so far during my time here.

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Michtoneuse

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March 16th, 2014 Posted 2:36 am

About a week ago I started talking to a random girl on Craigslist. I didn’t know a thing about her – not even her name, age or what she looked like – but we made plans to meet at the cinema to see a documentary called Tim’s Vermeer. We met, and thankfully she turned out to be a fairly attractive Chinese girl most likely in her early 30’s; a real estate agent with a bubbly, outgoing personality who moved to Toronto with her parents when she was quite young.

Being the gentleman that I am, I bought her the ticket to the movie. She was thankful and promised to pay back the favour by purchasing us both a post-film beverage. We had a small amount of time to chat before the movie started (I thought it went quite well), and the documentary itself ran for around 80 minutes.

The film ended and the credits rolled. But instead of going out for that drink as promised, she pissbolted out of that cinema as quickly as she could, claiming she had to “check on her car” she’d parked on a nearby street. I may have understood her conundrum if it weren’t for the fact she’d told me she lived in an apartment right next door to the cinema. Her story didn’t make much sense. Why would she have driven to the cinema and parked on the street if she resided barely a hundred metres away?

I haven’t heard from her since.

Anyway… I told this story to my French friend Inès at work the next day, and she immediately labeled her as a michtoneuse: a slang French term for a girl who takes advantage of a guy by soliciting him for a date and then getting him to pay for everything.

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No McDonalds in Montpelier

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February 9th, 2014 Posted 9:20 pm

Late last year I started planning a weekend getaway to somewhere in Canada or the US in late January or early February. I was tossing up between three or four cities within an affordable travelling distance from Toronto, when I chanced upon this tweet in my timeline:

@OMGFacts: Montpeiler, Vermont is the only US state capital without a McDonald’s.

Montpelier, eh? I’d never even heard of it before. A quick spot of research led me to find that not only was it the sole US capital without a McDonalds, but it was also the smallest American capital city with a population of around 7,800. What’s more, it was only 500km from Toronto, and Porter Airlines had some decent prices on flights to the nearby city of Burlington, about 45 minutes north-west of the capital.

If there’s no McDonalds in Montpelier, I wondered, then what on earth do the locals do for food & entertainment?

That familiar sense of intrigue sparked within me and I knew my next weekend getaway would be to the New England state of Vermont. And so it was that on Friday last week I set upon my first of three days in Montpelier: an absolutely delightful little town that would ultimately take the #1 spot on my list of favourite cities in the United States.

In case you were also wondering what there is to do in and around Montpelier sans-Mickey D’s, I’ve compiled here a list of the beautiful sights, delicious food and inspiring attractions that I was lucky enough to see, eat and visit during my trip!

 

Montpelier Panorama

A Montpelier panorama as seen from Cliff St, on the way down from Hubbard Park

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The world’s tallest filing cabinet

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February 3rd, 2014 Posted 10:10 pm

If there was ever a reason to visit the city of Burlington in the picturesque north-eastern US state of Vermont, it’s gotta be for the chance to see the world’s tallest filing cabinet.

Worlds Tallest Filing Cabinet-7

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Hockey

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January 14th, 2014 Posted 11:53 pm

On Sunday evening I went to the Air Canada Centre to see my first ever hockey game. Massive thanks to my brother Adrian for the brilliant Christmas gift idea!

Similarly to my first live baseball experience in NYC a few months ago, I barely knew a thing about the game of hockey and had never even gone as far as watching a match on TV before. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Canada’s national winter sport.

I took some notes & photos throughout the match, and I present to you here a review in my (sports illiterate) eyes of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs the New Jersey Devils on Sunday 12th January, 2014.

Toronto Hockey-11

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No pants subway ride

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January 13th, 2014 Posted 2:02 am

A few days ago my friend Alan in Montreal let me know about a global event that was to be held today: the 13th annual No Pants Subway Ride!

The tradition began in 2002 by a ‘prank collective’ known as Improv Everywhere. Founded in New York City by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere puts together elaborate pranks on the unsuspecting public, recruiting thousands of ‘agents’ over the years who are in on the joke and participate in their events. I’ve stumbled across their immensely popular videos on Youtube before, but it’s only been in the past couple of days that I’ve read up on who they are, leading me to watch the fascinating documentary that details their rise to fame, We Cause Scenes.

The original No Pants Subway Ride was a simple experiment in which a man walked onto to a subway carriage without his pants. A few stops later, a second man walked onto the same carriage sans trousers. Each man was to remain completely blasé about the fact he was in his underpants; neither was to acknowledge one another. The idea was to see what kind of reaction would be evoked by the surrounding people on the carriage, and also to leave the commuters with a smile on their face (not to mention a crazy story to tell at dinner parties). This is the hidden video taken on the day:

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Minus thirty-nine

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January 7th, 2014 Posted 7:05 pm

Today was cold.

I mean, REALLY FREAKING COLD.

I knew I’d be in for a harsh winter before I moved to Toronto, but even the locals are saying there hasn’t been an icy epidemic as ridiculous as this for many years!

Almost every consecutive week for the past month now I’ve broken my record for the coldest weather I’ve experienced. Prior to leaving for Canada my record remained at -11°C, achieved in Jindabyne, NSW in 2001 (that’s even despite spending 15 months in Europe from 2008-2009). It didn’t take long to reach my -11°C record upon my Canadian arrival, followed quickly by minimums of -14°C, then -18°C, then an ice storm, and on Friday last week exceeding all my expectations at -23°C with a -35°C wind chill.

And then today happened. A blast of air direct from the Arctic made its way over Canada & the US, breaking decades worth of wind chill records. Just before I left home for work this morning, I checked the weather on my phone and found this:

-24 Toronto -39 Toronto

Yep: that’s -24°C with a -39°C wind chill.

Holy moses!

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Are you looking for crystals?

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December 23rd, 2013 Posted 3:47 pm

Earlier this afternoon I was standing on a street corner in Kensington, looking up directions on Google Maps to a cafe a friend had recommended to me.

I noticed two rather attractive ladies walking towards me, chatting with each other about the whereabouts of a crystal shop in the area. They too had a map open on their phone trying to find where it was. As it happened, I knew precisely where the crystal shop was, as I’d visited only a week ago to browse through their impressive shelves of gems & minerals and to sample a cup of their medicinal Chaga Mushroom tea. I asked the girls as they passed me, “Are you looking for crystals?”

They both stopped, gave me a quick once-over with a suspicious look in their eyes and stuttered “ahh… no, thank you” before they scooted off in a hurry.

Puzzled by their dismissal, I overheard one of the girls remark to the other a little further up the road, “Did he think we wanted crystal meth?”

It’s good to know I can pass for a local drug dealer!

House Of Energy, Kensington Market

House Of Energy, Kensington Market

No streetcars today (the Toronto Ice Storm)

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December 22nd, 2013 Posted 10:30 pm

In the very early hours of the morning I was awoken by strange whirring noises and sharp flashes of light radiating through my bedroom window. At first I thought it was some kind of hallucinogenic dream, but as I regained consciousness and peered behind the curtains I found a streetcar creeping along the tracks at a very slow pace. Each inch it travelled, it would let out a bright electrical spark at the point where the trolley pole touched the overhead electrical line. I assumed it was a faulty tram on its way back to the depot for repairs and I returned to my slumber, completely unaware that Toronto was in the midst of one of the most catastrophic ice storms in recent history.

Toronto Ice Storm-10

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