Monday, November 21, 2016

summer again

I was really hoping that with all the other crap going on we could miss summer this year, just put it off or maybe isolate it somewhere else so people who wanted it could go and have it in a particular place but not here. Apparently that's 'not how things work'. It's not even summer yet and yesterday was the first really hot day of the second half of 2016 - and even then, not really really hot, just enough to remind you that yes, that's what it's like. And of course the first day that it's really hot it's not oppressive, just annoying.

I belive in complaining. Today will be hot too, then a cool change, they say. I have been around the block enough to know that I should not necessarily believe everything 'they' say. 

New consumer products:

New Small World Experience album, I was privileged to get advance files for my iPod (can you believe I still think 'walkman' first then have to go to 'iPod' and they're both redundant! SWE are rarely different, usually the same, always excellent. This new one is called Soft Knocks and it is out 2017. Sensational. 

New Garry Disher - but you know, it's a month of the year, so of course there's a new Garry Disher. 

Peter Hook's book about New Order. No-one comes out of this one well, at all. Everything you always knew about behind-the-scenes at a big rock/pop band. They all hate each other, they are irrational and childish, blah blah. Huge amounts of money and time are wasted, and the outcome is diminishing returns in the product. Who can be bothered?! 

Ugh, men. Why do I bother. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump 2

A couple of days on, I have finally bitten the bullet and started catching up on the usual podcasts, etc.

My usual diet is of Slate podcasts (Political Gabfest, Culture Gabfest, more recently Trumpcast which only a few days was triumphally announcing its own demise) these are going to be hard to take. However you have to, or change your habit of filling your days with other people's talk so you don't have to think so much. Hmm. 

He won't last, but Pence will, you have to assume. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump

Unsure whether to avoid media etc or face it head on. In two minds. I suppose the strong approach is to face it. Or retreat for personal mental health? Really hard to know.

It's not my country that voted for a demonstrable fuckwit, but my country could as easily have done so. (My country did vote for a fuckwit but an old-school one).

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

100 reviews # 11 Mount Trout EP on Rough Skies

I am sure this has happened to you – sometimes, probably very occasionally (i.e. every couple of years) you’ll hear a record that you feel completely aligns with your tastes and interests, something you had hitherto no experience of or knowledge about, and you’ll have a range of positive responses. Right? I hope so for your sake.

Wouldn’t it be funny if I then said ‘But, yeah, this ain’t one of those moments’.


Actually it is. I have had a good solid selection of varied musical experiences this year as a consumer, from bland europop in Polish shops to extraordinary synth rock in a Finnish bar and plenty of great Melbourne/Australian bands as well of course. But this kind of takes the cake for me in 2016 (so far. I hope it gets better but could my tiny mind take it?!). I’ve always had a strong disposition towards controlled shambling, and this Tasmanian boy band nails that, with two tiny instrumentals and two polished new wave songs that could or would have been underground hits in, you know, 1979.

I'll keep listening to this record, if I have anything more intelligent to say than 'I really like it', I'll let you know.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

the ric melbourne crazy album

Never let anyone tell you that there was ever any such thing as the good old days. Wow, the world is horrible enough now, but it was twice as horrible even in my lifetime. Thrice maybe. This is so extraordinarily - I think the best word is 'lame' - that I do think it would be funnier if you didn't understand English. Truly the only funny thing - and I am using the term broadly - is in one sketch where a horse puts its head through the door at various punchlines and neighs, for no reason.* Which reminds me, happy birthday Phar Lap.

By the way I guess you had to be there, but I was, and I am pretty sure this wasn't funny then, then again, I still think back to when Graeme Kennedy was a regular guest on some show... on 3LO I think... where they'd regularly play Don McLean's 'Wonderful Baby', a song I still love, and at the end Kennedy would make bird noises. And when I think back to that, I laugh. No accounting for anything, including taste.

* Though there is also a song sung by a whinger which I kind of enjoyed though I didn't really think it was funny.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

what have I learned

Now I can’t remember what kind of a traveller I used to be. A much more acquisitive one, that’s for sure, I was right into grabbing stuff to adorn my Melbourne life that evoked the travel experience and I felt that things that had particular sentimental/ experiential significance were very important. So, I guess, I mean souvenirs. But what I really wanted to do was kit my living circumstance out like the everyday of other places, that glamorous otherness, and that was impossible, though you know when I go to a Finnish op shop (particularly one of those ones with the extensive furniture/interior decoration section) I think surely it would be worth it to come to this country, fill up an shipping crate with amazing things, and open a shop back in Melbourne sort of like a parallel universe Savers. Though it’s the aesthetic, and the ambience, that excites me more than the actual things. So I suppose I should take a picture (and I have done, many) because undoubtedly it will last longer.

I’ve spent seven weeks in countries where English is not the main language, though it is a language almost everyone has a bit of a handle on (the funniest bit, which I might not have mentioned, is the habit of Polish flea market owners to signify (for instance) ‘5’ not by holding up five fingers, but writing the number in the air). It’s been slightly strange but I have to say, absolutely nothing at all like it would be to spend seven weeks in an English-speaking country like Australia knowing only Polish or Swedish or Finnish or even French. So I’ve been lucky. But I did start to get a bit of isolation psychosis I think towards the end. It is possible I am still suffering from that a little. It’s nice to know that if it absolutely positively has to happen I can manage with my own drab company for extended (ish) periods. It wasn’t like living in a cave in the Himalayas. Even without scheduled meetings/discussions with people, I still periodically had nice chats with people in shops or on buses or whatever so if I was complaining, which I am not, obviously I’d have nothing to complain about.

So what happens when I return. Glad you asked. I have about five ten papers to write before the end of the year, and I’m thinking about completely reworking one of my courses, which is only right and fair, considering we have a whole new degree on offer at work anyway. In fact, that’s something I’ll probably do now, while I’m buggerising around at the airport.

I think I have quite a bit of detail to put in on some of the earlier parts of the trip when it was all so frenetic I didn’t get around to writing much down, but I have pics, I can piece it back together at some point, though it will be with a very different kind of outlook/perspective, like remembering a dream. From photographs.

Europe used to be so glam and exotic, and now it’s kind of… they do things better there most of the time, except when it comes to the riding of bicycles on the footpath, or all that fucking heavy metal music (I’ve never seen so many Scorpions albums). And the smoking… idiots. I guess when it comes down to it wherever you live there are things that make you cringe and you wish it could be like something/somewhere else but… no, I can’t formulate a coherent or interesting philosophy on this!!!

I am writing this at Charles De Gaulle gate K a huge slightly 1930sish tunnel of departure lounges. I had a peculiar day of wandering, going to museums that were resolutely ferme for reasons I didn’t understand. Pompidou centre, for instance, had people going in and coming out of it but it wasn’t open (I think they might just have been going to the restaurant). Anyway, it didn’t matter that much. I was really just filling in time. I have a long day ahead of me, Paris to Shanghai, Shanghai to Melbourne, I hope it is fairly uneventful, I have some (probably not enough) things to entertain me and with luck, I will also do some sleeping.