I watched the Long Way to the Top Live spectactular which was on tv last night. I taped it for no special reason, and watched it too, also for no special reason. My favourite bits were Tamam Shud, Coloured Balls and Spectrum. These three really didn't fit the whole extravaganza very well which was perhaps why I liked them the best. We stopped getting shots of the crowd enjoying themselves when they were on (though Mike Rudd did get the crowd to sing a verse of 'I'll be gone'). I noted that a lot of the bands probably weren't really the bands at all and I would be interested to discover how it was decided what made something credible. How many Twilights were in the Twilights? How many Axioms were in Axiom? Presumably Don Mudie wasn't in 'em or something would have been made of it; on the other hand Glenn Wheatley was in the Masters Apprentices (wa-hey!) but nothing much was made of that. Of the two songs Axiom did, one was a Brian Cadd solo hit ('Ginger Man'). Of the one song Chain did, one song was a Matt Taylor solo hit. Well, there is a distinct possibility that out of 20 million Australians I am the only one who could give a loose root about these distinctions.
Then I started watching (this blog should be called What I Watched on the TV, either as a monitor for pre-recorded media, or direct from broadcast, Today) the late 90s rock film Dead Set but then I remembered there was that documentary on Andy Warhol so I thought... Mia might want to watch that (she's recording vocals in the music room at the moment - see, there's someone who actually does things, instead of just passively soaking up the fruits of western culture) so I am videorecording it. You know, Andy Warhol is one of those one million people who in one sense I feel I already know 50 times more about than I ever needed to, and I don't particularly love his work, but the split second of the program that I saw, which featured some ducklings swimming in a little patch of dirty water inside a pedal boat in a lake, seemed interesting. I mean if there were any more images like that in there I would feel it was an effective enough investment of time and electricity.
Anyway, I'm being too hard on myself because a lot of the time when I'm watching television I'm doing something else as well like drawing or typing. These last few days I have done three pages of the second instalment of my graphic novel, and they look great, especially one heading where I drew the vine from the front window of Heathcote behind some letters, and blacked in the rest of it, and I'm so pleased with the result I have to look at it every time I go past it on the table. Actually when I drove up to Gladstone Park to return a DVD today I was listening to the radio (Mia fixed the radio in the car, what a gem) and they were talking about people who do more than one thing at once to give themselves the false impression that they were busy, but getting stuff done. I agree I might fit that description but I would also have to say - is this acculturated? - that I could literally not imagine listening to the radio and not doing something else. And as I said, I tend not to really watch television without doing something else as well - unless it's got subtitles or a light plane with James Reyne in it which is about to explode.
I have five cassettes on the shelf to my right. They are: ABC's The Lexicon of Love which I believe I have blogged about sufficiently already; Men at Work's Business as Usual which I have never listened to but like to always have the option; Gilbert O'Sullivan's Southpaw, which I really should listen to sometime because I've always enjoyed G O'S. It features no hits (that I'm aware of) but it has a song called 'The Best Fun I Ever Had' which I am very keen to hear; that's the kind of song title that really thrills me. I imagine that's why I was keen on the Farmers Boys, they always had intriguing titles like 'Probably the Best Investment I Ever Made' (that might not actually be the correct title, I'll get my butler to fix it later). The other two tapes are Max Q's album Max Q and Janet Jackson's Control. I am not entirely sure why I have the Max Q album on cassette as I already have it on vinyl and as I said to someone only a couple of weeks ago (hell, why do I have these conversations!?!) I'd rather hear Orchestra of Skin and Bone anyday. I wonder where my copy of that LP got to, because I don't seem to have that anymore. And Janet Jackson is just a personal favourite of mine. I have that really great album of hers with 'Black Cat' on it, you know, 1812 Overture (I know that's not what it's called, but my butler can fix that when he does the Farmer's Boys thing) and I have her greatest hits, with that song about running away to a desert island that I always associate with my employment stacking shelves in the science library at the University of Sydney, because I think it was a hit then and I used to listen to Martin Molloy (why no 'and'?) on whatever gross commercial radio station they used to be on. During the fulfilment of that employ I also became very familiar with Neil Young's superb Everybody Knows This is Nowhere which I purchased on cassette at a garage sale around that time and listened to constantly. I was going out with Felicity at that time and she did not know where to place herself in regard to me owning a Neil Young tape. It was perplexing in the extreme for her, rather like I think as if she found that I had a suitcase full of magazines about hot rods or some other private interest that she didn't have a handle on. Why exactly my possession of a Neil Young cassette had this effect on her I frankly don't know, but I do know that she thought it very odd. She knew nothing at all about Neil Young, and for all I know she had never even heard of him before. It was one of those strange contretempses (I know, I know, that's not the plural of contretemps and I know, contretemps is probably not the right word, but luckily for me I've got the old butler who can just clean that stuff up anytime I say) that had no explanation then anymore than it does now, 12 years later. I still think Tony Martin is really funny and I thought Bad Eggs was a great film, I seem to fly in the face of a lot of hotly-held opinion there although I know Mia agrees with me.
I have booked myself to go to Wellington in mid-February for a conference. It's so funny how not only have I asked all the people I know who have NZ connections what they know about Wellington, and got no real information, but I have also forgotten that I've asked them, and asked them again. I am a total pain in the arse like that. Wellington this, Wellington that. The only thing I know about Wellington is it's named after a dance.