Thursday, January 31, 2008

a building now absent

I have long noted the inability in myself, many times, to remember what a building was when it's gone. I think I remember this one though. It was quite big.

wisdom of the ages

Today it struck me that people are looking more and more like other people. For instance, a couple of days ago on the train I saw a man who looked exactly like Adam Sandler. Of course he was playing up to it by having the same haircut. But other people are looking more like other people, other than themselves. I think it is part of God's Great Plan to have us all eventually looking like one person, though I am not sure who.

I have been listening to a few BBC programs the last few months, and I think they know because they keep talking about the people round the world who listen. I listen to The News Quiz, Just a Minute (an old favourite from my early teenage years, Clement Freud is still a beaut) and Thinking Allowed occasionally and In our time. I love the peremptory way Melvyn Bragg begins In our Time, don't you.

I mean none of the serious stuff is a match for Late night live etc, by the same token if we're talking Radio National, it beats that spurious NPR bullshit to death with its own stupidity (those people are so frigging smug). Honestly, I was listening to an NPR chat last week on RN and the woman talking was explaining how she explained conciliation of some sort to her granddaughter it was so vomitous I literally was annoyed. Who are these fuckwits.

Meanwhile, the drawn-out departure of Janae from Neighbours continues. Despite her absurd taylorcottered name, Eliza Taylor-Cotter is one of the best actors Neighbours has seen, and Janae's twists and turns have been fun from the beginning (now she has generally forgotten she isn't supposed to pronounce the g in 'frigging', 'listening', 'talking' etc, that fakish workin' class speakin', she's even better). To compensate, the producers of Neighbours are giving us triple-dose Carmella, one of the least appealin' characters in Neighbours evah, and her freakin' baby Ecoli. Puke!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

swings and roundabouts

I stayed late at work last night for 2 hours, which some part of my inner being seems to think means I can delay leaving for work this morning as long as I flipping please. So I had my coffee on the deck of the studio (new tradition I've invented) and rummaged around on the internet and thought about going to Fletcher Jones Moonee Ponds en route to work so I can get some new socks. I won't get there till midday at this rate. And I was doing so well...

Monday, January 28, 2008

long weekend

It has been a pretty good long weekend. I was up in Ballarat this morning to do the final proofing/corrections on the history book I am co-editing, and B'rat was nice 'n' empty 'n' its usual picturesque self, I was thinking about the way it's been so comprehensively heritagised, with its 19th century McDonalds and its Kryal Castle and so on. Who's ever been to Kryal Castle? I've never known anyone to have gone there.

Millie is the one big concern, she is still being bothered by her wounded leg which is a problem for all of us, she has (as you can see) a bucket (aka Buster Collar) on her head and she has devised a way to scrape at the leg with the edge of the bucket when it bothers her, so it's not getting massively better or as the vet says 'scabbing up'. I suppose it will but meanwhile she is not comfortable and it's a bit gross. though as you can tell perhaps from this para I am not as bothered by it as I was.

I went to visit my grandmother Mavis in hospital where she is recovering from a chest infection. She seemed very well actually, you'll be pleased to hear. Slight cough. She seems to be a global warming sceptic but I didn't probe; perhaps it's more on her general philosophy that everything is cyclic.

We went to the DuttonPictonWarlow rural hice on Saturday for a birthday celebration of Miranda's. Mia, Fran/Hairy and James/Toby performed, as did the neighbour whose name I forget (sorry) but I think it began with G, and he did a Fats Waller number very finely. There was cake and I spoke to a man called Jim Bus about plate tectonics. In Daylesford I saw Fiona and Nom, two people I think about a lot but never see, and it was strange to run into them in Daylesford.

Now I am listening to Fanny Adams and this week I have to compile 2 readers and 2 powerpoint shows. Wish me luck.

australia day message

Monday, January 21, 2008

hey it's now

I noticed that in the 3 years of this blog I have successively posted six times less each year (though the first year, if I recall correctly, I didn't start till a third of the way through the year).
Looks like thus far I am breaking that habit though I guess it's early days yet.
Today was OK I went to Reservoir a place I love to go to and took some pictures, and even saw something that I might even have had a hand in, as per my usual role of conduit of other people's good ideas (you've probably heard about me taking the Beat Happening album to the Legend, man if nothing else is in my obituary that will be, it was the reason I was put on earth by the lord) anyway I will just tantalise you unfairly with that statement as I may not have had anything to do with it I'll check it out and get back to you how stupid what a thing to write.
Millie still has a 'buster collar' (that is their name) on her head which she seems to be able to handle ok. Have to take it off her if she wants a drink or food. After about 3 seconds she starts licking her leg. Rather her than me but in fact neither of us are to do that. She is on anti-inflammatories which she gobbles up.
I got the Fanny Adams album I bought on eBay in the mail today. It is pretty good. I love how there's a song on it called 'Gotta get a message to you'. I cannot imagine what the motivation behind that was (FA was a supergroup, one of its members is Vince Melouney who was in the Bee Gees and played on their song called Gotta get a message to you, at least I assume he did, he would have played it live anyway). It's actually a pretty good album, with some funny/strange stuff, bluesy. Good drumming.
It got in the way of what I was going to do today - listen to the third Pink Flamingos album. But I will.
See ya!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This? Oh, it's just my new bark amplifier. Now I can network and friend anyone within a km radius of the known universe, at any time. It also looks stylish.

It's fucken the streamlined version, alright.

three cheers for lort smith

Millie and I spent a few hours in the waiting room at the emergency Lort Smith last night because she pulled her bandage off and wouldn't leave her leg alone. The emergency cases that came ahead of us you wouldn't want to know about. Millie, although she wouldn't leave her leg alone (she obviously has some issue about its ownership) was basically very good and the time reminded me yet again what a patient and noble soul she is. She is now walking round the disgruntled owner of a large plastic collar to stop her worrying at her wound, so may be experiencing some regret ('why am I so flipping subservient?')

Friday, January 18, 2008

proud to be a humean

what i'm listening to at the moment

If you can't be bothered, it's Darling Downs - Pink Flamingos - Dolly Mixture - Magic Dirt - Mum Smokes - New Estate. For best effect, play them all at once.

Note (as per my picture above)they are very guitar-oriented. I can't play guitar, it just helps me look sincere.

668th post

I saw Peter Escott play last month and he is a very exciting up and coming young artiste. Kind of like the new Paul Hewson.

667th post

I don't have anything to add to the great sum of human reasoning I just didn't want to leave my number of postings at 666, the number of obese. I am starting out for work a little late this morning because I've ordered something from the SLV - a book by HH Smith about libraries - I know what you're thinking, HH Smith the architect who designed the Bexley Women's Rest Centre? Well, all things considered (to quote the title of a very po-faced program that the ABC takes from US national public radio over the summer) probably not that HH Smith. But I owe it to the world to make sure, as it might be. There are a lot of Smiths in the English-speaking world, all weird, but the number of H. Smiths must be much less, and H. H. Smiths significantly fewer, so it's worth the gamble ay.

Millie update: she has a cute red (it was coloured that way by dye) bandage on her foot, and I haven't been game to look in her ear yet. She can hobble around but obviously feels a bit hard done by, who wouldn't, especially anyone who doesn't understand medicine or surgery. She cannot see any value in licking the bandaged foot, so keeps licking the other three. Charlie is quietly relieved to have her back ('everything I thought was true was temporarily challenged, but was then confirmed') and so are we.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

animal experiments

Well, Millie ended up having not only a fleshy protrusion removed from her ear, but also from her leg (seems the vet was inspired to prune). This means Millie stayed at the vets overnight and Charlie has had not only a day 'alone' but also a night. She is not used to this kind of thing and clearly does not like it.

If you regularly visit us at the Crescent you will know that Charlie has some hostility rooted in her wish to control a situation; she is a real life Peter Costello, to cite archaic political history. Millie, on the other hand, (I am not going to say she is a kind of John Howard figure because that is a terrible insult - although come to think of it now the Libs also hate Howard maybe I should reassess) she jovially refuses to surrender power yet never seems to be anything but in control however is not at all domineering or showy about it.

Charlie has really defined herself by her relation to Millie, then, and now she is adrift. God knows what she'll think when Millie shows up today with bandages and crotchetty. Either that Millie is a god or a mortal, I suppose, and retreat or attack accordingly.

I love dogs, but it is a pretty venal society. And beagles are notoriously the most passive dogs! Charlie is an anomaly, though, I have to say.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

sex and society

First of all, I should warn you that some of this post might be a little tasteless, or at least, some of you might think it so. But I might have mentioned en blog a year or so ago how fascinated I was by L G De Garis' last years when he had bowel cancer and found his own body so interesting and the stages of the disease a rare fascination, including when he collapsed and vomited in church. I mean he was an eccentric to the end, I am (oops - I wrote 'was') just a person.

The illustration herein is interesting too in its irrelevance. I was thinking (as you will see, this is what this entry is about) about how people position themselves in structured/planned space, and I thought oh yeah the cover of that Vice Versa record where you see the bird's eye view of the people watching television. Now. looking at the cover in question, I see it is in fact a picture of the improbable idea of a man with a riot shield and baton, facing a television. To my credit, I was correct in remembering it is a bird's eye view. It's not immediately obvious that it's a person with a riot shield etc, until you see the other pictures on the sleeve, showing him from other directions.

Anyway, I went to all the trouble of scanning it, saving it in photoshop and erasing the name of the radio station that the person who sold it to the record shop I bought it from stole it from, which I feel fine about because said radio station (NOT a public radio station) wouldn't want it anyway, and then saving it for web, so here it is. Sorry it's still got a sticker on it. It's not a great record. Vice Versa added Martin Fry and became ABC.

So the slightly tasteless bit first, sorry, but it's kind of interesting. I was filling in time at a notable educational institution this morning (NOT my usual workplace) and I went to a cafe which had a large window at one end, and tables arranged in rows aligned with this window. When I entered I noticed that there was a conventionally quite attractive woman at the window end of the room, and a who cares man a few tables away from her also at the window end. I quite consciously thought, I must not sit anywhere in the room where I'll be facing this woman because it will look like I am there to perve on her. A few minutes later I realised I had quite unconsciously sat at a table facing the woman. As god is my witness (and that means a lot) I have to say I did not consciously do it and it is possible I sat there because it was a good place for maximum natural light, though of course not as good as if I'd sat facing with my back to the window! Oh, I'm a terrible person. If it makes us feel any better later I heard her talking to a staff member and I thought what a ghastly tootling voice she had.

Soon afterwards, I was in a meeting that involved seven people sitting round a table (or rather, four tables pushed together). It was 4 women and 3 men. The 4 women all sat consecutively (actually that's not strictly true, as there was a space between two women) and so of course did the 3 men. I have no idea how conscious this was on anyone's part. (In this instance I'm not thinking that the men sat to ogle the women or that anyone ogled anyone. By the way, my previous scenario did not involve me ogling either actually).

I guess this could have been coincidental (what are the odds?) During the meeting on the rare occasion my mind wandered (it was a 6 hour meeting) I thought about other ways you could categorise people - by institution, for instance (and with one exception, we were all sitting contiguously by institution) or by discipline or department (again, we were roughly sorted on discipline lines). Essentially the person who was the odd one out in these categorisations probably felt the odd one out themselves, as they (note how cleverly I am disguising their gender) were in a different, administrative role to everyone else and was about to leave the project under discussion. Additionally, they are much younger than the others, if that's a consideration.

Well, I thought it was interesting at the time. Now I look over it again the most interesting thing was the Vice Versa record cover.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

mia at the coalface


She feels as much at home on the building site as when she's jamming with her band The Cool Change or playing guitar near a dog - she's Mia!

it's official

I have a new job. To those not paying too much attention it might not look radically different from my old job. I'll keep you posted as to how different it really is.

I have to admit getting rid of my myspace was partly because I knew this new job was coming up and myspace - if you're a consumer, not a publiciser of creative work hoping to be in touch with your consumers - is a bit babyish, I feel. I certainly didn't welcome the time one of my students found me on myspace. So I am not there anymore. I only started that myspace account because I was writing about things like that for The Big Issue (that's my story, I'm sticking to it, and it's true, though it's also true that I got a bit into myspace and the cool people I could contact through it). Though I daresay a student could pretty easily happen upon this blog. That, I think, is OK though I daresay they will be daunted by its general boringness.

Warning: the following information may be considered scintillating by some:

Tomorrow I am going to Oakleigh.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

toby time

Yesterday when Millie and I were at the vet's (she is having something that looks like a small brain removed from her ear next week) we encountered a 14-year-old terrier with a skin rash called Toby. It must be quite a rash to have its own name but there you go. Today I got a text from Toby Dutton asking if I was on campus and two seconds later a phone call from Toby Creswell asking if he could interview me for Great Aust Albums series II. I mean wow if I encounter one more Toby in this 24 hour period I think I will just plain toby out.

i mean...

Annoyingly on the home computer I can't edit posts, which is usually my way, so I would have just gone back and tweaked the below, to add that I have worked with many people I admire - I meant, 'admired from afar', eg Calvin Mark Perry Gilmore Alastair etc. I have actually been incredibly lucky with the people I've played music with and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mia and I have a long-term plan to be a band called MSG (not that MSG but Mia Schoen Group) with Mindy on bass and me on drums. It will be largely Mia's old songs i.e. she won't be writing new songs for the band specifically and it will be afternoon shows/residencies etc. Anyway, this is long into the future we are presently too busy.

And Ashtray Boy are theoretically recording a long-playing record.


That said I have had the chance on occasion to work with people I admire and usually fuck it up. The one real exception was the songs Stephen O'Neil and I did with Mark Perry which ended up on an Alternative TV album sometime later. That was great, I mean I didn't do anything masterful but I suppose I held my own, and we recorded those with Steve Albini which was fun. The fuck ups include (I was just reminiscing about this with Geoff from Sly Hats/Crayon Fields yesterday) an early Beat Happening recording which I just couldn't do, I was scared or daunted or something, which is weird. A live show with Gilmore from The Yips when I just couldn't get the rhythm of the song - that was embarrassing - it was I think at Lounge Ax in Chicago. And similarly a show at the Punters with Alastair Galbraith about 8 years ago - I just couldn't get the song at all. These last two were pretty impromptu, which is probably the biggest hurdle. Embarrassing though.

There are no doubt others that I have suppressed.
I admit the above might be more my impression/perception than anything but still... one does stuff things up sometimes. There's no shame in it, well, there is, but there's no point fretting over the shame or being ashamed of the fretting.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I would like to work with Barry and Robin Gibb. Having seen Barry's Now Voyager, I think I understand where he's coming from. And Robin is a groover.

Also Paul McCartney

more megastars

A chance discussion at Nicole and Julian's bbq yesterday gave me more cause for thought. J was playing Iggy Pop a bit on his ipod speaker whatdoyoucallit. I am not as nuts about IP as some people but like him better than, for instance, Dylan or Spears. We were talking a little about who his backing musicians were on various albums, New Values, Soldier, whatever. Somehow Julian opined, who wouldn't want to be in Iggy's band. I opined that I wouldn't as I didn't see myself as sufficiently musically able to bring anything to the scenario. I noticed there was no protest otherwise from the few assembled but that's OK. But then it gave me cause to think - what would my dream musical invitation be? Aside from the fact I have already had so many over the last 23 years. Well, I guess there are some obvious ones and some not so obvious ones, and I'm focusing here on things that I really think I could bring something to, though of course framed always in the pornographic fantasy of:

'Is that David? It's * * from * * here. Our drummer * * has just broken his/her wrists by sitting on his/her hands while wearing too heavy a hat. Can you fill in at two hours' notice? We'll pay you one million dollars and we start recording our new album the day after!!! Yeah we are recording at Todd Rundgren's new studio in, uh, Glenroy. Todd really likes your work and he recommended you!'

Of course, #1 would be
It's Mayo Thompson from The Red Krayola here. Our best living drummer George Hurley has just...

I think I could bring something to the RK although it wouldn't be that much better than George Hurley unfortunately, but you know, he's unavailable... I would like the band to be recording in the studio though, not faffing around with that back-and-forth ADAT-in-the-mail stuff that they are quite good at but which probably wouldn't work for me with my idiosyncratic (read: meagre) talents.

Jesse Chamberlain and Epic Soundtracks are I guess my two favourite dead drummers, so it would be daunting to fill their shoes. But everyone says Mayo is great to work with and I bet it would be great. Actually I'd just be happy to see the Red Krayola some time. I always seem to miss them.

#2 would probably be...

It's Mark Smith from The Fall here. Your granny on bongos has just...

Poor granny. The granny on bongos line gave me heart though. I could be kind of shit for a while and they'd, or he'd, put up with me for the time being, and we'd both really enjoy the tension/scrappy nature of it. And when I told him once or twice I didn't like the new songs much he'd find that amusant. The third time he'd sack me but that's a badge of honour as well. I could say I was too real, or he was, or whatever.

#3 might be...

It's Daniel Morphett once of the Craven Fops here. We are reforming to play at Clinton Walker's 35th birthday and Kit/Neil/Belinda whoever...

Do I know how to play 'Epic'? 'When a whisky buys a whisky'? 'Open my eyes'? Fuck probably! They were such a hot band when they did it properly, and of course, my rough and ready style would really drive the performance like a moke. I am very ready.

More later maybe I need to think some more.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

how are megastars created?

Megastars are created by the people needing someone to argue over that everyone knows something about (or think they do). Last night at Suze's 36th I had two conversations/arguments about Hendrix and Dylan. It's almost embarrassing, actually, you know what? It is embarrassing. I have no interest in either of these figures. I felt like I was being untrue to myself anyway by pursuing the line that I prefer Donovan to Dylan (which I do, but that's fairly irrelevant; neither of them really thrill me) because it was such a hacky way to go. What I would really like to do is erase the whole debate (or wait until that increasingly unlikely event transpires: that I suddenly get why Dylan is a genius, on a visceral/emotional/immediate rather than a theoretical level). And then, for god's sake, Hendrix, a debate inspired by the fact that someone had played a 20+ minute version of Voodoo Chile on RRR as part of a series of 'classics' (yes, that's what we need public radio for - to play all the songs commercial FM has been flogging for the last quarter of a century but without ads). Not that commercial FM would have touched this Voodoo Chile, it was a National Lampoon comedy record of everything that was bloated and foul about the music of the late 1960s, and like all National Lampoon comedy records, not funny. (Unlike the National Lampoon horror records).

I suppose that everyone also has an opinion on Britney Spears I should have steered the conversation in that direction, because I would have liked to know what that opinion was, though frankly I couldn't give a loose root about her either.

Toby and Suze's house is excellent. A yellow brick 1930s-1950s (???!!!) bungalow on a strange shaped block of land, it has those beautiful deco ceilings and fireplaces. It costs them so much money to rent that the landlord will go straight to hell, but show me a landlord who won't, property being theft and so on.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

recent events

Recent events have occurred which I will now put forward.

* Kenzie had his first bath, and did not like it.
* Laurie had his (umm) second birthday, and had a good time though I hope he soon learns the correct response to 'goodbye Laurie' is not 'goodbye Laurie'. Or do I perhaps hope he shall never learn it?
* Olivia made a good joke at Laurie's party which I now don't remember but it was something about whether Niamh would embarrass her parents at the cutting of the cake, and Olivia said 'she will only embarrass herself'. You had to be there or perhaps you were.
* New Estate have finished mixing their third album
* It will be hot tomorrow and the day after (this is I admit not a recent event - yet) (depending on when you're reading this, that is)
* Joe Boyd's White Bicycles is quite good but could have been much (25 times) longer. It made me want to hear the Incredible String Band, though having heard them, I did kind of think big deal.
* The Pretzel shop at Broady plaza is good.