Thursday, April 30, 2009

apropos of nothing

A marvellous song from Utopia, written and sung by Todd Rundgren, one of my favourite ballads ever and, gosh, I love ballads (if they're good).

I bought Todd's latest album Arena a few months ago sort of out of sentimentality but I have really come to enjoy it greatly. This was not a foregone conclusion but it's getting a lot of play on my ipod. This is probably my favourite song from the album (this live version doesn't quite capture the sharp and dense sound of the record - how could it - but it has its own appeal):

And, well, why not...

I suppose you could say, 'why not? because of the eyebrows, that's why not, and now I'm going to have nightmares'. I see your point.

millie update/ me update

Millie still has her bandage on, which is bothering her, but worse, Millie and Charlie spent a substantial amount of time home alone this afternoon and when I got home Millie had busted the scab on her nose, which meant she had blood splashes all up her snout. It didn't look that attractive and really was quite disturbing. I guess this is all part of the good thing that she is actually feeing a bit better, more lively, and therefore reckless. I certainly can't imagine how she sustained that damage however, especially as she had the buster collar on. I dabbed at the cut ineffectually with some antiseptic.

As for me, I have been suffering in the last couple of days from something that is giving me headaches and making me lose my appetite, though I feel much better this evening and actually will probably cancel tomorrow's doctor's appointment on the basis that I have a lot of living to do.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I got an ipod for my birthday, an ipod nano. I am still getting my head around how ipods work. Do they really exercise that much control over things you can and can't play? Like, I have a few bits and pieces sitting in i-tunes that are from vinyl, and although the ipod is happy to appear to load them up ('upload' them, I think is the term) it won't play them. Perhaps this has nothing to do with ipoddery or itunism, and just something to do with the format of the song in question. I have also discovered that my Empire of the Sun CD actively refuses to go inside the computer, it just jumps out again. Is this the new breed of copy protect? I ask because the first Sleepy Jackson CD was copy protect, though the second wasn't, and this one doesn't say one way or the other whether it is or not, but I have discovered I can download a few EOTS songs from the internet, but there is no way my first i-tunes purchase (if I ever do purchase anything from i-tunes) will be songs I already own on a CD, I don't care how much that is technically the legal avenue. Anyway, ipods are pretty amazing. And so is the EOTS album, in a funny throwaway way.

* Later: Mia says it has nothing to do with where the music came from, but it has to be coverted to MP3. I have literally no idea how to do this.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April's party

April turned three yesterday and had a party today. I turned 44 last week and didn't have a party at all, in case you were wondering why you weren't invited. April's party was pretty good. Laurie asked me how Millie was after being in a car crash, and I told him she was doing surprisingly well. Florence held my finger in five of hers. Nicola lent me the Mark E Smith biography (via Laurie, who's just finished it). I talked to Jon Michell about the Virgins (again), I talked to Guy about Arthur Russell and also the Necessaries, I talked to Ellen about where she works which is like, some upmarket bar and what chances there were of persuading her to play the Huon reunion/launch show.
Earlier in the day I watched a bit of Secret Service with Rupert. This is an incredible Gerry Anderson series from 1969 which was the last of the supermarionation shows. It really blends live action with puppetr... er, supermarionation very closely. I had never heard of it or seen it before, it was very cool. If I'd had a dream that I was going to watch a show from 1969 starring Stanley Unwin as a clergymen called Father Unwin that blended a puppet of Stanley Unwin with the real Stanley Unwin, I would think that was appropriate subject matter for one of my dreams, which often do feature odd permutations of popular culture like that. This was not a sodding dream.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

essendon airport again

We had to take Millie back to the Essendon Animal Accident Emergency place again because our ordinary vets' was closed for Anzac Day (what would Simpson's Donkey have done?) and she needs her bandage changed every day (her progress is very good). So I had a few minutes so I went into the terminal. Much to my surprise, astonishment and awe it is very similar to Launceston Airport. You know what Launceston Airport's like? I felt like I was at Launceston Airport, true!

Weirdly, Essendon Airport is quite elevated, so that across the landing field you just see mountains. It is quite disorienting. There are over a million people in houses and other buildings between you and those mountains, but you can't see them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

millie: weekiversary of The Accident

Well, Millie is no longer constipated, that's for sure (if I said 'I'll never look at black pudding the same way again' you'd know what I meant, but truth is, I never looked at black pudding with anything but revulsion anyway: and I was pleased to see what Millie produced, given her system's reluctance in previous days). She is still sleeping a lot which I think is a good thing, particularly because when she decides to do something, it's a hassle. She will sometimes let the bad leg touch the ground, which is probably a good sign too, though she gives no indication that she can use the thing at all (except to steady herself). I haven't actually seen what the damage looks like, that's a pleasure reserved for a few days' time when the bandage formally comes off (the dressing is being changed daily however). She is very sooky and if I was into anthropormorphism I'd say she's trying to say 'I'se sowwy faw de twubble I cawsed.' (Her stomach looks more mottled than it usually would at the moment, ie in the picture above, because it has been shaved, I think there was some kind of morphine implant in there until recently.)

It cost us a fortune to hospitalise her and it's continuing to cost - daily vet visits which we can ill-afford, frankly. However it is silly to reduce a dog like Millie down to $$$, quite apart from her intrinsic value she's a good guard dog and has brought joy to the lives of many.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Proper Millie update

Well, I took the day off work to look after Millie (what I wrote below was just pre- a 9 am vets' appointment) and of course 'work from home', which despite the inverted commas I am actually going to do. Then I took her to the vet and he wants to sedate her and change the dressing on her leg so I am now looking after the refreaked Charlie for a few hours till I pick her up in the early afternoon. I imagine this is what taking junior to childcare is like. So, now I am going to write a first draft of this overdue book chapter. But you don't care about me, you care about Millie. She is in pretty good shape all things considered and for someone who was probably in the top ten Melbourne dogs about to lose a leg (or perhaps even put down) she is looking fine. The graze on her nose is no longer vivid red so she doesn't look like someone's beaten her up from the front, either. She can go up stairs - but not down and she has apparently been quite constipated the last few days. She is also extremely sooky. But fortunately she seems to appreciate the gravity of her condition.

I worked out a couple of days ago that since Millie was around New Years Eve 1999, she must be ten and a half, not nine and a half as previously believed. Seems to make a big difference.
i am patting millie with one hand and guess what typing this with the other and listening to a bbc documentary about sandy denny with my ears. i am wondering whether the following is just bad grammar or whether it is a question of, some people's lives being just the first stage of their 'career' - if they're any good of course.

anyway off to the vet's in 10 mins for a dressing change.

* later I suppose a lot of people would read that bit about 'both her songs' and think, what, she only had two songs?! Like the Reynolds Girls?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

essendon airport

One of the strange things about the place where Millie is hospitalised is that it is the (former, I suppose) Essendon Airport Terminal building. I don't know for a fact but since the various famous international bands of the 60s landed at Essendon Airport when they came to Melbourne (the Small Faces trip was, I think, notorious because there was the threat of prosecution when one of them opened a beer on the plane - or was that the Who?) you'd assume this was the building they passed through. Now I come to think of it the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, another celeb also landed there in '54. Well, now the place they probably walked through to a gaggle of admirers and press is an emergency animal hospital. Maybe it's the vibes of famous and talented people that Millie is soaking up and getting better on. This is not in itself a tremendously interesting video, it's just proof, though it is always funny when commentators have to commentate on things that aren't really happening. 'Nice wave from George there'. Good shots of the airport (or the 'drome' as the commentator calls it) buildings around the 8:00 mark but as I said, there's no need to watch it, particularly as I can't orientate myself enough to be able to say where the actual building I'm talking about is.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

charlie: definition of freaked out

Many enquiries about Millie's welfare in the last day and a half, and a goodly percentage of those kind souls have also asked about Charlie's feelings. She is totally freaked. This afternoon I took her to the park where she barked at everyone and then about 10 mins from home we were approached by a gangly brown dog and Charlie ran the whole way home.

millie: has been better

For instance she was much better, in the picture above from a couple of years ago. But yesterday Millie decided to break through the fence and go for a walk, and was hit by a car at about 10.30am or so. Millie is presently in hospital and worst case scenario, may lose one of her back legs. Thank yous go out to neighbours John and Jill, the Hume Ranger, Meadow Heights vets, Essendon Animal Emergency Hospital. Updates as they come to hand.

Update Sat pm: Got a call from the vet at Essendon, Nicole, who has been tremendous. She says they were able in surgery to sew up the entire wound but there is a ruptured ligament. I don't really know what this is but it is serious apparently. It will be a few days before anything is really known about Millie's ultimate condition. It seems pretty likely she will never be 100% but it is much less likely than it was 30something hours ago that the accident will kill her.

Update Sun afternoon: Millie was bleeding into her abdomen last night, but this morning this appeared to have stabilised, if it has (fingers crossed), she will be coming home Wednesday. Leg condition remains unclear and will probably need more work.

Monday: bleeding may or may not be continuing but I saw her this evening and she looked a hundred times better than she did on Friday. In one sense that wouldn't be hard, but in another, it's an amazing change.

Tuesday: I saw Millie this morning, she was walking - in a way that a week ago I would have rushed her to the vet for, of course - with three feet bandaged and obviously some pain, but it's remarkable. Bleeding is still being monitored. They are happy with her progress however. I tried to take a picture of her but she wouldn't stay still or far enough away, both things I am pleased about really.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

knockout, tv comic, and six year old me

From an early age (probably four or five) I would receive a weekly comic from the newsagent. It would arrive rolled up in the newspaper along with what ever other magazines the household was subscribing to via this avenue (New Society). If I recall correctly my first was Playland, which was half way between a comic and a picture book (the action took place in pictures with captions beneath them). Strangely I recall Playland providing my first encounter with the word ‘welcome’, but not much else. (Later: I also recall being annoyed and frustrated at being unable to read it myself, and on at least one occasion being awake before my parents and probably stomping around trying to get someone to wake up and read it to me.)

Though the first real comic book across my desk was a random issue of Spooky, the tuff little ghost (purchased at a milk bar, now a small wine shop, in Cotham Road Kew near Genazzano and adjoining a tennis court where my father sometimes played with his friend Herb) my ongoing interest was in British comics, which did not feature long stories about single characters but weekly page-long stories (and sometimes continuing adventure stories). Wikipedia tells me that 1970s Knockout, the first comic I genuinely embraced, was launched in June 1971. English periodicals took a couple of months to reach us in Australia, so presumably it was August when I, coming up to 6 ½, encountered the debut issue in the newsagent’s next to the dentist with the circular window, also in Cotham Road Kew. The newsagent recommended it to me as a comic that only cost 10c (though looking at one of my two remaining issues, I see that while ‘10c’ is pencilled in the top right hand corner of the cover, the RRP printed on the bottom right is 8 cents). It recommended itself as being ‘all-colour’, a description I considered ludicrous and meaningless even then, as most of the pages were black, white and one other colour, included haphazardly and printed recklessly (see the frame from ‘Pete’s Pockets’ as an example). I took this on, just as I also took on the perplexing information that my father, as a boy, had also regularly purchased a comic called Knockout, entirely different in content but published by the same company (there had been an eight-year gap, Wikipedia now tells me, between the demise of that publication and the launch of the new one). A third strangeness about this interest – which only occurred to me as strange a few minutes ago – was that I did not know anyone who had a similar interest: this was a solitary pursuit.

Most children are like that stereotype of hobos jumping onto a moving train when it comes to absorbing culture. It’s a case of getting on, finding your foothold and balance and you’re away. A joke included in my issue of Knockout for 22 January 1972 shows two bearded men I now understand to be vikings, one with a horned helmet and another with two bicycle horns, with rubber bulbs, on either side. The conventionally helmeted viking says to the other: ‘WHEN I TOLD YOU TO GET HORNS FOR YOUR HELMET, I MEANT...’ No doubt I was at an age where different meanings for words (notwithstanding the common derivation of the idea of a horn) were becoming a commonplace notion but I am fairly sure this was my introduction to viking helmets – and vikings – and bicycle horns.

That said, there are many aspects of Knockout which today I realise I would have taken in my stride 37 years ago but which in fact were presented as faits accompli, and would have had as little essential meaning to a 43 year old reader then as they do now. A strip called The Haunted Wood presents a forest of evil, twisted and creepy trees in its title panel (this must have been a bit much for some readers; I note by the revamped 10 March 1973 issue I have, this panel is omitted).

A unnamed small boy, who serves only as a greek chorus for the trespassers in the wood who typically appear only to take away small branches, etc for humdrum domestic use, hangs around the edge of the wood warning of its dangers. The boy and his relationship to the wood is unexplained, as is the desire of the wood to stay whole. Every piece of lumber stolen from the Haunted Wood becomes animated and turns on those who would utilise it for (in the case of my two copies) a golf club or a standard lamp. The wooden objects then somehow propel themselves back to the clump of trees from whence they came (‘HA, HA!’ cries the boy as the standard lamp grows legs and runs home, ‘THE HAUNTED WOOD SURE MADE LIGHT WORK OF PROVING ITS POWER!’. The lame pun here would have made almost no impact on me at the time, if I had even noticed it, particularly as it is presented in such a convoluted sentence.)

Some strips in Knockout were more about fantasies of volition and magic powers for small children, or that at least was my interpretation. Pete’s Pockets was a fairly simple update of a common theme in both figurative speech and fantasy (not to mention timelordery) of the incomprehensively capacious repository. What was not explained was the unbelievable ugliness of Pete, whose face was like that of an ancient pugilist. Now, I suppose I can put that down to a number of things; an artist keeping his work interesting; a requirement to make the drawings funny, in ways the scripts for some reason rarely could be; awareness that, at that age and in that time, boys in particular were not required or perhaps were just not able to make those kinds of assessments about their physical appearance.

British comic characters tended to be male but there were always one or two girl characters. I gather Fuss Pot was one of the most popular of her time; she outlived Knockout itself by eleven years through three comics. It has to be said that Fuss Pot (who sleeps in a bed with the framed words ‘Fuss Sweet Fuss’ above her head) is a distinctly unpleasant character whose parents are, it is suggested but never stated, to blame for her appalling nature. Occasionally they get their revenge, such as here where, like some kind of greek tragedy crossed with Struwwelpeter, Fuss Pot has shaved her father’s beard off in the night only to have it pasted onto her own face.

Looking at my two remaining copies of Knockout now, and knowing what I know about publishing, I gather the comic was not a huge success. An ambitious cover strip called The Full House, in which the six panels of the strip represented six rooms in a house in which a family were reacting and responding to a central theme described by two birds on the roof (eg ‘THEY’RE WORKING OUT WAYS TO CUT THAT BOY’S LONG HAIR’) was relegated to conventional format inside, and another feature, Joker, about a boy who liked to prank, was given front cover status. Within two years Knockout was finished, or at least, merged with another comic, Whizzer and Chips (confusingly, Whizzer and Chips was already ‘two comics in one’). I do still recall the rather chilling message on the cover of the last Knockout where it was proclaimed that ‘the editor has news for you inside’. I am not sure that there was a comic strip there about the editor kicking back and proclaiming to me that everything I thought was solid would melt into air, but that is briefly what it felt like. I coped. It might even have been a slight relief, since I was seeing another comic on the side (see below).

As much as I was extremely loyal to it, one of the strangest things about Knockout – and I remember thinking about this then, and will still reflect on it now – is how terribly unfunny it was. The references to merriment throughout (from a masthead proclaiming, things like ‘FOR A RIB-TICKLING LAUGH READ BONEY INSIDE!’), the rhyming descriptors atop each page (‘PETE’S MASTERS STARE IN DISBELIEF... ALL BECAUSE OF A HANDKERCHIEF!’) bring it home: I am quite sure I never once laughed at anything in Knockout, and while this may have been in part because I didn’t get all – most, probably – of its references, I also suspect it just wasn’t funny. Looking at it now, I am surprised to find that a lot of the art is actually quite amusing and well-executed, despite – rather than because of – the storylines. Given this, I wonder what it was that drew me to publications like Knockout. It could have been that the Englishness was about as exotic as I could be comfortable with, a certain frisson of strangeness. It might not have been the Englishness so much as this strange world where every man was bald or balding, where class was a premium (eg the Knockout strip The Toffs and the Toughs); where we found clearly marked-out authority figures such as teachers in mortar-board hats and minor officials in uniforms.

At the same time as receiving Knockout I was allowed – spoilt child that I was – to receive a second comic. I don’t know why I chose TV Comic but it might have had something to do with some of the American cartoon characters in it (Road Runner, Tom and Jerry) portrayed, in that very odd way that the English had been doing for a half a century, with English interests and concerns. TV Comic had been around for twenty years when I picked it up, and had apparently always traded on specially-written stories featuring television characters padded out with non-television themed strips. In truth I quickly came to prefer TV Comic to Knockout largely because of the absurdity of stalwarts such as Mighty Moth and Texas Ted. One of the best things about Mighty Moth was that he referred to his foil, a Terry-Thomas-styled middle-aged man – as ‘Dad’.

As far as I recall there were no children in Dad’s house, only his wife ‘Mum’. Was man father to the moth? Since this was not possible, it was absurd, and therefore always funny. Texas Ted ‘ ‘big hat, big head’ – was not quite as funny (though it was better-drawn, not that that would have come into my thinking at the time indeed it might have made it harder to follow) and did appeal to a burgeoning, though as-yet-undeveloped distrust of certain aspects of American culture; which is not to say I identified at all with Ted’s cousin, whose name I recall as Cedric, or in fact with Britishness at all per se.

The Basil Brush strip featured the television fox in a way he was never seen on television – as some kind of provincial lord with a butler called Chummers (Terry-Thomas, who probably never read TV Comic, would have felt strangely important if he ever did: Dad was based on his appareance, and Basil Brush was reputedly based on his voice and film persona). I note that in the one issue of TV Comic I still retain (7 October 1972) Basil takes us through a range of racial and class cliches as he dreams of finding a new butler to replace Chummers merely on the basis that he is sick of seeing the same faces in his mansion. What the moral, or subtext, of this story could possibly be I can’t imagine. Certainly the race of the cannibal butler is obscure. It is probably too obvious to bother stating that there are no recurring and/or sympathetic non-white characters in any of these comics.

In 1974 my family did actually relocate to Britain for a year, when my father was on long service leave. Here I met other boys who did, genuinely, read comics (though like me they did not laugh at them). It is possible that my experience of British comics had inducted me, without my even realising, into the culture, though of course one needed to realise that the comics’ Britain was a sanitised, archaic reflection, nothing like the real Britain of the time – strikes, streakers, dog shit everywhere (a la the Earl’s Court scene in Barry McKenzie), bad teeth and skin and good television. By that time I was into Monty Python and Dr Who, though I still read comics (I had graduated to a rather superior little publication of a more intellectual slant, known as Sparky). Come to think of it, I have never stopped reading comics. Yet while I have often enjoyed the nihilistic satire of, for instance, Viz and similar parodies of the children’s comic – a form which, I gather, is now almost entirely gone from the marketplace – I do continue to feel affection for the silliness of the comics I read as a child. ‘Silliness’ is the nicest word you could use, because they weren’t funny. They were appealing in part because they featured regular characters with unusual characteristics or participating in strange relationships but most importantly just because they were strange – I suppose, in retrospect, archaic and clinging on to old ideas and themes. It’s not impossible, I suppose, that a portion of the readership was subliterate adults.

All I know is that I learnt a lot from comics, a lot of which I might have done better to never have learnt at all – Wikipedia now tells me that vikings did not actually wear horns on their helmets – but for all that, which provided me with a kind of cheerfully faulty translation device for understanding the wider English-speaking world, through a good-natured rehashing of dominant tropes. I took it all in, the bald dads and food obsessions and angry policemen, and made it work for me as a way of seeing.

Who should I sue? Who should I thank?

Monday, April 13, 2009

playlist for last night's 2 to the valley

Yes once more Muggins did a fill-in for Alison on Two to the Valley on 3CR. Managed to get quite a bit done.

Mambo Jambo - Brute Force Steel Band
Hear that train - Ella Jenkins
Friends to go - Paul McCartney
Tina's gone to have a baby - Red Krayola
In my Chevrolet - Dave McArtney and the Pink Flamingoes
Punky's Dilemma - Simon and Garfunkel
When I do - E-Wah Lady
Heart on my Sleeve - Bryan Ferry
1000 AD - Native Cats
Water Down - Native Cats
Michelle - Norman Habel
Sunday Morning Coming Down - John Laws
Suspicion - Bonzo Dog Band
Embassy Cafe - Hydroplane
Dead Meat - Sean Lennon
Bad Education - Blue Orchids
Whatever - Flywheel
Stimulation - Wa Wa Nee
Opus 40 - Mercury Rev
Your Disco Needs You - Kylie Minogue
U.G.L.Y. - Daphne and Celeste
No More Rock and Roll - Schoolly D
Eskimo - Versus
We are the Future - Billimari Public School Year 7

Friday, April 10, 2009

listening to the nightingales while cleaning up

This is an old favourite.
I knew nothing about the Nightingales as a teenager but got into them starting with a 12" ep that I bought for a dollar or something entirely on spec I think because it had an elephant on the front. I immediately recognised them as my kind of band. Bought all their records most of which were available massively cheap because no-one else wanted them (another indicator they were mkob). Still play and love 'em.

this is my 1000th post it would seem

And all I have to say is, today's Achewood is very funny. Particularly this bit:
* update: I have now laughed four times at this

Sunday, April 05, 2009

wasted a day while the north koreans were doing constructive things like launching missiles over japan

Did you accept or deny your last friends request? I accepted a request to drive Toby to Gowrie station. Do you have long legs? Not at all. Was the last person you hugged a male or female? Female. Who will be sleeping in your house tonight? I am hoping I will as I haven't slept properly in weeks. Do you have a pet fish?Unfortunately no.Have you ever had an abortion? Not literally. If you could travel back in time, how far would you go?This is about those abortions, right? What day is your birthday on this year?Monday Are you wearing rings? One. What did you last go see at the cinemas? Knowing Everyone has an awsome family member, tell me about yours: MIllie has long ears and scars on one of her back legs where she had a lump removed, she is AWSOME What is your current annoyance?Hungwy Are you doing well at school?uhm, ish.Are you wearing trousers?You know how I have that little facility to track how people come to my blog? You know how many search on these kinds of questions? Do you like guessing?Yes. Where does your mum work? She is retired. Have you ever seen the film Aristocats? It was my favourite film in 1973.Believe in God? Absolutely not. Is your house rented? Not a bit. Do you read books often? Constantly, except today, what a waste of a day. Did your night suck? Sounds kind of like a Flann O'Brienesque concept. Are you starting to realize anything? Everything. That these lists of questions are preposterous and foul, and I'm mental for taking them on. Do you have empty alcohol bottles hidden anywhere? Not hidden. How late did you stay up last night and why?1 am? Who knows why? Did you go out or stay in last night?Both Where were you at 10pm last nite At Shane and Olivia's surprise FMRUHQ engagementecue. When was the last time something bothered you? Things are always doing that, but probably when I realised I had somehow without thinking started on another of these things hijacked from Polly, whose answers are so much more fun than mine, and I'm not even going to publish it. Are diamonds a girls best friend? There's a problem with the plural-singular (lack of agreement), so I'll say no. Is your hair up or down today?Bit of both. Do you straighten your hair?No Do you wear clothes/ shoes/ jewelry thats uncomfortable? Very occasionally by accident. Do you text message a lot?Not at all. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show?Used to ^___^Last person you talked on the phone with?Mom What was the first thing you did when you woke up today? Got in a razz. Do you get along with your parents? yeah. Do you believe that what comes around goes around?No, because I am sure it's the other way round. What are your plans for tonight?Bed and read. Is your best friend pretty? Very. Ever felt like you hit rock bottom?yes.(Thanks Polly!) Do you miss anyone?Some dead people - some people in other places - yes, I suppose I do. Do you give out second chances too easily? I bet so. What did you do yesterday? Wedding of the century, engagement barbecue of the century (different people). Do you have any plans for today?It would have been a good idea. Are you happy at the moment? Not especially, but I'll soldier on. Are you a morning person or a night person?Morning. What are your plans for tomorrow? 12 hours of work. Do you know if anyone likes you? As in, fancies me? Don't know or care. Seems unlikely but there are strange people around. Have you ever been kissed in a basement? It's not impossible but I doubt it. Are you open with your feelings to people?I am told I'm not, but christ, I show up. What was the last thing you drank?Soy milk. Will your next kiss be a mistake?I'll try and make it so. Who did you text last?It was weeks ago, can't remember. Do you think you can last in a relationship for 3 months?Just. Are you an alcoholic?Absolutely not in any way.

Friday, April 03, 2009

it rained today

You would not believe the rain today. I was up late last night writing a lecture and so I didn't get to work until 11:30. On the way in (I was driving the Honda, which leaks - or at least it hasn't leaked for years, because it hasn't been in the rain for years) a thunderstorm hit. I guess I have said this more and more lately because we have had a bit of precipitation, but it's still true - people still don't remember how to behave in rain! So when I got to campus people were running hither and thither with genuine fear and confusion on their faces; I heard one girl say 'my shoes!' Personally once again I had cause to appreciate the value of sloth; I had left a raincoat in the back of the car about a year ago. My feet still got wet though ('my shoes!') because of course the drains are all backed up with old leaves and so on so the roads become rivers. Anyway, it was all pretty nice. Didn't seem to do much for the water tank mind. But it's supposed to rain all week, on and off.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

more upstairs windows

Yep, like a couple of the Polish clips below, even the Adelaidean Melbournite Twilights were into looking into and out of the windows of apartments, though in this case they took it all too far.

maybe you had to be there??

Ann O'Dyne made comments on earlier postings re: NG, maybe she has something to say particularly about this record, which I think she was (in a previous life) involved in...? Garry McD is a living national treasure I'd forgotten (reading that wikipedia entry brought it back) that he was in Picnic at Hanging Rock for a split-second, everyone in the audience when I saw it laughed when he appeared on screen, though he did nothing at all funny.

the pink flamingos singing 'virginia'

Have we talked about this? Well, maybe, but how good is it! I particularly like the way just after the 1 minute mark Virginia's crotch appears to be steaming out of lust for Dave and the frustrations of communication in the days of the dial telephone, then you think perhaps she just got wet in the rain and is sitting on the heater, then you realise she is smoking the smokyist cigarette EVAH. I liked the fact she tried to appeal to Dave early in the piece being a blue lady, but someone must then have told her that it was Graham Brazier who sang that song because she goes, in the nicest possible way, purple. Note at 1:35 Dave's hilarious simulation of a junkie nodding off. Hey, you know what Shane? There are better songs on this album, ('In your chevrolet', 'The party') yes I'm talking about the one with the green cocktail spilling out and the foot, but this is up there. UP THERE. Filmed in Wellington, I've spent time at that bucket fountain sculpture, story is it was a pragmatic piece of art made from leftovers which is now a national institution, that's the story, no doubt someone can tell me the reality.

nothing is funnier

than Europeans with imperfect English being sincere in the late 1970s. This is so like a current parody of a 'type' that it makes all current parodies redundant.
*Next day - I just watched it again and it was even better the third time.

the triffids: skaldowie of the south

Can't beat this.

that old stuffed polar bear with a sprinkler on skis schtick

My other Polish fave is Skaldowie. I have this song on an album but it is not so frenetic and - surely I'm wrong but it sounds like it - scrambled at the beginning.
I have heard this song too but I don't know where. Bus conducting was obviously a glam job at the time. Compare with No To Co's organ grinder in the courtyard and the chicks they rustled up to watch them and then Skaldowie's. Skaldowie were plainly Poland's answer to sex.

There is a curious insertion, unexplained on YouTube, in this clip which I am guessing is the woman in the video seeing it again umpteen years later, still upset over the failure of the gently humorous 'follow the bow with my hand in front of the camera' trick of the guy who sat down in front.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

last words with jeff wegener on drums

Good song too. i don't think JW actually played on the record.
Still, that should be a kind of 'kitchen sink' phrase shouldn't it, only more positive. 'It's got every fucken extra you could imagine mate... and wegener on drums!' like, it's the absolute best you could imagine.


I have long loved No To Co's records, but I never knew their singer had such incredible hair or a remarkably horizontally extended head.
This one's tops too, and if you aren't engaged by the amazing fuzz ballad and the hot chick (and the hot guys) then wait till the 1:08 mark - you will get a fine surprise. Decadent! But it also has a lot to say about alienation, too, n'est-ce pas?

This song is on one of the records of theirs I have - it's not the best by a long chalk - but it's pretty grouse with visuals.

kiss army

I actually, for some strange reason, wanted to post 'I might be a punk but I love you baby', for which a video was made, but it's not available on YouTube sadly. It should be because it's such a great song. This is an adequate substitute for now though. I actually bought this record when it came out. Funny that at that time I wouldn't have purchased a Kiss record in a fit, but I was happy to pay for, and play, a record that was basically 'I was made for loving you' with parody words. Actually once I wrote that down it no longer seemed strange at all. Different jokes in this 'live' version but perhaps the funniest thing about the whole clip is the absolute inability of the Countdown audience to know what to do. Fair enough really how do you mass-appreciate-sardonic-parody-of-something-you-love-or-are-at-least-meant-to-love? I am sure their 'yay' at the end (if it's not a dubbed pre-recorded 'yay') was a yay of relief more than anything. On the record NG did a more Hitleresque outro than he did here...

norman gunston interviews mick jagger

You can see why this clip doesn't get too much of an airing as a Gunston classic. People don't imagine Jagger to be quite this incredibly clueless, as he clearly was for a lot of this. It dawns on him - kind of - after a while.

another great song from around the same time

One of my favourites from a favourite album, David Thomas and the Pedestrian's Sound of the Sand, a total classic album get it if you can. This is one minority example where the visuals have nothing to do with the song's performers but they are pretty good anyway. What film is it? I feel like I've seen it.

hello sailor singing 'blue lady'

Cool song. Great pragmatic and informative intro too (once you get past that opening second of what the Germans should call glitschtortur!). Dig that blue lady in the first 30 seconds, dancing. Or perhaps she's just a blue woman, I don't know.

This morning I was in the post office and heard a camp man about 10 years my junior with one of those 10c piece-sized patches of white on the back of his head say 'hello sailor!' the way some people less camp and a hundred years my senior might say, 'blow me down!' or 'well I never!'

that's hardcore

Overheard: 'Slobodan Milosovic? That's hardcore! "Slobodan!?"'

yet another tempting offer