Tuesday, April 25, 2017

troy tate, bughouse, etc etc

Last week I picked up a copy of Bughouse's first album Every Fool in Town (1991) at an op shop and I've been really enjoying it ever since, particularly the ballads and the alt-rock tracks and not the more trad rock tracks, but that's only a couple of them. I remember them being somewhat despised in my friendship group in the early 90s for reasons I attribute largely to wrongheadedness, also, no-one liked Lea Cameron's earlier group the Lucky Dinosaurs either, except perhaps me. Anyway I never saw them play but I love LC's work and would like to find more of it but that is not super easy. Discogs (of course! Fanboys and boybands) don't even mention the second Bughouse album, ridiculously enough, and no-one there can be bothered making the connection between the Lea Cameron of Bughouse and the 'Lucky' Lea Cameron of the Lucky Dinosaurs. FFS. There is also pretty much a dearth of interesting content on line about the band even Genevieve Maynard who is the one member who went on to have a substantial solo career into the nineties and 21st century. Having published the voluminous Dig last year, I have now for the first time felt an incentive to start on Dig II - what happened to Lea Cameron?! 

Similar in a sense Troy Tate whose 'Love Is...' has long been one of my favourite singles. I played my copy of his first album today and went deep into the online to see what his story was/is. I think wikipedia says merely that he retired from music in 1985, lol. So what happened then? Dead? Reverted to his real name of Tate Troy? Most of the internet interest in Tate is his minor contribution to the legend of The Smiths i.e. he produced their aborted (I hate that word) first album, a few tracks from which were issued in various places since. But he had his moments as a songwriter/performer and I think deserves kudos forever for 'Love Is...' one of the best 80s pop songs IMO. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

it's just one of those thursday mornings

You know those days when you go to sleep sometime between 11 and 12 and wake up around 3? One of those. I blame the evil weather we're having, Nancy and her strong interest in coming in and going out, some idiot who caused a noise like a tree cracking in half in the street outside, and work shit.

Monday, March 13, 2017


An early morning and it’s a public holiday except for people who work at or attend universities who are not the public but a special non-holidayed elite (but we all get half the year off right? I am seriously going to hurt the next person who says that, possibly by saying ‘fuck off’). I was in at work half the day yesterday and got just enough done to be able to get the first three hours of today out of the way with a minimum of pain. That’s two lectures in three hours, which might not seem like much but you know, I give it a lot so fuck off. Also I admit I had a lot of help with the second lecture from the redoubtable Victoria but still.

This morning in Johnston Street or whatever it’s called there was virtually no-one around and the sun was so bright you could not look east down the street and I’m pretty much of the opinion that February is still the worst month but only because in February you have to anticipate the really awful relentless and grueling March which is kind of Summer’s refusal to leave. Things will be massively improved in a couple of weeks because firstly it won’t really be March anymore, almost April, it won’t be so fucking hot, it will be 1/3 of the way into the semester not 1/6 as it is at present and 1/3 is 1/6 away from ½. Of course that reminds me sadly of how long 1/6 can be, considering the last two weeks were 1/6 of the semester and they seem to have taken a couple of years. Maybe stuff will speed up a little. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017


So I'm about to walk to work, to get a whole bunch of 'shit' done before the teaching week begins tomorrow morning. I can already feel my blood pressure rise in anticipation of this. So it's best to have a few things out of the way before beginning in earnest.
I had an almost completely non-day yesterday - the biggest thing I did was go and record my fortnightly podcast with Elizabeth Taylor (which I guess she hasn't put up yet, so this link is to the last one) I more or less walked to Coburg to do it, and more or less walked back (a little bit of public transport action when it presented itself). Otherwise, I saw no-one aside from Nancy. 
This morning I wrote another tune on the guitar, which was an interesting exercise on a number of fronts. The first front was that the verse seemed massively too simple to work (just a slight difference between a chord which I think is a genuine chord, and something that required a one-string change), but it did seem to work. Then when I listened back to the recording I was like, 'uh-oh, this is kind of terrible'. The second front was that once I had the recording (to some garageband drums) I tried to play the sequence again and it came out synchronised very differently and I'm sure much better. But also kind of dictated by my whim. I need to play with others obviously, that has to be the next step, but lining it up is really hard. 
I haven't written words yet. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

early start

I'm going on Radio National this morning at 4:20 (40 mins from when I am writing this) to talk about housing through Australian history. I am quite looking forward to it - I've found also that talkback, which I can't bear to listen to as a passive consumer, is pretty fun to be a part of as a broadcaster. I have my mother's car at the moment (she's in Adelaide) so I'm able to get down there in style, so to speak (last time, I went on my bike, which was kind of stylish because it's a stylish bike but...). Second coffee, anyway. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Once again, awake early. Went to sleep around I think 11. Woke up around 4. There was another time of being awake in the middle there. The sleep app says 'sleep quality' was '51%'. This time around my plan is to stay awake until ten or so, so that I will actually have appropriate sleep tonight. Who knows. 

I had one of those dreams that millions of people have no doubt already had, about having the chance to kill Donald Trump and not getting round to doing it. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

what is sleeping for?

Sleeping is ridiculous, and it is one of those things that you really have to wonder - why on earth do we need it? Do we need it? I find this enforced downtime a real drag on my productivity. Like a lot of things, I also find it depressing how so many people claim to love sleeping, which seems to me like craving death, or at least, abnegating responsibility. I get nothing out of sleeping except it makes me less tired. I also, as I whinge frequently here, find it hard to do. It's so irritating to be compelled to do something, yet not be at all desirous of it, and to then find it so difficult to achieve. 
Last night (actually, it's still dark as I write, but just after 6 am) I slept moderately, let's say comparatively, well - the sleep app says 71%, which is much better than usual. I went to sleep between 11 and 12, woke around two (from a fairly pathetic dream about trying to escape ethnic persecution in Europe - who do I think I am) then went back to sleep around 2:30 until just after 5. It's a nonsense, really. Nancy was here until after five, at which point she got up but refused to go out until the second time I gave her the option. (She just came back in, alerting me to her requirements by banging on a clothes rack I have just outside the door). We have had a good weekend together, just hanging out. Sometimes she just looks me in the eye and meows, and I think, you've forgotten what you even want. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

went out last night

Went to 'see bands'. There was so much on last night that it felt bad seeing anything because of all the things you had to miss out on. Not going to name (though it would not be a matter of shame) but my initial plan to see Parsnip at Catfish, then go to the Spotted Mallard to see Stephen Cummings, then back to Catfish to see Bent, went awry due to (1) necessity to go and feed animals at Lorraine (2) certain people backing out of commitment to come too, which meant that I felt greater responsibility towards certain people who hadn't backed out of nothing. But that was fine. Ended up seeing Dacios at the Old Bar too, which was mega. 
Dacios at the Old Bar 11 Feb 2017
Then as I was walking back to Clifton Hole I got a text message from Mia saying I had left my keys in the door at Lorraine. The day had been pretty full-on, with work things, which is surely the only reason why this had happened. But clearly I had to deal with this immediately so I had to take a taxi back to Broadmeadows and get the keys. Ridiculous. Then being all drunk anyway I decided the smart thing to do was walk as far as I could - I walked to Oak Park station that probably takes about an hour, then got a train. I had actually imagined there would be precisely no people on the late-night trains particularly going into the city at 4am but no. There were probably about ten. By the time I got onto the train at Flinders St going towards Clifton Hole I was filling pretty sick and very tired, I actually fell asleep between Collingwood and Clifton Hole despite having put my alarm on, it did go off but I just incorporated it into my dream but um... to cut no story into nothing, basically I woke up anyway. 

Today I did almost nothing at all. I got a haircut and bought some sunglasses. Going to have an early night. Goodnight! 

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


OK that was a bit bleak, apologies. I also realise there might have been some confusion - I meant 'tears' as it rhymes with 'bears' not 'beers'.

Anyway the last couple of days have been better. Everyone has this kind of thing occasionally surely. I suppose they tend not to blab and blue about it like a sad hungry kitten though.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

... same as this

The thing is I have to get up really soon anyway. Having been awake for a couple of hours.

No I don't have any dog stories. Their lives are typically fabulous I think. They continue to be two delightful and extraordinary individuals.

How is your 2017. Mine has pretty much sucked beyond sucking, so far. Kind of like wearing a tight blindfold with a couple of tiny tears in it that occasionally reveal something of interest or value then it's back to... I don't want to say the darkness or blackness or something as that is too melodramatic, as was that attempt at a metaphor.

following on immediately from previous post

But here's a weird thing, why are my feet so itchy? My feet are massively itchy (is this a gross thing to write about? Maybe. Depending on the reason e.g. boy's germs). I seem completely unable to impact on this situation. Although you know sometimes I like to walk on the road with no shoes on. I really do. It's a great feeling. Try it.

sleeping is both boring and necessary

Which reminds me, I also have to do my tax return. That seems to come around every other week.

Nancy and I have synchronised sleeping patterns, which is problematic really. If I sleep all the way through to morning (very rare) she will too, but if I wake up between three and four (very common) she will get up and want to go out. Or is that what's happening? Sometimes it's like she wakes up first. Is that synchronised? No, not really, I don't know what I'm talking about.

Because I slept for about three hours and I have a huge day ahead which only adds to the stress, blah blah.

Friday, February 03, 2017

all i can say is

actually, nothing. I got nothing. The world is too strange. Here's Nancy a few days ago. 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

door crushing

I fell asleep at a good time (10ish) then dreamed a very heavy sliding door, sliding from the top like a garage rolladoor but very old and made of stone, was on top of me, making me immobile. I guess it was all a little Indiana Jones or something. Only I hadn't narrowly escaped. Woke up at I think 10:46. The sleep app tells me this is inadequate. It doesn't sleep so it doesn't know anything.

Monday, January 30, 2017

waking up at 3:35 am

Happens a lot these days, and it's a pain. Did I tell you about the sleep app I got? It tells me how long I was in bed for and the 'quality' of my sleep. It's usually in the low 60%s. 'Well that's just your opinion', I say. I'm wrong, of course.

Friday, January 27, 2017

shit's fucked

I have done so much blogging on LC over the years I am sure I have repeated myself many times. I have probably even repeated that observation that I am sure I have made before, that when I discover I have repeated myself fairly comprehensively I feel happy that it seems to indicate I am being truthful. I am sure I have also posted this so I won't make a big deal about it but I still enjoy it.

2017 has got off to a fairly shit start. I remember yonks and yonks ago a somewhat introverted acquaintance telling me that he was surprised by the candid nature of this blog, and that I was then surprised also because I didn't think I gave much away at all, though I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder right. My future biographer(s) (hi) are going to have a lot of work getting to the bottom of the stuff I post here, and reading between the lines, and etc the etc. Because there's seriously not much revealed, and this is probably even truer of the last three years' complete car-train-bus-helicopter smash that my turn o'the mid-century life became, more or less entirely through my own efforts, though it has to be said, people are fuckin' weird. Have you ever noticed that?

I'm sleeping poorly. I have temporarily taken myself off that rad diet (which was so fuckin' working - don't worry I am going back) just to get through the next few days of grant application writing, which needs oodles of self-indulgence and sugary stuff. I am not enjoying the heat and I am not enjoying the various stresses of going back to work, almost as much as i hate gritting my teeth so hard they almost crack when people ask me if I've gone back to work yet, yes people still believe I work six months of the fucking year. I seriously work harder than anyone in a white collar job I know (I possibly don't know anyone not in a white collar job - not going to overthink or even plain old think that one) as I told an uber driver (my first ever) this morning, I can't relax or take holidays and that's actually fine.

There's a lot of sadness going round but the saddest thing is I can't even really be bothered finishing this post properly. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

the tropical bird with the long toes

Jacana (the tropical bird with the long toes) will be the name for the housing area west of Pascoe Vale Rd. and south of Broadmeadows Road.
The Housing Commission informed Broadmeadows Council last week of the acceptance of the name.
But Council will maintain that the area east of Pascoe Vale Road will still be called Broadmeadows so that it won’t lose its identity.
The new Jacana station will be built mainly to serve residents in the Western Commission settlement.

(FOOTNOTE: Road construction work in this new area, north of the overpass in Pascoe Vale Road is almost complete. More than 500 homes will be built there).  ‘”Jacana” – District Name’ Broadmeadows Keilor Observer 27March 1958 p. 3

Sunday, January 22, 2017

early days #3

 [Not Jacana-specific, just a bonus early example of Housing Commission tenant shaming]

Friday, January 20, 2017

early days

I've been looking through old issues of the Broadmeadows and Keilor Observer lately, actually not for Broadmeadows material but for things pertaining to Keilor, tell you about that later. But in the meantime I have uncovered some stuff about old Jacana, from its formative times.

In an irritating quirk that I just discovered, I now realise that the annotations I painstakingly made to each of these iPhoto pics detailing date and page number for each of these, has somehow been eliminated not only from the pictures as downloaded to my laptop, but also from the pictures as they remain on my phone - though they were there until I started downloading. Anyway. It probably doesn't matter. I think most of this stuff is from 1960, though it could be from '58 or '59, because I also looked at those...

More soon...

Friday, January 13, 2017

i thought it would be fun to do this because i can't imagine a time i could be less in the mood

What is some of your favourite music?

When the chips are down, I would have to say, that while I would resist the descriptor of 'white pop music' (not that anyone really thinks that's a thing exactly, but you know what I mean) and also of 'postpunk', which I also think is a bit of a misnomer, most of my favourite music sits somewhere in the orbit of those ideas. My absolute favourite band, as you will know if you've read about it here, though I'm unlikely to talk about it much anywhere, is The Red Krayola. That band formed the year I was born, didn't really exist much between about 1968-1974 and 1987-1992 but is essentially as old as I am, inasmuch as it's a band and not one man using a 'band' name for most of his musical projects, which let's face it is really what it has been since 1974. I first became aware of this band in 1982 and I've been pretty devoted ever since. Obviously I like some records more than others, on the spectrum of oh, let's say, Fingerpainting which I have in CD and vinyl format and neither of which really appeal, to Soldier Talk. 

I like music made by guitar-drums-bass bands mainly with keyboards sometimes, usually sort of alternative pop, with a few exceptions. I really like Todd Rundgren, Versus, We Ragazzi, The Undertones, Orange Juice, Dave Graney/Clare Moore bands, you know the kind of thing I’m talking about. I have written about all this stuff.

List your three favourite scents. 

Not very scent-oriented, sorry.

How do you ground yourself or recharge?

That’s the thing. I don’t know how to do either of those things. I wish I did. I have no strategies. I kind of, in some sense, resist strategies. Nothing works. But maybe I don’t really want anything to.

Any ways you treat or spoil yourself? 

No. Coffee in the morning. You old charmer.

Besides your blog, do you have a creative past-time?

Yeah I guess I do, thanks for asking. I draw occasionally, and I am learning guitar, sometimes I write songs. I have made little films. Although I will usually only do really realised creative things when I’m asked to, usually by Stewart Anderson who, unreasonably, believes in me.

Share something difficult you've been through.

As you know, my marriage ended three years ago. Well, technically I am still married, but you know what I mean. So in a sense I haven’t been through it – I’m still going through it.

What helps you fall asleep?

Sleeping pills.

What is one strength and one weakness of yours?

A strength is, I am delightful. A weakness is I am too delightful.

Have you ever received a letter or written one to someone else?

Um, yes, I really have. More than one of each variety actually. I am not sure why that would be surprising, even if I was, say, ten years old, but I’m not, I’m 51.

What makes you feel powerful, what breathes life into you? 

Fuck all.

What's your favourite thing to do at night?

I am not that into night.

If you could go back to any eras, what would they be? 

1920s. As long as I didn’t have to stay there.

Your favourite things to wear at home? 


If you could be immortal or have an extremely long life span which would you pick and why? 

I need more information frankly. Immortal as in, can never die, regardless? Even if I was decapitated, or cut into 500 pieces? Or put in concrete and buried at sea? Because I’d rather be dead than bored forever, and/or unable to move only think and see and feel. Or immortal as in, can die anytime I want? Well, then, why limit myself. The only difference between being immortal and having a long life span in that instance is, you’d be able to choose when you died. Also, does immortal mean eternally young or at least, not getting any older? Or does it mean being 1004 and looking it until you’re 1005 and looking it? Need to know.

Tell us about something positive you have done for yourself or someone recently.

All I ever do, is positive things for other people. Why pick and choose. Everyone gets the benefit of my generous good nature.

One thing you like about your appearance?

I’m handsome and cute. That’s a tough balancing act but I pull it off.

Something that makes you feel better after a hard day?

There have been times when, following a stressful situation, I genuinely do like a stiff drink. But on the whole, I’m always on. I don’t need something to make me feel better. Well, obviously what would make me feel better after a hard day is coming home to someone other than Nancy, someone I liked and who gave a loose root, although come to think of it as well, coming home to Nancy is pretty nice.

If you have one, name a favourite book & movie. 

Don’t know about favourite book. Always held that my favourite movie was Make Mine Mink. I’ll stick with that for now.