Monday, July 10, 2017

twin peaks II

I don't really get it. It's like 70s experimental drama and seems very made up on the spot, though presumably it isn't. It's probably really scripted but maybe the scripts were made up on the spot. 

Oh well I'm into like episode 4. I suppose I'm engaged adequately. So I should stop being annoying about it. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

remember that great velvet underground song about 'monday morning'

Well I am awake at 12:41 am having gone to sleep at, I think, around 7pm. I could be wrong about that it was a hazy time. I kind of feel five hours' sleep approximately is probably alright though. Why such a fucked up sleeping pattern? Well, it being the beginning of the month, I'm going to appear on ABC local radio this morning at 4 to talk about Australian music history again - I'll be discussing the 1960s (I did this a month ago, you can listen here if you want, I don't know how it came out, I haven't reviewed it myself). At 5 I'll be let loose on the world and will probably then go to my workplace and do some research for my 9:15 am radio appearance on RRR where I'll be briefly talking about renaming places. 

On Sunday afternoon I undertook a longish walk from campus through the city to Port Melbourne/Fishermans Bend where I took the punt from Lorimer St to Spotswood 

and then walked aimlessly through Spotswood/Yarraville by which time I had very sore feet (this is probably 3 1/2 - 4 hours walking, not sure) and then got on a couple of buses.  

Hey maybe soon I will get around to describing my domestic situation at the moment which is probably best described as holding pattern but not entirely unpleasant. Nancy is here which is the main thing. She is having a good time too because she really enjoys the company of her co-tenant Huntley. 

I've never seen Nancy have a relationship with another cat before (she's always been very human oriented and I've only seen her react negatively to other cats) so I'm pretty chuffed by this. They seem to have very quickly fallen into a pattern of seeking each other out for hi jinx in the morning, then hanging out sleeping until lunch time, then drifting apart (as far as I can tell) then there's dinner competition (Huntley wants to eat Nancy's food) and time apart then reset the next day. That's how it looks to me anyway, I have to say I don't see them all the time and am at work or otherwise out a lot. Nice though. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

last Thursday

I don’t remember much fuss being made re winter solstice in previous years but maybe it seems so peripheral I forgot. Today is that day. I am not thrilled by the cyclic nature of the seasons and all I see is the regrettable future summer on the horizon. I really should move to Kergeulen.


All that said, boy/young man sniffing and wiping his nose on his sleeve on the train was a disaster and horrible.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

good morning

I'm writing to you now from Albion. I did a RRR fill yesterday (12-1, Room with a View) wherein I mentioned how pleased I was to get out of Clifton Hole (true to my form, I imagined ruining four or five Clifton Holians' days - as if) and into this remarkably fine area with the truly awful name. I confessed (this was all off the cuff) to not knowing exactly where the name 'Albion' came from or what it meant but to believing it was some kind of fanciful name for England, which I now know to be true (or at least I spent a little time looking at it on wikipedia and found it was an ancient Greek name for England) (apparently there's a theory that Albania's name comes from a similar source, which is hilarious). Anyway, doesn't matter. 

The lay of the land with Albania: I'm in a shitty townhouse built around thirty years ago, which is shifting on its foundations so the doors don't close properly, it's one of more than twenty, facing the railway line, and I'd have to say that all things considered it's probably the worst place you could live in Albion, but it's adequate at the moment. Yes, it's full of crap (my crap) but Nancy seems happy and all I really need to do is find the nail scissors (and also, cut Nancy's claws, which grow insanely). 

OK. More anon. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

triffids singles

 I wrote this re: the Triffids singles box set, back in May 2007 - the file was saved on 21 May. I'd say 'enjoy' but why would you. 

The Triffids' first five singles present the group between their early, funny stuff (the six Perth cassette albums and the Dungeontapes)and their brief tenure as one of the most exotic and impressive rock bands of the 1980s. Playing these songs in a random order would be a good idea.

The Triffids recorded their Bad timing and other stories EP at AAV studios soon after they relocated, somewhat depressed, from Perth to a couch and a bed in a room in a bohemian 19th century complex in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, walking distance from the centre of Melbourne. They lived near noted synthesiser pioneer Ash Wednesday who, irritated by the hippies elsewhere in the building, would go out leaving his instruments feeding back on themselves, increasing in volume as the night wore on. Bad timing was made for Mushroom, with whom David McComb had signed a publishing deal, and released on the White label. It features a little-known percussionist, 'Le Tan', whose tenure as a Triffid was brief; Martyn Casey made his debut with this release, and also featured in drag in the video for the title track, for no apparent reason.

The other EP in this collection, Reverie, contains 'Place in the sun', a song that would later be rerecorded for the group's first vinyl (but 9th!) album Treeless Plain because David McComb liked it so much. At the time the Triffids recorded Reverie, David's most constant collaborator, Alsy McDonald, had left the band to study dentistry. He was replaced by Mark Peters; Alsy came back in time to be photographed for the sleeve. Margaret Gillard and Will Akers were also briefly members for Reverie. C. C. Mitchell told the readers of Roadrunner that The Triffids were 'what music should be - clever, earnest, non-professional, innovative, original and enjoyable.'

'Spanish blue' and 'Twisted brain' are songs that show two sides to the group. 'Spanish blue' has some of that same quirky spark as first single 'Farmers never visit nightclubs', funny lines melded with a glittering ennui that David McComb would later take further with 'Too hot to move'. 'Twisted brain' is, similarly, simultaneously funny and wry while retaining a clear thread of angst that's as teeny as the early Scientists and as vivid as the early Laughing Clowns. A month before this record was recorded Toby Cluechaz informed Roadrunner readers that 'I have to become a miser with words to talk about their purity… the pop music they play is not only infectious it's unusually smart… lyrics as empathic as they are insidious, harmonies and other idiosyncrasies, humour… a skin of dark shadow.' It was released firstly as an EMI custom pressing, paid for by the band, and then on the White Label.

'Beautiful waste' is The Triffids finding their lush pop feet, a kind of carnival version of 'Being driven'. Its birth appears to have been induced by the success of the Treeless Plain album, but it was a flamboyant and colourful progression from that album. Its brash and garish video was the last time The Triffids would (a la the 'Spanish blue' or 'Bad timing' videos) so radically poke fun at themselves, the world and the idea of making a video all at once. The b-side to 'Beautiful waste', 'Property is condemned', was (like 'Twisted brain', 'Left to rot', and for that matter 'Dead wind') a moodier, more dank proposition, and plainly too good to be a b-side, if you think that denotes diminished status. It reappeared on the group's Raining Pleasure mini album.


'Farmers never visit nightclubs'/'Stand up' was The Triffids' first vinyl release. David McComb liked 'Farmers' better because it was 'zany'; whereas Talking Heads could do a song 'about buildings on fire', he said, his group 'did a song about farmers not being socially accepted at nightclubs'. As well as being zany, it was quirky, whimsical and even camp. David later told Toby Creswell that The Triffids were 'sixty years old when we were nineteen.' But the band's first single can speak for itself.

Friday, May 19, 2017

charlie barking from the past

Picture from 19 May 2007. I don't really know what's happening here (well, it's Charlie barking at distant dogs, so I guess I absolutely know what's happening, but the specific context is absent). Nor do I know why this picture was on my work computer for ten years.

Friday, April 28, 2017

just the right weather

It is pretty cold and has been raining all week. It's been great. It used to be that it was cold before my birthday. This year was different

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.

*Memory a few days later: a person whose taste I respect said it sounded like Magic Dirt meets the Moodists, 'very nineties'. 

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

blah


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

music

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. 
Bye

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

awake

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

bleak

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