11 June, 2007
17 September, 2006
Sushi, Cinema and the Sharkfin Blues (or; the best day ever)
They don't half rock a little. I went to see them, which was highly exciting. The lead singer was incredibly beligerant - Gareth Liddard likes to say "Cunt". More power to him - he justified his poor presentation by means of the incredible show which the band put on. An hour and a half, following two support acts (the pleasant enough Ms Laura Jean and her violinist Biddy, and the incredibly-voiced Darling Downs, the singer of which careens and wobbles like Prince spliced with a hopped-up crane). Not only was the performance of "Sitting on the Edge of the Bed Crying", a stomping bout of anger-infused desperation, incredibly beautiful, but the final song of the set involved The Darling Downs being invited back on stage for a six-person, three-guitar, three singer rendition of the song "This Time", the chorus of which made me want to make love to every single person in the room at the exact same time.
This was helped by the bassist being a buxom hottie, and proceeded by the first encore, which was a long and winding acoustic-and-harmonica blues/folk piece about convicts and murderers in the Port Maquarie district. Sad but haunting.
Also I talked to some guy there who knew nothing about the Drones, and who mostly listened to The Art of Fighting - little different. Someone nicked my seat before his opinion could be garnered. I'm sure he liked it. Guy looked like John Leguizamo, which was weird.
Prior to all of this - exciting adventures in the form of paying 16 dollars for a largely worthless Picasso exhibition. The exhibition was called "Love and War" and almost entirely framed around the piece "Guernica", which had the extreme gall to not actually be present at the gallery. A large LCD projection does not cut it. I really liked, however, the painting "Tete d'une femme", which a GIS fails to provide.
Far more fanscinating was the National Gallery of Victoria International Centre's stunning array of ancient artefacts - New Guinean masks, Grecian Urns, Egyptian coffins, gold death masks, Olmec statuary, Chinese idols, silk-screens, coppers, ushaptis, Khmer bax reliefs. Utterly wonderful. I always wondered why the NGV had such a poor collection - because all the good stuff is in the international centre. I ended-up getting lost wandering through steel-walled labyrinths, along plate-glass mezzanines, stumbling upon cathedrals piled high with Flemish triptychs and Elizabethan portraiture. I would take issue with their early 20th century European collection, though - the most interesting piece was by Wyndham Lewis.
However there was a New Guinean sheild made out of sheet-metal and adorned with an image of the Phantom.
This isn't it but it gives you an idea.
And a hilarious death mask.
After this, I wandered over the ACMI, where there was, unbeknownst to me until I stumbled upon a free-standing plinth, an hour-and-a-half lecture on the British period of Alfred Hitchcock's career, complete with clips of such utterly brilliant films as Sabotage. Unfortunately the best stuff, like the Albert Hall sequence in The Man Who Knew Too Much, couldn't get a showing because that would spoil the film. My own favourite segment from a Hitchcock film is a toss-up between the scene where she knifes her husband in Sabotage, and the final moments of Rear Window. I don't think saying "All of Rope" counts.
Plus points - the speaker had a cool Eastern European accent which she used to read us Hitchcock's short-story "Gas". Neat.
I also had sushi for the first time ever, since for the same price as a sub I could get twice as much food. Sushi trains are slightly les cool than soul trains, but far cooler than a bridal train. The people next to me were quite put-upon as I had them explain how the thing worked, and what colour the plates were. I still can't figure-out if avocado and raw salmon is delicious or utterly repulsive.
That's basically it. It was a lot to squeeze into one afternoon. Pretty fine day, though. All being culturally aware and having adventures and getting to see the world's largest TV wall.
06 June, 2006
Lantana is not a Hispanic Guitarist
Funnily enough, the other major contender for my father's money was also a soundtrack largely composed and performed by Paul Kelly and one of his bands. That guy is inescapable (Australia's Bob Dylan? It's better than Neil Young).
For those who haven't seen Lantana, it's a gorgeous, haunting film about what marriage does to couples, focused around a murder-mystery and set in and around the beautiful Blue Mountains of Western Sydney. The film has that very specific look that so many Australian drama/thrillers set in Sydney have (read - very blue), and so it's appropriate that the soundtrack is very muh of the type common to a lot of Australian drama/thrillers, be they set in Sydney or, as in Wolf Creek's case, Wolfe Creek. This type of film's soundtrack is very minimal and spar, yet also lush, like listening to an old jazz man trying to be Massive Attack but sounding more and more like John Cage no matter how hard he tries. The basic instrumentation is built around a reverberated or prepared piano/keyboard, and there are numerous electronic fills playing about underneath the simple, repeating chord (there are usually only one or two chords in the entire soundtrack), that emerge from time to time to hint at the dangerous undertows of the characters' relationships.
Listening to this, it's hard to imagine that Kelly wasn't influenced by the Necks' stunning soundtrack for The Boys, but because he's Paul Kelly there's a lot of guitar. A single chord on the guitar fills the majority of the disc, swept around by a variety of flourishes, minimal drum themes, sparse bass and surfy guitar. But it works, and it works so very well.
At times it even rocks.
I should point-out, though, that the above song is nothing like the majority of the album.
30 April, 2006
Tronslehtion Nombairrr Six
Imagine a death's head, then imagine this death's head as an astoundingly-attractive women, and voila Francoiz Breut.
Also I went to see her perform and it was freaking awesome and entirely worth walking around Fitroy Gardens shivering for several hours afterwards and being told-off for falling asleep in a 24 hour McDonalds. Boris Ihavealongandhardtopronounceeasterneuropeannamecompoundedbybeingpronouncedasthoughitwerefrench was running guitar loops, xylophone, sampler, kick-drums and back-up vocals simultaneously and Francoiz was turntabling and occassionally broke-out a melodica, and they pretty much never missed a beat. Although they had to sacrifice the driving guitar in favour of the percussion on "La Certitude" because of this set-up.
Doubly cool was the second encore, where they wandered out into the crowd with an accoustic guitar, played one song whilst everyone yelled at everyone else to shut-up, and then ran away.
My only regret was that I did not get my copy of Vingt a Trente Mille Jours that I purchased signed for me, even though she was sitting with like two people on the edge of the stage after the band-room cleared-out. But I have low self-esteem.
Also Dave Graney played and he looks like John Waters but presumably sings and plays guitar better. He was sitting by the merch stand after everyone finished-up and no-one talked to him or bought his CD except this one guy who obviously knew him from somewhere. However he and his posse actually played quite well. Clare Moore played vibraphone but we never got the vibraphone-versus-bass apocalyptic psycho jam I kept hoping for.
And I'm pretty sure one of the guys in the crowd was actually ABC televisual comedian and erstwhile radio host Craig Reucassel, although I'm probably wrong. He was wearing a red-and-white stripey shirt!
Also also, every single bar maid except one was really, really attractive for some reason. I think one thought I was trying to hit on her, though. I assure you I was not.
Here is a link to a song of hers I like
Here is a link to a kick-arse interactive music video featuring her signature tune, after a manner, "Si Tu Disais"
Here is the only YouTube result for Si Tu Disais:
Here is me wishing I knew more about obscure music so I could start one of those blogs. You know which ones I'm referring to.
11 April, 2006
29 March, 2006
I am an aspiring rocker. I aspire to rock-out.
I feel okay putting this here because no-one reads my blog. Genius!
LINK TO FILE
So basically this is a continuation of my idea-dump tradition.
Also tonight I am going to see Faker supported by the Valentinos. I don't really like either of those bands much but it will be a fun time and I have made a pledge to start going to shows as a social outlet. Plus I will be able to tell people I saw Faker in a few years time after the band breaks-up and they become fondly-remembered legends for some reason even though they are mostly Australia's rocky answer to the resurgence of BritPop. Kind of like how Custard were kind of our more poppy answer to the original wave of BritPop. Except that Custard were really, really good, whereas Faker are merely quite good.
25 March, 2006
Stolen from JP, who stole it from someone else, who stole it from Steve Allen, with the artist selection entirely randomised using the scientific method (a box and some scraps of paper).
1. John Cage
2. Felix da Housecat
4. Mazzy Starr
5. The Grates
7. Francoiz Breut
10. Sarah Blasko
What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
”Where the Wild Roses Grow”, it being his only #1 and all. Still, a damned fine song even if it does have Kylie Minogue.
What is your favourite album of 8?
They only have Funeral (actually they also have an ST, but I don't think it was released here). But it is a very nice album.
What is your favourite lyric that 5 has sung?
Use your bed like a trampoline
I said –
Just for love if you know what I mean
I said –
They are all about the class.
How many times have you seen 4 live?
Never at all. I’m not even sure if they’ve toured here.
What's your favourite song of 7?
”Si Tu Disais”. Especially the stripped-back, unplugged acoustic version.
What is a good memory you have concerning the music of 10?
Seeing her opening the Queenscliff music festival and dancing through “Always Worth It”, only to have the equipment malfunction live on national radio, with her standing there attempting to engage in awkward conversation with the few teenage girls who had been standing and dancing.
Is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
”All I need”, perhaps. Also “The Word Hurricane”, but you didn’t say ‘Are there songs”.
What is your favourite lyric that 2 has sung?
I’m uncertain, but quite possibly the quatrain from Silver Screen Shower Scene:
“Sweet seduction in a magazine,
endless pleasure in a limousine,
in the back shakes a tambourine,
Nicotine from a silver screen ”
It is arguably the coolest quatrain ever written. I mostly chose it to avoid having to type-out the lyrics to the entirety of “Short Skirts” or “Hunting Season”, though.
What is your favourite song by 9?
”Abercrombie”. It is the sound of an international airport turned to wonderful.
How did you get into 3?
I first startd getting into decent music and listening to decent radio stations the year that Talkie Walkie dropped. I had never heard anything like it before, and was absolutely entranced. The Virgin Suicides, a beautiful film, cemented my love.
What was the first song you heard by 1?
”Song for Marcel Duchamp”.
What's your favourite song by 4?
How many times have you seen 9 live?
Never ever at all.
What is a good memory you have concerning 2?
Walking through a city full of foreigners, drunks and sports-fans with “What She Wants” on full bawl at eleven at night. The neon made it good.
Is there a song of 8 that makes you sad?
”Une Annee sans Lumiere” is very bittersweet, but basically all of Funeral is tear-jerk material if you are in the right (wrong?) mood.
What is your favourite song of 1?