Monday 28 January 2013

The Church - She Never Said

One last one for Australia Day. This is taken from Countdown in 1981. Countdown was Australia's version of TOTP sort of. Everyone watched it every Sunday night. Anyway this episode was shown recently on Rage and boy did The Church not fit. I guess they never fitted anywhere as was stated in their Hall Of Fame anouncement. On this edition of Countdown were a whole lot of very bad and thin sounding synth-pop performers. So when the Church go into this weird dark post punk psychedelia that was at once a throwback and futuristic they stuck out like a sore thumb. It was a surprise to see this performance I'd never seen before and in that context all the more interesting and powerful.

The Atlantics

More classics for Australia Day. The Atlantics Come On. I love the clip but it's obviously mimed. I'd like to have seen a live version from this era.

Here's a band I've mentioned before Kahvas Jute and their great progressive hard rock classic Parade Of Fools. This is a proto-stoner epic from 1971.

Invasion Day/Australia Day

I loved this song when I was little which is strange really. This is so fucking heartbreaking I can barely even listen to it. I don't know much about Billy Field but he is definitely an anomaly in Australian Rock. He was sophisticated and urbane!

The plight of the Australian Aborigines is one of the more disgraceful chapters in The British Empire's history. Still today poverty and age expectancy are massive issues that seem to be perennially unsolvable. Anyway I saw The Warumpi Band once and man they rocked harder than ACDC.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Sun Araw/The Congos/Sherlock Holmes/Girls

Sun Araw and The Congos create a new zone somewhere between Roots Reggae and Hynagogia.
Stoned? Us?

Not much to talk about musically really. I just looked over my top 20 of 2012 and noticed I left out the  Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos LP which is brilliant. And I only just, a week or 2 ago, got the 2nd Hacker Farm LP. I'm loving that and it's a huge leap from Poundland. I would describe it as Isolationist (in the best sense of the term) ambiance and dare I say the word, Industrial, anyway it's post all that, but post seems to be a bad word at the moment so I won't say that. The new Broadcast LP is the only other thing I've been listening to. A faux Giallo soundtrack that pays homage to Goblin and other Italian masters.

I've caught up on some tv though. Sherlock Holmes the BBC series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman is one I have watched. Thinking, well I didn't really like the Hollywood films of recent times but I'll give it a go, because Caitlin Moran rates it. I was immediately transfixed by the whole thing. The best BBC drama in a very long time. The plots are incredible and the acting, well fuck me!, where did this Benedict Cumberbatch come from? He's an incredibly charismatic actor with star written all over him. How does he do that unblinking thing? I've spent some of my life amongst people with Aspergers Syndrome and I could not come up with a more real version of the syndrome. At one point during the show Dr. Watson  claims Sherlock as Aspergers. This I find refreshing considering how many seasons has it been for Big Bang Theory? Where one of the main characters, Sheldon, quite obviously has Aspergers  and no one has muttered the word Autism or Aspergers as far as I know! But they are quite willing to make fun of his condition. Anyway what a surprise and I can't wait for the next season which is going to be at least a 12 month wait.

The next one was Girls. I was not expecting to relate whatsoever  to a show about 20 something girls in New York, but somehow it drew me in! I thought this may be an interesting show but did not expect to relate to it in any terms. I thought the era, ie now, would alienate me. Being married for the last 5 years etc. would exclude me but fuck this show just reminded me and the Mrs of our early 20s. Lena Dunham has captured in minute detail the confusion, bewilderment, the obsession with sex and the whatever else is happening in your 20s perfectly. Timeless, brilliant and so close to the bone sometimes, it almost makes you want to look away. Lena puts in all the bits, awkwardness, selfishness and embarrassment, that others would leave out. One of the most honest accounts of 20 something life I've ever seen.

This song played in the background of a scene.  One of my favourite songs ever. The best!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Port Douglas

Okay, I'm back from a sabbatical in Far North Queensland. Whilst on holiday in the tropics I was listening to some 60s Australian rock. The Mrs then says "Sometimes rock and roll is a bit incongruous." Who was I to disagree? Once while visiting Mildura at the height of a gruelling Australian summer I remember going for a walk in the 35+ degree heat. On my i-pod I had The Kink's Something Else while sweating in the semi arid conditions. The incongruity of that was precisely the point. I loved listening to tales of 60s British suburban life, it didn't fit at all. When I saw The Trip with Steve Coogan playing Joy Division in the picturesque English countryside I thought 'Ah a like mind, with a perverse sense of humour.'

Anyway I thought about Emma's comment and thought okay let's see if I can match this scene of humidity, palm trees, insects, lagoons, jellyfish, The Great Barrier Reef and The Pacific Ocean. A quick check of the I-pod showed I currently had 3 Dolphins Into The Future releases synced. I put one on and immediately there was synchronisation between the world in which we were in and the sounds we were hearing. The funny thing is from our room with lagoon views in which you could see palm trees, gum trees, brightly coloured tropical birds, the Pacific Ocean etc. you couldn't open the window for fear of giant mosquitoes entering your space and destroying your pleasure. With that window being closed all you could hear was a low hum of the air conditioner. Putting on the Dolphins put the sound back into our room. It fit like a glove. In some way though this was just as fake, like a sound designer putting the environmental sounds retrospectively onto a film. It made me think that in some ways this is as incongruous as the rock. Anyway for the next week it was all Three Dolphins records as the soundtrack to our balmy holiday. The perfect soundtrack.

The only other album I put on the i-pod dock was Paul Shutze's New Maps of Hell III. This fit as well. I remember a critic once describing it as music from the pacific rim. This however was a slightly darker take on similar themes. I checked the title of one track, it was called The Rapture of Drowning. The next day while on a boat for a Barrier Reef snorkeling tour I couldn't get that kind of horror vibe out of my head. I thought if Radha Mitchell turns up and starts talking to us we're definitely doomed.

Monday 7 January 2013

Post Nostalgia

When I wrote that post yesterday I didn't think I'd read the the term post-nostalgia before. I did however think that perhaps I'd acquired it by osmosis. A quick google throws up some stuff. The best and closest to my article here. When I read that I thought that's what we meant. Beautifully written.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Nostalgia for nostalgia...

The Mrs comes out of the bathroom and says what's missing is the yearning for nostalgia. Nostalgia for nostalgia. She then says that being nostalgic is lost due to the availability of everything. This availability renders everything timeless. Everything is now. Then I add you mean the fleeting, ephemeral and the yearning for what's lost can't be experienced because it is not lost. It has probably been found by someone else so you don't even get to enjoy the experience of finding it yourself.

Emma then adds a case in point would be a show she vaguely recalls from school called the Dark Towers. This was some kind of spooky television for schools show (Emma attended primary school in North Wales). Emma knows the theme tune sort of. She is also aware that she can go onto the Internet and probably find it. A few years previously these events would usually unfold: The phone calls to her sister where she would sing the theme tune and her sister would go 'yeah I think I recall that.' Then talking to other people she went to school with or her father to piece together this vague memory. Then what if someone had an old VHS of the Dark Towers programme? It would be exchanged watched and discussed. Or if nobody had it it would remain a little mystery. Now all that would be lost.

This parallels the death of the pub conversation. In the pre-Internet on your mobile phone days you could argue for hours about anything and it might not get resolved for a long time. A case in point was a conversation that took place perhaps 8 years ago. I was saying that isn't it weird that George Harrison wrote Taxman but didn't play the lead guitar part? In fact Paul McCartney plays the lead part! The mate I was with was saying no way it was either George or John playing that guitar break. I said I know for a fact that it was Paul! He would say nah that's bullshit! The conversation probably ensued like this for some time. It was a week or two later that I found a book on The Beatles at work (er...I worked for a book distributor at the time) with a page on the recording of Taxman. I was right. I photocopied the said page and either faxed it to him or showed him next time he was around at my place.

Now days someone will just pull out the mobile phone and solve any argument in an instant. This in turn halts the natural flow of conversation, you know, the fun part of drinking and talking crap at the pub. People younger than me are (ie. Generation Y and younger) perhaps more prone to this. I have noticed people looking up every second thing I've stated in a conversation at the pub.

What we are getting at is that perhaps a part of our social and emotional interaction in the world is being eroded by technology in ways that we've barely even noticed. Ending with these questions: What is the future of nostalgia? If everything is presently found and preserved how can we yearn for it? What is the purpose of nostalgia? Is nostalgia now redundant? If so what are the implications?

Are we now Post-Nostalgia*?

Saturday 5 January 2013

The Age

So I went to the cinema today to see Les Miserables which was alright (no Rusty no!). It's this ad though that really pissed me off. There are 2 newspapers in Melbourne, The Herald Sun and The Age. The Age is supposed to be, you know, the proper paper. Their ad today was about a cab driver and guess what he's not just a cab driver he's got a life too. You know like a wife and kids and in his country of origin he did some stuff. Wow! He's not what you'd expect is what you were meant to think about him and about the said newspaper. Well fuck me The Age how patronising can you get? Who is this ad for and where were they supposed to be educated? I've been in taxis and guess what? I've even talked to them about everything from the music they're playing, sports, weather, politics and even where they have come from etc. etc. Guess what The Age? I'm not a fucking idiot. I realise every person I pass each day has a life and a story. Fuck off The Age! The dimwits they are meant to be preaching to are apparently their own advertising company and themselves.

Britt Walford

More Drummage

The drumming in Slint was awesome and the first Breeders record. Wasn't it the same guy? I think so. Britt Walford is his name plus he had  aliases - Mike Hunt and Shanonn Doughton. He was so versatile. One minute playing beautifully melodic rolls with great restraint then bangin his heart out in the heaviest possible way. He could build tension and atmosphere like no other.

Now I don't know if this is him in the film clip or not. I'm pretty sure he played on the track although it is credited to two different drummers. Anyway who cares this one is all about the drums. When I saw The Breeders live this was the highlight. Britt would often dress up in disguises. Was he embarrassed or something? Enigmatic master!

Surf influenced Drummage

Simon Reynolds is still bangin on about drums so here's a couple more. Well it's pretty hard to get heard behind the twin guitar attack of Masuak and Tek but here's some great drumming to go with those surf guitars. Ron Keeley with the sticks.

Then there is this which was all about the drums. Loved it the first time I heard it which was on the Countdown awards cica 84/85. This was power surf drummage! Mark Kingsmall on the skins.