Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A most interviewed year

I hate interviews, hate interviewing people and hate being interviewed by other people so it's a little mysterious how I managed to be interviewed so much in the one year. I like mysteries so to balance out things out I will now solve the mystery of the interviews.*

Interview 1 - Cleo Magazine
At the time I agreed to this interview it seemed too ridiculous to be true. I am not a fan of this kind of magazine, broader  cultural harms and that sort of thing, but in this instance I knew the journalist to be a good one, a woman of integrity with genuine journalistic intent and also the topic was about being independent and happy despite being terribly old. Too weird a chance to pass up, almost like being an anti-girl-mag topic. Take them down from the inside. I think it was the April one, can't really remember.

Interviews 2 - 5 million - Newspapers, Blogs, Websites & Radio
These interviews were all about PAN magazine. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a magazine editor will subject themselves to multiple interviews for the good of the magazine.

It did feel a tad awkward when I had to interview myself but fortunately my friend Spencer came over and pretended to be me, the interviewer me, so that I could answer myself. None of us, not me, Spencer, Spencer pretending to me or the other way around uttered the words 'Willy Wonka' but they did somehow end up being in the title of the interview. You can read it here if you can be bothered...

Interview 5 million and 1 - ABC Radio National
I am terribly fond of the Olympia Milkbar on Parramatta Rd but that alone is insufficient to convince me to go on the radio. I am petrified of going on the radio. Every single time I go slightly odd with fear on the walk there and nearly get run over or walk into large objects like buildings and public sculptures.

There are two reasons I recently agreed to risk being run over and head down to the ABC. The first  was the radio man informing me that the 'V' in the middle of his email address was for his middle name, Vince.  The second reason was that he sounded kind and slightly amused rather than annoyed by my phone call demanding to know if this was in fact a strange prank.

I had planned to say all sorts of things about the importance of the geography of sound, my larger project of map making through public memory and the texture of this city. Instead I blurted my usual mixture of incomprehensible prattle interspersed with statements surprising to both the interviewer and myself which is one of the reasons I have decided to become sophisticated next year but more of that later.

The very best part of the interview was when Radio Man Middle Name of Vince first sat me down in one of those tiny rooms full of strange electrical equipment. He produced several pieces of paper on which he had written responses to my ponderings about why he wanted to interview me. I can now reliably inform you that he is not secretly in love with Vanessa Berry, he does not want to yell in my face, bring back the dinosaurs and is not the illegitimate love child of Milkbar Man. Nor had he heard about my imaginary submarine but he does now want to blow it up with imaginary battle ships.

It is a great shame that he does not live in Newtown. I have the feeling that if he was walking down King St I would not only nod hello but also raise a hand and wave. It is probably best if I did not attempt to speak with him because who the hell  knows what is likely to come out of my mouth, it could be anything from 'Happy Christmas' to 'Your shoes are peculiar why are you wearing them?' or even worse, of course it wouldn't be on purpose but not everybody understands that.

Despite my input I will encourage everybody to listen to the Radio National documentary about the Olympia Milkbar when it goes to air next year. You never know, they might edit me out entirely.



* I am only solving the mystery of why I was interviewed and not the mystery of why I interviewed other people. It is safe to assume I interviewed people when an editor told me to and not for any other reason, except maybe the Quaoub interview. I think I had a small urge to try and share his good music with the world. I've done my part, the rest is up to him really. Can't make people listen to a record that doesn't exist yet.

Monday, 20 December 2010

SLAMMATOWN - Up your charts



There’s a new man soaring up my Tex Perkins chart. His name isBen Corbett from Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side and the infamous Six Ft Hick. Watch out Tex Perkins Gentle Ben is coming up fast but just to be clear I’m not sure there’s anything gentle about this man at all. 


Continue reading on RHUM... 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I knew it

I knew this blog would come in handy one day. I am currently researching myself or more specifically things I have thought about the Olympia Milkbar using the handy dandy search function. My thoughts about the Olympia Milkbar have been wildly inadequate but at least I can read them.

Tomorrow I have to go to the ABC to be interviewed about the Olympia. I am wondering why the ABC man wants to interview me of all people. I suppose it is because I have mentioned it a few times and maybe not everybody does, either that or one of these possible reasons;
- he wants to bring back the dinosaurs and has heard about my plan to do it first so he has concocted an elaborate story in order to meet and murder me,
- he does not like my writing and wants to yell that at my face,
- he is secretly in love with Vanessa Berry and is hoping I can perform the necessary introductions,
- he is the illegitimate love child of Olympia Milkbar Man and wants to talk to people who have met his father,
- he has heard about my imaginary submarine and wants to have a go at sinking it with his imaginary fleet of battleships.

Any one of the above reasons could be the mysterious truth. Only time will tell.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

SLAMMATOWN - So you want to be a temporary contemporary bohemian?



SLAMMATOWN REGULATORY DEPT.
This week’s SLAMMATOWN features the style of document formatting favoured by the Baltimore Police Dept. 

Ever wanted to become a temporary contemporary bohemian? Well now you can. Follow these six easy steps and just like that you're in.

1. DOUBLE BAG IT 
You know what I’m talking about. Those hideously drunk yet intriguingly beautiful boys are riddled with diseases, all kinds. If they don’t ever wash their jeans then how much attention do you think they’re paying to what’s running around in their bloodstream? Double bag it ladies, double bag it. 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Stick with the union?

It was interesting to note that the Australian Society of Authors was not a signatory on the recent open letter to Julia Gillard re Julian Assange.

If I'm wrong I'm happy to be corrected but if in fact the ASA was not a signatory then I want to know why  the fuck not.

In the past the ASA has been the go to place for help, just like a union, but these days I'm not sure they're really doing anything at all over there apart from offering mentorships and professional development courses. This is not the fault of the hard working staff who spend their days grinding out office tasks just like most everyone else.

Click here to read the admirable open letter... 

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

After The Fall

After The Fall we all stood about in the laneway and on the street being vaguely herded about like kittens. I hate that part of things, when it's clear that there are at least a few people who want to sit down together and have a drink or two but nobody knows where to go. It was a little like that last night, until Abdullah's friend Manometer declared that he owned a bar. He said it wasn't open on a Tuesday night but he'd open up just for us.

The bar was high on a hill, at the top of a skyscraper. I suppose it was a penthouse though I am unsure if that term is strictly residential. A gaggle of us walked seven city blocks from The Metro down through China Town and towards the water. Spencer became temporarily lost after he stopped to photograph Christmas lights but in the end all of us crammed into one of those incredibly fast marble-clad lifts. I clutched the rail as we soared skywards, I don't trust those infernal stair-replacement machines. There's something not quite right about the whole idea.

Once we were inside it soon became clear that we were in for one hell of an evening. Free drinks, a cavernous empty bar, illegal indoor smoking of cigarettes and no one to enforce the wearing of shoes. If there's one thing that makes me happy it's taking off my shoes in a bar with free drinks.

Towards the end of the evening, after Spencer and I admirably demonstrated the full range of our best dance moves, I invented a new dance called The Soggy Noodle, a mystery began to develop. Unfortunately the mystery remains unsolved, much like my headache and my sincere fatigue.

In other news, there is nothing to report, unless you count the time I got my head stuck in a bucket of water for ten seconds, Insensible Pie Day on The Peach Deck, the ongoing mystery of the sunflower seed thief and my newfound desire to become a Baltimore gangsta.

Fall

The Fall in 2010 are a curious beast. Mark E. Smith looks like a foreshortened peacock but the rhythm section is made up of two meatheads, all forearms and shaved heads. The drummer played elbows up like he was trying to murder a set of metal garbage cans but the guitarist wouldn’t have looked out of place in Oasis, the visible sweat on him giving away just how much stress he was under in this band.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Sings pretty good for a dead man

Just in case you don’t already know, Damo Suzuki is a living legend. 
The Holy Soul have recorded a live album with him thanks to Repressed Records. 


You should read my review on RHUM.

Get your hand off my imaginary box

I just had an almost argument with a colleague from RHUM, whom I've never met, on Fspazbook.  He was getting all gloaty about a positive review I wrote about an album. He even put in a 'told you so'. Naturally I told him to fuck off and then he appeared to genuinely engage and try to resolve the issue, which mysteriously annoyed me further.

I'm trying to pinpoint the exact reason why I became immediately and completely infuriated with him. I think the best way to proceed might be to write a little list.

A little list:
- He did not at any point either before or during the reviewing process tell me that I would like the album.
- I did not at any point either before or during the reviewing process indicate that I did not like the album.
- I actually requested the album to review from a list of albums that desperately need reviewing due to time constraints.
- I began to suspect that the man in question had made a decision about the kinds of things I did and did not like, which is stupid and also impossible as nobody knows what I do and don't like.
- I had just walked from The Lansdowne to The Peach and was overly warm.
- My left ankle hurts.
- I began to suspect the man in question had built an imaginary box around my presumed tastes.
- I began to imagine the box was large, made of reinforced glass and visible to a large number of strangers.
- The box began to suffocate me.
- I hate the imaginary box.
- I forgot to buy cat food and will need to defrost a sausage to feed the cat something for breakfast.
- I like to say 'fuck off' to people I do not know and sometimes to people I do know, like Spencer or a distant relative.

It might be best to admit that sometimes a list is not helpful or even interesting.

The argument seems to have been resolved. The man in question apologised despite being baffled, I made a peace offering of 'I Hate You' by The Monks, because it is a good song. 'Bla Bla Bla'  by Toots and the Maytals was posted on my Fspazbook wall in return. It was a strange encounter but there is a lesson to be drawn from this, I hope. Let me know if you figure out what it is.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

All in a golden afternoon

I’ve been going to see Caitlin play gigs for years. I go for one reason, her music. I am never disappointed. I remember seeing her for the first time. I was just walking through the room to get to the bar. She was about fourteen years old, standing on stage with a huge guitar slung high and her right shoulder raised towards her ear. She was playing a Paul McCartney cover, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Ever since that first minute I’ve been listening to Caitlin Harnett every chance I get.
Her sound is earnest and wonderfully simple, like a straight answer in a sea of bullshit. It is post-dreamy and threaded through with the good elements of country. If I had to choose one reason to listen to her it would be this, when she lifts you follow.



EP available now through itunes and on Caitlin's Big Cartel.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Gilded carnival chariots, six lanes of traffic, an intimate drunken embrace and Algeria

On the bus I was momentarily overtaken by the memory a gilded carnival chariot. I was reading Camus, The American Journals. My remembered giant cart was nightly towed around the festival grounds at Woodford, by the Hari Krishnas I think. One clear memory of unfettered delight. It was a heavy thing, decorated wildly in a style from last century, towed with great braided ropes by clamorous groups heaving through the thick air. A heavy air made tolerable only by the setting of the sun. I think of it as painted shining and white, several stories high with no practical purpose. A machine built for joy.

Camus slapped me with his spare prose. Every clean sentence the tip of an iceberg. I should always return to books like these, writers' notebooks of observations and ideas, like a  dancer returns to the barre.

It has been about a month since I last saw Leif. I think I call him Leif here, or Leaf or Tree or River or some such name but there he was at Central Station striding towards me to wait for the same train. His beard seems incredulously long. He wasn't staggering or ginger of stride but his immediate confession, as he fell into one of his intimate embraces, was that he was quite probably still drunk from last night and running hideously late for work.

I have now the urge to leave the cafe where I sit to cross the road and be tattooed with something ill-advised. This is the same urge to write. Make visible marks representing an interior feeling.

I was on my way to a job interview when I ran into Leif. He has been having difficulty securing a lease on somewhere new to live. He said he is good on paper, same good job for years and years, steady rental history. I should have remarked that he is good off-paper as well. Though he is sometimes petulant the source is always love. I often suppress the urge to build a good fence around him, not to contain him but to provide him with an impenetrable place of safety. Most people build their own borders but either he does not know how or he is so used to being invaded he has discarded any notions of sovereignty.

He was a companionable distraction on what might have been an anxious journey. I briefly became lost on the way to the office but in a fit of calm adulthood I telephoned for directions. I was violently reminded about the land of cars as I walked around the business park in North Ryde. Six lane roads and not a fellow pedestrian in sight. As I made note of the directions I was desperately hoping not to be sucked out of the poor shade a of a young eucalypt and into the screaming traffic by the jet wash of a passing truck.

I know almost nothing about Algeria. Some places I imagine dusty and hot. I am content with a vague notion of white walls and outside, in sparse shade, some scratching chickens.

The man who interviewed me was undoubtedly delectable. He shifted between consciously projecting a businesslike charm and inadvertently revealing something of his true nature. I imagine his childhood home was solid and well-furnished. The same good curtains hanging in windows for most of his life. He has a steadiness about him, whether recently constructed or an innate feature of his person I have no idea. I have developed a curiosity about him. It itches at me to be left with only the imaginary texture of his life.

Well that was unfortunately psychedelic

I had no intention of ingesting psychedelics, I only wanted to have the tiniest taste of the frozen fruit smoothie concoction they kept going on and on about. I thought surely, just one capful of the stuff won't have any effect. The average 'dose' of psychedelic mushrooms is one gram. One gram of dried mushrooms would be an enormous amount surely, like a whole heaped handful. I've measured plenty of ground spices when I'm cooking curries so I was fairly confident that if I took one tiny sip to taste the stupid drink that I would in no way be approaching the amount necessary to have a psychedelic experience.

I was wrong.

Friday, 19 November 2010

SLAMMATOWN - I'm a spy



After staking out the back entrance to the caterer’s kitchen for ten minutes I discovered a regularity of flow in extremely large trolleys going in and out of the doors. All those hours of double jump with the skipping ropes in primary school finally paid off when I launched a perfectly timed jump from behind a door to the hidden side of a fast moving trolley. Crouching like a commando I ran undetected alongside the trolley until I reached the entrance to the VIP area.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Farewell to the floral stink source, I want to see my mother, we welcome you mighty Peach Deck the Second or The Arizona branch of the Taliban may be plotting to capture or kill my family

The IGA supermarket on Enmore Rd is microscopic. One person traveling at half the normal shopping speed will still be traveling too quickly to negotiate the towering and over-crowded aisles, all five of them. I was talking to my mother on the telephone when I entered the IGA. Ordinarily I might wind a conversation up so that I could devote my much-needed attention to navigating around, under, over and through shelves, baskets and people but today I kept on talking.

I want to see my mother, I don't know why but I do. It's not a feeling of obligation, more like a biological urge. I'm not sure why this need has developed but I can isolate its first appearance to precisely the moment The Peachettes and I slid the stinky floral sofa that used to be in the library down the front steps and onto the street. It is unfortunate that I won't have an opportunity to see her before she travels to the USA where she will be capture or killed by The Taliban because the central heating in her house broke and they charge a flat fee of $250 to come out and have a look, not including parts or labour.

I don't how to describe my mother. It is not that she is awful, or especially kind, she is the usual amount of annoying and tender, for a parent, I think. I can say my mother is never dull. Not for one second in all the years of her life has she ever been dull. Like all people she is contradictory and puzzling but unlike most people she will express all of these contradictions articulately. Though perhaps sometimes, like today, she is more puzzling than articulate.

A conversation between Dale and her mother on the telephone in the IGA on Enmore Rd - an excerpt:

DS: I'm just not sure I want to go to the second interview for this job.
M: You should earn more money. Money gives you choices:
DS: But it also takes them away. I don't want to wake up every morning with the urge to stab myself through the heart.
M: You should use a calculator to see if it would be more money.
DS: You are just like John Howard, always putting money first. What about my happiness?
M: I have all this money now because I worked very hard to earn it. You have time now but your choices are limited because you can't afford anything. What will happen when you retire?
DS: You worked very hard but were you happy?
M: Not for the last five years that I worked but before that I don't know. It is the mindset everybody had, work hard, be an example, provide for your family. What size of jeans do you want from America?
DS: I don't know. I 'll have to look up a size conversion chart. Did you enjoy your work?
M: I did like what I was doing. I've left you the River House in my will but I sold it.
DS: What? Why are you telling me this now?
M: My will is with my solicitor.
DS: I thought he was dead.
M: Not quite yet but soon. I also left you my super. Is it Navajo jewellery you prefer?
DS: I quite liked that necklace you got me the time before last. When are you planning on dying?
M: I'm going to visit B. in America on Monday.
DS: Are you going to drop dead in America?
M: I'm more worried about The Taliban.
DS: In Arizona?
M: Well the central heating broke this week, you never know what might happen. They charge a flat $250 for a call out fee. I have another house in the mountains you can have instead of the River House. You should rent it out to someone who has a job.
DS: I might but you have to die first. I'm no longer going to plunge to my death because Mr Oddweird repaired the Peach Deck.
M: What do you want duty free?
DS: I'm not sure, let me think.
M: Your brother sucked all my spending money into a trombone.
DS: I suppose that's not unusual. Should I buy the recycled toilet paper? I can give you money for some duty free perfume.
M: No you can't, you're too poor. The Money Fairy doesn't approve. My brother once bought the most  dyed toilet paper because he doesn't like fish.
DS: Maybe the Birthday Fairy could buy the perfume, unless she has also been sucked into a trombone.
M: It is important to note that I do not plan on dropping dead in America but there is a possibility I might.
DS: Consider it noted. You should note that unlike my uncle I like fish.
M: Noted.

Monday, 15 November 2010

The unending number of cat-food-mission related surprises or Going to New York

I ran into a friend of mine today as I walked down the road on a mission to buy cat food in the pouring rain. He's been smiling a lot lately, almost too much, as though he had saved all his happiness in a box under his bed and only recently thought to open it. He's written a screen play and is going to New York, to try his luck at walking streets with words in mind.

My friend's joy was overwhelming. I think he'd stuffed all his pockets with thought-propelling possibilities. I told the cat all about it, our thoughts were unusually united, this is only one surprise in the unending number of cat-food-mission related surprises.

Terrible by accident on purpose

I locked myself in my wardrobe last night. That's more difficult than it sounds, it has sliding doors. It was, of course an accident, one in a long list of accidents. I threw a garbage bag containing a king size doona onto my head, dropped two fans on my feet and trapped the cat in the shower. I was having one of those uncoordinated days when my ordinary flesh turns into an irresistible disaster-attracting magnet but it was better than the day before when I had to fake something similar.

Spencer said he was having some friends around to have a jam in his band room. I came along to take notes for something I'm working on but ended up happily but ineffectively bashing away at the drums. Something got into Spencer's head and he kept calling out for everybody to swap instruments, which is fine for him because he can just about get away with playing anything, less good for the some of the rest of us, particularly me. I can't play guitar, not at all. I don't want to learn either. I have about as much interest in playing guitar as I do in dropping my hands into a vat of boiling oil. I made some loud electric noises of the atonal variety and didn't really mind not being able to play but then Spencer yelled for another swap and somebody handed me a bass.

I can play bass guitar, but I didn't want to. I haven't wanted to play for twenty years and even before that I wasn't really having a good time with the stupid thing. I used to plod along with one dire band or another, picking out the right notes and following the drummer through rhythm and the guitars through keys but I never liked it. I remember the precise day when I shut my old bass into its case and swore never again.

Two days ago in Spencer's band room I was stranded in the middle of a stupid jam with a damn bass strapped around my neck. Spencer was playing drums like he was falling down stairs, some others were having a go at electric guitar. I thought about it for a second, ran my left hand down the fret board and felt the strings bite at my fingertips but then something took over. I don't even remember making the decision not to play. It was easier than I thought, I half-heartedly plonked out a few tones, out of order, out of rhythm. Muscle memory was screaming at me 'you're doing it wrong, stop doing it wrong', but the more I persisted in not playing the easier it got. I tapped out some random nothings, played non-existent chords, jammed my foot down on a pedal to muddy things up even further and just sat there, making hideous non-rhythmic noises until it was time to swap again.

I can't quite remember what led to the momentous day when I declared, with god as my witness, I will never play the bass again but I do remember the feeling of uncomplicated relief. I suspect it has something to do with writing. There came a point when rehearsals, sound checks, riding stuffed like a sardine from shit town to shit town in the back of someone's borrowed car and playing to people who didn't really give a shit shifted from being kind of fun to nothing more than stolen hours. I just wanted to stay home and write. I know that music isn't my first language like it is for others. I can play some instruments, I can sight read music like a pro, thanks to never practicing enough between piano lessons and wishing to avoid getting yelled at. I can listen to music like most people can't, inhabit it, wear it right in the face, I can sit without embarrassment right in front of a rehearsing beginner or a world class concert pianist but what I can't do is build within myself an innate sense of musicality. You've either got it or you don't. I don't got it and for that I remain truly grateful. I have enough to do here with words.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Toothless and calm

I wish I knew what those clangy metal ball things are called. They are smallish, just small enough to roll two around in one hand at a time. They usually come in small ornamental boxes and make a soothing sort of dull thumpish-clang as they move.

I have the feeling that sorrows can harden into pointed objects that rub, pierce and intrude on everyday moments like sleep, eat, breathe, walk and think. This morning, for the first time, I got the feeling that sometimes a hardened sorrow can become rounded and river-washed, sit tucked up as neat as a bird's feet in midflight.

I took to walking up the road on my way to nowhere in particular except breakfast. I had a good book under my left arm and a new pouch of tobacco in my pocket. I neither desired nor required any company. I walked right underneath a man I once fancied myself besotted with, he had climbed up a ladder and was scooping armfuls of jacaranda petals out of the gutter of a house. I suppose he lives there now, in the house near The Peach where he sometimes climbs to the roof and showers me with petals as I walk beneath his feet. Any reaction but the dread plunging drop in my stomach would have been impossible for such a scenario, last year, but this year I barely thought of him at all, I just laughed in the midst of my delicate purple shower. I neither looked up towards him or deliberately kept my gaze cast down. I found my merry stride unbroken as I heard the first dull thumpish clang.

I wish I knew what those metal balls are called because this morning it occurred to me that I might have some lodged in the middle parts of me, right under the ribcage somewhere between heart and stomach. Don't come racing over with your x-ray machines. I don't think its important to conduct tests to determine whether they are real or imagined. I am quite sure it is just the dull and soothing clang of old sorrows gone toothless and calm.

SLAMMATOWN - New Dress Syndrome




My new dress is better than amazing. I keep looking at it and thinking ‘oh shit’. More like ‘ooohhhhh shhiiiiiit!’. That’s just how awesome I am in my new dress. I love this dress more than marching bands, teapots and machine guns combined. I want to wear it all the time. Everywhere. So far I have worn it to Annual Goth Day, the dentist, my stupid job, the pub, to bed and in the shower. The bed/shower combination was of course one of those little accidents, could have happened to anyone really.

My dress and I have caught one train, three buses and one taxi cab. We’ve made telephone calls, typed letters, read a book, fed the cat, met seven new people, seen three bands, staggered home late at night, made nine pots of tea and telephoned my mother. Did I mention that I bought the dress three days ago?


Continue reading on RHUM...

Monday, 8 November 2010

ARIAballs


Shitballs! The ARIAs was a disjointed and discombobulating exercise in waiting around being bored, having no idea what was happening and trying to stay upright in the dense thicket of a champagne-swilling crowd of wannabes eating miniature ice cream cones.

I have no idea who won any of the awards. My night was spent scrambling through the bowels of the Opera House trying to figure out which was the correct hallway to walk down.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Miniature note about ARIAs

The only interesting thing about the ARIAs was that Lachlan, who plays with Powderfinger, had the shiniest shoes I have ever seen.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Fist City

I had some interesting information from a friend of mine tonight. Originally him and his group of friends were Artboy's classmates at uni. My friend was telling me tonight that he was glad we are friends now, he said he didn't think he would ever be a friend of mine because of what Artboy told him way back when, all those years ago. Apparently Artboy's uni friends thought I was pretty awesome when they first met me and they told Artboy so but here's the interesting part.

Artboy told his friends that he was surprised I even talked to them, that I was prepared to be polite to them but I'd never let any of them in, not really. I think its time for some rule breaking, seeing as I am The Captain of What I Do and also it is three in the morning and I have just arrived home from The Townie (no one tell my mother).

Fuck you Artboy. Retrospectively fuck you.

Just as a side note I have discovered a new way to dry my hands with those loud air-blaster thingy-whatsits they have in public toilets. A foolproof method for actual hand dry-making rather than just standing in an unpleasantly loud and gusty place for twenty seconds but leaving with wet hands despite best efforts. All things considered this evening was triumphant.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Le Noise


There are moments when Le Noise hovers, suspending a single sound apart from its song just long enough to reveal the anatomy of rock and roll. Now that’s what I call the perfect mix of science and love. Le Noise is as wide as the horizon and as intimate the inside of your underpants. It’s not brand new territory; others have been here before but perhaps none so openly as Neil. At the age of sixty-four he’s still singing straight out of that blow-hole in the centre of his chest.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Too many reviews - clearly the editors are slavedriving bastards

Swanlights - Antony & His Johnsons

Antony & The Johnsons is a sometimes-food, unless you are chronically suicidal or just have a penchant for making yourself miserable. Antony & The Johnsons are depressing, as depressing as Jandek or Townes Van Zandt, who is like Hank Williams only sadder.
Swanlights has an operatic sweep to it but can feel a little monotonous until the last three songs, when suddenly it sets like a triumphant tower of berry-studded chocolate mousse and everything begins to make sense.

Continue reading on RHUM...


He Will Have His Way: The songs of Neil and Tim Finn

I once had an argument with an alcoholic in rehab - he was in rehab not me - about which Neil was ‘The Neil’, Neil Young or Neil Finn. Nobody won. Tim is the superior Finn, Rehab Man started drinking again and I went back to listening to Neil Young albums. That little story has precisely one thing to do with He Will Have His Way: The Songs of Tim and Neil Finn but I’m not going to tell you about it

Continue reading on RHUM...


The Very Very Best of Crowded House

Crowded House sound better in your head than they do on your stereo. Inside my head Crowded House are frickin’ amazeballs. Classic melodies, good times and sunshine distilled into song. On my stereo they are insipid and boring. You can hear the years stacked between you and the day the melody was first written.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

SLAMMATOWN: Annual Goth Day

Once in a blue moon, well once a year really, the Goths of Enmore have a festival. They call it Under The Blue Moon Festival, I like to call it Annual Goth Day. This year I attended Annual Goth Day (AGD) by accident, the same way one might attend the instant death of a commuter who stood too close to the edge of a railway platform and got sucked off by a passing freight train.


Continue reading on RHUM...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Monday, 1 November 2010

Oh shit

The ARIA awards gave me media accreditation. Now I have to come up with a way to get to Balmain to collect the pass, something to wear, a device for carrying spare pens and a grand plan. A plan grander than any other plan. So far I've got this - I am going to interview Richard Wilkins about his hair.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Some Peachettes like paints

Zebsicle - spray paint, poscas and burners
K2, our newest Peachette*, likes paint. She likes the kind that sprays, the kind that comes in a texta and the  kind you need to apply with a brush. She's started making a name for herself around town, which is nice. This Thursday K2 will be exhibiting in a group show at aMBUSH Gallery as part of the Changing Lanes Festival. Art will be for sale, etc blah fundraiser for FBI radio.


Check out the aMBUSH Gallery website for details.


* Right, so, I might have forgotten to mention that The Spatula discharged herself from The Peach around Easter time. It was agreed that there is only room for one exceedingly annoying person in The Peach at any one time and seeing as I was the most exceedingly annoying person ever it made sense that I should stay and she should go. The Spatula packed up her 59246708274607402867085376 chattels and departed The Peach forever. We had a small party after she left because, let's face it, any excuse for a small party will do.

Now let's talk about K2. K2 is young, swinging and like a breath of fresh air. She shares my penchant for creative pursuits, rock and roll music, shooting inanimate objects with water pistols and drinking beer. Life is sweet at The Peach. To your right is an unauthorised photograph of K2 readying her painting paraphernalia. I have no idea what burners are but
I do know that you need a bed sheet in the front yard to make them work properly.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Slamma makes a telephone call

Sometimes a Slamma will telephone a Spencer.

S: Hello! What! [sound of fifty men having a singalong in background]
DS: What on earth are you doing?
S: Having a singalong.
DS: Where?
S: Courty. You coming?
DS: Nope.
S: What?
DS: Nope.
S: Wait I'm going to lie down on the floor so I can hear you better.
DS: How will that help?
S: It will. Hang on. See?
DS: Nope. Did you say you were at the pub?
S: Yep.
DS: Maybe don't lie on the floor at the pub. You'll get kicked out.
S: I won't get kicked out. They can see I'm on the telephone.
DS: Why does that help.
S: Don't be stupid. Did you see you were coming to the pub?
DS: Nope.
S:What?
DS: Nope.
S. I thought you said yes.
DS: No, it was no.
S: I'm on the floor now under the table.

SLAMMATOWN - Carry bread, fly a fast jet and use men for sex


Sometimes I wish words of wisdom would fall out of the sky and knock some sense into my head. So far this has never happened. I believe the time has come to compile a partially annotated list of advice I’ve received from old people, in case any of us ever need it.

Let’s start with advice from my mum, who is not really that old yet.
“Never play with explosives in the garage because you might blow off the tops of your thumbs. If this happens you will not be able to be a jet fighter pilot because your thumbs will be too short to reach the ‘fire rockets’ buttons.”

Continue reading on RHUM...

Threes

Some woman said Eat Pray Love. Vanessa Berry had the better idea to Eat Sort Dig which got me thinking about my three. Read Write Drink? Write Sleep Fuck? Rock Drink Write? Eat Write Sleep? Think Write Read? Sleep Rest Snooze? Coffee Talk Listen? Pens Tea Ponies? I think I'm going to need more than three.

Monday, 25 October 2010

An ordinary tale in one sentence

I'll write it for you. You said there was no way, no fucking way, you could tell your other friends, the ones you ride your days with. I'll tell it for you to take shocked load off your shoulders and make it just another narrative swinging loose across Sydney.

You said you marveled at the crassness of his gesture. He had crossed the floor and run a firm finger down your throat, answered your puzzled face with his lips, retreated at the footsteps of the others returning to the fray. He repeated variations of the gesture, when no one was watching, answered your objections about his girlfriend with a casual shrug, stepped close to push his hand up the back of your dress and as far between your legs as he could reach. He said, 'I like being rude'.

I know you are ordinarily won over with words, seduced by intellect and the stupid force of your respect and admiration. You weren't able to explain how a drunk and guttural man, with questionable morals, lead you so easily from your long and beloved celibacy to such a splayed place.

You said he pissed through a paling fence onto your favourite kind of flower, wanted you to watch the hard stream hurtling out the end of his already erect penis. I would have walked away but you paid for the taxi across town, let him push that finger back up your skirt while the taxi driver switched on his windscreen wipers.

He hesitated before he walked you drunk across the road. Wondered out loud whether his girlfriend would be waiting in the doorway. You blanched then, offered to shake hands and leave him in faithful slumber but he grasped your hand and you both tiptoed through the tall shrubs in his small square of a front garden. He was peering ahead and you were throwing empty pictures back up at the blank moon. Nobody was sitting in the doorway, nobody has an easy time finding the right key with a virtual stranger under one arm and cold beer running loose from knuckles to knees.

The floor was hard and covered in paint, the whole space stank of paint. You said you were wondering if you'd been poisoned by the fumes. I thought of all the centuries of women who walked willingly into the artists'  bare-floored urban hovel and survived the stink of linseed oil, turpentine and oil paint. It is usually the man himself who is a point of danger.

I remember every detail you spat out of your still bleeding mouth. His vigorous delight at your unforced ferocity. His ill-timed pauses to enquire after your level of comfort and well-being. The unexpected sensuality of a slow and standing undressing, how he took a whole step back to admire each newly revealed part of your form. I remember your explanation for each one of your swollen injuries but I still don't understand how you broke a one-hundred-year-old fireplace with the bare balls of your feet.

He sounds like the kind of man I'd walk around to get to a friend. I imagine him almost shorter than you, black-haired, crow-footed, awkward with dancing but laced with lean muscle.

Neither of us wasted time with manufactured shock. It was out of the ordinary, an unexpected deviation from the rutted path of your character but we do not lead an unexamined life. Not all of us could casually murder eleven men and sink their battered bodies in the nearest dam, but like you, I have been devious and selfish as well as kind. I have found cruelty and cracked it as a whip even after I saw red welts rising in alarm. Neither of us paused to think about her, the absent one who can be found some nights sitting in a doorway.

The strength of him reminded you not of your limits but how rare it is to be overpowered. One knee planted on the bed, the other moving apart your already splayed thighs. You tried, out of curiosity, to force a shift in positions but found yourself turned into a furious dough clinging round the steel edges of a machine. Even the subtle tilt of your pelvis, to make the most of his relentless strength and rhythm, was impossible until you worked out how to make your intentions known.

No embarrassment was found, not in the small moments where a long-term lover would have known the curve of you well enough to need no guided entry. Not in the rare minutes of repose, seven eighths submerged in sleep, he clung to you like a limpet and uttered her name. Whispered his shock and joy at how much, how far, how hard, this night, you had fucked.

I laughed at the thought of you popping up on to one elbow, all matter-of-fact to say 'no dude, you've got that wrong, you've been fucking me'. He apologised, blamed his momentary confusion on sleep, said something quite like the right sort of thing but he was already hard up inside you again, ramming home a new rhythm. Had you pneumatically pinned like a butterfly.

The smell of him was phenomenal, hard odours of a man spearheading a new movement and sparing no strength for tomorrow. Old piss wafting from the miniature tiled cupboard miraculously containing a bathroom. Paint fumes, jet fuel, car exhaust, clouds of alcohol rising off him like steam. How alien a man is when you allow yourself infrequent encounters. How sinewed, hard and unequally strong. This man, I imagine is slightly shorter than you, held your heels over your head with one arm. Countered the full push of your strength with an increase in speed. Held his calm eyes open over your exertions.

You were grateful for the consensual overpowering. Sure that never before has the rallying of every one of your fibres been so easily contained. Never been able to dash yourself against brute strength like storm waves breaking on rocks until everything was rip torn and leaking clean new blood.

You kept meeting his open eyes. Came back to his face watching over you constant as sky. Writhed under his watchfulness, became a maelstrom crushing lone ships at sea. He saw everything, swallowed whole every contorted grimace, rolled fold of bent flesh, mapped the longitude of your thrown back throat. You thought he was wearing the look of a landlocked man being shot out of a canon aimed straight at the ocean. His mouth came gloriously open, dropped words of admiration straight into your ear.

He answered in two words your long-held wonderings of why that woman delved six years deep into sound hoping to discover how some low-rumbled sounds have us ecstatically believing we are in the presence of god. Someone said a priest found her impaled on a pipe organ, the surgeon as shocked as anyone when her intestines dropped out of her vagina.

When you rose out of the rank pool of sweat, blood, beer, come and piss the sun was knocking like a debt collector on your eyelids. You crept across the cold floor, squat-pissed in the blacked out bathroom. Thanked the foresight that left all of your clothes in one pile by the door. Leaving him unconscious you ghosted to what passes for a kitchen, sucked Warragamba hard straight out of the tap. Blew foaming mouthfuls pink with blood down his plughole. Pulled his last bottle of beer out of your handbag and left it prominently positioned on an otherwise empty shelf. You were irritated by the politeness of this gesture.

Your feet were flashing like imaginary fish walking you home without navigation. As you stumbled towards Stanmore the Saturday joggers came crawling like cockroaches on to Enmore Rd. Someone said they saw you hailing a taxi, some said you were waiting for a bus but I saw you down by the roadside where even the whites of your eyes were trying not to cause too much of a fuss.

I took you home with me then, poured you bleeding and shaking under the warm jets of my shower. I wrapped you kindly in clean towels. Two thirds towards the bottom of the tea pot you stopped holding your face and spitting out blood. You said  you supposed it wasn't remarkable, from now on you could tell the whole tale in one sentence. I got drunk and had a one night stand.







Third paragraph from the bottom contains a conglomerate of stolen lines, used without permission, from Benito Di Fonzo, Trent Marden and me from something I thought of three weeks ago. In some other paragraph I have made free use of a dream Geoff Lemon once had about murdering a cricket team.

Pillow synchronicity

Reading a poem too fast is the same as sitting on a chocolate cake.

SLAMMATOWN - Mashwoman revisited

I seem to have a habit of accidentally injuring famous or even semi-famous people. Like the time I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing with my arms. I was quite excited and not a little elated after just witnessing something astonishing on a small stage on top of a mountain. I was performing an involuntary dance of happiness when my knuckles came into sudden contact with something hard. That's when Brian Campeau staggered forward into my field of vision and it became clear that he was the hard thing I had hit. He said something to me, I know not what, embarrassment has a muffling effect on my ears. He staggered forward clutching at the lower parts of himself and performing a strange little sort of hop. At the time he was almost semi-famous, he is now definitely semi-famous but I’m pretty this has nothing to do with time I punched him in the cock.       
 
Continue reading on RHUM...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I am my favourite horse


It recently dawned on me that I am nobody's favourite person. I was having a bit of a ponder about flying wall ducks and the stiffness of measuring tapes when it popped into my head. I am nobody's favourite person. I don't mean that everybody hates me, only that everybody I know has at least one person who rates higher than me in their invisible rating scale of people, like their long-standing grew-up-together-best-friend or a boyfriend or wife, or the undying object of their unrequited love.

I am no more a workhorse.

Five seconds after coming to that conclusion I felt immensely pleased. I have discovered a new kind of freedom. So far I have used this freedom to leave parties without saying goodbye, not reply immediately to missed calls, text messages or email and importantly to not bother about including people in my plans. If there is not one person out there who will be especially hurt to not be said farewell to or invited to the art gallery, movie, cafe, bookshop, picnic, graveyard, Peach Deck or ferry ride then I needn't be bothered wasting time thinking about other people when I make plans. I can do whatever I like, whenever I like and not have to answer to anyone. Spencer will tell me I'm being a fuckwit if I start running around being deliberately rude, but his scale of rude is quite different from mine to begin with. What I would consider quite rude indeed he wouldn't even consider.

When there is someone, I mean someone special, a first port of call on all matters large and small I have the luxury of a second opinion. That opinion can stretch across all facets of life, from what I am wearing to what I'm saying, eating, thinking, reading and most importantly, what I am writing. In cases like this I have acquired a constant reader.

I am a racing horse.

I despise a constant reader, one that feels like they need to comment on every single letter of the alphabet, wants to know if I was talking about them, wants to know if this is really what I mean to say. It is easy to be weighed down by a constant reader who wants to act as a second head, no neck was built to withstand that kind of strain. It's like holding a mirror so close to a dancer that it shatters with every point of a toe.

Don't go feeling sorry for me walking around being nobody's favourite person. I have no constant reader, no man burdened with mental illness tracking my every move, no person aching to call me to account for every minute I spend in silent reflection. No watchdog counting the relative merit of every spindle of thought. I have the freedom to fail, flail or spend the whole day writing without interruption. I can cancel any obligation without guilt, I can stay away for days or curl into the arms of a good idea. I am my favourite horse.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

SLAMMATOWN - Fucking magnets!


'Miracles' by Insane Clown Posse is the stupidest song of all time. Take these lyrics for example:

“Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas
And everything chilling underwater, please
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs…

I see miracles all around me
Stop and look around, it's all astounding
Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?”

I had no idea a giraffe could live peacefully under the sea with cats, dogs, rain and lava. Thank you Insane Clown Posse for furthering my education. Clearly the song, and possibly the posse, is stupid but the clowns have a point.

I wanted to take a few examples from my everyday life, like icebergs, corn flour and beer bottles, to explain in flawless prose just why everyone should be walking around thinking everything is not only amazing but possibly a miracle. I was twirling my pencil in preparation for writing something profound when I came to a stunning scientific conclusion, quite similar to the whole apple-falling-on-the-head-inventing-gravity-thing. Insane Clown Posse is Indie.

Continue reading on RHUM...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Introducing Project Polymath

I've had some ideas in my time, for example walking on custard, like Jesus but sweeter. More formally known as my Afterdinner Jesus Project: An experiment using non-Newtownian viscoelastic fluids for purposes of entertainment. It was a spectacular failure but as yet I've not been deterred from having ideas.

I first had the idea for Project Polymathic one month ago. I was sitting at my dad's dining table, chatting about art and life, when Dad suddenly said, 'He's a polymath, unlike the rest of us'. I thought, hang on a minute, I don't want to be 'the rest of us' and for a moment became quite bitter at the thought of being so ordinary. When I got back to The Peach I decided to make an origami donkey as a birthday present for Abdullah. After the fifth donkey attempt failed I started sticking bits of paper onto other bits of paper and instead made a collage titled 'Abdullah's Birthday Garden of Donkey Happiness'. People seemed to quite like the picture and this where the idea formed.

The most obvious thing to do after making one semi-successful birthday present is to become a polymath, like Leonardo da Vinci or Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, by doing one of everything. By everything I mean artistic pursuits within the realms of 'stuff I like'.

For my first two acts of polymathic proportions I intend to perform as a sound artist with my hypothetical band The John Entwistle School of Standing Very Still and have my visual art exhibited in a gallery, neither of which I have done before.

I suspect this is going to take a very long time.

I will now chew my vegemite toast vigorously





The taxi driver smelt like penis but he drove me home so my feet could be silent. Earlier this evening I caught the bus to Glebe. I hate Glebe but I went anyway because Geoff Lemon was doing a spoken word gig at the Friend in Hand. I don't hate Geoff Lemon, not yet.

Geoff performed admirably but offstage he was incoherent with jet lag and exhaustion so I wandered over to Spencer's house and yelled about the internal violence of words. Spencer deserves some kind of medal, in fact he proposed that someone should pay him money for being my 'keeping it real person'. I'm not entirely sure what that job would entail, I assume part of the role is to sit with me in a cafe while I yell about things and accidentally knock over water glasses and ashtrays.

Spencer has a habit of keeping large pieces of folded paper about his person. He will produce one from time to time and let me read over whatever he is working on. There is no greater privilege than seeing a song half-written, before even the song itself is sure of what it should sound like. Though perhaps I would like to rifle through another writer's desk. Uncurl the edges of all of those bits of paper and watch the words crawling towards each other, in the way that words on curled bits of paper do.

After the spoken word gig, after giving up on the possibility of having anything within the realms of a normal conversation with the valiant but sagging Geoff. After walking through the backstreets of Glebe where my feet flashed like imaginary fish and I remembered most of yesterday in slow motion. After Spencer came out of his gate and talked with me about the violence of words, and the taxi driver who smelt like penis, I made two pieces of toast. Spring is the best season for the vigorous chewing of toast, it has none of winter's demands for warm cups and the laying on of blankets.

In other news if you search using the words 'age of adz review', my review is the first result. In your face other people without toast. In your toastless face, is what I would say if I was that way inclined but I'm not so forget about it.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Neil! Get a haircut or at least stop staring so strangely



Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968 made me travel back in time and who doesn’t want to travel back in time? There is no excuse for not listening to this album. Blah blah album reviewing words, Neil is good etc


Read the actual review on RHUM...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dispatch

Haul up the buildings like nightshades. I don't want to see anybody's horizon. All day I poured wine  across the back of upturned glasses.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Strange Tourist



Gareth Liddiard must be possessed. If there isn’t a sudden screaming need of the collective unconscious to hear what Liddiard needs to play I’ll eat my hat. Brace for this music, or you will come undone. From the first hissed syllable there ain’t no shaking the spell.

Strange Tourist is the kind of album you will play for the rest of your life, every lived year adding poignancy, dropping you down further into the bones of each song. This album, like a point of light, will throw shadows against your walls.

Continue Reading on RHUM...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Where there is livestock there is deadstock or Ted sees a bird on the way to looking at a cow

Dead Farms, Dead Leaves

Cling to the long
Branch of world.

Stars sway the tress
Whose roots
Tigthen on an atom.

The birds, beautiful-eyed, with soft cries,
The cattle of heaven
Visit

And vanish.


Ted Hughes

Yes yes I am starting with the easy ones but don't dismiss them just yet

A Kite is a Victim

A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.

A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won't give up,
or the wind die down.

A kite is the last poem you've written,
so you give it to the wind,
but you don't let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.

A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so you make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the
whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.

                                       
                                                                                                                                                         
Leonard Cohen

SLAMMATOWN - What Jack? Quaoub Part Two


'It’s a cheap art. It doesn’t have to be the stage for profound mutterings. It can just be grunting and moaning, for dancing. It has room for that. I like trying to get something special out of something that doesn’t need it.'


I convinced Quaoub, less formally known as Jack Elias, to let me interview him in his home. This proved to be a giant mistake. Jack lives in an actual warehouse in the heart of the Inner West, he’s managed to make himself one of those homes that are both stylish and unkempt. The kind of home that sends me insane with instant jealousy. He even has one of those vintage record players that close up and turn into a tiny suitcase.

Jack has a coffee machine unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. To make coffee he has to pull down a long lever and stand there sort of hanging off it while the coffee drips out. While he was making me my first coffee his talk turned backwards and slightly bitter, he insisted this tainted the coffee saying, ‘this was made with hate and not love’. He threw the coffee down the sink and made me a new one, with love.

I asked him why he made music. He put down his coffee cup and stared straight at me, blowing cigarette smoke across the wide table in plumes as he answered.

“It’s a cheap art. It doesn’t have to be the stage for profound mutterings. It can just be grunting and moaning, for dancing. It has room for that. I like trying to get something special out of something that doesn’t need it.”

I wasn’t expecting an answer like that so I tried moving on to another question, hoping he’d do what most people do and look at the table or into their cup, maybe stare at their hands a little but I was hoping in vain. Jack answered his questions directly, straight at my face, without hesitation, until all the coffee and his directness had me feeling uneasy.

Jack insists that he has a poor memory but I think he’s lying, again he spoke without hesitation as he described the first moment music became his.

“I remember listening to an Auburn radio station at a bus stop, Auburn closes early, it is desolate at night. I grew up in Auburn and Bankstown, radio was the only access to cultures outside of mine. I was utterly shocked when I heard Nick Cave for the first time and I don’t say shocked lightly. It was quite an uncomfortable thing because it showed me what I didn’t know. It showed me I was culturally inadequate. I remember thinking I’ve not heard anything like this before. I remember thinking how scary this is, how scared I was, but I loved it.”

If you have a quick look at the photo of Jack on Quaoub’s Myspace page you’ll be looking at something that is Jack but doesn’t resemble him at all. Jack squirmed a little when I asked why he chose that photo of himself to plaster on his Myspace and Facebook pages.

“I am quite at odds with my own self-image. I deliberately pick images which I don’t immediately relate to. My self-awareness and my vanity chose to make sure I don’t look too good. My way of dealing with it is denying it, denying self-image.

I stayed for hours, longer than I thought was polite, I couldn’t help it. Talking with Jack is one of the good rewards for going to all that trouble of keeping yourself alive, day after day after day.



First published on RHUM...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Oy you lot! Get some Emily Dickinson up ya

Sure everybody is amazing posting all your 'song of the day's on Fspazbook. Songs are great, obviously, but why in the hell is no one doing Poem of The Day?  I will start you off, here is an old and out of copyright one, still good though.


Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this ground. 






Emily Dickinson




Saturday, 25 September 2010

Arse about

First of all this. I'm tired, I'm drunk, but I did not fuck my shit up. For this may we be truly thankful. Secondly, there was talk at a party tonight, between musicians, of the reviews I have written about them. Some of them seemed mildly pleased, one of them was sort of quite pleased, Spencer bless his stupid heart, doesn't give a crap one way or the other which is good considering the amount of times I've typed his name but there was one man talking about the bad review I gave him two years ago.

He was sitting by the fire and shaking his head a little from side to side like a fast forward ship in the wind, telling a small circle how he'd been playing in bands for fifteen years and I am the only person who ever singled him out for some bad news. He said it with a fond sort of pride and patted me on the shoulder in an absent-minded manner.

I didn't know him when I wrote that review, not that it would have changed my words in any way. It was one sentence.

'The not-Simon guitarist has a habit of muddying up the sound, someone give that man a slide, some pedals and the instructions to not play the same thing as Simon at the same time.'

It would be stupid to say I have never thought about something I wrote being remembered by the person I wrote it about, because I have thought about it. I suppose I just didn't think that one sentence would make such an impact as to have become a story to tell at parties, which is a little stupid when I think about the number of sentences I remember that have been about me.

The most obvious sentences to remember are the ones uttered by men as they beat their retreat or run screaming into the night but there are none so memorable as this.


'You're just like Sarah Blasko, the only thing you are good for is fucking.'

There are several problems with that sentence as far I'm concerned. The man in question has never met Sarah Blasko, I have and I can assure you we are not at all similar. Now that that is out of the way, let's talk about the fucking. The man in question fucked like it was the 80's. I can assure you there are better decades to fuck like. The last and most crucial point might be the part where fucking is the only thing I am good for. As might be expected I have a tendency to disagree with the man on that matter.

But let's get back to the party. For a moment they were doing everything but thanking me for writing about them, that is just fucking stupid because it is the wrong way around. I mean that's really arse about. I'm the one silent in the corner with a notebook and a pen, I'm the one sitting still and solitary making no more noise than the good clacking of keys while they are standing bodily on broad pedestals taking thought out of language and turning it into sound. They're using their arms and legs and lungs to make something so indefinable that already, before I hit the middle, I know I'm going to need a lifetime to write about this.

This all might be making more sense if I wasn't drunk but at this point you'd need an army and seven helicopters with coffee-filled water canons to do anything about that problem. I'm trying to think of one moment to describe. One sentence to illuminate the meaning of music, but this is where Science wins with the battle with Art. Contrary to popular belief most writers are completely fucking useless when they are drunk. You need brain to be working on the same team as fingers to write anything in the same solar system as good. There's not going to be one sentence here that illuminates the meaning of music for me, not tonight. I'll be satisfied if I say this - we have words because we wanted to tell each other what was happening over there or when someone wasn't looking, to steer clear of tigers and say 'that snake over there bites'. We don't have a reason for music the same way we don't have a real reason for air.

Wait, no, that's a big stupid lie. I'm not at all satisfied with saying that. I'll probably think of something better but first  I'm either going brush my teeth, eat a licorice allsort or vomit.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Spencer lodges complaint number 42367262868275083270 but this time he might have a point

Spencer once said to me 'never trust a writer, they know how to make things sound just how you want to hear them'. I paused my milkshake drinking just long enough to stick my tongue out at him but then on Sunday he lodged a complaint and this time I think he might have a point.

Sunday afternoon, walking down Enmore Rd on the way to the Changing Lanes Festival, I told Spencer all about my Saturday night. Later that afternoon I relayed the same story to Abdullah and some of the Psychonannies over coffee. Spencer protested at the telling of the story, saying 'it's all in the telling, you wouldn't sound so good if you gave them the same version you gave me'.


Saturday night as told to Spencer:
DS: I had to go to my brother's girlfriend's birthday party at her parents' house. I didn't want to go because I was dead tired but I went, cause I like her.
S: How was it?
DS: Brother had some of that lemon stuff my crazy old relative makes then I got a lift home from a friend of the girlfriend's brother, which was nice.
S: Told you would end up having a good time.
DS: I hate Western Sydney but food was nice. I was starving. Free food is good but I hate trains. They are stupid. Do you think my hair looks stupid? [pauses to look at hair in reflection of shop window]
S: Not more stupid than normal. [rolls eyes] I had a $2.50 stick thing on a roll.
DS: Those are good. How was your gig last night?
S: All right I spose. What's this festival going to be like.
DS: Dunno. Don't want to go but the editor is kind of making me.


Saturday night as told to Abdullah and some of the Psychonannies:
DS: Last night I traveled West to a convict settlement and drank moonshine Limoncello at a party where most people were speaking French and sometimes Cajun.
PN's: You're always doing stuff like that.
DS: The food was amazing and I got a ride home from a 6'2'' racing car driver.
PN's:  Racing car driver!
DS: She was awesome and kind of beautiful. She's about six foot two and has long red hair that hangs to her waist. I got home in record time.
PN's: Is she single?
DS: Doubt it.
PN's: Are you going to Changing Lanes?
DS: Sure am, just picked up my media pass.