Thursday, December 29, 2005

the effect of electricity on music

I'm excited and sad.

Excited because one of my interests, "the effect of electricity on music" is the subject, and the title, of an 8 part radio series from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation called The Wire. It's on ABC Radio National, on The Night Air at 8.30pm on Sundays, Part one repeated Friday at 9.35pm, Part Two repeated Saturday at midnight.

I'm sad because although I heard the first episode last week, it was in the car, and the ABC haven't made it available for download. I'm sad because I'll also be away next time it is on and won't be able to record it.

Last week's Episode 1– Hallo, Hallo reflected on how electricity has changed the way we think of the human voice, the way we communicate sound to large groups of people, and the way we now take for granted that sound is something that can be preserved, stored and heard again.

Although the programs themselves are not available The Wire site has the background, playlists and the complete interviews, some over an hour long (unfortunately in Real Player format), on which the programs are based as well as links to resources such as Fessenden and Marconi: Their Differing Technologies.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF

A lane, garbage truck, car that needs time to start in lane, Cast Iron Balcony, Barista, AGB, boynton, Gummo, wbb, plus someone claiming to be Nabs. Real bloody characters all.

Talk turns to the good old days, dial up, text, irc, newsgroups.. [I wanted to up the ante and go way back with talk of acoustic couplers, punch cards and an Osborne Luggable but I had a sneaking suspicion Gummo might trump me]

A nice start to xmas.

From the geek love book:

Roses are #FF0000,
Violets are #0000FF
all of my base,
are belong to you

Thursday, December 15, 2005

you learn something everyday

When Elektra released Too Fast for Love, it was a disaster. The priority for the label was an Australian band called Cold Chisel, and everybody in the promotions department was intent on making them the next big thing. I happened to be listening in on a conference call when I heard a regional promotions man say to the head of the radio department, "Listen, I've got a station in Denver and another in Colorado Springs that just added Motley Crue. They're not interested in Cold Chisel, but I'll keep working on them"

Tom Zutaut, Manager of Motley Crue, from THE DIRT: Motley Crue. Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. With Neil Strauss.

Friday, December 09, 2005

zimmy. to the white phone: london's calling for you

Bob has been doing the Clash's "London Calling" at his last London concerts.

Dylan Daily

Friday, December 02, 2005

come back again, I'm just crazy 'bout you ..

There was a time when a Prime Minister didn't fawn over cricket yobs and had style in clothing and taste in music.

On reading this I wondered if he had some Quad ESL's but they are not American. He is probably misled about Class A amps and possibly deluded about DACs but I have fallen in love all over again after seeing this bit of delightful hifi nerdery:

"..took 15 years to find the perfect sound system..",

"I started with the speakers, by an American Armenian. They're not directional speakers, they don't hit you, they go round you. Problem was it was very hard to drive them. Years later I found the only A-class amplifier built, the Gryphon, and I've got a digital analog converter. It's a knockout sound, makes your hair stand up. Not good for home units, not good for neighbours"

From: Dividends of a fervent listener: Paul Keating, the only PM to have appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, The Financial Review 28/11/2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

reacting to the state of the nation

It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

It's no go the Yogi-man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Apologies to Louis MacNiece for abridging, re-arranging and snaffling.

Monday, October 10, 2005

fire hits wallace and gromit sets

The warehouse contained Aardman Animations' archive Props and sets from the Wallace and Gromit films are believed to have been destroyed in a warehouse blaze.
Fire crews were called to Oscar-winning Aardman Animations' site in Bristol on Monday, but were unable to stop all three floors inside collapsing. The building near the city's Temple Meads station contained the company's "entire history", a spokesman said.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

health of new orleans refugees

Harvard School of Public Health undertook a survey of evacuees in shelters in the Houston area in cooperation with The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • One-third (34%) of Katrina evacuees report that they were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued. Half (50%) of those who were trapped said they waited three or more days to be rescued.
  • More than 1 in 10 (14%) Hurricane Katrina evacuees report a family member, neighbor or friend was killed by the storm or subsequent flooding, and more than half report that their home was destroyed (55%)
  • Also, the survey found that 2 in 5 (40%) spent at least a day living outside on a street or overpass, and 13% report that some members of their immediate family are still missing.
  • The survey also found that evacuees in Houston shelters face serious health challenges that will complicate relief and recovery efforts.

The survey had the following health-related findings:

  • 52% report having no health insurance coverage at the time of the hurricane. Of those with coverage, 34% say it is through Medicaid and 16% through Medicare. Before the hurricane 66% of people evacuated to Houston shelters used hospital or clinics as their main source of care and of those, a majority (54%) used Charity Hospital of New Orleans, substantially more than the second most common care site (University Hospital of New Orleans, at 8%).
  • 33% report experiencing health problems or injuries as a result of the hurricane and 78% of them are currently receiving care for their ailments.
  • 41% report chronic health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
  • 43% say they are supposed to be taking prescription medications, and of those, 29% percent report having problems getting the prescription drugs they need.
  • Of the 61% who did not evacuate before the storm, 38% said they were either physically unable to leave or had to care for someone who was physically unable to leave.
  • 39% report that they did not get help from any government agency or voluntary agency during the flood and evacuation.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

window on new orleans


FEMA disaster website IE-only
9/6/2005 2:37:53 PM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

As relief workers scramble to provide comfort and succor to the thousands and thousands of people dispossessed by hurricane Katrina, tech relief efforts are hitting snags. Equipment shortages, problems accessing the Internet, and the time it takes to set up computers for refugees to use are all getting in the way of getting people help, but that's not too surprising. This is, after all, a disaster. What is surprising, however, is the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) online registration site for disaster help is Internet Explorer-only.

While anyone can browse the site, users of non-IE browsers will find this message waiting for them when they attempt to register.
"In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register. "

Something so minor has become a considerable problem for relief workers, who are attempting to setup as many kiosks as possible for refugees. Workers on the ground have told Ars Technica that they would prefer to avoid setting up Windows XP work stations because they take longer to setup, and even longer to properly patch and configure for use.
You may recall that in an experiment performed last year, a Windows XP SP1 boxput on the Internet was compromised in 4 minutes flat. While ServicePack 2 and recent updates undoubtedly improve XP's defenses, techs are wary of using the OS in this situation.

The issue isn't only security. XP hardware requirements, while not impressive by today's standards, rule out using some donated hardware as well. Furthermore, legitimate copies of Windows also cost money, and relief workers are trying to stretch their dollars as far as they can go. Ideally, many would rather create LiveCDs with Linux distributions that are ready to boot and roll, as this would provide the quickest and most secure configuration in a pinch. However, with so many people wanting to register on FEMA's site, this becomes a problem. The registration makes use of JavaScript, but there's no functionality being provided that could not have been provided in a more browser-friendly manner. User agent proofing - a technique by which a browser reports that it's another browser type-makes the site somewhat more usable, although we encountered errors using Opera 8.0 and the MSIE6.0 user agent. It certainly isn't an ideal workaround.

Mike Quealy, a FEMA spokesperson, explained to me that they are aware of the issue, and are currently working on a application that supports all of the most popular browsers. Quealy said that the application in question was originally an in-house tool, meant to be used by call center people. Internet Explorer was the official in-house browser, so the application was coded with IE in mind. FEMA apparently decided to make the application public with the advent of last year's Florida hurricanes, and Quealy noted that they had hoped to test a universally supported application just before Katrina hit.As you may know, Hannibal is in Louisiana right now assisting with relief efforts, and we'll continue to bring updates as we get them.

new orleans news

New Orleans LA post-Katrina Intel Dissemination Wiki!
This wiki, a community-editable website, was setup to factor the tons of random bits of information flowing out of New Orleans in totally disorganized chunks, and being repeated around the internet in various forms. Blogs are not up to the task of distilling this info in a useful way, so we've setup this ad-hoc project at to try and keep track of all of this.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

new orleans musicians: update

WWOZ, 90.7 FM, New Orleans. Due to HURRICANE KATRINA we signed off on August 27th at midnight. Until we can build new temporary facilities (hopefully in October), we have a temporary stream called "WWOZ In Exile."
[ FXH is listening online to
KBON, 101.1 FM, Eunice, Louisiana, (Eunice is a town of about 11,000 about 100ks from Baton Rouge and 230 ks from New Orleans. KBON has community announcements for volunteers to help with food distribution to refugees, great adverts for local businesses like chicken farms plus 24 hours of "your variety station with a Louisiana flavor!" Cajun, zydeco, swamp-pop, blues, country, blues, oldies and gospel. ]

From Chuck Taggart's great Gumbo Pages:
We're very concerned about the safety and whereabouts of pianist and composer Roger Dickerson, who is a close friend of my aunt. He lived on Metropolitan Drive in Gentilly, and hasn't been heard from. PLEASE leave a comment or email [chuck] at [gumbo] dot [org] if you hear anything about Roger.

Still looking for Antoinette K-Doe. Alex Chilton, who lived in the 9th Ward and refused to leave, hasn't been heard from, and there are many people who are worried about him. So many others ... I'll post updates as I get them, and please leave a comment if you hear anything.

UPDATE: Via Ben Sandmel: "Not 100% confirmed but heard that [Antoinette]'s in the lounge, guarding it with a gun, was offered a ride out in a boat but declined. She has lots of food and drink so I guess she's OK, relatively. More ASAP... "

UPDATE: Via Craigslist:
New Orleans own Blues Guitarist, Blind Snooks Eaglin, needs a home for him and his family who have lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. We are 12 in all, please help. You may contact us at

Here's a list so far of New Orleans musicians that have been confirmed as safe:

Steve Allen, Theresa Andersson, James "Satchmo of the Ghetto" Andrews, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Johnny Angel, Marcia Ball, Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, Rebecca Barry, Harold Battiste, Russell Batiste, Tab Benoit, Better Than Ezra, Terrance Blanchard, Eddie Bo (plus sister Veronica and his band), Bonerama, John Boutté, Russ Broussard, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Henry Butler, Grayson Capps, Ricki Castrillo, Evan Christopher, Jon Cleary, Cowboy Mouth, Susan Cowsill, Davell Crawford, Jack Cruz, Dash Rip Rock, Jeremy Davenport, Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Michael Domenici, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Snooks Eaglin (and family of 12, now homeless), Lars Edegran, Nancy Edwards, Charlie Fardela, Jack Fine (of the Palmetto Bug Stompers), Pat Flory, John Fohl, Andy Forrest, Gina Forsyth, Pete Fountain, Derrick Freeman, Jonathan Freilich (N.O. Klezmer All-Stars), Peter Fuller, funky Meters, Galactic, Steve Goodson, Tim Green, John "Papa" Gros (and the whole Papa Grows Funk band), James Hall, Corey Harris, Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Corey Henry, Andi Hoffman, Peter Holsapple, The Hot Club of New Orleans, The Iguanas, Burke Ingraffia, Benny Jones Sr., Leroy Jones, Kirk Joseph, Joe Krown, Julia LaShae, Tim Laughlin, Washboard Chaz Leary, Bryan Lee, David Leonard & Roselyn Lionheart (David & Roselyn), Herman Leonard, Lil' Rascals Brass Band, Eric Lindell, Jeremy Lyons, Ronald Markham, Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Tom McDermott, Humberto "Pupi" Menez (and aunt Caridad Delatorre), Charles Louie Moore, Tom Morgan, Chris Mule, Kenny Neal, The Neville Brothers, Charmaine Neville, Ivan Neville, Carlo Nuccio (post-storm okay, post-flood unknown), Anders Osborne, Panorama Jazz Band, Joshua Paxton, Michael Pearce, Dave Pirner, George Porter Jr., The Radiators, Jan V. Ramsey & most of OffBeat Magazine staff), Rebirth Brass Band (all members), Marcus Roberts, Coco Robicheaux, John Rodli (N.O. Jazz Vipers), Biff Rose, Wanda Rouzan, Dixie Rubin, Kermit Ruffins, Scott Saltzman, Mark Samuels (Pres., Basin Street Records), Will Samuels, Ben Sandmel, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Alexandra Scott, Mem Shannon and the Membership, Derek Shezbie, James Singleton, Johnny Sketch, Michael Skinkus, Robert Snow (N.O. Jazz Vipers), Brian Stoltz, Marc Stone, Bill Summers, Ken Swartz, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Rick Trolsen, Johnny Vidacovich, Rob Wagner, Mark Walton, Melissa Weber, Mike West, Dr. Michael White, Marva Wright, Linnzi Zaorski.

Friday, September 02, 2005

antoine "fats" domino aged 77 rescued new orleans

see that his grave is swept clean

R.L. Burnside Dead at 78
Legend's brand of Delta blues spoke to hard times

Blues legend R.L. Burnside died today, September 1st, at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was seventy-eight.

Born in Harmontown, Mississippi, Burnside became one of the perennial forbears of the Delta blues, with his thick, rhythmic slide style and graphic lyrics reflecting his life surrounded by poverty and violence. Burnside, himself, did jail time for murder.

He learned the blues from neighbor Fred McDowell and played for years as a star attraction in ramshackle southern clubs (some of which he owned) before critic Robert Palmer featured him in the acclaimed 1992 documentary Deep Blues. The same year, Burnside signed to Fat Possum Records and released Bad Luck City.

During the Nineties, Burnside ventured off the track of traditional acoustic blues when he collaborated with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on 1996's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey. The album brought Burnside a new audience of indie-rock fans.

"People are just now beginning to realize that the blues is the roots of all the music," Burnside told Rolling Stone in 2000. "That's where the music all started from."

Burnside returned to his musical roots and released six more albums, most recently 2004's A Bothered Mind.

He is survived by his wife and twelve children.

By: JESSICA ROBERTSON (Posted Sep 01, 2005) Rolling Stone

Thursday, August 25, 2005

carry moonbeams home in a jar

Sometimes a person on the net will quietly, and effectively, undertake a task that is important but neglected by our institutions. By researching, documenting, archiving and enlivening the subject through comments and observations our understanding of ourselves and our culture is injected with meaning and nuance.

Australian Plastic has begun the task ".... to review and rate every Single or EP that made it to the top position on the Australian Charts since their inception in 1956. In addition, I will review any song that was the highest selling single in it's year of release if it didn't make it to number one on the weekly chart."

I know I’ve mentioned it before but do visit and take a look and encourage.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

return to proven education values

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
"The Catholic Education Office is investigating claims a group of Wollongong primary school children were told to tape their mouths shut during a musical rehearsal.
The 11-year-olds, from St Francis Xavier's Catholic Primary School, were rehearsing for regional heats of the Wakakirri performing arts festival yesterday when their noisiness allegedly got out of hand, Wollongong Police Chief Inspector Mark Lavers said.
"Basically yesterday a number of children were inside a hall practising for a concert, they were making a lot of noise, [someone] at the school got upset about that, asked them to quieten down, they didn't. As a result he's cut up a number of strips of masking tape and said 'stick them on your mouth'," Chief Inspector Lavers said.

Meanwhile, Mr Whitby said, rehearsals would continue and Friday's performance would go ahead as planned."

As readers will be aware I have a
network of schools all over Australia, and worldwide, named after me and administered by my various holding companies. I wish to ensure investors that the brand continues to go from strength to strength and should increase in value after we re-introduce washing children's mouths out with Solvol late next month.

Monday, July 18, 2005

a quick whip around the blogs

Possibly emboldened by getting hold of some family heirlooms on e-bay it looks like Gummo has returned to rantwittering. Grab his unique and wholesome fare before he nicks off again.

I was going to mention
Andrew Ford's new series Music and Fashion on RN but Nic Gruen on Troppo has beaten me to it.

Don't forget
Ford's Music Show on Saturday mornings and his recent book on Van Morrison, Speaking In Tongues which focuses on the artist and the music, not the gossip or the personality. The book even manages to open up this old Van tragic to some new angles and thoughts on the Van canon.

I'm looking forward to the next installment on
Australian Plastic, a site by More Australian Ramblings that promises ".... to review and rate every Single or EP that made it to the top position on the Australian Charts since their inception in 1956. In addition, I will review any song that was the highest selling single in it's year of release if it didn't make it to number one on the weekly chart."

Currency Lad has written an enticing introduction to seminal guitarist Davy Graham who pioneered the DADGAD tuning.

Gary Sauer-Thompson over at
Junk For Code continues his Grateful Dead series with a bit on authenticity and some pictures of their light show, amongst other things, and a bit on Pete Townsend's Lifehouse.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

french kiss pattie smith

Horses: a post-Beat poet "dancing around to the simple rock & roll song."

US punk rock star Patti Smith has received one of France's top cultural honours in recognition of her influence on rock music.

Smith, 58, was presented with the Commander of the
Order of the Arts and Letters by Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.

Her appreciation of 19th Century French poet
Arthur Rimbaud was also noted in the citation.

Smith said she accepted the award "from the most spiritual side of me". She was given the award at an Aids benefit concert in Paris on Sunday.

"I have vowed to live up to this honour in my work and my conduct," she said. "I can't explain what I feel like. It has uplifted me, and I will work very hard to earn it."

The French ministry of culture called her "one of the most influential artists in women's rock 'n' roll". Smith said she is planning a new album of covers from artists including Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Edith Piaf.

The singer was one of the most acclaimed performers on the New York rock scene, and was friends with artist Andy Warhol, beat poet Allen Ginsberg and author William Burroughs.

Smith's debut 1975 album, Horses, was seen as a seminal release and is still regarded by many as one of the most influential rock albums. Her 1978 Easter album included her biggest commercial hit, Because the Night, which she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

luther van dross dead

b. Luther Ronzoni Vandross, 20th April 1951, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 1st July 2005, JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Although this artist is considered by some soul purists to be too mainstream, Luther Vandross had one of the finest voices in soul music. Luther was born into a family with deep gospel roots and constructed his own group whilst still at school. He also worked with the musical theatre workshop 'Listen My Brother' and also performed at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. In the mid seventies, Luther was invited to join David Bowie's entourage for his 'Young American's' album project. The collaboration became so, mutually, successful when Bowie's U.S. tour was underway, Luther was the opening act.

Following on from this success he sang alongside Chaka Khan, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. This let to the Cotillion label taking the singer on and he recorded a debut album with a band he formed, simply called Luther.

The albums 'Luther' and 'This Close To You' are today considered highly by todays soul purists, with the latter reaching high prices.
Luther then reverted to session recording. He contributed to many recording sessions ranging from the likes of Quincy Jones, Patti Austin, Gwen Guthrie, Chic and Sister Sledge.There was the opportunity on the table for a deal with Quincy, however, that never transpired.Luther was reported to have been devastated. He continued, however, to subsidize his recordings, at the time, by producing music for various network television advertisements, including Coca Cola.

One of Luthers most successful session recordings came with the group Change on the 1980 album 'Glow Of Love' earning the band two UK Top 20 hits in 'The Glow Of Love' and 'Searchin'. Luther then began performing as a solo artist with Epic / CBS Records.
'Never Too Much' earned him an R & B number 1. The subsequent album reached number 20 in the U.S. R & B charts.
'Never Too Much' then made the the UK Top 20 at a lter date. His follow up releases included duets with Cheryl Lynn ('If This World Was Mine') and Dionne Warwick ('How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye'). Luther followed up with two further R & B number 1 hits with 'Stop To Love' (1986) and a duet with Gregory Hines, 'There's Nothing Better Than Love' (1987). He has won countless awards and his reputation as a producer has been enhanced by his work with Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. If, at any time, you are looking around your local record store, keep an eye out for an album entitled 'See You In L.A.' by the group Mascara. The front cover depicts two models one of whom is the late Paula Yates. Luther's vocal talents are to be found on his cover of The Tymes track 'It's Cool'. An undiscovered gem. An album 'Luther Vandross' was released in 2001 after a label move to J Records. The set was the biggest selling of all of Luthers albums and was seen as a real return to form. Vandross lost 9 stones in weight prior to the albums release!

In 2003, he completed an album entitled 'Dance With My Father' for the same label when disaster struck and Luther had a stroke.
There were reports of him never singing and even of his death.

Luther developed pneumonia and underwent a trachioctomy, at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, an operation which doctors reported would not affect his vocal chords.

Unfortunately, Luther Vandross died 1st July 2005 at the JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A. He was 54.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

another nigerian scam uncovered

Next to Chairman Kaga, and perhaps Pauly from Fat Pizza, Benny Hinn is my favourite TV star.

Pastor Hinn in Nigerian money row BBC News/June 27, 2005 , By Sola Odunfa

In late April, scores of giant billboards and thousands of wall posters all over Lagos proclaimed the first of three days of divine miracles and healing for at least six million Nigerians - but at the end of the third day, there was more bickering over money than praise to God for mercy received.

The vehicle of the expected wonders of the Holy Spirit was American evangelist Benny Hinn, who flew into Nigeria in a Gulfstream private jet with a large retinue that included his bodyguards. He was received at Lagos airport in a motorcade of Hummer jeeps and other expensive cars. The deaf would hear, the blind would see, the lame would jump and walk, barren women would conceive, the jobless would gain employment, and the enemy - both seen and unseen - would be vanquished. Mention any problem - physical, spiritual, economic - Hinn had come with the instant solution.

But things did not go well.

About 300,000 people attended the event each night - a modest congregation by Nigerian crusade standards. It is estimated that about 1 million worshippers attend the monthly Holy Ghost Congress service organised by The Redeemed Christian Church God (RCCG) at the same venue. Whatever disappointment he felt on the first and second days of the miracle crusade, Hinn kept to himself - but he opened up with anger on the final day.

"Four million dollars down the drain," he shouted into the microphone from the huge rostrum.

He said that he had been assured by the local organising committee that at least six million people would attend the crusade - but the total turnout was only around one million. As a result, he realised that all the mega public address equipment he had flown in from the US was not needed. He also complained about some claimed expenditures, the charges imposed on pastors who attended his day-time seminar, and journalists who sought to cover the crusade. He then announced publicly that he would not provide any more funds, and that the local organisers should pay all outstanding bills from the collections they made on the first two days.

The Nigerian head of the local organising committee, Bishop Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe, accused other Nigerian Pentecostal preachers of sabotaging the crusade and pedalling false information to Hinn and his aides out of envy, and to discredit him. The Pentecostal faith in Nigeria is a veritable goldmine, judging by the opulence of most of its pastors. It is made even more attractive because incomes of churches are tax-exempt. Nearly all the churches are the private property of their pastors or founders and their immediate families.

Monday, June 20, 2005

doctor please, one whisky, one bourbon, one beer

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2004, 7:30 P.M

The Mayor and City Council may also hold a Closed Meeting, with a closed vote and record, as authorized by Section 610.021 Revised Statutes of Missouri, relating to legal issues, real estate and/or personnel.

Bill #04-04: An Ordinance granting a Special Use Permit to Jayant Patel to operate a convenience store d/b/a S&D Quick Mart at 7201 Natural Bridge Road.

Review and recommendation
on the application submitted for a package liquor license and Sunday liquor license submitted Jayant Patel for S&D Quick Mart at 7201 Natural Bridge Road.
With thanks to Amos Milburn and His Aladdin Chickenshackers The real title is 'One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer'. Here's a Real Audio of the song. Milburn was a wonderful marriage of Nat King Cole voice and Louis Jordan Jump R&B.

Monday, June 06, 2005

the singer not the song

Along with Senator Bartlett and a fair smattering of other Australians I watched the Nick Cave doco on the ABC TV On The Southbank Show the other night. I had a few relatives over and one of them was reminiscing of the "good old days" at the Seaview Ballroom when it seemed to be a competition between Blixa, Nick, and the band vs the punters to see who could be the most wasted at the beginning of the night.

The program had enough live performances from different eras and Cave gave the camera a reasonable amount of warmth and was respectful in his acknowledgement of
Johnny Cash and Nina Simone. It was worth seeing the whole program just for the show stopper, a performance by Dr Nina Simone, probably from the Berkeley Live session, in 1977.

It was a riveting performance with Nina thumping the piano into shape and delivering an engrossing song which took me a while to recognise. After a while the song registered. It's two songs. It was Ain't Got No / I Got Life. From the
musical HAIR. Now apart from the Fifth Dimension doing Age of Aquarius /Let The Sunshine In, there is nothing to recommend the songs from Hair. In fact I don't think there is any acting, narrative, dancing, the book or anything else to recommend from Hair.

Dr Simone takes this bland tune with bland lyrics and manages to make it into a jazz influenced rhythm and blues gospel song of resistance, pride and independence. What an amazing feat.

It is also available as a live version on her Black Gold album recorded at Philarmonic Hall, New York City, October 26, 1969.

Mostly the song is more important than the singer. It is almost impossible not to see that
September Song is a great song no matter who is singing it. The same with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah . I often use the song to judge the singer, especially a singer I am not familiar with. For jazz it's often My Funny Valentine, for Cajun / Zydeco it's Jole Blon.

Nina Simone singing Aint Got No / I Got Life shows that sometimes the singer is much, much more important than the song.

Late Breaking News Update:
In a hard hitting op ed piece
boynton defends HAIR, The Musical.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

meme music look at me me me

I have been passed on the Music Meme. I don't much like these things. I see them closer to chain letters than memes but it was passed on to me by Flop Eared Lucinda Amanda and no man can refuse her. I don't think there's much interesting about my list but I do love peeping at others lists.

Total volume of music files on my computer.
This one surprised me. I don't have an iPod and am unlikely to ever get one. I don't listen to MP3s and I don't listen to music on (off?) my computer. When working I usually listen to talk radio, ABC local or Radio National if I listen to anything. I can't really listen to music and work. If I do listen to music in the office its on my unforgiving but accurate
Yamaha NS10's, driven by my suitcase sized but much loved Luxman R-1040. I only tend to have music on my Hard Drive if I'm copying it or converting to Shorten or flac or back to ordinary audio files for burning to CD.
So I expected to have about zero. Imagine my astonishment to find I have 15GIGs - if you count the Dylan film
"Eat the Document".

It's mostly stuff I haven't removed after burning or converting. I'm currently converting from flac the Merle Haggard 3 disc set "Tulare Dust Live" Fillmore Auditorium, SF 1995 - partly 2 discs of tributes to Merle from the likes of Tom Russell, Marshall Crenshaw, Billy Joe Shaver, with the last disc by Merle Haggard with the Strangers. I have listened to a bit of it on headphones to check, especially a few times "Sing Me Back Home"

I noticed I have also downloaded a bunch of film and video clips from Captain Beefheart,
available legally here, which will stay on the HD. Also I have a failed download of Scott Walker Rare Tracks which doesn't play. The only MP3s I have are one of Van singing "Wild Side of Life" which I couldn't find anywhere else and a bunch of MP3s of my brother's son's songs, which I don't listen to ever much. My brother lives in Scotland and occasionally plays in a Pogues tribute band. I notice I also have an MP3 of that famous phone call between Jeff Kennett and Andrew Peacock in which they do a lot of naughty serious swearing about John Howard. I'll never scrub that.

The last CD I bought. [Two sets at the same time]
Lucinda Williams Live at the Fillmore 2 CD set $24.95 at JB

Madeleine Peyroux, Careless Love 1 CD. I got this because I thought the version of Careless Love swung like very few songs do. I only listened once or twice and gave it away as a birthday present. I think it's a good album but apparently going on local reviews and
this report she isn't too confident live.

Song playing right now
ABC Radio News theme to be truthful right now. Or what ever crap talk radio throws up. I did listen to Merle Haggard doing Sing Me Back Home live earlier. I had to listen to
Slipknot yesterday as part of a request to understand what my son's jazz / death / skate punk / Hendrix / Dylan/ jam band is about. My young niece played me some Beatles, Oasis, Jet the other day as a favour.

Five Songs I Listen to A lot
I tend to listen to whole albums. But I often just plop on the odd single track.

Those Three Days - Lucinda Williams - all versions
Just Out Of Reach of These Two Empty Arms -
Solomon Burke - Country Soul
Shoppin' For Clothes - The Coasters - I love it especially for the King Curtis sax bits.
Mona Lisa - Aaron Neville and then switch to Nat King Cole's version
Elvis - bootleg and outtakes from the
comeback TV show
Heartbreak Hotel - Mary Coughlan
Hey Joe and (She's a) Mixed Up Shook Up Girl -
Willy De Ville LIVE

I dunno. Really - I play albums, Western Swing anything, Bob Wills, Milton Brown. I play Tom Waits, Van, Miles, Thelonious Monk, Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sex Mob especially Diaspora Soul live, Bob, Neil, Frank Sinatra, lots of sung Requiem Masses, Opera, Gospel, Blind Boys, Sam Cooke, Zydeco , Cajun, Charlie Christian, Astrid Gilberto, Django and Stephane, Jonathan Richman, Johnny Cash - I dunno - anything etc etc etc . I often listen to Guy Clark "Old No 1" all the way through. It might be my favourite. As I've mentioned before I have 967 favourite albums at least. Same with James Talley's "Got No Bread, No Milk, No Money, But We Sure Got A Lot of Love."

[Last night I remembered I do in fact play single songs a bit.] A few more:

Somewhere Over The Rainbow / Wonderful World - Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwo'ole. A seamless melding of two familiar songs into one. In this case the whole is much more than the sum of the parts. Brother Iz had one of the sweetest voices on the planet. You have to order in this stuff from Hawaii, but its fast and reliable.
September Song - by Sinatra, Lou Reed, almost anyone. Thanks
Kurt Weill.
Pressure Drop -
Toots & The Maytals. One of those songs to dance to, be uplifted, transported and understand the meaning of life. I'm sure it means something but a glance at the lyrics will only confuse you. Mysterious magic.
Oh and of course, Fairytale Of New York. But doesn't everyone.

Is that nearly 5?

I think I'm supposed to pass this on. I can't think who to. It occurred to me I'd like to see the whole Troppo Crew do a list each. I would really look foward to a long argument between Kath & Kel, Martha & George, Jen & Ken and how each others list annoys them. I also wonder about what Geoff Honnor listens to, Don Arthur, Nic Gruen and all the rest. They are a funny old bunch but lovable.

I sometimes wonder what
Gummo might be listening to.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

killer hairdo or hair today gone tomorrow

Music producer Phil Spector shown above in Superior Court Monday, May 23, 2005, in Los Angeles. A judge said he will allow four of 10 incidents of evidence in Spector's murder trial that prosecutors say illustrate the music producer's history of pulling guns on women. Spector is on trial for the Feb. 23, 2003, fatal shooting of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson.

In 1969 The Beach Boys' released their last album with Capitol records called 20/20
Not their worst – not their best.

It a was / is a pastiche containing a few covers.

It’s the covers that may make it famous.

If Phil Spector is convicted of murder it will be the first, and possibly only, album to have cover versions of songs written by 3 separate convicted murderers. Not only that, the songs were released on 7 inch singles at the time to help promote the album. [This might be a goldmine for trivia buff’s quiz questions]

The songs:
I Can Hear Music – written by
Phil Spector – released as an A side single
Cottonfields - written by Leadbelly– released as an A side single
Never Learn Not To Love - written by
Charles Manson – released as a b side of the single "Bluebirds Over The Mountain".

Important late breaking news:
The, increasingly remarkable, album 20/20 also has another claim to fame. Supposedly on the track 'All I Want to Do,' a female is recorded having sexual horticulture with the drummer in the studio. This 'sound effect' is layered onto the fade-out of the song's final mix, and is just about audible on the released version.
Snaffled from Snopes Urban Legends who gives it an Undetermined rating.

It sounds unbelievable to me. I mean, having sex with a drummer! uuurgh.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Continuing on the mystical musical theme I snaffled this bit from the Rock Snob site:

Begin extract from RockSnob:
His Holiness John Paul II was the closest a pontiff could come to being a Rock Snob: he met with Bono and Bob Dylan, attended a Rome benefit concert at which Lou Reed performed, and waved his arms encouragingly at some breakdancers who were spinnin' and poppin' on the floor of the Vatican. His successor, however, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger --who, as of today, goes by the vaguely hip-hoppish tag of Benedict XVI--is defiantly anti-rockist. In a small volume published in 2000 called
The Spirit of the Liturgy, itself an expansion of an essay Ratzinger wrote in 1986, the future pope argued,

" 'Rock'... is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals, it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe.
"Well, before we dismiss the new pope as an out-of-it fuddy-duddy, let's parse his words. He only seems to be talking about rock "festivals" with "special lighting effects," which, generally, are as dreadful as he says. And one of his pet peeves, the implementation of quasi-rock music into the liturgy at some churches, is indeed an abomination, as anyone who's ever sat through a Rockin' Mass with amplified guitars can attest. (Tony Hendra, the Benedictine monk turned gonzo humorist, and the guy who played Ian Faith in This Is Spinal Tap, wrote a brilliant essay on this subject for GQ some years back.)

Nevertheless, Pope Benedict's blanket condemnation of rock as a whole is tin-eared and unfair. We expect Bono to "open a dialogue" and rectify this situation ASAP.

Meanwhile, over here at Rock Snob HQ, the conclave we're puzzling over is the one at Roger Taylor's Surrey mansion at which it was determined that Paul Rodgers should fill Freddie Mercury's tights in the 2005 touring version of Queen.
End extract from Rock Snob

FXH says: "Amen to that bit about "rock masses" and that last paragraph about Rodgers and Queen"

Friday, May 13, 2005

hymns, love, nick cave, van, god

In the comments on the post below this one , about Van Morrison books, boynton, mentions that, along with many others, Martin Buzacott, co-author of the new book, Speaking In Tongues, dismisses Have I Told You Lately That I love You as "soppy" and not a great song.

I disagree and have always primarily seen it as a hymn. I mentioned that Nick Cave agreed with me and I finally found the quote.
[This does however bring up another issue. That is how did Rod Stewart descend from being a rock interpreter par excellence to being the sad old schlock hack he is today. It's Stewart's version of HITYLTILY that cannot raise above terrestial lerve sop and colours listeners views of the song]

Extract from Salon:
Over the last few years, Cave has written a number of love songs in which it is ambiguous whether the figure being addressed is a woman, or God, where there appears to be a deliberate conflation of earthly and divine love. On "No More Shall We Part," the song "Love Letter," among the most memorable he has written, seems like a classic love song until near the end, when he sings:

Rain your kisses down upon me
Rain your kisses down in storms
And for all who'll come before me
In your slowly fading forms.

"Breathless," from "The Lyre of Orpheus," is ambiguous throughout:

The red-breasted robin beats his wings
His throat it trembles when his sings
For he is helpless before you
Still your hands, And still your heart
For still your face comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew
Still your mind, Still your soul
For still the fire of love is true
And I am breathless without you.

These songs remind me most of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson, in which religious ecstasy sometimes sounds decidedly romantic in nature.
Cave agreed with me that there was a link to those poets, and pointed out that Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" does something similar. He also told me that there's never any ambiguity in his mind about who is being addressed in his songs -- but declined to be any more specific than that.

End Salon extract.

I rest my case.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

glossy geeks grok glossolalia

Three new books on Van.

Speaking In Tongues:The Songs Of Van Morrison by Andrew Ford and Martin Buzacott . An all Australian effort. Out now. In ABC bookshops. Here's an extract.

Johnny Rogan's
Van Morrison: No Surrender will be on my buy list if it's half as good as Rogan's other writings on Neil Young and his earlier biography of Van. Actually it will be on my buy list whatever its quality.

As a Van tragic I will also be ordering Van Morrison Them and the Bang Era, 1945-1968 by Howard Dewitt

Sunday, May 01, 2005

apollo bay music quick roundup

The Apollo Bay Music Festival will now be held on the 4th weekend in April, avoiding Easter holidays and being squashed too close to Port Fairy Folk Festival. Hopefully this will also slow down the migration of the folding chairs in shoulder bags, wholemeal knitted jumpers, full beard and "shushing" types who drift up the Great Ocean Road from Port Fairy. To that end I see there seems to be more emphasis on rock music for the younger persons. All we need now is more jazz and classic / avant-garde. The weather last weekend was balmy almost up in the mid 20Cs most days and only slightly cooler at night.

THE RED HOT POKER DOTS [pic above] are on my list to follow up at a decent venue. No ironic pretend country here but a barrel of full on country honky tonkin' rockin' with Johnny Cash twanging guitar as needed plus verve, swing and engaging stage flash. I can't work out why I hadn't heard or seen them before. Maybe its because they spend lots of time touring in USA. Anyway they are up at Katherine now and heading to Darwin and then QLD and NSW and back to USA. Catch them.

ASH GRUNWALD is highly recommended. One guy with his guitars and thumping beat box with modern high energy blues rooted in skills from deep soil. CLAYMORE (Scottish folk and pub rock?) I can take or leave most of their set but their final version of Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll) is one of the best I've heard - fully sick - bagpipes and all. DAVE HOGAN'S MELTDOWN was the best of too many blues combos. COSMIC PSYCHOS did a few gigs - I guess it would have helped to be a fan first time around. DAVID BRIDIE as himself and also with MY FRIEND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE played well attended satisfying sets but hampered, like almost everyone, by bad sound, of which more later. DIRTY LUCY, two young women to watch for musical growth and bigger things in the near future (country neo grunge?). DEBORAH CONWAY competent and professional.

suffered from the bad sound mixes too but showed enough of her licks and Lucinda type approach to make me want to follow her up.

THE YEARLINGS in the small wooden Anglican Church were truly moving. [My pic below] Lo-Fi completely acoustic, no amps, no pickups, no mikes on vocals or instruments. Infused with John Fahey like yearnings, high mountain imprints and perhaps even some wild mercury (wink). Their bond as a couple charmed and disarmed.

Worth the money? Yes. But. And it's a big but. Why does a festival such as this put up with bad sound mixes / mixers. Why do bands and performers not check the sound from a punters' point of view. Many, if not most gigs at Apollo Bay, had a dreadful mix, muddy with over screaching top end, no middle and loose sloppy muddy bottom end of drums and bass. Are all sound men (and as far as I could see they were all men) deaf old drug soaked hippies? In one pub the sound guy wandered off into the second song of one band and the lead vocal mike dropped out completely - for the whole song! The foldback was apparently still working ok as no one in the band seemed to twig. What the hell is going on? Don't bands and performers these days have any friends who care about how they sound? After the second song the sound hippy wandered back with a plate of steak and chips in his hand and a bemused look, as if to say, " What are you whingeing about - its my show - I'm the sound dude".

Now I'm sure that the organisers will get a lot of complaints - but the complaints will be that "the music was too loud". Now this is what it sounds like to the average punter when the mix is stuffed like it was. But a good mix can be loud and not painful. A good mix doesn't need to be loud. No doubt the organisers will dismiss the "too loud" comments as from old farts who can't appreciate the focus on younger bands. Wrong. Good sound isn't too difficult - even in a tent.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

where the dingoes & crows won't molest me

Following the Schaivo schemozzle myself and other family and friends have been working out how to make very clear our wishes in an Advanced Healthcare Directive (AHD). Whilst looking at the current state of play for NFR I came across this AHD by Michael Mackay, a senior doctor in an Australian Emergency Department.

"Should I have my cardiac arrest while going about my duties in the emergency department — immediate defibrillation please! And maybe a whiff of oxygen. (If I don’t survive, I will be quite surprised.)

Should I arrest in the hospital dining room, forgo the mouth- to-mouth (I am squeamish about these things). I may (grudgingly) accept some chest compression, until the defibrillator arrives. But if you have not got me back after three shocks — call off the circus. Go back and finish your lunch.

If I arrest in the street, you will do what you will. But I won’t be happy. I doubt you will be able to get a defibrillator to me quickly enough. If I arrest at home, I know it will be very difficult for you to do nothing. But it will be 15 minutes before the ambulance arrives. And to end up brain damaged on a ventilator is something I do not want. (But if you are clever enough to call the ambulance so that I arrest after it arrives, by all means use the defibrillator.) When I am in a bed in a hospital ward “old and grey and full of sleep”, do not use your hands to commit violence upon me — use them to comfort me."

The above was taken from a complete article on A Time To Die by
Mackay in the eMJA .

Discussion on the Schiavo case, occasionally the broader Not For Resuscitation and (sometimes) related palliative care issues at
Troppo, Mark Bahnisch's new blog Larvatus Prodeo plus Currency Lad and Saint.

Another eMJA article on the Victorian Supreme Court ruling on tube feeding.

A variety of
Advanced Healthcare Directives (AHD) (Advance Directives, Living Wills) templates and information from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Victoria. Forms and information about an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) from The Public Advocate Office Victoria

Sunday, March 20, 2005

lean on me

Sometimes things fall apart. At the centre. Other times everything comes together.

Tonight at 2 am I flicked on
RAGE ABC TV. First up was Bill Withers doing USE ME live. It reminded me how great this guy was.

Then at his peak he just retired. No drugs. No gambling. No marriage or money problems. He lives happily in the suburbs - not performing.

He's one part folk, one part R&B, one part blues, a lot of jazz and a whole lot of funk and soul. It's seamless. No one else seems to be able to do this combination so effortlessly. No one else even does it with effort.

One of the greatest live albums is
Bill Withers LIVE at Carnegie Hall. [There are few lasting live albums. Bob Marley is one, Van's Too Late To Stop Now is another]

The Bill Withers USE ME clip was engrossing, encompassing all the elements of his style.

Next there was a clip of Chuck Berry live doing
Johnny B Goode. His striped trousers reminded me of Hendrix. His duckwalk reminded me of Hendrix. His bit of free forming guitar solos slung low and between his legs reminded me of Jimi. I did think that whilst Chuck's backing band was clearly not important and much lesser than him Jimi's was integral.

The RAGE logo / theme clip with
Iggy Pop always reminds me of how I like Iggy and then reminds me of Molly Meldrum. I like Molly too.

Then a clip of
Johnny Cash singing HURT.

Then Radiohead doing CREEP. I understood them then. Great song. Only song I can remember where the word fuck worked.

Yesterday I walked into the local library vaguely looking for a Wiggles, or something, DVD to assist uncle type babysitting duties that night. Not much around that I recognised but I did grab the DVD of
Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young. Had a quick flick through for 30 minutes. Crazy Horse makes old Shakey work at his best. Teetering on the edge of chaos they propel forward each song forcing Neil to pour everything into the tune to hold it together in whatever shape he vaguely imagined it. Just like they did at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne last year.

Sometimes I think Powderfinger is my favourite song. [I have about 900 favourite songs]. Every time I hear "Look Out Mamma There's White Boat comin' Down the Riv - arrgh…", I tense up in anticipation and then relax into the song thinking that perhaps it's the best opening salvo, lyrics & riff, of any song. I like Neil very loud and noisy. The DVD is highly recommended. There's a great version of Tonight's The Night at the end. And I can, if I choose, start with Welfare Mothers (make better lovers) and then run Powderfinger into Cinnamon Girl and Hey Hey My My or Hurricane or any combination I like.

Took me back to Greenwich Village NYC 1979 when I went to the premier of the
Rust film. It was as exciting as any live concert. You could smoke and drink in USA cinemas then and there were joints and beers floating freely through the seats. Well my seats anyway. I still have those cardboard and paper "Rust -O-Vision" glasses handed out.

I'll probably still be listening to them all in 10 years time. Johnny Cash the most. More than likely
Bill Withers is the best.

Late note. Food for Thought:
I've only just noticed that beginning with his article on Plunderphonics on March 8,
Gary Sauer-Thompson has written 4 or 5 blog pieces on music, ranging from the piece on Plunderphonics through to Jacques Attali's Noise: The Political Economy of Music, and then a bit on Aesthetics & Rock Criticism.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

cigarettes, whisky, catholics, words, funny

Dave Allen is dead.

A small note to those who can't remember or weren't there.

There was a time, when it was possible to have a successful, and popular, television show that consisted of not much more than an intelligent, articulate, neatly dressed person sitting on a stool, smoking a cigarette, whilst drinking a whisky, talking to you but not at you, and being funny.

Requiescat in pace you funny nine and a half fingered bastard.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

macquarie fields riots and societies spongers

There has been much discussion and attempts to tease out the causes of the recent riots at Macquarie Fields in the southwestern suburbs of Sydney.

There are substantial threads and ideas, to stimulate even the most reluctant commentators, running at
Troppo Armadillo and Catallaxy. Well worth reading and jumping in to comment.

We are all familiar with the idea that the bulk of the welfare burden, child abuse cases, single teenage mums and prison population in Tasmania can be traced back to just 30 families. Many solutions have been suggested from just giving each of these families a house of their own for life and a stipend of about $2,000 a week for life. All of which would be cheaper than the existing bill for the current Welfare Dependency. In addition a few hundred welfare public servant bludgers could be made redundant thus ensuring a sizable profit on the whole deal.

These sort of "problem families" do not exist only in Tasmania. Melbourne has its own problems.

I can reveal one family in particular,
whose husband shot through owing money, and refused to pay child support, now they are bludging off welfare, there is terrible family violence involving knives, legal squabbles, grandfather who allegedly died in the arms of a woman other than his wife whilst still married, one of the children driving whilst drunk and attacking police in public, once or twice, and using dodgy accounting to keep getting the pension.

Let get rid of these types who set a bad example, don't respect our laws, attack police, clog our law courts and can't get a proper job.