Wednesday, January 26, 2005

story for australia day

Dragster mum shocks police
By Lou Robson -
16 jan 05 - Sunday Mail
A QUEENSLAND woman caught drag racing along a busy suburban road at 144km/h in a 60 zone with three young children in the back seat says getting caught is her only regret. Rachael Weymouth appeared in Redcliffe Magistrates Court this week after being clocked doing 84km/h over the speed limit with children aged one, five and seven in the hotted-up car. Two of the children were hers, the other her sister's.

Weymouth, 27, from Margate in Redcliffe, was racing a friend, Michael Torrisi, 25, who had his fiance and 18-month-old child in his car, along Redcliffe's busy Anzac Ave when caught by police on a Sunday afternoon in December.

But Weymouth, who was fined $850 and disqualified from driving for six months, said her only regret was getting caught.

"The only thing I'm sorry about is losing my licence," Weymouth told the Sunday Mail outside court.
"Now we'll have to walk everywhere, but I'm not sorry because those kids were never in any danger."
In court this week, police prosecutor Senior-Constable Don Baille said Weymouth was racing Torrisi on Anzac Ave when traffic police pulled them over at 4.25pm on December 19.
Sen-Constable Baille said Weymouth was driving a Holden Torana and racing Torrisi when they both recorded speeds of 144km/h.

"(Weymouth) had a male passenger in the front and three children in the car in the back seat and Torrisi had a female passenger in the front and an 18-month-old child in the back."
The friends, who pleaded guilty to conducting a speed trial, said they'd just registered Torrisi's vehicle and were "going for a drive" when the incident took place.

Police then had to remove Weymouth's partner, who didn't want to be identified, from the court when he became abusive.

The man, who wore a Holden Racing Team shirt and cap, told the court the justice system was "f-ed".

Footnote: I'm guessing she's NOT
Tina Weymouth's sister. But you never know.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

rudd rocks with khe fuckin sanh

Our own Papa Legba guarding the crossroads at Backpages is called forth from the nether world to comment on the unreleased but widely circulating, ALP Lost Basement Tapes. CS finds Rudd is the star on the important tracks. Sheil has personal access to the early Rudd tunes and demos. He has loaded these onto his old SuperScope machine and fiddled around with the speeds, with the advantage of inside knowledge from previous producers and mixers such as Peter "Simply Red "Beattie.

CS can reveal "he talks in three different local dialects - the dialects of the media, the professional and the so-called punter."

Holy shit. Rudd is not only Bob Dylan, he's Elvis Costello and Tom Waits jivin' in Mandarin with a good dose of Van the Man and Vegas Presley and to top it off he's fuckin' Barnsey singing "Khe Sanh" and "Star Hotel" at Chisel's peak.

I'm madly dragging out all my old ALP bootlegs. I'm speeding them up. I'm slowing them down. I've tried it through headphones with a huge spliff. Shit I even listened to them through a 5.1 HomeTheatre set up. I think I can hear it. I think it's the real thing. Perhaps a duet with "Aretha" Gillard will do it.

I'm waiting for
irant to tell me the tunings and capo will work out. I'm emailing James Russell to see what old Rudd as a goth/punk film reels he has under the couch. I'm sure Flop Eared Amanda will tell me Ruddy nearly won a Golden Guitar at Tamworth a few years back. I can't wait until next Wednesday morning at 6 am when Macca will have Ruddy on Australia All bloody Over singing a Slim Dusty song or better still Chad Morgan's Threshing Machine

Me, as Nabakov will attest, I'm
Baron Samedi the roadie, to CS's Papa Legba, waiting for the call up and the kick arse tour to launch the new album.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

robert johnson on speed

James Russell over at Hot Buttered Death has just posted a wonderful bit on Robert Johnson and how there is a theory that he has been recorded, or at least played, at too fast RPM. That is, by slowing down his songs to about 80% of the normal speed we get a more accurate approximation of what his playing and singing might well have been. The argument is that we would hear more of his influencers and contemporaries such as Son House.

There are a few small MP3s of slowed down bits of
Love in Vain, Come on in My Kitchen and Crossroads over at Steady Rollin’ Man: A Revolutionary Critique of Robert Johnson which also has some detailed information on the guitar tunings and fingerings that some guitar players might like to comment on. irant - you there?

Funnily enough I have been listening to RJ for the last few days, specifically to listen to "They're Red Hot". This was sparked by the links over at irants on
Robert Johnson and the Myth of The Golden Age and the comment that Red Hot is more like a Fats Waller tune. There are further explorations of the definitions, particularly whose definitions, of authenticity that dominate, in selections and arrangments for recording and releasing. Many releases of Johnson's work leave out Red Hot because it doesn't conform to certain blues purists idea of what Johnson is/was.

Although James Russell says that at present he can't hear much difference in the slowed down RJ tunes, I reckon I can and I like it. It excites me. It's a theory I like. Johnson's voice sounds more powerful. Less reedy and disembodied. Engages me more. Sounds more close miked. I even think the guitar work sounds better.

This wrong speed / pitch theory isn't so far fetched given that a re-issue of Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue has had jazz fools nerds experts fans agreeing they had been listening to one side of Kind Of Blue at the wrong pitch for about 40 years. [no wonder some of the poor trumpet players who tried to imitate Miles found it a bit difficult]

In addition recent remasters of Dylan suggest that the vinyl version of Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands from Blonde on Blonde was perhaps mastered at the wrong speed as it plays at a quarter-tone below the remastered CD version.

When I get some time I'll be fiddling with RJ tracks on the PC and slowing them down. Thanks James.

Update: More on this from Dave Rubin - taken from: where there is more discussion.

"I headed the team that produced "Robert Johnson: The New Transcriptions" for the Hal Leonard Corporation and I wrote a companion book for Guitar School that analyzed 15 of the most popular songs. We approached the tunings (A add 9 for "Dust My Broom" and "Phonograph Blues" take 2, open Em - like Skippy James - for "Hellhound On My Trail," etc) and keys with fresh ears and came up with new findings which I believe to be correct.

Most importantly, we had access to virtually all of the original 78s as owned by Steve LaVere. It was quite a thrill to hear these recordings in person. It sounded as if RJ was in the room playing and singing. Steve had corrected the speed with his variable pitch turntable so that the platters turned at exactly 78 RPMs. This produced slower tempos and pitch, resulting in Johnson having a deeper voice and, in my opinion, it gave the songs (especially the uptempo ones like "Preachin' Blues" and "32-20 Blues") a better groove. The 1996 version of the Columbia CD set basically reflects these corrections.

The problem started in the 1960s when they original engineers "corrected" their original source material by bringing all tunes up to natural keys like G and A, not realizing that Johnson really was playing in F#,G#, etc. remember, Johnson was playing SOLO guitar and likely tuned by ear before each session (perhaps each take) without a reference tone like, say, from a piano. Why would he care about concert pitch or A 440? In additon, with a new guitar with new strings, for example, in a hot environment, his guitar may have gone flat. In addition, he capoed extensively like most of his contemporaries. Re; "Love in Vain Blues": I maintain that it is his only song in Spanish (open G) tuned up a half step. Check out our transcription on page 192, the last measuer, where he ends with the tonic chord "open" (actually capoed - the dead giveaway of the tuning. "

Dave Rubin NYC

Monday, January 17, 2005

harping on a bit too much

This started off as a comment over at IRANT's site in response to his report of seeing Jeff Lang and Bob Brozman.

On Saturday night I saw Fiona Boyes at the Cornish Arms. I really only went just to meet up with an old friend who was going there. Fiona was playing with Chris Wilson's band and, unfortunately, Wilson himself. There was a table of 6. The meal was only $15 and ok, if a bit late and a bit large, and our first two choices were off the menu.

It was the 4th time I had seen Wilson and the last. I had persisted because amongst a lot of people down here he is always touted as great. Nope - he did it again. Played harp everywhere on every tune and as loud as possible. Might be ok as a Barnsey sideman at a plasterer's booze up. I can't see why people keep boosting him. I might just have caught 4 bad gigs but sheesh how many chances can you give someone. Fiona, on those brief moments when Wilson wasn't dominating, sounded as if she could do some tasty licks and generate a bit of fun.

So for most of the night I sat brooding on the last good gigs I'd seen there. Brilliant gig by
Brian Kennedy. I can't recommend Kennedy as a live performer enough. His records just don't showcase his talents. He was good enough for Van to have as second sweet voice live for about 5 years and on a few albums.

The other gig I had enjoyed at the Cornish not so long ago was
Red Rivers. I've only seen Red twice live. I'd drive almost anywhere to see him. Honky Tonkin' country rockin at its best. The real thing. Great songwriter. Go see him. World class. I think he spends time doing the European Country Festivals thats why he isn't gigging around.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

new age health tips - good as gold in oz

Adrian the famous blogging Sydney cabbie does a great line in vignettes of the sydnicity and it's people from a cabbie perspective. Despite a slight lurch every now and then into mildish rwdbeastery he is always worth a read.

I couldn't resist pinching this gem
from a longer piece. Out of context of course.

"Briefly I wondered if I was having a mild heart attack then dismissed the thought just as quickly on the realisation I’d passed a medical check-up with flying colours, just a few months ago. So I sat in bed for an hour reading, smoking and drinking tea before lapsing back into a normal sleep till 4.30 pm. Consequently I woke good as gold."

lets talk dirty in hawaiian and robert johnson

Click here for bigger clearer picture.

Robert Crumb who along with Harvey Pekar is my favourite record collector, nerdy hero and cartoonist*see below*has put out a brilliant series of drawings of blues artists. As part of this he has illustrated the story of Charley Patton.

Just bloody Amazing.

Crumb also has a great band called, naturally,
Robert Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders. I have a double live CD of their music I sing along loudly to. Mostly songs from the 20's. Bob Brozman plays with them.

Footnote: They don't sing
"Lets Talk Dirty In Hawaiian" but they should. It's a party favourite of mine.

*erratta* favourite cartoonist OUTSIDE Australia. Of course I meant
Sedgwick is my most favouritist cartoonist of all.

Late Update: As recommended by Nabakov and other commentors I grabbed the "Ghost World" DVD from the video store. I'm not familiar with the comic so the first half seemed a bit forced and didn't grab me but the film just got better and better as it flowed on to the end. I was so proud that I spotted the Cheap Suit Serenaders joke in the garage sale before I had even been told to look out for it by commentors. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

tsunami sue amy sue me sue you

I’ve had many phone calls on the tsunami crisis many directly family related. All are glad our daughter is safe. All are worried. Most seem to understand our worry. The gap between what the daughter experienced over there and what we see here is enormous. Over there they are aware of it as if it is a bushfire in another state. Its not directly effecting them. Anyway she’s now out of Thailand.

Today a phone call:
Hi Francis?
Hello Gary
We were pleased to hear that Kathleen was ok
Yes so were we Gary
We prayed for her
God answered our prayers
We think God has special plans for Kathleen
Err - ahh yeah what about the 100’s of thousands killed?
He has special plans for those saved.
Ok. What about the others?
Well a lot of them were sex tourists and Moslems
What does god think about them?
God is merciful if you have personal relationship with Christ
Ok – look I think I have to go soon – thanks for thinking of Kathleen.
Yes we have to go – our prayers are always with her.
Goodbye – thanks for ringing
I wanted to ask why did god have special plans for a lesbian atheist with left wing politics but I’m too polite to relatives.

The phone skidded down the hallway into the back room across the wooden floor and stopped at the back door. It woke up the cat who went over to sniff it. In a movie I guess it would have splintered into a thousand pieces and provided some emotional release for me and the audience.
In this case the cat placed his fat paw on it and I picked it up.

It looks exactly the same.

It just doesn’t work anymore.