Thursday, December 14, 2006

tangled up in bob

Peter Lang is an acoustic guitarist, well worth listening to if you like the “american primitive” style of John Fahey and Leo Kottke. [If you don’t already have at least some John Fahey then you urgently need to.]

Anyway, I’m not sure where I got this from originally, but the story goes that Lang was living in Minneapolis and was working on a video project with David Zimmerman, the less well known brother of the bobsta. So one Saturday Lang calls up David Zimmerman and hears this very familiar voice answering the phone.

"Uh... is that Bob?" says Lang.

"Yeah, it's Bob" says Bob Dylan.

Well, what would you say if you got Bob Dylan on the phone? Yup. Me too.

So here's what Lang said :

" David there?"

David, Sarah, Bob and FXH

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

call me kev

Having had my observational skills sneered at by inner city tree hugging green voter, dreadlocked hippy and well known Milne imitator wbb over at Lava Lamp Prose, I offer the following proof of keen eyesight. Not to mention proof of a keen sense for sartorial sins.

Exhibit 1
20 things you need to know about Kevin Rudd, The AGE, December 3, 2006

19- Bespectacled and intellectual, Rudd does not come across as a typical Queenslander, but he does wear RM Williams boots: "Always have done."

Exhibit 2
Rudd and a woman not his wife pictured recently.

Exhibit 3
Close up of The Ruddster's Footwear

My trained eye* tells me the footwear of choice is a well worn pair of RM Williams Craftsman Veal as pictured below. A Top of the Line Dress boot. Luxury French Veal Calf leather, leather lined. Sewn welt leather soles with flat heels and individual protective moleskin boot bag for each boot .

Exhibit 4
The Craftsman Veal

Uncle FX says: Nothing wrong with RMs. But never with a suit.

* I have also noticed Kev wearing these boots in several newpaper photos not available online and on TV footage.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

compared to U2

Before she was famous Sinéad O'Connor worked as a waitress at The Bad Ass Cafe on Crown Alley, Temple Bar Dublin. Inspired by Jason Soon posting a YouTube vid of her doing Nothing Compares 2U I've whacked these pics up. Jason has a special place in my heart for his love of Dylan and Sinéad has a place also for this quote: "Van Morrison should be friggin' canonised"FXH sitting in Bad Ass Cafe Dublin as part of the great Hibernian cultural tour of Oct 2006 thinking of Sinead and Jason. Huge version of pic here.

The common people eating at Bad Ass. Huge version here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

friday cat blog

I think I first really noticed Ruth Brown when I bought a working jukebox for my singles and I managed to get the singles that were already loaded into it thrown in.

The single that reached out of the speakers and grabbed me and in particular the kids, and party guests, was, This Little Girls Gone Rockin’ by Ruth Brown. It’s from 1958 and has the great King Curtis blowin’ sax. Great rockin forward beat, Ruth Brown - Miss Rhythm – The Girl With Tear In Her Voice makes it a dance floor and singing favourite. Anyway we played it and played it and played it again. Then I went out a bought a few other Ruth Brown CDs. Once I heard Ruth doing Lucky Lips I realized how insipid Cliff Richard’s version was.

She was born Ruth Weston on Jan. 12, 1928, in Portsmouth, Va., the oldest of seven children. From the age of 4 she played and sang alongside her father, who was noted for his strong voice, at the local Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In summer, she picked cotton with her brothers an sisters at her grandmother’s farm in North Carolina.

As a teenager, she performed at U.S.O. clubs at nearby naval stations. She ran away from home at 17, working with a trumpeter named Jimmy Brown and using his last name onstage. She married him, or thought she did; he was already married. But she was making a reputation as Ruth Brown, and the name stuck.

She played with big bands, around 1946, and then a few years later she was “discovered” and recommended to Atlantic Records.

On the way to New York City, however, she was seriously injured in an automobile accident and hospitalized for most of a year; her legs, which were smashed, would be painful for the rest of her life. She stood on crutches in 1949 to record her first session for Atlantic, and the bluesy ballad “So Long” became a hit.

You can hear her influence on most of the next two decades female singers, from Aretha to Etta; even Little Richard acknowledged that he'd based his vocal stylings on those of Brown. And although she had no formal training, she had a natural ear for music - Dizzy Gillespie observing that " Ruth Brown could hear a rat wee on cotton."

She had at least 10 hits in the ‘50s and between 1950 and 1955 Ruth scored 5 #1 hits on Billboards R&B charts. She led a good life with cadillacs and musician lovers. The hits dried up in the ‘60s and she worked as a teacher –aide and housemaid to support herself and her sons.

In the late 70s she made a comeback and never stopped. She was an outspoken advocate onstage and in interviews, about the exploitative contracts musicians of her generation had signed. Many hit-making musicians had not recouped debts to their labels, according to record company accounting, and so were not receiving royalties at all. Shortly before Atlantic held a 40th-birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1988, the label agreed to waive unrecouped debts for Ms. Brown and 35 other musicians of her era and to pay 20 years of retroactive royalties.

The next time you hear the record industry talk about how they "support artists", or how downloads effect their profits, try picturing the pile of records lost to the world because labels like Atlantic kept R&B singers in poverty, cleaning rooms to live when they should have been making music. Atlantic was known at one stage as The House the Ruth paid for.

Ruth was the best, she could sing jazz, R&B and Broadway – make them all sassy, rockin’ and with that trademark Ruth Brown Teardrop in the voice.

Ruth Brown died Friday in a Las Vegas area hospital from complications after a heart attack and stroke earlier in the week. She was 78.

Go and buy The Best of Ruth Brown – Cat of the Week

I wrote my mom a letter
And this is what I said

Well-a, well-a, well-a, well-a
I washed all the dishes
And I did a lot more
I even bought the dinner
At the grocery store
Now, Mom, you'll find

The key next door cause
This little girl's gone rocking

I left some biscuits for the pup
I put fresh water in his cup
And now I'm off
I'm gonna live it up cause
This little girl's gone rocking

Well, I'm be home about
Twelve tonight and not a
Minute, minute, minute later
Don't forget the front door lock
That's all for now
I'll see you later, mater

You'll find these things
That you wanted done
I'm off to meet that special one
Boy, oh, boy, will we have fun
Cause this little girl's gone rocking

Well, I'm be home about
Twelve tonight and not a
Minute, minute, minute later
Don't forget the front door lock
That's all for nowI'll see you later, mater

You'll find these things
That you wanted done
I'm off to meet that special one

Boy, oh, boy, will we have fun

Cause this little girl's gone rocking
Yeah, this little girl's gone rocking.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

ain't got no ipod

Good news.

At JB Hi-Fi Tom Waits new 3CD richly packaged set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards for $73. The beautifully designed booklet reproduces Tom's lyrics in the style of a book of old poetry, with twenty pages of never before seen photos. The limited edition deluxe package contains a hardcover-bound 94-page booklet.

Tom Waits - Lie To Me

Also all Johnny Cash, American series for sale at $9.90 or so each.
For $23 the new Solomon Burke, Nashville, album. Great. This is the country-soul album I was wanting Van Morrison to do. He's still got the time and the talent.

They also have some 2 CD Best of sets for $11 near the checkout. Homer Paxton will be pleased to know that the Barry Manilow and Judas Priest sets are still available.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Designed, made, modelled and photographed by offspring
orders taken. ask in comment for link to more pics

Monday, November 20, 2006

john howard's humour

I know this is old news but I haven't stopped smirking since I read it.

Bono let it be known that he would like to meet with John Howard. Howard, not unreasonably, said he was amenable to meeting with him if a formal request was made. Bono responded by saying he would only meet with John Howard if he agreed to increase Australia's foreign aid to 0.7 of GDP.

Howard replied: "I don't accept preconditions from anybody. I don't commit in advance to businessmen in this country and I certainly don't do it to - much in all as he's high-grade - Irish entertainers."

Irish Entertainer - really cracks me up whenever I see a picture of Bono and his glasses. Especially given the scorn with which the "modern" ones like Bono hold the old
Irish Showbands.

So now whenever I see Bono I think of Irish entertainers like Daniel O'Donnell who was accurately unfairly portrayed as Eoin McLove in Night of The Nearly Dead episode of Father Ted.

Irish Entertainer - Thank you, John Howard.

Photo of Irish entertainer - Mr Bono

Sunday, November 19, 2006

friday cat blog - late

The Australian Weekend Mag has a better than the usual interview with Tom Waits by Gerard Wright on the occasion of the release of the 3 CD set, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Available in Australia for around $100 the CDs are meant to stand alone musically as well as being part of the bigger set.

Tom describes Orphans as "A lot of songs that fell behind the stove while making dinner". It contains 56 songs of which around only 14 are to be found easily elsewhere. All reports so far is that it is a great spread of Tom's styles across the 3 CDs.

One of the highlights for me in the Oz Weekend interview comes when Tom talking about who the album is aimed at and is asked if he is worried about how the true believers will receive it (as if us true believers ever doubt). Tom replies that it isn't that audience that he worries about but how people like David Hildago Los Lobos, Mark Linkous Sparklehorse and Nick Cave are going to think. Oooh that just makes me and a few thousand others love Tom even more.

In another neat touch in the interview Tom talks about how he learnt Waltzing Matilda at primary school where it was a staple of USA music classes in the '50's & '60's:

"I knew that song since I was a kid. Everybody sang it in school. It's Banjo Paterson, right? Paterson yeah. I didn't know what a Matilda was but it sure was an intriguing song...... when I was older it haunted me. Somebody sat down and played it on the piano one day when I was in the studio. Just tore me up......... I had this whole romance with the road...... leaving your troubles that's what it became for me"

Tom Waits - Cat of The Week

Friday, November 10, 2006

friday cat blogging

Solomon Burke has long been the King of Country Soul. I don't know how many times I go and play his Just Out Of Reach Of These Two Empty Arms, a cover of a song by Bakersfield pioneer Wynn Stewart. It is THE Country Soul version of any song.

Although for many of us music knobs snobs aficionados tragics he never went away, for many he is seen as making a comeback. Unlike many other artists from the early days Burke probably doesn't need the money. He has a reputation as a savvy businessman from the early days of selling food and drink to his band members, to his later, and current, successful ownership of chains of funeral parlours, pharmacies, and hotdog and hamburger companies. Not only does he come from a church background, he is currently an active preacher in his own church.

His last release Don't Give up on Me whilst head and shoulders above most current "soul" offerings, didn't sustain as evenly as I would have liked throughout the whole album, despite having songs written for Burke by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, and Van Morrison.

The latest release, Nashville, produced by Buddy Miller, looks as if it is the real thing right through every track. I've only heard about 4 tracks on radio but the
Tom T Hall song, That’s How I Got to Memphis, alone is worth the price of admission. Amanda Flop Eared Mule has written a detailed listen over at Road To Surfdom.

Solomon Burke - Cat of the Week

Friday, November 03, 2006

friday cat blogging

I shot this gentleman near 57th street the other day and as i reviewed the photo I kept finding all these well done little details that when combined are the secret to the success of his look.

First of all, I love the aggressive yet subtle (weird way to describe - I know) mix of pattern for his shirt, tie, and suit. This is the type of thing that people who don't understand menswear miss about how a guy can look edgy and completely classic at the same time. I find this level of creativity in mixing patterns and color in every way equal to another slim-cut black Dior Homme suit with a tricked-up white shirt.
I'm not saying i don't appreciate Dior but those type of designers don't own the market on true design creativity

He is wearing an Etro suit.Etro is better know for being one of the more colorful and sometimes over-the-top menswear houses ( the Italian Paul Smith) but this photo detail shows they can also deliver high-quality.
Notice how the plaid matches at the sleeve seam and how well the plaids match at the breast-pocket.

Maybe Gianni Agnelli was right about wearing his watch on top of his cuff. It is almost unavoidable that your cuff will get caught on your watch which is too bad because he is showing the perfect amount of cuff but the watch is throwing it off balance. Personally I avoid this by using the clock on my cell phone - sorry watch industry

The snaps and post are from one of my favourite blogs.
The Sartorialist is a professional fashion photographer who started a blog with snaps of street fashion. Not all anorexic females or super trendy youngsters either but a good smattering of old, young, male and female real people. The comments are the best bit. On this post alone it runs to 53 comments.

I'm warning you, don't start to read unless you have 3 or 4 hours. You'll want to go back in the archives and read every single post and comments.

The Sartorialist and his people - Cats of the Week.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

there was a young man from tassie..

Get Back [1969]

As the Beatles continue to crack,

Paul produces a plan to Get Back.
But the tensions intrude:
John and Yoko pose nude,
And the two of them struggle with smack.

Get Back, the lost Beatles album of 1969, went through two track-listings but was never released in either form. Over a year later it emerged, reworked, as Let It Be.

Much much more of the The Beatles’ Discography in Limerick Form at Speedysnail by Rory Ewins, expat living in Edinburgh.

Monday, October 30, 2006

customer service

Here in Aberdeen my nephew at Uni does casual work at a large UK wide discount sporting clothes chain. All staff were paid to go to a meeting the other night. The subject was the new manager and some new rules.

One rule was not putting your own favourite music on the store system. A rule enthusiastically supported by my nephew as “we were getting crap from Radiohead, through to Metallica and Artic Monkeys”

My favourite new rule was: “No Swearing at Customers”

A hard rule for Scotland but hey it’s an EU country now.

Uncle FX’s advice: “Fuck that for a joke”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

history quiz

kinky jew governor conspiracy

"Sadly, we Texans are beset by what is best described as a stale smorgasbord of choices for governor that is enough to turn the stomach of any right-minded resident of the Lone Star state.

The only bright spot is Kinky Friedman, who wears a cowboy hat, smokes a cigar, and tosses off one-liners. He can sing, play the guitar, and writes mystery novels. Kinky is often downright funny. He has a day job, so he doesn't have to suck up to special interests. He is clearly the most qualified to serve.

Therefore, our endorsement goes to Kinky Friedman for Governor of the State of Texas." ..more ....Round Top Register

"The Daily News endorses Richard “Kinky” Friedman, independent, for governor of Texas.........."..The Galveston County Daily News

practical mystical

Cathedral Killarney

Friday, October 20, 2006


Greetings from Skibbereen
I'm just off to the Famine Museum:

We have been soaking in the true Celtic experience - Australian barmen in Scotland, Polish waitresses in Ireland and Scotland and Swedish bargirls and B&B managers in Ireland. A glass of wine is always Hardy's, Wolf Blass or Jacobs Creek and a small Irish flag is made in Pakistan.

In other unfamiliar news, TV and newspaper comentariat is concerned that housing prices are too high, the boom can't last, a nursing home has been exposed for bad care of the elderly and there are concerns about teenage binge drinking.

We are heading up to Dublin to day for a couple of days
and will visit Newgrange then back to Aberdeen on Monday

We have been at Dingle for a few days

At Dingle there is a political row over the name change to Irish only:
read here:

Monday, October 16, 2006

dunnottar castle

Dunnottar Castle. As seen in various films. Just up from Stonehaven - home of the deep fried mars bar.

rebus edinburgh - oxford bar

This is the favourite bar of Rebus in the books of Ian Rankin, who also likes to drink here. Front bar holds about 8 people standing up, back room about 15 at tables.

Afterwards we had coffee at
The Elephant House also mentioned in at least two Rebus books. The Harry Potter first book was also written here at a back table.

Late at night we went to a session to listen to a famous scottish fiddler at the also famous Sandy Bell's Pub.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

adam smith grave - swept clean

For Nic Gruen, Quiggin and the catallaxy boys: Adam Smith's grave in Edinburgh. Hard to find in graveyard, according to a local 'tha's te stop busloads of ignorant yank neo-cons tramping in and oot of graveyard'.

Below a snap of the headstone - above a snap of a yellow £4.32 price tag on slab - I couldn't make up my mind if the tag was an accident of wind or a deliberate political, or philosophical statement or some post modern irony or even art.

Friday, October 13, 2006

myth busted

It's always used as an example par exellence of how bad Scottish eating habits are, and in a land where the Health Minister has just proposed giving people lessons on how to eat fruit, one could be forgiven for resisting the taste test.

Visiting Stonehaven, the birthplace, a typical cute place just above Aberdeen that's probably 'had a film made here', I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to sample.

Place didn't open till 4 pm and there was a small queue waiting (what else do queues do but wait I wonder). Was clean and modern inside. We shared one amongst 5 of us. I can report it was surprisingly good and tasty.

Surrounded in a thin crunchy coating of clean, light coloured, flakey, tempura type slightly sweet batter, it was melted in the centre and broken into 5 pieces. We all were shocked at the layered tastes and texture. We decided that as an after meal tidbit with coffee that a half one would be a sensation.

We were reassured, however, by the token teenager present that it was indeed possible, nay, likely, to find that most places selling the DFMB were delivering a greasey, limp lump of gooey chocolate slop.

Note: Back from checking out Rebus landmarks and bars in Edinburgh and generally having too much fun to post about things at all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

blog meet pictures melbourne

The photo above is of the blog meetup in Melbourne on the occasion of Mark Bahnisch coming down to the southern delta. The bloggers were behind the camera so you can see what they saw. Going clockwise there is Nic Gruen, Lucy Tartan, C.I Balcony, B. Oynton, Gum OTrosky, Nab Akov, Will Typeforfood, Rex Ringschott, Door Ian, B. Arista, A. Grogblog, Mark LP, Will Burroughs-Baboon, and others.

Then we had a meal of chilies.

The chilies must have hopped people up because when we went back to the bar it all seemed to go downhill fast. It might have also had something to do with the crystal ice they were all smoking and the vodka being swigged out of the bottle.

Barista had a jibe at After Grog Tones about the doof music and then Tones said it wasn't his bloody idea anyway and why didnt barista jump on his bloody bike and peddle off to listen to Johnny Farnham. With that barista headbutted AGB then kneed him in the vicinity of the groin area.

Well Toney being a big fella straightened up and grabbed barista around the neck and they fell to the floor, somehow barista got to his feet again and stared laying the boots into Tones while he was down. Boynton, Lucy Tartan and Balcony started screaming, and although dressed in short tight summer skirts of flimsy material and tottering around on stilettos they all started flailing into barista with their handbags.

Typeforfood made some comment to nabakov pertaining to Nabs 3 piece worsted tweed country suit and tie and something about the pearl handled walking stick. With that Nabs clocked him with the stick, Willtype went down as well, knocking over Dorian and Lucy in the process. Nic Gruen who had been collecting cigarette butts out of the ashtrays in order to roll a bumper, tried to pull people off but was floored when Rex Ringschott whacked him over the head with a half full bottle of Corio.The women were yelling and screaming and bonyton broke her high heels and pushed Gummo into the melee, WBB was asleep on the couch when something caused a table full of empties to crash on to him he woke with shout and came up punching.

Just then the bouncer came running in from outside and tackled Nic Gruen and threw him out the door, next there was a siren and the paddy van arrived. The uniformed boys looked like the ones who had been rejected from the Armed Robbery Squad for lack of sensitivity to clients needs and they proceeded to throw Tones on the floor face first and cuff him, then they moved on and thwacked Gummo over the head with a truncheon, grabbed one of the women and cuffed her, then spotting the ringleader, barista, grabbed him, frog marched him to the divvy van and chucked him inside face first along the floor, but not before he had given one of them a black eye.

Just then I realized I hadn't said much to Mark. Crunching across broken glass and skidding on blood and mucus I put out my hand "
Welcome to Melbourne Blog Meet Mark, sorry its not as exciting as Sydney mate". I never heard his reply as he was tackled from behind by the steroid enhanced bouncer and thrown in the divvy van.

I picked up a loose shoe or two off the floor, someones wallet and a packet of quick eze and walked outside into the side lane putting as much distance as I could between myself and the writerly ones.

As I walked past the games arcades on Russell Street near MacDonalds, I spied Rex Ringschott staggering around, blood dripping from his left eye, and trying to score a bag of scag whilst hanging onto the arm of a huge maori transvestite. I wriggled him away, poured him into a taxi, gave the driver a $50 and told Rex "C'mon look smart mate."

I walked around to Collins up the steps of the
Melbourne Club and as I sat in the lounge, cognac in hand, cigar in ashtray I pondered if this blogging caper would ever take off.

Friday, October 06, 2006

friday cat blogging

Seeing as the week after next I'll be in Ireland, and the other day Barry Jones quoted from The Second Coming in an interview and suggested it might help understand these times, I thought I'd post an Irish Cat.

The worst are full of passionate intensity - indeed

William Butler Yeats - Cat of the Week.

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

and peace be with you too

Yesterday’s funeral mass was held in the chapel. The seats were padded. As it is part of a retirement complex for church professionals I wasn’t altogether surprised to see nuns and priests. I was just surprised to see about 6 elderly priests all in vestments and 15 nuns in habits.

Not being a regular attendee at mass the use of English still seems new to me and I follow the kneeling, sitting, standing rituals as clumsily as a bemused proddy. The turning around and shaking hands greeting bit startles me and feels uncomfortably like a hug from a concerned marriage counselor.

Nevertheless I was impressed that they were using incense and I was moved by the look of serenity that washed and rejuvenated the faces of the frail priests and nuns in wheelchairs when they received the communion wafer. The combined effect of the incense and orqan music induced the reverie from old and I was thinking about death, my funeral, other funerals, belief in after-life and especially transubstantiation. My thoughts went to the communants who accept that this is the body and blood of Christ, not a representation. For some reason I drifted to Lacan, postmodernism and the hours we spent at school discussing transubstantiation, then back to belief, death and spirituality. It was a good mood, solemn, thoughtful, sad but not unhappy.

Then, just as the incense was swinging again, the silence was punctured by a mobile phone chirping in the chapel. I looked around for the idiot with a disapproving frown.

Even though it was only micro seconds, I’m still red faced at the thought of how long it took me punch off the phone after I registered that the vibration on my mobile was connected to the ringing.

Friday, September 29, 2006

friday cat blogging

"Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it."

Abe Saffron, "colourful Sydney racing identity", died on Sept 14, 2006.

In 1962 Abe bought out Lenny Bruce, who walked out on stage in his first show in Sydney and said "What a fucking wonderful audience". He was promptly arrested and banned from performing in Australia.

On Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 12" (1967) the cover art depicts Lenny Bruce, top row, fourth from left.

His last performance was on June 26, 1966 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, on a bill also featuring Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.

Lenny Bruce - Cat of The Week

Friday, September 22, 2006

friday cat blogging

Talking about the weed, as we were last week with Cat of the Week Stuff Smith, who wrote the most famous weed song, "Youse a Viper", in the "who'd have ever thought it" category:

On Sept 18 last week the police pulled over a tour bus on the highway in Louisiana and searched it. The search turned up 1.5 pounds of marijuana and 0.2 pounds of psychoactive mushrooms.

Willie Nelson, 73-years-old, and his 75-year-old piano-playing sister, Bobby were busted with for possession of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms. Willie was on the road again after performing in Montgomery, Alabama for a tribute to Hank Williams. Hank would have been 85.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

it's easy as abc

I only just tuned in about 30 minutes ago after getting home late. I'm listening to Lucinda Williams Live right now. I had to check the station. Yup. It's ABC AM local radio. Seems there is a strike on. No idea why they are on strike but the music sure has improved. As far as I can tell they are re-broadcasting DIG.

Keep it up. One out all out. Never give in.

Now with a bit of luck ABC FM will go on strike and music will improve there too. I wish they had a PayPal site so I could donate to keep them out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

modern times poetry in motion

At 63 Bob is still making waves, and MP3s (small digital music joke). The highlight for me is the 20 or so Theme Time Radio Hours on XM Radio I have where Bob oozes mesmerisingly and seductively through the airwaves as a late night radio DJ, in the old sense of the word, like say Wolfman Jack. The highlight for others has been his completion of the trilogy of recent albums with Modern Times. Yet to be reviewed by me, or Floppy, or the 3 Ss, Sheil, Soon and Shaun. Perhaps we'll all do it on the same day.

Not today. Today I've noticed this snippett in the
Belfast Telegraph via the New York Times. The Times has talked to a bob watcher, Scott Warmuth, a radio disc jockey based in New Mexico, who has picked up that many of the lyrics on Modern Times bear a similarity to lines by Civil War poet Confederate Henry Timrod. Warmuth said he found 10 instances on the album where Dylans lyrics are similar to Timrod's poetry.

Warmuth told the New York Times: I think thats the way Bob Dylan has always written songs. Its part of the folk process, if you look from his first album to now. But he said he still considered Dylans work to be original. You could give the collected works of Henry Timrod to a bunch of people but none of them are going to come up with Bob Dylan songs, he said.

Mr. Warmuth noted that Mr. Dylan may also have used a line from Timrod in Cross the Green Mountain, a song he wrote for the soundtrack to the movie Gods and Generals, which came out three years ago. Mr. Warmuth said there also appeared to be passages from Timrod in Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, a song on
Love and Theft.

Born in 1828, Timrod worked as a private tutor on a plantation before the Civil War. Many of his earlier poems were about nature, but with the outbreak of war he started to write about the hardships caused by the conflict and its impact on peoples lives.Though he is today considered a minor poet, the Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson described him as the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy. Timrod died of tuberculosis in 1867.

Mr. Dylan does not acknowledge any debt to Timrod on Modern Times.The liner notes simply say All songs written by Bob Dylan (although some fans have noted online that the title of the album contains the letters of Timrods last name).

Nor does he credit the traditional blues songs from which he took the titles, tunes and some lyrics for Rollin and Tumblin and Nettie Moore.

This isn't the first time fans have found striking similarities between Mr. Dylans lyrics and the words of other writers. On his last album, Love and Theft, a fan spotted about a dozen passages similar to lines from Confessions of a Yakuza, a gangster novel written by Junichi Saga, an obscure Japanese writer. Other fans have pointed out the numerous references to lines of dialogue from movies and dramas that appear throughout Mr. Dylans oeuvre. Example: Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word echoes a line from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
[Just today I heard Bob say on Themetime that Tennessee Williams was his favourite playright - fxh]

For instance, the lines in his song When the Deal Goes Down, in which Dylan sings: More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours, bear a striking resemblance to lines contained in Timrods A Rhapsody of a Southern Winter Night, which reads: A round of precious hours, Oh! Here where in that summer noon I basked, And strove, with logic frailer than the flowers. Elsewhere in the same song, Dylan sings Where wisdom grows up in strife very similar to a line in Timrods poem Retirement, which reads: There is a wisdom that grows up in strife.

Christopher Ricks, a professor of the humanities at Boston University who wrote Dylans Visions of Sin, a flattering study of the musician, said, I may be too inclined to defend, but I do think its characteristic of great artists and songsters to immediately draw on their predecessors.He added that it was atypical for popular musicians to acknowledge their influences.

Mr. Ricks said that one important distinguishing factor between plagiarism and allusion, which is common among poets and songwriters, is that plagiarism wants you not to know the original, whereas allusion wants you to know.

When Eliot says, No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be, to have a line ending to be when the most famous line uttered by Hamlet is to be or not to be then part of the fun and illumination in the Eliot poem is that you should know it, he said. But he added: I dont think Dylan is alluding to Timrod. I don't think people can say that you're meant to know that its Timrod.

No doubt about it, there has been some borrowing going on, said Walter Brian Cisco, who wrote a 2004 biography of Timrod, when shown Mr. Dylans lyrics. Mr. Cisco said he could find at least six other phrases from Timrods poetry that appeared in Mr. Dylans songs. But Mr. Cisco didnt seem particularly bothered by that. I'm glad Timrod is getting some recognition, he said.

James Kibler, a professor of English at the University of Georgia who teaches the poetry of Timrod in his Southern literature classes, was delighted to hear of Mr. Dylans use of the verse. If I were Timrod, I would love it, he said. I would say hes doing a great honor to Timrod and lets celebrate that. Mr. Kibler said he planned to share Mr. Dylans references with his classes because his students probably know more about Bob Dylan than Timrod.

Dylans debt -

Henry Timrod
A round of precious hours
Oh! here, where in that summer noon I basked
And strove, with logic frailer than the flowers ...
(A Rhapsody of a Southern Winter Night)

Bob Dylan
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours.
(When the Deal Goes Down)

Henry Timrod
There is a wisdom that grows up in strife

Bob Dylan
Where wisdom grows up in strife
(When the Deal Goes Down)

Henry Timrod
Which, ere they feel a lovers breath,
Lie in a temporary death
(Two Portraits)

Bob Dylan
In the dark I hear the night birds call
I can hear a lovers breath
I sleep in the kitchen with my feet in the hall
Sleep is like a temporary death
(Workingmans Blues number 2)

Henry Timrod
How then, O weary one!
The sources of that hidden pain?
(Two Portraits)

Bob Dylan
Cant explain the sources of this hidden pain
(Spirit on the Water)

FXH says: Me. I'm old skool, I'm following it on r.m.d, ( where I started trading tapes years ago. Others will be stoushing on Dylan Pool. Join in.

Friday, September 15, 2006

friday cat blog

Stuff Smith, whose birthday was yesterday, was originally named Hezekiah Leroy Gordon Smith (September 14, 1909 - September 25, 1967).

He commenced playing at age 9 in the Calument Entertainers, his fathers 12 piece band. He won a music scholarship to university and worked in various bands as a vocalist and violinist in the mid 1920s. In 1927 he moved to New York to play with Jelly Roll Morton. He left NYC, got married and swung the catgut in a few bands until 1936 when he took up a residency at the Onyx Club on 52nd street. His Onyx Club Boys had a minor novelty hit, "I'se a Muggin' on Vocalion in 1936, also covered by Mezz Mezzrow, and Jack Teagarden.

Smith was one of the great swing jazz violinists alongside Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli. Inspired and influenced by Louis Armstrong he worked with Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and for a short time took over Fats Wallers group after the big man's death. Some sources credit him as being the first violinist to use electric amplification.

He was a respected contributor to one of my favourite genres around that era, or any era: the weed song .

He recorded Youse a Viper in 1936
Dreamt about a reefer
Five feet long
Mighty Mezz, but not too strong
You'll be high, but not for long
If youse a viper

Here Comes the Man with the Jive [sample Windows Media]

Another example of the genre:
When I Get Low, I Get High [MP3] by Ella Fitzgerald

Stuff Smith - Here's hopin' it's a smooth Mighty Mezz on your big day.
Happy Birthday Cat of the Week

Thursday, September 07, 2006

blog-oreeney not a flat foot floogie

I was reminded after the Louis Jordan cat post last week that I had been meaning to recommend a blog for those who like swing, or jazz dance music generally, or those who think they might like to explore it a bit more.

dogpossum is hip to the vout and writes knowledgably as a Melbourne fan, DJ, academic and most dauntingly of all, as a dancer. dogpossum has a special love for Duke Ellington, who will surely be a Friday Cat blogging subject one week in the future.

Monday, September 04, 2006

abc tv 6.30pm tonight sept 4 anne kirkpatrick

Australian Country Music is a funny old thing. To use the old cliché it’s a broad church, an uneasy coalition of the bush balladeers, talentless and tuneless Country Talent Club members, pop-rockers like Lee Kernaghan, bluegrass, rockabilly, real country, alt country and many more. Ask anyone who has tried to program a community radio station and had to arbitrate between the warring factions in country. As a side note, it's this balancing act that I admire John Nutting, Saturday Night Country for.

The sad part is that amidst all this it is often the artists with depth who get overlooked. Anne Kirkpatrick is a one example.

She has one of the best voices in country and a way of song delivery that puts her up with the best worldwide. She’s managed to steer through all the factions mentioned above to deliver the real thing, modern and of these times while respectfully nodding to the past and to her own past in particular.

I assume it hasn’t been an easy road, and maybe still isn’t easy, being the daughter of her father, Slim Dusty and her mother, Joy McKean. The place of women in the old school Australian country is little acknowledged and I’d guess most people don’t know that it was Joy McKean who wrote two of Slim’s greatest songs, Lights on the Hill (also recorded by Del McCoury) and When The Rain Tumbles Down in July. In Anne's song One Of A Kind she sings of her father and says: “He’d blow them all away when he’d hit the stage.”

Anne Kirkpatrick has recorded with Slim, played with Bill Chambers and performed songs by Cold Chisel member Don Walker, who also wrote songs for Slim.

I don’t know how good the program will be or if there will be enough music in her interview on Talking Heads - ABC Television, Monday 4th September at 6.30pm, but I do know I’ll be running the tape to catch it. Do yourself a favour.

Friday, September 01, 2006

friday cat blogging

This is a short quick post - I might add links and info after the weekend if anyone is interested.

Louis Jordan may well be the guy who started rock n roll, if you count sustained output, ongoing influence and not just a one off song (not that there's anything wrong with that). He possibly is also the first musician to use video clips, his were called "soundies", in a similarly sustained way, so that along with his movies we have a fairly large collection of clips of him in action. As this is a quick post you will need to look up youtube yourself to see him in action

I first heard of him at a hippy party on a farm around 1971 up in the Dandenongs. A live combo with sax was playing very tight, infectious dance music. The most requested replay all night was a song I hadn't heard before, "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens". I immediately went out and grabbed all the Louis Jordan I could find. "chickens" has been one of my favourite songs ever since. Perfect rock 'n' rhythm & blues jump pop, great sly lyrics, very adult music but kids always love it. No wonder it stayed at No 1 for 17 weeks in 1947.

Louis Jordan was born in Brinkley, Arkansas on July 8, 1908. His father was a music teacher and leader of the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. (Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith also sang with Rabbit Foot Minstrels - there may have been more than one band of Rabbit Foot Minstrels). Louis majored in music at Arkansas Baptist College and started as a musician around 1920 . He was the alto saxophonist with jazz bands led by Clarence Williams, Chick Webb and others, and played with a then unknown Ella Fitzgerald. In 1938 he formed his own band.

Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five had 54 singles into the charts in the Forties. Eighteen songs that went to #1. From 1943-1950, Louis was a No 1 hit for 113 weeks - more than 25% of the time. He had his first million-seller in 1944 with "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't Ma Baby?" He still remains one of the top selling black artists ever.

It is perhaps a surprise, or maybe no surprise, that he was so popular as his songs were uncompromisingly 'black' in their content and delivery, with no concessions made to soften the message. Many of his songs had clever, smooth, hip but undisguised social comment on the problems of the day and race and poverty combined with a full on party atmosphere. Although this was radical for the day, his music was equally popular with both blacks and whites.

Mostly called jump music, this is stuff that will lift you up and set you dancing and wondering why there is so little of this quality around these days.

You can't go wrong with a any Louis Jordan album. Unlike a lot of other artists I don't think I've heard a dud from him ever. The two CD Best Of Sets around are a good buy, even the cheap ones.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

happy birthday george ivan

George Ivan Morrison - 61 years of age - 31 August 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

keith richards shock

The Glasgow City Council has received a report that Keith Richards lit up a cigarette during a gig in Glasgow.

The gig was at the
Hampden Park stadium an open-air football ground. Scotland has a smoking ban for indoors. Richards, who has twice been charged for drugs offences, could be fined £50 if he is found to have contravened the ban.

In further news, after the break, we reveal that The Australian Minister for Health Tony Abbott is a Catholic, and we have the shocking news that some Australians are overweight.

Friday, August 25, 2006

friday cat blogging

Following Amanda Acuff over at Flop Eared Mule we have a Friday Cat blog. This Friday Amanda's choice of cool cat is The Silver Fox, Charlie Rich.

Although often pigeon holed as a popular country singer / writer because of his 40 or so country hits Rich was a person who understood and used jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, rockabilly and country. Starting off as a jazz and R&B performer, influenced by Dave Brubeck and Ray Charles, he absorbed country, became a session player on Sun Records, playing behind Jerry Lee Lewis and wrote songs that were recorded by Cash and Presley.

When he was on top with hits and acclaim Charlie got stuck into the grog. Regarded by many of his fans (well me) as a highlight, but seen by the country establishment as a low light, was the 1975 Country Music Awards where Charlie was the presenter of the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. He opened the envelope and instead of reading the name of the award winner, Charlie set fire to the paper onstage. The winner's name that year was John Denver.

Charlie was then shunned by mainstream country pop so he removed himself from the country scene and performed only occassionally but on his own terms.

In 1992 he re-emerged with the late night country jazz masterpiece Pictures and Paintings, produced by Peter Guralnick. Do yourself a favour and go out and buy it. File it on the shelf alongside Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours.

Born in 1932 Charlie Rich died from a blood clot in his lung in 1995.

The Silver Fox, Mohair Sam - Cat of the Week.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

goofer dust, mojo hands and conjure bags

A normal crisis for bloggers is to hit writer's block or blog constipation or to call a halt or a hiatus.

Afflicted bloggers spend hours at the crossroads around midnight uncrossing and jinx-breaking and also searching around the backyard by candlelight trying to find that buried bottle spell, perhaps stealing into a functioning prolific blogger's abode and purloining a chunk of John the Conqueror Root or some gris-gris. Mostly the zombie blogger just mopes around, occassionally feeling hesitantly with one hand above doorways, hoping to stumble over the lost mojo bag.

Others just keep quiet when they go quiet and hope no one notices.

Some announce a halt then bounce back less than a week later with more posts than you can poke a USB stick at. It's a funny old world.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006

japanese blues muso

Caught George Kamikawa playing as he put it, a John Lee Hooker version of a Ray Charles song by a Japanese in Melbourne. He was in the Bourke St Mall again over the weekend. He's worth a few minutes of your time and a few bob from your pocket. George will be playing his National Steel and JLH boombox at The Noise Bar 291 Albert St Brunswick, in front of the station. On Thursday 17 August 2006. As part of Australian Japan Rock exchange Vol 2. Also playing: The Styles, Japanese Samurai Kabuki Rock of Orochi, The Christinas.

Hear, and see, George playing slide on YOUTUBE and perhaps a better performance here. George rockin it up with When The Saints Go Marchin In, Shake Your Money Maker,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

artwork by expat daughter

Cover of Total Cardboard 8
More offspring artwork at Total Cardboard 8 - a small magazine, includes interview with Robert Dessaix

Saturday, July 22, 2006

candid in the wind

Theodore Dalrymple writing in Our Culture, What's Left Of It, notes that Blair both created and caught the mood of the nation when he called Diana "the people's princess" and that this appellation made it difficult (for the British) to express reservations about the ensuing circus or to cast doubt upon her historical importance. With that branding a doubter was exposed as an anti-democratic elitist.

Despite Dalrymple not always reaching useful conclusions, I do enjoy his writing and get more than the odd chuckle. Take this example:

That her tastes were, despite her privileged upbringing, utterly banal and plebian appeared very clearly at the funeral, where Elton John sang his bathetic dirge immediately after the prime minister read St. Paul's magnificent words in Corinthians. It was highly appropriate (and symbolic) that this lugubrious booby, with his implanted wig, should sing a recycled version of a song initially dedicated to the memory of Marilyn Monroe - a celebrity who at least had to make her own way in the world, and who also made a few films worthy of commemoration. 'Goodbye, England's rose,' he intoned in a mid - Atlantic accent that spoke volumes for the loss of Britain's cultural confidence, 'from a country lost without your soul'

You can say that again."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

the craggy island examiner circulation up

Shaun, no doubt worried about being untruthful about his impure thoughts about Chrissy Amphlett last time he went to confession, in a comment below, asked if I'd be going to Craggy Island.

Probably not, as the island itself was just filmed from one of those modern helicopter things and is actually
Inisheer but I will be looking for The Parochial House and feckin' around and posing for eedjit photos snapping a few well framed mementos out front.

Apparently it's McCormack's at Glenquin, on the Boston road from
Kilnaboy, on a backroad in the Burren about 15-20 miles from Ballyvaughn. Basically you have to get onto the R476 from Corafin and go to Kilnaboy (look out for a ruined church, post office and phone box), take a right, go past the school, and just keep on following the road, you know you are near when you see a stream running on the left of the road, a bit further and the house is on the left. (not that I've thought about such purile time wasting trivia much - as you can see)

And Shaun I've told you before - the money was only resting in my account.

I will be looking for a priests' shop to buy proper black socks:

"You see, ordinary shops sell what look like black socks, but if you look closely, you'll see that they're very, very, very, very, very, very, very dark blue. "

"That's true. I thought my Uncle Tommy was wearing black socks, but when I looked at them closely, they were just very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very dark blue. "

"Never buy black socks from a normal shop. They shaft you every time!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

a quick one

A million half started, or is that half finished, posts. A longer one coming up. A short one here to keep us going.
I'm off to Ireland in October and was looking up gigs on while I'm there. The Saw Doctors reminded me of their song, Bless Me Father:

Bless Me Father, for I have sinned
She had big brown eyes and silky skin
Bless Me Father I couldn't resist
Father, you have no idea what you've missed

and who hasn't pined for a Presentation Boarder:

she's the last of her species
be no boarders anymore
the nuns say it is far too dear
to keep the girls away from home
ah! but who's gonna tease the boys now
standing at the window in the light
and who's gonna pack out novena
every monday night

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

john howard answers questions

In 1955 a 16 year old John Howard appeared on a radio broadcast of Jack Davey's Give it a Go quiz show. It is mighty revealing. The Prime Minister is exposed as a cocky kid with absolutely no clue about the answers, but a cheeky confidence in going for it, anyway.

All schoolteachers are familiar with this kind of kid - basically ignorant but always open to negotiation when it comes to catching the teacher's eye. It is an old plaint of feminists that the schoolgirl who happens not to know the answer won't put up her hand; the boy with half an answer (or in young John's case, none at all) will still have a crack at it in the hope that something will turn up. In the broadcast, it becomes evident that the audience (which probably doesn't know the answer, either) begins to side with the kid, and the quizmaster, sensing this, encourages him - an early lesson in populism; perhaps a crucial one.

Why does Howard stay on? The naughty-boy thesis would be that he could not help himself - he was just having too much fun! Years ago, everybody wrote him off, but now he's the king of the castle.

The prize was 10 cakes of Velvet soap for every correct answer. Howard didn't answer questions correctly, but it didn't matter, he walked off with 100 cakes.

Listen to Howard on Jack Davey's Give it a Go quiz here. (Unfortunately it's in Real Audio - my least favourite audio program)

Text slightly edited from: Naughty boys rule, OK?, By Alistair Mant, The Age August 2, 2004

Monday, July 10, 2006

costello in shock announcement

NEW YORK Jun 25, 2006 (AP)— Diana Krall and husband Elvis Costello announced Sunday that the jazz singer is pregnant and due in December just in time for their third wedding anniversary.
A spokesman confirmed the pregnancy.

Costello, 51, is touring with Allen Toussaint in support of their album, "The River in Reverse."
The 41-year-old Krall will release a new album this September.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

...a glimpse of stocking was something shocking...

A shocked father wrote to THE ARGUS (19 Sept 1925) .." .. a dance is but an excuse for kissing and cuddling, and even worse"

Also in 1925, The South Australian Methodist Conference after discussing "The Lure of the Dance", passed a motion recommending that their halls should not be used for "mixed dancing" as it was an
"inexpedient pastime"

Anticipating the current education debate by a few decades, P. F. Rowland, in an article entitled "Five Thoughts on Education" (Australian Quarterly 14 September 1932) wrote: " .. speaking generally, in music do we ask anything more than jazz, in art the jazz equivalents, in literature the latest naughtiness in novel form? Is not this due to the fact that in our age.... the cultural subjects are being crowded out of our curriculum?"

From: Black Roots - White Flowers - a history of jazz in Australia Andrew Bisset ABC, 1979.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

kiss kitsch koffee klutch

Yesterday the world's first KISS Coffee House was opened by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. You can get a Demon Dark Roast or a French Kiss Vanilla or a Rockuccino. The plans, building and menu.

The tongue tied Gene Simmons says: "Every army needs food and drink and the KISS Army is no exception! Even the non-enlisted will find our treats and java rockin' good!"

The KISS Coffee House, joins the KISS Kasket, a KISS themed coffin and KISS Kondoms (“Rock N' Rubbers” ) in the product line.

Even though I'm a rock snob, I'd go to KISS Coffee for a jolt of java, a pot of hot, a mug of mud. It looks like fun. Somehow a Kiss themed coffee shop seems a lot more authentic than a lame Hard Rock Cafe franchise. For a bit of chat on authenticity in rock you can go to Shaun's Rock'n'Roll Damnation where he notes and points back to Gary Sauer-Thompson's Junk For Code where Gary writes about the authenticity of Cobain and Nirvana

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

this is what is wrong with australia

I just made myself 15 minutes late for a meeting by waiting in the car listening to ABC radio because they said Les Murray would be on soon.

Turns out there's a soccer guy called Les Murray. Not the real one.

I hope Keith Windshuttle can sort those ABC wankers out.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

marvin gaye doco tonight

Living Famously Marvin Gaye
ABC TV 11:05pm Thursday, June 15, 2006
The life and career of one of soul music's true legends, Marvin Gaye, from his unhappy childhood in the ghettos of Washington to global fame as Motown's top solo star, to his drug-addled decline and death at the hands of his own father.

slippery slope

Saturday, June 10, 2006

e-commerce doesn't work

As noted in my previous post I had ordered a Bob Book and Scott Walker CD online from Amazon USA. I'm here to report that cross border e-commerce is a fraud, con, shonk and unworkable for honest people like myself.

I ordered online from Amazon using another computer and location from my usual spine killer. I ordered on Friday the other week. On the Tuesday I thought I'd log in and do a bit of supply chain observation and track my order. Nothing recorded. I refreshed and logged in again. Still nothing. I was about to pick up the phone and complain to Amazon. (How I don't know but that's what I was thinking) Checked again. Nothing. No record of order. Mmmh perhaps I should check the email address I used. Oh dear. Three or four emails requesting confirmation of order and one telling me order was lapsed due to non confirmation. Bugger.

Anyway I mooched down to JB in Motor Bike Elizabeth St. Strolled nonchalantly over to the W's under Alternative !! and picked up Scott Walker's The Drift for ~$23.
Hitching my frayed overcoat collar up against a sharp CBD alleyway wind I shuffled past the lunchtime civilians in Chinatown, dodged a Big Issue extravert, stumbled into a bookshop and fell upon Jared Henry's Head Shot, a mean streets crime novel set in Melbourne. Bingo.

Think Global. Act Local.

Review of CD coming. Sometime.

Friday, June 02, 2006


As Ned Kelly said on the gallows "I guess it had to come to this". Despite my doing a CBD gig for the last little while I haven't been able to "........get what I want"

I have remembered intermittently to check my to do list. I wandered, lonely as a melbourne cloud, down the lanes and alleys of the city centre looking to buy a copy of Scott Walker's The Drift. No luck. Sold out or blank looks. Some had it on computer - "Computer says,.... yes" - but not to be found on shelves. "Should be in the pop section". I only muttered wtf silently.

I had also been, less determinedly, looking for Song & Dance Man 3: The Art of Bob Dylan, by Michael Gray. No luck.

At about 2:18 pm this Friday, whilst tanning in the blue light of a poor definition LCD screen searching for that sentence that wasn't too academic, too rhetoric filled, too poetic, too animated, too idiosyncratic, too dry to make it through the various spending departments' secretaries and ministers and to also satisfy the dry departmentals and their ministers by not being too wet and perchance have it survive almost recognisably intact to cabinet policy and even a news bite, thereby thrusting me into immortality, I decided it was a lost cause. Facing my addictions head on I pondered how to decide between the new collection of all (except The Biplane Houses)
Les Murray's poems, or Seamus Heaney's new hardback, or the Neil Young Nation book, or Neil's new CD or....

I logged on the Amazon USA. Scott Walker isn't released until June 6 in USA. The Bob book is available. Tipped them into my online shopping cart, entered Visa details and for $49.00 usa = $65.5203 AUD. I'll have them in my mailbox possibly in 6 - 10 days. Possibly also cheaper and quicker than I'd get them by mooching around Melbourne and hard acquiring them the old way.

Let's see how it pans out.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Sarsaparilla is a new group blog devoted to discussing books, writing, film and television, theatre and the performing arts, music, publishing, the humanities, reading, cultural studies, and… other things, from a distinctively Australian perspective.

It's got
Alison Croggon, Ampersand Duck , Boynton, David Nichols, Galaxy, and Genevieve Tucker of You Cried for Night and The Weblog Repository, Georg of Stack, Kerryn Goldsworthy of A Fugitive Phenomenon, Laura from Sorrow at Sills Bend, Tim Sterne from Sterne, Wendy James from the old Troppo and possibly many others.