Monday, December 31, 2007

new years eve

Forgot to mention the boy - Moroccan Kings - is on tonight at Ruby's Lounge Belgrave.

See ya soon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

music offspring espy cd




They're young, it's loud, it's heavy, it's tight, it's at the Espy, he's my kid, I'll be there, it's free.
What more can you ask for.
You're invited

Thursday, October 18, 2007

shoelaces


Know what this is below?

1 (Bottom, Longer): H×INT((P+2)÷2)+V×P+L

2 (Second, Shorter): H×INT((P+1)÷2)+V×(P−1)+L

You're right. It's the
formula for getting the lace length right for Bi-Colour Lacing.

The most famous
Shoelace site in the world is run by Ian Fieggen, a Melbourne bloke. It includes 33 different ways to lace shoes, plus comparisions of lacing methods by comfort, difficulty, visual appeal and ease.

His
photos and diagrams are helpful, to the point and a pleasure to view.

Top photo is Black Bam shoes with cyan trim and cyan & black Checkerboard Lacing. Diagram is Lattice lacing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

musical chairs

The other day we were at what I suppose was Jen & Ken's (Spanish Style) Kitchen Tea and TonyT had hijacked the convo towards fillums. Mel Brooks came up and Cat on Tin Roof then Singing in the Rain.

I supplied a small rant on the Art Deco style of Top Hat from intro lettering, to room design to music to clothes and even how Fred dances rectilinear and not, say, Art Nouveau and curvy like Gene Kelly. Anyway in the first of many mistakes, thinking I’d be clever, I asked TriviaTonyT “What was the first colour musical”?. He quickly counter feinted; “Wizard of Oz”, just as I mumbled out “Gigi”.

Now I‘d always had in my mind that Gigi was the first colour musical but no, TonyT and his coterie of female admirers insisted that the first colour musical was “the wiz”. Overwhelmed I subtly shifted the conversation across to The Producers or Curb or something.




Now I’ve looked it up:
“Gigi is a 1958 motion picture musical”

“The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on August 12, 1939 and Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on August 15, 1939. The New York City premiere at Loew's Capitol Theater on August 17, 1939 was followed by a live performance with Judy Garland and her frequent film co-star Mickey Rooney. They would continue to perform there after each screening for a week. The movie opened nationally on August 25, 1939.”

However:
“the first all color all talking musical feature was entitled On with the Show (1929). The most popular film of 1929 was in fact the second all-color all-talking feature which was entitled Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929).’

So there. 

Listen to Tip-Toe Through The Tulips (mp3) from Gold Diggers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ac/dc gs-t & nabakov melbourne tuesday


For Shaun Cronin


Fans, under signage and behind cameras, and smokers on crutches, in low key homage.


Adelaide visitor snaps memories of vibrant lane culture to take home.
(As always. Click on image for more involving experience)

Friday, September 14, 2007

train fragments

"Nah.Yeah. No I haven't moved far. Born,brought up and went to school in Resso. Now I've moved to Tommo."

van curries favour - again

Director Alan Parker and a smattering of the non-stars of The Commitments reminisce about the "small film with a big heart and a foul mouth". The best backstage story comes when it emerges that Van Morrison was briefly considered for the role of Joey "The Lips" Fagan. According to writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (of Porridge fame) Morrison, the soul of charm as ever, began their meeting by brandishing the script and growling, "Well this is crap, isn't it?"


From: Radio Times.  Movie Connections, Monday 17 September, 10:35pm - 11:15pm, BBC1, The Commitments

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

i know it was father's day but wtf?

Singer Van Morrision is a dad again.

His wife Michelle Rocca gave birth to a baby boy in Mount Carmel at the weekend but details have just emerged.

The couple had kept the pregnancy a secret from the public as they did with their first child - a baby girl who was born last year.

No other details of the new arrival were revealed.

From Radio Telefís Éireann

Eolas faoi RTÉ
Is Craoltóir Seirbhíse Poiblí é RTÉ, eagraíocht neamhbhrabúis faoi úinéireacht mhuintir na hÉireann. Is é RTÉ ceannródaí tras-mheán na hÉireann, a sholáthraíonn seirbhísí teilifíse, raidió agus seirbhísí ar líne saor go haer, seirbhísí atá cuimsitheach agus éifeachtach ó thaobh costais  de, ar seirbhísí iad atá ar ardchaighdeán agus atá neamhchlaonta de réir oibleagáidí reachtúla RTÉ.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

happy birthday (& father's day) van


My favourite grumpy old musical pioneer and genius was 62 on Friday. All the best Ivan George. The big surprise is that Van is, allegedly, a father again. His partner, the extremely attractive TV presenter and former Miss Ireland, Michelle Rocca and Van are said to be the parents of 17 months old Aibhe Rocca Morrison. Silly old bugger. Serves him right to be up all night I say. Anyway happy Father's Day Van.

To celebrate I'm watching the DVD of Van Morrison: Live At Montreux 1974/ 1980 through again. You can pick it up at JBs for about $14. Do yourself a big favour. (I'm looking at you Amanda Flop). To tide you over until then this clip of Van doing Summer time in England gives a good example of the man in action. I worry that YouTube sound is substandard and played through small computer speakers is even more degraded. I just hope that sensible people don't restrict their listening to lossy compressed sound over computer speakers. But I'm afraid they do.

Anyway. It's traditional amongst true believers (and shoddy journalists) to celebrate Van's milestones with stories of grumpiness. Here's my latest; Glen Hansard from The Frames, support group to Bob on the recent tour, went to a birthday party for Van:

About 10 years ago I was invited by a mutual friend to Van’s 50th birthday. Me and my girlfriend drove to his huge country house. Van was there, Jerry Lee Lewis and his wife, some friends and children as well as some dogs (smiles). An all intimate small circle and a unique experience. Some time during the evening a woman came to us and whispered: “Come to the living room, Van sings some songs.” So we all went there, Van and Jerry were singing and it was incredibly touching.

Q: You must have been in seventh heaven?

A: Both were drunk, sang country songs and I WAS in heaven. A bit later that evening, Van asked whether anyone would like to hear a certain song. I was completely insecure whether I should say something or not and refrained. When he shortly afterwards asked again, whether there was nobody who had a request I worked up the courage and said: “Hungry for your love”. “Hungry for your love” is a song from the “Wavelength” album which I adore. Van looked at me coolish and said: “You don’t know me!” I turned around and left the room. That was exactly, what you never want to hear from your idol. It was rude and impolite.

Q: So he really is the grumpy man that everyone thinks he is?

A: He often is grumpy. A little bit later my girlfriend came to look after me and made me go in again. Van was still singing and I enjoyed it. At the same time I was very hurt. He asked whether anybody wants to sing something and my girlfriend said: “Glen will play!" Van looked around, came up to me, handed me his guitar and left the room. I felt so terrible. I played a song and people liked it. When I played a second song, Van returned and after I finished he asked me: “What was it that you wanted to hear?” I replied: “Hungry for your love.” “Do you know it?” I said: “Yes”. And he said: “Okay ­ then sing it!” He really asked me to sing his song.

Q: Your favourite song.

A: My favourite song by him. I really sang it on his request. When I had finished we went into another room. Van sat down with me, handed me his guitar and said: “Play for me!” So I played for him and we then spent the whole night there singing his songs. It was completely unreal and a giant challenge. One of those stories you can make a film of: Young man meets his idol, is spurned by him and in the end wins his recognition. It was fantastic. When I should sum up the whole thing: I was in the company of a great artist, watched his fingers, his mouth and the way he was forming words. A top-class lesson, having the chance to watch the master at work. It is hard to explain, how much you can learn in such a situation, just to watch a great artist. But it is unbelievable how much you learn. I literally sucked in the information. I was 21 or 22 years old, open and absorbed everything. And I am sure that he wasn’t aware of how much he gave me. But I still live on today from what he gave me then. And “Yes” ­ I would love to do an album with him.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

rudd gropes stripper

I'm sick of these politicians.

Outflanked by Howard on the pork barrelling and throwing money at any project dreamt up by a rural town of less than 10,000 people Rudd and his spin doctors have cynically either constructed an "incident" out of two pots of light beer and a walk past a lap dancing venue or they have resurrected one of the total of three known occasions of Kev's actual and real nights on the turps and refashioned it, in a less than springsteenesque narrative of a subsequent stagger around the late openers and fleece joints around New Jersey.

The timing is suspicious - just when the average voter is getting truly jack of Kristian Kev and his Hillsong Happy Clappers- here we have, oh so conveniently, a concocted misdemeanour, which will turn out not to be a downer (nb: pun) but will turn out to be a fillip to Rudd’s poll rating. Watch the Opposition other mob led by Howard and Downer look pathetic while trying to land a blow, below the belt, so to speak and not succeeding. Watch the woman in the cul-de-sac at Caroline Springs shrug with a yes-it’s-a-bit-sleazy-but-so-what, into the “current affairs” camera and watch her eyes say “Perhaps he’d make an ok PM after all.”

Saturday, August 18, 2007

bob melbourne reviews

bob melbourne reviews

dylan melbourne set list 17 august 2007

Rod Laver Arena  Melbourne August 17, 2007

1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob on electric guitar)
2. It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on electric guitar)
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on electric guitar)
4. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)
5. John Brown (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass)
6. The Levee's Gonna Break (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandollin, Tony on standup bass)
7. When The Deal Goes Down (Bob on electric keyboard, Tony on standup bass)
8. Things Have Changed (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on violin)
9. Desolation Row (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Tony on standup bass)
10. Honest With Me (Bob on electric keyboard)
11. Spirit On The Water (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Tony on standup bass)
12. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on electric keyboard)
13. Nettie Moore (Bob on electric keyboard)
14. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard, Tony on standup bass)
15. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on electric keyboard and harp)

(encore)

16. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on electric keyboard)
17. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on electric keyboard)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

in the electric mist with confederate dead


Above: Buddy Guy as Hogman Patin in the film.
Further signs that things are generally on the up and up.  In addition to James Lee Burke having a new Robicheaux book out in USA [see post below] the second Robicheaux film based on In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead is in post production.

The first, and so far only film, is Heaven’s Prisoners a goldmine of bayou scenery and well cast
minor characters, but a huge flop in terms of Alex Baldwin miscast as Robicheaux and Kelly Lynch not quite as bad, as Dave’s wife.

This time around it already smells good. Tommy Lee Jones as Dave and Levon Helm and
Buddy Guy as minor characters. Sadly for us tragics no Clete. The director is Bertrand Tavernier so the Hollywood clichés that marred Heavens Prisoners are likely to be few.

The music, only nodded to in Heaven’s Prisoners, looks to be upfront and funky in this film. Buddy Guy, Louisiana born, plays Hogman Patin, the zydeco/bluesman who has info on two murders that Dave is investigating. The film uses Nathan Williams & The Zydeco Cha Chas to round out Hogman's Band.

Reports are of Buddy Guy digging the accordion and doing a zydeco version of "Stone Crazy"
and "Damn Right, I Got the Blues," as well as an original "Birthday Song" that Buddy wrote for the film. Word is that the obligatory extras that accompany all DVD releases will contain 3 or 4 live full songs that aren't in the film.


Below: Nathan Williams as himself with the Zydeco Cha-Chas

Friday, August 03, 2007

guess what i've got

Clues:
1 - I hope it rains over the weekend for about 4 hours
2 - I'll light a fire
3 - I'll crack a good red
4 - I have all the other works
5 - It's the first hardback of this cat I've owned
6 - It landed on my doorstep today
7 - Cost au$26 landed
8 - Took only a week to get here
9 - No release date yet for Australia
10 - I'm smug

Last paragraph of the first chapter:

" But that was before Katrina. That was before a storm with greater impact than the bomb blast that struck Hiroshima peeled the face off southern Louisiana. That was before one of the most beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere was killed three times, and not just by the forces of nature."

Thursday, August 02, 2007

next dot con bubble

Often someone else says it better. From John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine:

" Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results—a bust. It's déjà vu all over again. And since this moment in time is only the beginning of the cycle, the best nuttiness has yet to emerge. Nevertheless, this is not to say that a lot of nuttiness hasn't already happened.

If we look closely, the 1999 dot-com bubble was nothing new. We saw all sorts of bubbles before the dot-com one. For instance, there was the CD-ROM bubble. Remember all the CD-ROM companies? Bill Gates's "Information at Your Fingertips" was the watchword. Microsoft itself started a unique division called Microsoft Home. The whole scene collapsed almost overnight.

Each succeeding bubble has been worse than its predecessor. Thus nobody is actually able to spot the cycle, since it just looks like a continuum. I can assure you that after this next collapse, nobody will think of the dot-com bubble as anything other than a prelude.

Before the CD-ROM bubble, pad-based computing was all the rage. Every company and a lot of start-ups were going to make this kind of computer. It was a total bust. Before that we had the software wars, when you could choose from dozens and dozens of word processors and spreadsheets. And don't forget the IBM PC clone wars in there somewhere. These all resulted in one sort of collapse or another.

I think you get the idea.

Each of these bubbles had a distinctive theme. For the dot-com bubble, it was e-commerce—it really should have been called the e-commerce bubble. Everything was focused on how the Internet was going to destroy all existing brick-and-mortar operations. We were told that you'd be buying sandwiches over the Internet and having them delivered the next day by FedEx. Everything was about "eyeballs" and finding ways to attract customers, whether they bought anything or not. Every article in every newspaper in the country parroted the litany as to how you'd be out of business in a year or two if you were not present on the Web in a big way. Of course, this was all crap.

The current bubble, already called Bubble 2.0 to mock the Web 2.0 moniker, is harder to pin down insofar as a primary destructive theme is concerned. A number of unique initiatives, however, are in play here. Let's look at a few of the top ideas floating the new bubble.

Neo-social networking. Today everything from YouTube to the local church has a social-networking angle. And this doesn't even consider the actual social-networking sites, from MySpace to LinkedIn to Facebook to even Second Life. This scene is totally out of control and will contribute to the collapse for sure.

Video mania. With dozens and dozens of YouTube clones cropping up to get on the "throw money away" bandwagon, you must sense that the eventual shakeout in this space will have a negative impact.

User-generated content. This idea has been around since Usenet and just keeps improving. It will make no contribution to the overall collapse except for users reporting the collapse.

Mobile everything. Here is another concept that has been in play since the mid-1990s. It cannot trigger a collapse since it will never fully get off the ground, although the iPhone mania may be a bad sign of something.
Ad-leveraged search. Most search engines will fail as a matter of course. This segment of the industry is mundane. It would be affected by a crash but not trigger one.

Widgets and toolbars. I cannot see the widget scene going crazy, and the jury is still out on toolbars. But there is the potential for nuttiness, I think. The problem here is that these things tend to be dependent on the stability of operating systems and browsers. One bad operating-system patch and suddenly nothing works.

You can come up with your own theories about the next collapse. Your guess as to the cause will be as good as mine. All I can tell you is that it's a sure thing.
"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

yesterday upon the stair


I'm on a bit of a J.P Donleavy kick. Everyone knows that the Shane McGowan/Pogues Fairytale of New York, beside being possibly the best song written in the last 50 years, was named after J.P's novel of the same name.

He's just turned 80, J.P. not Shane, and he was on BBC Desert Island Discs back in March.

Here's his Desert Island list:
1. The Water of Tyne: Farnham Youth Choir
2. Oh Susannah: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
3. Annie Laurie: The Red Army Ensemble
4. Second movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major: Helen Grimaud
5. Land of My Fathers: Fron Male Voice Choir
6. Parce Mihi Domine: The Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Garbarek
7. The Humming Chorus: Puccini
8. Part of the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto: Maurizio Pollini w. Berlin Phil

Saturday, July 28, 2007

etta james in hospital


The great Etta James is off the B.B. King Blues Festival tour as she recovers from complications stemming from abdominal surgery. She has been replaced on the tour by Little Richard, two years older than her at 71.

The 69-year-old James is reported to be in a stable condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is suffering post-operation complications from mid-June abdominal surgery.

In recent years she has struggled with obesity and reached more than 400 pounds, experiencing mobility and joint problems that frequently confined her to a wheel chair. In 2003, James underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost over 200 pounds.

Friday, July 27, 2007

retail deceit or ignorance

A couple of recent retail encounters have left me bothered and bewildered but not bewitched. Some retail people are either willfully ignorant or simply liars.

The other week. Suburban shopping strip and hub.

Strolling into the OPSM eyewear shop I ask if they have any Silhouette rimless glasses like the ones I already have. Rimless, light, fold flat and will fold into a flat hard case that is light.

- “No. They don’t make then anymore”

Me quizzically: “You sure? I only got these last year and the latest range is on the web”

– “No they don’t make them anymore”. Ok then. Alright.

So I walk around the corner and up the block into another optometrist.


- “Sure – ones like you have now or would you like to look at the latest range?”

Today. JB HIFI.

“I’m looking for LightScribe writable blank CDs and DVDs”

– “Nope – you can only get them overseas. You’ll have to import them”

Me quizzically – “Oh Really”. Ok then. Alright.

So I drive down to Harris Technology and choose from amongst three different brands of Light Scribe Ready CDs and DVDs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ac dc

I've buggerised around and done something like this:




But I could have done something like this:


I read all this and more but it still hasn't stopped the annoying buzz I get when listening to AM Radio.

Don't laugh. Some people not only still listen to AM Radio but actually care about fidelity.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

update on inputs

Fred Neil at Cafe Wha? 1961 accompanied by Karen Dalton and young folkie Bob Dylan

The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan, 2nd edition, Nigel Williamson.
This is surprisingly good. A good buy for the person that doesn't have much DylanLit. It covers most of the better written stuff and has a good album guide and a comprehensive collection of useful bits and pieces by Williamson who is respectful but not afraid of the odd opinion of his own. Good history and context. If, like me, you have too many Dylan books, then this one is useful for the way it brings them together. It's a book worth having whether you are a Dylan tragic or just want to know a bit more, or to start on the way to being a tragic

Do it yourself Camera and Music Phone Projects. 24 cool things you didn’t know you could do, Ari Hakkarainen - Exciting stuff like – share photos by email - I didn't really give it much time.

Audio deMystified, A self teaching guide. By Stan Gibilisco - includes voltage-current-resistance circuits, Phase Difference, Waveforms, Impedance matching, properties of sound.
Interesting, hard core, techhead stuff, with diagrams. Didn’t help me get rid of the buzz I get on AM radio when I turn on those bloody greenie mini fluorescents in every room.

Aliens Why They are Here, Bryan Appleyard.

I could do without the first half that talks about the various experiences people have had with aliens, but the second half, it is divided into two halves, (no not three halves), is a wonderful exploration of how we have built up certain images and characteristics of aliens. It also looks at the conventions of how we should greet and alien and yes it does touch on the sexual explorations. Well worth a read of the second bit.

The Celtic Book Of Living And Dying, An Illustrated Guide to Celtic Wisdom, Juliette Wood.
Delightfully put together with illustrations and photos by an academic who has written for the general reader.

DVD - AILEEN – The Selling Of a Serial Killer and Life and Death of a Serial Killer. – 2 documentaries about Alieen Wournos who was executed in 2002 for killing seven men in Florida USA. By Nick Broomfield

CD - Summertime - Sarah Vaughan – – 17 well known standards

CD - Original Seeds Vol 2 – Songs that inspired Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
I ended up liking this more than I expected. Includes lots of big sounding vocals – Harry Belefonte, Tom Waits, The Bobsta, Elvis, Nina Simone, Iggy, and even the Gang of Four. But I was most impressed by the inclusion of
Hoyt Axton and Fred Neil.

Fred’s song A Little Bit Of Rain inspired me to scruffle amongst the vinyl to pull out the
Fred Neil albums and give them a hearing again. I’ve always liked Fred and this just reminded me how good he was. Fred was acknowledged as a huge influence and teacher by Dylan and many others including John Sebastian, Paul Kantner, Richie Havens, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Felix Pappalardi, Josh White, Jr., Denny Doherty. Let me quote from the wiki entry on Fred:

"Neil was an accomplished professional musician atypically inclined to a very modest frugality. "Candy Man", his first of two Top-40-hit compositions, substantially introduced him to a sufficient income stream for life in his early 20s; he became increasingly disinclined to work if he did not feel like it. Consequently his two fully realized albums are remarkable for their singularly unpretentious authenticity. His combination of baritone vocal and 12-string guitar remains unusual, and his combo recordings provide his shimmering melodies with muscular grooves; but his exemplarity is that of resolving the apparent opposition between aesthetic integrity and commercial value almost entirely in favour of aesthetic integrity, which gives all of his recordings a unique historical resonance. "

CD - My Name is BuddyRy Cooder – on high rotation - this probably deserves its own post later. Buddy is a Cat on the road in the depression – great Cooder.

White Dog (Jack Irish Thriller) and Broken Shore Peter Temple – I was re-reading both these before the
Golden Dagger Award. Since Broken Shore I had put Temple up with James Lee Burke so it was good timing to hear him win.

The Question of Life, An Invitation to Philosophy,
Fernando Savater

The Coast Road Peter Corris – 2004 – a Cliff Hardy gig. Nicely plotted but I reckon Cliff needs to show his age a bit more and wander down the Kurt Wallander path – but would that be un-Australian?

Cherry Pie by Leigh Redhead - the latest Simone Kirsch book. Kirsch is a stripper who is saving to set up her own PI agency but still takes on PI work. I've only just started but it's heading to comedic country too fast for me at the moment. The previous books were set in Melbourne inner city. This one is about to head to Sydney. Which brings me to:

Sucked In
- Shane Maloney’s new Murray Whelan escapade. Is it just me or has Maloney written Whelan into a tight corner with his upward rise in politics? A bit too light and funny for me this time but then Whelan has never really been hard boiled. Rather Maloney has taken elements of hard boiled and used them to paint an accurate and endearing picture of our Melbourne. And good on him for it. It’s a bit churlish of me to expect a Dave Robicheaux or Joe Cashin every time. I‘ll just wait until Temple gets Cashin into Melbourne. It occurs to me that if Murray Whelan gets to retire and not be so much part of the political machine before he’s too old we might see some better Murray to come.

The End of Oil – The Decline of the Petrol Economy and the Rise of the new Energy order – Paul Roberts.

Two Trains Running Andrew Vachss

The CEO of The SofaP J O’Rourke

The Crimes of Jordan WiseBill Pronzini – an enjoyable well constructed novel of one man’s successful crime.

Sex Thugs and Rock and Roll and Most People I Know - Billy Thorpe – giant edition with both books in one. Spookily I picked this up off the new books table at the library two days before Thorpe died. Thorpie tells a good a tale and does an important job of getting down some of the early days of rock and roll in Australia but his insights are restricted to placing himself at the centre of all action. May even be true. Some useful stories about the early days in Melbourne and the pace of life for working bands in the heyday. I was reminded by this book that Dylan’s publisher was the subject of legal action by Mick Slocum of the Bushwhackers about Dylan's arrangement of "Jim Jones." Dylan's publisher was forced to concede their error.

New Orleans Noir – Edited by Julie Smith short noirish stories set in the Big slEasy - some set before Katrina others after. Great snacking if you are a crime noir buff and who isn’t.

Lost Michael Robotham the unknown Australian crime writer – even Temple name checked him – sets his stuff in UK. I haven’t made up my mind.

Convincing Ground – Learning to fall in love with your country - Bruce Pascoe – a book about aboriginals around the Otways and an invitation to look at our history and country through indigenous eyes. Having grown up around the Otways this is the book I wish was available years ago. I’ll try a do a bigger write up later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

art offspring no 1


Illustrations for an article on train travellers in XPAT Magazine Taiwan

Sunday, June 24, 2007

friday (ish) cat

From Saturday's AGE. This pic accompanied an article on restaurant food standards breaches.

Advice for bloggers* usually suggests posting regularly. I'm sure other advice would suggest that after a brief absence one should slide slowly back into gear by first posting a cat pic. No doubt another bit of advice would be to try and remember both your login and password.

* in a boytonesque** flourish my spell checker suggests, boggers, loggers, floggers or sloggers. Say no more.

** careful with that lower case eugene

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

bogged blog

Climate change. Rain. Soaked. Rising tide lifts all boats.

Bet best
blogs become bogged bound becalmed but better by bouncing back.

Be Back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

friday cat blog

Please could you treat the post below as a Friday Cat Blog for this week.

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

canada cuddle cat can't countenance carrier

John Samborski's cat, Shadow, is accused of scaring away letter carriers.
THROUGH rain, sleet or snow, sure. But the mail doesn't get through when Shadow the house cat is around. Unfortunately for Shadow's owner, John Samborski, the animal's the reason a postal carrier refuses to deliver mail directly to a Winterton Avenue bungalow.
Thursday, Samborski received a notice from Canada Post stating due to Shadow's alleged growling, carriers will no longer deliver mail to the home of the declawed feline. The letter states due to "unsafe access" for carriers, Samborski will have to pick up mail at a Nairn Avenue postal outlet about four kilometres away until other arrangements are made with Canada Post.

"This is ridiculous. When we got the letter, we were like, 'What is this?' " said Samborski, 41, a material controller at a Winnipeg factory. He and his partner, who did not want her name used, both said they were shocked about the Canada Post letter concerning their eight-year-old cat.
"This is Shadow. He likes to eat and sleep and cuddle. You could drop a bomb and he'd just open one eye, take a look, then close them and go back to sleep," said Samborski.

The feline lounged lazily on the front lawn of Samborski's home Thursday afternoon, napping in the sun and rolling on its back when visitors approached, nuzzling their hands. The cat remained silent during a visit from a Winnipeg Free Press reporter. Samborski said he called a Canada Post telephone number listed on the one-page notice delivered to their house and talked to a supervisor, but remained flummoxed about allegations Shadow hid under their porch stairs and growled at postal workers.

Samborski said Shadow spends some time outside. However, he said, Shadow's never had any problems with anyone -- including children who live in the neighbourhood or Duke, a large Weimaraner dog who lives in the same home. "I'm angry; we don't have the time for this," he said. "We're not putting our carriers at risk."

A spokeswoman for Canada Post said the federal Crown corporation takes the safety of postal carriers very seriously. "The letter carrier who delivers mail there, you know, she was brought up on a farm, she is very comfortable with animals. Apparently this is a very threatening cat," said spokeswoman Kathi Neal.

Neal said the regular postal carrier did not go to Shadow's house on Thursday, and her supervisor went instead to drop off the notice and to ask Samborski to call the depot to work out a resolution.
"This is a last resort. What we would do is send out a notice... that would invite the customer to call the depot and sort the matter out, or failing that, we will stop delivery to that address," she said.
A neighbour said there is a small group of aggressive cats who run amok on Winterton Avenue due to careless owners, but Shadow isn't one of them. [my emphasis]

Cat attacks on letter carriers are extremely rare, but they do happen, according to Ken Hatch. The longtime letter carrier once stepped over a sleeping cat while delivering mail in the West End and accidentally startled the animal awake.
"It jumped up and twisted in the air and bit me on the back of the calf," said Hatch, who was left with "four little puncture wounds" from the irate feline.
with file from Lindsey Wiebe
gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca


NB: This post forms part serving of my Community Treatment Order after I made my usual smartarse slightly lighthearted jibes about Lenny's illness over at Elsie D'Where

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

bogan gate

Old Bogan Gate Railway Station converted to craft shop
Like me, many others are fascinated with news articles on what appears to be domestics and particularly on shootings that don't seem to add up and those with more than a suggestion that the backstory may be just as interesting as the reported incident. All the more fascination then that one such incident should happen at a place of about 200 people called Bogan Gate.

Essentially the
SMH story suggests that a local farmer was shot on his farm the other night.
A shotgun was fired at his stomach, and then at his back as he tried to flee. Naturally, as is always the way with these incidents; The case has stunned the small farming community, where Mr Rix is known as a quiet and hardworking family man with no apparent enemies.

Mrs Rix, 33, said she was co-operating with Parkes police to piece together events of that evening but there were too many "blank spaces"

A world weary person might have read the article, snorted into their shiraz, and suggested that most shootings of this kind involve family members or persons in close relationship and that there wasn't too much mystery about it. Others, less worldly, but just as weary, might worry into their tea and biscuits, about the increasing level of random violence in our cities and how no one is safe and once again ponder a move to safer rural climes.

Others might follow up with the outcomes of the article and note a day later that:

About 11am today a 33-year-old Bogan Gate woman attended Maroubra Police Station where she was arrested by detectives from the Lachlan Local Area Command. She was charged with shoot at with intent to murder and conspire and agree to murder any person. The woman was bail refused to appear at Waverley Local Court tomorrow. About 10am a 44-year-old Condobolin man attended Parkes police station where he was arrested by detectives. He is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

We would all hope that the victim is recovering.

The
Urban Dictionary (thats Urban not Urbane as a quick glance will attest) defines Bogan ..as an Australian term used to describe members of society that are a combination of what the Yanks call Rednecks, Jocks and Trailer Park Trash. most likely found wearing mockies, flanalette (sic) shirts and consuming VB (bad Aussie beer). Large amount of bogans can be found living in The Borough, Bendigo, Aust

Having lived adjacent to
the Borough for a few years I don't have a lot of quarrel with that definition.
Bogan Gate was also the home of writer
Merrill Findlay, who although I haven't heard of her, seems to be varied and prolific in her output.

Unsurprisingly to those of us familiar with small country towns
Bogan Gate has a war memorial.

Having served my apprenticeship as a country yob until post the age of majority I then returned for a short stint with a young family, and then escaped back to the safety of a large urban environment, for my kids sake as well as my own. I've long felt safer around the city late at night than I do in any country town.

When I mention to people that part of my reasons for leaving the country and staying in the city are to do with the escaping the violent crime, entrenched sexism and rampant and institutionalised nepotism and corruption extant in the country, I'm treated with the condescension usually provided to the contrarian grump. As if somehow it's just a stance. A quirk of my skewed take on life.

Not only in my research are there greater rates of most crimes in rural areas, the crimes are also more violent. In addition it's my experience that crime, particularly violence between men, domestic violence, violence on kids and sexual assaults are substantionally under-reported in the country.

Strangely enough tonight Australia Talks on Radio National is dealing with the topic of rural crime. The writers of the book Crime in Rural Australia Edited by Elaine Barclay, Joseph F Donnermeyer, John Scott and Russell Hogg and others who have studied it are providing the facts I have often quoted. Predictably the rural boosters are ringing in with stories of how safe they feel. How they leave their cars unlocked.


I have to stop listening as I'm going to that fine Australian Film NOISE.
I'll download the podcast later a listen to it all and probably order the book, Crime In Rural Australia.

Listen Now or Download MP3 for Later

Update: Following on from Amanda's comment it comes as a shock to see that the police have charged the man's wife with conspiracy to murder.
"She had earlier issued passionate appeals to find the man who shot her husband, calling the crime an "absolute mystery".
And his mother had also issued a plea for help the other day:
His mother, Mary Rix, had earlier appealed for help to find the person responsible. "This fellow is still running around. How can my son and his wife go back to their farm after this?" she said.

FXH says: Yes indeed. How can they go back after this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

melbourne music blog

These cats at Across The Rooftops seem to get around a lot and blog on Melbourne music and gigs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

virginia tech

I'm slackjawed to discover there is a category of crime called "most people killed in an education/campus massacre in USA".

Why doesn't anyone burst into an aged care home and slaughter 30 residents?

I'm all for draconian gun laws.

I salute John Howard for his effort after Port Arthur.

I'm a bit out of practice, but just for the record I can outshoot most right to bear arms gun huggers. And I have the trophies to prove it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

apollo bay music festival


It's the 15th Annual Apollo Bay Music Festival from 20th - 22 of April this year. We'll be going. Missed it last year and some other times but we have attended most of them.

It started off as a sort of an after party the following  weekend if I rememeber correctly, to Portland Folk Festival and as a point of difference and music taste billed itself as a Blues and Jazz festival. And blues and jazz and a bit of other it was.  Then there was the welcome addition of the "experimental" with such show stealers as ForePlay, then they had taste in country music  and it had good country and alt and punk and rock' a' billy and  real country. And old surf music. And  still unheard of great jazz combos and blues. Not much folk.

It was great because in the Bay the festival has a few tents along the forshore and that is really one side of the main street. And then most of the gigs are in pubs, cafes, licenced clubs such as the bowls and the old Mechanics Hall /Flics theatre which manages to have a licence.

So that if a group or act is HOT the word goes around over the days and one plans to catch them doing a late gig at say one of the pubs where they can and do "go off" "go fully sick". No room for old guys in sandals over socks, knitted jumpers been over washed in machine and full Ned K beards with chubby (2nd) wifes in pastel trackies and folded chairs and thermos.

Now there been a bit of a squabble in town. Festival has got too popular. Now some want to professionalise it. Get in more name artists and sell dearer ticks. So this year is a bit uninspiring for us who like to see new and up and coming and perhaps some weird like Bob Log 111 who I first encountered live at the Bay.

This year it boasts: Paul Kelly, Linda & Vicka, Hoodoogurus, and so on. Worthy perhaps but. yawn. And you can see them all at any expensive day out at a winery.

Wheres the interest. I haven't found any country yet in the program, maybe some jazz.

Anyway. We need the break. Didn't get away at easter. So we are going on the friday and staying on after it finishes until Tuesday when we'll go up to Colac and meet up with old childhood friends and go out for boozy meal. We've snaffled a house out at Marengo.

Anyone else going to the Bay. Got any recomendations?

Oh I see
Cindi Boste 
The Sparnetts
Maurice Frawley & The Yard Hands 
and the Detonators
are going to be there so it won't be all bad. The Audreys (pictured above) should be good.

Friday, March 30, 2007

been up been down been away

Had a CAT Scan. No. Not that sort Virginia.


Oops. Not that sort either.

This sort. Where you also get a DVD of all the images so you can race home, download
AMIDE and view all the images and confidently and usefully self diagnose. Before finding out that the wonderful IrfanView can read .dcm images anyway. Here's my inner being revealed below.

Oh and the Wedding.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

brian burke scandal pope resigns

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II TO H.E. Mr. BRIAN THOMAS BURKE, THE NEW AMBASSADOR OF AUSTRALIA TO THE HOLY SEE
Monday, 31October 1988


Mr Ambassador,
I am happy to accept from Your Excellency the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Australia to the Holy See. In offering you a warm welcome, I wish also to thank you for the cordial greetings which you have conveyed to me from the Governor General, the Prime Minister and the Government and people of Australia.


I would ask you to be so kind as to reciprocate these good wishes. At the same time I assure you of my continued prayers for the harmony and prosperity of all the citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia. [more...]

lucinda williams

A while back I wrote about the WEST album:

Maybe it's what we used to call the crossover album.

and,

It occurred to me that this album might be the one that non country fans might buy and consequently get curious about the back catalogue.

I claim "I Told You So" rights.

Just heard WORDS today at 11:30 am on Jon Faine's ABC local talk radio show.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

let's do lunch sometime


Private Room:
This cosy private room seats up to 14 guests. It is located within the dining room with a closed door option. The Private Room is ideal for intimate get togethers or business meetings.


Monday, March 05, 2007

the necks@melb town hall + organ

I went to see The Necks on Friday. Magnificent. I can't do better than Jessica Nicholas from THE AGE

PIPED
The Necks, Melbourne Town Hall, March 2
If god were to create a sermon for the 21st century, he might well choose the Necks to write the soundtrack.
Sonically, there is nothing more imposing or impressive than a 10,000-pipe grand organ - especially in the hands of Necks pianist Chris Abrahams. Visually, too, the Melbourne Town Hall's gargantuan organ makes for a majestic backdrop. Friday night's "congregation" was suitably awed, listening in rapt silence to two lengthy Necks sets before responding with the kind of ecstatic appreciation that would make a charismatic preacher swoon.


The first set was dominated by Abrahams and the organ. Although all three players (Abrahams, bassist Lloyd Swanton and drummer Tony Buck) were actively engaged, Abrahams produced such extraordinary sounds that it was impossible to tear one's ears away. Exploring the seemingly endless sonic effects of the organ in discrete clusters of notes, arpeggios and occasional chords, the keyboardist created an unearthly orchestra that encompassed church bells, tubas, synthesised voices, pneumatic drills and a deep, rumbling vibration that was felt more than heard.

The second set took an entirely different course. Buck led the dynamics and overall shape of the piece. He began by kneading a small hand-held cymbal against his snare, beating it at irregular intervals. As the organ arrived quietly behind him - sounding like the hum of a train in a distant tunnel - Buck unleashed a violent thud that caused the audience to leap in shock. The sense of theatre continued as Swanton rubbed the bass strings to produce reverberations that echoed Abrahams' trembling overtones.

The trio quickly built an intuitive momentum, Swanton and Buck finding a syncopated heartbeat within Abrahams' sustained chords. After reducing the tempo to a slow, stately march, Buck initiated another thunderous climax that pulsed with punk-like energy and drill-like precision. As the piece drew to a close, the sound of church bells drifted across the auditorium - a jangling, crystal effect like chandeliers being moved about in heaven's antechamber. Beautiful.

FXH: I also caught Dale Watson at the Prince. Twang heaven. And The Handsome Family and Darling Downs @ Brunswick East Club. And Sally Ford and the Pachuco Playboys. All good.

PS: The Necks in the last piece were much much more overwhelmingly louder than I have ever heard Billy Thorpe.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

next song dedicated to john from maxine

“It’s Bennelong time,
Bennelong time,
Bennelong
lonely,
lonely,
lonely,
lonely,
lonely,


.....time”

Thanks to nabla in comments over at Tim Dunlop's

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

tokyo cats


This photo was taken last night. These are Tokyo cats out on the street in winter getting warm by sitting over a set of in-ground street / park lights

Saturday, February 17, 2007

progress report on weekly kpi's

Watching: Cheap Trick Live at Selena’s Sydney DVD 1988

Stopped watching: Dalziel & Pascoe - cos its jumped the shark into The Bill soapie territory from character driven stories.

Listening: Staples Singers collection and Handsome Family bone up for live concert next thursday.

Stopped listening to: WEST Lucinda - see my blog entry below.

Reading: Dummies Guide to Iran; Dummies Guide to Weightlifting and Strength training;
Bury Me Standing, The Gypsies and their Journey, Isabel Fonseca = A grand panorama of European Gypsydom, its histroy, its present condition and its future prospects;

Dying To Win, The Strategic Logic Of Suicide Terrorism, Robert Pape = looks at the facts, stats and concludes:
-suicide terrorism is NOT primarily a product of Islamic fundamentalism,
-the worlds leading practitioners of suicide terroism are The Tamil Tigers - Marxist-Leninist from Hindu families and
-all suicide campaigns have wide support and clear goals that are secular and political
FXH says read it.

Drinking: Little Creatures Pale Ale - very cold.

Eating: with above Little Creatures Gummy Shark @ $23 a Kilo crumbed in Moroccan spices and lightly grilled on each side with asian salad and ginger and lime juice.

Sitting / reclining : Under air con

Going to: Chinese New Year at Box Hill tonight to eat gyoza and Mo Pa To Fu and watch dragons and firecrackers and nightmarket.

Looking forward to: The Handsome Family Gig with The Flood opening and later on Ron Sexsmith, Dale Watson and I think I should also go see Lee Scratch Perry. And also The Australian Chamber Choir on March 3 and the Necks at Melbourne Town hall.

Loathing: Hot Weather

Fearing: Not Sleeping another sweaty greasy whisky priest night.

Texting: The daughter in Taiwan, 新年快乐 Happy New Year, on her way to Kyoto, Japan for a week

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

lucinda williams - west

Available for around $23 at JB Hi-Fi in Melbourne since middle of last week, the WEST album by Lucinda Williams is, as they say, eagerly anticipated, long awaited and ..........a big disappointment for fans.

Initially I thought it was just me. Sometimes the day is wrong, the car not the best place to listen, the couch not the best place to listen, it will be better late at night, a few grogs perhaps, or my non active listening fallback, I'll put it on while cooking.

I'm thinking, where's the twang, who is playing pedal steel, slide, fiddle. Answer no one. At least not so you can hear. OK. I'm cool. It's moody perhaps. It's Lu's Wrecking Ball. Nope. Maybe it's what we used to call the crossover album. Oh well there's 13 tracks must be something soon. Ah. Track 7, Come, On sounds great. Go back turn it up loud. Good. Play it again. And again. No. It won't sustain repeated listening. It's not Changed the Locks.

So maybe this is the album for the girls not us boys. But the most respected female country music blogger in Australia the world, Flop Eared Mule,
reviews it over at Hickory Wind and has a similar thumbs down to me.

Lucinda's voice is magnificent with age. Weary, alive and kicking, but let down by the production, backing, and yes, her own songwriting. I've had much the same problems with Van Morrison's last few albums. His voice is still great enough to hope for more but the songs and arrangements are by-the-numbers.

What was I hoping for? Blood On The Tracks or even Desire,
perhaps Tonights The Night, or highlighting that grain in the voice, an American series type album. Her voice has that quality of Cash's that will reward close mike recording and sparse arrangements. But the songs on this album just aren't there.

It occurred to me that this album might be the one that non country fans might buy and consequently get curious about the back catalogue. I'm not about to put my copy on eBay, but I can't see it getting too many scuff marks from repeated playing.

It's no accident that I compared Lucinda Williams to Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Neil Young.

Life goes on. I'm sitting here waiting for the next album by Lucinda Williams.

Friday, January 26, 2007

accidently patriotic

An ordinary life. Not draped in any flag. Not watching any sport or having thoughts of sport. Walking around outside most of the morning. Hanging out washing. Corned Beef sandwich for lunch reading the papers with a Cascade beer in backyard. Mooching around the net whilst trying to figure out the odd hard disk misbehaviour. Tweaking speakers. Listening to swordfishtrombones for the first time in years. Hello. omg. wtf!!!!

Well it's hotter 'n blazes and all the long faces
there'll be no oasis for a dry local grazier
there'll be no refreshment for a thirsty jackaroo
from Melbourne to Adelaide on the overlander
with newfangled buffet cars and faster locomotives
the train stopped in Serviceton less and less often
There's nothing sadder than a town with no cheer

Vic Rail decided the canteen was no longer necessary there
no spirits, no bilgewater and 80 dry locals
and the high noon sun beats a hundred and four
there's a hummingbird trapped in a closed down shoe store

This tiny Victorian rhubarb
kept the watering hole open for sixty five years
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21
strapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone
there'll be no stopping here
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer
no Bourbon, no Branchwater
though the townspeople here
fought her Vic Rail decree tooth and nail
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21 strapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone

Tom Waits - Town With No Cheer - 1982

Offspring draws up in new purchase. 1995 Commodore V6 Acclaim.

Bugger me.

I'm patriotic without even trying.

How Australian is that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

name authority file

Years ago when I borrowed a book from the library it would be stamped in the back with a due date on a card. Often there would also be a card on which various borrowers would initial it to show themselves that they had read the book. Some would write their full name and a few comments, always in pencil. I enjoyed reading the names and comments so much that I took to leaving my name and a few comments penciled in as well. It was often surprising to get a loan of a book that I would have thought was popular and to find that the date on the back of it told a story of only being borrowed once or twice and then not taken out for three years.

Now that’s all gone. The books I get each week are scanned, often by myself, and there’s a truncated printout of what I have borrowed. I can however enter my library online from home or office and access and search the whole catalogue and more. I can see a list of what I have out and I can renew books. I still feel a bit guilty about renewing all my books the day after I borrow them, but I find it saves me many dollars in fines. And I justify it by reminding myself that if I “reserve” a book that is sitting at a far away library in the system, and I do it online to be picked up at my local library then it costs me $1.70. But if I physically walk into my local library and ask for the book to be transferred over it costs nothing. To my mind the online transaction should be cheaper.

Although I can see the books I have out online I cannot save the complete list as a .txt file with author etc. I can, funnily enough, save each book detail one by one on the library’s online system then email the details of each one, one at a time per email, to myself and then cut and paste it into a document. Time consuming and tedious.

I’d like to see a simple system whereby I could call up all the books I’ve borrowed in say the last year, save it as a text file or a .csv file with author etc. I would also like the ability to have a local library Wiki entry for each book where I could simply upload the record and note that I had borrowed an item and add some comments, as could other borrowers. I imagine that it would be helpful for me in choosing other books and I might get to meet others with similar reading interests.


I wonder if any library is fostering this sort of online thing – it seems simple enough to do

Anyway this is what I carried home this week according to my card:

Bert Stern's Jazz on a summer's day [dvd] With : Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Gerry Mulligan, Dinah Washington, Chico Hamilton, Anita O'Day, George Shearing, Jimmy Guiffre, Chuck Berry, Jack Teagarden, Thelonius Monk, Big Maybelle, Sonny Stitt, Eli's Chosen Six ... [et al.].Takes a look at the music, musicians, and spectators at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1958.

Burn : the epic story of bushfire in Australia / Paul Collins.

On murder 2 [text] : true crime writing in Australia edited by Kerry Greenwood.
On murder [text] : true crime writing in Australia edited by Kerry Greenwood.

Continent of mystery : a thematic history of Australian crime fiction Stephen Knight.

Gothic Matilda [text] : the amazing visions of Australian crime fiction -Michael Pollak, Margaret MacNabb.

Complicated shadows : the life and music of Elvis Costello - Graeme Thomson.

Tree-kangaroos of Australia and New Guinea - Roger Martin ; illustrated by Sue Simpson

Mystery : an illustrated history of crime and detective fiction - designed by Christopher Scott. Author: Haining, Peter, 1940-

North of the moonlight sonata. - Kerryn Goldsworthy.

The crime Tsar Nicola McAuliffe.

Visions of the universe : latest discoveries in space revealed Raman K. Prinja

The complete idiot's guide to extreme weather by Julie Bologna and Christopher K. Passante.

Sichuan cookbook [text] Fuchsia Dunlop

Native state [text] Tony Cohan

Call for the dead John le Carre

The education of a young Liberal John Hyde Page.

Slow burn [text] : a Leo Waterman mystery : G. M. Ford.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

more family stuff

Listen
"Moroccan than you"
From the ashes of Sons of Mothers comes Moroccan Kings.
3 slices of talent spliced into a band Mo'Rockin' than any ever.
Late Announcement: The Moroccan Kings also gig late @ 11:30 PM at The Old Bar, Fitzroy, Australia Day Friday 26 Jan 2007
Disclaimer: FXH says: I only breed 'em. The rest, including copywriting, is out of my hands.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

dale watson in australia

Let me beat Floppy to it. I just discovered that the great Dale Watson is doing a week long Oz tour titled Seven Year Itch Tour Feb 24 to March 5th. It's seven years since Dale was last here and after being dudded by promoters he swore he'd never be back.

Watson is the real thing, possibly the new saviour of country, a Honky Tonker who carries on from Bob Wills, Buck and Merle and for my money is the truck drivin' musical cousin of Dwight. If you saw the doco, Naked Nashville featuring Dale on ABC TV a while back you'll be full of admiration.

After an epic battle with Satan during a psychosis triggered by his girlfriend's death in 2002 Dale was hospitalized. Following this and therapy he took up a Courier Drivers job intending to chuck music away to focus on caring for his daughters. After 6 months of driving and living in Baltimore with his kids, friends convinced him that his talent was far too important to ignore. Then Continental Airlines, which sponsors Blue Harbour, a Mental Health awareness and research organisation, sprung Dale regular tickets for flights between his family in Baltimore and his music in Austin Tx in return for promotional performances.

Dale has finished a movie doco on his crazy episode and a tour directed by Zalman King called Crazy Again

From a Real Country Music interview:
E.B. - I've seen you live twice; we could ask you to sing almost any song of country music and you knew the words.

Dale Watson: - Well, that’s country. That’s what I meant before - Honky Tonk. I know what the crowd wants to listen to. I like to be a part of the crowd. I want also to be able to sing the songs that everybody loves, especially George Jones; I wanna do this. It’s making friends along the way. You share music with the audience and if they want to listen to some songs that are not mine - Merle, Conway, Jones, Cash - why should I say no? I enjoy it too. But I’m not going to play any Tim McGraw or anything like that, that’s for sure. It happened to me [one] time. And what I said was “Man, you are in the wrong place tonight; you better ask [for your] money back” (laughs). That was also the reason why I haven’t been able to be a songwriter in Nashville, because they wanted me to write songs that a teenager in the city would like to listen to. I have no idea how to do that; I don’t know what a teenager in the city likes and I don’t want to do that anyway.

Willie says: “I’m one of Dale’s biggest fans”

Do yourself a favour.
I found the photo curtesy of Honky Tonk Highway blog - read it.