"Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again." (E.M. Cioran)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A is for.....

I found this list somewhere in an old pile of photocopied material - pretty sure it's copied (and edited) from an old issue of 'Vague' magazine (published in the '80s in the UK). Here goes:

ART An increasingly inadequate substitute for sex
BLOOD BANK Is there any other kind?
THE BORN-AGAIN Twice too often
CIVILISATION The biosphere's skin disease
CLASS WAR The war to end all wars
COUNTER-CULTURE Less of more of the same
COUPLES Monogamy is monotony
CYNICISM Long since surpassed by events
DISEASE Very dangerous. A leading cause of doctors
ELECTIONS Dumbocracy in action
FEMINISM Equality with men? A paltry ambition
FREE TIME Work the boss doesn't pay you for
FULL EMPLOYMENT A threat, not a promise
GOVERNMENT Guns don't kill. Politicians do
GURUS A good mantra is hard to find
HIPPIES Running on empty
JUDGES Doddering despots in clown suits
LAW Crime without punishment
LAWYERS Life-support systems for mouths
THE LEFT Left behind
LEISURE Paying and playing are mutually exclusive
LIBERALS Conservatives with guilty consciences
LIBERTARIANISM All the freedom that money can buy
MARXISM The highest stage of capitalism
MASOCHISM Like taking your work home with you
MYSTICS Have incommunicable insights they won't shut up about
NECROPHILIA A social disease
NIHILISTS Going beyond good and evil, they stopped half-way
PLEASURE Interludes that accentuate pain
POLICE Terrorists with the right credentials
POLITICS Like a pond, the scum rise to the top
PREJUDICE Folk sociology
PROPERTY Is theft and theft is proper
PUNKS Hippies with amnesia
RADIO EVANGELISTS Less aural sects, more oral sex
RELATIONSHIPS Being alone together
RELIGION Deifying your defects
THE 'SCENE' How to be different like everybody else
SEX An increasingly inadequate substitute for masturbation
SOCIALISTS Sheep in wolves' clothing
TEACHERS Outclassed

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rethinking the Rational

BTW, I take back any previous suggestion that to be 'rational' is a desirable human trait. My mind isn't quite made up on that one.
I talk such a lot of shit.


'I would like to explode, flow, crumble into dust, and my disintegration would be my masterpiece. I would like to melt in the world and for the world to melt..in me..'
- e.m. cioran -

How Could I...

I tried to look at that Zev performance again and couldn't believe I'd originally liked it. On this viewing, it just seemed pretentious and dull. Would've been best as some kind of background installation. Very low-impact and tired. Almost bored.
But then, maybe that was the point.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Performance by Zev

I've always enjoyed Zev's music (both recordings and performance) and performance/installation art. As far back as the 1980s (and probably earlier), he has consistently delivered innovative, challenging and relevant work.

Click this link to view a performance that took place in New York yesterday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


instead of celebrities, politicians and stars
doing all the talking

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Keeping Music Evil - The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Factory (Thurs 28th Aug)

Anything could’ve happened at this gig - or not happened. Newcomers to the band may be forgiven for focusing on front man/songwriter Anton Newcombe’s reputation as a kind of unhinged, drug-addled genius - especially those who arrived at the music via Ondi Timoner’s (albeit fascinating) 2004 documentary DIG - or dismiss him as a mimic. Whatever way you figure it, one thing's for sure. This is sublimely cool music.
In a career spanning back to around 1990, the band has accrued an impressively large catalogue of releases, featuring a sound that suggests '60s and '70s psychedelia. Think early Stones, The Who, The Byrds and, at times, even The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. But the sound is their own and, despite any points of reference, sounds fresh and relevant now as I'm sure it will be in many years to come.

This was the first of two Sydney gigs and an all-ages one. It was Anton's birthday. The 7 band members played for over two hours, with Anton talking and free-associating between songs to the audience and introducing band members. At times, Anton even heckled. We sung 'Happy Birthday' and band members (though not all of them) became progressively wasted, as they passed a bottle of something hard-looking between each other during these breaks. In a recent interview, Anton said that they just like to get drunk and see what happens. I really appreciate that from a music group - the creative, in-the-now approach to playing live (however achieved) - rather than just delivering a perfect set every time - introducing that level of chaos and uncertainty. They seemed to focus on playing their all-out epic, killer songs, including personal favourites from the several BJM cds I own. Somehow, I was transported. It was almost like an out-of-body experience, which lasted for over two blissful hours. I felt like I was being cradled in the arms of long-lost soulmates - in heaven. As if I'd been reunited with my true family, after a lifetime of being alone. Apparently, I was dancing, but I was only aware of the music and of my friend standing close behind me as I kind of floated through the hours. And no, I wasn't intoxicated!

Wonderful playing, but it never lost its rawness and became slick. At times, it actually felt like it could just fall apart, like all the best rock 'n' roll music does. Tambourine man, Joel Gion, serves as a sort of anchor to the music - always beating perfect time and stoically cool in expression, but about midway through songs, I noticed his mouth would have worked its way to being slightly open, with a euphoric smile plastered over it.

A transcendent experience.

Photo credits: Lori Baily

Monday, August 25, 2008


Getting up the other day, things just didn't feel right - a continuous high-pitched drone clearly audible over the other typical sounds of another daily bread day grinding along. Disturbing dream images lingered. Things seemed out of sorts in the kitchen somehow and outside my living room window too, where I caught a flash of something green, somewhere around the building entrance on the opposite side of the road. Walking over to the window, I looked out and saw a group of people in turtle costumes holding a banner - with the words 'Don't Say Ta Ta To Turtles' boldly emblazoned on it (with 'Greenpeace' logo underneath) - facing the street (and my window) for a photographer.
I guess it's not that strange really.
I guess you had to be there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Love Sucks

And so it goes ....... living the life of a serial monogamist. You get to a certain age and start to wonder if relationships are really worth it - the emotional highs and lows, the laughter, tears, pain and inevitable disappointment, and the ensuing retreat back to being on one's own again. I realise I'm sounding like a tortured cynic, but let's face it - nothing lasts forever.
I used to place so much importance on finding a life companion, but somehow it ends up going wrong. Inevitably, I guess I prefer to live alone, but that hasn't stopped me from blaming myself for not compromising enough for the sake of the other person. But just how much of myself was I expected to subdue?
I'm envious of those people who find someone they click with and keep it together. I wonder if they are just faking and forcing it, or if one is simply compromising all for the sake of the other - and biting their own tongues till there is barely a sliver left.

Without wanting to get all feminist about it, I have perceived that men, in general (no one person in particular), expect their women partners to be endlessly agreeable with them; consistently assertive and hot in bed; always interesting, tender, attentive, caring and reassuring; happy to be around them when they're uncommunicative (focused on tv or otherwise distracted); non-talkative, non-complaining, non-confrontational and endlessly placating their egos. We're supposed to put up with moodiness, being undermined, neglected and even taken for granted, but never ever complain. I smehow just can't seem to go the distance, myself.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pressing On

Train fades into abyss
Living walls glow up white
Star night stain shooting fire
Red horizons
A force more bright than death
Tuned to 128,000 separate radio frequencies
Cross bearing Jesus for killing
Civilisations aimed at heavens
The war's already here
What stands if freedom fails?
Who dies if freedom lives?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Autumn Days

Went for a wander, beyond the usual zones, in the aftermath of a storm that had turned day into darkness as the southerly blew in. Fork lightning streaked across the sky and it rained hard. It's less than an hour later and the light is so bright and strange that things appear transparent as I move towards them. Big dried-out plane tree leaves are mounting in the streets and stairs.
Returning the dvd.....

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Female pressure

Give this a whirl:
('Amoureux Solitaires' - music by Jenny Goes Dirty (Jennifer Cardini) & video by 4youreye)

Still confused and missing my friend

Monday, April 07, 2008

Never Trust an Ex

Still a little freaked out. Just can't get a grip on what happened - over two weeks ago now. My best friend, who happens to be my ex-lover, finally felt it was time for him to meet my new lover. It had been years since we'd been intimately involved and I had been with my new partner since last year, so it had been getting a little difficult for me, isolating the two of them from each other and seeing them separately.
My ex and I had talked clearly about it - how we really wanted to remain friends (we do genuinely like each other, after all!) and how, since we consider ourselves older and more mature now, we would rather expand our friendships, rather than reduce them. He had told me he was ready and invited us both for dinner, along with a couple of his other (female) friends, who I am also familiar with.

I should've known something was up after an hour or so, when my ex was clearly having problems getting started on dinner - so that his friend (who'd been at his flat for 4 hours previous to our arrival) actually cooked the food. But aside from seeing him 'drift away' to somewhere in his head sometime after eating - which isn't exactly unlike him - I thought things were going nicely. But then, after one person left (the cook), my ex surprised me in the kitchen as I was tidying up a bit, telling me how difficult it had all been for him, and after this sat down in front of the final three of us and, across the coffee table, proceeded to tell us - almost aggressively - "this has been really difficult for me, you know ...... after seven years ...... seven years ........ but you two, you're good ..." Added to this condescension, was an implied suggestion that he was handing me over to the new person. OK, so it'd been difficult for him. If he'd said this once, it would've been alright. But he just kept repeating it, necessitating a hasty exit on our part. Were we supposed to just sit there, feeling ambushed, tipsy with booze, food and a few hours of pleasantness, and then have a 'deep and meaningful' with him about his feelings? And what made him think it was appropriate to say these things to my (horrified!) new lover, who barely knows him and whose comfort (in this situation) I was responsible for? I felt hurt and betrayed that he would put me in such a position, because I had always felt I could trust him more than anyone else.

He's not around at the moment. When he called - 2 days after the event - and discovered I'd been upset by what had transpired, he was defensive at first and then avoided seeing me for the next 10 days (even after I'd suggested - via an email - that we needed to talk face-to-face about how to move on from there) and then went overseas for his planned 17-day holiday/visit to his family on Tuesday the 1st of April. However, he (predictably) phoned on the Sunday evening before leaving and left a message on my machine and then phoned me the day before departing - no doubt in an attempt to put his mind at ease for the good of his holiday. In the aftermath, he seems perplexed that I should feel this way. He appears to think it was big of him to do what he did and ask us over for dinner. He thinks it was all about him and his feelings - clearly no one else's. But it's not as if he'd been rejected or dumped or cheated on.
Anyway, I couldn't answer my phone, because I suddenly don't know how to relate to him any more. The person I thought I knew doesn't appear to exist.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Listening to........


Pantha du Prince - This Bliss (Dial)
Dark, deep bass and melodic ambience, with a rolling beat and beautiful use of bells. Melancholic, nostalgic, subtly uplifting, but never wimpy. Sort of soothing and punchy at the same time. Rich and luscious.

The Field - From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt)
Wonderful, unique sound. Emotionally charged, deliciously beautiful sequences that switch from one to the other - each pitched differently, yet perfectly complementary to the one following and preceding. Actually, it's best listened to, rather than described.

Chromatics - IV ... Night Drive (Italians Do It Better)
Laid-back synth-pop songs with melancholy vocals (by Ruth Radelet) that are almost deadpan, or somehow bored-sounding. Almost electro, almost pop, with a lovely beguiling quality. It never dominates, but it draws you in to listen, without trying to grab you. The last track - an instrumental - is the longest one and quite different from the others, in that it chugs along somewhat 'Suicide'-like, but slower and without the vocals. Intriguing.

James Holden - At The Controls (Resist)
From 2006, this is an awesome 2-cd mix and the third from the 'At The Controls' series that I've heard. They all share an eclecticism that is really refreshing and this one includes acts as diverse as Trans Am, Malcolm Middleton, Paul Kalkbrenner, Water Lilly, Petter, Death In Vegas, Aphex Twin and 2 tracks from Holden's 'The Idiots Are Winning' ('Border Community'), along with an Apparat remix of label-mate Nathan Fake's 'Charlie's House'. Consistently engaging and interesting.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Summer Rant

Summer holidays in Sydney, Australia and so what's going on?

1. Killer humidity - like living in a sauna. It rained during almost all of December.
2. Everyone's in party mode and, amongst the well-heeled, money - especially in my "inner-city wealth ghetto" (thanks SB) - is ostentatiously splashed around, whereas those less well-off seem somehow absent from the mix.
3. I'm broke - as are most other people in the 'less well-off' category - after Xmas and New Year festivities.
4. I'm working. Gotta rake in that part-time (yep! only paid for hours worked) income.
5. Too much entertainment/culture. Too little time. The Sydney Festival and a bunch of music mega-gigs are a case of too much all at once. It'd be nice if they could be spread over the year a bit better.
6. Yobbos galore. 'tis the season of the backyard bogan barbecue, that inevitably continues late into the night - and often all night - and keeps those of us trying to sleep in the bedrooms of blocks of units above from getting any sleep.
7. Too many drunks everywhere. Too many horrendously sunburnt backpackers in my local supermarket queue. Too many idiots. Too many suntans. Roll on autumn........

Try this - new rock'n'roll by 'The Kills'. Love it!