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Showing posts from 2010

the plumber (silence is golden)

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Life often has this mysterious way of imitating art.


allow me to explain..


Some six weeks ago I came across an Australian television film called The Plumber.  I encountered this TV play at work when I was asked to purchase a DVD copy of Peter Weir's 1974 cult-classic The Cars that ate Paris for our collection.  This DVD doubled with another of Weir's films, The Plumber, from 1978.  And being a major enthusiast of 70s Australiana I took home this double-feature almost immediately upon accessioning.


I didn't get to watch all of The Cars that ate Paris.  Although intriguing, I just wasn't in the mood for it although I plan to get back to this film in due course.  I skipped instead to the DVD's second feature, The Plumber, featuring Judy Morris as the stay-at-home academic and Ivar Kants as the plumber.


This rather odd drama almost defies classification, sitting somewhere as it does between psychological horror and wry, black comedy.  What is for certain is that I loved th…

Neil Finn solo concert review...

Sweet news: I had my first article published in suite 101 yesterday.  Over time I hope to build up a revenue stream with it; supply more articles, make more money.  If it comes to making about a coffee's worth of coin per year I'll be happy enough.


Here is my article for suite 101, a review of Neil Finn's solo concert at the Seymour Centre in Sydney from a couple of weeks ago: click here


I'm not entirely happy with this article.  I feel it's too self-conscious, wooden even, constrained.  I'm hoping in time I'll learn to relax just like I do on this blog and be able to write a bit more casually.


I blew Neil an Italian-style opera-arrivederci kiss during the standing ovation.  Neil caught this and beamed in a flash as his eyes met mine momentarily.  I couldn't help but chuckle at this, to think that a year ago I wrote a decidedly salt'n'pepper article all to do with my mixed feelings about the man, why I loved him, why I hate him.  (link)  I haven…

Songwriting Society: personal top 10 (2002)

Here's something I wrote eight years ago for the magazine.  It's a nice piece of writing so I'm uploading it here while I chisel my icy writersblock with a picksaw; on the brain is a Neil Finn concert review...but for now, a piece of, um, history!


This report is based on my idea of a 'Top 10' song list for all those songs I've encountered in the Society over the past 4 years.Since I'm going to pull back a little next year I thought it appropriate to draft my idea of a 'Top 10' song list covering my time in the Society up till now. The sort of thing 'Q' magazine publishes every 3 months. The list is subjective of course, and my opinion doesn't count for anything at all anyway.What I will say though is that these songs represent excellent, and sometimes classic, examples of their respective genres, and as such, would be up there with any of the internationally renowned great albums.While anyone who's been involved with the Society for a …

Paul Weller @ the Enmore Theatre & Metro

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1986 was the year my love of a certain songwriter-musician flew into high gear.  I was 16 years old in May 1986 when my sister bought me Paolo Hewitt's The Jam: a beat concerto.  I was immediately captivated with this biography: the photos, the story, the easy-to-read though poetic and incisive style of writing, and ultimately, Paul Weller.  I became a huge Jam fan, totally obsessed, and in varying degrees I remain so to this day. Here was a man who seemed to grow up with similar experiences to I and who looked so good and wrote such magnificent songs, who had such power and force of expression, and an acutely good musical ear.  Paul Weller, along with John Lennon, was my man.


I never dreamt I would see Paul Weller perform live.  By 1986 the Jam were dead and the Style Council were moving into making album statements away from live performance; it had been the Council's tour of Australia in 1985 that awakened me to Weller's previous incarnation, the Jam, although I never re…

Swimming

I’ve gotten back into swimming.  I haven’t been out swimming for a long time; suffice to say that I took it up semi-seriously in 1989/90.  I was never a particularly good swimmer, I’m still not, and I came late to learn to swim for my childhood fear of the water.  This in itself is  unusual given that I grew up in the Eastern Suburbs where the swimming culture runs ramp in the collective blood of its residents.  Besides, I'm a Pisces.   I finally got the hang of swimming by age 11, albeit tentatively.  At then, at 19, I decided to get fit and do laps at UNSW pool.

Twenty unbelievably quick years on and here I am, back in the Uni pool with a seeming vengeance to swim like a warrior with a mission, and as often as I can.  I’ve been back to the pool sporadically during the intervening years but never to any pervading purpose or plan.  There was an awkward period of a few years when the acquatic centre was being totally refurbished, where everything except the pool itself underwent the…

north south east & west (aka south of south)

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Up until recently I hadn't taken notice of directional aspects, or positions.  I mean, I always knew about directions and their significance to heat and light; that north-facing equals premium sun, south-facing means no direct sunlight, east-facing welcomes the morning sun up to the midday hours, whilst west takes in the afternoon rays.  It's only because I've purchased my first bit of real-estate that I've come to obsess about directions and their significance to me.

My unit faces south-west.  Most of it faces south with a slight easterly slant, whilst one room - the bedroom - faces west with a slight southerly slant.  I must say, I like it, and am very glad I bought into a west-facer.  In my instance I find that the southerly aspect works well because I'm facing a white building that reflects its light into my apartment.  So for the most part I tend to take in a lot of light even though most of my windows are shielded from the sun.  In the summer months there'…

the bearded one

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I grew a beard during the winter months.  I tend to allow my facial-fur grow out during those cooler, grayer months of the year.  I figure it's too much of a drag to run cold shaving gel over my face every morning when I'd much rather be asleep in bed.  It's not that I necessarily have to get up early every morning, it's more that the winter vibe is not really all that conducive to daily rituals of cold blades and water and gel.  Besides, the fuzzy beard keeps me warm.

The most interesting aspect of growing a beard is in witnessing other people's perceptions of me, of which I'm equally amazed, and appalled.  All of a sudden, as my beard becomes decisively furry and the whites become prominently pointed from my chin, I start to receive strange looks from people on the street.  As if my beard is a signal for some strange sort of attention.  There are a lot of sharp glances cast my way.  Sometimes there are subtle, though awful, leers that will stay in my memory a…

room (suite) 101

Oh dear.  I've signed myself off to the other side.  Perhaps this is why I've maintained a blog, to come to this very moment where I can say I'll be batting for the other team...


What's happened is that I saw a Facebook advert for suite101.com.  It's an open site for writers of non-fiction articles, with revenue-making possibilities.  You need to submit samples of your own work to qualify when applying to become part of their team.  I decided to give it a go, mainly to see if, indeed, I'd pass the test and be accepted as a writer.  Well, they accepted me.  And after deliberating through the terms and conditions I've decided to join up.  So that's it.  I'm now a writer for suite101.com.


I won't be able to post articles submitted to suite101 anywhere else until 12 months from the date of submission passes, at which the stipulation is that suite101 must be recognised as the original publishers of the work wherever the article appears.  


So that's …

Don Walker's 'Catfish' Unlimited Address (1989): retrospective album review

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(This review is to be published in a local magazine, the Songsmith. I hope it attracts attention to the album. Cheers, r.)When Cold Chisel disbanded in 1983, most of its members fashioned either solo careers or stints with other bands. It was only the band’s principal songwriter, keyboardist Don Walker, who retired from the scene completely. Walker was to spend those four or five years after Chisel’s demise travelling throughout Australia and Europe and taking care of other personal matters, in his own words, “detoxing” from the music industry. He finally came to back to music in 1988 to record a new album under the moniker Catfish. Chisel guitarist Ian Moss, producer/guitarist Peter Walker, harmonica player David Blight, and drummer Ricky Fataar were some of the album’s guest musicians.The album was titled UnlimitedAddress and was released in 1989.It seems an absurdity that one of Australia’s most gifted songwriters, responsible for penning those anthems such as ‘Khe Sahn’ and ‘