Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hello old song

You’ve rippled in currents
promised within wild limits
drowning in tart allure
you may decay or cover yourself with salt
but your breezy pleasures never exhaust
that rare thing
drunk hot and often.

You don’t say
but you’re needed
in ocean, storm, en vacance
just as drag or guitar heroes
attract humming birds
or fallen daughters
so you loiter in optimism
stirred by the best mouths
wrought with fun
standing above the throb controls
rippled by spray.

You’ve been flung into meticulous detail
tolling the autobiographical
the exact fantasy
clutching at big business
you stop at used
you’ve come from bursting with a kind of charm
that’s earned a following.

What if creativity is gilded there
unlit or connected to the following things -
a bewildering sight
a novice
large amounts conjured
the front porch of my life.

You glow into quick
you’ve sat down at little green
never broken by wrong
or judged by its colour
you’ve swarmed rapidly acquiring reputation
multiroom equipment at $5,000 a pop
a great example of why
laments also lift spirits.

You’ve boosted your immune system
in Los Angeles where they’ve confused
your third album as a bit touch & go
come to summer
you speak sure cure for the most stubborn
you’ve sworn festive
and you’ve held up
as a tree.

de-spamming part 2

OK, I have taken Martin's advice and turned on word verification for comments, which is kinda cute, with some great new words. Let's bamma-lam the spam.

Now, I will try and delete the offending posts.

more music musings

Here, belatedly, is an article about Tom Ellard, of the great Severed Heads band, talking about frogs and music. I actually have never heard the frog ring tone/song thing. I don't listen to mainstream music radio stations anymore, haven't for years. Perhaps I am a music snob, though I like my share of poppy trash as much as anyone. But nothing these days on the air seems both trashy yet whacked out or edgy enough to draw me back to the dial. I might sound like a BOF but I'm not saying music being made today is crappy, I buy plenty of new music. It just doesn't make it to the radio. As The Sports once sang "Who listens to the radio/ That's what I want to know?" Maybe radio in other countries is better than ours.

Anyway, a reprint from the Sydney Morning Herald 12 October (day before my birthday as it turned out).

Mainstream is for frogs, says ARIA winner

Author: Edmund Tadros
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald (11,Wed 12 Oct 2005)

It was a blue singing frog that finally convinced Tom Ellard that the popular music industry was "insane".

The amphibian in question is Crazy Frog - the cartoon star of the single Axel F, a mobile phone ring tone which was released as a single and topped the Australian charts in July.

"When a mobile phone single can be a number one single, that's when we've reached lunatic heaven," he said.

Ellard is the founding member of Severed Heads, which won the best original soundtrack/cast/show award for the soundtrack to The Illustrated Family Doctor at the ARIA Fine Arts Awards last night. "As a band person to be up against an animated frog, you think 'it's no contest man, give it to the frog'."

For the veteran electronic musician whose first album was released in 1979, a frog singing "a ring ding ding ding ding" again confirmed that Severed Heads would never fit into the mainstream.

"The machinery of the music industry is, in its own way, insane," he said. "It's these systematic personality types being put in front of you ... the singer-songwriter woman with unwashed hair or the black rapper with gold chains and 20 girlfriends. I'm not critical of these things, I'm fascinated by them."

However, Severed Heads won an ARIA for a soundtrack that featured canned music. Ellard said he was interested in the form when he was approached to do the soundtrack.

"The idea that music could influence people, that was my kick [at the time]," he said. The idea fit well with the Australian movie, which starred Samuel Johnson. It is about a man who "lives in productivity hell".

Ellard has long rejected mainstream music, even after the mid-'90s top 20 hit Dead Eyes Opened. He is the keyboardist and sometimes singer of the band, which records with various artists and then assembles the final product on computer.

He has been recording and distributing music since 1996, when it was mp2, not mp3, and opened one of the first online music stores in 1997.

Despite, or perhaps because, he is so forward-looking, Ellard is not hopeful about the future of music.

"The future of music is not good because of this whole notion of selling tracks one at a time," he said.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I've had a small amount of annoying spam on the blog. I've deleted it all from the comments boxes. If it gets overwhleming I may have to institute the extra verification step but am hoping not to.

A real cool change is blowing into Sydney now - lovely - and I am looking forward to my bedtime reading, Graham Robb's bio of Rimbaud. Definitely recommended though, for heaven's sake, my paperback version seems to be printed in 7 point type.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

leetle post-long weekend rant

We don't have those TiVo gizmos here but it's been suggested that, even though they can get rid of ads from TV shows (how, sucked out through a magic portal?), they only prove two things: "(A) 'when you can fast forward through commercials, shows are about ten minutes long, and (B) TV is so close to extinction that, even with the power to record 100 percent of the bearable stuff out there (half of which you like because it's so bad) there's still nothing on." (insights courtesy of Vice, Vol 3, No. 3)

Of course, you don't need a TiVo to realise that television is completely extinct in Australia. You'd begin to suspect the news isn't even put together here and that they make the weather reports up. Just draw a map of Australia (don't forget Tasmania), zoosh some squiggles all over it, wiggle them round a bit, throw in a few likely temperatures for three days and, hey presto, Roberta's yr aunty.

OK, so I'm sick of being reduced to dodgy (often stodgy) British crime series and worthy docos on SBS. And if they show another program 'reconstructing' life in ancient Egypt, I'll start reciting the book of the dead.

Yup, I watch television, I'm no purist, but it's getting to be a rare event. It's even hard to find quality trash these days.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Another October

This month could be cold
it could burn
within itself, it’s always been
the carrier, the bird within
sky ladder, spring
loaded, protection
or how boughs fall.
I never began sitting alone
it was an unknown scene
between storm and night
full of people and birth
among bricks
past main roads and clouds
a time of paper bags
and plain string holding me up
in daylight indecision
yes, the storm
rain blossom on ground
as green, the walls
that are solid beside
the northern reaches
bridges, red tiles, false chateaux
guarding settled valleys
after a century restricted
there was yet to be music
just a trumpet and a drum
someone humming in shadows
birds again after rain.
And somehow I was plush
in blankets and evening
the morning, mother, father
if I’m the first
and it’s spring, feel the air
not yet weather beaten
the only mutiny, the sky
even now I’m hardly landed

Saturday, October 01, 2005


OK, it's the beginning of my month, cold inside but warm on the outerside. I saw a huge crow (raven) up the street chasing down outcast fish in the gutter, I saw two pigeons tossing around a huge scrap outside Woolworths. We drank medium Greek coffee and wondered about weather and art and letters that had to be written. How nothing stops. How far we'll walk this evening.

Still the cherry blossom has not burst with white or green. There are signs, two signs of petals, one of leaf. Maybe next week, it's been a long time coming. The bottle brush in the afternoon's west light is bright red, three branches have flowered and others almost. The first bubuls of the season on a TV antenna, the screeching parrots, a naked six year old kid running around a neighbour's backyard, some things forever young.

Coming up to this month, I wrote this quickly (on a day when it was overcast and raining, but today is warm and fine):

this rain
shivers on us

but again
that rare thing

grey lain
among the green

orange lights
chase moving shadows

between road
and rotting rail

an action
of the state

the lifting jet

goes into
the seeded clouds

we pass
as we go

[28 September 2005, 4.45pm]

And many years ago I wrote something about October. I've mixed with it on and off over the years. The latest is this:

October is a dream
running out
onto the hazy street
through other gateways
the sky.

Vicious winds dating birth
golden calm, a subtle time bomb
(time of the wheel

Children play the afternoon.
News from the western plains
breathing out fire continent.

Day loosens
with insects & dreams
brushed by air.

Born in a storm
in the afternoon
squalling sky to change.