Musings

Gunna, get it?

When I was a teenager my parents and uncle delighted in calling me Gunna. Gunna Martin. At first, I thought this was kind of cool, because as a kid I’d loved a book called Drummer Hoff, but apparently it was Not A Good Thing.

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Check out those cheekbones.

It was Not A Good Thing because it referred to my inability to do things in a timely fashion.  Mowing. Picking up the dog shit. Cleaning my room. Homework. Anything that didn’t involve pissing time away, most likely. And so whenever anyone reached the point of extremity, out it came: Gunna Martin, that’s you.  (more…)

2016 consumption: a look at some stuff I liked

WELL HERE IT IS. Once more it’s time for a recap on what I did during the year, stuffwise. Previous versions are here, here and here, if you need an origin story.

Once more, I’m unsure who would actually read this all the way through, given the self-indulgence herein, but don’t worry – I’ve found an image that reflects both the world’s 2016 and my thoughts on writing the thing.

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Take that, ya lousy fuckin’ year. And you too, ya lousy fuckin’ typing guy.

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Transmission resumes

So it’s been a bit quiet around here of late.

This is because I’ve been moving house. I’ve moved out of the house I used to own, which I thought I’d live in for a long time. Obviously, a couple of years is a long time if you’re the kind of renter who moves (or is forced to move) every couple of months, but you’re forgetting that I’m a) a curmudgeon and b) a hobbit so I’m pretty fond of my holes.

I like holes. Comfy holes. With all the things. Where I know where they are!

Ahem.

Anyway, I’m typing this on a laptop in a room full of boxes and cat toys. That’s pretty much the whole house: cat toys and boxes. But it’s a new house I’m renting – a shopfront and flat upstairs, ensuring that I finally have discovered a Pulp cliche.

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The Priest of the Invisible

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As part of an attempt to become more organised (and to eke more out of my hours) I’ve recently begun scheduling things I’d like to do. It’s not quite as cold as it sounds, and it affords me the ability to ensure I do things I like, but which often suffer in the throes of a Wikipedia hole or a TV Tropes vortex.

One of the things on my list is to read a poem a day. Every day. One poem. This is to counter the fact that though I like poetry, and though I spent four years at university reading books – some of which were made up of poems! – I still feel myself to be a low-watt bulb when it comes to poetry. It’s something I like, and have liked for a long time, but something I feel kind of stupid around, like I’ve turned up to a fancy restaurant in tracksuit pants. (more…)

’90s musical memories: 7/7

Well, this is day seven of seven. And I’ve gone with perhaps the most predictable choice for last: You Am I. Anyone who knows me from my university days knows that this was my band, and this song my jam. At that time of my life they were massively important. I don’t listen to them as much these days, but that’s OK: once you’ve heard as much as I have, it’s always sort of there.

This song is a classic of nerdy outsider anthems, and I’m not the only arts dick who thought it was kinda written for them.

I’m aware this is a bit of a cop-out, but I’ve written about this song before. I looked over my old blog post and it all rang true. Head over here to check it out. It expresses why I love this band in general, and this song in particular.

(There’s also some entries about my first own-bought guitar, a shitty car and more about night driving, which seems to be a theme in these posts.)

’90s musical memories: 6/7

We’re entering the home stretch now: just today and tomorrow to go. (Well, maybe an additional day for non-Australian stuff, but hell.) So today I’d like to lay some more instrumental stuff on you: the band that sounds like Australia, to me, really. The band whose line in a) stage banter and b) grim weepers is pretty much without peer. The band who I’m always happy to see, despite knowing a serious bumming-out will occur at some point during their gigs. The band I have pushed upon people relentlessly, zealot-eyed because I know that they’re pretty much the best thing ever.

It is, of course, The Dirty Three. (more…)

’90s musical memories: 5/7

For day five of the ’90s Musical Memories challenge, I figured I’d go with something without words. It’s by a band who I discovered thanks to a tween magazine, and who generally make their work on the fly. The song I’ve chosen is fairly unique in the band’s catalogue as it comes from an album that’s both a soundtrack and a collection of short pieces. (They’re normally keen on disc-long tracks, so anything less than about 30 minutes is punk as fuck, as far as they’re concerned.)

So listen, won’t you, to ‘The Boys II’ by Australia’s leading ambient jazz improvisational trio, The Necks. (more…)

’90s musical memories: 3/7

Day three, and I figure it’s time to put a bit of sleaze into the mix. So I’ve chosen one of the best: Kim Salmon & the Surrealists’ ‘Gravity’, from the Sin Factory album. It’s true, it’s not the reason I picked it up – that would be the solid-gold riff of ‘I Fell’ and its accompanying filmclip – but in terms of a statement of what that band’s about, I think you can’t go past the opening seconds, where an opening drum snap kicks off a world of full throated fuck-off wailing,

The song demands you listen to it. The Tony Cohen production is great – the drums are like woodchopping, the guitar a fuzzy knife, the bass slinking about somewhere. And the burr in Kim’s vocal is fantastic, as he basically sings about the inescapable notion that you’re gonna fuckin’ die and there’s nothing you can do but (hello, chorus) scream. It’s pretty great.

(I mean fuck, just listen to that rhythm section in the no-guitar part before the first verse repeats: it’s all slinky, pant-sniffin’ Brian Hooper greatness with some super-Cramps style Tony Pola tom work. It’s like flick-knife greasers dancing.)  (more…)

’90s musical memories: 2/7

Today’s choice of music is from a band I’ve liked for a long time, who moved to London and fell apart before regrouping years later to produce further compelling work. They were a band that I dragged most of my friends along to see at various places, and they were the first musicians I ever interviewed (for Honi Soit, the Sydney uni newspaper) after helping them load in to the now defunct Northpoint Tavern in North Sydney. They are the only band I’ve dressed up for – in a three-piece suit, no less, as some kind of impoverished student imitation of their dapper numbers – and yet also are one of the few bands for whom my enthusiasm does not, in hindsight, appear to have been misplaced. It’s time for The Paradise Motel, folks.  (more…)