A compressed month of memesongs

So I was farting around on Twitter – what else do you do on there? – and I came across this image.

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So I figured I’d do it. I worked the first post up and someone commented, saying you could crank out the whole month in a day, if you had a mind.

I don’t have much of a mind, but I do have bookshelves requiring filling that I desperately need distraction from, so I did all 30 days (why not 28 or 31?) in one go.

And here they are.  (more…)

Goodreads review: Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts

Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of GhostsBabbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts by Grafton Tanner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vaporwave! It’s a thing, still, even though it’s supposed to have been dead for a couple of years now.

What is vaporwave? If you don’t know, have some smooth, iconic jams. Essentially, it’s elevator music for some weirdly capitalist hellscape, and Grafton Tanner’s book exists to provide a bit of context with fewer bong-hits than you’d fine in online discussions of same. (more…)

Goodreads review: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show BusinessAmusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

Well, this is all a bit depressing.

I mean, we’re all fairly acutely aware of the way the internet makes us all a little stupider, right? There was a lot of hoo-ha about Nicholas Carr’s Atlantic article “Is Google Making Us Stoopid? but in this brief book, Postman makes the same claims about television, something which by now appears benign in comparison to the dizzying chasm of timesink that defines most of our modern lives.

And he did it in 1985.

And then Roger Waters wrote an album about it.

I know, right?

Right. (more…)

PJ Harvey: ICC Sydney Theatre, Jan 22 2017

I suppose it’s the case that there’s no such thing as a bad PJ Harvey show. But it could be that there’s such a thing as an indifferent one. One that hits the right notes, but doesn’t have the emotional resonance you’d expect.

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That was the case this evening. It wasn’t phoned in – not by any measure – but there was something curiously distancing about this evening’s show.  (more…)

PJ Harvey, The Tremors @ The Back Room Club, Byron Bay, 25/7/2004

This review is an example of my older writing. Eventually, I hope to have all my reviews archived here. The writing style is a little different, but then I suppose we’ve all changed in the past decade. (Yes, that means I’m cringing at that use of ‘incendiary’ too.)

Gigs where there’s some difference between bands are always good, and this evening’s show at The Back Room Club was no exception. The difference in this case was that the headliner, PJ Harvey, is the queen of come-close-but-stay-at-arms-length songwriting, at once embracing and spurning, while her support, The Tremors prefer to stay up close and personal; preferably trying to get a hand down your duds in the process. (more…)

Goodreads review: The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the JinniThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You really don’t need to read this review. It’s probably better if you don’t. If you think you’re even slightly interested in this book based on the title – which let’s face it, tells you pretty much all you need to know -then go and read it.

I’m serious. If you’ve a passing interest, even, in golems, in jinns, in magic and myth, just go.

And people who bypass the book because they think it’s going to be all magickque and twee? Well, fuck ’em, because they’ll miss out. Because, yes, there is magic in here – and I’m someone who normally can’t handle dreamcatcher, velvet-pantsed horseshittery, which is odd given my intense interest in esoterica – but it’s not really what The Golem and the Jinni is about. (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.

(more…)

STC: Speed-the-Plow

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Rose Byrne, Damon Herriman and Lachy Hulme in Speed-the-Plow.

First things first. The Sydney Theatre Company’s production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow is made well. It’s performed well, hits its marks and sees some obvious dedication from its three actors. Andrew Upton’s direction and Mamet’s dialogue means the time zips along. By my usual indicators, I should’ve loved the show.

And yet, something was in the way. (more…)