consumption

YOU WEAR DISGUST LIKE A CROWN

So it’s a bit of a while between posts. There’s posts coming, but in the meantime enjoy the motivational stylings of Mr Henry Rollins and his 1992-version Band. Especially the first song.

Something will be up soon, honest.

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A week of songs: day seven

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day seven. Again, there’s been a break in the continuity, but life continues to get in the way, I suppose. The song I have chosen for the seventh day is Pulp’s ‘Babies’.

‘Babies’ is a song I didn’t really like when I first heard it. I don’t know what it was – I sort of pegged myself as an INDIE ROCK guy, and this clip (from the song’s 1994 remixed version, which charted) irritated me at the time. I think it’s great now, but then – it seemed like an entirely manufactured, almost boy-band presentation. Which, Young Luke, was probably the fucking point. (more…)

A week of songs: day six

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day six. Again, there’s been some gaps between the posts due to, well, life, but today is a day, and it’s the sixth that I’ve written about a song, so deal with it, continuity sticklers. The song I’ve chosen today is You Am I‘s ‘Purple Sneakers’.

It’s important to note that this band was the one which probably meant the most to me as I went through university. I liked a bunch of music, but these guys were the first to really make me look at local music as something good in its own right, not just a pale shadow of overseas artists’ work. I discovered them as I was working in Year 12 holidays, from a now-defunct store in Pitt St Mall, where I hogged a listening post for the duration of Sound As Ever. It was kind of Seattle-sounding, but had more hooks – as the almost inescapable presence of songs such as ‘Berlin Chair’, ‘Adam’s Ribs’ or ‘Jaimme’s Got A Gal’ would prove that year. But more than that, this was an album by a bunch of dudes who sounded local. (more…)

A week of songs: day five

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day five. It’s a fair whack after day four, but it’s sequentially day four. You know, life gets in the way sometimes. Anyway, the song I’ve chosen is “A Forest” by The Cure.

I was not a Cure fan from an early age. I grew up in country New South Wales and then, for some years, in Auckland, New Zealand, and found that I hadn’t really been exposed to them in the same grinding way I’d been exposed to Bruce Hornsby & The Range. (Yes, I guess that just is the way it is.) So when a friend of mine from school – Andrew Malone, who I can’t seem to find these days – loaned me his tape of Disintegration, the 13-year-old me was ecstatic. Of course, the single “Lullaby” got a thrashing, but the self-involved weirdness of the album seemed to burrow into me. (more…)

A week of songs: day four

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day four. My pick for day four is a song that I have for years kind of thought was a personal anthem: Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West”.

This is, as with many others, a song I’d heard on Rage one late evening. This wasn’t the first Tom Waits song I’d heard. I had some of his earlier stuff, I think perhaps the two Early Years albums which were very acoustic, and much more singer-songwriter. But this. This. Look at the filmclip – a guy who looks kind of like a monkey plays a midget guitar with a brakeman’s glove, in a world where everything is on fire. He high-kicks, singing about some kind of pornographic Big Rock Candy Mountain life that’s better out west, in the land of suntans. He’s not a bit player, baby – he’s a leading man, a lover man, a ruler and a fighter. Power chords fade in and out beneath tremolo guitar, while the percussion sounds like (and probably was) someone beating the shit out of furniture.

Later on, he gets devil horns. What the fuck was this? (more…)

A week of songs: day three

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day three. My pick for day three is a song that properly introduced me to what’s become one of my favourite (if not the favourite) bands, the Dirty Three.

Now for a bit of history. I had heard this band before – I think from the live clip of “Dirty Equation” that used to get a spin on Rage in those late night/early morning tunefests – but it hadn’t done anything for me. I hadn’t then really discovered much noisy stuff beyond Einstürzende Neubauten, and the Dirty Three are very much a live band, so it’s not surprising that this rough-arse clip didn’t grab me. I knew from the street press that the band were pretty popular, but I didn’t go out of my way to check them out. (more…)

A week of songs: day two

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day two. My pick for day two is a song I first heard – or more correctly, first paid attention to – when it featured on the soundtrack to Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

(Fun author fact the first: I went on a fairly disastrous first date while in first year at university to a double feature – Natural Born Killers and A Clockwork Orange – at the old Valhalla cinema in Glebe. It ended in a very arts student way, with long discussions in a cemetery. The next weekend, the person in question told me they’d started taking heroin. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.)

Anyway, I was a literature student when I saw the movie, and I couldn’t believe it was Cohen, at first. I mean, I’d flogged the arse out of his Best Of album for years, as anyone vaguely interested in poetry and being a mopey arts student was wont to do, and this was a world away from fingerpicked guitars and tea and oranges that come all the way from China.  (more…)

A week of songs: day one

OK, so thanks to the Facebook chain post doing the rounds, I’m doing that song-a-day-for-a-week thing where I post a song I like and write a bit about it. You should do it too, eh? (Seriously, if you like the post, go write your own, and tell me in the comments, as I’d like to read your picks.)

This is day one. Today’s song was probably the first Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song I saw, thanks to Rage, the late night/early morning music video show here in Australia. Actually, the first I ever saw may be the fairy-lit cover of ‘In the Ghetto’ but this one stuck more in my memory. For my money it remains one of the strongest songs the band has done, even though lyrically it’s less leaning on Faulknerian gloom for inspiration and more wearing its skin as a jacket. Still, plenty of grim mud-sloshed words to go around, indicative of the whole And The Ass Saw The Angel thing, and some good Leadbelly vocal rips to go along with it. (more…)

Luke likes what Luke likes

It appears Luke Haines has a solo album coming out, and it’ll be all analogue synths. So snark and synths? Sounds like my kind of thing. In the lead-up, though, he’s chosen his favourite electronic albums, and one of my absolute favourites is one of his picks: Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht. 

So have some drone, folks. Be sure to play it at neighbour-hating volume.

The power of Poe

I have always liked Edgar Allan Poe, though I will freely admit that I have never really understood him as well as I would like.

Oh, I get the stories well enough. I know where they’re going. I can see the shadows they cast, the histories they reference, and even – on my better days – the jokes and knowing winks that he peppers throughout for observant readers to pick up. But I think, more than his now slightly wordy and archaic writing style, there’s a distance between Ed and I that can’t be crossed.

Well the feeling is mutual, bub.

And I’m kind of OK with that. He’s been a sort of uneasy hero of mine for many years, now, and though I have always tempered my thumbs-ups with an acknowledgement of the problems of having him as a role-model (less for the cousin-marrying alcoholic part and more for the proud hack with ghosts to get out part) I feel it’s the fact that there’s something about him and his work that doesn’t click fully with me, that feels off, that aids his stature for me. The fact that something doesn’t fit, that something is weird: it’s a boon rather than a cause for pause. (more…)