July 2008

Listening to: Nice – The Simpletons

Does anyone remember this song (the one I’m listening to, the Simpletons one)? Out of curiosity, I ordered Matter from PVH Records recently (they took over a lot of the Candle Records catalogue, so I’m on their mailing list), because I kind of knew the band’s name (and because they have a song called Danielle) and because there’s a Darren Hanlon connection…anyway, this is by them! Which probably doesn’t help you, because you can’t hear it, but it’s so familiar. It’s one of those things they must have played 6 million times a day on Triple J in 1995 that then just faded into total obscurity. Oh, nostalgia! ‘Stine, were we in Mr. Whelan’s computing class in Year 9?

Other things:

– The Tropenmuseum is showing an exhibition about life in Indonesia at the moment – 24-Hour Indonesia – which includes Surabaya, where L & T live.

– There’s a short, mildly interesting article about illegal downloading and the scary (UK) government data monitoring implications of trying to stop it in the Guardian today, and it led me on a search for an article Billy Bragg wrote in the ’80s – I think it’s published in the Victim of Geography songbook, but I can’t check because it’s still packed away – about capitalism (not home taping) killing music. Anyway, I didn’t find that online, but I did find this really interesting interview with him where he discusses musicians’ rights and exploitation by big business and the potential of the internet for both further exploitation and a chance for musicians to take greater control of their own music (if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, you can go back to the first page and read a transcription of the highlights).

Ichigo Daifuku – they look so wonderful that I’m almost afraid to make them in case they’re not.

Jeffrey Lewis Space Invaders!


Listening to: Ant in Alaska – Liz Phair

So I’m learning Dutch (finally made it to Week 2 of Dutch in 3 months!), and last week I got all excited about Amsterdam (if I can scrape together enough money, I’m thinking of stopping over there on my way through to England next year) and did a massive search for Amsterdam-set fiction and reserved lots of books from the library in the city. I’d just finished Olaf Olafsson’s The Journey Home, and I was feeling pretty good about adult fiction in general after a bit of a rut where I got stuck reading a bunch of books I didn’t particularly enjoy (I think I need to remember that I like YA fiction of a certain era. Although I did like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist [have I linked to Inside a Dog before? It’s an excellent resource for teen fiction – thank you again, Victorian government]).

Anyway, I’m reading the first one now, Love Life by Ray Kluun, which sounded reasonably interesting in the blurb, but which is shit (its recognisable Amsterdamminess [!] is tempered by the fact that it’s about stupid yuppies and is basically written in the style of Patrick Bateman, minus the psychopathy), and I’m feeling disillusioned. Has anyone else read anything good lately? Any recommendations?

(So far, The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam is next on my list.)

Listening to: Back to the Old House – The Smiths

Also, this Steve Bell cartoon from a couple of days ago amused me:

Steve Bell - David Cameron

(David Cameron.)

Listening to: A Shark in Jet’s Clothing – Blondie

Eeeee! Blogging from the new house – back in business, baby!

Also, I found a jumper that I thought I’d accidentally given away to the op shop a couple of years ago. (I have too much crap.)

Listening to: It’s Too Late – 7 Year Bitch

Hello! Hello!

I’m at the old house to collect the modem and take it to the new place – fingers crossed that I can figure out the networking stuff and get the printer going and so on. Anyway, no exciting news or links, but I do have a request: do any of you know of any good resources to do with emigrating? They don’t even need to be specifically related to the UK or Europe, just general info or stories (fiction, even) would be good, as I’m just looking to get myself in the right frame of mind at this stage. I’ve found lots of travel guides, but I’m clearly not using the right keywords for anything more long-term.

I have budgeted and set a new date, and I aim to head overseas at the beginning of September 2009! Which is much later than I’d originally planned, but you know, there were hiccups. At least this way I can be absolutely 100% prepared and not have to come home with my tail between my legs after two months (right?).

Anyway, that’s my news. The new house is cramped (we have too much furniture for so few people), but comfortable, and I think it’s going to be really nice once spring gets here and we actually have a chance to see it during daylight.

Oh! The new Martha Wainwright album, I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, is very good – especially her cover of Love is a Stranger (how is it that, even though I have never been especially conscious of them or known any hardcore fans or anything, I always seem to know all the words to Eurhythmics songs? Is it subliminal? Was There Must Be An Angel secretly piped into our bedrooms as we slept during the ’80s?). The new Billy Bragg album, on the other hand, is just okay, but I blame Grant Showbiz. The material is good, he’s awesome live, it’s just that the production sucks the life out of it all (I had this problem with England, Half English, too, and Don’t Try This at Home).

And obviously I haven’t been reading the internet much lately (I am reading a good book, The Journey Home by Olaf Olafsson – that Guardian article piqued my interest about things Icelandic), but this Jezebel post caught my attention: the New York Times magazine interviews Patti Smith about her hair care routine.

Also, I finally saw the Sex and th City movie yesterday – thoughts? (I know Rad didn’t want to be spoiled, so I don’t want to openly discuss it if no one has seen it yet.)

Listening to: Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye– Leonard Cohen

Hey people,

Just to let you know, the blog will be on a brief hiatus, because we won’t have internet access at the new house for a few weeks (and my computer appears to be slightly on the blink). We moved the bulk of our stuff over yesterday, and it’s cramped but looking homey already!

Also – fuck, Adelaide is cold at the moment.


Listening to: V.G.I. – Julie Ruin

– Do wolves have accents? I found this cool link on Ask Metafilter to animal sounds in other languages. Bees, ravens and cows are pretty consistent, but I wonder how people settled on their particular national parrot phrases.

Article from the Guardian about musicians performing in UK prisons:

For two hours, in a place where hope was the rarest commodity, [John Martyn] lifted hearts and humanised souls like nothing I had ever experienced. Watching him perform May You Never – just him and an acoustic guitar, singing just for us, the unwanted, reminded us that we were members of the human race. Any musician who can go into a prison and do that deserves all our gratitude.

Here’s an earlier article about Jail Guitar Doors.

Also, Pauline Campbell died in May, and I meant to link to some articles about her (1, 2,
3, 4). Her daughter died in prison in 2003, and she dedicated the rest of her own life to campaigning for prison reform.

– There was free running on The Bill tonight!

– I am trying to figure out Peruvian knitting, because it seems to be the fastest method and I have a lot of projects I want to try. You hold the right needle like a pencil and manoeuvre the yarn with your right middle finger…which is the part I’m finding almost impossible. I have taken to staring intently at Women of a Certain Age who knit in public, trying to figure out the trick.

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