Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Biter

Biting my nails, some say it’s bad (it is) they be very sore at the moment, I really need to stop (I can’t), they are concealed on the tram because of the embarrassment of having wee nubs.

The funny thing is I'm rather keen on the loveliness of hands, slender fingers, a classy constellation of veins, prominent knuckles though I must say beyond natural aesthetics, I am not interested in other people’s hands and don’t have the urge to bite them.

I started biting my nails way back when and never stopped. Now they're just these unsightly nubs that de Campo smacks all the time when they're near my mouth. I quit for awhile once back at university dating this Christian, or rather she was dating someone else I was just seeing her. At least I think she was a Christian. She took me to Church one Sunday and the preacher asked everybody to hold the hand of the person next to you and tell them that you loved them. I held out my nubs that time, but I never went back.

My mother once said if you don't stop chewing them we're going to get some toxic jelly you can get it from K-Mart and then every time you put them in your mouth you will become very ill. She used to yell at me from her seat during soccer matches while I was down in the goal not getting any action, all the action was up field and I was all alone at the other end just nibbling away. I think I picked up ringworm once from chewing them. Not that I ever swallowed them per say. To paraphrase Nico, I always make sure my hands are clean…these days.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Is it real CD launch (or please don't tell me Mother how I've been behaving)

The New Estate show was anything but thirst-quenching. How else to explain the vast quantity of beer that went into my gullet. The band were sweet as honey and raunchier than an indie Dad at a bucolic crab feast. I was ogre-riffically mauling everyone in sight, so consider yourself chronically relieved if you happened to not be there getting mauled ogre-style by me.

Lindsey Lowhand were the raddest thing. To say I am enamoured is to soft sell a band that sounds nothing like Soft Cell. I’m thinking Superchunk circa Cool, The Jicks’ circa Dynamic Calories, Archers’ circa Scenic Pastures and something special that sounded like Close to Me by The Cure. Panel didn’t throttle me, which is so perverse I wish it to never occur again in this lifetime, but seriously that’s OK a breather between LL and the NE juggernaut was probably critical, even though what kind or to what extent the breather was I am not sure because I totally didn’t show it and felt like hurling as I sat in the booth spilling a big water down my frontage. What an amazing bill. I had my belt buckled the whole time too, unlike Monday’s show (New Estate, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Hi-Fi Bar) where I looked down, New Estate were just getting into it, and there’s my belt completely unlooped and dangling before my innocent, well-intentioned eyes.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Williamstown: a cute, little oldie along the lines of a model for aged care brochures (basically the suburban equivalent of De Campo in her mid-80s). Its past is very well-preserved and probably hasn’t changed much in a hundred and fifty years. If I was loaded and a bit lame I might consider buying in and being an active local holding weekly TV Parties for McLeod’s Daughters.

D and I stayed at a giant, mock-period B&B three k’s out of town on Sat night. What can I say I was seduced by Doug and Lottie’s somewhat deceptive website.

Our room was on the top floor of a very confusedly designed home. Thankfully D&L gave us an upgrade because the room we had originally requested — pointed out to us as we were walking up the stairs —was no larger than a powder room. Our room was actually very nice. We had a spa, the spa had sea views, we watched a sunset, ate cheese, and there were pelicans hanging out on the rocks in the morning.

It was a lot like staying at my parent’s house, had I never met them or had any partial feelings toward them. Doug, our Dad for the night, drove us to dinner down on the dock of the bay where we partook in steak and every sea species imaginable, including one weird scaly orange creature, didn’t know what that was, while drinking NZ white. I ordered a takeaway Irish Coffee to be enjoyed decadently in bed while finishing The Adventures of Augie March which was just unbelievable. I hope that one day I write a sentence as equally as brilliant as one of Saul Bellow’s paragraphs.

We woke up refreshed, walked into town and perused the market, before catching the 12.30pm ferry and moseying back to Melbourne.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Misogynist, Genius, Dog-Hater?

So I win a Cassavetes box set off eBay then get a message from the seller telling me his dog Russell pissed on it. I don’t care what your dog’s name is, dude, just get it together. Cripes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Decampo Show

"they are foxy to me, are they foxy to you, I will agree..."

The Corey Harts of the rap game: Outward Obtooce and Coinflow $

Handhell did a karaoke-style set because Kirsty had recently undergone a throat op (she communicated through a guitar and whiteboard). Ex-Batrider Toby filled Kirsty shoes along with Mia, shown here caterwauling The Bites' classic 'Adelaide'. I don't know what I was doing, getting in their way mostly. I tripped on a lead and did a faceplant on the corner of the amp, and yelled "I'm OK, I'm OK!" Of course no one was paying attention. I then bumped into Rene's guitar a few minutes later. He gave me a great big whack.

De Campo ventured out and blew everybody's mind, I mean who knew she could sing like Martha Davis

A spectator rather pleased with himself

Above: a scene from the afterparty. No pictures of headliners The Bad Luck Charms, who were over from Tasmania. That's sad because they put on a real cold-blooded old time.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I feel positively well-informed

Wasn’t really expecting the Michael Mann retrospective to do to me what it did, but it did and what can I say, but oh mann!

Caught two of the three sessions at Cinemateque, saw four excellent films, basically nine and a half hours of Mr Mann, I feel positively well-informed, first week it was Manhunter and The Insider, the second week was Crime Story and Heat (which we missed on account of an ANZAC day hangover) and then last night it was Thief and Collateral. Three of them I had never seen before and those were Manhunter, Insider and Thief. All very kick-ass.

Manhunter (1986) was the first of the Lector movies, and it’s hip as shit, serial killer bonkers. The detective wears a metallic blue tie over a maroon shirt and the killer has great taste in pumping hard rock. You won’t forget the wicked finale set to In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida so tremendously entertaining. Demme’s ending now looks unoriginal to Mann’s, as he basically pinched the mood, music and colours from under Mann’s nose. Postscript: Joan Allen is unforgettable as an undersexed blind, lab assistant.

Like Demme, Mann invests as much into the small supports as he does the big leads, as all directors should, but few actually do because it takes big brains and compassion for little people. I think it’s my favourite aspect of his work.

Next was the three-hour long Insider (1999) which was thoroughly engrossing from start to finish, even though it’s one of those journalist as hero studies like All the President’s Men, which I seem to be a huge sucker for. Pacino was fab, looking strangely like my Aunt Sally, and Crowe, acts like his heart could explode from suppressed rage any second. His family bails on him and he resorts to a suicidal bender in a luxurious Louisville hotel. I must say, one of the greatest joys of cinema is watching Russell Crowe getting tormented.

Thief (1981) has the music of Tangerine Dream and James Caan doing straight-up nihilism – with a limp! He’s done big jobs, spent his twenties in the slammer, wants to do one more big job and then sit around and watch daytime TV the rest of his life (he says this jokingly, but he’ll do it). The threat of sodomy was so severe in prison, he’s no longer scared of death. He drives a Cadillac, romances Tuesday Weld with the finesse of a wrecking ball and somehow gets entangled with kingpin Grandpa Munster who displays a very nice avuncular menace and how about them strawberry blonde sideburns! Grandpa buys Caan and Weld a house in the Chicago suburbs that I swear was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that they can live comfortably in with the adopted Sudanese baby that Grandpa arranged for them also. The last job recalls Riffifi and James Belushi, Caan’s partner, dies a slo-mo shotgun to the chest in Grand Guignol-fashion, it’s arguably his finest moment (I believe a surplus of magenta DuLox was involved).

Collateral (2004) is the bomb. My favourite of all Mann’s movies. To say it’s about guys and their dicks, a comment I had read before I saw the movie, and a comment I admired at the time, but honestly, after seeing it, I find the description so witless and lazy. I mean sure there’s gunfights, but Jamie Foxx is basically playing a timid girl, afraid of the world and Tom Cruise is cyborg du jour, modelling himself on Schwarzenegger’s Terminator and executing it with indestructible playboy creepiness.

I guess the reason I have never gotten into Mann before is that his movies demand to be seen on the biggest screen you’ve ever seen with Dolby sound that deliriously pumps your gnads (wrong word, I think...)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spitting Wicked Randomness

I’m super amped about going to West Coast U.S.A. Tickets are purchased, car hire sorted (Mustang convertible – GET OUT!), vague plan, kinda, sort of mapped out. All happening real soon. To think, in less than five months I’ll be eating fried clams with Moms and Pops is simply too ace!

Saturday I was at the desk like Dash Hammett scribbling a criminally short short story about Sir, an only slightly sleazy Melbourne synth act, who are extreme professionals, pure class, depressing and a hell of a lot of fun. Imagine a man in the mind frame of the dude in The Last Tango in Paris making a record about using pleasure as a tool to tweak his grief. Sounds dreadful, I know, but I love that kind of shit and find Sir’s sardonic craft so very winning. Oh yeah, album’s called The Brando Room. Buy two copies for your neighbour Jimmy.

Saturday night, De Campo, Outward Obtooce and I danced so hard at the Old Bar the DJ awarded us a beer each — thus making our night a bit specialer. She spun fifty years of obscure musical flavour and at one point, leap-frogged from some weird soul city like Cleveland in 1966 to Melbourne in 1973, for a fistful of Balls, Coloured ones at that, and in its own way the night served as a glowing tribute to the fallen colossus, ah Mista Loyde, who died last week just before I saw him on Rage midnight Friday in black and white doing a version of Guitar Overdose (G.O.D.) with an earlier outfit, The Wild Cherries, Lobby with scraggly Magwitch hair and a greasy moustache, it was one of the best things I had ever seen. I love the man and the DJ at the Old Bar, did too, she’s like the best DJ in town and when she saw my jubilation during ‘Flash’ she followed it with ‘Human Being’, her personal favourite, and explained how she was up front at the Corner at the Coloured Balls reunion and Lobby almost bopped her in the head with his guitar neck. Whole Lotta Shakin’.

Guested at a Whisky Club on Sunday night, and an enchanted evening it was, sitting around consuming whisky, listening to Goblin.

Got a copy of Steve Miller Band’s first album with my haircut today. How cool is that? Well I didn’t get the album for free exactly I had to pay for it, but the shop sits above Dr. Follicles, so in some way, I left the shop with it, get it? Volume 3 is there too, hope to pick it up next time I need a snip, but it could be awhile because a solidly bearded Craig, cut it quite fine.