Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gentle Turtle Cavern

A black cat crossed my path Friday night. Not that I’m superstitious, but I do wonder sometimes. Saw some good bands, none of whom could hear themselves too well and since Flywheel were the quietest they sounded the best. Spontaneous slumber party took place afterwards, vaguely recall belting out Madonna’s Cherish, among other less memorable selections.

I woke up shattered, but glad to be in North Fitzroy. De Campee thought I had wetted myself, but I hadn't, what a greeting! Huevos at Julio’s with a Cambodia-bound Carla.

Biked into town, arduously, settled in at The Regent (classically handsome), saw a Finnish film that licked.

After the flick, bought some beer in Chinatown, teenage clerk with the disconcerting hands of an old woman (not that an old woman’s hands are disconcerting but they are if a teenager is attached to them). She gave me 60 dollars change for a fifty, a moral quandary ensued. Took it and bought De Campo dumplings with it.

Later that night I forgot to wipe oven cleaner off the roof and ruined the roast. Leaned against kitchen bench and pondered the point of it all. Nibbled on a bit of skin before I tossed it in the bin, keen to savour some flavour and immediately got a stomach ache afterwards. Convalesced on our new couch. Fell asleep watching bad movies. Had a dream I came into the possession of unpublished works by Henry Miller. ‘Gentle turtle cavern’ being the only phrase I can repeat here.

Saw the Hunter S Thompson doco last night. Excellent production with a picaresque gallery of riffraff, from the important (William Buckley, Nick Tosches, Bill Murray) to the self-important (Benicio Del Toro, John Cusack, Sean Penn) to the dear (Johnny Depp, Ralph Steadman).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jerry Lewis is a total stud and other miscellaneous thoughts

Friday night the action didn’t stop. Aleks and the Ramps delivered one of the shows of the year and I held a shaker for part of it. The afterparty was a bit weird how everyone turned into reptiles and shellfish except Carla (oh my darling hot hot Steve) who was this haloed beacon of light.

I have been wanting to talk about Buster Keaton and Jerry Lewis all week after seeing a smashing double feature on Wednesday, but an inability to write a worthwhile word or two about either of these comedic geniuses had prevented me. Sometimes words don’t cut it. Keaton is a profoundly moving and inventive slapsticker/surrealist. I wonder how long it would last if we shared a flat together. My temperament would probably suit him, though I doubt he'd appreciate my fascination with his deadpan and the subsequent fixation for hours on end. I would fetch his waistcoat and maybe we could go see a Fatty Arbuckle movie together. You know he broke his neck taking a fall in Sherlock Jr? He is a very alluring apparition in this film. See it before you die. It’s absolutely wonderful. He’s a spectacular dreamer and an amazing deliverer of hair-raising stunts.

Second on the bill was Jerry Lewis' The Bellboy. Nowhere near as transcendent as Sherlock Jr. nevertheless it is, to borrow a phrase from my eloquent movie cohort, Jesse Jackson Shepherd ‘a brilliantly executed series of gags’. Jerry Lewis is a total stud.

In other news, chickpeas have secured a place in our weekday meal rotation. A type of salad De Campo makes with zucchini and couscous. I'm not just saying that because she's been unwell either, poor tootsie covered in hives, most recent break-out occuring Saturday night while watching Taxi Driver. She was like what’s happening to me and I was like listen honey a lot of people break out in hives while watching Taxi Driver. It's not that uncommon.

I then considered writing a thesis on Taxi Driver and Punch-Drunk Love: A Study of Great American Loners. It would be fairly excellent.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shampoos of Glory (or Blades of Redken)

Trouble for friends of de campo who failed to acknowledge her new hairdo on Saturday night are destined to languish in the bottom tier of her thoughts for the better part of an eternity this week. Not a pretty place to be I can attest. A haircut inspired by Rumer Willis deserves more than that, but then that's just me. I'm the kind of guy who knows if someone has shampooed in the last 48 hours and whether they have conditioned or not. It’s a smart tool that I use only sparingly, which means not all the time.

At the Pony on Saturday night New Estate introduced a new song into their repertoire that reminded me of Moonlight Mile, only better. A new look Mid-State Orange brought a snap and a significant crackle to their pop. I was quite impressed with the results of that initiative. In other news, my buttock is well-mended and my left eye has stopped twitching.

Oh and I chortled my through the latest Will Ferrell masterpiece on Friday night. It's called Blades of Glory and it don't matter that the rest of the cast get bum lines, see it on the big-screen for Ferrell and the bawdy musical numbers, which are just superb.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Huh, what? Pardon? Excuse me? Can you repeat that? Come again. A bit louder. What was that? Once more. You’ll have to speak up, sonny, my eardrums are marinated in sonic deth.

I was at the Dinosaur Jr. concert last night. I SAID I WAS AT THE DINOSAUR JR. CONCERT LAST NIGHT. I SAID...

Monday, July 09, 2007

OZ News & World Report

I threw my back out reaching for a pickle.

Friday, July 06, 2007

To Hell with this Town!

Lunch was cancelled yesterday by AO, he was taking his daughter to the snow. I was fine with that mainly because I didn’t have the available funds (pay comes through tonight) and after a recent cardigan rampage I took some pride in abstaining.

Out of curiosity, I checked my statement this morning and lo and behold there was over a hundred and forty dollars in there! Jubilantly I emailed two colleagues CS and MN (they sit over the partition wall from me, still I chose to email them) and begged them to reconsider lunch even though AO would not be participating. I explained how excited I was to devour a Swan Hotel Chicken Parmagiana but MN had already made plans and CS merely wanted soup from next door.

The soup idea sounded good and I also figured I could buy my tram ticket and mail a postcard.

CS further convinced me to get a bagel, so the plan was to go down to the grocer for the bagel and up to the café for a cup of soup. On the way to the grocer we popped into the café to make sure the soup was a good one, it was, so we went and bought the bagels. I bought mine (.95 cents) and took out one-hundred bucks. The cashier was a bit annoyed and said we have an ATM and I was like I know but it charges me two bucks every time. She said I don’t have a hundred bucks I don’t think. Could you check? She did and she did. CS was next in line and she had picked up some garlic and herb cream cheese that she said I could have free of charge. So far so good.

With a hundred bucks in my pocket I said goodbye to CS and went into the post office to buy my monthly tram ticket and stamp so i could mail the postcard. The total came to $102.90. But I only had a $102.85. The transport shits had raised the prices again. I was totally furious. I bought the ticket and stormed back to the grocer to use the ATM, so I could afford to pay for a postcard and a cup of soup. I bought the stamp and paid the man the five cents extra and then I walked all the way back to work and it wasn’t until I was at my desk that I realised I had forgotten to buy the goddamn soup.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rambling, Art Swoon

The first part of the weekend was a dalliance with high culture like no other. It wasn’t until Saturday about 4pm, over a plate of quesadillas and nachos at an overpriced restaurant in Fed Square (we had a voucher) that it started its descent into degeneracy. But my, what an opening! De Campo and I attended the Guggenheim show, but before I talk about how good that was how good were The Apartments on Friday night? Brilliant, brilliant set from these Brisbane classics, who never ever played Melbourne until now. I said hi to Peter Milton Walsh after the show and he shook my hand. He was more decent than I expected (doesn’t he come across a little cross in David Nichols’ Go-Betweens’ book? Thought so). I was lame enough to tell PM I didn’t listen to his records anymore, but still was curious what songs were played off what albums and he was courteous enough to tell me! It was a tedious exchange, but that’s my problem — Peter’s an absolute gentleman and I tell you those boys killed. The upshot is I played their albums on Saturday morning before we left to the gallery and they sounded superb. Flame rekindled.

I'll take you on a tour of the Guggenheim show and try not to give anything away. The Rothko was okay, should have stood alone, paled next to the Pollack (Green Silver) which for its diminutive size slayed even the Goliath De Kooning opposite. There was a big painting around the corner that was hot pink and pale butterscotch I liked that one a lot. Pure ecstasy, I said. Next to that was another big one that I found really threatening to my manhood. It was a jagged weird-angled v in blue and green on a white background. “Porn...Bad” I uttered, while De Campo dismissed it with a footy team jersey reference. A room full of optical art from the 70s provided some neat little tricks on the eye and some dead-cool minimalist stuff there as well with white fabric that would have made bitching prog-rock covers.

Dan Flavin’s flouro tubes (pictured) got my sensors dazzling in ways George Lucas can’t. Like a few things in this exhibition Flavin’s flouros were built to specification in Melbourne. The logistical undertaking for this show and the vast quantity of pieces (one work has 14,000 individual pieces) was outstanding.

Around the structure housing Flavin's stuff was Roy Lichtenstein's giant ode to industry, Preparedness, which reminded me of Fritz Lang’s metropolis or those Communist propaganda posters. De Campo said the blue in it reminded her of the colour she sees when she gets an acupuncture needle stuck in her forehead. The Rauschenberg next to Roy's complemented it in the sense of the worker theme but it's not as cool as I wanted my first experience with Rauschenberg to be. I expected Rauschenberg to provide something as sophisticated as his trademark sleek shirt and sweater combo, but this was far too gritty for that.

Gilbert and George, who are like the B-52s of the art world, had two magnificent works perfectly encapsulating the 80s better than anyone else there and they were up against stiff competition. Next to the Lichtenstein, G&G's ‘Waking’ was the biggest picture. Paul MCarthy's Fucked Up is a silicon black rubber sculpture of michael jackson and Bubbles that made me cry it was so sad, I was getting heavily emotional by this stage, but apparently it needs to be appreciated in an art history context because it was made as a reaction to a quite syrupy Jeff Koons MJ and pet chimp sculpture made of precious metal leaves and other fine substances. That one wasn't there. Perhaps I was mourning its absence who knows. Two Koons painting were in the post-POp or whatever you want to call it room next to McArthy and G&G. Much mirth, Koons’ sandwiches were hilariously scrumptious and delightful.

The idea of Rachel Whitebread to plaster cast the negative space of objects is a genius one and one that I appreciated once De campo explained to me what it was. This show features the gnarly cast of her staircase. Very impressive. I liked it. Moving on. De campo found Sarah Anne Johnson’s photography exhibit, juxtaposing models and miniatures on a tree planting excursion in the Canadian wilderness, most inspiring, for me it was a little too LL Bean catalogue. Matthew Barney's lavishly produced Cremaster Cycle is a waste of money, but a pretty good exercise in excess. So pretentious it's funny, but too tedious to bother and our buzz was depleting rapidly as a result.

There are so many wonderful and confronting surprises in the final stretch I hesitate to take you on this tour for fear of spoiling it. It starts slow with a few lesser Mapplethorpes (no bullwhips), then there's an eerie Cindy Sherman of a glamorous face half buried in the marsh surrounded by accessories from her purse including a hand mirror that’s open and showing a terrible, simply monstrous reflection. Needless to say I bought two postcards of works in this room and one by Gregory Crewdson is for H who takes the cake went it comes to sending me creepy postcards, you’re gonna get it you bastard!