Monday, January 30, 2012

Triple J hottest 100

Wow, what a great achievement Triple J's Hottest 100 was this year... 44 tunes in the list were Australian! 7 of these Aussie tunes were voted into the top ten! Plus, I think the list was compiled from something like 1.3 Million votes!

The top 10 are:

#10: Hilltop Hoods - I Love It {Ft. Sia}
#9: The Jezabels - Endless Summer
#8: 360 - Boys Like You {Ft. Gossling}
#7: San Cisco - Awkward
#6: Lana Del Rey - Video Games
#5: M83 - Midnight City
#4: Boy & Bear - Feeding Line
#3: Matt Corby - Brother
#2: The Black Keys - Lonely Boy
#1: Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know {Ft. Kimbra}

Here are a few clips of songs from the List. Their placing in this years Hottest 100 precedes the artist and song info. If you only have time to check out one tune..go straight to #6: Lana Del Rey - Video Games!

#92: James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream. This is a great live version from Jools Holland's show. If you like interesting electronic music that has a sense of soul... check this out and get lost in the sound.

#85: Cosmo Jarvis - Gay Pirates. Yes you read right... GAY Pirates!

#82: Little Dragon - Ritual Union

#77: Metronomy - The Look

#44: Hermitude - Speak Of The Devil

#23: Emma Louise - Jungle. Aussie artist  from Triple J Unearthed

#7: San Cisco - Awkward.
Aussie artists From Triple J Unearthed.

#6: Lana Del Rey - Video Games.
This song is so beautiful. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen.

#5: M83 - Midnight City.
Is that a sax solo and why does the solo remind me of the film 'The lost boys'?


#2: The Black Keys - Lonely Boy

#1: Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know {Ft. Kimbra} 
An Aussie number 1!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bogan ROCK Day!!!

Bogan rock, come on, we bag them, but secretly and not-so-secretly we LOVE the tunes!!!!
Who doesn't like a bit of Akka Dakka, Farnsey, Barnsey etc? Come on Aussie, Come on, Come on!!!
I bet you started singing along to that one... Ahhhh AHHH! Howzat! .. yeah.. maybe not, maybe I am just showing my age?

Anyway the 26th of January, aside from being my dad's birthday, is also Invasion day or Australia day, depending which side of the socio-political fence you sit on. Today I am going to focus on music and air some great classic Aussie tunes! So sit back, crack open a tinnie, slap on some zinc, pop on ya best blue Bonds singlet, ya new thongs, ya Stubbies/Hard Yakka, or King Gee shorts, make sure you have a fair bit of bum crack showing and enjoy the 26th of January, which I am officially changing the name to - Bogan Rock day!!!

( For the haters out there, you know who you are, I have some non-bogan Aussie tunes towards the end of the list!)

Australian Crawl- "Beautiful People"

Cold Chisel - "Flame Trees".  It was either this or Khe Sanh either way, you can't go wrong!

The Divinyls - "Boys in Town"

Paul Kelly and the Coloured girls - "To her door"

And now for a couple of cool Aussie non-bogan tunes..

INXS: "Don't change". Ok, Some Bogans Like INXS, so this is bogan borderline rock, either way this tune ROCKS and I love they way they start off on the back of a ute!!!!!! Call me crazy..but I would date the keyboard player based on his outfit in this clip! I do like a sensibly dressed man.

Jimmy Little covering The Church's "Under the Milkyway". I loved this Lp when it came out! Total legend and a total legendary tune!

The Go-Betweens - "Cattle and Cane". Legendary band and tune!

After hearing all these solid tunes... All I will say is forget 'Advance Australia Fair', any of the tunes posted here should be the our National Anthem (or Waltzing Matilda). Come on,  Fair suck of the sav!
OMG!  how passionately would we all sing along to 'Don't Change' or 'Flame trees' ????
No dinky di Aussie knows the words to Advance Australia Fair.... But some Aussie rock???  Too right! "Don't change for you, Don't change a thing..for me!'..  I reckon those words kick lame-o  'Australian's all let us rejoice, for we are young and free' for a bloody sixer! And Mate, don't even get me started on The Angels and 'Am I ever gonna see your face again' !!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Visitors, being a tourist and photos - Jan 2011

I recently had a guest here from overseas, So I did all of the nice host things including taking the guest about town and the state!. We went to; Daylesford, The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, The Otways,  The Yarra Valley, as well as many City and Inner suburban sites. Here are some pictures from the Twelve Apostles Trip.

Standard shot of a couple of  'Apostles':

Despite the spectacular nature of the Apostles, I seemed drawn to the low growing coastal flora, as you can see below:

Variations on an unknown plant #1:

Variations on an unknown plant #2:

And now for something not so completely different:

At Loch Ard Gorge, signs of bush fires were all around. The black burnt out shrubs looked surreal. I wish I could have captured the feel better:

The thin Wispy clouds in the sky:

The next day we went to Williamstown beach. It was really hot and the beach was full. As all of the covered and shady areas were taken, we walked across the road and lay on the grass at the Botanical Gardens. This is the view above me, the trees and sky, so beautiful, serene and shady!:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly- Jan 2012

The Good:

Instead of 'the good', this should probably be listed under 'The Exciting and The Magnificent' !

Tomboybill, who's work I love and I am not just saying that because we are good mates, but I am saying go and check it out!!!!! What are the details I hear you ask?

From Jan 10th to mid Feb pop down to APTE Cafe Gallery- 538 Heidelberg Road, Alphington...

How cool is the attached flyer???  Tomboybill's blog can be found here!

I have been a couple of times now and had great coffee whilst enjoying the brilliant art work..
At the artist's invitation I took some photos, here is one of them.. apologies for the reflection in the artwork:

The Bad:

This month's bad is 'having too many records to appreciate them all properly'. Yes it is a 1st world problem, I agree, but does that make it any less of a problem, especially for a lover of music such as I?

Towards the end of 2011, I purchased a few new LP's but hadn't really been able to enjoy them until the holiday season came along! First up, are a couple of LP's I brought myself for Christmas (though I don't generally buy christmas gifts for others, I do buy presents for myself!!):

Laura Marling- 'A Creature I don't know'. I have all three of Laura's albums, She is great, such a mature voice and songwriter, especially for her age.. just pure brilliance!

Laura Marling- 'Sophia' (Live on Jools Holland!)

Nico - 'Chelsea girl'. I never get tired of 'These days' and 'The fairest of the seasons', especially when I am maudlin!

 Nico -'These days'

One LP I brought late 2011 and have come to really like was Bill Callahan's  - 'Apocalypse'. I really loved Bill Callahan's last LP, as well as his work under the name 'Smog'. I have to say that initially I was a little disappointed with this Lp, but then it took hold and really grew on me. Cover art is by - Paul Ryan, titled “Apocalypse at Mule Ears Peak, Big Bend National Park in West Texas”.

Bill Callahan- 'Riding for the feeling'

In late 2011, as a reward for starting a new part time job and moving out of unemployment, I purchased 3 cheap-ish Lp's on the internet. They are up next.

Nick Lowe -'The Old Magic'. I really hate the front cover of this record, so here is the much better, back cover!

Nick Lowe- 'I read a lot'.

Bjork - 'Biophilia'. You either love her or hate her, appreciate her or 'don't get it'. I like Bjork and the way that she is constantly trying new things. The clip isn't a film clip as such, but apparently is the projection that goes on in the background as the song is preformed on the current tour.

Björk - 'Mutual Core' (Biophilia Tour Projection)

Coldplay- 'Parachutes'. Admitting to this purchase will likely take me down a couple of notches on the northcote-cool-indie-snob ladder. In my defence, it is an early work of thiers (which is usually the thing to say. isn't it???  You know the whole..."oh, I only like their early stuff...")

Coldplay- 'Don't panic'

The Ugly:
This month's 'Ugly' is 'Back to work'. It should be illegal to have to return to work after holidays!  Yes I had two whole weeks off, but who really has a chance to relax over the Christmas nightmare, err I mean period. I know some poor working sod's didn't even get a break, and some poor unemployed people, can't get a job, so I shouldn't really complain... But, short holidays are a 1st world problem and I live in the 1st world, so I will complain goddamn it!!! Anyway, to make matters worse  I turn 40 soon....and I am still single!!!! Can it get any worse?
No, well...unless I lose my hair, and my eyes start to fail... oh hang on that's already happened.. I guess that only leaves falling for a Nigerian Scam...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

You’ve changed- Thornbury, Northcote and Westgarth's dying High St.

In the film ‘You’ve got mail’, Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly writes
“People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it'll be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll be just a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.”

This quote sticks in my mind as I walk the local streets and notice 'it', the emptying of the local soul. It seemed to have crept up on us silently. Just like cancer. I see the vacant spaces where life used to be. In the places where people once engaged and ‘community’ was created, now sit empty shops, closing down signs and sales announcing ‘the end’. Many of these stores I recall from when I was a boy. They were filled with people who remembered your name.They would strike up a conversation, ask how you are, talk about this and that and importantly ask how you went with your last purchase; ‘how did the sanding go’, ‘did you get those pants altered’ ‘did you like that new cheese or sausage?’ ‘how did the party go that you brought that gift for', 'did they like the gift?’ etc...

Now it is all disappearing.

It is more than about business, It is about community. Behind the businesses are the people of the community, who live here and often employ other locals. Just like you and I, these people make the area what it is. The vibrancy you feel, the one that brings others here, The one that gives Thornbury, Northcote and Westgarth it’s appeal… well, we as a collective, as a community created it. Unfortunately, the popularity of the area means that property values skyrocket,  landlords increase rents to prices that are not viable for these ‘mom and pop’ stores. As well, local council increase rates and fees. Who can afford to stay? Certainly not those who have small profit margins, high overheads and/or low stock turnover. I know it’s more complex than that. I know that business is lost to larger chain stores, who (because of buying power) can sell the same products cheaper, drawing away those locals wanting or needing to save money. And yes, there are many other reasons why local businesses close, but either way, I am grieving for our loss, for our community’s loss. I know that change and death are the only things we can rely on, but I guess I foolishly expected my local community to remain unchanged and the truth is, just like Kathleen Kelly, I find myself heartbroken.

This is for my neighbourhood. 
Billie Holiday-  "You’ve changed"
"You’ve changed.
That sparkle in your eyes has gone.
Your smile is just a careless yawn.
You’re breaking my heart, you’ve changed"

 Images from a collapsing neighbourhood:
As I walked down High St (traveling through Thornbury, Northcote and Westgarth), this is what I saw (forgive me the rudimentary picture collages).

Eight shops/businesses going or gone:

Another eight:

 Yet another eight:

Twelve final images of loss:

Click here for more you've got mail inspired blogging

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Patterns, Texture and Life.. as well as 'a day away with friends'

In celebration of the new year and of the wonderful things that lay ahead for us, I thought I would share some images taken with my little automatic digital camera. Some of these images are of the small often overlooked details, which somehow caught my eye as I passed them.  I do love the idea of some of these below images enlarged and hanging on a wall somewhere.

Patterns- Bark in Thornbury :

Texture- Graffiti-ed wall in Northcote:

Wall in Northcote:

 Peeling post in the city.

Painted wall in Fitzroy (detail)

The details from a wall in Collingwood:

Life- South Yarra:

Life- Or, where life once was (Nth Fitzroy):

Life- In my front garden:

What the fence painter did:

A day away with friends. 

Here are some shots from a recent trip to Daylesford with friends:

Later that night on a walk through the city, I came across this surreal image of a forklift parked on St Kilda Road, out the front of the National Gallery Of Victoria. Surrounding the forklift were trees beautifully lit up with green lights: