It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh what a feeling of utter apathy

I bought a new car yesterday, having wrecked my current one last week. I am so hopeless with both cars and money, I chose the machine that was the cheapest from the first dealership we visited. It's a Toyota Yaris and it's red.

I think the salesman was baffled by my evident lack of interest. He seemed to lose heart around the time I was handing out balloons to the Bs while he was talking about torque or somesuch. Still, I got a little bit of trade-in value for my unsellable lemon and I pick up the new one on Thursday.

I have also been trying to get sage leaves, but there appears to be some sort of shortage in Sydney. I swear I have spent more time this week failing to buy sage than I have buying a new motor.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to kill your car

Uh oh, looks like all this "having fun" business has caught up with me. I have been struggling with a heavy head cold for what feels like weeks now. I can neither smell nor taste a thing and I'm experiencing life's rich tapestry through a kind of narcoleptic fug.

I also managed to destroy my car by not immediately taking it to the mechanics when an insignificant-looking little light appeared on the dashboard. Instead I booked it into a service and kept on driving in the meantime. Outcome; an outpouring of smoke from the bonnet, disconsolate self on the side of the road for a couple of hours, my usual ritual humiliation at the mechanics and a $2600 bill. In fact, a complete restoration would cost another $6000, so we're now in the process of finding a new car, which is a real bore already and we've barely started.

I'll stop grouching now. Here's the kids playing "Freeze when the music stops".

Monday, May 10, 2010

Too old for this shit? Not yet baby.

I had kind of thought that my festival going days were behind me, what with being 37 years old and all, but that was before I saw the line-up for the spectacular looking Splendour In The Grass 2010. LCD Soundsystem, Pixies, Flo & Her Machine, Jonsi, Grizzly Bear, Broken Social Scene and so on and on and on.

Upon reading the announcement, M&I took a nanosecond or so to decide to go. Due to an entirely predictable website collapse, it took forever to get tix (2 hours pressing F5) but we got them and we are ON. 3 days in a field in winter? Yes!

Somebody may even play an appropriate song about feeling a little too old and out of place to be somewhere but doing it anyway to make us feel somehow melancholy and jubilant at the same time.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wilco will love you baby

The splendid Wilco were in town this weekend. They did a strange deal whereby you could buy a regular ticket for their show at the State Theatre or double down on a "Premium" ticket for the State and the much smaller Factory Theatre. "Bollocks to it" M&I cried as we recklessly picked up the all-inclusive version.

Saturday was indeed wonderful, 2 hours and 15 minutes covering nearly all of the classics, some hilarious stage business for the opening number and a happy Tweedy. I enjoyed the rush forward to the front of the stage from throughout the stalls which had the theatre staff in conniptions. By the time they were stopping people moving from their seats, it was the epitome of stable-door-horse-having-bolted.

The Factory gig was looser, took in more musical byways and lasted even longer. There was also even more between song banter, which Tweedy is very good at (second only to Saint Jarvis imho). The icing on the cake for M&I was an encore consisting of two Big Star covers, presumably in honour of the recently deceased Alex Chilton.

I'm still not sure which night I enjoyed more, but I wouldn't be surprised if more touring acts used this format in the future. Mind you, my back was killing me by the time the second show was finished.

Maybe you can suggest something. As a matter of fact, you do suggest something. To me you suggest a baboon.

On Thursday I completed semester three of the ten year long odyssey that is David Stratton's chronological lecture series A History of World Cinema. In many ways its felt a bit dutiful so far, looking at the very innovative but occasionally dull films that invented screen grammar as we now know it. Obviously a lot of the silent comedy is still superb, but the drama....there are a few stone cold classics, but not too many (although discovering A Cottage On Dartmoor was a treat).

All of which is a preamble to my excitement that we have now reached the era of talkies and the 1930s golden age. Just glancing through the films that were made in 1931-33, the period covered by next semester, you've got Dracula, Frankenstein, The Public Enemy, M, Love Me Tonight, Scarface, Freaks, 42nd Street, Duck Soup, King Kong and so on. That's some good stuff right there.

Having said all that, I also got preposterously excited today at seeing the trailer for another silent classic, newly restored and re-released, Fritz Lang's astonishing Metropolis: