Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Operational Matters

Ok ... a few administrative matters to go through ... as you know this is a relatively new site and still a work in progress. At some point I want a music player on here so that you can enjoy with me the songs I am digging right now ... I would also like to add a Photo Slideshow Gadget as I know some of you faithful readers enjoy vicarity (is this a word ... if not I just made it up) a little too much ...!!

At this point in time I would like to direct you to the new addition of my "This Year in Music So Far" lists which now exist as manually linked pages ... which means I can actually add more text and also an embedded video per album ... FUN!! I hope you discover something new amongst my humble choices ... and please feel free to comment. You can do it anonymously and I really would love to know what you think ... there's nothing better in my books than a robust and energetic conversation about music ... food ... life!

And while you mull over this, please enjoy a "hipstamatic" pic of yours truly ... this seems to be the app du jour over here where I am. There was a free trial but I think you have to pay now .. but its like $2 or something. (oh and for some odd reason my monitor doesn't show in the pic!! Don't I look butch .. hehehe)

JD - I'm gonna git you sucka!!!

Ok .. yo yo ... wassup wassup!!!
Happy B'day homegurl!!! 27, Ferosh and Fabulous!!! And bubbles make everything fun!!!

I'm sooooo going to FB this photo!!

Method Champagne in Yarra Valley .. if you like your bubbles dry then remember Tokar Estate's Joie de Vie!!

And check out the revamped Grace Darling .... they've dumped Bikie for Chi-chi!!

A table with a view - our anniversary at the Panama Dining Room

Ok ... so we recently celebrated our Anniversary. After getting thoroughly sloshed on bubbles at the Grace Darling for Justine's birthday, our intention was to get in early at Gigibaba where you cannot book (hmmh!!!) only to find its hallowed doors well and truly shut!!

So we opted for the Panama Dining Room instead where the evening was made not just by the food alone, but our extremely capable waitress and the romantic ambience provided by our table with a view.

We started our amorous repast with a couple of apperitifs ... M had the Cynar which is a bitter italian liquer served with soda and orange - kind of an alcoholic chinotto ... and I had a trusty Pims (which along with cider seems to be the quaff du jour). And apperitifs they were, as we were suddenly famished and practically inhaled the bread that was served next.

For entrees, we ordered the Gruyere fritter off the specials and stuffed zuchini flowers (something I absolutely adore and will always order when in season and on the menu). The Gruyere fritter was basically a fried cheeseball ... yummy but prosaic. The combination of the 3 cheese stuffing in the zuchinni flowers ... in a word .. heaven!! And the combined flavours in the deconstructed salad underneath was interesting ... I actually enjoyed chomping on the bits of sultana .. which should tell you alot.

For mains, M had the Duck with Pork Belly off the specials and I opted for a simple pan fried Barramundi with asparagus and dill. My barramundi tasted just like a seaside holiday ... complete with salt water foam. It was delicious!! No better way of describing the oceanic delight that was served to me on the plate. M found his duck a little tough but it had good flavour and the bite sized bits of Belly Pork as well as the slithers of pork fat were an interesting addition but perfectly cooked in both texture and flavour.

By this stage we were too full to even consider sharing dessert and we decided that coffee was a wise choice after all that alcohol consumed throughout the day, including a glass of Maddens Rise Chardonnay for me and a Crittenden Sangiovese for M.

Navigating the back roads we made it home in one piece to an extremely tidy and spotless house and a wonderfully soft bed!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

But I still want to know how she got in the door uninvited - goldfrapp Head First reviewed

Ok ... the new Goldfrapp slipped quietly into the stores with a rather prosaic cover and no limited edition in sight!!

Although the single "Rocket" has been garnering interweb hits over the last few months and the video typically has a bondage theme at its core and a slight creep factor in its uber cinematic splendour, this cd's release is symptomatic of the times of ever tightening budgets and ever decreasing demand for the tangible product.

(or I could just have been living under a rock ... and haven't really invested)

Anyhoo, this is Goldfrapp doing Electro again ... not another female fronted 80s rehash you say ... but then again Goldfrapp were responsible in part for the re-vision and revitalisation of the elctropop genre in the first place ... back then it was a late 70s spangly Barbaresque version ... this time round its the early to mid-80s ... still very much disco morphing slowly into High NRG ... with a noughties sheen of course. Oh and a little bit of Abba thrown in ... in fact the title track could very well be a lost ABBA number from a once-imagined west end musical about chess playing diva cats ... well ... you get the picture.

I have to say this is a bit of a grower ... it doesn't quite hit you in the sing-a-long stakes ... but give it time ... and the dancing shoes will be out in your living room.


And isn't it serendipitiously strange that Hazell Dean's "Heart First" (get it) has just been given the old remastering treatment ... You cannot be a child of the 80s without having shaken your fluoro-bitched arse to "Whatever I do" ... its like not having heard of Sheena Easton ... c'mon!!!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Until the light takes us ... or the spawn of an affluent western society

Ok ... so I have been holed up on the couch nursing a pair of painfully infected tonsils feeling generally miserable ... as such, the mind naturally turns to lighter matters like the subject of Black Metal, for instance ... so thanks to my friend in the hardcore fridge D, I watched "Until the Light Takes Us"

And like most of the country and the western, the more I delve into the hardcore scene in all its variants, the more I'm convinced that this genre will forever elude me ... I can't come at it musically or lyrically, although I appreciate alot of the cover art, the looks (trend based or otherwise) and indeed the passion (which can lead down some pretty warped pathways as the doco clearly illustrates) of both its purveyors and indulgents.

The doco essentially tells the tale of 2 (I gather) influential Black Metal artists: the rather earnest and slightly uncomfortable Glyve Nagell of Darkthrone and the articulate but self-delusional Varg Vikernes who recorded under the moniker of Burzum.

You warm to Glyve straightaway ... although he does scream tech support!! And has the inflections of someone educated in the private school system or its equivalent .. he gets busted by customs on a train early on in the film for having teargas in his bag ... first alarm bell for me ... why the hell in Oslo would you need teargas ... I ask you .. if not for effect ... and if that is the case then this is a massive FAIL!

I can see how you could be attracted to Varg in a sot of perverted serial killer way ... but this guy is one hell of an obsessive meglomaniac and an extreme spouter of cod philosophy so rank its like he's brewing fish sauce everytime he speaks ... but make no mistake ... Varg is a murderer ... he received Norways maximum penalty of 21 years jail for this crime and also 4 counts of arson.

He recounts the time when Mcdonald's first opened in Norway and how they gathered all the arms they could find (its the gun toting west in this pocket of Scandinavia) and took pot shots at the windows in effort to preserve the ways of old - i.e. an idyllic time when the community was homogenous (alarm bell!) - which somehow turns around into a defiant act of burning down churches, some of them heralding back to the 12th century because to create something new, you have to get rid of the old ...??

If that was the strongest act of defiance that your bourgeouis anger and self-righteousness can invent, it is no wonder that Varg vented his frustration in a fatal act of violence ... all I could think of was white anglo saxon - never worried about a roof over their head or food on the table - I can't imagine something like black metal ever emerging from somewhere like China ... can you? They're too busy struggling to survive for all of this existential angst ... and in some ways I'm not sure if they're any the poorer for it.

Oh and dude from Mayhem, killing a "faggot" ... not cool!! Oh and dude from Satyricon ... self mutilation? ... *yawn*!!

And now that I have angered most of the dissasociated yoof of today (and I don't think they're off crying into their Facebook/Apple produce cornflakes as a result), all that is left for me to say is that the most metal I'll ever get is Kate Bush's The Dreaming lp.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Frank Black ... still fat

Ok ... apologies I know I'm not being terribly pc and endorsing prejudicial body image stereotypes ... but you know both Peter Jackson and Stephen Fry have shrunk ... I just thought that maybe in this case?? ... but no! However ... corpulent or otherwise, Mr Black still rocks ... and I mean RAAWWWKKKSS!! You would think that after all these years, that primal shriek would have taken a toll on the old adenoids ... but let me tell you that its still in good form.

And why am I dredging up this old 80s punk/indie stalwart? Well its because I was at the Pixies Play Doolittle Live show at good old Festie Hall - 2nd night!

On top of Black Francis' surprisingly powerful vocal chops, the rest of the band were equally super tight. I would have liked to have been on the other side of Festie hall closer to Joey Santiago, but I had a relatively clear view of Black Francis's shiny pate and David Lovering's (who looked the oldest) ferrulic mastery ... the man can certainly bang those cans!! From where I was, Kim Deal looked like she was set back a little, but she was her usual smiley chatty kathy self. And really, she just has to pluck a couple of strings and you're hearing cannonball ... am I right ... or is it just me?

Anyways, on the lead up to this I deliberately stayed away from Doolittle, but pumped myself up by watching Pixies live on Youtube. Still I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Festie Hall freaked me a little, mainly because its so bright when you first get in and you can really see the size of the place and the size of the crowd that you're about to be acquainted with in an eventual body crush.

The show opened with the Bunuel/Dali classic Un Chien Andalou projected onto the backdrop of the stage. The lights go out and the Pixies come out on stage to thundering shouts and applause. I've never felt such a surge of excitement from a crowd before. They started the gig with a couple of B-sides, then it was straight into Debaser and the rest of Doolittle in running order!

Doolittle was one of the defining albums of my teenage years and The Pixies were probably the last rock based band that offered anything new and innovative (you may of course object!). Its sometimes hard to understand the fervour that this band generates in their fans. They've always divided the indie/hardcore communities but I think they can be all things to everyone ... even an awkward spotty and confused individual cursed with an avid imagination and a lack of opportunity!

It was a relatively "older" crowd (so the young 'uns haven't quite caught up with this part of the 80s in these revisionist times) with a soupcon of young headbangers including a group near me doing the hardcore dance! They got told off by this other guy halfway through telling them to move up to the front and they gesticulated back saying why didn't he move to the back ... Juvenile all round! And they quietened down so it was a FAILED on their part!. Anyhoo, each track was met with howls of excited recognition ... and we were all singing along ... don't you worry. Its hard for me to actually say which were the standout tracks because they were all brilliant (I know I don't mean to sound like a total fangirl) but if I had to choose for me it would have been "Tame, Crackity Jones, Hey and Gouge Away". No scrap that ... they were ALL great.

The band did 2 encores, completing the canon of Doolittle b-sides and then playing a song each from their other albums including an amazing version of Caribou from Come on Pilgrim!

I swear they cranked the sound up for the encores. My right ear was throbbing from the Planet of Sound!! Or perhaps it was simply a manifestation of euphoria from witnessing such an amazing gig from a band we had all given up on many moons ago.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

In Autumnal Heat

Ok ... so are we having an Indian Summer? I believe so. Melbourne has turned on its meteorogical charms and blessed our city with warm sunny days and cool breezes ... and we discovered a surprising display of Autumn colours nestled amongst the lemon tree:

And in preparation of a number of visits to come, we finally got round to staining our french doors ... a simple coat of dark varnish with a G&T finish ...

Hope you're enjoying the lovely outdoors while it lasts.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Chien Andaluscia

Ok ... so I'm reliving my teenage years tomorrow night ... so to get us all in the mood ... here are The Pixies

Friday Night CBAs

Ok so after a few bevvies with the young 'uns over at Trunk I headed home to another CBA Friday night and we decided to go back to one of our erstwhile stalwarts in Footscray: Golden Harvest.

We haven't been here for awhile and were pleasantly surprised by some new additions to a rather fancy looking menu. Prices have gone up but its still relatively cheap compared to the alternates over on the other side of the river.

M was craving Peking Duck, so we ordered a half serve which comes to the table already wrapped ... but they do provide extra sweet sauce which is a big plus!!

This is no Old Kingdom peking duck but it certainly comes close in the flavour stakes and sometimes you just want to bypass the whole wrapping rigmarole and shove the stuff into your gut. And you don't need to order ahead!!

As our main, we ordered Pork Belly and Beancurd in Soy Sauce from the Claypot section.

I would have liked this to have been richer and darker, more Hakka style, but it was pretty yummy nonetheless. Combining rice, the sauce from this dish and a bit of Chilli Oil, made for a wonderfully piquant soup.

Having picked 2 fairly rich flavours, we opted for Spinach in Special Chinese sauce, which was cooked with Goji berries and garnished with thin slices of pickled radish. This was indeed a highlight and the perfect vegetable accompaniment. I could have eaten this with a bowl of rice all on its own.

Two ticks from us. We can't wait to go back and try some of the other dishes that caught our eye on the menu, including some cold plate offerings and soft shell crab! And there's no better recommendation than that.

Giving up the Ghost

Ok ... so I did get a response from SkyDrive Abuse ... and it was my photos of Ron Mueck's sculptures that contravened the code of conduct.

I still prefer to continue my blog on this site but unless they reactivate my account, then these are hollowed and haunted pages.

So until the final nail is driven into the coffin, you can continue our further adventures here:

Please note that this is a work in progress ... I will continue to pretty it up as I learn to navigate the site as time goes by.
But I believe it will now be much easier for you, dear readers, to leave comments ... so I am looking forward to that at least!!
dan cope wrote:

oh boo.. It was art for heaven's sake. It was out there for the whole public to see. All you did was record it in your own personal diary. Boo.. xxx
21 Mar

Temasek wrote:

Just a little embarrassed because I think they did email me about it but I rarely check my hotmail inbox and when I do I tend to delete these messages without really reading them carefully. And yes the Ron Mueck sculptures depict nudity in extremely realistic terms! The exact wording in the Code of Conduct is: "depicts nudity of any sort including full or partial human nudity or nudity in non-human forms such as cartoons, fantasy art or manga" - I guess this stretches to encompass sculpture as well.
20 Mar

Phoenix wrote:

What was the problem with the photos? Was it a copyright issue or did they show nudity or something? Even still, I thought that a complaint had to be sent to Windows Live before they take action on anything. Did someone complain?
20 Mar

Friday, 19 March 2010

Support Number 1127687697

Ok ... so still no response from Support ... so I guess its ground zero all over again. Bummer!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Ron Mueck Killed my Blog!

Ok ... Ron Mueck may very well have killed my old blog. Why .. I guess in these PC times a naked dick, plastic or otherwise, is still a naked dick!!

Anyhoo ... lets hope blogspot has more common sense and the intellect to know the difference ... you can still access my old blog here: http://cassimwebster.spaces.live.com/
(but there won't be any pics to peruse)

Dead in the Water

Ok ... so i'm trying out this email support thingey ... not impressed so far. My support Tixket number is 1127687697


Ok ... perhaps calling my last post Evil Dead was quite prescient of me. I was all ready to post a scrumptious Terry Richardson pic of Jakie-poo and put my 2 cents worth in when Windows Live helpfully informs me that my SkyDrive account has been shut down.

As a result, all of my pics are gone and have that hideous red cross in the corner signalling a blogging disaster.
So sorry to all my dear readers (ha!) ... this blog is temporarily kaput!
dan cope wrote:

19 Mar

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sculpture - Ron Mueck

ed's note - some of the photos on here have been removed as they contravene the Code of Conduct - you can search for them easily enough on Google Images if you are interested.

Ok ... I've blogged about Ron Mueck before ... and received a number of google hits as a result ... they currently have a mini retrospective on at the NGV which I believe finishes very soon. You really must attend this if you're able. Its unbelievable! Unlike the suburbanite nazi over at Langwarrin, the NGV does not restrict photo taking ... as long as flash photography is not used. So people were just clicking away, like us ... trying to get both perspective and detail ...
They say the devil is in the detail and it certainly is emblematic of Mueck's work. The wrinkly natal skin and bloody discharge all here in gargantuan proportions ... the toenails are so incredibly real even in this version of latex hyper-reality simply called A Girl ... there's something slightly disturbing in Mueck's work ... and the effect is no less exacting when the proportions are shrunk ... witness Dead Dad:

pic removed
Its hard to describe how unnervingly substantive this sculpture is. If you have ever seen a corpse before .. then you will understand ... how something so recognisably human appears truly lifeless ... and in so doing ... shrinks to almost nothing ... the scale of this is so apt in representing that excise of corporeality. This comes through in a similar, if rather less personal, work Old Woman in Bed:
Here Death has yet to arrive, but it is immenent presence is well and trully felt ... although in this case there's a sense of welcome relief ... perhaps that is simply my take on it.

We already saw Wild man in Langwarrin .. but this time we tried to capture his eerie uncomfortable stare and some of the skin details like the surface depressions on his elbow:
In an opposing way, close ups of the woman in In Bed presented a sense of calm and contemplation ... with a hint of resignation:
M was especially taken by Mask II ... particularly the fact that its hollow at the back ... a broken shard of some humungous mug ...
In addition to the Two Women that the gallery actually owns ... we also got to see Man in a Boat:

Woman with sticks pic removed

Still Life

and the relatively recent Drift:
But hands down my favourite was Youth ... a relatively small sculpture in scale ... but what a punch!
After finishing with Ron Mueck, we went and had a look at our chairs and also the photography section which is well worth the hike up to the top floor ... we also stumbled on a work which I should have taken note of ... situated in a darkened alcove was a ladder made of led lights with a reflective disc above and below ... giving the illusion of the ladder going on forever ad infinitum in both directions:

This effect was oddly enough repeated in the toilets at the gallery ...
After a brief stint people watching with a coffee we headed off home to a bowl of yummy Chiangmai styled curry noodles. One of those perfect saturdays .... a warm Autumnal day on the streets of Melbourne covered in hail-shredded leaf debris with a gap toothed blondie swimming in the chlorine choked waters outside the gallery ... aah Melbourne!! You wouldn't want to be anywhere else ... would you.
dan cope wrote:

heheh totally. I still find his work confronting though. xx
15 Mar
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