Friday, 30 July 2010

This gig should be on a friday night at 11pm ...

Ok ... met up with the lovely Licio for an evening of dancerock hi-jinks with Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem.

This has to be the earliest start to a gig I have ever experienced. Hot Chip hit the boards at 8pm!! They were their usual fun daggy self. But Alex really needs to lose that silly cap circa 1990.

Hot Chip have always been a better prospect live rather than on record. Its a bigger and meatier sound and they do look like they're having loads of fun ... and I haven't seen that kind of 80s shoulder swinging style dancing that Owen Clarke was dishing out (resplendent in Blue Miami vice Blazer and Striped top ala Jean Muir) since ... well the 80s!

Joe Godard was not present (for some undisclosed reason) but they had him appear on screen doing vocals for a couple of tracks looking like something out of a Bunuel movie. I remarked to W that if I was in a band, we would come on just like that ... multiple screens with a backing track!

They really got the crowd going with a string of favourites including Over and Over (I think everyone likes singing "like a monkey with a miniature cymbal), One Life Stand (Owen was going right off), One Pure Thought (I was going right off) and of course W's fav Ready for the Floor (she was dancing in the toilet). No Playboy unfotch but hey it was nigh on perfect otherwise.

But seriously dudes .... 8 o'clock?? Thats kindy time. And what's with the marracas overload?

After roughly a 30 min wait, LCD Soundsystem came on with their post-punk, new wave/no wave, electro-rock sensibilities. All the way from New York via Germany & the UK, with lashings of Bowie/Eno/Roxy and erm ... Duran Duran.

Yet another band that trully energizes live. And there must have been some good shit going round because from where I was standing, it was dance party madness. Everyone and I mean everyone was tapping in and flipping out. I was pogo-ing just standing still as the floorboards bounced up and down.

They started with a few favs including recent single Drunk Girls and the indisputable genius of Disco Infiltrator ... as a result the middle section lagged ... until the uber-punking Movement (my favourite). They even played Losing my edge. But take note James, closing with New York I Love You is getting stale.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Current Guilty Pleasure

Ok ... I'm loving the new Coles makeover and also loving these Coles "freshly baked" Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Friday, 23 July 2010


Ok ... I have been interstate and privy to costly wireless hotel connections which isn't really an excuse ...perhaps you would like to know that it was more a case of too many drinks at hotel bars to be arsed with interhole meanderings and hence the lack of recent posts!!

But where to begin? Surely we must break this erstwhile literary drought with a post about food. I believe we may have found the holy grail of fish and chipperies. As you may or may not care less, M and I are constantly on the lookout for a local fish and chips that is in anyways half decent!! It has been a long, arduous and ultimately fruitless quest until now. And the best part of it is its just round the corner!! So sundry chips and batter don't arrive a-table all soggy with crispness motioned away on the car ride home.

And where exactly are we talking about? Well Ebi on Essex Street. John who runs the joint looks like an escaped convict or a villain out of a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie. But he's sweet as green tea custard pie. M had already checked the joint out for lunch and was his usual effusive self, which meant that even the gravel on the footpath outside was somehow remarkable by association. Anyhoo, he was raving about the Vegie Balls which were good enough to turn you vego:

They also have crab balls on the menu. But I gather these are popular and sell out pretty early in the day. M ordered the Squid and I went for fish.

M's Crispy Fried Squid

Perfectly cooked Fish and Chips

Both were served with a portion of yummy yellowy chips and this amazing nipponese salad complete with pickled Bamboo shoot (which I actually loved) and crisp slice of lotus root.

He has plans for a sake bar which would suit us just fine. We can get obnoxiously tanked and simply stumble home on foot.

Ebi Fine Food on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Its in the trees, its coming!!

Ok ... I was rugged up in bed with a copy of Uncut reading about how Kate Bush's Hounds of Love changed the world, and marvelling at the advent of the Fairlight and that Linden (hugh padgham/phil collins rubbishness still abounds) gated drum sound. I'm still puzzled as to why The Dreaming was such a resounding flop. Its a brillinat album. And weren't we all looking for something different at the time? Maybe we were too into the cold war/utilitarian teutonic electro beats and frowned upon anything remotely organic (take that fretless bass and shove it!) or dare I say it ... hippy ... I mean the vietnam war and friends of the earth allusions ... over!!!

But from the opening pounding frenzied drumming and stabbing piano riffs to the closing drumtalk and hammer horror guitar motif, The Dreaming is still a flash of uncommon brilliance after all these years. And no-one else can lay a claim to such an individual and distinct vision as hers. Go ahead, find me a precedent!!

If I was pressed, I would have to say that of all the Artists that have made an impact of my music education, Kate Bush has to be at the very top of the list. Her music opened my ears to sound and melismatic cacophony and allowed me to celebrate individualtity or at least to take strength in the fact that no matter whatever taunts, slaps, slams, slips and setbacks life threw at me, inside me was a warrior woman in ripped organza railing at a wind machine with a theatrical sword. More importantly, Kate Bush has been the foundation of many a rewarding friendship that I have had and continue to have over the years ... the musical bond as it were and it has proven to be A-grade quality cement time and time again.

So why am I waffling on? Well I think its time to put my Bush memories down ... to try to encapsulate and thereby preserve this sense of what it is to be a Kate Bush fan.

I think the first time I ever heard of la bush was in a Chris Ho review of Never for Ever talking about how her vocals swooped from octavial heights right down to the growling depths in a single riff. Then I saw her floucing around to Wow on an Abba in Switzerland (blogged about this previously) special. And I can't remember being as excited by music before. I finally scrounged enough pocket money to buy Never for Ever on cassette. I remember thinking about it all through a cross country run I did that morning. I was fair bursting with anticipation replenishing my fluids under a flame of the forest tree talking a mile a minute with my friend Edwin. And when I finally placed the cassette in its carriage and pressed play ... I'm sure I must have passed out for a few seconds before realizing even then in my pre-pubescent heart that music would play a special part in my life keeping me safe and rocking me gently through trial and jubilation alike.

My love affair soon spiralled across the Kick Inside and Lionheart - 2 albums that I only came to love much later in the piece. It proposed to and married The Dreaming after the fierce and torrid courtship of Never for Ever and gained blissful validation through the Hounds of Love. Things took a rocky turn with A Sensual World and we had to call it quits with The Red Shoes. But we're sitting comfortably on the porch with Aerial, sipping mull wine and contemplating the sunset.

Aah Kate, there's no one like you and I don't think there'll ever be.

And in the winter extra blankets for the cold

Ok ... in these wintry climes, nothing says "I Love You" like comfort food slow cooked in pot and served with creamy mash or cheesy cous cous ...

Braised Goat Stew with Beans cooked in Tomato Sauce served with blue cheese cous cous

Lamb Shanks and Garlic Mash

Cardinal Sins

Ok ... I've broken 2 cardinal sins in recent times:

Firstly I gave a good friend a candle (oh devil!!) for her birthday. Admittedly I bought it at a really cool store with an awful name (Toolz) and it smellt exactly as it said on the jar - lemongrass!! But it is still a candle nonetheless!!!

Secondly, I bought a pair of shoes perhaps a size too big and at one of those hideously tacky stores where they charge premium prices for pseudo designer (i.e. copied in eastern europe and manufactured in China) clothing. In my defence the boot ticks most of my requirements and was heavily reduced from what it was priced at before. Again another thing to note is that you should never pay full price at these so called fashion emporiums!! Wait till sales or bargain ... I did both.

The name of the store (Tzar) and its reverse writing should have set off the alarm bells.

The brand name (primo emporio) of the shoe should have had the fire engines clanging outside the door already!!!

But you know what? I still like!

I'm not going to reveal the final price but its cheaper than you would think. The sales"men" was a bit distracted with the rough trade he was helping fit in the ugliest tie-dyed crinkled ice blue pair of jeans this side of Moe!! He was happy enough to take my money though.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hurt Feelings and Missed Opportunities

Ok ... there was a massive human turd at the station this morning, smack bang where I normally stand waiting for the train ... and I can't help feeling that this is some kind of cosmic joke on me ... what are you trying to say Cosmos ... that my life is shit? Well too bad because "I KNEW BEFORE!!!" And in other life shitting news, my feelings are well and truly hurt!! Am I really that onerous a friend?

Monday, 12 July 2010

Its here ... the album Charlotte Gainsbourg would have liked to have made ...

Ok ... its been sometime since anything from the shibuya stable of artists that has inspired me. Gone are the heady days of the happy charm dance stylings of P5 and their ilk. Konishi Yasuhara seems to have settled into one singular groove ... more tom toms more bongos more shrieking horns. Everyone has morphed into cheesy electroclash meanderings ... or worse ... retreated into the pseudo intellectualisms of deep house and dub.

One artist continues to push the envelope in terms of mood and styling ... Kahimi Karie. Her latest album "It's Here", coming 4 years after the last one, is fantastically produced and its the aural equivalent of a warm bath with candles as a storm lashes outside against the window. Yes her voice is twee, and its all in breathy japanese pallated french ... but its beautiful despite its failings ... and I'm pretty sure this is the album Charlotte Gainsbourg had in her head for her sophomore effort.

This is not for everybody, and not for everytime ... you need to be in the mood ... but on those quiet nights of contemplation, glass of wine in hand, mobile phone on silent, this is the perfect accompaniment. Go on be daring ... try something a little different.

I can't find anything on the old tube from this newie, so I'm leaving you with 2 flavours of Kahimi - first the Momus heavy kitsch of One Thousand 20th Century Chairs taken from K.K.K.K.K (my first recommendation) and the second is the first track off 2003's Trapeziste album (my other recommendation).

Addm: Finally something on Youtube - Enjoy (12th Aug 2010)

And if you're feeling extra daring ... check out Shiina Ringo. She deserves a post all of her own. So till then, here's a taster or two.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Music Roundup Part 1

Ok ... we have much to look forward to. And what I'm liking about recent releases is that they're no longer at overblown overbloated self-indulgent lengths (hip-hoppers/r&b'rs we're looking atchu!). Things are being kept reasonably short and sweet, which means no filler, all thriller, quality over quantity! In the field of electronic and/or alternative music, there is much to look forward to. Here are a couple to whet your appetite.

(i) Bjork/Dirty Projectors - Mount Witternberg Orca

More crazy vocalesing with Bjork wailing over the top something inscrutable I bet ... its all about whales or some shit ... who cares ... I'm liking what I like so far. And here are some great promos  ...

(ii) Baths - Cerrulean

Aah, the LA scene. We're a little more sophisticated these days. No low risers, tattooed skate heads thrashers on the latest protein shake or limo-ed religious cult. We love our vinyl loops and assorted phazes. And I simply love ....

Wo ist Wendy??

Also ... wo ist Wendy?

Sie verlassen leider und ich bin traurig.

On a cold winter's day ...

Ok so what do you do on a cold winter's day when a gale is lashing against the house threatening to peel the roof off ... you make pasta of course!!!

Once again another brilliant effort M ... pity there are no picks of K's Apple and Rhubab crumble as it was delish!!

And yes we are still Masterchef obsessed ... and what the fuck? Marion? By the way, satay afficianados would never but a satay sauce with a yellow tinge!! Charlatans!

I have my M&M's and I'm happy!

Ok ... he's back and the house is once again a mess ... but oh what a beautiful mess!!!

"Kink your brows and you will hit upon a stratagem"
Chairman Mao

I'm kinking! I'm kinking!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A Random but pervy post

Ok ... I think its time we do a mid week roundup. Here are some of the random thoughts I had recently:

- an unexpected but not entirely unpleasant bonus to a certain social networking site (libris facialis) - having young turks as your buddies who in turn have young turks who love showing off shirtless bodies in galleries that they leave unlocked ... I do love them bits of rough!!

- nearing the end of True Blood season one and Sookie has just popped her cherry .... which made me think how a friend asked whether I was in love the day after I had mine popped ... he was being flippant ... but obviously I had the "glow" ... wow that was so long ago ... I miss the innocence and yearning that preceded it sometimes

- one more sleep till M gets back!!

- caught up with P for a rather sedate but pleasant afternoon repast at the Auction Rooms. I had a sadly underwhelming Pork Knuckle Sandwhich (cue consistently bad punning from the staff) with
crackling (mustard and pickles needed a bigger kick) ...

... P had a wagyu steak sandwhich

... I thought we were having an afternoon of drink and debauchery? But it was all very sedate and civilised. Glad you're back P and that all is well. Can't wait to see those 10 photos.

- just watched the Worst Scorcese movie of all time - Shutter Island (sorry D)

- Falling in love with newies from Robyn, Divine Comedy, Tame Impala, Chew Lips, and re-assessing the last MGMT album ... super excited by my Kraftwerk boxset and its impeccable remastering.

- I'm in love with the guy in the Subway commercial ... even his fake blokey accent ... coz I'm sure he talks like he's from melbourne high!

- Melbourne - freezing!!!

- did I mention one more sleep till M gets back!!!

And I think I missed out on commenting about our first lady of ginge ... so here's a bit of unlikely socio-political commenting on this blog:

Monday, 5 July 2010

In my hour of need ... there is food and stoic company!

Ok ... I am lucky to have friends who are gourmands ... life would simply be a paltry series of non-events if not for the brief baccalanian stopovers orchestrated by the more than capable hands of The N's.

In my current state of forced hermitude, they invited me over for a slap banger on Friday night where I was served ...

Crab and corn soup - made with real chicken stock and lightly blanched fresh corn ... the perfect starter:

Korean Belly Pork served with rice, kimchi and a sweet oyster/soy sauce ... wrapped in lettuce it was a delightful morsel for the tastebuds:

And a bowl of crispy fried prawns which my mother would have been proud of:

Thank you my friends. It made the empty hours a little more tolerable.

Queen of Denmark

Ok ... I'm breaking the drought dear blog and once again I grace your empty pages with one of the few things that I can honestly claim to be passionate about ... music.

This is soft cock rock at its finest. If you already love the nu-folk stylings of Midlake, then you simply must must must track John Grant's latest "Queen of Denmark".

I was not familiar with John Grant, and even less familiar with his band The Czars, but this album made with Midlake has all the melody and harmony drenched pathos that they are so adept in.

I can't praise this enough. You will find room in your life for any of these neatly constructed vignettes. They will keep you safe in those quiet reflective moments when you feel like you are about to implode ... they will put a slight but knowing smile as you brace the icy winds of a cold Melbourne winter.

Mojo (typical) has given it the full retro force of a perfect 10 score ... and it is indeed well deserved!! I am in love with John Grant.

Here's the first single - "I wanna go to Marz"

Buy Buy Buy!!!!

Oh and he has a song called "Sigourney Weaver" - Genius!!
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