Friday, 28 October 2011

Nothing baby ... album covers come alive

Ok ... this was all over a friend's FB post, and its just too good not to blog about. And yes I am tagging this as art ... and sticking by it.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Ok ... starting off with possibly the world's worst pun ... ever!! On our way to said Tutankamun (a little on the meh side ... in case you were wondering) exhibition, we stumbled on the free portion of the Motorclassica exhibit, where I fell absolutely in love with the "push me pull me" Fiat 600 Multipla ... possibly the world's first mini-van??

Isn't she gorgeous? Wouldn't you love to toot this down Chapel Street with a best of Ministry of Sound CD pumping out of your speakers Maaate!!! No?

Meanwhile, to make up for the nasty taste that my hideous pun has invariably and indelibly left you with, here is a picture of new internet sensation, Boo the Pomeranian ... *aawww*

Monday, 24 October 2011

Ask Me Ask Me Ask Me

Ok ... a veritable bounty of brown cardboard boxes was awaiting me as I traipsed the rain sodden path to my front door this evening. But none more exciting than the little square box holding 8 digipacked morsels encapsulating my angst-ridden teenage years ... My Smiths Complete box set has arrived!

How can I put into words how this 80s band, fronted by the gladioli grasping, paisley wearing, charismatic lead singer Morrissey, the man Henry Rollins loves to denegrate, arguably one of Britain's most creative guitarists in Johnny Marr, substance loving and sadly overlooked bass player Andy Rourke, and litiginous drummer Mike Joyce, sustained me through some of the lowest points in my growing up with their songs of alienation and victimisation.

I scrawled their lyrics over plain white T-shirts, exercise books, fullscap pads, school files and tried emulating Morrissey's syntax and metrical line in some of the most god awful poetry ever committed to paper. Yes I was and am a little obsessed!

And now I get to relive and reclaim those painful years and celebrate them in the relatively safe comfort of my adult living room ... maybe just maybe we might be able to exorcise that awkward, spotty teenager once and for all!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mamasita ... donde esta Santa Claus!

Ok ... Mamasita!! We finally made it there! At about 5.15pm on a warm Friday evening I'm climbed those hallowed steps up 1/11 Collins Street, laden with my work bag and shopping for Saturday's party. With only one couple ahead of me, my name was taken and I was ushered to the bar to wait for M, who was about 10mins away. The joint was already pretty packed. My anxiety at the fact that I could be summarily forgotten was eased somewhat by the intense salty hit of the Mamasita Marguarita (El Jimador reposado - a tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime, on the rocks), which I was downing a little too quickly in excitement.

As soon as M pushed past the forming queue and waved at me in greeting, our friendly waiter already had menus in hand and was approaching us to take us to our designated table. You will have to be prepared to share, but although packed, it doesn't feel cramped.

M started off witha Charro Negro (El Jimador reposado, cola, fresh lime, salt rim, on the rocks), and we got down the business of selecting our meal from the menu. I would encourage you to go to the Mamasita website and look through the material there ahead of your visit. It will provide you with some idea on how big the dishes are and how to structure your meal. Their recommendation for a couple is to order 2 or 3 small items and a main., which is pretty much what we ended up doing.

However, regardless of how you do this, DO NOT SKIP the Elotes callejeros as your Primeros (starter). This is an absolute must have. Described on the menu as a "'Street Style' chargrilled corn, queso - a sort of cheese, chipotle mayonnaise & lime", the taste on your first bite is indescribable. At once familiar, at the same time, something totally new and exciting. (I should preface this by saying that Mexican cuisine is in many ways alien to me) It was certainly a great way to start the evening off. The creaminess of the cheese matched with the spice hit from the chipotle was brilliant. It was funny watching the large table behind us hoe into their cobs all at once, almost in formation, like something out of a looney tunes cartoon.

We went for 2 different Tostaditas (crispy toitillas with fillings on top):

de Pescado - Market fish, lime, guacamole, nasturtiums & serrano chilli
de Cangrejo - Crab meat, avocado, cucumber, tamarind mayonnaise & red chilli

I forgot to ask what the fish was, some kind of white flesh perhaps whiting, it was certainly the one to finish off on as it had the stronger flavour. Not sure if the Nasturtium petal contributed much beyond a bit of prettiness or colour. I would have preferred the Crab meat to have been a little stronger on the palate. If they both weren't on the plate together, the de Cangrejo would have stood up on its own, naturally.

Next to come was the no-brainer, ever since I read about the "Mexican Truffle" on Melbourne Gastronome, I have been dying to try it for myself. The Huitlacho Quesadillas, as Claire writes, is a must order, full off wonderfully earthy mushroom flavour. Ignore the fact that you are consuming the diseased part of the maize plant (god knows how they get this through customs), it was the second highlight of the evening.

We finished off our meal with a selection from the Food for the Family (i.e. Mains) portion of the menu - Estofado de cabra - Chipotle-braised goat, roasted sweet corn paste

If you order this, make sure you try it with the El Yucateco Hot Sauces provided at your table - Chile Habanero green and red. (You can buy these and your fridge should not be without!) They work very well with the rich and unctious goat meat. You have the option to choose either rice or tortillas as accompaniement. I'm not a fan of sweet corn, but the sweet corn base worked well in this case, and is necessary. The flavour, unusually, got better towards the end, even though we were reaching breaking point!

If I wasn't fiddling with the top button of my pants, I would have ordered another serve of Elotes callejeros, but judging from the queue snaking out into Collins street when we left, this cocina ain't going anywhere anytime soon ... definitely worth repeated visits, and certainly worth queuing up for.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

2011 - the year that love forgot!

Ok ... I'm not going to sugar coat it ... I am having the shittiest day!! So perhaps I should just log off, rug up and head off to contemplate angels (or should that be devils) ...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Chicken and Beer ... really?? Yeah really!!

Ok ... sometimes the best way is the simplest way!!! Why overcomplicate things when you can easily state facts. If you serve Chicken and Beer, why not call your establishment ... well ... Chicken and Beer!! Alright ... its actually called GAMI - Chicken and Beer, but we shouldn't let details get in the way of a good byline!

It was one of those early Spring evenings when the weather turns! M met me in the laneway huddled up and lightly drenched. We skooted across the way to the rather nondescript entrance at the Spring Street end of Little Lonsdale.

Thank god we were early. This joint is rocking!! People were being turned away within about 20 mins from when we sat down. And we got there just after 5.30pm.

GAMI is actually a Korean restaurant, but there's no bim bam bup or hot plate bbq in sight. They serve Fried Chicken ... oh and beer. Its basically an upmarket KFC ... and there's nothing wrong with that sentence ... at all!

The first dish that arrived at our table was something called Corn and Cheese. We didn't really know what to expect. I was thinking a couple of corn cobs with a bit of melted cheese on top. Just something to bulk the protein factor. What we got was a round hot plate of corn absolutely drenched in the stringiest melted cheese ever.

We also ordered the Kim Chi Pancake, which was delicious, although oddly enough I wanted the Kim Chi to taste a lot stronger than it was. And I don't really like Kim Chi. The accompanying chilli sauce was a little heavy on the Soy, but it also went well with the fried chicken.

There is no middle ground with the Fried Chicken offerings. Apart from the choice of flavourings, the fried chicken plate comes in only one option ... Super Size!!

We decided on plain old Korean style. And I swear there must have been a whole steroid fucked chicken on the plate. We couldn't quite finish it all (which if you know us, is highly unusual!). But it was yummy and exactly what we were after. Next time (and trust me there will be one) we'll order the tasting platter, which gives you all 3 options on one plate. And we'll have more people with us so we don't look like absolutely pigs.

I wanted the staff to come and clear the empty plates because I was embarrassed by all the food arriving at our table. I shouldn't have worried, because as we walked out, the table of 2 guys at the entrance were hoeing into 2 plates of chicken, a jug of beer (that comes in a keg) and 2 lots of pancakes! Crazy!

Oh and we had beer.

What it says on the tin peops ... what it says on the tin.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Stop the world I want to get off ... chillling at Von Haus

Ok ... sometimes you just need to tell the world to fuck off and just chill!

I caught up with good friend CC for a quiet coffee sat by the window overlooking Crossley Street at Von Haus.

I rang work and told them I was taking an extended lunch. The chocolate tart was too scumptious and the company too good, they needed to be savoured leisurely.

CC lets do this again soon. I love our little chats.

At the Station with the parentals in tow

Ok ... it wasn't just endless loads in the washing machine or eye-rolls and religious lectures, we did have time to sit back and enjoy the view. In lieu of my absence at Dad's 80th, we took him back to the Station for his fill of steak. They had a bug and octopus carpaccio on the special served with broad beans which they need to transfer onto their regular menu forthwith!! It was heavenly.

We also enjoyed a Coonawarra Cab Sav from Hollick which you need to track down immediately. (I feel like Cab Sav all the time now!!)

I wanted to take a photo of Mum's steak. She wanted it well done, which I had to sheepishly order on her behalf, and came to the table a pathetically shrunken disc that could have fit into the palm of my hand. That was a statement from the kitchen if ever there was one!

The Twilight Years ...

Ok ... the parentals have been and gone. And now I sometimes lay awake in bed listening to the sirens going off in the night and wonder when they will come calling for me ... with empty dreams and painful regret ... perhaps things may turn out trully for the best ... I feel a sudden urge to sprint and never stop running ...

A dreaded sunny day and I'll meet you at the cemetry gates

Ok ... Keats and Yeats are on your side indeed ... and we roll out the carpet for the invidious presence of the Limited and/or Deluxe edition ... yes I have chosen the word "invidious" wisely as I am wracked with feelings of resentment and envy as I lust after these beautifully prepared, individually numbered, cloth bound morsels of auditory and consummerist delights, desperately entombed in the purgatorial hell of extremely tight purse strings!

But this seems to be the format du jour for most artists these days trying to recoup lost revenue from the profit skimming downloading hounds of the modern world. And there is also the hope that remastered and rejuvenated, the material may gain new fans and interest. Oh and very very slightly, there is the joy of providing long suffering and loyal fans a bright burst of nostalgia and a glimmer of the excitement once exprienced when music could not be purchased without some form of physical exertion beyond the double click of a mouse.

So as I wait for the dollar to get better, my plain vanilla version of the Smith's remastered boxset languishes in my Wishlist along with the rest of the doldrum club members of which include the Beatles boxset, George Michael's Faith (CD/DVD) and other sundry retro rejects.

But I can't help wonder if I shouldn't bite the proverbial bullet and fork out £250 of my hard earned marbles and get the full Rhino experience:

This includes -
All eight albums on CD featuring mini-LP replica packaging with gatefold card wallets
All eight albums on 180-gram audiophile vinyl (five single LPs and three doubles)
Twenty-five 7-inches featuring all of the band’s singles with “specially reproduced rarities”
A 36-inch by 24-inch poster of all album and single cover artwork
“The Complete Picture” DVD featuring all of the band’s music videos
An eight-page, 12-inch booklet featuring “expanded liner notes”
Eight-inch by 12-inch art prints of each album cover’s artwork
Code to download band’s entire catalog as high-quality, 320kbps MP3 files

I'd probably end up listening to the albums as mp3 files ... but hey ho ... for all my teenage angst and trauma ... £250 ain't such a bad price for reliving the experience.

Meanwhile over in prog territory, Pink Floyd has their Immersion series of remasters.You can get the entire catalogue as a boxset, or shell out about $159 for the Immersion box set of The Dark Side of the Moon.

The Immersion Experience includes:

DISC 1 – CD 1:
The Dark Side Of The Moon digitally remastered by James Guthrie 2011
DISC 2 – CD 2:
The Dark Side Of The Moon performed live at Wembley in 1974 (2011 Mix and previously unreleased)
  • - The Dark Side Of The Moon, James Guthrie 2003 5.1 Surround Mix (previously released only on SACD) in standard resolution audio at 448 kbps and 640kbps
  • - The Dark Side Of The Moon, Quad Mix (engineer Alan Parsons, previously released only on vinyl LP/8 track tape in 1973) in standard resolution audio at 448 kbps and 640kbps
  • - The Dark Side Of The Moon, PCM Stereo mix (as per disc 1)
Live In Brighton 1972:
  • Careful With That Axe, Eugene (previously unreleased on DVD)
  • Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (previously unreleased on DVD)
The Dark Side Of The Moon, 2003 documentary (25 min EPK)
Concert Screen Films (60 min total):
  • British Tour 1973
  • French Tour 1974
  • North American Tour 1975
Screen films play in stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound
-AUDIO: The Dark Side Of The Moon, James Guthrie 2003 5.1 Surround Mix (previously released only on SACD) in highest resolution audio at 96kHz / 24-bit
- AUDIO: The Dark Side O The Moon original stereo mix (1973) 96kHz / 24-bit
-AUDIO VISUAL: Live In Brighton 1972:
  • Careful With That Axe, Eugene (previously unreleased on DVD/BluRay)
  • Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (previously unreleased)
-AUDIO VISUAL: The Dark Side Of The Moon, 2003 documentary (EPK)
-AUDIO VISUAL: Concert Screen Films (5.1 Surround Mix 48kHz / 24-bit):
  • British Tour 1973
  • French Tour 1974
  • North American Tour 1975
-AUDIO VISUAL: Concert Screen Films (High Resolution Stereo Mix 48kHz / 24-bit):
  • British Tour 1973
  • French Tour 1974
  • North American Tour 1975
DISC 6 – CD3:
  • -The Dark Side Of The Moon Alan Parsons 1972 Original Album Mix (previously unreleased)
  • - The Hard Way (from ‘Household Objects’ project)
  • - Us And Them, Richard Wright Demo (previously unreleased)
  • - The Travel Sequence, live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
  • - The Mortality Sequence, live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
  • - Any Colour You Like, live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
  • - The Travel Sequence, studio recording 1972 (previously unreleased)
  • - Money, Roger Waters’ demo (previously unreleased)
  • 40 page 27cm x 27cm booklet designed by Storm Thorgerson
  • Exclusive photo book edited by Jill Furmanovsky
  • 27cm x27cm Exclusive Storm Thorgerson Art Print
  • 5 x Collectors’ Cards featuring art and comments by Storm Thorgerson
  • Replica of The Dark Side Of The Moon Tour Ticket
  • Replica of The Dark Side Of The Moon Backstage Pass
  • Scarf
  • 3 x Black marbles
  • 9 x Coasters (unique to this box) featuring early Storm Thorgerson design sketches
  • 4-8 page credits booklet
(thank you superdeluxeedition)

If you are a novice to Pink Floyd and are wondering why this band was so influential, then this is the album to start with. I'd even suggest that no serious music collection could do without this.

And then there is Bjork's Biophilia.

Weighing in at about £500 and limited to a total number of 200, this was never going to be for the fainthearted. And I believe what makes this extra special is that initial copies of the actual album are now different to the general release as bjork has since tweaked some of the versions of tracks on the initial release.

So what does the Ultimate edition specifically entail? Well, if you were one of the lucky 200, you have in your hot little hands the following:

strictly limited to 200 copies with individual numbered certificates, the ultimate art edition will be made to order and fabricated only once.

lacquered and silkscreened oak hinged lid case containing the biophilia manual, along with 10 chrome-plated tuning forks, silkscreened on one face in 10 different colors, stamped at the back, and presented in a flocked tray. each fork adjusted to the tone of each of the tracks from biophiia and covering a complete octave in a non-conventional scale. each case comes with an individual numbered certificate detailing the use of tuning forks.

the ultimate art edition contains the biophilia manual.
the manual presents the music of biophilia in a 48-page, full-color, hardbound, cloth-covered, and thread-sewn book, tipped on lenticular panel to the front cover, with foil-blocked spine and back cover; the music, on cd, is housed in black uncoated board wallets. the manual is removed from the case by means of a ribbon pull

I think I will be needing some counselling now ...

Monday, 3 October 2011

The House of Usher ... ok no that is a bit mean

Ok ... look away if you do not have a strong constituition either for scat or pap!!

I love M so much for putting up with 10 days of pee, shit and blood!! With the parentals here and a scratch happy cat, our house has been turned into a veritable charnel house of bodily fluids.

So bless MN for cooking his own birthday dinner at the start of this Septimana Horribilus. Our loins were well and trully girded by:

(a) A Kick Arse Vietnamese Salad

(b) A FatFried smosgaboard of Chicken Wings (watch me disgrace myself!!!) and fish cakes

(c) Just for some light relief, a heavenly dish of sticky sweet pork (my fav of the night):

And a new and brilliant recommendation in the liquid refreshment portion of the evening:

And again, we weren't fishing for an invite MN!!!

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