Category Archives: Music

Carolina Chocolate Drops

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If you come a knockin’ honey I don’t mind but if you’re not here for loving well baby don’t waste my time
If you come a knockin’ honey I don’t mind but if you’re not here for loving well baby don’t waste my time
There’s chicken in the fridge, half a bottle of wine, sit and eat your fill and give me what is mine
Chicken in the fridge, half a bottle of wine, sit and eat your fill and gimme gimme gimme gimme
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and the honey
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and the honey
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and whooo

I was watching your lips as we were walking you were talking
I wasn’t listening but watching your lips
I was watching your lips while we were walking you were talking
I wasn’t listening but watching your lips
Down to the corner store and right back up the stairs
Down to the corner store and right back up the stairs

If you come a knockin’ honey I don’t mind but if you’re not here for loving well baby don’t waste my time
If you come a knockin’ honey I don’t mind but if you’re not here for loving well baby don’t waste my time
There’s chicken in the fridge, half a bottle of wine, sit and eat your fill and give me what is mine
Chicken in the fridge, half a bottle of wine, sit and eat your fill and gimme gimme gimme gimme
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and the honey
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and the honey
Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money and the milk and ahh

Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man

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Weep for yourself, my man,
You’ll never be what is in your heart
Weep Little Lion Man,
You’re not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems
That you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear?
Didn’t I, my…

Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble Little Lion Man,
You’ll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck
Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear? (x2)

Didn’t I, my dear?

Ahhhhh……

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear? (x2)

Didn’t I, my dear?

Buying tribal art out of context and other traps for young players.

Ever since I saw a shabby little collection of cheap souvenirs from the 1930s onwards, in a showcase at the old Girl Guides headquarters in Sydney, I’ve resolved to buy “nice” pieces when I’m overseas. Instead of buying lots of little tatty things, my wife and I lash out and spend what we think is a fair bit of money for what we consider is something really special.

When we were in Ubud in Bali this year we saw this stone statue and we were immediately drawn to it.

Over a period of about a week we kept on going back to have a look at it.

Ubud is more or less the art centre of Bali and as such is packed with a plethora of galleries. It’s the Santa Fe of  Indonesia, if you will. The items in Ubud run the full gamut, from very cheap and nasty crap, right through to mind blowingly amazing and expensive artworks.

The trouble with buying tribal artefacts in Ubud is that, often the people who are selling the items don’t know anything about them. As a matter of fact you can go into the same store on different days and be told a different story about the same item every day. Sure enough, the Balinese who work in the stores know about the local Balinese artwork, but they can be so clueless when it comes to art that has been brought to them from other parts of Indonesia. We were told that the statue we were interested in was from Sulewesi.

Since getting back home and doing some research on the net, the best guess I can make for the origin of the statue is that it might’ve come from Sumatra and it might’ve been made by the Karo Batak. The statue has design proportions and elements similar in style to those used by the Karo Batak and it might be based on naga marsarang (Medicine Horns) used by Batak datuk (animist priests) to hold magic substances. I also suspect that the creature that I first thought might be a seahorse could actually be a singa (a protective mythological creature).

To be honest though, I don’t really care where the statue comes from, as I like it, and for all I know it could be some pastiche of various Indonesian designs cobbled together by a local sculptor. I would like to know where it comes from because I just hate being ignorant about anything.

A few days before we were to leave Bali, we took the plunge and after some haggling the statue was bought for a bit under half what was asked (which probably 50% more than would we should’ve paid). The Statue is 630mm high (about 24″), 650mm long (about 25 and half inches), 25cm wide (about 11″) and weighs 39kg  (nearly 86 lbs) so we arranged for sea freight to get it back home at a cost of $400 USD. I knew we would be up for customs brokerage fees as well when the statue arrived so I figured that we were up for about another $100 when we picked it up.

WRONG!

I picked up the statue yesterday and on top of the brokerage fees of $130, we had to pay another $93.50 for the delivery order (WTF is it, and does it mean?).

Then there was the import processing fee of $22.

Cargo automation fee of $27.50.

Terminal handling charge of another $27.50.

It was starting feel like the process was a death by a thousand cuts, but then came the heavier blow of $135.44 for the handling fee, quickly followed up by another body blow to the guts $121.

They knew they had me helpless on the ropes, so they unleashed a quick flurry of lighter blows to finish me off.

Smack!

$22 for maritime security charge.

Smack!

$11 for post and petties (petties? I thought this was just a beating, not foreplay).

So on top of paying $400 to ship the statue, I had to pay a further $591.44. Basically it cost us $1000 to ship our purchase from Bali.

Did I feel like I got screwed?

You bet!

I was screwed, blued and tattooed!

They bent me over that counter and fucked me six ways to Christmas!  They also had the audacity to act surprised when I told them I didn’t enjoy the experience and what a bunch of rapists I thought they were.

I felt so despoiled, as if I’d been subjected to some kind depraved customs broker’s fantasy. I can almost imagine what might’ve being going through the brokers mind’s as they were having their way with me.

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Caro Emerald, “Just One Dance”

Thanks to Joost (a visitor to this blog) I’ve just found out about Caro Emerald. I think she’s fantastic and her music will be on my next order with Amazon.

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Radio here in Australia is so abysmal.

Arrrggghh!
The tyranny of the majority and commercial concerns!

I’m so glad that I have friends with taste who can turn me onto new and interesting music. My wife and I are always on the lookout (or perhaps I should say listening for) non-mainstream (by Australian standards, which isn’t saying much) music, so if any of you out there think I might like something you’ve heard, please let me know about it and I’ll go and check it out.

Orkestar Bobana Markovica – Otpisani!!!

Tonight I’ve got a bunch of friends coming over for a Balinese influenced dinner. Now I know, should be listening to gamelan music, but to be honest, South East Asian food requires a lot of pounding with a mortar and pestle, plus a heck of a lot of fine grating and Balinese music just doesn’t suit such activities.

A while ago, fellow blogger Vanille and her husband Paprika came over from N.Z. for a visit and I met up with them. As we toured the city together, conversation turned to music. I’m always interested in what other people’s taste in music is and we pledged to swap some music that we like, to turn each other onto something new and not on commercial radio (in Oz and N.Z. at least).

Vanille is from France and Paprika is from Hungary, so I knew they’d send me some stuff I’d never heard before. Today as I pounded and grated for what seemed like hours, I listened to the Bobana Markovica Orchestra and it struck me how perfect the music was for what I was doing, even though I was preparing Asian food.

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Pink Martini, “Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love”

Sorry for not posting for so long. I’ve been sorting out my study and organising a trip to Bali. My disorganised and messy study has been driving me nuts for the last couple of years and I’ve finally gotten around to getting rid of a lot of old clutter and buying new office furniture.

At the moment, there seems to be so many other things to do besides blogging.

I’ll be back soon, and until then I give you this.

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Depeche Mode, “Walking in My Shoes”

Today I was checking out the blog of Miss Swiss who left a very thoughtful comment here recently. 

The first post that I saw on her blog contained the following quote by William Wordsworth, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should see sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” With the text was a photo from the war in Cambodia of young Khmer Rouge soldiers. Although the post was fairly short, and on the surface, very simple, it put the finger on something I’ve been grappling with for some time.

I would say that one of the things that has characterised my life is poor impulse control.

I remember about 12 years ago, I was crossing a rather wide and busy road that had some construction work with low barriers in the middle. I quickly walked across, and as I neared the barriers I broke into a run to vault over them, but for some reason I hesitated and stopped at the barrier, which was a good thing because there was a 10 metre (about 30ft) drop onto the road of a tunnel that was being constructed below. Every now and again I remember this incident and it nearly makes me sick to think how close I came to either death or at the very least, serious harm.

It’s not just the near misses I’ve had with physical dangers that make me wince with horror, it’s also some of the thoughtless things that I’ve done socially. 

Over the last decade or so, I’ve been trying to control my urge to charge into judgement and conflict with other people, by holding back, and trying to think about another’s position. Once in a while my hesitation has saved me from embarrassment and anguish as further information has come to light. Just like the near miss at the road barrier, the thought of how close I’ve come to trampling over other people’s feelings has made me mentally groan with white hot shame at how my instincts can be so hair-triggered and so wrong.

In his very famous book,  “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie uses as an example, Bruno Hauptmann’s (the guy that was sentenced to death for the abduction and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s baby back in 1932) opinion of himself as a basically decent person (it has been since argued by some, that he was innocent).  I suspect that the point that Carnegie was trying to make, was that for most people there is some kind of justification that they can use to rationalise their motivation to do things, that others would think of as wrong.

This takes me back to the Wordsworth quote at the beginning of this post and how it reminded me of how it can be instructive to try and see why other people have the “stance” that they do, and to try and figure out what their motivations are. 

As I was thinking about these matters, Depeche Mode’s song, “Walking in My Shoes” started to play in my mind.

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“I would tell you about the things
They put me through
The pain I’ve been subjected to
But the Lord himself would blush
The countless feasts laid at my feet
Forbidden fruits for me to eat
But I think your pulse would start to rush

Now I’m not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do
But before you come to any conclusions
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes

You’ll stumble in my footsteps
Keep the same appointments I kept
If you try walking in my shoes
If you try walking in my shoes

Morality would frown upon
Decency look down upon
The scapegoat fate’s made of me
But I promise now, my judge and jurors
My intentions couldn’t have been purer
My case is easy to see

I’m not looking for a clearer conscience
Peace of mind after what I’ve been through
And before we talk of any repentance
Try walking in my shoes
Try walking in my shoes”

 

X-ray Spex, The Day The World Turned Day-glo

I dedicate this video to Pat Coakley

I was discussing with Pat (via e-mail) how I like loud music, bright colours and spicy foods. In short, just about anything that couldn’t be described as moderate. We were also talking about consumerism, mental health (Pat is a retired psychologist) and cultural dissonance.

To me this song is a great adjunct to our conversation.

The singer Poly Styrene (real name, Marian Elliott) in the video below was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and sectioned (put in a mental hospital) after having a vision of a pink light in the sky and felt objects crackling when she touched them. Turned out she was bipolar.

Turn the sound up and brace youself for one of the best songs to come out of the whole punk movement!

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I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
you know you know
The world turned day-glo you know

I wrenched the nylon curtains back
As far as they would go
And peered through perspex window panes
At the acrylic road

I drove my polypropolene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun

The X-rays were penetrating
Through the laytex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees

Desmond Dekker sings “Israelites” off the album “Black & Dekker”

I remember when I first heard Desmond Dekker’s, “Israelites” back in the late 1960s, I was blown away by how different it sounded. It wasn’t until the late seventies that I realised it was reggae.

I was one of those people in that late 1970s that absolutely hated disco and I was also beginning to be bored with rock at about the same time. Punk had come out as an antidote, but to me much of it was like rock that was being performed on speed. Reggae offered some relief but the music of that time that spoke me the most was ska. I couldn’t get enough of ska and it always disappointed me that the skinheads appropriated the genre as their own, which of course turned so many people off the music.

One of my favourite ska albums was Desmond Dekker’s, “Black and Dekker. What made this album so great, in my mind, was that instead of just re-releasing Desmond’s old hits played the same old way, as some kind of retrospective cash cow, Stiff Records (a punk label) teamed Dekker up with Graham Parker’s backing band “The Rumour”.  A band as tight and hard driving as The Rumour was a perfect match for Dekker to bring him up to date.

This video is a TV performance of Dekker doing his up-dated version of “Israelites”.

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