Martin Scorsese Is Really Quite A Jovial Fellow

Ms .45's mp3/bureaucratic/gaming blog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well, somebody clearly shook somebody for a certain amount of time

Sarah Taylor from The Taylor Project recently welcomed an as-yet-unnamed baby woman into the VPS, I mean the world. This is a momentous event, yet I feel a small cringe of guilt. Prior to the happy event Sarah and I had gone to see AC/DC live in Melbourne to get in touch with our inner (or not so inner) bogan. More or less as a direct result, several of the presents at her baby shower had AC/DC references on them, despite the fact that Sarah's favourite band of that era is Guns'n'Roses and strictly speaking the items should have had huge afro wigs or at least a headband to cover the baby's baldness.

Nevertheless, as much as I love Gunners, I just don't find them iconic in the way that AC/DC are - possibly because no member of AC/DC has publicly gone crazy Broadway-style the way Axl Rose has, which is not to dismiss the multiply orgasmic qualities of You Could Be Mine.

And I'd been drunkenly burbling to Sarah about what a Zen koan You (Shook Me All Night Long) is. It's about fucking. One particular incident of fucking. It describes the personal qualities of the co-respondent that resulted in said fucking being particularly memorable. It has 3 chords, possibly less. It has the lines "Working double time/on the seduction line", which is unusually clever for an AC/DC song.

And it is surprising - although perhaps it shouldn't be - how well the song works for ladies. I mean, lady singers. Some of them change the lyrics slightly ("he was the best damn lover I have ever seen"), some don't bother. Some of the artists below do faithful-ish rock versions, others, like Bing Ji Ling, reggae it the fuck up. The Tights run it through Emotional Rescue-era Stones. They are all brilliant.

"This is gonna be a fuckin' drunken mess, and we're not even drunk" - Matt Nathanson's bar-room singalong is so joyous you'll wish you were there.

Do you remember "Diamond" Dave Lee Roth's version of "Just A Gigolo"? Like that.

Now it starts getting weird. I used the word reggae about this one, but to be honest, I'm wondering if Tiny Tim should have covered this instead of Highway to Hell.

Not to be confused with the 70s punk rockers, The Tights from Philadelphia run through the jungle with this one. Modded to accommodate heterosexual women.

I didn't like Arab Strap's version when I first heard it, but it has a certain endearing drunkenness to it, like a Scottish Shane McGowan.

Tori Amos. You know what to expect here.

Necrology's version is fucking brilliant - a Cookie Monster version which doesn't lose any of the fun of the original. Taken from the compilation For Those About To Rot, a tribute album with AC/DC songs by black metal, thrash, prog and hair metal bands.

And, of course, no compilation of this song would be complete without Canada's finest export after Katy Beaton. Rockists claimed the universe would fold in on itself because of this performance, but Celine is having a ball and it's a lot less tragic than the version with Steven Tyler where Angus Young looks exactly like the head of our Freedom of Information unit. Find it yourself on YouTube - I'm too sad.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wagons at Northcote Social Club, Cup Day 2009 redux (aka I am a lazy fuck)

So it's only been about 3-4 months since this event, but since Wagons are awesome all year round, have some more.

Drive All Night Till Dawn


If I may put on my disgruntled hipster douchebag hat on for a minute, Wagons are sounding a little poppier than when I discovered them and fell in love with their old school, everyone-dies country and western (if you play Draw Blood backwards, assuming you can get it on vinyl, you get your truck, dog and wife back, in that order). As a reminder of their roots (how can you not love a country band that namechecks Danzig?), here's a hit from the wayback machine.

Wagons, Man Sold
Buy Draw Blood at iTunes

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wagons at Northcote Social Club, Cup Day 2009

You know this fuckin' chorus... it's two words!!!

Nutrient levels like a vegetable soup dish.

Love Me Like I Love You
The Rise and Fall of Goodtown
Buy at Readings
Buy at Amazon

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ron Asheton Tribute, Cherry Bar, 21 March 2009

The Stooges are one of those bands I like but not enough to do much about (I own one album), but when I heard Kim Salmon was playing with Mick Harvey at this belated tribute to the late Ron Asheton I thought I'd better go and see that. I never saw Bored! during the early 90s - the whole "Geelong scene" left me pretty cold, me not being interested in scenesters - so I had the always interesting experience of having pretty much no idea who anyone on stage was. It did occur to me at one point that this was probably the closest I'd ever get to seeing the Scientists, though.

Kim Salmon & Mick Harvey, Raw Power

I will confess right now that I had no idea what was happening in the first part of Bored!'s set, and found out through a review in InPress. For the first half, Fiona Lee Maynard was on vocals in a tribute to Asheton's version of Destroy All Monsters. It was great fun, but of course I didn't know any of the songs, although a stylish version of These Boots Were Made For Walking was accompanied by the snazziest blue snakeskin cowboy boots I have ever seen (not pictured). 

After Fiona's contribution the guy in the video below got on stage and proceeded to kick the shit out of us. I have no idea who this guy was (and neither do you, you can't see a face in the video), but I needed to scrub beer, glass and possibly blood out of all of my clothes the next day. 

Bored! I Wanna Be Your Dog

More images at my Flickr set

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tex Perkins, James Cruikshank & Charlie Owen (with Tim Rogers) - photos & video

Tex Perkins & Tim RogersI bought a new camera, and took a few photos at this gig. If you've read this blog before you know I occasionally whinge about how such-and-such a touring band didn't play MY favourite album track that no-one else gives a shit about. I had no such problem at this event - Can't Say No, Hard for You, even Psycho! I didn't get film because I prefer to enjoy myself at these things. :)

For your delectation, however (OK, I was just dicking around with the camera), I took a couple of videos which you may observe below.

"Any Old Time"

"Great Apes"

Bushfire epilogue

I visited my family last week, and had lunch at Eludae, a nice little place apparently recommended for coeliacs (I have a cast-iron stomach so can only go by what I hear). After a sumptuous and filling tapas spread (pic below), my parents showed me around where the fires had hit Healesville. 

I am so glad I didn't know how close the fire got when it was happening. As it was, I spent about two weeks in my safe city workplace reading the CFA website and trying not to read the papers, watching the awareness messages get upgraded and downgraded and generally feeling like Homer Simpson - 

Burns: Relax, Simpson. I just brought you in here for a friendly
Homer: Whew...[heart slows down]
Burns: ...and goodbye! You're fired!
Homer: [gags] [heart speeds up]
Burns: But, wait. Perhaps I'm being too hasty. You _are_ highly
Homer: Whew...[heart slows down]
Burns: goofing off!
Homer: Aaargh! [heart beats faster]
Burns: Now don't worry, Homer. You're the kind of guy I could really
Homer: Whew...[heart slows down]
Burns: ...a grave for!
Homer: Aaargh! [heart beats faster than anything]
Burns: Your indolence is inefficacious!
Homer: [stares blankly] [heart beats normally]
Burns: That means, you're terrible!
Homer: Aarrggghh! [heart goes crazy] [collapses]
(courtesy The Simpsons Archive, "Homer's Triple Bypass")

The fires got to within a brisk walk of the township of Healesville proper, with several properties that could only be described as "razed". I didn't take any pictures - it felt wrong. I was struck by the fact that the burnt areas are red, not black as I was expecting. My parents' house is right in the middle of two of the fires - patches of red surround their place and I wonder if it's our turn next year. 

Still, as the photo above illustrates, people are not letting it bother them. 

Monday, February 09, 2009

Victorian Bushfire Appeal

Look, you don't know me and I don't know you. You might have come in here from my latest (or even a really ancient) review from JayIsGames. You might have finally found that long-elusive copy of the Furry Men of the North's I Like Looking At Naked Men on the Hype Machine. Maybe you're a bored Kingdom of Loathing veteran with nothing better to do than flick idly through fellow /vet's profiles. Maybe I've left a helpful comment on your blog, or a flippant one-liner on your forum.

Nearly 20 years ago now, Henry Rollins described the LA riots as "The Shit Is On Fire Show". Well, this year The Shit Is On Fire Show is playing a sold out season in my state.

New York Times - Death Toll in Australian Fires Climbs to 131
Guardian - Australia bushfires death toll may reach 200
Al Jazeera - Australia PM: Fires are mass murder
Le Monde - L'Australie accablée par des incendies meurtriers

You get the idea. I and my loved ones are fine, but as I read the internets I keep calling home (in the Yarra Valley) every hour on the hour and reminding my parents about how they've always dreamed of buying a yacht and living on St Kilda pier. NOW WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD TIME, GUYS.

Not everyone has been so fortunate, and the death toll is so massive that everyone knows someone who's lost everything - widowed, orphaned and/or holed up in a burlap sack in one of the Red Cross camps across the state. I'm not gonna pull your dick any more - you know what I'm building up to here.

Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal 2009
Salvation Army Victorian Bushfire Appeal (for Australians - outside Australia, go here)
Bendigo Bank Bushfire Appeal
Do a little shopping (Coles donation day, Friday 13th February)

If you're one of these people who've gone sane and don't have a credit card, the National Australia Bank has an account you can transfer funds into.

National Australia Bank
NAB account: BSB 082001 Account #: 860046797

Let's face it, if you're reading this blog you were only going to go and blow $20 on the latest shitty time-management clone or Pitchfork-endorsed whiners, so go buy yourself some good karma instead.

EDIT: Commenter Alex from the British Red Cross notes that "Visitors from the UK can also donate through the British Red Cross at"

OTHER EDIT: If you're able to volunteer your time and skills, call 1300 366 356 or register at People with medical skills are certainly welcome to volunteer, but people are also sought to distribute donated goods at the relief centres, provide catering and other support to volunteer firefighters, and clean up after the fires have been doused. Know that volunteer organisations may take a while to get back to you - we have been inundated with potential volunteers, and need to match offers of help with areas of need.

ANOTHER EDIT: The Victorian RSPCA has some requests. They have enough people to billet pets, but they currently need blankets, temporary fencing and those 'green' bags that supermarkets sell.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

One Hundred Pushups


I don't really like sport. In fact, I'm not much into any physical activity that doesn't involve lifting weights 12 ounces at a time, or bench-pressing some late-20s hottie with my inner thighs. I don't like sports people, seeing them as much more like Wayne Carey than John Landy. Thankfully, I've been surrounded by people who are genuinely interested in fitness and health, rather than in being into sport because they're utter sheep, which has been invaluable in my motivation and learning.

So motivating myself to get regular exercise has been quite challenging, and much more related to 'push' factors (not wanting to be fat anymore, not wanting to get sick every six weeks, not wanting to be depressed... see how they're all negative?) than 'pull' factors (such as being healthy, which takes quite a while, or even being better looking, which takes frickin' ages). Like just about everyone who's lost a lot of weight, my progress is starting to level off - I'm still losing weight, but not at the comparatively rapid pace I enjoyed when I started. I'm getting bored with my workouts, bored with the music I play (need more Hype Machine!) and am generally treading water.

To break it up, I'm trying to introduce some external, quantitative motivations - I'd like to set objective benchmarks for myself (I'm probably never going to think I look any good, so I'm better off setting a totally objective goal like "I can run 4km in less than 30 minutes"). One is to participate in a fun run where I actually run - in previous efforts I've walked the distance and not bothered with timing. And the other day I rather spontaneously decided to do the One Hundred Pushups challenge. The fact that they conveniently have a pushups logger appeals to my not-so-inner nerd (if you'd like to check my progress, you can search for user baker1). The best thing about it is that it shows a clear numerical progress, which is simple and easy to observe - not necessarily the case with weight loss, where you may confront the I'm-smaller-but-haven't-lost-weight-WTF phenomenon. Given that I'm starting at the lowest possible level - the exhaustion test led to, wait for it, THREE (3) whole pushups ('man' style, from the toes, and done on the floor rather than from the side of my coffee table where I usually do it) - the only way is up, baby! Even if I don't make it to one hundred in six weeks (in fact, I think that's pretty unlikely), to try and fail is still beneficial. Wish me luck frickin' hard work.