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

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fuck shit fuck fuck

Note to self. Next time, save as draft every sentence you fucking write.


Rummage Through The Crevices
Because We Can
Stanford on iTunes
Afterbirth of the Cool
Tales of Mere Existence

I had written interesting things about these links, but my computer ate them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Alma, Tell Us

For some reason, I've had a hankering to hear the song "Alma" by Tom Lehrer (as I grow older, fatter and uglier, I for some reason grow more fussy, not less). In my trawls to see what I could find, I stumbled across this excellent article:

Lehrer feels that it is not possible to induce insightful soul searching through humor. "To make [listeners] laugh they have to be somehow insulated and believe that the target is other people, not them. It's mostly about them, whoever the them are." Lehrer's favorite example of this is his song "Wernher von Braun", which is about the divorce of ethics from science. Over the years, Lehrer has "been amused at the number of scientists who have enjoyed the song without realizing it was about them." Lehrer himself hid behind this insulation when he was writing songs. "I'm thinking it's the other guy. I'm thinking 'I'm a good wonderful person, I don't pollute the water.' There's always some rationalization about it that lets you out."

I've always gotten a chuckle out of the people who think that "Kill Americans" isn't about them, myself.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Minute or Less

In 1997, Friends of the Earth Fitzroy released the CD A Minute or Less: 78 bands, 78 songs for their sustainable transport campaign, Streets for People. Since the CD is no longer available and its fundraising possibilities likely to be exhausted, I feel relatively guilt free in posting some tracks. However, you may like to bone up on your sustainable transport:
  • Friends of the Earth itself seems to have dropped all attempts at a coherent sustainable transport campaign. Which is a shame, because it's not as if the war on terror has caused cars to stop emitting pollution (maybe they hope the price of black gold will force people onto the train??? Actually now that I think about it that worked on me pretty well).
  • Public Transport Users Association in Melbourne has a fascinating website with a lot of interesting information. I recommend "Common Urban Myths About Transport".
  • I find Critical Mass to be a boring pack of lycra lizards. Ever tried doing a crossword puzzle on a bike? Still, it's kinda hard to emit greenhouse gases from a mountain bike.
Obligations out of the way, let's have a listen.

1. Cute Indie Pop with Funny Lyrics

The Lucksmiths, $30
At the moment I'd rather have the money, but it's a cute idea. The Lucksmiths have a cripplingly nostalgia-inducing page of old gig flyers on their website, check it out.

The Mabels, Song for Don King
Don King summed up in sixty seconds.

Mal Webb, (What did) future generations (ever do for me?)
Mal Webb is still around doing bad things with former vegetables. He's playing at 303 during November, so check it out.

Clag, Broken Brain
I've got one of those. Download their EP Manufacturing Resent as well.

2. Weird Sample Experimenta

Cat Shovel, The Secret House

According to their IUMA listing, Cat Shovel are a side project of Bride of the Atom (who also appear on the compilation), and members have also been involved with Stone Circus, Box the Jesuit and others.

Wank(R) Engine, Boot
I give up - I have no idea who Wank Engine, or even Wank(R) Engine, are. They appear on several Spill compilations, always with sample patchwork. This is a comparatively accessible example.

I'll have some more for you later when my internet connection isn't a slow piece of shit (er, could be a while then).

Friday, October 14, 2005


I'm gonna post a bunch of A Minute Or Less tracks soon, I swear. (Although considering no-one actually visits this site, I guess there's no need to get my knickers in a knot.) In the meantime, here's some crap I just found sitting around:

GG Allin, Bite It You Scum
This is a disappointingly sedate piece of video, but I guess can hardly show someone covered in their own blood and shit.

Apparently you can't make someone's brains explode by voicing terrible musical opinions. (From Here's one for anyone who's come to this site from Cityflirting.)

Synapse was a magazine published in the mid-1970s, devoted to the new, exciting possibilities of the synthesiser. Now, former editor Cynthia Webster brings you Synapse in high-quality GIF to enjoy. For example:

Work yourself up into a nerdy frenzy with interviews, product reviews of what are now antiques, and how-to's that shouldn't even be contemplated by decent people. Synapse magazine - do yourself a favour.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Penny Machinations - Melbourne Fringe fest

The Festival Club at Melbourne Fringe is free this year (it used to be free with two ticket stubs from the night's shows or ten bucks), so I headed down after International Talk Like A Pirate Day at "work" (five bucks, all the piss you can drink) and, um, kept drinking. I had to leave before anything interesting happened (related partly to the drinking, and partly to the fact that public transport closes down early in boring ol' M-Town), but before doing so I shelled out $1 for Penny Machinations.

Basically, you pay $1 per show and you enter a tent on the stage. You have the choice of five tents with a different show, and you have to participate to some extent. I chose Pick A Chair, which has two possible variations, Coming and Going. Any of the tents you choose will have up to four possible variations. I'm not sure which I got, but I entered and was confronted with two people pretending to be my parents, wondering when I was going to get a real job like Imaginary Neighbour (they gave this character a name but I'm too drunk to remember), have I got a real job yet, when was I coming home? This was somewhat disconcerting as, whatever problems I have with my parents, they don't hassle me about work. Being drunk, it took me a few goes to realise that I was supposed to participate. I gave them what I could - not much of a Theatresports person, but I have studied screenwriting - and they wrangled it into their act. For one whole dollar it was, um, interesting. I'm hoping to see some other shows when I'm soberer and have my car.

In the meantime, here's a song by a former director of the big mainstream arts festival (well, mainstream by the standards of arts festivals, anyway).

Dicks Don't Grow On Trees
Robyn Archer
Take Your Partners for the Ladies' Choice

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tri... trianti-wonti... part II

I promised Space Food and here it is. I don't know much about San Hose Cow Musak, not least because their name is spelled differently on different compilations - the one used above is the way it's spelt on the Triantiwontigongolo comp, but it's usually "San Jose Cow Muzak" (or at least, that gets the greatest number of Google hits) and other permutations.

San Hose Cow Musak - Tram
San Hose Cow Musak - Space Food
I take comfort in this song. "I used to weigh only/55 kilos/and when I walked down the street/no-one would ever notice me/ ...but now I got to eat and I weigh over 300 kilos"

San Jose/Hose Cow Musak/Muzak are included on two Spill compilations, which are entirely available for download. (Their contributions are a cover of the Gilligan's Island theme and of Autobahn, which is disappointingly faithful - nothing to hear here.)

Popemobile - Seventeen
This is a bit of a mid-90s thing, where there was an irritating profusion of people having pop hits because they were under 18 and were therefore supposedly a "prodigy". Of course the music involved was horrendously derivative and would never have charted if it had been by people even five years older. (Actually, I take that back - the mid-90s was a great time for derivative crap in the charts. They just would have been subjected to more vicious competition.)

Dragster - Nothing New
Your pretty indie pop for today.

Speaking of pretty indie pop, Book Club Records have a good little selection of indie mp3s.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Some much needed skepticism

I wasn't going to put up anything about Katrina (Kogelman, my next door neighbour when I was 6), but I found this article at the Boston Globe which I thought was pretty essential, especially since pundits have been crapping on about the Lord of the Flies even before establishing if the stories of looting, rapes and gunfire are true or not. (I'm sure there was crime, of course, but as the Globe article points out, "there are five murders there a week in ''normal" times, among the highest per capita rates in the country".) For those of you who can't be arsed getting a free Globe subscription, here's the most relevant bit:

Are these scholars the equivalent of Donald Rumsfeld when he said television created the appearance of looting in post-invasion Baghdad by running and re-running the same footage of one man stealing an urn? It's possible, but already, as journalists like Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune and Matt Welch of Reason magazine, have pointed out, many widely reported rumors have proved false or are at least unconfirmed.

''We don't have any substantiated rapes," the New Orleans Police superintendent Edwin Compass told the British newspaper The Guardian, speaking of the situation at the Superdome. Nor have any bodies of victims of foul play turned up there. The Federal Aviation Administration and military officials have cast doubt on the story of the rescue helicopter that came under fire outside Kenner Memorial Hospital on Aug. 31.
Anyway, continuing this blog's committment to a total lack of originality, here's two obligatory Katrina links.

The Legendary K.O., George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People
I love this. It works as music, it works as poetry, it works as politics, it works as storytelling. Product - Regrowth: Katrina

Threadless will donate $10 US for every $10 "Regrowth: Katrina" t-shirt bought. If you're Australian like me it works out at about $23 to buy the shirt and have it posted to you, but it's a nice shirt. (They were donating $20 up to a limit of $50,000, but reached it in 2 days! Told you it was a nice shirt.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why I Like Cheap Trick

Firstly, I want you to consider this article from the Age. Specifically, the following:

Ever since seeing a 50-ish Mick Jagger strutting all over the Wembley stage in the early '90s, Atkinson has been single-mindedly obsessed with achieving his own glittering rock stardom.

From dropping out of university to pursue a musical career, to knocking on record company doors with his acoustic guitar in hand, to posing nude in magazine spreads, Atkinson has done whatever it takes to make it. And it seems like his perseverance, and his adaptability, is beginning to pay off...

Atkinson must have known the line-up of his next band could have some very serious career ramifications, but he denies there was anything calculating in the way he went about recruiting new members.

Luke Potashnik was an old high-school mate Atkinson remembered for his reputation as a guitar wizard, while drummer David Neale was a friend of Luke's and bassist Ben Smyth was recruited through an ad in the paper.

The fact that they were all young and photogenic had absolutely nothing to do with it. Honestly.

"You'll see when we come over (to Australia)," he promises. "Luke is a shit-hot guitarist, and you'll understand the reason I decided to call him up in the first place. As far as the other guys, the number-one criterion was how good a musician they were. That's the reason I went and got all these guys, because they're shit-hot at what they do."

Now, I have no resentment whatsoever of manufactured bands. Some of my favourite music is wholly manufactured rubbish, and looking like you've just been grabbed off the street is no guarantee of authenticity or good music.

Nevertheless, the reason I like Cheap Trick - not love, just warmly like - is not their quintessential all-American soundtrackgenicity (come on, tell me "I Want You To Want Me" doesn't belong in an 80's teen romance flick starring Judge Reinhold) or the fact that Rick Neilsen was slagged by Axl Rose (although that is indeed truly awesome), or the fact that they were in Rock'n'Rule, a fucking totally cool animated movie also featuring the voices of Debbie Harry, Lou Reed & Iggy Pop as a bunch of mice fighting an evil plan to summon a demon to enable rockstar Mok to take over the world. It's this dude.

Ladies and gennelmen, Bun. E. Carlos. He has always looked like that. Actually, I take it back - since this pic was taken, his sartorial instincts have clearly improved.

But how rock is this? The band has at least two conventionally hot looking dudes (at least by some people's standards), they have the quintessential* rock madman Rick "The Dick" Neilsen (again, how cool is it to be slagged off by Axl Rose - it almost guarantees you a long and successful career), and yet in the face of worldwide stardom they have a bespectacled drummer whose pants are pulled up to his chest. Cheap Trick, I salute you.

*Yes, I've used the word "quintessential" twice in one post, but I stand by it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tri... trianti-wonti...

Some time ago, I discussed with acb the possibility of uploading the entire Triantiwontigongolo compilation, with artwork and high quality mp3s. However, he kept whining about the quality of mp3s I sent him - despite using the LAME encoder set to the recommended settings, the mp3s kept coming out at a low, static bitrate instead of the hoped-for VBR - and I gave up. Anyway, I've decided to cut the Gordian knot and just post the damn low quality mp3s, together with equally low quality artwork. Given that the songs are recorded on four-tracks in people's living rooms, I hardly think they require FLAC to be enjoyed.

Rather than post by artist, I've decided to post just in random groups to show the diversity of the music on the cd. If you are one of those artists (or the distributor - Iain, you out there?) and you don't want your track posted, get in contact (my email address is written in the sidebar).

Sweet Cynicism, Popemobile (NOTE: This link now works - thanks to Dave for pointing out the error.) [EDIT: Link removed but Dave still thanked.]

Hey, all you bands who've been slagged off by Ben Butler - wanna hear him sing? I actually quite like this song, but there is a fairly obvious reason why Ben's a journalist and not a rock star.

Blood in the Streets, Masonite

You'll either love or hate this (the linked review hated it), but for some reason, it's grown on me over the years. If it's any comfort to you (and the reviewer), it's supposed to be a pisstake of Oi!, a genre I am utterly unfamiliar with, so have to enjoy the music based on my liking for yelling and tuneless brass sections.

Dragster - Deep Sea Diver

I know almost nothing about Dragster, but I like them a lot and this is uploaded as your dose of conventional, pretty pop for today (that's not supposed to be perjorative). I know that the singer was in a band called Wondrous Fair, AND I'M ABSOLUTELY FUCKED IF I CAN FIND ANYTHING ON THE WEB ABOUT EITHER BAND. If you know of anything please list it in comments.

Presumably, the name of the compilation is based on the mythical creature, more or less invented by C. J. Dennis, called a Triantiwontigongolope. "Triantelope" is a name for the huntsman spider, a mostly-harmless but nevertheless intimidating companion on wet nights.

Next fortnight, some Space Food.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Shut Up - The Footy's On The Radio

Despite the title, I am in fact posting something not TISM related.

Book Review:
Players, Tony Wilson

I've despaired recently of finding good, readable trash. Being a student, I haven't read a novel for pure pleasure in almost literally years (I certainly can't remember the last time I completed one), and in between the International Relations reading brick and Introduction to Development Economics, I really want to read something that doesn't tax my brain too much. The problem is that writers, readers and publishers don't seem to be able to identify what George Orwell called the Good Bad Book – the book with no claim to dealing with The Great Issues Of The Day or a unique artistic prose style, but which has characters you could give a frot about and moves along at the proverbial "cracking pace", which will enable you to finish it in a few hours in between the 2500 words about the impact of the Accord on industrial relations and the 3000 words on conditions leading to the adoption of full suffrage throughout the Commonwealth.

Most trashy books (whether labeled 'chick-lit' or not) are shit. Not because they deal with shopping and fucking – Jane Austen has made a two-century career out of shopping and, er, courting – but because ultimately you don't give a shit whether the 5,374th plucky, feisty, pleasantly plump and socially awkward heroine will overcome her personal foibles to get off with the conventionally handsome, rich hero who is nevertheless human underneath it all. It's not the standardness of the plot – what do they say, there's only seven stories in the world and three of them star Tom Hanks? - but simply that the book is executed in a really stiff, obvious way, where you can almost see the MS Word Airport Novel Template in use.

Players is a good bad book. I doubt it will have any impact outside the Aussie-Rules playing states of Australia, but part of the pleasure of it is that it's so goddamn parochial, so very, very Melbourne. The characters are incredibly obviously based on local celebrities, and if you were listening to 3RRR's Breakfasters program during the time the book was written, you'll be amused to pick up bits of story that were obviously discussed on the program (such as the phrase "going completely otter" as an alternative to going "off-tap" or "ballistic").

The basic plot is not too important, although I bet it went down well with the people who are obviously being parodied. The good guy is Billy Nock, an AFL star on his way out, left over from the days when best and fairest actually meant best and fairest, succumbing to 'old age' (in footy terms, 35) and injury, and host of a low-rating TV show in the olden style (think Lou Richards and Footy Franks). The bad guy is Sam Newman, I mean "Tickets" Thompson, honourably retired champion, host of a blazingly successful TV show, and all-round arsehole. Thompson makes a high-rating living out of humiliating and offending the vulnerable on a show which has less and less to do with footy, to the delight of the fans. The story starts when Thompson headbutts a homeless crazy dude with minimal provocation, and the show's producers move into an increasingly elaborate plot to cover up the assault.

The rest of the story gets frankly weird, but that's not really the point. The attraction is seeing your "favourite" stars given a roasting they firmly deserve. It's funny, extremely easy to read and won't demand much from your brain. Highly recommended. Buy from Readings

Super Request Tuesday

For the bloke who asked for it in comments - and NO, I won't always be this immediately responsive - here's the TISM Christmas tracks that were briefly on a couple of years ago.

Then The Answer Came [lyrics]

I Ain't No Christian, But I Believe In Jesus [lyrics]

The first one is heaps better than the second one.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Who's A Jovial Fellow, Then?

I seem to have lost the first post for this blog, but it didn't have anything on it anyway. The basic gist is this - a blog to post things you couldn't easily get.

The title of this blog comes from what I tend to consider the best track from This Is Serious Mum's 1988 album Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance. With competition from tracks like "I Shit Me", "Kill Americans" and the epoch-making "Defecate On My Face", I've always considered it a tad blasphemous that TISM aren't internationally known on the same level as GG Allin, Anal Cunt and The Bee Gees. There's a sentiment amongst Australians that TISM have better song/album titles than songs (and an even commoner sentiment that they suck shit and should fuck back off to their Camberwell Rotary Club meetings), which as a fan of both cheesy 70's rock and cheesy 70's disco I'd like to dispute very much. Anyway, here's some examples - woo yay for synth rock with Grano Padano!

Martin Scorcese Is Really Quite A Jovial Fellow, from Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance [EDIT: Removed to make room for next post above]
I Don't Give A Fuck, grabbed from the White Albun DVD.

My favourite Scorcese movie is probably Goodfellas, but I'd put in a good word for King of Comedy. ("What? No Taxi Driver? No Raging Bull?" Fuck off, I'm a real person, not a fucking TIME-Greatest-Movies-In-History-O-Matic.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Lorem Ipsum

[Ah, this was supposed to be the first post... oopsie.]

Normally I'm quite anal about being original and not following fashion, but... how weirdly addictive are GOOD blogs??? I don't mean l33t h@x0r blogs, I mean ones that actually have meaningful or just good content, like Youngfook, or Stay Free! Daily, or Abu Aardvark, or Cityflirting (now there's a diverse bunch for you). And none of those are what I'm doing, which is (YAWWWWWWWWWWWWN) another mp3 blog. That's right, in a tried and true and boring format, I'm gonna upload around 10mb worth of MP3 every couple of weeks, with the obligatory guff about how I found it, what it's like and so on. The usual disclaimers apply: if you like it buy the album (or at least try to catch a show), if you're the artist and you don't want your stuff appearing on the blog just ask, yahda yahda yahda. I will prioritise songs you can't buy new (or, if you're outside Australia, at all).