Ms .45's mp3/bureaucratic/gaming blog.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It wasn't all streamers and party favours. I tried on my favourite plain black linen dress that made me look fantastic... only to turn around and realise that the bum had been almost entirely worn away. I went commando for this exercise so there were great big pink patches looming out of the holes. I don't think I've ever gone from "Awesome!" to "Shittang!" so fast.
The other sad loss was my party dresses, two gorgeous flowing retro gowns from the late 60s or early 70s which are size 22. Yes, I could get them adjusted... but it's as if it would ruin their authenticity. (Also, I have a long and sad history of getting clothes adjusted, never to wear them again.) Ever had a beloved relative's wedding ring re-sized? Just doesn't feel right, does it?
Aside from doing a very public happy dance, the other reason for this post is to give props and point readers towards some of the online tools I've used for information and general prodding.
I've written about Stumptuous before, and I tend just to read the blog these days, but the articles were very important in my original education - learning about why it's usually better to use free weights than machines, the interaction between weight training and cardio (I could throw yoga in there as well, but I just can't be arsed), some simple dietary tips.
The other major benefit I got from Stumptuous was Krista's Stumptuous Fitness Model contest. The winner, Deb, was fatter than me, older than me and had more personal responsibility than me (kids, work), and she lost 40+ kg over 2 years and is now a triathlete. That's not my preference - I'm just trying to get laid - but it does blow away excuses like "I'm too old, it's too late in life, I'm too busy". Read the other entries in the blog - they're all quite amazing.
CalorieKing used to cost money to subscribe, and I really do think that Borushek and co. should get some sort of tax break for making it a free to public service (their business model is supported by the sale of the ever-popular Calorie Counter book as well as software and gadgets). I hate to sound like a late-night infomercial, but it really has made a huge difference to my progress.
The way it works is, you enter the food you've eaten and the exercise you've done into your personal database, and you can see how much over your suggested calorie target you are. You can set the calorie target yourself and choose your weight loss goal. If you enter the information reasonably accurately, it will show you exactly why you're not losing as much weight as you could (yes, a skinny latte in the morning is just what you need, but three of them? They're not THAT skinny). It's good not to take it too seriously - my fat intake is way over the recommended 30g per day, yet it makes up no more than 35% of my daily calories and it certainly hasn't delayed a very satisfactory weight reduction. (It's supposed to be 30%, but then people who lift weights are supposed to have a bit more... see why you shouldn't take it too seriously?)
It's fun to stay at the YYYYYYY, M C A... whilst there are certainly attractive gay men at my club, the main attraction for me is the staff (gay or otherwise). They have been absolutely invaluable in helping me shake up my routine so I don't plateau (I did plateau in September and October, but that was because I decided to take some time off to volunteer for Melbourne Fringe and then go to a wedding - considering the amount of lard and booze I inhaled, I'm lucky I just flatlined rather than porking out again). They'll prod you to do better but not in a stupid way (hint: Learn to tell the difference between "argh I'm fat and lazy and don't want to do this" pain and "oh fuck I just ripped out a tendon" pain, it will help).
I was originally using an iRiver T10 to listen to music, and whilst I'm very satisfied with the sound and quality of iRiver products (provided you don't need luxuries like "documentation"), it was quite a large unit by the standards of MP3 players, and you had to use a highly dodgy standard lanyard attachment which wore out in two seconds under athletic conditions. To make matters worse, it would bounce hilariously from F-cup breast to F-cup breast if I did anything more difficult than stretching. (Aside from needing to replace my wardrobe every five minutes, the other major downside of losing so much weight was having my cup size go up as my backfat disappeared - I went from an easy-to-buy 18E to a Lord Lucan 14G. Did you know cup sizes go up to K???) So I bought an iPod shuffle that I could clip to my shirt.
This bit isn't really so much a hand job for Steve Jobs as a chance to introduce you to some excellent treadmill music. (Interestingly, I don't seem to need music as much for lifting weights - it's nice, but not necessary.) Although I try to mix it up, the fact is that some songs are just essential to endure the horror that is hateful, hateful cardio. Have I made it clear that I hate cardio? I hate cardio.
Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue
Surely the greatest piece of jock-rock ever released. I don't think this song even has any other purpose except to cover re-runs of sportsmen getting severely and hilariously injured.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Daft Punk
Not into metal? Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger seems to have just the right BPM to shift from easy to intermediate to run like you stole something in the space of 3 min 44 secs.
Gimme Some Head, GG Allin
I remain helplessly addicted to GG's catchy, offensive punk rock. This is just what you need to get into that 80% maximum heart rate... that's the level of effort where you can talk but can't sing, and thank Christ for that. Some girls really stiffen my tongue, so spread your legs, I'm gonna get me some...
Girl in the Sweater, The Hard-Ons
One of the best things I've ever seen on television was a news report back in the late '80s or early '90s where a cute young female newsreader, very clearly reading an autocue, announced that "Aussie acts are making great strides overseas, with bands such as the Hoodoo Gurus, InXs and the - Hard-Ons????" (face collapsing as she tries to hold it together). It was so obvious that the only reason the news report was even scheduled was to make this girl lose it. This song is awesome because it has a chorus that goes "woah-oh-oh-woah-ohoh", which as we all know makes a good song excellent.
Some other faves -
Whisky In The Jar, Metallica
Dance Commander, Electric Six
Be My Guru, The Hoodoo Gurus
Outta My Head, Spiderbait
Why Does The Sun Shine?, They Might Be Giants
Black Math, The White Stripes
Feel Good Hit of the Summer, Queens of the Stone Age
Toxic (Peter Rauhofer remix), Britney Spears (what? I got it off my ten year old niece...)
Are any of you old enough to remember when Guns'n'Fuckin'Roses were the Greatest Band On Earth™?
What the fuck happened to the band that gave us hilariously overblown rock bombast like Coma and November Rain? It's still overblown and bombastic... but it's not hilarious.
(It's too much to dare hope for the band that gave us Night Train, It's So Easy, or even Patience.)
www.myspace.com/gunsnroses... if you dare.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I was never into the Reels when they were big - I was too young (I had my ninth birthday the year Shout & Deliver was released) and later, too much of a rockist. I'm still not in love with a lot of their music, finding it a bit dirgey, although I like their Bacharach covers. But they were on the bill and I'd paid for them, so there you go. Dave Mason didn't do much for my expectations by turning up on stage looking like your friendly neighbourhood kiddy-fiddler, and his voice took a couple of songs to warm up. The fans, however, did not - I was being regaled with tales of how awesome they were at this or that festival and how excellent this show was going to be well before the band got anywhere near the stage. Between the adoring audience and the band being MUCH better live than on record, I had an unexpectedly good time, bopping away to comparatively unfamiliar songs like 'After the News' and 'Prefab Heart' as if they were old favourites. It's a pity they couldn't have had an encore - the crowd wanted it and the band deserved it. Also, I spent a lot of time yelling "Play some Chisels!" and they didn't do it!
Reels do Chisels:
Models were... interesting. A bit of backstory - last time I saw the Models it was a free show at the Espy featuring the classic lineup, before James Freud joined. Unfortunately, I had my period and despite being one of the best shows I've ever seen, all I could think of was the fact that I had a molten rock in my lower abdomen. So I was keen to see them in a slightly better state of repair, and only slightly disconcerted by the fact that James Freud was featured in this lineup. (Note for overseas readers - James Freud is alternately blamed/praised for taking the Models in the direction of commercial career success, having written the mega-hit Out of Mind, Out of Sight. I tend towards blame, myself.)
I didn't know who most of the band were, and I suspect the fans behind me may have been less than impressed. James Freud is looking surprisingly good these days, having presumably gone on the wagon for real this time. However, Father forgive me for I have sinned, I spent rather a lot of time drooling at his 20 year old son Jackson (rhythm guitar). It's a fine line between cougar and pedophile and I think I may have crossed it.
I own a copy of Alphabravocharliedeltaechofoxtrotgolf, and of course I know the big radio hits, but I don't know any other songs. Most of the setlist was from Cut Lunch, Pleasure of Your Company, or Out of Mind Out of Sight, and included On, Two Cabs to the Toucan, Cut Lunch, Facing the North Pole in August, and a bunch of other stuff I didn't know. Still, it was an OK set, even when they let Freud's other son Harrison come on and sing one of his own band's songs (inoffensive commercial heavy rock), and I was rather getting the shits with the woman behind me who kept yelling "Local and/or General, Sean!" as if Sean Kelly is her personal valet. And I really enjoyed hearing "Modern Girl" live.
It wasn't what I hoped for, but I didn't feel ripped off.
James Freud and the Teenage Radio Stars, Modern Girl
Two Cabs for the Toucan, Models
Jackson Freud's band Sonic Dogma on triplej unearthed - don't bother with Rock City, listen to Dog Day Afternoon.
EDIT: Commenter Dick Bukakke/newtownmack has posted videos of the Sydney show over at YouTube, as well as ROOT!, Ween and DEVO!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Man, I am so excited - I've never seen AC/DC live, so I feel like I'm only an associate bogan. I've seen the Angels, Rose Tattoo and *sob* Guns'n'Roses, Chisels broke up when I was a kid, but AC/DC was the band that got me from 11 to 19 without committing suicide or homicide. This time around I'm gonna rustle up all my womens (Denise has seen TISM, now she needs her first stadium experience) and drag us all down to the National AC/DC Centre. Eeeeeeeeeeeep!!!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
1) Interview on JJJ with DC Root
2) Discussion of The Greatest Power Pop Songs Ever. What, no Blondie?
You Don't Have a Boyfriend Because You are Too Picky
You have no problem attracting guys - and even dating a little
It's just around second or third date time where you start to see faults
If a guy isn't near perfect, you're not into him.
It's good to have standards - but yours rule almost everyone out.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The Beasts of Bourbon - Cocksucker Blues
I saw this performed at the Big Day Out in... 1992, I think. (Can we not discuss how old this makes me? Ta.) Those of you who are not feral Rolling Stones fans need to know that Cocksucker Blues was written by Mick Jagger as a contractual obligation to Decca Records. (One of these days, I must do a blog post about contractual obligation music... is anyone not aware of the delights of Van Morrison's efforts in this area?) The Beasts version is totally convincing.
- Cocksucker Blues, the movie - BitTorrent
Supersuckers - The Fight Song (album: Motherfuckers Be Trippin')
Supersuckers - Run Like A Motherfucker
I saw the Supersuckers twice this year - once at the East Brunswick Club and once at CherryRock008 at what used to be the Metro and is now called the Palace, just to make sure old fucks like me get totally confused with the Palace in St. Kilda that burnt down in a self-inflicted wound a while ago. It was fun, but I was kind of disappointed - Supersuckers have been one of my favourite bands (if not the favourite band) for the last ten years, and to experience anything other than full-body orgasms at their show was bound to be bitter. But that's live music sod's law for you - I find the most memorable, awesome shows are often by bands I couldn't give a stuff about, like the Dictators at the Corner Hotel where I'd never heard their songs and they played "punk classic hits" and Handsome Dick Manitoba worked the crowd like Dennis Walter himself.
Eddie Spaghetti is one of my favourite songwriters ever, as I'll explain when I get around to doing my "These people are incredible songwriters and I am a lowly pubic servant with the natural rhythm of a taxidermied sloth, OH GOD WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME YOU BASTARD" post. In the case of The Fight Song, it's because of the line... actually no, they're all awesome and they don't work out of context. You'll have to wait, and that could take a while. Stupid day job (that's bullshit, I post more now than I did when I was a student).
G.G. Allin - Gypsy Motherfucker
Q. Why is a progressive, feminist, law-abiding person like yourself promoting the lawless, anti-social, frankly fucked up and barely listenable G.G. Allin?
A. Because G.G. wrote fucking great pop tunes, and besides, the cunt's dead.
Feist - Lovertits
I do not listen to Yoof Radio nor do I watch television, so the only knowledge I have of Feist is that I have a copy of Mushaboom which I like very much, and apparently she was in an iPod ad. I do have a fair bit of Peaches for reasons unknown - it's not a feminist thing, or maybe it is as I like the idea of Peaches much more than I actually like Peaches. I like this version of Lovertits better than the original. Unfortunately that link is just to a sample at Last.fm, but I'm sure someone will have it. No? Shit, sorry.
The Pleasure Fuckers - That Magic Kiss (album: Ripped to the Tits)
The Pleasure Fuckers were from Spain, and made some fun guitar tunes that won't hurt your brain. (See why I'm a public servant?) This song has the chorus "bam-bam-bam-bam, bam-bam-bam-bam", so you can tell they're deeply intellectual.
Well, that's it. It's been fun and I think if you like punk rock and have a blog you should give this a go. Amazingly, you can do such an experiment with non-swear words! But it's surprisingly hard... go on, try.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
|I took the "hindu goddess" personality quiz on gURL.com|
Like Lakshmi, you are naturally blessed. You might not have a bunch of money, but what you do have are multiples of wealth in other ways, perhaps made up by great friends or a supportive family. Chances are you also like to spread your fortune...
Which Devi are you?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I'm really proud of today's compilation - there's some incredible stuff here, and I mean that in the literal sense of "unbelievable".
Northern Bushmen - God's Cunt - I have to confess I didn't actually have a lot of songs featuring the word Cunt - this list features pretty much all of them. So I turned to my eternal saviour the Hype Machine, and this piece of shrieking math-rock with possibly the best song name ever jumped into my lap. Do you want to marry Steve Albini? Download this.
Read more about Northern Bushmen at the Built on a Weak Spot blog.
The Cunt - Me & A Great Big Leather Man - My first boyfriend used to rent two small rooms in a shop on Sydney Rd in Brunswick in the early 90s. One was for him, the other for his vinyl collection. I wasn't allowed to touch the vinyl. In the case of Leather Donut, the Black Eye Records compilation this song appears on, I wasn't allowed to even look at it. "You'll leave eye-tracks!!!" Leather Donut now sells for around a hundred bucks on eBay if you can find it at all, so he may have had a point. Rooms on Sydney Road now rent for more than he or I can afford, and we have jobs these days.
Cousin Creep's remarkable essay/book Pissant! chronicles the alternative music Scene of the 1980s, including the Leather Donut and Waste Sausage comps. It's a bit controversial.
Jarvis Cocker - Cunts Are Still Running The World - Is this song more awesome than Common People? It's kind of neck and neck for me - I'm waiting for Leonard Nimoy to cover this one.
Nasenbluten - Cuntface - Nasenbluten was a band composed of the sort of fucksticks who think it's anything other than simple button-pushing to pick a "controversial" issue ("controversial" to the sort of people who watch Barcelona Tonight without having a headful of codeine) and write something "controversial" about it. Cuntface is hardcore techno, a genre which can collectively suck my metaphysical cock, so I'm posting Cheap Whine instead - it's at least a bit funny.
TISM - I Might Be A Cunt, But I'm Not A Fucking Cunt - I wanted to post the video to this,
but can't find it anywhere. Here's the lyrics to an earlier version of the song. This is not my favourite TISM song by a long shot, but it's a cold, cloudy, shitty day today, and when I played through this list on iTunes, it cheered me up no end.
[Brief recap for those of you who came here on a search for TISM or George Carlin - I'm posting a series of mp3s collected by typing Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television" one by one into iTunes. This is entry #4, Cunt.]
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
All of this faff is leading up to the Fuck entry in the Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television iTunes challenge, in which people with more mp3s than fat cells type rude words into iTunes and post the results. Today will be a heavily edited entry, obviously not out of concern for the kiddies, but because typing fuck into my iTunes search box yields a massive 84 mp3s for 253Mb. Some are repeats from earlier entries (GG Allin's Tough Fuckin' Shit), some are from albums (Who The Fuck Are The Arctic Monkeys?), and there's band names (The Pleasure Fuckers). I'm sure as hell not posting 83 songs, so here's a quick edit of the most interesting songs.
- I Like Fucking, Bikini Kill - I did coffee with one of the younger pubic servants the other day. I'm in a graduate program and I'm clearly one of the older entrants, and she was asking "So were you into grunge? Did you wear a flannel shirt?" No young lady, I danced the Charleston and wore spats. I always hear the last spoken bit of this song as "I believe in the radical consequences of pleasure", even though it's the exact opposite intent of the song (the italicised word is possibilities).
- You Fucked Up, Ween - this actually sounds fairly Melvins-ish. That link leads to a recording of the Enmore Theatre show in March 2008.
- I Got The I Fucked Someone Else And You Found Out About It And Dumped Me Blues, Mississippi Barry - from the A Minute or Less compilation, the title is pretty much the whole song.
- Too Sober To Fuck, New Waver - I'm not uploading this as apparently Greg is donating sales of the Neuters greatest hits (er... work with me here) compilation to Amnesty. If you're not familiar with New Waver's work, it consists of reworkings of popular songs with what might be called more realistic lyrics. Other efforts include Prozac (was: Heroin), Chadstone (was: Jackson), and Monday Morning's Alright for Working. You can buy Neuters from various sources.
- Well Fuck You Then, Dark Meat - this is a total cheat as I did not have this song when I first created the iTunes list, but I discovered it on You Ain't No Picasso via the Hype Machine, and fell in love instantly. Even though I feel like shit, this song is relentlessly bouncy and cheery.
- I Don't Give A Fuck, TISM - This was performed live on the best.off tour and is not released anywhere. Craplister fleur_ishere was generous enough to provide a decent recording. Why am I not posting "I Might Be A Cunt, But I'm Not A Fucking Cunt"? Because it's crap, that's why.
- Fucking Boyfriend, The Bird & The Bee - very pretty indie song that was a hit on RRR Breakfasters last year.
- Motherfucker from Hell, The Datsuns - unfortunately I have yet to attempt to actually fuck somebody with this song on the stereo. I do use it on the elliptical machine/cross-trainer thingy a lot, the need for which would largely explain the lack of actual fucking.
George Carlin, Comic Who Chafed at Society and Its Constraints, Dies at 71
Friday, June 13, 2008
This is the first and probably only time I will ever have a highest score for spatial analysis, so I'm going to enjoy it. The link is to my scores for OK Cupid's IQ Adventure Test - a horrible amalgam of IQ test and Choose Your Own Adventure, where a decision made at the beginning of the game determines the puzzles you'll be asked to solve. If you think you're a dumb-ass, take it anyway as it offers a social analysis section where hopefully you will shit it in. (I did unbelievably badly in the social section, scoring almost as low as I did on math. I wouldn't want to take this too seriously, but given that I actually *gave up* on one of the hard maths puzzles, that means I have less social than math skills. It would explain why I've been single for #$%! years.)
Tomorrow, more sweary goodness.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
- Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, Cold Piss - I wasn't expecting much when I downloaded this, being that I was more interested in the fact that this band has the funniest name I've encountered in many a year, but it's actually shitloads of fun. You think you're hot shit, but you ain't nothin' but - Cold Piss!
- Nirvana, Territorial Pissings - anyone remember the rivalry between Guns'n'Roses and Nirvana? Axl Rose, apparently expecting that he and Kurt should be natural allies - we both got beaten up at school a lot, right? - approaches Kurt in a friendly manner only to have Kurt immediately identify Axl as the guy who beat him up at high school a lot. Hilarity ensues.
- TISM, A Hard-Earned Thirst Needs A Big Cold Beer, But I Drink To Get Pissed - Truer words were never spoken.
- Patti Smith, Piss Factory - Keith McEwan, in his memoir Once A Jolly Comrade, recalled that the trigger to his joining the Australian Communist Party was getting the sack for being too good at his job. In this song, Patti discovers that on the production line, nobody likes a smart-arse.
- Ween, Piss Up A Rope - Apparently, you can't do it. I missed Ween's live shows this year, because I am an idiot, but Captain's Dead have kindly posted the Enmore Theatre show, which you should download immediately. This is nicked from that post. (You may like to cross-reference this with the similar sounding Tie My Pecker To My Leg, by Mojo Nixon.)
Today's uploads hosted by box.net
Friday, May 02, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
This will probably work better on punk rock blogs than any other kind, but country-and-western and metal should get a look in and who knows? There's some pretty explicit olde-tyme jazz and blues out there (and yes, I know what "jazz" means, but I would never say "Jazz me baby!").
Today's word: SHIT
The Ol' Shit
The Beasts Of Bourbon
Shit Like That
I Wanna Fuck The Shit Out Of You
G.G. Allin and ANTiSEEN
You Give Love A Bad Name
Love is a Charm of Powerful Trouble
Two Fisted Art
Degrassi Junior High
Box - a tv theme tribute
3D Sex Show
Kingdom Of Fear
Kingdom Of Fear
This Is Serious Mum
The Horse, not the Horseshit
This Is Serious Mum
This Is Serious Mum
Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance
It's Novel. It's Unique. It's Shithouse
This Is Serious Mum
TISM Are Shit
This Is Serious Mum
The White Albun
Chocolate & Cheese
TISM represent! This is not a bad selection of indie rock and punk if I may say so myself.
"I Wanna Fuck The Shit Out Of You" is about one thousandth as good as it should be, but "Tough Fuckin' Shit" is great and has a wonderfully incongruous surf guitar intro.
"OK" by Shitdisco is on permanent rotation in the "Aerobics" folder of my iRiver.
"You're Full of Shit" is a mystery song that sounds quite a bit like the Voidoids. I don't know where I got it, I don't know anything about the band, and I can't find them by searching (x-x is one of those unsearchable band names, like Fuck and The The) - little help here?
Ween are represented in other sections of this list. Today, they have some advice you really can't ignore.
OK, now it's your turn. And you know, tits shouldn't even be on the list!
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Sunday, April 27, 2008
- Old School Unionism - In which an old school Fabian has Ms .45 punching the air and going "Fuck yeah!". It's about the continuing decline in union membership in Australia and the unions' frankly inadequate response, particularly in reference to young and casualised workers. I didn't know the stuff about recruiting shearers in the early days of Australian unionism, so this was a useful eye-opener.
- I've lost about 5kg since leaving uni in mid-2007, and have been utilising my workplace's small but SUBSIDISED gymnasium with inspiration by Stumptuous. Stumptuous provides a feminist view of health and weight training and is refreshingly free of faddism (if you don't count Krista's obsession with squatting). The recent Stumptuous Fitness Model competition was intended to reward women who have made improvements to their fitness in the face of difficulty, perhaps starting from a position of advanced age or obesity. Give it a shot, you're probably nearly as fat as I am anyway.
- Just in! Greg Wadley has recently had the opportunity to interview DC Root of ROOT! fame. It's a good interview - obviously done by email, giving both parties the chance to extemporise.
This is my terrible problem: if I sense everyone raving about a band, I'm out of there before you can say Thom Yorke. And I'll wait till about 5 years after they've had their day and disappeared off the face of the planet...and secretly love them! I must have rock-historian disease, or something. I have to enjoy everything retrospectively... I'm also still trying to catch up on artists I never knew during their day -- so last week I was listening to Dusty Springfield, Hunky Dory by Bowie, the Temptations. I had my experimental music phase a long time ago when I was hanging around black clad bookish girls in the vain hope that after a night of Jarry's Ubu trilogy performed by some avante garde troupe in a hell hole somewhere in Fitzroy we could cruise over to the Black Cat for a chinotto and light discussion about how becoming precedes being, and then maybe later she'd let me pop my Converses under her bed.
These days I prefer air guitaring at home to Thin Lizzy. I get about as much sex.
- NEW EYEZMAZE!!! Great idea, too - solve four separate mazes, you win when the family members are brought together. Not original as such, there are lots of games where you need to get multiple figures to the portal, but the fact that the mazes are in completely separate frames fucks up your shit just that little bit more.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Kingdom of Loathing player Watts is hosting a competition in May - submit your zombie survival plan for three different situations (local, national and worldwide zombie infestation) and win great prizes! It's world-wide - if your entry wins, Watts will visit a website that delivers locally to your country and buy you the prize. The prizes are:
- Resident Evil 4, for whatever system suits you
- A copy of Max Brooks' World War Z or Zombie Survival Guide
- A t-shirt with the words "I had a great zombie plan but all I got was this Crappy T-Shirt" (probably handwritten in Sharpie by Watts himself)
Sunday, March 30, 2008
How would you explain Chisels to an American? The first thing that jumps to mind is the "Freebird" joke. You know how this goes - you go and see some sensitive balladeer like Sufjan Stevens or Ryan Adams and, during a lull in the show, some wag in the audience yells "Freebird!". Well, in Australia, it's "Play some Chisels!".
An unsuspecting migrant trying to fill in Australia's immigration tests might wrongly think that Australia's national anthem is Advance Australia Fair. The correct answer is, of course, Khe Sanh, the poignant tale of a VietNam vet who returns to Australia only to fail to cope with civilian life. To adequately describe the significance of this Australian Marseillaise, I must turn to people far more competent than I:
an incredibly annoying song that is played at the end of every outer suburban Year 12 Social to a group of vomiting underage drinkers, and every function involving boorish Rock Spider Aussies making utter cocks of themselves abroad, and every footy trip/Grand Final barbeque/buck's night, or any other gathering popular with people who's main philosophy is 2-4-6-8-Bash-A-Gay-Til-He's-Straight...During the 70s and 80s, Cold Chisel and their fans were despised by indie and alternative types, many of whom bore bruises inflicted by Chisels' more closely-related fans, and it was not until about the middle of this decade that Cold Chisel enjoyed a certain amount of rehabilitation (although songwriter Don Walker has always been held in high esteem by your male white Hornby wannabe's, and rightly so).
In general, Cold Chisel's most popular songs are straight-down-the-line rock, with some sentimental ballads slowing the pace a little. What saves Chisels from being utter shit is the quality of the songwriting. Mostly handled by Don Walker - but all members of the band contributed songs - the songs enable you to see the characters and step into their lives. I don't write this lightly - when you listen to Ita, you can see the stoner share-house full of bogans watching quality TV like Beauty and the Beast. You can relate to the guy who foolishly told his girlfriend they should take a break from their relationship, only for her to up stumps and get married to someone else. I absolutely guarantee you're hankering to rip the headset off, tell the customer to go fuck themselves and head off to Bow River, whatever that may be for you. I mean, for me Bow River is the East Brunswick Club (I have small dreams). The point is that just because I'm a middle-class* softcock doesn't mean I can't see myself in a Chisels song. Here's a great little explanation of the appeal of the Ian Moss-penned Bow River.
*For widely varying definitions of middle class - the reason this post is four months overdue is that I got a job as a real live pubic servant in February, and my life has been a whirlwind of business cases and benchmarking and probity, but not the good kind of probity.
You Must Know:
Just what it says on the box. If you don't know any other Chisels songs, this is the one you need to know.
My Turn To Cry
"When I told you just have a good time I think you took me all wrong - next thing you're engaged and a kid is coming along." Remember Barnsey next time you're thinking of suggesting to your partner that you should consider a trial separation.
Possibly the world's only Top 40 hit about abortion.
No Sense is unusual in two regards - firstly, it's stylistically quite distinct from Cold Chisel's typical output, and secondly, it was written by singer Jimmy Barnes, whose career both in Cold Chisel and as a solo artist has not suggested that spiky, post-punk screeds are really his thing.
Like a more mainstream version of Take This Job And Shove It.
You Got Nothing I Want
Chisels' response to not breaking the American market.
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There's a reason I'm a public servant and not a record reviewer, you know.
The New Pornographers - All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth (live)
The Cave Singers - Helen
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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Click on Tesla to read about more famous historical figures. Margaret Trudeau, Geoffrey Chaucer, Henry VIII and Marcel Duchamp provide fun for the whole family. Well, possibly not Margaret Trudeau.
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