Monday, 19 December 2005

Dip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians

Just something that caught my ear this weekend.

It seems to have stuck.

So Mister Chris seems to be enjoying his trek through China. Despite hotmail's efforts to label as junk mail his semi-regular epistles from his cultural homeland, the emails have finally made it through the online maelstrom to be read at my leisure. How rather heroic. It seems the man has become published again with three of his poetic efforts published in Victoria University's online poetry magazine Turbine. Talented bugger!

Anywho, I should be off. It's almost 2am and panda eyes are so not sexy on a Monday morning. It only leads to impressions of late licentious nights full of booze and other naughty things however deserved they may be.

Love you, love your work, buy me lunch!

Friday, 16 December 2005

Things to look forward to next week

Free lunch at Copita

Free dinner at the Feathers

Free drinks at the Feathers the next night

Free time

This week's more interesting developments

Blair and Allen Streets were eerily quiet after the King Kong premiere.

Loved the lychee at favourite haunt Ponderosa despite the clientele becoming dreadfully middle-aged rather too quickly.

The Kills were fantastic but one needed to have listened to the albums to really know which song they were playing. It got all rather white noisy towards the end with little more than distortion ringing in one's ears.

So So Modern were pretty good as an opener for the Kills but the lack of polish showed they'd only played as a group for a year.

Indigo gets damn hot the a couple hundred people in there ona balmy summer evening. Can you say sweating like a rapist? I was sodden but couldn't tell if it was mine or everyone else's sweat. I'm burning the shirt tonight.

SPFW has come to embrace phone whoredom and is now pxt-capable - oh the licentious moments to be shared this summer!!!

Set Menu is code for "crap meal". Barring the ecstatic set menu at Citron, set menus have proved a constant disappointment.

One narrowly missed suffering the indignity of being downtrou'ed by the banana. She's deceptively good on the pool table. Amen to the drunken master kicking in to save the day. What a superhero!

The less worthy Kong boys hang out at Matterhorn and leer at singlet clad women. The womenfolk didn't even notice they'd become the centre of attention. So funny.

Depeche Mode's Playing The Angel is a damn good album, even if it is different to both Exciter and the career-saving Ultra. Go buy it now! It's really quite affordable at your nearest Sounds store.

The lovely Kelly is heading back to Welly for a few days over the Christmas New Years period. Ooh *squeals*! I don't think Wishbone has recovered since she moved to Hamiltron and I stopped going to the Hunter Street store four/five times a day to see her.

No word from the pedant since she entered riot-stricken France. No word on the riots since she entered France either. Coincidence?

Sunday, 11 December 2005

Pleasant if bright

Friday night saw me drinking raspberry mules at the Green Room. That particular drink was anything but red (something that confounded the ever-inquisitive beer-swillers around me) but that isn't relevant.

Housed in what used to tbe the fish and chip shop tacked onto the ass-end of Shed 5, the Green Room is a pleasant if bright bar of the bijou persuasion (bijou in the sense of being fairly small and nigh-claustrophobic with more than 8 people inside). It is also on the waterfront so the smokers couches outside are comfy with a view and the area outside the main door provides ample opportunity to see the hordes of contestants at the meat market that is Dockside jockey for... well... 'positions'.

I quite liked it but then the lovely wee thing behind the bar was... well... lovely and she whipped up a fairly decent cocktail.

The nibbles they provided for the occasion that drew me there in the first place were similar to that of the Feathers (an assortment of deep-fried offerings to the gods of cholesterol) but that isn't a bad thing. It just added to the whole pseudo-slumming experience they were offering to their obviously well-off patrons.

The Green Room does sport an odd feature above the bar in the form of small LCD screens showing time-delay snapshots taken by any one of the webcams they've got around the bar. The pictures are too grainy to really know what you're looking at (the angle of the screens doesn't help with viewing) and the screens positioned awkwardly high for ease of viewing. That said it doesn't get in the way of enjoying a few drinks among friends and colleagues.

Just thought I'd share.

I swear she’s coasting on the same song

Is it me or does every song Kelly Clarkson sings sound like exactly the same song?

No really.

In the music videos I’ve seen of her she’s always trying to come across as thoughtful and emotionally wrought with that wannabe-sultry/actually-spoken generally sad excuse of a singing voice. Oh and when she isn’t singspeaking she’s screaming every chorus. Screaming in every song.

Electric Six have tried the same thing and look how well they’ve done from it all. 20-odd years in the business and still playing small venues like Indigo. I’d still pay $30 to see a band known for odd songs than some chick made famous for an over-hyped karaoke contest.

I’m not bitter, just opinionated.

Truer words have never been spoken

“There’s only so much John Pilger you can take before you want to slam your manhood in a car door for an hour.”

That particularly pithy bon mot comes from Andrew Lumsden, aka Te Radar courtesy of our friends at the Listener (yes it is proving quite the versatile publication).

But wait there’s more!

Just in case you thought our Ngati Pakeha friend has exaggerating, Mr Pilger provides a more than ample example that has me wanting to forever forego the option of siring children.

In the latest issue of Adbusters (I know its terribly left-wing and I’m not but the graphic work of many of the contributing designers has generally struck me as visually interesting if not worth the bi-monthly financial contribution to a publication that champions causes of a nature that sees me throwing up into the nearest receptacle) the inestimable Mr Pilger is asked for what he considers the main obstacles to solid journalism today.

His response has me wondering whether the man has ever known happiness in his life. Paraphrasing a statement I cannot bring myself to repeat in this forum lest I be forever redolent of the stench of his ideals, journalism is being corrupted by corporatism, is deluded in thinking what is reported is objective, and complicit in the invasion of Iraq by not regularly bombarding the public with slow-motion images of civilians dying in horrific ways.

John Pilger is by no means the only media commentator all too often divining far too much from the merest of tea leaves, but at least the odious Michael Moore has a sense of humour about the shit he peddles.

Life doesn’t need to be a succession of brick walls one needs to batter down. We don’t need to endure great suffering to be memorialised for achieving greatness. After all, what is the point of living if you can’t enjoy it.

Someone please just give the man a hug.

Maybe then we could get on with living our lives for ourselves instead of suffering the holier than thou calls for us all to lead our lives by impossible ideals for ultimately unworthy ends.

Here endeth the sermon.

And so it begins…

Have I already posted an item with that particular heading? It seems terribly familiar but I can’t quite place it. Anywho, if I have and this offends I can only but humbly apologise for what can only be described as a lapse in imaginative thought. One can only hope that such a lapse was momentary in nature.

Moving on…

Well ladies and gentlemen, it has started. This week’s Listener has as its cover item the best CDs, books and DVDs of 2005 as described by their coterie of critics. Each seemed quite particular in the genre of their choices, an interesting if not entirely unexpected touch. Far too often rankings are made with options that at least to my knowledge seem remarkably incomparable. After all, what makes an item from one genre any less important than an item from another genre without getting into biases and the particular peccadilloes of personal preference.

That enough p’s for ya?

The cynic in me sees articles that describe the best of what was or the best of what will be as little more than unimaginative gap-filler for slow news days. Then the more intelligent side of my psyche kicks in and reminds me that newspapers and magazines have become overwhelmed in the regularly syndicated musings of so-called experts and supposedly interesting people or people who can at least write something in a way that seems interesting or at least engaging. As such I shouldn’t entirely hold such lofty expectations of our newspapers and magazines. We are after all only a small country in the ass-end of the Pacific. One ought to be more understanding of our limitations.

Bollocks to that!

Where is the logic in telling people that what they bought and enjoyed mattered or didn’t matter to so-called experts, supposedly interesting people or people who can at least write something in a way that is interesting? If I happened to quite enjoy a number of CDs this year but only one of them appeared in a top 10 list (Erol Alkan’s A Bugget Out Mix – fantabulous and very much a must-enjoy item) should I feel my taste in music is barely adequate? And if I don’t recognise any of the books in spite of almost daily trips to purchase new books?

I know we all need light reading over the holiday period. I am at least cognisant that harrowing tales of evil visited upon other people or lives cut tragically short are not altogether conducive to relaxation.

I do wonder why I need to be told every year that my taste in music/movies/books/everything doesn’t rate with someone I barely rate.

Thursday, 8 December 2005

Why haven’t penguins taken over the world?

I’m wondering why anyone would give enough of a damn to ask such a stupid question.

And yet people do ponder such stupid questions.

Can I get a Red Foremanesque “Dumbasssss!”?

Maybe not.

Hanna Barbera has a lot to answer for


I’ve been having a number of conversations with people lately where the term Secret Squirrel has been bandied about with noticeably more freedom than I am otherwise accustomed. Yes I may have uttered these words on more than a few of those occasions but it says a lot when someone can mention a phrase with multiple connotations and the subversive meaning immediately registers with the other person.

It’s interesting how a 1950s cartoon character from the same stable of wholesome characters as Huckleberry Finn and the Jetsons has become an anachronism for the less than honest use of secrecy.

Speaking personally I’m endlessly fascinated that this is something that once served as Saturday morning opium for children back in an age where 8am water polo classes and hockey matches were unheard of. His adventures were my drug of choice on many occasions.

I guess it just goes to show that shame joins hatred on the great list of powerful forces in our lives.

For my sins I always liked Morocco Mole better. I mean, come on! The fez was seriously rocking the casbah! And the sherif? Oh! He did like it.

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Sunday, 4 December 2005

Have you ever wondered why I'm not called Al?

This is the story of why I'm not called Al. It is an important story that not many people know and appreciate about the person I could have become.

So here goes...

Al is what people call my dad. That's because he's Al Junior.

Al is what people call my granddad too. That's because he's Al Senior.

My dad wanted to call me Al too, after him and his dad. Family tradition.

That would have made me Al the third.

Thankfully mum told Al Junior that no son of hers would be called Al. I think Dad ate her hospital dinner that night.

And that's the story of why I'm not called Al.

Get your guns out! Get your guns out!

I’ve never really been someone who goes to see bands play live because the bands I’ve been keen to see have never really ventured as far south as the land of the long white cloud. And yet in the last couple years my attendance at musical events seems to have soared quite dramatically.

Kid Koala, Sarah MacLachlan, Interpol and Electric Six rate special mentions.

I’ve also seen the Feelers, Opshop and Evermore but that was more for reasons of needing something to do on a holiday weeknight than any great desire to appreciate their music in a live setting.

Anywho, continuing in what has come to be a tradition of music appreciation in a live setting, one of my latest musical infatuations is playing Indigo on the 14th.

Now I’m not deluded enough to think The Kills will be as fun as Electric Six were, or as can’t miss as Interpol. They are far too pared back to rate like the others. Its just that if their albums are anything to go by the show should be a succession of 3-minute bursts of visceral grrr-ness from two people who can write better than half decent songs.

Think White Stripes but… well… good.

I plan on being there.

You should too.

Here's a link to a session they did on Auntie. It has a few vids of them performing live, as well as an interview, a music video and full length tracks from their sophomore effort No Wow.

This is what the CD looks like. Go buy it! NOW!!!

Thursday, 1 December 2005

Goes together like sunburn and gingers

Kudos to the ad company responsible for L&Ps back of the bus advertising.

Apologies for the hiatus. More posts to follow.... well... soonish.