Thursday, 31 May 2007

Yeah! Wa how! There's something in the air!

Flat issues have been resolved and The Whore is back.

Did you miss me? Of course you did!

So on we go...

Digitalism's album Idealism is the shit and you really do need to get your own copy. Zdarlight is a track everyone has been able to enjoy for the last year or so and it remains a strong performer on the album. The recently-released Pogo comes to us as quite the breath of fresh poppyness.

I'd be disappointed if Mister Chris didn't like this track. Moonlight comes across as Zdarlight-lite and there is an element of sameness about some of the tracks but when you listen to it from beginning to end it comes across more as a cohesive mix than an album if firmly separate tracks.

I saw Reno 911: Miami over the weekend and can see how it got one star in Empire magazine. The TV show relies on a random series of set pieces (a la Cops) and that doesn't really work too well for a film that stretches the 30 minute format into 90 minutes. The cameos from were too obvious and some of the later parts of the film were far too saccharine for a pisstake mockumentary. In spite of all that, I really quite liked the film.

*scratches butch manly chin*

Hmmm, I really should have shaved this morning.

*looksat reflection in office window*

Hmmm, I could probably do with a haircut too.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Domestic disturbance

I'm having a few issues with the flatmate.

Back soon.



We'll see.


Wednesday, 23 May 2007

In the Zee of Gee

A short fiction on the duality of man by the Slightly Silver Fox.

“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” – James 1:8

I hate ZZ Top, and they certainly weren’t the reason I went into the CD store. They were some of the reason I went back.

The morning was a haze. Coastal sunlight beating down on thickening traffic as I ambled toward my place of work.

My thoughts were simple, and usual. There was of course the meaning of life and when it might end, and who could be there when it did, and what “crossing over” might be like. My bank balance was good and I also thought of things to buy. Simple things.

As is my habit, I tried to avoid looking at the folk I passed as we collectively ambled in and out of the town - the “in” or “out” depending on our respective aims and objectives on that day.

My aims were straightforward. To buy something, anything, and then go to work.

I stopped at an outlet CD store, briefly considered the merits of adding to my collection, entered the store and moved toward the Alt/Punk section.

I enjoy the fleeting feeling of uniqueness that always comes with being middle-aged and office-bound and scanning the Alt/Punk racks.

Coming to a band the name of which began with the letter G, I selected the fourth in a series of four albums and proceeded to the counter to make my purchase.

At the counter, expectantly standing with a friendly sort of lean, was the finest woman I had seen in a very long time. I say fine because she was more than beautiful, or pretty, or any of the countless other words oft used in connection with good looking women. She was stunning, and tanned, and sensual, and just… well… very brunette, very stylish and very desirable.

Mesmerised, I pushed the empty CD case and my credit card across to her.

She smiled. I tried to smile back, then realised I had forgotten to close my mouth. So I gaped I suppose, but I didn’t care. In middle age, a man should surely be allowed to.

She took the CD case and held it up before her. She didn’t ask why I liked the band, nor indeed did she say anything at all. She turned toward a chest containing four enormous drawers, one atop the other, that was set into the wall behind her.

By then I had closed my mouth, but it became the turn of my eyes to begin an unheeded dance within their confines on my face. They noticed that this object of perfection was dressed in the simplest one piece skirt that extended just below what I assumed would be a glorious tan line at the top of her thighs.

I immediately drew upon my spiritual resources and sought to look away, but could not. I in fact prayed that the contents of my recently selected CD would be at the bottom of the fourth drawer down, and that all my hopeless Christmases and lifetime disappointments would be swept away by a simple bend at the waist.

At that moment, my life and where it had been and would possibly go to became all tangled up in the chance of seeing that tan line.

The CD was in fact in the second drawer from the top, so I saw nothing. She turned back to me, smiled gloriously, and processed my purchase.

I walked back into the sun, realising that I was not unique but a man among men. I should have seen that tan line. I briefly searched the sky for God and, seeing nothing, walked to my office.

It was there that I told a co-worker about my purchase and ‘the encounter', and questioned the poor fortune (or otherwise) of my CD being in the second drawer and not the fourth. They suggested that this may not have been simple luck, but a trick of the alphabet. They reasoned that since the alphabet begins with an A and ends with a Z, a CD by a band with a name beginning with G would of course be in the first or second drawers, while a band beginning with Z would be in the fourth.

I thought immediately of ZZ Top, and then could think of nothing else but the CD store, the woman, and the enormous drawers.

The sun was no higher in the sky when I re-entered. She was there behind the counter and smiled, and this time I smiled back – briefly thanking God for all of humanity’s senses and for not entirely or commonly including ESP among them.

I sauntered over to the Alt/Punks, this time brushing past a large Pop/Rock cabinet set in the middle of the floor. As I did so, I stuck my fingers in the Z’s and as fate would have it pulled free a copy of ZZ Top’s greatest hits. Full price for bad sounds, but I didn’t care. I was no longer behaving in a way that an economist could mark on a graph and explain, so I didn’t need to.

I briefly surveyed the Alt/Punk racks, stood tall, and went to the counter once again where CDs were bought and paid for.

“Me again” I said, but she said nothing and held the CD up before her. I tried to focus, but at that very time a large hole had opened in the bottom of my stomach and a shrill voice from within was telling me that I was not a man among men as previously thought, that this was not even normal and that I was not normal and if this woman knew of my intentions she would think even less of me, if indeed she thought anything at all.

She then turned to the drawers. My hopes escalated as before, as she bent her body over them, opening the first drawer and then the second. My devastation was complete when, as before, she withdrew a shiny disc from the second drawer leaving the tan line unrevealed, unknown and still imaginary. She turned back to the counter and put the CD in the ZZ Top case.

I kept the CD because I had purchased it, but it began to remind me of what I really might be but for all my fine words and reading

When a friend informed me that CDs in shops are organised by means other than the alphabet, I threw it away.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Counting the days people

Counting. The. Days.

This just in from Mister Chris...

Hello kiddies...

have you been good?

Have you been very good?

Good enough that your Mums will let you out on a school night to catch our 48 Hour film screening?

We need all the support we can get to show those so-called professionals a thing or two.

The details:
48 Hour Film Comp (heat six)
Thursday 24th May, 9.15 pm (sharp!)
Paramount Theatre

If you're asked, tell 'em you're there to support the ICW Productions cast and crew - the sexiest, fiercest, GST-inclusive mofo's in town. Forward this to other like-minded individuals! Do it, or the communists win!!!

I'm an emo prairie dog

This one comes to us from Preston.

I never did warm to Australian comedy show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, because like many sketch shows it just wasn't funny. Well you'll have to colour me more than pleasantly surprised to have been left laughing out loud at this clip.

It makes a mockery of my current tastes in music but I don't care. It made me laugh. That's a good thing.

Of communists, firstborn children and Eurovision*

The heats for 48Hours : Furious Film Making are Thursday night at the Paramount and the entry from SFTWM regular Mister Chris is screening at the 9:15pm slot.

You should come. Brother needs a posse!

If you get hassles from the guys on the door, tell them you're with the team called ICW Productions.

* Apparently we need to cheer for them and vote for them or otherwise the communists win and they'll eat all our firstborns and force us to listen to nothing but Eurovision contestants. Google "scooch" to discover the misery of this year's Eurovision line-up. You have a duty NOT to inflict this on civil society (it's part of the social contract, in the small print).


I don't care that he is sleeping with Kate Moss, because Pete Doherty only makes me dislike Oasis all the more.

Hat-tip to Nicole.

Monday, 21 May 2007

The Joy of Music In Motion

by Piers.

Sitting in a comfortable chair with a drink and a cigarette, closing one's eyes and really losing one's self in an album is a beautiful experience, but for me it just can't stack up to listening to music while on the move.

Whether it be while driving, cycling or on a train, the cinematic unfolding of the landscape and the feeling of motion seem to lend something to the soundtrack and somehow extend its depth. The combination of the three senses - visual, auditory and tactile/kinetic - create a kind of
gestalt* one feels deep in the chest, the kind of feeling that makes one grateful to be alive.

The music can be uplifting or despondent, vocal or instrumental, acoustic or electronic, as long as it is loud.

It also has to fit the mood of the listener and the mood of the day. Three recent examples of perfect synchronicity stick out in my mind.

Around the start of last Summer, it was during the holidays from uni and I had just been paid. My friend Dave had borrowed a car for the day, so I went over to his, we grabbed a carton of Coopers and headed for the beach. The music was a Metallica tape, on the cheap car stereo. It was hot, we were smoking cigarettes and I was drinking while Dave drove. I yelled out to a couple of girls we saw when we were stopped at an intersection "Hey! We're going to the beach, wanna come?" but they didn't hear us. No matter. The trip took about half an hour and it put us in such a good mood, we sat on the grass, watched the cute girls rollerblade past, talked about art and drank until we'd finished the carton and the sun had set.

A friend of mine who has only been here for a few months got his car sent over from Perth around March when the days were still warm. It was a Ford Capri convertible. A group of us piled in, it was hardly an impressive car but we didn't care. We were on some frivolous errand, the details of which escape me. We might have just been going for a drive. We played The Rapture's Pieces Of The People We Love and drove through the city, stereo blaring. All around us - at every intersection - we noticed the glares of mid-50s men. Not an angry or disapproving glare, rather one of intense envy. Here were four young, beautiful and carefree people in a convertible, laughing and singing along to their "pop-music". It was the absolute picture of well-spent youth, and you could tell it was causing these old men a bitter combination of nostalgia and
physical pain.

The third time is the easiest to recreate. It's the latest of a long string of times I've been on my bike and had this gestalt feeling. It was just yesterday afternoon. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't getting any work done that day, so I was riding into the city to take photos. I was going down Rathdowne street, which is a beautiful, tree-lined street that increases in width and traffic from the start near my house until it hits the CBD grid. The music on my iPod was Youth Group's Casino Twilight Dogs, specifically Start Today Tomorrow. It was a cool day but the sun was shining and the song was oh so appropriate. I couldn't help but grin. Again, I was put in a great mood and I got some shots I'm really pleased with.

A filmmaker will spend 5-10% of the movie's budget on the score. I don't see why anyone wouldn't spend a similar proportion of their own income on music. Remember that your record collection is important - it is not something that money gets wasted on, it's
the soundtrack to your life.

Gestalt psychology states that the mind operates in a holistic manner - that it does not break problems down into their component parts, rather it gathers as much information as it can and somehow combines this into a theory, perception or answer. The Gestalt effect refers to how the brain can take a
limited amount of information and construct a form. Even though a smiley-face is just two dots and a curved line, the brain infers an identity and an emotion for the character it has created in the marks it sees.

Gestalt is a German word meaning shape or form.

Let's go downtown

So The American and I ventured to Chow for another glorious lunch today, only this time we found ourselves trekking our way to Chow on Tory (Chow on Woodward had a 20min wait for a table or we could eat at the bar - ah no thank you).

Being Monday we thought we'd try our luck with a brilliant combo of $10 lunches and the 1+1=1 on Mondays that saw us dining something impressive. The miso was pleasant as always and the jasmine rice light and airy. The rib of beef was extraordinary (So rare. So tender. And the sauce!!!). The banana-leaf chicken was near-delirium in a triangle-shaped package. The fish cakes were forgettable and the over-use of coriander verging on the criminal. The pork and prawn cakes were a marked improvement on the fish cakes but paled in comparison to the sheer might and majesty of the rib of beef and banana-leaf chicken.

Thanks to our very amenable and amiable waitress, we got away with all that and a pot of jasmine tea for $33. Not bad, eh?

I can feel a food coma slowly coming over me but at least I'll pass out with a content look on my face.

You can be forgiven for thinking Chow is the new fad place to eat lunch for The Whore and his ample posse, because you might be right. Chow is easily on a par with Sweet Mother's Kitchen on the Good Times from Good Food scale and I think we all know how much I enjoy their po'boy sandwiches. The same goes for the katsudon at Miyabi Sushi.

Every now and again it helps to treat oneself to a lunch that's more than the bog standard experience. Why? Because I deserve it.

And yes I can confirm

... that the rubbish trucks hit the city-side of Thorndon at 4:07am on Mondays.

I'm going to be so suicidal at work today.

Oh to have a bodyclock that works. Actually no, that would be boring.

I think the delirium has set in. It's like "the vapours" only less pejorative in that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil kinda way. Jude Law was forgettable in that film, wouldn't you say?

Who'd've thought there'd be an industry that designs light-emitting alarm clocks for the righting of errant bodyclocks? Not I. Maybe I should try one of these.

Well that or maybe try to avoid doing godknowswhat until 4 in the morning.

It's a German word. They have words for everything. My favourite is schadenfreude.

Ok, I'm REALLY going to bed now. Nunighs everyone.

Awwwwww... you shouldn't have!

My Friday night houseguests brought with them a wee gift they thought might cheer me up and you had to colour me quite expectant as this cute wee bag was handed to me before they shot into the kitchen to commence with the drinking.

I'm not sure many of you would approve of its contents but it was really quite a touching gesture. Completely unsolicited, totally unexpected and the absolutely perfect gift for the moment.

We enjoy presents here at the whorehouse.

And with that it is 3:30 in the morning and I should probably consider getting some sleep. Nunighs everyone!

Ummm... when are you next leaving town?

I had guests on Friday night and after a fair few gins on my part and god knows how many coke-laden voddies (sp?) on their part, we thought it would be genius to take down all of my flatmate's arguably questionable artwork and replace it with hand-drawn replicas and suggested alternatives. Now before you start thinking we were pissing all over his creative aspirations, I should perhaps clarify that by "artwork" I mean prints and things he had no hand in creating.

Anywho, hurriedly tracking down sheets of paper while the boys got to it with pen and what paper I could find, I think we ended up with something that looked pretty good. Post-tantrum examples include this (because it was), this (because it generally is) and this (their taste in music, NOT mine). I don't know about my houseguests but I was quite happy with what we came up with. Quite happy indeed.

So you'll have to colour me perplexed when the flatmate comes home from what I can only assume was a night on the town and flies into rage that saw my room reverberate to the sounds of paper being torn off the walls and prints hurriedly being put back up on the walls elsewhere in the flat. I was kinda expecting him to react this way but it sucked all the same that he did get as angry as he did. I would have been nothing but flattered and joyous if someone took the time to replace all my vinyl art toys with cheap and nasty hand-drawn replicas. Well I'd be homocidally pissed off if they had sold off or thrown out the toys to make room for the replicas.

Now before you think this a moment of utter TMI, and generally outside the bounds of opaqueness that surrounds much of my chronicled life, it is all context for something that was sent my way this weekend.

It seems the Swedes had similar ideas for the apartment of a friend of theirs and the Pink Prank Project is the brilliant end-result. Talk about hard out. The denizens of Wellington should be grateful I don't have the patience for a project this involving, because damn if it doesn't look like a brilliant prank to pull on someone.

A less-intense alternative could be the clandestine giftwrapping of randomly-selected major items of office furniture at your place of work. Think of it as a celebration of the imaginary birthdays of individual filing cabinets, computer screens, desk chairs, desks, etc. Think big fuck-off bows and thick chunky ribbon and expensive wrapping paper (the kind you don't get from Te Warewhare or your nearest supermarket).

More than meets the eye?

See? I so told you it would suck.

Well... not in so many words, but you can so taste the disapproval.

And on that note, I hereby end the youtube madness on SFTWM at least for tonight.

I knew I shouldn't have but I just couldn't help myself

11 June 2007 should be the second-most important date of the year for me but after listening to some of the leaked tracks from Justice's yet-to-be-formally-released album, I'm not sure there is a lot on the album to get excited about.

I wish this was a case of ruining the surprise but June 11 isn't Christmas morning and Justice isn't an aunt you've never met that always sends an ill-fitting if painstakingly hand-knitted sweater of the kind made famous by David Bain.

Stellar tracks Waters of Nazareth and Phantom have already been formally released, as has the achingly less-dirty D.A.N.C.E. (I'm with Piers in thinking this is a song Justice should have remixed instead of releasing themselves) so they don't really count. If we look at the leaked tracks, Stress stands out as a stonker while Genesis, New Jack and Valentine have left me wondering whether they were actually done by the same Justice that has some of us desperately wanting to move to Paris.

Now if you like me you need your faith in the French reaffirmed, check out the trailer to Daft Punk's feature film Electroma. It just screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Looks wicked and dear god I hope this comes out on general release or at least one of the slew of film festivals that besiege our nation's capital.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

A few months back, a friend of a friend was raving about a show she'd been enjoying called The Mighty Boosh, and it's taken until now for me to finally work out just what she was talking about.

Thanks to the kind folk at youtube, I've been able to see a few clips of this BBC comedy series and I'm afraid I'm rather unimpressed. I can appreciate how random it is and yes some parts bring a smirk to my normally stone-faced visage, but the show on the whole just lacks the substance to engage. I was watching an episode called Nanageddon and I'm sorry but I was left counting the seconds until the next scene would pop up. Thankfully the scenes changes are rather frequent.

It wasn't terrible. It wasn't bad. If anything, it just just wasn't quite good enough. Maybe it just pales in comparison to the might of the obviously superior The IT Crowd.

This clip is dedicated to the miraculously healed man. He knows who he is. He also knows I hate cricket. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Pencil. This. In.

... and now!!!

Ok, maybe this week

Joel's in town. Maybe he'll come with me.

Someone should.

The Perils of Openness or Gorby Got It Wrong

What follows are highlights of the weekend adventures of yours truly. Enjoy with my compliments. Or don't. Up to you really.

: Ah... zombies
Saw 28 Weeks Later. Didn't think too much of it to be honest. Pale reflection on the first one. Empty, boring and pointless reflection. See it if you have money to burn and time to kill.

: On the upside...
Readng Cinemas had a "coming soon" promo for Reno911. I don't care that Empire magazine only gave it one star.

: There's killing on the dancefloor
Shiny was fun, Joel's set was great, but the crowd was a bit weird (and I mean that in the motley sense of the word). My feet were aching something wicked the next day.

: When drunken confessions go horribly wrong
... let's not go there. Too soon.

: And on our right we have...
I went to Imerst for the first time. Quite the experience. I can only assume that was where the Wahine sank, because Imerst is three levels of tragic.

: Young kids these days
Ok so maybe I went to a birthday party for a friend of a friend who had turned 18 and maybe it was in Imerst's third level "VIP" bar and maybe I was the oldest person that was meant to be there and maybe I was being stalked by some unfortunate anorak-wearer in his 40s (obvious let-off-his-leach-by-mother material) and maybe my back suffered from barely legal boys jump hugging me. Good times. No really.

: Crayon is the French word for pencil
Somehow I woke up with a box of crayons in the small of my back. Although I can't remember how I got home, what disturbs me more is where they came from and what I was thinking at the time (if anything that could be taken as being in the general vicinity of vague sobriety).

: Filial piety in the modern age
Mother's Day lunch was had at Chow on Tory. Food comas were had by all because Te Papa insisted on yours truly ordering just a bit too much food. The rib of beef was incredible. The pork and sticky rice sausage was excellent. I regret not being able to finish my coconut sticky rice pudding with cardamom-scented pineapple. There's a definite return visit on the cards, especially with 1+1=1 cocktails on Wednesday nights. Pimms Cup anyone?

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Excuses, excuses

I'm in a people-hating mood.

Back soon.


I think.

Well maybe.

I don't know.


Tuesday, 8 May 2007

You've got to be in to win

I'm spending the next couple days in Hamilton. Yes. Hamilton. Quite the land of milk and fog. Former home of Her Floralness and the ever-lovely Kelly.

Wish me luck.

No really, please do. I might come back with a pregnant teenager or dairy farm if you don't.

I'll get you something on the way back. Ugly rugby scarf? White pants? That's about all I've got on the suggested souvenir front.

UPDATE : I should be here tomorrow night, instead of Hamilton.

Monday, 7 May 2007

I can't get you out of my head

My Monday morning has been plagued by the hallucinatory ever-presence of coloured hexagonal tiles spinning across my retinas to form larger geometrical shapes. It doesn't matter what I'm looking at or to whom I might be conversing, the damn tiles are always there.

Methinks I maybe shouldn't have been playing Hexic HD as hard out as I was last night.For such a simple game (think: prodigal lovechild of Connect4 and Tetris) it is so achingly addictive and I was really starting to get the hang of it around 2:00am.

I was left peering at the screen up close so I might distinguish between the different shades of green and violet for many of the tiles.

I do have a life.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

I'm talking ass big like two ninjas in a sleeping bag

Colour me carrying a serious grudge against NZ Music Month for ruining C4.

It's bad enough with the constant replays of those REALLY annoying ads with the likes of Brooke Fraser and that REALLY annoying guy from Elemeno P. Now they've gone and ruined my favourite C4 show (Watch This Space) with oh so unworthy kiwi music acts.

I'm sorry but Watch This Space is for the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Tom Vek, LCD Soundsystem and (hopefully very soon) Justice. New Zealand just isn't able to produce music of the kind currently streaming forth to take over the world from Australia and France. No, instead we make rubbish punk pop (*gags* Goodnight Nurse, 48May et al), dub/roots (although that seems to be going out of favour) and woefully-inadequate post-punk (Mint Chicks, Die! Die! Die! et al).

I don't care if this is exactly the kind of attitude that has held back the New Zealand music industry. I like what I like and what I would like to see on C4 are music videos by acts I enjoy.

The monocultural approach killed KIWI as a commercial radio station. I don't know that it even exists.

It's time someone gave the damn dog it's damn bone and C4 got back to the good tunes.

Fuck knows why I'm still sober and conscious enough to type this at 5:30 in the morning. My bodyclock is so fucked.

UPDATE : it seems C4 has a super-secret (read: not mentioned anywhere on their website) show on Sunday "mornings" called Spoon. Despite the timeslot (4:00-8:00am) it is Watch This Space but less hard out, and the absence of vintage videos is a significant improvement. So far we've had Air's Cherry Blossom Girl, Ladytron's Seventeen, Bjork's Earth Invaders and Mylo's Muscle Car.

Sounds so goooooooood.

Sounds like C4 the way it should sound.

Friday, 4 May 2007

I can see my house from here

Can you?

Google Earth is some scary shit.

Hmmmm… it’s like Sophie’s choice but somehow more meaningful

Today has been quite the major downer in my neck of the woods. I should be drinking Carlton down some dingy laneway in Melbourne right now instead of counting the minutes to the end of the working day. I should be getting ready for a spectacular night out that included seeing the Midnight Juggernauts perform at the Prince, but I'm not and that guts me.

Well, just to make today feel extra special, Air New Zealand has unleashed yet another one of their damnable if sporadic deals on flights. I'm meant to be saving for June shenanigans in Melbourne, but Air New Zealand have come out with $49 flights to anywhere in New Zealand so long as you fly between 18 and 24 June, and book your flight by midnight tonight.

As much as I'd dearly love to head north for a whirlwind tour of Casa de Frangipani, I'm not sure the finances can quite stretch that far right now. I should probably have a word with the flatmate. Fingers crossed he isn't planning any major purchases anytime soon. His hair is heading in a barbaric direction that screams dire need of taming.

But I digress. Is this karmic punishment for scaling back my spending on what some might see as frivolous things and odd obsessions? Have I so very offended the Gods of Shopping that temptation must now be thrust at me on an almost regular basis?

Colour me in dire need of gin. At the Whorehouse, our preferred drop is Tanqueray, but only because we can't find anyone that stocks Strongbeams (easily the most memorably glorious gin I have ever had the pleasure to partake).

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

"This is the worst food coma I've had in a while"

... said the American to the Whore.

We went to Miyabi Sushi for lunch today because the heavens conspired against a karmically restorative meal at the Hare Krishna place Higher Taste. The van pumping water from the semi-subterranean restuarant was a dead giveaway. I've been looking forward to having lentils for lunch too.

The katsudon was glorious if deceptively dense and filling. I can barely function this afternoon. Such tasty delirium.

This must be punishment or the childlike excitement of yesterday afternoon.

If I didn't know that I would snore, I'd have a nap under my more than ample desk.

I can't say I've had many food comas in my culinarily expansive lifetime. I can probably only count on one hand the number of food comas I've had. Sure I've over-eaten on many an occasion but never to an extent that leaves me physically exhausted and seemingly prone to narcolepsy.

So, when's the last time you had a food coma?