How Bizarre is 20 years old. In fact a little older now even. When I was asked to write a book about important/favourite songs I was encouraged to make it a personal selection but there was a list supplied of obvious contenders. Top of that list was How Bizarre.
By the time of this show – April 2016 – my relationship with most promoters had deteriorated. So much so I pretty much couldn’t get in to the ‘big’ shows. And the Dominion Post expected a review but didn’t expect to have to do anything about it – they wouldn’t even ask for review comps; they were desperate for content and to not rattle cages or ruffle feathers. If a promoter said no they didn’t point out that they’d helped to promote the show by announcing it, maybe running an interview and ads – and that review comps to cover the event should really be part of the arrangement, a signing off of sorts. Nah, too hard to point that out – just blame the reviewer and do nothing. So I was left for most of my last couple of years to sort review tickets myself. Oftentimes I couldn’t – the promoter said no, or just didn’t even answer a request. And I missed out. And the paper did too. Now they don’t even care to run reviews most of the time. Read More »
Bob Dylan, Infidels (1983)
One of the first Bob Dylan albums I heard – and owned – I had the cassette tape first, graduated on to the CD. Never had the LP – until just very recently. But always loved this. Killer set of songs, amazing band, packed with legends – and it has the added benefit, these days, of being the best War on Drugs album too – just check out Sweetheart Like You, that’s everything War on Drugs aims for, sonically, but with the added benefit of being a song that sticks. Infidels could have been even better – there were great songs left on the shelf, but it arrived at an important time for Bob – the start of some secular songs again after his intense Christian/gospel/religious period. That said there’s religion in here of course too – and it’s good. Bob does that so well. But there’s a spark here, an actual fire too. And some slow-burn within that fire too. Picked up a nice second-hand copy of this album just recently and listening to it in the Side A/Side B format once again is taking me back to the summers of my early teenage years when that tape was always in the Walkman, accompanying me wherever I wondered and wandered.
This is a conversation with Jules Desmond. It’s the first of two conversations I’ve had with him for the podcast – this one was recorded over a year ago. We sat down, had a good chat – my aim was to talk to him about Letterbox Lambs and I knew he had a killer Henry Rollins story to share. Jules is a friend, I have followed plenty of his music – particularly love his stuff as part of 1/3 Octave Band and all sorts of other found-sound/free-improv things – Bachelor of Architecture is his solo-artist performing name too. Jules and I both wrote for the same magazine way back and had a similar reviewing/music-store job. But my main aim when first talking to him was to get the story of Letterbox Lambs – that band meant a lot to me and a group of my friends in our first year of university. We had a tape recorded off the radio from when Active played a messy live recording of a show at Bodega. It was the soundtrack to our many car-trips to Hawke’s Bay and back. Read More »
I’ve had a few jobs in my life – I usually do more than one at any time. Some of them pay me a wage, others don’t – or barely do. Some of my jobs/tasks just feel like homework, the most relentless kind, self-imposed too, I guess. But the best job I’ve ever had is being a dad. It’s a tough gig sometimes too.
The toughest. But it’s easily the most rewarding. For the last few years I’ve been a full-time stay at home dad. I cram in a bit of freelance writing around that. I head out and play some records in pubs some nights too – in and around going to gigs as a reviewer or, erm, blogger-at-large.
Rip Rig + Panic, I Am Cold (1982)
I first saw them on The Young Ones and it blew my mind, a lot of the music did on that show. But this cut in particular – and though I sought them out, have heard some Rip Rig + Panic (and have heard the album by Roland Kirk that inspired their name this is the first time I’ve owned anything by the band. I was reminiscing just recently about the impact of The Young Ones, its music a huge part – inspired selections, very British, very cool – and then I found this record, staring out at me from the shelves of the local and it never had before. Didn’t take long to add this to my collection then. A terrific record. Weirdly, you could say I’ve been craving this for some 30+ years. Though that’s a bit of an exaggeration there’s something in it still. Read More »
You realise consciousness is just the movie-version of the reality that’s already played out inside our skulls. It’s one person’s take – even though it’s playing out for all of us. Too many cooks in the kitchen. And it’s always heating up. But it’s only after it’s bubbled over that it begins to get served. It’s just one person’s movie. Competing against all the others. If you’re not careful you’ll get stuck in the loop…stuck…in the loop…stuck in the loop…stuck in the loop…stuck…and if you’re even more unlucky you’ll escape the loop. Forever.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Twentieth Century Fox/Genre Films/Kingberg
Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Murder On The Orient Express is probably the worst film I’ve ever seen on a big screen. I’m adding that movie-theatre experience because I watch a LOT of shit on TV and DVD. A lot. So it’s unlikely that this is the worst film I’ve ever seen, ever, though it’s easily the worst this year. Read More »
Live At The Hollywood Bowl
Jeff Beck celebrated 50 years as a performing artist with a run of shows at the Hollywood Bowl, guest artists, material from across his career – including a dig back to The Yardbirds, the various versions of The Jeff Beck Group, his seventies fusion, right up to the present day. It’s here for all now in the Dinosaur-du-Jour format of DVD/Blu-Ray and double CD. File it alongside your ‘new’ concert recordings from The Rolling Stones and Dave Gilmour… Read More »
I first knew Ted Danson from Cheers.
He played a guy called Sam Malone. But
he could have been named Ted Danson.
Ted Danson had been in a load of TV before Cheers –
rubbish soaps and sitcoms, a walk-on here, a bit part there.
But he was in Taxi…
it was right near the end. That show ended, then Cheers
He was also in Benson and Magnum P.I.
I wonder if I
at the time?
Ted Danson has been able to appear – and reappear
and almost always as Ted Danson…
Sure, he was Ted Danson in that Three Grown Men Acting As Babies franchise,
and Ted Danson in Becker, CSI, Fargo, The Good Place – if they
aren’t good shows they are good roles, or vice versa
Apart from Cheers
I most like Ted Danson as a pot-smoking, worrying eccentric in Bored
To Death, and as, well, Ted Danson in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
But I was also intrigued by Ted Danson in
Whoopi Goldberg’s life. And her in his, I guess.
And did you know
Ted Danson is an environmentalist?
He wrote a fucking book about the ocean, yo!
I have never seen Becker.
Is it any good?
It must be okay…
It’s got Ted Danson.
I rewatched a bunch of the early
episodes of Cheers
a few years ago.
(I used to watch it when I was a kid,
sometimes I got it, sometimes I did not,
I usually laughed anyway).
The scenes between Sam and Dianne
– the scenes between Ted Danson and Shelley
Long – were electric. She was amazing. She helped
Ted Danson along a lot. I wonder if he ever acknowledged
or even knew that?
You book Ted Danson – that’s what you get.
Ted Danson was a big part of the 1980s for me.
I told my wife, just recently, that when I next do a DJ set of
1980s material I’m going to bill myself as
DJ Ted Dancin’.
She stared at me, the way Diane often
looked at Sam.
But only in the later episodes.
I’ve often said that one of the great joys of discovering music – one of the great joys of reviewing music – used to be when you were sent something, no expectations, no prior knowledge, no idea but press play. See what happens. It’s different now. We don’t even need music reviews. There are a few of us out there that still want them, a few that want to still write them too – but no one needs them. The music arrives – it’s here. The information about it is everywhere. Back in the day the reviewer held a special key, could unlock the music (and hopefully something about it) before many others. Read More »