Thursday, 30 October 2008

Great Moments in Politics

#2323432 - The 1993 Christchurch By-Election.

The English have the right idea - let anyone put what they want down as a party on their ballot paper and watch the comedy begin.

This starts slow but stick with it. Eventually you get to see a big titted model representing the "Buy The Daily Sport" party, the "Ian for King" party, a giant chicken and somebody in a full English football kit running on the platform of sacking the national team manager.

It depresses me that we'll never get to see scenes like this. A third party candidate winning in a field of novelty named parties and being congratulated by a seven foot red chicken is what Australia needs now, not boring crunts like Rudd and Turnbull. GIVE US THE CHICKEN OR GIVE US DEATH!

On another note it's surprising to see Esme Watson off A Country Practice elected to parliament. That must have sent shockwaves through Wandin Valley.

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Gold 104 Files

Now incorporating Shame FM.

A handful of you might have been old enough and local enough to remember Melbourne radio in the early 90's. It was a completely different universe from what we have today. Mix hadn't even become TTFM yet, the once famous 3AK had randomly turned into an Italian language station, Magic was about to be launched under the frankly un-marketable 3EE name and Fox FM was - for the love of god - a classic hits station that promoted Tina Turner concerts. And there I was, a stupid kid raised on one of the more farcially acquired record collections in history. My mum still claims that the Don Lane record in her collection was a freebie that she got whilst working for Channel 9, but I find that slightly dubious. The fact that I was a freebie she got whilst working there is a story for another day, but I'm quite sure that Don wasn't involved in that.

Despite a heaving LP collection featuring such classics as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass' "Going Places" (which, if you'll excuse the exclamation, is a fucking corker of an album no matter what anyone says) we didn't really listen to music at home, but I remember mornings getting ready for school and hearing 3KZ, later to be KZFM, around the house. In fact I remember listening with a perverse glee to the automated announcements that they played on the old AM frequency the day they switched over. Somewhere along the line it became Gold 104 and I had been roped in. Despite a brief and fruitful flirtation with the pop charts in 1989 (highlighted by a cassingle collection featuring more Black Box than anyone should ever need) by the time I was 10 or 11 I remember having the radio on that freaking station all day every day when I was at home. There were so many close calls with disaster as I leapt from one side of the room to hit record on a song I wanted to keep on tape that it's a surprise I never actually managed to neck myself and become a case study in why home taping was not only illegal but deadly.

Despite brief flirtations with JJJ and grunge (eww) during 1992, KISS FM and dance during 1994 and Triple J again during the britpop era I always went back to Gold. Fact - the first song I ever illegally downloaded was Jailbreak by AC/DC. It wasn't until the early 2000's that

And so now I present the all-time top ten (in no particular order) songs that Gold introduced me to before they lost the plot and started playing Coldplay tracks.

Gladys Knight and the Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia

More soap opera in five minutes than Neighbours has managed in 15 years. Fact - on the CD in my car this follows a Ghostface Killah track and confuses the fuck out of anyone who is in there when it comes on.

George Baker Selection - Little Green Bag

The Grass Roots - Midnight Confession

Whenever I hear this it reminds me of Grade 6 camp. The entire year level except me got poisoned on dodgy spaghetti bolognaise and the tape in my walkman was all I had to block out the sound of en masse heaving. At the time this was my favourite song.

The Hollies - Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress

Sure they could have come up with a catchier title, but it was the Creedence song that Creedence never wrote.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Long As I Can See The Light

Err, and speaking of Creedence.

Gene Pitney - 24 Hours to Tulsa

More soap opera drama and hot action

RB Greaves - Take A Letter Maria

Shameful to the max, but at the time I loved it. We're about one degree from the Pina Colada Song here but fear not that WILL NOT be getting a run.

Crosby, Stills and Nash - Woodstock

To be honest I preferred Suite Judy Blue Eyes because I'd seen it in the Woodstock movie but when I rang up to request it one night the DJ had never even heard of it and I ended up with this instead. Not such a bad trade off.

The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City

A classic eventually beaten to death by being played in every single 'summer' radio promo or Channel 7 tennis ad for about five years.

Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

Five alarm shonk, but I'm into it.

Surprisingly I don't remember them ripping out too many power ballads. It was more Eleanor Rigby and farce like Judy in Disguise. Happy days indeed.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Reasons not to mess with hockey players

Everyone knows that hockey players are violent lunatics right? Well, tell that to these spectators who decided to get involved and found themselves.. shall we say.. outmatched?

15 punches in ten seconds from a man with the most spectacular mullet in history.

The winner of the 1990 Calgary "glass jumping" competition.

Fat man goes to the penalty box with comedic results.

And what's the best we can do? Darren Milburn murdering Steven Silvagni and getting yelled at by some Carlton bogans.

Bonus points to that video for randomly invoking the spirit of Pat Benetar.

Monday, 20 October 2008

New Adventures In Music

Heloise and the Savoir Faire - ok album, genius band shot.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

More reasons why Obama needs to be President

Because he does Hall and Oates references in his speeches,

"But we can't afford four more years like the last eight. George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me, in 17 days they will be out of time."

I'm still upset that nobody had the chance to vote for the Hall/Oates ticket in '84. Fuck you Ronald Reagan.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Frankly My Dear....

For whatever reason they're taking our printer at work away. After several days of discussion about where we could hide it to avoid detection a picture of Anne Frank has suddenly appeared on it. Comic genius at it's best.


See you all at the discrimination tribunal when I get unfairly blamed for it.

Monday, 6 October 2008

From Milan With Love

or... "21 great Italo Disco band names and their songs"

Ahh, the 80's - an era where any idiot with a synth could put out a track that 'the kids' would go apeshit over. The only problem is once you've come up with a dynamite track what do you call yourself? This is where the italo artists often lost the plot. Sure, "The Beatles" must have looked odd in it's day but it's got nothing compared to some of these.

93rd Superbowl - Forever and a Day
Alexander Robotnick - Problemes D'Amour
Amadeus Liszt - Win The Race
Answering Service - Call Me Mr. Telephone
Apple in Jacket - New World
Argentina - Baby Don't You Break (My Heart)
Baltimora - Tarzan Boy (surely the most famous Italo track ever, even though it was by an Irishman)
Beagle Music Ltd. - Daydream
Buckingham Palace - Give Me Your Name
Danny Boy & the Serious Party Gods - Castro Boy (and they're not talking about Fidel, let me tell you. Featuring the classic line "It's not pretty being easy")
Facts & Fiction - Give Me the Night
Free Enterprise - I'm Not Afraid To Love You
International Music System - Dancing Therapy
Kinky Go - Gimme the Love
Mozzart - Money (Classic italo, even if he does look like a tit in the video)
Oxo - Keep On Living (what came first, the italo band or the stock cube?)
Peter & the Wolf - Peter and the Wolf
Psychic Interface - Dancin' in the Night
Sweet Connection - Heart To Heart (<--- TUNE!)
The Midnight's Moscow - Tavarisc Gorbachev
X-Ray Connection - Get Ready

For those of you still confused about the role of Italo in Western society I suggest either this or this. If you do 'get' italo may I suggest a psychiatrist - the queue starts behind me.

Furthermore here are my top 5 non-comedy name italo tracks of all time,

1. Albert One - Turbo Diesel

2. Black Box - Ride On Time

3. Eddy Huntington - USSR

4. Mike Mareen - Agent of Liberty

5. Miko Mission - How Old Are You

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Conceptual Nightmare

To be an actual concept album it's got to have some kind of discernable story or theme running through it. According to Wikipedia "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Album: A Rock Adventure" is a concept album. No it fucking isn't. Thanks to the 13-year-old (or tremendous pervert) who added that I have to discount their entire list and come up with my own. I can only think of four that I actually like, and one that is sort of there but is arguable.

Baader Meinhof - Baader Meinhof

First alphabetically and critically. This almost completely unknown album from Luke Haines (Black Box Recorder, The Auteurs etc..) tells a stylised version of the story of the Red Army Faction. Slinky lounge music about 1970's German terrorists - it shouldn't work but it does. Creepingly sinister, but beautiful at the same time it won't teach you anything about terror that you didn't already know but it does sound spectacular.

Incidentally during year 8 I was quizzed by the school librarians about why I kept borrowing the same books about international terrorism and Carlos the Jackal again and again. No proper answers were forthcoming, but I turned out alright didn't I? Nowadays if you did that they'd search your locker for a concealed stash of AK47's and pipebombs. Ahh, the mid 90's - such a simple time.

Drive-By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera

The 70's in the deep south as seen in a double album of songs that pretty much all have something to do with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The first act is called "Betamax Guillotine" after the urban legend about an on-board video player taking somebody's head off in the plane crash that killed most of the band.

Not quite country, but not rock either. Call it.. Southern Rock? If you want. There's even spoken word interludes if you're into that sort of thing. I first heard of this randomly listening to Triple R one afternoon driving around in a work car when the track "Ronnie and Neil" came on and I was blown away. Great album, great song.

Lou Reed - Berlin

It is, they say, the most depressing album of all time and they're not far off. Drugs, death, sordid sex, crying children - cheery Lou has it all. It's a far cry from the comedy trannies wandering down the street on Transformer. Unlikely to make you lob yourself off the Westgate Bridge unless you're already that way inclined, but not one to be playing as the on-hold music at Lifeline.

Neon Neon - Stainless Style

I have a little known fetish for stainless steel. God knows if I had enough money to live anywhere but a decrepit hellhole then it would be stacked with that shit, and with enough fingerprint marks to make a professional cleaner weep. So, in the realm of fantasy car purchasing I'd like the DMC-12 from Back To The Future in all it's stainless steel glory. Fuck the time travel, give me the vehicle that looks like a part of somebody's kitchen.

So, when I heard that old mate out of the Super Furry Animals (Hometown Unicorn anyone? Brilliant. Oh, all right then how about this you foul mouthed beasts?) had signed up for an entire album about John DeLorean and the DMC I was IN, even if it did turn out to be naff. Luckily it turned out to be ace, is probably my album of the year so far and features a song (see below) which is a dead cert for my end of season top 5.

What a story too - man rises from the slums to become a car company executive, starts his own company, designs a freaky deaky car, builds it in a factory in Belfast that has seperate entrances for catholics and protestants, watches the entire thing go tits up, tries to sell cocaine to save himself, gets busted, goes broke and then watches the demand for the cars go through the roof too bloody late when it turns out that the things can travel through time.

Pulp - This Is Hardcore

Ok, so I'm cheating a bit here. It's not a concept as such, but it does represent a suite of songs by Jarvis Cocker which essentially say "oh fuck, I'm famous. What do I do now?" As far as I can see, the answer was "an even better album" as this has got highlights from top to bottom as opposed to the sketchy Different Class. Opening track The Fear (below) is the perfect post-fame paranoia ("This is the sound of someone losing the plot, making out that they're ok when they're not. You'll like it, but not a lot") and the tone of the album slips neatly from terror, to lust, joy and resignation without missing a beat. Undoubtedly the highlight of Jarvis' career so far it didn't sell half as well as different class due to the fact that a) the Britpop boom had died in the arse, and b) it didn't have the sort of Common People-esque anthem that it's predecessor did.

Probably the best "sound of somebody losing the plot" that you'll ever hear.

P.S - Forget the Kinks and their 50,000 different concept albums. Try The Fall singing their song Victoria instead,

When I grow up I want to be Mark E Smith.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


Back in the good old days of 1996-1997 when I was lucky to go to school three days a week I became something of a midday movie specialist. Hey, the internet was still shit then - what else was I supposed to do? Watch the Midday Show? I don't think so. The movies they have on during the day are generally low budget made for TV slopfests about some American idiot overcoming the loss of their frontal lobe to win a spelling bee or something, but occasionally they throw in something that was huge in it's time but has dated so horribly that they can't put it on anywhere else.

And thus more than a decade later I found myself comatose on a couch in the midst of a semi-legitimate sick day watching the MOST DATED FILM OF ALL TIME, Wargames.

For those of you who aren't familiar it goes a bit like this. Pre-Bueller Matthew Broderick is a massive early 80's computer nerd who is inexplicably being cracked on to by a pre-hot in The Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy but is too busy with 5 1/4 inch disks to do anything about it. In attempting to 'break in' to a computer company's system to play some new game he comes across another computer that doesn't identify itself. With the help of what surely must have been the first ever stereotype computer nerds in a feature film Bueller learns that every system has a 'backdoor' password which you can type in and that will bypass EVERY security aspect that it has. Even allowing for the fact that this was probably true in 1983 it seems fairly ludicrous now. Eventually he gets in by typing the immortal code-word Joshua and instead of choosing to play one of the sensible sounding games like Chess he and Sheeds decide on a round of Global Thermonuclear War.

Of course he's actually logged into NORAD and suddenly everyone thinks that the Russians are about to drop 500 megatons of nuclear weapons on top of them. High alert, Defcon 2 and various panic ensues until they realise it was all a fake. Much soul searching takes place before they discover that it was actually some punk kid and arrest him coming out of a 7/11 drinking a Big Gulp (no slurpee available?)

Of course by now the program has a life of it's own via various wacky shenanigans it decides to set off a nuclear war of it's own. Cue some of the most retrospectively hillarious dialogue in history ("What about we attack the deep logic?" "I keep hitting a firewall!") and a farcical finale where Bueller beats the government super computer with a mind of it's own by forcing it to play tic-tac-toe against itself. All charges are presumably dropped and he finally cracks on to the girl.

Absolutely ludicrous television by today's standards but it must have blown people's minds in it's day. I can just see hundreds of freaks buying a 300 baud modem (that's about a billion times slower than the internet you're on, no matter what type it is) and desperately trying to stick it to the government.

Incidentally there's a bit in the film where the makers must surely have been taking the piss. Fast forward to 1.30 of this clip and take a look at some of the simulation names they have for nuclear war. Next time there's any sort of international conflict I want my government waiting for the "Hong Kong Variant", "SEATO Decapitating", "Iceland Maximum", "Sudan Surprise" or the time honoured "Angentina Escalation" (whoops, didn't think anyone would see that did we?) I'm surprised the "Dirty Sanchez" didn't get a run somewhere.

So, err, anyway. If you're tired of life and have two hours to waste you could do worse than sit down and watch this movie. For instance you could stick your hand into a meat mincer or jump into the lion cage at the zoo dressed like a chicken roll.

Welcome back Joe

Joe Kinnear, former manager of Wimbledon FC (RI freaking P), is inexplicably back as manager of Newcastle United in the Premier League. Now, Joe is no shrinking violet - in fact he still had to serve a one match suspension at the start of his new job for calling a referee "Coco the Clown" at the end of his last stint. He also payed 7.5 million pounds for John Hartson and tried to insist Ceri Hughes was actually a footballer, but that's another thing altogether.

For your enjoyment we present edited highlights of his very first press conference as Newcastle manager. Who said football was bland? Imagine how much you'd get fined if you were an AFL coach who did this?

JK Which one is Simon Bird [Daily Mirror's north-east football writer]?

SB Me.

JK You're a cunt.

SB Thank you.

What a response. What an OPENING response.

JK I have done it before. It is going to my fucking lawyers. So are about three others. If they can find something in it that is a court case it is going to court. I am not fucking about. I don't talk to fucking anybody. It is raking up stories. You are fucking so fucking slimy you are raking up players that I got rid of. Players that I had fallen out with. You are not asking Robbie Earle, because he is sensible. You are not asking Warren Barton? No. Because he is fucking sensible. Anyone who had played for me for 10 years at any level ... [but] you will find some cunt that ...

Other journalist: How long is your contract for Joe?

JK None of your business.

A brave club official attempts to exercise damage control with disasterous results,

Newcastle press officer What has been said in here is off the record and doesn't go outside.

Journalist Well, is that what Joe thinks?

JK Write what you like. Makes no difference to me. Don't affect me I assure you. It'll be the last time I see you anyway. Won't affect me. See how we go at Everton and Chrissy [Chris Hughton, assistant manager] can do it, someone else can do it. Don't trust any of yous. I will pick two local papers and speak to them and the rest can fuck off. I ain't coming up here to have the piss taken out of me. I have a million pages of crap that has been written about me. I'm ridiculed for no reason. I'm defenceless. I can't get a point in, I can't say nothing, I can't do nothing, but I ain't going to be negative. Then, half of you, most of you are trying to get into the players. I'm not going to tell you what the players think of you, so then you try and get into them in some way or another, so I've got a split camp or something like that, something like that. It's ongoing. It just doesn't stop.

Journalist It's only been a week.

JK Exactly. It feels more like a year.

Press officer Let's get on to football. Let's have an agreement that everything said so far, if anyone has got their tapes on, it's wiped off and we're not discussing it.

Journalist But that's what Joe has said he thinks of us.

Press officer I'm saying don't push it. Let's accept what's been said and try and move on.

Journalist: Move on to not doing any more press conferences?

PO: No, to doing something now.

Journalist: What, one press conference only?


And we end with Klassic Kinnear - the sort of stuff that landed him a touchline ban for calling the referee a muppet years before anyone else did that sort of stuff.

Journalist Enjoyed getting back in the swing of things?

JK: Absolutely. I've loved every moment of it.

Two weeks ago I hated Newcastle. Now they're my favourite Premier League side.