History lesson

Been thinking about this image since seeing it on Buzzfeed.

The photograph comes via Mark Tschaepe's Twitter of a presentation by Jose Lara.

George Orwell's line "History is written by the victor" springs to mind -- although, out of the context of 1984, that reads like an affirmation.

You for mystic

This painting “Playing (Tawamure)” (1936) by Ishikawa Toraji is a bit saucy.

I don't know art but I know what I like!

Via Hyperallergic

Oscar reviews The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Recently helped my son with his school assignment.

Organ donor

One of the things I've wanted to do while working at Pioneer Park Museum is record the old organs and offer them as a sample library.

Not sure it'll happen anytime soon but I was reminded of this aspiration while recording an oral history in St James Church recently, which is the oldest church in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

Shown here is a detail from the organ in St James.

Radio National

It's the end of another year and Cyclic Defrost have asked me to name five albums I've discovered and presumably want to share.

Once again I'm reminded how little new music I seek out. Most weeks I listen to a bunch of Junto tracks, as well as mixes like Solid Steel and sometimes responses to Naviar Records' haikus, although not so much of the latter since Soundcloud took away Groups -- but I won't write further about those can'ts here.

Sometimes I listen to albums from Bandcamp, mostly friends' recordings and things that have caught their ears.

Otherwise most new music I hear is on the radio if I go out during lunchtime, since current affairs and local news dominates the mornings and Phillip Adams' conversations in the afternoons.

Like many of my friends I've migrated from listening to Triple J to Radio National.

Currently there's concern among my musician friends that the channel will no longer run programs that feature music.

One of the things that I haven't seen discussed in this programming decision is the role the network plays in promoting music for adults.

There aren't many radio stations in regional Australia, let alone stations that promote music for a discerning audience. They've got a niche on the dial that commercial radio can't afford to focus on.

It's a shame they don't recognise the distinct place they occupy and capitalise on it because I won't be looking for the podcasts they're saying will replace the programs being canned.

Record labels should be concerned because Radio National sells music better than advertising.

I write this as a sometime critic for websites who sees plenty of emails and sponsored content but is not moved to engage. Yet it's also rare for me to change the radio station even though much of what is on RN is not the style of music I'd seek out.

You Oughta know

Been thinking about Alanis Morissette's 'You Oughta Know' since hearing it in the ute at work, the radio of which is tuned to a commercial station.

It's another modern classic and I've been enjoying reading about the song and thinking about the '90s elements it encapsulates.

The anger in the lyrics is palpable and kinda grunge yet the song has rock infused with loops, including that Stone Roses/Manchester-esque shuffle. There's another Nirvana connection in that it sounds like their onetime producer Butch Vig's band Garbage.

Co-songwriter Glen Ballard has said anger isn't something he associates with Morissette:
She wasn’t angry at all. There was anger that informed that particular song, but mostly it was … Actually, we did a broken-down version of “You Oughta Know” with a string quartet, and I was playing piano, and you can hear the ache in the song on that [version]. It’s really more about the sense of betrayal than anger, and the anger comes out of the betrayal. The 20 times we got together in 1994 were probably the happiest times for both of us, because we never stopped laughing. I thought I was the funniest guy in the world because she was laughing at virtually everything I said, and she was funny, so when people started describing her as this angry young woman, it’s like, okay, I don’t think they understand that that was just a moment. She was smiling and laughing the whole time; really she was.

I think any sense it's angry really reinforces the idea that that emotion stems from disappointment. Anyway, I wonder if the version with strings sounds like this mash-up.

The other thing about the production is that heartbeat bassline and shimmering guitars come from Flea and Dave Navarro, who were in the Chili Peppers together around that time and later toured as Jane's Addiction. Morissette married Jesse Tobias, who played guitar with the Peppers for a while too. I'm sure LA is a big town but the professional music scene suddenly looks kinda small!

The intimate details in the lyrics attracted attention and one wonders if it reveals how young Morissette was at the time. In the interview above Ballard describes a toll that touring to support the album took on her.

I need you to know

I have a pen

This week my son suggested I google "pen pineapple apple pen" and I've enjoyed the result, particularly the remix above.

Anyway, it was weird that the following day after I'd spoken to my colleagues at morning tea about the song. I returned to my office and noticed the words to the song on the whiteboard in my office.

hink again

Can't help but put this here. More here.

  P.S. hink again again.

Round and round

Wrote and recorded a song on my new electric ukulele last weekend.

The result took shape with two of the projects I regularly engage in, the Disquiet Junto and the Naviar haiku. Each project is a weekly prompt to record.

My electric ukulele came from "Sorebrain" via Ebay.

I got the idea for the chorus first, from the line in the poem about the ceiling fan. Then the Junto proposed composing a piece about ghosts and Al Capone's banjo.

I’ve passed trespass stolen keys to the city
drawn curtains on opportunity
like snakes and ladders I have risen
then fallen like an angel into prison

In my reflection is insight
I find clarity in hindsight
from hard sell to my hard cell
from life this truth I tell

Round and round
round and round
round and round
around it goes

I don’t think you understand
despite that card in your hand
which ever way the die spin
the house will always win

Round and round
round and round
round and round
around it goes

Then I gave the track an electronic makeover, with 909-style drums and a synth line from Native Instruments' Monark.