Modern classic: Killing In The Name Of



Rage Against The Machine were one of the most awesome live music experiences I've had. They are a ridiculously tight band and it is amazing how well the recordings reflect their live sound, rather than being studio creations. (In fact, half of their first album was recorded live in a single night -- see number seven here.)

Collected here are a few versions of Rage's debut Killing In The Name Of, which I think show the enduring strength of the song. I love this quote from guitarist Tom Morello:
“A good song should make you wanna tap your foot and get with your girl. A great song should destroy cops and set fire to the suburbs. I’m only interested in writing great songs.”


Post by JFB.


This marching band mash-up of Killing... and Bulls On Parade is also ace.

End of an Empire

Boardwalk Empire is near the end of its fifth, and reportedly final, season. When it started screening I found myself googling the names of the characters and began making plot predictions.

Like, would the show have a season for each year in a lead-up to a St Valentine's Day Massacre finale? It was in 1929 that six "associates" of Moran's North Side Irish gang were gunned down. So I was disappointed this season jumped forward seven years to 1931 -- although I was heartened to hear mention of Bugs Moran in a recent episode.

As the second season neared the end I reasoned that, as there wasn't a Wikipedia entry for Jimmy Darmody then, Nucky Thompson had nothing to worry about. I also marveled at the longevity of Lucky Luciano.

Gangster history provides rich material for an HBO TV show and, arguably, it is the genre that made the HBO name via The Sopranos in the '90s. Where that show chartered the lives of mobsters in one city, this one followed the intersections of multiple crime gangs in many eastern US cities.

I also think there's something inherently HBO in the Prohibition Era setting because it's an era that surely ends. In the same way the telegraph arrived at Deadwood or the gentrification of Baltimore ended The Wire or winter is coming to Westeros, there's a certain way these shows position their narrative arcs against looming change that I feel adds urgency and appeal to their storytelling.

If history could change one thing about Boardwalk Empire, it would be the music during the introduction each episode. As much as I like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, I can't stand the use of electronic guitar in a show set before the instrument was invented.

Often I found myself wondering which Duke Ellington track might work better to set the world of Boardwalk Empire. Or how they might have a series of covers of a famous track from the era, in the way they memorably changed the intro music for The Wire each season.


Imaginary Forces - Boardwalk Empire from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

AND videos



Videos from my new album AND show the collection of tracks recorded in 2013-14.

Burning Seed 2014

Australia's version of Burning Man took place outside Matong last weekend. It was my third time at Burning Seed and once again I helped Kids Camp.

The event continues to grow, with ticket sales reaching their limit of just under two and a half thousand. Kids Camp has also grown, with around 60 people joining us this year. I ran a cinema again and there was a beaut project that created a giant bunyip puppet, which toured the site ahead of the effigy burn on Saturday night.

I didn't experience much of Seed this year, aside from the Brewery and the Kettle and the Temple burn. The Red Earth City Brewery served many exceptional beers and ciders and I had too many. The Kettle provided a gentle spot to enjoy a very big selection of teas.

The Temple was a phenomenal structure this year and the burn also looked remarkable. The fire spun into a vortex at times, creating a burning whirly-whirly. As the remains smouldered, the smoke also spun into the shape of a smallish twister as the audience cooed.

Warm weather may have contributed to increased nudity this year. There were more people going without clothes.

Mobile sound systems were a great addition to the event, bringing the party soundtrack to various events around the site. I wasn't impressed with one of these stages collecting my child without permission, taking them from Kids Camp to the Brewery.

There are no images to share as I made a decision not to take a camera this year. It's something I'd planned to do last year, then was asked to help a local newspaper. The decision was helped this year by formalities introduced by Seed, seeking approval of images before their use. My feeling is that this isn't appropriate for an event that relies on a community but I understand their reasoning and desire to protect the "radical self-expression" of people at the event. So this dude abides.

Bassling's AND

My new album AND is a collection of tracks recorded in 2013-14, including a number inspired by Disquiet Junto projects and also a couple that resulted from Naviar haikus. (Coincidentally, Naviar have a track of mine on their new compilation.)

There was a lot of material to choose from, with tracks made from storytime at the library, a boiling kettle as well as a playground and then an assortment of instruments.

You'll hear that there's a lot of variety, from funky instrumentals to electropunk with cut-up lyrics and a few songs featuring the voice of Jo. 

I've started writing a little about each track on my music blog.