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.

Toasted egg and bacon roll

Cooked my paramour an egg and bacon roll using only my trusty Sunbeam sandwich press. Be impressed.

This Land is your Land

So sad I'll never see Sharon Jones live.

Hallo spaceboy

Kevin Foakes shared a beaut collection of Russian record covers

This one reminded me of the spaceman used by the Wagga Space Program -- who ran the famous Unsound Festival earlier this century.

Valla Beach

Shared a couple of videos of Valla Beach earlier this year and have since published this recording from around then.

Valla is about a half an hour south of Coffs Harbour and my partner's family have a beach house there. It's been a site for great lightning pics and I saw an octopus and a seal and maybe a merman.

This video was recorded using a Rode Videomic on my Nikon D5100 SLR. I've added a couple of Valhalla reverbs, as well as a low C using Massive and mastered with Ozone 7.

A local government dynamic

Went for a job interview last week. I don’t think I got the job though.

There are two observations I’d like to make. The first is that I never perform well when I have a cup of coffee before an interview. The path from my thoughts to my mouth seems awfully short and I catch myself attempting to articulate incomplete sentences.

The second is a dynamic I’ve seen throughout regional local government. It’s a subtle conflict between the professionals who move into a region for a role and those who have lived there most of their lives.

(Admittedly I was wondering about it while watching body language during the time spent in an interview, but I’ve been thinking since on the ways I’ve seen it in my experiences with local government.)

This conflict plays out in various ways but they all share a contrast in perspective. The classic for me was when a general manager tried to put in place timed parking on the main street.

Sometimes it seems people won’t shop at a place unless they can park at the door. It also seems true of people passing through town though, as well as people wanting to park outside their business.

For an outsider it seems obvious that creating opportunity for people passing through town to stop and shop means enforcing timed limits on parking in the main street. For locals that is affront to the community they know. The idea that they might be fined for parking is not something that reflects their experience of their hometown.

Anyway, that’s one example. In various councils I’ve seen varying conflicts between the perspectives of local and visiting professionals. I don’t think the issues are black and white, I think this dynamic reflects a dialectic.

Raw egg sandwich

SPOILER! My experiment with cooking egg in a toasted sandwich failed.

Simon Matthews' Untitled

Seen at Flower Power in 2016 at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery.

Pioneer Park Museum gets a kick in the arts

Good Friday is known as 'Action Day' at Griffith Pioneer Park Museum and for 45 years it has been the event where many items around the site spring to life.

The next 'Action Day' at the Park on 14 April 2017 will see new activities added to the line-up thanks to Country Art Support Program funding announced by Arts NSW.

"Griffith Pioneer Park Museum's Action Day is one of the biggest events on the calendar and the expanding arts program will make it bigger and better," said Curator Jason Richardson.

Four artists will be employed to run all-ages workshops in media including photography, sculpture and print-making.

Griffith-based photographer Garry Bazzacco will run two workshops. The first will be introductory in nature, while the second will focus on camera functions.

Griffith-based artist Melanie Baulch will work with Richard Green to engage visitors in sand sculptures to represent and discuss local flora and fauna.

Wagga Wagga-based artist Christina Reid is a practicing print-maker and has experience teaching at Wagga Wagga TAFE, as well as having delivered a series of print workshops at Leeton's Parkview Primary School in 2016.

Ms Reid's workshop is designed to introduce the public to the variety of ways a print can be achieved. While exploring the possibilities of the material and equipment, the general public will gain an understanding some of the traditions and learn a bit about the history of print-making in general.

"Pioneer Park Museum has hosted many community-based arts groups and activities in previous decades and we're looking forward to giving our patrons an opportunity to explore their creativity," said Mr Richardson.

The 'Action Day' workshops are supported by Arts NSW's Country Arts Support Program, a devolved funding program administered by Regional Arts NSW and Western Riverina Arts on behalf of the NSW Government.

Action Day at Pioneer Park Museum is one of many great events taking place during Griffith's annual Griffith Easter Party 2017.

Disappointing sandwich

Another of my so-called remarkable sandwiches.

Shibuya sticker art

Via Tim Prebble's Music of Sound, where there's also this collection of stickers

For whom the doorbell tolls

My eldest helped make this short film as part of my response to the Disquiet Junto this week.

Another remarkable sandwich

Toasted banana and chocolate sandwich with my daughter.




This is my 200th post on here this year and it looks like I'm on course to overtake 2012 as the most post-y year yet.


Thought I'd revisit my song 'Lifehack' and tried reworking the vocals, ending up with an a capella version.

Googling myself

Today I was googling myself trying to find a link from a couple of years ago. You know what? Google sucked.

The link sought was a remix by Ben in England. He records as Kelp and we've made a few remix chains together and he remixed one of my playground recordings. It was Restyn Park in Hanwood, which I'd offered after a Junto.

So I googled my music blog with the terms "Restyn" and "Kelp" and specified my site. It said there were no results and I noticed that the blog's URL gets an Australian "au" but Google's results don't.

This is quite frustrating for a search engine operator. Obviously they want to better categorise their data and having Blogger add the country suffix allows mapping, like Hello France.  But it'll then be skewed elsewhere, like when Marco shone a spotlight on my blog it shows up as "uk" -- actually, it doesn't. Anyway.

So I googled again with the same two terms and now just "" and there were some results but not the one I wanted.

In the end I went to my blog around the time of the Junto and looked in the next month to find it.

It did some weird that I was searching for specific keywords within a specific site and it couldn't find them. Particularly as they were words used in the URL of the page, as well as the heading.

Must be another of those mysteries of the internet. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Hello France