Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and our trip to Sydney


(UPDATE! check out the video of Kyary’s Sunrise performance – aired April 6.)


Me being a goob with a whole bunch of other goobs!

Kyary I think is still the biggest thing in pop music in Japan right now. You pronounce her name just like you would “Carrie” despite the way it’s spelt. It’s not her real name – just a name she assumed in high school when people teased her about being so “western” so they gave her a name like “Carrie Bradshaw” in Sex in the City.

Her autobiography, translated by Kyarychan, is fucking fascinating if you want an insight into how a Japanese teenager grows up (and thinks and deals with modernity in that Japanese cultural-climate) and then just becomes super-famous, at 18, almost by accident by just dressing as eccentrically as she could manage with her resources. That and she took to hanging out in Harajuku quite a bit more than her parents wanted or knew was possible.


She then hooked up with a super-super amazing songwriter — Yasutaka Nakata. Nakata writes and produces (and I think plays) all her songs while Kyary just comes in later and sings them and learns the dance moves. But I really like to think he is actually collaborating with Kyary — cause she has such an impossibly severe personality. She is different.

The thing that makes her so different is that she is so irreverent — something I really, really admire in pop stars. She is taking that cuteness-vibe and adding spice of surreality and sheer horror. See protagonists of metal, rock, hardcore, speed-core or whatever just assume that stance of being anti-establishment just because their music taste is self-referential. Even if they vote Republican.

But it is super-refreshing to see genuine super-cute rockstars just pushing things into new territories. Just being intelligent about their product and not cow-towing to their stereotype.



I really need to thank the blogger David Brennan from One Week, One Band who opened up my eyes to KPP.

His amazing adventure is documented here.

His words:

Last year I set off on an odyssey of music listening, one I wasn’t sure I would make it through or come back from. For reasons (boredom and disillusionment) I won’t go into here, I decided to stop listening to my music. Cold turkey. Instead I would listen only to albums recommended to me by other people, one album a week for 53 weeks. I would listen to each album at least once a day, and a minimum of eleven times over the course of the week. And along the way I’d write about the experience. Crazy? Absolutely. Stupid? You bet.

That afternoon, still albumless, we headed for the downtown Commons to grab a bite to eat and walk around. In the early January cold we had the place nearly to ourselves…We inhaled a few slices of pizza and stepping back out into the chill I saw her: wrapped in bulbous blue winter jacket, black hair swung over her left shoulder and tucked beneath jacket’s collar, my eyes zoomed to her head, where atop a striped skullcap perched a pair of gigantic headphones…“Be right back,” I said to Kate.

“Excuse me! Hello! Excuse me!”

Looking ready to run, kick me in the groin, pepper spray me or all of the above, she half pulled off her headphones and raised her eyebrows, imploring.

“Uh, I was just wondering if, I mean, if you don’t mind, if you could maybe tell what you’re listening to?”

She glared at me like you wouldn’t be any more of a creep if you had asked me to flash you, and maybe that’s exactly what I had done, in a way, to our headphone generation what are you listening to? 

“Carrie Pamu Pamu,” she said.

“Ah,” I said, nodding as if I knew, then gave myself away with, “What album?”

“Revolution,” she said and bolted, showed me her blue back, bye-bye.

“How’d that go?” Kate chuckled at me.

“Aw-kward,” I sung.


So I started reading David’s blog on the Monday (or Tuesday in our time) and I must admit I was intrigued not just by his “gimmick”, but by the fact his gimmick touched a nerve because there was this definite notion hidden in my head that a lot of music you may vaguely hear about (and though it seems utterly inaccessible) — it just might be amazing if you give it a chance. I remember John Swingle telling me about some death metal band he was forced to listen to cause a flat-mate played it incessantly and suddenly he “got it”. Just like The Fauves who sung about “Understanding Kyuss”.

And all of a sudden I was watching the video of PonPonPon. And then I watched it again. That video is quite an experience. A revelation. (Even now after 20 or so views it is still intriguing). But I wasn’t completely hooked, I just had the feeling something was stirring. I made myself watch the Invader, Invader clip (image above) just in case and after that dub step breakdown — which literally BROKE me — I knew this was something I couldn’t dismiss.

That night I excitedly showed Dee both clips — but secretly in just in a “LOL way” — pretending like I wasn’t actually a fan — just saying “check out this CRAZY-SHIT!”

I was trying to hold my composure, just in case this was all nonsense and I would come to my senses in the morning. But Dee was pretty intrigued too and so I felt a bit vindicated — not that I needed any encouragement by now.

The next day I was buzzing. Leah — a videographer at work — was impressed but did her best not to look disturbed at my new obsession.

Over the next few days the deeper I got into KPP and the more I shared David’s enthusiasm (cause the blog evolves through the week) and the more I realised she was unique.

Anyway, we got to see her on Sunday. At the peek of my obsession I tried to hook up tickets to her Japan tour in November but they were sold out. 😦


Not my shot! But this is at the Roundhouse in Sydney on Sunday night.


On Sunday Dee and I shrugged off our hangovers and smashed it down to Martin Place to see her on Channel 7’s Sunrise. We arrived just after 9:30 and already there was a decent crowd. It turned out to be just a pre-record of a song for the Morning Show sometime during the week, but it was kinda funny seeing the hysteria and the way that stupid TV show works. Dee retreated to the shadows while I got amongst the crowd. They were mostly western-looking kids, a lot dressed up in Harajuki-kit.


This is someone winning a signed copy of her album after Kyary’s performance was filmed. (The 3 winners had to be the most animated)

The show at the Roundhouse was pretty surreal. I loved it, though I am not sure I need to do it again.

The line up to get in was incredible. It snaked all the way through the lower half of the UNSW campus. Must have stretched for 600m at least.





The best shot I could get


Some randoms getting totally into it


SYDNEY (the rest of our trip in photos)




Burton Street


Finally got to Bondi after 6km walk from Coogee (below)




Something you don’t see often – a weather report of the Southern Indian Ocean in prime time.













Songs of 2013

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in the incredible “Invader, Invader” clip

1) Wakin on a Pretty Day – Kurt Vile
2) Invader Invader – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
3) The Guitar — Darren Hanlon
4) Faded in the Morning – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
5) Reflektor – Arcade Fire
6) Avenger — The Bamboos
7) Brighter — Cass McCombs (both versions)
8) Atomic Man — Portugal, The Man
9) Are you with me now? — Cate Le Bon
10) Stray Current — Baptism of Uzi

ImageCate Le Bon

OTHER TRACKS in no particular order:

Xanman — Pond
Everything’s a Thread — John Steel Singers
Happy Before — John Steel Singers
March Over to Me — Little Scout
Pay no Mind — Hanni El Khatib
Come a Little Closer — Cage the Elephant
Crazy — Au Revoir Simone
If I Could Just Make it Stop — Low
Royals — Lorde
Black out Days — Phantogram
Right Action — Franz Ferdinand
It’s never over (Oh Orpheus) — Arcade Fire
Normal Person — Arcade Fire
Joan of Arc — Arcade Fire
Invisible — Annie
Antiphon — Midlake
You Don’t Know Me — The Polyphonic Spree
Mr Caterpillar – Fascinator
Forgiven/Forgotten — Angel Olsen
Duke — Cate Le Bon
Red Eyes — The War on Drugs
When I knew — Eleanor Friedberger
Clear the air — Jacco Gardiner
Avant Gardner — Courtney Barnett
Ocean Blue — Twin Peaks
Last Words — STRFKR
Weight — Mikal Cronin
Evil Friends — Portugal, The Man
Get Lucky — Daft Punk
In The City — Caveman


ImageCatherine Bush

Kate Bush (I was always a fan of the “hits” — but decided to really explore everything she’s ever done. Wow!)
Nick Drake (Again, already a pretty big fan, but just decided to be a completist. Again — wow!)
Jonathan Wilson
Father John Misty
Elliott Smith (again — just delved a bit deeper)
No Through Road
Sexton Blake (Being a massive STRFKR fan I had no idea about this project until recently)
Orange Juice (Edwyn Collins — what a babe!)
The Intelligence
Richard Swift
The Wedding Present
Frank Black
Moon Duo
Robert Forster (Like his solo stuff. Never realised how good this shit was!)

Nick RIP

Best music of 2012


You all know how much I like lists — and so I get a bit excited in December when everyone puts out their “best of” lists and thus it seems the world is suddenly in-tune with me. But by January I am a freak again. Oh well.

And reading all those music lists is a bit bitter sweet as it completely distorts the list I have provided below — because I discover all this awesome music I have missed — but I can deal with it.

So here is my top 50 songs released in 2012. (And I have only provided a link to some that might not be so well known).

1) Pretend You Love Me — Sonny and the Sunsets
2) Feels Like We Only Go Backwards — Tame Impala
3) Fold the Cloth — Cate Le Bon
4) Time to Dance — The Shoes
5) Eye Pattern Blindness — Pond (live version linked)
6) DTV — Natural Child
7) No Idea Why — TV Torso
8) Moth Wings — Pond
9) Cooking up Something Good — Mac Demarco
10) Go Quietly — Little Scout

11) Lance Jr — Courtney Barnett
12) Tidal Wave — The Laurels
13) Heaven — The Walkmen
14) Big Love — Matthew E White
15) Black White Blue — Ladyhawke
16) Wild Desire — King Tuff
17) Hey Jane — Spiritualised
18) Nancy From Now On — Father John Misty
19) Seven Stars — Air
20) Skyfall — ADELE

21) Here I Am — Adam Green and Binki Shapiro
22) Bend Beyond — Woods
23) Ploughing Out (pts1 & 2) — Cate Le Bon (live version linked)
24) Ballad of the Golden Hour — Widowspeak
25) What’ll It Take — Graham Coxon
26) How Do I Know — Here We Go Magic
27) Friends of Friends — Hospitality
28) She Got A Mind — Natural Child
29) Alison Road — White Fence
30) Elephant — Tame Impala

31) Ode to Viceroy — Mac Demarco
32) Make it Known — Foxygen
33) Serpents — Sharon Van Etten
34) Roman Ruins — Line & Circle
35) Passenger — Emily Wells
36) Satellites — Catcall
37) Baby’s in Blue Jeans — Mac Demarco
38) Apocolade — George Barnett
39) I Wanna Go Out — Teen Mom
40) Go Outside — Cults

41) Whispering or Singing — Boomgates
42) Are you looking after yourself — Courtney Barnett
43) The Night — School of Seven Bells
44) Myth — Beach House
45) Please Be My Third Eye — La Sera
46) Too Young to Burn — Sonny and the Sunsets
47) Falcon Eyed — Cate Le Bon
48) Messing up my Mind — Fletcher C Johnson
49) Stairway — Yukon Blonde
50) Gangnam Style — PSY

LATE EDITION: Cut Me Some Slack!




Conan got me into Mac DeMarco. I had seen him on a blog a bit earlier but he looked like a hick and so I was a bit weary. The song Conan suggested to me was “Ode to Viceroy” and I wasn’t blown away, just a bit intrigued. Luckily I delved a little deeper and so this song spoke to me. I think it was the “storyness” and the personality. And plus maybe my secret inner smoker.

Here is “Cooking up something good” by MAC DEMARCO


I source a lot of my new stuff from the Everybody Taste blog. Whomever runs that blog is possibly my music-double. Mostly rock/guitarish songs – but always a bit left of centre and a bit irreverant. And so here is a band they seem to be actually funding/endorsing through their label. I dunno how stuff works — but I do like this song, especially the bass.

TEEN MOM — “I wanna go out”


We saw Skyfall on Friday and I was entertained but left a tiny bit disappointed by the gooby ending. But it wasn’t a documentary — right?

But I think this song is better.

ADELE — “Skyfall”


But this is my most favourite song ATM. It is by an Austin band called TV TORSO. I love the pick scrapes best. Enjoy.

Next we have WIDOWSPEAK — ANOTHER band from Brooklyn. Ugh. Anyway — this song is great. It is “Ballad of the Golden Hour

Here is a picture of them:




Finally two old-school bands that you might think of checking out if you haven’t already. “Crackerjack” and “Goldstar” and “Brass Digger” by the STARLIGHT MINTS

Next we have ROGUE WAVE (photo below) and “Every Moment” and “Kicking the Heart Out


A list of my 20 most favourite Australian songs


I love lists, and this is a LIST. After getting butt-deep in INXS and NOISEWORKS and BOOM CRASH OPERA et al — It was around 1996 that I re-discovered Australian rock n roll. And a bit later November used to be JJJ’s OZ rock month.

Anyway, here are my top tunes by Australian bands.

1) Apartment — CUSTARD

I have said an awful lot about this band already — but this song rips the shit up.

2) Purple Sneakers — YOU AM I

3)  To look at you — INXS

Very hard to pick a favourite of INXS so I let my iTunes play count tally choose. And I am so lucky this song just jumped out. So chilled. The video clip is amazing.

4) Cattle and Cane — THE GO-BETWEENS

I read this blog today and it was a bit intense and wordy, and consequently I got a bit lost in the “importance” and let’s face it — pretension — but it was a pretty cool read. And I guess the band deserve a few sentences you have to read three times to understand.


This is the third Brisbane song here. And I think your home town just slices your skin like it’s an emo-cutter. And the blood flows and you see your nature in all it’s rawness. This is a song about getting employment benefits, something I had to do a few times, and it is also a love story. Perfect.

6) Cops r Tops — THE MELNIKS

The intermets don’t have this song so you get to hear Drew Romance instead.


How chilled is this song? It’s like drinking a cocktail in a very comfortable chair and looking at the sunset and knowing a whole bunch of more cocktails and a decent meal is awaiting you — even though you are thinking about some lover that is quite apparent, but blissfully distant at the same time.

8) That Ain’t Bad — RATCAT

This 3 chord song with chorus key-change made everything make sense. Yeah.

9) Sweet and Sour — THE TAKEAWAYS

I loved this Tv show. It planted the seed in my shitty head that I could one day be in a rock n roll band

10)  You’re The Voice — JOHN FARNHAM

This song almost got me arrested. And yes, this song is pretty cool. Embarrassing but cool. I had this party at my house and we all sang this as loud as we could and then the cops turned up and I had to face them in a “state” and attempt to defuse the situation. “It’s ‘The Voice’ — i thought we lived in AUSTRALIA. WTF?”.  TRUE STORY. The cops let me off with a warning.

11) Talking to a Stranger — HUNTERS AND COLLECTORS

Just a massively dreamy trip. Enjoy.

12) NY Coal Mine Disaster — THE BEE GEES

This song is so sad, so old-school. If it doesn’t make you cry then…I dunno.

13) Fool’s Rush In — DROP CITY

A very heavy but lush and serene song. Rich in textures — the extra guitar with it’s whammy-bar attack in the heavy bits and then violins in the verses which get all heavy again in the chorus. Amazin

14) Dwarf on Dwarf — THE FAUVES

This is a song by “the Doctor” — not the usual singer in the band. But he was my fave. And he was so sensitive and rock at the same time. Kinda my whole life philosophy. Shame I can’t find the song on the intermets.

15) Can’t Help Myself — FLOWERS

Iva Davies when he was cool and edgy and didn’t have a mullet.

16) Pace or the Patience — LOVE OF DIAGRAMS

Fucking hell — this band is all style. The best of art and rock married with crazy-super-glue.

17) Get Free — THE VINES

The BEST, THE BESTEST EVER, middle 8 ever. The whole song revolves around it.

18) Evil Eye — SIDEWINDER

This is actually only my second fave song of theirs. The epic NOT COMING HOME is so much better. All 7 minutes. But this song rocks, especially the keyboard refrain.

19 Rainbow Kraut — JOHN STEEL SINGERS

20) Little Lovers — LIttle Lovers

Cause this song doesn’t exist easily on the interwebs — you get to see Red Devil instead. Good band. I think I in this clip. Whatever



So apparently my new iPhone is coming tomorrow. Now I say that, it will get delayed — but whatever. And in that spirit I just wanna go back to where it all began.


When I was growing up, home computers were incredibly primitive. Our first computer had a black and white monitor. In fact it wasn’t even arty enough to be black and white — it was in sickly snot-green and a contrasting darker-snot-green.

That computer was an Amstrad. My dad inherited it from his father who upgraded to a colour version. You loaded the games via cassette tape and literally waited 20 minutes before they were playable — even text-based adventures. If any of my friends came over to play computer-games (all of whom had cartridge loading instant-gratification Ataris) I’d have to entertain them in this deadzone. Maybe that’s where I learnt some social skills.

When I moved to Sydney my mum was dabbling in freelance publishing — so she bought herself an Apple SE. It cost at least $6,000 — she had to take out a personal loan. And it was our only computer and that’s all I knew.

When I moved back to Brisbane after school finished I wasn’t interested in computers until the internet came along. And because my dad was all PC I just had to suffer through that. I didn’t bother understanding anything apart from switching it on and clicking on a browser icon — I just used what I knew and if anything got too hard I whined and carried-on until someone else fixed it.

One day I asked my dad why the lawyers I worked for all used Macs and he said, “Well Apple is easier when you are just starting out.” And he said it like that was a flaw. Like computing was hard and should always be hard and anyone who tried to make it easier or intuitive or human was a fool. I accepted that at the time but naturally now I think he was an idiot for saying such blithering nonsense.

So when I got my first real job I suddenly found myself in an office full of Macs. I looked around the room and asked why. “It’s the industry standard” was the response. And I accepted that in the same frame as I had accepted dad’s “they’re easier” quip. Like you only use Macs if you are forced to.

So I sat down at my job doing basic back-end web programming. And gradually I learnt how to use and enjoy the Macintosh platform. I found them incredibly accessible but also highly sophisticated. All the nonsense and drivel spread by those in the PC world about them being “kiddy-computers” melted away. I was now a fan, which of course evolved into me becoming almost wedded to them.


I “computer drew” this for a band poster in 2005. Would be very naff now – but it was pretty attention-grabbing back then


People wonder why I am so rabidly “Apple” — and it’s mostly because their aesthetics and their philosophy spoke to me, and continues to do so — but it’s also because these were dire days for the whole Apple brand and for ages I seriously wondered if one day they would implode. And if that happened our whole office might struggle to survive too. It felt like you were walking along a knife edge all the time you supported the company. And so you needed faith in Apple in those days and that “faith” has stayed with me.


One day my dad took my sister on an overseas trip and to balance things out he bought me one of those first Bondi-Blue iMacs for Christmas. And with that very first computer I owned I started self-publishing zines and had a ball doing so.

So fast-forward a few years and I bought my first iPod as a birthday present to myself in 2004. It cost a great deal of money to someone working part-time and with a massive mortgage but I had “faith” that it was worth it.

That morning I had an “experience” without evening touching the iPod. Just opening the packaging was fucking incredible. In those days Apple really invested a lot in the packaging and included lots of extras in there as well as the actual machine — like a remote, a soft case, booklets etc. But it was also an experience just opening everything up.

For years I saved that packaging — it was THAT good.


I might not have saved the packaging — but I saved the brochure.

But 7 days later things soured a little when Apple upgraded the iPod range and they all got cheaper and had bigger capacities. Ugh. But I learnt a valuable lesson about the Apple purchasing cycle.

After calming down from the event that was just opening the box — I got to know my new toy and it’s no exaggeration that my life changed that day. A week later I took two days off work just to rip all my CDs.


And a few weeks later I started working part-time in the city at our union and I walked to and from work and listened to my ‘pod the whole way. So I got an insatiable desire for more and more new music. I became ravenous. I would harass my friends for new music tips and lug my computer to people’s houses just so I could rip their music collection. I think mining Jeffro’s collection was my favourite. (I need to do that again!) So my music library exploded and my whole appreciation of music improved exponentially.

Meanwhile in the city I would get puzzled looks as I swaggered around with my white earphones leading to that tiny bulge in my left pocket. (LOL) You could see people just couldn’t fathom a music player fitting into that tiny space. It was like they were contemplating the physics of the TARDIS. You could literally see the cogs in their brains going, “A walkman can’t fit in there. WTF?”.

And if you saw other people with iPods you would give them a smile and maybe even a wave and it would almost always be reciprocated. Someone once described it like the nod members of Fight Club gave.

I sold that first iPod (to upgrade) and just this year I tried to buy it back — just for nostalgia — but it seems to have been lost to time. Oh well.

After that I wrote a song about my iPod. It went:

I can’t stop talking about my iPod (x2)
Someone’s gonna choke me the next time I take it outta my pocket
But I can’t stop talking about my ipod.
They’re so goddamn impressive, and everyone seems interested,
Until I keep going on and on and on
They’re just hanging out the sheets, mowing the lawn or trying to sleep,
But I can’t stop talking about my iPod. (x1,523)


And this is only a fraction of the story. So Apple and me have had heaps of other adventures and we will, perhaps, continue to do so — and yeah — start a brand new one tomorrow.



 Little Jess and Craig trying to get out of the shot

Belle & Sebastian (and how this introduced me to Dee)


I took this at the second Brisbane show in 2004. This is arguably the best live rock n roll photo I have ever managed I think.

I have this tendency where I become a sickly-fan-boy sometimes. And it is not entirely dignified – yet it strangely makes me happy.

And my next favourite band, after Custard, was Belle & Sebastian. And it was actually Paul Medew, Custard’s bassplayer, who introduced me. It was like he was passing the baton on. See I somehow managed to get Paul a job where I worked and he became just “Paul”, not OMFG! PAUL MEDEW!!! (And this story will soon be related in my Custard stories).


Anyway, Paul went to Rocking Horse one lunchtime and bought at least 10 CDs of bands he was interested in hearing — but had no real understanding of. This was super-brave I thought, or just a bit feckless with money. So while he was listening to something else, I asked if I could have a go at the B&S cd. And it was “Fold Your Arms Child, You Look Like a Peasant“.

And the first track on that CD was called “I fought in a war” (and that Youtube clip is a  rather confronting homemade clip btw) and as I sat at my computer doing a rather boring, repetitive task and actually having to play the CD through the computer in the days before iPods and even iTunes, I was dumbstruck at its power and ability to suck you in to its story. It was hypnotic and dark and fucking “heavy” without having to nail the point home with distortion and big drums. But at the same time – it was still rock n roll.

So I was a little late on board with this band. Ex-girlfriend Liesl had been a fan but from what I knew from looking over her shoulder every now and then while she dabbled in their music — quiet, sensitive or wordy songwriting just wasn’t something I was at all interested in.

But within 3 or 4 weeks and I had bought every stick of musical furniture Belle & Sebastian had produced. And then I munched on those tunes almost exclusively like I was a white ant and told everyone within earshot how much I fucking loved it. Like REALLY loved it. And to make things even more acute B&S were the kind of band that had a very rich and consistently above-average output. I couldn’t flaw them. It was like art. While Custard had been humble and imperfect and willing to embrace those flaws, Belle & Sebastian were still humble and “little” but also so precise, so much depth and their grandiosity was actually deserved. A more prosaic soul might describe them as “All killer, no filler” — ie a deadshit like me.

And to further illustrate this I would say a few of their B-sides I just might count in my top twenty favourite songs (like Photo Jenny, Slow Graffiti, Belle and Sebastian, I Love My Car etc).

All the while I wasn’t quite sure why I liked this band so much but I soon stopped wondering and just concentrated on the fact they were so good at what they did, I just couldn’t help but be hooked.

And one day they came to Australia. Their first show was in Melbourne and it just happened I had already booked tickets and flights to see Franz Ferdinand and the Fiery Furnaces — two of my other new most favourite bands. So it was complete coincidence they were playing as well and I organised tickets and although we missed a show in Brisbane (so we could see the FF and FF) we got over it.


My sister and her partner came too – this was the family pre-party

Back up in Brisbane we saw their second show at the Tivoli and I was so excited and so inspired I took the day off work to make a few t-shirts for them and I gave them to my friend Shelley to give to the band. Shell had previously used to live with Beans (Chris Geddes) in Glasgow and Shelley even appears in a few B&S film clips. This is one of them.

EDIT: And today I am reminded that I met Kate, a woman I was with for a few years, when I randomly sold her an extra ticket for this show, having posted something about it on a forum. Holy moly. Life is strange and sorry Kate for forgetting that!


The t-shirt design I made — a play on my favourite song, and the state we were in of course.

And all through the show I was just silently wondering if they would acknowledge that effort and then in the encore — BANG! Beans came out wearing that shirt I had made and I could hear the crowd go nuts around me, “OMG Look at his shirt!” I was fucking chuffed. Total Amazeballs!

Also during that show my friends Cat and Alex got to sing on stage for Lazy Line Painter Jane. Here they are:




The next time Belle & Sebastian played in Brisbane I made another t-shirt, but this time just for me to wear. It said, “I got thrush from licking railings” — with a picture of a fence. One very, very beautiful woman complimented me while we were alone at the bar. I almost fell over with pride and absolute terror that someone so hot was talking to me. I just smiled and walked away with my drink being too shy to talk to her.


The shirt itself was lost to time, but here is the design file I kept. The song it refers to a line from this song

And I say all that above because my most dearest Dee was in the same room at the very same time, for THE very first time — and I had no idea, and she had no idea either.

And this was my very first introduction to her despite the fact we didn’t meet or even make visual contact and she would only know I existed much, much later.


It was my 18th birthday and, because the universe hated me, I had a uni exam at 5:45pm that afternoon. Just before I went into the exam, I got a text from Laura K or Jess saying they had just been speaking to the band. Being in my petulant late-teenage years, I was jealous-angry as I filed into the UQ Centre instead of lining up to see B&S. I later arrived at the Tivoli, proudly brandishing my ID for the very first time, and got a ‘happy birthday’ from the security guard. When I joined my lovely friends up the front, I was (not proud to say) wearing my best bitch-face, and continued to do so for a while. Later in B&S’s set, Stuart announced that they were going to sing a special song and suddenly one of my favourite bands was leading the crowd in wishing me happy birthday – all orchestrated by my amazing friends, of course! What pals. I definitely could have done worse.

Meanwhile I was up the back thinking, “Who is this goob ‘Dee’ getting all this special treatment – Birthday- Smirthdays. Ugh. Get on with the show ffs!”


After all this it should be said I was appalled by Belle & Sebastian’s new direction. So cheesy and uninspiring. And so their last album is absolute shite. Worse than evil. They are now dead to me. Full circle.

POSTSCRIPT (My favourite B&S songs)

1) The State I am In
2) The Boy with the Arab Strap
3) The Boy Done Wrong Again
4) I Fought in a War
5) The Chalet Lines
6) Slow Graffiti
7) The Rollercoaster Ride
8) This is Just a Modern Rock Song
9) Lazy Line Painter Jane
10) The Fox in the Snow

A small announcement (and some recent pictures)


So I have an tiny announcement.

Secretly — at least from you my blog followers – I have become part of a brand new band. And this is the first band I’ve joined since 2008 and against all my protestations that I have “retired from rock n roll”. We have had precisely 2.5 practices and now have 6 songs – perhaps as much as two sets by some standards. And even though in this process I’ve had to do a few of the things I kinda hated about rock n roll — like lugging gear and organising myself and trying my hardest to think up an appropriate band name — in fact I had a really good time.

And there’s only a few things I love about being in a band — but they are very cool things. Essentially it’s stuff like rocking out in that very random, fragile and bizarre narrative that is live rock n roll. “Live performance” is pretty surreal if you examine it. Sometimes it feels a bit not unlike those musicals where they just burst into song and choreography.

Then there’s that niggling idea an audience might actually see all this one day. And so one of the other things about rock I appreciate is this “getting away with it” vibe. Sometimes I put my songs down and half-expect people to start throwing stuff or being so appalled they race out into the street and overturn a car they’ve just set on fire. So it is entirely amazing when just one person comes up to you after the show and says they loved it. Even though that feels a bit awkward, I appreciate it.

Anyway — we are just three atm. Me on drums and contributing a few of my songs which I think are better handled by Liss — who is an awesome singer — and Michael who knows how shred, has incredible equipment, and crucially — has great hair too.


We are looking for a band name if anyone has any suggestions. Band names are notoriously difficult and I have this theory that 90% of bands secretly hate the moniker they eventually settle on. But then again — “The Beatles” is the shittest band name ever, so why bother worrying so much?



I got my friend Anna to make this brooch for Dee’s birthday — I like it.



Token picture of the cat


A chemical spill last Friday turned work into a no man’s land. That white stuff in the pic below is the culprit.



Last week we picked up Dee’s folks from the airport and this is them surprising Julian (Dee’s brother) because they had come home a few days early. He looks appalled but he was totally excited.





Band supplies! 


Dinner with JJ

New Songs



Such a great “fuck you” song. I love FU songs. Maybe I’ll write a whole blog about my favourite ones one day. Anyway — you gotta love the ultra-slow intro which gets a brutal smack-down reprise at the end. The basslines are really cool too and I’m guessing it’s him that asks that question just before the first chorus.


GEORGE BARNETT — “Apocolade”

This is pretty lush and majestic stuff from George. Perhaps a bit “highbrow”. It feels like Patrick Wolf but less “camp” and more “religious naff stuff” (ew). But apart from that — pretty impressive. You can listen to the entire album here (Apocolade is first up).


FLOWERS — “Can’t help myself”

Been listening to a bit of Flowers lately — the previous incarnation of one of Australia’s biggest 80s/90s bands — Icehouse. Iva Davies was quite the coolsie once-upon-a-time. See I was at Jeffro’s 40th recently and “We can get together” came on and that just got the ball rolling. But I’ve also become enamoured with “Can’t Help Myself” which has a more danceable groove, mostly due to the thumping bassline. (That bassplayer was full of beans!) It reminds me a lot of “To Look At You” by INXS — a fucking amazing song.

Apparently the keyboard player is missing and Iva Davies is trying to track him down.


ALPINE — “Gasoline”

A month or so ago I was poking around the house in some hungover-daze while Saturday Morning Rage played on the TV and this beautifully atmospheric video came on just as I accidentally passed the TV. And I saw the snowy Australian Alps I so love and I just stopped what I was doing and quietly sat down and absorbed it. But then I was left thinking the ending was really stupid — but whatever. Later the song came on the 4ZZZ and I was like, “Hmmm – who’s this?” And then I put two-and-two together. Cool story huh? I’ll probably hate the song in a few weeks — but it is a likeable distraction atm.

The Video.


BOOMGATES “Whispering and Singing”

I really like this band’s new song. Initially I didn’t really like the guy’s nasally, almost “aussie” singing, but I got over it. They have some other good songs like “Layman’s Terms” with a similar vibe and soon the record this songs is a part of is coming out. Looking forward!

TAME IMPALA “I Don’t Really Mind”

Because I’ve got into Pond, I decided to give Tame Impala a chance. I had avoided them because someone had described them as “psychedelic” and that music-descriptor makes me queasy. But I gave them a chance and to my delight they are only just a tad like that — certainly not “dumb-fuck-so”. So here is my favourite song of theirs live with The Silents (who the Little Lovers toured with incidentally) and here is the studio version.


Rocking babes, ripping shit up. I think the drummer (on left in pic above) sings this one. But don’t quote me on that. They seem like a really fun band too. Fantastic song. LISTEN!


This is a song by one of my all-time favourite bands. They come from Brisbane but moved to Melbourne at one point. They centre around Nicole (pictured above) and Greg Wadley and Julian Patterson. I like this band so much I would buy everything they ever do without ever having to taste it first. Admittedly I bought a Nicole/Julian side-project called “Letraset” way back and hated it — but that is the exception that proves the rule. This isn’t my favourite of theirs, but it is pretty close. It’s called “Goodbye” and it is ART.

The Lyrics to “Go Quietly”


Pat, Mel, Miro and Kirsty

I know it sounds really lame when someone gushes over a song and implores everyone to listen to it.

I know.

And another thing that is “lame” is asking someone to tell them the lyrics to their song. But I just loved this song so much and it was stuck in my head all the time and I was trying to sing along but all I could articulate was a bunch of “wahh, wha didsnd siljdlijlcx” and so I tried to google it. But of course that was futile — a band from Brisbane was hardly going to attract the attention of all those lyric-decipherers locked in some bunker in America working out what Chris Brown is actually saying.

But I went, “fuck it!” I know who sung it — i’ll just be a dork and ask. And I wrote to Mel and she was happy to help. I feel like such a “fan” but that doesn’t feel too bad.

And these words make the song so, so much better — and not just cause I can sing along now…

So holy shit — this song by Little Scout is my new favourite song and I will say this to you just once (unlike Molly Meldrum) “do yourself a favour”.

The song:

And here are the lyrics:

Go Quietly
An action, for the start is here
I know how to get there but I need a gentle shove

Take care to see
An actor, for the start is near
I know how to get there but I need a gentle shove

Another shade to fill the day, aloud
Another feather echo makes the sound
Another shake to fill the day alone

Take care by sea
An anchor for the heart is here
I know how to get there but I need a gentle shove

Take it from me
An actor, form the part hastily
I know how to get there but I need a gentle shove

Another shade to fill the day, aloud
Another feather echo makes the sound
Another shake to fill the day alone

Go Quietly
An action, for the start is near
But I know how to get there

Other stuff by this amazing band.