Sunday, July 31, 2005

Den's Top Ten Songs (July)

1. The Presets - Girl and the Sea
2. Data Rock - Computer Camp Love
3. Helium – Cosmic Rays
4. Turbonegro – All My Friends Are Dead
5. Dappled Cities Fly – Battle Won
6. Andy Clockwise – Alice May
7. The Bloodhound Gang - Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo
8. Bloc Party – So Here We Are
9. Blue Bottle Kiss – Running Into Doors
10. Darren Hanlon – A To Z

Aussies didnt fare quite as well on this one. Aussies- 5 OS- 5

Listening to: Bit By Bats

Friday, July 29, 2005

cosmic rays and memory tricks

I had a rewarding musical experience today. I guess it was a rewarding ‘memory recall’ experience also. I was at work, it was early in the morning, I got an unknown fragment of a tune in my head and had absent-mindedly begun whistling it. Then It occured to me that the fragment, was sorta wrong. What I was whistling was a distortion of some song that I liked, but that I hadn’t thought of in years. Somehow I knew that the snatch of tune I had was from an obscure song that had been briefly important to me, some 4 or 5 years since, and that at the time I’d made a mental note to try and remember it. After several attempts, I managed to straighten out the tune in my head so that I had the correct melody. I recalled the sensation, from years ago, of being struck by what a poignant melody it was, yet I still had no idea what the song was, who it was by…or even when or where exactly I’d heard it. Then doubts plagued me about whether it was a song at all, and all that foggy memory game stuff started banging around in my head. Doggedly I kept whistling the melody over and over for about 5 minutes. An intuition came to me, that it might’ve been something I’d heard on a Matador Records anthology about 4 or 5 years ago. I wrote myself a stupid note that mentioned this notion. It was like 8am in the morning and I feared that even with this note, that by the time I got home I’d have forgotten the melody. I tried a Jedi memory trick…well actually it’s a technique that a spoken word poet, whose very distinctive name I can’t presently recall (duh) explained to me one night in Shelton lea’s bookstore in Clifton Hill. And whilst on this, it further warrants a mention, that the senior trainer at Boxing For Fitness, Robbie Bryant, does a very similar memory association trick, in what has become a ritual at the start of every training session. He looks around the gym and says “Ok, and we have…Denny, John, Paul, George and Ringo, we have…etc etc” until he has said absolutely everyone in the gyms name. Even people he has just met. It’s all to do with attaching in one’s mind a physical or symbolic association with the person or thing, that acts as a trigger to recall. You have to wonder why it isn’t easier to just remember ‘Fred’ rather than something like ‘roman nose, curly grey hair, face like a donkey = Fred!’ I dunno that I fully grasp the concept… and I have well digressed--- So because I was worried about forgetting the melody that had mysteriously and randomly popped back into my head after years of being ‘lost’, I attempted my version of this memory association trick and locked in on the time of day and how silly I felt at that moment whistling the melody for the seventieth time. It worked and when I got home I put on the Matador Cd, which for the completionists among us, is called ‘Everything is Nice’ and is a ‘10th Anniversary Anthology’ of Matador Records releases, which include Pavement, Cat Power, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices, Sleater-Kinney, Cornelius and Yo La Tengo…to name a but a few (pretty fuckin great list there huh?) So yeah, it worked ‘cause ten songs into disc one I discovered the song…a song that I had been listening to with William Bowe in 2000, ( It’s actually Billy’s cd on long-term loan to my collection!)….{ d r u m r o l l }- - - ‘Cosmic Rays’ by an American outfit called Helium.
Wow that was longwinded wasn’t it…I must be a bit fried from the three 10 hour shifts I’ve just done in a row. ;-)
Anyhow for my patient, loyal and overly interested readers the song ‘Cosmic Rays’ can be listened to at: and the story of the enigmatic singer/songwriter behind it can be explored at:
Where there are also some free mp3’s to download.

Aint the memory grand.

Listening to:

Mary Timony

Monday, July 25, 2005

Satan’s Special Service

Last night I enjoyed an excellent evening in Fremantle visiting my good pal Petri Sinda and watching the Australian Cricket team take a winning position in the first Test of the Ashes series. I headed off home at around 1am. I was driving east along Leach Hwy when I noticed a Transperth bus had come up fast behind me and was now tailgating me. Odd thing really, they’re not like taxis, I mean these buses aren’t generally known for they’re erratic driving. So I’m kinda wedged between the bus and a slow moving car in front of me. Before I could take evasive action the bus pulled out wildly from behind me and tore up the outside lane. It went by so quick I didn’t catch sight of the driver or even its route number, but I could see that the bus appeared to be completely empty. I pulled out from behind the car in front of me so I could try and stay in touch With the bus. I laughed sharply when I saw that on the back of the bus it’s fluoro green route number was 666. The bus increased in speed and began pulling away from me and the other car, which was a bit back from me in the inside lane. The situation was quite surreal. There was no other traffic to be seen in either direction. The inside lane car sped up dramatically and past me. In the far distance I could see that the bus had pulled up at the traffic lights at the intersection of Carrington Street & Leach Highway. Maybe because it was around 1am and a foggy night, or maybe it was our proximity to Fremantle’s gigantic cemetery, but the atmosphere had become suddenly and distinctly eerie. Despite this, I had a broad grin on my face and was chuckling to myself a lot. I guess it was a disbelieving kind of chuckling, I mean I could definitely see the bizarre and funny side of the situation. I was still grinning as I drew up on the intersection and realised that the bus had been sitting in the right hand turn lane while the lights were green…as if it were waiting for us to catch up. The lights changed to red as the inside lane car reached the intersection. That left me approaching in the middle lane with the 666 bus on the outside right of me, and the other car on my inside left. I slowed down. The bus was definitely empty, it’s interior was strangely lit…I don’t know how to describe adequately…it was sort of dim, soft light with a yellow tinge…but the soft light had an almost misty quality to it. I rolled up toward the very front of the bus. I could see the drivers section was cloaked in darkness. For a brief moment I imagined I was about to see an empty drivers seat. I glanced across at the inside lane driver, still a sardonic, enthralled grin playing across my face. He glanced at me, then his eyes fixed in the direction of the bus. The route number on the side of the bus said ‘Special 000’. I stopped at the white traffic line. Thoughts whispering in my head ‘No driver, no driver…could there be no driver?’ But at that moment I saw that there was indeed a driver. Unmistakable. In the dim recess of the drivers compartment, his upper torso and head faintly lit. The absurd theatre of it all. Lit just enough so I could see the driver looking directly back at me. Looking back at us, unflinching with a steely mischievous grin. My heart rate pulsed. I glanced back at the inside lane driver. He appeared as if in a trance, his eyes locked on the bus. A tingle rattled across my shoulders and shot down my spine. The bus took off turning right. The lights had gone green again. I watched the bus as it tore off down Carrington street. A second or two later I realised that the inside lane car was well up Leach highway, obviously moving very quickly. I rolled off the lights and looked down Carrington Street as I passed through the intersection, but I couldn’t see the bus anymore.

Listening to:
The Best Of The Band

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I guy came in the bottleshop on Friday night and wanted to know the various prices on Highland scotch and cola pre-mix cans. I told him the bottlo had a 8 for $15 'run-out' special on Highland stubbies. He became full of bluster and swaggered toward me saying " 8 for 15?!",
He continued to swell in size like some angry gas filled balloon...i felt sure he was going to nut me...
"Bull Fuck!"
"It's true mate, 8 stubbies for $15"
"Bull Fuck! There's no such fuckin thing as Highland stubbies!"
He turned away from me and walked over to the display fridge containing the Highland scotch and cola products, "8 for fuckn 15 stubbies! Ive never fuckn heard of em! Where are they then?" This was a classic piece of bizzare bottlo behaviour. He was standing right next to them.
Anyhow the rest of this story continues to move around in a rough Beckett-esque circle for several more minutes until the guy decides that he's well pleased that the stubbies do in fact exist, and that it's a "blody good deal" and he'll "go two of em" all the while still managing to look like he might attack me at any moment. But the real reason i recount this story is because of my fascination with his exclamation of the term BULL FUCK which i'm pretty sure i havent heard anyone say since circa 1978...
Bull Fuck. A true-blue Aussie amalgamation of Bullshit and get fucked or fuck off (depending on context and delivery of course). "Denny that's a load of Bullfuck!" for example.

Listening to:
Darren Hanlon
Little Chills (album)

'Generations Of The Acid'
by Petri Sinda

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Den's Top Ten Songs (June)

Ok so without too much further ado, below is my Top Ten of songs that I’ve been listening to in the month of June. My criteria is quite loose, in that there is no time restriction on how old a work is, for example, Romania by Dappled Cities Fly is about 3 years old now. But due to my ongoing fascination with new music, most of the songs will likely be from the past 12 months.
It is a Top Ten because I believe in List Therapy ;-), but really I hate qualitative lists of Art ( hence why I’m undergoing list therapy! ), I love all of these songs, but something had to end up at number 10…and lets face it, you know I had a bunch of cool songs that have just missed out…
If I get the time and inclination, I will re-edit this post and include websites, and other interesting bits of info about artsists mentioned…but heh if your really keen, you can always email me.
And lastly, I am fairly pleased to point out, that nine songs out of my inaugural
Top Ten are by Australian acts! Go Aussie!!
If anyone can email me and tell me correctly which artist is the foreigner, then I will send them a prize.

Den’s Top Ten Songs (June)

1. Romania – Dappled Cities Fly
2. No Way Out – Love Of Diagrams
3. Walls – The Red Paintings
4. The Eve, The Girl – Dappled Cities Fly
5. The Turning – Tucker B’s
6. The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco – The Lucksmiths
7. Mr Raven – MC Lars
8. Qwest (Feat. Seed)Combat Wombat
9. Quarter To Three – Faker
10. You Saw Me Fall – The Fragments

Dig it. :-)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Candle Records

Last night I was sitting at my computer, stalling on getting ready for bed, feeling sorry for myself because I had to get up at 6am. I haven’t worked any really early mornings in years. Many nights on shift at The Terminus Hotel, by the time i got home from a night at work and afters shenanigans it was 5am or later!
Anyhow so I checked in on my email and discovered I’d won two Cd’s

“Denny,well done you've won 2 Candle CD's for leaving a message on the Candle guestbook. please email me your choices and where to send them to. thanks, chris at candle”

How cool is that! So nice to win something. I figure then that this is an appropriate moment to plug Candle Records, who have been unswervingly dedicated to their particular vision of Australian music, since 1994. As they say:
“Welcome to Candle Records, home to some of Australia's best pop acts –
The Lucksmiths, Anthony Atkinson, Ruck Rover, Golden Rough, Tim Oxley, Darren Hanlon, Jodi Phillis, The Guild League, Richard Easton and The Small Knives. They all write great lyric based songs and we're sure you will grow to love them like a family.”

Candle is also the erstwhile home of the late-n-legendary, enigmatic &
Icarus-like Sydney outfit The Simpletons. Candle still have some of their CD’s for sale, although I believe most Simpletons stuff is sold-out and now rare.

Off to work. More laters

Word of the day:

1. Whiteness; brightness; (as applied to moral conditions) unsullied purity; innocence. [Obs.]
2. A disposition to treat subjects with fairness; freedom from prejudice or disguise; frankness; sincerity.
‘tribute superior sagacity and candor to those who held that side of the question. --Whewell.’

Listening To:
Triple J

Friday, July 01, 2005


+ Guests
The Swan Basement, North Fremantle. June 26, 2005.

Local outfit The Silents started as I arrived. The Basement was about half full as The Silents pumped out a tough and sexy set of their nouveau psychedelic-beat-rock. The backing vocals were at times washed away by the bright sound of the room. Despite this it was a tantalising display and a crowd that was about half full at the beginning of their set, swelled to a near full house by the end, simmering away enthusiastically.
Faker emerged on stage like a man possessed. A man like their lead singer Nathan Hudson. Hudson has a big dark voice that at times royles out softly, dripping with intent, but also reaches up in angst filled fingers waving and shakingt at the sky. And he did that often. Flicking his fingers around and pointing at his head, counting off beats, hand reaching up high. His Body contorting and twisting spasmodically at times, indeed my esteemed companion William Bowe (somtime genius music journo) commenteed that Ian curtis was back “in” in a big way. (“Here are the young men…”) Hudson wore a tight buttoned up shirt and severe looking thin black tie. A tie that he used to gently hang himself with several times during critical highs in the performance. During the song ‘Enough’, Hudson bounced of the red velvet clad walls, and briefly stood like a mountain climber, side on, suspended in the corner of the stage, before flinging himself, wild dervish like, back to the mic for another verse.
Hudson was given excellent support in Bassist Nick Munnings, who swayed back and forth from his mic and often appeared to mouth the words along with Hudson, as if in a trance. He would then briefly snap to attention and rejoin in the critical harmonies, such as during the superb ‘Teenage Werewolf’. Munnings has a controlled coolness that shone from his face throughout the set. Although there still seemed to be some problems with the levels on the backing vocals, Munning’s cool focus, his singing along and smooth movements forward to the mic provided a perfect counterbalance during Hudson’s frequent disappearances down into the crowd or his climbs up the rear corners of the stage.
The frenetic energy that Faker conjured throughout their set was held together masterfully on the flanks by Guitarists Phil Downing and Stefan Gregory who were mostly fairly static on the far left and rights respectively. Of the back line engineroom, I couldn’t really see drummer Paul Berryman, but when I caught glimpses of him he was all focus ‘doin the business’ hunched over, coiled up and locked in. Guitarist Downing seemed on a couple of occasions as if he too, might explode off the stage, or crash into the walls as he tore up on ‘in-the-slot-riffs’ and intense climaxes, that were features of such songs as the brilliant ‘Quarter To Three’, ‘Bodies’ and ‘Teenage Werewolf’ . Both Guitarist’s playing during the latter song was so superb that it made me proud to be witnessing such a celebration of Aussie music, and to a full house on a Sunday night no less! Faker absolutely nailed this gig. It was evocative, and energetic. Dark at times thoughtful, pained and passionate at others. Songs such as ‘Quarter To Three’,‘Werewolf', ‘Kids On Overload’, ‘The Familiar’ and ‘Love For Sale’ were all highlights within a set that demonstrated the confidence and certainty of a band that has by all accounts, “taken it’s time to solidify”, but that is now clicking with a live set that must put them high amongst the best acts in Australia. Tonight was a clear validation of that time spent by Faker in “getting it right”. There is rarely an idle moment with Faker and scarcely a wasted song. If you can’t see them live their debut album ‘Addicted Romantic’, (EMI) is a significant document of an Australian band that has truly arrived. Masterful.

Listening to: