The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

I only just read this. The poet behind one of my favourite 1970s Soul pieces, Gil Scott-Heron, has died. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” has elements of Hip-Hop and Rap with heavy drum-and-bass and simplistic production. I’m not black, but it still speaks to me and I think a lot of what it says is universal. It’s on one of my “Dad’s Mix” CDs which gets played on high rotation when I drive.

A very Perth icon dies

It seems there’s always been this ragtime piano playin’ busker doing his thing in the Murray Street Mall, in Perth. What impressed me was that he was a busker with a freakin’ portable piano. Most buskers carry a guitar, or a flute or some smallish instrument. A certain accordion player was popular for a while. But this dude had a whole piano. It was an upright piano with the front panels exposed so you could see the movement of the little hammers on the strings inside whenever a key was struck. Since he was playing ragtime, there was always plenty of movement in the hammers. Kids, especially, would be mesmerised by the groups of keys dancing back and forth when he played the likes of “The Entertainer”.

Turns out he was a rather talented maestro by the name of John Gill who attended many prestigious schools and played in many bands around the world. He was playing in leading clubs and hotels in Europe and across the US before he moved out here.

I say “was” because he had a heart attack and died on the weekend. He had a bit of a writeup in todays newspaper.

Another little bit of Perth has disappeared.

Music to make love to

I like music. And I like music playing when I’m “loving my wife in a very special way“. Most people have a list of tracks they rattle off when talking about their favourite songs to make love to. It might be songs from their youth, or the song that was playing when they first met their partner’s eyes across a crowded room. Or it could be a song that just “fits” somehow, stirring the right emotions. I don’t have such a list of songs. I’m more of an album kinda guy. Hey that’s right, ladies. It’s how I roll.

To this end, here are some of my favourite soundtracks to listen to while performing nocturnal marital duties. You’re not going to find any Barry White here:

Mezzanine by Massive Attack: This album manages to create a broad spectrum of emotions. It’s got ups and downs, it’s got fast beats and slow ones. All this culminates in the final act: Group Four. Seriously, between this and 100th Window if Massive Attack is rockin’, don’t bother knockin’.

High Times: Singles 1992-2006 by Jamiroquai: To hate Jamiroquai is to hate life itself. Jay Kay has the moves, the grooves and his tongue in his cheek and listening to the best of usually rubs off on the listener in good ways.

Adore by Smashing Pumpkins: Skip the first track, but from track two onwards you’ve got the makings of the perfect kinky bonking album.

Casual Gods by Jerry Harrison: Despite the dark but thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, it’s a great album to put on late at night. The music is hypnotic and layered, seductive and subtle.

Other noteables: Dummy by Portishead, Back in Black by AC/DC, The Crow soundtrack, Amnesiac by Radiohead.

Give them ago. You won’t be disappointed.

We are hopeless at charades

We had an impromptu session 0f charades during dinner the other night, in response to the question of what we could do for family home evening the next time it rolled around. I’m surprised that we haven’t actually done charades in our family, but also surprised that the kids didn’t know what it was at all. I can’t believe that they hadn’t done it at school before. So, to prepare them for our family night we explained some of the rules of charades. They got the idea that you have to act out something without using words. We tried to make it as easy as possible by choosing some examples of movies we own or they had recently seen, such as Edward Scissorhands and The Karate Kid. Jett said he wanted a go and decided that his movie was 4 words. He made many gyrations and actions and it turns out that his movie was “Helicopter Running Robot Dog”. It must be the new Pixar movie or something. Ashton tried “Labyrinth” by walking around in random directions and searching which was a good try but a very difficult one.

I decided to test Suzanne, and there was also the off chance that the kids would get it too. I wanted to do Michael Jackson.

I figured the easiest way to convey “Michael Jackson” was to invoke his best and most well loved dance routine from Thriller.

Look, I’m not Michael Jackson. I realise this. I a fat, balding, middle aged white guy with little to no coordination or artistic credibility. But I did a pretty damned good Zombie Dance from the Thriller music video, including most if not all of the most easily identifiable dance steps. But could Suzanne get it? She just pointed and laughed and started thinking up random words and names which had absolutely nothing to do with thriller or Michael Jackson. The kids could be forgiven because they weren’t around in the 80s or 90s, but surely Suzanne knew what she was looking at.

Eventually, with a bit of humming and whistling, it was Ashton who finally got it. I really don’t know what was going on in Suzanne’s head. Heaven help us in our next FHE.

Thriller Zombie Dance Steps

Will we be ruined by that which we love, or that which we hate?

An interesting web comic/graphic I found on the tubes. I can see that that there’s a lot of truth in this. In today’s society, we do indeed have in infinite appetite for distractions which lead us away from what is really important in our lives and I’m somewhat guilty myself. Can these distractions ruin a person? You betcha.

Amusing Ourselves To Death

Abbey Road album cover

Beatles - Abbey Road album coverOK, so yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the release of the Abbey Road album. I’m not a Beatles fan, never have been, but I guess this album is significant in being the last album released by the Beatles. It’s also significant because of the cover. It’s somehow iconic and has been copied and parodied on at least a hundred albums I could find with some quick google-fu. It’s one of the most popular album covers to immitate along with The Velvet Underground and The Who Live at Leeds. Apparently it took only ten minutes to put together. Not a bad return for minimal effort, but that’s how it usually works, huh. The best photos just seem to happen. Here are a couple of my favourite immitations.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Abbey Road album cover Benny Hill Abbey Road album cover The Friars Of The Community Of St. Saviour's Monastery Abbey Road album cover Longua de Trapo Abbey Road album cover Simpsons Abbey Road album cover

Imagine there’s no heaven

Imagine is a bad songSo Triple J had another one of their Hottest 100 of all time countdowns last week. I’m not all that keen on these “All time” themes. Triple J normally have a Hottest 100 for song released during the previous year but a couple times they’ve had an All Time countdown. Which is cool, because they don’t overdo it. Suzanne’s favourite radio station often has X Top Y songs, where Y is some awful theme, and X is in the hundreds or even thousands. They recently had a top “2400 love songs” countdown or somesuch and it went for a week. Good grief.

Anyhow, it turns out I already have 92 of these songs on my iPod, so it’s an easy task to make a playlist. I’m missing some. There’s a few I’ll admit I have never heard of and a few I wish I had. But there’s one song that will never make it’s way onto any iPod I own, ever. That song is John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

Why is this song such an abomination in my eyes (or ears)? Take a look at the lyrics to find out why:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Are you kidding me? I can’t imagine there being no heaven, and no loving God dwelling there awaiting our return. Well, yeah, I can imagine it but the world then becomes a pretty sucky place.

In the first “bridge”, I think you call it, he pretty much declares greed and hedonism is a pretty good idea. Do your own thing, don’t worry about tomorrow:

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Lennon goes on to attack nationalism and religion in the next verse:

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too

The next bridge is OK, I guess. All the world living in peace isn’t all that bad. This line dilutes the rest of this insidious, repugnant song.

The rest of the song is about having no possessions, a new world order and one world government. I’ll leave it to the reader to research why abolition of property (or abolition of ownership), and socialistic/communistic ideas are bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nothing to kill and die for. I’m all for no hunger and a brotherhood sharing all the world in peace. But there is no earthly power which can govern the entire world correctly.

Regurgitator

I’m a bit surprised to learn that my top 25 most played tracks on my iPod consists mostly of Regurgitator. I’ve been hunting down and collecting all the Regurgitator CD singles I can find and ripping them off to MP3. The CD singles have tracks which I haven’t been able to find elsewhere, and some of them are pretty damned good. But mostly I’ve been grooving on Jingles, apparently with ! (The Song Formerly Known As) played 99 times.

The list:

! (The song formerly known as) by Regurgitator, Album: Jingles
Walk This Way (Boom Boom Booty Remix) by Aerosmith
Happiness by Regurgitator, Album: Jingles

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