I got my name from rock and roll

I don’t have the heater on tonight. Also, I left work at around 6 and it was still daylight. All the shit from the day just lifted away from me and when I took a deep breath in in the car park, and smelt that springmixedupwithdusk air, I swear my feet lifted off the ground a little.

There was a flurry of posting last week, and this week nothing. It has more than a little bit to do with me bringing my work HOME with me *insert grumbling here*. Anyway.

Someone massive has to announce a tour soon. Right? I mean, it’s been forever. Don’t get me wrong – there have been some good bands touring. That Silversun Pickups show was GREAT and the local shows I’ve seen recently have been really good. And there was The Shins, and Magnolia Electric Co, who were both excellent. But I’m talking a whole other level of brilliant here. Like, a ‘holy fuck Wilco is coming!’ level of excitement.

So, this is what’s going to happen –

• Gradually these Arcade Fire rumours will crystallize and they will announce they are coming out for the Big Day Out, but they are also doing a side show at the Enmore.
• Sufjan Stevens announces he’s coming out for Sydney Festival and will play the Opera House.
• Andrew Bird also announces a return to Sydney Festival and plays the Spiegeltent (be still my beating heart).
• Mountain Goats will follow up the release of their new album in early 2008 with a sweeping tour of our great big dry land. And they will play two Sydney shows at the Annandale.
• Broken Social Scene are going to bring Kevin Drew, or, if you like (because does anyone really know what the hell is going on there??) Kevin Drew is going to bring Broken Social Scene down here, and they’re going to play the Enmore.
• Wolf Parade are going to annouce a tour on the back of their new (and utterly amazing) new album, and they’re going to come and play the Annandale.

Hear me, indie rock universe??? Sort some shit out. This girl is hanging over here for some crazy level of fangirl action. It’s been a while. I want that earth shattering, life changing, head explosion inducing reaction that comes from being at the show of one of your FBOAT, just as the lights go down.


So tonight I ventured into the world that is Parramatta Westfield. WHY is probably a valid question at this point. I am, however, on a mission right now.

The mission to find the perfect shoulder bag.

Easy enough, right? How hard can it be to find a mid sized, plain dark brown leather shoulder bag. But it’s TOUGH out there in the world of bags. Honestly, the bags they’re making for women these days are horrible. It’s all patent leather, crazy bunching, and fake bling. And NONE of them are shoulder bags. I’m the sort of girl who wants both hands free, for you know, stuff. I want the bag there, but taking care of itself. Just sitting there on my hip, should I need anything in or out of it. I don’t want to be holding it or grabbing it or carrying it or any of that other high maintenance nonsense.

The man bags are too big, and the lady bags are too small. It’s a conundrum I tell you. The one I have now is old and smelly and tired, and I never really liked the look of it from the beginning. Still, it’s the perfect size. Big enough to fit all essentials for a weekend, but small enough so that I don’t look like a pack horse. We jokingly call it the Tardis, because it’s alarming sometimes how much stuff it can fit.

But after 2 hours of battling prams and shoppers and groups of Parramatta’s version of hipsters in their Everlast regalia, I came away with nothing.


Angry anymore

I actually just spent maybe an hour writing a post about my family. It was the repercussion of a phone call with sister # 3 tonight, reminiscing about my mother and her temper. Because man, does she have a temper. She’s mellowed somewhat, but growing up there was this vitriol and anger than came from a place that was unfamiliar to us and made me, at least, very uneasy. We knew it came from somewhere that had little to do with us, but we were powerless over our seemingly effortless ability to bring it out of her.

Anyway, after writing about all this, and how each of us sibs dealt with it differently, I read back on it and decided not to post it. It’s more or less where this blog thing is going now. I feel a little like it keeps working its way up into the world, and it’s getting more and more likely someone like my brother or sisters or mother are going to stumble across it (not my dear dad, because he finds the technology in the TV remote puzzling). And I write about them here. Or, I have in the past at least. And that’s all good, and really, I’m pretty straight up – if I’m taking issue with something specifically to do with your sweet self, then you’re generally going to know about it. And I feel like the stuff I’ve written is not mean, or untrue, or even really unreasonable. I think they’d get it. If I found myself in a situation where I had to explain it, that is.

I argue with myself about this. This little mental to and fro about whether I should be censoring myself like that. I have this thing about being true to feeling, to the point where if I feel someone is stepping around something, or if I feel like something is being glazed over, I will badger a person or a point to a place where I A) feel like it has been dealt with, honestly or B) am declared beyond help. I think it’s why I’m increasingly finding I’m surrounding myself with people honest often to the point of being painfully blunt. It sure beats the badgering.

Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with alla this, except to say that there are many inherently fucked up people in the world, and generally we are a product of our environment. And how the same environment can produce different levels and/or manifestations of fucked up.

But we’re all okay.

And this post would have made a hellava lot more sense had I not cut maybe 2 thirds of it, but whatyagonnado.

I have had the album Alligator by The National in the CD player of my car for a while now. It was there over a month ago, for a period of around 3 or 4 weeks, and then after a holiday of maybe a week, it made its way back there again on the way to Jenolan. And it’s still there. And you know what? Without fail, every time I start the car and Matt starts up with the crooning, I just well up inside. There are some albums that grow old after maybe a week of solid listening, but then there are some that just grow.

I wonder if I should stop the cat chewing on the phone cord. It can’t be good, right? At least while he’s chewing on that, he’s not chewing on me.

Bed now.

I railed and I raved

I’m planning a trip to Melbourne. It’s going to be a jaunt, and completely and utterly nothing to do with work, and great gobs on fun. And after all the gin drinking and hallway dancing involved with the crazy conference types, I’m going to need the let down.

AND how.

There’s going to be galleries and ambling and shopping and eating and drinking and noodling and sleeping and hopefully some live music. As soon as the Corner Hotel updates their upcoming gig stuffs. Although I’m sure we’ll find something. And it’s going to be fabulous. And I get to share it WITH someone fabulous. Hooray.

So alla this thinking about the awesomeness of one of my favourite cities in the world got me to thinking about trams. And that got me to thinking about public transport in general. And as I was saying tonight in an email, I’ve had a phobia of most forms of public transport for a very long time. And this has nothing to do with me being scared of stranger cooties or thronging with the masses or uncomfortable seats of un-air conditioned trains or anything like that. I don’t mind any of that stuff and I like getting in amongst it as much as the next girl. It has, however, absolutely everything to do with my horrendous sense of direction.

Anyone who knows me even remotely well understands the completeness of my directionlessness. I’m hopelessly hopeless. In shopping malls – you know, those great massive vast ones with 4 levels of stores and 3 food courts and what not – I completely lose all sense of up and down. I walk into a store, only to walk out of it again and stand for like 30 seconds trying to figure out which direction I was going before I went in. And I can list examples from even just this weekend. Like the fact that I was told to meet the boy at Redeye Records, which I’ve been to many times before, but I still had to ask for directions. And even then on the way I had to phone to make sure I DID know that North meant walking toward the harbour not away from it. And then there was the car park debacle. I’d only parked the car like 5 hours before, but when we headed back there do you THINK I could find it again? There was an exasperating 5 minutes of me going BUT I KNOW IT WAS HERE and him going HEY, it’s okay! And then the security guard found it for me. He was really very nice about it and I don’t even think he was laughing on the inside. Anyway, I digress.

This directionlessness does not really bode well with some forms of public transport. The trains are all good – you don’t need to know north or south or suburbs or streets or any of that hoo-ha. They run on their wonderfully unchanging tracks, they stop very predictably at the stations they’re supposed to, and even if they rarely run on time, you mostly know there’s another one coming eventually. And you always know where to get off, because you have no choice. Stations are stations. There’s no choosing between blocks or bus stops, or having to hop from one street to another to change bus lines. Train stations are so wonderfully predictable, and even I can read the train network map. I mean, the lines are COLOURED! C’mon! To get to Windsor I have to get on the yellow one, and to get to Kings Cross I have to get on the blue one.

Buses are a whooooole other thing. Once, when I first moved to Sydney, I got on a bus to Cronulla when I was meant to be heading to Coogee. Anyone familiar with Sydney right now has just snorted heartily. That was my first Sydney bus experience and sufficiently traumatic that I didn’t try it solo again for a very long time. And then there’s the whole having to tell someone where you want to get off. How are you supposed to do that if you don’t even know where you’re going? I guess I could try ‘umm, I don’t really know where I’m getting off. I’ll know it when I get there. Do you think $2.80 will cover that?’ And now there’s the scary ticket only buses. I really, really understand the why of these things. Really. But as a public transport part-timer (in the magical, suburban, infrastructure free land I live in we have little choice but to drive) these things are scary. I’m scared of rejection, just like every other fragile human being. I don’t want to be ejected from the bus because I’m not the holder of a magical ticket.

And don’t even get me started on the freakiness of the ferries.

I’m getting better though. I have my public transport buffer on the weekends now, and I really think I’m at the stage where I’d take a punt on a bus if I was on my own. That is, if I wasn’t in a hurry, or needing to actually GET to where I wanted to go.

Trams are a whole new challenge, but I’m game. I will take on the trams, and I will win. And I will see YOU, Melbourne, in December.

I can’t hardly wait.

Oh except –

Tonight, coming home from the city, I was listening to 2007 on Triple J. If I’m in the car on Sunday nights (which I increasingly am) I try to catch it.

Anyway, tonight Kingsmill played a cover of Glory Box (originally by Portishead) by Powderfinger. Yes, really. And you know what? It was all kinds of awesome. I was listening to this thing thinking, holy crap, I kinda think I perhaps should be disliking this (given the rapturous beauty of the original), but it did very strange things to my insides. I’m not sure if it shows the strength of the original track, or Powderfinger’s ability to do covers.

Perhaps THEY should start doing weddings.

The track was done for a new compilation called ‘No Man’s Woman’ which is a select group of Aussie men covering the music of female songwriters. It’s an interesting idea. The cover of Glory Box can be found on the No Man’s Woman MySpace. There’s also a cover of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights by Josh Pyke. It’s not so bad, in that is sounds like Josh Pyke, strumming a guitar, singing Wuthering Heights. It IS a beautiful song though.

Kingsmill also played a song by Akron/Family which I kinda dug a lot. So I’m going to look that on up. And what IS it with the world’s obsession with Kanye West? I’d love to understand why his hip hop is different, really I would.

Anyway I was going to bed wasn’t I.

The room and the sun and the sky

So I find myself on a Sunday evening, absolutely wrecked, physically and mentally spent, inwardly glowing from an excellent weekend, and surprisingly a little lonely. Most Sunday evenings I make it home, cook some dinner and sit on the couch with the cat, just kinda ‘being’. Tonight for some reason I feel a little bit like I’ve misplaced something, or I’ve forgotten something. And I think it’s company.

Coupled with alla that above I’m carrying a lovely chest infection. It’s this thing my body does when it gets run down. This is in no small part due to the fact that I once had bronchitis in Argentina, which turned into bronchial pneumonia at altitude in Ecuador, which I then ignored steadfastly because of my plans to hike the Inca Trail in Peru. Which I did. Uh-huh. My lungs now need no invitation to get all up and infectiony on my ass and it’s not a lot of fun. So right now I’m sporting a very husky phone sex voice and a cough. I think I’m going to start telling people I caught horse flu.

This weekend involved 2 rock shows, 4 bands (well, 5 including the wedding band), a wedding, a visit from sister # 3, Paddington markets, shopping on King Street, and CD shopping in the city. Among other things. Agahagagajagaga sleepy.

On Friday night we went to Spectrum and witnessed the undeniable live prowess of the Paper Scissors. They are one of my favourite Sydney bands, live or otherwise, and there’s nothing better than seeing a band finally establish a solid local fan base. They all seemed so grateful for the turn out (Jai must have thanked the crowd around 6 or 7 times) and they said last time they played Spectrum they played to around 20 people. I was really excited about seeing them again because their set at the Great Escape this year was one of the highlights of the festival for me. Friday night they really didn’t disappoint.

Saturday night was wedding shenanigans at Coogee. You know, I wonder about wedding bands. I wonder if they ever feel artistically compromised because of having to belt out Tom Jones cover after Beatles cover after Bon Jovi cover. The lead singer last night seemed to be feeling it though, and the Rod Stewart stylin’ wig he was sporting (along with the open shirt and love beads) was a nice touch. And you know what? The people love it. They were dancing up a storm and having a great time, so I guess that’s all that matters.

I’ve had mixed feelings about weddings in the past, but they can be really nice. There is something inherently beautiful about two people coming together to declare something to one another and the world. Not so much a ‘hey we’re getting married and look how fancy we look and how many friends we have’ thing, but more a ‘I’m only for this person, and they are only for me, and we want to celebrate that with the people we love’ thing. I’ve been lucky that most of the weddings I’ve been to have been more the latter than the former, and last night was most certainly in that category.

After some dancing to the Rod Stewart wannabe, the boy and I headed across the city in a cab to the Annandale for the Silversun Pickups. In the cab on the way over I was fighting the sleepiness and trying to ignore the chestiness and generally psyching myself into being enthusiastic about the idea of being anywhere but bed. But then we got to the venue, pushed through the crowd and waited a little, we were witness to one of the best rock shows I’ve seen in a while. In about 5 seconds I forgot about the tired and the hurt and was swept away with the music. There is nothing better than being pleasantly surprised about a show – there is a lot of hype around about this band, and there was a real buzz about this tour, but I’m here to tell you they’re worth every ounce of it. This band is the real deal, and I don’t care what anyone says – their sound is no more derivative than most other ‘indie’ rock band kicking around right now. There was one point in the night where I heard a Smashing Pumpkins similarity but really, overall, they were impressively tight and fresh sounding. And the show was so much fun – the lead singer has that crazy rock charisma about him, and his interaction with the crowd really won me over. I went in a little ambivalent about them but they have a new fan.

And also, when you’re not really well and soldiering on a little, there’s little like the company of someone who genuinely gives a damn about how you’re feeling to make you feel better. You can be wheezing and aching and tired, but when someone gathers you up and plants a kiss on your forehead and asks how you’re doin’, it all just drifts away. And all that’s left is a happy hum where the pain used to be.

Umm, I was going to be in bed before 10. And it’s quarter past. So yeah. I should get on that. G’night y’all.

Blue sky and dry land

You can never really be sure. Of anything I guess. There’s always something to the side waiting to jump out and derail you. Or attempt to, at least. I guess the thing to do is just make sure you have as tight a grip on the rails as you can, so you can take the hit.

The last couple of weeks, and this weekend particularly, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the future. Often that’s not a particularly comfortable sentence. The words ‘the future’ have in the past meant various, uncomfortable things. Expectations from parents, drilling from teachers, career advisors at uni, desperate words spoken in a relationship that refused to evolve past go, even after 4 years.

Right now it means a lot of things. Some terrifying things, and some potentially wonderful things. On one hand I have this little knot of anxiety on the inside about the way things are going to pan out (particularly in relation to the day job) – whatever happens it’ll mean an enormous amount of change. And yet, on the other hand… I feel okay about it. It’ll all work out the way it is supposed to work out. For the first time in my life I am content to let things happen organically. I’ve had a crack at that since the start of the year, and so far it seems to be working. I still feel sometimes like I have a fairly tenuous hold on things, but somewhere over the last 8 or so months I’ve found faith. And not the kooky religious kind – just some sort of faith that it’ll all work out for the best.

A weekend of hiding away and deep conversation and very little sleep and exploring the inside of mountains and wandering around inner city festivals and live music and road trips and blissful companionship has left me in a messy combination of content, happy and limp-raggy. And dreading work tomorrow. I have some amount of resolve about though, so we’ll see how long that lasts. Probably until around 10am 😉

I’m going to go to bed and read some Plath. It’s been a while, and even though I’m currently in the middle of 3 books, I don’t fancy any of them tonight. Tonight I’ll turn and burn with Sylvia and with any luck sleep solidly for 8 hours.

Somehow, given that my eyelids are rapidly losing their fight with the earths gravitational pull, I doubt that will be a problem.

Sky burning, spring cleaning

You know, there’s a certain way you gotta listen to an unfamiliar Mountain Goats album. Well, I certain way I have to listen to an unfamiliar Mountain Goats album. I’m specifically talking anything prior to We Shall All Be Healed here – I’m currently delving into all the back catalogue I haven’t listen to yet. Which to be honest isn’t a huge amount, but enough to get a girl excited.

Without fail I always read the lyrics first. I’m a girl that is lyric orientated when it comes to music (no, really? :P) so the thing I want to dive into first is the joy of the words. And the great thing about JD is that he never, ever lets the side down. Secondly, I make sure I have no other distractions. Particularly noise distractions. This lo-fi shizzat can take some motivated listening. And then I just listen. And it usually takes one listen only for me to pin my favourite tracks on the album, because to be honest I’ve had a head start on that with the lyrics.

Case in point – The Coroner’s Gambit. When I read the lyrics, I was fairly certain the favourite track was going to be There Will Be No Divorce. I was so right. I mean –

The rain fell all night and it kept me awake
It was still falling by morning
It was hard to take
And you were sleeping on the floor
Breathing free and even
If I ever want to drive myself insane
All I have to do is watch you breathing

And also –

And you punched out all the windows
And the wind began to wail
And you gathered your hair behind your head
Like God was gonna catch you by the pony tail

Holy cow. Turns out though the songs Jaipur and Baboon are pretty awesome too.

In other Mountain Goats related news, Mr Darnielle himself has announced that Rachel and Sarah from the Bright Mountain Choir have provided some vocals to the new Mountain Goats album. That is RACHEL WARE ex member of the Mountain Goats. I think my heart just stopped. Every single little snippet of detail I have heard about this album (and to be honest there hasn’t been much, because they’re keeping it on the down low) has me at the super dooper end of excited.

OH the anticipation.

In other, non-Goats related news, I am a little bit in love with the following –

• The Broken String by Bishop Allen. There is something faintly addictive about at least half of the songs on this record.
• Words Are Dead by Horse Feathers. How can so much beauty fit on one little album. It was the perfect soundtrack to my evening of lying on the couch reading LOOK magazines.
• The song Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen. I just can’t stop listening to it. It’s the line ‘put your make up on, and your hair up pretty’ that gets me every time. And that ooooo OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO he does after he says meet me in Atlantic City. And the harmonica. God help me.

Anyway, I am going to go and investigate the noise from the bedroom. It sounds suspiciously like a cat forcing his way through venetian blinds at great speeds. I swear, if this cat were a person he’d be in juvenile detention by now.