Friday, 27 February 2015

Paul Weller On Freddie Mercury

“He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a cunt.”

Paul Weller, about Freddie Mercury

Paul Weller's knack of summarising complex ideas in simple, brilliant songs apparently also extends to his social criticisms.

Bohemian Chick, Kings Cross, Sydney

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Unamplified Band

I'm considering forming an unamplified band. Nylon string guitar, acoustic bass of some kind, possibly tuba or upright double bass, and percussion. I'll look at adding a lead player too, possibly fiddle, or I might play that role on saxophone.

Playing jazz influenced roots music the sound will require a rhythm section who can swing, replace volume with groove. It will also require a lot of work finding venues and party gigs that will suit a genuinely acoustic sound.

I'm weary of volume. I'm sick of crap sound production, some guy with a diploma and painted on ears deciding how the band will sound. The idiotic game of we play louder and they talk louder has become irksome. I've always loved the natural, true sound of unamplified music, so it's time to cease being a cog in the volume machine and become part of a new way. 

It's also an old way. Music has only been electronically amplified for a short time, most of the great music of the past was played without amplification. Just because we all grew up with sound being processed by machines before we hear it doesn't mean it is the only way. 

This may be a folly, a silly dream that there is an audience for real music played at real volumes. It's what I've always wanted to do, but deferred with the excuse of being realistic, so it's time to take that chance, let it fail, let it succeed. 


Friday, 20 February 2015


Thirty years ago I used to come here to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy to buy crusty old rocker clothes that had been sold to vintage clothes shops by crusty old rockers. Now, a crusty old rocker myself, I struggle to fit into my classic dark blue double breasted, but I'm not ready, quite yet, to sell out. 

Besides, teenagers today come here to Brunswick Street to buy brand new crusty old square clothes. Even if I wanted to sell out, nobody's buying.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Death Of Wit

Sarcasm is easy. Any teenaged idiot can do it.

Ridicule disguised as satire is a little harder to do than sarcasm, but any idiot with an arts degree can do it.

Combining sarcasm and ridicule is again a little bit harder than each skill on its own, but any idiot television script writer with an arts degree can do it.

Wit is hard. Few can do it. Those who can mostly choose not to, claiming the precedent of the pearls and the swine.

This culture is now based on the delusion that we could all be the star, if we wanted to be, if things had gone our way. To maintain the illusion that informs this delusion the star must be just mediocre enough for it to be plausible. Comedy writing must find the correct blend of sarcasm and ridicule, just right, so the audience feels they could have written it. Wit requires delicacy, patience, pace, timing, nuance, skill, talent. Wit is like, hard. It is beyond most of us, and now beyond our comprehension. 

Wit was once a powerful force. Insightful, cutting deeper, as well as more artfully, than sarcasm or ridicule. Wit could expose a government that needed changing, even create the mood for revolution. No wonder it had to be wiped out. At least those who control the world had the decency to make it look like wit died of natural causes. 


Monday, 16 February 2015

What Genre Is It?

Genre? What genre is it? I don't know. Perhaps it's Pomegranate genre? Or High Thread Count? Or Aluminium or Pincer Movement or Neo Bertrand? I don't know what bloody genre it is.

Here's an old fashioned notion. Why don't you listen to it, then call it whatever you want?