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June 21, 2009

thinking about djing tactics and set structures

Thinking about DJing. Again.

Things I've noticed:

The less I dance, the poorer my DJing. I lose touch with what music 'works' for dancing. You can watch dancers and you can listen to music, but to really, truly know whether a song will work for dancing, you have to dance to it. I am at an obvious disadvantage here.

The less I dance, the more out of touch with tempos I become. This has manifested itself primarily in a) my determination to 'lift' tempos (which is getting a bit evangelical, I must admit), and b) my failure to properly work 'the wave', tempo-wise. I have instead been tending to sit between 150 and 170bpm, with sporadic trips up to 180 and 200 and >200 bpm. I need to remind myself that changing the average tempo a scene dances to cannot be achieved overnight or even over a few months; it can be achieved slowly, over a year and a large number of sets. It often requires parallel increases in tempos by teachers in classes. To assume that you will, single handedly 'change' a scene is also insufferably arrogant. Get over yourself.

Sitting/standing there DJing, watching the crowd, I forget that though they might actually be capable of 160bpm and higher, a room of dancers is a) mixed in experience, fitness, musical and dancing interests and energy, and b) only human. Working the wave - moving up and down tempos - is important for a number of reasons. It allows dancers to dance through or choose from a range of tempos. The fitter, younger types can dance every single song and relish the faster ones. The newer and less fit dancers can pick and choose, dropping in every second song yet still moving up and down the tempos (or even staying on the same tempos). Most importantly, this moving between tempos allows the DJ to really work the energy in the room. Though you can play an entire set on 155bpm, it will eventually feel a bit flat. The dancers mightn't pick the fact that every song's the same tempo (unless they're a DJ!), but their bodies and the general energy in the room will be affected.

The next set I do, then, I resolve to work the wave properly. I will begin at my 'floor' tempo (about 140bpm) and then move up and down - 140, 150, 160, 180, 200, 160, 140 etc. I will make the occasional abrupt change in order to work the energy in the room (eg 140, a high energy 150, 190, 160, 140, etc). I will also trust the dancers to get back up to 160; I won't be afraid to drop the tempos down, to get a low trough and then, more importantly, work our way way back up to higher tempos.

I think I also need to be careful of overplaying my new music. Just because you gots the new stuffs, don't mean you should play it all in one set. Right now I'm working on some stuff for a blooz set tonight. It's a very short set (45 minutes rather than 1.5 hours - reduced), so I have to be tactical. I can't really take a long, slow run up. I'll need to work the crowd properly from the get-go. I'm second DJ, so I do have a degree of leeway there: I'll be starting with a warm crowd. But I will have to work from where the previous DJ ends. Which I don't mind - I like having a starting place. I also like getting from something completely un-me to something typically me.
What I think I'll do (which I used to do), is get a few 'goal' songs - new or particularly interesting, or a specific style - and then put my set together (as I go of course - no pre-planned setlists here!) so as to reach these individual 'goal' songs, with each song moving smoothly between styles (or within a style) and moods. As opposed to trying to pack a set with 100% new and exciting songs. I have a feeling I'm becoming a bit of a stunt DJ, packing a set with 'riskier' songs, and not paying enough attention to my older faves or to crowd faves. This is actually a great departure from my earlier DJing, where I tended to overplay stuff to death. I am still overplaying things, but I tend to mix overplayed with brand-new-stunt songs, and, frankly, that smacks of the amateur.

I'll see how it goes and whether it's worth reporting back about.

"thinking about djing tactics and set structures" was posted by dogpossum on June 21, 2009 6:21 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (1)

June 20, 2009

i love una mae carlisle

umc.jpg and I always have. One of my very first 'jazz' albums was a crappy compilation of 'blues singers' and it featured a version of Blitzkrieg Baby by Una Mae Carlisle. I like her attitude. I like her voice. I like it that in her duet with Fats on 'I can't Give You Anything But Love' she gives as good as she gets from him. Checking out my emusic Chron Classics purchases in the discographies, I realised that she was playing with some seriously badass musicians, and that's no doubt why her recording seriously rock.

For those of you who've also bought stuff from emusic and don't have details (liner notes! want!), I've added what I have below. Musicians to look out for: Fats (of course), Zutty Singleton, John Kirby, Lester Young, Buster Bailey, Charlie Shavers, Ray Nance... and more! No wonder these recordings rock the kasbah!

Don't Try Your Jive On Me (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:52 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
I Would Do Anything For You (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:57 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Hangover Blues (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:52 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Love Walked In (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:38 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Mean To Me (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:40 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby (05-20-38) Una Mae Carlisle with Dave Wilkins, Bertie King, Alan Ferguson, Len Harrison, Hymie Schneider 1938 2:41 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby (11-03-39) Fats Waller and his Rhythm with Una Mae Carlisle 1939 2:57 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Now I Lay Me Down To Dream (08-02-40) Una Mae Carlisle with John Hamilton, Albert Casey, Cedric Wallace, Slick Jones 1940 3:05 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Papa's In Bed With His Britches On (08-02-40) Una Mae Carlisle with John Hamilton, Albert Casey, Cedric Wallace, Slick Jones 1940 2:42 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
If I Had You (08-02-40) Una Mae Carlisle with John Hamilton, Albert Casey, Cedric Wallace, Slick Jones 1940 3:27 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
You Made Me Love You (08-02-40) Una Mae Carlisle with John Hamilton, Albert Casey, Cedric Wallace, Slick Jones 1940 2:55 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Walkin' By The River (11-03-40) Una Mae Carlisle with Benny Carter, Everett Barksdale, Slam Stewart, Zutty Singleton 1940 3:05 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
I Met You Then, I Know You Now (11-03-40) Una Mae Carlisle with Benny Carter, Everett Barksdale, Slam Stewart, Zutty Singleton 1940 2:53 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Blitzkrieg Baby (03-10-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Shad Collins, Lester Young, Clyde Hart, John Collins, Nick Fenton, Hal West 1941 3:22 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Beautiful Eyes (03-10-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Shad Collins, Lester Young, Clyde Hart, John Collins, Nick Fenton, Hal West 1941 3:04 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
They'll Be Some Changes Made (03-10-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Shad Collins, Lester Young, Clyde Hart, John Collins, Nick Fenton, Hal West 1941 2:45 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
It's Sad But True (03-10-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Shad Collins, Lester Young, Clyde Hart, John Collins, Nick Fenton, Hal West 1941 3:31 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
I See A Million People (05-01-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1941 3:04 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Oh I'm Evil (05-01-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1941 2:25 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
You Mean So Much To Me (05-01-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1941 2:51 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
The Booglie Wooglie Piggy (05-01-41) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1941 2:42 Complete Jazz Series 1938 - 1941
Don't Tetch It! (02-13-42) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1942 2:21 Complete Jazz Series 1941 - 1944
So Long, Shorty (02-13-42) Una Mae Carlisle with Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer 1942 2:30 Complete Jazz Series 1941 - 1944
Tain't Yours (05-23-44) Una Mae Carlisle with Ray Nance, Budd Johnson, Snags Allen, Bass Robinson, Shadow Wilson 1944 2:53 Complete Jazz Series 1941 - 1944
I'm A Good, Good, Woman (05-23-44) Una Mae Carlisle with Ray Nance, Budd Johnson, Snags Allen, Bass Robinson, Shadow Wilson 1944 2:50 Complete Jazz Series 1941 - 1944
I Like It, 'Cause I Love You (05-23-44) Una Mae Carlisle with Ray Nance, Budd Johnson, Snags Allen, Bass Robinson, Shadow Wilson 1944 3:06 Complete Jazz Series 1941 - 1944

"i love una mae carlisle" was posted by dogpossum on June 20, 2009 8:04 PM in the category digging and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music

even more recent emusic adventures

Here, Trev - this is what I've been downloading from emusic lately.
Btw everyone else, if you're at all interested, then you can find me on emusic as dogpossum and check out exactly what I've been downloading.

Someone recommended Duke Heitger's Krazy Kapers on HeyMrJesse recently, and while I'll definitely pick that up at some point (you really should try JBM if you haven't - fabulous (really fabulous) range of music, delivered old-school, by snailmail), I went straight to emusic to see if I could get some instant satisfaction.

I found Rhythm Is Our Business by Duke Heitger And His Swing Band . Isn't that a scary here-comes-some-second-rate-neo! cover? But the album is actually quite good. I downloaded just one song - 'Murder he says' - because it's a strangely addictive version. I plan on DJing that tonight.

Here's the Betty Hutton version:

There is a Tori Amos version (from that crappy film 'Mona Lisa Smiles') but I wouldn't recommend it. In fact, it's the sort of shit you hear the odd DJ play at swing events. For which they will go to DJing hell.

At any rate, I'm into Duke Heitger, and will chase up more of his stuff. Basically, he's a badass trumpeter who's doing recreationist swing. That album is really quite good. As good (if not better) than people like the Campus Five.

He also has another album on emusic, The Rosehill Concerts. I prefer this one - the energy's a little hotter, and it's a live recording, which always lends itself to funner, higher energy... well, nearly always. I've downloaded a few good songs for blues dancing and a really nice version of 'Christopher Columbus', but I'm going to see how the 12-song deal on emusic goes. This album does rock, but many of the songs are quite long, which can be a bit of a challenge for DJing, especially when the tempos are higher.

So, Duke Heitger = good find. Thanks that guy on HeyMrJesse (I think it was Marcello, but I'm not sure).

I've also downloaded about a million versions of 'On Revival Day', because it's a truly fabulous song. Searching for these, I came across a bloke called Bob Howard. I picked a few songs from his 1937-1947 Chronological Classic. He sounds a bit like Fats Waller, but a little straighter and not quite as good.

The best version is the Bessie Smith one. She is the freakin' shizzle.

But I have a Jimmie Noone version I quite like from The Complete Recordings vol2 disc 3. This isn't the most amazing music in the world, but I really like Noone - I love his playing style. This one is 279bpm and a little too rough for DJing too often. The Bob Howard is a bit slower and a bit better.

Another version I picked up is by Carrie Smith from When You're Down and Out (a Definitive Black and Blue). This is a little closer to the overplayed Lavern Baker version (from the Bessie Smith tribute album), but it's a bit faster. I like Carrie Smith - she has a big, shouting voice. This version has the irresistible handclaps that make you want to dance like a fool. I also downloaded 'Nobody wants you when you're down and out' from that album for blues dancing. It's nice. Smith has a lovely voice and a really nice style. Reminds me a bit of Alberta Hunter, but her voice isn't as damaged and she doesn't mug quite as much (which is a bit of a relief - Hunter can get a bit much sometimes).

What was with my interest in 'Revival Day'? Well, I've taken to playing it after 'Lavender Coffin' sometimes when I'm DJing. It's not the best stylistic transition, but I like the whole 'jeeeeezus!' vibe. I usually play the Lavern Baker one, but it's a bit annoying and overplayed. I will move to the Carrie Smith one. Or the Bessie Smith, depending on the crowd and the vibe. Bessie Smith's is really the very best - she has the biggest, baddest badass voice.

And, finally, I got a bunch of stuffs from The Sidney Bechet Society Jam Session Concert album. Mostly things for blues dancing, though. This was another one I found via HeyMrJesse.

The wonderful thing about the latest HeyMrJesse show (June 2009) was that it featured bands from the recent Frankie95 weekend. Are we drooling, much? YES! Jesse is (as per usual) a bit heavy on the groovier, shufflier sound, but then, that's his cup of tea. There is some really lovely action in there, though, so have a peek. A trumpet solo on the version of 'Basin Street Blues' on the Bechet Society album just moved The Squeeze to a sort of frenzied loungeroom thrash-dance, so it has to be good.

EDIT: I have to add this one other album I discovered. I'd heard early Louis Prima was quite hot and good, but this was the first I'd actually sampled:

Louis Prima volume 1. I only grabbed a couple of songs, but I did get a sweet, uptempo vocal version of 'Chasing Shadows'. I also grabbed 'Swing Me With a Rhythm', but I might go back for more, because it's nice. Not the best music in the world, but fun.

"even more recent emusic adventures" was posted by dogpossum on June 20, 2009 6:35 PM in the category digging and djing and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (1)

June 16, 2009

swine flu and jazz

The weather is fairly shit (it's cold and rainy) and I've been ill with a craptastic cold since Friday, so spirits are low here at chateau de snot.

Today I finally felt a bit more normal and had managed to get a better night's sleep last night. This cold did impede my research, but it didn't stop me sewing yesterday. Not sewing terribly well I discovered today, but yesterday I took a lot of care and time to make a skirt that's kind of mutant and a collared shirt that's... well, let's just say interesting. I am trying to get better at making collared shirts with set-in sleeves. I haven't sewn anything in about six months, so it's all a bit challenging. But sewing's not really all that complicated, and it's difficult to forget how to do it. I have made one white collared shirt so far, and it's a bit bung. The problem really is the colour. I look really, really bad in white, and this style really doesn't suit me - too much white fabric and too much shoulder-structure-action. Ah, well. I'll have another bash tomorrow.

Being ill in our noisy house has finally convinced me that we probably should move somewhere quieter and on a quieter street. The Squeeze is agreed: quieter house would be good. But our house is large and has a garden and is renovated. So it'll be a smaller (and probably crapper) quieter flat. The thought of moving is anxiety-inducing, of course, but it'll be worth it for the chance at better nights' sleep, uninterrupted by loud trucks. So I'll start looking into that this week. Sigh.

We're off to Tasmania for Devil City Swing on Monday, going a bit earlier so we can have a bit of a non-dance related holiday. I'm looking forward to just being away. There's some dancing involved, but no major sets (one band breaks night - blurgh - and one late night - the first of the night, so not a terribly great spot). I'm sucking it up, though, as it means I'll be able to go home earlier on the early night and the band breaks set is the DJ version of community service, I've decided. I'm still packing injury, having overdone it a bit with the cranky poo last week, so no - or very, very little - dancing for me over the weekend. Good thing the DCS exchange is not a hard-dancing event - there'll be lots of people to talk to. And, if I play my cards right, plenty of little bubbies to squeeze (Hobart dancers tend to bring their bubs to dances - can I get an amen?!).

On other, DJ related fronts, I have a lindy set on Saturday night at the Roxbury, which I'm hoping will be as fun as the previous weekend, which was a big night. It was the Friday of a long weekend, though, so I can't really expect the same size crowd. And I did have a bit of a crappy technical experience (wtf's new about that? I have decided I suck with technical stuff - must get my learn on IMMEDIATELY to rectify this). But I am looking forward to it. I'm also down for a blues night on Sunday, which'll be good as there're blues workshops on that weekend. This week is also balboa week at the Bald Face Stag (urkiest venue ever), but I haven't heard back about that. I'm up for the challenge though: one day I will be a badass balboa DJ.

I am, as a consequence, trying to get on top of my music so I can play some decent sets in the coming week. There'll be at least four of them, possibly five, in all the major dance styles, I'm going to need to have mad skillz and a clue about my entire collection. I do have some lovely new things from emusic, though, which is always exciting. I've also sorted out my technical problems (knock on wood), so things should be a bit smoother. A visit to Hobart does mean, however, a trip to the best music shop in the country:

Music Without Frontiers
147 Collins St, Hobart, TAS 7000
p: (03) 6231 5411

It does not have a website. It's also very tiny. And it has the best range of jazz I've ever seen in a real, live shop. And its divided into 'nostalgia', 'classic' and 'bop', then with a separate section for blues (subdivided into jump blues and trad blues). Then that side of the shop moves into soul and funk. It's an absolutely fabulous collection. I've been there a million times, but I've never quite gotten to the other 3 racks of CDs. It carries _everything_: opera, country, alt., pop, etc. EVERYTHING. And the guy knows everything about each CD. He's also a bit loopy, but then, you'd have to be. And he's just had to deal with the opening of a JB HiFi, which sucks arses. He needs a website. He always cuts me a deal on my CDs, and is very occasionally patient when I want to preview stuff. I spend a few hundred bucks there each visit, and I see him about two times a year. And every CD I've bought from him has been really amazingly great. More expensive than the internets, but then I'm buying from a real person, the only person in a small city who bothers to bring quality music to the people, regardless of label or fad.

On a slightly related front, emusic has decided to fucking FAIL me just as I was getting seriously addicted. Those of you who have accounts will know that they've decided to carry Sony products. This means that they're increasing prices (by a really big amount) and also limiting access only to people who are in the US or Europe. Unless you already have an account with them. This means that my 50 songs per month account, which cost me about $14.99 will now only get me 35 songs per month for the same price. There will also be - apparently - '<12 song album deals', where you can download an entire album for the price of 12 songs. But only on select albums. This is actually a super bargain for me, as most jazz albums (especially the older ones) are around 20 songs. But let's just wait and see which albums will be marked for the deal. I wish I'd downloaded all the Chron Classics I'd had my eye on; now they'll be far more expensive and less awesome a find. It's all a big shit, really. I've been expanding my musical purchases with emusic, particularly in terms of shopping outside jazz and blues, and in buying music from indy labels. I'll wait and see how the 12song deal goes, but I think I might ditch my emusic subscription for buying CDs from amazon or downloads and CDs from places like CDbaby.

There are far more interesting and coherent posts about the emusic changes over at flopearedmule here and here.

And I'm finally going to get my arse over to a Sydney Jazz Club gig to see some live music. Watching George Washingmachine at the recent Darling Harbour Jazz Fest (which wasn't terribly great - stage FAIL) I was reminded of the awesome musicians in this town. None of whom we see at lindy hop gigs. But I'm going to get it together and go check out some of the hot shit in this town:

The Bechet Night: Bridge City Jazz Band - David Ridyard, Frank Watts & Nesta Davies
Friday 19th June 7:30pm
Club Ashfield - 9798 6344

Note the glorious venue: Club Ashfield. The worst freakin' part of Sydney is the RSL/club/gambling culture. Pubs here SUCK ARSE, in part because they are so dependent on pokies and gambling for revenue. Liquour licenses are expensive, and it's not really possible for little pubs to get by without pokies. There's not the same community pub culture in Sydney as in Melbourne. This is a very great shame.

But I'm interested in the music. So I'll go check it out. Anyone in the neighbourhood is welcome to join The Squeeze and I. We will not be dining in, but instead getting our noodle on in the main drag of Ashfield, which is a gastronomic universe away from the Ashfield Club. Possibly not a universe we should be occupying. Or even visiting ( offers a disturbing amount of evidence).

I'm also planning on going to see the Ozcats (legends of Australian jazz) on July 31 at the Drummoyne RSL.

I have to pause at this point and say:


And, please, not one with comic sans. Man, jazznicks are crap at internet. I feel like hiring myself out to them, if only to save myself the pain of reading their websites or having to try and find a paper jazz newsletter so I can learn about them. These guys are _so_ into social media, but the sort of social media that involve paper and nannas talking hardcore at the bar.

I am also considering a trip to the Newcastle Jazz Festival (28th-30th August). The names on the program are pretty good, but mostly, I'm thinking about a fabulous hostel I stayed at in Newcastle years ago. It's an old, converted mansion on the beach and was just about the most fabulous hostel I've ever stayed in (this one, I think).

I am a big fat jazz nerd. But at least my shirts are interesting.

"swine flu and jazz" was posted by dogpossum on June 16, 2009 6:09 PM in the category djing and domesticity and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (3)

June 10, 2009

abandoned amusement parks in asia


Abandoned amusement parks in Asia.

An interesting unconsumption.

And a nice cartoon from the New Yorker.


"abandoned amusement parks in asia" was posted by dogpossum on June 10, 2009 12:33 AM in the category clicky | Comments (0)

June 9, 2009

fuck you, comments

Sorry. MORE technical troubles. Commenting will be available asap.

And we return to our usual broadcast...

"fuck you, comments" was posted by dogpossum on June 9, 2009 8:24 PM in the category | Comments (0)

bazlotto shmazlotto

Now this is just getting ridiculous.


Laura's looking for a house sitter in Melbourne during July. If that's you, and I know you and know you're not a scumbag, let's see if we can get you hooked up.

"bazlotto shmazlotto" was posted by dogpossum on June 9, 2009 6:32 PM in the category clicky | Comments (1)

June 8, 2009

MORE freakin' cranky poo?!

Yes, you bitches.
Because I am back in the dancing game, my friends. The podiatrist has given me permission to start getting back into dancing. Which means a long, slow building up of stamina and strength. Two dances every second day. That's 10 minutes of dancing every second day. I have, of course, broken that rule. I did mean to do just thirty minutes the other day, but it became an hour. Two days later, another hour. Then two days later, 2 songs worth dance, then 1.5 hours of DJing, then about 45 minutes of mucking about. And I hurt the next day. But not in a crippling you've-fucked-up way (but jeez, is dancing fitness-requiring; I have zero dance fitness, and cycling is nothing compared to lindy hop!)
Today is rest day, and then I'll have a look at more slow-building work this week. With the Cranky Poo, of course.

"MORE freakin' cranky poo?!" was posted by dogpossum on June 8, 2009 2:16 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

misogynist much?

A recent io9 story about Wonder Woman quotes Marvel Comics' Brian Michael Bendis' tweet:

Spider-Woman has better hair, better costume, frank cho implants and a fucked up origin. Wonder Woman is a walking std farm!!

This bothers me in so many ways. Not to diss Spiderwoman (who was one of my favourites), but wtf? Since when is it even a little bit ok to call anyone a 'walking STD farm'? It's at moments like these that I despair of superhero comics writers. FAIL.

In antidote, let's have a little badass Wonder Woman wonderfulness:

That's a great pic, but part of me worries about the violence.

But the io9 article is interesting, if only because it discusses the tension between violence and pacifism in super beings - as they're depicted in comicland. I'm not sure I buy the discussion of Wonder Woman letting a man beat the shit out of her to make a moral point (I think you need to engage with gender and the way WW is sexualised before you can make claims about the visual depiction of this sort of violence/victim stuff). This isn't the first time we've seen a powerful woman brought low with sexualised violence (WW is wearing a bustierre, for the goddess' sake!) - think of the (fucked up) episode of Buffy where Spike tries to rape her and she can't fight him off*. WTF was going on there?! Since when could some lamearse vamp take Buffy down? The implication in that particular story line (as with the WW one) is that this badass chick was complicit in her own assault - she wanted to be assaulted/punished/whatever. The linking of sex and violence, the implication that all women (particularly the badass ones) want to be controlled or beaten down and of course the whole 'man brings low strong woman' fantasy really get up my arse. I sure as fuck wouldn't be writing any of that shit in my stories.

So here's something a little better:


I like this image because - in the simplest sense - she returns the gaze. She's not laid out as a body to be devoured by teenage male eyes, she's bringing it. The pose is iconic WW, centering her bracelets. But the returned gaze (not a sensual beckoning from below coy, lowered lids) is something interesting. There is the problem of the bustiere, but it's so iconic, I think it'd be very difficult to not feature it in this sort of WW cover art.


Again, the bustiere and bracelets, but no returned gaze. I like the fist, but I'm still having trouble with the bustiere.

There's lots more to say, of course, and WW's history as a character is interesting, as is the history of the comic. But I don't know enough to make any more than these few comments.

*This is one of those moments where Joss Whedon FAILS. Don't give me any bullshit arguments about how he didn't write or direct that ep. HE IS RESPONSIBLE.

"misogynist much?" was posted by dogpossum on June 8, 2009 1:17 PM in the category books | Comments (0)


An ace film called 'Vespers' where the world ends from plague in Victorian England (via io9):


"fillum" was posted by dogpossum on June 8, 2009 1:07 PM in the category fillums | Comments (0)

June 6, 2009

hostage hosting? we haz it!

There are simple, spiteful pleasures...


"hostage hosting? we haz it!" was posted by dogpossum on June 6, 2009 6:51 PM in the category clicky | Comments (0)

oh count! me sorry! me love apples!

"oh count! me sorry! me love apples!" was posted by dogpossum on June 6, 2009 1:18 PM in the category clicky | Comments (0)


Just dropping in a quick post to say thanks for the niceness, all those who decloaked last night. :D

"hello!" was posted by dogpossum on June 6, 2009 11:07 AM in the category | Comments (0)

June 5, 2009


Representation of women FAIL.


"wtf?" was posted by dogpossum on June 5, 2009 1:46 PM in the category clicky | Comments (1)

June 4, 2009

my current lindy hop interests include...

I am currently really enjoying Bethany and Stefan, two lindy hoppers who've eschewed the current trend for pointy-toed high-steppin' pony follows and cock-rock leads. Is that too harsh a dismissal of what I'm seeing in a lot of lindy these days? I think not.

But, here, let me show you what Bethany and Stefan are doing:

That's them competing in the ILHC in 2008. That's the first I'd seen of them (that I can remember). It's unusual stuff. Why? Well, for a start, the songs they choose aren't your standard classic swing action. They favour less well known versions of songs which lean towards vocalese, well, eccentric renditions. Their dancing is similarly unusual. Though we see an awful lot of Bethany's knickers, this display isn't as coy or barbie-pony as some of the other knicker action I've seen around the place. They also tend to favour interesting jazz steps, often doing far more 'solo' stuff (together) than they do 'lindy hop'. This, of course, delights me: lindy hop is built for this.

But what else have they done?

That is their more recent routine, from Frankiefest. Again, it's unusual. They look a little nervous (well, you would - there were zillions of dancers in the audience and they were onstage with the biggest names in lindy hop), but they seriously rock. I'm really enjoying Bethany's swivels - no pointy toed prancing pony swivels here; she's seriously grounded.
I have to say, I do like their lack of vintage clobber. He looks like Dr Who (circa Tennant), she looks like an indy kid... well, I guess she is. No silly high heels here, either - she's badass.

This next one is them in 2007:

I think that though I really like Bethany's style (take that, patriarchy - we've got other things to think about), I also like the way Stefan works with her style. He's just as unusual and skilled, it's just that we're not seeing his undies.

This is the sort of lindy hop I'm digging these days. Oh, as well as the Hot Shots and the olden days doods.

"my current lindy hop interests include..." was posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2009 1:44 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances | Comments (5)

more Esquire talk

Billie Holiday at the Met in 1944 as part of the Esquire All Stars concert (by GJon Mili from the Life series).

Other Esquire posts (mostly for my own remembering):
magazines, jazz, masculinity, mess
jam session photography
pop culture, jazz and ethnicity
it is a dj!

"more Esquire talk" was posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2009 1:04 PM in the category music and research | Comments (0)

queens jazz trail map

The Queens Jazz Trail Map is one that pops up almost every time google 'jazz map history'. Particular to one part of New York, this map is hand-drawn.


It is, however, only one of a number of jazz-related maps from Ephemera press (and I like the name - what are historical maps, if not an attempt to pin down the past?). I think I prefer the Harlem Renaissance one:

"queens jazz trail map" was posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2009 12:40 PM in the category maps and music and research | Comments (0)

more jazz maps

This site has a series of maps of Chicago listing jazz clubs. I haven't had a chance to look through it carefully, yet, but I think I'm going to go back and read it in tandem with the Kenney article (Kenney, William Howland. “Historical Context and the Definition of Jazz: Putting More of the History in ‘Jazz History’”. Jazz Among the Discourses. Duke U Press, Durham and London 1995. 100-116.) where he talks about black and white owned clubs.

One of the things I've noticed in all this talk of jazz history is the importance of walking and listening to the world around you. There're plenty of stories of journeymen musicians standing outside clubs listening to their heroes play, or of 'music in the streets'. Can't hear any of that action if you're driving a car, right? This has made me think about urban planning and community and how important a walkable city was to the development of jazz as community practice... not to mention dance in everyday life.

"more jazz maps" was posted by dogpossum on June 4, 2009 12:17 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and maps and music and research | Comments (0)

June 3, 2009

pssf - want

Pusan Summer Festival!

Squillions upon squillions (literally - there are thousands and thousands of Korean lindy hoppers!) of excellently fun lindy hoppers, all in one city!


"pssf - want" was posted by dogpossum on June 3, 2009 10:49 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances | Comments (0)

telly and books

I thought I'd been on this researching kick for longer than I have. But it's only been about a month and a half. I've read quite a bit, written quite a bit, but I have a pile of books I've had out for at least one renewal and won't get through before they're due. There are five I need to read. Thing is, I'm reading very, very slowly because I'm stopping to take notes all the time. And make blog posts. At some point I need to stop and take stock, write up some sort of conclusions or overall ideas from what I've read. Synthesise my reading and thinking so far. But it's all a bit of a jumble right now - a big mash of ideas. Which is really where I'd expect to be at this point. But I like order. And the girl who pulled her phd out in three years didn't get to that point with a disorganised research process. I call on: POWERS OF OB-CON TIDINESS!

Having spent the last couple of weeks wading through a massive pile of paperwork for a job application (don't ask), I'm feeling a bit behind. Or, rather, as though I've dropped a few stitches and need to go back and check. Which brings me to my first segue.
I've been crocheting like a crazed fool. The weather is cool enough to bear a lapful of yarn, and I've made one afghan and one oversized afghan in the past few months. The oversized afghan isn't all that pleasing, but the afghan is wonderful. I'm very happy with the tension, with the combination of stitches, and almost with the colours. I'm working on one right now that's just perfect - a development of the pattern and colours of the afghan. It's going to be bed-sized, though, as while afghans are nice, they're not all that useful, size-wise. I have also done a few little 'sampler' type crocheting projects using nicely textured yarn to get my hand back in with the fancier stitches. I do like crocheting. It's perfect for ob-conners like myself, and also practical. Plus, it gives me something to do while I watch TV.

And watch TV I do:
Veronica Mars, season 1 (season 2 begun)

Primeval (British dinosaur adventure show) - abandoned

Crambridge (or something - a BBC bonnets drama) - mid-process

Roswell - teen alien kissing fest. YES!

Moonlight - terrible vampire detective rubbish. Yet, also, wonderful.

Blood Price- adaptation of Tanya Huff novels. Terrible and C-grade, but also an accurate adaptation of the books. Finally, a decent female protagonist!

True Blood - rewatched in preparation for season 2!

Sanctuary - Bgrade again, but at least a decent female protagonist and gender politics. Also, good for watching before bed, as lots of long, slow shots with swirly dark backgrounds and very few short sharp cuts.

Dollhouse - infuriating, maddening, horrible. Not sure I can cope with season 2. Whedon - you suck arse, on all fronts.

BSG- returned to it, trying to get past the end of season 1. Not sure it'll happen, as it makes me angry.

Dark Angel - surprisingly good gender/race politics. Not sure there's a second season, but haven't rushed to get it from the video shop.

Rescue Me. Has Denis Leary in it. I'm not interested in it, much, but The Squeeze likes it. I get a bit tired of all that blokes-in-groups 'emoting' with bum humour stuff. Same old, same old. Bit too much gratuitous sex and fails gender/race/sexuality. As you'd expect. This is kind of the point with this show, but I really can't be arsed.

Homicide, Life on the Streets. Years after Galaxy told me to watch it (literally years - as in more than ten), I finally watch it. It's so great. If you like The Wire, you'll like this earlier work by the same dood(s).

Lost In Austen. Fully freakin' sick.

Party Animals - BBC drama about young people in political parties. Like 'This Life' (by same doods), but ultimately dull. But has new Dr Who guy in it.

Dr Who rebooted - yeah!

Farscape - lost me midway through season 2. Will get back to it. I guess.

There's more, but I can't remember it.

Why so much television? Well, we don't have a telly aerial, so this is _all_ the television I watch. On DVD. Our local video shop is really quite good.
I also go through quite a bit of music, when I can fit it in. I can't listen to music when I'm working, so I don't listen to as much music as I'd like. My DJing is suffering.

"telly and books" was posted by dogpossum on June 3, 2009 8:34 PM in the category research and television | Comments (0)