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October 30, 2009

reward for poor painting skills: mad dumpling orsm

Yesterday we did the first coat of paint on the ceiling of the lounge room. We sucked. But we have had the floors done and they look GREAT. These dumplings are from New Shanghai Something or other, and they are great. I had red rice and chicken, though. And we both had choy. Click through to this pic to see more photos of our floor, and then to see the painting we did today.

We did the first coat on the walls in the lounge room today. It looks terrible; we will definitely need a second coat. But then we did the ceilings upstairs and did a MUCH better job. So we figure we're on some sort of long, slow learning curve.


We are so tired.


On the ride home, we stopped in Summer Hill to get some food for dinner. A middle aged man with short cut hair (gauge 2 maybe), dark, fashionable glasses, some sort of red shirt, driving a small red convertible alpha romeo, rego starting with V nearly hit me. Because he was trying to do a u-turn down the main drag of Summer Hill at peak hour. When I stopped and pointed at my eyes (as in 'look'), because his window was up, he opened his car door and yelled, "DON'T YOU LECTURE ME!" and then "GET OFF THE ROAD!" Ironically, I was just about to pull over and off the road. Then he did a really bad 3-point u-turn and drove off.

There were about a million people in the street and (once again) nobody said anything. He was clearly in the wrong and I was a bit shaken. He was the most dangerous of urban animals: a middle class, middle aged man in a car, embarrassed and then angry. They are the scariest creatures in the entire world. Also, they are fucking arseholes. But I was polite and just rode away. At first we thought he was trying to turn around to come after us. But he wasn't. He was nuts.


Is it driving a car that makes people crazy? Or do they start that way? My feeling is that driving a car makes you crazy. Cyclists tend to be rocking their endorphines (unless they're arseholes), but driving a car immediately makes you a) dumber, b) aggressive, c) angry. Motorists tend to think that they're invulnerable when they're in their car. That their car's bubble makes them immune to everything.

When I'm on my bike, I'm intensely connected to and aware of what's around me. So I'm very, very aware of cars and bikes and pedestrians. And I'm also a much safer driver since I started riding a bike.


If you drive a car, please, please PLEASE check your blind spot a million times before you open your door and before you pull out. And then check again. Because you could kill a person on a bike.

"reward for poor painting skills: mad dumpling orsm" was posted by dogpossum on October 30, 2009 8:33 PM in the category bikes and dogpossum and domesticity | Comments (0)

October 27, 2009

crazed renovating woman bores internet to tears

terracotta floor tiles

I am nuts for the idea of these tiles atm. They are made of terracotta and they're hexagonal. Click the linky if you want to read more.

I have also started thinking about door handles.

I've never even considered these things before. And we have had to get some housey type things in a hurry. Choosing paint was rushed (but really, there's no choice beyond 'classic white' for a small flat that has dark bits). I could perhaps have chosen a stain for the buttery yellow, knotty pine wood floors we've just had done in a clear satin water based finish.

I am still humming and hawing over painting the woodwork white. I'd like to get this shit done before we move in. But then, I should probably go slow on this stuff so I don't screw things up.

We will also need to get a glazier in to fix a stupidly 'mended' window. And I need to get the dodgy painters in to do one room (the hall over the stairs - the ceiling is >5m and it's over the _stairs_.)

After a while, we'll redo the bathroom (which is really quite important) and then the kitchen (which is less important, but assumed greater importance when we discovered a leak this week).

And then I want to get the space under the stairs made into cupboards or large, pull out drawers. And I want to open out the 'wall' which edges the stair case into think palings or even just leaving it open (and dangerous!). And we will really need some built in bookshelves in the lounge room (we'll cover an entire wall with them).


I like the thought of doing all this stuff. We are doing the painting ourselves, though we got a dood in to finish the floors (I'll let you know what sort of job he did. He's very nice, but you never can tell.) We'll get a plumber to do the plumbing stuff, and a proper tiler to tile because those are jobs you don't want to have to live with if you fuck up. But we've discovered we quite like doing this renovation stuff. The Squeeze is concerned he'll like it too much and we'll be renovating everything, forever.


So, in order of priority, I should be thinking about:

- the woodwork round the doors, etc

- getting all the locks changed, including the window locks. Years as a rental property mean that there are definitely dozens of copies of the keys floating about. So we need new ones.

- the bathroom. I have no idea on this one. We have a good iron bath and a decent toilet bowl, but we need to rip out the shitty shower unit ASAP and the vanity is screwed. It's a tiny room, and very poorly laid out, so we'll need to really think carefully about how we do it. I'd like to keep the bath as it's in very good nick, and I had thought about putting the shower over the bath, but that's not always a good idea, and not great for re-sale. We'll need lots of new tiles and possibly need the ceiling sorted as it does open out into the attic space under the roof. Nice and bright but also DIRTY.

- the kitchen. It needs redoing entirely.

- the built in bookshelves and other assorted fitting and joining and random acts of carpentry. I need a good cabinet maker, I think.

"crazed renovating woman bores internet to tears" was posted by dogpossum on October 27, 2009 10:26 PM in the category crafty bastard and dogpossum and domesticity | Comments (0)

October 26, 2009

want

Jelly-Light.jpg

Orsm glass jellyblubber light fitting/mobile/awesomeness.


I love mobiles and I really like jelly blubbers. I'd really like this gorgeousness.

"want" was posted by dogpossum on October 26, 2009 10:08 PM in the category domesticity | Comments (0)

The awesomeness of 70s regional architecture



Kitchen wallpaper

Here are some pics from our new flat. I'll try to write about this process properly. Probably won't be any time soon, though.

"The awesomeness of 70s regional architecture" was posted by dogpossum on October 26, 2009 10:04 PM in the category dogpossum and domesticity | Comments (0)

October 22, 2009

oo, interesting

I just discovered Jasika Nicole, the actress who plays Astrid, is gay. She is also a scribbler and she has a blog.

"oo, interesting" was posted by dogpossum on October 22, 2009 9:25 PM in the category fringe | Comments (0)

french - from france

The other day I was reminding myself that the Les Red Hot Reedwarmers are French - from France - when I suddenly realised:

Holy Shit! This band is FRENCH. So they're not the The Les Red Hot Reedwarmers, a Jimmie Noone tribute band led by Les(lie) Red! They're Les Red Hot Reedwarmers, as in The Red Hot Reedwarmers.

It was a freeking revelation. And yet... also a little disappointing.

Btw, if you don't have this band's albums and you like Jimmie Noone or early 30s NO-inspired Chicago action, then you're ON CRACK. Their CDs are really, really good.

"french - from france" was posted by dogpossum on October 22, 2009 3:21 PM in the category cat blogging and dogpossum | Comments (1)

October 21, 2009

rhythm rascals

cd_2.jpg

I've just discovered the Rhythm Rascals (c/o the very excellently helpful Peter Loggins) and they're GREAT.

The site is not.

But I thoroughly recommend picking up a copy of Futuristic Jungelism if you like seriously hot 1930s washboard jazz. It'll blow your pants off.

"rhythm rascals" was posted by dogpossum on October 21, 2009 6:49 PM in the category cat blogging and digging and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (0)

October 20, 2009

stargate university universe = failing gender

Meredith Woerner's story about the women characters in Stargate Universe covers many of the problems I've been having with the program.

Basically: the sisters in SGU are boring stereotypes. Sex on legs, angry lesbians, useless babies. Etcetera, etcetera. I want to love this program, but it's not making it easy.

Also, the Hamish MacBeth character (whose name I cannot remember) could have been interesting with his withdrawal symptoms and all. I called amphetamine junky but it turns out he was just into caffeine. How fucking boring. Though I guess it means he's just an arse because he's an arse.

I quite like the failed-priest-soldier character, even though he's very white bread boy-hero. I see potential there - he could become medic TJ's boy. Or off-sider. And when I say boy, I mean she becomes the boss and tells everyone what to do. Because the boss they've got is doing a big old fail job. Where, I must ask, is the military chain of command? Not in SGU, apparently.


I've only watched three episodes, but I like the premise. It's not at all original, but I like it. But if they don't give me a decent female character some time soon... hells, if they don't give me a decent male character some time soon, I am out of there.

"stargate university universe = failing gender" was posted by dogpossum on October 20, 2009 6:23 PM in the category stargate universe and television | Comments (0)

October 19, 2009

adventures with badass sistahs in outer space: olivia dunham

I love SF telly. I love it. I watch every SF program, just in case. I also like supernatural, fantasy and general make believe stuff.
But I tend to have less patience with programs that do not have good female characters. I make exceptions for programs like Supernatural which explore male characters and masculinity in new ways.
I love all trashy vampire telly. I can't help it. It's a sickness.

I did my honours thesis on female violence in action film, and I'm still interested in the way women and violence and, more importantly, women's violence are depicted in mainstream film and television. While I was doing this honours project I came across an article which basically argued that straight-to-video releases (ie B films) were often more transgressive in terms of representations of gender than mainstream or A films. I am really interested in this idea. This is partly how I justify my passion for B telly. Partly. But I also think it's true. Telly that doesn't gain broadcast telly release, doesn't make it to prime time, or even make it to Australian television tends to be where I find the most interesting gender stuff. It's as though being B gives you a little freedom to explore different types of characters.

I gain access to these programs through the internet, and through video shops. Video shops are actually very important. DVD releases of even the most B programs has given me access to some of the most wonderfully un-top-shelf television. Accessing these programs this way (rather than via broadcast telly) means that I tend to watch them in a block, rather than one episode-per-week. I binge view. This changes the way that I read these programs. It makes me more likely to read the meta-arc, the larger story. I tend to regard individual episode stories as pieces of a whole, rather than as discrete texts. Even when the program is very 'monster of the week' (as most SF is, particularly in its first season).

I find out about these programs via websites like io9. I use wikipedia extensively to clear up plot points I haven't understood or to follow up characters and add-on texts like comics. I also use imdb for details about directors, actors and so on. I like to talk about these programs with other people, but I don't particularly want to sit down and dissect them for hours. This was something I used to do with Buffy when I was at school. These days I quite like to share programs and to mention them, or to share add-on texts, but I'm really only interested in watching them. I do talk about them with my partner when we're watching. But only the programs he's also interested in.

My PhD dissertation involved a lot of research into fan studies and methodologies and theories involved in researching fan cultures. I am self-reflexive about most of my talk about these SF telly shows. I am interested in issues of gender and class and sexuality and race and ethnicity.... and all that good identity stuff. But I am also interested in questions about technology and machinery, wider questions about humanity. But, really, gender is where it's at; all that other shit is inflected by this. And, as somebody clever said once, I'll be a post-feminist when we live in a post-patriarchy. Gender issues are so central to SF culture and texts, it's ridiculously self-deceiving to try to ignore them.


This is just one post about one character (mostly) that I like. I'll try to write other posts about other characters. And perhaps about this program in more detail. But don't count on it; I'm slack.
Because I tend to watch a number of programs at one time, and am also reading SF all the time, I tend to read intertextually. Well, of course I do. We all do. But this is one of my particular pleasures; I like to imagine characters from different programs meeting. I like exploring the industrial connections between programs - how could the director of Veronica Mars move to Moonlight and what happens when Mark Mothersbaugh does the music for Big Love. Oh - I also read and watch across genres. I'm reading lots of dodgy supernatural romances most of the time, and always reading Tanya Huff; I'm watching programs like Vampire Diaries and, of course, Blood Ties.
So when I'm watching these programs I'm not only reading the text in front of me, I'm also thinking intertextually, I'm thinking about modes and industries of production, and I'm paying attention to audiences and modes of reception. And the communities which tie them all together.

And I re-watch and re-read on a massive scale.

I also do some sessional teaching at various universities. I exploit this role by pushing the television I love on young, vulnerable middle class kiddies. I do, unapologetically and with great verve, present these programs in a feminist light. I have no - as in zero - tolerance for anti-feminist arguments from my classes. I will listen to them and then dismiss them as they deserve. I aim to indoctrinate a generation of students. They will be feminist and they will value SF.

They can just suck it up or fail.


So here's some stuff about Olivia Dunham. Main character of Fringe. All-round badass sistah. Mos def.

First, watch this:

That's a Fringe promo. The blonde is Olivia Dunham.

I'm really liking the character Olivia Dunham in Fringe. I especially liked her in the first season of the program. Why?

She's a crack shot. She is really, really good with a gun.
She's a good fighter. She wins most fights, and when she doesn't win, it's only because her opponent is, I dunno - a car or something.
She's super clever and figures things out. There are lots of things to figure out in Fringe.
She's a good explainer. Because she's a good figure-er-outer, she often has to explain things to other characters. Usually her male partner Charlie, but also quite often her boss.
She listens and thinks and listens again. She's not always flapping her lips, yapping. She's listening.
She's a good runner and jumper.
She's very gentle and patient with Walter, who's not only a habitual drug user (and abuser) but a mentally unwell older man who's been quite seriously damaged by his time in an institution. She listens to him and pays attention to him; she doesn't patronise him. She protects him when he needs it (and when he asks), but she is also willing to let him take care of himself.
She used to be a prosecutor in the military. She investigated and then prosecuted a middle aged white man who later became her boss. He was charged with sexually assaulting a number of women. When he became her boss, he sought revenge on her through systematic harassment. She didn't take that crap; she kept on being a badass agent. She didn't martyr herself; she called him on his bullshit. Her usual boss was this bad boss's friend. At first he didn't want to like Olivia because of this. Eventually he figured out Olivia was a gun, and that his friend was crap. Then he became a better boss. Olivia kept on being a gun, regardless.
She's willing to tell bosses off if they need it. She's also prepared to listen and to admit she was wrong.
She really likes her sister and her little niece.
She had good, solid, platonic relationships with her male coworkers. There is never even the intimation of sexual tension between her and (the awesome) Charlie. They are partners in the truest sense. He has a wife he loves and Olivia is busy being... Olivia.
She operates in an all-male world - the FBI (or is it CIA? Whatevs - some institution) - but she is aware of gender issues and articulates them. Most especially in her dealings with the bad boss. But she also makes comments about men in positions of power who can't handle assertive women. She has one great line in the first season about how the men around her (especially her male boss) aren't listening to her because she's 'getting emotional, just like a woman'. And then she says something, very sternly, about how she is getting emotional, because this is emotional stuff, and that this emotion is making her a better agent. Olivia is not only calling the men around her on their mysogynist bullshit, she's also reworking the role of 'great agent' to incorporate a range of characteristics not traditionally located in the male arse.
And she is a fully sick agent.

Throughout season one she is the main character. She is the centre of stories, and as the agent in charge, she is also boss of the cases they work. She's the one to call the lab and tell them to get their gear and come investigate something gross. This changes a little in season two, and she is set up as something of a victim (recovering from a 'car accident'), but this is changing. We are at about episode four, and she's already back on her feet and kicking arse. Peter has taken on a more managerial role in the group, and the 'Fringe division' has officially been disbanded. Charlie has [SPOILER] died [/SPOILER], which sucks arse, but I'm dealing. So Olivia's status has shifted. But this is ok, as Peter's character has only slowly been working away from 'carer' for Walter and 'general slacker' towards some sort of three dimensional personhood. He's also finally realising his abilities as an investigator type person. In other words, his character is gradually being fleshed out. I worry that he'll become Olivia's partner (in the sense of FBI ness and in the romantic sense), but I don't see this happening any time soon.


I really like Olivia because I don't worry about her. She's kind of superhuman, but only in the way we expect our SF protagonists to be. She gets scraped and banged and shot occasionally, but it doesn't stop her winning. Sure, she's kind of a paragon of all things awesome, but this is as it should be in SF. She is, however, flawed. And [SPOILER] probably partly psychic and awesome because she was experimented on as a kid. But she has begun dealing with this history and is assimilating and coming to terms with its effects in a phenomenally healthy way. Which in itself is a bit worrying.

Olivia is an impossible woman. An impossible character. But this is as it should be in SF. This is how SF protagonists are: they are strong and brave and clever. Cleverness is important. She is conventionally attractive, but she doesn't wear booby shirts or stupid shoes. She can run like a badass mofo and she likes suits. Just like the male agents around her. She wears her hair tied back in a piggy tail, or she wears a sensible black beanie. She doesn't wear much make up. She is conventionally attractive. But so are most protagonists.

I <3 Olivia.

frin.jpg

Olivia isn't the only woman character in Fringe worth loving. I also love Astrid, who's the agent assigned to working with Walter in his lab.

Astrid is also awesome.
She has a degree in cryptography, another in computer stuff (or is that a double major) and she's got some sort of medical training (well, she does now). She loves cryptography. As in, she's a nerd for it. And she loves computers.
She's also an agent.
She calls Walter on his bullshit, including his inability to remember her name (which we suspect is a ploy on Walter's part). She won't let him (or anyone else) forget that she is actually a badass agent as well.
She deals with Walter's gross dissections and experiments very matter of factly.
Review---Fringe---2x02---Astrid-and-the-frog.jpg
She runs errands and also has some badass ninja agent skills.
She veers into 'servant territory' every now and then, which is particularly worrying as she's African American. But these little deviations are usually addressed: Astrid will call bullshit on Walter's behaviour and regularly refuses tasks she feels cross the boundary from professional assistance to nurse maiding.
She is super smart.
She and Olivia talk regularly about things other than men. They often figure out puzzles together.
agents.jpg
She is fond of Walter and also deals with his mental illness and fragile personality gently, yet without patronising him. She does not take on a carer role; she is, if nothing else, Walter's lab assistant.

Nina Sharp is another important female character in Fringe. She's the CEO of Massive Dynamic, a sort of super-corporation specialising in technology. A bit like Skynet Cyberdyne Systems, but awesomer. She admires Olivia greatly and has tried to recruit her to Massive Dynamic a number of times. She and Olivia have a refreshingly realistic relationship; they deal with each other as professionals. They do not have the sort of antagonistic rivalry alpha women are usually given in SF... in telly.They talk to each other about plenty of things besides men. They often talk about technology together. And science.
Nina Sharp is middle aged.
Nina Sharp has a bionic arm and a clear glass ipod thingy. She is way cool with technology generally. This is one middle aged woman who is not relegated to earth mother status; she is technology, economic and industrial power and smarts.


I love Olivia the most, though. I love the way she stops and thinks about things. I love the way she can fighty fight. I love it that though she might, one day be interested in Peter romantically, that day is waaaaaay off in the future, and for now she's busy being a badass. He thinks she's neat. He might think she's neat in a romantic way, but for now he just thinks she's a badass and he wants to be her partner, I think.

So I love Olivia Dunham. And this is why I can watch Fringe.

PS: I'll try to add some more pics to this later, when I can figure out how to do it in this new version of MT without opening a new stupid window every time.


EDIT: I had to add this link to a drawing Jasika Nicole (the actor who plays Astrid) drew of herself.

"adventures with badass sistahs in outer space: olivia dunham" was posted by dogpossum on October 19, 2009 9:43 PM in the category academia and buffy and angel and digging and fringe and teaching and television and veronica mars | Comments (1)

October 18, 2009

lost tribes of NYC

Lost tribes of NYC.

"lost tribes of NYC" was posted by dogpossum on October 18, 2009 1:56 PM in the category | Comments (0)

October 17, 2009

argh

Since installing the new MT I've had some heinous comment problems. I'm investigating... well, I will investigate a spam solution. So bear with me if your comment doesn't appear. I usually read them when they arrive in my email inbox, even if I fail to approve them.

Sorry. And thanks for commenting anyway. :D

"argh" was posted by dogpossum on October 17, 2009 12:38 PM in the category dogpossum | Comments (0)

October 15, 2009

blog - attend me!

Watching this clip is like the way I think about dancing. I mean, when I watch dancing, I think of it as a series of shapes and lines. Well, I don't actively, consciously think of that, it's kind of how I see it.

flight patterns from Charlie McCarthy on Vimeo.

But it's not just how I see it. It's also how I feel it, and how I hear the music. The music is like a series of patterns and shapes - each sound is a shape or a series of forms. And they fit together. So you get repeating patterns and you get random moments, but they all work as part of a whole piece of music.
When I watch a really good dancer, I see those shapes and lines that I hear in the music. When I watch a really good dancer, they make me see the music in particular shapes. Their bodies make the shapes, but their shapes tell me how they hear the music at that moment. And it changes each time they dance.
When it's two people dancing together, you see two people making shapes at that moment. They make the music into something you can see.

When I watch that clip, it reminds me of dancing, because it's making something moving into something still or constant. It's like that with dancing - it's something moving. Your brain recognises the shapes and connects the dots with a sort of line of understanding or meaning. But that line doesn't really exist, except in your head.

And when I'm actually dancing, it's like my body makes the shapes of the music. But it happens outside my conscious brain. I can practice and practice and learn to understand how to control the shapes my body makes, and refine the way I use it as a tool, but, really, the best dancing happens when your brain turns off and you just connect your body up to the music in a direct line. A direct current, from the musicians to your body.

I've been watching these clips from ULHS and thinking about the way the camera angle has changed the way I watched the dancers.

Blues Finals ULHS

blues finals ULHS


blues finals ULHS


Usually dance clips are shot from the middle distance, not from above. So we see the dancers in tableau, front elevation. They move and turn horizontally or vertically in front you. But these clips are from above, so we look down onto the dancers. And suddenly I see them from a completely different angle. I notice things I hadn't seen before. In the first clip the follow sits out, her hips back, while she's in open. I see it from above in a way I wouldn't have from below.

Watching the later clips, especially of Todd and Peter dancing with their partners, these leads' propensity for spinning their follows is emphasised. We see the follows spin and spin and spin. From a side or front view, we'd see the different types of spin, and the movements would be more interested, because we'd see more than the tops of these women's heads.
This simple shift in perspective reminds me that when most dancers watch other dancers or think about dancing, they're thinking about their own view from the edge of the dance floor. They're not thinking about other perspectives. Suddenly, opera and traditional theatre with its tiered seating seems more radical than any busted fourth wall.


I do like these three clips from ULHS. I've heard a bit of smack talk about them, critiquing the leads as too 'leady'. Of course they are - these two are the lead-centric leads; it's just that other leads are suddenly seeing this for the first time. Any follow could've told you before, because any follow will have felt with her body the effect of all that centrifugal force. Other comments have been that this 'isn't blues', that 'it's lindy'. Which is exasperating. I really hate bullshit lines where people declare a particular sequence of steps indelibly lindy hop or blues. I especially, especially hate it when people declare a song 'slow lindy' rather than 'blues'. Use your fucking imagination, kids.
AND
How the fuck can you be so sure of the boundaries of a dance? When I'm dancing, I certainly don't think 'no way, buddy, that's lindy hop there'. I feel a lead and I might think 'oh, this feels like tango' or 'a nice swingout, here, even at this tempo!' but I'm not thinking 'now I'm lindy hopping' when a lead adds some swingouts to a slow 'blues' song.

It's madness, just madness, to my mind. It is all just movement, and you can make even one single move feel and work as any type of dance - you just have to work with the music and your partner and what's going on in the music.


I have to stop typing now. I'm typing is so fucking crap right now - all that using a pod and only using 140 characters has fucked up my typing. I need to do more writing.

Blog - attend me!

"blog - attend me!" was posted by dogpossum on October 15, 2009 10:14 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (3)

BAZ FREEKIN LOTTO

bazfreekinlotto.png


YEAH, YR KITTEH IS MINE11111111!!!!

"BAZ FREEKIN LOTTO" was posted by dogpossum on October 15, 2009 7:36 PM in the category | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

can't do this from a car

(linky)

"can't do this from a car" was posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:40 PM in the category clicky | Comments (1)

extraordinary accessory


from here via here.

"extraordinary accessory" was posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:38 PM in the category clicky | Comments (0)

extraordinary theme

In the 1920s, if people had a party, they had an extraordinary theme. You know, the Sitwells would have a 'paradox party' where you had to come as a new paradox. But now invitations come covered in banners like a bad website. People can't be bothered to throw a party without getting it sponsored by vodka manufacturers or ghastly luxury goods companies .... It's so squalid and dispiriting.
Stephen Fry

from here

"extraordinary theme" was posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 5:34 PM in the category clicky | Comments (0)

jazz in france: purely speculation

I like thinking about the American jazz musicians who went to France. I like to think of the African American musicians, persecuted and segregated and marginalised while record companies and promotors made squillions from their music, escaping to Paris where they were appreciated and valued and feted as musical giants.

I like thinking about American musicians meeting French and European musicians in Paris and getting together to make new music. I like thinking of the gypsy tradition getting together with the African American tradition and making music which subverted and transgressed and basically broke all the freeking rules.

I think this is why I like this album. You can hear Django and Stephan quite clearly, and you just know they were having lots of fun. I like imagining these guys getting together in a small back room and playing their hearts out. The locals excited to be playing with American friends they'd admired from afar; the American visitors excited to be playing with the amazing local talent.

I like this album as well. The story behind these recordings is a good one. After Glenn Miller was lost at sea during the war some members of his band were left in France with little money to cover their expenses. So they recorded some action with some local talent, including Django. These recordings are far hotter and more exciting than any of Miller's later work (though his early gear is fully sick).


I don't know much about American jazz in France, but I like thinking about it. It also reminds me that Ken Burns' Jazz documentary sold itself (and its audiences) short with its insistence that jazz is a purely American phenomenon.
This sort of thinking also reminds me of the effects of musicians touring in Australia during the same period. Not to mention dancers.

As I said, I know next to nothing about this. But it's something I like to imagine. Especially the bit about black American musicians leaving a country where they couldn't even stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants as white musicians, and arriving in France where their music was massively popular and the people were really excited just to meet them.

"jazz in france: purely speculation" was posted by dogpossum on October 12, 2009 4:09 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and music

October 11, 2009

fahim's fast food do orsm tandoori

194 Enmore Road, approximately.
We ride our bikes there from the hood. You can get the train to Newtown then walk up Enmore for a few blocks, past the theatre til you get there. It's crowded and busy and not super clean. They do really good tandoori and really good naan. The rest is neither here nor there. Go there for the meat-on-sticks. They have some veggie dishes, it's not very expensive to eat a whole dinner there, and you can take your kids. If they eat hot food. It's a little more than Skip-hot curry, but not as hot as Indian-hot curry. As the doods at Bismi used to describe it.



View Larger Map

"fahim's fast food do orsm tandoori" was posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2009 10:31 PM in the category fewd and gastropod | Comments (0)

again?

Another DJ roster. Geez. At least this one's simpler. The politics no less... challenging.

"again?" was posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2009 10:24 PM in the category djing and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (0)

recent emusicing

Jim Cullum Jazz Band Chasin' the Blues. Just a few songs from this album, mostly because I'm a bit over this New Orleans revival sound. This album is really pretty freakin good, though. These are all live performances, and they rock. Their version of 'Bugle Call Rag' is lots of fun.

Each month I pick up a couple of songs from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This time from Shake That Thing. I like the shouty, live-ish feel of their stuff.

Bill Coleman in Paris 1936-1938. This isn't something new. The recordings feature some top gun musicians: St├ęphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, etc etc. I picked up this entire album.

Some Joe Liggins from the 1946-1948 Classics collection and the 1944-46 collection. This is solid jump/rhythm n blues stuff which I tend to put in the same category as Louis Jordan. Not exactly awesome lindy hopping action, but great fun nevertheless.

A couple of things from Celebrating Bix!. This has some pretty shit-hot musicians on it. I was following Vince Giordano around emusic and found this. More revival stuff.

The problem with this revival stuff is that it often lacks the fire of the originals - it's technically pretty amazing, it's clean, it's crisp, but it can often feel a little sanitised. Too perfect.

"recent emusicing" was posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2009 12:11 PM in the category digging and music | Comments (0)

long overdue roundup

I'd really like:
Gordon Webster's CD 'Happy When I'm With You';

Duke Heitger's CDs 'Prince of Wails', 'Krazy Kapers', 'Duke Heitger's New Orleans Wanderers;

Probably some other ones as well.

I'd also like to get over this cold I've had since Wednesday. I've been lying in bed napping and watching telly for days and it's getting really old.

The Squeeze has installed the new version of Movable Type. It's pretty fancy. I should probably have switched to a better blogging application, but that's a lot of work. Meanwhile, MT and I are struggling on together.

Twitter has stolen my life. Mostly because I can use it on The Squeeze's old ipod touch when I'm lying in bed being pathetic.

We have bought a flat and are moving in in three weeks. I haven't booked a mover, bought paint for the painting we'll do in two weeks, finished packing, given notice to our land lord or... done a bunch of other jobs. I'm not freaking. I have booked the lawn mower guy to come do the lawns the week we move out.

SLX was fun, but boy did I get a heavy dose of the exchange flu for my efforts. We have another exchange coming up in the near future (SSF) and I hope I'm together for that. We'll see. Then it's MLX in November in Melbourne, and I really hope I'm well by then - it's the biggest social dancing event of the year for me. And DJing. I'd like to get a bit on top of my DJing for that.


PS I've just come across this great set of live toobs of Heigter playing in a restaurant, over on Jazz lives.

"long overdue roundup" was posted by dogpossum on October 11, 2009 11:40 AM in the category domesticity and music and objects of desire and television | Comments (2)