rolled shoulders

So today I scored a new haircut (scored as in paid for).
It’s slightly different to my usual very-short. Uli said “what will it be this time? short?” and I said ‘Yes, but I think I want something different”.
So now I have ‘girly bits’ at the front.

Which is nice. And anyway, I tried to colour it myself. Two problems:
1. dud colour (some crap Loreal product – I need their oldschool hyper-red but can’t find it)
2. missed some bits at the front through conservative application of colour
3. I got no idea what’s going on at the back there.
I guess it’ll look ok. It’s kind of tame, though – it looks like a ‘natural’ red (well, as natural as a chick with black eyebrows and eyes can look with red hair) and I like toxicly unnatural reds.
Will see what I can find out at the shops tonight.
On other fronts, a trip to the hairdresser is always a great opportunity to secure local community gossip. Uli is a member of the Sydney Rd Assoc (I think it’s called) and has lots to do with the council. Apparently the giant Sortino across the road (Sortino = wonderful Italian furniture. Say yes to white, to gold, to marble) will soon become a Priceline. So I might be able to get my hair colour there soon. The big old reception place/furniture store place is to be an Aldi, which we’re not pleased about in Little Sweden’s home of Fine Hair: the local small businesses will suffer. And I agree. I’m not sure why they think a German supermarket will do well in Brunswick (land of Middle Eastern, Mediterannean and Subcontinental -ness), but heck.
I passed on the wonder that is Nino and Joe’s and we tutted over the urban renewal generally.
Speaking of Nino and Joe’s…
went in for a bunch of sausages, came out with $50 worth of fucking amazing meat.
We got:
– 8 fat sausages (2 pork spicey, 2 pork normal, 2 beef spicey, 2 beef normal) because I wanted to test them all. These aren’t the pale and insipid bangers filled with beige paste you find tagged ‘BBQ’ in the supermarket. They’re fat, they’re textured a little like my thighs (helloooo cellulite), they’re kind of blotchy-coloured, owing to the combination of stuff inside them. They taste FANTASTIC.
– 1 rolled beef shoulder roast (1.2kg at $12.99 a kg) – pancetta, swiss mushrooms, garlic, etc. It looks fantastic. It had better be.
– 1 pork chop (because)
– some beef ‘stir fry’. Ordinarily I buy steak and we cut it up ourselves, but I trust Joe. Well, I’ll trust him just this once
– 2 chicken breasts
– 1 pork loin (hellloooo stir-fry)
… and something else I’ve forgotten. At any rate, it took two bags and I had to squish it into my bike bag. This is enough meat to feed us forever. I should perhaps buy fresh rather than freezing, but I wanted to be sure we were stocked up.
I’m a bit excited about the rolled beef. The Squeeze barely tolerates roasted meats, but he likes beef. And I was excited by the pancetta. Though I’ll probably die from botulism, leaving cured and raw meat cohabiting in the fridge for 24 hours.
And from whence does the funds for all this bounty come?
Well, we can thank the Melbourne lindy hop community for the most part – I’ve DJed 9 times since the 23rd February. That’s 9 times in an 8 week period. Going from 0. DJ drought? Naaaah.
I’m certainly learning quickly. Well, I guess I’m learning quickly, because it seems to be going well. Last night was my second time doing the second set at CBD and the room was PACKED and FRENZIED til 12. I DJed for 2.4 hours for $25.
I was abused and been-mean-to by some loser arseholes, but everyone else seemd to really dug my action. I know that the floor was always full, and the reports from dancers were overwhelmingly positive – “Man, it’s really pumping out there. There’s a really great vibe in the room.” That’s really nice to hear, but it’s a bit hard watching your mates flail about in a sweaty, endorphine-charged euphoria while you have to stand up there playing the best music in the world. Thankfully, people seem to have grasped the idea that I like to be visited when I’m DJing, so I spent a large part of the set laughing so much with the Rubinator I thought I’d broken my face laughing.
The few dances I did have were quite awful: I have forgotten how to dance. But I think perhaps it’s recorded music. I only dance to live bands now. heh.
I’d like to end this post with a witty reference to sausages or perhaps rolled shoulders… no, I won’t go near that awful punnage about my own rolled right shoulder impeding my following. Even I won’t stoop that low. Though I could, now that I have super-dooper yoga-strength.

my first meme

A meme from Jac by way of Alison.

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
Sepia Panorama – Duke Ellington
(an instrumental, kind of mellow, almost moody track – indicative of ellington’s later penchant for orchestrated swing in his later years. good slower dancing)
…ok….so I’m complex, moody, yet positive?
Will I have a happy life?
Hurricane – Vince Giordano
(crazy fast charleston music – fun)
So, fun, exciting, interesting yet tiring?
What do my friends really think of me?
Kickin’ the Gong Around – Cab Calloway
The lyrics are worth repeating. Bracketed sections are the chorus replying to Cab
It was down in Chinatown,
All the cokey’s laid around,
Some were high, and some were mighty low,
There were millions on the floor,
When a knock came on the door,
And there stood old Smokey Joe.
He was wet and cold and pale,
He was looking for his frail,
He was broke and all his junk ran out.
Nobody made a sound,
As he stood and looked around,
And then you’d hear old Smokey shout:
“Tell me where is Minnie?” (where is Minnie?)
“My poor Minnie?” (your poor Minnie)
“Has she been here, kicking the gong around?
If you don’t know Minnie” (don’t know Minnie)
“She’s tall and she’s skinny” (tall and skinny)
“She gets her pleasure kicking the gong around.”
(scat) (yeah!)
(scat) (no!)
“Just tell her Smokey Joe was here and had to go.”
And as he departed, (and as he departed)
The curtains parted, (the curtains parted)
And there stood Minnie,
Kicking the gong around.
Hmmm. Interesting, considering I’m all straight edge and all… Maybe it’s a song about me making funny songs about junky ‘hos and their pimps?
Do people secretly lust after me?
Boy Wanted – Ella Fitzgerald
(kind of dumb song where Ella sings about the boy she wants, and she starts: “he must be able to dance, and must make light of romance”).
How can I make myself happy?
You Didn’t Want Me Then – Dinah Washington
(Dinah sings: hey, you didn’t want me then, that’s cool – I’ll carry on. I’ve found someone else that I like a lot more and they’re really nice)
Strangely appropriate…
What should I do with my life?
Night and Day – Sinatra with the Dorseys
(“Night and day,
You are the one.
Only you,
Beneath the moon and the sun.
Whether near to me or far,
There’s no matter darling where you are,
I think of you,
Day and night”)
Oh, so I’m back with the looking-for-love thing?
Will I ever have children?
Night and Day – Ella Fitzgerald (50s ella)
(same as last one, but cheesier and more orchestrated)
That’s weird. Does this mean there’ll be perpetual love making, or that I’ll never sleep a whole night through again (because of my many babies?)?
What is some good advice for me?
Put It There (shag nasty) – McKinney’s Cotton Pickers
(sassy, uptempo ‘charleston’ stuff – shag=the dance step, not… well, actually.
No, it’s mostly about crazy uptempo dancing)
Neat. Dance like a fool, shag like a fool.
How will I be remembered?
Jumpin’ at the Woodside – Count Basie
(crazy fast dancing, iconic in lindy for excellent fast dancing and the sequence in Hellzapoppin’)
…crazy fast dancing fool?
What is my signature song?
Gloomy Sunday – Billie Holiday
(sad, slow – she dreams that her lover has gone/died, then wakes up and discovers she was wrong, and now she really appreciates and loves her partner even more for having thought she’d lost them)
What do I think my current theme song is?
I’ Shouting High – Louis Armstrong
(medium tempo, but energetic, a love-song)
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
I’m Gonna Live Til I Die – Barbara Lewis with Reg James
(about partying hard, living every day as it comes)
What song will play at my funeral?
I Can’t Dance (I got ants in my pants) – Chick Webb
(lyrics (chorus in brackets):
Oh Baby,
Love to have a party,
(let’s have a party)
Let’s all begin,
(let’s all begin)
You bring the women,
(you bring the women)
I’ll bring the gin.
(i’ll bring the gin)
Let’s go for a drive,
(let’s go for a drive)
Ain’t goin’ far,
(ain’t goin’ far)
You fix the blow-out,
(you fix the blow-out)
Boy, and I’ll drive the car.
(I’ll drive the car).
I can’t dance,
(I can’t dance)
Got ants in my pants,
(Got ants in my pants),
I can’t dance,
(I can’t dance).
Boy, I can’t dance,
Got ants in my pants,
Oh, Chick can’t dance,
Got ants in his pants!
A fun, energetic song about not being able to dance because i’m all wriggly in my pants, though it’s more about dancing and being excited-energetic and dancing kind of crazy)
Kewl. But I won’t be able to dance to it….
What type of men/women do I like?
Roll the Boogie – Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers
(uptempo fun, ‘boogie woogie’ rhythm:
“My man likes to boogie, boogie with a steady roll,
When he boogies my woogie, satisfies my soul,
He boogies in the morning, boogies all night and day.
And when he gets home he blows my blues away”)
Nuff said, really…
What is my day going to be like?
What Shall I say – Billie Holiday
(“What shall i say,
When our neighbours want us to come to tea?
They don’t know you’re not with me,
What shall i say?
What shall i say when the phone rings and someone asks for you?”
– a song about having been left by someone, but in an uptempo, positive tempo and rhythm)
kind of ordinary, but positive?
Hm. well that was all kind of disappointing. It made me giggle, though. Esp at Shag Nasty and Kicking the Gong Around. Guess this would have more variety if I listened to less swinging jazz – there’d be fewer songs about party, sex and drugs or misery. Thank god I’m not a country and western fiend.


I’m sorry Brian, I’m sorry. Chick Webb does rule… well, after Fats and the Duke and Billie and… well, he does rule.
New Proper chick webb collection purchased at via amazon for a reasonable price (check it here). Could have found it cheaper, but didn’t bother.
Quality: superior to anything else I had.
DJableness: yes
Range: covers Webb’s career on 4 CDs. As with other Proper collections, I guess it’ll do a good job covering the key moments in his career. I’m not so familiar with Webb, so I’ll have to get back to you…
If you’re not a Webb person already… we’re talking Old Scratchy action here.
Sweet-as swinging jazz recorded between 1931 and 1939. I previously knew Webb through Ella Fitzgerald – she got her first serious gig with his band as a teenager (and later led the band after his death) – knew he was important (in part for his association with the Savoy Ballroom, Home of Happy Feet), read varying discussions about the quality of his band and of course danced de lindy hop to him many times.
I had a few albums already (mostly rubbishy ‘greatest hits’ or not-so-greatly-remastered albums) and wanted something comprehensive so I could get a handle on his action, and then seek out specific albums or greater collections (let’s not talk about how my Billie Holiday obsession began).
I’ll let you know how it goes – so far I like it a lot. The tempos are pretty high (as you’d expect from an old skool Scratchy from the Savoy), which makes it less flexible for DJing (esp when the DJ in question seems destined never to play for anyone other than newbs – but I don’t fret. I’m getting valuable skills… and one day those newbs will be advanced dancers. And then, with my army of newbs, I will conquer the world!), but it’s neat for listening. Though I probably shouldn’t listen to it before bed. Like watching clips – it makes me jiggly. And it could only fuel my recent series of weirdo dance/DJing/suppressed thesis anxiety dreams).

contemporary 20s jazz recreationists – rough ideas

Listening to a new CD by the Charleston Chasers, I was struck by the short musical step between British brass bands and the earliest jazz and ragtime. The story goes: Afro-American slaves took up the instruments abandoned by fleeing southern American soldiers at the end of the 19th century and invented ragtime. Ragtime moved to New Orleans and was made over in that multicultural city to become hot jazz. You can hear the sames sorts of instruments in early jazz and ragtime as in marching bands – tubas, trumpets, clarinets, big drums. The difference being the African influence. Or, more specifically, the difference being the blues.
The specific similarities in the history of jazz and the history of British brass bands are worth noting. The more obvious online sources refer to the relationship between brass bands and miners in the UK. Brass bands, as with jazz, were the creative work of marginalised or working class people in both countries. The clearest difference, however, lies in British brass band’s role as competitive performance bands, and jazz’s more comprehensive position in Afro-American vernacular culture. The parallels could continue, if we referred to American – specifically New Orleans – marching bands, but that’s not my concern here.
The Charleston Chasers are a British band, and I was struck by the similarity between their music and the brass bands of British tradition. The Charleston Chasers, despite my high hopes, aren’t such a great band for swing dancing – for charleston or other 20s dances. I suspect that it is because they lack the blues. To me, that translates to their music feeling like it lacks soul. It doesn’t make me want to shake my arse.
I have some reservations about some of the larger ‘society jazz’ type bands recreating 20s jazz, mostly because I find they reproduce the more mannered jazz you might associate with a ‘high society’ band of the 20s, rather than the grittier jazz from the 20s which I prefer.
That hasn’t stopped me liking Vince Giordano‘s work (including my new CD, and I tend to sort of audio-ly skim over the shinier aspect of this music.
I’m also struck by the vast superiority of the original music and bands from the 20s – is it a race thing? An ethnicity thing? Part of me – somewhat suspiciously – simply feels that these new, predominantly white recreationist bands are simply too ‘white’ to make for good charleston. I like a little grunt, a little grit in my charleston music.

slim gaillard Laughing in Rhythm (Proper)

Laughing in Rhythm – Slim Gaillard – Proper box set
I’m going to start listing the albums I’m chasing on this site so I can find them easily. I know, I know, it’s crazy shit. And I know I could also do it more easily using some sort of wishlist arrangement. But hell, I’m all about categories atm.

Slim Gaillard Laughing in Rhythm – the Proper Box set.
I want this.
Amazon listing