Monday, March 31, 2008

The Black Crows' 1992 concert at the Hordern Pavillion is one of my fondest memories of all time. The Crows were at the top of my list of favourite bands and their tape (remember those boys and girls?) Shake Your Money Maker was on constant rotation in my car. That particular concert was just bloody amazing, definitely in my Top 5 concerts ever.

So it was with some excitement that 17+ years later I fronted at the old Pav for the long overdue reprise.

There's no mincing words here. It was shit from the first second. Possibly the Hordern was a passable venue in the 1990s, possibly it's always been a shitty old barn unfit for human habitation. Either way last night was almost unbearable. It was so cold they could have sub-let the roof space to hang meat. The seats were so uncomfortable they must have been borrowed from the waiting room of a dentist's surgery.

Our seats were in the front row but towards the back of one side of the U shaped seating configuration. We had a constant stream of pissheads stumbling past us towards the bar to our right the whole night.

Now for the band itself. Well, they still rock, no doubt about it. However, most of the songs were from their new CD Warpaint which had literally only been released, with almost no promotion, a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know this stuff and obviously most of the audience didn't either. The vibe was cool. When they did throw in a classic like Jealous Again (awesome!) or Remedy or my much anticipated She Talks To Angels (what a fucking mind-blowing, heart-breaking song that is!) the place went mad. But those moments were sadly few and far between.

Since I'm complaining there was definitely something wrong with the vocals. We couldn't decide if it was the sound system, Chris Robinson's voice or if he was just forgetting some lyrics but there was definitely problems of some sort on the vocal side of things. Musically they were brilliant. Also, the back up singers. When they weren't singing, instead of sitting up on some high stools and looking like they were part of the show or even simply sliding off the stage until it was their turn again, these chicks sat back on some sort of lounge chairs just behind their microphones and literally looked like they were just kicking back at a backyard bbq. Very odd and off putting.

I left feeling sad and disappointed, desperately clinging to my old memories and hoping I could erase those left behind from last night's concert. I'm going to dig out my old CDs and relive some blasts from the past.

She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company
Yes, shell tell you shes an orphan
After you meet her family

She paints her eyes as black as night, now
Pulls those shades down tight
Yeah, she gives a smile when the pain comes,
The pains gonna make everything alright

Says she talks to angels,
They call her out by her name
She talks to angels,
Says they call her out by her name

She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket
She wears a cross around her neck
Yes, the hair is from a little boy
And the cross is someone she has not met, not yet

Says she talks to angels,
Says they all know her name
Oh yeah, she talks to angels,
Says they call her out by her name

She dont know no lover,
None that I ever seen
Yes, to her that aint nothing
But to me, yeah me,
Its everything

She paints her eyes as black as night now
She pulls those shades down tight
Oh yeah, theres a smile when the pain comes,
The pains gonna make everything alright, alright yeah

She talks to angels,
Says they call her out by her name
Oh yeah, yeah, angels
Call her out by her name
Oh, angels
They call her out by her name
Oh, she talks to angels
They call her out
Yeah, they call her out
Dont you know that they call her out by her name

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Weekend facts:

* Too much chocolate eaten.

* Too many hot cross buns eaten.

* Too many night time tantrums from a certain 2 and 10/12th year old who will remain nameless.

* Just the right amount of D&Ms with the girls. (Well you can never have enough really!)

* One cute fuzzy wuzzy red cardigan bought during Ladies' Day at Berry.

* Two ridiculously drunken husbands returning from Dad's Day on Sunday.

* One gorgeous Sunday afternoon spent on Culburra Beach with the happy children.

* Talent for PlayStation BUZZ game discovered.

All in all another fantastic Easter weekend away with some fantastic people I am honoured to have as friends.

Contemplating a new and interesting way to make our evening a misery.

Our baby boy is growing up. (Just a hint of the teenager he'll one day become, don't you think.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

THE PARTY... THE BIRTHDAY... in pictures...

The sunset.

The food.

The cake.

The husband.

The fireworks. (City of Sydney... you shouldn't have!)

The cousin (Slava), the birthday girl and the neighbour (Kate).

The mother of the birthday girl's speech. It was an aaaaahhhh moment.

The dancing.... oh, the horror!

The pole dancing... oh, please make it stop!

There is no escape from the NUTBUSH!

It was all about moi!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've been meme'd by MillyMoo and here are the rules:

  • Post this on your blog . . .

  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog

  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Can't see myself doing this, just can't be bothered, sorry.

  • Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. See above comment.

  • That’s all there’s to it . . . Oh, and have fun.

OK, here it goes:

1) My first real (nudge nudge wink wink) boyfriend was Dean aka Fang (because he had a plate for his front teeth which he would remove for a party trick). This was around the end of Year 8/start of Year 9... yeah I know I started early. Dean had just been released from Minda (a juvenile detention institution where he had been placed after his mother charged him with being "uncontrollable"). My mother was so proud. He dumped me. I was devestated.

2) One of my other high school boyfriends was Adam Garnett. He was the first child actor to win a Silver Logie (in 1981) for his starring role in I Can Jump Puddles. When he went to Melbourne for the Logies ceremony he brought me back a ceramic banana for a present. My mother was concerned about why it was a banana and not some other type of fruit. I dumped him. He was devestated.

3) My first real serious full on boyfriend (not a teenage crush, though I was still a teenager) was Neil. He was a Welsh skinhead. A big tall redhead (see a pattern here?). We were 16/17 and I really thought he was the love of my life. He was a bright boy but during his HSC year he spent way too much time smoking dope and wasting time. I walked away but it broke my heart. I looked him up about 7 years later. He had grown up to be a bit of a looser but he did turn me onto Red Hot Chili Peppers so for that I'll be eternally grateful.

4) My first husband Colin was a Scottish skinhead (see a pattern here?). But he was short and dark and into motorbikes. It seems like a million years ago. He left me the night of my (then) best friend's wedding when he ran off with the groom's half-sister. No, I'm not reliving an episode of Days of Our Lives. In an interesting twist of fate his new love then ran off with his best friend a few years later. Later still he had a relationship with the ex-best friend who had then broken up with her husband. I keep telling you, it's not Days of Our Lives.

5) I had a brief but interesting interlude with Ray, a bikie of Estonian extraction. He was seriously weird but had a very cool Harley, lots of cash and was a fun distraction after the end of my first marriage.

6) When I first started working for my dad and my marriage broke up not long after, I had a fling with Stephen who was the graphic designer who sub-let part of our office. He was a big tall redhead (see the pattern here?). We had lots in common. We had fun. I'll never forget walking through the city after seeing Wild at Heart together, life full of wonderful possibilities. He was a pathetic little mummy's boy. It ended badly.

7) I've had my ears pierced 4 times. The first done the traditional way at around 11 or 12 years of age. Then I did two sets myself in science class with a large safety pin heated over a bunsen burner. I think the fourth holes were done the normal way again. Now I'm back to just the standard one hole in each ear. But the little lumps in my ear lobes will always remind me that I was a bit wild once. God I love that song Anchorage by Michelle Shocked.

I took the time to write to my old friend
I walked across that burning bridge
I mailed my letter off to Dallas but
Her reply came from Anchorage, Alaska

She said Hey girl its about time you wrote
Its been over two years now my old friend
Take me back to the days of the foreign telegrams
And the all night rock'n rollin' hey Chel
We was wild then

Hey Chel you know its kinda funny
Texas always seems so big
But you know youre in the largest State in the Union
When youre anchored down in Anchorage

Hey girl I think the last time I saw you
Was on me and Leroys wedding day
What was the name of that
Love song you played
I forgot how it goes
I dont recall how it goes

Leroy got a better job so we moved
Kevin lost a tooth, hes starting school
I got a brand new eight month old baby girl
I sound like a housewife
I think I'm a housewife

Hey girl whats it like to be in New York
New York City imagine that
Whats it like to be a skateboard punk rocker
Leroy says send a picture
Leroy says hello
Leroy says keep on rocking girl
Yeh keep on rocking

Well, that turned into a very strange tour of the major milestones in my love life. And then a detour into meloncholy. Not sure how that happened. Jason is away and I think the ghosts are swirling closer than usual.
Let me preface this by saying I'm generally a big fan of capitalism. Mainly because the known alternatives don't work and basically suck and, well, because it works for me. As someone who was born into communism I'll happily put my hand up for the alternative economic scenario. As far as I'm concerned more is more (especially when it comes to shoes and handbags), otherwise I'm happy to share it around.

Anyway, let me just get this straight. The banks (read: financial institutions of all ilks) weren't content with the gazillions of dollars they were making from just normal, day to day ripping off of consumers. So they devised a way to bring in even more profits... by offering loans (for homes, cars, tvs, pizza takeaway dinners) to those who would have been previously deemed financially unstable. They didn't decide to do this from the goodness of their pickled little black hearts. This was a purely money-making scheme.

So, surprise! surprise! when the aforementioned financially challenged folk started to show "signs of financial stress" (a quaint term used to describe those who absolutely fucking broke) the banks didn't make as much money as they were hoping to.

So how do they think they will rake back some of these so-called losses? By hiking up the mortgage and credit card rates for those schmucks who are managing to pay their bills.

In a nutshell it seems that the greedy little bastards' plan to rip off those who could least afford it backfired. Instead of taking it on the chin they are penalising those who have been doing the right thing all along by increasing interest rates above and beyond the recommended retail price.

What happened to: "We fucked up! Sorry! Our shareholders are going to have to take a few billion less in profits and then give us a good kicking in our corporate backsides for being stupid, greedy little fuckers." This is the scenario as I see it.

So far our own mortgage provider hasn't raised rates above and beyond but if they do we're going to have to start looking elsewhere. Greed may be good but what's happening right now is plain old garden variety fucked up.

Friday, March 07, 2008

So, Trinny and Susannah on Wednesday night.

Look (whenever I start the sentence with "look" you know it's not great news) I love these birds. They are fantastic at telling women what's what when it comes to basic dressing for your figure. I so agree with them that women tend to hate a certain feature of their body and dress in shapeless shit which just makes them look a whole lot worse. They are also big (excuse the pun) on well fitting bras, as I am.

The night itself was so-so. First of all there was a lot of milling around - we were asked to arrive by 6:10 pm, yet we didn't actually sit down until around 7:00 pm. Then we were "entertained" by someone called Amy Pearson - boring. Then some so-called "stylist" called Fifi played dress up dolly with an eight foot tall model by "accessorizing" her sleeveless dress with shit like long red gloves, a big wooly scarf and an awful shimmery trench coat with elbow length sleeves. I hate to ask the bleeding obvious questions but if it's cold enough to wear a fucking trench coat surely it's cold enough to wear a long sleeve top underneath and do you want to have long sleeves sticking out from under your coat sleeves? Maybe I'm just missing the point. I'll be the first to agree I'm not a fan of what passes for high fashion.

Anyway... finally the girls themselves turn up. They are fabulous. But not for the feint hearted. Susannah launches into a tirade involving having her period and wondering if she's starting menapouse. She then takes off her knickers on stage to demonstrate their own brand of "magic" knickers.

Then they tell us about three Oz women they "did" and we see a short video of the "before" for each woman and then they come out on stage all done up. It's always an "aaaaahhhh" moment but really, how hard is it to take someone who wears jeans and t-shirts every day, no make up and hasn't had a decent hair cut in years, give them a basic make over and dress them in a half decent dress which suits their shape and put them in some heels. Of course they are going to look fucking amazing. For me the harder trick would have been to come up with a smarter day-to-day wardrobe for the farmer's wife from rural Queensland.

Of course their finale is always getting victims out of the audience for their "treatment". They picked 5 ladies from the rows in front of us (luckily didn't get up to our row). It's amazing how quickly they can look a woman over and give an analysis of where her fashion sense is letting her down. As I said earlier so many women are just tenting themselves up in clothes way too big to cover up bits they don't like, in the process making themselves look much bigger and bulkier than they actually are.

In conclusion I can only say I love T & S, they rock. What I wouldn't do for a day out shopping with these girls... even better if they were paying.
Are you havin' a larf? Is he havin' a larf?

Someone is certainly having a larf!

Vanessa Amorosi is the support act for KISS at the upcoming Sydney concert...

That's like Nana Mouskouri supporting Megadeath.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sadly sometimes things just don't work. I don't know why.

Like last night my mum took me to see Cesaria Evora at the Opera House. (In case you are asking "who?" she is a singer from Cape Verde; she sings traditional mornas and coladeras - thanks Wikipedia.)

I went in with an open mind having no experience of this apparently famous singer or her music. I do love African music and was looking forward to hearing her sing.

Because I want to try and stay positive I'll say that her 8 piece band were fantastic, just beautiful. But I can't hedge around this for too much longer. She was just plain old boring. Her stage presence was as exciting as that of the microphone stand. She came on, a squat little old lady in a horrid dress and no shoes, and stood centre stage singing. What was terrible was that not a single expression crossed her face the entire night: not a smile or a frown, nothing to communicate her emotional state to the audience. And because the songs were in a language I couldn't understand and each song, apart from the actual music, sounded vocally almost exactly the same, I couldn't fathom which songs were happy, which were sad or meloncholy. It was a strange and uncomfortable experience.

Obviously I was missing something because the majority of the audience were in raptures, clapping hysterically at the end of each song (and sometimes in the middle of one - what's with that?).

To finish on a positive note it started promptly at eight pm, no unnecessary support acts, and finished in exactly one and a half hours, including encore. A definite moment of less is more.
Pssst. I can't say this very loudly because my brain might explode with the excitement...

I'm going to see Trinny and Susannah do their thing tomorrow night at Westfield Chatswood. My friend J won tickets and she is so very very kindly taking me.

Update later.
Sometimes the universe listens to you. Like when you watch The Family Stone and say "gee, that was a good idea but what a very crap movie". The universe gets it's act into gear and makes a much better version.

That version is Dan in Real Life. Same as The Family Stone BUT GOOD!

The funny bits are funny, really funny. And the poignant bits don't suck. Steve Carell, like some good comedians (I'm thinking Jim Carrey right now), can do sad and a little crazy really well. He was great, as was the whole ensemble cast. Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney could sit on stools and whistle Dixie for an hour and forty minutes and I'd pay to see it.

Like Juno, it featured a great original soundtrack by some weird little dude called Sondre Lerche. And the almost mandatory, sung within the story, version of Pete Townshend's Let My Love Open The Door which is a song I love (and previously loved on the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack).

As a super little no-extra-charge bonus there is even a little adopted child in the family AND NO-ONE MENTIONS IT.... LIKE IT'S JUST PART OF NORMAL FAMILIES AND NORMAL LIFE!!! I almost couldn't believe it.

Thank you Universe!