31 January, 2005

birds of song, birds of beauty

Once upon a last Friday, mindlessmunkey and Mr Eduardo decided to go and see Augie March play a live gig, at a brand new venue in the Northern Suburbs. (In fact the decision had been made some days earlier, but came to fruition on the aforementioned Friday.) The Venue in question was the Northcote Social Club, which is the name the lovely-man-who-owns-the-Corner bestowed upon the former Commercial Hotel, when he decided Northcote was a fine spot for a new, rockin live-music venue. And right he was.

If you haven't heard of Augie March, you don't know what you're missing. (That, of course goes without saying.) They are an Australian band of five members, at least two of whom hail from Shepperton in rural Victoria. They are, in this munkey's not very humble opinion, the finest band to have arisen in Australia for a very long time. Combining old-fashioned folk-based rock, gentle balladry and intricate instrumentation with the most beautifully poetic lyrics this side of Leonard Cohen, their music ranges from barely-whispered echoes of musical tenderness, to all out ear-drum-blistering explosions of aural beauty.

The Northcote Social Club Band Room, smoke-free and holding just 300 people, is the perfect venue for their stylings, and the band's occasional live insecurity disappeared as the mirthful five took to the stage and delivered a relaxed, tight and engaging set. Frontman/songwriter Glenn Richards - occasionally prone to on-stage crankiness and excessive personal perfectionism - was in particularly good form ...laughing, joking and making light of the occasional hic-up, while allowing his voice to soar freely among the exquisite tangle of sounds that is Augie March.

Add to this the wonderful company of the soon-to-be-jet-setting-to-Spain Mr Eduardo, a meeting with Ms Kaz and Ms Lisa (two-thirds of a band called The Curious Few, who I will hopefully be checking out soon) and one of the best darn Chicken Parmas ever ...and it was all-round a great evening.

Saturday night involved a BBQ at Ms Sheila's, the purpose of which was to meet Ms Anne, a distant relative-by-marriage who is currently over from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England... from where hail patermunkey, Ms Sheila and Grandma Ashton. It was wonderful to have a leaf off our antipodean family-tree float down to spend time with us. Both Grandmas Ashton and Miller came to honour the occasion, and we were also honoured by visits from Cousin Craig and Ms Susan, as well as Cousin Mark and Ms Annie: seven months pregnant and glowing like a beacon.

On Sunday, the family showed Ms Anne around the Dandenongs, with munkey (having stumbled his way through the area several times on various excursions with Madame Mu, Mother Gomati and Mr Mikey) as designated navigator/tour-guide. We found our way to Grant's Picnic ground, where our friendly Pommie took delight in feeding the rosellas, before a walk through the old giant Mounain Ash forest. Further walking took place at the Alfred Nichols Memorial Gardens, a place it would be rather nice to purchase and reside in... you know, when I win four consecutive lotteries in 2007.

The obligatory tea of scones with jam and cream followed, before a close encounter of the kookaburra kind. Then patermunkey deliberately ignored mindlessmunkey's directions, as a thinly-veiled excuse to drive down the enormously steep hill into Belgrave. This quite possibly contributed to Electroboy being violently car-sick. However we all made it home in one piece, and after a lovely counter-meal that evening we bade Ms Anne adieu, wishing her a safe trip home.

As a final note, I would like to say (rather unpatriotically) I am awfully glad Mr Lleyton didn't win the tennis last night ~ snotty little soapie-star-shagging turd. Hooray for hulking, surly Russians with dry wit and dashing facial hair!

One of these came from the Victorian wilderness and wrote Strange Bird. The other is a strange bird from the Victorian wilderness. Can you guess which is which?


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27 January, 2005

so slowly, indeed...

Another lovely evening was spent with Mr Daniel on Sunday night, this time at his house. Hurrah for pizza, smoochies and Futurama (only two series to go, Danny-boy!). Things remain undefined, unofficial and unhurried ...so mindlessmunkey is doing his best not to get carried away and over-analyse the whole goshdarn situation. Not an easy task for me with my Taurus sun and Cancer rising, not to mention my long-ingrained habit of pulling everything to pieces with my mind, only to find it doesn't fit back together afterwards ...but I'm doing my best. *trying-not-to-fuck-up-something-good munkey*

As a result of the Daniel-related festivities, I missed the triumphant return of patermunkey and Ms Cait, but let me here bestow a big "welcome home" upon them. I managed to keep all the pets alive, and not burn down the house while they were away, so that's a pretty damn fine effort on my part, I think. And judging by the volume of patermunkey's rendition of Bob Dylan's Just Like A Woman after "flying" home from my aunt's house on Monday evening, he was glad to be home and in very high spirits, so to speak.

Tuesday night it was off to see Falling So Slowly, a play being performed as part of the Midsumma Festival. Alas, Mr Grundy is cracking the whip mighty hard the last couple of weeks, so poor Ms Snazzles wasn't able to make it, leaving just myself and Mr Kenny to take on the event. After walking down a sweltering Toorak Road (fueled by Slurpees from 7-Eleven), Mr Kenny impressed and intimidated by ordering food in Cantonese, leaving munkey a little unsure of what exactly he'd gotten himself in for. However the cuisine was wonderful: krispy pork, bbq pork, bean-curd, scallops... Yay! Then it was the very hot walk back to St Martin's Theatre. The play was good... nothing absolutely remarkable about the script I suppose ~ kind of your standard character-based relationship drama, apart from the fact that it was a queer romance rather than a str8 one ~ but it was very solid and not-too-sprawling. The production really did the playwright justice, with multi-layered, charismatic performances and lively direction, not to mention a very attractive (and often naked) cast, to satisfy the aesthetic/shallow side of certain audience members *voyeur munkey*. Special mention must go to Christopher Pender as Bobbie, who really should be seen naked in public more often, for the general good of all human-kind.

Australia Day saw the munkeymobile trundling off to Hanover Court for a traditional BBQ, including ultra-Aussie Japanese noodles. hmmm. Well they were delicious, despite the potential cultural clash. There were also burgers, BBQ chicken, salad and beer, so we didn't forsake our national culinary expectations altogether. And of course in the grand Aussie tradition of "mateship" *puke*, there was the wonderful company of Ms Lili, Mistress Corredina, Ms Snazzles (sadly briefly), Madame Mu, Mr Duncan and Ms Sophie. And yes, mindlessmunkey smoked two cigarettes. *bad bad BAD munkey*

So now for another day at work, before the frivolity and foolishness of my life commences once again. Hurrah! Enjoy the heat, lovers and dreamers, coz I won't.



23 January, 2005

a dip into the unconscious ...with a messiah

~dream diary~

So there was a public pool within walking distance of my house, that I had never known about before. So I joined! It was an outdoor arrangement, with an Olympic size pool open to the air, the lockers, change-rooms, showers etc inside a small building, and a smaller, shallower pool under cover of a large verandah.

I arrived in the late afternoon, and it took me AGES to get organised... two separate people showed me around, and explained the rules (the first a tall thin man, the second a large woman) before they would even give me a locker. By the time I was ready and allowed to go in the water, night had fallen and the place was illuminated by hanging lamps. A large crowd had gathered around the shallowest end of the smaller, undercover pool. The large lady who was very strictly showing me around, suddenly began to sound eerily like a Cult disciple / recruitment-officer, and announced that I was very lucky because He was here today.

She explained in reverent tones how He was an incredibly wise and gifted prophet, healer, etc etc and that I would have to begin coming regularly to receive the benefits of his presence. I was my usual openly disrespectful and rebellious self (which only comes to the fore in dreams, unfortunately) and dismissed this as a load of wank. I gently pushed my way through the masses and found myself on the edge of the pool, where He was holding counsel from the water.
He was a boy of about 12 or 13, Indian or South Asian. there was indeed a faint glow of golden light around him, and he was not so much standing ON the surface of the pool, but just below it, so his feet were submerged, but the rest of him stood up out of the water like a tree. He wasn't saying or doing anything, just staring with great concentration up towards the lamps which hung around the pool. But the people around me were watching and listening to him reverently, as if he were delivering a profound sermon.

None of this swayed my unimpressed-ness, and I simply marched into the pool and began swimming past Him. I was half expecting the cult-members to leap in, drag me from the water and beat me senseless, but when I felt a body approach me, it was Him. He was no longer glowing, but had a huge smile on his face, and was swimming and splashing like any other teengae kid. I was overwhelmed by how relieved and relaxed he suddenly seemed, as if he had been waiting for this all his life, and we proceeded to swim and muck around in the water together like carefree children. I'm not sure what became of the people at the edge of the pool... they had ceased to matter, to either of us.



22 January, 2005

are you sitting comfortably? ...then I'll begin

Tuesday evening was spent with the Delightful Mr Daniel J (and yes bois, he IS extremely hot; the response since i put his pic on my blog has been quite overwheliming! *smugmunkey*) indulging in various cinematic delights such as The Dark Crystal and Sleepy Hollow (mmm Johhny Depp with 18th Century tight pants and SUCH cute hair!). The following day involved many episodes of Futurama and a viewing of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (hence my inspiration for 'munkey's-eye view') ...as well as pie, pizza, chocolate and litres of lemon-lime-&-bitters. What more could one ask for? *ahem*

And then, of course, Friday was THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF MS SNAZZLES! Hurrah! Happy 1/4 of a century, my dearest.

The evening was kicked off with a quick visit to the home of the birthday-girl... where munkey lavished his spirit-sister with "The Art Of The Return Of The King" (Big Surprise, since I gave her the same book of the previous two Lord Of The Rings films the last two years running *predictable munkey*. But you gotta honour such traditions!) as well as a double CD of that brassy behemoth of the blues, Bessie Smith. Hope you like 'em Snazzles m'dear. : )

Then it was off to Hanover Court, to join with the Royal Couple, Ms Lili and Mistress Corrie, before heading to Mao's for a fine meal and wine with Madame Mu, Mother Gomati and Mr Mikey. And for the love of all things sacred: Why has no-one ever told me how damn good Deep Fried Icecream is before! My life has changed forever!

On to Bimbo Deluxe and a meeting with too many people to name, including the housemates of Snazzles, the ex-schoolmates of Snazzles and the fellow-screenwriting-étudiants of Snazzles. Mr Chris Mac also dropped in for a drink, a "tab" (not LSD, but Scot-speak for a cigarette, so I have learned) and a chin-wag.

As predicted, Bimbo's turned evil... we were thrown out of our lovley courtyard plonking-place, and forced into the depths of the establishment, where the offensive music plays, and the offensive people wear offensive clothes and dance the night away *snob munkey*. (and yes, there is a special place in the DEPTHS OF HELL reserved for thee, Mister Bimbo's Bouncer! You know who you are.) So... it was on to a much classier joint in the guise of Polly. Hurrah for Polly with its uber-posh decor and tantalising cocktails!

Of course, as the night/early morning wore on, even Polly began to play dodgy musak, and so it was clearly time to drag our tired bones home *designated-driver munkey*. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, my pet, and here's to many more together over the centuries to come! Schlaagen !

~dream diary~
A few interesting clouds of dream-smoke have remained with me this morning, mostly to do with a return to my highschool at the Castle-On-The-Hill. There was a big assembly, for which me and my classmates (comprising boys and girls ranging from very small children) were on stage, supposedly to sing "Land Of Hope And Glory", but none of us knew the words. My late, great principal Mr Willis (r.i.p. Ray) was there, looking extremely jovial, and i was very pleased to see him looking so well *sigh*. However, he was no longer principal; that role was now filled by Madonna. (who else? ...and strange that for a woman who I scarecely EVER think about, she has popped up in my dreams twice in the last month. curious, no?) Only thing I remember about her was that she told off a girl for spitting her chewy out on the floor ("How DARE you?! This is the Memorial Hall!!" she cried) and that I wasn't sure whether to call her Ms Madonna, or just Madonna.

I also remember one "class", which also took place on the stage of Mem Hall. Not sure what subject it was, but it was taught by a VERY creepy Eastern European man, who presented each student with a kitten, then announced that we were going to be killing the kittens as part of the lesson. All the kids were horrified, but no-one seemed willing to take a stand against this. I remember being particularly dissapointed in one Mr Tom Rogers, who was always quite a rebel (what that face from the dim distant past was doing returning to my subconscious I really don't know). So finally, just as Mr Teacher was describing how we were to mash the kitties' heads with the heel of our boot, I dropped my feline gently out the nearest window and announced this was a disgrace and I would not be taking part. All the other kids were following suit as I marched from the Hall... wondering which subject I would pick-up to replace this animal-killing one, so that I could still pass high-school. Psychology perhaps?

I think it's time for another appointment with Dr Snazzlepops!


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20 January, 2005

munkey's-eye view: WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?


What do you get when you cross a Raymond Chandler noir-mystery novel with a Looney Tunes cartoon?

Before Robert Zemeckis went all over-earnest and Tom-Hanks-luvvin on us, he was one hell of a film maker. And this genre-bending tour de force is probably his master-work, combining a complex plot, snappy dialogue, unforgettable characters, a stylish visual flair... and of course the seamless integration of old-school animation and live-action film.

One look at the story-line shows that this is no just-for-kiddies romp, despite the riotous animated opening sequence. This is a tale of murder and blackmail, where a successful actor is framed and his lounge-singer wife is set up as a philanderer, so a corrupt corporation can bump-off a businessman and get its hands on a huge area of land. The film's protagonist is Eddie Valiant, a mourning, alcoholic Private Eye who must uncover the conspiracy before the framed star is caught and executed for a murder he never commited. Of course the twist is, the actor is a nutty cartoon bunny, his wife is the sauciest ink-and-paint vixen ever, the businessman is the mad inventor of the "Acme" products (endlessly used by Wile E Coyote et al) and the piece of land up for grabs is Toontown: a psychotic carnival-land which the madcap animated characters call their home.

The successful merging of noir and toon seems improbable to say the least, but Zemeckis creates this integrated world so deftly, the audience doesn't even stop to question it. These Toons are simply actors who come from their crazy home every day to work for the cartoon studios in Hollywood. They have all the "physical" characteristics of animated beings, but operate within our world and interact with humans.

Of course, this premise is entirely reliant on the movie's brilliant visual effects, all the more impressive for the fact that every frame of animation is hand-drawn. The film does not contain a single digital effect or computer-generated image, with the illusion of Toons holding, moving and interracting with real objects and people, created entirely through robotics, puppetry and of course intricate paint-cell animation utilising movement in three dimensions... a rarity in conventional animation as it requires much more complex drawing than the single-plane movement seen in most cartoons.

Credit of course must go also to the human actors, in particular the underrated Bob Hoskins as Eddie, who relates so closely and so phyisically with Roger, it seems inconceivable he was alone on the set when the scenes were filmed.

As Hollywood in the last couple of years seems to constantly churn out generic, easily definable, by-the-numbers crowd-pleasers, film-buffs can only look back with longing at films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. It almost seems that gone are the days when a mainstream director was prepared to take huge risks with genre and style to create a movie from out of left field like this. And yet how else is film as an art-form to remain fresh, ground-breaking and continuously engaging to kids, adults, and cinema-freaks alike?

(out of 5)



18 January, 2005


a big welcome home hug to Ms Andrea, who is back from Middle Earth. Wish I could say "safe & well", but alas a potential floating bone fragment puts the kibosh on that. Hope your poor back is mucho bettero very soon luvvie... nasssty stairs, we hatesss them.



dick smith's minions vs. manga misogyny

Now where were we? ahh yes...

Sunday morning saw a trip to the good people at Dick Smith Powerhouse, for the exchange of the FM radio attachment of Electroboy's mp3 player. Perhaps they got confused when they saw me, and thought the dark-haired man in black-glasses had stepped out of their logo to ask for assistance... or perhaps it was the "I could FREAK OUT and destroy the world with my bare hands!" atmosphere that clings to Electroboy whenever busted electronics are nearby... but the staff were remarkably helpful, removed the offending appliance and replaced it on the spot, complete with renewed warranty. Ain't it grand when a retail experience actually goes according to plan?

So, sparkling new music-machine in hand, Electroboy was deposited back at Electrohouse, while Ms Cait was taken off my hands by Ms Hannah, where she will spend a doubtless fun-filled few days at the Hannah Estate ~ truly a kids' wonderland: trampoline, tennis court, tree house, swimming pool, video-games galore, etc etc. ~ before she too heads to the coast to join patermunkey on his camping/fishing/golfing/drinking adventure. Which leaves me alone in the house in charge of the dog, the cat, the lizard (I kid you not) and Ms Cait's poor miserable Sims, whose needs I have promised to fulfil before their creator's return... no simple task, regardless of the unlimited-money cheat!

Sunday evening was spent with Mr Rocky, expanding my education in the realm of animé. And guess what? It's true: The Matrix works much better in the short, animated format of Animatrix. No apalling expositionary dialogue! No tedious, repetitive action sequences that lead no-where and have no bearing on the plot! No faux-philosophical diatribes followed by nauseatingly pat "meaningful" statements! and best of all... No Keanu Reeves! We also watched X, a visually spectacular apocalyptic vision. My only criticisms: I would have liked to be shown some greater details about the minor characters among the two groups of Dragons, and it would have been nice to see a little more internal conflict within Kamui, in deciding which force to allign himself with. However I imagine these are things which would have been fleshed-out in the long-running series of comics or animé (which I've not seen) as opposed to this condensed feature film version.

Also, one final thought... why must it always be the big-busted women who get stripped naked and ripped to shreds? Why no burly boys in-the-buff and getting bloodied-up?
I shall leave you with that thought: to ponder the curiously inherent misogyny in Japan's most internationally enjoyed art-form, and lament the lack of manga-boy raunch.

so why can you see a female android getting her buxoum boobies exposed and torn to pieces in the mainstream Animatrix ...and yet this fine young man can only be found on a restricted yaoi porn site? please explain.


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15 January, 2005

events of varying fortunateness

I have learned many things in the past 48 hours. Here are three of them: Africans are always late. Making-out at a train station at night is a double-edged sword. Being honest with your paternal figure (and giving him the $300 you owe him) is a good way to smoothe family relations.

I spent my Friday (well the pm, which is the only part that matters on a day-off) with the Kool Kat from Kenya, Mr Rocky. As usual when someone leaves me in charge of proceedings, we visited all my regular haunts *predictable munkey*: Hairy Canary (that waiter would be sooo cute without his fuck-ugly lip-ring), St Jerome's (dodge the bird-crap if you're sitting outside!), and Gin Palace (you gotta take the rude service with the funky decor/music). We also popped into Allans so I could buy some guitar strings ~ yes, I've been playing with more passion than precision as usual, and snapped my G-String... dontchya hate that? Ran into Ms Carla there as I was pretending to have enough money to even look at the Steinways (greetings from Ms Carla to Madame Mu, btw) and fortunately she took pity on my poverty and let me tinker.

Mr Rocky accompanied me to dinner with Snazzles, Mu, Mr Tim, Ms Gemma and Mr Matt, where we (Re)treated ourselves to fries, dips, dim-sum, risotto, scallop salad, etc etc and of course wine, wine & wine. After walking Mr Rocky back to the station and getting caught up in the rain (among other things ...ahem *blushing munkey*) I enjoyed a quick game of Scene-It (film-buffs everywhere take note: this is a must-play, but ignore the Buzz cards. They're not as funny as they want to be) with Snazzles, Tim & Ms Penelope... before braving the long drive back to munkey-land.

In other news, paternalmunkey trundled off camping today, leaving me to play Daddy to Ms Cait and Electroboy all by myself. How grown up of me! *mature munkey* But don't be too shocked, dear readers, I'm not taking this parenting nonsense to heart. I'm cementing my role as the Cool Big Brother who takes the kids to the movies, buys them popcorn, handles problems with mp3 players, dishes out sensible but light-hearted discipline when necessary... but looks the other way if there's anything serious to be dealt with (e.g. puke, diarrhoea, etc etc... I held the chuck-bucket on long-drives for years, and changed nappies at 15... no more sibling-bodily-functions for me, thank you).

So off we went avec Ms Snazzles, Ms Lili, Mr Joe and Ms Kat to see Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events. My disclaimer is that I have only read one of the books, but apart from a few moments of misjudged over-the-topness by Mr Carrey, I really enjoyed it. May do an in-depth review at some point, so won't say anymore now.

Well, that will have to hold the masses at bay for now... tune in next time to find out just how mindlessmunkey and the adventure of electroboy's busted mp3 player pans out.



14 January, 2005

who needs freud when you have dr snazzlepops?

Well my beloved Ms Snazzles has delved into her sublime knowledge of the subconscious (based largely on personal experience I may add) and come up with this remarkably apt interpretation of my mental wanderings. Enjoy!


Dr Snazzlepops' dream interpretation:

The Nazi represents Prince Harry (who, you might recall, has got himself into a bit of bother recently after being photographed wearing a swastika at a drunken costume party). Since Harry is a public figure who represents the universal human conflict (both internal and external) between authority/discipline/repression (the monarchy) and youthfulness/hedonism/pleasure-seeking (normal adolescence), I am not at all surprised that he figures in your subconscious.

Somehow the attractive young Prince H (in his undeniably aesthetically pleasing Nazi uniform) has also become associated in your mind with a desire to repeatedly explore underground tunnels and lick faces. This sounds like it falls into the hedonism/pleasure-seeking category(and I'm not at all sure I blame you).

The dog's bad breath and your uncertainty about the geography of your home city probably stem from an abject discomfort with your very natural attraction to Harry. These symbols represent your tendency to self-censure any hedonistic urges and err towards the side of restraint and responsibility. Are you afraid, MindlessMunkey, that if you were to give in to your party-boy instincts, someone might take a photo of you and splash it all over the papers?

The doll with the 'kitsch' fashion sense (a clear symbol of childhood wearing attire from the decade of your youth) only serves to reiterate the fact that your dream is all about 'growing up' and sorting out the conflict between 'id' and 'super ego', or (if you will) 'Ernie' and'Bert'.

It was a marvellous dream, if you don't mind me saying so. Quite fitting, really, that your paternal authority figure should approach you after this dream and offer you an object that perfectly represents the delights of youth and recreation – the humble ice-cream.Pleasure-seeking ain't always such a bad thing, Munkey-boy…


Since I hadn't heard the news snippet about the (undenaibly appealing) Prince H's escapades when I had the dream, I was clearly tapping into a collective unconscious type deal here... quite exciting!

And thank you Ms Snazzles for your encouragement of my pleasure-seeking... however I usually end up hanging around, waiting for the pleasure to come to me! Maybe that's my problem... *questioning own motives munkey*



13 January, 2005

paging dr freud!

~dream diary~

After the 35 degree day and three days in a row of pretending to work, I fell asleep on my bed as soon as I got home this evening. Woke up from a very strange dream... most of which, as usual, has disappeared from my head.

The parts I do remember are driving into an underground tunnel (twice), arguing with my cousin Ms Nicole about the whereabouts of a certain Melbourne suburb, tracking down and hiding from a Nazi War Criminal, being at a house-party playing with an extremely kitsch 80s doll dressed in purple, and getting licked in the face by a large St Bernard with a huge tongue & bad breath. How the narrative tied all these elements together, I really can't fathom.

Any suggestions?

p.s. after I woke up, my Dad bought me an icecream when he went to the shops. awww!



munkey's-eye view: BJÖRK ~ MEDÚLLA


me.dul.la n. pl. me.dul.las or me.dul.lae
1. The inner core of certain organs or body structures, such as the marrow of bone.

Enchanting and enigmatic she may be... but our beloved Ms Guthmundsdóttir has never been easy to swallow. And so it is with her latest release Medúlla ~ quite possibly her most challenging to date. The tone is set by the CD artwork, where full tracklisting and lyrics are printed in ink the exact same colour as the background paper... forcing the reader to hold the sheet at an angle, squinting to decipher the glossy text from the matte background. Right away, we know that two decades in the biz has not led the impish Icelander to pander to her crowd.

Abandonning the lush string section of Homogenic and the hypnotic electronica of Vespertine, the new album is Björk-does-Bobby-McFerrin ~ as she constructs beats, harmonies and atmosphere almost entirely from variously treated and edited snippets of the human voice. An Icelandic choir and guest vocalists are woven into the mix, but of course Björk's own astonishing vocals are the star of the show... particularly when several of her vocal lines intersect and overlap in improbable yet breathtaking harmonies, on songs such as Desired Constellation.

Certain tracks grab the listener right from the outset. The hymn-like Vokuro ~ all in Icelandic and featuring full choral arrangement ~ is one of Björk's most beautiful creations to date, while the mysterious Mouth's Cradle features her trademark intriguing lyrics: "...you can use these teeth / follow my voice ... Up to mouth's cradle ... I need a shelter to build an altar away / From all the osamas and bushes". Other songs meanwhile take a bit of getting used to, as the off-kilter beats and conflicting vocal strands seem to jar a little at first. However upon repeated listening, the ear becomes accustomed to the unconventional structure and tone of Medúlla's sounds, and the album flows as a whole remarkably well.

Let's face it: when an established star refuses to rest on her laurels, continuing to break boundaries and challenge her audience, one can only applaud. Björk could have released an album of catchy tunes in the vein of It's Oh So Quiet and knocked-off a guaranteed big-seller. But she trusts her audience, and knows that the reason we all love her is becuase she continues to be in-your-face and off-beat. Bless her to bits.

4 (out of 5)



12 January, 2005

neighbours, nachos & necks

Hello again, avid readers.

As I tapped away on msn on Monday night, socialising via 1s and 0s as I like to do, an urgent cry issued forth from the family room, as the final strains of The Simpsons theme faded. "It's starting! It's starting!" It was, of course, my wonderful sister Ms Cait, who has been lamenting the lack of Stingray's antics and Izzy's bitchiness ever since Lou's Place collapsed in flames late last year. Yes, dear friends, Neighbours is back. So will Stuart be blind forever? Just whose was that body they discovered in the ashes? Who lit the damn thing anyway? And has the music really got more cheesy since last year? Well thanks to the abundantly brilliant Ms Snazzles and her spectacularly ascending career as a TV writer, I have a few hints to some of these questions. Although who knows... she can be a deceiving wench when she wants to be. Anyways, I heartily hope we are all donning our soapie hats for the nightly unfolding of Erinsborough Events! lol

Speaking of the divine Ms D, I spent a most enjoyable evening with Snazzles and Madam Mu last night. After the relaxing cool of my air-conned work-place, I braved the sweltering heat and made the drive to Abbotsford, where after a hefty injection of English muffins and Futurama, the three of us headed off to the Corner Hotel. There we plied ourselves with drinks and food (very good nachos at the Corner... not stingy with the cheese like that nasssty Hideout. right, ladies?) and ~ after a quick dash for pain killers to subdue the pain monster in Snazzie's head ~ we settled down for an evening with The Necks.

For those of you who may not know, The Necks are a wonderful Australian band, comprising piano, bass and drums. Their style would probably most loosely be described as free jazz, but that is too much of a neat pigeon-hole for what they do. Each of their sets is completely improvised, beginning with a focussed silence as the three musicians relax and await inspiration. The music begins with the barest minimalism, and builds almost imperceptibly over the next half an hour into a dynamic, exhilarating roar as these three virtuosos pour their heart and souls into their art... thouroughly absorbed in their own instrument, and yet so intensely aware of each other that they play as one. As the set approaches the 1 hour mark, the sound diminishes once again, until they end together on a delicate note, as if they had rehearsed for hours, not just evoked this masterpiece from the ether on the spot.

I am looking forward to their next Melbourne gig at the Town Hall... where instead of piano, they will be using the huge old pipe organ. it will surely be an experience to behold!
Well, I'll leave you with that, kids. Love to all.

p.s. Everyone has to send Mr. Scott in Queensland a big get-well hug to help him get over his glandular fever. Luv ya Scottie.



11 January, 2005

up, up and away!

Greetings! and welcome to the first edition of my blog.

Where to begin? ...Today I decided to begin a blog. *pointing-out-the-obvious munkey*

Last night was extremely hot, and I had trouble sleeping. *tired munkey* Perhaps that was also partly because I had slept in till 11.30 yesterday morning. I think my body-clock is still recovering from the pounding I gave it on the weekend. I stayed up till 6am on Saturday night/Sunday morning ~ after watching DVDs with Mr Daniel J till the wee small hours ~ and loaded up on caffiene to ensure i would make the drive safely home.

I have had a technological revolution today. Apart from beginning this here record of my doings and thinkings, I also changed over my email account to the wonderful gmail, as introduced to me by my darling Ms Snazzles, and I also upgraded my msn to the new Beta 7 version (whatever the fuck that means). Alas, my cute little custom emoticons have all been left behind on verion 6.2, so I will need to go back and remake them. *grumpy munkey*

~dream diary~
Despite the small amount of sleep I was able to grasp last night, I do remember one small dream segment. I returned to work at Coles; not that I was starting a job there again, I think I was just there to visit someone, or join a celebration. The upstairs staff area had been completely renovated and was looking quite swanky, and there was quite a feast laid out. Not sure what the occasion was, but it was certainly much better fare than the usual Coles afternoon tea. There were fine cheeses and sandwitch meats laid out with wonderful breads and dips and all that sort of yummy finger food. The only people present were Brenna (a girl who indeed used to work with me at Coles, and was quite a psychopath to boot) and a certain Mr Nick Verso. What the Hell he was doing there I have no idea... but in the dream my only surprise was that he was back at Coles, as I thought he had resigned several months ago. Wish I could remember more, as I'm sure all the psychologically important material has been filtered from my memory. Ah well it makes a change from my recent slew of dreams where I totally crack the sads and scream at someone (usually my Dad).

Well that was a somewhat inauspicious beginning to my career as a blogger, but I promise news will be noted here as it comes to hand.

Keep tuning in kids: same munkey-time, same munkey-station.


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