Monday, December 8, 2008

Blip blip beep boop

I've got a Xmas party to help cater, I start a new job in less than a week, I have two book reviews for good grown-up books to write, one of which I haven't read yet, I'm supposed to cook tea, care for my wiff and edit my book but all I want to do is listen to Daft Punk's Alive over and over and over again.
I haven't been obsessed with an album since ... hmm ... Tool's 10,000 Days, which I had to listen to about a dozen times on and off before I found myself waking up at night with strange guitar riffs grinding down my cerebellum. Alive is an instant classic. I am absolutely smitten. I just sit here with my ridiculously large headphones clamped to my noggin, bopping my head, tapping my feet, missing phone calls, ignoring family members, waving my arms in the air like I've got two handfuls of glowsticks, a tummy full of ecstasy and a calendar set permanently to 1999. Aw Yeah. I robot dance while washing up. I actually sat Mele down, of all people, put the headphones on her head and tried to get her to nod her head in blissful appreciation of what is essentially the sound of twelve million mobile phone rings played simultaneously through really loud speakers. To her credit, she was very polite about it.

What was your latest music obsession? Not crush - I'm talking lust, people. Points go to most embarrassing story and/or worst taste in music. Bear in mind this will judged by a man whose musical taste reaches its pinnacle at Daft Punk and Underworld, a man to whom novelty songs are equal to songs whose lyrics do not contain punchlines, a man to whom lyrics have no meaning.


Many kind thanks to Myninja, Kath, LC, 327, Moify, Captain T and Tess for uniting the blogging world with the real and coming along to hear Mele and I read at Wordfire last night. For all those bloggers who are also large fans of Kath and Myninja's work, I can reveal that in person they are both devilishly handsome individuals and having them in the audience was as gratifying as it was daunting.

Photos pending spousal consultation.

Points go to River for giving me the giggles with her wonderful Hydrantophiliac vignette. Honourable mention to the often silent, but always correct Will for being so amazingly spot-on with his art identification.


  1. ALIVE is an awesome album, but Soooo 2007!

    Wrap your ears around THE VAMPIRE WEEKEND (Album by artists of same name).

    If "A-punk" doesn't have you bouncing around the house, then the writer in you will smile along smugly with "Oxford Comma".

    BTW: The Prodigy and The TingTings are coming to Singapore. I don't know ONE Singaporean I've talked to who knows who The Prodigy are. No guesses as to why I stream JJJ while over here rather than endure loacl radio!

  2. It was a genuine pleasure to meet you, Franzy, your beautiful wife Mele, Myninjacockle and 327th Male. Your readings were brilliant and the drafts must be handed in NOW - right NOW - so that I can buy them and read them with Sapphire.

    And yes, we *are* devilishly handsome but that's just flattering lighting!

    Obsessive music - Abba's entire Super Trouper album released in 1980. Every single damn song etched into my psyche at age 12 and 13. We'd moved from South Australia to Aberdeen Scotland and somehow my record had survived the trip intact. I sat in my attic bedroom playing it over the hifi (with only one of the speakers; the other was downstairs in the living room connected to the radio segment) every night after school for months until I finally felt settled into the horrors of a tough city high school, induction into the intricacies of rough Celtic culture and established some firm friendships.

    When CDs were commonly available in 1986 (Paul Simon's 'Graceland' being the biggest selling CD that year), I snuck out and ordered every single Abba album on CD, even though I only had a double tape player at the time. How's *that* for a sad obsession!

  3. TooS - What? No convenient torrent link in the nickname?
    You do realise that you're losing ground by making me nip off to find them myself.

    Re - Prodigy. I'm only slightly shocked. Much less so than the fact that no-one had heard of Joy Division at my old workplace.

    Kath - You may be in the lead, depending on how tragic Vampire Weekend turns out to be.

  4. I don't have any recent embarrassing music stories but when I was about 12 I used to take mum's casettes outside in a portable tape recorder and play the music really loud in the back yard and jump on my trampoline...

    ... to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

  5. Enya... I still feel all fuzzy inside when I hear those synth voices harmonize. Takes me back to a perfect xmas day when I was young. Why no body has put her songs to a beat and released some dance music puzzles me.

  6. I have this on repeat in my headphones at work. It's very important to remind myself not to accidentally sing it out loud.

  7. Ko(backwards R)n was somewhat embarrassing trend of 1997/8 where they tried to come back from obscurity.

    I'd have to say, I had a weird pull towards Rick Price - Not A Day Goes By (100% hits volume 20 - I believe). I guess the fact that I'd bought 100% hits album shows that during that period I was coming to terms with what sort of music I was into.

    One for a laugh is Bob Log III - Boob Scotch *link above* (especially funny if you can find the video of an Adelaide Jive Incident that I was lucky enough to be attending).

    GTH: Franzy's bedroom while listening to 'Alive' and throwing his body around is the Johnny Haysman fasion (who by the way I saw on a recent trip to the Bentley's Pub Clare.

  8. My favourite music would probably make you cringe. I like country music and I'm quite possibly in love with Trisha Yearwood. Her songs make up about 65% of my mp3 playlist. Two of her songs, "Drown Me" and "River of You" have me pressing the earbuds closer into my ears and completely ignoring all outside sounds. Another song I will love forever is "Old Dogs, Children And Watermelon Wine" by Tom T Hall. It's a golden oldie, from the 60's I think. I also love the German/English medley of Silent Night by Boney M and "Oh Holy Night" by Martina McBride.

  9. P.S. I'm glad y'all had such a wonderful time at wordfire.

  10. Squib - I don't think it's called 'jumping' when it's to Dolly'n'Kenny. Boot-scootin'?

    Moifey - Oh dear. I bet E doesn't know about this secret obsession ...

    327 - I'll give you TEN (10) dollars, if you can get this played all the way through at N&J's wedding reception.

    Shippy - I'd say you were charging ahead of the pack with this one. And I could freely mock you, too, if it weren't for a deep and goose-pimpled love for Funky Town starring coldly at me through the pages of my own personal history ...

    River - I'm not even sure country music counts just yet. Is it cooler or uncooler than frenchelectro? I feel as though it might be cooler because it's really heading into stage one of Underground. You only hear people mentioning it quietly, almost shamefully, from the corners of their mouths. This is surely an indication of the tenacious quality of its fans.
    Watch this space.

    ps. Sad you couldn't have been there!

  11. Opeth's "Damnation". It's sweet, spooky and Swedish.

  12. Alrighty I have another song that - yes, brace yourselves - is even more embarrassing than my devoted and lifelong love of all things ABBA.

    In the seventies during one summer holiday (maybe 1978?) we were holidaying in the West Beach caravan park, right next to the awesome Marineland, home to about 20 pelicans they'd wheel out individually as THE one and only Mr Percival from the movie Storm Boy.

    Anyhooo, someone in the tent nearby had a mono cassette player that had Wings' 'Mull of Kintyre' on it. I fell in love instantly - 'Oh mists rolling in from the sea, my desire, is always to be here, oh Mull of Kintyre'. Such imagination for a sunburnt kid from Murray Bridge who kept leaving her thongs and bathroom bag in the showerblock....

  13. I'm having a bragfest, my grandson, also a Sam, got EIGHT A's in his school report.

  14. Sams ROCK!!!!

    Judging by your Grandson's name alone: I'd say he was destined for great things!

    Hmm, perhaps ignore definition No.1 if your Grandson is under 13...

  15. I'm sorry what's wrong with Wings?

    Except of course for Paul McCartneys blatant tautology?

    "And is this ever-changing world in which we live in."


  16. MATP - I have never even heard Opeth. They must be too cool for points.

    Kath - I remember actually going to Marine World and it being one of the finest moments of my childhood. We watched a cockatoo peddle a bicycle across a highwire! Across a swimming pool!
    Not very marine, but still ...

    River - I got no 'A's this year ... no Mars Bars for me ...

    TooS - I think I now see the reason for the old saying "Never shake the hand of a thirteen year old boy"

    Andy - I was going to get all grammatical on tautology, but, after looking it up, I have been shown the way. A new light! Tautology is superfluous is what tautology means!

    Mele and I, writers that we are, both went "I think he means 'redundant'" and thus rendered ourselves so.

  17. toos, he's close enough to 13, and he certainly does rock!

  18. River - I've got to reveal that TooS often puts various links to whatever website he feels might be appropriate in his name. So, before asserting that your Grandson "rocks", maybe give that last link a click ...

  19. Oooops!!! My S is just a real cool kid. Can you please delete the other comment?

  20. Heck no.
    If this blog had a Pool Room, that comment would heading straight there.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32