Friday, April 17, 2015

Immortalised In Fiction



This from American musician and author Beth Patterson: "Two short stories are getting released a day apart from each other! This anthology contains my short story Tubular Hells. It takes place in Australia...it even mentions some of my favorite spots, such as the Rails, the Maldon Folk Festival, and Grumpy & The Dreaded One's Little Cafe Of Awesome."

That's a little bit cool.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tindersticks - Show Me Everything

After lunch service at the cafe I switch to more guitar driven, brooding songs. It's my place, my time of the day. Sometimes I even sing out loud to some Nick Cave or Tom Waits. Every now and again a songs makes me stop the glamorous tasks of cleaning and tidying and go Huh? How good is this?

This was one such song. Love it when old songs are new to your ears.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

3:10 To Humour, Rich Hall Review April 2015





Rich Hall – 3:10 To Humour

Reviewed by Lee Bemrose



I don't know about the title of this show – I really don't – but it feels like some numpty somewhere involved in making a world class comedy festival insisted that Rich Hall give his show a name, when in fact the show could have just as easily have been called “Rich Hall”. And I can kind of hear Rich saying something like, “Oh for fuck sake you Goddamn marketing numpty – why does my show need a name? Why do I need some stupid label? Tins of baked beans need labels – am I a tin of Goddamned motherfucking baked beans? Okay. Okay. How about... I dunno – 3:10 To Humour? That okay with you, you piece of shit marketing numpty?” Sure, it could be a pun on some obscure 1950s short story set in the wild west, but even so its relevance to the show's content eludes me.

Rich Hall is one of those comedy acts that really doesn't need to be labelled. He's Rich Hall, and that's that. And he's just about the funniest guy you're likely to see on stage so basically just buy a ticket and know that you will laugh your arse off. I'm a reviewer and I'm going to spend some of my own cash to see the show again, and I think that's a bigger endorsement than any shitty little five star deal.

Rich gives himself an off-stage introduction, then wanders on-stage looking like he just woke up 10 minutes ago and really couldn't care less. He tells us he is glad to be back in Melbourne and gets on with some of his observations of the differences between Australians and Americans. In politics, it seems, the concept of a coalition is head-bending to Americans. And maybe he has a point – just look at the coalition of shoe repairers and key cutters. I for one had never considered how odd this coupling was, but now that this outsider had pointed it out, why shoe repairs and key-cutting?

For some reason – something to do with the various Bush politicians being exactly the same - the comedian needed to do an impressively awful impersonation of one of the impressively awful Baldwin brothers which lead to Hall wandering slouch-shouldered off stage and into the audience to heckle himself. Back up on stage he did another of the Baldwin brothers (pretty much the same as the first), to come back down into the audience to harangue himself with even harsher abuse. This turned into him being an imaginary audience member heckling the heckler... you've got to love a valid point wrapped up in warped silliness.

And he is very good at verbal abuse, too. His banter with audience members frequently involves comically vehement insults which he totally dead-pans to hilarious effect. On this night he did an admirable job of not turning his ability to insult on a couple of particularly annoying “hecklers”. (I rabbit-ear the word hecklers because it was the lamest version of heckling ever. Drunk idiots incapable of stringing a sentence together, they shouted idiotic monosyllabic grunts far too frequently throughout the show). Where most of the audience were on the verge of telling these incoherent retards incapable of handling their booze to STFU, Hall engaged somewhat and even made one the star of an improv song, showing that this gruff, thunderous looking personification of a hangover has a degree of finesse about him.

The music is a lot of fun. He talks with someone in the audience and builds an improv song out of the snippets of their life he has extracted from them. It's clever and funny when it works, and just plain funny when he struggles to make it work.

The highlight of the show for me was his ode to Bob Dylan,
Bob Dylan Is Getting Back Together. I hadn't heard it or heard of it before and as a result it was kind of... astonishing. I won't spoil it here by describing it, but it is one of the funniest things I've seen. The build up to it is perfect and... I really want to describe it here but will resist.

The bit when the harmonica blares out klaxon-like... no. I really must resist. Just go see it. This piece is almost the sole reason for me going back for more.

But outside of the songs, he has more stories and they are just priceless. As well as the observational stuff (politics, marriage, America's idiotic love affair with guns... lots of stuff with a message as well as just being funny), he has been the guest on many, many television shows and has a vast store of anecdotes to draw upon. His experience with the little guy on car show Top Gear is brilliant.

In short, I think a certain reviewer has a bit of a man crush on a certain dishevelled comedian and he is looking forward to their next date.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Younger Women

There is always a younger woman.
You become her friend,
Her confidante,
No really, her very special friend.

I like that you have these occasional encounters,
And I like that Solitary-You finds happiness
In the company of other people
When you claim to not like people.

I like that there is love,
Platonic yet deep and friendly love.
I like seeing the happiness they give you
And the happiness you give to them.

But do you ever wonder,
Ever
How you would feel
If there was a younger man?

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Late Night Musings

Another thought that keeps me up late at night... "I wonder if I am upsetting something in the order of life and the universe by using a Schick razor and Gillette shaving gel at the same time..."

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Norman Gunston Interview With Sally Struthers... Inspirational.

As a serious student of the celebrity interview, this has always been my favourite. Just saw it again on a comedy doco after a million years, and I still love it so much that tears got in my eyes. I fucking love this.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Missing In Adventure

Good Lord that felt like a long four days off. Funny that only one of those days didn't involve doing some time in the cafe. Still, caught up with old friends and today chatted with another friend overseas and really appreciated the voice contact. Sometimes I think friends I haven't heard from for a while are just characters in stories I've made up. Hearing their voice, it's reassuring to realise that no, they are very real and very much loved and missed... they are just out there somewhere having adventures.