Hi-hat exercise

•February 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In science the sensation of pleasure and the feeling known as happiness are attributed to the chemical serotonin. In nature serotonin is the operating mechnism of a species biological imperative. By making it feel good to the creature doing it, everything from humans to locusts can be convinced to do everything from copulate to swarm. To by the will of our own humanity find a pleasure in creative pursuit that is so profound that we feel that we will never need for our biological imperative and it’s associated chemical pleasure again, is to know true joy.


Nice Weather For Airstrikes.

•February 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There is no linear movement. Not outside of physics. Nothing tangible or irrational or essentially human follows a simple path. There is no use for market analysis on human behaviour. In the 19 years i’ve spent on this earth, this is one of the few things i’ve really truly learnt. Nobody can quite tell you why or how people do the things they do, give up their dreams and get a day job, find god and regret their tattoos, chop and change and start all over. 

Being governed by a combination of highly sensitive chemical balance and delicate neural connections has both its ups and downs. On the one hand, faced with a sword-wielding crackhead standing over your at 3am just as you wake up to the too-familiar sound of a daikatana being unsheathed*, you stand a pretty good chance of moving fast enough to avoid that intial blow, thanks mostly to instinctive safety mechanisms created by aforementioned neural connections. The rest, however, is up to you. On the other hand you may find your mood, as i do, effected irrationally by small things like the weather and resultingly spend all day at work pondering over the same four or five minute details of human behaviour from the night before which you are no doubt overanalyzing.


*i have been playing way too much Shenmue.

Monday. I have overshot the same door all day moving trolley-loads of boxes of whogivesafuck back and forth across campus. I’m pushing doors marked pull and pulling doors that i know full well are locked. Mentally absent.

A small group of people have stopped and are looking at something on the street. I follow their gaze to a crowded intersection. Two police cars block traffic in either direction. A large truck marked “Quarantine” is parked across the road, obscuring something from view. The man running the Scooter Hire adjacent is closing up early. A small asian man is pacing on the grass, wringing his hands nervously. The word ‘Quarantine’ naturally makes people uneasy in a port town.

On the odd chance their might be some free shit, i start walking towards the scene. As i get closer and closer to the intersection i notice a few small details. Six police in total are on the scene. Nothing has been properly blocked off but traffic has been redirected. As i pass the truck i get a proper view of what was previously obscured. A shiny black mazda RX-8, its whole front end peeled off. The driver, i guess, is the small asian man. There is minor damage to the Quarantine truck. This is just a run-of-the-mill prang.

“Damn” I say to nobody in particular “I was gonna put this story in my blog.”

Spotted on evening bike ride, 15/2/08

•February 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Small boy, maybe 10 or 11, standing at the front door of a packed out church. It’s either a wedding or a funeral judging by the crowding inside. He’s wearing mismatching, brightly coloured thongs and shaking his iPhone like the world depends on it.

Graffiti: ‘This wall woz left intentionally blank’









“when i’m alone i like to calmly declare ‘i know you’re litening’. If nobody heras me nobody will be able to think anything of it. If they do, i have just scared the living shit out of some government agents.

Could be a swans song title

•February 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

People are so fucked up. 

Friday night. I’m making patronage at my local multinational eatery/social hub. I’m just here for the food tonight, so i neglect to track down anybody familiar and i just pull up a green plastic seat at a big green chipboard table to wolf down my hastily-prepared chicken katsu nori roll. Is it just me or is there something totally fucking wrong about the texture of lettuce in sushi?

Anyway. Being without conversation or iPod, i go straight into eavesdropping mode to keep the brain in first gear while i eat. To my right there is a heavily tattooed man with a blone fauxhawk talking to a stunningly beautiful asian woman. I’m sure this is going to be a good one. I get my best listening lean on and practice my netural food-eating face. It takes me ten whole seconds to realise they are conversing in what appears to be german. No luck.

To my left is a family. Two parents both sitting on my side of the table, interview-style taking turns talking at (at, not to) their daughter. Mum is an overly-sober looking type, reasonable length sensibly brown hair, plain clothes, permanently furrowed brow.  Dad is a little more boho in appearance, even if it’s a pretty beige kind of boho. Checkered short-sleeved shirt, thick-rimmed Weezer-brand glasses, three-day growth, receding hairline, soul patch. Little Girl is probably 6 or 7 and it’s far too early to tell what the hell she’s about.

Mum is describing, with no appreciation of subtltey, the idea of abortion to her child.  Her tone is unfeeling and she’s speaking probably slightly too fast for her daughter to understand. This is fucking bizzare. Dad interjects here and there to add comforting detail, but is usually cut off. Mum is really getting fired up here.  Her diagramatic rant builds in urgency and pace, reaching a sort of perverse conversational orgasm as she explains how the unborn fetus is ejected from the womb. She pauses at this point, lets her daughter process this information (she doesn’t) and then proceeds to say one of two incredibly brutal things in a minute:

‘and that’s why you can’t see Jill anymore is because Jill’s parents murdered Jill’s sister

Little Girl takes a second. Her face goes completely blank. I read somewhere that children only really come to understand the notion of death at six years old. This must all be pretty new to her. Inevitably, the waterworks begin. An anguished howl of newfound mortality far more unnerving than the standard ‘i-want-this-thing’ squeal that most children make. My skin crawls a little bit as Little Girl, reeling simultaneously from the idea of never seeing her friend again and having somebody she knows ‘murder’ somebody else, collapses into a sobbing heap. 

Mum’s facial expression hasn’t shifted. I notice a flinty look of unrepentance in her eyes. Dad gets up to go comfort Little Girl. Mum snaps a hand around his arm with inhuman speed and what appears to be inhuman strength. This woman must be the antichrist, i decide. Without looking away from her sobbing daughter, Mum says the second completely fucking brutal thing in under a minute:

‘No John, she has to learn to cry at what makes god angry’

I get up and leave at this point, abandoning my two remaining nori clumps. 


People are so fucked up.

New Music 7/2/09

•February 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Just a few things i’ve been listening to lately:

Cattle Decapitation: The Harvest Floor 


I honestly didn’t think i was going to like Cattle Decapitation. The circles of technical death metal they get around in generally bore the shit out of me, and i checked this album out only on a strong reccomendation. To my elation i was not dissapointed: The Harvest Floor is the first great metal record of 2009. Sure, there’s some ridiculous chops-ercise and mindless blastbeating, which is fun and all, but it’s the moments when Cattle Decap aren’t ripping your head open that really make this record.

Opening salvo “The Gardeners Of Eden” features a monolithic, trudging black metal breakdown worthy of Emperor or any of their peers. “Tooth Enamel And Concrete” jams on tumbling Pig Destroyer-style riffs. The title track could pass for post-rock. There’s a strong melodic vein running through this records impenetrable crust of ballsy death metal, and it’s well worth working through it to find.

Dj Signify: Of Cities


This record copped a listen just cause i needed a fix of Aesop Rock. Aside from Aes’ two featured tracks here, it’s entirely instrumental hip-hop from top to bottom. Of Cities has a pretty dark vibe, though not in the cheesy way that a lot of electronic music can be dark. Of Cities is by turns sombre, groovy (like blast-me-in-your-car groovy), haunting and haunted. Much like it”s totally awesome cover art, Of Cities invokes suburbia at night, empty streets and derelict tenements, all with an unnerving paranoia that runs throughout. Top shit. 

Mastodon: Divinations (from the forthcoming  LP Crack The Skye)


Oh man. Oh man. Ohhhh maaaan. Mastodon man. Fucken… Mastodon!

Sorry. This song is clearly a bit of a “single” track, what with it’s 3:30 length, big hooky chorus and relative lack of intangible musical acrobatics. It’s still a fucking vicious outing though, Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are still the best team of metal guitarists on the planet today. Oh and the guitar solo? Fucking killer. Mastodon are one of those bands who just keep bloody reinventing the wheel and they do it so well. Everything else this year is going to have to take the back seat when Crack The Skye arrives. I reckon we’re going to see the ‘don up in the charts this time around.

Genghis Tron: Board Up The House Remixes vol. 1-4


There’s quite a few big names here (Justin Broadrick, Scott Hull, Steve Moore) reworking generally the more electronic bits of GT’s bizzare metal/techno mashup masterpiece. Ranges the gamut from freakazoid flamenco-grindcore reimaginings to white-noise gauzed drones to minimalist trance to fluorescent electronic twitters arranged into clouds of noise. Oddly listenable.



Wait, like the irish rock band that suck?

•February 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have been making inroads with this particular girl at work. So far i have managed to be witty, speak clearly and with proper enunciation and not coat her with saliva whilst extolling the virtues of Mastodon. This for me is the equivalent of safely landing a commercial airliner in the hudson river. 

Today my weeks of good work came undone.

Me: Hi! blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!

Her: Hi! blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah how are you today?

I’m okay, i’m feeling a little sick though

Oh that’s no good. blah blah blah blah blah work blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah blah work blah blah blah seeya later!

Seeya later! Hope you get better!

You too!

Lets watch the replay there:

“Hope you get better”

“You too!

May as well have just told her her outfit was ugly and she needed a facelift. Hope you get better too.



Metallic Grey Holden Commodore

•February 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday. Despite the falling mercury the constant increase in humidity creates the effect that it has been a static 35 degrees for 3 straight days now. Choosing to avoid any serious physical exertion given the conditions I favour circumferential wandering over actual work. I stop on the streetside for a moment to check my phone when I catch a snippet of conversation from a nearby parked car. I cant quite make out words but immediately the sound of agitated voices reaches into my lizard-brain and snaps me to attention. I stand upright and metaphorically cock my head to listen. The combination of work attire, muted body language and reflective sunglasses leaves no indication as to where i am placing my attention. 

2 parking bays up from my current location sits a metallic grey Holden commodore. It’s drivers side door is open as wide as it will go. A skinny man, dressed in a too-small sleeveless shirt and tattered black jeans with no shoes on sits on the footpath, arms folded over his knees, talking incessantly and somewhat aggressively into the vehicle. A females voice replies. Partly out of episodic curiosity, partly out of obligation to my employers, i decide to make a quick pass on the conversation. 

As i “fly casual” past the car, three things become apparent: The skinny man is being particularly verbally aggressive. He has a faded, smudged tattoo of some sort on his forearm. Three of his fingers are wrapped in a splint. I take this last point to be significant of a short fuse. Call me judgemental but the easiest way to break three fingers at once is to lay your closed fist into a solid object or a Newport bouncer as hard as you can (it should be noted that parties who lay their closed fist into a Newport bouncer tend to have their remaining seven fingers broken – one at a time, indefinitely later than the other three). I decide that despite the odds of things getting ugly being relatively low, I have nothing better to do with my afternoon than play surveillance with this couple until they come to a resolution. 

On my second pass i catch my first audible snippets of conversation:

Man: you tell me i’m a fucking cunt, when did i act like a cunt?
Woman: i’ll tell you when you acted like a cunt, when you fucking broke into my house and threatened my fucking sister!
yeah, when you lied to me maybe i did. But only when you lied to me! why the fuck did you lie to me? You said your boss was sick!
he was!
then why was he in the fucking office if he was fucking sick! Honest to god (name removed) I’ve waited three fucking months for you! three fucking months! And this is what you…

I also notice something about the splint on his fingers: It’s made entirely of black electrical tape, rather than your regulation surgical gauze. This, i decide, mentally putting on my sunglasses and adjusting my belt buckle like a low-rent Horatio Caine, is a clear indicator of a home-done job. I have the hint of Georgian drawl in my accent too.

The third time i pass they are both sitting in the car. The passengers side door is open and the woman, still obscured from my view by the car’s heavy tinting, is sitting in the drivers seat, placing the man in the passengers. 

Three years earlier i had worked in a grease-laden americana-themed burger joint in central Fremantle that has since gone bust due to lagging profits and high staff turnover. We once had a pair of customers come in; A man and a girl. The girl was at a guess no older than thirteen or fourteen, and already grotesquely voluptuous for her age. She looked like some kind of barbie doll caricature of a girl that age: Her clothes were entirely pink and too small, her hair up in the kind of pigtails most girls refuse to wear after age 10, braces that were visible even when she wasnt smiling. The man was in his forties, conservative looking and inconspicuously dressed, greying slightly on top but with high cheekbones and a clearly handsome visage. He looked over his shoulder too much. They dined like a couple. I remember mentally noting every possible detail I could about the two with an uneasy feeling I would be repeating his information back to police in the near future. 

That same feeling clicked away in the back of my head. I considered returning to the office to jot down the registration number of the vehicle, but i decided that that would constitute third-party paranoia. 

On my fourth pass of the vehicle the two have been arguing for close to an hour. The man is halfway out his door as if he is threatening to leave. He raises his home-bandaged hand to the sky and yells quite loudly.

How the fuck am i dangerous? I haven’t (inaudible) 2 years now, have i? HAVE I? 
(inaudible response)
Look at me! I’m fucking crippled! I can’t even light a smoke like this! 
his voice softens slightly here and he starts to sit back down again.
look,  just… give me a chance. I’ve come back here because i want to…

I retire myself to the fact that this is just another domestic, albeit a rather public one, and that i probably in fact should be out earning my wages.

In the course of my duties i walk once more past the still-parked car and notice a small yellow and black sticker on the bumper of the car that i had missed before. It reads “warning: left hand drive”. I go on to finish my routine light bulb maintenance before it occurs to me that this means that the skinny man would have been in the drivers seat of the car. I mentally resolve to go by once more on my way back to the office and then to clear myself of this senseless conspiracy-making that if nothing else is spawned by boredom. I think of hitchcock’s Rear Window, and to a lesser extent of the 2000s-friendly remake Disturbia, which despite lacking the subtlety and tension of the original, had an attractive female lead. 

When I return to the street the car is gone, after nearly 2 hours of public displays of spousal vitriol. I step out into the middle of the parking bay and survey the street around me, hands on hips, pacing slightly. I flash back to my Horatio Caine fantasy again. I give up. No drama. No excitement. No getting to be the hero. Just another bored kid making shit up to pass the time. 

As I step back into the office I feel a slight tickle against my calf. I look down to see a single long piece of black electrical tape, a few minuscule hairs like those found on the back of knuckles and a few loose bits of gravel on the sticky side, stuck to the heel of my boot.