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… although it was one of my friends and we had been talking about the movie not that long ago. But well done Batman! Last one was Ghostbusters for all you playing out there.

… muttler

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If you are from Melbourne and you don’t love Eddy Current Suppression Ring, then go away. Hang on… that is a bit rough…but I mean it.

I am a recent late convert to the Eddy Current fold. I had seen them live a couple times and they intrigued me. But I had never grabbed their album. Then album #2 Primary Colours came out and Fee on RRR started playing it over and over and over. Next thing the songs were right under my skin. So I patiently waited to grab it on vinyl and got it a few weeks ago, so finally here is my 2 cents.

I love this album. It is just so joyous. Reading the back of the cover, it was recorded in 2 days, and it sounds like it. Not in a bad way, but in a way of it being 4 guys banging out great songs together. The whole album is just so infectious.

The first album is great too, if a slight touch patchy. But this is 10 tracks of gold. No filler here. I haven’t ripped the LP to mp3 yet, so the only place I listen to it is when I am in the kitchen making dinner, or reading the paper. And I tell you, it goes round and round and round (listen number 3 already on this Sunday morning). I will do it today only so I can have it going round and round and round in the car or at work.

What more can I say? If you don’t have it, go get it. Support an awesome local band. Or if you are from overseas, visit missinglink.net.au and get them to send you a copy. If you like garage rock/pop a little rough around the edges then this is your new best album of 2008. And please don’t get too big Eddy Current… I want the next album recorded in 2 days again too.

… muttler

I saw Sigur Ros the other night at Festival Hall here in cold, rainy Melbourne.

I hate Festival Hall. I really do. They just need to tear it down. If you have a seat other than in the balcony (which I had thankfully) then I really feel sorry for you. And if you are short like me, then forget the floor. But it usually has good sound. Anyway, back to Sigur Ros…

The first time they toured was just before Takk came out. That was supremely frustrating. I was soooo hyped for that, that I came away a little disappointed. I love Sigur Ros but it wasn’t the earth-shattering show I was expecting. It was mainly due to the fact they played a lot of Takk songs when I didn’t know the album and they hadn’t toured their earlier masterpieces, especially Agaetis Bryjun. And something else was missing as well. But they had the amazing Amiina girls (another reason I really want to go to Iceland) so it was pretty cool if a touch underwhelming.

So we come to this visit. They must dig us here, because they toured on Takk twice, and visited us for both an acoustic Heima set and the Merce Cunningham dance thing. But this was my next encounter with them since that first show. And you know what… my feelings were pretty much the same.

First of all, I was a little disappointed to see the Amiina girls didn’t make the trip. I know it is a whirlwind trip, but I had my fingers crossed, especially since they are playing with them elsewhere. But I was excited nonetheless, cause the latest album is on high rotation at the moment.

So out wander the lads on quite a minimalist stage… basic instruments and some basic lighting and that was it. But as soon as they started with Svefn-G-Englar I was a happy camper. It sounded absolutely exquisite. Then came Glosoli and I thought this could be the greatest gig ever. But… something just didn’t sound right. There was some huge bass problems at the back… at one point it was always sound like something (a particular bass note I think) just kept disappearing. Plus the “loud” part just didn’t sound that big.

And that problem continued for me throughout the set. The “big” parts just didn’t sound that “big”. Was it the mix? Was it the lack of Amiina? Not sure. Horns did come out for much of the set which was nice, and the new songs translated live really well (and were some of the highlights). But something was missing. Maybe it was the crowd? They seemed very reserved. Maybe too much hushed reverence?

So a lot of the set was good but not awesome. However the closing tracks were. The run home of Gobbledigook, Popplagid, and All Alright was gorgeous. So I left on my feet applauding with everyone else. 50% gold, 50% OK is not a bad ratio. Maybe I just expect pure bliss? Is that unfair?

… muttler

photo by: auðunn níelsson, taken from the sigur ros message board

(hope it is OK to use it)

Making the 2006 World Cup was both a magnificent blessing and an awful curse. Magnificent in the complete and utter joy I had (well, and eventual heartbreak), but it comes with the curse of expectation. Now I HAVE to have the Socceroos in the World Cup every 4 years.

So last night it began in earnest with a home game against Qatar as part of the Asian qualification process. Would we smack them? Or would we have a nervous stumble early on? Most resoundingly the former. Our first half was fantastic. Qatar looked like they came for a draw, but when Josh Kennedy put in our first, it was all over red rover. Thanks as well to Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano, 3-0 up at the half was a great feeling. There is nothing like being part of 50,000 people jumping up and down when the ball hits the back of the net. Sure, the second half was pretty weak, but when you are 3 zip up, and probably jet-lagged to hell, then I forgive them.

Giddy up.

… muttler

Go You Good Thing
(Photo from theage.com.au)

It has been a while since I have been devoted to an author. This is in part because:

  1. I have to read journals to try and get this PhD finished
  2. I got burned by Chuck Palahniuk‘s last couple novels
  3. I really didn’t know what it was I wanted to read

Well, things may have changed. I am a late comer to Cormac McCarthy. I knew of him but never had the urge to pick up one of his books. Then I heard the Coen Brothers were doing No Country For Old Men and coincidentally happened to be book-less before a flight home from Europe. The bookstore had it, so No Country it was. And I loved that book. I just had not read that kind of prose before. So I sought out another, Blood Meridian. Boy this is bleak, I thought, but this use of language is just amazing.

So, on the recommendation of one of my work colleagues I come to The Road. This seems to be the one that is really getting to people. Hell, even Oprah had it as part of her book club, and it did win a Pulitzer last year. But I don’t think a book has gotten under my skin like this in a long long time.

The RoadHaving the luxury of being a passenger for a 4 hour drive, I sunk my teeth in and had it done by the time I arrived at my destination. You can’t stop reading it. Ask me how you read 300 pages of a man and his son walking through a post-apocalyptic wasteland with little hope in sight, I don’t know. But McCarthy makes you. I don’t want to say too much.

Much has been made of the ending of No Country, but I thought it was perfect. And I have to say, I could think of no better way for this book to finish. I went along the journey of these two, desperately wanting to know where they were headed. By the end I was spent but emotionally satisfied.

So, I think I have my new literary obsession. Looks like my Borders discounts will come in handy.

… muttler

What a sad sad bit of news to wake up to. I am actually pretty bummed out.

… muttler

Mutt-Fest

I had one of the classical cliched musical discussions the other day with a friend of mine… would The Beatles White Album be better as a single piece of vinyl?

We both easily agreed, NO. As unlistenable as “Honey Pie” is, songs like it, “Rocky Raccoon”, and “Revolution 9” all make The White Album the flawed, sprawling masterwork it is. But we decided not to leave it alone and actually began to work on it.

We had rules though… well, rules that follow Beatles practice. 14 tracks… 2 George songs, 1 Ringo, and then the rest split between John and Paul. Easy? Not quite. When we tried to work out the tracks we came to the realisation there is one and a half albums worth of indespensible tracks. The McCartney tracks we could manage, but paring John’s songs down is almost impossible.

Anyway, I continued and here is my version. This has already stirred debate with my mate (“Would you tell John that Julia goes and Revolution 1 stays?”) but it is a bit of fun. Sequencing could use some work (no Paul or John songs back to back though), but I think the tracks stay. Here goes…

  1. Back In The USSR
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Mother Nature’s Son
  4. Sexy Sadie
  5. Helter Skelter
  6. Revolution 1
  7. Long, Long, Long
  8. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey
  9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  10. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
  11. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
  12. Black Bird
  13. Goodnight
  14. Cry Baby Cry

Been listening to it all day and I reckon it is a bit of OK. Give it a go.
… muttler

To keep Jase’s theme of lines from things going, one of my favourite movie quotes ever (from Jaws obviously).

So this is a review of Jaws? Nope.

I swam my second Pier to Pub at Lorne yesterday. Woo hoo. The time is not going to impress too many people (about 28 min), but I am pretty happy with swimming 1.2km in the ocean without much training (I promise I will prepare more next year). I am pretty chuffed with myself.

So why the quote? Every time any of my friends wished me luck it was always ended with “… and don’t get eaten by a shark!”. Ha ha, real funny. Portsea swim in 2 weeks so there could still be room for stories of that ilk yet.

… muttler

Hey all, muttler here.

It is certainly a busy few months of gigs coming up, what with all the New Year’s festivals, the Big Day Out juggernaut, Don’t Look Back, Golden Plains and Byron all bringing out many great acts. I am heading to heaps, but won’t bore you with the details now. Needless to say I am a very excited camper with the long awaited returns of Ween and Bjork amongst others.

Just a quick one to remind people that Built To Spill are finally back. There is a sold out gig at the Corner which Jase and I will be at later on this week. But if you missed out on tickets, then give the East Brunswick Club a try and you may be lucky. They are there on Jan 1st (so try not to be too hung over).

The Corner show will be a unique one in that you will get both Jase’s and my opinions. You can read them and then take sides from here on in.

See y’all at Built To Spill… muttler