5 FOR FRIDAY: THINGS LEFT BEHIND

The car went first. Then the furniture. Finally, on Wednesday, I drove Luscious and the kids to the airport and they went too. I’ve a couple of days of work and house tidying left, and then I’ll follow them. Rockingham is over, and our future– at least for the next 2 years– lies in Karratha.

I’ve lived in Rockingham, on and off, since the age of eight. That’s a gnat’s breath short of forty years. It’s my home. No matter where I travel– including this move, for however many years it lasts– no matter where I move to, my new location is viewed in terms of where it lies in relation to Rockingham. I’m not moving 1600 kilometres to Karratha, I’m moving 1600 kilometres away from Rockingham.

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5 FOR FRIDAY: AUSSIE WOMEN VOICES

There was sad news this week, with the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. For many of us, hers was a voice of pure pop perfection that stood comparison with the likes of Annie Lennox and Sinead O’Connor: powerful, multi-ranged, and with a crystal clarity. What’s more, like O’Connor in particular, O’Riordan never felt the need to deviate from, or minimise, her natural accent. Her voice was not only beautiful, it was beautiful in an overtly Irish way.

Which got me thinking about Australian music, and the women whose voices come to mind when I think of that peculiarly Aussie way of speaking, and delivering lyrics. Here, then, are five Australian women’s pop voices that speak to me in the way the O’Riordan’s Irish lilt does.

5 for Friday: Aussie Pop Women

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5 FOR FRIDAY: ALICE COOPER SONGS

I came across Alice Cooper in the oddest way possible: at the age of 11 or 12, attending an end-of-season dinner for my soccer club at ‘Max Kaye’s Theatre Restaurant’– a dinner theatre affair owned by, and featuring the titular hero. Imagine a grubby, sleazy Ronnie Corbett with the sort of humour that appealed to Bernard Manning fans of the 1970s, and you’ll have a fair idea of the sort of entertainment that was on offer.

And in the middle of it all, an (to my childhood mind) utterly incredible dance sequence featuring human spiders and ghosts to the strains of Welcome To My Nightmare.

I was stunned. Within a week I had the album, and a lifelong love affair was born. At a time when the boganistas that surrounded me were sunk into the Chisel/ACDC/Aussie Crawl triumvirate, I was already on a far different cultural journey. If nothing else, my life-long love of the concept album was born with him, and for that alone I could be grateful, if not for the fact that he’s been my introduction into so much theory on the intersection of narrative, music, folklore, and theatre.

He’s had ups and downs: a critical flat spot in the 1980s, and despite the brilliance of later albums like Brutal Planet and The Last Temptation, he’s tailed off with sub-par albums like Dragontown and Along Came a Spider. But he’ll always be close to my heart because, even at his weakest, there’s a commitment to the strange that oozes out of his music, and his theatre, and his lyrics, that I respond to, over and over.

Here then, for no other reason than I love them and they’re not among his most widely known songs outside of Coop fandom, are five Alice Cooper songs that make my sense buzz.

 

5 For Friday: The Coop

 

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FIVE FOR FRIDAY: INSPIRATIONS FOR 2018

It’s 2018. Time to put the past where it belongs, and look to the shiny, jetpack-infused future.

I’ve got some specific goals for the upcoming year, so here are five people from whom I’ll be drawing inspiration as I chug away, nibbling at the edges of aspirations they’ve already savaged, chewed, swallowed, and conquered.

 

Five for Friday: Inspirations for 2018

 

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5 FOR FRIDAY: TO 2018 AND… WELL, JUST THAT

It that’s time of the year, when we turn away from days past with a muttered Well, I won’t be doing that again and look forward to the bright, blank pages of the year to come. Time to lay down a few markers so that when we turn away from days past in a year’s time we’ll know exactly what we should have been doing instead of playing Candy Crush and watching The Biggest Block Kitchen Bake-Off Survivor.

You know: New Year’s resolutions.

So, with a move to a new town in a new (hotter, redder, moister, farther away) part of the world on the horizon, it’s time to make this…… flee change?…… work to my benefit. Here are five resolutions for my upcoming year, to take advantage of my new-found status as the domestic-based partner in my marriage, and help allay Luscious’ fears that it’ll all come crashing down around our ears as she dies of work-related stress and I turn into some sort of obsessively masturbating, inanimate, Jabba the Hutt-shaped, couch-based life-form.

Five For Friday: New Year’s Resolutions in a Furnished Cage

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5 FOR FRIDAY: CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS SONGS

It’s that time again. When songs about frolicking in the snow make a mockery of your heat-stroke. When everyone spends the day shoveling down roast everything with lava gravy instead of acting sensibly and filling a paddling pool with ice cream. When the average age of the family playlist is ‘deceased’.

Balls to that.

Christmas isn’t white, Bing Crosby was an alcoholic child abuser, and the Elf on the Shelf is a streak-of-piss little snitch who should be knee-capped and fed to the pigs.

Who’s up for some real Christmas music? And I don’t mean the saccharine puke extruded by the likes of Wham and Mariah Carey. I mean real music: something with guts and rhythm and an authenticity that doesn’t make you want to gun down everybody in the shopping centre.

 

5 for Friday: Contemporary Christmas Songs

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