Confession time: As much as I’m a fan of Joy Division, I couldn’t really give a toss about New Order, the anaemic and noodly electronica pioneers and progrock evolutionists who rose from their ashes. Which makes it all the odder that I’ve basically inhaled three books by their former bassist, Peter Hook, this year. I started with Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, which I enjoyed so much I’ve devoured his histories of The Hacienda, and New Order, which is where we come in. Because in reading Substance: Inside New Order, I’ve contracted a strange side effect: finding support bands in his concert listings, and discovering I enjoy them way more than the band I’m reading about.

So here, in the interests of helping expand the musical horizons of some of you, and exposing myself to a chorus of disbelief and bewilderment from the rest, are five bands I’ve discovered through the pages of a book about New Order that I like far more than the band they supported.

5 for Friday: Attack of the Supports.

A Certain Ratio

How did I get to fifty years of age, and reading a book about a completely different band, before I discovered these guys? They’re simply fabulous: fun, impulsively toe-tapping, moody as fuck, and musically fascinating. They’re a perfect conglomeration of all the sounds I should have been smothered by in the mid-80s, were I not stuck in a guitar-driven country soaked in bogan rock and cod-new wave soft funk. (Not a complaint: no life is poorer for being steeped in INXS, The Models, The Angels, et al). Like James a year or so ago, it’s taken me far too long to discover them, but now that I have, I’m too busy downloading to talk to you…

The Durutti Column

So completely non-typical of anything else on Factory Records, or Manchester, or the 1980s at large, to be honest. Crisp, clean, jazz-inspired guitar instrumentals that are perfect for lying on the bed to, eyes closed, in the dark, letting the music carry your mind on journeys far away from the bollocks of the day. The best comparison I can make is to XTC with the lyrics removed, which is a compliment. After the pompous, self-important posturing of a New Order song this comes as a blessed relief.

The Happy Mondays

Yeah, I know I’m late to the party on this one. What can I say? The mid-80s in Boganville, Western Bogantania didn’t dive heavily into Madchester e-driven trancepop. As an adult I’ve been aware of the Happy Mondays without ever really delving into them: frankly, the track I’ve picked out is the only one I’d really heard before, and even then, only because JJJ occasionally tears itself away from shitty Australian garage rap to indulge in a bout of nostalgia. Anyway, to the surprise of approximately nobody I’m sure, it’s great, they’re great, the rest of their stuff is both mad and great, and you should listen to them because they’re great.

The Sugarcubes

Okay, so being the greatest band to come out of Iceland is a little like being the greatest red wine to come out of Nigeria, but the Sugarcubes are legitimately fantastic. Just a high-quality combination of voice talent, musical skills, and songwriting chops, with a voice and outlook that stand them apart from their contemporaries. It’s a bit of a cheat to say I only just discovered them through the book — say, rather, that like the rest of the world I’ve become so used to the one-woman rollercoaster ride that is Bjork that I’ve overlooked and forgotten much about the band that created her. It’s beyond time they were polished off and held back up to the light.

Quando Quango

Ahh, that short period in the ’80s when electronica and swing intersected, before the former took on a direction all its own and spent a decade up its own fundament before really coming into something wonderful. Mike Pickering was the king of the early British superstar DJs. Big fat bass lines, big fat sax lines, and the plinky jazz noodling reigned in hard in support of the funk. There’s nothing not to love.


This is the end, beautiful friends. The last entry in our Love in the Time of Covid playlist. Z for Zachariah, and also for pretty much the only band most of us have in our playlist that begins with Z.

So here’s the final question, at the heart of all this -end-of-culture ranting I’ve been doing in my recent posts: If you are only ever one mortgage payment, one food shop, or one car payment away from disaster, how much security do you really have? How well has the pre-Covid ‘normal’ really been for you? To speak in fluent memeslash: how are those franking credits working for you now, Karen?

We are a species that has fooled itself into thinking we have outgrown the need to adapt: that it is the role of the planet to adapt to us, when we have only ever been a small, breeding-crazy, too-smart-for-its-own-good part of a living organism that needs all of its components to maintain a constant evolution in order for the whole to thrive.

If there’s anything we can take from our experiences during this pandemic, it is that we need to fashion an environment that works for us as a part of something greater than our small, human concerns.  We can’t continue to try to squeeze ourselves into ever smaller cubicles to please the money-hoovering blue suits that have brought us to the edge of environmental, cultural, and societal collapse. Just why are we following these fucks, when we know, to the deepest core of our marrow, that they’re selfish shits with no eyes other than for themselves? Does anybody really believe that the Orange Humgruffin, or Boris the Bastard, or Scum the Crime Minister — Murdoch, Reinhart, Putin, Bezos, Zuckerbot, Branson the Pickle, you name your billionaire of choice — has your best interests at heart? Do you?

Then why?

The pandemic has shown us, if we didn’t already know: The world is too big for us to conquer one by one. But I can evolve, and adapt. You can. That guy there can. If we can do mit as individuals, as family groups, as small communities brought togethers by shared concerns, then we can have a positive effect. And yes, the world is full of idiots. And yes, we’re seeing that in full flow right now. But idiots can be taught. And if they can’t, maybe their children can.

Power does not have to lie with those whose only contribution is money, and entitlement, and the desire to legislate your culture into directions you don’t want it to go. Money does not have to equal right. Destruction does not have to equal progress. Cultural, religious, and ideological zealotry do not have to detract from synthesis and togetherness.

We’ve been adapting to the wrong things. That much has become clear. So isn’t it about time, now that we have had to fall back on our own resources at the community and interpersonal levels, that we did so, once again?

Enough of that sermon. Let’s talk music.

There was a time before ZZ Top were cutesy, family-friendly, mainstream radio darlings. Before the fluffy guitars and matching wacky suits. Before the way-too-80s-for-words videos and appearances on your Mum’s favourite extruded-sitcom-product. A time when they were the grungiest of grungy Southern blues bands. When sixteen words and a six minute guitar solo was considered a song. When you could dig their music out from under your fingernails, they had so much grit in them.

50 million album sales proves that evolution is a good thing and that, if a band can redefine itself and engage with a new way of thinking in order to adapt to the changing requirements of a world that would all too easily leave it behind, then we can, too.

So here’s a visual representation of all that I’ve blethered on about, above: ZZ Top, live. In full-on post-80s mode of dress, and persona, and image. Grunging the living fuck out of two of their greatest pre-adaptation classics. Proving that evolution doesn’t mean abandoning the past, simply redefining it to fit into the tomorrow you want to create.

Rock on.



If you’re late to the party, well, what can I say? You’ve had 26 days. Here’s everything else:


We’re almost at the end, my friends. The end of this little journey through a Covid playlist. The end of the capitalist, he-who-dies-with-the-most-was-probably-a-psychopath, white men in blue suits wet dream. The end, if we’re lucky, of the world that was, and perhaps, just perhaps, at the start of a new way of doing things, where destroying the planet and each other just so a minority of hate-filled money rapists can wank into a slightly higher stack of twenties on the weekend isn’t necessarily the prime way for the deluded Murdoch-gobbling masses to slowly kill themselves.

Or, if you spend any time at all on social media, perhaps we’re at the start of an era where fucking morons identify themselves even more easily than they have in the past. It could go either way.

Either way, here’s a gentle reminder: the world turned before we were here. It will turn when we’re gone. As pollution and fauna migration patterns during our quarantine period are showing, it might just turn a little better after we’re gone. Chuck Palahniuk is right: You’re not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. It doesn’t matter how many blue suits you wear, how many happy-clapper orgasmotron group therapy delusion sessions you kneel at, how many fistfuls of dollars you deny the needy. We are what we have always been: slow-moving meat.

Enjoy your contemplation.

Yothu Yindi was a band largely comprised of first peoples members from Yirrkala in Arnhem Land. They broke big in the early 90s, when a lot of politicians suddenly realised that hanging out with intelligent, politically aware Aboriginal people was a good way to look cool. Thankfully, they managed to shed the blue-suited parasites for a while and produce some truly excellent music. World Turning equates the rotation of the Earth with being in love, which frankly, seems like a very dodgy way to ensure the continuation of gravity.

Also, it’s a good dancing song, which might just be a better use for it right now.



If you’re late to the party, well, so is the rest of your species. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the extinction:


There’s a meme going round Facebook, in which those who are tagged share the covers of ten albums that influenced the way they listen to music, their taste in music, or the pleasure centres of their brain.

I was tagged by my long-time friend David, so naturally, as a memewhore of long-standing, I must play along. But rather than dribble them out one per day, as is the instruction, I’m going to drop them on you all of a once and leave you to figure out whether there’s any deeper message at play. (Hint: think ‘lizard people’, and ‘Illuminati’, and ‘I’ve really got to stop believing in this shit’).

So here we go: ten albums, no explanation. Make of it what you will. (And yeah, there’s eleven. I don’t play well with others, okay?)


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The twenty-fourth day of my musical choices on the twenty-fifth day of supposed isolation: it’s probably time to smash stuff up.

I don’t know about you, but enforced isolation has had no effect on me whatsoever.

Head Zombified 2


Luscious and I… and you know, every other teacher in the state…. are back in the classroom next week, so we have to prepare lessons for both face-to-face and online environments — that’s two five-week units per class. I have three and Luscious has five, so here we are today, at the empty school, preparing powerpoint after powerpoint…..

We’re doing our best to isolate, but Karratha’s already a highly isolated town. There’s a bit of a ‘phony war’ feel to the place: the shops are taking it seriously, but the populace isn’t, judging by the shopping crowds, and the shambling FIFOs milling outside the drinking wallow in the twon centre every time I drive past of an evening.

We’ve had 2 confirmed cases of Covid, but they’ve been isolated at the hospital and nobody’s mentioned them, so it’s almost like they don’t exist in people’s minds. It’s going to break out here. It’s just a matter of time, and the wrong scraped-through-year-ten-Doctor-Google-type-who-knows-better. And when it does it’ll sweep through the town like, well, like a plague. So while I joke, and act all cynical and the like, and make comment about schools returning, I’m genuinely worried about what will happen in the coming weeks. Because there are 1200 kids in this school, and one of them is going to get it. And once they do…

One kid. That’s all it will take, and this town will fall down like a National Party policy promise.

In that spirit, here’s one of the great Australian punk pioneers, with an angry, thrashy, gloriously fuckyouish ode to staying the hell at home where it’s comfortable and all the beer is. Parents: your Government isn’t listening. Please make sure you do.



If you’re late to the party, crack a cold one, headbutt the nearest wall, and pogo your way through this lot:


We missed a day! Blame Sunday, sleeping in, and that guy over there.

Truth is, it’s easy to let things slip when the only day awaiting you is the one you just left behind. So yesterday it seemed more important to spend some time playing D&D with Luscious and Lord 15 than staring at the computer screen while our currently-shitty-for-no-reason internet connection drops in and out and in and out like a Lieberal candidate in a marginal seat.

And because it is important for the historical record, let it be noted that they spent 45 minutes getting a mortally sick gnome drunk for the sole purpose of stealing his hat, so clearly the isolation is not affecting their personalities whatsoever……

The media is full of the inevitable pushback against isolation right now. Persons can be wise, compassionate, humane, and intelligent; but people have a tendency to act like frightened herd animals if given half an opportunity. Sure as eggs is eggs we’re beginning to see it, from the usual gun-toting Merkan hillbillies to a pair of New Zealanders who make Beavis and Butthead look like the love-children of Albert Einstein and God. Throw in the usual Orange Humgruffin shitshow, in which he appears to actively incite armed rebellion in Democratic States actually following the rule of law, and it must appear, if you’re even a relatively mature human being, as if humanity is determined to eat itself.

I, for one, welcome our new hircine overlords



Today’s musical choice is a timely combination of positivity and self-destruction. Warren Zevon built a reputation as one of the great rock and roll wild children before it took its inevitable toll and his urge for self-destruction became well, just plain old actual self-destruction: cancer taking him way too soon at the age of 56. Before then, however, he gifted us a dozen albums soaked in acerbic wit, cynicism, laser-etched lyrics, and brilliance.

Splendid Isolation comes from his science fiction-infused 1989 album, Transverse City, a hymn book to themes of disconnection and social breakdown caused by an increasingly self-medicating technological society. With its underlying message of solitude and comfort in one’s own self-distancing it’s an appropriate panacea for the head-shaking despair you must be experiencing while watching all those morons incapable of simply being by themselves for four weeks without pissing, moaning, and having a mental breakdown all coz of dat dem gubmint.

And they call us snowflakes….



If you’re late to the party, get your kicker boots on and kick about through this lot:


I’m such a slacker and part-time babysitter, as The Crime Minister ensures me I am, that I was up until 2am this morning completing a Kahoot quiz for my students to prepare them for their upcoming online/not-online/they’ll change the rules on us again at least once before this shit is over term.

So I’ve got nothing witty to say this morning. I’m too tired.

V is for violence. Insert something cogent and satirical and hilarious about how that fits into the current world situation here.

And here’s the Violent Femmes, and a song about America being the place where we keep all the fuckwits.



If you’re late to the party, get your kicker boots on and kick about through this lot:


I don’t know about you, but for a guy who’s verging on the bald, if I don’t get a haircut soon I’m going to be the source of a rash of Bigfoot seen in wilds of Karratha suburbs rumours coming your way very soon…..

It’s the end of the first week of school holidays, and as intimated by Scum the Crime Minister yesterday, Luscious and I are enjoying slacking off by being at the school, writing stay-at-home programs for our students for next term and creating online quizzes to give them something entertaining to do while they’re in lockdown, because as teachers we are, in equal parts, essential, sacrificial, and scapegoatable.

Scum the Crime Minister is a floating piece of weasel shit, and after he is voted out, he and his fascist lackey the Oberstumfuhrer Potatohead should be brought up on as many criminal charges as can fit on the charge sheet. But you already knew that, from watching their corruption, illegal gaoling of refugees, and acts of malice towards the democractic state already. And if you didn’t, either wake up or take the Lieberal-coloured sleeping mask off your eyes.



If Hell is other people, why are so many people complaining right now?

Here at the Batthaim, our personal Hell has become a routine of clothes folding, washing dishes, computer work, online teaching, Dungeons and Dragons, TV, movies, cool drink, crisps, home cooking, sleeping in until gone 9 in the morning… wait, what was the question?

I frigging love social isolation. I could do it forever.

The truth is, I’m already beginning to turn into exactly the kind of person people have been worried about me turning into for years. Another couple of weeks and I’ll be eating raw fish, complaining about tricksy hobbitses, and lava diving with the best of them. But, you know, quarantine is all the reasons I’ve been enjoying living in Karratha writ large: the lack of pressure, the lower social crush, the slower speed of living, the lack of external options (cinemas, restaurants, etc) giving me more time to spend at home….

Seriously. I could do it forever.

My own personal descent into Leonard of Quirmishness aside, it’s music time! And who better to describe the geography of my inner mental tesseract than that time-displaced voyager of electric steamfuturezappowcracklepunk, Thomas Dolby?

Dolby hit the 1980s like that distant Uncle who came back from the War full of stories, with strange objects hidden all around his person and a chest in the attic which you must never — under any circumstances — open, and who just didn’t give a fuck what your parents thought. His songs She Blinded Me With Science and Hyperactive and their accompanying videos were, well, hyperactive screams of squirrel-chasing insanity at a time when electronic music was typified by the pimple-free soft-skinned baby faces of Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw*, and their blonde-tipped ilk. Mainstream radio laughed nervously, asked Auntie to pass the salt, and resolved never to invite him to dinner again.

In response, he’s gone on to create a career of singular wonderfulness and individuality, positioning himself as some sort of steampunk Uncle Fester of electric satire. This particular track is from the soundtrack to the movie Gothic, and if anything could be said to sum up his approach to the music industry, and my approach to being removed from having to interact with the outside world, a madman screaming about scorpions having sex inside his head and becoming poet laureate of Satan’s playground is just about it.




*Just for the record, I like Nik Kershaw, and totally love Howard Jones. But, you know, they really are Dik Brownes** to Dolby’s Charles Addams.

**I love Dik Browne, too. This is not a comment on quality, just approach.

***If you can read this, you’re too close.



If you’re late to the party, dive into the fetid swamp of past imagination and have a splash:


If, by now, you’re not talking to squirrels and living in your own personal version of Hell, are you even doing Covid-19 properly?

This post is literally nothing but an excuse to expose you to my lifelong love of swing music, and revel in its 90s revival.

Swing, you dogs!



If you’re late to the party, get a few down your neck while you catch up to the rest of us:


As the realisation that the conditions under which we’re living will continue for the foreseeable future hits — West Australian premier Mark McGowan is talking openly about maintaining our hard border closure for at least six months, and the Education Department has instructed teachers to prepare for home-based learning for all of next term, and to consider similar measures for term three — even the hardest hard-line brainless fuckwit morons anti-vaxxer flat earth climate denying conspiracyvirus yappers are coming to the conclusion that just maybe this has something to do with more than Greta Thunberg wanting the playground all to herself.

Not all of them, obviously: stupidity is notoriously hard to get out of fabric, and it knows no boundaries of class or intelligence.

It’s no surprise that people are turning to nutty theories, pretend sky wizards, and charlatans in a time of uncertainty. People have always preferred easy fallacies to difficult truths, and always trusted a facile smile more than a complicated, unflinching, logic. We are creatures of fear and logic, stretching back to a time when we were nothing more than slow-moving meat. In such a time, comfort food, comfort drink, and comfort removal-of-personal-responsibility provide much more… well, comfort… than the idea that we might have to suffer for a while and still, possibly, not prevail.

Religion and drinking. There are so many ways to combine them. Here’s one for today.

I first discovered The Reverend Horton Heat on, of all things, an album of TV cartoon theme song covers, where they tore up a dual cover of Jonny Quest and Stop That Pigeon like crazy people. I’ve loved rockabilly since The Stray Cats and punk since The Clash, so psychobilly was always going to be right up my personal alley: the moment I discovered The Cramps, it was all over, red rover. So yeah, I became an instant fan, and have remained so ever since.

That’s the religion part taken care of. Here’s the drinking. A special treat: two songs from The Rev, covering two-fifths of Larry Miller’s legendary ‘five levels of drinking’.

Mix up a bathtub of margaritas, climb in with your favourite straw, and enjoy.

(All those messages of surprise I received when people read my Orbital post and learned I like dance music: can’t wait to see how many I get now the rockabilly is out of the hill…)




If you’re late to the party, get a few down your neck while you catch up to the rest of us:


Yeah, look. I tried. Honestly. But Queens of the Stone Age suck arse, and all my Quincy Jones is stuff he produced for others, not any of his own material. So it’s Queen, okay? Of course it’s Queen. It’s only a matter of which Queen track to choose. We want something that offers some kind of comment on what’s happening to the world around us, but also something that you might not have heard before, just in case a taste of new music is what you need right now.

Not so easy with Quee….ah, got it.

It’s an easy out to blame everything that’s going wrong on a cookie-cutter old-white-man-in-a-suit boogie monster, but by the same token it’s also not exactly a really long stretch, either. The truth is, white-man-politics-with-money is at the root of an absolute fucktonne of the social, cultural, racial, and economic issues that Australia finds itself contorted by. And the truth is, many of those issues are the result of the ingrained xenophobia, racism, misogyny, empire-building, religious zealotry, and all-round just being stupid dumbshits-ery brought over with the Western European diasporas that have hit Australian shores with stunning regularity over the decades. I’m sure no other countries have issues with historical European imperialism.

So, you know what? Suck it up.

And I say that as an increasingly old white man from good, old-fashioned, racist English stock who has had to overcome a whole lot of inherited psychological bullshit over the years. You’re either part of the solution, or shut up. Nobody gets to be proud of being part of the problem anymore. That shit has to stop.

Adapt or die. The new world needs it.

And, hey: a Queen song you might not have heard a billion times on the radio. That’s something too, right?



If you’re late to the party, you can still get timey-wimey and listen to everything that has come before:


Easter Sunday. Let us sit upon the couch, and tell sad stories about the death of our chocolate egg supplies.

We know, those of us who stare at each other through our computer screens and wonder what fresh catastrophe the mishandled greed and corruption of the Megabusiness Lap Dogs we trusted to run our societies will unload upon us, and just what will remain when we emerge, shamefaced and cowed, to look upon the aftermath of toilet paper riots and border-closing xenophobia we brought upon ourselves. We know.

We know that to return to the old way of things is to have learned nothing. We know that something has to give, that this epoch of money-worship and cultural isolation has been as close as anything else to bringing us to this point, where we blindly threaten our own survival simply so Frank and Edna can have that boat they only ever sit on the water and drink beer in, and so that Drumpf and Bezos and Reinhart can wipe their arses with ever-thickening wads of fifties. We know.

We know, and still we contribute to it.



Surely, by now, at least one of you has danced around the house in your underwear. Doesn’t even have to be your underwear. Doesn’t even have to be your house. Or inside. Or in underwear. Or clothes.

Look, just send me videos of naked people dancing, okay?

Dance music is some Marmite stuff. Either you love it or you don’t. But while we’re all tucked up in our living rooms, and the gym’s closed, and they’ve changed the locks to the gate at the pool so my your key is useless, you’ve got to do something to maintain that clean, high-energy lifestyle you’ve been telling yourself you’re just about ready to commit to any time soon, right? (The prosecution would like it noted that the defendant is literally eating a plate of cheese, pickled onions, and crackers while typing this unwarranted slur on everybody else’s reputations….)

Orbital are great. High energy, high octane beats with a ridiculously large slice of satirical side-eye and a self-awareness about the popular culture that surrounds them which borders on the perverse. They played a huge part in bringing dance culture into the mainstream, headlining Glastonbury in 1994 and delivering one of the all-time great gigs before becoming movie soundtrack staples throughout the 90s. They’ve been a staple of my playlist for years: songs like Satan, The Sinner, Belfast, and Chime are mood-lifting staples for when I really need them.

And then there’s this: the song that first brought them into my… uh… orbit. The song that brought Lord 15 into dance music. A song that should remind us that everything changes, everything evolves, everything continues, even if the surface details may alter from time to time.

I can think of no more resonant and symbolic cultural figure to hold onto in these times than The Doctor, and so here we are: Orbital, and my favourite of their tracks, Doctor?, performed live at the scene of their greatest triumph, with a special appearance by… well, let’s just say it’s perfect.

So, no matter what happens over the next few weeks and months, no matter what we suffer through, and endure, remember: One day, we shall come back. Yes, we shall come back. Until then…..



If you’re late to the party, you can still get timey-wimey and listen to everything that has come before:


The school term is officially finished. All the little darlings are officially at home for two weeks, arse-glue liberally applied to the couch and TV-eyes firmly fixed in place. And Luscious and I have the joy of officially trudging into work every day to sit in empty classrooms, setting up and creating content for the next ten weeks of disinterest and objections that this is stupid and why do we even need to learn this crap anyway?

Of course, the truth is that we’ve been in this position for the last two weeks. But as of today, it’s at least official, and that makes all the difference.

So in the spirit of not even really trying and not giving a damn about the end result, I’m not even trying to link today’s musical choice to Covid-19, the political landscape, or the toxic, semi-liquid filth currently gagging Boris the Rock Spider’s brain lungs. And I don’t care about the result. So there.

I love a bit of Nina Simone, and have done ever since I discovered her via the medium of a short Aardman animation film, back in the days when they experimented with stuff instead of squeezing out a bland, never-ending package of twee homages to a Little England that resembles nothing more than being trapped inside the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society album and never once realising it’s supposed to be satirical.

So here it is. Settle back, mix the third breakfast margarita of the day, and enjoy the serenity. See you tomorrow.



If you’re late to the party, this is your perfect opportunity to catch up before the numbness reaches your fingertips:


Oh, let’s be honest. Given that I’m sitting here in my Madness tee-shirt, and my Madness tattoo on my arm, writing on my website that uses a Madness quote in the sidebar to try to sum me and my lifetime’s effort up, with my lifelong conviction that Madness is the greatest pop band in the history of absolutely everything… it wasn’t likely to be Melodious Mikey and the Mangled Meltheads, was it?

Besides which, what better band name to sum up everything that’s happening throughout the world right now?

Lucky for you, Madness is one of those rare bands that actually get better as they get older. Idiot Child comes from their 2009 masterpiece The Liberty of Norton Folgate. It’s a perfect anthem for any of the Trimvirate of Evil Morons– apply it to Scum the Crime Minister, the Orange Humgruffin, or Boris the Bastard as you will.



If you’re late to the party, this is what the rest of us have been fiddling to while our respective corners of Rome burn:


Deep into the second week of isolation, and apart from the dildoes up the road deciding that 2am is the perfect time to have themselves an Aussie-Standards-and-Shouting-at-the-Top-of-Their-Moronic-FIFO-lungs party last night, life is just frigging peachy.

Luscious is isolated more by (ill) luck than design, having taken a fall at work on the last day of term that we really shouldn’t have been here for anyway, which seems to have ripped half of her muscles away from her ankle bone. For those who have been playing along, no, the other ankle. Chance is a fine thing. It does, however, mean that she and Webex are working from home this week, while I sit in an empty classroom wondering just what the hell I’m doing here, anyway?

Weird that it takes a lack of students to realise what a second-rate teacher of students you are, but there it is.

Anyway, today’s listening is Britstralian songwriter Lisa Mitchell, who somehow managed to finish sixth in the 2006 season of Australian Idol behind the vacuous talent-free black holes of Damien Leith, Jessica Mauboy, and three blokes whose names I forget the moment I read them. Her first album, Wonder, was released when she was 18: it’s a delightful confection of whimsy, lilting tunefulness, and the sort of musical arrangements that must exist inside Stevie Nicks’ head when she’s in full elf-dancer mode. Since then Mitchell has moved further and further into a template of bog-standard female in her 20s Australian Music Industry plastic electric stylings, but for a moment she was the most original thing to hit Australian music in decades.

Oh, Hark! is a witty rumination on the fear of death, and particularly the things that lurk in the shadows between death and resurrection. It’s a fitting conversation starter for these times, when we sit between — hopefully –the death of right wing capitalism and wholesale destruction of the planet to fill the pockets of old, white, happy clapping zealots as the predominant thoughtform, and the potential for birthing something more fitting for the times to come.



If you’ve missed the party so far, here’s all the ways you could have self-harmed with the rest of us:


Eleven days into self-isolation. By now, you’re beginning to see faces in the bowl of custard that’s been sitting in the fridge since January, and you know they’re starting to look pretty suggestive.

And let’s be honest, you’d be getting on with it, if it wasn’t for those damn neighbours spying on you via 5G radio waves, and the French trying to poison us all by blowing ill humours across the channel with giant bellows, and I don’t like the way that squirrel is looking at me, and being followed by a giant hedgehog named Spiny Norman….

It’s at times like these that a hero will rise and teach us all to lead the way. A Texan hero. A Texan Jewish hero, with spangly hat and a suitcase full of detective novels. A Texan Jewish hero with a fine line in tasteless, controversial, and unbelievably hilarious songs… provided you’re of a certain state of mind.

After eleven days of erotic thoughts about hatefucking expired custard, you’re probably in just about the certainest state of mind you’ve been in since Scum stole the election, and ready for some advice on what to do next. Kinky style…



If you’ve missed the party so far, here’s all the things we’ve listened to:


The second week of our Covid playlist arrives, and for some of you it’s been a lifetime since you’ve seen a human face that you remember you used to love but can’t quite remember why. Toast supplies are running low. Some bastard has put the Nutella back in the cupboard with less that a scrape in the bottom. The bottle shop knows you so well they have your daily three bottles under the counter waiting for you. Even floating photos of Scum the Crime Minister in the toilet bowl so you can play games of Stuka Dive Bomber has lost its allure.

Chin up, guv’. Worse fings ‘appen at sea. Spirit of the Blitz ‘n all that.

It’s probably no surprise that I’d pick James for this entry. Luscious and I have been mainlining the band for several months now. Laid and Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) were playlist staples for several years, but we’d never really thought beyond that until we let Google Home keep playing beyond those two once, and realised how many brilliant songs were following on from each other while we listened, agog.

There’s something about the band’s sound, and both the voice and look of lead singer Tim Booth, that remind us inextricably of Blake. They help keep him with us, and the pain is both bittersweet and bearable.

Crash is the opening track from their 1999 album Millionaires: arguably their finest, and one I will be taking with me any time I fly just in case I’m marooned on a desert island. The title might describe the way many of us are feeling right now. The lyrics certainly do.



If you’ve missed the party so far, because you’re not allowed out unless you’re somebody society is willing to sacrifice or this is a potential booty call, here’s what you could have been listening to instead of saving lives or bonking in the name of exercise:


It’s Sunday. Why are you even up?

If you haven’t heard of Ian Dury by now, you’ve managed to get to today years old without experiencing one of the most unique, magnetic, and brilliant wordsmiths to ever rise from the world of popular music.

I envy you. Oh, the things you’re going to discover as you lie about today, flicking from youtube video to youtube video, exclaiming “How the fuck did I not know about this?”.

Yes, the world is gloom. Yes, it’s doom. Yes, we still have to look at the smug, Dunning-Kruger, punch-here arsefaces of Scum, the Orange Humgruffin, and Boris the Bastard.

But it’s Sunday. Time to relax, just for a day. Time to think of reasons to be cheerful.

Why don’t you get back into bed?



If you’ve missed the party so far, because you’re not allowed out unless you’re somebody society is willing to sacrifice or this is a potential booty call, here’s what you could have been listening to instead of saving lives or bonking in the name of exercise:


And so we reach the end of the teaching term. Such as it was.

For Luscious and myself, (and, you know, the 1600-odd other people who come to the school on a daily-or-less basis), it’s been a term interrupted by cyclone, injury, and family drama as well as Covid.

There aren’t many terms where you get to experience natural disaster and plague. I’m vaguely disappointed war hasn’t broken out. We’d have a hell of a bingo card filled out…

But now, thanks to the State Government eveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeentuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllly realising that we’re not ancient Aztecs, and that perhaps teachers are actual people and not sacrificial subjects, the school term is officially over a week early. The few remaining students are officially kicked out, and the rest of us will be isolated in our various classrooms from Monday morning, desperately trying to work just just what the frigging frig “prepare for alternative teaching environments” is supposed to mean.

So, what better way to celebrate the response to this pandemic by all levels of Government, as well as the policies and general mindset of Scum the Crime Minister and his Lieberal colleagues, than to indulge in my favourite hip-hop band: a collection of exactly the type of people they’d love to marginalise, with an anthem to the year they wish we were living in.



If you’ve missed the party so far, because you’re not allowed out unless you’re somebody society is willing to sacrifice or this is a potential booty call, here’s what you could have been listening to instead of saving lives or bonking in the name of exercise:


Here we are at the seventh day of our isolation watch. And it’s time to bring to the attention of the world– or at least the three of you reading this who haven’t witnessed a single Australian fireworks show since 1984 — one of my favourite underrated Aussie bands, GANGgajang.

Most famed for a nationalistic slice of 1980s pop perfection everyone thinks is called This is Australia, but which is actually called Sounds of Then, because Australians don’t actually listen to lyrics if the hear the world Austrayyyaaaa and they’re outside during a National Holiday (TLDR: pissed), their self-titled debut album inspired such lust in me that I begged my poor, long suffering mother for it for several months. Subsequently, she bought me a receipt…… and The Best of RamJam, because that was as close as she could remember when she hit the shop.

That receipt brought me a lot of joy over the years, as well as the album it enabled me to finally get my hands on.

Keen-eyed readers will have noted that I’m basically using these posts to comment on the world around me as the Days of Covid-19 (c) (IT’S MY MOVIE, DAMN IT! MINE!) continue.

So I leaned very strongly towards the classic House of Cards as an obvious metaphor for the way simple things are turning to shit around us. Seriously: today was food shopping day, and despite visiting both major supermarkets this town has, there was literally not one bar of soap or bag of flour of any type between them. Not even the ones made out of things soap and flour shouldn’t be made from, like toddler’s toenails, or charcoal, remained.

Instead, I’ve gone with the song that made me first fall in love with Buzz Bidstrup’s answer to getting shafted from some decent The Angels wages. Gimme Some Lovin’ might not be the obvious choice of title for our Apocalypsalooza, but given there’s some confusion as to whether you can Level 3 travel restrictions as long as you’re on a booty call, (I mean, I’m good, but even I might draw the line at classifying it as ‘exercise’) and with lyrics like

Well it’s happening again, like I always thought it would.

Mad men dancing in the streets and fire drains.

And it’s a strange infatuation, taking off across the nation.

Crazy darling combination. Since it’s one last move and it’s all over

perhaps it’s not so out of left field as all that.


So: thanks for helping to facilitate a lifelong love, Mum, and for the rest of you, enjoy.



If you’ve missed the party so far, because you’re not allowed out unless you’re somebody society is willing to sacrifice or this is a potential booty call, here’s what you could have been listening to instead of saving lives or bonking in the name of exercise:













As we slide towards the end of the first week of our album in isolation, thoughts turn towards our own mortality. The death toll worldwide continues to rise as the incompetent criminals such as Drumpf and our own Scum openly put their own interests above the safety of their countrymen. For all the jokes and sarcasm I throw about on this website, times are genuinely scary: nobody has any experience of this, and the more inaction and overt greed are the open directions taken by our leaders, the more the general populace is forced to act for itself.

No bad thing, perhaps: when faced with a Crime Minister whose policy seems to be to shut down Parliament, award himself oligarchical powers, and turn the actual administration of the country over to a select crew of mining cronies while he holes himself up and proselytises his inane happy handclapper zealotry like some sort of inbred bush league Adam Susan.

So, while Nero fiddles with himself and commits the country to his lunatic faith, it’s time to send a message of our own. You have your faith, Scum? We have Faith No More. And a song that may be in poor taste, but sadly, is timely as all buggery.



If you’re late to the party, here’s where we’ve ben so far:




We reach the fifth day of our album today, and as we approach the end of the first week alone with only our thoughts, Pornhub, and that quarter bottle of Kahlua with an expiry date in the late 90s we discovered at the back of the cupboard on a nibblies expedition for company, our imagination turn towards the problem of what sort of world will be left after the plaguepocalypse. Will we still have the same political structures? Will we turn our backs on the toxic stench of capitalism and replace it with something warmer, fuzzier, market gardenier? Will we finally legalise the hunting of Kardashians?

Today’s musical choice has been a staple of my playlist from the moment the first bars of Heroin Girl elbowed the shit hiphop off the Triple J airwaves for a few blessed minutes. Snarling, sneering, commercialised safety punk pop they may be, but Everclear are fucking good snarling, sneering, commercialised safety punk pop. A string of wry, bittersweet slices of Generation Angst have kept me firmly in the fanbase ever since, from So Much for the Afterglow, through Local God, to the always brilliant Santa Monica and more.

Today’s offering is a little glimmer of hope as we look towards our future of S&M leatherware and spiky cars foever ploughing through desert sands in pursuit of one-armed women and water. If Scum the Crime Minister continues his magic trick of simultaneously sitting on his hands, twiddling his fingers, and shoving his thumbs up his arse, more than a few of us will come to know the joy of a welfare Christmas.



If you’ve missed the party so far, this is where our musical wanderings have led us: