Thu. May 23rd, 2024

I finally got to settle down at home and watch that Girl Groups dvd I had transferred yesterday. For what it was, the picture and sound quality weren’t bad (which is not always the case with these transfers), so I was happy about that. The documentary itself was made up of the usual series of talking heads interspersed with clips of the groups performing their songs. One of the great things about the 60s girl groups is they had some of the best songwriters working for them. Leiber and Stoller, Goffin and King, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector were all featured, with Greenwich and Leiber and Stoller talking at length. Some of the clips were amazing. The Shangri-Las exuding cool doing Give Him a Great Big Kiss, Martha and the Vandellas doing Dancing In the Street, with Martha delivering a fantastic live vocal. Mari Wilson outing herself as the ‘sexy one’ in the Supremes (yes, you were, Mari!). Some mention was made, particularly by Darlene Love, of how Phil Spector owned the names of all his groups and was cavalier about who sang on their records. Thus, Darlene sang He’s a Rebel with her group the Blossoms, though it was credited to the Crystals. Ronnie Spector gave a good precis of her caged life with Phil, who everyone seemed to regard with suspicion – though most agreed he was also a ‘genius’. It’s a fascinating story, and all too briefly told. I was a bit annoyed that The Shangri-Las’ Leader of the Pack was only played over the end credits and we didn’t get to see them performing it. But, all in all, it was a good little doco, and a worthwhile project. Now I think I’ll cut up all the music clips and put them in my music video collection…

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Listened to Carl Wilson‘s solo album again. I’m still liking that tough-sounding side one, and the songs Hurry Love and The Grammy from side two. I think the others will yield as I listen to it more. Carl was a class act all the way. Then I listened to half of Perfume’s Game, for something different. I’ve gotta say, this album is really kicking my arse real good. Nakata’s beats and melodies are splendid, and I really like his way with repetition in his arrangements. There’s a part in the first song, Polyrhythm, where the music and vocals repeat exactly for about five bars, and when I first heard it I thought the cd had got stuck, but no, it was intentional. The man is a wizard. The ladies, Kashiyuka, A-Chan and Nocchi, sing like birds, sometimes electronically processed birds, but birds nonetheless.

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While listening to these albums I actually rearranged my scifi book shelves. They’re those annoying shelves that are two books deep, so that half of your books get hidden behind the front half. I didn’t like that, so I took the ones behind out from where they were and spread them out over another set of book shelves I have. I took the ones that were on those shelves, mainly some crime and contemporary, and put them where the science fiction ones had been – that is, the half that had been hidden. Then I had to rearrange the scifis so they were all in alphabetical order. I like to sit in that room and contemplate my books, while I’m listening to tunes. Now I can sit there and see all my scifis to-be-read, and I will be satisfied. I know, I’m weird.

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I finished that anime series, By the Grace of the Gods season two. It was a pleasant little Iyashikei, ending with main character Ryoma taking part in a village festival and feeling accepted by the townsfolk, not unlike the cultural festivals that often close out high school animes. It was a little strange that it ended there, as Ryoma had made some enigmatic comments throughout the show that he was planning on going back to the forest where he began, and it was a prospect that filled him with some trepidation. Maybe they’ll give us that storyline if season three gets made. So too Ryoma’s relationship with the Gods who appear in the show from time to time. There were some new ones this season, and Ryoma’s interactions with them were some of the more interesting parts of the show. But they were underused, their intentions vague, so maybe we’ll also have to wait for season three to find out more about them. I guess after all that sweetness and goodness I feel properly ‘healed’. But now it’s time to get fucked up again!

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Speaking of which…I cancelled my Optus membership today. So now my arse is out in the wind with no phone number or internet coverage (I’m tethering this off my brother’s internet atm). I’m moving to Aldimobile, who are offering a better deal, including credit rollover, but it will take a couple of days to be finalised and get my SIM card. I had to call up Optus to cancel the membership, and because the operator had a heavy foreign accent and my hearing’s not good, it didn’t go well. I had to ask the guy to repeat his words many times, and in the end just gave up and said yes or hmm to everything. One of those hmms must have been when he asked if I wanted my service canceled straight away. I didn’t, I needed some time to set things up with Aldi; but it was not to be, because I hmmmed. Typically, the bastards had the nerve to offer me a half price deal if I stayed with them, but I rejected it. They were clearly happy to price gouge me this long, so they deserve no loyalty from me. This screed was not meant as an ad for Aldimobile, by the way (they were recommended by my mate Josh), but I guess that’s what it’s become. I didn’t mean it to be, really!

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I finally bought my tickets for Pearl Jam today. Yay! They were for General Admission and they were the same price as everywhere in the stadium – AUD$222. I suppose it’s Pearl Jam’s attempt at being fair. Not sure if the people in the back row seats would agree, but I like it. It’s certainly one way to beat the scalpers. They’re putting on two shows, and the one I’m going to will be a Monday. I don’t know if Pearl Jam in 2024 can fill two shows at this Marvel stadium – it holds 50,000 people. Twice didn’t manage it with just the one show last October (though McCartney did). But there’s still a lot of time – it’s in November – so maybe they will by then. This will be a dream come true, can’t wait. And there’s the new album, Dark Matter, to get into in the meantime.

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