Thu. May 30th, 2024

Last night’s Rage was being programmed by the singer from Wheatus, Brendan B Brown – remember them, Teenage Dirtbag? So there was a lot of grunge, post-grunge and indie rock on display. I didn’t watch it live, of course, I PVR’d it and watched it this morning. Or at least some of it. I have a habit of reading the playlists for the weekend on Rage’s excellent ABC webpage and deciding what or if I want to watch. I was interested in the clips for Fountains of Wayne‘s Radiation Vibe and Wet Leg‘s Chaise Longue, both excellent songs. The Wayne clip featured a girl with weird pointy hair and a dude who looked and acted like Rod Serling from the Twilight Zone. The band were sitting on a couch with one boot each nailed to the floor, while the other free foot tapped to the beat of the song. The nailing was apparently the work of the girl with the weird pointy hair. The visuals were strange, but nothing detracts from the sublimely tunefulness of that song: a much better song than their well-known novelty hit Stacey’s Mom. Wet Leg are more recent, the song being one of my favourites from last year. I like the way the video contrasts its slightly suggestive lyrics (“would you like someone to butter your muffin?”) with what looks like an Amish frolic in the fields. The comments for the video on Youtube are worth reading, some are hilarious, surreal and spot on. My favourite is, “This is what would happen when your favorite vinyl collection starts its own band”. Another comment was, “Extra points awarded for not including an actual chaise-lounge in the video, despite mentioning it about 50 times”.

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Conversation With Josh #244

Dad at Deniliquin

Caught up with Josh this weekend at Kang’s Chinese, Healesville. Josh told me about a festival he went to on the Easter weekend called ConFest. Billed as ‘Australia’s leading alternative lifestyle festival’, it was held in Woorooma, NSW by the Edwards River. Josh and his friends set up a tent in what was called the ‘tranquility camp’ area. Since they spent their nights playing music and singing songs, things may not have been too tranquil there, but clearly no one minded. Josh said he attended a number of workshops on subjects like spirituality and healing, and even put one of his own on, called Social Dreaming. This was done in a teepee, with Josh instructing his participants in the subject, which he learned from his father. He said his favourite event over the weekend was the Spontaneous Choir, an evolved version of singing in the round, from what I could make of it. He said there were secluded areas along the river for skinny dipping (it was a hot weekend), but he didn’t partake – though he did swim. It sounded like a good time, and Josh has invited me to the next one, which I may attend. The Edwards River has a particular resonance for me because I have a memory of it to do with my parents. The story goes when my mum went to hospital to give birth to my younger brother, Carl, Dad decamped up to Deniliquin with his mates and fished along the Edwards River. Giving birth was purely women’s business back then. Nice one, Dad.

After a nice meal of teriyaki chicken and rice we decamped back to Josh’s Crosby, Stills and Nash house for beers on the veranda. I call it that because it reminds me of the cover of their first album. Check it out. The story goes, after the photos were taken at a dilapidated house in Santa Monica, they realised they were sitting in the wrong order. It was Nash, Stills and Crosby. But when they went back to the old house in Santa Monica, it was already torn down. I told Josh this story and it got me naturally segueing to the eventual fourth member, Neil Young. I’d been thinking of his Decade album lately, how he never got around to doing a Volume Two of his second decade – because he changed record labels in the interim. One day I’ll make a playlist of what might have been on it. I’m sure others already have. I mentioned the album Neil did with Pearl Jam, Mirror Ball, and how Pearl Jam made an ep from the sessions called Merkin Ball. This made Josh laugh, and he told me a ‘merkin’ is a pubic hair wig. I looked it up on the net, and he was right! Apparently prostitutes would make them from their own pubic hair. Amazing! Puts that ep title in a new light.

A merkin

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When I got home I had a listen to side two of Carl Wilson‘s first solo album. Side one had sounded kind of tough, but sure enough, side two began with a couple of ballads. The first one, Hurry Love, is really good. Was it the single? The more uptempo third track, The Grammy, has some intriguing lyrics, basically lampooning the award. Carl attended the award in 1976 as a presenter, with his brothers. Maybe they were his impressions of that. But the lyrics are by Myrna Smith, the wife of Carl’s then manager, Jerry Schilling. I’m looking forward to getting into this album some more. I also listened to the first half of the Beach BoysSmile album. I need time to listen to the rest and gather my thoughts on that one.

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