Monday, January 30, 2006

Show Tunes For Satan

Blogger bloke, Koaloha forgets his walkman and is subjected to noisy preacher freaks in train carriage.
Koaloha: “Excuse me, but do you mind keeping your voice down, I am trying to read.”

Preacher Lady: (screams) “I got to testify.”

Preacher lady hitches up her skirts and tells me that I am going to hell for interrupting you-know-who’s word. Two or three OTHER Christian ladies on the train start shouting at me and discussing my prospects as the Devil’s prison bitch. The last straw was a 50 something red faced man in a suit slamming his Bible towards my face.

There was only one thing I could do.

Koaloha: “If you all don’t lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.”

The other straphangers look at me with stony faces.

I begin to sing.

“Its very clear, our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but forever and a day…”
More hilarity at Ladies Village Improvement Society - Crazy Train or Emotional Subway Attack.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

Woolcott Should Know Better

Richard Woolcott's suspicion (The Age, 21/1) that an "underside to our image" is the cause of Australia's failure to be elected into the UN Security Council, is complete and utter hogwash.

As a former ambassador to the United Nations, he should well know the real reason we can't get in has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq, David Hicks, Vivian Alvarez Solon or even "police dog squads and horse patrols on Sydney beaches."

Instead, in the world of violence and conflict, we're just not significant.

Look at this year's new council members, Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar, and Slovakia-- all countries very close geographically, historically and politically to some of the world's bloodiest conflict.

And that's why they're elected into the UN Security Council.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Get A Job To Stir Your World

Friends and regular readers may already be familiar with the stuff I've done over the past couple of years, helping create World Vision's new youth thingy called Stir.

Well, the website is now chock full of stuff on how young people...heck, all people... can make a difference, a political difference (not just donating blindly to charity and stuff) to this sick old world we're lumped with.

One brillo part of the website is Stirring Careers. In one of the best bits of clear writing I've seen him do, hipster World Vision staffer, Adam Valvasori shows you how to move into a career which "rewards you with more than just money."

He tells us what sort of education or field experience you need to work in 'the field' or apply for any of the incredible aid jobs advertised on Reuter's Alertnet website.

There's also a bit where Adam interviews quite a few of World Vision's people who work in some of the world's hardest countries on what they do and what they did to get their highly sought after jobs.

Another great bit is Stir's Graduation Pledge. Based on a similar Stanford University project, the Graduation Pledge is a promise graduates can take to:
"To explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organisations for which I work."
As I've said previous, this is reasonable promise, not an unrealistic ban on ever taking jobs at a dodgy company, instead encouragement for us to think a little more about the place we may have no other choice to work at.

To think, I was supposed to write this part of the Stir website. That dang Valvasori did a much better job on it than I was ever going to do.

Well done, Adam.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Nightwatchman's Dictionary #1

Procrasticast: n pro·cras·ti·cast A radio show downloaded and lost forever in your hard drive, never ever to be listened to.

"There's something interesting on the radio! I'll listen to it later on procrasticast. Now, back to Desparate Housewives...."

Oh Brother! Not Out!

RecordBrother is one hell of a obscurio 60's and 70's film soundtrack blog. Everything reviewed you can download or listen to free from the site.

Blaxploitation, psych-fuzz-pop, Italian and Brazillian beat and even a Hindi disco soundtrack to what looks like the world's worst sport flick, The Cricketer.

Unbelievable stuff.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Who Listens To The Podcast-io?

There's a quite a lot of talk about podcasting and how it's gonna change the way we listen to radio etc but I've only met ONE REAL HUMAN BEING who downloads and LISTENS to podcasts.

It's one thing to download a podcast. It's another to actually listen to it.

The ABC often boasts of many thousands of downloads but really, once you download one podcast from somewhere like the ABC, your software automatically downloads stuff without you knowing about it.

Like, my iTunes has automatically downloaded 15 episodes of KCRW's Music Exchange but I've only listened to two of them. And when am I going to find time to catch up on the eight hours of Harry Shearer's Le Show iTunes just downloaded?

With podcasts I am an exception. I've been a regular listener and downloader of overseas radio shows for many years before people called them podcasts.

Here's a few I've been listening to lately.

Zoe's Radio Show is hosted by a 15 year old girl with a better record collection than my own. Although her fave band ever is Built To Spill, she's got superb music taste and really knows how to put together an hour long radio show. A few Triple R and PBS announcers can learn a lot from this girl. She has FUN, damnammit!

The Ricky Gervais Show is nuts. 4o-ish minutes of Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant trying to unlock the thought process of their idiot savant producer, Karl Pilkington.

43 Folders is a real short spinoff from the nifty getting things done website of the same name, hosted by a funny little twerp named Merlin.

And my old faves are Harry Shearer's Le Show and Philip Adams' Late Night Live.


I use iTunes to listen to podcasts. It's the easiest listening thing out there.

Click on the podcasts thingy on the left hand side of your iTunes, then click on the "Podcast Directory" thingy on the left bottom side of the main window.

Browse through the podcasts in that window and click on the "Subscribe" button if you see a show you like.

If you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox and you find a link to to a podcast you might want to listen to, copy the address and then open up your iTunes.

Then click on the "Advanced" thingy on iTunes and then go to "Subscribe to Podcast".

Paste the address to the little box and presto, you're going to have that podcast updated in iTunes for the rest of your life!

Can you ever be arsed to listen to a podcast? If so what? Click on the comment bit and tell us all about it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sorry About That, We're From Melbourne

A few of us took a rock'n'roll roadtrip to Sydney to see The Shins play on the weekend. The last time I was in Sydney was when I flew up to see The Cult play Selina's way back in the mid 1990's.

Here's some highlights....

Cheap, traditional pub meals. $12 for a Fisherman's Basket. $15 for steak. That's almost half what you pay in Melbourne and not one drop of juniper berry jus finds its way anywhere near the $9 Bangers and Mash.

$10 jugs.

The Metro. Awesome 700-ish seater theatre venue where everyone gets to see the band.

Mad taxi drivers.
Driver: I from Hong Kong six years ago. I like knowing how to be getting people there fast. How long did did it take you to drive to Sydney to Melbourne?
Me: Seven and a half hours.

Driver: You must be speeding!

Me: No, we took a shortcut.

Driver: Ah! I see. I understand!
The Shins. Strangely enough, considering Oh Inverted World is one of my fave records in the past decade, this was the first time I've seen them play. They were brilliant. I was elated. Perhaps too elated?

Sydney cops. After the show a scrag fight erupted in an alley next to the venue. A police car pulls up in the main street 30 metres away. Both police jump out of the car, bolt to the fracas and violently cuff the angry ladies. For the next half hour the police car is abandoned in the street, lights flashing.

My mates' reaction? Man-boobs-draped-over-police-car-photo-shoot time.

Gig fashion. Nobody wears collars, dark clothes or leather. A Sydney-sider gigster even asked me why I was wearing a Miller shirt. I advised him it was actually a Miller looking shirt made by the Converse corporation and that he had a bit of last week's chicken stuck in his hair. Glad we both saw the funny side....

Activity. Sydney people run around and play sport in parks. Melbourne people sit around and do bugger all.

Bad arse pun action. After the show we had a six hour shit talk fest at the mosquito riddled house we were staying at. It was a funny bastard called Dave who took out the title when he argued, while holding some mosquito repellent, "Aerogard-less of what you may think...."

The Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and fireworks. Saw none of 'em. So there.

Painting by Ken Done.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Nightwatchman Awards The Best Of 2005

Best Albums
1 Antony And The Jonsons, I Am A Bird Now
2 Bob Dylan, Bootlegs 7
3 Martha Wainwright, Self Titled
4 Sufjan Stevens, Come On Feel The Illinois
5 Dirty Three, Cinder

Best Song
by My Morning Jacket. Sure, it came out in 2003 but I came to know, love and play it to death in 2005.

Best Show
Rufus Wainwright at Manchester Lane.

Best Book
Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas.

Best TV Show
100 Center Street

Best Film
The Anchorman

Best International Website/Blog
Boing Boing

Best Australian Website/Blog
Corkintheocean. Piss-funny, even if it is dedicated to one of the most annoying footy teams in the AFL.

Person Of The Year
Keanu Reeves