Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who Doesn't Love The Roulettes?

I went to the Grand Prix qualifying today. Took these photos of The Roulettes, the second best thing to come out of Sale, Gippsland. 

The first? 

Scott Pendlebury.  

Click the photos for better versions.





Thanks Josh for inviting me along. Great day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bruce Springsteen Does The Saints

Nothing witty to say.

Just brilliant.

My Rough Show Notes To House Of Cards.

Kevin Spacey yesterday.
In the most recent Boxcutters we reviewed Kevin Spacey's House of Cards which was put on Netflix recently. Here's the brain dump I took into the studio. They are rough notes. That's why they're a bit long and discombobulated. Like a sausage. A pork loin, fennel and dubious analogy flavoured sausage. Let's see how it's made.

I love Kevin Spacey. 

This is his best role since playing the weedy boss’s assistant in my favorite movie/play Glengarry Glen Ross. But his character, Frank Underwood in House of Cards is his exact opposite. Or is he. Devious, assured, bitter, dark, cynical - he knows people like no other. Knows all the tricks to fuck you over with a smile so well that he can make you feel like he's doing the best for you. Or he can shit on your head. Slowly. You won't enjoy that ever. 

One of the great plot devices is Spacey's head to the side narration which did appear in the previous UK series but to say that was original then would be to ignore theatre’s tradition. All history’s great plays do that. It’s film and television who are behind. I mean, look at the Paperboy with Macy Gray’s strange narration.  What’s going on with that? I must stop thinking about this film.

The unreliable narrator is something that really interests me. Happens in the great novels too. And that’s what we have with Frank Underwood, so sure of himself we barrack for evil but the show goes somewhere else.

His style is high camp dead panning.


The bastard knock about rogue to school friends, man with a knife to enemies.

Everyone is his enemy.

Even you.

Even when he’s nice to you. That’s how he does it. He works out what you like and fondles that bit like Lori Singer on a cello. The crazed failure. The crazed success. The man borning himself again and again to lead. 


Then there’s his relationship with his wife played by Robin Wright. The most dangerous power couple since Pixie and Christopher Skase. I love watching these people. Lady Macbeth is too easy a  comparison. Both teeter everywhere around morality. I don’t really know of a comparison. There’s probably another Shakespeare but I’m not an English teacher.

To compare this Spacey version with the English one isn’t worth it either. This is a cover. An adaption. Things change. Do you read every book a movie’s adapted to? Do you have that time? Trust people. Trust the artist to make their own cover version. That’s what we pay them for.

David Fincher’s darkness is here. What does a director do after the facebook movie, which was sure directed by him, but does anyone ever get an idea through Sorkin these days? 

The wife, let’s go back to the wife. Claire Underwood. Some strange scenes about her morality. And then she’s just an awful person to work with. Those scenes made me shudder. I used to work in the not for profit places and I tell youse there’s some real nasty pasties around. Much like the other Rob, Robyn Butler’s lead character in The Librarians maybe. But maybe not. Butler’s aggression was cloaked. Wright’s Claire Underwood would slowly scratch out your eyes. And then be forlorn about your blindness for at least three more hours. Besides. Robyn Butler spells her name with a Y.

The journalist girl. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes. Fabulous but sometimes a bit disturbing because she’s such a little girl. The sex scenes, look I don’t like sex scenes on TV, are awkward because of her littleness. Maybe that was the point they were making but I feel uncomfortable.

The way Frank plays the media. More realistic than the newsroom ever dreamed of being. It’s about feeding the chooks. Frank gives a journo a drop and then you see a montage of the drop turning into a story Chinese Whispers style across the news cycle. This seems right. I asked a journo I know about this and they seemed stunned by the scene. Scary real.

Though the dying newspaper thing and subsequent lets go and work somewhere new age modern contemporary where you can sit on a beanbag is already outdated.

I like where it’s going and I can’t wait to see the second series. Ends a bit abruptly and later eps struggle a little bit but that’s what happens when you try to keep things up like this over 13 episodes.

Oh talk about tired ideas. Alcoholics Anonymous. We’ve progressed since 1986. There are other ways to treat drug dependence. But in US drama there’s only one.

Like what I'm doing here? Well, hire me as your next copywriter. Mostly freelance but I prefer fulltime. Call me on 0433360199 or email me at I'm available right now.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

My Own Bookplate Drawn By Oslo Davis.

My Ex Libris bookplate thingy on my favorite first edition. (click to magnify)
Ever since stumbling across the collection of bookplates at Kay Craddock's many years ago, I've wanted one of these made.

Now I've got one.

I could think of nobody better to draw it.

Thanks so much to Lucy, my and Lucy's family, and my great mates for making it happen.

And of course, Oslo Davis for drawing it.

Monday, March 04, 2013

I Love You Austin: My Guide To Having The Best Time Ever At SXSW.

That's me in the spotlight.
Most of you will know I went to SXSW last year as part of the Boxcutters podcast, and most of you will know I had a brilliant time.

If you're going this year, (hi Esther and Ben!), here's a few things you need to know.

Download the SXSW Go app now.
Do it. Here's the link again. Done? Good. Put it on your phone. Put it on your ipad. Now once you're done with this blog post, do all the registering and signing in you can because uploading your photos (you have to do this for your badge and other stuff), over in Austin is a drag. It took one of my mates ages.

Once you've done that, have an explore and lock in all the things you want to see. If that looks daunting you have a lot of time to do that on the plane on your way to Austin. This is fun.

Plan but don't get overwhelmed.
So once you've done all that you'll think there's so much on that you couldn't possibly fit it all in. It's Ok. You won't. Indeed, some afternoons you'll plan to see someone from a NY ad agency do a talk on crazy sneakers that read minds but instead you end up in a bar on 5th Street talking to a nice bunch of people wearing backpacks and nice shoes. "So what is it you lovely people do?" you'll ask. "Oh, we invented a thing called Tumblr. Want another drink?"

Get to the plane on time.
US customs is um.... difficult. And there's only a couple of planes going to Austin every day. Something goes wrong and you'll have a fun 50 hour trip like I did on the way back.

Bring light clothes and good walking shoes.
It's hot and you'll do heaps of walking.

Do I bring my phone?
Yes. Just deactivate global roaming and keep your wifi on. For twittering, using the SXSW app etc, there's free public WIFI everywhere in Austin. The free WIFI in the Convention Centre and the Driskill Hotel is teriffic. And if you can't find one, find a Starbucks or ask one of your new American friends to tether onto their phone. If you feel a need to use a phone to talk, buy a throwaway phone at a phone shop. They're cheap and they make you feel like a corner-boy in The Wire.

Hail a Chevrolet.
Chevrolet do a thing at SXSW where they drive around town giving people with badges a free lift to anywhere in Austin. All you have to do is hail one down with your badge. The nice driver will give you a spiel about the new car they're driving but that's not too much of a price to pay.

Also Austin locals are magnificent. Because they appreciate there's not enough taxis in their proud city, they hate seeing visitors trying to find one. That's why they love driving you home late at night or if it's raining. True. They insist. Happened to us MANY times.

Enjoy Austin.
There may be over 20,000 people visiting Austin for the festival but it was the quintessential Austin things that made my time there brilliant. Here's some.

Go see local band, Hot Club of Cowtown play at the Continental Club.
They're the world's best Western Swing band. I met locals who moved to Austin just so they can see Hot Club play every week. They're that good.

Get a dancing lesson at The Broken Spoke honky tonk bar.
See when Dale Watson's on. I've loved Dale for many years. His hair is my own hair's inspiration. He'll play Texas Two Step dancing music for hours and hours and you won't want to leave. You'll need to take a taxi but it's worth it. One of the craziest nights I've ever had. Long story. Get me drunk and I'll tell it to you. Anyway at midnight the owner sings a song and a broken spoke is I don't know. Look. Just see the video I shot.

You've never had BBQ if you've never had Austin BBQ.
I can't stress this enough. Austin BBQ is life changing. The place people talk most about is the Salt Lick which also has a restaurant in the Austin airport.
A rib at Iron Works yesterday.
But I recommend Iron Works, also the BBQ truck near Antone's and the Sugar Shack near the University. Go to any place that sells pulled pork and ribs and you'll be happy. Also Franklin BBQ is supposed to be amazing.
Also on 5th Street, drop into Tears of Joy for your hot sauce supply to bring back home. It's a ridiculous place. Frank's Hotdogs is also great.

Get cowboy boots and jeans at Allen's Boots.
Allen's on Congress is heaven for cowboy boots. Give yourself at least an hour to decide because you could lose your mind. They also sell jeans at less than a third of the price you get them in Australia. The Wranglers I have on right now cost $28 US.

And over the road get a gumbo at this place. Read more about it here. There's also a great second hand book shop with lots of cool first editions a few doors up from Allen's.

Most of all, tip your bar staff, talk to everyone and have a blast.

You never know what these weeks will lead to.

Like what I'm doing here? Well, hire me as your next copywriter. Mostly freelance but I prefer fulltime. Call me on 0433360199 or email me at I'm available right now.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Our Captains This Week.

Max Walker yesterday.

This week our captains not only represent the Abbotsford Anglers, they represent their home countries. Shutts, New Zealand and Al Judd.... Geelong. I did a bit of a ring around to their fellow countrymen.

"Juddy is the greatest man to come out of Geelong since Gary "Whiskas" Hocking. And like Gary, Ford asked Juddy to change his name to "Fiesta". Unfortunately Juddy refused."
Max Walker

"Juddy made me go lez."
Portia de Rossi

"Juddy also made me go lez."
Dennis Walter

"Who could forget little Shuttsy at juniors training every week. First to arrive. Last to leave. Oh. Hold on. I was thinking Lance's kid."
Richard Hadlee

"Shuttsy's middle foot pull is a real slice of heaven. He's also good at batting." 
Dave Dobbyn

"Shuttsy made me go lez."
Paul Henry