Explored some areas around the face of the hills that I’d not been to before. Short ride, but quite steep, and some great views on the way back down.
In the wake of Bob Brown’s announcement that he will retire there has been much speculation about the future of the Greens. For those who don’t like the Greens (e.g. anyone who writes for News Ltd) it’s another chance to excitedly declare the imminent demise of their sworn enemy.
From the perspective of a Greens member the idea that the party cannot survive without Brown is quite ridiculous. A key feature of the greens is commitment to grassroots democracy, the interior structure of the party is highly democratic. While there is a great deal of well-deserved respect for Brown, it isn’t as if he’s the party dictator. His position was as parliamentary leader, as elected by the 10 elected representatives in federal parliament. There is much more to the Greens than the federal parliamentarians, there are numerous Greens representatives in state and local government all over the country. The overall structure of the party is based on the states, and big decisions are made at conferences where representatives of the state parties meet. At times people have disagreed with Bob Brown on big decisions and he didn’t always get his way, and was happy to recognise the will of the party through its representatives.
Furthermore there is much more to the Greens that just Bob Brown. They are a party based on a set of principles (described in the charter), and are part of an international movement. While he has done a good job of attracting people to the party, they are ultimately there because of what it stands for, and that does not change with his retirement.
The Greens have consistently been growing in support for some time and that growth isn’t guaranteed to continue indefinitely, but an imminent collapse seems highly unlikely.
One more thing, I’ve seen a number of comments from people making some fairly bizarre insinuations about the timing of Brown’s retirement – basically that he knows that something is going to go horribly wrong (usually involving the carbon tax) and he’s getting out to avoid it. For a start this sort of behaviour would go against everything we know from about Brown’s past record, but it’s quite silly to even go looking for an ulterior motive. He has to decide now whether to recontest the senate. That means staying for another 6 years, and he’s in his late 60′s now. He’s been in state and federal parliament since the mid-80′s, it’s not unreasonable that he might want to retire now rather than commit to another 6 years. With the party now having elected representatives from all states in federal parliament, including one in the house of representatives, and an obvious successor in Milne, now seems like an ideal chance for him to finally have a break.
Update: an article about Milne’s good start as leader at The Global Mail.
Big news this week are that The Wedding Present are including Adelaide on their first ever Australian Tour, it’s part of their Seamonsters 20th anniversary tour.
- 22nd Loose Grip, Dud Pills, Old Mate, Big Richard Insect at the Metro.
- 25th Alleyway Competition to choose an act for Laneway featuring Big Richard Insect, Steering By Stars, Archie and the Amcats.
- 26th Matt Banham and Matt Hayward at the Metro.
- 27th Colin’s 50th Birthday with Straight to Video, Birth Glow, You Are All My Children, Ardeth Bey.
- 29th DJ Wolfpanther at the Metro.
- 4th & 5th Lost City featuring Prince Rama, Love of Diagrams, Elliot, Kangaroo Skull, Joel Stern and Cured Pink, Ghost Gums, Gold Bloom, Doe and more at Queen’s Theatre. See http://www.lostcity.com.au/
- 10th Laneway Festival feat. Oneman, Girls, M83, Geoffrey O’Connor (Crayon Fields), Total Control, Active Child, Anna Calvi, Austra, Bullion, Chairlift, Cults, DZ Deathrays, EMA,
Glasser, Jonti, Laura Marling, Pajama Club, SBTRKT, The Drums, The Horrors, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, The Panics, Toro Y Moi, Twin Shadow, Washed Out, Wu Lyf, Yuck
- 2nd Ennio Morricone at Elder Park. (Note change of date)
- 3rd Genesis Breyer P-Orridge & Psychic TV at Barrio.
- 3rd Ed Kuepper and Mark Dawson at the Garden of Unearthly Delights.
- 3rd Slow Club at the Ed Castle.
- 7th Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy at the Garden of Unearthly Delights.
- 9th-12th Womadelaide featuring The Dirty Three, Tinariwen, First Aid Kit, Mad Professor, Bonobo, DJ Krush, Kimmo Pohjonen and lots more.
- 10th Roky Erickson & The Black Lips at Barrio.
- 15th Miles Davis Prince of Darkness by the Australian Art Orchestra at the Adelaide Town Hall.
- 16th Michael Rother with Dieter Moebius and Hans Lampe at Barrio.
- 17th Jane Birkin sings Serge Gainsbourg at Barrio.
- 30th Dead Meadow and Pink Mountaintops at Fowlers Live.
- 3rd The Specials at Thebarton Theatre.
- 12th The Wedding Present at Jive.
- 21st Lou Barlow at Fowler’s Live.
On the Stereo
- Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People cdep (Asthmatic Kitty)
- Jandek – Somebody in the Snow cd (Corwood Industries)
- Yellow Swans – Going Places cd (Type)
- Demdike Stare – Elemental (parts 1 & 2) 2×12″ (Modern Love)
- Demdike Stare – Symbiosis cd (Modern Love)
- Mahinefabriek – Marijn cd (Lampse)
- Deepchord Presents Echospace – The Coldest Season cd (Modern Love)
- Oneman – Rinse11 cd (Rinse)
- Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space 2cd (Tectonic)
- DJ Kentaro – Tuff Cuts cd (Pressure Sounds)
Today is the last stage of the 2012 Tour Down Under, it’s about to start shortly.
Yesterday’s penultimate stage saw the hilltop finish at Willunga Hill for the first time (previously they always rode back down for a flat finish). I went down there to watch it and had a great day. It might seem like a weird spectator sport since you actually see very little of the race, but as you can see when you watch road races on TV there are always plenty of people who want to get out there. The key is that it isn’t really about following the race, from the position I was in, about 300m from the top of the Willunga Hill climb, we saw the riders pass twice, the second time being the end of the stage. There was commentary played through loudspeakers so we could follow the progress of what was going on in the race (but of course you could do that anywhere with ABC radio), but the real appeal is be close up as the riders pass, cheering them on and to take part in the overall festive atmosphere created by the massed spectators. For us cyclists there is the added attraction of climbing the hill before the race comes through, I’ve been up there quite a few times, but riding through the town with the course marked out and lots of spectators already out as you climbed the hill really makes you feel part of the event and gives you an idea of what the race riders experience.
For today, with the result very close, the weather warming up a bit, and recovering after the 100km+ ride yesterday I’ll opt for the TV viewing option. The top riders are neck and neck and while the atmosphere at the finish line is great, I’ll be happy to watch from home and see every move in the battle for the overall victory.
There’s been a bit of coverage of the Republican primaries in the news lately, the latest being South Carolina. Brad Friedman has been writing for a long time on the shortcomings of voting systems, particularly electronic voting, used in various elections in the US and this includes primaries. His calls the system in South Carolina `100% “faith-based” voting’ since there is no way of verifying the results, and a long history of problems with voting. Read his article on the primaries so far here, and keep it mind if anyone advocates electronic voting here in Australia.
A recent incident involving Shane Warne has resulted in a bunch of people calling for registration for cyclists.
I’d like to highlight a couple of points.
- Claims that cyclists have no right to be on the road because they don’t pay rego are just flat out wrong. As many point out, lots of cyclists do also have cars and are paying rego, but even for those such as myself who don’t own a car it is a false argument. Roads are not paid for by vehicle registration. They are payed for by everyone through taxes. Rego may help with upkeep, but since cyclists do virtually no damage to the roads then it’s hardly the case that they are getting a free ride.
- When was the last time you dobbed in a driver for talking on a mobile, not having a seatbelt, running a red light, illegal U-turn, cutting you off … or whatever, by noting their license plate and reporting it to the police? What are the police to do about unsubstantiated accusations of this sort anyway?
- This sort of thing always stirs up a lot of plain old bigotry. There are people that just hate cyclists for being cyclists, they try to rationalise it with an anecdote of that time they saw a cyclist do something wrong (which almost never did them any harm anyway) but it seems to mostly just be because they’re intolerant people who see cyclists as different from themselves. They do things like yell abuse, try to run you off the road, throw projectiles at you (sometimes with lights off so you can’t read the license plate so rego didn’t help there!), sabotage a world class cycling event, complain incessantly about lycra. They seem to mostly be offended that there are people not conforming to the societal requirement that you must love cars and use them to get everywhere (usually evidenced by the popular call “get a car” sometimes augmented by “homo”, showing evidence of a generally bigoted nature). What all cyclists have in common as a group is that they ride bikes. Some of them happen to be inconsiderate jerks with too little respect for other people – just like some motorists, pedestrians, public transport users …
- Pure Poison look at a typical anti-cyclist rant.
- This whole thing reminds me that I got knocked off my bike by a well-known sportsman once (no, I won’t say who) and it all ended very amicably. While he was in the wrong, his behaviour in acting responsibly in making sure myself and my bike were OK meant that I was happy to not make a fuss about it since clearly he’d made an honest error. I was also grateful to the other motorist who stopped to offer to be a witness if necessary. This one instance doesn’t say anything much in general but it’s interesting for me to reflect on how that could have turned into a big incident like the one in the papers at the moment if some of those involved had behaved differently.
- Update: Amber Halliday has some sensible advice at The Punch.
Not necessarily new releases, just the stuff I liked this year. I’ll group them together, some of the groups are pretty natural, some a little more forced. No particular order except the first 2 are definitely in front – Leyland Kirby and Moon Wiring Club were my top favourites for the year.
Leyland Kirby / The Caretaker
- Leyland Kirby – Intrigue & Stuff Vol 1 12″ (History Always Favors the Winners)
- Leyland Kirby – Intrigue & Stuff Vol 2 12″ (History Always Favors the Winners)
- Leyland Kirby - Intrigue & Stuff Vol 3 12″ (History Always Favors the Winners)
- Leyland Kirby – Eager to Tear Apart the Stars LP (History Always Favors the Winners)
- The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World LP (History Always Favors the Winners)
- The Caretaker – Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia 6cd (V/Vm Test Records)
Incredibly all except the 6cd set were new releases this year. He’s always been regularly active but really seems to have hit a rich seam of creativity this year. The I&S 12″s were the particular highlights for me, quite different to the Caretaker stuff, more electronic and fitting well with a lot the other hauntological synth stuff around at the moment. The first one had some strong rhythmic material and as the series progressed the tracks stretched out into hazy soundscapes approaching the Eager LP’s sound which was much closer to the familiar sound of the Caretaker. The Empty Bliss LP was a continuation of the explorations of memory through the looping of crackly old ballroom records on his previous Persistent Repetition of Phrases LP. The 6cd set from a few years ago (now out of print) is much darker, more in the abstract noise category, though different in sound it is similar in it’s epic scope (and as a marathon listening experience) to his other box set of recent years Sadly the Future is No Longer What It Was. I keenly look forward to what he has in stall for next year.
Moon Wiring Club
- A Spare Tabby At The Cat’s Wedding cd (Gecophonic)
- A Spare Tabby At The Cat’s Wedding LP (Gecophonic)
- Somewhere a Fox is Getting Married LP (Gecophonic)
- Striped Paint For the Last Post cd (Gecophonic)
- Shoes Off and Chairs Away cd (Gecophonic)
I’d been hearing about MWC for quite a while but hadn’t come across anything, probably because the albums aren’t available from many places (mostly just from the artist direct I think). After getting his debut album late last year I soon followed up by getting my hands on everything else that was available. In particular the newest stuff (two versions of Spare Tabby + the Fox LP) is brilliant and comes with a bizarre backstory. Not only is the music excellent but with MWC you get a whole fictional world based around the village of Clinkskell, lots of info is available at the excellent Blank Workshop. There’s a new MWC recording just out as well, still on the way in the post.
- Voices of Dust LP (Modern Love)
- Liberation Through Hearing LP (Modern Love)
- Forest of Evil LP (Modern Love)
These three LPs were rereleased in a nice package all bundled up together (also known as Tryptych). Pitchfork’s Mike Powell summed it up with ” I tried playing it while I slept a few times, and woke up in the middle of the night with a real oh god, what’s going on and how can I make it stop feeling, which in this context is an absolute plus.” Go and read the rest of the review. They also have something new just out, very limited though. Boomkat
are already out of stock still have it (sorry, got it mixed up with a much older limited release which is out of stock). Aquarius still have some but not for long (it’s something else I’ve got on the way in the post).
- Chills/Sneaky Feelings/Stones/Verlaines - Dunedin Double 2EP
- The Verlaines – Hallelujah All The Way Home LP
- The Verlaines – Bird-Dog cd
- The Verlaines – Some Disenchanted Evening cd
- The Verlaines – You’re Just Too Obscure For Me cd
- Sneaky Feelings - Positively George Street cd
- The Bats - Compilately cd
- The Chills – Kaleidoscope World cd
- The Subliminals - United State cd
- The 3Ds – The Venus Trail cd
With November being the 30th Anniversary of Flying Nun Records I got a bit carried away as evidenced by my 6 hour Flying Nun DJ Set and by going to Auckland to see The Clean & The Subliminals (though I was actually already going to NZ anyway). The anniversary prompted me to get hold of a bunch of FN stuff that I didn’t already have (including quite a bit brought back from the NZ trip), the list above are the highlights. As will be obvious I was particularly impressed by the Verlaines.
- The Advisory Circle - As the Crow Flies cd
- Belbury Poly – From An Ancient Star cd
- The Focus Group - Sketches & Spells cd
- Pye Corner Audio with The Advisory Circle - Study Series 07: Autumnal Activities 7″
I seriously caught up with the Ghost Box label this year, above are a few highlights but I got pretty much their whole back catalogue and it is all excellent.
Editions Mego/Spectrum Spools
- Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica cd (Editions Mego)
- Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here? cd (Editions Mego)
- Forma - Forma LP (Spectrum Spools)
- Mist – House 2LP (Spectrum Spools)
- Bee Mask – Elegy For Beach Friday 2LP (Spectrum Spools)
The Mego label, known in the 90′s for European electronica from the likes of Fennesz, General Magic and Farmer’s Manual, has had a real resurgence of late based around Americans Oneohtrix Point Never and Emeralds (one of whom is responsible for the sub-label Spectrum Spools). The latest from OPN in particular is his best yet.
Other New Electronic Music
- Burial – Street Halo 12″ (Hyperdub)
- VHS Head – Midnight Section EP (Skam)
- Peverelist – Dance Til the Police Come 12″ (Hessle Audio)
- Shackleton – Fireworks 2×12″ (Honest Jon’s)
- Shackleton – Deadman 12″ (Honest Jon’s)
- Shackleton – Fabric55 cd (Fabric)
- Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer – Re:ECM 2cd (ECM)
- Sun Araw – On Patrol 2LP (Sun Ark)
- Sun Araw – Off Duty + Boat Trip EP + cd (Woodsist)
- Fire! with Jim O’Rourke – Unreleased? cd (Rune Grammofon)
- Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra – Out to Lunch cd (Doubtmusic)
- Borbetomagus - Live in Allentown cd (Agaric)
- George Steeltoe Ensemble – Church of Yuh LP (Heat Retention)
- MV/EE Medicine Show – Uranian Ray LP (Spirit of Orr)
- Jandek - Camber Sands Sunday cd (Corwood Industries)
Bit of a mixture of stuff, ranging from the psychedelic explorations of Sun Araw to the all out free jazz assault of Borbetomagus, the freak folk of MV/EE and Jandek is of course a genre of his own – but it all seems to share some sort of spirit in common. Mostly older releases which I only just caught up with except the Fire! one which was a new release in 2011.
- Warp 10+3 Classics 2cd
- LFO – Advance cd
- Jackson & His Computer Band – Smash cd
- John Callaghan – I’m Not Comfortable in My Mind dl
In the wake of the Warp Records 20th Anniversary I caught up with some of their back catalogue that I’d missed previously.
Dark & Heavy
- Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I cd (Southern Lord)
- Khanate – Clean Hands Go Foul cd (Hydra Head)
- Jesu – Ascension cd (Caldo Verde)
- Current 93 – Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain cd (Coptic Cat)
- Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz cd (Asthmatic Kitty)
- Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs Evil cd (Polyvinyl)
- Times New Viking – Dancer Equired cd (Matador)
- Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT cd (Dead Oceans)
All people I got to see live for the first time this year except for Deerhoof who I’ll see very soon.
- Batrider – Pile of Lies cd (Two Bright Lakes)
- Collarbones – Iconography cd (Two Bright Lakes)
- Avant Garderners – Mine Errant Vangarden LP
- Rites Wild – Rites Wild EP mc
- Terrible Truths – s/t 7″
- Cheer Advisory Council – Distance cd
Batrider aren’t Adelaide any more but were for part of the year at least, Collarbones qualify as being half Adelaide.
- Paradise Motel – I Can Still Hear Your Voice At Night cd (Left Over Life to Kill)
- Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Hurtsville cd (Spunk)
- Ghoul - Dunks cd (Speak N Spell)
- Rat Vs Possum – Daughter of Sunshine cd (Sensory Projects)
All ones I got on the basis of gigs (in case of PM it was in Brisbane in late 2010). RvP has newer one out which I haven’t had a chance to listen to as much. JL I was into ages ago but then lost track of until a live performance this year renewed my interest.