Men and women of Australia - we mourn the passing of a giant

Mitcham High School 1972 I was 15 and It Was Time.

Dad, at my request took me along to my first campaign meeting. The sense of anticipation and excitement was palpable when the great man walked up to the podium arms aloft.

Never had that sense of hope and optimism politically again.

Gough Whitlam was a giant physically and intellectually in Australian politics.His turn of phrase and debating skills were masterful. He took on the unions and factional warlords to make Labor electable and got them into power after 23 years of Tory governemnt.

His 2 man cabinet, abolished conscription, got us out of Vietnam recognised China. After that they introduced free university ,universal health care and major urban development.

Alas he had no interest or aptitude for economics although the levels of debt accrued pale into insignificance by contemporary standards.They copped a capital strike and the OPEC oill crisis and may have have seen out the storm but for his sacking by the Queen's Man the Governor General. It would have caused a civil war in other countries but even in politcially apathetic Australia it has remained a festering sore .

1 user has voted.

Snow In Paradise

Selected for the London Film Festival after competing at Cannes, I had looked forward to this film as a fan of gritty British drama by the likes of Shane Meadows and Andrea Arnold.

The best single of 1986 was...

1 user has voted.
Fitter Stoke's picture

Y'gotta love Sparklehorse....

....this is beautiful...

God bless Mark Linkous...

1 user has voted.
Black Celebration's picture

Radio Jingles

Another thread mentions Mike Read's 275 and 285 jingle. Let's share our favourites here. What's mine? How nice of you to ask :

# Beadlebum, Beadlebum, Be - Be Beadlebum, 353 8 one one one #

Yes, it's from Jeremy Beadle's show on LBC. There's a longer version, which I'm not afraid to use if I have to.

1 user has voted.
Twang's picture

Another man down

Raf Ravenscroft, who played one of the most memorable sax breaks in recent memory, died yesterday. Great player. Has anyone told Gerry?

3 users have voted.
Kaisfatdad's picture

Magi, marabouts and Merlin? Or the marketing department?

The son of a pal of mine in the UK has a son in his late teens who has just started his career as musician. Yesterday we talked about how tough it is to get started in the music industry in 2014.

This applies for all areas of creative endeavor. There are so many talented people out there, how can a young director, poet, singer, painter or novelist ever hope to get noticed?

My friend was of the opinion that you need the backing of major record company, publisher etc who can provide solid financial backing and a marketing strategy and who will make sure that you get on Spotify playlists, get selected as Book of the Week, appear on the right breakfast TV show etc.

Now, I’m not so naïve as to think those things aren’t important. The wonderfully talented First Aid Kit, for example, might not have been so successful, so rapidly without a good manager. Good for them! And good for us!

However, as an unrecalcitant Polyanna, I also firmly believe in the power of moments of magic. Something that happens that you can’t even begin to explain.
I've many examples.

1 user has voted.


I seem to recall a modicum of interest in the wondrous Sleater-Kinney amongst the more discerning back at the old place. After a hiatus since 2006 they've announced a new album for January and tour dates. I for one could not be more thrilled, in a way that is probably not becoming of someone shortly to turn 46.

New single Bury Our Friends and a free downlaod and tour dates here

Any other admirers out there?

1 user has voted.

My perfect birthday present

Ask me what I'd like best for my birthday and the release of The Slow Show's debut album would be close to top of my list. As it is, for my 45th, that's precisely what's going to happen.
I am, frankly, far happier than any 44-year-old should be.

1 user has voted.
Pencilsqueezer's picture

John Holt. R.I.P.

I'm surprised nobody has posted this so I thought I would.
Easy skanking John from now on.

2 users have voted.

Mike Read, Mike Read 275 and 285

johnw's picture

iPod Nano replacement? Any ideas?

I've done searches and found very little so far. I think it's fairly safe to say that Apple are not going to update the iPod Nano again this year but I need a replacement.
Downloadable MP3s are getting bigger all the time and my 16G nano is simply not big enough.
If I was happy with a "big", "heavy" device, I'd use my phone but I want something small and light. The closest I've found so far is the Cowon i9+ but it's a bit bigger than my current nano. I'm wanting something smaller ideally.
Anyone got any suggestions or is this really the niche market my research suggests? I think I'm rejecting the Sansa range on the basis of the poor reviews.

1 user has voted.
bargepole's picture

Mike Oldfield

What's it called?: 
The Studio Albums 1992-2003
What does it sound like?: 
As the title suggests, a collection of the eight albums released between 1992-2003. This includes four well known works and four lesser known ones.
Rob C's picture

Emerald Vibes

Ready for the off this afternoon for a wee jaunt over the Emerald sea . I'm looking forward to visiting this wonderful place again, Kealkill Stones. It's Thin, and the views are stunning. I'll send some positive vibes and energy when I'm there.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Two songs to get me in the mood:

In the meantime, Love & Peace, Keep On Keeping On, and flip it to The Man !

2 users have voted.

I admit it - I was wrong

The other week I was in a charity shop. Determined to challenge my prejudices, I picked up Parachutes by Coldplay. Here’s the thing: a few years ago I got to know this bloke and we were talking music. He said ‘You must love Coldplay,’ Well I was less than enthusiastic, hostile even. “What about 'Fix you?'" he persevered.” Everyone loves Fix You.” I said it was ok for the first 2 listens then got boring. Well our ‘relationship’ foundered for various reasons, probably not Coldplay-related. But now I’ve given it a proper listen I really like some of the tracks on Parachutes, apart from Don’t Panic which had put me off in the first place. I got Rush of Blood to the Head which I liked even more. So now I have this burning desire to get in touch with said bloke and say how much I was wrong about Coldplay. I can’t work out if this is so I can now listen to and enjoy Coldplay without feeling a miasma of guilt and regret or I want to rekindle something that was probably never there in the first place. I think the two are mixed in together. Anyway I admit it, I was wrong, and rushed to judgement without properly hearing all the music. So what have you been wrong about?

4 users have voted.
MC Escher's picture

Question to admin

has the recent planned maintenance removed the slightly less recent "increase posts per page" tweak? The Paul Simon thread has flipped after about 50 replies....


1 user has voted.
Black Celebration's picture

Rat-a-tat-that's-that (Tim Hauser RIP)

Tim Hauser was the bald bloke in The Manhattan Transfer. Sadly, he passed away over the weekend.

Don't be alarmed, I'm not in bits about this - I only knew him as the bald bloke in The Manhattan Transfer - but I think he needs a mention because his band were everywhere (man) in the 1970s. This kind of thing will not be mainstream ever again and his passing represents another inevitable move for the rest of us towards Denis Norden territory where we increasingly dribble on about old, irrelevant musical acts to like-minded old codgers. Nostalgia isn't just a video of someone hairy on OGWT, it's all cultural reference points. Even TV ads and music you don't like can be tremendously evocative.

Here's Tim and the band giving it the full futuristic treatment in an early 80s TV ad.

"Unfortunately" I can't find Cannon and Ball's definitive treatment of Chanson D'amour.

3 users have voted.
tiggerlion's picture

A Question About The Heroin Trade.

I read an article about The Smack Track yesterday. Opium is grown in Helmand, Afghanistan. The farmers sell it at £450 a kilo. They had a bumper crop of 5,000 tons this year. The crop is transported through Iran and Pakistan to be shipped to Tanzania. Overland again to South Africa, to be put into container ships and sent to Europe, by which time a kilo is worth £20,000. Of course, there are losses along the way but that is counter-balanced by increasing the impurity.

In the UK alone, the cost to the taxpayer on drug crime and ill-health is £10 billion a year.

My question is this: why doesn't the EU, in partnership with drug companies, buy all the opium from the Afghan farmers? They could produce as much medicinal heroin as required and destroy the rest. The farmers, and Afghanistan generally, would have a steady income. The £2.5 billion a year cost to the EU would be compensated for many times over by savings on crime and health services.

I'm being naive, aren't I?

6 users have voted.
RubyBlue's picture

Judee Sill: 'Heart Food'

I had just not got round to this for no particular reason, laziness probably , so I popped it on at random for today's journey.

I rarely love albums at first hearing (Mogwai's 'Rave Tapes' is a recent example) but this was so, SO good. I knew immediately that I would love it and I know it's hyperbole but I think it will be one of my all-time favourites. I don't particularly go for Christian or spiritually- influenced stuff at all but I shall make an exception.

It's just wonderful; can really hear a CS&N influence. Reminded me of Gene Clarke on first play. Surprisingly modern in places.

Lovely, soothing, gorgeous: it has made me very happy this morning.

Now I must work.

3 users have voted.
Beany's picture

Show me the way to go home

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1978 TV show. Prog Jazz is born.

1 user has voted.


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