davey dreamnation

seething since 2001

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Preoccupations: ‘Disarray’ (live/not live)

Almost 10 years ago I witnessed a Calgary band called Women (actually four young guys) wipe the floor with an Atlanta band called Deerhunter (same) at Paradiso in Amsterdam. Shortly after, Women’s guitarist passed away in his sleep, the band broke up and two members formed the nucleus of a new band, the unfortunately named Viet Cong (also guys, none of them Vietnamese), who sounded pretty similar to Women to be honest, although with maybe a little extra edge.

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Provenance

Absolutely loved Ann Leckie’s Raadch trilogy, and ‘Provenance’ is a worthy addition to her universe. I just wish the publishers had gone with a less shouty blurb/cover/testimonial approach. “POWER. THEFT. PRIVILEGE. BIRTHRIGHT.” is ridiculously over-the-top for what is essentially an introverted and subtle political-space drama!

Simple

As usual, all it took to restore my faith in humanity was a visit to the local library.

Hag-seed

Hag-seed (Margaret Atwood, 2016) is such a fun novel, and so well written. I think I may be finally ready to deep dive into the big ones: Alias Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin … So much to read, so little time.

I remember Australian music in the 1980s

Do you remember Australian music in the 1980s? Is your worldview permanently coloured by the music videos from that profoundly day-glo era?

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Pollenation

Sitting at home with the windows closed on the one and only summer day we will get in Sverige this year, bawling my eyes out watching an imaginary movie on the backs of my eyelids called Björkpollen II: Det kliande ögat av Sauron.

Netflix series request: ‘You’re Killing Me’

You’re Killing Me, a gritty, eight-part murder mystery based on the true story of US indie rock band Pavement, and the band’s deadly feud with Mark E. Smith of The Fall, is now streaming on Netflix, starring Kyle MachLachlan as Stephen Malkmus and D.J. Qualls as Mark E. Smith, with appearances by Matthew McConaughey as Gary Young and Dylan Baker as Thurston Moore.

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By popular demand: my thoughts on Eurovision 2015

One of the strange but perhaps obvious beauties of the new social media confabulation is that platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used by people across different timezones and locations in order to get together and share their thoughts on a particular issue. Like Eurovision.

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Three literary devices that really cheese me off

If I had to write a complete list of all the things creative types do that really give me the jitches, I’d be here all day. So, in my own therapeutical interests, here’s three literary devices that cheese me off no end. What cheeses you off?

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Thomas Mann on Lubeck, harems and marzipan

Now if anyone wishes to vent a little spite against me, or take a casual swipe at me, I can count on his bringing up my Lubeck origin and Lubeck marzipan. If some ill-wisher can think of nothing else, he invariably thinks of connecting me with comic marzipan and representing me as a marzipan baker. Such stuff goes by the name of literary satire. But it does not bother me . . . And I certainly do not feel in the least insulted about the marzipan. In the first place it is a very tasty confection, and in the second place it is anything but trivial; rather it is remarkable and, as I have said, mysterious. And if we examine this sweet more closely, this mixture of almonds, rosewater and sugar, the suspicion arises that it is originally oriental, a [Haremskonfekt] confection for the harem, and that in all probability the recipe for this barely digestible delicacy came to Lubeck from the Orient by way of Venice. And it turns out that those wits are not so wrong as they themselves think, that Death in Venice is really ‘marzipan’ although in a deeper sense than they ever meant it.

Thomas Mann, ‘LUBECK AS A WAY OF LIFE AND THOUGHT’ (1926)

Some Chris de Burgh housekeeping

Inevitably, choosing a new WordPress theme (in my case, the wonderful Lovecraft theme by Anders Norén) involves going through old posts and cleaning up dead code and formatting. Given that there are over 1200 posts on this site, it’s quite a job.

But, I’ve been working away in the background and have now re-jigged the first four of my reviews of Chris de Burgh’s lyrical output in the 1970s: Far Beyond These Castle Walls . . . (1974), Spanish Train and Other Stories (1975), At the End of a Perfect Day (1977) and Crusader (1979).

Specifically, I’ve added record covers, quotes and links to the lyrics, in order to make the reviews (even) easier to digest.

Right now I’m also working on a review of de Burgh’s first 1980s collection, Eastern Wind.

More on that shortly!

The sorry (but still Happy) Farang

Whoops, sorry for the mass-broadcast/WP-tweeting of posts related to The Happy Farang. Truly inadvertent, accidental etc. But feel free to check out the poems (in all their raw glory) or download the revised PDF version complete with illustrations! O-or even, follow me on Twitter, if you dare . . .

Kim Gordon on singing, Kim Deal and cake

At the same time, I loved hanging out with Kim Deal, and when I rewatch the video [for ‘Little Trouble Girl’], my favorite part is seeing the two of us together singing and looking hot. Maybe everything always looks better twenty years later. When Kim showed up in Memphis to record the song, she had the engineer play it back into the big room, and she sang without any headphones. Then and now Kim’s voice has an incredibly cakelike quality—like the sound when you say cake, a lightness, its body thinned out—that’s so classic pop.

Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band

What will babies be like 100 years from now?

Given that babies are generally only around for a year or two before they morph into young children, the question of what babies will be like in the future may well in fact be a moot one. But, to use Yoda’s phrasing, ask that question I have, and the answer reveal I now can.

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Back to the future of the Internet of Things

I like to think of myself as a reasonably tech-savvy person. I’m pretty much on the computer all day at work, and I use a smart phone in my leisure time. And while I’m no digital guru I also like to think I know how things like the Internet work. But when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), up until recently I was a total novice. Which is a shame, really, because the IoT is all around us, and has been for some time.

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