Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis In Grumpy & The Dreaded One's Little Cafe Of Awesome

This is one seriously cool photo. These guys are legends. They make amazing music. I love the music of The Bad Seeds and Grinderman and Dirty Three. And here were these two one day, in my banged up cafe.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Donald Trump... So Fucking Stupid




This Trump thing... it's so fascinating. So morbidly fascinating that an idiot orange pigman, self-confessed pussy grabber has the world's attention. That press conference... holy shit. He doesn't need the media to be his enemy or "the enemy of the American people" to paint him in bad light, he's doing it all himself. He's up there in front of a hastily-called press conference doing all the worst damage he could possibly do to himself. He is clearly a lunatic. He is clearly a sociopath. And stupid... so breath-takingly stupid. That bit about uranium... for real? The leader of the current leading world super power actually said that? Among so much other totally dumb shit... amazing.

And he is so stupid that he doesn't see the media as the powerful tool that it could be. Yeah right, all of the media is against you because they make up fake news... no, just look at your pathetic performance up there in your first presidential press conference where you could have talked calmly about policy and won the press over with charm and intelligence, but noooo. What a bombastic, idiotic performance that was. No one made it up. Nothing fake. You did it. You are real. You proved yet again that you are the very worst example of humanity.

And it makes me want to know what the supporters of this truly delusional and vile bit of phlegm think now that he truly is out there unleashed and representing them on the world stage. I know he appeals to an ignorant minority of the American population (didn't win the popular vote, orange pigman fool), but I hear stories about supposedly intelligent Americans who voted for him.

I'm fascinated. How do you feel now, intelligent Americans who voted for this actually mentally unstable grub? Are you happy that he represents YOU on the world stage. You good with that? I'm curious. I want to know.

Because it's one month in and from all the way over here it looks you have fucked up badly by electing this proven pathological liar and utter buffoon.

Okay... butterflies and pretty clouds... butterflies and pretty clouds...

Sunday, February 05, 2017

'Tis Pity, Victorian Opera, Review


Image result for tis a pity, victorian opera
'Tis A Pity

Reviewed by Lee Bemrose

My love affair... no my infatuation... no that's not right either... my obsession... no I'm not obsessed... my stalker tendencies for... no that's just wrong (but not entirely)... my...
thing for Meow Meow goes back many years now, as the whole world knows. And as much as I have always melted at the mere mention of her name and become positively turgid at the prospect of a new show, 'Tis Pity left me... let's just say it didn't leave me with the raging emotional hard-on her performances usually leave me with.

Part of the problem is that Meow Meow belongs on a pedestal. A pedestal with spotlights focused on her unique and divine presence. Of course she is usually accompanied on stage, but usually by a small band or a solo pianist or some hand-picked reluctant volunteers from the audience.

In 'Tis Pity, however, Miss Meow is part of a much larger cast and as such, her star power has been much diluted. And 'tis a pity.

Borrowing its name from... I thought it got its name from a recent Bowie song, but it's actually from a 17
th century play by John Ford. The full title is 'Tis A Pity She's A Whore, and this production by Victorian Opera is indeed an examination of prostitution in its various forms throughout the ages.

We start off in ancient Athens and Rome and move through the ages to modern times in a series of 10 vignettes, each exploring various aspects of prostitution and its standing in the respective times, all told in a kind of Vaudevillian operatic style.

The work is a collaboration between artistic director and composer Richard Mills, director Cameron Menzies, and performer (what an insufficient word, given her star quality) Meow Meow. MM is accompanied on stage by co-lead Kaneen Breen and three dancers Alexander Bryce, Thomas Johansson and Patrick Weir. The stage is also rammed with a symphony orchestra. All do a fine job.

Ironically, all of this talent on stage adds up to the reason this was a little less satisfying for me than the usual Meow Meow experience. There were teasing glimmers of classic Meow Meow craziness but it was buried in so much orchestra and opera (yes, I know from other shows that she holds her own in classic song of whichever style she chooses to play with). I do appreciate classical music, but as a soundtrack I found the music here distracting. I kept feeling like I was listening to a Disney cartoon, melodramatic tunes accompanying crazy visual antics. And I don't think I appreciate the operatic delivery of story, so while I found the vocals amazing, it's just not my preferred way of being told a story or given information. I don't actually like having to take my eyes away from the performance to read the English interpretation of the Italian lyrics being sung.

But that's just me. I haven't seen a lot of opera, so I'd love to hear what someone who knows about opera thinks of this performance.

At the heart of 'Tis A Pity is a serious examination of a very human condition. What they have tried to do is balance the seriousness of the topic with comedy. In past shows I've been amazed by Meow Meow's ability to draw from me tears of hilarity and tears of the other kind in such a short time. Again, here, for me, not so much. I'm not sure this balancing act of sincerity and humour worked so well.

I went in aware that this was going to be a little different to my favourite Meow Meow shows of the past, and yes, there is so much amazing talent present in this production, and yes I did start to really enjoy it but not until the Berlin Vignette, which was quite a way into the show.

I'm not quite sure why this show was “written at breakneck speed”, as Richard Mills tells us in the program notes, but perhaps it would have benefited with a bit more time. Really not bad, just possibly doesn't deliver its full potential.

At Melbourne Recital Centre until February 8

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Sanctuary

Things hadn't been happy in the household for quite a while. There had been a lot of trouble, almost all of it entirely unnecessary. Declarations of love had been shouted down by declarations of hate. Separation seemed inevitable. Friends from all parts of the world were concerned. There was much discussion between many clueless third parties about what would or should happen.

Then there was a period of tranquility, of cautious peace. Maybe, he thought, they could work things out after all. Maybe it was worth trying to make it work, because the troubled now was riding on the crest of a wave of long-time love. There was hope.

He was an introvert working in a people job, dealing with people all day long. He enjoyed this, enjoyed interacting with people, but by Friday he needed the quiet sanctuary of his home. Dealing with people was a kaleidoscopic experience, often wonderful, often sad, always, ultimately, exhausting.

On this Friday, he stopped off to have a drink with her and her friends. They were already drunk and laughing and keen to kick on. He explained his exhaustion and his need to go to his sanctuary and they said they understood. He said he would pick up dinner ingredients and would cook dinner for her. She smiled and said she'd see him soon.

At home, he showered and dressed in his silk sarong. He didn't turn on the TV or music. The silence was sublime. He made a drink and started to prepare their dinner, looking forward to their quiet night in together.

Then his phone buzzed with a message: We are all coming back for dinner. Can you pop the nachos in?

He hoped she was joking but started to prepare a bigger meal just in case, and sure enough the door crashed drunkenly open and they all spilled in, all noise and drunk laughter.

He felt rude as he excused himself, told her he was going to bed. He really needed some solitude and didn't understand why she had done this. He went to bed, and she turned the music up so loud it almost drowned out their raucous talk and laughter.

Music and raucous talk and laughter are happy sounds, and as he fell asleep, he enjoyed these sounds, even though right now they made him feel sad as well.

Eventually the others left, their leaving waking him. She cleaned up and eventually made her way into her room, no longer so happy and talkative.

Silence and darkness; sanctuary at last.

He went out into the darkness of their home to look for something to eat, because it was late and he was hungry. He looked for the leftovers of the meal he had started to prepare for them and found that in a final fuck you, she had scraped the leftovers into the garbage bin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Staying Here, For Now

Hey. Hey you, yeah you.
I've got it now,
I understand what's going on.
I'm a guy in this story,
There's no other explanation,
I'm just a guy in this story.

I'm this guy in this story
About love
And missed opportunities
And understanding
And misunderstanding
And understanding
That life is eternal
But our brief experience of it
Is fleeting.

I'm a story.
You are a story.
He told a story,
She heard his story,
They became a part of each others story.

Out there in the universe,
That vast, vast universe,
They held hands and looked
Into each others cosmic eyes.

Transmission of information,
He didn't know how.
You have to stay on this planet,
You must stay here,
Said in a strange and distant voice.

Really, you need to stay here.

Confusion.
Why are you saying this?
Why are you saying these things?
Why are you saying this?
I don't understand why you are saying this.

She said,
Because I know.
I know what you are going to do.
I know. I see you, and I know.
You need to stay here and tell your stories
And help people.

And I will stay here and help people,
Even though right now
I also want to leave.
Okay, he said, not now,
I'll stay for now
If you stay too.
And she said that she will stay too.

For now.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Hating Love

Imagine shouting hate at a rainbow.
Imagine tearing the wings off a butterfly.
Imagine punching love in the heart
With a fistful of your shit.

No, I can't imagine it either.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Diego & Tallulah, Love & Friendship

This is the Belafonte twins, Diego and Tallulah. I am the pretty and feminine one Tallulah, on your right. The one on the left is my rugged and handsome brother, Diego. I'll explain later.

What a wild ride this particular friendship has been. It all started here more than a year ago. From that first day I felt there might be some kind of connection. I was right; there is one strong connection. Loredana/Kafka Woman/Diego and I have been through a lot. We've had wonderful laughs, heated arguments and strange mood days we gave a name to: Jeff Goldblum. We'd get into these moods that spiraled down into gloomy silence, so much so that we agreed to give the mood a name so that we could deal with it and break the mood. I think Jeff Goldblum is back, one of us would say. Yes, fucking Jeff Goldblum - I thought he was dead, the other would say. And we'd talk our way out of it.  I'm happy to say that Jeff Goldblum is properly dead now. We've been through a lot this past year, and now simply feel the relaxed air of the very best of friends.

Which is not to say that everything is relaxed. Diego & Tallulah, they are solid. Solid in spite of the suspicions and jealousy from others. What I've learned through this is that people believe that you should tell your friends that you love them while you can, just so long as those friends aren't younger than you and of the opposite gender. Yes, she is 20 years younger than me and yes, she is beautiful. But youth and beauty will only get you so far. We've gotten to know each other, and we like what we've gotten to know. We like each other. We trust each other. We are not possessive of each other because it's just not that kind of relationship. None of the stereotypical cliches are at play here. I'm not in it for the sex - there has been no sex. She is not in it for money - I have no money, and in any case, she has always bought her share of the drinks. We simply like being together and talking and laughing. It really is as simple as that.

And hasn't that caused some drama. So much drama, in fact, that I want to write a comedy/drama about it. There has been so much craziness that I don't feel I can let it go to waste. I think a stage play is the thing, a black comedy asking some important questions. Can people really accept that a friendship between an older guy and a younger woman is just that? I know it's been dealt with before, but some of the dialogue I already have down kind of sings, and I have a few good tricks to play.

Another question to ask: I've been in this position before of having much younger, close female friends, so I naturally have to take a good, hard look at what this is about. Why are my best friends always younger women? This is kind of confronting because it seems really shallow, yet oddly the friendships in question have been quite deep and have become mostly long term. Not that there have been a lot. Just a few, really. And I don't go looking for them. I'm actually very reclusive and people tend to leave me alone. I am content with this. I think even after all this time The Dreaded One doesn't quite get that I actually am a solitary man, because she sees the relaxed version of me, and I can be quite outgoing and funny and lively. It must be confusing for her.

So I don't go out looking for these young female best friends, but occasionally we find each other. In the case of the two twins in the photo, we worked together and we got to know each other. For some reason people confide in me and I've gotten used to that. They really open up sometimes and swear me to confidentiality, and believe me, my lips are sealed on so many secrets. Sometimes when this happens, Solitary Man opens up as well. That's when you really get to know a person. You get to know yourself as well, and at any point along this journey of getting to know each other, you can jump off. You might see a flaw in this other person or in yourself and decide it's not worth it. Or you can see those flaws in them or yourself and give up and say fuck it - I like them too much to let them down. Maybe you also think fuck it - I deserve this kind of friendship. I deserve someone who sees my flaws but cares about me anyway. I deserve that kind of love because I'm actually not a bad person. I'm okay, once you get to know me, it just takes time and fate and a certain kind of person to really see me.

After several false starts, she really has gone. She went to New Zealand, was not allowed back, then came back but only for a month, then found out she was allowed to stay longer, which she did, but now she's gone. She left on the 7/1/17. Thailand, then back to Switzerland. Then, who knows? Whatever happens, I suspect we'll be in touch for as long as both of us are around.

Oh yeah - Diego & Tallulah Belafonte... during a lull at the cafe I asked Kafka Woman what she would like her name to be if she were a guy. Diego, she replied. Diego, I repeated, and the name Belafonte came out. Diego Belafonte. Originally we were going to be the twins Diego and Diego Belafonte, because giving twins the same name was a tradition in the Belafonte family, stretching back generations. But then she asked me what I would be called if I were a girl. Tallulah was my response. And so the twins were born. I laugh at what others must think when they hear me call her Diego and she calls me Tallulah.

See? It's funny. Stuff is funny. Life is funny. Love is fun.

We have an idea of making a documentary about a day in the life of the identical twins Belafonte. I see it as being black and white with a deadpan delivery. They discuss such things as how they sound so much alike that their parents can't tell them apart on the phone and are always confused as to who they are talking to. Or how sometimes they cross-dress to confuse their friends. It's such a fun concept. As you can see in the photo, we look nothing alike. In real life, we sound nothing alike. We are years apart in age. The delusion is spectacular.

The friendship is real. If you want to find out if a thing is solid, you have to try to break it. I tried to break this thing, but it's solid. The doubters and the speculators can keep doubting and speculating. I really don't care.