Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

What was wrong with Tracy Grimshaw's lips?

I only saw a few clips from the Miners thing on the news this morning, but I won't be watching the program itself — I taped it for Boycat's Mum ('BM') — because Tracy Grimshaw's horrible puffy mis-shapen lips just freaked me out. BM says it's probably "plumping" lipstick, which is apparently all the rage these days.


Saturday, May 20, 2006


Season Five ended in the U.S. last week.

This is a story about the season finale. It's full of spoilers, and you'll have to click through an advertisement to see it. This is how it begins:
Being a "Scrubs" fan is a little like being a Neil Diamond fan. It's the kind of thing that originally seemed so cheesy you didn't want to admit it, but somehow over the years gained its own warped credibility.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Insert Go-Betweens lyric here

So, what does Grant McLennan's death mean to me? Not a lot, to be honest; after all I never met the man, I can't claim to be a friend or in anyway connected to him. (Actually, I lie, I'm two degrees of musical separation from him: I was in a band with Ross MacLennan who was in the Far Out Corporation.) And as I said to someone at work the other day, I haven't heard anything the Go-Betweens put out since they got back together.

But someone dying at 48 is sad, even if you think their best years were 15 years ago. Boycat's Mum's Dad died at 48.

But what do the Go-Betweens mean to me? As a former wannabe rock star from Brisbane, a heck of a lot. There really were very few bands from Brisbane back when I was in a band. Not like today where Powderfinger are the biggest band in the country and Regurgitator get an entire digital tv channel to themselves for a couple of weeks; when I was learning to play the guitar, there was pretty much only The Go-Betweens and The Saints. (Note that the music writer from the Courier Mail, Noel Mengel's blog is called "Know Your Product", named after The Saints' second best known song.) If they could make it - and even minor-league-popular-in-England success like the Gobies was making it - so might we be able to. (If, y'know, we were actually any good, which we weren't.)

And the songs. I haven't heard People Say or Don't Let Him Come Back in years (my sister had an original Able Label single before it got stolen) but they still go through my head occasionally. Since last weekend, Cattle and Cane and Streets of Your Town haven't left my head.

I feel that the worth of a band is measured by how good a "Greatest Hits" record they've got in them. And if they didn't have 'hits' then a "Best of". Gee, I wish there was a Godfathers best of. I think - although I don't have it - yet - that the Go-Betweens would have a very good best of. And that is the true mark of a band.

>>>Why the hell isn't Right Here on Bellavista Terrace? (Double-Ls, I get it.)


I went to school with the Mad Bomber!

My mother has passed on the word from my brother that, yes, I did go to the same school as Brisbane's mad bomber John Amundsen. He was in my brother's class. Another success for Marist Brothers' Rosalie! They don't just turn out bitter public servants. That'll give them something to talk about at the Old Boys' Dinner in a fortnight.

I was talking to a friend this evening - before I got the above news - and he said that Amundsen went to uni with his sister. He was a nutjob then, he's a nutjob now. Allegedly.

I'll wait to see if we find out the contents of the email threat he sent, but if he wasn't threatening to blow stuff up unless the government changed some policy or another, he's not a terrorist. He's just a mad bomber. Allegedly.


And in the sky a rain of falling cinders

More GW stories:

The Australian Senate remembers GW.
See page 19 (of 139) of this .pdf file of Hansard.

89.3 KCUR-FM in Kansas City will have a two-hour tribute show on Saturday (U.S. time). There's a link to listen live from the KCUR homepage.

Obituary/Tribute in the U.K Herald.

Story from the SMH about the tributes received.

And a story about the TV coverage of the rescue of the miners that includes complaints similar to my first words on the GW subject:
"The coverage given to Carleton was far greater than that afforded another heart-attack victim from the weekend - Australian musician Grant McLennan, formerly of the band the Go-Betweens ... I, for one, have been touched much more by McLennan's music than Carleton's reporting."


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Whatever I have is yours, but it's not much

Today's only mention in the paper was in a downloads column with links to things Go-Betweens fans have probably already got:

A site with links to snippets of songs, plus the video for Here Comes A City.

A site with the video for Bye Bye Pride

And from Google News:

Funeral for Go-Betweens frontman.
I assume this will be in the paper tomorrow. [It was, but in a cut-down version in a newsbriefs column.]

NME story about Forster's reaction to tributes on (Although the article actually links to, which is a different site altogether.)

Found in a post on

Photos from an instore performance 12 May, 2005. (In fact, for those with no time to search, here's a link to the page for the flikr tag for 'gobetweens'.)

"I can't believe it. He was very sweet and generous to me when I asked to paint him." - Anne Wallace.

And where are those paintings now?

Finally: "The Go-Betweens' success was a source of great pride for Brisbane-ites." - from a post on the Go-Betweens messageboard by Robyn E. How true. Remember, this band started when the joke "What's the difference between Brisbane and yoghurt? There's culture in yoghurt" was still around. To quote Hüsker Dü: it's not funny anymore.

(Photo at the top by borolad259; stolen from flikr.)


Monday, May 08, 2006

I love Lee Remick, she's a darling

(Updated Tuesday PM)

I was going to predict, in my comments on another blog, that Richard Carleton's death was going to completely overshadow that of G.W. McLennan (but I figured that wasn't the place for cynicism.) But, unfortunately, on TV at least I was right - not a mention.

But not in the newspaper. Grant is honoured with page three with a colour photo (a different one than the one on the website; one of him and Forster). Richard Carleton gets page 5, in black and white (although if they had a picture of him lying on the ground dying, I'm sure Carleton would have been bumped up...)

And there is a comment/tribute piece "Brisbane arts scene loses its heart of gold"; but I can't find that online.

Also, the headline to the page three story in the paper is slightly different to the online version - "World-beating band founder dead at 48". The story is the same one that will probably have been printed in all News Ltd newspapers.

Google News has at least a couple of pages of articles, so I won't provide links to any apart from this and this.

UPDATE ~ TUESDAY: Here's the link to the "Heart of Gold" tribute.

Today there was a story about the funeral on page 5, two letters in the centre of the 'letters to the editor' section with a bold headline (neither of which were the ones on this page - use 'find' to find "McLennan" on the page*) and the original "Vale Grant McLennan" post and a couple of comments from Noel Mengel's blog.

Google News has loads of stories, probably most of them are the same UPI story- but what is interesting is the sort of publications it appears in, the LA Times, the Washington Post. Probably only on the web edition, with its unlimited space and not the print edition, but who cares. There's also a big story in Rolling Stone, with an interesting tid-bit about how the producer of 24 was a fan and wrote their names into the show.

Hey, were either of McLennan or Forster in Cow, or was that just Dave from Custard? Which one of them was in the Far Corporation with Ross MacLennan (of Dirt Petty and the Hideous Debacle)?

*Ironically, considering the letter about using Streets of Your Town for the newspaper's TV commercials, that commercial was just on as I typed this.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

By the time they said "I do" their expenses totalled $19,000 (US$)

There's an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor about the cost of weddings in the US these days. I know I say "interesting article" a lot, but this time, Boycat's Mum read the whole thing when I showed it to her; and that was two and a half A4 pages of 10 point text, so I figure it might actually be interesting to someone other than me.

I think our wedding cost $3000 (in 1993). We paid for it ourselves although Boycat's Mum's Dad slipped us $1500 after it was over. We did the flowers in the church ourselves (that was when I learned you don't cut 6 inches off the end of long-stemmed roses to make them fit), my sister made the wedding dress, our reception was at our favourite indian restaurant — we'd been paying it off for the previous six months — and the entertainment was a couple of mix tapes I put together plus a belly-dancer.

Some of my friends had posher weddings, like the one in the botanical gardens, and some had traditional Italian weddings, but I'm pretty sure no one spent anything like $19,000 U.S dollars.


Plagiarism Update

From the New York Times:
Fresh passages in the novel by a Harvard sophomore, whose book was pulled from stores last week after she acknowledged plagiarizing portions of it, appear to be copied from a second author.