Politics of Bad Music Taste

Music is a personal thing. Shared with others sometimes, but it is also some sort of indication of your identity or person, yeah? Sure everyone has read Sarah Thornton’s book, but what do you do when someone comes over to your house and does not like the music you listen to?

I readily accept the charge that I like ‘bad’ music. It is bad, like Van Halen. Some of it realllly bad, like Meatloaf. But it is also good, “Why Can’t This Be Love?” is one of the greatest songs ever (with philosophy of time in the lyrics) and “Bat Out Of Hell” makes me feel like I am not alone in the world even when I am. Then there is Rammstein’s totally rockin “Zwitter” that sounds like they are saying ‘Sweeter’ hence making the song really funny. (ooh, that reminds me what got me into anime. The old ‘Manga’ brand anime that was released on video had a fuckin awesome film clip self-advertising thing at the start of most videos. They had all this awesome footage from the classic anime, like Akira and other shit I can’t remember now. Yeah, and the music playing was by Sepultura off their Chaos AD album. I loved that clip thing. People, that song — “Refuse, Resist!” — is awesome. Awesome!) Another example, Motley Crue’s “She Goes Down” is a really bad song, possibly one of the most offensive on my playlist, except it has the funkiest beat for a metal song I have ever heard. Plus it is a funny soundtrack when watching Pam and Tommy’s home video. Not that I do that often, haha… I have a big thing for covers. Especially metal covers of 1980s pop tunes. So big props to Flashman for the link to this site.

My response is to let people, umm, ‘find’ their own music. When Helene was over and crashing at my joint we got onto some Violent Femmes. Yeah. Other times, other people, it has been other music. I have R. Kelly on my playlist now. Hmm, ok, I had Nelly on my playlist earlier, but only because it was the “Work It” track (with Timberlake) that sampled ACDC’s “Back in Black”. R. Kelly…

Now, here is a thought experiment for you. If I like bad music and I go over to someone’s house with perfectly good music tastes, do you think I am going to like the music this person puts on? This person has made it very clear that the music I like and listen to everyday is very bad and they they like and listen to good music. So, because their music is good music, I must like it, yes? Nope. I don’t like good music. Sorry… Anyway, imagine if this person does not have an internet connection and a long list of MP3s from which to select or ‘find’ a track or five, wouldn’t you encourage your visitor (that would be me) to choose some music to put on? To allow them the joy of discovery and pleasure of selecting something from your music collection (which I assume you actually enjoy because, well, you own the CDs)?

That is the problem with Thornton’s subcultural capital/’hipness’ approach, with it’s focus on the politics of ‘good’ music taste. Via the art of compromise, sometimes people will listen to bad (or even good) music for the sake of others…

Earth Engines

Robin Mackay, a.k.a. undercurrent of Dread, Walking, has published another photograph series online. I like his stuff. Check it out. Industrial archaeography, volume II : Earth Engines

The above photo. It is apparent that the smoko/morning tea practice of peeling off the stickers that come on fruit and sticking them on your helmet is a something done around the world. Of course, they may not be fruit stickers!

Movie Melbourne Madness

SO Matt picked me up at 6:40am to take me to the airport. I just take my trusty backpack with me when I go down to Melbs. The weather was due to be a bit cooler than Syds, and it was. I took my Dickies jacket with me, too.

The flight there was very uncomfortable. I sat next to an obese person and normally I really don’t give a shit if people want to eat themselves to death. It would probably be a good way to die. Plus, I know I am not exactly a feather-weight and with my height and broad shoulders I find it difficult to fit into an airplane seat, but I do actually fit into the seat… This dude needed a 30 cm extension to do the belt up (like a length of belt material with male and female connections to extend the length of the belt). It is probably designed for pregnant women or something. I have a good 20 cms of belt length left after I tighten it up, so that gives you an indication of how big this dude was. He sat right on the edge of the seat because of his large arse and his arms poked out at a near-horizontal level because of the flab under his arm and folds of fat jiggling up the side of his body. What made it worse is that we were in the VERY back row of the plane and I was in the corner. I was seated holding my arms together (not folded, but clasped) and my back was arranged in a nightmare yoga position like I was in a cinema trying to look around the ‘fantabulous’ afro of a dude in front. When we disembarked, I was the LAST person off the plane. By jingo, by crikey, was I ready for some air-rage action or what… uhuh…

Especially when they came around serving breakfast during the flight. If there was ever a person who did not need an airplane breakfast, or any other bloody meal for that matter, it was this guy. Fuck me stupid… When he accepted a meal, I was flexing my hands into and out of large fists. Obviously, I did not take a breakfast on the plane. Not only could I physically not eat it (I did not have enough room to fold the tray down when he was loading himself up like Simpsons-style eating machine), the thought of eating anything next to this dude in this context made me feel quite sick. Then he asked if he could put his empty breakfast meal tray on my non-deployed back-seat tray… Was he trying to provoke me into unsuccessfully stabbing his right eye out with a blunt terror-safe utensil? But then, cause my rage would not be so easily satiated, I would try again and again until everyone around had shifted from stunned silence to screaming fear and his eyeball had popped out to go swimming with the reconstituted fruit of the muesli… Yes. So I forgot the red-misted fantasies and simply dismissed and then ignored him. Thank ye gods for ‘Rock on Q’. I think Beck was the pick of the soundtrack to my rage. It took every gram of self-restraint not to turn the flight into yet another six o’clock tv-news-item event of unfathomable infamy… At the time if felt very much like how I suspect ‘Monday mornings’ are meant to feel, but on a Saturday. Yeah, that’s right. On a fuckin Saturday…

SO it was good to get off the plane. Cam was waiting for me at the airport. He had been up to 3am the previous evening doing work and was looking a bit fried. The mighty GT-P was parked in a prime spot right out the front of the arrivals.

We cruised into Melbourne to pick up Ping. Cam was playing silly buggers with the GT-P. Surging every now and then, giving it some stick, back and forth. That thing really gets up and boogies.

Breakfast was wake up and/or recovery time for Ping and Cam. I was trying to adjust to being in Melbourne. The weather is different. Not just the ‘weather’ in terms of the the type of weather, but the general feeling of of the air, sun and wind. I like Melbourne weather. I think my body is built for it. Cam is very specific about his food and had to get two sausages re-cooked for his ‘big breakfast’. I was hungry after already being awake for 3 hours with only coffee to sustain me.

We drove back to Cam’s work space in the CBD. There are computers, cameras and televisiony things set up every where. I can look out on the balcony over a square that is front of what I think is a library (or museum?) down the road from RMIT. We watched Rush and I generated some critical comments and then we watched it again with Cam’s commentary. I think the project will work commercially. It won’t be too long now until we see for sure what will happen.

Then it was lunch time and we met up with Tim. Apparently this is the area in which The Secret Life of Us is set. That makes so much sense considering the cooler-than-thou looking young professional types walking past the restaurant window. The lamb shank was totally awesome. On-the-bone-meat that falls off under the slightest prompting with a knife and fork, yummy gravy and what I thought earlier was mash but now I think may have actually been a bed of polenta. Cam had actually ordered separate sides of mash and spinach.

Back to work. We set about knocking up the required output for the day. They are going to make some t-shirts. I had fun thinking up t-shirt designs. I wanted them to use a catchphrase on the t-shirt like ‘Here comes the Rush…’ as it has sufficient sexual, drug and adrenaline-junky overtones. It may only appear on the DVD case and website. The t-shirts shall be relatively simple. I had to talk Cam out of having pictures on the t-shirt and have a simple design based on the Rush title design on the front and a smaller Traction Control Films design on the back. My rationale is that they can knock up similar t-shirts for every major commercial production, but with the correct title design on the front. It would begin generating a kind of history for the production company. Plus the simpler designed t-shirts will be cheaper to make.

We knocked up 5, 10, 25 and 50 word descriptions of the film, plus copy for the back cover of the DVD. All versions of the DVD back cover had something like this (but with more emotive language):

The problem: Capture speed on film.
The response: Rush!

Rush is a 12 minute short film by Traction Control Films. It is an experimentation in driving technique and cinematography.

You can already see I had been getting my Deleuze freak on… Problematics. Capturing the affects of speed (perceptions, feelings, etc) and not just attempt to represent speed as bare fact of rectlinear motion. And so on. Anyway, Rush is going to be released on mini-DVD (about the size of a mini-disc) and sold for $15.

After coming up with what I thought was a brilliant idea, it was also fun was seeing the teaser trailer for their feature film (working title): Crash Course. That is going to get some tongues wagging I can bloody assure you! Haha!

So yeah, then I came home and the flight back was much nicer. I am going to help them set up meetings in Sydney with some people. That should be happening soon.

Epilogue.

SO Matt picks me up for the airport at 21:50 and I am ready to party after having an excellent day being very creative and productive in Melbourne. Clif had rung me up while I was in Melbourne to say he was going to be at the Bank Hotel with some people and I should come down. So Matt and I went down and had some beers on the way in from my joint. We were getting stuck into it ($10 jugs of Cooper’s Pale Ale) and I was feeling great. After some phone weirdness, Kirsten came in to Newtown for a drink. So that was cool. She met two of my good friends (Matt and Clif) and some of Clif and Kat’s mates. I was not expecting to see her at all for a few weeks. Hmm, see what happens…