Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reprise 2008

A return to the return to blogging. So, since I last ventured here on June 16, I have been doing things. And now you will be told all about them. At length.

Tuesday June 17

3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • played my recording of a speech by Professor Anu Muhammad about Bangladesh, the impacts of climate change and development policies there, the Phulbari Coal Project and the power of community resistance. He spoke in Melbourne as part of the Voices Of Bangladesh speaking tour organised by AidWatch and Friends of the Earth.
  • played my recording of a speech by Maki Yonaha from Japanese For Peace about the impacts of US military bases in Okinawa, Japan. She spoke at an activist workshop on US Bases in the Pacific.
  • played an interview I did at that workshop with Dr Lisa Natividad, a Chamoru activist from Guam, about the indigenous Chamoru people of Guam and their resistance to the US military build-up on their land (currently there are plans to move thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam).

Wednesday June 18

I went to a church. Kimya Dawson and her husband Angelo Spencer played a gig at the Northcote Uniting Church, so I sat on the floor and listened. I hadn't heard any of Angelo's music before, but he stomped a swampy beat in an enjoyably Gallic fashion. Kimya had just woken up from a nap, and so was a bit sleepy. And she didn't play Nothing Came Out. But she did play a good range from across her various albums, and some songs from her new children's album, Alphabutt, which has since been released and which I now have in my possession, because, obviously, I have a high tolerance for cuteness. For example, on the night, I went to the merch table and purchased the Antsy Pants record - the prospect of a band collaboration with a French 12-year-old being irresistible to me. It has since caused enjoyment, particularly Big City and The Mission, the latter proving exceptionally useful to play on 3CR around interviews about climate/transport/cycling.

Thursday June 19
It was Guy's birthday (right?), so I think I went to his place for some quiet drinks and heard fascinating stories from the assembled public servants. I particularly liked the one about being able to lead a raid on Chadstone Shopping Centre, flash a badge and interrogate retailers about their returns policies. There was a squad for this!

After being at Guy's, I went in to 3CR overnight to produce that week's 3CR Women On The Line program. It was, predictably, about "Guam, Japan and U.S Military Bases". It's still available for download from the Women On The Line website because I just re-upped it for summer programming. You can click here for the mp3. This program was also repackaged by WINGS, so it'll be permanently available at the WINGS archive, and you can stream the WINGS version directly here.

Some other of my Women On The Line shows have been repackaged by WINGS in the last little while. You can go here and search for "elanor" to find them. If you wish.

Saturday June 21
During the day, trained some YarraBUGs in radio production for their new 3CR show, then went to Guy's birthday party. It was themed Pop/Trash, but I couldn't get my shit together to wear something appropriate. So I wore jeans. And black. I did consider roping some plastic bags together to make a necklace, but it turned out that we didn't have any plastic bags in the cupboard. Also, instead of a proper present, I just burned Guy a copy of Björk's very first album, from 1977 when she was 11 years old. I really like it, particularly Arabadrengurinn and Búkolla and Músastiginn. She's a pretty great kid.

LISTENING Tuesday June 17-Tuesday June 24. says this week was spent in the company of:
, Milk Man
, Verbs
Björk, Björk
Vetiver, Thing Of The Past
Beirut, Gulag Orkestar
Kes Band, Kes Band
The Moldy Peaches, The Moldy Peaches
Angelo Spencer, Drummed and Recorded
Antsy Pants, Antsy Pants
Grand Salvo, Death
My Disco, Paradise
Paavoharju, Laulu Laakson Kukista
Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson
Lucky Dragons, Bleach On Bleach and Dark Falcon
Woelv, Tout Seul Dans La Forêt En Plein Jour, Avez-Vous Peur?
and some Bachelorette, Lykke Li, Shirley Ellis, Baaba Maal, Klaus Nomi and Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan.

My three favourite musical things this year are all Melbourne things. Death by Grand Salvo makes me feel good about still listening to Prokofiev's Peter & The Wolf, and then some. Seeing Death performed from beginning to end at Melba Hall on April 6 was a cultural highlight. The other two favourite musical things are Paradise by My Disco and Kes Band by Kes Band. Both were impatiently anticipated and then heavily adored. Heavily. I don't think I stalk these bands' live performances - I have definitely missed a few - but I do feel like I've seen them more times than is polite. You probably have all these albums, but I commend them to you anyway.

Tuesday June 24
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • played interview by Chris Richards from Radio New Internationalist (a 3CR co-production I was working on at the time), with Marie-Claire Faray from Common Cause UK, about the widespread and continuing use of rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Thursday June 19, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution declaring rape and sexual violence a "war tactic".
  • played another interview by Chris Richards from Radio New Internationalist, with Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy, chairman of the Department of Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, about Pakistan's nuclear weapons and the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.
  • played interview by Danielle Archer from 3CR's Solidarity Breakfast, with Stephen Purvinas, Federal Secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, about the wage dispute with Qantas.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Isabel Metz from the Melbourne Business School about paid maternity/parental leave and her research into discrimination against women in the workforce. She spoke about how employer incentive schemes need to put men and women on an equal footing regarding leave so that the cultural assumptions that work against women are changed.
  • played interview by Bree McKilligan and Suze Taylor from 3CR's Jump Cut, with Sue Brooks, producer of the documentary Hope, about Amal Basry, who survived the sinking of SIEV X.
My diary is pretty blank for the rest of the week, so I have a feeling I may have spent significant amounts of time watching seasons 1 and 2 of 3o Rock, or indulging in Gossip Girl or something.

LISTENING Tuesday June 24-Tuesday July 1. says this week was spent in the company of:

Daft Punk, Alive 2007
Baseball, Animal Kingdom
Aleks and the Ramps, Pisces Vs Aquarius
Giorgio Moroder, From Here To Eternity
Grand Salvo, Death
Suicide, Suicide
Je Suis Animal, Self-Taught Magic From A Book
Laura Jean, Eden Land
Ladytron, Velocifero
The Drones, Gala Mill
Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Ane Brun, Changing Of The Seasons
Lucky Dragons, Dream Island Laughing Language
and some Faux Pas, Townes Van Zandt, MC Solaar, and Air France.

Tuesday July 1
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • Co-host Rachel spoke to Elizabeth Royte, author of Bottlemania: How Water Went On Sale and Why We Bought It, about the rise of bottled water, its environmental impacts and how it impacts on the development and maintenance of water infrastructure.
  • I spoke to Tim Anderson, academic and activist film-maker, about his new documentary, Doctors Of Tomorrow, which looks at Cuban medical training and its role in building the East Timorese health system.

Lucky Dragons - Drinking Dirty Water - Dream Island Laughing Language
Ladytron - Burning Up - Velocifero
Water Curses - Animal Collective - Water Curses EP
Vetiver - Houses [Elyse Weinberg] - Thing Of The Past
Grizzly Bear - Fix It - Horn Of Plenty
Lucky Dragons - Givers - Dream Island Laughing Language

Friday July 4

I went along and recorded a public forum organised by Amnesty International Australia at the Melbourne Town Hall, "60 Years On - Human Rights Challenges: Where To Now For The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights?". Larissa Behrendt and George Williams gave cracking speeches, and we heard about the Muslim Uighurs in China/East Turkestan from Zubayra Shamseden. I eventually used Larissa's talk in a September 3CR Women On The Line program, "Rethinking Rights and Indigenous Drinking", currently available for download from the Women On The Line website. Or just click here for the mp3.

LISTENING Tuesday July 1-Tuesday July 8.
says this week was spent in the company of:
Dawn Landes, Fireproof
Emmylou Harris, Stumble Into Grace and All I Intended To Be
Bob Dylan, Desire
My Disco, Paradise
The Band, Music From Big Pink
Laura Jean, Eden Land
Je Suis Animal, Self-Taught Magic From A Book
Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan, Pullhair Rubeye
Tujiko Noriko, Solo
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Jeremy Jay, A Place Where We Could Go
Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts Of The Great Highway
some Townes Van Zandt, and Jay-Z's "Ignorant Shit" and Josh Earl's "MDMF" on repeat.

Tuesday July 8
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • it was NAIDOC Week, so we mostly kept an Indigenous focus. Played that recording of Professor Larissa Behrendt - Research Director at the Jumbunna Indigenous House Of Learning - from Friday's Amnesty forum. Larissa spoke about the Indigenous experience of human rights breaches in Australia without the protection of a legislative Bill of Rights, and gave a critical analysis of the NT Intervention
  • Phil Minchin came in for Amnesty's monthly update, and talked about Indigenous history and Amnesty's developing campaign around Indigenous rights. The new campaign will be launched mid-2009.
  • co-host Jess spoke to Sharon Bamblett from the Aborigines Advancement League, the oldest Aboriginal organisation in Australia, about the NAIDOC Elders Lunch.
  • played recording of Professor George Williams - Foundation Director of the Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law - from Friday's Amnesty forum. George spoke about Australia's "human rights problem", where unlike all other western democracies, the Australian government and legal system operate without reference to human rights values. He focused particularly on Australia's anti-terrorism legislation and the need for a federal human rights act.

Je Suis Animal - Sparkle Spit - Self-Taught Magic From A Book

Thursday July 10
Went to the Edinburgh Castle to see Kes Band playing their July residency. I particularly liked the Biddy Connor/ Lehman Smith duet thing.

Sunday July 13
Went to the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives' Homosexual Histories Conference, to record two papers on Melbourne's Drag King Culture, which I used for a that week's Women On The Line program, imaginitively titled "Melbourne's Drag King Culture". For the show I also interviewed Selina Jenkins about Beau Heartbreaker and performing at Melbourne's King Victoria. Again, it's still available for download from the Women On The Line website because I just re-upped it for summer programming. You can click here for the mp3.

LISTENING Tuesday July 8-Tuesday July 15. says this week was spent in the company of:
Metallic Falcons, Desert Doughnuts
Richard O'Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
My Disco, Paradise
Grand Salvo, Death
OOIOO, Taiga
Albert Hammond, Jr. ¿Cómo Te Llama?
Elton John, Madman Across The Water
Cassettes Won't Listen, Small-Time Machine and One Alternative
and some Townes Van Zandt, Pixies, Plastic Bertrand, Fleetwood Mac, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Smog, Extreme Wheeze, Flying Scribble, Low, Bob Dylan, Department Of Eagles and Kes.

Tuesday July 15
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • I interviewed Jeff Waters, ABC journalist and author of Gone For A Song: A Death In Custody On Palm Island.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Anne Hampshire from Mission Australia about the results of their annual Youth Survey about issues of importance to young people. Body image was the number one concern for young people in 2007.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Monique Bayer from TradeSlot who explained some of the basics of an Emissions Trading Scheme and the carbon market.
  • I spoke to Sylvie Leber from Refugee Action Collective about their July 25 fundraiser gig, Rhythms For Refugees.

Grand Salvo - I Am Dead - Death
Ratatat - Black Heroes - LP3
Deastro - Light Powered - Keeper's
Future Happiness - Let Go - Future Happiness
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth - Colossal Youth
Lucky Dragons - Realistic Rhythm - Dream Island Laughing Language
Kes - Into My Gate - The Grey Goose Wing
OOIOO - UMA - Taiga

This was also my week to produce the 3CR Stick Together Show, which is a workplace/ union/ social justice radio program. I only recently became one of the show's producers. As I was still finding my feet in industrial issues, and as women's current affairs is what I've done a bit of on Women On The Line, I made a show about prostitution. Obviously. But it was framed as a workplace discussion - oldest profession and all that - exploring how and whether sex work is like/unlike other work, with Kathleen Maltzahn, the Founding Director of Project Respect, who had just published a book, Trafficked. The podcast of that program is no longer available. But she was good. Ask me and I'll email you an mp3.

LISTENING Tuesday July 15-Tuesday July 22. says this week was spent in the company of:
Woollen Kits, Cupcake Kiss
Kes, The Grey Goose Wing and EPs 1999 To 2002
Zana, Natrag Na Voz
Kes Band, Kes Band
Flight Of The Conchords, Flight Of The Conchords
Kate Bush, Aerial
Laura Jean, Eden Land
Dr. Dog, Fate
Pascal Comelade, L' Argot du Bruit
The Gothic Archies, The New Despair and The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events
Gang Gang Dance, God's Money
and some Townes Van Zandt, Sam Cooke, Daniel Johnston, Broadcast, April March, My Disco, Grand Salvo, Polvo, and Cassettes Won't Listen.

FYI, Natrag Na Voz by Zana is a beloved album that my family has been listening to since 1984, when we lived in Yugoslavia for a few years and bought this record. It is excellent - I think. You see, it's very hard to extract any sense of its actual merit from the deep and abiding familiarity I have with it. It's the first music I remember hearing, and has made its presence felt over a long period of time. This year I copied the vinyl into digital form so that I could listen to Natrag Na Voz on my iPod, which I then proceeded to do. Which made me pretty happy.

Tuesday July 22
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • played my interview with Selina Jenkins about Melbourne's Drag King culture and her performances on the King Victoria stage as Beau Heartbreaker.
  • played my interview with Kathleen Maltzahn, founding director of Project Respect, about how sex work is not like other jobs.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Lorina Baker about going back to her remote Aboriginal community to collect oral histories.
  • I spoke to Damien Lawson, Friends of the Earth's Climate Justice campaign coordinator, about the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme green paper.

The Gothic Archies - The World Is A Very Scary Place - The Tragic Treasury
Antsy Pants - The Mission - Antsy Pants
Dr. Dog - The Old Days - Fate

Thursday July 24
Again went to see Kes Band play at the Edinburgh Castle. It was good for Melbourne music people spotting. I noted the presence of Ben of My Disco, Nisa of Fabulous Diamonds, Guy Blackman, Mick Turner, some Aleks & Ramps, and I forget the rest.

Saturday July 26
Went to see Laura Jean and Mark Kozelek at the East Brunswick Club. Laura played solo and Anniversary was a significant highlight.

Mark Kozelek played material from all his iterations, but entirely in the style of his most recent. I was pleased to hear Heron Blue and Lily And Parrots. It was a quality gig, but not start-to-finish enjoyable, due to a combination of bone-tiredness and the flattening effect of performing everything the same way.

Sunday July 27
My MIFF begins with Be Like Others and Hunger.

Be Like Others is a documentary about trans people in Iran, sort of. I hesitate to say 'trans people' definitively, because in a country where being gay is punishable by death, but sex-change operations are legal and sometimes government-funded, people who may not otherwise seek to change their biological gender, do. The documentary takes us into the waiting room of a Tehran sex-change surgeon, and goes home with a few of his prospective patients. Initial feelings of relief that such an unlikely and, at first look, progressive policy exists in Iran become complicated by our intimacy with people's experience of this attempt to live freer within a culture of strict adherence to only two genders and only opposite-sex-attraction.

Hunger is about IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands. Sort of. I mean, it is about him, but it's also about - and especially for much of the first half of the film - the brutality of the Maze prison, the no wash strikes that preceded the hunger strikes in 1981, the bloody-minded discipline of IRA prisoners, and a remarkable central conversation between a smoker and a priest. Michael Fassbender is Bobby Sands, and I'm glad of it. He rather caught my eye recently playing a discontented secret heir in a Poirot episode, painfully in love with his cousin. Anyway. See Hunger. It's good.

Monday July 28
MIFF continues with Katyn. Despite being about a WWII massacre of Polish officers by the Soviet army, and the perpetuation of a lie (non-Soviet culpability for said massacre) backed by force for years afterwards, it really failed to connect with me emotionally. In fact, I was mostly annoyed at the clunkiness. Like, when a wife and child are bidding farewell to a husband/father, and you know they'll be separated forever (because of DEATH), you should feel something, right? Instead of thinking, "HURRY UP! You are wearing my patience. I don't believe your tears/hugs. This child acts about as well as Lolly from Neighbours." And frankly, irritation is not a sensation I want to be feeling when watching a film which in its final moments depicts a mass-execution in Katyn Forest where Polish soldiers are dragged struggling before a Soviet soldier who casually fires a pistol at each of their heads... the horror of which is made, again, annoying because of the decision to weave a recitation of the Our Father into the sequence. So each Polish soldier - er 'movingly' - recites one line of the Our Father, is shot, and then the next Polish soldier recites the next line of the Our Father, is shot. And so on until the prayer is concluded. CLUNKY.

LISTENING Tuesday July 22-Tuesday July 29. says this week was spent in the company of:
Mark Kozelek, Nights LP
Sun Kil Moon, Ghosts Of The Great Highway and April
My Disco, Paradise
Red House Painters, Ocean Beach and Old Ramon
Kes, EPs 1999 To 2002
Christopher Willits, Surf Boundaries
The Dandy Warhols, Earth To The Dandy Warhols
Dr. Dog, Fate
Birth Glow, Ultimate Relief
Band Of Horses, Cease To Begin
Arthur Russell, The World of Arthur Russell and Calling Out Of Context and World Of Echo
Jens Lekman/Joel Gibb/Taken By Trees/Vera November, Four Songs By Arthur Russell
The Shangri-Las, Myrmidons of Melodrama (1963-66)
The Ronettes, ...Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes
Delta 5, Singles And Sessions 1979-1981
April March, Chick Habit
Taken By Trees, Open Field
Various Artists, Thai Beat A Go-Go Vol. 1 and Thai Beat A Go-Go Vol. 2
Various Artists, Ta Gie-Giedakia No 2
Various Artists, Girl Power
John Maus, Love Is Real
Laura Jean, Eden Land
MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
and some Woelv, Gothic Archies, Broadcast, El Perro Del Mar, Dennis Wilson, Jany L., Zoe and the Stormies, France Gall, Les Hou-Lops, Sylvie Vartan, Metallic Falcons, and Catcall.

Tuesday July 29
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • co-host Rachel interviewed Jeremy Muir, CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, about Australia signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • I spoke to Demetra Giannakopoulous, co-convenor of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, about the Equal Love rally the following Sunday August 3 at the State Library.
  • played an interview by Bree McKilligan from 3CR's Jump Cut, with Tom Murray, director of In My Father's Country, a film screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Sunday August 3 at 5pm.
  • I spoke to Jacob Grech about the Asia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition, an arms fair that was planned for Adelaide on November 11-13 (before the scary prospect of organised peace protesters was blamed for its cancellation), and a forum the following night, "Nuclear Weapons and Arms Trading", at Friends of the Earth in Smith St.

Taken By Trees - Hours Pass Like Centuries - Open Field
The Magnetic Fields - When My Boy Walks Down The Street - 69 Love Songs, Vol. 2
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - Marry Me - #3
The Shangri-Las - Give Us Your Blessings - Myrmidons of Melodrama (1963-66)
Sylvie Vartan - Gong-Gong - The Best Of Sylvie Vartan
Vetiver - Sleep A Million Years [Dia Joyce] - Thing Of The Past
Tunng - Bullets - Good Arrows

MIFF continues today with The Debt. It's about Mossad agents in the 1960s who, in an intimate and skilful mission, capture a Nazi war criminal. They hold him captive and tensions simmer while they wait for clearance to bring him to Israel for trial, but he escapes. Instead of owning up to this, they return to Israel claiming to have killed him as he attempted to escape, which makes them heroes and particularly secures the reputation of the female member of the group, Rachel. A reputation which is then put at risk in the present day when reports surface of an old man in a nursing home claiming to be this non-dead Nazi war criminal. The film moves between the two different times, with an older and younger cast. I especially liked the scenes in the earlier period, because the younger cast is rather excellent and good-looking. Particularly Itay Tiran, who plays Zvi. He smokes cigarettes, is lovely. Upon seeing him, I experienced the forceful flush of what was once known as the Peter Sarsgaard effect. That is, I immediately HAD to see everything EVER that Itay Tiran had been in. So far I've only managed to see Beaufort, which was fine enough. But I mostly just want to see The Debt again and again. And again. It's going to be remade in English, for some reason. And so far Helen Mirren has been announced to play the older Rachel. Which is fine I guess. Just as long as the younger Israeli cast is retained entirely, or, if not entirely, then definitely Itay Tiran and Neta Garty. I mean, just LOOK at them.

Friday August 1
MIFF continues with Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell and Otto: Or, Up With Dead People.

I went to see Wild Combination because it's what Guy Blackman suggested I do in his pre-MIFF music documentary preview in M magazine, or EG. I knew precisely zero things about Arthur Russell until I read that article, but dutifully spent some time listening to his music before the screening, liked what I heard, and was comfortable with this. It annoyed me a little, then, to overhear someone in the line waiting to go in to the film bemoan the fact that there seemed to be quite a large number of people there to see it, an outrageous state of affairs considering Arthur Russell is "underground, man. What the fuck are all these people doing here?" Which made me grrr. Because, sometimes, people go to things to find out about stuff. Sometimes, you don't already know everything ever that was good... Anyway, there is something to be said about the level of irritation generated by what one overhears while waiting in lines at MIFF. It's the least pleasant part of the festival - not the waiting itself, but the listening to people complain about the waiting/talk like knobs.

Anyway, to the film. Which was excellent. Devil and Daniel Johnston-excellent. I particularly liked Arthur Russell's parents. They are just lovely. And his boyfriend, Tom. These are very nice people. It's nice to be around them. I recommend people see Wild Combination: A Portrait Of Arthur Russell, and that they also get the newest of the Audika Records releases of his music, Love Is Overtaking Me, which was released on 28 October, and which I have been listening to quite a lot recently. My favourite tracks are "I Couldn't Say It To Your Face", "Eli", "Time Away", "I Forget And I Can't Tell (Ballad Of The Lights Pt. 1)", and "Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart".

Otto: Or, Up With Dead People was my first experience of a Bruce LaBruce film. It's a gay zombie-ish film (containing a number of films-within-the-film) in which a gay zombie/runaway named Otto becomes the focus of a film being made by hilarious underground filmmaker Medea Yarn. Her various pronouncements were the highlight for me.

Saturday August 2
MIFF continues with Ken Loach's latest, It's A Free World..., which, as the synopsis describes,

"delves into the mire and mess of Britain’s immigrant reality, where legals and illegals are left to traverse dubious and exploitative recruitment agencies without assistance. After getting no respect from her male co-workers, tough-talking recruitment agent Angie decides to open her own business with the help of her housemate Rose. Using her sex appeal, charm and every other trick in the book to drum up business, Angie soon finds herself in the position of her former employers – exploiting the desperate, and doing whatever it takes to turn a profit."
It's a masterful thing. And because I am a naive sort, it rather rocked my understanding of what's possible in modern Britain. I love Ken Loach.

Sunday August 3
MIFF continues with La France. Which unfurled exactly how the synopsis described:
"In the fall of 1917, Camille (Sylvie Testud) receives a letter from her soldier husband telling her she’ll never hear from or see him again. Worried, she disguises herself as a teenage boy and sets out to find her husband. Still incognito, Camille joins a group of soldiers separated from their regiment, and heads to the Dutch border in their company. Director Serge Bozon (whose Mods also screens at MIFF this year) brings his typically unconventional slant to this war drama, with soldiers unexpectedly breaking into Small Faces-style songs at key moments."
It was an unhurried piece, not always compelling. But good enough. I liked the songs.

After La France, went to see Band Of Horses play at Billboard. Which made me feel all lifted and joyful, especially during "The General Specific".

LISTENING Tuesday July 29-Tuesday August 5. says this week was spent in the company of:
Catcall, Anniversary EP
Ratatat, Classics and LP3
Little Pictures, Owl + Owl
Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia
Edmund Cake, Downtown Puff
The Tokey Tones, Caterpillar and Butterfly
Inquiet, Inq Beyong
Panda Bear, Young Prayer
The Dø, A Mouthful
Pompey, Fifty Gallon Drum
Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around
My Disco, Paradise
Band Of Horses, Cease To Begin
and some Arthur Russell, Kes, and Kes Band.

Ah yes, this was the week that my package of purchases from Lil' Chief Records arrived. A small digression here in which I should note that many a musical love affair in the last year or so has begun after hearing a song on Dave's To And Fro show; see also McCartney II, Birth Glow. Anyway, the impetus for these Lil' Chef purchases was the same - I heard a Little Pictures song on To And Fro, I went a'searchin the Internet for Little Pictures-related information, and then bought the following 5 albums: Little Pictures, Owl + Owl; Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia; Edmund Cake, Downtown Puff; and two from The Tokey Tones, Caterpillar and Butterfly. New Zealand is a good place, I find. Bachelorette is from there. And I've been noticing some NZ cravings in the last few months, I think because it's been so long since the one time I went there (January 2002). And since I won't be going back there anytime soon (all life decisions now deferring to my trip to Russia/Europe/Hong Kong in April-May-June next year), I decided to dose myself with 5 albums worth of vicarious New Zealandy-ness. And I'm really happy I did, because Lawrence Arabia is RATHER BLOODY GOOD. Like, really really. The Tokey Tones are also good, but Lawrence Arabia has been the real revelation/cherished new inclusion in my life. AND HE'S COMING TO MELBOURNE. In February. As part of the breathtaking line-up for Summer Tones. Aahh, Mistletone Records = pretty wonderful.

Tuesday August 5
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • co-host Rachel spoke to Andrew Mahar, Executive Director of Infoxchange, about that day's launch of Wired Community @ Collingwood, a digital inclusion project providing computer access to 1000 households in the Collingwood Public Housing Estate.
  • I spoke to Nancy Atkin, Executive Officer of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, about the Hiroshima Day vigil to be held on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
  • played interview by Bree McKilligan from 3CR's Jump Cut with Benjamin Gilmour, the director of a film screening at MIFF, Son Of A Lion, set in a small village in the Pashtun region of northwest Pakistan. Benjamin Gilmour is also the author of "Warrior Poets: Guns, Movie-Making and the Wild West of Pakistan", a memoir about his journeys to Pakistan and the making of the film.
  • heard my recording of the speech last month by Zubayra Shamseden, principal of the Uighur Language School in South Australia. She spoke about the history and culture of the Muslim Uighur people, and their human rights experiences under Chinese authority in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (known to Uighurs as East Turkestan). The day before in Kashgar, the cultural centre of the Uighur region, 16 Chinese police officers had been killed in an attack by two men identified as Uighurs.
The Tokey Tones - Love Done Me No Good - Caterpillar
Inquiet - High-P Low-D - Inq Beyong
Mount Eerie - So Your Big Black Cloud Will Come - Singers
Lawrence Arabia - The Kinds Of Feelings That Happen On Summer Beaches - Lawrence Arabia
The Dø - Playground Hustle - A Mouthful
Camille Deane - Didn't We - CD-R Self Release
Little Pictures - This House Can Fit Us All - Owl + Owl
Jany L. - Le Restaurant Chinois

I went to see The Breeders that night at Billboard. They were in fine form, as far as I could judge, cracking wise, etc. It took me a little while to settle with certainty upon which Deal was Kim and which was Kelley, because I swear they'd swapped hairstyles since Kim came out to do the Pixies tour. Anyway, they played the songs I like from the new album, "Night Of Joy" and "Bang On". And they did "Overglazed" wonderfully too. And I really underestimated how giddy hearing "Cannonball" would make me. I thought I would be inured to its charms by now, but I wasn't, and neither was every other person in the room. Just explosive happiness.

Thursday August 7
Went to the Prince of Wales to see Vampire Weekend and Little Red. I was a little uncertain about going to this gig, but the combined line up sold me on it, as I had managed to live in Melbourne and never see Little Red. I found that I enjoyed myself far beyond expectations. Yes, people are correct. Little Red are fun, sharply dressed, and harmonise with energy. After the gig I listened to their recorded stuff, though, and it is nowhere near as good. Preserve joyous feelings - only see Little Red live. Vampire Weekend played all the songs they have, including one new one. The new one was the best, as it contained a kind of staccato yelping that was pretty great. I enjoyed the keyboard sounds most. Actually, I quite enjoyed the whole set - an admission I quarrelled with myself about, until I quit being so precious because they seem like nice boys and jeesh, just accept that you enjoyed yourself. All up, good feelings.

Friday August 8
MIFF continues with My Winnipeg. Which was MARVELLOUS. The forks; the forks beneath the forks; the lap. LedgeMan. The exasperating hall runner. The Wolseley Elm. Orange jello at the Paddlewheel. The hockey arena travesty. The vocabularous mynah bird snuffed out by Mother. Spooked horses. Man pageants. Lying on couches. Lying on couches. Lying on couches.

Saturday August 9
MIFF continues with Somers Town, Revue, and Gomorrah.

Somers Town is directed by Shane Meadows, who made the excellent This Is England. Somers Town retains This Is England's baby-faced lead actor, Thomas Turgoose, but the story is much sweeter. It's about friendship and is a lovely, tender thing. I want to watch it right now.

Revue is a collection of late Stalin-era Russian propaganda newsreels edited together. The overriding impression it left with me was of effort. It takes a lot of work to plough fields, make bricks, smelt things. Stuff doesn't just happen.

Gomorrah is about present day life in the Campania region around Naples, under the terrible grip of the Neopolitan mafia, the Camorra. I feel like it is a sibling film to Excellent Cadavers, which was about the Sicilian mafia, and centred on the heroic figure of magistrate Giovanni Falcone, assassinated in 1992. Gomorrah doesn't have a hero character, unless you count the people who made it. It's based on a book by Roberto Saviano, who now lives under police protection because the Camorra want him dead. Recently, I happened to catch this BBC radio documentary about him and the status of the Camorra now (a text summary of that radio documentary can be found here). Anyway, while Excellent Cadavers is a documentary, and Gomorrah is not, the potency of the latter's realism is remarkable. I was second-guessing whether it was an observational documentary for the first little while. It's so clear-eyed and devastating. Watch it. Watch both. In short, mafia are dicks.

Sunday August 10
My MIFF concluded with Trumbo, about blacklisted 'Hollywood Ten' screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. To the synopsis:
"Weaving interviews, sound recordings and archival footage together to portray a man unwilling to be cowed by the paranoia of his time, Trumbo also features the talents of Joan Allen, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane and Liam Neeson, performing readings of the hilarious and uneasy private letters of Dalton Trumbo."
Naughty synopsis, you forgot Dustin Hoffman and David Strathairn. Anyway, these 'performed readings' are a touch cringey - the actors are filmed delivering them as monologues on a stage, bringing the 'actorly' - but you forgive them because Trumbo wrote such good letters, was so entertaining, combative, and resoundingly principled, a man who stood for the shared ideals of many but bore costs more severe because, of that many, only a few did the same. A cool guy.

LISTENING Tuesday August 5-Tuesday August 12. says this week was spent in the company of:
Neko Case, Blacklisted
Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
My Disco, Paradise
Little Red, Get Ready EP and Listen To Little Red
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Grand Salvo, Death
Mirah, Advisory Committee and C'mon Miracle
Delta 5, Singles And Sessions 1979-1981
and some Mount Eerie, Meat Puppets, Lawrence Arabia, Inquiet, Arthur Russell, Alela Diane, Beach House, and Deastro.

Tuesday August 12
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Debbie Brennan from Radical Women about a petition-signing and speak-out supporting the decriminalisation of abortion in Victoria, the following Saturday at the Coburg Mall.
  • I was joined in the studio by Stuart Harris and Tony Bergen from Amnesty International's Victorian Branch for the monthly Amnesty update. They talked about the work of local Amnesty groups and Amnesty's China Campaign.
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Shane Bill, co-director of the Otesha Project: Cycling For Sustainability, about their upcoming bike tours taking the sustainability message to young people.
The Gothic Archies - The World is a Very Scary Place - The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lawrence Arabia - The Thinnest Air - Lawrence Arabia
Catcall - August - Anniversary EP
Arthur Russell - That's Us/Wild Combination - Calling Out Of Context
Mirah - Special Death - Advisory Committee
Antsy Pants - The Mission - Antsy Pants

Wednesday August 13
It was my turn to produce Stick Together. And I'd kinda left it to the last minute, which made me grateful for unions' extraordinary a) responsiveness to interview requests, and b) amenity to late evening and very early morning interviews. Phew. The show was about TAFE and tertiary education issues: the AEU TAFE worker campaign and strike action in Victoria; the NTEU Our TAFEs Matter campaign around the privatisation-like changes proposed for the skills education sector in Victoria; and the NTEU campaign around pay and conditions for casual and sessional academic staff in universities. I spoke to Mary Bluett, President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Education Union; Matthew McGowan, Victorian Division Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union; and Josh Cullinan, NTEU Industrial Officer. I finished editing and mixing the show by 4pm, in time to FTP it for its 6pm broadcast on the CRN. Again, phew. I felt good about the show, but the 3CR podcast is no longer available. Ask me and I'll email you an mp3.

That night I went to the Empress to see my friend Camille Deane play a gig, with Sly Hats and Jessica Says. I had listened to some Jessica Says a while back on her MySpace, but hadn't loved it heaps. Her set changed my mind entirely. Also, I like siblings. I mean, I like mine. And I like it when others like theirs. Anyway, Sly Hats did his exquisite bashful thing, and played a new Crayon Fields song. The song is Mirror Ball, and it is good.

Saturday August 16
Went to see Camille play another gig, this time in support of the Draw Mountains There album launch at the East Brunswick Club. The Spheres also played. I really enjoyed The Spheres' set. And Draw Mountains There had some lovely harmonising moments, but also some cringeworthy lyric moments.

Monday August 18
Went to the Australian Lesbian & Gay Archives so Jacqui could take good quality photos of the posters from the ALGA collection we'd be using in the 2009 3CR Seeds Of Dissent Calendar. Always nice to chat with Gary Jaynes.

That night, went to see the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Which I really liked... after I got used to the dodgy accents. Martin Henderson - formerly of Sweat - was a good Brick, I thought.

LISTENING Tuesday August 12-Tuesday August 19. says this week was spent in the company of:
Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
David Rakoff, Fake
David Sedaris, Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim and Me Talk Pretty One Day

Yes, I audiobooked something fierce in preparation for the Melbourne Writers Festival. I haven't 'read' David Sedaris' books, but I can't imagine the experience could be in any way superior to having him read them to me. Especially when you get to hear how his voice changes to represent his family members. His little brother is especially hilarious.

Tuesday August 19
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Julianne Bell from Protectors of Public Lands about a rally on September 10, "Sustainable Public Transport - No Road Tunnels".
  • heard an interview by Bree McKilligan from 3CR's Jump Cut with Oliver Hodge, the director of a documentary, Garbage Warrior, about radical New Mexico-based architect Michael Reynolds and the self-sufficient community housing he's been building out of beer cans, car tires and water bottles. The film had a screening the following night as a fundraiser for the Sustainable Living Foundation.
  • played my interview with Mary Bluett, President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Education Union, about the Victorian TAFE Teachers Stop Work meeting and rally the following day at 11am. Victorian TAFE teachers are the lowest paid in Australia, and are campaigning to Stop The TAFE Rip-Off, while the Victorian Government has proposed a new TAFE funding system which will open up public funding to competition between public TAFES and private operators.
  • In some shameless cross-promotion, I spoke to Bree McKilligan from 3CR's Jump Cut who reviewed Persepolis in advance of a 3CR Radiothon benefit screening of Persepolis on Tuesday 26 August at Cinema Nova in Carlton, with all money raised going to Women On The Line's 3CR Radiothon target.
Bachelorette - Duet Minus One - Isolation Loops
Pikelet - Still Growth - Pikelet
Beach House - Master Of None - Beach House
The Crayon Fields - Living So Well - Animal Bells
Kes Band - Don't Wear Too Many Hats - Kes Band

Wednesday August 20
Stayed in to watch ABC2's live broadcast of Keating!

Friday August 22
My Melbourne Writers Festival begins at 4pm with David Rakoff, David Sedaris and Don Watson discussing What's funny about America? Revelations included: MWF interlocutor tried too hard to be funny and winsome in her penned introductions for the adorable literary figures; David Sedaris thinks Don Watson's American Journeys is one of the best books about America he's read; David Rakoff thinks Amy Sedaris is the funniest person he knows; audience questions looking for definitions of an American national identity can make you feel rather embarrassed; people's assumptions about the voting risks posed by 'dumb Americans' versus 'smart Americans' shaken by Sedaris' story from his recent book tour of American universities during which he asked people if they thought Obama was circumcised, and too many responded with an evaluation of the 'facts at hand', which went a little something like, "Hmmm, well, I know he's a Muslim. But he was born in Africa, so, hmmm." So Sedaris made the point that the repetition of a lie has an impact on those in higher education too, thus when identifying what 'the problem' is, it's less about people being 'smart' or 'dumb', and more about whether or not conditions exist for misinformation to be countered.

After the session, I asked David Rakoff to sign my iPod, ie. my audiobook. He didn't really want to/was concerned about permanently defacing an expensive piece of technology. I said it would be fine/was what I wanted. But he was still not really into it. Then a breezy Sedaris said, "It's fine, I do it all the time," so Rakoff succumbed. And drew a fish on it. And then apologised. The level of discomfort made me feel special, because it meant that maybe, maybe, my iPod is the first one David Rakoff has signed? Anyway, he needn't have worried. Stainless steel really means stainless steel. Even a Sharpie is no match for it. My admiring attentions began to rub away at the cherished thing almost immediately, and, once I'd noticed, I spent the rest of the evening fretting about its deterioration. That photo of the remnant markings was taken when I got home later that night, and it is now all that remains of Rakoff's fish.

And I got home much later that night. You see, I had a long evening ahead in which to fret over it. At 6pm, I went to the Melbourne Town Hall to set up for recording Germaine Greer's Keynote (which I would use for the following week's 3cR Women On The Line program, "Germaine Greer On Rage". For a little while longer, it's available for download from the Women On The Line website. Just click here for the mp3). Anyway, when I got to the Town Hall, Augusten Burroughs was doing soundcheck. So, I can say that I've been in the same giant room as him. Which is something I might appreciate better once I read a book he has written. Anyway, it was a simple plug-into-the-splitter set up, so I just hung around a bit chatting to former WOTLer Sarah who was there to record for the Radio National Book Show, killing time by fretfully showing her my deteriorating David Rakoff autograph/ discussing the Women On The Line webmistress role Sarah had recently passed on to me/ exchanging views on how much Germaine had kicked arse on Q&A (my view: she had totally kicked arse), followed by my view that Germaine had also wiped the floor with a tin-eared Leigh Sales on Lateline. Digression: I really found it odd, then, that this interview was submitted as part of Leigh Sales' bid for the Walkley Award for Broadcast Interviewing. Why would you want the judges considering an interview in which you were, for lack of a better word, pwned? ODD. Anyway, back to August 22. At 7pm, I pressed record and went up to take my seat. First order of business was to mark Melbourne's new status as a UNESCO City of Literature, with soon-to-be-ex Editor of The Age, Andrew Jaspan. Then some awards were given out for books and poetry. And Don Watson won the big one for his American Journeys, an outcome I was comfortable with considering David Sedaris' praiseful assessment of it only hours before. Then Louise Adler from Melbourne University Publishing introduced Germaine Greer.

And there she was. She made jokes about her reception in the Australian media, quoted some Shakespeare and Swift, talked war, violence, the brutality of soldiering and its implications for suicide by violence, encouraged us to read Chloe Hooper's The Tall Man, used a Noel Pearson opinion article against him, lamented the deterioration in Marcia Langton's regard for her, and talked through her little book On Rage. I must admit, I didn't love the speech when she was actually delivering it. I felt she'd landed her points better in the interviews I'd heard in the preceding weeks. But listening through it again and again in the edit, I found it really rather good, especially on political recognition of Indigenous dispossession. Here are some edited remarks:
"What's happening here is that the booze is unlocking something else, and this is the thing we have to deal with. I don't know how we're going to do it - I don't know if we deserve to be able to do it. What I'm saying is, we need a political structure in which rage can be formalised. In which it can be expounded. In which we can be given a statement of grievance. My reason for writing my little book was not, as some people have suggested, to make relations between black and white in this country even more difficult than they are. Why would I want to do such a thing? But like anybody who's seen what's happening, I do believe that Australians are good people. We learnt our egalitarianism from Aboriginal people, I reckon. And if we don't deal with the rage that smoulders far far down, then everything will fail. Unless we resist. Unless we say, 'No. Something different has to happen here. We have to start getting messages from the other side.' This is why I think we have to do the thing, the political thing. It can't masquerade as charity, it can't masquerade as emotional superiority. It has to be business-like. And it has to be very careful to avoid emotional exploitation of people who've taken far too much punishment. And that means, virtually, that they've got to do it. They've got to tell us what would make it work. This is why I think of the Treaty, because it's a space where we can talk on equal terms. Without prying or exploiting or luxuriating, and without prolonging the victim discourse which so many Aboriginal people find completely demeaning. We have to find a way round all of that, and the only way is political. Now, you know where I stand on this because I'm so simple-minded, I think we've just got to admit that this is an Aboriginal country. Just do it. Then have a think about land rights. Then have a think about forms of title. Have a think about the common law as it relates to land ownership in this country - we're so far away from this. You know, the thing that strikes me again and again is that for Aboriginal people, the greatest grief of all is seeing the country destroyed. And somewhere along the line we have to realise that we don't actually have the right to do that. That nothing we've ever done has given us the right to do that."
After Greer, we went along to Roxanne Parlour for Winter Tones. And were greeted with a rather long and slow-moving line to get in. See, for some reason, on this night it had been decided that people would go up via the lift, instead of the usual way of just walking up the 3 flights of stairs in near-constant motion. Rather, the stairs were set aside for traversal by the small number of people who, once in, wanted to slip down for a smoke. So, in terms of the volume of people wanting to go up versus those wanting to go down, it seemed like they'd calibrated things somewhat ass-backwards. Every few minutes 12 people would cram into the lift and be taken up. The line would move forward. Then stop. Eventually, the lift would return, and the next 12 people would get the opportunity to be spirited away from the brewing frustration. This was compounded by a sub-set of attendees who breezed past those waiting in line to deliver a harangue to the bouncers about being on a list of some sort and therefore incapable of being made to wait. They would win the argument, signal to five of their friends, and all together they'd move ahead of those who'd reached the front of the line, settling in the foyer to await the return of the lift. They would then take up their portion of the limited lift space, causing those who had been nearing the end of their good long wait, to wait just that little bit longer. Note to the sub-set: kind of a dick move. Eventually, word came down that the sub-set could use the stairs to go up, a decision that was cursed out by the bouncers because by that time the peak volume of list-beseechers had been and gone, so it made little difference, and the hope had been that the lifts would be abandoned in favour of the stairs for everyone still waiting. My brother then began muttering about shoddy event organisation blahblahblah and I hissed at him to be quiet and refrain from behaving like all those annoying people we'd hated on at MIFF. In short, I missed Pikelet and The Crayon Fields. But we made it in, and all rancour dissipated. Spent the night watching Love Of Diagrams, Bachelorette, Beach House, Kes Band and Beaches. I adore Bachelorette, but somehow her set didn't make me swoon in the way I did last year when she played the East Brunswick and the Empress. My view was voted down. Beach House were the swoon. Kes Band made me intensely happy in a way I take for granted. And Beaches had more songs to share. Their debut record, Beaches, has since been released. "Horizon" is a standout.

Sunday August 24
My MWF concludes with David Rakoff and Don't Get Too Comfortable. I found it odd that he was here in support of a book that came out a few years ago, back when he'd won my adoration for his hilariousness in a Dave Hill video and in this appearance on the Daily Show where he related the quotable line, "the vagina can take a lot of punishment", which has since become something of a catchphrase at home.

Anyway, at the MWF session he read a chapter about the boutique fetishisation of simple foods and fibres, and then took questions. The questions were not embarrassing this time. In fact, they were exactly what I wanted and made for a good session. He's a good talker. Democratically generous but not wishy-washy in his critiques. I bought the book. And he signed it.

It was explained to him that the iPod was in no way ruined. But he's rather self-deprecating.

Monday August 25
Had some drinks and dinner with Rachel and Chris to mark the end of Radio New Internationalist. Then went into 3CR overnight to edit Germaine for the Tuesday Breakfast Show.

LISTENING Tuesday August 19-Tuesday August 26.
says this week was spent in the company of:

David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Holidays On Ice and When You Are Engulfed In Flames
David Byrne & Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Hit The Jackpot, Soul Money Gang Vibe
Inquiet, Inq Beyong
The Music Tapes, Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes
Pikelet, Dictation EP

Tuesday August 26
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • played my recording of Germaine Greer's talk at the Melbourne Writers Festival.
  • I spoke to Carmela Baranowska, director of Taliban Country. Carmela would present a film screening and an Afghanistan update q&a the following night at Bar 303 in Hight St, Northcote.
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Allegra Reinalda - Welfare Officer, University of Melbourne Student Union - about student homelessness, and the S.H.A.C occupation of terraces in Faraday Street as part of a campaign to get the university to turn them into cooperative student housing.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Fiona Reynolds from AIST about superannuation, and changes that need to happen to counter women's disadvantage.
Pikelet - There Will Be Others - Dictation EP
Hit The Jackpot - King Of The Pool - Soul Money Gang Vibe

That evening we had the Women On The Line Radiothon benefit screening of Persepolis at Cinema Nova in Carlton. Happily, 85 people came, so we raised $850. Thanks to everyone we slugged for money. The film is well worth seeing, especially if you have a soft spot for precocious children who become depressive adults. Or, you know, Iranian politics.

Friday August 29
Went along to Trades Hall to hear from Kim Bullimore about the year she'd just spent in Palestine with the International Women's Peace Service. She conveyed a powerful reminder of highly disproportionate death.

On a happier note, Facebook tells me that on this day, I became a fan of Mad Men.

Monday September 1
Went to the 34th floor of Allens Arthur Robinson to record a PILCH seminar on The Tall Man, with Chloe Hooper, Andrew Boe, and Julian Burnside. I remember first filing away the name Chloe Hooper after that piece she did in the Monthly about the 2005 Young Liberals convention in Hobart. My favourite bit in it was this:

Next up is Gareth, James Stevens’s supporter from the chocolate factory, a commanding figure due to his height, pale features and obvious acumen. “My great concern,” he says, “is that the two speakers who have spoken so far have been men.” Sitting behind me are Senator Minchin and his ex-staffer David Miles, a right-leaning Young Liberal who is now manager of government affairs at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

“What crap!” Minchin whispers. Then, as Gareth continues talking about abortion as a women’s health issue, Minchin asks: “Is he gay?”

It kind of underscored that she wasn't there just profiling the younger set's battles about veering hard hard right with breathtaking pettiness - we couldn't assume they'd be encouraged to grow out of it. Anyway, she and Andrew Boe talked well and knowledgeably about Palm Island and the aftermath of Cameron Doomadgee's death in custody in 2004 (I say Cameron now instead of Mulrunji because Chloe Hooper says it and in the book it makes sense why). They'd clearly developed great respect for each other over their shared experience of the case - Andrew as a lawyer for the Palm Islanders, Chloe as a chronicler. Among the audience on the night, I spied a school friend and a few other girls from the school I attended who are now lawyers. And Tim Goodwin was there. I almost went up to him to tell him how impressive I thought his speech was at the ANTaR National Congress in Canberra last October (2007). But I didn't. I chatted with my school friend, who had already read the book at that stage, and made a remark about it I have heard many times since - that she'd found it hard to get a sense from the book of where Chloe Hooper stood. I didn't find that at all - maybe because I heard her talk about the book before reading it, but mainly because her approach left me with no doubts about her. I liked that she knew her limitations in comprehending such a place, its history and daily life, but wasn't paralysed by the unfamiliarity, nor did she overcompensate by 'going native' in that cloying way. Rather, she observed carefully and intimately, and so drew out the details. That she placed those details in a rich human and political context does not in any way mean that people can claim her book as evidence that 'it was all too complicated to find any wrongdoing'. Because that's not so. She does find wrongdoing. And paints a bigger picture of racism and dysfunction.

Recently a judge overturned Deputy Coroner Christine Clements' finding that Hurley caused Doomadgee's death by punching him. In Hooper's book it becomes apparent that he likely didn't punch him - he kneed him. I'm assuming Hurley will be hoping that this finding against Clements' findings will mean that the record will go back to 'a fall' as the cause of death. But, again, in the book it becomes clear that the fall couldn't have done it. A fellow officer testifies that he saw Hurley and Doomadgee fall facing forwards, yet Doomadgee had to be lying on his back for 'whatever force was applied' to his abdomen - let's call it Hurley's knee - to press his liver so hard against his spine, which itself was pressed hard against the hard floor, as to cause the spine to cleave Doomadgee's liver almost in two.

Anyway, after the seminar I went to 3CR to edit together Chloe Hooper's remarks for the Tuesday Breakfast Show. If you wanted to hear that, Maja used the audio in her Women On The Line program, "Stories From The North", available for download for a little while longer at the Women On The Line website, or just click here for the mp3.

LISTENING Tuesday August 26-Tuesday September 2. says this week was spent in the company of:
Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping

Tuesday September 2
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • played my recording of Chloe Hooper discussing her book, The Tall Man, at the PILCH seminar last night.
  • I spoke to Gideon Haigh about his new book, The Racket: How Abortion Became Legal In Australia, which was being launched the following night at Readings in Carlton.
Inquiet - High-P Low-D - Inq Beyong
Mirah - Special Death - Advisory Committee
Alex Jarvis - Me And The Man - Live at 3CR
Hit The Jackpot - King Of The Pool - Soul Money Gang Vibe
Pikelet - Cutting The Tiresome - Dictation EP
Taken By Trees - Hours Pass Like Centuries - Open Field

Thursday September 4
Went to Horse Bazaar to see Inquiet, Pompey and Barrage. It was the launch for Inquiet's Inq Beyong. They played against the backdrop of a David Attenborough jungle documentary / were marvellous.

Saturday September 6
Went to Atticus Finch in East Brunswick for Lauren's birthday drinks. Heard stories from the peace team tour (eg. some topics are off the table at dinner), played pool, drank cider. Then, dinner.

LISTENING Tuesday September 2-Tuesday September 9.
says this week was spent in the company of:
Harry Belafonte, Banana Boat and Other Famous Folk Songs
Inquiet, Inq Beyong
High Places, High Places
Francis Cabrel, Samedi Soir Sur La Terre
Djaly Ibrahima Seck & Fatou Mbaye Diop, Mbery
Doris Day, A Portrait Of Doris Day
Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia
Kimya Dawson, Alphabutt
Mount Eerie, Lost Wisdom
Kate Bush, Hounds Of Love

Ah yes, Djaly Ibrahima Seck & Fatou Mbaye Diop. See, I listened to To And Fro that week when Sam from Inquiet performed, spoke. And he played some Djaly Ibrahima Seck & Fatou Mbaye Diop, so I dutifully went to Awesome Tapes From Africa and got me some. You could too. And Francis Cabrel is a hangover from the days of highschool French. I do love that Samedi Soir Sur La Terre album.

Tuesday September 9
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • I spoke to John Kaye, a Greens MP in the NSW parliament, about the change of NSW Premier and the new cabinet. He gave some insight into the political players and some context to the proposed electricity sell-off.
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Cath Smith, CEO of VCOSS, about the Universal Housing Alliance and the campaign to make new housing accessible and better adapted to the needs of the elderly and people with a disability.
  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Dr Simon Bradshaw from the Australia Tibet Council about the situation in Tibet before and after the Olympics.
  • Danielle Archer from the Young Unionists Network had phone trouble, so we just talked up the National Young Workers Conference which was coming up that Friday and Saturday at Trades Hall.
High Places - The Tree With The Lights In It - High Places
Bachelorette - My Electric Husband - The End Of Things
Little Pictures - This House Can Fit Us All - Owl + Owl
Vetiver - Houses [Elyse Weinberg] - Thing Of The Past
Monkey - Living Sea - Journey To The West
Wreckless Eric - Rough Kids - Wreckless Eric
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth - Colossal Youth
Mount Eerie - Voice In Headphones - Lost Wisdom

Wednesday September 10
It was my turn to produce Stick Together. I made a show called "The Perils Of Privatisation". To the synopsis:
Last year, the NSW Government announced plans to privatise its electricity sector – a move not supported by unions, the majority of delegates to the NSW ALP conference in May, or, as it turns out, by most of the NSW Parliament. On September 5, Morris Iemma resigned as Premier of NSW. The state now has a new Premier, Nathan Rees, and a new Cabinet. Scott McNamara, the United Services Union Energy and Utilities manager, will join us to talk about the Stop The Sell-Off Campaign unions in NSW have been running in response to the electricity privatisation plans. We’ll also get some insight into the recent political developments in NSW from Greens MP John Kaye, and then an international perspective on the costs of electricity privatisation in South Africa, from Trevor Ngwane of the Anti-Privatisation Forum and the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee.
This is my favourite of the Stick Together shows I've produced. But, it's no longer available at the 3CR Stick Together podcast feed. Unless I podcast the summer re-broadcast of it I just sent up to the Community Radio Network. Which I may yet do.

Friday September 12
It was my birthday. I am incredibly aged. 27 years old. I went to see Waltz With Bashir with some friends.

Saturday September 13
At Ben's suggestion, I went along to Dante's for an Arena forum, "Beyond Neoliberalism", with Geoff Sharp from Arena and David McKnight, author of Beyond Left and Right. I think Judith Brett was sitting next to me. Oh, and Andrew.

LISTENING Tuesday September 9-Tuesday September 16. says this week was spent in the company of:
Monkey, Journey To The West
Department Of Eagles, In Ear Park
Kings Of Leon, Only By The Night
Giant Sand, *ProVISIONS*
Portugal. The Man, Censored Colors
David Sedaris, Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim and Holidays On Ice and When You Are Engulfed In Flames
Josephine Foster, This Coming Gladness
Juana Molina, Un Día
Because Of Ghosts, This Culture Of Background Noise
and some Kate Bush, John Fahey, Gang Gang Dance and
The Harpoons.

The Kings Of Leon record is pretty unbearable, especially the lyrics. I listened to it and really couldn't picture them playing it with conviction. It appears they do. But, WHY?

Tuesday September 16
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • played my interview with Scott McNamara, the United Services Union Energy and Utilities Manager, about the Stop The Sell-Off union campaign against the privatisation of electricity retailers in NSW.
  • I spoke to Climate Emergency organiser Ben Courtice about the Climate Criminals Tour that Friday at 4pm. The protest route would begin at the ExxonMobil offices in Southbank moving to BHP, then Peter Batchelor's office, ending up at 6pm at Parliament House, where Rod Quantock would MC, and speakers included Paul Mees and campaigners from Your Water Your Say.
  • I spoke to Linda Briskman from the Centre For Human Rights Education at Curtin University. She is one of the authors of Human Rights Overboard, a new book documenting the impacts of Australia's asylum-seeker detention policies, based on first-hand accounts from former detainees collected during the People's Inquiry Into Detention. We spoke ahead of the book's Melbourne launch that Thursday at Readings in Hawthorn.
Deerhoof - Offend Maggie - Offend Maggie
Future Happiness - Let Go - Future Happiness
Department Of Eagles - Balmy Night - In Ear Park
High Places - Vision's The First - High Places
Juana Molina - El Vestido - Juana Molina
Kes - Into My Gate - The Grey Goose Wing

This week's Women On The Line was a repeat of a program from November last year (2007), when I recorded the Abortion In Victoria conference. We were down a producer at the time, and I felt it timely enough to revisit what was said at the conference. The program, "Abortion Decriminalisation: The New Zealand Experience", is still available for download from the Women On The Line website, or just click here for the mp3.

I have a feeling that this was the week I re-watched all three seasons of Veronica Mars. And it was even better than I remembered. Also, where I once rooted for Piz to permanently win Veronica's affections in the nebulous future post-Season 3 finale, intensive week-long immersion in the Veronica Mars world has made me see that it HAS to be Logan. All the way. If there is any fan fiction out there, I'm sure it has heeded that decree. But still, Go Logan!

Also this week, I became a vegetarian. Finally.

I say 'finally' because I had been thinking of my non-vegetarianism as a character flaw. Not that I ever thought meat-eaters were morally inferior, just that me being a meat-eater was an expression of my moral inferiority. Because, you see, I never ate a lot of meat anyway. And the tiniest amount of effort or restraint would have successfully made me a vegetarian. I just never did it. And so continued my careless and not even joyful consumption of animals. Until I watched David Attenborough that week and had the strangest self-identification-alienation moment (strange in that it actually prompted some action on my part). I watched these big monkeys stalk and kill other baby monkeys, and I thought, "That's ME! I eat other's babies. I don't want to be that." And so swore off meat forever... except for fish. It's been remarkably easy.

LISTENING Tuesday September 16-Tuesday September 23. says this week was spent in the company of:
Paul McCartney, McCartney II
PJ Harvey, Rid Of Me and White Chalk
Randy Newman, Harps And Angels
Gang Gang Dance, Saint Dymphna
P:ano, Brigadoon
Kate Bush, Hounds Of Love
Hauschka, The Prepared Piano and Ferndorf
Max Tundra, Parallax Error Beheads You
Vincent Gallo, When
Miaou, All Around Us
My Disco, Paradise
Colin Meloy, Sings Sam Cooke and Sings Shirley Collins
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Ciccone Youth, The Whitey Album
Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities
Señor Coconut and his Orchestra, Around The World
Philip Glass, Einstein On The Beach
The Tokey Tones, Caterpillar
Kes, The Grey Goose Wing
Kes Band, Kes Band
Memory Cassette, Rewind While Sleeping
and some Björk, Zeal, Laura Jean, Metallic Falcons, Cassettes Won't Listen, The Beta Band, and Thee Oh Sees.

Tuesday September 23
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:

  • co-host Lizzie spoke to Hannah Piterman about her report, The Leadership Challenge: Women In Management.
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Meyer Eidelson, historian and writer, about an exhibition, Students in Dissent: 1968, at St Kilda Library.
  • I spoke to Tom Doig, writer/producer of HitlerHoff at the Fringe Festival.
  • I spoke to Dr Maggie Brady, author of a new set of publications from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, "First Taste: How Indigenous Australia Learned About Grog", exploring the social history of alcohol use in Australia to challenge the misconceptions associated with Indigenous alcohol consumption.
Metric - Glass Ceiling - Live It Out
The Harpoons - Hey Girl - Demo
The Beach Boys - Student Demonstration Time - Surf's Up
Birth Glow - Fanta - Ultimate Relief
My Disco - German For Attention - Paradise
Polvo - Taste Of Your Mind - Exploded Drawing

Wednesday September 24
Went along to the New International Book Shop at Trades Hall to record Mark Davis' Land Of Plenty book launch.

Thursday September 25
Went to Guy's welcome home dinner at Kake Di Hatti in East Brunswick. Oh yes, Guy went away travelling for a few months to America and Europe, AGAIN. Anyway, was told at dinner to read George Megalogenis on Mark Davis, rather than heed Mark Davis' take on Peter Costello's risk-shifting. Still to do.

Friday September 26
Went to the Prince to see The Faint. I was hanging out for Paranoiattack, and I got it. So I should be happy. I dunno, I think it's been too long since I was well into The Faint.

LISTENING Tuesday September 23-Tuesday September 30. says this week was spent in the company of:
Antony & the Johnsons, Another World EP
Deerhoof, Offend Maggie
Woodcraft Folk, Trough of Bowland
The Alps, III
The Drones, Havilah
Karl Blau, Nature's Got Away

Tuesday September 30
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show:
  • heard my recording of Mark Davis, author of The Land Of Plenty: Australia In The 2000s, speaking at the New International Bookshop at Trades Hall.
  • co-host Rachel was joined in the studio by Tommy Clarke, the No Sweatshop Label national program coordinator, to talk about Australian sweatshops and the Homeworker Code of Practice.
Kes - Only When Asked - The Grey Goose Wing
The Motifs - For A Clear Day - Matches
Sly Hats - Will You? - Licquorice Night
Aleks and the Ramps - They're Recording Everything We Say - Pisces Vs Aquarius
Mount Eerie - Voice In Headphones - Lost Wisdom
Yeasayer - Forgiveness - All Hour Cymbals
Lucky Dragons - Givers - Dream Island Laughing Language
Of Montreal - Suffer For Fashion - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

That night I went to see Hitlerhoff with Camille, Ben, Andrew and Doug. I had high hopes because of the conversability of Tom Doig on the Breakfast Show the week before, but I thought the show was kinda lame. As just mentioned, Tom Doig is really good at talking through his ideas and the issues he's engaging with in his research into representations of Hitler, but the play wasn't really about any of that. It was mainly an opportunity to be silly, which is fine but I find I tire of farce rather quickly. I also hadn't slept the night before because of editing Mark Davis. Anyway, those with me liked it.

Saturday October 4
Went to the Corner Hotel to see Yeasayer. Wait For The Summer was a highlight. They were preceded by Tame Impala, who wore no shoes. I liked them. I missed Fabulous Diamonds. Stood with Mel.

LISTENING Tuesday September 30-Tuesday October 7. says this week was spent in the company of:
Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia
Deerhoof, Offend Maggie
Phil Collins, Hits
Land Of Talk, Some Are Lakes
Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
Marnie Stern, This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
Monkey, Journey To The West
Mount Eerie, Lost Wisdom
Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals
Clue To Kalo, Lily Perdida

Tuesday October 7
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • I spoke to Jim McIlroy, co-author of Voices From Venezuela: Behind the Bolivarian Revolution.
  • I spoke to Dr Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, in advance of a forum organised by The Australia Institute and the Alternative Technology Association, "Can emissions trading save the planet?"
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Lyn Allison, former Democrats Senator and president of the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA), about a film and Q&A evening that night at ACMI about the continuing fight for self-determination of the Saharawis, "Whatever happened to the Spanish Sahara?" Lyn spoke about the history of the Saharawis' struggle and current plight.
  • I spoke to Dr Leslie Cannold from Pro Choice Vic. The debate on the Abortion Law Reform bill would begin in Victoria's upper house this week, in the context of escalating pressure from Catholic health providers and a vociferous anti-choice campaign. Pro Choice Vic encouraged Victorians, the great majority of whom support women's right to access legal abortion, to write to upper house politicians to support the passage of the bill without amendment. Leslie and I didn't know how it would go at that point, and so were worried. But it passed without amendment. Success.
The Magnetic Fields - World Love - 69 Love Songs, Vol. 2
Immaculate Machine - Small Talk - Immaculate Machine's Fables
Land Of Talk - Yuppy Flu - Some Are Lakes
Juana Molina - Un Día - Un Día
Get Back Guinozzi ! - Carpet Madness
Mount Eerie - If We Knew... - Lost Wisdom
Fabulous Diamonds - 1 - 7 Songs

That night I went to RRR to see Lucky Dragons and Mount Eerie. I missed Fabulous Diamonds again, darnit. Lucky Dragons had ropey wires that made noises when you touched them, so people did a bit of that in an extended love-in freak-out. Lucky Dragons are good dancers. Mount Eerie was terrific.

After the gig, I think I went in overnight to 3CR to produce that week's Stick Together. I used interviews other 3CR people had done, to make a program called "Militancy Is Good For You", still available for download from the Stick Together 3CR Podcast feed, or just click here for the mp3. To the synopsis:
Tom Bramble discusses his new book, Trade Unionism in Australia: A History From Flood to Ebb Tide, which is a call to get back to the picket-line. And Nick Kelly, president of the Wellington Tramways Union, talks about bus drivers in Wellington, New Zealand, taking strike action for the first time in 12 years to fight for just pay.
It was pretty entertaining. My favourite bit is when Nick Kelly says, "We heard a rumour that they were going to get some Auckland drivers to come down to Wellington end sceb un uss". (Translation: "and scab on us".) ADORABLE. See, I think I have a rather unhealthy and condescending aaaw response to unionists and how they talk; the terminology, the directness. It just makes me hug myself and say, "Yes, people still say these things". Which is even more adorable with a wonky accent.

Wednesday October 8
Went to Melbourne University to record Dr Sara Roy. She's a a political economist from Harvard who has spent 20 years researching and documenting the Palestinian economy, and the social, political and economic factors undermining peace. Her most recent book is Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. I used the talk in a Women On The Line show, "Palestine: The Economics of Occupation", which is still available from the Women On The Line website, or just click here for the mp3.

Thursday October 9
Went to Cinema Nova to record a Readings event, "David Marr and The Henson Case", featuring David Marr talking about his book, The Henson Case. I've recorded David Marr before - at the Liberty Victoria AGM where he delivered a cracking speech in the lead-up to the 2007 election. But at the Henson launch, he actually spoke to me. Not because I am awesome, but because my microphone was feeding back on the venue mic, and he looked at me and said, "Now, we're not going to have that all night are we." That's right, he looked at me.

Saturday October 11
Went to Hamer Hall to see Patti Smith. In the lead-up, I had worried that she'd play too much from her covers record, Twelve. I had sniffed at this record without listening to it. However, on the night, when she did start playing a lot of songs from the covers record, I was glad. Smells Like Teen Spirit was a highlight. But still, nothing could beat Land: (Horses) (Land Of A Thousand Dances) (La Mer De). It was wonderful.

After Patti, went along to Andrew's Apres-ski house party at George Street. Chatted to former Tuesday Breakfast/WOTL co-host Alex. And May and Camille and Ben and Andrew and Mel. That is all, I think.

Also, on this day, Facebook tells me I became a fan of That One 08. So we must have been well into presidential debate season. I taped them all, you know. And I watched a LOT of NewsHour. Is it time for me to say something about the US election? I'll say one thing. Back when I was trying to explain why I, a woman feminist, was for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, Larry David's two cents chimed with me:
"How is it that she became the one who's perceived as more equipped to answer that 3 a.m. call than the unflappable Obama? He, with the ice in his veins, who doesn't panic when he's losing or get too giddy when he's winning, who's as comfortable in his own skin as she's uncomfortable in hers."
This fitted McCain also. So uncomfortable and clunky and lashy-out-y, where Obama was all ease and friendliness, decency and calm thoughtfulness. He won everything. Indeed, I found that throughout the different campaigns, he was at his best when taking the time to counter an opponent's attempt to mislead people about him. If only they did more of it to his face, it really showed how good he is. He'd elegantly demolish them, and then make a larger - but precisely-grounded - point about the kind of society we want. Sigh. He's really nice.

I'll say one more thing. Hello to all the people/pundits who talked dismissively about us 'not very astute' folk falling headlong for Obama, and what fools we were because he'll disappoint us in the end, look at who he's appealing to he can't possibly make them all happy blah blah. YOU ARE VERY TIRESOME. THIS WAS VERY TEDIOUS. There were other things to talk about. Also, it bugged me that things like this would be said as if we needed it explained to us. OH, THANK YOU. But, um, yeah. You shouldn't be paid money for making that point. We were pretty aware that we were operating in that "I love him, I'm so happy but" state, thanks anyway helpful bores, for trying to bring it to our attention lest we, poor souls, collapse from the shock of it after the election. Hello again, it's mainstream American politics... irritation, confusion, an appalled look, disappointment (or sometimes the unbidden, slightly embarrassing quietly-exploding-heart response) go with the territory. People know this, people navigate it differently - you might say clutch desperately to any glimmer of a companionable quality, I wouldn't. The difference with this election, for me, was that you could feel usually compromised and breathlessly happy at the same time, a sensation that was explored really well in this article by Judith Butler. And I don't deny the validity of her concerns. But anyway, I often groaned inwardly at any attempt to help me 'wake up to myself' and nourished the feeling that those making the argument were not paying attention to the same things I was, which meant that, a) they couldn't give credit where it was due to Obama because they weren't watching him closely enough to see the small wonders, and b) pah! - they could trot out the same guff during any election they weren't paying due attention and feel safe from censure; it was pat cynicism rather than political sophistication, and really kind of a drag. So anyway, I still don't think it's fair to flatten Obama down to 'just another politician - just you wait' etc. Neither do I think he's the messiah. I just think it makes a difference that he's really really nice.

LISTENING Tuesday October 7-Tuesday October 14. says this week was spent in the company of:
Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks, Buckingham Nicks
Mount Eerie, No Flashlight (Songs of the Fulfilled Night) and Nobody's Perfect and Singers
Pocahaunted, Chains
Vivian Girls, Vivian Girls
Marnie Stern, This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
Women, Women
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Tickley Feather, Tickley Feather
Wavves, Wavves
High Places, 2006 Demo
Arthur Russell, Calling Out Of Context
and some Micah P. Hinson, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, First Aid Kit, Lawrence Arabia, Horse Feathers, and Kanye West.

I recommend Sarah Vowell on audiobook. The Partly Cloudy Patriot is 2000/2001, so it's got a lot about Al Gore and a little about September 11. The Al Gore stuff, particularly the story of a media mockery storm arising from a misquoted Al Gore 'claim' made before an audience of students, is really really great.

Also, the Horse Feathers song Working Poor got high rotation.

Tuesday October 14
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • played my recording - in two parts - of David Marr's speech from Thursday night about The Henson Case, this year's art scandal around photographs by Bill Henson, and public censorship debates/panic.
  • I spoke to Jacinta Cleary, editor of ReNew Magazine, a publication of the Alternative Technology Association. The ATA will be featured monthly on Tuesday Breakfast, and today Jacinta gave a background to the organisation and talked about some of what's inside the current edition of ReNew.
  • I spoke to Anthony Snowden, director of a film about the 2002 Pine Gap protests, which would be screening that Thursday as part of "Triple Trouble: Three events celebrating past and present peace activism", at the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall.
Vivian Girls - Wild Eyes - Vivian Girls
Tickley Feather - Le Daylight - Tickley Feather
Thee Oh Sees - Block Of Ice - The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending A Night In
Women - Black Rice - Women
Marnie Stern - Ruler - This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
Deerhoof - Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back - Offend Maggie

Thursday October 17
I went in to 3CR overnight to make that Women On The Line show I already mentioned, "Palestine: The Economics of Occupation" featuring Dr Sara Roy.

Saturday October 18
Went to the Forum to see The Drones, supported by Kes Band and Kim Salmon. I only caught the last song of Kes Band's set, but it made me happy. Pikelet was drumming for them that night. I didn't enjoy Kim Salmon at all. But The Drones were fantastic. I don't think I'd seen them for a while - not since Golden Plains 2007.

During the day, I'd listened to this episode of This American Life about credit default swaps, the commercial paper market, you know, this year's big economic thing - what I heard Alan Johnston the other day call 'the failure of capitalism'. Anyway, listen to this program. It'll make you feel on top of things. But please, don't get so emboldened that you feel capable of explaining what you hear to others. It can get messy and embarrassing and ruin the impression you had of learning something valuable.

I also read this article in Dissent Magazine, which makes clear that AIDS funding to Africa shouldn't be allowed to be considered 'the good thing Bush did'.

Sunday October 19
Went to the Tote to see My Disco. I like my life.

LISTENING Tuesday October 14-Tuesday October 21. says this week was spent in the company of:
High Places, 2006 Demo
Vivian Girls, Vivian Girls
Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York
Meat Puppets, II
Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Laurie Anderson, Life On A String
Coconot, Cosa Astral
and some Patti Smith and Fancie.

Tuesday October 21
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • played my recording - in two parts - of Dr Sara Roy, political economist and author of Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, speaking at Melbourne University.
  • heard audio from Chris Richards (New Internationalist Magazine) of Jan Tamas, a member of the Czech humanist movement and also a spokesman for "No To Bases", an initiative against plans to extend the US missile defence system to the Czech Republic. In May, Jan Tamas and a colleague, Jan Bednar, began a hunger strike to protest the US base, and after 21 days found themselves getting mass support, with many other people willing to share the burden of the hunger strike. A concept of rolling hunger strikes began, where people sequentially go on hunger strike for 24 hours.
  • co-host Rachel spoke to Lisa Dempster, editor of a new Aduki publication, The Melbourne Veg Food Guide, looking at the best of Melbourne's meat-free dining, just in time for World Vegan Day on Sunday.
Bachelorette - The End Of Things - The End Of Things
Mount Eerie - Voice In Headphones - Lost Wisdom
Horse Feathers - Working Poor - House With No Name
Women - Black Rice - Women
Harry Nilsson - Everything Is Food [Demo-Version] - Popeye
Deerhoof - Dinner For Two - Apple O'
Lawrence Arabia - Everyone's Had Dinner With Rabbit - Lawrence Arabia

Wednesday October 22
Went to the New International Bookshop at Trades Hall to record the ASIO: The Enemy Within book launch. It wasn't the most electrifying public meeting. The best speakers were the ones who got tapped at the last minute. Rob Durbridge from the Australian Education Union introduced the evening - he was replacing Jack Mundey, who was ill. He was followed by Anne Gooley, a lawyer representing US peace activist Scott Parkin, and Iraqi refugees Mohammed Sagar and Mohammad Faisal, in challenging ASIO's adverse security assessments of them. And then Michael Tubbs spoke about his book... eventually. After at length giving his take on the combination economic/climate crisis. I thought he'd be able to give good examples about ASIO, but he mostly alternated between generalities and wild opinions. I wanted it more grounded in files and cases than that. But, oh well. Afterwards, went out to dinner with Megan, my schoolfriend from the Tall Man seminar.

Friday October 24
Went out for drinks/dinner with Camille, Guy, May Lauren and Leah? Then went to the Curtin Hotel to see Bachelorette. Andrew was there, and he told a story about an incident at some function there a few years ago that had caused Brian Boyd/organised labor to boycott the Curtin Hotel, which is directly across the road from Trades Hall. It's possible then that Bachelorette had made scabs of us, unless there had been a change in the hotel's management allowing for union-based drinking legends to thrive again. Ehh, Hawkie. Anyway, I missed Teeth & Tongue, who was first support, but saw The Sun Blindness. And Bachelorette made me swoon big. She sounded amazing, even though she had to abandon the use of her laptop because of a fuzzy sound. I love her.

LISTENING Tuesday October 21-Tuesday October 28. says this week was spent in the company of:
Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me
Religious Knives, The Door
Peter Broderick, Docile and Float and Home
Seagull, Goodbye Weather
Qua, Q&A
Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation
Various Artists, IVG Vol. 1: Futur Anterieur, France 75-85

The Seagull album is great. Trucks Are Sheep and Dust Storm have been on especially high rotation. And Sarah Vowell continues to enliven American history and civics. Again, I feel audiobooking is the way to go here, if only so you develop an ear for the pronunciation of Leon Czolgosz, assassin of McKinley. Also, for Brad Bird's hilarious/masterful rendition of Charles Guiteau's delusional "I am going to the Lordy" speech, delivered before his execution for assassinating the unassuming James Garfield. Bird's voicework - especially all the repetitions of "Glory, hallelujah!" - really brought to mind the screeching Eli Sunday in There Will Be Blood. Anyway, the book also makes reference to the cruelty of the Spanish-American War, especially as it affected people in the Philippines at the time. It's weird how the territory won by America in that war had modern points of reference for me this year, which divided me on the question, 'Spanish-American War, upside or no upside?'. See, Guam was a spoil of that war, and I spoke to Lisa Natividad about the impacts on the indigenous Chamoru of Guam being a US territory. BUT the war also brought Hawaii into the realm of US power, later statehood. If that hadn't happened, and Obama was born there, he wouldn't have been eligible to try for the Presidency. So, perplexing.

Tuesday October 28
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • played my recording of Rob Durbridge from the Australian Education Union, speaking at the launch of Michael Tubbs' book, ASIO: The Enemy Within.
  • played my recording of Anne Gooley, lawyer representing US peace activist Scott Parkin, and Iraqi refugees Mohammed Sagar and Mohammad Faisal, in challenging ASIO's adverse security assessments of them.
  • played my recording of Michael Tubbs, author of ASIO: The Enemy Within, speaking at the Melbourne launch of his book at the New International Book Shop.
  • Co-host Jess spoke to Glenys Stradijot, campaigns manager at Friends of the ABC, about the recently announced Radio National programming cuts and the suspension of Religion Report presenter Stephen Crittenden, as well as ongoing campaigns and the petition to stop the commercialisation of the ABC.
Seagull - Trucks Are Sheep - Goodbye Weather
Still Flyin' - Good Thing It's A Ghost Town Around Here - Still Flyin' EP
Arthur Russell - I Couldn't Say It To Your Face - Love Is Overtaking Me
Qua - Ritmo Giallo - Q&A
Hit The Jackpot - King Of The Pool - Soul Money Gang Vibe
Kes Band - Owner Has Control - Kes Band
Grand Salvo - Strung Along And Dumped - 1642 - 1727

Thursday October 30
Went along to the New International Book Shop to record Antony Loewenstein speaking about his new book, Blogging Revolution.

Saturday November 1
Went to Leah's Richmond For Obama party, wearing a beauty queen sash that said 'Miss Real America'. Quickly removed it when I saw others had dressed up mostly with t-shirts and badges. Drank a delicious Piña Obama. And watched the Palin Piñata get clubbed around the face and head.

Sunday November 2
Delivered radio skills training at 3CR to Carlton Housing Estate residents, to help them make a short audio piece about the redevelopment and living in the estates. Soon all the fruits of our labours will be available at People'

LISTENING Tuesday October 28-Tuesday November 4. says this week was spent in the company of:
Rings, Black Habit
Deerhunter, Microcastle and Weird Era Cont.
Palms, It's Midnight in Honolulu
Kate Bush, The Ninth Wave
The Knife, Silent Shout
PJ Harvey, White Chalk
Little Joy, Little Joy
Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
caUSE Co-MOTION!, It's Time!
Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me

Tuesday November 4
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • played my recording - in three parts - of Antony Loewenstein speaking on Thursday night at NIBS about his new book, Blogging Revolution, as well as about Australia's planned netfilter, and the prospects for the Israel-Palestine conflict of an Obama presidency.
  • I spoke to Tim Goodwin, former spokesperson for Amnesty's anti-death penalty campaign, about the pending executions of the Bali bombers, to reflect on this case and its impact on Australia's abolitionist credibility. Tim Goodwin writes the Asia Death Penalty Blog.
  • heard Jess' interview with Professor Tony Coady, from the Centre for Philosophy and Public Issues at Melbourne University, about the US election. Professor Coady is a philosopher known for his work on political violence and ethics. His most recent book is Morality and Political Violence.
Palms - End Of Term - It's Midnight In Honolulu
Seagull - Dust Storm - Goodbye Weather
Beirut - The Penalty - The Flying Club Cup
Leonard Cohen - Who By Fire - So Long Marianne
The Magnetic Fields - Washington, D.C. - 69 Love Songs, Vol. 2

Wednesday November 5
Obama was elected (3pm Australian time). I was at 3CR finishing off that week's Stick Together show - a hodgepodge of Lisa's interview with Humphrey McQueen discussing Karl Marx and the global financial crisis, and some collected audio recordings of mine, including Michael Tubbs taking ASIO to task for its activities within the trade union movement, and Antony Loewenstein and David Marr warning against internet censorship. It's still available at the Stick Together 3CR Podcast feed, or just click here to listen to the mp3. In the taxi on the way home I heard McCain's concession. And I made it home to watch Obama's speech. I cried. Of course I cried. I also cried during his Democratic Convention speech. Not, however, during his speech on race, though it was the thing that brought us together. Lovely man.

Sunday November 9
Spent the day delivering more training for the Carlton Housing Estate redevelopment project.

Monday November 10
Went along to the 'Does Gender Still Matter' forum at the BMW Edge, timed to coincide with the centenary of women's suffrage in Victoria (November 18). New Tuesday Breakfast co-host Lucy recorded it. I spent the night at 3CR editing her recordings to make that week's Women On The Line show, "Does Gender Matter Now?" which is still available for download from the Women On The Line website, or just click here for the mp3. To the synopsis:
November 18th 2008 is the 100 year anniversary of women's suffrage in Victoria. In that context, speakers at a recent forum in Melbourne addressed the question, ‘Does Gender Still Matter?' Featuring:
Maxine Morand, Minister for Women’s Affairs in Victoria.
Dr Clare Wright, an historian whose research focuses on women’s underappreciated presence in history.
Eve Mahlab, named Australian Business Woman of the Year in 1982. She was an early member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, and has recently co-founded the Australian Women Donors Network, dedicated to channelling philanthropic funds to projects for women and girls.
Tasneem Chopra, chairperson of the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council of Victoria.
Lyn Morgain, the Executive Director of The ALSO Foundation, a philanthropic organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer communities. Lyn highlights that the expectation to be ‘gendered’ has often been a tool of exclusion for those who transgress gender conventions.

LISTENING Tuesday November 4-Tuesday November 11. says this week was spent in the company of:
Various Artists, Wizzz! Volume 2
Various Artists, Teaism: Music Inspired By The Art And Culture Of Tea
Kría Brekkan, Wildering 7"
Wavves, Wavves
Grand Salvo, Death
R.E.M., New Adventures In Hi-Fi
and many repeats of my Singalong playlist.

Tuesday November 11
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • heard co-host Lucy's mix of her recordings from the Free Lex Wotton rally on Friday at the Melbourne County Court, featuring Liz Thompson from Free Lex Wotton NOW, Robbie Thorpe, and Indigenous activists from Latin America and West Papua.
  • I spoke to Russell Solomon and Mae Gan from Amnesty Victoria who gave a round-up of the year in Victorian branch activities and shared some good news stories.
  • Lucy spoke to historian Dr Clare Wright about the Melbourne Conversations forum last night at BMW Edge, looking at the question 'Does gender still matter', and reflecting on 100 years of women's suffrage in Victoria.
  • co-host Jess spoke to Katie Wood, campaigns coordinator at Amnesty International Australia, about the death penalty. Today is the anniversary of Ned Kelly's execution by hanging, so she talked about capital punishment's history in Australia and its status globally. She also discussed the executions over the weekend of the Bali bombers, and Australia's developing role in the UN moratorium on executions.
Wavves - Wavves - Wavves
The Motifs - Backwards - Away
Bachelorette - A Lifetime - Isolation Loops
Clue To Kalo - The Just Is Enough - One Way, It's Every Way

Throughout this week I met up with Cartlon project participants to record their People's Tours, and worked at 3CR on Thursday and Friday because most of the staff were in Alice Springs for the CBAA Conference.

Friday November 14
Went to May's Wong Kar Wai-themed party. Sat down and enjoyed myself.

LISTENING Tuesday November 11-Tuesday November 18. says this week was spent in the company of:
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me
Beaches, Beaches
Teeth & Tongue, Monobasic
Mark Barrage, Delays
Tame Impala, Antares, Mira, Sun
The Sun Blindness, Like Pearly Clouds
School Of Seven Bells, Alpinisms
Danielson, Trying Hartz
Lloyd & Michael, Just As God Made Us
Linda McCartney, Wide Prairie

The Linda McCartney album is EXCELLENT.

Tuesday November 18

3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show

Women won the right to vote in Victoria on 18 November 1908 with the passage of the Suffrage Bill, so we spent the morning marking the centenary of suffrage.
  • played co-host Lucy's recording of Maxine Morand, Victorian Minister for Women's Affairs, from the 'Does Gender Matter' forum. She spoke about attitudes faced by suffragists and by women in politics today.
  • played co-host Rachel's recording of Dr Rosemary Francis (Honorary Fellow, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne) delivering her address on Saturday, "Winning the Vote: Women and Suffrage in Victoria".
  • I spoke to Brad Shone, Energy Policy Manager at the Alternative Technology Association for the ATA monthly update. Brad spoke about solar feed-in tariffs, and pushing for the COAG meeting the coming weekend to adopt a national gross feed-in tariff scheme that would see electricity retailers paying solar homes for the clean power they produce.
  • Lucy spoke to Melba Marginson, Executive Officer of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition, which was celebrating the centenary of women's right to vote with Listen To Us, a series of forum theatre events featuring women from multicultural communities.
  • co-host Jess' guest in the studio was historian Associate Professor Judith Smart. She brought her extensive research background in 20th century Australian women's history, and a copy of the Victorian Historical Journal, of which she is editor. The Women's Suffrage Centenary Issue of the journal was launched the previous night.
Sister Suffragette -
Mary Poppins OST
Beaches - Horizon - Beaches
School Of Seven Bells - Iamundernodisguise - Alpinisms
Linda McCartney - I Got Up - Wide Prairie

That evening I went to the Melbourne Law School to record the launch of Mamdouh Habib's book, My Story. There was me, and two guys from Al Jazeera as the media contingent. I eventually edited all the speakers together into a piece featuring Henry Rosenbloom (Scribe Publishing), Professor Tim McCormack, Mambdouh Habib, and Malcolm Fraser.

Wednesday November 19
I recorded the launch of Tom Bramble's book, Trade Unionism In Australia: From Flood To Ebb Tide, which also featured Martin Kingham of the CFMEU Construction Division. The lovely Val Noone was there in the audience too being his warm and friendly self, knowing everybody. He's just completed editing a book about my great-uncle, Jerry Golden, who was a Jesuit priest and the chaplain at Newman College at a time when there was some kind of Newman set opposed to Bob Santamaria. My dad's been going to all these information evenings organised by Val and the editorial committee. We greeted as relations, even though we've only met twice. I met Val when I interviewed him on the Tuesday Breakfast Show earlier this year about the Alternative ANZAC commemoration he organised to highlight the work of peace movements in Australia. He came into the studio, and afterwards he was chatting to Rachel and me, who both have very Irish surnames, and he was quizzing us on our backgrounds, and discovered Rachel was related to a Brennan who as an MP had fought against the introduction of conscription during WWI (this was something Val knew off the top of his head). And as for me, he was in the process of putting together a bloody book on a relative of mine. It was a surprising turn of events.

Thursday November 20
The BNP list lolcats pretty much made my day.

Friday November 21
It was time once again to launch the 3CR Seeds Of Dissent Calendar. This is our fourth one, and it profiles Australian political poster art. We've actually sold out of them at 3CR, which hasn't happened in previous years. But bookshops like Readings in Carlton - where the launch was held - might still have them in stock, if you wanted one.

LISTENING Tuesday November 18-Tuesday November 25. says this week was spent in the company of:
The Strokes, First Impressions Of Earth
My Disco, Paradise
Linda McCartney, Wide Prairie
Beaches, Beaches
Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy
Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia
NPR, Fresh Air podcast
Sleeping States, There The Open Spaces
Woelv, Tout Seul Dans La Forêt En Plein Jour, Avez-Vous Peur?
Elyse Weinberg, Elyse
Hush Arbors, Hush Arbors
ESG, Come Away With ESG
and my Singalong playlist, Townes Van Zandt.

I listened to a few great interviews on NPR's Fresh Air. Beginning with the screenwriter of Milk, Dustin Lance Black, who made me badly want to see the film. Also, an interview with Bill Ayers about being invoked in the presidential campaign and his past with the Weather Underground, and one with Artie Lange that made me laugh hysterically, but also reaffirmed my worries about him dying suddenly.

Shortly after hearing the Milk screenwriter interview, James Franco was on Letterman to promote the film. And things got a little weird. Homophobic weird. And I couldn't tell if the problem was Dave only, or Franco too. But having since listened to an engrossing Fresh Air interview with Franco - which also made me seek out and watch the documentary The Times Of Harvey Milk - it became clear that the problem was definitely Dave. See, the conversation on Letterman revolved around James Franco and Sean Penn kissing, with Franco making jokes about never imagining he'd grow up to kiss Spicoli, etc etc. And Dave ruining it by saying things like "you'd want to be drunk". Yeah, hilarious Dave. The film is about a pro-PDA guy who was assassinated, but still, gay stuff is so gigglemaking/gross, what's a man to do? When Franco followed up with a story about being on set surrounded by all these friends and contemporaries of Harvey Milk, and really wanting to get the kiss right and apparently doing well and receiving congratulations from Armistead Maupin, Dave ruined it again by asking, "Is it really something you'd want to be good at?" It was very off, really.

Tuesday November 25
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
We marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women / White Ribbon Day with a show focused on stopping gender-based violence.
  • I spoke to Daniel Witthaus, the Victorian White Ribbon State Coordinator, about promoting the role men have in working towards ending violence against women.
  • I spoke to Renee Imbesi, Schools Coordinator at CASA House, about the Sexual Assault Prevention Program for Secondary Schools, engaging with young people about respectful behaviour and preventing / responding to sexual assault.
  • I spoke to Julie McKay, Executive Officer of UNIFEM Australia (UNIFEM is the United Nations Development Fund For Women) about UNIFEM's Say No To Violence Campaign.
  • co-host Lucy spoke to Sally Goldner, host of 3CR's Out Of The Pan and spokesperson for Transgender Victoria, about violence against trans people, and the need for community education as well as funding for crisis accomodation and support services.
The Fiery Furnaces - Single Again - EP
Fabulous Diamonds - 1 - 7 Songs
High Places - Jump In (For Gilkey Elementary School) - 03/07 - 09/07
Teeth & Tongue - There Is A Lightness To My Bones - Monobasic
ESG - Come Away - Come Away With ESG
Beaches - Sandy - Beaches
Beach House - Used To Be - Used To Be
Guy Blackman - Johnny - Adult Baby

That evening I went to the Unitarian Church in East Melbourne to record a public meeting about the Australian Building and Construction Commission, featuring Marcus Clayton (lawyer for Noel Washington, a Victorian construction unionist who on that night was still facing the possibility of jail for refusing to cooperate with the ABCC. The charges against him would be dropped the next day); Greens national convenor Adam Bandt; and Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the CFMEU Construction Division. I used Marcus Clayton and Dave Noonan for the following week's Stick Together show, "Rights On Site vs. the ABCC", which is still available to download from the Stick Together 3CR Podcast feed, or click here to listen to the mp3.

LISTENING Tuesday November 25-Tuesday December 2. says this week was spent in the company of:
The Fireman, Electric Arguments
Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak
My Disco, Paradise
Lawrence Arabia, Lawrence Arabia
Birth Glow, Ultimate Relief
Panda Bear, Young Prayer
Cat Power, Dark End Of The Street
Pivot, O Soundtrack My Heart
Jethro Tull, Thick As A Brick
Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
Public Image Ltd., Second Edition
Britney Spears, Circus

I don't want Cat Power to keep doing what she's doing. I want her to write songs again.

Tuesday December 2
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
We devoted the show to all things ABCC ahead of the rally that morning.
  • Martin Kingham, Assistant National Secretary of the CFMEU Construction Division, speaking at the launch of Tom Bramble's book, Trade Unionism In Australia, at the New International Bookshop at Trades Hall.
  • Marcus Clayton, an Industrial Relations lawyer with Slater & Gordon - he was acting for Noel Washington - speaking at last Tuesday's ABCC forum at the Unitarian Peace Memorial Church. He spoke about the legal powers of the ABCC.
  • Adam Bandt, National Convenor of The Greens, speaking at last Tuesday's ABCC forum at the Unitarian Peace Memorial Church. He spoke about the Greens policy to abolish the ABCC, and discussed Labor’s Fair Work Bill.
  • Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the CFMEU Construction Division, speaking at last Tuesday's ABCC forum at the Unitarian Peace Memorial Church. He spoke about the history behind the ABCC, the Cole Royal Commission, the impacts of the ABCC on construction industry workers and unions, and the campaign to abolish it.
Horse Feathers - Working Poor - House With No Name
The Shangri-Las - Out In The Streets - Myrmidons of melodrama (1963-66)
Hortense Ellis - Secretly
Paul McCartney - We All Stand Together - All The Best!

Today was also the day I made the Stick Together show I mentioned earlier, "Rights On Site vs. the ABCC".

This week was the week I read Chloe Hooper's The Tall Man, which I've already written about. I also read David Rakoff's Don't Get Too Comfortable. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be. But the Log Cabin Republican story was excellent.

Monday December 8
I began my month of working full time at CASA House, instead of the usual once a fortnight. The money is going towards my trip in April to Russia and Europe.

Overnight, I went into 3CR to edit the Mamdouh Habib book launch, and Tom Bramble's speech at his book launch, for the next day's Breakfast Show.

LISTENING Tuesday December 2-Tuesday December 9. says this week was spent in the company of:
Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets, Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets
Vincent Gallo, When
Kría Brekkan, Apotropaíosong Armor
Woods, Some Shame
Bon Iver, Blood Bank
Jana Hunter, There's No Home

Tuesday December 9
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • played my recording of the launch at Melbourne Law School of Mamdouh Habib's My Story, featuring Henry Rosenbloom (Scribe Publishing), Professor Tim McCormack (Melbourne Law School), Mamdouh Habib, and Malcolm Fraser.
  • played my recording of Tom Bramble, speaking at the launch at the New International Book Shop of his book, Trade Unionism in Australia: From Flood to Ebb Tide.
  • Lucy interviewed Sue Salthouse from Women With Disabilities Australia, about the violence experienced by women with disabilities, and human rights issues including Australia becoming a signatory to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Jana Hunter - Sirens - There's No Home
Arthur Russell - Time Away - Love Is Overtaking Me
Delta 5 - Mind Your Own Business - Singles And Sessions 1979-1981

Thursday December 11
Went in to 3CR overnight to make that week's Women On The Line show, "Protection From Violence", which is still available for download from the Women On The Line website, just click here for the mp3. Here is the synopsis:
The 16 Days of Action to Stop Gender-Based violence concluded on Human Rights Day, which this year also marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A newer international rights framework, however, is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Australia in July this year. Sue Salthouse from Women With Disabilities Australia believes the convention might hold some hope in combating the violence perpetrated against women with disabilities. She spoke to 3CR’s Lucy De Kretser.
The new Family Violence Protection Act 2008 came into force in Victoria on 8 December. 3CR’s Margaret Theologou spoke to Dr. Chris Atmore, Policy Officer at the Federation of Community Legal Centres, about what the Act means for women and children facing family violence.
And we wish a happy 30th birthday to the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health. It’s an organisation committed to improving the health of immigrant and refugee women around Australia, and provides multilingual health information, advocacy and training. 3CR's Margaret Theologou spoke to Executive Director Adele Murdolo.

LISTENING Tuesday December 9-Tuesday December 16. says this week was spent in the company of:
Panel Of Judges, Bad Vibrations
Andrew Bird, Noble Beast
Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets, Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets

My favourite track on the Panel Of Judges album, I have decided, is As The Blowflies.

Tuesday December 16
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
  • Lucy spoke to Liz Thompson from Fairwear about their Sweatshop-Free Christmas Carols at the "Rich" and "Mesop" retail outlet, 375 Brunswick St Fitzroy, where Santa will be delivering bags of coal to those who have not been nice to clothing workers this year.
  • I spoke to Brad Shone from the Alternative Technology Association, for the monthly ATA update, which today focused on the previous day's launch of the Rudd Government's stunningly insufficient plan to 'tackle' climate change; with a commitment to only a 5% cut in emissions by 2020, increasing to no more than 15% if there is a global climate pact, and major concessions for heavy industry including many more free permits than expected.
  • Lucy spoke to Adele Murdolo, director of the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, an organisation that provides multilingual health information, advocacy and training, which celebrated its 30th birthday last week.
  • Jess spoke to Joe Toscano from 3CR's Anarchist World This Week and the Anarchist Media Institute about the protests and student demonstrations in Greece.

That evening, I went to the Wesley Anne to see Camille play one of her last gigs in Melbourne before leaving in January for a year in Berlin with Ben. Nick Huggins supported, and his The Sea Adrift was wondrous.

Thursday December 18
The 3CR Xmas Party / Beyond The Bars launch / Done By Law web launch was at the Trades Hall. I was nominally DJ, but I basically left my iPod playlist to run its course.

Friday December 19
Dinner at I Carusi in East Brunswick. Many kinds of cheese are delicious.

LISTENING Tuesday December 16-Tuesday December 23. says this week was spent in the company of:
Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets, Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets
Seagull, Goodbye Weather
Diplo & Santogold, Top Ranking
Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me
My Disco, Paradise

Tuesday December 23
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
Armageddon Song- The Dutchess and the Duke - She's The Dutchess, He's The Duke
Hit The Jackpot - King Of The Pool - Soul Money Gang Vibe
Lawrence Arabia - The Kinds Of Feelings That Happen On Summer Beaches - Lawrence Arabia
Jana Hunter - Bird - There's No Home
Arthur Russell - I Forget And I Can't Tell (Ballad Of The Lights Pt. 1) - Love Is Overtaking Me
Panel Of Judges - As The Blowflies - Bad Vibrations
Seagull - Dust Storm - Goodbye Weather

Thursday December 25
Christmas at our place. I was very sick with flu, so couldn't kiss my aunts/uncles/grandma. I dealt.

LISTENING Tuesday December 23-Tuesday December 30. says this week was spent in the company of:
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Kes, The Grey Goose Wing
Antony & The Johnsons, The Crying Light
Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
The Dutchess and the Duke, She's The Dutchess, He's The Duke
Chairlift, Does You Inspire You
Deerhunter, Microcastle

Tuesday December 30
3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
We focused on Palestine in light of the air attacks on Gaza. Heard from people I'd recorded over the year who had spoken about Palestine.
  • Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, speaking about the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel and political and demographic shifts today, and the proposal laid out in his book, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He spoke in Melbourne in May.
  • Dr Sara Roy, a political economist from Harvard University and author of Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. She spoke in Melbourne in early October.
  • Antony Loewenstein, author of My Israel Question, speaking about Obama and Israel-Palestine etc at the launch of his most recent book Blogging Revolution in late October.
  • I spoke to Kim Bullimore from Justice For Palestine about the air strikes in Gaza, what 2008 has been like for Palestinians, and the Emergency Rally for Gaza that day at 5pm at the State Library.
Tactics - Summertime - The Sound of the Sound: Vol 2, 1984-1988
Tiny Little Tiny Things - Hot Air Balloon
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos - Sun Giant EP

After work, I went to the Gaza rally. Then I came home. That brings us pretty well up to date.

Tonight, I'll be spending New Year's Eve at Guy's house. And on Friday night, I'm seeing Fleet Foxes at Prince Bandroom. On Sunday I plan to go to the Chapter Music 18th Birthday gig at the Tote.

So, yeah. What else, 2008?
On TV, I welcomed Drazic back into my life, with Rush. I loved Mad Men; the back of men's heads never looked so good and kempt. And True Blood is just marvellous; Lafayette forever.

My favourite film of the year was Lars and the Real Girl. Ryan Gosling and his blankie are hott sweet and lovely.

And finally...

I know some great stuff happened this year - and considering the hours I spent watching NewsHour, Colbert and the Daily Show, all the speeches, all the conventions, all the debates, and the many times I cried with happiness - you'd think nominating the best moment would be pretty simple and sweet; Obama's election.

However for me, it came at timestamp in the 13th episode of the second season of Gossip Girl:

Or so I thought, until about 8 seconds later, at timestamp, when the Best Moment of 2008 was topped by this:

What an excellent thing.