Sunday, April 16, 2017

Not unlike... Peninsula

Ra Ra Ra, Hey!


Reflecting on my trip to Melbourne in February, a nostalgic mania must have overtaken me!
Hanging around old haunts, spinning freely on my bicycle and riding trains.... not much money but no limitations and an eager desire to recapture youth!






I'd never spent any time on the Mornington Peninsular when I was young. To us that was the wealthy side of the bay. We holidayed over at St Leondards, pretty much a fishing town, with only a meter's width of coarse grit sand to play in and plenty of rocks and sea grass reefs full of blue ringed octopus.

The bike ride from Sorento to Rosebud and then on to Frankston along the coast was quite an education... So much beach, so many people, bars, restaurants, sailing clubs... One thing that really caught my attention was the dominant Anglo culture along the coast and the obvious presence of wealthy pseudo upper class snobs. It was so weird, like a culture that just doesn't exist in Darwin.... or at least not so visibly.


This is a part of Australian culture which existed when I was a kid in the 80s and has somehow managed to thrive along the sheltered coast of the Mornington Peninsular.
I've spent my life getting worked up about the state of the world and here are these people living in some kind of luxurious middle class bubble of leisure. oblivious to the suffering in the world! I could feel it all around me! It was freaking weird and completely unfamiliar territory. I found it kind of exciting! After all I'd spent most of my youth drinking to excess to block out the ugliness of the world, yet here are these people blissfully quarantined from giving a shit about anything other than what bottle of white to have with their crumbed prawns...Welcome to the Insular Peninsular!


I hadn't had any experience of this culture, growing up but I did have exposure to 80s Aussie pop music and identified with a lot of it but there were some songs which I never truly understood until I ventured along this road. For some reason my head was full of Australian Crawl! I hadn't listened to them or even thought of their music for years but as I rolled between parked BMWs and Mercedes on the Nepean Highway it was their songs that materialized subliminally to knock out their rhythm through the salt air and sand roadside  verge. I felt it vibrating up through my handlebars and sensed it deeply all the way from the sparkling glare of Sorento's shallow waters to the downhill stretch at the Mt Martha bluff! A few lines from 'Indisposed' left their mark on every turn of my peddles, 'Oh no not you again'... Now I'm getting a feeling for just who those "Two young lovers living down the coast..." are. What coast? This one!
I felt this incredible urge to sing out loud 'Hoochie Gucci Feorucci Mama'! But realized as familiar as their songs are to me, I have no idea  what most of the lyrics are! So I googled and discovered that they're a bit cleverer than I'd originally thought! The tunes sound a bit up beat but the lyrics are far more cynical than I'd given them credit for, some are actually quite brilliant in my opinion. As I read the lyrics I realize it's not just James Reyne's singing that makes the songs illegible, it's equally a combination of unusual words, words that don't actually exist and the odd way they've arranged the words with the music. Some songs are arranged quite awkwardly almost to deliberately hide their criticism in plain view. Weird but makes a good sound.

Now here I am listening to Australian Crawl from a completely new perspective! I had no idea where they actually started out but the music fit! As I read about the band online I discoved that they originated from where else but the Mornington Peninsular! Their music expresses the character of the place so well! 



As I watched a few youtube videos I realized that James Reyne didn't sing all the songs. This 'other guy' was singing one of my favorite songs, the glint in his eye caught my attention, it was something bigger than a performance. He had a great voice and his manner on film lead me to wonder if he may have written many of their songs. There was something about him. Then I discovered (Please excuse my ignorance) Guy McDonough. I looked him up and was horrified to learn that he'd died back in 1984. He was only 28!  

The article below gives a very good review of the band, how they formed and a critique of their very special style and gift for bringing down the 'materialist culture' that birthed them.
"The idle rich are subjected to vicious broadsides and deft ripostes are flung at the decadent, wealthy snobs." https://rockportraits.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/australian-crawl/
Now I'm back in Darwin, where the flow is very different. Something in me wants to get back there to that white middle class ghetto of spoiled privilege and willful ignorance... For a moment I almost believed that world actually existed.

In their own words from the song White Limbo:
 
"...Babylon is broken
Alice cried the dream has died
There is no wonderland."
 



Or maybe it's all really still just like this but there's no longer room in Australian Pop music to take the piss!

Thanks Australian Crawl for the very accurate roadmap to a soulless existence in the Land Down Under. Far cleverer than I'd ever realized!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Pretty things

I've been taking my camera along on my daily  commute to work.
For some people the daily commute equates to nothing more than precious minutes, sometimes hours lost from their free time before and after work. NOT Me Though!



My trips to and from work each day have become quite precious to me. Between family and work commitments I rarely get any dedicated free time to just wander about in nature, but who says traveling to work has to be a bore?

Here are some Beauty things:
Pools... Rapid Creek Marrara

Vigna Vexilata

Photos I've taken over the past couple of weeks on my way to work. Just to remind myself how truly blessed I am.

Riparian recruitment



Red Backed Wren (Blurry)



coastal sculpture, rocks and flowers