A song for the last day

August 10, 2012

Last day here at UWA, and so I drove the spare car to work. It’s something of a older car; it has a tape deck. I grabbed a tape at random this morning to listen to on the way here. I shoved my hand into a tape drawer and pulled out Bob Dylan at Budokan. I thought it would be set to side 1 but side 2 is what played as I drove here this morning. By the time I got here at UWA and parked the car the song that was playing was Going, Going, Gone. Wow, I couldn’t have chosen a better song for my last day here. Y’know I actually started up this blog because of an internal education programme here at UWA, so it is also appropriate that I use this blog to say goodbye to UWA.

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Giving up food for funk? Not me!

October 7, 2011

Spring Feast was on last night here at UWA. This food festival, part of multicultural week, is one of the annual highlights here at the Uni. However, it was not the only thing taking place last night. There was also a fascinating lecture on DNA evidence by Dr Christine Funk. That’s right; Dr Funk.

So, I was faced with a dilemma; do I give up food for funk or pass up funk for food?

Food won!

The night started with the gathering. Joining me amongst the throng of people waiting to go in was Bookbuster and HelenKitty plus AusPolTragic and HipiKat.

There was a printed programme this year, which we read while we waited. Sadly the organisers have yet to bring back the showbag which was a very popular feature a few years back.

Reading the program too quickly it seemed like a food stall was offering Sushi Popcorn Chicken. It must have been our hunger causing illusions.

When the gate opened we first visited the Red Bull Girls and went through the ordeal of having to say to them “yes we want our wings please” in order to get our free drink.

Red Bull can

Hey, it was free. All it cost me was my dignity to say "I want my wings"

From there onto the food.

Food stall

"I'll have one of everything"

Yes, I too wondered about the fried oreos and so I just had to have them, along with the curry puff and the pork. All good; especially the oreos. Three of them fried in a light batter served on a stick and dusted with icing sugar. This was the first thing I had after my Red Bull. The crash after this sugar powered flight was not going to be pretty.

Fried oreo in a bag

Peeking into the bag, you can see a fried oreo on a stick

 Other delights sampled included giant popcorn chicken that were very crunchy, fried potato twirls on a stick that were just as good as last year, a few octopus balls and some sort of folded fried pancake with meat inside which was very tasty.

My thanks goes out to the organisers for this UWA event.

Since I could not give up food for funk, for the Friday song here are some people who can! The JB’s!


I do the Rock

September 2, 2011

I didn’t just buy records at the recent Save the Children UWA booksale. I also picked up a few CDs. One was this doozy courtesy of Rhino records. Read the rest of this entry »


UWA Booksale 2011

August 23, 2011

Yes, I waited in line, and yes it was worth it.

For this year’s Save the Children booksale at UWA I rocked up just after 12.30pm to stake a place in line. I was 6th at this point and with only one extra person joining someone in front of me I got to be 7th inside the sale and certainly I was first to the boxes of records. Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s make history

September 22, 2010

I will not buy any books just for the cover. This is the promise I made to myself when at the recent UWA Save the Children booksale. And I was able to keep that promise on the opening night. However, when I went back on the half price day, I just could not do it. I saw this, and I just had to have it.

I was blown away, just like those Civil War era soldiers. The book was in pristine condition and at half price was going to cost me 50 cents. The cover, with the heroic machine gun poses, juxtaposed with the historical scene, was a winner, and the concept, hah! So I picked it up and noted that the book was a sequel. I half wondered if I would ever find the first book.

I didn’t, but I did find the next one in the trilogy.

This book was a few tables away and was in the same untouched and probably never been read condition as the first one I found. The cover displayed the same no guts no glory type of scene as the first. So I bought them both.

I guess these books were written in the wave of the success of the A-Team and First Blood, stories about returned Vietnam Vets and what they did next. Only this takes it up a notch by having them continue to fight and this time, perhaps in an effort to redeem what was a loss in ‘Nam, fight for the very existence of the USA.

I guess if the A-Team had time travel, this is what it would have been like; maybe.


The records from the UWA booksale 2010

August 26, 2010

So, I have been getting people asking me how did the booksale go last week?

I take my Save the Children booksales very seriously. I joined the queue at 1pm. This might surprise you as the sale was not going to start until 5pm. What may surprise you even more is that at 1pm I was the 6th person in line.

So the waiting commenced. I had a book to read and some snacks to help pass the time. The line grew, of course, both behind and in front of me. Behind me, the line wound around the reflecting pool in front of Winthrop hall and back again in a gigantic figure 5. In front of me friends and relations of those in front joined in and I was now at number 10. I too am guilty of this and let my Dad in. Hey, he has spent time waiting in lines at these events for years and I have always reaped the benefits of his endurance. It is about time I started to return the favour.

As it got closer to the opening time of 5pm the line started to bunch up all along it’s length, everyone taking what few steps they could to get just that little bit closer to the door, to get in just that little bit sooner that would they would have if they had stayed a foot back.

My time in the line paid off. I was the first person to be there at the box of records at the back of the hall. I wish I could say that I scooped up all the good stuff before anyone else arrived but it was not so. What did happen though was that I had looked in the window from the other side and seen a record that interested me (Billie Holiday Story volume 2).

The Billie Holiday Story volume 2 that I saw through the window.

 It was in a box in the middle of the table of boxes and so with this to guide me that is where I started. I had about two blissful minutes of being completely alone with the records as I flicked madly through box after box, searching.  

Then the others arrived. Amongst them were two that I recognised. I don’t know their names but I often see them at this event and in other haunts picking up records and then reselling them. For them, this is a business. But whatever their motivations they were faced with the same reality as I. These boxes, apart from my Billie Holiday discovery, were full of classical music recordings.  

One of my main competitors said as much out loud. I responded that it seems there are no good records left out there. He agreed, as we both kept hard at work, our fingers flicking past record after record. He said that the situation was so dire that someone he knew was reduced to selling Nana Mouskouri records to US buyers. She never toured there he explained and they sell for a good price.

I contemplated this while I kept searching.

Billie Holiday had guided me well, because I kept my competition to the right of me and as I kept exploring box after box on the left I made some discoveries. It is not the case that all the good records in the world are gone. It is just that there are fewer and fewer and there are so many classical recordings that you have to get past to find what you want.

In the end, with times as they are, I could not afford all the records that I grabbed and had to put some back. In fact I ended up spending more time contemplating which to return than I did searching. Of course, there are a few regrets looking back now at what I discarded, and recriminations with myself as I say surely I could have afforded to pick up that one and go without fresh fruit for a week, all in the name of music. (I remember when these records at the UWA booksale were all $1. Now that they are $2 each, I might be saving more children but I can afford less records). However, I would rather dwell on what I did get.

There were two brilliant finds that I am very happy about.

First up is this one.

Walkin' My Cat Named Dog by Norma Tanega - one of my two top finds for the night.

You have probably never heard of her. Few have, but for some reason I have (spot the music nerd – but hey, there are still acts out there that I don’t know of) and I have heard that this record is actually pretty rare and hard to find. So to see it there I just had to have it. Wow.

Next up is this one.

Original Recordings by Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - Yay!

I have a CD release of this first album by Dan Hicks, which, strangely, omitted two tracks which were on the original album, so in a strange reversal of the bonus track phenomenon I am buying the vinyl version to get the tracks that I don’t have.  

What else? Hey, I was all excited recently about Leon Russell’s upcoming album with Elton John. I got this live album he cut with Willie Nelson. Wow, two old grizzly looking bearded blokes playing together. I look forward to giving that one a spin.

One For The Road by Willie and Leon - They take turns driving the bus, I'm sure.

What I always love about buying old records is finding the new old; bands and artists that I have never heard of but which lay in wait for me to discover them. There were a few cases of this on this night.

First up I found The Bus Boys. Don’t know who they are, but anyone who calls their record “Minimum Wage RocknRoll” is alright with me.

Minimun Wage Rock'n'Roll by the Bus Boys - How often do you see waiters on record covers? How very cool.

Rita Jean Bodine is another “who is that?” artist. So far, I still know little but I did discover thanks to this blog that she did come to Australia sometime back in the 70’s.

Sittin' On Top Of The World by Rita Jean Bodine - is Bodine meant to rhyme with Jean? I hope so; it sounds better that way.

This album by Lainie Kazan was one of those records that, had I more money I would have just bought for the lovely spring themed cover. However, with things tough all over I could not afford to just buy stuff for the artwork so what clinched the deal here is Sunny. Recently upon the passing of Bobby Hebb, who wrote that mighty tune, I went in search of as many versions of Sunny as I could discover. This album contains another one. Turns out that Lainie is a well regarded Broadway singer and actress, who also posed for Playboy. Wow. Wikipedia even says that she inspired Jack Kirby’s comic character Big Barda.

This album by Lainie Kazan is sure to feature in a vinyl display soon. I love how the image is not encumbered with a title. However, I fail to remember what the title is ATM.

What else did I get? This Melanie album The Good Book has been on my wish list for some time, so I was happy to find this.

The Good Book by Melanie - y'know she played at Woodstock people.

Hey, it’s Maria Muldaur. She didn’t just sing Midnight at the oasis people. I quite like her stuff so another good find.

Sweet Harmony by Maria Muldaur - before this she was a waitress in a doughnut shop.

Y’know I got plenty of Beach Boys but I have never owned an album by Jan and Dean, until now.

Golden Hits by Jan and Dean - you just don't see many people sharing skateboards nowadays.

Hey, a comedy album. It’s Rowan and Martin. I have long heard about their comedy show Laugh In, so hopefully this gives me a taste of what it was like.

The Humour of Rowan and Martin - I believe that Nixon was once on their show.

 I got a few more records but I have to stop sometime. There were some books I got too and I might blog about them later.


Song for a Friday Booksale

August 20, 2010

Today is the UWA Save The Children Booksale. I’m hoping to get myself a good position in the queue for the 5pm opening. I will of course be looking at the books, but it is the records that will get my first attention. Unlike the South of the River branch booksale that I blogged about last year, this UWA based event attracts more punters so I will have quite a bit of competition to get whatever good slabs of vinyl there is there. So position, position, position is important. I will blog about my exploits next week.

Now onto the song. Being as I am so wrapped up in books, (and records) let’s have Belle and Sebastian sing about exactly that.

The coolest thing about Belle and Sebastian, amongst many cool things about the band, is that they started out as a music business course final project. Man, none of my assignments at university ever lead to anything like this.