Spice Girls to reunite

June 28, 2007

Today — a day some are already calling “the 9/11 of the music world” — the Spice Girls are expected to announce a reunion tour.

Because the world has been desperate for a Spice Girls reunion. DVD sales of Spice World more than established that.

The question, however, is what will happen to Bastard Spice, Scary Spice’s illegitimate daughter to Eddie Murphy? Maybe she can hang-out on the set of her dad’s latest godawful cinematic offering.

(What was I saying about pabulum again?)

Kate Miller-Heidke: Little Eve

June 28, 2007

Kate Miller-Heidke: Little EveKate Miller-Heidke’s debut LP, Little Eve, is exciting not because she’s a breath of fresh air amongst young Australian female singer-songwriters — she’s far too good to be boxed-in by such a label. Miller-Heidke’s strengths transcend geographical or gender-based categorisation: here is an artist who can fairly stand alongside her international contemporaries, both male and female, and not come up short. Indeed, she’s someone to get excited about because there’s an intelligence and quirkiness present that make her stand out amongst a sea of homogeneous pabulum.

Although Milller-Heidke has released several EP’s independently (and one EP with her new label, Sony BMG), Little Eve is the release that has announced her as a force to be reckoned with: a 45-minute long player with a major label behind it. And Sony BMG are clearly putting a lot of effort into her promotion, with Sunrise, for example, spotlighting her on at least two separate occasions.

The album itself is somehow thrilling yet reassuring at the same time. It’s easy to spot the singles — “Words” has already seen a single release, and “Mama” and “Little Adam” would be on my shortlist for future candidates — but tracks that may not leap out immediately begin to reveal themselves on subsequent listens. “Shoebox” and the lyrically playful “Ducks Don’t Need Satellites” have enough kick under the surface to stay with you and make you take notice the next time around.

The bonus CD on the special edition features a remix of “Apartments” (from her Circular Breathing EP), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” and a live acoustic cut of “Ducks Don’t Need Satellites”. But the highlight is a truly inspired live cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”, with Miller-Heidke displaying her operatic vocal training in a tour de force of sheer eccentricity.

It would be a shame if Kate Miller-Heidke became yet another one hit wonder. She’s far too talented for such a fate, but it’s always a danger when an artist bursts onto the scene with such hype. Kate Bush survived “Wuthering Heights”, so why can’t Miller-Heidke survive “Words”? Little Eve has alerted the public to this new talent, but it will be the next LP that will be the real test. And for that we’ll just have to be patient.

Highly recommended.

A Current Australian Affair

June 25, 2007

Studies show that the Australian news media is 54% more likely to report medical studies linking the moderate consumption of alcohol to improved cardiovascular health than the news media of the United States or Canada. In the case of the moderate consumption of red wine boosting the antioxidant level in the bloodstream Australia is 23% more likely to report this in the news media than the United States or Canada. The lower rate may in part be a result of the antioxidant connection with the moderate consumption of red wine being a relatively new development in the study of the health benefits of alcohol. If the pattern followed by the news media in these three countries in regards to improved cardiovascular health and the moderate consumption of alcohol holds true for the antioxidant connection then once this becomes an accepted factlet in society at large reporting of subsequent studies will decrease in the United States and Canada while still being reported as breaking news in Australia. Projected outcomes suggest that in 10 years Australia will be 60% more likely to report that moderate consumption of red wine boosts antioxidant levels than the United States or Canada and 83% more likely to report the link between moderate consumption of alcohol and improved cardiovascular health.

Everybody sing and sway.. “I am, you are, we are Austraaaaaaaaalia..”



Project Backstreet: Operation Layla

June 24, 2007

So I ended up writing a completely different version of Chapter 5 for my Backstreet Boys fanfic — one that included references to quantum mechanics, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis. But I wasn’t happy with it. It just wasn’t edgy enough!

So I went back to the original Chapter 5 — the dark, disturbing Chapter 5 — and finished it. It is this version that I have posted to the Backstreet Boys Fantasy Fanfics group and which you will find reproduced below. (I may end up recycling the alternate Chapter 5 later on.)

WARNING: This chapter is just really sick. Yes, it’s sicker than even Chapter 2. You have been warned…
Read the rest of this entry »

Project Backstreet update

June 21, 2007

Folks, I’m torn.

I’ve started writing the next chapter in my Backstreet Boys fanfic, and it’s disturbing even me.

On the one hand, the point all along has been to make each chapter increasingly bizarre, surreal and disturbing, but on the other hand, I think I need to pull back a little bit. Gotta give the fans something that’s worth the wait.

So, instead, here’s a link to the Manifesto of Surrealism by Andre Breton: lemonade fury.

The man with the golden gun

June 19, 2007

Saddam Hussein’s golden Tabuk rifle has inspired me…

He had no WMD’s
Desert Storm cost him the lot
A dictator second to none
The man with the golden gun

He hid in a farmhouse in Tikrit
Evading his capture for months
But soon his plans and schemes came undone
The man with the golden gun

The Ba’athists adored him, Iranians scorned him
He bested them with Rumsfeld loyal
But Kuwait got greedy, America needy
They wanted a source for oil

Once he was captured he met with swift justice
His half-brother soon lost his head
But Saddam had nowhere to run
The man with the golden gun

Easy to see was his fate to be
Whither Iraq?
We shall see. Oh yeah!

The Ba’athists adored him, Iranians scorned him
He bested them with Rumsfeld loyal
But Kuwait got greedy, America needy
They wanted a source for oil

Once he was captured he met with swift justice
His half-brother soon lost his head
But Saddam had nowhere to run
The man with the golden gun
His schemes came undone
But he had some fun
With his golden gun

Stephen’s Secret Key to the Juvenile Reader Market

June 16, 2007

Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist and Simpsons guest star, has written a children’s novel with his daughter, Lucy Hawking. The book, entitled George’s Secret Key to the Universe, is (coincidentally) about “a boy named George who befriends a scientist and the scientist’s daughter.”

Here’s a sneak-peek at this exciting release:

George approached the large table with some trepidation. “Can I sit down here?” he enquired with a twitch of his nose.

“Yes, you can,” said the Scientist as he poured himself more tea. “The question is, may you?”

“In that case then,” restated George, “may I sit down here?”

“No room!” shouted the Scientist’s daughter.

“Nonsense,” said George. “There’s at least ten places set and you’re the only two sitting here!”

“Have some wine,” said the Scientist’s daughter, shaking a teacup at George.

“Why is the age of the universe finite if it has no single starting point?” asked the Scientist.

George surveyed the table, looking for the wine — any wine — but could find none.

“Imaginary time!” cried the Scientist’s daughter.

“I beg your pardon,” said George, “but I’m afraid none of this makes any sense.”

“Have a seat,” said the Scientist in between sips from his teacup. “Imaginary time is the time you have when you have no time. All in the head, you see. Why, I just had a holiday in Bermuda in between these two sentences, and a lovely 2i weeks it was, too.”

Stranger danger with Ronald McDonald

June 14, 2007

In this McDonalds ad dating back to 1963, Ronald gives paedophiles tips on how to lure children using clown makeup and hamburgers.

You think I’m joking? Think again.

As a side note, according to McDonalds via Wikipedia, “Ronald McDonald is second only to Santa Claus in terms of recognition.” Other recognisable figures off the top of my head:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Jesus Christ
  • Che Guevara

Besides the immediate question of why Disney haven’t created a fast-food chain yet, the most obvious thought is a family restaurant based on the built-in marketability of famous Marxist revolutionaries. Featuring the hilarious antics of Marxie the Clown, the slogan could be as simple as “FROM EACH ACCORDING TO HIS DISPOSABLE INCOME, TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS NEED FOR HAPPY MEALS”.

Of course, the queues to receive your standard, government-approved fast-food sandwich mean hours of waiting, but isn’t it nice that the benevolent franchise owner looks after all his children?

(Note: I could not verify the Wikipedia-sourced quote above.)

Crikey! Bindi resurrects her dad

June 12, 2007


Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, has resurrected her famous father in order to pad-out her new TV show, Bindi the Jungle Girl:

“It’s downright – well, I don’t know what, but not comfortable – when Steve pops into the treehouse in Saturday’s 5.30pm second episode. He’s crouched behind a desk resting his chin on its edge, his head alongside that of a gorilla skull, which Bindi asks us to tell apart. Sorry. That’s more than I can handle. By the time Steve and wife/widow Terri helped Bindi bid the audience bye-bye at the end of my hour screening disc, I was seriously weirded out.”

It seems to me the Irwins want it both ways. On the one hand, little Bindi wouldn’t be on the fame fast-track were it not for her father’s untimely death, yet on the other hand, they’re pretending that he’s actually still alive. (The Newsday quote specifically states that Steve Irwin is “shown and mentioned in the present tense” in the show.)

Would Steve himself have a problem with any of this? Probably not. But at this point everyone involved should be avoiding the appearance of exploitation — of Irwin’s death and his daughter’s vulnerable state — not encouraging it.

For a man whose persona was surprisingly free of pretence, his legacy is becoming more “showbiz” by the minute.

Pruno and Priviledge OR Mr. Darcy’s Tits Look Great in Orange

June 10, 2007

My disappointment of the week, perhaps the month, was the return of Paris Hilton to the slammer. Her release only three days after starting her sentence was an unexpected boon to my entrepreneurial habits. Yes Paris was going to make me some money and no clothes were going to be removed. Bizarrely several of my obsessive hobbies had coincided in one fine moment of celebrity roasting and tribute. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, or BPAL as it’s fandom knows it is a gothic and literary perfume oil company. With over 800 scents in it’s catalogue this place has a fandom Stargate should envy. While I have yet to come across any BPAL slash the fandom is replete with forums, trolls, flame wars, livejournal communities and a history increasingly hard for a newcomer to unravel, if they even want to. It warms my heart to see the joys of fandom spreading to products other than media. This is the way life should be.

In honour of Paris Hilton’s incarceration BPAL released two limited edition perfume oils, Pruno and Priviledge. Pruno is a jailhouse moonshine brewed by prisoners from such diverse ingredients as ketchup and apples. Those prisoners are so creative! BPAL promised that these limited releases would be available only for as long as Paris remained in the prison and that a portion of the profits would be donated to a women’s shelter in Los Angeles. Being one of those of creatures who have the collecting gene, inherited from my father, I could not pass this up and promptly ordered both of them. With a rare BPAL going for US700.00 on ebay last year this could be a good investment (a common collector delusion: past prices of other items mean you should buy THIS item). So I was ECSTATIC when Paris was released because that meant the limited editions had only been available for three days!! They were even more limited than expected. That night I felt like I’d suddenly discovered my Dathon action figure came with ~~omg~~ a pog. (I refuse to add links for this. You wannabe fandom geeks will have to do your own research.)

But then they returned Paris to the slammer. What a total bummer that was. I am hoping she appeals as there is NO way a delicate flower such as herself should be behind bars. She should be released or, even better for collectors with foresight, die. Perhaps from a tussle related to the unwelcome advances of Mr. Darcy with a butch cut. This would be a bitter pruno to drink for her fans but the oil would then take on Marilyn proportions as a collector item.