Friday, January 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Sarina Russo

Sarina Russo is a well known self-made Australian businesswoman and entrepreneur. She founded and is current Managing Director of the Sarina Russo Group. The SRG comprises of eight businesses (mostly concerned with job recruitment and private education), six of which contain her name in their title.

Employees of the Sarina Russo Group have access to exclusive Sarina Russo computer wallpapers, updated daily.

"Sarina feels Keri Craig outfits reflect her mood and personality - obviously bright and sparkling. Her lamé dress is $499." - Portfolio Magazine, December 1986.

To inspire the troops in 2010:

With the right attitude victory will be yours.

"From: Sarina Russo
Sent: Thursday, 24 December 2009 12:20 AM
To: All Staff
Subject: From sarina's desk - 2009 - my version

I am up in the clouds across the pacific ocean sitting in row 3 and
behind me sleeping in Row 4 - yes!!! The one and only Hugh Grant!
Normally, I would find it offensive for any passenger with extremely
protruding long legs and hence feet to be virtually in my head space -
but not this time!!! Funny ha how one can see life and be more accepting
of things that either amuse you, challenge you or just make u feel truly privileged!

So lying with sleep deprivation,but totally distracted I write to you
as my last " from sarina's desk" and reflect on our 30th year!!
reflection as a Leader, a daughter, an aunt, a neice, a friend?
Questions I ask myself? How did I influence and inspire others to do
do more and become more this year? Did I provoke positive thoughts and
actions? Did we get any wake up calls to never compromise and be too
content? Did we raise standards higher than last year? Did we stand
tall? Did we voice our thoughts and become accountable and responsible?
Was I transparent to my team? Did I show clarity and direction at times
of need! Did I show urgency ? Did I tap my full potential? Did I
demonstrate strength and resilience? Did I challenge the status quo? Did
I communicate strongly and frequently? Did I? Did I? Did we? Did we?

I dozed off with a sleeping tablet!

Rested! I wake up after 7 hours of sleep - - I turn around? Did I have
just a dream? - But - its reality - Hugh Grant is still behind me
having breakfast and watching every movie - perhaps there is a new movie
that has just been released that he is the main star and I am yet to
find out!!! As I am a news addict! And a big fan of Larry King!"

And on Sarina continues.

"How do relect this year? Our courage, my leadership this year?
Ultimately - u are the judge! U are my inspiration!"

"I keep staff I have never recruited? Yip! And we did it and now you are our rock stars -
integrated into our culture and soaring with eagles!"

"We salute you and sing - alielilu!!!! Merry xmas and a happy new year!
Luv ya! Ciao for now and I will see u at the top in 2010!!!!!
Happy new year! Yes I am still in the clouds! I braved myself to
introduce myself to Hughes and "opened my conversation to say that Alan
Rickman is a personal friend - I handed over my new business card. - he
accepted it with our uk head office address: he will see "Coventry"" -
girls u must answer every phone call - u could have hugh grant asking to
want to speak to me!!! Can u hear the phone ringing!!! Its for me!!!!
"Four weddings and no funerals"!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Tote is Fucking Dead

I don't have anything else to say about the The Tote's closure that hasn't already been said here and here and here and here.

Suffice to say I'm appalled that the government's restrictive liquor licensing laws are targeting not only the shitty big city nightclubs for which they were intended to curb violence, but small community based live music venues who have never had any major incidents of violence and can't afford to stay in business with the new fees. Hell, even the POLICE voiced their support for The Tote. It makes me angry. Right now I am transforming into a hulking green beast. The support for the venue and the rallying of the Melbourne music community and even the mainstream media has been heartening though and hopefully we can collectively quash these laws before our music scene goes to complete shit.

So many amazing memories.

- Seeing The Black Lips play then after the show having the bass player, pupils the size of saucepan lids, chase my friend Dan around the venue waving his fingers at him as though he were a wizard casting spells.

- Going on stage to play maracas with Shooting At Unarmed Men for a last song, ending with Jon Chapple handing me his guitar to clang out some noise as he disappeared off stage for a beer.

- Taking pingers on an empty Monday night with a beautiful blonde lady whom I'd only recently met and having the best fucking Monday night of all time. Work the next day.

- Spending an afternoon alone listening to Slint's "Spiderland" in its entirety on the jukebox.

- Dan cooking sausages extremely slowly on the beer garden B.B.Q. Cassie telling him to turn it up and him telling her it was fine and didn't need turning up thank you very much.

- Yase renting the upstairs Cobra Bar for her 30th birthday, someone buying me a shot of tequila near at the end of the night and having to run to the toilets to have a massive spew.

- Yase being refused entry to see Valentiine at the the Public Bar for not having I.D., the band having played the week before at her 30th. The solution? "Let's go to the fucking Tote!"

- Seeing a drummer and guitarist (Digger and the Pussycats?) play in the front bar on the pool table shorty after midnight on New Year's Eve.

- Watching the Japanese re-incarnation of Jimi Henrix himself, the Yura Yura Teikoku vocalist/lead guitarist, shred like a mother fucker and almost bring the place crashing to the ground.

- Moving to Collingwood and living a five minute walk from The Tote.

- A sweaty, bald headed, tribal painted nutcase from Vampillia stage diving directly into me and one other guy. The subsequent stumble trying to hold him aloft while being wrapped in and tripping over the microphone lead.

- Seeing My Disco play two consecutive nights and jizzing my pants over it.

- Hanging out with Captyn and randomly seeing and being amazed by East Brunswick All Girls Choir.

- Someone playing mclusky's "Alan is a Cowboy Killer" on the jukebox and singing word for word with a bunch of mates before ducking outside to two thousand people on the street protesting the closure last Sudany.

- Watching Eddy Current Suppression Ring yesterday play to 50 people at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Those are a few that I can remember. Over the years I've had great times with most of my good friends there. The Tote is a venue that has so much character that it cannot be replaced by another building somewhere else. Rest In Noise.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mixed Tapes For The People

It's the mix tape version of the last post - 18 songs from the top 18 artists I've listened to at work in the past year as tracked by Something to listen to on your iPod as you peruse the supermarket fridges for fish fingers. Or burn it to CD and give it to your neighbours as a gift and reminder of the importance of community spirit. Extra B-sides and rarities to make things interesting.

You'll need to use Winrar or Winzip or a hammer to decompress the file and extract the fleshy mp3s inside.

Insect or Spider? - A Mix Tape - Download

01. The Pixies - Wild Honey Pie
The Pixies tear us all a new one with their live at the BBC re-interpretation of this Beatles track.

02. HEALTH - Die Slow
I can't listen to this song enough. From new album "Get Color". HEALTH ARE NOT AFRAID OF YOU. YOU WILL LOVE EACH OTHER.

03. The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck
This one goes out to all you Hawiian-beach-faring, pina-colada-sipping zombies. From "Bad Music for Bad People".

04. The Fall - Leave The Capitol
One of their more upbeat moments with classic Mark E Smith delivery, from the revered 1981 "Slates" EP.

05. mclusky - Bipolar Bears Take Seattle
A creeper with chanting from the "mcluskyism" C-Sides disc.

06. Thee Oh Sees - Ghost in the Trees
"I'll make you call/from behind the waterfall". Is this what John Dwyer is singing? I can never understand what the fuck he's saying but it always sounds great. From album "His Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In".

07. Future of the Left - March of the Coupon Saints
B-Side from the "Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood" seven inch single.

08. The Beatles - Rocky Raccoon
Paul McCartney may have turned into a cunt these days but damn he knew how to write a fine tune back when. From "White Album".

09. The Flaming Lips - I'm a Fly in a Sunbeam
Some people have favourite driving songs, this is my favourite flying your space ship into Cloud City at the break of dawn song. From the "Ego Tripping At The Gates of Hell" EP.

10. Beach House - Gila
I'm glad we live in a world where a musical genre called "dream pop" can exist. It makes it easier to sleep at night. From their sophomore album "Devotion".

11. The Horrors - Mirror's Image
We all had doubts about The Horrors but then they released "Primary Colours" last year and wiped that smirk off all our faces.

12. Pavement - The Classical
Laid back version of The Fall's obliterating original, from the "Brighten The Corners" re-issue bonus disc.

13. The Kinks - Wicked Annabelle
Twisted tale of a witch and her demon minions from the 60s classic "We Are The Village Green Preservation Society"

14. My Disco - Pale
Dance dischord dance discord repeat. From debut album "Cancer".

15. My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow
Crashing opener from the leaked "Loveless" remaster. Originally due for release in 2007, it's yet to see the light of day because Kevin Shields still has to finish writing the liner notes.

16. Boris - Electric
Stoner doomers go Motorhead in the special way that only the Japanese can. From the flawless "Pink" album.

17. Tom Waits - Way Down In The Hole
Tom has a knack for taking not a lot and doing a whole lot with it. The producers of "The Wire" liked it so much they made it their theme song. Originally appeared on "Frank's Wild Years".

18. ROME - Les Savy Fav
Is that a Whistle Pop I can hear? I think it is! Skewered closer to the EP of the same name.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dealing with the big issues

I enjoy statistics.

I stare into space and wonder things like "how many litres of alcohol have I consumed in the past five years?" and "how many people have stepped in this exact spot on the footpath?" and "how many microscopic skin devouring bugs are on me right at this moment?"

Sadly these questions will forever remain unanswered (let me know if you find out). Fortunately though, I can answer the question "How many songs did I listen to while sitting at my desk at work in the last twelve months or so?" and its 10,344.

Subtracting weekends and leave, this works out at roughly 45 songs per day. While initially disappointed by the result I have to take into account that a good portion of time is spent listening to talk back radio. Then there's lunch and smoke breaks and the data doesn't take into account streamed songs so all up it's not a bad average. I'm hoping to push it above 55 by the end of 2010 so then I'll have a better average than Ricky Ponting.

Here are the Top 18 (click to enlarge):

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Review: Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo is a movie that stars two orange fish as the lead characters and various others as supporting cast. It tells the tale of the larger of the two fish (Franko Beans) hitch hiking his way from Cairns to Sydney in an effort to “find” his beloved friend “Nemo” (hence the title of the film), who is trapped in a glass cage of fish domination. It was a poor decision on the part of the producers to star two almost identical fish in both lead roles. It is frequently easy to mistake one for the other during crucial plot points; the one identifying factor between the two fish ,size, is rendered obsolete due to a) an inherent lack of sense of scale in bodies of water and b) depending on how close the camera is to the fish the small fish will often appear larger and the large fish smaller. In one scene the smaller fish (Nemo) seems to spontaneously teleport out of the glass cage and into the stomach of a whale, teamed up at this point with none other than “Blue Lesbian McGee”, who just so happens to be Franko Beans' usual cohort. WTF?! Plot inconsistencies such as this are absurd to the point of insulting. Did the writers actually think that anyone would buy this nonsense

To add injury to insult, the film is also clearly racist and paints a not too subtle picture of a future world where Neo Aryan supremacy reigns supreme. The “reef fish” are a bright, beautiful and intelligent species who live in a perfect utopia surrounded by others as pretty and smart as they. Meanwhile, the fish outside this sanctuary are depicted as drab, identical mindless drones devoid of individuality or intelligence. During the climactic finale Lesbian McGee is caught in a net and about to be pulled in for the slaughter with thousands of sea bass. “But we have to save her!” cries Nemo, with NO mention of the THOUSANDS of other fish about to be REVERSE ASPHYXIATED. NAZI! To save his fellow Nazi, Nemo TEACHES the STUPID BASS how to SWIM DOWNWARDS in order to BREAK THE FUCKING NET. This film is a travesty on too many levels, minus all stars.

Picking at Toenails

I spend so much time sitting around staring at walls and watching questionable television and not cooking myself dinner tonight because it's too fucking hot that I might as well do something (more) useful like process my muddled brain waves into text for the benefit of you but mainly me.

Fortunately I had half a chocolate cake in the fridge that my neighbours gave me about a week ago and it's fine, so I ate that instead. It was still fine and went down a real treat. So blog has received a sugar fuelled makeover and general re-activation. Last post was in May '09.

Sometimes I'll procrastinate by re-arranging my CDs in alphabetical order and making sure every disc is in every correct case, but I'm not going to do that tonight because I did it last week. Earlier I stood in front of the bathroom mirror examining my hairy chest for blackheads to squeeze out. Just now I left this text box for about ten minutes to refresh ABC News, The Age, Pitchfork Media and the Bureau of Meteorology websites in case something new had appeared that wasn't there when I last checked twenty minutes ago.

Life can be much more than this. Last night for instance, I ate a fish eye. A hardened white ball that gave the chomping sensation of biting into a small gum nut, with a big lump of yellowish translucent jelly dangling from the bottom. I chewed it up and let the pungent juices flow through my mouth and over my tongue and afterwards sucked at the hard bits that got stuck between my molars.

Waiter, bring me a bowl of fish eyes.