16 October 2016

'Whether or not I pay income tax is none of the government's business'

The good citizens of Pawnee, Indiana (in local government sitcom Parks & Recreation) express their firmly held and not-at-all-contradictory views in public forums, displaying the majesty of an informed electorate.

'What am I going to do with my kids all day - keep them in my house? Where I live?'

13 October 2016

Don & Shayne

Don McGlashan & Shayne Carter
Paramount Theatre
13 October 2016

Tonight's musical outing was an experienced pair of frontmen teaming up together on stage for the first time. Don McGlashan (Blam Blam Blam, Front Lawn, Mutton Birds) and Shayne Carter (Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer, Adults) have both moved into solo work in recent years, but decided to tour together as a two-man show. The structural conceit is that each selects the songs from the other's back catalogue for the two to play, so Carter chooses McGlashan's and vice versa. This is an interesting notion and meant that several of the songs selected had never been performed live. For dedicated fans this would be an intriguing prospect, and personally it was tremendous to hear McGlashan perform Envy of Angels and White Valiant, as selected by Carter.

However, the downfall of the experiment was that McGlashan's songbook has plenty of more crowd-pleasing material that would have enabled them to mach shau, as the Beatles were ordered in the Kaiserkeller. Carter generally avoided 'the hits' and favoured the more esoteric, experimental side of McGlashan's material. Still, this meant we were able to listen to the classic Don't Fight It Marsha, It's Bigger Than Both Of Us from the Blams. The tunes alternated between McGlashan's melodic and keenly observational pop songs, and Carter's buzzing, Velvets-influenced indie chords. I'm less familiar with Carter's work, particularly outside the Fits, so I was hearing many of the songs for the first time. Mostly they impressed, even in the two-piece arrangements. There was also a low-key, easy stage banter from Carter in particular, which was welcome. A good night out for fans of New Zealand music.

08 October 2016

Lucius Caecilius Iucundus

An 11 minute video reconstruction of the interior of the sumptuous merchant house of the banker Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, by Lund University archaeologists. (Via SciNews)
House of Caecilius Iucundus from Sci-News.com on Vimeo.

See also:
BlogRoman machines, 16 September 2013
Blog96 hours in the Eternal City, 16 October 2010
Blog: Napoli, 3 April 2008

02 October 2016

Botanical Gardens

Frankie Boyle on America's most important decision

I think this is not so much an election and more of a competition to find the second worst person in the world.  It's maybe the most important decision in 50 years, maybe since the war, and I don't know about you, but anytime there's a really important decision I often think, 'I hope no Americans are involved in taking this decision.  I hope no-one from a country that made seven Fast & the Furious movies... I hope no-one that finds James Corden funny is involved in this decision'.

- Frankie Boyle, News Quiz, BBC Radio 4, 30 September 2016

See also:
Comedy: Boyle on Trump, 7 June 2016
Comedy: The economics of the Fringe, 16 August 2012
BlogMock the Week, 20 February 2010