Dealer of the month
Again we're not talking about a CD retailer this month - they can wait until we eventually release some new product and
we need to suck up. No, this month we're talking about Music Junction, my handily located musical instrument dealer next to the Rivoli in Camberwell - well, East Hawthorn actually, but close enough to Camberwell Junction to be Camberwellian.
I've been going to Music Junction since I was a toddler, and the enigmatic Palmi and his staff of moonlighting musos have been the focal point of my musical transitions over the years - not to mention a great source of goss and musical banter. I was disturbed to find that they're treated as a very junior party on the official website. Apparently they're but a cog in a giant chain of two stores stretching from Qld to Camberwell, and only the Qld store gets its staff up in pictures. This website is going to redress that injustice. I'm going down there right away and taking their photo for this column.
In the meantime, if you can't decide on a Xmas pressie for your musical prodigy, or you're simply a muso looking to take revenge by noodling on a guitar in a music store all day, please, please avoid Music Junction. see photo






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Bugger, bum, pooh..
Hello again and welcome. Well, it's that time of the year again, so..GOOD LUCK! As usual, I've been spending most of my time recording, either at home or at Michael's, and bit by byte we are, ever so slowly, getting the next Spectrum plays the blues CD closer to completion.
Wednesday evenings have been spent at Brenden Mason's house/studio, working on a tune called the Zippo Blues, about a guy who loses his longtime favourite Zippo and finds he can't can't cope. I'm pleased to say that keyboard wizard, Cenred, ( has recorded one of my instrumentals, (although I'm yet to hear it and I'm waiting with breath well bated). It's one of my favourite things about being a writer - giving someone else your work and letting them do their own particular thing with it and seeing what happens. If it sounds great, I'm a genius. If it sounds crappy, read more
Blah at last!
Hello on-liners,Welcome to my second BLAH....( Yoo Hoo...AT LAST! ) So here we are at the silly end of the year, it's come around far too quick. I always remember my Mum saying, "The older you get the quicker the years go by." SHE WAS RIGHT! ( does that mean that Mike and Bill are already in mid 2004? HA...HA.) Anyway all the best for Xmas and the New Year. Spectrum had a couple of good gigs recently at the Lomond and St.Andrews which we had our first attempt at recording to mini-disc hoping to capture great live versions of some of the blues stuff for the inclusion on the next album. We got close, but technology got the better of us so it's still work in progress. I blame Bill's moustache!
I've got to tell you I'm still buzzin' from seeing my favourite band (and Mike's) the wonderful CALEXICO. They played two shows in Melbourne, Sun. 7/12 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and Mon. 8/12... read more

Hungry for the latest?
Check out Stop Press for the guff on the Ross Ryan CD launch

Ross Ryan rips it up

gifts for her brilliant girls’ teachers, and I spied a cutesy little book of Eeyore quotations called Eeyore’s Little Book of Gloom. I loved the Pooh books when I was a young child (still do), and the character that resonated most with me was, you guessed it, Eeyore. The following exchange between Eeyore and Piglet sums up the Eeyore philosophy. ‘Good morning, Little Piglet,’ said Eeyore. ‘If it is a good morning,’ he said. ‘Which I doubt,’ said he. ‘Not that it matters,’ he said.
If there were a corresponding figure in more recent literature, I would nominate Marvin, the robot in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I don’t own that series of books, so I can’t quote you anything from the robot that had a brain the size of the Universe, but if you’ve heard the radio series or read the book, you’ll know what I mean.
But I forgot about the Internet didn’t I.. Google came up with a lovely site dedicated to quotes from the said Marvin Here’s a selection:
‘Life,’ said Marvin dolefully, ‘loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it.’
‘I gave a speech once,’ he said suddenly, and apparently unconnectedly. ‘You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number.’
’Er, five,’ said the mattress.
’Wrong,’ said Marvin. ‘You see?’
‘The first ten million years were the worst," said Marvin, "and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third million years I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of decline.’
That could be Eeyore (with a doctorate).
Being a pessimist means that I’ve come to the point where I’ve ratified (to myself anyway) a long held suspicion that there’s no God, and I’ll declare to anybody who asks that I’m an atheist. I was gratified to note there was a program recently on ABC TV hosted by Geraldine Doogue (possibly part of the Secular Soul series originally shown in 2002 ) that had interviews with several people about atheism and what they planned to do about their funerals. Ironically (mostly because you’re not there, except perhaps involuntarily) this seems a moment that your beliefs and personally held views could actually be of some concern to your friends and family, and where some planning could be of some benefit to survivors.
The program was also reassuring – most of the people interviewed seeemed to be reasonably smart and articulate. Just being an atheist implies that one has considered the issue, not like agnostics who are the ‘don’t
knows’ or ‘haven’t thought about its’, or the ‘nominal’ Anglicans or Methodists etc. There is an uneasy public perception that atheists are somewhat akin to anarchists, and are not to be trusted near public buildings, but I ..

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It was only recently I realised where I got it from. I was talking to my mum on the phone recently, and she said she was going in to have her troublesome hip looked at, but she expected they wouldn’t do anything about it, or if they did, she would be put to the back of the queue and it wouldn’t be for years yet. As she’s pushing 80, I thought this a rather bleak assessment. In fact I said I thought she was being a bit pessimistic. She said that she’d always been pessimistic, but that it had worked for her over the years; i.e. when things worked out better than she’d predicted she was extra delighted, and when her worst fears were realised, she at least had the satisfaction of her prediction being correct.
This concept tallied with my thoughts so neatly that I figure that it must be in the genes and she must have passed on her pessimistic genes to me.
I was with our manager Jenny the other day when she was searching for end of year
Band gobsmacked - report by Fiona Orbright
13.12.03 - Spectrum is in an absolute tiz. After what could be described as a less-than-frenetic 2003, the opening couple of months of 2004 are a blistering salvo of engagements - some of them even quite interesting. (see the Gigs page) Self described band spokesman, Mike Rudd, claimed that when he complained about the paucity of gigs in the previous 12 months, he wasn't actually expecting anything to be done about it. 'I just like the sound of my own voice' he said.'What's the point of being self-employed if I can't whinge endlessly?' Bill Putt, on the other hand, looks thrilled with the whole thing. 'I had the best time on the LWTTT tour,' he enthused as he executed a karate kick, knocking over his thermos, 'and we actually made some real money for a change' he continued, blocking a kick from and imaginary opponent and knocking over the fridge. 'Since then I've been fiddling full-time in my studio, but there's only so much I can achieve with that miserable gear.'
I rang Spectrum drummer, Robbo, later in the afternoon. 'Hello..? (sniff, cough).' I'd obviously woken him. 'What gigs? Those bastards never tell me anything.'
I rang Jenny Klepfisz, the band's manager and architect of the Great Trolley Disaster of 2004. 'I could get the band a lot more work (Stop it Gabi!) if they'd only pull their fingers (I'm warning you Gabi!) and get out some more product. (I swear to God Gabi, you'll be grounded if you keep that up!)' I asked if more work was what this bunch of geriatric rockers really needed. 'I don't know - they think they can handle anything, but I really worry about them sometimes. (Answer that somebody!) Mike thinks he can drive endlessly (Answer that somebody!) but he virtually needs hospitalisation if they do two gigs in a row. You can't tell them though.(Will somebody please pick up the phone - it could be your father!)'
So, there you have it. More Spectrum to open the New Year than you could have dreamed of - but at what cost? Stay tuned..
New Year's Eve fiasco
14.12.03 - Despite intensive advertising, Spectrum are gig-less this NYE. Nobody could be contacted for comment.

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Issue #5