Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tim Rogers & Tex Perkins

Who would have known that my two favourite Australian songmen would team up to release a soulful little acoustic album, under the deceptively rock'n'roll guise, TNT. Tim Rogers and Tex Perkins (hence T 'n' T) are leading lights in Australian rock, each coming out with an album every year or so, leading bands of various constellation. Last time we saw these two guys together was when Tex and You Am I covered AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds" as a promo for the Australian film of the same name - Tex barking the lyrics over very dirty guitar. So, I had in mind something of this nature when I first heard news of the current project. However, the album cover for "My Better Half" features the two dudes in bed together, apparently naked, which is the first hint that this is a more intimate affair than you might have expected. Vocal responsibilites are shared equally. The songs are akin to those on Tex's solo albums - which themselves are haunting and beautiful, a world away from the rollicking grooves of the Cruel Sea. Tim's songs are in the spirit of "Heavy Heart" and the acoustic tracks he recorded with the Temperance Union ("Some Fella's Heartbreaker", "Damn Songs", etc.). It's only a shame that Tex is a little bit too liberal with his upper register on this album. Nevertheless, they're touring right now, and apparently doing some shows with orchestral accompaniment, which would be great to see. As luck would have it, the only show they're doing in Brisbane is for FREE, at the Valley Fiesta next weekend. Link:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Home Alone!

A comic drawn this evening. An all new original adventure of T. S. Tennant. Click the image link below for a readable version (derr...).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Doctor Gumbo & Bluesman

Funny - the things you find on eBay when you do a daily search for comics. The vast majority of what's there is old war comics, Archies, TV show spinoffs (ie, Alias, CSI, etc...) and the various homogonous Marvel and DC titles. Most are Phantoms that people have obviously gotten in showbags, and are trying to make a buck back on them. But, there is the occasional gem. I've bought newspaper comics from the 1920s, Peter Bagge's Hate, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, a reprint of Robert Crumb's first Zap, a couple of great modern anthologies (Rosetta, Drawn & Quarterly), among other things... The postage is usually more than the item, which makes for a bargain overall. A couple of weeks ago I took a chance on Doctor Gumbo's One True Jazz Comic, a sprawling hallucinatory adventure through a jazz-bent Sydney, by L. R. Nold, a veteran Australian cartoonist who has drawn for Weirdo and appears to know his jazz. It's pretty damn cool. Last week, I took another gamble on parts 2 and 3 of the Bluesman trilogy, which I had never heard of before. Only released this year, it's a murder mystery set in American south during the depression. It has all the right ingredients: a tortured protagonist, archetypal fat white cops, southern witticisms, unflinchingly portrayed racism (lynchings), and of course, blues music (featured as best possible within a silent medium). Despite the art being a bit rough in places, it's a very good read. I'm in the unfortunate position of having read the second and third books, but not the first. Link:

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Steal These Books

In the Sunday Mail today there was a story about book-thieves in Brisbane. Apparently, Lonely Planets are prime targets, and foreign backpackers are thought to be the worst culprits. But, second to that, bookstore owners mentioned Beat literature (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc...). One guy (from the Book Nook, I think) went so far as to say that he no longer stocks books by Charles Bukowski because they just get stolen. So now it all becomes clear. I took an early interest in the Beat poets (although I wouldn't necessarily call Bukowski beat), and I think that a lot of what came from that movement is incredibly self-indulgent and probably uninteresting to anyone but young males fostering delusions of their own recklessness. That being said, I think modern narratives owe a lot to the Beat Generation, and stuff that is so culturally relevant should be stocked in bookstores. Back in Sydney, the Dymocks on George St had a wonderful "sub-culture" section, tucked away behind the children's picture books and science fiction. It had all the books about drugs and tattoos and freak-sex; and just about a whole shelf dedicated to Henry Rollins. Incidentally, Rollins was another theft-target mentioned in today's article - he publishes his own books, and they should only been refered to as an interesting adjunct to his much more entertaining spoken-word material. Aside from this small effort by Dymocks George St, most bookstores are pathetically lacking in Beat besides a token new-release copy of On the Road. Even the slim pickings available from university libraries are usually mangled beyond practicality, or rebound - surely testament to their popularity. Bloody foreign backpackers.