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So my wonderfully good intentions to update the site with regularity this year have so far fallen in a crumpled heap. Each day I think I’d like to write something (like I’d also like to write songs each day), but I seldom ever get near the bottom of all the other things I have to do and the site has languished like a neglected lover. What can I say, other than I’ll try to do better in the future, but right now I have to go down the coast for a marriage-like ceremony and thus there’ll be no chance to make good on that till Monday. Have a good weekend.

INSATIABLE BANALITIES #103. Simone Penkethman

Simone Penkethman

Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Sharkie, Buddy the Dog

Our guest is Simone Penkethman who is shortly about to release her new CD

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod103.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Monday 19th Jan, 2009. Track list and more pics after the jump

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Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Jess

Our guests are Ben, Andy and Reece of Arythmia

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod102.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Monday 12th Jan, 2009. More pics after the jump

Track List:

Stuck. 9:08
Dust on my Shoes. 24:14
Black Note. 40:55
Bullet. 54:49

Vietnam Letters #20

Postmark 8th February, 1970

25 Blacket St.
A.C.T. 2602

(Sun) 8-2-70

My Dear Husband Jock,

Sorry for not writing yesterday Dear, but the tablets that the Dr. gave me for my headackes make me very sleepy and all I want to do is sleep all the time but the Dr. said that the sleepy feeling would probably wear off after a few days. I have still been getting the headackes but at least I have been able to stop them with a tablet. [Read more →]

Culturazi #139

There is a problem with the server that normally distributes the Culturazi email so, until the guy who can fix it sobers up from his attendance at today’s PM’s cricket match (ie. tomorrow), posting it here will have to do. And now that I think about it, it’d actually make sense to post it up here every week, so maybe I will.

Welcome to Culturazi #139

Domus Adultus Tonight with Special Guest!

Domus Adultus, the new CMC weekly night of music at Hippo Bar that kicked off spectacularly (excuse the hyperbole, but it was pretty damn good) last Thursday, continues this week and forever after, except for the week after next (12th Feb) where there was a pre-booked show associated with the Fringe Festival. Just a minute ago we discovered The Bionic Hearts’ bionics had failed, leaving us an act short for the night, and were all ‘woe is me’ and ‘spreckle ma cuckfard’ but along comes Alison Procter to pick up a barbecue for some event this weekend and she saves the day by agreeing she’ll probably be able to swing by (as if she had not enough other things to do) and sing a few songs, possibly even with our man, Drummer Dan, her beau and soon to be hubby who can, it is rumoured, play a bit of stretched goatskin or somesuch. Awesome. And a last chance for any remaining hopefuls to blag a root with Ms Procter before she weds. I’ll see you in the queue.

Fringe of the Fringe

The Fringe Festival, which sits on the fringe of some other festival, is in danger of becoming so big it needs a fringe in its own right. Maestro Jorian Gardner has picked all the high hanging fruit, the creme de la creme, the top of the barrel and the tips of the popes’ noses to present what promises to be a sumptuous feast of the senses, and as far as I can tell, aside from the king of fatuousness himself (Mssr. Grainey), it’s all local. If not, the first Monday night of the Fringe is definitely all local acts, it being run by the CMC… but that’s enough self promotion…

Casual Projects Ejectus

There’s a lot of stuff happening at the Fringe Festival, including, count ’em, five bloomin’ CD launches, but if you’re fond of farewells (and no I’m not talking about the Cashews who have already had three and have at least a dozen other farewell/last gig/last chance to blag a root occasions lined up this month or so), local punk/pop/ska maestros Casual Projects are playing their last show as a Canberra band there on Sat 7th amongst an awesome line-up of local talent. Don’t believe the Fringe web site which steadfastly insists they’re playing on Sunday, I have it straight from the donkey’s a**e that they’re on on Saturday night.

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Chiffon #89. Just a Few


Well according to an outspoken Muslim cleric, Australians are drunks! This is what greeted me on the front page of the Sunday paper.

This is simply not true. We only ever just have a few beers. There is a difference, don’t you know. If we were drunks we would live on park benches and drink out of bottles in brown paper bags. Going by that standard we are pretty good in this country because we live in houses not parks, and I might add our houses, our homes are off limits to people trying to big note themselves by picking on our lifestyle, indeed, our god given right.

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Gertrude’s Diary #97 – Letters Never Written

I’m often outraged by public displays of stupidity and prejudice, but my natural inclination towards inertia interferes with my resolve to write letters to the authorities.  Thankfully, the need to fill a weekly blog with whatever boring drivel comes to mind has inspired me to write them here.  Read on:

Dear ABC Programming Staff,
Late last year my daughter became interested in a show called Scorpion Island which was aired for several weeks during the hours dedicated as ABC Kids.  A ‘Survivor’ type show tailored to appeal to children, the program pitted different teams of pre-pubescent boys and girls against each other, in various tests of daring and physical endurance.  While this sort of reality television appeals to me about as much as having a manicure with a chainsaw, I was happy to indulge 8 year old Wildflower.  That is until the penultimate epidsode in which a boy and girl were competing in a stupid climb-the-post-and-capture-the-flag type activity.  The girl won, and after the competition the hosts gathered the teams around them to discuss the event.

“So,” they taunted the young chap who lost, “beaten by a girl eh?”

I thought this sort of pointless sexism disappeared in the 1980’s.  In order to address this terrible slight offered to all right-thinking people, I suggest that the man in question have his genitals ripped off and stuffed down his ugly throat.  This would give him the opportunity to see what it’s like to go through life with out a dick.  He might learn something.  And even if he failed to gain any insight from spending the rest of his life sitting down to pee, it would make me feel a hell of a lot better.

Yours sincerely
A Concerned Parent

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Vietnam Letters #19

Postmark 6th February, 1970

25 Blacket St.
A.C.T. 2602

(Thurs) 4-2-70

My Dearest Jock,

Was so pleased to receive your letter this morning, but was sorry to hear that you have hurt your knee. What did you do to it? I hope it isn’t too bad. I have had some awful migraines these last few days, but I think it’s only because of my periods. [Read more →]

Cathy Petocz CD Launch @ The Ampitheatre, Commonwealth Park

The CMC Presents

Cathy Petocz CD Launch

Circle of Rhythm @ The Street Theatre

Circle of Rhythm @ The Street Theatre

INSATIABLE BANALITIES #101. Nigel McLaughlan/Katyusha/Bizerka

Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Jess, Sharkie

Our guests are Nigel McLaughlin and Graeme Bayles, formerly of Katyusha, and Mitch. Niggle now resides in Melbourne so it’s a bit of a reunion, and we get to hear some tracks from his current band, Bizerka.

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod100.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Monday 22nd Dec, 2008. More pics after the jump

Track List

Talgoxen/Zglbom (Katyusha). 5:55
Jamai Jamai (live). 18.01
Kangaroo Sausages (Bizerka). 35:52
Go Home Cow/Down the Volga (Bizerka). 45:40

Gertrude’s Diary #96 – The History Of Coffee

Back at Gertrude’s Diary #83 I invited readers to guess the Greek myth for their chance to win a cup of coffee. Vladimir correctly identified the reference to Pandora, and has suggested that I can expiate my debt by writing an entry on how anything ever got done before the invention of coffee.

References to coffee can be traced back to 9th century Ethiopia, where the plant is indigenous. It spread to Arabia by the 15th century; legend has it that a Mullah gave it to his monks to keep them awake during evening devotions.  Unfortunately, the general populace decided to dispense with the devotions and just hang around the coffeehouses, which were then banned because they were more popular than the mosques. Coffeehouses were closed in Mecca in 1511, wrecked in Cairo in 1534 and forbidden by many edicts in Contstantinople in 1554. I know plenty of people who feel the same way about Starbucks.

In 1660 Italy became the first European country to use coffee, and its consumption spread quickly throughout Europe and England, where coffeehouses became popular social, literary, and polital gathering places.  I think it is important to remember that prior to this pretty much everyone in England drank ale.  They might try a little wine if they were wealthy, and the aristocracy were just starting to drink tea, but apart from that it was ale.  So I want you to picture the scene in the local tavern, sometime in the late 1660’s.

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Backanalia Tonight

The weather is simply gorgeous and tonight’s Backyard Backanalia is subtitled Obamanalia. Three days later the ‘Free World’ gets a new leader, a man who has so many people’s hopes on his shoulders that we should probably all get used to a sense of profound disappointment, but in these last few days before the advent, hope springs eternal and in that spirit we’d like to dedicate this Backy (as it’s affectionately known), not so much to Obama as to that spirit of hope, the hope for a better, kinder, saner, fairer, more sustainable and more musical world.

CMC members only, 7-11pm (doors 6pm), members only + one guest each)
Entry is free, there will be a free sausage sizzle, everything else is BYO and we will pass around a hat for the musicians who will be, in no particular order:

The Fuelers, The CashewsFire on the Hill, Lachlan Coventry, Johnny Huckle, The Bluffhearts.

Ding Dong Her Work is Done

Ding Dong

We are bemused to announce that Margaret of Ainslie, our neighbour, who single-handedly fought the good fight to rid our street of any signs of life and culture, has done so even though she fully intended to up and leave a few months later. Such selflessness. Such benevolence. The neighbourhood will perhaps be dismayed to learn that there now stands nothing between them and a complete outbreak of lawless merry making, nothing that is, except for the fact that we also are leaving, our lease being up and the landlord apparently moving in.

Is it possible that Margaret, who admitted on 666 ABC that it was she who complained to our real estate agent (who then issued a cease and desist letter regarding the Backyard Backanalia), has also been involved in our dismissal? I guess we’ll never know, but fans of Margaret can cherish the possibility that her final gift to the neighbourhood was to rid it of us for good.

As Margaret told us during our pre-emptive visit to discuss the Backanalia with her (which she denied ever happened, to the Chief Minister no less), she was desirous of moving to ‘a better area’ of Ainslie, so we can’t accept credit for having moved her on. Residents of ‘better areas’ of Ainslie can only hope that Margaret and her charming maltese terrier are heading their way.

Chiffon #88. High-Powered and Street Legal


Ego driven drivers in high-powered high-performance street legal machines. Oh yes they exist and recently I observed one weird trend that seems to be getting larger or at least more popular amongst these standouts in our communities. More about that a little later.

What about some of these individuals and their personas? Don’t they realise they are role models, rightly or wrongly, and I wonder who their role models are? Who and/or what is responsible?

The moral development(?) of society in the western world seems to have been left up to the telly. America and England, the conservative as well as the tearaways, lead the charge. At least this is my observation from growing older in this country.

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