Posts tagged ‘Arts’

I’m Back

After months away and a few half arsed attempts to get back into blogging I have decided to return. I’m not entirely sure why though. I do know that over the last 12 months my life has changed a whole lot and maybe I need to get back into writing my thoughts down. Who knows how much things are going to change in the next 12 months?

I guess that I will elaborate on the details in the next few weeks and that there may be a few retrospective posts to look back on the last year. I will have to keep things brief and not go too much into details, but I never did that in the past anyway.

Book Revue – Does The Sound In My Head Bother You – Steven Tyler

Aerosmith - Steven_Tyler

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I have just finished Steven Tyler’s autobiography and am still a bit unsure of what to make of it all. Problem is that Steven tends to be all over the place with his writing, although once you get over that, and his constant use of the ‘f’ word, this book proves to be an interesting read.

This is a book full of sex, drugs and even a little rock ‘n’ roll, as Steven recounts his life’s’ story. There is a lot of talk about drugs, and Steven is open and honest about his stints in rehab and his many attempts, successes and failures to get himself clean. The drug talk is very frank and open, although I’m not sure whether he fully understands the gravity of his drug problem.

Steven also talks a lot about sex in his book, and about his many infidelities and sexual conquests. Again he is quite open about this and about his inability to understand why his wives and girlfriends have not been able to accept this part of his rock n roll lifestyle.

Perhaps the bits of the book that I enjoyed the most are when he talks about his music and his band Aerosmith, as well as the relationship he has with the other half of the Toxic Twins, guitarist Joe Perry. Steven gives a very good insight into the songwriting process and the chemistry that is needed to be a part of a successful band. It’s obvious that even when the band was disintegrating in the early 80s, to more recent times when Aerosmith has tried to replace Tyler as lead singer due to his inability to remain clean, that there has still been a chemistry and camaraderie within Aerosmith. As Tyler says, Aerosmith are his ‘other’ family and Joe Perry is his soul mate and brother.

One thing that struck me is that despite the fame, sex, drugs and rock n roll, Steven Tyler is a lot like me. Offstage, when he is not playing the rock star, he is shy and reserved and a very thoughtful and caring person who wonders about the mysteries of the world. He has a great curiosity about things. He also seems like the type of person who despite his fame is quite accepting of people from all walks of life. You often hear about famous people who are assholes, but Steven sounds like the type of person who would be anything but arrogant and would be enjoyable company.

I do recommend this book if you are a fan of Aerosmith and yo want to know the ups and downs of America‘s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band and their charismatic lead singer. However if you have discovered Steven Tyler more recently as the crazy old man whose a judge on American Idol I would avoid this, as his life has been anything but wholsome and you will be shocked.

Cars 2

The other day I went to see Cars 2. To show what an impression it made on me, I couldn’t be bothered blogging about it until now. This shows just what an impact this movie made on me.

To say this is the worse film Pixar has made is an understatement. After watching movies like The Incredibles, Wall E, Up! and Toy Story 3, which all have great emotional depth, Cars 2 comes as a major disappointment. It seems to me that Cars 2 was made purely with the merchandising in mind, rather than the plot or character development. The animation was impressive, as it always is, but overall I couldn’t help thinking that Kung Fu Panda 2 was a better movie.

Even the Toy Story short at the start of the film was quite average.

I Can Feel The Fire

Rod Stewart (right) and Ronnie Wood (left) of ...

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Yesterday I attended the The Swinging 60’s/The Art Of Ronnie Wood and Images Of Rock-n-Roll exhibition at the Silver K Gallery in Armadale. There were lots of photos of 60s rock stars. mainly the Beatles and Rolling Stones, while I thought Ronnie Wood’s painting were pretty good, although they seemed to be much more about him making a statement about the famous people he’s hung out with over the years, rather than about his style. I guess this is typical of Woody, ho I love by the way, but he has spent 40+ years playing the sidekick firstly to Rod Stewart and then to Mick and Keith. It’s a shame that his creativity has been stifled by the Glimmer Twins to an extent, because judging by some of the stuff he wrote for the Faces and Rod Stewart (and his solo stuff) he is a very good song writer and a great guitarist. I just wish he was able to step out of Keith’s shadow once in a while!

Astor – Goldrush/Modern Times

The Tramp working on the giant machine in the ...

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Tonight I went to the Astor cinema in Prahran to watch Charlie Chaplin‘s The Goldrush and Modern Times as a double feature. Even though I own both of these great movies on DVD I wanted to see how they were on the big screen.

It was amazing. Both films are over 3/4 of a century old, yet they both still retained their power to make an audience laugh and cry. Yes, the dancing breadrolls scene in Goldrush had me blubbering like a baby. Not only is this one of the most iconic of all scenes in cinema, but one of the most beautiful too.

I am thinking of going back to the Astor next week. On Saturday they have the Sound of Music playing whilst on Sunday it’s Forbidden Planet/The Time Machine. I am definitely going in August to see Vertigo and Rear Window.


Modern Times

Defryme – Audrey

Remember Defryme from the mid-90s with Sanity, Mama Said Knock You Out and Purekiller?  I think I saw Defryme once at the Espy, cannot remember too much about it as most times in the mid-90s when I was at the Espy I was a little bit (a lot actually) inebriated.

I know I did see the other Melbourne Def band out at the time, Def FX with Fiona Horne, when they were supporting Boom Crash Opera at the Manhatten (I think) in Ringwood. Deb Conway was also on the bill that night and verbally abused the audience for not giving her enough appaluse. I’d never heard a lady use such profanity! Good times!!!

Anyway not only have Boom Crash Opera reunited for a tour, but so has Defryme. They also have a new song. They’ll be playing at the Portland Hotel in Russell Street on July 9th at 9pm.

I also know one of the members in the band, Michael on the bass, who was married to my sister. Despite the awkward click he does at the start of the clip he is a pretty cool guy. (Just don’t tell him I said that!)

Batman vs The Joker – The Joe Miller Joke Book

Here’s another great Golden Age story which focuses on the Joker’s vanity and the fact that he considers himself a great comedian.

The Hand Behind The Mouse – The Ub Iwerks Story

Ub Iwerks

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This excellent documentary by Leslie Iwerks (grand-daughter of Ub) is about the legendary animation pioneer Ub Iwerks, the man who not only created Mickey Mouse and single-handedly animated the mouses‘ first few cartoons, but made so many other technical contributions to movie making in general. This documentary was included as an extra on the Walt Disney Treasures’ Oswald The Lucky Rabbit dvd box set.

The documentary rightly concentrates mostly on Ub’s contribution to animation, thoroughly examining his first meeting with Walt Disney, his work on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies, and then his branching out onto his own away from Disney. It gives a fascinating insight into the animation industry at its beginning, and about the relationship between Ub and Walt. It also examines the underhanded way that Charles Mintz stole Oswald and most of Disney’s animators from Walt, although with the exception of Hugh Harmon, none of these other animators (Rudy Ising and Friz Freleng) are mentioned.

One thing that I was a little disappointed with was the way in which it skipped hurriedly through the technical innovations Iwerks made, such as the development of the multiplane animation camera, developing the processes for combining live action and animation, the xerographic process adapted for cel animation, the work he did to develop the rides at Disneyland, and the special effects work he did on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. These are mentioned briefly but get nowhere near as much time as his animation career does.

Overall it is a great documentary with a lot of information about one of the greats of animation. It is narrated by Kelsey Grammer and is a must watch for anyone who is interested in how the Disney story all began.

Queen – I Want To Break Free

I love Freddie Mercury and Queen. Such a great, fun band. Freddie is greatly missed.

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again (87)

How can you not like 80s music? I remember this from when I was 14 years old. Good times. Not like the rubbish that passes for popular music today!