Rachel's Blog Rachel's Blog: Listen

Sun, 11 Mar 2007
Dylan hears...

Everyone on the planet has been linking to this. Frankly, Bob Dylan turns my stomach and tribute artists more so, but I want you to try something different. Go to the site. Press pause. Put your headphones on and turn the volume up a tiny bit.

Woah. I've had this going in the background for half the evening. I think I'm going into a trance.

Thu, 15 Feb 2007
'Tis a parrot and he's hopping mad!

The first episode of "I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue" aired in 11 April 1972. From a listener's recording, it is available from the BBC for a week only. 36 minutes.

(via Crooked Timber)

More information on this long-running radio show at Wikipedia.

Mon, 30 Oct 2006
Whitney Music Box

a musical realization of the motion graphics of john whitney as described in his book "digital harmony"

I like to call it "sounds and patterns that will either evoke 70s sci-fi films or melt your brain".
Very cool.

(via Crooked Timber)

Fri, 14 Jul 2006
Me Interviewee.

I am going to be interviewed about Continuum by John Weeks on Spectrum FM Radio at 11.30am Saturday morning. Exciting! That's 3MDR 97.1FM.

Fri, 26 May 2006
Plan your friends; Plan your CD collection.

With today's ease of access to Everything it's often difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately there has been a recent spate of "What to" books. As in What to Read, What to Watch, What to Listen To and even What to Visit. Once you have consumed these texts you will then be a well-rounded human being able to engage in all manner of conversations with friends and strangers alike.

Today Craig Mathieson adds a material edge to the trend with his article of 100 albums you should own to impress your friends. You don't even have to know why they're important albums, or even what they sound like.

If you were to go out of your way to own all of these CDs I think you would be regarded as a less of a rock 'n' roll hipster and more of an out 'n' out schizophrenic. Not that music lovers wouldn't own both AC/DC and Dusty Springfield or that Simon and Garfunkle never share shelf space with Nirvana, but you've gotta wonder how often.

There is a nod to reason in the last sentence.

But you've just got to enjoy music. You can't plan your CD selection.

But if you can't plan a CD collection, what's this list for? Don't you want your friends to like you for what you own? I won't pretend to understand if you get your kicks collecting Eurovision Song Contest albums, but I will say




(Four. We own four of the CDs on the list. So unhip our legs threaten to fall off. And just wait for the comment that reveals the eclectic nature of our collective unhipness.)

Tue, 09 May 2006
Review: I Like to Sing - Justine Clarke
I Like to Sing! CD cover

Justine Clarke's I Like to Sing! passes the crucial test for an album for children. It can be put on repeat for days and days and nearby adults will not want to screw small toys into their ears to drown out the noise.

The music is complex, layered and fun. Writer Peter Dasent (Play School pianist) has used samba rhythms, circus music, jazz beats and a wealth of musical tricks to give each track it's own personality and story. The lyrics and themes have also been carefully written, being relevant to preschoolers, yet surreal and silly.

In the same way that Play School addresses each individual child, Clarkes' singing does the same. While taking on the role of a cheeky kid, she is singing to her best friend and expects them to join in. It's difficult not to.

Cook was in the kitchen, tapping both his feet
Banging on the pots and pans, chicken heard the beat
Stood up in the skillet and began to kick his legs
That chicken was as naked as when it was an egg
It was the dancing chicken, dancing chicken!

No costumes, no merchandising, no choreography, no dance troupe, yet excellent for car trips. If you don't think the W*ggles need any more encouragement, yet your youngest friends aren't quite ready for Rammstein, I recommend it.

In this interview with Preschool Entertainment Clarke discusses the background of the album and promises a tour.

Wed, 19 Apr 2006
Speeches: Doctorow, Sterling, Williams

Audio files are available from the ABC for the GoH speeches given at Conjure, the 45th Australian National Science Fiction Convention, held in Brisbane from April 14-17, 2006:

Cory Doctorow

Bruce Sterling

Sean Williams

Mon, 27 Mar 2006
New Kleptones album - 24 Hours

Run, Do Not Walk. The Kleptones, mash-up royalty, have released a new album. This has increased the greatness of my day by about 3000%. Particularly the inclusion of clips from The Breakfast Club.

There's also a sweet video for one of the tracks on You Tube of 0900 Daft Purple
[via boingboing]

Sat, 03 Dec 2005
The Darkest Chambers of Horror

I need to know how Kasey Chambers found her way into our mp3 collection. Who among you will confess to this dastardly and nauseating crime? Please tell me she is not spontaneously downloading; the work of some devil's apprentice or wayward angel. We all know she's not pretty enough.

Sat, 04 Jun 2005
Let's Get the Dirt

I know you've all only just caught on to the genius that is The Kleptones (where have you people beeen?!) but now you have to go download From Detroit to J.A. I find it far superior to Hip Hopera thanks to the marked reduction in the amount of Queen used.

Fri, 13 Aug 2004
Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

This is, wow, I'm dangerously short on words. Go. Listen. Learn. Admire use of Flash.
I can now definitively say that I do not like Trip Hop. Rather than I like some kinds of electronic music but not others.

Fri, 06 Feb 2004
Send the Marines

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice that Bush is getting all his ideas from that musical genius Tom Lehrer:

When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first send the Marines!

We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,

What do we do? We send the Marines!
For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war,
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
O we hate that expression.
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!

Sat, 13 Dec 2003
I am not impossible to buy for!

Three CDs complied by the British Library from their archives. Writers, poets and childrens' authors reading their own works. Many date back to the early days of recording. Included are Tennyson, Joyce, Dahl, Tolkien, Milne, Briggs, Pullman, Yeats, Cummings, Woolf, Wells and Forster.
Some of the recordings are the last known of the particular writer and included are gems such as Robert Browning forgetting the words to his own poem. Christmas is nearly here folks! (The catalogue also has a rather nifty gift section.)