#Creativity – the ‘ugly beauty’ of The Velvet Underground

I Wanna Be Creative!

We can all learn a lot from the creativity of The Velvet Underground – the way they sounded so different from other music going on at the time – in the late 60s.

VU tamb e2da1a385b01bc82e58f768ee888a561

I mainly got into The Velvet Underground when I was a university student in the 80s when a friend with broader music tastes introduced me to their sound.

TB VU

As I was a pretentious and impressionable Arts student – I loved the arty experimentation of The Velvets and how they tried to combine art and music and how they dared to be different.

One of the many things I loved about their sound was what I describe as an ‘ugly beauty’ or should that be a ‘beautiful ugliness’?

Anyway, for me, there was always this ‘exquisite tension’ between beauty and ugliness.

cale viola VU

For example, John Cale played the viola  – but it often wasn’t ‘pretty viola’ but an ugly…

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Do you know what other things “Debbie does”? #Cyclone Debbie

You’ve probably noticed lots of “Debbie does…” headlines with the coverage of Cyclone Debbie.

 

Debbiedoesdallas

 

debbie d 2.jpg

I was aware of the existence of the ‘film’ Debbie Does Dallas – even if I hadn’t seen it (honest!).

 

I suspect many other people are aware of the title Debbie Does Dallas – but know little else. I googled it and found some interesting (and IMHO amusing) facts.

  1. The adult movie from 1978 is one of the most famous movies of its kind.

2. There is even a musical called Debbie Does Dallas – The Musical. 

3. Neither the movie nor the musical featured Larry Hagman.

4. The movie was so ‘successful’ it spawned imitators such as Debbie Duz Dishes.

 

I’ll  have to ask my meteorologist friend:

  1. who gives cyclones their names
  2. whether, in his opinion, the namer had any idea they types of headlines the name Debbie would encourage

 

 

 

Did your parents have any music albums that were so “groovy” you had to take them for your music collection? This was an album I loved…

efangelist

It was like striking oil – finding this album in a box of old vinyl records I’d left at my folk’s place when I moved to another city.

Lots of great memories came gushing out!!! Black vinyl gold – Texas Tea!

S & G

I remember this album so well. It was my mum’s album and I remember being “blown away” by the groovy art work.

Even just looking at the cover now – gets me  ”feeling groovy”.

Later, when I’d buy my own albums I was more into JoyDivision and The Dead Kennedys – but when I left home I wanted to take this Simon & Garfunkel album with me.

(The album went back to my folks with boxes of some other stuff – when I later moved to another city!)

Joy D

Dead Kennedys

I remember the lyrics to “I am a Rock” got me interested in writing and “poetic devices” and song lyrics –…

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What are your memories of Aussie band Mental as Anything?

Reblogged today – because it’s Greedy Smith’s 60th birthday!

Sentimental as Anything

What are your memories of Aussie band Mental as Anything?

Reg Mombassa’s unique guitar playing where he looked like he was wrestling with the tremolo arm of his fender?

Greedy Smith’s flamboyant jackets and karate chop keyboard-playing style?

As you may guess from the name SentiMENTAL as Anything – I’m a big fan of “the Mentals”

Of course, I also liked the aloof coolness of The Church – but I always enjoyed the “silliness” of Mental as Anything

My friend Mark from law school introduced me to the unbridled joy of Mental as Anything.  Mark (who became a serious barrister) knew all the Mental’s lyrics and would chuckle about the art school Australiana of lyrics like “Cruising in Third looking for bird”.  He lent me his Mentals LPs and I was hooked!

Any party playlist had to include the Mental’s classic “The Nips Are Getting Bigger”. Bass players…

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More amazing things about toast and toasters

Sentimental as Anything

In a previous post, I wrote about how a visit to a cool cafe adorned with retro toasters inspired me to ponder the importance of toasters and toast.

black toast

B toast 2

B toast sign

I was amazed to find that the toaster has also been used as a percussion instrument – and there is even a song about TOAST s you can enjoy here:

There is even a town in North Carolina called Toast

Toast town

When I travelled to Singapore, I was surprised to find a food chain that specialises in…you guess it!  TOAST.

Plus their range of popular spreads for toasts.Coming from a “toast” culture like Australia – toast is commonplace for me – but I can understand to other cultures toast can seem an “exotic” treat.

Toast-Box singapore

I also pondered how different expressions have been inspired by toast:

Of course – there’s warm as toast 

I was familiar with expressions such as You’re Toast

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Test your knowledge WD-40, KT26, RP7, TIE Fighter – do you know what the letters and numbers stand for?

efangelist

Do you like to know what different names (letters and numbers) stand for?

As a kid you wanted to know what  the letters in the Star Wars AT-AT stood for.

You researched to find out the meaning behind  the letters in the name R2-D2!

Yes, you were a “detail nerd”!

WD-40

Many people in this world like to know what different letters and numbers stand for.

As a young man (wearing KT26 shoes and using WD-40 on my car and before that my bike) I prided myself on knowing what different names stood for.

KT26

Even these days when I sit through serious business presentations – I feel more satisfied when there’s a good explanation of the story or meaning behind a product or service name. Many business people  have the same need for explanation.

This is my serious side!

If you don’t already know – or if you’d like to know more:

With WD-40 – the

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How the Vulcan Nerve Pinch and Vulcan Salute can help at home!

Sentimental as Anything

My 9-year-old son  Orlando is going through a phase(r) of being into everything Star Trek.

vulcan-pinch

He thinks it’s cool that dad knows so much about Star Trek and has cool Star Trek stuff – like the thermo dynamic mug where the characters in the transporter room “disappear” or “appear” if you add hot  or cold liquid. Hot to make them disappear – cold to cool it down and make the characters appear.

startrekmug

Orlando “teaches” me about the new Star Trek movies.

I’m teaching him about the old Star Trek TV show.

He can be “hyperactive” and always bouncing around or talking about Star Trek or zombies.

I’ve found a way to get some peace – At his suggestion – I “act” in pretending to give him a Vulcan Nerve Pinch and he pretends to sleep for a while.

“How long does a person stay asleep, Daddy? he asks.

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As a kid – did you seek a wise teacher like Yoda or Spock?

Sentimental as Anything

As a kid, did YOU seen a wise teacher like Yoda or Spock?

Like lots of kids I liked action heroes – but I also liked the logical, calm and collected types.

Mt spocks music from outer space

O.K. –  maybe I was  a big nerd  even back then – but I always liked Spock from Star Trek – the TV show.

He didn’t rush in – he didn’t react emotionally. Even as a kid I liked that. I still do now.

I must say Mr Spock got back on my radar because of “The Challenge” video featuring  a confected challenge between new and old Spock.

Sure it’s an ad – but it’s well done.

Just this morning, I was searching the internet for Spock Wisdom and I found this interesting guy (I have no connection with) – but he, in my opinion, perfectly describes the appeal of Spock – especially to a certain generation of…

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The connection between #StarTrek and the #B-52s

Sentimental as Anything

Did you see the  connection between the band the B-52s and Star Trek (the original TV show)?

I was a big fan of the B-52s and I must say, as well as enjoying the music, I loved the fashion sense – especially the costumes and hairstyles  that reminded me of Star Trek.

I first saw the groovy B-52s on Countdown.

B52 countdown

The guitarist Ricky Wilson’s outfit that looked like a Star Trek shirt

Rickywilson b52 star trek

and of course the high hair and short, groovy 60s looking skirts.

star trek high hair

b-52s

B52s group shot

The B-52 took their name from the high hair style (aka Beehive because of the beehive shape) and seemed to love the exaggerated 60s culture.

I saw a great T-shirt that combined these two great things – the B-52s AND Star Trek and here it is…

live long and lobster

—————–

SAA bgrd

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For those who love Spitfires – the ecstasy of high flight – soaring words

Sentimental as Anything

Are you one of those people who grew up loving Spitfires?

Spitfire roundel

I was one of those kids who grew up in Australia being fascinated by the WWII plane – even in the 70s when jets had replaced the prop planes.

I was one of those kids who loved the Spitfire model plane kits.

Even now as a dad, one of the Christmas presents I got most excited about – was a Spitfire kit. I’ll make it with my son and introduce him to the Spitfire too.

Model Ps MP

These days I’m a word nerd who trains people to help  improve their speeches and writing.

word nerd CU

This week my love of speeches intersected with my love of Spitfires.

This week was the 28th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and I was reminded of Ronald Reagan’s assuring address to the nation.

His speech borrowed from the famous words of “The Spitfire Poet” – 

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