The greatest cover up in history – The unheralded Robert Zimmerman

So the story goes, Robert Zimmerman’s deftly nuanced acting performance in The Night We Called It a Day landed him a lot of scripts which would have otherwise gone to Daniel Day Lewis. His manner of holding the gun beside his lover and that sneer in his eyes was about as menacing as anything I’ve seen, including what Pesci o De Niro could muster in Goodfellas. There is still endless discussion in many acting circles how Robert’s gritty and heart wrenching portrayal as an ageing rock-star in Masked and Anonymous didn’t earn him an Oscar nod and the film itself at least 8 Oscars. It is farcical how he has been so widely recognised for his songwriting prowess, but not for his impeccable acting performances. Take for example, his breakthrough performance in Don’t Look Back as Bob Dylan. You almost feel you are seeing the real, living, breathing Bob on-screen, but he didn’t even get a nomination! The same with the 11 and a half hour epic Renaldo and Clara and how it has become the No 1 alternative medicine prescribed by Health physicians for patients suffering insomnia. Robert’s major contributions to acting have been swept under the carpet while accolades for his writing (including the Nobel Prize in Literature) and his music neatly divert the world’s attention away from his true god-given talent – Acting. Hollywood obviously have something against him since he hasn’t taken away at least the Cecil B DeMille and Sidney Poitier awards for his lifetime acting contribution.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Movies and TV, Music

Did the RIO Olympics Deliver?


Just finished reading this article on BBC about Rio Olympics 2016: Did the IOC’s gamble pay off or did Brazil fail to deliver?

What are your thoughts?

I personally feel the Olympics didn’t pay off. Sure there are always stellar moments on the screen, which you could still get if the events were located near the south pole, but how many witnessed the events first hand? For instance, the public crowd attendance at the Marathon was extremely poor. There seemed more junior guards perimiting the fences than there were actual spectators. The first day athletics sold just half the seating capacity.

The proximity of Rio to major air transport destinations is like 1000 miles. So the normal Olympic traveller may have found the costs too high to travel. And as for the the local support – the cost for the average Brazilian in Favela to attend an event is like half their weekly salary. At least, the football was well attended.
Imagine if the money that was injected into these Olympics was instead put into infrastructure and public housing in Brazil?

The booing against opposition was terrible to hear in Brazil, but that occurs in nearly total Latin American. The ESPN Latin American commentators were similarly bad-sports when viewing say a Weightlifter against a Latin opponent and chant – Please No, no no, no as he was going to lift. It’s no wonder multiculturalism, tolerance, and diversity hasn’t exactly thrived here in the sole Catholic continent, that which is South America. I thought the values of Religion brought goodness and decency to its followers :lol:

The poor behaviour of some athletes also left a sour taste, which I don’t need to expand on here since it has been done to death in the media. Don’t forget the green pool, but looking back that is probably the least of the problems seen at these Olympics.

So the IOC maintain the tournament was a huge success and encapsulated the vibrance and culture of the Brazilians. They wanted to bring the torch to a new continent, but had they considered any of the above might occur? Or did they just want to let a divided, developing nation who were up for it politically become even more disunited and entangled and left to the whim of the corruptive powers that be? Naivity and appearances aren’t what they are all cracked up to be.

Updated 23 Aug 2016:

Rio 2016: After the Olympic party, reality bites for the city’s poor – ABC NEWS AUSTRALIA

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Movies and TV, Sport and Adventure

Fallen Angels – Bob Dylan (a snappy review of Bob Dylan’s latest album)

fallen angels
Like its predecessor, the masterpiece Shadows in the Night ( my review here), this album is enticing a whole new audience to the Bob Dylan musical repertoire; the type of audience which lounged their music away and didn’t think twice, but that’s alright. Fallen Angels gives them another side to Dylan, like a saltier martini that makes the going down so much more pleasurable. He has again craftily demonstrated his whet appetite for romantic divulges, which is really his most enduring theme when you reflect back on his music. Some say Dylan is a folkie, hippster, poet, ‘song and dance man’, but what he really is just a smoothie and all he’s done is gone back to that lil’ ol thang that captivates him more than anything else – ‘Love’. This album is a more light-hearted extension of the heavy Shadows dose; an artistic expression of a 70 something year old’s innate desires to feel love. It’s that simple, yet so utterly convincing, unlike how young crooners cross their t’s and dot their i’s. How lucky are we?

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Music

Colombian Police Are Just Doing Their Job

Colombian police
I was stopped by Colombian police on the street today because I looked like a delinquent and was asked to show my ID. As they ogled my ID, I removed my sunnies from below my hoodie so they could match my eyes.
Most people would feel bitter about being stopped based on their appearance, but I wasn’t. On the contrary, it’s the only thing that has kept me safe on the streets after all these years and even better still, it’s reassuring the police can spot a hoodlum when they see one.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Reflections

Hail, Caesar! – The Latest from the Coen Brothers

I finally saw the Coen Bros latest Hail, Caesar! (click for IMDB overview). It’s very  playful, multilayered, satirical and witty as you would expect from the highly original Coen duo. At times, stylistically and comedically it reminded me of a Mel Brooks movie. The production design is to die for and there are some jaw-dropping choreography scenes reminiscent of the Gene Kelly movies. There is a gloriously funny scene between Ralph Fiennes character and Alden Ehrenreich and those who have seen it will know the one I’m referring to. George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansen and Alden Ehrenreich were captivating in every scene they appeared. The Francis McDormand editing room scene is another standout. There are so many references to the great films of the day that if you blink, you’ll miss a few.

Half way through, I was thinking this could end up being my favourite movie of the year, right up their with their unheralded screenwriting masterpiece Barton Fink (Click to see my review). My main criticism with the film and why it doesn’t attain the heights of Barton is that by the time we have seen its seemingly premature and inconsequential ending, it’s as though we just sat through an early draft Coen Bros movie script put to screen. It seems the movie was pushed out too early without the directors fully realising their own aims and by the end, the plot amounts to basically diddly-squat. Is it still worth seeing? Heck yeh!

Hail, Caesar!, like Barton might not be for everyone, which could be a good thing because it’s about how the Coens are celebrating the films we have perhaps idealized a bit too much. A second tier Coen Bros film is still a great movie and I’m looking forward to seeing it again real soon. I give it an eight out of ten.
Barton Fink, The Big Lebowsky, No Country For Old Men, Fargo and Llewyn Davis (click to read my review) remain my favourite Coen movies, but Hail, Caesar! coulda, shoulda been right up there if the script and character development had been fully realised. I still had a lot of fun with it and that’s the important thing.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Movies and TV

Meanderng Thoughts about the Beatles Anthology

In Australia, my first recollection of hearing The Beatles was at the tender age of six.  In primary school we danced incessantly to Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and Yellow Submarine. It seemed like a daily exercise ritual and I became increasingly disheartened and ininspired and nothing has really changed for me about the Beatles ever since. 36 years after the Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da drilling, I decided to watch the eight episode Anthology of the Beatles, to confirm if indeed I had missed something.

I enjoyed episodes 4 and 5 (the middle years) which had references to their influences including Dylan who two of them claimed was an idol. Easily the most thought-provoking episode is the final which deals with their inevitable divorce.  I was completely bored in episodes 6 and 7 except for their Indian vacation about Transcendentalism.

The Anthology overall, like my primary school had this incessant need to repeat songs, like She Loves You, as if repetition will sign and seal their enduring greatness. How many times do you have to hear Love Me Do or Help, or any of the other songs they repeated in their entirety in this series? I would have just preferred to hear the Beatles and co talk with song snippets in between, in a similar vain to how Scorsese directed Dylan’s ‘No Direction Home’.

My favourite part of the whole Beatles Anthology is presented in this the transcript below from episode 5 which really sums up, how I have always felt about the Beatles and why I always enjoyed their solo works much more. Excuse the format, but I copied it from an English subtitle text:

Then they got interested
and got to really listen and like us

Then this screaming thing started

They used us as an excuse to go mad

The world did, then blamed it on us

We were just in the middle, in a car
or hotel room. We couldn’t do much

We couldn’t go out,
we couldn’t do anything

For us it was a drag –
we knew they wouldn’t hear anything

because it’s just like a riot,
not like a show

It felt dangerous because
everybody was out of hand

Even the cops were
just caught up in the mania

It was like they were this big movie

We felt trapped in the middle
while everybody else was going mad

We were actually the sanest people
in the whole thing

The realisation was kicking in
that nobody was listening

That was OK in the beginning
is that we were playing so bad

We were now a big band. When we
went ‘Whooahh’ and shook our heads
everyone went mad

I don’t really think it was that bad

I was playing just shit
all I could do was…
hold down the off-beat

I couldn’t come off that, really
because if you went to do anything
on the toms, it was just nothing

There was no noise

I just felt that we were
playing really bad

I’d joined the Beatles because
they were the best band in Liverpool
I wanted to play with good players
and that’s what it was all about

First and foremost,
we were musicians

George Martin
Record Producer
Their musical creativity
showed no signs of flagging

On the contrary, they were becoming
more and more productive

The work they were giving me
was much more interesting

They were finding new frontiers
all the time
Our whole attitude was changing
We’d grown up a little

I think grass was really influential
in a lot of our changes

Especially with the writers

Because they were writing different
stuff, we were playing differently

We were all expanding
in all areas of our life
opening up to a lot
of different attitudes

The direction was changing away
from the Thank You Girl poppy stuff

the early stuff –
From Me to You, She Loves You

All the early stuff was directly
relating to your fans
kind of saying,
please buy this record

Thank You Girl, PS I Love You,
it was all very that
There came a point where we’d done
enough of that and branched out
into songs that are a bit more surreal,
more entertaining

Other people were arriving on the scene
who were a little bit influential
I don’t really know whether
we’d been influenced

Dylan was starting to influence us
quite heavily at that point

When it got sort of contemporary
as it were, a contemporary influence
I think Rubber Soul was about
when it started happening

It was just around that period

when we were all getting into
different kinds of music

George’s became Indian

We were all listening to classical music
and various types of music
other than our own
and our rock’n’roll roots

and George moved into the Indian thing

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Music

Dylan’s Desert Island Revue – Final Compilation Release

On the 4th September this year I initiated a project on the Bob Dylan Expecting Rain – Rare Recordings forum. The project entailed compiling Bob Dylan’s greatest live recordings, which are felt by members as superseding their original. One member named MW described the aim as follows: ‘If you were stuck on a desert island, is there an unreleased live recording of a song that you would would want or could happily live with in place of the official studio version (or bootleg). From that description we derived the final compilation release title – Dylan’s Desert Island Revue.

Little over 2 months and 89 nominations later, below is the 4 volume Dylan’s Desert Island Revue (DDIR) compilation:

DDIR (Dylan’s Desert Island Revue) Volume 1 1960’s 1970’s (372MB, 22 files)
DDIR Volume 2 1980s (593MB, 26 files)
DDIR Volume 3 1990s (359MB, 20 files)
DDIR Volume 4 2000s (473MB, 21 files)

File names include: Date, Song title, Location, ERnominee

Below is the list of individual nominations which make up the entire compilation:

1963-08-17 Only a Pawn in their Game – Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium, NY – IO Farm
1963-10-26 Boots of Spanish Leather Carnegie Hall – Smoke
1966-04-20 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue Melbourne – belleseb32
1966-05-16 Just Like a Woman Sheffield – belleseb32

1974-01-06 To Ramona Philadelphia … Ramona.mp3 – belleseb32
1975-10-31 I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) Plymouth … Acts_L.mp3 – tom thumb
1975-07-03 Abandoned Love NY The Other End – The Bard
1975-11-04 I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine Providence – Nellie
1975-11-11 Romance in Durango Waterbury – belleseb32
1975-12-02 Hurricane Toronto – belleseb32
1976-05-03 Shelter From The Storm New Orleans – belleseb32
1976-05-11 Spanish Is The Loving Tongue San Antonio – belleseb32
1976-05-16 Going Going Gone Fort Worth – belleseb32
1978-07-01 Tangled Up In Blue Nurnberg (LB-7929) – my precious time
1978-07-04 The Man in Me Paris – Meuse2208
1978-11-11 All Along The Watchtower – Nellie
1978-12-09 Where Are You Tonight Columbia – belleseb32
1978-12-10 Changing of the Guards Charlotte – tyger
1979-11-16 When He Returns, San Francisco – Smoke
1979-11-16 Solid Rock San Francisco – belleseb32
1979-11-18 When You Gonna Wake Up Santa Monica – belleseb32
1979-11-18 Precious Angel Santa Monica – Smoke

1980-04-20 Saving Grace Toronto – IO Farm
1980-04-20 Do Right To Me Baby Toronto – IO Farm
1980-04-20 Solid Rock Toronto – IO Farm
1980-04-20 Pressing On Toronto – IO Farm
1980-04-20 When He Returns Toronto – Levon
1981-07-25 I Believe in You Avignon – tom thumb
1981-07-25 Lenny Bruce Avignon France – IO Farm
1981-07-25 Saved Avignon – IO Farm
1981-07-25 In The Summertime Avignon – belleseb32
1981-11-10 It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) New Orleans – tom thumb
1981-11-10 Watered Down Love New Orleans – belleseb32
1981-11-10 I Want You New Orleans – belleseb32
1984-03-22 Jokerman New York (LB-9869) – Nellie
1986-03-06 Emotionally Yours Osaka – Nellie
1986-07-04 Emotionally Yours Rich Stadium Orchard Park NY (Buffalo) – IO Farm
1986-07-31 One Too Many Mornings Tacoma, WA – tom thumb
1986-08-05 When The Night Comes Falling From the Sky -Nellie
1987-09-17 I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine East Berlin – Nellie
1988-06-07 Man of Constant Sorrow Concord, CA – ApocalypseKurtz
1988-06-15 Its all Over Now Baby Blue Denver, CO – ApocalypseKurtz
1988-06-25 Stuck Inside of Mobile Holmdel, NJ – ApocalypseKurtz
1988-06-25 Gates of Eden Holmdel, NJ – ApocalypseKurtz
1988-06-30 Tangled Up In Blue Jones Beach, NY – – ApocalypseKurtz
1988-10-19 Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream New York – Nellie
1988-12-04 Gates of Eden Oakland, CA – tom thumb
1989-06-28 Every Grain Of Sand Athens (LB-7240) – Nellie

1990-02-01 You’re A Big Girl Now Paris (LB-8699) – Nellie
1990-02-06 Man In The Long Black Coat London (LB-6091)– Nellie
1990-02-08 Disease Of Conceit London – Nellie
1990-06-18 Political World Winnipeg – kuddukan
1990-11-18 Buckets of Rain Detroit – kuddukan
1993-10-08 If Not for You – smoke
1994-03-23 Tomorrow Night – IO Farm
1994-10-20 God Knows – Alamalam
1995-03-11 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue Prague (LB-7257) – Nellie
1995-03-11 Man in the Long Black Coat Prague -tyger
1995-12-17 Dark Eyes Philadelphia – escapeedrifter
1996-04-13 This Wheel’s On Fire Madison (LB-3737) – Nellie
1996-04-13 Crash On The Levee Madison – Carlhutchins
1997-12-19 When I Paint My Masterpiece Los Angeles: – smoke
1998-05-19 The Man In Me San Jose – tom thumb
1998-06-24 Love Sick Birmingham – ApocalypseKurtz
1998-07-01 I & I Dijon, France – kuddukan
1999-04-07 Tryin’ To Get To Heaven Lisbon – Nellie
1999-10-31 It’s Alright Ma Chicago – Smoke
1999-10-31 Stuck Inside of Mobile Chicago – Smoke

2000-09-19 Delia Newcastle – Fat Bob
2000-10-03 Standing in the Doorway Paris – tom thumb
2001-03-09 Mr. Tambourine Man Fukuoka – Handsome Stranger
2001-03-14 Mr. Tambourine Man Tokyo – Carlhutchins
2001-07-12 Fourth Time Around Liverpool – tom thumb
2001-11-19 High Water (For Charlie Patton) MSG, NYC – Handsome Stranger
2002-10-30 In The Summertime St. Paul – tom thumb
2003-10-18 Boots of Spanish Leather Hamburg, – my precious time
2003-10-20 Desolation Row Berlin (Schubert) – Nellie
2003-11-03 Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) Zurich – smoke
2003-11-03 Highway 61 Revisted Zurich – belleseb32
2004-03-07 Moonlight Chicago – escapeedrifter
2004-11-13 Dignity Rochester, NY – Handsome Stranger
2005-04-29 To Be Alone With You Beacon Theatre, NY – Ditch
2005-11-18 Tell Me That Isn’t True Birmingham – tom thumb
2005-11-27 Visions of Johanna Dublin – Smoke
2008-06-11 Rollin and Tumblin Salzburg – meuse2208
2009-10-31 It’s All Good Chicago – smoke
2011-06-22 Can’t Wait Milan – bscore
2014-11-29 Stay With Me NYC – IO Farm
2015-06-20 Till I fell in Love with You Mainz – IOFarm

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Music

Bridge of Spies 2015

Bridge of Spies
While it is indeed a political drama about the cold war, I just didn’t expect it to be so entertaining.
It feels more like watching Indiana Jones, as James Donovan travels to Berlin at the time the wall was being completed to negotiate an exchange with the Russians. I was expecting this movie to be like Lincoln, bogged down in lots of talk and brow raising. Don’t get me wrong, Lincoln is a very fine movie, but Bridge of Spies is everything Spielberg is capable of. The movie’s visuals were large and epic. It is an impeccably rendered recreation of these important moments of modern world history.

Watching Hanks play Donovan who is swept into an overwhelming situation and just keeps his cool and his charm is just highly enjoyable. The combination of Coen Brothers writing and Speilberg has worked wonders. The Coens I think brought a sense of realism to things, but also stylization; the way characters talk at times there’s a lot of things where people try to figure the other person out, which is fascinating to watch. Not to mention Tom Hanks, who is just so stoic in this.

It’s early days, but this movie will be one of the frontrunners come Oscar time.


Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Movies and TV

Seattle Music

The big music blasting the young hearts and minds of the early 90s was ignited from Seattle. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Sound Garden were pumping the airwaves with a vast array of steely melancholic acoustic tunes. It enchanted disenfranchised students like us and we explored ways and means to experience obscure beatnik places in Canberra that embraced such music.  It embodied an Age of Release. Like flower children in the sixties we understood we were children of this movement. We read similar books, dug the same music, eventually took the same drugs and even had similar thoughts, for all we knew.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Music, Reflections

The Screen

It seems all I do these days is stare at the bright white screen. The computer has the gall to stare right back at me as if it knows better. It flickers to black … in the reflection I notice my protruding belly. Where did that come from?
I reckon it happened after I poured that VB into my head. I pull up my shirt and pat my thirty-year-old hairy tummy in soft circles, trying to soothe something bad about myself. I notice my chest jiggling too.
It niggles me also that I might need a haircut and a shave. My hair is turning into the colour of ashes. It’s nearly getting too cumbersome to handle … The pulsating beat of Christine Anu’s song “Island Home” snaps away my self-pity.

Six years I’ve been in the city,
Every night I dream of the sea,
They say home is where you find it,
Will this place ever satisfy me?

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Music, Reflections
Blogs I Follow

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 66 other followers

Christina Strigas

You can't break up with a soul mate

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

Adventures of a Book Addict

Life with Literature, Lattes, and a Little Pug

the undiscovered writer

Writer: a peculiar organism capable of turning caffeine into books.


reflections on life as an house sitter and perpetual traveller


Literature, books , sport and whatever intrigues me


Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)




Sometimes people are mean. But not here.

Talkalittledo - For Life Is Funny

Real Life. Real Stories

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

Friendly Spanish Blog

Spanish classes for adults in London and online Spanish courses anywhere in the world

Daily (w)rite


A Story a Day

A short daily daily short story

Wheels and Goals

News, updates, features and opinions on football and motor sport

When Dylan Sank the Isle of Wight

Jon Blake's novel celebrates the UK's first great rock festival

Auto World Nation

Check out the baddest articles about the Automotive World

Live Life in Crescendo

Inspiring readers to live life with gusto

Musical Wishes Blog

Random Musings on Personal Development

"Broken Glass"

Quietly contemplating female characters in English and American literature

Ilene On Words

The Power of Words

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman