The Trooper

My earlier post about the Protomen’s album The Cover Up and their version of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper with each instance of “Russian” replaced with “Robot” got me thinking about what a more extensive conversion would look like. So I wrote one. Here ’tis.

You’ll take my life, but I’ll take yours too
You’ll fire your maser, but I’ll run you through
So when you’re waiting for the next attack
You’d better stand, there’s no turning back

The siren sounds, the charge begins
But on this battlefield, no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and diesel fumes
As I plunge on into certain doom

My cycle engine roars, we break to run
The mighty roar of the robot guns
And as we race towards the android wall
The screams of pain as my comrades fall

We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
And the robots fire another round
We get so near, yet so far away
We won’t live to fight another day

We get so close, near enough to fight
When a robot gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds take my bike below

And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body’s numb and my throat is dry
A mess of wires where my arm had been
I never knew I was one of them

And if that’s not enough desecration of a metal classic, check this out…

The Cover Up

Yes, you can put out a kickass album of covers, but wouldn’t you rather put out a kickass album of covers, claim it’s the soundtrack to a movie from a parallel universe, and imply the plot with your song choices?

I don’t know much about the Protomen, but I know that their version of Silent Running blows the original out of the water (and that The Trooper sounds even better with the lyrics tweaked to be about robots).

Me in Golden Shoes

I happened to catch Planet America last night and was extremely pleased that Cheeto Mussolini’s stupid shoes provided the perfect excuse to repeatedly play clips from Herreys’ 1984 Eurovision winning Diggy-Loo Diggy-Ley – a song that I am inexplicably and entirely unironically fond of.

Behold the official English version, which includes some classic 1980’s CGI – the creation of which probably took several weeks in Quantel Paintbox.

And if that’s not charming enough for you, here’s Herreys’ performance 31 years later at the Eurovision 60th anniversary concert. They’ve still got it! (Or at least still had it back in 2015).

Sleep Deprived Updates

Barely survived the first heatwave of summer. Not that it’s technically summer here until the end of the week. Thank you climate change!

The heatwave lead to sleep deprivation which lead to an odd obsession with Mike Batt’s musical version of The Hunting of the Snark. It’s very good but I’ve listened to it far too many times over the last week, to the point that I’m mentally throwing around casting choices and mumbling fragments of verse under my breath. “But at first sight, the crew, were not pleased by the view, which consisted of chasms and crags…”

This caused me to dig out my copy of the poem – purchased on a whim from Elizabeth’s bookstore in Subiaco in its old location out the back of the markets in around 1990 – and discovering that it’s one of only 1,995 collector copies of the Centennial Edition, published in 1981. I hopped online to check out the value and it’s worth about $100 in good nick – not that mine is in particularly good nick, and I wouldn’t consider selling it anyway. But it’s nice to know that it’s somewhat exclusive.

I’ve also become obsessed with building a 40k scale model of the epic Siegfried Light Tank. I’ve scoured the internet for photos (there ain’t many) and have managed to get a design together for every part of it except the back. I rather suspect I may have to buy one on eBay which while not massively expensive is still a bit of an investment for a tiny piece of metal. And for a model that – if history is any judge – I’ll never get finished. Although maybe if I spend money on it it’ll actually motivate me to finish it. Hmmmm. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Oh, and over the weekend when I was supposed to be getting other stuff done I did an update of my Warhammer 40,000 according to the Simpsons bit of nonsense. The current version is revision 4, but I’m already thinking I need to add the Men of Iron, and know exactly what screenshot to use. In any case here ’tis for your edification and enjoyment.

Warhammer 40,000 According to the Simpsons
Need to add those Men of Iron…

Now that things have cooled down, maybe I’ll be able to get some sleep. I wouldn’t count on it mind you…

The Best Music of 2023

Yes, late October might be a bit early to sum the year in music, but I feel like doing it today anyway so you’ll take what you’re given!

Georgia – Thomas Headon
I absolutely hated this the first time I heard it, but it somehow managed to worm its way into my head. Maybe it’s the baseline?

Renaissance (The White Lotus) – Tiësto
I’ve never watched even a single episode of The White Lotus – I barely even know what it’s about and have very little interest in finding out – but this remix of the theme is amazing (even if it does remind me of Age of Empires memes…).

Fall At Your Feet – Peking Duk featuring Julia Stone
I think Peking Duk missed a trick leaving out the “finger of blame” bit, but that aside this is a great dance version of the Crowded House classic.

Hollywood Baby – 100 Gecs
The outright insanity of 100 Gecs was my musical revelation of the year. I could probably put every track from 10,000 Gecs on this list, but I will restrain myself to Hollywood Baby, the crunchy guitar and distorted vocals of which do weird but highly enjoyable things to my autistic brain. It could easily be my top track of the year.

Coming of Age – Maisie Peters
Maisie Peters has been hitting it out of the park this year to the extent that I could probably do the same for The Good Witch as for 10,000 Gecs, but I’ll pick out Coming of Age, for the Iliad line.

Bad Idea Right? – Olivia Rodrigo
Very catchy and more fun than Vampire (which is also one of the year’s best).

1×1 – Ninajirachi & Ravenna Golden
There’s nowhere enough ominous dance music these days.

Gila Monster – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Trying to categorise King Giz is an exercise in futility. This is probably metal of some kind, although it also quite resembles whatever the hell Darkey and the Keys were up to a few years back.

Kill[h]er – Stand Atlantic
And staying on the heavier side, here’s Stand Atlantic

Great Southern Land – Mitch Tambo
Icehouse’s Great Southern Land is one of the greatest Australian tracks of all time. Mitch’s version in Gamilaraay puts it in the shade. If things had gone differently on October 14th this could have been the party track of the year.

Ray of Solar – Swedish House Mafia
I have no idea what Swedish House Mafia are on about, but I like it!

Hot To Go – Chappell Roan
80s style synths, catchy tune, great vocals, spelling – what’s not to like about this song? Although I do tend to find myself singing “H O T T O-T-O” which I fully blame on Ross and Carrie.

I might add some more songs to this over the next few months, or I might not. Stay tuned!

I just wanna feel some sunshine

My three favourite songs – in no particular order – are…

Ana Ng – They Might be Giants

Girl from Mars – Ash

Santa Monica – Everclear

It struck me this week that all three of them share themes of loss, longing for things you can’t have, and a yearning to just abandon everything and leave for somewhere else.

I don’t know what this says about my psychology, but I don’t expect it’s anything good.

The Voice and Other Matters

Well, the Voice referendum was – as predicted – a total shit show. I’m a big fan of democracy and so should support the will of the people and all, but I can’t help but feel that the vote was affected by huge amounts of people simply not understanding what we were voting about.

I disagree with the opinion of No voters who understood the proposal and rejected it, but I respect their right to have their say. And if their view was that of the majority of Australians then it’s democratically correct for the referendum to have failed. But how many voters said No because they thought the Voice would result in them having to pay rent to local indigenous bodies? Or that they’d have to hand over their house to the first indigenous person who called dibs? Or even that the entire thing was a nefarious scheme by the United Nations to destroy the white race? All of that bullshit was circulating (and being actively spread by bad actors) and all of it would have distorted the vote to some extent.

The Yes campaign seemed to have been blinded by their own comprehension of the proposal and concentrated on aspiration rather than the much more needed education. A goddam one minute explainer video on what the Voice is and what it could and couldn’t do would have been worth a thousand ads with an indigenous kid dreaming about a brighter future.

Anyway, it’s done, and now we have to live with the consequences. I can at least take some small comfort that my electorate voted Yes, and that Western Australia did not turn out to have the lowest Yes vote – the ever reliable Queensland hitting the bottom of that particular barrel.

But on to other matters.

The Saturday of the referendum also turned out to be the day of my 30th Anniversary High School Reunion at the Breakwater at Hillarys. I was not intending to go, but got badgered into it by a couple of friends. Overall… it was alright. I didn’t recognise half the people there but had a few decent catch ups. I also got a hug from the second-prettiest girl in our entire year, and the prettiest refused to let me leave before we’d had a quick chat – both very gratifying to the shy, damaged nerd that still lurks in the back of my brain. I did bail a bit early though as I felt myself starting to get a bit maudlin – which is the reason I wasn’t inclined to go in the first place. I am far too prone to maudlin nostalgia and if not controlled it can wipe me out for days. I got out before it got too bad and merely lost Sunday brooding on lost opportunities and the merciless passage of time.

(On the subject of the merciless passage of time, one of my classmates could have passed for 60. I don’t know what he’s spent the last 30 years doing, but it definitely hasn’t been kind to him…)

On Sunday, just to make my crappy weekend complete, I ran out of money. Which is not to say I had no money, I just found myself completely unable to access any of it. I misplaced the debit card for my standard bank account a few weeks back and was holding out on reporting it lost in the hopes it would turn up, living in the meantime on the hardly-ever-touched card for my savings account. As I was already feeling crap on Sunday morning I decided to bite the bullet and report it lost. With that done I decided to ease my troubled mind by downloading some truly embarrassing music from iTunes, for which I had to set up and use the savings account card.

It was in the midst of purchasing music that I got an SMS from the bank telling me that said card had been blocked because of “suspicious online transactions” and that I needed to call them right away (in hindsight I suspect that Erasure’s Blue Savanah was too much for the bank computer to handle). I did call them right away (after checking that the number in the SMS was in fact their real number and not that of a Belarusian scam artist) and was immediately connected to a recorded voice that told me I’d called them outside of business hours, then hung up on me.

(Why didn’t I log on to my account online? Because I’ve deliberately avoided setting up online access to my savings account to make it harder for me to spend it all.)

So until I was able to get them on the phone this morning and explain that no scammer would pay $2.99 for a digital copy of the 12 Inch ‘Summer’ remix of Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy I was entirely unable to pay for anything – including any more atrocious music.

Anyway, it’s all sorted now and I should soon be back on an even keel, financially if not psychologically.

So, how was your weekend?

Emulating the Ocean Sound

The following bit of sub-par Giant Days fanfiction has been wedged in my brain for several years. I have had vague plans of drawing it, but I suspect it’s not really worth the effort, so I will instead present it here as a script (along with copious apologies to John Allison).

SCENE: Daisy’s room, Catterick Hall, first year. Daisy is studying while music plays from a portable CD player.

Enter Esther and Susan through door (dramatically of course)

Susan: Daisy Wooton, what is this noise?

Esther: Did Enya find a mellotron?

Daisy (picking up and displaying The Mollusk CD case): It’s not Enya, it’s Ween. Ed Gemmel lent it to me.

Esther (while Susan takes and examines CD case): You shouldn’t listen to people weeing Daisy, it’s not healthy for developing young minds!

Susan (looking through CD insert): It appears to concern a grown man talking to a young boy about his ‘mollusc’…

Esther (grabbing CD insert): Is that LEGAL?

Daisy: It’s marine biology! It’s perfectly respectable!

Susan (with barely suppressed glee): It occurs to me that a winkle is a type of mollusc…

Daisy (in horror): Is… Is Ed Gemmel an oceanography pervert!?

Esther (reading CD insert): I’d be concerned if someone’s ‘winkle’ “emulated the ocean sound”. It doesn’t sound biologically plausible.

Susan (finger on chin, in thought): Maybe if they were waiting in an extremely long bathroom queue…


Is this even legal?!
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