Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tom Waits rocks. That's all. Two songs. Buy me a beer some time.

Because, you know, I haven't posted a Tom Waits song for a while. In fact, not since December last year. Also, most of the Waits' songs I have posted tend to be devastatingly heartbroken ballads, of which I proved in my groundbreaking post Tom Waits' Top 20 Tearjerkers Of All Time that Waits is a master, second to none.

I did include a wider range in my considered Top 20 Songs of the Past 20 Years list, which rather conservatively only featured 19 songs by Tom Waits, But still. I figured the world needs me once more to post Tom Waits and to post Tom Waits live and rocking out as only Tom Waits (and his band of brilliant musicians) knows how.

So here is a song that is neither a devastatingly sad song of melacholic beauty, nor from the past 20 years. It is a live version of "Sixteen Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six" from 1983's Swordfishtrombone album. Waits is in his full "mad-preacher-as-frontman" mode and the band... well they rock.

It is followed by a live performance of the title track off his 1980 Heartattack and Vine album, just to prove that, whatever you do, you'll be anywhere near as cool as Tom Waits.

'I strum it loud just to rattle his cage...' 

'Don't you know there aint no Devil, there's just God when he's drunk.'

Right. There you go. Buy me a beer sometime. In fact, do it now! Seriously. There is a PayPal button on the right hand side of the blog. ALL MONEY DONATED WILL BE SPENT ON BEER! THAT IS A CARLO SANDS GUARANTEE!!! JUST A COUPLE OF EASY CLICKS TO BUY ME BEER!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I'm so sorry for what I did. Here, have some Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll to make up for it

You know, it's hard to admit when you are wrong. Luckily for me, then, that I wasn't.

However, it is true that my last post was about that strange and disturbing "celebrity" called (for what I am sure is some horrific reason) "Redfoo" and I did fail to provide a "trigger warning".

Now, as part of my research for that post, I subjected myself to some of the clips for Redfoo's "songs" and, believing pain shared is pained doubled, felt it was only fair readers also had the chance to have their faith in the future of humanity decimanted by posting the clips as part of the post.

It had to be done. I am sorry, but it did. THE WORLD HAD TO KNOW! But I am truly sorry for any suffering my actions caused.

To make it up to my huge number of readers, fans and fanatical followers, I hearby provide some brain-cleansing music from two of the greatest acts on God's Own Earth -- Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll.

I have ranted on the glories of both on this blog at some point. Hayes Carll is the brilliant country singer-songwriter from Houston, Texas who has never written a bad song. He is your classic drunken and slightly dishevelled troubadour, staggering from gig to gig with various degrees of facial hair, singing songs alternately witty and heartbreakingly beautiful.

Hayes has increasingly made a name for himself in the US with the sheer quality of his songwriting and performances, but he is not well-enough known in this country by any measure. I saw him in Sydney a couple of years ago with maybe 100 others, max, and he was stunningly brilliant.

Also, this beer can from the US reads 'To Carlo, love Hayes' and was sent to me by DonnaCat, my friend/only person I know from Arizona, who got him to sign it after a gig. It may be the most valuable thing I own.

Shovels and Rope... well... they are another act getting increasing well-deserved attention and critical acclaim. They are the truly glorious husband-and-wife duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, both established performers before joining forces -- Hearst a country singer, Trent heading a rock'n'roll band. Together... they are something else.

With the pair alternating between guitar and drums, their music is ragged, rowdy, rough-edged and earthy. It is filled with raw energy and features absolutely beautiful harmonies. That combination -- of the raw earthiness of their frill-free recordings (their breakthrough album O' Be Joyful was recorded in the back of their van while they travelled around gigging endlessly), with the beauty of their harmonies raises their tales of low-life desperados, murderers and battlers to a whole other level.

Listening to Shovels and Rope is one of those all-too-rare experiences in this godforsaken world -- it actually makes me feel happy. They are so good, I feel like crying when I hear them.

There are, of course, countless labels thrown on their music -- from "Americana" to a wide range of subgenres ending in "-folk" or "-country". It is the kinda thing they take up in a good-natured way in their song Cavalier.

But all that really matters is Shovels and Rope are how music should sound, a reminder that late monopoly capitalism has not, despite its best efforts, snuffed out all talent or enthusiastic energy out of popular music.

They have also just released a great new album called "Swimmin' Time" and there is a documentary I am desperate to see about them called "The Ballad of Shovels and Rope". Tragically, I also have no beer can signed by either half of Shovels and Rope.

So here are the clips. One Shovels and Rope song as a taste, then a clip of an extended live performance, then the formula is repeated for Hayes Carll.

AND THEN THERE IS A *TOM WAITS* BONUS!!! I KINOW RIGHT??? A TOM WAITS BONUS!!! Yes, clips of Shovels and Rope and Hayes Carll each covering a Tom Waits song live!


Shovels and Rope!!!

'We're hanging here within an inch of our lives, from the day we're born till the day we die...'

'I love you like gunpowder loves a good spark...' Just one of the great lines...


Hayes Carll!!!

'Ah, some people just gunna sneak on through, others gotta rattle that cage...'

"I'm gunna leave these blues behind, for some other fool to find...' HA! As if Hayes! As if.


'You're the letter from Jesus on the bathroom wall, you're Mother Superior in only a bra...' Shovels and Rope cover the title track from Tom Waits' most recent album.

'When I see the five o'clock news, I don't wanna grow up...' Hayes' covers Tom's classic from his 1992 album Bone Machine.

EXTRA EXTRA BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah I know what you are thinking! The Tom Waits Bonus is just AWESOME surely there is NOTHING ELSE AWESOME to give us???

Well... indeed there is an extra bonus after the first extra bonus! And that is... a "duet" between Hayes Carll and Shovel and Rope's Cary Ann Hearst!!! I KNOW RIGHT??? HOW MINDBLOWING AWESOME IS THAT??????????

'You were falling like the Alamo, talking fast and drinking slow...' This duet was featured on Hayes Carll's 2011 album KMAG YOYO.

No need to thank me for all this, world. Just buy me a beer some time. No, seriously, BUY ME A BEER I AM REALLY FUCKING THIRSTY!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wow! You are kidding me! A reality TV show judge got glassed??? Who'd have guessed?

If you are anything like me, you'd have greeted the news on Thursday morning that X Factor judge "Redfoo" had been glassed in an incident at a Double Bay hotel the night before with a resounding "who the FUCK is Redfoo?" followed rapidly by "WHY the fuck is Redfoo???"

Now I don't in any way endorse the glassing of Redfoo, I really don't. For three simple reasons:

1) Glassing is a barbaric practice.
2) I am against violence in pubs on principle due to the unacceptably high risk of booze getting spilt.
3) It means I now know who the fuck Redfoo is.

Of the three, the last is unquestionably the worst. I have long been aware I was not exactly "in touch" with much of mainstream popular culture, but never, until I learned of Redfoo's existence, have I been so grateful for that fact.

Now, it is not nice to glass someone. It really isn't. And sure, while you might say anyone who hangs out in Double Bay probably had it coming, it is still pretty damn unseemly, to say the least.

And yet... and yet...

I just cannot help but think... I mean... come on... who among us has not, at some point in our lives, wanted to glass a reality TV talent show judge? I call any prick that tries to deny that a goddamn LIAR!

I mean *sure*, I'll agree, as was pointed out to me in a discussion on Facebook, that if you are gonna glass one of these bastards, then Kyle Sandilands is without question the most obvious and deserving target... but, then again, by all accounts Kyle was not in the pub!

(Also, by all accounts, Kyle is gonna die soon anyway so why waste a decent glass?)

Admitting that is not in anyway to endorse the actual act, but you know, before we rush to condemn the attacker, let us all recall Jesus's wise words -- that before we judge another, we should try walking a mile in their shoes.

I mean, we might not approve of this bloke's methods, but if we found ourselves 15 schooners the worse and suddenly our goddamn pub was taken over by some prick with really stupid hair, ridiculous oversized glasses WITH NO LENSES IN THEM and some variety of costume a drunken five-year-old would feel embarrassed to be seen in ... well COME ON! Who among us can honestly say that, faced with the sheer HORROR of it all, in a sudden desire to be rid of the SMUG, PRETENTIOUS and TOTALLY TALENTLESS SHIT THAT HAS SUDDENY ENVELOPED OUR PUB... we may not have decided to take matters in hand?

It is wrong to do so. Of course it is. But that doesn't mean you can't understand where the impetus comes from.

 Redfoo. I don't know why... any of it... either.

See, in researching this blog post (the sacrifices I make), I now know FAR MORE about Stefan Kendal Gordy, who for some truly inexplicable reason calls himself "Redfoo", than I ever wanted.

It is not just the fake glasses or dumb costumes, this is a guy who is famous coz he is the son of someone who meant something in popular culture -- the guy who founded Motown Record Company -- and whose own contribution has been to form some horrific group called "LFMAO" (get it???) with his nephew.

And yes, as research, I actually subjected myself to some insanely ridiculous clips, like the one below.


He's sexy and he knows it.

I even watched a full performance of one his "songs". Warning: it features the opening ones: "The Foo! The Foo!"


'The Foo! The Foo!'

Further lines include: "I'm laid-back! I'm feelin this! Tonight's the night and I just wanna let it go! Hit the play back, I know your feelin this, c'mon baby, lets get ridiculous!"

The Foo continues:

And I love to dance, this be the beat that'll shake ya pants
Shake ya pants, yeah take a chance, and if ya can't move ya feet then wave ya hands
Wanna know a lil something bout me? (Hey!) I was born to rock the party
I was born to rock your body, I'm fresh, I'm slick, I'm ladi dadi, oh!


But The Foo goes on!!! I know what you're thinking! You're thinking: "Where can The Foo go from here??? He has NAILED the whole 'It is a party and I like parties' thing. .. Surely there is LITERALLY NOTHING else any grown adult could possibly want to say on the topic???"

But that is where you'd be wrong! For the Foo explains:

All the time I be seeing you at school, 
And you so fine I just had to play it cool
You blow my mind, all the crazy things you do
I see that you wanna act a fool so baby, lets get ridiculous!

YEAH! HE BE SEEING YOU AT SCHOOL!!! That is like really cool and not in any way creepy despite the fact that "The Foo" actually like turns 39 in September and, if he was at school, it would be as the geography teacher, the gardener and/or the local peodophile.

I mean, just watch as much as this clip below as you can stomach and then see if it is any mystery HOW Redfoo ended up glassed.


'You could be my new thang'

Now I know the justification for all this is it is deliberately and consciously cheesy and knowingly OTT.

Except I think "The Foo" plays the "let's make it really bad and pretend it is a joke" card... because he is actually just really bad.

And I don’t think his sexism is some sort of ironic act. I just think he is really sexist. Because, on available evidence, "thang" is literally how Redfoo refers to women. So for instance, when he was glassed he was, by various accounts, surrounded by a number of women. But not by his own account.

No, by his own account, he was "sitting in the back area with my mates, surrounded by some thangs". You get it? Some “thangs"!!! IE: SOME WOMEN!!! THIS GUY IS A CHARMER!!!

Did I mention the guy has no lenses in his glasses?

The Foo took to twitter not long after the attack to claim: "Jealousy is a hell of a drug."

Look, maybe. But also, Redfoo, maybe you are also just some middle-aged man in a band with your own fucking nephew who wears stupid glasses and performs totally creepy songs with sexually suggestive lyrics involving school students.

Doesn’t mean you deserve to be glassed, maybe. But also, maybe you probably don’t deserve to be on national TV and also... let’s be frank.... you should probably not be left unattended around young female school students. I mean, I am just going by your own words here, dude.

Friday, July 04, 2014

'Welcome to hell, ladies and gents'... this country needs some fucking horror country

Yodel well, and your pickings swell
And you play so hard for the folks in Hell
And they can't see nothing
...Nothin' at all

Chains to the legs, bolts to the ground
"You boys ain't leaving 'til this crowd turns around"
They don't hear nothing
...Nothing at all

The colder the night, the hotter the lights
Your sweat drips down and the crowd starts fist-fights
They hear nothing
...Nothing at all

But the air on stage is burning our lungs
And we're all going deaf from the beating drums
And you can't see a thing for all the blood
And sweat in our eyes

Yeah we played 'til we died, and now we're all dead,
But the man says "You gotta get up there again
And you can't come down 'til the brimstone turns to ice"

And you can't sing a note for the dust in your throat
We're running on empty and the bands lost all hope
'Cause they hear nothing
...Nothing at all

Welcome to hell, ladies and gents
You sinned and fell, no time to repent
And you can't hear nothing
...Nothing at all

No you can't hear nothing
Nothing ... at ... alllll.....

Welcome to Australia. It is not a very nice place.

From kicking the shit out of the poorest and weakest to dashing the hopes of any poor soul who might, out of sheer desperation (cos you'd have to be fucking desperate to dare ask the authorities in THIS shitheap for help)... well... "We're running on empty and the bands lost all hope, 'cause they hear nothing.... nothing at all..."

Bit of horror country, courtesy in this case of Graveyard Train is probably what this godforsaken hellhole needs, whether it fucking wants it or not.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Todd Carney Show Trial and the NRL's piss-soaked hypocrisy

For controversial sporting bans for violating common decency, forget Luis Suarez and his four-month ban from all football-related activities after the Uruguayan striker decided to taste a little Italian. If you want a truly outrageous, even disgraceful, penalty for a sporting star, it is hard to overlook the sacking of rugby league player Todd Carney.

Carney was given his marching orders by the NRL's Cronulla Sharks after a photo emerged on social media of Carney in nightclub toilets engaged in an activity that had nothing to do with the sport, any crime, or even any harm being committed against anyone at all, except, perhaps, for Carney's own sense of dignity, which by all available evidence, was pretty thin on the ground anyway.

True, the supposed activity was especially attention-grabbing -- the photo purportedly showed the 28-year-old halfback urinating directly into his own mouth in the dunnies of some club called Northies after Cronulla got slaughtered by Manly.  

(And, surely, losing to Manly is the real crime here... I mean rugby league is not my game, but I might not grasp the fucking point of a scrum beyond giving players a chance to shove their head up other men's arse without having their sexuality questioned, but even *I* understand the importance of beating those over-privileged North Shore Tony Abbott-backed Manly bastards.)

The result was Carney was tossed aside for that greatest of crimes for major sporting codes and clubs -- the crime of generating embarrassing headlines. 

No one has stopped to ask whether, if Carney's idea of a good time is pissing in his own mouth in some dodgy nightclub dunnies, that is really a matter for him. He wasn't asking for society to grant him permission, or even to pretend to understand what seems a pretty fucking weird fetish.

He was just a bloke standing at the urinal of some shit club getting snapped while trying to piss into his own gob. 

We all have our own way of unwinding.

Worse, the guy who took the photo, who said “I went into the toilet, found Todd there, he asked me whether I had heard of 'The Fountain’,” actually clarified that “the urine never went into his mouth”.

It seems it was just a prank, a party trick designed to make it look like he was pissing into his mouth. Much like, as his manager helpfully explained, when people stand in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa”. You know, so it looks like the tower is their dick. 

Look... no one has ever accused Todd Carney of being in anyway classy or even vaguely highbrow, but if being a bit of a gross dickhead was grounds to sack professional sports players, well fuck, there'd be so few available for selection, I could probably get a run on the half forward flank for my AFL side, the goddamn Essendon Bombers (and actually, given the combination of a seriously shit forward line and the threat of ASADA suspensions over illegal supplement allegations, I am half expecting a desperate phone call from Bomber Thompson anyway).

True, Carney has some form. He has been repeatedly done for drink-driving and got done for driving dangerously without a licence (while allegedly drunk). He has even been accused of causing harm to others by setting fire to some poor bastard in a club in one case and even pissing on a bloke in a different club in another.

And yes, I know that last case seems to indicate something of a urine fetish, but at least in the recent case, he was only pissing on himself! Surely this is progress for which he should be congratulated!

Now, OK, I will grant you, on a scale of injustice between 1-100, Todd Carney not being allowed to run around a pitch in tight shorts wrestling other thick-necked boofheads struggles to even reach a single digit when, at the same time, our own fucking government jails more than 1000 children indefinitely in isolated hell holes for no crime asides from belonging to families forced to flee repression. 

But on the scale of hypocrisy, it is through the fucking roof. Because what is so outrageous, so unutterably disgraceful, is that the NRL does have a real and widely documented behavioural problem... and it has nothing to do with urine at all. It is found in the repeated allegations against NRL players of serious acts of violence against women -- including many accusations of rape. 

And I know of no case in which allegations of rape or bashing a woman has led to the immediate and direct sacking of a player. If there is such a case, it is a clear exception. The rule is the club, and the NRL, forms ranks around the players and tries its hardest to make the issue disappear.

Carney commits no crime and hurts no one -- but gets sacked. But, as a Mamamia article entitled Hey NRL when will you ban players who bash women? points out, a petition campaign was started in 2012 to try to convince the NRL it should actually terminate the contracts of players found guilty of domestic violence – of which there were two at the time.

And as to rape, the allegations, frequently of a gang rape variety, have really piled up over the past 15 years or so.  In each case, the cry from the club and code is the players deserve to be considered “innocent until proven guilty”.

But really, even without looking at the documented difficulty women have in getting rape allegations proven through the courts, we don’t not need to dwell on any particular allegation to get a clear, unambiguous sense that their sheer number, featuring many players from several clubs, indicates a serious fucking cultural problem among professional rugby league players.

The July 2009 issue of Cleo.

And this is what is so outrageous about the Todd Carney case. It is that the code and club lost their shit over one stupid photo in which no one was hurt and it seems to have been staged anyway, while doing worse than nothing over what is clearly a deeply engrained and widespread culture of violent misogyny.

The NRL and individual clubs happily ride roughshod over gang rape scandals involving their players. NRL clubs have even selected players to play the very week they were publicly named as alleged rapists.

If you are alleged to be involved in a gang rape, not only is your career far from finished, as Carneys seems to be. You can even look forward to a successful high-profile media career. Can’t you, Matty Johns?

And that fact is 1 million times more sickening, more stomach turning and more utterly, unspeakably foul than anything Todd Carney could ever do to himself with his own bodily fluids. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

What the FUCK is your problem? And what the FUCK are you going to do about it??? ASK CARLO SANDS THE ANSWER!!!

This is one fucked-up world *positively filled* with lunatics claiming to have the answer to all kinds of insane shit. Like Iraq.

Right now, as I type, Iraqi cities are falling to Sunni fundamentalists. So ... who do the media ask for suggestions on what to do about it? Tony Blair.

And you'll never *guess* what he said to do! NO REALLY YOU WON'T! HE SAID *ATTACK THE PLACE AGAIN*!!! REALLY!!! HE DID!!!

That's right. That was the response of the fucking lunatic, deluded, lying, war criminal who, with his even *more* demented mate George Bush, led the "Coalition of the Willing" in to systematically destroy Iraqi society against the opposition of literally the largest and more viseably expressed global opposition to anything ever in human history. They then unleashed a wave of death and destruction that left at least 1 million Iraqi people dead.

"Described as 'the largest day of international demonstrations in history', an estimated one million people in London marched against the planned invasion of Iraq in what is widely accepted as the biggest ever political demonstration in Britain. They joined betwen six and 10 million people in 60 countries protesting against the invasion. On the morning of the march, Tony Blair spoke of 'bloody consequences' if Iraq was not confronted."

So yeah, if you want advice on how to FUCK UP IRAQ, then Jesus Christ, Tony's your man. If  you want to know how NOT TO SCREW IT UP EVEN MORE, well ask ANYONE ONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD who isn't Tony Blair or his cronies among the "leaders of the free world" who ignored vast majorities in their own countries to go and commit the strongest contender so far for the Crime of the Century.

Yeah, maybe we *don't* listen to a lunatic, deluded, lying war criminal on what to do about the country that was the victim of his horrific, unspeakable crimes. 

My point is... you got a problem... you ask an *expert*. And I am here to tell you there are few people with more experience with *problems* than CARLO FUCKING SANDS. YEAH I'VE GOT MORE PROBLEMS YOU'VE HAIRS ON YOUR HEAD! SO GO ON!!! TRY ME!!!


I think I shall *also* assign you a relevant Tom Waits song. Coz nothing soothes a troubled song like the crooning of Tom Waits. Unless, of course, you specifically ask me *NOT* to dedicate you a Tom Waits song, in which case, I'll give you two.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It is nice when your efforts are appreciated

Hey, look, not a problem! Seriously dude, it's my pleasure! It is just nice when someone appreciates your efforts, you know?

(Heads up to Ben for pointing out the existence of a sign dedicated to my life's work.)