prison columnAlright. Where I live, the formal lockdown measures ended in early 2022.

Personally, I think one reason the employment rate is so low right now is because a whole pile of people around retirement age, or quite a few reluctant to retire, realised that hanging about the house wasn't such a bad thing after all. 

In fact, life itself wasn't meant to be spent piss-farting about in a drab office trying not to grimace at the forced jollities, the strict dweebness and the sheer bloody pointlessness of necessary screenwork. Sure, some things need to be done. But we seemed to get by without a hell of a lot of it during lockdown.

And don't get me started on the poor bastards who worked through the pandemic, the nurses and doctors who (as far as I'm concerned) all deserve a 10 percent wage rise (and, for those who actually worked with the Covid patients, an Order of Australia each).

As for the customer service jockeys who endured assorted ding-battery, panicky stupids,  the spectacular ignorances of assorted Karens, Daves, Kylies and Jasons ... again, a 10 percent pay rise across the board is richly deserved. 

And a free “never be charged” card for smacking upside the head anyone who burbles about vaccine peril, 5G and Bill Gates

When people didn't understand science at school, they failed and felt bad, then aimed at something they actually were good at, instead of saying “all scientists are stupid cos I don't understand it”. 

Hell, can you really explain what keeps aircraft up, metal ships from sinking and how a microwave works? No? May as well be magic, then, not science.

I wonder if there's a conspiracy group out there who believe the Harry Potter novels are real?

Anyway, despite all the misery, inconvenience and sheer irritation the pandemic caused; despite revealing the uncomfortable fact that at least 55 percent of the population seem to be spectacularly ignorant and proud of it ...

Alright, I'll come clean ... it's been about 18 months, and I miss - I mean, I really, really miss - lockdown.

Wasn't it great? I mean, wasn't it just fucking wonderful?

Not much money, true, but with what little I had I could scamper to the shops (mask, gloves and so forth) at times when hardly anyone was around, like 8pm on Tuesday night. 

Hardly anyone on the streets, the occasional susurration in the distance as an unseen car whispered past.

Bliss. Even the shouting meth-heads seemed to have plugged their batteries in to the recharge socket.

But best of all. Time to appreciate music you'd forgotten or had yet to discover. Time to read books again, and not fap about on the phone.

And, wonder of wonders, a break from people, those annoying, wonderful, back-stabbing, gorgeous, duplicitous, energising, depressing, entertaining, self-absorbed dolts who make our lives both a misery and a joy. The 55 percent (see above) you hardly saw. They were busy reasurching and drawing the most imbecilic conclusions. Some busily made anti-constipation curries from raw chicken or, panicking, appointed themselves a few more ministries. 

Do you remember thinking, “Hey, Scotty should write his own 'stool-loosener' cookbook?'”Imagine the disclaimer: Scotty is not responsible for any deaths resulting from the consumption of any recipes in this book. 

Couldn't we go back into lockdown again? Maybe just for a couple of months? Do you remember it? It was kind of like being 22 again, with time to kill and few responsibilities.

Speaking of responsibilities ... the pandemic isn't over, we're just used to it. Funny, d'you remember how the death-rate rose and we all ... got used to it. 

Speaking of responsibilities. We need to give back to the musicians when we can. Not all of them had shitty documentaries made about them. We shouldn't get used to the idea that if we haven't heard from them for awhile that they're doing fine.

ollie olsen go fund me

Who remembers Ollie Olsen? If you do, you do; if you don't, do some reasurch.

I don't know if “Live at the Melbourne Town Hall” is the last Taipan Tiger Girls LP, but I wouldn't be surprised. There's only 300 black vinyl copies, and I can't imagine there's many left. 
From It Records' Bandcamp page: 

Stuart Grant of Primitive calculators compared them to "Prince’s band in the ‘80s, not stylistically, but in the way they sat on a groove, though more abstract, and then nailed it to the wall and turned corners and took you somewhere else altogether. There is the same majesty, the same control, the same force, the same delicacy, the same funk, except this is an internal textural funkiness where the one never stops. The ability to make funk out of layers of texture without riff is rare but these guys do it effortlessly.

Diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy in 2022, “an aggressive and degenerative condition for which there is currently no cure”, Ollie, Heavy Machinery Records and It Records decided to issue the live recording Taipan Tiger Girls recorded for Melbourne Music Week in November 2017.

Ollie played synthesizers, Mat Watson played drums, Bonnie Mercer was on guitar while Lisa Mackinney commanded Melbourne Town Hall's Grand Organ. 

If you're not familiar with their Grand Organ, the City of Melbourne's website explains;

Originally built in 1929, the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ uses ninety thousand cubic feet of air every minute and can produce anything from a delicate whistle to deafening thunder. The Town Hall Grand Organ was lovingly refurbished and relaunched in 2001 and now contains drums, bells and almost eight thousand pipes across three town hall levels ...

I'd argue that witnessing a recital on this beast would justify any trip to Melbourne. 

What's it sound like?

Big. Bloody huge, in fact. The first part of the two takes a while to build ... and it's like great sex, it just keeps rising, rising until you think it can't go on forever ... and then it does. A magisterial cathedral. The tones from the organ, Ollie's carefully controlled ripples, giblets and squarbles of sound rotate, provoking a heavy intestinal response, darts on a heavy, heavy dartboard ... the first time I ever heard true drone was as a child, in an Adelaide cathedral, the organist letting the massive instrument speak, it's harmonies from single notes shift, flutter and soar around the huge stone walls... the shifts in tonality  are ... gradual, chaotic, grand, involving. 

The second part continues from where side one left off, and then the piece takes on a second, unexpected face... and by now, the nature of this creature is that it is the only thing in the world. Its own reality. Your own reality. Inarguable. Essential. Bonnie Mercer's guitar is a numbing, spectacular mesh; Mat Watson's drums are perfectly tempered, and Lisa MacKinney owns the Grand Organ so much it hurts. I find myself wondering what being in the audience would have been like, with all the subaudible tones rocking around... 

taipan live

Music like this reaffirms life, our existence, our birth and our inevitable demise. Enthralling, joyful, grim and perfect.

Comparisons aren't going to help you. If you must, think Can at their absolute peak, I suppose, with Holger Czukayreworking afterwards. Or Tangerine Dream with a handful of grit in the gearbox. Taipan Tiger Girls are a vast force of nature who drain us from the slightest of seeping sound to something over-arching, etheresque and magnificent.

If Julian Cope should hear this he'd start writing a book about Ollie and the Australian underworld. 

As the It Records Bandcamp page explains; all proceeds from the sales of the vinyl and digital versions of this album will go to assisting Ollie Olsen and his ongoing medical care.

Get it here and there's more Ollie and Ollie-related music here. You'll find a Go Fund Me for Ollie here.