Let Me Be There: Olivia Newton-John

August 9, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, FILM, LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Olivia Newton-John (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) The quintessential girl next door sang like the girl next door: no screeching, no vocal tricks, no auto-tune. A mellow, pellucid delivery in the fashion of Karen Carpenter. At one stage, in the 1970s, country fans thought her a country poseur but listen to songs like ‘Jolene’, ‘Banks of the Ohio,’ ‘If You Love Me, Let Me Know,’ and ‘Let Me Be There,’ and she more than justifies the mantle of country singer. Her apple-pie purity was used to great effect in the hugely commercially successful film Grease (1978), and when…

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An Unfamiliar Ring

August 3, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

Spellbound: “The Ring Without Words” (inter alia) Adelaide Town Hall, Friday night, 29 July 2022 We had previously had a taste of this courtesy of the ASO and Richard Wagner Society of SA.  And we had been somewhat skeptical about the idea of synthesizing Wagner’s immense cycle, sans the singing: would it be, as some have said of the piece, akin to setting your car radio on ‘scan’ and listening to grabs of melody as they hurtled past? But before this, we had to endure several rather mediocre (in my view) Richard Strauss songs, even though they were expertly presented…

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NGV Musings

July 26, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL |

(Melbourne, May 2022) We Love the NGV very much (but not everything In it). NGV Waterwall In May, there was a wonderful display of Asian Art (NGV began collecting items in 1862 – no doubt the fruit of the Victorian Gold Rush – and now has over 2000). But first we had to re-visit (being white supremacists) the European galleries: We liked Chen Yongcai’s Harvest Season prints on paper (c. 1972): …and these superb Javanese puppets (1960s): The whole collection on display in May included ceramics, bronze vessels, mirrored and jade objets d’art, funerary designs, as well as some contemporary…

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This Is Spinal Tap

(Directed by Rob Reiner, 1984) (Special Screening at the Mercury Theatre featuring a Q & A with Harry Shearer, Adelaide Guitar Festival, 22 July 2022). Spinal Tap are the blond rock god David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean, who you already know well from Better Call Saul and other offerings), the bass player Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), who longs for St. Hubbins with big wet spaniel eyes. When Nigel learns that David’s girlfriend Jeanine Pettibone (June Chadwick aping Yoko Ono) is flying over from England to join the tour, his heart sinks. His crush on David…

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Me and White Supremacy

July 21, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Non-Fiction, POLITICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

“How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World” by Layla F. Saad (2020) This is the book for me: I am white and regard myself as Supreme, although not for that reason. So this “deep-diving self-reflection tool” sets a 28 day work schedule of “reflective journaling and inner excavation.”  I did the work: but an alternate journal is set out below. This one-of-a-kind personal antiracism tool, an activist education program for confronting white privilege and dismantling white supremacy, helps us honkys check our privilege and “take ownership of [our] participation in the oppressive system of white supremacy.”…

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