Asked and Answered, Malcolm

On Thursday evening, 8 November 2018, former MP and PM Malcolm Bligh Turnbull appeared, jauntily jacketed, sans necktie, to “face” the nation (well, the carefully screened Q & A audience, one of whom, in a priceless moment, addressed him as ‘Tony’) in ABC’s Ultimo studios. He knew his enemies.  Like the Nixon Administration, Turnbull-in-Exile has drawn an Enemies List.  The enemies include Mathias Corman, News Limited (Rupert Murdoch), Peter Dutton, Radio 2GB, Right-wing extremists (see ‘Tony Abbott’ below), Sky News, Tony Abbott.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Perhaps Malcolm will release a complete one in due course, just before the next Federal Election. Yes, he knew his…

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Bohemian Rhapsody

November 5, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Bryan Singer) (2018) If you don’t get a shiver down the spine during the opening scene of Bohemian Rhapsody, as we follow Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) onto the stage at Live Aid, you don’t deserve Freddie, or this terrific film – a goose-pimpling, foot-stomping bio-pic with heart. Yes, it follows the usual trajectory of ambitious boys putting their all into their music, despite evil managers and uncaring music company execs.  Yes, we know the story, and the film may not be entirely historically accurate, but like its namesake song, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.  Some…

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Look Now

November 4, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

COSTELLO.25

By Elvis Costello and the Imposters (2018) Elvis Returns! With a typically eclectic record containing hints and echoes of the grand past.  There’s a little spirit of Painted From Memory, Imperial Bedroom, and Mighty Like a Rose, but the material is still starkly new.  We’ve only had time for about 10 spins so far, but at this early stage, we particularly like his #me-too classic, “Under Lime,” about a louche, washed-up star waiting in the Green Room, which is both hip and wise, and witty. Likewise his re-working of “Unwanted Number” is terrific, and we love the melody of “Dishonour the Stars”…

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Lucan

November 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Books, HISTORY, WRITING & LITERATURE |

AD 39, 3 November: Lucan born. Lucan spoke truth to power.  This from the Pharsalia: “These nations, Caesar, if now the fire does not consume them, with the earth it will consume, with the waters of the deep it will consume. One pile in common is left for the world, destined to mingle the stars with its bones.”

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Swan of Catania: Bellini

November 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, Opera |

Vincenzo Bellini (3 November 1801 to 23 September 1835) He had guts, and his guts killed him in the end.  But Bellini’s major works survive and flourish.  Wagner greatly admired his work, and he ought to know. La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) At the premiere in Milan, 6/3/1831, there was “not a dry eye in the house.” Norma  Not many composers would think to set an opera among a bunch of Druids.  Yet it works, with beautiful bel canto.

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