The King is Dead

June 30, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Neil Kerley after the 1973 Grand Final

Neil Kerley (20 February 1934 – 29 June 2022) Tonight, Saint Jude (the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes) is having dobs with Neil Kerley. ‘Knuckles’ specialised in taking football teams from despair to triumph, or at least respectability. West Adelaide, a good team, could not win Grand Finals. Until Kerley took over and captain-coached the Bloods to the 1961 Premiership in the “The Turkish Bath Grand Final.” South Adelaide, eating its gruel with 1963’s wooden spoon, was talented but clueless. Until Kerley took over and captain-coached the Panthers to the 1964 Premiership. The Glenelg Tigers had descended…

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Sam Cooke – The Music

June 25, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival,  24 June 2022) Before his bizarre death on 11 December 1964, at the somehow apposite age of 33, and his subsequent apotheosis, Sam Cooke was already a key figure in modern music. He took elements of R & B, Gospel and Pop, and created Soul, which emphasizes vocals and venerates both God and the Ladies. In his short life, he made 29 singles that made the top 40. Gary Pinto (pictured, photo by Simon Upton) is a leading performer of R & B and Soul music. The Sam Cooke Tribute he has developed in recent years comes at…

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Otto & Astrid

June 24, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 23 June 2022) Come out, come out! In Adelaide’s cold, clear, calm, beautiful winter! And see this Festival before the tents are pitched. At the fabulous Spiegeltent on Festival Plaza (below), a large and appreciative crowd gathered to see and hear Otto & Astrid, the famous ‘dysfunctional, squabbling, co-dependent pair who are Berlin’s prince and princess of art rock and Europop, a lipstick-smeared, tantrum-loving, sonic collision between B-52s, The Pixies, Kraftwerk and early Ramones.’ Remember! What’s good or easy In your freezing sit? Come hear the music play, Life is a cabaret, you folks, Come to the…

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Whoa, Joe, How Low Can you Go?

June 22, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS |

June 2022 How did everything go so wrong, so fast? Former President and current éminence grise, Barack Obama, belled the cat two years ago, telling a journalist: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f… things up.”  We had severe doubts about President-elect Biden (see here) and shared fears for America’s future (see here), and it gives us no joy to conclude those doubts and fears were valid. Here’s a interim report on President Joe’s legacy, thus far (0 being bad, 10 being excellent): Afghanistan: 0/10 – Withdrawal per se was perfectly plausible, but this became the worst execution of a military…

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Every Musical Ever

June 19, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

'HOW MANY musicals?'

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 18 June 2022) Two Disclaimers: (1) The Varnished Culture is not really that much into musicals (bad music, good acting), preferring opera (bad acting, good music). We couldn’t fit a musical in our list of the 20 finest films. However it is a great genre we suppose, and we have previously commented on some of the outstanding examples: Singin’ in the Rain, Cabaret, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.  We have also expressed our disdain for the more toxic entries, such as Cats and The Sound of Music. (2) Musical theatre is exempt from consumer law, so no producer…

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