Seamus Heaney speaks. And reads.

Seamus Heaney speaks. And reads.

September 11, 2013

The documentary 'Out of the Marvellous' persuades that Seamus Heaney was a great poet *and* a very nice man. And, Beowulf and Baxter.

How the Revolution Gets In

July 5, 2013 1

Leonard Cohen's ever prescient and oblique notation of what's going on in the USA, the Middle East, the hood. Poetry and politics.


June 3, 2013

Dance again to Yothu Yindi's "Treaty." Treaty Yeh!

Our first gay President

Our first gay President

January 22, 2013

Ah, Obama: reaching for the ideal, but urging us to "act in our time," "knowing that our work will be imperfect." And a gay inaugural poet to boot.

Music 2012: favourites

Music 2012: favourites

December 17, 2012 1

How good is "Video Games"? The best. How good is Ai Weiwei as a dancer? How gay is pop in 2012?

Matrix Sister: Post-Bro Wachowski’s revelatory speech

November 20, 2012

The video: Lana Wachowski's funny, tender, moving speech on her transgender journey. November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Art, Pop and Politics: Ai Wei Wei does Gangnam Style

October 31, 2012

The Chinese dissident artist makes pop politics. (Embedded youtube)

Nightmare at the Museum: Regina Spektor’s ‘All the Rowboats’

Nightmare at the Museum: Regina Spektor’s ‘All the Rowboats’

March 8, 2012

Being fully middle-class with fully middle of the road tastes I occasionally listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered, which fits snugly amongst Stuff White People Like, being self-consciously mainstream alt. In the sonic arena I must be whitish as I find their selections tolerable and every now and again appealing; luck prevents me from regular […]

“Iconic…stunning artistic…millions selling… spiritual piece” inspired by nuns

“Iconic…stunning artistic…millions selling… spiritual piece” inspired by nuns

June 29, 2011

I recently attended a Gloriana concert where the highlight was Ariel Ramirez’ wonderful “iconic” Misa Criolla. It was just fantastic and we, the people, forced the choir into a gratifying encore of the “Gloria”. I was just sufficiently conscious to switch on my kneecam. I was familiar with this piece in a recording where the […]

Silencing the noise of the self (listening to Arvo Pärt)

March 28, 2011 3

On Sunday in a quiet inner city church, the Gloriana chamber choir sang Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem Domine. And I was reminded of Gorecki’s No. 3, of lying on the carpet in an apartment above Lavender Bay in Sydney, very late one night in the mid 1990s. The soprano was Dawn Upshaw. It was like […]