Craig Schuftan On Romanticism & Rock n Roll

Posted in Books/Comics/Manga, Music, Oldschool/Classic Things by jukeboxparables on May 20, 2009

I’ve caught this program called Fora on ABC TV a few times now, It’s an Australian equivalent of something like CSPAN. A show dedicated to Talks on intellectual, political, cultural and economic debate in Australia. However they also have a website and offer their feature segments IN FULL for viewing online, great stuff.

Their current feature is Craig Schuftan, who Triple J listeners might know as occasionally presenting a short segment called “The Culture Club” which basically traces contemporary music and specific bands/artists back through time to the origins of the subject matter a particular artist happens to be talking about. In some cases it’s easy work; Craig takes in song/album titles or lyrics and traces their origin. In other cases however, he thoroughly investigates the links to the motif’s and movements/underlying statements of a particular song/album/band. It’s powerful stuff.

The segment was turned into a book but this ABC Fora talk is about his most recent book on the ties between modern music and romanticism. It’s must watch viewing for all you fellow music nerds. I’ve tagged a handful of the artists mentioned in the talk.

Enjoy! – Click here to view video. *Click play, then Play Full Clip*

Alternatively you can listen to the MP3 right here.

John Safran; Crucified (for real) in The Philippines

Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on April 11, 2009

Talk about being on topic. With me posting a blog a mere few hours ago speculating on the nature of John Safran’s upcoming new series, media outlets including news.com.au and The Australian are reporting that he’s taken part in a local ritual in The Philippines that mark Good Friday celebrations by nailing people to a cross. It’s being reported that John identified himself as “John Michael, 33 and from Melbourne” but Reuters photographs clearly show It’s Safran.

From The Australian;

Safran, who was half-naked and wearing a long-haired wig with an improvised crown of thorns, joined the Filipinos in a procession carrying a huge wooden cross to a crucifixion site, flanked by men in Roman centurion costumes.

Safran could be heard moaning loudly as the nails were driven into his palms and as his cross was hoisted up, allowing him to hang for about five minutes.

When he was taken down, the centurions rushed him to a medical tent for treatment. Safran would not say why he had joined the ceremony but an Australian companion merely said “this is a personal thing for him”.

And I thought there was no way in hell he could outdo his “Exorcism” at the end of Vs God. Unlike that skit, This seems to be the real deal. Either John is willing to go to new and totally original heights for his Television or he’s been a closet fundy all along. I’ll stick with the former. This footage and his new series is now officially the most anticipated show in 2009.






John Safran’s new show: “Race Relations”

Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on April 10, 2009

I can’t actually remember when I became a fan of John Safran, it was probably during the later screenings (repeats) of the ABC’s 1997 series Race Around the World and then subsequently catching a late night screening of Music Jamboree on SBS. My love and inner-geekdom for music was effectively channeled from living as private inner thoughts to being exorcised as John went on and on blabbing about the music industry on television accompanied by zany skits and rants. Since then of course, I’ve also purchased the Vs God series and I probably speak for a lot of people (well perhaps a fraction of the population of Carlisle St) when I say; Enough ranting and raving on Triple J’s Sunday Night Safran… Is a new series around the corner?

If your an avid listener to the Sunday Night JJJ show then you’ll probably remember John mentioning very briefly that he shot a pilot for MTV America and it was subsequently not picked up (John, I highlight ‘not’ in bold as to identify MTV’s lack of credibility, not your own) And in case everyone is wondering why I’m directing comments your way; Let’s just say It’s quite obvious you Google yourself at least once a week.

Now according to Wikipedia; The ABC has bought that same program and it’s set to air here in Australia in 2009. I’ve scoured the Internets for it’s air date but to no avail. I’d hazard a guess that perhaps additional episodes/scenes are being filmed as we speak because Triple J’s Sunday Night Safran hasn’t returned so far this year with the excuse that John is shooting a new series.

Further speculation from Wiki; In the series John; tries to convince emos to fight in Iraq, hits the couch with therapists who claim they can cure people of racism and attempts to become gay to increase his standing in Hollywood.

Race Relations will air on the ABC in 2009.

Finally, whilst Googling for more information I came across a website that I’d rather not link that had a forum post about the upcoming series. The website in question was a White Pride/Power portal (from the USA) linking to a Youtube video of John’s earlier work on ‘Vs God’ in where he gains access to a meeting with the Grand Dragon (leader) of the Californian KKK and attempts to join (with the slight hitch that he’s Jewish) and goes on to make a comment about beating up Hitler. The forum poster went on to post John’s production company Address with the statement that someone should “sufficiently humble him”.

What better Antidote to tripe like that than a show called Race Relations!

P.S It seems to be getting harder to find so here’s a link to the original pilots that John made back in his college days (Confronting Ray Martin in ACA Style)

Life On Mars? – Axed!

Posted in Film & TV by jukeboxparables on March 14, 2009

It genuinely surprises me sometimes how often some of my more obscure love for things converge. David Bowie and police television drama seem like two separate and distinct worlds. Or at least they did before the odd UK Police drama series Life On Mars. The show tells the story of a detective who gets hit buy a car and wakes up in 1973. The title of the drama borrowed from the Bowie song of the same name.

Anyway what’s more surprising is that for probably the first and only time. I’ve enjoyed watching an American version of something British. It’s pretty well established that Brits do everything better, teaching Americans how to rock’n’roll since 1960 or so the saying goes. I’m not saying the series is better than the British one truth be told I haven’t given the British one enough time.

I did catch a few episodes of the UK series which aired here in Australia on ABC, yet the recent Americanized version of the show has had me totally hooked. Harvey Keitel has a Lieutenant? Brilliant!

The show has that odd-ball aspect to it. David Bowie’s song is not only the title/credit song It’s featured throughout the show during odd flashbacks of the lead character Sam played by Jason O’Mara. It all combines to separate it from straight-up shows that I love as in The Bill, or Law & Order. But It doesn’t go over board like a few of the newer Cop shows. It also humors itself.

So I was pretty shocked the other week when I learned it hasn’t been picked up for a second season! (this is the American version) So it will unfortunately join the graveyard of good series axed by the major networks in the states. Don’t get me started on Firefly.

Other ‘hit’ American shows like 24, Lost, Heroes, Prison Break have ALL gone downhill and literally lost the plot writing wise. It seems the only refuge left for American TV is Dexter. Hopefully that sticks around for awhile.

No more Life On Mars, what a shame.