Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A New Rhyme?

As a teenager growing up in Adelaide, my favourite Australian band was a relatively obscure Melbourne outfit called Gentle Persuasion. Their second EP was called A New Rhyme. GP gigged at the Prince Pat hotel in Collingwood, where my brother saw their farewell gig some time in the late 1990s, I think. Was I out of town, or had I already forsaken rock music for the rave scene? For whatever reason, I missed the show.

A New Rhyme hints at my main concerns in this blog. The first is music, although I rarely listen to music with lyrics. What excites me most of all is precisely the invention of new sounds, new rhythms, new approaches - and the alchemy which melds this invention into new music. As a music junkie, what drives me is the thirst for an unimagined aural experience. I want to to treat my ears and my brain to something new.

I do have my preferences, however, the most obvious being for electronic music. I imagine the bulk of my writing will essentially be criticism of albums and tracks, concerts and gigs, parties and festivals - as well as general musings on the state of the scenes.

A New Rhyme also points in a political direction. I co-ordinate the not-for-profit New International Bookshop in Melbourne, and am a former member of the Marxist organisation Socialist Alternative. My politics are clearly on the Left, but like many I sense the need for new forms of political analysis, organisation and action. This is especially so at a time when climate change, war and financial crisis leave global capitalism open to critique - and attack - which the traditional Left seems unable to spearhead.

Hopefully this blog will be a useful forum for me to sharpen my political ideas, as well as spark and engage in debate.

At Rainbow Serpent festival this year, I met a crusty old pirate who looked me up and down and said "You're from the Shishies". After an awkward back and forth I thought I had his meaning. "You're right", I said, "I am one of those sissies. I'm a big sissy!" "No", he insisted, "the Shishies!" Eventually, after considering bringing in as translators my friends who speak fluent SSHhhh, I worked out he thought I was from the Sixties.

And maybe he had me pegged. Like the revolutionaries of the Sixties, I want it both ways: utopia right now, the dream of ravers and modern ferals, AND a social movement of movements which can effect the replacement of capitalism with a classless system (call it communism, socialism, anarchism or just real democracy).

So for now, that's where you'll find me: somewhere between the apolitical hippies and the straight-laced activists. And, from time to time no doubt, somewhere else entirely.


Michael Lancaster said...

Gentle Persuasion? That's a classic! Those guys went to my school. They were mates with my brother. I could probably hook you up with an autograph :-D

Looking forward to more posts Seb. Keep up the good work, especially the early mornings. I'm totally inspired.

Seb said...

Bugger the autograph, they can come and play at our next Candy St party!