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Preview: The Opinionated Diner

The Opinionated Diner

A Bunch of Unrelated Thoughts about Music, Politics, Food and anything else that occurs

Updated: 2018-03-06T10:04:59.087+07:00


I'm looking through you / you're not the same


This blog has now moved to my own dedicated server. The address is the default address for the blog. These pages, which are also hosted on the new site, will remain as archives.

So they flew the Super-Constellation all the way from Rimini / And feasted them on fish and chips from a newspaper facsimile


What a very odd few months it has been. What a surreal few weeks. Both gross understatement I think, but better that than gross overstatement. I think odd and surreal describe the extended period better than any adjectives that imply bloodshed, disaster, civil mayhem or urban warfare. There have been those much reported moments of awfulness too but mostly those were limited to four bloody bursts

So let me sing a song for you / Just to help your day along


How many of the world's armies travel with mobile Karaoke trucks? h/t to ThaiVisa

The bats have left the bell tower


Hugely recommended, this interview with Martin Mills, owner of the most important independent record label in the world (and the bloke who released some of my favourite records ever and still does): The internet has revived interest in music, thinks Mills, by encouraging people to experiment. "It's made so much more possible - a greater and deeper love of music. It's re-stimulated my own

Two minutes fifty / it’s a 45 single / oh yeah


This post, originally from August, 2006, in reply to a question from Robbie Siataga on an earlier post, linked, still seems to work for me. I thought I'd repost it for NZ Music Month, and because of the ongoing discussion on Public Address:------------------------------------ This was a question I received from Dubmugga; where do you see New Zealand music going and what measures would you

The preacher talked to me and he smiled / Said, come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile


This is an interesting, and I think fairly perceptive overview of China's possible media future, from journalist and media observer Charles Mabbett: When China’s most popular blogger Han Han had his recent post about a spate of violent attacks in Chinese schools taken down, it wasn’t the first time that he had courted controversy and it is unlikely to be the last. The post entitled “Children,

A Chill in My Vein


In honour of New Zealand Music Month, from Otaki (and a huge hattip to Yvette Parsons, without whom we may never have seen these): or the live version: With the upload comment: only thing the annoys me is the sound person did not know how to do the sound correctly, so...that's why I was off pitch. sorry guys,

There's nothing I wouldn't be / Oh that's the gift of schizo


Oo-eee, in the USA this wack-job would be only slightly to the right of centre, but in the UK? Surely not. Perhaps so these days...... A high-flying prospective Conservative MP, credited with shaping many of the party's social policies, founded a church that tried to "cure" homosexuals by driving out their "demons" through prayer. Philippa Stroud, who is likely to win the Sutton and Cheam

Zip a de doo dah


In the mid 1970s I read and re-read a book about Phil Spector. It was a inspirational book for me at that age. Out of His Head by former (and later) Melody Maker editor, and one of the most important music journalists of his time, Richard Williams, was the first biography of Spector and indeed one of the very earliest serious biographies of a rock figure that wasn't all PR puffery and gloss (I'm

There's a stack of shellac and vinyl / Which is yours now and which is mine? / 45


Since we're celebrating record stores and all things vinyl, I thought I'd repost this, originally from August last year. I've had a couple of conversations of recent with people about record stores in Auckland...the lost sort..where was Record Warehouse? When did Taste close? That sort of thing. I guess its part of being some sort of aging vinyl buff, but the thought of all those places, many of

Play the string gently now / Pull the bow


There is so much stuff online documenting and commenting on the riots and the before and aftermath, it's hard to know where to start. I've spent large parts of the day sifting through all sorts of pages and links, but still in a state of shock. This is in the city I live in, in streets I walk down, if not every day, at least once every two or three weeks. I know by sight some of the vendors

Cos the moral doesn't matter / broken rules are all the same / to the broken and the breaker / who's to bless and who's to blame


The last twenty four hours in Bangkok have been horrific, with two opposing political factions refusing to back down from confrontation, one egged on by a leader sitting in a plush suite in Dubai. I'm not going to go into the political back and forth here, partially (and it's a huge part) because I don't understand Thai politics which are enormously complex, and I don't want to mis-state things I

As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent / You asked for the latest party


I’m writing a lot at the moment. I’m writing stuff that probably won’t appear for a long time. Hell it might not even appear at all. But I’m writing, and getting things off my chest which satisfy me and scratch an itch, if you will. But I think I need diversion, so I’ll tell a story. It’s a story I’ve long wanted to tell but to be honest it was only after a bit of prodding from Brigid that I

I'm Standing At The Gates of The East / I Take My Pulse and the Pulse of My Friend


A few days ago we Bangkok residents (and others in Thailand) received the most recent of the regular travel warnings we get via email. Despite the fact it was rather mild this time, it kinda irked me. They always do. Whilst I understand that governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe, and given the current uneasy situation in BKK it's likely wise this time around but the

Lonely days are gone / I’m a going home…


I was going to post a Box Tops clip here as a tribute to the late, and extra-ordinarily great, Alex Chilton, but I guessed the internet would be filled with such things in the next day or so. So, I thought I’d post this instead: Good, huh? I'm sure he'd approve. RIP Alex.

l never got over bein' a tax man...



Well I do my best to understand, dear / But you stiil mystify / And I wanna know why


The Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister proves once again that being a moron is no impediment to getting a cabinet post in that nation.... Suryadharma added he did not agree with Muhammadiyah’s branding of smoking as haram, saying he believed Islam’s original stance on tobacco was makruh (frowned upon) but not haram. “Unless it poses a direct threat to human health, such as by causing

Eat to the Beat


I was passing time, chatting rather aimlessly, a day or two back with a friend who’s lived in BKK for over thirty years. We were talking music mostly, the sort you find on 12” vinyl, something I’ve been buying quite a bit of recently, but slipped into culture and life in this city in general. You know, he said, Bangkok only has one real culture. Forget the temples, forget everything, Bangkok’s

Time takes a cigarette / puts it in your mouth



Sometimes it short circuits / sometimes it’s a golden glow


Ohh, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front. No Particular reason..mostly just ennui and observation. Today, though, given as how some 500,000 folks in red shirts are marching on distant parts of Bangkok (and the panic stricken western travel many tourists have been robbed, raped and murdered in fair NZ in recent years? Quite a number. And given the 150 million odd tourists here

You say you’ve seen seven wonders /and your bird is green / but you can’t see me


  A fascinating 1968 interview with Lennon, away from the screaming hordes (although without said screaming hordes of course he’d likely never have been a position to write, or, more, publish his two books). The things that hit me before 16… Parts of this have been edited out recently for the much derided new car ad that Yoko seems to have been happy to license. I like Yoko Ono, always

Sitting up front / Elivisi by the wheel


Just a thought on media weirdness and the journey that erroneous data can take. In particular I’m thinking today of the reportage drivel that was the core of much of the reporting of Pauly Fuemana’s untimely death. I could write a book on the misreporting of the whole sad OMC saga, you never know where that thought might lead, and Peter Mclennan nailed it rather well here and here. As he says:

I knew a man / He told me of a land….


It’s been a project I’ve spent more than few leisure hours engrossed in and on. I’m not sure that it will change the world but I’m well aware of the woeful state of the online documentation and presentation of so much of New Zealand’s music history. There is of course the wonderful 50s and 60s encyclopedia of New Zealand rock’n’roll presented online by Bruce Sergent, but it hasn’t been updated