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BALLS After Dark.88 It's not brain surgery

Posted April 21 into Music by beeso

In which Beeso and the Doc review classic Rocket Science, new Goldfrapp and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and get into how Oils ain't oils, politics isn't worth a half eaten bag of chips, vale John Clarke, things that are about 100 metres, Daggumentaries, farnarkling, Goldeneyeing, homeopathy, Beats Mode, spaced jams, the official rapper of white thinkpiece writers on twitter, comeback acts, colour and movement and stupidity. Next week: Spoon, Damien Cowell's Disco Machine and mid-'90s Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes. This, next and last week's albums are on our Spotify playlist (note to self: it's your last week to go back and listen to last week's albums) with our faves of 2017 repping on the After Dark Mixtape.

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BALLS After Dark.87 Everything new is old again

Posted April 12 into Music by beeso

The Battle Of The 'The' Bands (c. 2002), having a stadium rock attitude on a pub rock budget, writing for clubs, dissecting the Splendour lineup and designing festivals for washed-up Gen X parents. This week we review new albums by Satan Takes A Holiday and Pulled Apart By Horses and a 2001 classic by Groove Armada. Next week: Goldfrapp, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and Contact High by Rocket Science (2001). This, last and next week's albums are all on our Spotify playlist.

You can subscribe on your podast player of choice or listen below

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Put out your gonads for Mr John Clarke

Posted April 11 into Blunty by John Birmingham

I was very sad to hear John Clarke passed away. A great loss to the nation. An even bigger loss to farnarkling. A tribute at Blunty:

Farnarkling lost a champion yesterday, with the passing of Mr John Clarke. The veteran broadcaster was not just the voice of the national sport, but a much-loved ambassador to the powerhouses of the perfect game as far away as Bad Odursburg and Middlefart.

Play at the 'G in Launceston, where Australia and Uzbekistan contended fiercely for a quarter-final slot in the Far Eastern Cup, was interrupted for the traditional 49 seconds of mumbled Celtic mourning chants in the original Old Icelandic.

9 Responses to ‘Put out your gonads for Mr John Clarke’

WarDog ducks in to say...

Posted April 11
Clarke's passing makes me sadder than I can express.
I will sorely miss him. His interview was the highlight of my week.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted April 11
Yes, very sad. My formative years watching John Clarke were in his Fred Dagg phase. Later it was his work with Bryan Dawe. Always enjoyable. I had a quiet mumble of the Gumboot Song this morning in tribute.

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Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted April 11
What WarDog said.

And also, isn't it nice to find out that someone whose work I admired was an all-round really nice guy as well, going by the comments of those who knew him.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11
I'd go as far to say the man was a giant - his talent removed leaves a hole that will be very hard to fill. Although i may have to quit working where i do - i heard the news and blurted it out to my coworkers and not one of the philistines knew his name.

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Bondiboy66 has opinions thus...

Posted April 11
Very sad news. I too recall Fred Dagg when I was young, and his work with Brian Dawe has been a joy to watch. Who can forget his turn as the voice of Wal Footrot? He'll be sorely missed.

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pi reckons...

Posted April 11
A sad day.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11
My favourite piece of his was 'the great Australian novel'

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted April 12
Yes. All of the above. Although, is it wrong to ask that when it's time for me, I go as perfectly as Mt Abrupt?

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Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted April 12
Yep, all of the above squared.

That was a lovely tribute, John. Probably too subtle for most of the BT demographic, sadly.

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BALLS.102 Super Rugby: now 3/18ths less Super than advertised

Posted April 10 into Sport by beeso

In which Beeso and the Doc get into drinking on holiday, learning tracks with Jacques, off-field spending, the Doc's diatribe, words without pictures, lapsed code fans, the Sportress' bad couple of decades, the roles of development leagues, European rugby, poor governance and pay TV in the absolute state of Super Duper Rugby, the other other (other) Tony Martin, the fable of the Brumbies, the tedium of code wars, corporate raiders, one-sport kids, Western Conference bracketology, Billy Donovan's party piece, Spurs picking their spots, DNP-Schedule, the Chris Paul Clause, LeBron wants you to know how much he doesn't care, taking offense at the MVP debate, East playoff matchups, why Fear The Deer?, reintegrating superstars, DPOY CBF, why SEN isn't short for SENsible and how the Ringer is failing Grantland's analytical legacy. After a week off due to biblical flooding, we had a lot to cover.

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Sit Down and hang on: analysing the Game of Thrones S7 trailer

Posted April 3 into Raven On by girlclumsy

Hello, Burgers and Throners! It's Natalie here, your Game of Thrones recappespondent and friendly neighbourhood Jon Snow obsessive.

After HBO dropped a teaser trailer for Season 7 of The World's Greatest and Best Ever Show late last week, I wrote up a piece about it to see if I could flex these old creaky recap muscles ahead of the July premiere. I posted it on my Facebook page, but JB very kindly gave me the go-ahead to post it up here. Enjoy!


That breath! That visible, icy breath! What can it mean? Is Cersei in league with the White Walkers now? Is it a metaphor for her new “ice queen” reign over Westeros, or was the heating just broken in the Iron Throne room?

And Jon Snow! Sticking with that ponytail but still BROODY AF. Boy I’m glad he’s still around now that winter finally has arrived. He’s so steamy, like the series’ own personal hot water bottle. I’d like to place him carefully on my belly to ease cramps.

And a question – where the hell was Daenarys?

Yes, with 100 days to go until the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, it was only right and natural for HBO to unleash a fan frenzy via a spankingly good promotional trailer.

After all, if this was a normal year, we’d be gearing up for the actual season, which has traditionally begun in early April. So they’ve got to give the thirsting GoT fandom a few drops out of mercy, if nothing else.

Titled “The Long Walk”, it’s the first “new” content since last year, and features three of our favourites striding slowly but determinedly towards…. well, chairs, essentially.
It’s also set to a rather menacing yet oddly comforting version of Sit Down by Manchester rock legends James.

In researching the song I discovered that there was an original longer version that was cut down for a radio-friendly release back in 1989. From that, GoT producers have cherry-picked these highly appropriate lyrics:

Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they're touched by madness
Sit down next to me

In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate, in tears
In love, in fear, in hate

Oh sit down Oh sit down Oh sit down
Sit down next to me
Sit down, down, down, down, down
In sympathy

As those words ring out, we see Cersei stalking the halls of the Red Keep, Jon pacing through the recaptured Winterfell, and Dany….. where the hell WAS Dany?

The array of tree trunks positioned behind her throne reminded me a touch of the Eyrie, but having last been seen at the head of an armada, we can’t imagine her turning up anywhere inland. The best I can guess is Dragonstone, her birthplace. We never really saw Stannis Baratheon in a large throne room on the island – he was mostly in his map room, often shagging Kate Bush on the strategy table. So it’s possible there could be a grand hall for her to set up her alternative court while she makes her final attack plans for the mainland. Dany is definitely somewhere colder – for the first time ever we see here rugged up in dark colours as opposed to her usual bright, light, skin-revealing garb. But I’m still not entirely happy with this answer.

I feel there’s also some symbolism in the fact that both Cersei and Dany actually SIT in their thrones; Jon merely stares at the high table at Winterfell, the place where his *cough* father *cough* Ned sat.

Cersei and Dany believe with every ounce of their being in their innate right to be Queen. Their intentions may differ, but their desire to rule is the whole purpose of their existence. Jon Snow was feted as the new King in the North at the end of last season – but nobody would wear a crown more reluctantly (perhaps Viserys back in S1E6).

The weight of leadership sits heavily and uneasily with him. Unlike the others he’s seen the face of the real enemy, the White Walkers, and knows no crown, no throne, no sense of power or entitlement will save anyone from that. He’s had power thrust upon him, as much as I would thrust upon him etc etc you get the drift.

As the song kicks up a gear, and the women take their seats, there are close-ups of their eyes closing as a wind blows out all the candles in the Red Keep. Cersei then breathes out a visible burst of cold air, and the camera pulls back to show us the eye of a White Walker (the Night’s King by the look of it).

t’s not too hard to decode the cold change/winds of change/cold shoulder subtext.

But it’s interesting that the final moment was given to Cersei, an ice queen who’s always made Grace Kelly look warm by comparison. Cersei has never had any interest in the White Walkers – her motivations have always been about preserving her family’s dynasty and elevating herself above the weak men that surround her. The White Walkers were fairytales, mystical creatures far from the realpolitik of the capital.

Could there be some deeper allusion to a potential link between Cersei’s New World Order and the White Walkers? Or is Cersei asserting her own power, and defying you to consider her LESS of a risk than a bunch of undead blue-eyed forever monsters? In the usual Game of Thrones binary, Daenarys has represented fire, and Jon Snow ice. Is Cersei now greater than the sum of both of them?

Is the clue in those last words “Sit down in sympathy” - that all three are facing a crucible and only together, in sympatico, can they defeat the bigger threat?

Or is in face Cersei just cold and doing that thing where you breathe out hot air and pretend to be smoking?

Questions, questions.

One final point.

In my research of Sit Down, I watched the video clip for the 1989 release. Given that it does contain the phrase “sit down” repeatedly, it’s not that surprising to see a bunch of chairs in the video clip. But one in particularly caught my eye. Tell me, Beloved Throners, does this not look familiar to you?!?!

Coincidence? Almost certainly. But still, it makes you think.

Valar Morghulis!

4 Responses to ‘Sit Down and hang on: analysing the Game of Thrones S7 trailer’

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 4
Fine words, now the waiting umm....continues

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 4
Much appreciation having you back recapping.

I will just sit here and wait for your next recap shall I?

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted April 5
Ok. So I've got nearly 100 days to catch up with all my dvd sets (I'm at least 3 series behind)?

I better get started tonight then.

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Maddoug ducks in to say...

Posted April 5
The real problem is the unstoppable bad-ass warrior that the Night King just acquired, should be able to give Zombie Clegane a run for his money.......


(Stalking through the snow with a wooden door stapled to his back by the embedded cutlery of a thick covering of wights like so many fleas on a junkyard dog...)

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Yoga with Goats

Posted April 3 into Funny by John Birmingham

It's a thing. Seriously. And it's a thing I dicuss in today's Alien Side Boob.

You are receiving this email because you are a bro who needs yoga in his life. Or you know a bro who needs some yoga in his life. And all bros do, so that is why you received this email.

Before you stab viciously at the delete button, examine your feelings right now. That sick sense of dizziness which came out of nowhere when you opened this email? That sudden free floating rage? That pain in your arm and crushing weight on your chest? That’s the absence of yoga silently screaming at full volume in your chakra.

5 Responses to ‘Yoga with Goats’

jl mutters...

Posted April 3
ASB is always good for laughs. Just like goats are.

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insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted April 3
I prefer my goat in curried form, perhaps with a dollop of yoghurt.

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Oldy mutters...

Posted April 5
I did Bikram Yoga once, and it was entirely for the reason you mention in the column - that unbearably, heartbreakingly gorgeous (and ridiculously flexible) hot white chick who conned me into doing it.

I'm a 6'2 120kg former footballer, a year older than you are, so me doing yoga of any kind is always hilarious. But I totally would have done it three times a week if I could be guaranteed the mat next to that unbearably, heartbreakingly gorgeous (and ridiculously flexible) hot white chick.

Pathetic? Whatever. I'm not ashamed. Getting through life enjoying the view is half the battle, I reckon!

jason mumbles...

Posted April 5
I hear you. I hadn't played squash for a long time but pulled on the runners again in order to have a reason to be around a certain hot blonde that I had fallen for. Luckily for me I didn't hurt myself too badly and ended up marrying the hot blonde. Worth every pulled muscle and painful morning.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 5
As the Buddha teaches, the love of hot white chicks is the root of all suffering.

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