We were asked to perform at the NGVA , which is in the Ian Potter centre. Not the national gallery which is just over the other side of the river but the national gallery of Victoria. Its at Federation Square across from the Forum theatre. Part of the performance was for me to give an "art chat". All this was to happen at 6pm .
I started my talk by saying I was pretty much educated by tv. Old films and tv series. Sounds bad but I got exposed to the greatest of early Hollywood films from the silents to film noir to all kinds of B movies and comic events like "F Troop" and "Get Smart" . Also "The Invaders" and the Australian scifi aboriginal series, "Wandjina". Lots of crap too but I watched it all and saw things by accident that you would have to get a degree to know of their existence nowadays. Everything might be available now but you have to know about something to look for it, in a way, and the chances of being exposed to all that cultural swamp, by accident, are very slim now. Only in some kind of "festival" would you get to see a movie like "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" or "amateur night at the Dixie Bar and Grill".I added that I never went to higher education so I really was schooled by popular culture and it was pretty good.
I talked about my love of mythology and especially self mythology and read a poem I'd written many years ago about my favourite mythic rock band, the Charlatans from San Francisco. The poem is called "the Charlatans playing silver city 1965". They were pretty much the frst of the SF freak bands and played their first gigs ina wild west replica saloon in Silver City.
I read from the fake "Benny Goodmans tour diaries" from teh fake GI music mag "Nuts to you". I read the first page of Ricahard Starks' "Point Blank" (Richard Stark was really Donald E Westlake) and talked of my love for 30s pulp writers like Paul Cain. ( he wrote the great "fast one" and one other collection of stories "seven slayers")
I read from Iceberg Slims "pimp" and talked of how you had to go into the erotic paperback section section of a secondhand bookshop in Kings Cross to find a book ilike that as it was not recognized by respectable book shops.
I read the first two words from Mayakovskys "my discovery of America. Written in 1925 by this young recolutionary poet and playwrite, the first two words are , "TWO WORDS!".I like his declamatory style and droll humour. And I discovered America again, reading him.
I also read some James M Cain. i was going to read a poem by Guillaume Appollinaire called "the pretty redhead" but I had left it home. I really love that poem and identify with lines very strongly.
I ended the talk with a reading of "lament" by Jim Morrison from the classic posthumous Doors album "an American Prayer".
The area we were playing in was a foyer just outside the John Bracks exhibition at the gallery. People were walking in and out. We were joined bya great turnout of people who I had never seen at any club gigs before. It was a fantatsic experience. Playing at such an early evening hour is sensational. Why dont more venue do this?
Basically I was trying to say that I found my kind of art by accident and , in that peculiar australian way, it took me a long time to consider myself an artist, to don the cloak, without smirking.
We began our set with "the birds and the goats and ended with "crime and underwear" and "lets kill god again".
On August 14th we are doinga release for our album "knock yourself out" at the Studio in the George Fairfax Centre in the Victorian Arts Centre. It is a deluxe theatre. Please put it in your diary.
In the meantime we are playing a lot of dates around Australia.
La Jolie Rousse
Guillaume Apollinaire, "La Jolie Rousse [The Pretty Redhead]":
Here I am before you all a sensible man
Who knows life and what a living man can know of death
Having experienced love's sorrows and joys
Having sometimes known how to impose my ideas
Adept at several languages
Having traveled quite a bit
Having seen war in the Artillery and the Infantry
Wounded in the head trepanned under chloroform
Having lost my best friends in the frightful conflict
I know of old and new as much as one man can know of the two
And without worrying today about that war
Between us and for us my friends
I am here to judge the long debate between tradition and invention
Between Order and Adventure
You whose mouth is made in the image of God's
Mouth that is order itself
Be indulgent when you compare us
To those who were the perfection of order
We who look for adventure everywhere
We're not your enemies
We want to give you vast and strange domains
Where mystery in flower spreads out for those who would pluck it
There you may find new fires colors you have never seen before
A thousand imponderable phantasms
Still awaiting reality
We want to explore kindness enormous country where all is still
There is also time which can be banished or recalled
Pity us who fight always at the boundaries
Of infinity and the future
Pity our errors pity our sins
Now it's summer the violent season
And my youth is dead like the springtime
Oh Sun it's the time of ardent Reason
And I am waiting
So I may follow always the noble and gentle shape
That she assumes so I will love her only
She draws near and lures me as a magnet does iron
She has the charming appearance
Of a darling redhead
Her hair is golden you'd say
A lovely flash of lightning that lingers on
Or the flame that glows
In fading tea roses
But laugh at me
Men from everywhere especially men from here
For there are so many things I dare not tell you
So many things you would never let me say
Have pity on me
-- From Calligrammes, 1918
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release