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September 21, 2018



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Overdosing on Fun

August 4, 2018

Beginning on a biographical note.

The other day I visited one of my regular Op Shops, which are sort of like Oxfam minus the sexual exploitation by its employees.

Most towns in tubbyland have three or four such shops and I visit about 20 a month in my drives.

“How much do you want for that old pair of speakers”?

A bit of consultation among the very nice women who ran this place.

“Five dollars each”.

Done, since I had a look at the back. B @ W’s about fifteen years old and Made in England.

All in all, they are brilliant since that bring out the qualities in piano not delivered by modern speakers, and they really shine when there is a lot of brass instruments.

Matched up with really big screen IMac which has a great sound card,  you can be sure that the  kangaroos and snakes are getting a serious musical education.

Which brings me to all the contemporary Neo Afrobeat bands to be found on Youtube, given that Fela died in August 1997.

Oh yes, what is a shekere  – nice selection here.

I hear you say, that bloody kt is going to inflict more of that jungle music on us and, yes children, you’re right.

London Street Party. Kokoroko Afrobeat Collective from 2017.



Underground System Afrobeat from New York, deconstructionists playing some seriously over-proof afrobeat/ funk.



I could keep going here but won’t, since I know you’ve taken my musical message to heart.

These insistent jungle rhythms lead directly to juvenile promiscuity and marijuana madness.


The Sisters have colonized contemporary Afrobeat.

Finally, if ever there was a good reason for stealing the children’s Piggy Banks to buy extra speaker boxes, this is it.

Ugandan 70s Afro-Funk:



People of the Book: Update 2.

September 15, 2014

Before continuing this scribble, there are two new additions to the blog roll, and both should be enjoyed with a coffee when powering up your pc in the morning.

Been following this photography site for ages Quirk’n it. While the photographer Jennifer is focusing on her daughter of late, the photos are both diverse and interesting. I would steal her dog if the opportunity presented itself.

A recent discovery Border Crossings, a site somewhere near tubbyland and highly recommended for its African music.

What the heck. Its time for some deadly electro-funk from Lagos in the 70s by William Onyeabor.
Lots of volume and the right attire please. Nigeria in my cloud category provides more info.


Back in 2014

December 25, 2013

It’s the fire season at the moment, so am pretty busy.

Will be back with a vengeance next year.

And don’t forget to indulge in all Seven Deadly Sins on New Years Eve because things are definitely not improving.

My thoughts go out to the people of Mali, the CAE and the rest of the folk living in the Sahel.

And it was just fabulous that the BBC did a feature on Nigerian 70s electro funkster Willian Onyeabor on Xmas eve. Better than all that Christian claptrap that pollutes the airwaves this time of the year.

See previous post: Fun: Some African Musical and Other Resources – Sept 28 2013.

(Marvin Gaye would have cut his heart out.)

Lets bury 2013 with the exuberant sound of Armadou and Marian – Mon Cherie, Ma Cherie.

This site will be almost be focussing exclusively on music and affairs in Africa almost from now on, but with the occasional gorgeous Japanese surfer girl post for Readers who like to get hot and bothered.

Postscript. If you are a desperate still getting over that fizzer of a game between Arsenal and Chelsea, its time to follow a new sport, namely the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Its not exactly a good old fashioned blood sport, but in the past there have been capsizings, drownings, broken bones, concussion, groin injuries plus dramatic helicopter rescues. Qingdao/PRC resident Vicky Song is participating this year, and good luck to her after her truly fabulous interview on SBS recently.


Background to above photo here and with thnx.

The History of Fever.

September 5, 2013

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

Before we get down to this weeks musical history lesson, a really good spray is called for and what better target than the rapidly disappearing Sino-English blog world.

This brings us to The Diplomat, the military tech-head site where US and PRC keyboard warriors gameplay the forthcoming war between these two superpowers. While I’m pretty agnostic re this Clash of the Titans, the possibility of a second 21st Century of Han Shame is a rather attractive proposition. Combine that with the mass butchery the Shia and Sunni seem intent on inflicting on each other within the Tent of Islam and hey, we are heading for a new New World Order where retard cultures get their justifiable comeuppance.

At this juncture, Mainland China is in a no-win situation: genuine reform is an impossibility and the old tried and true methods of domestic social management are reaching their effective end-points. The social, political and environmental ecologies are all pretty toxic. Sowing and reaping, it all comes down to the flawed cultural DNA of 5,000 years of so-called Han racial uniqueness. The exceptional empire of the Middle Kingdom. And what about the glue which holds this empire together – language. Reuters reports today that:

BEIJING (Reuters) – More than 400 million Chinese are unable to speak the national language Mandarin, and large numbers in the rest of the country speak it badly, state media said on Thursday as the government launched another push for linguistic unity
Ministry of Education spokeswoman Xu Mei said that only 70 percent of the country could speak Mandarin, many of them poorly, and the remaining 30 percent or 400 million people could not speak it at all, Xinhua news agency reported.

To make matters worse, Liz Carter writing in The Atlantic notes that middle school text books have been dumbed down with the removal of Lu Xun’s essay The Kite plus other works. Apparently, the old fucker and alleged founding father of Chinese literature was too bloody negative and cynical. Probably not in lockstep with Xi’s China Dream. That’s the sub-text, since they offered up the western weasel rationale of offering something more “age appropriate”.

An article analyzing the changes published by Xinhua News Agency, China’s state-run media, noted that, “Middle school students should not be reading anything too deep.” Zhao Yu, an author quoted in the article, voiced his agreement with the decision, stating that, “We shouldn’t make students undertake reflection and critical thinking too soon; instead, we should let them gradually accumulate knowledge.

Draw your own conclusions and read the original. It’s tremendous.

Back to The Diplomat. Not content with their existing monopoly on potential hi-tech blood and gore, they recently stepped onto my turf which the Dear Reader knows to be African music (and non-classical musical more generally), namely Jonathon DeHart’s interview with two Ungandan Afro-Beat artists who are touring the Mainland. Anyway, I was compelled to tap in a semi-respectful comment to the effect that Mr DeHart failed to acknowledge the late great Fela Kuti in the miserable link he provided, and fuck me if they didn’t moderate my comment into the realm of being and nothingness. Obviously, Dehart has a very fragile ego and undue influence with the editors of this site.

Soldierman Nature @ Lio D

Soldierman Nature @ Lio D

All decked out like a couple of Kivu/Democratic Republic of Congo warlords wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Forget these pussy Afro-Beat contenders and go for the Founding Father Fela.
Fela live in 78 – Berlin.

Coffin for Head of State.

Fela’s Burial….brilliant.

And for some background on the monumentally corrupt military dictatorship which hounded Fela, murdered his mother (listen to Unknown Soldier) and sent him into exile, here is Sani Abacha who was poisoned by a couple of Indian hookers out of Dubai while on a viagara jag.
A fabulous google snap shot of all Fela’s album covers HERE and if you want a killer intro to his more accessible oeuvre, try Black President.
black president
Sticking with musical matters, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention Beijing Cream. Okay, we know Corporal Tao has hit on a winning formula centred around Road Kill in its many variations – dysfunctional elevators, scooter and car accidents, cinema verite violence, airport brawls, etc – perfect net fodder for the loawai trailer trash set.

However, it is the musical thread on this site which gets up my craw. Here Tao is again, again and again spruiking fucking Andrew Lloyd Webber. ALW is a major league transmittable disease and here’s hoping Tao gets something in the ear beyond antibiotics.

As for those two twerps he employs to write on Sino musical matters – Josh Feola and Morgan Short – I’ve been baiting both for weeks now in the comments section, but they’re bunkered down in a non-responsive sulk. Pussies!

Oh yes, to the web lord’s recent invitation to do a once-off on his site.
“Sorry Digger. Way below my pay grade”.

Apol for not writing up The History of Fever.
Maybe tomorrow or the next day. Whichever comes first.

Winding Up with 101st Post

August 24, 2013

I’m putting this site to sleep (blog eugenics) for a couple of months, or at least till a decent dose of scribbling inspiration takes over again. I know I should be writing about the collapse of the Sahelian States (Mali, Niger, Central African Republic and Chad) which is a catastrophe now well and truly in progress.

As for China, who wants to be the last rat deserting a sinking ship? That honour goes to Richard of Peking Duck, a blog which now reeks of desperation and futile attempts to realise commenter clawback. The Bo trial to date consists of a lot of smart arsed western journos and web personalities desperately tweeting each other in an attempt to validate their self-worth. And for really fucking lame opinion on the Bo story, just read any of the recycling by Matt Schiavenza in The Atlantic in recent days. And he gets paid cash money for that stuff.

Aside from putting a couple of music contributors on Beijing Cream in their rightful places – very minor loawai Beijing celebs in their own lunchtime/loawai trailer trash – taming nature with a chain saw and responding to fire calls is proving to be far more satisfying. Very macho stuff which often takes place in extremely challenging environments, and which gives rise to adrenaline rushes on par with No. 4 pink rocks.

Now that I’ve got the self-importance out of the way, some of the truly trashy favourite sounds which dominated my soundscape in the late 70s and early 80s.
Eva Records produced possibly the greatest Garage collection of all times in 1982, and in glorious mono. Texas Punk Groups from Texas. Brilliant archaeology.

There are few records worth dying for, but Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 compiled by Lenny Kraal definitely fits the bill. Saw it in a gf’s collection and made the sweet lass sign it over immediately.

The Litter. A brilliant cover band and their original Soul Searching has one of the most killer riffs of all times.

More from their first album.

The Fuzztones from Psycdehelic Eminations.

The Sonics Louie Louie. Provided the hilarious back story on the lyrics somewhere in the past on this site.

This is appalling. Go Go Dancing by Raquel Welch

A really minor gem in the history of Garage. The Sharpels Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn.

Winding it up with The Stooges I Wanna be you Dog.

See ya, and expect all of the above selection to be piped thru very bloody loud speakers. None of those pussy efforts you connect to your pc, okay.

Take care.

Reviewing the Gulag #5

January 18, 2013

Where better to begin than Peking Duck’s anniversary post SARS Ten Years Later. While not diminishing the significance of the virus or downplaying the initial deceptions orchestrated by Beijing, Richard’s reflections are on the high melodramatic side. A sort of holiday in hell narrative saturated with enough Medieval Grim Reaper imagery to match the Black Death which decimated Europe in the 14th century.

“Being there in the thick of it in 2003, I enjoyed a bird’s eye view of how the government operates. It wasn’t pretty, but in retrospect I am glad I was there to experience it. The entire incident including the censorship and propaganda and the citizens’ distrust and the cover-up, provided a microcosm of life in China at the time, one that I will newer forget”.

There are other narratives and here is one. I landed in Fujian in January in January 2002 and some weeks later we (12 western types of many nationalities) began to suspect something was amiss, and by the time the government fessed up, we were stuffed in terms of pissing off. No one really panicked during the lock down when classes were suspended. Even a couple of truly deranged Americans, who later departed in hilarious circumstances, took the situation in their stride.

Recall the really big staff meeting where some po-faced cadre took the chair. We were told that the local military hospital had just developed a successful vaccine – eye rolls all round – and were then each given a bottle of really cheap vinegar to sprinkle outside the doors of our apartments. Right out of the Middle Ages. Basically folk had a good time. Lots of quiet partying, watching HBO box sets till dawn and sleeping in very late. I even got to play nurse when work resumed, recording everybodys temperatures twice daily. Fun role plays.

This was not the end of the Middle Kingdom as were were beginning to experience it. Three hundred and sixty eight causalities in China including one in Fujian. There were probably more Western virologists, immunologists and epidemiologists (their pc’s loaded down with predictive software….10% morbidity blah blah) advising the Health Ministry than actual victims. After getting their cv’s punched with flying visits to HIV/AIDS Africa, SARS was the next big thing.

Now for some faux statistics on the tabloid end of the blog gulag in terms of Global Ranking, China Ranking, Big In, Daily Page Views, Daily Income and Estimated Worth in USD. **

ChinaSmack: 18,954, 16,082, Finland (8%), 56,584 , $172.20, $125,706.

Shanghaiist: 40,641, 28,579, France (5.4%), 35,457, $106.37, $77,650.

Beijingcream: 157,338, 99,884, Poland (7.7%) Indonesia (6.0%), 7,085, $21.26, $15,519.

By contrast, check what India’s top ten bloggers earn per month, and also get the feeling that this is a very inexact science.

RFH’s post on BJC about bespoke bicycle bling among the noveau riche and vulgar in China resonated in tubbyland. The very staid Melbourne Age joined the lazy bastard approach to reporting on China HERE. I’m quite sure if the power progeny of the super rich started poncing around Beijing’s malls and clubs on upmarket push bikes in the past few weeks, their families would have had them certified.

Now, its a natural fact that Japan is noted for its super hot surfing babes. As if that is not sufficient, it is now producing quality Sino-commentators, namely the equally hot Manani Funakoshi, who writes for Tea Leaf Nation. You will recognize the homeless story, as it was taken up by numerous sites including ChinaSmack and BJC.

** Lots of programs for this sort of stuff, but I wouldn’t bet on their precision. However, they do provide a good approximate.

Apol: Will finish this tomorrow.

While it has been up for awhile, Sinostand’s piece Southern Weekend’s Stand: What It Is and What It Isn’t was the best summation of the issues involved in this staff-management standoff, and sure enough the views expressed were generally confirmed by Maria Repnikova’s article in the WSJ Journalists Are No Revolutionaries.. The glare of publicity simply dazzled some commentators: the first dawn of real press freedom in China, etc. The agreement reached with Party officials will be short-lived, and will end up like Wukan as soon as the sillier end of the West’s punditocracy identifies a new ‘challenge’ to power.

The only lesson here is that the real decision makers in China – some 80,000 key office holders out of 80 million something Party members – have learned to play a tactical game when the situation calls for a smart response. One can best liken them to a Long Firm fictionally described by Jake Arnott: when the time comes they will pull the second passport out from under the mattress and join their overseas bank accounts. Whatever, you can bet the farm that the journalists at the Southern Weekly will come to a shitty end down the track. Relocated to some dust bowl like Gansu or Hohhot.

Democracy doesn’t make the world go round. Rather, the real determinant is access to energy and mineral resources. China Oil Trader, a relatively new blog by academic Gabe Collins, is up there with Chovanec etc in terms of tres serious analysis. After reading his mission statement HERE, go exploring. After doing so, follow up by clicking on China Sign Post lorded by Dr Andrew Erickson for a second dose of serious analysis. If you have the big Sino-engineering mentality, these are the sites for you.

Finally, a bookend to the above two recommendations. Meet China’s Genghiz Security Advisor GSA, a firm “which offers protection for China’s wealthiest citizens from attacks and kidnapping at home and abroad — a service analysts say could push the government in Beijing into unwanted foreign entanglements……A senior foreign affairs advisor for China’s government said last year that Chinese security companies should be “allowed to head abroad”.

Han Fangming told the 21st Century Business Herald that China should “seriously discuss” creating an equivalent to America’s Blackwater security firm “to provide armed security for overseas institutions and enterprises in high-risk areas”.

Crikey, given that Blackwater has virtually eluded all forms of US Congressional oversight to date, the neo-colonised in Africa really need a Sino-version of the same, especially given China’s existing shotgun approach to labour management issues in Zambia etc pace The Lusaka Times.

Anyway, even babes can sign up for this serious security detail: 22-year-old Wang Wenwen, one of several women training at the academy, has no doubts about her choice of profession.

“The training is torture, but I can still take it,” she said.

“Women have certain advantages… your opponent will overlook you, and you can grab a pen from a desk and stab it here,” she said, pointing at her neck. “It has a high rate of success”
You can get a slide show of our Middle Kingdoms Claude and Claudette Van Dammes HERE.

Best Wishes to…

December 24, 2012

It’s time to thank some long-term e-interlocutors, namely, and in no particular order.

Andrew. May you stumble onto the biggest box of Oz garage vinyl and memorablia sometime during 2013.

FROOG. Hope you win the China Sports Lottery. Buy a new computer and a massive library of cinema classics.

Mike. Ditto. Open your own bookshop.

Kedafu. Ditto. So you can buy youtube.

Adam. Promotions, free global travel and lots of conference time.

Justrecently. Since you are a wealthy gentleman farmer, you have it all, so I will simply promise never to make a cat joke again.

Let’s collectively rule the world in 2013.

And being a shameless self-publicist.

Next post goes up 31.12.2012.

Update plus Invitation.

December 19, 2012

Dear Reader

I’ve vacated this site for a little while, and am now posting on on a seven day cycle. The next goes up tomorrow 24 December 2012.

Should there be any reader wishing to write a piece on interesting Music (with a bit of context and analysis thrown in) or on any non-Hollywood film/cinema which they enjoy, please contact me via the above mail address.

The last guest Niubi Cowboy provided a couple of music essays and they were well received by my small readership.



Blog Roll Purge and New Recommendations.

December 8, 2012

As my traffic is doing well of late despite a period of silence, it is time to return to the fray with some commentary and a blog homicide with intent. The Hao Hao Report is now gone, sent to the relegation zone because it is plain boring and offering very thin fare for an entity aspiring to curate the best of Sino-English sites. I was thinking of replacing it with the Shanghaiist, but balked due to its heavy dependence on advertising.

For a great overview of the Sino tubes, Beijing Cream now rules the roost. Two star General Anthony Tao and his team feed the monster at a ferocious rate, but why he persists with basketball posts is beyond me. We should be jeering at the PRCs national football team instead. 5,000 years of chopsticks and public hoiking, a population of 1.4 billion and a FIFA ranking of 88 after Haiti at 57 and Mali at 28. No comment required.

Whatever, while Beijing Cream has the readership, it has yet to produce a committed commentariat. In contrast, the pioneer Chinasmack is now the total pits. Beyond crap layout with driveling, mostly loawai idiots weighing in with monosyllabic remarks. Talk about a race to the bottom. The Chinese commenters appear highly intelligent by comparison. Fauna is badly advised. And I hope the culprit is not Kai Pan (who made a recent momentary reappearance). Just why the fuck do other sites include Chinasmack in their blogrolls? Residual affection? Who knows!

Custer is clearly sick of his own opinions, his readers opinions and the whole gig. Not surprising and, anyway he has better things to do with his time.

The Peking Duck has sort of rejuvenated itself of late, even though the op pieces are highly predictable. One gets the feeling that Richard gets a bit desperate towards the end on the week for an entry, and so goes with the obvious. Again, whatever. TPD pulls the readers and comment scribblers and exchanges can be fun and informative. I personally enjoyed engaging with a couple of regular posters who I would normally jeer. Just illustrates the point that there are topics which can be discussed (with a fair dose of humour) that bypass the usual bi-polar US-China food fight.

The China Daily Show has just extracted the last vestige of wit out of the Ask Alessandro saga. Now I ask you, Dear Reader, if you had a less-than-attractive sister with boyfriend issues, would you let her be guided by Alessandro. Okay, he looks like a buffed Mediterranean beach wolf, but I know the type. A casebook example of a sexually insecure pillow biter. But hey, a photo to die for in the parody department.


It’s with heavy heart that I note that FROOG (my Pixillated (sic) Musings) is soon to close shop due to impending life and career changes. A renaissance man of the old public school. I’ve recommended a move to the tropics where he could enjoy the fruits of his Beijing labours, combined with a diet of g and ts and high-end ganga. Is he a man of decision? We shall see.

Now that Xi has unleashed his anti-corruption lite campaign, we need to be able to correctly identify the sex-sleaze-money-politics perp, so I’ve added China Vitae to your additional reading homework. Just became aware of, a site with Napoleonic ambitions: “a humble blog”…(which) “tries to help cut through the cacophony of China news by highlighting the most important items related to the PRC, and offering some context as to what these items actually mean”. FMD! Join a very long cue.

As the long term Dear Reader is well aware, Mali is the centre of the musical world. It is also encountering a bit of civil strife at present. Consequently, I’ve added the Sahel Blog and the Maghreb Politics Review, so you can sparkle conversationally at your next diplomatic cocktail party.

That’s it. I’m off to dj and photograph my local rural fire brigade xmas party held in the middle of the piney woods. Bucolic Bliss or Rural Idiocy. Your choice, but I intend to elevate everybody’s musical taste.