31 March 2008


You have a quote for the day. It's a good one, so you post it (though perhaps it loses something when written down rather than delivered in MES's inimitable style). And then along comes this:

Well, you'll never be known as Dependable Dave, that's for damn sure.

- Rose Miller


I must admit to finding the evil Barrs perpetually amusing. I'll freely admit it's a character fault on my part, but they're just so funny.

On Saturday their blog featured a prominently displayed notice in the sidebar, under a picture of the words 'oh my god', promising a scandal on Monday. Well, well, thought I, must remember to have a look. After all, they try so hard.

But no! It is Monday evening, and there is no scandal. They have removed the notice and given no explanation.

Quote of the day

I am a fifty year old man
And I like it
I am a fifty year old man
What are you going to do about it?

- Mark E Smith

29 March 2008

A new chapter

I left the Mary Newton Gallery yesterday. Obviously, I'm not going to go into why I decided to do this here. You'll have to buy me a drink instead.

I'm going to concentrate on my show in Palmy in September. I've got the title, artist's statement, and a goodly number of paintings to select from. I'd also really like to get my comic published, publish the Common-sense nihilist manifesto, and do a Can't Play Won't Play CD-EP thing in time for it. The comic's the dodgy one. The way I'm doing the final version is very time consuming, but it should be worth it in the end.

Speaking of Can't Play Won't Play, here are our first attempts at 'Omnipotent spacechimp' and 'Dread the future':

Omnipotent spacechimp
Dread the future

Update: Rose pointed out that the first paragraph makes it sound like there's a salacious tale to be told. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I'm just angling for free drinks.

25 March 2008

Yet more idle sketching

A possible painting (mmm, large landscape painting...):

A drunken drawing:

The cover of the book I'm currently reading:

23 March 2008

Spontaneous Search Party

The other day a couple to people let me know that National Radio, while talking about people changing their name by deed poll, denied the existence of my friend Spontaneous Search Party. Someone else rang up to set them straight before I could.

I was there when he decided to change his name. It was a memorable night during Easter 95 when a group of us had gone to camp for the night by a lake in Central Otago (read all night party). Spont and I sat by the fire talking for a fair bit of the night. Two things came of that conversation: he agreed to teach me to drive (which was to involve wiping out and broadsiding a lamppost – and that was him driving, showing me what the car could do) and he decided to change his name to Spontaneous Search Party by deed poll. It comes from a Julian Cope song.

We were flatting in Waitati, 20 km north of Dunedin, at the time, and you had to wander down to the servo on the main road to pick up your mail. One day there was a nice official letter from the deed poll people, and it was done. Spont was Spont. He started to carry that letter round with him after he got hassled by the cops walking home drunk one night. When they asked him his name, they thought he was taking the piss and refused to believe him.

Soon after that, I had to be in Christchurch to catch a flight. Spont suggested he drive me up and give me some driving lessons on the way. Our friend Amanda came along for the ride. I had to be in Chch by midday, so we left the afternoon before. When we got to a turn-off to Alexandra, I suggested we go via the Haast Pass and the West Coast. We had plenty of time, and the name of the driver was Spontaneous after all, so we did.

By the time we got to the Haast Pass it was about 10 or 11 at night and pissing down. They were doing a lot of work on the road, and large chunks of it were gravel. Spontaneous was pretty buggered and said he couldn't drive anymore. So that was the first time I drove. It was a fucking nightmare.

We were running out of petrol by the time we got to Franz Josef. We pulled into the forecourt of a servo, peered out into the driving rain and murk at it all closed up and dark, and crashed out. In the drizzle early next morning we saw that the petrol pumps were those 24 hour ones with built-in eftpos machines. At this point the recriminations began.

Plenty of time had turned into not much time, and here we were on the wrong side of the Southern Alps. The rest of the trip involved a washed out bridge and hairy detour over the Alps. It finished with a mad dash at the airport and me catching my plane at the last minute. After that, we started doing road trips on a fairly regular basis.

I could go on, but won't. I haven't seen Spontaneous Search Party in years. If you stumble across this, Spont, give us a yell. It'd be good to catch up.

22 March 2008

Attention! General alert!

Trust no-one! Do not trust the most obvious of appearances. There are hostile secret agents and artificially intelligent remote brain scanners from alternate worlds working among you. Do not even trust yourselves. Alien thought viruses are competing to control your mind. No-one is safe! Especially from themselves!

How to recognise a hostile artificially intelligent remote brain scanner operating in your area
Artificially intelligent remote brain scanners need to learn your individual brain pattern before they can read and control your mind. If you find your train of thought suddenly drifting off in random directions, it is probably an artificially intelligent remote brain scanner prompting your brain so it can learn your responses. Stop thinking immediately.

What to do when you detect hostile secret agents or artificially intelligent remote brain scanners from alternate worlds operating in your area
Contact your local intertemporal avant-garde revolutionary cell without delay. Inoculate yourself with the avant-garde thought virus today!

18 March 2008

A typical day at the office

Something to admire...

...Mr Stephen Rowe's flash hi-fi.

Can't Play Won't Play did some recording over the weekend. Over a two hour period, we did four songs: 'The intertemporal avant-garde', 'Omnipotent spacechimp', 'Dread the future', and 'Got $20?' Considering we only started off with some rough lyrics for three of them, I reckon that's not bad going. The opinion on the day was that two of them need a bit of work, but that the other two were pretty good as is and one of those was (to use the technical term) fucking epic.

Of course, when you're in the middle of something, it's hard to get perspective. We'll just have to try the recordings out on Steve's Altecs!

14 March 2008

Quote of the day

The life of every person is a way to themself, an attempt at a way, the suggestion of a path. No person has ever been utterly themself, yet every person strives to be so, the dull, the intelligent, each one as best they can. Each person to the end of their days carries round with them vestiges of their birth – the slime and egg-shells of the primeval world. There are many who never become human; they remain frogs, lizards, ants. Many people are human beings above and fish below. Yet each one represents an attempt on the part of nature to create a human being. We enjoy a common origin in our mothers; we all come from the same pit. But each individual, who is themself an experimental throw from the depths, strives towards their own goal. We can understand each other; but each person is able to interpret themself to themself alone.
- Hermann Hesse

12 March 2008

On this day in 1970...

Three of the Weathermen have just blown themselves up. The trial of the Chicago Seven has just ended. Mark Rothko and Rita Angus have recently died. The Beatles are splitting up. Black Sabbath have just released their debut album. Robert Smithson is just about to start constructing the Spiral Jetty.

The first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET have recently been interconnected. Concorde is just about to make its first flight. Apollo 13 is getting ready to launch in a month's time. The US army is about to charge 14 officers with the My Lai massacre and to invade Cambodia. The Cold War is entering a new phase, and Northern Ireland is getting particularly full on.

New Zealand's human population is around 2.8 million. The world's human population is around 3.6 billion.

09 March 2008

This and that

I've finally got around to revamping my website. It had got a bit too huge and unwieldy, and I was just going to ditch it. However, I decided something stripped down and easy to maintain would be the go instead.

I'm also having fun getting stuck into some new paintings. Most are my usual size (roughly 30 x 40 cm) but one is biggish (roughly 70 x 90 cm). For that one, I've scaled up a tiny sketch I made in the pub one day. Exciting!

01 March 2008

Some holiday photos

I'm sitting in a motel room in Rotovegas. We head back to Welly tomorrow (boo), having had a fantastic time.

Despite the damnably slow connection here, I've managed to upload some photos:

visitors since 29 March 2004.