A glass of milk, some goldfish crackers, and a nappy nap

Soapbox:
Someone please tell me they saw or heard or read someone, anyone, anywhere, mentioning that the liquid-bomb-airplane plot, interrupted with arrests in Britain, was probably timed to occur just before American congressional elections that, without an attack, were/are/hopefully will replace our current government with one that will not engage terrorists in the way they’d like to be engaged. We get rid of our current batch of bullheaded, culturally ignorant jingoists and we just might put the fear of DVDs, infrastructure aid, and prosperity into the heads of religious fascists. They fear options, real health care, sex both healthy and un-, women’s rights, real wages for the working class, modernization, evironmental conservatism, and all that other stuff that can’t be implemented with bombs but usually defeats the power-gaining industry of some/most organized religions. Birds of a feather with the prez, no?

But I will give W a point, at least, for finally and correctly using the word “fascists” to describe the peeps perpetrating stuff like this. Just took him seven years. Maybe someone bought him a new mirror.

Music:
Lost eighties/nineties/oughts will be today instead of last Friday, which I spent in the park eating ribs.

Sometime around the early to mid-nineties, I was transferred from Star City to a secret lab in the Martial Islands, where plans to detonate a neutron bomb were unfortunately soon scrapped due to the lack of people to kill in the area. I island hopped my way to New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania, simply to begin buying records by the boatload, especially those on the Flying Nun label, and in Tasmania I discovered the Able Tasmans, a keyboard lead outfit crafting frighteningly melodic pop, but mostly sounding like nothing and no one else. I can think of 20 young, current outfits, especially those with 10+ members, who would do themselves a favor to listen to the Able Tasmans’ first two full lengths (a debut EP, “The Tired Sun,” is interesting, but not of a kind with the others) and discover ways to fill a picture frame to bursting without overstuffing it with superfluous sounds.

Their first full length, A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down, collected singles and EP tracks going back to the ATs’ inception in 1984. The album has its frequent moments, and despite sounding completely sincere and unaffected, it comes off a tad conventional sounding, at least in contrast to what came next. Still a very psychedelic piece of piano/organ pop, like a Left Banke record covered by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, in English. Check it:

The Able Tasmans – Sour Queen

The Able Tasmans – Virtues Asunder

The Able Tasmans – Patrick’s Mother (also on The Tired Sun EP)

After a lineup shift, 1990 brought Hey Spinner! I missed it upon release, and I’m eternally embarrassed and angry that I had to wait six more years to find it. If seen for less than $15 in any format: purchase. Note the Feelies influence on the first track, “Angry Martyr,” but then put a pillow on the floor for the next one, “Hold Me I,” so your jaw doesn’t break. That track, and “Dileen,” prove the Feelies influence to be just a starting point for further, better excusions.

The Able Tasmans – Angry Martyr

The Able Tasmans – Hold Me I

The Able Tasmans – Dileen

They fizzled out by 1996, after two weaker albums, which was a damn, crying, evil shame. I did a lazy look to see if any of them had moved on, but not much else than having shared members with the infamous Flying Nun records band the Headless Chickens. They were probably all in other NZ/AU/TM bands, as was everyone else down there in the eighties, since gov’t arts cheese was doled out to new bands by band name, rather than considering the names of members.

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19 thoughts on “A glass of milk, some goldfish crackers, and a nappy nap

  1. Thank you for this great surprise. I ever loved the Able Tasmans, like other NZ-stuff (Chills, Tall Dwarfs, Jean-Paul Sartre Experience etc.). There are more Able Tasmans songs in my head (Fa fa fa, Mary Tyler Moore, Tom song, Wednesday…) that I will never forgot.Good luck for your blog

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  2. Mr. Parnell:The conspiracty theory you speak of has been thoroughly discussed on several NPR programs including Monday’s Brian Lehrer show (WNYC). Several national NPR shows have brought it up. I think one was either Open Source or To the Point (when you ipod stuff, it is easy to get them confused). But Mr. Parnell, your conspiracy theory does not hold up because the Bush people LOVE to talk about Lieberman losing the primary because it allows them to say, “You see, cut and run democrats will titantic this country.” I give the Bush people credit for NOT playing politics and for dealing promptly with terror while also losing their opportunity to showcase the Lieberman situation. You know, some polls show that 3/4 of many Middle Eastern populations think that Bush bombed the Twin Towers as well. Wanna talk about that too?

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  3. Re your soapbox: < HREF="http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/001331.php" REL="nofollow">Circumstantial Evidence<>.As for anon. above, he’s an idiot: The position advanced by Lamont is held by over 60% of the public, without respect to political party.

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  4. Ah, you all jumped the gun, and I wrote unclearly: I meant that the <>terrorist suspects<> intended to time their attack before elections, not Bush etc reporting it. I believe these arrests are legitimate, and the threat this time was real. In any case, Ridge has acknoweldged that the exec branch pressured him frequently to raise alert levels despite very questionable intelligence. That’s from Ridge’s mouth, not NPR etc. For the record, I agree that the idea of Bush changing his political fortune via timed terrorist reports is circumstancial at best. Never did I suggest otherwise. He’s not smart enough. Conspiracy theories are for mental weaklings who like to believe there’s some structure to the ineptitude of people like Bush/Cheney/Etc, because the alternative, stupidity, is uncurable and lifelong.Of course, anonymous glosses over Bush’s religious similarities with his foes, like most secular Bush supporters. I do find his/her twin towers comment insulting; I watched the non-Oliver Stone version, and it was no orchestrated Bush event. He couldn’t mission accomplish invading a country with no WMDs or military, and therfore would totally fubar any sort of coordinated terrorist activity. Anonymous also proves his own dialectic enemy with his final comment again: the wildfire of conspiracy theories in most middle eastern countries (where’s that fact from?) would be easily calmed by globalization, arts support, freedom of the press, secular education, women’s rights, and all those other things Bush wants to suppress here. He’s a huge conspiracy theory supporter, what with the Swift Boats, the Attack on Marriage crap, WMDs in Iraq, and his stated comments on God having <>talked to him<> about running for president.He makes the taliban look sober. At least they have to pass their Ivy league courses.I knew plitics would wake up this blog.

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  5. <>For the record, I agree that the idea of Bush changing his political fortune via timed terrorist reports is circumstancial at best. Never did I suggest otherwise. He’s not smart enough.<>But the people around him are clearly smart enough to manipulate the news cycle to their advantage. No doubt that the British arrests were legit, but the <>timing<> of the arrests, with seeming American pressure to move earlier than MI5 wanted is telling. A sitting Democratic senator with close ties to the Bush Administration, one that gives them “bipartisan” cover on the Iraq war and about a dozen domestic issues gets shellacked in a primary. The race has national implications, given the current mood of the electorate and the dismal foreign policy/security failures of the Bush team.Then, Cheney says the loss gives hope to Al Queda types, and, presto, a couple of days later some genuine terrorists get arrested, after an operation that had lasted for months, and was slated not to end yet. Of course the VP had been briefed on the operation and knew the arrests were coming. They just needed them to come a bit sooner.Is it a conspiracy theory to suggest that the Administration manipulates terror threats in any way it can to gain electoral advantage?Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after me.

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  6. Mr. Parnell:You wrote:“Someone please tell me they saw or heard or read someone, anyone, anywhere, mentioning that the liquid-bomb-airplane plot, interrupted with arrests in Britain, was probably timed to occur just before American congressional elections…”You fault me for responding to your comments. Blog readers are not mind readers. If you meant something completely different then what you said, then that is fine. But you should not be surprsied when folks respond to what you wrote instead of what you meant to write. As far as Ridge goes, he readily admits that the majority of his time was spent testifying to a full 80 (yup 80) mandatory congressional organizations and was not able to properly defend America. Of course, this was a bi-partisan failure so sick you want to throw up. So, Bush acting on the side of caution should not be seen as participating in foul play because of what Ridge, a part timer at best, had to say.

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  7. Ah, sweet, sweet A-ninny-mous:I wasn’t surprised. I apologized. But since you take fault with even that, I retract the apology and now defend my orig sentence, since you quote it and display your ignorance of proper and common English grammar:<>… the liquid-bomb-airplane plot<>[SUBJECT],<> interrupted with arrests in Britain<>[DESCRIPTIVE CLAUSE],<> was probably timed<>[VERB] <>to occur just before American congressional elections…<>For your reading level: <>the plot was probably timed to occur just before elections.<> Is that better? Or how about this: terrorists wanted another Madrid-like situation. As for Ridge, the actions of Congress can be blamed on the party that controls it, no? C’mon. What panel is bi-partisan these days? Dudes don’t even have to be sworn in, much like the oil CEOs, if one Republic party member on the panel wants them to be able to lie (see Alaska, Exxon, etc). And if Ridge’s time is taken up with panels, has the admin not seen fit to give him a second in command at least as qualified as an Arabian Horse Society executive? As for The Bush administration’s ability to be sneaky with the public, maybe I am wrong: Their attempts to seed and control the press and the public’s perception of the admin’s actions, via unethical (and using that word is charitable) means, is already well proven and documented: along with scoldings from the GAO, re the admin paying, with tax money, Armstroing Williams to appear on tv as an impartial journalist hawking Bush’s embarrassing education policy; gay pornogrpaher/journalist/ plant Gannon, who paid by the admin to ask questions from the white house press corps, and possibly two others , (Novak and Miller) that haven’t been substantiated but look to be underhanded.So all that makes me feel less charitable – just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m paranoid – I think, wiht the admin’s track record of paying planted journalists, that it isn’t much of a jump to think the Cheney office pressed for threat levels to be raised at opportune times.You still haven’t told me what you think of the Olbermann report.

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  8. The Olberman report is just silly. Is there any “good” time to alert the public to a terrorist threat? I think this comes down to the simple fact that while I don’t think the president is the brightest bulb on the tree, I also believe that it is his job to protect the American people. I frankly feel that ANY time the president issues a terrorist threat the Huffington’s of this world will cry foul. As far and Ridge and congress goes, it is the left, not the right, who always scream about congressonal oversight. As for Ridge’s second in command, well, you bring him up late. Again, readers respond to what you say, not what you meant to say. As for the press or the make beieve press throwing softballs, do you really think that Bush is setting a new standard that the dems don’t use as well? I would rather Bush get thrown softballs at a press conference then Bill Clinton (who I voted for twice) refuse to assisinate Bin Laden because a Saudi prince might have gotten hurt.

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  9. <>Is there any “good” time to alert the public to a terrorist threat?<>Yup – when there actually is one. But terrorism, unfortunately, is like lightning – you’ll never hear thunder <>before<>the one bolt that hits you. <>As far and Ridge and congress goes, it is the left, not the right, who always scream about congressonal oversight.<>Really? Please brush up on your Republic Party history. Dick Cheney in particular. <>As for Ridge’s second in command, well, you bring him up late. Again, readers respond to what you say, not what you meant to say.<>So you’re saying I’m right about that? Thanks. I apologize for leaving that fact out until you spurred me to use it, and I’m sure some readers will thank you. Oh, and:Dems never paid people to pretend to be journalists. Never. Bush admin did. Confirmed fact. Find the links yourself. As for protecting Saudi princes, Bush is no slouch in that department.

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  10. so, you will never hear terrorism knocking on your door until your door explodes and no democract has ever planted media folks to throw softballs because the internet says so? very interesting. Many countries, Britian, Ireland, Israel, Egypt, etc. routinely hear terrorist footsteps and are able to block the attack. Saying otherwise is, well, a bit out of touch ole chap. At least we agree that both dems and republicans, at times, favor saudi princes over national safety. A sad case indeed.

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  11. You’re right to ask for confirmation. It’s possible a Dem did plant press people; Andrew Jackson was a punk. Then again, it’s a good bet Clinton didn’t need it. Bush couldn’t answer his own telephone. But no democrat has been stupid enough to get caunght planting softball tossers in the press corps, like Bush. And I did not get this info from this newfangled ‘internet,’ although it’s there; the GAO issued a report (in ’05?) strongly scolding the Bush Admin for paying Williams, and the Gannon scandal unfolded on both national TV and in every paper not owned by the Moonies (like the Washington Times). <>Many countries, Britian, Ireland, Israel, Egypt, etc. routinely hear terrorist footsteps and are able to block the attack. Saying otherwise is, well, a bit out of touch ole chap.<>Those countries have laws that wouldn’t stand here. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, for one. They’re also culturally savvy in ways we are not, been dealing with terrorism much longer than us, and do things like actually linking their local and national law inforcement services. Even so, Egypt has had its share of terrible hits, considering the state of German tourism over there, Nobel prize winners being stabbed, etc. And Britain, despite polished efforts, was a virtual sieve for the IRA. Also – When you say ‘Ireland,’ I assume you mean Northern Ireland, by which you mean Britain, and not the Republic of Ireland, which hasn’t had a terrorism problem since 1916.Or I can assume you’re out of touch.

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  12. “Egypt has had its share of terrible hits.”Well, it looks like Bush and his peeps were able to prevent another US hit last week. I guess every time Bush does stomething right, Huffington, Frank Rich, or Maureen Dowd, and their ilk will cry foul. Very sad. I guess what you are saying is that Bush is only to be trusted when terrorists succeed in attacking Americans? That would fulfill the desires of the Bush Bashers.

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  13. Huffington, Dowd, Rich? hacks. Huffington especially. I don’t even read/pay attention to any. Dowd’s a limo liberal, and Rich should stick to pop culture. Huffignton? Please. Although I doubt you are, here you sound like those Limbaugh-listening doodooheads who always love to have easy targets to demonize. If you must pigeonhole me, please refer to Clarke, Broder, Hersh, Hertzberg, Scowcroft, Friedman, Lee Anderson, Arendt, Benjamin, Spinoza, Orwell, Gelertner, O’Neill, Muir, etc.You should check them out sometime. If I’m a Bush Basher, ok. Considering his history-making (in its dismalness) approval rating, I’ll gleeffully sign-on to joining the measured majority of the American public that finds Bush’s job performance lacking.3400 civilians killed in Iraq in July: mission accomplished!You’re too easy.

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  14. 3400 civilians killed in Iraq in July: mission accomplished!Well, I give you credit, that is a good line, but it should read:3400 civilians killed in Iraq in July: mission accomplished! Arabs are still killing Arabs and blaming the West.

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  15. Mr Parnell,I was in the Able Tasmans. I’m glad you liked our rekkids. There is a postscript too, Graeme and I recorded an album called “The Overflow” that was released, by ourselves, at the beginning of last year. You can get it on cdbaby or smoke CDs – search under Humphreys and Keen or The Overflow. It’s not an Able Tasmans CD but perhaps you’d enjoy it – hope so.RegardsPeter Keen

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