Pop Stars. A poem.

Too many pop stars
popping off like stars
or popping corn, just
Mini-fashion supernovas
grabbing my attention
in an explosion of pop culture
Sympathetically
Simplistically
Setting the scene
In just fifteen
minutes of sobriety

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Bohemian Rhapsody. A movie review.

Rami Malek of Mr Robot fame playing Freddy Mercury? Lots of Queen hits with amazing sound? Bring it on!

I’m a Queen fan from way back. I have all their albums, and Brian May continues to be my all-time favourite rock guitarist. So, as soon as I heard Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of Freddy and the band, was being filmed, I was as good as in a seat. They had my money, no matter what.

Now I’ve seen it I can honestly say I enjoyed it. However…

I guess the biggest letdowns were the missed opportunities to see not only some of the major issues the band faced early in its career (the stoush with their first manager, for instance), the other band members getting short shrift in terms of screen time, and Freddy’s character seeming a little two dimensional, given the amount of story devoted to him. Some of the scenes dragged, especially the ones with Freddy and Mary. But a movie can only be so long, and for the benefit of story a few things needed to be cut, a few historical liberties taken. Rami Malek makes up for it with a wonderful performance as Freddy, capturing the essence of the man, if not always the presence.

Bohemian Rhapsody is an enjoyable ride, even if it’s not destined to be the best Queen movie ever made. I’m sure that’s yet to come.

Rating: B-

Upstart Photographer #3: Black and White.

Beached - stevestillstanding

I love black and white photos. They seem to capture a rawness, a natural quality that is sometimes lost in the way digital images capture colour. I’m no expert, of course, and I’m sure some real photographers out there could explain just what it is that makes black and white photos so cool.Tully - stevestillstanding

The city I live in on the east coast of Australia is naturally bright. There’s a lot of sunshine, so blue skies are a feature of many of my shots. Taking black and white photos drains away the colour (naturally) but brings everything into, if it’s possible, starker reality.

I hope you enjoy these shots.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Guitars - stevestillstanding

The Search for Everything. An album review.

Being a poor student I don’t often buy new CDs (how times have changed—in my previous middle class existence I would buy two albums a week). Being a guitar player I (sometimes) gravitate to guitar-oriented music. Such is the case with John Mayer’s newest album, The Search for Everything. (I’m going to refrain from commenting on Mr Mayer’s purportedly douchey private life. He’s a great guitarist and song writer and I admire him for those things, rather than his tabloid exploits.)

After a few country-tinged albums, Mayer has returned to his blues-funk roots. The twelve songs showcased here are sad and remorse-filled tales of heartbreak, love, drunkenness and loneliness (hmmmm, my four favourite things, it seems). The lyrics, like most of Mayer’s other work, reflect a deep personal melancholy that obviously strike a chord with me.

Still Feel Like Your Man is the funkiest and best cut, and had me grooving out and marvelling at Mayer’s tasty and ample riff work. Other faves included the punchy Helpless, the tasty instrumental title track, funk-filled Moving On and Getting Over and poignant piano strains of You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.

Mayer’s singing and playing is top notch throughout, and as usual he surrounds himself with top musos to back him up, including regulars Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.

I know Mayer is not the mega-selling artist he used to be, but The Search for Everything demonstrates aptly that he is still an amazing song writer and musician, who struggles with his personal demons. Just like the rest of us.

Heartily recommended.

Adele – 25. Sing ‘em loud! A Review.

I’m a big fan of Adele. She has an amazing range to her voice and the tone has an earthy, time worn quality to it. She also revels in songs about lost love, which, being the sad sack that I am, I’m particularly fond of. So if you’re not a fan, you may as well click away now, as this will not be an unbiased review. Just saying.

I guess almost everyone in the world has 21, Adele’s sophomore album that blew minds with its dark and swaggering vocals and 60’s aesthetic. 25 is the follow up (all of her album titles reflect her age when the album was produced – I guess she’s not going to change that in a hurry). As usual, she has surrounded herself with great musicians and co-writes all of the songs. Adele has a capacity to take a fairly simple song and turn it into an emotive tale of longing and pathos that manages to take hold of your brain and not let go.

There are 11 songs on the album, all soaring ballads and torch songs. Hello is the big hit that everybody has probably heard way too many times by now. Send My Love, Water Under The Bridge and River Lea get a bit funky. I Miss You and Sweetest Devotion are boldly percussive. Melancholic piano strains fire up When We Were Young, Remedy, Love In The Dark and All I Ask, and the sensitive acoustic filigree of Million Years Ago is hauntingly sweet. This album never really steers a foot wrong.

Let me be clear: this is not an adventurous experiment that takes Adele out of her comfort zone. Adele has a formula that works and fans love it. We’ll be singing out loud accompanying these songs until the next album rolls around.

Chris. A poem.

He shined
On every stage
A voice that made you
Take notice
A guitar
Burning and churning
Changing lives
Through music

But inside
Thoughts and pain
Burning and churning
Shadows and rain
Low
Black hole sun
Dragging down
Crushing him

Who could see
What would come
To be
To take a life
So unexpectedly
Into the superunknown
Exit stage left
Now rest

House Sitter – epilogue

My friends got back from the cruise, unfortunately two of the five were sick for most of it (doh!).

Following are a couple of things I learnt while housesitting in the center of town:

  • I love living in the center of town (everything is sooooooo convenient)
  • I don’t cook when I’m living in the center of town (restaurants are sooooooo convenient)
  • Dogs are very therapeutic (dogs give unconditional love. Why can’t humans be like that?)
  • I love walking the dog for miles and miles and miles and… (l lost a bit of fat and put on a bit of muscle – all balanced out weight-wise as muscle is heavier than fat. And I don’t have much fat anyway, so I’m trimmer now :p )
  • I’m very productive when I’m on my own (ten songs completed in eight days – yeah!)
  • The counter to that is I get depressed more (story of my life…)
  • You never do everything you wanted to do (CBD shopping? Nix. Meet women? Nada. Party on the town? Hah!)

Now: uni assignment due this Friday. Time to get my arse into gear.

Have a great day 🙂

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