Stuff I don’t mind no. 16: Thriftshop and the state of modern music.

I’ll start by apologising for being a little behind the times. I sometimes have opinions about stuff and then forget to write about them for months at a stretch on account of being busy with my growing Benedict Cumberbatch obsession amongst other things. Anyway.

My penchant for a bit of pop music here and there is not news. Actually, nothing I have to say here is actually news, except perhaps if I self published a newspaper titled Stuff That Has Happened or Perhaps Been Thought About By and To Carlynne in which case my listening to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem on the way to work would be stopping the presses.

I do love a hit here and there. The masses make songs popular because they are fun or catchy or enjoyable in some way (and also obviously because they celebrate grinding against some bird on the d-floor and make us all feel a little bit more dirty). Every now and then, we all need a dance, and a tune to dance to. It’s helpful if the song we dance to doesn’t make its living off kicking women in the face, or rely too heavily on the repetition of key phrases such as “life, oh life, oh life-doo doo doo doo doo”, but mainly we just want a beat that keeps us moving and a fun chorus to wail while doing the dishes.

Thriftshop by Macklemore was first introduced to me by a friend at work. I dug the shit out of it immediately on account of it being just problematic amounts of fun and, delightfully, a hip hop song that scorned the usual brand and status whoring that the genre is known for and openly praised op-shopping. I then proceeded to ‘introduce’ it to all of my friends, completely unaware that everyone already knew this song as it had been thrashed by all stations for months.

I kept enjoying it right up until voting time came for JJJ’s Hottest 100, the yearly countdown of Australia’s (and by Australia’s, I mean Triple J listeners who can be bothered to vote and the few of us who continue to vote despite being hopelessly outmanned in a sea of music we have never heard) favourite songs.

Thriftshop came in at number 1, as voted by… those that voted (including me! Come at me bro). This, though, was apparently NOT OK according to lots of people who thought that this spelt various disastrous things like:

People enjoying songs that they themselves don’t enjoy

Music these days being nothing but awful dub-step and awful hip hop

Folks not knowing that they should only enjoy the lyric heavy, heady-theme laiden alt music and not the poppy fun stuff involving hooks and swears

Presumably folks relishing the idea of op-shopping, which is a gateway shopping and will lead to the purchase of both infants and ivory on the black market

There was such aversion to this song arriving at number 1, despite the fact that it getting there meant that a lot of people must actually have dug it. It seemed a portent of an apocalypse of Bad Music, that would sneak into our homes and give our children terrible haircuts and lower our IQs by repeating lines like “This is fucking awesome” in our ears as we sleep. Heaven knows most things I utter on a daily basis are Shakespearian as compared to that gutter-esque filth. I will not be debased, Macklemore! Take your gleeful and entirely dance-able espousing of the benefits of thrift elsewhere!!

I think perhaps that what Thriftshop’s success actually spells is that a lot of people liked the song, for the very plausible reason that they liked it. I think perhaps also a lot of these people could have been people like me who enjoy a variety of different musics, some of it theme laiden alt business with the dramatic synths or the seventeen part harmonies and some of it the fun stuff with the catchy hooks that make us want to flap and twirl by the sink.

I feel OK about the state of modern music because I know (just like most other people do) that when I want to find new and exciting artists I need only ask my friends and there they will be, waiting to be laid bare inside my ears. There is a crap-tonne of wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking and ear blistering music floating around, and if some of it is dub-steppy or hip-hoppy or not your bag in other ways, common sense would suggest you steer clear of that stuff and look for what makes you sing.

And furthermore if as many people are dissatisfied with the state of modern music around the globe as claimed to be on Facebook post Hottest 100, then odds are some of them are musicians who can put their accordions where their mouths are and make some music that they, and maybe even the masses, will like.

In the mean time, I’ma keep dancing in my kitchen, because music is fun and I feel like that’s sort of the point.

Stuff I don’t mind no.78: Summer pissing off!

Despite what anyone who has heard me complain incessantly and unoriginally over the past two months might think, I am actually a fan of all of the seasons.

This might be considered a bit wishy washy, a bit PC, a little too people pleasing perhaps for the hip, just-pick-one crowd, but to them I say: I’ll calmly enjoy whatever I like thanks, you best believe that.

I love Spring’s over the top sprays of colour, shimmying wildly out of winter with a “look! You can come out again! It smells good!”, hurling flowers and scents in everyone’s faces with reckless abandon. I love the thoughtfulness of Autumn, when the leaves turn and dance to the ground, when the air is crisper on one’s face. I adore the rugging up and settling in of Winter, skies in tumult, greys layered on greys, a sort of poise and gentle solemnity in the air. And I even enjoy Summer, despite the title of this ode to its buggering off. The long evenings, and the feeling of possibility that comes with the end of a year and the start of another, the calm certainty that adventure is a real thing that might happen at any moment, the yawning blue skies that, clichéd or not, are pretty much guaranteed to make me smile; I do get why people dig it. Generally I prefer the colder months, as I tend to run at a higher temp than other folks and also look bitchin’ in scarves, but I do get the appeal.

But not this year. This year’s Summer, the seasonal equivalent of Marty McFly’s guitar solo in Back To The Future- dragging on much too long and leaving everyone very uncomfortable- can fuck right off and keep going.

This year’s Summer was an impolite, overbearing jerk. It had this wonderful mild beginning, where the it cushioned the really hot days between two much cooler ones to make sure we were OK, you know? Just a little dibby dabble in some heat- and then, when it’s supposed to be on its way out, it bumps it up to 5, 7, 12 days straight of Oh-my-god-I-think-that-puddle-was-my-skin hot, leaving Autumn just standing to the side, awkwardly tapping its fist against its leg, waiting for the dickhead to get off the stage. “OH I’M HOT! I’M HOT NOW!! YEAH! I’M NEVER LEAVING AND YOU’LL ALL DIIIIE!!!”.


I genuinely don’t understand people that bemoan the end of such a time. I, for one, do not wish to remain swathed in my own bodily excretions for weeks on end, or to flee like vermin from any glimpse of cheery sunlight for fear of bursting into flame. I do not enjoy the pervasive apathy and exhaustion that seems to cover everyone and everything like there’s a big fat sweaty dude that has died and fallen on top of us all and is rotting slowly along with our will to live or even move our limbs and movement of any kind becomes impossible and cause for stupid irritability at everything and leads to irrational hatred of parties one suburb over and becoming convinced in the space of a Tuesday afternoon that the only future you can know involves moving to Alaska tomorrow.

I know people dig it, I know we are supposed to be a sunburnt country, I know we’re like, beach folk that thrive and bloom in the summer sun BUT WE BURN TOO, YOU KNOW, AND THERE IS NO COVER NEXT TO THE OCEAN- JUST BLINDING WHITE HOT SAND YO.

In summation: Hooray for Autumn!

Hooray for having worn actual pants for like, days in a row now; hooray for a cool breeze on my skin; hooray for sleepy time being something to look forward to instead of a nightmare world of too much shit touching me at once.


Upfield line to City

At Jewell Station a man gets on the train and stands in the doorway, looking out. A girl on the platform laughs saying “you’re holding the train” and smiling he steps back.

She lingers until the door shuts as if making sure he will stay put then she waves and walks away as our train heads the opposite direction. She is barefoot and happy and her short bob is a deliberate mess.

I watch the back of the man as he moves to a seat, and so does a guy nearby with a bike and a ponytail. He shakes his head.

I wonder why because all I want to know is if they are in love, if they’ve just spent the night and the day together, if each are giddy and sick from the other.


then i saw his hat

Yesterday I went to a café near the church I work at with a friend I know from there. Outside was a guy in a collared shirt and vest and a suit jacket wearing these really long and high buckled boots that you see and you think you know something about the person wearing them. Something like they might have friends who cross-dress and have baby pink hair or they probably only listen to Nine Inch Nails or you’d think they hate their dad but that seems too obvious.

As I sat in the café drinking a banana smoothie my friend who is around 70 asked if I thought the guy out the front was an orthodox Jew. From where he was sitting he could only see the guy’s top half as he unfolded himself from his chair and put on a wide brimmed hat and an overcoat, despite it being 20 degrees out. I said I didn’t think so and then I saw his hat and said “well I guess he could be”.

The guy and his friend came into the café. He took off his hat and said “thank you very much, I hope you have a great day” and nodded at the woman behind the counter and then put his hat back on and left again. She came around to clean some tables and she was smiling and I thought there you go-that’s how easy it is.

How Meredith saves music festivals

Dirt is good for digestion

I shook the base player from Regurgitator’s hand

People are marvellous

All music festivals should encourage people to pick up their shit

Fruity lexia does indeed make you sexier

Though Primal Scream could have been more literal about it, they were pretty good

BYO policy means a world of trashy canned beers that inevitably taste the same waiting for you to not care and drink warm

Organic toilets are the straight up dopest

No one cares what you look like when everyone looks like shit

Legitimate reason to eat beans straight from the can and eat Coke for breakfast

Future husband located (feel that his being a rockstar only helps my cause)

New appreciation for ready availability of soap

A weekend without Facebook, mirrors or mobile phones surrounded by trees, music and the most a-grade peeps known to man is a fucking good weekend


Hello, friends

How are you?

Just so you know, a few things have happened to me recently.

I know, I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath, but then we’ve got to keep moving; something else is using the Internet in ten minutes.

They weren’t super exciting things involving promotions or monkeys or super dramas things like my brother being kidnapped by terrorists and forced at gunpoint to construct a nuclear device. Just some things (one of them was making friends with an amazing Irishman -no, it wasn’t like that- another was walking over a mountain range -yes, it was cool and it does make me a little better than you) that have added up to me being a slightly different me than I was.

What they have wrought, in their little subtle-life-altering-Frankenstein-ie way, is Carlynne 3.1(the birthday came later but we’re pretending it’s all been timed really well).

Carlynne 3.1 doesn’t apologise for herself.

Now- to be clear, this is not in a douchey way. If I tread on your toe or diss your woman I’ll apologise the crap right out of you. Goodness- if I’m playing music too loud on the tram, please tell me! Because that is so impolite and I’m so sorry.

In the past though, some of the stuff I (and I’m sure actually a lot of other schmucks) have been apologizing for and the ways I’ve been sorry are things like this:

Feelings of noticeable discomfort around people who could reasonably be described as ‘Hipsters’ as am convinced that I am not quite as cool (I have too many emotions, and don’t wear t-shirts as nonchalantly), and they will see me as not as good, which they should be spared from, sorry cool people that I’m not cool-


Concern over certain items of clothing accentuating my wobbly arms, wobbly belly, large boobs or big frame and as said accentuation means that people will see them, I feel badly as these wobbly bits are obviously something that no one should be forced to look at I’m sorry world for the bits I will cover them all up for ever-


The certainty that all conversations I engage in are mostly my responsibility and that I need to be the most entertaining/sincere/wise/funny/lighthearted person ever witnessed and when a conversation veers off course or stalls or seems awkward that this is all self’s stinkin fault because of self’s failure to be one or all of the above; sorry chat buddy for not being radiant and wittastic constantly I’m sorry

And so on.

That’s a bit shit.

Carlynne 3.1 doesn’t care. She does not need to be intimidated by anyone, because this is all bullshit. She is a person just like all the other people are and this is ok even when she laughs too loud, or likes a Justin Beiber song, or plays with her iPhone in front of the ones in the great jeans and scraggy hair*.

She has realized that how she appears to passers by, friends and loved ones does not matter, that they will love her anyway if they matter and that she is fabulous and, it turns out, beautiful**. She has never allowed herself to say this aloud before.

Carlynne 3.1 knows that there are at least two parties involved in the conversations she is a part of (save for those she has with herself, and those are another story, for another blog post) and that if things don’t run as perfectly as the script she sees in her head that this is OK too. Also, she refuses to let silences be awkward. They are simply a lack of noise***.

So that’s some stuff.

Let’s move on now, hey?




*Carlynne 3.1 does not wish this post or any comments herein to be seen as an indictment on those of a Hipster persuasion- she has nothing against that lifestyle whatsoever. She has Hipster friends and an argument can easily be made, thanks to the nebulous definition of the Hipster, that she is in fact one herself, from time to time. You know, when the mood arises.

**The secret to this step is not a diet, or a tummy flattening undergarment, or a facelift- it is much simpler. It is deciding to believe it. Voila: Instant confidence. Who knew.

***Seriously the other day I interrupted these two dudes I barely knew as they were very clearly finishing a conversation and smiled benignly at them for around four minutes as they finished talking and prepared to leave the area. They looked politely at me from time to time, wondering why I was watching their boring chit-chat. I was quite comfortable there. Quite comfortable.

Sometimes you wanna go

As illustrated in a few posts dotted here and there, I’ve been a bit up and down over the last few months. Sure, I came home from the Christmas hols all full of pluck and vim and other sailor-esque, nineteenth century words and was ready to DO THINGS and WIN AT LIFE and BE BEEETTTEEERRRRR. And in a lot of ways, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been busier but also more organised than ever before, I’ve been exercising in a more frequent semi-regular way, and I’ve been getting stuff done. I’m still loving my job, I rediscovered my passion for my religion: everything’s coming up Carlynne.

But not wholly (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be about how my life is really awesome but there’s this one thing where it’s not and isn’t that just the worst).

There’s a lot been going on for the last month or so, some of it concerning friends, some boys, some concerning situations at work that give me the irates, some concerning being told by lovely people that innocuous things that I do that don’t really define me or even matter are annoying and that leaving me in an emotional black hole because what do I do if someone doesn’t like every part of me etc etc.

It’s all very dramas and probably would make for very boring reading, so to summarise,

busy+stressed = not sleeping = exhausted+emotional.

A lot of sitting and watching Dr Who today helped, but what also assisted was having dinner and wine last night with pals at the boys house, dinner and wine with my housemates and my friend Jess tonight and talking to my mate Oz on the phone for his birthday. I love Oz; he is one of my favourites of the species. As are the housies, the pals and Jessie.

I realised last night as I contemplated the mental health day I was taking on the morrow, that I was feeling a little lonely. This is partially laughable, as I have friends in ridiculous and wanton plenty, thank God.

But it’s also just something that happens, I think, when you’re full up and perhaps not used to being so, and you’re surrounded a lot of the time by lovely people, who, though lovely, are still relatively new to your stuff and you somehow fall a little out of sync with normalcy and spend a lot of time in your own mind, going over the things that people have said are wrong with you over the last little while and remembering all you’ve got to do when you wake up.

So, what’s necessary here is a reminder that there is life abundant outside of my mind, and  it’s gorgeous and erratic and brave and some of it is in the voice of my dear friend who turned 32 yesterday, and some is in dinners with beloveds and some is in the lightning that lit the sky and tore it apart tonight.

And I am thankful for these things.

When I turned 30, I had a couple of parties (because that’s my jam) and as indicated in a couple of the posts I’ve self indulgently linked to above, both were populated with insanely wonderful people. I meant to write some of this then, but as I got busy (read distracted) I let my little tribute fall by the wayside. So because tonight I was reminded that my friends are to me like oxygen, here is a little something something that should have been written around four months ago.

I know the greatest people that walk the earth. I have not verified this fact by any mathematical or anthropological study, but feel certain of its truth. This is mainly because for such magnificent people (for instance Caz, fierce and passionate and courageous or Paul, who is funny and loyal) to be placed in such quantities at points around the globe would surely be a statistical impossibility. The people I know (like Adam, who is HILARIOUS and brave and outstandingly loving and supportive of his wife and children) are so much around me, and so much good, that I worry sometimes for their safety. It cannot last, someone being so surrounded by such goodness, surely. The world has taught me that.

Surely such riotously excellent individuals as Kate, and Josh, and the NSP, and Erin and Joe and Jess, all gentle and wise and love to me, SHOULD be spread out. I have too much, I am greedy and spoilt for choice.

I went tonight to celebrate with friends, and they came to me and they talked and laughed and stayed with me and they lifted me and warmed my heart because somehow, for some reason, they love me too, and I hold the unmitigated honour of being associated with them.

So I don’t know the reasons or the statistics, really, or the magic of why I’m loved so, but I will try to retain the sense to revel in it whenever I can.


Ps I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I couldn’t possibly mention all the people I love, it’s too much (just FYI my big brother, little brother, their wives, partners and children are all just IDIOTICALLY, UNNECESSARILY COOL and my mum should win awards). I will rest assured in the fact that as I have no internal monologue, if I love you dearly I will at some point have told you so.

Pps. Just to reiterate, Adam “Beat” Ganglen, yo. Fo sheazy. Top shelf.

This is not a diet blog part 1: How to win friends and throw shit parties.

Around two months ago we threw a party.  Or rather, we attempted to throw a party. Or rather, we attempted to throw a weekend long festival of whimsy and delight at our home. It was going to be completely, mind-blowingly awesome and totally relaxed all at the same time. A kitchen so full of smiling faces making brownies it’d make you sick, friends coming and going at all hours, pissing off the neighbors with their banjo led gipsy strummings at 3 in the morning, drinking long into the balmy evening and celebrating the delightful stroke of fate that brought us together to be young and on holidays.

The reality was much different. We started strongish with a lovely evening spent consuming shit loads of salad and performing various spoken word pieces (including a dramatic reading from the Kardashian novel) and musical numbers.

Saturday was altogether a more lonely affair. The very lovely Sarah did come over to make the aforementioned brownies and later on there was a solid craft and Community session but by late afternoon the friends had petered out and after several hours wandering from room to room I found myself playing mini-golf in the hallway with my housemate, his sister and our one unfortunate guest.

A few more people came later on and I had some laughs and smoked a cigar and pretended I was enjoying myself but all night I was inwardly saying “fuck them. Stupid jerky jerks, fuck them all” as I glared at empty rooms and huffing as another totally excellent song came on the playlist I actually put thought into that was now wasted just like the playdough I bought special and my joy and my soul and any expectation I ever have for anything ever.

I gave so much of a crap about how few people came to the weekend. We usually throw good parties. Like, reasonably excellent ones where people fill our house (inexplicably they’re mostly drawn to our stupidly long laundry) and laugh and drink and smoke moodily outside.

What’s worse than how shitty I felt about the lack of interest shown is that in justifying the vastly empty result of the much overplanned weekend (I had made a festival line-up and all), despite the fact that I knew there were a lot of people away and another party on the same night I at one point thought

“It’s because I’m lame and old now.”

Look- on the whole, 30 has been radding all over the place.

(I got a wee bit ramped about the whole 30 deal. Which is good, I think, on account of it means I’m not UN-ramped about it. And it is good, it feels good, it’s going well, I’m talking mortgages and investments (lies- but I have taken steps towards being a lipstick wearer(!!)) or more accurately I’m embracing me at an age that I can do nothing about and am deciding to celebrate the possibilities of me at this age instead of panicking about it).

BUT, when faced with the reality of dead air on my first not in my twenties party, I was, for a time, convinced it was because I was now an elderly person, senile enough to still believe her younger friends want to hang out with her.

It was my first real “holy shit what have I done” moment.

I felt naff and decrepit for days. Even though I knew that there were other parties on. Even though I knew a hell of a lot of people were out of town. I would focus on those who I knew weren’t, and glare at them inwardly, muttering about how relieved they must be to not have to hang out with me.

Poor, sad Carlynne.

Now just so you know how pitiful and stupid I actually am, a small highlight reel of some things that happened after I turned 30, before the weekend that made me Miss Havisham:

  • I had not one but TWO nights out with friends for my birthday, one here and one in Adelaide, both of which were stupidly excellent and populated with people who have proven consistently that they don’t find my company naturally repellent.
  • Danced like a mo’ fo’ four times, once at a 21st that I put together the music for (resulting, gratifyingly, in a floor full of mad shapes, stank face and hip hop throw downs the likes of which Carlton has never seen)
  • Road tripped with dear ones
  • Partied with dear ones until 6 am
  • Totally stuck it to the man with a permanent marker and a drawing of a rainbow (on a  wall)

I tell you this not to impress you (Because you know, several parties in one month- , someone alert Perez Hilton cos I’m the new Peaches Geldof) but to lay out the very normal and undramatic and multiple reasons I have to accept that I’m not entirely naff and do in fact take part in non-aged facility related activites so you can appreciate just how much I can ignore in order to feel sorry for myself. 

Geez grrl. Get it together.

Part 2 coming. Wha’ whaaa?

2011, what have you done for me lately?

The stats.


half completed “before 30” to do list

turned 30 (with minimum freaking out)

tagged one wall, one post box, one toilet (raging against the machine, you see)

embroidered one beard, one wolf, one banjo

attended 9 weddings

got significantly drunkish, quite a few times

procured a new mac

made a butt-load of new friends

got heart broken by A Song of Ice and Fire

discovered Chuck, Community, GoT, Big Love and a previously undiscovered depth of devotion to Grey’s Anatomy


Harry Potter wand


all the dancing in the world and finding shapes I didn’t know I could throw

my family, extended

rooster cardigan, cat vest

my dear, dear, dear friends


I should not be surrounded by good looking/intelligent/witty young men. Bad.

new friends are THE SHIT

I can hold down a job. For a year!

embroidery is quite soothing, for a bit

music will always save my life

I know some stupidly, extravagantly wonderful and loving people.

death is often completely shit

it IS possible to have a mental break down over gingerbread

I continue my streak of being an occasional but thorough douche

the viewing of various 19th century novels-turned-movies is better done without the aid of much blueberry vodka

I can get good marks

I have the power to not like boys but said power is wily and precocious

failing subjects does not feel nice but feels better then losing ones mind

beauty is a drug

music is a drug

coffee is, of course, a drug

I do not wish sadness to be a drug

family, ay? Who knew.

I am addicted to sugar and will find giving it up hilariously difficult

George R.R. Martin is NOT TO BE TRUSTED

the power of a good playlist should not be underestimated

my ability to be envious of others talents and creativity is substantial

my ability to justify the spending of money on music, tv shows, vintage back packs and food is the stuff of legends

If I don’t think I’m wonderful, who will?

though-all of my beloveds seem to retain a steadfast belief in my wonder, even when I do not

I need to write more

to forgive is such good therapy

I’m ok, I think.


Another year, it seems. Lovely.