Best screen vampires

Another day, another list … this one of the Ten Best Screen Vampires at the Guardian was winning me hands down until the very end, where once again the confusion about popular equating to good kicked in. Honestly, if you want a vampire struggling with their nature and trying to practise restraint, wouldn’t you go for one that actually makes you feel the true weight of that struggle rather than just mooching about – at best a cad, at worst a dirty old man? Like, say, Louis in Interview, or eponymous Angel, or even Nick Knight (probably more the TV show than the movie)? Still, nine out of 10 ain’t bad (even if I’d probably have plumbed for Kirsten Dunst’s Claudia in Interview as my child representative).

‘Goth looking but genius’ – WTF?

pauley perrette as abby in ncis

I was reading this article about a mummy exhibition, sadly in the US so I can only admire from afar, when I was struck by an assinine comment, in relation to the wundertabulous forensic tech Abby (played by Pauley Perrette) in NCIS. A mummy expert is saying how she loves the character, a positive role model for women seeking careers in science. And the journalist added this note of explanation:

“Perrette plays the Goth-looking but genius Abby Sciuto on the top-rated television drama.”

“Goth-looking but genius”.

Why BUT. Why not AND? Why is it even relevant to this piece about mummies that Abby’s gothic? But it’s the ‘but’ that gets me. As if goths can’t be clever.

Phooey to your but.

Wolf Parade and other unknown pleasures

A tip-toe through MySpace revealed these nuggets:

Wolf Parade, based in Quebec, synths meet guitars, akin to She Wants Revenge blinded by a disco ball. Infectious beat but there’s more to them than that, methinks.

Still not sure about Semi Precious Weapons: once you get past the bang factor of their potty-mouthed eponymous track, I think they might be just another garage band (albeit quite a good one).

I thought I should’ve liked Pendulum (heading our way), what, with all that black and a single called Witchcraft, but alas, despite some promising moments, it was all just too slick and ran off the ears.

And I still haven’t caught up with the latest long-player from The Dead Weather, whose previous, debut, album gave the ears a grand old workout (thanks, Jack).

Which leaves me contemplating the forthcoming tour of Peter Hook “and friends”, the Joy Division and New Order bassist playing JD’s Unknown Pleasures album in full, with other choice morsels from the catalogue. I’m struggling: it might be sensational, or it might just be a tribute band that happens to include an original band member. The presence of a resurrected Wreckery as support spices the deal, but still …

Speaking of JD, I’ve been listening to a lot of them lately, through headphones, and been surprised to hear yet more nuances I hadn’t detected previously. Martin Hannett, you were a genius working with very clever young men.

And finally, two new releases to cause impolite degrees of salivation: a new album from Android Lust, and a re-release of Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting with tasty, remastered extras.

Neuromancer, Henry and Madigan

neuromancer by william gibsonHenry Hoey Hobsonmadigan mine by kirstyn mcdermott

Something old, something new, something cool …

Neuromancer, by William Gibson, blew my socks off when I first read it. It came out in 1984, helped forge the cyberpunk movement and threw a few words into our technical lexicon. It still rocks. A sweet moment: reading this masterpiece of cyber intrigue and corporate shenanigans with Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk album drowning out the worst of the commuting interference. I love Gibson’s style, his flawed characters, his requirement that the reader keep up, his depictions of cyberspace and razorgirls, the plot twists and stinging conclusion — all of it, really.

Today I rolled another yarn, putting that commute to good use: a brand new story from Chris Bongers, a Brisbane writer who’s in the zone with her first book getting attention from the Children’s Book Council, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Henry Hoey Hobson does too. Chris sent it down as a nod, one I was proud to receive — it seems my penchant for using a coffin as an ice box at our Halloween parties has made an impression! In the Twilight age, it might be easy to think the Fright Night-style cover indicates yet another slipstreaming YA love-in-the-dark affair, but thankfully, it ain’t so. Chris grew up in the central west of Queensland and that dry, larrikin humour is tickling under the surface of this book, an affecting tale of a young fellah and his mum trying to cut it in the big smoke. It’s a yarn about family and fitting in and acceptance, the voice is spot-on, and the Addams Family elements made my day. The details of the Brisbane launch are here.

Which leads me to the other big news: Lucy Sussex (who has her own book launch coming up soon as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival — details TBC) is to launch Kirstyn McDermott’s Madigan Mine at the Carlton Library on August 2 at 7pm. The book is now officially out. Do come along if you can and help make a night of it. More details here.