Friday, October 31, 2014

'There's a killer and he's coming through the rye' The Tom Waits Halloween Playlist

Tonight is Halloween -- the night of demons, ghouls and the undead. Like federal parliament unleashed across the globe.

Now, I live in Australia, and each year, to judge by social media, the angst over the fact more and more kids want to "trick or treat" and adults want to dress up and get drunk every Halloween just grows...

Because this is Australia! If you want to dress-up in scary costumes, evoke horror tales and get drunk, Australians do that on January 26 by drapping themselves in oversized flags and painting their faces the ever-horrific colour scheme of green and gold, celebrate a genocidal invasion carried out with gruesome violence and... well get drunk.

And as for trick or treating... the consensus among many seems to be Aussie kids should just go without lollies rather than cave in to the insidious invasion of American cultural imperialism, and if the kids don't understand that, if they want to be pathetic cultural defeatists, then they can expect a lecture on the subtle lingustic distinctions between Australian and American slang ("it's not a cookie, it's a biscuit!"), which is about the last serious distinction anyone can think of these days.

Now, I want to be as clear as I can: I don't give a fuck for the petty inward-looking, island-induced nationalism that Halloween seems to bring out in otherwise sensible people in this country, people who every other day of the year vacuum up American culture with glee, but I will tell you this straight up -- there is NO FUCKING WAY ANY GODDAMN BRAT IS GOING TO GET ANY OF MY FUCKING CHOCOLATE!!!

That is my objection to trick or treating. Plus, it encourages kids to try to talk to me, which really isn't in anyone's interest.

Anyway, it turns out the whole fucking thing isn't American at all! It's actually Irish in origin, as seems to be social media's obession with pointing out this year, and comes with this really cool tale about how this Irishman tricked the Devil to get a free drink. And I sure as hell approve of free booze, so that's enough for me.

That and the fact I'll take any excuse to create a Tom Waits playlist.

And Halloween is as good an excuse as any for a new playlist of songs by the grizzled old man of American music. 

Waits songs have always been very cinematic -- evocative images fill his wide-ranging stories populated with battered characters from the dark side of town. And, in doing so, he covers a range of genres -- or, more accurately, a range of Tom Waits tropes.

Waits himself dealt with this -- in a self-conscious if simplified way -- on his triple album of previously unreleased songs and rarities Orphans. He divided each three albums thematically into "Brawlers", "Bawlers" and "Bastards".

There's no question that Waits is justifiably best known for his "bawlers". Few have perfected the genuinely emotive "crying into your beer" tale in popular music the way Tom Waits has -- songs about having a "Bad Liver and Broken Heart", to quote the title of his track from 1976's Small Change that playfully acknowledges his penchant for the trope.

The songs on the Halloween playlist are, unsurprisingly, much more of the "bastards" type. In going for the more "horror"-esque Waits' songs, there are some obvious sources tapped -- 1992's Bone Machine, 1993's Black Rider and a couple from 2004's underrated Real Gone

One of them -- the truly unsettling "Army Ants" from Orphans -- features nothing more than Waits reading, over some basic background music, a text from a biology book about a predatory species of ant. As horror stories go, it is as spinechilling as it is simple.

But at least some of the tracks are not about horror that is supernatural or even the threat of a lone deranged killer (like the one in the post's title, from "How's It Gonna End?", who is coming through the rye, although "maybe it's the father of that lost little girl, it's had to tell in this light..."). 

Instead, the horror is wedged firmly in the society humans have created -- none more so than in "Hell Broke Luce", a very modern horror tale centred on America's Middle Eastern wars.

And that is probably fair enough. When you consider the all-too-real horror of climate change-induced droughts, fires, floods and super-storms; the gruesome unhinged violence of the American war machine echoed in minuture by ISIS beheaders; starvation; poverty; out-of-control gendered violence; and thousands of other constant, unrelenting day-in-day horrors that the decaying system of late monopoly captialism inflicts on the world; then perhaps the greatest horror is captured by Tom Waits haunting "Dirt In The Ground", when he sings: "We're chained to the world, and we all gotta pull..."

Anyway, here are the fucking songs, all 19 of them. I have helpfully compiled them into one easy-to-access YouTube playlist for your listening pleasure! And all for free! No really! Just buy me a beer sometime. You know, via the paypal donation button on the right of this blog.

Seriously... buy me a beer. I am feeling thirsty.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

'If you don't love it, leave...' THE PATRIOTIC SLOGAN EXPLAINED!

Cairns Woolworths caused outrage by stocking a singlet with the Australian flag and the phrase "If you don't love it, leave..." But, let no one be confused by such a slogan, which, at first glance would seem a little reminiscent of "Fuck off, we're full" stickers or even the famed "I grew here, you flew here" slogan raised during the 2005 Cronulla race riots.

That is all a misunderstanding, it seems. Because an online poll of Daily Telegraph readers found an overwhelming majority believe "If you don't love it, leave..." is not racist at all, but mere patriotic.

As I think we can all admit that devout readers of the Daily Tele know a thing or two about racism, it seems to me the big problem here is confusion over the slogan's meaning. If you don't love "it" ... but what exactly is "it"?

In the interest of clarity, I hereby provide some concrete examples of the slogan's meaning to clear up all misunderstandings and explain to the possibly confused reader what it means to be patriotic in Australia... OR ELSE FUCK OFF.


If you don't love labelling newborn babies "unauthorised maritime arrivals", leave...

If you don't love jailing children in isolated prison camps, leave...

If you don't love racist abuse on public transport, definitely leave... Seriously, get the fuck out now.

if you don't love threatening physical violence against foreign heads of state, leave...

If you don't love shirt fronts, leave...

If you don't love bombing the Middle East, leave...

If you don't love ASIO raids, leave...

If you don't love media beat ups about terror threats involving plastic swords, leave...

If you don't love crack downs on freedom of speech, leave...

If you don't love banning freedom of association, leave...

If you don't love jailing whistlebowers, leave...


If you don't love spending billions on a new war, leave...

If you don't love paying for visiting the doctor, leave...

If you don't love working till you're 70, leave...

If you don't love de-regulated university fees putting many university courses out of the reach of all but the rich, leave...

If you don't love forcing the jobless under 30 to starve, leave...

If you don't love more than 2 million people living in poverty, leave...

If you don't love politicised witchhunts against trade unions, leave...

If you don't love corporate interests buying politicians, leave...

If you don't love corporate tax evasion, leave...

If you don't love huge subsidies to big polluters, leave...

if you don't love mining companies, leave...

If you don't love Gina Rinehart, leave...

If you don't love coal, leave...


If you don't love logging old growth forests, leave...

If you don't love destroying the Great Barrier Reef, leave... Really. Just go. Your are not welcome.

If you don't love climate denial, leave...

If you don't love sabotaging global talks on climate action, leave...

If you don't love more and more roads, leave...

If you don't love trying to dump radioactive waste on Aboriginal land, leave...

If you don't love stolen land, leave...

If you don't love apartheid-style laws in the Northern Territory, leave...

If you don't love Black deaths in custody, leave...

If you don't love creating a new Stolen Generation, leave...

If you don't love domestic violence, leave...

If you don't love slashing funds for victims of domestic violence, leave...

If you don't love blaming women for rape, leave...

If you don't love rugby league players getting away with gang rape, leave...

If you don't love one of the most monopolised medias in the world, leave...

If you don't love Andrew Bolt, leave...


If you don't love Alan Jones, leave...

If you don't love celebrating a national day on the anniversary of the start of a genocidal invasion, leave...

If you don't love the Cronulla race riots, leave...

If you don't love ALL of that ...  JUST FUCKING LEAVE!!!

Now you might be saying "OK Carlo, we get the message, but WHERE are we to go?" THAT IS NOT MY FUCKING CONCERN!!! JUST FUCK OFF! 

"Will our air fare be paid to assist us in fucking off?" Jesus christ, you GODDAMN bleeding heart pinko left-wing nanny state bludgers even want a hand out when getting thrown out of the country!!! FUCKING JESUS! JUST GET OUT!

Now, in case there is anything STILL unclear about all of this, I hereby post below a clip of country punk band Sydney City Trash singing their song "Southern Cross Tattoo", which provides as clear an expression of Aussie Pride and patriotic love for the country as anyone has ever come up with. Have a listen, and if what it describes is not for you, LEAVE NOW!

There's this nation they call Down Under
But to me it's top of the world!
And I love this nation so goddamn much
I'd marry it if it were a girl!
And when you talk bad about this nation I love
Well it cuts me deep inside
Coz I seriously love, I mean actually love
Well I'm so filled with Aussie pride... 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Reason I Have Not Jumped From My Window Today #1 Featuring Shovels And Rope

I am thinking of starting a series along these lines. The world is dark, it is horrible, it is filled with bands like Mumford and Sons. Sometimes, it all seems too much. Why live in a world where shit like that passes for "civilisation"???

Because there exists acts like Shovels and Rope and listening to this clip below, one of a number of YouTube clips showing full performances of the GLORIOUS country/folk/roots/Americana duo and not even the best, just the one I have listened to today, well... that is why I haven't jumped. Because there is good in the world. And it is really fucking good.


Bonus track

We're hangin here within an inch of our lives
from the day we're born until the day we die
don't it make you want to take your time
are you gonna let it pass you by

Made every way cut you like a knife
any moment in time could change your life
will you be ready with the time you got
maker is ready if your ready or not

Hangin on by a fragile thread
livin your life like your already dead
will you be happy with the time you gave
these words will be your final days...

Wish i could look death in the face
transcend both time and space
and reclaim those bygone days
that i was such a fool to waste...

When it comes my day when it comes my time
I hope to hear y'all moaning in the second life
Just throw my ashes on some hollow ground
and sing me on my way with a joyful sound
you can sing me on my way with a joyful sound
you can sing me on my way

Friday, October 03, 2014

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED! You asked for my advice and I DELIVERED!

On a famous day, a date which will RING OUT THROUGH THE AGES -- or at least until the eco-holocaust renders human civilisation unsustainable -- I posted the following question: "What the FUCK is your problem?"

The day was June 16, 2014.

To that question, I added a second: "And what the FUCK are you going to do about it???" But I did more than simply pose such hard-hitting questions. No, I offered help! I further added, and I quote, "ASK CARLO SANDS THE ANSWER!!!"

Yes, I offered my services as a sort of "Agony Aunt". Only drunker and not an aunt. But I think the "Agony" bit was probably right, because I went through agony to get these answers!!!

Yes, I know what you are thinking! June 16 was like pretty much yesterday! How the FUCK did you come up with answers to the questions asked of you in the comments under that post in SUCH A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME???

Well, blog reader, I value you all, I really do. I truly care about your problems!

The simple truth is I have been meditating DAY AND NIGHT on all of your questions, and while I appreciate that some of you may feel answering so soon is dangerous or even foolish, all I can do is assure you I am confident I reached a point that us "Agony Aunts/Prophets" like to call "Maximum Wisdom".

And I appeal to you to let my answers be your guide. So... here we go featuring, as promised, a Tom Waits song for each question.

1) The first question was from "Anonymous" and it was:


Well, anonymous, if that really is your name, I am not sure what you are asking me here, to be honest. I mean, I am here to help, but first, I feel you need to find out what it is you need help with, because I am not convinced you yourself know.

However, my conclusion is your issues are probably to do with an addiction to the "?" key, or perhaps it just sticks on your keyboard when you press it. Either way, it is probably something you should get looked at.

As promised, here is your Tom Waits song. I feel it relates directly to your predicament.

She sends me my blue valentines
To remind me of my cardinal sin
I can never wash the guilt
Or get these bloodstains off my hands
And it takes a lot of whiskey
To make these nightmares go away...

2) The second question was *also* from anonymous and it was:

YES??? HELLOO??????

Well really, anomymous, I feel this is just a replay of the first question, only with the addition of "YES???". It is almost as if the author of the post was trying to figure out if the comments bit actually worked, but obviously that can't be true coz I'm the author and I would remember such a thing. Unless I was really drunk.

Anyway, see my answer to the first question, as it is the same. Here is your Tom Waits song.

Got a crazy sensation, stay or go, I gotta choose. And I'll accept your invitation to the blues.

3) OK, now "Fretful Mother" (if that is truly their name and I for one wish to express some doubt as to the truth of the claim) has actually managed to ask a very serious question -- one requiring some very serious thought and a very serious answer:

Dear Carlo, my 17 year old son insists on lying in his undies rubbing his belly while we watch the Mighty Boosh. What can I do about this issue? Thank you! Fretful mother

Ah, yes. The old "17-year-old-son lying in his undies rubbing his belly while watching The Mighty Boosh" issue. Yes. Well, you know this is actually a far more common problem than you might imagine.

And "Fretful Mother", you were right to ask me about this. An issue this sensitive requires the handling of an expert. It requires someone who understands what is truly happening here.

See, an amateur Agony Aunt would just be lost, totally out of their depth. They might suggest all kinds of crazy things, like asking him to put on some pants and maybe a top of some sort, or possibly even to switch to watching a different British sitcom from the first decade of the 21st century, such as The IT Crowd.

But obviously, that is just not going to work, and not simply because both sitcoms feature Noel Fielding in some capacity. No, the reason is far more simple: Your son is in love with what we experts call a "Jersey Girl".

And, you see, "nothing else matters in this whole wide world" when "you are in love with a Jersey girl". It makes you crazy, it causes you to behave in all kinds of nutty ways, from taking "my baby" to the carnival and taking "her on all the rides", to watching The Mighty Boosh in your undies while rubbing your stomach.

No, your son has "no time for the corner boys", you know the ones "down on the street making all that noise". He is too busy thinking of taking "that ride, across the river to the Jersey side" and/or rubbing his belly while watching a sitcom starring Noel Fielding on the TV. (Don't bother trying a sitcom not involving Noel Fielding, he is actually irrelevent to all of this and there is no reason at all why I keep mentioning him, so I shall stop henceforth.)

So, what can you do about this problem? Well, how much do you like people from Jersey? If you don't mind Jersey-ites, then just go with the flow and accept that your grandkids will speak with a Jersey accent.

If you don't like folk from Jersey, and I believe many don't, then all you can do is disown your son. It may sound harsh, but the bitter truth is you will never succeed in stopping his love for a Jersey Girl.

No, not while she "thrills him" with "all her charms". It is just a cold hard fact that, whatever you do, "someday" she'll wear his ring. That's just how it is. Once a Jersey Girl gets her hooks into your son, he's gone.

I hope that helps. Your Tom Waits song is "Downtown Train"... haha, just kidding. It's "Jersey Girl".

Down by the shore, everything's alright. You with your baby on a Saturday night.

4) This next question is nowhere near as profound or important. Someone called "John Passant" (and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would invent such a patently false and frankly ridiculous name) wants to know:

How can we get rid of Carlo Sands? Send him to interview Tony Blair? Only one would be left alive. But who?

Now, this is actually a hard one for me to answer, because I simply do not understand this desire to rid the world of Carlo Sands. I mean, have you not SEEN my cheekbones??? The world needs such beauty at a time of such ugliness.

As to who would be alive after I interview Tony Blair, the answer is I would not interview a wanted war criminal. I mean that is just fucking stupid.

Obviously a war criminal who has evaded capture for so long is a dangerous man and would not be willing to accept an interview from one such as me without arriving heavily armed and with extensive back-up.

I mean, as a journalist of sorts, I would obviously do anything for a story -- so long as there was no risk whatsoever to my well being. So no, you'll have to try harder if you want to bring Carlo Sands undone!!!

Here is your Tom Waits song. It is highly appropriate to your question, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether Tom is growling about my good self or Mr Blair.

Some say they fear him
Others admire him
Because he steals his promise
One look in his eye
And everyone denies
Ever having met him
Ever having met him...

5) Ah, now here we go. This is more like it. My old friend and occasional "Alcoholic's Guide To" contributor Conehead the Barbituate has a highly pertinent and topical question:

Know anyone who can lend me some cash?

Well, yes. A very good question indeed. And one to which, to be honest, I wish I knew the answer myself. What I suggest, Conehead, is you ask absolutely everyone you can think of and, if you get a positive response, make sure to tell me who they are and give me their phone number, email and home address.

Failing that, do you know anyone called Frank? Coz here is your Tom Waits song.

See you tomorrow, hey Frank can I borrow a couple of bucks from you?

6) OK, someone called "DMCDF's dhopec lyric's blog" (seriously, some of the parents out there... they should be jailed for child abuse the names they lump their kids with) wants to know:

Dear Carlo, Waleed Aly claims that the arab spring was a byproduct of the invasion of Iraq. Is that true?

Ah, finally! A question about geopolitics! Well, you have come to the right place. I am very glad you asked me this question, because few others would have the courage and common sense to say to you straight out: "What the FUCK are you ON ABOUT???"

This Waleed character clearly has no clue what he is saying and you referrencing him as some sort of "expert" does you no credit, DMCDF (if I may call you that, only "Mr blog" sounds terribly formal).

Arab Spring a by-product of the invasion of Iraq??? HA!!! No, I think you'll find the Arab Spring was a by-product of the fucking repression, brutality, exploitation and betrayal of common people's interests that the regimes targetted by the Arab Spring were responsible for!

This, of course, was combined with their support for neoliberalism and worsening social conditions caused by the global economic crisis, with rising food prices and greater unemployment!

I mean sure, maybe to the degree these regimes were complicit in supporting the Iraq invasion, I mean that cannot have helped the sense of alienation from their rulers ordinary people felt. Sure. I will conceed that. But really. I mean come on! This is a serious blog. Such pathetically infantile questions and approaches to serious matters is unworthy.

You want to know what the Iraq invasion led to? You really want to know? I will tell you. It led to songs like this one, which is your Tom Waits song.

I had a good home but I left
I had a good home but I left, right, left
That big fucking bomb made me deaf, deaf
A Humvee mechanic put his Kevlar on wrong
I guarantee you'll meet up with a suicide bomb
Hell broke luce
Hell broke luce

7) Someone calling themselves "Simon Ronald" asks the next question (and for fuck's SAKE people, if you MUST make up a name, at least TRY to make it believable). "Simon" wants to know:

Dear Carlo, I keep touching my eyebrows and I have bald patches and a little sore. What can I do? Simon

OK. Well, first of all, what KIND OF FUCKING *FREAK* are you??? You keep touching your eyebrows??? WHAT THE FUCK???

I am not in the least surprised that you have bald patches and a little sore! And, actually, I now fully understand why you chose such a patently false name under which to ask this question. You are quite rightly utterly ASHAMED of your actions.

I don't know how I can help you. I am not sure you CAN be helped. You are a degenerate who cannot resist the temptation to touch your own eyebrows, even though you know full well the horror of your actions. I pity you. Here is your Tom Waits song. It is for degenerates like you.

My will has disappeared
Now my confusion is oh so clear
Temptation, temptation, temptation
Whoa, whoa, temptation, temptation
I just can't resist

8) OK, the FINAL question comes from Andrew Bolt. I'll admit to being a little flattered that Andrew took some time out of his busy schedule inciting race riots to ask me something. At least, that was until I read the fucking question! Which is:

How do we reconcile quantum theory with relativity?

Oh Jesus FUCK! Now I know why so many people have a serious beef with this prick! How do we "reconcile quantum theory with relativity"??? Look, I am a FUCKING BUSY GUY, ANDREW!!! YOU FUCKING THINK I HAVE THE FUCKING TIME TO FUCKING SIT DOWN AND FUCKING STUDY GODDAMN QUANTUM THEORY JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO GODDAMN LAZY, YOU RACIST FUCK?!?!?!?


Fuck. Jesus, I mean... just FUCK YOU!!!

Here is your Tom Waits song. I am not sure you deserve one, but I *DID* promise and Carlo Sands is a man of his word. And this one truly is for you, Andrew. You should study every word.

There aint enough raised right men, there's your trouble.

ALRIGHT! There you bastards go! You asked me the questions you most desperately wanted answered and I complied! I worked night and day to get you these answers! And more than just answers... I gave you, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, a Tom Waits song too (which can all be heard via this very handy YouTube playlist).

Jesus, sometimes I think I do TOO MUCH, you know? If you want to give a little something back, then I strongly suggest you consider buying me a beer, which can be achieved via the PayPal button down the right hand side.

DO YOU HAVE *MORE* QUESTIONS FOR ME??? HUH??? JUST CAN'T STOP HARASSING CARLO SANDS??? Then by all means, ask them in the comment section under this post and I shall answer them PROMPTLY! And this time, I shall give you a song by Americana/roots/folk/country duo Shovels and Rope to go with each answer!