What's sexier: the music of Air, or the data from the Australian Census?
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Here’s what our illustrious hosts (#BangFam) were banging on about all through June.
This week Zan was banging on about finally seeing French band Air. The bombshell was that the synthy bass sound at the start of their massive hit ‘Sexy Boy’ was actually made by Nicolas’s voice, which she described as the ‘human wa wa pedal’.
She also got to interview them for ABC TV’s The Mix.
“They were sooo French,” she recalled.
“What does that mean? Were they smoking all the time, throughout the whole interview?” Myf questioned.
“They were just really softly spoken and saying that everything’s emotional and sexual and I thought, ‘Stop being so French! I love it!’” Zan replied.
The Descent Of Man
Myf picked up a book from her favourite visual artist Grayson Perry who won the prestigious Turner prize amidst a sea of controversy.
“At the time everyone was going, ‘He makes folk art, he makes popular art, how dare he win the Turner prize!’. Bunch of snobs.
“The best thing is that he turned up as his transvestite alter ego Clare – in a dress, with a massive bow in his hair – to accept the prize. I adore him, he’s so smart and clever, yet so witty at the same time. He’s turned ceramics into high art. He’s actually a bit of a national treasure in the UK.
“His book The Descent of Man talks about masculinity and femininity. He’s got incredible insight, but admits that even dressing as a [woman] doesn’t give him any understanding of the feminine experience. But he feels like he does have an understanding of the masculine experience.
“Get around Grayson Perry if you haven’t already.”
This week Zan and Myf wanted you to tell them what you are banging on about in an episode they considered titling Bang Back, before Zan pointed out it might sound like a cheaply made porno.
Here I Am
Janine from Brisbane had just finished reading Here I Am by Johnathan Safran Foer (not to be confused with our own John Safran). Despite the New York Times giving it a big thumbs up, Janine wasn’t impressed.
“The premise of the book is a bloke going through a mid-life crisis, but it then becomes about every crisis of the world, the Middle East, earthquakes, right down to the old dog they won’t put down.
“It was the biggest load of existential bullshit I had ever read in my life. My kids kept telling me to stop yelling at the book.”
Horace & Pete
Craig was banging back about Louis C.K.’s recent TV show Horace & Pete.
“It was one of those shows that flew under the radar last year and I think that was his intention. After talking to some of my mates though we reckon it’s the best show we’ve seen in decades.
“Louis C.K plays Horace and Steve Buscemi plays Pete. They’re running a bar and it’s also about the family and interpersonal conflicts that come up.”
“Kinda like Cheers?” Myf asked.
“More like Cheers on a downer” Craig said. “It’s one that’s hard to recommend to other people but the writing and performances are so brutal and honest, it doesn’t pander to the audience and delivers it straight to you. Much like his stand up.”
This week Myf was banging on about the new Wonder Woman film. It was directed by Patti Jenkins (Monster) – the first woman to direct a superhero film – and Myf loved it, in parts.
“Just the experience of seeing all of these powerful women who were all warriors on this island, it was extraordinary,” she said.
“It’s the first time you see a woman doing all of this stuff. It’s really good to see her kicking ass and her strength is never in question. It’s not about her sexuality either, it was really powerful.”
This isn’t quite enough to convert a non-believer to the merits of the superhero film, though.
“I still have to admit that it was a superhero movie and superhero movies bore me batless,” Myf said. “It’s too long.
“The success of it has shown Hollywood, ‘Hello, you can do this, you can have female driven movies and they work’.”
Japanese Art Islands
Zan was banging on about art, having recently visited two art islands near Kyoto and Hiroshima on her recent trip to Japan.
“It’s very similar to the idea of [Tasmania’s] MONA (Museum of Old and New art) where this rich person invests money into a beautiful art space and very site specific artworks that everyone can come and enjoy.
“It’s built into the landscape like MONA. These incredible artworks where the architect has worked with the artists so that only those artworks can ever fit into that space.
“It was so beautiful in this sleepy old town, where there’s a whole bunch of museums inside these old hundreds of year old houses that have been gutted and turned into museums. So, you have this incredible blend of the old and the new.”
Myf was banging on about a Netflix series that has been around for a little while but deserves some more recognition. Lady Dynamite stars Maria Bamford, a comedian who has visited our shores a few times, in a show about her life.
“It’s rather genius,” Myf says. “A slow burn, but I’ve been watching it quite intensely.
“It’s about her life and recovering from a period of severe mental illness. She’s bipolar. It’s completely off the wall and put together by one of the creators of Arrested Development. So fast-paced and hilarious.
“One of the highlights is she has these two pugs and one of them has an accent like Werner Herzog the filmmaker. For that alone, it’s wonderful.”
Zan also loves Bamford’s candour surrounding her own mental health issues.
“She makes you feel like you’re in the mind of someone with a manic episode. She’s putting you inside her head. but it’s not a show where the mental illness is sad or depressing, she makes fun of it. I can’t recall seeing that often at all, she really takes the piss.”
David Stratton’s Story of Australian Cinema
Zan was checking out what she described as a masterclass of Australian cinema, David Stratton’s Story of Australian Cinema.
“It’s epic,” she said. “I get really emotional when I see those sort of things, because it reminds me of how important it is to see ourselves reflected, to see our stories on screen. We are flooded with so much US and UK content, it really is important to see and understand ourselves from an Australian perspective.”
It also reminded her of the classic Peter Weir film Picnic at Hanging Rock, which brought up terrible memories for Myf of listening to pan pipe music in the car as a kid.
It’s Not A Race
Myf was banging on about Beverley Wang’s It’s Not A Race podcast, which featured an episode with Double J’s own Caz Tran who spoke about her parents refugee experience from Vietnam.
“There’s lots of those stories on the podcast and fascinating insights into what it’s like to come from a different cultural background in Australia,” Myf said.
“We are two white women crapping on about what we’re into, but It’s not that common to hear the perspectives of non-white Australians in podcast form,” Zan said. “You often think, ‘Why aren’t we hearing about other people’s perspective?’”.
Zan Rowe loves the census and has been poring over graphs and statistics since they were released earlier in the week.
“Despite the epic screw up that the census tech people had, they did manage to capture most of the population on the night,” she said.
“One in four people are born overseas. Melbourne is catching up to the Sydney population, a little tip of the cap to the Melbourne v Sydney battles. Soon Melbourne will be the same population as Sydney’ noted Zan.
Myf managed to trump that info with one undeniable fact.
“No lockout laws in Melbourne,” she said.
If you’re like Zan and can’t get enough of those sexy Census stats, check out this cool infographic.