Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wandjina, Foster's and the Throb

We have kept to the air-conditioned shelter of home as temperatures soared here in the American Midwest.
While Jill and the girls watch seemingly endless interior design shows on cable, I have been immersing myself in Australia -- from afar.
* I read about the Wandjina cave paintings this morning. Located in the northern reaches of Western Australia, the Wandjina are among the most famous of Aboriginal art traditions. Their enigmatic, wide-eyed stares haunt Western observers. Research indicates these "cloud beings" date back 8,000 years. The local Aboriginal population would retouch the cave paintings every season, hoping to assure the life-giving return of the annual "Wet" season.
* I listened to my Aussie iPod playlist while walking on the treadmill. It opens with Slim Dusty's version of "Waltzing Matilda," then moves to Midnight Oil's outback anthem "The Dead Heart" and Hoodoo Gurus tirade against formulaic radio, "Less Than a Feeling." Underrated Sydney noise merchants Ratcat blast through "Skin," then The Throb's Aussie chart-topping, 1966 version of "Fortune Teller" is followed by the Go-Betweens' bouncy debut, "Lee Remick."
* I am now sipping an ice-cold Foster's Lager. It's almost a living, Down Under cliche I am living today. Just need some big prawns to toss on the barbie or some Vegemite to spread on my toast. Mate.


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