The Blow Parade was a five-part music documentary series created by Chris Taylor, Andrew Hansen and myself. Each half-hour episode told the story of the making of a classic rock album – Lake Deuteronomy’s epic Spool in the Pits of Prometheus, The Fatcocks’ explosive punk masterpiece Corgi Scum, and legendary folk singer Egg Zagar’s tragically posthumous Whale Song.
Never heard of them? That’s because none of these bands or albums really exist. They’re fictional creations, hatched in the mind of Chris Taylor. Their music – which runs the gamut from 70s space-funk to 80s stadium rock – was single-handedly composed by Taylor’s Chaser comrade Andrew Hansen, and performed by a team of expert musicians – including triple j’s own Lindsay MacDougal. The voices in the doco – the band members, music journalists, studio engineers, record company bigwigs, news reporters and assorted innocent bystanders – were all performed by Taylor, Hansen and me. And the whole thing was produced, polished and tweaked in the triple j radiophonic workshop, to give it that special glow of ‘music history in the making’; that certain sound that lets you know in advance you’re about to hear a bunch of blokes in their fifties reminisce at length about how they came up with the guitar sound that changed the world.
The Blow Parade was a new challenge for me as a producer – almost three hours of new music recorded especially for the series; an elaborate conceit involving fake archival recordings, demo tapes and verite studio chat presented as part of a radio documentary being played within a classic oldies radio show; and a series of increasingly preposterous sound effects directions from Taylor (‘Sound of hippopotamus banging head vigorously against cathedral bell’, ‘Drumkit slides off roof of skyscraper and falls to the street below’ and ‘Dawn of time: cosmic wind and universe particles’).
If you'd like to download the rest of the series, you can get it here.
'The bigots, the hysterics, the destroyers of the self - these are the writers who bear witness to the fearful polite time in which we live... Ours is an age which obsessively pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness. The truths we respect are those born of affliction. We measure truth in terms of the cost to the writer in suffering - rather than by the standard of an objective truth to which a writer's words correspond. Each of our truths must have a martyr.'
'Spinoza thinks that, if you see your misfortunes as they are in reality, you will see that they are only misfortunes to you, not to the universe, to which they are merely passing discords heightening an ultimate harmony. I cannot accept this; I think that particular events are what they are, and do not become different by absorption into a whole. Each act of cruelty is eternally a part of the universe; nothing that happens later can make that act good rather than bad, or can confer perfection on the whole of which it is a part.'
'Sexual freedom, sexual liberation. A modern delusion. We are hierarchical animals. Sweep one hierarchy away, and another will take its place, perhaps less palatable than the first. There are hierarchies in nature and alternate hierarchies in society. In nature, brute force is the law, the survival of the fittest. In society, there are protections for the weak, society is our frail barrier against nature. When the prestige of the state and religion is low, men are free, but they find freedom intolerable, and seek new ways to enslave themselves... My theory is that whenever sexual freedom is sought or achieved, sadomasochism will not be far behind.'
lou reed | velvet underground | nico | camille paglia | sexual personae | sadomasochism
'In short, this power is exercised rather than posessed; it is not the 'privilege', acquired or preserved, of the dominant class, but the overall effect of its strategic positions - an effect that is manifested and sometimes extended by the position of those who are dominated. Furthermore, this power is not exercised simply as an obligation or a prohibition on those who 'do not have it'; it invests them, is transmitted by them and through them; it exerts pressure upon them, just as they themselves, in their struggle against it, resist the grip it has on them.'
'It is not untrue to say that chairs have seats and that rain falls downward. Many poets write truths of this sort. They are like a painter adorning the walls of a sinking ship with a still life... Those in power cannot corrupt them, but neither are they disturbed by the cries of the opressed.