We Recommend: Your Friday Freebies

Junkee-endorsed bits and bobs to make your weekend better. Includes election companions, a video game soundtrack, and a crazy video about a baggy-pantsed child.

Each Friday, our contributors send in a bunch of (legally) free stuff they’ve come across this week, to help you waste your weekend. You’re welcome. (This weekend, you’ll probably need these distractions more than most.)

Election Website: Below The Line

Recommended by: Fearghal Shannon

After a few long and drawn out discussions over drinks, this is the mate that finally helped me understand how to vote below the line. Created by Benno Rice and Michael Person, Below The Line shows you each party’s preferences and lets you order the ballot sheet how you want, so you can print out a PDF of numbered candidates to take with you to the polling booths tomorrow. Life’s been made easy! (Shout out to Dan Illic and SBS for the recommendation.)

Video: Huge Basketball Shorts

Recommended by: Patrick Lenton (‘Precap: One Direction’s ‘This Is Us’‘)

Film is a marvelous medium, from the big budget excitement of movies like Die Hard, to the emotionally stirring romance of movies like Die Hard 2: Die Harder and to a lesser extent, Die Hard 3: Live Flaccid, Die Hard.

But film has never been manipulated, pushed to its extremes, made to be all that it can be, until this masterpiece, Huge Basketball Shorts. Part of its genius is that it transcends the parent/child chasm: on the one hand, it’s about the frustrations of enforcing consequences on your child, something I have particular empathy for due to my troubled relationship with Dickfingers, a particularly pesky neighborhood cat; and on the other hand, it’s about parents not getting what teenagers are all about, man, like a Blink-182 song or something. This is manifested through rap, which the youth love. They still love rap, right?

Music: Grant Kirkhope’s soundtracks on Bandcamp

Recommended by: Alexander Tulett (‘A Wilder World: Hayao Miyazaki’s Unsung Masterpieces’)

If you sit somewhere between the ages of 18 – 30, there’s a high likelihood that Grant Kirkhope’s music has played at least some small role in your youth. A composer whose credits include the soundtracks to Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and GoldenEye 007, Grant has been crafting incredibly memorable video game music since the mid-’90s, as well as contributing voices to many of the characters from these same games.

The man himself has been rolling out high-quality downloads of portions of his back catalogue through his Bandcamp as Name-Your-Price downloads, so you do have the choice to give him some money if you’re feeling particularly generous. Just days ago he posted Donkey Kong 64, so this weekend treat yourself to the ‘DK Rap’ in whatever format you like (but it sounds best in FLAC).

Web Series: The Outs

Recommended by: Madeleine Watts

If the months in between series of Girls are leaving you lonesome for artsy, neurotic Brooklynites in their twenties, look no further. The Outs is a seven-episode web series funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s kind of like Girls, but with more likeable gay male characters and better cinematography.

If, like me, you are spending a lot of time sat on your bed procrastinating, and looking for proof of all the wonderful things you will see and do in New York to make the tedium of visa paperwork and internship applications seem worth it, The Outs will be your new best friend for the week.

App: The Lifted Brow

Recommended by: Rob Moran


Melbourne’s excellent literary journal The Lifted Brow (edited by Junkee contributor, Sam Cooney) has now gone digital (with fellow Junkee contributor, Elmo Keep, onboard as its Digital Director), which is great news if you’re sick of inky fingers or have tight pockets that don’t really fit rolled-up publications.

Designed by 29th Street Publishing, who’ve previously worked on The Awl’s Weekend Companion, the new format comes with fortnightly updates featuring upcoming teasers and classic features from The Lifted Brow archives. Best of all, though, the app’s free to download, and comes packaged with the first digital issue. Get the shiny new version right here.

Music video: ‘ODB’ by Danny Brown

Recommended by: Edward Sharp-Paul

Danny Brown is a pretty wigged-out rapper — ten seconds is usually enough to decide if you love him, or if you both hate him and fear for his wellbeing.

On his new single ‘ODB’, Brown takes that nasal, maniacal flow of his and spreads it over one of the most wigged-out beats I’ve ever heard: a borderline atonal splatter of Boards Of Canada synths (it’s a 10CC sample) that sound like they were tracked onto lava instead of acetate. If the song isn’t wigged-out enough for you, the Ruff Mercy-directed film clip turns the wig factor up to eleven. It’s pretty much Danny Brown as a nightmarish Scarecrow-type figure. Suffice to say, it’s pretty wigged-out.

Documentary: I Am Street Fighter

Recommended by: Rob Moran

First, let me assume my Old Man Voice: Kids these days, they have it so easy what with all their hi-tech bedroom game consoles and funtime gadgets and shit. In my day, you’d have to cop some merciless bullying from jerk kids at the local arcade just because you hadn’t figured out how to throw a ‘sonic boom’ yet.

Relive that humiliating, shameful feeling with the doco I Am Street Fighter, released this week to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the classic Capcom game’s release. It features pros telling dramatic war stories from the heady days of gamer comps, and simple nerds waxing eloquently on the game’s themes and evolution, the ethics of button-mashing, and other passionate gaming nonsense. It might make you wanna head down to Timezone for ol’ time’s sake.

Videos: Roller Derby matches on WFTDA.TV

Recommended by: Renée Crea

This year, I made good on a promise to myself that I’d join a Roller Derby league. I can tell you, it’s not all fun costumes and playful aliases (see: Courtney Shoves and Suzy Kicks); Derby is mostly about badass skating skills and strategic game play.

With new leagues regularly sprouting up all over Australia, there’s usually a live “bout” happening somewhere near you on any given weekend, but you can easily see what the fuss is about from the comfort of your own home. Go to WFTDA.TV, and take your pick of the archives to see some stateside teams knock the Yankee Doodle Dandies out of one another.

I highly recommend starting with ‘Texas Rollergirls vs. Gotham Girls’ — two evenly matched sides, both at the top of their game. Keep an eye out for Gotham’s star jammers Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders (who was in the Drew Barrymore film, Whip It).

Election Predictions: GeekLections

Recommended by: Hugh Robertson (‘Why I’m Voting Labor‘)

An old uni friend of mine — who has about 400 PhDs, and is comfortably one of the top-five smartest people I have ever had a conversation with — has done a Nate Silver-style crunching of polls and preference deals to work out who is likely to win seats in tomorrow’s election. But more than that, he has come up with targeted How To Vote cards that give you the best-possible chance of either getting your favourite candidate elected, or stopping your least-favourite from candidate getting elected.

I don’t want to tell you how to vote, but I think we can all agree that keeping Pauline Hanson out of the Senate is something worth trying. Follow the links to ‘Tactical Voting’, and wield your democratic rights like a sword against fuckery!