Apr 22

*** STOP THE PRESS *** With today’s tragic news of the untimely passing of Prince, I thought I better publish this post I’ve been meaning to do for 2 months. BIG SAD FACE for music lovers around the world today 🙁

When the Piano & Microphone Tour was suddenly announced I was so excited. As one of my “all time favourite” artists, seeing Prince perform was something I really looked forward to. Sure, I saw him not that long ago in 2012 but anyhoo, this was different. This was Prince performing without a band, backing singers, dancers or Prince style razzle dazzle – something minimal and special.
The downside was that I had already spent a fortune on Madonna Rebel Heart Tour tickets for March already. WHY did my two all time favourites have to tour Australia within two months of each other?!@%
I ended up going by myself because no-one I knew was dedicated enough to spend the (some say exorbitant) $389.90. There were cheaper tickets but they sold out so quickly. Most of my friends ended up with Sydney Opera House tickets (which would have been nice to go to as well).
So Dave stayed home and looked after baby JAG while mummy “went to work” on Sunday evening.
The crowd was, as expected older (and richer) than your average concert crowd. I met some nice people while waiting for the show to start, even a lady who saw The Beatles (when she was a kid) with her parents. I ended up sitting next to another “insane” fan Lauren, who went by herself and we had a great chat about concerts and music. Check out her blog – Sounds of Oz. We also chatted excitedly with the fans sitting around us. I assumed that everyone at these shows was a serious fan and not someone dragged along by their girlfriend because they had nothing better to do! There was a couple who had been to 3 Piano & Microphone shows already in Melbourne and Sydney! Some serious fandom was in the house.
Anyway, when he finally took to the stage it was just amazing hearing his voice and watching him play the piano. The audience was enraptured. I was just sitting there thinking how cool it was to see Prince being “minimal” and singing some of my favourite songs “unplugged”. There wasn’t as much banter as I would have liked, a few stories and anecdotes would have been nice. There were some special moments for fans, a lady who got to “daggy dance” on stage during Raspberry Beret and the kid who danced his little heart out to Kiss.
Some of the other tracks he played: Let’s Go Crazy, Why Don’t You Call Me, Controversy, Love Thy Will be Done, Black Muse. Cream, Money Don’t Matter 2Nite. Encores: Little Red Corvette, Nothing Compare 2U, Black Sweat, Kiss and Purple Rain.
The security were very strict on photos/video/phones/cameras at the show so I don’t have any pics of the actual performance. I wasn’t going to risk being kicked out and it was kind of good to be forced to just watch the show.
It was all over before we knew it, shame it wasn’t a little bit longer than the 90 minutes, because he started late and there was another show afterwards. I collected my “free” Hit & Run Phase II CD and made my way home on the bus bathed in the glory of Prince and his piano and microphone.

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Aug 18

Hello! I’ve been busy, not blogging

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Special delivery

Well, I have a baby now and that’s what my life revolves around. I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet in the middle of the night and discovered some interesting sites about blogging. I thought about taking up an online course to spark some inspiration but “ain’t nobody got time for that”. So I decided I should just write “something” in my blog as I haven’t written anything since last year. Sorry fans.
Here are some sites that offer blogging courses:
Blog with Pip
Blog Society

Nov 02

Photo Meditations

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I recently caught up with a very crafty friend who asked me “what are you making?”… well my answer was nothing really, so I signed up to do this course:

Photo Meditations: Infusing your images with soul

It’s an online course, not accredited or anything like that. Just something to do because I felt like it. The beauty of it is that I can do it from home, in my own time. Attending formal classes – “ain’t nobody got time for that”

Standby to hopefully see some new creativity from me.

Jun 24

Beastman and Phibs at Ambush Gallery

Beastman and Phibs at Ambush Gallery

Beastman at work

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Jun 05

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live review

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Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

Empire of the Sun at Vivid Live

At the last minute jodeska kindly invited me to see Empire of the Sun at the Sydney Opera House. After my four night Kraftwerk marathon I didn’t think I would be back at the Opera House so soon!
We met at the food trucks for some quick pre-show jaffles. Our seats were great – front row of the circle (upstairs) in the concert hall (you can see us in see pic below from smh photos). The support act High Highs were pleasant enough – I thought Husky meets The Temper Trap.
The crowd was fairly young, compared to Kraftwerk. It was great to see so many hyped up people ready to enjoy EOTS. Even the random middle-aged Danish tourist sitting next to me had them in her iPod! When the show started, the crowd went nuts! The stage design, lighting and visuals were quite spectacular. The dancers had some crazy costumes on and kind of reminded me of the animation Fantastic Planet. When “the Steel” made his appearance I was bemused and fascinated by his flamboyant costume and stage presence. It really was unlike any Australian act I’d seen before (no, I didn’t see Skyhooks in the 70s). I was disappointed not to see Nick Littlemore perform with EOTS, I don’t really know what the story is. If you believe what you read on the internets, he won’t get out of bed for less than one million dollars! Anyway, EOTS performed tracks from their new album, some very 80s/Prince style tunes as well as the big hits from their first album. Those songs made everyone in the crowd extra happy and enthusiatic (except Gotye who was sitting four seats down from me – he didn’t dance). At the end Steele smashed up a guitar – bwahaha awesome rock cliché! I had an unexpected good time, thanks to Jodeska.

Can you see me on the balcony? About 4 seats to the right of me is Gotye

Read harsh smh review here, good photos here

Further reading: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/keeping-the-faith-20130523-2k1ta.html

Jun 01

Move over Daft Punk, here are the original robots 🙂

Watching Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 13

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 12

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 10

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 09

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 05

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 15

Kraftwerk live - Sydney Opera House Saturday 25/03/13 - 18

I had grand plans of blogging about each night of the Kraftwerk marathon… but I didn’t realise how much effort it was going to be. Think about it, you go to a live performance of one of your all time favourite artists and are blown away with 90 minutes of electronic heaven, then you do it again another seven times in four days. It was somewhat insane but, it was awesome, you really had to be there! Overall, it was an epic experience and I felt privileged to be able to afford, have the time and opportunity to see all eight Kraftwerk shows in Sydney.

Here are some ramblings from the last three nights of Kraftwerk at Vivid Live.

Saturday 25 May – Trans-Europe Express (1977) and The Man Machine (1978)
• We were running late for the 7pm show and had to push through the hoards of thousands around Circular Quay checking out the Vivid lights. We sat down in the Joan Sutherland Theatre just as the lights went down and Kraftwerk were starting. Sweat. Dripping.
• Enthusiastic crowd – more woohoo’ing
• Our Kiwi friends were randomly seated right next to us!
• Food truck food for dinner at the “half-time” break.
• The Man Machine show had an even more enthusiastic crowd which included hand clapping and “singing” along to some tracks!

Sunday 26 May – Computerworld (1981) and Techno Pop (1986)
• Met up again with pbot before the show at Opera Kitchen. All five of us were sitting in the same row for this show! It was the out of town-ers row!
• Sat next to a father and son (aged twenty-something) from Canberra. The father told us about buying Kraftwerk albums (on vinyl) when they came out in the 70s. I asked him how did people find out about “cool” music back in the day before the internets and he said that he used to ring up radio stations like Double J and ask them to recommend music.
• There were a few technical hitches during tonight’s shows. These are the things you notice when you start seeing the same thing again and again! This meant they were human and not actually robots 😛
• Degrassi and Leo Broke were the “lucky recipients” of our successful ballot tickets for Techno Pop. We applied for five shows and only got one in the ticket ballot.
• What I particularly  liked about Techno Pop was the chance to see some different visuals/tracks (stuff that wasn’t in the greatest hits package from the last 5 shows)
• We had really great seats right near the stage again and there was a partial standing ovation down the front.

Monday 27 May – The Mix (1991) and Tour De France (2003)
• It finally dawned on me while at The Mix, that Kraftwerk had been performing “The Mix ” versions of their classic tracks over the last four nights. They were more energetic and sounded heaps better than the original versions.
• Finally caught up with the Honka Princess
• Enjoyed Tour de France soundtracks as I wasn’t so familiar with this album
•At the end of the last show, the Kraftwerk guys shook hands and patted each other on the back for a job well done. Standing ovation by all in the Opera House.

After four nights, I would have to say that my favourite tracks were The Robots (made me want to listen to old electro and hip-hop & hip house), Radioactivity (made me want to go to a rave) and Tour de France (made me want to dance). But really, they were all good. The one thing missing from the shows was the opportunity to get up and dance, it just wasn’t that kind of crowd I guess. I’m sure that people would have been annoyed about their 3D show being obscured. A guy next to me at one of the shows had even brought his own fancy 3D glasses.

Anyway… OMG Kraftwerk the pioneers of electronic music performed live right in front of me eight times!!!

See my many photos here

Further reading:

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/electronic-pioneer-still-retains-the-wow-factor-20130526-2n54i.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/australia-culture-blog/2013/may/26/kraftwerk-sydney-opera-house-vivid

http://www.themusicnetwork.com/reviews/live/2013/05/28/live-review-kraftwerk-vivid-live/

May 25

Kraftwerk part 1 Autobahn

Kraftwerk part 2 : Radio Activity

Finally Vivid is here! The harbour looked amazing with all the illuminated buildings and light sculptures but the pouring rain… what a pain in the…

I met pbot at Circular Quay – he had flown all the way from San Fran for this special event. He was hyped in his reserved, jet-lagged, electro way. We met up with Dave, Dan Aikido & JRMY (via NZ) at the wet Opera Bar for a quick pre-show snack.

The show started exactly on time at 7pm. Those late comers into the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Opera House are soooo annoying 😛 By awesome co-incidence our friends were sitting right next to us, which made seeing the first Kraftwerk show even better! We put on our 3D glasses and enjoyed the show. Each show has a different “collectible” pair of glasses of each album’s artwork.  There was cheering and woohoo’ing as the pioneers of electronic music did their thing. The 3D visuals were cool and really added to the experience. There were two little kids sitting in front of us – their parents must have thought this would be a once in a lifetime experience for them, better than Yo Gabba Gabba! After Autobahn (1974) was played in it’s entirely, a Kraftwerk “greatest hits” package was played – this was great – all the classics! We filed out an hour and a half later and realised we are going to do this another seven times over the next four nights!

The second show Radio-Activity (1975), started exactly on time at 9:30pm. This time our seats were amazing – about 6 rows from the front on the left side in front of Ralf! It’s like when you want to be on the side where John Taylor will be at a Duran Duran concert  ha ha ha. The crowd seemed even more enthusiastic down the front with more shouting out and woohoo’ing. The somewhat older lady I was sitting next to was also going to all eight shows and said she was glad she wasn’t the only nutcase doing that 😛 Radio-Activity was a pretty short album, so the greatest hits package commenced to more woo hoo’ing and people wanting to bust out some electro moves in their Opera House seats. The second show came with a surprise encore – the Expo remix by UR (sorry pbot, you missed that one). I decided to check out the merchandise stand… only one person serving hoards of cashed up Kraftwerk fans, the poor guy. I bought a red tote bag (I couldn’t resist). We happily left part two of the Kraftwerk experience searching for food in the pouring rain. We ended up catching a bus to BBQ King in Chinatown for a delicious midnight supper.

Bring on the next 6 Kraftwerk shows!!

 A concept eight years in-the-making since their initial invitation from the Venice Biennale, Kraftwerk have collected three decades of their most innovative music into an audiovisual exhibition that has redefined traditional concert motifs. Celebrating eight studio masterworks across four evenings – Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991) and Tour de France (2003) – this groundbreaking new performance series explores each album chronologically alongside their most iconic moments and artwork, creating the definitive Kraftwerk retrospective.

Renowned as the pioneers in electronic music history, these self-described ‘operators’ have influenced artists as unique and varied as David Bowie, Daft Punk, Kanye West, R.E.M, LCD Soundsystem and Joy Division. Following its international debut in April 2012 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and residencies at Düsseldorf’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and London’s Tate Modern, KRAFTWERK – THE CATALOGUE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 now invites Australian audiences to explore one of the richest histories in global sound, image culture and popular music.

 

 

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Mar 16

Bandaged Bear Appeal Photo a Day challenge

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It’s half way through the month and I’ve really enjoyed the Instagram challenge that the PR team developed as part of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s Bandaged Bear Appeal. The hashtag is #bbaphotoaday

Check out the new fundraising website here. Please make a donation to the appeal to help sick children and their families.

Bandaged Bear Appeal Photoaday - Day 8 - bears #bbaphotoaday #bandagedbearday #bandagedbearappeal

Bandaged Bear Appeal Photoaday - Day 9 - Love! #bbaphotoaday #bandagedbear

#bbaphotoaday Day 11: Art.

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Jan 05

Happy 2013

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Surely it’s got to be better than 2012.
Angry Birds mini 'tree topper' aka pencil topper.  These holidays Dave is obsessed with Star Wars Angry Birds!

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Dec 20

Work Xmas party at Food Wine and Design

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Work Xmas Party 2012

You know I do lots of things and meet interesting people, sometimes I even lie to these people and tell them that I will blog about them! I mean well and then I never get around to it. Well here is my entry about meeting Rebecca and Dani, the owners of Food Wine and Design where my “division” at work had our Christmas party. The location is a bit blink and you’ll miss it on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt but around the back there is conveniently lots of parking. I have spent a lot of time on Parramatta Road driving to and from work over the past year and didn’t realise it was there. FW&D have decked out an old shop into a great space for learning to cook, enjoying food and drinks as well as appreciating art (with some nice street art out the back exit).
Our Christmas party “event” was a South American food cooking class. My colleagues cooked together as a group at various workstations under the guidance of our hosts and ate our completed dishes along the way. Some dishes were pre-prepped (such as the delicious slow-cooked pulled pork) and other things needed to be made from scratch like empanadas and quesadillas. There was plenty of food for everyone to enjoy by the end. I enjoyed the chocolate dipped churros – especially the part that didn’t involve me cooking with hot oil! The venue is great for functions, I can envisage fun birthdays, hen’s nights and other corporate events here and it can be very hands-on or less interactive if you want. They support charities through their business and have a relationship with CHW which is how we ended up having our Christmas party there.

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