Jun 24

Beastman and Phibs at Ambush Gallery

Beastman and Phibs at Ambush Gallery

Beastman at work

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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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Jun 01

Vivid Sydney 2012 - Vivid Ideas

Hello! I am forcing myself (ok challenging myself) to blog every day for the month of June. So my blog doesn’t look so lonely and sad and I can stop apologising for not updating my blog.
The VIVID festival is underway in Sydney, although it launched last week, I’ve only now had a chance to check it out. Working way out west does have it’s cultural disadvantages ha ha. Alighting at Circular Quay station gave me quite a breath-taking view (more than normal) with all the lighting effects and projections around the harbour tonight. I still have to spend a bit more time exploring the light sculptures and installations dotted around the harbour before the festival ends. The city had a “civilised NYE” feel to it, which was really nice.
Dave and I attended the Vivid Ideas talk by Cory Doctorow. I have been telling people he is some sort of internet, copyright, sci-fi ideas man. Have to admit, a lot of his talk went over my head, and Dave mentioned that he had “dumbed down” his talk. Oh well – I guess that’s what people feel like when they see a band they don’t really know and everyone else around them is singing the words to all their songs. There was a large appreciative audience on the 6th floor of the MCA in a nice function room with awesome views.
Afterwards, we caught up with Tom & KTC for some dinner at the new-ish Fratelli Fresh/Cafe Sopra Bridge Street. It was packed in there even at 9pm and by the time we got to order a lot of the main meals were sold out. The food was great and I even forgot to take photos of it – so I was not FAB (female asian blogger) on duty. I miss working in the city where the food is fresh and fabulous. Anyway, it was great to have an impromptu catch up with friends, need to do that more often.

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Mar 25

Operation Rizzeria Replacement

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Nov 30

I am a latecomer to the magic of Stevie Nicks. In the 1990s, I despised Fleetwood Mac – they represented the opposite of everything I liked about music eg. electronic, repetitive beats, with no guitars or real drums. Obviously, things have changed, I don’t do raves any more and Fleetwood Mac still sell albums 30+ years later. They were featured on Glee introducing them to a new young audience (who will probably download their albums)! In the 80s, I really liked Stevie’s solo track, Stand Back (much later on I found out it was inspired by Prince’s Little Red Corvette and he performed on the song). Other than that I didn’t have much time for these rock legends. Anyway, it’s true what they say about the more you hear a song, even if you hate it, you get used to it and then you start to like it! So constantly hearing Stevie Nicks over the last 20 years finally got into my brain. Then I started working with Ms JHair and she really got me into Stevie in the workplace (I still manage to be the office music Nazi).

Anyway, about the concert. Dave Stewart was her special guest, I guess no-one really knew any of his new stuff, as the audience was pretty stiff during his performance. When the band did some Eurythmics tracks (Here Comes the Rain again, Missionary Man…), it just didn’t feel the same without Annie Lennox.

An annoucement before Stevie came on stage asked the audience not to take photos or videos of the performance (ala Bjork). But really, no – I want a momento. Sorry Stevie.

Stevie Nicks appeared right on schedule at 9pm. She was actually much better vocally than I thought she was going to be. The concert went for two hours, which I consider very good value nowadays (Janet didn’t even last an hour and a half). Stevie told us from the start that it was NOT a “greatest hits” show and she was going to play her new stuff (whether you wanted to hear it or not). I can appreciate that she would want to plug her new album, after all, she said she worked really hard on it and was immensely proud of it. Luckily, I had acquired the new album a couple of weeks ago to familiarise myself with In Your Dreams. My favourite tracks of the night were Stand Back (the opening track), Dreams, Rhiannon, Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), Landslide & Edge of Seventeen. You can see the entire tracklist here. I enjoyed her anecdotes from her career and explanations of her new songs. She kept making jokes about being “old” – good to see a diva who can joke about herself. I was concerned when she needed a helper guy to make sure she didn’t fall over when she wanted to bend down and shake the audience’s hand during the finale. I also saw on Facebook, that PAdam got to touch her hand! Overall, a pretty awesome concert! As Tricky Dicky Wilkins said at the Arias, she is the queen of rock n roll!

Dave Stewart, Sydney 2011 - 2
Dave Stewart

Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams tour, Sydney 2011 - 6
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams tour, Sydney 2011 - 8

Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams tour, Sydney 2011 - 7

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Dec 01

This special event was held at one of my favourite Sydney restaurants, Danks Street Depot. Seven little Australians gathered to celebrate Dave’s birthday and enjoy food sources from within 10 miles of Waterloo. I thought it was not only a great concept, but a great example of sustainability and common sense! It really annoys me that supermarkets have garlic from China or Mexico and oranges from America. Really, I think it’s wrong to stick fresh produce on a plane and fly it to Australia. I am perfectly fine with not being able to buy a particular vegetable if it’s not in season.
Anyway, back to the meal – I was delighted to see Brasserie Bread, lemons sourced from someone’s backyard in Ryde, veges from a Chinese market garden in La Perouse and a rock cod caught off Botany Bay. Even some of the alcohol (beer) was produced locally. The meal wasn’t 100% within the 10 miles (eg. salt, flour, olive oil) but pretty much from within NSW, which was great. I particularly enjoyed the hand churned salted butter (yum), dessert – pavlova with lemon curd and honey sorbet (yes, honey locally made). We had a lot of fun with the rock cod which was wrapped in paperbark from a tree on Danks St!

Jared Ingersoll
made a passionate and amusing speech. We really got our money’s worth because he was standing right in front of our table! I think he’s a really cool guy and he works really hard for what he believes in. A lady was filming a doco during the meal, I hope she didn’t film me eating. One of the organisers sat at our table (DSD loves the sharing food/tables with strangers concept), she helped to source all the local vendors for this special meal. Her mum’s chickens produced the eggs used on the night. We had a really great time at the 10 mile meal and at the end of the night walked down the road and went to bed 🙂

The 10 mile meal
Also known as the 16.09km meal, this multicourse dinner will illustrate the bountiful beauty of Sydney produce while also showcasing Sydney’s cultural diversity and its ability to feed itself – highlighting the growing interest in community gardens and growers markets.

Thursday October 7th 2010
Sourdough Bread
Brasserie Bread Sourdough with Pepe’s hand churned salted butter.
(Made in St. Peters from Picton cream)

A Medley of Spring Vegetables
Julienne daikon, grilled scallions and roasted beetroot.
(Freshly picked from Gordon Ha ‘s Chinese market gardens in La Perouse).

Frank’s Tomatoes
A tomato salad of Grosse Lisse, Baby Ox heart, Ox heart, Sweet Bites and assorted heirlooms with chapons and flat leaf parsley. (Tomatoes sourced by Frank Bonfante from Haberfield gardens).

Globe Artichokes
Artichokes steamed and served with a garlic, chilli and cream sauce. (Artichokes from Cornwallis and cream from Picton).

Squid Salad
Preserved squid salad with Daikon, Mint, Coriander, Choi Sum and shallots. Finished with a chilli, honey and lemon dressing. (Squid caught off Botany Bay, herbs and vegetables from Gordon Ha ‘s market garden in La Perouse; honey from George and Charis Schwartz in East Sydney, lemons picked in a backyard in Ryde).

Baked Fish
Whole Rock Cod baked in paperbark with lemon and chilli.
(Rock Cod caught off Botany Bay, Lemons from Ryde and Paperbark from Danks Street).

Green Veggies
Stir fried Bok Choi and Gai Lan (From Gordon Ha ‘s La Perouse Market Garden).

Pavlova with lemon curd and cream. (Eggs from Sonia’s Happy Chooks in Homebush, Lemons from Ryde and cream from Picton).

Honey Sorbet
(Honey from George and Charis Schwartz)

Whole Rock Cod baked in paperbark with lemon and chilli.

Rock Cod caught off Botany Bay, Lemons from Ryde and Paperbark from Danks Street

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Nov 01

A tale of 2 Saturday nights

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On Saturday night I dragged R&R and Honka Princess to an event called Midas Touch. Billed as:

2 hours of the finest 80’s funk classics from the masters including Earth Wind & Fire, The Mac Band, De barge, Rick James, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Midnight Star, The Whispers and many more!

I thought this would be a lot of fun. I love 80s music as it is and 80s funk is even better! Unfortunately when we arrived, the vibe was more Hen’s night than funky town. The venue was called Notes, I think it’s pretty new, I didn’t even know it existed but it’s just across the road from the Enmore Theatre on Enmore Road. It kind of reminded me of The Basement, but a bit newer and cleaner! They even do the dinner and show thing! The flyer claimed that Notes was a sexy venue, it’s not that sexy! Anyway, by the time we arrived the band Harlem Knights lead by vocalists, Mike Champion & Berni Love had already started. They dropped some great tunes from Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, The Pointer Sisters etc etc. Nasser T was the support DJ, apparantly Sydney’s #1 80s DJ, I thought I was #1 ha ha (or is he Sydney’s best 80s funk DJ?). Anyway, the first track he dropped (yes, on vinyl) was Billie Jean, remember what I said about dropping a Michael Jackson track? He played some cool 80s funk tunes (Forget Me Nots) and some really bad 80s tunes (Rick Astley). Random. Anyway, seemed everyone had a fun time and by the end of the night all the band’s friends had jumped on stage to sing and dance with them!

Midas Touch

Midas Touch

Saturday night of the week before was quite a contrast. We went to The Forum at EQ to checkout Surgeon. Sub Bass Snarl were on when we arrived dropping their classic, crunchy beats. Surgeon played a hard, banging techno set. It was pretty full-on and I have to say that although Ms Obsessed with Lots of Things was in ecstasy (in, not on, he he), I just kind of felt… old. The only track I trainspotted was Jeff Mills, could do better. I’d seen him before at a big rave in Melbourne about 7 years ago when I was a bit more up-for-it. It was nice to see lots of old faces and catch up with friends. I used to love going out to parties with hard, banging music, but now I prefer to go back to the old old school tunes!
Surgeon at The Forum, EQ Sydney 2010

Surgeon at The Forum, EQ Sydney 2010

Here’s the complete set list and a download from Surgeon’s blog if you are up for it:

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Oct 06

Disco Boy – book review

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I recently finished reading Disco Boy by Dominic Knight, of The Chaser fame. I bought it a while ago for $1 from a stall at Redwater Markets in Redfern. Looks like it was a review copy.
I’m not a great book reviewer, so I’ll just list some points about it below:
1. I really enjoyed it
2. Name checks lots of Sydney locations we know and love.
3. Name checks lots of awesome pop songs esp from the 80s and 90s.
4. It’s chick-lit for dudes.
5. I actually quoted the character Paul as MobyDisc DJ in real-life while DJing at Rob’s 40th.
6. It feels like it was written by someone I know – it’s so Sydney!
7. It has a happy ending 😉


Disco Boy cover

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Jun 17

Metro 20 bus
I don’t mean standing up as in defending a woman’s honour, I mean standing up and giving them a seat on the bus. Sometimes I think it would be nice if someone (not just a man) would give up a seat on the bus. Is it sexist or old fashioned to think that a guy would give his seat to a woman? Why don’t young people respect their elders any more? Every morning and evening my bus is packed and I keep thinking, why don’t people give that older person a seat, or that person in the “less mobile passenger” area doesn’t look less mobile. Basically in Sydney it’s free for all. First in, best dressed, except that you don’t stand in a queue to get in first.

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May 17

Tears for Fears and Spandau Ballet concert review – 23/04/10

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Tears for Fears in concert, Sydney - 4
Spandau Ballet in concert, Sydney - 08
Continuing my 80s concert glory with a group of fellow 80s tragics at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Firstly Tears for Fears opened with an eerie acapella version of Mad World, then broke into all their classic songs: Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Sowing The Seeds Of Love, Head Over Heels, Pale Shelter, Woman in Chains and Shout. Surprisingly Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith both sounded great vocally and musically. They had a tight band and a backup singer who was a bloke but sounded like a girl!
When Spandau Ballet came on, the crowd went really nuts! There was an “older” couple sitting in front of us that stood up for the entire concert (not that great when I didn’t feel like standing for the entire concert when I’d paid for a seat). I had the impression they had not gone out for 20 years and they really loved Spandau Ballet 😉 Anyway, I knew every song they performed bar one. I had earlier bought Gold – The Best Of Spandau Ballet in preparation for this night! They performed for about 2 hours, so I’d have to say it was very good value for money. Tony Hadley can still sing really well (though needed a little warming up the beginning. Have to admit he sounds better than Simon Le Bon these days) and the rest of the band did their thing with gusto. Does anyone think Tony Hadley is channelling Anthony LaPaglia? Steve Norman’s cheesy 80s glory style sax solos were quite amusing. Martin Kemp is still the hot one! When the concert ended the band members all hugged and embraced like they really loved each other (again).
When I was a teenager, I had the poster of them where they all have their tops off on my bedroom wall. I think that came with their album Parade. Mind you, Wham and Duran Duran were my bigger favourites and there were many more posters of them on my walls.
There was something very satisfying and enjoyable about hearing some of my favourite songs from my teens being performed (well) live. A good time was had by all, then everyone got in their station wagons and drove home to the Hills District bwha hahaha – oh wrong decade.

PS. It wasn’t as good as George Michael, I mean holy shit, he performed a concert for 40,000 people!!!

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