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.
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.
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!
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.
10 MILE MEAL
Thursday October 7th 2010
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).
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).
Artichokes steamed and served with a garlic, chilli and cream sauce. (Artichokes from Cornwallis and cream from Picton).
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).
Whole Rock Cod baked in paperbark with lemon and chilli.
(Rock Cod caught off Botany Bay, Lemons from Ryde and Paperbark from Danks Street).
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 from George and Charis Schwartz)
On Saturday night I dragged R&R and Honka Princess to an event called Midas Touch. Billed as:
MIDAS TOUCH – A HUGE SALUTE TO THE 80’S!
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!
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!
Here’s the complete set list and a download from Surgeon’s blog if you are up for it:
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
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.
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!!!
Here’s my review of Semi-permanent day two – after a big night that included Gumshara Ramen and Dustones at The Beach Road Hotel.
Formed in August 2004, Tin&Ed comprises of Tin Nguyen and Edward Cutting. Based in Melbourne, they work in a range of different fields, including graphic design, illustration, collage, photography and motion graphics.
They were a bit nervous but had some pretty cool work to show. Stuff you might be familiar with is the Crumpler campaign, Lose Youself (Melbourne tourism) and Visa GO. They also did an activity book for the Royal Children’s Hospital which I’d be really interested to see.
I didn’t think much of the work that they did for the Melbourne Design Festival – which was photographs of an low budget installation they did in someone’s house – too self indulgent!
I can’t find any pics of it so it must be pretty crap. Other than that, they are very talented and dabble in sculpture, installation, interiors, fabric design as well as graphics.
Jessica Hische is a designer, illustrator and typographer working in Brooklyn. Her distinctive style and hand-drawn typography, from logos to detailed illustrations, has gained her popularity amongst the design and illustration communities.
What can I say? This girl is a freak (in a good way)! This is one of those presentations where the work is so good – you feel depressed and envious. She was also very perky and nice (well, she is in her mid-twenties, so perky is expected). She gave lots of advice (write down all the projects that you want to do – to – how to make a chalky smudge effect – draw in pencil, smudge, invert ) and was very open & honest about her experiences. The geekiest thing about her, was her tattoo – which said CMYK. Her work has a warm, muted colours palette.
References: Worked on Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love, Louise Fili, My Fonts – Buttermilk, Daily Drop Cap.
T-world is a magazine focused on T-shirt culture and every facet within. It explores the fabric of the T-shirt industry, showcasing the stories behind each creation and its creators. The founders, Eddie Zammit and Luke Fraser have worked together for over a decade and started the journal as an after-hours project in 2005.
Eddie the designer, is a t-shirt freak who said he had 1700 t-shirts in his collection. The other guy, Luke – well he said he didn’t like wearing t-shirts – so there. Their advice was that, starting a mag is really hard, so don’t do it. This is from a person who spent 36 hours press checking the latest edition (freak). They were the only people over the 2 day conference to mention a grid! The thing I didn’t like was the photo shoot with wet t-shirts. They said they tried to not make it sleazy, but really … girls in wet t-shirts = lame.
References: Lego, Satr Wars, Sesame Street, Muppets, D-mote, Bobby Hundreds, Jojo Design (for t-shirt finished art).
I’m not sure if this was the link to what they were referring to but these t-shirts are pretty cool by Imaginary Foundation.
Jill Greenberg – an amazing photographer from the USA. Jill has shot big name celebrities, ads, Wired covers, TIME covers etc etc. She was much more keen on showing her personal work than talking about her commercial work. She has strong political opinions and had a controversy with some photos she took of John McCain. Also had another controversy with her series of photos of children crying. This cause mass uproar across America. It’s not often you hear from people who have received death threats as a result of their art. It was her portraits of animals which were the most impressive. It’s amazing how the animals had expressions/poses that were just like people. And, she had to say it, film looks better than digital!
Goodall was at the forefront of the reinvention and rejuvenation of illustration in the late nineties and helped pave the way for the huge resurgence of the medium that we have witnessed in the last ten years. His iconic work for The Face magazine has influenced so many image makers, it has almost become a school of illustration in itself.
He was a nice enough bloke, but by this stage of the day, I was pretty tired and I didn’t really get into his pornogothic illustration at all. He has done some awesome work mind you.
References: Allen Jones, Fetish Bad Bambi, Corruption of innocence, Muse, Big Active agency.
David Michôd • Director • Australia
There’s always one speaker I just don’t like. David spoke about his time in film school. He was really dismissive and was reluctant to show any work. I can sort of understand how he wouldn’t want to show a segment of a movie as it isn’t the whole piece of work, but still. Anyway he did show a short film he made which had Joel Edgerton in it which was nicely shot with a very dark story. In my notes, I’ve written he didn’t take himself too seriously – but I’m not sure why I said that, as it seems like he does. I also wrote during his presentation that I think he is going to talk about the 10 years it took to make his film, Animal Kingdom – but not show it. But hey, he won a Sundance award, so he must be good. I left early as he was the last speaker, and I’d had enough of sitting in the Convention Centre auditorium.
So overall, another interesting Semi-permanent – that inspired and depressed me, as per usual. See you again next year?
Here’s some notes from day one Friday 19 March.
Frankie Magazine – their presentation was: relevant, organised, informative, inspirational. Made me want to subscribe to the magazine.
Some references: Sirota Guess Who book.
Travis Millard/Mel Kadel – this couple were super casual, very laid back in their presentation style but personable and funny. They are both really talented illustrators/artists. I saw Travis later on and told him he did a great preso and he said thx.
Some references: Raymond Pettibone, Fudge Factory Comics, Michael Jackson in Exile comic, Strong Arms, Farts – a spotter’s guide.
Craig Schuftan – his presentation was different, unusual for Semi-permanent. I felt like I was at uni again in a theory lecture. Some guys near me said it was boring. For me, it was interesting because the talk was about neo-80s and as I was there the first time (before it was neo). He name dropped many of my 80s icons such as Madonna, Andy Warhol, MJ, Duran Duran as well as “future music” makers such as Daft Punk.
Some references: Susan Sontag, dada, surrealism, “perspective – master of infinite space” and he’s making a zine of this preso if you are keen to re/visit.
Fecal Face – this preso wasn’t so thrilling, I think he ran out of things to say. He showed his early work/influences – skateboarding, Thrasher Magazine. He did give some good advice.
Get a job not doing what you want to do, so when you get home, you really want to do it.
Glue Society – a short presentation, he showed lots of ads and documentaries of ads they have made. They did The Chaser promo where they bought billboard space in remote countries for hardly any money but received crap loads of publicity. They made an ESPN Fantasy Team ad but I didn’t get it. Maybe something for my teenage Canadian cousins to appreciate.
Some references: Metal on Metal music video, The Gamekillers, 42 Below Because We Can campaign.
Ashley Gilbertson – this photojournalist dude was intense, he looked older than his years because of the shit that he’s seen. His talk was very serious, very intense, the subject matter of war images were disturbing. (His voice reminded me of Sideshow Bob though) It was very moving when he spoke about the series he photographed of dead soldier’s bedrooms. He was so passionate and expressed a sense of responsibility to tell the soldier’s stories.
and that concludes day one of Semi-permanent 2010…
oh there was also an exhibition to co-incide with Semi-permanent at Darling Park called Brought to You by the Letter T – a collaboration with Sesame Street and a a bunch of artists and T World Magazine. What I haven’t/couldn’t work out is if the t-shirts they designed are available to buy.