You're in amongst the archives.
Archive Category: Music
- Have my novel on track
- Have painted the ceiling in the back room
- Possibly have painted the ceiling in the kitchen
- Have vacuumned out my poor little dust caked boat
Friday, 15 November 2002
OK, got my float money, now only a vitamins for dogs skin
few more minutes of work to try and not look like a slacker who just ran to the bank for twenty five minutes (the teller couldn't believe that God had singled her out to a psychotic like myself who demanded astonishing amounts of small coins and notes). Tonight I think I am going to walk up to the Queen Vic. market and see if there's some fish stall
still open and I will take it home and see if M will cook it up without demolishing the kitchen (which is something that detracts a little bit of enjoyment from even the most yummy dinner). Am still trying to figure out a solution for getting the weather on to [miaow] but no luck so far. Tonight I have sworn to hang out at home and practice my Sneeze songs because they're heading down to Melbourne next weekend and there's a couple of shows lined up....I wish I had a photographic memory for this kind of thing....
Tuesday, 19 November 2002
oh….I am v.frustrated….I have too much to supplement dogs
do! It's driving me nuts that I am at work with this kick-ass connection to the net and yet can't tweak up this page and have too many other things I need to be doing to feel good about doing it at home. [clutches head] Tomorrow I have to go to a workshop at the Bureau of Meteorology on Snow Probability Forecasts [downcast]....argh. I have two free nights this week and one of them is going to be repairing Mung's computer....which, at this stage, I would prefer to throw from my office window because: 1) then it would be gone forever 2) fresh air would get in I have to write two website reviews by Friday of Media Watch Youth and Girls Inc. - this is while I'm learning Sneeze songs, and...omigod...that right!! I'm in the
middle of doing my masters! have I had time to even look at anything now I'm apparently two weeks into 'summer' semester? That would be a B I G F A T N O!!!!
Saturday, 23 November 2002
s l e e p y….last night was fun (albeit in vitamin a dogs
the usual haphazard way)...of course I'd practiced all the songs to the cd without thinking that the band had just come back from the european tour and had just begun to play all their songs in a [um] organic kind of way. So I stumbled through...I added a link to Simon's (Sneeze drummers) brothers site because I remembered how much I liked the mp3s on it when I visited it last. It's nice to find poetry that you like - mostly I don't like what I find and feel like a bit of a boring culture-less idiot, but Adam's stuff is full of lots of images...particularly of Sydney.... Today the weather is divine...I have proclaimed a limit on study guilt until Monday when I will study all day until I am up to date...that's right! You heard it first here....am feeling a little seedy...need to find shower, cafe & paper.....in that order..... I wish I had a digital camera because then I would take a picture of my garden which is actually looking very pretty! Lots of flowers, tomato plants, flowers, capsicum plants, flowers, chillies (is that how you spell it....?) brain aches....
Tuesday, 18 February 2003
Oh the cat vitamin c
evilness of being left alone in the office! It's practically an invitation to play with my webpage, tweak my BlogAmp and generally avoid taxing my brain. Got to work a bit late in the innocent belief that my boss had gone interstate. Thus you can imagine my response when he walked into the room at about 10am. I have turned minimising at lightspeed into an artform.
Am recovered from wedding, though miss my special hair. Last night had a bit of band practice and got a burnt copy of our new EP - it's been mastered! Now, it is usual for me to cringe whilst listening to any of our recordings, but this actually made me grin a little bit *ahem*. I dont mind it. I had the artwork pretty much done the week after we recorded it, because I was inspired. It's going to feature a cool chick on the cover that Michelle from YellowToothpick has given me permission to use - it should look pretty cool. I like EP's better than albums. they are more immediate...though listening to albums is cool, but when you are in a band with no money, the more tracks you have to record the more you have to compromise because of costs. It sucks. Thus, while we remain poor and struggling, EP's will be my medium of choice.
Arrrrrgh! Those bastards still have my car. I can't believe this. They buggered the master cylinder while putting in my new brake parts and they're still stuffing around with it and fitting in work on it in between all the other cars that are waiting. Ohhhhhhhhhh. It makes me want to KILL. Here is a copy of my letter I am going to fax them at the end of the week (when I will have been car-less for a month).
I was wondering if my car (the Humber) is OK. I miss it. Can anyone give me an idea of how long it’s going to take to fix? I don’t have any other car and getting taxis everywhere is costing me a bucketload. I understand that it’s a headache for you and that you’re very busy; but as you’ve had it for three weeks I would have thought it had now become a priority.
You have not communicated with me for at least a week, and the last two times I’ve picked the car up it has been unsafe and dangerous to drive. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am feeling hard done by, and feel that I have been more than patient. Most other people would have thrown their lawyers at you by now.
I am sad.
Oooh, I just know it's going to send fear rippling down their spines. [rolls eyes]
Thursday, 20 February 2003
Finally – the dog food supplements
launch date of the Girls Act Up cd - a project that Women's Health West was involved in and that I did the artwork for. It seems that anything to do with the launching of cds takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r where I am concerned. The artwork (which used drawings from girls in Secure Welfare) was done last year, but due to the inability of any bureaucracy to pull it's finger out and get things moving, the launch didn't happen until yesterday. It was great! Somebody's Daughter Theatre Company performed some of the songs from the CD and some scenes from a show that they've been touring. The food was great, the speeches where interesting and it was awesome to see all my Women's Health West friends again. (I'd link to their page, but since I left no one knows how to update it *sigh*). I'd like to be a freelance page updater for all those organisations who have set up a site and then let it fester, untweaked, for years.
This was supposed to go up last night but I am havnig trouble with my domain fading in and out, which is driving me up the wall and down again.
Thursday, 10 April 2003
Gigging at the Tote!
This will make a nice change from our almost mimed show at the Empress last week. The VicMusic site has an article about the noise restrictions that are currently threatening the Empress and I’m taking a petition along to the Tote tonight for people to sign. Should be a cool night…but I’m sooo tired. The latest house gossip is quite exciting! The people that grabbed it out from under my nose? They are no more. It all fell through. Quite bizarre. The second valuation was done yesterday and came through at a much better price – $20k more than the first valuation! So now it’s time for the finance people, who were very accomodating previously to start tormenting me and telling me I have to get a letter from my boss confirming that I will continue in his employment when/if (if the last week has taught me anything it’s that there’s always an ‘if’) I move to Queensland. I plan to ask him tomorrow…this could prove very interesting….
Friday, 11 April 2003
Oooh yeah. Bed at 2:30am and work at 9am. My eyebags are loving it! Last nights gig was a blast – we played well and it was great to really crank it up after the Empress show last week. We did two brand new songs that we only put together on Monday and they seemed to go pretty well – a little stumbley but not too bad. Abdoujaparov headlined and came on after us – they were R-O-C-K!! It was the best set I’ve seen them do yet (and we’ve played with them once a year for the past three years). Les was moaning later that his guitar was out of tune, but it wasn’t an issue. They did all their Abdou-classics, plus their Let Bogans Be Bogans song – they also played a killer cover of the Buzzcock’s Ever Fallen in Love which got the first dancer up…
I have persuaded M that the thing I want most in the world for my scary looming birthday is a digital camera. All the things I could do with one just boggles my brain (keep your mind above your belt people). I could have taken shots of the show last night and posted them today! I could take pictures of my souless little office and share them with the world. I could try and do what no one has ever done before and capture a decent band photo of Bidston Moss….doubtful, but I could try! Anyway, I know what model I want and found one on ebay – naturally the closing time for the bid was during last nights show, so I primed London-based brother to bid on my behalf. It went over my limit, but not to worry. I do have an inside source that can get me one at cost price…so I think I’ll be going down that path. Huzzah!
I’m going to be house-sitting in Collingwood again until next Thursday – which I intend to treat as a mini holiday (a pathetic attempt to compensate for the time off I won’t be having over Easter). None of the admin people or my boss seem to get why I want to come in over Easter. I’ve told them it’s to finish my probability report, but in actual (and I would’ve thought, rather obvious) fact – the main point is that if I don’t come in, I don’t get paid! So in my head, I don’t really have a choice – there’s four public holidays around Easter and that’s 40% of my pay packet down the drain. I will try to console myself by bringing in a chocolate egg everyday (
Argh! My boss isn’t in today! I primed him with an email yesterday saying that I needed to have a chat about my complicated life and was all psyched to do it today – but he’s out at Macedon, and I’m here, blogging…with the knowledge that whether this house is going to work out or not hinges on a few major things – the letter from my boss being one of them. [Stamps] Why is this all so hard?!
Wednesday, 28 May 2003
Just have been clicking around before going to find something to chomp on for lunch and had a listen to the new single Why Can’t I from Liz Phair. The new album is out at the end of June. Geeez, I hope it’s better than Why Can’t I. Let me just say, it’s a very apt title – I don’t know why she can’t, but it sounds to me that she’s been subjected to some record company ‘grooming’ (i.e. de-quirking). Maybe the poor girl just needs to make some money….though she was in an ad for GAP if I recall. I’ve been hanging out for her new album…I have my fingers crossed that the rest of it is not as repetitive and MOR as this. No phair. (Sorry). Maybe if I give it a few more listens? I’m trying to be hopeful.
Friday, 4 July 2003
Here we are.
Come on South Australian film makers – do your worst!
Monday, 21 July 2003
An interesting thing. Good driving music is also good painting music! Maybe this is widely acknowledged, but it has definitely passed me by until now. It’s probably also to do with the sad fact that the only cds I have at present are the ones I picked up for my car trip up here (my cd player bit the dust after serving me valiantly for the past nine years and I was doomed to singing myself north when the radio reception dropped out). So we have on the Painting Playlist albums from Brassy, Liz Phair, White Stripes, Ivy, Wilco, Fountains of Wayne, Spiderbait, The Spinnanes, Secret CD…however, the CD player is very picky about what it will and won’t play – it will only play Wilco if I turn the whole unit upside down, and it refuses to play Fountains of Wayne at all, ever.
Oh. On the topic of music. It was very kindly pointed out to me (in reference to a prior post) that I should subscribe myself to The Wedding Present/Cinerama mailing list. I did. It’s here. Did I mention my boss being away all of the month of May? When he got back, he casually mentioned to me; ‘I saw a band in Berlin.’
‘Oh,’ says Beth, thinking that he’s going to mention some ultimately boring, MOR, seventies reformation atrocity, ‘Who?’
Boss looks vague (not difficult for a professor). ‘Um. Whites? White something…’
‘Not the White Stripes??”
Boss is beatific. ‘Yes!! That’s them! That’s who I saw! I thought they were just the support band.’
Beth can’t help herself. ‘They were wasted on you!! Wasted!!! You saw the White Stripes. In Berlin. And you have no idea of the significance. Humph.”
Boss looks smug. Instant cred.
Thursday, 14 August 2003
One late(ish) night in a smoky hard-rockin’ band practice room and I am rendered into boneless chicken status. *sigh* So what that I didn’t get to bed until 1am in my latest abode – where has my stamina gone? I think my new shorter hair makes things like eyebags more pronounced as there is less hair for me to hide behind. Too bad I didn’t consider that issue as I was ranting at the hairdresser ‘CUT IT OFF, ALL OF IT! OFF OFF OFF’. I wasn’t feeling wholly practical at the time. I inhabit Eyebag Nation. I am the President.
So guess who got Single of the Week in Beat Magazine? Huh? We did! ) The rival publication – InPress – didn’t even rate us on their radar – our gig was listed and that’s it. I could rant as this is a fave topic of mine, but I won’t. Actually…just a tiny one? I’ll put it down the bottom so you don’t have to bother with it…
Besides my preoccupation with band stuff I have changed abodes. Dave and Ellise kicked me out of their house the other day when they found out that it was me, and not their cat, who pulled apart a whole box of tissues and frolicked in them on the loungeroom floor. In retaliation I borrowed Dave’s phone charger and now can use it as a bargaining tool to ensure the safe return of all my computer backup cds. Mwah ha ha ha ha. Actually, it wasn’t me with the kleenex obsession, it was Sonic. So now I’m at Mung’s house where I housesat so long ago and I am so in awe. They are the only people who, when stray transients like myself turn up, have a spare room all set up and ready to go! Amazing! Spare rooms, in my experience (not like I’ve ever had one) are where the junk goes. Not this time! This one is all neat with a towel on the bed and Rach even made me a hot water-bottle. I feel very spoilt. And glad.
No news on the stolen laptop front. Have been trying to hunt down the evil robber to no avail. Feel compelled to call police and ask for contact details for the company that the robber stole them from – and then *smirks* I will call them and try and do some kind of deal. Why would they want my laptop back? It’s probably only worth about $1200 at this point and it is travel-worn. That will be my line of reasoning, anyway. gah.
I would have to suggest that Richard Moffat – he with the finger in rather a lot of musical/venue/media pies doesn’t really give a toss about music that isn’t
1) by someone he’s somehow connected to,
2) imbued with hip hop, minimalism, or a cool Fitzroy vibe,
3) isn’t going to be playing at the Corner Hotel.
Richard, if his existence has passed you by, presents the Incoming show on RRR-FM on Wednesday afternoons, prior to that he was booking the Corner/Punters Club and during all of this he runs his own record label and plays in his own bands. Anyway, my gripe is that it’s all too easy with little empire builders like himself around for people who don’t cut it on the cool-o-meter to get NO RADIO COVERAGE FOR THEIR CD LAUNCH. There. I said it. Surely it’s not too much of an ask to play one track from our CD? It’s not even that bad. Maybe because we’re not pumping advertising dollars into RRR-FM, and maybe because we don’t sound;
a) like a hip hop crew with suburban cred, or
b) like a mournful, semi-instrumental, sparse snore-core outfit
we got no airtime from Mr Moffat. Goddamnit, RRR-FM funded our recording!! Surely it would be in their interest to show how ace they are and give it a bit of a spin…huh?! This is one of the things that I do not miss about Melbourne. Needless infuriation – I don’t need it, I’ve got some sun to sit in.
-end of rant->
Sunday, 17 August 2003
So the CD launch is over. I breathe a sigh of relief. In a good way. I had an excellent time – we cranked out lots of old songs that were lots of fun to play. Christine made my night by rocking out on top of the foldback wedge… something I’ve been pleading her to add to her repertoire for years. We had such a fun night. There weren’t as many people as we’d hoped for – but then our publicity wasn’t great and it was all put together in a short amount of time. The freezing bloody weather didn’t help either. Even I was tempted to stay by the heater.
Now I’m at my third abode – hanging at my mum’s house, which is kind of nice because I don’t feel like I’m in the way. I think she’s glad to have someone hanging out here – it’s a big house for one person. I’ve been able to do some washing, chuck my stuff all over my old bedroom and eat all her biscuits. Yay. She’s going to drop me at the station in the morning. Am feeling bad for M, stuck up north working on the house and me down here hanging out with all my friends…*sigh*…absence makes the heart grow fonder, etc. etc.
Sunday, 31 August 2003
Got to see Chris strutting her stuff with Mee Bar at the Duke of Windsor last night – very odd! She plays quite differently to how she does normally – still good, but more of a lead-breaky power chord goddess. After Mee Bar were the paeon to mediocrity, Second Dan. I didn’t know who they were at first, which was fine by me, because they were so awesomely crap, but then I realised they were one of the winners of the JJJ Unearthed competition, an extremely depressing revelation. They were basically a cover band i.e. all their songs sounded like covers. The front bloke ponced around, sweated a bit and went through all his poses like he’d been practicing them in the mirror for days on end. Argh! I just saw they got ‘Single of the Week’ in Beat (though it did include some pondering on when they’d be gracing The Footy Show…which should give people some idea of where they’re coming from.) Anyway, the next band wiped the floor with them – Daughter Boy Jao – they were great, kind of White Stripes, but in a good way. There ends the Sunday whine…
Monday, 1 September 2003
Oh my god. Peter Brocklehurst posted a comment on [miaow]! *grin*
If you can’t be bothered following the link, this is what he said:
So glad i did it for you (made you shiver)
thank you for your kind comments.
with regards Peter.
PS glad to announce the release of my first single “Praise” by end of Sept.
I feel all cultural and smiled upon all of a sudden! Who is Peter Brocklehurst? Read this.
Tuesday, 7 October 2003
Oooh. The first Bidston Moss baby is born! Didn’t know until last night, but Mung and Rach have produced Luka – a little boy. He was born last Thursday – the 2nd of October, which makes him a Libra with his birthday exactly five months after mine. It’s very odd when your friends start having babies all over the place – the next Bidston Moss baby is due on October 26th.
On other less exciting topics, today I got a new phone line, so I no longer need to cop the flack (mostly from M’s relatives) about the phone always being engaged. Having a teensy level of mobile coverage and no possibility of ADSL or cable, this was the best option. Of course, I have no spare phone cord so no one can get through anyway, but I have just sent out M to rectify this problem. Major discovery of yesterday? PMT can be lessened by measured does of annihilation – via a frenzy of whipper-snipping. Grrrr.
Monday, 27 October 2003
The gig last night at the Tote was pretty haphazard. Our drummer pulled out yesterday morning as he had to take his girlfriend and new baby home from the hospital – so Chris, Mung and I cranked out some songs minus the beats, plus a couple of [bilby] numbers as a practice for the show this Friday night. Lisa and Dennis turned up, and I seemed to get a lot of beer bought for me. I knew the night would take on an alcohol tinged spiral when, early on in the night, I asked Chris where her car was so I could put my luggage in it – she looked evil and confessed that we would be getting a taxi back to her house. I pretty much knew that it was all over – there’s only one main reason for doing such a thing and it is directly to do with TOO MUCH BEER. So, on top of my cold, too much beer was the last thing I needed. Then I found out that Chris wasn’t even working today, whereas I had to drag my butt out of bed at 7am. Thus, my boss, having not seen me for two months, took one look at me and said, “you look wrecked”.
I couldn’t argue. I said that my cold had not improved over the weekend and that I thought a bit more sleep might put me right…so….am going home in a few minutes to tend to my sore sad smuffy head. It’s all my own fault. Argh. I need slllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeppppp.
Poor M has not been having such a good time up north all on his own. Besides not having any like-minded friends up there he has been plauged by extraordinary thunderstorms, one of which zapped the power points in the study on Saturday night. One (possibly) bad thing is that he has become addicted to tracking the storms on the Bureau of Meteorology website and thus is able to see exactly how bad they are and when they are going to hit! I don’t know whether this is a good thing – but at least he gets time to bring the cats inside so they can be out of the thick of it and also provide some furry comfort (when not cowering behind the couch).
Friday, 31 October 2003
Today is another evil Melbourne day. M keeps telling me he is shirtless when I speak to him, and exults the wonders of his weather. Could I be any further away?
The [bilby] cd launch is tonight and I am leaving work now to try and make the Datsun run with the aid of a phillips head screwdriver. Wish me luck.
Monday, 3 November 2003
The [bilby] gig went pretty well, and I’m glad it’s over now! Pressure was on to have it all pretty tight. Photos fromthe show didn’t turn out that well (my fault – I didn’t give good camera instructions i.e. my camera only holds 18 photos so shoot wisely, and don’t shoot from the back of the room…d’oh). now back in scary work grind. Haven’t begun my nanowrimo yet ( and am feeling guilt pangs. Finished ‘The Goblet of Fire’ on Sunday morning – it was actually quite brilliant. Now I just have to ask nicely to borrow the final one.
Have been playing at being a mechanic on the death-trap that my sister lent me. (I can only assume she was hoping that I quickly met my demise – as she forgot to mention that there were no indicators and that the car would die every time you take your foot off the accelerator.) However, I thwarted her evil plan by opening the bonnet, almost keeling over when I saw that there was no round thingy that holds the air filter there, staggered around to the opposite end of the car and found it in the boot, looking mutinous. So I took a guess and whacked it where it seemed to fit, and joined up the hoses etc. Then I played with those screws that seem to adjust the timing and managed to make it not conk out but just shudder mildly when no acceration is being applied. But I cannot make those bloody indicators work, and it’s driving me (sorry) insane!
Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m writing here, as I should be novel-ing. Problem is – I’m swamped with genre choices – do I go romane, young adult, crime or quirky? My head hurts. Actually, so does my tooth. I’m hoping it’s not to do with the sour snake lollies that I ate in the cinema yesterday while watching Intolerable Cruelty. I have just looked up ‘fear of dentists’ have established that I am dentaphobic – this is a direct result of having a dentist practically kneel on me and extract four of my perfectly happy (though overcrowded) teeth, an infected wisdom tooth and numerous other near-fatalities. So I call my newfound wonder-dentist this morning, due to my sour-snake-lolly twinge and she’s on leave! So I have to see a dentist of unknown quantity, just as I’d begun to trust the excellent Marija, who actually answered me without laughing too hard when I asked for a quote on how much it would be to give me a general anaesthetic to clean my teeth and do a filling.
About nine hundred dollars.
Monday, 10 November 2003
Thank-you to Bean for calling me on Friday night when I was indulging in some lonely whining, and Danny for trying to get me to the exhibition/Rob Roy, even though I couldn’t make it because cleaning Boat took longer than I thought it would. Poor Boat. I have to figure out a way to get it north. It’s so brave and true, weathering it’s separation, all alone *sob* I washed the outside, soaked up eight or nine buckets of water from under the floor, secured the hatch back on with rope (it had blown off at some point – thus the vast amounts of water) and generally perked it up a little bit. And got sunburnt in the process.
Last night was the second [bilby] gig at the Planet Cafe. I’m not sure why I drank beer, but I got on a bit of a roll. Thank god that I went home with Christine when I did, my head is a mess, I am subsisting on Panadols and water. I feel quite astonishingly vile. I think I was saved from feeling even worse by Jody greeting us with an amazing dinner, that we all sat and ate in a civilised fashion at about 1am.
For some reason, the most loathed air vent in my office has descended to sub-zero temperatures and I am about to go and fill the emergency hot water bottle (that N thoughtfully brought in last time this happened).
Thursday, 13 November 2003
Inspired by Scott and then urged on by my own self, I have been haunting ebay for a treat to give myself in return for surviving this three week grind (I’m talking work, not catching up with family/friends/band practice etc.) Anyway, so today I pounced on the two little things I wanted. Huzzah! Huzzah!
Not one, but four hard cover Saint books for my collection….
And a video tape of Clouds video clips – for $2!!
I can see M wrinkling up his nose in desolation as he reads this – don’t worry M! I got you a present too! (And I would link to it, but then it wouldn’t be a surprise – let me just say, it’s culinary and is not likely to be found in Hervey Bay).
Friday, 2 January 2004
I am still pulling myself by my fingernails over the craggy piles of crud in order to get a report on fire and it’s related costs to my boss next week. Oh god. As I’m spending so much time online finding information sources, etc etc, I have decided to also use the time in a less boring way – downloading music! As I can’t afford to buy any, I’m going to compile my own playlistss, and the site I’m loving is Epitonic. The main thing that prompted this was a craving to listen to something like The Moon & The Melodies – something soothing and lyric-less to drown out birdsong, powertools and television noise. I found some cool Harold Budd, Labradford, Arab Strap (OK, so that’s not lyric-less)…and then I remembered that I had dabbled with Gnutella a few years back, so I downloaded XoloX and ShareBear and have begun poking around with those as well. However Epitonic is my toy of the moment…though with a dial-up connection patience is a virtue.
As I attempt to write, I have had to set up a mozzie coil under my desk to ward off the bastards…there must be sandflies as well, or how else could I suddenly look down at my right hand and discover a huge welt on it without feeling anything? On top of the desk I am burning rose-geranium oil in an effort to drown out the quite horrific stench of the mozzie coil. Talk about multi-tasking. Dave and Rie are buying a new car. I’ve suggested a Humber; large, reliable, invented-before-the-invention-of-the-crumplezone kind of cars, but I would be equally happy with..um…one of those groovy Citroens or the super-sexy vintage Volvos – I am not joking, they are seriously cool.
Sunday, 18 January 2004
I know where I want to be on the 1st of May this year! A chance to see the Pixies play! Oh oh oh. Want want want. OK. That’s enough. I spent today tortured further by the heat, and having my moods controlled by the nearness of the electric fan. The bloody saga of the door didn’t help either. Then I went and vacuumned for my good friend Faye (M’s mother) and doused myself in her pool. Am now feeling vastly improved after consuming barramundi and chips with a bottle of VB. My latest mozzie bites could be taken for extra breasts if they weren’t on my ankles. Sexy.
Sunday, 29 February 2004
Lisa was here and gone in the blink of an eye! New guests arrive tomorrow to be picked up at 5pm from the bus station. In the two days of no-guests buffer zone we have had a triumph of bargain-hunting. Saturday morning we left the house with one goal only – to comb the op-shops for an electric fan. Usually when we leave the house on a Saturday morning it’s to do washing, go shopping, go swimming, get a coffee, read the paper, hit Bunnings and stop at any garage sale we see. So, to set off with one goal was strangely invigorating. We didn’t end up finding a fan, but other, better-er things.
For ages I’ve been itching to get to the big op-shop at the other end of town. There is one near it where I got a great standard lamp two weeks ago (painted electric blue – but I plan to change that); but I had a good feeling about this particular one. Last time I was in Melbourne I went to Myer to look at Food Processors. (This tangent ties in, I promise.) For two reasons; one, because I have a $100 Myer voucher and two, because M is getting very tired of making me pesto using our blender and the poky end of the wooden spoon. It’s not the blenders fault – it’s just designed for making cocktails, not greenly edible delight. So. I found a food processor in the Wonder-OpShop. Almost fell through the floor with glee. It was a whole eight dollars. I took it to the register. It had a yellow sticker on it. This meant, the lady confided, that it was actually four dollars. Jesus wept. I grasped it to my bosom, or thereabouts.
M exited the Wonder-OpShop clutching an old Sunbeam chunky toaster. Our toaster has worked beautifully since the day we bought it from a deceased estate garage sale in Williamstown – but no one could call its ‘distressed melted plastic’ look endearing. I tried to explain to M that I have spent the last eight years carting my own old Sunbeam chunky toaster from house to house, as it works intermittently and looks so chrome plated and sexy that I can’t bear to get rid of it. He ignored me. Got his new one home and it behaves exactly the same as mine does – intermittently….
Anyway – we just tried out the Four Dollar Food Processor out on a bagful of basil-goodness. Magical. It was made to create pesto. In fact, it was so much better than the ‘blender and the stick’ method that M and I both looked at it, astounded by the wonder of the technology that had, until now, passed us by. And now we get to spend the Myer voucher on something cool!
So…you would assume that the bargain day was over. No way. On the way home we went to the recycle shop that adjoins the tip. There is always an abundance of freaky stuff there, but this time… this time our wishes were surpassed. I found a back seat for our HiAce van! This is extremely cool because it means that from now on, when we have more than one person visiting, we don’t have to cruise everywhere in the Humber (which I like to keep for special occasions). It fits perfectly.
The way you pay for stuff at this place is to look for the guy holding an excercise book. He is the man that conducts the sales. So we track him down and take him to the seat I found. He looks thoughtful.
“It’s in pretty good condition…”
I hold my breath. If he says more than $30, we’re toast.
“How’s six bucks sound?”
I marry him on the spot and we fly to Vegas….
No. Actually, M and I look tres cool and say casually, “Oh, that’d be fine.” While v.uncasually scrambling for our wallets. Not only a seat, but a baby capsule as well. (It is at this point, if my mother ever read my blog, that I would instruct her not to get excited…I digress). Mung and Rach are bringing Luka, who is almost five months, and I said I’d hire them a baby capsule if I could. So I’m hoping they will be wildly impressed by the fact that we bought two, perfectly good ones super cheaply. Of course M and I have no idea how to fit it or anything, and I’m sure that our neighbors are completely submerged in rumours of their own invention after seeing M and I standing in the front garden pondering the baby capsules with expressions of blank incomprehension.
Wednesday, 10 March 2004
|I don’t think my bad sleep last night was anything|
to do with the futon mattress that I sleep on which is on the floor of my
mother’s study. I’m not sure what it was – maybe the soy chai that I made
with my new chai syrup (trying to make my own Hudson’s
Coffee Chai Latte) – anyway, whatever it was, I had weird frustrating
dreams. I dreampt that my mum and Christine had organised me
|to play ten songs on guitar at this
little venue near where I’m staying. I thought it might be kind of fun,
and was feeling OK about it because I thought I’d be playing my acoustic
guitar. But when I asked Chris whether this would be OK, she said I should
definitely play electric. That’s when I got worried, because I haven’t played
for a while and my hands were stiff. So in my dream I began to practice.
Chris was there. I couldn’t remember any of my songs. So she suggested I
It – a Bidston Moss tune. So I kept beginning it, and kept beginning
it, but couldn’t get past the first verse. It was starting to drive me nuts
and by this time I was half awake, unable to comprehend why the hell I couldn’t
get any further in the song. Then my mum knocked on my door to wake me up.
I lay there for a minute and then it jumped into my head: Take off, my
dress, it’s not, dirty, don’t mind, windows…I’m not ashamed. But just
as I typed this I realised the other reason that I may not have known the
words – I don’t sing them. Chris does. *sigh*
Tuesday, 16 March 2004
Meant to post this on the weekend, but am too scared to use my mothers antique laptop. I mentioned a while back that I was hugely impressed by the Australian Story that profiled Peter Brocklehurst. Basically the whole thing was rehashed in print in the Good Weekend magazine last Satruday. It’s a great article – and you can find it online here. Now I just have to get his album while I’m down in Melbourne. Did I mention he left a comment on my blog? He did. Huzzah! Now, if David Gedge would like to drop in and leave a small hello…?
Wednesday, 14 April 2004
They’re really back! Oh Claire, you are my friend, but would you mind if I flew over and locked you in a room after stealing your ticket to see the Pixies? Pleeeese? NME have the lowdown of their first show – that I found via No Rock n Roll Fun. Check the setlist. RAWK! I’m shrivelled with envy.
Friday, 25 June 2004
Ooooh-eeee. Two things – and they’re actually band related, nothing to do with house, cat, food, work or money. Huzzah! Almost a year to the day I got an email yesterday saying that the ABC 4 Minute Wonders video clip for the Bidston Moss song Seven is now complete! I was a bit scared to view it, as I thought the chances of it not really suiting our style (yes, I know, I sound like a wanker) were large. However, all my fears were unfounded – it’s actually very, very cool! If you want to take a look you can download it in it’s entirety here (4mb) – but if you’re on a snappy fast connection I’d suggest you go and check out the whole site they’ve made in its honour. CuteyBitey. Go! Go now!
The other thing! You can hear us on Stingers on Tuesday night – Channel 9 – which we don’t get, so I am going to have to hit M’s sisters place and commandeer their television. Check out this excellent Stingers site, because it actually mentions our name. The excitement! It takes such a Long Time for these things to come to fruition. I was somewhere in Jerilderie driving the Humber toward Hervey Bay this time last year when I just happened to have enough reception on my mobile to receive the call about the Seven clip! The Stingers thing came through in April – but I kept expecting it not to actually happen. What could undercover cops want with a song about M deciding on what wood to use on Boat and me shopping at Savers and hating coca-cola? Who cares! Not me!
Thursday, 1 July 2004
Saw Cyndi Lauper perform Time After Time accompanying herself on dulcimer last night on 110%. She sounded (and looked) amazing! Would love to see one of her shows. The weather this morning is sublime – M has been sent for supplies because there is so little left in the cupboard that roast catleg is looking like a viable option. We have M’s great friend PGR and his daughter arriving late this afternoon (I hope it’s late because the house looks like it was recently subject to bombing by enemy forces) – M is so happy he is dancing around and making a million plans on where to drag these poor people. I think he’s in denial that they will only have two nights and one full day here.
I do endeavour not to be too much of a TV junkie, but Amanda Redman just does it for me. I loved her in At Home With The Braithwaites – and the pilot of New Tricks is screening tomorrow night. I will be a courteous hostly person and tape it. I am now going to do some work whilst simultaneously praying for some suicidal male mudcrabs to jump in the crabpots – purely to impress the guests.
Monday, 23 August 2004
This sucks. You would think that after they’d given a company $20,000 to make a kickass video clip, they’d be a bit more on the ball. I could swear a lot here, but then they would probably label me ungrateful, which I’m not – the clip is fantastic – but, with so much money involved you would assume that the ABC would create a bit more hoopla than ‘oh sorry – we forgot to tell you it was on rage over the weekend’.
I just received the email to say that BIDSTON MOSS – ‘Seven’ was played on rage on Fri Night/Sat Morning at 1.25. I’m really sorry that I couldn’t let you know, but I didn’t see the email until today. I will make sure that if there is a replay that you are sure to know.
Producer, ABC New Media
Monday, 23 August 2004
Instant balm to the aggrieved soul. The arrival of a completely unexpected Pixies DVD!! My early Christmas present from Honeybone Inc. Am irretrievably thrilled. Here’s me dancing with it under the banana tree:
Many genuflections in the general direction of Melbourne. It’s made my week! Now I can get on with…painting the TANK…while looking forward to the first viewing tonight. I have a stubby of Coopers Sparkling specifically for the occasion.
Thursday, 26 August 2004
I’m loving mine. Particularly as there is one on ebay right now for $45. Mine was $2. OK, so the inside is probably all manked up with someone elses spit, but I’ve been playing it for weeks now, and haven’t succumbed to some weird Hohner borne virus. They still sell them in shops, apparently. I’m having fun playing it along to some tracks on my new cd by The Tulips.
Saturday, 4 September 2004
Along with the Pixies and other, less exciting bands (from a similar era – god I feel old – old) there is a rumour – a fairly meaty rumour, that The Wedding Present have reformed. If only it was true! I got a post on their mailing list that says:
As a resident of Yorkshire in the UK, I tonight
was pleasently suprised to see a regional TV programme
called “The Wedding Present”.
I assumed this was a re run of a documentary from
Great, I thought, haven’t seen that.
However, it was a NEW documentary describing the
history of the WP and Cinerama, explaining that
Cinerama had run it’s course and the WP had now
Honest. It featured Mr Gedge, his mum, his dad, Sally
and Simon! So it’s from the horses mouth (so to
So from the Cinerama side of my mind I shead a tear,
but from my WP side YYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!
I sit here, face covered in squashed up aspirin, full of teenage hope.
Thursday, 16 September 2004
Another Ramone gone….
Tuesday, 19 October 2004
OK – I haven’t seen heaps of shows at the Palace; those that I can remember include Dinosaur Jnr (I then had a headache for three days – LOUD!) , Weezer, um – I didn’t get admitted to see the Wonderstuff because I had no ID (groan) – who else? Can’t recall, but this topic is bringing to mind lots of other killer shows I’ve been to in St Kilda – the Juliana Hatfield Three, Belly, Morphine, Jeff Buckley, oh – and getting a boot in the face seeing Rancid at the P.O.W.
Anyway. The point I’m trying to make, is that by shutting down the Palace, Melbourne will be losing one of it’s more kick arse venues. It’s bigger than the Corner and the P.O.W, but it’s not the Rod Laver Arena. It needs to stay. Fuck the ‘developers’. Surely it should be obvious to everyone by now that the last few ‘developments’ in St Kilda should be removed with some kind of giant hoover. I remember in 1994 writing a feature article on the ‘development’ of the St Kilda Sea Baths. What a joke they turned into. Why don’t they redevelop the Novotel? OK – the Palace isn’t a wildly attractive piece of architecture, but it plays an essential role in Melbournes live music scene. Thus, I have signed the petition to save it, and you should too…
Wednesday, 27 October 2004
A big loss. Especially to lovers of decent music.
Saturday, 6 November 2004
M is watching Ghostbusters. Sorry. He was watching Ghostbusters, but has now moved on to Ghostbusters II. Saturday night television is very thin on the ground. I remember when Ghostbusters was the most must see movie in my 13 year old life. Naturally I wasn’t allowed to see it, but naturally I figured out a way that didn’t involve waiting for it to come out on video. Beta-video. I am sitting here with my tres cool Tip Shop headphones on that have a separate volume knob on each ear plus the option to switch from stereo to mono (though why you would want to bother is so far eluding me). I am endeavouring to get up to speed on my Nanowrimo novel – I was up to date on Friday, but spent yesterday and today in a smuffy, flu-clogged haze. Now I’m about 4000 words behind, goddamnit. Had I not been stonkered by sickness I would now;
Instead I’m sitting on my arse, breathing stertorously through my one working nostril, looking up how to spell the word ‘stertorously’, chipping away at my novel and downloading lyricless writing music with Shareaza. God. I did find the Moon and the Melodies though, one of my all time favourite albums to take long baths to. I have it on vinyl. Somewhere.
Wednesday, 15 December 2004
One of my friends is putting together a cd of all his friends hopeless attempts at writing their own Christmas songs. I love stuff like this. I have songs kicking around in the back of my head that have been there for years. The problem is M. Every day he plays a song or two on the acoustic guitar, and says sweetly, “There B, that was just for you. A fleeting musical moment, never to be heard again.”
Where other girls might swoon smitten to the floor, I growl grumpily. There are always a few songs that keep coming back, and I would like to record them myself. You would think that someone who was so kind as to let his tunes flow into the ether for my pleasure, would jump at the chance to let me play around with them. Oh no. I’m not allowed to touch. I’m not even allowed to use one for the Christmas CD that only about ten people will ever hear. Why couldn’t M have been just a shipwright, or a plumber, or even a painter? I am doomed to a life with someone who will never listen to one of my songs with shining eyes and parted lips. It will always be ‘yeah – the snare sounds good’ and ‘there’s a bit much reverb on the vocals’.
Thursday, 16 December 2004
Oh god. I can drink tea again! The humidity has (I assume temporarily) left the building. Suddenly the day is divine. I am, however, at the end of my tether with the comment spam that is slowly dragging me under. If anyone has any suggestions – try to comment – but before you do; I have already been using WPBlacklist, and although it’s great, it is too buggy. It either doesn’t let anyone comment, or spits out errors at legitimate commenters. God. I don’t know what to do. I have been home for twenty minutes and 39 spams have arrived. Spent last night recording my Christmas song, M mixed it down today and it’s in the post. Finito!
Thursday, 16 December 2004
What’s almost as good as watching Clive Owen on the screen? Listening to him narrate Walk On By.
Friday, 17 December 2004
I stuck up a couple of songs up there on the left, one of them being the one I did for my friends Christmas cd – and lo and behold, Tony tells me he’s podded it! Suddenly I feel validated. I’m on an IPod. It’s probably the nearest I’ll ever get to having one. So, if Tony likes it, other people might too – click the bear for Miaow’s Melancholic Christmas Tune.
With the house pressure easing a little bit I have been getting a bit more musicky and have been downloading like a fiend. My mate over in I-Oh-Wah has recently sent me a couple of excellent links. I’ve got hold of some video footage (the accompanying audio is surprisingly kickass) of the Pixies playing in Montreal last month. You can get it here. Velouria gives chills! Also, over at noaloha.com there are a stack of Breeders clips including live footage, interviews and music videos. I’ve got GetRight working over time.
Wednesday, 16 February 2005
…via Zucchinis in Bikinis & Spreegirl:
Choose a band and answer only in song titles by that band: Bidston Moss
Are you male or female? Muttonbird
Describe yourself: Mud Muppet
How do some people feel about you? Bother
How do you feel about yourself? Up & Down
Describe your ex-boyfriend: I Used To Like You
Describe your current boyfriend: Honey Bee
Describe what you want to be: Armadillo
Describe your current mood: Cerulean
Describe your friends: Chunky Bits
Share a few words of wisdom: Goodbye Couch & Galore
Wednesday, 11 May 2005
Over on Corante there is a great post that picks apart a whine by Hilary Rosen (the former head of the RIAA – the hopefuls that tried to kill Napster and file-swapping via lawsuits). Hilary’s whine may just be a publicity bid…but still…
Update: this is funny too…
And on the topic of Steve Jobs, Apple and IPod – there was an interesting article in yesterdays Age about him, chronicling his often out-of-whack decision making and predicting Apple’s commercial demise… (One day I’ll have a Mac. One day….)
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Miaow has been down (not put down, just down), due to the delightful habit of my chosen domain registry deciding to ignore changes that I made a few weeks back. Hate them. Also have had a blast of a weekend, with M arriving on Thursday night – we did dinner, the big party for Ellise and I on Friday night, an even bigger wedding on Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday, and a visit to Boat and dinner with friends (also on Sunday). Then I had to go with M to Spencer Street Station and put him on a bus to Avalon while sobbing miserably. Throughout all of this, my landlords have been sequestered away in North East Victoria and are only due back today – so I had a few hours after work last night to tidy up the wreckage of my bedroom and cook my first dinner. Then… I went to my first band practice in over a year! There were some stumbles, but I was surprised at how good some of the songs were – they were smoking.
Wednesday, 18 May 2005
If you are into your music (hello Ian) here are some interesting reviews from Pitchfork, who don’t hold back at all – it’s so refreshing. Here’s a few lines from the review of Weezer’s latest:
‘Right from the start of Make Believe, when Weezer lurches into a flaccid take on Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock N’ Roll” with an unfathomably horrible speak/sing vocal from Rivers Cuomo (think “I like girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch”), you can hear hundreds of critics mouthing “no no no” and going into crumpled shock. What’s more disconcerting is that the song gets worse over the course of its three minutes (let’s just say “Framptonesque voicebox solo” and get back to repressing the memory)– and it’s the album’s first single.’ [...more]
The Go-Betweens get a much better reception for their latest Oceans Apart – while Garbage get damned for Bleed Like Me, Architecture in Helsinki get the goods and The Arcade Fire are lauded. (I am v.annoyed I left that cd in Hervey Bay. Grr.) So you see, I am getting a lot of work done here today, what with reading music reviews and experiementing with the new sandwich press.
Thursday, 2 June 2005
How embarrassment to read back what I wrote in my ‘Nomadic Bear’ post. Such a sooky-la-la. I think it was a result of the cold I had, as well as too much time in the office. Rae is right, I have to get OUT more. Anyway, I have already been adopted for two outings this weekend – so I have NOTHING to whine about. I even get to move house for a few days – back to Mung’s place in Collingwood while he is away. I can lounge around at will, knocking back glasses of my Tia Maria stuff and (…wait for it) cooking my own dinner! Too cool.
In other freaky news, M has been asked to contribute a song from his exaustive back catalogue to an upcoming compilation being organised by Bart Cummings. This is only weird if you consider that when you google the word ‘miaow’ his band comes up first, and this page comes up second. M went to get some dubbing done at a Hervey Bay studio [gasp] which is run by a guy who came fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest about twenty years ago – whose song subsequently went to number one in Germany, thus providing him with juicy royalty cheques for about ten years. That’s the kind of money I want to make. It’s called ‘passive earning’. I yearn for the passive earn…(maybe I could get paid royalities for rhyming?)
Friday, 22 July 2005
OMG! The Pixies are putting out a new album! Maybe this will mean they will finally tour Australia. Well, we can dream…
Sunday, 31 July 2005
M and I went to Daylesford on Saturday to see the Go-Betweens play at The Palais. God! It was fan-tastic! I will be posting a review up here in a day or two. I wish there was a rule that Grant McLennan stayed behind his guitar at all times, because his guitarless posturing throughout Cattle & Cane (which I’d been waiting for all my life) made it impossible to watch. Other than that, it was brilliant.
Friday, 5 August 2005
Last night was one of the reasons that I am happy to be back in Melbourne. I went to the New Buffalo show at Manchester Lane. The supports (Holly Throsby, and Mountains in the Sky) were just as good as the headliners, the mix was truly brilliant and the venue was perfect.
I had been a bit cautious about New Buffalo, having seen Sally Seltmann do her thing at the Corner Hotel somewhere around 2001/2002 – where she stopped playing and demanded that everyone should stop talking and listen, which didn’t go down hugely well. Last night, however, was a different story. One of the guys from Mountains in the Sky (the other one was M’s old drummer) took on keyboard/sampling duties (and a brief foray with a melodica), and Rae Howell on vibraphone and trumpet was a total highlight.
Holly Throsby is a bit of a guitar legend, and weaved her own kind of spells over the audience. She has this kind of delicate aching husky voice thing going on, and almost all of her songs were equally as good as the couple that JJJ thrashed to death – others were even better.
Friday, 5 August 2005
It’s all over. No more office, bad ventilation, mindless frustration at lack of direction, crapola computers and particularly, no more vista of the wall out the window. I will, however, miss the people that I worked with a great deal. My boss never advertised jobs, he preferred to employ friends of friends, which somehow guarranteed a run of people who I would have considered myself lucky to meet in any situation; co-habiting in our hellhole of an office was almost (almost) a pleasure. Tonight, my send off was a little bit lacking, due to short notice. J had already planned to leave on a hiking trip, my boss has sinusitis and my sister decided she couldn’t be bothered to come. So we have planned a proper night out on the 18th of August, and have given everybody due warning.
I feel like poking myself to see how I feel about leaving, but I don’t really feel much at all. I hated the job. I will keep in touch with the people that I’ve met – those who have helped me via funny emails, phone calls to Hervey Bay, hung out with me at those jaw-stiffeningly boring conferences and timely chai lattes *sniffle*
Ah well, it’s a new start on Monday, a new moon tonight. I think it’s all for the best. Who knows? With part time hours, I might even get an album recorded. I can only hope.
Sunday, 14 August 2005
Last night I went and saw Eddi Reader play at the Cornish Arms. I saw her last time she was out – about three years ago, same venue. If you’re not familiar with her, she had a hit in the late 80′s with a terrible song called Perfect – as in: it’s got to be ee ee ee ee ee ee, perfect. I know. A bad song. At that time she was in a band called Fairground Attraction, and when I began sharing a house with Christine in Geelong, she put me on to their albums, and I loved them. Perfect in no way represents any of her other stuff – she’s really more of a Scottish torch singer. So it was Chris’s birthday last Friday and I got her a ticket to the show last night (which was lucky, as it was sold out by the time I got there). Four of her other friends decided to come along as well, and this is where the weird bit happened. I’m not really sure why they all came? They certainly didn’t come to see Eddi Reader, as they spent the whole show in the most visually inaccessible spot in the whole place. And while everyone in the rest of the pub was being spellbound by what was happening on stage, they were chattering up the back, one of them wandered to somewhere nearby to play the pokies. I kind of felt like I’d dragged them all there – which I hadn’t. I also felt bad because I just couldn’t stay around them – about a third of the way through the gig I just had to move to where I could actually see the stage.
So I suppose that they’d come along to hang with Chris for a night out, which was a shame, because with what the tickets cost, they could have had a much fancier night out elsewhere. Chris did enjoy it, sort of. She did say, which made me momentarily grit my teeth, ‘I wish she’d played more of her old stuff’. Ack. If bands only ever played their old stuff…well…DER. Unfamiliar songs aren’t BAD songs, they’re NEW songs. Of course they’re not as comfortable to listen to, and you don’t get the buzz of recognition, but new songs are exciting. They’re intriguing. Gah. I’m ranting. I’m just touchy on the subject. Playing new songs to an audience who just wants to hear their old favourites is always a leap of faith…
Monday, 22 August 2005
I won’t be blogging for a bit, as I am having ISSUES.
Issues of little time, cranky people, other things that I might get in trouble for whining about (if I can’t whine on my own website, where can I whine? *sob*). Gah. I am playing a solo show at Wesley Anne on Thursday night, for two reasons. One is that C and I have not had time to get enough practices in to do our duo, and the other is that M won’t help me out by playing with me and thinks… Oh well, I shouldn’t write what I think he thinks. I’m supporting Gluefoot, and will be on around 8pm. 250 High Street Northcote. The End.
(…no doubt all of the above will just embarrass me and will be deleted by this time tomorrow. Maybe I’m just having a fit of pique.)
Tuesday, 23 August 2005
Ohhh. This would save my brain in such a big way. I would probably gain a year of life from having this little gadget. Tres cool…
There will soon be no need to wait for the DJ to back-announce the title and artist of a great new song he’s playing on the radio. Just dial a number on your mobile phone, hold the handset next to the radio, and the answer is sent as an SMS…
Tuesday, 30 August 2005
OK, so I’ve been labelled a whinger. Naturally, my lovely friend who utilised the term is safely in the US, though unfortunately not in Mississippi with Katrina.
The truth is, I have malaise. I have ennui. The hysterical truth is that I am actually working at work and thus my regular time for blogging has been kicked in the guts. I can’t seem to organise myself out of my routine of the last three years. I’m sure it will happen. But at the same time I am having trouble sharing. That’s right. I don’t like sharing. Some things. M and I are sharing my laptop at present, and although he is quite happy, and I couldn’t think of a better person to share my beloved with (except maybe a total luddite who wasn’t interested in using it, ever) I still feel like I am being a hog when I use it at night, or during the day on weekends.
Which is why I am poking around at alternatives. Some involve money and some do not. Right this second there is a manky little laptop whirring away to my right as I install DSL on to its puny 2GB hard drive. If M looks at it and spits, I won’t chastise him (sorry Dennis).
My more frivolous, self indulgent option (which is where the money comes in) is to yield to my yearning for a Mac, and give M my laptop. I’m thinking of a souped up G3 Powerbook – a ‘Pismo’. From what I read online, a fair amount of people consider the Pismo to be their favourite Apple laptop. Although it came out in 2000, it was – sorry, is – very upgradable.
Another option is to just get M some old Thinkpad or Tecra from Ebay that will just run Firefox and Photoshop, which seem to be his two main requirements. We ponder here at [miaow] – we waste valuable time pondering while we should be concentrating on getting our recording rig set up. On that front, M has been my researcher, and we are a hair’s-breadth away from going with the EMU 1820 – and we are then going to build the machine around it. A lovely stable and silent machine that once functioning, will not be tweaked.
Thursday, 8 September 2005
The Nano appeals to me greatly. I don’t need more than 1000 songs on something I’m going to carry around. And it looks like it’s tiny. Pencil thin. Ohhh, I must put in my tax return so I can semi justify my lusting.
Wednesday, 14 September 2005
Yahoo for me! I just booked tickets to the Meredith Music Festival! I went to the second ever one, and a few others in between times, however this line-up is one of the more excellent ones I’ve seen. We’re going to deck out our van as a camper, run our beer fridge off a car battery and eat krishna food from paper plates. Pray for good weather… last time I went it was a total dustbowl.
Thursday, 22 September 2005
I’ve just been watching SBS and an add for ‘McDonalds new-look restaurants’ [gag] just came on. The person singing the backing song sounded incredibly like Holly Throsby, but I can’t figure out if it was or not. Does anyone know? Having seen her play, I tend to doubt it, because she seems like such a nice person. But even nice people need pocket money…I suppose.
Monday, 26 September 2005
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
I am off in a few minutes to go and see Garbage play at the Forum. Am meeting L for dinner at our favourite haunt – the very unatmospheric Ito – which has startlingly good tempura vegetables. I am setting off blithely, having heard nothing of their latest album, but propelled by the rumour that this tour will be their last. Eeek! I didn’t go with my old housemate who saw them play the Palace years ago when somebody pulled off Shirley’s wedding ring and the band refused to play until it was handed back. I missed all the drama!
M is running around like a chicken, organising our next four days of sailing. We leave from Newhaven in Hoo-Ray! early on Friday morning and will be sailing to French Island and doing some general exploring of Westernport Bay. M is a wonder-bear. He has planned our meals each day, bought supplies – organised the lot! I think he’s hoping that I will have a fabbo time and beg him to take me sailing every weekend. We shall see. We are not so optimistic that we are not taking seasick remedies.
Thursday, 29 September 2005
What a night was had! An excellent, if haphazard dinner at Ito. They didn’t have the entree I ordered. They didn’t have the wine we ordered. Then they brought us a glass each of the other wine we ordered instead of the actual bottle. Anyway, we battled on.
Garbage were absolutely a.w.e.s.o.m.e!! It didn’t matter much that I haven’t got their latest album yet, because they played stuff from all their older releases. Shirley Manson is a rock princess, and got each band member up to the microphone to say hello (note:- bass players should be exempted from this practice, as however witty and urbane they might be offstage, when trying to address an enthusiastic audience, they have an instant personality bypass).
Um, let me see. I’m Only Happy When It Rains – Push It – Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go) – I Think I’m Paranoid – Stupid Girl – Bleed Like Me – Queer – Androgny – Shut Your Mouth – Why Do You Love Me? – Supervixen – When I Grow Up. That’s just off the top of my head.
When they started playing, I thought that they weren’t actually that loud. But when they stopped. Oh. Oh dear. I must have been angled with my left ear toward the speaker, and it’s now fairly cactus. In fact, it feels like I have seawater stuck in it, a long way down. I am usually careful about earplugs, but the band started playing just as we got there, and we ran down to see them, completely forgetting about the noise factor. Goddamnit. This hasn’t happened to me since seeing Dinosaur Jnr at the Palace.
Anyway, Lisa and I bounced our butts off. Although she was quite a bit more sedate than me. I emerged after the show, red faced and so sweaty that I gave up on going to the loo as my jeans were stuck to my legs. I’m all charm.
Sunday, 16 October 2005
It’s been too sunny to blog. Which isn’t exactly true. I spent most of Friday in the garden with myself in the sun, the laptop in the shade, researching my recording rig – which is proving to be quite frustrating. It seems that new motherboards appear all the time – I am trying to track down one that is recommended by Bob Lentini (who is the inventor of SawPro, SawStudio etc).
So, for the geeks out there, this is what I have so far come up with in regard to what I’m after.
Seagate 8M IDE 120g x 2
Asus P4C800-E Deluxe
Zalman CPU fan
1GB PC4200 DDR2 Corsair (2x512MB)
Matrox G450 DualHead video card (I know it’s old, I don’t care)
Coolermaster Real Power 450W Silent Power Supply
Intel P4-630 3.0G CPU 2MB Cache 775pin
GMC X-21 Trinity Case
All I have so far is the EMU 1820M, which is the main thing. I am also thinking of an external hard drive usb case, but I’m a bit vague on what kind to get as I’m not sure what size normal Seagate IDE hard drives are… Am also wondering whether the CPU I have chosen is compatible with the motherboard, but it’s now midnight and I’m too tired to find out. Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. Anyway, this is what has been occupying my brain for the past few days (as has Hell To Pay – a George P. Pelecanos novel which has held me spellbound for three days. It’s tres excellent…)
Thursday, 27 October 2005
No one really knows what mattresses are meant to gain from their lives… They are large, friendly, pocket-sprung creatures which live quiet private lives in the marshes of Squornshellous Zeta. Many of them get caught, slaughtered, dried out, shipped out and slept on. None of them seem to mind and all of them are called Zem…
…The mattress flolloped around. This is a thing that only live mattresses in swamps are able to do, which is why the word is not in more common usage. It flolloped in a sympathetic sort of way, moving a fairish body of water as it did so. It blew a few bubbles up through the water engagingly. Its blue and white stripes glistened briefly in a sudden feeble ray of sun that had unexpectedly made it through the mist, causing the creature to bask momentarily.
(D.N.A always wrote so much better than I can ever hope to. Naturally those last two paragraphs were purloined from the HHGTTG via the Plain Vanilla page…)
Now I have introduced the topic, let me say without further flolloping that we NEED a MATTRESS. When M had the brain surge and sold all our possessions to the people that bought our house, naturally that included our bed… and our mattress. The mattress side of things I was not worried about relinquishing, as ours had kind of begun to sag. Upon our arrival in Hampton, the previous inhabitants of our room left us their bed. Their hard, hard, unyielding bed. The bed that, had it been a person, would have been a combination of Thatcher and Howard. Hardened by hairspray, it never said sorry.
So last week they came and took it. And it knew. It knew they were coming for it. In those last few nights it became even worse to sleep on. Last Thursday I staggered into work and collapsed into my amazingly ergonomic office chair with complete relief while it worked it’s lumbar positioning magic. If it hadn’t been for the chair I still would have been stumbling, Worzel Gummidge style, stiff limbed and scaring more than birds.
Since Saturday we’ve been sleeping on alternating combinations of the foam mattress from the van and D & E’s old futon mattress. While M was away at my dad’s assisting him in challenging the longevity of his liver I tried a combination approach, but ended up feeling like I’d spent the night in an ever-deflating sponge cake. God.
Today, in my lunchbreak, I cruised Forty Winks and then Captain Snooze, prising my desperate body from $4000 beds after I noticed some of the staff looking askance at me after I began snoring. Just gently. I would love to be action-woman and solve this issue with a purchase at 9am tomorrow morning, however, we are off to the Maldon Folk Festival for a few days and are thus doomed to three more nights on old foamy (this time in the van).
We’ll be camping at Tarrengower Reserve.
Sunday, 30 October 2005
Highly Recommended. Suggest that you attend next year.
Colonel Viper’s Whipstick Band
Doing an appalachian singing workshop with Cow Patsys
Stan Gottschalk & Danny Spooner
Our new camping kettle
Clean Port-A-Loo’s (something that has never been encountered before)
M rebuilding our new camping stove from scratch
Sunday when the sun came out
Tuesday, 22 November 2005
So today I picked up almost the last bits of my much researched ensemble. The computer case and the power supply. I could finally begin building my DAW. Get used to the geeky term DAW. It stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Ha! I have replaced a motherboard before, swapped hard drives, mucked about with cards and RAM, but I have never built a computer from the ground up before. Well, not without someone geekier than me holding my hand (thanks, Dyl).
Once I spread all the bits and pieces out, I was fairly convinced that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.
However. I did deep breathing and took it one step at a time. (E cooking me dinner helped too.) It couldn’t be worse than a bad bikini wax (note to self – never go back to that place in Sandringham again. ever). I tried very hard to follow all the instructions, which was a little bit hard for some of the time, as my case DIDN’T COME WITH ANY. I also had no idea what ‘thermal interface material’ was and whether I had any. After some googling, and poking about in the CPU/heatsink packet, I decided that it was already included (fingers crossed) on the basis that it would be stupid to sell it without it. [looks hopeful]
So as of 25 minutes to midnight I’ve got the motherboard in the case, the hard drives, power supply and cd drive installed and was just about to embark on connecting up all the wires, when startlingly, common sense prevailed. I will resume tomorrow with a clean brain. But in the meantime, here’s the proof that I got my hands dirty…
Thursday, 24 November 2005
Erm. So I’m still building my DAW. Am having a few issues (fear, knowing very little, horror). I am wondering if anyone out there can help me… [looks hopeful...again]. Non geeks can tune out for this request. There’s this thing on my motherboard – the Gigabyte K8NS Ultra-939 – where you attach all the front jumper wires for the front panel i.e. the power switch, reset button, etc. So, I’ve been getting a lot of help from the AMD Socket-939 DIY Guide. I’ve attached the right jumpers to the right bits, but as my case is different from the one they use in the guide, I have two wires left that I don’t know where to plug! I have one called RESET LED (which is two wires) and another called GRD (which I’m gathering stands for ‘ground’ – and is only one wire). Neither of these are mentioned in the guide, and I have gaps in my front panel section, as I have only one POWER LED wire instead of two, and no HARD DRIVE LED wires. I’m wondering whether I put the RESET LED and the GND. Any idea?
I have to get myself a monitor still, but I’m too scared to connect the power before I know exactly where these wires go. Here is my whole rig (a little bit different from my original plan):
Gigabyte K8NS Ultra 939
AMD Athlon 64bit 3000+
EMU 1820M sound card & breakout box
Seagate 7200 8MB 160g hard drive
Seagate 7200 8MB 120g hard drive
Corsair Value Select 2x512MB RAM
Lite-On 52x52x32 CR-RW
Seasonic S12 430w power supply
GMC X-21 Trinity case
P.S. Am wondering if the voltage of the Matrox 450 is compatible with the motherboard, but as I can’t find out what voltage it is, I’ll just have to wait and see
Friday, 2 December 2005
The girls from the Clouds are back playing as ‘The Girls From The Clouds‘! I am so happy! I just read this article in the AGE and went straight to the Northcote Social Club and booked two tickets. Don’t know who I’m going with, but I don’t care. Am v.excited. Am obviously completely out of the musical loop as their album was released last month. Am hoping there will be a copy of it at the show tomorrow night.
I saw Clouds play quite a lot when they were still around. Penny Century is a total classic.
Sunday, 4 December 2005
So, The Girls From the Clouds were fabutabulariffic. They played a lot of old Clouds numbers – including Foxes Wedding, 4pm, Aquamarine, Hieronymous… the works. The mix was great – everything sounded clear and beautiful. Trish’s bass playing was astoundingly, depressingly good. I loved a few of the new songs. I mean, I liked them all but two stood out for me ‘House of the Sun’ and ‘Beyond the Clouds’. I wish I’d been snappy enough to pinch their setlist after their encore, but someone got to it before me. I love them as a three piece. Jodi is a guitar goddess. Go and see them if you can – their cd (which I have been listening to today) is available through Candle. Check out Scott’s Clouds site – Silver Linings (proudly hosted on [miaow]!)
Kartar – if you’re in Sydney on December 16, get yourself to the Annandale!
Prior to the gig we had dinner at Wesley Anne. The food sucked. The spaghetti marinara was dry and full of capers. Capers? The calamari salad was overpriced and boring. Go there for the drinks, the warm olives, the atmosphere and the music. Eat somewhere else. There was a wedding reception going on in the room where the stage is. M and I oohed and aahed at the bride in her ivory silk slinky number. Then Glenn, an old friend from uni, came and said hello – and I realised I knew the bride in a vague and convoluted way. Glenn blogs over at The Nightwatchman. We’ll probably see him again at Meredith, next weekend. He gave us the heads up on Okkervil River, who had blown his mind at the Ding Dong Lounge the other night. I’m keen!
Monday, 12 December 2005
The Grates - from Brisbane. Completely infectious. I love them
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - Anything Stephen Malkmus does is fine by me. A guitar god.
Okkervil River – Glenn had given me the word on this band. He wasn’t wrong. Sublime. Who knew you could get that kind of sound out of an electric acoustic?
British India – a bit hit and miss. They played really well, a lot of cool songs. If they had never opened their mouths in between songs they would have been awesome. It was like seeing a beautiful girl, only to be disillusioned when she opened her mouth and started talking like Kimmy. British India were Kimmy. With talent and cool songs.
Leaving our esky to fend for its small self for three hard rocking hours, and then trying to find it and only recalling that it was ‘near a couch’. But which couch? I finally remembered that it was near a little tree (not the one that was later used in a pole dancing performance). I found a little tree. I found the couch. I told the girls standing next to it that I’d lost my little esky.
“Get off her esky, Fiona,” said one of them.
Fiona suddenly went from five foot ten to five foot eight and a half, and I had the esky back. Yah!
Vodka and Cranberry juice.
A banana smoothie made by a bicycle powerd blender.
Vodka and pink grapefruit fizzies.
The Pink Flamingo.
The Meredith Eye.
City City City – Yawn Yawn Yawn. Another one of those Fitzroy-esque bands. Good, but need to play enclosed spaces or in a morning slot. Yeah, I’m a rock snob. So?
Architecture in Helsinki – They have some catchy tunes. Mix wasn’t great. A little bit shambolic. The guy who forgot his trumpet was v.good.
Clare Bowditch and The Feeding Set – By this stage everyone was zapped from the heat and two days of hard living. It was hard to stay in the sun and listen to reflective sounding tunes. I wish she wouldn’t talk in between songs. Yes. I’m intolerant. I don’t care.
Eddy Current Suppression Ring – could have made the ‘highlights’ list if they’d killed off their lead singer. They lyrics were so bad that we rolled in the dust giggling in wonder and despair. I’d build a house, if I had a spouse. This review mentions this guy’s ‘ingenious use of rhyming couplets’. Hee hee. The actual band were fantastic and reminded me on occasion of Life Without Buildings. But the lead singer? Bizarrely bad.
Sons & Daughters – they have been so hyped. I bought their cd on the basis of the hype, because I was so keen to hear a band that sounded like Nick Cave/Johnny Cash/The Cramps/Violent Femmes – how good would that be?! It would be really, really good. Unfortunately the cd was not great. There were maybe a couple of catchy tunes. I thought they’d be better live, however it was the same as the cd. A few catchy numbers, and the rest were unmemorable. It was quite interesting to watch their guitarist switch between wishing he was Shane McGowan and then deciding that Tom Waits might be a better option. And then changing his mind again. Could’ve been amazing. But wasn’t.
Young Professionals – I spent half the time enjoying them, even though they were a bit all over the place, and the other half of the time I spent wondering how the hell they got out of the Arthouse and on to the bill. They had freaky cool outfits. Young and brave.
The Kills – Oh, please. They appeared after The Grates and AIH, so they were going to have to be pretty good. They weren’t. They were posturing American crap. Actually, they were repetitive posturing American crap, which is also how you could describe me if you knew my lineage, but you don’t. You can get away with playing your guitar with nothing but samply stuff and a pouting Cousin It to help you, but you’ve got to be good. You shouldn’t have to thow in robotic guitar playing movements and simulated sexual tension. Nor should you think that looking angst ridden whilst moving in a feline manner is going to help either. Jeeez. They bored me rigid. We went to the bar.
Led Zepplin Wolfmother and ACDC Airbourne. Um. At least Airborne were funny. They made me think of Black Rose. Was Wil Anderson in that band?
Monday, 12 December 2005
Saturday, 28 January 2006
Usually I don’t go out of my way to meet people I don’t know. It’s why I mostly hate going to parties. However. A good friend of Small Brother’s is in town with Franz Ferdinand, who are playing the Big Day Out.
“Give him a call!” urged Small Brother, “He’s a really cool guy. He’ll get you tickets!”
Inside I began crawling into a foetal postion.
“Noooooo,” I whined.
“I mean, I would love to go to the BDO [despite reading this in the Age and knowing it's all true], but I hate meeting people I don’t know. I’m bad at it.”
“Huh.” He was dismissive.
“I was going to call him up and arrange to meet, but I wanted someone to come with me, but M’s away and E is already booked.”
“Away sailing on a solo, manly boat trip. Last seen quaffing coffee in Portarlington. He’s pretending to rough it, but he doesn’t know how.”
“But will he be back for the BDO on Sunday?”
“Don’t think so. I thought there was only one ticket, just for me.”
“AAAAH!” screamed Small Brother. “Why? WHY would you think that? Of course there’s two tickets. AND back stage passes!”
“Um.” I was actually blushing, a rare, rare occurrence. “Well, I didn’t want to be pushy or anything. I didn’t know I’d be able to get a plus one.”
He groaned, sounding slightly like our mother. “You’re an idiot. You don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Now he sounded like he was channelling our mother. (Our mother being the one who, when being told M looked remarkably like the Yellow Wiggle, sighed, and said how great it would be if M really was the Yellow Wiggle, because the Yellow Wiggle is probably worth a bomb.)
“OK.” I felt relief that I’d now be able to go to the BDO with someone (and that that someone will look even older than me, in the crowds of squeaking 17-year-olds), but also trepidation, as I now knew I would have to go and meet Small Brother’s mate, in order to make it all happen. Eeeek.
So I’m off to the city, and will attempt to appear cool, calm and collected, while I will be internally wishing for some moral support and a large gin and tonic. TBC…
Saturday, 28 January 2006
I called Small Brother’s friend from Flinders Street Station and arranged to call back after six, which was a better time for him. I then went to see the Margaret Preston exhibition (my Dad had bought me a ticket – thank you, thank you). I began by thinking that a lot of her paintings were very drab and unmmemorable, but I now think that there are at least fifteen of them that I would have paid good money to have on my wall to look at every day. There’s a great one of people swimming in the pool at Manly, and another of pink gum blossoms, a beautiful one of goldfish in a bowl and another of a NSW billabong.
After my taste of culture I had a soul strengthening stubby of Coopers Pale and then wandered to Pony for a restorative lemon, lime and bitters. I thought, hopefully, that it might be a good place to meet up. I called him [Small Brother's friend, 'D-UK' as he will be now known], and as he’d never been in Melbourne before, he immediately suggested that we meet in the bar of the Hyatt. Fine. He also asked if I’d like to see the White Stripes tonight. Ordinarily, I would probably carve off a slice of my own skin to see the White Stripes. But to go with someone I didn’t know, with no means of escape? Nope. I was vague. And then immediately called D & E to see if they could meet up with us and come along. Nope. They were stranded at a jazz festival in Eltham. Goddamnit. (I later was very thankful…and Pony as a good place to meet up? I was So. Wrong.)
I meet D-UK in the bar of the Hyatt. He’s very nice. Looks uncomfortably like a short version of Robbie Williams (minus the charisma). We cover some polite conversation topics. Order more Coopers (he’s running a tab – thank you Sony, thank you BDO). It becomes very obvious to me that despite the fact that he’s a good friend of Small Brother and two years older than me, that we have absolutely very little of interest to say to each other. He asks me whether I’m Small Brother’s younger or older sister. I look at him pityingly and wonder if he just bounced to Earth from Saturn. Hello? I’m 32, and Small Brother is 25. I have never before been thought to be eight years younger. It’s momentarily refreshing. Then I realise that it’s just ridiculous. He checks out every girl in the place. I help him, because it looks like he needs it.
He tries to convince me that Small Brother has grown his hair, and now sports a small ponytail and diamond earring. He asks if I’m into music. Am I a singer? I admit to the band, playing bass, singing, getting nowhere. He responds that at age 17 he was singing in a band supporting UB40 in front of 10,000 people. Riiiight. Red Red Wine, Rat In Mi Kitchen… and all that. I’m not hungry. He orders food. I take the opportunity to go to the bathroom. I push the door and it swings open energetically and almost takes out some olive skinned Mauritian looking nymphet in a backless dress…
“Just knock me over next time!” she spits, as best she can, through plumped up lips.
“Abso-lutely,” I cat back at her. This is what the Hyatt has made me become. Ugh.
I get back to the bar and we have been joined by two people that appear very nice, and have no similarity to any pop star, historical or current. We chat. I remember that I hate to chat when chatting is an effort. So I listen. Another girl turns up. Irish. I smile with a kind of rictus and let it all play out for another ten minutes, which is when I consult my watch and state that I am late for dinner with my former boss, and have to go. Right now.
“Bye, D-UK. Lovely to meet you,” I say.
We do fake kisses. I almost have my hand out for the ticket envelope.
“So just give me a call tomorrow about the BDO tickets and I’ll set you up.”
“Yeah, sometime around noon will be fine?”
[I am agog. One of the bands that I'm desperate to see are on at 11am. He obviously thinks I'm just keen to make sure I catch Franz Ferdinand in action, not knowing that there are at least thirteen bands before them that I am aching to see.]
“No worries,” I say, through my teeth. “I’ll give you a call.”
I make sure I’m well out of hearing range before shrieking… “NOT!!!!!!” in true, cowardly, Homer Simpson style. I stalk down Collins Street, feeling stupid and deflated. I decide to move to the country straight away where shit like this won’t be able to happen to me, because I’ll be a hick and won’t care. I wonder at the karma that hasn’t kicked in for me. I had mistakenly felt that it was such an effort on my behalf to meet someone I didn’t know for the purposes of meeting a friend of Small Brother and some BDO tickets that, as karmic payback, everything would go brilliantly and we would be new best friends. Gah. Stupid karma. You can’t rely on it.
Wednesday, 19 July 2006
If anyone out there is trying to contact me via my mobile, it is dead until I locate the charger (which I have a feeling I left at my mother’s last Friday). Also, if you’re bored and into video clips, over at DIG Internet Radio there’s a podcast of a show called One Hour of Music in 20 Minutes and links to some classic clips, compiled by Hermione Gilchrist. More on my Baxter Station experiences and fate of the kittens later.
Tuesday, 22 August 2006
Friday, 13 October 2006
My fave BitTorrent site of the moment, Fenopy, seems to have dematerialised. I just went there and I’m getting some cheesy looking SoundPedia:Music Community. Maybe that was the plan all along – pull them in to download torrent files and then switch over to what seems to be streaming music and videos. Weird. So I tried to find out where it had gone, and in doing so stumbled over a great post at TorrentFreak – about BitTorrent as an excellent medium for indie bands. So now I’m downloading some Postal Service and a Saddle Creek Records sampler.
What I was actually looking for was the William Orbit track – SeaGreen – because I’ve been listening to DiG Radio’s 1 Hour in 20 Minutes religiously – Hermione Gilchrist gets it all SO right. I heard a minute of SeaGreen on the show and felt the need to hunt it down. The other two shows I’ve listened to ‘Believer’ and ‘Catchy’ (and I think I heard one about excellent video clips as well) have been great. Most of the time I’ve been familiar with some of the music that is covered, and intrigued by lots of new ones as well. The ‘Ambiance’ show featured some stuff I knew about, but much more that I didn’t. I’m tempted to dig out my Harold Budd albums – but, goddamnit, I STILL don’t have a turntable…
UPDATE: TorrentFreak is a mine of information – the Soundpedia thing is explained here. But I still don’t get where Fenopy went, or why the Fenopy url redirects to Soundpedia. Sigh.
Saturday, 4 November 2006
We arrived in town at about 1pm and met up with D & R. We had been a bit worried about getting a camp spot, but numbers seemed to be down on last year. D & R put up their tent with M as a roaming minstrel. We slept in the van, that M had decked out beautifully.
Sunday, 5 November 2006
We all went to the harmony singing workshop. D got hit with some killer hayfever, and was not in the best of form. The workshop was a little shambolic – it would have been far better if we could have just worked with one or two songs. Instead, they tried to teach us about four or five. And there should have also been three instructors to learn three part harmonies. Last year’s session with the Cow Patsy’s was far better, but on the plus side, we did get to see Wendy Ealy in action and her voice is fantastic. We left D at the Northumbrian Whistle workshop and went to get a coffee. One of the highlights of the folk festival is all the music that happens on the main street and in the pubs.
We had a look at the instrument exhibition and had a fabulous lunch at Alluvial. Later than night we went to a little church to watch Harpers Bizaare – a group of harpists who wear freaky hats. There was also a guitar, violin and a somewhat suspect flute as well. D and I thought they were great, while M muttered that the music made him think of Kleenex tissue advertisements and went for a walk, while R went and sat under a tree. Then Wendy Ealy did a set, and was great.
We headed back to camp. Someone had stolen our esky, and more importantly, the 12 stubbies of Coopers Sparkling Ale that it held. BASTARDS. I caught a bit of Symbiosis, who were excellent, and then we all watch Kate & Ruth, who were better than excellent. Hardly anyone in the tent was breathing while they sang The Wreck of the Dandenong.
Monday, 6 November 2006
D went off to a guitar workshop. M, R and I were joined by Mr H and Master but-I’m-still-hungry Jack. We had all planned to go on the steam train, but then discovered that it was $22 a person on top of our festival tickets. Sorry, but no. D & R went and the rest of us went and hung out at the main stage…
Most of what was on was pretty schlocky, and if I don’t see Mara play again, I’ll be quite happy. Cyndi Boste, although her band had either got drunk and forgotten to turn up, or just went AWOL, put in a great solo set – hopefully she got to drink all the rider on her own. We escaped to the Troubador tent to see Jan Preston, who was the queen of boogie woogie piano, which Mr H enjoyed until Master Jack spat it and had to be otherwise entertained.
The Hardrive Bluegrass band, who M and D saw the first night and raved about, didn’t really have the same pizazz on the main stage, but we had a great time at the fire twirling, and M and I danced our butts off to Bhan Tre – which was a great way to finish three days of fun. I did like the music and workshops better in 2005, and felt the absence of Colonel Viper’s Whipstick Band. This year, there was some amazing music, but it was thin on the ground. Maldon needs more and better planned singing and instrument workshops spread over the three days, which could culminate in performances or displays for people who were interested. That’s my two cents.
Monday, 6 November 2006
Mmmm. Yes. Pictures and an in-depth report to follow. After I finish work. After I finish band practice over in Coburg. After I drive back from Coburg to Sandringham. After I sleep for seven hours. After I work again. After I go grocery shopping. After I drive back over to Coburg for haiku poetry night. After I drive 90 minutes back to trailer and sleep. And work again. Blah blah blah, %!@#ing blah.
Thursday, 23 November 2006
Last night, after a delicious dinner prepared by E in her new Emerald Palace, we went to Ruby’s to see The Audreys. I’ve only ever stuck my head in at Ruby’s once before, and that was during the day, and I didn’t remember much about it. However. It’s a fantastic venue and suited The Audreys down to the ground. We were lucky to get there early and catch their support, Liam Gerner. It took a little while for us to be seduced by him, but after a few songs, E was swooning at his ‘vulnerable vocals’, I was transfixed by his chord progressions, and even M was looking intrigued. We even joined in on the backing vocals of his second last song…. E bought his EP afterwards, which I’m going borrow after she’s had a listen.
And then The Audreys. Smokey, swoony jangles. Their set did seemed to be stacked with all the strongest songs at the start, but they were fabulous. Occasionally all their varied and beautiful instrumentation would all smudge together and things would become a bit overcrowded, but other than that, they couldn’t really be faulted. I was startled to see Ms. Lead Singer Audrey play a bigger version of my little melodica with a tube attached.
Saturday, 9 December 2006
It’s heating up. As someone who works for a bushfirey organisation I feel rather impotent. Here is a good place to see what’s burning. Have just been receiving texts from someone who is at Meredith Music Festival where we were this time last year. I am thinking it’s probably Kartar with a new mobile number that my phone doesn’t recognise.
I’m not too sorry that we’re not there this year – it’s too hot for me, and I’d probably either get grumpy or pass out from too many cold beverages. I’m happy to save up for the Pixies!! My finger was poised on the button to buy two tickets to the V Festival on the Gold Coast yesterday, as we’ll be only two hours away from it when it happens. Am still musing.
Thursday, 1 February 2007
This morning I went to Readings in Carlton and almost felt physically ill with the desire to buy a plethora of cds and books for my own delectation. It was tortuous. I was in there to get my mother a present, as it’s her birthday today (and my dad’s tomorrow, and my sisters was two weeks ago – finances are never good at this time of year). And guess what? I buckled. I bought a full price cd for myself for about the first time in at least a year or two. I bought Beruit’s The Gulag Orkestar. I was charmed by it on Karen Leng’s show ages ago, and jotted down in my brain. Ha! I barely have any buyers guilt. And with my lovely Christmas JBHiFi voucher, some day soon I’ll be getting Waiting for the time to be right by The Brother Kite – which I stumbled via the excellent taste of Hermione Gilchrist, who puts together the fantastic One Hour of Music in 20 Minutes show on DIG Radio.
And if I wasn’t going to be a dutiful daughter tonight and go to dinner with my mum, I would have kidnapped M and gone along to Cinema Nova at 6.30 to the opening of Leonard Cohen:I’m Your Man – because, oh my GOD – it looks like an awesome bit of cinema. Maybe that can be the Trailer Dweller’s cultural excursion of the month…
Tuesday, 27 March 2007
I am still away on holiday, and have been keeping notes on day to day activities to post up here when a rainy day comes along. But I had to break my cone of silence and post THIS:
YEAH! Sold my stupid ‘best of the’ V Festival tickets, and plotted madly to get these to the only Melbourne standalone show at the Palace. Can’t type my excitement, but just think of loud squealing… that should do it. And proof of my love? Here where I snaffled a fantastic recording of their first reformation show in Minneapolis April 2004, and here when I took M on a date to see LoudQUIETLoud at the film festival last year, and, oh yes, here where I bemoaned Claire going to see them play in the US in May 2004 and also here where the triamaran on which we are currently staying is named Surfarosa in their honour. Now this is just becoming obsessive, creepy and stalkerlike. Must stop.
My biggest thanks go out to Mr H. – I owe him more than several beers for pre-warning me that the show at the Palace was even taking place. Yah!
Sunday, 15 April 2007
Last night I went with a few other people to see RockWiz at the Forum as part of the comedy festival. I got the tickets over a month ago, when I was still annoyed with L for getting presale Pixies tickets and not telling me [sorry L]. I really did get us a kickass table – one back from the front. M and I whizzed into the city and had a pre-show hot chocolate at the new Koko Black in Collins Street. “Hi!” said the staff, “Are you guys still on holiday?” We shuffled our feet. “Nah. We’re back on the farm.” But we did feel quite chirpy that they had remembered us.
Then to the Forum, where we waited in vain for hopeless Chris, who never showed up, and for M & R, who did. Along with Mr and Mrs H., and Margie. Oh – and if you’re planning to go to a show at the Forum? Smuggle in your beverages of choice, because they were flogging off stubbies of Carlton Draught for SEVEN DOLLARS FIFTY. That’s right. And bottles of wine were $44. Yes. They obviously want to make sure there is no inebriation among the poor. Gah.
I saw my sister and K there – my mum had passed her tickets along and headed off to China. Anyway, to cut to the chase, 18 tables in the place had cards taped under a chair, enabling that table to vote one of their party as a rock brain. That turned out to be Margie’s chair. That turned out to be our table. And the rock brain? That turned out to be me. Rock brain. Lives in a trailer, but voted a rock brain. Thus I, the most diehard opponent of a.u.d.i.e.n.c.e p.a.r.t.i.c.i.p.a.t.i.o.n [shudder] in the state, was summoned up on stage with 17 others, and, as well as doing a bit of a group dance, got put through the elimination rounds.
The first round (that I wasn’t in) got asked quite a few questions that I knew. Soooo frustrating! I was in the second round – which contained quite a lot of old-man-rock-questions. But I did get one of the singing questions right – thank you Hunters & Collectors. Anyway, there was one more round, and then we all got sent back to our seats. I was out of the running, and thankful to be reacquainted with my not yet warm, $3.50 worth of remaining beer.
I almost wasted a whole gulp of it when they called out my name as one of the three to go back up and be on one of the teams. Staggered. Horrified. Thrilled. QUAKING. As we waited backstage, two of us sensibly decided to ask if we could use the loo – so they hid the special guests from us and we were allowed through. While we waited to go on, Julia Zemiro – the television girlfriend of several of my male friends, wandered from person to person. In bare feet she was quite short, and made me feel giraffe-like. She whipped those fabulous two and a half inch heels on just before she went out on stage an immediately looked more televisiony. (Sorry, all you drooling males, but you are actually all married, and so it would really just end in tears. Someone might lose an eye.)
Back behind the curtain, we heard Christopher Walken being introduced. Christopher Walken? My brain started going into quiz-show-spasm overdrive. Christopher Walken. Christopher Walken. OK. I’d just recently read an article about how he appeared in that Spike Jonez clip for – oh god, mind is blank – Norman Cook? No. Beats International? No. Fat? Fat something? And what the hell was the song, anyway? OH! Fat Boy Slim!
As it turned out, Christopher Walken was nowhere to be found during the show, and completely dropped out of my adrenaline fuelled mind until this morning, when I remembered to ask M what the story with Christopher Walken was. I’d head someone talking that sounded like him, but where did he go? M explained to me, in slow simple sentences, that it had been a Christopher Walken impersonator. Of course. Who else?
We had microphones put on over our ears, were told where to sit when we walked out on stage, and waaaaay too quickly were stumbling out into the lights in front of a rather full Forum Theatre. I decided three things.
- Try not to be shy or look like I was having palpitations
- Do not try to hide behind hair, as it is no longer there as of two days ago.
- Have fun!
Except for the bit where my microphone pack fell of the back of my jeans and landed with a bang on the floor, I think it went OK. I was pretty happy that I was able to get the answer to the ‘who can it be now’ question – who was much closer to my era than the other muso person that they had on! It all seems like a rather fragmented sort of blur – the band were/are fantastic – and the other people seemed a bit more relaxed than me – but it was hugely exciting! Our team kept getting shown the scorecards last, so I kept having to look down at our table to gauge whether we were ahead or not according to their cheering.
At the end, we all got up and joined hands to take a bow, and I was watching Mr H. squirm in his seat as I got to briefly hold the hand of his television girlfriend. He later suggested I could sell it on ebay, but I think I’ll probably need it. RAWK!!
Thursday, 19 April 2007
M and I went to see Wilco last night. I had spasmed over a month ago, missed out on tickets and then thankfully found two on ebay that, as far as I could gather, weren’t too bad at all. Yeah – I was looking at Row K in the stalls, we were actually up on the lounge balcony, about one row across from where I sat watching the immortally luscious Jeff Buckley quite a few years ago. [sigh]
Back in January 2003 I had one ticket to go and see Wilco at the Palais, but to my fury I missed them due to logistical crap and an excellent party. I now realise that I really should have gone along. The thing is, I don’t want to sound like a music snob wanker, but I know three of their last five albums in depth. I love them. Summerteeth, and A.M. We renovated to them in Queensland. Then Yankee Hotel Foxtrot came out and I loved that – even snaffled the ‘engineers tapes’ recordings of the album. I was/am also besotted by both Mermaid Avenue albums.
The albums I don’t really know are Being There and A Ghost is Born. I did get hold of their new one, Sky Blue Sky, but I’m not that familiar with it yet either. I think it was a combination of being quite far away from the band, not knowing some of the songs and having just seen the Pixies play the best show I’ve ever been to – made me feel a little bit disconnected from the whole thing.
Don’t get me wrong. They were completely fantastic. The mix was utterly sublime – even M, the live sound king – waxed lyrical about it. The band were tight, and the Palais is a truly gorgeous venue. I think I enjoyed the first half, and then all of the three encores the most. Oh. And did I mention the lighting – excellent. Glenn Richards opened up with a solo set (with Keiran Box on harmonica for a few songs), and he was in great form, despite being a bit under the weather. M used to mix Augie March, and was their road manager on a tour or two – it’s been ages since we’ve seen them/him play.
Back to Wilco – the sound was lush and swirling. Their lead guitar guy is a total gun, and looked like an escapee from The Clash. There was a slight excess of guitar wankery, but this was almost always rescued by brilliance. California Stars, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Heavy Metal Drummer, Too Far Apart – anyway, they played for about three hours. There are a couple of cool photos here and here.
The best bit was when a few people had finally lost faith in another (fourth) encore and started to leave, and Jeff Tweedy came out with a steel string acoustic, walked right past the floorlights to the very front of the stage, and played a song – about 2000 people in the Palais were holding their collective breath – even the dickheads that had been calling out during the show for particular songs and trying to be witty – it was both magic and spooky. It got the biggest cheer of the night, and M and I left on a buzzy high – which helped us on the hour long drive back to trailerland.
Thursday, 26 April 2007
A link from the amazing Bradley’s Almanac made me squeak with joy. Last year, the indie-mp3 site made available a download of the C86 mixtape, and explains it thus:
‘The C86 tape was originally given away free with the NME. It later appeared as a limited run of 500 as a radio only copy before getting a full release on Rough Trade Records. The tape collated bands from the UK Indie Scene in 1985/86 with the angle that some (Bodines, Shop Assistants, Mighty Lemon Drops) would burst through on the commercial scene. This never happened although bands like The Wedding Present and Primal Scream scored success a few years later.’ more here…
This is the tracklisting:
1. Primal Scream / Velocity Girl
2. The Mighty Lemon Drops / Happy Head
3. The Soup Dragons / Pleasantly Surprised
4. The Wolfhounds / Feeling So Strange Again
5. The Bodines / Therese
6. Mighty Mighty / Law
7. Stump / Buffalo
8. Bogshed / Run to the Temple
9. A Witness / Sharps And Sticks
10. The Pastels / Breaking Lines
11. The Age of Chance / From Now On This Will Be Your God
1. Shop Assistants / It’s Up To You
2. Close Lobsters / Firestation Towers
3. Miaow / Sport Most Royal
4. Half Man Half Buiscuit / I Hate Nerys Hughes
5. The Servants / Transparent
6. The MacKenzies / Big Jim(there’s No Pubs In Heaven)
7. Big Flame / New Way(Quick Wash And Brush Up…)
8. We’ve Got Fuzzbox… / Console Me
9. McCarthy / Celestial City
10. The Shrubs / Bullfighter Blues
11. The Wedding Present / This Boy Can Wait
…and not only that, but indie-mp3 then asked their readers to suggest tracks for a 2006 compliation – I suppose in a kind of 20 year anniversary celebration. You can download the compilation in a zip file from the article. It looks interesting. And now I should get back to work. Oh – but there is also a link to a great essay by Krister Bladh called Everything Went Pop! C-86 and more: a wave and its rise and fall.
I haven’t read it all yet, but it just intrigues me, as I had lots of these bands on mixtapes I would make – and still have Wedding Present, The Soup Dragons, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Pastels and McCarthy albums hanging around in storage. I was obsessed. The essay itself makes me wish I’d done musicology at uni. Sadly, I did journalism – and the only way I could figure out to get music into my honours thesis was to examine Australian independent music in the print media – I would much rather have done something like Everything Goes Pop!. This is not to say anything bad about Australian music, but the print media angle was yawnworthy.
UPDATE: a telephone call this afternoon. Mr H informs me that he has a veritable LIBRARY of NME compilations from the same era and that I can dub them all. He brought them all over from the UK when he moved here. Of course he did. M makes me throw all my old cassettes on to the Korrumburra Tip because we’re moving to a terrace in Seddon, Mr H brings all his across great oceans and still has them in his garage. We were obviously destined to conspire.
Friday, 27 July 2007
Just because I’m not drinking doesn’t mean I can’t be stupid. Instead of kicking D’s butt last night, I made him muppet with me.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Small Z, among her other fascinations, loves bees. She says, “Bzzzz! Bees! Tick-ling flower for pollen! Taking honey to the hive!!’
Two of her favourite songs are bee related – Doing It – sung by Justine Clarke, where she starts ‘There’s a bumble bee, a honey bee. Gettin’ the honey for you and me. Doin’ it doin’ it – doin’ it doin’ it. Buzzing around – helping the garden grow…
The other favourite is Ralph Covert’s song Honey for the Bears where it goes, ‘There was honey in my mouth, honey my hair, honey for the bees and honey…for the bears.’ Anyway, we were at the supermarket the other day and I needed to buy some more honey. I saw this Beechworth honey with honeycomb in it, and thought it would be cool for Small Z to be able to see some of the stuff that is usually inside the hive.
Like she cares. And now I’m so perplexed. Am I deluded? What is the point of putting honeycomb in with the honey? Does it make it taste better? Does it add anything other than quirk factor? Does it just mean that less honey goes into the jar? Help me people, because I’m sitting here with waxy crud floating in my tea. Maybe I should just be putting it on toast…
Ah. All this talk of honeybees led me to have a nostalgic listen to this – ‘Honeybee‘ a song all about when I first met M…with one of my favourite basslines… On reflection, I think it should probably have been called Honey Be.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Our trip to Maldon was great. The weather was HOT! It was a shock, as there was no gradual ascent to the heat, it just jumped from weeks of average-ish spring temperatures with lots of rain, to three days of about 30 degrees.
We and our lovely camping companions had a good time, although we didn’t get to see as much music as I had hoped. I felt evilly thwarted when we made the effort to get to the Anglican Church on Sunday morning (I should have realised, right?) in response to an advertisement at a few places of acapella. So we showed up. And it was hymns. One at a time. Punctuated by god-speak. A less stupid person would have been unsurprised (that was E and M). M and I left, taking Small Z, who kept being ‘shooshed’ by devout looking people as she kept shouting ‘Mooosic? Where moosic?! DANCE! DANCE!!’
We tried again later in the day. Same venue. This time accompanied by Mr H & Son. It had been advertised as a gospel concert. WRONG! We tried to join in, but Mr H was rendered insensible by myself on one side hissing “Are we supposed to be singing ‘Bringing in the sheep’? or ‘Bringing in the cheese?’” and Jack (aged 8) on the other, asking, “Are we supposed to be singing ‘Bringing in the sheets?’” When he could speak, he told us heathens that it was ‘Bringing in the sheaves’ – a hymn that Wikipedia now informs me ‘is a popular hymn used almost exclusively by Protestant Christians’ – inspired by Psalm 126.6 – we left shortly afterward.
But aside from the above two paragraphs, the music we glimpsed was excellent, and it was great just to hang out with some other people and their small person for three days. It was good to just be AWAY. We got to tour the home of their friends who live locally and marvel at their chickens, their garden and their lifestyle in general. We attended several cafes and enjoyed kicking back in the late Sunday afternoon shade at the main stage. Beer was drunk, toddler tantrums were refereed and there was bushdancing (where there was also some impromptu napping)…
Each time we’ve been to Maldon M and I have delayed our return home by at least a day. This time we did it with E, D and Small E. We aimed for Malmsbury, but there was nowhere to camp – though we all could have camped in the bakery for a considerable time – the pies and custard tarts were delectable! On the advice of the girl who worked in the bakery we headed for Kyneton, where the caravan park adjoins both the botanical gardens and the river. Divine.
It balmed my soul to spend a night surrounded by greenery instead of dusty hot bushland (sorry Maldon). We drank gin and tonics into the night, and probably for this reason, E and I had good sleeps. If I had known what I was going to have for breakfast I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at all – I would have lain there wide eyed in anticipation.
On a slight tangent, I had read in Epicure a few weeks ago about the foodies street in Kyenton – Piper Street. So, on the morning of Melbourne Cup Day, that’s where we headed, fingers crossed that somewhere would be open. Ladel was open, but they don’t do breakfast. Very kindly, they pointed us in the direction of Slow Living.
Oh. My. God. Let it be known that this is the site of the best breakfast I have EVER had. (Are you paying attention, foody cousin?) It was nothing grand. It was entirely organic. It was two poached eggs, happy bacon, chunky heavy rye, two tomatoes, some spinach. Am kicking myself for not taking photograph of it. It was expensive, as cafe breakfasts go, and it was worth every single cent.
Friday, 25 December 2009
Have eaten my bodyweight in mussels, and added in a glass of white and six oysters. It’s all good here. Low key and lovely. I found this track while cleaning out the shed the other day – Bidston Moss doing Six White Boomers, a Rolf Harris classic.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
I haven’t left this side of town for what seems like an a-g-e. Yesterday, this changed. M, Small Z and I drove into Northcote in the morning, and were gratified to discover that it took exactly an hour. An HOUR! An hour to civilisation, trams, coffee, chai made with leaves and hot milk, and…our actual destination. The first Sleepers Publishing CryBaby Salon.
I was glad to have had M there acting as my Manny, as I doubt Small Z would have stayed in the toddlers room for the entire session on her own. As it was, I was practically the only person in the room without an incy-wincy baby draped over me or crawling at my feet. Lawrie Steed interviewed Rachel Power, author of The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood – a book I would have bought except for a cash deficit. Am now going to request it for birthday.
There was much discussion over the guilt involved with trying to pursue your artistic endeavours while still feeling like a worthwhile mother. A few times it was suggested that you have to try hard to just down tools, put your partner in charge, shove the expressed breastmilk in the fridge and JUST LEAVE. Something I have whole-heartedly aspired to, but am really really not good at doing. In question time I wanted to ask…but what about those mothers who have babies that don’t sleep without being breastfed and who won’t take a bottle? The sleep deprivation and the sheer brain deadening fatigue?! What do they do?!!
I think the response would have been ‘do whatever you can’. If you can grab 30 minutes a day to write or dance or paint, just do it. It’s good enough. It’s better than nothing. And it’s no crime that if, when those 30 minutes are there for the taking, all you can do is slump with a few chocolate biscuits and a cup of tea. Things will always improve.
I wondered also about the levels of difficulty – if you have come up with a non-fiction topic that you can focus on and research – is that easier or harder than writing fiction? Does the time you lack for contemplation weigh equally heavily on the fiction writer and the painter and the dancer? I suppose it all depends on the person, and what you allow yourself to do. Time to immerse yourself in your chosen artform shouldn’t feel like an indulgence, and shouldn’t feel like you are doing it at the expense of something else…the washing, the dinner… It’s this hardwired, burnt-chop mother thing that I think a lot of people identified with yesterday – the ongoing struggle to separate yourself as artist and mother.
And as Rachel Power said – the triumvirate of art, motherhood and WORK is the real killer. She spoke about the harmony that can come of the motherhood and art combination. When work is thrown into the mix, that’s the thing that sends it all off key. Just thinking about this makes me want to go and buy a Powerball ticket…
After visiting the nasally impaired, but mending Dr of Grass, we took the scenic route to Carlton via Coburg as Small Z slumbered in the back. And then moseyed on down to the front of the State Library for the Save Live Australian Music protest rally, where we met LIBRARYMAN (aka Mr H in work attire) and marched from there, through the city, and up Bourke Street to Parliament House. It was fabuloso!!
At the end, after a rousing rendition of ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top if you want to ROCK & ROLL’, there was a little too much speechifying – a great deal of which was generally indistinct to those further back in the crowd. I think they should have got people up to make a few pithy statements, got ‘em off, and had a few more songs. But, whatever… We took our leave with the hungry small one, and headed home after a stop for lemon lime and bitters, some spuds and some pesto bread.
Note Small Z on M’s shoulders to left of banner…
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Yesterday Small Z was in and out while I tried to work. She sang me a song she had made up, accompanying herself with Jeff Beck-like virtuosity on the guitar…
There’s no thunder again…
It started raining, started raining…
It started raining, started raining…
It started raining, started raining…
[fiddles with instrument *tuning*]
And the rain started pittering pattering
Down on the other tigers and ligers
And it started thundering again
And I went through the tiger door again*
[B: That's a pretty good song!
She comes back for the encore...]
[* the 'tiger door' is the cat flap in our back door]
Other favourites on our YouTube playlist are…
Sunday, 18 April 2010
An impromptu caravan trip yesterday afternoon after encouragement from L&D saw me waking as it got light this morning…
I’d thought I’d had my last swim two weeks back, but not so! I jumped in yesterday. it was divine. Cold. But divine.
And after a tanty-filled drive from Hastings to Oakleigh this afternoon we got to the RSL, met up with D, E and Small E to see the Little Stevies. They were great. Small Z insisted on me dancing in the ‘new boots’ and was thrilled by the music. We discovered that out of everyone in Melbourne, D&E had beat us on a particular single bed with a trundle on eBay…we bought a little hook on high chair from the same seller. So we both met the family in Ringwood who was flogging off some kid-stuff. Bizarre.
Here’s the current favourite Little Stevies track of Small Z and I…
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Tonight, had teleporting been invented as it should have been by this point, I would be at the Corner Hotel at the launch of Sally Seltmann’s album Heart That’s Pounding.
Small Brother gifted me the cd for my birthday and it’s been on high rotation ever since. It’s lovely. I had thought, while listening to it, that many of the lyrics sounded like she was talking about an unborn baby and the feelings that go along with that. Today I read that she had a baby in the same year that Small Z was born – 2008.
We went for a chat with the midwife today and listened to Pikelet’s little heart drumming along, and I thought of course. That’s what she is singing about… you’re the harmony to my heartbeat, baby…. It’s the perfect pregnancy pop album. It’s here.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
This weekend had is hit and miss aspects. We are now all sick with the same hideous bug, to different degrees of despondency. M has had it the worst and the longest, Small Z has a recurring fever, horrible hacking cough and a nose that explodes at regular intervals. Me? I’m just going with the cough and the very snuffly nose.
Because Small Z seems to come good for several hours during the day we have gathered false confidence on both days this weekend and gone out. Yesterday we arranged to meet D&E and Small E at an hysterically bizarre venue – Selandra Rise. A property development site. Why? Purely because The Mudcakes were playing. For free. And it was basically halfway between our two houses.
Despite the Bureau of Meteorology being an organisation known for its incredibly precise predictions (yes, that is sarcasm) the day was vile. A steady, unrelenting drizzle greeted us… and the 50 or so other people who attended. Obviously the organisers had counted on having a slightly better turn out – there were multiple stalls, food, a petting zoo full of ‘baby’ animals that were so young that some of them were basically still in utero, and plenty of be-suited people with shiny white teeth spruiking the house and land packages.
The ‘MC’ for the day, who stood bravely in front of the stage in his suit with his cordless microphone, appeared very savvy, except for several references to the upcoming performance of ‘The Mudrock Kids’ and his suggestions ‘for the guys out there to get on over to the tradies area where you can talk to real-life tradies and find out about becoming one’. Yeah. That’s right. Because female tradies? That’s just weird.
The Mudcakes were great, despite the rain and the fact that most people stood about 50 metres away from them in order to stay dry. Small E got up on stage and accompanied them on bongos while M and Small Z danced at their feet. However, about an hour after that Small Z faded rapidly and we had to bail. Each time I see E lately I think (and it’s very possible) that next time I see her she’ll have a newborn. Oh. My. GOD. And then I panic and try to arrange to see her ‘just one more time’…
This morning, the weather was so beautiful that staying home felt too hard. We went out on the trimaran, arriving a bit early and having to wait for about 40 minutes for the tide to lift us off the mud. It was excellent to be out even though we just stayed on the creek. We did some motoring and some gorgeous quiet rippley sailing with just the jib up. Anchored just past the Warneet pier and had copious cups of tea for an hour or two.
We then pulled up at the pier, and I was thankful that M has had several solo manly adventures which have enabled him to be very good at pulling up alongside such structures without any assistance as I am both not very mobile or good at balancing at the moment. We wandered up to the park and Small Z had a brief swing before we headed back out – racing the tide to get back home. It sunshowered…
That was when Small Z suddenly hit the end of her rope and demanded I cuddle her. She then fell asleep for about an hour while M secured the boat and made hot drinks. If you are unaware, she never ‘falls’ asleep, no matter what her exhaustion level, so we figured her fever was kicking back in. The drive home was fairly dire, but it was still worth it – feeling crap on the boat was far better than feeling crap at home.
We have finished off our evening with M cooking an awesome roast chicken and his new amazing baked spuds – the secret of which is semolina used in a way he won’t divulge – and some stewed rhubarb. Judging from M’s ongoing symptoms, we are all going to be under the weather for the next few days at least. Better now than in six weeks time…
Friday, 27 August 2010
So today I got a letter in the post from HSBC that made me want to cry. I have been making a little bit of extra money selling off Small Z’s old nappies and using the funds to buy newborn sized ones for Pikelet. The other day I bought something for $20 via PayPal, and didn’t notice that it was going to take the funds from my HSBC account…where there were none.
Obviously, as there was not $20 in there, PayPal took it from my other back-up account. But did that stop HSBC charging me THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS for the privilege of PayPal having merely attempt to access my non-existent funds? No. And how much was my profit on the last four nappies I sold? Thirty-five dollars.
Surely the ACCC need to get on to this open and systematic rorting… there is no explanation that could justify trying to extract $35 for a process entirely untouched by human hands – except the quest for raw and desperate profit. I know this is old. I have ranted before…
“I am a fan of jangle-pop bands like Bidston Moss, Underground Lovers, Ross McLennan and Snout,” he says.
YAH!!! Someone remembers Bidston Moss!! I got a warm fuzzy glow that almost wiped all memory of HSBC, and what I would like to do to them, from my mind. I told Mung to send Adam Bandt our entire, far reaching, world changing, life altering back catalogue gratis… Hooray! What can I say? It just confirms I voted correctly…
Thursday, 10 March 2011
When I was around five or six years old I began having piano lessons. My grandma donated some money to buy a piano that I could practice on. My mum told me that she and my teacher went to a lot of different places looking for a good second hand piano until they finally found one. It’s an old, very heavy upright piano.
I have memories of getting in the car with my mother after school when I was in about grade one or grade 2 and driving with her to somewhere out the back of Cheltenham for my lessons. I think I was about five. I was studying the Suzuki method. This involved listening to tapes of piano pieces at night as I was going to sleep and playing them on piano by ear (after I’d woken up, obviously). There was no reading of any music.
I remember that I found it not too difficult to play songs by ear. I also have memories of playing at my first and only concert. I was so small that my mum had to come up on stage with me and sit there and facilitate while I played the seminal tune ‘Froggy Froggy Jump Jump’. I remember being so small and so scared that it probably put me off performing for another 20 years.
After a while SWWNBB also began having lessons, but for some reason she did not have Suzuki but instead was taught to sight read music. Small Brother did this as well. We had a few teachers, the final one being Mr Pearl – he was into boogie-woogie and popular tunes. Our TV time was somewhat limited – Mr Pearl had trouble believing I had never heard the theme to ‘Cheers’.
I always found it very difficult to play with my eyes in control rather than my ears. It ended up that I would usually play with a mix of both. However, I never really got the hang of sight reading for the left-hand and now just sight read for the right and jam in the appropriate chord with the left.
Of course, there is one exception. I had a huge crush on a boy at my high school who was about three years ahead of me. He could play an awesome version of ‘Jessica’s Theme’ from The Man from Snowy River. So I dedicated myself to learning it, left-hand notes and all, until I could play almost perfectly. I dreamt of the time when he would be walking past my house. His ears would twitch towards the sound of my flawless playing and I would draw him in, sirenlike… In reality I would just ride my bike past his house with my long-suffering friend L, hoping for a glimpse of him.
The point of this long-winded post is that 20 years after leaving the family home and the aforementioned piano in it, the piano has come to live with me! There is something that fills a little hole in my soul about having a piano in the house. I have barely had a chance to play and it’s been here almost a month. But it’s here, and that’s the main thing.
Big thanks to my mother who chipped in a chunk of money towards the piano moving fees involved in getting it here.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
I just made Pip’s Uber Famous Teriyaki Chicken. It was very delish. The recipe called for mirin and sake, neither of which I had on hand, but google told me that dry sherry would carry it through – so I sent M down to the bottleshop (a place with which he is not unfamiliar).
It turned out beautifully. And reminded me of my other favourite chicken dish which I may have mentioned on here before, but I am tired and can’t check, so I’ll just mention it again – Vietnamese Rice Bowl – a recipe I found quite by accident. It was so great that we ate it every week for a few months; and now have been ‘resting’ it. Over-indulgence. Gah.
I heard a lovely song today. And if I hadn’t spent so much on grocery shopping this week I would have chucked $18 and bought the album. It’ll keep. I found the song via Loobylu and it is Jonsi (from Sigur Ros) with a song called Go Do. You can stream the album here.
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Mission to Maldon was not a great success. In fact, I would sooner hit my thumb with a hammer than repeat the experience. I can already feel M steaming gently at my negativity. Stop please!
There were great bits of course. Catching up with our lovely friends, going bushdancing (Small Z commented afterward, “But why didn’t we dance in the bush?” And she meant ‘bush’, singular. Ha!) dancing at the main stages – particularly to the Woo Hoo Revue and to Bluestone Junction, holding snakes with Small Z at the market, eating sausages in bread, singing on the bus, enjoying a quiet cup of tea with E while both our babies slept… and having a pint of Guiness and an egg and bacon roll at the Kangaroo Hotel while Small Z met some Morris Dancers and the front bar was awash in a Saturday session.
But the workload, for me, just felt epic. Small DB slept very badly on Saturday and Sunday nights, as she didn’t sleep enough during the day. It seemed like each time she awoke, I’d just lapsed into sleep. And repeat, and repeat. Sunday night I lay there seething, cursing my situation, the stupidity of spending money on tickets when, out of all the bands, all weekend, I only saw four. The endless, endless baby wrangling, the lateness of getting the Smalls to bed leaving me to go to bed as well – no staying up for post-dinner chatting. Generally feeling sorry for myself and blowing things out of proportion.
In retrospect I wish we had camped or stayed in town and just wandered around seeing all the amazing musicians who just play on the street and in the pubs. It would have been quieter at night, I wouldn’t have had to yell out the window at 2am at a guy standing two feet away about to orate or urinate. Or both. I would have been less stressed because I wouldn’t have been able to hear all the sounds of what I was missing out on from the music tents.
It felt ceaseless. And the thought of taking Small DB on trains for three hours on Monday dragged at me. She’s hitting that point where she just wants to WALK – even though she can’t. I had dreamed of spending our last night in Daylesford here but it was too hard to sort it.
We spent our last proper festival day dancing at the Main Stage. Small DB LOVES dancing – at any snatch of song she starts bobbing up and down, so to have a live bluegrass band…she was in heaven. She demanded that someone dance with her. E, M, Small Z and I all obliged her. She eventually (and this is unheard of) fell asleep mid-song, and stayed that way all the way up to the caravan, in the swingseat, and only stirred when I put her into bed.
I don’t know what it is at the moment with Small DB, she’s returned to despising the car. This is how I found myself with her going from Glen Waverley (the point at which no one could take the screaming anymore) to Castlemaine by rail on Friday, and from Castlemaine to Hastings (yay! a three and a half hour three-train trip! with a baby that only wants to walk but can’t!! are you thrilled yet??! that’s right- three. different. trains.) Of course, it’s probably lucky she’s not yet walking, as chasing her would have been even more tortuous…
Reading my first paragraph (written on the train while Small DB slept in the sling…yes, she did sleep for a good chunk of the train thing, or I would have jumped on to the tracks) it seems a but harsh – but that’s how I felt at the time. I am feeling a lot better now, but I won’t be doing it next year. I really won’t.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
We started a list the other day of Small DB’s words. It’s a little bit of a useless exercise as she’s gaining more every day, but it was nice to begin when we did – capturing her first twenty or so words. The more we wrote down, the more we realised she had! Without further ado:
Balloon (it’s not crystal clear, but, yunno)
Nunga (our word for stewed fruit…)
After we did this the other day M then sought out something he remembered blogging long ago – Small Z’s first words. Now I thought that Small DB had more than Small Z ever did at the same age, but – as has happened many times before – sleep deprivation has killed my memory – Small Z had a billion words as well as songs.
In my opinion, Small DB is easily as sharp as Small Z was at that age – but have we been playing her those kids cds with the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ on them or reading to her quite as much? Nope – because time is tighter and I, almost impossibly, am more tired. But that said, she does have more relaxed parents AND a big sister to emulate – so it all pans out in the end.
And speaking of kids music – a great post over at Owlet where she’s linked to a gorgeous video about the making of Laura Veirs’ album for children. I was only listening to her Carbon Glacier album last week and realising I’d missed it! But this – this is so fantastic!! Somehow it is going to make its way into our home to see in the coming year…
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Today I walked out the back door and all the way to the bottom of the garden. I was tempted to howl at the sky, but instead stuck my fingers in my ears and lay on the lawn, feet to the fence. I could still hear them screaming from the house. I breathed in and out slowly and counted until I felt that I was not going to combust into a thousand shards of frustration. And went back inside.
Things feel harder than they should be. I am frustrated, tired by the latest teething sleep deprivation, guilty about not writing, not swimming, not stretching. I am stifled by all I feel that I cannot say in these pages – and puzzled as to how those bloggers I love to follow, the ones that let it all hang out, don’t have the same issues or self-censorship…
Today was too hard. I got two hours of work done having already invoiced for six. Thus, I will be trying to squash in ten to twelve hours on Saturday when M is on kid-duty. Fatigue is fragmenting my brain and I am almost incapable of concentrating for more than a few minutes at a time. I did not feel that I would emerge from my pity-party tonight, but M came home while the Smalls were still awake. Did the stories, took the other for walks and got it to sleep. And told me that my favourite mid-1990′s band from Leeds – The Wedding Present – were touring here in April for the first time ever. “You have to go,” he said.
I cast the impenetrable logistics from my head and bought a ticket. I will go. I am going. And today is suddenly brilliantly better.
Monday, 6 February 2012
Forgive me the dinosauring. I was so excited today…I had told Small Z a few days ago about a little girl I saw singing with her dad on YouTube. I told her that she should sing a song with me. Naturally, the topic was prehistoric. I started a rhythm, she did the words/meloday. We did it once. Stopped and wrote the words down. And then filmed it. Here it is.
I love it! But I love her more…
T-Rex, I’m a tyrannosaurus
I’m the biggest carnivore,
In the cretaceous forest.
Gonna grow some giant legs,
Gonna grow some enormous feet,
Gonna stomp around and eat and eat and EAT
Monday, 16 April 2012
On Saturday night I saw a band I have waited to see for about 23 years. The Wedding Present. To put it in perspective, the majority of their releases that I own…are on vinyl. I went at the urging of M. We took the caravan to Mung’s house in Northcote. Stuck it under his carport. Spent the day getting some inner-city vibe. More of that in another post.
Mung and I left M with his beer, a book and the sleeping Smalls at about 10.45pm. We headed to the Northcote Social Club. My insides felt fizzy. It was more than a bit strange. I suppose it must be a bit like coming back to your old stamping ground after living overseas for a few years.
most all of my twenties in pubs around Melbourne seeing bands, playing in a band, writing gig reviews and hanging about in pubs. Since disappearing to Queensland in 2003, I have done very little of that. Since having Small Z in 2008, I haven’t done it at all. Zip. Zero. Zilch. My priorities have radically changed.
I walked into the Northcote Social Club on Saturday night, sadly having missed Last Leaves, and felt not only like I was time travelling, but that I was stuck between two worlds. Everything was the same, but everything was different. I saw faces that I hadn’t seen for ten years. There was no cigarette smoke, which part of me still expected. There was a buzz in the room. People were nattering. I had a quiet shandy and looked at everything.
The Wedding Present tragics stood out in that way that slightly unhinged people do. They hadn’t come to chat. They’d Come To See The Band. And were fidgeting nervously like they expected it still might not actually happen. I may have been one of them.
And of course there were the two or three dickhead fans – the ones that yelled conversationally at the band during breaks between songs as the rest of the room cringed. The one who shoved her way to the front so hard that someone was knocked over. The ones that, for the most part, David Gedge studiously ignored.
How I wish I had a setlist*. They played their 1991 album Seamonsters in its entirety. From the first track to the last. DG explained that, whether it sounded pretentious or not, he wasn’t going to speak between the songs because it disturbed the flow. It was the right decision.
Before embarking on Seamonsters they cranked out, among others, My Favourite Dress and Brassneck. I was in h-e-a-v-e-n. It’s been exactly five years since I’ve been to a gig where I’ve jumped up and down with a grin that went to the back of my head. (That, if you were wondering, was the Pixies – at the Palace – 28 March 2007. Blew my mind.)
The sound was great. I don’t know who was mixing them, but it was almost perfect. The bass was up. The distortion was chunky. The lead guitar jangled and seethed. DG’s strumming was frequently a visual blur and he switched between an Epiphone and some Fendery looking guitar. (Actually, some digging around shows me it was an Ibanez Artist.)
I had no preconceptions as to what DG would be like live. He was FAR more expressive than I had ever imagined. Yes, he was spitting out (in some cases 27 year) old lyrics, but it still looked and sounded like he meant them. Guitar-wise, Heather was one of my highlights. I am not kidding, I was mid-swoon with the feedbacky drone at the beginning…
Jumping up and down riotously when one is fully of shandy and has had two children is a slightly damper experience than one might have had five years previously – but that was fine because one refrained from throwing one’s knickers at the band. Just.
They played for about ninety sweat soaked minutes. The band was tight and uniformly good looking. Which always helps. Mung said that he thought there was remarkably little interaction between any of them, but I dispute that. They were there to interact musically, not to swap witticisms. They played a few tracks from the new EP Valentina which were great. I’m not familiar with their more recent albums (one in 2005 and another in 2008) but I don’t think there were many, if any, tracks from those.
The Wedding Present don’t do encores. This was fine – for me the whole show was an encore. I was buzzing to have actually seen them. On the way out we saw my former housemate from 1991, who marvelled that we’d finally got to see the band on the records we used to play back in Autumn Street in Geelong West.
Hooray to Lost and Lonesome for getting them out here – it was about time! My heart is happy
* Setlist is here…
Thanks so much @mediamook!
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
What a difference a year makes. I haven’t gone back and read (what I recall to be) my anguished post from this time last year. When we went to the Maldon Folk Festival and I felt like I spent the whole time getting Small DB to sleep. I could’ve been any-bloody-where. Saw no music and paid $100 for the privilege.
This year – SO. MUCH. BETTER. It’s nice, in a way, to have last year to measure it against. I’d obviously put the fear of god into M, who asked me to be very clear about our division of child labour this time. It worked out well…
We left early and drove into the city with the caravan in tow. Small Z and M dropped myself and Small DB at Southern Cross Station to catch the 11.15am train. I had learnt my lesson from last year – one hour is the maximum Small DB will tolerate in the car.
I love arriving in Castlemaine by train! Small DB and I took ourselves out to lunch and then hooked up with our other halves… The sky was blue…
We made it to the Restorer’s Barn – a gorgeous mecca of wonder for anyone into vintage decor! I needed hinges for cupboards in my caravan. Success!!!
Couldn’t find any matching handles though, so I need to do more thinking in that regard.
Small DB fell asleep on M as we walked back toward the car.
He’d left the rig parked very picturesquely…
Maldon is only about fifteen minutes, if that, from Castlemaine. So Small DB slumbered on as M and I dicked around trying to find a campsite at the festival…too slopey…too uneven…not enough room for our friends…too near the road… Eventually an older couple took pity on us and told us to occupy the flat space in front of their van. We did.
E and D arrived with their Smalls a bit later on.
The Smalls all ate dinner together in the caravan. Cute.
I even got away with E one evening for an hour or so and saw an reunited acapella band from the 1990s – Salvation Jane – do a show in the Anglican Church. We had also managed to do a harmony workshop with them earlier in the day…. I lost my voice for two days after that effort…
Going out at night and doing something fun? Unheard of. This is largely due to the way I have parented my kids – Small DB still needs me at night to go to sleep. But I can see (clearly now the rain has gone…) that this is probably only going to continue for another four months or so. The mind boggles…
We camped for three nights at the festival, and at about 8pm on two of those nights the four Smalls were dancing down the front of the stage in the Guiness Tent to whoever was playing. Small Z was busting her moves and Small DB was just joyous – she was thrilled by the whole situation. Ice-cream was a big feature for the Smalls…
We had a swing hanging from a tree at the campsite that garnered a lot of attention. It was lovely to spend a few days with our friends, rather than a few hours, as is our norm. Our Smalls are both only weeks apart in age, and E and I have been pregnant in tandem twice. Not this time!! She is round and beautiful and has about six weeks to go…
We all went our separate ways during Sunday. I walked into town under a deliciously warm sun with Small DB asleep in the pram. I went to Penny School and saw two different bands…and had a short nap on the grass outside before treating myself to a truly excellent iced coffee…
…and then I was discovered by M and Small Z…a lovely entrance!
On reflection, I don’t think I actually really relaxed until I’d had that time on my own. Something in me shifted down a gear or two from the frenetic pace of working two days off the back of two sick Smalls and then packing like a fiend the day before we left… I felt better…slower…
Unlike last year, we spent almost zero time at the Main Stage on the last day, which was good. It was too hot, too dusty, and there were other things on that we were all keen to see. We wandered around together on the last night of the festival in between the two main performance tents and the kids got another dance in…
Sunday night – the other Smalls were struck by the vomit-bug that Small DB had had the previous weekend. I couldn’t believe we could have still been infectious…but that put an end to the plans we had to stay an extra night in Daylesford together. They headed home.
We had hoped (as we had last year) to go back to Jubilee Lake…but it was booked out. We were going to go to the other Daylesford campground…but scored a better offer from the Awesomely Awesome Tania and Adam…
The latter is someone from my long ago childhood – we have done many camping trips together when under the age of eleven or so… Unfortunately I barely saw him – I thought he had the next day off work and went to bed early with the Smalls, expecting to see him in the morning… Whoops! Sorry Adam!! You’ll have to invite us back
We did get to hang out with lovely Tania though – she appears to be (like M) part Labrador…knows everyone and what’s going on around and about… She gave us a great tour around town and also showed us their block of land with the frame of their new house in place. Ohhhh – I covet a strawbale house!! Meanwhile…Small Z and her new best friend climbed dirt piles…and trampolined…
By the end of our visit, M, who would never previously consider living in Dayleford, was actually wavering (nicely done, Tania!)…
We drove toward home in a hopeful frame of mind…but the screamfest kicked in around Bacchus Marsh and M (who I have since discovered tempts her into the pram with promises of lollipops – I wondered why I never had much luck in this regard) put Small DB in the pram and got her to sleep. Stuffed her back in the car, still sleeping, and Oh. My. GOD! We made it all the way home. I was so glad not to have to get back on the train…
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Just for posterity here are a few little videos. The first is Small DB showing me how she whistles and throwing in a pop-culture reference to the first song she ever wrote called ‘Butter, Butter, Butter’. And once you’ve learnt the title, you’ve learnt the whole thing… Note her shrieking CHEESE! at the start because she thinks I’m taking her photograph…
And the following is over a minute long, where Small DB demonstrates her guitar chops and her in-depth lyrics. She’s just one month older than Small Z was when I filmed her performing her own seminal tune, ‘It Started Raining…’
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
I got home after 7pm last night and was sitting forlornly, listening to “My Favourite Dress” by The Wedding Present – who were playing the first date of their second Australian tour last night. I had hoped to go but was defeated by circumstance, logistics and weariness.
“What time are they on?” asked M.
“If you go now you’ll just make it…I’ll mind the kids, go! Go! GO!!”
I went. Walked in the door as they cracked out the first chords and spent a happy hour getting utterly sweat-soaked. The band was so tight – the mix was FANTASTIC.
The pub abounded, once more, with the old-school nerdy types. There were grey-hairs. It was all comforting. The Wedding Present crank out such good stuff that it obviously transcends generations. I’m sticking myself in there with the old-school nerdys – most of my Wedding Present is on vinyl…
Mr David Gedge. Somewhat deprecating about the sameness of the tracks on George Best – more than 20 years old and full of crunch and swagger. He joked that you could play the same bassline to any of them…and got off very lightly…
They didn’t begin with George Best playlist, but slipped in a few tracks at the top of the setlist. They played ‘Heather’ – a favourite, and the crowd swooned along to it. There was also “Deer Cought in the Headlights” from Valentina, the album from 2012, which was one of the highlights of the night.
There were cheers as they began the album playlist with “Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft” but this, in my opinion, was eclipsed by “What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?”
“A Million Miles” was a mess of jangled pop. Guitars were swapped frequently (the Gibson for the other one and back again and back again) and a guitar string snapped under the pressure of “All This And More”. “My Favourite Dress” was rightly revered.
There is a thill about hearing a band crank out their songs with slightly obsessive vigour. The fact they were written twenty years prior didn’t matter. Gedge lamented the speed of “Shatner” – “What was I thinking?” he moaned, “It would have been just as good at half the speed.” He played it at full-tilt regardless – the fastest song on the album.
The sound was truly spot on. And this is where I pull in a comparison and say, like the Pixies, there is nothing redundant in The Wedding Present. There is no excess. They need every instrument they have, and nothing more – so they are t-i-g-h-t. The bass, the drums, the lead guitar and the Gedge – with his expositional hands and savage guitar work. The room was hot, and the band would have been melting – but, having come off the plane from the UK the previous day, they kept quaffing bottles of water and cooking their magic. The only bit I felt was missing was some female vocals…
“It’s What You Want That Matters” was a dream, with the bass at the beginning all alone and then being offset by the guitar riff. “You Can Moan Can’t You” was another standout. There’s something potent about being squished into a room with people all loving the same thing. They finished the night with “Brassneck” – an absolute pearler – and I don’t use that term lightly. Come back and do Bizarro!
Monday, 22 April 2013
This morning gave me hope for the trip I am going to take, on my own, with the Smalls next week. I do a lot of solo-wrangling, but I’ve never flown with them on my own. I am excited, and while I’m not anxious, I am keen to have it go smoothly…thus I am musing on snacks, activities, books to put on my Kindle and the easiest bags to take (we’re doing carry on only).
I saw a physiotherapist this morning. For three years I’ve been living here and I didn’t realise I could get access to a council subsidised treatment. WTF?! It costs NINE DOLLARS a session. And she was good. And Scottish – an added bonus
I asked the Smalls to pack their own bags before we left. Small DB needed some help and last minute additions. She had dressed like a gypsy, and Small Z was a fairy. And that was fine…
She is delicious…
I was with the physio for easily 40 minutes, and the Smalls played beautifully on the floor. It was one of those situations where the person I was seeing did not have kids of her own, so did not truly appreciate the magical nature of an almost uninterupted appointment. (I had learnt my lesson last week when I dragged them to a dietician appointment that I’d almost forgotten about…with only my phone for amusement.)
At one point Small Z said, in shocked tones, “Mama! Daisy didn’t put her knickers on. She’s wearing nothing.” I eyerolled and the physio pretended she didn’t hear. They made paper boats and drawings…it gave me confidence about our upcoming journey.
Oh – and I’ve heard it on the radio twice in the past week…an aching version of ‘Leaving On a Jetplane’ by My Morning Jacket. Check it out – it’s gorgeous…
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Reading back on last years post – it is so bouncy! Maybe I did have more fun that I remember – but I did gloss over the difficulties. This year was a massive improvement. Older kids, no napping, a great campsite – and a few extra kids thrown into the mix for Sunday and Monday (thanks Mung!)
We began our journey with bowls of chips at The Local – didn’t get away until 1pm, but it worked well that way as (OMG!) Small DB slept in the car for a Large Chunk Of Time. Only someone who has read the experiences of the past two years will truly appreciate that as the miracle that it is.
We had brought lots of sausages and pre-cooked a curry. Food became easy! I tried to avoid the unavoidable (eating at cafes) to save money. We did all our regular activities – the market at the primary school, the bushdance in the afternoon. The Smalls all got on so beautifully. Small Z and Small E really got a thing going, telling each other complicated stories and trying to gross each other out…
Late on Sunday morning Small DB and I set off to the harmony workshop in one of the churches in town. We had a nice little outing together. There are shuttle buses that run from the festival site into town every twenty minutes or so, and it makes it so easy to get around.
The harmony workshop was awesome. Haphazard, and in need of lyric sheets, but awesome nonetheless. It was run by two women from The Junes – who we saw play on the main stage later in the afternoon. This is from their 2009 album. I wish their current one was on their site!
The little ones hung in there but toward the end of the hour they started to get a bit fractious – I remembered I had dinosaur stickers in my bag and that bought us peace for the final ten minutes.
Click this —> Harmony Workshop Practice to hear some of our efforts
On the Monday we slowly packed up camp and headed to Daylesford via Castlemaine…a whole ‘nother post…