Friday, May 29, 2009

Thought Slide #1

Run away with me? We will go to a place where statues keep bears and cobblestones lead the way to hidden forests and golden towers . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Old Man River = tops

grainy mobile phone shot, apologies

Let me start by saying that Ohad Rein and his band are - in the words of Derek Zoolander - incredibly, incredibly good looking. The fact that they smile a lot, make beautiful music and are excellent musicians also contributes to me rating Old Man River (OMR from now on for the sake of preventing RSI) as an all round tops band.

I caught their show last night upstairs at the Beach Rd Hotel (God bless the Beachie for putting on great shows every week for freeeeeeee) and considering the only songs that I knew were the obvious hits, Sunshine and La, I was surprised that I was able to sing along to most of the songs with the rest of the crowd. Such is Rein’s pop sensibility; though he uses exotic instruments (most notably the sitar) and is heavily influenced by Indian music, his song writing is so solid and his songs so laden with hooks that one can join in before the first chorus is even half way through. Upon closer listening though, OMR use a lot of interesting harmonics and breakdowns and I get the impression that I’ll need to a) buy the album, and b) have it on loop on my Ipod for a while to fully appreciate the songs with all their layers and carefully placed interludes.

Perhaps the best thing about the gig was all the infectious smiling going on. The songs are so uplifting, the harmonies so delicious, and the band members themselves clearly love what they do, so I suppose everyone couldn't help beaming at each other, at the band, and then at each other again. Apart from the distraction of the drunken twits ballroom dancing (wtf??) in front of the stage, I was completely wrapped up in OMR’s utterly delightful sing-a-long, and was quite disappointed when it ended. I shall now download the album and continue karaoke-styles in my bedroom . . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shout Out to my Ashun Browdas

Do the right thing: BE A MAN

Monday, May 25, 2009


If Whimsy were a woman she would be four and twenty.

Lithe and wan, open, delightful -

she would flick her hair, skip two steps and then

to entwine her fingers with those of her lover. She would stay in bed till four in the afternoon, she would sing, and her laughter would tinkle like a thousand tiny shards of glass.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's all in the LABEL

I went to see a band play the other night at Oxford Art Factory. No ordinary band mind you; in fact, they are quite an extraordinary group of individuals because the five members met at a centre for the disabled in Melbourne and are either blind, deaf, autistic or have Downs Syndrome. They’re a solid band (as any quick google search will attest), but I got there just in time for the last song so I’m in no position to bang on about that. What I want to talk about is a label.

A few days before this particular gig I was invited to come and see “a disabled band” play. Just like that. No mention of radio play, gigging background, genre, or any other defining elements, just a simple and effective label: “disabled band”. The label worked – my curiosity was piqued, I talked about it for the next few days, invited other friends down, and we all showed up to the gig. I was delighted to catch the last few minutes of these enthusiastic musos rocking out, lapping up the applause and posing for photos with fans afterward.

The next day I got to thinking. Would I have been as delighted for any other band of able-bodied 20-somethings? Would I have even bothered to turn up to a gig of some band I’d never heard of and whose music I didn’t know if they hadn’t been disabled? Maybe I just contributed a couple of little drops to the ocean of discrimination against people who have disabilities by treating them as a novelty act, rather than taking them seriously and enjoying their music just like I would the music of any other person.

It has to be acknowledged that getting a band up and running and on the road with a national tour is no small feat given their particular physical and mental disabilities, but I think that perhaps there is a thin line between giving due credit for triumphing over obstacles and identifying these people primarily by their setbacks. So, in the interest of tearing off the label that I over-zealously slapped on them last week, check out this video and make up your own mind about them . . .

Rudely Interrupted playing for the UN General Assembly 2006

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anna? Carine? I’ll take Karl.

Anna Wintour’s most recent interview with 60 Minutes* does nothing to dispel my long held view that she is hard, stiff, and bordering on safe (a dirty word in my fashion book). Wintour’s French envelope-pushing, Balmain wearing, eternally tanned counterpart Carine Roitfeld stomps all over her. The award for most entertaining/intriguing fashion figure, however, surely must go to none other than Karl Lagerfeld - writer, photographer, publisher and designer extraordinaire. As I am not eloquent enough to convey Lagerfeld’s brilliance in my own words, allow me to leave you with a collection of quotes uttered by the man himself . . .

"Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people... the worst is ugly, short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life... they are mean and they want to kill you." - 2003

"I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm" - 1984

"I eat next to nothing." - 2006

"I'm very impeccable and clean before I go to bed. It's just like right before I'm going out. When I was a child, my mother always told me that you could wake up in the middle of the night and be deathly sick, so you always have to be impeccable. I laugh about it now, but I think everyone should go to bed like they have a date at the door." - 2009

"I don't know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn't know who she is." - 2009

* To view Anna Wintour's full 60 Minutes interview, follow the link:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Forever the Motion

Kirin J. Callinan

Robyn Wilson

one helluva slinky

I first read the press release for Forever the Motion (held Sun night at the Black and Blue Gallery in Redfern) a couple of weeks ago and I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical. “An audio visual collaborative collision” was the tagline (padded out by some awfully nefarious sounding creative waffle), and I suspected that the show just may well be a lot of exquisitely packaged wank. Happily, I was proved to be a doubting Thomas.

Masterminded by Robyn Wilson, performance artist and director of creative studio View of Courage, Forever the Motion was more of an encounter for the audience than a show. The third floor warehouse gallery is a raw, intimate space (at capacity it holds just over 100 punters) and was, in itself, a part of the experience. High ceilings with open beams, clean walls, littered floor, random installation pieces (such as the collapsed yellow human-sized slinky in the hallway) and the resident cat taking a nap in the towel rack in the bathroom; to step into the gallery is to enter a curious world where the bizarre sits side by side with the ordinary in the most natural way (a natty foreshadowing of the performances to come).

First cab off the rank was Morning Stalker, a trio of musos wearing yellow rain ponchos and white masks. The visual was verging on comical at first (I’m guessing that wasn’t intended), but as the music began and images of rain on a foggy night and wraiths exploring the underworld were called forth, it was all eeriness. A crescendo of mournful, wailing vocals and noise brought the set to a close and, as every good warm up act ought, left the audience with its senses awakened and appetite whetted.

Probably better known as a member of Sydney indie-too-cool-for-school bands Mercy Arms, (now defunct apparently) and Fashion Launches Rocket Launches, Kirin J. Callinan was the second and, to my mind, the standout act. There those who, with their half-baked, contrived performances, fuel the popular misconception that “performance art” is the sport of lazy buggers and intellectual wankers - Callinan is not one them. His stunning musicianship is undeniable, his voice gnawing, soaring and poignant; he embodies some fantastical character as he two steps across the stage one moment and throws himself on his guitar with a violent spasm of noise the next. Perhaps what is most remarkable about Callinan as a performer is that he takes the odd, the utterly bizarre, and presents it with such ease and assuredness that one cannot help but find it all quite normal. A mystical, winged being singing of a teenage joyride; howling, writhing, attacking, and then breaking for some humorous banter with the audience; at once astonishing, delightful, accomplished and original.

And then finally Robyn Wilson. She doesn’t walk; she sways, she floats, and her eyelashes bat gently as if she’s allowing you insights into her soul one lingering glimpse at a time. In this fashion Wilson took to the stage to sweep us into her kaleidoscopic orbit, an audiovisual collision of shapes and patterns, whispers and wails, noise and harmony. Beset from early in the piece by technical difficulties, the performance fell short of conjuring the wonderment that it probably deserved, and it is to Wilson’s credit that she handled the interruptions with grace and composure. Technical issues aside, the audience was privy to beautifully crafted moments in time, each one unique, delicious, arresting.

All in all Forever the Motion was a marvelous piece of theatre, an array of sensory delights strung together with ingenuity and panache. A stunning evening - I look forward to the next one (keep tabs on for future performances).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

P. Whitehead, Champion of Bohemians

“Breeding without art, why that’s rape!”

P. Whitehead, Champion of Bohemians, expounding on the notion that ‘breeding’, in essence, encompasses all of the arts and therefore when a man says sex is his primary passion one may assume he is equally as passionate about literature, music, theatre, fine art or any other aspect of ‘the arts’.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

supercute superlovers

My first and most likely only outing in the pages of Japanese ElleGirl (top left).
Watashi wa nihongo ga suki desu.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An Oldie but a Goodie

My Granny is a lady and she is also a Lady (yup, she married a Sir). She’s always lived in ridiculous houses (in a good way. Like with maid’s quarters and a ballroom, orchards and even a dungeon.) She holds regular charity events in her gardens, prefers a set breakfast, and has a room in her current house which she affectionately calls the Vermeer Room (the walls of which are painted “Vermeer red” and are hung with copies of Vermeer works, painted by none other than the Lady herself. I kid you not.).

As a little tacker (and later, a bigger, back-chatting one) I didn’t think much of the Lady’s pomp and ceremony. I couldn’t see the point sprinkling salt on my dinner with a silver spoon from a silver dish when I could have just used a shaker, and I found the notion of serving a Charcoal Chicken family meal with a gravy boat and porcelain dishes utterly laughable. “Enough of this How Now Brown Cow business”, I thought - “Give me TV, Coco Pops from the box, and fish fingers.” The Lady, I figured, was stuck in a time warp - a time when men liked their women barefoot and pregnant and women preferred the men with bryll cream in their hair.

Nevertheless my twenties have brought about a change of heart. I still wouldn’t bother with the gravy boat but seeing as I’m older and wiser and fish fingers aren’t so appealing these days, I’m coming around to the idea that I’ve got more to learn from the Lady than I realised (after all we’re all doing the time warp again, and a Gen Y-er never misses an opportunity for introspection). I was so busy being narrow-minded 90s girl that I missed the point entirely - it’s the fuss and hooplah of etiquette that makes is so much damn fun. “Sugar? One lump or two? Allow me.” It’s a parade, a farce, a role-play of sorts. It’s considered, cultivated, executed for maximum effect. We all do it. These days perhaps less frequently and with less panache, but we all do it.

There’s also a lovely ‘others focussed’ bent to being awfully well mannered. The other day I called the Lady for a chat and she gave me the rundown of her week – a flower arranging demonstration for her church group, babysitting grandchildren, a visit to some old friends in a local Aged Home and a luncheon at her house for a group of ladies from a local home for the blind. She sits these blind women in her sunroom and describes the rose garden to them. She described one lady’s brooch and they begged her not to stop – no one had thought to do that for them before.

They say out with the old, in with the new. I say mix them up and take the best of both worlds. Snaps to Grannies– the world is a better place because of them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monkey Magic!

Remember Monkey? Any show with demigods engaging in slapstick fights with demons (and each other), high speed cloud chases, spells and the search for the fountain of eternal youth is already going to be good. But it's the appalling wigs and total lack of lip synching that I really rate. Monkey is so bad it's good. No, amazing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Song of Love Lost

A scratchy demo I did a while back, just came across it. Follow the link to a broken heart . . .

Sunday, May 10, 2009

“Wayne Cooper, how do I Loathe Thee? Let me Count the Ways . . .”

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
Your trashy frocks with thigh high splits
Churned out in bulk each season
Are truly foul (you must admit)
And cheapen girls who wear them.

An AVO won’t hold you back,
You love the social pages
Whoring around with bimbo blondes
Like Hefner, but more wasted.

And now your wife, she wants you back
So Heidi’s dumped, just like that
Detestable, you are dear Wayne
And that is all I have to say.


I met a guy (we’ll call him Bob) who said that although he does not particularly enjoy his job (to which he dedicates over half of his waking hours every week), he intends to stay in it as it finances him doing whatever he wants on the other two days of the week. Bob would quite like to take a different career path and follow a particular passion of his, but at this point in his life (and he’s still in his twenties), he can’t bring himself to take the pay cut that comes with starting at the bottom of a different career ladder.

I was struck by the bizarre logic of it – to be content with 5 days a week in a state of Blah to finance 2 days a week in a state slightly removed from Blah. To allow his passion to remain latent inside him, to disregard Madonna’s admonitions altogether (“Don’t go for second best, baby . . .”) and settle into the rut of mediocrity – all this he has rationalised. Whatever happened to his desire for Greatness? At what point did he cease to aspire and begin to expire?

Bob has settled. He’s not even out of his twenties and he’s chosen a palette of washed out greys to colour his life. What an aged mentality! Whoever said age is a state of mind was onto something. Jesus instructed his people to “become as little children” in their outlook and, being God and all, He was onto something too. Children believe they will be Great because in truth, anyone who wants to be, can be. Many an eight year old will aspire to something he perceives to be Great. He will honestly believe that all the options in the world are available to him – it’s just a matter of where he chooses to exercise his gifts and talents.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Prime Minister; an astronaut; an author; a pilot; a queen; a rockstar . . . .

As the child grows and the first flush of potential recedes, he adjusts his outlook. Maybe he begins to fathom the cost of Greatness (the years of training, self discipline and self belief), maybe he loses confidence and therefore courage, or maybe he discovers that, although the adults in his life say that Greatness is to be aspired to, very few of them believe it with enough conviction to commit themselves to it. So doing as his leaders do (not what they say), the adolescent shifts his aspirations into the realm of Attainable Achievement, (ie: the Safe Bet) and a creeping jadedness spoils him.

Settling, then, is a loss of childlike innocence. Nothing hoped for, nothing ventured, no character required, no great amount of inner strength or sharpening of skills and talents. It’s akin to quitting a game because you think you may lose. It’s a loser’s mentality. As my spritely Grandmother often says, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lykke Li, I Like It

N.A.S.A ft Lykke Li-Santogold-Kanye West GIFTED

Also check out Lykke Li's I'm Good I'm Gone acoustic live version with guests Robyn, Adam & Bebban (Shout Out Louds), Daniel (The Concretes), Lars (Laakso) and Ted (Hjalmar). The megaphone is a cute touch.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Madonna (in Louis Vuitton) at Met Costume Institute Gala 2009

There are 5 things wrong with this picture. Lets find them:

1. Only 5?
2. She’s grabbing her crotch. On the red carpet. June Dally Watkins would be mortified.
3. Cleaning lady headpiece would most likely work on a Harajuku girl but Madonna is neither Japanese, nor is she a girl, ergo she looks like a cleaning lady.
4. A cleaning lady caught in a gothic hooker 80s time warp. Like money, none of the elements are awful in and of themselves, but putting them together like that is utter fashion abuse. It’s tragic mutton dressed as a schizophrenic lamb.
5. Her steroidal muscles. She looks like she’s about to walk onto the set of Terminator.
6. She looks pleased with herself. Whoever told her she looked good when she was leaving the house is a very bad person.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Puma Party at Kit and Kaboodle

Puma Party 06/05/09.
At first I thought the party was rubbish because the free drinks were stingy and foul (beer or smirnoff - how about NEITHER). But then I met the promoter and when I expressed my disenchantment he bought us champagne on the corporate card, so all was forgiven.
I also wouldn't have hated it if the DJs had actually been good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dion Lee: Cool-Calm-Collection

With weeks of hype preceding his show, current wunderkind of Australian fashion Dion Lee presented his debut solo collection at RAFW SS09/10 on day two of the schedule and by the time the cool kids and fashion set made it down the elevator of the Kings Cross car park to the underground converted runway, they were positively breathless with anticipation. Dim lighting and a soundtrack reminiscent of a dank, dripping underground waterway set the mood as an unusually patient audience – the late arrivals of Lara Bingle and Kirstie Clements, plus a missing jacket backstage held the show up for close on an hour – waited.

And it was worth the wait. So often this week shows fell into one of two camps. The first is what I call the “Style” camp; those who took their inspiration from European houses and executed their very pretty and wearable designs with polish, but failed to take bold creative direction or show much originality (Camilla and Marc and Therese Rawsthorne to name a few). The second camp could be called the “Freshmen”; new kids on the block who had great ideas but lack industry experience and so presented cluttered, underfunded, and poorly finished collections.

Lee expertly avoided both of these traps, presenting a remarkably unfussy collection of twisted, tailored pieces with cut outs and blown glass features that essentially gave us what had been lacking in the shows from the previous day – true originality and creativity presented with restraint, coherence, and not even a whiff of a Balmain reference. Beautifully constructed skirts, pants and jackets in a palette of white, grey and black highlighted by pop-tastic blue were simple and yet they were anything but plain, with lapels that twisted over themselves and under the sleeves to meet at the back, carefully placed cut out details, and rows of glass trimming. Again, simplicity was key with the several cut out dresses that instantly went to the top of the mental ‘must have’ list of all fashionistas present, and the glass jewellery was neither distracting nor cluttered, but perfectly complemented each look.

Raucous applause and even a standing ovation from one enthusiastic audience member only confirmed what we already knew – Dion Lee is one to watch. Oh and you’ll be wanting one of those jackets too.

Theory of Relativity

everything is relative .

- man dem jeans are exp-ens-ive -
that's because you're used to buying your clothes in aisle 12 at Aldi

- i'm starving -
no you're not sweetie, you're just ready for afternoon tea. if you were really starving you wouldn't have stuck your fingers down your throat and vomited up your lunch when you found out the bread had been buttered

- there is nothing worse that waiting for a cab at changeover time -
comparative to drowning in spiders, it's a picnic

- none can come to the Father except through me -
Jesus? cool. P. Diddy? dubious.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kate Bush is a MILF

She studied interpretive dance, looks hot in a leotard, writes bizarre/killer lyrics and lives on an island. When I grow up I want to BE Kate Bush.

“And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places.”
Kate Bush lyrics from Running up That Hill

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's not personal, it's just fashion.

Lets rename Australian Fashion Week:


You will be shoved, pushed, snarled at, stared at, or completely blanked by people who are dressed in such a way as to indicate good breeding and social adeptness (you will therefore be forgiven for your surprise at the discovery that they are, in fact, sorely lacking in both). You will also most likely introduce yourselves to the same people upwards of three times, as they will forget your name and possibly even your face from day to day. Drinks will be poured down backs in the VIP bar scrum, goodie bags snatched with frenzied determination, queue-jumping will be rife due to each individual’s conviction that he/she is so much, much more VIP than the rest. It’s not personal, it’s just fashion.