Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three Important Things For Summer

* Memory Tapes, generally, Bicycle especially.


* Matias Aguayo + Rollerskates

Answer To Yourself


Apparently these guys - The Soft Pack - are from LA. They used to be called The Muslims but changed their name. They seem to be pretty well hooked up, playing shows with folks like Franz Ferdinand, Friendly Fires and Phoenix. They have a debut album ready to roll for sometime next year.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Will You Still Love Me?


I've got a huge soft spot of 60s girl groups and The Shirelles are definitely up there on my lists of favourites. Sassy, catchy songs sung by hot girls about boys, love and heartache - what's not to love?

So then, when I stumbled across Lykke Li covering The Shirelles' classic 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' I was curious. And then I heard it and it was like a knife going into my heart. So powerful. It's piercingly honest and raw. And beautiful.

She's giving it away on her website, but before you go, check out the video...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Intercom


There's a bunch of amazing jams floating around at the moment. Some of which I've taken time to point out here on this stop-start blog of mine. But perhaps the most exciting release of 2009 is by Sydney producer Toni Toni Lee... !

You might recognise Mr Toni as Spruce Lee, one quarter of my favourite get about town fellas, djs, who together or separately are party starters, promoters and general good-time nice guys, Ro Sham Bo. Who you of course listen to every Tuesday night, religiously, on FBi Radio.

ANYWAYS, I could sing their praises at length, but the point of this is to tell you Mr Lee has unleashed his debut EP and it's totally el scorcho. The launch a couple of weeks ago at Jimmy Sing's place GoodGod Small Club was off the chain and the jams played pointed in that direction, but now that I've had a good listen I can confirm, dude has multiple talents.

If you want to read more about Mr Lee, head here for some insights.

But take my advice, don't be snoozing, get yourself a limited edition copy of this EP, with artwork by another supremo talented Sydney sider, Hana Shimada.

Come on Over...

Something else I've been meaning to share for a while now - a remix that's been floating about for the last couple of months that I just can't get enough of.

It's a pretty dreamy song on it's own, the lyrics are sweet, whimsical and so true! I don't know about you, but I never know what's going to happen in a day... and I do hope that my dreams will come true.

But with the magic touch of LA duo Classixx on the remix, Yacht's Psychic City becomes even more perfect. If you're in AusLand then you'll be happy to hear that Yacht are coming out for a bunch o shows around the country, for Meredith and others...

Here's the original

And the remix..

Ambling Alp

So Brooklyn based Yeasayer have been working on a new album, Odd Blood. Apparently it's due to drop early next year. Signs at this stage are pointing to February.

And to get you all excited about this prospect, they've released the first single Ambling Alp through their website.

It's worth the listen.

In the meantime, here they are live in 2008.

Monday, October 26, 2009

You Can't Go Home Again

It's nearing the end of the year.
Which is when in television you get an extended [unpaid] holiday.
I'm thinking I might take this opportunity to have a crazy big adventure.
And in order to get the whole planning process flowing I thought I'd track it musically.

I might start here:

And then go here for some fun party-times:
Before heading North of the Boarder for some further inspiration:

And even though Randy Newman warns against it -
I have to agree with Ryan Adams, I Love New York.
So I'll have to also go there....

Just Passing Through


Months ago I was talking about the Live Local project that the folks at Digital Eskimo have launched.

Basically it's about the idea of shifting your focus, reconsidering how you live and the impact it has on the environment and the world around you more generally...

Well I finally finished my documentary for Radio National about it. It's available online for a month here. Or you can tune in to RN this coming Wednesday at 1pm EST to hear it repeated.

Summer Band Camp

Here are the highlights from Parklife 2009 that I was mentioning before... more to come soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nobody Lost, Nobody Found

Here's a little bit of on-stage action that EROL ALKAN shared on twitter, from Radelaide Parklife...

There are a bunch of pretty incredible tours on the horizon, but right now I’m still recovering from the brilliance and crazy fun-times that was Parklife. I had the immense fun of interviewing the lion’s share of artists on the bill, the fruits from which’ll be on the internetz shortly. But in the meantime, here are some things I learnt this weekend and some gems that made me LOL.

TIGA doesn't have facebook and generally prefers to communicate via fax[!] He also loves talking. His favourite thing is having a captive audience. Apparently buses are best. But planes are pretty good too....

There was a hilarious moment when I was interviewing Tiga and Jesse from MSTRKFT interrupted. They proceeded to have a random conversation, within which Tiga asked when was the precise moment MSTRKRFT decided to drop the vowels from their name – and said he was thinking of calling himself TG. Around that time BUSY P and A-TRAK decided to crash the party and the whole thing became a fascinating group interview session. Tiga revealed that Funky Town is one of his favourite songs. And that Michael Hutchence is his favourite Australian artists. A-trak gave props to Bag Raiders and Busy P said he liked Midnight Juggernauts and Wolfmother. When Pedro said their names it was more like ‘idnigh yuggernaut’ and ‘oolfmother’ – which just made the whole thing even funnier and more charming...

METRONOMY didn’t consider the side-effects when they developed their current on-stage outfits kitted with lights. They’ve had to deal with some serious moth-action. They’re also getting tired, and are thinking that the next album should be slow ballads, so they can sit down and sing.

Jeremy from JUNIOR BOYS likes Steely Dan. So listen out for those influences in their next album, they’re going back into the studio shortly.

The English folks on the tour were all into soccer [football!] and pretty much all of the Europeans wore boat shoes /loafers.

A-TRAK was deeply touched by his experience of working with HEAPS DECENT – so watch out for expansions on that front. He was also cheekily challenging everyone to go on the big ride – the one that looks like a ball that drops from really high? He asked Pedro [Busy P] and Tiga but then said they were scared. In the end Stephen from Aeroplane went with him.

Finally, what’s with music dudes who wear white trainers – even though it was hella muddy? After the show before heading out to party a couple of folks had to make a pit stops at the hotel to restore the white, and carry spare laces cause that’s the part that’s hardest to clean, but easiest to replace.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feel It All Around

Washed Out is pretty much my favourite band of the minute. Although I'm not 100% sure that it's a band band so to speak. I think it's pretty much the project of one dude in his bedroom.

The story goes that it's a project for a dude from Georgia called Ernest Greene. He spent a couple of months in his bedroom making dreamy sounds - which are on his debut EP Life of Leisure. You can read more about him and the making of the record here.

This is an un-official video of Feel It All Around, all gorgeous sepia tones and late afternoon summertime fun.

FEEL IT ALL AROUND from Northern Lights on Vimeo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stand up and be counted - Save the Hopetoun


Some shocking news this afternoon - one of Sydney's most important live music venues, The Hopetoun Hotel in Surry Hills has had to shut it's doors until further notice.

Here's the rub:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142845142317

So the Hopetoun Hotel has closed until further notice which is terrible for the Sydney and Australian independent music scene. Putting it simply, we need to save the Hopetoun Hotel

In the past it has played host to almost all great Australian bands including Dappled Cities, Youth Group, Pivot, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Decoder Ring, Bluejuice, Kes Band, Crayon Fields, Jack Ladder, Charge Group, Grey Daturas, Fabulous Diamonds, Spod, The Laurels, Tucker B's, Des Miller, Seekae, Ghosts of Television, Sui Zhen, Clue to Kalo, Ned Collette, The Lucksmiths, Darren Hanlon, The John Steel Singers, Beaches and so so many others.

In addition, great international musicians such as Beach House, Jens Lekman, Feist, Xiu Xiu, Jeremy Jay, Bachelorette, Malcolm Middleton, Jeffrey Lewis, The Tallest Man on Earth, Smog, David Kilgour, The Ruby Suns, The Brunettes, The Bats, Jason Molina, Spoon, Okkervil River, M. Ward and Robert Schneider have all played there.

Don't let Sydney lose a major cultural institution. Save The Hopetoun.

A nice facebook brainstorm for some realistic ways that people can save the Hopetoun would be awesome.
As this group is already showing, there is an immense amount of love for the Hopetoun from all over Sydney and beyond. Let's try to channel it into something practical and effective.

As far as we know, the reasons for closure are the follow:
- Money
- Years of having no security at a licensed venue
- Cost of repairs to the building
- Not being able to sell the building
- Money
- Money

Jack Shit sez:
- council requires 2 licensed security guards when the bands are playing (security guards were there for the first time on weekend)
- Ongoing issues with noise
- Facilitate disabled
- Sprinklers (fire)

TWITTER US: @savethehoey

--

An email courtesy of Tim Appleby:
Send to cmoore@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au and council@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

It has been brought to our attention that the beloved Hopetoun Hotel on the corner of Bourke and Fitzroy Sts in Surry Hills has been closed until further notice. A terribly disappointing fact considering the Council's seemingly strong commitment to the arts and local music community. I ask that you provide the community at large with a detailed analysis of the situation including a list of what needs to be done to rectify any current problems. I understand the venue has been operating outside of normal venue restrictions however I know the community would be more than happy to assist in its compliance. In saying that, the venue has operated similarly for decades without any major problems.

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. The City of Sydney's music scene would suffer a great loss without this legendary venue.

Kind Regards
xx

I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine...

I KNOW. It's been FOREVER since I wrote.

I keep on having these good ideas or observations for a post but then never seem to get the chance to sit and write.

There's been a lotta stuff happening. It's been a particularly busy few months. But more on that later, soon.

In the mean-time here's perhaps my number one amazing favourite song right now and the two equally cool video clips that go with it. I can't stop listening to this song and watching these videos. Like, repeatedly. Every day. Both videos have their charms but the official one makes me want to pack up and head to San Francisco...


Monday, July 13, 2009

RADelaide


Adelaide. City of churches, serial killers, amazing food, memories, haighs chocolate, apparently has more lotto winners than any other city in Australia...

There are many things Adelaide is famous for but in my mind it's now going to be synonymous with Bob Ellis being LOL. I was in RADelaide for The Festival of Ideas last week - and the highlight of the whole experience [apart from the Pedro Ximenez braised beef cheeks at Mesa Lunga tapas - ahh, I'm a total sucker for the black gold!] and the incredible meal at Chianti Classico was Bob Ellis getting up and asking a hilarious question of English scientist Simon Singh, who's recently written an book examining alternative medicine like acupuncture and chiropracture. [Simon wasn't very favourable in his view of these practises.]

... Anyways, after a long and rigorous discussion about the science and health claims of alternative medicine Uncle Bob [who was wearing slippers during the day] got up and announced to the room that he's been a long advocate for such alternative remedies, and most recently has found they've helped him with impotence, and curing his dog's sore hip.

Everyone in the room laughed, but poor Simon had no idea who Bob was. He was a bit stunned. Perhaps a bit too familiar, Bob? Maybe too much information.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kindness of Strangers

It's been a long few weeks. Getting everything together for Still Life was really freakin busy. Good fun, without doubt. But a LOT of work. A lot of long hours, late-nights, working all weekends... But in the whole process I also had my faith in humanity restored.

Sometimes people really are just excellent. I came up with the hair-brained idea and then suddenly people were offering all these amazing things to make it happen. All the artists donated their work. All the galleries waived their fees and donated their commissions. We had two amazing framers offer to frame the precious pieces - for love and glory. Because they love the station and what it stands for, and even though they don't have a lot of money, they were donating the physical goods which cost them money, not to mention their time. And even though we didn't have a lot of lead-time, the word seems to be spread. People turned up, had fun, spent money!

And somehow at the end of it we still had beer left-over. Unheard of! The bar staff were sure we'd run out within the first hour. I mean, it was a Friday night, a show full of artists and the beer was both Coopers and FREE. Crazy.

And so the wash-up was that it was a huge success. The whole process towards the end felt a little bit like 200 cigarettes - I was fretting that no-one would come but instead it turned out to be the party of the week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still Life


Ok, so this is what I've been doing for the past few weeks... come along? Tell your friends!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hot Like Fire


I know, I know, it's been a while. What can I say? I've been busy. But I'm not going to bother you with the ins and outs of that. Luckily though, amongst all the madness, I [thankfully!] found time to do some record shopping, the fruits of which recently arrived. 

There's nothing quite like that feeling of excitement, like the the suspense is killing you, when you see a record-shaped package sitting there, casually waiting for your listening attention. It's a moment when you have that same sense of anticipation like you used to at Christmas time or something. I know, in this internerd era we're meant to be pirates of the high seas and all... Which is fine and mos def has it's place and benefits, but I have a love of the old school tactile side of records. And enjoying the art and all that. So totally retro, I know, I know. Analogue almost. But whatevs. Humour me.

Black Black was an unwitting discovery. They're a group from LA, they're friends with folk like Health and No Age. Their [debut?] single is a great cover of Ace of Base's [!!] Feels like Magic. They remind me a little bit of Kimya Dawson, who I'm not a big fan of, but there's something compelling about them. 

The Phenomenal Handclap Band were the reason that I found my way to the record shop, I was hunting out their 15 to 20 / Testimony release. TPHB is a Brooklyn based group who I think are going to be huge this year. They've got great hooks and basslines. They're a bit 60s soul. A bit Brazilian funk. Equal parts psychedelia and disco. They've got a debut album dropping in the next few months. They came about after two New York underground DJs decided to start a band, they got a few friends who play around town, with bands like the Dap-kings,TV on The Radio, Anitbalas Afrobeat Orchestra and others together, recorded a few jams and have since produced a debut album with help from folk like Jon Spencer, Jaleel Bunton and a bunch more. They also have a pretty excellent blog.

A hot tip, if you like Nathan Fake and you're thrilled that his next album is on it's way - due in a few days, apparently. Head across to Pure Groove 'cause they're selling some special signed copies of his current EP.

And while you're there, pick yourself up a copy of The XX's 7" - Crystalised / Hot Like Fire. You've probably heard their Womack and Womack cover of Teardrops, which is nice and all, but their original stuff is SO MUCH better. Here's the video for Crystalised and then go and buy the song. You've no doubt read a whole lot of internerd love about them so I'm not going to go on about them, other than to say I'm quietly anticipating their debut album in July.


Monday, May 11, 2009

The Skillz to Pay the Billz

While I am plotting away coming up with some great ideas that will get Richard's attention for the ASK RICHARD campaign that we launched yesterday at FBi Radio, here are a few things that have brought joy and inspiration to everyone at work.

The Ginger Nija check out the uh-may-zing dance moves in this video.

GRILL SKILLZ - a vintage training video from the 80s for Wendy's in America. Enjoy the opening graphics, keep with it for the first two minutes and then watch out, cause around 3:50 this is going to BLOW YOUR MIND

Thursday, April 30, 2009

GET PIGGY WITH IT


A fund raiser hosted by the whole Sunset herd - bringing home the bacon for FBi

Bump & rind with a line up that's nothing to sneeze at...

SIMON 'The Swine' CALDWELL 
ROAST SHAM BO 
THE STOLEN RECORDS STY 
KATO & ANNA 'Miss Piggy' LUNOE 
JAMES 'trotters' TAYLOR 

Hosted by Shantan Bacon Ichiban (Stolen Records) 

Join us for some cracklin' good times
Friday May 8
Oxford Art Factory
11.30pm
$10 on the door / $5 for FBi supporters

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Land of the Freak

OMG OMG OMG! Best news - King Khan and The Shrines...  in digital, colour greatness. Check out their new video. Admire The King himself - and those dancers. Yikes.
Thanks Pitchfork.tv

Friday, April 17, 2009

Are You The One?


So I don't want to get all earnest on yo ass, but community engagement has been a big all-consuming theme this week. Tonight, I was talking with some girlfriends about the living local project. Sydney based company Digital Eskimo have started this experiment / online project which is all about encouraging people to think more about their local world. Their local economy, the produce you eat and where it comes from and try to eat stuff that's local, which is better for our environment, generally to engage with the people and things around you...

In some ways it's a complementary extension of the slow food movement I guess. Although it's not just about food - it's all about slowing down, taking the time to connect with your neighborhood and community, and random strangers.

I've been thinking a lot about these themes lately, taking the time to nurture the things that are important to you, rather than spending crazy amounts of time working. Feeling like you're the meat in a sausage factory. What's also interesting about this living locally project is how it's an online initiative to get people connecting with people, face to face in the real world. Nice layers there.

It also reminds me of one of my favourite art projects that Sydney artist Lucas Ihlein did in 2006. The Petersham Bilateral Project, also known as the 'sham. Basically, Lucas got funding to have an artist residency in his own suburb and he didn't leave for a few months. He got to know his neighbours and community, and documented the whole experience. Go back and check out the archives, it's so great.

And, if you like the sounds of of this whole local focus thing, keep an eye out around Sydney. The amazing Lee Tran Lam is currently putting together a zine on our fine city. I don't really know much more about it than that. She's been a bit mysterious about it. But all will be revealed at the Sydney Writers Festival Zine Fair in May...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hello? Godot?

I’ve been writing lists – hundreds of lists of things to do, things to listen to, to watch, to play on my show, plans to make, people to call, yuddah yuddah … but I feel like I’ve been lost in some sort of vortex and each week is just racing by. It’s now almost Easter. Frig. Daylight saving has ended, which makes getting up at 5.55am to go to training easier, because it’s no longer dark...

But it also means we’re heading headlong into the long darkness of winter. I always get nostalgic about winter in the height of summer, fondly remembering it as a time of scarves, foxy trench coats, late nights filled with good music, red wine, friends and cosy indoor spaces. But as winter starts to arrive I start to remembering that it’s not quite the romance that I’d been affectionately recalling during the summer months.

But winter also means more motivation to stay in and hang on the couch. On the list of things to watch is ‘True Blood’ – check out the opening titles below. Amazing.



On the tip of plans to make – I’m dreaming about ATP in NYC.

As for things I'm to listening to today: trawling through G the P’s blog and archive of old gold, if you’re feeling like some fuzzed out guitars, tambourines, hand-claps, do-wops or the new DOOM album if you want something shiny and new. OR if you want something that mixes old and new together listen to the Meanest Man Contest Category Killer Selection

And as for things to do, if you’re in Sydney at the moment, check out the new Paddington Reservoir – according the Time Out It was “built 142 years ago, was decommissioned in 1914 and became a garage. In 1993, the servo's roof caved-in, leaving the site derelict but for hordes of feral cats and a shadowy graffiti movement who under the cover of night filled the walls of the 1023-square-metre site with stunning frescoes and murals…” anyway, now it’s been restored and looks amazing. Check out some photos here

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If Atheists Ruled the World

Check it out, apparently "all text directly from online Christian fundamentalist forums". Wow.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shut Off The Light


Getting a bit nostalgic this weekend. Watching Bloc Party on Rage last night got me inspired to revisit their debut album, Silent Alarm. It really was the soundtrack of 2005. I listened back to it today and was suddenly revisiting a whole series of memories. Isn't it funny how music can do that?

M83 are playing this Thursday. I can't wait. Saturdays = Youth was one of my favourite records of last year. Kim + Jesse was my fave from the album. Like the whole album it was a bit of a slow burner, but such a great melodramatic pop song. 

And while we're on the subject of heat. This weekend, I've been basking in the hothotheat of Betty Davis. Not to be confused with Bette Davis, the American Actress and subject of the Kim Carnes 80s hit. I'm talking Betty the fox on the motorbike, amazing fuzzed out guitar licks and firey focals, model and I guess in some ways famous for being Miles Davis' second wife. But really she should be much more famous for her own talent - not to mention amazing beauty. She's often credited with being a huge musical influence on her famous jazz musician husband - and introducing him to much more experimental sounds. Bitches Brew was apparently inspired by her. Go and immerse yourself in This Is It, an anthology of her 3 albums. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dancing in the Dark


Guitars are making a come back, perhaps an antidote to all the dirty disco that's been around lately. Don't get me wrong, I've embraced the disco tip as much as the next person, but I'm quietly pretty happy that there seems to be a flood of excellent indie-pop-guitar-melody-albums around, or on their way.

Brooklyn duo Matt + Kim are captivating hearts with their most recent release. They came out to Australia last year and completely charmed everyone. They're coming back in May, so if you missed them this is your chance to redeem yourself. But watch out, you might develop a serious crush. They are just so damn cute.





So, the band that's going to be The Next Big Thing is a group from Boston. The story goes that Michael Angelakos wrote a bunch of songs for his then girlfriend's valentines day present. While the relationship didn't last the EP, Chunk of Change, has gone on to do amazing things for them. Passion Pit finished recording the debut full-length in New York a couple of months ago, and delivered some sneak peaks at SXSW and across Europe - by all accounts to rapturous applause. Manners is scheduled to drop in May.
This one's a bit older, but there's a bit of a theme at the moment of couples making music or people who used to work for record labels getting together and starting their own musical [ad]venture. We Have Band tick both of these boxes. They recorded their tunes in their kitchen and managed to get them featured on a couple of compilations from super cool label Kitsune. They're one of the hyped bands at SXSW this year and seem to have a non-stop, relentless touring schedule.



Other bands that are causing much excitement with impending album releases. Frenchies Phoenix have got a new album dropping in May. And it's now a matter of days until the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album arrives in stores. The video for their new single Zero is here, apparently they/ their record label doesn't like embedding.

And it seems that The Boss is having a bit of a renaissance. Over summer at various gigs and music festivals it seemed like it was a requirement for someone to play a Springsteen cover. As long as it's early Boss there's no complaints from me. I think Dancing In the Dark is one of my all-time favourites, listen to the lyrics, such heartbreak! Although at one gig when someone played a cover of this it became quite contentious - my friend was adamant that the song is all about writers block - not heartbreak. What do you think? Also, check out the classic clip - dude can rock jeans and a white tee like no one else. And keep an eye out for a young Courtney Cox in there too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gimme the Awesome


My favourite band today is Endless Boogie. I've just been immersing myself in their debut full-length Focus Level and the more and more I listen, the more and more I love. It's a nice relief from an overdose of disco. It came out last year overseas, but has only just been released in Australia this week.

Their story goes that they got together in 1997. A bunch of them worked at super cool New York based record label, Matador records, and another was a professional record collector. They started out as an 'old man hobby', just jamming. And drinking and getting stoned, if their music is anything to go by. Anyways, it turns out they became a pretty freakin' amazing band.

For a long time they didn't play gigs, unless invited, and only released a couple of limited 12". But now they've put out an album. All psych + classic rock flavourings. Check them out over at Last.fm

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ribbon of Dreams


I am a nerd. I am a nerd who's obsessed with media. And music. Which is perhaps why most of my twitter feeds are from media organisations and music folk. It's a bit tragic I guess. 

The other week when I was out someone asked me what I'd been doing. I rattled off a few things and they innocently asked me if I did anything that wasn't work.

It's a bit confronting when you realise that your idea of funtimes is possibly another's idea of work. I work in television, I spend an ungodly amount of time on the interweb, on my weekends I present a radio show. And then, in my spare time, for kicks, I do more stuff. I make radio documentaries, I interview artists for FuzzyTV....

When I take those things away, aside from jogging, cooking, drinking red wine and seeing bands, I have the shock realisation that maybe I don't have a life. Although, I guess that all of the things I do are very social and much fun. But I don't have any hobbies as such. I don't collect stamps or make macrame pot plant holders, although I'd like to learn... Maybe I should make that a priority?

But whatevs.

Here are some of the things I've read or stumbled across in the last little while that got me a bit excited.

The producer + writer from The Sopranos, David Chase, has returned to HBO to produce a new show. It's called Ribbon of Dreams and it's about the ruthless world of films. I'm guessing Entourage but with less pilates and parties, and more plotting and paranoia. I'm intrigued. Most of the stuff HBO produces is simply awesome. The Sopranos a work of genius. And the plot of the series sounds pretty addictive read more about it in this New York Times article

The Mac is coming back. I was talking with my hairdresser today about how 'retrosexual' is the in thing right now. Women want a man who can fix things, who's all hairy and masculine, not a man who has more products than you and spends way more time and money on clothes than you do. On this tip, the ultimate handy man is MacGyver and there are plans a-foot to revive him, by making a feature film about the man who can do amazing things with some panty-hose, a paper clip and a stick of chewing gum. They haven't cast his role yet. More information here

The internets are a-flood with speculation over Joaquin Pheonix and his crazy antics. There was that appearance on Letterman. And his claims to be quitting acting to follow a career as a rapper. And last week he had an altercation with a dude in a bar who was heckling him. It was all caught on film, because he's being followed around by a film crew. Some allege that he's making a mockumentary about quitting acting and becoming a rapper. Others, like Casey Affleck, claim it's a legitimate documentary about this transition. Whatever it is - I can't wait to see it. For more, read this article in the London Times last week. Here's the heckling and his response, last week in Miami:


Lily Allen really is the IT girl right now. She's become a demi-god like darling of the media. She's relevant enough to so many people that she's talked about in trashy mags and in high-brow publications like The New Yorker and The Guardian. Not many people have that kind of cross-over appeal. Which is probably why she needs to get legal protection from the Pap. They sound pretty full-on in their total stalking of her. Sacha Frere-Jones from The New Yorker has this fascinating audio from the Pap who were hunting her around NY while he was hanging out with her for a day. Listen to the whole story here. I wish I was half as cool, sassy and witty as her and half as smart and insightful as him when I grow up.

One of my favourite music blogs is Allez Allez. They've got two excellent mixes up at the moment - which couldn't be more different. One from G the P and the other by Heartbreak. Check em both out.




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Backstage

Earlier in the year I was telling you about my New Years adventures - interviewing all the artists at Field Day... well here are Ladyhawke, Late of the Pier, A-Trak, Jamie Lidell and Ajax. Enjoy.















Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Dream



Sometimes when work or life is a bit beige I spice things up by day dreaming that I live in a hip hop musical – or something closer to a teen dance film. Think ‘Step It Up’. 

Unfortunately, this is just a dream.

In reality my life isn’t anywhere near as glamorous, romantic, coordinated or dramatic.

I play a chosen video clip on repeat in the background of my screen, trying to focus on my serious professional pursuits while falling in and out of the escapist reality of the glamorous video clip world. Think Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, JT, even M.I.A.

This week has been a spectacular immersion in a truly great combination – LL Cool J and The Dream. And a little bit of classic LL Cool J, cause you know, Ladies Love Cool James.



Last year I got so inspired I enrolled in Hip Hop Dance Classes at the Sydney Dance Company. I went along feeling very realistic about what I was embarking upon. I knew I’d be shit. I wasn’t harbouring deluded visions of being naturally brilliant and suddenly getting a call from JT, Beyonce or Jay Z asking me to go on their next international tour as their star dancer. But I felt confident that I at least I had a sense of rhythm, I mean that’s my bread and butter, and I’ve spent my fair share number of hours and late nights in clubs, and even won the odd late night booty shaking dance-off. So while I knew I’d be shit I didn’t think I’d be the worst person in the world. Anyway, I was going along to have fun with some girlfriends so it’d be ok. Or so I thought.

On our first day we arrived to a scene of super cute and tiny dancers. I felt like some sort of giant. It was plain to see that this beginners class was in fact a group of people who’ve been dancing for years. People were stretching and working on dance combinations in the hallways. It was like something out of one of my favourite teen dance movie! Which was both kinda funny, and kinda horrifying.

Anyway, we really did suck. Like, badly. But we went back for a number of weeks, hoping to see some sort of improvement. It was quite confronting, to go back week after week, to do something you’re so entirely bad at. Aside from being super fit, to succeed in dance classes you need to be the kind of person who can pat your stomach and rub your head at the same time. You need to be able to think and move quickly, follow instruction while doing something else, not think about what you’re doing, and remember what happens next. And not worry about what people around you are doing, or what they think about what you’re doing [badly]. I thought this sounded simple. I’m the queen of multitasking. But, I discovered the hard way, that dance-dancing is really freakin hard.

Then one day my girls couldn’t make it, but I was dedicated to the cause so I went solo. I decided to go up the front of the class to be close to the teacher and try and follow her lead. This combination, flying solo at the front of the class, was perhaps one of the worst decisions of my life! It was like going back to primary school and reliving one of those horrible moments of public humiliation. After that, I couldn’t go back. I was too mortified and traumatised.

Months have now passed, I’ve had some good therapy sessions, and I’m feeling ready to face my fears. I’m going back to try again, and see if I can't rock that thang. You know, it's all about livin' the dream. Or at least enjoying The Dream.



Thursday, March 5, 2009

S-S-S-Single Bed

This song popped into my headphones on my way to work this morning and made me smile. The video is pretty funny too. Thought I'd share it with you. Disco gold for your Friday afternoon.




A-Z

Starting at the top of the alphabet, one of my favourite releases for last year and still on rotation months later is No Way Down from Swedish duo, Air France. They're signed to The Tough Alliance's Sincerely Yours label. They're dreamy. And their music videos are perfectly suited to their music: thoughtful, carefree, introspective, mostly happy, sometimes nostalgic, sepia memories of romance, summer, sweetness and sunshine.

No Excuses



And

Collapsing At Your Doorstep


Check out the rest of their tunes and videos or read an interview they did last month with Pitchforkmedia



Monday, March 2, 2009

Get Busy

In January Sydney has a huge party in the middle of the city to celebrate and launch the Sydney Festival. It's called Festival First Night and it's pretty hectic and crazy. But fun.

I quickly chatted with Busy P from Ed Banger Records for Fuzzy TV about his summer in Australia and plans for 2009.





Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maps


I've been getting all nerdy this week. While my colleagues at work have been listening to ABC News Radio and/or watching Play School - I've been spritzin' and catchin' up on my listenin'. 

Specifically, getting all learned with NPR podcasts. And earlier in the week one of my favourite programs, This American Life, delivered up a piece of documentary gold with their recent story on Plan B

It was insightful, funny and inspiring - it made me want to think about my own documentary making and ideas - but it was also one of those great stories that stays with you more generally. It just pops into your mind even when you're not thinking specifically about what it was saying, because it's somehow related to everything. 

So what is Plan B? Years ago some friends of mine where in a punk band, called Plan B, and hitting it into google seems to bring up all sorts of references to skating and building. 

But in this case Plan B is the road you one day realise you're travelling, and are perhaps surprised by, because you'd always imagined that you'd be cruising along on Plan A. But at some point things changed, you took a different turn and ended up on a different route. Sometimes for the best. Sometimes not. Sometimes just randomly. If I look at where I'm at now in my life, and think about what I thought I'd be doing and have done by now - when I was 17 and invincible - it's funny because some of it is tracking that way, and somethings are so far left-field. But whatevs. Who needs maps anyway?

Unless of course it's the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Maps

Or this acapella version.


... And if you wanna read more about the man behind This American Life, Ira Glass, check this out 


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Here Come The Warm Jets


Of all the tweets I subscribe to I think Brian Eno is by far my favourite. His posts are just so random and sometimes very funny, in a dry way.

Recently he posted a link to an article in the New York Times in 2006 titled 'Unhappy Hour' about a couple who went out for a drink and the jukebox randomly started playing an hour long experimental Eno tune, titled Thursday Afternoon, which eventually made the whole bar very upset and on edge. It's quite a funny article in it's own right, and even funnier when you come across it via a recommendation by Mr Eno titled 'I feel sorry for these people.'

Here are some of his other recent tweets. I think the first one is a reference to David Byrne?

· David doesn't tweet much, does he? Dropping that wanker
· Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame
· Trust in the you of now
· Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected
· Accretion
· How would you have done it?
· Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency
· Make a soufflĂ©!
· Go slowly all the way round the outside
· Abandon normal instruments


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do the Jane Fonda


I've become strangely addicted to Jane Fonda's blog. And quite frankly it's come as quite a surprise to me, this interest in Jane Fonda.

I've always been fond of her in a cheesy 80s aerobics way, and I guess Mickey Avalon brought a bit of a sexy revival of her a few years back, but stumbling across this blog [thanks to the NY Times + Twitter] I've developed a new appreciation for the lady.

Unlike most celebrity blogs she talks candidly about real-life things. Overcoming insecurities, what's happening in the world around her. She comes across as an interesting 71 year old woman, Daughter, Mother, Grandmother, kind of hip person. Huh. Who would've thunk?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Paper Planes

Her baby is due on Grammy Night - Feb 6. She's been nominated for an Oscar too. She's looking totally hot, and just chillin' in LA [can't fly back to NYC, too pregnant] so she dropped into the Tavis Smiley show, and instead of talking about fluffy celebrity stuff she decided to use the whole interview to discuss the situation in Sri Lanka.

M.I.A is just too cool... Check it out.

Part one:


Part two:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Worst Day Ever?


I'm sure one day I'll be able to laugh about this but right now I can't. It's still raw. Perhaps because it hasn't been resolved.

What is 'it' you ask? Well, I've got a problematic front door lock. I came home from running some errands, put the key in the lock but the door wouldn't open. Just to make things worse, it's a hothothot summer's day here in Sydney, you know those days that make everyone a bit frazzled at the best of times?

Long story short, it quickly became clear my first option was to scale a couple of walls and fences and see if I could get inside through the backdoor. [Good thing I've been training eh?]

Once inside I tried to open the door. It wouldn't open. The lock was turning, but not moving. I was now LOCKED IN.

I called our Real Estate Agent and asked if I could get an emergency locksmith around here. He asked if it could wait until tomorrow. On the verge of tears, hot and sweaty, covered in bruises from my wall-climbing experience I flatly said that wouldn't work. I can't leave, nor can anyone enter. He called a gazillion locksmiths in Sydney and found one to come over.

Mr Locksmith, currently my favourite person in the world is here, outside the door drilling holes trying to get me out. He's been drilling for close to half an hour.

That lock is solidly LOCKED.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Party Jams

I'm making the most of my time off, these are the last days of summer for me. Soon I'll be dreaming about days off and having time to read books + surf the interweb...

So here, my friends, are my favourite recent web-music discoveries.

* The always excellent Allez-Allez has just posted a mix from Josh Deacon of Animal Collective fame. 

* XLR8R magazine commissioned a crazy set from Chavy Boys of London. Its total party-central. To quote XLR8R "Baltimore club music has a rep for being energetic, but from the sounds of this mix, which is primarily just that, the Chavy Boys of London must keep an entire fridge stocked with Red Bull - and pound a few down when commissioned to do DJ mixes for music websites" Listen to it here.

* A-trak has been twittering about this for a bit, and it's now been unleashed upon the world. Apparently the official single will be dropping in a few weeks but it's already received some big praise from Busy P [Ed Banger] and Pitchforkmedia. Head to Fools Gold to hear A-trak's remix of Sebastien Tellier's Kilometer.