Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Word Wednesday: Fry's Planet Word

Today's Word Wednesday is brought to you by one of my favourite human beings in the whole world, Stephen Fry. Not only is he hilarious, he is warm, he is proudly homosexual and incredibly intelligent! I would definitely invite him to my ultimate fantasy dinner party, along with Marieke Hardy, Tori Amos, Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block. IMAGINE THE CONVERSATION!!!!

Anyway, back to Stephen and his wonderful brain; they have just started showing his most recent documentary called "Fry's Planet Word" on ABC, and it's all about words and language. I caught an episode last week whilst casually flicking channels, and loved everything about it; the information, the travel aspect, and most of all Stephen Fry's genuine love of knowledge, language and learning.  I'm planning on staying home every Sunday night until it's over just so I don't miss an episode

My favourite part of this trailer is when he says that language "can make pictures where there are none".


Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday: Kate Miller Heidke

Welcome to antoher Music Monday, where I will fill your ears with words and their accompanying melodies that tickle me so.

Tonight's Music Monday is a little more sinister than last week. I have been a fan of Kate Miller-Heidke and her music since I first started listening to triple j all those years ago. Her darling voice and the beautifully written, intimate lyrics of 'Space They Cannot Touch', got me from the start, and I downloaded it free (legally mind you) of the triple j website. To this day it is still one of my favourite love ballads, and I'm not tradtionally a love ballad-y person.
She is also hilarious, and super nice! In 2007 went to her first tour for the album 'Little Eve' and she signed a poster for me! It is still attached to my wardrobe door, alongside my signed Sarah Blasko poster, and my unsigned (sigh) Tori Amos poster. It's my female singer songwriter wardrobe, guarding my clothes with their razor sharp wit and talent.

Anyway, I should get to the song at hand, which really couldn't be more different from said love ballad. All I can say is that 'Sarah' is both beautiful and terrifying and I think that's why I love it so much; I listen to it and think of the festivals I've been to and how easily this could have happened to me, or a friend of mine, and it gives me literal shivers.

On that note, enjoy! 

If the cover art for 'Nightflight' and this song is anything to go by, I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this.  If you like what you hear, you can visit her website here for more free legal downloads of some of her new tunes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prom Night

So last night Lovely and I had the pleasure of attending a friends house warmning party. Now I always enjoy house parties, over, say, clubbing, even when I don't know many people there, which was the case with this one, but what made this particular house warming even better was that it was themed! 

This is what I imagine real proms to be like; all warm and hazy, awash with pastel colours and awkward fumblings through ill fitting clothes. 

"The Bad Taste Prom" was so much fun to shop for, I had an excuse to trawl through racks and racks of velvet satin and tulle, to wear lots of eye makeup and these coral coloured clip on earrings that I bought on a whim from Etsy and have hardly ever worn.

These earrings, of all things, got me thinkingl; why don't I wear them more often? I really do love them, even if they are a little bit weird and out-dated. And then I started thinking about my clothes, and my style in general. I have a bit of a reputation as amongst friends and family as "the daggy one" (for international friends, this is a nicer way of saying uncool or fashionably inept). But I really do like dressing up, I like odd patterns and bright colours and matching clothes that you would never think go together until you put them on. I'm not trying to be 'ironic' (that word is so poorly and frequently used these days!), I actually really like them. That doesn't mean I never dress up normal (whatever that is), I have some of what I feel is nice normal socially acceptable clothing. It's just fun sometimes to step out of the "colour blocked mini dress and platform boots" box and into the one with the bright tights or old lady cardigans or jewellery that you've made yourself. So from now one, if I want to wear my clip on earrings, I'm going to wear my goddam clip on earrings.

I think this video pretty much sums up what I'm trying to say; if you don't know Tavi Gevinson, go visit her blog or jump onto ROOKIE. She is an incredible human being.


Tavi Gevinson Closet Interview for from StyleLikeU on Vimeo.

And now you that you have been dazzeled by her obscurity, here is a proper photograph of my dress! 

It's hard to tell in this photo, but Lovely's dinner jacket has this weird denim look, which he wore with jeans, and a denim tie that he made himself! So attractive.

The party itself was also really fun, there was a ballon arch for couples to walk through, punch (spiked of course), and even the crowning of Prom King and Queen! Thanks Erin for a really cool party (and I also actually really loved your dress. It was hideously beautiful).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Word Wednesday: The Suburbs

This Word Wednesday brings you a little piece I wrote after returning home from holiday! I have a love hate relationship with the suburbs; I love those moments dreamy light filtered childhood nostalgia, and a lot of people I love still live here with me, but at the moment I feel like I'm outgrowing the place. I'm getting restless, probably because of all the travel plans I'm making.  And not the mention that where I live is so damn far from where I work! Commuting is only good for listening to podcasts, catching up on my ever growing reading list (and checking Facebook way too often).  Otherwise, it sucks.

Anyway, Happy Word Wednesday! Enjoy :)

Sometimes I just can't stand the suburbs. I sit on my porch, sucking on an icy pole or painting my tonails, and look out over the rolling cement paths, the triangles of rooves sprawled out across the hills, bricks laid over the earth that once held trees, that once held birds, that once made the oxygen for us to breath, using up all of that dangerous excess carbon. People think it's ok to cut down the trees because some of them can afford to put solar panels on their rooves. I don't think so.

At least in the country you can see the stars, and even the dirt feels cleaner, and you can breathe in the air without coughing (unless someone is smoking a cigarette nearby, which is dangerous anyway because smoking is a fire hazard, amongst other things). You can absorb the moisture in the air through your tongue and the moisture from the soil through the skin between your toes, and your bones feel soft, soaked in sun shine fresh water, and everything seems to move more slowly but it all has an underlying purpose.

At least in the city there is always someone doing something; you can learn so much and feel so much all in one go. You walk down the street, and it feels beautiful even though it smells like piss and fried onions. There is always music, buskers playing acoustic guitars or casio keyboards, drums made from wooden crates or old paint buckets, harmonicas or boom boxes. Some of them just sing, releasing the notes and words from their lungs like doves into the night. Something is happening in the jazz bar on the corner, in the bookshop that stays open until 11pm, in the restaurant, behind the red velvet curtain, in the McDonalds rest room. People are fighting, people are crying, people are shooting up and people are falling in love. Everything speeds and pulses like veins with light and laughter and sobs and music and energy.

But the suburbs. The suburbs are the Elephant in the travelling circus; all dressed up but confined to a cage only slightly larger than her enormous skeleton. The streets are littered with clusters of trees, but there aren't enough leaves to remove all of that exhaust, you can still hear the roar of the cars on the bitumen and it's louder than a bird's cry. Not far from the park the main strip has a few shops, a Millers and a Target and a Salvos. It has a library and a movie theatre and three different restaurants that all serve variations of Asian Cuisine.

As I stare out over my own unfolding suburb, I realise that I live in a hybrid-land, a place that wants the best of both city and country, but instead has ended up some decrepit old lady on speed; so much energy, but nowhere to channel it into because she cannot even leave the house. Or maybe that's just how I feel about me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Music Mondays: Kishi Bashi

Welcome to Music Monday! Time to inject a little melody into the hardest day of the week! Today was a particularly difficult Monday for me, because I had such a wonderful weekend away with family and friends, enjoying fresh air, good weather, fun and food! I miss it already.

However, if any song could pull me out of a post holiday slump, it would be Manchester by Kishi Bashi! I found this on We Are Hunted, a fantastic music site that curates and streams charts based on what's featuring on music blogs, which is great if you're like me and don't have time to browse the plethora of music blogs out there.
Anyway, take a listen to this is song. It's got a Jonsi like swell, and Bon Iver like delicacy, and it will lift you up above all of the working week monotony and carry you away on pockets of warm air to places you would rather be.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Little Deites - No Vacancy

So I stumbled on this incredibly whimsical exhibition at the No Vacancy Gallery QV. It's called Little Deities, a collaborative exhibition of sixty amazing artists, including one of my favourite illustrators, Miss Emma Leonard, and a creative interpretation of their own god or goddess. This incredible collection is an explosion of imagination and creativity, and explores the asthetics of what different people choose to worship; some are crass, some are beautiful, some are hilarious and some are just so weird you want to stare at them for hours.
 It's only on until this Sunday, but if you're not too busy and you're in Melbourne this weekend you should defintely check it out, because my photos won't do these little sculptures justice. You can also check out their project website here

Here are the photos of some of my favourites:

 Spirix- Elise Martinson

Rose Perpetua - Suzana Poljak

 Lenora (Laughing on the Inside) - Basak Savcigil

 The $2 Shop Diety - Patron Saint of Landfill - Kat Chadwick

Edwin, the God of Flux -  Viet-My Bui

 Dreaming Bird Boy - The Supreme Spirit of Birds - Vincent Agostino

 Sweet Briar - Emma Leonard. It's so cool to see some of her work off the page. 

...and the winner of best name, Snuffles Pusnose, The Hayfever Deity - Megan Narin
This is me from about September onwards.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Word Wednesday: Stitch Witches

Currently I'm writing a flash fiction piece for the afore mentioned very special project I'm working on with my writing lovlies! If you can't bare to wait until April 1st to see what I'm going on about, you can go here and here to get a sneak peek.

Anyway, Stitch Witches is the working title for an idea I've being mulling over for a while. Here's a little taste of the very much unfinished product

We sew for the dead because we want to comfort them in their plight; it might not be able to help them pass on, but neither can we; our powers are not strong enough to pull spirits through the veil. We give them the clothes to complete their unfinished business, and get there themselves.
We have to focus on the chosen pattern drawn by Cecelia sits in the middle of a ring of white and purple pillar candles. Hands joined, fingertip to fingertip, with crossed legs and closed eyes we chant an almost inaudible hum. It gets louder as we begin to forget ourselves, to exist only as the needle and thread. Four invisible seamstresses we work, pulling silver threads taught through celestial fabrics the colour of night sky, exploding with nebula. Daisy prints complete with little white heads bobbing up and down in the breeze. Malibu sunset horizon colours, Los Angeles pink smog colours, spreadable mustard, cornflower blue,  rose prints that bloom or snail their petals up tight according to the mood. These are the clothes we wish for ourselves. When we leave we hope there are covens who will do the same for us.  We want to pass this legacy on to our children.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Music Monday: Sucre

More themed posts! I'm trying to introduce a bit of regularity to this blog, mainly to keep myself in check! So today is the initiation of Music Monday, which means that henceforth I shall post a song every monday that I have stumbled over during the week, and feel the need to share!

I found out about this song because I follow the singer's stylist's's like she's a friend of a friend of mine. Right? Anyway, the song is lovely and the dress she wears is in fact an amalgamation of old vintage wedding dresses! It's really something!

You can see Elsie's styling post on A Beautiful Mess, or visit Sucre's blog here!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra - Northcote Social Club

 (I have this poster on my wall now)

On Wednesday Night Laura and I went to see "Amanda Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra" (pun tittle! I'm already in love) perform one of the five shows she has going as part of her Northcote Social Club residency. What's that? Amanda Fucking Palmer is doing a residency in Northcote, Melbourne, and tickets are only $10? I must have stumbled into an alternate universe where all my favourite musicians are suddenly living in my home city and putting on shows cheaper than the beer prices at the venues in which they play (although in my alternate universe, beer flows from the taps instead of water. No wait, make that Hendricks Gin). Sadly this is not the case, Amanda Fucking Palmer is just really fucking cool. I have a rant about her being the nicest lady in music here in my post about the Dresden Dolls.

This show was more of a cabaret showcase than a straight up and down gig; we were late and so we missed most of the first act; a tall man with an admirable quiff and who sang like Johnny Cash. I didn't catch his name, but he did a great job as compare.
The second act, Kim Boekbinder AKA the Impossible Girl, came out all bright pink hair and fabulous space themed costume, which turned out to be completely appropriate because her sound was so unique she could have been sent here from some far off sparkly planet. She is also doing a residency, at the Evelyn Hotel in April, which I reckon you should check out if you have an evening to spare. And she's super nice; she was waiting at the same tram stop as us to head back into the city, and Laura went up and got her autograph! Too sweet!
Last, but certainly not least, we were treated to a Geisha/Egyptian burlesque style striptease from Agent Cleave and Jess Daly. It was bizarre to say the least, but bizarre is not always bad, in fact it is almost always good!. The costumes were incredible; I also looked up Jess Daly's blog SHE MADE A COSTUME FOR PEACHES YOU GUYS!!! And it is awesome!

This served as the perfect segue to introduce Amanda; Agent Cleave and Jess Daly entered the crowed, and as the song began to fade, the curtains opened to reveal Amanda standing warrior like at her piano, an enormous silver crown atop her head, poised to slay the audience.
Well, she killed it.

One of the many many things I love about Amanda Palmer as a performer is that you can go along to her show, not knowing any of her songs, and still have an amazing time; this was the case for Laura, who didn't know any of her solo stuff, and to be honest I was in a similar boat because she decided to showcase some new songs, which all sounded phenomenal. The addition of the extremely multitalented backing band gave each song an extra punch and sense of bravado. We laughed a lot, and I even cried.  She did some great covers too, Idioteque by Radiohead, a haunting rendition of Everything's Turning To White by Paul Kelly, and Video Games by Lana Del Rey. She said something about this song that I really liked, about how she hated it, but that she also deeply loved it. I think that's how a lot of people feel about Lana Del Rey, but I would take Amanda's version any day, because of the amount of soul she injected into it. A song like that needs her amount of soul.

Highlights: Missed Me. Of course, because I know that  song inside out, and because with every chorus, everyone in the band would get up and change instruments, like some sort of deranged primary school game. All the new songs!! Especially the ones with the horns, supplied courtesy of Felix from the Cat Empire! (C'mon, seriously? Now you're just taunting me Amanda). They made the upbeat numbers so much fun to dance to! Astronaut, Everything's Turning to White, and Map of Tasmania, because that song is so hilariously good, and it included a nifty rap solo from Kim Boekbinder.

I can't wait for the new album, with the band and the brass and Amanda Fucking Palmer writing some of the best songs of her career. And I'm pretty sure it's being recorded in Melbourne. Must fight the urge to stalk....
I would say QUICKLY GO GET SOME TICKETS FOR THE FINAL SHOW TOMORROW NIGHT, but it's already sold out. Still, I have a feeling there will be plenty more opportunities like this once the album is released! Come along, I'll have a beer and a dance with you, and we can bask in the delicious obscurity that is Amanda Fucking Palmer and her Grand Theft Orchestra.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Word Wednesday Thursday: Dragon

Hullo! I'm sorry Word Wednesday is a little late (although it's still Wednesday in some parts of the world), I know you don't want to hear about how awfully busy I've been and so on, so I'll just get to it shall I?

Today I will be posting an excerpt from a short story I've just finished. It doesn't have a proper title yet, the working title is 'Dragon', after the Tori Amos song that it was inspired by. I'm going to have to come up with something better than that! All suggestions welcome!

"My throat is as raw as if I had swallowed gallons of salt water, but I know it’s from all the smoke, and my nervous swallowing. Muscles contracting with anxiety ripples, holding the nausea in place.
The club had been dark, with low ceilings, walls padded with white leather that reflected blue, green, red light. Those lights even shone through the water, looking down from above and weakly filtered.
There was glitter everywhere, clinging to broad shoulders, shaved forearms, straining biceps. It rested on beds of eyelashes, fingertips, in the crooks of elbows, on the rims of glasses. I felt the little squares stuck to the inside of my throat, the corners cutting in.
 As soon as I arrived I had bought a drink and took my seat next to the aquarium that had been set into the length of the left wall, jewel coloured turquoise water pulsing with the music. Little fishes the colours of floating flowers quivered to keep themselves afloat, fins vibrating on a different wavelength to the pulse of music. Fluorescent orange clown fish, kissing and pearl gourami, powder blue pindani, red zebra. I watched them swim, sucking on the end of my straw like the catfish that I was, surrounded by so many of these exotic creatures.
Someone had poured a vile of purple glitter into the water, and it floated down to towards my end in waves; a violet snow storm. Some of it stuck to the eyes of a large Neon Rainbowfish, and he had to continue to swim blinded, unblinking. A kissing gourami sucked a square into his mouth, and spat it out silver.
Glitter is an ostentatious parasite, stealing all the shine from the stars,"

Hopefully I will find a home for it in the interwebs (or even in print if I'm feeling particularly ambitious) so I can show you the rest.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Club - The Workers Club

So this is a very special post, because not only is it about one of my most favourite bands, whose song 'Because We're Dead' is also the namesake of this here blog, but it's also my 200th post! How fitting for it to be about a Slow Club gig! Hooray for happy coincidences! Although my readership is very small, I would like to thank each and every one of you lovely people who have taken the time to peruse through my ramblings, and I hope you have taken away something positive from the whole experience.

Anyway, to Slow Club. I was very much looking forward to this gig, because as I'm sure I've already mentioned, I really do love this band. This was also the first gig that me and Lovely ever went to together, back before I could even call him Lovely. Needless to say, there are lots of happy memories tied to this band, and if we ever break up I don't think I'll be able to listen to them ever again (there's an insurance policy for you, dear!).

There is something completely infectious about Slow Club's music, and of course I mean this in a good, non cholera type way. Songs like 'Because We're Dead', 'It Doesn't Always Have to Be Beautiful' and 'Our Most Brilliant Friends' are the ones I think of when I want some bone shaking dance party flailing numbers, but it's the slower, more melancholy songs with their subtle bitter sweetness, that are going to crawl beneath your skin and stay with you for hours. Songs like 'Gold Mountain', 'Never Look Back' 'Sorry About the Doom' and 'Horses Jumping'. These songs creep up on me and break into my thoughts so easily, until I find myself thinking about them for hours. And really, how often do you really think about songs? I don't mean having the words or the melody just running through your head, actually thinking about the songs themselves, what they mean and what you see in your head when you hear them.
I think this is because their lyrics are sharp and clever, yet they are also sincere and heartfelt, which is often very difficult to achieve (it is in poetry anyway). And I just adore boy/girl harmonies, so each song just feels just so exquisite to me.

The gig itself was a lot of fun; Lovely and I ended up running into a couple of friends of ours, who were also, coincidently, Slow Club fans. The first support was, well, we didn't stick around to catch their name or many of their songs, which I think says enough about them.
The second support, however, was more than a pleasant surprise! The Harpoons consisted three guys and one girl, playing very catchy tunes and haunting love ballad/ laments that could have been written sixty or so years ago. What I loved about them was that every single person in the band sang in almost every song, and their harmonies were really great (yay more boy/girl harmonies!). The girl's voice was exceptionally powerful, you could feel it commanding everyone’s attention, which I suppose is the main challenge of any support act. We liked them so much that Lovely bought their EP on the way out, and I am very much looking forward to listening to it.

As for Slow Club, well, let's just say that the expectations I had gathered from seeing them at the Empress two or so years ago (a venue about a quarter of the size of the Workers Club, mind you), were blown out from the get go. For one thing there was not just one but two drum kits, one full one and to the side for Rebecca, and two extra members had be added to the band.
The lights went down and Charles came out, followed closely by Rebecca, who was wearing a long South American style poncho (I'm always a fan of her outfit choices), and they preceded to open with an acoustic cover of 'Disco 2000' by Pulp. They then launched into "Where I'm Waking', one of those bone-shaking songs I was talking about earlier. They ripped it apart, but instead of the blood and the guts of the song falling out all over the stage, I like to imagine there being explosions of confetti, because that's how it made me feel. The fast songs were big and loud and passionate, without being obnoxious or over the top, and the slow songs would swell to be big and loud and passionate too, in a way that made your heart want to break, rather than jump out your chest onto the stage.

There was such a good vibe running throughout the whole band, everyone looked like they were having so much fun, especially Charles and Rebecca. An example of this would that after the saxophone solo during Hackney Marsh, Rebecca announced that it was in fact said saxophone players birthday; they then broke out of the song to sing him Happy Birthday, and presented him with a cake and candles to blow out. When this was done they had to go back into Hackney Marsh, which is not one of the upbeat songs, and poor Rebecca was overcome by fits of giggles for the rest of it. This happened to her a couple of times towards the end, but it was so freaking adorable I don't think anyone could care. At this point I would like to add that Rebecca is SUCH a babe, and although I don't like using the word lady-boner, because it throws up all kinds of weird visuals, it seems most appropriate in this case.

Highlights: GOLD MOUNTAIN! As the first song of the encore, they came out and sang it completely acoustic and unplugged, no mics, no band, just them. It was such a beautiful moment.
Two Cousins, Giving Up on Love, Where I'm Waking, Hackney Marsh, Horses Jumping, Our Most Brilliant Friends, and whatever the second of the two new songs they played was called. Sadly, there weren't too many of their songs from Yeah, So? on the set list, so no Because We're Dead, or Christmas TV, but I can't really complain because I still left the Workers Club feeling like someone had dosed me up on a heap of caffeine and I was never, ever going to come down.

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