Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friday night fruit

fruit corsets in history (giclee)

[Fruit corsets]

While I was working on it, I liked imagining who would be wearing these undergarments. Elizabeth Bennett reading impassioned letters from Mr. Darcy in her blueberry Regency stays… Laura Ingalls walking on the prairie in her apple corset… Mary Poppins in that sassy s-curve banana… ladies on the Titanic sinking in that skinny boob-to-hip constriction… me own Nan in a postwar pear girdle.

Liza Ferneyhough, San Francisco, United States

My Mother

In the summer ooo I love her
She's like no other
She's my Mother

My Mum is a hair's breath away from cutting her birthday cake and I have yet to get her a birthday present. In the past no matter how much thought and effort, I always inadvertently gifted her something that I had been lusting after. The old self serving present.

A small patch below my right ear lobe is red raw, as I've been scratching my head all afternoon, trying to find something to give her. This is the best that I could come up with:


girl mug with finch

Russian Girl Matryoshka Magnet

OCTOPUS- Vintage blue suitcase with hand printed Octopus

Clock created from a recycled JVC Turntable

Neon Summer Shawl

Unfortunately, after reviewing the list, I think I want them all. For. Myself. Ugh this is a pickle, I just want to eat cake.

To Fry a fish called Wanda

One of my life goals is to run a half marathon in 85 minutes. A far less achievable, but nonetheless alluring goal is to be as witty as Stephen Fry. Unfortunately the closest I’ll probably ever get to emulating Mr Fry, is the character he played in A Fish Called Wanda. Specifically entitled ‘Man at Airport.’

[Mr Fry]

As insurmountable as the challenge may seem, I am not relinquishing my goal just yet. Like an athlete bathes in pools of lactic acid to push their body to a new level of fitness - I’m going to strain my eyes till they are flacked in crows feet, to sharpen wit and wisdom.

I'm going to nibble on dictionaries and thesaurus', till my sentences are soaking with archaic but contextually appropriate words.

I'm going to stuff marbles in my mouth, to round my vowels, so if a snippet of wit does slip out, it sounds sophisticated and not crude.

I'm going to wear tweed and trousers.

I'm going to fill the lacuna of my cultural development with the putty that is Proust.


Or at least read about someone who is attempting to labour through Proust in a year.

And I can't seem to find my dictionary or a bag of marbles, so I think I’m going to re-watch ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and study the Fry.

[A Fish Called Wanda]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Press Play - Inject Fun

I’ve got another inoculation session this evening. So the obvious thing to do is dance till my arms are numb, to dull the impeding pain.

This song ticks all the boxes:

- I’m getting pumped full of vaccinations because I’m going on Holidays. The band are named ‘The Holidays’

- The lyrics mention a confident lady. Which I’m not, but at least I can visual one after watching the clip

- The clip has bizarre imagery and pandering poses. Always perfection.

- Calypso beats to make a dull Thursday toasty

- It makes me want to dance. Till. My. Arms. Go. Numb.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

208 minutes

I've been nattering on this week about having lots of pots on the boil; and just as I'm about to dash off out the door to a track session, I'm catching up on podcasts, flicking through emails, stretching my calves, editing some writing, nibbling on an english muffin, tying my laces, sending a text and snooping around blogs.

The pots are positively boiling over.

In the middle of this calamity I read this:

Time Wasting Experiment 0006

The 'Time Wasting Experiments' are an ongoing series of letterpress prints I've been producing which document time wasted. These are in part inspired by tracking 'billable hours' but also come from the compulsion to always be doing things and producing objects. This series is a sort of audit of how I spend my time, but the prints could also be thought of as permission slips allowing you to spend a period of time in a wasteful way (maybe recontextualizing a private, shameful activities into something which one tries to get done in a set amount of time).

For all my productivity, I'm getting bugger all done.

I think the best way to shut off the urge of being 'productive', is to slip into some apathetic ennui and watch the trashiest thing I can find. Luckily for me Million Matchmaker is on tonight. Booyah.

Monday, March 28, 2011


This desk represents the chaos and clutter in my mind.

I'm slowly shifting through an insane 'to-do' list I've concocted. Yet every time I start to chip away at a project, a new thread of an idea emerges and to ensure it's not evanescent I chase it. And so my 'to-do' list grows.

It's a fun and exciting way to work...yet incredibly unproductive.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vote one: books






Eye candy to clear my head from yesterday's ballot fatigue.

[images via: Marci and Deth]

All Mine

I’ve been lucky to see Little Red go from playing tiny pubs with beer soaked carpets, to ridiculously early sets at boutique festivals (Laneway) to playing later slots at major festivals (Splendour).

Their debut album was full of doo-wop dance floor ditties, but it’s their new heart-achingly smooth songs that are setting my pulse a flutter.

"All Mine" makes me bite my lips and curl my toes in pleasure.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Modus Operandi

I’m firing at all cylinders (not due to any Shane Warne style diet tips) with a number of creative assignments. My fingers are positively fluttering across the keyboard to ensure all the projects come to fruition before their various deadlines. But for all the eye straining effort, I'm positively buzzing with enthusiasm.

One particular project is due to pop up on this blog in the coming months, I’ve been mulling over the modus operandi. Though I’m keeping it all rather elusive, in case it flops like a pancake. Ahhh there’s confidence for you!

Food Safari


[Suitcase to suit]

I spent a lot of time thinking about travelling yesterday. My head swum in visions of:

Munching on buttery crumpets in Hampstead Heath.

Ladling curry with Roti Chanai in Kuala Lumpur.

Sinking my teeth into the secret inner sanctum of a Zhong dumpling in China.

Dismantling platters if Palak Paneer in India.

Exhausting my jaws with serves of Sindhi Biryani in Pakistan.

Needless to say, working as an Electoral Official is extremely dull (and hungry) work, but it inspires the most vivid daydreams. However I was grateful when the seventeen hour shift was over.


I feel as though I’m stalking Jinja Safari.

While I’m not planning to name my first born Jinja or Safari, nor am I building tumblrs or fossicking through their garbage bins. I have seen them play 3 times this year and it’s only March.

Though they are a new band with a limited arsenal of songs to fill their set list - they still provoke me to throw myself into a convulsions resembling a wonky highland fling, with flashes of Zumba hip swivelling and Kevin Bacon inspired posing. This was probably not the best rehab for my new running injury and my dancing certainty isn’t an effective mating call. But regardless of this, I would happily continue my winning streak of seeing Jinja Safari once a month for the rest of the year.

White Lies

I was slightly more apprehensive about seeing Cloud Control, as I have also seen then a handful of times in quick succession. The difference between the two bands; is that I’ve surgically grafted Cloud Control’s “Bliss release” album to my ear. I’ve had it on high rotation for the last six months and know the songs so intimately that my genes have probably mutated to include the album’s score.

While the album doesn’t sound stale, I was dubious that Cloud Control would have any element of surprise in their show. As a stint in the UK and a massive touring schedule hasn’t left the band with any time to release any more ‘bliss’.

Yet any fears I had were shelved within the first song. The band seemed like they have been missing Sydney, as they played with joyful abandonment and the crowd were equally enthralled. The set list had a lovely mix of lesser known B-sides and tracks off their award winning debut album. With the help of the boys from Fishing, Cloud Control also dished up a new cover of a School of Seven Bells track.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The 80s

Roller skates. check.

Animal masks. check.

Karate kid pose. check.

Joyous running. check.

Sensual egg cracking. check.

BMX bandits. check.

Yup, this is one kooky, yet compelling clip. You could waste hours analysing the meaning behind the sequences and 1980s motif employed - or you can just groove to the song.

I know what I'll be spending my time doing.


I adore words. I simply squirm in sheer delight when I read couplets of complete untimed perfection. Or pharsing so sharp and cunning it causes bubbles of saliva to sizzle and pop on my tongue.

[via: we heart it]

Yet I am a traitor.

I am incredibly guilty of rehashing the same words over and over again - “lovely”, “adore”, “delightful”, “swoon”, “tasty” or “delicious”.

Michelle Kerns of the Book Examiner condemns the heavy-handed use of cliches:

In 1984, George Orwell created newspeak, a language "whose vocabulary gets smaller every year."

While newspeak exists only in fiction (or does it....?) an even more pervasive, destructive language-killer has infiltrated the newspapers, news sites, and literary blogs of the world -- reviewerspeak.”

So fed up with the plethora of book reviewers “parroting” clichés at the expensive of providing insightful critique, Kerns has developed a list of the 20 chief clichés. But after blogging the list, a whole bunch of readers left more examples of painfully stale descriptions that are liberally littered in book reviews. And so "The 2010 Reviewerspeak Awards" were born - Kern monitored 20 media publications each month (form The New Yorker to Entertainment Weekly) to calculate the number of cliches used per publication. Kerns ensured awards were judged on equitable merit, by going one step further and determined the ratio of number of cliches per 100 words.

There are "compelling" and "powerful" graphs to back up this "fascinating" and "complex" data.

Wow, it's true that cliched statements are devoid of any real meaning - as the above sentence sounds incredibly stark and sarcastic.

In the aftermath of the awards, apparently Kerns was inundated far from pleasant letters. This baffles me, as reviewers should be encouraged to stretch themselves and come up with innovative and most importantly informative interpretations. If the novelist worked so hard to produce the work in question, shouldn't the reviewer? I certainty feel like I need to pull my socks up and sidestep cliches in the future (last cliche withstanding).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Selleck. Waterfall. Sandwich

Featured Sandwich: Meatloaf

Featured Sandwich: Spam

Featured Sandwich: Fish

Featured Sandwich: Sad Face

Featured Sandwich: Knuckle

The Official Selleck Waterfall Sandwich Logo
[The official Selleck Waterfall Sandwich logo]

A couple of days ago during one of my regular Tom "Selling it" Selleck image searches, i stumbled across this tumblr. I had to double check the calendar as it felt like all my Christmases had come at once!

Selleck + Waterfall + Sandwich = hours of laughter, joy, goodwill, mischievous winks


This song is so deliciously haunting I don't want to taint it with my shoddy singing, so I'm very pleased that I can just sit quietly and swim in videoclip's surreal images.

Cabins, belles, lanes, magnets and cairo

Cabins, Belles Will Ring, Lanie Lane, Magnetic Heads & The Cairos @ OAF, Saturday 19th March.

Generally brand endorsed music events are just thinly veiled exercises in product pimping. However any apprehension I had of being bombarded by ads was quickly dispelled when I was greeted by OAF’s bare brick walls. Thankfully free of a potential barrage of Jim Beam posters. There wasn’t even an MC to hurry the bands along and enforce a strict timetable of proceedings. The merch was displayed on a bare trestle table, manned by various band members, making the vibe less corporate and more bootleg.

With five bands on the lineup the night started early. Too early it seemed, with only a smattering of punters showing up to watch Brisbane natives The Cairos. The near empty room didn’t deter the band from letting loose with an energetic set. Singer Alistar Richardson led the charge with his stellar vocal range evident in “Shane” and “Listening Party”, jumping from polished 1960s pop to a half strangled scream.

The Magnetic Heads were next up and with six members they crowded the small stage. Jonathan Millar’s wry and nonchalant drawl makes it easy to compare the band to a whole gamut of 1980s predecessors including The Go-betweens, Split Endz, Simple Minds or The Smiths. But it became quickly apparent that the band isn’t one to mooch off of others, each song is incredibly well crafted. Their songs veer away from traditional song structure; long progressive builds are interspersed with unexpected flourishes of tambourine and upbeat jangly keyboard. These rapid tempo changes aren’t jarring to the ear; they sound smooth, polished but most importantly incredibly fresh and exciting.

Lanie Lane sauntered on stage in a leopard print leotard, high waist jeans and an evitable quiff. Lane has the rockabilly look down to a tee. Her music on the other hand doesn’t just stick to the one genre as the set skipped between jazz, blues and poppier numbers. Announcing to the now sizable crowd that she just quit her day job as a florist, its apparent that Lane’s got the goods to back up her decision, with punters twisting in time to “Bang Bang”, “Betty Baby”, “Hoochie Coochie Man”.

Belles Will Ring, didn’t bother introducing themselves, instead they served up a solid set full of new material including ‘Come North With Me Baby, Wow”, “Deepwater” and “The Coldest Heart”, which are less upbeat love songs of old (“Park benches”) and more introspective musings. Lingering lead guitar, solid bass lines, sedate singing and the occasional flute created a darker ambience to match the lyrics. Even though the songs are moody and evoke feelings distance and space, the band played with enthusiasm and vigor.

The crowd tapered off during the interlude, but Cabins shook any sense of music fatigue from the reminding punters with hammering kick-drum beats. The consistent heavy beats in “Hounds” and “Mary” are trance like and the brooding vocals swim through the layers of off kilter guitar, causing the listener to feel in equal parts hypnotic and manic. “Foes & Thieves” and “Oceanic Blues” are more pared back and are driven by Leroy Bressington’s softly yearning vocals. Making it a more sedate, but nonetheless pleasing way to finish off the evening.

The bootleg tour succeeded in not succumbing to corporate shenanigans but showcased five cracking bands, which deserve to be hyped.

Saturday, March 19, 2011



[Via: Bird don't sing]

I miss horse riding. I miss greeting the stable of horses, the tough decision of picking only one for the afternoon – then the rituals which would follow, of brushing, combing and dressing. Then saddling up and building from a gentle trot, to a canter around the park.

Unfortunately, horse riding isn’t the cheapest of pursuits, so it has fallen by the wayside, in an attempt to save for travel.

Won’t be it be lovely to combine the two?

Sure that would be infinitely more complicated and expensive – but I already have a name picked out for my horse, so isn’t that half the work done?

Decent shot

It's raining outside. Torrents of water lash against the windows and weigh the guttering down.

It's shaping up to be a day of reading, eating, writing and sleeping. But first, I'm going to just sit and listen to it fall. It's been a while since we've had a decent shot of rain in Sydney.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nanna naps and late nights

I’m getting my grandma groove on tonight – early to bed and early to rise. Unfortunately the early start isn’t for something fun like jog or coffee; rather it’s for inoculation. I’m rolling my sleeves up and getting jabbed. Multiple times. Ouch.

Hopefully the mix of inert bugs won’t send me off my chops, as I’m covering a gig review at the OAF. Which sounds like it’s shaping up to be a cracker of a night, with a saucy selection of up and coming indie bands.

Belles Will Ring

Ps. I think that this post is all sounding a bit ocker, as I saw a news item about Prince William’s bemusement over the Kiwi’s choice vernacular.