Roll on June 2nd!

Books

hitch-22-a-memoir

Are you excited? I am very excited. And now I go into hiding so I don’t read any more excepts until it’s in my hands. I’m even breaking my ‘no hardbacks’ rule for this one. 

Earlier this year I said one of the best things about living alone was being able to have a topless photo of The Hitch on my fridge, and I was serious. He hangs, held by a ginger cat magnet. I transfer all my book lust from The Mutineer: Rants, Ravings, and Missives from the Mountaintop 1977-2005 [which I am beginning to think will never be published] to Hitch-22.

21st – 28th March 2010

picturethis

This week was week of sleep hell. I just could not for the life of me sleep. Wednesday night I hallucinated that my bedroom door was repeatedly opening and closing. Then Thursday night I went to review a gig which was meant to start at 9:30pm and started instead at 11pm. It hurt.

My mum is a soap fiend. I don’t believe I’ve bought soap for myself for about two years now. However, this is my last bar, and I opened it to find this lovely message.

soap2

On Saturday, Steph came over and did the most amazing thing: she came over, and she baked me choc chip cookies for school lunches this week. It was both a lesson in teaching and a housewarming gift. We hung out for a few hours and discussed the politics of Facebook and over-sharing. I choose to spend my Facebook time discussing what happens when a person lives alone.

Facebook

Afterwards we wandered off to Magnation, for some mag purchasing. I’m looking for something Vanity Fair-esque. I don’t like too much white space in my mags, I want to feel like I paid for words, not white space. Seriously, I’m thinking Esquire, bar the babes, might be interesting.

mags

Is the world still crazy for Courtney Love? I dunno, I feel a bit let down, but I guess it ain’t the ’90s no more.

Which bring me to my next point: Liars. Liars are a band that always grow on me. If I was thinking about a list of my favourite bands, I probably wouldn’t think to include them, but I always like their music when I come across it. This year they released a new album, Sisterworld, and it is incredibly good.

Also incredibly good is the art direction and design, for which Brian Roettinger must get mad props. I have the two disc digipak [hello remixes by Thom York, Melvins, Atlas Sound etc] and it’s amazing:

liarscover

Each side has a different scene, which expands:

liarsside

liarsside2

Inside, there is a third scene, which you can see by peaking through a special little keyhole:

liarsexpand

liarskeyhole

liarsfog

I do love it when the musical experience is matched by a visual one.

This week promises to be slightly less insane, something I pretty desperately need. Props to living like a little old lady, yo.

Who Wants to be a Billionaire? The James Packer Story – Paul Barry

Books

jamespacker

This week I have been reading the above, having barely survived a week of Gore Vidal. I liked the first volume of Vidal’s memoirs, but a tome of essays built around his opinion of his intelligence and culture? There was teeth gritting. And then excitiement when I cracked open the February issue of Vanity Fair to see The Hitch taking Gore on.  

For all that anyone might say about the health of Australian journalism, Paul Barry consistently produces quality journalism. I think I read somewhere that the decline on newspapers might lead to journalists turning towards books like this. Although it would be nice if the two could co-exist, I wouldn’t be disappointed to see more time and resources decicated to books like this one, or like Jonestown, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room or All the President’s Men [though to be fair, Vanity Fair have been doing an amazing job over the past six months or so in providing features on the recent economic crisis, which are well worth looking at].

All of this aside, I was out with a friend last night and over a cider [mine] and a ginger ale [his], we came to the same conclusion: for all the ugliness that comes with the Packers, it really would have been an outstanding experience to meet Kerry, nay, I believe we even agreed that it would be an outstanding experience to meet Kerry in a bad mood. Masochistic perhaps, but I’d have liked to have seen how I held up to the full force of a Packer tantrum.

On the book itself, it mirrors James’s relationship with his dad in a way, the most interesting parts of the story still tend to be dominated by his father. However, I think that in another 10-15 years it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of chapters Barry has to add to this volume.

March

picturethis

It’s been a ‘uge couple of weeks, looking back on it. I’ve been in my new place for over a month now, yet it feel like I’ve only spent a few nights here. Cah-raze-y busy.

The biggest thing that has been going on was Steph’s wedding, which was amazing and which I will write more about later. For now: it was a perfect night, which ended up being one of those amazing ones where the most unexpected people mingled, and everyone had a fantastic time.

paperheart

papershoes

I took a few pictures for Steph and Joel, mucking around with Polaroid/digital combos, which is something I’d like to work with more often. I feel ok about my pics, but various people [Pete, Meesh] were right, wedding shots are really hard not to over-analyse.

stephandjoelwed

The other amazing thing about the wedding weekend was getting to catch up with Vincent. I think it’s pretty clear who’s his favourite. Who kept him quiet the whole way to the coast? Me. Who made him laugh in the mornings? Me. Who did he fall asleep on for hours at a time? Me. If he wants to move in, he can.

It’s amazing how quickly babies change. In the space of three days he stopped punching himself in the face and realised he could put his hand in his mouth and he definitely started being receptive to more people. And apparently he’s only going to get cuter:

vincenttennis

There’s also something pretty special about a grandson and his Grumps.

vincentandgrumps

There have been more gigs and events as well, including Jandek, at the Gaelic Club, which I reviewed for yourGigs. I’m still not convinced he exists. I think I reviewed an apparition.

stamp

A very special gig this week was by and for, Miss Jadey O’Regan, who, besides being a very talented musician, is also, I think you’ll agree, the most adorable person on the face of the Earth. I wanted to put her in my backpack. Jadey’s not had the greatest kickoff to 2010, and seeing as though she had to be down here to record with The Cuban Heels anyways, the lovely trio of Lucy, Meegs and Fiona put on another of their backyard gigs to cheer Jadey up. Below you can see part of The Cuban Heels, with Jadey on keys and a very special guest, Mr Perry Keyes, who lent a hand with some vocals and baby wrangling.  

jadey

fiona

The person below may or may not be named Andy and he may or may not have offered me cash to delete photos of his ukulele improv. I think it’s a nice photo, with some arty aperture going on, so I ignored him.

andy

Other than that, I am still absolutely obsessed with taking photos out my windows. At the sound of a plane, I’m usually found running to hang out my nearest window.

dusk

redant

bluestack

woolies

firesky2

firesky

plane

Baroness – Blue Record

baroness

I’m making a list of all the music I’ve dug that was released in 2010. Novel concept, no?

It is a shame that Baroness’s Blue Record was released in 2009, because it is, so far, the best thing I’ve heard in 2010.

Words that spring to mind when I listen to it, include: rollicking, horseback, vikings and eating lunch off a sword.

Favourite tracks include: Bullhead’s Psalm, Jake Leg, Ogeechee Hymnal and A Horse Called Golgotha.

I keep talking about it being shoe-gazing metal with ’70s throwback style guitar. That, perhaps means nothing. Blue Record is not nothing, it is a really, exceptionally good album and I will be forever thankful that I accidentally saw them support Isis.

My brother Joel, hat, shades, head in a daze!

steveandjoel

Tonight I head off for my younger sister Steph’s [poorstevie] wedding at Copa, Copacabana!

I’d been at uni for a few years before Steph started and I imagined when she started we’d be all like, hanging out and I’d be like ‘Here’s the good pub, let’s chill at my sweet share house’, but it took her about three days into O-Week to be like ‘Argh! There’s a dude I like!’

My only previous experience with Joel was seeing him in a play in which he wore roller skates, and then one day I was walking across the library lawn with Steph and Joel came bounding up and uttered a phrase I have forever mocked him about:

Hey babes, what are you doing tonight? Wanna come along to Fret Fetish?

I think there might have been more babe talk actually. Let’s add this:

I’d love to see you there babe!

That sounds about right.

Because I am a cynical, heartless bastard, I was all ‘That is the dude? Um … interesting …’ 

After a few needless bumps at the beginning of my relationship with Joel, aka J-man, he has not ceased to make me laugh, which is one of the most important things a person can do. 

I’ve seen him fly over bike handles chasing a laugh.

I’ve also seen him allow my sister to spoon him standing up, while his friends stand around mocking him, which suggests to me that he must love her a lot.

 He doesn’t mind me being the third wheel, indeed he’s even gone so far as to include me in some dirty text messages so I really feel part of things.

He’s helped my mum dig things and build I don’t know how many random stone structures which seem to take her fancy.  

Mostly though, Joel is ceaselessly and whole-heartedly optimistic and I’ve seen his attitude cause a massive change, for the better, in Steph.

I never don’t enjoy myself hanging out with Joel and he’s stepped in many a time to help me out with my disasters. He is one of my main homeboys and I am super, mega, totally excited that as of tomorrow afternoon, he is also my brother.

Julia, Amanda. They both end in ‘uh’.

I decided last week that I could not possibly juggle working extra hours for my rent, working normal hours, getting my life back on track and going to uni, so I have decided to put off uni for the foreseeable future. At this stage there are questions as to whether I can defer, and so it may be practical to simply withdraw. None of that is particularly interesting. What is interesting is that I decided that if I was going to put off uni, I needed to be doing more than sitting around at home in my undies watching TV. I decided I want to write more and I want to photograph more.

I’m not a person who tends to think the universe provides, but it was hard not to feel like it does when I came to work the day after, to find a request to interview Henry Rollins sitting in my inbox. And approval to review Amanda Palmer’s gig at the Sydney Opera House. And the opportunity to do much more of the same, including gig photography in the future.

My first gig review went up on the yourGigs website today. I will continue to review TV for yourTV as well, but gig reviewing is so super exciting!

 amandafinal

The full review can be found here.